Thursday, June 30, 2011

Girls Weekend!

Nichole, Leslie and her littlest, Carla, Becky, and Me at the zoo

Carla, Kathy, Becky, Kathy's Friend Michelle, Nichole, and me at dinner on Friday night

Nichole - roommate, chaffeur extraordinaire, and birthday girl (I won't say of how many years, but it's more than me, haha ;-P)

Being a parent to a pre-teen girl is exhausting! I'm sure all of you older, wiser, more experienced parents are going "well duh!" LOL. I definitely needed a get-away, and that's exactly what I got. I met up in Chicago with a group of six friends that I've known for years on a discussion board for large families. This is the first time in my life that I've done something like that, and it was exciting! One thing I've discovered about myself as I get older is that I'm more independent than I thought. I think I could have been one of those single-forever women if God hadn't intervened and sent me James (and six kids). Now, I'm not all the way there, certainly, as I was stressed out about navigating the whole airport-to-hotel thing, but luckily one of my friends went out of her way to make sure that she could pick me up and drop me off at O'Hare. It felt so good to be in the company of an amazing, inspirational bunch of women. The kind who lift you up instead of tear you down. That can be hard to find, I think. We ate good food, talked (and talked and talked), visited the Brookfield Zoo, and even ventured to the hotel hot tub for a very brief stint (when there's security in the pool area, it's probably a bit raucous for a bunch of old women like us LOL). Best of all, everything was in perfect order when I arrived back home two days later. In fact, it was much neater than when I left! I feel renewed and recharged, although I must say that I hope I can do this type of thing again soon.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bad Hair Day

This isn't all that important, in the scope of things, but it did give me a chuckle and cause me to reach for the camera. Cecily has extremely fine hair, just like most of the other kids, but even so, it somehow managed to turn into crazy hair after a recent nap. I think she was rather proud of it.
On a totally different note - yesterday I officially hopped back onto the weight loss/healthy living wagon. I had a good eating day and today James and I woke up at 5:30 to take a morning walk. Eventually we'd like to ride our bikes, but they need some work to be ready to go. I'm moving my weigh-in day to Thursday, so I'll have a poundage update for you then (ooh, aren't you waiting with baited breath? LOL).

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Picture of Summer

I think this photo of Colin is a perfect representation of a perfect, patently "summer" moment. James has worked really hard on the garden this year (I, alas, cannot claim any responsibility for said garden). You know how the kids bring home plants for Mother's Day gifts from their various activities - Colin came home from either preschool or Sunday School with a mystery plant. We weren't sure what it was, but it germinated and when it started growing climbers we figured it was a veggie, so into the garden it went. And, indeed, it was a pea and last week it produced it's first peapod. Colin was absolutely thrilled! He was so proud of his little pea plant, and played with the fruits of his (and James') labor before eating the whole thing. The pea mustache thing was all his idea, silly boy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

1st Place x 3

I'm not sure why I go in spurts on the blog. Actually, I think you could use my posting frequency as a measure of my state of mind. While I'm feeling good and on top of things I tend to post more, but when I'm feeling anxious and chaotic I stop. Well, I wouldn't say I'm feeling on top of the world right now, but I think I'm going to try harder at convincing myself that everything is under control by doing the external things first LOL.

Hero and Allegra competed in their second figure skating competition last week. They've worked much harder this year than last year - especially in the last two months. We've been at the rink SO much (I wish it was closer!). During the school year, they had to get their at 6:30, which meant a 5:30 wake up call, and usually they didn't complain. All that hard work finally paid off, as they won gold medals in all of their events. Hero did two events and Allegra one. I'm so, so proud of them, and I'm hoping we can do more competitions, because this one was fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is This Even Possible?

How can I have a child who has graduated from elementary school and will be starting Junior High next year?! Wow, it's so hard to believe. It seems like she just started kindergarten... How different life was, back in 2004. Hero was the oldest of our small family of three children and we had just moved into our current home. It's been an exciting and frustrating ride, navigating the highway of adolescence. We were very proud of her - she earned the Presidential Academic Fitness Award (given to those who have a B average or better through their elementary school career). She must be pretty proud too - she wore her pin multiple places for several days and she has her framed certificate in her room.

Hero Starting Her School Journey ~ First Day of Kindergarten August 2004

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Hero Ending Her Maple Grove Elementary Journey - 6th Grade Graduation June 2011

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Only Fair

I can't have dedicated birthday time space to Cecily and not to Colin. I'm a little late, but our little crazy man turned four on June 6th. Since we've crammed two more babies in after him, I think we forget how little Colin is. Four does sound considerably more grown-up than three, though. He requested a Scooby-Doo party, his new "thing". We did a backyard barbeque - it's kind of a theme with the spring birthday parties. He had kind of a rough day, and was a bit out of sorts, but presents and cake cheered him up.