Monday, April 14, 2014

A birthday post for Dad

Happy birthday, Dad!  Nothing I write is going to compare to Evelyn calling you up, showing you her birthday card for you (we made a smiley face with glue and glitter)*, telling you that she was wearing her birthday crown for you, and singing the happy birthday song.  So I'm just going to wish you a happy birthday and say that I love you.

Happy birthday!  I love you!

*This was not a video chat. This was Evelyn waving some scrapbook paper in front of the phone while her wonderful Granddad told her it was so beautiful and he loved it.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cody is 30 (and has been for a couple of weeks now)

You'd think I'd have said something earlier, but I didn't.  Cody is 30, though.  He tends to keep on doing his thing whether I acknowledge him or not, which is good.  Because a lot of the time I just don't.  Acknowledge him, I mean.

I'm sure there should be some kind of review, but if the past year was so soul-crushing that I didn't even bother with a year-end book list then I really don't need to chronicle Cody's 29th year.  There was a lot of unemployment, hundreds of disappointing incidents, uncomfortable and awkward encounters with well-meaning people offering either one of us jobhunting advice, and money problems. 

There was also a lot of help from family, good times with loved ones, important tips on job openings from friends, and Evelyn.  Evelyn may wear us out, but ever since she stole Cody's birthday thunder a few years ago, he's been delighted with her.  She made every day a little brighter and her dad loves sharing his birthday celebrations with her.

Her Uncle Casey is also pretty happy to party with her.

This past year has included trips to the zoo, dozens of library visits, plenty of trips to the grocery store and post office and parks, and a lot of cooking.  And book reading.  Lots and lots of book reading. 

Cody and I were dating when he turned 20 (oh man) and we're still hanging out now that we're both in our 30s (oh man) and have a beautiful princess monster together (who is letting this happen?!).  The fact that we'll be forever smashing their birthdays together makes me smile every time I think about it.  And I think about it a lot.  We haven't done this very many times yet, but every year now we all (and this includes my family and his) assume that Evelyn will be included in Cody and Casey's birthday celebrations.  Last year, Cody decided they needed a cookie cake because he thought a giant cookie would blow Evelyn's mind (it did).  This year she helped blow out the candles and seemed pretty convinced that we were also singing the happy birthday to her (we were).

Yes, Casey's shirt does say "Here's to twins."
To watch Cody (and Casey.  Their twinness grows more apparent all the time now that they have Evelyn to love on) take so much joy in sharing so much of his life and his birthdays with Evelyn makes me look forward to this year.  Even if we do wind up calling it the Year Cody Lost His Beard.

We'll get through this.

He has a (temporary, but whatever!) job now, and he has to be cleanshaven.  Evelyn is okay with it, aside from asking about his beard when she's sleepy. She still knows he's Dad.  They wrestle and fly and listen to jazz and cuddle.  He's such a good dad, and even on the days where I'm not overly fond of him I have to admit that this good dad is a billion light years more fantastic than that kid I started liking a decade ago.  He's patient and good-humored (compared to me) and takes care of this family in any way he can.  He's the guy who spent 3 hours trying to fix a virus program problem that was slowing down the computer just so I wouldn't lose my mind every time I needed to upload blog photos.  He's the dad who takes Evelyn to every doctor's appointment and library event.  He's the husband who showed genuine appreciation and enthusiasm for the crocheted potholder and knitted French press cozy I gave him for his birthday.

He's 30 and he's my husband and he's Evelyn's dad.  I think all 3 of us are going to like this year.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Always tulips

I've been doing this since she was a week old--dressing her in something pink and taking her picture with the tulips in Argenta.

She really like them this year!

She petted them very gently and mentioned that a couple of them were "so cute."

Sometimes I wonder how long North Little Rock will keep trying to make its downtown happen.  And how long this little creature will indulge me.

I'm going to enjoy both for as long as I can, though.

And I hope that's for a long, long time.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book list for March 2013.

The Mystery of the Third Mile.  Colin Dexter.
I have no idea what happened.  This guy is dead!  No, he faked it!  No, the body is still his!  No, it's not!  But I never fully understood how or why!  I blame being deathly sick for my misunderstanding.  I think this will be fun to reread.

Kindness Goes Unpunished. Craig Johnson.*
This is the third book in the Walt Longmire mystery series and I like it because it has very wide margins and nearly double-spaced lines with font that's not quite large enough for visually impaired eyeballs, but large enough to enjoy as you're falling asleep.  Interesting characters.  Poetic descriptions that don't get too flowery.  A dog.

Another Man's Moccasins.  Craig Johnson.*
This is the fourth book in the Walt Longmire mystery series and I didn't like it as much as the others.  There were flashbacks and the flashbacks didn't quite ring true (to Vietnam. Spare me.) and very little annoys me in books or movies or television series as flashbacks.  I don't know when this started to irritate me so much, but my tolerance for flashbacks has gotten ridiculously low this year.

Homeward Bound: Why More Women are Embracing the New Domesticity.  Emily Matcher.*
This was incredibly fascinating, and left me with even more questions.  Toward the end, I started flinging around Post-It notes.  I need to return this book to the library on Saturday (it's still a fourteen-day checkout, so I don't think I can renew it), so I'm going to try to at least type out the quotes and points I found most interesting because at some point in the near future I'm going to hammer out a bunch of thoughts and opinions and feelings about this book and this shift that's happening.  Or at least these stories about this shift that I keep seeing everywhere.  And how it's not always that positive.  As a fairly DIY, crafty, bloggy person, I surprised at how I was really into some of Matcher's criticisms of domesticity as this super feminine, super wonderful thing.  Oh look, here's a paragraph already.

As always, library books are marked with asterisks. 

Currently reading:
Dark Horse. Craig Johnson.* More flashbacks. But just to a period of time a few weeks before the 'main' story takes place.  Still. For Pete's sakes.
Broke is Beautiful: Living and Loving the Cash-Strapped Life. Laura Lee.  I'm a whole two pages in, so we'll see.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


I made sure to check on our pot of mint.  I thought it had died, but the other pots on top of these shoots protected them through the winter.  We moved it to beside our front door so it could start getting more sun.

Cody and Evelyn have some beautiful birthday cards on our banner.  They've had a lot of fun celebrating birthdays together for the past couple of weeks.

Evelyn has a cold (and now so do we.  That's what we get for cuddling.  Worth it.), so I've been trying to get her to drink warm tea with lots of lemon and honey.  Medicine can only do so much, and I thought getting to drink tea like Dad might at least boost her morale.  The princess dress was a little more exciting for her, though.

Last night, she was interested in how well some of our herbs were growing.  And then she started eating parsley.  And then she ate some more.  Cody checked online to see if it was okay, and discovered that parsley has tons of Vitamin C.  So at least there's that.