Thursday, April 22, 2010

39 plus 1 equals COOLEST HUSBAND EVER!

Happy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my handsome husband. Here are my top ten reasons why he's the coolest and most wonderful 40-year old ever, and deserves to have a PERFECT birthday today:

1. The man can dance. I am so not joking about this. He can two-step, jitterbug, waltz, or just cut loose and "bust-a-move." He's light on his feet in a way that defies his size. Go, Rip!

2. He can fix, built, repair, and drive ANYTHING. (This is a handy thing for your hubs to be able to do, ladies!) He can weld, solder, diagnose issues, and use any tool known to man. From building our playset with my dad to driving a tractor at the Ranch to birthing calves with his dad to defragmenting our computer, he's got it covered. He's got SKILLS. He can even drive an 18-wheeler! He's a total renaissance man.

{2.1 His skills extend to his vocabulary. I LOVE a man who knows the difference between "your" and "you're," knows how to work an apostrophe to perfection ("s apostrophe" or "apostrophe s?" Rip will know), and has taught me to never end a sentence in a preposition. He's smart that way.}

3. AND he looks fantastic in a suit. So powerful and polished. There's nothing like a man in a suit, shiny shoes, and a tie. Yummy.

4. Rip is TOTALLY hands-on with our kids. He bathes them every night, cooks them breakfast every morning, and plays a mean game of Chutes and Ladders. He's changed more than his share of diapers, and takes them to the library every few weeks. He's amazing.

5. He can cook, and I'm not talking about heating up mac-n-cheese. He makes the best brisket this side of Brenham, has pulled pork tacos mastered, and makes delicious mashed potatoes. He also bakes. (I know, right? Does it GET any better?) The neighbors crave his homemade yeast rolls.
6. He's a gentleman. He always walks on the "street side" of the sidewalk and opens doors for me. I knew I was going to marry him when he handed me a handkerchief shortly after we started dating. He also says "yes, ma'am" or "no, sir" as necessary in his sweet Texas accent. Mmmmm.

7. He always chooses to spend time with "us" over anything else. He'd rather watch "Monsters, Inc." than play poker, go hunting, or play in a softball league. He makes me feel like there's nowhere in the world he'd rather be than home or with me. And I really believe that it's true.

8. He will wear a Purdue sweatshirt and hat and root for my team. Ya'll have no idea how much that means to me. It's a big deal.

9. Not only does he prefer to be home than anywhere in the world, but he NEVER COMPLAINS when I want to go out of town to visit a friend or go on a girls' trip for a weekend. . .he never makes me feel like I shouldn't go. I love that.

10. He's a great partner. I know that he's on "my team," which happens to be affectionately referred to as "Team Ray." He loves our kids, me, his parents and sister, my parents, and our extended families deeply, and that's the best trait in the world. (He also happens to love dogs, but I'll leave that piece of information out since I don't share his enthusiasm for big house dogs.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RIPPER!!!!! I love you to infinity and beyond.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Great American Backyard Campout

Rip and Mason have been talking about doing this for probably a year. . .I think Mason wore Rip down, so the two FINALLY had their campout.

Despite promising to help set up their campsite, Mason got distracted very quickly. As soon as the tent was out of the box, Mason thought playing in the sandbox looked like more fun. And clearly (?) that necessitated taking off his pants. When I asked him why he was "nekkid," he said he didn't want to get sand in his undies. Aaaaaah. Gotcha.

As soon as the hard work was over, Mason was all about camping again. He got the inside of the tent all set up with sleeping bags, pillows, toys, and his beloved stuffed animals. He was so very excited.

And Rip was having a blast. He was so happy to sit by the "campfire" (aka the grill), drink his beer, and enjoy the evening. He said at one point that it felt like they were at the Ranch. Since that's one of Rip's favorite places in the world, I thought that was a pretty good thing.

The two cooked hotdogs on sticks, roasted marshmallows, made smores, and talked. It was so sweet to see.

They went to sleep around 9, and I didn't hear from them again until daybreak. They came inside smelling like campfire smoke and boys, and happy as could be.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!"

Don't be too impressed. . .I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce that! But I DO know that it means "Let the Good Times Roll" in Louisiana-speak. (Okay, it's really French, but that's WAY outside my comfort zone.)


Our super cool neighbors, Dameian and Jerry, host a crawfish boil every spring. This is the first time we've ever been able to go, so we had to start with a little lesson. . .

Rip needed NO assistance with the nasty little buggers. He knew precisely the strategy. . .

The kiddos were more fascinated with the live crawfish than the cooked ones. . .they loved getting sticks and trying to get the crawfish to grab on with their claws. Well, all the kids but Mason. Look at the horror on his little face. . .

Admittedly, tearing the heads off crawfish isn't exactly my thing. I have a phobia of any meat "on the bone," and the full skeleton of a crawfish definitely falls into that category. So I stayed close to the table with chips, cookies, and hot dogs. Me and The Boo.

We had a great afternoon hanging out with our neighborhood friends and letting the kids run wild. I may not have loved the main course, but I absolutely loved the party!

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!"