Sunday, October 31, 2010

Olivia's 5th Birthday

Yesterday, we celebrated Olivia's fifth birthday! Her actual birthday isn't until November 9th, but Sarah and Tony decided to have her party a little early. I'm going to tell myself it was so that we could be here to celebrate with them!

We couldn't have had better weather. Bright sunny skies, upper 60's, with a "slight" breeze (that unfortunately kept the candles from staying lit long enough for O to blow them out!). They had the party at Riverside Park, and once all the girls had arrived, we took a minute to grab a quick group photo (or 12). This one actually has all the girls looking at the camera and at least partly smiling...

We then headed over to the playground for some swinging, sliding, hanging, and jumping.

After 30 minutes of playing, it was back to our picnic tables for the birthday crafts and games.

First came create-your-own-crown, using stickers and crayons.

Next up was "Pin the Tiara on the Princess".

After the crafts and games, it was time for CUPCAKES!!! Complete with homemade icing by Sarah. She's my hero!

And then came presents!!!

As the party wrapped up, we headed back to the playground for a little more swinging. And Scott, my brother, decided it was time for some "posing" while jumping off the swing. He'd be upset if I didn't include these, so here you go. Complete with one at the end of Brayden trying to be like his dad...

Happy birthday, Olivia! We're so happy we were here to celebrate with you!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Westminster College (Fall, 2010)

This morning, Mom and I took the girl cousins (Ivie, Macie, Josie, and Olivia) to visit my alma mater, Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri. Since Mom and Dad live so close now, I try to drive up to Fulton to visit (and reminisce!) once a year or so.

Dale (happily?) skipped this year's trip in favor of a round of golf with Scott, Tony, and Dad. He's always a trooper on our excursions into my past, but I can imagine that they're not the highlight of his time in Missouri!

Our first stop was HAC (Hunter Activity Center). Nate and I played many a game of pool in this building! In fact, I must admit that for Christmas one year I got my own pool stick. I still have it, even though I don't remember the last time I used it, and my game has gotten MUCH worse as a result!

The girls took a quick break in the HAC gym to shoot a few baskets, though Mac preferred to use the basketball as a soccer ball...

We then headed to "Historic Westminster Gymnasium" where my college basketball years were spent. Incidentally, it's also where Winston Churchill delivered his famous Iron Curtain speech.

Going into the gym always brings back some great memories. So please pardon all the pictures I took...

And, a probably little-known fact, particularly to my North Carolina friends, is that my jersey is "honored" at Westminster and hangs in the gym.

I know it's Division III, but I'm still pretty proud of it! And, to date, I'm still the all-time leading scorer. In fact, checking out the website for this blog, I came across this action shot of my shooting guard days at WC. Sure makes me feel old!

After we left the gym, I snapped a quick shot of the columns (I love what the sunlight did to this shot)...

... and then we headed for the other side of campus. Thankfully, it's very small, so we were on foot the entire time.

Here are a few pictures of the segment of the Berlin Wall (named "Breakthrough") and the Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury.

After a brief stop in the Bookstore to pick up a Westminster onesie for the baby, we walked over to the Quad, which I believe still houses all freshmen.

Here's a picture of the dorm that was my home that first year. (Memories, Marcia?!?)

We had a great visit! There was a chill in the air, and college students were out and about between classes (I even met a current junior on the women's basketball team who is apparently an All-Conference performer and a nerd in the classroom, just as I, admittedly, was!).

Though I can't say that I wish I were back in college (I'm so glad I don't have to hit the books any more!), it's always nice to go "home" and remember back to those days. You know, back when my only "job" was to behave and study and play hard. And the only life for which I was responsible was my own!