Thankful Thursday

Before we go out and enjoy the sunshine, I want to thank my lucky stars for another blessing we've been granted: my sweet little Nate.

He's a bright spot in any day. A joker. A snuggler. He's one of those children who is so positive, so silly, so happy, that when he is NOT you know something is seriously wrong.

When he came into our lives, I remember wondering how I could possibly love another child as much as I loved Philip. Not that I used up all my love on our first, but that if I felt so much love. Twice. as. much. I thought I might burst from all that emotion.

And its true. I do. Sometimes I fall into tears because its so overwhelming. And they love me back just as much. Its such a gift. And little Nate? Well, he brings the laughter into our home. He's a wit. A goofball. And very often, a prankster.

With those dimples popping out all the time I swear I could just eat him up. Sometimes I just tackle him and we snugglefest. And those little giggles just light up my whole world.

The Spoils of Another Fun Weekend

Things that made this weekend completely awesome:
1) Being together. Still hasn't grown old, after years of being apart and then almost a year together again. Its just amazing. And I know a few families who are going through the 'apart' so it makes me appreciate the 'together.'
2) Friends. Phil had friends in VA coming into this phase. I had maybe one. But I'm meeting some fantastic people, especially lately. And we've been lucky to have their company. I'm happy to be around such sweet genuine women.
3) Shopping-I don't like it very much, unless I successfully find exactly what I need. Which, in this case, was easter outfits for the boys, a killer red lip gloss (NARS in Norma), and a cool kitchy silver plate from the Old Lucketts Antique Store. Not exactly an antique, but I found this silver plate, a hunt trophy that is engraved "Spur & Stirrup 4-H 1980" among all the butter trays. It makes a neat little tray for my favorite pieces of jewelry, though I can't claim to have won it.

Some Things Change, Yet Stay the Same

Any warm night after dinner, when we still lived in Plymouth, we always cleaned up the kids and went for a walk. We took advantage of every last bit of sunlight. We stopped off somewhere for dessert. My two skinny little boys would relish a scoop of ice cream, or a sickly sweet popsicle. Sometimes we spent an insane amount of money (but really not that much) on a single cupcake at Cupcake Charlie's.
Here in Virginia we live around the corner from a great Vietnamese shopping center. The spring arrives a lot earlier. In force. So we clean up the kids, put away the dishes, and walk.
We stop to pose by a statue or two perhaps.

We stop in a market and manhandle some massive sticky buns. Wonder what "mung bean cookies" really taste like.

And for about the price of a cupcake, we get the kids each a "bubble tea." We have all become accustomed to the odd black tapioca pearls. I really wish they were blue or something...

But they are really REALLY yummy. Nate goes wild for the watermelon.

I go wild for that adorable smile.

Vintage Finds and a Home Decorating Idea

Sundays we do anything we can to be outside. This weekend that involved a trip to see maple syrup being boiled down at an old mill. Since that was pleasant, but over quickly, we decided to take a trip further outside the city to a place we had been told was pretty cool. Turns out, it really was.
This is outside the Old Lucketts Store. I would only loosely call it an antiques shop, because it is anything but a crusty old junk shop. On the property they even have a 'design house' which is really nifty, and so cool I wish I took more pictures because I would decorate my house JUST LIKE THAT. If I had a house.
So I behaved myself, but walked away with a few gems. Like these iron pieces from an old fence. Can you just see the potential?
We happened upon a box of old keys too, so I picked a few for a little project. There's a lot you can do with old keys, according to Pinterest. So I came up with this:
It took me just a few minutes and about $25 to find a few pretty frames, some light batting, and a scrap of Waverly fabric at the craft store. I think a cream brocade would have been really cool, but I wanted to get this done so I grabbed what caught my eye.
People must have thought me a bit strange as I walked around, waving rusty old keys at the bolts of fabric, though.
I removed the glass from the picture frames. Then I cut a piece of batting slightly smaller that the cardboard inset and glued it directly to the cardboard. I cut a generous piece of the fabric and centered it carefully over the cardboard and batting. Flipping it over, I glued it to to the back of the inset, keeping it taught.
After I did this with both picture frames, I replaced the now cutely upholstered inset into each frame. Then I got to play with the placement of the keys.
I didn't want anything too orderly, so I decided to display the chunky key by itself.
Glue gun the keys in place, being careful to not use too much so it can be concealed behind the key. I used a piece of tweezers to remove any stray pieces of glue, and they were ready immediately to display. A very cute and conversational reminder of our adventures in Northern Virginia.

We Be Crazy

Oh oh oh. Where do I begin? I don't want to bore you with a long list of all the things we did this weekend. So lets stick to the times I used my camera. Which does not include making two different kinds of fudge on friday. I was also enjoying myself way too much with our friends friday night over pizza to snap a few shots. And our foray into crab-shack delicacies was just too messy to document. Delicious. But messy.
But saturday I did catch a few great moments. We donned some clover that I cut from pieces of felt. We glued some to Myles' harness. I glue-gunned some to a headband for myself. Then we stopped by Old Town Alexandria for some good irish fun.
If you love your dog, you will love Alexandria. They are a super pet-friendly city and hold dozens of pet-themed events, including fundraisers for rescue organizations. Before the St. Patrick's Day Parade on saturday they held a dog show at Market Square. Myles was in HEAVEN. He wagged, sniffed bum, played and pranced. And hopped. He has this habit of leaping three feet straight up when he sees a fellow canine. Pretty funny.
Then we ate outside at Thai restaurant. Yet another native Thai-speaker was impressed by my husband's language training. Oh, and of course the food was delish.

Isn't he handsome?

We'll get to sunday on a post all its own, as that single day we discovered a historic mill, drove all around northern virginia, learned how to eat hard shell crabs, and went shopping in one of the coolest antique stores I have EVER seen.