State of the Union: Hot, hot, hot. But we are gearing up for a trip to the Rocky Mountains where the lows will be in the mid-forties! I am digging out the jackets and jeans and looking forward to crisp mountain air. We will be camping in Rocky Mountain National Park with Ben’s parents and visiting our good friends Brian and Kelli in Denver. I am very excited for our vacation minus the cross-country car trip with a BUSY toddler.
I am thankful… that we live closer to St. Louis AND that we live in a hip city that people want to visit! July has brought us many visitors: Ben’s mom and her friend Jane from North Carolina followed by my good friend Lindsay.
I am learning….about Consigment Sales. Whoa- they are a big deal here in Nashville. Thanks to my friend, Jess–I was able to experience this explosion of bargain steals on all things kid and baby. She brought me as her guest for the preview sale last night, so we got first dibs on the best finds. I spent less than 50 bucks and walked out with an armload of goodies for Everett: an easel, books, a winter coat, rain jacket, leather hiking boots, and at least 10 other fall/winter outfits. You should have seen this church gymnasium packed with every baby/toddler need (and want) imaginable. There is no need to ever buy anything new for Everett again now that I know about these things. Pretty fun stuff… I just might be hooked. 🙂
I wonder… if Everett’s new big boy carseat will make our 18-hour excursion to Colorado any more tolerable. After much research and debate, we finally purchased a convertible carseat, since his little infant seat was becoming a tight squeeze. We checked out a half dozen new books from the library for him to “read” on the drive, I’ve got bags of snacks ready for emergencies, and I even borrowed a device that will clip Ben’s iPad on the back of the seat to play videos if we really need to call in all the troops–GASP! I have not introduced Everett to the TV yet…but I just may need to cave for this trek. We shall see.
On my mind: What will it take for me to discipline myself enough to write regularly? I can’t even make weekly blog updates happen! I am so thankful that Ben is on my case constantly–sending me links for freelance essay requests, pushing me to read his little manual on writing that helped him crank out and publish research articles, and telling me to get my butt in gear and start drafting. Ready…begin.
On my heart: Last week, we made a quick jaunt to St. Louis to attend my father-in-law’s retirement party. He had worked at Boeing for 36 years and we are so happy that he is trading in his white collar for grandpa play clothes and taking a much needed break from the office grind. His company gave him a lovely sendoff, the theme being Dave’s impressive ability to balance work and family life for all those years. He is a true role model and I am so thankful to have such an amazing father figure in my life. All of his kids and grandkids were able to be at the party…except for Baby Max–who was at Children’s Hospital with a benign case of viral Meningitis. He is doing great now, but my heart was heavy for Annie and Joe as they spent long days and nights watching their fragile newborn be hooked up to IV’s. Being a parent can make you feel so vulnerable sometimes.
Weekly Reader: Still reading “Cutting for Stone”– I am really liking it, but being only 150 pages in to a 667 page novel, I feel like I am still wading through the exposition. Just starting to get a sense of characters and setting, though many details are still murky. I’m hoping for more time to dig in during our vacation. I bought a spelunking light that I can wear around my head for night-reading at the campsite. Can I get any cooler? 🙂
What’s Cooking: I made Aunt Mary’s plum cake twice for a presentable breakfast for our visitors, Bobby Flay’s pork green chili (delicious!), and Ben whipped up a molten chocolate cake on a whim Sunday evening. We used this delectable treat as a good excuse to finish off our port from the Mayo Winery–the last bottle standing from the stores we brought back from our honeymoon in Sonoma. See pictures below– as always we are enjoying life bite by bite around here!
“Ev”Capades: Our cutie is still obsessed with the “trash.” His favorite word has turned into actions–he picks up specks of dirt off the floor, digs bottles out of the recycling, and tries to throw things like the remote control and his sippy cup into the trash can. I finally bought him his own little trash can that he keeps in his room–a good storage place for shreds of toilet paper, books, and the occasional toy or teddy bear. Another obsession is Otis’ leash, bed, and food bowls. He pretty much spends his time inside the house coveting these items and getting Otis riled up as a result. Who needs a playroom? Everett loves to read–melting my heart as he climbs into my lap with various books he’s pulled off his shelf–asking me to read. The favorites right now are “Go, Dog, Go” and “Freight Train.” Please Everett, be a cuddly reader forever.
Happy Highlights: Not only did my friend Lindsay’s visit give us a great chance to catch up, but it also gave me an excuse to be a Nashville tourist. We did the Honkytonk bars on Broadway and saw a great show at the Bluebird Cafe. And Everett and I have had lots of fun with our mom’s group–we visited a fire station and have been to many library story times. Also- Ben won a grant from Vanderbilt for this really cool medical education project he has been dreaming up for a couples years now. It involves using iPads to stream educational seminars for residents while they are on night shifts when they miss traditional instructional opportunities. He is becoming really interested in a medical education emphasis… just can’t contain the teaching bug around here! I am so proud of him.
Looking Ahead: So excited to spend some time with Brian, Kelli, Ali, and Emma in Denver and to camp in the mountains with Ben, Everett, and my in-laws Dave and Peggy. Summer is flying by, but it has been so good to us.