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Birthday Boy...

This is my boy.

Yesterday he turned 35. (Happy Birthday Honey.)

It's funny to think of him being in his mid-thirties, because I so often see him as the 18 year old I feel in love with all those years ago. (Maybe that's part of the reason I love this silly picture of him so brings out the boy.) Being that his birthday usually falls on/around the Labor Day weekend, we usually head down to KC for a visit at the in-laws. This year, various factors considered, we decided to stay home. The in-laws made the trip instead and we enjoyed a long weekend of activities. So much so the girls are BOTH zonked out for naps as I write this, trying to catch up on a little sleep following all the excitement. Even the dogs seem lazy today.

Scott's birthday started out quiet. We took our time getting up and around. Breakfast, laundry, dishes, play time outside, lunch...pretty much a normal Sunday. Then Scott's parents offered their grand parenting services for the afternoon/evening so that Scott and I could sneak off alone for the rest of the day. It always feels so luxurious to have a whole afternoon and evening to casually spend together without the worry of what time we have to be home to relieve the sitter. We headed to Des Moines for a couple quick errands and then met our friends Shannon and Allen at Bravo for some delicious Italian food on the terrace. Shannon discovered there was going to be live music at "the Creek", with Flipside performing at the little amphetheater from 5-8. They played a variety of songs, all with a little funk. We're always up for a little outdoor music fest. We were amazed at the number of people who came out with lawn chairs and coolers in tow to dance, chat, and enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather. It was a perfect way to spend the evening. A quick stop at Target and homeward we turned.

One of the things I enjoy most about our date nights is the chance to talk about things we don't normally make time to talk about on a day to day basis. All sorts of things. Memories. Future dreams. Serious worries. Funny thoughts. And we flirt. It's times like these that my husband of 13 years can still surprise me. It's fun...and sexy... and why even through tough times, I have faith our marriage is one that will stand the test of time.

Today we are savoring the extra day "off". This morning I got up and around "early" (early for me, not so much for Laura) to get in a ride out to Rock Creek with Laura. It was a lovely morning for a ride. The in-laws took off for KC shortly after my return. We grabbed some early lunch, and Scott/Daddy saddled up for a nice long ride on Harley. No plan in mind other than to head towards Knoxville to pick up Allen and his bike and hit the open road. We'll hear him roll in sometime before supper. A perfect way to spend an extra lazy afternoon here at the end of summer.

Scott plans to use his "birthday money" for a new/second helmet which he hopes to pick up later this week at the Big Barn some night on his way home from work. A second helmet means hopefully you'll be hearing about MY first outing on Harley soon!



My Most Read Thoughts


Today while I sat in a classroom supervising students as they worked on their math assignments, I watched Lexi through the window enjoying time with her friends during recess. My heart smiled.

Those moments, moments of learning and carefree fun, those are the moments that SHOULD make up a school day. As a Mom, and an elementary school employee, my heart is breaking over the news and images coming out of Connecticut today. 
I send my kids off to school everyday without a second thought that they will return safely come day's end, just as I'm sure each one of those parents in Newtown did this morning.
Every day I walk into my school for work without a second thought to my personal safety, just as I'm sure each of those teachers, paras, custodians, sectretaries, etc in Newtown did this morning. 
Theories will be published. Evidence will be presented. Words will be exchanged about gun control and the need for change in our current culture of violence. I don't suspec…

DIY: Reusable Produce Bags

With Earth Day festivities gearing up for tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to post a short DIY tutorial on making your own reusable cloth produce bags. (Tutorial inspired by my favorite crafty mom blog, Crazy Mom Quilts. Produce bags inspired by running into my friend Laura at the grocery store while she was stuffing her produce into these.) This is my next step in the fight against the excessive use of plastic bags.

Our family has been making small environmentally minded changes in our daily lives over the past few years. We use reusable shopping bags. We've stopped buying/using Ziploc bags and plastic wrap. I'm trying to commute around town via bike more. I'm being more mindful about where the food we buy comes from and how it was produced. We more often hang our laundry on the line to dry in the spring and summer instead of just throwing it in the dryer. (Which is convenient at the moment since our dryer has decided to quit drying.) As we use up chemically clean…

Sunday Morning Silly...

Once in a while Dando's curiosity urges him to venture off the bookshelf so he check out other toys in the house.

I think he thinks Froggy is missing a few marbles.