Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Up

Okay… I know this isn’t an example of my BEST photography. I think it was taken with one of the first digital cameras I ever own and it probably cost WAY under a hundred bucks, if I remember right. No matter. This one I LOVE because this time in my life began my interest in photography.

Probably the other reason I love this is that it’s a photo of my “wayward daughter”, taken during a time where we were so close. A mirror of each other. I always knew she was going to be a free spirit. She thinks on her own and with a brain that’s SO different than anyone else. A free soul and I think I can see that in her here.

Here’s my representation of “up”. I’m looking up at her while she’s sitting on a giant granite rock at Elephant Rocks State Park in Missouri. A place we loved to go as a family, when our family was together. I miss her but I know God’s got his protective hand on her and I pray that her future always looks “up”.

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10 years and counting! Our upcoming annual anniversary celebration to the Trout Lodge…

I’m so excited that I can hardly STAND myself right now!  lol  The hubby and I are going on our yearly Valentine’s Day weekend adventure at the Trout Lodge.  It’s run by the YMCA of the Ozarks (Potosi MO).  Like I said, we’ve been doing this every year since we’ve been married.  It’s a little pricey but SO worth it.  Besides our anniversary is on February 22 so we kind of use that for our excuse to spend a bunch of money.  lol  THIS year, we’ll be married 10 years!  TOTALLY amazing to me because I didn’t think it was possible that I could be with anyone legally, for 10 years!  lol  Pretty huge deal for BOTH of us!  lol

This is how the weekend will KIND of go…  We get to our private cabin, or condo (not sure what he reserved cause he always keeps it a surprise) and I’ll open the door and see the most BEAUTIFUL bouquet of roses.  Here’s  a pic of the roses he gave me in 2010 🙂

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After we get unpacked, we’ll probably go grab something to eat in their festive dining room.  They serve 3 meals a day, all included in the price.  Breakfast is pretty good.  The food isn’t GREAT but it’s not bad either.  There IS a Valentine’s candle light dinner served on Friday night and that’s always FANTASTIC.  There’s usually a sort of “lounge” type singer or in some cases a band singing love songs all the way through dinner on Saturday night.

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The dining room welcome balloons

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(a really bad pic of some really good spinach strawberry salad served at the Vday dinner)

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Hubby at our candle light dinner

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Hubby and I in 2008 sitting by the fire in the cedar lodge, waiting to eat.  Yeah, I’m about 40 pounds heavier here because I hadn’t gotten extremely sick yet.  Ben, however is 40 pounds lighter!  lol

After we eat tonight, we’ll probably retire back to our cabin and either read or play dominoes (for money cause I like to gamble OR for chores… whoever is the winner gets to decide what chores the other will do.  lol), or just hang out.  One year, I decorated our room with rose pedals and all that romantic schtuff…  I even had a rose pedal bath waiting for him.  How’s THAT for a good wife?  And he says I don’t put enough effort into it…. HOGWASH.  lmbo

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Here’s Ben in his ummmm, sexy, short shorts, preparing to lose dominoes 😉

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This is something of an event for Ben, as well.  He sets aside some extra special  “Ben” time to groom the extra long nose hairs.  I encourage this, for obvious reasons.

Tomorrow, we’ll wake up, whenever we want.  We’ll probably go horseback riding or on a scavenger hunt.  Something we ALWAYS do is play ping pong and SOMETIMES mini golf (in the cold).  We’ll walk around the woods and the lake, looking for awesome shots to take.  We COULD sign up for archery or make mosiacs (yes Ben will humor me, because he loves me, and help me create some pretty special mosiac art… lol). We might even get to go trout fishing, although they’re probably not biting in the cold 😦  Plus, they make us “release” which is NO fun for me at all. I usually set aside some time for either an hour long massage or a pedicure OR both. When it gets dark, we might go on a carriage ride or even just sit by a campfire, snuggled up and listening to someone else tell ghost stories.  Before our special dinner, we’ll do the wine and cheese tasting.  After dinner, there’s always dancing.  The band is usually pretty good 🙂

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The first pedi I ever treated myself to.  I was SO proud and couldn’t stop admiring my toes!  lol

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This was 2008 and I didn’t have a good camera BUT it didn’t stop me from trying to get a good shot!

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Ben’s waiting in line to get me some MORE wine!  lol  Check out those empty glasses.

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Just some of the pretty things we see!  It’s supposed to snow and I SO hope it does this year like it’s done several years in the past.  Can’t wait to bundle up and put another log on our little fire.

We won’t have internet connection OR even a TV.  It’s not allowed there.  At first, we didn’t like that aspect AT ALL.  We’ve grown to look forward to the complete break from the outside world. Most of the time we can’t even get phone reception.  That’s just fine by me 🙂

Here’s hoping you all have another FANTASTIC weekend and that you’re able to make special memories with the one’s YOU love!  Happy Friday Everyone!  See you back on Sunday night 😉

A Fun Weekend Had by All… in pics

Follow up from yesterday’s post:

Just wanted to share with you our FABULOUS day at the St. Louis Boat Show!  What an awesome way to fight the gloom and doom of a rainy winter Sunday.  I’m SO glad we went because it gave me the opportunity to spend some quality time with the hubby, have fun with good friends AND torture my daughter!  It’s a win, win win situation, as far as I’m concerned!  lol  So here’s some of our highlights:

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Teenage munchkin posing to amuse me in the cold rain.  She’s a GOOD daughter and wants to see her mama happy 😉

ImageOk.. this one’s funny because I’d convinced her that she would be going scuba diving in the pool (just another experience I want her to have).  Anyway, I’d told her she’d be doing the scuba boogie in THIS pool… only this pool was filled with dog hair and kind of smelled really bad because it was REALLY used as the “Dock Dogs” pool.  She’s trying to decide JUST how badly I want her to scuba dive!  lol

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So this one’s where she figures out that I wasn’t REALLY serious about her swimming in the dog hair!

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And here’s me waving to my adoring fans!

ImageOne of the reasons we wanted to go to the boat show on Sunday was to do the Swamp People Meet and Greet!  (Swamp People)

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Here’s me embarrassing teenage munchkin (because she’s in LOVE with Jay Paul)… I’m explaining to them how I TOO am a famous Mississippi River Gator wrestler!  For my friends that aren’t from this country…  we don’t REALLY have gators in Missouri…  which is precisely why my daughter was praying I’d shut up.  lol  I think R J was interested in signing me to help him wrestle the REAL swamp gators!  hehehehe

ImageAfter my contract was negotiated!  lol  I think we’re all pleased with the terms and conditions!

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Not to break any young girls heart, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but did you all know that Jay Paul is married?  Not ONLY is he married to this little cutie, they’re expecting a baby.  She’s 14 weeks along.  Cause yeah, I asked!  lol  I can tell you that Julia (teenage munchkin) and her friends are very sad about this!

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Not to leave out hubby…  here he is being rewarded for taking me to the boat show.  What is his reward?  So glad you asked…  a cheeseburger.  Cause that’s ALL it takes.  lol

ImageHere’s the boat that I won’t be reciving as a Valentine’s Day gift from my husband.  However, he’s informed me that if I play my cards right, once Julia moves out, we CAN sell our home and live on the river in something LIKE this.  I think I could do that 😉

ImageHere’s me cooking a fish over an open fire on the only boat we’ll ever be able to afford…  a Tom Sawyer style floating raft.  Also pictured, my dear friend Beth and of course, Julia the teenage munchkin!

ImageThe 2 Ethiopians on the River Raft!  Hubby says we both look like we need a sandwich.  What do you think?  lol

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This is precious!  I was able to track Dora the Explorer down because Julia wouldn’t leave the place until she could have a picture and a hug from Dora!  (okay… in all actuality, Julia had had just about enough of my shenanegins!  lol  but again, sucks to be MY kid!)

ImageThis is kind of cool…. here’s me sword fighting an elderly gentleman on The Gypsy Rose Pirate Ship…..  In case you were interested, I lost.

ImageI think this is the owner of The Gypsy Rose.  He was TOTALLY macking on my friend!  He was POSITIVE he’d seen her boating on the Mississippi several times because he was POSITIVE he’d seen her before.  You know “You look SO familiar to me… have we met?”  She was POSITIVE they’d NEVER met.  lol

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Here’s me watching as my friend was getting molested by the pirate ship owner!  hehehe

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Remember the scuba boogie we talked about?  I decided to have mercy on the daughter and we compromised.  She didn’t want to get her hair wet so we decided that she’d learn to navigate a boogie board (at least that’s what I THINK they’re called)

ImageNotice anything wrong with this picture?  That’s right!  Her wet suit is on backwards.  A photo opp in a HALF, if you ask me!  There has to be some perks of being a mother to a teenager, right?  I get to share with you all the things that amuse me 😉

ImageAnd she’s UP!  She actually did a very good job with this thing.  We canoe and kayak pretty often though.

ImageMy girl, in her backwards wet suit,  dreaming of the day she’ll kill me.

So that’s our day in pictures!  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!