Missouri Trip Part III - Fireflies and Lake Houses

I'm home now. Just rolled back into Florida, and I really never want to see the inside of a car again for a very long time.

Or at least until Monday when I have to drive around to my patients houses again. Yay.

I had a fabulous time with my family. Really, really great. This was, after all, a strictly family-based vacation since I haven't seen any of my side of the family since February when my parents came to visit.

So....warning: We are about to go down a really, really sappy branch of memory lane.

You know what I really missed about Missouri?

Those fantastic Midwest thunderstorms that roll in and stick around for awhile. Florida does get some pretty spectacular storms, but they're usually over in about five minutes. Minus the hurricanes.

We had one while I was there.

And of course, Dad and I go out into the driveway to look up at the sky as big, fat raindrops splash us in the face and the lightening crisscrosses the sky.

Obligatory funeral home shot right there, folks.

We used to do the same thing when the tornado sirens went off, which is probably why I'm petrified with even the smallest tornado watch alert.

Then again, when you grow up where I did, not much freaks you out.

I also missed the fireflies. For some reason, Florida just doesn't have them.

My parent's backyard right now has millions. It's gorgeous. It reminds me of family BBQs and catching fireflies in jars and bonfires and s'mores.

My cousin Andrew and I also discovered you could smash the fireflies and smear their light trail on your arms. You could also make glow-rings out of their butts. We were cool like that.

I took some pretty spectacular firefly video, but it won't upload to the blog. So trust me. It was amazing.

What else did I miss? For as long as I can remember, we've always had a place at the Lake of the Ozarks. Many summer mornings we would load up friends and swimsuits and sunscreen and head for the Lake for a day, a long weekend, a week, etc. So this trip back, we decided to go visit our favorite places.

This is my home-away-from-home.

So many memories here.

My old bedroom in the loft. I loved waking up to the smell of mom making coffee. The sound of dad snoring until noon when we would wake him up to go swimming or for him to make his famous salsa eggs.

Summers at the Lake meant staying up late whispering to my sister about the cute boys we saw down on the docks. Nighttime boat rides to watch the fireworks at Tan-Tar-A. Swimming in the pool because I refuse to swim anywhere there are fish, sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee while watching the sun rise over the bluffs.

Trips to Randy's. Always the trips to Randy's.

No matter how close I live to the ocean, I will always hold the Lake in my heart. I'm a Lake Girl. 

It was so great to be able to reminisce with my family this week. We might be getting older, but in my mind we're all still stuck in the '90's!! 

Today I love: Getting home to my puppies (I would say Matt, but he won't arrive until tomorrow)! What I don't love is the dog hair everywhere since we don't board the dogs when we're gone. They have complete run of the house with the pet sitter, which means the rest of the night I'll be vacuuming up dog hair and deodorizing the couches. Yay me!

Stay tuned for more Missouri Adventures...

Missouri Trip Part II - The Arrival

I have to admit that all through high school and college the only thing I wanted to do was leave Missouri. I thought it was boring and the same thing all the time and all I wanted was something different.

Then, you grow up. You do leave. You move to other states - and yes, you have fun being nomadic adventurers exploring what different states have to offer.

But then you realize what was left behind, and you actually start looking forward to going back to your home state.

Saturday afternoon, when we crossed over from Illinois into Missouri, I saw a sight that brought tears to my eyes.

Cheesy, I know. But it's true!!

Home isn't home without the St. Louis Arch.

I had a to-do and to-see list to accomplish while here at home, and seeing the Arch was on there somewhere.


Imo's Pizza was number one on the list. NUMBER ONE.

A St. Louis classic, I grew up on this stuff. I crave it when I'm not at home.

Imo's is a religion down here, and I am more than happy to partake.

Plus, St. Louis is the birthplace of REAL toasted ravioli - not that nasty stuff elsewhere in the world that consists of floppy noodles and disgusting cheese filling.

This is how God intended ravioli to be.

And please ignore my husband when he says that Imo's is nothing more than ketchup on a cracker. Imo's pizza is tasty deliciousness of a super-thin crust smothered with provel cheese. Provel - completely processed and completely amazing.

For fun reading, try "One City's Love Affair with Processed Cheese" from NPR.

This is my heritage, people.

Day One in the Eaton Household consisted of - of course - Makeup with Aunt Addie!!!!!

Do you remember the Makeup Party last November?

Pretty much the same, except this time we were able to smear all sorts of colors and sparkles all over grandma's kitchen table.


And I'm not sure who's awesome idea this was, but Addie and Addie were put together in the same room. Maybe because of all the 3's? I'm 33 and she's 3?

In any case, this was the sleeping arrangement.

I was on the bottom trundle, because Aunt Addie sometimes has to get up in the middle of the night to go to the potty, and we didn't want her to be climbing over Little Addie at 2am.

That, and I'm not quite the Princess Sofia aficionado that my niece is.

Adelyn saw her new Princess Sofia sheets and screamed at the top of her lungs, "MooMoo (what she calls her grandma), this makes me SO HAPPY!!!"

Here's how bedtime went down:

8:30pm - Adelyn goes to bed.
9:30pm - Aunt Addie goes to bed, because we all know she can't stay up much later than that without developing a case of the grumpies.
11:30pm - Adelyn rolls out of bed, right onto Aunt Addie. After Aunt Addie catches her breath and scoots over, Addie and Addie snuggle in and go back to sleep.
12:30am - Adelyn wakes up and states "This isn't my bed! I need to go back to my bed!" I help her get back into her bed and we fall back asleep.
1:30am - Adelyn rolls out of bed again, right on top of Aunt Addie. Again. Aunt Addie groans and scoots over, and ignores the fact that one of us smells like a little bit of pee.
3:00am - Aunt Addie wakes up to the touch of a little hand patting her face and a little voice saying "Aunt Addie!! Aunt Addie!! What are you doing???"

3am people. 3am.

Aunt Addie then gives up any premise of trying to sleep and decides the couch will be her bed for rest of the week.

Amen and amen.


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Baseball coach's wife. RN. Former Midwestern girl living in southern Florida. Jesus freak. Lover of all things puppy.