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Category Archives: Birthday


I think he knew something was up, because yesterday morning my boy started trying to wake up around 5:30. Birthday or not, this mama wasn’t having it. He did eventually go back to sleep, but at seven he was awake for real.

We went downstairs for a diaper change and some refrigerator oatmeal for breakfast. By the time he was done eating, The BF was awake. I decided to let O open his gifts from us so he could spend the morning playing with them.



He loved his new mixing bowl and measuring cups/spoons so much that he had to take them in the bath. He has so much fun pretending to cook.

The birthday boy took a nap while I showered and daddy went off to cut wood.

Once we’d all cleaned up and made ourselves all presentable-like, we went to the restaurant, where we ate yummy Mexican food and partied pretty hard.


We like to start 'em young around here. Ok, no we don't, there's no alcohol in that.


The bear is yellow cake filled with cocoa cream cheese buttercream and peanut butter frosting. The 2 cake is chocolate with cream cheese frosting.


A better pic of the cake topper I made.


My niece is super cute.

We had a wonderful time, and O loved seeing everyone. When we came home, he immediately stuck a pair of his brand-new big boy underwear on his head and went wild playing with his new toys.

As I was putting him to bed, I asked if he had a good day. He looked up at me with the sweetest smile and said, “Haybirday”.

I melted.

And then The Bf and I might have helped ourselves to another piece of cake.

Today marks the one – year anniversary of my three pound tumor removal. If you’re new around here, or if you just want to take a stroll down memory lane, click here, and here, and here, and of course here to read about Fred’s Twitter fame.

Anyway,  I won’t include actual pics of ‘ol Fred here, but they’re in the posts I’ve linked to above. Yes, including the infamous “tumor in a bucket” pic.

Getting that nasty thing removed was the best thing I’ve ever done for my health. I’ve felt better over this last year than I can ever remember feeling.

Going through a pregnancy with a giant tumor was pretty anxiety inducing. In the very beginning,  my family doctor told me I would be very high risk and would likely miscarry. Way to be positive, doc (for the record, I no longer go to that office). I spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying over my sweet little peanut. I couldn’t bring myself to share anything baby related on social media for fear that I’d lose him.

I found a wonderful (and infinitely more positive) doctor. She made us aware of risks, but in a way that was far less terrifying. I got to have an awful lot of ultrasounds, mostly because my little stinker would hid behind the tumor and the doc would have trouble finding his heartbeat. I always felt better after those appointments.

People tell me all the time that I “got the easy way out” because I had a C-section. Nothing about it was easy. A nurse at the hospital was kind enough to inform me that they were reserving a few bags of blood for me because, “you’re probably gonna need it.” Having a giant, blood sucking tumor just hanging out in your uterus makes your chances of hemorrhage go way up. I was almost convinced I would bleed to death before ever getting to see my baby.

The day my sweet boy was born, I cried a little from relief. He was here, he was safe and healthy. He was beautiful, with a head full of hair and eyes that seemed to see more than a brand new baby should. It was over.

And six months later, it was really over. Fred was removed, sent to be examined and then disposed of (so far as I know). I’m still a little bitter that I didn’t get to keep him. Women are having teddy bears made out of their placentas and I don’t get to keep my three pound tumor?! Bullshit.


Left: The day before surgery Middle: The morning after. Right: Today

I had my annual poke n’ prod a couple of weeks ago, and my doctor has declared me to be tumor free, which was awesome news since the little mnfers tend to grow back. The longer I can keep from sprouting siblings for Fred, the longer I can put off a more drastic treatment…Namely, a hysterectomy.  I don’t know that I want more kids, but I know I don’t want to so firmly shut that door just yet.

So happy birthday Fred, wherever you are. I can’t say that I miss you but I do think of you often.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I get really excited about giving presents… I look forward to that more than I do my own birthday. It’s really important for me to pick something that is perfect for the recipient…And I experience a fair amount of anxiety while trying to come up with something.

A few months ago, I was driving home from town when our local classic rock station aired a commercial for upcoming summer concerts. I turned it up, hoping to catch the date of the Dave show. Instead, I heard that Steve Miller and Journey were coming to town on June 28th, two days after The BF’s birthday. I couldn’t believe my incredible luck…There would be no attempts to drag ideas out of him this year (he is the hardest person to buy for), no stress at all. His present practically fell into my lap. Hallelujah!

So two days later, I’m still super proud of myself. I think that may have been the best gift I’ve ever given someone.

Before the show, we stopped at The Copper Still for dinner…where we had the best fried pickles I’ve ever eaten (the jalapeño ranch was pretty legit, too). The BF ordered a pulled pork sandwich, while I had a burger… The Hangover, with smoked bacon, bleu cheese, and a fried egg. It was amazing.


I had planned on stopping at my friend’s bakery after dinner, but we were both too stuffed to even eat a cupcake. We headed for the concert, and we got there with plenty of time to rent chairs, find a spot, and relax.


I joked that we should take selfies, and then decided to actually try to get some pics… And I laughed the whole time because I tend to be fairly horrible at selfies.


I was feeling pretty wild and crazy,  so I had one of these. Wheeeeeeeee!

We had so much fun before the show even started, just watching the crowd. We spotted some awesome mullets, though there were a lot fewer than I expected.


This guy had the best hair.


Steve Miller

Steve Miller was great, but I missed a couple of his good songs because I was standing in line for the bathroom. I was behind a mother and daughter, and they’d each had a fair amount of alcohol. One would exclaim, “LET’S TAKE A SELFIE!” and then they’d stumble and bounce off of one another until they managed to get a blurry pic that contained at least parts of both of them. This went on for a good 15 minutes, and I could see her screen so I know I’m in a few of them. I totally made faces, because if I’m going to unintentionally photobomb someone I might as well have fun doing it. The cherry on top of that whole experience was when the Terrifically Tipsy Two made it to the front of the line and the daughter declared, “I’m gonna take a selfie in the porta-pot!” She then climbed in and began her quest for the perfect porta-pot selfie while trying to close the door and stay on her feet. A part of me secretly hoped that she’d fall in, because I was missing a song I wanted to hear to watch her shenanigans. I had my phone ready, just in case, but she eventually got the door shut and apparently managed to take the selfie and pee without falling in. Bummer.

By the way…is this a thing? Have we reached such a societal low that people think it’s appropriate (and even cute) to take photos of themselves in porta potties?! Do these people know what happens in those? Gross.

Anyway, once I managed to pee (without taking a selfie, because I have more than two functioning brain cells) I booked it back to our spot. On the way, two gals stopped me to ask where I got my dress, one guy “liked what I had going on”, and another guy pointed and said, “she works out!” I yelled back, “Yes I do!” and continued speed walking, which can be hard to do in a maxi dress. I had to tuck part of my skirt into my belt to keep from wiping out on the sidewalk. I made it back just in time to hear Steve Miller thank the crowd and tell us to be kind to Mother Earth or some such thing.  It figures.

During the break, the guy next to us offered to take our picture. The BF didn’t even attempt to give me bunny ears… I think that’s a first!


So if Steve Miller was great, Journey was AMAZING. I was afraid that we’d be treated to a bunch of aging rockers shuffling around the stage with a random young Asian guy thrown in, but that was most certainly not the case. There’s a reason these guys have been around for so long. Neither The BF nor I had ever seen Journey live, and I think we were both pretty shocked at just how awesome the show was.

Here’s a link to a video I took of an awesome guitar solo… I didn’t think to get my phone out until halfway through, but you’ll get the idea. I had goosebumps the whole time.

On the way home, we stopped at White Castle (duh) and The BF thoroughly enjoyed his sliders while I tried the Sriracha chicken and jalapeño cheese fries. Both options could have been spicier, but they were still pretty good.


Of course, by the time we got home we barely had the energy to drag our old asses up the stairs to bed. We got to sleep in a little on Sunday, and after picking up our sweet boy, the BF left to paint a bathroom.

I’m so glad I got to give that guy such an awesome birthday present, because he really deserved a fun night out. Now the only problem is…

What on Earth am I going to do for him next year?!

Alternate title: heart attack on a plate

Yesterday was The BF’s birthday. Typically, he brings it up around, oh, June first and reminds me at least once a day. This year, the poor guy has been stretched so incredibly thin that he actually forgot about his own birthday.

I had to remind him earlier this week. He was so surprised that he stopped talking for a whole thirty seconds (unheard of) and then said, “So…wait… On top of all of this other stuff, it’s my birthday? Well how do you like that…”

I wasn’t sure if he would be home early enough for dinner, but I decided to go ahead and make something special for him just in case. He’s a meat and taters guy through and through, so I settled on chicken fried (or country fried) steaks, gravy, mashed potatoes,  corn, and 7 Up biscuits.

These are the easiest, man pleasin’-est things in the world to make. Here’s what you need:

Chicken fried steaks and gravy

4 cubed steaks

2 eggs, beaten

Canola oil

About 2 cups of flour




Cayenne pepper

About 2 tablespoons flour

About 2 cups milk

Salt and pepper

Heat about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil in a pan over medium. Mix flour and spices in a shallow dish and pour egg into a seperate dish. Press each steak into flour, then egg (let excess run off), then in the flour again. When the oil is hot, fry steaks until crispy and browned (about 5 minutes each side). Transfer to a cookie sheet and keep warm in a 300 degree oven.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons (or more, if you need it) of flour over the remaining oil and crispy bits in the pan. Stir and let cook for a minute or so, just to take the floury taste away. Add milk and whisk, whisk, whisk to eliminate flour lumps. I like to let it come to a bubble, then turn the heat to medium-low until the gravy thickens to your liking. Stir frequently.

When the gravy has thickened, serve the steaks covered in gravy with mashed potatoes and MORE gravy on the side.


The BF’s gravy sense (like spidey sense but with, you know, gravy) must have been tingling, because he got home early enough to hang out with O while I made dinner.

Once we had our fill of gravy, gravy, and maybe some more gravy, we had some cake and I gave The BF his gift.

Then we all fell into a gravy and sugar coma for the rest of the evening.



Left: The inside says, "They're the brown ones." Right: Chocolate fudge cake with buttercream, cocoa buttercream, and sprinkles.


I can’t believe it’s been four years. Holy crap, where has the time gone? Since starting this blog I met the BF, had a kid, left corporate America to do the SAHM thing…

I actually had no idea this was my blog’s birthday until I got the notification this morning. Were I a good little blogger, I’d mark the occasion with a giveaway or something. Sorry guys.

I think to celebrate this glorious occasion I will instead gift you all with links to some of my favorite posts.

Business Plan

The Jesus Pooper

Lofty Goals

Mom vs. Mom

The Time Fred Became Famous on Twitter (duh)

Ok, so there’s my poorly – planned happy birthday to my blog celebration. Truth be told, this was kind of a life saver today because I’m frantically working on another project (that I started way too late, of course) and had no idea what to write about. Hooray!

Thanks for reading!

So the boy’s first birthday was Saturday.

I think the party was a success. Good lord, I hope the party was a success. I think I have bald spots from pulling my hair out over details that, truth be told, people probably didn’t even notice.



The monster pops were a huge hit.


Part of the spread

Everyone loved the food… Ham, pork loin, roasted chicken, sandwich fixins, broccoli salad, potato salad, cole slaw, pickles and olives, cocktail weenies, party meatballs… We even made green punch with lime sherbet and ginger ale.


We made about 144 cupcakes. By the end of the day on Friday, I didn’t want to even look at another cupcake.

Ok, not true. I just ate a cupcake.


Then there was, of course, the cake. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of this cake. Not sure that I’m a fan of the garbage can lid, though.


The boy had a blast. I think he really enjoyed smashing the cake once he figured out what to do.

This party wouldn’t have happened without help, of course. The BF’s mom and my parents were kind enough to give up a Friday to help me with food and general party prep. I can be a bit of a Nazi about stuff when getting ready for something big, so they all get big props for putting up with me.

We’ll get to the cake in a minute, but first…A story:

I didn’t drink in high school…I think it’s safe to say I was a bit of a goodie-goodie. When I got to college, I seriously wasted no time discovering alcohol. Like, orientation night. Vodka and I became friends, and I learned that I liked Boone’s Farm (strawberry, of course) because I could get two bottles for super cheap. I liked beer because it was always in abundance at parties and, better yet, it was FREE.

One evening, my friends and I headed out to a party that we heard was going to be pretty awesome. Like most college parties, It was being held in the basement of someone’s off-campus rental house. As we descended the stairs we began to hear rumors that someone had forgotten the all important tap for the keg. Surely not! What kind of irresponsible party-thrower would forget such a thing?

It was true. There we stood with our empty red solo cups, crammed into a hot, smelly, damp basement with a shitload of other college students that were all getting more sober and grumpy by the minute. Just as we were getting ready to leave, someone materialized in front of me with a gallon of cheap tequila. In the real world, this would be a sketchy situation that should be avoided. At a college party, this was like a light shining down from Heaven.

The next thing I know, I’m drinking straight tequila out of desperation and complaining that it tastes like smelly feet. Somehow I ended up finding Tequila Man and getting refills, and when the tap FINALLY appeared I went ahead and topped my tequila off with beer. It still tasted like dirty feet but it was doing the job pretty efficiently.  So well, in fact, that I ended up drinking a few more half and half cups before I lost the ability to find the dude with the tequila.

I don’t recall much of the rest of that night. I DO remember that my friends thought I shouldn’t be left to wander home alone, and that it was decided I would crash in a buddy’s top bunk. They escorted me across campus, while I dashed (ok, stumbled) around, hiding behind potted trees and shrubs while singing the Mission: Impossible theme at the top of my lungs (DUN DUN DUN DUH DUH DUN DUN DUN DUH DUH… DOODELEEEDO…DOODELEEEDO). At one point, I decided to steal one of the potted trees that lined the campus sidewalks…”for camouflage”.

Needless to say, at some point that night the tequila left my body in a rather violent manner. The next day was spend wishing death would come relieve me from the throes of my very first real hangover. I swore to never drink tequila again. My body made sure I would keep that promise by gagging at the mere smell of the stuff.

Fast forward a couple of years (wink, wink).

Friday was my Mama’s birthday. My dad planned to take her out for dinner and a margarita, and since I make a cake every year, I offered to have everyone come to my house after dinner. I knew that I wanted to make her a margarita flavored cake so I started searching for a recipe.

I discovered lots of “recipes” that started with a white cake mix. Um, NO. Lucky for me, just as I was starting to get annoyed I discovered the darling Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe for from-scratch margarita cupcakes and frosting that looked promising.


For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

For the directions, please visit the original post here.

I followed the directions almost to the letter…I did leave the tequila out of the frosting (but I added lime zest) and I skipped the brushing. I took a teeny nibble out of one of the cakes and felt like the margarita taste was definitely there, and I didn’t want the tequila to be overpowering. I also used salted butter because I always use salted butter…and I left the extra salt out of the frosting.

I did have a teeny issue with the cakes…they did not rise at all. I ended up making two cakes and just stacking the four layers to be the size of a regular cake. Problem solved!

Everything still turned out beautifully. The margarita flavor was there, but not in an overpowering way. I was a bit disappointed that you couldn’t see the lime zest in the frosting, so next time I’ll reserve some for decoration.


cake layers   2013-09-21_19-01-26_361

cake and candles

That scarf that my mom is wearing? I totally made it. I taught myself to crochet last week after getting all of my Grandma’s stuff. Neat, huh?

Make this cake (or cupcakes!) if you enjoy margaritas. If you REALLY enjoy tequila, go ahead and douse them in it. You could probably leave the tequila out altogether if you’re not a fan (like me) but I sacrificed my own comfort for my dear sweet mother. I’m a giver.

I ate a whole piece to be a good sport and I didn’t even barf, so that’s a plus!

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After a lovely birthday weekend (I will write about that later…), I kind of expected Monday to hit me a bit hard. I didn’t expect that to happen immediately after I rolled out of bed.

I opened my eyes and looked around… The BF had already left for work and all was quiet.The boy was awake and sitting up, but from what I could tell by looking at the monitor he seemed to be playing quietly.

When I walked into his room I saw that he was playing quietly. With his diaper. That he had removed. After he pooped.


When he saw my reaction he, of course, started crying. I scooped him up and headed downstairs to put him in the bath. As I carried him down the stairs I couldn’t help but notice everywhere he put his stinky little fingers… Oh, now I have poop on my shoulder… and now there’s probably some on my neck…and there goes a big ol’ smear down the front of my shirt.


After cleaning him (and me) up, I got him settled with a bottle in the play yard and headed back upstairs to clean up the crib. Once I’d scrubbed all of the smelly, smudgy fingerprints I rinsed the bedclothes and tossed everything in the washer.

I spent a good amount of time checking myself over for any poop I may have missed. Once I was sure that I was poop-free, I started a pot of coffee because seriously.

The boy was finished with his bottle and had discovered Sophie, so I decided to let him play while I worked on a plan for dinner.

When I opened the refrigerator door, my birthday cake from last night said, “Hello there! I see that you’re having a rather challenging morning. I’ll bet a nice, chocolaty piece of cake would make you feel better!”



It totally did.

Hey, cake would not normally be my breakfast of choice but after my morning?

I deserve some cake.

Can you believe that 32 years ago I looked like this?


It’s true!

Fun fact: That dress? Size newborn, and waaaay too small. The nurses couldn’t even button the back of it. The doctor referred to me as mom and dad’s “little football player”.


So obviously I look a bit different now. Like, less cross-eyed. And I have more hair.

I also no longer resemble a football player, so far as I can tell.

At any rate, I had a wonderful birthday and I plan to keep celebrating through the weekend.

Good night, friends… And thank you for reading!

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