Monday, September 30, 2013

We love the book fair!

My kids look forward to the book fair for weeks,
saving up their birthday money to shop.

This makes my heart so happy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I love warm weather
and sun
and flip flops
and brown skin
and new freckles
and the smell of sunscreen
and bare feet
and Sonic happy hour
and sweaty children
and long days
and relaxed schedules
and the smell of chlorine
and late bedtimes
and picnic lunches
and running in sprinklers
and, and, and.
I am solar-powered.

I don't very much like at all cold weather
or jackets
or sweaters 
(they're itchy)
or bundling up small children
(it takes forever)
or static cling
or chapped lips
or dead brown leaves
or murky pool water
or freezing rain
or bone chilling wind
or being cooped up indoors
or runny noses
or tamiflu
or, or, or.
I think I have seasonal affect disorder.
It's a real thing, and I think I actually have it.

However, I do kind of like fall I think.
I'm really on the fence about it.
I would like it more if it weren't followed by winter.
And I don't like it nearly as much as spring or summer.
But fall's ok, if I think about it.

No jackets required.
Cute boots.
Salted caramel mocha.
Apple cider.
Fire pits.
No sweating.
Pretty leaves.
Dark polish.
Warm loaves of bread.
Yummy candles.
No tourists.
Easier running.

Not too shabby.
Not summer, but not too shabby indeed.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Open House

Our school had Open House this past week.  While I was busy in my classroom greeting parents and students, Dan took Lana & Tucker to see Lana's classroom.
 Lana loved showing her daddy all the things she has been working on!
I loved the "All About Me" puzzle best.

Tucker apparently made himself right at home:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thoughts on birthday parties....and why less is more for me.

I am not a party planner.
I have friends who love it, and are really super good at it, and I envy that.
But I actually am not good at it.
And I also kind of hate it.
I don't enjoy the planning or the setting up or hosting it or anything.
It's so stressful for me that it morphs into something that has nothing to do with celebrating my children at all, which kind of defeats the point.  

I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm an introvert,
but I also think it just isn't my thing, you know?
I'm good at some things,
but no one is good at all of the things,
and party planning ain't my thing, friends.

My good friend Laura has really helped free me up.
Recently, she invited us to her son's birthday party.
On a weekday morning, at a splash pad.  
It was very small and simple and sweet and she was so relaxed the whole time
and I was envious
and she said, "Rachael, you can keep it simple.  It's ok if your kids don't have a huge party."
Well, the conversation had a lot more words than that, but basically it was that.

And so I decided to embrace who I am
and what works for our family
and quit comparing myself to other moms
and go with the things I'm good at and let go of the things I'm not.

When my kids don't have themed parties where every single child they know is invited - 
it doesn't mean I'm letting them down or don't care about them.
When those other moms plan huge, elaborate, beautiful parties - 
it doesn't mean that they are showing off.  It just means it's just their good thing.
They're not judging me and I'm not judging them -
we're just all partying in our own way,
and that's really kind of cool.

(If you've read my blog at all, you've heard me say this before, but:
WOW.  Parenting is super refining.  In sometimes really strange ways.
Who KNEW that God would reveal my own dumb sinful pride through birthday parties?!)

All of this revelation
combined with a hectic September
(my mom hospitalized for two weeks, me going back to teaching a few days a week, the Mom2Mom sale, Dan getting a stomach virus, etc.)
put me in this great place to practice having a low key party.

So we did it playdate-style today.
The fountains at Palafox Pier and some cupcakes and Capri Suns and bubbles.
We let Tucker decide who to invite, and he named a handful of his closest buddies, and so we just invited them.  It was small.
We played with bubbles and the kids ran around in the fountains and we sang and had cupcakes.
And that was it.
And I loved it.

And then we changed clothes and had dinner at the food trucks with friends,
which was just the perfect way to end this day.

 This boy is happy.
So this mama is happy.

Oh, and P.S.
I never dreamed that the Game of the Millenium would kickoff at 2:30 p.m. - I just knew it would be a primetime game!!  No such luck.  So this guy had to watch the Alabama/ Texas A&M game like this:
There goes my Wife of the Year award, right out the window.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Celebrating 4 year old Tucker

Birthdays around here just call for streamers on your door.  
They stay up for days or sometimes weeks.

 Signs on the bathroom mirror are pretty standard, too.
Though this is the first time a number has appeared,
and my children were duly impressed.

The coffee table is where the gifts await!

We have been working on a collection of legos for him, and were excited to give them to him.  I think Lana will be a huge help in getting him started building!

His favorite gift by far was this rocket launcher, though!
He has played with all day long, every change he gets.

He celebrated with his preschool class this morning, too!
Krispy Kreme and Capri Sun at 9 a.m.  :)

His sweet teacher Mrs. Kathy KAFFY had a sign on the door and a gift in his cubby
He loved that!

 This is Tucker and his friend Jude.  Jude's daddy is on staff at another church in our town, and friends with Dan.  It's fun that they are in class together. And wild.  It is also wild.

 We are so happy to be this boy's parents.  
He is absolutely a joy.

We got to enjoy a family dinner at Cheddar's:
The birthday boy got to choose....he had a little help from big sis.  ;)  
This is her favorite.

Oh, boy of mine.
It seems like just yesterday you were tiny and chubby and baby
and now you are this magnificent boy who has so much personality it can barely be contained inside that body of yours.  
Today I have done just a little bit of grieving over that gap-toothed smile and silky baby hair and precious babbling.  I have.  But I have done far more celebrating today.  I am celebrating all that you are: the joy you bring to our family, the fire that burns inside of you, the passion with which you approach everything.  And you know...I am celebrating who you will become.  You have a warrior spirit, Tucker Philip, and I am convinced that God will make your dangerous for the Kingdom. So you just know, even now, that with every tight squeeze, with every "smoochity smoochity," I am holding you as close as my arms will allow, and I am also releasing you to the will of a Father who loves you far more than I.  I know deep in my soul that He has great plans for you....not to make you great - to make HIS NAME great.  And so this is how it begins....I'm hanging on for the ride, buddy.  It's gonna be a wild one.