I'm attending a wedding this weekend and it got me thinking about wedding attire - what to wear? While searching on-line I found some looks (shown below) that I'm going to try to re-create. These were posted as the "Top 10 Worst Bridesmaid Dresses." Obviously it depends on your perspective. I think a strong case could be made that these are in fact, the top ten best...

You just can't go wrong with the off the shoulder look.

If I didn't know better, I would think these dresses were patterned after the linoleum in my mother's laundry room.
I must say I'm a little disappointed that the ribbon color doesn't match the hats & dresses. I mean how lazy can you get?
I'm pretty sure these are nightgowns.
The girl second to the left has got to be my sister Laura. This is exactly what she looked like in 1986...and her prom dress was this exact design, in a royal blue.
I wonder how they got Scarlett O'Hara to be in the wedding party.

This is a dead ringer for a princess costume I recently bought my 4 year old niece Leah in India. Anyone suddenly craving cotton candy?

I particularly love the flip flops in this ensemble.

These poor, poor women.

Do you think the bows came with the dress, or were sewed on later to add some bling?



My allergies are out of control. Just looking at this cotton wood makes my skin crawl. I can’t be outside for 2 seconds without swelling up like a balloon. I can’t open the windows in a car without my eyes itching so badly I want to rip them out. The worst side affect is the sneezing. My sneezes can only be described as violent. They are loud, force full, shake my entire body, and startle innocent by standers. The worst part of sneezing is the obligatory “bless you” that comes next. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate people being polite. But once I start sneezing, I won’t stop until I get inside and have about 10 minutes with “clean” air. People say “bless you” really enthusiastically the first time - with no idea what they’ve just committed themselves too. They appear equally confident in their 2nd “bless you.” But by the time I’ve sneezed 19 times their “bless you” is hardly an audible whisper, the story they were telling is long since ruined, and I swear I can hear their mind frantically searching for an exit strategy.

I know I should go see an allergist. It is on my list of things to do, but isn’t my favorite solution. The allergist man charges me lots of cash, and then gives me 1 TBP of medicine that can hold me over for about a week. I found a saline nasal rinse that speeds up my recovery time once I’m inside the house – but does nothing to help with prevention. When I have an allergy attack and don’t have my saline nasal rinse on me, I find myself sniffing water up my nose like a drug addict. It does burn, but I prefer the burning to the itching.

Someone out there must have some good over the counter allergy medicine they can recommend.


Water World

Last weekend Dave and I went to water world in pre-celebration of my birthday. I like to begin celebrations as early as possible…and keep them going all month. I was a youngest child you see, and completely over adored the majority of my life. My mom did a great job making my birthday a very special occasion. So, I have a tendency to harbor really high and long lasting attention expectations from Dave around this time of year. Poor guy. He was born the day after Christmas and is lucky to get a birthday card from me after the mad Christmas rush. And yet this morning, a full day 5 days after we started celebrating my birthday, and a full day after my actual birthday, he wakes me up and says “Happy Birthday! What are you going to do on your special day?” What a keeper.

So back to Water World. We tried rallying the troops and getting a big group to take the water park by storm with us. We have lots of nieces and nephews and felt their presence would some how legitimize our amusement park participation. But after several phone calls, it was back to just Dave and I. Which wasn’t so bad – especially considering the last time I was at water world with Dave, he wouldn’t let anyone stop to use the bathroom, or get a drink of water, or put on more sunscreen. Not to mention the required sprinting between attractions. He can be a real slave driver when it comes to fun.

Here are a few things I learned from our 6 hours at water world:

1. Water world should be another way to say “lots and lots of bare butts on display.” Everyone’s bum has their shining moment(s) of flapping in the wind before a crowd of hundreds – mine included. I’m sure you can imagine the state of my bathing suit after I did the ride pictured above. It was so humiliating laying at the bottom of that slide, with my swim suit bottoms around my neck, and the 16 year old life guard standing over me with a flotation device (just in case I started to drown in the 2 inches of water)…watching my every move as I tried to get my swim suit back into place. To make matters worse, usually the line forms at the end of the rides where all bathing suit “adjustments” take place. I can’t count the number of bums I had the privilege of pretending not to see while waiting in line.

2. Being an adult in a kid’s playground makes me instantly want to buy for myself everything my parents never would. When I normally would not desire the following items, with no real self control I heard myself shouting out: “Dave, I want pizza!” “Dave, I want funnel cake!” “Dave, I want Dippin Dots!” “Dave, I don’t feel so good.”

3. 50% of Americans have tattoos – you just can’t see them when their clothes are on. Some were cool, some were not so cool. We were astonished by the number of company logos – like a Nike swoosh, or the “fox” face. Is there a chance the random guy at water world was actually the designer of the Nike swoosh sign…or do you think he just really, really loves Nike? On second thought there are a couple companies I wouldn’t mind giving a shout out to. Maybe I could get a Ben and Jerry’s tattoo across my belly?

4. Dave doesn’t think I can swim. As we found a spot among the 10 year olds in the Thunder Bay wave pool he looked at me with concern and said “Well…I’m sure you know what you can handle. Just be careful.”

5. I still can't get over the fact that we spend a lifetime trying to keep covered. But when the mood strikes us, it is perfectly acceptable to put on the equivalent of underwear and run / bounce / flop around a water park with hundreds of strangers & children.

We had a fabulous time. I keep you posted on how we celebrate my birthday next weekend as well.

In my defense...

...that WAS a picture of Dave and I's halloween costume last year, and NOT what I wore on Dave and I's first date. We were a 1991 high school prom couple - and here is a picture of Dave looking equally ridiculous to prove it.

Sadly that is roughly what I looked like between the ages of 13 and 15. Man those were some rough years.


Happy Birthday Carrie!

28 short years ago, my life forever changed when Carrie Sue Lewis Denham was brought home from the hospital in a pink tie-dyed outfit with a hippo on it. She was the cutest baby I'd ever seen... at least until my own babies were born.

I practically raised her (REARED her, in case my mom reads this post) by myself. Or so I like to claim. Since I was 5 and 3/4, I probably didn't actually do all that much, but I like to think I had something to do with the shaping and molding of Carrie's fine personality.

And so, in honor of Carrie's birthday, a few highlights from our life together:

1. The many, many times we played Barbies together (after which Carrie was routinely threatened that if she told any of my friends, I would beat her up).

2. Catching Carrie lying about brushing her teeth... and cheating at Uno... and framing me by coloring on her own doll. This list is endless. Let's just say it's a miracle she turned into an honest woman.

3. Having Carrie be the center of attention at most of my birthday parties.

4. Dressing Carrie up in "fashionable" outfits and taking photos of her, while pretending I was a fashion photographer.

5. Mentoring Carrie as I painted a table for Laura's apartment (I liked to constantly remind her that I was the master and she was the lowly apprentice).

6. Making jokes at the Samsonite outlet while a very non-amused saleslady tried to help our mom purchase a new suitcase.

7. Listening to her crazy stories about working at the cemetary, while wondering how sunburned her face could get before it exploded.

8. Taking her TPing with my friends in high school.

9. Cheering her on at all her sporting events... as loudly and obnoxiously as possible.

and my all time favorite Carrie memory:

10. The time we decided to snowboard down the hill behind our parents' house. This one warrants a post all its own, which I may or may not get around to doing this week.

Happy Birthday Carrie! I love you so much, and promise to forever lead you in fashion till the day I die.



The couple that runs together...

... you complete the sentence, because I wouldn't know how. After 11 years of marriage, 2 years of dating, and several months of Travis stalking me, we went running together for the first time.

I have Steve Jobs to thank for the breakthrough. He (and the lovely folks at Apple) invented the iPod, and then someone at Nike decided to make a pair of running shoes that would sync to your iPod. Suddenly, Travis decided to become a runner. As you know, he's already quite the kickboxer (http://lewisgirls.blogspot.com/2007/01/kickboxing-in-bedroom.html), but the purchase of these shoes launched him into a new arena of fitness.

We had a great time. I loved having him all to myself (Grandma was babysitting), with no kids or computers to interrupt our conversation. He even left his blackberry at home. I think he was afraid it would add extra weight to him, making it harder for him to keep up with me. Lucky for him I'm still getting back in shape; otherwise, I probably would have run him into the ground. Because I can run faster than a cheetah.

The end.


Paintbrush Promotions

After 3 years of free loading, this spring I decided it was time I start contributing to our remodel projects. (My motivation stemmed mostly from the fact that Dave had been working on painting the outside of our house for 4 months…and from what I could tell, was no where near finished). When I first walked outside and declared “I want to help paint” Dave’s initial reaction was amusement (surely she is making a joke) and then horror (there is no way I’m letting her near our home with a paintbrush.) Over the next 2 months here is the progression of my painting promotions. Like any job – Dave carefully explained, I had to prove myself suitable at the job given me before I was allowed to move on to bigger responsibility.

Job #1 Entertainment: Initially Dave suggested I “talk” to him while he painted. I’m pretty sure this was just a stall tactic so he could come up with a job for me that did not involve paint.

Job #2 Golden Retriever: “Carrie – can you hold this scraper for me until I need it again?” I still don’t understand how me “holding” something adds value when there is endless ground that can “hold” something just as well as I. I guess it saved Dave that extra 1.2 seconds that would have been required to bend down to the ground. When I was lucky, this job also involved running to the garage to fetch a required item. Going to the garage was WAY better than standing next to Dave, holding some object, with no idea when he might ask for it back.

Job #3 Paint Chip Picker Upper: This one almost put me over the edge. There were at least 1,000 dirty and wet paint chips strewn about in the grass, rocks, dirt, etc. Dave assigned me to walk around and pick them up. As I tried to stage a mutiny Dave patiently explained that even HE had to pick up paint chips for weeks before being allowed to paint professionally.

Job #4 Taper: Finally I was allowed physical contact with the house (This promotion came when I threw down the paint chip bag and started heading indoors to watch TV.) My job was to protect the brick from stray paint drips with masking tape & paper.

Job #5 Wielder of The Littlest Paint Brush: Finally after days of me jumping through hoops Dave came up to me with a half smile on his face and said with anticipation “Carrie – would you like to try painting?” You would have thought he asked if I would like to go to Water World by my reaction. YES! Yes yes yes yes yes!!! I knew painting wouldn’t be great, but it had to be 100 times better than the jobs that had occupied my past few days. So Dave went to the garage, and I kid you not – came back with THIS:
Now you know why we lovingly refer to it as the littlest paintbrush (TLPB). It is, absurdly small – especially in relationship to the size of our home. Note how battered and beat down it looks? That is b/c I wielded the littlest paint brush for WEEKS – and it painted probably 10% of our home. I was so happy to actually be painting, that I didn’t even think the size was weird. Our neighbors would walk by and I would wave at them with the paintbrush. Dave would whisper, “Stop flashing that thing around – it looks ridiculous.”

Job #6 Medium Sized Paintbrush: One day Dave came to check my progress and noticed I was painting a fairly large piece of trim with TLPB. Dave said “hold on a second” and came back with this…
At a juncture like this is a thank you speech appropriate? This promotion was quite unexpected as I hadn’t been lobbying for it (after all I loved the little paint brush). But to my amazement, the medium sized paintbrush tripled my painting speed. Sure there was that initial “get to know phase” but once I formed a relationship with TMSPB, I started to really make some head way.
And there, my friends, is where the story ends. That was my last promotion before we finished painting our home. Some would suggest disappointment as I never quite made it to the regular sized paintbrush, but not me. After all – it’s not like you can end up CEO of every company you work for.



What the heck is a pergola anyway? When Dave told me he wanted to build a big wooden structure for our 2 square inches of back lawn I thought he was crazy. I mean what is next? Are we going to try to squeeze a lap pool in back there? Or a mini tramp? You know it is only a matter of time before some of those little plastic gnomes try to sneak in during the night, and set up camp in our back yard.

But per normal, he was right and I was wrong. I think the barn (whatever you want to call it) turned out great. You never know what Dave is going to accomplish in a weekend. And if you are wondering why I didn't put down the camera to help him lift that heavy board...it is b/c the board wasn't that heavy. Dave is always looking for an opportunity to flex.


What's the point?

About a month ago I swore off desserts (due to my 1pm, 4pm & 8pm daily sugar cravings). I've resisted temptation every day but one the past 3 weeks...and was feeling quite pleased with myself. Then on Wednesday night I attended a family birthday party. I said no to the cookies, 2 ice cream cakes, and several tubs of ice cream. Then, I sat and watched my family members indulge. Logically I know they weren't closing their eyes in delight while licking their spoons in slow motion, but it felt that way. So on the drive home, I opened the container of left over pasta salad and started eating it. Dave said "What are you doing? We just had dinner." I defensively replied "But, I didn't get any dessert!"

So upon closer inspection - what have I gained? I’m eating the same number of calories as everyone else...but I’m just getting stuck with pasta salad for dessert?


Her father's daughter

On Saturday, I took the kids to the pool. Travis had to work, so we went to a church party in the morning and then hit the pool around 2.30. S was eyeing the diving pool (there are not one but FIVE different pools at the club we joined this year. It's a small step up from the Red Hook pool!) and asked if she could go off the diving board. Since she's never gone off one before, I told her it was something she'd have to wait for Dad to do with her, as I needed to hold Mr. Fussy in the shade. Heaven forbid he sleep in his car seat or a stroller.

Anyway, a bit later on the kids' friends showed up with their dad, John. S walked right up to John and asked him to take her to the diving pool, and he obliged. I sat and watched as she marched up to the diving pool, got in line, and calmly walked to the edge of the diving board and jumped in. No hesitation. No fear. No way she got that from me! I'm afraid of everything, especially things that will probably never happen. Thank goodness she takes after Travis!

Only in America...