Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Easter 2011

(This is a back post since I am so behind).

I spent a lot of time before Easter wondering how it would be. One of my favorite and most recent memories of my dad was from Easter last year. We had lunch at our house and then afterwards we had egg hunts for the kids and daddy went outside to fly kites with the kids. It was just a sweet day.

This year, Kevin's mom took us out to eat for Easter the weekend before Easter and mom took us out to eat on Easter. By the way, if you go to Red Lobster on Easter Sunday in the middle of a tornado warning, there will not be a wait to get a table. File that away for future reference.

It was a rainy kind of morning and I didn't get any really good photos of the kiddos before (or after) church.

The Easter bunny came and brought goodies to both Josh and Ellie. I love this little outfit Ellie was wearing. Her Aunt Rhonda got it for her and while it's not pjs, she likes to wear it as pjs. Check out the hair too!

Josh looks like he just rolled out of bed -- oh wait, he did!

When we got home, we had our annual egg hunt. We have separate hunts for Josh and for Ellie. Josh hides Ellies and this year we let Ellie help hide Josh's eggs.

Even though it is blurry, I love this picture of Ellie RUNNING down the hill toward an egg. She does everything with wild abandon!

Josh thought he was clever hiding Ellie's eggs in the back of her tricycle.

MeeMee helped Ellie find a few eggs.

Josh won't think the reporting of this is funny, but MAN, it was funny. While he was trying to find his eggs, he hit a muddy spot (from the rains earlier in the day) and his feet flew out from under him and down he went. I think we were all shocked and just stared at him for a bit before I managed to ask him if he was ok.

I love seeing smiles on his face -- they seem really rare these days.

And look at THIS face!! He's such a jokester sometimes.

In honor of Daddy, Josh and Kevin tried to fly Josh's new kite. They got it up once really well and then it crash landed.

Is it just me or am I too sheltered?

Today I had to stop in a less than savory part of town to buy gas. I was so far down past "E" I was afraid I couldn't make it much further down the road, so I stopped at a station where I would not have normally stopped. I went in -- another thing I normally wouldn't do -- because I was thirsty and wanted to get some water.

As I was standing there waiting to pay, I glanced around at some of the "offerings" in the store. Keep in mind I had already passed a c*nd*m display on my way to the register. Then I saw the magazine stand. Of course, I was not nearly as shocked at the girly magazines as I was the one I saw on the bottom of the stand: The High Times. Again, I needed that video camera following me around as they watched the cogs in my head start to turn.

I am pretty sure that my mouth fell open as I stood there.

Cover story from this issue: Build Your Ultimate Grow Room. Really? No. Can't be, I think to myself.

I'm a little naive. I'm wondering (seriously) if this is a gardening magazine. I'm trying to see the photo on the cover to see what it is (it IS a plant after all; it might be broccoli or something).

Another heading confused me a little more: Grow Big Buds in Small Spaces. Ok, so this is a FLOWER magazine, right???

The bottom story title: Stoner Conservatives. I'm starting, at this point, to think it might not be a gardening magazine. I didn't DARE go pick it up because what if the police come in while I'm perusing The High Times. I resolve to go home and investigate more.

I leave the store wondering HOW in the WORLD they can be selling a magazine about m*riju*na in a CONVENIENCE STORE????? It's illegal to buy, sell and grow here so how can there be a magazine detailing how to do it. I ponder this the entire time I pump gas. And then, of course, it leaves me until I get home and bring it up with Kevin.

I came home and googled it to see if that was really what it was (still holding hope on the gardening angle). I told Kevin that should I die and they search my computer to PLEASE make sure he told them why I was googling this magazine. It is billed as the voice of the m*riju*na community. Seriously? Wow.

I am too sheltered, I think. I like it in my little bubble.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cicada Drama

I am SUCH a girl.

Cicadas have hit Middle Tennessee. For those of you who don't have a clue what a cicada is, here is a photo of one.

Mealy looking creatures aren't they? It's been thirteen years since they were in the Middle Tennessee area, and honestly, I don't really remember them. That's not surprising since I don't remember what I had for dinner last night either.

My understanding is they can number up to 1.5 million per acre. I saw or heard most of that 1.5 million today and the ones I didn't see or hear hit my windshield as I drove down the road. I could actually SEE piles of them dead on the interstate. Eewwwww... gross.

Cicadas live on tree roots underground for 13 years then crawl out, shedding their shells (which is what I've been crunching on as I've walked through yards the last week) and then this week they've begun to "sing" (the males' mating call). Overall, I suppose they are harmless, except ....

They might cause you to hurt yourself, or, oh, I don't know, jump out of your car with it still rolling ... or something. I'm just saying.

Today as I was driving to my next house, I noticed something (large) black on my white skirt. I immediately figured out it was a cicada. Now, surprisingly, I didn't scream or jump or anything. I reached over, grabbed my work camera and snapped a picture of it (thinking I might gross out Beth Collins with the picture). Turns out it was blurry. Oh well.

And then it moved.
And that's where things went south.

I could see the street I was turning on. I was running mental calculations at record speed to see if I thought I could get to that road and pull over before this MONSTER BUG climbed further up my skirt and might even start flying around my face.

I pulled in to the road just as bug-eyes made his move up my leg in rapid form. I jumped out of the car with GREAT intentions of flipping him off my skirt and then getting back in the car and going on. It was THEN I realized that I didn't put the car in park AND it was sitting on a hill. If the mental calculations were fast before, they were lightning speed at this point. I'm sure there was steam flying out of my ears as I jumped BACK in the car, putting on the brake, putting the car in park and jumping RIGHT BACK OUT as I saw that the darned cicada was still attached to my skirt and climbing his way back up.

I managed to get back out without letting him loose in the car, flicked him off, got back in the car and realized that if I had ONLY had a video camera handy, I could have been $10,000 richer because this HAD to have been a RIOT to watch.

I don't like cicadas.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Look - Fresh Start

I should be entering paperwork. I should be picking up all the little magnet letters all over the floor, including the one I just fished out of the recliner while looking for the remote. But my heart screams, "BLOG" so I am.

I miss my blog. I miss "thinking" in blog style. I miss being able to look back over the past months' entries and watching our lives.

I've missed a lot in the last several months, but it hasn't been any less full; if anything, it is due to the fullness of my life that I haven't had (didn't take) time to blog.

I think, in all honesty, I've attempted my best to deal with my dad's death by making myself astronomically busy. If I were busy before, I've become off the charts lately.

After spending several months not knowing quite what to do with myself, I decided it was time to get my photography business up and running and to put in the attention it deserved. To that end, I have launched my own business, Maria Latham Photography and have honestly been thoroughly enjoying it. Of course, I still have my primary job (insurance inspections), and my real job (mom), which takes up a wee bit of my time as well. But this has been something I feel passionate about.

Josh spent his first season playing soccer as a Sycamore Middle School Knight. It was nice to be back with some of the people we started out with in sports with Josh's early on soccer years. Since then, he has done spring training with the Knights football team. He is such a great football player. I love to see him do well on the field. I love to watch him play. Football is over (it was just a two week spring program) until fall training starts in July. Even before it was over, baseball practice started. We have our first game Saturday. Since it is 13/14 league, I think we will travel a bit more than we did in year's past.

Ellie has really come into her own in the last several months, especially since turning three. I think my last post was on the eve of her birthday and party. I will try to post some photos catching up on her birthday, Easter and a few other fun things we have done in the last few months. I can't get over how long her hair is finally getting and how beautiful it is. It has the most beautiful highlights and easy curl. She has really developed a mind of her own. She likes to pick out her own clothes most all the time. Her preference: tutus or ballerina clothes. I've tried to get her signed up for a dance class but have been hitting a dead end on all turns it seems. She is definitely going to be something artistic. She loves music, dancing, being dramatic and commanding attention of others. She has done so well in preschool this year, and tomorrow night is her preschool graduation/promotion ceremony. Her class is singing several songs -- should be fun!!

During the past several months, Kevin lost his job -- only to be rehired back by the same company. We aren't sure how long this will last, so he continues to look for another job that is more suited to his background and education as well as one that is closer to home.

So much more to write and report. I think I'll just update the blog with some new photos from our lives over the last few months.