Friday, March 12, 2010

Rain Drops on Roses, Whiskers on Kittens, etc.,

I have been waiting for today all week. Lots of time and energy has been spent online studying for my Certified Flight Instructor renewal. Every two years, I have to renew my ability to teach other people how to fly. If I let it lapse, I have to do a huge check ride (written test, oral exam, and long and horrendous flight) all over again to get it back. I have decided it is much easier if I simply keep it current. After studying for sixteen hours throughout this week, I printed my graduation certificate and smiled...I now had to go to Scottsdale to visit the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) to get the paperwork signed and sent to Oklahoma City. Why should this make me so happy? It just so happens that one of my favorite stores is not too far from the very location I had to travel, so I made an excuse to visit...Crate and Barrel.

Just for the record, I love that store. When we are loaded and I have oodles of money to spend how I want, the stockholders of Crate and Barrel will love me very much. I could spend hours (and usually do) in that place perusing the incredible items...and imagining how and where I will put them in my house some day. All I had to say to the workers was that we were buying a house in the future and wanted to do a little preliminary furniture shopping. Only if my wildest dreams came true would I actually be able to buy furniture at Crate and Barrel. But it didn't stop me from wandering through the entire store and dreaming of someday.

I can't let such a great mall go to waste...when I lived in Phoenix, I went to this mall every few weeks just to people-watch. Believe me, it's very interesting to watch people in such a ritzy part of town. As I wandered today, I took pictures of some of my favorite stores...but I think my favoritist favorite for clothes (other than my beloved TJ Maxx, of course), is Banana Republic. I tell ya, when I don't mind spending $80 on a shirt, that is where I will go! Such beautiful clothes, and I would feel so put-together! They have a new store in the new wing near the new Barney's, and it was HUGE! It's a mini-mall inside a store, sectioned off by what type of attire you need. It was wonderful. I always feel silly walking out of a store without buying something, so I tried to look longingly at the clothes as I left. They understand, right? Someday...

I grabbed a small Caesar side salad at Paradise Bakery, realizing too late that a Pita Jungle now exists in the food court. I know....wha?! I will remember that for next time! After my healthy lunch, I attempted to completely cancel it out with something I have heard so much about. Sprinkles Cupcakes! It was delicious...anything that leaves a grease spot on my fingers usually is. Then I hopped back in my car to head to the FSDO to make my trip all official. I was forty minutes early for my appointment, but they helped me anyway. As I left, I realized I hadn't gotten the wandering-and-dreaming out of my system. So off to Tempe Marketplace I went!

First off...Target. I am (unsuccessfully) attempting to find a yummy but affordable foot scrub and thought Target may be able to help me out. No cigar, but I was able to score an ice bucket on clearance that I have very patiently been waiting for since January. Now I feel like I can host some summer BBQs! Fill that puppy up with some crushed ice and bottled sodas? We got ourselves a party! I tell ya, entertaining will be much more of a mainstay when we have a home... someday! It sure is fun to plan it out in my mind until then. Did you know I was somewhat of a planner? No? Well, I somewhat am.

Close to Target are two other favorite stores...Cost Plus World Market, and Pier One. I love the ideas in both of these stores, and I could gobble up most of their outdoor furniture, pillows, and dinner tables! I got some great ideas for when we have a larger space to decorate and furnish. Someday!

Don't feel bad that I did the entire day by myself. I'm actually quite a lot of fun. And I prefer to shop alone so as to avoid the feeling that I am inconveniencing my fellow shoppers. I like to go at my own pace, say out loud, "Oh, that's pretty" a few hundred times without being chastised to find a new word, and enter/not enter any store I want. I am so much fun that I once went to DisneyWorld for two days by myself (long story...) and loved every second! Myself and I get along very well. We are both lots of fun and enjoy each other's company. I had a fun day and actually got something done, too! Win-win, in my book! These are just a few of my favorite things!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sunday Dinner Will Never be the Same

I hate to say it, but two new babies in the family have really thrown a wrench into my entertaining agenda. We invited the Friends and the Parkinsons over this past Sunday evening for some pot roast and mashed spuds. I knew it would be tricky for everyone to make it, since babies tend to take priority on any schedule. Everyone showed up by 5:00 PM, however, and a lovely evening commenced.

It didn't last long. Poor Evan hadn't taken good naps all day and hadn't been asleep since 1:30. He was cranky and so tired that it proved impossible to get him to fall asleep, despite his parents trying every trick in the Evan book. We tried rocking him to sleep, placing him in a quiet bedroom to sleep, feeding him pot roast to sleep (just kidding), and swaddling him while softly "shhhh-ing" in his ear. Nothing calmed the little man. Eventually, the Friends gave up and decided to take him home for a bath and his own bed. I had to force dessert down their gullets before they left (no one leaves MY house without eating dessert!). They agreed.

Uncle Joe is just about the sweetest guy in the world, but he seems to have the same effect on baby girls. Almost two years ago, little Brynn couldn't quite warm up to him, either. And tonight? Mayla had the same issues with Uncle Joe holding her. If he turned her around to face the room, she calmed down. I don't think she realizes that some day he will be her favorite uncle!

There are more pictures of Mayla because Evan was feeling a little anti-social. Jeff tried to have Mayla show us how she is rolling from her belly to her back. Of course, we still don't know how badly he's lying, because no rolling took place. Jeff is known for chronic lying when playing cribbage, so I am not sure if he is telling the truth about the physical progression of his 7 week-old baby! Regardless, she is cute...even if he is lying.

It was a fun evening to see the two new babies in the family. Evan is definitely filling out (has gained a whole pound in just two weeks, in addition to re-gaining his baby weight!). Mayla is exhibiting more and more personality and sure tried hard to smile when daddy was talking to her in a sweet voice. They are both going to be lots of fun! I wouldn't say our social life is ruined...just different. I have never had to plan an event around nap time before.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

My man has challenged just about every baby in church to a stare-down contest. He is the undefeated champion, despite facing dozens of worthy competitors. His most recent victory was this past Saturday night when we had company for dinner. Stella didn't stand a chance, though I doubt she knew the level of success John has experienced in such a sport. I thought her leg fat rolls would distract him, but he sailed past them like a pro! If Baby Stare-Down evolves into a Summer Olympics event as we are hoping, John will become a very popular man indeed. Except for with the deflated parents of the babies. They probably won't like him very much. Luckily for him, I like him enough to make up for their disapproval.
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