Friday, June 13, 2014

happy father's day

I may be just like my mother, but let's not forget dad. He deserves some blog love too. [Are you reading this, Dad? Probably not, but that's ok. I still love you.]

Dad is top cheerleader, chief chauffeur, proud embarrasser, prolific hugger, patient shopper and shopping bag holder, top suitcase handler, resident softy, generous giver, buyer of the good snacks, teacher of sunflower seed spitting, fixer of some things, breaker of more things. He used to embarrass us with his goofy antics (sometimes still does), but now he mostly embarrasses us by telling anyone who will listen how proud he is of "his girls." I mean, c'mon, who wouldn't want a dad like that?

He probably wanted a son who would hit baseballs and learn how to tackle. Instead he got two girls who wore pink, liked barbies and had him wrapped around their fingers from day one. I certainly wouldn't have it any other way, and I bet he wouldn't either.

And just for some added sweetness, here is a clip of the teddy bear himself. Remember that home video project we did for Mom's birthday? This might be one of my favorite clips. It's my 3rd birthday and Dad feels terrible that he has missed some of the celebration due to a little mishap at work. The tenderness melts my heart (and I love how he starts explaining how a tow truck works to a 3 yr old...typical Dad).

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Friday, June 6, 2014

virginia is for lovers, and i'm smitten

I waxed poetic about the Midwest a few months ago so I think it's only fair that I give my current home some love too. It was one year ago this week that we went under contract for our first home. I've now lived in two states, one district, and a commonwealth. What's next...a territory?  

Northern Virginia is really more "outer DC" and I know the rest of Virginia probably doesn't look too kindly on us. We take up little of the land, but we have more of the people and therefore influence a greater share of things than the rest of the state would like. I get that. We're a bit annoying and a lot bossy in that way. But I hope the rest of Virginia won't hold it against me because I certainly appreciate that much of what makes Virginia a wonderful place to live is the 98% of the state not called Northern Virginia.

Virginia is a little bit South and a little bit East Coast, but resides in this no man's land known as the mid-Atlantic. We're famous for peanuts and Presidents. There are worse things to be famous for.

Virginia is full of places that are old, quaint and historic - all things that are right up my alley. I'm also not above admitting that I've geeked out at more than one Civil War battlefield in Virginia.

I love exploring my new state, and I'm settling into the idea of calling it home. This is no small feat. I lived in Arkansas for 5 years, but I don't remember ever entertaining the idea of it being home. I'm a nester with a bent toward the domestic so "home" is my highest form of praise.

I'm warming up to Virginia because I feel comfortable here. I live close to the city where I can enjoy baseball games, great restaurants, culture and shopping but then I get to drive a few minutes away to my home on a quiet street with parks and trees and the kind of neighbors who watch out for you.

Virginia likes to surprise me. Every time we take a road trip through this state, I'm completely blown away by how beautiful it is. I could probably spend a month hopping from small town to small town, from B&B to B&B and never get tired of it. And yes, I know I travel like an octogenarian.

I've been to a lot of states (49!) so I know a thing or two about American countryside, and I can honestly say that Virginia is near the top of the list. I was reminded of that over Memorial Day weekend when we spent some time exploring around Charlottesville. This was taken at Montpelier - James Madison's home. These early President's certainly had a knack for owning beautiful properties. It's tough to beat this view of the blue sky and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

So here's to you, Virginia. I think we're going to get along nicely.