Wednesday, September 30, 2015

13th Anniversary Roses

Peter and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on June 15th, and he got me a beautiful bouquet of roses to celebrate. Red and white roses, because on our first date he brought me one red rose and one white rose, and for our honeymoon, he pre-arranged with the place we stayed at to have a big vase of red and white roses waiting in our cabin as a surprise for me when we arrived (he also did this when we returned there to celebrate our 10th anniversary). He's very romantic and sweet!

The white roses ended up "outblooming" the red roses.  

And, a little off topic, though not completely, here are some other pretty flowers from June: 

Costco's display of roses impresses me every time I see it. Every time!

Pretty miniature roses and two leatherbound "word cloud" copies of two of my favorite books, all courtesy of Costco.

What a rosy life!
(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

I Think My Pets Might Be Vampires

In addition to the blood-drawing scratches I sometimes receive from them, they arouse my suspicions for other reasons...

Sleeping during the day? Very suspicious.
But she's out in the sunlight and didn't waste away, so maybe they're not vampires after all.

Then again...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Scenes of Early Summer

June is one of my favorite months. The weather's nice, school's out, brides and grooms get married (I myself was a June bride), and the whole summer stretches ahead like the glittering jewel that it is (was that poetic or what?). 
I love June!

The kids and Peter would like to get a real pool, but this is about as good as it's going to get.

 Playdates with friends. 

Sam enjoys constructing rivers in the sandbox with the aid of the hose.
(It's a good thing we go away for the rest of the summer or we would definitely run out of water.)

We actually have time in June to hang out at the library...

...and at Lowe's.

Sam and I discovered a great little bakery downtown on a fine June afternoon.

Pretty, peaceful early summer evenings are so...pretty and peaceful. :-)


"Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January."  
-Hal Borland
(Let's not mention January any more than that!) 
I love June!

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Boy and His Dog

Ever since Yogi passed away (to a better place) last December, John has been much more attentive and affectionate with the dogs. I think losing Yogi helped him to not take them for granted. He's been especially loving to Boo Boo, bereaved in the loss of his beloved brother, and it's really sweet. This is one of the benefits of having pets--the sensitivity and compassion that it can help cultivate in our kids and in ourselves.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Five Things for Friday

(Lucky you--it's six things today!)

1. Remember my "Do These Windows Look Clean To You?" post from a few weeks ago? I'm happy to report that this situation appears to have been resolved. After receiving another bill with two finance charges on it, Peter called again, they apologized profusely for dropping the ball on this, and the owner himself came out on Monday to finish the job. The streaks are pretty much gone, although I have to say, their faint outlines remain, possibly "burnt" into the glass from the summer sun?

They're mostly noticeable in the morning sunlight, so I'm not going to make a big deal over this.
But needless to say, I won't be hiring this company again!

2. Speaking of mornings, check out John's happy breakfast!

3. Speaking of...the opposite of mornings, I stayed up way too late Wednesday night to watch the Republican presidential candidates debate. I enjoy politics, and presidential campaigns have always been a particular favorite of mine. My favorite candidates so far, in no particular order, are Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and (sorry Mom) Donald Trump. It's still early though, and these are all subject to change.

A few words about The Donald. He really bugged me over the summer with some of the controversial, offensive comments he made about veterans and Hispanic immigrants, and I felt frustrated by how well he was doing in the polls. But now I appreciate much of his candor and his confidence. He seems very real and genuine to me. There's not much pretense or artifice with him (for better or for worse). I don't like how brash and rude he can be, but I think he'd get important things done. He seems weak on foreign policy though, and that's a big strike against him. Anyhow, it will be interesting to see how long his popularity endures.

Also, shallow reasons I like him: he's a fellow alumni, I saw him in person at Penn years ago, I went to college with his son Donald Jr., and he kind of cemented my desire to get a Wharton husband (which I did!). What can I say? I can't be deep all the time, it's too exhausting. Ha ha. And I've got to have some kind of a personal connection to a candidate since Mitt's not running!

What about you? Do you have any favorite candidates so far?
I'm an Independent but no matter who the Democratic candidates are, I will almost certainly be voting Republican this time.

4. My pre-ordered copy of Cinderella came in the mail this week. We saw the movie onboard the Disney Fantasy in March when it came out and I really enjoyed it--we all did, even Peter. I thought it was really well done. It's a welcome addition to our ever-growing movie collection.

5. Speaking of good things that came in the mail this week, I also received this fun package from my longtime blog friend Cheryl. I won a giveaway on her really fun Scones and Crackers blog about all things England. These goodies are British in nature and I'm looking forward to eating them all (except for the bookmark clips. Ha ha.).
So fun. Thank you Cheryl!
(I really want to go to England!)

6. Speaking of England and Cinderella (who is played by the lovely Lily James, who plays Lady Rose in Downton Abbey)--Downton Abbey starts this Sunday in England. I've never watched it early when it airs there; I've always waited for it to start airing in January on PBS. But I'm thinking about watching it early this time since it's the final season (sob). I want to escape the spoiling effects of spoilers. And I'm eager to see how the show ends. And I just joined a Facebook group that posts the links each week so that it can easily be watched. Part of me wants to wait and be able to look forward each week to the show during the long, cold winter, but the greater part of me thinks that this final time around, the sooner I watch, the better. If I do watch it early (which seems to be fairly certain at this point), I won't post any spoilers here, I promise!

Notice the sunset in the's sunset on the series. :-(

This weekend is Sam's 6th birthday and we'll be celebrating all weekend long! He's so excited.
Happiest of birthdays to the littlest love of my life!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Few Last Tidbits From May...

I got a cute pair of preppy Tommy Hilfiger boat shoes from Zulily, and they're in my "signature colors" of navy blue and green. I love these shoes!  

John played at his end-of-the-year piano recital.
It went well except that he started on the wrong keys, which I knew from helping him practice that there was about a 50% chance of that happening. Once his teacher corrected him, he played the song perfectly. This may have turned out to be his last piano recital. Last week he decided to join the school band with one of his best friends. He's going to take up trombone, which should be fun (I hope). I think he's going to have a much easier time learning it because of his background in piano and knowing how to read music. 

This tiny little green car cracked me up when I saw it. 
I would never drive one of these, but I'm glad that there are people who do because they never fail to amuse me!

I got this cute lamp at Target with the Cape house in mind, but there isn't a very good place for it there right now, so it's in my Project Room instead (it's not on the floor anymore either!). I love it!

May 15th marked the five-year passing of my beloved dog Christy, who I had from 1995 to 2010. I still miss her and her companionship and I long to run my hands through her silky fur and burrow my face into her soft neck. I fully believe that she lives on in a better place and that we'll be together again. One of my favorite quotes that gives me comfort for both Christy and Yogi is this:
"Heaven is a place where all the dogs you ever loved run to greet you."
I love to envision that joyful scene.

(I've had this picture and frame since high-school!)

Scenes from Dining Out

Last school year, particularly towards the end of the year, the kids and I ate dinner out about twice a week because of extracurricular activities. And therefore I give you, scenes from dining out...

At Panchero's...

...Sam thought something was funny!

At Bluebird Diner, I admired this group of pictures on the wall above our table.
(Owls! Birds! And Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics!)

At HuHot, Sam made an interesting arrangement on the table with his train, sunglasses, spoon, chopsticks, napkin, cup, and the salt and pepper shakers.
 He cracks me up!

At Red Lobster, the boys always love the cheddar biscuits.
They are the sole reason that Red Lobster is Sam's favorite restaurant.

Meanwhile, I liked my fish tacos...

...and this pretty painting on the wall above our table.
I appreciate good restaurant art!

Our receipt from dinner that night was interesting.
Check out the second item under Guest No. 1 and the first item under Guest No. 2.
Aren't kids' drinks always supposed to be non-alcoholic?! Why does this need to be qualified?!

And those are scenes from just a few of our dinners out.
You're welcome for that extra special glimpse into our lives. :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Brothers on the Sabbath

I love this, and them.

End of the School Year!

 Well, John thoroughly wore out his sneakers over the course of the school year.
This was the state they were in by the last few weeks of school.
Yes, that's his big toe sticking out!
(We got him new sneakers, which were promptly destroyed at summer camp a month later. Aargh!)

We did Target gift cards for teacher gifts this year. Aren't they cute?
(Thanks Pinterest!)

Last day of school!

 Of course there's a big grin for the last day of school!
There's rarely a smile as big as this for first day of school pictures.

The boys literally dove right into summer after school that day when we got out the Slip 'n Slide for the first time.

Well, John dove. Sam scooted.

It was a good school year! Fourth grade and preschool, officially done!