Tuesday, October 30, 2018

That Did Not Go as Planned

We had a bit of a weekend. Our plan was to have a nice quiet Friday, go to the Renaissance Faire on Saturday, and go to the ballet--all four of us--on Sunday. 

Thursday night, I reminded Issa I had volunteered to do duty free lunch on Friday. I truly don't mind a middle school cafeteria, and the teachers deserved a break at the end of Spirit Week. As I was tucking Issa, she asked which meme I planned to be for Meme Day. I had no such plan, but I also believe in supporting school spirit, so I got up at an hour early to create this beauty:

 Issa went the Disney meme route with this Ursula tribute.
 Friday night, our neighbor who was going to check on the dogs texted, "Bummer about the Faire. I'm guessing you don't need me." Say what? Thank goodness for him. It was supposed to be beautiful Saturday, but it had rained so much at the end of the week that the Faire had to close. It was too muddy to park or walk safely. We opted for a pajama day and hanging out instead.

Sunday, Issa came down with a migraine as we discovered the local pumpkin patches and every grocery store was out of pumpkins. Just Evan and I went to see Dracula. The whole theater was decorated:
And Evan was a great date:

He actually loved Dracula!

He and I stopped at Target, where we did not find pumpkins but did find other porch decor:
That is the face of a boy who is trying to choose between a snake skeleton and a skull. He chose snake, and I will have to take pictures of our porch. We did manage to find beautiful pumpkins at Weaver Street, and they will not be carved because we all decided they are too pretty to cut.

All in all, it was a good weekend--just absolutely nothing like we planned.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Yesterday was Brad's birthday, and since it was an important day I took no pictures. It's how I roll.

We did celebrate him, though! There were presents, spaghetti for dinner, and cheesecake for dessert. We will celebrate more this weekend when it's not a Wednesday.

For now, though, I want to celebrate the man I married. The man who spent his birthday attending the fourth grade state regions float parade and taking Evan to the dojo. A man who said at 35 he would like to start a business and be a CEO by 40; he's currently starting his second company as CEO at 39. A man who makes me go to bed early when I hit the wall and takes over whatever I was doing--even when I know he's just as tired. He amazes me every single day, and I'm so excited to see what he does on this next trip around the sun...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

This Dog

Buddy is well...special. He's huge, but he thinks he's small. He still bounds like a puppy, but he's huge. He's dumb as a doorknob. But then there's this:
Issa came home sick from school Monday. She was truly fine when we dropped her off, but there is a nasty stomach bug going around that strikes from nowhere. The poor kid got sick in the stairwell--twice. The nurse had to give her extra clothes, and she missed her chorus concert that night. It was a very ugly six hours of sick followed by a day of recovery. This dog didn't leave her side.

This morning, she headed back to school, but I think Buddy thought she should rest one more day. This is how she ate breakfast, with him snuggled on her hip. It's a good thing his sweetness makes up for his dumbness.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Weekend of Opposites

We had new friends and old friends over for dinner Friday night. We don't do a ton of entertaining, so every once in a while I like to go fancy:
 I love using Grandma Luzny's glass for appetizers!

And we used Grandma Judy's pottery for dinner:
 And then Evan made fun of me for trying to be fancy...and we handwashed dishes all weekend. But...it was very fun and it made me very happy!

Saturday, Brad and I went to a lecture at the History Museum:
It was awful! The speaker almost had lots of great ideas, but he stopped short--almost like he was afraid of stepping on toes. Brad and I solved all of his problems and I sent him an email with our notes. The conversation with Brad made the whole night worth it, though. And that's how you know you are academics...fixing lectures on date night.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Off the Grid

We spent the past four days off the grid. Thursday and Friday were quite unplanned; Tropical Storm Michael knocked us out of power. We got it back late Friday, and we were incredibly thankful Mom never lost it! We had somewhere to go to charge and for Brad to work. Some places near us are still out of power, though. NC was just not prepared for this one.

Saturday and Sunday, though, was a planned excursion. We've been going at break-neck speed, and we really needed some time. So...we headed to the mountains. I found a great little campground that was central to everything we wanted to do.

First stop: gem mining:

 This might be my favorite photo bomb ever:

 We managed to find some great gemstones! We may even get some cut and made into jewelry.

We finally got smart and just packed all of our food for the weekend. We didn't have to spend time searching or wondering if Brad would get sick, and it was lovely. We ate our picnic lunch by the little creek by the mine, and then we continued the Bower apple picking saga.

A few years ago, we went to great orchards a little late in the season; the picking was slim. Last year, we went to a highly type-A orchard where you were told what four trees you could pick from after you were driven there on the hayride--no wandering. Brad announced the next time we would go early and go pick on the side of a mountain where we could wander. I found the perfect spot:
 There was great views at this orchard, but there were not apples. Please note my terribly amused husband:
 A blight cleaned out the orchard, but they did have live music and great orchards for hiking:
 And they had bought apples from another orchard, so we did purchase apples, and we did pick our bag!

After all that excitement, we checked into the coziest cabin:
 It was much larger than we thought, and we were grateful for the fireplace in the chilly evening and morning:
 This little camp ground was absolutely perfect! We never heard another person, and the kitchen was nicely equipped and so well-organized that even I didn't feel the need to reorganize cabinets. We had no internet, which meant we all truly disconnected from the world and connected with each other. Bliss.

Once we were settled, we set out to go fishing:
 I was shocked by how well the kids were casting by the end of our foray.
 It helps the world's best daddy did a nice refresher course:
 And he caught the first fish:
 And Issa caught Phil:
 Phil was a pesky fish that kept stealing my bait. Issa was just fast enough on the hook-set to get him!

At dusk, we headed back to the cabin for a cozy meal and board games. With all the fresh air, we were in bed by 9:30!

Saturday morning, we woke up to a drizzle, which made muffins in the cabin by the fireplace all that more perfect. Thankfully, the rain stopped for the highlight of our weekend:
 We got to do a trail ride! Evan rode Nigel, who was super easy going if not a little sluggish.

Issa rode Blaze, who was a gem.
 They had never been on a trail ride before, and they loved it!
Brad was on Cherokee, who was great as long as he was the second horse. I got to ride Buttercup, who had a mind of her own, which meant I actually got to do far more actual riding than the rest of the crew. It also means I awoke to some muscles I haven't used in a while! I've done a lot of riding, but never on a mountain. The views were incredible, and it's a very different feeling riding up and down like that! I can't wait to do it again.

We came back in time to settle back in and adjust to a bit of reality, but I have no doubt the mountains will be calling us again soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A Bit Rainy

Well...we are having another hurricane day. The kids' school was cancelled at 3:00 yesterday; I went in to work this morning only to have campus close at 12:30.

While my heart breaks for those east of us who are still recovering from Florence, Michael is giving our little family a lovely afternoon. The kids knocked out their chores and homework this morning, so they are happily playing this afternoon. Brad and I are still working, but I'll be home for dinner, and we've decided a day this rainy calls for friend chicken.

Rainy fall afternoons just call for a slower pace, some celtic music, and a cup of tea. I don't mind any of those things one bit.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Our version of spooky...

I was away at a conference last week, so I was especially glad to come home to a quiet weekend that we quickly filled with all manner of Halloween fun.

The kids and I decorated last weekend, but we started our costume planning this weekend! The kiddos decided we should go as the Pantheon, or at least part of it. Evan of course chose Ares; Brad chose Hephaestus, which clearly means I must be Aphrodite. The only wild card was Issa, who has chosen to be Hades. We looked for costumes on line, and we found them, but they were ridiculous. So...we started plotting. After a trip to one of those awful Halloween stores where I walked out slightly traumatized, we ended up at Walmart where we found the basic pieces and the rest of the materials we need! Evan is the only one who is ordering something, but since he's still in the kids sizes it was reasonable. Issa has already started crafting for me, and I can't wait to share the finished products.

When I can wait for is this gem:
We don't really do spooky at our house, but we do have this stupid rat. Every day, someone hides the rat, and whoever finds it is responsible for hiding it next. Evan currently has the best hide: under the fitted sheet on my side of the bed. We're lucky I didn't wake the whole neighborhood. This is my favorite tradition to hate, but I think I would actually miss it if this little guy went away.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Weekend Happies

This weekend was so very much what we needed. The rest of the family spent Saturday at the dojo, which gave me a chance to catch up on the roughly six million things that needed doing around the house, but they came home in time for the kids and I to go to the farm.

The farm in the fall is my happy place.  The leaves are turning, the temperature is perfect, and animals are big enough to not escape. My back is still angry from moving 250 pumpkins for our pumpkin patch, but these moments right here make it all worth it:
 Issa loves visiting the farm rabbits:
 And even Evan asked me to take a picture:
 There is just something so lovely about snuggling a super soft rabbit in the crisp fall air after doing a ton of work. It soothes the soul.

To make matters even better, we kicked off the Carolina Ballet season Sunday:
I love these Sunday afternoons with two of my favorite people watching incredible dance. It was a lovely respite before this crazy week!