04-30-16 Maryland Day

“Do you know what my favorite part of today was?” C asked from the back seat as we drove home from a  very long day.

“Was it the cotton candy?” I asked.


“Was it going to the farm?”


“Was it fishing for turtles out of the fountain?”


“Okay, I give up. What was your favorite part?”

“Spending time with the family!” She said, beaming as we drove.

The kids had a great time at Maryland Day today. They did so much and walked so far and had so much fun. We were excited to find out that some of their cousins would be there, so we caught up with them and spent most of the day with them. We also ran into multiple friends along the way!

One of the libraries was set up in an Alice and Wonderland theme. The kids enjoyed playing croquet with flamingo sticks and getting their picture taken!

Next was lunch time and then some fishing for turtles in the fountain!


We finally caught up with Testudo. Big E promptly hid behind Tim and refused to get his picture with him!

Fire truck time! The kids enjoyed climbing in and out of the trucks and listening to the firefighters tell them all about their gear and the trucks.

Cotton candy time!!

The engineering department had some great robotics displays and a race car the guys could climb in! Big E thought it was awesome that he got to steer it.

They definitely enjoyed the farm. They got to see horses, sheep, cows, and pigs.


The kids were curious about the display that had some animal furs and skulls. The kids asked a million questions, and learned a lot about a few local animals.


Baby E held out for awhile, but he finally gave into the sleepies about 20 minutes before we left.

We had a great day with family and friends!

04-29-15 T’was the night before Maryland Day

I have two very adorable, very eager children sleeping in their beds this evening, dreaming of their Maryland Day adventures tomorrow. Maryland Day has been a topic of conversation for weeks in our house. It is a highlight of my kids’ year and we have had countless conversations about eating cotton candy, seeing animals at the farm, fishing for toy turtles from the fountain and getting balloon animals. It’s going to be a long, exhausting, fun filled day and seeing their excitement makes me look forward to it all the more!




04-28-16 Birthday Fun!

Today was my birthday and as far as birthdays go, this one was pretty nice! What better way to spend my evening than to be with my husband and our band of savages- eating dinner, opening presents, and munching on brownies.

The kids have been talking about my birthday since last week. Each night C would ask me how many more days until it was time. She asked Ms. Rebecca to take her shopping for me and they baked the brownies together. She was disappointed that we didn’t do all the celebrating this morning but I explained I wouldn’t open any presents with out daddy around.

At work everyone was very kind, giving me well wishes and treats and singing Happy Birthday. I got tons of messages on Facebook, and texts throughout the day and phone calls from loved ones. When we got home, C excitedly handed me a craft she had made at school for me. As we ate dinner she kept shifting in her seat and asking when it was time to open the gifts. They gave me an adorable card and I got to wear a special birthday hat that C made me. The boys got me a plug in wax melter thing (that melts the pretty smelling waxes- I’m so tired, I can’t think of what it is called!) and C picked out a necklace and earrings to give me. They truly made me feel special. My husband has gotten me gifts that are on their way and should be here in the next few days.

I’m saying all of this as a thank you. So many people did so many special things for me today that I am feeling very, very loved! This has been the best birthday I’ve had in awhile and I am grateful for each one of you!

Thanks and I love you!

04-27-16 How do fish breathe? And other important questions.

It was quiet in the car. We had just left church and C was sitting in the back seat all alone. Some of our best conversations happen when I least expect it and tonight was no different. After a few moments of silence, C pipes up, “Mommy, how do fish breathe underwater?”

I should mention that C often asks me questions that I honestly don’t know the answer to. Some of the questions I should be able to answer. Some I learned long ago and forgot. Some are too complicated to explain to a five year old, and some questions just make no sense, and therefore are unanswerable.

I learned long ago that my kids don’t take “I don’t know” for an answer, after all I am mommy, and I should know everything. So somewhere along the way my default answer during those scenarios became “Because God made it that way.” They usually find that to be an acceptable answer at the time and often offer that answer if they see I am struggling with a particular question.

But tonight I was a little excited, after all, I was pretty sure I could carry my own in a conversation about fish with my five year old for at least a few minutes.

I started simple, “Well, fish don’t breathe air like people do. Fish have things called gills. Have you ever heard of gills before?”

“Yes, I have!” She exclaimed from the backseat.

Piece of cake, I thought to myself. But it was at this moment that the conversation spiraled out of my control.

“Yes! My friend Kaia has a brother and her brother ate something he shouldn’t have eaten and then he grew gills!! Now he can breathe underwater!!!”

At which my answer was, “Ummm… Have you seen them?”

“No, I haven’t. But he ate the stuff that makes people grow gills!”

“People don’t grow gills, honey, and if Kaia’s brother has actually grown gills he might want to see a doctor about that,” I joked.

There was a pause. “Well Kaia never mentioned that he went to the doctor. Why would he go to the doctor?!?!”

At explaining again that people don’t actually grow gills, I decided to deflect the conversation to something else, like promising her a banana when we got home. This worked only momentarily as she moved onto asking about what the insides of bones look like, what color is bone marrow, and is there red blood in it.  Thankfully we pulled up to the house shortly after that.

Little did I expect to be back into verbal and mental battle so quickly, but C wasted little time before striking again with her queries. I crawled into bed with her as is our routine. After a slight pause she whispered, “Excuse me mommy.” She knew it was quiet time, so I figured she must have something very important to ask me if she was willing to speak up at the risk of getting in trouble.

“Can porcupines breathe underwater?”

“No, they can’t,” I whispered back.

“Do they have lungs?”


“What color are they?”

“I don’t know.” I answered. (It was a rookie mistake, I know.) 

“I think their lungs are black.”

“I doubt they are black,” I responded.

With full certainty, she turned to me and said, “Well, if they eat all those cigarettes then their lungs are going to turn black.”

She wins, I thought as I chuckled and gave her a kiss goodnight. Try as I may, I can’t follow her logic sometimes, but that’s ok. Her mind is running a million miles a second and she’s trying to make sense of the world she lives in. Sometimes those questions and answers misfire and that’s ok too. For my part, I will give her the answers I do know, entertain the answers she thinks she knows, and try to discover the correct answers with her along the way.

Baby E has discovered phones. 

Tim and Big E had their own moment this evening. Big E was playing outside on his bike while Tim ran inside to get something. There were other adults outside watching the kids (the neighbor kids were out playing to0) and one of our neighbors warned Big E not to drive his bike past a certain car in the parking lot because it would put him too close to the road. Big E got quiet, thought for a beat, and said very earnestly and politely something along the lines of, “I’m not trying to mean, but I just wanted to say that you’re not my daddy.” After that he rode off, staying well within the area the neighbor told him to. That’s the funny thing about Big E… a man was talking to him like Tim would, but Big E was worried that this man might not realize that he isn’t his dad, so Big E needed to clear up the confusion! But that is one of the hallmarks of Big E- He is a polite kid. He is kind, sweet, and honest. He says Please. He says Thank You. And don’t be surprised if you get an unsolicited I love you from him.


04-26-16 Work Day!

Thursday is national Bring Your Child To Work day, but since most kids were off school today for the primary vote, my office decided to schedule it for today. The kids were very excited to get up this morning and head into work with mommy! After dropping Baby E off (late- because he gifted me with quite the explosive diaper as we were walking out the door) we stopped by the Donut Store (a.k.a. Dunkin Donuts) and headed in. We had a packed day of photoshoots, lunch with friends, a stop by a cookie shop, watching baby turtles, and a trip to the campus farm. These kids sure were beat when we left this evening and Big E fell asleep on the way home. I’m glad they had so much fun!

04-25-16 The Haircut

Big E had been in dire need of a haircut for weeks, yet whenever I asked him if he wanted one he was adamant that he did not. However tonight I bribed him with marshmallows and finally got it done.


I gotta say, though, every time we cut I it I miss his longer hair! 

Look at those eyes! My boy is handsome!


Halfway done!


He was not thrilled with the process!


It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. -J.R. Tolkien


04-24-16 Books

Big E has never been a huge fan of books. Even from the get-go he always preferred to be playing. Sitting through a book was always difficult. But we have noticed that in the past couple of months he is coming into his own with story time. He now seeks out books to read, asks lots of questions, and is genuinely engaged. Since reading is one of my favorite things to do in the world, I get really happy when I see my kids choose a book over a toy or watching tv.

04-23-16 The Letter

There are moments in motherhood that make me stop in my tracks. This morning was one of them. Big E spent the night with Tim’s parents and we had company spend the night with us. After they left this morning C wanted someone to play with, but i had already set my agenda to cleaning. I had a mountain of dishes, laundry everywhere, and I was starting to feel anxious from all the clutter. she started acting out and we sent her to her room. She stomped the whole way there. After a few minutes she came down with tears in her eyes and a piece of paper in her hand. She had written us a note.

Dear Mommy and Daddy. I do not like the way you are today. 

When she handed it to us, I started to tear up. I was so caught up in what I wanted to get done, that I didn’t notice how important it was for me to stop everything and spend some time with my girl. With Big E away and Baby E a poor replacement, she needed someone to play with andher little mind had already come up with games and activities that involved us.

So, we struck a deal. Dishes and play. Cleaning and more play. It would help to break up the day and make the chores easier. It worked well. She created an obstacle course for us to conquer and we timed each other. The winner got marshmallows. We also played a paper airplane fight. Again, winning = marshmallows. It was such a wonderful time as a family and a much needed diversion.

I hope my children always feel comfortable to come to me with their hurts and (if necessary)  to point out my shortcomings. It may be hard to hear. It might hurt. But I’m a sinner saved by grace, and in constant need of reminder. So I am thankful for that humbling moment as it helped me to stop and connect with my child- to see her needs and desires, and put her ahead of myself.