Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Hair....Again

Yesterday we picked Charlotte up from school.
I'm picturing the conversation going something like this:

C: I want a braid....that looks like a tail.
Teacher who does hair: Ok
C: And I want a ponytail....that looks like a fountain....and a hat.
Teacher who does hair: Done.

And that, my friends is how the fountain-hat-braided-ratail was born. Popular never. To be recreated, never.

P.S: C can't actually say most of the above, but it's the only explanation I have for the below.

P.S.S. We totally bribed her with M&Ms to sit still for these pictures.

Monday, August 20, 2012

We Came, We Saw, We Rode, We Danced

It's a whole truckload of nostalgia that I feel when we make this drive back to Iowa each year. For as long as I've lived away from home, no matter the miles, I've made this trip. In college it was normally alone, although I think the Mister (not Mister at the time) tagged along in later years.
And now I make the trip with a full car. Myself and the Mister in front, Charlotte in the back and Brinker in the far back. Along side Charlotte rides a plethora of stuff that we've deemed crucial to the trip and on Sunday we'll curse ourselves (and each other) as we pack it back into the car unused.
Because all we really need for this trip are comfortable shoes, a couple changes of clothes, sunscreen and cash.

August in Iowa means one thing: The Iowa State Fair.

The smell of fried foods, and the faint screams coming from the Midway accompany our walk through the fair. And as mom nudges me over and says "hit the street" for the 22nd time in 2 days I have to smile because I know we're making some awesome memories. The kind that no camera can capture. The smells, the sounds, the feeling of being part of this elite crowd that looks forward to the new food-on-a-stick, and understands the excitement behind the infamous butter cow.

It all sounds silly to an outsider. I realize that. I almost think that makes me appreciate it more. Not unlike a secret handshake or an inside joke - if you haven't been you don't get it. And I'm ok with that.

Charlotte though? Oh she gets it.

An entire weekend spent consuming every minute of Oma's attention and so many 'firsts' that I lost count. To name a few: first pony ride, first camel ride, first corndog, first "fair" lemonade, first tattoo of the temporary variety, and first giant slide.

Until next year....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Stuff

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. We're trying to suck every last minute out of summer.

This weekend:
Farmers market for crepes and fresh produce. A morning stroll through the zoo. Giraffes! Naps. Shopping. Parks. Sweet Mandy B's Cookies. Kitties. Colored pencils.
And movies in the park - or  the first few minutes of one - not everything works out as planned. In fact, very few things do. That's what makes life fun.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Boxed In

A peek into Charlotte's room while we were cooking dinner the other night. She's in training to become a magician's assistant.
Or the Who-Can-Fit-Into-The-Smallest-Box sport that is sure to be huge at the 2028 Olympics. Huge.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Almost 12 years ago I met Troy. He was supervising at the restaurant I had just started at as a server.
He had lived in Lawrence for a while, and had made a good network of friends, mostly comprised of other employees at the restaurant. In the preceeding months, we took the time to get to know one another, but always as a group. Out to get drinks, out to eat, breaks during work, study sessions, etc.

One day, Troy asked me if I would dog sit for him while he joined some friends of his on a ski trip to Colorado. I had met the dogs just a few times, but I happily agreed to watch them. At the time he had a 3 year old Rotteweiler named Aspen and an 11 month old yellow lab - Riley.

It was winter, and cold outside. I don't remember working or going to class those few days, but I'm sure I did. What I do remember is a phone call from Troy to check in. Asking how the dogs are and what they were doing. When I told Troy that Riley was curled up next to me on the couch he didn't believe me. Riley was a man's man dog. He didn't do sissy things like curl up on couches. For the next 3 days I watched movies, did homework, and stayed warm under blankets. Every second of which there was a near 100 pound dog curled up next to me with his head resting on my lap. He changed that weekend...he became our dog...not just Troy's.

Aspen died in 2005. It was unexpected. We simply woke up one morning to find that she was gone. It was hard. But it was her time. Riley had always been the little brother so his nickname became just "Little". And after Aspen was gone, and even after he became the big brother, he was still "Little"

Last Friday Riley's back legs stopped working. Just stopped. As if someone had flipped a switch. We took him to the vet that day and hoped against all odds that the meds they sent us home with would help him regain the use of his legs.

They didn't. By the following Monday his frong legs were fighting a losing battle.

And so on Tuesday night we camped out with Riley on the living room floor.

And on Wednesday we took him to the vet to say good-bye.

We'll miss you Little. You were a hairy, energetic, loud, loving, licking, cuddley, hungry, frisbee-catching, lake-swimming, tail-wagging, crazy, loyal, and amazing part of our family. You will be dearly missed. You already are.

We love you.

  • "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."