It's all fun and games, til someone puts an eye out......

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two for One

I am constantly attending sporting events for my kids. 

Three boys, three soccer teams. Additionally:

1 Football team
1 Baseball team
3 Basketball teams coming up

And this is just this fall.  Whew!!!  Spring brings flowers.  And more sports.  Goodness.

Anyway, there are always shirts and hats, and various items for the parents to wear.  I love these things.

But sometimes I don't feel like its enough.  I just want a little something personal.  Special.

So, I created a bracelet that can be worn with anything

This bracelet is for my older son, since his games started first.  And I had a friend who took some great photos of him.  And, he is very easy to define.

It is just perfect to wear to every soccer game.  The colors are a great match with his team.

It is filled with every one of my son's favorite soccer things.

You can't play soccer without a "pitch" or soccer field.  This tiny one was super cute.  And the Adidas ball used in the 2010 World Cup is his favorite soccer ball.  (for now....)  In between the two things you need for every World Cup soccer game, is the one thing they all play for:  the Gold World Cup trophy.

Big A plays for the Lonestar Soccer Club.  One of their logos is flanked by two mini pictures of my son in an actual soccer game.  These are the pictures taken by my friend.  She is like this super amateur photographer.

His ideal number, ALWAYS, is the number 10.  He has had this number as long as I can remember.  I also threw in a charm of him in his white uniform, just to spice things up a bit.

I had to include our last name.  Balla is what every person my son ever encounters, calls him.  Seriously.  Coaches, teachers, friends, friends' parents.  Everyone.  He had a friend spend the night on Saturday night and when I asked him where my son was, he actually said "Oh, Balla is upstairs getting something".  As if that was my son's name.  And furthermore, as if that were NOT my last name.  Silly boys.

The new Lonestar Soccer Club logo is the one he likes best.  I threw in a Nike shoe, which is the only one he likes to buy.  And last but not least, the newest PS3 soccer game:  FIFA 10.  He plays it all the time.

This is a cool way I can show my son that I support him. That I like what he does and want to cheer him on. 

But the real reason I love this bracelet is for its diversity. 

If I really want to show it off, put it front and center, I simply attach this cool chain:

And it becomes a neckace.  A necklace!!  Isn't that cool?

A bracelet and a necklace in one! 
Two for one!!!
I love two for ones.

I plan on making one of these for each of my boys. 

Craft room, here I come............

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rainforest Cafe

We went to Houston this past weekend for a soccer tournament.
Both of my older boys played with their Soccer Club.

I will post pictures of that in a later post.  After I have slept.  And washed off all this sunscreen.  And bugspray.

We did go somewhere we had not been since we lived in Connecticut.

Rainforest Cafe.

If you have not been there before, go online, look it up, and find the nearest location.  It truly is a one of a kind place.  The food is a bit costly, but it tastes good.  We go more for the atmosphere.

In fact, we have been going for so many years, that the Bull, when he was tiny, used to call it "Rainfor Fafe".  He always loved it, just not the big animals.  He is so big now, that he didn't even notice them.  All he noticed, like most growing boys, was the food.

This particular Rainforest Cafe was in a HUGE mall.  We didn't even know it was there until we rounded the corner.  The Rainforest Cafe makes a huge presentation.

This is the view of the Rainforest Cafe inside the mall.  This is before we even went inside the restaurant.

There was a butterfly with moving wings.  (How I was able to catch it with open wings, I have no idea.)

There was also a very large snake looming overhead that every once in a while dangled lower and lower.....

The talking tree in the gift shop was Tiny T's favorite.  (By the way, if you are wondering why my youngest is in all the pictures, it is because he is still at the age where he will pose for pictures.  His brothers have revolted and when asked to pose, make all sorts of  delightful faces.)

The best part of visiting the Rainforest Cafe is the every fifteen minute "animal show".  It is too cute.
The audio-animatronic animals all over the restaurant come to life and perform a show.

The gorillas beat their chests and growled as if under attack.

This was after the show.  Tiny T looked at the camera for one brief moment.  I tell you, these things look so real, I know he was skeptical to turn his back on them.......

The elephants were precious!  Huge and purple gray, this elephant family lifted their trunks and moved their heads side to side.

The tigers roared with intensity although they look pretty calm in this picture.  (Right before I took this shot, the tiger jumped into their performance and Tiny T and I jumped out of our skins!   Our warranted jumpiness caused many laughs among the surrounding tables.   I am sure they had seen this fear many times during their lunch that day!)

The cubs were very animated and Tiny T really enjoyed watching them.

This little lizard sat right by our table.  And when the show started, he moved his head and blinked his eyes.  Pretty cool.

All in all, we had a great time at Rainforest Cafe that day. We enjoyed our food and even more so, the familiar and long awaited atmosphere.  But what I really coveted was the time spent with my family.  It was nice to sit for a moment and just talk and laugh.

In our busy life, these moments are few and far between.  So when we get them, I appreciate them.

Even if it means I had to endure hot wings for the 4th time that weekend.........               

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friend from Pioneer Woman Posting

I have made a new friend. 

One of the requests from a follower of the Pioneer Woman's blog was just so much dang fun!

This particular client made a request soon after my necklace posted on the Pioneer Woman's site.  We exchanged emails back and forth, talked about the weather, and little by little, I got to know her.

She reads my blog, makes cute comments, and I enjoy hearing from her.

She requested a custom-made bracelet, and this is what I sent her:

She gave me so much information about herself, I really feel like I know her!  She was very detailed.

I had so much information about her, there was no way to include it all in a bracelet.  I had enough charm ideas to make a necklace!  Alas, she ordered a bracelet, so I made my choices and pressed on....

She loves hearts, so I included this Betsy Johnson-esque black heart charm.  She sent me an additional email after her original biography telling me that she loves pizza.  So, this cute little pizza charm was a must!

The next charm was a photo charm of her dog.  They are best buds!  Since she is a teacher, I included this vintage ruler charm.  I like it because it is longer than the others and kind of gives it a vintage feel.
The husband/wife charm pays tribute to her incredible marriage with her best friend.

The photo charm beside the marriage charm is her hubby.  She loves this picture of him.  She is also keen to peace signs, so I threw in a peace symbol.  Funny to put it by her husband, since peace is so crucial in any successful marriage!

Her initials in scrabble piece form are hanging in a patina bookplate.  She also fancies her cowboy hat, which hangs neatly  by her monogram.

The two photo charms, one of her son, plus the one of her son's dog, are bookends to her favorite drink, Cherry Coke.

She has a horse, which is represented by the silver horse charm.  She also is a pretty darn good photographer, having taken this picture of her horse.  The Kodak film charm hangs nicely beside her photo.

I hope you enjoyed this window into a friend's life.  She is such a great gal that she volunteered her bracelet to showcase on my blog and I appreciate it!!

I hope she likes her bracelet too.  More than likely she will see this post before she receives her bracelet, so I hope it meets her approval!

More to come.........

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Embrace the Madness

I recently saw a saying that made me pause.  It was made by Lewis Carroll. 
You know, the guy that wrote Alice in Wonderland.  Really sounds much like something the Cheshire Cat would say.

"If you don't know where you are going, then any road can take you there."

I really thought it was profound.
Any road can take you there.  It doesn't really matter.
Just when you think you are lost and have no idea where you are going, you can think about this quote.

It made me want to see what else Lewis Carroll had to say.
So, I did some research.  Turns out he was pretty witty.  Go figure.

This quote from Alice to the Cheshire Cat was funny:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" said Alice.
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."  replied the Cheshire cat.
"I don't much care where-" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go."

Too right.

I also liked this one, and wish we could all apply it to life every day.

"Everything is funny, if you can laugh at it."

Humor really does have a way of softening things, huh?

Speaking of humor, I can totally relate to this next quote:

"I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then"

Isn't it funny how different life seems from the second you awake to the time you go to bed?  My point of view might very well change 20 times during one single day!

I also like this one, but find it hard to follow:

"If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does."

It seems like a good policy, but probably very hard to accomplish!!

This last one is 100% true when you really think about it:

"One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others."

Think about that one for a minute.  I mean, the things we do for ourselves are definitely worth it too, but really, many of the things we do, we do for others:  Kids, friends, family, animals, work, etc.  And it makes us feel good.

Do something nice for someone today.

It is worth it.

Or, be like me, and the Cheshire Cat, and just embrace the madness:

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

I think I will have that printed into a sign that I will proudly hang on my front door.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


My whole family went to Houston this weekend for a soccer tournament. 

Both my older boys have the same soccer coach in their soccer club, so both teams went with their coach to Houston to play in the Houston Rush Cup.

Houston in August.  Texas in August.  Anywhere in August. 


But I love to watch my boys play soccer.  I have Big A, who plays midfield.  And the Bull plays goalie.  Its just fun.

But not in 104 degree weather.  In one of the hottest cities in Texas.  And humid.  Very humid.

Last weekend statistics:

Temperature:  High:  104.4°F
                         Low:  78.3°F
Humidity:         91.0%

Feels like:        140°F

Have you ever been in 91% humidity?  You can actually EAT the air.  Seriously.
And like at any good soccer game, there is the sun factor.  If you are not familiar with the sun factor, come watch a soccer game on the sideline. 
We like to protect our children, so the team finds the shadiest sideline to camp out on. 
And the parents/spectators must sit on the opposite side. 
The side facing the sun.  Heavy on the sunblock.  And sunglasses.
And I love my sunglasses.  They are big.  They are full of shade for my face.  They are a necessity in Texas.
So, of course they were right there with me on the sidelines at the soccer games this weekend.
Poor guys.  They had no idea what was in store for them.  And I am not just talking about the sun beating down on them.
They took one for the team.  Literally.
Let me explain.
I was sitting in my chair on the sidelines enjoying my coffee.  I know.  I know.  Coffee in 104 degrees.  But it was going to be a long day, and I needed energy.  If you can imagine, it was so hot there, the coffee was actually colder than the air. 
The Bull's game had just begun and I received a text from my husband about Big A's game.  I looked down to read the text and that's when it happened.
It felt like someone reached over and punched the side of my face.  I immediately looked at the woman next to me, before I realized what had happened.  All I could think of was, "What did I say to offend her?"
But really, I was just in the right place at the right time.
A kid on the Bull's team was trying to save the ball from going out of bounds, and instead kicked the ball into the sidelines, right into the side of my face.
The next sequence of events was swift and severe.
The impact of the ball immediately ceased my texting, threw my coffee all over the front of my shirt, and flipped my beloved sunglasses to the ground.
I picked them up and inspected them.  This is what I found.
The left piece was blown right off the glasses.  Gone.
They became a monacle.  I wore them for the rest of the game without one side.  At least they were able to hide me from the sun.  And from the embarassment of being beaten up by a soccer ball.
The final piece came off in my purse on the way home from the game.

And here is Tiny T making fun of me and imagining how I was able to watch the game with these sunglasses.
By the way, if you are wondering about my texting during the game, I did finally send the text to my husband about the "incident".  I waited for him to ask "Are you hurt?"  Knowing that my answer would be "Only my ego."  But he didn't ask me that question.
"What's the score?"  he asked.  Hmm.  Thanks for the sympathy.
I might have been dealt more symathy if this had been the first time this had happened........
Alas, it is not my first rodeo. 
Which is why I buy $10 sunglasses.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School

I am going through many emotions right now.

Today was the first day of school.

After 12 weeks of summer.  With three boys.  In 107 degree weather.

You get the picture.

 Happiness is one of the feelings I have.  Happiness that the summer is over.   Happiness that the boys get to see their friends every day and even make new friends.  Happiness that they won't be here all day fighting over who gets to play the PS3, the Wii, or the computer.  Happiness that they will be getting back on a schedule.

I am also feeling apprehension.  Apprehension for my oldest, who is starting his freshman year in High School.  Remembering the butterflies in my own stomach when I entered high school for the first time.  Apprehension for my middle son, who, as a "middle" child is entering "middle" school and is in his "middle" year (7th grade).  And apprehension for my youngest, who is entering third grade, and after checking out his classroom yesterday, noticed he is surrounded by many kids he has had in classes before.  Every year the kids get shuffled in various classes, so third grade is when they come around full circle.  So, he has mostly familiar faces in his class.  I guess I should say I feel apprehensive for his teacher......

Sadness is my last feeling.  Watching them leave this morning was bittersweet.  Although summer has been busy and crazy, and I have waited for this day, it was still odd sending them off to school.  As I dropped them at the school doors and bus stops, I remembered a simpler time.  A time when our biggest worry was what board game we were going to play first.  What book we were going to read.  A time surrounded by diapers, naptimes, and trips to the children's museums.  It just makes me sad knowing they are growing up. 

So I took a few pictures to remember the moment.

Here is Tiny T. 

He was the first to leave for school, as the elementary schools start the earliest.

He picked out his clothes very carefully the night before.


And specifically packed his brown corduroy backpack with first day school supplies.

I watched him walk out to the car with such unabandoned excitement.  Children have such a fun, simple way of thinking.

I even snapped this one last shot as he got out of the car.  Its as if he is saying "Mom!!! C'mon!!"

And here is the Bull. 

He tried to fight the first day of school pictures.  He should know better.  I will snap pictures from any angle.  Even him walking away. 

He also picked out his clothes the night before. It seems like just a simple t shirt and shorts.

But in middle school, you try to wear cool t shirts, without "trying" to look cool.  And with ahletics every day, these kinds of shorts are rarely worn.

He is still excited to go to school, but he really doesn't want me to know it.

And here is my high schooler.  Big A.

He had no intentions of letting me take his picture.  When I forced him, this is what I got.

Now that he is a freshman, posing for pictures is just not on his social calendar.  But take note of the small smile that he will still give his mom.

They are all so precious to me and I remember their faces at different stages of their lives as if it were yesterday.  But having these pictures capture the moments perfectly.

It gives me just one more emotion. 


Monday, August 23, 2010

Bracelet for My Friend

This is a super cute bracelet I made for my friend recently.

Its a silver bracelet with vintage typewriter keys spelling out her name.  Bookending her name are two vintage buttons.

I posted this bracelet for sale on my ETSY site and had a client request a different version of it.

She wanted it to spell out LOVE in typewriter keys.

I surrounded it with a floral button.  And who better to know about love than the queen of hearts?

The faux typewriter keys are covered with a glaze to give it a shiny finish.

Cupid has to be involved in this bracelet somehow.  Also, there is a another vintage button.

This bracelet is so diverse, you can use so many different words:

New York

the list is endless! 

I think I am going to make one of each just for me!!