25 July 2010

petting zoo

A few weeks ago, we met some good friends at a petting zoo. We had a fun time with only one child traumatized by a hungry deer. (Apparently Libby's shirt smelled a little too much like deer food.) It was nothing a little ChickFilA couldn't fix. :) (ChickFilA for the tears, not the deer)


23 July 2010


One day in the last month of school, Addi was home feeling crummy. By mid-afternoon she started feeling better, so we got out some paper and made a list of all the activities we wanted to do this summer. While Bryan was in Houston last week, we checked two more off the list.

First we stopped at the Dallas Farmers Market. I packed our lunches, but I think we could've filled up on all the samples people were willing to pass out. We ended up with a watermelon, a cantaloupe, green tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini and honey. Then we ate our lunch in the car with the a/c on full blast and a dvd playing. (It was the most peaceful lunch I've had in a long time!) The fun didn't stop there though. :) Next, we ventured out in the heat and humidity in search of tall buildings. Riding elevators was on the agenda. It was fun and after about an hour we were all pooped. All 3 slept the entire drive home.

Yes, I know these appear to be the exact same picture. Libby took the first one and Addi took the second. I think they could point out all the differences in their very different takes on the same building.


22 July 2010

old friends

Okay, so I've totally dropped the ball this summer. And, I uploaded these pictures in reverse order from when they actually occurred, but! I'm posting today!!

We had some wonderful friends visit a couple weeks ago. We knew them in Raleigh and we used to have a little babysitting swap back when both families were complete with 2 girls. I wonder if they would still swap with us now that we've added a rowdy little boy?! We've missed them terribly and had such a good time together.

We miss you again, D, R, and S! Next reunion, we'll have to come to you. :)


15 July 2010

Diamonds or Tin?

Bryan showed up at the front door with this hand-picked (meaning he picked-out each stem, not literally picked from the side of the road or someone's garden) bouquet in a silver vase and a card. I had just gotten on the phone and the doorbell rang. I never answer the door if I'm not expecting someone. :) I do look out the peep hole though, just in case someone wanted to surprise me with a fun UPS package. He must have hidden because no one was standing there when I peeped. So, I continued on with my phone call until the doorbell rang again. At that point, I opened the door and there was my sweat, I mean, sweet husband. He informed me he'd done a little research and found out the proper gift for celebrating 10 years of marriage is diamonds, aluminum, or tin. He quickly added he'd need a couple more years to save for the diamonds! Fortunately, he has learned in these past 10 years not to show up to our door with a box of foil, which was really his only other option. Especially since it's isn't the right time of the month to show up in Canton and buy me some "rusty tin c@#$", as he lovingly refers to my 1st Monday finds. So, he opted for a "silver" vase. The flowers are all meaningful as well: red gerbera daisies because that was my wedding bouquet, sunflowers because he surprised me by having some delivered while he was in Iraq, and the purple (what are those?? irises?) because my favorite color is purple (which I'm not sure he knew...or really cared about...until we had children, particularly our girls!). Is he not the greatest husband in the world??! If you don't think so now, just wait till I write out all his sweet words from the card! Kidding, B.

We had a very typical evening after that. I made a quick meal of grilled brats and squash, boiled some ravioli, and threw it all on a plate with some watermelon. As I sat and observed the scene at my dinner table I wondered what I would have thought if somehow a picture of that moment could have been shown to me 10 years ago. It was the normal chaos of each child trying to speak over the other in order to let Daddy know about his/her day with a little bit of whining about the squash from Libs and an adamant, "I don't like supper!" from Levi and a mom-and-dad-pleasing-first-born eating up all her vegetable goodness. And, of course, the man I love, still by my side through it all. I don't take that for granted and I know I haven't always made that easy.

I am thankful and joyful today. And not just because Nana and Poppa are watching the 3 tonight, so we get to have a real date! I am thankful and joyful for all that God has done and allowed, the truly good and the bad that turned to good and, even the bad that hasn't turned to good yet, but I know it will because He is so good. For the record, Bryan is in the truly good category. :)


08 July 2010


A few weeks ago, Bryan and I left the 3 with Nana and Poppa while we spent about 4 days at the glorious Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, AZ. It was fun and beautiful and relaxing and wonderful. I want to go back!

We'd planned on eating lots of yummy food and I'd planned on taking pictures of all the yummy food. We succeeded in our first goal, but I failed miserably on the second mission. Below is the last beignet we had one night at Grand Lux. Granted we were trying to eat at places we couldn't in Dallas, but have you ever had their cookies??! We shared beignets and took a box of cookies back to the hotel. I might have had one (or two) for a pre-breakfast snack the next morning. I also missed taking a picture of the sushi we'd eaten (not at Grand Lux) earlier in the evening.

This is the entrance to the Camelback Inn. Isn't it pretty? All of Scottsdale was gorgeous. The inn is located between two mountains, so we had some great views.

Honestly, I have a ton more pictures, butI don't have the patience required to upload them today. :)

We arrived around lunchtime, so we took a drive through the mountains to a little town that is now only the restaurant where we ate lunch. I had jeans on and we kept getting in and out of the car. It was incredible because it was over 100* and I wasn't sweating a bit. In jeans! I wouldn't even think of wearing jeans in 100 degree heat in Texas unless I felt like I needed a little torture!

We checked into our hotel around 3 and immediately took a nap. Bryan woke up before me since he had a tee time that evening. I tried to sleep more, but wanted to explore the resort a little before my spa appointment later that evening. I spent about 2 quiet, calming hours at the spa getting a massage and then Bryan and I met up to eat. We ate some delicious pizza at a place we could eat at in Dallas. Only, we wouldn't because we don't have one in Frisco and it was pretty pricey pizza.
The next morning we tried in vain to sleep in. That time change messes everything up! We ate at a breakfast place we found on the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives website. We split the carmelized banana and pecan French toast plus I had a side of perfectly crisp hash browns and Bryan had the best corned beef hash he'd ever eaten. Of course, he was comparing that to MRE corned beef hash! I can't remember what we did for lunch that day (that night was sushi and Grand Lux), but I know that was the day we spent a lot of time at the pool, which is my idea of relaxing.
The next day was Bryan's idea of relaxing....being busy! We woke up about 5:30 (which sounds early, but we hadn't adjusted yet, so it was really 7:30 to us) to get to a 6:45 tee time. I sat on the cart while Bryan played, so it wasn't too busy for me, yet. However, during our late breakfast of Belgian waffles, he talked me into hiking that day. I like hiking. I really do. I just wasn't sure I'd rather hike than lay by the pool all afternoon. But, we got back to the hotel, grabbed a couple water bottles, clothed ourselves in the workout clothes that had, up to that point, only taken up room in our suitcases and set off for Camelback Mountain. I had just a moment of apprehension as we began our hike at noon. In case you haven't heard, it's hot in AZ. Robert Earl Keen knows what he's talking about when he says it's hotter than a furnace fan out in Arizona, 110* ain't nothin' when you live out there, you see. We set off and it wasn't long until my first water bottle was finished. We had 3 between us. Looking back, I can't believe we were so stupid. Long story short, I almost died (slight exaggeration) and we never made it to the top. We were so close, but I was wimpy that day. Plus, PLUS, once we made it back to the rental car, the temp was reading 115*!

You can't really tell in this picture, but there's a handrail along these rocks. It wasn't necessary on the way up, but there were times on the way down that it was better to scorch your hand on the hot metal than to slide all the way down those slippery granite rocks.

I'm smiling here, but I really wanted to be crying. I had just convinced Bryan that I really didn't want to go any further. Notice, he's not smiling. :)
The day was not lost though. We got back to the hotel and Bryan took a nap while I went to the pool. And then, we ate the best meal we've had maybe ever that night. We ate at The Mission and if you ever find yourself within a couple hours of Scottsdale, you have to plan a detour to eat there. Seriously. We began stuffing ourselves with their guacamole and salsa and I don't think either of us said a word (much less took a picture of the food) until we were waiting on dessert. We had tacos, fish for B and steak for me. I can't even begin to describe our food and so wish I had a picture for you. Unbelievable. We were both so stuffed. But, with an eating experience like that we felt like we couldn't pass up dessert. There were several choices we thought we'd like and one we knew we wouldn't like. So, we asked our waitress what she suggested. Of course, her pick was the pumpkin bread pudding, the one we knew we wouldn't like since neither of us are bread pudding fans.

Well, the pumpkin bread pudding was delicious!

And, here we are feeling completely satisfied. :)
It was great to get back to our kids (even though we knew that were in loving hands and having a blast), but I really could have spent another week there! Hopefully we won't wait another 10 years to take a fun trip with just the two of us again.