Miss America!

Miss America

First: No, Miss America is NOT Miss USA, aka Trump’s pageant. Just getting that out of the way! 🙂

Second: Yes, I did have to google that cause I know NOTHING about the pageant world.

…correction, I KNEW nothing…until now!!

How I get to have a friend like Carolyn, I don’t know. But she was selected to be a preliminary judge for Miss America this year. That means she spends all week in Atlantic City judging. Then the celebrities come in on Sat night and do the judging for the show. But after having seen how this works, the prelim judges really do all the work and the celebrities get all the glory! Story of life!

Carolyn asked me to be her “plus one”…and I looked at Brian, who obviously knew this meant he would be on his own for a few days wrangling kids, but even then still said, “You have to!” So while he was working hard doing his normal job, plus getting 3 kids around to soccer practices, sometimes overlapping practices at different fields, and the likes, I was flying to Atlantic City, FIRST CLASS!

I told Brian I’m never flying coach again. Leg room for days, free drinks (I ordered a vodka soda cause everyone else was…yes, I’m a follower) and not just peanuts, mixed roasted nuts!

Miss America

But that’s not even it! Lunch! All on real plates and silverware!

Miss America

And cookies afterwards. It really was all it’s hyped to be.

I detoured through Baltimore to see my college roommate Missy! She’s one of my favorite people in this world, and 24 hours with her was good for my soul. But obviously not for my camera cause we didn’t take ONE picture. Boo. 🙁

A little Miss American info for you: There are 3 evenings of Preliminary Competition. These are also held in Boardwalk Hall (where Sunday night’s competition is held). Each night, 1/3 of the girls do talent, 1/3 question and 1/3 bathing suit and evening gown. The prelim judges are giving them ratings and narrowing it down to 14. Along the way, girls are winning scholarships. They are ultimately competing for $50,000 in scholarships if they win. We were so impressed with the girls. They are between 17 and 24 and I was no where as put together and articulate at that age.

Here’s the judges seating.

Miss America

Miss America

We met Miss Teen America Thursday night. She was a doll!

Miss America

This dress was so Elsa!

Miss America

Miss America

Carolyn’s college friend Lindsay came in to join us! I have heard about her for 15 years, so meeting her was well over due! She’s adorable and fun and I love her!

Lindsay and I are twinkies! This was up on the stage after the prelims on Friday.

Miss America

Saturday, the prelims were done, and there’s a “Shoe Parade”- the girls all make a pair of elaborate shoes representing their state and ride in cars with their legs up showing off these shoes.

Here’s Miss America 2017 starting off the parade. Her name is Savy! How cute this that?

Miss America

Here she is again. So about 2 seconds before the camera takes the picture, it hit both Lindsay and I that we are taking a picture with MISS AMERICA. So you feel awkward cause you know this maybe wasn’t the best idea cause you are gonna look dowdy no matter what! 🙂

Miss America

We watched the parade from that balcony. Yes, like royalty. Yes, it was awesome!

Miss America

So, Miss Baltimore had cherry blossoms…

Miss Illinois went with Cubs…

Miss Texas. Well, she didn’t win any points from me, so it’s a good thing the prelims were over. And also I had zero say, so there’s that too! 🙂

We called ourselves Carolyn’s “entourage”

Miss America

This is up on our royalty balcony. It was like a party up there while we watched a parade, so definitely one of my favorite parts!

Miss America

We explored Atlantic City just a little. It has a great beach!

Miss America

And the best statue idea ever!!

Miss America

Our meals were crazy yummy! And I’m not just saying that cause I didn’t make them!

Miss America

We also had room service all week (which prior to this I had only done once before when Carolyn sent it to us in Chicago so the kids could experience it! Yes, she is the best all around!). We all missed room service the most when we got home!

My guilty pleasure is The Bachelor. (I haven’t watched in a while, but let’s just say if you want to talk Bachelor, I can hold my own!) And I LOVE Chris Harrison. He makes me laugh and he’s so good on his feet. My one goal in life (aka, on this trip) was to get a picture with him. I missed my first chance cause Lindsay and I had left back stage decided to go watch the press conference from the press seats! Ugh! (yes, he did make a comment about his seat being right in front of the roses!)

Miss America

 But we caught him back stage after his red carpet on Sunday!!

Miss America

Miss America

So yes, Sunday! We got our hair and makeup done and hit the cocktail pre-party. Also we “borrowed” the crown in the centerpiece…

Miss America

Red carpet lighting is amazing!

  Miss America  Miss America         Miss America

The Sunday show was fascinating cause it was live. I’ve only been to live football games 🙂 so experiencing this was really amazing. The detail and logistics that go into planning and executing was overwhelming. The camera man would film, then he would bust it over to the shadows for 15 seconds so he was out of the next shot, then run again back to a  spot to film again. Watching all that behind the scenes was my favorite!

Then I got to come home to this:

    Miss America

And I couldn’t resist drawing this on the kids napkins on Tuesday! 🙂

Miss America

Katy Trail 2017

This is year, who knows, 10o maybe, of this annual trip with Tony and Shari!

My fav pic

This year we went 3 for 4 in flat tires. Also the first ones for both Shari and me both. We have great husbands who know how to change them, so while we wait we take cute pics of them.

Turns out my tire had some cool goo in it that it didn’t need to be changed, just added air. But we realized that too late. “S0meone” was mocking Brian…”Someone” rhymes with Bony! 🙂

I’m pretty sure Tony was changing a flat tire and Shari and Brian are playing wiffle ball (with a stick as a bat) and I’m taking pics. Sorry Tony!

Yep, that was it.

Shari and I’s cute bridge pic:

Brian’s less cute bridge pic:

Our bed and breakfast

The bed and breakfast Shari and I wanted to stay at!

We just go for the pics of us jumping. We’ve gotten pretty good…meaning we take 5 pics every time instead of 30 to get a good one!

  

Here’s us discussing the shot. And how I wanted to be on the ground and not way up on these stairs.

 

I sucked it up, but it wasn’t my best shot! (I hate heights!)

We found this incredible “Boat Henge” that makes no sense but is crazy cool anyways.

Brian is always so patient and helpful in taking our jumping pictures, so I feel bad throwing him under the bus and posting these…but not bad enough not to! 🙂
(Love you Brian Bian)

“OK Brian, jump like you are flying out of the boat”

“Yeah, you are gonna have to get a little higher than that”

“Yes, it IS harder than it looks”

  

“Nope, more height. Put your heart into it.”

And then we got it…but it was blurry! Sorry babe!

And we DID it! It was storming the whole last day, but we limped to the finish line!

And then we went shopping at the Gap Outlets on the way home. The second reason Shari and I go…

 

July 4th

Fourth of July 2016

Few places are more fun to spend the day than the Farm!!

Swimming at Thomas'

Beckham spent most of the day looking for a turtle in the pond and his persistence paid off!

Fourth of July 2016

The 6 wheeler is always a hit!

Fourth of July 2016

Muddy feet are cool at the farm!

 Fourth of July 2016  Fourth of July 2016

Buckle up SP!!

Fourth of July 2016

I don’t know if they have ever done sparklers before! Two out of three loved them!

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Berkley still had an enormous dislike of fireworks. As in, they still make her break down and scream. So she makes sure she’s inside with Daisy long before they start! upload  upload

I thought it was a mirage at first

Carolyn texted to let me know my birthday present had been delivered and was waiting at our front door.

But NEVER in a million years was I expecting to see THIS:
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I think I hyperventilated trying to get the box open! There were FOUR cartons in there! It was real live Blue Bell in our real live house!!

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For the record, Blue Bell has this shipping stuff down, it came rock solid!

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We had to make room in the freezer. So this was the only smart way to do that (they were never going to get eaten anyways, we only got them to try to fill the Blue Bell void, ate a scoop and decided having no ice cream is better than these): upload

It’s even better than I remember! Which makes it bittersweet…I LOVE eating it cause it’s the best food ever, but hate eating it cause, well, it gets eaten!

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I’m not the only one who thinks Carolyn is the best either: 
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Doesn’t get more thoughtful than this! You’re the best C! Love you!

Arm parties, hot air balloons and blow outs

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This is what Berkley’s arm looks like at all times. She calls it her “arm party.” If anyone needs a hair tie at any time, she’s your girl. I taught both our girls to keep hair ties on them cause it’s how I got one of my best friends.

Freshman year of high school. Biology. This girl sitting near me needed a hair tie and asked me if I had one. I did and I gave it to her. That’s how it started, and I can’t imagine my life without her still today. So they keep stocked, cause I don’t want our girls to miss out on a friendship like Carolyn and I have just cause they don’t have a hair tie! 🙂 She’s drop dead gorgeous, wicked smart, so much fun, super generous and did I mention beautiful?!

August

Carolyn, her mom and I celebrated Carolyn’s birthday with a sunrise hot air balloon ride!

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August

AugustOur pilot looked just like Travis Shanahan!!

August

The venue for the balloon was close to Slovang, a little Dutch town! We decided it was worth seeing, once! 
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August

Then birthday brunch at Lucky’s, amazing!! 
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Why does our hair look so great? Cause there’s this amazing thing I’ve heard of but never experienced before now: blow outs.

August
August
Then there’s the sushi. We ate it every day. Sugarfish’s sushi is my favorite food in the history of ever. 
August

While Carolyn was at work one day (yes, birthday girl worked and we played…the irony was not lost on us, I told you she was amazing…) she had Cathy and I go on the TMZ Celebrity Tour of LA!

August

We learned that rumor has it if Louis Vuitton doesn’t sell something at full price, instead of putting it on sale, they burn it! August

We had a great time celebrating a wonderful girl!!

Brian brought the kids to the airport when I got back in their robot outfits. The signs they made were the best!

August

SP’s says “You are my battery, I am low on battery”August

August

Sarah and David’s wedding!

Seriously, they are adorable right?

Sarah and David asked these two to be their flower girls, and they were pumped!

They also got to spend the day with these gorgeous girls, bonus!

sarah and davids wedding

SP was excited about the rehearsal, because although she’s been a flower girl, she said she didn’t remember how to do it, so she was glad she got to practice!

Brian helped with the ceremony, but did NOT do this on day of! 🙂

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

This is what Berkley “practiced”…tipping her basket over. She did this during the ceremony as well. sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

The kid table at the rehearsal dinner, they hung with Dunning kids and loved it!

sarah and davids wedding

Pretty pumped about her name tag! sarah and davids wedding
Wedding day!! Could Sarah be any prettier?! She was stunning!!

sarah and davids wedding

Sarah and David are so perfectly matched! We are so excited for these two!!

SPandBoo Tompkins Wedding

Nicola curled their hair, Morgan did their make-up. These girls thought they were princesses!

sarah and davids wedding

Top it off with a “crown!”sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

 

Berkley’s already a little hippy, this crown put her over the edge!! sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

 

After the ceremony they had a sparkler send off. Which Berkley was so excited about. Until she realized sparklers are fire. Which she hates. So she became the screaming flower girl in the flower beds trying to get away from all the beautifulness!

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Also, proof that our kids at least have one parent with a heart, here’s Brian going to get her…while I take her picture! a

 

The other two loved it! a

Thanks for letting all of us share in your special day Sarah and David!!

 


 

Spying on Berkley and Isaac…

These two kids were making me laugh when they were playing together…

November 2014

Berkley: “Are you going to come to my hotel and get a room?”
Boo: “Isaac asked for a football drink but I told him all we have is milk so I gave him milk”
November 2014

Isaac: Gypsy (their dog) did stinkies in my face. 

Berkley: oh, we call it poop

November 2014

Berkley: “What is the funniest dream you like to dream?”
Isaac: “Football”
Boo: “Isaac, come look at my room while I have one sock on”

November 2014

Bethlehem Revisited

 

This Advent season MPC got a group to go to “Bethlehem Revisited” a live reenactment of the story of Christ. We were severely out numbered in the kid to adult ratio! IMG_0384

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It was cold this night, but they served cookies and hot chocolate while you waited, so everyone was happy! IMG_0392

They bus you out a few minutes to a property set up for this walk through the story. This was the first time Boo had ever been on a bus!IMG_0407

The thing I loved most was that they started at the beginning, just like God did! So first stop was Moses. There was a fire and a prophet at each stop who foretold Christ’s birth. So you would walk to a station, stop and listen to them explain how they waited for Christ, and then go to the next one.

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They have this whole property decked out for this event. It’s impressive!! Lots of live animals!

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When we got to Bethlehem, it too was so realistic!

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The people got super loud, selling and begging and talking to us!

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Mary pulls up on a real donkey!

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This was my favorite part…it was so dark, but then they got to the part about the angels announcing Christ’s birth, this spot lit up and the “angel” choir sang!

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If you live in Manhattan, make sure you put it on your bucket list! It was great!!

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We just go for the photo ops…

We ride bikes. But we really go for the photo ops. #katytrail

I can’t believe I never posted this. It’s a throw back, but I think well worth documenting!

The last two Katy Trail trips that Tony and Brian took, Shari and I tagged along on the last two days. (They try to play it off as being super sweet and taking us to a bed and breakfast for a night, but we all know they just need a ride home! But they let us stop at the Gap outlet on the way home, so it’s a win-win!) The guys go to ride bikes. Obviously Shari and I go to take pictures. And for some reason, this year we were super into jumping pictures.

Shari started by claiming her vertical jump wasn’t high.

Katy Trail 2013

After we all laughed that she was right, I demonstrated that if we bend our legs, we would look like we had more air:

Katy Trail 2013

Continue reading “We just go for the photo ops…”