camping out

bedsheet tent in the living roomDuring the last few weeks Lovey and I have crossed paths as we pass between classes and jobs, caught quick dinners together (most nights), then parted again for the rest of each evening.  It’s no fun living that way, even when we know it’s temporary.  So we scheduled a date night.

Lovey in the tent setting up the laptop

I mentioned the harebrained idea of building a tent in the living room, thinking he wouldn’t go for it, only to come home after a long workday and find him in the midst of building this bedsheet palace.

candles on the outside of the tent!

I added my decorative touches, though no flames were allowed under the canopy.  (Good call, Babe.)  We sprawled on our couch cushions and every other extra pillow and blanket we could find and settled in for an evening of Chinese takeout, Modern Family, and Castle.

candles on the outside of the tent!

I don’t know if you can tell how tired we are in this photo, but to me the half-smiles are evidence of exhaustion.  Our cozy evening of doing Nothing was really Something.  Something we needed.  Something to remember (with a much bigger smile).  Something that brought us together for a few hours in the middle of some crazy days.  I’d live in a tent with this guy for forever.

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Mondate Night: cute cupcakes

There’s a cupcake shop in town now, so–hello!–we had to go there.  My peanut butter-filled chocolate cupcake with swirly chocolate frosting and Butterfinger bits was…just like it looks.  Amazing.

chocolate peanut butter cupcake

And Lovey’s caramel buttercream something-or-other wasn’t half bad either.

caramel buttercream cupcake

Cupcakes make us happy.  Or maybe we make each other happy.  Or maybe…both.  We kept taking flash pictures of ourselves, trying to get our faces and the logo behind us into the photo.  (Our flashless attempts turned out way too blurry.)  Anyway, we were being total goofballs, more so than the undergrads who streamed in and out in their Ugg boots and Converse sneakers. The fact that undergrads think their uniform is hip and distinctive cracks me up.  But that’s a bunny trail for another day.  Or never.  I can get a little mean about it.

cupcakes give us happy faces

Back to happy thoughts.  The shop was completely adorable.  The seats at the counter are honest-to-goodness swings!  We sat against the window instead, as I mentioned.  Lovey wouldn’t pose in the pillows for me, so this smidge of a glimpse is all I have to offer, but I’ll try to paint a picture for you.  The front window backs a wraparound bench lined with bright green, orange, and blue pillows.  A skinny horizontal swath of mirror belts the room so you can, oh, I don’t know, watch yourself dancing.  One kid was doing that.  (They were playing Hit ‘Em Up Style at one point.)  The “tables” look like elementary school desks and the chairs are similarly schoolish.

white plate with crumbs and a fork

That makes sense because the shop is named after the owner’s favorite teacher.  Everything about it is playful and sweet–desserts included.  I loved it as a date spot.  We could’ve gotten out of there for about five bucks but we sprung for the hot chocolate, which was worth it.  Then home on the bus, giggling and snuggling all the way.  Ain’t love grand?

Mondate Night: birds of a feather & time together

Lovey and I traveled to a marriage conference this weekend.  As I get back into the groove of a workweek, I thought it would be appropriate to at least tip my hat to looove even though it’s too soon for me to have pulled together a post about our little getaway.  These photos are from a couple weeks ago when we visited a local museum for a fun (free!) date.

tanager (bird) display

The museum is pretty small but we still weren’t able to get through the whole thing.  We only looked at the bird exhibits.  (The bird wing?)  Lovey was pretty much racing around the room trying to identify the birds that come to our feeder.  Every so often he would exclaim, “There it is!” and I’d go over to see which one he’d found.

He was occupied with warblers and woodpeckers, but I was drawn to the beautiful birds like this peacock.  That blue is unreal, isn’t it?  And that tail–I swoon!

peacock from the front--crazy blue! peacock from the back--gorgeous tail!

The jaunty toppers on these guys amused me too.  How hilarious is God?  I can just imagine him at creation thinking, “This one needs a flourish” and adding little plumes to these birds’ heads.woodland birds--quail, etc. And then…the hummingbirds…oh, my goodness.  They’re so tiny I can barely comprehend their tininess.  I actually want to cry for them because they look so small and helpless–that’s weird, I know, but I’m affected by tiny things.  I had Hubby put up his hand to give some sense of how small they are, which only kind of helps because his hand was more than a foot away from them.  (His hand was a foot away?  There’s a pun in there; I can smell it.)teeny tiny hummingbirdsThen there was this guy.  He’s a “purple gallinule,” whatever that is, and he is one of the weirdest-looking animals I’ve ever seen.purple gallinuleHow about this display?  The most eggs I’ve ever seen in one container is eighteen, so this impressed me in terms of quantity, but also in terms of arrangement.  I like to organize, so you can imagine how pleasing it was to see so many shelves primly lined with objects in increasing size order.  Yet next to the human logic was the natural charm: eggs in various patterns and textures, some unevenly shaped, but all fascinating.eggs smallest to largestThis little guy is an ovenbird, namesake of a Robert Frost poem I have to include here because it’s lovely.  If you have time, read it slowly, and if you don’t have time, please skip it altogether rather than rushing through it.

ovenbird

The Oven Bird (Robert Frost)

There is a singer everyone has heard,

Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,

Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.

He says that leaves are old and that for flowers

Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.

He says the early petal-fall is past

When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers

On sunny days a moment overcast;

And comes that other fall we name the fall.

He says the highway dust is over all.

The bird would cease and be as other birds

But that he knows in singing not to sing.

The question that he frames in all but words

Is what to make of a diminished thing.

*

It was a treat for me to finally see the little creature that inspired those lines.  When I read the poem for the first time (years ago) I didn’t know what an oven bird was.

Speaking of ovens, let’s turn to the end of the date and the dinner we ate.  Lovey had been eager to try a burger joint he passes during the day, so we went in (forgetting that a big football game was on!) and waited…and waited…for a table.  The food was worth our wait:

spicy burger and friesI had a spicy burger with pepper jack cheese, chipotle cream cheese, and jalapenos.  Yee-um!  Even the fries were a little spicier than average.  There wasn’t a chance of my taking flight after this hefty dinner, but it was fun to snuggle wing-to-wing in the booth with my lovebird.