Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Big Thaw.

SPRING. IS. HERE. I'm ready. Our area is ready. There is something so wonderfully exciting about the change of seasons. A fresh start...new nature stuff to enjoy...new smells. As tired as I (we all were) was of the snow and ice, I will admit to loving the beginning of the winter season, too. The problem is my love affair with winter has a short cycle.

So the meltdown is going on here. The ice jams at our riverfront have been incredibly damaging to one of our metroparks, a horse farm and a cemetery. Ella and I took a long walk in the neighbor and soaked ourselves - even with our best puddle-stomping boots on. BIG FUN.

Then we had this. Perfect Attendance girl was off two days sick. She coughed. She napped. She coughed.

And 48 hours later, she was pretty much back to herself. We decided to head to see Trent, Kim and Abbott as originally planned and boy are we happy we did! It was a quick 24 hours but we made the most of it. We hung out at their new compound and then hit up an exhibit at the museum.

Ella brought a bag full of Thomas books to hand down to her little cuz. She was so gracious and happy that he liked everything. 

Ella took this photo. Her love affair with Sergei continues...

Abbott reached out for her. Often.

When he wasn't reaching out for Ella, he was reaching for Uncle Larry.

Deep in thought at the Tree Drawing Table

Clover Cuteness.
It is never enough time. But we are so thankful for them and what time we do carve out for each other! ~H

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A birthday and bonus time.

The past few days have been filled with all kinds of special bonus time, it seems. I treated my girl to ice cream after school, she got a rare Friday Girls Night In with Roz too. And because Roz and her grown ups are in the middle of some very exciting changes (more on that later), Roz spent her Sunday with us too. The sister-friends are as funny as ever - Ella bossing and Roz trying to figure out how to deal with Ella's mouth without hurting her feelings.

On Saturday morning, we all gathered to celebrate Emmett's 5th birthday. We had big fun honoring our little guy! And because that was not nearly enough time together, we traipsed around the mall together for a few hours that afternoon.

My heart melted to see these three taking 'selfies' of themselves. I think we should re-create this photo once a year to see how they change. The leaps and bounds they have made since starting kindergarten is impossible to articulate.

And thank GOD there is little Addy. I still have a little one to fuss over and hold while the three in the background surf YouTube for Katy P videos.

 And the Katy P obsession hasn't stopped. Ella. Is. Hooked.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Marching in.

Dare I say that this is the first full week of school Ella has had without weather delays or closures? I mean, we still have tomorrow to get through but it is looking golden. You know what else is golden? The warm-up we have coming our way next week. For the love of all things sacred, spring...get into action. WE. ARE. READY.
But not before Ella chimes in on how she would have things if she were President at the "Wit Hos".

My little stink pot, trying to catch the sun rays coming through our breakfast nook windows...

I helped out during library time last week at school. Ella and her posse figuring out which books they want to check out - dang are they cute.

Speaking of books, I just devoured this one. Ella and Panda have been good sports about curling up in bed with me, grabbing books of their own and reading with me.

And this is what happens when your kid asks to see your phone while you're driving. This was one of two dozen pictures she took of me at the wheel. Don't get me started on how many videos she shot.

Saturday night we attended Ella's first master's program piano recital for our church's music director. He was phenomenal, only to be outdone by Ella's behavior. She fell asleep on the way to get ice cream afterwards, woke to eat her ice cream and then fell back asleep! Recitals are hard work.

On Sunday, I got to do a super cool thing with some of the moms in the neighborhood. We gathered with their DSLR cameras in hand, and I taught them about how much more they can be doing with their cameras to photograph their families. It was big fun. We have weekly assignments for the next few months. This week, portrait:

I thought it was worth including Ella's contribution: her portrait of me. Nicely done, Ella Man Li!! Of course I changed all the settings but she framed it up and focused the shot.

Little did I know it would be the last photo taken with my hair long.

Because the following day, this happened. It has been over 15 years since my hair has been this short. I am thrilled. My ears and neck are freezing and not thrilled. It took me 5 minutes to do my hair this morning. Ella saw me for the first time and demanded "I want my old mama back". She later told me that she didn't mean I was old, but that she wanted the mama I used to be. It is growing on her...I think. Tough, the new Mama Heather is sticking around for a while and I think she might be even spunkier.