Thursday, January 29

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.
-- Barbara Bush

Wednesday, January 28

The County Fair

Lyssa Rothrock, and her animal .. in motion sorry about poor pic

Da Boyz

Lacey Waters' tri-color Hummingbird cake

On Sunday, we packed up the boys and headed to Bartow to the Polk County Youth Fair. A long time family tradition, I can still remember the days that I too was a participant of the PCYF! My sister and I were fortunate enough to miss school for a whole week, and it seemed as though we endured the yelling father and nagging of "feed your animals", "walk you steer", and on and on - all year, just so we could have that glorious week with our friends at the Youth Fair. And yes Dad, I guess we learned a little something about responsibility, etc. along the way. My sister and I are my dad's YF legacy and still love to hear the fun stories about the days when he and my Uncle Ned, showed their own animals at the PCYF.

I could blog all day about my experiences each year and the investment of time and money required to complete such a project (thanks mom and dad!!). A few of the highlights include, the time when I was completely trompled (and mortified) by my own steer in the show ring, the time the art classes I'd taken from my Uncle Ned and gorgeous landscape painting didn't win. Mainly because we learned (the day we took it to show for entry) that there is no painting or art catagory. Or how I always looked forward to the hair, make up and shopping for the perfect show outfit necessary to complete that special moment! (my sister's PCYF experience would include a different set of memories and traditions!).

But one common denomantor, for us both, was the pride we felt each year donning the Waters name on the back of our FFA jackets (hypethetically at least, I refused to wear mine). My father and father's father (and Nana Waters too of course!) left us so much to be proud of. Their reputation for integrity, pride of showmanship, perseverence, honesty, ambition, and what it means to be true to who you are is certainly the very foundation for my own parenting aspirations. We also shared the ironic and endless sobbing while draped over our red-striped steers at the end of each fair. The beasts had just made my life hell for 10 months, why in world did I love him so much now... but we certainly did.

I was prideful again on Sunday when I saw my cousin Lyssa with her animal and my cousin Lacey's tricolor ribbon Hummingbird Cake. This was the first day of the Fair, and it is sure to be an excited week for the over 1200 students who have worked very hard all year in preparation for this day. Polk County is very unique in its animal and cow show. Our roots run deep here in the South! "OMG - did I just say that?"

Wednesday, January 21

The Graduate

We are so proud of our little Einstein who has already graduated... to a big boy bed that is! It is so hard to believe that Dane is officially too big for his crib. This was confirmed when we peaked in to check on our babbling toddler and spotted him, one legged hiked over the side of the crib! So, dad packed it away and brought down (from the attic) the toddler bed, handed down to Jackson, from Ethan (Cothren), and now to Dane, from Jackson. Lots of sweet dreams in this adorable and economic little bed! Now, of course, there is no containing him at night and he is completely free to move about the cabin. So here we go with the sleepless nights, just until he gets used to it I suppose. I did sew him this adorable comforter this weekend to custom fit his new (plastic) bed:-)

Puppy Love?

The number of times per week that we threaten to get rid of our puppy are more than I care to admit. She chews - EVERYTHING - digs, destructs, barks, pees, vomits... yeah I could go on. And when I say chews, I mean like chews on metal, furniture and event brick. Have you seen Marley and Me?... meet Marley's worse nightmare... Stella. But... sighing, deep breath, we adopted Stella allowed the boys to hand pick her, cautioned them of the work sh would require and love and affection and they actually love and adore her and for the most part are very good about feedings, clean up, walks, etc. Plus, since mom is the lonely "queen" of the house, they agreed to let us get a girl puppy and mommy would pick out her name.
Now - this is the ironic part. Prepare yourself for what my princess, registered name: Stella Chanel Heimer, destroyed this time. **Warning**this may not be appropriate for children or fashion lovers and may contain inappropriate or disturbing images.

The only thing worse than Stella ruining my coveted signature-look discontinued (aka vintage!) Chanel's? Well nothing, let's be honest. But a close second was when she also made a chew-toy of my MIL's Fendi glasses last month during her visit. I was so embarassed I could've just died. What are we going to do with the crazy dog? Am I sending my children the wrong message if we do not "stick it out" and love her unconditionally? Will she ever grow out of this puppy stage?

Sunday, January 18

Downtown Alive

was coooollld on Friday night! But fellow leaguer Jancie Tucker and I stood post promoting our upcoming Family Fit Fest and celebrating wellness at the Heath and Fitness downtown block party. Jancie is the beautiful little petite lady at my side. I have always been an amazon woman my whole life! It stinks! Shoes are never as cute when they bring them in your size, I was always the "base" in cheerleading and standing a tall 5'7 in the 5th grade, ensures that you will always be in the back row of the singing christmas tree.

Dog Gone!

Caution, the following image is not for the queezy! My sister is absolutely loving vet school and the Caymans. They snorkel right outside their apartment every afternoon, and Chad's backyard tree, iguana count is officially at 6. Last week LuJean was so excited about their first labs. There is no way I could ever, I have such a weak tummy, but she was certainly meant to be a doctor. All throughout my life, I've always leaned on my sis for my own medical needs and yes even exams of sorts in a pinch. No comment Chad!! PS- Weeb, Justin says he has a dog he would like to donate for disections!

Rainman's Accessory

Because our 2-year old, aka "Rainman", simply cannot do without his "coleez" (crayons/pencil/paper) something, anything to color with. I found the most adorable little concept for a crayon holder. This is perfect to toss into your bag for a day of errands or out to dinner. I love it! I plan to make a number of them, so let me know if you would like one.

Monday, January 12

Meet the 2009 Little Mr. Citrus!

I know, sounds fancy right. I knew when I entered Dane he would win. He is photogenic, with a toothy grin, dimples, blonde curls and his father's genuinely happy disposition. Besides all of his winning qualities, how many two year old pagaent contestants could there be in the 6-35 month old boy catagory on a Saturday at the Chain o' Lakes complex?
I should just start by saying that this was my first pagaent. When I was about 12 my parents took me to Barbizon (remember them?) they wanted to sign me only after my parents paid heavty tuition for finishing school and modeling and wanted me to loose about 10 pounds (ok, more like 15). I was dancer for 13 years and haven't gone many days without makeup since I turned 14. and then... I have a boy. and then... I HAVE ANOTHER BOY. After Dane was born I proclaimed to do my best to ensure that at least one of my boys would be gay (j/k Nan!). All joking aside, I entered Dane into (what I prefer to call) competition due to teach him poise and confidence and begin to make him confortable on stage. I am quite certain on of my children will end up on Broadway. The winner also recieves a full scholarship to the John Powers talent agency, etc.
Like many of the opportunities I attempt to seize, I just have too much on my plate and always rely on my talent for "winging it". But... these moms were serious. Sure, I had my costume change and cream based rouge to add a little color to his cheeks, but this was no joke. While I can appreciate the what the stage mom goes through (mine was one for many years) this group too it to a whole new level and the children felt oddly mature at least in my opinion. Dane hammed it up and then had frequent melt downs when he couldn't color on demand. But he still won. Oh yeah, did I mention he was the only one in his category, yeah, he was a shoe-in alright.
My favorite quote of what was certainly among the most oddly disturbing experiences of my life was: "I try to give you the benefit of the doubt when you have these wild ideas, but youngest son, and his first trophy is from a beauty pagaent!? This is the last straw, I am taking over the children's activities!" -Justin Heimer.
You can imagine how much better he felt when he saw his picture in the paper the next day donning crown and sash (Dane refused to wear it on stage, so they put it on dad, right about the time the reporter came in to ask me some questions!)

Thursday, January 8

Organization is a beautiful thing



I think everyone has their own idiosynchracies regarding organization. The way you keep your desk, your closet, the make up in your bathroom. I am not the most rigidly organizaed person in the world (my husband and nanny like the items in the refrigerator to be organized alphabetically by brand... can you say physco!!) BUT i do like my things in a certain way. My closet being messy drives me crazy and causes WAY to many morning outfit selection panick attacks. You know those days, when you have "nothing to wear" and change like 3 times. My closet has been a mess and I finally organized it this weekend!

Tuesday, January 6

3 Costume Changes in One Day!

Those of you who know me, know I always dreamed of dancing on broadway! So 3 costume changes translates to mean I had a(scheduled but forfieted) Tennis match this morning, then off to the office, then to the Mom's vs. Sons Basketball game, then to a JLGWH Board meeting. My favorite part of this busy day was enjoying a little glimpse of my 6 year old's world. Tonight was the last of a 6 week basketball clinic that Jackson has enjoyed and Justin helped coach. He is a good little b-ball player and totally called me out for traveling! Looks like mom better be practicing a little more, perhaps a performance on the courts is my real calling, not the stage =) (pictured above is my girlfriend Wendy and her daughter. Our husbands were on the sidelines, video recorder in may want to check youtube to get the full experience of the game!)

Monday, January 5

Big Kid Night Out

Having a toddler at home, it is inevitable that Dane often gets more attention. Jackson is a loving and kind big brother, and is a huge help when Mommy needs a shower or someone to "keep and eye on your brother".

We often enjoy the benefits of a babysitter, like many young families but on Saturday night we asked Jackson if he wanted to go with Mommy and Justin for a big kid night out. His face lit up at the thought of just Dane staying with the babysitter, and he got to experience the seemingly illusive night out.

We took Jackson to dinner and a Movie. Marley and Me... rated PG. About 20 minutes into the movie, Justin literally dug the ticket stub out of his pocket to confirm the movie's rating. A few risque/sex-related scenes that were much too "adult" for, what I thought, a PG movie should include. The movie was awesome! No doubt a warm family movie, that really hit home for the 3 of us, we were all three crying. That was the other element that was a bit disturbing for Mommy. Should my 6 year old be crying in a movie? The ending was a little too heavy for my son, and he cried the whole way home about Marley. We explained to him that is was in fact important to love and care for all members of our family (it was also somewhat relieveing considering that we consider letting our puppy, Stella, run away on a daily basis... Aunt Weeble, disregard that comment :) and that it was only a movie after all.

What are movie rating based on? I have always considered PG appropriate for my 6 year old. What age do you think PG qualifies your kid for?

Friday, January 2

Email from the Islands

LuJean and Chad arrived and have begun making their way around and settling in to their new life. While she has made about 3 collect calls to mom and dad to confirm her arrival and such, the international calls are very expensive so thank God for email! Looks like she and "Chet" are already experiencing the luck of the islands. Can you imagine packing everything you own into 6 bags and leaving the country to start all over... she is a brave and dedicated student, friend, aunt, daughter and wife. I am so proud of them both! Here is her email from yesterday and some photos of her apartment that we took when we went down in Nov to find her place!

Hey family,
I am in Pams dorm and we are enjoying to AC and wireless internet. We are here and safe, we even took a break after lunch to ride down a long dirt road to one of the local beaches unknown to torist...more breath taking than you could ever imagine! Conch shells lined the surf that broke along a huge coral reef.
We were lucky enough to catch some tenants moving out of our apartment building and they GAVE us the internet modem!!!! So were just transfered the bill over and we are up and running on internet. They just didnt have the ethernet cord so we have to go buy one so that we can get vonage up and running, hopefully we will have it by tonight.
One of the med students is selling his rag top jeep and we contacted him to look at it as a possibility for our new vehicle.
I hope all is well with everyone and we miss you to peices allready. XOXOXOXO Chad and LuJean

LuJean Waters-Harris
University of Florida
Bar HW Ranch


Chillaxin NYE

After the chaos and whirlwind of the holidays, parties, company, little sleep and long to-do lists, Justin and I were elated to have a quiet evening at home cozied in with our favorite bottle of Moet and Chandon. Still a blue from my sister leaving, I just really wanted to curl up under the covers, and not have to put on a "happy face" for anyone (as my sister knows best, I can get really grouchy). We did just that and had the perfect night chillin and relaxin! We promised Jackson he could stay up to watch the ball drop, knowing he would never make it, and he was asleep in my lap by 10:30. That was right after our new neighbors treated us all to front row seats of a fireworks show that compared only to the professional one blasted by the city. The B's moved in a few months ago after we waited anxiously for the home to sell, hoping the neighbors would have young kids, were friendly, etc. You can imagine how excited we were to get another Grace family with 2 elementary aged boys!
Thanks for the fireworks show guys, it was awesome!

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