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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Momcation 2.0 - Hit me baby one more time!

 So yeah, that thing we were going to do like, every year? If possible? Is now a biannual thing. Because apparently we cannot and will not live without one another in person for that long. I am so glad because I was really missing every last one of their laughs and smiles and talks and stories. You get the picture. I won't bore you with all the epic details of this go round. Because this time we have a video montage!! Thanks to Chelsea the video sniper!

Love you bishes.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sitting still is just so boring.

 The horizon is looking awesome as it does every spring. The air is sort of electric and it's way harder to hermit inside like a lazy lump. Blogging has been in the back of my mind and of course I have dozens of false starts on my phone saved to post asap. Always. But life is just happening and if my nose is in my computer I am doomed to miss it. There are some personal events that have come to pass even this early in 2015 that start to feel like forecasting a shitty year. But things like the impending doom of a special needs kindergarten class or Hal making poor choices and following bad leads, will not be allowed to set the tone. there are just too many great things that if ignored, would just be criminal. I am about to give you some good and bad like I used to. Which is my favorite way to just lay out the trash and the joy. Then I can just close this cyber beast and get back to l-i-v-i-n! I promise the good stuff will make you happy for me and also having you totally hooked in for the recap posts to follow in a month or so.

  Let's kick it off with the bad shall we?

  • The stepchild has chosen to side primarily with material things and pretty promises. I can't and won't let it bother me because I know she will mature at her pace and life will play out as it does for a teen. When all hell breaks loose and real parenting is needed, I am sure we all know who she will call.
  •  Aidan is being placed at a school really far away from our home. I am unsettled about it all. Everything about it.
  •  I am getting old and tweaked my back which knocked me out of work and on my ass for a couple weeks. I refuse to be one of those hypochondriac pill poppers so I am finding it annoying to sift through home remedies to feel comfortable.

Ok, now the better, longer list.

  • Our little farm is way ahead of schedule and just rocking with happy healthy veggies! 
  • I met another one of my food/nutrition heroes and had a super fun fangirl moment when she posted on IG how much she loved my pickles! mind.blown. Now if I could meet Alton Brown and be on Chopped my culinary bucket list would be complete.
  •  I am marinating on a new career path and there are all sorts of amazing things lining up for me now that I took the time to pause and look up. 
  • I am soon to be a published author. I will post and of course shamelessly plug the finished product asap but I will allow you to wonder; Is it an autobiography? Is it a sci-fi twist on my life as a tormented step parent with a creepy single-white-female plot twist? ( lmao) Is it a RomCom? Is it an instruction manual that would be read like stereo instructions? Yeah right on the last one. TBA ya'll
  •  Two of my favorite people are to be wed this fall and I got all butterflies for them when I picked up my bridesmaid dress and it fits like a dream. Yep I will be dolled up in a dress. I will be in one wedding. This one is special to my heart because I set them up on a blind date. Just like a beloved friend set Kelly and I up all those years ago.
  • I get to see my klan, my crew, my crazy bitches from the west coast mafia that is #oceanssixteen!!!!! The next momcation is coming up soon and it really could not be a better time to unwind. Big shout out to the husbands who know this is necessary for our lady souls and thanks men for being so supportive and also for keeping our children alive while we are gone.

 Too much life goodness right now. I will always be happy when the lists are off balance in this way. Now back to sip my coffee in my garden and then do a little yoga. And frankly I am still going to post when I feel like I want to and not abandon the bloggity world completely. And if you don't like it Voldemort, don't read it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Chicken littles.

  The flock on our mini farm has been growing for a while now. But this year we had a snafu. One of my broody hens gave up in protest for some reason. Abandoning her share of eggs and the chill hadn't left the air quite yet. Ming was on her own with way too many eggs and she hopped back and forth with no real way of covering all of them at one time.

 With worry of false starts and development problems I barrowed an incubator to salvage what we could. This round was special because it contained the coveted chocolate colored egg layers called Black Copper Marans. Beautiful hens and even more adorable as chicks looking just like baby penguins. Also in this hatch were several of Fancy the rooster and Mings babies. Our first Feltifarm breed stock attempt. I left Ming with a couple of each and brought the rest indoors and hoped for the best.

  Candling revealed movement and development which gave me hope we would have at least one or two of Ming/Fancy babies. But the dark Marans shells are impossible to see into so they were a gamble and a mystery.

 Twenty one days and nothing. Twenty two and we had one single pip in the tiniest egg in the incubator. Twenty three and we had our first chick. Typically chicks will hatch on day twenty one give or take a day. So one baby was not a good number. And not a single sign of life under Ming outside.

Then finally a chocolate egg pipped. Then hatched quickly into a sweet tired penguin.

 And still none under Momma Ming. So I prepared to clean out the duds from the incubator and under my hen, trying to feel glad for the two that made it. Thinking that we have been lucky with past hatches because the broody girls did such a great job mothering. And then my husband checked the incubator just in case and saw another pipped egg. Which also hatched into a marans baby. Giving us a perfectly healthy trio.

 Counting your chickens before they are hatched is really stupid after all it would seem. Because when I went out to clean up the dud from under Ming there was an Easter baby. Which was very shocking considering that was at about 28 days!

 She knew something I didn't because she still wasn't getting up. And we let her be. She hatched one of her own and one penguin for me like a good momma. And then chased those busy babies around leaving the nest cold.

 Last night when I came home I had to be what my hilariously accurate friend dubbed the "chicken doula". And our last little miracle babe was born.

( science can be graphic ya'll) 

 So crazy and magical that I can't recall even speaking during this so I sound funny to myself. I have watched the four minute version of this about a hundred times now. 

She hatched and dried and is perfect. I feel very lucky to have caught that pipped egg and I feel lucky that my husband put it in the brooder box under the heat lap with our incubator babies even though he was sure she was a goner from being cold.

So, I decided to try to sneak these sweeties in under momma and hope she accepts the whole bunch as her own. I would say so far so good. And I took a moment to capture these 6 lucky little peepers in something frame worthy for the mom den. Because I am now officially the crazy chicken lady who posted a birth story about chickens. And I love it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I think Jesus would rather you went to a petting zoo.

  This time of year always makes me cringe for one reason alone. People who buy animals for Easter gifts. Having raised rabbits as a kid and now chickens as an adult it really matters that people stop doing this. Animals are not disposable. It's a living, breathing responsibility. One that an impulse buyer has no forethought about. Let me make this easy. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you are on the brink of losing it because of all the cute you are more than likely face to face with at a bin of snuggly critters:
  1. Did you ever have thoughts of purchasing a baby chick or tiny bunny before this minute? 
  2. Do you know anything more about this animal than what you just now googled this second? 
  3. Do you have time in your daily life to care for this creature? 
  4. Do you actually believe your child when they plead that " you won't have to do anything Mommy/Daddy. I will feed it and clean up everything I promise"?
 If you answered NO to any of these, put down the baby animal and back away. Now run to your car, drive home and feed the cat who now lives outside because it's easier. Hey, pets are not for everyone.

 I am not trying to crush your lifelong dream of farm living. I am just asking everyone to stop the mass hysteria of owning a baby animal. I am guilty of getting super giddy about baby piglets. My voice raises into octaves only dogs can hear. I barely make sense and "OOoooooommmmgeeeeee its sooooooo cuddleeeeeeeee" is all I can muster. But then I chill the hell out and remember baby pigs become giant bacon hogs. I lack any and all accommodations for that type of animal. I feel like I am reminding apartment dwellers not to buy a mini horse and yes this should all be common sense. But I know the season sweeps us off our feet with pictures like this.


   Those of us farm people even set up cute pics with plastic Easter Eggs and all the cuteness that Spring can offer. But in all honesty, baby animals all grow up to be adults. And truthfully rabbits can grow up to be mean spirited and wild if they are not loved on constantly and treated sweetly. Chickens can lose their charm for some through those super awkward "teenager" phases of nearly no feathers an bad attitudes. The novelty does fade and a stuffed bun-bun really will do the trick for your heart eyed kiddo. Between that and the chocolate they will survive. Let's not adopt a pet we aren't actually in the market for. Would you give an Easter kitten? Exactly.There many local farms to visit for the Spring baby fix I swear.

 There are many many animals given away or neglected because they were bought on impulse. I myself have adopted grown hens that folks were just over the idea of having anymore. It's also a terrible example to set for our kids, that animals are a thing and not a life. That they are disposable or unimportant. We should be adopting loved new family members no matter what the breed. A pet is a chosen chore that we should be more mindful of.

::getting down off my soapbox now::

Around the nation there are rescue organizations for animal adoption. Excellent resources can be found here

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

FeltiFarm 2015 Part 1

 This year is big. I mean like, huge. I have a few personal fires burning or smoldering rather and I do this thing every spring where I full on pour my heart and soul into my garden instead of stress. Winter can suck it. It's spring!! And it's on like donkey kong. I would like to take a moment to review the evolution of this epic food growing journey thus far.

Before it all began.

  Another little blast from the past, Chickenlandia at the start.

Handmade with so much love. This yard has been one of my most cherished challenges and my proudest work in progress, Always growing and exceeding my ideas. I am a very lucky girl for all I have. Today I will go out and get my hands dirty with a wide smile. I need you all to see this amazing reveal for this years beauty. It's incredible if I do say so myself. Farm photo update as soon as things are ready.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life after Whole 30

  So the end of 30 days without all those things has come and gone. By the time it was day 30 I had in fact stopped counting and just ritualistically gone about my day. It is truer than true that old saying about a month to make or break a habit. And I broke so many. How do I feel? Amazing still. How do I look? Less boated, more energized, not puffy eyed in the morning, skin clear, sun shining birds chirping yadda yadda yadda the whole 9 ( pun intended). The major point I would like to make is that all these whole 30 survivors have the same end story to tell. And we all can't be wrong. There is something in our processed foods that is seriously wrong for us to put into our bodies. Sugar does not need to be added to every single solitary item of edibles. We can aim for a much healthier life. Period.

 My husband the carbavore has been changed too. He actually told me with his own mouthparts and no gun to his head, that he would like to do whole 30 a few times a year and also to eat mostly paleo from here on out. I was in awe. But that shows me he really felt the changes too. He and I started this challenge with our own personal goals and hurdles mapped out and I think that is the best approach. Personal strides in a group of people trying the same approach. My team of friends and strangers were amazing because we were all on the same mental road cheering one another on and giving tips and feedback freely without risk of judgement. All encouraging and not even an ounce of all knowing behavior. Celebrating all the scale and non scale victories and trouble shooting the mysteries. Some ahead on the calendar and some later made for a great balance of timeline prediction in human form not just the actual whole 30 timeline on paper. Every personal story celebrated.

 The journey is real. The sugar dragon is real. The weight I lost is secondary to how I feel. All the same things you are reading from blogger to blogger that has taken this challenge. It's all real. Real food is the best thing for any person. That should never even be a question but just a simple fact. If you want to simplify your habits, try it. If you want to stalk my food pics, that's cool too.

 Reintroduction Captain's log: My body wants nothing to do with grains. My joint pain that went completely away at week two? It came on back with a vengeance. So I do know what to avoid and my suspicions were spot on. I have had soy, cheese, and legumes with no problems at all. I will enjoy these in light moderation as I have in the past. Grains however can kiss my much smaller ass.

 Wine and I are seeing eachother again as well. Distance did make the heart grow fonder. Though we wont be going steady again any time soon, we both know my love is unconditional.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Whole30 - A spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down.

  The last week has been odd. I am so very sick with a sinus bug that has literally invaded my whole face and now my chest a bit. I get really death and dying sick about once every one or two years. I have a healthy immune system and my family does as well. It would seem this is the killer right on schedule and I think I can thank my current eating habits for the way I am feeling. Yes, this is kicking my ass and I have a porcupine in my throat ( remember that commercial? So classic) but I still have energy. So Tigers Blood has really come in at the clutch moment I needed it. I am a solid week from day 30 and I feel great even while sick as hell. Crazy awesome. We have made it through Superbowl, Bunco and I think it's safe to say Valentines Day will be easy peasy. We normally take the girl child out to a fancy Italian restaurant and have our family Valentine's date night but she is at her bio Moms for the holiday this year and we can celebrate the following weekend just fine. And at day 35 and into the reintroduction stage, heavy pasta dishes sound like a nightmare so I will be doing some picking and choosing carefully but I'm sure it will be wonderful.

 One thing that has blown my mind totally is that amount of sugar in medicine. This may be next level Whole30 shit but I just cannot justify a stupid cold being the ruin of all my hard work. Have I mentioned this is hard work? Oh ok cool. Anyway I was sitting cross sit on the floor of Safeway like a weirdo reading package after package and just completely in awe of all the different ways you can say sugar, for one. But for two, just the sheer quantity of it in medicine. Most sad the fizzy instant fix I have come to relay on and sadly I will go back to in the future because it really works for my sinusitis I tend to get sick with. I found three maybe four out of what seems like hundreds of remedy options. How sad. No wonder our kids get jacked up and wild every time we give them a simple syrupy cough does of that grape stuff, it's actually a simple syrup base! I do tend to go homeopathic for Aidan because he responds fine to that and he takes it no prob.

 So, update is: Hella sick. Avoided any added sugar in my cold medication choices. Eating all the spices to burn this off. And feeling really healthy happy and good. Mind, body and soul. Life is Aiiiiiiiiight.

 Recipe time. Here are a few of the most drooled over posted food items. Starting with one I have got to get out there and all praise my husband for the Mexican food whole30 hack success of all time.

Kelly's Taco Seasoning

  Besides seasoning 1 lb of ground meat of your choosing with salt and pepper, brown that and make this: 

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons compliant ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon compliant yellow mustard 
  • 1/4 cup water 
Add to browned meat. Simmer for about 5 minutes. We make tacos with guacamole, and a zillion salsas on a fresh lettuce leaf and they are seriously inhaled.

That Beet Slaw Tho

This has been a family favorite which is shocking because if I juice a beet they all turn green and run. It's great with red meat but really it has worked with everything. I even piled chicken salad on top and ate it in a lettuce leaf and wowzers. I mean. Gah.

  • 1 medium green apple
  • 2 medium beets
  • 2 medium turnips (parsnips will do also)
  • the juice from one orange
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  cracked pepper to taste
  •  chopped macadamias, almonds or pecans
Use a mandolin or vagetti shred all produce and toss with remaining ingredients coating evenly. Chill until serving and to let flavors marry. 

I know I have been posting about food mostly and yes real life is going on behind the curtains. I have some major things with each kid to address in the next week or so and the drafts on both topics are in like the eight revisions. I mean, we have tween drama and Kindergarten planning. Yeah, there's your teasers. I promise it's coming.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whole30- Day 10 ( alernative title: Everything is Stupid)

 This is the day most quit on. I get it. I am annoyed with the grocery store. Every aisle is jam packed with thinks on my "don't" list. I am losing ambition with my menu and the need for creativity feels exhausting to even think of. Staying positive today feels stupid. I have every intention of staying on plan because I am hella competitive with my own self and I am just far to curious to see if the hype fits my work. This is major work. Mental work. Because the junk on hand system was just easy and lazy and gross now that I think of it. I am avoiding shopping for food because it sucks and I swear I can smell honey greek yogurt through the package. What a mind screw. I am not however craving sweets in their candy form. It's that round about sneaky digestive form that my body is trying to trick me with. It fells very much like my mind and body are a bit at war today. And though I actually require ingredients for dinner I am not motivated in the tiniest bit to get my ass up and showered. OMG showering sounds harrrrrrrrrrrrrddddddddd you guys. Ewwww. This feeling could leave right meow and I would be thrilled. I am not a fan of the day 10 shit. I may go to bed at noon and sleep till tomorrow.

 I will attempt to give some good recipes in hope of enticing hunger pangs that will get me moving.

 Irish Nonsense

 Chicken Apple Aidells sausage has been a remedy for my boredom because I can add it to all kinds of stuff. But this was top notch!

 Brown the sausage in link form using a touch of olive oil or ghee. Brown really nice and crisp on all sides then slice into little meat coins. Place back the the pan to brown these sides now flipping accordingly until irresistibly. Set aside.  Chop half an onion of your favorite color and also a half head of cabbage. It seems like a lot but remember it wilts like mad and its packed with awesome nutrients. Get a hot pan ready with two tablespoons of melted ghee or bacon fat, add veggies and sautee on med stirring constantly to achieve even doneness and a nice brown edge on onions especially. While that cooks slice fingerlings into even sized chunks, toss with olive oil and salt/pepper. Roast at 375 for 15-20 minutes or fork tender. Plate all things in piles and devour!!!

The Latkes

 These are normally made with standard russet potatoes and regular flour. I have modified and tested this to be whole30 compliant. If you want to make them standard, those are the two swapped ingredients.

 Shred about 2 cups of zucchini ( about 2-3 med sized zucchini) any way you like. I used to do it with a hand grater and now I rock a sweet Cuisinart food possessor that takes a tenth the time because, impatient and probably hangry. Set your zucchini aside in a colander to drain access water off. BIG STEP because otherwise the "dough" will be runny and gross. The secret to getting most of that water off fast is sprinkling with a touch of salt to draw it out quick. And then you have also pre-seasoned the veggie part.

 One egg beaten is added to drained zukes in a big mixing bowl. Coat thoroughly. Dust in 3-4 tablespoons of almond or coconut flour ( I found coconut a touch gritty but better flavor so it's a toss up of texture vs taste). Mix well again.

 In a large pan get a nice drizzle of olive oil or a tablespoon of ghee nice and hot. Make a patty shape with your late mixture and add several at a time to your pan. turn when the bottom is browned. Takes about 2-3 minutes on each side.

 Serve with fresh veggies or guacamole or an egg on top. But my favorite is with apple sauce and sour cream so now I need to attempt a whole30 rendition of sour cream to complete the makeover. 

Enjoy!! And Happy Day 10 to any of you in the trenches with me. And Yay!! to all of you further.

  Also, as I wrote this my gas stove went out, MY OVEN!!! MY STOVE! Heaven help the world. And the warranty call center. I may go all Brittney with an umbrella on this shit today.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Whole30 - So Far So Good

 While some life happenings are just raging out of bounds on the sidelines with all the teen angst in the world, I am focusing on the things I can control. Like my food. So I have joined the forces of Whole30-ers in a month long challenge. The details can be found here Whole30 Program. I had watched and learned from some friends who had already done a round or two of this and I liked what they had to say. How they felt was the thing that really got me. I would love to feel less logey and drag ass all the time. I would love to get back to food I know and love, mostly meat and vegetables. That's my jam anyhow. And I know that we as humans should be more aware and cautious about all the crazy unnecessarily added sugars in EVERYTHING. So I felt it was time to jump on board.

 So far we (my super awesome husband is doing it too) are on day 5 which for most unlearned folks may seem stupid to brag about. But since we are past a few of the hard parts I am stoked! We both had bodily reactions to total removal of sugar. But not bad. I have had less aches and pains in my joints which is awesome. Last night I slept great and though falling asleep has never been a real issue for me, I am falling asleep quick and feeling more rested in the morning. I am also not wanting to get out of my cozy warm bed as of today which seems right on track for what I read. After getting up I have had more energy to do things and I am feeling less ADD with tasks.

 I am posting this more as a journal entry with recipes more than a recruiting tool. I don;t claim to know everything about how this affects every person nor am I urging anyone to try it. Like any major change, temporary or permanent, it's a personal choice. If it sounds awesome to you, research for yourself like I did and then decide. For me it's a challenge more than it's a "diet" because I don't do the diet thing. This is for healthy body stuff and fitness will help my shape.

 So far I already have a few really yummy recipes that I pulled out of ideas. I know there are a zillion recipes out there but these are just some I came up with that worked well. And, as promised, the ranch, mayo and ketchup recipes I did not invent but found through tried and true praise of my whole30 internet family.

 The Meatball 
(over zoodles with ghee sauteed wild mushrooms)

One lb ground meat of your choosing, 3 tablespoons coconut flour and one large room temperature egg as binder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, cracked pepper, kosher salt, italian seasonings if you want. Make equal sized balls and brown in olive oil and ghee till a nice dark brown on all sides. Cover and steam simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat to cook through. Ahhhmazing. Also super good for cooking ahead and meal prep.

Full Pan Egg Foo Young

The Trader Joes mixed chopped veggies are my friends. They are really a great blend and also,duh, pre-prepped. I sauteed about a cup and a half of those along with thin sliced onion high heat in olive oil with a touch of sesame oil til the were all a touch caramelized. It's pretty fast. Then I pour a mixture of three eggs that have been blended with coconut aminos ( an awesome soy sauce replacement) and a splash of light coconut milk from the can so its frothy. I use either my blender or an immersion blender. Both work. Cook on med heat till you can peek at a brown underside and the flip and repeat. Doesn't even need a sauce. It's that good.

 And for Dawn. This is the Vegetti :) 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

10 things about a Mom-cation

 The reality of life is that we Mommas get the least high fives or thanks. Because we just do what needs to be done. We made little people and we care for them because we should. It's our job. It is a daily grind and joy all at once. It's a balance that is so often tipped in the favor of the most needy, which is always the kids and sometimes even the spouse. All the pumpkin spice lattes in the world can't compensate for a full blown Target tantrum at decibels dogs can hear followed by vomiting in the car. But we just get shit done. Because it needs to just get done. I am not saying husbands are worthless but fellas you have a way of passing the buck to the lackey. And at the end of the day, the month, the year, we have let our sanity go a bit and our pretty is for show.

 Then something magical could happen. What if through the gripes and snark of the interwebs you found other like minded females who had all the same carry on luggage as you. By that I mean the bags under our eyes. But they also have the same laugh lines. Impossible? Not for me thank god. I met some of my soul mates in real life last weekend and it made feel so stupid for not thinking of taking a trip like this sooner ( all praise to Jenn for the idea and follow through). It was my saving grace for a fresh new year. That, is certain.

 I know most of these ladies from the web, one is my real life bestie and half I met a bloggy event a while back. But in this dynamic things were different and way better for relaxing fun. We had no fucks to give because of some silent code we all simultaneously adopted as our own. No judgement, just love and actual admiration for each others strengths and struggles. I can honestly say I didn't know 16 moms around my age who would treat me with such love until last weekend. Just for example, no one gave me shit for being the first one asleep each night! For one we aren't in college, but also for two, all of them know I never sleep. So the actual happiness I got from a few full nights uninterrupted was celebrated by them too. Because they get it. I am so grateful for the people in my life who get me. Because I am a weirdo. And let me tell you last weekend being a weirdo was basically the name of the game.

 If you are a Mom, and you assess your momlife balance and you realize you need a getaway, do it. I cannot promise the level of awesome that we managed to achieve. But I can guarantee a fresh feeling of calm probably up til the minute you pull into your own driveway again. If you're family is like mine all hell either broke loose while you were gone or the very second they saw your face and you may want to get back in the car.

  Anyways, here are my suggestions should you choose to want a good, wait, great time.

  1. Pick a spot off the beaten path. The less civilization, the more in your own world you can be. So what if you and 15 ladies in matching sweatshirts infiltrate the one tiny cafe for breakfast with mild dazed champagne hangovers. So. What. Also, then it's basically your cafe.  
  2. Do not dress to impress. Just be comfortable. Make it a rule that no fucks will be given and leggings are pants for the weekend. Because if you are busy worrying about what someone thinks of your outfit you are going to miss something way more fun and important for your soul.
  3. Bring LOTS of food. To the legit access. Because a hangry group is a bitchy group. But also because then the kitchen is where it's at and food is an easy ice breaker. Everyone eats ya'll. 
  4. Bring games. As juvenile as it seems, it's a big slumber party right? So what did you do back in the day to bond with your childhood girls? You played truth or dare, or Mall Madness. I know you did. So grab Apples to Apples or even Cards Against Humanities if you dare be bold like us, and prepare to cry laugh. It hurts so good. 
  5. Bring your vice. Let it all hang out. This is your weekend away. If you smoke ten cigarettes like me* because it's an oldie but a goodie when you have drinks in hand. And for the best worst reason sometimes it feels like old times of youth and fun. Bring it with you. You would be shocked at who may join you. Everyone's got their somethin.
  6. Don't call home 50 times. We naturally left it all at home. But I know some of my friends that didn't go that would have been constantly checking in. You just can't. What is the point then? And on that same note, tell your spouse to cut you a break with the pictures of the kids crying.
  7. Bring awesome pjs. You end up getting in them earlier and earlier and perhaps just the whole last day you live in them.
  8. Let your derp flag fly. Some of the best moments are because of a silly joke that keeps going wayyyyyy too far. Or an app that everyone starts taking crazy pictures with that continues long after everyone gets home. It's the minutes and seconds of crazy that blend with the lazy. That is the magic. 
  9. Don't get out of hand and be "that girl". I say this because no one did. Not a single crying puker out of 16 chics. I know! Impressive. And so perfect. Everyone was grown up enough and I think it's a sign we were all comfortable enough to relax the right way. And in our own moderation. No fights, no drama, no nonsense. I feel like shots are a direct link to bullshit like that in this setting so maybe that's the key right there. We did no shots.
  10. Don't mourn the trip till you are safely in bed at home afterwards. Then cry. Sort of kidding. I just mean don't waste a minute of good stuff wishing it wasn't over when it isn't over till that last person on the carpool chain drives away. Then sadness. But the great part even in that, it means it was so amazing you cannot wait to do it again. But seriously there is fun to be had even in the cleanup and packing cars. Don't miss a thing.

 Here is a montage of pics of our trip that you more than likely are tired of seeing if you follow any number of us on instagram because how nauseating were all our matching pics right? Sorry not sorry.

 Photo credit to everyone but I will add links as soon as I sort out who took what. We have some amazing photogs who do this for a living and their shots are of course the best ones.

 * I am so nott telling everyone to start smoking so chill the fuckout.
** Also, I miss you all so very much.