Monthly Archives: March 2009

An Inadvertent Tradition.

We just realized last night that for our past two anniversaries, Greg and I have taken photos of ourselves in a mirror. One year we were in Memphis and used the hotel mirror there; another year we were in a hotel in St. Louis. This year, we kept up the tradition, and before going out to Westport to celebrate our anniversary last night, we took another couple using our bathroom mirror at home.

It’s kind of a neat way to track the ways we’ve changed over time. Greg’s chosen to lose all his hair; mine has changed colors; we’ve gotten a new camera. And some things are still the same — we’re just as much in love as we’ve always been.

2007 (Memphis):

michellegregmemphis

2008 (St. Louis):

michellegreg

2009 (home):

anniversary  mirror shot smiley faces anniversary mirror shot funny faces

Stealing My Thunder.

He beat me to it, below. I’m an early-to-bed kind of girl, and he’s a night owl.

You know, marriage is an interesting thing. Some couples get married for the right reasons and stay married for the wrong ones. Some couples get married for the wrong reasons but figure it out and stay married for the right ones.

Few couples get married for the right reasons and stay married for the right reasons. I like to think we’re one of those couples.

Thanks for putting up with me. And stop leaving stuff in your pockets, you KNOW I’m not going to check them before I do laundry!

 

har har!

 

I love you, Greg! Happy anniversary!

Things that haven’t lasted 6 years

 

  1. Any of our cars
  2. Any of the room colors in our home
  3. My workout regiment (that’s right, I called it a regiment)
  4. Your hair dryer
  5. Your flat iron
  6. Our dishwasher (technically still functional, but far from perfect)

Seems in comparison to most other things, our marriage has staying power.  Thank you for all that you do and everything you have given me Michelle.  I love our life.  Time is flying by, 6 years has gone by in a flash.  I think back on all of the experiences we have shared and can’t wait to continue the adventure.

Happy 6th anniversary wife, I love you.

Interesting side note, when thinking of things that haven’t lasted 6 years, I also contemplated things that have.  Turns out I have shirts that old, and yes, they are button down plaid.  About the only other thing I can think of at the moment is the couch (even after your attempted replacement scheme .)

Busy, Busy, Busy.

Okay, so we’ve been ratcheting up our activity lately, what with spring here and all. The past few days have been a whirlwind, but we actually remembered to bring the camera…

…to Laurel’s trout clinic, where she caught her first rainbow, then felt remorseful about it when we cut off its head to clean it:

lady angler

…to the park near the old, shut-down-for-safety-reasons Meramec River bridge on old Gravois in Fenton, where I ran off some Cheez-Its while the kids and Greg walked on the bridge:

old gravois bridge over the meramec

…to the Science Center, where the visit was cut short because I lost my wallet, was desperate to find it (later found at a restaurant we visited the day before — whew!), and was generally beside myself, but where we saw a very cute Omnimax movie:

science center space tunnel astronaut handprints

…to the deck, where I supervised Greg tilling the garden along with the help, who headed up the dump truck:

following daddy

Yes, in the photos above, Laurel is giving a thumbs-up about her gasping fish, Ethan looks like Kenny McCormick because he insists on wearing the hood anytime he wears a hooded sweatshirt. And yes, maybe it’s early to be tilling, but Greg wanted to change the oil and couldn’t pass up the chance to play with machinery. If he has to do it again, it’s his own fault.  har har!

What can I say?  It’s spring in the Boneblog household.

Spring Break 2009 (to date).

Okay, so you’ve read about Vegas, but then we returned home and I’ve had the whole week home with the kids.

I know, you’re hearing the theme from Psycho, right?  Thing is, it’s not so bad. I’m a pretty militant person, and brook no arguments from the kids, so we get along fine. The weather has been nice, so we’ve been on the go a lot.  So here’s part one, a recap:

Tuesday: The kids and I walked around at Powder Valley Nature Center. Ethan is fascinated by the beehive indoors. He’s also in training for our camping trip, and I was trying to teach him how to do a nature hike without scaring all the nature away.

Blue Skies From Now On Follow the Leader

Inspecting squirrel leavings Observation

Sitting on a Park Bench DA DA DA Tutelage

Wednesday:  We went to the zoo. It was a PERFECT day. The weather was great, we got a primo parking spot (free, of course — I don’t pay to park at the zoo). We got into the Children’s Zoo for free (it’s free the first hour), and after all that, it didn’t sting so much to pay $17.50 for lunch. Could we have picnicked it? Sure, but you have to live a little, right?  Alas, I don’t have good photos of the trip because the battery on my camera died in the Insectarium.

Thursday:  The kids and I worked on another of Laurel’s service projects — planting native trees and shrubs. A couple of weeks ago we ordered 25 blackberry bushes and 25 tulip poplars from the Missouri Department of Conservation nursery.  We spent this afternoon planting the choicest specimens in the back yard. We still have plenty left — anyone in need of blackberries or tulip trees?

planting blackberry bushes

planting tulip poplars

This week has served two purposes: one, to give me a preview of what the summer will be like — this will be the first summer in a few that I’ll have both kids home full time. Two, it has served to relieve me of the doldrums, because the weather has been so fantastic. My spirits have lifted dramatically — it’s not like me to enjoy an entire day at the zoo with a 3-year-old who hasn’t napped, but sure enough that’s what I did, and I was actually thankful for it.

Imagine.

Three Returns.

Each year, spring manifests itself on our land with three distinct returns:

1.  Mama Robin:  This is the name we’ve given to the mother robin who returns year after year to build her nest beneath our deck in such a manner that the kids can peer between the decking to watch her bear her young. For three years running we’ve seen her lay her eggs, loyally sit on them, hatch them, forage their worms from our garden, send them off to flight, and repeat.

2.  Our Mockingbird: This morning I heard our resident mockingbird.  He also returns year after year to sit atop our corner power pole and sing his heart out. He gets a lot of female attention around here; I’m just not sure it’s of the avian kind.

3.  The Red-Tailed Hawk: This afternoon I noticed our red-tailed hawk has come back again, too. He’s a suave fellow who shows off, sailing low between our house and the neighbor’s on his dives for prey. Today he practices his soar by sailing high over our rooftop into the woods behind our home.

Each year, I look for these three returns of spring. I will be very disappointed when we move, because I’m rather attached to these birds and the season they bring with them.

The Vegas One.

Having sufficiently recovered from our weekend in Las Vegas, I feel I’m able to post.

A few months back we planned to meet Brian and Erin and Derek and Michelle (who we met, but didn’t remember from Brian and Erin’s wedding) in Vegas.

Last Friday morning (that’s Friday the 13th, for you superstitious types) we awoke at 2 in the morning CDT to make a 6:00 flight. We had to be at the airport by around 4:30, and in my typical style, I was awake and worrying about what we forgot to pack.

So that was a good start.

Things went up from there, though. The trip to the airport and the flight to Vegas were uneventful, and we got great shots of Lake Mead on the way in:

Lake Mead from the Air

We landed to a balmy 65 degrees or so and made our way to the shuttle. Observing the others in line for the shuttle, I nudged Greg and said, “You know, I bet that’s Derek and Michelle.” 

“Why do you say that,” Greg asked, “because she’s wearing a sweater and therefore must have come from the cold?”

“Well, yeah, that,” I responded, “but also, I don’t know, they just look like they’d be friends to Brian and Erin. Wouldn’t it be funny if I pegged them?”

Sure enough, I had. And they were marvelous!

Anyway. We got to the hotel, checked in, and found we had a bathroom bigger than any we’d ever had, EVER, at home.  The bathroom had a hall. Seriously.

By 1 p.m. Vegas time, we started on the beer — 5 liters of it, to be exact:

5 liters of beer Group at Monte Carlo Brew Pub 2

receipt for the 5 liters

Rejuvenated, we headed to the Strip. And we walked. And walked. And drank more beer and walked. Honestly, Vegas is one of the most overwhelming cities I’ve seen so far, and the debauchery?  Greg and determined Vegas is more depraved than New Orleans, with the possible exception of Mardi Gras. That’s saying something.  Here are more photos, mouse over if you want a description:

The Strip 1 The Strip at Night 1

Hi We've Been Up Since 2 a.m. CDT New York New York Roller Coaster

Sports betting Caesars Palace

Yes, we rode that roller coaster in that photo up there.  Yes, it was fantastic.

The next day dawned and we headed to the casino where Greg filmed this video and I lost a dollar. Undaunted, we met up with everyone and went to the buffet at the Bellagio where we downed champagne, which was barely drinkable until we made mimosas out of it. The buffet itself was terrific, though, and we had a great time putting ourselves into a food coma. Then we went to walk it off.

luxor

Eventually we made our way to the Stratosphere at the north end of the Strip, where everyone but me rode the crazy rides up top. I wasn’t looking or feeling my best after little sleep + lots of beer the night before + champagne for breakfast, so I decided to be the official photographer for our Stratosphere trip.

Stratosphere View from the Stratosphere

big shot big shot 2

The north end of the Strip, incidentally, is sort of entertaining for me because it’s still got some of the signs of old Route 66, including this motel sign, the shape of which those who’ve traveled other areas of 66 will recognize:

Old 66 Motel

I love that.

Anyway, we wore out fairly quickly that evening — so after dinner, Greg and I headed back to the hotel. We stopped and ate noodles at a hotel restaurant, then nearly collapsed into bed.

Sunday morning, after shopping at M&M World and the like, we headed back to the north side of the Strip again, where we shopped at one of those touristy souvenir shops that are in every tourist town. You know, the kind where you’re treated like a criminal just by walking in the door, where if you enter with a bag you have to get a number for it, etc., etc. I suppose they have a lot of theft, but honestly I’m not sure who would be desperate enough to steal an “I [heart] Vegas” mug. Maybe that’s just me.

Greg played blackjack at Circus Circus and doubled his stakes:

Doubled His Money

And then we met my friend James for a tour of the desert.  He took us to Bureau of Land Management land north of Vegas, and it was beautiful. I’ve never seen the desert before, and this was really something.  He took us up into the mountains, too, where it got COLD. It was amazing to be in the city where it was 70 degrees, then travel 30 minutes and be in the mountains at 40 degrees.  At least it FELT like 40 degrees.  Then we stopped on the way back down for a really great dinner, at which I had the fried fish I’d been hankering for (I’ve tried to find some around here lately and it’s all been crap until that). I cannot emphasize enough how much we enjoyed seeing James. He is a true friend, a hell of a storyteller, and a fine example of a tour guide. So James, if you’re reading, thanks again!

desert mountains 1 Joshua tree

Joshua tree closeup higher in the desert

 

even higher in the desert shadowplay

two sisters james

Monday morning we had to leave bright and early to catch our flight out of Vegas, so there was nothing to report there.  But we both decided that we could, in fact, do with another long weekend in Vegas because there is NO WAY we saw anywhere near everything. So we’ll just have to do that.

Las Vegas — A Preview.

We have a LOT of photos to go through before I can do justice to a Vegas post. So, as a teaser, here is a video Greg took of me playing a slot machine.

 

 

I look just brilliant, right?  hehe. Suffice it to say that I was completely overwhelmed by all the buttons on the machine, not to mention the graphics, and my analytical mind was malfunctioning with a vengeance.

Oration.

Last night, Laurel spoke to the school board to thank them for their support of gifted education, and PEGS in particular. She was a bundle of nerves all day, was bouncing off the walls, and by the time we left for the meeting, I’d had it.  We barely beat an intense gullywasher, and in order to enter, we walked through a crowd of teachers who were upset about recent contract news.

In homage to the atmosphere, Laurel added a phrase to her speech, in the last paragraph – “and I ask that you continue to do so.”  This was her subtle way of encouraging the Board to negotiate with the teachers.

Anyway, Laurel spoke in front of probably 150 people, and she did so in such a manner that anyone there would think she’d given speeches all her life.

Way to go, Laurel! I’m sure everyone was proud of you, but most importantly, you should be proud of yourself.

The video and transcript:

 

 

“My name is Laurel ——, and I am a PEGS student. I just want to take a moment to thank all the wonderful that have made it possible for me to be here.

Ladies and gentlemen, being in normal school was boring to me. I would finish all my work, and then I would start fiddling around with something; a shoelace, a pencil, an eraser, whatever I had. But most of all, I would take a book from under my desk and start reading.

Now, reading is not a bad thing. However, when I read, I tune out everything. Including the teacher. And then I would get in trouble for that. Each and every day. That’s at least a hundred and seventy days a year. I spent three years there.

PEGS helped me by putting me in the right environment with students and teachers that understand me. The biggest and best thing for me is that now I’m surrounded by kids working at the same level I am. And I am able to work on challenging projects without getting bored.

I’m grateful that you’ve stood up for gifted kids – not everyone does. I’m happy that you have listened to me and others. I’m happy that you’ve funded and supplied PEGS in the worst of times, and I ask that you continue to do so. But what makes me happiest is that you are the ones making PEGS possible. Thank you.”

An Interview With Laurel.

The other day I was tagged in Facebook with an interview, which turned out to be entertaining enough that I wanted to repost it here. It’s an interview where all the questions are about me, and all the answers are from Laurel’s point of view.  Enjoy:

1. What is something mom always says to you?
— “Go change your clothes.”

2. What makes mom happy?
— Not getting poked.

3. What makes mom sad?
— Ethan breaking something.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
— By making a really weird, insane, funny joke.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
— I have no idea.

6. How old is your mom?
— 33. Haha, I got it right this time!

7. How tall is your mom?
— Don’t ask me.

8. What is your mom’s favorite thing to do?
— Reading.

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?
— Work for [nonprofit] or watch “Days of Our Lives.” Or yell at Vinnie.”

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
— Being a comedian.

11. What is your mom really good at?
— Making Ethan go to bed.

12. What is your mom not very good at?
— Keeping her desk clean.

13. What does your mom do for a job?
— Work for [nonprofit].

14.What is your mom’s favorite food?
— Thai.

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
— The fact that she still keeps [nonprofit] up and running and manages to take care of the family and be a great mom all at the same time.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
— Bugs Bunny.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
— Usually we go out on the back porch when it’s sunny and warm outside; sometimes on rainy days we just sit inside and watch “Days of Our Lives.”

18. How are you and your mom the same?
— We both have the same smartypants personality.

19. How are you and your mom different?
— Mom keeps her room clean. Sometimes.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
— She tells me so every night.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
— That he’s been a good father to us kids.

22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?
— Funkytown.