Thursday, April 17, 2014

This time last year.

I was perusing what I was writing about this time last year. If you have a minute to look back, check out these pictures from this time last year...those sweet kiddos have grown so much!

One of the things I love about this blog is being able to look back and remember. I re-read this post from April 2013 and it made me smile and cry and smile some more. There are so many similarities between what happened last year and what's going on at the same time this year. I've handled some things better and some things worse. I'm learning to let go of some not-so-important things. I'm learning to hang on to what really matters. I'm learning to be more flexible.

At the end of May my parents and in-laws are going on a cruise together to celebrate Ame and Harry's 60th birthdays. I'll have to figure something out with childcare again, but because I have more options and plenty of heads-up, I'm feeling much more prepared to deal with the situation. Way better than I did last year. It still gets me flustered and discombobulated having to break our routine and figure out something different, but I hope I'm doing it with a little more maturity and grace this year.

Through looking back, I'm reminded just how amazing my husband really is. I love that he is so dedicated to his family and to his work. I am so incredibly thankful for him. He doesn't have deadlines this year, but he's making the transition to a brand new job. That's a pretty big deal! And although there is stress involved, he's handling it with ease and grace. I'm so thankful for his example and his attitude.

My kids are growing up. We have a different set of challenges and trials than we did last year, but the ones we had last year are gone. It's not easy, but I feel like it's easier. The kids are growing, getting more independent each week. They don't require quite as much from me. We know each other better. Each day we spend together we're learning each other. That makes it easier for me. Some days are harder than others, but I'm learning to accept those bad days as just that - bad days. And we move on to the next day which is hopefully better than the last.

And the thing that hasn't changed? God's grace is sufficient. It is sufficient now, it was sufficient then and it will forever be sufficient. And His Love endures forever.

David's news

David has a new job!
His last day at Neighboring Concepts was yesterday. He starts at Shook Kelley next Tuesday. We are excited for this transition. David worked at Shook Kelley from 2005-2009. He knows a lot of the folks that are still there and really enjoyed working there a few years ago. It'll be an interesting transition - since working there 5 years ago he is now a registered architect, has worked contract and permanently at multiple firms, gaining much more experience in a variety of areas. He was flattered when Terry Shook called him and asked him to come back and he's thankful for an opportunity to influence and make a difference in the community through this firm.

I am so proud of my husband and the work he does. I am thankful for this change and hopeful for the future!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Discovery Place Kids

For Xander's birthday, he got a year membership (and his family did, too!) to Discovery Place Kids. We've already been twice in the past month. The kids absolutely love it!
There is so much to do. Themed areas like an airport, doctor's office, vet, construction site, café, grocery store, bank, and farm. There's a huge water table, train table, fire truck, fitness area, and  underwater world. They have story times, puppet shows, craft areas, and dance parties. We spent 5 and a half hours there the first time (we had gone with friends who wanted to get their money's worth) and then 3 and a half hours the second time. My kids could go for many hours each week and still love it. There's that much to do!
AND it's only 20 minutes from our house. Awesome!
Water Table

Music Area

Fitness Area

Puppet Show

Doctor's Office

Band-aid on the boo boo

Fire Station
(with real fire truck!)
Underwater World

And that girl was still playing even on our walk to the car. :)
Balance beam?


We met up with Mimi and Grandma one day to eat lunch and go shopping.

This craft is so cool! If you have preschoolers, I recommend it. I keep it in my purse at all times and pull it out when we have to wait anywhere. It's great! Thanks, pinterest. :)
My sister's family got a new dog in March. He's a little confused since they can't seem to stick with a name. :)
He's mini-Cooper.
He's Wicket.
He's dog.
He's absolutely adorable.
He reminds me of the dog I had growing up, Brandy, so I call him L'il Brandy.
I think he'll be a rapper when he grows up.

Kindergarten registration

Yes, you read the title correctly. It's already that time! Can you believe it? I know, me neither. I can't believe my boy will be going to kindergarten in the fall.

I registered him last week, which basically meant I got a lot of papers together to take to the school to verify that he is who we say he is, he's the right age, and he lives in the correct area for that school. I filled out a bunch of forms when I got there and got a tour of the school. I opted to go on a day that the kids were with their grandparents because I knew I wouldn't be able to absorb all the information if I was distracted by little ones and all their questions. :)

I am so excited for Xander. I just know he's going to love school and I am pumped for him! I may be crying over bouquets of sharpened pencils when the fall comes, but for now I am overjoyed for this next step in our lives.

Kindergarten, here we come. :)

American Girl

If you don't know anything about American Girl, I suggest you check it out here.
The only thing I really knew until recently is that you can buy dolls, books and accessories from the company, but I really didn't know much about it.
There are historical dolls, the girl of the year, My American Girl dolls, and bitty babies.

My mom called me a few weeks ago and asked if I'd be interested in going to an American Girl fashion show with her and Kaitlyn. My sister's not really into that kind of thing, so she didn't want to go. When mom asked me I was so excited, even though I really didn't know what it would entail. Kaitlyn has the "My American Girl Doll" which looks like her. My sister even French braided their hair to match. So cute!

We had a great time! It was at the Embassy Suites in Winston-Salem, which Kaitlyn kept exclaiming was "so fancy!" We got to walk around and see vendors/exhibitors before the show started. The show was very interesting and informative - I loved hearing about and seeing all the outfits from the different time periods for the historical dolls. The little girl models were so cute!

Amelia Jayne will love it when she's older, but she was too young this time. I can't wait to take her! I would love to get her into something like this. She already loves dolls and there are so many things we could do to extend her enjoyment. I've mentioned it before, but I am so excited for the opening of an American Girl doll store in Charlotte this fall.

Checking in
Our table

Waiting to go into the fashion show
Getting her nails done

the final product (matched her doll's dress perfectly!)

Petting a horse

A horrible attempt at a selfie, by me

Kaitlyn and Mimi

Ame's 60th birthday

Happy 60th birthday to the one we call Grandma! She turned 60 on April 9th.
Here's a video of a few of us singing a song that we wrote in her honor.
She's always written songs for each of us on our milestone birthdays, so we decided to do the same for her - to one of her favorite songs, "All for the Best" from the musical Godspell.

We love you, Grandma!!