Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Easter so far.  We’ve been up since dawn (or earlier) checking out our Easter spoils.

And finding those hidden jellybeans that the Easter Bunny likes to leave around the house.

Two years difference, if you can believe it.

We’re off to brunch and what looks like will be a very rainy, cold Easter egg hunt.  But as long as there is plenty of chocolate and sugar, I know two hunters who won't be phased by the weather.

Make that three hunters.

Happy, happy Easter, everyone!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We have a new baby in the family!

Welcome to the world Claire Elizabeth Heil!

My beautiful mother became a Nana for the 11th time last night.  A big congratulations to my brother Henry, his wife Kerrin, and big sister Maggie.  

Big sister Maggie and Baby Claire.
Clara the doll (beside Maggie) is looking suspiciously lifelike though, isn't she?

We are so excited to have another little girl in the family!  Frances is chomping at the bit to hold that little bundle of joy.  Oh, who am I kidding, I am DYING to hold another little girl.

Can you blame us?

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Prince Charming

Another (what I assumed to be) ordinary Wednesday and I come down to the kitchen this morning to find this:

Will remembers everything—even the eleventh (!!) anniversary of our first date.  Eleven years ago today was also a Wednesday when Will picked me up in his timeworn Plymouth Valiant.  We headed to dinner at a local Charlottesville restaurant and then caught the rerelease of E.T. (he brought tissues in the event that I’d weep like a baby.  He knew me even then!).  All in all it was a perfect first date followed quickly by a next day phone call and many, many more (a lifetime of) dates and dinners.

We laughed this morning at trying to recreate that first date.  At this stage in our lives I’m lucky enough to make it through dinner awake; there’s no way on earth I could follow that with a movie.  But even a simple meal out with just Will and me feels like a first date all over again—we laugh at each other’s jokes, we hold hands, we appreciate spending those precious minutes together.  It will probably be years until I can make it through dinner and a movie, primarily because of these three warm bodies:

Don’t let their stillness fool you.  I am fairly certain Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was on the TV.

Until then Will, thank you for these last eleven years.  And thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping your dance card empty.  We’ll be out there again in no time!

I love you!  And happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, March 25, 2013

This and that

This Saturday, we took a daytrip to Lynchburg to see The Opera on The James’ performance of “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Wolf masks made pre-show.

Frances fell in love with the star of the show and the (much too young) woman who played her grandmother.

Neither of my children would step near the Big Bad Wolf, but I suppose that is a testament to his amazing acting abilities.


We have a playroom, a sunroom, and a den and all he wants to do is play right where I need to cook.


A couple of Frances’s recent school art projects that stood out to me:


So far the score is Squirrel: 2, Lucy: 0.

We’ve even tried putting mineral oil on the post to no avail.  If anyone else has any other brilliant ideas I would love hear.


Some recent pictures of fabric samples Anne and I have been swapping back and forth long distance for my room updates.

I don’t think we’ll even use any of these (the jury is still out), but this has been such a fun process.


Finally, today was yet another snow day from school.  In late March.  A week before Easter.

Dear Mother Nature, while your lovely white powder is beautiful to look at, the kids and I might just kill each other if another one of these unintended days off occurs.

You’re a mother; you understand.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, March 22, 2013

My hands were completely numb when I took this picture

March madness is upon us, April 1st is around the corner, and still George and I are running around in our heavy winter coats and trying desperately to pretend we are not freezing.

This morning at the botanical gardens (and briefly warm inside the greenhouse).

He’s much better at that than I am.

It snowed Thursday morning (whereupon Will played “Let it Snow” and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” in an effort to cheer me up) and it’s supposed to snow again Sunday into Monday.  Not even Christmas carols will work this time around.  I’m just warning you, Will.  Diamonds might do the trick though : )

I’ve updated the blog to a spring theme so I can dream of a green Easter (pleeeeease!!) and hope that poor Peter Cottontail isn’t hoping to us through that nasty white stuff.

Happy Friday, everyone!  Stay warm!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First day of spring

It’s unseasonably cold here for this time of year, but I’m determined to make it spring in the house.

I found these beautiful silk flowers today at Marshall’s.

I have to admit, I’ve never been a Marshall’s/TJ Maxx fan.  My mind doesn’t work well around clutter and chaos, which is usually how those stores operate.  But a new Marshall’s recently opened close to us and it is much nicer than any I’ve ever seen—big, clean, and well-stocked (but not too well-stocked) with good finds.

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I found this sweet little picture at Target for all of $8.00.

I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with it when I bought it; I just knew I loved it.  And that it had colors from several of our rooms in the house—the den, the guest room, our bedroom.  And that it was 8 buckaroos.  It’s hard to find a frame for that cheap these days.

When I got home, I was greeted with our typical entrance from the mudroom…

…and I knew exactly where it would go.

I love these pictures from our Puerto Rico trip, but they’ve been in that spot for the last year and I had grown weary of looking at them each time I came inside the house.  I’ve moved them to another grouping of Puerto Rico pictures and in their place …

…is now a much-needed hint of spring.  Oh, and that’s my boyfriend in the background.  He’s quite a catch.

Speaking of George (and his millions of teeny, tiny toys), I found these great little storage boxes also at Target yesterday (I am just now realizing that it sounds like I shop a lot, which as my mother will tell you to her dismay is far from the truth). 

They were $4.00 each so I bought four, but I now wish I bought much more—easy on/off tops, about the size of a shoe box, transparent (so you can actually see what's inside of them without taking the entire bunch out), and they stack.  Little marvels, I tell you.

Am I the only one who gets a little flutter in her stomach when she sees stacked, organized toys?  The only thing that makes me happier is that the top right box is empty and patiently waiting for something to be neatly placed inside.  A puzzle?  A game with small, sharp pieces that are sure to be lost?  The ten tiaras that Frances has scattered about her bedroom?  The possibilities are endless : )

And with that I will sign off with a happy spring from our backyard.

The weatherman says it will snow again on Monday, but I am in complete denial.  I'm much happier assuming our backyard will look like this through summertime, scattered toys and all.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Belated, I know.

Sunday was a busy one for us non-Irish folk.  We woke up and discovered a leprechaun had done some serious mischief throughout the house. 

This is the first year the leprechaun has visited the kids, who came around only because Frances’s Kindergarten teacher had the leprechaun visit her classroom during recess.  I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see those adorable faces finding evidence of his various antics.

Bath toys lined the steps

 According to Frances, the leprechaun was also supposed to leave candy in their shoes (whoops), but I’m considering my source of that information carefully.  Frances might be the only person on the planet with a sweet tooth bigger than mine.

St. Patrick’s Day was cold and rainy (a lot like Ireland now that I think about it), so we took our first family bowling trip.

If you ever had any doubt that the wrong one of us became a professional dancer,
check out those gams.

The kids looooved it.  And were both very, very good.  So good, in fact, that they trounced their mother both games.

They do, after all, have the best coach in town.

Happy Monday, everyone!    

Saturday, March 16, 2013

This and that

Frances’s dance class had their second open house last week:

Which also means it was my second annual “take 100 pictures in a row of adorable, round tummies in black leotards” day.

Rehearsing their recital piece with actual stage lighting.

My little ballerina girl.


Our weekday evening tradition:

Trying to prevent Gram-E from leaving.


I picked up these beautiful tulips from Kroger last week.

George insisted he have his picture taken with the red bouquet, since they matched.


Frances and Marshall reenacting one of our favorite books, Dr. White.

If you don’t know that story, I high recommend it.  Make sure you have a box of tissues handy though.


Another easy-peasy recipe:

Crock-pot BBQ

-         4 pounds pork shoulder
-         1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce
-         1 can of Coke

8 hours on HIGH in the crock-pot.  Add a little coleslaw and baked beans and you have yourself a meal that Frances will devour within seconds.  So, so good.


Poor girl; a phonetic speller just like her mother.


A couple of weekends ago, USA Yoga held their annual championship and one of our Richmond yogis competed.

The kids were mesmerized watching the participants and quickly realized the poses look much easier than they actually are:

Will is a natural though.

Happy weekend, everyone!