Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Merry

Hey Mr Grinch, You are not stealing my Christmas!  Scream!!!!! "Iiiieeeyyyyaaa!!!" So much fun we can't even contain ourselves.  This time of year is one of my favorites.  On equal playing field are Valentines and my birthday, oh and the boys birthdays too.  The lights, the decorations, Christmas Eve candle light service, the thrill of thinking about someone and what would make them happy, put a smile on their face, buying or making that special something, the sound of tons of paper tearing, crumbling...I LOVE it!  All of it! I am the kid in the candy store this time of year. Bradford asked me the other day why the Grinch tried to steal Christmas.  My answer: because he was sad and lonely and did not understand how much joy Christmas time can bring.  He answered with "He had his dog so why was he still lonely?"  This was a great opportunity for me to explain to him compassion, love and the power of giving.  At this age children are so excited to learn and soak in everything we have to offer. I hope my kids soak up all that the Christmas Season means and how special it is to GIVE of ourselves to others!  Even to the Grinches out there--You know who you are and we still love ya!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kudos to you BLOGhers that find time for your blogs during the holidays.  Since Thanksgiving I have been lagging.  But here is a survey I got from Confessions of a Working Mother aka My Hero!  My answers are in what else but RED!!  Tell me yours!

1. Does Santa wrap the presents he leaves at your house?
NO!  Santa does not wrap!  Mommy wraps and Santa displays very nicely! 

2. When is your "big" Christmas celebration...Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Tell us about it...
Eve is family time just us!  We hang out together, cook, go to Christmas Eve service, drive by and look at lights then go home and read the story of Baby Jesus. Brandon and I always did this even before kids.  But Christmas day is all about the Presents!! 
3. Are you big on keeping tradition every year?
Our Christmas Eve routine is our tradition!  That is about it.  Everything seems to change some each year. 

4. Do colored lights or white lights tickle your fancy?
SO WHITE!!  Except for this baby tree I let my 4 year make the call on and how about it, I have colored lights for the first time in my adult life.  But they are growing on me! 

5. Do you decorate outside your house for Christmas?
We used to.  But we haven't lately.  I think my hubby is holding out for me to hire someone to do that!  Maybe next year.  Our son was pretty disappointed we did not have a blow up manger scene! 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

To catch a run-away

I used to love the drive to Waco. It meant a chance to get away. Ever since the summer I moved there to get away--maybe more like run away. That was where I could always go and leave the stress and heartbreak of my life behind.

These past three years have been me running away again. Dreading that drive to Waco or anywhere south. Avoiding it when possible, until yesterday...

Just within view of the Lacy Lakeview exit I start to feel it. Each time it surprises because I have spent so much time convincing myself I have dealt with it and it won’t get me this time...So here we go again....This time is different. The tears have not come yet. So far it is just the lump. I decide to think about the fun times at the lake when we were little instead of what Meyers Exit means.

By the time I hit the exit for George's I actually have a smile on my face. The Circle where the Elite Cafe was and that Mexican food place to the right.

By New Road I am full of cheerful, fun memories of all the joy that Waco was for me before Jodi died.

The damn broke as I caught glimpse of the Hewitt exit. But this time was different. Tears of relief were replacing the old tears of grief! What a refreshing feeling to understand finally what it feels like to deal with loss, to move on, to celebrate life instead of mourn loss.

This grainy photo is the last picture taken of Jodi. She was in the background reaching for the bouquet at my baby sister's wedding 5 days before she died. The last day our whole family saw her. So while it is out of focus, it is beautiful to me.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The world will be as One

Imagine.  Give Peace a chance!  I think the Beatles said it best.  Sometimes the holiday season gives us stress, anxiety and all around bad moods wrapped in shiny paper with a beautiful bow on top.  Anyone out there know what I mean?  Well this year is a new year.  So let's try a NEW concept.  Be the peacekeeper and make it your daily choice to find the joy in this whole season.  Make it your Advent Calendar plan this year.  Each day you move closer to Christmas, focus on one thing that brings you joy.    They say it only takes 21 days of doing the exact same thing to create a habit.  So Christmas morning you should have this one down pat!  "Oh Let's Stick to it!  Ev'rybody's talking about it!"  That makes your New Year all the more Joyful and Peaceful. Imagine...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dumb Luck sometimes the best kind!  I love when I literally stumble onto something!  Dont know how I missed this program option, I've had it all along--like 4 years.  But look what I can do.  I will need a 25th hour in my day to play with this some more.  Not all these photos are great--but the kids sure is.  Some are my new favs of little Berk but I am enjoying just knowing I put this together! 

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Hurry!  Don't let my Mom see me!  I can hear him sucking this juice box as fast as he can.  And that is because I have usually been pretty cautious on what I give the kids.  And juice is limited to some degree.  What you don't see is this was his second box, with cupcakes to follow!  But it was Big Brother's birthday party and he was just so excited to be running with the big kids.  The baby of the family ALWAYS grows up so much faster...much to this Mommy's dismay.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rock my world!

I read a post on one of my favorite blogs yesterday.  The guest writer was talking about re-connecting on facebook with high school friends.  You could have pasted my name and picture at the bottom of her post!  It was so familiar.  I spent over 10 years basically hiding in the shadows from all those I went to school with.  Mostly because as she put it "I am not that girl any more!"  I am the one that grew up with you but I am so much more than I was back then.  And thank GOD!  I am still the same in some ways mind you, but I have conquered so much, found my place in my own life, my world--not the world, just my world.  And I love it. Check out their website.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Welcome to motherhood

4th Birthday

3rd Birthday

2nd Birthday

1st Birthday


Bradford, Brandon's grandmother's maiden name.

Max, my Father-in-law's middle name.

Bradford Max, my first born son.

He amazes me everyday!

Everyone gave us a hard time for not finding out what we were having. Then we kept our baby names a secret. The whole pregnancy was all about me. Brandon doted over me, took such wonderful care of me. It was the best pregnancy ever. He was the perfect husband and daddy-to-be. I LOVE surprises. We both do. And I also wanted Brandon to have that one moment where he could be the one to announce to everyone what we had. After 9 months, it was all about Brandon and what he was announcing. He was so excited about that! Watching this video makes me smile every time! As far as the baby's name, I think pregnant women should reserve the right to change their mind all the way to the last second! So don't monogram anything for me until the baby is here, in case I change my mind on the name. Like I did with Berkeley....while pushing, I switched to my beloved Berkeley...but that is a post for another time...HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRADFORD MAX ARNOLD! You have made me a mommy!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cooking out of the BOX

So for the first time in my adult life I am actually making a cake from a box! No, not from scratch with organic, whole wheat flour. I see you rolling your eyes at me. I hear your moaning and groaning from Bradford's first birthday party!
But remember I made up for it with the Celebrity jumbo petifores with fondant icing that next year. And last year we did Cupcake Cottage.
This year I decided to go back to making them myself!
After much blog-reading, web-searching and asking an older lady lots of questions on the cake aisle of Target, I did it! I made a damn boxed cake! It was not without much doctoring!
1. I used milk instead of water
2. I added an extra egg for a total of 4
3. I added a packet of vanilla instant pudding mix and 1t of pure vanilla extract
4. Real melted butter in place of the oil!
5. But I did make real butter cream frosting. I added some sour cream to it to cut the overly sweetness.

So all in all, my "Semi-Homemade" style cupcakes turned out pretty good! Of course the mess is worth just going back to Cupcake Cottage next year!

Tip Jukie

Dont forget about Tip Junkies 12 days of Giveaways! Starting Nov 9th! Check it out everyday and comment to be entered into a drawing for free stuff!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas Sanity

7 Weeks and counting....

How many of you stress about spending time with family during the holidays? (I can get that.) How many of stress about the gift giving, the "having" to shop for "just the right thing"? (I don't get that :)) How many of you stress about how much money you spend during the holidays? (Everyone gets that!!) How about keeping it positive this year. How about some Christmas Sanity with that Cheer!!


Well start with remembering to:

1. Take a deep breathe and let it all out slowly! Find the joy in giving, leave the stress behind.

2. Make a list of who you have to buy for. Slim it down to the closest ones and make it personal!

3. Set a dollar amount you can live with! Get something that makes someone smile.

4. Be realistic about your time commitments. Make it about quality time this year, not quantity!

5. Remember that Christmas is about family. Cherish your time with those closest to you!
Attitude! That's what it is, so have the right one. Enjoy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jingle Bells

Both photos are from Details & Dragonflies Warehouse in Fort Worth.

Well it's so close I can almost smell it, taste it, touch it! What? CHRISTMAS! Ahh. The kid in me gets all excited. Bubbling over excited. I would buy a present for every person I have ever met, if my husband would not pass out over the credit card bill! The wrapping, the bowing(I am anti-giftbag), the lists and organization of it all. And I start early every year. Not because I want to get it out of the way. I admit I continue to shop for little things all the way up to the week before. But that is only because I love it. All big stuff is bought by Thanksgiving so I can start the WRAPPING! I am doing a White Christmas this year. All white wrapping paper and powder blue bows. It will be gorgeous!

Anyway enough of that. On to the shopping:

Drum Roll, Please....
#1 Fav is Dallas Market Sample Sale. Nov 6-8 10-7 F&S and 10-5 on Sun. Amazing toys, kids clothes, and so so much more. Free to get in, long lines so get there early!

#2 We have talked about before: Details and Dragonflies Warehouse Sales Nov 12-14 and 19-21st. 10-5pm 2221 W Broadway Ft Worth

#3 Learning Express in Southlake next to Central Market. Day after Thanksgiving 6am! Big SALE! Plus free coffee and donuts.

#4 Gotta check it out! AMAZING hand made gifts.

#5 Anthropology! Hands Down my Favorite Chain store. Make that my ONLY chain store!

#6 THE BEST Christmas Photo Cards are You can upload your own pics!
#7 Stocking Stuffer Lovers check out Penny Lane in Colleyville. They have the most unique collections of ornaments, great baby Sussies, & fabulous selections of gifts.
#8 Owls Nest has more unique toys than anyone. And they do the best real gift wrapping of anyone. If you have never been, stop by for playtime. They have plenty of toys out for kids to "TRY OUT".
Lastly, let's do our part in keeping our friends and neighbors in business. Support LOCAL Boutiques and shops! Buy Unique! We all win.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We did it and we'll do it again

Well after 4 years, lots of encouraging, months of planning, 1/2 an anxiety attack--maybe a full one, many tears later, we, my sweet adorable, loving husband and I went on a trip. ALONE. No kids. No dog. Nothing but ourselves. We remembered why we took almost 7 years to have kids. We like each other. We have fun together. We love traveling. We talk. A lot. NO interruptions. We laugh so much together. Traveling is our thing! We just forgot about it over the last few years.
So new page in life: We are now the parents that can leave our boys and go away and come home refreshed and ready for life again. Who knew this was a great way to refuel your energy? Oh I guess all those other parents that do it ALL THE TIME. So while we were late to the party, this is one we will not miss for years to come.
We had the most amazing time. I would rank it up there with honeymoon in Hawaii and Valentine's in Paris! It was an all around amazing trip. The Northeast has wonderful food to offer and we tried it all. Lobster is my new all time FAV food. I knew I liked it before but having it there does not compare to anything Texas has to offer. Sorry Trulucks! I found some new cities to add to my fun list. Portland is almost as weird as Austin--in the good way. Food was so fresh, everything was organic and an Irish Pub in the middle. Who doesn't like that? Portsmouth was better shopping than, I dare say, Chicago! I could do that again. In a second. Conway, NH and Jackson NH are two ski towns on the list to take the boys to when they are older! And Harvard is just as prestigious as you would imagine.

So for my fellow separation anxious mom's out there, you can do it. I now understand why my friends said your kids will be better for it! And YES, we are already planning where to go next. Any ideas???

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's a GIRL!


Or at least it is going to be in March. And NO I am not talking about me! I am talking about my dear sweet Heather Lou. This is the girl who said since high school she was going to Vegas to get married. Then she, the last of the girls to get married, had an over the top wedding. Food to die for, beautiful princess gown just all round beautiful!
This is also the girl who did not think she would ever have kids because she did not think she was motherly! So of course we all know she will also be an over-the-top, amazing mom!

The best secret in the world for me to keep from that day in August, was about this sweet baby girl! I picked the restaurant because girlfriend intuition had given me a feeling. Mi Cocina is where I told another good friend of mine I was pregnant with Berkeley. So on a whim it seemed like the right restaurant.

And I, the mother of two adorable dirt loving, rock throwing, stick waving, frog hunting BOYS, get to throw the best over the top GIRL baby shower. Even if there is no pink! Help from two of my favorite websites will be key to making this the biggest success! and of course
PS: Photos are straight from Hostess With The Mostess.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lucky Lucky Me

Watch me! Mom, did you see me? That was the BIGGEST jump EVER!

"Charlie, I'm not feeling lucky, I AM lucky!" (quote from Lola)

Reality Bites. I want to raise two boys that are strong, confident, healthy and compassionate. Sometimes this comes at a cost. That means what I want is not always going to happen! ARG! I really wanted to dress the boys for Halloween as a fireman and Dalmatian. Cute, huh? But Bradford made his mind up himself on what he wanted. He is a glow in the dark skeleton. And not because it is scary or anything. We received our first order of Scholastic books we ordered and have been reading the one about your body. So he is a pro on the pupil of your eye, your kidneys and THE BRAIN! So for him the skeleton is pretty cool. He will show you on his costume where his femur is!
So no matchey matchey costumes this year unless I can think of a link between a skeleton and Nemo.
Bradford amazes me everyday with his excitement for life. There are days where he wants us to stay home and hang out together but more than anything he loves school, his teachers and his friends. So when I don't have control of everything and he makes his own decisions sometimes, I have to remember he is becoming exactly what I want him to be: HIMSELF!

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Don't you have something to say to your sister?"

I can already hear the phone of my sisters is calling to say, "I can NOT believe you posted that picture!" None of us is looking at the camera. We are all laughing so hard at Bradford hiding behind us. We were trying to get a good shot of just the girls. He was crawling at the ripe old age of 7 months and we could only contain him for about 15 seconds before he was back in the shot! My poor husband, the photog for the day had all of us there at 7am for the best light! WHATEVER! As you can see I had the worst hair of everyone...
Poor Dee was so sick. She is white as a ghost!
Hair does not matter, time of day does not matter, this shot is one of my absolute favorites. Because it shows us like we really are. Always laughing, except when we are arguing. And even when we are arguing! Always together except when we are apart. And even when we are apart. Always there for one another no matter what!
We pretend we don't know when to keep our mouth shut, when to not triangle another sister in, when to respect boundaries. We do know how to love each other til it hurts! We would literally lay down everything in the world for one another.
You may not like what I have to say but you are going to hear it anyway, because I am your sister!!
And I said so.
I'll give you a piece of gum!
I love you, and you, and you, and you, and you too!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Screw Scheduling Sex!

"Hey Mom, I got my eye on you..."
May I pee in peace, please? Mommy will be with you in a moment. Give mommy a time out please. I want to take a shower by myself this time! No thanks, I don't need any extra toys in the shower with me. Are the kids in bed?? Do you think they are asleep yet???

I think there is a country song that says something like I don't mind being alone but I don't like being lonely...

So I have resorted to defining my life by a country song. Hmmm....

Screw Scheduling Sex! (Pun intended) You can always fit that in. I never knew I would actually need to schedule my own quiet time. I love being with my kids & Husband and I miss them when I am not with them. But THANK GOD someone out there invented PEDICURES!! Because my self-attempt at painting my left foot did not lend to getting my right foot painted.

Shh! Let's all play the quiet game....for a couple days????

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am complete

First day of Preschool 2009. What's next? College? I still remember when he was a tiny baby that I wanted to sit and watch sleep.

Brandon and I were having breakfast at Snooty Pig the summer of 2005, on a Sunday morning. Our usual, please. This was back when they still had the tree scene on that small wall. We were sitting at that 2 top table. I remember because I always liked that table; like you were out in a garden or something. Kind of goofy I know. Anyway, being all emotional like you are when you are
5 months pregnant, we were talking about how excited we were for our new little baby coming. I was telling Brandon how I always knew I wanted to be a mom. (Granted I always said I would adopt my kids after they were potty-trained!) But I never knew how much I wanted to be a mom until that moment, crying in Snooty Pig with our favorite waitress Deb, patting me on the back. She didn't even know what I was crying about. It did not matter. That moment changed my life. This what I was meant to be!

I have loved every minute of it. Pregnancy, yes even looking back all the morning sickness with Berkeley was worth it! How is this for a line? I would have thrown up all day for 9 months for that kid! Thankful, yes, it was only 4 months.

Although, I will say after Berk's 1st birthday I was ready to wean and truly have my body back. While I am not ready to say our family in complete, I am ready to say I am complete.

Join us as we walk for Bradford's 4th Birthday and help another couple create a family! November 14, 2009.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Humpty Dumpty we all fall down

Not sure what to title this yet. "Call it what it is: Grief" or "The difference between Postpartum and Just Depression" or maybe "The elephant in the room sucked out all my air"!

Here we are again. September 16th. Three years ago I walked out of Bradford's room after putting him to bed. I had heard the phone ring but knew Brandon would answer it. So when I got into the living room he told me to sit down. He didn't have to! There was no sugar-coating. But like all horrific things in my life the truth of what has just happened is always the last thing to come to mind! When my aunt had to tell my sisters and myself our dad died, I was stunned. I actually thought when she said I have some bad news, something had happened to someone else. No matter that I had just seem him wheeled out on a stretcher to the ambulance 30 minutes prior!

Back to Sept 16. Then he said "Jodi is dead." My mind automatically went to a friend of ours. Then he said, "No, Rena. Your cousin Jodi." I fell apart. Like Humpty Dumpty, I still have not been completely put back together again.

2007 rolled around and I was 3 months after having a miscarriage and already 6 weeks pregnant with Berkeley. So I chalked my grief at the time up to postpartum! 2008 I was 4 months post delivery, so postpartum again, right? Nope! 2009 and I am still grieving. Combine tomorrow with next week is Mema's birthday. The first birthday since she passed away in January. I have felt tears ready at a nano-seconds notice for a week. My therapist says simply notice what you are feeling. Then you can deal with it. So here I go...

She was 5 foot tall and barely 100 pounds. Strawberry red hair and she was a force! Don't dare reckon with her! She lived life fully. She had three beautiful daughters. It is easy to forget some days that she is gone. It's harder to remember some days that she is not here. We were polar opposites in some ways and exactly alike in others. We were each others arch rival at times and sweet friends at others. She taught me to live in the present every day. Don't worry about tomorrow because yes even at 30 tomorrow may never come. She survived being a premature baby at just over 7 months or so, in 1975. Pretty unheard of back then. She survived her car going off a bridge when she blacked with her oldest two girls in the car with her in her mid-twenties. She survived a faulty defibrillator! But she did not survive that white suburban that decided to run a stop sign.

I am thankful that my constant memory of her is riding on the back of that motorcycle, a sunny day, her red hair flowing behind her, smile on her face, loving life, so care-free. I am thankful that some day I will make it through the town of Waco and past the Lacy Lakeview exit without tears and tightening of my chest. I am thankful I will some day make it through the month of September without feeling like I will fall apart. I am thankful she was my cousin. I am thankful I had the privilege to learn from her. Lastly, I am thankful for all those childhood memories that will carry me through my tears. And maybe, just maybe someday I can ride on the back of a motorcycle again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Revive Africa Fundraiser

Join us for Ladies Night Out and Support a Cause!
This Thursday 7PM!
Revive Africa needs your help and you need a night out! So let's all win together. Click on the invite above or go to
See you there...

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Do people in hell eat s'mores?

What does Ricky say to Lucy? Ahyayi! So we are reading in the children's bible story book about Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days and nights being tempted by the devil....Actually since I am never really sure how age appropriate certain topics are for a 3 year old, I avoid reading how Cain killed able! I mean getting over David "slaying" Goliath took weeks of "Why was that giant so mean?" "If he had used his manners would David have still thrown the rocks at him?" And yes I substituted slaying for killing. So back to last night: Question #1 was "Mom what's a Devil?" Not sure exactly how to answer, I called my mom. Not home. Called her cell. Pops answered. And Bradford thinks Pops (Richard) knows EVERYTHING! And of course he does have a great response. When all else fails, take it back to the beginning. The Devil was an angel in Heaven that did not want to follow God's rules. Great opening line. I can take it from there. Except that Aunt Brittany was over and she decides to throw out her two cents with He lives in Hell with lots of fire and that is where the bad people go. Oh boy! So she goes home and am left with all the questions like where do people in hell sleep? And what do they eat? I bet they can make s'mores with the fire. Mom do you think the devil eats s'mores? Is it bedtime yet?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I took the boys to the Grand Re-Opening of The Owl's Nest Saturday. They had a blast. I enjoyed some interesting parent/child dynamics watching. In particular, one dad and his son who was about 2, really got me thinking. Yes, we as parents are totally responsible for these little human beings. But please do not mistake that to mean we are totally in control of our children. They are individuals with their own likes, dislikes, interests, talents and hobbies completely exclusive of us! My boys played with everything; the puppet curtain, the medieval castle, the rocking horse, the kitchen! The little 2 year old boy wanted to play with the kitchen too. His dad kept taking him away from the play kitchen, telling him to come play with the trucks, next time it was come play with balls, then come play with the horses. Anything to keep him from playing with the kitchen! Really? Nothing is going to happen to your 2 year old because he wants to play with a toy kitchen! I promise. He won't lose his 2 year old man card! Then he just about lost it when the little boy picked up a princess puppet! JUST LET THEM PLAY!!

So here are my TOP 8 Mommy Tips that are for Dads too!

1. It's OK if they wear their shoes on the wrong feet! At least they are putting them on themselves and it is one less thing you need to do to get out the door!!

2. Kids do not know the difference between gender specific toys! Only the parents do. Men are chefs, teachers and nurses. Women are doctors, engineers and truck drivers. And none of this was determined by the toys they played with at 2 years old! Good grief, look at me, I played with Spider Man and I turned out pretty prissy!

3. Kids really need to go to bed BEFORE their parents. Mommy and Daddy need quiet time!! PLEASE

4. Proper nutrient and naps cure almost ALL bad behavior! (a sugar laden cereal bar and a 15 min nap in the car do not suffice)

5. Teach your 1 year old to put his clothes in the hamper. Have it accessible and they will think it is fun! And they will continue to do it when they are 3, 4, 12.....And you wont be hollering, "put your clothes in the hamper...."

6. It is OK to day "NO" to your child!

7. Teach your sons to wipe the rim of the toilet, close the lid, and flush from the very beginning! Then wash hands of course.

8. Let your babies feed themselves as soon as they show an interest in it. Don't worry you can always bathe them again.

Well that's all I have for you. I thought I would make it to 10 but we are going to go with 8! Sounds like a great number to me. And you all may already know all this anyway. I am the late bloomer....

Friday, August 28, 2009

We miss Miss Kara

Miss Kara came into our lives as such a sweet burst of fresh air! She loved our boys as much as possible without actually being their mommy I think. She played, danced and sang, read, painted and built towers. She conquered naptime in no time! They LOVE her! We love her. She is now off starting down that infamous path known as College. In California no less, to study Broadcast Journalism. And some day we figure she will be doing the news on CNN and the boys will tell their buddies "She was my nanny!" So we are through shedding our tears and Bradford has not mentioned for the last couple days, "I really really miss Miss Kara." We are looking forward to her coming home for Thanksgiving.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Berkeley with Attitude

He is growing up more every day! He takes toys from his brother and runs away, looking over his shoulder to see if Bradford is chasing him. Then he just laughs and laughs. I love that sound. Being the oldest, I know that feeling Bradford has "Awh Man, not again" then "Mom, Berkeley keeps taking my Legos, trains, puzzle pieces, etc....." He is talking non-stop now. Everyday is a new word. I love this phase. He has no idea what potty training is at this age but he see his brother in the bathroom so he wants to join. He wants to sit on the toilet. So I set him up there and he just grins then wants down to run off and play! Bradford has always been on the go from the day he was born. Busy, busy. Berkeley likes to come and sit in my lap and lay his head on my shoulder. Just out of the blue he will stop what he is doing to snuggle with me. Bradford will stop for a quick kiss or hug and he is on the go. I rocked Berk the other night in his room before bed. He just laid there on my chest so still while I sang quietly to him. We could have stayed there all night. I love that feeling. I know it won't be long when he is so busy that he wont want me to rock him anymore. So right now I am loving it all up as much as I can!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Project Vacation...

We have thought of every place you can think of...quick weekend in Mexico, drive to Memphis for a longer weekend, just stay in Dallas at the Ritz, Hawaii(where I was gong to lump it with a real estate conference--not really fair to Brandon I decided), now we are planning a 7 day trip through the Northeast to see the leaves. Just finished booking everything... I feel my heart race, slightly palpitating, little beads of sweat(and I don't really sweat much) on my forehead...Focus on breathing. Panic attack you ask? Maybe. Just the thought of going away and leaving the boys for a WHOLE WEEK! Control Freak? Maybe.

Bradford's first night away from both of us happened on Brandon's watch when Bradford was 26 months. I was in Islamorada for a conference, having a great time. 6 months preggers with Berkeley, hanging out at the pool in a bikini! Love the looks you get. Somewhere between OMG!! and WOW! The OMG looks mostly came from the senior citizen water aerobics class going on at this swanky resort in the pool I decided to use for my pregnancy sunbathing "me time". Later I head into the room to get ready for dinner. Call home to chat with Brandon and Bradford, only to find out Brandon had sent my baby off on his own into the world to brave bedtime without us! "Rena when the new baby gets here you are going to need some help sometime. So why not let Bradford get used to staying the night somewhere else now." I can not believe he waited for me to leave town and did it without me! "Otherwise it NEVER would have happened"! And he was so right. I seriously thought I could do it all! I did not need help. I had it under control. Hum there's that work again!

Fast forward 18 months later and we are trying to get away on a trip ALONE. Who knew it would be so hard. We started out at the beginning of the summer planning. Here we are at the End of Summer, planning a trip for the fall. Our FIRST trip away alone since Bradford was born Nov 2005!! At least we have made progress this summer. Berk was 13 months when he spent his first night away from home. He has already gone from a one night sleep over to a two nighter! And Bradford has stayed away 3 days straight. He keeps telling me he is ready to stay the night for 4 nights! Now don't get me wrong, the boys have loving, totally capable grandparents. And the boys love going to their house. But this MOM suffers from SEPARATION ANXIETY! Seriously!!

But nothing like going cold turkey. Withdrawal? I am sure there will be some. But at least I will have my sweet hubby for cuddle time! And he is looking forward to not sharing Momma for a week....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Details and Dragonflies

Everyone asks, "Where did you find that?" Well girls here it is. One of my deepest darkest secret shopping spots!! Details and Dragonflies Warehouse Sale, the Worth Waiting for event of the Summer. And what a place to shop. Everything in there is A-MAZING! And quite a deal on prices. Let me tell you. Last Summer, there was an awesome distressed leather sofa for $1,500.00 that ran for no less than $3,500 anywhere else. But not looking for something that high on the price scale? Hand Painted canvas pillows $27.50! Clearance Items are 40% off the first weekend and 50% off the second weekend! Christmas is around the corner....Start shopping now...You have to see it to believe everything in there and the prices, well you wont believe those even when you see them...

Please come by and see our new finds at the
August Warehouse Sale
it is just around the corner....

2221 West Broadway
Fort Worth, TX 76102

August 20th, 21st, 22nd
And again the following weekend
August 27th, 28th & 29th
Thursday - Saturday
10:00 - 5:00 daily

Saturday, August 8, 2009

All dogs go to heaven

"Mommy, I really really want Brandi to come back from Heaven." Bradford said the other day. Thus began a journey down memory lane...I was never much of a dog fan prior to meeting Brandi and Brandon. Over 13 ago when we met, Brandon had this amazing dog that never really liked his other "girl" friends. Mike can attest to this! But she warmed up to me right off the bat, and I to her. I think I fell in love with that dog before I did Brandon. She was our party entertainment after we got married. Before we could afford much furniture she would race round and round the front living and dining rooms making everyone laugh! Heather used to do anything she could to get Brandi going! She was the life of the party. I think I liked her so much because she was so much like a cat. She was well groomed, did not bark, did not smell like your typical big dog smell and did not drool! So after 14 years, last fall she went to Heaven. I knew Bradford did not really get it because he has said "When Poppy (the new dog--will talk about her later) goes to Heaven I want to get a ZEBRA!" And on Thursday, Bran was at a meeting and Bradford asked where dad was, did he go to Heaven? And he wants Brandi to come out of the computer and play with him.

In Comes Poppy, our replacement, about two weeks later. She is still growing on me ten months later. She falls into all the reasons why I used to not like dogs. BARKING, shedding, needs lots of baths...We rescued her from a Foster Home for Border Collies. She is 4 and well trained. She is very gentle with the boys. But she still is not Brandi. I hate to admit it but I am with Bradford and wish Brandi could come back from Heaven. I suggested we get another Basenji but Brandi was Brandon's second Basenji so I think he wanted to try out another breed. He loves Poppy to death and so do the boys. I know that we won't be getting a ZEBRA when Poppy goes to Heaven. But maybe another Basenji?? Just hope Bradford does not start asking for Paw-Paw to come back from Heaven....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rebekah Denice

That's my sister! Rebekah Denice. She has arrived in Tucson, her new home for the next two years. She spent all day today unpacking and getting organized. We already miss her. Brandon lovingly told her last night she will be home in time to see Bradford start Kindergarten in 2011! I think that caused a tear or two. While we miss her immencely, our pride for her clearly wins! She will have her degree in Biology when she finishes there. I asked her what she would do next with that, business and Spanish? Med School? Her response: We shall see...Career Student I say. That's OK. I know my boys will not know what to do when Bek-Bek isn't over here all the time any more, at least I have 4 other sisters who will have to fill in the gap for now. I think I may miss her even more than the boys...Love ya baby sis!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Fallen Petals have turned into a pretty Pink Hanger. A hot pink hangar at that! Not Haute but definitely HOT....Some great shoes, cute T-shirts to wear with your favorite jeans and accessories galore. Owned by Ashley Boatwright, not sure if she is related or married to the Boatwrights we all know, everything in the store in on a Pink Hanger. She is located in the Village at Colleyville. It is a very laid back and relaxed feeling with still a hint of Perfect Petals gone by. If you are in need of a fun outfit with shoes you won't see on every other gal at burgers and bock night, you have found your store. She also sells home furnishings but I did not venture into the back half of the store. I only went as far as the shoes and fitting room....

Station House, an all time classic, has taken over RSVP also at the Village. If you did not know any different you may not notice the changes except that it is more open feeling. The extensive selection is easier to see here than their old location.

Speaking of invitations and other paper goods, my heart stopped for a few seconds when my sister called me from in front of Penny Lane saying they were closed! Fear Not! They just relocated North less than a mile. Thank goodness. No, not open yet but it should not be much longer. You can always find great gifts here. This is where I found the Ice Cream Cone shaped invitations I sent out at Berkeley's Ice Cream Social for his 1st birthday. They also have some of the best baby gifts without having to hit Neiman's for a Swankie Blankie! Now let's go stimulate some economy gals!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

SLOW DOWN and Let's Shop

I felt it coming Tuesday...slowww moving, head kind of echoed, throat hurt when I swallowed. By that night I ached all over. Brandon took the boys to his parents Wedensday to play so I could rest. I felt bed sores coming on I slept so much. Yet I think another nap is in the near future. The boys dont really understand the "Mommy's Sick, let her sleep" routine yet. They want my attention anyway. And why shouldn't they? That is how it is! They stayed at Boss and Bebe's until Friday. Everyone was ready to be home as much as I wanted them to be home. First time I have been sick in a year, so when it hits it hits HARD! I guess if you dont slow down, your body makes you.

Well my new favorite website to surf is With a husband that has a hard drive full of amazing photos, I am lookng forward to getting on there and playing. Another FAV item is a blog my friend Amy has. She owned Perfect Petal in Colleyville and now has branched into on-line selling. She has that one AMAZING gift you need for a special girlfriend. Check her out:

I am not your typical mall shopper! And YES, I have started Christmas shopping already. I spend all year looking for that special something and Amy has some great ones. I have read a lot about lately too. But I have not yet stay posted. Best advice I have for early shopping: Post-it note it and keep a running list of who you have to buy for and what you have already bought. Then update this all year long...Happy Shopping...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tin Can Gypsies

What in the world are Tin Can Gypsies? Well when I started this blog, I named it bma2rda because my husband and son had the initials of bma, 2 of them and then me: rda. We are now bma3, with our younger son. Rather than change the 2 to a 3, I decided to go another route all together. Brandon and I have had 2 Airstream Trailers we took camping with some friends of ours. We all affectionately called our Airstreams "Toasters" since they reseamble an old-fashioned toaster. One couple has a pop-up that has been nicknamed the "poptart"--to go along with the Toasters...Anyway, when we were traveleing in our caravan on a trip to East Texas one time, my husband said we looked like Tin Can Gypsies going down the road...We should make some t-shirts...hence the name...We are currently Toaster-less but in the market for one that will hold a pack-n-play comfortably!