Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Long overdue

I hated high school. I couldn't wait for it to be over when I was there. And looking back now I still think it was pretty freaking pointless. The ONLY thing that kept me sane growing up in a small town with nothing to do was my very best friend in the whole wide world, Sandra. We met in 8th grade. She had just come into the public school system after being homeschooled. I was in an advanced program with a bunch of people who were absolutely NOTHING like me. We did pretty much everything together. Band geeks. "Whos Line is it" marathons. Our graduation party.

17 years later, we are still friends. We haven't kept in touch like we should have. And we haven't seen each other in 5 years. But she was my maid of honor at my wedding. She'll always be my best friend. The person who made high school livable. One of the few people in our little podunk town who understood me. One of the few people who still does (although thankfully that list of people who really get me has gotten slightly longer).

She's having her first baby. I'm so stinking excited for her I can hardly contain myself. If ever there was someone who would make a fabulous mother its Sandra. Her babyshower was this weekend and for the first time EVER, I left behind Brad AND the kids and went on a trip. That in and of itself was long overdue. I love my family dearly but it was so nice to get away. But I still can't believe it has been FIVE YEARS since Sandra and I have seen one another. We added it up, we've been friend for 17 years. That is a LONG time. When in the heck did I get old enough to have done ANYTHING for 17 years?? Then again, Brad and I are coming up on 10 years of marraige. Sooo . . .
(A note on the picture to the left. I've always wanted to do a picture like this. Sandra's cute belly + red shirt made it perfect!! Add in Ricky's tats for a little character and it turned out awesome!)

We really didn't do anything other than hang out, catch up, and shop for baby stuff. It was exactly the break from the craziness that I needed. Oh, and we went to see the Hunger Games too. The baby shower was all kinds of cuteness, Sandra's mom Mary did a great job.

Sandra and her fiancee Ricky. Aren't they cute?? :-)
Some of the yummys. Mmmm, fondue!
I can't even remember the last time the four of us (Sandra, me, her mom and my mom) were all together. It was probably at our high school graduation.
Time passes and things always change. People move in and out of your life. But there are certain people who will always be a part of it. I'm so glad I got to go and share in the excitement of this little baby, see my friend and meet her guy. My husband is wonderful for taking a few days off and holding our house together so I could get away.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Summer V3.5

I'm a little late on posting THIS too, but since I haven't been great at keeping up lately I just wanted to document where Summer is at. And also post a picture of Summer on her egg hunt with her playgroup friends. I think Nana Dina thought we didn't let Summer have any Easter fun at all. In reality, she just needed a down day at home with Daddy while Garrett and I went to do some Easter stuff on Saturday.

Summer Version 3.5 is crazy. She's terribly independent, but also easily frustrated. She's VERY sensitive, and the slightest little thing will make her very sad. She's getting much better at expressing her frustrations and sadness. She is definitely DADDY'S GIRL. She always wants to know where he is, when he'll be home, and what he's doing. She loves her brother, and is always sad that he doesn't want her smootches. She regularly chases him into his Kindergarten classroom to attempt to kiss him, much to his embarrassment. She's STILL not potty trained, but we're making progress. "Kerpunzel" is her most favorite thing in the world. She loves to swim and she loves to play. Her pretend play is just too funny to watch.

There is a reason God decided to bless us with her 2nd. If she had been our first she would be our ONLY. But as challenging as she is now, I know that strong willed nature will work to her advantage as she gets older. Oh, and she REALLY wants to go to school. Probably because we take Garrett every day. She knows most of her letters and letter sounds. Uno is her favorite game.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Weekend Fun

We had a wonderfully busy Easter Weekend. We kicked off the festivities by watching Hop on Thursday night. Cute, and only a few moments that I could have done without. School was out on Friday, so Brad took the day off and we did a day trip to Key West. We spent far more time in the car then we actually did in Key West, but both the drive and walking around were worth the effort, and it was nice to do something "big" as a family for a change. We then came home and did our monthly Full Moon Fun Run, hosted by the Davis clan, which was a blast. This was the first time it fell on a weekend and both kids had a blast hanging out and playing. Summer, it turns out, makes an excellent pacer on her bike :-) Our full moon gang (stole the pic from Shelah). Brad even managed to win a Tae Kwon Do membership for the boy, so that was awesome. Something fun to look forward to over the summer!

On Saturday morning Garrett and I had a date to go see the Easter Bunny as a part of the city's Easter festivities. Garrett drew a bunch of pictures for the E.B., but this was my favorite. The scribble, by the way, is the grass in which EB is hiding.
He loved giving them to the Easter Bunny in person:
We ran into Garrett's buddy Jon and they had a fun time being silly together:

Before the egg hunt:

And with his haul:
They had a rock climbing wall, so of course Garrett had to do that:

Then it was time to dye eggs. This year the egg dying was an incredibly artsy affair for Garrett and pretty much stress free, which was a nice switch.

Summer had fun with the stickers.

My favorite easter egg by Garrett. Ahoy, me mateys!

So colorful!
We finished out the day by reading the Easter story and talking about why we celebrate it.

Kids to bed, and the scheming began:

The kids left most of their candy for the EB to take. In return he left baskets filled with fun. Summer's eggs were hidden in her room. Garrett, on the other hand, got to follow a trail of clues hidden in eggs. The trail lead, eventually, to "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" for he and Summer to share. The EB is very clever and Garrett had a BLAST following the clues.

After playing with our Easter goodies for a while, we headed off to spend some time in the great outdoors. Last month I was able to do field work in a part of Everglades National Park I had never visited before, Chekika. This place has a borrow pit FILLED with baby alligators. So we had to go back as a family--especially since Summer is OBSESSED with alligators (and snakes. . . go figure).

10 baby alligators, and 2 adults, inhabited the small lake. Brad scored an awesome picture of one of the little ones.
We finished the day off by having dinner at the Shumans house. They are planning on moving over the summer, so its a bit sad to know our holidays won't all be spent walking around the corner to their house. Holidays there have been a long-standing tradition that make living so far from family a little less lonely. We made a cute bunny tray to share.
And, speaking of culinary creations--the kids and I made these super delicious (and sweet!) cookies for Garrett's class.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

March In Review (and February too I suppose)

I can not seem to get caught up this year. Maybe its just the craziness of getting Garrett to and from school, getting workouts in, feeding everyone, keeping summer occupied, working, and just generally surviving from one day to the next. Our days have been filled with lots of fun, but I haven't really taken that many pictures. Trying to be in the moment with the kids, but I KNOW I'm going to miss having this to look back on down the line.

Let's see . . .
We had a cold snap. Haylee must be getting old (which she really is, she turned 10 in March, which is CRAZY to me) because all she did was bury under the blankets and refuse to move.

Aspen, on the other hand, chose to attempt to swim in the lake during one of our coldest days. Rotten dog.

Nana and Papa came for a visit. I'm sad to say this is the ONLY picture I took with my camera while they were here. Garrett and Summer loved having them here to play with.

Valentines day.
We made darling super hero valentines. Garrett got a kick out of making them.

He also made lots of sweet little art work. This was my favorite though, made with the bottom of a celery stalk as a stamp.

My dad came for a visit. We hit the beach and went to the Everglades. Its been a while since he's seen the kids. Everyone had a blast of course.

We did fun things like make robots out of toilet paper roles. Don't ask about Garrett's face here . . . .I think he was acting like the robot.

I ran my first half marathon on March 4th. I'm so annoyed that I haven't managed to post about THAT in the past month. It was an epic weekend, my friend Amanda from TooTallFritz came for the race. As I mentioned before, we've been online friends forever but have never met in person, and she was one of the people I could always ask for help when I got stuck on my running journey. It was so fabulous to meet her and her mom--they were kind enough to let me hang out with them the night before the race to save on some serious pre-race jitters!
Not to mention a beautiful evening on the beach:

Brad stayed home with the kids so I'm sadly lacking in pictures of the actual race. But we had so very much fun! I finished in 2:49, which was under the goal I had set for myself. Next time I hope to run the whole thing, I ran faster than I should have in the beginning and had to do intervals the last half. It was so incredible though.
And I can't forget the sweet good luck flowers Brad got me before the race :-)

Spring Break was fabulously busy . . .
We used the awesome pop bottle science kit Leanne got Garrett over Christmas to do some fun experiments over spring break. We made a volcano.

We also blew up balloons using the reaction of baking soda and vinegar. We have a long standing tradition of making faces on our balloons--Summer did such an awesome job on hers (with NO help) that I had to take a picture.

We went to the Childrens Museum with the Falconer clan. The kids had a blast--Summer and Ava hadn't played together in a while. The Pirate Island Exhibit there is amazing and the kids loved it. Garrett had also been wanting to try the rock climbing wall there for a while, but we always kept forgetting socks and close-toed shoes. He had an AWESOME time climbing the wall. If there is one thing I love more than anything else about the way we live our lives, its that living an active lifestyle has given this boy the idea that he can conquer anything. I love that he doesn't blink at physical challenges that would have made me, as an adult, cringe in the past.

Silly girls!

We played in the mud on the last day of spring break, just because getting dirty is so much fun.
Somewhere in there was Dr. Seuss's Birthday. We had tears on this day, ACTUAL TEARS, because Garrett's school told them they could wear Dr. Seuss shirts and I could not find one. As he's crying because he is worried he will be the only one without a Dr. Seuss shirt, I decided to be creative. The result turned out pretty darn cute, and he loved it. Saved by the Sharpie Markers and the stash of plain shirts sent to us by Grandma Sherry.

St. Patricks Day cuteness:
At the end of March we received news that Garrett was admitted into the charter school down the road from our house. I struggled for the entire week (we had to decide by March 31st if we wanted to enroll him) with what we should do. I really like the school we are currently at--the principal and staff are amazing, and it is such a small school that you can't help but feel at home. But in the end, an established Math/Science program and the ability to bike/walk to school won out over everything else, and we'll be switching schools at the end of the year. Hoping that it will make our lives simpler and that it will be a good fit for my crazy boy.

And, last but not least . . . a picture of Summer at the beginning of April 2011. I can't get over how much she has grown. She has been driving me bonkers lately--she is truly not an easy child and STILL isn't fully potty trained (we've been to the Dr. more times than I care to count in the past couple months, trying to sort her out). But she is growing up so fast and really becoming a big girl.