Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hello, Autumn

It has been 9 months since my last post.
So, why the lapse in sharing?
Life has completely gotten in the way of my creative process.
Two toddlers keep us hopping.
I'm back in school (only a couple of classes, but it is proving to be a humbling experience thus far).
Andy is working midnights.
And... and... ok, I'm lazy.
After a long day, I don't even have the mental capacity to play Words with Friends with my husband, let alone try to be clever for you guys.
*But... I miss writing. I miss getting out all of the ramblings that are floating around in this head of mine.
I feel like it's been too long to do a recap of our lives (we'd be here all day), so I'm just going to start from today and move forward.
Today is Saturday. I'm in desperate need of a shower and an allergy intervention.
 I love Autumn.
LOVE it! 
Autumn brings beautiful colors, cooler weather, warm soup, cardigans, and apple cider. Pumpkin patches, apple picking, and glorious photo opportunities!
Autumn also brings (to my family, anyways) snotty noses, itchy-watery eyes, and sneezing fits.
But, I'll take it. I honestly feel it is a small price to pay for the happy that fills me up when I feel that classic chill in the air; that crisp chill that screams, "I'm here!".  
Enjoy the weather and mentally prepare yourself for an abundance of fall inspired slow cooker recipes (because that is the only kind of "cooking" I have time for). My Pinterest board is filled to the brim with delicious goodness... now, let's see if I can recreate them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

And the award goes to...

Two posts in one day?
Why, yes. I believe I will.

As I mentioned earlier, it has been way too long since I had written.
This became even more apparent when I discovered that I've been given an "award".

Yes, that's right folks. I'm that good... just not that on the ball.

I apologize to Emily over at Live a Charmed Life, for taking so long to respond to this lovely award.
*And, I thank you.
 It's nice to know that someone (especially someone I don't know personally, didn't go to high school with, or could potentially run into at Walmart) else can follow my runaway train of rambling thoughts... and enjoys it.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award
2. Pass it on the 15 people
3. List 7 random things about yourself

And, the award goes to...
1.) Abby
2.) Mandy
3.) Jamie
4.) Emily
5.) Ashley
6.) Jenni
9.) Greta
10.) Sara
11.) Leah
12.) Julie
13.) Mindy
14.) Jamie
Congratulations to the "winners". Please know that I completely enjoy reading your blogs and am happy to share in this random exchange with you. :)
7 Random Things:
1.) I sat here for a solid 3 minutes, trying to come up with something clever and "random" to start this thing.
2.) There are few things, in my opinion, that compare to the cold side of the pillow.
3.) I'm a night owl, even when I'm exhausted. As a SAHM of two lovely littles, I feel like I cheat myself of "me time" when I go to bed early.
4.) I knew within minutes of meeting my husband, that he would be my husband.
5.) Cadbury Eggs are my favorite holiday candy.
6.) I'm guilty of just looking at the pictures in People magazine (98% of the time).
7.)  I'm not sure I'm interesting enough to finish this...
Thank you for reading!
Until next time...

Hello... again.

Remember me?
I know. It's been awhile.
This is my first post in 2012, and it's already more than half way through January?!
I have no excuses.
Well... except that after I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my family, I fell victim to the dreaded Holiday Hangover.
You guys know what I'm talking about.
 The emotionally draining creative drought, that follows the rush of Christmas goodness.

*But, have no fear.
I'm back.

So, now that that is out of the way...

This precious child is now in preschool?! Wait... WHAT?! 
 My sweet Avery Drew, at the ripe old age of 27 months, is now attending preschool.
 5 days a week, 3 hours a day.
She did great.
I was a mess.

Watching her walk in, head held high, no fear... my heart was completely torn. 
*Isn't she supposed to be a little hesitant? Isn't she supposed to want me to not leave her?  
*I'm so very proud of her. Proud of her independence. Happy she is secure enough to handle this.
See what I mean? My heart, split right down the middle.

And, then there's this one...

This little bit has 6 teeth and just celebrated her 9 month "birthday".
9 months?! When did this happen? Where have I been?
Into to everything... EVERYTHING.
And, so happy.
Happy to be included.

As if I didn't have enough on my plate as it is...

I'm trying to learn how to crochet.
Currently looking for a class/tutorial, in addition to this book.
I'll keep you all posted on my progress.
*If anyone local can assist in this venture, I'd be forever grateful. :)

 That's all for now...
I've got to take advantage of this "free time" while I have it. ;)
I'm off to conquer the laundry room.
Wish me luck.

*As always, thank you for reading.
Feel free to share the love.

Until next time...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Slumber Party


People say these words all of the time. They get tossed around and become automatic responses.
I am *insert "all of the above" to have these women in my life.
Greta, me, and Julia
Sept. 08
I started to type out the story of how these beautiful ladies became a part of my life... major deja vu. The point: I love these girls. I love how we can go weeks or months without contact and pick back up exactly where we left off.

The Slumber Party:
I'm not sure who had the idea, but I'm completely taking credit for it.
I missed my friends. So, I said to myself: Self, why not have a slumber party?
Of course, my friends thought it was a brilliant  idea and were only too happy to make the drive (2 hrs for Greta, 3 hrs for Julia) to come hang out with me. Yes, I am that cool.
OK... We had a lot more fun than this picture portrays. Just so you know...

Let me just say that my house was CRAZY.
5 kids. 3 adults. 1 moose.

young love

Greta Bo Bo & Lincoln


LPB :)

This "girl time" was exactly what the Dr ordered for this mom. Yes, it was hectic. But, absolutely lovely. Resolutions were made to not wait so long to do this again (just like every time we get together).

I'm so lucky.
I'm so fortunate.
I'm so grateful.
I am so blessed to have these friends in my life.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share the love.

Until next time...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Review

It's Monday. Time to recap the Caudill's weekend.
Andy's been working a different shift, so our weekends now start on Friday, just like everybody else. It makes for a mega long week. We've all gotten spoiled by the 4 day weekends every week, but hopefully this won't last for too much longer.
Something much better is in the works.
The Caudill House menu consisted of spaghetti. That sounds boring.
Until recently, spaghetti was my only success in the kitchen. My "go-to" meal, which works out well for me, considering I could eat pasta (or pizza) everyday of my life and never tire of it. Seriously.
Andy made it home. Dinner was served.
It was time for Avery to get ready for her first date and theatrical debut. The Harrison's (our best friends, neighbors, and adoptive grandparents to my girls) got tickets to see A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail at the Paramount Arts Center.
Anxiously awaiting her "dates" for the evening.

A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail

I think a good time was had by all. :)

Santa Claus AND the Grinch came to town... to a local elementary school, actually. We saw the post on facebook and decided to go join in the fun.
Crafts (didn't make it to the craft table, though).
Good. Times.

Elliot Grae + the Grinch = BFFs

Mr. Claus met us by the door. Avery was "very thankful" her Daddy was close.

Jolly Pirate Christmas cookies. *drool

Well, it's not Christmas card worthy, but "no tears = success" in my book.

Saturday also brought some Pinterest inspired baking (and I use the term baking very loosely).

Preheat oven to 275. Pretzels & Kisses. Pretzels & Rolos. 3 minutes. Add M&Ms or pretzel topper immediately upon removal. Fridge till ready to serve. Boom.

The last day of our fun-filled and laid-back weekend. We usually don't do much on Sundays. Andy gets his weekly laundry done. Yes, ladies... the man does his own laundry too. Amazing, I know. It's a lot of cozy couch time and pj's are worn by all.
This Sunday was no different... except a HUGE breakfast was provided by our dear friends, the Harrison's (see above).
Wahwah's (Howard) side of the family have their Christmas gift exchange/dinner early in the month, and our friends always host the weekend's closing breakfast.
 For the past two years, the Caudill's have joined the food line.
Good food. Good fellowship.
Wonderful friends.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mother of the Year: Reason #724

December already?! Where has 2011 gone? This year has been filled  overflowing with reason why I will be accepting my Mother of the Year award (I'm expecting it to arrive any day now). Yesterday, was just another example... let me share it with you. And, please hold your applause until the end.

Yes, that is a stove top burn.
If you're a regular reader of my blog (if you're not, please come back and join us again), you're aware of my recent "culinary adventures". I'd like to say I was whipping up some sort of magical, seasonal goodness... creating fantastic memories with my girl right by my side, watching my every move. I'd love to be able to say that.
Sadly, I was heating up a can of soup.
Not nearly as exciting, but the result was the same, which was a trip to Ashland Children's Clinic.

Please do not judge the hair. We were in a hurry. Momma was a hot mess over this. Do not let this light hearted blog post fool anyone. Hot. Mess.

I'm happy to report: Avery Drew is doing just fine.
 Little bit of ointment.
 Little bit of Telfa (non-stick dressing).
 $20 co-pay.
 Then, we were good to go.

 After our visit at the clinic, we went to my mom's. Moe asked Avery about her "hurt hand". Avery, who had seemed to forgotten all about this excruciating pain once the Winnie the Pooh sticker was applied, got all pouty-faced and went straight into "poooor Avery" mode. She even held out the wrong hand.
It must be PTSD.

sweet sister

Speaking of "culinary adventures", on tonight's menu:
 The Best Pot Roast Ever! (according to Pinterest, anyways)

Andy requested a roast for dinner. Little does he know I'm going to be making THIS.
I'm not even gonna mention the subtle changes, just going to let his taste buds do the talking.
*Muhahaha! (evil laugh)

Here's the deal:
-throw potatoes, onions, and carrots into crock pot
-toss in roast (on top of veggies)
-sprinkle an envelope of (dry) ranch dressing mix
-sprinkle an envelope of italian dressing mix (again, dry)
-sprinkle an envelope of brown gravy mix (you guessed it... dry)
-pour 1-2 Cups water
-cook on low for 6-10 hrs (veggies/meat are cooked to your liking)
-Boom! Best Roast Ever! (we shall see)

Here at the Caudill House, we keep it classy with pre-dinner entertainment. Here's a little mental image of what you might catch while waiting on your fine dining experience.

Avery Drew on the harmonica, accompanied by her Daddy on the keys. *Swoon...

Drum roll please...

Andy, the ONLY person I'm concerned with liking this dish, takes a bite. Wait for it... wait for it... "Excellent".
And, there you go.
"I'd like to thank the Academy... my manager, and ALL my fans, who have supported me all along. Also, this meal would not have been possible, if it weren't for Pinterest..."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Festival of Trees

Creating traditions. Making memories.
*And, a new playlist?!  Volume: On.
Suggestions welcomed.
Festival of Tress. Paramount Arts Center. Well done.
My girls were in "tree trances".

The Snowmen at Christmas tree. This one got my vote because this book has become a favorite of ours.

The Goodnight Moon tree. I had to vote for this tree, because this book is such a staple in our bedtime routine.

I remember going to the Festival of Trees as a small child. You're still given two tokens to vote for your favorite trees. One on the lower level (the "professionals") and one for the upper level (the local schools). I remember being so careful in my choice, as if my choice in token placement would make or break the whole system.

Anyone else notice the creepy, floating Cinderella? I thought she looked like something from Criminal Minds, but Avery loved her.

I forget how beautiful this building is. When I do make it to the Paramount, it's usually for a show and it's dark... buzzing with excitement, energy, and conversation. Yesterday was nice. It was quiet (unless, of course, you count the one minor meltdown, when Avery realized she wasn't allowed to go up on the stage; situation was easily diffused by the distraction of the train... no big deal). Peaceful. Surreal, almost.

Blake's favorite part.

It was a lovely afternoon. But, we had to have a small photo session with our favorite "star" before we left. Avery and Elliot's "Wahwah" is on the board (the President, actually) of the Paramount Arts Center. We hang with celebrities. That's just how we roll.

Our festive outing was followed up with lunch at Griffith & Feil Pharmacy Old Fashioned Soda Fountain. I am loving this place. I have decided to just have my mother order for me next time though. Last time we went: I ordered the Philly cheese steak, which was good. She got the black and bleu burger which was *drool amazing.
This time: I ordered a cheeseburger, which was very good. She ordered the Reuben, which was *double drool delicious.

What traditions are you creating or carrying out with your family this holiday season? Anyone making memories? Share 'em. Please. :)

Happy Thanksgiving.
Enjoy your families and fellowship.
Enjoy the food.

Thank you for reading. Feel free to share the love.
Until next time...