Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is what I call ....

hitting the "FRIEND LOTTERY".  SO ~ I have these friends that are truly talented and I joke with them that "Man, the day I met you, I hit the friend lottery" .... I say it half in jest, all in seriousness because they truly are some of the nicest, sweetest, would do anything for me friends!  My non-blogging friend, Stacey, has been designing floral arrangements for years and years.  She can take a bunch of flowers from Publix and transform them into an arrangement that looks like you paid $100 for at the florist.   During my 'kitchen remodel' (which is still NOT QUITE DONE), we ended up painting the kitchen and family room - had to because the kitchen and family room are all one very large area.  I kept staring at the beautiful wall sconces that I got from Rachel during one of those Southern Living at Home crazy sales.  I paid NOTHING for them and I am ashamed to say that I filled them with $10 worth of "crap" from Joann's ... even Stacey said she would have liked to 'borrowed' them and fixed them for me, but I digress.  

SO - I emailed Stacey when Shannon (another non-blogging friend) was tiling my backsplash and told her that I certainly didn't want her to feel left out of the 2008 GREAT KITCHEN MAKEOVER and would she mind throwing together a floral arrangement for my wall sconces.  She said ABSOLUTELY!!  SO .... Monday she got all the materials and TODAY, here they are:

OH .... MYYYYYYYYYYY  (I just FREAKING noticed the footballs at the top - are you KIDDING ME!?!?! -- hmph, those WILL be moved).   Aren't they beautiful (and what is up with my camera?)

A close up -- those are REAL feathers too -- REAL pricey too, but that's ok ...totally worth it and a request (I only requested feathers and hydrangeas).

I think they turned out beautiful!   I am SO excited and wonder when Chad will notice!   These put me SO in the mood for fall!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Love this life .....

I have a friend that is getting into photography and she is doing a lot of 'photo~journalism' type photos.  I had promised the kids we would go to the beach, so we ran down about 20 minutes south and this is what came of our trip:

This is my boy  .....

He threw up on our way down there - figures. I quickly just flipped his shirt around .. thank goodness for white t-shirts!


My baby girl....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Shawn!

We went out to eat last night to celebrate Shawn's birthday and send off David and Cody to Fire College! I was able to record Chad and our great friend Russ singing Happy Birthday to Shawn (I think Russ's wife Dawn was singing in there as well). It was so pretty -- kind of nice have professional singers as friends, if ya ask me!! The end is the best part - it's so pretty! We had a great night ~ so much fun and SO much laughter!!!!! Just like it ALWAYS is!!

Happy Birthday, Shawn!  I know it's a week overdue, but when you have your daughter ON your birthday, I guess you just gotta take turns!!  It has been fun celebrating with you ~ God SO knew what he was doing when he put us together.    LOVE YOU SHAWN-QUI-QUI!!

More pictures from the night ... 

David & Pam ~ we (as in Shawn) made the boys Fire Marshall Bill t-shirts - it was hilarious!!

Cody had just taken a BIG sip of his tea ~ it had been doctored while he was in the bathroom with tabasco sauce, butter and salt (I think that was it).  See, SOMEONE (who shall remain nameless but his picture is in a previous blog post with BLACK TEETH) mixed the concoction and then sucked it into his straw  and placed it back into Cody's drink - hence when he sat back down and SOMEONE ELSE who was in cahoots (all remaining nameless, but his last name rhymes with BLOCK or CROCK) decided to toast the birthday girl and the boys, so when Cody sucked on the straw after the toast, he, yeah, well, you know ... and I nearly peed my pants in laughter ~ IT NEVER GETS OLD ~ this happened on the cruise too many times to count!!  

The girls - Dawn, Nat, Shawn, Pam and Alisa .....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An open letter....

Dear Monica,

Hi there!  My name is Natalie.  I want to thank you for the MINIMUM 10 calls per day I receive from 'at home business opportunity companies' that are calling to follow up on the ONLINE information form you filled out.  GUESS WHAT Monica - you thought you were pulling a fast one and giving them some random number that you PROBABLY thought didn't belong to anyone.  OH Monica, you silly girl, that phone number belongs to me!  GUESS WHAT ELSE Monica - I work from home a lot and certainly can't be interrupted 47x/day with these phone calls.  KNOW WHAT ELSE, Monica?? I have a husband that leaves for work at 4AM and comes home at 11AM to catch a few zzzzz's before he has to be Mr. Mom and he LOVES the phone ringing all day - NOT!!  Makes for a grumpy husband, Monica, which in turn makes for a GRUMPY wife.  SO MONICA, one sweet girl that called on SUNDAY, yes Monica, SUNDAY ~ a day of rest for me and the family, well, she was so sweet that she gave me ALL OF YOUR INFORMATION!!  GUESS WHAT MONICA ~ I found your phone number and I found your address because I really need to work for the FBI.   SO MONICA, every time one of these jokers calls ~ which today so far has been 14x because sweet girl informed me your information, well, silly me, MY PHONE NUMBER, was sold to about 1000 companies, well, I GIVE THEM YOUR PHONE NUMBER!  I tell them, with joy in my voice (oh and in my heart) what you did and I tell them "Here is her number! Please give her a call" ..... 

Suck it Monica

Love and kisses,
 The Brock Family

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A party and the first day of school ....

*** WARNING:  This post contains LOTS 'O PICTURES ****

First of all, Hurricane Fay ~ yeah right, it didn't even rain.  NOT.  ONE.  DROP!

Here are some pics from Kennedy's party ~ it was held at Splitsville, a really cool bowling alley in Tampa.  It was great -- we were in our own little secluded section with no one to bother us.  

Kennedy surrounded by her girlfriends

Cameron and his best buddy, Drake.  I rented an extra lane for the boys and Daddy's ~ Cameron actually got the highest score on his 'team'!
Kennedy's cake - is this not TO DIE FOR!?!?!?  It matched her invitations PERFECTLY.

Blowing out her candles - I love this picture.  I am not sure why my hands are clenched - I think I was just hoping and wishing with her!  I love how her eyes are shut so tight!

Family picture -- she is SO my daughter -- posing.   While we ate cake, the Daddys bowled - it was funny.  Chad had to bowl "Fred Flintstone" style -- barefoot and with his hands just wrapped around the ball because there were no shoes big enough AND there were no bowling balls with big enough holes for his fingers!

The original Trotti Hottie -- "Do I have anything in my teeth?"  Gotta love black icing .... 

Our extended family "children" .... Those shirts?!?!  Yeah, me and Shawn made them.  
First day of school -- GO FIRST GRADER! 

Cameron did NOT want his picture taken -- under ANY circumstances ... I would later pick him up at 9:30 from school -- just an hour and 1/2 after taking him there -- I knew he wasn't acting like himself and he had gotten sick at school (school = PK3 for him) 

Kennedy and Mrs. Oberle ~ how cute is she!!??!  AND she loved her paint can full 'o goodies!

Before we know it, it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving and then Christmas!!!!  

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hurricane Fay or Tropical Storm or WHATEVER

For those of you that are wondering:

Yes ~ we are in the 'line of fire' for Tropical Storm/Hurricane Fay.  It is projected to hit our area sometime Tuesday evening.  Actually, I PREFER it to hit in the afternoon.  Ever since the tornado my sister and I sat through in Murfreesboro, TN at 11:00pm, evening storms scare me.  They have even closed down school tomorrow.

Please keep us all in your prayers.  Several of my friends that are native Floridians are not concerned at all - but it is not rubbing off on me at all.  I'm not scared - I'm FREAKED OUT!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rascal Flatts

Thought I would "Take You There" for the opening of the Rascal Flatts concert - one word - amazing! It was a fantastic night! Will update more later!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I have a hot date tonight ....

with these guys:

That would be Rascal Flatts for you 'non' country people, although, I do think they are pretty mainstream nowadays.  This picture was taken 3 yrs ago when they were in Tampa.  I was still living in Ocala and Chad was negotiating his WQYK deal.  We were able to get tickets and a backstage pass.  NOW, before you get all excited, since Chad has been working at WQYK, I don't go to every concert for free.  I just don't ever want to 'wear out our welcome' and to me, asking for free tickets is a sure-fire way to wear out our welcome!  I DO, on the other hand, buy my tickets before they ever go on sale and I get REALLY good seats and don't have to sit on the computer for an hr before they go on sale, praying the internet doesn't go out or my computer messes up.  Honestly, I very rarely even go to concerts.  Only if it's someone I love love love - well, I love Rascal Flatts and we have a whole slew of people going.  At $95/pop, it better be a GOOD concert (I know it will be).   

Anyway, that's where we'll be tonight and then tomorrow - SPLITSVILLE - for Kennedy's party.  We are keeping it low key this year.  I will update Sunday night!

Love ya'll - have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun "back to school" craft idea

My friend Shawn invited me and Pam over this afternoon to make the CUTEST teacher gifts for our girls. All of us have open house either Thursday or Friday, so today was the day we settled down over Route 44 drinks from Sonic and made our crafts. I was so engrossed in mine that I did not even think to take pictures of the 'how to' but you will get the general idea.  

Shawn has done this for both of her daughters' teacher every year.  I LOVE IT!!  She is so 'that Mom' - you know the one.  SO, I'm excited to share her ideas and make the CUTEST stuff for the teachers ~ I know they will appreciate it!  

We took plain silver paint cans from L*wes and added 2 different scrapbooking papers.  It will NOT be long enough to wrap all the way around, you just piece it together.  I used a cute ABC print for the top section and a red one for the bottom.  I added a blue and white stripe ribbon around the seam to cover up where the papers meet.  I added stickers and decorative items around the can.  also I added ribbon on either side of the handle and attached the little 'key' thing for the teacher to use to open it (YES, that is my BEAUTIFUL backsplash that was finished today - just lack grout and sealing!!).

Shawn has a circle cutter (never in my life have seen one of THOSE!) and so she made the top to put on the lid of the can.  I obviously edited out my daughter's teachers name - I don't have a whole lot of anonymity on this blog, but I do freak a little when it comes to school. 

Then on the inside of the bucket, I put cute memo pad, some post-it notes, some book mark style post-it notes, mints, a candy bar, paper clips, stamps and some hand sanitizer.

The total price for this little 'gift' was under $20 -- and I can't wait for Kennedy to give it to her teacher on Friday!  To Chad and me, $20 is NOTHING to spend for a person that will be enriching our daughter's life for the next 10 months!  I even went and got some cute stuff for Cameron's PK3 teacher -- although I will probably need to shower her with gifts all year for dealing with my freak show of a son ~ but I will say this ~ that joker decided last week he didn't want to wear Pull-Ups anymore and it has been 5 days and he has not had ANY accidents!!  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dear Kennedy,

Six yrs ago today, at 5:35pm, God blessed your Daddy and me with the most amazing gift!  Even at 2 weeks early, you still weighed almost 9 lbs!  I remember the nurses asking me if I was getting an epidural because she was staring at Daddy's shoulders and said that I would probably need one having one of 'HIS' babies.  She was right!  I was scared and excited, nervous, and every emotion wrapped together.  You are Nina and Pappy's 3rd granddaughter, as well as Nana and Paw-Paw's ~ your hair was jet black when you were born and you looked JUST LIKE DADDY!  It was a good thing I was in the delivery room because for the first 3 yrs of your life I wondered if I had anything to do with bringing you into this world.

This is my favorite picture ~ you were about 30 minutes old and were looking at me.  I was looking outside at the sun setting over Nashville and probably wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD I was going to do with you.  I remember waking Daddy up in the middle of the night on the Wednesday we brought you home.  I was crying and asked Daddy to take me back to the hospital.  He thought something was wrong, I just wanted to go back to a place where I knew if you quit breathing, wouldn't nurse, etc etc etc, that there would be SOMEONE there to help me!!   I told Daddy that and he said I was crazy - nothing has changed!
You are fiercely independent and I love that about you.  You embody so much of me and your Daddy, but really, I look at you and see a mini-me.  You are loyal and loving with a splash of attitude.   You love your baby brother and adore your friends.  EVERYONE is your BFF and you let them know that.  You love your cousins and make everyone feel so welcome and loved when they arrive at our house for a visit.  

We have learned that living in Florida has caused you severe distress during love-bug season.  I have seen you act like a complete and total freak-show when a love-bug got stuck in our car.  I thought I was going to have to pull over because I was SURE you were going to jump out of the car.  You do this with any type of flying insect - even beautiful butterflies!   I will say you get it honestly - I have issues with the whole lizard thing here in Florida.

You are starting first grade in just a few days and I am so excited for you.  I know you will enjoy every minute of it and hopefully, will not 'move your color'.  You broke your arm this year and you were so brave - more concerned about missing the Hannah Montana concert.  You handled it like a champ.  I was so proud of you.  I was SURE you were going to freak out when they had to remove the cast, but you amazed me and sat there quiet and still, but with big 'ol eyes that were watching the saw intently.  I knew you were scared but you held it together!  

You are growing up to be a beautiful young lady.  You have lost your 2 front teeth and your 2 bottom teeth.  We are saving for your orthodontia because you are definitely going to need it, but for whatever reason you are excited at the thought of braces.   We finally cut your hair during a visit with Sydney, MacKenzie, Aunt JJ and Uncle Shawn during Spring Break and it was probably one of the best things we did.  You love clothes (THANK GOODNESS) and you love reading.  We look forward to what the year brings as you venture to first grade.

We love you so much, baby girl.  We are so proud and honored God chose us to be your parents and to raise you the best we know how.  I promise we will always do the best and RIGHT thing for you and give you all that you need and just a little of what you want.  

Happy 6th Birthday, Kennedy!  We can't wait to celebrate you this weekend. 


Friday, August 8, 2008

While I paint, she tiles ....

I would like to introduce ya'll to my friend, Shannon. We used to get asked ALL the time if we were sisters, which I think is funny because she is so ding dang tall (seriously, like 6" tall) and when I colored my hair back to it's natural color (yes, I had to color it BACK to get all the blondish highlights OUT) I was certain no one would ask us that anymore and actually, people asked us MORE if we were related. Anyway, I digress ....

Shannon is a renaissance woman. She can do anything. She had mentioned a while back that she would tile my backsplash for me because they are building a new house and she wouldn't have anything 'to do'. She is also having shoulder surgery August 21 - this is a GOOD FRIEND! I asked her last week if she was still up for the challenge ... she said "YES!" (ha, get it!?!?) and off we went tile shopping last weekend. She called me last night to tell me she would be over on Friday to start. That is one thing about Shannon - when she says she is going to do something (a) she does it (b) she does it and FINISHES it. SO, here we go:

This is the tile started -- I forgot to take before pictures and normally, I wouldn't even post until it was done, but I have some girls that want to see the progress (no, Cameron did not color on the tile with a sharpie. That is where I scored it with a grinder and when I tell you SPARKS FLEW, I'm telling you I was afraid I was going to catch my new cabinets on FIRE!).
She cussed me after this one ~ I told her "I must document the process" and no, that is not armpit sweat, that is water that kicked back on her from the wet saw THAT WE NOW OWN.

Not to shabby, huh??!?! COURSE, it will be SHABBY CHIC and totally ties in the cabinets with the granite. It looks beautiful ~ it really does. She still has a little ways to go, but I am LOVING it so far. It's going to look so pretty once it's grouted (yes, I said grouted) and sealed. It will be a little darker and blend really well. I'm SO proud of her for tackling this project and I will shower her with gifts, as I do all my friends that bless me with their talents and do stuff for me that would normally cost me a FORTUNE!!

After Shannon made one particular cut that was PERFECT, she came back in and said "I. AM. A. BADA$$" .... yes, honey, YOU ARE!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Redneck in the White House

Finally ~


Please sign the petition (if you want a REDNECK IN THE WHITEHOUSE). We are trying to get this on NATIONAL ROTATION with the country music radio stations - if you LOVE country music, CALL YOUR local station and request THIS SONG!! If they say that haven't heard it, TELL THEM TO GO TO REDNECKINTHEWHITEHOUSE.COM