Saturday, April 30, 2011

Long Live Princess Catherine!

If there is one thing that almost every girl has in common, it's a love of Fairy Tales.
Now let me stop and say that I love everything about America. But I've got to admit that England does it right when it comes to tradition, pomp, and circumstance. And what a show was put on yesterday! From the buildings to the coaches to the hats, the Royal Family did not disappoint. Though we didn't see the actual wedding until we attended an afternoon Princess-Wedding-Watching party, we were all struck (and by "all" I mean the girls and me) by the Prince and Princess' first kiss. Not bad timing for Jack that the military fly-by was just a short minute or so later! (as he sat watching the planes and repeating, "brrr-brrr").

The cast came complete with King, Queen, Prince, commoner-turned-Princess, and even a stepmother! Not even Disney can top that!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Power of a Storm

Along with probably every other person living in the northern Hemisphere, I love spring. I love the new green leaves, the dogwood trees, bare legs, and breezy days. But ever since our experience with a tree falling on our house two springs ago, the season also reignites my fear that I've held since growing up in Texas: storms and the tornadoes they bring. Rome has had a tough spring storm-wise, losing power several times, having countless trees fall around town, and even having rows of utility poles snapped in half as high-force winds have caused havoc.

As we were heading out the door on Wednesday morning, a storm bringing nearly 70 mph winds made a quick entrance and exit through our city leaving trees down all over and much of town without power. As schools let out early, evening church was canceled, and helicopters buzzed overhead, the town prepared for a storm that was promised to be much worse. Huddled down in the basement were the 5 of us, our family friends from down the street, along with a couple guys from the team and their girlfriends. After the first big storm passed, we ventured back up to track the storms that were following. Although the earlier prediction was spot-on for much of our region, Rome had little more damage than we'd already received from that early-morning storm. After waking up Thursday morning and seeing the destruction that changed the face of areas just a short drive from here, it's hard to believe the power of nature, along with the blessing that we received in avoiding it.

Virtually oblivious to the danger were these four. Although I won't ever forget the imagine of the four of them in the baby pool in our dark, damp basement (with Jack bouncing up and down in his neighboring pack-n-play), here is a shot of them waiting for the adults to decide our next move. Nothing better to little kids than a midnight storm party!

What a wild night; what an unbelievable reality to wake up to.

Easter Sunday

We had a great Easter celebrating with Chad's sister and her incredible family, Big D and Poppy, and one of the boys from the team, Marqis. The girls are always so excited to see their cousins and, although it was a quick visit, it did not disappoint.

Discovering some early-morning goodies

Our attempt at a family picture... might have to do some zooming on this shot!

Aly, Caroline and Warner before the egg hunt

Jack and Big D... look at that resemblance!

...and resting with Poppy

Snow Birds

Growing up, I remember the time between Super Bowl Sunday until May 1st as being just so special. It was for this 3-month time period that my grandparents would make their annual migration south from the northern tip of Minnesota to where we were in Texas. They would stay at a condominium close to us, be at our sports and school events, and be at our house (often with ooey-gooey Monkey bread) when we came home from school. I LOVED it. Although their stay was not quite as long as the time my brothers and I had with my grandparents, it was just as much of a treat to us. Nana and Papa came for the week prior to Easter, and although it was a short stay according to the calendar, we packed as much together-time as we could. Chad and I were sleeping in the room across from the girls and I think that their conversation while waiting to see Nana and Papa for the first time early Monday morning explains their excitement perfectly:
Aly: "Caro, do you think Nana and Papa are here?!"
Caroline: "Aly! I smell their coffee!" (then after peeking out of their bedroom door),
"Aly, I love Nana and Papa more than Mama and Daddy."
Aly: "Caroline, you can't say that!"

I am rarely caught with my camera so these few pictures don't do the visit justice at all. They were all I took during the entire week!

...At the children's museum in Chattanooga...

Making bugs

Playing in the water

It was so fun to be at a place where Jack could actually get down and enjoy some of the action!

...And just hanging out at home...

Cuddling with Papa

Undivided attention (wait, what's that?!) from Nana
...Now just anxiously awaiting this summer when this family of sick-of-the-heat birds can migrate North to New York!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Christmas in April

What's there not to love about spring? We have spent so much time out in the beautiful weather that our evening bath water is literally yellow from the pollen and live-oak blossoms! But it's amazing how even pollen-filled air just feels so good and healthy.

Although I wouldn't trade these beautiful days for anything, I eavesdropped on the girls playing before dinner and realized that they were longing for another time: Christmas eve. They had on their pajamas they received from us on Christmas eve, they were pretending to leave snacks for Santa, and they kept opening the front door and yelling, "Nana and Papa are here!" It was all I could do not to sit down and book a flight for the family to Syracuse for the weekend!