Monday, August 30, 2010

Bryan's Bean Blossom Birthday Bash

Every year for the past eight years my family and many of my parents' friends have gathered for a weekend of blues in a small town just north of Nashville IN. In the begining the Bean Blossom Blues Festival was two days of blues bands playing to a small crowd. But, it has evolved in its 11 years to include almost three days of bands, a beer and wine tasting and a BBQ cook off. This year the organizer took another huge step forward...he changed the date to include Bryan's birthday and he hired Kenny Wayne Shepherd as his headliner for Saturday night.
Bryan and I missed last year, due to the fact that our babysitters religiously attend this event. But, this year we just couldn't resist the draw of a birthday/anniversary spent at the Blues Festival. Things have changed for us a little as far as the Blues Fest is concerned. Instead of making 200 jello shots, renting a cabin for the two nights and spending the whole weekend parked in a camp chair, we enlisted the help of a trusted babysitter, packed a small cooler with a few beers and some water and headed about an hour south of Indy for a day trip to Bean Blossom.
Bryan shows off his birthday cookie cakes. A closer view of the cookie that didn't get inhaled. The cookies were so cute...and appropriate for the blues festival.
Dad's gift for Bryan. While at a small dive bar in Wisconsin, Kristy bet Bryan $20 that he wouldn't eat one of the pickled turkey gizzards that had been on the shelf since the begining of time. To Kristy's dismay, my shame and no one's surprise Bryan actually liked the disgusting thing. As Bryan munched away on his new favorite snack Wes envisioned an opportunity to snooker my dad at a later date. Long story short...a joke was born and my dad ordered a jar of pickled turkey gizzards as a birthday gift for Bryan.
I won't name names, but Bryan wasn't the only one to enjoy a pickled turkey gizzard at the festival.

Special Shout Out to Mandy, Lilly's best friend. Thanks for coming over on Saturday. Bryan and I had a great time and were able to relax knowing that Lilly was in good hands and having a great time!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our State Fair... a great state fair. Well, that thought isn't universally felt in our family, but Lilly and I like the fair. Bryan, not so much. Every year when I mention going to the fair he makes this horrible face and rolls his eyes. No doubt he is thinking of the heat, the expense and the indigestion that comes along with the state fair. But every year I am proud of Bryan because one day during the almost three week stint that the fair is here (which happens to be the hottest three weeks of the year) he will suck it up. He comes home a little early from work, pastes on a smile and takes Lilly and I to the fair.
This year he seemed to like it more than ever. I think this reaction was in direct correlation to Lilly being old enough to start enjoying the fair. By the time Bryan got home from work I had Lilly so pumped about the fair that only a daddy with a heart of stone wouldn't be excited too and he was eager to do everything the fair could offer a two year old.
Lilly rode a pony. Well, it was more of a miniature donkey, but she was just as happy as if it were a thoroughbred.
She did the 'Little Hands on the Farm' activity. This may be her and Bryan's favorite part. You walk around a path 'harvesting' several things to put in your little basket: little bags of corn and soy beans, an egg, wool, milk, and a vegetable. Then you feed the corn to some animals and sell your other items, you are given a dollar and corralled into a store where you buy an edible farm product: milk, applesauce, etc.
Here is Lilly doing the 'plowing' part. You are supposed to peddle the tractor around the track, but Lilly opted to be pushed around the track on the tractor.
Milking the cow.
Next, we made our way around and passed the midway. We couldn't resist but to treat Lilly to a ride on the world's biggest slide. She loves to slide more than anything else, but this may have been a little fast for her. As they came down the look on her face was pure terror, but as soon as her feet were on solid ground she asked to do it again.
Of course, it wouldn't be the state fair without stopping to see the World's Largest Boar. Unfortunately, the World' Largest Boar also has the world's largest testicles that he insists on proudly displaying against the fence. So, we moved right along to the Grand Champion sow with her litter of piglets before Lilly could ask any questions.
To end our day at the fair we grabbed an ice cream (which turned out to be Lilly's dinner because it was the only thing she ate all evening...yes, I have cleared off a shelf for my 'mother of the year' award) and made our way to the rodeo. It was the best deal at the whole The rodeo was lots of fun and all three of us enjoyed it. That is until Lilly's diaper leaked...while she was sitting on my lap.
We had to go, because while Lilly fit right in at the fair with no pants on, I would not.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The North Woods 2010

What can I say about our third annual Wisconsin trip? It is easily my favorite vacation, and probably for the same reason that many of you would hate it. There is nothing to do. I mean nothing. Now, don't get me wrong I guess there is plenty to do, but nothing that takes a lot of effort. We fish, we sit outside the cabin, we walk to the play ground, we play shuffleboard, we go for a boat ride, we hit the Sportsman bar. But, nothing we do takes more preparation than simply grabbing a sweatshirt and a drink and shutting the cabin door. You don't need hair products or make up. In fact, you can walk into any one of the bar/restaurants up there in cargo pants smeared with fish guts and a camo jacket and fit right in. There is just no real planning or thought required to do anything.
Among the nothing we did so many fun things that I can't even include all of them in this blog. But, I will say that Lilly enjoyed herself more than I ever could have imagined and Bryan and I were both heartbroken on the last day when she woke up excited, ate her breakfast and cheerfully asked to go to the playground. Later that night when we got home she cried after her bath and said "I'm a go back to my cabin".
Lilly on our first full day at the cabin. She is wearing her 'Lil Fishin' Chick' T-shirt and playing her new fishing game. She was surprisingly good at it. I was worried it was too old for her, but she proved me wrong. Notice the tongue hanging out to indicate the amount of concentration.

This is a terrible picture from one of our evening trolling missions (they were all unsuccessful), but it is the only photographic proof that I was even in Wisconsin.

We didn't catch a lot of fish, not nearly as many as last year. All year we kept saying "we don't need to clean 300 crappie" "we don't need to bring so much fish home"...little did we know it wasn't our choice. This year we only caught enough to have a single fish fry. See, we caught so few fish that Dad was even excited about catching the world's smallest bluegill. Don't worry PETA, we threw him back.
While taking a cruise to a connected lake Lilly wormed her way onto Wes's lap and then wasted no time in taking over the wheel.

After losing interest in driving the boat Lilly took in the afternoon sun with Tiki.

Lilly is a budding fashionista, however, some times she seems to struggle with accessorizing. For example, I never would have thought to pair a light blue tu tu with bear claw slippers. But, it seems to work on her.

Fishing with Daddy. They tried almost every day to catch a fish off the dock with Lilly's little Tinkerbell fishing pole, but they were unsuccessful. I tried to convince Wes to swim under the dock and attach a fish to her hook, but no luck.

This picture is dark and I don't if you will be able to see it or not, but as we pulled out for a nightly trolling cruise Lilly sat on Papaw's lap waving good bye. But, as we pulled away she needed her binoculars to see us leave the cove.

I couldn't resist including this picture. Lilly asleep in her little bed. So sweet. Bryan, Lilly and I shared a small room with two sets of bunk beds. After much debate we decided that I would sleep on one of the lower bunks, and Lilly would sleep on the other with her toddler rails attached. We finally decided it would be best if Bryan slept on the top of my bunk...also with toddler rails.

Oh yeah, it wouldn't be the Wisconsin trip blog if I didn't at least mention the mustaches. I don't have a picture of all three of them, but for the second year in a row Bryan, Wes and Dad have grown mustaches while on our trip. The comparing of, grooming, discussion of and giggling about the mustaches takes up quite a bit lot of time.