Thursday, March 27, 2008


Editors Note: We have decided to preserve your hearing by not posting video in which our daughter squeals at decibel levels that left my ears ringing and forced me to remove our youngest from the court.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The 11th

I can't remember my 11th anniversary very well. For someone like my parents (40 years married) that is not saying much, but my 11th was last Saturday.

I know that we got up with the kids, I know Addie wasn't feeling well and I took her to the walk-in clinic. I know that Jeremy took Elspeth for a bike ride while Adwen napped. I know that at one point I remembered it was our anniversary and I started at the thought because it felt so un-anniversary like.

Jeremy made up a lame excuse at one point to get out of the house and buy me tulips (my favorite flower).

I liked that part.

Other than that, March 22 was not marked by anything out of the ordinary. Most people feel a little sorry for us that we don't celebrate our anniversaries with big fanfare, but the reality is that out of the ordinary is not a synonym for special. I feel like every day is special with Jeremy, I am honestly more grateful that he let me sleep until 8 am on Easter morning than if we had gone out to dinner on our anniversary.

I appreciate that when my daughter says the meanest thing she knows how to say to me (Mommy, you go away), my husband will firmly tell her that she is not to disrespect me, EVER. I am grateful that he would never treat me with disrespect, or take my presence in his life for granted.

I love the sound of my husband and elder child playing in the bath while I clean up after dinner. Their combined level of goofiness far exceeds what I expected in my life, and thrills me daily. I love the quiet way he reaches for Adwen when she tires of being stuck on the floor, and the smile he can put on her face just by talking to her.

Each moment of our lives together means more to me than I could have imagined and it is the developing every dayness of our lives that I truly cherish. When we are old and rocking quietly together in the "home" it will not be the random wining and dining on special occasions that will be our topic of conversation. We will remember together about playing soccer then racquetball when we moved to the midwest. And how the place we liked the least to live, has become the most our home; through all the wonderful people we have met, and by bringing two amazing kids into the world. We will remember Elspeth's laugh and Addie's smiles and how no family video is lacking a dog whining in the background or walking through the foreground.

We will not say "remember our 11th anniversary?" We will say "remember the day Adwen finally started crawling?"(which happens to be the same day).

Saturday was our 11th anniversary, but who is counting years when each day is a gift.

Elspeth's First Bike Ride

We are not sure that wearing the helmet actually increases safety until we can get it fitted better. Unfortunately, Elspeth doesn't believe she needs to watch where she is going anyway.
Daddy gives her a little push to get her started.
Mommy and Adwen "help" Ella avoid going off the road.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Our Weekend in Ohio

Elspeth wanted Mommy to take a picture of Adwen. I finally captured the top of her head to gain peace in the car (I couldn't get any better shot from my seat in the car).
"Mommy, is this going to be a really long drive?"
"My Daddy's a boy"
"My Bo doesn't talk, but Mommy talks."
"Can I watch Pyramid Dora (8 times in one 4 hour drive)?"
"I just want to get to Mamgu and Dactu's house."
Sunday morning at Mamgu's house.
Playing with Uncle Andy. Ella is in there, if you don't believe me, look below. . .
Yes, it's a goofy sandwhich.
The best Gertrude McFuzz that ever was! Elspeth has made me read the story to her every night since going to the show. After a week, she finally stopped asking if we could go to the show again.
We get back to Mamgu and Dactu's house in time to catch a glimpse of Adwen Kate and her favorite date, Dactu. I managed to catch this before she realized we were home, but even after she caught site of me, she only had eyes for Dactu (a big thing for my Mamma's girl).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend Update

First of all, I have to apologize, we did not get the camera out once this weekend. While our daughters went to new heights of cuteness, we did not document a single second of it for your enjoyment, so you will have to use your imagination for this one . . .

This weekend, Addie was in rare form. We went to lunch after church, and the waitress and waitstaff could not stop ooohing over her. While I have to admit, the kid was cute, Elspeth is no wall-flower and I was getting increasingly annoyed about this. My sister in law, Karin, has always been sensitive to anyone seemingly showing preference for one of her children. While I have always understood this on a theoretical level, I feel like I really GET it now. I wanted to kill that waitress, because each time she exclaimed about Addie, Elspeth's face took on an expression I have never seen and can not interpret.

The truth is, I don't want either of my girls to feel like their value stems from how cute they are. Jeremy and I try consciously not to feed anything that would help them equate value with surface qualities. Finally, Ella leaned over her father, looked the waitress in the eye and said "My name is Elspeth." I was proud of my girl, but the waitress didn't take the hint. I never like my kids to act up, but I didn't really mind that the one getting all the attention in the restaurant ended her stay in a screaming fit that would pierce the eardrums of the nearly deaf. Elspeth, meanwhile, was the picture of polite decorum. I love my kids for challenging any notions you may have about them at any given moment.

Yesterday afternoon, we visited the gym with the kids. Our gym will let you take your kids on the courts, as long as you are there to supervise. For this, I truly am kicking myself for not hauling the camera. So you will have to use your imagination and picture the happiest you have ever seen Elspeth, now multiply that by 10. She lit up when she hit the gym floor and didn't stop for the hour we let her run. The only time she slowed down, is when she determined that one of the balls was "sad" and didn't want to bounce anymore (but it made a fast recovery). The favorite game seems to be bouncing the ball and then hopping after it.

Adwen, riding in the carrier with Mommy, clutched her small blue ball closely to her face. Occasionally, she would drop the ball so Mommy could squat and Addie would pick it up again. She carried that ball until I wrestled it from her grasp to put her coat on. Her favorite games seem to be watching Mommy bounce a ball, and chasing big sister Elspeth as she hops across the gym. Addie was so tired by the event, that she crashed by 6:30 (remember the time changed yesterday so this felt like an hour and a half ahead of bedtime).

This morning, both girls slept until we retreived them from bed. I made it to work on time for the first time in a long time. What a great weekend.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Our Big Girl

Elspeth had the sides removed from her crib last weekend to make a "big girl bed" and each night she has quietly requested that we put the sides back on her bed. This transition has moved her out of her comfort zone, but she has born it the way only the truly young can.

She can not describe the feeling of exposure her new accomodations leave her with, she can not tell us that growing up is scary, but she knows that something she really wanted is turning out to be not what she expected.

What she does not know, is that her Mommy would have kept her in a crib until she was an adult if I could. She does not know that each night my arms are a little emptier because I don't get to lift her into her bed. She does not know how much I miss that last hug I used to steal, or the way she would occasionally grab my face between her hands and plant a kiss right on my face as I handed her into bed. She does not know that bittersweet was made up just to describe a mother's emotions as she watches her children blossom from one incredible stage to the next. She does not know that I miss the little girl that she was yesterday almost as much as I can't wait to meet the woman she will be someday.

Right now, she is just a tiny person who suddenly feels less secure in the world. And while I long to put the sides back on her bed and assure her that Daddy and I will always keep everything as secure as it feels right now, that would be a lie. So each night, I gently tell her that we won't put the sides back up tonight, and we wait, we wait for her to stop asking for something we long to give, but can not.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Baby McGinn

Kevin and Michele are celebrating their forthcoming child with their typical flair. Kevin put this together and I LOVE it. Michele agreed to have it posted here so all the family could see it, but she promises that she is starting to consider what her blog will look like to document their family's growth this summer.

Can't wait for August!