Friday, May 23, 2014

Brian Regan

When I heard that Brian Regan was coming to Durham, I got tickets. But that was like six months ago. And it seemed to take forever to get here. But it finally did! Ultimate date night. Woo hoo!

It started off as a bit of a fiasco. I wanted to eat at Cheesecake Factory. So we left really early. But that place is always so stinking busy, that even leaving REALLY early wasn't early enough. We didn't have time to eat there. But we didn't realize that until we had already taken the exit and drove into the ridiculously crowded mall parking lot. It took us half an hour just to get out of there. Sheesh.

We headed to downtown Durham to find a place to eat. It did not go well. Our GPS led us to a couple of places that sounded promising...but were closed down. We found a place called Dame's Chicken and Waffles that was within walking distance of the show. Not exactly what I was craving, but we were desperate by now, so we decided to give it a try.

Nope. They had an hour and a half wait. Really? Those must be some dang good chicken and waffles. As a last resort, our GPS found a McDonalds that was 4/10 of a mile away. That doesn't seem far. Unless you're wearing cute wedges that are still kind of new and not really broken in and are killing your feet! Then 4/10 of a mile seems VERY far. But we were hungry.

So, we found a little picnic table on a street corner where I took a seat and waited for Andrew to hustle over to the golden arches and bring us back some grub.

In retrospect, this was not a smart idea. Downtown Durham is not the safest place for a young (or not-so-young) lady to hang out by herself in wedges that would make it difficult (or impossible) to run from a threat. Luckily, I only received one cat call from a passing car and was safe until Andrew got back with our dinner. It was no Cheesecake Factory, but at least it stopped my stomach from growling like an angry pit bull.
Our romantic McDonalds picnic dinner. 
Ahhhh...this is the life.

After lovely meal, we strolled (limped?) down to the 
Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC).
It's a gorgeous theater, the same one where I watched Mary Poppins with Becca.
The show was hilarious. 
Both Brian and his opener cracked us up. 
It felt so good to laugh until my face hurt.

Afterward we made our way back to the mall madness so I could get a piece of cheesecake heaven. I already had the taste in my mind and just had to get it in my mouth. We managed to nab a sweet parking spot. My feet were grateful. We went through the normally quick to-go line and still waited twenty minutes to get our hands on this:
Scrumptious Oreo deliciousness. Mmmmmmm. So, so, good.
Oh, and a couple of other pieces to take home with us
in a cooler
in the backseat
for my Mother's Day dessert. 

Grateful for date nights, good babysitters, and this fun guy
to share adventures and cheesecake with.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Celebrating Retirement

It's interesting to watch our parents getting older. My parents have been very indecisive over the last few years about when they were going to retire. (Or at least they it was hard to get a straight answer when I'd ask them.) Andrew's parents, on the other hand, have both known the DAY that they would each retire for years. Andrew's mom reached her milestone a year and a half ago. And as Andrew's Dad's big day was approaching, we thought it would be fun for Andrew to fly out and surprise him to celebrate.

I forgot to send a camera with him, but here are a few pics I stole from Amy's and Mom's blogs. (Thanks!)

Amy and Forrest traveled in, too.
And, of course, Tony and Cindy and their kids were there.
Angie was sorely missed. 

Andrew had such a great weekend with his family.

 These four went golfing.

Andrew's back couldn't handle a full round of golf yet.
He was happy to drive the cart and spend time on a gorgeous course.

He did feel comfortable enough to shoot a couple of the par 3's and loved it.

They had a big family dinner. 

All of the kids and grandkids contributed memories
and Mom put together a book for him. 

They also spent lots of quality time in the man cave watching the NBA playoffs and ate at a yummy Mexican restaurant. From what I hear, Grandpa is LOVING his first couple of weeks of retirement. We're looking forward to a visit from them next month!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A random Friday night

I love hanging out with my kids. Recently, Andrew was gone over a weekend, so the kids and I headed downtown. We were hoping they were having Friday Night Live, the free outdoor concerts that we enjoy so much. No such luck. But we did get to watch a short dance concert that I loved. (The kids described it as "odd," "interesting," and "not what I expected.") Then we just hung out in the park for a while. It was a beautiful night.

 There were some jugglers in the park.

We played frisbee with strangers. 

B stood on his head. 

This picture makes me smile. 

We took jumping pics.

 They were even in the air at the same time...once. 

The girls showed off their dance moves. 

And a woman on stilts stopped to watch. 

 I love, love, love this season of life.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Science Center

I love kindergartners. I have spent many hours volunteering with the kids in Caroline's class and they are just the cutest little bunch of kids. I jumped at the chance to chaperone their field trip to the science center. We had enough volunteers that I was only in charge of Caroline and two of her little friends. So fun!

The giant aquarium is so relaxing.
I could just stare at it for minutes...
if the girls would hold still that long.

Animal class

First time petting a skunk.
They're surprisingly soft.

Baby gibbon.
LOVE him.

Petting a snake.

Our kids' school is VERY regimented...
so many rules, everything is so orderly.
A little too orderly for my taste.
One of the things I love about field trips:
The kids can relax and be themselves and have fun!

And flirt with each other??? What?
Do you see his arm around C?
This is kindergarten, buddy.

The parrot got a BAD diagnosis from Dr. Caroline.

Monday, May 5, 2014


We had a talent show at church last month. It was the first ward activity that the Relief Society was in charge of since I've been the president. My counselor, Ramona, was in charge of leading it (and did a great job!) but there was still that burden of hoping everything went well and feeling that the activity was a reflection on the RS. Luckily, we pulled it off and everyone had a great time. Phew. Check that off our list.

Pre-show entertainment:
Our building doesn't have a real stage, so we have to set up this little one
when we have a performance. The kids LOVE it and this is the scene
whenever it's available. 

Erin and Sam sang a song with McKenna on the drums. 

These little cuties performed 5 Little Ducks 

One of our missionaries juggled for us 

She read us jokes 

These sisters did a song-and-dance routine 

Kier told the kids a captivating story 

He showed us his cup-stacking skills.

Here are our family's contributions to the show:
Miss Shelley choreographed this number and the girls learned it so quick!
They had fun and love the song.

Whit and her friends put this number together themselves.
I just wish they would have sang a little louder.

Jeremy talked Andrew into doing this vocal/guitar duet with him.
I'm so glad he did. They were awesome!
Jeremy helped compose the song and they sounded great.

In the back of the room, we also had displays of visual arts,
like the quilts you can see behind us.
Ramona and I, breathing a sigh of relief.
I'm grateful to have such a great presidency to work with.
And I'm grateful that we don't have to be in charge of another 
ward activity until next year. :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014


For the past couple of Easters, we have been out of town, traveling for spring break. This year, we had a pretty quiet one here at home. Both ways are nice, for different reasons. It was obviously more relaxing and easier to get everything ready here at home. But I missed spending time with Christian and Mandi's family (which we've done for the past couple of years). And now they're moving back out west. We'll miss them! And might have to add an extra leg on to our road trips.

It was raining on the day before Easter, so we had our Easter egg hunt inside. We were a little disappointed...until we thought of all the great hiding places inside the house. We made it extra challenging for the kids, which was fun...for us.

Does this candy look familiar? 
Birthday party leftovers.

It was great to be in our own ward for Easter Sunday, too.
And we got to sing a song we loved with the choir.

And after church, the kids got to play with these...

super cuddly baby bunnies.
What a fun Easter treat.

We took some pics in the backyard in our Easter finery.
(minus Brandon's tie...he apparently can't wear it for an extra ten minutes)

We colored Easter eggs.
Paas let me down this year.
I used vinegar like I always do, but the colors were not very vivid.

We spontaneously invited Michael and Shelley and their kids to join us for Easter dinner.
So fun.