Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Connor Diving

I posted videos a while back, but also wanted to include some still shots of Connor's amazing new diving board skill.  Swim lessons have really paid off this year.  She spent the first 8 lessons keeping a tight death grip on Coach Nate, but then on the 9th session it was like it all clicked.  Now she skips right off the diving board, pops up in the 10 foot water and swims independently to the ladder.  We don't even get in with her anymore!  We are mighty proud of her but where has my baby girl gone?!?  She is growing up much too quickly!

Davidson Reunion

I love Davidson College.  It is like coming home.  So many memories.  It feels like someone is giving me a big hug every time we drive onto campus.  This year was Kirk's 10th College Reunion.  There aren't many places I was willing to travel to being this pregnant, but I wasn't about to miss this reunion!
This year was the first where the reunion took place in June - after the students left for the year - as opposed to April.  Therefore we were able to bunk in the college dorms and rule the school!  It was extra special not feeling like we were the "old fogies" on campus cramping the style of the youngins'!  We stayed in the Senior Apartments with Eric, Tracy and their son, Griffin.  It worked out well.  There were other friends and families all around us.  I bet it has been a while since those apartments have seen the likes of Connor and Griffin!
Kirk ran on Saturday in Davidson's traditional "Cake Race" - a freshman orientation tradition where the town bakes cakes for the winners.  The tradition spilled over for the alums who wanted to relive their Cake Race glory days.

I love to see Kirk and Connor on campus.  Who knows if she will go to Davidson one day?  But for now it is a scenic, nostalgic home to share with her.
The ironic part is that not only was the Reunion weekend Kirk's 10th, but also his Dad's 35th and his Uncle's 25th reunion.  So as an added bonus we got to hang out some with Cara, Poppa Ed and Uncle Rob!

On Saturday they filled Chambers lawn with kid festivities.  Connor enjoyed the music and jumpy house - and especially the ice cream truck with the monster popsicles!  We spied Emily and Arch celebrating their Reunion #5!

Griffin and Connor were fun.  They played together well - no telling what they thought of their crazy parents trying to be young again!

Kirk's class had record attendance and Annual Fund giving for a 10th Reunion!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Timber!!!! My Form of "Nesting"

It all started at the beginning of this incredible storm season of 2011.  I drove to work one morning and this is what greeted me outside of Emory's Law School.  There wasn't a tornado - just the straight line winds the night before.  Can you believe it?  It shook me to my core.  The pregnancy hormones didn't help either.  In this same storm a father and son were killed by a tree falling on their house.
That same night we had a small limb fall from this tree (below) into our roof.  The limb was not large at all but fell with such force from such a height that it punctured our roof.  That was a quick $350 spent.  From a tree we have already invested so much in keeping healthy to date...  I felt like God was giving me too many signs to ignore...
I love you Earth - and I love you Tree.  But I do not love the way you hang right over our house and especially our bedrooms.  I do not love the way you are wedged between power lines and threaten houses and lives all around you.  You are a 120 year old oak tree and you scare me so.  I realize you were here before any of us - but unfortunately your days are numbered.

Kirk made an astute observation as we have had storms and giant trees fall weekly for the past few months across Atlanta.  Usually seemingly healthy trees rising up from their root balls which just feels like the apocalypse.  Kirk noted that Sherman burned Atlanta during the Civil War 120-150 years ago.  Then came Reconstruction where there was so much rebuilding and replanting.  Now all those 100+ year old trees are giving way at the same time.

I immediately announced I wished for my "Push Present" to be cutting this tree down.  It is an enormous expense to cut down - one that seems silly to make on something so mundane.  But I need to feel safe in our house.  With two children it will be more difficult to scoop them BOTH up and hustle them to the downstairs guest bedroom to huddle together fearing the tree wrath during every storm.  And I would feel equally awful if this tree behemoth ever harmed our neighbors.
After getting 7 quotes, negotiating with several companies and working diligently for 8 weeks to coordinate logistics, Casey Trees and a 7,000 ton crane arrived at our house to do the job.  They closed the entire street and ended up cutting the power.  Luckily our neighbors were pretty understanding!

Bit by bit the tree came down.  I will say it was bittersweet.  But in the end it was the right investment to make.  We would never forgive ourselves if our children were hurt by a falling limb.  We sleep right in the eaves of our roof (no attic) so there just really wasn't any protection.  All day one guy was up in the tree and carefully orchestrated with the crews below to cut.  It was quite a tango of communication!

This is what we are left with.  We will have to come up with something creative to do with this stump (It reminds me of The Giving Tree).  I promised Connor a picnic atop.  We could all three sit with plenty of space to spread out.  It is literally that big.
It has stormed almost daily since our tree came down.  I sleep much easier now.  And my 'nesting' instincts have shifted from tree removal to washing baby clothes.  Goodbye tree.  You lived a good life.  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tea Party

Last week Connor's school had a photographer come who set up a teaparty "session" in the gardens at the daycare garden entrance.  They had paper parasols, beads, boas, butterfly catchers and a full on tea party.  Talk about going all out!  Here are some of the images from the event.  Connor thoroughly enjoyed her first real tea party!
 Her dear friend Madeline joined in the fun.  I can only imagine all the little girl giggles there were between the two of them.

 These group shots crack me up.  Connor wore sparkly shoes.  What a crew of young ladies!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Mice

When it comes right down to it, Disney World is really about the mice.  Mickey and Minnie are the ultimate host and hostess to the plate of magic and fun.  So even though the princesses ranked high, Mickey deserved a visit and our thanks!

It wouldn't be the Magic Kingdom without sticky, drippy lollipops for Connor!

And oh the rides!  We beelined it straight to the Dumbo Flying Elephant Ride!
And the nearby carousel.

Followed by "It's a Small World!"  I bet we heard 200 choruses of "It's a World of Laughter, A World of Fun..."
The Pooh Ride had us bouncing around in Honey Pots!  Only at Disney would we wait 40 minutes for such a ride.
The next day at Epcot we found Mickey and friends again!  We thought Connor would certainly want autographs from Goofy, Donald, Pluto and friends.  But when we made it to the front of the line Connor became very clingy and stand off-ish...except with Minnie.  It wasn't til after the line up that she stuck to her earlier assertion that she ONLY likes the characters with skirts!  (Translation - she doesn't like characters who wear pants!)  Hmmm.  The poor male characters didn't get so much as a high five...

Even though she showed some reluctance with the "characters who wore pants," Connor surprised me with her love of big girl rides and everything else the parks had to offer.  At Animal Kingdom Kirk took her on the Dinosaur roller coaster.  I was certain she would hate it - but they both proved me wrong!