Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

Our Christmas, 2012, in photos:

Rose #3, as a surprise Little Shepherd in the Christmas Pageant at Church:
With her group of other little shepherds:
(I watched the 5:30 pageant service and there was a problem when Rose #3 lost her headdress.  Luckily it happened before she got onstage; once the group of big and little shepherds are standing there, they are supposed to form a mostly motionless and silent tableau.  She nevertheless felt the need to process the loss of the headdress with the other shepherds, most notably the biggest senior shepherd, Kip.)

And here is a shot of the members of our family who attended the 4:00 service (Rose #1 and #2 were in the children's choir...you can see their vivid red choir robes):

After the pageant is over we always come home and track Santa's progress on the computer:

Here are all three girls huddled by the computer, watching where Santa was headed next:

And Christmas 2012, in food (Christmas Eve tortellini sausage soup YUM!):

Rose #3 loving her dad on Christmas Eve:

I didn't eat any of it, but I cooked a Standing Rib Roast for the group on Christmas night...as I was texting with my brother about cooking questions I abbreviated the dish to "SRR":

And, The Best Yorkshire Pudding Ever:

Duncan came to dinner.  I LOVE Duncan:

I think this sums it up.  We had a wonderful Christmas.  We feel so blessed by our fortune and our family.  We spent a lot of time talking about Mom tonight and for the first time since she died - 2.5 years later - it felt joyous and wonderful and not desperate and sad.

Good night Rose #3, and good night all!

Nothing Whatsoever To Do With Christmas

We were downloading photos from my camera, and we found this one from the inaugural meeting of the Beauty Club.  Isn't this a lovely group of beauties?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School '12-'13

And now I am the mother of a first, third and fifth grader. How did I get to be the mother of old kids? (Please do not feel the need to tell me that "old" and "kids" don't really belong in the same sentence.)

Old kid #1:  Rose #1.  Happy, confident fifth grader.  Came home reporting that she LOVES her teacher, Ms. Richardson.  All teachers will forever be compared to her third grade teacher.  Rose #1 and her third grade teacher Ms. T. were a match made in heaven.  I was sort of embarrassed at myself at spring conferences when I told Ms. T. privately that Rose #1 just LOVED her, but I don't regret telling her.  If I was a teacher, I would want to know things like that.  Anyway, Rose #1 told me at dinner that she thinks Ms. Richardson might measure up to Ms. T!

Rose #3 was just in fashion heaven.  I let her buy a sparkle hat, AND I curled her hair this morning.  I wish you could hear how Rose #3 pronounces the word "curl."  It sounds like "curlul," and it is so darned cute.  She was so happy and cute when I dropped her off at before school care this morning.  Better yet, her kindergarten teacher walked in right after us, and Rose #3 gave her a huge hug, then held her at arm's length, pointed at her purse, and said "I just LOVE your purse!"

Rose #2 was philosophical this morning.  She was excited for school, a little nervous about her new teacher, but generally chipper.  She came home with rave reviews for Ms. Ashcraft.  Rose #2 is my middle baby, who wants plenty of time to think about stuff before she has to pass judgment on it.

Here are the two big girls at the bus stop this morning.  To their credit, they permitted me to take their picture in front of the other 8 or 10 kids at their stop.  (An aside: it was so disgustingly humid this morning, I felt like you could cut the air with a butter knife.  Gag.)

And here they are, lining up for the bus that isn't quite visible in the distance.

Here are my school girls, 2012 - 2013.  We're going to knock 'em dead!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

And, The 4th of July, The Movie Version!

In case you loyal readers have wondered what my voice sounds like, here's your chance.  Lucky you.

Catching Up...July

Although it was 104 degree on July 4, we still did sparklers. Duh.  Rose #2 loved her sparkler, and did not consider it a lightsaber.  No, not whatsoever.
And Rose #3 just wanted to strut down the catwalk.  Er, sidewalk.
Rose #1 was happy.
The epic lightsaber/sparkler battle of 2012!

I must add to this blog that I am walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, and in my infinite wisdom stupidity I did a 12-mile training walk on the 4th at 5:30 in the morning (I thought an "excessive heat warning" might be slightly less excessive at that time of day).  Silly me.  I was SHATTERED.  This is why there is no photograph of me enjoying the 4th - I would have looked like some sort of disaster.  (Unlike usual.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Well, Happy Birthday to You, 6-Year-Old

It was June birthdays at MND tonight...and even though this young lady doesn't have her birthday for a couple more weeks, she got her presents from her Poppy tonight.  A WHOLE NEW OUTFIT!  Sundress, purse, bracelet, and pink shoes.  She LOVED it.  Went right in and changed her clothes.  After she was gone my dad and sister came right over to me and said:  "Where did she COME from?"  Nature or nurture?  I think nature in this case...

In related news, today was our summer nanny's first day of work.  In the category of first world problems, I am jealous of our nanny.  I am embarrassed to type this, but there it is.  I wish I was able to just play with my kids, not worry about 1) money, 2) logistics, 3) food, 4) shelter, 5) laundry, 6) organization, 7) landscaping, 8) thank you notes, 9) why the heck I still have a "make your own snow globe" in the top shelf of my built-in buffet, 10) what junk is lurking downstairs in the basement closet, and why can't I keep it clean, 11) the dirt in the corners of my house, 12) am I going to die without achieving my dreams, 13) why am I so slow to get things...you get the picture.

Of course, the questions remain - if I had the time to play with my kids, would I?  Or would I be so worried about the other things I wasn't doing if I had the time to play that it would make playing unpleasant?  

Sometimes I feel so tortured.  All of this triggered by a sweet picture of an innocent soon-to-be 6-year-old in a white sundress.  Isn't she a doll baby?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Me and Rose #3 walking in Guppy's Grove
 After dinner we went over to Guppy's bench to plant some more flowers.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Cherokee Park maintenance people had not mowed over the flowers we planted in April.

The planting crew

One of the pansies we planted in April

My tree climbing monkeys: Rose #1 and Rose #2

A view from the street - the bench and the flower ring surrounding
I am very thankful for my Roses and miss my mom so much.  I hope everyone had a happy mother's day.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beautiful Flowers

On April 1, 2012 (no fooling) these beautiful flowers appeared in the sanctuary at church in loving memory of Katy Gray, who died on April 10, 2010.  We work to keep her memory alive.  I asked our flower coordinator to put me down for "Sunday closest to April 10" for the next five years.  Every Sunday when the ministers ask us to say the names of people we have brought with us, I always say "Guppy."  (For the last few months I have said "Guppy, Livi and Liam," but I think Livi and Liam are good now!)

I'm no photographer, more's the pity, but these are some pretty flowers, yes?  And here's Guppy's bench:

Sometimes I wonder if Mom would have thought all this grief is maudlin.  I worry that she would have, but I never talked to her about how she felt about losing her own mom.  I guess...grief is grief, right?  We can't get over it any more quickly than we do.  I know she knew we were going to miss her, and she was right.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Daffodils

Rose #2 and a couple of her friends at after-school care found a daffodil, and one of the teachers sent me an email titled "We Love Your Kid."  That is a really nice message to get in the middle of the day. 


I spend so much time agonizing over our life choices: we work too much.  We don't see our kids enough.  We don't get to spend a lot of family time together.  Rose #1's time at home is halfway over, people!  She is halfway to age 18!  (I know, she probably won't be moved out for good at age 18, but still.)  The time when they think that I hung the moon is about to pass us by.  That makes me really sad.

So when I see pictures like the above I am so glad to know that Rose #2 is searching out daffodils in the middle of the day, but oh, how I wish that I was there with her.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

We're Still Here...Practicing Resurrection

Happy Easter!  This morning I was awoken by all three Roses, who had set their alarms for 5:25 a.m. (!!!) and crept down to the kitchen to make H and me a surprise breakfast!  Lightly toasted sourbread toast, Bran Chex, and apple slices.  Luckily they contained their excitement and didn't wake us up until 7:00.  Phew.  The breakfast was, well, delicious!

At our house the E.B. (that's what we call the Easter Bunny) leaves clues to where the Easter baskets might be found.  Each Rose had as many clues as she is years old:  5, 7 and 9.  There was some gnashing of teeth and some grumbling and some pleas for help, but in the end, all three found their baskets.  (See above.)

And, each had a chocolate bunny.  With bitten-off ears in each case.  Well, bitten-off now - they were intact in the package.

I rousted everyone out the door for the 11:00 church service.  Forcing the Roses to sit through church is like asking them to scrub the bathroom floor with a toothbrush or making them organize their clothing drawers:  an unlikely prospect, and certain to not go very well.  After Rose #3 dropped her "Kid's Activity" book and hymnal on the floor for about the 78th time, I almost lost it in the middle of service.  Luckily everything settled down and we made it.  The title of the sermon was "Practicing Resurrection."  I love that.  I also love that our ministers know that on Family Sunday when the kids stay in the worship service for the whole time, the sermon needs to be short.  7 minutes:  PERFECT.

We are about to head out to Cherokee Park to plant flowers at my mom's memorial plaque site and to have an Easter egg hunt (both my ideas, and I think they are fairly brilliant).  Then to dinner at Aunt Boo's.  We are practicing resurrection all the time, aren't we?  Keeping on with life even after terrible loss afflicts us.  Keeping up old traditions and making new ones.  Guppy, we miss you so, so much.  I know you would have loved an Easter egg hunt.  I wish you were there with us to see it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blissed. Out.

Rose #3 and I had a wonderful mother/daughter day today since H went on Rose #1 and #2's ski trip.  We went to Rose #3's ski lesson (at Mt. Como) and then to lunch (Jimmy John's, I'm afraid) and then...to Happy Nails!

I was going to get my own pedicure and then decided it would be more fun to watch Rose #3 enjoy her  time.  She loved getting her feet washed...

And she loved her massage chair...a few times she actually relaxed... 

This is the near final product...I should have waited to take the picture until the nail tech painted flowers on each and every one of her toes!
I had to give Rose #3 a piggyback ride to the car since her nails weren't dry yet...and she kept her little foam flip flops (which I threw away later).

I didn't get a pedicure until I was about 25.  Rose #3 has me beat by 80%!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Welcome Two More Redeemers! (And Farewell Tooth.)

Today we welcome two more redeemers! My niece, Olivia Walker Gray, and my nephew, William Michael Gray, born January 22, 2012, weighing 2 lb 10 oz (Olivia) and 3 lb 1 oz (Liam). They were a teeny bit early (born at 30 weeks) but they are healthy and their mom is healthy and we are SO. DARN. RELIEVED!  Pictures when I get them!

One more piece of news, just slightly less dramatic than the first:  Rose #3 had a wiggly tooth!  She bit into an apple and 24 hours later the tooth was gone.  Here she is in her jack-o-lantern-like glory:

Could we be any happier than to have new babies and one fewer tooth, and so many other blessings?