Sunday, January 19, 2014

I made it just under the wire

I promised one post per week and I'm finally getting around to writing mine for this week.  Our kitchen is still in a state of turmoil (I do not exaggerate when I tell you it looks exactly like it did the week before Thanksgiving sans the four workers in the center), which takes up much more of my time than I would like:

But the good news is the insurance company finally approved our claim for water damage (yay!) and I'm starting to work with the contractor and subcontractors to start the re-do process (double yay!).  Will and I decided not to do a complete overall in large part because of the high price tag, but also because this small house would look strange with an oversized kitchen and we would not likely get the return on our investment should we sell in the near or even distant future (Type-A personalities, you think?).  So, we're changing the floor, repainting the walls, refacing the cabinets, updating the countertops, enlarging the sink, and upgrading the appliances.  Of course, after writing out that list I realize how lucky we are just to be able to do all of that in our small budget.

The plus side to having a half-house/half-construction site is that it really does no good to vacuum and dust because dirt, dust, old kitchen flooring, and everything else you can imagine will only get redeposited throughout the house within 24 hours.  I am getting a little spoiled by my no-cleaning lifestyle.

Of course, I've managed to fill up my time in other ways.  Two very cute ways.

Frances and George after our most recent family dentist visit and George's first official dentist cleaning. According to the dental hygienist, he did great.  She wisely whisked him away to another room to clean his teeth before he had time to object (and out of my eyesight, which I think was key).

We had our first snowfall of the year last week.

This picture is deceptive--it was such a small amount, school wasn't even an hour late.  But the kids were in the backyard by 7:30 am to enjoy as much as they could before the bus came.

Frances's "Snow Princess."  Because a snowman would never do.

Will's father celebrated his 70th birthday this month.

The birthday boy with George, Frances, Trey and Justin.
The big boys, Will and Charlie.

Nothing better than a milestone birthday surrounded by your family.  We should all be so lucky!

Frances's school had family night last week, which included a book fair and free ice cream, as modeled by George.

Frances was over the moon that we all attended.  Will has been working very late recently, but he made a special appearance for his little princess and she couldn't have hugged him harder.  I'm not sure which made her more proud--to show off her school to us or to show us off to her friends.

Today we took a family walk in the sunshine and fresh air.  It was cold, but refreshing and rejuvenating.

I silently walked in honor of a local woman who was killed last week on her morning run by a drunk driver.  The entire city and country, especially the running community, has been in mourning.  She was a stay-at-home mother of three young children who, as told by those who knew her best, relished her job as a full-time mother and had a passion for outdoor running.  90,000 plus people ran outside this weekend in her honor--soaked up the sun, breathed the fresh air, appreciated their muscles and their lives.  I didn't know her personally, but I can't help but feel close to her story.  As a runner, you understand that it could have been any of us on that fateful morning run.  Meg, you are so very loved and appreciated.  And you will not soon be forgotten.

See her story here.

Happy Sunday, everyone.  And for those walkers or runners, please be careful out there!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New year, new writing schedule

Once a week.  That's my new aim for blog writing, friends.  My excuse?

He's adorable and extremely fun to be with and amazingly well-behaved while his sister is in school.  And he no longer takes a nap. Plus, I hate to be sitting at a computer while he is being this good.  It's also hard to believe that come September, he'll be walking onto the school bus with big sis as a Kindergartener.  So before I crawl into a corner and cry real tears at that thought, I'll just remind myself to enjoy this time with him and soak him up as much as possible these next nine months.

Bundled up to go wait for the bus.
It was about 15 degrees outside when I took this picture.

School was two-hours late for two straight days this week because of extremely cold temperatures (which part of me scoffs at, but another part of me understands wholeheartedly.  I'm just glad I'm not in the position to make those tough decisions.).  Silly or not, Frances, George and I relished our lazy mornings around the house, playing with new Christmas toys, singing Christmas carols (that would be our George.  He is a Christmas nut like his mother), and catching up on housework.  An 11am start time for elementary school is apparently ideal for the Homiller children--just when they start to argue, it's bus top time.

Until next week, when I'll likely be writing to you from my still half-spring/half-Christmas decorated house.  

I think I'll start a new trend for those of us who can't quite let go of those beautiful nighttime white lights, but can do without the basket of noisemakers from Santa.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Almost Weekend!

How's that for a Cliff's Notes version of the last month or so?  It feels as though I blinked and the holiday season was already over and I have yet to share it with any of you.

First things first, Santa Claus CAME!

And while Will and I had no doubt he would, I think George was genuinely concerned for a minute or two whether he would leave anything other than ashes and switches.

Both kids were overjoyed with Christmas morning, but as I put Frances to bed that night she gently and quietly informed me that she did get more gifts from Santa than George (which, by the way, is very unlikely).  I had to smile.  As good as she is and as mischievous as George can be, I think she wanted to make sure that her good behavior had paid off in a tangible way.

But before Santa, we spent Christmas Even with Will's parents where Frances picked up her favorite gift of the season--an iPod.

She's been asking for one for the last three years and I could never quite grasp what she would do with it.  But now it seems completely obvious--total control over which Disney movie music she will hear next, of course.

Later than evening, we went to Christmas Eve church service--my very favorite part of the year.  I'm not sure there is anything more beautiful than "Silent Night" sung in only candlelight.

And as if we needed any more excitement, Frances lost her second tooth during Christmas Eve dinner.

But as it turns out, the Tooth Fairy takes Christmas Eve off; so she showed up the next night.

My parents came over Christmas Day in time for lunch with Maggie and Calvin, upping our Bichon to person ratio.

They then escaped for three nights to visit my sister and her family and we took care of the doggies.  I could not have done it without Frances and George's help.

They love those fluffy white messes (Marshall included).

And now George and I are enjoying a quiet New Year's week while Frances is in Lynchburg for her favorite part of the year--seven days with Nana and Pop.  By all accounts, she is having a blast and my mother has already offered to keep her forever and register her in the local public school.  And while Will and I wouldn't hear of it, there is one person who would miss her most of all.

I'm not really sure when George turned seven (or at least started looking seven).
Be still my fluttering heart.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Christmas cheer

With our record high temperatures this weekend (approaching 80 degrees - wacky!), in true Homiller fashion we spent most of our time outside.

Feeding the ducks at University of Richmond.  It really never gets old for these two.  

Or all three of them, I should say.

The one downside to beautiful, warm weather in December is that I already have spring fever.

Of course a balmy, breezy evening is the absolute best time to head out to Lewis Ginter and see their incredible Christmas light display.

The best picture I could get with a very distracted little brother.

The model trains were incredible.

And it did not disappoint.

My favorite little window display - "Home is where the heart is."  Yes it is!

I thought last Christmas these two were the perfect ages to experience the magic of the season, but this year is even more fun.  George is beside himself every time (no exaggeration.  every. time.) he sees lights, inflatable Santas, the Elf on the Shelf, the advent calendar, a Christmas tree, or anything at all resembling a holiday decoration.  And Frances spends much of her quiet time creating handmade Christmas cards for everyone in the family, including Marshall.

If I can't write again until after the big night, I want to wish everyone a Merry, Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2014.  I hope Santa is good to all and that you are surrounded by the love of friends, family and the spirit of the season.  

Love, The Homillers!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Our last (few) weeks

Hello, my name is Lucy.  I have two children, one dog-child, one husband (I think his name is Will, but to be perfectly honest he's been so busy at work that I haven't seen him except in passing for weeks), and one small, cozy, and decrepit house that is falling apart at the seams.

Our temporary kitchen sink - the mudroom - also sprung a leak this week.
Thank goodness for nice neighbors who are also great plumbers.

I thought I should re-introduce myself since I have been glaringly absent from writing for much longer than I'd like.  Thank you all for being so patient!  And while I joke about the house (and our lack of kitchen … have I mentioned that before?  : )), we are still celebrating Christmas in full force here at the Homiller house and enjoying every second of it.  To catch up on our last couple of weeks:

Frances had her first dance class open house last week.  Technically, George wasn't supposed to attend, but her teacher graciously overlooked his presence so I could sneak back and watch our little ballerina.

George was fascinated.

I was so proud of her.  Not only does she have grace and natural ability (and amazing feet!  Sheesh!!), but when the teacher asked a question, she would politely raise her hand and give the answer.  I am certain I didn't start volunteering answers to teachers until at least college.  Her father's girl no doubt.


We braved the freezing temperatures and went to the Richmond Christmas parade again this year.

We couldn't make it through to the end, but thankfully Frosty and Rudolph both made fairly early appearances.


Frances and me at our forth annual Richmond Ballet's The Nutcracker.

The only thing missing was Nana.  2014 or bust!


Last weekend, Will's parents invited us to have brunch with Santa at their country club.

Sausage, eggs, pancakes, and St. Nick?  I'm not sure anyone of any age could say no to that.  Santa was such a good sport, too.  I must have taken 50 pictures in an attempt to get George to look at the stinking camera (really, Son).



Will's Christmas gift to me this year was a personal shopper at Nordstrom.

Frances went with me to the initial fittings, where she helped me decide on these two dresses and the red one above.

George was less excited to attend the second fitting.


Family movie night watching the latest Disney movie, Frozen.

I highly recommend it--not too scary, great music, strong female leads, and that classic Disney humor.


Pajama day at school = happy!

George wanting to be in the picture, too = sad!


Our Elf on the Shelf has been very creative this year so far.

This is even more impressive considering he's picking most of his hiding places during the wee hours of the morning when Will gets home from work.  #greatesthusbandever


Troutman Sanders' had its firm Christmas party at The Jefferson Hotel this year.

And I got to try out one of my newest Nordstrom finds.  

The only thing invisible in this picture is the excruciating pain radiating from my feet.  If any of my readers out there knows a high heel brand that does not hurt, I am all ears.  As this picture suggests, I certainly can't wear flats around Will.

Happy, happy Thursday, everyone.  And I hope to write again soon!