Saturday, September 26, 2015

Happy Happy Birthday to our Anna!

This photo was taken about a month ago...when in the name of family fun and adventure, I asked her and Nate, to fly to Wyoming hang out with us for awhile and sleep in a tent with Rosie. 
And so she did... with the enthusiasm that is so wonderfully typical of her. 
This photo was taken in the early morning after we all camped... please note that Anna is still smiling, even after a long night of sharing a tent with her youngest sis. 
And then cheerfully take her little roomie on a morning cattle quest. 
(or do you call a tentmate and tent-ie?)
Again, still smiling :-) 
Today this girl turns 24 and I am reminded of just how fortunate we are to have her in our world. 
Our Anna makes everything in our family brighter and better and a whole lot more fun. 
She is a gift and a blessing and I am so very proud of the remarkable young woman that she has become. 
Happy Happy Birthday to you, dear Anna!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Birthday Celebration... 48 is Great!

The day I turned 48 happened to be the day labor day eve... which was great for me because I got to celebrate on both a Sunday and a Monday. And then because I have the world's most thoughtful and coolio pals ever... I continued with those birthday celebrations straight on till Friday, when they planned and hosted a gals only birthday EXTRAVAGANZA... with waffles. And pedicures. 
I know, pretty awesome, right?!?
So here is a photographic essay of my birthday events- joyfully and absolutely bookended by waffles.
I kicked off my earliest hours of being 48 with a morning walk with my dearest Rosie and Penny G. Schnoodlepants...
We hit the farmers market and Rosie had the super nutritious breakfast of a waffle and a watermelon popsicle.
Arrived home to gorgeous flowers that delightfully smelled up my whole house from my dear Karl, who got them from his favorite florist (Del Apgar Florist on Eastern Ave) , and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have a husband who has a favorite florist :-)
A song!
I received a song on my birthday! Written and performed by my favorite musician couple... Josh and Genevieve... who musically suggested that I
"follow closely your birthday intuition and dance out in the open"
A new recommendation to me for sure... but I will definitely take this happy birthday song advice.
So watch out world as I follow my 48 year old intuition and start taking my moves into the open!
Then on to lunch at a favorite spot with my Mary, who rode the Megabus in from Chicago to help me celebrate... and was also kind enough to give me a crash course in selfie stick usage.
After lunch, I got to cheer on my favorite nose guard/linebacker/left tackle at the same time that I was able to cheer on Karl as he skillfully handled grill duty at the game flipping burgers on a 95 degree afternoon.
Later that evening, Charo came to babysit... which inspired more selfie stick pics... we are all giddy with anticipation of a grown up dinner out.
And here we are positively elated as we make our exit. Karl is gleeful with hands in the air excitement!
Because the day following my national holiday birthday was truly the national holiday of labor day, my parents very happily kept the party going by hosting an additional lunchy party complete with my favorite spice cake.
Which prompted much discussion of the renowned Spice Girls...because why wouldn't it?
 Because it was my birthday, everyone was very patient and good natured about my newfound, obnoxious, but still pretty fun, selfie stick usage.
No one was safe from me forcing them to pose... including my super cool 20 year old nephew, doesn't he look thrilled to have his photo with Aunt Maggie?
And then, as if a birthday with a bonus day wasn't enough... my dear and amazing friends planned a completely fun evening which started out by drinking wine at the EXACT SAME TIME as getting cute toe pedicures.
My mom saw this photo of Lauren drying her toes in the nail salon and renounced that I "led my dear sweet cousin astray." So if you were to ask my mom she would identify this as a girls gone astray photo of Lauren, Kim and Lynn.
Party animals...woop, woop!
After all of our toesies were as adorable as they would ever be...we ran across the parking lot for a delicious dinner at Taste of Belgium and ate waffles for dinner and dessert.
We had a terrific time and concluded that  Belgium was the most amazing country ever for inventing something so fabulous. And then I think that we may have started planning a trip to our new favorite country to celebrate our beloved waffles before deciding that maybe it would be more feasible to plan to come back to Norwood for dinner instead.
We tried to take a big group self portrait but we weren't skilled enough to squeeze everyone in...
So we resorted to the old fashioned, but tried and true method of asking the kind server to take our photo... so here is the whole crew of us.
And so concludes my very fun week long birthday extravaganza made so by the many dear friends and family that fill my life and remind me of life's blessings.
I am beyond grateful to each of you for going above and beyond to help me celebrate my first days of being 48. And also to prove that your birthday age doesn't need to end in a zero to receive a multi day celebration.
I am truly lucky indeed! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Andre and his Beautiful Back to School Bus.

I have a new hero in my world and his name is Andre. 
You can't see him in this photo, because I didn't wasn't to alarm him by being too forward...but he is there, trust me. 
Gloriously driving his big beautiful bus.  
Summer was lovely but also epic long. Which you think would have given us plenty of time to get ready when our September 1st first day of school. And I really did think we were well prepared and good to go, but I was wrong and very surprised when on August 31st at a little after 7:00, one of my darlings ( names omitted to protect the not so innocent) told me that he didn't actually get his supplies during the 100 other times we were at Target over the summer, and he still needed his stuff. 
"Like now really, or definitely before tomorrow." 
And this same child, whose angry disappointment over the poor selection of night before school supplies at Target, threw himself into immediate and heartfelt sibling rivalry and pushed me right over summers edge to count the minutes to school starting. And I can tell you for certain that there are absolutely no orange folders with prongs and pockets in the store that has everything. 
And then, a mere 11 hours following the final fit of summer, as if in a hazy but beautiful dream,
 there was Andre... sweeping them off their feet and taking them to school where they can be with lots of other members of their own kid packs and those dear lovely highly skilled professionals called teachers. 
And while the first two back to school mornings were not captured photographically... the third time is a charm... sort of. goes our 3rd day of school wombats...
Lilly, 9th grade, Rosie, 2nd grade, Henry, 5th grade and Jamie 7th grade.
(Please note the middle school glee in Henry's expression)
Thank you dear teachers of SCDS for your loving dedication in teaching our kids and thank you dear Andre, for your care and efficiency in delivering in driving that big gorgeous yellow school bus.