Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring Sprang Sprung

Whew, it's been a while, so I'll cut right to the chase.  Update time.  No photo editing and no spell check.

Spring 2013.  Or as we call it in Chicago, the second half of Winter 2013.  It's cold and windy and snowy in April.  But the warm 2 weeks of spring will arrive some time at the end of May, and then Chicago will once again be my favorite city in the whole wide world.  Until then drivers and bikers and everybody else who is in a hurry will continue to be grumpy and can just blame it on the weather.  And then they can just be grumpy for no good reason.

St. Patrick's Day consisted of 8 adults, 5 toddlers, and hundreds of drunk 20-somethings crowded into Riverview Tavern with BLARING Irish music.  Just how we like it.

Play dates -- how we survive in the city in the winter.  It's the only way we don't get completely depressed and lonely.  Ring around the rosies . . .

Mimi's preschool teachers are absolutely amazing and take the kids on at least one or two field trips a month.  Get those kids out and get moms to help.  Brilliant.  Macky even came along on one.

I don't need no stinking smock . . . lemme just dive in the water!

Silly rabbit.  Mimi couldn't get enough snuggles.  

Before we left the city for a long (excrutiating) drive south, we hit up the neighborhood park egg hunt.  Mimi found one egg and then it began snowing.

And snowing.  And snowing.  We were the idiots who didn't check the weather and were caught in a blizzard a couple of hours south of the city.  Cars were sliding off the road and stuck in ditches every quarter of a mile, so the Darbys pulled into a hotel as soon as we saw one.  Being stuck in a hotel with two toddlers (one who developed serious diarrhea) wasn't actually the worse thing in the world.  We could have been stuck in a ditch . . . with a toddler with serious diarrhea.  So we're not complaining.

Once we arrived in the Tennessee, the weather was warmer and my children were happier.  They had space to move and cousins to play with, so the long trip was worth it.

Mississippi also treated us well as the days were even warmer.

And they had a Poppaw there to ride them around . . . and around and around and around.

A little golfing . . . 

 . . . and a little Lake Nixon.

Just what we needed to unwind.  I am crazy about my little hometown.  Some smart (and really cool) folks have been working hard to make it an even better place to live.  Over the past few years, great little boutiques and restaurants have been springing up around town.  Liquor was finally voted in (yes, my hometown was semi-dry.  Only beer could be sold), and now several other wonderful restaurants will hopefully be opening.  Many houses are being renovated downtown, and it feels so warm and inviting to be back home.

I spent one afternoon browsing the shops and taking photos of a few of my favorite homes.

My beautiful church.

The youth building at my church where I basically lived in high school.

 And my first bottle of wine to buy in my hometown.

We always try to have a meal at a sweet friend's Italian restaurant, which is soooo yummy.

Clint and I were able to sneak away for a night in our amazing college town, Oxford, Mississippi.  Oxford is hands down the epicenter of Southern culture.  I would visit this town over most others in the South -- incredible restaurants (so many featured on travel and food magazines and TV shows) and boutiques, great music and amazing literature comes out of this tiny town located in the middle of north Mississippi.  It's my favorite small town in America.

And it's amazing to have a drink on one these balconies on a sunny afternoon.  

Old roomies (at different times)

How does just one more drink at the Library turn into several?

And back to my hometown for a Sunday morning Easter service at my beautiful Baptist church.  Oh, how I love an old hymn.

My, don't we clean up real nice?

An after church puddle stomp was in order.

And another Spider Man 4-wheeler ride before going home.

Loved our trip home and made me want my own house with big ole yard . . . more to come on that subject in another post.

Clint's beautiful sister made a trip to the Windy City the next weekend.  Sorry my photos turned out so dark.

 I'm still trying to be a decent mom, and I'm loving the stage we're in right now.  I'm completely worn out and a grumpy thing around 7:00 every night, but most of the time.  We have lots of fun.  Instead of waiting until I can get away during nap time by myself on the weekends to run errands, I love that Mimi is fun to take with me now.  Just this morning she went to an optometry appointment AND the Apple store.  I didn't have to chase her or worry that she was going to break everything in sight.

I actually took her clothes shopping with me one day, and it wasn't a complete disaster at all.  Four and a half is a pretty cool age.

Macky-poo is still the cutest little guy I've ever met.  The bazillion hours of therapies we're getting a week along with our complete changes in the way we treat him are working wonders.  He is actually talking a bit more and isn't throwing uncontrollable tantrums.  His new favorite word is "no."  I kind of wish we could move onto another new favorite word . . .

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned how flexible he is.  Check out how he sleeps.

The little monkey had begun climbing out of his crib several weeks ago, and I basically thought my life was sort of over.  I had been sewing early in the morning and during his nap time, which were suddenly non-existent once the climbing out began.

This photo was taken veeerrrryyyy early one morning when he decided 3:30AM was an appropriate time to wake.

But about a week ago (after an exhausting trip to Ikea to get a toddler bed), he decided he loved his crib once again.  All of my sewing orders have resumed (although I am waaaay behind and overwhelmed now), and the little guy is happy.

My awesome friend Amber visited a couple of weeks ago.  She and I worked together and I think I spent more time talking with her at that time than my own husband, and I have missed her so very much.  Great to catch up and be a tourist with her.

Take Your Daughter to Work Day 2013 was a highlight of Mimi's Spring.  She packed her backpack with a notepad, an Ariel phone, some snacks, and a stuffed animal and told Daddy she was ready to work hard all day long with him (well, only a couple of hours).

Not every 4-year-old girl can say she worked in the tallest building in the city for two hours of her life.

As the weather has finally warmed above freezing, fun park days have arrived!

 Just holding hands with one of my dudes.

A rainy walk with Iz.

Green grass . . . ahhhhhhh

The seventies are returning to the forecast just in time for my birthday week (and a quick last-minute girl's trip to the beach)!  Fun times are a comin' . . .