Oh my goodness..I cannot believe my BABY is 3 years old. Where does the time go?! Let me warn you, my camera has been getting a work out lately..Annah lost her second tooth (again, where does the time go), has 3 recitals this month and her preschool graduation. Liam had his last soccer game and a birthday..whew! A lot of posts to come!
On a personal note (as if a-you have a choice and b-this blog is anything other than personal notes), I remember when I first found out I was having a boy I was really upset. I so wanted Annah to have a sister and I knew how to be a mom to a girl. The whole boy thing was so foreign. Boy, was I wrong to be disappointed. I really have the best of both worlds...a girly girl and a boy who is, well, all boy! They complete me and I could not be happier!
Just putting this out there, but if you are in the market for a fireman birthday party, Fun Time Firetruck is the way to go! Liam is obsessed with all things fire related (he is either going to be a fireman or a pyromaniac when he grows up) and this was the perfect birthday party for him! Lots more pictures to come, but I wanted to write his birthday post on hos birthday, so just the one for now. This was taken when he heard the truck coming (lights and sirens going)...do you think he was excited?!
Oh my sweet baby boy! You have stolen my heart with your smile. There was a guy Will was friends with in college...Wild Bill (aka Wild-Bill-He-Never-Half-A***s-It). This is Liam. Liam is never half-way anywhere. If he is happy, he is on cloud nine, but when he's mad, watch out! Fortunately, Liam is rarely mad. You played soccer this year, and while you were the youngest on the team (and were completely oblivious to the game), you played ran around with the enthusiasm of 100 players! Your personality is larger than life and so is your smile. You are such a sweet little boy...always full of "I love you's" and hugs. You care about others. Even though sometimes you are so caught up in the moment you don't realize if you have unintentionally hurt someone, you always remember and apologize over and over again. You have this amazing sense of humor and will find something funny all the time (and you love when other people think you're funny too!). You care about your friends and have recently started having a real attachment to Annah. Annah loves you so much! Sometimes it seems like you are the big brother, showing her where to go and what to do. I love you for you, but I also love you for what you have helped Annah with...you both have come so far this year and it fills my heart with pride! I love you, I love you, I love you...more than I ever thought possible!
We went down to the beach for Spring Break. Will was able to join us for a couple days and then some other friends and their kids came down. Monday night/Tuesday morning there was a string of awful storms...didn't really think much of it until we went back out to the beach Wednesday afternoon. It was way to cold to swim, but the kids wanted to dig in the sand (and who can blame them) so of we went. I have been going to this same beach forever and have never seen anything like this before: starfish; hundreds of them, filling the tidepools, covering the sand. It wasn't until we got back to the house and saw a report on the news that I understood...the storms Monday night had knocked the starfish loose from the rocks and washed them ashore. All the kids were a little wary of touching them...but not Liam! He walked right over, picked up two and proceeded to take them back to the ocean.
This story is from one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books:
A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew closer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up, and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. Our friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said "Good evening, Friend. I was wondering what you are doing."
"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen." "I understand," our friend replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don't you realize it is probably happening on hundreds of other beaches all up and down the coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?" The local native smiled, bent down, and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"
It's true that life (in particular, being a mom) is not always rainbows and sunshine. But sometimes, it just is! Today was one of those days. Yesterday Annah lost her first tooth. I am so proud of the big girl she is turning into. She has really grown (emotionally...not sure she will ever grow physically) so much this past year and she is getting so much more confident. Gone is my little girl who used to hide between my legs. Even though I am amazed to watch her grow, I am a little sad to see my baby growing up. You'll see in the pictures, she is really turning into a kid.
Today was Liam's first soccer game. While he has no concept of a team, I have to give him credit. He got out there and played (by played, I mean he ran around a lot and there was a ball involved). He does everything in life with his heart on his sleeve. You never have to wonder how Liam might be feeling because all you have to do is look at his sweet face...it's all right there!
So, after a fun-filled morning of soccer and shopping at Target (had to spend that tooth fairy money), we came home to an absolutely beautiful afternoon. I just couldn't resist getting the camera back out to take some pictures. Some good friends came over and the kids had a blast (Dierdre and I even managed to have ourselves a margarita on the deck while they played in the backyard). Today was one of those days that I feel so peaceful about where I am in my life. I know I am right where I am supposed to be. Today was full of rainbows and sunshine!
(author's note: Christi, you were not home...I did try to ask...so I hope you don't mind the use of your tree! I'll come take some pictures of the girls for "tree rental!"
My kids are nothing if not funny! Here are some recent conversations:
In the car on the way to school:
Annah: Liam you are not a big boy, you are a baby
Liam: I is a big boy Annah!
this goes back and forth for a while :) until Liam clinches it with this
Liam: I IS a big boy 'cause I tee-tee in the potty and I poopy in the pantry!
Annah after getting dressed this morning, takes a look at herself in the mirror and says "mommy, this skirt is a good look for me!"
Liam and I went to the park one morning while Annah was at school. There is a fire hydrant right by the entrance to the park and a fire hose was left (unattached) right next to it
Liam: Mommy, I want to take that hose home with us
Me: Oh Liam, that is too heavy for you to get it in the car
Liam: Mommy, you are very strong (long pause)...why don't YOU put it in the car for me?!
Liam was playing with his grill this afternoon and it has wooden pieces that go with it. One of the pieces is a ketchup bottle. The top (obviously) does not come off the bottle. Liam comes over and says, "The problem is the top won't come off...that'll be $50!" It wouldn't be so funny, but it sounds like something someone in the service department might say (ie the problem is your car is out of gas...that'll be $300)
Finally, the cream of the crop. Liam and Annah are both in the tub one day last week. I look at Liam and he has 4 very clear fingernail scratch lines going from the top of his chest all the way down his belly. So I ask Annah what happened:
Annah: It was an accident!
Me: No way that was an accident. You had to mean to hurt him to do that.
Annah: No Mommy. I was trying to hit him, but I accidentally scratched him!
How can I argue with this kind of logic?!
This post is one I have started in my head over and over again, but have yet to put in down on paper (or on screen as the case may be). But today, I am feeling especially thankful for so many things, that I just can't seem to keep myself from writing...
It all started about 6 months ago. I was riding (something that happens much less often than I would like for it to) and this minivan stopped on the road in front of the barn. The woman driving (I am assuming) was alone. She stopped, rolled down her window, laid her arms crossed on the window ledge, and rested her head on her arms, just watching silently for probably no more than 5 minutes. My initial thought, was this is really creepy, but then I started thinking...I bet this woman used to ride, she grew up, got married, had kids, got a minivan, and has, somewhere along the way, lost herself. How lucky am I to still get this precious time for me?! I know lots of you run or go to the gym for your "me time," but I feel fairly certain your treadmill has never called out when your car pulled up; your tennis shoes have never been a constant source of support as you passed through your teenage years, got married, had children, got a minivan, and then took care of your children as they learned to ride. The bond with your horse is something I could not ever put into words and the bond I have with Senator is unlike any I have had with any other horse. He is my friend. I know he is getting older and I dread the day he is no longer with me, but he has carved a very special place in my heart and that is a space that will never be filled with anyone but him. I feel so very grateful for all that he has taught me; patience, kindness, empathy, and responsibility.
My family: Y'all I cannot tell you how thankful I am for my dear family. Annah is quite possibly the sweetest little girl in the whole world. Always thinking of others and such a wise little girl. Liam is a constant source of smiles and comic relief. The relationship I have with each of them is different but I wouldn't have it any other way. They are both going through a very affectionate stage, and I would be lying if I said the steady stream of "I love you's" was anything other than music to my ears. And Will (you didn't think I would forget you, did you), is just the best. While I wish he was home more, he is really putting in some quality time with the kids when he is here. We (just the 2 of us) got a weekend away last weekend and it so so nice for the kids to finally be at an age where we can go away for a few days and know they will be fine. (a great big thank you to the grands too, for keeping said children!). I am loving where we are in our lives right now and I love my family to pieces!
My friends: I know that I do not say it often enough, but I am so, so, so thankful for my friends. You know who you are, and you are a constant source of support and love in my life. No matter what the situation, I know there is a handful of faithful friends I can count on, no matter what. Some I talk to every day, some every month, but the relationship is just as strong and I don't know what I'd do with y'all.
Finally, I have managed to be a stay at home mom and have a career all at the same time. I am so grateful that Stella and Dot has come into my life (and Ida and Lauren too!)! I don't think I realized how much of myself I had let go after having children and to find it after losing it, makes it that much sweeter. I love that I get to contribute financially and love helping other women find what they have been looking for; whether that is to replace their full time job or to just have a night a month to devote to themselves. It has re-claimed a friendship that had lapsed and allowed me to find a self confidence in myself. I have high goals for myself through Stella and Dot and I really believe I can get there.
So, there it is, my day of thankfulness! This is not to say there is not more I am thankful for (there's my parents, my in-laws, the list could go on and on), but here it is just the same. Thank you, all of you!
We got snow (AGAIN)!!! This never happens here...2 snows in one season, nevermind just 3 weeks apart! While it was still snow, it was fun, fun, fun...but then came the ice! We ended up with around 6 inches of snow and then a decent ice skating rink on top of that! Liam, for some unknown reason, decided he was skiing and needed to wear my goggles for the day. Pretty funny since they didn't fit even a little bit! Annah was just so excited to have a snow day! For myself, a snow day was great...however we ended up with a snow week and that is just about all the the family bonding time I can take crammed into the house for days on end. I am pleased to report the highs for this weekend are supposed to be in the 60's which is much more my speed!
Liam thought he was so clever when he figured out he could throw the snow up in the air to make it "snow again!"
Unfortunately, my camera got wet and kept fogging up. I have not had much experience shooting in freezing rain (maybe I should say fortunately I have not had much experience shooting in freezing rain)
But these faces made it all worth it!
Annah and Charlotte (our neighbor) had a great time sledding down the ice covered hill. I have GOT to remember to buy a sled before next winter. One of those things you never remember you will need until the day you need it!
We are a family of four. Will is the general sales manager at Honda of Columbia. Annah is four and a half years old, Liam is rapidly approaching 2 years and I am fortunate enough to stay at home with my precious babies. Add to the mix 3 dogs (Mason and Jackson the Jack Russells and Belle). There's never a dull moment, but there's no where else I'd rather be. There truly is No Place Like Home!