Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

While I Was Sleeping

I took today off to hang out with Matt and Daulton.  We saw Yogi Bear in 3D and when we got home I decided to take a nap.  I left the boys outside to play in the garage and snow.  When I woke up, this is what I had to clean up.

Apparently his dad let him play with spray paint.  Yes, I said spray paint.  I know I said spray paint because Matt had to say it twice to me because I was hoping I didn't hear him correctly the first time he said it. 

The next time I want to take a nap, I am hiding the spray paint.


Friday, December 10, 2010


You may not have known this, but I am a painter.  I didn't know I could paint either, but apparently, if you give me a little bit of instruction and some wine... Voila!  Art is made.

Yes, I made that.

I had an opportunity to catch up with some old friends at Wine and Canvas in Indianapolis a few weeks ago.  I had never done it before but was assured by my friends that I could do it and there were professionals to help out if I was really bad.

I had also convinced myself that surely this would be a paint by numbers situation and would not involve any kind of work, other than filling in the blanks.  I was wrong.

Once you sign in, they give you a blank canvas, a paper plate filled with paint, and some brushes in a cup of water.   After my friend Alison and I checked in and saw the blank canvases we had to work with, we immediately went back to the bar and ordered some wine.  After a few minutes of instruction and some wine, this is what I had accomplished.

A few things I want to point out:

  • If you notice the top of the canvas is blank.  Proof I did all of this myself.
  • White paint is the best thing ever as you can make mistakes and then cover them up with white paint so its like they never happened.
  • If you think drawing a straight line is difficult, try painting a straight line... while drinking wine.
  • Drinking wine while painting causes you to stop thinking about things like turning the flash on when you take a picture of your progress. Sorry.

Here is my friend Alison, hard at work on her painting.

    Some of our other friends working on their paintings...

    Yours truly getting my art on...

    And finally, my friends and I with our masterpieces!

    I love that our paintings our different and yet similar.  You can see the sample we were following posted on the wall.

    This was so much fun and for $35 you create a piece of artwork and enjoy time with friends.  It was also really relaxing to become so focused on finding the right shade of blue or drawing your line just right.

    I highly recommend Wine and Canvas and I will definitely be going back!

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Passive Agressive Pooch

    Apparently Dixie has been a little cold lately.  I usually have the space heater on in my office when I work from home.  Last Friday, Dixie got a little closer to the heater than usual.

    I think its her passive aggressive way of saying "Mom, please turn up the thermostat please".

    As someone who also gets cold easily, I understand what Dixie is going through. However, I pay the bills around here, not Dixie.  But to make it up to Dixie, I'm cranking up the electric blanket we both love to lay with tonight!!

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    A Few of My Favorite Things

    I recently watched the Oprah episode where she gives everyone in her audience a few of her favorite things.  While I won't be giving you, dear reader, any fabulous prizes or 7 day cruises, the show did get me thinking about what I wanted for Christmas this year.  Unlike Daulton who gets to shop in the stack of toy catalogs my mom and I collected, I do my shopping on the internet.

    Skybar One Wine Chiller & Dispenser

    A device that aerates and chills my wine to the appropriate temperature and then dispenses it straight into my glass?  Yes please. This would look great on my kitchen counter and I can see it filled with malbecs and merlots in the winter and rieslings in the spring.

    At $399.99, this is probably not going be showing up under the Christmas tree but a girl can still dream.

    If you are looking for a wine related gift for me, I am currently obsessed with malbec wines from Argentina and Chile.  (Try The Gaucho Club Malbec, its amazing!)  If you love red wine, you have to try malbec.  Its red deliciousness in a bottle.  Buy a bottle for yourself and one for me!

    Frame the Date

    I came across this site a few months ago and have been lusting after it ever since.  I would love to have this with my wedding date (4/24/2010) in the black frame.  I like the idea of adding a picture but I think I would love it just as much without the picture, so I can go either way with it.

    And, if we have this hanging up in the house there is no reason for anyone to forget our anniversary.

    Key to the Perfect Locket by HannaKinsey

    This necklace is from my friend Hanna's Etsy shop, HannaKinsey.  I love that it looks like a family heirloom and I would always wonder what it unlocked.  Is it a key to an old trunk filled with treasures or to a safety deposit box filled with money.  Who knows?  But I do know I would spend many hours daydreaming about what the key would unlock.

    Kinsey Necklace by HannaKinsey

    Another favorite from the HannaKinsey Etsy shop.  Normally, I am not a bird person but this necklace reminds me of Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  If you haven't read the Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) yet you are missing out.  Run, do not walk, to the book store, library, internet, whatever and get your hands on these books and read them immediately (and then call me to discuss).  I promise you its an amazing series and well worth the read.  Its also interesting that it was Hanna who suggested the Hunger Games to me and then created, in my opinion, the perfect representation of those books.  This necklace reminds me of the Mockingjay pin Katniss wears.  Talking about the Hunger Games and looking at this necklace makes me want to read the entire series again. 

    Kylie Messenger Bag

    Years ago, pre-Matt, I had a major purse problem.  (If you ever saw my mother's shoe collection you would understand that it wasn't my fault.  I inherited these genes!)  I bought new purses constantly and was physically unable to walk away from a cute bag.  And then I signed a 30 year mortgage, met my husband and step-son, and I realized I had to stop buying handbags like they were candy.

    I have since gotten rid of a few purses and I haven't bought a new one in years.  I would love to have a bag that would allow me to shop "hands free" since I could wear it messenger style.  There would also be room for all of my stuff, my Nook if I ever get a chance to read for fun again, and whatever else I need to carry.

    I am also considering the Beverly bag from the same shop.

    Can you tell I have been window shopping on Etsy a lot?

    Initials & Wedding Date with Pearl & Wedding Ring Charm

    This speaks to my newlywed heart.  I love the simplicity and the personalization.  And if you know anyone else who got married this year, this would be a great gift for them as well.  But if you are only going to buy one, buy one for me!

    The Vintage Pearl also has a similar styles.  And I would love to have the dainty drops necklace with Daulton's name and birthstone.

    My last Etsy store, I promise.  I am also loving the LapDeskLady's shop and since I love to work from my recliner I am sure I would get great use out of her lap desks.  I also love the customized stationary and address labels. 


    Yes, I admit it.  I want an iPad.  I love the apps and how it fits in my hand.  I love that I could use it for work and for home.  I can see myself handing it to Daulton to watch movies on it during long car rides. 

    I don't need the 3G version, wi-fi only would suit me just fine.  But I am going to need the 64GB model.  And maybe an iTunes gift card to buy a few apps and movies for Daulton.

    If money were no object, I would buy 2 iPads.  One for me and one for the boys.  I know how we are and we won't want to share.  Having 2 would allow me to take one to work and still leave one at home for the guys to use.

    As the holidays approach, its always fun to look through the catalog and internet for the "I would love to have that" items.  Its also a great time to appreciate the things you already have.

    For me its a husband who loves and supports me, a step-son who makes me laugh and teaches me patience, parents who love me and have helped shape the person I am today, siblings who taught me to fight for what's important and let the little stuff go, and friends who accept me for who I am.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Sunshine and Puppy Dogs

    Sometimes it really is a sunshine and puppy dogs kind of day.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Cousins Weekend 2010

    This past weekend the other Rardin cousins and I met at our house for the first Rardin Cousins Weekend.  This was a big deal because this is the first time this many cousins have gotten together without our parents being around.  We've never planned a family function. We only show up for events...we don't plan them.

    So we meet at our house and are quickly on our way to the Indianapolis Children's Museum.  To be honest, I wasn't sure if everyone would enjoy themselves.  I wondered if the little kids would have fun and more importantly would the big kids have fun too.  I was so happy when we walked in the door and everyone was ready to explore.

    We started with the dinosaurs.  I dare you to find me an adult who does not think dinosaur bones are cool.  While the adults gawked at the T-Rexs, the kids explored the rest of the exhibit.  They found little dinosaur caves, teeth, and eggs.

    Next we found the train exhibit and realized that if we wanted to see the rest of the exhibits, we needed to get the boys out of there and move on.  I think they would have stayed there all day if we would have let them.

    The Egypt exhibit was not great.  The kids liked to play in the kitchens and with the fake food, but the adults were definitely ready to move on to another exhibit.

    I dare you to be around this kid and not pinch his chubby cheeks.  Its impossible.

    We hit up a few other exhibits and then it was on to the carousel.  It was a big hit!!

    After the museum we headed back to our house for the rest of the evening.  Only one of the kids took a nap on the way home and everyone else was hungry for some hot dogs, venison steaks, and chili.  This was also a great chance for everyone to get outside and play cornhole, football, and get a few rides on the scooter.  Once the sun went down, the party went inside where we laughed, ate, laughed some more, and then played euchre.

    During this time, one of the boys found my pink rain boots.  I wore these boots on my wedding day and I still wear them today to walk the dog.  Apparently, this guy does not want to be identified.

    On Sunday morning it was time for brunch at my parents' house.  The oldest cousin Jason is a professional chef and had offered to make brunch for us.  My mom and sister acted as his sous chefs and it was the best brunch I have ever had.  I should have worn stretchy pants to brunch because I am pretty sure I would have kept eating except my jeans were too restrictive.

    The menu included strata (an egg dish), stuff shells with sausage, peppers, and cheese, and bread pudding with homemade caramel sauce and chocolate.  There was also bloody marys, screwdrivers, and chocolate milk for the kids.

    Words do not express how wonderful this weekend was.  It was so much fun to hear new stories and remember the ones we already knew.  For example, our grandparents once had a dog named Chainsaw because Grandpa wanted to buy a $400 chainsaw and Grandma said no.  So, Grandpa got a dog instead and named it Chainsaw since that's what he really wanted.  Or the time when Pumpkin, the pony, took off into the field with my sister on top and all the uncles and Grandpa running after it.

    I never realized how similar our personalities are and how our childhood experiences, while at some times were different, are also remarkably the same.  We are all strong, independent and outspoken individuals.  That makes for a very loud and fun weekend.  Its a great feeling to be around people exactly like you and who understand how you feel even though you grew up in different states.

    I know this is the first of many Rardin Cousins Weekend pictures.

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Flag Football 2010

    Daulton played flag football this year and had a great season.  He played well offensively and defensively and was the top scorer on his team.  We are now living, breathing, and talking constantly about football and our evenings are spent playing football in the evenings.  Matt is happy to have someone to watch football with that actually pays attention and I am happy that Daulton has found something he is passionate about!

    The proud football dad!!

    The picture below does not capture the look of fear and panic on the opponent's face.  Daulton's a pretty tough player and many a kid was knocked down if they were in his path.  Before every play Daulton would stare at the kid across the line.  I think they found it intimidating.

    We are very proud of Daulton and I know we will be spending many Saturdays in the future on the sidelines being his loudest cheerleaders and strongest supporters!

    Side Note:  I am also looking for good lawn chair recommendations and will be asking Santa for a new stadium seat (with a back) for Christmas.  I see lots of time in the bleachers in the future and I want to be comfortable.


    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Happy Birthday Matt!

    You are the one who gets everyone out the door in the morning when we would rather stay in bed.

    You know when to let us sleep just a few more minutes (or hours) when we need it.

    You make our hurts better and make us laugh when we would rather cry.

    You are our Chief Transportation Officer and ensure we get to where we are going in one piece and on time.

    You keep us well fed and always smiling after our home cooked meals.

    You taught us how good venison is when prepared correctly. 

    You showed us how to play cornhole and how to love the game.

    You are our editor-in-chief when it is time to do homework or write a new post for our blogs.

    You know when I need wine and have a glass poured by the time I get home.

    You are the Fashion Director and make sure everyone is looking presentable in public.

    You give us the push we need to do better when we need it.

    You are the carrier and lifter of all heavy stuff. 

    You play football with Daulton every night, go to every game, and can remember every play of every game Daulton has played.

    You are good at kicking the football to Daulton.  (added by Daulton)

    Happy Birthday Matt!!  Daulton, Dixie and I love you very much!

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Spaghetti Tacos

    No, that title is not a typo.  Daulton had spaghetti tacos tonight.  Apparently this new trend was started by Daulton's favorite show iCarly.  The recipe is exactly as it sounds, make some spaghetti, put it in a taco shell, and eat. 

    In case you thought I was making this up, here are some pictures.

    He loved it!  Spaghetti tacos are here to stay! 

    Note:  Matt and I did not try the spaghetti taco but Daulton told us it tastes exactly as it sounds. 

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Time To Clean the Bathrooms

    I love to clean.  I know it sounds crazy, but its true.  I love having a clean house and not having a clean house makes me crazy.  I have also used cleaning as stress relief before.  Taking out my anger and frustration on the kitchen helps me work out my aggression and I get a clean kitchen in the process.

    As much as I love to clean, I hate cleaning the bathrooms.  The worst part about cleaning the bathrooms is definitely cleaning the tub.  I don't know why I hate it, but I do.

    Luckily, I have been able to recruit a bathroom cleaning partner.  There are two bathrooms in our house, a boys bathroom and a girls bathroom.  Yes, we have segregated bathrooms.  Its better this way, trust me.

    For some reason, Daulton really wants to scrub the toilet using the toilet brush.  I have no idea what the fascination is but I am going to take all the help I can get.  The toilet brush desire probably comes from the fact I have never let him do it until now.

    I don't consider myself an organic, green person but having Daulton around and having him do chores around the house has made me think twice about what I use to clean.  I found some natural spray cleaner and we use denture cleaning tabs for the toilet (drop a couple in, let them work for a few minutes, then scrub and they are pretty cheap, $3 for 60).  The bubbles are fun to watch and I don't worry about him breathing in any chemicals.  And honestly, Matt and I shouldn't be breathing in that stuff either.

    Usually we are a tag team, but this past time we each took a bathroom and worked on them separately.  The results were pretty awesome.  The counter was cleaned, the toilet sparkling, and only a few streaks on the mirror.  I can live with streaks if that means it is one less bathroom I have to clean.

    Its nice to have a cleaning partner and I feel good about teaching Daulton how to help out around the house.  And I think he realizes that keeping the house looking nice requires a team effort.  Because if I have to clean everything by myself I am going to be a very cranky lady.  So really, its in his best interest to help out.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    The End of an Era

    I am a little behind in my blogging so this post is a little late.  Better late then never right?

    This summer Matt played in a softball league with some friends.  He was an excellent baseball player in high school and played on several championship softball teams several years ago.  When Matt and I first started dating I used to go to his softball games and I loved watching him play.  I also thought he was really cute in his baseball pants!

    So when Matt told Daulton and I he was going joining a softball league this summer, Daulton and I were very excited to watch him play.  Later in the season I had to play a few games, which I wasn't thrilled about but I did it.  (I apparently am still harboring resentment from being forced to play softball as a child, but we will save my issues for another day.) 

    During Matt's last game of the season he hit it out of the park.  Daulton and I were so excited for him and loudly cheered for him from the stands.  On our walk to the car, I spotted the ball lying in the grass and sent Daulton out to get it.  Matt could have cared less about it but Daulton and I wanted it as a souvenir.  Its a good thing we grabbed it because when we got home, Matt declared he was retiring from softball and this was his last game. 

    It was fun watching Matt play this summer and I am sure there will be some family ball games in the future.  (We won't be using real softballs due to an incident two weeks before school started and Daulton caught a ball with his face.  It was thrown by yours truly.  We have not played catch since but if we do, the new rule is to use tennis balls which do not leave bruises.) 

    If Matt ever decides to come out of retirement, his two biggest fans will be there! 

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Laura & Mike's Wedding - Reception

    Here are the reception pictures.  Congratulations to Laura & Mike!!

    My mom and dad, a.k.a. "we paid for this party"
    getting ready to leave Sunday morning


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