Monday, August 23, 2010

Make that five...

Also loving that W is going on 3 1/2 + hours on his nap.
What a snooze!

I'm loving

...four things today:

1.  The new prints on the wall.  Thanks qa.  

2.  Hi-Chew candy.  Just bought a whole box.  

3.  This song by Marina & the Diamonds.  Because nobody wants to be a robot.

4.  My Our anniversary gift.  

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's our anniversary today.  Five years.  Seems like forever ago, but like yesterday, too.

wants the best
gets things done
keeps it simple
encourages me to do the same
loves me
likes me
laughs at me
surprises me

I married a pretty great guy that day.


{5 years later; party of 3}

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kind of like a mixed drink

On our trip home in July, we made a stop by my mom's parents' house.  Jack and Coke.  Not the drink.  That's them.  They are the sweetest, funniest, quirkiest Jack and Coke I know.  

To say our trip was busy would be an understatement.  But I was so glad when we called my grandparents that Sunday night and asked if we could stop by.  My brothers and their wives came along, too.  No kids.  We all just went to see these two, get birdie kisses from Grandma and a pat on the back from Grandpa.  I thought our visit would be brief.  Instead, we all sat around the family room and talked -- just talked -- for a long time.  Longer than I can ever remember sitting in their family room uninterrupted.

My sweet Grandma told us all sorts of funny stories about how she was an only child, how she loved her bulldogs (who were her siblings) and how she managed to survive growing up.  She repeatedly expressed how lucky she felt to have gone from an only child to a family of six children, 20 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.  To her, it couldn't get any better than this!

My cute grandpa told stories, poked fun, laughed, rolled his eyes, and smiled the whole time.  He seemed so flattered to have us there just to see them.  No reason other than just to be there with them.

I feel so lucky to have these grandparents who get over-the-moon excited (and that isn't an exaggeration) when I call them from what they think is so far away.  You would think I'd walked a mile to a pay phone and used my last quarter to call them.  They just can't believe I would make the effort to call and see how they are doing.

{Notice the bunny ears?  A Colleen classic}

As they get older and I do too, I see more of myself in them and feel a deeper attachment to who they are and the lives they've had.  They are aged, experienced, and worn, but they are sweet, kind and wise.

As only Grandma would say, "Stick together, all kinds of weather!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fall has fell

It's here.  Fall is on our doorstep.

School started today.  More than once I've seen leaves with a hint of yellow falling from the trees.  And it was actually below 80 degrees last night (finally!).

I really love this time of year.  It's the middle of the year, but I always feel like I'm on the brink of a new beginning.  Plus, I get a little excited with that back-to-school thrill in the air.  I'm a nerd like that.  Looking back at what we've done over the summer, I'd say it was a success.  More for journaling purposes than your entertainment, here's the rundown.

Mini-bike rides around SheShe and Papa's backyard.

The Zoo where we got caught in a torrential downpour on the train.  Soaked!

A couple of trips to Purina Farms.

MoBot Garden -- clothing optional?

Several trips to the splash pad (even when we're completely unprepared).  

Spur of the moment, there-and-back trip to Nauvoo for the Pageant.

And no summer would be complete without a Cardinal game.

When I see it in front of me like this, almost everything we did was free.  Well done.  Even the Cardinal tickets were free.  

Good story, in fact.  We sat next to a guy on a plane to Dallas, and we got to talking.  By the end of the flight, he had our info and said he'd send us some tickets because we had been "such good company" on the plane.  And what do you know, an envelope arrived a couple of months later with not only tickets, but really good tickets.   What a gracious guy.  Thanks Fred! 

But I digress.  All in all, I'd say Winston's first real summer was a hit:  Swam in the pool countless times.  Became a swimming lessons Champ.  Bike rides/walks.  Consumed more than our fair share of popsicles.  Made visits to the park.  Slathered on more than one bottle of sunscreen.  Threw balls in the backyard.  And managed to get through way too many hot and humid days.  

Thanks for the good times, W.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

80 years? Not bad at all.

Playing a little catch up, here.

We made a trip home back in July.  All the family was in town, which never happens.  It was really cool to spend the 4th of July together, which of course wouldn't be complete without a pinata full of candy and fake mustaches, right?

Since it's summer, we spent some time at the splash pad

and playing cowboys and indians, as well.

But the real reason for our visit (and the real reason the whole family was in town from Missouri, Oregon, Wisconsin and New York), was to celebrate the 80th birthdays of these people:  

Somehow, my family managed to surprise my grandparents in celebrating their milestone birthdays this year.  It was genius!  

My cousin tricked Maggie and Clarence (the g-parents) by inviting them to dinner, but said they had to stop by a reception first.  They invited M&C inside, which Maggie quickly declined.  My cousin invited them again.  And again, she declined.  

Now his initial invitation was more of a request.  He told Maggie that she really did want to come in.  Really, she did.   

{the surprise}

All the children, grandchildren, great children and best of friends were waiting inside for the surprise.  My grandparents were shocked.  Naturally, one would worry such shock might not be so healthy for near-80-year-olds, but these two give new meaning to that age.  I only hope I age as well as they are.  

{cake design and construction by Eric and Jessica}

My grandma and grandpa are amazing people.  They have traveled the world over and back again...and again.  They are always on the move.  I have never met any couple more interested in the lives, cultures, values and interests of others.  They truly see the people of the world as children of God whom they want to know, learn from and appreciate.  

At the party, this same cousin put together an amazing video detailing the history of our grandparents, parents, and even us.  I was (and am) so proud of my family -- all of them.  We are all so different and unique, but each of us has inherited some of the endearing, unique and incredible qualities of our grandparents.

I feel so lucky to have a family that cares so deeply for each other.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Before & After: Drapes

I consider myself below average when it comes to craftiness, creativity and the like.
And to be honest, I'm OK with that rating.
I'm good at other things, like finding a way around paying full price for anything.

I hate that when you buy drapes, you have to buy them individually, one by one.  
Who's going to hang one solitary drape?  Really.  
I'm also good at holding out on buying something when I think it's stupid.  

Case and point:
On a trip to my favorite store, I found a tablecloth I really liked.  
The colors were just what I needed for the drab windows.  
So I ordered two of the table cloths, cut them in half, lined them, and voila!  

For less than $25 a set.  Yes, a set of two.  (Minus the hardware)  



Not bad, huh?  
I'd say my skills were used effectively.
Now I just have to drum up enough motivation to finish the next set.  (That may be worth than extra money)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


We're a travelin' family.
I think I could say more so than most families.
This is something for which I will always be forever grateful and appreciative of my parents.
They opened our eyes to...well, the world.

Part of that eye-opening was just being aware of what was out there.
I think that's where the idea map came from.
And probably from the 20+ year National Geographic subscription.

The LARGE (maybe 8' by 10'...that's feet) map was wallpapered on the basement wall.
Both the new and old house.
Dozens and dozens of childhood birthday party photos were taken in front of those maps.

When D and I finish our basement (someday), I'd like the same map.
Perfect for birthday party pictures.

Until that basement finish comes, this map is pretty darn cool.

These are lovely, as well.

{via Stephmodo}

Monday, August 2, 2010

...having children these days.

Loved this sweet post in regards to NY Mag. article.
Loved her clever, witty approach to some of those dampening instances.
And in the end, she's still enchanted.

These little children need their own chance on earth.  
I know this is why we do it because otherwise we wouldn't. 

My heart is spellbound.  I am enchanted by these children.

They are truly worth every lost wink of sleep and dampened mood.

Catching Up

{via MSLO}

Now that we've left the beach, it's back to real life.
Lots of things to do.

Playing some catch up this week.
Which isn't so bad.
Real life is pretty good.

But...since the Reader was overflowing by week's end,
I'll let it do some of the work for me.

Enjoy some of my favorite posts from the week.