Monday, March 19, 2018

Lucky Spring

We had a lovely spring weekend! 

Saturday, we took Mom out for brunch to celebrate her birthday and then spent some time walking the river walk and enjoying some actual sunshine. We spent the afternoon hanging out with the street party and watching all of the kids enjoy the warm weather and being together. We ended our day with Irish stew and sode bread feeling the luck of the Irish indeed.

Yesterday, I was really sick. I woke up with no voice and a terrible cough that would leave me breathless. It was super fun. But...the best husband in the world took care of me, and by dinner I felt like I needed some fresh air. The weather was just too pretty to stay in, and I was hopeful some fresh air would help clear the yuck. It sorta worked. But when we got home, the kids were not ready to come inside:

 Yep. They are wittling spears. They have delusions of spear fishing with them. Rest assured Daddy was on hand to supervise and wittle himself:
We are trying to soak in every drop of spring before it snows here again on Wednesday. I can't even.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Family Walk

Almost every night since January 1, Brad and I have taken an after dinner walk. We have walked in snow, but we avoid the rainy nights. It's been really lovely.

When the temperatures got a little warmer, we started taking the dogs with us. They were a hot mess. But, we now have harnesses for their craziness and they are actually pleasant to walk again. (There is nothing worse that two easily distracted dogs yanking your arm off every time they see a squirrel.)

Now that it's not quite so dark after dinner, the kids decided to join us. It only works if dinner is ready as soon as dance is over and everyone has their homework finished before dinner. In fact, last night was the first night it actually worked. And it was lovely. This could very easily become my favorite time of the day, walking and chatting and laughing our way through the neighborhood.

Monday, March 12, 2018


At the end of last week, Brad and I went to Asheville! I had a conference, and he agreed to tag along. I was actually the co-chair for the conference, and it went really well. In the evenings, Brad and I ventured out for great food and enjoyed some time just being. We've both been crazy busy with work and running the kids, and we had barely seen each other! We are so grateful Mom was able to stay with the kids and give us a little break. We also got to see some snow flurries, which is beautiful when the backdrop is the mountains.

Today, I'm frantically redoing my schedule because we are supposed to get snow here--again. The kids will get out of school at 11, and I'm trying to get out of the office by noon. My hyacinths and I are not happy.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Who Knew...

Brad was going through some old digital files this weekend, and he came across a treasure trove of old photos. These were among some of my favorites:
 That is Dr. Carmen Trisler, the woman I accidentally worked for throughout my undergraduate career. We couldn't have been more different. She was a science person--entomology to be specific--and I was an English major who was afraid of bugs--a fear I quickly got over when I TAed the class. She was a fan of blue and black, and I was forever in pink or lavendar. He greatest act of love was buying a lavendar dress to wear to my wedding. I was hyper type-A and she was a piler.

But oh did we laugh:
I love that picture! It's clearly a serious moment, but she and I can't quite keep it together.

When I shared her office, I thought I would be a high school English teacher for the rest of my life. When we were writing grants at the last minute, I never imagined I would be writing my own someday. When I watched her advise students and handle counseling students out of ed, I never imagined I would be doing the same. When I tried to straighten her piles and help her prioritize, I never imagined have a graduate assistant doing the same for me.

I never imagined the career I have now, but I am so very, very grateful I have her as a model. I think of Dr. T. a million times a day, usually as I'm chuckling about a deadline flying at me at warp speed. I find myself following the path she laid before me, and it's an amazing path to follow.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Last weekend, Issa competed at Thunderstruck, and boy did she have a great weekend!

None of us could believe how incredible tap looked:
 And look at my girl smiling as she taps:
 And looking fierce:
 Jazz won the judge's award for performance and synchronization, which is awesome:

 It's a fast dance, so the pictures weren't as great:

 Musical theater was fabulous! They are doing "Fathoms Below" from Little Mermaid, and Issa plays Grimsby, Eric's advisor:
 She really brings the character to life:

 And we think they are a good-looking bunch of raggedy sailors:

 Production has a school days theme this year:

 And her solo, well, I cried:
 Her strength:
 Her joy:

 Her poise:

 She's grown so much since her first solo:

 And I love watching her dance:

 And lyrical is still her favorite:

 She loves getting to do a lift:
And the studio was Top Studio for the weekend:
This weekend, she and I will head to Concord for Radix. She will only be taking classes this weekend, and I can't wait to see her do her thing!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Science Extravaganza

Another Science Extravaganza is in the books! This one included more community scientists, including some of a most unusual variety:
 The dojo came to talk about Ninja Physics, and they were a huge hit!
 I also could not be more proud of my girl or more grateful for my mom:
 We had a scientist who was all set to do a slime demo, and Issa was ready to assist. Unfortunately, her little guy got sick and she couldn't make it. Enter Issa. And then Nana. They were so popular, and our girl kept her cool and helped all those little people see the physical reactions. Mom stepped in with the assist and stayed way longer than she planned to help.

The night was truly better than we hoped! Last year, we had just under 100 people; this year, we were well over 200! We doubled community participation and added additional clubs from the school. It was a good thing.

This is the one event Brad and I do together--just us. He handles the community stuff, and I handle the school stuff. It's a dream team. So much so the school administration is trying to get us to have another baby so we can stay at New Hope longer. (Not happening!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is kind of a big deal at our house. We spend the first thirteen days of February counting down to the big day. Every morning, the kids and Brad wake up to some little treat reminding them how much I love them. It's so fun.

And I wait for the big day! It was Brad and I's first date, so it's special in so many ways. Brad had planned the perfect surprise date for me years ago, and it ended hysterically when the restaurant lost our reservation and we ended up at Taco Bell.'s kind of been the pattern ever since. Life and work has been crazy lately, so we've been hanging on for dear life. I had huge plans of heart shape burgers and purple sweet potato oven fries, but there was a dance mom emergency that derailed the prep time. I called Brad to let him know dinner was going to be late, and he suggested we punt to plan b: frozen appetizers.

It's not what I envisioned, but we lit the candles and sat around the table. The kids chatted about their Valentine's exchanges, and Brad and I told the story of our first date. It was fun and warm and a celebration of love.

A few years ago, I'm pretty sure that scene would have put me over the edge, but I've gotten pretty comfortable with less than perfect evenings--they make the best memories...