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Friday, March 28, 2014

Holy Crap...it's nearly the end of March!

I know, I know...I'm constantly battling the "where did the time go" phenomenon. I can't help it, I'm easily sidetracked. It hit me that this time last year we were riding the adoption roller coaster and sometimes feeling sorry for ourselves that we hadn't been placed yet. Silly me. In fact, this same week last year, we were working feverishly on our new shop location. We worked non-stop for 72 hours to get the new location ready to open. It was a weekend that we didn't dwell on the fact that we hadn't gotten "a call" lately, we just worked our butts off...with the help of some of our amazing friends & family. We had no idea that a week later...our lives would change drastically.

As Pickle's first birthday approaches, I find myself feeling enormous gratitude and emotion...it's still such a new phenomenon to me - the emotional thing - emotionally awkward/stunted/etc. :) It's amazing how many wonderful people come to mind when I think of this new chapter of our lives. People that may not even know that they have a special place in our hearts. From our amazing social workers, to our amazing nurses at FMH, to our friends, our family, and even the kind Alaska Airlines representative...you'll never be forgotten. :)

Last week, I found myself telling a friend on the 'emotional roller coaster that is adoption' that, "before they knew it, life would never be the same". I know that my words probably aren't helping ease their anxiety or patience, but I can empathize with their feelings. I remember counting the days to when our home study would be finished or when we would be "in the pool". Then suddenly, we were placed and I stopped counting the days...we wanted every single moment of every day to count while we waited to find out if we would be Pickle's "forever home".
Looking back...prior to placement, el husbando and I should have been making the days count too. We could not have possibly imagined that we would be so consumed with another human being. Luckily we find most things humorous...so getting peed, puked, or pooped on became a humorous moment that we shared even in moments of complete exhaustion. Every new sound, movement, giggle that we see in our child is a special, delightful moment that we drink in like the new parents we are. Wherever you are in your life process...make the day count.

As for Part II of our adoption story...stay tuned, I promise I will get the words out there. Okay...enough sappy stuff for today, I can't even see through my tears to write this. :)

xo

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Innovation in Our World

Happy March! I can't believe it's almost spring. Can you? We've been busy with life and the shop...and ordering gorgeous spring-y outfits! We love to keep our Alaskans happy in new frocks!

We've noticed that one of our competitors has been visiting our store - checking prices, seeing what's in stock, asking questions, etc. That's a good thing - we certainly don't want any duplication between our stores. Frankly, I should probably check out the competition too...but I haven't been shopping (except for baby clothes) in over a year. Even more recently (and randomly) we've noticed that the competitor in question is following our Instagram and asking to follow people who "like" our photos. Okaaaay...it's a free market - go for it!

We never get too fussy about things like this in our retail market - like I tell my sister - "NOTHING is a new idea". It's all been done before and our job is to take inspiration from old ideas into newer ideas - INNOVATION. Innovation, by definition is "the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods". We pride ourselves on using our innovation, imagination, and energy while creating our little space in the universe. I'm all about "seeing what the other guy is doing", but your plan should include making it your own...not taking ideas and passing off as your own.

In fact, our inspiration for Mabel was Anthropologie...we LOVE the store. We originally modeled the store after our favorite Anthro components and threw in a whole lot of Grandma Nonie inspiration. But we made it our own...after many "flops" and "holy crap, that was a fail" moments - we're finally feeling like we may be getting there. Did I mention that we had ZERO retail experience and we decided over a one day e.mail chain to start our business?! Yes, we're notorious for jumping over the cliff without looking - but we took action! You should have seen our first clothing orders...gah, makes me cringe. Thank goodness we had customers who believed in us and kept coming back!

In the meantime, we're going to continue our path of being inspired and creating crazy/stupid/brilliant ideas. Our path doesn't include worrying about what the "other guy" is doing, but worrying about how we can make our ideas better for our customers.

On another note...when do you come up with brilliant ideas? My "brilliant plotting" usually comes to me in the shower or the car. :)

xo

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Procrastination Junction

I spent all of my Saturday sewing, cleaning, entertaining pickle, and rearranging our shop downtown. By 1AM, I gave in for the night...then started over again this morning. Ridonkulous. The main reason - I'm a procrastinator - big time. Which is exactly what I'm doing right now...I should be packing up the goodies for Little Mabel's trunk show in Juneau - or sewing more goodies - or something. But instead, I am sitting on the couch listening to some crime show el husbando has on. I was in my craft room working on more baby goodies, then I was suddenly overwhelmed by the massive amount of sh*t in this room. I've blogged about my "hoarding" before, I only hoard fabric, crafting supplies, and woodworking stuff - I promise. In my overwhelmed state, I was thinking about how many people could benefit from this stash of stuff.

Some things you might not know about my crafting/hoarding (and you probably don't want to know):
  1. I have enough fabric stashed in my craft room to provide each one of my Facebook friends with a yard or two for a project. Some of the fabric is over twenty years old...yes, I've been hoarding that long.
  2. My first sewing project was a patchwork pillow in Girl Scouts - over thirty years ago.
  3. I'm a lazy sew-er - not gonna lie...I will find the easy way to make my project.
  4. I have over 100 unfinished projects in the craft room - handbags, clothing, furniture, home d├ęcor, gifts...you name it, I've procrastinated on finishing it. Do you want to finish one for me?
  5. I've had my craft room organized at least a dozen times over the years, but it always ends up in the current state...probably because of #4.
  6. My first woodworking project was a wall sconce in seventh grade wood shop class. I shaped it like a bowling pin and gave it to my Grandpa Ed, who was a master at woodworking. I'm sure he was super impressed.
  7. Moondeela is the name for this blog and my old handmade products line started over ten years ago. The name Moondeela comes from my old friend, Matty who thought I should give my parties/events/projects a name. 
  8. Our Grandma Fox taught Uncle BAD and I to crochet when we were in grade school. My brother picked it up really quick and crocheted an entire skein of yard into one long curly-cued rope. I teased him mercilessly and I "may have" thrown it on top of the old diner in central park. He never crocheted again...but he can build everything else on the planet. :)
  9. My favorite handmade projects are the ones that make people smile.
  10. I taught myself to make jewelry ten years ago, after purchasing a $70 necklace from Nordstrom. I love to make jewelry, but I have to be in the right mood for it to be creative and perfect.
  11. My husband used to have a tiny 25SF space to use his "tools" in the craft room, but I took that space over too...so I now have 225SF of overwhelming-hoarding-madness.
  12. I thought I would still have time to craft (or do anything) after we had a child. Bahahaha...that's hilarious!
  13. I love vintage fabric and lace, but I hoard that too...and refuse to use it. What the hell am I going to do with all of this stuff?!
  14. I get my best creative ideas while driving, in the shower, and while working out. None of these is a convenient place for writing/sketching out the ideas.
  15. If I could build acceptable clothing out of duct tape, I totally would...I would rock it.
  16. In my senior year of high school, I was a slacker and took car care, woodshop, weight training, and PE all in the same quarter. I spent the entire woodshop class smiling at the handsome teacher, making a baseball bat out of ash, and a solid oak wall rack...that ended up weighing 40#.
  17. When I was a 'tween', my Mom sent me to a summer sewing and cooking class...after the class, I came home and made dresses from her sheets. She couldn't really be mad, she wanted me to be creative.
  18. I can't wait to teach pickle to create stuff with her hands. Hopefully she'll be able to finish all of those half-finished projects!
Here's a little Tuesday afternoon smile for you...girls being creative!
Now, go build something with your hands...even if it's just a sandwich. Or come clean my craft room.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

National Pickle Day

Did you know that it's National Pickle Day? I didn't either...who woulda thunk it? El Husbando's nickname for our little girl is "Pickle"...which is hilarious and will probably stick. I can hear it now, "Pickle {last name} is rounding second base, on her way to third...SAFE! Pickle is safe!" It's also National Adoption Month...who wouldn't want to adopt a pickle?! Exactly. :)

Grandma Leda calls her "Squeak" because she has a hard time calling her by her given name...since it's the same name she gave her son. I know, kind of confusing...but they'll get over it and eventually maybe they'll start calling Uncle BAD "Big Pickle" - that would be uber hilarious!

I think our little pickle might need this:
In honor of National Pickle Day, I would like to suggest that you eat nothing but pickles for the rest of the day. Why not? Who cares if you wake up bloated from all of the sodium, it was worth it! Have a fabulous day and enjoy this photo of a couple of happy pickles! xo


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's All Relative...

...when it comes to baby-making. I may have mentioned it before, but infertility sucks. Seriously sucks...and we've only been at it for four years. Trust me, I don't think my infertility story is special and I'm not judging...except for these ungracious stinkers. A friend shared this article on her Facebook page a few weeks ago and it just made want to scream. First of all, the "anonymous" couple tried for two years to get pregnant. Two years? Depending on your story, it could be a long time. I wanted to e.mail the couple and offer to take one of those precious little babies off their hands. But, I guess they remained anonymous for a reason. I mean, they chose to do IVF and there is a possibility of multiples - they knew that their choice could lead to. I'm pretty sure using the word "regretful" to describe their predicament was enough ammo to form a lynch mob. But...I guess it's all relative, right?

Each of our stories is unique. Whether you've chosen not to have children, you're a fertile myrtle, or you've been trying so long you've forgotten that you used to have sex for fun. You never know what someone else has going on, and usually someone else's reproductive organs aren't really your business.

I found myself in the "oh, it's supposed to be fun - I forgot" phase. One time in particular, I actually told el husbando to stop eating a sandwich and get his ass to the bedroom because there was a stupid pink smiley face on a stick. Super fun, right? As I remember the look on his face, it's pretty funny now. After an early miscarriage in 2010, then nothing...we found ourselves dumbfounded. We were fairly young and in good health - what was wrong with us? Late in 2011, we discovered that there was a new fertility specialist in Anchorage and we made an appointment. We loved our doctor - she was a funny, no-nonsense kind of gal and she laid it out on the table - hand drawn graphs and all. We had about one year to get moving on this before the baby-making-possibility curve took a nose-dive. We signed on - let's do it - "it" being IUI  - Intrauterine Insemination. I should've figured we would have eventually gotten to this point - my Mom did give me a turkey baster for Christmas one year. Foreshadowing, perhaps? Or she's just a weirdo. :)

Did I mention that el husbando was working a two week on/off slope rotation at the time? So, we had a very small window to work with...reproductively speaking. While he was gone, I spent every morning and evening injecting myself with special hormonal drugs to "pump" my ovaries into overdrive. I remember holding that needle away from my gut the first time thinking "what the foxtrot"? Then I jammed it in, but forgot to release the meds because I was so nervous. Fail. Eventually I got the hang of it and the two weeks of needle-jamming produced extra large eggs AND a seriously bitchy wife. I'm not kidding, I was a raging "getoutofmyfacebeforeIsmacktheshitoutofyou" beyotch. Then my husband would home from the slope, sleep-deprived after working fourteen nights straight and we would hustle over to the Women's Clinic. Guess what he had to do then?


Yep, you got it...he got to walk through the waiting room of all women to a "special" little room for the men, complete with "special" videos and mags. Poor bastard. He did it, but he wasn't too excited about it. While he was doing his "thang", I would hang out in my room with my feet all nonchalantly hung up in the stirrups waiting...waiting for them to "spin" it and bring it in. Then they would inject it into a fun little tube that led up into never-never land. At the time we were hopeful and exhausted (and one of us was not nice). Then they'd send us home to rest and maybe do the deed the next day. Sounds super romantic, I know...we tried that cycle twice and then I said "enough". My cranky ass wasn't going to survive without physically assaulting someone.

After the first cycle, we were all tested to see if we would be a kidney match with our Dad. The hospital messed up my labs for the test, and after a discussion with our Mom, we took as it a sign that maybe the IUI would work. So, we tried this cycle one more time, to no avail - it just wasn't meant to be for us. We thought we would just give it a break and get through life...my sister donating a kidney to our father, work, life, etc. But I found myself becoming increasingly bitter toward certain people. One type in particular were the ones that knew what you'd been going through, yet they let you know that they were going to "plan to get pregnant" this month and so on. And the ones that "accidentally" got pregnant. I was thinking, "no, you accidentally forget to buy milk at the store", you got pregnant because you weren't trying NOT to. Eventually, I stopped discussing babies - and pregnancy - and all that goes with it - because it didn't seem fair that what we wanted, couldn't happen. So I was on a pity party train...for sure. That was my deal, it wasn't anyone else's fault - I couldn't blame anyone else - I couldn't be angry at someone else's happiness, because that wasn't fair either. My friend Nina coined it best "we've all got our own shit going on, you just never know." It's all relative.

I'm not going to lie...I still hoped - every single month - that it would happen. I would wait for the tell-tale sign of sore boobs, nausea, whatever...it's amazing what symptoms you can imagine when you're hoping for it. My least favorite comment from people was something along the lines of "you just need to relax and it will happen"...you know that comment from well-meaning folk. It's not what you want to hear - it's a bull-shit line and we all know it. But again, it's all relative because we weren't really trying or thinking too hard about it anymore...because forcing your husband to put down his turkey sandwich to run to the bedroom is ridiculous and not the way we wanted to live. So, if you're reading this and maybe feeling this way...you're not alone. It's a sucky, emotionally draining process...but you can get through this.

Then, in October 2012, out of the blue - we got an e.mail in October 2012 from CSS - from a woman who would become our favorite dress-and-boot-wearing-CSS-girl. We had put the adoption discussion on the back-burner while we had so much going on...but apparently we were still on the e.mail list for the workshops. She was writing to let us know that there was one in a few weeks - would we interested? Well, yes ma'am. You know who you are. We still love you for that e.mail...and the calls and texts...and for coming to our finalization. You might not know it, but you planted that first seed of hope and for that we will be eternally grateful.

If you're reading this blog, then you've probably read Part One of our Adoption Story.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our Adoption Story - Part One

Disclaimer: it's taken me months to write this, because it's so personal and it's emotional. But it is National Adoption Month and I want people to know that while it is an emotionally charged roller coaster, it is so worthwhile. If there's a chance that you're interested in pursuing adoption, do some research - there are so many resources out there. XO
 ______________________________________________________________________
If you've been reading this blog, then you know that we made the decision to pursue adoption in late 2012. And, if you've been reading Tank's blog, then you know that we were placed in early 2013. We had a couple "calls" in early 2013, including a "go to the hospital to pick up a baby" call. I cannot even begin to explain the crazy, wonderful ride we've had since we were placed on April 1st - yes, April Fool's day. :)

I know how much I appreciated reading other adoption stories when we started the process and I am so completely stoked to put our story (so far) out there. I'm not going to lie, adoption is a scary, intimidating, wonderful, and possibly heart-breaking process. Then you're placed with a child and you get to feel that way for the rest of your life! :) All adoption stories are different and have varying time lines - this is just our story.

Early November 2012 - Workshop
After contacting Catholic Social Services (CSS) in 2011 and missing all of their three day workshops because of work conflicts, we were able to attend one the first weekend in November 2012. I remember this, because my husband (ever the funny guy) made the comment that we would have a new president by "next week". Um yeah...leave it to a redneck. :) The three day workshop is a requirement to pursue adoption with CSS and we are SO GLAD that we attended. It is three days of stories, the process, worst case scenarios, cultural considerations, waiting periods, "changes of heart", and a panel forum from adoptive parents, adopted children, and birth mothers. We LOVED the ladies from CSS and really appreciated the manner in which they presented. CSS has an infant adoption program within Alaska, as well as an international program.

After three days, we left the workshop wowed with a "this is possible, but scary" mentality. And after waiting the allotted two weeks to request paperwork, we contacted them to pursue infant adoption in Alaska.

Mid November 2012 - Mountains of Paperwork
Holy smokes, this is intimidating - no, beyond intimidating. We were sent the packet of paperwork and I think we may have just stared at it for a day or two. The easiest part was going to get fingerprinted for the FBI and state criminal background check. The rest was daunting and was going to require a lot of serious thought and inner "soul-searching", if you will. Answering questions about your background, relationships with family, and how you were raised are pretty easy. But discussing how you will discipline your future-imaginary-child are not so easy. It's kind of a "do I give you the answer you want to hear" kind of thing or a brutally honest, "I'm not sure, but I plan to raise independent, respectful children..." kind of answer.

About a week into the mountain o' paperwork, we got a call that started with a "this is really unorthodox*, but"...it was a chance to have us thrown into the mix (shown to a family) before we were actually through the process. This call lit a fire under our butts to get moving on the forms. It also gave us an enormous sense of possibility...was it really possible that we could be placed with a child that we had been wishing for? We talked and wrote throughout the next few days and finished up our "application" (read eighty two pages of "us"). *For this particular case, we were "shown" to potential birth parents, but they chose another route.

January/February 2013
Now that our paperwork was complete, we were able to begin the home study process. We weren't exactly sure how to prepare, as in; "is the house clean enough", "will Tank hump our social worker's leg", or "what if they don't like us". I'm sure these are normal worries, but we were lucky enough to have a social worker that presented at the CSS workshop. She already knew that we were jokesters and had some quirks. :) We had our home study visits throughout the month of January and we were approved by mid-February. We really enjoy our social worker and I think she got a kick out of our not-so-serious household. In fact, she still teases el husbando about his excessive vacuuming and my secret room of hoarded craft supplies - our home study reflects both of these. :)

During the home study time, we received another call requesting to show our "portfolio"...which we hadn't done yet. But, we provided photos and bios of our family to show them. We had a meeting scheduled with a birth mom...we were en route to the meeting when it was "called off". We were bummed out and found ourselves feeling like it would never happen for us. Apparently we were forgetting that we weren't technically in the pool yet and we had no room to be impatient. :) 

March 2013
We received a couple more "can we show your portfolio, here are the details" calls in the middle of March and one follow-up call of: "come to the hospital to pick up a baby". And of course...upon arriving home to get the diaper bag, we received the "oh no, there's been a change of heart" call. Again, the giant emotional high and then the low were sending us into a little bit of a tizzy. Instead of moping about it, we stopped in to discuss the roller coaster ride with our social worker. She asked us if we would like to speak at the March workshop on the adoptive parents panel. We kind of laughed, because all we could talk about was the ride...she thought that would be great. :) Mid-March we spoke on the panel and enjoyed it...we mostly just discussed the ups and downs of our process. At one point, they asked us how we were dealing with the process and el husbando responded that he vacuumed and kicked the dog (only half true). *I'm not kidding, he really does vacuum everyday...sometimes twice a day.

April 1, 2013
There we were, just minding our own business...maybe even commenting that we hadn't heard from CSS in a few weeks. We had a trip to Arizona scheduled for April 3rd, so while we were packing up our golf clubs and sunny weather gear...BOOM, it happened. No kidding, we received a call at 10AM on April 1st asking if they could show our portfolio in Fairbanks. They gave us the details and with all of the other calls, we said yes. There's a feeling when you get these calls...it's euphoric and tense. Your head is spinning and you're not sure what to do with yourself in that time.

At 1PM, our social worker (SW) called back:

SW: "tell {el husbando} that he needs to change his opinion of my calls, because you need to fly to Fairbanks and pick up your little girl."
Me: Silence. I quietly whispered, "are you serious?"...and I may have started crying**. (I can't remember now, but I know I'm crying as I write this.)
SW: "Yes. Call {SW in FAI} and coordinate a time to meet tonight."
Me: "You're serious?"
SW: "Yes, call me if you have any issues."
Me (whispering): "So, you're not going to call me in the middle of the flight with a change of plans?"
SW: "No, go!" I could hear her smiling as she said this.

The next few hours were a blur - I called the social worker in Fairbanks (she's a saint) and arranged for a meeting time at the hospital. I quickly booked tickets for the short one hour flight, texted Aunt Sarah (and aunties Pong and Ape), and headed home to get the "baby stuff". On the way, I called my folks to let them know that we were on our way to pick up a baby. They were excited, but nervous for us. About an hour after that call, my Mom called back and asked if I was joking, since it was April Fool's Day. I assured her that I would never pull a prank of that magnitude. :) Then I called my brother to let him know that we planned to name the little girl after him, he said "oh, why would you do that?" He was probably imagining the nicknames we made up for him as a kiddo. :)

**Disclaimer...I am NOT a crier. Never have been, perhaps because I've always thought I was the "tough" older sister? Not sure why...but at any rate, motherhood has turned me into a pretty big sap.

So, imagine two chickens running around with their heads cut off...we were worse. We were hollering down the hall to each other and poor Tank is following me around looking a little freaked out. We suddenly realize that we have NO IDEA WHAT WE ARE DOING! We finally look at each other and say, "breathe". :)  Halfway to the airport, we realize that we didn't call anyone to take care of Tank...Aunt Sarah to the rescue!

Airport Debacle
  1. El husbando pulls into the parking lot and rams his truck into the concrete pony wall. We both look at each other and sigh with relief that the airbags didn't deploy.
  2. El husbando takes work boots off and throws on the conveyor belt at security...they end up getting caught up with empty car seat and base...jamming the entire thing. We straighten that out, while they look at us like crazies for having an empty car seat on the conveyor.
  3. They pull me and my diaper bag aside...
    Security: "You can't have this many bottles of liquid formula".
    Me, frantically: "I'm sorry...they just called us and told us to fly to FAI to pick up a baby we're hoping to adopt...I have no idea what I'm doing".
    Security: "OMG! That is so wonderful, we would hug you if we could. Go, go, go!"
    Me: "Thank you, thank you!"
  4. As we're scurrying away, security folks: "Somebody left a tool behind." We turn around and el husbando had left a 12" wrench on the conveyor belt at security. Oops. They hand it off and we run to gate.
  5. Buckle in on airplane and stare at each other. Shock, we're in shock. Then we laugh, because we are complete goofballs. 
Shell-shocked Dad-to-be with the empty car seat
Our friend, Ben picks us up at the airport and rushes us to hospital - we have limited time to meet with SW before she has another meeting (hence the reason we didn't check the giant car seat and base). We meet SW on the first floor and she is so sweet...very mellow to our complete panic. She maneuvers us to the elevator and I remember my stomach swirling in anticipation, still wondering if a ball is going to drop and this is not real. We arrive at the pediatric floor and walk to the nurse's station. It's surreal...SW introduces us to Courtney, our nurse. We all shake hands and she casually turns around to a rolling bassinet. "And, here's your baby", she says. Our mouths drop open and we just stare. Courtney, gently says, "let's take you to your room."

It was all over from there, folks...we were in a trance. Courtney hands the baby to me...I'm speechless as I stare at this perfect little baby girl. She's tiny and she's scowling in her sleep. All I can do is stare at her...speechless. Then I hand her off to Daddy and she looks even more tiny in his arms. We're immediately enamored, but still kind of lost as to what we are supposed to do next - is this real? SW explains that baby was born the previous day, on Easter Sunday and is healthy - weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces and 19.5" long. She gives us the back story and answers our questions. I would imagine that we were still shell-shocked at this point, so she offers to come back after her evening meeting and leaves us with our new baby. OUR BABY.

But before she is really "our baby", there is a big mountain of time and paperwork to get through. While we worked through all of that, our ONLY job was to bond with this precious little creature that had been entrusted to us. We knew that the next 10 days, 25 days, 180 days could be the most heart-wrenching days of our entire lives.

These are photos from our first 24 hours with our little girl. We have held these photos so close to our heart because of the waiting period and the unknowns. She was so tiny and wrinkled...and yep, she was born with that scowl. :)
...stay tuned for Part 2.

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Before Part One - there was this.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Random Tuesday

It feels like a random kind of day, now that the adoption process has come to a close and the little sister's wedding went off without a hitch. In my world, this downtime means that it's time to plan another event/adventure/escapade...but I think I'll wait until the weekend is over. When we were first placed in April, it felt like the waiting process was SO LONG. It wasn't, but when your life is up in the air, you begin to feel kind of like you're spinning out of control. Don't get me wrong, I love some chaos...but this sense of relief is great! I have all of this free downtime and I find myself giggling about random events.

Most recently - the WEDDING. Yes, the WEDDING...my sister's wedding. Long planned, long awaited for, and one of the most fabulous events EVER. :) I was excited about spending a week in Arizona enjoying sunshine! Fantasy: I pictured myself taking the week off of work and lounging in the pool while Grandma catered to my child. And golfing maniacally leisurely with el husbando and crazy family. Nope, none of that happened because I had "jobs" to do as the Matron of Horror...really fun jobs. Unfortunately, Grandma turns into a mad-woman before any event, so I wasn't going to "pawn" the kiddo off on her. I'm kicking myself now - I knew that it would go down like that, but I never learn. Plus, I must have forgotten that my first priority would be the little pickle...I'm thinking the last time I "celebrated" (partied, etc.) was pre-baby. Um yeah, it's not the same after-baby. :)

Reality: running errands, finding horseshoes, cleaning up after the party animals, doing five loads of laundry a day, prepping everything, and some other stuff I've already forgotten.

Here are some snippets of silly stuff from the WEDDING week:
Planter boxes..."where are the planter boxes. I need planter boxes. Can you build planter boxes?" This went on for a few days, until she finally located some to fit the succulents. I thought the boxes looked fabulous in their plain jane fashion, but...no. "Stain them...put horseshoes on them...wait, dip the horseshoes in paint first"...and so on. As the MOH, I gave myself the job of staining the boxes. This doesn't sound like a big deal until you consider that my hands were also "stained" a tobacco brown color afterward. No effing way...I was "stained" from head to toe. Sh*t, the wedding's in three days and I can't ruin the photos with this (not that I was too worried, my sister chose teeny-tiny bridesmaids and I was going to be the chumbawumba standing next to them in pics). Enter, El Papa...

Me: "Dad, how do I get this stain off - I can't even touch my baby until I get this off?!?!"
Brother and nephew: "paint thinner"
Me: "Dad, do we have any paint thinner?"
Dad: "Huh?"
Me: "Um, how do I get this off? I don't think the bride is going to buy off on it."
Dad: "Oh yeah, I have some somewhere..." as we sort through all of his shelves, which were surprisingly organized.
Me: "Um...I don't see any. What else?"
Brother and nephew: "Gas, gas will do it", they say helpfully.
Me: "You're going to pour gas on me to get this off?? You're freaking kidding, right?" As he starts pouring GREEN gas all over my hands!
Me: "Why is it GREEN!??!??!"
Dad: "Huh, must be mixed..."
Jeez...I'm now covered in stain and mixed gas. I'm getting high off the fumes and then I realize that I really can't touch my child for fear that she'll be high too. Good stuff.

Speaking of stink...as the girls are lounging in the pool on Sunday after the wedding, watching the burly guys dismantle the ginormous platform built JUST for the wedding, a skunk jumped into the pool area. Yep, a giant-could-be-stinky skunk. It caused quite the uproar and half the people ran for the hills. Disaster was averted, as the skunk scurried across the pool cover and into the drain. I can't say I know what happened because we hauled ass for the airport before the issue was settled.

Speaking of hauling ass...after lounging in the pool, we were late leaving the house for the airport and nearly ran out of gas. At ten miles to the airport, the rig indicated that we only had four miles of fuel left. Baha.

When we finally arrived home in Anchorage, we realized that my suitcase didn't make it...the suitcase with all of baby's stuff and my favorite cowboy boots. I could only laugh as the airline told me it was "lost". It's all relative, right?