Wednesday, October 31

It's the great pumpkin...

C is for Carter, carving, & competition. Ah, competition. My competitive nature started early when my mother decided to put me in beauty pageants at a young age. Yes, I was the Honey Boo Boo of the 80s. Y'all better redneckanize. I distinctly remember my sweet mom (she will deny this until blue in the face) saying, "Now Abigail, you won't win this pageant - but you will have a lot of fun & that is all that matters." Wrong. I strutted my stuff down the runway, blew a kiss to the judges & BOOM the votes were tallied. Abigail Vestile - Little Miss Regatta 1989. I still have the cubic zirconia tiara to prove it, & the memory of being queen for a day. Wait - what memory...I'm still the queen.


My competitive nature didn't stop there. From board games to dance competitions to neighborhood talent shows I didn't care what I was competing long as I won. Field day with my kindergarten class? I have to refrain from making my kids run suicides weeks before in order to train, & I may or may not have jumped in as anchor before so they would win Tug Of War. Oopsie. Dev & I like to compete in things also. Whether that be road trip scavenger hunts, Christmas cookie bake-offs or a Carter favorite: The Pain Game. We pinch each other until someone can't take the pain anymore & yells stop. Very strange, I know. But, that's what you do when you have been together for 12 years, do not have children & run out of things to talk about. You can judge, it's ok.

This year we decided to hold a Carter Carving Contest. I thought it would be fun (& an easy win of course). We would choose our pumpkins, carve them & ask our Facebook friends to vote for their favorite. The loser would do dishes for a week. The winner would receive the esteemed Carving Contest #1 title. Cue action shots:

Finding a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch...or the store on the side of the road that sells them for cheap.

Setting the mood properly.

The cast.

Guts. Act tired so that your husband scrapes for you.

Use the guts to make a skinny pumpkin smoothie.
Just kidding - really use Libby's canned pumpkin. Or canned gold, in my opinion.

The finished products. Let the voting begin.

After the votes were tallied, Pumpkin A received 26 votes & Pumpkin B received 17.
I'm embarrassed to admit that my pumpkin was B, therefore I lose.

This makes my blood boil.

I am a sore loser. With a poor personal appearance, apparently.
I can only blame that on teaching 26 five-year olds on Halloween.

I was not prepared for the loss & can only blame myself. Maybe my design was too hard, my pumpkin had too many ridges, or people just simply favor un-creative owls these days. You can better believe I will be back & better than ever next year though. Until then - these pots & pans are about to be my best friend for a week.

Except I won't be making friendship bracelets for them or passing notes back & forth in the hallway.

Happy Pumpkin Day, voters. Thanks for nothing.

Monday, October 22


I said I wouldn't talk about anything sad on here, but this man needs at least a blog post dedicated to him.

James Levi Vestile, "papaw" to my brother & I, passed away last week after 89 years on this earth...68 of those years being married to my sweet mamaw. What an amazing life he lived, & an equally amazing example of what true love really looks like.

My papaw was a man of few words. So are my dad, and my brother...hmmm must be a Vestile gene. That one missed me though. However, when he did speak you listened. So, I'm keeping this post short & to the point - the way he liked things done. Some of the most memorable (& quite funny) things he taught us were...

Euchre is a fast game. And don't you dare trump your partner's Ace.
Do whatever comes natural. A classic line. Whenever I would call & ask what he was doing, he would always reply with that.
If you're going into education, you better choose administration. It's where the money is. (Devin is working on that one, Papaw.)
Tell people you love that you are proud of them. Sometimes I would get calls from him out of the blue, just saying how proud he was of me. The calls never lasted over a minute each, but man did they make a lasting impression.
Work hard. I've never met anyone who worked harder than he did. My dad comes in at a close second, though.

And finally, always tell the truth. At my wedding 7 years ago, my Mamaw & Papaw were called to the dance floor for being married the longest out of our 424 guests (thanks for fitting the bill on that one, Dad). When asked what advice they wanted to give us, he quickly replied with "Always tell the truth." My Mamaw then said, "Just love each other." Simple, easy, to the point.

Maybe if we could all just tell the truth & love each other, this world would be a much better place.

Love you, Papaw. And, we'll take care of Mamaw.

Friday, October 12

traveling journal

Growing up, I remember wanting to only do two things: be a teacher and get married. Done and done. I guess I have accomplished everything I wanted to do in life. Except for ride in a motorcycle side car (complete with goggles & a scarf blowing in the wind), hold a baby panda, & go fly fishing (with big tall rubber pants). Those things are on my "life list"...another post, maybe.

Marriage can be exciting.
Like when you take a helicopter ride in Maui over a volcano.

Marriage can be romantic.
Like when you go ice skating in New York City, in the snow, at midnight, on Christmas Eve.
Just kidding about the Christmas Eve part...but wouldn't that be ultra-romantic?

And, marriage can be boring.
Like when your husband has his face in the computer 24/7. Even Libby is thrilled.

So, in the boring times it's a good thing that we I am creative and like to come up with fun things to do to make marriage un-boring. It's also good that DC is laid back and doesn't care if I declare that we quote favorite lines or scenes from Jurassic Park one Saturday. I always act out the water shaking in the cup when the T-Rex is getting close. Creeeepy.

He always quotes the line Samuel L. Jackson says while trying to get Jurassic Park back online..."Hold onto your butts." Great line.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I created a "Date Bag" where we each came up with 3 dates (drive-in, picnic, walk on the canal, etc) put them in a bag, & then every week we would choose out a date and go have fun. Very popular in the "make marriage un-boring" category. Except for Devin didn't like my picnic date...he said he got too sweaty & didn't like having to sit on the ground. You win some, you lose some.

The other night I decided to create a traveling journal for us to start. I got the idea from another blog and tweeked it to my liking, of course. Here are the rules: Once a week we will take turns writing in the journal; anything and everything is fair game. Then, we will hide it in a place where the other person will be likely to find it. They can then read it, write a message of their own, and then hide it sometime the next week. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. Instant marriage un-boring material.

I really took my time picking out the journal and spent $1.25 at Wal-Mart finding the best one possible. Hey - I'm on a spending resources are limited. I picked this picture for the cover because it's the time when I remember being the happiest. It's from the night before our wedding. Nothing fancy editing or cropping. I think it was actually taken by my Mamaw's $5 CVS disposable camera, but goodness gracious were we happy. And, I can say that we still are which is a definite plus.

I am hiding the journal first, and it's your lucky day because I am giving you a sneak peek of the first message - and then it will never be seen again. Unless my housekeeper finds it. Oh wait, I have to re-hire a housekeeper. I fired her last year...depressing day. And, cleaning is NOT on my list of approved happy activities.

As you can see, the first entry is very deep.
Hey - I used all of my creative juices coming up with this idea, folks.

Now, I want to hear YOUR ideas on how you keep your marriage un-boring. Do you have a weekly dance party? Make crafts together? Cook new things for dinner each week? I love new ideas. As long as it doesn't involve watching ESPN or reading the newspaper. Yuck.

Now I'm off to do some hiding. I know exactly where NOT to hide it...the kitchen. No husbands allowed in the kitchen. Dev informed me that when it is his week I will probably find it hiding in the Starbucks drive-through or check-out line at Kroger. Cha-Ching!

Hooray for un-boring marriages. And, real-life Cinderella castles.

Friday, October 5

categorize your week.

Hey party people.

I like to categorize my weeks: great, medium, or bad. The great week category being anything involved with reality tv, girlfriend time, or winning the lottery. Medium weeks might include finding this in my car on my way to Dunkin Donuts.

Bad weeks would include having your engine blow on 465 and then waiting on the side of the road while your school's janitor comes to pick you up (thanks, John). Along with weekly categorizing, I also like to categorize my groceries on the conveyor belt and then again when I put them away in my pantry. It all has to do with my obsession with Kroger, I guess. But sadly, I am on a Kroger spending freeze & am prohibited from going more than once a week. Dang, that's hard. I hope the freeze is lifted soon because I love Kroger. And my bag boys.

It's ok though because I would still categorize this week as great. Here's why...

Fall Bling. I like gaudy & I do it well. Luckily for me & gaudy, the trend now is lots of different stackable, sparkly bracelets. Deal.
Jewels: stella and dot. Peace sign: learned on the streets.

Coffee dates with two different men. Wait, I can explain. One man is my love and the other my dad. DC & I are trying something new called we-never-see-each-other-because-we-work-all-the-time-so-lets-do-something-on-Thursdays. I couldn't think of any other titles. We have been going to Starbucks & Barnes and Noble every Thursday to catch up on life. But, this gives me anxiety because I looked through the 1,000 Places You Need To See Before You Die book last night and we have A LOT of places to see.

My Pops & I like to meet for coffee on Fridays at 6 am. Or, in my case 6:20 am because I can't get out of bed. Sorry, Dad. My Dad is a man of few words but lucky for us I'm not, so we always have some good conversations that usually involve me asking him what he does as a business man (I just don't get the business world). Once a Daddy's girl, always a Daddy's girl.

I stole inherited these beauties almost 13 years ago when I started dating Dev. It was time to break them back in this week. Sometimes I think my life might be perfect if I could just wear them everyday to everywhere. They remind me of my love, our college, & are the most comfy, cuddly sweatpants ever. Please don't ever wear out on me, sweatpants. Because then I won't live to see the 1,000 places you need to see before you die (anxiety again).

I got a text this week from a college bestie who adopted a sweet baby boy this week. That equals automatic great-week categorizing in my book. I can't wait to tell Baby Mitch about the euchre club his mother & I started our senior year (with a Color Me Badd theme song), our discussions about politics & boys, and our bike rides at 5am around campus. I won't tell him that we never knew whose bikes we were actually riding on. Trivial, Mitch.

Even if you do have a medium or bad week sometimes, Friday always makes it better, right? Fo Sho.

I'll be even happier come tomorrow when I will decide to get a pedicure. Hey - I'm not on a nail salon spending freeze...yet. I'm thinking army green/Exorcist pea soup.

Have a great weekend, pumpkin heads. Make sure you go to Shipshewana was Indiana's only must see place. Hmm. Never heard of it.