Monday, July 28, 2008

Music City, Here We Come! (And More...)

Two weekends ago was our fabulous fiesta-themed 30th birthday party! More than 100 friends and their little ones came by to help us celebrate (many bearing tequila, but one anonymous guest dropped off some prunes to help us in our "old age"). My sister Mollie was the greatest surprise of all -- after telling me she wasn't able to come, she hopped on a plane from Denver and appeared in my sleep (I was already in bed when she arrived) a few nights before the party! There were Mexican flags hung through the backyard, lanterns in trees, flowing margaritas and a taco bar, and 75 brightly-colored cupcakes decorated with Mexican flags. And yes, we did light 30 candles -- the first one was almost burned down by the time we got to the 30th. The night before the party, we were downloading Ricky Martin, Shakira, "The Macarena" and "La Cucharacha" from iTunes -- now that's a party mix! The truly sad part (actually inexcusable for someone who writes a blog) is that after taking some photos of the decorations before guests even arrived, we never got the camera back out we don't even have a shot of Rob and I blowing out our candles. But maybe some memories are best to let live in the moment, and that's certainly what we did!

On to the V.B.N. (Very Big News)! Only days before the party, we learned that Caterpillar is transferring us to Nashville, Tennessee. We're very excited about our next adventure in Music City....which will begin soon! Rob starts his new job on October 1, so we're hoping we'll be able to sell our house in Peoria, buy a house down South and actually move in the next eight short weeks. The process has begun with a fury -- the phone is ringing nonstop, between the five inspectors, two realtors, two appraisers, moving company and repairmen who all have appointments this week (three tomorrow before noon!).

The last weeks have flown by with the party and move preparations so that our wonderful family vacation to visit my grandma in Arkansas came and went without mention. Over the fourth of July, we drove through the night and stayed for four days in Fairfield Bay, swimming, boating, reading and relaxing. We had a fun visit with my Aunt Ann, Uncle Scott and cousin Amanda too! Madeline took her first dip in the lake and loved circling Sugarloaf Mountain in my Uncle's speed boat. It just wasn't the same without my grandpa doing his crossword puzzles and saying, "Babe, we got another one" when a new email popped up on the computer screen. But we did feel close to him and had a wonderful visit with my grandma, who is very brave.

This weekend past, Rob went up to Coloma, MI for a guy's weekend to celebrate his friend Jake's upcoming wedding (Rob isn't able to go to the bachelor party in Vegas a few weeks from now). They slow-roasted four different kinds of meat, played poker, took the boat out, competed at bags (some people call it "Cornhole" but I can't say it, much less write it without giggling) and drank beer -- boy heaven. Madeline and I were thrilled to be dropped off at our friend Erin and Erik's house in Chicago as Rob traveled North. Jamie, Eric and Kainoa were there Thursday and Friday as well, so we had a great time -- eating late night ice-cream, going for walks, making a nice dinner and reading gossip magazines. Girl heaven!

We also spent a wonderful day with my dad and Nancy last week. Madeline and my dad were inseparable...they were like old fishing buddies who grew up together. He read her books, she "helped" him type emails. They went for a long walk along Grand View Drive, but only after spending time playing in the garden. They even checked the mail together. At one point, when Madeline couldn't find her Papa, she looked through the crack underneath a closed door, sadly moaning his name. Later, when she saw Ning, she threw open her arms and launched herself forward -- it was the biggest hug I've ever seen from such a little person.

So life is busy and only getting busier. But even if it takes me a little while between posts, I'll keep writing!

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