10. Jasmine rice. Where has it been all my life?
9. Succumbing to the allure of the Crocs. I KNOW, I KNOW. They're ugly as sin. But the floors of schools are vinyl on concrete and if those ugly shoes will keep my heels and knees from crippling pain at the end of the day, color me Croc-ed.
8. My first yellow jacket sting. OUCH! DAMNIT!
7. AirTran changing their policy so that we can each only check one suitcase for free. Additional suitcases were $25 apiece. I can't really blame them: they're suffering from the gas and economic crises as much as we are.
6. Watching Sweet Pea play in the front yard, sitting on a bench, singing to Mom's boxer. The dog drooled slavishly, gazing at Sweet Pea with complete devotion as Sweet Pea serenaded her with songs from High School Musical 2.
5. The moment when my Mom and my daughter see each other in an airport after a long separation. It's magic.
4. My brother and sister-in-law. Every time I see my brother walk into his house, it's a shock. Somehow I keep expecting a 12-year-old boy and this grown man shows up. I actually got to spend a few minutes with sis-in-law alone. I wish we lived closer. They're awesome.
3. This commercial windmill farm. It's gorgeous. And clean. And quiet. Next time I'm up there I may get up before dawn to photograph the sun rising behind them.
2. Blue moon ice cream. You have to be from Michigan, particularly the Saginaw Valley, to understand this. And anyone who adds pineapple or pop rocks is a poser.
1. My nieces. My three beautiful, wonderful, smart, kissable, huggable dumplings of love. I miss them so much my heart hurts. 'Fabulous' is going into 2nd grade. She writes songs and keeps a journal. She is sensitive and loving. 'Captivating' is a blue-eyed whirlwind of sound and movement. The child never stops talking. Sound like anyone we know? Nah, me neither. The youngest, 'Joyful', is just happy to be here. She loves shoes and lasagna and having me hold her. I didn't argue. I adore each of them.