Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ventage Tuesday: Throwback Edition

 I love the internet. I love Facebook and Instagram. I love daily emails with my Ventage girls. I love reconnecting with old friends. I also very much love the fact that I didn't have to deal with this technology growing up. It can't be easy to have your socially awkward phases broadcast on everyone's newsfeed.

This week the Ventage girls are digging deep in our own personal vaults to share some of our photographic highlights from years gone by. Bonus points awarded for bad hair and poor fashion decisions.

Without further ado...here's my life in photos:

We begin our story in 1979, when much like many other babies,I arrived into the world looking like a little old man with a slightly crooked nose and no hair.

 Fast forward a year or so and the nose is no longer crooked, but the hair? Still noticeably absent. My mom used to say it was because "grass doesn't grow on busy streets." My stepdad calls this my GE Lightbulb look. As in my head was shaped like a lightbulb. Thanks, dad. 

Oh look, First grade! When I wore a romper and tie for picture day. And apparently took the "sit with your hands folded in your lap" instructions very seriously. 

Ah, 5th grade. I'm not even sure what to say about this. Shall we discuss the hair? Or the glasses big enough to eat my face? Or maybe we can talk about that vest. Yeah. Wow. 
This little gem was posted on facebook by one of my elementary school buds. That's me in the black New Kids tshirt. Please note I am still wearing the awful glasses. Also note that I'm wearing two pairs of slouch socks. 
The early 90s brought a move to Florida, me learning to take off my glasses for pictures, teasing my bangs, and rocking the french braid. 

2001. Contacts! Shorter hair. Spending my very first Christmas day away from my family because brand new tv news producers don't get to go home for the holidays. So instead I celebrated with a college friend and her sister. Because we all hailed from South Florida, we ate paella and plantains served several different ways. 

2003. Longer hair, sporting a walkie talkie that says "I'm producing a road show, don't mess with me." This picture was taken minutes before I met Dolly Parton. Too bad I can't find that picture!
But I did find this one. This is my boyfriend. You know him as The Rock. I measured his bicep that night. He smells awesome. 
Okay, you got me. The Rock isn't my boyfriend. THIS was my boyfriend circa 2003-2004. He became my husband about 6 months after this photo was taken. Please note I am not sure I have ever been happy with my hair. In this picture the red isn't quite right (box color at home by myself) and it's in that frizzy wavy state of annoyingness. 
2008. Familiar faces. Crazy scrapbooking girls taking pictures and talking loud and drawing faces on fruit. Another poor attempt to make my not straight yet not truly curly hair conform to a straight hair cut.

2009. More familiar faces and the beginnings of the next generation of the Ventage crew. This lovely shot was taken at Em's baby shower for the baby later to be known as Mirielle. I was 3 months away from meeting AJ. Speaking of kids who will grow up in the age of social media... 

Happy Tuesday friends. I hope this post inspires you to do a little digging in those old albums and find something to laugh about!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five on Friday: Things Making me Smile

Hello, Friday. I'm so happy to see you.

Even if I am greeting you with bloodshot eyes (note to self: take the make up off before bed!) and bed head

5 things making me smile this morning:

  1. Forecast: Weekend Warm up! 65 today! 66 tomorrow! 67 Sunday! I'm not sure I could ask for anything more. The windows will be open. Our neighborhood will be full of screaming kiddos and laughter. My little bulbs will hopefully soak up the sun and grow, grow grow! I have to work tomorrow, but Sunday we're packing up the boys and taking them to the train show in Green Bay. There's a rumor that there's even train rides available for the kiddos, weather permitting. And based on the forecast...well, bring on the train rides! I'm hoping AJ will love it. I'm also hoping Sammy does okay in the stroller and that nobody has too big of a meltdown.
  2. Planning: my birthday brunch. a Suess-ified party for the boys. I'm so excited to celebrate what a crazy exhausting memory making year we have had as a family of four. 
  3. Date Night: Karl is craving Mexican and I am craving a margarita the size of my head. Most of all I am craving time with my favorite guy and a meal that I can eat while it's hot instead of getting more juice or cutting up someone else's food, or reminding a little dude to use his fork. 
  4. Rummage Sales: Some people judge the arrival of spring by the flowers popping up in the yard. Here in Wisconsin, before there are flowers, there are rummage sale signs. There's a neighborhood not far from me that is having its 51st annual sale this weekend. Crazy, right? I don't know that I'll have time to shop this weekend, but I know there will be many more rummage weekends ahead. This year I am on the look out for a bread machine. We got one as a wedding gift and I'm pretty sure it was donated when we were getting rid of everything to prepare for a move to Michigan that never wound up happening. Funny how that works.
  5. Funnies: These days, few people can make me laugh as hard as my little brother. We text multiple times a week about all sorts of stuff, and most of the time it starts with a funny picture message. This morning he sent me one that made me choke on my coffee. Man does he know me well...
    Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ventage Tuesday: 5 Every Day Things

I'm in a season of life where I may or may not feel like I'm living Groundhog's Day. Today Sammy is 11 months old, and aside from a change in the weather and the size of the diapers I am changing, I feel like he was born yesterday. I know a lot has changed in the past 11 months, but sleep deprivation makes it all so blurry in my oh so tired brain.

Here are 5 things that are pretty much the same every day. 5 things that make my world go round on a daily basis:

  1. My Keurig: It's the first thing I turn on in the morning. Like before I even turn on the kitchen light, I hit the button and listen for the sound of the water heating up. I have perfected doing this in the darkness of 5am with Sam propped on my hip. You'd be surprised how much one can do without turning on the lights. I hardly ever even stub my toe anymore. Related: the aforementioned Keurig has been behaving in such a manner that leads me to believe it might die soon. When that happens, there will be a moment of mourning, and then there will be a mad dash to buy a new one at whatever store is open at that moment.
  2. My iPhone: Email/Facebook/Instagram/Candy Crush/Pinterest. In that order every single morning. I can normally plow through those 5 apps in the time it takes Sam to take care of his morning nursing. From there I prioritize my day and normally shoot off at least one snarky email. I'm lucky in that some of my favorite people to send emails to tend to be early risers as well. I return to the iPhone at nap time to catch up on blogs and see if there is anything I cannot live without on zulily or veryjane.
  3. Urban Decay Naked 2: I'm fairy certain Angie just gasped or squealed or did a fist pump (perhaps all three?), seeing as she is solely responsible for the addition of make up to my life in 2013. I'm still not on board with eyeliner (that learning curve is steep, yo!) but just about every day I manage eyeshadow, mascara and some form of lip gloss. 
  4. Sketchers Go Walk 2 shoes: these guys are boring compared to most of my shoe collection, but they are amazing. First of all they are so light you don't even know they're on your feet. They are nice enough looking that I can wear them to work with black dress pants and nobody notices that they're "athletic shoes." And my favorite part? They are machine washable. I wouldn't go run a marathon in them (who are we kidding, I wouldn't go run a marathon in ANY shoes!) but they're awesome for day to day and they carry me through a long shift of standing. 
  5. Netflix: True story: our tv died last week and had to be replaced. HAD TO. Because as I told Barb, "This house doesn't operate without tv. That would be Em." AJ has his shows: Fireman Sam, Postman Pat, and Peppa Pig being his current favorites. I am currently working my way through The West Wing during nap times or on the rare nights I opt to stay up after the kiddos go to bed. Karl watches Burn Notice or How it's Made while winding down at night. I'm happy that Netflix is providing us with our tv fix now that we've ditched the dish.
Now just so we're clear, there are plenty of other things I need every day. Like hugs from my boys. And time to connect (whether it's by phone or email or text) with my girls and my distant fam. But for the purpose of this week's topic I went with things I could link :)

Be sure to check in with the other ventage girls (Links to the right) for the things they can't live without these days. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hello, Monday 4.22

Hello, blog. I've been silent for almost a month. A month of family travel (to Michigan for Easter), and business travel (2 weeks in Canada for Karl), and visitors of the family variety (Nana) and the friends that are family variety (Barb). I've missed taking the time to write, and I've not been the best blog reader either. Hoping to work on that.

Hello, Spring? It's been a long time coming in NE Wisconsin. It snowed yesterday. On April 21st. BUT, I just saw the 5 day and it looks like upper 40s and 50s. And...gasp...60 by the weekend?!? So help me Mother Nature, if this is just a tease, I don't know what I will do. My bulbs are trying hard to overcome the cold. And on the days when we get just a little bit of sunshine, I can hear the neighbors coming out to soak it up, even if we still have to be bundled. There's nothing quite like the sound of wagon wheels and trikes on the pavement. I'm reminded again why I love this place where we live.

Hello, teething. Sammy appears to be an underachiever in the teething department. By this age, big brother had a mouthful. Sammy? Has 2. But it's not for lack of trying. We are a house full of drool, and crabbies, and sleepless nights. I *think* we might be rewarded with a couple more top teeth in the next few days, but it's hard to get a good look in Sam's mouth unless he's screaming.

Hello, Netflix (Goodbye, Directv). We pulled the plug. No more dish. We probably could have done it months ago, honestly. It feels funny to say, after years working in news, but I just don't watch tv anymore. When the tv is on, it's most often some British or Canadian cartoon AJ has discovered on Netflix. In frequent rotation right now: Postman Pat, Fireman Sam, Fun with Claude, and Peppa Pig. I blame these shows for the random lingo AJ has picked up of late. He told me last night that he needed to go to "the petrol station" because his truck was out of gas. He also requested Karl give him an "Ice lolly" for dessert. Crazy kid.

Hello, birthday countdowns. Sammy turns (gasp!) ONE in a month. AJ is six weeks away from FOUR! And in between those two is another birthday for this mama, which will be celebrated with brunch and bloody marys and good friends. Hard to believe my last birthday was spent in the hospital staring at a tiny little bundle of Sam. This year has flown by in a flurry of sleepless nights and juggling. So. much. juggling.