Archive for March, 2015

A Very Happy Birthday

Two weeks ago, we had a family party to celebrate Little C’s second birthday. I still can’t believe she’s already two years old. I am already scared at how quickly two will turn into twelve, twenty, and beyond!

A big two-year-old smile - and pigtails!

A big two-year-old smile – and pigtails!

For her first birthday, I chose a book theme and asked all the party guests to write her a note in a copy of the book, so she can always have it as a memory. It went over very well so I’ve decided to continue to do that until she decides that theme parties are “uncool” or whatever the term will be when she gets that old. She’s starting to get into a few shows like Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins, but I made the mom-xcutive decision to go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar this year. Next year, she’ll tell me what she wants!

The food table.

The food table.

Cupcakes!

Cupcakes!

After a few Pinterest searches, all the decorating ideas came together very quickly. Lots of polka dots and bright colors – and the menu was pulled right from the pages of the book. I was really excited with how everything turned out.

The book that everyone signed.

The book that everyone signed.

I made this banner with her name on it and hung the body circles at different lengths to look like a caterpillar. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out!

I made this banner with her name on it and hung the body circles at different lengths to look like a caterpillar. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out!

Of course she was spoiled by everyone and received many nice gifts. My favorite was the Raggedy Ann doll handmade by her great-grandma, which I know she will treasure. She was also very excited to blow out her candle, and actually got to do that twice because she blew it out before we sang Happy Birthday!

Raggedy Ann

Candle

In the weeks since, she wakes up almost every morning asking whose birthday it is. She even tells our new puppy “happy birthday” whenever we go outside. Good thing Big C’s birthday is coming up in a couple months and we can celebrate again!Family

The Plans, They Were A’Changin’

More than three years ago, before Little C was even a twinkle in Big C’s eye, we decided to take a trip for our tenth anniversary. We’d never been on a cruise, and it seemed like a good time to experience one to celebrate. We started a vacation club account at our credit union and put a little money away each paycheck toward that trip.

In the meantime, Little C arrived and changed our lives for the better. We kept saving up for the cruise, though, because we decided it was still important for us to do something special.

We celebrated our tenth anniversary last fall and started looking at cruise options for February, the least busy month for Big C on the farm and an easier month for me to get away from work as well. We checked out cruises within our budget and had a nice one picked out…

But the thought of being out in the middle of the ocean, with uncertain communication back home, in February, made it awful hard to think about leaving Little C behind, even though she would have been in the best possible care from both sets of grandparents.

And so the first change of plans took place.

We decided on a four-day weekend, to a location within a day’s drive (just in case), and Big C requested heading south. A pretty good idea for the end of February, I thought. Going back and forth with a few destinations, we settled on Memphis, a place I’d never been and he’d only been to once, in high school.

Hotel reservations were made, and after a little arm-twisting, he even agreed to go see the Broadway touring production of The Lion King. We planned to visit Graceland and eat some good barbecue, and just enjoy the time away.

Elvis may have left the building, but he's still on the wall!

Elvis may have left the building, but he’s still on the wall!

As our departure came closer, I started watching the weather forecast. A few days before our trip, Memphis was hit by an ice storm that wreaked a lot of havoc on local roads. Temperatures were supposed to warm up before we left, though.

So we set off on Friday morning, planning to stop at Lambert’s Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri for a late lunch. The weather was great the whole way there, and we enjoyed some delicious food and of course their famous “throwed rolls!”

Fresh from the oven - yum!

Fresh from the oven – yum!

After lunch we stopped at an outlet mall so Big C could buy some new jeans. He knew exactly the brand he wanted and we spent about 15 minutes in the store. In that amount of time, it started to freezing rain, becoming pretty slick pretty fast. We decided to take off, hoping to get out ahead of the rain and be on our way.

A slow, slippery eight miles later, we’d turned around and headed back to a motel in Sikeston for the night. Plan change #2.

Relaxing that evening, I looked at the forecast again. Travel would be fine the next day, but more ice and snow was expected Sunday evening into Monday – when we were supposed to be at the musical and then headed home.

The third plan change – we decided to try and sell the tickets online and drive partway home Sunday afternoon. (The sale was successful, which made me very happy!)

Saturday morning took us to Graceland on a very rainy day. The plus side – crowds were slim! We both enjoyed Graceland and were glad we spent the extra $5 each to tour Elvis’s private jets. The self-guided tour was very well done and it was very cool to see the famous Jungle Room in person!

The Jungle Room - complete with green shag carpet on the floor... and ceiling!

The Jungle Room – complete with green shag carpet on the floor… and ceiling!

The one thing we hadn’t done yet was eat Memphis barbecue – so Sunday we decided to visit Beale Street and had lunch at Pig. I had ribs, which were fall-off-the-bone tender, and Big C had a sampler plate with chicken, pulled pork, and ribs. We bought a bottle of their spice rub, and plan to try it on some of our homegrown ribs soon.

A couple hours at an antique mall added a few treasures to our collection, then it was back to Sikeston for the night and one more meal at Lambert’s, because, well, why not?

The trip home on Monday was blissfully uneventful and it was so good to see Little C again. Now we’re finally back to a normal schedule and recovering from the colds we all picked up somewhere, and thinking about where our next trip might take us…

But if this one was any indication, it’ll change a few times before we get there!