Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Secret Santa

It's after 11 pm and I've got an emergency dentist appointment at 8 am tomorrow morning, so the last thing I should be doing right now is writing a new blog post, but I HAD to write about tonight while it still is tonight.

Just after we had put Evie down for bed and were getting ready to start a movie Brant and I heard a knock at our door. We were both a bit confused as we get very few unexpected visitors, and NEVER get them at 9 o'clock at night. Brant threw on a sweatshirt and went to the door to answer it. There was no one outside, but there was a gift bag sitting on our porch. We removed the tissue paper from the bag to find a roll of Nestle chocolate chip cookie dough and a note. Upon first seeing the cookie dough I assumed it had been left by a visiting teacher or neighbor (though the latter is unlikely as our neighbors are all 90+ and wouldn't have been able to run away from our door unseen).

We opened the note which read:

It never hurts to
have A Little Extra
At Christmas

Happy Holiday!

We then found an envelope in the bag and opened it to find $83 of cash inside. We both looked at each other in complete shock! Neither of us have any clue as to who would have left this on our doorstep. Brant then went outside (in socks) to go find our Secret Santa(s?) but came in after five minutes of searching and me telling him that they probably meant for it to be a secret.

To our Secret Santa: you have no idea how much your love, kindness and generosity meant to me tonight. Your selfless good deed answered prayers I'm sure you had no idea you were answering. Even as I type this I have to continually stop to wipe the tears that are streaming down my face. Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Evie the Fabulous

My baby bear, Evie, is 18 months old now (and thirty-two days, but I originally drafted this post about one month ago). Since this blog is supposed to be a substitute of sorts for a journal I am taking it upon myself to write down a few of the things Evie does--right now--that make her so ridiculously awesome.

Evie the Fabulous: 1 1/2 years old
  • At her 18-month well visit my girl (who measured in the 50th percentile in both height and weight at her one year visit) had skyrocketed to 33 inches tall (95%) and 27.8 lbs. (106%!).
  • She has ten teeth. Six on the top, four on the bottom.
  • Best kisses ever!--big, sloppy, wet, open-mouthed, and pretty much the best things in the world. Ask for a kiss and she'll come at you with her little mouth open as far as it can, and her tongue sticking out. If she's too busy, she'll still oblige but then her kisses are quick, tight-lipped ones that she gives without ever making eye contact.
  • She has started twirling. Randomly she begins doing 360's around the room, then falls over when she gets dizzy.
  • Sometime in the last two weeks, she apparently decided she needed to tone up because she has started doing toe touches. Up, down, and REPEAT.
  • She is miss Chatty Cathy--minus the actual words. Evie is crazy verbal. She's always talking, but the only real words she says are mom, dad, dog, shoe, hot, cute, look [at] that and uh-oh. She also gives the occasional "love you" but she's a bit stingy with that one. In the last couple of weeks, however, she has started to repeat more and more of what she hears. I say cracker--she says cracker, but only if I say it.
  • The Dancing Queen!!! She dances ANY and EVERY time she hears music. It doesn't matter if we're in the car, at church, listening to Rhapsody on the computer, or if music is on a commercial on TV. The chick dances!
  • More. More. MORE. This little one learned the sign for "more" along time ago, but she has started to use it now to let us know that she's hungry for something. She apparently adapted ASL to suit her own needs. The family thinks it's ADORABLE every time she does it, but Mom and Dad have seen it enough that the cuteness has worn off (a little, anyway).

I love my little baby bear more than I can stand. She is squishy, squeezy, and oh, so cute! Love this kiddo to the moon!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Check Me Out: I'm Crafty

I finally finished my overhaul of Evie's two dressers. And I've got to be honest--they look pretty damn cute.

I am not crafty by any stretch of the imagination. I am a stay-at-home mom with Internet access, though, and I felt inspired by the many, many, MANY revamps I've seen on various blogs of various furniture items. I started out with two old, brown dressers that used to belong to my Granny Pectol (GP are ya wit me?!).

I forgot to take a "before" shot of the second, tall dresser but rest assured it looked almost identical to the other one. Now, I know what you must be thinking. Natalie, that dresser is beyond spectacular as is. How on Earth did you get so lucky as to find a dresser that boasts such a sassy color of brown veneer and ornate gold(ish) handles? How can you mess with such perfection? What can I say? I'm a gamblin' man.

Anyhoo, I once saw on a blog a dresser that had been repainted and finished by mod-podging scrapbook paper on the top. I figured, if that chick could mod-podge the top, why couldn't I mod-podge the dresser fronts. And that is precisely what I did. Behold the finished product...

I'm sure there are other chicks out there who could have done more impressive things with these two old dressers, but that's okay. I'm pretty tickled with how these turned out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! We had an easy peasy Halloween holiday this year since little one is still to small to care about it. Miss Evie dressed up as the cutest Eeyore in the history of life. Brant and I wanted to dress up in theme with her, so the plan was for me to go as Christopher Robin and Brant to go as Tigger. Easier said than done. I had my costume ready to go, but (word to the wise) finding orange sweats is all but impossible. I officially exhausted every search engine known to man trying to find an orange-hued top and bottom for my honey, but to no avail.
So....we scrapped the whole idea, and opted not to dress up at all. Costumes for adults are ridiculously expensive and we'd had our hearts set on our Hundred Acre themed ensembles anyway. However, in the grand Boyer tradition, we felt like weenies at the last minute for not dressing up and came up with some costumes on the fly...Elders Cheech and Chong. Easy peasy and 100% free!

We only went trick or treating to Grandma and Grandpa Boyer's and Grandma and Grandpa Ruesch's, but still had a blast. All the grandparents made a fuss over how cute Evie looked, and isn't that what Halloween is really about--proving your kid is cuter than someone else's? I'm glad you agree.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Date Night

Just had such a fabulous date night with my B! Started off a little shaky, but we pulled it out. Just like we always do--cause we're awesome like that.

Mom and Dad made an offer to watch the wee one, which we were quick to take them up on. We dropped her off at their house, and made our way to Red Robin (Yummm). I was a little skeptical about the night we had in store for ourselves when we were sat at our table and greeted by our server--a chick Brant recently had fired from Target. Dun dun dunnnnnn. However, after a few shaky moments at the beginning of the meal (like her accusing Brant of replying "same" in reference to my "water" order, rather than the coke I heard him ask for, then bringing him diet coke, THEN telling him regular coke was out and he'd have to pick something else) she ended up being fine, and mostly leaving us alone. The meal itself was fabulous! Whiskey River Burger for Brant/California Chicken Burger for me. Totally hit the spot for this preggo.

After dinner we hit up the movie Sarah's Key at the Red Cliffs Theatres. Fantastic movie. Made me want to sob my eyes out the entire time. Less fantastic was the incessant narration we had to endure from our fellow moviegoers. Despite that, though, we had a fabulous time.

The highlight of the evening had to be walking into my parents' living room to pick up Evie. There is nothing like seeing her face light up when she sees us after being apart for a few hours. That is something that this mama will never, ever get tired of.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Surprise Family Time = Good Times

Had some fabulous family fun during the last couple of weeks. No big vacations or trips to amusement parks, but fun nonetheless. My sister, Reginald (not her real name), and her family moved down to Phoenix last week. Definitely NOT the fun part of this post (nothing more than a poor life decision if you ask me, which they didn't). But she and the fam DID surprise us by making a visit down here first.

I love hanging out with my family even when we don't do much. We always talk, laugh, and game, which are three of my favorite things in life. Combined with my favorite people in life makes for some pretty good times.

It was hard to say goodbye to Reg and her family (I won't get to see her again until November), but it was helped by the fact that one week later my only brother came down here for is own surprise visit.

I have never felt like I get to see Garrett enough. Even though he only lives 300 miles away, we have never been able to hang out with him as much as Reg, due to work conflicts, mostly. And Incubus concerts. His, not mine. So every time, I do get to see him it's always fun. He always makes us laugh, and he has a calming presence for the rest of our sometimes high-stressed family.

LOVE when my family is together,even though Holly didn't come around enough. (That's right, Simmons. I'm calling you out via blog. Who lives in Hurricane? Really?!) Good times all around. Rook games galore. And, of course, desserts abundant when the brother is around (courtesy of our Pectol mother). Which is what makes it even worse that my sister has moved.

I heart me some Reg time. Her moving is really the worst. news. EVER. Word on the street is that she flies for free so we'll still get to see them, but I'm not buying it (yet). My sister isn't what you would call the world's greatest flier. Sub-par flier or not, though, all I've got to say is that she better START flying cause you KNOW I'm not driving eight hours, with a bambino who doesn't sleep in the car, to a city that's even hotter than the one I already live in.
Well, probably not anyway.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Help

Finally. Finally! My faith in movies based on best-selling novels has been restored. Well, not completely restored. Little Women pretty much made that an impossibility (I expected more from you Mr. Bale). But, The Help, is slowly but surely bringing me back.

I can’t adequately express my anticipation for this movie. But it was anticipation laced with a bit (or more) of trepidation. I read The Help last year (and again this summer), and loved it. We’re talking, moved it up to my Top 5 Favorite Reads list loved it. I heart that story. Hard. With all that love, though, comes a price. That price is a $6 matinee movie ticket. Any hard core reader/movie lover out there knows that you can pretty much count on one hand the number of movies based on hugely popular novels that have been anything shy of utter disappointment at the box office. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE movies. But, it’s tough to convey all a book has to offer in 120 minutes. –All Harry Potter fans can just pipe down right now. I’ve heard that the movies are amazing. That the visuals are stunning. The movies make you glad to be alive. Etc. Quite simply, I don’t care. You will never get me to watch an HP movie. So stop trying.—Having loved the book The Help as much as I did, I went into the movie hoping for the best, expecting the worst, and for once I got what I wanted.

I’m not going to pretend the movie was as good as the novel. It wasn’t. But if you’re expecting it to be you need to reevaluate your expectations in life ‘cause it may be a rough road. The movie was, though, everything I hoped it would be. I loved Aibileen, I hated Hilly, I wanted to be Skeeter. I laughed out loud, cried (though I didn’t admit it at the time since my sister made fun of my mom for tearing up), and completely loved it. Don’t judge my sister too harshly, my mom is an incredibly loud crier. Real sniffly.

And though it’s a bit corn dog, one other bit I loved about the movie was the company I saw it with. I got to go with my mom and Holly. And trying to fit a movie into our three schedules was nothing short of ridiculous, but it was worth it. They are two of my favorite chicks in the whole world even though one of them goes through an entire Kleenex pack and the other sings along with the soundtrack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


You know those days when everything you've worked toward comes together? When all the hard work, blood sweat and tears, you’ve put into something finally pay off? Perhaps, in preparation of a loved one’s (say, a husband’s) 28th birthday? You wake up the morning of and know that this day, his day, is going to be perfect because you (his loving, adoring wife) have planned it to be.

Yeah. Didn’t have one of those days. Not even kind of. This was, officially, the worst birthday Brant and I have “celebrated” since we began dating eight years ago.

A). He had to work. And that doesn’t mean he was scheduled to work. It means someone asked him to trade weekend shifts, and he failed to realize his day o’ birth fell within the aforementioned weekend, which in my opinion is way worse than just being scheduled to work in the first place.

And 2). Because we’re on a budget he only got one gift. And it was a gun (lame). And he picked it out himself (lamer). And he was fully aware that he would be receiving it on his birthday (lamest).

Finally C). His birthday fell on a Sunday. Boooo**. Work and church on your birthday!? No gracias!

And to top it off, I forgot to get him balloons. I was so caught up in the “his gift/birthday are already taken care of, what with the gun and all,” mindset that I completely forgot to buy any awesome balloons, or even make a Happy Birthday banner. Enough of the verbal onslaught I can feel radiating through my monitor. I’ve already given myself Worst Wife Award.

So that’s it. Brant’s sad birthday tale. I’m hoping things will go better next year, but I already have the watch he picked out and subsequently ordered for himself for next year’s birthday in my top dresser drawer. Oh, well. Here’s hoping.

**To be read the way the scary old lady yells “Boo” at Princess Buttercup when PB dreams she’s already married Prince Humperdinck. You know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t , then immediately go rent/download/purchase it because not having seen it makes you un-American. Or a Communist. Or both.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Played Taboo with Mom, Marisa, and Holly last night, and I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. After hanging out with the fam for the bulk of the day, I ran the bear home to get bathed and put to bed, then hurried back to Mom and Dad's house. All the cousins were there, and the plan WAS to have them bathed and ready for bed so the adults could game. As soon as I drove up, however, I realized my sisters had not followed up on there end of the deal. I found eight small cousins, dirty and sweaty, playing basketball in the driveway. Anxious to get my game on, I decided I would take charge, and proceeded to bathe the four smallest children. Did someone say Aunt of the Year?

The rest of the kids fell in line, and all the cousins ended up in the play room watching a movie. That left me and the ladies (plus Ni Ni, who decided she wasn't digging Free Willy) to play. We were there until midnight, and it truly could not have been more fun. My Taboo skills were sharp as ever and everyone fought to be on my team, but no surprise there--I'm awesome. Holly kept telling the rest of us that she is "hilarious," and managed to be on the team whose turn it was the entire time. And Mom and Marisa mostly did the ice cream and cake.

It was a ridiculously fun night. I love my mom and sisters! And I love that we're all good times.

Ice cream and cake! Do the ice cream and cake!

Friday, July 22, 2011

My First Time

My very first blog post. I feel like I should have something momentous to share. Or at least something vaguely interesting. Nope. This is (instead) a post merely to have a first post out of the way.

Truth be told, I'm not sure I'll EVER have anything of interest to post on here. I am starting this blog not because I feel my life and the life of my family are worthy of public interest, but because my baby girl is almost fifteen months old now, I suck at writing in a journal (despite numerous new year and mid-year resolutions), and if I don't start capturing some of her life now I am going to be kicking myself when I'm 80 (and that's how you break a hip).

So, if you like, feel free to join me as I recap our days (the interesting and the not). Right now I'm off to Robert's to pick up some Mod-Podge supplies. Be sure not to fall off the edge of your seats.