Monday, January 24, 2011

Dancing Cinderellas

I love ballet. I've written multiple posts about the girls' and my trips to Atlanta to watch various ballets and how much we love those elegant, graceful, beautiful ballerinas.
But they don't hold a candle to watching my own girls twirl and kick. There is nothing like sparkly costumes and a touch of make-up to make any girl feel like a true prima ballerina. Add the fact that the entire recital is danced to praise music and it makes for quite an emotional day. There is nothing like watching the two most precious girls in your world envisioning themselves as the Sugar Plum Fairy as they dance their hearts out to "Everlasting God". As I watched Chad watching his girls, I couldn't help but think about the truth of the lines from the Steven Curtis Chapman song "Cinderella":

So I will dance
with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll
be gone...

They may decide to never take ballet again, but they will
always be our very own Dancing Cinderellas.
Dress rehearsal with best buddies Alli (left) & Lizzy (right)
{and WONDERFUL Ms. Meredith!}

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Word Choice

I realized this morning that choosing words is important, even to a 3- and 4-year-old. Our realtor called late last night and asked if he could show our house at 9:00 this morning. So in the midst of the already-hectic morning routine, we had to throw in an extra cleaning and straightening. While I was in the girls' room surveying the havoc, I saw a pile of 'junk' at the foot of each bed:



I said (quite carelessly in hindsight), "Girls, you need to come in your room and find a place for this JUNK." Catching me off-guard were wails of, "Mama, it's NOT JUNK!" But yes it was! (to me, that is.) To me, they were two piles of old party-favors and Happy Meal Toys. Even a broken camera. In a hurry, I re-phased: "Ok. It's not junk, but I want it put away before the people come to look at our house!" But to the girls, these piles were carefully-selected treasures. They said, "But Mama, last night we made a pile of the things we're going to put in our suitcases to take to Nana and Papa's house!" Though the trip isn't scheduled until late summer and these piles will have to find another home until then, I couldn't help but realize that one man's trash truly is another man's (or child's!) treasure!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have to laugh when I look back at my last post when, after one snow day I wrote, "Now I'm trying to gear up for a couple more." Turns out that our entire town shut down for the week--school cancelled for the entire week, no grocery deliveries, and most businesses closed until at least Thursday. On top of a snow week at home, the stomach bug came to visit our family, starting with Jack Friday night, working it's way through the parents, then Caroline (and Jack again!) last night. I went ahead and kept Aly out of school today too, as I felt like it was the responsible thing to just go ahead and quarantine ourselves.

There are a couple silver linings to our germ-infested prison:
1. Our washing machine broke down last Sunday, right as the snow began to fall. We, of course, couldn't leave our house to buy a new one until Thursday...just in time for load-after-load of throw-up-smelling towels and sheets! Praise the Lord this bug didn't visit a few days earlier!

2. Chad was out of town a few days last week. As he was cleaning Jack while I was bathing Caroline around 2am this morning, I had to praise the Lord again that this happened while he was at home with us! Nothing says, "TEAM" like early-morning-multiple-vomit-cleanup.

So, if my predictions are correct, Aly should wake up in the middle of the night tonight, get sick, stay home tomorrow...and then we'll be finished? Right? We'll see. But above all else, I'm thankful that the worse is behind us. (Quick! Knock on wood!!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

We woke this morning to a thick6-inch-blanket of snow. It was a day full of cuddling in bed, movies, playing, and snowman-building.

We were joined in our yard this afternoon by 8 other people to construct the biggest snowman around!

{poor little guy!}

The men stayed outside for several hours with this as the end result:

Very impressive! It was so big that it had to wear a beach towel as a scarf and baseball bats for arms! One snow day was a fun break from the ordinary! Now I'm trying to gear up for a couple more. Yikes.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Little Monday Night Heartache

We have had a great Christmas vacation, but school for the older two started today and I can't lie about the fact that I was ready for a schedule again, ready for some one-on-one time with Jack. But as I was packing lunches last night, I was overwhelmed by that familiar feeling of bittersweet sadness. It hit me that this will be the last semester that Aly is in preschool; the last semester (for a while) that the girls come home with stories that include seeing one another in the others' classroom and sitting together at pick-up; the last semester when Aly is home in the mid-day when we can steal an hour away from the other kids to have some "special time" of sewing or coloring. The fact that her 5th birthday is only a month away makes that wound a little more poignant today. I remember sitting in bed on the eve of her first birthday watching Steel Magnolias and just crying. I can't believe how quickly it goes! I find that it's a relief to me that Caroline still has a year of preschool left, still has 7 months to a birthday (and best of all, pretends daily to visit Neverland so that she'll never grow up!) And my baby baby, Jack, is a month shy of one! Just one more month of bottles and then they'll disappear from this house...forever!

I know that childhood is fleeting, that every stage is precious, and that stages just get sweeter and sweeter. But I have to say that last night, as they were all asleep in bed, I couldn't help but stand and stare at each sleeping baby just a few minutes longer than usual.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Catch-up

Merry Christmas and happy New Year! What a memorable two weeks we've had! The flu-bug made it's way around the family which kept us from our usual Christmas parties (boo!), but we still packed in our annual family traditions--aches, fevers, and all! Although the flu was an unwelcome guest, it left the house just in time for a Christmas Eve and Day full of welcomed guests: Nana and Papa, Big D and Poppy, one of our favorite basketball boys, and a day full of snow! Between a house-full of Christmas toys and a yard-full of Christmas snow, the kids were out-of-their-minds crazy. The adults voted for a post-bedtime Christmas dinner...the kids were asleep by 7 and we were left to enjoy some peace and conversation!

Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas...

'Princess Baby' from Santa

Aly's biggest Christmas request: a Baby Alive

A very excited Jack (thanks to the rocking horse from Big D & Poppy)

Jack's first snow!

The Warner Family (along with Snowman Warner)

Papa and Jack (after a full Christmas day!)

The train at the mall (2 happy girls and one ECSTATIC little boy!)

AND HAPPY 2011!!