Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Amy's Visit

Our friend, Amy, has been threatening to visit us in Memphis for the past several years. I am a regular visitor at her house in Nola, so it only seemed fitting that she let me play host for a change. She decided to come with her husband, her son, and her two dogs, so technically Warren got to play host as I couldn't house them all at the loft.

He's did some decorating in anticipation of their visit. The porch is all spiffed up and now there's a punching bag in what used to be the dining room.

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They arrived on Warren's birthday, which was a crazy day. He and I spent the afternoon at the Cooper Young Regional Beerfest.

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They should just go ahead and call it the Cooper Young Drunkfest. Oh my!

Also, Jiro was coming back in town after being at the beach all week with his buddy, Ray.

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(How grown up is he??)

Speaking of grown up, look at this picture Amy took of me and Satch. His feet are the size of Warren's already and it won't be long before he is taller than us both!

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Anyways, Amy and family arrived in the evening, and once Jiro returned, we had a late night birthday dinner at Huey's. Then on Sunday, we went downtown for breakfast and Beale Street Landing.

We had a very nice experience at the Arcade. I should probably do a full on review.

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It is definitely a good choice for feeding hungry boys.

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Look at the size of these plates!

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After breakfast, we went over to check out the new playground at Beale Street Landing. The monkeys were cute about acting excited about a playground and playing with Leo. There was a time when playgrounds were vital to our existence.

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After some more exploring, we split up for a bit. Amy and family went to the Zoo and I went to play soccer. Then we met up later at the Cove. (The boys had a pizza party and babysitter at Warren's house.)

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Then, before they split town on Monday, I got them all to myself for a little bit. They came to see my loft, which Leo never wanted to leave mainly due to the long hallways and fun stairs. Then we had a nice chat replete with coffee and quiche at Tart.

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It was good to see them, and nice to know that Team Oster could still come together to show everyone a good time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Shelby Farms Park

When the kids were out of school a while back, I decided to take the day off too. It had been awhile since I got to spend the whole day with them, and they were desperately in need of some outdoor activity. I had been wanting to take Satsuki to the Shelby Farms dog park, so I thought adding in a little hike would make for a perfect morning.

Shannon and I ran the Wolf River Trail several times in preparation for Sylamore earlier this year and I thought I was pretty familiar with it. In my mind, the dog area was pretty close to where we started our runs.

There is a lot of construction going at the park, especially near Patriot Lake. It was very disorienting! The monkeys and I had to do a little unexpected loop to find the trail head, and by the time we were there, they were already kind of over the hiking portion of our day. But I kept them going!

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I did allow a few breaks.

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After a mile or so, we still hadn't found the dog park. We did find a ranger, though. He pretty much said we were nowhere near it. (Note to self, a six mile run with a friend is not at all like hiking with kids.) Since it was super hot, we decided to double back to the car. Then we drove around the perimeter of the park to the off leash area.

It was well worth the wait. Satsuki was stoked.

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She didn't swim so much, but she ran around and around and had the best time ever.

The off leash area is super pretty and it was nice to just hang out for a bit.

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We definitely have to go back.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Fairly Awesome

My boys LOVE the fair.

Last year they got grounded and didn't get to go, so this year it was ON. Satchel actually ended up going on Monday with his friend, Theo. Yes, the 12 year olds were dropped off and left to their own devices. Satchel reported having fun for awhile, and then puking in a trash can. He complained that he was so sick that he didn't want to eat any of Theo's delicious looking Fried Oreos! He did manage to spend all $42 dollars he had in his pocket though.

This is Satchel in 2012.

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Clearly, rides aren't his thing.

Jiro was extremely bummed that Satchel did not want to go with us on Wednesday, but I promised him we would have fun without him. And we did.

Jiro's buddy Ray was there with his mom, Mad, and the two of them literally ran from ride to ride.

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Mad, who had been there about 45 minutes already, was pretty nauseous and hesitant to ride any more rides, but we got her on a few. I was actually enjoying the rides, and practiced being calm and letting the scary flow over me. Mad coped by screaming and praying to Jesus.

By the time we got to Crazy Mouse, Mad drew the line. I ride Crazy Mouse every year and this year would be no different. By now we had met up with another friend, Lily. I tried to tell her how scary the ride was, but she didn't believe me. I think this $6 photo sold to Lily's dad by the Crazy Mouse operators sums it up perfectly.

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We obviously needed a little sugar to keep going.

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And I insisted on at least one selfie.

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Jiro said, "Awkwaaaard."

Check out Lily's awesome fashion, surely fashioned at this year's Rock-n-Romp Camp.

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I love the way the fair looks at night, but by dark I was ready to go.

Moby Dick (below) is reportedly what made Satchel puke.

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Those extra high flying swings are my new favorite.

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Jiro agreed to leave once he had some Fried Oreos and lemonade. He wanted Satchel to be jealous, although he's too sweet for that. He of course asked soon after if he could take some home to him.

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My sweet boy also made sure to thank me about hundred times on the way home. Although he did say that in a perfect world we would have gone two days earlier (Peyton from "Jessie") or two days later (R4). Both boys have actually been making a play to return tonight for R4 (or is it R5?), but I'm just not ready for that.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Party Crasher

Last Tuesday, my best friend, Marlinee, sent me a simple text: "What's the name of that pho place in New Orleans?" My response? "Who is going to New Orleans!" She was, and not only that, she was following it up with a weekend trip to the beach. It was her unofficial 25th high school reunion with her Murphy High pals from Mobile.

In true best friend fashion, she was sending me "Come join us" texts by Wednesday. By Friday, I was out of excuses for why I couldn't possibly go. On Saturday, I hit the road.

I arrived in Gulf Shores around 2:00pm in the afternoon and kicked my shoes off on the back deck.

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Then I walked down to the beach and joined in on the fun.

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Over the years, I had either met or heard tales of most of the people at the reunion, so I felt right at home. After chit chatting for a bit, I went to unload my car and see what was happening inside.

Max and Tally were making gumbo!

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I washed my hands, and started peeling shrimp. Eventually everyone else came in from the beach, or the store, and we had ourselves a little party.

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Tally's husband, Carl, made salad, and Stephanie doctored up the French bread, and we sat down to one of the best meals of my life.

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Seriously, I am going to dream about Tally's gumbo for the rest of my life.

After dinner, we moved outside to play Cards Against Humanity.

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Not to brag or anything, but I totally won.

We stayed up late talking and I went to bed so, so happy I'd made the drive. When I woke up, I was informed that Marlinee's parents were on their way. Even better, Chow was joining forces with Tally, who lived in Thailand for a few years, to make us all a Thai lunch.

I'm pretty sure this is what mornings are like in heaven.

Marlinee was concerned that Tally might take too long preparing his dish, but Chow came with hers all ready to go.

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We snacked on Thai poppers and spring rolls while Tally worked his magic.

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I'm telling you, he is magic.

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Then, once again, we all gathered around the table to enjoy an amazing meal.

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Once lunch was over and the dishes were done, we went out to the beach. The waves were amazing and we alternated between playing in them and admiring them.

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There are no words for how happy I felt.

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The best part? I still feel it.

Thanks to Marlinee for inviting me, all of the Murphy Panthers for making me feel so welcome, and to Warren for keeping an eye on our babies so I could go and not worry.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Loft Life

Last month I moved to Cooper Young. I found a great apartment, er loft, that makes me feel like I am living downtown, but in Midtown. If that makes any sense.

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It's very safe.

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And kind of reminds me of our house. At least the kitchen does anyway.

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Jiro has been my assistant decorator. He had the genius idea of putting the bunkbeds where a desk would normally go.

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And he helped me hang all of the paintings. Well, the ones I was sure about.

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And he helped fix the things that needed fixing.

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Satchel was a little less enthusiastic about the loft, mainly because it didn't come with wifi and I didn't have a TV. But he slowly came around. He and Jiro found ways to entertain themselves.

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(I took a turn too. It was actually quite fun.)

There has also been some reading and a lot of game playing.

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Mancala is my favorite.

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I am the undisputed champ of checkers. Connect Four is not my strong suit.

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Loft life has its challenges. For one, we are all three sharing a bathroom.

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And I am the head chef.

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I pretty much exhausted my repertoire in the first week! (Hence our first tradition--Monday's at Moe's.)

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Warren still cooks several nights a week, and I get to partake when I pick up the kids. And we've been doing family movie day/dinner out on Sundays.

Everyone seems to be pretty happy with the current arrangement. And the loft is slowly starting to feel like home.

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My next door neighbor, who came to introduce herself last night and maybe ask that we keep it down a bit, will be happy to learn that I have purchased a TV and the cable/wifi is getting hooked up today.
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