Friday, August 31, 2012

Technical Difficulties and a Back to School Photo Shoot

I'm typing on a new computer and I don't know what I'm doing. We've been wanting a new computer for a while now and with the lightning (all was fine) one of the perks was a new computer. But of course the timing wasn't the best. Scott being an elementary principal is just a tad busy and stressed right now trying to get a school off to a good start. And I'm not the computer person in the house. So some of the programs have been moved over to the new one; some not. I'm looking forward to this weekend when I can ask him a long list of new computer, "where is my..." questions. So for now no 'first day of school pictures' yet.

There is a lot to be told about the first few days of school. All is well now, well sort of. We've had a few bumps in the road with Abigail's allergies and snack time. But I'm sure in time we'll work it all out. For now it's kept me quite busy with extra trips to the nurse, calls, emails and such all day long. I guess I can be thankful for all of that; I haven't had time to let all of this 'my baby is in school' sink in.... but I'll keep ya all posted!

For now just some pictures I took of the girls last week before all of the hoopla. I took them for a little photo shoot at this little mini down town area we have here. There is a cool wall and stairs with the alphabet painted on it in huge letters. I thought it would be a cool back drop for back to school pictures. Of course there was no way we could go there on the first day, so we went the week before. I was mad that I had their back to school dresses on them but forgot to have them wear their new shoes... oh well.

(Oh well, just tried to move pictures from lightroom to photoshop where I edit and change the size to blog size and there are RGB colorspace messages that I just don't get. So no pictures at all for now until I figure this new computer out. I have a feeling that we'll be in front of this computer for a bunch of time this weekend... ugh! Technology! UGh!)

I hope you all (and your kids) have been adjusting nicely to back to school. I can't wait to catch up with you all soon. Happy long weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Night Before Kindergarten

abigail 1

Dear Abigail,

Tonight is one exciting night. Mommy and Daddy are so happy for you as you start this amazing journey called school. You are ready. You are ready for fun, you are ready for learning, you are ready for friends, you are ready to share your sweet smile with everyone you meet. You will love school, I just know it. And I am happy. But I'll miss you. I'll miss baking with you. I'll miss reading to you. I'll miss cuddling with you. I'll miss playing with you. The house and my day just won't be the same without you here by my side every minute.

I asked you tonight what mommy should do while you're at school all day. And you said, "I think you should read a book. And do some cleaning. And do some cooking." I promise to get everything I need to get done while you're at school so we can play together when you get home.

I'll be counting the hours until I can see you and feel your hugs again. Enjoy your day sweet girl. I'm so happy for you, and I can't wait to hear all about it.

Love, mommy

PS~ remember to not eat anything that has peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, milk, cheese or any dairy in it. Just stick with what mommy sends in, okay? :) I sure do love you!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Night Before Fourth Grade

Dear Anna,

You start school tomorrow and I feel sad, and jittery, and all nervous at once. For you, yes, and for me. You see, I've been through it before and I know the ache. From the moment your line begins to walk in the front door to that awesome school I miss you. It's like a hole in me that won't go away until we're back together again.

Of course I know that you're old enough now to know how wonderful school is. Tonight, right before bedtime you were eating chocolate cake and told daddy and I, "I'm this nervous (holding up just a pinch of air in between your fingers) and THIS excited." (with arms wide open) Ohhh, that made me happy!

You are my darling daughter and I'm so very proud of you. I know that this first day is oh so hard for you; transitions have always been since you came home from China. I'll be watching the clock all day today. I'll be the first mommy parked at dismissal time, and my face will light up when I see yours walking out of that school door.

I love you, I adore you, I'll see you after school sweet girl.

anna 1

Friday, August 24, 2012

Favorite Photo Friday ~ photoshoots

First of all I have to publicly thank Cindy for her 'just what I needed to hear' wisdom from my blog post yesterday.  She's become a good friend to me and somehow knows my heart in all of this.  It's possible to feel the guilt of needing some space; a break and still so sad that school is less than a week away.

This is new ground I'm walking into and I'm edgy, nervous, excited, and sad all at the same time.  I think that this week leading up to Abigail, my baby, going into full day Kindergarten is harder than the actual first day of school for me.  I have much anxiety about being home without messes, noise, and constant needs.  Perhaps I'm afraid that I'll actually have to tackle my 8 year long to-do lists.  I'd really rather not organize mounds of out-grown clothes, clean parts of my house that have been neglected for so long, etc.  I'd rather be overwhelmed with playdoh messes and hungry, thirsty kids.  I'd rather read books over and over to them on the couch than clean under those cushions for sure.  Soooo I'm so edgy but trusting the One who knows what my future days will hold.  I woke up in the middle of the night last week with all of this swirling in my mind and wishing that on the first day of school I had a baby on my hip and this scripture popped into my head. 

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jer 29:11  

I felt instant peace. 

One thing I know for sure is that marriage and motherhood is my career.  I'm grateful to have been a teacher for all of those years.  But looking back now I feel like it was a 'holding place' for me until my babies came.  One day, perhaps, I'll open a classroom door again; but for now I want to be with my girls when they get home from school.  It's as simple as that.

Forgive my ramblings.  I'll be better by next Thursday when I'm IN my new normal. 

For now... a few pictures from this week that are my favorites.  Meet Leah and Maddie... sisters who live a few towns away.  I met them at their school for a little back to school photo shoot. It was a fun night.  The mosquitoes had a blast too!  :)

leah 11

leah 13

leah 14

leah 15

leah 18

maddie 2

sisters 1

Thursday, August 23, 2012

During our last week

I looked at the calendar and figured it out. Except for one dinner out for our anniversary and a mini lunch alone I haven't been "off", not in mommy mode since the last day of school. I'm not complaining, really, well maybe a little. It's just that this summer Scott started PhD level classes (nights,ugh) and it's all starting to get to me. Now that the classes are at a rest it's his 'busy season' at work. Trying to open up an elementary school is hard work. I'm home not just for the girls but to support him in what he does. But I'm tired. I don't think I've finished a thought before a...."moooooomy.....can you.....?" since May. Glad to do it. There's no place I'd rather be. But the piles left all over are getting to me because the girls and 'their summer' comes first. Our yard which usually looks like park looks like the man of the yard was away for the summer. (buried in classes and papers, and when he's not.... he's WITH the girls) And then the answering machine just now at 7:15 pm... "Hi girls. Hi hon... I love you. Hope you're having a good night. I'm going to be a little late...." and I feel like I want to cry. But I don't. I pull my scraggly, needing a manicure more than you know, self upstairs with a smile. Because it's 'their summer' and I love and adore them. I'm grateful to be here in the trenches... really I am. There's no place I'd rather be. No business clothes on me. Just a half wet bathing suit and an old cover up that I hate. But there's no place I'd rather be. I hear the sound of Anna reading to Abigail. It's the new pile of library books we got out today. I can tell they are sitting on the kitchen floor together and the sound of them makes my heart melt. I am grateful; I am happy... but oh so tired.

Ever feel this way?

I am grateful for...
~ five year old still as her little voice with words she says wrong like "zewing" instead of sewing
~the closer than close sister relationship
~time, tons of uninterrupted time this summer for them to play and imagine
~listening to the entire 'Little House' series book by book in the car this summer with the girls
~no TV on for a whole week now
~five year old little feet in the morning
~a snuggle with her
~being needed by little girls
~a nine year old healthy eater
~a hardworking husband who is dedicated to his profession and helping others
~waves on one, shiny black hair on the other
~homemade banana bread and tea
~a front sidewalk of bright yellow flowers that are the best they've ever done
~central air conditioning
~being a stay at home mom from the moment they were placed in my arms

Now... I feel better!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Regular Days

real life 8-22-12 collage

Anna ran into her awesome third grade teacher on her "adoption day" when I took her to lunch at Panera. (and her teacher was adopted...)how cool is that!

Shopping for school supplies

Abigail's drawing of mommy, daddy, anna, and grandma at a mermaid party. "Jesus is up on the cloud in purple." (oops, not sure why picsa cropped the picture) 

Cousins joined us at the pool for the day

WII... I took a picture because I HATE Wii. It's BARELY allowed in our house so I thought I'd take a picture to commemorate the occasion.


Abigail's learning to read and reads with daddy every night

And just because this picture makes me smile. Remember being so excited picking out school supplies?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saturday Jobs

We've been doing Saturday Jobs for almost 6 months now and it's a hit... all around! Although this does not at all replace my regular cleaning routine during the week, it sure helps!

Here's how it started: I was finding that on the weekend our house looked crazy messy and got crazy dirty. I know why. And I don't want to change the why... kids in and out, fun being had, our family in and out, Scott working on endless house projects, etc.

I found that we needed a bit of a cleaning burst on the weekend to help me feel sane.

It used to be that while everyone was having fun I was constantly picking up after them, cleaning, cooking, ugh! I was starting to hate the weekends. I wanted to have fun with them too! But I couldn't stand living in a mess. Soooo I came up with this...

the list

Saturday Jobs! Did I already mention that it's a hit still?!

So now every Saturday we stop (at some point during our day) and do Saturday Jobs.

Here are the rules:

1. We do the jobs all together. So that means we have to wait until we're all home and all ready to contribute.

2. We have fun (cranking up the music helps)

3. We try to do the list as quickly as possible. (this helps with the fun part) We race around all silly and crazy but it's fun!

4. We pick different jobs each week so that no none gets tired of doing the same job all of the time.

5. We praise and praise the girls as we go along.

6. We pick a prize when we're all done. The prize is not something that can be bought; just some more together time.

Here's Abigail rocking it out while she's dusting!

rockin it out dusting

Music cranked!

our music


abi dusting

anna dusting

We love Saturday Jobs!

anna celebrating

There's always a bit of a dance party mixed in!

abigail celebrating

And when the list is done...

done list

We take turns each week choosing a prize!

eyes closed



"Anna, can you read this for me?"

family bike ride

Last Saturday I asked the girls as a joke, "hey girls, do you want to do Saturday jobs or just go to the pool?" I was sure they'd say pool but they shouted out, "Saturday Joys!"

Monday, August 20, 2012


I've got a list of pictures I'd like to go through since summer is winding down.  These roses are one of them.  I blogged about our anniversary back here but I have to share these pictures.  Oh how I love flowers.  If money were no object I'd fill my home with flowers every day.  The bathrooms would have pretty bouquets, the kitchen counter, the family room, my desk in the playroom...  but I never buy flowers when I'm at the store.  I guess I just can't fathom spending the money on myself. 

So when our anniversary rolls around Scott outdoes himself every year.  This year there were almost 6 dozen... okay... I'll tell the truth... there was a bit of an argument (my fault so I'm not sure why I ended up with more roses) on "anniversary weekend" so some of those 6 dozen were make up flowers.  They were everywhere... and I couldn't have been happier. 




I had to take a few pictures of them since I get sad when they start to die.



An adorable story about roses with Scott and I...  when it was twelve days before our Wedding Day Scott brought over (still living at home after college and teaching) twelve roses.  I loved them.  The next day I was shocked when he brought over eleven roses.  When it was ten days before our Wedding Day he gave me ten roses and so on and so on until the day before our Wedding Day and he brought over one single rose.  And yes... that means when I woke up in my childhood bed on my Wedding Day early that morning by my Mom I was surrounded by seventy eight roses.  My tiny bedroom was filled with them.  I knew how lucky I was.

There are pictures of my Wedding Day bedroom filled with roses. I've got to pull out that album and take a picture. Roses all over filling my rainbow wallpaper bedroom. I couldn't imagine a more perfect way to wake up on my Wedding Day.

Scott has always been my sweetheart.  I've known it since I was fifteen years old.  And I know it now.  He's not a 'bring home flowers' all the time husband but when he does... watch out... everythings coming up roses!!!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Regular Days

My "Regular Days" posts are my version of instagram.  Since I have a 'dinosaur' phone I use my little point and shoot for my regular days.  Drag the pictures into picsa, create a collage, and wala... I've got my own instagram post!

regular days 3

baking for vacation to Maine (we have to bring all of Abigail's food whereever we go... amazing... there was a study that just came out stating that raising a child with EoE... her disease... is very stressful... no kidding)
yes, that's what my wedding ring often looks like since I'm always in the kitchen
hanging with cousins for the day
at the air and space museum
together at the pool with cousins
cousin emily passed the deep end swim test... so she could go off the diving board and slide... yahoo!
licking the beater (man, I think that's been every time I do a regular days post)

Have a happy week everyone. I tried to redo my comment section so that it would be easier to leave a comment. Let me know if it's any better... hope it is! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

An American Girl Day

So my Mom and I took the girls to the American Girl Doll store in Boston today; a special celebration day for Anna and her Adoption Day.

There was lunch at the Bistro(and we all got our picture taken but I've yet to scan in for blogger
cool bathrooms that even holds your doll
a whole room of Bitty Baby
looking and looking and looking for that one special outfit to take home

a wonderful day for sure!


(check out that tired mom on the left lugging her daughter's dolls :) )

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Adoption Day Videos

Scott made these videos soon after Anna came home.  It was wonderful to watch them again last night.  For all of our special China 115 friends who traveled with us, you will always be a part of our family.  When I watch the third video I feel honored that I watched your miracle moment.  Once in a lifetime...

china 115 group

Make sure you turn up your sound...
(but first scroll down to the bottom of my blog and pause the regualar blog music)

Video One:  Referral/getting ready/leaving

Video Two:  In China (before Adoption Day)

Video Three: Adoption Day (We do have all of the "gotcha" moments from our group on here too) So cool to watch!

Some powerful stuff in these videos. Makes me want to do it all over again!

Happy Adoption Day

It's not a great recording... just someone at a concert with their video camera but I have to share this with you.  I can't hear this song without crying.  They are happy tears of course for being chosen to mother a nameless baby, given away, left alone, without any hope of survival let alone love. 

Happy Adoption Day Anna.  There are no words to describe how I feel about you; love just isn't enough.  You are my hero.  I adore you.  I love you.  You are chosen.  You are cherished.  You are forever loved. 

"and all of a sudden this family was born... happy adoption day..."

"we were working and waiting; hoping and praying for you..."

Tea Roses

The day before we headed to Maine I took the girls (along with my mom and sister in law) to a tea room. 

It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

(the little tea shop as you enter)

To say that the girls were excited was an understatement.

annas excited

Anna wore a white eyelet dress with peach flowers in her hair, and Abigail wore a peach colored eyelet dress with white flowers in her hair. Better than the whole tea for me.

her little eyes looking up

Of course it wasn't quite as relaxing as when my mom, sister in law and I go alone...

rose tea pot

but it sure was sweet.

blue tea pot

We ordered the girls their own pot of decaffeinated tea. They loved putting in sugar and putting in sugar and putting in sugar.

anna stirs

anna sips

make sure its not too hot

And we order "afternoon tea" for Anna and Elia (her cousin) to share. They loved the little finger sandwiches and little cakes.

grandma helps

Oh and the heart shaped scones... to die for!

heart shaped scone

Once they got to the top oohed and ahhed over the desserts.

afternoon tea

Abigail had her own little, pretty, tray of special desserts that Jackie picked up for her at the "Abigail bakery" a special allergy free bakery near her home. I love how the woman at the tea room was able to bring them out for her so pretty.

abis own desserts

So we sipped, we chatted, we tried to not be so wiggly, and we had a lovely afternoon to remember forever.

abi stirs

grandma and abigail

elia and jackie

abi in store

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sweet Bathtub Fun


Sometimes don't you just want to remember, really remember what your child looked like because you know that one day if a picture wasn't snapped you wouldn't remember?  So just for me... so I'll remember. 

silly hair

sweet looking to the side