August 26, 2010

Favorite Quote for the Day

Boss: If I come across any boxes that would be good packing boxes, I will give them to you for your move.

Me: Thanks. Those will be useful...if we ever move. (Sigh)

Boss: You will, don't worry. The Lord is teaching you -

Me: Don't even say the word.

Boss: Um... Endurance. That's the word. You thought I was going to say "patience," didn't you?

Me: [Thought Bubble: I love working here.]

August 25, 2010

PA Faves, Part I

So tonight I wanted to get up a blog post or two about our time with family, complete with loads of photos. Well, until I find a better way to load photos on to Blogger, that multiple post in one night thing isn't going to happen. So here is a partial highlights real, complete with tons of Levi photos. More will follow later and possibly some analysis. 

Levi with my parents' dog, Charley. Charley is a golden retriever, and my parents have him shaved every summer to give him some relief from the heat. It works, but he looks ridiculous.

One of the main reasons for the visit was to meet Levi's newest cousin, Avery, who was born on July 27 and now shares a birthday with his grandfather. Avery did this a lot, though I think my sister wishes he did it more at night and less during the day.

After watching Levi sit and play with this toy for long periods of time, it occurred to me that he is bored with the current toy selection available to him at his house. Time to get out the interesting toys and put away those newborn toys.

Levi with the Shandick cousins.

Welcome to peace and quiet, as long as the dogs aren't barking.

Levi got to meet his Great Aunt Patti for the first time, and she gave him his very first pair of Levi's jeans.

Remember that blue sky and those puffy clouds I talked about in my last post? Ta da!

Lindon and Levi on the dock. The hills around the Allegheny in East Brady are always stunning. 

August 24, 2010

Back in the Saddle

This blog post began yesterday, but not surprisingly, it must be finished today. Wish I could start and finish things in the same day.

We are back in St. Louis, and it's good to be home. Our time in PA was wonderful for many reasons, some of which I hope to articulate here in the coming days. Lots of photos will accompany those thoughts, too.

I'll begin by saying (sans photos for now) the weather was just stunning. At some point during our 25+ hours in the car over the last 10 days I confessed to Lindon that the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Western PA is snow in April. For as long as I have had connections with Butler, PA, I remember it snowing in April. This is an utterly depressing tradition, one that really puts a freeze on spring fever (ha...). But even more annoying than snow in April is the natives acting like it's a freak event and whining about it, year after year after year.

So after seeing enough unseasonably mild Decembers followed by depressing springs to last me the rest of my life, I have stopped hoping that the weather in Pennsylvania will ever cooperate, but last week I ate my words. Nearly every day was simply brilliant. Cool, dewy mornings turned into radiantly sunny afternoons. The sky was bluer than I had ever seen in that dreary place, dotted with puffy white clouds - notice I said white clouds, not gray. When we ventured down to the Allegheny River to dip our toes in the water, I found the river to be surprisingly warm, even enjoyable, which was good since I had to spend so much time making sure the creepy crawler did not eat a fistful of sand or try to use his mouth as a fishing net.

And after a summer of oven-like temperatures in dear old St. Louie, it was surprisingly nice to get a break from the relentless heat. Plus, no mosquitoes! Truly, my tune toward PA might be changing. Not only was it comfortable and sunny, but the scenery could scarcely have been lovelier. I have always enjoyed PA's rolling hills, and they were in fine form covered with deep green grass and grazing animals. And under the above-mentioned blue sky and cotton-like clouds, it really was a sight.

So rural Pennsylvania might be growing on me. Lindon is delighted. The cognitive dissonance might be more than I can bear, but it's better to be honest with myself than stick to knee-jerk prejudices, right? So I will comfort myself by claiming the intellectual high road.

More on all of this and photos to come soon! 

August 12, 2010

On the Road Again...again

Whenever someone tells me that I am so laid-back about things, I must resist the urge to laugh out loud.

As regulars to this blog know (all two of you), this Fowler is hardly fearless. She's also far from footloose and fancy free. She does, however, love alliteration.

The past few months have shown me that my uptight-o-meter goes through the roof when I am preparing for an extended absence. The weeks leading up to my beginning maternity leave were maddening because my mind constantly mulled the ever-growing list of things I felt I needed to accomplish before I left the office. Going out of town presents me with the same problem. I want to make sure that everything is perfectly in order before I leave and that nothing I might need while gone is left behind. The fear of forgetting something never leaves me until the house is out of sight.

Of course, once I am actually ON the road, my anxiety goes out the window. Perhaps I have done so much stressing up to that moment that exhaustion just takes over. Who knows, but usually I enjoy the time away and laugh about what a mess I was in preparation for the trip.

I say all this because I have been a train wreck the past few days. Thinking about going back to Pennsylvania and all the details of packing for me and baby and preparing the office for my departure was maddening. Last night I finally admitted to myself how stressed I was and realized that it does not make sense to stress out about wanting to have a good time.

So, now I am ready to hit the road. We pull out in just a few hours, and I am ready for family time. More photos and reflections will come when I return! 

August 10, 2010

I Feel So Vindicated

If you ever had to write press releases or newsletter articles and suspected your hyped-up text felt artificial and would never actually earn your less-than-newsworthy release even half a second before an editor's eyes, you were right.

If you ever had to take public relations in college and write press releases for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which seemed like a total waste since the state roads were perpetually deplorable despite the lame statistics touted by the state's PR lady with fake hair extensions who reveled in the fact that you were doing her job for her,  this article is for you.

Take that, leading leader best unique award winning sustainable breakthrough. Your potholes make my teeth chatter.

August 3, 2010

Dear Blank Please Blank...Fearless Fowler Edition

Recently a friend introduced me to the mindless joys of the site Dear Blank Please Blank. After perusing through the site a few times, I started developing my own "dear blank" notes about various situations in my life. Without further ado...

Dear Garlic Bread,
      Would you mind trying to be a little less addictive? Thanks.

                              Sincerely, salt and butter fanatic.

Dear Summer,
     I like you.

                             Sincerely, your secret admirer.

Dear Clients,
      Please wear deodorant when coming to meet with your attorney. Please.

                                Sincerely, the assistant you think is so patient.

Dear Children's Acetaminophen,
     THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

                                Sincerely, mother of a teething, and now back to napping, bambino.

Dear Plants,
      I promise to water you soon. It's just that the rain threw me off, and I have forgotten about you a little bit. Please forgive me and try to not die.

                               Sincerely, green thumb turning black.

Dear Email Response For Which I am Waiting,
     Apparently staring at the screen and willing you to appear in my inbox does not work, so I thought I would put in a request in writing. Please come soon.

                                Sincerely, make my dream come true.

Dear Acquaintances,
     Please understand that when we return to PA for 8 days - spending 4 at one house and 4 at another, plus an additional two days of just driving - and have 15 family members to see that we only get to see a few times each year at best, stopping by your house or work establishment to show you our kid is not a high priority.
                                 Sincerely, road weary traveler.

Dear Beautiful Boy,
     Thank you for being such a joy and for showing this smile so often.

                                    Sincerely, your adoring mother.

Dear White Eyelet Skirt from Goodwill,
     Please keep being beautiful and making me feel so pretty.

                                  Sincerely, twirling around the office.

Dear Husband of over five and a half years,
     Please know that you are a fabulous father, and I love you so much. And Levi just adores you.

                             Sincerely, your still-smitten wife.