Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We ate a good thing and had a good time!

I saw a recipe in Martha Stewart Living for grilled eggplant with tomatoes, basil, and feta cheese last week and very subtly left it open for two days until Cody asked if I wanted to try it out. 

Um, yes.  Reading Martha Stewart recipes for produce that's in season is kind of like shopping when you're hungry--knowing that I can buy everything on the page at the farmers market makes me feel like I have to eat it rightthissecond. 

But I dislike eggplant.  We thought zucchini would swap out nicely--it's cheaper and everywhere right now--and grilled chicken breast would go well with this vegetarian option.  I'm sorry, I need a lot of protein.  Nearly anytime I eat a vegetarian dish, I wish it had chicken in it. 

So!  On Saturday, we bought cherry tomatoes and zucchini at the farmers market.  And on Sunday, Cody made up some kind of marinade for the chicken and picked basil from our tee-tiny herb box.  We already had some feta in the fridge and chicken in the freezer, so we were all set!

I even made a literally cute-as-a-button vase and Evelyn helped me pick flowers.  And tossed some in her kiddie pool.  Okay, flowers need water.  We eventually transferred them to the vase and the smoke from the grill pan eventually dissipated. 

And then we ate.

And it was so good.  So very good.

Cody went ahead and prepared the zucchini exactly as he would have the eggplant--letting the slices sit in salt, etc.  The only deviation was to leave out the pine nuts because we didn't have any, and he skipped the red pepper flakes because they might be too hot for Evelyn.  She wound up not wanting any of this--but she did try it!--but it was still plenty flavorful and we didn't mind at all.

We still have some zucchini and tomatoes left over, so we might have this again some time this week!

Such a good thing.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scenes from a Road Trip Anniversary Family Party Adventure!

Okay, this lovely weekend was nearly a month ago and I think it's time to embrace the fact that I'll probably never get around to introducing each picture with a witty or touching comment.  So I'm just going to set these out here because I know my family has been waiting very patiently.

So here they are.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I just want to take care of my girl. And have a good time doing it.

"We have now found the playground and established that flamingos are Fancy Nancy birds."

And with that text, Cody pretty much drove a truck over my emotions. 

He was trying to be nice.  He sent me two pictures--one of Evelyn running somewhere and one of her looking at a lizard or something--and let me know how they were progressing through the zoo earlier this week.

I should have been with them.  I wanted to be with them.

I have around 8 weeks of leave stockpiled for what?  A vacation I can't afford?  A baby I'm not going to have?  I certainly don't plan on recovering from a surgery any time soon.

I'm working a lot right now because there is a lot of work to do.  I take pride in my work and I want to take care of my family.  And my slightly obsessive nature has served me well at this job.  I'm nearly always there.  I don't take vacations, I don't get sick much, and I don't just take days off just because.  I feel strange taking time off when Cody is already home.  We have 1 income and I feel guilty taking vacation days even though it's not as if I could just cash them in some time. 

I kind of don't know how to relax and have fun, even for an afternoon, when I feel strange having fun when I feel like I should always be planning how to stretch out our money, make more money at my side job, furrowing my brow just for the sake of doing it because every time I relax there's a car accident or something.

But I want a day to to Hot Springs.  We can eat pancakes, visit babies, look at fountains, buy yarn.

I want to go to the Ozark Folk Center in the fall. 

I want to go to Miami.

I want to go to the Memphis Zoo.  And buy yarn.

I want to remember the free day for the Museum of Discovery and take my kid myself.

I'm tired of waiting.

I will wait, but only for a little while longer.  My girl needs adventure, and so do I.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reading List for July

Fforde, Jasper. The Woman Who Died a Lot.*

Martin, George R. R. A Dance with Dragons (Song of Fire and Ice: Book 5).

I'm currently rereading The World Without Us and The Historian.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Just some pictures of Evelyn

I was talking to Mamaw the other day (she's well, just has a cough and is kind of bummed that all the rain is beating down her okra) and she told me to put more pictures of Evelyn on the computer.  So here they are!

Here's Evelyn in a hat I made for her.  She and Baby Gray can have matching hats all the time!

Sometimes she likes to wear this headband.  And dig through drawers.  This was the night she repeatedly slapped a bag of sugar that was on the counter and that was how she helped her dad make dinner.

Here she is helping her dad wake up.  I liked this because when I was little, Mamaw and I would make the bed over EA while he was sleeping and I'd try to be very quick and quiet and get the covers and pillow completely over his face before he woke up.  Do you know how old I was before I realized that EA had probably woken up, eaten breakfast, and drank most of his morning's coffee before I trapped him in his sleep?

It was last year. 

EA was a very convincing actor when it came to looking like he was asleep.

Cody was really asleep in this picture, though.

Alaska Jane was really asleep in this picture.  Evelyn met her and once she was comfortable with meeting this new little person, she hopped up on the couch and said "Okay, time to hold baby."  She did a pretty good job!

Here she is swimming in a bucket in her swimming pool.

This is how she ate breakfast a few weekends ago.  It was one of those rare occasions where she actually wore something other than monkey pajamas....but did have to wear a crown.

And this is us last Saturday when she felt so good about her sunglasses and hat that she wanted her picture taken.  At least one of us feels good about this picture.  Wow.

So that's what Evelyn's been up to!  Accessorizing and meeting folks and being outdoors!  I promise I shower more in real life.

Monday, August 12, 2013

An anniversary post for Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad have been married 35 years!

I tried to break down what that meant, by the numbers.  Like, jobs and houses and piano recitals and whatever other experiences there are that make up a marriage.  But then I didn't because I don't know how many times they've moved and because it doesn't matter.

Mom and Dad are married.  Take them, plus 4 kids, 3 sons-in-law, one granddaughter, and you have a party!

They decided to take our show on the road last weekend and get the family together in NW Arkansas because they wanted for all of us to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum.  We had a great time and I'll tell you all about it eventually. 

These pictures are from when we dressed up a little and went out on a Saturday night and Evelyn threw tantrums because she was really sleepy and sickly and half the food was burnt, cold, or both and afterward, when we toasted Mom and Dad's marriage, Robert said "Here's to 35 more years!" and Mom said she hoped death would take her a bit sooner than that.

So all in all, a great time!  I mean it.  We shopped, ate, got sarcastic with one another, and ran back and forth to different hotel rooms a lot.  It was pretty much like every trip we ever took when I was growing up, and I think it was the first one where all the husbands came too!

I know it's tedious to make the good and bad of a trip into a metaphor for a relationship, but we literally weathered storms and made it through just fine!  There were disappointments and unexpected joys!  Sickness and health!  Richer times and poorer times!  Lost hotel keys!  A crying child!  Pregnancy! 

Seriously, throw in some livestock breaking through fences, someone having an asthma attack/joint surgery, and a homeschool curriculum and you've got this couple's entire life compressed into one weekend.

My favorite part was when they thanked us all for coming.  After they paid for everything but this one dinner where we got really sneaky and talked to the waiter about the check before Dad had a chance to, they thanked us for spending this time with them.

Any time, guys.

Happy anniversary!  Here's to 35 more years?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A birthday post for Sara Gail

Sara had a birthday this weekend!

Out of respect for her ridiculousness, I will play along and say that she turned 25. 


Sara's always been strange about her birthday, and we've usually played along.  There were the years when her worst insult was to tell someone she wouldn't invite them to her birthday (that, and calling people "pancake").  And then there were the years she would make us observe the day before and after her birthday.  And then she bumped it up to making us treat her special the week before and after her birthday.  I missed the resolution declaring August 4 a state holiday in her honor, but if it hasn't yet I'm confident it will.

I like that about Sara.  She decides that something will be a certain way, and ta da!  It happens. I know there's more at work than just the sheer force of her will, but there's a lot to be said for just declaring something to be so and expecting others to follow your lead.  I see it in Evelyn now and it makes me smile because it reminds me of Sara and because it gives me hope for my headstrong little girl's future.

I like to jokingly bemoan all the ways Evelyn resembles her Aunt Bodie, but I truly enjoy once again living with someone who flirts and sings and accessorizes.  It's always been an interesting way to live and I'm happy to live it.  I've also been happy to see so much of Sara these last few weeks.  We celebrated her birthday/our parents' anniversary with a trip this past weekend (she shared her day!  She must be maturing, if not growing up) AND there was that small matter of her graduating last month. 

Yes, Year 25 Part 2 was a big one.  She graduated.  I don't even remember what else she did because that is a big one.  It's an awesome accomplishment that's been in the making for a long time.  I am truly excited for whatever comes next because I know that if Sara wants to make it happen, then it will.  I can't wait.

These people are also very happy that Sara was born.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Disposable camera: baby pictures!

I developed a disposable camera last week, and then I squealed a little because the little girl in these pictures was tiny!  I would take pictures of Evelyn every now and then, and sometimes she took pictures (or thought she was) and it was just a fun little toy for a while.  But I finally got around to developing pictures and now we're going through them in reverse chronological order because that's how they came out on the disc.

So here we go!

Here's Ms. Wonder Woman some time this spring.  I'm just guessing that based on her hair.

This is my odd little monkey trying to turn a shirt into a tent around Christmas time.

I think she took this one.

And maybe this one?  She's not as good at selfies when she doesn't have that front view thing on an aunt's iPhone.

Oh! This is her in the late summer or early fall.  Silly Sue.

Last summer.

This is from last May, when we took a day trip to Memphis.

This is probably my favorite one.  Hello, sweet.

Last May.  This was right after she learned how to climb in those chairs on our balcony.  She was so proud.

Uh, and here we are squarely in 2011.  I bought that walker some time in the fall, so she's at least over 6 months old.  But still so little!

I think this is from when we drove to Miami in September.  It was probably her best car trip to date, and when she started enjoying 'reading' books in her car seat.

Ugh, I don't know.  She's just tiny.  Maybe 3 months.  It doesn't matter.  I'm dead.  Dead from from hair and the sleep sack and the perfect little doll face.  Gorgeous.

I love taking pictures of this girl.