Saturday, July 28, 2012


On July 14th, Josh and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary. TEN YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. And the weird thing is, I still find him utterly engaging. He still makes me laugh in a way that no one ever has. He still is able to surprise me, inspire me and make my heart go pitter pat. Ten years later and I still learn from him--how to be a kinder person, a better mother and a somewhat faster runner. His is the first face I see every morning and the last one I see every night and I never want it to be any other way.

And, so, since I'm still all mushy on him, I thought we should throw a ridiculous party to celebrate the last decade of marital bliss and the next many more.

So, we threw a raingutter regatta. Like you do.
(I've wanted to have a raingutter regatta since before Dash was born--it's even on my Life List. It's something that Scouts do, but because of their stance on homosexuality, we can't let Dash join Boy Scouts. Ours was better anyway, we had booze.)
OK, blah blah blah, lady. Get with the photos already.

The invitations went out with little boat kits that I ordered from the Boy Scouts. The invitation asked the guests to decorate their boats and come up with a theme.

Our yard isn't big enough to host the race, so we converted the garage into the prom scene from Back to the Future.

We just cleaned out all of Dash's toys, bikes, scooters and other assorted wheeled and or armed items (ha, "just"). Then we got one of those big banquet tablecloth rolls from the party store & tacked up long strips to camouflage our myriad boxes of Christmas and Halloween decorations and tools and crap.

Then we hung up some fishing net I found at the party store, and taped up a bunch of pictures of seagulls and anchors and assorted sea life I printed out onto card stock & cut out.

Josh built the race track out of lipless rain gutters (you want to get the kind without the lip so the sides of the boats don't get stuck under it) & wood. That's literally all I know about the process.

Since nearly all of our guests had kids, I wanted to make sure we had stuff for them to do when they weren't actually racing. These are balloons that I filled with toys (Squinkies, rubber bracelets, cute erasers and stuff like that). Then I filled them with water & froze them. Once they were completely frozen, the rubber from the balloons peeled right off. The kids were supposed to chip away at them to dig out the treasures.

Here's what they did instead (ran out into the street and hurled them as hard as they could, over and over, until they shattered).

This station had a big stack of paper hats that I folded along with markers and a pile of stickers for the kids to decorate. (Please to enjoy my mad fotograffing skillz.) 

We also had a little tattoo station. I made the tattoos with Silhouette tattoo paper. This is the second time I've used that stuff, and it really is awesome.

Also, we had food.

Oh! These were cute! I made a bunch of little origami boats & filled them with Swedish fish.

Here's our boat. We initially were going to call it "Breaking Wind," but then we got all excited about the nose art shark, so obviously we had to change the name to "A Bigger Boat." Get it? "We're gonna need a bigger boat." Get it? Get it?

And, because we're friends with all of the world's most awesome people (sorry everybody else, I'm sure your friends are fine, it's just that we got the best ones), these are some of the boats our guests brought to the race.
(Can you believe we're this far in & I haven't even gotten to the race yet? Also, it's gonna be a while yet.)
Fuck yeah we had trophies made. What, do we look like amateurs? (2012 Engel Invitational, yo).

I also made ribbons in a bunch of hilarious (to me) categories. It worked out that everyone who didn't get a trophy got a ribbon.

Here's the trophy display. I made the nautical flag bunting by printing a bunch of flag clip art onto card stock & stringing it on twine.

We're seriously about to start with race pictures, but first! Look at Tom's socks!

Here's Jordan vs. Andrew. Jordan's boat was listing pretty seriously, but that's because he added flashing lights and a pirate at the helm. If you're gonna go down, might as well go down big. (He won the "Pirate-iest Boat" ribbon, though, so not all was lost.)

Dash vs. Ben! Brother against brother!

Bracelets to his elbows, glittery nail polish & his full Lakers uniform. This kid is the light of my life. Seriously.


Since each race was a four-lap relay, Josh pitched in on his dad's race. Still lost against a 6-year-old.

Auntie kicked my ass in several races despite a bronchial infection. Ollie was too cool to engage in our childish bullshit.

There's a reason Josh & I have been happily married for 10 years. His crazy compliments my crazy in a perfect way. This is his double-elimination bracket. (You'll notice we got our asses handed to us in the first round).

But we did award ourselves the "Silliest Boat" ribbon in consolation.

More like "Most Terrifying Boat," but whatevs--I didn't make one of those. Next year for sure.

The next morning, Josh sent "A Bigger Boat" on a retirement lap in the booze bucket. A fitting farewell, I think.

Thanks to all our wonderful friends and family for helping us celebrate! We'll see you next year for the 2013 Invitational (God help me).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Alone Time

Josh took Dash & his buddy Will to the Dodgers-Phillies game on Monday night.

(Dash rocked his Dodgers getup & Will is a Phillies fan, so Josh was walking around Dodgers stadium with two near-identical boys in opposing team gear: 
That is some cute America-fuck-yeah stuff right there)

Anyway, having the boys out of the house for an entire evening left me with too much free time. So, after folding all the laundry, watching my entire backlog of Real Housewives and drinking half a bottle of wine, there was nothing left to do but get Dash's lunch bags ready for the rest of the Summer:
lunch bags
And that is exactly the type of shit that's going to make Dash's wife hate me some day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Look what I got for my birthday!

Happy bday, Mama!!

I will never cease to be stunned by the fact that I run on purpose.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ice Eggs

ice eggs

Why? What's in your freezer?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

4th of July

On the morning of the 4th, while most reasonable people took advantage of a mid-week holiday to catch a few extra hours sleep and get a head start on their drinking, the Engel clan (along with our beloved Babkes family) dragged our asses out of bed for a 5k (Liz & Josh) and Dash's first race, a 1k.

Here Josh is pinning on Dash's bib.

Before the race--he's smiling but is about to puke from sheer terror.

Ben, too, I think.

Josh did the run with him for security-blanket purposes.

Here they are about to cross the finish line!

The race organizers let Josh put Dash's medal on him.

After. What do you think? More proud or relieved that it's over?

And then it was the adults' turn to run like the wind! The final results haven't been posted yet, but I feel like this was definitely one of my best races. Grrr.

After the race and a nice, long family nap, we headed back over to the Babkes' for some 4th of July festivities, including glow necklaces...


Photo bombing...

More photo bombing--this time featuring the extra-classy Miller High Life tall boy. It's the Champagne of beers.

And fireworks.

securedownload (1)
Hope your 4th was the (photo) bomb, too.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Franklin Canyon

Dash & his sweet cousins did a little exploring in Franklin Canyon this weekend.




(meditation break--he sat there & recited "peace & quiet, peace & quiet" over and over).