Monday, September 30, 2013

18 years...

Once upon a time that seemed like an eternity. But like I seem to say all the time now, it has flown.

If you remember I told you that the women in our Missouri family watch Miss America every year. This is a wonky year because, not only have they moved the pageant back to Atlantic City, it's back in September. So 2 in one year!

So a long time ago, 1995 to be exact. 3 brand new friends, living in Nixa, Missouri, discovered a common love of Miss America. Little did we know then we would become each other's family. And the women of this family have passed on this love to it's 3rd generation. 

We actually had a fun conversation with Danee that she is now the age Kelly was when we all met. That was some amazing perspective.

This year was dubbed (by our brilliant Kelly) the Full Circle gathering. Here's why- she found this amazing house that rents for weekends in Nixa. It's perfection for our family. TONS of room inside and out. So back to Nixa where it all began we went.

(I forgot my memory card so all my pics are from my phone + 1 stolen from Kelly!)

So what's with the Blue M&M's? Well most people know the legend of Green M&Ms. We were having a conversation about this (1996?) while eating a bag and I think Darla is the one who came up with the rule (?) that you cannot eat the blue ones on Wednesday. If you do? They give you horrible gas. True story. Sooooo like all good parents we've taught our children well- or passed the mental illness to another generation however you want to look at it. Like a good daughter, Danee brought her 3 mom's gifts! I love presents. 

She's such a good girl! 

I LOVE family meals! It was like Thanksgiving.

So we we ate, played, talked, did our nails, soaked in the hot tub and enjoyed each other's company for 2 1/2 days. It was wonderful.

Grehyor is such a good boy. Soooo sweet
We caught them playing nicely every once in a while. The price you pay for having 3 2 year olds!

Even these 2 had moments of cooperation

Bikes were the BEST IDEA EVER

Doing toes and nails

 So I have to say that we were short one very important part of this group. Our Jamie is an Army wife and she and hubby are in Virginia for the first stop of their exciting new life. She was soooo missed and it just wasn't the same without her. Lots of texting and pics going back and forth between Missouri and Virginia!

Blind picks 2013

She missed us too!

Her last few minutes with the crown

And Darla has the crown.... again 
These women mean the world to me. 
Stolen from Kelly :o)

So another year on the books. Darla is the keeper of the crown with her 2nd pick of Miss New York.
 Till next year!



Thursday, September 5, 2013

Date Night

Have I ever told you how lucky I am? Well I am, very. I've managed to find someone that looks for ways to make me happy and comes up with date nights full of things he knows I'll love.

A few weeks ago Adam planned a night for us doing things that I've wanted to do for a very long time, but after 6 years of living here, had yet to do.

There's a lovely, huge oak in nearby McBaine. An iconic place around here, really. Enough so, that when I would tell people I had yet to visit, they'd just shake their heads. So my thoughtful man planned a night that I could take my camera and visit a couple of beautiful places in our area.

Big trees cast big shadows
 Our second stop was Cooper's Landing . Such an interesting place. As laid back as it gets. You can get Thai food, a beer and listen to a local band. I can see why people choose to be a "river rat". 
Missouri River sunset

Then it was off to get some sushi. We chose Kampai at Alley A. I love their outdoor seating and lord knows if I had my way I'd sit outside most of the time. 

We had a great night. Like I said I'm so thankful for this wonderful, thoughtful man.



Friday, July 12, 2013

When your job feels like a job

2013 has been a wild and crazy time for jobs in this little yellow house. Adam is working 10+ hours a day, 6 days a week- he didn't get home until 9 on Wednesday night. That's one long day! It's REALLY starting to wear on him. 

 It's still been very busy for me too, but my problems aren't really coming from the hours I'm working.

While I love what I do most of the time, and enjoy almost every person I work with, I've been having some serious struggles. Some days are so frustrating I joke about going home and drinking my dinner. No matter how hard you try to do your job and do it well, roadblocks pop up, they always will. It sucks when the roadblock is a person. Mostly, we are a very good team.... maybe it's growing pains that we're feeling right now.

 I'm good at my job and I hate the "Sunday Night Dread" that's crept in the last few months. So I'm just going to have to keep trying to make the atmosphere at work what it used to be!

I think taking a couple classes, even online, is one thing I can do. Doing something to improve yourself always helps, right? Well, it sure can't hurt anyway!

Here's to all of us making our little corner of the world better! Have a great weekend.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

California Dreamin'

Cameron & I took a little trip. My sister and her kidos were making the trek to California to visit so I figured it was the perfect time to go too. You know, kill 2 birds- I get to see my family and friends I still have there AND see Amy. 

I'm not sure how to explain my love of Paradise. It's where I was born and where I lived until June 30th 1981. I was 14 and devastated. I'd like to tell you I was stoic and suffered in silence, you know like a Jane Austin heroine. 


Early flight means early wake up and to top it off, Cam had a fever, was achy and felt like dog poop. Yay for getting to travel with your adult child that does NOT suffer in silence.  Thank God for DayQuil! 

SW Air gave us a little "glad you're going to Cali" present 

I'm, obviously no stranger to the heat but this took me by surprise. The 'at least it's not humid' argument did not hold water. It was so stinking hot.

We made a trip to the cemetery to visit and take flowers to family there. There are several more, but these are the 3 that I still can't believe are gone. 
My Nana. I had to be the Nana because of the grandmother she was.

My Papa. Hands down the kindest, most patient man I've EVER known. 

My cousin Chad. He was 18 and the world was his oyster. He was in a car accident on the 4th of July.
We took a day to go to Lake Orville at Lime Saddle. What a fun time! We swam and ate and relaxed. 

Henry is a great little captian

My sis
We took a little drive up to Stirling City one day too. I hadn't been there since I was 13 or 14 years old. It had always been a place to drive through on our way to camp at the High Lakes. 
Sawmill Peak still has a fire look out station.
We made our way up the road and up to Merlo Park an absolutely beautiful place to spend the day.
Mutant trout

Take my picture! 
I learned how to play Bocce Ball. Girls against the boys!

I miss ginormous pine trees so much.... except for cleaning up all the needles.
Cam & I made our way to Chico to do the only thing that he had on his agenda- Sierra Nevada Brewery. We had a delicious lunch and tasted some very yummy beers. I mean come on! We were in a convertible, in California, on vacation. How could it not be awesome.

Headed back up the Skyway I had to stop for this picture. Don't laugh, I used to have dreams about this sign. 

And really the most important thing we did was spend some time with my Grandma. She turned 87 on the 5th of June and she is something else. Perfect example- when she mentioned she though I was going to Alaska this summer I said that I'm going next year since it's my class reunion. Then I laughed and said a year gives me some time to lose 20 pounds and get some plastic surgery. She looked right at me and said, "Lissa, you don't need plastic surgery! But the 20 pounds..." she has earned the right to say whatever the hell she wants. 

I also learned what will go in my book as one of the best war bride stories EVER... 

We were going though pictures and I asked if she had a wedding picture. I've never seen one, so I was curious. She said "Oh no! We didn't have any pictures, we ran away to Reno and got married." Go Gram & Gramp! The story we got goes like this.... My Grandpa was on the USS Tennessee when it was bombed at Pearl Harbor. It was damaged and while he was waiting for a new ship assignment, he got to go home for leave. Oh right, he was engaged to a girl named Phyllis too! He went roller skating one evening with a friend who was meeting his girlfriend. The girlfriend brought a friend- bet you knew that would be my Gram! He walked her home and 4 DAYS LATER they were headed to Reno to tie the knot. Hell, I don't know what happened to Phyllis, and neither does Gram. "Well we were engaged for a good 24 hours before when went! Besides people did that during the war all the time." 

Can you imaging being married to someone that you knew for 4 days before they went to war for years? And they were together until he passed away. 

Which reminds me, the reason there is no tomb stone for him? He's still on her dresser. She won't let him go till she goes too.  ♥

They build their house themselves while living in a tent. She's a much better woman than I am!
I've loved this glass my whole life
The yard was our own private park. My parents got married in front of this tree.

My love of hydrangeas came from the beautiful ones my grandparents grew. They used to the the hedges all around the front. Now she has them only in the back. 

Coco is the doxie she rescued. She is fiercely protective of her, as all doxies are! 
I also got to spend the evening with a very dear friend. Lynette is really the only one left in Paradise that I still communicate with. Facebook has made that soooo much easier, but we've always done cards and letters. I met her when I was 5, just a few weeks before we went to Kindergarten. She is my oldest friend in the best way possible. 

I can't wait to go back and take Adam. You don't realize how much of your heart is still in a place until you go back. 

Just a thought to leave you with today...
This is why I started blogging....



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Birthday 'Merica

 Our 4th this year was spent with Kelly & Emerson in Fayetteville. 
Em was all ready for a party!
This is Noah. He is such a cutie!

When it was time for fireworks the kids swarmed. Lance did such a good job giving all of them a turn with sparklers plus making sure they did it safely.

Em's 1st sparkler
Grown men are the biggest kids and those boys had a GREAT time.

It wouldn't be a trip for Adam if he didn't have something to do on the house. This time he pulled a holly bush out of the front yard and cleaned the gutters. He earned a doozie of a blister on his hand too. 

Off to have some fun! This brewery was meant for me, wouldn't you say??!

The tap room

We had the patio area pretty much to ourselves

Annie even got treats!

We stopped in Kansas City on the way home and visited with Danee, EJ & Myla. It was EJ's birthday so we went out to lunch. A short but fun visit. 
Pete loves her glasses
Hope you had a great holiday weekend! Now to get back to work.