Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I took a few snapshots of the girls tonight.  E had eaten most of the dirt out of a flower pot outside and required a hose down.  Abby wanted to help.  I decided to play with the processing a little - totally different than what I usually do, but I kinda like them anyway.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I've got to get my blog act in gear.  Seriously.  It stresses me out that I'm not blogging about the girls in a more regular way.  I need to remember that these blogs don't have to be long or profound - but I need to remember the little things, and right now, that's not happening.

I have a lot of pictures to share, but my computer email is not working right and it's too much effort to get them on here right now.  So, boo on that.

I just got back from the gym.  I ran 5 miles today, which is something I've never done before.  It feels good to reach a new milestone.  I'm not very fast, and I know running on a treadmill is very different than running outside, but I'm still proud of it.  I've never run for an hour before, but I felt good doing it. :)

The girls are good.  Kyle is running with Abby right now - and she loves going with him.  Today she begged him "Daddy?  Can I just run with you on the sidewalk?  Just like you? I want to run WITH you!"  It was sweet - she so loves it and it makes me happy that we (are trying to) set an example and to make exercising a normal part of our life.  Kyle said he'd let Abby run the last few blocks home.  So, she made sure she wore her running shoes and running shorts to be prepared.  And she made sure she had her water bottle.  It was cute.

E is a snotty little mess today.  She has license to be in a much worse mood than she's actually been - I know she doesn't feel well.  She cut 4 teeth in the last week or so and I think I can see her back molar coming in.  She's been in an ok mood - just really....gooey.

Little miss mae is also starting to say more words.  Most of them are still more approximations that real words, but they are becoming increasingly recognizable.  "Nigh-Nigh" is one of her better ones.  Today she said "Aah-Buh" for apple and she says "Baa-baa" for both Abby and Baby.  She can neigh like a horse like a champ.  She says mama and dada and nee-nee well, and gives kisses, waves bye, and - my favorite- cuddles.  The cuddling is the best.  She just nestles her head on your shoulder or under your arm and begs to be pet.

The girls are a lot of fun right now.  It's a great age.  They play well together - I can already see how much E idolizes Abby.  She adores her.

What else?

Kyle's birthday was this week.  We kept things fairly low-key.  We grilled out for him and that was nice.  We recently revamped our deck area and so now we actually have a nice space to hang out back there.  Abby and I have planted squash plants, cucumber, and tomatoes.  We have our avocado tree and some snapdragons.  It all makes me happy.  If any of our veggie plants produce anything edible, I'll be shocked and probably be posting a lot of pictures of it.  Be prepared.  Our squash is growing at the speed of light.

I'm looking forward to having tomorrow off to spend with the family.  I still have a month of school left, but summer is definitely in sight!  I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

feeling good

I have, recently, crossed that threshold from having to go to the gym to wanting to go to the gym.  I'm really trying to keep a good schedule for this 1/2 marathon training and stick to it.  Having said that, I don't know that I've had a week yet that I've been able to go as often as I want, but it's worthwhile that I at least now WANT to go.

Part (all?) of the problem comes down to scheduling...especially now with summer kinda here.  The college gym we go to has summer hours.  This means it closes at 8:30 and 5:30 on the weekends.  This leaves me very little time to get to the gym and makes it pretty impossible on days when Kyle has class.

I was feeling a little bummed about it - my desires not matching up with my availability.  So, yesterday I switched gyms.  I'm kinda excited!

The new place is open 24 hours, and during most of the day - child care is available.  Those two things alone make SUCH a huge difference.  It's about 15 minutes from my house, which isn't too bad.  The best part is that Kyle and I can both go and have unlimited child care for 2 kids for LESS than what it cost for just me to attend the BC gym per month....which had no child care, limited hours, and no air conditioning (it's the little things).

So, I'm cautiously optimistic.  The thing I'm most worried about is how the girls, E especially, will do with the day care.  It seems nice enough, well staffed, and all of that.  But neither of my girls have ever been dropped off at a 3rd party location without me right there with them.  NOT because we just can't bear to be apart, but because we've just never had to do it.  So, I hope that goes well.  But, I suppose if not - I can just go when they're in bed like always.  I actually like the idea of incorporating them into my gym routine.  I think it sets a good example if going to the gym and exercising are part of what is "normal" to them.

So yeah, with my running, I'm feeling good.  I've managed to lose a pound or two and I feel better, I'm eating better, I'm drinking more water.  I've also been indulging in a little self care.  I painted my nails, I bought new pillows for my bed.  I'm thinking about being a little irresponsible and buying some shoes that I don't really need.  I found a used patio set on craigslist that I'm picking up today - it makes me happy.  Abby and I planted squash, and they are growing at warp speed...which is satisfying.  And?  I have 4 photo shoots lined up for the next month - and having that creative outlet makes a world of difference for me.  It puts me in a good mood.  Add all that together with the warmer weather and the sunshine- and I'm feeling good.

I hope you are too.

Monday, May 14, 2012

mothers day 2012

Mother's Day 2012 was a pretty good day. 

My sweet husband started the day by taking care of the girls so I could "sleep in"  The quotations are because I didn't actually sleep - once I'm up, I'm up.  But, it was nice to be a little lazy and not have to roll out of bed.  Add to that the fact that Kyle hadn't slept a wink the whole night, and I think the boy deserves a gold star or two.  

I lazed around in bed until Kyle and the girls brought me a present to unwrap.  I was pleasantly surprised to get the 70-200mm coffee mug I'd been eyeing for about 6 months.  I almost bought it for myself last week - glad I didn't. ;)  After that, Kyle watched the girls and made coffee while I took a shower. 
A new gift and a shower - who could ask for more?

We headed to church for Mass - we got there late, but found a seat.  At the end of the service, the priest had all the mothers stand for a blessing.  I have no idea what the blessing was because all I could hear was Abby sneezing in my face twice and saying (too loudly) "Mommy!  I have a yucky in my nose! Help! Get it out!  Get the yucky out of my nose mommy!"  It really drove the point that I'm a mom, home.  We took a second after church to get some pictures of me and the girls.  Thanks to Brit for wielding the camera.

I like this one - blur and all.

I decided to request my favorite Indian food place for lunch.  When we got there - we saw that they had a "special" brunch buffet set up.  As part of the gig - they had out special foods, fruits, new dishes.  They also were providing complimentary juices and chai teas.  All the moms got flowers after their meal.  It was so yummy, and I very much enjoyed the whole meal with everyone.

I really like this picture.

 my loves - how sweet they are.

this little lizzy-mae grin just melts me.

After lunch, we went home and let the girls take naps.  I, again, dozed and lounged around while poor Kyle continued to work and work and work on finishing his school papers.  He wrote 37 pages in 24 hours. (And, he got an A.  Of course.  OF COURSE he did)

The girls slept hard.  After about a 2.5 hour nap out of both of them, I woke them up and we headed out as a family again.  The town had a little kids carnival set up.  We got there for the last 20 mins or so.  Just enough time to let Abby ride a couple of things and snap some pics.  She chose the Carousel to ride with Daddy and I rode the "biiiiig slide" with her.  Good times.

After the carnival, we all headed out for pizza for dinner.  That was yummy, but definitely needed to be followed up with dessert.  ;) We walked next door to our favorite yogurt shop.  Lo and behold they had a new flavor: sea salt caramel pretzel.  Yes.  That was MADE for me. We all enjoyed our treats - even E finished off her own cup of yogurt and toppings.  Again, it was a really nice time.  

We all came home and I got to skype with Jennifer and Michael.  At the same time - I was face-timing with my parents.  It was kinda fun and I was happy to get to wish my own mom a Happy Mother's Day as "in person" as I could get. I think mom enjoyed it too....

Eventually, the girls were tucked in and we watched a little TV and headed to bed.  It really was a very nice day.  I'm thankful for the wonderful influences of all the mother's in my life.  My mom, grandma, my friends and co-workers.  It is such a rich community of advice and love and experience and support.  I'm so lucky.  

The day was not had, however, without acknowledging the very real absence felt by all of us.  A mother's day without one's mother (or, in my case, mother-in-law) is a difficult thing.  I found that I didn't want to ignore that, but wanted to do something to remember her.
Traditionally, we would send her a little card so that she could treat herself to a Starbucks treat.  Decaf Caramel Frappaccino was usually her drink of choice.  Well, there's no reason I couldn't still do that for someone else.  We purchased a handful of gift cards, I wrote a little note in them, and passed them out to strangers.  It made me feel good, it made them feel good, and I like to think that Ouma would have approved of the gesture.  

I miss her a lot.  I find myself trying to embody the things I most admired about her, and I talk to her and ask her advice and her guidance.  I find I'm forming a new kind of relationship.  In doing so, I'm acknowledging that she's not here...which is still hard to do.  But, on the positive side, I feel like I'm still connected to her - in a new way, but maybe even in a more complete way, than before.  She's not here, but she's there.  And somehow, I feel connected to there as well.

I'm entirely sure that this isn't translating well via text - but I just wanted to acknowledge the impact she had on my life as a mother.  Besides the obvious things like giving life to my husband, she just did everything with so much grace and humility.  She radiated her love in subtle, but powerful ways.  The pure gratitude I feel for having had her in my life, and having had the opportunity to love and know her and watch her with her family - is something I can't find words to describe. 

So, she's not here right now, but she's there.  And I think the two aren't all that far apart.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

quick memory

I was in high school and I was driving down Fairview Rd. in Camden AR.  I was in my gold mercury topaz, windows down, I was driving over a hill and I remember, very clearly, thinking "I wonder where I'll be in 10 years?"

It's been more than 10 years, technically.

But, today, I was driving home - down Beacon St. and that memory came to me clear as crystal.

I certainly didn't think I'd be in Boston.  With these girls, and Kyle.  Working in an urban school district as a school psych. I didn't foresee any of it.

But I'm really really glad things have worked out this way.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


My best friend planted the seed in my head that I should run a 1/2 marathon with her in November.  It would give me about 6 months to train...which would probably be enough for me to finish the race with a combo of walking and running within a respectable time. I don't know if I could do it logistically, or financially, but I like the idea. It has inspired me to, at least, pretend as if that is my goal.

Last night, as I approached the pivotal moment of deciding whether to change into PJ's or gym clothes - I chose gym clothes.  As I told Kyle - I may very well fall asleep in my gym clothes, but I'm not going to the gym in my PJs.  I put on my shoes, and went to help put the girls to bed.  We came downstairs and I stood at the door to my house.  I looked outside at the cold, rainy weather.  And I looked at the warm inviting couch.  I looked at my tennis shoes on my feet and I looked at my keys hanging on the wall.  Then I sat down and fell asleep on the couch.

So, this is why I'm not sure if I could do the 1/2 marathon.  There is something that happens when I go through the girls' bedtime routines that sucks every ounce of motivation from my bones.  I suppose, 3 plus years of routine has conditioned me to be sleepy too.  I should start a 4pm cup of coffee I think in order to give me that push past 8pm. We'll see.  Wish me luck.  Hopefully caffeine is all I need.

The girls are great.  Super fun ages right now.  Well, Abby is getting a little whiney, but we're nipping that in the bud the best we can and she is starting to really show that she understands the difference between "whiney voices" and "nice voices"  The thing that is hard is when she uses a nice voice and the answer is still "no"  ...cue loud whiney voice.

But really, she's pretty awesome.  Her pretend play is so fun.  She's still very doctor themed at the moment.  Doctors and restaurants anyway. And she likes to dance in her room - and in order to dance, she usually insists on wearing ballet shoes and a tutu.

Abby has this smile that she uses sometimes that I just love.  It's really more of a grin.  It's one she uses when she is really genuinely happy - a content smile.  It's full of love.  I get it at night when I tell her I love her and that she's my best Abby.  She looks at me and gives me this soft genuine grin.  It's one of the best things ever.

Elizabeth is hilarious.  Seriously, she makes me laugh all the time.  It's not like she's trying to be funny - she's just at SUCH a fun age where she's learning and exploring and developing her personality exponentially every day.  She's starting to walk more on her own.  Still, every time she stands on her own she lets out this tarzan-esque triumphant yell to alert us to her accomplishment.  She's learning to nod and shake her head appropriately.  Yesterday, she was hitting the (glass) tv stand with something and I said "Elizabeth.  No"  And shook my head.  She looked over her shoulder at me, grinned, and awkwardly nodded "YES" twice and then continued to hit the stand.  It was way too cute. I went and took her weapon away all the while laughing and telling her how cute she was.  Mixed messages?  Not at all.

Abby and I planted flowers, cucumbers and tomato plants.  They all sprouted.  1/2 the flowers have now died, about 1/2 the tomato plants are gone...but the cucumbers are doing well.  Until I dropped a shoe on the pallet and snapped 1/2 of them, anyway.  I need to transfer them to real pots so they can thrive - but it's cold still outside and I'm procrastinating.  My apologies Abby - your green thumb is being thwarted by my laziness.

I'm snacking on mixed nuts right now....they should take out Brazil nuts and replace them with more roasted pecans.  They should also take out 1/2 the peanuts and replace them with cashews.  The almond and macadamia ratio is fine. Does anybody really like Brazil nuts?  Definitely not enough pecans in here.

On a related note - I got a new water bottle and I really love it.  You know how you keep trying to find one you like and they don't really work - but then you find THE ONE?  I think I found my one.  I already broke the clip off, Of course, but that's fine.  I really like it.  It's metal and purple and has a whimsical feather design and it has a straw that is squishy so I can chew on it, but not destroy it.  And, I'm drinking more water because of it.  Which is why I'm eating mixed nuts anyway - they make me thirsty.

There are, technically, something like 34 days of school left - but I plan to be pretty well wrapped up in about 28 days.  Either way - June 20th cannot get here soon enough.

I'm excited that spring is here/getting here.  Picture season is starting up - and after a winter where I hardly took any pictures - I'm pleased that I've managed to book 4 or 5 shoots in the next 6 weeks or so.    I really enjoy doing it, and it's a great way to practice and continue to learn.  I'm ready to dive back into the swing of things.  I'm hoping I can take some more classes this year, too.

Ok.  So, if you're wondering, No - you absolutely do not have to have anything to talk about to write a blog post.  Case in Point.  Here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

self image

My phone is mostly used by my eldest daughter. Apologies to my frustrated Draw Something friends. But, when I get it back, I always laugh at the hundreds and hundreds of new pictures that have appeared.

A true glimpse into what interests her. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone