Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Still Rockin' My 50th!

For my 50th birthday, Brittany and Emma took me to the Carrie Underwood Blown Away concert! It was unbelievably AWESOME!!! Miss Emma lasted the whole night and had so much fun! She really got into it. Check out her pink cowgirl hat.
I bought us T-shirts. Emma could not have been more ecstatic!
She even made a sign  for Carrie.
As usual, Miss Emma wanted to do a "silly faces" photo. These are always my favorites. 
This was followed by even more silliness.
Our seats were soooooooo good! We were on the second level and were just to the right of center stage. 
See the diamond-shaped piece of flooring just in front of Carrie in the above photo? Well, that piece of flooring lifted up out of the stage and "floated" above the audience, basically all the way back to us. It was so cool!
Look at Miss Emma holding up her sign for Carrie to see. I love this shot of the back of her head and her two little ponytails. So sweet!
Seriously, look at how close they were to us~close enough to get some pretty good shots.
I love this photo, too. That's Emma's hand waving to Carrie.
Carrie waved right at Emma. At least that's what Emma knows to be true. Who am I to disagree, especially after seeing this reaction to Carrie's wave?
And here's Miss Emma waving bye-bye as the stage receded.
Emma was one tired little concert goer on the way home.
What a blast! Thank you, Brittany and Emma, for a wicked birthday gift! (In Bostonese, wicked means awesome!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Five Years Passed in the Blink of an Eye

I'm pretty sure that my mama will literally stop breathing if I don't post photos of Emma's first day of kindergarten. Mama, take a deep breath and enjoy!

You may remember that I bought this dress for Emma to wear on Mother's Day. It came with a matching dress for her Bitty Baby, aka Lucy. 
She decided to wear it for her first day of school. Our dear friends, Vic and Mo, sent her a very pinkity and princessy backpack for her birthday. She refused to use it before her first day of school. You can see that she was super excited!
On her first day of kindergarten, I wanted to take a photo of Emma holding the photo I took of her when she was born. I tried it first with her holding her birth announcement.
Then I tried it with this large photo which hangs above Brittany's bed. I love this photo because of the stories it tells. Emma was three days old in this photo. Daisies are Brittany's favorite flower, and I brought a bouquet of them to the hospital. The daisy in the photo is from that bouquet. You've heard me talk about Robyn, my friend in CO. She and her hubby, Justin, were Emma's first visitors in the hospital. They brought Brittany a beautiful bouquet of roses. The rose petals in this frame are from that bouquet. Sweet, huh?
I decided to go with this one since it's easier to see Emma as a baby. In fact, it's pretty close to life-sized, so it's like Emma holding herself. The background's not so great, but the background isn't what matters so I got over it. Anyway, I framed an 8x10 of this and gave it to Brittany. And, as I'm sure you already guessed, I made one for myself. I kind of wanted a poster of it, or maybe even a mural, ha ha! Anyway, my plan is to have Emma holding this photo on her first day of elementary school, then have her hold that photo on the first day of middle school, then have her hold that photo on the first day of high school. Cool, huh?

Where oh where have the last five years gone? One thing I do know: I have LOVED every minute of those five years. I may be getting gray and arthritic, but life keeps getting better. 

Mama, my next post will be my birthday pics. Love you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Our 29th Anniversary

Rick and I celebrated our 29th anniversary a bit late since I was in the midst of all my dental drama on the actual day. I was really, really, really bummed. My sweetheart, of course, sent me flowers. Purple flowers, my faves!
We got all gussied up a few weeks later and went out for a really nice dinner in Boston. Just FYI: I do NOT have leaves and a candle growing out of my head. Ha ha!
Rick gave me the fanciest of purses ever! It's not an everyday type purse because it can't get wet. Every time we go out on a date, it's my go-to bag. I love, love, love it!
Yup, this post was short and sweet~but at least I posted something new for my mama to read. 

Hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brittany's 28th Birthday

Now that I've posted all of my Europe photos, I can get back to posting about the real world. (Not that I wouldn't like Italy or Paris to be my real world, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.) Here are some photos from Brittany's 28th birthday.

Brittany has always loved musicals. When she was little, my parents got her hooked on all things Judy Garland. Recently, Brittany watched Meet Me in St. Louis with Emma and I watched Hello, Dolly with Emma. She is totally hooked now, too! Anyway, Emma wanted to give her mommy a bunch of musicals and the musical note charm from Pandora. She is so good at thinking of gifts for people. Needless to say, Brittany loved it!
I always tell Emma that she is the best present ever. I think she believes me. She put herself in a giant gift bag!
Brittany wanted a fresh peach pie instead of cake. Darn. I was forced, yes FORCED to eat fresh peach pie!
A few days later, we were lucky enough to see a double rainbow. If you look closely, you'll spot the top one.
That's it for today. Brennan showed up unexpectedly yesterday. He and Keaton are taking me to Boston for the day as a belated birthday celebration. Later, peeps!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Paris Day Five: Sacre-Coeur

Our final stop in Paris was Sacre-Coeur, aka The Church on the Hill. I have to say that this and Saint-Chapelle were two of my favorite stops in Paris." At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, two Catholic businessmen made a private religious vow to build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ, should France be spared the impending Prussian onslaught. The two men, Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury, lived to see Paris saved from invasion despite the war and a lengthy siege -- and the start of work on the Sacre-Coeur basilica... The basilica was completed in 1914, but the consecration was forestalled by World War I until 1919, when France was victorious... The belltower (1895) is 252 ft (83 m) high and contains one of the heaviest bells in the world. The bell itself weighs over 18 tons and the clapper weighs 1900 pounds." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris, pages 226 and 227.) 
Yup, more gargoyles.
These are a few more views of the belltower. 
Photos were prohibited in Sacre-Coeur, but trust me when I say that it was beautiful. For me, it was another breathtaking experience. 

As you now, I love photos of Emma and her uncles. This one is with Keaton.
This is such a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower from Sacre-Couer!
There's always time to play with Papa. Check out the look on Emma's face.
About a block away from Sacre-Coeur, Rick and I stumbled upon this quaint shop. Get this: all it sells are perfume bottles, most of them vintage.
 I fell in love with this perfume bottle displayed in the window. It's my favorite color and the atomizer reminded me of my grandmother.
It is from the 1920s, and all parts are original except for the atomizer tube, bulb, and tassel. Of course, it was way more than the budget I had in mind, so I politely declined and went to look at newer and less expensive ones. Then my very sweet husband asked the shop owner to wrap it up for me as an anniversary gift. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Isn't he wonderful? (Yes, he IS!)

Anyway, after visiting Sacre-Coeur, we decided to find someplace for dinner. We walked and we walked and we walked. Rick and I laughed when we spotted this car. Rick had the exact same car in college! I am sure my mama remembers it, especially the time when some of our friends turned it sideways across the sidewalk and lawn in front of her house!
These are just random photos I shot as we wandered.
Emma loved the fresh flower markets.
We eventually happened upon Moulin Rouge. "Built in 1885, the Moulin Rouge was turned into a dance hall as early as 1900. The cancan originated in Montparnasse, in the polka gardens of the Rue de la Grande-Chaumiere, but it will always be associated with the Moulin Rouge where the wild and colorful dance shows were immortalized in the posters and drawings of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The high-kicking routines of famous 'Dorriss girls' such as Yvette Gullbert and Jane Avril continue a glittering, Las Vegas-style revue that includes sophisticated light shows and displays of magic." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris, page 228.) 
Unfortunately, the neighborhood surrounding the Moulin Rouge was, well, seedy. Let me just say that intimacy is a big business. It was so not the place we wanted Emma (or the rest of us) to see. So we hopped back onto the train and finally found a small but wonderful place for dinner. This day just happened to be Brennan's 24th birthday and we needed to celebrate! 
That's how we ended our wonderful, dreamy, I-can't-believe-we-got-to-do-this vacation in Europe. We saw so many beautiful and interesting things, and we made a lot of wonderful family memories. And so I end your trip through Rome, Venice, and Paris. Thanks for joining me!

And just FYI, Mom: Rick and I will be spending the next several days celebrating Courtney and Nick's wedding, so I won't be posting. I know you're dying to see photos of my birthday, but they'll have to wait until next week. After all, I will be 50 for an entire year, so that gives me time, right?

Hope you are living life to its fullest today!