Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Hello, blogland.

While we're all enjoying this over the weekend....

Let's be sure to remember and honor this....

It's more than just beer and brats (the food, not the kids.....although they'll be there, too).

History here.

Recipes here.

Kansas City events here.

We'll be kicking off summer with a trip to the pool today, a cookout this evening with friends, surely a backyard baseball game somewhere in there.....and then the real thing.....our first Royals home game! Punks will be decked out in jerseys. Can't wait.

We are so lucky to live where we do. Let's thank God for all of those simple privileges we enjoy as Americans each day. That I, for one, take for granted all too often. People gave their lives for this country.....for us to live freely. The very idea of it baffles me at times.

And, this video still gets me every time.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Anniversary Dinner - For 5?

Yep. And, one was picking his nose.

Although a romantic night out sounded nice, we didn't mind the company. Especially when they're as cute as these three.

And, funny. Lord, do they make us laugh.

I got a phat diamond as my gift.

And, the kids got a t-ball stand! Share and share alike.

I don't know, people. He's just weird. And, he insisted on batting each time from on top of the picnic table. I can't make this stuff up.

We do love this little goof ball.

This one, too.

Ready stance!

And, time to relax. Go ahead and take a break, Laine.

It's by no means close to a normal game, but we have fun.

Lainey got a pink glove for our 10 year anniversary. Don't worry. I'm as confused as you are about the gifts.

Lainey's dancing has taken on an even wackier dimension. I tried to capture a few distinct moves....

Think "Elaine" and the thumbs.

There he is. My husband of 10 years and 3 days. Not here. Here, he was my husband of 10 years. I've been updating him daily. And, he's loving it.


"Am I hired yet?" Keep on keepin' on, babe.

**The pool opens this weekend and so the little punks will freeze their booties off in the water since it just started getting warm. I'm sure that won't stop them.

**I saw Sex and the City 2 last night. Here's my quick review: The girls were fabulous. The clothes were unbelievable. The plot was completely outrageous. I enjoyed it because I love the series so much, but I agree with the critics.....the plot was just so ridiculous. Don't let it stop you from seeing it. It was fun!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


As we were driving out to our picnic last night, Blake spotted a limo on the highway. "Look kids! A limo!" Lainey replied, "Hey. Dat not Nemo." That pretty much sums up our romantic 10 year anniversary celebration. Kid-filled. I mean, really, who needs to jet off to Mexico and spend 4 days staring all googly-eyed at each other with pina coladas in hand? Times are tough, peeps! We had fun, anyway.

Found a few more pictures from the resurrected memory card. Lainey Bug in her high chair. I typically bawl like a baby with each passing phase of our kids growing up, but this is one thing I do not miss. Do you see the perma-funk of food on the arm? Yuck.

Carter snapped this picture of us while hiking through the Rocky Mountain National Park. I miss my baby bjorn.

We celebrated Carter's last day of school with a zoo trip. Lainey is in cute-overload mode. And, I think Carter looks just like his Daddy here.

Think Jack is excited about the train? Nice glamour shots pose, Blake.

The Kansas City Zoo is crawling with snakes. Literally. And, not in cages. This guy was by the swan's nest.

Back to the train. Tunnel!

Punks on our stop mid-way to pick up more passengers.

Loving it.

We went to Africa this time.......on the far end of the zoo.

Cutie husband. Of 10 years and 1 day.

Lainey showed Meow Meow the elephants.

And, clung to Carter for a bit.

Meow Meow got a ride on Lainey's shoulders.

Waiting for the tram back.

We grabbed dinner on our way out and then headed to our favorite picnic spot. Have you noticed how much we love picnics? Outside.....under the trees.....with the fam. Doesn't get much better.

Later that night, we found this on our couch. I have no idea.

So, the job search is going well. And, if the sheer necessity of an income and benefits doesn't persuade Blake to find something, his need to leave this house every day will. The children are driving him insane. It must be them.......certainly not me.

This week has been jam packed with dentist appointments. Although, they're early for our 6 month check-ups, we're getting them in before Cobra takes over. The kids did well.....glowing reports as before......Jack and Lainey even got full cleanings this time. Then Jack refused the x-rays. Our dentist told us that he will definitely be our orthodontist-needing kid. His teeth are so perfectly straight right now.....there's not a lot of room for his adult teeth to fill in. And, all of this makes sense because he's absolutely our easiest kid.

Kansas suddenly turned very hot. I don't like the heat. And, I really don't understand how kids can play and play outside until their hair is sopping wet with sweat. Weirdos.

Off to sing Marty Moose, the fake theme park song from the movie, Vacation. That, or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. As lullabies. Because it's bedtime.

Our kids really have no hope with us as parents. Later!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

10 Years Ago Today.....

I stood on a beach in Half Moon Bay, California and took vows to honor, love, respect and cherish one man for the rest of my life.

I have.

I do.

I will.

Some special notes I remember from our trip:

*Cancelling the flowers we pre-ordered for my bouquet after finding a flower cart on the streets of San Francisco selling the most gorgeous varieties I'd ever seen. The "flower man" made my arrangement for $12. It cost $25 to cancel the original order from the professional florist. Totally worth it.

*Blake tripping on his way out of the limousine as we pulled up to the beach. :)

*Seeing how nervous he was as we spoke those very sacred words. Watching him smile (with relief!) when his part was finished.

*Noticing how the flowers blooming on the beach were the exact same color of my dress.

*Hearing kids 1/2 a mile down the beach giggling as they shot off fireworks during the ceremony.

*Watching the sunset over the ocean......on the first night of the rest of our lives together.

*Stopping so that the limo driver could take our most treasured "wedding pic" with my disposable camera.

*Calling our parents from the Top of the Mark in downtown San Francisco, announcing, "We're married!!!!!!!!"

*Buying a Grateful Dead dancing bear onesie on Haight & Ashbury.

*Watching a kid get his ice cream cone swiped right out of his hands by a giant seagull while looking at the seals on Fisherman's Warf.

*Enjoying turkey and cranberry sandwiches during a picnic at the V Sattui Vineyard in Napa Valley. And, the enormous prawns! Delish.

*Driving through Napa and dreaming of moving around the country.....seeing new things.....experiencing it all together.

Check out this post I wrote last year on the anniversary of the day we re-met after knowing each other when we were kids and throughout high school. It pretty much sums it all up.

I'll end here as we celebrate this very special day for us.


But, before I go......I'll share my favorite ever 'Blake Starnes' quote:

"They're going to write books about us, babe. It's that good."

Love him.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The News

Pregnant? No.

A new puppy? Hell, no.

Moving? Maybe!

I loved all of your suggestions and by no means meant to torture you with the anticipation, but Blake and I needed some time to process the recent events before I threw it out there on the web.

Blake was laid off from his job. It was not a complete shock, as we knew they were making significant cuts (first in the field and then corporate office) and the position he took in Kansas City was new to the company. Those are often the first to go - since they survived well enough prior to creating it.

With that in mind, I think the world of my husband.....his work ethic.....his dedication....his relentless pursuit of doing well for his family..and couldn't imagine him actually being on the list. Of 165 people. It was a sad day here in KC.

We feel no animosity towards his company. They've been extremely good to us over the years and have helped us through relocations....above and beyond what most companies would offer. The cut was inevitable. He worked for a major tax firm. When the economy isn't performing and people are struggling financially, they either do their own taxes or not pay them at all. It makes sense.

So, what now?

We rally. He got a fantastic severance package, so we're safe for a good amount of time. Benefits are the main focus at the moment, as Cobra is super expensive and not a good long term solution.

We have a lot of factors that could work in our favor:

1. I can work, too, and am more than willing. (Hello, Mr. Mom!)

2. We're relocatable.

3. Jack is slated to start Preschool here in the fall, so Lainey could certainly tag along, too, if we were both to work full time.

After nearly 10 years of marriage (the 25th!!!!!), we know our strengths and how to get through tough times. I've said it many times to many people.......this is when you figure out if your marriage is successful.

This is when you see your partner's character shine through.

For richer. For poorer.

In good times and in bad.

Through sickness and in health.

This is what it's all about, peeps!