Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Savannah, Georgia (with lots of pictures!)

In a burst of spontanaity, we went to the beach!  That's right folks, I have now seen the Atlantic Ocean.  We spent two fun-filled days in Savannah, hitting the beach, checking out some historical sites, and enjoying the Southern charm of this beautiful city.  

Of course we all loved the beach.  I am still amazed at how warm the water was.  Prior to this trip, the only beaches I'd been to were pretty cold (the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Scotland).  Or really cold, now that I think about it.  

Miss Meatball was born to go to the beach.  From the moment we plopped her down on the wet sand, she sat splashing in the little waves and giggling.  Much to my relief, she showed no interest in eating sand, although she did taste a seashell or two.  The waves made The Buster a little bit nervous, but it didn't take long for him to start running in the waves with Mr. O.  Mostly The Buster spent his time digging for sharks, which he claimed were "hiding" in the sand.  

digging for sharks

all of us after our happy day at the beach 
We spent the evening hanging out at in historic downtown, where we snacked on some yummy gelato and then listened rocked out to some live music.  The Buster is a dancing machine.  I was a little disappointed in the popular Vinnie VanGoGo's pizza,  but then, I have very definite opinions about pizza sauce.    

The next day, we visited Fort Pulaski, which was pretty cool.  Aside from its interesting history and musket-firing demonstration (which we skipped due to The Buster's already keen interest in firearms), the fort provided The Buster and Miss Meatball tons of open space to explore.  The Buster went from cannon to cannon, checking for cannon balls and yelling "BOOM."    
she makes ME smile


one day this child WILL look directly at the camera  

 me and my girl Meatball : )  

One of my favorite places we visited was Forsythe Park.  Located in Savannah's Victorian District, the park looked just like I imagined Savannah would look like: wide, shaded sidewalks, trees dripping in Spanish moss, a massive Civil War monument, and an absolutely gorgeous fountain.

Spanish moss!  

I think most of these decorative/atmospheric elements escaped The Buster's notice, but there was also a toddler-friendly playground, a splash fountain for The Buster to soak himself in, and a guy selling snow cones.  Miss Meatball really liked the snow cones.  All in all, we had a great little trip and are already gearing up for our next adventure.  What did you do over Memorial Day weekend?  Hopefully you had as much fun as we did!   


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mr. O

Mr. O and The Buster at about this time last year.  

Today is a pretty important day here at the Family O:  It's Mr. O's birthday.

Mr. O and I met at a museum lecture about printing presses.  I was late, and as fate would have it, the only empty seat was next to Mr. O.   He smiled at me, I smiled at him.  I wish that I could say that it was love at first sight, but it wasn't.  I don't think we said more than a dozen words to each other: "Is this seat taken?"  "No, go ahead."      
We were formally introduced a few months later, and the possibility of love should have been crushed when I yelled something at him about being obnoxious (yes, I really did).  An ordinary man would have run.  But for some reason that I still don't fully understand, he fell in love with me instead.     

Mr. O is one of the most patient people that I know--even though sometimes I accuse him of being otherwise.  He tolerates my anxiety and insecurities, believing in me when I don't believe in myself.  I will be the first to admit that being married to me cannot possibly be a cakewalk, yet he keeps on loving me through all my ups and downs.  He is the best husband, the best dad, and my best friend.  So, Happy Birthday, Mr. O.   I love you the most.      


Monday, May 21, 2012


Miss Meatball taking a dip in our makeshift swimming pool.  

It actually feels like summer has been here for awhile.  It is already so darn hot!  It feels like we skipped spring altogether, or had it back in February.  I didn't understand what people meant when they said "at least it's a dry heat" until we moved to the South.  If you have never experienced humidity, believe me.  It's brutal.  I would happily take a dry 95 degrees over a humid 82 degrees any day of the week.

With the arrival of summer, I still get that school's-out-let's-play feeling, even though 1.) I completed my degree 3 years ago 2.) The Buster and Miss Meatball still have awhile before they are big enough to go to school, and 3.) Summer doesn't really mean no school for Mr. O.  In spite of this, I find myself getting really excited for all of the possible fun to do summertime things.  As I'm gearing up to put together my summertime wish-list of things to do and places to visit, I've been thinking a lot about this series of posts from Design Mom.

Basically, they are a reminder to get out and to explore where you are living, finding fun things to do in your own backyard (granted, Design Mom's backyard is France and my back yard is the rural South, but still...). This is an idea that really resonates with me.  Maybe it is in part because more often than I like to admit, I don't love the place I live.  Because of Mr. O's schooling, where we live has a very temporary feeling to it.  This time next year, we will probably be neck-deep in moving boxes and gearing up for the next leg of our adventure. Sometimes it is really easy to fixate on that "next leg" before we get there.  The days when it is too hot to play outside, the kids are cranky, I am frustrated with our town's lack of bookstores and a restaurant that isn't Chick-Fil-A, or Mr. O needs the car yet again because there isn't any public transportation...those are the days that I find myself dreaming of a fully-funded doctoral program someplace perfect.  The problem with these daydreams is that they take the place of actually getting out and doing something. Comparison is the enemy of contentment, even if the comparison being made is between the present reality and unrealistic possibility.  For me, there is an active, decisive component to loving the place where I live.  And not just the geographical place, but the stage of life I'm in as well.  I'm talking embracing life as it is, right here and now (that's right, Mr. O,  I just went all existential).    

There are a lot of things that I want to do, and a lot of places I would love to see around the South.  I'm thinking some Civil War battle grounds, possibly the beach (I've never seen the Atlantic Ocean), and some big-city attractions as well as some local berry-picking, trips to the public library, and an unprecedented amount of popsicle-eating.  I'm feeling inspired by this chalkboard chalkboard checklist and this family list project, even though my list is more likely to land on the back of a used envelope.

What's on your list this summer?  Will you make a giant to-do list for the whole family?  Will your adventures focus on things close-to-home, or will you travel far away?