When I was in college, my roomie Amy told me about her family’s tradition of celebrating her mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day every year.  Her mom’s birthday is May 13, which always falls within a few days of Mother’s Day, so her family celebrates the entire “Season of Patfest.”  I was lucky enough to participate in the Patfest festivities the year I bunked on Amy’s couch while working as a summer associate for Hughes & Luce.  Ever since then, I have looked forward to being a mom and having a whole Season of ME!  Plus, with my birthday falling on May 15, there is no chance for Mother’s Day to be on the same day, so I will always get a multi-day celebration!  Ha!

Well, this year, the festival of ME lasted an entire week, and I milked it.  We started on Mother’s Day with a family walk to Top Pot Doughnuts (as if we need an excuse), where I had my usual (decaf mocha and a bullseye with strawberry filling) and the boys split a couple of old fashioneds and a cinnamon sugar cake.  Mmmmmm.  I’m so serious when I say that you could come visit us in Seattle for no other reason than the doughnuts and be quite satisfied.

Later that evening, Heath and I went on a date and left Frank with a babysitter for the first time since the move!  Several months ago, when we lived downtown near the Seattle Center, I would see the Key Arena digital marquee nearly everyday.  In between the announcements for Sesame Street Live and WNBA games, I noticed that James Taylor and Carole King were coming to town on May 9.  I hinted around to Heath about wanting to go for Momfest, and he joked that I must be turning 66 instead of 33.  Not amused, I held my ground and even suggested he might enjoy the concert as well.  Fast forward to early May, and I find out my in-laws had secured us a couple of tickets to the show through their connections at the Cowboys.  I knew I always liked Heath’s parents better than him anyway!  Needless to say, the concert was great…especially from the FIRST ROW!  JT sounds just as good as he does on the old records from the ’70’s, but in addition to the great performance, I was really blown away by the sign language interpreters who were stationed right in front of us.  Those ladies were amazing, and the hearing impaired couple sitting next to us enjoyed the show as much as we did!  Oh, and if you are wondering whether Heath was miserable, worry not.  If you had seen him belting out “You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)” with Carole, you’d have thought they were the only two people in the room.

The celebration continued all the way through the next weekend.  On Friday night, the boys took me to dinner at Tenoch, the new Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood.  Congratulations, Seattle — there is finally some decent Mexican food in your town!  The food was great and we were able to sit outside on the patio.  If only I could have thrown back a couple of margaritas, it would have been a perfect evening!  Saturday was my actual birthday, and my only request was that I be allowed to shirk my responsibilities to home and family for a few hours.  So, I went and got my hair did!  That afternoon, I wanted to go to the beach.  Unfortunately, in the rare instance that the temperature reaches 70 degrees in May, I learned that the public beaches turn into Spring Break in Daytona or something.  Made a U-turn in the parking lot and decided to return to real life.  We hit an Italian restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood for dinner, which was forgettable, but I did partake in a small glass of wine to toast the occasion.  Two years ago, I tried to have a glass of wine on my birthday when I was pregnant with Frank, but the heartburn made it more painful than pleasurable.  I’m happy to report that my heartburn has subsided a bit this time around, and the glass of Santa Margherita did not disappoint.

My main present from the boys was a spa day, complete with pregnancy massage and mani/pedi!  They made my appointment for Sunday morning, so I got to blow this popsicle stand for the second day in a row!  Upon my return home, feeling somewhat like a noodle, I was able to reclaim my position as SuperMom and tackle the next week with renewed energy (well, as much energy as a 32-week-pregnant lady can have…).  Not that I’m complaining, but sometimes it is nice to get a few hours to myself!  Thanks, Heath and Frank, for making my second MOMFEST the best ever!  And, btw, if you’re feeling sorry for Heath, don’t.  His birthday is June 16, so he gets his own DADFEST in just a few short weeks!  Yay!


April Wrap-Up

Hello friends!  Well, the bad news is that I have not posted anything on the blog since Easter and now I have a lot to catch up on!  The good news is I probably saw most of you sometime in the last two weeks on the “Ashley and Frank Southern Tour 2010”.  We had a great time visiting all of our family and friends in Dallas and Little Rock.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  And so, in the timeless words of Fraulein Maria, “Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start…”

When I last wrote, it was Easter Sunday and my mommy was en route to Seattle.  The next few days after that are a total blur of moving, unpacking, organizing, stressing out, and dealing with the rain.  Yup, after having been here for three months and not seeing much of the wet stuff, April really made up for it in the downpour department.  (And May hasn’t been much better, btw).  We were so thankful to have my mom here to entertain Frank while we tried to make the house more livable, but we certainly could have used her here for three weeks instead of three days!  Not only did she play with Frank and take him on long walks everyday, but she also washed all of our china and crystal, polished the silver, organized the built-ins in the kitchen, and worked her magic arranging the china cabinet.  Most of these things were finished before I even got out of bed in the morning!   Her energy really puts me to shame.

We were also glad Gammie had already visited in March, because we didn’t have any time during this trip to do anything fun.  Plus, and I know you’re going to have a hard time believing this, but I was just a tad bitchy that week due to the stress and the crappy weather and the whole “pregnancy preventing me from drinking heavily” thing.  Needless to say, we didn’t take many pictures during the first few days in the house.  When my mom left, we had exactly one week to make some more progress on the house before Frank and I left for our trip.  We used that time to get the playroom unpacked and the bedrooms in functional order.

We also had a couple of pretty days to get better acquainted with the neighborhood and the park.  We discovered the best time to hit the park is around 4:00 when all the big kids are out in the fields practicing baseball (“beezball”) and soccer (“ocka”).  Frank is a big fan.  Another fun thing we did that week was have an ultrasound to get a better look at Baby Beans.  My 18-week ultrasound had indicated a potential previa issue, and the doctor didn’t want me to travel if it hadn’t remedied itself by 28 weeks.  Thankfully, the ultrasound showed no sign of a problem, and I was given the green light to travel.  We also learned that she weighed 2lb. 8oz., which is right on track, and she is super active (like I needed video evidence of this).  After we saw her looking so much like a real baby, we decided it was high time we gave her a real name.  Even though I still intend to call her Beans until she is 35, her given name will be Eleanor Grace Dixon.  And, no, we didn’t make the Roosevelt connection until it was already decided.  If we have another, we’ll have to call him Teddy, I guess!  As I told my parents — at least they’re Democrats!

Okay, on to the trip!  The plane ride to DFW (and back, for that matter) was forgettable, and because I’ve almost done so, I will not blog about it.  We started out our tour in Dallas/Plano on Thursday, April 15, which happened to be one of our good friends’ (and Frank’s godfather) 40th birthday!  Because my in-laws are awesome and babysat for me every night I was in Plano, I was able to attend the 40th b-day dinner at Central 214!  Yummers!  It was so much fun to hang out with all of our friends and pretend, if just for one night, that I’d never left!  We had to get a girls pic, of course:

Oh man, looking at this picture makes me miss these girls even more…sniff, sniff.  It’s really tough to imagine how I am going to make friends out here, especially since I met every single one of these girls through work.  Ugh, pity party…

Enough of that!  The next day was action-packed and included a super fun lunch at Chuy’s (mmmmmm!) with some more law firm pals.  After lunch, Frank and I headed down to the West End to pick up my cousin, Johnelle, and her husband, Corey, who were in Dallas for a nerd convention of some sort.  J/K, they are both Ph.D.’s and professors at UT San Antonio.  Little smarties!  We were so glad they were in town and had the afternoon and evening free to hang with us.  Frank loved playing with them and entertaining them at dinner.  We can’t wait for them to visit in August!!

The next morning, we flew to Little Rock.  The 45-minute flight was much more do-able for this pregnant lady and her antsy toddler.  We were very anxious to see Gammie, Papa, and the rest of the family, but everyone knows we were just thrilled to be reunited with the family dog Emmitt!!  He had quite a fun three months at Chateau Vaught, where my health-conscious parents took him for 3 and 4 walks per day, let him sit atop their white sofa, and treated him like a veritable king.  I’m not so sure he wanted to come back with us.  But he had no choice!

Our time in Little Rock was pretty laid-back.  We saw a lot of family, had some good home-cooked meals, and saw lots of friends at the baby shower for Eleanor.  The fun part about having a shower for a second baby is that no one gets you boring stuff like pacifiers and breast shields.  Instead, we got a boat-load of ruffly, girly, adorable clothes!  Here are a few examples:

First Leotard!



Btw, this is my niece Lenzy.  She’s a young lady!  How did this happen?!?!

As you can see, we have some very generous friends and family in Arkansas!  Such a fun time.  Our Little Rock leg of the trip ended on Thursday, when we all (Mom, Dad, Me, Frank, and Emmitt) loaded up the old family wagon (er, Lexus SUV) and drove back to Texas.  We drove straight to DFW airport and dropped Emmitt at the AA Cargo building for his flight back to Seattle.  He (and I) were a little apprehensive, but he did great and was overjoyed to see Heath waiting for him as he deplaned!

We stayed one night in Arlington and hung out with our good friends, the Crumbys, to discuss their son Michael’s upcoming nuptials.  My mom will always find a way to expense a trip!  I kid, I kid.

The next day, we were back in Plano with the Dixons, and my parents drove back to Little Rock.  This trip to Plano was a lot less hectic than the week before, and Frank had a ball hanging out with his Mimi, Poppy, and Granny (Heath’s grandmother), who came down from El Dorado, AR, to see us.

Counting rocks with Poppy

Showing Poppy how he has mastered stairs (now that we have three stories!)

We also got to spend some quality time with cousins Audrey, Tanner, Dakota, McKinley, and Sailor at the Furrey household.  Poppy and his construction crew had some time off after completing Cowboys Stadium and built Audrey and Tanner the most awesome playhouse in their backyard.

Watching Audrey slide down the fire pole

Acting as sheriff, trying to determine if McKinley is worthy of entry.

The other wonderful thing I was able to do while in the metroplex is attend my sorority’s 20th Anniversary of being on the TCU campus!  I am so glad I was able to make it to the festivities.  Loved catching up with even more of my girlfriends, some of whom I hadn’t seen since graduation!  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera and don’t have any pictures to post as of now.  However, I’m probably going to break down and order some from FLASH, which I will scan and post at a later date.  For those of you unfamiliar, FLASH is the official photographer of all Greek Life functions at TCU.  These nerdy guys in red polos walk around your parties all night long, and you yell out “FLASH” to get him to take a picture of you and your drunk friends making ridiculous faces.  You then walk up to the FLASH store a couple of days later and scan thousands of tiny images hanging from clothesline to find your pictures.  You then order them and keep them for 15 years.  Case in point:

Anyhoo, now FLASH is all online, so it’s not nearly as fun.  But I’m still gonna order some.  ‘Cause that’s what you do!

Well, I hope you didn’t fall asleep reading this extra-long entry.  All in all, April was a pretty fun month for the Dixons!  I’ll try to be more prompt in the updates now that we are here for a while.  Take care, everyone!