Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just a number

Boy, I don't feel like I'm 39! Of course now that I'm in my late 30s, it doesn't seem near as OLD as it once did. In fact, nothing seems nearly as old as it used to, and I'm sure many of you can appreciate that feeling.

When I was 23 or 24 and just out of college, my first job was as a social worker at a nursing home. One day one of my elderly nursing home residents asked me how old I was, and I told him to take a guess - "oh, I wouldn't put you at more than.... 38" was his reply. (Served me right for asking him to guess, didn't it!?) Of course he thought that was so young, but I sure didn't! One thing that I learned while working in long term care for the first several years of my career is that age is all relative - I can think of a lot of old 50-year-olds, and also some awesomely young 80 and 90-year-olds. I want to be one of those people, spry and full of piss and vinegar (in a good way) even in my 90s, like my dad's mother, Grandma G. Here's to you, Grandma - I want to be like just like you 50 years from now, when I'm 89!

In celebration of our birthday(s) this weekend, Dave and I had discussed going out to dinner Saturday night with the kids. But dinner changed to a quiet evening at home after we visited a nursery Saturday morning and decided we wanted this for our birthday:

Until recently I didn't realize trees were such an expensive purchase - AND, if you have a landscaper or the nursery plant them for you, the charge is half again what you pay for the tree. So if you buy a $300 tree, then it is $150 fee to have it planted - yikes! Good thing Dave's so handy at doing almost anything and everything outside; the nursery was very helpful in telling us exactly what to do, AND delivery of the tree is free.

I found this picture online, since our tree won't be delivered until this weekend. It is a weeping blue atlas cedar; we were looking for something unusual for the center of the berm in our back yard, and this fit the bill. I've been reading up on the care of this type of tree, and it definitely can grow out of control if it isn't trained, so we will have to keep up with it each year.

My boss and co-directors celebrated my birthday at our weekly meeting this morning, with a yummy pineapple upside down cake (my favorite, baked by friend and co-worker, Shana). I enjoyed one piece with everyone, and then sent the remainder of the cake back with Shana for her hubby and kids to enjoy; trying to stick with my healthy eating plan after an inspiring WW meeting on Saturday morning. And speaking of food and cooking, my boss (who knows I've been learning to cook this past year) gave me a pair of these stylish and practical Baking Beauty oven gloves - aren't they hilarious?

Mine are actually the black, with leopard print:
I'll love using them, I think they'll be so handy. (But it would be even better to get a pic of Dave using them on the back deck with his Big Green Egg- stay tuned, we'll see!).
That's all for now, off to bed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Opening Day (and other updates)

I'm back! Did you miss me? It seems like there are so many things that I need to get done, and blogging has been waaaaaayyyyy down on the list!

We headed to STL for the opening day of Cardinals baseball a couple of weeks ago; what a fun road trip! The game was on a Monday, and we headed up with friends Chris and Jana on Sunday for an evening of R&R before the game day.

Need I say that the boys were not the designated drivers for the trip up (they each only had one beer, actually, but it was a big one!) Once we arrived in St. Louis, we headed down to our hotel near the stadium and enjoyed happy hour and dinner down on The Landing.

Dave ran into an old college roommate the next day, as we walked by Kilroy's on the way to the stadium. So we stopped there for awhile and enjoyed some lunch in the sunshine- couldn't have asked for a better day, weather-wise!

The game was awesome; I've never been to Opening Day before, and it was quite the show! The Clydesdales made their trip around...

Then several Hall of Famers came out onto the field and were recognized, including Stan Musial...

Our seats were awesome - we were underneath the jumbo-tron, had little tables for four and all-inclusive food/drink.

AND, the Cards won! I'm so glad we were at this game, rather than the one last week where they lost after 20 innings to the NY Mets... awful! We bought tix to another couple games while we were there, and will be heading up on July 3rd with Jace and Neil for a game.

The other blog-worthy event is the backyard, and all the work we've been doing.

We paid a landscaper to do some of it, but Dave (& Neil) also did quite a bit to finish it up. We had all the old yews torn out in the front flower beds, and all the old grass in part of the back yard stripped and then re-sodded, and edged the whole area with flower beds.

We just planted that little tree on the left in the picture above, a dwarf maple. And these wisteria vines that will quickl grow up over the pergola, in the picture below. These will be the only plants we have in the back yard for awhile, in sticking with our budget; but we wanted to get the "bones" of the landscaping done this year, and then we can work our way into planting, etc.

The other thing that I started on this weekend was painting the deck railing... FUN. I'm going to pay Jace to help me paint, he can earn a little extra money, and it might not take me 8 weekends to get this project done, with a little extra help!

That's about it for now... birthday weekend coming up, I'll be the big 3-9, and Davey B will be 45! Quiet weekend, just hanging with the kiddos.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Family Easter 2010

Easter weekend with the family was great; the week afterwards was crazy, so just getting around to posting pics. I love heading home for family weekends on Friday night, to have a full weekend with everyone. The emails and texts started flying back and forth on Thursday, "when r you getting to St C this wkend?"... Jace and I hit the road after he got home from school, but three other sibs and their families were already home by the time he and I arrived about 8:15 Friday night.

I had had the day from h*ll at work, one of those days when if something can go wrong, it will. I just wanted it to be a quiet day, a nice start to the holiday weekend, where I could sneak out a little early; but it wasn't. That coupled with the fact that when I arrived home, Dave said that the movie store had called him to say that the movies due on Wed were not returned. Yes they were, I returned them Wed night! Uh, to the wrong store. Nice.

So we hit the road, with me taking deep breaths and telling myself to relax. It poured the entire three hour drive, and my shoulders were up to my ears from the stress of the drive by the time I made it to St. Clair. But then I walked into the kitchen and was greeted by Ann, Tara, Matt, Luke, Ron and little Isaac, and I was ready for the weekend to begin! It was awesome to just sit down and chill out with them. Chilling did (of course) involve cracking open a bottle of wine, (they were already sipping on a little Crown and Coke) and just decompressing for a few hours.

It was a great night, just relaxing and not worrying about anything.

Saturday was beautiful, and Tara, Luke, Ann and I headed to walk the track at the highschool. We walked about an hour and a half, it was a great way to start the morning. Saturdays always seem to have an undercurrent of stress, with ongoing fretting about who is fixing what for the holiday meal, what time we're going to eat, when is ________ going to get here (whoever didn't come in on Friday night), what did Dad forget to buy at the store (Mom saying that) and then at least a couple of Walmart trips by various siblings/in-laws, to get whatever Mom or Dad forgot, and/or what someone needs to make the dish that they said they were going to make, AND some more beer or wine to make it through the evening.

And this weekend was no exception - all of the above happened. But my BILs seem to have the right attitude; they are in charge of cooking the meat for most holiday meals, and they just lay low, avoid any drama, and just do their cooking over at "Grandma G's house" (my grandma used to live there, it adjoins my parents home, and that's where some of us stay when we come home). Like Luke said, you just have to have the mindset that even though the plan was to eat at a certain time, it absolutely will not happen; so just sit back, get done what you are supposed to, and then plan to wait. And enjoy a beer, or two, or four.

The kids were talking about an Easter egg hunt all day, so after dinner Saturday night we filled the bag of plastic eggs full of candy, and hid them all over the yard. We made the older boys leave a section of the yard alone, so Sam and Eva could find some eggs. Sam was so funny, he would pick an egg up, shake it, and if it didn't have anything in it then he would give it to Eva, who was too little to know any better, and happy with any egg she got!

Isaac was too little to hunt eggs this year, so his mom dressed him up and put him in his stroller. Looks like he's having a blast, huh!? Next year he'll be running all over looking for eggs!

Here are a few family pics from Easter Sunday:

That was a week ago, and now I'm up early today, getting this posted before we head to St. Louis with friends Chris and Jana for the opening day Cardinals game tomorrow. Looking forward to a fun evening tonight and then a gorgeous game day tomorrow. Go Cards!