Thursday, December 31, 2009

Smarty Girls

So someone nominated me to be on the Triad Smarty Pants blog list. Thanks someone! If you're one of the 4 people who read this and haven't checked them out, you totally should. Especially if you're a mom or dad in the Triad (which probably knocks out 3 out of 4!). It's a great source for stuff going on in the Triad. Just click on their link under my blog list to the right. And thanks for the shout out Triad Smarty Pants!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jolly Happy Soul Girl

The other day we were at my mom and dad's and Anneliese says, "Omi - I'm a jolly, happy SOUL girl!" Yes. Yes you are Anneliese. Merry Christmas from my jolly, happy soul girls!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sweet, Sweet May

We lost our sweet, sweet May a couple of weeks ago. Blake and I got her the first Christmas we were married, so she stuck around for a great 9 years. We could not have asked for a better dog, especially with the girls. She was the sweetest and most patient dog model you've ever seen and is so missed. OK, if I'm really being honest here - Blake and I (and especially Fletch) are the ones missing her. Anneliese and Kate just see an opening for a new dog. But I CAN say that other dogs may come and go - but there will never be another Maybelle. And even though Fletch put on a good show, like May was merely an annoyance, he's taking it the hardest. That last picture was taken right before I had to take her to the vet. We love you May!

50's Day

50's day at Meadowlark - what a fine excuse to make a poodle skirt and insist Kate wear her hair in a ponytail! Fun times!

Coffee Break

Here's the scene. My mom (Omi) is having some coffee. Anneliese says, "I want some coffee." Mom thinks, "suuuuure, have your sip, see that you don't like it and that's that." Anneliese takes a big swig and says, "Yum! I'll get my cup."

Since no one in the Shotwell family drinks coffee, Anneliese now has to get her fix at Omi and Pappa's. Mom and Dad will get their coffee ready, Anneliese gets her cup, requests a snack, pulls her stool up to the table and they all have a coffee break. How civilized indeed.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Halloween!

OK. Seriously? More rain? We have had the most beautiful weeks followed by the rainiest weekends. Fortunately even the rain couldn't dampen the spirits of a grass fairy and a pink fairy. And I got to do fancy makeup and hair, which was all I needed! (well, that and some "borrowed" halloween candy!) Oh, and puppy pumpkin. Trick-or-treat!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Do you want a makeover?

Because Kate and Anneliese will give you one in a skinny minute! And if you're not interested, there's a line of animals just waiting to get in to the Kate and Anneliese Makeover Hot Seat. Check out those "after" shots!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Anneliese!

Anneliese finally hit the big 3! To celebrate, we had a great afternoon of pin-the-tail-on-the-dry-erase-easel-donkey, swinging (on the spankin' new swingset), cake and PRESENTS! Everything was a huge hit, and the Princess Vanity (scored for $8 at a clothing exchange - WOO HOO!) has definitely earned its keep! Oh yeah - and the swords. Definitely the swords. Styrofoam is a much more pleasant way to be hit in the face than cedar branch. All for one and one for ALL!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I like Ruby

Kate's latest passion is writing books. She used to be the illustrator and I was the ghost writer, but now that she can write some words, she's on her own. Her latest is dedicated to Ruby, the beloved dog of Amy and Allison. This one's for you girls!

New family pics

When we realized that Anneliese had no hair in the last family pictures we had taken, we finally decided it was time to do it again.

And if you're looking for a great photographer, folks - check out Sally Gupton ( - and check out her August 12th blog post at for a Jak&Jewel shout out)! She was way fun to work with and did a great job. Even the butterflies cooperated with her!

Here's what happened when we loaded up the car with clothes and headed out to the field on Meadowlark Dr. here in Winston. (I think if you click on the slide show - it will take you to a larger version. Because I'm so sure you want to see us all bigger and stuff.) And, yeah - that's Blake climbing a silo.

The Unforgettable Fair!

Yep - the fair. Rides, animals, funnel cake, racing pigs, Ed and Heba, flu shot. It's all there.

I wish I could come up with something a little more clever here, but honestly - it's 10:30 and I just finished making the ugliest cake in history for Anneliese's birthday party. We're really banking on "tastes better than it looks" folks. Seriously. Good night.


If you know Blake - you know the boy loves a party. And he loves games. What better excuse to bring these things together than a surprise party for his birthday! I had such grand plans . . . Sadly, the weather had bigger plans that day. SO - my extravagant rent out Joanie Moser softball field for an afternoon of games got moved to our house. Yes friends, that meant @ 20 adults and 15 kids in. our. house. And it was great! No - there was no flag football or cornhole, but there was a little Dance, Dance and a pretty mean game of Cranium. And the Bradshers and Crawfords stuck it out the whole day through dinner for probably the last pizza party before the Bradshers head out to Africa. Pretty sweet Plan B if you ask me. Happy Birthday Blake!

Prima Ballerina

Anneliese started dance a couple moths ago. "Creative Dance" is what they call it - and what an appropriate name it is! But I think we've found her true passion. And I'm really liking the fact that dance day is the ONLY time she'll let me come near her hair - (see the sweet side pony she's rockin'? - and today it was FRENCH BRAIDS!! oh, the cheap thrills of a mom.) She likes to come up with her own moves on the side and tell me, "Miss Lauren has GOT to see this one!" Good times indeed!

playing catch up . . . again!

I noticed that I've only had one post for the last couple of months - and I'm determined to get back on track. Starting half way through the month isn't a great sign, but here we go! So what's up lately? Kind of a lot and not a lot all at the same time.

We welcomed our first nephew/boy cousin in August which took us all by surprise since he wasn't expected until about a week or so from now - but he's a super strong little guy and is hanging out at home now. The girls and I are so looking forward to meeting him hopefully this weekend!

We had a great Raleigh weekend in September and got to visit some old friends. Mandi, Brooke and I lived together in college and still make a pretty decent attempt to get together as much as we can. Our girls (except big girl Kate) are all around the same age and have a good time together. Now that they're old enough to entertain themselves, we actually get to talk to each other when we get together which is a nice change!

We also were able to go down to Goldsboro to visit my grandparents. Grandaddy Bill had been pretty sick, but he was still able to get those girls giggling! We had a great last visit, and will miss Grandaddy loads, but feel super blessed that he was our Grandaddy and that he stuck around as long as he did.

OK - stay tuned. More coming soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

School Days!!

Kate was made for Kindergarten. She wakes up ready to go and asks when she gets to go back on Friday afternoons. She has awesome teachers, loves buying her own milk and wants to do her homework as soon as she gets home. The night before her first day, Blake bought all his girls flowers and we took Kate out to a fancy dinner to celebrate. It didn't hurt that it also scored us a pretty swanky dinner, too. Here's hoping this school excitement holds out for the next 12-16 years, huh?!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Lovin'

So this post is actually more about summer fun, but I had to give a shout out to Blake and Amy's karaoke rendition of Summer Lovin'. If only there were video . . . Anyway - here's just a little this and that of our summer. Markers, painting, making messes - or as Kate calls it, her country fair, dress up, visits with friends and a little sleep now and then. Oh - and Anneliese says "CHEESE!" Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camping Trip!

We finally decided that Anneliese was old enough to brave the untamed wilderness of the KOA campground. We went when Kate was about her age and it was a big hit, so we hit the road early Friday morning and made the trek up to Boone.

As Blake was trying to convince Kate to go to sleep the night before, he reminded her that she needed to be rested for the big trip. Without missing a beat - she said, "Don't worry dad, I'll take my chances." Really? What do you say to that? Blake just shook his head and walked out.

Well, the trip was a big, exhausting hit. From the dogs at the campground, to the bunk beds in the cabin (yeah - I said cabin. we're not crazy, folks!), to the big 'ol Jeanette style camping breakfast, to the s'mores to - the highlight of the weekend - Tweetsie Railroad. While Kate was more interested in the foliage out her window than the Cowboy/Indian interaction on the actual train ride - she had a blast on the Tweetsie Twister and the Tilt-O-Whirl. Thank goodness we had multiple adults to take turns riding with her! Only a 5 year old could handle those things 3 times in a row! Super trip overall - Thanks Omi and Papa!

Birthday Sneaks

My mom took the girls for an afternoon of shopping for my birthday present. While they were distracted by a new fish tank, and didn't get much shopping done - they did have time to get some cupcake decorating in - and here's proof! And did I mention they were Dewey's pink lemonade cupcakes? Yum!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Opening Soon!!!!

Some of you already know the plan, but for those who don't - my mom and I are in the process of starting a business making (mainly) little girls clothes, but a (very) few things for moms and boys.

It all started when my great grandmother Jewel died and my mom got a Suburban FULL of fabric. Which got us thinking that we should make some things for the girls. Which got us thinking that we could make things for other people, too. Which got us thinking that we should go look at MORE fabric. Which got us thinking that this was kind of fun! Which got us thinking that we should have a name for ourselves - which led to Jak&Jewel. (J=Jeanette - my mom, A=Angela and Anneliese, K=Kate and Jewel=my dead great grandmother who started this whole mess!)

Here's a small sampling of what we're doing. And if you're around August 14th and 15th - come by the house to our DEBUT SHOW!! More details to come.....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

That's it!

The end of the beach pics. Seriously.

Around the house. Around the pool.

Yeah, we're almost done with these beach pictures - just hang on. If you're ever in need of a great, off the beach condo or townhouse to stay in at North Myrtle - check out the Barefoot Resort. We had nearly as much fun in the house as out of it! Highlights included RedBox videos (Snow Buddies and Thumbilina), Kate's new BrainQuest workbook (hopefully that work ethic will stick around for the next 16 years or so!) and Anneliese's animals - who love pink lemonade. The animals also made a guest appearance at the pool along with the sassy mermaid and daisy towels. Just 2 girls - hangin' at the beach!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Plug for Alligator World

Here's a great beach tip for anyone going to Myrtle Beach - Go To Alligator World! It's right at Barefoot Landing and so much fun. Besides the obvious alligators, which are cool enough - and there are THOUSANDS of them (seriously!) - they have giant turtles, siberian tigers, a baby zebra and a pretty cool reptile house. Make sure you get there early, because it's hot out there folks! Plus that's the best time to catch the tiger and alligator feedings. Fun times! And the best part - save your receipt and you can go back any time that week for FREE! You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beach Trip

We got super lucky and scored a great deal on a beach rental for a whole week! We've never been away as a family together longer than 4-5 days, so it felt all fancy and exciting! I'll split up the pictures over a few posts - but here are some of the random beach shots from our week including the beach (every morning!), milkshakes, happy girls and car entertainment. And can I take a moment to brag on my girls for happily entertaining themselves on the never-ending car ride home for 4 hours with nothing more than books, stickers and lots of chatter? Praise Jesus for books! And lots of them!

Half Birthdays

Well for those of you who don't know, Kate's birthday falls 3 days before Christmas. And as every good daughter of a mother whose birthday falls 4 days AFTER Christmas, that's a pretty crappy time to have a birthday. I learned the ins and outs of what to do and what NOT to do for a Christmas birthday at a pretty early age, so around here my parents (along with me and Blake) celebrate the girls half birthdays. (This also helps spread out the birthday cheer - aka presents - throughout the year). This year involved much fanciness for fancy girls, lots of books and, of course, pink lemonade cake. Yum! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Uh - Way to keep up the blog Angela!

My good intentions at keeping up with this blog  - well, you see when the last post was. So what the heck is going on with us? Here's the short list! Blake is staying busy working, playing softball, keeping up with the progress on our new church building and reading, reading to get ready to be a deacon at our church - oh! and being a super great dad! I'm staying busy teaching, designing a history book for Blake's parents' church, studying for a NEW class to teach, taking care of the best 2 girls around - oh! and starting a new business venture with my mom. More on THAT later - but it's super exciting and lots of work! And those girls - here's a little of what they've been up to:
Kate - finishing up her LAST year of preschool (picture from the Mother's Day Tea), learning how to be a cousin to new baby Kensleigh and catching bugs. Lots of bugs.
Anneliese - entertaining (torturing) the dogs, painting (and kissing the easel to show her appreciation of her work), and making us laugh. A lot. 
Hope you all are doing well. More soon(ish)!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Give me an S!

From cheerleaders

From cheerleaders

No we're not outside critiquing their double back handsprings, but we do get a kick out of watching them cheer to Bella Dancerella.