Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This year, I have decided to make New Year's Resolutions that I will actually have a chance of following through on.  So here goes:

1. I resolve to burn out from working out in about three weeks and return to my normal "work out when I feel like it" schedule.

2. I resolve to stay the same weight, + or - a few pounds.

3. I resolve to shop more, sleep less, and feebly attempt to recycle.

4. I resolve to wait until the laundry basket is overflowing to do laundry.

5.  I resolve to go to the beach, pet my dog, hug my son, kiss my husband and tell my entire family I love them as often as possible.

6. I resolve to drink beer, wine and iced tea.

7. I resolve to not look at my wrinkles, flabby butt, or cellulite in the mirror more than once a week.

8. One word, sex.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We have a friend who is a college football assistant coach.  We call him "Coach" ( I know - original - we're not big thinkers here)  We have tried to be loyal supporters throughout his career - even when that meant from as far away as Germany.  Now that we are back in the good ole USA, we live about an hour from where Coach coaches.  A few years ago he was hired as part of the defensive coaching team for University of Richmond - GOOOO, SPIDERRRRSSSSS!!! (that's for you, Uncle C)  

Well, Friday night, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Richmond Spiders beat the Montana Grizzlies to become the NCAA Division IAA National Champions!  While we were unable to go to the game, we had a Spider party and watched the game and cheered on our Coach.  It was a great game and an epic win - National Champions - how cool is that?  We had all decided that *knock wood* if they won, we would drive to Richmond to meet the plane and congratulate the team and surprise our favorite Coach.  My niece, P even made signs that said "We love Coach" and "Go, Spiders!"  We all piled into two cars and headed out only to be texted by Coach's wife that the plane had landed an hour early...oh well, we would just go straight to the sports center at the university and meet the buses.  

Coach was so surprised and proud to see us, he was speechless!  He showed the kids around the field house and all the cool nooks and crannies like the players lounge and the Hall of Fame.  Then we took him out for wings and beer.  It was great to see him.  He was still totally in surprise mode that he was one of the coaches of a National Championship team.  He was also totally amazed at his friends who have supported and encouraged him through all the years that he has been coaching.  What he doesn't realize is that we all love just a good reason to tailgate.  

Love you, Coach!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Georgie!

Everyone go over to Georgie's and wish her a happy birthday!  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

100th Post

I can't believe it!  This is my 100th post.  I still feel like the new kid in school compared to some of you...Georgie, Jill, Amy, etc.  

I can't believe I have made it to 100.  I don't think I can list 100 things you don't know about blog is an open book.  So, I thought I might do 100 things I have learned and loved about blogging.  Hold on to your knickers, ladies and gents...Here I go.

1. Always write something - sounds simple, but when I don't write my comments taper off and my Google Analytics has a sad face.

2. Analytics - I heard about Google Analytics for the first time after I had been blogging for about 6 months and now I am addicted.  Who would have known that someone found my blog by searching "Miss Germany Foto"  Boy, they must have been disappointed.

3. Anonymous commenters - Bubba is my steadfast reader, so is my niece - neither one has learned how to leave a comment as anything other than "anonymous" and I love my annony comments!

4. AmyBoBamy - Girlfriend, you are funny! I especially like your Friday Funnies!

5. Bubba - loves to read my blog and has only once gotten angry at what I have written.

6. BoyBoy - another reader and continuous supplier of content.  He is the funniest kid I know and never ceases to amaze me.

7. Blog friends - All my greatest, funniest, and most reliable friends live in my computer!

8. Back to Barnwell - Is it possible to live vicariously through a 22 year old self-professed slacker?  (and I use that term with much admiration!)

9. Comments rock - I didn't have my first comment until my 3rd month of blogging and that was from Bubba (see above re: anonymous commenters).  The first comment I had from a non-family member was like the first day of Kindergarten...a whole new world opened up to me.

10. Content counts - Don't post something just to have a post for that day...sometimes it is better to post nothing than to leave your followers scratching thier head and wondering why I forgot to take my med.

11. Cool giveaways - while I haven't done a giveaway here on my blog yet, I have participated (but not won - HELLO!  Can't someone throw me a bone?) in many.  Someday I hope to take home that coveted Etsy necklace.

12. Deb - We have all hung from the edge and laughter has brought us back...thanks, Deb

13. Don't try to post daily - you will run out of things to say the first week.

14. Do carry a notebook - you never know when a blog post will pop up in front of you at the grocery store.

15. Dooce - the mother of all mommy-bloggers.  She has reached the pinnacle of blogdom - she makes enough money on her blog for her husband to quit his job!

16. Etsy - I first heard of this on Dooce and now I am helplessly addicted.  Geesh, someone stage an intervention!

17. Facebook - Seriously, can you all please stop throwing snowballs at me?!?  I can't possibly return them all and, since I was raised in the south, I would be upsetting my Mama by not promptly returning a favor - and I am not going to write you all thank you notes, either!

18. Foto Friday - I had seen where several bloggers were doing Wordless Wednesday and I didn't want to steal their idea, so I came up with Foto Friday - who cares if it is the same idea, just a different day.

19. Georgie - Deb's partner in crime and the co-inventor of the Secret Santa Soiree.  The SSS is the reason that I have more than 2 followers.

20. Happy Hour Sue - no one can make the most of too much time on her hands like Sue.  I am an avid follower of BG and his shorties.  

21. JillJillBoBill - maybe the funniest bloggers out there.  I find myself in awe of her life, laughter, and outlook.  She is my hero!

22. Laughter is the best medicine, but sometimes tears can cleanse the soul.  I have learned that I don't have to be funny all the time and sometimes it is ok to bare my soul.  

23. The Mom - She taught me that blogging is indeed cheaper than therapy and a laugh a day keeps the men in white suits away!

24. McMommy - In my next life, I want to come back as the McMommy - she's cute, she has an adorable husband and even more adorable kids, she is an hysterical writer and a talented photographer - dammit!  I hate her!

25. Nate and Jaclyn Kaiser - this husband/wife photography team has given me regular "eyerections" with their amazing, beautiful, and unique style.  

Ok, that's enough - I know it is only 25% of what I was supposed to do - I suck at lists, sue me.  If I think of anymore, I will just use them as blog content and entertain you all!  Thanks for being loyal followers!  I couldn't do it without you!

um...Foto Sunday?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Secret Santa Soiree

I shipped my Secret Santa Soiree package today...teehee!  I love a good surprise!  I hope my Secret Santa loves everything as much as I loved getting it all together!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sweet Home Florida?

Although this might contradict what you have read here before...


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Op Santa

Because I love Christmas and everything about it, I am working for a small non-profit organization here that brings Santa into underprivileged children's homes on Christmas morning.  I have worked for them before and, other than the budget constraints that always plague small non-profits, it was a great experience.  The look on those children's faces on Christmas morning when Santa walked in the door was more than priceless and worth all the headaches.  

We provide them with a sturdy play/school outfit, a winter coat, if they need it, and shoes, if needed.   Another group donates the toys, another the toiletry items, one group is doing school supplies, another gives socks and underwear and we always provide them with an age appropriate book.  Sometimes, we are even able to give bikes and helmets to the kids.

Today, we had our shopping day for clothing.  There is a local department store that lets us in before the store opens to shop, unhindered, for clothes for 50-75 kids each year.  They give us the best sale price of the season, box up each outfit and coat, and supply us with rolls of wrapping paper for us to wrap them.  Now, as the coordinator for this event, I am pretty organized in order to make the shopping go as smoothly as possible.  I print out a sheet with each child's name, age, sex and all their sizes.  The store supplies us with shopping bags that I staple the sheets to and each elf just has to fill up a bag.  There are elves who have shopped with us for many years.  They know how it works and are worker bees who come ready to roll and can usually shop for 3-4 kids at a time.  Then there are the elves who should just sit in the corner and color.  You know the ones...they need help with every little detail, they are out of touch with what a 7 year old girl would like (even though on the sheet it says "loves pink and Hannah Montana"), and they think that a white winter coat is a good idea.  The ones that you wish would just volunteer to be wrapper elves or delivery elves.  When these elves arrive, it takes them 45 minutes to shop for one child.  Our veteran elves can shop for 20 kids in 45 minutes.  It is not rocket science, people.  It is a sweatshirt and jeans.  It is a hoodie and cargo pants.  Brain surgery?  No.  I mean, I did shoes for all 50 kids in one hour, BY! MY! SELF!  

Whew, I feel better.  Wait, was that out loud?

So, now the fun can begin...wrapping, organizing, sorting, mapping, and delivering.  It will all be worth it when Santa walks in on Christmas morning with his herd of elves and sack full of presents.  Oh, those beautiful children's faces!  

Ho!  Ho!  Ho!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Happy Holidays...hope you like my new festive layout!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Secret Santa Soiree!!!!

Today I went out of the garage to start putting up my Christmas decorations and what did I see on the front stoop?  This...

A package from my Secret Santa!!!   Oooo, I was sooo excited, so I ran into the house, forgetting Bubba outside dubiously burying the extention cord for the lighted reindeer, and opened my present (after I got my camera, of course).

The suspense was killing me, but there was a card, so I read that first...

It said...

"...I love jewelry, so you needed some.  I love to wander antique stores and rarely come out empty handed.  That is where the cookie cutters came from.  I have been sewing aprons, so I added one.  I hope you like your package..."

Here is what I got...

Adorable copper cookie cutters in holiday shapes, adorable snowflake earrings, adorable jewelry set in silver and black, an ever so adorable apron, and a beautiful milk glass candy dish.  Secret Santa, I love you!!!  

She is also a military wife and mother which gives us a kindred spirit.  I think she knew that I was sick and needing a boost today.  Thanks, Secret Santa!  

Foto Friday

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bubba's Tradition

My Bubba is a fanatic about our Thanksgiving turkey.  He starts talking about it right after Halloween..."what size turkey should we get - 20, 25 pounds?", "where are we going to get the turkey this year?", "Babe, have you gotten the turkey, yet?"  Then, once we have secured the bird, we always have to start with a name.  Our turkey has been named everything from the ever boring and predictable "Tom" to "Steve" to "Fred" and even "Thumbelina" (she was the year that Bubba was deployed and I valiantly attempted to roast a small turkey breast).  After we bond with the turkey and call it by its name for the days that it sits in the refrigerator thawing, Bubba wakes up on Thanksgiving morning to start his ritual.  

First, he dons his chef's hat.  

Then, he lovingly and gently bathes the turkey in the sink, taking great care to remove the innards (I don't know what they are really called - I usually stay away from the icky parts).  He then, finishes the rest of the preparations which I am usually not invited to attend.  Sometimes, BoyBoy is allowed, but usually Bubba has to be alone with his bird.  

Once the bird is in the oven, no one...and I mean NO ONE is allowed to open the oven except him.  Don't want to upset the intricate balance of temperature and humidity!  Of course, we have to do the back plan so that all the dishes come out of the oven at the same time and the bird has time to rest before carving.  It is all very carefully orchestrated.

I love how he takes it so seriously.  He is genuinely devastated when his turkey doesn't turn out perfect (which, for the record, has only happened once - 24lb Theodore).  He is like a proud father when it is flavorful and juicy.  He loves the smell and flavor and feeling of Thanksgiving.  And his enthusiasm is contagious.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Foto Friday

Check it out!  Make-a-flake!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My first blog award - and it's a doozie~

I got an award!!!

Check it out!

Thanks, Jill!!!

This award came to Jill from Jenni at Jiggety Jigg and it has no rules attached.  So, if you like it, grab it!  It is a great way to get a cheap award with little or no effort - just the kind of award I like!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We now interrupt this blog for another very important announcement...


8 things

8 Things I am passionate about:
1. Bubba
2. BoyBoy

3. Blogging
4. Diet Coke
5. Reading
6. My friends

7. Taking pictures
8. Talking on the p

8 words of phrases that I use the most
1. Oy!
3. BoyBoy, Melly needs food and water!
4. That's cool!
5. Where is that ki
tchen fairy?
6. Bless you!
7. S'up?
8. I love you

8 things I want to do before I die
1. Finish a long distance bike race
2. Finish BoyBoy's scrapbooks
3. Buy stock in Diet Coke
4. Have my dream job
5. Decorate an entire house with a sky's the limit budget
6. Retire someplace warm
7. Play with my future grandchildren
8. Take Bubba to Rome

8 things I need right now
1. Diet Coke
2. a maid
3. a personal chef
4. a personal trainer
5. a nap
6. to win the lotto
7. not a big lotto - just enough to pay for Christmas
8. new bras

8 places I want to visit
1. Australia
2. Back to the Canary Islands
3. Mount Rushmore
4. Hawaii
5. Alaska
6. New York City at Christmastime

7. Rome with Bubba
8. Vail, Colorodo to ski

8 favorite restaurants
1. Chic-fil-a
2. Salsas
3. The Cheese Shoppe
4. Mike's Place
5. Chick's with Aunt S & family
6. Duck Deli

7. McDonalds for breakfast
8. Anna's #2

8 TV shows I watch
1. Survivor
2. Dancing with the Stars

3. American Idol
4. America's Next Top Model
5. The Bachelor(ette) - Hmm...notice a trend?
6. Greek
7.  CSI - anytown
8. Lost

8th folder-8th picture!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Foto Friday

Happy 11th Birthday, BoyBoy!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fashion Trends to Love and Hate

Can I just tell you that I love the new trend of empire waist tops.  For example...

They are great on so many levels.  First of all, no sucking in the gut.  Let it all hang out, girlie, no one can see past your cute, flowing top.  Second of all, as my sister would call it, "butt-ma-flage".  Got a little extra junk in your trunk?  These tops have just the right amount of material to cover it up.  Thirdly, and don't think I am bragging here, but they are flattering to the well endowed.  I have XXL boobies.  Really, don't hate me because I have them.  They are both a blessing and a curse.  But these tops really flatter my girls.  This might be the best fashion trend ever!

Now, on the flip side...what is up with those ankle booties?

Who do these look good on?  I say this with much trepidation, because I usually love all shoes, however, these take the cake for unloveablilty.  If you have thick ankles, fageddaboutit.  Large calves?  Mooo!!  Skinny legs?  You will look like you have matchsticks for feet.  They just don't flatter anyone.  Even the beautiful models on the catwalk look like they are little girls playing dress up in their mommies booties.

So, today's lesson is...don't be a slave to all fashion trends...just the ones that make your butt look good!

Monday, November 10, 2008


My nephew's birthday was this past weekend and I couldn't let it pass without blogging about it.  You see, his birthday is a marker for my wedding anniversary.  When I was engaged and planning my wedding long distance (since I had already followed Bubba once), my sister was doing most of the leg work for my wedding.  Trying on bridesmaids dresses, interviewing bands, etc.  She had just been married 3 years before me and still had a lot of her contacts and she is really good at that kind of stuff.  She and my mom were doing a great job considering that my engagement was only going to be six months long and I was going  to be in another state until about 6 weeks before the wedding (and then come down with a raging case of mono and be out of commission for a month during that time).  However, I thought she came really close to crossing the line from being helpful to taking over my wedding when she called me one afternoon and said:

S:  Hey, I was thinking that you might want someone else in the wedding party.

Wheez:  (skeptically, since I had a small wedding party and she had had, like, a parade)  Like who?

S:  Well, (and this is where I felt two feet tall) I was thinking about your new niece or nephew!

And this is how she told me she was pregnant.  

Fast forward thirteen years (OMG - THIRTEEN!!!) and now my nephew is a teenager.  He is the coolest, sweetest, funniest, goofiest teenager I know.  He is kind and thoughtful, smart and funny, cool and awesome.  He loves collecting things, the beach, his family, and monster trucks.  I can't believe he is so grown up.  

So, M (or Steve, to those of us in the know) Happy Birthday!  Welcome to your teenage years.  You will love and hate them, learn from them and in spite of them, and hopefully come out of them still the same sweet, kind, thoughtfull, funny, goofy, cool person you are now. 

 I love you, dude!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Vote, Vote, Vote!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Idol

I have an idol.  She is not as famous now as she was 20 years ago but I was impressionable 20 years ago and so she became my idol.  She overcame many obstacles, controversies and hurdles to become the influential figure she is today.  She came from humble beginnings and never forgot her roots.  However, these are not the reasons that I love her.  She and I share a common love.  Shoes.  You see, my dear blog readers, my idol is Imelda Marcos. 

When her husband, the dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted from power, it was discovered that Ms. Marcos owned over 1000 pairs of shoes.  She never met a pair she didn’t like.  She had a motto that she lived by – “If the shoe fits, I buy it!”  She and her shoe collection bounced back from the scandal that besieged her husband to run for the presidency of the Philippines.  While she didn’t win either time she ran, her feet always looked good.  She was not ashamed of her collection of shoes.  And she knew what all women know…shoes always fit.

No matter how much weight you gain in your hips or lose in your boobs, your shoes will always fit.  Yes, we women have a love/hate relationship with our shoes – the prettiest ones usually are the most torturous.  But they can lift our mood, put a spring in our step, and keep us grounded.  I am not a shoe snob…a cute pair of flats makes me as happy as a pair of 4 inch stilettos.  Tennies – love ‘em.  Boots – be still my heart.  I, like my idol, have never met a pair I didn’t love. 

Now, if I could just convince Bubba that I there is no such thing as too many pairs!

Time Out

Lots going time to post...promise I will be back soon!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Foto Friday

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 27, 2008


This weekend was the Cheeze family's annual Pumpkin Carving extravaganza. You see, we love Halloween here at the Cheeze household. And by love, I mean build a coffin, plant a cemetery in your side yard, carve more than two pumpkins each, scare the neighbors kind of love. Bubba is always coming up with new ideas to turn our otherwise tasteful front yard into a den of spooks and goblins. This year it was the coffin. He got almost giddy when he came up with the idea and then maniacal laughter ensued when his creation was finished. BoyBoy has his very own fog machine - and not one of those wimpy ones you can get at the Target - an industrial, movie quality, timer activated, special juice fog machine. Add to all of that a green light bulb in the outdoor spots and folks, you have yourselves a good ole-fashioned fright fest.

Pumpkin Carving extravaganzas are our yearly excuse to pimp our house and (force)(trick) invite the neighbors over for a little carving fun.

Guts were coming out everywhere...

and creative pumpkins were emerging.

Some were spooky:

Others were kooky:

The hit of the evening was the uber-creepy graveyard after dark...

Happy Halloween!!