Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's A...

We wanted to do something fun to announce the gender of our baby since this is the last one we are planning on having.  I have seen so many cute ideas that people have done and honestly, it never occurred to me before when I was previously pregnant to make a big hoopla over a gender announcement, but I must say, Pinterest has a way of sweeping me into being more over the top than normal.  I am sure my husband rues the day Pinterest was formed and I discovered it. 

Many people tend to throw a party and have a special cake that they have tinted blue or pink on the inside and the gender is revealed when they cut into it.  Frankly, I did not have the energy to throw such a party and I wanted to announce to a larger amount of people at one time so I decided to go the photo shoot route and then post it on Facebook.  That is exactly what we did. 

Now to be fair, we knew the sex of the baby but the girls didn't know and we told no one else.  We found out before our cruise.  Lorne wouldn't even let us tell strangers on the cruise, I suppose he feared if we talked about it too much, we would let it slip before we made the grand announcement.

Lorne wasn't 100% sold on the photo shoot thing but I think to be a good sport and do something I wanted, he went along with it.  He even came up with one of the concepts we tried.  It wasn't one I was wild about but I didn't want him not to have fun and there was no harm done so I let it happen (more on that later). 

It was so damn cold when we did our photo shoot.  We had been having a very mild winter and no snow so we didn't expect it to be so cold the day we chose to do this shoot outside.  In fact, it started snowing while we were out there.  You can't tell from the photos, but man we were dying.  By the time we went back inside, I couldn't feel my fingers anymore and the girls were complaining.  It was in the 20's which for us had been quite a shock from the average temps of 40's and 50's all winter long.

The first thing we did was the balloon shoot - this was one I wanted to do.  The reactions of the girls are real, they didn't know until they opened the boxes what we were having.  I should also explain, the boxes were small and only one balloon would fit and we wanted them each to have a chance at opening it so we did two boxes, one friend took this to mean we were having two babies, that is NOT the case.  Thank Goodness.

The second shoot we did was melons and bananas.  Lorne thought it might be funny to use fruit to reveal the gender in a cheeky way.  Most people agree, this fell flat.  We share the pictures because we have a good sense of humor, but believe me, there are many that you will never see.  I would not recommend anyone else try this...

The last shoot we did was inside, in the bakery using cupcakes.  We felt it fitting because that is that I do and it was cute as well.  I like how these pictures came out but my favorites were the balloons.

As you can see, we are having a BOY!  Pretty much 98% of you all thought so and seem to want us to have a boy more than we do!  To be clear, I am happy the baby is healthy and I think having a boy will give us a new experience but I am not going to lie and pretend that I am not terrified at the thought.  I know we will be fine and we will get used to it, but being so girl centered for almost 8 years makes it hard to change. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

I love Valentine's Day.  I do.  I love the cheesy nature of it, I love being able to focus on love all day and I love to make the day special for as many people as I can.  This does not mean that I don't find other ways on other days of the year to express my love but I just love Valentine's Day.  I always have.  We always got chocolate from our parents and my dad always made it special for my mom.

I also don't mind the excuse for a grand gesture.  Sometimes I get accused of going over the top.  Who can blame a girl on the day of love?

The night before was a bit hectic just arriving from vacation a day before that and trying to make sure the girls had valentines for their classes and that their outfits were ready.  I also did prep for Valentine's breakfast.  I set the table and placed their gifts and then got to bed around 2 am.  I am so getting too old for this...

In the morning I got up early (for me) and headed downstairs to make breakfast.  I was excited for everything to be ready before the girls came down so I made them wait upstairs.  I made them special heart-shaped french toast with chocolate banana spread in between and fresh strawberries, all topped with whipped cream.  They also had watermelon hearts to go with it.

I dressed them in some cute Valentine's Day outfits, did their hair and sent them off to school.  I also made sure that Jasmine's class had special V-Day cupcakes and that they went armed with their respective class Valentines (which due to time constraints, I stayed up late the night before making).

That night, we went out to dinner with the girls and it was lovely.  We went to Walker's Grille, and had some delicious food!  It is always nice to support a local business and even nicer when you know the owner!

I am so blessed to have 3 of the best Valentines a girl could ever ask for.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Epic Win

So I am going to take a post and brag a moment.  Those of you who know me well know that I like a good competition and that I am a fierce competitor when I am good at something.  I play to win, it isn't fun for me when I don't.  I know, I know, I need to work on that.

I was raised to be the best at what I love and so with that in mind, I love me some karaoke and always take every opportunity to sing when I can.  Especially when we cruise and they have it every night.  A girl can get spoiled with all those opportunities to be a star.  I know I take complete advantage.

It took me three qualifying rounds to make the finals but finally, I prevailed and was poised for the finals on our last night aboard the Norwegian Star.  It was a day at sea so I contemplated what I wanted to sing.  There were so many options depending on the game I wanted to play but in the end, after much discussion with Lorne (until he didn't want to hear about it anymore), we settled on Where the Boys Are by Connie Francis.  I have been singing this song in public since I was 12 years old and it is a song I am very comfortable with and a song that is right in the sweet spot of my range.   Not to mention, that with the average age of the people on our cruise, they were bound to love it.  It was after all my dad who introduced me to the song.

There were 7 of us in the finals.  All good singers - this wasn't going to be easy and I had heard each of them qualify.  I knew that I probably wouldn't win but I was going to enjoy it anyway.  I was going to be sure I gave it my best shot.  One after another, the singers got up and gave it their best shot and they were doing a fine job. 

I sang second to last which I was happy about because I had wanted to hear most everyone before I had a turn.  They decided the winner based on audience applause and the decision of the three judges who were chosen out of the audience. 

When we had all had a chance to sing, they called us all up there to announce the winner.  I was absolutely stunned and floored when I won.  There have been times when I have competed in events and known and felt in my bones I would win but this time I was very unsure.  I knew I had performed well but I didn't know against the slot of good performers if it would be enough to win.  When they called my name you would have thought I won Miss America!  I was so surprised and so very happy. 

Lorne was very proud and he even told me he had filmed my performance.  At first I wasn't sure I wanted to watch it but I did and I am still happy with the performance even though the video doesn't do it justice.  Lorne said I was the best that night and if I hadn't won, he would have known it was somehow rigged.

It was just a cruise ship competition but it was an epic win to me - There must have been 300-400 people in that room and they all told me that I had been the best and how they had enjoyed me and the song I had chosen.  The judges came up to me and told me that they loved how I had connected to the audience and that the choice had been unanimous.  I was the most famous person on the ship for the next 12 hours before we all got off.

I got a trophy and a bag of Norwegian prizes.  I had people stopping me in the halls of the ship, and in the breakfast line.  I overheard people talking about me (which was fun because they were saying good things).  One couple who didn't know I was approaching were talking and the man said, "She was so good, the best I have heard, if you closed your eyes you would have sworn she was Connie Francis."  I grinned and thanked them and they hugged me and gushed some more. 

I could get used to that kind of treatment...but alas, I am at home again and just Sabrina...but happy to be me.