Sunday, August 17, 2014

8 Year Anniversary--- New Orleans

 This year for our wedding anniversary we decided to take a trip over to New Orleans. It is a 5 hour drive from us, so we decided while we were so close we had to check it out. It was an phenomenal weekend. We were able to focus entirely on the two of us. It was a blissful weekend, ambrosial to the senses!

 We decided during planning that we didn't want to not do something just because of the price. Our first anniversary we skipped out on a fun opportunity that we have regretted ever since (hot air balloon....but we were poor newly weds!) So this trip we were fortunate enough to do it all. Our hotel, the Omni, was lovely, historic, and romantic. We had a balcony that overlooked the quarter, and we were only a few blocks from Bourbon street. We checked into the hotel, changed our clothes and headed out to find dinner and explore the area.
 I found the house I would live in in the quarter. The paint colors were so me! Now my dream house in the Garden district was much grander--white with amazing detailing and 2 big porches, but we didn't get a picture. Fun to dream though. Jon and I decided we will buy one and fix it up when we become millionaires.
 St. Louis Cathedral. Such a pretty building. It was so fun to just meander around, hear music everywhere you go, and be in a place where the buildings hold real history. The homes/stores feel more comfortable and friendlier than in other more modern cities. Modern buildings usually lack the sense of beauty and love that the craftsman gave to these old buildings.

 After talking to a homeless man on the street corner, we picked a fancy place for dinner, Antoine's. Jon and I looked at the menus and started to realize this place was in fact more fancy that we are. But it was fun to dine in a classy place for a change. Antoine's gave Jon the best ribeye he had ever had (apparently), and my chicken was delicious as well. I might have been happier at Olive Garden, but I tried to pretend I was high class for one night!
 We then walked around town a bit longer. We took a short stroll down Burbon street, mostly to get this picture. It obviously is more of a party street than Jon and I are interested in, but we saw quite a few amusing people. For example, the wolf man, or the 2 women with no shirts--just painted bodies (poor Jon was shocked by that one, it was quite comical to see his face! He started to sputter incoherently and look lost. I giggle every time I remember it!)

Perhaps my favorite part was our time I like to think of as "Romance on the River". We strolled hand in hand down the river walk and lounged on benches, and kissed like a young dating couple again. With no where we had to be, and no one else around we were accountable to, we got to simply be together. It was a pure moment in time where I clearly remembered why I feel in love with this man those long years ago!
It seems the fates were aligned for our trip, without realizing it, Jon booked us a hotel on St. Louis Street. We got married in the St. Louis temple. It seemed too perfect to be 8 years later celebrating again in/on St. Louis!
 We then meandered back to the hotel where we continued to just enjoy each other, and ordered room service. Again the isolated time was magical, and of course sexy!

 For brunch the next morning we headed to the Court of Two Sisters. The court was perfect in every way! The canopy of twisted limbs and beautiful windows and aged brick were breathtaking. I wanted to just sit there all day eating the delicious food and soaking in the atmosphere.
 There was a chef to make you whatever foods you requested. Best omelette of my life!! I could get really used to the personal chef life.
 Behind me and behind Jon. Oh and don't forget the jazz band playing soothing music in the corner. Bliss I tell you.

 After brunch and checking out of our hotel we headed over to the Audubon Aquarium. We went snorkeling in a fish/ray tank there. Oh we also met a white alligator, which is fun considering my recent alligator obsession! At the snorkeling, they gave us go pro cameras to use during the dive. I was so pumped to try out the hip, cool camera! We suited up in our sexy wet suits, that we found in our individual lockers, and used our go pro for the rest of the pictures.

 Sadly I found out I am a go pro loser. I somehow changed the settings on my camera while swimming....and ended up taking 540 pictures. 530 of them looked like this:
 I don't know what I did-- but it feels like a bit of a waste of money (since we had to buy the memory card to keep the pictures we took.) At least I found a handful of semi visible ones.

 The tank was one with a tunnel for visitors to walk through. So we were quite the celebrities waving at other patrons. I wasn't too excited at the realization they were all seeing me in my sexy wet suit---I thought only the fishes were going to mistake me for a harbor seal! Oh well--I will never see them again.

 Jon taking a picture of me taking a picture of him. So high school. I love it!

 The dive master dove down to take a picture of is from below. Blurry but still a fun concept.
 And one last selfie of me at the end. I make snorkeling look good! We really loved our time at the aquarium. Fun memories for sure, and something that we didn't miss out on because it cost a pretty penny! No regrets in New Orleans.
Well except maybe our visit to the cemetery. Who knew cemeteries had visiting hours?! I never in a million years would have thought we had to check a schedule to walk around an old cemetery. But again the fates were with me. From the gate we could see this:
If you can't see, it is Dr Theo S Jensen 1872-1948, and L Harold Jensen 1870-1931. My Grandma Jensen's name is Theo (not a doctor, and not her, but still cool!) I want to find out somehow if I'm related to these guys! The old cemetery looked awesome from the gate!
In summary, New Orleans was great for us. Ideal way to celebrate 8 years of us. And I find it sad that in our 8 years together I haven't given us a celebrity couple Sanathan, or Joarah. Ok, maybe we don't have a good celebrity name. If you come up with a catchy one let me know for use in the future!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beaumont Fire Museum

 Meghan called and invited us to come explore the Beaumont Fire Museum, and it was great fun! The kids enjoyed the adventure, and we moms had fun getting out of the house! There was this cute fire hydrant that the kids all crawled in, but getting a picture with 3 crazy kids looking in one direction proved almost impossible.

 Playing dress up and climbing in the fake truck were also a big hit, with everyone but Abby. She just wanted to run free and say hi to the stuffed Dalmatian they had sitting in one antique truck. Kate had a blast pretending to put out fire and help people. They also had a little house she had a blast playing mom in. She is a professional--I should let her take over more often!
 I love having fun friends to play with here in Beaumont. Now if everyone would quit moving away on us that would be great!!! Oh and for your pleasure, Kate surprised me with this selfie.

Dreaming of Cooler Days

 I blame the author Marcia Lynn McClure, who I have been reading lately, but I have been dreaming of fall! How I want to wear pants, and a sweatshirt. See the leaves change color (not that any of that really happens around here!). So I walked in the grocery store and they had a pumpkin pie stand just in my path. I couldn't say no. So the girls had their first taste of pumpkin pie! They mostly loved licking the cool whip off it--but it was still fun to document.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Abby's 2nd birthday

 This year for Miss Abby's birthday I decided to do a Biscuit the dog theme. She LOVES his books, and most of the time thinks she is a dog instead of a human. When I started setting out the book Abby started shouting "Puppy!!!!" The entire party you could tell Abby felt like the Queen. She was excited about all the attention. For her cupcakes, I used these sprinkled that she picked out from the store. I thought they turned out very cute, especially since they required almost no effort on my part!

 The food was dog themed, with dog bone bread sticks, and puppy chow. The entire day, anytime you asked Abby to smile for a picture this is what she did:
 It is super cute, but makes it hard to snap a normal smile. So the below pictue is a close up of her beautiful brown eyes!

 Abby was a natural at opening her presents. She was also very excited to move onto the next one and see what other treasures she got! And then when we sang to her, she was too cute. She kept giving me this look like 'are you done singing yet slave'.

 Then when we told her to blow out the candles she cracked me up--she tilted her head back like this blurry picture below shows and snorted loudly to try and blow the candles like she was blowing her nose. Good thing it was an individual cupcake!

 For her birthday gift from Mom and Dad we made a giant outdoor chalkboard. I think it was a big hit, and I love it that the girls won't have to crawl around in the chalk mess every time they want to use chalk.

Happy birthday sweet Abby. You are so full of life and personality, we can't wait to see you reach your potential.Our home is a happier (albeit louder) place with you in it!