Friday, June 26, 2009

Mistaken identity.


The kids and I have been in Mississippi this week visiting friends. More on that soon, although my camera battery was dead so I unfortunately don't have many pictures to share. But of course, there is always Vivian to blog about.

We stayed at the beautiful home of my good friend Cynthia. Her family has two precious Cavalier King Charles Spaniels whom Vivian adored. One of the dogs was a tricolor named Lexi who looked a lot like our next door neighbor's dog, Coco. Vivian kept calling Lexi Coco.

Will said to her, "That's not Coco, Vivian. Coco is in Dallas. That's Lexi."

Vivian walked around the house repeating, "Coco is in Dallas, Coco is in Dallas."

Shortly thereafter, Lexi ran into the room.

Vivian looked at Lexi and said, "Coco is back!"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Vivian!

Vivian's 1st birthday

Vivian is 15 today!

She is in Summer School this week so we celebrated by taking cookies to her class. She seemed to enjoy that.




In honor of her birthday, a funny Vivian story: At the swimming class last weekend that Vivian was completely not enjoying, I tried to distract/interest her by talking to a sweet little girl and her mom who were having a good time in the water. Vivian responded by pinching the sweet little girl. I was mortified and of course apologized profusely and then fussed at Vivian.

"I get out of the pool and go to time out?" was Vivian's response.

Nice try, Vivian.

Happy Birthday, my sometimes sweet girl!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A special anniversary.


Today Robert and I celebrate 22 years of marriage. I was 22 at the time of our wedding, so that means I've been married half my life - wow!

We are going to dinner tonight with some longtime friends who were at our wedding. I'm looking forward to that and to many more years of happy marriage.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fun with friends in Fort Worth.

Yesterday Dots and I drove to the neighboring city of Fort Worth to visit my friend Kelly.

Kelly and I became friends when our oldest children were in a play group as babies. Neither of us can believe they're now almost 18! (Note to young mothers: it happens fast!) Kelly and I have stayed close friends even though her family moved to Fort Worth eight years ago.

I asked Kelly to take us to Fuzzy's Tacos where we'd eaten lunch on a girls' outing to Fort Worth last year. I knew Dots would love it there, and she did! Kelly's youngest child, Molly, who is Vivian's age, joined us. Dots really enjoyed visiting with her while Kelly and I caught up.


After lunch Kelly took us to a cute shop called Shoe Gypsy near TCU. Dots was in heaven with all the hip clothes and shoes! After seeking consultation and approval from Molly, we bought a t-shirt for Dots. She'd have come home with much more if I'd have let her.



Sadly, in a show of how far past hip we are, Kelly and I were much more excited about the matching Fourth of July wreaths that we found in another shop.


Aren't old friends the best, though?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My reluctant water baby.

Vivian is participating in a weekly Aquatic Therapy program at a local hospital's fitness center this summer. Today was her first session.

To say that Vivian was less than thrilled about going would be an understatement!

Upon arrival at the fitness center, Vivian threw herself on the floor. Robert cajoled her with a video on his iPhone and some colored pencils until she would let me pick her up

But there was no way Vivian was getting in the pool on her own!

Even seeing other children enjoying the water did not convince Vivian that this was a worthwhile venture

Her sweet teacher Miss Pat tried to interest Vivian in an aquatic barbell, but Vivian wasn't buying it

About 25 minutes into our 40 minute class, though, Vivian decided that maybe the pool wasn't such a bad place after all.

A red kickboard finally did the trick!

By the end of the session, Vivian was kicking around independently!

As we left the center and got in our car, Vivian commented, "That was fun!" For one of us anyway...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Orange is tasty.


We have a new frozen yogurt shop in our neighborhood called OrangeCup. It's one of those places that is suddenly "on the way" to wherever we happen to be going (i.e., "Why don't we stop by OrangeCup for some yogurt? It's on the way..."). Dots took my mom there on her recent visit, and I think we ended up returning three times in the five days my mom was here!

Dots and her friends try some samples before ordering

The shop sells three flavors of frozen yogurt: natural (plain but with a pleasant taste, not overly sour like plain yogurt), züm (similar to natural with an orange kick - this is my favorite) and açaiberry. There are lots of toppings to add to your yogurt if you so desire. After you place an order, the server prints a label for your cup with all of the nutritional information for your size and flavor of yogurt and toppings.

Dots selected züm with Fruity Pebbles, her friend chose açaiberry with kiwi and I enjoyed züm with strawberries

The shop promotes recycling

Vivian loves OrangeCup!

I think that right now OrangeCup only has locations in Dallas. But it's a very stylish concept with a great product, so hopefully it will catch on in your area soon too!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coming and going.

This morning I took Hockey Boy to the airport for his flight to Jamaica. He is going on a week-long mission trip there with a group of youths from our church who will be working there in a mountain community assisting with the construction of a house.

Two years ago Hockey Boy went on this trip and his job involved hauling concrete. I suspect that unless they need any wood duck houses, he'll be doing something similar. His group will have one day of rest and relaxation at the beach, but otherwise they will be working.

Hockey Boy had a packing list for this trip, armed with which, he went to Target yesterday. He asked me where a few things were at our house, but other than that, I was completely uninvolved in his preparations.

He was supposed to be at the airport at 5:00 this morning so we left our house around 4:15 (poor Vivian had to accompany us because there was no one home to stay with her). We were about 5 minutes from the airport when I thought to ask Hockey Boy about his passport. Silence. Then, "Uh... I think I left it on my bed." Argh! This was certainly his responsibility, but I couldn't believe I'd neglected to ask him about it before we got in the car (I'll blame the early hour). We turned around and went back to our house, retrieved the passport and then returned to the airport. There was very little traffic on the road so we made it to check-in by 5:30, in plenty of time for his 7:15 flight. Not a great start to my morning, though!

I won't hear directly from Hockey Boy while he's gone, but I hope to receive some updates and pictures from the leaders. In the meantime I'm following his flight on I'm such a map junkie.

Picture 1

In other family travel news, Robert returns from the Grand Canyon tonight. He organized a group of 13 friends to hike the Canyon from rim to rim in one day (26.5 miles!). They completed the hike successfully in about 12 hours. Robert reported that he and his friends have had a great time and that everyone felt a sense of great accomplishment.

North Rim
Robert (third from left) and part of his group on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon the evening before their big hike

Sadly for me, though, trips to the airport, albeit plentiful, are all the traveling I am doing right now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bespectacled Dots.


Dots failed the eye examination at her annual physical in May, so I took her to an eye doctor last week. Lo and behold, she needed glasses! We found a pair that she liked (Juicy Couture, no less), placed an order and picked them up yesterday. I think Dots looks so cute in them. Certainly a far cry from my first pair of glasses!

KEP glasses
Me in my sixth grade class picture. In addition to my groovy octogon-shaped glasses, I was wearing a shirt that my mother embellished with eyelet and rickrack. The back of the shirt featured my name spelled in red gingham with a frog or some such animal appliqued below it. Ah, the 70's...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Things I Like: Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez

Las Meninas

I remember many an afternoon on childhood visits to South Georgia sitting by my grandmother on her bed as she played solitaire. Above her bed hung a copy of the painting Las Meninas by Spanish painter Diego Velázquez.

My grandmother told me that the little princess in the painting was me, that the ladies waiting on her were my aunts, and that she herself was represented by the dwarf on the right-hand side. I had no trouble envisioning myself as royalty and I had blonde hair, so her claim seemed quite reasonable to me. I'm not sure at what point I figured out that I was not Velázquez's subject, but by that time I was so enamored of the painting, that it was of little consequence.

In 2002 Robert and I were to depart from Barcelona after a Mediterranean cruise. We had several choices of cities for our connecting flight back to the States, and I selected Madrid so that I could have the opportunity to see Las Meninas in person.

In Madrid we stayed at the Hotel Palace, a fabulously elegant hotel directly across the square from the Museo del Prado where Las Meninas, is housed.

France, Spain and Italy 2002 142
Here I am outside the Palace, looking nowhere near as effortlessly chic as the European woman behind me

Just off the hotel's lobby is a restaurant/bar area under a spectacular stained glass cupola.

France, Spain and Italy 2002 146

This picture from the hotel web site gives a better idea of the scale of the dome - magnificent!

The morning after arriving in Madrid, Robert and I were at the Prado when its doors opened.

France, Spain and Italy 2002 148

As the masterpiece of the Prado, Las Meninas is prominently displayed in a room of Velázquez's works. I was unprepared for how large the painting was! (I suppose I envisioned it in the much smaller version I had seen at my grandparents' house.)


I don't think photographs were allowed in the Prado because I did not get a picture showing its scale (found the one above on the Internet) and the requisite picture of me with the object of my pilgrimage (below) is really bad and must have been hurriedly and illicitly taken or I surely would have insisted that Robert retake it

France, Spain and Italy 2002 150

Between its size and its grandeur, Las Meninas was breathtaking and well worth the pilgrimage to see in person.

An added bonus was the opportunity to acquire a copy of the painting for my own home.