Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Juuuust the Two of Us…

This weekend I was a happy girl indeed. I asked my mom and dad to take the kids for us for a weekend sometime a few times and we just never made it happen. This past weekend that changed.

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We logged over 800 miles within our own state, North Carolina. It is hard for us to find places in our state that neither of us had been but we checked out lots this weekend together. Some places (umm Sealevel & Cedar Island) we will not be taking a second visit to unless we are just there to catch the Ocracoke ferry (book ahead) to the outer banks.

We slept in a tent under the stars on Friday night at the Carolina Beach State Park, very nice place and I did not have to shower in front of anyone which was a concern. We went to see a movie together, we ate when and where we wanted and even got to eat the crackers that came with our salads. We are used to surrendering those to the kids.

Saturday we had planned on staying at this campground in Sealevel, NC. We got there, scoped it out and while it was not in any way fancy or upscale it was quiet, the tent area was empty and secluded and it was cheap. We went and paid for the site, drove back over there and got out to set up. Then I realized what I had done wrong. I had not gotten OUT of the car when we looked at the site. As soon as Alex got out the state bird of NC attacked him, the mosquito. They usually pass over him but he was dancing around smacking himself. They got me next. We left to get bug spray but later decided we would not be returning there. So we were homeless.

That night we went fishing till 1:00am and then were going to drive the two hours back to where we were going to camp. Alex and I were very tired at that point and he decided to park so we could sleep instead of driving off the road. We went to one of our favorite beaches in NC, Topsail Island and tried to get comfortable to sleep in the car. I guess maybe one of those mosquitoes followed us in the car because around 4:00am one of them started buzzing around my ear.

I learned another important lesson. Never ever, in a fit of tired uncomfortable rage at 4:00am, decide to spray bug spray in an ENCLOSED vehicle. After fumigating myself, my husband and my dog I jumped out of the car hacking and spitting and decided forget it. I grabbed the sleeping bag, threw it down in the parking lot, realized it was a gravel parking lot, moved it to the bottom of a sand dune, crawled in, flopped over, coughed and flopped over some more. Then I saw it. The sky.

I have not seen so many stars in my life as I did that night. It was amazing and so comforting. I fell asleep to the sound of the ocean and the sight of the stars. So serene.

I also slept through some rain apparently because when I awoke my sleeping bag was wet on the outside and the sand had droplet prints all over it! I was tired. We had waxed poetic about sleeping in but we were up at dawn both mornings. There was much to be accomplished like hand holding, photo taking, fishing, kissy face, eating grown up food, exploring and just generally remembering why we like each other.

We had fun with the “camping” part of it even though really we were just using the tent to sleep in over night. We will do it again and we think the kids will love it. We might be camping people. We are not “camping in the summer in NC” people though. Those people are insane.

Did I mention we went without our kids? Haaaaaaaaaaalleluiah!!

Thank you baby! I had a fantastic weekend. We will do it again, sooner than later I hope.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Topsail Beach, NC

Topsail Beach, NC a little after dawn.

The water was warm, the breeze was cool and the boy and girl were both very contented.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Have A Nice Day

Queen Anne’s Lace, one of my favorite flowers from my childhood. We used to take long hikes when we lived in the Netherlands and these grew everywhere. Elegant and simple.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Year Eight Investment Portfolio

Investments. Alex and I make all sorts of investments. Four years ago we bought a house. We have invested quite a bit of blood, sweat and money into this house, more his blood and sweat but I was helping replace windows while I was quite pregnant and I wore my sexy old Italian lady costume. We invested into our house to make it better for ourselves as well as hopefully getting a return on our investment when we sell our home. We now, finally, have a 401K plan. Even though I know very little about the stock market and try not to look at how much or little is in that account we are investing in our future. We invest in our education, tools, and experience. We have two monkeys, not real monkeys, our kids. Man how we invest in them! There is one thing we haven't invested in much, our relationship.

Oh yea.

This weekend Alex and I are headed to the beach, alone this time. My parents are taking the kids for us and they will also be at the beach, just not with us.

See Alex and I have had a hard half a year here. It has been challenging to say the least but we are pushing forward. We have not been investing much in each other over our relationship. By investing I mean a lot of things but he and I have the same love language, quality time. Quality time is short to come by in our lives between two kids, multiple jobs and life's endless little things. I miss him, he misses me. We used to go away a lot together, we would run to the beach for the weekend, take a drive to the mountains to relax, head off to Charleston for a little romance. Since we have had kids we have had exactly two nights together without the kids, one was so the kids wouldn't be in the house while we fought, the other was the night before a yard sale (just try selling the kid's stuff with them around). Neither nights were romantic. We also don't have a babysitter.

So how do you get time away from the kids and still pay the bills? We are camping! I say that with an enthusiastic and optimistic exclamation point, you know, so it won't all go horribly wrong. I really have no idea what we are doing this weekend, I really don't care as long as we are doing it alone. I told my mom we could go to the dump and as long as I don't have the kids I will be happy. We wont be doing that but I will be pretty easy to please.

I am very thankful for parents I trust who love to watch my kids for me on occasion.

I need to go get an air mattress so we can sleep. Isn't it great that air mattresses are perfectly acceptable camping accessories now? This aint yer daddy's campin!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dressing to the Nines

What is more fun than dress up? After our father’s day lunch on Saturday we retired to my parent’s house for dress up per Ella’s request. She was in rare form and allowed lots of camera time. Nate had a blast in the dress up stuff as well. What beautiful babies.

Nate looks pretty good in a cowboy hat I must say.

I love that they can go to Gran & Poppie’s house, have at it and relax. They have the best time with the little trucks, dress up bin, and toys that they have for the little monkeys. Thank you guys!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nikon D60

Last weekend my cousin Melanie let me borrow her camera so I got to play! I tried to mess around with it in different lighting conditions and have a little fun. Here are a few photos from the weekend.

Thank you Melanie! You rock.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Lets Hear It for My Boys

The theme this week over at I ♥ Faces is "Lets hear it for the boys".
Go over and join in or just check out some amazing photos!

Friday, June 19, 2009

In the Garden Now..

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See that on the bottom right? That is the packet of Snow Pea seeds that got left outside in a plastic bag. They sprouted INSIDE THE BAG and grew!! Guess I need to get on the ball and plant them in the ground.


My helper pollinating the tomatillos.


Squash Squash and more Squash!!! I need to look for a recipe for squash blossom soup – one of Alex’s favorite from home.

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See underneath? Squash! & Tomatoes

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A Tiny Cucumber!! & Cantaloupe Plant


Some of my tomatoes (foreground) are almost 5 feet tall. My tomatillos (background) are over 5 feet tall! Pay no attention to all the weeds.