I do not endorse this.

I was under the impression that I was a part of a great girl-friend group of awesome mid-twenty somethings. We may be 10 years and 100 shoes away from Sex and the City, but we're loving it. Or I was loving it and living in fantasy land because my perception of my friends was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Apparently, I'm the only aaadult in a group of 12 year olds. I'm the parent chaperone. Just where I wanted to be at 26.

Did I mention that this blow-out, all-out 25th birthday party for Emy was a TWILIGHT themed party? Oh yeah. Because plenty of quarter-century birthdays celebrate vampires and have heated arguments over Jacob or Edward. I always imagined being in my twenties, having wonderful debates, and watching fabulous shows.

I did not imagine debating Bella's true love or scouring the Internet for 30 minutes looking for the latest New Moon trailer. My 12 year old friends did.

Dania did make a pretty fab cake. I can't appreciate it, like Twilight twelve year-olds can, but she rocked it. Piping. Blood red white cake. Spray painted chess pieces.

Yes. That's Edward holding the candle.

Yes. That's a life size poster of the undead that literally made Dania's two dogs pooh-pooh down the hallway.

Yes. That's Jessica the newlywed choosing cardboard over her husband. It's already been 6 weeks. She's so over Michael.

Say it, girls. Say it.


Total de-friending.

I've been struggling lately with the loyalty of a few of my friends. I defriended a couple here. And a couple more there. This week's de-friending goes to Dania for her relentless support of the Ship's Wheel and disrespect for our friendship.

Back in July, Dania and her husband, Jeff, stayed with Chuck and Me for a few days. I was excited. I probably should have known better. Dania's husband surprised us all with a Pirate Costume and took command of our house boat. It was pathetically clever. Emphasis on pathetic.

We just got back from their place (they served as the B and B for Emy's birthday blowout) and Dania and Jeff have been crossed off the Christmas list. I should have known something was up when, out of 12 house guests, Chuck and I were just handed the one guest room.

First, there were the Pirate magnets -- some hand colored by Jeff and Dania, and some "pre-finished" magnets, which means they bought multiple sets. A bit excessive, but not surprising.

Then, we found our goody bags.

And action figures.

Oh, and a treasure map just-in-case, which Dania drew. Then spray painted with multiple shades of brown. Then drug through the mud. Then burnt the edges of. Are you getting a sense that Dania's middle name is "overkill"? You should be.

It was at about this time that, on the tour of our now tainted guest room, that I knew Dania and I were over. Seven years down the drain. What a waste. But it was kind of funny. Ha Ha. Joke's over.

But that's not how Dania works. Dania believes that if a joke was funny the first time, then it will be funny the one hundredth time. Overkill is the name of her game. She likes to beat helpless jokes merciless. She's that girl.

Hence, I wasn't even the least bit surprised to see the raft her and Jeff selected for our 18 hour river float. Ok so it was a 4 hour float, but really we'll get to that tomorrow.

There's no better picture (my point and shoot's battery died and I died a little inside too), but you get the idea. Black Dog, the Pirate ship. Sword. Attached squirt gun. Crow's nest. And....detachable ship's wheel.

Just remember Dania, you have now run a terrible risk with all the joking. I may have the "Nautical House" but you are dangerously close to being "The Pirate Ship." May God have mercy on your soul.

Watch your back.

Almost a National Holiday.

This is Emy.
She's my besty. She's fantastic. She's one-in-a-million. I've written about Emy here. She's been around the blog block a few times. Here. Here. And here.

Today is Emy's birthday. The big 2-5. A milestone birthday, isn't it?? And landmark birthdays call for grand celebrations. Which might explain why we all drove 100 miles to spend a weekend together with a ridic amount of festivities planned.

Yeah, except that's not why we did this.

See, Emy is a summer baby. Emy had a lack of classroom birthdays in school and summer means vacation, which means small parties. Emy's life is an endless struggle. She is permanently birthday-scarred. Emy believes her birthday should be a National Holiday and is shocked that it doesn't have it's own section at Hallmark. Shocked.

Thus, we now treat her birthday as The Summer Holiday. We tease. We joke. We love. We're happy to celebrate Emy. She deserves it. And she reminds us of this every year.

This year's plan: Head back to college and kick it Old School style.

I'm a little out of order. This is Phase 15 of Birthday Weekend: Downtown Night Life. I use all terms as loosely as possible to describe our college town after dark. Think 8,000 residents, cows, and 20 mph speed limits.

What we learned: We're too old for our beloved college town. At 25 (again, I understand that I am 25+1 and Chuck is 25+2, but humor me), we're decrepit. At our first stop, we were the only people who knew the lyrics to pre-Beyonce Jay-Z circa 1999. The "dance club" confused us relentlessly. We didn't know half the hip songs these kids are listening to now-a-days and we certainly weren't singin' along. There were bubbles floating down from the ceiling and our initial reaction was "Is that sanitary and safe?" We is old. Yes we is. Much too old for college.

It didn't feel good.

But, we did have fun. Buckets of it. Oodles and oodles. We loved Memory Lane, but ran home to warm beds and 8 hours of sleep because post-midnight life was confusing. Who knew there was still a 1 a.m. O-L-D.

Time for the pictures. Sorry about all the pink. No really, it's too pink, isn't it?

Thanks, Dania, for ruining these pics! xoxo.

Yeah, so you may have noticed that Chuck was MIA. Big Boy was a little pooped from Party Phase 9: Floating the Yakima River for 4 hours and headed home after dinner. He apparently doesn't like the night life. And doesn't like to boogie.

Happy Birthday Emy!

I love you more than grilled cheese.

I told you my Dad was better.

I know we've talked about this before. Remember? I wrote about it here. But here's the new deal: a friend of Shelley's is a hard-core PK fan. Who isn't, right??? His admiration is top notch. He even recently blogged about PK. It's fab, it's about my Dad, and I wanted to share the link.

Read about PK here.

He's so much better than your Dad. Sorry, but it's true.

Where's Goldbug, part deux.

Where's Goldbug?

There he is. Roof Cat.

Chuck was painting (yeah. I know) the front of the house tonight, using the front bedroom as his "office". Shelley was here with Lucy, I was making dinner, it got a little crazy and the top window ended up open with no screen. And Roof Cat came next.

Roof Cat was pretty anxious and not really down for a roof top party. He's more of a 1st floor cat. I was in hysterics. Screaming and picture taking all at the same time (side note: I'm having a slight crisis of self that the first thing I thought -- after MY BABY! -- was "I need pictures to blog this." I need 12 steps oh, um, yesterday.). Chuck went upstairs to open the window, which I had closed once I saw it was left open. "We wouldn't want a Roof Cat." Tisk tisk.

Jack was a little too excited to see me standing in the drive way, so his first thought was "Jump to Mom." He landed on the lower half of the roof, skidding to a stop, at about the time that Chuck re-opened the window. But I did see that glimmer of "Can I just jump straight to her???" in his gorgeous green cat eyes.

We're nursing a few split claws and one really busted thumb claw. I'll take him to the vet in the morning because I'm that parent. I'm sure this vet thinks really highly of Me after the The Bead Incident of Ought Nine.

Oh Roof Cat.

High School Football Fantasies.



But at least he has his happy-face on. Chuck and his Pollyanna Attitude are out for another weekend of painting and hoping that this is it. Well, mostly it. Let's be realistic. We're hoping for no 109 degree weather, no rain showers, and for this (the 4th paint sprayer we've bought) to be the lucky one that doesn't bite the dust.
If you pray, pray for us. If you light candles, light one for us. If you read US Weekly, tell Brad and Angelina we need them.

Life's cruel tricks.

"Oh, sweet open door action."

"Did they actually leave the door open??"

"Yes! No one's looking. Stupid humans are probably messing around with that dumb ship's wheel again."


2/3 members of the Allison household thought this was a riot. One party pooper did not.

Final Countdown.

It was the worst feeling ever. My chest was tightening. I felt weak in the knees. The room was spinning, and I was spinning with it. "Lord, is this a full blown panic attack??"

I couldn't believe what I was feeling. I couldn't decide if I was more likely to begin sobbing or vomit on my shoes. I couldn't find the exit.

I've never had that kind of reaction.
I've never needed to "regroup" so badly.

I was back-to-school shopping for classroom supplies at Lakeshore Learning.

Heaven help me, I have 8 days of summer left and I'm not ready. How do we do this every year? Somehow, I've blacked out last August and have no memory of the rush to get school-ready. This is my 5th August. I should have seen this coming.

The poor salesman at Lakeshore must have seen the blank look on my face.

"Can I help you with something?"
"Unless you can take away the nausea and make the hurt go away, no I don't think you can help."
"Sorry, school's starting soon and I can't believe I'm already back here buying supplies. I don't want to be here right now. This store kind of makes me sick."
"You're sick? I work here full-time."

Touche, Lakeshore Man, Touche.

Anybody else a little panicked?? Anybody else wondering how we do this each year???

(And I don't want to hear ANYTHING from my non-teaching friends about how you don't get a summer vacation. That's just poor planning on your part. You could have gotten your bachelor's degree in education. You bought your ticket. You knew what you were getting into.)

This Week's De-friending

This week's de-friending goes to Emy and Val. Shame on both of you.

From Emy -- She'd like to see the SS Klahanie take on a more pirate theme.

From Val -- She found this at cabin on a wedding weekend and couldn't resist.

Chuck welcomes you to his fan club. You are both off my Christmas card list.

Summer Job

My summer side job is weddings. I love that I have a mini summer job -- like I'm a 15 year old working at the DQ over break. I coordinate weddings as a fabulous hobby because I can't scrapbook and I'm too jumpy for knitting (remember Jessica and Michael's big day in July?).

I love every bit about weddings. I love the logistics of weddings, the timing, the flow. I love the seamless movement of such a large group of people from one space to another. Weddings are a giant numbers game and I am so my father's daughter.

Yesterday was a standard 13 hour day. It was a backyard wedding at the Groom's parent's house, which always sounds simple to people, but backyard weddings are the hardest. There's no wait staff. There's no "this is how we usually do this". There's nothing. Everything has to be brought in: from the forks to the food to the bartender.

Family did everything at this wedding. The Aunts made all the flower arrangements, including the bouquets and the wedding arch. The Brother did the music. The Dads made the scaffolding to cover the uneven yard.

See the scaffolding? It was a process. We dug out the backyard lawn, sunk it in to level it, and ran it 15 feet into the water to have enough room for dinner.

Everything was hydrangeas. Some real, some fake. I'm not a huge silk flower fan, but they work in a wedding because they provide an air of certainty that real flowers can't. The cake flower were phonies. The flower balls were impostors. So was the arch.

The ceremony was gorgeous. But like I said, it was a backyard wedding so going from this:
to this:

was Me, an assistant, and the caterers. We made it happen in 30 minutes. Not too bad...

Especially since it was a fairly intricate table set up for being a "tear down" wedding.

Loved these favors: mini pots with filler soil. When you open the pouch, seeds fall into the pot for you to grow.

My favorite was the lanterns that ran the width of the wedding. They were priceless and perfect for yesterday.
Wait, actually, Vanessa was my favorite. She was the bride and she never took her veil off. Most bride's chuck that during cocktails, but Vanessa insisted on wearing it throughout the entire party. She loved being The Bride.

The reception was incredible. There were only 70 people at the wedding, so we didn't expect a ton of dancing. We were so wrong. I left the wedding 3 hours into dancing when the second and third iPods made their appearance. Usually, I stay until the bride and groom leave, but Dusty and Vanessa didn't want a send off. They wanted to send-off all their guests and be the last ones out. They wanted to enjoy their party.

And they did.
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