We did SO. MUCH. STUFF. in August. We knew the summer was dwindling, and that the fun would end soon, so we tried to make the most of it.

We spent a lot of time at the lake. We found a new camping area and swim beach at Enid Lake that’s much quieter than the ones we’ve been using. And it got really hot this month, so it was a great way to cool off.

We also got David’s LEGOs organized. He didn’t spend much time playing with them anymore because it was so hard to find pieces in the 4 giant drawers we were using. I bought a bunch of plastic tubs and we spent a few days separating them out. Now he spends hours building cool stuff!


I hosted a Hen Party this month. Lots of girlfriends and their kiddos came over for snacks and drinks and pool time. It was a lovely way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.


David had a sleepover with his friend, Tommy. They stayed up super late playing LEGOs and video games. We started a new sleepover tradition: popcorn and cookie dough! They loved it! (And I’m not complaining because, hey, cookie dough!) Stu and I went to bed early fully expecting them to pass out not long after. But I woke up at 3:15 and David was still awake playing video games! They were both a little cranky the next morning, but recovered in time to spend the afternoon at the lake.


One of my best girls moved back to town after spending TOO LONG in Virginia. We celebrated her return with lots of food and drinks and good conversation. I missed this lady!


I stole the school library from our curriculum coordinator and started cataloging all their books. I know you’re probably asking yourself how this classifies as a “fun summer activity”, but y’all KNOW that I have OCD, so organizing things makes me happy.


A family emergency took me to Memphis for a few days, and I got to spend some time with Mama and Aunt Connie. As usual, the time was filled with food and jokes and general merriment. And the emergency had a happy ending.


Boy Scouts started up again last week, and the popcorn sales came right along with it. David was the MASTER popcorn salesman. He sold 15 packs of popcorn in a little over an hour. He was ROCKIN’ it! He certainly got his ability to schmooze from his saleslady mom.


Football season is finally here, and that means FANTASY FOOTBALL! We had our draft at Orndorff Manor, and I’m fairly happy with my team. It could be better, but I have an excellent record in our league, so I’m feeling good about my chances.

And now, a very special edition of Adorable Animal Photos:

This adorable little creature is Maggie. I almost ran over her in the Walgreens parking lot one morning this month. I tried to take her to the Humane Society, but they were closed, so she came home with me. We posted her cute little mug all over Facebook and filled out a found dog report with the Humane Society, but no one has stepped up to claim her. So now she’s the newest member of our family. And David ADORES her. They’re already BFFs. The cats hate her, but I’m hoping they come around soon.

July: #ssvacation2013

We had an AWESOME July!

It started out with #ssvacation2013 to the Seaman family cabin in New York with The Strickland 5. We made the trip in two days, stopping for the night in Polaris, Ohio, where I met one of the best friends I’ve never met. MK and I have been good friends on Facebook for a couple of years, but had never met in person because we’re so far apart. Meeting her was definitely the highlight of the trip!



We lounged, swam, fished, ate all the food, read A LOT, took boat rides (where the kids got to swim in water 88 feet deep!), and generally enjoyed each other’s company. It’d take too long to tell you about it all, so here’s a gallery of my favorite photos from the trip. You can see all our vacation photos on my Flikr page.





Joyful June

The summer has kept me so busy that I’ve gotten behind on my posts! It’s almost July and I haven’t even written June’s blog post for the love of Pete! Never fear; I shall now get you caught up on all our adventures.

The biggest news of June? David got the remote control car he’s been saving up for. He used his birthday money, Christmas money, and 6 months allowance to buy this monstrosity. He nearly drove us crazy waiting for it to get here. We told him when the expected arrival date was, and I’m not sure if that was a good or bad decision because every morning when he woke up he looked at the calendar and told me exactly how many days were left until it showed up the door. I heard about all the things he was going to do with his car when it arrived MULTIPLE times a day, and just when I was ready to ban all discussions regarding RC cars it showed up on our doorstep–a couple of days early! WHEW!

He and his dad took it for a test spin at the Crawford Sports Complex as soon as the battery was fully charged. We wanted to make sure there was plenty of space for him to learn to drive it. (It does 35 mph!) I assumed it’d take some time for him to learn how to control it, but it only took a few days before he got the hang of it and now he’s the Kyle Busch of RC car world. (KB is his favorite NASCAR driver).





In other big news, I’ve been dieting since January, and I’m halfway to my goal! I’ve lost 10 pounds. The picture on the left is me at Christmas, and the one on the right is me last month. I’m proud of myself because I honestly didn’t think I had the will power to stick to it, but with the help of some really supportive, motivational friends I’m getting the job done. Thanks, ladies!




Crochet update: I finally finished the blanket I’ve been working on since Christmas! It was my first attempt at blankets and granny squares. It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty proud of it. Now, if only Christmas would come around again so I can actually display/use it without feeling weird. Heh.



I’ve started another project, and hopefully it won’t take me so long to finish it. That prospect isn’t looking so good currently, though, because I’ve been so busy reading this summer that crochet has sort of been put on the back burner.


Stuart bought a new vacuum cleaner because the “maid” (I use that term very loosely since she was probably the worst cleaning lady in the history of cleaning ladies) broke ours. That normally wouldn’t be newsworthy information, but since David offered to vacuum for me I wanted to record it for posterity. I’ll want to use this photo in the future to either 1. bribe him in his teenage years, or 2. prove to his wife someday that I really DID try to teach him to help around the house.



We camped with Tony and Beverly at Trace State Park and had a wonderful time. The weather was absolutely amazing; it wasn’t ridiculously hot like it usually is this time of year, and we had a really great campsite. We’ve amassed a huge amount of camping gear, so we’re no longer roughing it. Stuart and GR call it #fancycamping.



We used the GIANT driveway at our site to draw our version of Chicago with sidewalk chalk. The two major landmarks in our city are the Willis Tower (Sears Tower for you old school folks) and Steven and Kim’s house. Chalkago came to life as we drove matchbox cars, construction vehicles, and emergency vehicles all over town.


Nighttime was especially fun at Trace. We put out all our festive solar lights, sat by the fire, made popcorn, played camping bingo, and explored the cosmos on our Night Sky app.


Stu put up the hammock he bought me for my birthday. I relaxed with Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (which I HIGHLY recommend) and Stu’s champagne sangria. Dave occasionally lounged with me and took every opportunity I wasn’t in the hammock to swing by himself.




That Sunday was Father’s Day, and Dave and I made pancakes for everyone at breakfast. They came in a variety of shapes and sizes, including stars, trucks, houses, hearts, and tanks!



David wanted to do something special for Stuart, so we made “Dad!” pancakes.


He was so cute when he gave them to his dad. (Check out his adorable little nervous, curled toes.)



We also framed this picture of us so Stuart could put it on his desk at work.





While Stu and I packed up the camper, Tony took David for a ride in the origami canoe. No, I’m not kidding. It folds up into a square when you’re not using it. It’s pretty awesome.



Stuart went to Philly in June for a business meeting, so David and I were left to our own devices for a few days. I had porch drinks with Claire and updated the pictures around the house (which served as an awesome reminder of a wonderful life I’m living). Dave and I had some pool time, played a lot of UNO (he schools me regularly), and watched nearly every episode of Mysteries at the Museum.







Dave got to sleep in my room while Dad was away. I read him Bad Kitty Takes a Bath every night before bed. Just look at that cute kid all passed out. Does it get any more adorable than this? I think not.




And now, June’s adorable animal photos:

While Claire was in Disney World we took care of Dug and Nico. David’s favorite part of this job was playing with all Liam’s matchbox cars.




Squeaky gets cozy. Under a blanket. In June. In Mississippi. Even though she’s already covered in fur. I don’t know what she was thinking, but she was adorable anyway.





While Claire and I had our porch drinks, Big Kitty made a lengthy appearance and demanded all the attention. If you know Big Kitty at all, you know his disdain for the human race, so this event must be documented.



Squeaky protested the joining of granny squares, mainly because it didn’t involve her getting scratched behind the ears being otherwise spoiled rotten.



David saved a turtle from certain death at the hands of the Wood Street Racers by retrieving him from the middle of the road and putting him in our yard.


Celebrating Summer

May was a busy month! With the school year coming to a close and the temperatures rising, it was a wonderful month to celebrate in the great outdoors. There were water slides and airplanes and camping trips and lots of friends to help us kick off summer.

David’s final pinewood derby race was held this month. He placed in his pack race in March, and that qualified him to race in the district race in April. He placed 10th there, which qualified him for the council race in Tupelo. There were 10 heats to qualify for a trophy and David qualified on the very last heat. We were all so nervous for him! He placed 10th overall, and was the only Tiger scout (first year scout) to qualify!

And just when we thought we couldn’t be any prouder of him during the race, THIS happened:

The scout leader was asking the kids who placed 2nd and 3rd if they were happy with their race and each of them said that no, they were disappointed they didn’t win first place (even though their trophies were taller than they were). As we were leaving, David looked at us and said, “Well, at least I got a trophy!” Even in last place he was appreciative of his achievement. It made Stuart and I both SO PROUD.


We celebrated Mother’s Day with a lovely day at home. Stu made an awesome dinner–lobster, steak, stuffed mushrooms, and salad–and we all spent the day enjoying each other’s company. It was quite lovely.


Claire, one of my best girls, scored her PhD this month. There was lots of celebrating (read champagne guzzling), and we got to hang out with her family, who are all quite wonderful people. The Seamans are so proud of her gigantic accomplishment! We hope she’s rich soon so we can spend some quality time with her on her yacht. In the Caribbean. What?

claire grad

Stu had his annual Mancation this month. The boys spent a few days camping on Spring River in Hardy, Arkansas. Occasionally, I think I’d like to be a fly on the wall for these adventures, but then I think I’m probably better off not knowing what they’re doing OR talking about.


On top of being better off not knowing what they’re up to, I got to sleep next to another very handsome man while he was gone.  Dave and I watched Jumanji, Madagascar, and E.T. He said Jumanji freaked him out so he needed to sleep in my room. I obliged. He also said that his favorite part of E.T. was the cuss words. Clearly he’s my kid.


The Tiger Scouts were invited to a cookout by the Wolves, so we hit the park for burgers and dogs and cake and water balloons. The water balloons didn’t last very long, so the kids were filling up bottles and cups and whatever else they could find to splash each other.


First grade had their final field trip of the year. Mr. Doug gave them a tour of the University-Oxford Airport, then they hit the park with Miss Kim for a little R&R. There were secret decoder books and popsicles and nature walks. The kiddos had a great time.



The school’s end of the year party was a hit with Dave. I mean, what about a giant, bouncy water slide is unlikable?!


I mean, unless you’re the best guy in the world who feels obligated to monitor the kids so they don’t kill each other, it’s a perfectly wonderful time!


The last day of school was emotional for me this year! David had such a wonderful year in the first grade, and his teacher was just the best. He’s grown so much this year, and we owe so much of it to Miss Kim’s patience and wisdom. She’s been such a gift to our family, and we ADORE her. The school year ended with an Award’s Day program, where he received medals and certificates for Headmaster’s Honor Roll (straight As), perfect attendance, Spanish poster contest, and the Snicker’s Award (for always making first grade laugh). So, so proud of our little dude.


The first day of summer vacation was filled with friends. We got to see the Stricklands…


And hang out with Captain…


And play video games with Ashton and Cameron.


And then we went camping! At Tishomingo! Again!


We needed a cooler that would hold all our food, so we bought this one. Surely that’s big enough, right?




This time around, one of our favorite families went with us. It was the first camping experience for the Stricklands, but it was a smashing success! And that means that there’ll be lots more Seaman/Strickland camping trips in our future. That makes us happy!








After we dropped the van at the shop on Tuesday, we went out for a little frozen yogurt and shoe shopping. It was nice to spend the afternoon with the boys in the middle of the afternoon on a work day.


Finally, Stuart started watching the Star Trek movies with Dave. As you can tell from this photo, taken during the viewing, David thinks it’s riveting material.


We can’t wait to see what the rest of summer has in store!

And now, as usual, your obligatory furball photos.



Agreeable April


The manic Mississippi weather still drove us a little crazy in April, but the rain finally let up enough for us to enjoy some warmer temperatures and fun outdoor activities.

David and I hit Avent Park and Sno-Biz to celebrate the end of a week-long ban on digital media. I’m having a hard time waiting for summer break; I’m excited about having lots of afternoons like this.


Claire and I went to the Butch Anthony opening reception at Yalo Studio. The art was unique, to say the least, and I wanted to buy most of the pieces. Here are a few favorites.


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When we got home from the gallery, there was a dance party in the kitchen.


We had our first truly amazing spring day in April, which instigated an impromptu cookout with some of our Water Valley friends.

(Photo Credit: Claire Mischker)

first cookout 13

Note to self: days of running around with the kids of Water Valley is a sure-fire way to get a little quiet time on the weekends.


Dave’s school held their 4th annual egg drop. It’s a little science experiment wherein the kids must build a box that will secure an egg to keep it from breaking during a fall. If their egg survived the fall, they got special little ribbons. David and Stu created the cushiest container EVER (consisting of a plastic Easter egg, a ziplock bag, a small box, and about half a roll of toilet paper.)


Success! David’s egg was safe and sound inside his little box. The fake smile is a sure-fire indication of his excitement over his success.


Stuart and I chaired the 7th annual OUS Eagle’s Classic golf tournament this year. It was a stressful process, but the whole thing went really well. We raised right at $4,000!


The last weekend of April was Double Decker Festival in Oxford, and the final show of one our favorite Oxford bands, Blue Mountain.



Dave broke it DOWN to “Midnight in Mississippi, which was super fun to watch. I love that he enjoys music just as much as Stuart and I do.


Being the social butterfly he is, he made a new friend while we were there. Nothing brings kids together like the joy of Minecraft.


We had planned to go the Dave Matthews concert the next day, but the threat of bad weather forced us to sell our tickets to some friends. Instead, we went to Memphis, had lunch with Mom and Aunt Connie, then hit the bowling alley.



That night, he had a surprise visit from a couple of his friends, which also featured a Minecraft session. Not surprising.


Stuart and I celebrated our 8th anniversary this month, too. He took me to tapas at Ravine where we ordered half the menu (I’m not exaggerating.) It was nice to have a night with just the two of us. Those are few and far between these days!


And, once again, here are your obligatory animal photos.

I was working one morning and heard several crashes and clatterings. This is what I saw upon entering the dining room. The cats had been playing on the dining room table and the table-cloth slipped out from under them. Everything that was on the table fell on the floor.




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This is our fish tank. The giant pleco in the top left corner is Darth Vader. He’s nearly as old as David, and it seems sometimes like he’s about the same size. Dude is HUGE.