Wednesday, May 30, 2012

: : Memorial Day Weekend : :

'Twas an excellent Memorial Day weekend, indeed.  

We were able to hang out with my side of the family for the holiday weekend.  Complete with plenty of swimming and grilling.  It was wonderful.

Saturday, we went swimming at The Lakes swimming pool.  Whenever I go, I am taken back to my childhood.  To the days where I practically lived up there.  The Barlow clan couldn't come, but the Selfs made it.

This is classic Noah

And this is classic Elliot

I just love her missing tooth.  So cute.

Caleb is so big!  

Griffin focused on lunch

And this is what exhaustion looks like

This pretty much sums it up

After swimming, we had a cookout at my parents' house.  Nana joined us and so did our great aunt and uncle, Barb and John.

E chilling with Barb and Nana

Noah wanted to help Trent cook.  Adorable.

Julie, Nathan and Caleb practicing up for the family t-ball game.  (Which ended up with Elliot batting whenever she wanted. Ha! The game lasted 2 innings).

Dinner time!

Memorial Day in Austin, TX

We let mommy sleep in.  So, we enjoyed some cartoons.  Probably longer than he's supposed to enjoy them. Oops.

Love this pose on his trampoline

Pancakes and Curious George

Blake is FEARLESS in the water and he loves to "big jump" to daddy.

Cousins helping Blake glide

Uncle and daddy daycare 

This is the man I love.  Stretching it out in the pool!  

Elliot searching for pool snacks.  (Don't you just love pool snacks?  I remember my sisters and I sitting outside after swimming and eating Chips Ahoy.  Memories...)

Loving Caleb's shaggy hair

More swimming for Noah

Blake getting ready to jump

Elliot's turn!


We had an awesome time with family over the Memorial Day weekend.  And the fact we got to spend time with a few Veterans was a bonus.

CPT Nathan Self, U.S. Army

Maj John Wilson, U.S. Air Force

William Canuteson, U.S. Marines
(my mother's father, with us in spirit)


Friday, May 25, 2012

Arkansas. Our second home.

We enjoyed some time off the road...about 2 1/2 weeks in Nashville.  That may seem like no time, but for us, that's plenty of time to get antsy and ready to pack again.

This run was, once again, in Arkansas.  We had several shows in the area and were able to stay in the same hotel room and hop around for the week.  It's nice when it works out that way.

Trent was asked if he would play at a restaurant in Bentonville, AR.  He agreed.  It was basically background music, but it was fun because we got paid to practice.  AND got some yummy grub.  Oh...this is our feet.  (As if you were confused). 

Sunday AM service means coffee on the way out.  

Kibler Baptist Church in Alma, AR.  Oh my goodness.  Such amazing, sweet, precious, kind, lovely people.  After the service, they offered a church luncheon to anyone who wanted to join.  They insisted we go first.  That meant we cut in front of, like, 75 people.  It was awkward.  (But, that also meant we got to the pigs-in-a-blanket first.  And I'm okay with that).

Sunday PM, we went to Rudy Baptist in Rudy, AR.  Another group of amazing people!  I forgot to take a picture, though, so you'll have to take my word for it.

On the way to Charleston, AR on Monday evening.  Trent had to stop to make sure we were going the right way.  Cue self-pic time.

No one was available to run sound at the church.  Translation: my turn.  "Oh dear" was my first response.  There's just so many levers and knobs and lights and wires and things I can mess up.

Turns out, I just needed to know where the volume was for the vocal and guitar. And, of course, the EQ stuff for both.  And for the monitor.  And the effects and what not.  Or is it FX?  I don't know.

Charleston, AR - First United Methodist Church (sound check)

We had a day off and for us that means: find a local food joint.  There are several great restaurants in the Fort Smith/Van Buren area.  We love Frank's Italian and the Cuban Grill.  However.  There's a new love...Pho Hoang.  I don't know how to pronounce it, but I'm pretty sure it means "awesomeness" in Vietnamese.  Trust me.

Case in point:

Later that day, the pastor of Kibler Baptist and his wife, Eric and Jeanette Green, had us over for dinner.  We had such a great time with them and their adorable boys, Aiden and Ashton.  It's one of my favorite things about what we do.  Hanging out with new friends and enjoying good conversation and laughs. 

The next night was a show at Cedarville FBC.  There was mostly youth and they were very well behaved, which is sometimes not the case.

I sat on the front row this time.  It was weird, but I liked it.  

After the show, our friends Steve and Heather Weaver had us over for some brisket and fixins.  Their little girl, Aubrey had a gift for us and it makes me smile.  Please note how she likes Trent but loves me.  

Leftovers for lunch but our room didn't have a microwave.  Solution?  Use the one in the breakfast area.  What can I say...we're frugal.  And the staff didn't seem to mind.

Last show of the run was at another restaurant.  It's called Doe's Eat Place.  The steaks were phenomenal.  I'm talking slap-your-mama good.  Eating it made me feel sorry for people that don't eat beef.  

(I just read this post and gracious me, I talk about food a lot).

(And can I just tell you I actually googled fixins and the definition was too good not to share: a Southern (USA) word for the supplemental food, dishes, ingredients, and accompaniments to whatever you are eating, cooking, or serving).

(And that just about sums it up).

Next is Texas.  YAY!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

That time a pinterest craft became a thorn in my side...

Ever been on a pinterest high?  Ever thought making a homemade rug was a good idea?  Ever had a 40% Joann's coupon burning a hole in your pocket?  Me too, friends.  Me too.

It started with this.  Seemed easy enough.  Cut t-shirts into strips and latch hook them to a rug canvas.  Simple, right?  

I started this thing about 6 months ago.  I took that Joann's coupon and bought a rug canvas and a latch hook.  I wasn't about to cut up my t-shirts.  And I wasn't about to go buy a bunch of white ones to dye.  I had a perfectly good corduroy comforter, that we weren't using.  So, in pinterest fashion, I began cutting.  And cutting.  And cutting.  

But, in my pursuit of crafty-ness, I was still excited to make my own rug.  I started cutting the material into strips so I could start the process.  I must say, I felt very proud.  Very "why-go-buy-a-rug-when-I-can-make-one" kind of attitude.  

Here's the thing.  I could have already bought a rug by now and spent my time on other things.  This particular project has become a thorn in my side.  I see it sitting there, collecting dust, beckoning me to work on it.  And I say "No, rug.  Not today. Today, I am making a chalkboard out of an old picture frame, thank you very much.  That takes no time at all. Working on you is not happening."

But then, I know I must finish it.  I do love it.  It's going to be perfect under our coffee table and I'll be able to say that I made it.

Here's where I'm at:

Don't let the picture fool you.  This sucker is 30" x 60" and I'm only 1/3 finished.  That's about 45 rows and each row, if I am working steadily, takes about 30 minutes to complete.

If I were to do it again, and it's not likely, I'd go with thinner fabric, like t-shirts.  And I would definitely go smaller. 

And...I'll still probably blog about the process.  In a more positive, less sarcastic, way, of course.

Can you feel my pain?


Friday, May 11, 2012

For Mother's Day

I love my mom.  She is beautiful inside and out.  And I am proud to be her daughter.

I love how she laughs at my jokes and I love the look on her face when she tries not to when I say something inappropriate.  I love that her wine glass has jewels and painted tiaras on it.  I love that she is passionate about politics and Baylor sports.  And I love that she has learned to text.

Growing up, I didn't understand her parenting efforts or even want to.  I just couldn't quite grasp why I, an elementary school student, couldn't watch "Married with Children" or have a sleepover on a school night.  But now, looking back, I am thankful she chose that route over many others.  I'm also appreciative she forgave me during my *ahem* bratty and attitude driven stages.  
I don't think she missed an event I was involved in...EVER.  Basketball, little league, games I cheered at, golf tournaments, award ceremonies, field days, graduations, band concerts.  Always with her giant camcorder on her shoulder.  She would keep stats in basketball and keep up with my score in golf.  She even came to things I did as a teacher.  

She made our breakfasts, packed our lunches, and cooked our dinners.  She'd help us with homework, projects, and selling Camp Fire candy.  When we were younger, during the summers, my mom would sit at the pool with us.  I would yell at her while I was on the diving board, "Mommy, watch this!"  And when I completed my flip, or dive, or toe-touch, she would cheer and act like she had just witnessed an Olympic worthy stunt.
She was my travel companion when I continued my golf career after college.   Even in my twenties, she would go down to the continental breakfast and bring food back to the room, so I could take my time getting ready and eat in my pajamas.  My mom was the one who clapped and cheered loudly during those golf tournaments.  Even when I made double bogies.

She helped me pack up my things and my life when I went through my divorce.  There was no judgment or embarrassment from her.  Only grace, love and kindness.  She was patient during that time, when I did nothing but stay in the house and watch Gilmore Girls.  And she was understanding when I wasted days away, sitting in the sun. 

I tell my mom everything and love that she's my friend.  I joyfully told her about meeting Trent and how I really liked him.  The mother in her was worried we were moving too fast, but the friend in her was happy for me.  Then, the mother and friend in her was delighted and excited when we got engaged.  I'm so grateful that she supports our dream-chasing adventure and our move to Nashville.  And her patience with us, as we wait to start a family, is quite impressive...even though she's got MAJOR grand baby fever.
We share a love of movies, books, tea and pedicures.  Food, flip-flops, and my sister's kids.  She is an amazing Grammie, full of love.  Her selflessness is astounding.  Not only with those precious grandchildren, but also with my daddy and us. 
I inherited the way she folds towels, her love of Clinique yellow lotion, and her smile.  She taught me how to make hospital corners, how to treat people, and the importance of sunscreen.  And much, much more.  Like how to embrace a giant chair while on a trip:
I love my mom.  She is beautiful inside and out.  And I am proud to be her daughter.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  I hope to do as good of a job as you did.  I love you!