Tuesday, April 30, 2019

My Sweet Poet

After dinner last night, Issa casually asked if she could read me a poem. Then she hit me with this.
I'm still teary.

p.s. She calls Frosty Flirken. I can't explain.

Monday, April 29, 2019

And the Birthday Celebrating Begins...

Since Brad and I are both taking my students to Italy, Evan's birthday celebrating started even earlier this year with his friend party Saturday. He is nothing if not predictable; the party was pretty much a repeat of last year. The same three buddies. The same jumping at Defy Gravity. The same sleep over not to be called a slumber party because boys don't have slumber parties. I won't make that mistake again.

His friends are so sweet. They know him well: legos and nerf and a $10 bill so he can buy whatever Pokemon set he still needs.
 Truly. These boys were a dream. A loud dream, but a dream. After bouncing, they spent most of Saturday making a movie. If you look carefully, you can see the scars and black eyes Issa created for them. It also explains Evan's hair--sort of. He was a cyborg:

 He requested a Whit's ice cream cake at the very last minute, and the universe smiled upon me and there was one in the case. I'm particularly proud of the colored flames, and the boys were enamoured:
I love that in almost every picture one of them was a motion blur.

They played video games and board games and laughed so hard it made me laugh. I can't think of a better way for my boy to kick-off his double-digit birthday celebration.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Very Hoppy Easter

We had an absolutely perfect Easter weekend! Aunt Shannon was able to come to town, which is always lovely, and we packed in so much fun!

Friday was bit rocky, though. We had a tornado touch down about five minutes from our house, so we spent some good quality time in the closet under the stairs. Two parent, two kids, two dogs, and a hot uno game. Thankfully, we had no damage, and no one was injured in the storm at all. It was a bit nerve-wracking, though, and the storm passed just in time to go get Shannon from the airport! Nana and the kids took off to get Shannon and have a slumber party while Brad and I recovered our nerves on date night.

Saturday, though, was full Easter mode with egg coloring galore:

Evan had much fun mixing dyes, but he ducked out before the real decorating began:
Issa made a diamonds and peals egg in honor of her solo:

I attempted a unicorn:
And Aunt Shannon won with her ribbon egg:

Issa also is very in to origami and made whole armies of Easter bunnies:
Saturday night we split up. Nana, Aunt Shannon, and Issa used our DPAC tickets to see Anistasia, the boys went to see Shazam as part one of Evan's birthday movie extravaganza, and I got a quiet night at home to do all the things.

Since everyone had a late night Saturday, we opted to sleep in and reconvene Sunday morning to see the Bunny's handiwork. He was a very tricky bunny this year, and for a while we lost a couple eggs:

Thankfully, they were all eventually found and the annual Easter candy swap and sort commenced:
 We then commenced with how many combinations of family picture can we take:

 Evan was less amused by this point:

 We enjoyed a lovely ham lunch in which Brad had to concede pepper jelly makes a better glaze than Coke and Mom had to concede Brad was right and the ham benefited from ten more minutes in the oven.

The kids spent much of the afternoon playing with the gliders the Bunny brought them before the boys crashed out and we girls went for a walk on the Riverwalk:

 I will never get tired of these pictures of my girl and my sister walking and talking:
It was a blissful weekend (after that whole tornado thing).

Thursday, April 18, 2019

It's Official!

It's official now that I have announced it to my students: As of June I will no longer be the Director of the Teaching Fellows Program; I will be moving into the role of Director of Teacher Education!

Six years. For six years I have been in a job I truly thought I would do the rest of my life. I have to stop saying that, though, because I have said that about every job I have ever had. And then the next door opens and I walk through it.

It's bittersweet. I will miss advising all of the Teaching Fellows, and I will miss those four-year relationships formed through travel and seminars more than I probably realize right now. However, I'm also excited for a new challenge and new adventures.

On through the next door...

Friday, April 12, 2019

A Spring Break for the Books

Last week's Spring Break was one for the record books. For the first three days, Mom, Shannon, and I headed to Asheville for a girls' retreat. We stayed at the Biltmore, and had way to much fun! 

We arrived on Sunday, and we explored the farmyard. Shannon and I both "rode" the tractor, but I love us both too much to post those pictures. A very nice man took this very bad picture of us all in the wagon, though:
 We did our first wine tasting:
 And then we went to dinner. Biltmore pretty much shuts down after dinner, so we settled into our room for a glass of wine and more time to talk and just be.

Monday morning, we got up, grabbed breakfast, and then headed in to tour the house and gardens. They are doing a special exhibit that shows was a house party by the Vanderbilt's might have been like. Just look at that gown:
 And all the flowers:
 They were just gorgeous:
 We also got to take a different route through the house, which took us through the dining room and butler's pantry:

 The gardens were just stunning:

 And we actually remembered to get some pictures that included us:

 And there were baby goats in the farmyard:
 Shannon might have had to tell me to step back because little kids came up and wanted to see the goats:
 The three of us really did have the best time. We don't get a lot of time just the three of us, and having that time away where there weren't as many distractions was lovely.

I came home in time to enjoy some spring break with the kiddos:
 Is it even spring break if you don't go bowling?
 And Saturday we had a perfect day at the zoo! We even got a family selfie:
 Please note: I am on my tip-toes in that picture and everyone else is squatting!

Issa had fun trying to get cool photos of animals:
 And we actually saw the citatunga:
They are so hard to spot and often hide. I literally cried. I've been trying to see him for six years, and we weren't even successful on the zoofari!

It was an incredible week of travels with the people I love.