Tuesday, December 31, 2013

365. And we danced

And we danced, and we cried
and we laughed and had a really really really good time...
Macklemore lyrics

Dancing and laughing and crying just seems to sum up the year perfectly.

I tried to get some jumps shots to celebrate the end of the year.  Instead, Clementine and I danced.  I was laughing and I swear she was, too.

Happy New Year!  2013 was awesome!

Now You
52 of You - Celebrate

Monday, December 30, 2013

364. Sound effects

In an effort to recapture the scene this morning as we attempted to watch the morning news, allow me to write out the sounds emanating from old Mr. Squeaky.

Waa-ehh, waa-ehhh, waaa-ehhh, waaaaa-eeehhh, waaa-ehhh, waaaa-eehhh, waa-ehh, waa-ehhh, waaa-ehhh, waaaaa-eeehhh, waaa-ehhh, waaaa-eehhh.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

363. Make time to enjoy the simple things in life

Fabric flowers in a mason jar from a friend.
A game of Rummikub with the girl.
A movie with the boy.
A run with a great audiobook.
A successful training class with the pup.

My life feels full and happy.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

362. Eskimo kisses and wishes

She wanted to rub noses and pretend to be eskimos.  She said that was what you do when your hands are cold.

I told her to make a wish.  She wished to make all A's.  I wished for happiness and well being for her.

I have so many wishes for her.

Now You
52 of You - Wish

361. Sharing

Mili has decided that she loves Clementine's food.  Clementine waits for Mili to eat first before grabbing some of her share.  It is so sweet.

Friday was a pajama day. Finally a day to slow down and read and rest.  When some friends called to see if we'd meet them out for a drink, we invited them over to our house so that I wouldn't have to get out of my pjs.  I can serve up a drink perfectly well in my pajamas.

Friday was a great day.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

360. Post Christmas Cheer

Another day on the road.  Another day with family.  Julia stayed behind to play with her grandparents and cousin. I came home to pack up the holiday trimmings.

As I cleaned, I celebrated with a little Christmas cheer.

When Julia came in, she noticed the decorations were gone.  "But I wanted to help... It was one of those things on my bucket list to put away Christmas decorations."

I never know what that girl is going to say.

359. Christmas joy

She slept until 8:30 a.m. -- then the excitement began.  We had to get the oldest boy from the airport (a great gift for a momma) and the rest of the day was spent at my parent's house.

Julia loved all her gifts but her American Girl Doll seemed to be her favorite.  She carried her around all day and night.

358. Hung by the chimney with care

Christmas Eve was full of friends and family and excitement!

357. Christmas Eve Eve

Last minute shopping.
Last minute wrapping.
Last minute cleaning.
Last minute anxiety.

Sat down for a minute.  For just a minute.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

356. Happy Travels

It was a long ride home in the pouring rain and heavy traffic -- but I didn't mind because we picked up the youngest boy from the busiest airport in the world.  We stopped off for a late lunch when the traffic became almost unbearable.  Julia talked Dalton into playing games with her while we waited for the food.  Then he got to listen to her sing all the songs from her playlist as the traffic crawled.

Welcome home, Dalton!

355. Thinking of Ivan

It was a perfect day at Zoo Atlanta.  The weather was perfect.  The crowds were small.  The animals were out and about in their habitats.  The gorillas were especially playful and we remembered Ivan the gorilla who we came to love in the book, The One and Only Ivan.

At the otter exhibit, Julia declared she could tell which ones were girls. "The girls have prettier eyes." she declared.

That girl....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

354. Christmas Vortex

Last night, we had a fabulous night at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  The Christmas lights were amazing.  Julia said the way the Christmas lights reflected in the fountain was "trippy."   We all agreed.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

353. Pampered

Our first day of winter break was spent cleaning, doing laundry, washing clothes, and playing school.  She often says she wants to be a teacher -- and today she was a marvelous instructor.

For recess, we went to get a manicure and pedicure.  Just for fun, she got little Christmas trees painted on her thumbnails and snowmen on her toenails.

She is festive!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

352. (Re)Decorating the tree

Julia has been busying herself this evening decorating the Christmas tree -- which was formerly the Hanukkah bush.  She loves this season!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

351. Bear feet

Polar Express Day
With hot cocoa and popcorn
The movie playing throughout the day.

Pajamas to school
Bear feet for shoes.

The chorus program this evening.
The world's greatest grandparents came to watch.
Their eyes were shining with happiness and love
As were the girl's eyes.

Late night supper
And grocery shopping.
Foods to make for her class Christmas party tomorrow.

The girl declared she was hyper as I tucked her in
Almost an hour past her bedtime.
She was asleep in less than five minutes.

Conversing with the man who worked late, too.

Those bear feet of mine are ready to be bare feet
And between the sheets.

Monday, December 16, 2013

350. Her performance

This morning, Julia was part of the 3rd grade chorus that performed for the school.  She was excited about wearing her new Christmas shirt and red and green bows for her hair.

She and her classmates did a wonderful job.  They will perform for the parents/grandparents tomorrow night.

As we left school heading to her dance party, Julia said, "This is the best day ever... so far this week."

Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

349. A festive evening

We spent a lovely evening at my husband's ex-wife's house for dinner tonight.  I am so very thankful that we are all friends and can gather to spend time with the kids.  My husband and I are both friends with our ex-spouses -- and we like it that way.

Mallory is home from London!  We've missed her and it was great hearing about her the first half of her year of study there.  Plus, Julia thinks that Mallory and her mother more or less hung the moon (and I think she is right).

It was a great night full of love, laughter and reminiscing.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

348. Cookies

Today, the girl and I shopped then came home and baked Christmas cookies.  She loves her "Mrs. Santa" apron.

She loves icing, too.

This was her first time making Christmas cookies.  We made a bunch -- and we are ready to share.

347. Happiness is...

Seeing her run,
With happiness in her smile,
And in her gallop,
With her hair like a halo,
Surrounding her sweet face.

"Is it really that long now?," she said.
It is.  It really is.

346. Embers

Clementine has been practicing how to sit while we go on our walk each day.  She is learning!  It the rush of every day (and evening), it has become my favorite part of the day as it becomes the only part of the day that I feel focused.  No multi-tasking on these walks -- just dealing with a hyped up puppy willing to sit for a treat trying to ignore the squirrel on the tree or the cat sitting in the driveway.  

We sat in the yard for a few minutes to relish in the lovely weather and the last of the setting sun before going in and cooking supper, doing laundry, cleaning up after art projects (the girl has gone crazy with her painting projects), entertaining friends who have stopped by.

My time with her makes me happy.  She gives me that reason to escape the madness -- if only for a few minutes.

Life has been so packed lately --  constantly coming and going and in motion.  Life is just on fire!

Now You
52 of You - Fire

345. Last minute

The days have been full.  The children at school are ramped up with excitement.  The adults seem short on patience.  The calendar seems bursting with activities and things to do.

And I took a picture of the plant in the windowsill at the end of the day on Wednesday.

344. Creating

On the way out of school (late... again), Julia noticed a fruit crate by the trash can.  She decided it would be perfect for her to decorate as a gift for Jeff.

She takes her creativity pretty seriously.  Here she is painting a menorah beside the Christmas tree.

I love that she wants to give.

Monday, December 9, 2013

343. The Christmas Pickle

Just a little Christmas pickle in the tree with Julia's name on it.  Isn't it adorable?

Here is the story of the Christmas Pickle...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

342. Obedient

Clementine had her first round of lessons at puppy charm school and she did great!  She is now learning to sit on command (more or less).  Also, she is learning to stop barking at other dogs.

Dog treats are so motivating for her.  Her favorite treats are pieces of Mili's food.

Five more weeks of obedience training left to go then she can move to the intermediate class.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

341. Another first

We got up early today to rush to school to set up for the Winter Festival held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  It was a fantastic event but with most people in shorts and tank tops, it didn't feel very wintery.

After we cleaned up and got most things back in their rightful places, Julia and I came home for a short rest before heading out to the local Christmas parade.

It was Julia's first time ever seeing a parade and she was thrilled with it.  Even when the rain started pouring down, her enthusiasm never abated.

340. Anticipation

Julia went home with a friend and the man was working -- so I worked late helping to set up stuff for the Winter Festival on Saturday.  When I finally got home, I cleaned the house, did laundry, and wrapped gifts.

We are getting excited about watching her open those gifts!  But we can't put them under the tree.  Clementine is in a chewing up everything phase.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

339. The little things

My mother taught me to never turn down a gift from a child. Today, while on bus duty, I received a leaf, a rock, and a camellia bloom.

It was a great way to start the day.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

338. From where I sit

Ready to read to Julia.
And then ready for bed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

337. Lighting the menorah

The girl has been so excited about celebrating Hanukkah this year.  We make merry for Christmas, too, so she is loving all the celebratory events.

In her mind now, you light candles and that prepares you for a gift.  She has been excited about all the little gifts she has gotten since Thanksgiving (the start of Hanukkah).

Tonight, she got the movie Matilda from my oldest step-daughter.  She jumped up and down with excitement and then we watched it while we ate dinner.  We don't usually watch movies while we eat but it just seemed right to make an exception tonight.

Monday, December 2, 2013

336. Chilling out

There will be no hot chocolate by the fire for the next few days.  The temperatures have warmed making it feel like lovely springtime weather.

It may not feel very Christmas-y -- but I don't mind!  I love middle of the road weather.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

335. Let it snow

There are rare moments when snow has flurried in south Georgia -- and this was not one  of those moments.  Julia and I decided to pretend today.  She can be quite an actress.

Last night, Julia said to me, "I love you more than anything."

Then she said, "And tell Jeff that I love him more than anything."

There was a slight hesitation before she said, "Well, I love him more than anything except for you."

Aha!  A pecking order has been established.  She makes us laugh.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

334. Lazy afternoon

The girl spent the night with my parents last night because the man and I got up at 1:30 a.m. to drive Drew back to the airport (it is two hours away) in time for his red eye flight.  We got back home just in time to see the sun rise and fall asleep for a couple of hours.

I am so thankful for wonderful parents.  They are amazing grandparents and Julia loves being with them.

Once home, Julia stayed in her pajamas all day and lounged about watching some Christmas cartoons.  We all felt a bit worn out.  Even Clementine got in on the slug fest that was our afternoon.

333. Hanukkah

We finally found time to slow down enough to light the menorah to celebrate Hanukkah.   We made matzo ball soup and spent time together with family and friends.

Mallory in London and Dalton traveling back to New Haven were missed.

Friday, November 29, 2013

332. Thankful

Flight delays can stink but my sister and I decided to have fun while waiting at the airport.  We made up crazy stories about the various people also waiting for loved ones to arrive.  At times, we were hysterically laughing.  Just like we used to do when we were kids.  Sleep deprivation may have played a part.  We weren't mean -- just silly.  It was 3:30 a.m. before we got home.  But we had Drew home in time for Thanksgiving.

Just a few hours later, we gathered at my grandparent's farm for a huge Thanksgiving meal.  The weather was cold and the sky was blue -- perfect weather to walk about in after the feast.

We didn't get my grandfather in the picture because he had gone to take a nap.  There was some discussion of gathering around his bed to take a picture while he slept but that got voted out.  Thankfully.

It was a wonderful day with the family.  So happy to have both my boys home.  For a little while.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

331. Pine cone lilies

A run with a friend in town for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Baking and cooking and preparing food for tomorrow's feast.
Pine cone lilies cut from the yard.
Heading out in a few to the airport (it is a few hours away) to pick up the oldest boy.

Thanksgiving is so busy but I wouldn't want it any other way.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

330. Gratitude

"Be thankful for what you have.  You'll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never have enough." ~ Oprah Winfrey

I am thankful for:
*rainy days and movie dates with the family.
*inside jokes.
*friends who help build memories with the kids.
*a running partner that will run in the rain.
*dark chocolate.
*a husband that I adore.
*the chance to do good in the world.
*a dog with a swollen belly who is home from the vet.

Now You
52 of You - Gratitude

Monday, November 25, 2013

329. Sleep-over

In that house on a quiet street, the girl is having her first sleep-over.  Ever.  There is a lot of squealing going on in that pink curtained room of hers.

The college boy will likely hear them in the wee hours of the morning.

When she first moved in, she often talked about wanting to have a sleep-over.  A few days later, she brought up the idea again but this time asked us to explain exactly what a sleep-over was.

So happy that she is getting to have these experiences.

Tonight, I'm missing my Mili.  She got so very sick yesterday and last night.  The vet thinks she may have pancreatitis and they are keeping her to keep fluids in her.  Clementine is home and seems lost without the supreme leader keeping her in line.

328. Beaming

Dalton arrived late Saturday night.  I jumped up and down when I saw him walk through the walkway at the airport.  Julia was happy, too.

Sunday was filled with talking and spending time together.  My parents, my sister and her husband, some friends, and Dalton's father all came over for dinner.  And Moscow Mules.

In the midst of all the company were two sick dogs.  Yes, two.  Clementine continued with the snotty nose and sneezing.  She curled up with Dalton to sleep.  And then there was Mili who was vomiting and panting.  We think she may have eaten something outside that didn't agree with her.

Regardless, I am thankful my friends and family are pet people.  I'm thankful one son is home and the other will be home in a few days.  I'm thankful for being surrounded by love.  My cup runneth over.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

327. Cuddles

The house has been cleaned.  The sheets have been washed.  The groceries have been purchased.  Another Faboo Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake has been baked.

In just a couple more hours, my youngest son will be home for Thanksgiving week.

I'm so very thankful.

When I sat down, Clementine jumped up to get in on some cuddling action.  She seems to have gotten a bad cold and doesn't feel so swell.  Maybe some extra rest will help her feel better.

Now You
52 of You - Comfort

326. In the yard

Clementine loves her new bone.  Whenever she isn't looking, Mili sneaks off with her bone and hides it in the bedroom.

That bone is almost as big as Mili.  I need to get a picture of her carrying the bone away.  It really is hilarious.

In the yard, Mili keeps her distance from Clementine because Clemmie is rather hyper -- as puppies tend to be.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

325. Thursday

Finished homework with the girl.
Went to the park and watched her play.
Met friends for dinner -- the best Indian food in town.
Rushed to bathe and read -- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

I love how Thursdays can feel like the real beginning of the weekend.  One more day at work and then a week off.  I'm ready!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

324. Winding down

Sometimes I miss my quiet time.  There really aren't many quiet moments anymore -- but I remember these times from when my boys were young.  All too soon, there will be many quiet moments and I will miss the noise and chaos that children bring to the world.

Until then, I take comfort in a hot cup of green tea.  And dream of quiet.

Now You
52 of You - Comfort

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

323. Beggars

How quickly they learn.

Clementine has already figured out the sit and stare move that works so well for Mili.  She should fatten up in no time.

Monday, November 18, 2013

322. In-between seasons

It is still hot and humid but there are a few trees showing signs that fall may be moving in soon.  I could be happy with a few runs that weren't so muggy.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

321. "You can say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." ~ John Lennon

After an extra ballet practice, she told me all about the routine (and I mean ALL about it) and how hard she worked.  In one breath, she says she is already nervous about performing in the spring.  Then the next thing out of her mouth is that she can't wait to wear the costumes on the stage.

She is full of life, love and drama.

320. The vows

I was invited to the wedding of of a former student of mine.  I taught Brittany when she was in the 6th grade.  Right before they said the vows, she fainted.  Her soon-to-be-husband caught her and others helped her sit in a chair until she revived and the ceremony could go on.

While they said their vows, he put his arm around her and held his bride up.  Such a sweet moment.

Afterwards, I had to explain to Julia that most of the time people don't faint in the wedding.  This was her first wedding and I think it made quite an impression.

Friday, November 15, 2013

319. Home


She has been spayed and biopsied.  There is a bit of demodectic mange -- the non-contagious kind.  After healing from the surgery, she will start treatment.  She is already on antibiotics for the infection on her abdomen.

Leaving the vet's office, she tucked her nose under my arm.  When we got home, there were spots of blood all over the seat of the truck -- the new truck.  And the man didn't say anything.  He just cleaned it up.

She lay on some blankets in the laundry room.  Some are Mili's.  One is Julia's.  Mili walked into the laundry room to check her out.  She sniffed, wagged her tail, and peed.  The peeing may or may not have meant anything.

Clementine is home!  Welcome to the madness.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

318. The feast

Our school does a huge Thanksgiving feast -- and this year we had almost 600 guests attend.  My job was to greet, direct, and run around taking care of various issues (discipline of a few punky kids, an upset and rude parent, a lost toddler, a puking child, two car alarms going off, and more) as they occurred.

I did this all while dressed as an Indian.

After school, Julia and I went with the man to the shelter to pay the adoption fee for Clementine. Tonight, Clementine is receiving various treatments for fleas and worms and will be chipped.  We will bring her home tomorrow after she is spayed.

We got to visit with her for a few minutes and we were all happy to have her jumping around on us.  Afterwards, we went to the store to buy a giant bag of food for her.

And I did all this while dressed as an Indian.