Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fall Finale

For all intents and purposes, this weekend marks the end of fall....Thanksgiving is over and it's time to focus on all things green and red- not red and orange. So many people have already started to get festive and I love it for them but I like to linger a teeny bit longer in the wonderful memories of Thanksgiving.

The weekend started off slow....with this new addition c/o my back woods loving hubby.


Nothing like a little sharp shooting practice from the back deck!


Thankfully, safety is tops on the list for this family and the only animal harmed was the one that ended up in this pot!


Not before a little boxing and an injection lesson from Uncle Mike.

turkey mosaic

Dinner was fabulous- with all the family favorites making an appearance.


We had such fun.....and in a repeat performance from last year- danced in the kitchen while we were doing the dishes! We sang loudly...and terribly (I speak for myself)...and were laughing so hard that we couldn't get the words out (regardless of whether they were right or not).

dance mosaic

I love this holiday, this time, this adventure, this life!

faces mosaic

And so, I'm happy to say good-bye to fall.....and hello to everything that's right around the corner.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a few things that I'm thankful for- after a trip through my flickr account and more than a few smiles....

My boys....taken last year on vacation.

Cooper's love of fishing, passed on from his dad!

The little things in life that produce spontaneous laughter!

The wonderful place (despite its many quirks) that we live.

Exploring and any age!

Food that comforts and nourishes the soul.

Family...and memories of time spent together!!

DSC_0631 babies, puppies and 1sts, birthdays & accomplishments..

Nature and her unexpected surprises.

Trying new things....

And knowing that some things will never change!

But of all the things that I'm thankful for....being together and loving each other unconditionally.


From our family to yours....
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Puppy Party

On Saturday, we were guests at an event that I look forward to all year. My friend Sallie is the most creative party giver around and as such, her daughter has the best birthdays. Cooper is one of two boys in attendance each year- she's so sweet to include us and it's always memorable. Last year was a Lego themed party.

This year- Puppy Party.
When Cooper opened his invitation he was thrilled because he thought that Gypsy could go too. Sadly, she was not included in the festivities!

My job this year was to take pictures and assist with games. Before things got started, I snapped a few pictures of the table.

Cooper was DYING to sneak a pop....

I love the color was sweet but funky at the same time

Cake is always a gamble with our "bakery of choice". This year it worked out fine.


In years past, there have been disasters. Like the time that she ordered a cowgirl cake to match brown cow patterned napkins and a pink cowgirl hat and the cake had bright yellow flowers and the biggest reddest cowgirl you've ever seen. Or the year when they sent her home with a cake that was frozen solid. Nice.

The 1st activity was to sign an autograph dog. They were so careful with their signatures.


And then they played "Fetch"

We tossed out tennis balls labeled with colors and yelled "Fetch".

The kids raced to get a ball and we called out a color picked at random. The person with that color won a dog themed prize.

Cooper loved it (and managed to win twice)

Sarah Clay had on the best boots ever. I had big ideas and had planned on taking a photo of every shoe at the party. I got sidetracked and ended up with an odd number that didn't include everyone. I was going for this- on a bigger scale. I'm all about a good idea- follow through is my weakness!


The party was fantastic, the food yummy, the company entertaining. And check out the view from the front yard-


Who wouldn't have fun with scenery like this!

Happy Birthday Sarah Clay!!
Thanks for including us in your special day-


I love 7!

run photo booth

Friday, November 20, 2009

Back from Buffett & Thankful Thursday

Jon's birthday was last week....


To celebrate, I bought tickets to see Buffett....we're big Jimmy fans and truly this was just as much a present for me as it was for him! I could hardly wait to tell him that we were going.

Tuesday night isn't exactly the most convenient night to find a sitter and head to a concert that requires decorations and tailgating supplies. My parents agreed to come down to take care of Cooper and the rest fell into place quite nicely.

And so at 6:30 on Tuesday night.....this was us!


We had a blast....although it was cold!

A few of Jon's former students stopped by for a visit.


Wade and Sarah joined us too!


The Chemistry teacher offered to tye-die some shirts for Jon and although they were finished on Tuesday morning, they weren't dry. Evidently, he was able to find a fan and somehow attach the shirts to it so they were blowing dry in the corner of his classroom. When his kids asked what the deal was he answered with 2 words.

"Buffett baby!"

Seriously, I KNOW they wonder about him!!

It was awesome! The whole experience to me is nearly perfect. Although I wish Jimmy would add some different stuff to his shows, I do love his music- he's a great song writer, fantastic story teller and he has the ability to transform a cold night in Virginia into a carefree week in the sun. Jon still loves it after seeing him more than 20 times and I'm a convert thanks to him. I'm thankful for the ability to enjoy the experience together and to be able to go.

I'm thankful for my sweet parents who dropped everything to come and help me and spend time with Cooper.

I'm thankful for the memories that we made and the stories that we'll tell about the night we had!

I'm thankful for the chance to dance in a teeny little space while singing at the top of my lungs....and have my hubby join in without any prompting!

I'm thankful it's Friday...and can't wait for the weekend!
Hope you have a great one!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

13.1 for Diana

This is my friend Diana.

I've talked about her before- in this post. She always makes me laugh and is the reason for my continued sanity at work. Without her perspective, humor and kind heart many of my days would be disastrous. I think I play the same role for her.

Today she ran in her 1st ever 1/2 marathon.
It makes me tired to even type that.
She and her mom ran together- isn't that fabulous??
The only marathon that my mom and I could ever participate in were those involving shopping (love ya Ma).

I am so proud of BOTH of them!


The weather was sort of rainy....and a little chilly. That didn't stop people from running or fans from coming out in droves to offer support.

Cooper and his friend P made signs to show support for Diana and her mom (who goes by XL- I think her real name is spelled Xuan Lan).


P asked me what the winner of the race would receive- I wasn't really sure and said, "well, maybe some money but I'm sure a trophy or a ribbon". He's creative that one. Cooper is all about business- Go Mrs. Brown. Short, sweet and to the point.

Of course, waiting for them to run by was not the highlight of the morning.


Luckily, this guy ran by.....and boosted spirits for at least 5 minutes.


And just a little while later, we saw them!!


I was screaming and cheering, and XL was running by trying to explain to the boys that "she was XL". It was so great!


I am so thrilled for them- and so incredibly proud of the goal that Diana set and met for herself.


WAY TO GO ladies!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday & The Blue Line Train

Cooper didn't have school on Monday. I promised him that we'd do something fun and planned a quick trip to DC. Since my parents are safely back on US soil, I asked whether they wanted to meet us.

They took the train down for the day and we met at Union Station.


I love a good reunion!!

I'm thankful for being able to spend such quality time with Cooper and my parents!

My dad is HUGE into history....and never misses a teaching moment.


And my mom...she's just thrilled to spend time with her grandson and find out what's happening in that little head of his.


I am thankful that my parents are so invested in Cooper. They shower him not only with love but with stories, experiences, wisdom and memories that can only come from grandparents.

We had the best time touring the city. We saw the Capitol..


The Lincoln Memorial...

(Thanks Dad for capturing proof that I was there!!)

The view from the Washington Monument...


And perhaps the most unexpected old friend!


I am thankful that we live in such close proximity to this wonderful city- and that I had the opportunity to experience each of these places all over again with Cooper.

While we were waiting to take the tour of the Washington Monument, there were lots of people milling about. There was one family talking between themselves in another language and they seemed concerned. Finally, the dad went to talk to the Park Ranger. He was asking about tickets to take the tour....and how much they cost.

The Range said, "Oh, there is no cost- the tickets are free."
And the man looked at him and said, "But we aren't American citizens."

The Ranger smiled and said this,
"Sir, the tickets are free for everybody. We're happy to have you here"

I wanted to hug that Ranger.


I am thankful to live in this country- where tickets to our national treasures are free and where we celebrate our freedom daily.


This was the view as we walked towards the Lincoln Memorial.

I am thankful for the incredible colors of fall...and the way the air smells at this time of year. I love the crisp air and the sound of leaves crunching under my feet

At the end of the day, we took my parents back to Union Station and started on the trip back to our car. We needed to take the Blue Line Train. And we did.

The train was packed because it was rush hour and people were everywhere. Cooper had a seat, but I stood. And as we rolled along, I listened to the stops and thought it a little odd that they didn't seem familiar.

There was a reason for that. We were on the right train- we were going the wrong direction. Ughh.

No worries- it was just an additional 60 minute ride to our actual destination. Cooper had his nose in a book....and found it thrilling to be the only ones on the Blue Line Train.


And really, we had no schedule and Jon knew we were we sat back and enjoyed the ride.

We had a fantastic day! But when it comes down to it....there's no place like home!


I'm thankful for our home- and for the changes to our living room made with Layla's talented guidance. I was blown away with the response to her post and to the kind bloggers who stopped by to visit and left such thoughtful words. Many thanks to all of you!

What are you thankful for?