Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Dufours

Merry Montage Christmas
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 Day Blogging Challenge| Post #5 - Little Brother


"Little Brother"

Life gave me a brother
To teach me about life
He loves and aggrivates me
And gives me strength and strife

Thank goodness for little brothers
They are special as can be
Don't mess with my little brother 
Or you'll have to deal with ME.

INTRO: Meet my brother Matt! Matt was the typical little brother growing up. I thought his sole purpose for existing was to irritate and embarrass me and then something happend when it was time for college and our relationship progressed into a friendship somewhere in our 20's - things got so good I even agreed to let him live rent free with Joey and I in our two bedroom apartment while he did his college internship. Upon graduating from college, he was an aspiring PGA professional interning at River Pines Golf Course - that dream wasn't enough to pay the bills so he changed course and hit the road for a couple of years as a Recruitment manager for his National Fraternity and from there he became known to me as "Fratty Matty" and now he's settled back into life in Atlanta, proposed to his hand-picked fiance, whom he dated for over three years and is now  working for one of the Atlanta Metro Area Chamber of Commerce. Get to know this face because you'll probably see him running for office in the future.  I love Matt, but he can be a bit random and all over the place at times, so in honor of my favorite trait of his, I"m going to throw some things out there that he'd want you to know. You can also read more about him at Bemister Bound. 

Fact 1: My brother and mom share the same birthday - November 1
Fact 2: Matt could have an entire conversation with some one and speak solely in movie quotes. Most quotable movies would include "Anchorman, Wedding Crashers, Talladega Nights, Old School - really anything with Vince Vaughn or Will Ferrell and he'll throw those out there in conversation (randomly, I might add) and sometimes people just don't get the reference.
Fact 3: Matt laughs hardest when he's laughing at his own jokes. He finds himself so funny, that he usually produces tears and is often the only one laughing. 
Fact 4: His car "the red beast" has more than 200,000 miles on it.
Fact 5: The kid likes to hug. 
Fact 6: He's wanted a JEEP since the day he was licensed to drive; maybe he'll finally get one when the red beast rests in car heaven.
Fact 7: He loves classic rock, blue grass, blues, and a bunch of odd genres I can't even describe. He also thinks he knows more about music than anyone else. To test you, he'll engage you in his little game of "name the drummer, lead singer, bass guitar player in this band." 
Fact 8: He thinks he's a better golfer than he actually is, but don't ever say that to his face.
Fact 9: He participates in marathons and triathalons solely for the t-shirts and stickers. (Thanks, Bonnie)
Fact 10: He has a tattoo. It's a Celtic symbol of three lines (or tricycle tracks) on his left shoulder blade.
Fact 11: He spends more money on his clothes than all of the women in my family combined.

Fact 12: He's a great uncle. Brendyn loves Matt because Matt will rough house with him and he thinks its fun! Kate on the other hand likes Matt too, but 
Matt treats her like the little sister he never had, so their relationship is now in the aggrivation/irritation stage, but I have no doubt that one day she'll probably call him to go buy her some beer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Post #4 - Meet the Parents

Meet Greg and Linda. The picture perfect retirees who are currently living in one of the largest retirement communities near Hilton Head, SC --  Sun City to be exact. 

At 30, I am completely envious of their lifestyle. My dad retired from GM almost 6 years ago. My mom has been retired since the day I was born. So she's definitely used to retirement. Both my brother and I are grown, out of college, married and one soon-to-be married (see my next post) so their only real responsibility is their spoiled springer spaniel, the beloved Cooper Boy. 

So when you can wake up and practically do whatever you want, and don't have to abide by any  real schedule or itinerary -- what exactly does one do with all that free time - both of my parents have become avid readers. I love to read, but they finish more books in a month than I could attempt to read in one calendar year. They love to play golf, cards, canasta, shuffle board and they are very social and attend functions regularly on their street, they go to the movies or concerts. ALl the things I would love to do only if there were more hours in the day.

They are very involved with their church. Both of them currently serve as Stephen Ministers.

My mom is also a top "Crumb". She's very involved with "Treat the Troops." Here's a couple of links from some of her recent publicity opportunties.

Pink Magazine

Bluffton Today: http://www.blufftontoday.com/news/2010-11-18/%E2%80%98treat-troops%E2%80%99-sends-homemade-love

Each month, my mom organizes her street to bake 300 dozen cookies that they in turn send to US soliders and military serving our country abroad in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's a huge operation, but she really enjoys it. You can read more about The Cookie Lady and Treat the troops here -

Lastly, my parents are very outgoing -- my mom especially. As the former president of the Montgomery, AL Newcomers Club, my mom doesn't know a stranger. She will introduce herself to anyone. Best example: My mom and dad joined us on our recent vacation in Disney World. My friend Amanda who coordinated our trip sent us all lanyards and pins so we could participate in pin trading. One of the things my mom quickly learned is that if you saw a cast member with a pin, they couldn't refuse to trade with you, so she would go up to practically everyone introduce her self, engage in brief small talk and snag their best pin. She was so good, she even got Kate in on the action. Kate didn't even trade she would just point to the one she wanted and they would put it on her lanyard. 

Next up -- My brother Matt.

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Day Blogging Challenge | Day 3 | Meet My Better Half

I realize I'm already a couple days behind on the blogging challenge; on a side note, I was in recovery mode Sunday from too much adult birthday celebrating, which thanks to my husband I was able to veg on the couch while he  got up at 6 am and attended to both of our kids while I laid in bed and on the couch for most of the day with a vicious hangover. Love. Him. For. That.

To introduce you to my husband, I'll stick with the same format as I did for myself (a photo and 10 facts).

Fact #1: If my friend Emily Powell had never had class at Auburn with Joey, we probably would have never met at Buffalos to celebrate her graduation from Auburn. (Although she did attempt to hook him up with another one of my sorority sisters. Thankfully, her first matchmaking attempt didn't work out! )

Fact #2: We rubbed each other the wrong way the first night we met. A second favorite story that Joey loves to tell about me is the first night we met. I met my future husband at a bar in Auburn, he came out for Emily's graduation party and we pretty much did a bar crawl that night. At the second bar we went to we ended up next to each other waiting to order a drink. I get my snazzy SouthTrust check card out of my sorority wallet and I look over to see Joey writing a check, so I ask in a snotty sorority tone, "are you starting a tab with a check?" to which he replied "yeah, you gotta problem with that?"; But it all changed when he came over later that night and asked me to dance.

Fact #3: He didn't follow the "3-day rule" - he called me the next day! 

Fact #4: He surprised me with a proposal (a year and 4 months later) at my house on Christmas day. We were married on June 5, 2004 in Auburn, AL. 

Fact #5: Joey makes prize-winning Chilli. His chilli recipe won first place a few years ago during the Enterprise- Rent-A-Car chilli cookoff. It's really the best. And he won't even tell me the recipe. That's really the only secret we have from one another.

Fact #6: Joey is a great dad! My kids absolutely adore him except when he's dishing out a spanking or a time out. One of my favorite things to listen in on is when does bed time stories with our daughter at night. He doesn't read, he adlibs a bedtime story about Princess Kate and her friends and she totally loves it. (Brendyn loves to rough house with daddy but is still very much a mama's boy -- I guess that's the way it should be)

Fact #7: My husband is a great cook. If you've read my fact's you'll know that back when we moved into our new house, and he got his new Big Steel Keg, I gave up my cooking duties. But he's much better at it than I am. I'm very much a by the book, follow the recipe type of cooker, and I'm jealous that Joey can create marinades or rubs without any direction, he just instinctively knows what something should taste like.  We usually like everything he makes - the only exception is his Shepard's Pie. We occassionaly tease  Kate that we're having it for dinner and she cries. Ha!

Fact #7: He's a romantic. One of my favorite anniversary celebrations is on our fourth anniversary, he surprised me with a champagne toast and brought the champagne glasses we used the day we got married to  one of our favorite restaurants, Aqua Blue in Roswell, GA. He also did a gift bag filled with my favorite things. Still one of my favorite anniversaries to date.

Fact #8: He's afraid of heights. In college, Joey worked for the fire department while he was in school and he almost didn't graduate from the fire academy because they had to repel down the side of Jordan-Hare stadium and he said he couldn't do it. 

Fact #9: He's thoughtful. While I was still living in Auburn, my mom and I were going to come up to Atlanta to go dress shopping and spend the night at his apartment, and he freaked out because there weren't enough places for people to sleep and we said that we could camp out on an air mattress and that night he went to Home Depot and bought wood to make a "daybed" for my mom to sleep on. The not-so-finished project looked more like a karoke stage. We still tease him till this day -- he claims it could have been a lot better if he only had the right tools.

Fact #10: We make a really great team! 
"When the sun shines, we'll shine together; Told you I'll be here forever;Said I'll always be a friend; Took an oath, I'll stick it out till the end...Know that we'll still have each other; You can stand under my umbrella; You can stand under my umbrella"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Day 2 | Our Blog Name

This is probably the easiest post I'll have to write during this entire challenge.  I started my blog a little over two years ago, and it started out about me and my husband and how we met, fell in love, got engaged, got married, found out that we were expecting a daughter and then three years later a son and now I write about the daily life in the Dufour house. It's a way to record the daily happenings and the funny moments that we share with our hilarous children.  It is my greatest hope that it will be a way to preserve the history of our family and one day they can take a look back and read about what they were like growing up and all the trials and tribulations Joey and I experience with them as parents. The meaning behind our blog name. Well, I'm a pretty straightforward person, so our blog name is The Dufour Family and I chose the name because this blog is my way to update friends and family on the daily happenings within our family and to report on the milestones that we accomplish together.

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Day 1 - The Intro, The Picture and 15 Facts about Yours truly

Recent Photo: Me (on the right) with my two co-workers Lindsey and Amanda attending the Grigsby -McCracken wedding reception at the Capital City Club.
The Introduction: Hello & War Eagle! I'm Amy, a full-time, working mom currently living in the North Georgia suburbs. Here you can read about me, my husband and our two outgoing and fun-loving kids - you'll hear about our triumphs and challenges as we try to successfully navigate adulthood and get an inside scoop into our parenting style - not that we really have one. 

So, onto the 15 facts:
Fact #1: I am newly brunette. Would you have guessed that I used to be a blonde? Yep, all my life actually. After two kids and turning 30 in February, I took the plunge and dyed my hair brown.  So far I'm loving it, and I have received lots of compliments, but my parents (my dad is the worst) are having a hard time coping with the dark tresses and he asks me when I'm going to go blonde again. NEVER.

Fact #2: My birthday is exactly one week after Valentine's Day. I don't exactly like it because I enjoy all holidays where I should be recognized for the special person that I am, but Birthday trumps a card, a dozen roses, and candy every year and I will aways feel that way. So I tell my husband to put the extra effort into  celebrating the day I was born.

Fact #3: Both my husband and I graduated from Auburn University and since it was the place where we met and fell in love, we also decided to hold our wedding there six years ago. We are going on lucky 7.

Fact #4: I missed my chance to be a millionaire. Yep, it's true... just ask my husband. It's his favorite story to tell anyone with a working set of ears about our first trip to Las Vegas. So after many drinks, I failed to listen to him by not betting max credit inside the Paris Hotel on the Blazing Triple 7 slot machine and what happend... I lined 'em up around 2 am Vegas time and walked away with nothing. Sad.

Fact #5: I have a four-year-old daughter and a 16-month-old son. Both adorable, funny and downright mischevious.

Fact #6: I work full time. I have a great job in public relations and I get to travel to some pretty cool places for work.

Fact #7: I am a huge Sex & The City fan, and on my first trip ever to NYC I saw Sarah Jessica Parker as we were walking into Tiffany's and I screamed so loud (out of pure excitement) that she left immediately before I could get a picture of autograph.

Fact #8: I received the "Social Butterfly Award" from my sorority three years in a row.

Fact #9: I love to eat, but I hate to cook. Since we've moved into our house, I've managed to remove cooking from my list of daily duties - yes, you can call me a pure genius, but fortunately for me my husband loves to and is really good at it. So upon moivng into our new house, my husband bought The Big Steel Keg, and to let that thing pay for itself, I've bestowed the nighttime dinner duty upon him. So far it's working just great. I clean, he cooks. Life is grand.

Fact #10: I hate clowns. Period. Growing up, my grand parents used to have a picture of Bozo the Clown hanging up above the toilet in the downstairs bathroom in the basement. My brother and I used to be really cruel and hold the handle so you would be stuck in the bathroom with Bozo which was truly terrifying as a child.

Fact #11: I get really pissed off when someone other than me does the crossword puzzle in my People magazines.

Fact #12: Even though I'm 30, I'm still a 14-year-old at heart. I love Twilight, Pop music and my teeny bopper TV shows - I'll talk more on those later.

Fact #13: I set my brother up with his fiance, who also happens to be my colleague at work.

Fact #14: I am really outgoing and I'm very talkative. I used to alway get in trouble in middle school and high school for talking to friends during class.

Fact #15: In a chicken nugget eating contest against the guys in our neighborhood, I ate 32 out of 50 McDonalds chicken nuggets and now, it completely repulses me to look at a nugget.

Up for a Challenge - A 30 Day Blogging Challenge

So, If you've been to my blog lately, you'll know instantly that one thing I haven't been doing lately is blogging, consistenly. That's my problem with the whole blogging thing is that I don't always get a chance to sit down after a full day of work and a full evening of playing Mommy to think about a blog post or way too many things have happened and I run out of steam at the end of the day to create a captivating post. So, thanks to my friend Katie, I am stealing her idea and logging back onto my blog since our September trip to Disney World, and I'm going to tell you a little bit more about me, my family, our likes, dislikes and everything in between. So, away we go.  I encourage all of my friends, followers and readers to enjoy and start your own challenge, and keep me inspired as well.

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love (I'm changing this to "Your spouse")

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your siblings

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-Favorite city

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-a picture 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Brendyn's First Trip to Disney World

"Honey, I Shrunk Brendyn." Running around inside
Hollywood Studios in the Szalinski's back yard play area.

Brendyn's first character meet and greet at 1900 Park Fare.
He posed with Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.

Checking out the play area in Toon Town.

Splashing around on Donald's boat in Toon Town at Magic Kingdom.
Or maybe just getting a quick drink of water...

Lunch with Piglet at Crystal Palace
Mommy and Brendyn riding Dumbo.  Brendyn also enjoyed flying through the sky on his very own Magic Carpet in Adventureland and he made it through a blustery day the Amazing Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Part of Your World

Look at this stuff
Isn't it neat?
Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
Wouldn't you think I'm the girl
The girl who has everything?

Look at this trove
Treasures untold
How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Looking around here you think...

Sure, she's got everything
I've got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty
I've got whozits and whatzits galore
You want thingamabobs?
I've got twenty!
But who cares?
No big deal
I want more...

 I wanna be where the people are
I wanna see, wanna see them dancin'
Walking around on those - what do you call 'em?
Oh - feet!

Flippin' your fins, you don't get too far
Legs are required for jumping, dancing
Strolling along down a - what's that word again?

Up where they walk, up where they run
Up where they stay all day in the sun
Wanderin' free - wish I could be
Part of that world

What would I give if I could live out of these waters?
What would I pay to spend a day warm on the sand?
Bet'cha on land they understand
That they don't reprimand their daughters
Proper women sick of swimmin'
Ready to stand

And ready to know what the people know
Ask 'em my questions and get some answers
What's a fire and why does it - what's the word?

When's it my turn?
Wouldn't I love, love to explore that world up above?
Out of the sea
Wish I could be
Part of your world.

Thank you Ariel for giving my daughter the most magical experience a little girl could ever wish for during a special vacation to Walt Disney World. It truly warmed my heart to watch you two share such a special moment.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Celebrating Four

Happy Birthday Kate! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Pictures Say it All - Matt & Bonnie's Engagement

Congratulations to the future
Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Bemister!
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Plotting an Engagement

The story began on July 24, 2010  while I was out of town at a gift show in Orlando. My brother was supposed to come over and watch Brendyn while Joey and Kate went to a birthday party at the YMCA.  Matt was running late, Joey was stressing out so I put in a big sister phone call to little brother to see what was taking so long.

I found out that Matt was running late because he was at Soloman Brothers in Buckhead buying an engagement ring for his girlfriend (who also happens to be my co-worker) Bonnie. I come home from Orlando that night and Matt is at our house eating dinner, so I ask him to show me the ring and he pulls out the picture. So I asked him point blank "How are you going to do it," and in true Matt fashion he starts rattling off some of  the various ideas he has, which my favorite one was skydiving. I just looked at him shaking my head and said, "you can't put a ring on someone's finger 20,000 ft in the air - what if you drop it..."

So after the kids were in bed and over a few beers we started coming up with a real plan so Matt could propose to Bonnie. We came up with the idea to take her to one of the wedding venue's that she's been eyeing for months which is Flint Hill Mansion in Norcross, GA. And the original plan was Matt and Bonnie would go there to take a "tour" and while they were outside he would propose and after she said Yes, they would walk inside where friends and family would be waiting to toast them with champagne. We knew we had a limited window to do this so Matt and I immediately got to work, he contacted the venue and arranged the photographer while I was in charge of getting the friends and family to Flint Hill. 

The surprise element was a true test to both mine and my brother's will power. Matt and Bonnie live together. Bonnie and I work together it's kind of hard for both of us to not look insanely guilty and like we are up to something. And the hardest of all would be the fact that we are talkers...

So on Monday, I emailed the friends and family and told them what we were doing and to arrive at Flint Hill on Saturday at 2:30. Everyone is instantly on board. Tuesday goes by no problems and then we get to Wednesday, and this is the day whereI truly felt that our master plan was done. Bonnie comes into work on Wednesday and she looks absolutely defeated. I know something's wrong because she barely says three words to me all day. I had to initiate all conversation with her. I found out later that morning from our friend Rachel that Matt told Bonnie that they were going to a surprise engagement party for one of Matt's friends on Saturday at Flint Hill. When she told me a look of horror came over my face and I immediately sent Matt an email that said "WHAT DID YOU DO". 

At the time I thought it was the worst idea EVER! But, Bonnie had plans to go shopping with her mom and sister on Saturday and Matt's thinking at the time was this was the only way he could get her there, looking cute (he hired a photographer to document the whole thing) and propose without her figuring out what he was up to.  But, it worked. She was so irritated with Matt -- her thoughts were: We've been together almost four years... we live together...I have a picture of an engagement ring taped to our fridge... and he told me he needed time to get situated in his new job and earn some money before he put money down for a ring... she thought they were ready to do this, and after hearing that Matt was helping his friend propose to his girlfriend of less than a year Bonnie felt that Matt wasn't even close to being ready... We had her right where we wanted her.

I knew Bonnie was going to meet up with her friends Kay and Natalie on Hump Day for a scrapbooking get together so I immediately emailed them Wednesday afternoon and told them what Matt did and they worked their charm during their girl's night and on Thursday Bonnie showed up to work back to her normally cheery self! (Kay and Natalie - you girls are miracle workers)

So onto Saturday - you now know the story behind the engagement - I think the pictures in the next post say it all so enjoy the photo story of Matt and Bonnie's engagement:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Home improvement Projects - Landscaping

Happy Birthday Kate!

On Saturday, we celebrated Kate's 4th birthday a few weeks early with an "Alice in Wonderland" themed birthday party at our house. Our friends and neighbors came over for a special 'Mad Hatter' tea party. Kate and her friends dined on pizza and cupcakes and danced  to a special mixed cd of songs that I created in  honor of the Birthday Girl including some of her favorite songs by Hannah Montana, Justin Beiber, The Chipettes and Beyonce.  When they weren't dancing they were outside bouncing in the Disney Princess moonwalk.  

I also enjoyed preparing for the party. When Kate wanted to do a "Alice in Wonderland" party, I was a little nervous because there isn't much out there in terms of party supplies, but I have to say I found an awesome vendor through Etsy, who hand made Kate's invitations, cupcake toppers, treat bag stickers, thank you notes, confetti and more and that, coupled with lots of online research that gave me the inspiration I needed to carry through to come up with lots of great ideas for decorations, favors, games and crafts. As Alice in Wonderland is one of the most popular ideas for a children's birthday party, I thought I would help some of you other mom's out there and tell you what I did:

I set up our play room for the "Mad Hatter Tea party" - we rented a couple of kids-size tables and multi-color kids chairs from Rent-All Plaza in Kennesaw, GA and set the table with a blue-green paisley fabric table cloth for tea. I even used my white china teacups from Crate and Barrel and turned them in different directions as the table top decoration.  The dining room (where the adult food was set up) was decorated in a "Queen of Hearts" theme complete with casino-type decorations, red and black, hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds and vintage Alice in Wonderland tea sets that I happen to score on a random trip to Home Goods. The entry way was decorated in pastel colored Creatology foam flowers and a Happy Birthday Kate sign.

In keeping with the "Mad Hatter Tea Party" theme, each of Kate's guests decorated their own "Mad Hatter" hat, which they all really seemed to enjoy. I bought green plastic top hats online and went to Michaels for ribbons and foam letters, hearts and different shapes that they could stick on to their hat. No glue! It was a fun and easy craft for three, four and five-year-olds. 

For fun, I posted a little video that my friend Ragan shot on her i phone of all the kids singing Happy Birthday to our sweet Kate. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eclipse Premier Party at Atlantic Station

Girls Night Out With Edward and Jacob: On Tuesday, June 29, I met up with several of my girlfriends at Atlantic Station for an advance screening and premier party for the third movie in the Twilight Saga - Eclipse. The premier party was hosted by Atlanta Occasions magazine and we all had a fabulous time sporting our respective "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" shirts, sipping Twi-tini's and enjoying getting our pictures taken with Edward and Jacob.

At 8:30 pm, we left the party and walked over to the movie theater to take in the advance screening of Eclipse. We were the first group in all Atlanta to see it! We were so excited and it was the best movie of the series. I love getting to see the film with my girlfriends - I don't feel guilty about gasping out loud in the theater every time Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner take their shirt off and show their abs of steel! (Sorry, honey) :)

Can't wait for Breaking Dawn in November.