28 June 2014

Missouri Trip Part III - Fireflies and Lake Houses

I'm home now. Just rolled back into Florida, and I really never want to see the inside of a car again for a very long time.

Or at least until Monday when I have to drive around to my patients houses again. Yay.

I had a fabulous time with my family. Really, really great. This was, after all, a strictly family-based vacation since I haven't seen any of my side of the family since February when my parents came to visit.

So....warning: We are about to go down a really, really sappy branch of memory lane.

You know what I really missed about Missouri?

Those fantastic Midwest thunderstorms that roll in and stick around for awhile. Florida does get some pretty spectacular storms, but they're usually over in about five minutes. Minus the hurricanes.

We had one while I was there.

And of course, Dad and I go out into the driveway to look up at the sky as big, fat raindrops splash us in the face and the lightening crisscrosses the sky.

Obligatory funeral home shot right there, folks.

We used to do the same thing when the tornado sirens went off, which is probably why I'm petrified with even the smallest tornado watch alert.

Then again, when you grow up where I did, not much freaks you out.

I also missed the fireflies. For some reason, Florida just doesn't have them.

My parent's backyard right now has millions. It's gorgeous. It reminds me of family BBQs and catching fireflies in jars and bonfires and s'mores.

My cousin Andrew and I also discovered you could smash the fireflies and smear their light trail on your arms. You could also make glow-rings out of their butts. We were cool like that.

I took some pretty spectacular firefly video, but it won't upload to the blog. So trust me. It was amazing.

What else did I miss? For as long as I can remember, we've always had a place at the Lake of the Ozarks. Many summer mornings we would load up friends and swimsuits and sunscreen and head for the Lake for a day, a long weekend, a week, etc. So this trip back, we decided to go visit our favorite places.

This is my home-away-from-home.

So many memories here.

My old bedroom in the loft. I loved waking up to the smell of mom making coffee. The sound of dad snoring until noon when we would wake him up to go swimming or for him to make his famous salsa eggs.

Summers at the Lake meant staying up late whispering to my sister about the cute boys we saw down on the docks. Nighttime boat rides to watch the fireworks at Tan-Tar-A. Swimming in the pool because I refuse to swim anywhere there are fish, sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee while watching the sun rise over the bluffs.

Trips to Randy's. Always the trips to Randy's.

No matter how close I live to the ocean, I will always hold the Lake in my heart. I'm a Lake Girl. 

It was so great to be able to reminisce with my family this week. We might be getting older, but in my mind we're all still stuck in the '90's!! 

Today I love: Getting home to my puppies (I would say Matt, but he won't arrive until tomorrow)! What I don't love is the dog hair everywhere since we don't board the dogs when we're gone. They have complete run of the house with the pet sitter, which means the rest of the night I'll be vacuuming up dog hair and deodorizing the couches. Yay me!

Stay tuned for more Missouri Adventures...

27 June 2014

Missouri Trip Part II - The Arrival

I have to admit that all through high school and college the only thing I wanted to do was leave Missouri. I thought it was boring and the same thing all the time and all I wanted was something different.

Then, you grow up. You do leave. You move to other states - and yes, you have fun being nomadic adventurers exploring what different states have to offer.

But then you realize what was left behind, and you actually start looking forward to going back to your home state.

Saturday afternoon, when we crossed over from Illinois into Missouri, I saw a sight that brought tears to my eyes.

Cheesy, I know. But it's true!!

Home isn't home without the St. Louis Arch.

I had a to-do and to-see list to accomplish while here at home, and seeing the Arch was on there somewhere.


Imo's Pizza was number one on the list. NUMBER ONE.

A St. Louis classic, I grew up on this stuff. I crave it when I'm not at home.

Imo's is a religion down here, and I am more than happy to partake.

Plus, St. Louis is the birthplace of REAL toasted ravioli - not that nasty stuff elsewhere in the world that consists of floppy noodles and disgusting cheese filling.

This is how God intended ravioli to be.

And please ignore my husband when he says that Imo's is nothing more than ketchup on a cracker. Imo's pizza is tasty deliciousness of a super-thin crust smothered with provel cheese. Provel - completely processed and completely amazing.

For fun reading, try "One City's Love Affair with Processed Cheese" from NPR.

This is my heritage, people.

Day One in the Eaton Household consisted of - of course - Makeup with Aunt Addie!!!!!

Do you remember the Makeup Party last November?

Pretty much the same, except this time we were able to smear all sorts of colors and sparkles all over grandma's kitchen table.


And I'm not sure who's awesome idea this was, but Addie and Addie were put together in the same room. Maybe because of all the 3's? I'm 33 and she's 3?

In any case, this was the sleeping arrangement.

I was on the bottom trundle, because Aunt Addie sometimes has to get up in the middle of the night to go to the potty, and we didn't want her to be climbing over Little Addie at 2am.

That, and I'm not quite the Princess Sofia aficionado that my niece is.

Adelyn saw her new Princess Sofia sheets and screamed at the top of her lungs, "MooMoo (what she calls her grandma), this makes me SO HAPPY!!!"

Here's how bedtime went down:

8:30pm - Adelyn goes to bed.
9:30pm - Aunt Addie goes to bed, because we all know she can't stay up much later than that without developing a case of the grumpies.
11:30pm - Adelyn rolls out of bed, right onto Aunt Addie. After Aunt Addie catches her breath and scoots over, Addie and Addie snuggle in and go back to sleep.
12:30am - Adelyn wakes up and states "This isn't my bed! I need to go back to my bed!" I help her get back into her bed and we fall back asleep.
1:30am - Adelyn rolls out of bed again, right on top of Aunt Addie. Again. Aunt Addie groans and scoots over, and ignores the fact that one of us smells like a little bit of pee.
3:00am - Aunt Addie wakes up to the touch of a little hand patting her face and a little voice saying "Aunt Addie!! Aunt Addie!! What are you doing???"

3am people. 3am.

Aunt Addie then gives up any premise of trying to sleep and decides the couch will be her bed for rest of the week.

Amen and amen.

26 June 2014

Missouri Trip Part 1 - The Great Idea

This year for my summer vacation, my sister and I decided that instead of planning some sort of awesome tropical getaway (because, come on - I have enough sand in my car and shoes as it is from living in Florida), it would be a good idea for all of us to meet up in Missouri at our parent's house to visit them and our grandpa.

Grandpa and I aren't getting any younger, and we wanted the chance to visit with him as much as possible this week, because he's definitely not up for 18 hour car trips to visit me. So we come to him.

And of course, I'm solo. Matt is up to his eyeballs in his Master's classes (last count was that he was on page 36 of a massive paper), so he needed some time alone to concentrate - plus he flew out today to go to Ohio for some big presentation or thesis discussion or something.

Thank you JESUS we don't have summer baseball this year.

So what do I do?

I come up with the awesome idea to drive to my sister's last Friday, help her and Cole load up the family van with a three-year-old and one-year-old, and drive from Georgia to Missouri.

Let me repeat: with a three-year-old and a one-year-old.

Seriously awesome idea, right?

They were waiting in the driveway when I arrived Friday afternoon, and Adelyn was beyond herself with excitement. Liddie kept playing with rocks and bugs...letting me know where I stand in her life.

Let's recap some highlights so far:
  • I'm now referring to myself in the third-person as "Aunt Addie."
As in, "Aunt Addie has Twizzlers and Diet Coke and animal crackers and caffeine pills!!!! Who would like some??" And "Aunt Addie has to go potty. Does anyone else need to go potty?" And "Aunt Addie has a headache and needs to go lay down and her iPhone battery died so no, we cannot listen to all the Frozen songs again and again and again. And again."
  • Speaking of, I've impressed not only my nieces, but also my brother-in-law that me, the Childless Wonder, knows every word to every song in Frozen.

  • I now know the entire soundtrack to any Dora episode ever.

  • Baby Einstein videos are referred to as "baby crack." And it's seriously true.

  • I've taught Adelyn that when someone tells her she's pretty, she needs to respond with an "I know!" My sister loves that one.

  • The sound of babies crying does not register with me anymore. It's pretty much white noise. All the time white noise.

  • Adelyn and I have formed a gang. We're now called "The Addies."

We have our own hand signs and everything.

More Missouri posts to come...we're sneaking off to the store while the kids are watching Frozen with their daddy. Again. For the 139th time.

Wait. Scratch that. We're now all watching Frozen as a family. You know, more bonding time over Disney animation.

Today I love: The sound of Adelyn saying "Aunt Addie, you're my favorite Addie ever."