Saturday, November 26, 2011

We Have a Walker!

Well, after months of thinking about it Harper finally took her first steps about ten minutes ago. It was just unbelieveable watching her, and I am so glad Brad was home to see it too. Here is our video proof taken only moments ago. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Simple Thank You

One thing I’ve had to get used to living in the south is writing Thank You cards. It’s a little known fact that, when the south succeeded, they actually addressed the ritual writing of Thank You cards in their Constitution. Article I, Section 1 reads:
2:  Any Person shall be required to write a Thank You Card to a friend, neighbor, acquaintance or virtual stranger, in response to any of the aforementioned persons doing any or all of, but not limited to, the following: sending a birthday gift, sending a holiday gift, delivering baked goods (whether solicited or not), hosting a dinner/holiday party or similar social function, or performing any ordinary or especially mundane task or tasks which would generally necessitate monetary compensation be paid to a day laborer, domestic or the same.  

And trust me, southerners love their Thank You cards. I now buy them in bulk so as to avoid the inevitable stink-eye that follows an unintentionally forgotten or delayed Thank You. People have been uninvited to Mommy and Me groups for lesser infractions (I say this from experience).
Each subset of thank you has its own format in which the card must be written. Thank You cards for gifts typically follow this format:
Address the person formally but with genuine affection,
First sentence thanks them for the item, which you’d better name specifically, otherwise they’ll assume you’re sending a form letter. Second sentence explains how you are currently using the item daily. Third sentence insists that you just love it, you can’t remember a time before owning it, and that you’re not sure how you ever lived without it.

Final sentence repeats thanks, and expresses a desire  "to get together soon."
Close sincerely (your name)

For example:
Dear Neighbor I Just Met Last Tuesday,
Thank you so much for the exquisite fine bone china tea set you gifted my cat. Mr. Scrappers has always enjoyed a hot cup of tea first thing in the morning after a night of knocking all of the books off of our bookcase. I insist that I just love it, can’t remember the before owning it, and I’m not sure how I ever lived without it.
Thank you again so much, and I hope that we will be able to get together soon.
Sincerely, etc.
I have become very good at writing these cards. And I must admit, as much as I shudder at the thought of the deforestation that is caused by the sheer volume of mail exiting this household on a regular basis, it is a nicety that I thought was extinct. It makes you feel good to know that people still take the time to say thank you.
But today takes the cake. I just received a voice mail message thanking me for my Thank You card. I am at a loss for what to do next. Do I ignore the message? Return the call? Send a bouquet of flowers? What exactly is the etiquette for this situation?
Any ideas you have for solving my social conundrum would be greatly appreciated. I thank you in advance.
            Sincerely, etc.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grammar Nazi

I just need to get a few things off my chest.

1. There has been an appalling lack of apostrophes as of late.

2. They’re, there and their are completely different words with completely different meanings (as are to, two and too, as Stacie points out).

3. Quotation marks are not to be used for emphasis.

Don't blame us when you think it's disgusting. We warned you!

4. The definition of irony is, “The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.” So it isn’t ironic when it rains on your wedding day, Alanis. It’s just bad luck.

5. Finally, if you literally died laughing I’d better be reading about it in your obituary.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope all of you had a wonderful and perfectly spooky Halloween!

So, those of you who know my clever and talented sister-in law, Bess, know that last year she made an adorable candy corn outfit for Harper's cousin, Maggie Jane, to wear Trick-or-Treating.

Maggie Jane as a candy corn last Halloween.

I loved it so much that she mailed it to me in anticipation of Harper being just about the right size to wear it this year. The fit was just right! She was the cutest candy corn in the neighborhood, although she would only tolerate the hat for mere milliseconds at a time.

Our little candy corn.

As it turned out, that was only the beginning of our costume fortune. Neighbor Ellen gave us a wonderful dalmation costume that her mother-in-law had made for her son when he was Harper's age, so we had two complete costumes for Halloween. They were both so great we did a costume change mid-day to accomodate both "looks."  

A balanced dog is a happy dog.

Anyway, our Halloween started a little early. On Saturday night we enjoyed the classic Audrey Hepburn film Wait Until Dark to get us in the mood. Then, on the day of we indulged in pumpkin carving, pumpkin seed toasting and taking Harper Trick-or-Treating. We visited all of one house before she got too tired to continue but at least we can say we did it!

Trick-or-Treating, here we come! 

Our scary pumpkin!

Oh, and there was the candy. We bought four bags and only had about a dozen Trick-or-Treaters stop by. You do the math, but I'll give you a hint: it involves more pluses than minuses. All in all, it was a lot of fun.