Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Big Launch

So I've started a business.

That sounds a bit huge for my liking.

Maybe I should say...I'm getting together with a couple of like-minded chicks, creating whatever we want and posting them for the world to see (laugh at? mock? love? be confused by? yes, probably, hopefully, who knows) and then purchase if they so desire.

It started as a dream between Kelly and I a few years ago. Her husband owned a business, and we always thought we could just open up a storefront of a bunch of stuff we wanted to sell and he'd take care of the nitty gritty details. We even had a name: SuKe Boutique. So we dreamed up millions of scenarios, looked at storefronts, narrowed our ideas down....and then came the Great Depression or the Great Recession or whatever it was that landed here like a thud and shut down production of all things coolness.

So we quit.

Before we even started.

Then, because we're dreamy people, we started throwing ideas around again, but this time with a changed up scenario of doing things from home. No more storefronts. We've got 6 more kids than we did in the beginning dreamy days so we had to accommodate their time-consuming tails.

We are crafty people.....in our heads. Grandiosely crafty....in our brains. Creativity out the wahoo....stuck within our fingertips.

So we had to go bigger than SuKe Boutique and find the hands to create all of these ideas.

Her name is Whitney. Her craftiness levels nearing ridiculous.

And so it is.

The birth of Grace Graffiti.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Who needs counseling when you have the Christmas tree farm?

Christmas has arrived because we've made our annual trek to Webster's Christmas Tree Farm in Darien. The weather FINALLY cooled off and made it feel more wintry which is a good thing because Black Friday shopping in a tank top yesterday just didn't feel so wintry.

This little tree farm was marriage counseling in action for us the first year we went. I REFUSED, I mean ADAMANTLY REFUSED, to back down on getting a Frasier Fir. That's all I had known for 20 some odd years. The smell, the touch, the beauty. Frasier Firs = Christmas. (Yes, I know Jesus is Christmas but work with me here...)

The Husb so quietly, so meekly suggests we get something a little "softer" since we did have a crawling baby in the house. A nice cyprus perhaps? Yeah yeah pulling the baby card.

So we get a Frasier Fir because the Husb is a giver (thankfully ONE of us is!). We take it home. It turns all prickly, scratches up our sweet little precious 9 month old baby girl, gets stuck into every crevice of our burber carpet and thus ends its reign as THE TREE WE MUST HAVE. THE TREE THAT IF I DON'T GET IT I WILL CRY LIKE A BABY AND NOT BUY YOU ANY PRESENTS. (I'm sure those "exact" words were never said...)

So the Christmas Tree Farm is more than just an outing. It's a notch in our marriage belt.

And so are these little hoodlums we brought with us...

C'mon Sista, I'll show you the way...

The handsome boys that led the way. Wild Man was expecting ski slopes apparently.

This one here, with her plate of croup and a side dish of miserable, didn't want anything to do with this lame-o activity of hunting down the perfect Christmas tree. She informed us loudly and was removed from said activity and placed in the car so as not to disturb the neighbors who lived approximately 64 miles away.

But lo, the perfect tree HAD BEEN FOUND and MOMMY YOU MUST COME SEE IT NOW!!!

As usual, my flopping attempt at getting all 4 in a picture. They're just a walking Kodak moment.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A germy thanksgiving.

Give thanks in all circumstances, right? Well then. THANK YOU germs. You're awesome. We appreciate you hanging out this past month, and we especially thank you for hitting us hard right before the holidays. So sweet you are.

Though our plans of traveling to see family this week were cancelled per doctor's orders, we managed to squeeze tiny bits of specialness in an otherwise mundane day working at the Akins Clinic.

Like Big Sis here for example. See the joy in her face? She's loving spending multiple days bedridden with a throat full of knives and a stomach that apparently finds that to be unruly.

And Buster Boy. His fish mask not only keeps his croup germs from escaping his petri dish of a mouth, but apparently it doubles as a safety precaution when he's in the shop fixing tractors.
And oh sweet Tiny Miss. Her man voice and dog bark impersonations are spot-on. She's the puniest of the bunch in health, but the loudest in her demands. I really should speak with her agent about her insubordination issues. "Hold me now WOMAN!" "Give me some more water WOMAN!" "Get that darn oxygen tank outta my face PRINCESS!" She's a testy little thing.
And Wild Man. Prepping for his scuba test next week.

Though there's nary a turkey to be found in this house on this Day of Thanks 2010, I can be thankful that we thought ahead, celebrated early when my parents were in town and I actually cooked a turkey.

Or maybe I observed my mom cooking a turkey. Whatevs.

I tried. Really. I just felt like I was touching a naked old person's body and got a little grossed out. Mr.Turkey cooked himself up well and we enjoyed him for about 5 days too long afterwards.

So maybe it's a good thing we got all turkey'd out before today because nothing says Thanksgiving to me like a BLT and Doritos for lunch.

Amen and amen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1 little, 2 little, 3 little Indians...

4 little, 5 little, 6 little Indians...

The whole Akins Indian nation arrived on the campus of Big Sis University to surprise her for their Thanksgiving lunch. Her class was the first to come down the hall at 10:54 am - really, who eats lunch at 10:54 am? - and she saw all of us taking up the hallway in front of the cafeteria. She had a mix of excitement, embarrassment and panic at how she was going to finagle her family into her schedule because if that Big Sis is one thing, she is a rule follower.

So she gave us a big wave and then walked right by, hightailing herself right on into the lunchroom.


Thankfully, Mr. Important Daddy got us in the door and yelled up ahead for Big Sis to step out of line and wait for us.

Step out of line????

She kept walking, she looked back, she kept walking, she looked back.

Finally Mr. Important physically pulled her out, letting her know she would not get into trouble. Really? Doesn't she know that if she gets into trouble she'll just get sent to her Daddy's office? She's got him wrapped around her finger so that really shouldn't be of concern, right? Her concern for rule following obviously was not a trait she got from her mother.

I am a sucker for cafeteria-style turkey and dressing and ate 3 trays worth. I was definitely not the mom telling her children to make sure and finish their food. I was definitely telling them to NOT eat the dressing and send it down the line to Mommy because they probably wouldn't like it anyway.

If I'm one thing, it's selfless.

The 14 minute lunch flew by with nary a fuss from the baby Indians. My mission was to keep their mouths full at all times with goldfish, granola bars and grapes (NOT the dressing - they probably wouldn't have liked it anyway) and I'd rate myself successful.

It was fun to be in Big Sis' world if only for a few minutes. Putting names with faces of all her little new friends and walking the same hallways she walks everyday.

I miss that little Indian.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog.

Oh Beatles, you speak to me.

5 separate stomach viruses, 2 days in the hospital with an 18 month old, 720 loads of laundry on "Hot Water" setting, 5 depleted containers of Lysol wipes, 3 barf buckets simultaneously in use, and a most glorious husband who DOMINATED this house-o-horror.

Until 2 days after all was well. The last man standing went down.

It wasn't purty.

I looked around to see who was going to step up to the plate, grabbing this virus by the horns and banishing our house-o-horror of all germs.

Dang it if I wasn't the only person over 3 feet tall that can successfully maneuver buckets of vinegar and water.

And so it was. Stomach Flu '10 hit us again. As if the first round back in January wasn't enough.

I really need to find a new weight loss program.