Category Archives: Parties

What do Smokey, Say Anything and Sa-weet! cars have in common?

For Steph’s 41st birthday, we decided to set up camp at the Springfield Cruise-In, and invite all our fabulous family and friends.  Once a month, hundreds of classic cars, ghetto cars, souped-up cars and various what-not converge on Main Street. It’s fun to camp out on the sidewalk and watch the crazy go by. Or, to be a part of the crazy. But that’s another post.

Saturday afternoon, we packed up for the event. Lurch and Lester were both stuffed to overflowing. Our mail person, who knows us dearly, saw all our CRAZY AMOUNTS of camping gear and asked excitedly “How long are you gone until?”. Steph looked down and said “Til tonight.” Shrugs. This is just ONE of the trucks, packed.

Lester, packed to the gills.

Lester, packed to the gills.

Lots of great friends and family showed up. We CONVERGED on that parking lot, y’all. It was ours for the evening. You can see Steph in the background in the hat behind the 532 beer coolers.


We had corn hole for the younguns’. Here’s our friend Andy and his son. Andy works on Lester and Lurch to keep them running smoothly. I tease that we’ve provided the funding for their son’s college education. We love them. They’re good peeps.


Here we are on Lurch, posing for the passersby. Hot cars and hot babes!


The boys were great – they partied til about 9pm. Their ties were a last minute addition. Hopper’s is a spatula. Pic does not do it justice.


Later in the evening, we took a walk around to gawk at the cars. Just me, Steph, Rachelle, and The Boyz. We needed tunes, so we brought our boombox.


We may or may not have blasted Run DMC and Beastie Boys as we walked down Main Street. Mostly, the sound emanated mysteriously from the stroller, because I hid the speaker in the stroller visor. We had entirely too much fun with our boombox.

Is there a business opportunity in recreating epic movie scenes?



PS. WTF? Why is she smiling? She’s supposed to be full of angst and teenage pathos. Jeez. She almost looks proud.

PPS. Discount Beverage sign behind us. It’s like too good to be true. This picture is totally perfect.

If you haven’t been to a cruise-in, PLEASE GO. The people watching is unbeatable. And people just come up to you like you’re biffles. Here’s Stacy and Tracy. “We’re twins, too!”, they said. “Take our picture!” Or something like that. I’m kind of not sure I believe them, but I felt drawn to them…


WAIT A MINUTE. That guy on the right totally reminds me of Smokey. OEMGEE!!! I met Smokayyy!!!

If you don’t like my favorite eff word, don’t click, y’all.

Ok, in all seriousness, we were there for the cars. Guess which one was my favorite? I’ll give you one guess only. It may have been on hydraulics.



We had a fantastic night. Thanks to all of our friends and family for coming and making the amazing Stephanie Shaar’s birthday so much fun. We love you! Can’t wait for a repeat next year! Oh, and next month, we’re ditching the 5-ton grill. We decided we’re just bringing the fire pit and errbody can char their own hot dogs and s’mores. Veggie dogs for moi. Can’t wait!

It’s time to PAR-TAY

I have an addiction. I am planning about 4,327 parties right now. Apparently, this is me these days:

Parties coming up that I’m planning?

The Drink Champagne and Dance On Tables Party:

Great Gatsby Soiree

What’s the party? I’m about to turn 40 {Can. Not. Comprehend.} That, coupled with the fact that I feel this innate need to earn a shit-ton of money for the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, has turned my sweet little party into a full-on 1920’s dress-up bash, complete with a silent auction, a Charleston dance contest, and a live band, if we can fit them. WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO? I somehow need to find the time to solicit for *important stuff* for the silent auction.

The “Steph Turns 41, is having a mid-life crisis and bought a slick sportscar” Party, Wherein we bring both our old cars and cruise up and down Main Street in Springfield. JUST LIKE WE DID WHEN WE WERE TEENAGERS. Except this time, there will be no wine-coolers involved. This happens tomorrow. Should be fun!



Third big party? The boys’ first birthday, which is right around the corner! I was planning on doing a mustache bash, but the mustachioed items are a bit trite these days, and honestly driving me bonkers. So, how about a Punk Rock Baby theme? Check out this ridiculous baby party. There’s a fruit mohawk coming out of a styrofoam head!! Gah, the perfect thing for a 1 year-old birthday party! Keepin’ it real, folks.

Any other “different” party ideas for 1-year-old twins? I have time to get this right, and have a ton of fun! I’m not into traditional baby stuff. I want something memorable!

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. Looking forward to sharing Steph’s party, tomorrow !



A Beautiful Mother’s Day

Steph and I don’t really subscribe to a lot of the traditional holidays. (Except for Halloween. We’re bat-shit-crazy about Halloween) (Oh, and Christmas. I can not contain myself at Christmas and it’s going to be worse now that we have little ones.)

For Mother’s Day, we decided we weren’t going to buy each other presents, or any of the other hoopla. But that didn’t stop me from hosting a Mother’s Day dinner for my family.

The day started off with me waking up to this sentiment from my beautiful daughter, Ophelia.


From there, I started working on my mom’s Mother’s Day present – a picture frame with a pic of each of her TEN grandchildren, ranging in age from 21 to 3 months. The frame had 11 openings, so I got all crafty-like and used sticky letters and cool paper that said “We love you GiGi” for the 11th opening. I figured we could trash my message when we have the 11th grandchild, and replace it with a photo. The 12th grandchild is SOL. I forgot to take a picture because I was desperately trying to line the stupid letters up.

Family dinners are a ton of fun, but a TON of work. I start by listing out the menu on the board. This helps when we’re in hour 5 of cooking and I have no clue what to focus on next.


Then, I did the tablescape. That’s right. I said “tablescape”. Because I use Pinterest, and I know what makes a beautimous table.



I tried to dress the boys up and take a picture of our entire family (minus Dakota, who has defected to Vietnam – but that’s another story). The closest I got to a classic, timeless photo of our beautiful family was this:



Sigh. Aside from it being August and Liam’s first Mother’s Day, it was also their little cousin Timothy’s first. He’s three months old. He makes Liam look huge!



One of my favorite parts of the dinner was when I was trying to get Katie to smile, so I could give her mom Ali a beautiful photo of her loving daughter. She wouldn’t smile. So, I said “Katie, give me your best ‘Gosh I love you mom, you’re the best’ smile.” She did. It wasn’t fake at all.


So, on to more serious stuff.

My mom is a beautiful, artistic, extremely intelligent woman.  She really embodies the spirit of perseverance to me. My dad was killed in a car accident when I was 14, and my sisters were 10 and 7. My mom had been in medical school in Philadelphia for 4 long years when he died 2 months before she graduated.

Instead of celebrating the long journey we all had taken to get her her doctorate, we had to pick up the pieces and re-invent our lives. My mom was never the same after that, but she is a beautiful woman, who shows her love through her cooking. So, family dinners, like Mother’s Day, are extra special. We cook for about 6 hours and then feast.

You never know where the conversation is going to take you, but it’s our family. And my mother is something special. She taught me how to persevere when things seem desperate. She taught me how to keep most of life’s troubles in perspective. So, if you know me, and I seem very “go with the flow”, it’s because since my dad’s death, I’m keenly attuned to what’s important. Things roll off me and I err on the side of ridiculous positivity. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but mostly, it just keeps me happy.

I gave my mom a card this year that told her she was my hero. She really is. Though it’s hard for her to show her emotions, I know she loves us all intensely.