Last week I mentioned a date night that Jeremy and I were going to have, and some of you have since asked what I thought of the restaurant and the movie. Bakersfieldians, you MUST visit Moo Creamery. YUMMY. We both ate way too much, but enjoyed every bite. If you go, just be aware that there may be a bit of a wait-- it's a very busy place (yes, even on a Tuesday night!). We barely made it to our movie showing on time. I'm so glad we were able to see Slumdog Millionaire. It's one of the best movies we've seen in a long time. Yes, it's well-acted and filmed in a style that suits the story perfectly, and the music is exactly right for each scene-- but it was even more than that. It's a story that is heart-breakingly sad at times, and even disturbing since it graphically portrays parts of the Indian culture we'd really rather not know about in our sheltered lives... but it's also a story that is simply beautiful. Karen wrote a bit about it that says it much better than I could. But I will say that this movie stayed on my mind for some time after we left the theater... in a good way. The amazing love story that is woven so bittersweetly throughout all the ugliness is really uplifting.
All in all, a perfect date night-- lots of laughter, talking, hand-holding, scoping out how handsome my man is in his black leather jacket, and great food and a movie to top it off. I'm cherishing the few date nights we have left before Rosalie gets here-- I know it will be even harder to get away, at least for a while, once she's arrived. And that's ok, because I know eventually we'll get settled into life as parents of 3, and she'll grow out of the needy baby stage and we'll find ourselves having date nights again... in the meanwhile, however, I shall soak up every minute of alone time with Jeremy that I can!
This past Tuesday was my little niece's 4th birthday. To celebrate, we met Grandma NetNet (my sweet mom-in-law) and Jessica, Faith, and Jason for lunch. And where did we go? Why, to the Country Rose Tea Room, of course. Where else does one go for a girly celebration? It was perfect. The kids were well-behaved, the food delicious (as always), and everyone enjoyed themselves delightfully. At one point Faith sighed, clasped her hands, and said "I love this place." Jessica and I couldn't help but smile as we watched our daughters enjoy the very place where we have made so many memories as friends and sisters with our other loved ones. I hope our girls will always love it like we do and be able to come back often for many such special occasions.
It was so amazing watching Faithie on her 4th birthday. I couldn't help but think of her last birthday, one short year ago. She was still so new to everything around her, and to all of us, having been with us only a few months. And while she was, even then, already an irreplaceable part of our lives and immensely loved by all, it is wonderful to see how that has grown and born fruit this past year. How she has grown and matured as she's become more accustomed to all the changes that have taken place in her short little life, and become more confident and secure in the loving family and home that God has given her. Oh, how I love this girl-- there's no one quite like Faith and she truly is a joy. I adore seeing her and my daughters together, watching their family relationship and friendships blossom as they grow up together-- it makes me so grateful that they get to enjoy such a blessing. And, of course, we can't forget about Mister Jason-- he fits in so perfectly with all these girls, the little man of the bunch. :)
In other happy family-related things, I am so excited to say that one month from today my sister Lydia will be flying out for a visit!! And, the best part? She will be here for a little over TWO whole weeks. Oh, I cannot wait to have her here, for so many reasons. It's going to be so fun to have so much sister time and for Emma and Annabelle to get to enjoy Auntie Lydia as much as they want. And Lord willing, little Rosalie will wait to make her appearance until after Lydia gets here- it'll be so special to have her here for that time. Now, if only my cuppycake Jerusha could come too, my joy would be complete. But hopefully, once baby gets here, the rest of the family won't be too far behind in getting to visit at some point.
Now, onto the weather, always an exciting topic, don't you think? Other than yesterday, when the sun peeped out from behind the clouds and decided to grace us with its presence after all, the weather here has been very cloudy and rainy. Cold, too! I really love the rain, immensely, but it does create a hardship where small children are concerned: they have all that energy and no place to get rid of it, since obviously I can't send them outside to play in the cold and wet (can I??). At one point I looked at my kids who were running like wild banshees through the house, being silly and making more noise than I care to admit, and felt like I was about to go crazy too! And then, oh then, a wonderful idea came to me, something that would possibly save us all from insanity: the button jar.
As a little girl, I remember looking through my mom's button jar, loving the feel of the different shapes and sizes running through my fingers, and making all sorts of patterns and pictures with the various colors. I am happy to report that my girls are just as enthralled with the button jar as I was. They dump them all out on a blanket (so they won't get lost and can be picked up easily-- my rule), and then the fun begins. Making letters and button pictures, sorting colors and shapes, seeing who can find all the flowers or the stars, counting how many heart buttons there are... I kid you not, they have spent HOURS with these buttons lately, and every day "the button jar" is the first thing they ask for. I can safely say that the button jar has been my savior these past few days when we've been stuck inside yet again and again.
So, thank You, Lord, for the beautiful rain you've given us lately and the time it's allowed us to spend together, even though my attitude really stinks sometimes... and thank You especially for buttons and two little girls to enjoy them!
It just goes to show, I've realized yet again, that sometimes it really is the simplest things in life that bring the greatest joy and the happiest memories.