My baby girl is six!

I know I’ve been quiet here on the blog the past month, but there’s no way I wasn’t going to post a little something for Brianna’s birthday. It’s blog tradition. Some of you have been around here long enough to know that on her first birthday, I started the tradition of writing her a letter recapping the year. I stopped posting them here, as of last year, but I do still write them. I haven’t quite decided when I’ll give them all to her. Maybe when she’s sixteen and really hating me?

Some people (like me) find the passage of time most startling in the growth of other people’s kids. So I know some of you, who remember B when she was “.5” because I wouldn’t tell anyone the name we’d chosen until she was born, probably feel some of the same disbelief I do this morning, that this adorable baby (posted January 21, 2005):

Is now this beautiful little girl (taken this morning):

But still with the same bright blue eyes:

It’s amazing how easy it is to feel like you’ve blinked and six years have passed, isn’t it? I’m so glad I’ve got this blog to help me remember some of it.

Anyway, happy birthday to my baby girl. I’ll try not to be too weepy and sentimental today.

First day of kindergarten

Today was that day that I both looked forward to and dreaded: Brianna’s first day of kindergarten. I looked forward to it because she’s going to a fantastic private school with an amazing curriculum. She needed a place that was going to challenge her and push her forward, because she’s a bit lazy about learning sometimes, my girl is. She needed somewhere that wasn’t going to let her coast along. She was so excited about going, and woke up early this morning to announce, “It’s my first day of kindergarten!”

And, of course, I was dreading it because it’s one of those milestones that really drives home the point that your baby isn’t such a baby anymore. As if I needed that reminder so soon after the loss of her first tooth!

Because she’s attending private school, there’s a dress code/uniform. I’ll be honest and tell you I’m still not entirely sure this dress (a navy polo dress) fits the uniform requirements, but I figure they’ll tell me if it doesn’t. I had NO idea how hard and confusing it would be to navigate the world of uniforms and rules about clothes, and I don’t think I have it all quite figured out yet. And, just between you and me, I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about sending B to a place that does have such strict uniform rules that don’t even allow jewelry or bright hair accessories. We’re talking about my little accessory queen not being able to wear pink hairbands, bright headbands and pretty necklaces. I’m sure she’ll survive, but still…mom guilt, it’s a powerful thing. And I think it will be nice not to have a battle over clothes in the morning because some days…oof.

So, of course, I took a bunch of pictures on her first day, so what follows is a picture-intense post of this morning.

Now, I have to preface these next two pictures by telling you, I was done taking pictures but Brianna says, “No wait, just ONE more” and proceeds to put on the goofy face. So these pictures? You can totally see how she’s our kid and loves to be silly.

Next we were standing next to the car and Brianna decided I needed to take just a few more pictures. She’s apparently come to the conclusion that the best modeling pose is clasping her hands in the middle of her chest. I have NO idea where that came from. (these ARE two different pictures, but shows how carefully she was posing)

I snapped a few pics of her walking into school. I don’t like these pictures. I don’t want to think about her walking AWAY.

She knew right where to find her hook, because we’d just attended orientation on Friday. She also walked right to the classroom, had no problems remembering where it was.

The class has a class pet, Gibbs, who’s a rather friendly guinea pig. The second thing Brianna asked me when she woke up this morning was if we had any carrots she could take for Gibbs. The blond lady is B’s new teacher, Ms. V. I don’t have a good sense yet of what she’s like, but Josh liked her sense of humor (she was teasing Brianna first thing).

And at the end of it all, Brianna gave us each a hug and kiss goodbye and walked back to get some more playtime in with Gibbs before school officially started for the day. She didn’t seem apprehensive or sad to see us go, just ready for her next adventure.

Meanwhile, this is me:


Hey look! Thanks to the fabulous Frauke of Croco Designs (sorry, no hyperlink because I’m blogging from the weird WordPress app on the iPad) I have a new look here on the site. Look around and tell me what you think and if you see any glitchy stuff that’s not working. She updated both my home page and my banner, while still using my brand image–isn’t it fabulous?

Not only do we have a new template and a new banner, but she also added a Recipes page at the top. So now, every time I add a new recipe, it will show up in the list on that page, which is alphabetized. I’m going to go through and update all of the recipe posts with actual recipe titles, to make browsing the alphabetized list.

Also in the Land of Angie, I went to see Reba in concert this weekend with my friends Trish and Mindy, thus the cowgirl pictures. I loved having an excuse to pull out this cowboy hat, since it’s a little more fancy than the one I usually wear out and about. And it’s been a few months since the cowboy boots came out thanks to summer. I LOVE my boots, so glad it’s almost that time of year when I can wear them daily again. This was my third time seeing Reba in the past 2 decades and she remains as fabulous as always. Opening for her was Melissa Peterman, who played Barbara Jean on Reba. She was funny and it was so good to revisit the show. I had a great time with my girls, and I loved being able to see Reba again.

Currently, I’m visiting Casa Wendell (aka Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches and her family) for a few days. The first thing to greet me as I came in the door was a fantastic “Kindle” welcome sign. And the adorable dogs (pictured).

But the really big news? My baby lost her first tooth last night! I was afraid she was going to lose it while I was gone, but she wiggled it around until it was just barely hanging on yesterday, and then Josh yanked it out. The tooth fairy visited this morning and left her $5 in exchange for that first tooth. She has an adorable little gap-toothed smile now. When did she get old enough to start losing teeth? And to start kindergarten? Next week. That was another first for us this weekend–on Sunday B and I went shopping for school supplies. The first time I’ve ever had to shop for school supplies for her. Waaah!

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday: PreK BBQ

I was going to do a contest today, but was already overwhelmed by the sheer amount of Twitter and FB messages I got for my birthday, so I’m going to delay the contest a few days.

Last weekend, we attended a PreK graduation BBQ hosted by the parents of one of B’s classmates. Several of B’s teachers showed up, as did several of the other children who are moving from preK to kindergarten in the next few weeks. In conversation with the director, we realized that Brianna has been going there for four years and is one of two children who’ve been there the longest. They opened their doors in August 2006 and Brianna started going in November 2006, just after her 2nd birthday. I think we’re all going to miss that facility.

Here are a few pictures from that evening. I don’t like to post other people’s children so I chose a few of just B and Josh.

Brianna spent a ton of time riding this scooter (many of the adults also took a turn on it. Here’s a hint: they don’t mix with beer).

This is Ms. Rosemary, who’s been Brianna’s teacher for the past three years. We’re going to miss her.

Proof that my husband is just a big kid.

Further proof.

Disney Day 2: Magic Kingdom

In my continued mission to give Annmarie what she asked for (more pictures of Brianna), I bring you day 2 of our Disney vacation. Don’t worry, I’m only sharing 4 days (the 4 parks) and I’m keeping it down to one a week. But Magic Kingdom is the day that has my very favorite pictures from our trip so this is going to be a really picture-intensive post.

Arriving at Magic Kingdom:

My brother Adam. His first time at Disney!

Magic Carpet ride:

Brianna with Prince Eric and Ariel:

Now for the big part of the day. Brianna went to Bippidy Boppity Boutique and got princessified. It was actually a really great deal. I’d bought the Cinderella dress on eBay before our trip and we snuck it into our backpack that morning, because the whole thing was a surprise for B. We didn’t have reservations (because I like to live dangerously like that) but had no problem getting an appointment for the time period we wanted. So for the price, B got to get changed into her dress, get her hair, nails and makeup done. The price included the tiara ($10) and the Mickey barrette ($10) as well as a bag with her palette of makeup, 2 bottles of nail polish, and face decals. Those things alone were worth around $30-$35 total, so we only paid about $20 for the services themselves. SO worth it. Here’s some of the process:

My goofy girl. the beginning:



Now, they do a “big reveal” where they turn the princess around and let her finally see herself in the mirror. B’s face truly lit up. I didn’t get any pictures but the Disney photographer did. Unfortunately, I’m an idiot and I lost that PhotoPass, even though I KNOW better and knew I needed to take a picture of the number on the back in event of losing it. Argh. So I don’t have pictures of that and I’m sad about it.

Next, we had reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table for a late lunch, right across from the boutique. This was magical for all of us (and the food was surprisingly good). Well worth the expensive price and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

First you get your picture taken with Cinderella

You get to color and wait for the other princesses to come to your table while you start with appetizers

Everyone gets either a wand or a sword (For the boys) and a wishing star or two. During the meal, they do a small “ceremony” with the entire dining room where everyone wishes.

Right behind us during the ceremony is Snow White. I love this picture:

Then, after it was over she came over to the table for pictures:

Sleeping Beauty:

Ariel (there’s another picture of B and Ariel that’s my favorite picture of the trip but I’m saving it for Wednesday):


And, finally, Cinderella’s Castle, which really is magical, inside and out:

This day was the only day we experienced any rain, and it was several downpours, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the day because we’d brought ponchos. It did stop me from taking too many more pictures at Magic Kingdom, though.

At the end of the day, we decided to take the monorail from Magic Kingdom to Epcot, just so Adam could experience it. There’s a few pictures from that as well:

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