Thursday, July 31, 2008

The 5K Ass Project (Brought to you by Mrs. G)

Maybe you saw the video a few posts earlier that contains me in a bathing suit?  Well, it's a little jigglier than I would like.  Now, I know that the camera adds 40 pounds or so, but still.  I can see some work needs to be done, so I am joining forces with Mrs. G and some other folks to participate in her project.  Please understand that there is not enough money in the world to convince me to post a photo of my hiney, and I won't be participating in a 5K, but because Mrs. G is her lovely self, she lets people play without rules!  I have been swimming every night, increasing my laps by 2 every day.  I'm now stopping at 20 laps in order to increase my speed and the amount of time I have to spend gasping for breath at the end of each lap.  My goal is 100 laps and to be able to climb the rock wall.  Right now all I can do is hang limply from the rope ladder of the wall.  I call these pull ups.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nice Writing and Nice Author

So a few posts back I wrote about Sarah's Key, a soon to be reprinted book by Tatiana de Rosnay (Isn't that a scrumptious name? I just asked Paul to start calling me Tatiana!)  I also emailed the author to let her know how much I enjoyed it because I think that it's important for people to know how their writing touches others- unless their writing stinks, of course.  Today I got the most lovely email back from her:

Dear Natalie,
I can't tell you how thrilled I was when I read your email ! I am going to forward it to my publishers in New York !
Thank you so much for getting in touch with me.
I will be coming to the US in the winter but alas not to Kentucky !

I am working on a new novel, a love story, my first !
Many many thanks again
Tatiana de R
Paris, France

It always makes me happy when good authors and good people as well!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


One of my co-workers is writing on article for a local "Green-zine".  The topic is "Why My Grandmother was Green".  Any memories out there to share?

Underwater Shots!

I wish you could see her face!  She keeps her eyes open and has a huge smile!  Oh, by the way, that is actually me in the bathing suit not my body double.  Yeah, I posted a picture of me in a bathing suit on the internet.  See?  I ain't scared of no stinkin' internet!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sarah's Key

I just finished a beautiful, haunting book about the relatively unknown roundup of Jews at the Vel d'Hiv in July of 1942.  This novel is based on the facts of that early morning raid known as "Operation Spring Wind" in which 12,000 Jewish families were arrested by the French police in response to a request by the Nazi's.  The request was for men and women of working age only, but in their fervor to cooperate, the French also arrested 4,000 children.  After a few days of horrific conditions inside the Vel d'Hiv the parents were separated from their children and taken to their deaths at Auschwitz.  The  children (including infants) were left behind with no food, water or parent to console them until they were eventually taken to Auschwitz as well.  Less than 400 survived.

The novel is of journalist Julia Jarmond, an American expat, who is researching the roundup for an article on the 60 year anniversary.  During her research she finds that her family has a strong connection to one little girl in particular.  The story of this 10 year girl, Sarah, begins the morning of the roundup when she locks her 4 year old brother in their secret hiding spot, thinking that she will be able to come back and rescue him later.  The rest of the novel intertwines the two stories and brings them together beautifully.

If you are interested in reading more about this story, check out Tatiana de Rosnay's blog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Discussion of Clouds

Christian and Hannah spent some time talking about the kinds of things they saw in the clouds.  Very rarely do you see a 10 year old boy and a 2 year old sitting still (sort of)!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just One Of The Things She Learns From Older Siblings

How to rock out to her sister's i-pod.
Don't worry Nana, I know that headphones can make her deaf.  The volume was low.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Busy, Busy!

Life's been too busy to blog!  As soon as we got home from Florida we had to work like crazy people on the pool.  I'm not sure why we (as in Paul) had the sudden urge to finish it IMMEDIATELY, but I do know that it involved me washing, cutting and grouting tile after I put Hannah to sleep at night.  How can I complain when today we are filling the pool with water?  It takes several days to fill and several more to warm so my always ingenious husband has a plan to remove one of the steps.  He will heat the pool while filling it by using every water hose on the street, in the garages and at Sam's to spread out throughout the yard and on the roof (no, I'm not kidding, he put the hoses on the roof) to allow the sun to warm the water. 
 In the middle of all that I went to New York for a meeting for a few days.  It was fun!  We stayed at a great place in Long Island, the Glen Cove Mansion.  The meeting was informative and moved along at a nice pace.  I met some wonderful and successful managers from Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Houston, and Colorado Springs.  We had dinner with some big wigs and it's really nice to just sit and talk like normal people!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Swimming with Manatees!

Last Tuesday we woke at 4:30 a.m. to drive to Crystal River.  We met at Bird's Underwater Dive Shop and spent the day snorkeling and searching for manatees to pet.  We found a few, probably 8 in all, and most were playful and wanted to be scratched.  While we were on the boat we also saw tons of the fish in the crystal clear water, an otter, and some very large turtles!  Plus, as Cassie put it, the "costumes" were cool! 

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th!

We spent our 4th of July as so many others did.  We got all dolled up in our red, white, blue and pink, then we drove the golf carts to the town square to hang out with stilt walkers and clowns.  We ate very patriotic food like Icee's, bratwursts and popcorn. 

The Villages have their own baton twirlers and cheerleaders! It's strange, it's a little like living in a musical where a song comes on and the entire crowd knows the words and steps to the dance.  The first video features Mom and Dad strutting their stuff. 

The night ended with Cassie crying because it was our last day in Florida, then we woke up at 3 a.m. and crammed in the car for 11 hours where all thoughts of happiness ended. Oy!  The good news?  The newly potty trained two year old asked to stop at the bathroom less than the been-potty-trained-for-a-while-now thirty eight year old.  Neither one of us had an accident in our Elmo panties.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Gecko Traps

Here is a photo of a gecko trap.  I completely agree with you, lizard traps are evil and unnecessary and all that, but if you don't want lizards in your lanai in Florida, then sometimes you have to use traps.  And this is the logical place to put the evil lizard trap, right?  Unfortunately this is also where curious 2 year olds put their feet.  Let me just tell you- those traps are REALLY strong!  Once we got the trap off her foot (which was quite difficult) we then had to use goo gone to get the goo off her foot.  She then spent the rest of the night telling everyone that she got stuck in the gecko trap.  Then we threw the traps away.  The end.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Every night I ask Hannah what her favorite part of the day was. Today she said her favorite part was when she jumped in the pool and Mommy "catched" her. It was my favorite part too!! She had so much fun swimming!