Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day! It's my favorite holiday. It's made extra special for us, because we actually consider February 12 and February 16 special days, too.

February 12 is special because we consider it the anniversary of when we started dating. That sounds corny, of course, but when we met in college we were best friends first. After a year, we both started to feel like we wanted it to be more, but there was so much at stake with our friendship we were concerned. On February 12, 1997, my dorm roommate and I had a little dinner party. Her boyfriend was in town from England (yes, the country, not England, Arkansas), and we wanted to have a special time. The four of us had dinner and watched the movie "The Rock." When HoneyBear left, we had a moment to talk, and decided to see what would happen if we became a dating couple. We celebrate February 12 as an anniversary.

February 16 is the day that HoneyBear proposed to me, in 1998. We had made a joint decision, and had even picked out a ring together, but he presented me with it, along with a giant panda bear and a precious card, in the living room of my apartment. It was a Monday night, and I had rehearsal for Fine Arts Team through the University's Baptist Student Union that night. Since he had been on the team the year before, the team members were good friends to both of us, and we planned to tell them that night of our engagement. He had excellent timing to ensure I had a ring with the announcement. Of course, he was a little sneaky and told me it wasn't ready so the actual proposal could be a surprise. We definitely consider February 16 a special day in our lives.

With the two dates, plus Valentine's Day, it's easy to find a time to celebrate together! This year we had the fortune of having two celebrations. We had a date night on Saturday night with the boys staying with Grandma. We took advantage of the Valentine's special at one of my favorite restaurants, Marketplace Grill. We even saw some friends--the instructors of our dogs' obedience school classes were out for the evening, too. As a plus, my hair was actually fixed curly, since I had gotten it highlighted that afternoon!

The next night was a special evening organized by our church. Child care was provided at church, so the boys were able to play with friends. Called the Great Date Experiment, it was the first of 6 structured dates, with instructions available for download. To be honest, we didn't follow the guidelines exactly, but we did appreciate the parts we did complete. This first one was on Communication, so there were some guided discussion questions that were really fun and helpful. We were also supposed to take a picture of ourselves at each step of the process.

Did you make a memory this Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Making a Man Made Out of Snow

Snow! Our family has had some fun in the snow this year. During the days we called the NWA Snow Storm, the boys and I had several days outside in the snow. HoneyBear got to be in on some of the snow play, too.

Sunday afternoon, with snow everywhere and snowmen all over town, we made our first family snowman. HoneyBear had of course made lots of snowmen, and had always loved the snow. Tyler had also made some snow creatures, the most memorable being the one he made with the little Blue (from Blue's Clues) sprinkler we had in the garage when he was just 2. We moved Blue into the yard and packed snow on him. A little scarf finished off the snow Blue.

This time we had help from Daddy. We would make a snow man.

The boys brought Daddy the snow, with some help from cottage cheese buckets. The dogs didn't last long outside, but still left some marks that had to be avoided when collecting snow. With the boys' help, the snow was packed into a form. We added a cap from HoneyBear's collection, and he was done.

I took the chance to use my Flip Video camera from school so we could remember the day we made a man out of snow.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

NWA Ice Storm 2010

During the last week of January last year Northwest Arkansas suffered from an ice storm that caused almost the entire area to be out of power. When people in Northwest Arkansas heard that almost exactly one year later we would be facing another winter storm warning with ice and snow accumulation, the region reacted. Grocery stores were quickly wiped out of bread and milk, and Sam's went through quite a few generators. People in the region also stocked up on bottled water, so that HoneyBear had extra deliveries to the grocery stores with Aquafina and other Pepsi products.

As we watched the weather move into our area, we all watched the radar and the weather predictions. Thursday morning started with some sleet and freezing rain, but then cleared, with no road problems, so we made it to school. The winter storm watch was changed to a winter storm warning and a winter weather advisory, though, making us nervous all day that school would have to dismiss early. Fortunately, we made it through the day before the rest of the storm system hit.

Just after school was out, light precipitation started. By the time I got home, just minutes from school, my Explorer was covered in icicles.

With memories of last year still in our minds, we began to get nervous. For our family, our safety net was even eliminated--though we had been able to escape to Little Rock the year before, central Arkansas was also expecting winter weather, and we could no longer drive down to Nana and Papa's house if we lost power.

Fortunately for keeping power, NWA Ice Storm 2010 turned into NWA Snow Storm 2010! The sleet and freezing rain changed over to snow, and kept it up for hours. The ice and snow in our yard was so pretty--a true winter wonderland.

Tucker wasn't very happy with the cold or the snow, but Roly spent time outside. He was so funny prancing through the snow.

We were quite thankful to not have the power outages and dangerous conditions from the previous year as we settled in to enjoy the snow.