Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Things to say on Twitter

So I flew head first into Twitter, and by that, I mean I cautiously joined, started following NPR, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, and Ellen DeGeneres. Folks, I just cannot get into the groove. It looks awful on my phone, and it doesn't seem intuitive on a computer, either. Am I missing some secret app or site to organize it all into a way that I don't stumble on the #, @, and the tinyURLs?

Here's the bigger problem...what should be my first post?!?! I have tweet anxiety. I feel like I need to initiate my presence with something funny, poignant, eye catching...you know, right after I figure out how to save New Orleans from Isaac and eliminate infant diarrhea, #realworldproblems. You likey? Just me enjoying some Twitter training wheels on here.

But all of the Twitter friendly things that pop into my head are more vanilla than those wafers used for banana pudding. Today's contender was: "you know the clothes are going to be expensive when you get the 'autumn' catalogue." And then I would throw down a hash tag related to Mini Boden. (Forget Nameberry, if you are looking for a trendy name, just pick up a catalogue and look at the tot models' names.)

And I had another vanitter/Twanilla moment yesterday while in the car. I challenged Miles to say "school" 7 times fast, his tongue got all flip flopped, and he tried to be funny by saying, "school, school, cools, asools...GUM!" It was almost as funny as his 1 and only joke: "why do birds fly all around? Because it is faster than walking!" But the really funny was when Felix anted up with his own ha-ha, "GOOSE POOP IN THE CAR!" It was almost like a little verbal tick. Of course, we all laughed, which just roused a repeat performance with an encore of Felix's famous call, "STINKY DIAPER!" #southerngentlemen.

I guess I'm not ready to contribute to the Twitter pool at this point...so for now, I'll enjoy following my non-sexual crushes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Death by Zucchini

Warning! Not my photo! But it totally looks like this. Thanks to Plump Me Up for the visual.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
I mean, I fully expected a fail with this one. I pulled it out of the oven, slapped on the ganache, and hoped it was cooked in the middle as it rattled in the trunk of the car between a toddler bike helmet and a stack of Trader Joe's grocery bags.

It was a success.

And the verdict on day two? Even better. Who needs transfat when apparently zucchini can keep things moist for days?

This is not helping my half marathon body plan. Ah well. Taking one for team chocolate.

My adapted recipe is courtesy of The Repressed Pastry Chef. (Go to the link to see another picture. Your hips are screaming for mercy, huh.)


I used all organic ingredients, save the baking powder/soda, salt and cocoa powder, because organic = healthy. (Lies we tell ourselves.)

… for the cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (use the real thing)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups  granulated sugar (original recipe called for more, but in all honesty, I couldn't find the 3/4 cup measure and was too lazy to dole out 3 scoops of the 1/4 cup)
1 capful of vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
2 large eggs
1 individual container (prob 1/2 cup?) of 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup  Dutch-process cocoa
2 cups shredded zucchini (I used two enormous zucchini)
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips (optional, but c'mon...I used organic dark ones)

… for the ganache
6 oz heavy cream (Yes, sorry folks, gotta use the real stuff)
9 oz dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9″ x 13″ pan with baking spray
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Beat in the eggs.
Alternate mixing in Greek yogurt and flour.
Add the cocoa and mix until smooth.
Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
Pour into pan.
Bake for 35 – 45 min or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make the ganache: heat cream in saucepan over medium until simmering.
Remove from hit and pour over the chocolate bits.
Wait 5 minutes and then stir to combine.
You should probably remove the cake, cool, and then pour ganache on top. But I took it out of the oven, poured the ganache on the hot cake, and put it in my trunk.

It's not too sweet, but tastes sinful. I think I want this for my birthday cake from now on.

Oh, and I brought it into work today, put it on the counter with the note "Surprise Chocolate Cake!" I see there is 1 piece left. I guess they liked it...hope no one is allergic to zucchini.

If you try it, let me know! (obvi so I can come over and eat some.)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

35lbs of self-esteem

Scene: We are driving home from a "family" dinner at our best friends' house. I'm driving, Eric is writing phone e-mails to the school nurse, and the boys are listening to Roald Dahl narrate his books. (Love the books on CD, but Roald has GOT to work on not dropping his voice at the end of sentences. It's almost as grating as vocal fry.)

I may be gently expressing some frustration that Eric hadn't seen his kids all day but still spent a good portion of the family dinner evening either texting another coach, or making lewd jokes about homemade pizza toppings. I also may be generous with my use of the word "gently."

Ali: Eric, it really pisses me off when you complain about us leaving late when I spent the good part of the end of the evening trying to clean up with our children who were on a sugar high. I didn't see you stepping in to help expedite our exit. Shoot! I hate getting stuck behind a MARTA bus!

Eric: You should have taken Clairmont Road! And watch your language.

Ali: You should have thanked me for being the DD. Listen, I am sorry for getting angry, it just bothers me that you didn't help at all with the kids when we were trying to pick up and go home. And there is no reason you had to text that coach at our friend's house. Sometimes you just don't...think.

Miles: Daddy...you are beautiful.

And we all erupt in laughter. Everything is forgotten. 

I think I birthed a life coach.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kriss Kross will make ya

And if you can't finish that lyric, then we really can't be friends.

I promise I don't feed my child bloody Mary's for breakfast; he just looks inebriated due to an awful 7AM iphoto moment.

I've mentioned a host of times how Miles feigns helplessness. One area that we are making progress on his getting himself dressed. In fact, it's kind of a perfect system: he has limited interest in picking out the clothes, but is willing to put them on himself. Perfect! I pick out the cute matchy-matchy outfit, and he does all of the labor. My kind of arrangement.

Until he started wearing his underwear backward. (Or underPANTS if you are my mom. *shudder*). I got him 2 sets of the days of the week undies from Gap, and he prefers to see the day of the week and corresponding animal on his crotch rather than have it on his bottom, which he cannot see easily. I don't blame him: party in the front! But as my friend Jenni and I discussed, this backward application just creates toddler thongs. It's uncomfortable watching him pick the crotch part out of his bottom repeatedly. Party in the front, wedgie in the back. It reminds me seeing side boob cleavage through women's shirts (you know what I am talking about. I get it too). It's not technically pornographic, but it makes you wince, and you instinctively shift your own undergarments because it just looks so dang uncomfortable.

Sure, we have had a handful of shoes on the wrong feet, but I mitigated against that by putting in arrows and a half circles in the inner soles with permanent marker. Basically, there is an arrow pointing to the inside of the shoe on both shoes, so the boys just have to get the arrows to point to each other. I also put in half circles on each so that when their shoes are together, it makes a sun. (I need to take a picture, huh.)

But recently we've had some trouble with the shirts:

I posted this to Facebook before work, and in addition to the obligatory "likes" when you post cute pictures of your children doing funny things, my MWBFF (Midwest best friend 4-eva), Amy, told me that Miles was actually on trend! Not only that, but she gave me some proof:

Cardigan worn backward
photo source this time tomorrow

And then I stumbled upon this refashion on Pinterest the same day:
photo source: Merrick's Art

Jump! Jump!
You know I had to finish it.
And now I double toucan dare you not to sing it in your head

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Curly Girl

This post is brought to you by: my attempt to write about the mundane.
My friends Amy and Jenni were the first to tell me about curly girl.
I am not sure exactly how to reference the theory/method/guide...(at first I thought it was some urban legend).
Just Google (or Bing or Ask Jeeves) "curly girl".
I am not a "curly girl" disciple, but I do have wavy/curly hair that occasionally makes an appearance. Eric calls it "Island Ali."
This picture cracks me up.
I have never been one to do the "iPortrait in the mirror", but was demonstrating to my friend that I do, in fact, have some kink to these locks. It's an hour post shower, and to be fair, I did pin up the front layer that doesn't have much curl.
Please notice infant Miles in the background with his a look like, "whoa, Mom!"
And just how seriously awkward I look.
And the toothpaste splatters on my mirror.
But this doesn't inspire me to go curly girl.
And I have been getting these urges to just cut it into the chin length bob I always get.
Or maybe even shave it all off and supplement my decolletage with funky jewelry from Etsy. Then I don't have to even worry about the gray I'm chasing every.single.month.
First Twitter...
watch out, GI Jane may be next.
(That's me testing a Tweet. Baby steps.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's a bleeder

Oh, remember when I confessed that I have a chronic nose picker over here?

I know what you were thinking: "There she goes again; taking creative license with all of those 'facts' of life." (If Natalie or "Tootie" didn't just traverse your consciousness, you are too young to be reading this blog.)

Sure, I take liberties with my adjectives, but the facts are the facts.

I call it creative packaging of the truth with lots of histrionic ribbon. 

Felix has refrained from snacking on his own nare waste, and I felt that much like the cannibalism, we have been in the clear with the nose diving.

I know, right?

I thought the same thing when I found him like this: he's either back to cannibalism, or picked his nose so hard it bled--again.

Thankfully (?) it was the latter.

Yeah, so I took the boys on my traditional evening slog with the double stroller. 

We talk about street names. We talk about Willy Wonka. We talk about quantum physics.

I know when we walk by people they are like "noise pollution!" as the boys and I tend to get really loud when Oompa Loompas are mentioned.

Tonight, I got a lot of extra looks. 
Maybe it was my description of the ever-lasting-gobstopper? Or my terrible Veruca Salt impersonation.

Oh no. 
It was the fact that my child was hemorrhaging from his nose for 45 minutes and I had no idea.

In all fairness, neither of the boys mentioned the blood bath during our slog.

In true Felix fashion, when I noticed the scene of the crime as we got home and screamed "Felix! You picked your nose so hard you have blood all over your face!"

Hi responded with a cool, "Yum! I eat boogies!" And then took a scoop of his blood/boogie slurry and ate it.

He does need more iron...

(Yes, I took this picture before I cleaned him up, obviously. He wasn't distressed, and I needed to show Eric what he was missing tonight; ie, dessert.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Win the Fight!

Photo by Chris Hunt
I know, I know...the number of causes, charities, fundraisers you get blasted with causes moral distress. (And I am certainly not warming the cockles of Ayn Rand.)
This isn't a plea for pledges, it is purely an awareness campaign.
You know, for all 2 of you.
Eric was diagnosed with oral cancer back in some odd month of some odd year when I was still in the throes of postpartum bleeding with a second child who I think I named Felix. (That's an attempt to set the tone for early 2010, when I honestly didn't know to function after his diagnosis.)
Thank the Lord, we are still "in the clear" and every few months anticipate getting a clean bill of health from his oncologist.
One thing Eric promised was to give back to the cancer community. (Note: this did not include ironing his shirt in the preceding picture.)
Eric is participating in the Emory's Winship Cancer Institute's Win the Fight! 5K as a poster child and as a runner. He kindly signed me up to run, too. (I had better turn my training into high gear!)
If you are in the Atlanta area, I gently recommend being part of this event. Register to run; make a donation; or even just come out and cheer on the masses. (Unintended cancer pun. But I can make those, you know.)
We not only won this fight, it was like a TKO--one/two/punch DOWN! And now we have another chance to give back to the organization that solidified our win.
I hope to see you in October!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Apocalypse

Live from the birdhouse...I have a Twitter account.


I hope the twitching (tweetching?) subsides. I am way in over my head.

Please, someone--hold me.

Taking bets how many months it takes before I actually use this thing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fainting Goat

If Felix had a Native American name, it would be "Fainting Goat".

You know how toddlers are known for throwing themselves on the ground in a tornadic fashion while they seemingly wrestle with an invisible creature until you acknowledge their tantrum?

Felix has taken the liberty to amend the combination and create his own version--I think in anticipation of TLC picking us up for that reality special.

Here is how it works: he gets in that dramatic emotional space where a two-year-old tantrum starts brewing. Instead of throwing himself on the ground, he just...well...falls. Like, rigor mortis style. And then he stays on the ground, prostrate. On special days, he throws in some mumblings about inside-out-phantom-leg-syndrome he picked up from his older brother. I can only liken it to those goats that just up and faint when they get panicked.

This new trick is throwing me for a loop. First, I was certain I was a long lost relative of Dahmer and Felix was part cannibal--from birth, he's been known to bite flesh. Nipples, chins, fingers...he didn't discriminate. (If the OB didn't act fast enough, he was going to gnaw his own umbilical cord off I think). But it seems it was just a phase, as he hasn't been mouthy in quite some time. sweetbabyjesusdon'tjinkmenowuniverse.

Then I started questioning our being descendants from dinosaurs as Felix has been "roaring" at people instead of your more polite and traditional hello/hola/bonjour/konnichiwa. But I think dinosaurs evolved from amoebas or fish or some sea faring creature...and we all know that there is no way Felix descended from any water source

So now I'm on to the fainting goat hypothesis. And to be honest, I think it makes a far better reality television title.

See? Life just writes itself sometimes.

Non-sequitor epilogue!

My husband, who posts with the pen name Philip Vogel, strikes again! My passive aggressive clarion call for him to follow my blog started to get him, and he read a bunch of the blog the other night. He kindly (insert epic sarcasm), commented the following about my last post: Isn't "them" a pronoun and not a preposition? Then again, you are the English major. At least you can't say tht I don't read this!

Break my response down with me friends:
  • Pronoun/preposition...I don't know anymore!
  • Thank you for pointing out another reason why this blog remains part of the junior varsity team.
  • I don't even do spell check let alone review the parts of speech before I write.
  • Oh--that old "you are an English major; you must have taken advanced grammar in college." (Nope. Just working off of the same 3rd grade parts of speech/grammar lessons that we all experienced.)
  • Yes, you do respond; in all seriousness, I appreciate it.
  • I just wish you knew how to spell "that." (oh no she di-int!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Publish or Perish

There are moments that I wonder if the whole blog thing is worth it.
I don’t do it for a living like some of my favorite bloggesses.
I don’t have some fancy shmancy template.
I don't have advertisements or regular giveaways.
I don’t spend hours crafting my words.
I don't remain consistent with my text line adjustment.
Or typeface.

But even in Ditto's obscurity, there is always an underlying tension between:
don’t post unless you have something good to post
post at regular intervals so that this thing still breathes.

It's about finding that "sweet spot" of volume. Well, popularity, professional templating, mad photography skillz, and good writing don’t hurt, either. (I know, it's "doesn't". That's just an example of how I am lacking the other ingredient: humor.)
But that tension arises from an obligation to readers as opposed to an obligation to yourself.
And that gets me thinking.

Many times I ask myself : what if everyone stopped reading your blog, even your MOM, would you still keep it?

The answer is yes. I dare say I might even post more. You know, inside jokes with myself. No need to worry about sweet spots, themes, or center adjusting photos. But at the same time, there is something satisfying about being publicly vulnerable in my text in a way that I organize with broad whip stitches. (I opted for the sewing analogy because I am awful at sewing, but can get by. That's how I feel about my blog. It's like the sunflower pair of boxers I made in middle school Home Economcs: my effort is commendable, and I am proud of my work, but no one is comparing me to Betsy Ross.)

Sure, I envy all of those ladies getting free swag and making lifelong friends at Blogher. (Full disclosure, I don't even know what Blogher is!) And there is part of me that is waiting for Babble to serendipitously stumble upon me and think, “let’s hire her!” Another full disclosure, I actually submitted one of my old posts for consideration. You can't win the lottery if you don't play, right? 
My undergraduate thesis advisor gave me unsolicited advice about becoming a writer. You know, because all English majors are either writers or teachers, thankyouverymuch. She was in the process of getting her latest book published, so I think our conversations were as much about tauting her own pending accomplishments as much as they were providing me with substantive thesis guidance.

She told me, “you know, writing boils down to publish or perish. If you don’t produce, you won’t make a living.” That’s actually a paraphrase. The “publish or perish” bit is accurate, but all the other words I don’t remember. I am a terrible “quoter”, and still fumble on The Lord's Prayer. But some things stick: like the 50 Nifty You-Nited States song and random lines from The Princess Bride.

Professor Debbie Downer's words have always stuck with me. For professional bloggers, the pressure to publish is salient--or so I hear. I don't envy that. But even in my obscurity, pressure to publish seeps into my veins. 

And for the more autobiographical "Mommy" blogs, who write about things like tampon drumsticks, pool defecations, and old beard hair and poop, content cannot be predicted. It's like if you don't have a regularly scheduled crazy-life, you may be  forced to write about getting an oil change while your kids took a 3 hour nap in the car, for which the mechanic thought was so cute, he waived the charge. I mean, no one wants to read about that!

This is not a foray into martyrdom, just an acknowledgement that life can be hard to contextualize, write about, and keep interesting.

My celebrity friend Kate, from This Is Now a Home, put it best here.

Yup. She’s a celebrity. First, 3 of my friends who do not know each other, nor do they know Kate, pinned her popcorn costume on Pinterest. I told you-the day I get a random post on Pinterest, I'm demanding a reserved spot at work and will only wipe my bottom with hun-gee dollah bills. Oh, that's if I needed to wipe my bottom. I mean, girls don't poop.

I met Kate through a long-time friend... (who traveled with me through childhood, the awkward middle school period defined by braces, perms, and obsessing over zits, and the years of angst-ridden high school peppered with moments of us dressing up in Madrigal garb, singing concerts while still obsessing over zits and AP Bio tests. In fact, we are still friends now, and she just happened to marry my brother's best friend)...whose name is Kate, too.

So, maybe celebrity Kate and I have never met in the flesh, but we did get married at the same place, the same year, and got rained out of the outdoor ceremony, and we have had some great e-mail conversations.
Kate now holds court with:
  • Ruben Studdard, who I saw in the security line at the Atlanta airport.
  • Meg Ryan, who was apparently shopping in the same area of Camden, Maine while our family was on vacation.
  • And a bleach blond Tom Hanks at Disney World, who my brother Seth spotted. (Who later told us he lied about the entire thing.)
  • Oh, and the local weather guy who moonlights as a shot putter and came to a bunch of track meets at which I was working.

See? This is my problem, my mind veers off.
When life is relatively calm, it’s harder to write about. This is complete conjecture, but I would guess that many autobiographical bloggers feel this way. And kudos to them for thinking of adopting the 3 ring circus and posting other things like giveaways, recipes, and then posts that merely ask the readers their opinion on a matter. (Why I haven't figured out how to do this more regularly is beyond me.) 
But--I still contend that the harder, more ridiculous, the easier to write. For me, it's like posts write themselves; my body becomes possessed by this woman who creates insane vignettes at 3am under the covers. (I call her Zool; and she is not responsible for the current post.)
When things are really awful, hard, embarrassing [insert whatever emotion makes your hair gray], I think writing serves as an escape. You are acknowledging the incident, but in some strange way, allowing yourself to be more objective and distant from the difficult emotions. I'm sure a therapist could pick that apart and let you know if it's healthy or not. And I'm sure modern psychiatry has some sort of disorder explaining this (is there a disorder for making too many aspects of life a disorder?).

And then there is that whole issue of actually being in the moment as opposed to documenting the moment. It hasn't been a conscious effort, but over the years, I find myself putting down the camera and not logging into blogger in order to be a part of the memories rather than documenting them. (I know, ending in a preposition.)

I'm not giving up on this thing; not yet. There are still wonderful things coming down the road over the years. And I eventually want to turn this whole rodeo into a book for the boys. You know, for their wives (or husbands--whateves), to pull out and laugh at them.

But I am absolving myself of all guilt related to being able to find that blogging sweet spot.

Because the sweet spot is reading at night with Eric while the boys fight over who can sit on my lap. Right?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Toddler Porn

Did I get your attention on this sleepy Monday?

I am just asking to be overthrown by cyber-spambots.

Or gain the type of follower[warning! warning! approaching stereotype enhanced by doctored photo of Miles] who sports an oily 'stache and spends all day searching blogs for inappropriate content.
I got my weekly dose of smut and soul decay (ie, US Weekly), and found Felix on the floor, thumbing through the pages.

He quickly found his favorite page (I made it small, hoping not to get you fired from work.):

He carried the magazine around open to this page all morning. He kept noting that "he has his shirt off!" Despite my constant attempt at a lesson in pronouns, Felix was determined to mention this "guy's" lack of clothing for a good few hours.

Pinnacle toddler porn moment: Felix jumped onto the back of the couch to press his body against the big front-room picture room to knock on the glass and say hi to Daddy, who just happened to be talking to one of his runner's parents on our walkway.

What else do you think was pressed against the window as he was screaming "HI DADDY! HI DADDY! HI DADDY!"

The debate continues: does Eric go back to that Dad and explain why (from afar) it looked like his 2 year old was reading Playboy?

This, coming from a kid who insisted on wearing undies for our weekend walk. Good thing he is cute.


(see that? It was me trying out Twitter. I promised I would never join, but am having late night urges. I think I am starting to convince myself it is an exercise in brevity, which I apparently need.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012



Too far of a leap?

My friend Amy forwarded me this great post on Imperfect Mommy about the epic challenge of eliminating the smell of boy urine from a house.

I've got 3 boys in like 1200 square feet.
2 of the boys don't wear pants 90% of the time.
1 of the boys has been known to eat urine soaked watermelon.
And I live in Atlanta, which I think is known as the "muggy" state.

So, yeah. At first I suspected that Amy sent this because she might have been getting some serious ammonia wafts from my boys' urinary tract brew all the way up in Wisconsin. But then I remembered the 1 hour time difference. (Again too far of a leap?)


I am currently looking to open up a nosegay shop in Etsy. It's my newest invention. Move over pee pee tepees.

No, I don't have a cat...I have sons

Vacation 2012: Book Worm

Concluding the Vacation 2012 blog reel (I know, it's about time), is a gift to you: Summer 2012 Must Read List, courtesy of a handful of my Facebook friends.

As for myself, I polished off 2.9 (repeating) books. (Note: all book photos below are linked to Amazon--because admit it--we all judge a book by its cover. And Amazon has good prices and free shipping for Prime members.) I am currently in a race against time to finish Gone Girl before book club (is it too early on page 100 to already have a guess about what happened?). So far, it's pretty good, but I think it is more of a slow burn than a page turner at a quarter of the way through.

Although I am not a convert, I did find my Kindle app on my phone to be extremely useful for under the covers late night readings while I bunked for 2 weeks with a small child on my floor. But after 2 weeks of phone reading, I got intimidated when I picked up all 400+ pages of Gone Girl and sort of wished I had it on an app. I just need to remember to rotate the book from arm to arm lest I get uneven biceps.

I wish I could say that I have a lot of time to do reading for pleasure. I don't. I admittedly unsubscribed from goodreads because it was too much work to keep up (and I might have been embarrassed at how little I read in comparison to my friends). And I am certainly not in the business of writing reviews (nor am I in the business of writing blogs), but here is a ha'penny about the books I read:
I love a good anxiety-ridden author who writes about her anxiety-ridden life. I am sure you'll walk away from this book thinking 1 of 2 things (or both): 1. "okay, my life isn't that nuts", and "could she use the 'eff' word anymore?" I laughed out loud and thanked my lucky stars that I don't have social anxiety or an interest in taxidermy, but the book was front-loaded and felt a little forced toward the end. Her blog is better in my opinion. But she's making bank on the book. I, on the other hand, am not.
Another entertaining autobiography. Rachel's writing sat with me far better than Jenny's. Rachel comes off as pretty"smaht", and even though I am not part of any SNL fan cult, I found the bits about her comedy history incredibly interesting. I also read this bad boy (huh, probably more like bad girl) completely under the covers all in one night.

Captivating! But not sure if my public healthiness is a bias in my appreciation and interest in the story. I am almost done with this book (hence the repeating reference above), but have the self-imposed pressures of book club on me right now.

But now, the real meat of this post. (It's long. Get ready to scroll.)

So, from my friends to you...Oh, I included their comments above each book image--unlike what I did, which was write my comments below each linked book image. I call this a brain teaser. Like brushing your teeth with your left hand. Unless you are left-handed. Or have no hands. Then I guess it would be like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant foot. Unless you're ambipedal. Then I hope that you are spending your time making money by exploiting your talents rather than reading this blog. The end.

TSG: Divergent

MW: Haven't finished it yet, but I'm reading Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America. It's really good, but isn't quite a vacation book. :) 

JM: Firefly Lane or Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

AS: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes or We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver both led to great discussions in my book club

MH: Sense of an Ending a quick read too. Starting a The Tigers Wife. Also enjoyed Maine by Sullivan.

RS: Habibi by Craig Thompson. 

HK:  Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. It's the second in a trilogy though, so you'll need to read the first book, A Discovery of Witches. Fair warning: both are long books but they will totally suck you in! The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a really interesting true story. A lot of public health/medical history and ethical issues.

SN: Room was REALLY good

KD: Here are a few: The Help; Water for Elephants; lark and termite; the thoughtful dresser

MM: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

 SR: Cutting for Stone

KL: The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister. The Book of Fred.

SS: Bloom by Kelle Hampton

JA: Milk Bar. Momofuku (it's a cookbook)

AM: 19 Minutes. Halfway through it now and I hate putting it down when its time for bed

JW: Rules of Civility is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

NT: The Paris Wife! :)

KP:  Just finished A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. Awesome.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vacation 2012 (OH): Lake Living

And this will conclude my vacation photobomb.

Yawn! Stretch!

I love me some midwest, but my camera's batteries don't. And much like our vacation, toward the end of me developing these posts (I have done them all in one night and scheduled them over a few days), I am getting ragged, tired, and incapable of fully formed sentences.

And my phone turned into a source of filtering work e-mails more than Instagram as I get panicked about the volume of unread messages in my Inbox (anyone else need to keep your inbox clean?).

But don't let the lack of photos fool you. We soaked up the sun, enjoyed the lake, beach, pool, water park, Chuckie Cheese...and lots of good eating. Grandma and Opa spoil us!

We miss and love you!
 Best part of this photo is seeing Eric' taking the picture in F's lens.

Flower from my in-laws for our anniversary. And this is 1 week later!

Note to self: bring umbrella to splash park for extra fun...

 Note to self part 2: when in doubt, liquor the kids up. It helps with sleep.
 I kid! They were virgins (kids and drinks)

Having a negative balance of paid time off was totally worth it. 
 If this isn't the image of the kind of time we had.