The Family

The Family

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Little People

Lest I forget what they are like at this age - because it's such a blur most days - here's a snapshot of life in this house with an almost two year old and an almost six year old.

I love how her hair swings when she runs.

I love listening to him converse with others.

She likes to pretend she's reading.

He likes to do anything but try to read on his own.

She is already saying most of her ABCs; something her brother would never do.

He likes to get in her face way too much; something his sister finds aggravating.

She screams, he screams. He screams, she screams.

They release mass quantities of crayons, legos, books and clothes all over their mother's floor.

They are her loves, her sidekicks, her traveling companions who make it all worthwhile.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

An Evening of Golf

When a week is so frustrating and stressful it leaves knots in your shoulders, it's good to end it outside on an evening where the smell of freshly mown crash and the sound of water rushing through nearby streams forces you to exhale.

When a little girl decides by the sixth hole that going "super fast" in a golf cart with the wind blowing in her hair and the tress rushing by is a thrill.

When a boy swings and putts and realizes there's a whole lot of fun in spending time with his daddy playing a game of golf.

When the birds, in red and brown and blue, sing their melodies that make you wonder why you don't do this every night of the week.

And when you get home there's an unexpected turn.

A husband realizes he doesn't have his key and a wife, only because it's Friday and she's so ready for a break from it all, sees a grand adventure for the weekend. That is until the husband makes it in through an unlocked window and opens the door for the rest to come in.

Then it's back to the unanswered e-mails and the unreasonable demands coming from the outside world and that grand adventure is put off for another time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CSA Wednesday

On Wednesday we head to a local farm to pick up produce as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Here's what we got today:

Bok Choy - I love sauteing this with garlic and olive oil

Lettuce - I'm looking forward to a good salad tomorrow night!

Eggs - They will go great boiled and added to the salad!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A New Pizza Joint

We were in Newnan, Ga. again today. I was having pictures made of the children early this morning so we made the hour-long drive last night in order to avoid having to wake up before dawn.

We were there at the end of last week, and I discovered my new favorite place to eat in Newnan - Partners Pizza.

It was so good we had to stop there again today for lunch before heading home.

I've mentioned before I'm a sucker for a salad bar. This place has a good one.

There's also a specialty pizza on the menu called the "potato pizza." The thought of it initially grossed me out, but I was willing to try it when Matt's mom ordered it last week. It was like a smothered baked potato with crust and was delicious!

Today Jack and I ate off the lunch buffet and were just as impressed.

There are several locations in Georgia and one in Kentucky. If you ever run across one, it's worth the stop.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Atlanta Zoo

The rain didn't keep us away yesterday!

We spent Thursday night at Matt's mom's house in Newnan, Ga. and then drove about 30 minutes to get to the Atlanta Zoo Friday morning. We knew it was going to rain, but were hoping to beat it.

It started to sprinkle as soon as we arrived.

I brought along an alphabet chart we created the night before for Jack to write down the animal's names. He was less than thrilled Thursday night when I explained what he would do with it, but once there he actually got into it and even thought it was fun.

It's not easy trying to write in the rain.

We were able to enjoy a few exhibits in between sprinkles.

Then the downpour started and didn't let up. Needless to say we spent a lot of time under shelter for the rest of the morning.

Jack wanted in on the picture-taking action at one point. He snapped this shot of a Komodo dragon.

This independent little girl wanted to do her own thing at each stop.

I was glad to see this Auburn logo in relation to conservation efforts, even if it did involve snakes.

One of the best exhibits by far was the Pandas. I was so drenched at that point I no longer cared about taking pictures, but there was this cute Panda peeling the outer layer of bamboo shoots and then eating the inside. We stayed there for a few minutes to watch before making a beeline for the car and heading home.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

CSA Wednesday

On Wednesday we pick up produce at a local farm as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Here's what we got today:
Some good looking strawberries

Farm-fresh eggs

A mix of pac choi, red mustard greens, mizuna and leaf broccoli

Monday, April 15, 2013

Feeling the Itch

There are moments when I decide I want to go somewhere ASAP.

While we have a trip to Vermont planned for mid-May, this past weekend I got the itch.


New York was calling.

When Matt came home on Friday for lunch I popped the question.

I assured him I had it all figured out. I was kind enough to not demand an immediate response. A few hours to mull it over would be good enough.

So later that night, after he didn't bring it up once he returned from work, I put on my most sincere smile (and maybe batted my eyelashes a tad) as I asked him if we could go.

His answer was YES!

I was a bit bummed when I couldn't find a return flight with three seats together for the weekend of April 26th. There's no way Jack would sit in between strangers. I'm not sure I would want him to.

One of my main selling points to Matt for this trip had been that we if we went before Mattie turned two, we wouldn't have to buy a ticket for her. Once I thought about it some more I realized we have until July. Sooooo, I booked us all to go for a weekend in June.

To top it off, the hotel was cheaper that weekend anyway.

Major Score!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Life in the Slow Lane

Here we are living this modern life, only we're trying to do so at a different pace.

We spend a lot of time at home reading, doing art, talking, laughing and playing.

We aren't involved in outside activities.

So why is it that most days for me often feel like a blinding whirlwind? It's as if I'm on constant overdrive, sinking in the quicksand of daily to-dos.

When I was a young girl I thought I'd never grow up to do housework.

"I'm going to have a maid," was a constant retort to my parents scolding about my lackluster dusting and bed-making skills.

Fast foward to 34; I still don't have that maid.

So I make beds - much better than I once did - and clean toilets and showers. I attempt to dust and then fold endless laundry after it piles up for days on the couch.

The housework alone, especially all the papers that are part of homeschooling that litter every floor in the house, can be downright maddening.

I often think if I lived in some glamorous city I would have the money to have that maid. She would be there to clean that Park Avenue penthouse and would travel with us to our sprawling country estate. And if there were others around to clean and cook then I would be able to take a breath and enjoy it all more fully.

Maybe I would, but that's not my life.

In the constant busyness that comes with being a mom, I still strive to provide a slower pace for these children that have become my life and have made it so much richer.

I think I've said this before, but it bears repeating. Our pastor, once commenting on the daily grind of life, offered this quote: "I may get tired in the work, but I never get tired of the work."

My life is here, in this house that I have a love-hate relationship with. My life revolves around these blessed children almost all day every day of the week. My life has become about attempting to create a spirit of adventure in them through the love of good books, delicious food, interesting and often impromptu travels and solid family relationships.
My life looks a whole lot different than I thought it would as a young girl. It certainly looks a whole lot different than I thought it would when I was a 20-something that filled each day with endless activities and plans, even though I was stressed beyond belief by it all.

Now I know it's this pace I was seeking all along, even though it comes with lots of messes and loads of housework.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CSA Wednesday

On Wednesday we pick up produce at a local farm as part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program.

We got the same thing today as we did last week:

I'm thinking about making this strawberry and pudding tart with this week's fruit.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Great Gatsby

The breaks I incurred during my three-hour dental visit today allowed me to read most of "The Great Gatsby."

This is my second time reading Fitzgerald's classic novel. The first was in college, though not as an assigned reading for a lit. course. I devoured it one weekend when I was back home because my youngest brother had a copy he was reading for his high school english class. 

I'm reading it now as part of the Open Yale class on Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner.

I don't remember the ending, which makes it exciting! I'm fairly certain someone dies, but whether it's Tom or Daisy or both I can't say. I also can't remember if I love or loathe Gatsby in the end.

At the current point I'm at in the book I like him because it feels like he is trying to rescue poor Daisy from a loveless marriage. A vague recollection of the first reading, intuition and understanding a bit about Fitzgerald tell me it isn't likely to end this way.

The timing of this second read through is perfect because I can pick apart the upcoming movie, set to be released in May. I know Carey Mulligan plays Daisy, which I'm having a hard time picturing. I think Carey Mulligan is a phenomenal actress, but as I'm reading it's an image of Blake Lively that keeps popping into my head.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Minus One

This weekend we were one short.

At the spur of the moment on Friday, Jack decided to spend the weekend at his Nanny's house.


She's been asking him for years to come home with her, and his response has always been "maybe someday." But on Friday the response was a quick and resounding yes.

That left Mattie an only child for two days.

It was good for me to be able to spend so much alone time with her. The two of us ate lunch at my favorite outdoor cafe yesterday, and afterward went shoe shopping. We walked out of the boutique with three pair. All hers of course. She already has the beginnings of a shoe fetish.

It was good for Jack to be away and have fun with his grandparents. He stayed up super late, ate his fair share of junk food and got to pick out a toy at Target - you know, all the fun stuff that us moms usually say no to!

It was a great weekend for us all, but I sure was ready to hit the road this morning and pick him up. This momma missed him terribly.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Villas at Willow Point Golf and Country Club

The children woke up Sunday morning to find their Easter baskets waiting for them at a villa we spent the night in after a wedding on Saturday.

The Villas at Willow Point Golf and Country Club were recommended by the bride's family, and we got a great rate for the overnight stay.

We arrived before the wedding to find this thoughtful goodie bag prepared by the bride and groom that included snacks, drinks, coffee and lots of items that would come in handy:

Here it was their wedding, and they were making sure the guests were taken care of!

I'm sure this place is loads of fun in the summer. It sits on a golf course, surrounds a lake and has tennis and swimming facilities. There is a restaurant on site as well.

I'm not one for huge crowds, so I actually think it would be a good weekend getaway during the winter or early spring. My guess is the prices are likely lower during those times of year. I'm not quite sure if that's why our rate was so reasonable or if it was because the bride's family worked out a deal for wedding guests.

Mattie got a kick out of spinning around in the spacious room, and Jack enjoyed shooting the bow and arrow the Easter Bunny brought.

It was well worth spending the night. We didn't have to rush to leave the reception, and it was fun to wake up Easter morning in a different place. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CSA Wednesday

Today was the first pick up for our local spring/summer crop share. Every Wednesday for the next few months we will be picking up produce and other goodies from a local farm as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

I was actually surprised when I received an e-mail last night notifying me of today's pick up. Last week one of the farmers sent an e-mail about how the cooler weather and hail damage from a recent storm had damaged some crops and that the pick ups might not begin for several weeks.

We've done this for the past two years and this time we decided to split the food with Matt's sister because of cost and the quantity of food - there is more than we can eat some weeks.

Here's what we got this first week:

Yummy Strawberries

Farm-Fresh Eggs Are My Favorite!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Stables at Russell Crossroads

The wedding we attended Saturday night was in an area of Alabama I didn't even know existed.

It was at the Stables at Russell Crossroads and is about 50 miles from where we live.

Here are the stables:

It's a beautiful location.

There's a market and playground at the entrance. When you crest the hill a restaurant comes into view. Down below that is where the stables sit.

Horses and carriages are all over the place.

Here we are, dressed up and ready to go:

Mattie made sure her presence was known before the ceremony began. Once the groom made his way up front and everything was quiet, she let all the guests know that "everybody poo-poos." It's her latest phrase, and she had to say it twice; you know, incase no one heard her the first time!

Later, at the reception, I was one happy momma when Jack broke it down with me to one of the best wedding dance songs: "Mustang Sally!"