Monday, May 31, 2010

Babysuits and Sunscream!

All moms want to hold on to their kids' funny lingo. This weekend we were with friends at the beach and Connor was way into wearing her "babysuit" (aka bathingsuit) and "sunscream" (screen). She was my little Coppertone girl in the waves. I was amazed how her hair bleached out even more with the sun. Who would have ever guessed Connor would get my curls and Kirk's blonde color?
Oh boy did we ever have fun with those babysuits and sunscream!

The weather was warm, and the ocean was too! Quite a shocker for May in South Carolina. Sand, sun, salt water.
We shared a house with four families and their FIVE kids. We didn't want to move backwards in our big girl milestones so instead of bringing the portable crib we set up a 'big girl bed' for Connor in our closet.
The air conditioning was weak so we cranked the ceiling fans and threw open the windows letting in the ocean breeze. Connor was so sweet all nestled in for her nap this day. It was hot so we didn't have the heart for PJs.

More to come from our celebratory beach weekend. But these were some of my favorite memories. Babysuits and sunscream! Happy Memorial Day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The School Note

Today started Week Two with me back at work and Connor back at school. She is learning and loving her time there with teachers, a new routine, and school friends. It has been an exhausting, engaging transition. There is no doubt in my head that this is the right arrangement for both of us. BUT....Last week I got this note on Connor's daily report. It read "Dear Mom and Dad, I had a good time at school but some of the day I missed you so much."
Do you hear and feel my heart breaking in two?!? Connor is now enduring the entire school day with minimal reluctance. But at this point last week there were daily cries for us. I kinda wanted to cry too when I heard about these bouts. They were mostly around 4 PM daily while on the playground. I imagine that is where Connor is more alone with her thoughts.
Dear Connor, sweet daughter of mine - I miss you too. I miss the little funny things you say throughout the day. I miss lingering in our PJs in the morning, lunching with you and playing together for hours on end. What a dream we lived to have had the focused undivided attention of each other abroad. But there is no doubt in my mind that school is right for you and engaging professional work is right for me right now.
A couple of days after I got this note we were leaving the classroom at the day's end. One child called out to Connor to please give her a hug goodbye. Then methodically Connor approached each and every classmate one by one for a farewell hug. My heart melted in joy. She is developing independent friendships without my help. She is growing right up.

Connor, come what may - please know not a day will go by that "some of the day I missed you so much" too - so right back at ya!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


What a weekend. I forgot the peace and rhythm summer storms and ninety degree days bring. Screened in porches and Sunday naps. Sweat and air conditioning. Flip flops and Farmer's Market Fruit Tarts. Summertime in Atlanta is wonderful. And as much as I enjoyed the PLACES we went and saw in Europe, it is the PEOPLE who color our world with love and laughter. I have missed my Atlanta people. I have missed the familiar people and routines of church, the pool, birthday parties.

Friday night marked the end of my first work week back. Jen, Ko, Aly, Mattie, Kathryn, John, and even Tucker the dog came over for an easy dinner of make your own pizzas. We were itching for them to see our new temporary home after all they had done for our transitioning family.
The pizzas were a hit. Only problem - I forgot we had not yet bought flour. Umm. It was a little tough to unstick the dough from our fingers as we attempted to roll it out. After some brainstorming we rubbed our hands in olive oil which fit the bill. Here Kirk shows off his toss...
The kiddos ate in front of the TV while watching "Pollyanna" - the adults took to the screened porch to dine by candlelight. The entire evening was just right
Saturday brought birthday celebrations. Yes, plural - TWO birthday parties. The first was at our local fire station. Great idea! The firewoman came out fully decked. The idea was to teach the children not to be scared of the gear. That firefighters are good and ready to save you.
Connor wasn't so sure. Some kids went up for a hug or high five. Not this one.
She and Maury compared hats and golden badges!

The party continued at a nearby park. It wasn't long before the puddles got the better of them. Check out Connor's filthy legs! So much for my pristine daughter.

Kimball enjoyed his party.
The chaos and fun brought out iced noses and boisterous song. Happy Birthday Kimball!
That afternoon was Javi's 1st birthday. It was an Instrument Party with a drumleader and lots of dancing.
Two parties means two birthday cakes. Oh me oh my.

- August's Housewarming Party
- Chalk on the driveway
- Walk to the neighborhood playground
- A bold red Pentecost celebration at church!
- Sunday afternoon naps for mom and daughter
- Hot afternoon fun at our pool
- Grilled veggies and bedtime stories

I miss the PLACES of Europe. The foreign fun of new discovery. Our travels were like living a dream. But honestly, it doesn't compare to the PEOPLE you love. This priority shift from places to people is one that is good and right.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Peonies have to be the most beautiful, luscious layered flower. Lucky us - it is peonies season in our neck of the woods! My friend, Tonya, brought me gorgeous peonies from her yard for Mother's Day. We enjoyed them for over a week. On her birthday Connor gave me a peonies fashion show. She turned into quite the little model! Check out all her "vogue" positions. The peonies continued to bloom through the week. On Sunday I couldn't resist capturing a few more shots with the matching pink dress.We finally made it back to our church. I wasn't sure how Connor would adapt to Sunday School but she LOVED it. She learned about the disciples in a boat during a storm. She was very proud of her fishies and circles in the water. Boy, I have missed our church.Peonies and pictures. What fun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Big Girl Bed at Last

We hung onto the crib as long as we possibly could. My little one was curling and squishing in rolled up like a ball. I like to think she felt secure and safe nestled in - but if I am being truthful she was probably wondering why the crib was shrinking so!We have some of our Brussels furniture in our temporary home. No beds but we did give C our mattress placing it directly on the floor. Carol just happened to have this adorable pink angel comforter. I am pleased with how her room is coming together.
C has slept now 10 nights in her new "big girl bed" and things are going well. She knows she must call us for permission to get out of bed. We are hoping that 'stay in bed' compliance lasts. She gets so tuckered out now at school and that helps.
We have had only one night she rolled out of bed - but it was twice in one hour! It is disheartening to hear the thud and subsequent cries in the middle of the night. Even with such a short tumble. We learned to put the pillow shams next to the mattress to catch any more midnight rolls.
C's room is evolving to be very pink!

Here are a few more shots of our temporary summer home...while we wait for the renters to move out of our home.

It is a great house and perfect for what we need now. The absolute BEST part is the screened porch. We eat every meal - even breakfasts - together and outside. Maybe that is the ripple of living in Brussels with all the awful weather. You can't peel yourself away from the outside warmth.
Our bedroom is struggling. We are using our IKEA couch as a bed. It folds up and out and is really quite comfie.
We are settled in. Boxes are unpacked and gone - except for 1 or 2 stragglers. Home is where the heart is. And our hearts are right here for now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trees Atlanta!

We have lived for ourselves and into ourselves for 18 months now. Now that we are home it is high time to find ways to give back and be helpful. When Davidson offered its first Young Alumni Service Project in conjunction with the "Trees Atlanta" organization I jumped at the chance.Bright and early we headed to Washington Park to mulch trees. Sounds simple enough but it proved a big job.
Ahem. That is A LOT of mulch!C watched and tried to help out.Although the playground did prove even more tempting. She spent much more time swinging and sliding than digging and hauling woodchips!C just recently learned how to blow bubbles "all by herself!" I think we were considered more cheerleaders than hard labor helpers on the job. I hope the purpose wasn't totally lost.Our sweet next door neighbors (in our temp home) were Davidson classmates. We convinced them to join in too. It was Baby J's first service project!