Friday, September 20, 2013

Capturing Claire

Claire has taken an interest in photography lately. She finds something worthy of a picture, runs to find my phone and then races back to capture the moment. Most of the time it's a cookie. Or a donut. 

Here are some of her latest artistic moments:

And my personal favorite ...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Many Faces of Grace

If this girl of mine doesn't end up doing something with drama later in life, I'll be shocked. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


One of my most favorite moments this summer happened about a month ago. The whole family was at the park, swinging and sliding. Running and jumping and laughing under a gorgeous blue sky. Grace and I were walking hand-in-hand from the restroom when she stopped, looked up at me and said "Mama, you're my beff friend." 

It stopped me in my tracks. I kneeled, gave her a huge hug and told her she was one of my best friends, too. 

She had no idea the way those words warmed my heart. No idea that I was already tucking them into a lockbox, safe from her teenage years. Safe from slamming doors and shouts of "It's not fair!" Safe from rolled eyes and cold shoulders. Safe from silent treatments and full-blown tantrums. 

When the going gets tough, (Grace is known for her dramatic flair -- I'm sure it will get tough) I will slip into a quiet room, close my eyes and remember the day that I was her beff friend. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dear Summer,

It's been a pleasure. Thank you for the blue skies, green trees and sunshine. 

Thanks for the softball games, trips to the pool, fireworks and adventures at the park. 

Thanks for the relaxed evenings, lazy mornings and long weekends with our cousin Bella. 

We have thoroughly enjoyed you, but as with all good things, it's time to say goodbye. 

 See you next year, when inevitably, my girls will be taller, smarter and more ornery. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Natural Born Leader

Claire: Mom, come here!

Me: Ohhhh, what did you make?

Claire: What does it look like? 

Me: A triangle made out of books. 

Claire: Nope. It's a ship. 

Me: Ya, I can see that now. 

Claire: And I'm the captain. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

On Her Way to a Hoarders Intervention

Grace likes stuff. Not just any stuff. Stuff she has deemed special and worthy of being carried with her at all times. Some things can be removed or added from this list depending on the day, but here are the current must-haves: 

1. A small red purse. Contents: 83 cents, a broken camera, three pairs of sunglasses and a miniature soccer ball. 
2. A yellow basket, which currently holds post-it notes that have been separated one-by-one from the post-it notes pad. 
3. A stuffed Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh. 
4. A stuffed "horse" that is actually a stuffed giraffe. 
5. A backpack, which is currently empty because we take it to school but was full to the brim of other "stuff" this summer. 

It doesn't matter if we are going to Grandma's house across town, Grandma's house 45 minutes down the road or a quick trip to the grocery store. These are must-haves that must be with Grace whenever she leaves the house. I've secretly wondered if she was planning to burn down the house while we were gone and wanted to make sure all of the good stuff was in a safe place. 

For the record, when I went to clean out her backpack for the school year, here's what I found. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

That's A Wrap

Scared, nervous, excited. That's how I felt at the beginning of the summer. On the one hand, I was pumped to have the girls home full-time after a semester of half-day preschool. As much as preschool helped with my sanity, I missed them fiercely. So, I was feeling excited to have a few months to ourselves. We were going to have morning swims in the kiddie pool, dig for treasure in the sandbox, go on grand adventures in the neighborhood. 

But then I remembered I have a job. A full-time, sometimes uber-demanding job. That's when I got nervous. And a little scared. After several months of finding a great balance of work and life, I knew we were about to turn things on their head. 

Spoiler alert: We survived! And had a (mostly) great time. There were moments where I thought I was going to drop one of the many balls hanging precariously in the air, but I wouldn't trade it for all of the special memories we made. 

Here's a look back at our summer: 

We Made A Play-House

We Visited My Sister

We Played On the Porch in PJs and Rain Boots

We Went to the Lake

We Spent Loads of Time with Family

We Drove Cars, Motorcycles, Airplanes … At The Fair

We Took Our Things To The Zoo

We Met Willie and Weren't Scared

We Practiced Loving Each Other ...

... And Being Silly

And Then Before We Knew It … School Started Again