Friday, April 29, 2016

Mountain Adventure

Yesterday, Issa and I headed to school at 6 am to get a charter bus:
 We headed to Grandfather Mountain and Linville Caverns with the entire fourth grade, all 110 of them! We had never been there, and it certainly didn't disappoint. We started our day at the Nature Museum on Grandfather Mountain:
 I got to hang out with Issa and her friend, Melanie, who had never been to the mountains. The museum included a really well done video about the Mountain itself. We then went out with a naturalist to see four of the 13 habitats on the Mountain in the outside portion of the museum. They had been studying animal adaptations, and the naturalist did an awesome job of making those connections. Finally, we walked the Mile High Bridge:
I was just fine until we got to the middle and the bridge started to sway in the wind. Heights are not my friend, but we made it: 
We ate lunch on the way to the caverns, which were incredibly cool! They are living caverns, and our guide did an amazing job connecting the history, biology, and geology of the caverns. We were also able to experience total darkness, which was one of the most surreal experiences in my life.

It was a great trip. Issa is still talking about it. And doing it with Melanie, watching her eyes get wider when she saw the mountain. Hearing her artist's eyes analyzing the many shades of green in the valley. Well...my heart grew three sizes that day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Most Adorable Dinner Date

Last night, Issa was invited to go to the UNC baseball game to meet the UNC student who has been her pen pal all year! Each student was allowed to bring one parent, and Issa decided she wanted a Daddy Date. That meant that Evan and I had a night on our own.

We went to the dojo, and then I told him I would take him out to dinner where ever he wanted to go. He chose Maggiano's, and I was so impressed by the staff. The manager who seated us picked up on the fact that we were on a bit of a mother/son date, and he let Evan take the lead, asking him if the table was okay. He also sent a waitress over and gave her the heads up, so she let Evan take the lead for the table. It was adorable.

And...he was the most adorable dinner date:
 We only took the camera out because he wanted to take a picture of his dessert:
Future foodie right there.

We had such a good time. He talked my ear off. We talked about school and his friends and what he wants to be when he grows up. He is so darn funny. I just love him to pieces.

About half way through dinner, he decided he and I should do this more often. Issa and I get lots of girl time, but Evan and I don't get enough one on one outings. I couldn't agree more, and I plan to make it a priority to get a little extra quality time with this little man who is growing up before my eyes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

At the End of the Day

Yesterday was crazy. Nothing went wrong, but lots of things went slightly sideways. Meetings ran long. Dinner plans fell through. Brad's flight home was delayed. Sideways.

Brad made it home just in time to tuck, and then he and I collapsed on the futon to watch an episode of Turn, our latest addiction (mostly mine).

And at the end of the day, that's enough. No matter how sideways the day went, it was enough to be curled up with him watching our show. Just being together. It's always enough.

Monday, April 25, 2016

On Calves and Kids

Saturday morning, the kids and I headed out to the farm. This time of year we struggle to get out there between dance and school schedules, but the stars aligned and we were able to do Saturday.

Spring is one of my favorite times on the farm. We arrived to see nine piglets, three calves, and two kids. There is nothing more adorable than baby animals. And...we've been working on the farm long enough that we were greeted with, "Great! You're here! The calves need bottles--all three at the same time. Thanks!"

We were too happy to oblige. We bottle fed the calves. These three are much stronger than our poor guy last year, so it was an easy feed. I love watching the kids take care of the livestock. I hope these are moments that they will remember.

Once everyone was fed, we started on the other spring work. Issa set off to harvest. Evan and I weeded a section of the hoop house and planted some edible flowers that the camp chef requested. We then turned our attention to creating two new beds from the ground up. We will plant tomatoes and pepper in them, but I loved the time with Evan. He tends to chat while he's pitchforking wheel barrows of compost. I love seeing the world through his eyes. The three of us also got to on a hike to find logs to edge the new beds. Spring in the woods is glorious.

We ended the day by harvesting for the camp kitchen with the camp chef. Issa was in all her glory chatting with him; she can hardly wait to be in his camp this summer!

I spent yesterday recovering because I way overdid it after the past few weeks of crazy. Exhaustion and sore muscles caught up with me. But, I wouldn't trade that morning for anything,

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Great Friends

I've mentioned before that our street has become a village. We are basically a parenting collective on any given day. But last night I was reminded that it's not just about the kids.

I was sitting at the dojo when my phone buzzed. I had an incoming call from one of the dads down the street, and he never calls me. Like ever. So of course I answered assuming they were in a major jam. Here's the conversation.

"Oh good! It's not you!"

"Marty?"

"Yeah. I just saw a van and a woman that looked like you parked on the on ramp to 85. If it was you, I was going to turn around and see what you needed."

"Nope. Not me. I'm at the dojo. Thanks, though!"

"Yep. Bye."

End of story. Notice he didn't say I was going to see if you needed help. Had it been me, he was turning around. That is a great friend.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Because Why Not

I have recently discovered Amazon Pantry. I love that I can order things we use at a discount and it just shows up on my porch. I have also been able to find some great options for Issa for lunches and snacks with no nitrates or MSG. It is good.

The kids love Amazon pantry for this:
It's a huge box. And last night they decided to do their homework in the box. Because why not.

Monday, April 18, 2016

It's A Wrap

Another dance season is in the books! We finished our last competition on Saturday, and I couldn't be more proud of this girl:
 She has grown so much this year. She made the giant leap from being a Tiny to being a Mini, and she felt herself being stretched. There were new challenges that come with being on a larger, more competitive team, and she rose to them. She has already set new goals for this summer next year, and I will be behind her every step of the way as she works towards those.

After her last dance, she did this:
She put a big old red lipstick kiss on my hand and whispered thank you. Thank you, sweet girl, for allowing me to witness your journey. I love you to the moon and back...