kindergarten is here!

Some kids cry on their first day of kindergarten.
We had one that cried.

Some kids are okay that first day of kindergarten, but express apprehension in the weeks leading up. 
We had one who expressed such apprehension.
Some kids don't cry, but cling to your hand as if you are their lifeline as you enter the school on the first day of kindergarten and ask for ten hugs before you go.
We had one clinging hugger.
Some kids are excited about their first day of kindergarten, but retain decorum as they prepare.
We had one with calm excitement.
And then there are the ones who simply couldn't wait and meet the day head on...

The only thing that could deflate her was being told it was still 10 minutes before we'd be heading to school.

Our Natalie.

I asked her to show me how she felt about starting to school today.  This is what I got.

peace signs proof that you can take the girl out of china, but you can't take china out of the girl...

Anyone that knows her understands.  This is Nat in a nutshell.

Our little one who models that big things (like personalities) come in small packages.

A little update on HoHo (her beloved stuffed monkey)...
Yesterday she told me I could take HoHo back home with me to keep me company when she went to school.  At the last minute it was decided she would take a stow away in her "back-cack."  You know, just in case...

Finally it was time for us to go.

And she was all business.  No "dazzletating" pace of the grown ups for Natalie.

She was not about to slow her steps to walk with Ian and I.

No sir, she was ready to get there and was paces ahead with her siblings and friends.

We had to step up our strides to keep up with her once inside the building.

She found a cubby,

and then a desk,

 and got down to business.

One last smile and wave...which actually felt somewhat like a dismissal...and it was clear she was ready for us to move on.  

Could it really only have been two years ago that she walked into our lives with not a word of English under her belt?  Yet there I was this morning, leaving my baby behind in our sweet little neighborhood school.  It was hard to walk away ~ I'm thankful Ian decided to work from home this morning and grateful that he insisted on taking me out to brunch ~ yet I know without a doubt that she's ready.  

Watch out kindergarten, the spicy one has arrived!


so long summer

Say what?

Summer is over?  It just can't be so...

And yet my "experienced crew" was all smiles this morning.

After all, they did get great assignments regarding their teachers this year.  Each one seems to have gotten a teacher that matches at least one of their personality traits.  And it doesn't hurt that each kid has a number of friends in class.

So after expressing their true inner selves, we packed up and headed to school...with friends of course.

Today started the fifth year of our families walking to school together in the mornings.

It's nothing short of entertaining for sure.

And this year the crowd staying at school will be getting one larger.  Itty Bit goes for her kindergarten evaluation day tomorrow.

Thankfully she told me the monkey can come home with me to keep me company.  
Nat's adventure to follow...


not a care in the world {a day on the coast}

We've been blessed with amazing neighbors.

This year, especially this year with all the extra challenges and responsibilities we've faced, our family needed a day to marvel in the grandeur of creation and recharge our batteries.

Thankfully our next door neighbors provided us with just that opportunity by inviting us to spend a day with them at their house on the coast over Memorial Day weekend.

For just over four glorious hours, I truly had not a care in the world.

That's because my tribe was all within sight.

Playing in the beautiful waters of the Atlantic.

Trying to catch a wave.

Creating forts...

...and castles in the sand.


...feeling the warmth of the sand under their feet...

...and the coolness of the water under their arms.

Ian and I spent time chatting with our hosts...

...and snuggling our little ones who needed just a few minutes of down time in our arms.

We captured some genuine smiles.

Because the ocean is our happy place.

There's simply something about the sand and the surf that is restorative to the soul.

[When my toes are sunk into warm sand and the ocean is lapping my feet, when I breathe in the scent of salt and hear the cry of a seagull, I know that I am returned to a place of restoration. I am home.I can heal here.] Toni Sorenson


it's official

She's no longer a baby.

Last month it was passing the swim test.

This month it was the first tooth.

it's a little difficult to see because that "new tooth" was already growing in behind it

Next month (GASP) it's kindergarten.

Have mercy...


Christmas Eve

It may be June in the real world...but in my picture archives it is still Christmastime.

We were a little later getting all our Christmas cheer up this season, but better late than never, right?

And when I say we were a little later than usual, I mean we baked our Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve.

And when I say "we," I really mean the kids.

With a little supervision from Daddy of course.

Mostly just to make sure that beaters didn't get licked while still on the mixer.

While the dough was chilling, we went out for our long anticipated "fancy dinner."   At our favorite Indian restaurant.  Because that's what everyone does, right?  Or maybe not.  Nonetheless, ever since one of Ian's co-workers made us some chicken biryani and goat curry, our crew had been begging us to take them to our favorite date night spot.   They gobbled up biryani, korma, and paneer like nobody's business.

Thankfully they left room for cookies.

Thankfully they also saved some patience to create Santa's cookies.

It was a decorating extravaganza.

Some were hit heavier with the sprinkle truck than others.

Of course each child wanted to show off their favorite creation.  And because I totally get that, we let them pose with the one that best reflected their personalities.

Anticipation was high.  Maybe the sugar rush of sprinkles, cookie dough and at least one warm cookie out of the oven added to that.

Finally we managed to get them off to bed.

Not before, of course, a few messages were written for Santa.

But before "not a creature was stirring," could be said, there was a little mess in the kitchen that needed to be tackled.