Monday, July 21, 2014

An Anniversary Post for Laine and Robert

Laine and Robert have been married for 7 years!

This past year has been a big one.  They went to the beach twice, put a new roof on the house, traded in Laine's old car for.....another version of that car, and finally have some raised beds in their adorable back yard!

Oh, and then there's this:

They brought Ellis to the party!  This is the first year they've been parents and I think they're doing this whole 'happy partners' adventures so spectacularly well.  I'm so happy to see them so happy together, and to see them be, well, happy in their new role as parents to their sweet little boy makes me happiest of all.

Happy anniversary, you three!  I would say there's no way you'll top Year 6 for excitement, but there's really no telling. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Quilt Exhibit in Argenta

There's an exhibit at the Argenta branch of Laman Library going on right now called "The Sum of Many Parts: Quiltmakers in Contemporary America" that features quilts from textile artists and more traditional quilters alike.  I went to see it Saturday (and okay, again on Monday) to look at these amazing quilts.  I had wanted to write about the quilt names and all the artists, but I'll never get this published if I try that.  So here are the quilts.  You have until August 5 to see it for yourself!  It's a pretty small exhibit, but pretty wonderful and if you haven't seen the new library in the old post office this would be a great time to go.

I love our not-so-little-anymore library and I'm really excited about its exhibits.  I maybe wish this one could stick around just a little bit longer, though.  Still, I think I'll be dragging Evelyn into the gallery to check this out just a few more times to see it before its gone.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Memphis day trips are my favorite vacations

I took Evelyn to Memphis on Friday!  She's been talking about 'the dinosaur place' for almost a month now, and I had a little bit of free time.  We didn't tell Evelyn about the plans until the day before, because she was already talking about wanting to go nonstop.  She wouldn't have slept if we'd told her earlier!  So Laine and I met up at the Pink Palace on Friday morning, ready for learning adventures! Ellis was excited to see Evelyn, and Evelyn was really excited to ride in a stroller.  I think she wanted one because Ellis had one, but I was excited that she stayed in it.  She was pretty sleepy and pushing this around was a lot easier than carrying her.  I had the stroller in the trunk of my car from when we went to the Pink Palace in September.

Hands down, the most fantastic part of the whole trip was the exhibit on insects, Twice Bitten:  Robotic Insects and Live Tarantulas. It was so greate we went through two times.  Evelyn asked to do so and Laine and I jumped at the chance.  It was too dark to get a picture of the grasshopper, but here's a giant praying mantas.

Here's Evelyn and Ellis posing 'in' a spider web.  Evelyn thought it was cool.

Also, since she's really into these cut-outs these days, we took a few pictures.

Not pictured: Laine holding up Ellis and sweating in an enclosed space.  Once she had him settled in his stroller, she took this picture of us so Evelyn could take a turn being a tarantula.

She really likes them right now, so the live exhibit thrilled her quite a bit.  They had a lot of different kinds!

The reason Evelyn believes the Pink Palace is the Dinosaur Place is because of this guy.

He really made an impression on her both times she's been to the Pink Palace in the past year--even though her last visit was in Februrary.  He scares her, she doesn't like him, and we had to see him FOUR times on this visit.  She covered her ears every time.

Also, there was this:

And this:

It seems like any time I try to visit on a weekend, the older part of the museum is tied up with a wedding reception and we don't get to see old architecture or shrunken heads or that polar bear.  Ellis and Evelyn were a little underwhelmed with this portion, but they were relatively patient while Laine and I fawned of old ball gowns from Memphis events.  That means Evelyn whined and side-eyed us while Ellis watched her in wide-eyed wonder.

After lunch at the museum because the cafe was open and Laine and I didn't want to load and unload bodies in car seats, we looked through our favorite parts again and headed back to Laine's house to play.

And mostly that meant that Ellis bounced in his little bouncy seat and crawled after Evelyn. He's quite the belly crawler now and he loves to follow Evelyn.  This tickles me.  Evelyn still has problems sharing Ellis's own toys with him, but she likes to read him stories and tried to hold him at least once. 

Not pictured: Evelyn's beautiful red glitter TOMS shoes from Laine and Ellis, and Ellis's clapping skills.  He had just started doing it the night before and we got to see it a lot!  Sweet, sweet child.  He let me steal all kinds of sugars.  Evelyn was also sweet about letting me steal her cousin's sugars, but mostly I did while she was busy going through his things.

She saws she's going to teach him how to ride this rocking lamb.

She picked out her own outfit and thought her matching shirt and pants were great. He may disagree.
 I love these sweet babies.

Evelyn did pretty well on the drive to and from Memphis.  Both kids did pretty well with the skipped naps.  I didn't get the chance to go to Yarniverse, but there's always next time.  I love little day vacations, and I'm really glad Evelyn comes along with me on them.  I want to take some more before the summer's over and I hope a few more of them involve Memphis!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Book list for June 2014

Hell is Empty. Craig Johnson.*
Sheriff Walt Longmire hunts for an escaped prisoner on a mountain in a snowstorm because he's a gritty cowboy, dagnabbit.  Mysticism and hilariously implausible natural disasters abound.  I would enjoy the whole ridiculous mess more if much of the plot didn't center around the unsolved murder of a little boy.  So instead, this just made me really sad.

As the Crow Flies. Craig Johnson.*
I should mention that Cody is checking out a new Longmire book every time I finish one. It's very kind of him to memorize the books in order and to plan which library branch he'll take Evelyn to based on which one has the next book. I should have liked this book more I guess, but there was a long peyote trip sequence that felt indulgent and contrived.  I was so burned out on Longmire books that I waited two whole weeks before starting another one (I have since finished it).

The Yarn Whisperer: My Unexpected Life in Knitting. Clara Parkes*
This is just what it sounds like. It's a memoir of sorts stories and memories tied to projects or techniques or yarn.  Or some combination of those.  Or all of them.  There are a lot of thoughts, and I was glad Parkes shared them.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Our 4th!

We went to Oklahoma for the 4th of July! 

 I made Evelyn model her little outfit. We went to our friends', Glen and Jolene's, home for the holiday. Jolene gave Evelyn this dress when she was born, and she's been wearing it every July 4 since!  I think we have one more year of her wearing this as a top!

Immediately after I took this, I stripped her down to her underwear so she could play in a kiddie pool and run through a sprinkler with some other children and dogs.

Not pictured: Chickens. Chickens everywhere. 

We had a great time sitting in the yard with the chickens and dogs and friends and lemonade.  I'm covered in mosquito bites now, but whatever.

That night we went to Braums because it's a glorious American institution and they have great ice cream.  We could see a lot of fireworks from the parking lot, so we enjoyed the show with the grandparents.

Today we saw Mamaw!  Evelyn has a bit of a stuffy nose and was cranky and tired, but she still had a wonderful time.  I made her be interested in the fossils around the flowerbeds because I was interested in them when I was little.  Mamaw showed her the birds playing in the bird bath.  There were a lot of discussions about what the bird families were doing.

 Evelyn wore Mamaw's gardening hat as a cowboy hat.

And rode a back scratcher as a stick horse.


Evelyn wasn't as snuggly as any of us would have hoped, but she certainly hugged everyone.

And Mamaw bribed her affection with a magnet off of her fridge.  Evelyn drank milk out of a little juice glass like I used to.  She played with things that EA had made.  We couldn't stay long enough to see the granddaughters, but I smiled all the way home because we got to spend so much time with people we like. 

Cody and I always talk about enjoying our trips to Oklahoma a little more and checking out the stops, but we usually don't.  This time, however, we did veer off onto the Boston Mountain scenic route.  I hadn't been on the pig trail in forever!  It was fun since neither of us get carsick, and Evelyn dozed most of the time we enjoyed the more picturesque parts of the mountains that you don't get to see from the interstate.

The weekend's not even over yet and I loved it.  It was lovely.