Friday, April 30, 2010

Lucy's Fourth Birthday Party

My sweet little Lucy turned four on April 13th. We had all the neighbors over to celebrate. We had a ball! From the looks of these pictures it appears that she had an all-boy party, but that was not the case. There were actually little girls and adults there too. She was so exhausted that she fell asleep on the couch during her party.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ten Year Anniversary - Europe Trip

Finally, I've found the time to update my blog with details of our trip to Europe! About a week after we returned from our trip, my grandmother passed away so I headed to Arkansas for several days. Since returning from there, it's been super-busy at work and now I'm finally caught up....almost.

First, I want to say a little about my grandmother, Gwendolyn Ruby Lyons Ponder Pankey. Oh, how I wish I could have just one more little girl and name her Ruby after my granny! How cute would that be? I'm serious about the name, but not about having another kid. No way, Jose! Granny was my dad's mother and she was the sweetest lady to walk the face of the Earth. She raised three very handsome sons and was famous in Nashville for her chocolate pies. The funniest memory I have of her was when Grant and I were kids and she drove us to Dallas to visit my Uncle George and Aunt Monta. We were driving down the interstate and she turned and reached in the backseat for a bag of candy that I was eating and the next thing we knew, we had crossed the grass median and were on the other side of the interstate facing oncoming cars! It scared us half to death, but she just kept on trucking back across that grass into the correct lane just like she meant to do that. She was a very special lady who always made me feel very special. She always called me before a holiday to let me know that she would be making my favorite dessert, Cherry Cream Crunch. At the funeral, my dad's cousin, Cathy, told me how very special I was to my granny and how she always referred to me as her "Brookey" and it felt good to hear that nickname again. At times I feel a little disconnected from my roots, and as sad as the circumstances were, it was really good to be among family and to be in Nashville where all those memories were. It was a special time.

Now, enough of the Debbie Downer subjects, onto brighter things. Our trip to EU was wonderful! I wish I'd written this while the trip was still fresh on my mind. We loved Rome and all the historical sights like the Roman Collosseum and all the ruins. It blows my mind that it is still standing, since 80 AD and that they built all of it before there were cranes and dump trucks! The Vatican and Sistine Chapel were so beautiful. It's so hard to wrap my head around how much work went into creating those beautiful works of art. Florence was great and I loved the location of our hotel. It was right in the middle of lots of shops and restaurants, although I only window-shopped. We saw Michaelangelo's David there in Florence. We traveled by train to Lucerne, Switzerland through the Swiss Alps. It was a breathtaking train ride. We probably would have enjoyed it more had we not been so nervous about making sure we were on the right trains and making all the right stops. The trains were a bit stressful! Lucernce was really beautiful and peaceful. The best meal we had was in Lucerne, where we dined on cheese fondue and local Swiss cuisine. The shops and department stores in Lucerne had the most unique and elaborate window displays. It was Easter so everything was decorated beautifully for Springtime. We spent our final days in Paris and luckily our hotel was very close to the Eiffel Tower. It was very windy, rainy and cold so we opted to not go up in the Eiffel Tower. I was most looking forward to going to the Louvre but I found that there was very little art/artists in the Louvre that I was familiar with, other than the Mona Lisa. I preferred another gallery that we went to that housed works by Degas, Monet, Manet, Gauguin, etc. The food in Paris was terrible, we thought! We ended up eating at Italian restaurants in Paris because we could no longer stand eating french fries with everything. It was a great trip but it made me realize how much we take for granted here in the U.S. We have excellent food with large portions, big houses, large yards, nice cars, friendly people and we all speak the same language. We are a bit spoiled!