Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day!  We spent ours at the local Memorial Day Parade, which is a big deal around here, let me tell you.  We walked down just in time to catch the beginning of the parade and stayed for every last bit, catching as much candy as we possibly could (move out of the way, Zosia and Lily are serious about gathering candy).  Hugo pretty much just rolled around on the grass and laughed the whole time, oblivious to the parade that was going on in front of our eyes.

But the parade was pretty great.  Our favorites included the men with the funny hats who had fast little cars (I believe they were the shriners), the circus club, and all of the cultural dance groups.  What fun!  But definitely the best part is walking around and bumping into all the people you know afterwards. It was such a treat to see so many friends!

And I had to include the blueberry cobbler I made on Saturday, which ended up being sooo delicious (below, with a bit of cream on top).  Long weekends are the best, and now we are officially in the summer season.  I can't wait.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

On A Big Girl Bike

We officially have another bike rider in the family!  Lily just turned four a few weeks ago, so I don't think any of us were expecting her to take flight, but she was clearly ready, and an afternoon of working with her on the driveway later, she was ready to give it a try.  

For the record, a big empty parking lot seems to be the best place to learn how to ride a bike, don't you think?  I took Lily down there last week thinking that she would require a good bit of coaching and hand holding.  Well, she just jumped right on the bike and started riding around all by herself.  There's something about these second children... they are just racing to reach milestones.  

Having your kids start out on a balance bike makes for the absolute easiest transition to a regular bike I could ever imagine.  Effortless, I would even say.  The only thing keeping Hugo from a balance bike is that even on the lowest setting, his feet don't quite reach the ground.  Maybe later this summer.

This morning we headed down to the school to give the girls a little time to ride around together.  Hugo was in heaven, there being a fleet of parked school buses in the parking lot.  He just rode his little scooter right next to them, where he remained for a long time.  The girls were racing all around, probably feeling the same boundless freedom every child feels upon learning to ride a bike (don't you remember the the thrill?  Amazing). Ben and I actually brought folding chairs and coffee and just sat back and enjoyed it all!  Quite the show.  Way to go, darling!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On Birthdays and Anniversaries

Ben and I got married the day before my twenty-first birthday.  It was the year of the cicadas, and whenever you stepped outside, there was steady, deafening chirping.  Cicadas lined the trees and ground.  The wedding was beautiful and simple and full of people we loved.  I think if I were a more prissy bride I might have been horrified by all of those insects, but as it was I thought it was fine: biblical and profound, it appealed for my youthful love of the dramatic.

I turned twenty-one the next day, on the first day of our honeymoon.  Our wedding and then my birthday.  Every year since, we have this wonderful, festive week in May.  Our wedding anniversary, my birthday (soon after mother's day).  It blends perfectly, and I love the fact that it is all one wonderful celebration of life and joy, and as we look at the three little children that have surrounded us in our years of marriage, new life too.

Yesterday was our anniversary, but we sort of celebrated my birthday.  First I snuck out for a little afternoon date with my dear friend Michelle, and then came home to a special made-by-Ben birthday dinner including a delicious amaretto cake for dessert.  I actually have somehow convinced Ben to make three separate cakes for my birthday, one for each decade of my life.  So this was the first of many, I suppose.

And today, on my birthday, we are going out for an anniversary dinner together, but I enjoyed a lovely birthday picnic with my sister Irene, Hugo and Lily.  Sandwiches from one of the best sandwich places around, followed by a quick dip in the fountains.  Have I ever mentioned that our Lily has a lot of joy?  Just look at that girl.  Sweet Hugo was quite entertained to watch from a healthy distance, just once walking over and cautiously placing a toe over the spout of a fountain. I think he later regretted it.

There isn't a day that passes that I don't give thanks for every bit of this.  I am surrounded by such love and joy, and that is the ultimate gift.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An Evening Shower

I have been so quiet over here!  The thing is, whenever there are actually things going on, I become distracted by them and forget all about taking pictures and writing down stories.  When things are slow and quiet, I have all the time in the world for documenting and remembering.  But just when they get exciting it's all over!  My sister Irene is staying with us for a little while as she prepares for the birth of her baby (and before her husband joins her from Haiti), so we have been simply enjoying her company and doing things together and  having fun.  I promise to take more pictures.

The other day, one of those strange evening showers moved through.  It was sunny, but raining at the same time, with a rainbow off in the distance.  Zosia and Ben were the only two still awake, so they just stared and stared, enjoying the magnificent beauty that you can sometimes find in such an ordinary moment.  I love it when something beautiful just catches you by surprise like that.

(my sister and mom at the airport.  Just a few weeks until these little guys have a new cousin!)

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Yesterday we got home from a little lake vacation.  We rented a cabin at a state park, and spent the days at the lake: either through walking down to the lake on the little path next to our cabin (where there were great shells that the kids loved collecting) or at the beach, where we spent many hours playing in the sand, wading in the water, and having beach races (take it easy on the kids, Ben!).  There were so many butterflies on the sand (drinking, maybe?) and the kids just ran around yelling "Hi! Butterflies!" "Bye! Butterflies!" or just the abridged "Hi! Bye!" if you're Hugo.

  We had the place just about to ourselves, with a few neighbors trickling in over the course of the morning.

We were all so happy: even Selma (who at heart, really is a water dog) came along and enjoyed the water.  We didn't even minded too much when our air conditioning broke on the car ride home.  We rolled the windows down, Hugo went to sleep, and we enjoyed the breeze in our hair.  Well, we might have been a little overheated by the time we got home.  Is it safe to say that summer is here?

After we got home, we went to pick up one of our favorite people from the world from the airport, and all felt right with the world.  Last night, as I was going to sleep, I had the image of the beach fresh in my memory.