Monday, July 7, 2014

Birthday Babe

 Violet and I had our picture taken a little later that night!  Couldn't miss my opportunity with the birthday lady!

Oh my little Violet is 1!  We celebrated with family.  Grammie and Papa, the Reese family, Anna and LT, Kyle and Sarah, Grandma Sloan, and Sylvia all came to watch the baby eat her cake.  I decorated in a Farmer's Market theme, and we ate pasta salad,  caprese salad,  homemade breads and a peach and raspberry trifle alongside the traditional 1st birthday carrot cake.  Her sisters loved helping her open her gifts, and oohhhhed and aaaahhhed over her name plaque, new clothes and little mouse ride on toy.  First birthday's are always super sentimental, and this time just as much if not more so.  I kept thinking, have I really thrown five 1st birthday parties?  I remember the details and excitement of each one so vividly.  Violet is crawling like a speed demon, but I think it will be a bit longer before she ventures out on two legs! :)  She is still crazy for her mama, and trust me, the feeling is mutual!


It's kind of a big deal when a Painter girl finally grows enough hair for piggies!  Poppy was excited to get her own mini clips and hair ties.  She asks me for pig tails every day and then looks at herself admiringly in the mirror. Ha!  She's truly a riot.

Just before a change

It was one of those gorgeous, leave the door open, mornings in May.  Only a few weeks before school let out for summer, and I walked around the kitchen breathing in the fresh air and realizing that this chapter in my life was about to close.  These three little loves home with me all day, our routines, our simple lunches, and the occasional errand or outing were about to be replaced with the hustle and bustle of our summer schedule.  And then come fall, Roman is off to kindergarten (!!!), leaving me and the two girlies.  I felt gratitude for my blessings, but also for the ability and time to actually see and delight in them.

Arsenal Spring Season

I love this kid.  I love the passion with which he plays.  He's a walking sports encyclopedia too, so that can be helpful.  The other day he was telling me about the end of the Brazil / Columbia World Cup game.  There was a player from the loosing Colombian team who broke down into tears as the time expired.  He was later quoted as saying, "I'm crying because we gave everything we had inside of us".  And then, some Brazil players came to console him, telling him he was a great player and trading jerseys (a soccer thing).  Zach tried to get the story out, but was choking up every time he would add a new detail.  It made a big impression on him.  I love that he wants to be good.  He wants to be a great player AND a great person. And he totally totally will be.  Both.

Lily's Missouri State Meet March 2014

Oh man, seeing these photographs again makes me tear up all over.  Lily had a great time at her first state meet.  She was so excited to travel to St. Louis (stay in a hotel!) and compete with all the other 7 year old level 3s in the state.  She was beautiful and so artistic to watch.  You can actually see me in the background of a couple of the beam photos, I was taking video, and loving every second.  I thought she did so great.  She ended up placing 4th in beam and 5th in vault and I think 10th overall.  It's amazing to me for a couple reasons.  There were 70 some girls (all 7 year old level 3!), competition was tough.  Also, Lily was only able to compete in 3 of her 6 meets this year due to them being scheduled on Sunday.  She had half the experience of most girls there, but was still able to do well.  
At the end of the season banquet, Lily was awarded "hardest worker" for her level.  They give 2 awards each year, so it was quite the honor to be selected.  Her coach mentioned the fact that even on weeks when Lily knew she wasn't going to be able to compete in the upcoming meet, she was still in the gym, giving it her all.  I told Lily that honestly, that was the best kind of achievement for this season.  I was most proud of that distinction over any other 1st place medals from this year.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April April where did you go?

April was a big month for Roman!  He turned 5!  He wanted breakfast in bed, he wanted a carrot cake, and he wanted a transformer.  Marquise and Roman had a birthday party in the park.  They are two adorable best bud cousins.  (Shared a due date!  But born 2 weeks apart.)  They also wrapped up their first soccer season together.  Oh dear.  They were unstoppable.  Very very literally.  Although no score was officially kept, they knew that they won every single game haha.  It's just what comes from having big brothers.  Poor kids can't just start with "fun" soccer.  They were out for blood from the beginning.  I woke up on the day of Roman's first game to hear Zachary putting Roman through drills designed to get him ready for his debut.
And then it was time for Easter.  I felt pretty good about getting their buckets done.  I searched high and low to find buckets that were similar in size to match the ones I bought for the first 3.  Thank goodness for the internet.  And tireless google searches. 
Easter Egg hunt in my parents neighborhood.  I personally just laughed out loud that this bunny was so in character...look at his hands!!  Held like that for countless pictures with children no doubt hahahaha.  But what would the alternative look like?  Bunny with hands on knees...or hanging down by his side?  I'm guessing this is the sort of thing that can only be learned by trial and error.  Or maybe helpful instructions are provided when you rent a bunny suit?  I digress.
 Easter Dinner and Egg hunt with the family.  Violet is super duper attached to me..but she is taking a liking to her da-da too.  Just this morning I was changing her diaper and she heard the garage door open (it was actually just Poppy) but she started in with "da da....da da....da da" because she knows that hearing that sound means this fun guy is going to pop in, find her, and kiss her :)  It was pretty cute.
 As always, we follow a staggered approach to cousin egg hunts.  Toddlers first, then the middle guys next and the big crazies are released at last.  It's always pretty funny to see them bolting from the door.

And finally, these little Easter of which was not a fan of the grass.

Ok, not entirely "final".
I will mention one other April happening.
Starting at the end of last year, I began feeling this great urge to get a little more prepared for emergencies.  
I know, this is kind of a bummer way to round out a post.
Rest assured I don't think the world is ending...
But eventually I started having dreams...and just all signs pointing to...DO IT. like NOW.

And one day I couldn't stand it any longer, I literally just dropped everything I was doing and organized these intense 72hr kits for everyone in our family.  It took over our dining room for a couple days.  I would look out my window in the evening as I was feverishly working and see neighbors walking their dogs and waving to me and prayed they didn't think I was crazy because I was surrounded by a room full of survival bars, packets of water, emergency blankets, ponchos and flares and flashlights and, and and...

Really though, my kids were hungry and I was like, "oh sweetie, grab a cheese stick and an apple."
I ordered supplies from websites, shopped Walmart, and finally rounded up a bunch of stuff we already owned but that has been jumbled and bumbled throughout moves.

And now I can sleep at night.

May, I'm ready for ya.