Sunday, July 31, 2011

had we taken the sheep home, he would have been a Red Sox fan

This weekend we went on an overnight adventure.

I was assigned the task of researching a suitable location. To best keep track of any and all exciting attractions, I made a highly professional chart. I am a travel agent in the making.
Poor Buffalo was barely in the running. Niagara (or 'Niagra', as I spelled it) was high up there until we decided we should wait until we can visit it from the Canadian side. And so Cooperstown became the winning contestant.

After I finished that chart, I was informed by the Accommodations Committee (aka Christopher) to look for attractions in the Utica area, as that's where we would spend the night. 
Notice the far right column. It's important to have your travel priorities in the correct order. As it turns out, searching for eating opportunities was pretty much the only thing we did in Utica. The exciting attraction options were rather limited. Starved Rock Park seemed pretty wonderful until I discovered it's in Illinois. I have gift for finding fun things to do in places we are not thinking of going.

The hotel in Utica was lovely. I always judge hotels based on the number and quality of their chandeliers. 
Our first stop in Cooperstown the next morning was the Baseball Hall of Fame.
I do hate to boast, but please note which team is above the Yankees.
These young men made some wise wardrobe choices.
We can't leave out Christopher's team, so here is the Braves debut here at Dandelions and Daffodils.  
I personally would enjoy watching a bunch of grown men play baseball while wearing this hat.
I promise he was happy to be an this trip with me!
Our next stops were the art museum and farmers museum. The goat at the Farmer's Museum was very attracted to Christopher. I think it was a sign that we should have taken him (her?) home with us. 
I would have taken the baby sheep too, but I don't think he (she?) would have enjoyed spending four hours in our trunk on the ride home. 
After the farm, we found more eating opportunities (like I said, PRIORITIES) then headed for home. Our trusty GPS, Tom, was a little underperforming which may have resulted in frustration on the part of the driver, but we made it home safe and sound. 
The End.

(You know what I should have bought at the gift shop? A large bottle of The Ability to Tell a Story in Less than 6,000 Words.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

the visit to the car doctor

Today we took Gretchen to the doctor. 

Translation: we took our car to the mechanic for a routine investigation of the goings-on under her hood.

As we drove to the car dealership, I asked Christopher if he thought a step was more properly defined as the space between your two feet when one is in front of the other, or as each and every time you put a foot down. Please don't ask why I was questioning something he and I have been doing successfully for a combined total of approximately 48 years. 

Once at the Car Doctor, we settled ourselves into the chairs in the waiting area and prepared to be there a while. The establishment provided this magazine for our viewing pleasure:
While reading about the Ultimate Showdown- Road versus Track courtesy of Road & Track may float some people's boat (or in this case, drive some people's car), we took a different reading route. Christopher read (from? on?) his Kindle, and I read from something that actually requires you to do the work of turning pages. Before we know it, turning pages in a book is going to be a LOST ART. 

After an hour or so of waiting, we decided to take a self-guided tour of the car lot. The tour started a conversation about which vehicle would best suit a hypothetical family that hypothetically may have eight (8) children at some hypothetical time in the future. Our conclusion? A bus, a 12 passenger van, two Jeeps, or a clown car. Christopher thinks 12 passenger vans are ugly therefore he would be opposed to said hypothetical family with eight (8) children having one, but I told him there aren't many options unless we hypothetical family has a herd of goats, sheep, and horses to ride instead. 

To find out which mode of transportation the hypothetical family eventually chooses, come back in fifteen or so years. Who knows, maybe we'll they'll be traveling by alpaca and yak!

For your viewing pleasure, here we are at a car dealership in Mississippi. We really get around when it comes to car places.

Monday, July 25, 2011

what we did, weekend edition

Friday brought about a long-anticipated trip to the brand-new Joann's craft store. Let us have a moment of silence in which we reflect on how coincidental it is that Joann decided to re-do her store at the same exact time that I moved to town. We didn't buy any craft supplies (I didn't even venture into the clearance department because that aisle is a total time sucker), but we did get dowels and twine to stake up my tomato plants.
That evening during supper we were having a discussion about our favorite actors and actresses. It probably comes as no surprise that I refer to all my favorite actors/actresses by their first name and leave off their last name. We're BFF's and they just don't know it yet. I mentioned that I was a fan of Patrick (Dempsey), and Christopher said, "He's just a haircut with a voice". Based on that statement and the ones that followed, I take it Christopher and Patrick are not BFF's.

Saturday started off at the unholy time of 6:45. I had a first aid class at 8:00, so I rolled my self out of bed and into my clothes. There was a lot of stalling and "I don't believe in getting up this early on a Saturday" between the rolling out of bed and into my clothes, but it is not worth documenting. We arrived at the class only to discover that apparently the instructor did not believe in getting up at 6:45 either. Without the instructor the class could not go on, so we suddenly had a whole unplanned day before us. We decided to do something bold and exciting...we went grocery shopping. I mean really, THE FUN NEVER ENDS around here. It was actually more exciting than you'd think because I discovered that shopping at the commissary is half the price of shopping at Price Chopper. I'm all about saving money. After all, saving money at the grocery store means there's more money to spend at the craft store. 

That afternoon we went to the Apple computer store at the mall to have the laptop looked at. Due to the apparent popularity of the store, I didn't think it would be the appropriate time and place to mention that I prefer PC's.

I had a J. Crew gift card burning a hole in my wallet, so after the Apple store we went over to see if they had anything with a price tag under $150. They did, and I bought this cute blue dress.

After church, we made our weekly puppy-viewing trip to the pet store. I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to week after week look at cute animals we aren't going to buy, but one of these weeks we're going to be powerless to resist the puppy urge. One of the few things cuter than puppies are babies, so it works out well that I went to meet a baby I'm going to babysit for after the puppy trip. I considered putting the baby in my pocket and bringing him home to Christopher, but I wasn't too sure it would go over well. For some reason, he likes to talk out possible life-altering acts before they happen and we hadn't discussed this one. The baby's parents probably would not have enjoyed that either. Basically it would have only made me happy. 

Please note- The girl you saw running around the house all weekend with a towel/rolled up newspaper/hat/flip flop chasing and whacking at flies absolutely was not me. I would never do such a thing, even if they had been flying around the house for the last SIX days.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the first of our firsts

Christopher and I have many anniversaries. We have the day he first emailed me, the day we first met, the day we got engaged, and the day we got married.

Today, the first of our firsts, marks one year since I received an email from a soldier on the other side of the world at approximately 11:30 at night. (The events leading up to that night are discussed in a pain-staking and long-winded way right here.)

So that we'll always have our emails in the years to come, I had the first three months of our correspondence made into a book for a wedding gift for Christopher. 

To celebrate this momentous day in our lives, Christopher sent me an email this morning. How appropriate.  It was VERY sweet and I was very touched. If you're hoping I'll copy and paste the whole thing here so you can read it too, I'm sorry to inform you that you are about to be disappointed. ;-) Tonight we're going out to get a pedicure and see the final Harry Potter movie. (Yes, our Harry Potter movie watching intensive has almost come to an end!)

I think we should watch You've Got Mail, too. If every there was an appropriate movie for our situation, that would be it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

fan mail

One enjoyable thing about living in a different state than most of my family and friends is I now receive quite a few letters a month from people who love and miss me.

To put it plainly- I have a fan club.

Here's a small sampling of what I've found in my mailbox.

Dear Saru I love you. you R pritty and nise. I love you. Love kEturah
These touching words were accompanied by pictures of hearts, a diamond ring, and something that possibly may be a bouquet of flowers.

Dear Sarah, Thank you for letting me be a flower girl in your wedding. I think you are the best friend. Love, Jill

From Molly to Sarah I rally rally mis you wa verr much

Dear Sarah, I loved being your flower girl! I miss you! Giddy says hi! xoxoxo, Anna

My friend Rebecca saw the pictures of me participating in the Spur Ride and told me, "I suppose you're very busy with your dusting and machine-gunning, but write back when you can so I can know that you haven't decided to join the army since apparently you're pretty good at. 

The most unexpected letter of complete adoration piece of fan mail came in the form of a letter accompanied by a brown box. It was from my good friend Willie/Willigers/Twilly/the names go on.

Dear My Favorite Sarah, 
    Once upon a time I was hanging around...with My Favorite Sarah. SUDDENLY My Favorite Sarah mentioned something I had given to a friend of mine. Noticing many an expression of sorrow, remorse, want, and anticipation all bound up in one pleading cry of "SKITTLES!", idea began to form in mine mind about a possible gift for her at a future, life-changing (and name-changing!) event in the life of My Favorite Sarah. I'm sorry this is so late in coming. :( It was supposed to be my gift to you on your very special day. Turns out it's a belated wedding present for ya! ENJOY!! :) :)
Sincerely, Your Favorite Willie

Upon removing the bubble wrap from the box, this is what I found.
41 ounces of Skittles.

I was was so touched by the kindness of my favorite Willie. 

(Naturally we're rationing out these Skittles because WE DON'T WANT TO RUN OUT TOO SOON.)

ps. Christopher would like you to know that he's the president of my fan club. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

row,row,row your boat

The family and I went canoeing this afternoon. I'd like to say I was helpful in putting the canoe on the van, but  in reality I just stood there eating my raspberry popcicle while making helpful comments as to how it should be done.

The first ones to brave the waters were the parentals. 
After we waved them off, the twins and I went for a walk in the woods. Aaron hopped onto a large rock to better see the lake, and I suddenly had a vision of Christopher Columbus viewing the New World. So I took a picture of him because that's totally what Christopher Columbus' traveling partners did. Elizabeth wanted to get in on the action, and even threw in a little leg kick to make things more exciting.
After the parentals returned, it was our turn to climb into the canoe.  
As is evident, I was put in the middle of the boat and not given an oar (or "stick" as someone called it). Lest you think I am bad at rowing, I assure you I am not. (Sometimes I do have technical difficulties, but they're usually minor.) Elizabeth wanted to row so she would "get more excersiced", and Aaron wanted to row just because he wanted to row, which left me as the lucky individual who sat in the middle with nothing to do but take pictures and try to boss people around. Last time we went canoeing I was Aaron's boss and he wasn't a huge fan. I sat in the back of the boat which made me the captain and Aaron the reluctant mate. He didn't like that I was in charge and telling him which side to row on but after all, I have more driving experience then he does so I naturally would be better at steering us. Expect for when we almost sailed into the dead beaver, this went surprisingly well. 

The view in front of me looked like this:
 And like this behind me:
We did run into a few shrubs and branches, but Elizabeth did well as captain.

I decided to be A & E's personal radio, so I asked if they'd like to hear a classical, Christian, or country song. I even gave them a little preview of a classical song so they'd know what they were getting themselves into. Elizabeth chose country, so I serenaded them with a selection of Brad (Paisley), Josh (Turner), and Carrie (Underwood) songs. I even threw in a few Josh Groban and Elvis Presley songs just for good measure.

It was in the middle of singing Fur Elise (the Sarah radio was in Classical mode) that we had a small issue with this rock. (I felt the occasion called for a song change, so I sang "oops, I did it again." I think it was very appropriate.)
And it was during Honey Bee that Elizabeth stood up because she wanted to turn our canoe into a gondola so she could be the gondolier. Except she kept saying, "I'm in a chandelier" and Aaron and I had no idea what in the world she was saying. "You know! You've been in one! A chandelier!" We will be having a lesson on correct word usage in the near future.

Our final song for the day -a grand finale of sorts- was It's an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow* polka-dot bikini.  Everybody knows that's a canoeing song.

*we said 'purple' because we feel it fits better

And so our great sailing adventure came to an end. No one fell in, no one drowned, and no one was left behind. It was an all-around success. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the successful adventure

The other day I was reunited with these two ragamuffins.
I took them on a Big Adventure to a garden planted in the middle of the woods called, hold on to your hats because this is really creative, Garden in the the Woods. I am pleased to report that this adventure was much more successful than last years failure of an adventure.  
Every adventure has some bumps, and one of this years bumps was the same as last year. I was once again forced to pull over on the side of the road to give my very well rehearsed and oft-spoken "just because she does something to you DOES NOT mean you should do something back to her" speech. Molly obviously didn't pay much attention to the speech because not three seconds after I was done talking, she said, "When did you learn to drive?" I'm so glad she takes everything I teach her to heart.
After we arrived at the garden (we didn't get lost or have turn around once!), we ate our lunch then began our explorating. Here they are discovering frogs, turtles, and snakes. 
Molly had a very love/hate relationship towards the snake. She would peer over the side of the lily pond, stare at the snake, then turn around and start wiggling her body while making all sorts of girly shrieks and screams. Zachary quickly tired of this behavior and told her in a very exasperated voice, "Molly, if you don't want to see the snake, then PLEASE STEP ASIDE." 
It took us five tries to get this picture. I think it's pretty cute.
Their cooperation and nice smiles in the above picture were rewarded by making silly faces for as pictures as they wanted. Sometimes they are so easy to please.
Soon after this picture things got a little bumpy. Molly suddenly decided to act as if she hadn't had water in 400 years and she would just die if she didn't get any right away. And her feet were so tired, and she wanted to go home, and why did we leave the water in the car? And then she saw a chipmunk and was perfectly fine. Sometimes I get the feeling she's just a little dramatic.

When we got home, my Uncle Brian asked Molly and Zachary if I was still a good babysitter. After pondering for a moment, they replied that yes, I was just as good as always- maybe even better- and they were overjoyed to have spent the day with me. They didn't exactly say it in such a dignified manner (there was a lot of poking and giggling and stuffed animal twirling going on), but I'm sure they meant it from the bottom of their hearts. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

our wedding~ the groom

Yes! There WAS a groom at this wedding! The sad lack of groom pictures up to this point in the day is due to not yet having the guy pictures from the other photographer. Thank goodness for Keri who got some wonderful pictures. (To be honest, Christopher is probably relieved I don't have 1,502 pictures of him to put up!)

Here he is in all his handsomeness.
Here he is with the very beautiful (and pregnant! with a girl!) Stephanie. I experienced some jealousy issues over her dress. :)
Here he is with his lovely mother. Doesn't she look pretty? Her dress was such a nice color.
And here with flowers in his mouth. I really don't know what this is all about. I just know that this picture makes me smile every time!
Someone who saw a couple of wedding pictures asked me yesterday if Christopher wore "a Revolutionary War reenactor outfit" in the wedding.

She was totally serious. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Brunch with the S.L.'s

At least once every trip home I like to get together with the Single Ladies.
Aren't they charming?
Instead of our usual late night meeting, we decided to shake things up and meet for brunch. We made the shocking discovery after they arrived at my house that nobody had brought bacon. Thankfully we had sausage in our refrigerator so we were not forced to have a meatless brunch. There is not a vegetarian in our midst.
Per tradition, we played Scrabble. As I have written who won and who lost so many times in the past, I will not do it again. Let's just say there were no surprises.
Even though I lose to Autumn and Joanna every single time, I love them anyway. I also love the fact that Autumn's self-proclaimed "freakishly long arms" enable us to easily take our self portrait every single time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

our wedding~ preceremony

Elizabeth the Sister of Honor
Katie the Maid of Honor
(Fashion related note- my sash looks black in some pictures, but it was very dark blue.)
Marissa, Autumn, Katie, Elizabeth, Hannah, Joanna
I l-o-v-e this picture.
While the big girls were having their pictures taken, the little girls were frolicking in the sanctuary with tambourine and song.
Katie was so beautiful.
Zachary the ring bearer stopped by for a visit.
The little Mister was looking very handsome.
The flower girls were all very excited. We had to warn them *many times* about the dangers of waving their flowers around too enthusiastically! 
After a few last minute touch-ups...
...we were ready for the wedding!
photos by Keri McCarthy