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Stuttering Shell: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ten on tuesday.

okay, so technically it's wednesday. once again, i'm a day late {and a dollar short!}.

i'm taking the lead from my favorite beach bum & my favorite queen bee wasp by linking up with roots & rings for ten on tuesday {next week i'll get the date straight...promise}.

1. What is your favorite brand of shoes?
i pretty much live in my flip flops. the majority of my flops are reefs. some are from j. crew. but, my favorite pair of all time are made by sanuk. you owe it to yourself to buy a pair of their yoga mat flops. i'm serious.
as for other kinds of shoes, um, during the winter months i pretty much live in my birkenstock boston clogs. my birkenstock collection is ridiculous. really, it is. but, i love my bostons. they keep my feet nice & warm.
if i'm dressing up, i'll reach for my gap city ballet flats. so comfy. i need more. 
2. How old were you when you learned to tie your shoes?
ummmm...ummmm...i'm going to say sometime in kindergarten? that was a long time ago. 
3. How do you feel about freckles?
they are cute. i have some. but, if you're starting to freckle up, you might want to up the application of anything spf related. just in case.
4. I can count to ten in ___ languages.
four & a half: english, french, spanish & chinese {technically cantonese}. i can count to five in japanese.
5. What is your favorite store-bought ice cream flavor?
edy's rocky road. don't give me some other brands knock off and definitely don't try to pass off heavenly hash as rocky road. i have other favorite flavors & brands, but if i'm craving rocky road, it is got to be by edy's.
6. Were you in ballet or gymnastics as a little girl?
neither. i swam. first i did lessons. then i swam competitively. it was the only sport i participated in. that's also how i met my husband.

i took hula lessons when we lived in honolulu, but that doesn't count.
7. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
oscar the grouch. need i say more?
8. What’s your bedtime?
whenever. sometimes it's late...really late. sometimes it's early. i need to get back onto some sort of a schedule. grad school starts tomorrow & my kids head back to school on tuesday.
9. Do you have any jewelry that you wear every single day?
just my engagement ring & my wedding band. sometimes, i'll put on earrings, but not often. my favorite pieces are gone & when they disappeared i kind of lost my zest for jewelry. one day, i'll replace them. maybe. {i still haven't found it in my heart to forgive, ain't that sad?}
10. Who is the bug killer in your household?
i am. no lie. my husband is scared of spiders. so are my kids. i'll use a shoe, book, toy...even my bare hands. don't mess with mama bear.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

prayer for safety in hurricane season.

i found this on the interwebs. while it seems mostly applicable for louisiana & the gulf, i still think it's appropriate for us and for everyone along the mid-atlantic into the northeast.

stay safe,  y'all.

Prayer for Safety in Hurricane Season
O God, Master of this passing world,
Hear the humble voices of your children.
The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your order
And returned to its former tranquility.
You are still the Master of land and sea.
We live in the shadow of a danger over
Which we have no control:
The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant,
Can awake from its seeming calm,
Overstep its conventional boundaries,
Invade our land, and spread chaos and disaster.

During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving God.
Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid
And whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time

O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our beloved Mother,
We ask you to plead with your Son on our behalf,
So that spared from the calamities common to this area
And animated with a true spirit of gratitude,
We will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son
To reach the heavenly Jerusalem
Where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

because hurricanes require carbs & chocolate.

here in southeastern virginia we are bracing for irene's arrival. and, because it is hurricane eve, i figured the kids & i deserved a fun breakfast. yes, chocolate for breakfast.

my friend, lis, posted the recipe on her blog. i've made it many times {most recently for a girls brunch}. my kids love nutella crescents & you will, too. well, unless you don't like chocolate or nuts or carbs.

four ingredients:
refrigerated crescent rolls
sliced almonds*

*nuts are optional. you also don't have to use sliced almonds. i've made this using chopped pecans & it's just as yummy!

preheat your oven to 375 degrees {per the instructions on the crescent roll package}.
open the crescent roll package, break into individual triangles and coat one side in sugar {not pictured}.

then, arrange on a baking sheet {ungreased} and coat with nutella. careful: this is a messy job!

sprinkle with sliced almonds. or, you can leave them plain.

then, roll 'em up like you would when making regular crescent rolls.

bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.

i have a gas oven and this seems to make for the perfect golden brown color without burning the bottom {remember, the outside will have a coating of sugar on it}.

transfer to a plate.
enjoy while warm.

be warned, they are scrumptious!!

hurricane eve.

irene arrives tomorrow. some of her clouds are already here.

our home is as prepared as it will ever be. i double checked the flood maps to make sure we were okay. {we didn't flood during isabel, but you never know.}

the evacuation notices are causing panic with my mother. she keeps hearing that all of virginia beach is being evacuated. no, it's not. never mind the fact that she's also worrying about my sister who lives in boston. they're supposed to feel the effects of irene later this weekend.

we are choosing to stay. foolish? perhaps. but, we're not the only people making this decision. this is also not the first hurricane we've been through nor will it be the last, i'm sure.

i'll do my best to keep you all updated on what is going on. the plan, as of now, is to leave the computer on for as long as we have power {because i don't want to run down the charge on my cell phone if i don't have to}. i have a blog post scheduled for tomorrow, but your best bet is to catch me on the twit

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

i'm a weather geek & more randomness.

if you haven't gathered by now {hello, are you not reading my crazy tweets on the twit??}, i am a weather geek.

for serious.

don't believe me? just ask rachel, this lis, that lis, j or angela. they'll vouch for my stalker like status when it comes to all things weather related. especially severe weather.

yes, i love me some jim cantore. yes, i wake up with al every weekday morning {y'all, it's cool to "wuwa"}. yes, i totally think stephanie abrams & i could be b.f.f.'s. should i have taken my geography degree a little further by going into meteorology? probably. but, for now, watching the weather channel the way my mother watches the fox news network qvc works for me.

and, while i should finish prepping for the arrival of irene, i wanted to share a lil' something with y'all. get excited...


i went through j to get eric fisher {he is the mcdreamy of weather, folks} to tweet me, but still! my first official tweet from someone from the weather channel. i know, i know...i need to get a grip {and get back to my hurricane irene preparations}.


some more randomness...
  • apparently there was another aftershock last night {well, early this morning}. 4.5. i didn't feel it {adam's snoring must have been that bad}.
  • 90% of our backyard gear is in the garage. we have a bit more prepping to do today including a job that adam isn't looking forward to doing: cleaning out the gutters.
  • i really am making my kids clean their rooms. it's part of their preparations for irene.
  • i'm pretty sure we won't be evacuating.
  • i have to run to the store {again} today. i'm not looking forward to it.
  • sleeping on clean sheets is divine. it's my goal to have all of our laundry washed before irene & her hot mess arrives on saturday.
  • i'm honestly not sure how i'll make it this weekend if our power goes out. and, considering we have directv, i'm sure our televisions will go out as soon as the first rain drop hits the dish. {funny, the house shook for 15 seconds during the quake & our cable was fine...go figure}.
  • i'm also not sure how my kids will fare during the storm. they have been fighting like crazy lately. i've already threatened them with playing outside while irene passes by. my eight year old is actually intrigued by the possibility. clearly, i need to work on my mean mommy tactics.
  • grad school starts next week. of course, the school's closure {due to irene} doesn't impact my first day of class.
  • i need to sweep & mop the floors, but i'm actually thinking about leaving them the way they are. they're just gonna get jacked up this weekend.
  • sitting here typing this post doesn't make the crazies at walmart go away any faster, so i may as well go mingle. we bought the critical supplies on tuesday. i just hope they haven't run out of beer.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

plate tectonics, tropical systems & why my kids need to clean their rooms.

prepping for a hurricane is not an uncommon occurrence around these parts. we're all too familiar with tropical systems. go ahead and throw nor'easters into that mix, too. if it's spinning in the atlantic, it's bound to hit us or whiz by us. and, as you all know, many people along the east coast - including yours truly - have been preparing for the arrival of that crazy wench, irene.


apparently, preparing for a hurricane wasn't enough for mother nature. as i'm sure you all know {because, holy cow, did the twit blow up yesterday around 2pm}, we had an earthquake in virginia yesterday afternoon. mineral, virginia, to be exact. contrary to news reports & other outlets, it was not in d.c. although they - along with a gazillion other people further up along the eastern seaboard - felt it & sustained a bit of damage. 

west coast friends, laugh all you want. even though virginia sits in the middle of a tectonic plate, we are NOT used to the earth moving under our feet. and, yes, that particular carole king song was stuck in my head all evening long after the quake. apparently, the central virginia seismic zone wanted everyone to know that it was ready to rumble. 


talk about surreal. my kids were outside playing during what seemed like the longest fifteen seconds of my life. how bizarre is it to turn around and watch the walls of your home move & shake like they're made of jello. fortunately, there was no damage. life went back to preparing for that pesky irene.


almost one year ago to the day we were preparing for earl. and, just like last year, our fun weekend plans have been thwarted thanks to a hot mess of a tropical system. at least irene isn't showing up for my birthday like isabel did. and, in true virginia resident form, we are - yet again - being complacent about irene. hopefully, hurricane irene keeps moving east & all of our preparation will be in vain, but i have a feeling irene isn't going to play with us in the same respect that earl did.


so, what have i done thus far to prepare for the beast that is irene? not a whole lot, actually. i've got two of the three b's: batteries? check. bottled water? check. beer? nope, not yet. full tank of gas? i'll get that tomorrow. cash on hand? i'll swing by the atm on friday. non-perishable goods? not really. but, i certainly didn't stock up on groceries like i saw people doing yesterday. this isn't a nor'easter or a snow storm, don't need eighty loaves of bread. again, can you tell we're complacent?

i will take a picture inventory. i will make sure important docs are in the fire/water proof safe {as they should be}. i will put away our patio furniture. i will make sure our phones are charged. and, i will make sure that my kids clean their rooms. yes, clean their rooms. because, god forbid, one of our pine trees falls on the house and exposes the filthy chaos that my two children seem to enjoy living & sleeping in. 

psst...if you don't appreciate the humor of lord voldemort's tweet, then i seriously urge you to read not just half-blood prince, but the entire harry potter series.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: smurfalicious fun!

i thought i would be excited about my opportunity to blog for ubisoft as an ubichamp... 

clearly, i was wrong. 

when the smurfs dance party showed up at our home, it became very evident that my children were more stoked than i was about my new blogging venture {mom, do we have to send this game back?? this is so cool!!}.

{picture via}

saturday morning smurf cartoons was my thing back in the day. and, unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the smurfs are a pretty big deal these days. the smurfs are starring in their own movie {with n.p.h.!}. gargamel is still as goofy as ever. even better? the smurfs have their own wii game.

the premise of the smurfs dance party is very similar to the already popular just dance games {which we own three of, thankyouverymuch}. my kids enjoy the just dance games, so i knew they would be especially excited about the smurfs dance party.

there are three game modes: dance, story & playlists. there is even a fourth mode especially for parents in which mom or dad can change game options, track your child's progression & check the awards section to see which figurines have been unlocked. the characters featured in this game are: papa, smurfette, clumsy, brainy, gutsy, grouch and, of course, gargamel.

my kids opted immediately for dance mode. here are a few videos i took of them having fun while playing along with the smurfs dance party:

{dancing to mr. smurftastic}

{dancing to barbra streisand}
i started laughing during this video...sorry about that.

{dancing to just the way you are}

my kids are in LOVE with the smurfs dance party. they had so much fun playing & i can't wait for them to discover the other two modes, story & playlist. aside from some of the music lyrics {it's mild, don't worry!} i approve of this game as well. it will certainly bring our family hours of fun!

if you have a smurf fan of your own, you can pick up the game at toys 'r' us or amazon.

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this UbiChamps blog post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

yay, it's monday! {and other random b.s.}

mondays suck. weekend fun is over & it's back to the grind. even my dogs hate monday. really, they do.

we had a fairly busy, pretty a-w-e-s-o-m-e weekend if i do say so myself.

on friday evening, we drove to williamsburg to meet my parents at great wolf lodge.

{picture via}
this was aidan's favorite ride. adam loved it, too.

the kids had a blast. i'm pretty sure adam & my father did, too. as for me & my mother? we hit the outlets on saturday morning. a good time was had by all. i probably should have taken a gazillion pictures of the kids having fun, but i didn't.

my parents came home with us on saturday afternoon & treated us to dinner. as per malia's usual, we ate pho at vietnam garden. one of these days, i'm going to make pho at home using my friend, vy's, amazing recipe. after dinner, we visited with friends {who are going to break up with us if we keep breaking stuff at their house - long story short: the electricity went out, adam went to get the kids, he tripped while climbing over a baby gate & broke the gate}.

sunday was fantasy football draft day {a.k.a. a mini reunion}. lots of good food & many cans of bud light were consumed. friends came from as far away as missouri & michigan for the event! i'm telling you - fantasy draft day is a big deal. this year, i think there were more wives & kids there than there were people in the league. good times, good times.

{picture via}
as if there was any question about who adam roots for...

this is my last week of summer vacation. my classes begin a week from tuesday. i'm looking forward to heading back. oh, who in the hell am i kidding? i'm not. 

we're supposed to have a cookout this weekend. notice that i said supposed to? i've got my eye on this bad mamma-jamma:

{picture via}

while the weather geek in me is uber excited that there's a storm to follow, track, talk about, etc., the party planner in me is absolutely frustrated that the possibility of a category three hurricane just might ruin our weekend plans. i suppose i could look at things on the bright side: if we do get {indirectly} hit, at least i won't have to clean or prep for a cookout! for now, i've got my eye on irene and her party-crushing {not crashing} ways.

the kids & i took frisco to the vet this the spca. i love our current vet, but damn if they don't charge me an arm, leg AND my first-born child every time i see them. tough times being what they are, i contacted the spca who runs a low-cost clinic & they were more than happy to see us. frisco got a clean bill of health. unfortunately, while we were there, a woman was having her nine year old dog put down because she was no longer able to keep him. definitely NOT what i wanted my children to hear. definitely NOT what i wanted to have to talk about with my kids. my heart aches for that woman {& her dog}.

{blurry. frisco was not cooperating.}

speaking of my pups, we boarded them for the first time ever this past weekend. they only stayed one night, but i missed them like crazy! we found an awesome {cage-free} boarding facility not far from home. frisco & buxton had a blast and they got to hang out with a bunch of new {boston terrier} friends: wonder my boys had issues getting up this morning. even they were worn out from their busy weekend!

how was your weekend??

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

my kind of perfect.

{via pinterest}

i don't believe in a fairy tale kind of love story. 
call me jaded. call me cold-hearted. call me whatever. 
i just don't believe in it. 

maybe it's because i've never experienced the kind of love that seems too good to be true. 
or, maybe it's because my version of perfect love is slightly skewed from everyone elses.

but i do know one thing.

this quote? 
it describes my husband perfectly. it describes me perfectly.

it describes us perfectly.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

TRUE LIFE: i'm a {mommy} blogger.

hey there...again.

if you didn't "meet" me during the first link-up, i'm michelle.
you can call me shell.
i'm also called honey, babe, bitch {duh!} & hey woman.

most importantly
i'm known as mom.

ten years ago, my life changed in a very big way.
for that, i'm forever grateful.

i have two spawn children.
the story of how i became a mother for the first time is pretty simple: don't let your birth control run out.
becoming a mother for the second time was hard work.

while stuttering shell isn't necessarily a mommy blog, i do exploit showcase my children from time to time.
after all, any mother of an eight year old & a ten year old {or, any mother in general} -regardless of gender {i have a boy & girl, respectively} - will tell you that there is always something going on...there's always something to blog about.

rather than write a sappy lovely post about my crotch fruit kids, i'll just link you to some of my favorite kid-related posts. i hope your computer doesn't jam up from having a gazillion windows open {apparently, my general blogger intro froze up mrs. wasp's 'puter...whoops!}.

but, before i list some links, how about some pics of the reason why i'm a mommy blogger?
meet my kids:

{san francisco, may 2011}

aidan is eight & entering the third grade.
malia is ten & entering the fifth grade {one year away from middle school...hold me!}.

{i was lazy & didn't put my 'stamp' on this pic...take it & i'll cut you.}

i wish they were still that little.
{gotta love the hand-me-down's since been replaced...twice.}

all of the cliches about motherhood are true.
your life is forever changed.
your children really are your heart beating outside of your body {or however that saying goes}.
kids really do grow up too fast.

you get the idea.

and, while i might complain about the perils of {impending} puberty, feel like tearing my hair out in frustration {because girls really do mature faster than boys} or want to rock star the television,
i love my children more than anything or anyone in this world {sorry, adam}.

now about those posts...
here are some of my favorite mom/kid-based blog posts that i've cranked out over the years:

an interview with my children
keep out!
i can't believe he turned this in
it figures
get thee to the potty
designer dog
the birds & the bees & the dog?
the witching hour
any more what?!
private property
my little man
the date
my wish
there's no turning back...
mommy, are you listening?

i'd keep listing blog posts, but then you might get bored.
but i do like to blog about my children's shenanigans.
well, when i remember to. ha!

and, since i'm a mom & it's my job to embarrass my children, i'll leave you with these lovely photos:

{these pics are mine. don't steal.}

are you a mommy blogger?
if so, go link up with mrs. monologues & fabulous but evil.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

it's simply okay that i like oldies.

today's post is a mish-mash {if you will} of three link-ups: one that i participate in as often as i remember to can & two that i've never participated in before.

are you ready? here we go.

The Simple Things

here are the simple things i appreciated this week:

sunday funday with a group of really great friends.
rain. although it ruined some of our fun, we needed it.
$1 containers of strawberries at target {my store recently added produce & meats}.
watching phineas & ferb with my kids.
cooking dinner with the hubby.
puppy breath.
having two {maybe three} bags of clothes & other stuff to donate.
the cooler temps.
knowing that pumpkin spice lattes are just a few weeks away from being back in starbucks stores.
hearing my children laugh.

what simple things are you appreciative for this week?
link up with jesslyn amber.

Its Ok Thursdays

it's OKAY...

that i really enjoy 90210 reruns {even the corny high school episodes}.
that - even though i'm NOT into football - i'm going to my husband's fantasy league draft this weekend {i'm in it for the food & beer, people!}.
that my house is not spic & span clean.
that i stalk fedex's tracking site daily because i'm way too excited about receiving my erin condren life planner {i just checked & it's on the truck for!!}.
to have a bazillion things/ideas that need to be blogged about {i'll get around to blogging about it all at some point}.
to feel nervous about boarding my dogs this weekend {it's their first time being boarded. it's only for one night, but still. mama's nervous.}.
to get excited when i find bags of smarties in the $1 section of target {seriously, y'all, i may need a smarties intervention soon}.
that the hubs & i have to budget every last cent we have {such is life on a single-income when your wife -that's me - decides to go to grad school full-time}.
to be excited about going to great wolf lodge {really, i think i'm more excited than my kids are. or, maybe it's because i know the outlets aren't far from g.w.l.}.
that the laundry isn't put least it's all washed & folded!

it's okay...go link up with neely & amber!

last, but certainly not least, i'm linking up with meghan at the perfect compilation tape for top 5 thursdays.

today's topic? 
top 5 favorite oldies.

here we go {in no particular order}:

 "crazy love" by van morrison
this isn't the original version, but this ray charles/van morrison combo is straight up awesome.

"suspicious minds" by elvis
live in hawaii, too? hell yeah. {did you know i was born in hawaii? well, i was.}

"ring of fire" by johnny cash
need i say more?

"two tickets to paradise" by eddie money
i'd like two tickets, please.

"take the money and run" by steve miller band
a recent version of a fun song

my taste in music is all. over. the. place.
really, it is.
old, new, pop, rock...if i like it, i really like it.

what are your top 5 oldies?
go link up with meghan.


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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

growing pains.

my daughter is ten. need i say more?

she's officially a tween & i am officially gray. {okay, so maybe i was already graying years before my daughter hit the double-digits.}

long gone are the days of giggles, smiles & little girl innocence.

this girl?

{malia, age 3, july 2004}

{us on the metro in d.c., april 2009}

she's been replaced by a moodier, more irritating version of her former self. honestly? my mother says that she is my payback {times a gazillion} for being a moody, irritating tween/teen. i believe her. of course, malia's first birthday should have been an indicator of how things would be:

{march 2002}

do not get me wrong - i love, love, LOVE my daughter. she is my first born. she is my mini me {maybe that's the problem}. she is my everything.

what i don't love is the tumultuous journey we are about the embark on. a journey that cannot be ignored, detoured around, skipped or wished away.

i'm talking about puberty.

despite some s-l-i-g-h-t physical changes {nothing major...yet}, my little girl is still just that: a little girl. unfortunately, she's got big girl hormones raging through her body. AND, i have zero patience or tolerance for big girl hormones running through a little girl's body.

i know that she's just as scared as i am. puberty isn't a fun time. it sure as hell isn't an easy time. and, while i understand her frustrations & confusion about all of the changes that are taking place within her body, i think i'm finally starting to understand just what my parents went through when i was malia's age. {oh, who am i kidding. i was a late bloomer. i didn't start irritating the crap out of my mom until i was at least twelve.}

i had a conversation with a friend on sunday about our girls {her daughter is a few months older than mine}. she said that she appreciates little girls who still want to be little girls. i do, too. kids grow up way too fast & i can attest to that because ten years have gone by in the blink of an eye. 

my daughter is ten. puberty is trying to rear it's ugly head. i need to allow her to grow up & find her identity. i don't know who these growing pains are harder or her.  

but, i'm still holding on to every last bit of little girl while i can.

{me & my girl at disneyland, may 2011}

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Monday, August 15, 2011

it's 3 a.m. i must be lonely crazy.

there's nothing like being wide awake at some odd hour of the night. such was the case - for me - on sunday night, well, early monday morning. and, i'm talking earrrrrrrrrly.

3 a.m.

well, technically it was 3:14 a.m. but when you're laying in bed wide awake at that time of night morning does fourteen minutes really matter? i didn't think so. and, as i tried to force myself back to sleep, all i could do was pay attention to the random crap floating through my mind.

seriously, it was random.

  • holy shit. adam snores loud.
  • one of the dogs has some raunchy smelling gas {yes, our pups sleep with us}.
  • i need to go to the bank.
  • i really hope the kids stop fighting over the g.d. television.
  • oh, i could blog about this.
  • i wonder how long my nail polish will last? {i painted my fingernails on saturday for the first time in months.}
  • oh. my. gah. now he's breathing through his mouth! i hate mouth noise.
  • seriously, does frisco really need to sleep right. against. me?
  • crap, i forgot to buy napkins when i went to target.
  • if i don't get the laundry done, the pile of dirty clothes will be taller than me. {i'm only 5' tall, but i promise the pile isn't that bad.}
  • shoot, there's a gazillion things i need to blog about.
  • damn, we went through a lot of champagne today. {i went to a girls brunch...good times!}
  • adam really needs to stop snoring. this shit is ridiculous.
  • um, was the lightning?
  • twitter sucks this early in the morning. {it was just me and the auto-tweets...and a few faithfuls.}
  • i wonder if he'll stop snoring if i hold a pillow over his face?
random, right?

it's any wonder how i can sleep soundly at night with so much odd crap running through my head.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

the simple things - 4th edition.

The Simple Things

once again, i am linking up with jesslyn amber to appreciate all of the simple things in life that i am thankful for this week...

breakfast. i make adam & the kids breakfast every {weekday} morning. lately, i've been on an omelet kick. whipping the eggs with some half & half makes a difference. 
awesome, awesome friends. seriously, y'all. they know who they are. in fact, i get to hang out with one of them this weekend {cough*rb*cough}.
silk almond milk - dark chocolate. it's stupid good.
seeing my pups snuggled up together in their 'house.'
strawberries topped with freshly whipped cream. if you don't already whip your own, you should. trust me. 
live music. i can't wait to see jackass flats this saturday!
watching harry potter movies with my son. i love that he's as much of a fan as i am.
being on the ball with school supply shopping. thanks to the tax holiday last weekend both of my children already have the school supplies they need for the 3rd & 5th grades.
gutting our garden. it was time. it was also a lot of hard work. but, it looks so much better now.
convincing adam that i needed more flowers in the backyard. 
my keurig & iced tea {half tea-half lemonade} portion packs that i'm currently obsessing over.
new followers to my blog. hello! i'm a bad comment responder, but i will write back...soon. promise.
receiving my first birchbox. love, love, love! want to try it? let me know & i'll email you a referral.
getting another klout goodie in the mail.

there's so much more to be thankful for. it's amazing how the last couple of years have really changed my perspective and outlook about things. i never once used to appreciate things the way that i do now.

what kind of simple things are you celebrating this week? 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

puff, puff, pass.

it's not haze. 
it's not fog.
it's not cloudy.
it's not mist.
it's not smog.

walking out of the house & into the backyard yesterday was kind of like stepping into a raging house party. come on, y'all, you know what i'm referring to. don't get it? okay, then it was like walking into the girls bathroom in high school during lunch time. still don't get it? well, whatever. 

bottom line: it was smokey as hell outside.

there's currently a wildfire burning in a swamp that is about fifty miles away {a little more than an hour drive}. smoke from the fire has blanketed the area. even the smokey smell is starting to infiltrate the house. yuck.

it's been smokey before, but i don't recall it ever being this bad.

earlier this summer we had some issues with a wildfire in northeastern north carolina, but it was mostly just a smokey smell that lingered in the air. this is different. you can see the smoke. it makes you cough when you walk outside.
apparently, lightning triggered the fires. wind caused this crazy smoke blanket. and, our hella-hot temperatures have not helped the situation which means that we'll - more than likely - be dealing with this mess for a while.

{sorry about my ghetto back door and, yes, we use an empty keg as a "hose reel"}

so, for now, i suppose we'll do our best to stay indoors {and, hopefully, i won't "rock star" the television}. and, if we get bored, we can always enjoy the sun's eerie shade of orange as it tries to peek through the smokey-smoke.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

b.s. about the t.v. & other trivial stuff.

here we are - exactly four weeks away from the first day of school - and it seems like the fighting, arguing & bickering has gotten out of control. the combination of an eight year old boy & a pre-tween {often hormonal} ten year old girl equates to nothing but a big headache for me. according to my husband, "michelle, it's really not that hard to deal with." yeah, that's easy for him to say. he's at work eight {or more} hours a day and when is at home he's the world's slackest parent {he better recognize...soon!}.


my kids. they fight over the television, my nook, the bathroom, letting the dogs out, letting the dogs in, who showers first, cleaning their room, who sits where on the name it, they'll fight about it.

it's trivial crap.

kids will be kids. i get that. it's also their age. and, i get that, too. why? because i'm 27 months older than my sister and she & i were the same way. {my kids, coincidentally, are also 27 months apart in age.} 

don't get me wrong, folks, my kids have discipline. they are polite, have manners & are great students.  i love them with all of my heart; however, here lately they seem to be more content with driving each other {and me!} crazy about the television & other trivial stuff. and, if they keep up their petty arguing, i just might go ape shit crazy. hence yesterday afternoon's tweet:


Friday, August 5, 2011

TRUE LIFE: i'm a {general} blogger.

general is a classy klassy way of saying random, right?

hey, y'all. i'm michelle. you can call me shell. 

see? i'm klassy.

oh, wait. no, i'm general. or, just generally random.

anyways, welcome to stuttering shell. why stuttering? i don't know. it just sounded good with shell. you know, the alliteration. 

post one {which is a really shitty post, i might add} went live on june 11, 2007. wow, i've been at this for just over four years! i started blogging for me. it was mostly a release for my soul. then, i started blogging about my kids, family life, pets, food, work, etc.
i was all over the place. 

this blog has made connections.
this blog has pissed people off.
this blog has been used against me.
this blog has brought me joy.
this blog allows me to be creative.
this blog allows me to be me.

to quote kenny chesney {since i wasn't at his concert last night...sista girl be broke these days}:
i'm what i am and i'm what i'm not
i'm sure happy with what i've got
i live to love and laugh a lot
and that's all i need...
...and i never wanted nothing more.

what you see is what you get, folks!

no fluff. no drama. no bragging. no looking at life through rose colored glasses.

this blog is me. and, if you ever get the chance to actually meet me, i think you'll agree that i am my blog...and my blog is me.

feel free to browse around. don't feel like it? no problem.
here are some of my favorite blog posts {in no particular order}:
desperately seeking shoes! {because i'm still looking for another replacement pair of these mofos!}
overworked & underpaid {the comments on this post are pretty funny, too}

if you made it this far, you can see that i'm generally all over the place. be prepared to see me again later on during this link-up. i'll be pimping out my blog as a mommy blog, food blog, photo blog. yeah, i'll be that crazy girl whoring out her blog. no shame.

so, what are you waiting for? go link-up your blog with fabulous but evil and mrs. monologues and let us all know what kind of true life blogger you are.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

glasses filled with memories.

do you remember these glasses?

{my kids love writing messages on the chalkboard...malia's message is from the 4th of july.}

a few weeks ago, adam's mom came out of the storage shed with a box. inside the box were these glasses. she asked if we wanted them. we said yes.

i remember collecting the return of the jedi glasses when i was growing up. my favorite glass had jabba the hutt on it {i was a sick child}. most of these glasses are from mcdonald's. a couple are from burger king & arby's.

the glasses are approximately 20+ years old. they're currently sitting on the counter waiting to be washed. i have no clue where i'm going to store them. our kitchen is teeny & our storage options are even teenier. part of me wants to list these bad boys on ebay, but these glasses used to belong to my husband.

they're part of his childhood....part of his past. there's a reason my mother-in-law hung onto them for so long. perhaps she knew adam would one day want them again. and, as much as i'd rather not make room for them {because i'd rather just give them away}, i know that these glasses will not only bring my husband a little joy, but they'll also be fun for our kids.

listening to my husband talk about his childhood makes me sad. why? because his family isn't as close as it once was. he has so many good memories of how things they used to be. even these glasses - as trivial as they seem to me - bring back a fond memory.

getting rid of them would be like not acknowledging my husband's childhood.
getting rid of them would mean i don't care.
getting rid of them would be a mistake.

so, this afternoon, i'll be reorganizing the cabinet & making room for our new {old} glasses.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

i hate to be random again, but...

random, it is!

i'm not really in the mood to blog. i know you can relate. some days, you're all gung-ho about scheduling posts and coming up with witty & meaningful things to write about. other days? yeah, not so much. seems as if - especially as of late - i've been doing a lot of random, brain dump-esque type blog posts. why stop a good thing, right? we go...

i know last week i promised not to post another bug picture, but i have to. no, i need to. why? because it's a picture of a swallowtail. a black swallowtail, to be exact. remember in july i found swallowtail larva on our dill plant? no? well, click here and here. could this be one of them? maybe!

i had a job interview on tuesday. i'm going back for a second interview on thursday. considering i'm still in graduate school, this job could potentially be a good fit for me, my family & my school schedule. of course, the idea of {possibly} working for a very well-known bookstore could be potentially dangerous. and, that is all i will say about work.

my first day back to school is in 27 days. my first class? 8 o'clock in the morning. i know, i know...what in the eff was i thinking? clearly, i wasn't.

both kids are home. summer fun with the grandparents is over. aidan's been home for a week. malia just arrived yesterday. i have a feeling i'll be blogging about the kids soon. one idea in particular has been brewing in my mind for quite some time. i can't wait to share it. even those of you who don't have kids could probably relate to it...espesh if you have a sibling.

i'm certain i'll also be blogging about the hubs soon, too. you know, mostly about all of the annoying things that he does. i'm sure those of you who are married could relate to this. even if you're not married, but have a brother, you'll love it. at least i hope so.

there are many, many, many blog ideas brewing in my head. it's just a matter of getting them typed out. i should break out my {ancient as hell} laptop and work on them tonight. maybe. but, i need to get crack-a-lackin' because i'm taking place in a link-up sponsored by mrs. monologues & fabulous but evil. you should participate, too!

it looks like we may have a tropical storm sitting off of our coast by monday. maybe i should buy bottled water & charge our camping lanterns...just in case. nah. remember, we're complacent people around these parts.

{picture via}

my hair is currently past my shoulders. i tossed around the idea of getting feathers like my sweet beach bum friend & her sissy. but, i decided not to. instead, i'm chopping my hair off. mama's going pixie, y'all. when? probably not until september or so. i kind of want to enjoy having my hair in a pony tail for another month or so since i've never had hair long enough to do that. 

i'm also toying around with the idea of going meatless a few meals a week. it will certainly help cut down our grocery bill every week. i looked through what seems like a great vegan cookbook the other day. i'm planning on buy it when my nook arrives {yes, i finally bought a nook. the nook color, to be exact. and, yes, i bought it from qvc. ha ha!}.

{picture via}

are any of you vegetarians or vegans? got any great recipes, websites, cookbook titles, suggestions you would like to share? we are HUGE veggie fans. we love tofu. faking my family out with meat alternatives like tempeh & seitan might be a stretch, though {but, we love tofu so it should work, right??}. i've also made the decision to switch from cow's milk to almond milk. adam & i don't drink milk at all unless we have a bowl of cereal {and even that isn't often}. i do love my half & half, but i just want a different {perhaps healthier} alternative for my kids. i grew up on soy milk. i can't go there again & i won't make my kids go there either. 

and, i'll end on a semi-exciting note...

adam & i will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in february. we were thinking about going to playa del carmen, mexico {our happy place!}, but instead we've decided to throw a party. a big party. it's like getting married all over again...minus the vows, formal attire, gifts, etc. {well, if people want to give us gifts, then who am i to deny, right??} we are just in the planning stages right now, but it's kind of exciting to think about. and, since becky is sharing her love story, maybe i'll share the story of how adam & i came to be. maybe. 

psst...sorry if there are any grammar issues, misspelled words, missing words or if this is just plain confusing. i don't feel like proofreading this post. ha ha ha.

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