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Weekend Album

Because of this wonderful thing called "leave" (which no job Adam's worked since we got married offered), we got to spend a glorious four day weekend together as a family. Thursday we played tourists in our own town (it's fun to do sometimes - you never know what you've been missing until you pretend you don't live there!) So we were able to spend our morning at the zoo, looking for everything we've missed before - one of which was the tiger cubs. Four adorable, fluffy, playful tiger cubs, who decided that the perfect thing to do on a warm morning was to wrestle in their pond. Squee!

We had a lunch date at our favorite spot for local burgers (Big Orange) and I was able to curb my mad craving for pesto (it's so nice that they have gluten-free buns from Dempsey Bakery - because the "oh, our burgers are totally GF, just ask for it with no bun!" thing doesn't cut it).

I also got to show Adam my South Main discoveries. We took a few more pictures at Moxy (post to follow!) and got ice cream at the Green Corner Store (which has fabulous GF waffle cones - and ice cream isn't ice cream if it's not in a waffle cone, in my opinion!)

Once a year, I like to have fun with my nail polish. In the past I've done fireworks, handpainted stars and stripes, and glitter - this year I went simple because I had to get them finished before Brooklyn noticed what I was doing and came over to "help." (Watch for a post tomorrow - mommy fashion will be a solution to slowly drying/quickly chipping polish!)

We drove up to Fayetteville on the morning of the Fourth and spent the afternoon/early evening with Adam's family. Alan grilled, and Sandy got to tote Brooklyn around and push her on the swing and show her to the neighbors (Brooklyn petted a horse - she thought it was pretty magical). I enjoyed getting to chat with my sister-in-law for a bit, and just be outside being silly (I piddled with a SpongeBob paddle and a little foam ball for awhile, then took it to Adam and informed him that I'd just gotten 100 bops in a row and sat back to watch him run in circles around the yard, trying to beat my record. If he'd had more time, he would have - as it was, he was interrupted at 67).

Then we spent the evening at my grandparents' house. My aunt and uncle and small cousins (ok, they're 13 and 10, and Lauren is now as tall as me, but she's twelve years younger, so there) were also there (they come visit at the Fourth of July and at Christmas), so it's fun to see them. They blew bubbles for Brooklyn - which was all fun and games until one popped in her face, and then it became offensive.

As the littlest cousin, Brooklyn isn't big enough for the go-cart yet, even as a passenger, but after watching Brooke careen around the yard, she really wanted to drive it. "How do you make it go, Mummy?"

She gracefully accepted being pulled around in a wagon by my Mum as a consolation prize, though. (It might have helped that she was accompanied by an entourage - maybe.) 

Saturday morning, my side of the family field tripped to the Farmer's Market for dog-watching, iced coffee, and hand-sketched portraits. Adam and I wandered into the Underground (artist studios and gallery) then came back to fetch everyone else. Besides the studios (which showcased some remarkable talent), they were doing a quick-draw and had an awesome exhibit of work by local artist Joe Alexander (who is a sign painter, among other things). He gave me permission to snap a shot of one of the on-loan pieces, and I made a list of all the signs he's done so I can try to find them all.

Impatient person that I am, I began the quest immediately. Most of the storefronts on Block Street bear the mark of his brush, but I'll only share this one for now - the leaf emblem on Good Things was after my own heart.

Somewhere between hunting for signs and walking to US Pizza (hey, another one he painted!) for lunch with my parents, we came across a florist I'd never noticed before with this in their front yard. I love how even the rustiness of the wheelbarrow adds to it...

After afternoon naps for all, we headed back over to my grandparents' house for a cookout. Brooklyn enjoyed splashing in the pool - until it got emptied as ammunition for a watergun fight (my cousins vs. Adam).

They got in a pretty good first strike, but he got Brooke (who was on refilling duty for the fort) dripping fairly quickly. I ended up being a civilian casualty in his last-bucket attempt to soak Lauren - it was a success, and he was very apologetic (and I had dry clothes to change into for our movie date later) so I didn't have the heart to be annoyed.

We stayed through Sunday evening, so we could go to Adam's brother and sister-in-law's baby shower. It was lovely - as an only child, I love having both a brother and a sister now, and knowing I'll get to be an aunt soon (odd, perhaps, but the sort of thing you think about when you don't have any siblings growing up).

Before hitting the road, we took a long walk to stretch our legs and make the three hour drive home more bearable - in the process, Brooklyn was entranced by a low-hanging tree that we encountered, and I was happy to find a few more Joe Alexander signs to photograph.

All in all, a beautiful weekend! It's the sort of thing I've always seen other people talking about and posting pictures of on Facebook, but never really experienced for myself (post-marriage - as a kid, we had some pretty awesome Fourths, partly because our town was usually where everyone congregated... and there was the year that Dad's company picnic was on the Fourth and played Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, cannons and all) - and I have to say, I liked it!

I hope your weekend was equally enjoyable - regardless of where you spent it, who you did (or didn't) spend it with, and how long it lasted!


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
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Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
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