Friday, April 30, 2010

Life is partly what we make it, and partly what
is made by the friends whom we choose.

Tehyi Hsieh

I'm so thrilled because this weekend my dear Ashley and her husband, CJ, are coming to visit us here in St. Louis. This will be Ashley's fourth trip but it is CJ's first. We have lots of fun things planned including seeing Avenue Q at The Fox Theater, a trip to the Soulard Farmers Market, a tour of Anheuser-Busch and the cherry on top is the Cardinals game on Sunday.

They're excited for St. Louis (see, I told you they were fun)!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and
over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

Over the past few weeks I've definitely had those "I hate my hair" moments. But really, we all know that no one likes their hair. It's a fact, girls with curly hair want straight hair and girls with short hair want long hair. No one is ever happy!

I understand that but was really looking for something different to do with my hair. Good Lord, just any thing different! It really was a true issue of the Einstein saying above, henexpecting something different when still doing to the same thing over and over.

So I was due for my 2 month highlight and cut and told her, "Seriously, I hate it. Do what you think would be best." My darling hair stylist got a big smile and said, "Really? Fabulous!"

I went from this:

To this:

I love it! I can still do it curly but it also keeps shape straight. Now that I have a bit of a "swoop" I may go even shorter in the bangs area next time. Shows you to certainly trust the experts!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if
green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

Doug Larson

Seriously, one of my very favorite things about St. Louis (except for the Cardinals, of course) is the Soulard Farmers Market.

One could say that, perhaps, my love of the Soulard Farmers Market equals that of Publix.

The market is located in the area of Soulard which is just south of downtown and also home to Anheuser-Busch. The neighborhood was established in the late 1700s by a Frenchman Antoine Soulard who as fleeing the French Revolution.

The Soulard Farmers Market was founded in 1838 and is full of vendors offering produce, farm raised meat, plants, homemade soups, food vendors and even counterfeit sunglasses (adds to the charm!). The best part is that it is so cheap.

One of the produce stands

Freshly made croissant with warm ham and cheese from the Soulard Bakery stand

Monday, April 26, 2010

Preppy: a student of a prep school. [from mid 20th c.]; relating to things (such as clothing) that are typical of students at prep schools.

While in Sarasota I love looking through the bookshelves and closets to scavenge some of my mom's old goodies. It's like HomeGoods for free - a great vase, napkins or old books. I never know what fun thing I may find!

With a small suitcase, I didn't take home much but I couldn't pass up finally grabbing her copy of The Official Preppy Handbook. So worn, I had to tape the binding together, but I just love this book. Too funny!

I'll be sure to buy the scheduled sequel!

Such a classic.

Falling apart!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • reminders through my work in Junior League how very, very fortunate I am.
  • free (really good) Cardinals tickets.
  • waffles with bacon IN them. Oh yes, it is true. And delicious thanks to Casey!
  • maybe, maybe, maybe getting a dog.
  • Ashley and CJ will be here next weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I love people who can make me laugh.
I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh.
It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.

Audrey Hepburn

Today I'm participating in Kelly's Korner with "Show Us Your Life." This week's topic is our love story.

We had a romantic start.

We met at a bar.


But really, my dear friend Ashley picked him up at said bar for me. She was in a serious relationship, to the man to whom she is now married, and helped her single friend out. With a big group of nice looking guys standing around, she promptly went around and introduced herself to each one.

"Nice to meet you. Where are you from? Where do you work?"

Soon, I heard her call, "Oh, Randall..." and motion me over.

"Randall, this is Nick," she introduced.

"Nick, this is Randall."

Ashley paused, "Excuse me, I have to use the ladies room."

As she walked away, Nick turned to me and said, "So, is she seeing anyone?"

I replied, "Yes, seriously actually."

Nick said, "Oh, are you?"

"Nope," I said.

"Alrighty," he replied.

So an Iowa corn-fed boy fell in love with a Florida girl.

Let's just say, she did well.

Three years later Nick got down on one knee in front of friends young and old at my 25th birthday party to ask me to be his wife.

We were married on November 8, 2008.

Can't wait to laugh with this man for the rest of my life.
A Sunday well-spent brings a week of content.

We had one of those rare weekends a while back where Nick was actually out of work on a Sunday before 1 p.m. We took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and all the free amenities St. Louis has to offer.

After sitting in traffic in Forest Park for what seemed like forever, we finally got a parking spot and headed on foot to the Saint Louis Zoo and up Art Hill to the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Beautiful trees in bloom near the zoo.

Funny Guy Fieri hair attached to a zoo visor.

One of my favorite exhibits at the zoo, the penguins!

On top of Art Hill.

In front of the museum (we appreciated the shade!)

I love her (in the Impressionist gallery)!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Every child begins the world again...
Henry David Thoreau

This past weekend I took a trip to my hometown, Sarasota, for a little Florida getaway. It was a great chance to spend time with my mom and also host a baby shower for my dear friend Casey.

She is due June 3, what a wonderful reason to have a party!

Main table with gifts and the betting game.

Yummy spread!

Daisies everywhere (plus a picture of us at my wedding).

Old friends (yes, we're getting "old" but I mean friends we've known for a long time!).

Beautiful rocking chair - a gift from her mother and mother-in-law.

He'll be all decked out in his parent's alma mater!

With my mom and fellow hostess.

The clothespin game winner, Melissa, and the mom to be.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.
Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Heading out early tomorrow morning for a mini-vacation in Sarasota to visit my mom and host a baby shower for Casey. Looking forward to a long weekend getaway and spending time with some of my very favorite people!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dutch tulips from their beds, flaunted their stately heads.
James Montgomery

Last fall, the building manager at my office came in with a plastic grocery bag filled to the brim with Tulip bulbs. It was such a surprise but he knew I loved to garden (I always compliment him on the great gardens around the building) and that he had extras.

I happily planted all of the bulbs (about 75) in my flower beds at home. I'd never planted bulbs before so I was hoping they would come up alright in the spring.

As soon as the weather began to warm, the tiny sprouts poked through the dirt. Success!

Over the last weeks they have grown and now bloomed into beautiful multicolored Tulips. Orange, hot pink, yellow and red. So pretty!

Beginning to grow

First blooms

Finally growing tall and blooming

Spring sunset with Tulips and the blooming Dogwood.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • tulips in full bloom in my front yard.
  • one week until a mini-Florida trip for Casey's baby shower.
  • Trader Joe's chicken salad on Wheat Thins.
  • finally finding a pair of comfortable work flats.
  • fresh cut Daffodils in a vase on my desk at work.

Friday, April 9, 2010

You give me a gift? Bam! Thank You note. You invite me somewhere? Pow! RSVP. You do me a favor? Wham! Favor returned. Do not test my politeness.
Andy Bernard,The Office

Did you know that April is National Letter Writing and Card Month?

I love to receive snail mail. How can you beat a thick card envelope with a handwritten address? Not only has it become a special treat to receive with all of the email, Facebook, Twitter and blogging communication but notes are fun to send too!

I love sending celebration cards for birthdays, anniversaries, new babies or engagements and thank you notes for just about anything. You cannot deny the smile that creeps across your face when you receive a heartfelt note of joy or thanks. I doubt you'll ever hear someone say, "Gosh, I wish they really hadn't sent me that birthday card."

So I hope sometime this month you pick up an extra "thinking of you" card or write a note of thanks for a kind gesture.

(and what a great excuse to buy cute stationary!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.
Eda J. Le Shan

My colleague, Anne, had her second daughter last week. It was such a joy to go and visit her and Hannah in the hospital because this really was a little baby I spent nine months with! We joked that she knew the sounds of all of my coworker's voices because she has heard them so often.

Anne had the same due date as my friend Angie so she was very ready for her little girl to arrive.

With a pile of pink tulips we went for a visit. What a darling little girl, so alert and checking out what was going on around her. Not that I know anything about babies but her little face looks just like Anne's other daughter. So neat to see number two!

Lots of love to her and her new little family of four!

Anne, baby Hannah plus me and two coworkers for a visit

She got a very annoyed look on her face when I took a picture - oh well, still a cutie.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
Ben Williams

My friend's Sarah's mother is breeding Standard Poodles and has her first litter. The momma, Fanny, is a beautiful tan and black (you can see her at the end of the video below). Her puppies, born on March 12, are a mix of chocolate, black, white and tan.

I had the chance to go see them and they are so darling! Just a fuzzy, wiggling pile of puppy love! Because they were born so close to St. Patrick's Day they all have Irish names for now. I certainly can't tell them apart so coordinating ribbons show who is who.

If you just can't resist the poodles below, check out the website all about them!

Pile 'o puppies

Sarah with the only tri-color of the litter

Randall needs a DOG!

Some puppy love.

Monday, April 5, 2010

'Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We had a lovely Easter here in St. Louis. I knew I just wouldn't make a big dinner for the just the two of us so Luke, Nick's college roommate, and his wife Mel came over to join us. We had a big dinner, great conversation and even a little home improvement.

Nick's Easter basket: candy, beef jerky and a matching button down shirt for his new sport coat.

Warm Brie with honey and almonds for appetizers.

Entry table with some decorations and my Easter gift, beautiful flowers.

Easter table.

Serious men. Ready to eat some ham.

Daffodils from Mel's garden.

Spiral sliced ham and green beans with orange zest and almonds.

After dinner we enlisted Luke's help for a few hanging projects.

Men with power tools.


Two grown men have a hard time balancing on a chair, measuring the ceiling.

Mel helping Nick out.

Great work (the lantern won't actually hang that high!).

A little driveway sitting on a beautiful Ester evening. We decided to start a tradition of wearing festive Spring shirts for Easter.
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