Thursday, January 31, 2013

(Dance) Party in the U.S.A.

Nana popped in for a quick one-night visit last night, which is always a cause for a celebration:

Chopin on the piano; waltzing on the rug.  It’s no Miley Cyrus, but in this case I’d say that’s a good thing.

Frances the ballerina wannabe.

She specifically asked me to take several pictures of her doing various dance poses.  Admittedly, the former dancer in me is pretty darn proud of those feet.

And then there’s this image.

Father/daughter dances get me every time—Will looking even taller than normal, Frances over the moon to have the undivided attention of Daddy, and George wanting to get in on the action.

And ultimately succeeding.  That Daddy is a sucker for all things cute and blurry.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another first

Frances went to her first official sleepover this weekend.

Partners in crime for five years running - Carissa and Frances

I’m sure those girls just got oodles of sleep, right?

Carissa and Frances have been tied to the hip since they were both infants and started daycare within weeks of each other.  Sadly, they don’t go to school together anymore, but you would never know it.  They pick up right where they left off, just like all best friends do (Brooke, Julz, Eileen : )).


Popcorn and movies

And the ultimate—mani/pedis

Apparently, they attempted to get some sleep.

But Frances arrived home looking happily exhausted—the making of any good sleepover.  Carissa’s mother did report one small fight between the girls; Carissa wanted to take the tops off all of the markers and Frances insisted that would make them all dry out.  I had to laugh—that is so very Frances-like.  In fact, I’m certain she’s had that exact fight with George, which likely ended in hair-pulling, biting and crying.  The girls just parted ways for a bit and were fast friends again within minutes.  No doubt, having George as a younger brother has taught Frances the art of quick forgiveness.


And the ever-important skill of learning to pick your battles.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A quick getaway

Will and I finally cashed in on my Christmas present to him this year—a two-night, kid-free trip to Colonial Williamsburg.

Will had planned on going to Williamsburg this past weekend anyway for the Virginia Bar Association’s annual meeting.  With Frances in Kindergarten this year, we were struggling to figure out how we could make it a family trip as we had always done in the past (the conference is Thursday through Saturday) when it dawned on me how much more fun it would be to just have a couple’s trip.  So our saintly neighbors, the Pyles, volunteered to stay with the kids so we could have some alone time.  And it could not have been more perfect.

The weather was snowy and freezing so having the children with us would have been a challenge.  Colonial Williamsburg is a beautiful, quaint walking town, but not ideal for young kids particularly when the wind chill is in the teens.  But Will and I were in heaven.

Will looks like he's in heaven here, no?

We actually took a run together (our first ever!) on Saturday morning.

We are a fine looking couple, aren't we?  But in our defense, it was about 13 degrees when we started out on our run.

We took several walks, window shopped at my favorite furniture store of all time (Williamsburg At Home), ate a romantic dinner courtesy of my parents, visited the outlet stores (of course!), and finished actual adult conversations in a timely, sophisticated manner.  We were able to talk about more than just the everyday necessities—what’s for dinner, how did George behave, how is Frances doing in school.  We talked about the future—our hopes and dreams for the family, where we’d like to vacation next, what we would do if we won the lottery.  Yes, much of what we talked about may never happen.  But I am convinced it is so important for couples to dream together; to allow your minds to wander collectively; to realize that regardless of what happens in the real world, you will always share a love of what could be and what you hope will be.

One of my dreams - to stay here (The Williamsburg Inn) one day.  Queen Elizabeth, among countless others, have called this incredible hotel home for a night.
Sadly, our weekend was over much too quickly, but not quickly enough for the Pyles I’m afraid.  George was his usual “spirited” self while we were gone and I know how exhausting he can be.

This picture says it all.  I love my boy, but he is the ultimate handful.  

A big “THANK YOU” to the Pyles for letting Will and me have some alone time and wishing you many hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our week

On one of our many rainy days last week, George and I ventured to the Short Pump location of the children’s museum.

Honestly, he spent the majority of the time in the “baby” section looking completely out of place. 

But he loved the books they had out and he probably loved feeling like Willie the Giant.  I’m assuming that’s a great feeling although I have no personal experience.


This is how Marshall spent the better part of the rainy week and snow day.

Who am I kidding – this is how Marshall spends every single day.  It’s a ruff life.


We spent several cold and wet afternoons at the indoor pool, which is a warm 90+ degrees regardless of the weather outside.

Frances has always been a fish and George is becoming a bit braver.  I feel swimming lessons coming soon in his future.


George and his Headbandz

I could write an entire post using only pictures of George wearing this game (a child’s version of “Charades”).  I can’t help it – I take a picture every time he goes into his room and comes out wearing one of these contraptions, which is a lot.


Frances helped me with some errands on Saturday.

She was so good I felt a milkshake reward was in order.


The temperature for this morning's run.

I know, I get no sympathy.  I am, after all, voluntarily embarking on this solo mission to see just how numb my nose can get in an hour's time.


My absolute most favorite part of the day.

The kids are bathed, Marshall is fed, dinner is cooking, and the next 30 minutes is dedicated to the Disney Channel.

And my new favorite wine.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Unintended downtime

Happy belated MLK,jr and Inauguration Day!  I had intended to write a stirring post about the importance of those two occasions (and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation – amazing), but all plans were scrapped yesterday when our power went out around 9am and remained out for the better part of the day.  Don’t worry, I’m fairly certain my post would not have been that stirring or interesting to anyone except my mother; and even she’s heard it all by now.

Our house was the only one in the neighborhood to lose power, which was caused by one of the underground wires allowing too much voltage into our fuse box (a frightening thought).  Will was scheduled to work in the office, but kindly stayed home to help deal with the electrician, Virginia Power, and eventually our furnace people (the unit made a loud “BOOM!” sound followed quickly by a flash of light and that quintessential odor of burning plastic).  I risk setting my gender back fifty years by saying this, but I am always comforted when there is a man around to facilitate these kinds of house emergencies.  I have no idea why—Will is the smartest man I know, but has zero electrical skills.  And yet I inevitably find myself happily placing our entire wellbeing in his hands and only sporadically asking him, “What in the world could be going on?”  I assume whatever is his response is 100% correct and I can continue on with my day.

With no power, no internet, and no phone, the kids and I left the house full of grumbling men and headed for the playground and a Chick-Fil-A lunch (because apparently no power also makes me a sucker for fast food and an indoor kids’ area).  With that full morning, Frances and George now think that losing power is the greatest thing since Christmas Day.

At the prospect of facing the after-lunch naptime without writing, cooking, doing laundry, or vacuuming I abandoned all hopes of being productive and sat outside in the sunshine, called my mother on my cell phone, and read my latest issue of Southern Living cover to cover.  As it turns out, I like losing power almost better than Christmas Day, too.

But this is what awaits me during this afternoon’s nap time (with another load in the dryer as we speak):

It’s no Southern Living in the sunshine, but I can’t complain.  Unintended downtime is great for a day, but I think I’d go crazy with any more of it this week.  Not all of us were meant to live the leisurely lifestyle.  

And some of us were just bred that way.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Snow day!

Already out by 7:30am

Our first one of the year and it was beautiful.

Another first – George loved the snow almost as much as Frances did.  Three cheers for waterproof mittens and solid snow boots.  I knew as long as he was warm he’d have fun.

Tabletop Frosty (the best Will and the kids could do with white, powdery snow).

The sun is quickly melting the powder into slush, but the kids are hoping for one more romp this afternoon.  Can you blame them?

Happy Friday, everyone!