Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day at Dartmouth

 Becky has been at Dartmouth for a L-O-N-G time with sick kiddos. She's a valiant mom who loves with her whole heart.
I drove to New Hampshire and spent a couple of hours visiting with her. 
I learned a lot from my visit to the PICU there, but mostly what I learned is that I have a sister with a heart of gold.
Praying that Baby M. turns the corner this week so they can head home.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

when matching was a thing

I have no regrets about dressing my kids and their cousins in matching dresses.
Probably no chance of this happening again until bridesmaids dresses are an option.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

have a seat. just not yet.

Our first full day of Spring, and you can almost sit back, relax and feel the sun on your face.
(we're doing our most potent snow-melt dances EVER)

new citizens in AAUniverse

AAU means a whole new level of commitment to playing basketball. Number 3's committed. 
Supporting AAU takes just as much skill.
Leeli and I spent the WHOLE day in southeastern Mass so she could play in three games.
She's a baller.

Friday, March 20, 2015

there's a SPRING in my step

There are no tulips, no daffodils, no forsythias in bloom. Green grass is not even a thing yet. Our yard is still covered in more than a foot of frozen white stuff. But the sun is shining, the roads are clear and there will be warmer days ahead.
It's coming!
I just know it.
Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

back to work

Spring break wasn't over, but I had to take Enrique back to work. I packed his lunch and dropped him off at the library on a very quiet campus.
 The temps were cold, the air was crisp and the sky was BLUE. I stopped a few times on what has become my very favorite scenic route home.
 No photographic regrets.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wandering on Wednesday

I partnered up with this handsome guy for a fun and educational outing to the National Heritage Museum in Lexington.
It was his Spring break after all. Actually, unlike many of his peers who were bombarding the social media networks with images of beaches and fun in the sun, Enrique spent it writing a paper and heading back to work (on campus) before the week was half over. Reality can be cruel.(He also took advantage of mom's laundry service, a few extra hours of sleep and some home cooked meals) It was good to squeeze in a tiny bit of extra curricular activity.
The Scottish Rite Free Masons own/run this free museum (suggested donation) that is filled mainly with artifacts having to do with customs, costumes, artifacts and relics related to the Masonic organization.
 We both learned quite a bit. The Masons are a fraternal service organization. We are most familiar with the Shriners, who are a part of the Masons. They run the free hospitals for children. They also organize a stunning parade. For many years we took the kids to their annual parade at Dartmouth in August. They know how to parade like nobody's business.
 I was intrigued with how a Mason earns various degrees in the fraternity... this galloping goat came up a couple of times in their display cases, and I couldn't help but laugh a bit as I read some of the descriptions.(I hope that's the response they were going for.)
I have a few ancestors who were Masons.
The Masons have an extensive library at this museum as well. After my first visit here, my sister and my mother were able to solve a family history mystery because of the Masonic records. More on that in a future post. 
We capped off our morning with a visit to my new favorite middle eastern cafe.
I was delighted that Enrique also found it to be definitely worth the trip.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

it's motorcycle season again

While Sweet Mesquite spent the weekend in Utah, Yonder took out the bike. Former missionary treated the soon-to-be missionary to the first ride of the season. In a few weeks she'll be heading to a place so warm and sunny that motorcycle rides happen all year long. (Probably not for missionaries)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dear Sister Whitcomb...

Not only has she accepted her call, she's already started preparing to leave in May, and has set up her own mission blog.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesdays are for getting out

Last week I sent a note to a friend of mine who I haven't seen since early November of last year. I was thinking about her, and wanted to let her know.
She sent me a text on Monday asking if I'd like to meet up at the temple, and then go to lunch.
It was a BEAUTIFUL day to be out and about!
The temple was a perfect place to start.
 We drove into Cambridge for lunch, and while looking for on-street parking, saw this poor vehicle that is just thawing out from our rough winter. And a sign encouraging hope that our wicked winter is melting away:
We ended up at Sofra--a bakery/cafe that specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine.
We decided to share some plates from the Mezze bar, which allowed us to choose many types of foods in small amounts.
I like going somewhere for the first time and not having to over commit to something I might not be particularly fond of.
And the price was more than reasonable.
 It was fantastic!
I can't wait to bring Enrique, the Middle Eastern Studies major, back to sample some of the delicious fare.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

When the kids go to school

Sometimes the moms have a play date.
This friend of mine and I discovered Windblown, just over the border into New Hampshire a few weeks ago.
We've been itching to go back.
Today was the day!
It was sunny and warm--so warm we had to take our jackets off. We had the whole place to ourselves. Acres and acres of skiing and chatting and friendship.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Springing forward by the second day is rough.

Artist Monday

For Family Night we attended the community art show at the public Library.
 Our favorite artist had three pieces selected to display.
 We brought a fan base that oohed and aahed at appropriate times.
 Rooney was in top artist form, responding to questions about method and technique.
 One of the patrons at the show asked her how much her moon piece cost (and was it for sale?). Twice.
I rejoice at opportunities to expose this crew to culture. Supporting homegrown culture is like frosting on the cake.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

good day Sunshine!

It's been an exceptional Winter.
We've been especially pleased of late to see the temperatures go up and the sun come out.
 We can't play IN the snow, but we've enjoyed playing ON the snow. Snowshoeing on top of several feet of snow on a sunny afternoon is pretty fantastic.

Friday, March 6, 2015

visiting Enrique

Enrique played his last gig in the UMass hoops band as an undergraduate.
(unless they are selected to play in the NCAA tournament)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

signs of Spring

Last week I snowshoed around the yard and over the top of the mailbox. This week the top of the mailbox is visible through the melting snow. 
It's not crocuses or daffodils, but we'll take it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

bonus points for creativity

It's a crazy world, we all know it.
In the busy hub of our family life, sit down dinners together feel momentous.
I want to celebrate every time we do it; which is why, I think, we have table traditions. Guests at our table are often taken by surprise when we suddenly yell in unison, fingers on noses, and when we break out the question of the night.
These are moments I never want to take for granted, and also the reason why mixing it up a bit at meal time seems important to me.
Last night we tried something new.
I left six letter tiles (think scrabble) at each place setting.
While we enjoyed our meal, the instructions were to turn the tiles into a word, a phrase or an anagram representing POSITIVE things to say about our individual days' experiences.
This attempt to share instantly became a game of word invention mockery--
['gno-lec': "being kissed by a gnome" although it turned into "something akin to full frontal snogging"]
--which I know to be my family's language of love (the mockery part).
['a-tit-i-a': "an enthusiastic salutation"]
I have teenagers, and I'm married to one as well.
I should have seen the writing on, well, the table.
['get-siq': "you're gonna get siq (accent on SIQ)"]
I will say that there was MUCH laughter. 
['heu-dar': "jumping up and down enthusiastically"]
When the game downgraded to bodily functions, (we laughed hardest, I won't deny it) I stood up to commence the clean up process, which, ironically, went quickly and painlessly because of the residual hysteria that ensued.
['log-ho': "what you proclaim in the bathroom 'ere you make a deposit in the porcelain bank"]
These are my people.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In case you missed the Missionary memo:

LOOK who's waiting to hear where she'll be serving:
Her paperwork to serve a mission was submitted February 17th.
That means she'll probably be receiving that big white envelope THIS WEEK!
But she has a plan.
It involves gathering. And WAITing.
Until March 13th.
So wait with me!
And get excited.
(And if you want, try and GUESS where she'll be assigned. She has a giant map of the world on her apartment wall, and is filling it up with little sticky notes that include names and guesses. Comment below with where you think she'll go, and that will make her VERY happy while we wait!)
She is going to be an AWESOME missionary.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Last week I posted everyday. In my head.

I also kept the laundry hounds at bay, nursed a wisdom teeth patient, did most of the dishes and duked it out a few times (metaphorically speaking) with my growing tween, and then bought myself flowers and ice cream. Sometimes in arctic Mother-landia you have to keep standing your ground and raising your kids whether you're too tired or not.  We got this! Eat ice cream. Hide emergency stashes of chocolate. Or potato chips. Or whatever brings you momentary joy. Flowers help. They brighten MY life more than a teensy bit. Don't ever tell yourself you're not worth a bright and cheery bunch of grocery store flowers. Just throw them in the cart and keep telling yourself "I'm worth at least $6.99 and after the day I've had today, all y'alls out there in the great wide universe are lucky I'm not throwing in a bunch for every room of my house."  I consider them a staple. Life just keeps happening. Things like blogging and sleep go by the wayside. (I read a post or a tee shirt ad about mothers of babies and toddlers being citizens of that existence referred to as #teamnosleep... I hate to break it to these valiant and perky young mothers--brace yourselves if you're one of this bunch reading this little post: when your kids get older and start sleeping like the babies we thought they were when they WEREN'T sleeping through the night, YOU are now the one who can't pull a decent night's sleep out of a drawstring bag. EVER. So Breathe. And consider yourself in #teamnosleep training pants) Many things like basketball games and youth temple trips, visits to our favorite UMass student, lunch with my parents and more Massachusetts snowfall have happened since my last visit here. We keep busy. We now snow-blow and shovel, roof rake and hammer ice dams about as naturally as we eat and breathe and sleep. Maybe more. Life just happens between storms. I bought two more shovels today. We put them to good use on their first day. Gird up your loins. Spring is coming. I planted flower seeds in little pots and put them on my windowsill. I will nurture them and also remind myself to nurture the little seeds of happiness that are stretching inside of me. Shine on.