Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring fling, part 2: Charlotte

So we left Mark and Jill's on Tuesday and headed to Raleigh for a night with old friends the Dawkins. Fun to catch up! Thanks for letting us crash, Karen and Rob. The next day we met my good (really only) high school friend Mary Lee and her husband Nate for lunch. It had been a long time! Very glad we stopped.

Mary Lee and I met in 1971 when we were 16!
We arrived in Charlotte Wednesday afternoon. It's never an easing into the pool of life
at Dan & Jenny's ... it's a "you'd better be in your swimsuit 'cause you're gonna be jumping in the moment you arrive!" 
Ashlyn and Ari worked a puzzle with Popsy.

Noah is a doll! He really took to Bill, especially the night we watched all 3 kids.
Ari was pushing through the sniffles but we had fun anyway. She is fascinated by everyone and everything around her. We should all embrace life as this delightful four year old does!

 On Saturday we packed off to the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte.
What a cool place! Man-made whitewater "rivers" let people raft and kayak.
We had fun watching ... and the girls enjoyed demos of clever dogs and raptors. (Birds of prey.)

 Look at these girls: sitting on the laps of teenagers they just met!

 Dan and Jenny asked me to do a family photo shoot which, I'm learning, is no
simple matter with three young kids. We stepped into the woods behind
their house and snapped away!

Ashlyn preferred to dig for bugs.
Mama love: Jenny and Noah.

 Maybe the best part of these visits is seeing our children as parents.
There is growth. Struggle. Frustration. Intense work. Joy.
A deep, deep love for each other and their children.
So proud of you all!
(And thanks for putting up with the 'rents!)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring fling, part 1: Virginia

 We just returned from a circular trip to Virginia and North Carolina, then home. Lots of baby-holding, Easter egg-hunting, story-reading, diaper-changing and nose-wiping. And hugging and kissing, too!
Egg hunt at Mark and Jill's church

Lily's hard-working daddy made it to the egg hunt.
(This is Mark's busiest season so he works long hours.)

I think reading is the best way to connect with and calm a child.

Darling Ethan, 7 months

 Popsy at the egg hunt, holder of Lily's basket.

One of Lily's favorite times of day is when Mark comes home.
Jill walks the children to a bench at the corner to await Daddy's arrival. Such excitement!

Next post: North Carolina.


Monday, April 14, 2014

baseball and David!

We had a full day on Saturday! The Tampa Bay Rays were in Cincinnati playing the Reds over the weekend. Since they're in opposite leagues, it's unusual for them to play each other, so we were excited to drive just two hours and be able to see our David!

The weather was stellar: sunny, breezy and in the 70's, the best weather since last October! Although I've zipped through Cincinnati many times en route to Nashville, I've never spent much time there. The downtown, right on the Ohio River, is vibrant. We got to visit with David for a few minutes before the one o'clock game, but since he works during the game, we had to meet up again afterwards. Rays won!

We had a leisurely dinner at a restaurant near the river. Mmmmm, fantastic burgers. There's nothing as gratifying for a mother as spending time with an independent and delightful son! As we walked around the downtown, we met several of David's co-workers, also neat people. They must enjoy working with David because they all greeted us so warmly.

"Great American Ballpark"

We headed back home about 8:00. A too-short day with David, but completely worth it!

Messing with a new camera lens, ha!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

national sibling day

I got wind that today is National Sibling Day!
I googled it and found Siblings Day is recognized officially in 39 states
and only for the past 15 years.
My four children have countless sibling memories.
They fought. They argued. They giggled.
They chased each other around the house and yard.
They screamed a lot: in the bathtub,
over food, over toys, over territories.
They also had a ball together and even came up with
a nonsense language: words with meanings known
only to the four of them.
Perhaps my best memories are the photos
I took of my four over the years.
Here are a few ...
And probably my most favorite ...
Take heart, moms.
One day the screaming and fighting stops
and they'll be very good friends.
It's worth the wait.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

spring puttering

Time has come.
Dig out green yard clogs.
Grab a camera.
Fill the bird feeder.
Tiptoe into the chilly dusk.
Tramp across grass, beaten down by relentless winter 
and beginning to green.
Hug close to the flower beds,
 squat lower and lower
and spot new green:
swollen daffodil shoots poking up through the brown.
And deep purple!
Tiny Siberian iris
bursting and proudly showing like royalty
amid the common browns,
leftover leaves.
She's on her way!