Wednesday, April 25, 2018

"Raise Creative Kids," They Said...

..."It will be fun," they said!

And in so many ways, they are right. The kids are in a particularly creative season. They are crafting and tinkering up a storm. I love hearing their giggles and their problem solving as they are in this creative zone.

But last night. Last night, I cleaned Issa's bathroom. What I will say for my creative children is they totally cleaned their tools and art brushes. However, I swear they murdered a fairy in there. The sink and counter were covered in little watered-down paint dots and glitter remnants. I think there was some oil of some sort. It was...special.

It cleaned up relatively easily, but we did have a meaningful conversation about cleaning up your cleaning up. Bless.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018



Being super behind on the laundry, getting almost caught up, with all of the hanging clean things hanging nicely on hangers, only to have the new bottle of laundry detergent explode and shoot detergent all over said nicely hanging clean things requiring them to go back in the washer.


Owning six umbrellas for four people and only being able to locate one on the morning it is pouring rain and then giving said umbrella to the tween girl who has a bit of a walk from drop off to the school.


Struggling to get into your poncho in the car because you gave the only umbrella to the tween only to remember halfway through that particular debacle that you bought yourself a rain coat last year and could have saved yourself all this trouble.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Another Season in the Books

Issa and I enjoyed the last competition of the season this weekend. It was our first time at Power of Dance, and I think it may be my very favorite competition. Their focus is helping dancers learn that they can use their gift to help their community, so every dance earned a donation for the charity of the studio's choice. The better the dance did, the more money it earned. To date, the competition has donated over $45,000 to various charities this season. I love it!

Before we get in to the weekend, I need to dedicated some space to this right here:
 I will be forever grateful for Mrs. Lauren and her role in Issa's life. She gets our girl, and she knows how and when to push and when to just love. And those smiles. They had a great warm-up, and then Issa brough it on stage. All that we ask is that she gets better every time she competes, and she got expenontially better this weekend:
While we are proud of her score and her over-all, we are most proud of the judge's award. She was given the Light award for her presence, extension, and energy. It is everything she has been working on this season, and it all came together this weekend. Lauren and I were both in tears when she came off stage. I can't wait to see where this dance journey takes us next.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Date Night

All week, Brad has been tormenting me. Life has been crazy lately, so we spent our Friday night date nights side by side with our laptops watching a movie. We keep planning to go out, but it doesn't happen. Last week, I finally broke and said I really needed to actually go out.

Cue Monday when Brad announces we are definitely going out Friday and I need to dress up. And that's it. He wouldn't tell me anything else. Finally this morning, he told me we are going to see a show in Raleigh! I can't wait.

And here's the truth: we don't have time. We have been pulling laundry we need out of the dryer or mound on top. I haven't dusted in two weeks. We both have work work piled to the ceiling. We've juggling end of the semester and consulting schedules. It's ugly. In fact, we are so nuts we are eating dinner at home before we go because it's the only option, but at least we are actually eating a nice dinner together.

And I'm so very glad we are making time.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

This is Love

Last week, I needed to sew some patches onto the boys' dojo uniforms. Evan earned his punching patch, and Brad earned his ridiculously large coach patch. As I finished sewing, I couldn't help but smile at this little scene:
I openly admit I'm a sentimental pack rat. Brad jokes our house is where all homeless family relics come to live. But I use them! They make me happy. I can feel the love when I hold them, and I love telling the kids the stories of the items and the people who loved them.

The tin is Gram's sewing kit. I love that when I open it I can still smell her home, and I laugh at the spools with enough thread left to sew the tiniest buttons. She never wasted anything, and I hold onto those spools and smile every time I see them.

The thimble was Bushka's. She is by far the best seamstress I've ever known. I'm sure she would have plenty to say about the way I sewed those patches on, but I feel more competent just using her thimble.

And the purple sewing kit is filled with my own mishmash of things, but the empty kit was a trade with Jodie our first Christmas in NC. We swapped that sewing kit for some Christmas decorations I had that I wasn't in love with. We both thought we got the better end of the deal. Jodie taught me how to make curtains, and she's still one of my favorite people on the planet.

That's a whole lot of love and memories in that picture, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

No More Extra Teeth

Yesterday, Evan finally had all those extra teeth removed. 

I was an utter wreck. I know this kind of oral surgery is super routine, but Evan was cool as a cucumber. In fact, his surgeon declared him the most "chill" patient--adult or child--he has ever had. And Evan was not an easy case. After the surgery, our incredible surgeon told us he came in early that morning to run through the surgery a few more times. He really wanted to get all the teeth out, and he did:
They are arranged there the way they were in his mouth. The two bottom teeth were the baby teeth that wouldn't come out. It was nuts.

Here's what I will forever be grateful for:

1. When they were ready to take Evan back, I had to stay in the waiting room. The same nurse that met us at the consult was there to be his person, and I will be forever grateful for the one moment when our eyes met and I knew she had him. He walked back talking about video games and smiling.

2. Our surgeon was beyond incredible. Not only did he spend extra time rehearsing the surgery, but he answered all of our questions and chatted with Evan in a way that he could understand.

3. The discharge nurse was awesome. She explained everything so well, and she made sure we were all okay before we got in the car.

4. Evan has had no pain! We have kept him on Motrin, but he is eating and drinking normally. He slept all night, and he's frustrated we wouldn't let him go to school today.

5. The surgeon has called to check on him twice! He called last night and again this morning. Evan has 11 stitches; this wasn't a little surgery. I appreciate the follow-up.

We will be enjoying soft foods for another week, but we are feeling so very blessed that all went so well!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Keeping it Real

When I started this blog, I promised to capture the little moments--the real stuff in our home. In that spirit, I wanted to share the photos I sent my sister last week.

This was my zen:
 Those are rose scented candles. Norah Jones was playing in the background. It looks like we have it all together and life couldn't get any better. I stood in the middle of the kitchen to soak it all in. It was lovely, and I needed it because when I turned around I saw this:
I had two extra events on campus last week--both of which required a lot of extraverting, which just makes me so tired. Brad is juggling three major deadlines. Evan goes in for his oral surgery tomorrow. Life is crazy. We cooked all week, but dishes were just not the priority.

That's the reality. I don't even try to keep all the balls in the air any more. I just keep the important ones up, and when I have a minute I pick up those that dropped. Dishes dropped last week. I got it all cleaned up this weekend. It's all good. And when all else fails, I just light the rose candles and put my back to the mess.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Spring Break Staycation

 We had an absolutely marvelous spring break last week. We had high hopes of maybe going somewhere this year, but the stars did not align. Daddy was swamped with work, so we decided to stay home and truly staycation. The kids and I went somewhere fun every day!

Monday, we started at the Greensboro Science Center, and Nana got to tag along:
 Petting sting rays and watching the gibbons eat were by far the highlights. They have recently redone their aquarium, and it was definitely worth the trip! Evan is definitely the creature spotter, and Issa loved reading the interactive signs and telling us all about the creatures he found.

Tuesday, the kids and I headed for the zoo. It was crazy weather! When we arrived in the morning, it was cloudy and foggy, which made the animals in North America very happy and active. By lunch, it had warmed up and we shared a picnic table with a lovely family of teachers before we took in the new bird show! It was amazing to see birds from all of the world do their natural behaviors. I never want to meet an African Condor in the wild. The kids were also feeling goofy:
 Evan is petting the ocelot Issa is becoming.

It was also the seventh anniversary of our first zoo trip, so the kids recreated our first zoo picture:
 Wednesday, we went to the Natural Science Museum in Raleigh where we enjoye a great illusions and mazes exhibit. In addition to the usual optical illusions, they had a host of full body mazes:
 Evan loved playing with the laser maze:
 I was so proud of him. He had it almost finished when a toddler came up and moved two mirros. The parent was mortified, but Evan just shrugged it off.

Issa loved playing with the light box:
 Thursday, we went to our favorite Life and Science Museum in Durham, which of course meant we needed the picture:
 For the first time, the kids spent nearly two hours in the contraptions exhibit just tinkering away:
 They also convinced me to climb to the top of the tree house with them:
The view was great, but climbing back down the nets almost was the end of me! I do not like heights, but the kids were so proud of me. The view from the top was also worth it:
Friday, we went bowling, because it's what you do on spring break:
Please examine the score board: 
I have never bowled like that in my life!

It was a great week, and we are slowly settling back into the school routine. Evan has already started the count down to summer break, though: 41 days!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Aunt Shannon Pulls Through

Aunt Shannon did capture some moments on Easter! This is probably one of the best family photos we have taken in a while:
 And Aunt Shannon clearly wins with the Easter outfits:
Don't you love the egg wearing a hat and monicle?

Here is the other thing I love: no one got a picture of the egg hunt! The kids are much faster and much more competitive. It was kind of a blur. We will cherish the memories, but there will be no evidence.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Hoppy Easter

We have been Eastering and Spring Breaking and generally loving life these days! It will probably take me a few days to get the blog caught up on all of our fun!

On Good Friday, we decorated eggs at Nana's house:
 The big surprise, though, was that Aunt Shannon got to join the fun!!!
 A close up of her one perfect egg:
 She called Tuesday to let us know she was coming, and I might have full-out ugly cried. I kind of like my sister. She has a client in Charlotte, and she took the train up to spent the holiday with us. The funniest thing was surprising the kids Thursday night with a trip to the train station to get her. Nana let it slip Thursday afternoon she was coming for Easter, but the kids didn't realize we were picking her up until we were actually in the train station. It was awesome.

This year, the kids made a whole egg family. Evan started the whole thing when he made General Teal:
 Issa then made him a wife and daughter. Evan made some extra soldiers:
 It was such fun.

Saturday we ate too much food and just generally enjoyed all being together. Sunday, we went to sunrise service, and I would like the record to show that the Bowers were there early! It was a little Easter miracle. Of course, I took zero pictures on Easter. I'm pretty sure Aunt Shannon did, though. Thank goodness for Aunt Shannon!