Monthly Mash-Up #2 (July 2014)

I was truly hoping to have my quasi-honeymoon vacation recaps done by now…no such luck.  Please refer to the name of this blog…

It’s been a busy month, as summer months usually go.  I’ll try to be brief.

  • Griffin’s two weeks of OCS at the school went really well.  He was slated to be the S2 (in charge of supplies like flags, rifles, etc.) but was needed to fill a Company Commander position that he much preferred.  He is extremely shy and his instructors have been strongly encouraging him to take more of a leadership role.  According to his friends he did an excellent job!  Unfortunately, Sergeant had a family emergency so they didn’t do the usual ceremony at the end so we can see for ourselves.  He may even get to be Company Commander for the school year and he’s really hope that comes to pass.
  • Have you heard of Pinch Me{not an affiliate link} I’ve been using it for a while now.  I will admit that it can be frusterating because they have limited supply of the free samples so you have to get on the website right away on giveaway days, but they seem to be growing and getting more variety.  Plus, I’ve found a few things I’ve loved, including these Skinnygirl bars.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Sooooo good.  Just the right balance of sweet, salty and chocolate.  MmmmmMmmmmMmmmm. I’ve heard of the Skinnygirl cocktails and now I think I may have to try them.  If everything is this good they have a new customer!


  • As I mentioned before, Herb and I went on our first ever vacation sans kids.  I’m working on those posts and getting my pictures organized (the majority were taken on my phone…really didn’t feel like lugging my camera around Universal and being worried about it the whole time).  Until I finish doing that, here’s a teaser from one of my favorite days that week.


  •  We did some tennis shoe shopping for Herb, Griffin and me.  We have a bad habit of really only having one pair of shoes at a time and wearing them long past their prime.  One reason is that I’m picky about women’s shoes always seeming to have pink and/or purple on them (my least favorite colors) and Griffin having this weird thing about his shoes being mostly black, but not look like orthopedic shoes.  Trust me, this is very hard to do!  But we accomplished our goal and all have new kicks!  Yay!
  • I forgot to mention last month that I got a Fitbit One and I’m loving it!  (If you want to be my Fitbit “friend” so we can help motivate each other, here is a link to my profile.)  I got it just before our trip up north and it’s really been an eye-opener for me.  Man, I sit on my booty much more than I thought I did.  The upside, when you wear it to Universal Studios you get to celebrate days like this…


  • We were having some car issues in late June into early July.  The car just wouldn’t start…then it would.  It was the car Josh usually uses for work and luckily it only happened when he was at his closer job so nobody had to drive a half hour to get him.  My husband did some research and found this was an issue with the make/model/year of the car and nobody was able to really figure it out and fix the problem.  Most people would get this repaired then that repaired and it would add up to lots of money and the problem would still occur.  So, even after all of my devil’s advocate talking, we got a new car.  I’ve driven it a few times and it’s funny how used to my Traverse I’ve gotten.  I feel like I’ve been sitting on the ground in this new car!  But I love it anyway.  It’s still primarily to get Josh to and from work so we got a Chevy Cruze so he could get some decent mileage yet the car payments wouldn’t kill us.  Bonus, Griffin is much more comfortable driving the Cruze so will be ready for his driving test sooner than I thought…once we have time for him to practice.  Ya know, our usual problem.
  • Here’s the only picture I was able to get of Griffin at the Detroit Tiger’s game we went to with Herb’s work.  My boys all hate getting their picture taken.  We didn’t stay for the whole game…of course all of the action happened after we left.  I’m leaving Sunday (after being back home for less than a week) to go up north for a week for a family reunion.  So much going on this week!  I’ll admit, I’m a huge stressball right now.
The hiding behind the cotton candy shot

The hiding behind the cotton candy shot

 Other bits from On The Line:

  • We are really not soccer people in our house, but I went a bit World Cup crazy.  I think it’s because I’m a definite root for the underdog type of person, and when the US coach even said they didn’t have a chance I had to watch.  I’m a sucker like that, lol.  This post on the World Cup of Arm-Folding cracked me up!
  • I knew there was a reason orange is my favorite color.
  • I seem to always have to throw in a thing or two about my great state of Michigan.  This time it has to do with our beautiful beaches.  I’ve been to some of these and now know I must check out the rest.  It amazes me how many people don’t realize how beautiful Michigan is and how many beaches we have.
  • Don’t trust my opinion on Michigan?  How about Mario Batali’s opinion?
  • More Outlander links for you.  I’m super excited the show will be starting in just a little over a week, but since we still don’t have Starz and don’t know if we can spend the money now I may have to miss out.  I’m really bummed about that and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be available on Amazon Instant or something.  Anyway, I found one last How to Speak Outlander video.  They also released a video of the opening credits and I am enamored with the choice of song.  Of course, here is the official trailer.  All of those Scottish accents together…I swoon!

Favorite Podcast of the Month

It’s becoming obvious to me that 99% Invisible may well be my favorite all-around podcast since I think this is the third time I’ve picked one of their stories as my favorite.  This time it’s a story about an underground school.  Yep, a real school that was built underground.  Intrigued?  You should be.  Check out Cold War Kids, I think you’ll be happy you did.

Favorite Blog of the Month:

I recently told you about the blog It Just Gets Stranger.  Well, Eli has done it again.  As funny as most of his posts are (he’s currently running a series on old diary entries from when he was 10 years old – hilarious!), it’s his deep thoughts that always get to me.  This post about him picking himself up after a bad stretch is something most of America has been through in one way or another.  Sometimes the man seems like he’s 10, other times he’s wise beyond his years.  It’s what keeps me coming back.

Books I Finished Last Month:














On Tap For This Month:

Well, it’s going to be a doozy!  I leave on Sunday for that family reunion I mentioned.  I get back the following Sunday to my mother-in-law being here to see my sister-in-law who will be in town a few days.  As well as three doctor appointments for her that week, two of which I need to take her to.  Then I have cookie baking to do for my little sister’s baby shower that will be the following Saturday.  I know we have our 6 month cleanings at the dentist this month, too.  And Griffin will have “Panther Days”, where they go get their schedules and all that fun stuff for school.  I’m hoping I can rest in September!

Do you have any end-of-summer plans?







About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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