Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On the other side

Yep, on Sunday I turned 26. Officially past 25 and on the other side of my 20s. Crazy, huh?? But when your husband is almost half way through being 27, it makes me feel a little better. Sorry Jim. However, mom, you said someday I would thank you for sending me to school early and making me the youngest person in my class. So after all those times I got mad at you when I could drive when everyone else was 16 and I couldn't go to bars because everyone else was 21....I'm going to officially thank you.

It was a wonderful weekend, which started early, on Thursday to be exact when we flew bright and early to Baltimore to get started on Sara and Jay's wedding festivities!! After a FUN weekend (lots of pictures to come on that), we were able to successfully escape Hurricane Irene and changed our flight from Sunday morning to Saturday morning and get home before the storm hit AND grab an early birthday dinner with Katie and Lauren. It was sad to have to go home early, but it was nice to get home, see friends and sleep in on Sunday!

My actual birthday - was a fun day complete with a trip to Jefferson's in Lawrence with my family (thanks family for driving all the way up there with us for some delicious wings), mixed in with wonderful phone calls and text messages from friends and family and ended with a dog party with 7 dogs and lots of doggie ice cream.

Fried Pickles + wings + friends + family + dog parties = a great 26th birthday and a very thankful birthday girl

Throw in the present from Jimmy...

...and oh boy, watch out. I have a zoom lens now and can be extra creepy.

Cheers to many more happy birthdays :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fun Story Friday (FSF)

Ok, so this is going to be the new weekly “thing”. At one point I tried to blog every week about random bus stories. Well – then my life got a little OOC and that extra 25 minutes on the bus, while maybe the best and most peaceful part of my day, yeah that wasn’t going to fit into the schedule. So that weekly post stopped. Plus, I have a feeling those bus stories might have been a little too judgmental for something I would like to have lingering around on the Internet that I wrote. You know, in case someday I want to run for president. Ha – just kidding. But I mean, I like to try to be a nice person.

ANYWAY – jeez louise, I told myself these were going to be “short and sweet” and the perfect amount of words with accompanied laughter to start off the weekend. So here you go…the “rules”
1. On FRIDAY, post a FUN/FUNNY story

2. Has to be no longer than 3 paragraphs – so try to keep it short and sweet

3. Has to be random

4. Might be something that only you find hilarious, but you post it anyway

5. It can be making fun of yourself

I added that last one because I feel like that might be a trend of mine with these. You will see when I officially start this first one and restrict myself to the “no longer than three paragraphs/short and sweet” rule.

And go –

Monday night I went on a walk with Toby. I asked Jimmy if he wanted to with me, as we had just finished up eating dinner. He said no because his “stomach hurt”. I told him “stomach hurt” is code in our house for “I want to go be lazy and play PS3 like I have for the last 5 nights” and walked away. Yes, I’m an honest wife. So I took his keys and went out to his car to get his iPod to listen to on my walk. Since I already had Toby on the leash and ready to go, I just set the keys down on the back of my car, closed the garage door and off we went.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning (because this is “short and sweet” I spared you some funny parts…not funny enough to write and keep “short and sweet”, but I wanted to let you know I’m trying to stick to my rules….haha). I’m at work getting ready for a big/long conference call with a retailer at 9AM. It’s 8:45 and I get a call from Jimmy asking me:

“Did you happen to take my car keys off the back of your car this morning?”

Ummmm….that’s a big fat NO. Oops. I tell him to check around; they probably fell off when I backed out. He said “whatever” and hung up. Well, that was fun. Then I feel bad and have to call him back before I got into my call to make sure he can make it to work. Luckily he had a spare key.

The funny parts of this story?? If the situation were reversed - I would have turned into devil woman on him. He was completely calm…which is why I love him. The keys are still lost and Jimmy is still laid back about it. However, I did (with the help of my co-workers) figure out to turn the situation around so it’s his “fault” because he was lazy and didn’t want to go on a walk with me. In summary, wives are crazy. Wives can make any situation their husband’s fault. Wives make husbands go crazy, but make them sane at the same time. So weird how this world works.

PS We’re changing our locks and hoping the car doesn’t get stolen. Oops. My bad.

PPS I took a picture as evidence as to where the keys were. Oops. My bad.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Playing around with pictures

All right - thanks to Krista's suggestion, I think I found a way to make collages that I like and is easy.  Just insert the pictures into PowerPoint, play around with the pictures and get them in the size you want and the borders you want....so then you can make it seem like you have Photoshop.  So this is a few I have played around with.  Of the wiener dogs of course!!!

Milly's cute collage :)

Willy's collage - also so cute - love his head tilt.

Just an FYI - I didn't leave Toby out of this fun.  Have a whole blog post about him coming soon - I don't discriminate against Mr. Toby :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Katie and Barry's big day!!!

All right - here it is! The post about Katie and Barry's wedding that was the last week of July. But guess what? I'm pretty much caught up now on all my pictures, which is SUPER exciting!!

The weekend started off early Friday morning when I picked up Lauren from her apartment and we headed south to Collinsville to see the bride to be. We got there, exchanged some hugs, ate some lunch, told Katie that the cookie cake she bought would for sure not feed 25 people that were coming to the rehearsal dinner...made some brownies to try to make more dessert, but only 9 came out of that batch...hm. Not a relevant part of this post, but believe me, that whole conversation was hilarious.

Anyway, the rehearsal was about 20 minutes away in Tulsa (where the wedding was) so we headed there with Barry, a groomsman, Greg, Lauren, Katie and I. And we got there and finally got to get a preview of the beautiful muesum that they were going to tie the knot in!

Oh and here was the statue in the middle of the rotunda that they were going to have the ceremony in. Barry was not very happy of the naked man there, but they had to make do and it was gorgeous. I mean it is a muesum, but it was pretty funny. I thought it was fun! :)

We did some exploring of the mueseum and gardens there after we ran through the ceremony (twice because Barry's adorable groomsmen were nervous and wanted to make sure they got everything right - we loved it!!!). And check out how pretty the gardens are. Katie and Barry took their engagement pictures there too - and they were so gorgeous!!

The bride - ready to get married!!!!

Then we headed back to Katie and Barry's house with family and friends to enjoy some delicious BBQ that was made and prepared by the best man who owns a BBQ restaurant in Bentonville, AR. Oh my goodness. It was so freaking good - he had some special BBQ sauce that he made and I couldn't place my finger on what made it so good (not that I would have ANY idea, I tried to make myself sound like I did)...so I just kept eating it. And in these pictures you get to see some of their beautiful house!

Friends eating at the table and sweet Ellie!!!

And the staple Jimmy picture. He did end up making it down with my parents and sister for the dinner! He was getting a new laptop at work and our I/T department can be not-so-great at times, so we were worried he wouldn't get off work in time, but whew, he did. Haha. Ok, he has nothing to do with their rehearsal dinner. Sorry - I just like him.

After a late night talking with friends and having a good time, it was finally Saturday, which meant it was....


Our first stop in the morning was to pick up some of Katie's wonderful girlfriends from Houston at the airport and give them Katie's car so they would have transportation around Tulsa as they had some duties that day to pick up things for the big day. Then we were off to the salon to get hair and make up done. Katie had done her make up here before during her engagement pictures (and it looked amazing) but she never ever had a trial of her hair or really any idea of what she wanted to do, so after scouring through magazines, Lauren found a great style and off the stylist went. And it looked SO good! Oh my gosh!

Katie, mom and Keri (sister) at the salon - they all look so amazing!! What a fun day!

After we ran to Kohl's to purchase a new strapless bra for an irresponsible bridesmaid (yep that was me....mine was falling apart), we grabbed some leftover BBQ at Katie's house, grabbed our dresses and headed to Tulsa. We were so excited!!!!!!!! And yes, that was me driving and turning around - I promise it was like for one second. Lauren said this was an "irresponsible" picture...haha!

After a bit of rain on our way into the city, we stopped by to get checked into the hotel and drop our stuff off and then it was OFF to the Philbrook to go the bridal suite. So the bridal suite was gorgeous and such a nice perk, but it was hilarious the route you had to take in the museum to get there. It was through the back rooms and storage. On the way there, we saw a HUGE spider and the bride seemed to like it!

Ok, so then we get in the room and put our stuff away and start talking. And Lauren is like "what is that noise? do you hear that? I hear something....what is that?" and went on like 50 times :) And we were all very confused, as we didn't hear a thing. I think it was the AC? But we are still not sure. Maybe Lauren can hear things other people don't and it's a special talent she hasn't realized she has yet??

And then it was fun time - to gawk at family heirlooms passed down (something old, something blue) and beautiful engagement rings (something new).

And THEN (yes we might have had a little too much fun taking pictures in the bridal suite) we made Keri "walk the runway" because with her hair and makeup, she looked like a super model - so we wanted to see her moves. And then of course big sister said "that's not how you do it" and had to give it a try. I have many more of these....as it was an all out fashion shoot!

And then someone came down and said "time to start being serious, you are getting married". Haha, JK, but the we were like, "oh yeah, you are getting married soon, so maybe we should start focusing on that". So we did. We got the dresses ready to go...

The flowers arrived and were beautiful!

Oh and the booze arrived...in the form of a bottle of wine, so it was REALLY time to get married!!! And here is my first attempt at a more sophisticated blogger collage. I am probably going to try PowerPoint, as suggested by Krista....I think I will like that :) But bride and bridesmaids were having quite the time!

Toasting to a wonderful wedding day!

And it was time to get dressed - she looks BEAUTIFUL - and she was glowing with excitment!! I love that dress!

And check out this hair piece that Ida made her :)

Ready to go - let's get you married!

Here are her Houston friends in town :) So happy we got to meet these girls!

The ceremony was beautiful and went great - the pastor was 7 feet tall (literally) and had great stories about them and their relationship that brought them to this day. So sweet. I didn't get any pictures of that...and Jimmy didn't do a great job either, so sorry!!!

Check out the details - program, cake and grooms cake!

After some pictures in the HOT Oklahoma sun (cannot wait to see them!!!), it was time to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Ruddick and kick it off with a first dance. So cute and so happy!

Dad/daughter dance!

Pictures of our families and the Bruns/Haller girls that have been friends since Katie and I were 2.5 years old. Yep, that's right. We went to the same daycare and took this picture for Miss Phyllis :) She was the best!!! She got to see us all last year at my wedding, so we are going to send her this. So crazy how time flies, but good friends stay constant.

The food was delicious, the dancing was fun and the alcohol was flowing! Everyone had a great time. Here are pictures of the bouquet toss (caught by SaraBeth), the Chi-O's singing to Katie - so great to get to see all of them so soon after our bachelorette party weekend - and Barry getting the garter off of Katie. I love her faces in these!

Everything good does have to come to an end I guess, so after we wished the happy couple off, it was back to our hotel downtown and then we went out with Lauren, David and Lauren's parents because we were brave enough to go out in this street fair they were having in Tulsa. But it was fun chatting with everyone!!

When we got back to our hotel room, Jimmy used his new wireless speakers that he found at Tulsa to wish us all to sleep with some thunderstorm noises that Lauren thought were hilarious and weird at the same time. But hey, the other 3 of us thought it was relaxing and Lauren didn't seem to have any trouble going to sleep :) What was so funny and I had to get a picture of (I dont' think I even told Katie this yet) was the picture in the bathroom at our hotel was the same picture of an oil rig that was on Barry's grooms cake! How ironic - it means everything was meant to be, right??

Overall, it was such a FUN weekend and so so happy I got to be involved in Katie's big day from start to finish (check out her engagement, wedding shower, bachelorette party and additional wedding pictures). Katie is one of my best friends and I'm so happy for her and Barry and cannot wait for many more exciting things to come! Love you Katie and Barry!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Carter family vacation: round 3

All right - this was our third year that we had the annual Carter family vacation to Branson! Check out the first and second one - however, I obviously didn't do a very good post on the second one, but it was a pretty cute video :)

So in the midst of the crazy week of living at my parents house and watching all these dogs, we did end up leaving for work together on Thursday morning and dropped Mr. Toby off at the vet to stay there until we got back while Milly and Willy were getting to stay at my parents house. We left at 12:15PM from work, after Jimmy insisted on changing his pants in the parking garage at work because he just couldn't drive in his work pants. So weird. But it was funny, especially when I tried to convince him there were cameras everywhere in the parking garage.

On the way down, we made our typical stop at this place - so good! And I acted like a huge kid going in and sampling all of the yummy cheeses!! Because he remembered how delicious their pickled okra was, Jimmy was excited to stop this year, unlike years past

We got there just in time for me to head to WalMart to help my sister-in-laws with the shopping trip and it was a nice break from old Jimbo after being in the car for 3.5 hours :) I do love him, but sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder. After loading up on tons of groceries, we came home to enjoy some pizza and the first happy hour of the trip, which was a delicious martini that Tim and Shellie made! This was a new tradition this year where everyone signed up for a "happy hour" slot and made an appetizer and a fun drink for everyone to enjoy before the meal. It was a great idea and turned out to be so fun! Their fruity drink was delicious and included sugar on the rim of the cute glasses Shellie brought!

The next day, we were off to Silver Dollar City and we were lucky enough to ride with Libbie, Ben and Kenlie in the car there. In addition to the little photo shoot Kenlie did...we also got to see her get SO excited for a song on Radio Disney from a new TV show that I of course had never heard of called Lemonade Mouth...but I have been listening for it lately :) She was SOOOOO excited like pretty much jumping up and down in her car seat. It was so cute!

When we got there we met up with the rest of the group - including sweet Eli and Katy in their AWESOME stroller! It was so cool - I guess it's what Pat takes them in when he bikes, but worked perfectly there too!

Hmmm...Jimmy in tank tops. Seems to be a trend at Silver Dollar City. Last year, he wore a tank top but it was neon yellow.

So then the rides began. Last year, we ended our time at the park going on Thunderation over and over again and this year, we kicked things off that way. I was very happy to see that they got rid of the cart on the ride that you could go backwards on the roller coaster on because that made me pretty sick last time around. This time, we started off on the right foot and had a blast!

Then we headed to some rides that the smaller kids could go on and then went on the jail ride, where you shoot targets. It's good for everyone and a fun time :)

Ah strollers :)

Ok, so after we went on some more rides, it was lunch time. I apologize if for some reason a vegetarian or vegan or someone of the sort is reading this post. It's about to get graphic - graphic with pictures of turkey legs. And fun pictures with them.

So the story behind this is that for one of our surprise dates, Jimmy wanted to take me to the Renaissance Festival in Kansas City and when he mentioned that, the first thing that I said was "Oh my gosh and then we can get a turkey leg!". Well, he has never let me live that down. So when the place at SDC we went to eat lunch had that option, he was like "you have to get one". And in a weak moment (I was incredibly hungry, so maybe I wasn't thinking right), I ordered one. After like two bites, I thought I was going to puke, so why not take pictures of it. Oh AND engage your nieces and nephews in the pictures too. Haha, we are such a great aunt and uncle. However, they did seem to get into these pictures :)

This one had to be bigger - because not only does Norah look cute "eating the turkey leg" but check out Maren's face!!!! I love it!

Half of us headed back early for naps, while I had to great pleasure of working on my project for grad school that was due that Monday...but when everyone else got home, it was time for another happy hour. And YUM. Bobby and Hillary did not disappoint with their delicious lava flow drinks!!! They were so good - I think it was strawberry daiquiris and pina colada's mixed. Whatever it was, it was yummy!

Saturday - we were up and early for breakfast. Oh hey Kenlie.

We were off to the fish hatchery by the dam to see all the fish that my grandpa and I used to catch in the Roaring River way back in the day. It was HOT, but fun to see all the fish and kids feed them!

Will was pooped - too much fun for him!

This was what they picked up at WalMart. If you cannot tell, Bobby's was a size XL and Jimmy's was a Small.....hmmmm......

Just a cute picture of big sister Norah, attending to little brother Will.

I didn't include any pictures in the room where we watching the movie - but let me give you a synopsis of it. We went inside because it was too hot outside and there was a room with lots of animals in cages - like snakes, spiders, turtles. It kind of smelled, but the kids seemed to like it the adults got to sit down. Then the movie started. The kids wanted popcorn - haha. The "movie" was about the fish hatchery. It was interesting, but it also said lots of words like sperm, fertilization and eggs. Which made sense as they were talking about making lots of fish, but when a 4 year old asks you what sperm is.....aunt Brittany gets the awkward face and says "ask your parents"....needless to say, the most disgusting moment was seeing the huge container of fertilized fish eggs that were being harvested and having the guy stick his BARE hand in the huge barrel and stir it around. I thought I was going to puke. But I guess now I know how fish are made, right? Something I always wanted to know!! Haha. But it was fun and something different to see :)

Back at the condo - we ate dinner and Uncle Bobby dressed up baby Will. Um, he is So cute.

We went BACK to Silver Dollar City that night and it was the start of "midnight madness", which means they are open until 10PM. Yeah, that makes sense. But the good news was that meant specials on food. This picture is for me dad. I made Jimmy take it and I posted it even though I look disgusting because he LOVES funnel cakes ($4!) and rootbeer floats ($2!). So delicious. Fattening, yes, but also delicious!

While we were hanging out in the kid's area, Libbie and I got to hang out just the 2 of us and go on a few rides! Love this girl and cannot believe how fast she is growing up!

Now I'm losing track of my days. But at here is a picture of the "slide of death", as Trish called it. But really, it was. This caused lots of girls to get mad and boys to get hurt. The guys had a little bit too much fun all day and when you combine that with them taking kids down the slide and diving into a 5ft pool....yeah, not so good result. The funny/ironic thing was that I was sitting on the side watching and thinking "I feel like this is one of those moments where you are watching something really stupid happen and then next thing you know, your whole like changes...like what if Jimmy dove into that water and never came up or came up paralyzed?" Morbid, right? Well apparently I wasn't off by too much because literally 5 minutes later, Jimmy walks out of the pool (luckily he was walking and alive) with a HUGE goose egg on his head because he dove in the pool and hit his head. Then Pat got out 2 minutes after that with a HUGE gash on his head that was bleeding from the same thing. And that is when we went home. And that is the night that Jimmy got yelled at by his wife at the lake. Needless to say, I'm thinking and praying that he never makes a decision like that again. God forbid something happen to him....or any of the kids, cannot even imagine. So no more "slide of death".

However, the rest of the trip was so fun with a relaxing Sunday morning and then a Sunday afternoon spent on the lake in a boat and some tubing. It was great and fun to see the kids out there tubing and swimming away. I did wear my monokini. Yep, I got one. Have I blogged about my monokini and my discussion with my husband about that and tankinis in general? I will need to blog about that. It's funny. And stupid. But funny to us.

The best part of the weekend? As always, it was hanging out with these cute kids and spending some good quality time with the family. Talking about the kids, playing with the kids, swimming with the kids, and laughing with the kids. They really are some wonderful and pretty great kids. I love them! Here are some fun cousin pictures with Uncle Bobby!

And here we have it - the standard family picture by the pool entrance at the resort. From the first year?? There are 3 new little kiddos :) So fun and hope that it keeps growing!!

(Correction from Jimmy - there were not 3 new kids - just 1....Katy and Norah were born, but just little babies the first year. Apparently I cannot count!!!)

Don't you love summer??!!!