Southern girl plowing her way through life making the rules up as she goes. Warning: likes to bake, curse, quote movies/literature, is tattooed, married to The Man and mother of two girls. We bring new meaning to the "griswald way of life". Come along for the ride!

Life is My Highway

Montana and North Dakota have become home.... dang it lol.

These Girls

Lord help me but these babies wear me out.... they are just perfect!


Yes, it's from last winter but I adore this us....


This kid glows from the inside out... my almost 11 year old!

We are so smexy!

Favorite sport: embarrassing our kids in public


My mini-me is finding her own way in life

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oh baby.......

Last night with about eight of my closest friends, I went and saw Sex and the City. OMG, I'm a huge fan. 1. Because they talk as honestly and curse as freely as I do.........."Hello, I'm talking here d*ckhead" 2. Because I love to look at labels but never buy them and wouldn't if I could and 3. Well it's just the best show and I've always loved it.

So I must say, even though some of the reviews werent great, I was so game for this. There were three men in the theatre, one in front of me. So when the p*nis shot just slammed right up there on the big screen, the theatre went nuts, except the man in front of me who was trying to climb under his seat, while asking his wife "have you seem the popcorn, maybe it's waaaay back far under here" poor bastard.

How I would love to live in NYC and walk everywhere, be thin, have four amazing friends who live nearby and didn't require me to actually email or call them. Just to see them all the time. Oh and curse as freely as I want, wait, I do that one already......nevermind.

Now there was one part of the movie that I just had to tell The Man all about. (no spoilers here really, I'm trying........hard) and because my mom is out of town on vacation, I feel comfortable sharing this part with you.

I was explaining to The Man this scene and told him that I would one day recreate it, laying nekkid on the diningroom table covered in sushi for his birthday. He digs sushi, I can't stand it, so I think it's saying something. Don't you?

His response was yeah right, you'd never do that. You would totally have to wrap it in bacon and deep fry it. My immediate mental picture was oh me laying nekkid on my diningroom table covered in crispy eggrolls, fried shrimp and hot pockets, with grease rolling down the side to congeal on the floor.

Yeah, it's just not the same image huh?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rock the Vote.....Hope4Grace's Vote

For the love of Pete (who's Pete?) Push a freaking button

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just Another Day .....

So the girls all got hair cuts........well all except Duchess, she wasn't having any of that. So Princess and me went visiting our friend, an accountant with several years of hair under her belt. She does us up right.
We both got a trim and then we had lunch and then I got me some color for my birthday. Geez man.....let me tell you then we went home and took a big ole nap and started packing closets. Not fun. But it was a typical Sunday full of errands this past week.
Did I mention that Duchess wasn't having any of the whole "hair" thing. She likes hers just fine and no thank you. Very polite she is, especially when letting you know what she will not do. She was content to keep me company. And remind me to bring home the left over potato salad cause it was hers.........all hers. She hates to share potato salad, FYI
So here are some interesting points......1. my kitchen is very messy behind me.....2. I'm pasty white and kinda in need of a tan......3. My face has slimmed down, woohoo......4. My hair is actually a lot blonder in the front than anywhere else.....5. Still taking pics of myself, because noone else knows how to use a camera in my house....
And when we got home, surprise......this was waiting by the front door. Since it was Sunday I was having quite the fit trying to figure out how Fedex managed to deliver my painting we had made in San Fran. Although, for the record............WTF? Aren't we seriously the meanest looking people on earth. True, this is the facial expression that we are mostly likely to be wearing but DAMN!

I love Sundays.........and I'm only running about five days behind with news.

But dang, it people I'm trying!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Girls' Night Out

Time really just flies.

This Friday night, a group of ladies I know (okay, okay, all the wives of my hub's coworkers) are gathering up to attend the premier of Sex and The City. I'm sorta looking forward to it, but it should be fun. Even though I don't generally like crowds of people. Makes me want to beat someone over the head with my popcorn and then trip them so they slide face first down the sticky movie theatre aisle. But it did bring to mind all my other "girls nights" over the years.

And how my happy arse has been tamed.........let's reminisce shall we? Oh yes, because it's completely okay with me that my internet friends and family should know all my skeletons.

1. Era: 1995 - What started out as an innocent night of celebrating ended up with me hiding under a table at oh about 2 a.m. from the bartender who refused to take no for an answer and kept giving me free kamikazes. To this day, I still taste a little barf when I think of that night.

2. Era: 1996 - The first time The Man and I joined his group of buddies for a night out.....that counts as a girls' night right? When my poor drunk butt gave up and out after the second bar we visited, I was then carried in and propped up at every bar afterwards. Oh no, they couldn't let me sleep it off in the truck, noooooooooooo, they thought it was hysterical to corrupt the sweet and innocent little girl. The Man and I were destined to marry and live forever after he took me to the bathroom several times, not just to puke either. What sort of boyfriend was that? And what the hell was I thinking...... This is also the night I tried really hard to lose my clothes, but The Man kept redressing me and moving me onward to another club. Sadist.

2.5 Era: 1998 - Eight weeks after having Princess, my in-laws came to town and threw us out of the with some of my girl friends and The Man, we hit the country bar onbase....where The Man kept ordering me that yummy tea.......turns out Long Island Iced Tea has a smidge of alcohol in it. Who he wasn't really surprised when I threw up out the window all over the side of his truck. And it was the only time in my life I've heard this from any mother-in-law on earth: "You didn't have to get her drunk son, she already married you."

3. Era: 1999 - Some girls from work decided to take me out dancing while The Man stayed at home with Princess, who was a wee tot. The Man picked out a great outfit, kissed my check and shoved me out the door. It started with shots of Hot Damn and Wild Turkey, not together and ended with me losing all the buttons of my shirt, therefore having to tie it together....losing a sock and an earring and then having a burly biker dude chase me around the club. I happily got home and passed out next to The Man on the couch, but not before I threw up.

3.5 Era: 2000 - The Man and I had several "nights out" with all our military friends. But one stands out.....cause Damn.......everyone needs a memory to keep them warm at night right? We joined everyone at a nearby house then proceeded to a local biker bar, yeah well when you're rolling with a ton of military boys, that just seems to fit huh? Except my next door neighbor, the big sweetie that she was decided to dress me for the night. Seems everyone agreed that my little sweater set and black pants weren't "cool" enough for a biker bar. (Why does everyone bash on the way I dress?) So I ended up going in a pair of my black work pants with a black pleather halter top, that had no back, literally tied together in the back. Holy hell. So I compromised and threw on a black leather jacket too. We got there, had a few and then hit the dance floor. Where The Man tipped the live band to play Marshall Tucker's "Can't You See" then he took my jacket and led the happily tipsy me to the dance floor where we proceeded to well.......pretty much have the entire floor to ourselves, Lord I'm fanning myself, can that boy dance. One of my fav nights ever, and the only time I've had had a standing ovation from a shit ton of bikers.

4. Era: 2001 - Had the decency to give up alcohol for the rest of my life....since I was such a lightweight, my budget hardly sanity returned.

5. Era: 2001.5 - Girl's night began including movies, pedicures and shopping.......very boring

6. Era: 2002 - Pregnant again, no nights out......

7. Era: 2003 - Oh my gosh......well spent six weeks at home with my family while The Man was deployed. First off, the girls took me out, all my lovely wonderful cousins. We went dancing. At a gay bar. It was fabulous, needless to say, since it's family, I have no pictures what so ever of this. Then we went to another place, where we danced by ourselves looking like idiots for the rest of the night. Fantastic. Love to dance, not good at it, but love it. Enthusiasm makes up for talent. Really it does. This was also my first introduction to Card Girls Night (thanks Jac for reminding me).

You've never played cards till you have played with my mom (hi), my cousins Sin and Lay (not really their names, just our lazy selves shorting everything) and moi. Oh holy hell, there is screaming, and pinching and cursing and throwing things. That is just rummy. All hell breaks loose when they taught me spoons. If you've never played spoons, prepare yourself. Never play with someone who doesn't love you. Cause at least they'll forgive you in time. It get's violent.

I've been hit in the eye with a spoon handle, I've been pantsed while not wearing undies (TMI I know), I've been elbowed, slapped, punched and wrestled to the floor with my air supply cut off, really it's all great fun. And I honestly can say, I've never won a game yet. They are brutal.

8. Era 2004 - Texas, really hot and steamy Texas.....hey Jac! Rummy made a big return with a new game "Push" and it was every freaking weekend holed up at someone's house playing rummy and eating.....Which is cool since there really isn't alot to do in Texas, down by the border, in the heat........I'm sweating just thinking about it.

9. Era 2006 - Girls night consisted of me and my girls piling up on snacks and making a pallet in the livingroom to watch movies all night. Oh and a 13 girl sleep over party for Princess, which I will never do again, so help me God.

10. Era 2007 - Yep, can't think of one girl night at all..........see it all going downhill here?

11. Era NOW -I'm going to see a movie about women who live in the city, have sex, shop, dress cool, shop, have sex and still look fabulous even though they are older than me........since the beginning of the damn show, they are older than me.........not that I'm bitter at all....

You know that brings up an interesting girls' for my girls' nights.......well they are scattered across the country as only the military can do. So since I can't take you all with me on Friday........

You that I met in Texas.......

The smartest blonde I've ever met stuck up in CT who know all my secrets.....

Wife of the pilot in Carolina, who assures me that I'm never wrong......

The Canadian that I need to be more like, cause she is groovy....

Nic, who needs to move back to Utah with me.....cause I know where the bodies are buried.

I'll be thinking of you guys!!!!!!!!!! Y'all seriously need to get with it and get a blog.......

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Next up....Kindergarten

Duchess is on her way. Preschool is behind her and she is moving on up. It's really hard for me to not cry just thinking about my youngest starting kindergarten. She is so big.

The kid with the inquisitive mind. The big heart and the sassy mouth.

Happy Grad day baby!
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Another Chapter

The Man and I have had a heck of a ride. We've been together a long time and we haven't killed each other yet. Our journey together started in the midwest, through the Great Lakes area (thank you boot camp), southern sunny California, dry arse middle of freaking nowhere Texas, back to sunny Cali and then we left the comfort blanket that was the military. We willingly gave up our woobie. It was madness.

What made us do it? Our kids. And the desire to spend everyday with one another verses precious few days of a year. So here we are......quite close to exactly 1.5 years after the military.

We've done well for ourselves. We see each other everyday. My children have grown in confidence that can only come from being with their dad all the time. We have made these snowy mountains our homes, hell we've even imported some cajuns to keep us company....hi mom!

This past Friday on my 31st birthday we reached another big milestone.........
We've decided to settle some roots in this beautiful, strange, place.........
We signed papers for our very first in we pay the mortgage, not rent.......
So until we close sometime in the next 15 days, I'll be keeping my pictures to myself....cause I'm still not sure it's real. I'm still pinching myself.......and laying with my face on the floor thanking the Lord that he blessed us!
Now I'm gonna go price blinds.......we need lots of blinds for the house.....

Now 31......

Now 31 and still taking my own damn pictures!

Stay tuned, news coming tonight....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Choir Performance 08

Princess had her end of the year choir performance today. I take back everything I've said about tone deaf, ear plugs and buckets. The kid can harmonize with the best of them. Wonder if Destiny's Child is back together and looking for a new girl.....? So there performance had songs from a big range of musicals.....include the obvious HSM, the Whiz, Fanny, Annie and more.....
Am I the only one who things that perhaps the Whiz is not an appriopriate musical for them to allow my kid to sing from? Hmmmmm
Then again, the girl power song about having men fall at her feet didn't go over well with The Man either. BUT!!!!!! But, my kid was gorgeous, the lighting was horrible and I could hear her even in the crowd. Just beautiful.
Once again, the kiddo has completely blown me away. She is just amazing..........she does not get that from me.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just Like Daddy

So Duchess came home from school today, covered in her usual three pounds of sand from the play ground, with sparkly silver shoes that smell like fish (which is funny since she doesn't fish) and her little orange skirt and top combo. Just adorable.....

We chatted and we drove home happy to be together after all the usual "I missed you today" as she tells me.

It was once we got home and she was changing into her night clothes that I noticed it.......

"Honey, what's on your belly?"

"um nothing"

Seems my baby lifted her shirt today and using a red marker, drew a huge butterfly on her belly.....

"Cause Daddy has a tattoo and I wanted one too"

Sigh.........The Man announced that this was his Father of the Year award........

My people are always entertaining

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 2 - Vacation

Day 2 wasn't neary as busy as the rest of my trip. The Man had class till early afternoon so I began my day by sleeping was as good as it sounds. Until I woke up in a panic at the thought of missing the free breakfast.....I love me some free.

After breakfast, I was full of waffles and sausage so I came back and laid on this loveseat and watched some talk shows. Then I caught Dreams Girls, that was a good movie. Go Effie. Then I painted my toes and washed my hair. Then it was only 11 so I went looking for things to do.

The hotel suite was the bestest ever. I never travel but I'm a Marriott girl now! See the little pink fans made out of napkins? I spent 30 minutes trying to recreate those, I can now do that at my house for any fancy dinner parties........are you done laughing yet?

Then it was only 12 so I took a nap. The bed was quite nice. I finally got up and put my face on, did my hair (kinda) and got ready to meet The Man for a little jaunt. No nap for him, it's not his vacation.

While on our jaunt, we saw these seals. Quite fat lazy seals who just lay in the sun and bark really loud. Sounds like the perfect life for me. At this point, I had bought some San Fran crap and was now ready to go back to the hotel, via a Barnes & Nobles should always include new reading materials.

But we had to take some pics first.....Hi Fisherman's Wharf behind The Man.....who is holding my loot bag, isn't he a doll........Such a great guy, an outstanding example to everyone.....

Maybe not now.......Busted with a ciggie, in public................for shame.......! My only excuse for the prune face is I'm on vacation and my hair is a rats nest cause I was too lazy to dry it.
The rest of my day was spent stuffing my face at the seafood restuarant where our waiter wound up praying for our souls. Poor bastard waiter. Then we saw Iron Man, woohoo, I love a good movie.
Day 3 is the bestest ever! Stay tuned......

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vacation Interrupted

We'll return to normal programing tomorrow when I have access to my camera....dirty, &*^%$# thing is trying to die on me. Until then, I'll leave you with some thoughts and words of wisdom.

1. "Mommy, it looks like a storm, we should hurry home cause lighting with eletratoot you"

2. Taking a poll....have you ever inadvertently blew snot on someone? This past weekend, I was curled up on the bed next to The Man and we were fighting over the remote when I told him I needed a tissue and he said something totally inappropriate and funny. I actually blew snot all over his top lip...........OMG, I may never be the same again. I don't think that 12 plus years together is long enough for that to be cool............again, OMG!

3. Hi, I'm *^%$ (my real name but you can call me Hope4Grace), and I'm a total OCD, anal retentive personality. I can't help it, I've always been this way. Check my pantry, it's like little soldiers lined up in total perfection! My point is, I don't do last minute. It completely blows my mind and sends me into a tailspin........ask Casey, she'll tell you, *^%& and spontaneity do not go well together. Therefore, today was HELL. I am on my way to bed with a pounding headache because my darling oldest child, Princess has managed to fry my circuits not once, or twice but three times. A) Mom! I lost my cell phone........OMG, 30 minutes later, never mind it was in my jacket.......... B) MOM! Tomorrow is choir taping for the DVD, I will die unless I have black dress pants to wear with my NOT DRESSY at all green choir t-shirt..........OMG, hello Target (no pants), Walmart (no pants), IHOP (cause I was hungry) and Kohls (thank you Jesus, pants!) and my favorite C) MOMMMMMMMMMMY! I think I killed WIKI, instead of food Duchess wasn't looking and instead put some of your face powder in his water.........Okay, at this point I totally forgot all about this and all I could think was CRAP that powder was the expensive stuff! But I quickly managed to clean his bowl and he breathes still, at least he is right now, we'll see by morning.

4. We are house hunting, again. Sigh........need I say more........

5. Dear Lord, Please give me the strength to face any adversity that comes my way, be it last minute drama, wasted expensive makeup that I knew better to buy, house hunting for the *perfect* house or managing it all without The Man whom I've grown quite attached to since we left the military. I ask Lord that you guide my steps and that you show me my path. I know Lord that there are times when I push and push and mess up a blessing before it can be wonderful, then I get minimal results. I pray Lord for sleep without waking at 4 am to the blast of illegal duck hunters. I thank you Lord for my friends who keep me sane and my family (hi mom) who stay sane in spite of me. I lift up my worries and doubts to you, because you alone can handle anything.

6. I hope everyone! had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Back in action tomorrow peeps.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 1

Welcome to my vacation........
Day one found me landing in the early afternoon, where The Man was waiting for me to grab my rental. Then off we the Golden Gate Bridge......stunning really!
Jet-lag, no underwire and Dr. Pepper deprived is what I see when I see this picture of me.....but boy that bridge is something!

Behind me is a freight ship, carrying more imported crap to all of us crap buyers who are ruining the and San Fran.........

The Man is truly special, look he commands things with the touch of his hand.........too bad that hand doesn't work on me.........Hi honey, I love you......miss you.....smooch smooch, now quit reading my blog.

More downtown...........

More bridge and the backside of some foreigh people..........can I take a picture of what......

This is just me being my usual sweet, lovable self.........I'll have you know that I respect mother earth, which is why that butt went into my coke bottle and not onto the ground.

Blurry alcatraz...........The Man isn't hot with the camera folks......

After all that, I was exhausted and ready for a nap.........wait for it........there was a light at the end of my tunnel.......we were heading to the hotel........

But first we had to stop off and park on the side of the road outside of San Quentin prison. The Man was threatening to leave me here if I smoked in my rental car.........

We took this bridge back to the hotel.......I added a nice little sweet bumper sticker to the truck in front of us, I thought he needed one.........though the bridge was awesome, it was a double decker.
Finally, I got to the hotel, had a bath and got ready for dinner.......what a stupid face I'm making but I think this is the part where he promised me chocolate cake for dessert........more to come.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tips for Vacations

1. How to alienate your waiter.......

The Man took me to a great seafood place last night, yum. Our waiter began very upbeat, happy and entertaining. His name was Wassom. Interesting name. However, it was during our deliberations over entrees that we lost him. Afterwards he was just distant, uncomfortable and miserable to serve us.

Hours later, we had a hysterical meltdown as we figured out where we went wrong.

Wassom had jokingly told The Man that he could just order for me and save us all some time, when The Man used some 1950's little woman humor. To which my reply was something along the lines of "bet you wouldn't say that to your wife", we both laughed at the time.

Turns out mistress humor isn't very funny to waiters named Wassom.

Poor Bastard, I really feel like sending him a card.

Especially since we were smooching and holding hands when we left the place.

(told you we were having a romantic holiday, we're making fun of ourselves at this point)

2. Streetcars aren't all named "Desire"

Today, I got to mark off an item on my very own bucket list. I went flying down the hills of San Fran on the old fashioned cable cars! It was glorious.

Except, during my first ride, I perched myself up on the outside holding one of the bars so I could fly down the streets with my hair blowing in the wind (ala movie star-ish) when the damn thing got overcrowded and The Man growled in my ear that an old lady seated on the bench had her knee in his .........well you get the idea. So he had me move to the last open bench seat and he popped up on the bar. COMPLETELY blocking my view and my wind. Not cool.

So on our 2nd attempt, cause I was gonna do this till I got it right.........we hoped a different car and I jumped on the very back, by the brake man. Who was just cool, joking and enjoying his day. The Man on the inside and me hanging off like a dog at a car window. I was totally living the dream.........

Then it was shift change, they stop the cars and do this in the middle of the street, traffic be damned. So our new brake man, was surly and not fun and weighed about 4 lbs. I did not have confidence that he would be able to successfully brake us if we did a runaway and were all about to die. However, I digress.....

This brake man was content to have only 2 people on the back with him. Me and some guy who didn't speak English on the far side. So unfortunately The Man got stuck in the doorway, surrounded by little old women with bags of cans. We were in Chinatown at this point. He was not pleased as it looked alot like a tree with a tight ring of mushrooms around it.

Meanwhile, I was back to doing the dog act, literally hanging off the car with my entire body in the breeze. Snapping pictures, waving at people, imagining The Man and our fam living in one of those awesome slick little buildings and riding the streetcar everywhere.

I didn't even fall off, this really impressed me, cause I was half expecting to fall as I'm not known for my balance. (And no, lol this website isn't named for my lack of balance Brad) So when we finally got back to our area where we'd stashed the rental, we'd spent three hours riding streetcars through the city. I was gloriously happy. I jumped off and did a little dance and turned to find my guy........

Who looked like he'd been through a war zone, he was done for. Seems he didn't enjoy the trip at all, and he smelled like herbs and fish......not sure where that happened, could be some of the people who got on after hitting the open air market. But he humored me until I suggested doing it one last time, cause those babies run till midnight.

Then he drug me to our car kicking and screaming.

3. Automatic bathrooms are not the wave of the future........

During our busy day downtown, I had the opportunity to see first hand an auto bathroom. A neat little shiny building where you push a button, and the door opens like you're entering the Enterprise and boom, shiny self cleaning bathroom, in the middle of downtown, literally in the middle of a street with cars and streetcars flashing by.

The first person managed it quite well (I was people watching while The Man bought our streetcar tickets). He was Italian I believe as I recognized some of the curse words while he was trying to get the door to open. The rest went fine. He came out and then in went a Dutch lady. A nice older Dutch lady who spoke no English, just hand signals, while she wanted to make sure I wasn't in line, nope not me. I went before I came down. But thanks.

So in she goes, only a slight hiccup as the door swooshed shut on her slow entrance and slightly pinched her between the jam and the seal. Opps. No worries, it let her in and the look on her face when the door shut was absolute terror. Poor baby. She must have been psychic.

When the door swung open, it did so to face a crowd of people waiting for The Man to finish hogging the ticket counter. We all got to see the sweet little Dutch lady bending over pulling her pants up.

Jesus, since when do old ladies wear thongs?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Spoiled Rotten

Me, I'm spoiled rotten. So I'm broadcasting live from San Fransisco and baby isn't it grand. The Man had work out here for two weeks and he flew me in today to share his weekend with him, except I get a long weekend.

So since I can't figure out how to transfer pics on his laptop, you'll have to wait till I get back to see all the sites....and how much I've misbehaved. I swear having kids have tamed us.

Today I just knew that I would fly in, grab my rental and head to the hotel where we'd meet up and chill, then hit the town for the next four days. Nope.

He was waiting for me at the rental counter........sneaky guy.

We hit the wharf, the bridges and more......

Then we had dinner, saw a movie and hung out. Giggling like two young in love people, you know the ones with no responsibilities and alot of PDA, the very kind I make fun of on a daily basis. It was fabulous.

Tomorrow.........we'll see

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Farm

So early Saturday morning we made it to the farm.... I tell you, I really enjoy getting out and doing things with my kids. They are something else, and the things they think up to say and do, well they keep The Man and I in stitches.

Below: Both girls "auditioning" for the dance hall (why was this in the farm?)

Mommy and Duchess spend some quality time behind bars.......
Then they got lippy so I had to put them both away......

The Man let them out, cause he rolls like that (although he swears that he'll never actually provide bail money for either)

Then it was petting zoo time, couldn't take too many pics, as I was avoiding road apples and Tom the turkey......

Then we took a nice slow wagon ride.......

Then the parents went home and slept through the afternoon in sheer exhaustion.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

We encourage our kids to be real. Therefore some of the subjects in our house are a little unbearable sometimes. But there is something to be said for a kid with honesty, right.......

Overheard from in my house last night:

"Come quick, I pooped a wildcat........bring a gun"

Then the gentle hiss of a lysol can.......

Real life happens here!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My children are experts at managing their parents. Really, it's a gift. It began when The Man was always deployed and during those precious visits home, the girls would just wind him around their little pinky like it was just cool. My only excuse is that he knows I'm half bat shit crazy, so it's best to keep me happy. So between me and my girls, we usually get what we want.

Let me demonstrate.......

Last night we were "talking" The Man into taking us to a local farm/petting zoo Saturday wasn't going well....

Until......the Puss-In-Boots kitty cat face from Shrek made it's appearance.

All the while I was sitting behind him, sniffling and whining about how I never get to see the goats and piggies and such........and it was all his
So, this Saturday we're going to the farm.......
What are your plans?