Really Michaels?

It's just difficult. It's tough. I want to go out, run my errands, include Chuck in my life, but it's just becoming too much. I feel like I need to "preview" stores before we shop, like I obviously needed to when we went garage sale-ing. And then there was this recent trip to Michaels. I needed paper for a class project. Chuck said he'd go with me. What a sweetheart. And then the whole experience turned into a giant ordeal.

I just can't handle the begging, the pleading, the whining.

Oh and here's Chuck pointing out that the unpainted, craft store style ship's wheel is only $4 cheaper than the "classy one" he bought for us. Because that makes it all better.

You know that movie TWINS?

My Dad sticks out a bit in his family. Just a wee bit. His family events are just like Sesame Street -- one of these things doesn't belong here. And it's definitely PK.

Remember that Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Twins? Now think Dennis and Kerry. Or maybe they're more Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza. You can decide. It's like "brothers from another mother" only they have the same Mom. And Dad. Promise. No really, these men share the same DNA. Scouts honor.They didn't even have a milkman growing up.

Here's Dad with all his siblings.

Where my father came from is beyond all of us.

Father's Day

Because we were down in Portland for Mom's Party, we were able to do a Father's Day breakfast before leaving on Sunday. Perfect finish to a perfect weekend. It was Dad's 29th Father's Day and Shane's 1st, plus Eric and Chuck were celebrating Cat Father's Day. Celebration abounded!

Road Trip Done Right

For the big birthday party (see post below), we needed to road trip to Portland. Chuck and I joined Shelley and Shane, Lu too, for a little fun in Becky Buckwild.

Here's Becky.

Road trips are fine, especially mini-3 hour trips and double especially if we stop at a Chevron for snacks. Shelley and I do road trips the right way.

Snoballs are under appreciated and under sold. Their availability is alarmingly scarse.

Lucy loved her taste of the filling. Don't tell Shane. He's one of those "good parents".

Cupcakes. Yum.


Again, two thumbs up and leg kicks from Lucy. She enjoyed a few licks of the Cool Ranch flavor from the delicious corn tortilla chip. If you wouldn't mind keeping this one from Shane also, that would be great.
Shelley and I approach parenting from the Britney School for Eating. Next up: Starbucks and Barefoot Eating in Unsanitary Environments.

It was all fun and eating until we had a Code Brown just outside of Kelso. Code Browns are distressing. Right, Lucy?

And the Code Brown turned into a Diaper Throwing Fight off of I-5. Can you see the diaper mid-air? I was the final target. Shane started it. Chuck retaliated with a toss at Shelley (whose fault it ultimately is for birthing the pooping creature).

We = Mature.
Sigh. Babies having Babies.

Double Nickel Fe

Fe turned 55. Go Fe Go -- we had to party. We're that kind of family. Any excuse to get away with obnoxious behavior and acting like idiots...well, you get the idea. If you want to throw a surprise party "our style", follow these simple steps:

1. Lie to your Mother to get her to Portland.
2. Rent a hot pink Hummer limo.
3. Put Lucy in a tutu (we can loan her out for your party, if you don't have your own Lucy).
4. Buy a ridiculous present.

Hummer limo. check.

Surprised Mother realizing the weeks of lying. check.

Lucy in a tutu. Check. BTW, That girl is down to party, I tell you. DOWN TO PARTY. We put a little somethin' extra in her formula. It's name is LOVE.

Ridiculous present. check.

Let's rewind and I'll give you the play-by-play.

Shelley planned this party. I know. I'm so proud. I'm blushing. Shelley coordinated the web of lies that we lived in the past 2 months. She decided we needed an "all family night" to celebrate Fe properly -- Eric and Stacia included. Dad tricked Mom into flying down to Portland with him for a work dinner. Lies, all lies. Meanwhile, the 6 and 1/2 of us (Lucy is really only a .5 human) crammed into a hot pink hummer limo and picked them up at the airport.

Mom was shocked. It took her a minute to process -- she is 55, after all.

We had some good times in the limo. Lu especially, because the little sweet heart hadn't seen Eric and Stacia since her 7th Day post-womb. She loved them.

See, I told you I had a Big Brudder. He's a cop. He's pretty awesome, huh? But, I'm a bit partial.

Aren't we a good lookin' bunch? Note to Me for future family events: When you are already the shortest relative by a long shot, don't be the only one in flats. Lucy and I look like sisters.

Here are just the "Originals". Eric and I used to be the Originals, since Shelley wasn't exactly "planned". But now that there are spouses involved, I guess Shelley can be an Original too.

Dinner held even more surprises. It's important with a surprise party to pack in multiple surprises in case any one surprise goes poorly. Luckly, we didn't need to rely on any of our B Team surprises -- they just rocked in and of themselves.

Surprise # 2: My Aunt and Uncle came to dinner. That's my Dad's brother. Uh huh. Brother. We'll talk a bit more about Dad and Dennis in another post. Promise. Cross my heart. It's too good.

We had so much fun at dinner.

So much, in fact, that Dad decided to start lactating. Good for Lucy I guess.

Surprise #3: The Present. We had a fabric artist and pet portaiture (yes, that's all real) create a one of a kind pillow of Newman. It has texture. It's beautiful. It's a treat for so many senses.

Awesome. I can't describe it beyond that. Awesome.

Happy Birthday Fe. Sorry about all the lying. Just remember you love us.



Looks like we have a genetics problem in this family. We might want to consider further genetic testing before any sort of family planning can occur in 2053.

The issue remains nautical. We're down at my grandpa's last weekend and we stumble across this little gem.

It's a cribbage board (our favorite game) and my grandpa made it years ago. And it made its way to our house.

The Standard

Typical "flowers in a vase" pictures.

But I grew these and I'm pretty freaking proud of it.

Love the Lulu

Happy 5-Month Birthday Lulu! I love you more and more each day.

I got this walking, oinking pig when we went to England in high school. Whatever. I was 17 and I loved this pig. Everyone's bought a few random vacation souvenirs in their time and this is mine. Moving on...
Lu loved it. L-O-V-E-D it. She grabbed the pig and put the vibrating snout in her mouth. We were dying laughing. There was possibly some wet-ening from laughing too much, and it was not by Lulu.

Newman's Boyfriend

Newman's got a boyfriend.

Newman is Fe's cat. She's a BBC (big, beautiful cat). Isn't she a delicate beauty? Let's call her "sturdy". If the wind blew, Newman's not going anywhere. Newman knows she has it going on and she flaunts what her Mama Cat gave her.

And now, she has a boyfriend. He's a little gray boy-cat and he dotes on her. He showed up at my parent's door and loves them. But he loves Newman most of all. They play together, sit together, and talk constantly. And let's be clear about something: he's a teenage boy cat.

Which means...Newman is a total Cougar. What a little Linda Hogan!! Glad to know Newman found her Charley Hill. Hopefully we can avoid restraining orders and illegal activity allegations. Fingers crossed.

Naturally, my parent's named him Kramer.

Not quite Peas and Carrots

Chuck has some difficulties in loving Comcast. He's actually not their biggest fan. I'm not sure I can pinpoint where this problem began, but it's there and he loves to hate them. We're three years into our tumultuous relationship with them, and things are not getting better. I've tried all the classic teacher strategies to fix this issue: talk it out, use "I" statements, even separate corners. Nothing's working.

And clearly, Chuck's "dislike" for Comcast isn't going anywhere.
I found a package on our doorstep. We aren't Interweb shoppers, so hmmmm....what could this be? Oh, it's addressed to Chuck. Crap, it's from Comcast. "Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, and forgive my husband, he knows not what he does..."
Chuck decided to order the free digital converter boxes. Why? Because he "needed them". He says he's planning for our future when we, apparently, hook up rabbit ear TVs in each bedroom. Maybe even the bathroom. That would be a nice compliment to our padded toilet seat (oh, you don't know about that? Maybe another time.).

In his words, "I wanted to cost Comcast money."

Did I mention we got two? That was the limit, per household. "See, Susie, the additional one was the same price as the first one. ZERO."

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