Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break is Precious

My child is not yet in school. Luckily, I have a couple more years before I’ll be thinking about homework assignments, packing lunches and parent-teacher conferences. But I am still looking forward to spring break with much anticipation.

Why? For the babysitting, of course! My favorite sitter will be available over her spring break. Hey, at least I am honest.

Actually, many people I know are anxiously looking forward to spring break. My teacher friends are all thrilled to have a much-needed week off. A few people here in the office are planning to take time off for family since the kids will be out of school. Others I know are in graduate school and looking forward to the rest from nightly reading and classes, even if just for a week.

Just for a moment, think back to your own spring break weeks…whether it was grade school, high school, college or beyond. What memories stand out most for you? Did you lounge? Go to the beach? Disney World?

For me, one of my most memorable spring breaks was back in high school. My family traveled to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and rented a house for a week. I was thrilled to be able to walk to the beach…it was a short 100-yard walk in my new red flip flops. My brother and I walked to the beach early each day to hunt for sea shells. The best shells could be found in the morning. The thrill of the hunt was as much fun as finding them. We were also fascinated by the people on the beach who slowly walked with radar detectors, gently waving them back and forth as they meandered down the shore line with their headphones on, listening for a signal that treasure lay beneath the surface.

That week, my brother and I collected over 100 shells, but unfortunately, we left them all in a bucket by the back door of the rented beach house! Hopefully, the finder kept a few of the nicer ones since we worked so hard to collect them.

Today, I no longer collect shells. I do, however, collect Precious Moments figurines. In honor of that memory, I’ve posted one of my favorite Precious Moments figurines above to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as you think of your favorite spring break memories. Better yet, come visit our Facebook page and share them with us!

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's Time To Spring Ahead!

It’s time to spring ahead! I always have bittersweet feelings toward this time of year. I hate the idea of giving up a precious hour of sleep when we turn the clocks ahead, but I love the idea of longer days because that means that spring is just around the corner! So this year I’ve decided to ignore my lost hour of sleep and focus on all the things I can do now that the days are longer.

One of the things I really enjoy doing when the days are longer is going for a walk after dinner. Being out in the fresh air and seeing the trees and flowers start to bud always puts me in a good mood. It helps get me motivated to tackle all the “spring cleaning” projects around the house. This year, we are focusing on turning our somewhat bare backyard into an inviting outdoor space that includes a screened in porch, swing set for our daughter and some much needed landscaping – fingers crossed that we can get all done!

One of the other things I’m looking forward to is teaching my daughter how to ride a tricycle. For her 2nd birthday, we took her to the store and she picked out her very own tricycle. It has been sitting in our garage for a couple months now, just waiting for a nice spring day to take it out for a test drive. She has tried riding it a few times, but it’s hard to learn to ride by just circling around the garage. This past weekend, we had our first opportunity to venture out of the garage. Here is a picture of her first real “ride”. She’s still getting the hang of it, but I’m sure she’ll be zooming around the neighborhood in no time!

These are just a few things I’ll be doing now that the days are longer. What do you like to do when we “spring ahead” to longer days? Share your stories and photos with us!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Plant a Flower, Celebrate Spring

Everyone loves a holiday, and if you look, you’ll discover that just about every day of the year is some sort of holiday. Well, we discovered that tomorrow is “Plant A Flower Day.” Is that sweet or what? It’s timely, too, since spring seems to finally be tip-toeing in; after all, last week was positively polar.

I remember that my own grandmother maintained a garden for years. She grew her own tomatoes and zucchinis, and she also planted beautiful border beds around her entryway and the trees in her back yard. When I visited her around this time of year, she enlisted my help, and I loved helping plant all the flowers because I got to pick the colors of the flowers when we selected them from her local nursery. To this day, when I look at pansies, I remember her—she was the one who taught me about their “faces.”

Now my little boy is about the same age I was when I first began helping my grandmother in her garden. And my own mother is anxious again to have her grandson visit her again. She has purchased large pots to plant an assortment of spring flowers, and she can’t wait to have his help!

It just so happens that we are premiering a BRAND NEW Precious Moments figurine. Just like we think “Plant a Flower Day” is such a sweet idea, we think this little teardrop-eyed boy makes such a sweet presentation. I can’t wait to place my order so I can send this one to my mother. If you’d like to order one as well, please respond to this posting or let us know on Facebook!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Night to Remember Is Always Better When Shared

March is a big month for me. It’s my mom’s birthday month, my husband’s birthday month and my own birthday month. And there’s March Madness, of course. They say it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but I have to say it has come in like a polar bear this year. It has been unseasonably cold!

Another March event is the Academy Awards. I usually watch every year, although it’s difficult to stay up until the very end—especially this year. See, I used to watch the Oscars every year with my close friend, who now lives in Texas. We made an event out of the show and rated the red carpet looks, watched who showed up with whom and, of course, we chose the winners and watched to see if our guesses were correct. And for me, they are truly guesses. I have a 4-year old, and while going to the movies isn’t impossible, it’s hard to see all the nominated films by Oscar night. I will get around to seeing the films, of course—eventually.

This year I kept my date with my friend and watched some of the evening’s presentation while talking on the phone with her. Talking with her and sharing the experience made it so much more fun, and it made me realize that events like this are more fun when shared, much like actually going to a movie with a friend.

So who did we like on the red carpet? Well, we definitely liked Sandra Bullock’s dress. She looked Oscar-worthy, especially with that beautiful makeup. And another standout was Vera Farmiga. Today we learned that both are by the same designer, Marchesa.

Here are those dresses. The photos are from the Oscar.com.

Did you watch the Oscars with friends? Did you have a favorite red carpet look? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.