Friday, December 29, 2006

change in progress

Bear with me for a few days. I am in the process of changing to Blogger's new version...and since it's the start of a new year I feel the need to refresh a few things. Mind if I don't post one of those annoying "under construction" signs? I'm also in the process of redoing our family website which is sorely outdated.

Dave and I traded babysitting favors with some neighborhood friends this week. Today we left our three with them and headed out to the movies. We saw "Pursuit of Happyness" which was really worthwhile. (And no, I didn't misspell it.) We used to see every movie that came out during the holidays. Nowadays we have to pick and choose our opportunities since most of our movie viewing happens inside our home. Dave also wants to see "The Good Shepherd" soon. Anyone seen it?

Grace takes the prize this week for her changes...finally God has blessed us with a ready to potty model of child. She now wakes up dry most mornings and announces her intentions as running to the bathroom. The running commentary is hilarious and the reality of fewer diapers seems like a miracle. On Tuesday, while we were at a restaurant, she insisted on the fact that the changing table was not for her and insisted upon the big girl potty. Hallelujah! It's probably time since she has closely inspected the faceless illustration on the changing table (you know the one that shows you how to use the changing table and warns you not to walk away from the child?) and decided that "the baby lost it's eyes when it fell off the table after the Daddy left it." I wonder if the illustrators ever thought the information would be percieved that way?

Speaking of change, did I mention that I am officially beginning the job hunt soon? I have a resume to update and a portfolio to compile, but hopefully that effort will pay off in a good and satisfying job. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, December 22, 2006

here comes santa claus

Grace kisses Santa during our church's Breakfast with Santa
December 2, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

we came, we saw, we survived

Ah, at long last I return to the blogging scene. Hang onto your hats, this is a long post. A lot has happened in three weeks -- not the least of which was our trip to Washington D.C. for Dave's Business Group Christmas party. We managed to cram a lot of fun and old friends into 5 days. We left Georgia on Thursday afternoon and got into Maryland around 1:45 am on Friday morning. By some genius stroke of luck we were granted a suite due to a mixup at the Hilton where we were staying. That was wonderful with five people in the room.

We set about on Friday to take the kids by Dave's office in Maryland and say hello, tie up loose ends for the rest of the trip, and then visit my old office near NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. That afternoon we finally did the thing Jordan has dreamed about for two years -- we visited with her best friend and our old neighbors. It was great fun to see the girls reuniting and unnerving to see how they are becoming older. Jordan got to visit with Alex and Marielle at length and we all went to dinner at an Italian restaurant with little brothers and sisters in tow. I really felt sorry for the other clientele of the restaurant because we were the loudest table in the room. Later that night Jordan and the girls spent the night at Marielle's house. When we picked her up on Saturday morning she was on cloud 9.

We met more friends for breakfast, showed William the hospital where he was born, and then began preparing for the big party night. First on the agenda was getting the kids to their old babysitter's house for the spend the night party she had planned. Miss Nicki is a wonderful person. She goes to school at UCSD and had just arrived home from California less than 12 hours before we dropped three kiddos on her. I could hardly believe how excited she was to see them. The last time she babysat Will he was still a new toddler around 14 months old. We felt so safe leaving them there -- and we were so excited to run away for an adult night on the town.

The hotel was BEAUTIFUL. Big feather bed and down comforters, great views, and good company. It was nice to have time alone with my husband. I was completely caught by surprise when he brought out a jewelry box with a circular diamond pendant as an early christmas present. Dave gets extra bonus wife points for being so romantic. We got dressed for the night in peace and enjoyed every moment of the luxurious party. There were about 600 people in the Grand Ballroom, a live band including horns, and food stations to fulfill every need including the required crabcakes. It was quite the party.

One night away with a relaxing morning did wonders for my mentality. Most mornings we are getting people up and moving at our house. Having a morning with no deadlines (other than a noontime kid pickup) was heavenly. We did eventually come to reality and checked out of the hotel. We headed back to get the kids (who were all happy as clams with Miss Nicki and the goodies she has treated them with) and then out to brunch with some old Navy friends. Oddly enough our old Navy contemporaries are now taking command of ships and big organizations...and that is a funny feeling having known them since their early twenties. Just one more reminder that the years are flying by.

Sunday night we arrived on the doorstep of Josh and Claudia, Dave's cousin. They are one of the best things about the Maryland area and we were happy to be back with them. They were brave enough to entertain our clan for two days and even do some sightseeing with us. On early Monday morning we headed downtown by metro (a thrill to the kids) and then set about to be tourists. We covered a planned tour of the Capitol Building, the Air and Space Museum, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Washington Monument, and the new WWII monument. The temperature was 70 degrees so we had a reprieve and were able to move around easily downtown without heavy coats. The photo below shows William and Jordan with a plane which their Pop-pop worked on during his time with Lockheed.

We reluctantly headed back down the interstate on Tuesday night and have tried to squeeze in the last two days of schools, teacher's presents, and other deadlines. I'm running late on Christmas card delivery, but you'll get them soon. I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. I'd love to know what your plans are...ours are rather subdued after the trip. If you made it to the bottom of this post you deserve a kiss under the mistletoe. Now go find your significant other. ;-) Did you think I'd kiss you???

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December deadlines

Why do I find myself surprised by the whirlwind of activity each year in December. Thanksgiving seems so relaxed (well, a bit busy this year) and soothing and then WHAM December hits with a bang. It's not all about the Santa thing either. As school winds down before the break it seems like every complex project comes due with requirements from craft stores and late night finales cheering Jordan to the finish line of a research paper or biography. Choral concert practices have been extended and Drama club performances happen. I'm not even going to begin to list the additional things like birthday parties and girl scout meetings that are "normal". It's funny...January is the begining of the year, but months like August and December are beginning to mark more and more of my milestones with the kid's school experiences.

There's a little secret we are keeping from the kids right now. We made the decision to attend Dave's East Coast Company Holiday party in Washington D.C. and so we are off for a little trip right before school ends. (It's my final attempt for the parent of the year award...ripping my kids out of school for a few days in December for a family trip with some educational value. I'm quite sure the school system will deem this trip unexcused, but I really don't care.) We are going to drive up (should I wave as I go past Dori?) and then stay in Maryland for the first few days. Jordan will get to visit with her best friend and former neighbor Alex...and she will feel happy about this. Even now I hear her say that she hasn't found another friend like her in Georgia. Good friends are special, even when you are young. Dave and I will get to celebrate the Holiday party like real adults in the hotel without kids. Our three will be staying with their old babysitters who are now college age and home from University. I'm quite sure they won't miss us that night. We got my dress this weekend after some miracle kid wrangling by Dave. We also found him an outfit addition to his black suit which will dress it up a bit. I think I'll have a handsome date. We plan on visiting the Air and Space Museum later that weekend and then a full day of sightseeing including a congressional tour on Monday. It's a bit like an extended weekend, but I'm looking forward to it.

First I have to survive the choral concert tomorrow night.