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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another discovery

Knocking over blocks has never been so much fun!  At least not for the last four years.  We're building and demolishing with the same blocks that saw hours of action with her older sisters.  Some things never change.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

At this moment...

Today is my last thankful post.  Right now I'm thankful for-

*the gentle, cool rain that is falling outside.  My house is warm and cozy.  Kevin is at the gym, the baby is asleep upstairs, the girls are drawing out on the front porch, cuddled up in their sleeping bags and blankets and I'm inside piddling around.  Perfection.

*my mom and dad.  I've been wanting to write about those two since day one of this challenge.  Every time I start to I cry.  My writing feels far too sentimental and I know you'd never believe what I write even though it's 100% true.  My parents are beyond what any words could portray.  They are my biggest fans and dearest mentors.  I hope I create a childhood for my girls that  comes close to what they created for me.  If I am able, that will be my biggest success in life

*our yard.  The beginning of this month marked two years of living in our wonderful home, making this our third year working in our yard.  It is really coming along.  I feel so happy every time I go outside and see the plants appearing day by day.  After a long winter of dreaming, reading and planning,  Kevin is busy building vegetable garden beds and deciding exactly what we'll put in each one.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A fantastic adventure!

If you spend any time with Eleanor (she is now going by her given name) it is likely you'll hear things described as fantastic and be privy to the many adventures she goes on.   Yesterday the two of us with Lucy in tow had our own little fantastic adventure.  We went to Illinois.  I had a Groupon for a nursery in Edwardsville so we headed over in search of a couple trees for the backyard.  Boy did we luck out.  Ajh  the owner of Sugarloaf Nursery is a tree expert and takes pride in the trees he has grown.  He taught us about all of the varieties of trees and then took us out into the nursery for our very own look.  We decided upon a Redbud and a Lilac.  Ellie Eleanor chose the very trees that will be planted in our yard.  Ajh tagged each with with a bright orange flag labeled ELEANOR!  He sure knew how to make a friend.
I'm thankful my Eleanor is such a great adventurer.

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Of course she even made it onto the sales ticket.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter is coming!

eI'm thankful to have a savior.  I'm excited to celebrate his resurrection.  If you want to go to church next Sunday but aren't sure where you'll hear a message that speaks to you, please consider joining the Gathering for Easter service.   Worship services will be at 9 and 10:45 at The Pageant on Delmar.  Join us1

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Tonight I'm thankful for the little things I heard at 7:45 pm.

I snuggled in bed next to Ellie for a few minutes.  In the dark she whispered, "Mom, do you know what I really love?  I love the cool side of the pillow. Cool like cold not cool like kinda awesome".

As I tucked Emma in she said "As I was saying" and then proceeded to finish a story she'd started 4 hours earlier.

It's not every night I remember to listen, tonight my ears were open and I'm chuckling all the way to bed.

Cool like kinda awesome.  Ellie 3 (how is that possible?) years ago.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Behind by 6.  Sheesh!

This moment I'm thankful for....

-Azithromycin and Tylenol.  Lucy has another ear infection.  Looks like we're going to the ENT next week.

-SPRING!  I bought 3 ferns and a basil plant this week.  I couldn't hold back any longer.

-Kevin's cooking.  I feel lucky because I really like to cook, so many people don't and for them cooking feels like a chore.  That said, I also love that Kevin likes to cook. I don't mind handing over the pots and pans on the weekend!  Im hoping he cooks from both of these cookbooks this weekend.  Yum!

-Speaking of Kevin, I'm thankful that tomorrow marks his last travel day in his current job.  He'll begin a new position with the same great company on Monday.  This job will mean much less travel, like only one week of travel per month.  GASP!!  After 7 years of crazy travel I'm incredibly happy and so very, very thankful.  The girls are too, we have visions of evening bike rides, picnic dinners and the sort.  That's what happens when you're not traveling, right?

-Night time read aloud.  We're reading some E.B. White classics right now.  Sharing books I loved as a kid with my kids is such a treat.  I remember my mom reading Charlotte's Web to my brother and me. Over 25 years later and it still makes me cry.  

Sort of funny that Lucy has my iPhone on our family quilt.  Wonder what Granny would make of that?
-This quilt. It appears in a lot of our pictures.  It's nearly always on the floor, so easy to throw in the wash after a few hard days.  My Great Grandma (who I was named after, did you know that Emma is also named after her Great Grandma?) made it.  That's right my Grandpa's  (who would be 90 this year) mom.  It's a kind of crazy quilt, looks a bit like it was made out of whatever fabric was leftover from other projects.  The stitching, while very strong is far from neat.  I think this quilt was made for function. It's soft and strong all at the same time.   I love that  the soft spot where my kids so often play was made by someone who never knew them but loved them far before they ever arrived.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

8 months

Little Lucy turned 8 months two days ago.  Every month I'm certain that we've entered into my favorite baby stage.  Then the next month comes and I'm in love all over.

8 month stats:
Weight- Not sure.  She's not losing weight but she's slimming down.
Height- I'd measure her if she were ever still.
Hair-Red, and filling in.
Teeth- 2
Dimple- still there
Tricks- I'm certain I'd be able to chase down a squirrel in the backyard and dress him in tiny squirrel clothes faster than I can dress Lulu.  She is a squirmer!  She likes to concentrate on a letter sound a day.  Dadadadada one day, lalalalalala the next.  She loves eating, riding in the stroller, reading books and taking baths...what a life!

Lucy is on the move.  She is not crawling in the conventional sense of the word but she can move across the room  and pretty fast too.
 She also enjoys showing off some of her pilates and yoga moves.

Tonight we had a picnic on the living room floor.  Unsatisfied with her own sweet potatoes Lucy tried to steal an apple and a bowl of chicken noodle soup.  

I'm so thankful that 8 months ago we met our amazing Lucy Adelaide.  We are blessed to have this girl in our lives.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm no perfectionist

I've never been one.  I used to think that was a bad thing, I felt sort of guilty about it.  We live in a culture that strives for perfection in everything---we can be the happiest, prettiest, smartest, fastest, absolute BEST if we just try harder!  Never do you feel the pressure more to measure up than as a parent.  Who doesn't want to be a perfect parent?   Tonight I'm thankful to know I don't have to be prefect, that I'll never be and this elusive perfect parent doesn't really exist. 

 I don't have a sister and my brother is 5 years younger than me so I missed out on a lot of the sibling rivalry 101 stuff.  We had our share of fights but nothing like my girls.   My girls are either best friends or bitter enemies.  Nothing in between.  The tide can turn in 5 seconds flat.    As their mom it can be exhausting, frustrating, embarrassing, sad and disappointing.  I want my kids to be best buddies for life.  I've had enough people tell me that this is normal behavior (it is right?) that I can usually say a prayer, bite my tongue and wait it out.    Sometimes I don't though.  Sometimes I intervene too quickly, take sides, lose my temper  and just do it all wrong.  Bummer.

Thankfully, perfection doesn't equal happiness because if it did I'd be going to bed one sad puppy. Instead, I'm going to bed the same happy mama I usually am.   Parenting is hard enough for crying in the night, without putting a bunch of unrealistic expectations on yourself (oh, I do anyway, but I'm always working on it).  I'm thankful to know they're not perfect and I don't have to be either.  

The fighters.  Quite literally 15 minutes before this photo was taken, Ellie had declared she was no longer Emma's sister. They have a joint piggy bank in which they are pooling their money for a Barbie Jeep.  Ellie had taken her money out.  Exasperated, I went to put the baby to bed.  When I returned Emma was reading Ellie a bedtime story because "you've had it Mommy".  Plus they said they pinky promised each other to "never, ever fight again".  Oh, were it so easy!

Monday, April 4, 2011


The science fair results were announced today and Emma did not win.  We tried to prep her for the burn of defeat.  We told her that winning isn't the point,  that learning and having fun are, you know, all of the required parent material.   She politely listened, then launched into how exciting the regional science fair would be.  Today's fall was hard.   Her voice quivered and tears welled in her eyes as she told us.  My heart broke for her.  There wasn't much to say, I told her how proud I was of her and that there's always next year.  I picked her up and she protested.  I held on tight and she squeezed back.  "I just feel sad" she whispered.  "Me too" I said back.   We walked into the kitchen where a big plate of M&M cookies waited. She ate one, then two and giggled as I let her have one more.  As I write this I can hear her in the living room with her sisters laughing (hopped up on sugar no doubt) and having fun.  Today I'm thankful that for now our biggest heartaches can still be solved with cookies.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

4 to catch up

Sunny days calling me outdoors have me thankful!  They also have me behind on my thankful posts.  Tonight is catch up time.

I'm thankful to have healthy eaters.  I don't have to do anything special to get them to eat fruit, veggies, yogurt or whole grains. Which means that a donut on Sunday morning is just fine! 

I'm thankful for the schools Emma and Ellie attend.  Kevin and I know that a strong school system to help us educate our girls is one of the greatest gifts we'll give them.  We feel we've found a place that will nurture and build our little learners into big learners, forever full of wonder and excitement about the world around them.    
Emma with her first science fair project.  We are proud of her hard work.  Although Kevin supported her all the way through, she owned this project, doing the work herself and learning every step of the way.

This picture was taken last summer on our 10th anniversary.  I was a month away from giving birth to Lucy.  We were sitting in adirondack chairs in our backyard, those things really aren't designed for huge pregnant ladies.   Kevin had to pull me out, weighing nearly as much as him made the job a bit difficult.  I wasn't even slightly embarrassed, in fact I starting laughing so hard I got a cramp in my side.  That's what 10 wonderful years of marriage will do for you.
I'm thankful to have a great marriage.  It helps that I'm married to my favorite person in the whole world.