Monday, June 28, 2010

Das Versprechen

I just watched a movie on Netflix through the Wii called The Promise (Das Versprechen auf Deutsch) that I saw almost 12 years ago in one of my Universität Würzburg classes. I can't believe it was available, and I really can't believe it's been that long. I even remember where I was sitting in Frau Kienlein's room that day... It's a love story, and at that point, JB & I hadn't even been dating for a full year, yet; but we knew we wanted to make the long distance (waaaaaaay long: me in Germany, him in grad school in Madison, WI!) work, so I watched the whole thing, wrapped up in the drama of separated love.

He's out tonight...but I remember thinking back then, "They were apart for almost 30 years; we can make one year," and tonight, now I only have to wait a few hours. :-) I dreamed of marriage then, and it's such a happy realization now to see how far we've come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Clean Slate & Fresh Eating

Another one of my favorite things about moving (see, I have more than just 1!) is getting the chance to more easily make changes in our family's habits. It is VERY hard to change aspects of your life & bad habits when nothing else in your life is changing; but when you have a move, there are so many opportunities to start fresh with a clean slate. It's a great chance for us to reexamine our priorities, from how we spend our time (& money!) to how we eat.

I am making a major effort for us to eat fresher. I've always been health-conscious, but now that JB is actually home for dinner most nights (except for a big issue they had to handle this last week) and there aren't as many exquisite restaurants right on top of us as there were in Naperville, I'm focusing on filling our home with fresh food. (It also helps that it's summer, with the most delicious fruit & cheaper produce.) I do 90% of our shopping at Costco & Trader Joe's, and I always take the kids with me, so we talk a lot about healthy choices.

Vitamix often hosts demonstrations at Costco, and ever since I saw the first one a couple years ago, I fell in love. Only problem = they are EXPENSIVE! (Like "I didn't even ask for Christmas" expensive!) Enter God: a friend of JB's just closed his business and asked him if we WANTED his Vitamix! FOR FREE! YES, PLEASE!!! (& SUPER PRAISE!) So today we came upon the Vitamix demo at Costco with fresh interest, b/c I wanted all of her recipes! This thing is so powerful, you don't peel or pre-chop most of the fruits & veggies you put in, & it liquefies EVERYTHING into major deliciousness. She made an orange-colored "sorbet" with banana, CARROTS, CABBAGE, fruit juice (looking for a way around that part), honey, & ice - and the kids gobbled it up! She also made them "chocolate milkshakes" with Ovaltine (which does have sugar, but it lots of vitamins unlike Nestle Quick), soy milk, cinnamon, SPINACH, banana, ZUCCHINI, & ice - She then made a frozen strawberry lemonade with grapes, half an unpeeled lemon, whole strawberries (with the tops), basil, honey, & ice - the kids loved that, too (esp. b/c we just got our own basil plant, so we can have fresh like at LaLa's house. :-))

I'm not a big fan of smoothies, b/c they're often so sugary, & I don't believe in drinking fruit juices when you have the option of eating whole, fresh fruit. Even our pediatrician admonished against it, b/c fruit juices are so high calorie & basically just sugar water with some vitamin c. (I told her no worries! Preaching to the choir! Juice is OK, as long as it's treated as a treat - it's not a healthy alternative to water, which lots of people seem to think. That drives me NUTS! We only serve Will & Sis water & white skim milk on a regular daily basis. OK, stepping off my soapbox now. ;-)) I want my kids eating WHOLE fresh fruits & veggies, instead, so they get the fiber & extra nutrients; but when that IS the base of these smoothies & not just juice, I'm on board! (And excited! Can you tell?) I can't wait to make chocolate milkshakes (with chocolate whey protein that we already have) & spinach the next time the kids want a "treat". :-) I want to drink them, too!

(BTW, I have no affiliation with Vitamix whatsoever. Just a fan!)

I don't mean to come across like a total health nut, either. Wednesday night, we found a great local pizzeria with all-you-can-eat FREE soft breadsticks! Holy heaven. I'm also a self-professed sugar addict, (what I wouldn't give for a banana pudding Cook Out milkshake or a plate of brownies right now!) but I think b/c I *am*, I know what I want to guard my kids against turning into. I'm totally not militant about treats out & about, (I'm not that mom who makes them give back or turn down free candy,) but I do care & try to monitor it at home, you know? Am I a hypocrite with them? Yes. I wouldn't buy them the bubble tea I got (milk, tea, sugar) at Joy Yee; I made them get the whole mangoes blended with ice. But they loved that! (And I often did, too.) Do I [steal & secretly] eat more of their Halloween candy than they do? Yep. Do they eat dessert every night? No way. Do I? Almost every night after I put them to bed, I have a little something. Yes, I'm a hypocrite, but I'm also an adult. ;-) I want them to learn about moderation while I'm in charge, and the coolest part is that becoming a parent who cares about what they eat has made me even more conscious of what I eat, as well. We're all better off for it, and having the excuse of another move & a refrigerator to fill from scratch makes it easier to be healthier. :-)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

High Seas, Let's Go!

We are officially engrossed in our church VBS this week. Yes, we've only been here for two weeks, and I'm already teaching VBS - it's just how I roll; I like jumping in & not wasting time. We're doing High Seas  (along with, I think, almost every other church in America! My friends in OH & PA did it last week, my friend in GA did it two weeks ago, other friends in MI, PA, & IL are doing it next month.) I kind of like that it's so popular, b/c the songs, lingo, & Bible points will become a shared experience (you know how I value the feeling of shared experience connecting people!!!) that perhaps will become a part of bigger pop culture, since so many are experiencing it nationwide.

Our church only offers VBS for Kindergarten-5th grade (which I HATE for us b/c poor Annelise gets left out, but she can come if I'm a worker, so I'm working! Not that I wouldn't anyway, but it was the ultimate incentive.) This is the smallest age range I've ever seen a church do, but it IS easier on the workers to not have lots of 3's & 4's. I've got K-1st grade, and Will is in my "crew" - not by my asking. [Remember, I've always been adamant about NOT teaching any of Annelise's dance classes*, b/c it's not fair to her (I'd always make her go last, so no one can accuse me of favoring her) or to the others, (b/c they don't have their mommies there.)] Sure enough, Will wanted to be on my lap & attached to my side the whole first day, and today was only slightly better. He is just a different "student" on his own; he wants to play "übersensitive child who needs Mommy" when I'm there, but he is so strong & independent w/o us. It's really not a big deal; he didn't deter from the other kids' experiences, but I just want to make sure he's still getting everything out of this that he can. I was more worried that Sis wouldn't feel engaged enough, b/c they have her in a 3/4 year old nursery preschool class; I wanted her to do everything Will is, but I feel like she got the point of the lessons even more than he did, so whatever she's getting is great!

*Dance classes - everyone keeps asking if I'm going to teach dance here. I just don't know. Most of the dance schools in this area are competition, which is not what I do, and the one that's not has their senior students as apprentice teachers (brilliant! an honor for the seniors & FREE teachers for the school!) so I seriously doubt they'll need extra paid help with that program in place. I just don't have a strong feeling either way right now, and who knows what our schedules will end up like with school in the fall. Will's 1st grade will be 8:45-3:45, but I don't know if Sis will be in Montessori from 9-12 or 12-3. (We've got to get that nailed down ASAP, too.) Plus, I *am* doing my MOPS steering team here, again, so that's Fridays. We'll see...

iTrip & Buttercream Cupcake Soap

These two items have made me a very happy, thankful girl this week:

The iTrip Auto SmartScan FM Transmitter and Car Charger is the gadget that I plug my iPhone into in the car that streams my iPod songs and especially the K-LOVE streaming radio app through the car radio! No more musical black hole for this swagger wagon! ;-) (We got this now-discontinued version for super cheap!)

I also finally got to an Ulta (wonderful makeup & beauty supply store!) up here to take advantage of their shower smoothie sale + the $3.50 off coupon I had. Hello, Buttercream Cupcake 3-in-1 "ultra-rich cleanser that can be used as a bubble bath, shampoo or body wash." Annelise & I have been waiting to get this for two months. She asked for her birthday, (& I thought perfect b/c of the cake scent!) but we fell in love with & got the NYX Candy Glitter Liner instead (b/c it was on bigger sale ;-)) and then we had to wait for the shower smoothies to go back on sale, again. Mmmmmm...the smell was so worth the wait!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Charleston Tin Tile

I know I mentioned that we got JB's Father's Day present at the Market in Charleston last month. Here it is - a tin ceiling tile from a historic building in Charleston that has been redone. They've taken the tin from the ceilings and turned it into art:

You all know JB & I have a passion for Charleston and that we will live in that area forever as soon as God allows; but while we're waiting, we've been getting some piece of Charleston art to have in our home every year or two. JB really has an amazing appreciation for art, and one of our favorite date night things to do before going to eat at High Cotton is browsing Charleston's art galleries. This was so unique - different from the paintings we already have - and I just fell in love! (The tile I'm holding is the one we chose, but they had so many. They had giant ones that people are using for fireplace screens & headboards, too.)

So instead of some kitchy "Great Dad" thing that is covered with stereotypical "dad stuff" like golf balls & neckties (neither of which apply to JB on more than a few-times-a-year basis) we got him something that really represents our family's heart to thank him for working his derrière off to make us all happy.

Thank you for being such a passionate father and caring so much about how our kids grow up! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tooth Fairy's Opening Night

It *did* happen today at the pool:

Mrs. Kelly pulled it right out! I even videoed it, (since I brought the camera to film his first swimming, anyway.) :-P Will was/is SO PROUD!

So I get to play the role of the Tooth Fairy for the first time tonight!

The going rate: I've heard horror stories of parents fumbling with bills in the dark & accidentally putting a $20 bill down instead of a $1. Someone even said they'd heard of a tooth fairy bringing a DS! Are you kidding me?!?! (And thank God Will never got wind of that!) I think I ended up getting a dollar in the end, but I don't remember at what I started out. (50¢?) Well, no inflation here! We have lucked out: our tooth fairy is sweetly only expected to bring a quarter!!! She may do a bit more since it's the first one, and she's going to sprinkle some fairy dust (blue glitter) in her wake. ;-)

(Why give more than is asked for? Plus, it's easier to increase the payout with age than dial it back!)

Will was so excited talking about how he thinks she is going to find the house (ours) with the tooth in it, wave her magic wand to get in, tip toe over to his bedside table (where it's lying on a napkin, so it doesn't get lost under the bed covers - his thought; I'm grateful!) to get it, leave the money, and then wave her wand, again, to fly off. He said she's going to take it & give it to God, and then God will take it and make it grow back bigger in his head, and that will be his adult tooth. (He KNOWS God is the One who makes everything happen, so I love how he found a way to weave Him into the plot on his own!!!)

I didn't realize he was even old enough for this business, until a couple months ago when it became *the* topic of discussion at school. I have never been a "boo hoo, my baby is growing up!" mommy. I have LOVED each milestone & birthday... But this last year is the first year I have ever wanted to freeze them a little from growing up, and Will's new toothless grin is the first constant reminder of growing up that has kind of gotten to me. The kicker? Will showed me tonight that the tooth beside the empty space is starting to wiggle. *Glup*

Thursday, June 17, 2010


As we made our trek over to the pool today, I took some pics. Here's the view around the corner from our house, as we walk around the lake. This is the pool house complex across the lake from our side of the neighborhood:

When you get inside, here's the panorama. (Click to see it bigger; this is a photoshop merge of 13 pics!)

Here's another panorama from standing on top of the clubhouse deck, looking down at the pool, across the lake (where the swans & herons live), and over at the playground & the lower edge of the waterfall:

It's so nice!

When we arrived this afternoon, my new friend Kelly (whom I hung out with Saturday) promptly popped open a beer and said, "Welcome!" This neighborhood is so friendly!!! Over the course of the day "Mrs. Kelly" even offered to pull out Will's tooth. (BARF!) It wouldn't quite come out today, so she promised Will she'd give it another try tomorrow. (Shudder...) Will said it didn't hurt a bit & was so angry it didn't actually come out today! :-P

Annelise was talking our ears off, and all of a sudden when I looked up to check on Will, it looked like he was swimming. This kid who would barely put his face in last week! He jumps in by himself & floats with a noodle, but he couldn't swim. I got up in amazement & walked to the shallow end where he really was swimming! I was freaking out & totally lamenting not having a video camera with me. (Tomorrow! Apparently along with possibly his first lost tooth... ;-))

Proud Daddy got home right after we had gotten cleaned up, and we made our family Trader Joe's pizzas from scratch for dinner. Such a good cap off to the triumphant day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

O! Say Can You See...Will's Tooth & the Pool

My kids have "The Star-Spangled Banner" stuck in their heads. They sing it randomly - in the car, around the house, under their towel tents at the pool - ALL.THE.TIME. I like their patriotism...but it's hysterical, b/c it's just not what you'd expect to hear. Ever since we told them I used to sing it at Charlotte Checkers hockey games, and they know each NASCAR race starts with it, they've been obsessed. (At least it's a family song - Francis Scott Key is a relative of mine!)

Will has his first majorly loose tooth. Bottom center slightly to the left. It gets "more wiggly" every day, (slightly gross & freaky :-P), and this kid is SO PROUD! I need to make sure the Tooth Fairy is on call, b/c she will certainly be flying into our household for the 1st time SOON! (I think he's also ecstatic, b/c the love of his [thus far short] life, my parents' neighbor Kendall - she's 8 - has lost LOTS of teeth, so it'll impress her. ;-))

We made these brownies today after lunch. Mmmmmm... I'm all about all natural "sin-free fat free" that tastes that good!

After lunch & brownies, we trekked over to the pool. (I timed the walk out of curiosity - 8 min.) I just cannot go on enough about how pleased I am with the look of this neighborhood. I really lamented having to leave Naperville's Riverwalk, and while this doesn't have the downtown atmosphere, it's got the water, nature, and gorgeous views matched for sure! It feels like a quiet resort. I will take awesome pics of the kids out there soon!

My FB status deserves a repost: "I know it's summer when I'm risking serious razor burn shaving my legs on the side of the tub at 2 PM so I can take the kids to the pool..." Seriously! What is truly worse: stubble or a red rash that stings when exposed to chlorine? (Even though I know what hurts more, the jury is still out...)

On the calendar: we're going to swing by our old favorite MI festival on Saturday, Liberty Fest. Next week - after being back at our old church for ONE service - I have already been roped into teaching VBS. I'm also excited, b/c I found a life guard who lives in our neighborhood who is offering (RELATIVELY CHEAP!!!) swimming lessons right here! I'm going to have the kids do 3 afternoons a week (Tues, Wed, Thurs) until they can both jump in the pool from any point & get to the side safely. (I told the girl I didn't expect them to be swimming fly by the end of the summer :-P, but that they took lessons last summer which were a complete waste, b/c they only learned how to blow bubbles.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grocery Gold Mine

I *LOVELOVELOVE* grocery shopping. I know it's some people's least favorite chore, but not only do I love it, but I love going with my kids in tow! I have always waited for when I can purposely take them with me. (Going by myself = boring & lonely!) It's perfect, b/c we all love getting out of the house, and as they get older, we talk about nutrition & the things we will make. Plus, it's shopping with a purpose! :-P

Today I got to go on a grocery marathon to four different stores to stock our new house. It's one of my favorite things about moving! (Yes, I *do* actually have a few things I like about moving. Just a few. ;-)) We went to the Wal-mart for toiletries (new cheap electronic toothbrushes! sigh...) & pool noodles. We bought most of our dry goods (pasta, oats) at Aldi. At Costco, we got milk, eggs, ground beef, chicken broth, bread, romaine (6 giant stalks for $3 - even if we don't eat it all before it goes bad, it was a deal!), bananas, & a rotisserie chicken for tonight. Finally, we went to our beloved Trader Joe's for the stuff we love: Joe's O's (cheerios), sweet potatoes, gnocchi alla sorrentina, and everything to make our homemade pizzas.

SUPER fun (I'm not being facetious!) day!!!

Gratituesday: Health

This Tuesday (and every day,) I am so thankful for my children's health. I've thought about that actively several times the last few days. Saturday while we were at the pool, a little girl with special needs had a seizure. The family scooped her up & bolted out of there in a flash. It wasn't a screaming, hysterical scene - I don't think any of the other kids even noticed - but we parents surely did...

Also this weekend, a friend of mine from high school's son spiked a crazy fever, and they ended up in the ER. Turns out he got a serious infection from an abrasion that ended up in his bone around his ankle, and he had to have immediate surgery. We just met & played with this little guy a few weeks ago! His dad posted on FB this morning: "Given that a generation or so ago, we'd probably be burying him today - I've learned what it means to be thankful."

That hit me like a ton of bricks. I, too, am so thankful!

(Want to share more thanks? Join Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Unpacking Status

After I got all of the main rooms unpacked, we took a break at our neighborhood pool yesterday. This subdivision is wonderful! You can't make it out in this pic, but right behind the white fence is a big rocky waterfall - so soothing! To the right is a playground & then a lake with swans & all kinds of wildlife (we saw another deer drinking!) around. It's just really pretty.

I haven't had such easy pool access & opportunity (with kids finally old enough for me to relax a bit there) in YEARS! (Reminds me of Turtle Creek in GA, but the pool is way closer to our house. :-)) Definitely excited for the summer!

I hit the exhaustion wall today, though. I couldn't keep my eyes open. I posted as my FB status that "the waves of procrastination are now lapping at my feet & the tide is coming in..." :-P I still need to hang most of the pics, unpack the laundry room, hang up the clothes in my NC suitcase in my closet, put the bedding on the guest bed, and put together a curio cabinet. JB has to put 7 boxes in the basement, and we need to clear out all the unpacking trash on Wednesday, (trash day,) but that's really about it.

I still can't find any of our nice electronic toothbrushes, which really bothers me. Also no shower curtain hooks for the guest bath, and I can't find the 3 pics that were in our powder room move-before-last that I want to put in this one. Otherwise, it's all here. :-P We've had things lost in b/t homes, though, that have turned up a move or two later! When we left GA, I couldn't find a bunch of scrapbooking stuff (when I was still doing paper.) Guess what I found in March in our Naperville basement? That scrapbooking bag! (I'm not waiting on those toothbrushes much longer, though!!! ;-))

Musical Black Hole

So I had to FB message nine friends from our church here in MI this week: "Last time we lived here we had XM radio so I didn't listen locally; but now that we don't, I can't find any contemporary Christian music stations. Do any of y'all know of any?"

My pastor here was the only reply, and he confirmed THAT THERE ARE NONE!!!

Jaw. On. The. Floor. I thought it was just *me* who was missing something, not being able to find one; but no. (See the screaming reality of this post???) It's not a midwestern thing, b/c Chicago had three great ones; but it echoes a cultural element I value & look for that is totally missing here. (And the fact that no one notices that it's missing bothers me most.)

I won't listen to nauseating kiddie CDs in the car, and I'm not playing radio music about sex & getting drunk in the bar for my children to learn. (I'm not knocking all Top 40 - I *love* a lot of it! And I know a lot of people think it's hysterical when their little ones sing along with Ke$ha; but for the most part, it's not what I choose for them while I'm still making the choices.) Contemporary Christian is PERFECT, b/c it still sounds fresh & modern, and I actually WANT my kids to absorb the lyrics. (Not to mention, it sets my attitude on a positive path, too!) I'm not paying for Sirius/XM radio, again, (we originally got it free for a period when we got our van last time we were here) when I only listen to ONE station, but JB found a contraption that will stream an iPhone feed through the car radio, so after the next pay day, I may check that out. (I have K-LOVE's streaming app on my phone already.)

Of course we'll make it work, but I just couldn't let this illustration slide, when there are people who really don't see many regional cultural differences and don't understand why I think my home area is so "different". :-P

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Unpacking Life

I have been an unpacking machine (even though I hate it! :-P) the last few days. It's a lonely chore. Kitchen & family room done first. Master bedroom, bathroom, & guest bath second. Today I did the kids' rooms (holy tornado!) & guest bedroom. (I should have taken before & after pics! It would have been awfully impressive. ;-)) Tomorrow: the play room (a.k.a. former formal living room) & formal dining room. Maybe if I feel super ambitious, I'll add the little laundry room, too...but I also might play hooky & take the kids up to the neighborhood pool. School doesn't get out here until NEXT Friday (insane!) so I'd rather them get as much quiet time in the pool to learn how to handle the water as possible. I'm going to try to teach them to swim. Ha. Ha. Ha. I just want to get them to the point where they can be in the water on their own, with me in a lounge chair on the side. ;-) We'll see how the tide of motivation rolls...

I really AM proud of how much I've gotten done, and I do love the layout of this house. One day we'll live somewhere (SOUTH! ;-)) long enough that moving in won't have to feel like a sprint; but in general, I don't like drawing things out. I want everything done & taken care of ASAP, so I can get on with life. I like my changes quick...

...which segues nicely into the timely devotionals I've read this week!

When I was feeling a little down, I got this gem:

From Today's Turning Point with David Jeremiah:
The Bible tells us to give thanks in all things. We're not always thankful for all things; but in the midst of trouble we have flashes of joy, unfailing compassion, and mercy without ceasing. Don't be discouraged. God is at work even in times of great tribulation.

D365 has been talking about "Change" all week. I loved what this had to say re: Luke 7:11-17 about God coming to change > fix us & deliver us from hopelessness:

A definition of change is “to make the form, nature, content, future course of something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.”
The widow who is watching her son’s body being carried has no hope that the lifeless form will change back to her breathing, laughing, living son. But what she doesn’t know is that the very nature of God has walked into the scene. Jesus’ tender compassion and comfort call out and a gift is given. Jesus doesn’t leave the mother’s world of death and grief as it is. It is changed. The lifeless form is breathing, living, maybe even laughing within minutes. Everything has changed: a dead body being taken away is now a life being given back to his mother; a sad crowd is now filled with awe and praising God. A change has taken place and recognition is made; “God has come to help us.”

Where has God been a help to you recently? Where do you need God to come help you? Through Jesus, God came to change... everything! God doesn’t want to leave alone what is broken, hurt, hungry, trapped, and forgotten. - Cindy Gaskins

Dear God, you know what is dead in me. You know what needs to be awakened and resurrected. Thank you that you have come to help. May today be a day filled with awe and praise because you are near. Amen.

And even though I actually hate home improvement shows, (I don't ever live one place long enough to consider investing the $$$ in redoing anything!) I LOVE this re: Galatians 1:13-17 talking about God's transformation & restoration of our lives. I know He is working in me and that this new season will be one of continued restoration in our lives, too:

I love home makeover TV shows. The "before" scenes capture the broken down, falling apart, and messed up houses that people are living in. For a variety of reasons people have come into hard times and they are chosen because someone thinks they deserve better. The "after" scenes are amazing, a work of tearing down the old and watching transformation take place. The change happens right before our eyes.
That is the power of the Good News. All of us are broken, falling apart, messed up. For a variety of reasons we are where we are today. The life-changing words are "but when God." "But when God" is welcomed into our messes, when God breaks into the hurt, confusion, disappointment of our lives, the old can become new. Change can take place.

Paul often told his "before and after" story of the change Jesus had begun and the way it continued to shape him. Consider the broken places in your life that have been transformed. Remember the "but when God..." moments when you knew divine change was happening. Give thanks that God is always able to renovate. Pray for a willing partnership in the renovation work! - Cindy Gaskins

Dear God, thank you that I am your workmanship, created, redeemed, and gifted in Christ Jesus to do good works that you planned before time began. Renew and redo the places in me that need your restoration. I trust your continuing work in me. Amen.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

3rd Time Around

So, here we are unpacking a house in MI for the 3rd time in 10 years. It's no secret that not a single member of our household wanted this; but we're here for now, I know God will reward us for not running away & trying to do it "our way" instead, and - at least until the first cold snap ;-) - I'm going to focus on the good stuff.

#1 - JB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

#2 - It's the best possible time weather-wise to move here, at the start of summer. (The last two times we moved in Jan. & Feb. - not the best foot for a Southerner to start out on!)

#3 - I love this house! It felt so weird to be driving to move into a place I had never personally seen before, but this house did not disappoint. I love the layout - new construction & not boxy, lots of cool angles. The kitchen is our biggest ever, and even though the house is 1,000 sq ft smaller than our Naperville 80's mansion ;-) it doesn't feel much smaller. (The only thing we lack is an office, b/c we chose to make the formal living room into the kids' playroom, instead. We'll just keep most of our office stuff packed up; thank goodness I switched to digital scrapbooking, so I don't have to worry about where to put all those papers & materials!!!)

#4 - OMIGOSH! A deer just ran through our backyard! I'm sitting here typing this, and something brown caught my eye out the window. Our sub is on the furthest edge of town, but the sub itself is almost built out. Our backyard view is of 5 other houses - not woodlands, so it's just not what I expected to see just now. How happy!!! The sub does boast that it prides itself on being a nature preserve, (it has walking trails & ponds, etc.) so truth in advertising, I guess. :-P

#5 - Unlike our last few moves, our internet & TV are already set up! (Last time we had to wait over a week for TV, two for internet = I was DYING in a new place, cut off from the world!) So thankful JB has been here to get all that scheduled to beat our arrival!!!

#6 - There's a BWW in town, so our Sunday-after-church-tradition can remain intact. We go every Sunday after church - esp. during football season - b/c they broadcast all the NFL games, so I can see my Redskins w/o buying DirecTV Sunday Ticket. We go now for NASCAR, too. It's wonderful, b/c we can all eat what we want (Will can get shrimp - his fave that we don't cook at home, b/c Sis is allergic) and we all sit together for 3 or 4 hours, instead of scattering about the house, like we would at home. There are lots of action breaks for us to talk about whatever, the kids play games, JB & I also play trivia. I know it sounds counter-intuitive to say that going out to watch sports for that long makes great "family time", but for us, it truly does!

My family is stirring, so I guess it's time to get back to work. I HATE moving & having to unpack entire homes, esp. b/c no one can really help you. You have to put your stuff up, b/c only you know how you practically organize for our own daily life, what's important, & what's not. Off to drown in boxes for the foreseeable future..

Going Out on Top

We left NC on some high notes. :-) We got to see my Grandmommy

as well as my BFF Wendy & her family before our cousin Victoria's dance recital, which we felt blessed to go to. V's daddy passed away 3½ years ago at Christmas, and other than her Nana (my mom's 1st cousin/like a sister) we are their closest family. Understandably they've been absent from our usual Christmas gatherings, (I know what a black hole the holidays feel like after your dad dies when he is your world, before you are old enough to have your own husband & family,) but they actually made it over to Sissy's bday party in April, and I think it opened up a whole new world of healing. ♥ Now that I'm a "grown-up" ;-) Victoria's mom Amy & I are closer, and V dotes all over Will & Sis. It breaks my heart to leave them now, but I'm excited for the more complete family unit we'll have, again, every time we go home. :-)

We then spent our final NC day back at our favorite family fun park, Tweetsie! Since we have season passes this year, we thought better to get the most out of them!!!

I left to drive up with the kids & the dog Friday morning. We drove a little over halfway to Gallapolis, Ohio. What on Earth is there, you ask? (You wouldn't be the only ones. ;-)) My dearest friend, Amy (we taught dance together at The Studio in Georgia & Will was the ring bearer in her wedding :-)
in October 2007) and her husband are living there for the time being; he is a music professor at a near-by university. We've both been in the same boat this year with our husbands' job limbos, and we've really leaned on each other a lot, so staying with her on the way up was pretty perfectly poetic. It felt so good to hang out in person!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dream Deferred

Annelise had to miss her 2nd dance recital this May b/c of our move. I had my former studio director mail her costume here to us, though, and when it came? She was ecstatic! (Can you tell that she couldn't keep her arms still? :-))

I can tell that she still hopes she'll get to do a recital this year, even though I've explained that hers with her old tap class is done. Tonight, though, I put her in her costume to go to our cousin Victoria's recital. Victoria is 12 and does every style, so Sissy was excited. She danced in the aisle a little bit, and she got lots of attention in her costume...but she did comment several times, "I just wish I could dance FOR REAL onstage." Me, too, baby doll. Me, too...