Monday, June 29, 2009

Ten Years Gone

It seems that for some reason I am never able to get the "big" blog posts out in a timely fashion. I still haven't finished Little Port's birthday post, the last of the series from our vacation last AUGUST and a few others along the way that have been started and abandoned. I am thinking that this week I should concentrate on finishing those once and for all. It sucks the life out of me to see the list of drafts get longer and longer - so it is time to do something about it. We'll see how far I get. ;-)Anywho - I owe you all (and myself of course) the post about my 10th anniversary. It's the pictures that are holding me up on this; there are so many and I can't decide what to include. So I think I will just jump in and see what happens...

So it's been a while since I talked about our finances on here. It's not that I am trying to keep secrets or anything, it's just that you know, it's not the most fun subject. lol And nothing has really changed, other than just getting worse, so I try not to dwell on it too terribly much.

But one can't help but think about finances when a 10th anniversary rolls around. Most of the time we are forcefully content with having to do holidays, birthdays and anniversaries low key - not because it's our personality but because circumstances prevent us from doing anything else. But of course, 10 years is a big deal in terms of a marriage, and because I knew we really couldn't afford to do anything, I was trying for months to not think about it.

But, it's pretty much impossible when facing such a momentous occasion. Hubby and I discussed the options we had, which were basically sucking it up and dipping into one of our emergency funds to afford the gas to go somewhere and camp, because any other option was pretty much out of the question. We desperately wanted some time away from the kids, since that luxury comes so infrequent, it was vital that whatever we decided to do involved driving near the inlaws house so they could watch the kids for us for a day or so.

We had originally settled on camping on the beach in Galveston - something I was very much interested in doing, though knowing in the back of my mind it probably wasn't the most "romantic" option out there. I mean the sand, the heat, the mosquitoes - woo wee!

But faced with very few alternatives, I agreed to it and so that was our plan. My task was to figure out how to pay for it. When my inlaws heard that we were planning to camp, they ever so graciously offered to buy us a night in a hotel instead. They booked us a room at the amazingly beautiful Tremont House Hotel, just off the strand in Galveston.So on Thursday night we drove to Houston and stayed with them, then left the kiddos there and headed to Galveston Friday morning. When we got to Galveston we were famished, so we stopped at the Chili's for lunch.

[Now I am also going to tell you all how we managed to pay for this trip. I have to say one of my better qualities is squirreling things away. hee hee. If I receive a gift of cash or a gift card for my birthday or Christmas or the like, it is very rare that I actually use it right away and instead I hoard it for quite some time. I always hold onto things for just the right moment. So, this year at Christmas, Hubby and I received a couple of gift cards for Chili's from various family members. I had tossed the gift cards into my wallet just before we left and was able buy us lunch on a gift card. We split an appetizer and each had an iced tea (a splurge - I hate ordering iced tea at a restaurant because I know exactly how much it costs them to make it and it irks me that they can charge over $2 for something that costs them less than a penny...but I digress). Lunch=free!]

We sat at a little booth on the far end of the restaurant right next to a side entrance/exit. After a filling lunch we realized we were a bit weary from the travel so we decided to go ahead and check into the hotel.

The Tremont House hotel is amazing! It had probably one of the most beautiful rooms I've ever seen. The room, as with the rest of the hotel, was decorated mainly in black and white; with beautiful white bed linens (the most amazing bed!!! I wanted to take it home) white walls with black stripes, a black rug with white accents on the floor and a very cool black, white and silver bathroom.
I fell in love with the knee to ceiling windows (14 feet!) and those white sheers! I had visions of bridal and boudoir sessions galore! (always the photographer!)We rested in the room for a while and then decided to explore the hotel a little. We found out that it had just reopened that week from last year's Hurricane Ike. The entire 1st floor of the hotel was lost in the flooding. It looks fantastic now!!I got a few shots of the hotel and Hubby taking pics of the hotel and then got bored. lol! We decided to drive around a bit in town and then head over to the Bolivar Peninsula to check things out. In case you didn't know, Bolivar was pretty much wiped out when Ike hit, leaving little to nothing left behind. The devastation was unbelievable, and a mere 9 months later we really wanted to see if any progress had been made. Galveston itself is still heavily under construction, and just driving up and down the streets was interesting.

We knew there would be a line to get on the ferry, but we figured since it was Friday the wait shouldn't be too long.Sadly though, after waiting in line for at least 30 minutes with no end in sight, we started calculating how long it would take us to get over to the peninsula, through it and back to the main land. If we'd stayed on our course we'd be having our anniversary dinner well after 9pm. So we hopped the curb and u-turned out of the line and went back to the gulf shore. We chose instead to drive the seawall and look at some of the remaining damage along there.
Then we traveled down to a marina that had a boat "graveyard" of sorts. I couldn't believe how much debris there was, even after 9 months of steady clean up. As we walked around taking it all in, I watched several men unload a boat full of wreckage. They were transferring large waterlogged items from the boat (I presume they were cleaning up the marina stalls) onto a bulldozer. The bulldozer would then drive over to a dumpster and deposit the items. I audibly gasped when I noticed the bulldozer loaded down with, among other things, a baby stroller. I found this baby quilt in a pile of rubble next to where we had parked. It was once beautiful...

[which one do you like better?]
This was a boat that was in one of the fenced off areas. We assumed the boats here were either unclaimed or unsalvageable. The name of the boat struck me.
Of course, Hubby got much better pictures of the boats than I did. After exploring there a while, we headed back to the hotel to change and go to dinner. It was so nice to be able to go out without having to worry about high chairs and long waits; we could go where we wanted and wait as long as needed without worry that someone was going to have a melt down. (though I do get whiny if I haven't eaten in a while *wink*)

Anyway, we decided to try out a place called Fish Tails. It is a cute place right on the seawall just across from the old Flagship Hotel (RIP). We got a patio table and enjoyed the breezes coming off the gulf. Surprisingly, the fishy, stale gulf breezes I remember from my youth were no where to be found and instead, everything was nice and clean smelling.

We ordered probably the best thing on the menu as an appetizer, the Shrimp Kisses.Oh yeah. Shrimp stuffed with pepper jack cheese, wrapped in bacon and deep fried. Oh baby!

We split a platter and enjoyed the view. My view...And his...
Waaaaay back in February, Hubby's parents had sent us a beautiful card for Valentines. They had enclosed a check so that Hubby and I could go out to dinner. Unfortunately, we didn't have a baby sitter so we opted to cook at home and enjoyed a nice meal with the boys. I had been carrying that money in my wallet along with a little of my Christmas loot so - Dinner = FREE. lol! Love that!

I will stop here and start a new post for the second half of our little getaway as this one is getting way too long.

D :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

What's Up

Happy Friday Fry Moments Readers and Beloved Company Girls!!

Ah the Fry Casa is almost back to normal after a looooooong 4 days of Hubby being gone. The boys really had a hard time dealing with his absence (Momma did too!) and we are so happy that he actually came home earlier than expected late last night. Kiddo was not happy that his Daddy was going on a trip without him, and little Port was very confused when Dadaaaaahh didn't come home each night. He roamed the house for hours at a time calling for him.

I tried to do some fun stuff to keep the boys occupied. On Wednesday I took them both to their first theater movie. We met some friends to see UP. The boys did great - though I was kind of disappointed that Kiddo wasn't more impressed with the movie theater. I remember being overwhelmed the first time I stepped foot in one. He was more excited (and then of course upset) about the little water spray area in front of the theater. I wouldn't let him play in it and he got mad. *sigh*

On Tuesday I put some elbow grease into our little kiddy pool and got it all cleaned up so the boys could swim. It was a lot of fun letting the kids play while I sat in the shade. Port was super cute as usual.

"What Mommy? You want me to look at Big Brother?"
"What's Silly Big Brother doing??"
"He is so funny!!"
{biggest laugh face ever!}
"Hmm, this plate looks cool."
{llaahlollah nom, nom}"What?!?"
More laughter from my cutie pie...
The cause of the laughter...

On Thursday Grammy and Happy surprised us with a quick visit. Thank goodness they did because this momma was about to lose her mind! I mean, uh, I really needed a break. ;-)

And thankfully today I didn't need to plan anything because Daddy was home! YAY!

How was your week? Did you go over to Company Girl and vote for your 3 favorite photos??
Have a great weekend!

D :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brilliant Disguise

I know, I know - where is the anniversary post?!? It's coming, I assure you. I just have a lot on my plate right now and I am having trouble getting the images ready.

I can't have an anniversary post without pictures, can I?

So anyway, in other news, I think we may have a new card manufacturer developing in the Fry household.

Last Wednesday, Kiddo, out of the blue, ran up to me begging for paper because he needed to make Father's Day cards for his dad and his grandfathers. Thank goodness he did, because in my little sleep deprived foggy brain I hadn't even realized it was the Wednesday before Father's Day. I happily handed over a few pieces of brightly colored heavy stock and let him go to work. He made a card for his daddy, and then moved on to the cards for the granddads.

Whenever he makes a card for somebody, he usually will draw himself, his favorite toy of the moment and the person he is sending the card to. Usually that person will be doing or saying something familiar - something he remembers as specific to them. He and his Happy (Hubby's dad) always talk about muscles, so Happy's card had him showing off his muscles. When he was creating my dad's card, he told me he was going to make his Big Daddy into a big bear (a little game they played the last time my parents came for a visit). I left him to his art and was doing my own thing when suddenly his laughter erupted from the kitchen floor where he sat.

{giggle giggle!}
"Mommy look at this! I drew Big Daddy!"
Me: "You did? Great let me see."
{giggle giggle}
"Here it is! Mommy, I drew Big Daddy! And he's....he's...."

"tee teeing on the POTTY!" {giggle giggle}(pardon the graphic image. it was just too funny to not capture!)

Uh yeah, so we had to do a version 2 for Big Daddy's card. The second one was much better.

Anyway, he also wanted to make a card for Eric, my friend Kim's husband. Because, "he's a daddy too Mommy." lol

A couple of days later I took the boys to the sprinkler park. While we were there Kiddo latched on to a dad that was nice enough to humor him and play a little pretend football. Through the course of their playing together with the man's son, Kiddo found out that his name was Matthew. When we got home from the park, Kiddo insisted that he make a Father's Day card for Mr. Matthew too. He didn't understand why I couldn't mail it to him, so I finally had to tell him I would mail it. (just like I mailed the letter to Santa I suppose. *wink*)

Anyway, I did manage to get a couple of shots of my boys on Father's Day. I just love Port's little wicked grin in this one!
And yes, Kiddo pretty much wears a costume of some sort just about every day. His favorite word right now is "incognito". "Mommy, I am incognitooooo. Nobody knows who I am because it is a misguise." ;-)

D :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Hope You Dance

Happy Friday Company Girls and Wonderful Readers!

I hope you all had a wonderful week, and are gearing up for Father's Day this Sunday! No doubt my Hubby will be spending his special day working hard at finally putting down our wood floor in the hallway! hee hee!

In my post from yesterday I promised the story of our anniversary today, but alas I did not have the chance to get all the photos edited for that post. I will have to put it up sometime this weekend. So sorry.

I thought I would tell you this story instead...

In preparation for my upcoming anniversary last week I went shopping on a gift card and bought myself a little beachy sun dress. Nothing fancy, but for someone like me who is rarely seen in anything other than jeans, it was quite the unusual thing. I didn't try it on in the store, instead bought what I hoped would be the right size and tried it on when I got home. While I was trying it on, Kiddo walked into my bathroom and after looking at me, his face erupted in a huge grin.

"You look beautiful Mommy!" he said.
I replied with a thank you, trying to enjoy the compliment, though my reflection didn't look that great to me.
"Now you need someone to dance with." he said as he outstretched his little arms awkwardly.


We attempted a strange hand holding sway in the small space of my bathroom, and when that just didn't do I scooped up his lanky body and embraced him in a proper dance pose (well as proper as you can get holding a small child). With one arm around his narrow back, I held his left hand in my right and stretched out our arms. We danced for several minutes, swaying and turning and giggling; me stealing sweet kisses on his little face and neck.

It was one of those moments you want to stay in forever. Just me and my little boy; his sweet scent and delicious laughter; Tiny fingers pressed into mine and so much love in that moment I thought my heart would burst. Spontaneous. Delightful. Joyful.

I cherish those moments.

I hope you all have a wonderful, "moments" filled weekend. Don't forget to go by the Company Girl site next week and vote for your favorite photo! Voting starts on Monday!

D :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If I Can Dream

So today just feels like a music kind of day. I haven't shared any with you all in a while.

Of course, there is always room for the King...

And of course, there is always room to praise the One True King

Nicole Nordeman, Legacy

I first heard Legacy on a friend's blog - actually the same good friend that introduced me to her in the first place. This song, I have to say, is MY song at the moment. Even the video - it was like they just grabbed it right out of my head. Seriously. I can't listen to this without bawling like a baby. The first time I heard it, I ordered the CD immediately. (thank goodness for Amazon credit rewards!! It was FREE! woo hoo!)

Anyway I hope you enjoy it.

I am sporting the beginning of a headache today - the allergies are back (after a much welcomed hiatus while we were in Houston). I think my troubles may have something to do with the garden. If I don't shower at night after working in it, I wake in the middle of the night clawing at my head.

An update on the garden; the zucchini production has started to slow some. It is most likely due to the infestation, but it is welcome because I was seriously getting swamped with zucchini. So I am ok with it for now. Cucumbers are next; we have a few ready to pick. The green beans have somewhat slowed too - I think due to the heat. One of the green bean stalks (vines? plants?) has died, so I am trying to determine if it is wise to untangle it from the rest and get it out of there or just leave it be. I did remove some browning beans from it and have them sprouting in a dish in my kitchen, they will be the next generation of my bean plants and will be planted in the second garden this week some time. My tomato plants are absolutely huge - but still I only have 2 tomatoes growing. I found another hornworm on one of the plants and brought it to my friend Kim last week for her kids to observe. It sat with us and kept us company while we recorded our podcast last Sunday!

The black bean and lima bean plants are still small but growing well. I think this weekend I may try to make a trellis of sorts out of some scrap wood for them to climb. I used tomato cages this go round, and while they worked ok, there is a lot of entanglement along the top. They really need something taller and more spread out to climb on. My red and green bells are still very small, but doing ok, and I have one loan jalapeno pepper plant struggling to survive this heat. We pulled an infested corn stalk the other day - it produced one ear but it was half eaten already. I may just pull the rest of them and redirect the zucchini that have decided to grow outside the perimeter of the garden. My sweet little brussel sprout plants are still going strong, despite having the holiest of leaves. I hope they are able to produce some nice sprouts come the fall.

Right now I am in search of organic garlic bulbs to plant. They should go in the ground around September I think to be ready in the spring. My fall garden will include more zucchini, maybe another type of squash, pumpkin per Kiddo's request and things like peas, carrots, broccoli, potatoes and onions. I am also hoping to try for some fall greens again, replanting spinach and maybe a lettuce variety or two.

Here are a couple shots of the kids. Port has become quite the outdoor baby recently. He loves to go outside (mosquitoes be darned!) and he stares out the back door many times a day. He knows he has to have shoes on to go outside, so he will bring me any shoe he can find (his, mine, Kiddo's, Hubby's - it doesn't matter) and then whine to me until I give in. He loves the swing and just running around our back yard. He doesn't care about the heat or the bugs; he just loves to be out!
One day last week during Port's nap I had a brief photo session with Kiddo. Out of the 30+ shots I took, this is only one of 2 that he actually looked AT me. lol! Silly kid!
Tomorrow, the story of our anniversary! I bet you can't wait! ;-)

D :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend Excursion

We had a wonderful weekend this past weekend. Hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get away for a couple of days to commemorate the occasion. I will tell you all about it this week, but tonight I am sleepy and in need of a shower, so a few pictures is all you get.

We left Thursday and came back Sunday. On Thursday I checked the garden just before we left and harvested all the zucchini I could find that were even close to being ready. So I now have a little illustration for you. ahem...

This is the size of a typical, what-you-might-find-in-the-grocery-store zucchini. Around 7 to 8 inches in length. This is what I picked on Thursday - a little early, but it was still fairly mature.

Now the one on the right is what we normally get from our garden. Only a few inches longer than "grocery store normal", our typical garden zucchini is about 10-11 inches. Pretty nice, huh?
And now, don't be skeered - this is what happens when you leave the garden alone for 3 days...
Ok, so curled up, the thing was 14 inches long!! It probably weighs at least a couple pounds! Here is a little every day object comparison.
And here is my poor child trying to hold the silly thing!
LOL! Yeah, that one was a shock!

And now, for a couple of my favorite images from the weekend. My handsome Hubby on the night of our anniversary.
And me. We were dining at a restaurant called Fish Tails. It is right on the seawall. Very fun patio atmosphere.
Thanks so much for looking. I will have all the details later.

D :)

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