Wednesday, September 30, 2009

weekend in des moines

I was so excited to have a mini vacation last weekend! I drove to Des Moines, IA to spend 4 days with my sister Christine, and I had a wonderful time! :)

I arrived around 3:30pm on the 25th. Christine gave me a tour of her new apartment and her neighborhood. That evening, we headed up to Ames for a few hours. We attended the Wine, Women, and Song benefit at Prairie Moon Winery, and I got to meet a couple of Christine's friends:

We also went over to the Stomping Grounds on Welch Ave. for some tea....

Back at Christine's, we hung out with her kitties ~ Skylla:
and also Gossamer, who I wasn't able to get a good picture of, unfortunately.

The next morning, we met our parents at the Farmer's Market. We had a little breakfast (yum!):
and then walked around the market, looking at all the fresh fall produce:

and beautiful flowers:
We also saw lots of fun artwork for sale:
The 4 of us ate a delicious lunch at The Rolling Wok:
We did a little shopping at some antique stores and caught a glimpse of the capitol:
I liked this sign by the parking garage. Little did I know we'd be going to Java Joe's on Sunday night!:
We went back to Christine's and took Wiccan outside for awhile ~ he was very happy about that! :)
That night we went to People's Court to see The Airborne Toxic Event, yay!! (We also saw Red Cortez... they were pretty good... and The Henry Clay People... who I wasn't real impressed with.) These guys were AWESOME, though! :) :
Steven Chen:
Mikel Jollett:
Mikel and Noah Harmon:
Anna Bulbrook:
Daren Taylor, Noah, and Anna:
And a couple more of Noah (he was right in front of us, so was the easiest one to get pictures of!):

On Sunday, Christine took me to the Drake Diner for breakfast. It was sooooo good:
Then we headed over to Valley Junction for a little "window shopping". This store was the best... so fun! It was filled with vintage clothing (mostly from the 60's and 70's)... someday when I have money, I'll have to go back there and buy some go-go boots. I've always wanted some! LOL! :
That afternoon we went to the grand opening of the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden in downtown Des Moines. (Also stopped for some lemonade at The Ritual Cafe.) There were some very cool sculptures:

That night we went to the Civic Center and saw Wicked. Love that musical!:
We went to Java Joe's for something to drink, and then we went back to the Sculpture Garden, to see how the art looks at night... very cool!:

And a little creepy, too, LOL!:

This one is my favorite, as you can probably tell from all the pictures!:
That's Christine, inside the sculpture:

On Monday Christine took me to The Market for another yummy breakfast, and then I had to say goodbye and head home. :( Thank you, Christine, for the awesome weekend!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

four years already!

Amidst all the sadness last weekend, there was also joy as we celebrated Benjamin's 4th birthday. (How on earth can he be four already??) I had wanted to post pictures of him over the years on his actual birthday, but ran out of time... so will do it today, belatedly. Here is Benjamin and me on the day of his birth, Sept. 20, 2005... when I first got to see my new baby boy: Here he is in 2006, eating Cheerios, yum:
Benjamin at 2 years, in 2007, looking over my dad's shoulder:
Three years old in 2008:
And here he was on Sunday, 4 years old! (He's holding up 4 fingers.):
Happy birthday, little guy!!

On the 17th, Ben got to take birthday treats to preschool ~ he was so excited!:
He got to bring something home from preschool that day, too... the class mascot, Dumbo. (The class is held in the Elephant Room.) We then wrote a little paragraph about his visit to our house, for Ben to share with the class on the next school day. Here he is, snuggling with his new friend:
On Thursday night, Chef Nick made this yummy meal for supper ~ bologna and egg cups, homemade mac 'n' cheese, and scalloped apples:
with "Dirt" for dessert:
On the evening of the 19th, our friends Steve, Karen, and David drove down for a little birthday party. Ben had picked a Thomas theme:

Here is Ben with his best bud (and my godson), David:
Opening a present:
Time for cake!:

About 6 months ago, Ben asked me if he could have chocolate cake with pink frosting for his birthday. I told him he could. He then surprised me last week by reminding me to buy the pink frosting! So, here it is:
Emmalie made the cake for me while I was at the funeral. (And Ben very proudly added the sprinkles!)
Emm and Nick:

The whole group:
On Sunday, we spent the morning at church. Then, after lunch, the birthday boy opened his gifts:
He loved his new game, Cars vehicles, and remote control car!:
Of course, we had to take his new car outside to test it out. Ben and Nick had a blast racing it up and down the driveway:

After that, we headed over to Chuck E. Cheese for awhile. Benjamin had a great time with all the games and the playground!:

That evening, we had cake and ice cream again:
I also took our traditional photos of the birthday boy with each of us:

Benjamin, I hope you have a fantastic year, being 4!!