Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It is finally here!

 See that tiny speck of yellow in all of that brown?
Look hard.

The first daffodils have bloomed!  

Break out the jelly beans!  Dig out the Easter baskets!  Get those toe nails painted!  It's time for tank tops! (Or not.  My arms are quite jiggly from my winter-snacking and hibernation-from-exercise I seem to take every January and February...)

Spring is here!  

And just in case you forgot what spring looks like in Missouri, take a gander below to see what is coming.

If you have never been to Shaw Nature Preserve in the month of March, it is spectacular.

All of God's glory (or most of it), I think, is in that place for a few short weeks every spring as every living thing wears its Sunday best.  

Wasn't that Grace a cutie?

Oh darn it.  Now I have spent most of my morning trying to get this post out reminiscing through old pictures.  Is there a self help group for this?

  This one spectacular spring day during the daffodil visit, 
we took our cute friends.
Caroline, Lizzy, and Jordan.
Aren't those fabulous names for little girls?

And look at this handsome little devil from another spring visit.
Isn't that a magnificent Magnolia tree behind him?
(And that other cute girl named Evie too busy chomping on an apple to notice I was trying to take a picture).
I love spring.

Hang tight people.
It's coming.

P.S.  Plan  your trip to Shaw now.
Better yet, call me first since we live five minutes away and I might just make you lunch after your visit.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Road Trips...

We just got back from a road trip.
That sounds so shockingly college-esk it scares me.
But boy was it fun.

So since road trips are on my mind, I thought I'd come up with a few rules that define them for me.

#1.  They must always be to a random or not necessary destination.  Meaning you never really road trip to a funeral.  Or a wedding.  Or to your great aunt's 90th birthday.  
(which is why our latest road trip involved traveling to the sunny Des Moines, Iowa in February).

#2.  Road trips have to be traveled by car.  Period.

#3. Everyone must travel in one vehicle.  NO exceptions.  Unless someone misbehaves of course and then you might need to stick them in the trunk until they straighten up. (or you can always pull a National Lampoons if they die in transit and strap them to the top of the car).

#4. You cannot stop to eat at chains if at all necessary.  My friend JT at Oklahoma State helped me invent this rule on our 3 day trip via 1992 blue chevy pickup to Washington DC one summer. 

#5.  Road trips basically give me a wonderful excuse to eat fun food.  Nachos are my personal favorite.  Yours?  And when ordering nachos, one must always ask the server if they come individually or in lovely, delicious piles.  I prefer piles.  And was so pleasantly surprised at these when they arrived at the table...

#6.  Road trips must happen with people who know you (and then still love you). The kind of people who have seen you with no make up and don't care.  Or worse, no bra.  Or even better, the kind of people who you can toot in front of.  Because let's face it. We all toot.  Especially if you eat nachos in piles... 

#7.  This point has nothing to do with road trips other than I have taken way too many in my lifetime following this guy around. George just gets me.  And I love him so.  (Don't worry.  My sweetie is fully aware of my obsession and actually encourages my addiction by buying us tickets to see him at least once per calendar year).

#8.  If staying overnight, it really is better if everyone sleeps in the same hotel room.  Even if it means sleeping on a hide-a-bed that feels like 100 turtles.  

#9.  Random items must be purchased at gas stations along the way to present to your friends when the miles get long.

#10.  Fill the car with more snacks that you could possibly ever need in one lifetime.  I prefer mine in carb form with lots of salt.  This trip we decided to bring along Zapp's potato chips.  (If you have not tried them I recommend you immediately finish reading and order some for yourself). 

My husband was sweet enough to make sure we all smelled the zesty aroma of the hot jalepeno in the chips and decided to stick them in the air conditioner  so all could smell.  How generous of him.

How about you?  Any road trip rules I have missed?  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why I love puppies...

Who needs baby dolls when you have puppies to put in your stroller?

Excuse me, but did this guy just get a million times cuter when holding a baby puppy in his arms?  
And let's face it.  I already find him pretty darn cute. 
Okay, I'll stop now.

Sometimes you just have to fly through the air (with the greatest of ease).  Now that I think about it, this puppy might have been running from that lady and that stroller...

Oh Briar.  Any woman who has ever held a baby to her breast gets you.  Sometimes weaning day just can't come fast enough.

Oh yeah.  Why I started this post.  SO many reasons why I love puppies.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One of these things is not like the others...

This picture makes my heart smile. 

Sometimes even the best planning goes wrong.  Such was the case for this little orphan puppy who has survived for almost a week now without a mom or littermates. This little puppy has been kept alive only by the determination and dedication of our dear friends who have bottle fed it every two hours for over 120 hours.  

Until today.  

I am amazed at God's creation.  

If things keep going well, this mother dog will hopefully continue to "adopt" this puppy into her own litter of seven.  (If you do the math here, she has one boob to spare so she must have been like, sure little pup, come on over...). 

I just love this picture.

We all need a family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

China King, Diversity and Privacy Policies

China King. Yep.  Fancy, I know, is what you were thinking. Something about the generic red letters on a brick building scream out to a person, "Please come inside! We have DELICIOUS fried food to clog your arteries!"

But back to why I am showing you this. China King is where our girls wanted us to take them to Valentine's Day lunch.  Yes, lunch because we are too cheap and lazy to take them out for dinner somewhere and who goes out to dinner on Valentine's Day anyway?  (just kidding.  I needed to make sure you were still paying attention).  And since our school district calls seems to give snow days away like Oprah gives away cars, we had both kids with us for lunch on a weekday.

So other than remembering why I should only eat cheap Chinese food only once a Chinese new year, this is what else I learned today.

We need to work on our diversity awareness within our family.  

Mostly because as we approached the counter to order our food, our four year old says quite loudly to the Asian woman, "So, do I need to speak Spanish or what?".  

Thank goodness she laughed.  

Then as if that wasn't enough of an incident for one outing, while starting to eat our meal, Evie decided she needed to go the bathroom.  She walked around from our booth and as I tried to follow she shouted to us, "I will go alone!  I neeeeed PRIVACY!"  
Grace and I, waiting, and quietly munching on our sweet and sour goodness, then hear a yell from the one-holer-bathroom.

"Mom, I NEEEEED You!"

I replied, "Evie, I thought you wanted privacy?"

To which she replied, "Not the ALONE kind of privacy. I need the "COME IN HERE and stand beside me and hold my stomach and help me PUSH kind of privacy".  

Who knew that privacy had so many variations?