Monday, April 27, 2015

"Not every day is going to go your way."

Dear Em,
I was having a rough day. You could see the stress in my face. You looked up at me & asked me what was wrong. I had to work to calmly reply. "Today is just not going my way."

"Well, not every day is going to go your way. You & Dad tell me that all the time."

I laughed. Sometimes I think God created five year olds so that they can tell people exactly what they need to hear. I couldn't change the way the first half of that day had gone, but I could choose how I would spend the rest of it. I chose you & I chose sunshine & I chose art. My favorite way to destress is to create something.

So, you & I picked up our chalk & headed outside to the front walk. We created pictures in the sunshine, side by side.


You know what? the day didn't end up being so bad. Thanks for helping me turn my rough days around.

I love you so,
Mommy

Thursday, April 23, 2015

TBT: Happy Anniversary House


Dear Em,
Last week we celebrated living in our house for six years. I feel like six years have flown by, & yet, I feel like I've lived under this roof for a lifetime. We truly became a family in this home. I was just a few weeks pregnant the day this picture was taken, but Daddy & I had no idea yet.

This is the house we came home to after finding out I was pregnant. This was the house that we took you home to after you were born. This is the home we all learn & grow in on a daily basis. The colors of the walls may change & the furniture may come & go, but I hope when you think of our home, you think of love. I hope that you will be able to dream in this house, to feel safe in this house, to fall apart in this house, to pick yourself back up in this house, to work hard in this house, to rest in this house, to play in this house, to get serious in this house, to laugh in this house, to seek comfort in this house, to go outside of your comfort zone in this house, to create in this house, & to love in this house as the years go by.

I love you so,
Mommy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stereos & Morning Dance Parties

Dear Em,
You were gifted a karaoke machine for Christmas. You don't use the microphone very often (you don't really need to, you project your voice very well all on your own). Instead, you've started to use your karaoke machine as your very own stereo.

Lately, Daddy & I have been woken up to the sound of music...the sound of Annie to be specific. You have the Annie soundtrack on CD. You pop it into "your stereo" pretty much whenever you're in your room. From my bedroom, I can hear your music blaring. Daddy & I feel like we're already seeing glimpses of what life might be like when you're a teenager.

It was just past 6am the other morning when I peeked into your room, & you were dancing all around & singing along at the top of your lungs. You looked up at me, smiling from ear to ear. "Mommy, I'm having a dance party. Want to have a dance party with me?!"


Can I just tell you how much I freaking love you?

I love you so,
Mommy

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Our First Kayaking Adventure of 2015


Dear Em,
Temperatures were in the 70s on Saturday, & we were all thrilled. You dressed yourself in a bathing suit & sunhat. I thought you were kind of jumping the gun with the bathing suit, but I was also ready to enjoy the day outdoors. We loaded our kayaks onto our car & headed to Ninigret Park for our first kayaking adventure of the season.


We've been to Ninigret Park so many times for the Seafood Festival, playground, your soccer games, frisbee golf & outdoor movies. Little did I know, there is still so much more to the park. There is also a nature trail & salt water boating area.


It was a gorgeous day, & the sun's rays sparkled on the water. The currents were strong, but I loved that we could hear the crash of the ocean waves most of the time we kayaked. You took pictures while we explored rocks, shells, sea creatures, & even people clamming.


I had thought it was a little premature to be donning our bathing suits, but it ended up being perfect that you had put yours on. There were many shallow spots where you could jump out of the kayak & go exploring. This is exactly what you need, because you can get a little bit antsy from sitting in the kayak for too long with so many exciting things around you.


It was a beautiful start to our kayaking season. I'm looking fun to exploring many more kayaking spots with you & Daddy this year.

I love you so,
Mommy

Monday, April 20, 2015

Reading Fancy Nancy


Dear Em,
At the beginning of the school year, you set some goals for yourself. A couple weeks ago, you met one of your goals. You read your first Fancy Nancy book. Actually, you read your first collection of Fancy Nancy books.


You were so excited to be reading Fancy Nancy. Typically, you are begging us to read to you. With your Fancy Nancy collection, you were asking to read to us. You have a new confidence in being able to read your favorite books, & it's really amazing. I'm so proud of you.

I love you so,
Mommy

Friday, April 17, 2015

love letters

Dear Em,
The spring sun has finally come out for us Rhode Islanders, & I've loved (& needed) every second of it. Earlier this week, we headed to the beach after dinner to take a walk as a family. You collected rocks & seashells, & Daddy tried to teach you to skip rocks in the ocean (you ended up pegging Daddy in the back with your rock...you might need a little more practice).

You knelt down & began writing in the sand, as you love to do now. "Mommy, I wrote you a note!" You proudly showed me the words you had inscribed in the sand. There, just beyond the crashing waves, was a love letter that brought tears to my eyes.


"I put my feet prints all around it so you would know the note came from me."


Sigh, walks on the beach are my favorite after dinner activity...especially when they're with you.

I love you so,
Mommy

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Oozeball


Dear Em,
Spring has finally sprung. We went from wearing winter coats & hats outside to not even needing jackets in just a short week. This spring weather reminds me of Oozeball at URI.

I was a freshman the first time I participated in Oozeball. What is Oozeball? Basically, they dig large, dirt courts in a field on the outskirts of campus. Then the fire department comes & hoses all the courts down. They put up volleyball nets, & tons of URI students come out to play a volleyball tournament in the mud.

I'm not the best volleyball player, & I never played Oozeball to win. I just went to have fun playing in the mud with my friends. The mud is pretty mild at first. It starts as just enough to get your sneakers muddy. The fire fighters continue to hose down the courts throughout the day. By the end, the mud was knee deep & I was typically covered from head to toe in it. It was amazing!


My URI days have been over for a long time now, & so are my fun days in the mud. As a responsible mom, all I can think of is how much the URI Housing Custodial Staff must hate Oozeball & the trail of mud it brings to the dorms. I think the fun was totally worth the mess. If only we could convince Daddy to dig out a big pit in the middle of our his lawn (he will murder me if he reads this)...

I love you so,
Mommy

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Beginning of Our Backyard Renovations

Dear Em,
When we bought our house, we loved the big backyard that came with it. There was a large bush in the middle of the yard. I looked at it & thought, "someday when we have children in high school going to formal dances & proms, they can stand in front of that bush with their friends for photos." We didn't even know we were pregnant with you yet, but that's pretty much how my mind works.

We moved into our home, & soon you came along. You filled our backyard with fun & laughter. We bought a big swing, & stuck it in front of the bush. We plucked lilacs from the back of the bush in the spring. The bush continued to grow, & we lived around it.

Before
Before
Before

Gradually I started to look at the bush as less of a photo backdrop & more of an obstruction. We have this great big yard, but the bush kind of breaks it in half. Plus, as the bush grew, it continued to take up more & more space. During the spring & summer it could be pretty, but really, the bush just started to aggravate me.

Before

We have plans for some big backyard renovations this year. The bush was the first thing to go.

Mid Backyard Renovations

You shed a few adorable tears  as they begun to cut down all of the bush's branches. "But that's our bush," you said sadly. We've recently realized you don't really like change. We promised you a big, more user friendly yard.

Mid Backyard Renovations

We haven't (tried) to replant the lilac bushes elsewhere yet, but the yard already feels so much bigger to me. I can't wait for our new backyard oasis to be finished. You're going to love it...even more than you apparently loved that bush. I promise.

I love you so,
Mommy

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Maternity Leave


Dear Em,
It's hard to believe that five years ago I was on maternity leave. I took four & a half months months of leave after you were born (most of it unpaid), & it was the most amazing gift. I needed every single one of those 4 1/2 months. I had a body that felt beyond broken & this new & incredible baby that I just couldn't get enough of.

Much of my maternity leave was spent recovering from childbirth & being spit up on & not getting enough sleep & caring for a newborn that needed 99% of my time & attention. I remember days when Daddy would come home from work & I would be in a sports bra & underwear because you had spit up on all of my clean clothes I fit in & I didn't have time during the day to do any laundry. Still, those were four & a half of the most incredible months of my life.

Most of my maternity leave was during the winter months, but we didn't let that stop us. We did everything, you & I. We went on walks at the bike path & beach. We went to the zoo & the aquarium (even though you were too young to pay attention to any of it). We went shopping. We traveled to North Carolina. We went to story time. We visited with friends. We played at home. We snuggled. We napped. I spent endless hours just watching your changing facial expressions. I fell more in love with you each & every precious day.

I never even considered being a stay at home mom until I had the wonderful gift of 4 1/2 months of time home with you. I dreaded going back to work. I was going to miss you way too much. I did a lot of crying. There was a lot of help from your daddy, our family, & the amazing nannies who watched you. But we did it. I made it back to work, & I'm glad I did. I think it's what is best for our family.

Still, when I think back to those precious 4 1/2 months...Sigh, it puts a smile in my heart just thinking about it.

I love you so,
Mommy

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

We're Gardeners...Well, We're Trying

Dear Em,
For years I have been looking at other people's pictures of their garden harvests with longing. The problem is, I don't have much of a green thumb. For a long time, I couldn't even keep indoor plants alive. Vegetable gardens intimidate me.

Even though it might be an epic disaster, we're going to try growing our own vegetables this year. We started by purchasing some jiffy pots, soil, & seeds. We're starting with cucumbers, green beans, summer squash, & watermelon. We also bought flower seeds. Armed with little kits, you & I planted our seeds inside this past weekend.


So far we've seen some flower sprouts starting to come up. We haven't seen anything happening on the vegetable side of things, but I think that's normal. I actually have no idea what is normal. Lucky for us, Nonnie will be here in a couple months. I may not have a clue what I'm doing, but she always seems to.


Hopefully, we will be able to harvest something at the end of this new adventure, but if not, I still had fun sharing this gardening experience with you.

I love you so,
Mommy
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