Wednesday, February 20, 2013

birthday girl...

My first baby is 9!

We celebrated this weekend with ALL of her grandparents in attendance. Plus her great-grandparents. Plus a few aunts and uncles! I'm not sure if my little girl knows how blessed she is... to have this HUGE family surrounding and loving and adoring and supporting her. I hope she never feels lonely in this life, because she has SO MANY amazing people who love her! Then her best friend from school came home to celebrate with her on Monday, and then we had yet another celebration with the Duncs (and her bff since 18-months-old Corbin). What a fun extended celebration! I'm in total shock that I have a child ONE year away from double-digits. That just cannot be possible. It's weird. And spooky. Especially since I had her when I was 24, and I'm still 24. Not sure how that works?!?!?! :)

I totally failed at taking pictures of all these celebrations, but here are a few from my sister:

She's all kinds of pre-teen... rolling her eyes, talking back, being smart... but also still all kinds of little girl... loving dolls, dressing up, and being sweet. It's a hard age, that in-between phase of not quite knowing what to "be." She gives me a run for my money every day, but she is worth it. She will keep learning and developing and changing into a powerful young lady, that's for sure!

In other news, I'm staring down my interview for nursing school. I need to get a physiology exam out of the way, and then BAM, it is upon me. Prayers and vibes of "calm, confident" appreciated. And clarity. For the love, universe, please don't let me speak like a blubbering idiot! ha! Happy Wednesday to you all...

Monday, February 11, 2013

cedarock park

Oh mah gawd, Y'all. I'm bloggin' a ton lately! It's a rainy day here today, and the kids are all home (big kids had the school day off (teacher work day)... Sam still had preschool... mommy and daddy still had class... huge thanks to my neighbor for watching my big kids for an hour while I learned some bloooood physiology!). So they're all snuggled up, chillin, watching cartoons/playing piano/drawing/making cookies/waiting to go to Trader Joe's...

I had to share the pictures from our weekend adventure to yet another beloved place just a stone's throw from our house. It's a historic patch of land with an old farm that the county has restored, along with having animals there again. It has horse trails, hiking trails, a huge frisbee golf course, and it's simply lovely.

blue skies


sayin' hey to the Mules

the old homestead

sheep and goats

climb that tree! 

NC pretending to be Colorado

heading down

kayak area

happy boy


trying not too smile... waterfall! 

my pre-preteen

so pretty
It was nice to be out in the fresh air... NC in the winter is pretty awesome! Have a happy week...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

happy saturday

Last night we got home at 10:30. The kids love a good party. When we can, we feast and play with our dear friends, the Duncans. One of these days I'll bring my camera... those with iphones always capture the insanity, but then I forget to gather those photos. I'm so happy that my kids get to grow up with their kids. That they have "cousins" their ages. That they will have lifelong friends (and another set of parents) to "have their backs" if they need friends who function as family... without any of the baggage. And then there's the grownups. How grateful I am for my friends. Not only my husband, who is my best friend, but the Duncans, who are also such close friends that the support between the four of us adds such security to our lives. They have pushed us and supported us through our life changes. When we were fearful, they had the wisdom to say "why not go for it? go for it. Do it. we've done it. It's doable." Also, we're all very immature and can laugh for hours about a good fart joke. It's not every day you can act like an immature preteen with fellow adults. It's embarrassingly great.

So. We're grateful. For the way our lives have been woven together and for the way relationships with others can add such depth to life.

Wanna see another sunset picture?

i think this was from Tuesday's sunset. The western roots in me want to chop those trees down. The southern roots in me love the trees. 

My big kids before school on Monday. They LOVE dressing themselves (within limits), and look so cute.  Leah's newest "thing" is to sleep with her hair in braids. Notice how they're 22 months apart and Pete is only 2 inches shorter than Leah. Huge growth spurt!
I'm settled into class, and it's going very well. I love this second semester of A&P. Lots of good info and I love gaining so much more knowledge. It's pretty exhausting though... a hint of what's to come. All that matters to me is that my kids are oblivious and feel happy about their little world. Hopefully we've done a good job in providing a stable, secure start to life... that's my goal. Not perfection, but stability and joy. I'm sure I'll have to pay for therapy at some point though, due to all my fart jokes.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bring Him Home

My brother just deployed.
Part of our hearts just got shipped away.
I'm not too keen on this war, not one ounce. But I am proud of our soldier, proud of our military, and proud of all the men and women who have ever served our country.
Please keep my "baby" brother in your thoughts and prayers.
Please also pray for his amazing wife and sweet little girl, who will miss him tremendously.
Please pray for us, the rest of his family, as anxiety and fear will certainly arise sometimes.
Pray for safety and protection and Peace. Peace. Peace.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

our little hamlet on the river

We live in a cool place.

It has taken some "getting used to"... because we live in a small town between bigger towns. Lots and lots of "country" and "country folks" (here in NC, the nicest in the world. But still, just different from what I'm used to). We have some great friends here, and some more great friends who live in the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) who we lived near in our old city. So we get together with them periodically! A spot that we discovered upon moving here is just down the road from our house. It is an old, restored mill town on the banks of the Haw River. It is full of people who live locally, grow their own food, have fun festivals, have an incredible restaurant and bar, and serve world-class cuisine right out of their general store. It's become a destination (was written about in the NYTimes), and it's right in our backyard!

So we met our dear friends there on Saturday for a lovely hike. I feel so happy there!

gettin' some grub

it's so so good. everything made from scratch. Fresh eggs. 

our friends gearing up for a hike

a pond


waterfall through the branches

the mighty Haw River


Silly Pete

enjoying the river

Here's a view from up by the coffee shop. See the river down there, plus the building on the right is a part  of the mill converted into apartments and condos

the old vat (is that a word?) where they dyed the fabrics in the mill. Now all lit up at night. 

huge venue with coffee shop, restaurant/bar. ball room where major names come to play... Gillian Welch, Chatham County Line, Sufjan, etc have all played here! 

love this coffee shop :)

another view

down from the restaurant towards the general store,  a small charter school for middle and high schoolers, and the sheriff's office

Saturday, February 2, 2013

bye bye baby

I'm sitting here sneaking pictures of Sam on my cell phone. We're having a lazy Saturday morning (much needed), and I'm watching Sammy play with his "guys" (any super hero figurines, like Power Rangers or Spiderman... he loves "guys"!). He's all snuggled on the couch, and I'm watching him flux between becoming a big boy and holding on to bits of his babyhood. He still loves his blankie and sucks his thumb sometimes (much to his dentist-daddy's dismay). But he had a late start into relaxing into a real babyhood. So I let him hold on to it. He needs to be my baby for a little bit longer, and I don't mind it one bit :).
fuzzy cell-phone spy picture of my baby in his "nest" sucking his thumb 

he caught me spying on him! 
He's such an awesome kid... we are so blessed to call him ours.

Also, for those following our life story via this blog, I did get that coveted interview to the nursing school that I would love to attend. My chances of getting in are now very high. It's an exciting time, but also a little hard to decide in terms of what's best for us. My kids will all be in school if/when I start. They would go to after-school care four days a week. Any job I've ever had has been around their schedules, so I've always had the "stay-at-home-mom" status (which was my choice), working with clients in the evenings or on weekends (which was better for their schedules anyway, so win-win). They go to an awesome school and actually want to go to after-school care, so I know they'll be okay. Zach will be at a point in his education where he can step up and do some of the house stuff I'm typically in charge of.  It's just a huge adjustment for me! If I get the opportunity to go to this nursing school, I don't think it's an opportunity that I should pass up- I think it would be unwise to pass it up. It's expensive and will add to our education debt. BUT. I still think it's worth all the cost (financial and with the loss of family time). I do think, if I get the chance, I should go. It will be a hard year, but I'm sure it will be filled with blessings too. So, if you pray, I'd appreciate prayers for guidance over these next few weeks. I interview in 3 weeks. If I get a spot, I'd also appreciate your prayers for a scholarship and grants and enough federal loan aid. That's the only way I'll be able to go.

THANKS! off to study for my first Physiology exam of the semester... Monday at 8am. Ouch!