Friday, October 31, 2014

High Five for Halloween!

1. We didn't, nor do we ever, take formal/professional Halloween or fall pictures. I usually snap a few casual pics when we stop by the pumpkin patch to stock up on front porch decorations, but as you can see, we don't coordinate outfits, style hair, or anything of the sort. The kids always have fun though, especially when I let them come up with their own poses (which they did in all but the first and last photo), and I love that these photos capture their true personalities.

2. I love looking back on what the kids - and Tom and I - wore on Halloweens past…and I can't wait to show you pics of our costumes this year!


3. Thank you, BuzzFeed, for 26 Things Cats Are Not. I thoroughly enjoy animals in costume, which is why tonight our kitty will (hopefully) be dressed up and photographed as a princess/ballerina and a shark.

4. Halloween cupcakes? Check!

5. In 2013 the four Ferri dressed up in coordinated Halloween costumes for the first time, and we enjoyed it so much that we decided to go that route again in 2014. When Will came up with Goldilocks and the Three Bears we immediately bought two adult-sized bear sweatshirts and a Goldilocks costume and asked Grandma Brenda to make Will a baby bear costume. (Thanks Grandma!) Now if only it would cool off a little - when we dressed up last Saturday night we might as well have been called Goldilocks and the Sweaty Bears...

Happy Friday and Happy Halloween, friends!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

High Five for Halloween Eve Eve! (Otherwise Known as Wednesday.)

I haven't written a "regular" High Five for Friday post in weeks, so my High Fives and Happiness Highlights have been building up and burning a hole in my virtual blog pocket. Today's post is something of a Halloween/High Five mash-up...

1. I wrote a couple of Halloween-themed posts for MomsEveryday and wanted to share them with you - prior to Halloween - in case you're looking for an easy craft or moderately-challenging-but-extremely-rewarding cupcake decorating project to tackle before Friday. Check out how to create my BOO letters here and my traditional Halloween cupcakes here!

2. Will made it onto his elementary school's honor roll for the first grading period of the school year. Though I find it disheartening that a second grade honor roll even exists (second graders just don't seem old enough for percentage and letter grades to me), I'm terribly proud of my boy for doing so well in school.
Unfortunately I didn't know that Will's name was in
the paper until a few days after the Honor Roll issue ran.
Will received a ribbon and coupon for a free kids
meal at Grub Burger. He plans to give Hallie the
Grub Burger coupon though, because in his words,
"I eat grown-up burgers now". And he does. 
3. Last weekend Hallie's soccer club, which was founded by an alumni Aggie soccer player, had the opportunity to scrimmage during halftime at an Aggie Women's Soccer game. Just like I worried about my little wild card actually walking down the aisle at AJ and Ferrell's wedding last weekend, I worried about Hallie actually following through on her commitment to scrimmage with her teammates. She cried throughout much of the first half, but finally pulled herself together when the time came take the field. It helped that she and I talked about every aspect of what would happen and when (to the best of my knowledge) over and over and over again, and that the field supervisors allowed parents to stand off to the side of the field while the kids played.
Listening carefully to Coach Rachel's instructions.
"Pink shoots in this goal, orange shoots in that goal."
For the most part Hallie just chased the pack.
She kicked the ball once though, and next to
actually taking the field that's all I'd hoped for.
And she ran hard!
Will hung out in the stands while I accompanied Hallie
onto the field. He's getting so ridiculously independent...
Hallie with her friend and teammate, Olivia.
When they weren't scrimmaging, these two cuties
paid very little attention to the actual soccer game.
4. After their wedding, AJ and Ferrell spent a few days relaxing and sight-seeing in downtown Chicago. I want so badly to be in the Windy City right now - either with Tom, who actually is in Chicago right now for a conference, or with my mom and sister on our annual (except for this year) girls' weekend shopping trip - and not just because this morning the kids and the cat clogged the toilet, pooped in the toilet, flushed the toilet, and flooded the bathroom.

For a minute there I forgot this was a High Five post...sorry! 

But then AJ posted this picture, and while it certainly reminded me of all that I'm missing out on in Chicago this week, it also made me smile.
The Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.
5. Happiness Highlights
I forgot to include this picture - one of my favorites - when I posted
about the wedding last week. Mel, Lisa, Michael, David, Laura, and
I took this "selfie" on the elevator ride up to the reception venue. 
I forgot to include this picture as well. Will and I
take great selfies together…Hallie and I, not so much.
Over the course of the last year, orange became the unofficial
color of "Washington Strong". Last week, orange became the
official color of Sara and Jeff's new front door. Next month they
will finally - a full year after the tornado - move back home.
My boy wanted to wear deodorant, so now
he wears deodorant. When did he get so old?
The kitty has a thing for my Fitbit. Last week he added
tallied almost 100 steps while I was in the shower.
I just discovered that my monthly Birch Boxes come addressed
to "The Dazzling Erin Ferris". Birch Box certainly knows how
to make their customers feel good about themselves!
While looking through a box of wedding photos in search of a
specific picture, I came across this. A lot can change in 11 years.  
Officer Merida, reporting for duty.
While Officer Merida reported for desk
duty, the kitty fell asleep in her backpack.
Happy Halloween Eve Eve (Wednesday), friends!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Not a Bad View

I grew up seven blocks from Camp Randall, the University of Wisconsin football stadium. While I couldn't see the stadium from my house, I could hear almost everything that happened on the field or in the stands - from the player introductions to the touchdown celebrations to the marching band's halftime performances - from my front lawn.

Despite the fact that my entire family loves football, as well as the fact that both of my parents and sister graduated from the University of Wisconsin, we've never had Badger football season tickets. I've been to plenty of games, but I offered up the majority of my fan support for UW football from my family room couch…or my front yard.

Years later we find ourselves in another college town. Despite the fact that my entire family loves football and Tom works for the University, we still don't have football season tickets. All four of us attended the TAMU spring game in 2013 and the A&M Consolidated High School vs. Bryan High School rivalry games (which were played at Kyle Field) in 2011 and 2012, and Tom has watched a few TAMU games from the stands, but the rest of us have yet to experience Kyle Field from the inside on an actual game day.

We live considerably further from the stadium than I once lived from Camp Randall, so I can't hear the roar of the crowd or feel the bass drum's deep, rhythmic vibrations from my front yard. I can, however, if I stand in just the right spot, see Kyle Field's bright lights from just up the block.

I'm told - and I have no doubt - that the view from the stands inside Kyle Field (especially after the stadium's recent multi-million dollar renovations) will take my breath away. Eventually I'll see that view and experience the tradition that is Aggie football - the 12th man, the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, Reveille - firsthand, but until then, this view is better than no view at all.

Friday, October 24, 2014

High Five for Weddings!

1. All four of our flights - ALL FOUR - were on time. One was even early. If our next series of four flights goes similarly, I may consider forgiving American Airlines for the hell it put Tom, the kids, and/or me through on our last three trips.

2. Hallie spilled her cranapple juice on the first flight, but she spilled the majority of it on herself and Tom. I realize it sounds unkind of me to high five about Hallie's spill, but let's be honest, both Tom and Hallie learned something from the experience. Hallie learned that cranapple juice over ice is cold and wet when you spill it in your lap. Tom learned that allowing Hallie to have cranapple juice over ice, and then hold her glass with one hand while playing a game on her Nintendo 3DS with the other, is NOT a good idea. Rookie mistake.

3. Hallie fell asleep (as did Tom) on the second flight, which happened to be the flight during which she sat with me. Score one for Mom.

4. We left Moo at home and hired a trio of siblings - who have their own pet sitting business - to periodically stop by and play with him, feed him, clean his kitty litter, etc. They did a fantastic job. BCS friends, let me know if you need a pet sitter and I'll send you their information!

5. The weekend's festivities - the Wedding Olympics, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and wedding reception - went beautifully. Family members and friends gathered in Lincoln, Nebraska from across the country to celebrate the love between these two special people. I don't yet have access to the professional photos, but here are a few of my favorite candids - this week's Happiness Highlights - from the four-day wedding extravaganza!
Plane ride #1: Will and I chatted over ice water and cranapple juice. 
Plane ride #2: tired from all the spilling and talking (she didn't
stop from the time we left home until I took this picture) and lulled
into peace and quiet by 20 minutes of hair stroking, Hallie finally
drifted off. She then drooled an apple-sized wet spot on my pants.
On Thursday morning, all of the ladies already in town (except
for me - I don't like other people filing my nails) got manicures.
Hallie loved her wine-colored polish topped with gold glitter!
At the Wedding Olympics, guests played Ladder Ball, Corn Hole,
Beer Pong, Jenga, Battle of the Sexes, and "How Well Do You Know
the Bride/Groom? and dined on the groom's favorite…Chipotle.
(Watch for a special post on the Wedding Olympics in November!) 
On Friday Jenna and I made a quick stop at the reception
venue. Check out the view of Husker Stadium on this side...
…and of the Nebraska State Capitol on the other.
Tom and I aren't very good at selfies.
The kids went to bed late and got up early every day.
At least they slept hard when they finally did sleep.
This is a terrible picture, but I had to post it…our friend Janelle's
birthday fell on Friday, so when she came over that morning,
Hallie dressed up as the birthday fairy (any excuse to wear her
flower girl dress) and sang a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday.
The wedding party (minus Tom and the kids - who knows
what they were up to) just before we started rehearsing.
Grandma and the kiddos practicing sitting quietly. Sort of.
The bride and her "maids" have a chat while
the flower girl picks her nose in the foreground.
Babies like Tom's face. 
Uncle Tom, Uncle Joel, Mama Rose (who, along with
her husband Chuck, hosted the most fabulous rehearsal
dinner ever), the bride, Tom's mom, and cousin David.
The incredible birthday girl (Janelle, who Hallie sang to
earlier in the day) and two of her three handsome boys. 
The bride and groom with his mom and brother.
Will, Hallie, and the amazing Megan, whose child
entertaining skills helped me survive the weekend. 
The groom and his dad.
Four generations.
The bride and groom and her parents.
Waiting for Lily to arrive on Saturday morning.
Practicing twirling down the aisle (yes, she twirled).
Practicing his walk down the aisle with the rings. He nailed
every single aspect of his job and looked incredible doing so.
Waiting for formal pictures to start was really hard for Hallie...
…she was ridiculously excited to get the show on the road.
He is just SO handsome.
Daddy and his little girl.
Daddy and both his kiddos.

Don't be surprised if you see this picture as our Christmas card.
A side shot while posing for formal pics.
This is the best photo I could get of the back of Hallie's dress.
As soon as I said I needed (another) photo she ran away from me.
Ready to go!
They did it!
Still not very good at selfies.
Limo fun on the way to the reception.
Bad pic, but GOOOOD cake. And per my
request, Jenna and Ferrell did not skimp on cake.
Hangin' with this good-lookin' eight-year-old at the reception.
Daddy-daughter dance.
Mother-son dance.
My sister's fam in what I hope will be their Christmas card picture.
My parents.
Jenna had the genius idea to stock the tables with lots
of wedding-themed coloring pages and crayons. Lily and
Hallie colored close to 20 pictures during the cocktail hour.
Besides his parents and Grandparents, Carter would let only
Uncle Grant (who is Will and Hallie's uncle but not actually
Carter's uncle) hold him on the dance floor. They had a bond.
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. McGhee!
Happy Friday, friends!