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Category Archives: Flashbacks

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!


This post is for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop #3.) A lie you told. I also linked up #5.) What was the occasion? Write about the last time you stayed in a hotel here.

I made a friend at school in Kindergarten. I think her name was Amber, but I’m not sure. One day I told Amber that I was going to be having a birthday party at Brady’s Run Park. I was not. What was actually going on was that our church was having the Sunday School Picnic at the park fairly close to my birthday. I knew that it wasn’t my birthday party…but I told her that anyway. I had forgotten all about it until we were at the Sunday School Picnic. Our family was at the shelter when a car pulled up. A little girl with a wrapped present got out of the car. Oops…busted! I had to tell my mom, and Amber, and her mom that I had lied about my birthday. I really don’t recall getting into a lot of trouble. In fact I remember our moms telling us that we could have a play date and maybe I could even ride the bus home with Amber one day (which was exciting for me because I was a “walker”). Then Amber and her mom got back into the car with the present and drove away. I don’t have any memories of Amber after that. I know that we never had our play date and sometime before the end of the year she moved away (probably to a place where people tell the truth). Amber did not come to my real birthday party that year. I’m not sure if it’s because we didn’t invite her, or if she just didn’t believe me, or if she had already moved away by then. I have absolutely no idea why I lied. It was very out of character for me. In fact while preparing for my Mommy’s Piggy Tales posts I asked my mom if she had any cute stories of me at this age. She told me that I was such a good girl all the time, I never did anything wrong, and there just isn’t anything funny about a little girl who’s always behaving herself.

The thing that I find weird about this story is…how did two 5 year old girls get the details right? How did I tell Amber the exact day, time, and place with shelter number to come to? How did she then relay that information to her mother…correctly? Why did her mom just take her to a birthday party without there being a written invitation and without speaking to my mother first? I have no idea! But aside from the lying, those were some great communication skills at work!

This post was originally included in the post Dancing in a box for my Mommy’s Piggy Tale series. That original post has been edited to create this new post.

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 5 Kindergarten: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

You can find links to posts about my 1st-5th birthdays here: Celebrating 30 Years in 30 Days

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

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I sold my teacher what?!!!


This is for Mama’s Kat Writer’s Workshop prompt #4.) A time you felt wronged by a teacher. I had considered writing about this last year during my Mommy’s Piggy Tales series but thought it may be too scandalous for my nice, respectable, Mommy-blog and instead wrote about the time my grandma ran over my foot with the car. Still the story is begging to be told…

It was around March or April of 1991. I was in 6th grade. I was 11 years old. I had the misfortune of having the same math teacher two years in a row. He wasn’t all that bad and still I wasn’t very fond of him. Maybe because Math was my least favorite subject and my grades were slipping that year.


(Look at that face of innocence! And also that sa-weeeeet outfit ;))

Middle School was the time when we learned what “going together” was all about (sorta). Kids were “going together” and breaking up every week. “Going together” more than 2 weeks was rare and nearly unheard of during these formative years. I myself had already had one other “going together” and breaking up experience so far that year. Now I found myself “going with” another boy. I don’t remember much about our “relationship”. I don’t remember how we got together or how we broke up…I only remember that it happened and was, in the scheme of things, quite an uneventful period of time in my life. The only mention of the “relationship” in my diary was short, cryptic and written 3 months after the fact.

(Names were erased to protect the privacy of those mentioned in my diary ;))

There’s probably more I don’t remember about this experience than what I do remember and I regret that I can’t provide you with all of the compelling details. All I know is that the halls had recently emptied, I’m guessing that the bell was about to ring for the start of class. My boyfriend was in the hall with me and before he left he gave me a quick peck. I’m fairly certain that this was the first time that had happened, yet it happened so quickly it almost seemed routine. I’m not even sure the kiss hit my lips although I know it had intended to. Then he came walking up to me…my math teacher. Tall (in comparison to me), round, balding, and bearded he towered over me with his eyes narrowing at me through his round glasses. He informed me that he had just seen what had happened and would be calling my mother. I wanted to yell that he had kissed me and that I was the innocent victim of a hit and run (which was the truth), but I said nothing and walked with my head down, red-faced and embarrassed into class.

I don’t think my math teacher ever bothered calling my mother because she never talked to me about it, and believe me, she definitely would’ve talked to me about it. I suppose there was nothing to worry about, yet I still couldn’t help feeling embarrassed that my teacher thought me a naughty girl. In fact this very incident may have been what led to the ultimate demise of my “relationship” with Mr. Kiss-and-Run. I bet you’re thinking that this is rather a boring story and so far you’re right. Little did 11 year old me know the irony that awaited me 7 years later.

It was around September or October of 1998. I was 19 years old. I was working in the lingerie department of a very newly opened department store in the mall. Half of our department’s merchandise consisted of respectable sleepwear and robes, the other half of bras and panties and other foundations. Far from being Fredrick’s of Hollywood or even Victoria’s Secret we only carried a few racks of “special occasion” lingerie, otherwise known as…the sexy stuff.


(Me 1998, still the picture of innocence.)

Because the store had recently opened I was scheduled to work with several other cashiers, something that would be unheard of in the future as many resignations and lay-offs would occur. I was standing near the register talking with another girl when I happened to glance over towards the “special occasion” lingerie…
And then I saw him. Looking through the racks of sexy lingerie was my 5th-6th grade math teacher. He didn’t appear as tall since I was now (a little) taller than my 1991 counterpart, but he was still round (although perhaps more round), still balding (although more bald), still bearded (although more gray), and still wearing round glasses.

Before I had a chance to tell my co-worker and then flee from the scene…horror of all horrors he came walking up to the cash register. Suddenly I found myself alone. Where did my co-worker go so quickly?! I took my long hair and threw it in front of my face to hide my features and turned my name badge around to hide my name. I was hoping he would quickly purchase a nice tasteful negligee for his wife without recognizing me (I wasn’t sure whether or not he was married…nor did I care at the moment.). Well, he didn’t recognize me…at least he didn’t acknowledge that he recognized me. In fact I’m not sure he even looked directly at me as I’m sure he may have been quite embarrassed of himself. Embarrassed because, no…he was not in fact buying a nice tasteful negligee. Instead I found myself ringing up a pair of crotchless panties…in size 2XL…for my 6th grade math teacher! (*shudder*) Paying with a credit card confirmed my suspicions that it was indeed him. Aside from me mumbling the purchase total I’m quite sure that neither of us spoke during the whole transaction including any hellos or goodbyes.

He left and I pulled my hair back out of my face which was much redder than it had been 7 years ago in the hallway at school. Once I had a moment to recover from the horror of what had just happened, a smile broke across my face and I found myself wishing that I had his mother’s phone number…that naughty, naughty boy!

Other Writer’s Workshop Posts:
*07-13-11 A bad day: Oh, no he didn’t!
*07-13-11 Has your child thrown a temper tantrum in public?
Create a video describing what happened and how you handled it.
: And so it begins… (Video)
*07-06-11 A list of 10 old TV shows you’d like to make a comeback.: 10 Shows I’d Like to Make a Comeback
*06-15-11 Share a Summer Camp memory.: Youth Camp Stinks
*05-25-11 Write about a time you got in BIG trouble as a kid.
The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*05-18-11 Describe a time when your child said or did something that made you laugh out loud.: Funny Things Adaline Says (Video)
*05-18-11 What was your big dream for yourself when you were 18 and had graduated from high school?: Dreams and Aspirations
*05-18-11 List ten favorite things about one of your favorite people.: 15 Reasons Why My Hubby is Awesome
*05-11-11 Write a love letter to someone (some thing?) you love.
The One That Got Away
*04-06-11 A rule I broke: In School Suspension

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Is that an Earthquake or is my cell phone on vibrate?


Disclaimer: This blog post is about The Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011. It is also a gross overshare of all natural disasters I’ve experienced thus far. Prepare to be bored horrified, shocked, and amazed.

Yesterday while my husband was at work and my daughter was with her Grandma, I was sitting in my bed in good ‘ol Beaver Falls, PA enjoying some cake (because I work really hard and all). My dog had just run inside of his cage so that he could scratch his ears (I guess he wanted some privacy??) While he was scratching his ears I started to feel the bed move…in rhythm with his scratching. Being sarcastic as I am, even if I’m alone with no one to share it with, I thought to myself, “If he’s scratching his ears so hard that it’s moving this bed that’s going to be one big vet bill.” And then the shaking got ever-so-slightly stronger and I actually began to think that, as crazy as it might be, maybe a stray dog had somehow gotten underneath my bed and was also scratching and it was making the bed move…that was not sarcasm it was a brief, real, albeit stupid, thought that I actually had. Then, ever-the-analytical thinker, I began to think that maybe I should stay very still and assess the situation. The bed was moving ever-so-slightly and I could hear the rustling of the piles of crap that I need to clean off of the dressers. My conclusion: “Why, Pa, I do believe we just had us an earthquake.” And then I went back to eating my cake.

A few minutes later my mom called from work. She asked me if I’d felt the earth move and I told her the whole riveting story…the cake, the dog’s ears, the rustling piles of crap. (It’s the details like these that make me such a good storyteller and why 10s of you keep coming back to my blog for more. You recognize that talent and I applaud you for it.) After I got off of the phone with my mom and (sadly) finished my last bite of cake, I made my “I survived the shiver of 2011” presence known on Facebook and Twitter before calling my hubby. I called Cool Daddy and asked him if he’d survived the earthquake and he had no idea what I was talking about. So, I once again filled him in with all of the exciting details this time including all of the dramatic accounts from my mom’s office as well. He hadn’t felt a thing. He did call back later to say he’d watched the surveillance video and saw the camera shaking. Ooooo…ahhhhh.

For those of you news hounds who want the real scoop, here’s the deal…
A moderate earthquake hit Virginia Tuesday afternoon and the tremors were felt hundreds of miles away. The epicenter of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake was about 87 miles outside of Washington, D.C. around 1:51 p.m. source
…and scene.
That’s it. Everyone’s fine although many freaked out…not really sure why (let’s all calm down, people). I don’t even have any crooked pictures (at least not any that were straight before the earthquake). A few weeks ago we had a thunderstorm in the middle of the night and that shook the house more than this earthquake. And it was super loud at 4am, not something I really appreciated. Still not scary, but concerning enough to make sure my laptop was unplugged in case lightning struck…priorities, you understand.

(Note: I would like to credit this photo, but it has gone viral in a very short period of time and I’m unable to trace the original source. If you know the source, please let me know!)

Maybe I was so calm today because I’d been through this before. In 1986 when I was in the first grade my teacher set her purse in front of me and asked me to watch it while she left the room for a moment. She walked out and shortly after that our desks started shaking. It felt very similar to what I felt today. I don’t remember a single thing falling or tipping over and I don’t really remember any of the kids crying or getting upset. We all thought it was pretty cool…or at least I did.

The January 31st (1986) earthquake struck just before 11:47 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Although early media speculation had the epicenter located from Columbus to southern Canada, the U.S. Geological Survey quickly determined that the epicenter was east of Cleveland, and within a few hours the epicenter had been accurately located in southern Lake County just north of the Geauga-Lake County line. This Richter magnitude 4.96 (commonly rounded to 5.0) event was felt in parts of 11 states, the District of Columbia, and southern Ontario. Most of Ohio and western Pennsylvania experienced particularly strong vibrations that were noted by numerous individuals. The Division of Geological Survey received hundreds of telephone calls in the hours after the earthquake as did numerous federal, state, and local agencies. source

At the very end of Kindergarten on Friday May 31, 1985 there was a tornado here in Western Pennsylvania. Fridays were paydays and when my dad would get home from work we would all head up to The Big Beaver Plaza to go shopping at Jamesway (like a K-Mart or to reference some stores that are no longer in business: like a Hills or Ames). For whatever reason we didn’t go that night. I don’t remember what time it started storming, but I think that my sister and I were already in bed. Our dad was running around gathering flashlights, batteries, and radios. He said there was a tornado coming and we needed to get into the basement. Now we surely would be happy to go into our dark, dirty, cold, wet, insect-infested basement if it was going to save our lives (don’t get me wrong), but it obviously isn’t the nicest place to spend the evening. I’m not sure why my mom was so calm. I don’t know how she “knew” that we would be okay and that the tornado wouldn’t come near us. She took us out onto the porch and showed us the sky. It looked crazy, the wind was blowing everywhere it was so dark and cloudy…I don’t think that I could describe it if I tried. Then I saw (what I thought at the time was) the tornado in the distance. I’m guessing that it was just more crazy storm clouds, but I thought I was looking right at the tornado. We only looked briefly and then went back inside where we ate ice cream. I don’t remember if we ever went into the basement. Maybe my mom didn’t know that we’d be okay, but she could tell our dad was scaring us to death…so she made it fun. Who wants to go sit in a nasty basement waiting for a tornado to sweep you away? No one. That’s scary. Who wants to look at a super cool storm and then eat some ice cream? Me and my sister.

The fact of the matter is that, unlike the “no big deal” earthquakes that we’ve had, this tornado was the real deal. The terrible F3 tornado killed at least 3 people and The Big Beaver Plaza including the Jamesway was ripped to shreds.


Last year we survived Snowmeggdon 2010 also referred to as the Snowpocolypse. Snow really isn’t a big deal in PA, it’s something that we expect. Still, we hadn’t had a blizzard like this since the early 90s, so some people were freaking out. The Cool Family survived the snow by having French toast and hot chocolate.

I know that you’re amazed by my ability to come out of so many natural disasters unscathed. I’m like that dude from Unbreakable ;).

Things are pretty mild here in Western PA natural disaster-wise. We’re not prone to earthquakes or tornados (although they apparently do happen on occasion) or hurricanes or floods (although flooding is probably the most prevalent of all listed). We feel a tiny shiver and people are jumping into bathtubs the way that southerners start stocking up on bottled water when they spy a snow flurry or how people in LA start building an ark if it rains. But not me. I am cool, calm, and collected.

I rock unthreatening-out-of-character natural disasters the way that Will Smith rocks saving the world from alien beings. If you’re going to have a mild natural disaster in an unlikely area you’re going to want me there to keep things calm. I will get out the ice cream and cake and we’ll all breath deeply, sweets are key when your life is (not) in imminent danger. After said mini-disaster is over we will walk outside and see that all is right with the world and you will thank me for saving your nerves during such a trying time. You are welcome. But if while we’re gazing at the sky with a new appreciation for life we notice any ufo’s coming close…you’re gonna have to call Will Smith ‘cause mama don’t play that (and I certainly don’t share my sweets with aliens).

Disclaimer: I understand that depending on where you were during the tremor that circumstances may have been more dangerous…I am simply relaying my own, personal, completely no-big-deal experience. So far I have heard no reports of injuries or significant property damage and I pray that you and yours are all well. Also, I like to bookend with disclaimers to give us all a sense of closure. I’m sure that we all feel better now.

Where were you during The Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011, and did you feel it? Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts:
*1985: Dancing in a Box (Mommy’s Piggy Tales)
*1985: Jenn’s Unicorn 6th Birthday Party
*1986: There’s a Bra in my Lunchbox (Mommy’s Piggy Tales)
*1986: Jenn’s 7th Birthday Party (Hoss’s, rainbows, and earrings)

This post is linked to…

Lilypie Maternity tickers
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10 Shows I’d Like to Make Comeback


I don’t watch much tv these days. I recently had my heart broken by a tv show and on top of that my basic cable “package”, which only gives us 10 channels, doesn’t offer many options for tv viewing. But whether you have 10 channels or 310 this one fact remains…they just don’t make good tv shows like they used to.

When Mama Kat offered “A list of 10 old TV shows you’d like to make a comeback.” as a writing prompt for this week’s Writer’s Workshop…I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

It’s hard to narrow the list to just ten…and many of the shows that I would pick have actors who have left us long ago. At the risk of being the 126 person to say, “Bring back The Cosby Show!” (and seriously…bring it back!). I thought I’d take a different approach and put out a plea for some shows you very well have never heard of. To give my other favorite shows of all time the recognition they deserve I have listed them at the bottom of this post in no particular order with no additional commentary.

1. MST3K:

If you don’t know what that abbreviation stands for than chances are that you’ve never seen this show. Mystery Science Theater 3000, called MST3K by fans, was a series about a man named Joel who is trapped on a space station by an evil scientist and forced to watch bad movies. Joel created robot friends, Crow and Tom Servo, out of spare parts and to keep sane, Joel and the robots provide “commentary” by cracking jokes throughout each film.

My dad introduced me to the show when I was in high school with episode 312 Gamera vs. Guiron. By the “Hello…thank you!” scene I was hooked. It takes a special kind of person to see the humor behind MST3K and you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. I personally found it hilarious and I’d love to see it make a comeback. But I only want episodes with Joel. You can keep Mike.

Hello…thank you! Oh so funny!

2. Swans Crossing:

I think I’m one of the five people in the world that remember this short-lived teen drama series that aired in 1992. One of the few actors from Swans Crossing who managed to make it out with her career still alive was Sarah Michelle Gellar who played mean rich girl, Sydney Rutledge. The summer before 8th grade my sister and I would watch this show every afternoon and then play some Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo back when video game controllers still had joysticks. No, it wasn’t near as good as our beloved Saved by the Bell…in fact it was downright awful…but we loved every awful, cheesy, minute of it! For more info about Swans Crossing click here or here

The Swans Crossing Theme Song

You also don’t want to miss this video of Mila’s Birthday Party Invitation (starts at 5:00).

3. Fifteen:

Another short-lived teen drama of the early 90s was Canadian-American teen soap opera, Fifteen, which ran on Nickelodeon from 1990-1993. It was equally as cheesy as Swans Crossing, but with slightly better production quality and a longer run on air. It still wasn’t as awesome Saved by the Bell (what is?), but it had the right amount of drama and crushes and whatnot for a teenage girl.
Looking for a well-known actor from Fifteen, how about this guy right here…
Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds played the role of Billy Simpson.

Watch a young Ryan Reynolds at work with the ladies…

4. Today’s Special:

Do you remember the Nickelodeon show that ran from 1982-1987 about a department store mannequin that comes to life at night and hangs out with a security guard and a mouse who are puppets? Well, I do! It was called “Today’s Special”. Sometimes the mime was a little creepy, but overall I enjoyed the show as a kid.

Today’s Special Theme Song

5. Danger Mouse:

Danger Mouse is a superhero/secret agent mouse who works with his sidekick, Penfold, and he is awesome! My sister and I loved Danger Mouse as kids. It too aired on Nickelodeon.

Danger Mouse opening

6. Banana Man:

Bananaman was a cartoon short that aired on Nickelodeon in 1983 after Danger Mouse. It’s about a boy who turns into a superhero whenever he eats bananas. I don’t remember too much about it except that my sister and I liked it at the time…probably because we associated it with Danger Mouse, which we loved.
For more banana goodness try here

Bananaman opening

7. Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s Elephant Show:

The Elephant Show was a Canadian children’s show which aired on Nickelodeon from 1987-1994 starring singing trio Sharon, Lois, and Bram. Admittedly I watched much more of this show at 15 than I ever did at 8. I don’t know, I loved all of the kid’s songs and how hokey it all was. I think that lame is fun and cool…so what do I know. And guess what…you can like them on Facebook! 😉

Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s Elephant Show opening

…and don’t forget about Skinnamarink

8. Pinwheel:

Pinwheel was a kid’s show that aired on Nickelodeon from 1977-1990 using cartoons and puppets that interacted with humans. It was pretty awesome. You may remember watching Paddington Bear or Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings on Pinwheel. Or you may remember the theme song:
Pinwheel, pinwheel, spinning around.
Look at my Pinwheel and see what I’ve found.
Pinwheel, pinwheel, where have you been?
Hello, how are you, and may I come in?
Pinwheel, pinwheel spinning around.
Look at my Pinwheel and see what I found.
Pinwheel, pinwheel, breezy and bright.
Spin me good morning, spin me good night.

Pinwheel opening
(although it’s different than I remember, this is probably an earlier version)

9. Nancy, an operator here at the Disney Channel:

Okay, I know that it’s not a “show” and the Disney Channel is now “free” (for those of you who are willing to pay for standard cable or more)…but wouldn’t it be awesome if Nancy popped up on the Disney Channel every so often trying to sell it to you? My sister and I loved Nancy and I still remember when my mom finally picked up the phone to order the Disney Channel my sister and I were standing right next to her asking, “Are you talking to Nancy?!” I’m guessing it wasn’t her 😦

10. The Office:

I know that this show is still on the air…but being a pessimist and all I’m not predicting a bright future for the show now that Steve Carrell is gone. I hope I’m wrong, but I miss him already!


Apparently I liked a lot of Nickelodeon back in the day and apparently Nickelodeon relied heavily on Canadian and British shows in the 80s. Most of these shows aren’t even available on DVD and that makes me sad. I’d be happy to buy a bunch of DVDs of quality 80s/90s kid’s programming and show that to my kids all of the time rather than some of the junk that’s out there now. We exclusively watch PBS now (then again with only 10 channels we don’t really have other options!).

What are some tv shows you’d like to see make a comeback? Let me know in the comments!

Honorable Mentions of Great TVs Past:
Classics: I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Welcome Back, Kotter!, Get Smart, and All in the Family.
Family Shows of the 80s/90s: The Cosby Show, Growing Pains, Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step, Saved by the Bell, Home Improvement, and Boy Meets World
Other great 80s/90s Shows I Loved: Perfect Strangers, Who’s the Boss, Family Ties, The Wonder Years, Alf, Mama’s Family, and Golden Girls
80s/90s Cartoons: Muppet Babies, Care Bears, Jem, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, He-man, She-Ra, Gummi Bears, My Little Pony, Wuzzles, Popples, Pound Puppies, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Duck Tales, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Captain Planet, and Animaniacs

Other Writer’s Workshop Posts:
*Funny Things Adaline Says
*Dreams and Aspirations
*Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded (as an adult)
*15 Reasons Why My Hubby is Awesome
*The One That Got Away
*In School Suspension
*The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Youth Camp Stinks

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Our Wedding


Today is mine and Cool Daddy’s 8th wedding anniversary.
(We were married June 21, 2003 for those of you who can’t do the math ;))
You can read more about us here:
*How I Met Cool Daddy: Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy: Part 2
*15 Reasons Why My Hubby is Awesome
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

I went all out for our wedding. Cool Daddy was perfectly happy to let me do (and spend ;)) whatever I wanted and tell him a date, time, and place to show up. While there were definitely some stressful moments, some venue mishaps, weather concerns, hair woes, and flower drama…for the most part my mom and I really enjoyed planning my wedding. I didn’t end up with absolutely everything exactly the way that I wanted it, but all-in-all I think our wedding was fabulous and I have no regrets about “going big”. I didn’t have a fairytale wedding…I had a royal wedding. Or as close to one as you can get in Beaver County, PA 😉

You’re going to see quite a few pictures of me before we even get to the one photo of my hubby…but isn’t the wedding all about the pretty girl anyway? 😉

(Click on photos to enlarge)

My sister primps my hair and then puts a sixpence penny in my shoe.
Yes, I actually wore it inside of my shoe the whole time!

I love this picture of me and my mama 🙂

Putting on my veil and showing off my pearl necklace.

On my mama’s front porch.

My hunky hubby-to-be 🙂

Me and my sister and hubby with his brother.

My cousins were the flower girl and ring bearer.
I chose the pomanders rather than a basket. The flower girl hid a bag of petals behind the pomander and this is where she drew the red rose petals from to drop.

For the ring box I chose one shaped like a carriage that was made out of two quail eggs. I didn’t realize that this was the only photo of the ring box that I had. Here it is cropped for a closer look:

I actually found a photo of the ring box online here.


I was very into the details of the wedding. The funny thing was that I was so afraid that the guys that would be handling the ring box to get the rings in and out would break the egg shells, that we actually had the best man keep the rings in a box in his pocket the whole time. So the ring box ended up just being a front anyway.

A string quartet for the ceremony.
Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the bridal party.
The traditional “Here Comes the Bride” for me.

I walked down a very long aisle.
I wasn’t even halfway down when this picture was taken.

Hubby watching me walk down the aisle realizing how very spoiled I am lucky he is.

We had an outdoor ceremony in the gardens of an extinct Utopian community, Old Economy Village.

The guests had bubbles and the wedding party threw red rose petals while our carriage with white horses awaits.


Hubby looks like he’s carting me off to prison rather than escorting me. He also sounded like he was reading me my rights during our vows…I sounded like I was reciting an eloquent graduation speech. Not a lot of heart-felt teary-eyed stuff during our vows…we are robots.


The carriage ride was awesome. We rode down the streets and everyone stopped to look at us and we waved our best royal wave. A mother was walking with her two daughters and I heard one of them yell, “Mommy, she looks like Cinderella!”
I’d love to do that about once a week 😉





This was actually the aisle that I was supposed to walk down, but I knew that my gown wouldn’t fit, so we had them set up the chairs on the other side of the garden where my gown would have more room to breath 🙂

The bridal party.


For a photo like this the photographer would usually have the bridal party jump off of a step which would put everyone at about the same height, but we didn’t have any stairs available. I couldn’t jump at all without losing my dress so hubby and I stayed put.
I love how weird this photo is.
(You’re definitely going to want to click (twice) to enlarge this and check out all the great facials expressions!)

The reception venue: The Timberhouse at Rolling Acres Golf Course

This is a view from where hubby and I sat at the head table.
Our fancy champagne glasses that form a heart when they’re pushed together 🙂
The bells were the wedding favor…more on that later.
To the right of the glasses you can see my handkerchief. My grandmother crocheted old lace onto a new handkerchief and then tied it together with my mom’s wedding handkerchief. Something old, something new, something borrowed. My something blue was a blue ribbon on the garter that my mom made for me with my great-grandmother’s lace (more old). I had plenty of new: my necklace, my earrings, my tiara, my handkerchief, my shoes, and of course my gown.

The topiaries above were the centerpieces on every other table, the remaining table had wreaths and hurricane lamps shown below. Believe it or not we’ve gotten a lot of use out of all of the topiaries and wreaths. There are a few in Adaline’s nursery, we’ve used them as centerpieces for tea parties and I sometimes use them to decorate at Christmas.

Our wedding favors were silver bells. We attached everyone’s table number to their bell along with a little poem that I wrote about how to use the bells:
We all remember traditions past, to see them kiss you clink the glass.
But new traditions work as well, to see them kiss just ring the bell!

The cookie table…’cause that’s just how we roll 😉
(Yeah, I have a big Italian family. Mangia!)

Cutting the cake. We used our wedding cake knife to cut Adaline’s 1st birthday cake and have used it for each of our birthdays since then, it’s one of my favorite new traditions.


The cake was white with raspberry filling. It was covered in fondant with gumpaste flowers.

The detail on the cake mimicked the detailed beadwork on my gown.
(Click the photo twice to enlarge it and see the detail.)

Our first dance to Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”.

Ironically, my husband always asks me, “What was our wedding song again?” and I always answer, “Seriously? You couldn’t be more ironic right now. Did you seriously forget? How could you forget our wedding song?!” Oh well. The song didn’t hold any special meaning for us, I’ve just always liked it.

In case you were wondering…I can still rock a mean Electric Slide in a ball gown.

My throw-away bouquet was a break-away bouquet. We’ve all seen the “America’s Funniest Home Video” clips of single ladies fighting each other for a bouquet. Mine was a bunch of single flowers tied together with one special rose in the middle with a ribbon tied around it. While my back was turned to the girls, I untied the flowers so that when I tossed the bouquet individual flowers went everywhere and several girls picked up a flower. The lucky girl to get the rose with the ribbon is the one who will get the garter.

The garter was actually caught by my then-10-year-old cousin Ben, who snatched it up using a slick slide-on-the-knee move 😉
He placed the garter on the lady’s arm rather than her leg for a more pg version!

And here are some more photos of me, just because I’m pretty 🙂




Happy 8th Anniversary, Hubby! I love you!

On a side note today at 12:15pm Cool Daddy and I are going for an ultrasound to check and see how things are progressing with our little bean and to see if there’s perhaps more than one in there 😉

Credit:
Photography: Brad Allan at Redford Photography Canonsburg, PA
Cake: Carol Decanini at Carol’s Cakes Aliquippa, PA
Ceremony Venue: Old Economy Village Ambridge, PA
Reception Venue: The Timberhouse at Rolling Acres Golf Course Beaver Falls, PA
Bride’s Gown: St. Pucchi by Rani

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Bye-Bye Betty Bride


When I was born my maternal grandmother started a porcelain doll collection for me. Every year on my birthday and Christmas I would receive a new doll. When I was four years old I still had a bad thumb-sucking habit. I used to rub something silky, like the edging of a blanket, between my fingers and suck my thumb. I’d been known to reach up my paternal grandma’s skirt at church and grab on to her slip and suck my thumb. I had a habit that needed to be broken. I don’t remember how far into the “let’s break Jenny of her thumb-sucking habit” process we were when my aunt came up with an idea. My aunt told me that if I stopped sucking my thumb she would buy me a porcelain doll. I don’t recall whether or not I had seen the particular doll that I wanted before the offer was made or if she took me to the store afterwards to pick out my “goal doll”. All I remember is that before I had completely broken the habit I already had a specific bride doll in mind. I think that it was on display in a Hallmark store and little 4-year-old me thought that she was so pretty. I remember lying in my bed at night thinking, “I could suck my thumb and no one would see me!” and then my mom would call from downstairs, “Get that thumb out of your mouth!” (How did she know?!) I knew that I was going to have to do this honestly if I wanted to get my doll. I successfully quit sucking my thumb and the doll became mine. I named her Betty… Betty the Bride (I know, I’m so creative, right?! Don’t be jealous of my sweet, sweet naming skills.).

After years passed by I realized that Betty wasn’t as pretty as I thought she was. She was, in fact, pretty creepy. She looked like she could be the main character in a thriller about a doll that was possessed. Still, I kept her and had no plans of ever getting rid of her…4 year old me would’ve been so sad. I’d had her so long that despite her creepiness, she never gave me any nightmares 🙂

Now, I’m going to show you the only picture I have of Betty and I while I was child and I’m going to need you to focus. Remember, this is about Betty. It’s not about the Grand Ole Opry hair-do that is trying to eat my face or the giant red bow embellishing it, nor is it about the Pepto Bismal pink bedroom walls. It’s all about me holding Betty.

Have you regained your composure? Good, we can move on.

Last Saturday my mom was all like, “Hey, get over here and clean all of your crap out of my attic! Mmkay?!” asked me if I could help her clean out her attic. My mom is a thrower-outer and I’m a hoarder of memories saver. When we came across darling old Betty in a box my mom asked if I was still going to keep that ugly creepy doll. Naturally I told her “yes!”. We were going to move her into a different box and my mom picked her up horizontally with one hand under her head to hand her to me. Then we heard a crack…Betty’s face popped off!

While no tears were shed and I knew that it gave me a reason to part with her, I was still mildly upset that my mom broke her. She said that she barely touched her and naturally I responded with, “You don’t pick a doll up by the porcelain! You should’ve grabbed her torso!” (duh!) and my mom apologized although she mostly found it funny. I knew that I was going to get rid of Betty. There was no point, despite the sentiment, to attempt to glue her back together just to stick her back into storage. So I did what any weird sane person would do and took a bunch photos so that I could preserve my memory of Betty the Bride.

If she didn’t appear creepy and possessed before…check her out now with her head detached!

My mom clearly snapped her neck on purpose, what with her hands as hot as the blazing surface of the sun and her crazy herculean kung fu grip, she could’ve done it subconsciously with very little effort. I was certain that she was the one to blame.

But then…

When I was looking through the photos that I’d taken of Betty I noticed something. I came across Betty in a box with another doll while my mom wasn’t even in the attic. I snapped a picture of her lying in the box and then moved on to other things. If you look closely (okay, you don’t even need to look that closely) at the photo you can see a white crack on the right side of Betty’s face (left in the photo). I didn’t notice it when I had seen her in the box, but I noticed it in the picture. Betty’s face had already snapped off at some point while in storage. Whether it was from age, heat, or other boxes carelessly being stacked on top…her face was broken before my mom ever touched her.

Well. I guess I owe my mom an apology.
Mom, I’m sorry that I accused you of ruthlessly killing Betty in cold porcelain. I know that you didn’t do it right then and I hope that you can forgive me.

To be honest, I’m a little glad that I can get rid of her without any guilt or regret (Betty, not my mom ;)).

Goodbye, Betty! You were dearly loved and you will be dearly missed. Thank you for inspiring me to stop sucking my thumb (I tried it again in Middle School just for kicks and hated it!). Thank you for watching over me all of those years with your eerie, blinkless stare. Your memory will now live on in the blogosphere forever.

Do you have an ugly or creepy item from your childhood that you can’t part with?
Tell me in the comments!

*Please stop by and read this guest post by Amanda from Gratefully Growing in Grace, leave her some comments, and visit her blog! Thanks!

For more posts about my childhood check out my “Mommy’s Piggy Tales”!

This post is linked to Wordful Wednesday at…

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

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