My family

My family

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Snoozing in the sun

Remember this post and this post about the deck and landscaping out back?  The landscapers were putting the final touches on everything well after the first snow of our last Winter.  Guess what?!  It's finally warm enough to enjoy it!!

Sunshine + blue skies = Heaven

Jim and I spent last Sunday afternoon hunting down deck furniture.  After looking at several stores, we found the perfect set!  Everything was delivered on Monday.  Check it out....

Awesome, right?!  We are still debating on how to arrange everything but so far so good.  My favorite part of the dining table is that the center rotates like a lazy susan.  Love that sucker!

Everyone has already claimed their spot.  Delanie loves to stretch out on the couch, the club chair is mine (because I looooove the way I can curl up in it) and the recliner is all Jim's. 

Friday night came and the weather could not have been more beautiful.  I came home from work to this sight.....

Which quickly turned into this....

How cute is it that Sugar is curled up to Delanie's head?  She is so used to Delanie carrying her around that it didn't take long for her to fall asleep. 

Jim quickly joined the party....

Not five minutes after that shot, I looked up to find this.....
It didn't take him long to relocate to the recliner.....and start snoring......

It kinda drives Jim crazy how many pictures I take of him asleep.  Hahaha!!  Let's get a close up of that little siesta.....

The group was finally complete when the hound decided to join us.  Yes, that's her bed in the background. 

The wonderful weather lasted only through the night.  It's chilly again but hopefully we won't have to wait too long to get back out there.

Speaking of waiting..... the firepit got a little sprucing up too. 

Since that picture was taken, we have added two more adirondack chairs.  We are busy planning Delanie's sweet 16 birthday party so we can finally break it in! :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Flashback Friday

Happy Friday!! :)
I got so lucky the day God chose me to be a momma to the two most precious kids on the planet. 
There are so many things I absolutely LOVE about these pictures of Garrett and Delanie.....
The way Delanie is lovingly holding Garrett's arm against her. 
Garrett's brand new haircut that he insisted was short enough to wear under a baseball helmet. 

Those adorable white ruffled socks.  I bet we had 40 pairs of those suckers.  She HATED socks with seams near her toes.....WHAT?!  We must have tried a thousand different types of socks until we finally came across these.  I bought every single pair in the store and ordered them in bulk online. 

The picture below happened naturally.  The kids were used to wrestling with their dad every night (they called it playing "knock you down").  When the photographer had Garrett lay on his stomach,  Delanie plopped right down on top of him.  He was mid-laugh during this picture because she reached underneath him and started tickling.  :)

Those crinkled-up eyes because the sun was shining in their faces. 

Grand Prairie, TX - Summer 2004

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Trolleys, boobs and barbed wire

On Saturday in New Orleans, we only had one mission.......hit the French Market! 

The market was about eight blocks from our hotel and that was just long enough for us to get into trouble.  We decided to catch the trolley to the market.  Let me tell you this, honey......those trolley lines could not have been more confusing.  Charlene and I are pretty smart and it took us FOREVER to figure out which one took us from Canal Street to the French Market. 

Since we were waiting on the next trolley to arrive, I asked Charlene to pose for a few pictures.  I got this one......

and then this one......
before that trolley came damn close to hitting her!!  OK, I will admit that I'm laughing as I type this (you should have seen how fast she jumped out of the way!) but it was NOT FUNNY at the time.  Needless to say, Bea wouldn't pose for anymore picture on the trolley tracks. 
So I had to make due with taking pictures INSIDE the trolley.....
Bless her heart.....she had no idea that trolley was just a frog's hair away from her bootie! :)
She didn't trust the trolley for the ride home (I'm still laughing!) so we decided to walk.  So, of course, we ended up at Mr. Ed's - yes, again!  This time, I was all about the shrimp creole. 

Maybe it was the near-death experience of the trolley.....who knows.......but we got pretty slap-happy at dinner.  Truth be told, I was taking a picture of Charlene's new fleur-de-lis necklace and she decided to remind me that she got a much bigger "blessing" than I did in the boob department. 

Life is not fair.  Trust me.....the struggle is real. 
It's hard to believe this is the same Mississippi River that starts in Minnesota. 

We took the long way back to the hotel and I was busy snapping pictures the entire way.  The one below is the oldest bar in New Orleans (it still runs without electricity).  It's named after the famous pirate Jean Lafitte and it's supposed to be haunted. 

 Speaking of hauntings......evidently that's a selling point in New Orleans.  Who knew?!

They might not be able to keep the ghosts out but the Cajun equivalent to barbed wire (below) will work just fine for the human variety. 

These posts are everywhere in the French Quarter.  They were originally installed to hold horse's reins.  Cool, right?  They have all been restored and the aged metal is gorgeous!

While walking down Royal Street, we came across this window that looked straight into one of the Brennan's restaurant kitchens.  It was so cool watching them do their thing!
This was taken outside the police station in New Orleans.  Vieux Carre is French for "old square".  It's what the first French settlers called the French Quarter. 

One more quick pass through Jackson Square and this is what we came across.....

After making a quick pit stop at the fais deaux deaux, we finally got back to the hotel about 10pm.  Once we were settled into our jammies, we turned on the tunes and started scrapbooking. 

That right there, my friends, is my idea of Heaven!! :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Beignets, pralines and a jackass

When the sun rose on Friday in New Orleans, Bea and I were just settling into adventure mode.  After sleeping in, we woke up hungry for some gumbo.  We headed straight for Mr. Ed's because......duh......they have the best gumbo and roast beef po boys of all time.  To tell you the truth, we ate there Friday AND Saturday.  When we strolled up, the doorman smiled at us and said, "welcome back ladies!"  Don't mind if we do......:)

That gumbo though......I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.....then go back for a midnight snack.  Hell, I would be happy if I could bathe in the stuff.  Too much? 

The sun was shining, the tourists were out in force and we had a ball walking from shop to shop for goodies to take home.  What is an adventure without shopping??  After a few hours of hitting the boutiques, we caught a ride on a horse-drawn carriage for another mini-tour of the French Quarter. 

That cute donkey's name was Marie and she was so sweet!  When I reached out to pet her, the carriage driver shouted "are you trying to touch my ass??"  Get it.....donkey = jackass.  Kinda embarrassing but pretty dang funny. 

That's my sweet baby sister chilling with a stuffed gator......isn't she cute??

After our carriage ride, it was time for lunch (or at least a snack) so we thought......beignets.  Check out the line outside Cafe du Monde.  Holy buckets!!! 

So......we headed back to Cafe Beignet.  Our mission was to eat beignets every single day.  Did you hear me???  EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY. 

After we loaded up on carbs, it was back to seeing the sights. 

There is absolutely nothing more beautiful than the buildings in New Orleans (except for my sweetie's face.....different story, different day). 

Besides making a solid commitment to a daily dose of beignets, remember our mission to hit every praline (pronounced:  praw'-leen) shop in the French Quarter.  The photos below were taken at my favorite one......Sugar & Spice.  I love love love the painted murals on all the walls. 

And the final praline shop.......

Beignets:  CHECK! 
Pralines:  CHECK! 
Now it was time to hit the fais deaux deaux ......

Then back to the hotel.