Sunday, July 27, 2008
The four hour trip to Salvo took close to six hours and Lil was quite the trooper. As there is basically only one way on the islands, the traffic was MISERABLE. Lily kept looking out the window at the water, telling me all she was going to do when she got to the beach. She is just such a sweetie. She loved loved LOVED the beach last night (only a walk on it), collecting many treasures in the form of broken sea shells. She's in love. :o)
She didn't fall asleep before 10:30 or 10:45 last night and was up with the roosters this morning sometime around 6:00 or so, so I'm quite happy she's decided to throw in the towel and nap this afternoon. In fact, she and Lissie are napping in our room, Paul's snoozing on the couch, Jess, Bob and Ella are at the grocery store, and Gabriel and I are holding down the fort. :oP
Lily, Lissie and I hit the beach around 8:00 this morning and Lily had a fun, if somewhat confusing time. She didn't want to have any sand on her hands or feet, LOL! She kept wanting to wipe them off, silly girl. We sat in the surf for close to an hour and came in around 11:00. We'll go back out this evening before dinner. I swear, I never have as many showers as I do when we go to the beach...
Here are photos from yesterday evening:
Yes, that sand spur did indeed hurt.
Lil was intrigued by her name in the sand.
I have NO idea what this is. All I can tell you is it seems to be a piece of a boat or something and has been there since I was a kid. It is right at the end of the path from our cottage and marks where we are supposed to be--I never get lost walking up or down the beach because I know when I get to this I'm home. :o)
I caught a ghost crab. :o)
Can you see the camouflaged ghost crab in this picture?
Birthday dinner was sauteed scallops and oh, my, goodness were they DIVINE!! Thanks, Liss!
Jessie's birthday lemon pound cake with flip flop candles. Hee hee!
I dreamt of Hannah last night. I have had so few dreams of her and in this one, I found all these photos of her that I had never seen before, and they were just beautiful. Then, there she was and she too was beautiful.
I confess, I have had a somewhat difficult time being around the water, not so much with Lil--her natural inclination to shy away from it helps--but for me to be in the water. It's so strange. I have always LOVED the beach and as a kid played and played in the water, body surfing, riding the waves, you name it. Now, I find myself somewhat breathless and uncomfortable. I still love to sit on the beach and watch the waves, sit in the surf and make "witches castles" in the wet sand, walk along the surf. I hope my comfort with the water returns soon, as I don't enjoy the anxiety attacks I have been having when looking at the somewhat cloudy water and thinking...
1. The beach! We're here we're here we're here!!
2. Lil is too darn cute and too darn wonderful, tired and all. She was such a sweet thing and was such a wonderful travel buddy yesterday. :o)
3. Hey hey the gang's all here. :oP
4. A/C that works...don't ask.
5. Watching the little kids along the sea shore. They are all so sweet and precious. :o)
Well, I've used up my allotted 'net time today. I'll try to post more photos tomorrow.
HUGS to you all! :o)
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Lil LOVES the sand and sea shells, but isn't feeling the water so much. The trip was long and arduous towards the end--SOOOOO much traffic. Lil is an awesome person who handled the trip beautifully and I'm so stoked to be here!
I'm off to play games with the fam! :o)
1 can frozen limeade
Juice from one lemon
Juice from one lime
1 1/2 cups GOOD tequila (Cuervo Gold minimum, 1800 is better)
1/2 Grand Marnier
1/3 bottle of inexpensive American beer (think Bud) (I KNOW it sounds weird, you've gotta trust me on this one)
ice to fill the rest of the pitcher
Blend and enjoy. :o) Be VERY VERY careful with this recipe. It is seriously potent as you don't really taste the alcohol so much and they go down VERY smoothly. :o)
Jane, I'll post the rest of the recipes when I return--if I remember, LOL! You'll have to remind me. :o)
Say a prayer for me this week, please. :o) I'll try to check in when I can. HUGS!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
We had such a lovely time with Josh and Dana and I so desperately wish they lived closer so we could visit more frequently. :sigh: They had an extremely early flight back to Arizona (think 6:15 or so with an hour drive to get there...Can you imagine getting up that early?? UGH!) and are home safe and sound. Dana, Josh, we love you guys to bits are are so glad you were able to come and share Hannah's day with us! :o) Thank you for flying all this way to be with us. :o)
Due to the lateness of last night, Lil wasn't really in bed before 10 and then fussed and fussed about sleeping so I'm fairly certain she was up until around 10:15. And then she was up at 5:45 this morning!!! Oh. My. Gawd! I blearily looked at her and said, "Lil, what are you doing in here??"
"Oh, is it still sleeping time?"
"Um, yeah, Sweetie, it is."
"Oh, okay, I snuggle wif you den."
Excellent... Anyone else know what "snuggling" in bed with a two year old is like? Ay ay ay!
In spite of this rather inauspicious start to the day, Lil and Ella helped clean the playroom, Lil cleaned her room, and company in the form of Rachel, Brianna and Caleb arrived around 10:30. We had such a fun visit with Rach and took turns refereeing the kiddos (Lil was a wee smidge grumpy, as you might imagine) and I'm hoping we can get together one more time before I go back to work. Thanks for such a great time today, Rach!
The weather was gorgeous today so if they weren't sleeping, the kids were outside playing. Wow were they "filfy" this evening! You should have seen the nasty bathwater--blech! right before dinner I heard the ice cream truck driving up the road playing "La Cucaracha" as its siren call. Jessie said, "What's that?" When told it was the ice cream truck she grabbed the girlies and went racing through the house to flag him down. Hee hee! Those girls LOVED their dreamsicles and what a fun memory of a summer evening. :o)
Dinner was OMG delicious Mexican pulled-pork carnitas, guac and a fantastic cherry tomato salad. We ate outside because it was only 80 degrees. Heaven, I tell you. Sheer, unadulterated heaven. Well, that and the super 'ritas Brien made. Hm, have I posted the killer 'rita recipe before? If not, let me know and I'll get the recipe posted for anyone interested. :o)
At the moment, I'm fairly certain Brien is knocked-out in bed with Miss Bit. She insists we lie in bed with her when we read night-night stories ("The Napping House" toninght) and, I don't think B made it much past the second reading. He's been up there for about 40 minutes now. The question is do I leave him alone or wake him up? He's been so busy busy busy with work I hesistate to bother him, yet, I'm very familiar with just how comfortable sharing a bed with Lil is. ;oP
1. My house was clean and beautiful for about 20 minutes today and it was loverly. :o) Don't you just love children? :oP
2. I figured out what I'm getting Jessie for her birthday. Go me!
3. I've decided I'm going to go to the beach with my family Saturday. I was more than a little up in the air but decided this is something I have to do. We're going to Salvo on the the Outer Banks of NC, the same place we went every summer of my childhood. I swear to you, NOTHING has changed at that place in 50 years! When we go to the beach, it's going to the BEACH. We go out in the morning bright and early, fish, play in the sand, have fun, go in at lunch time and come out again after naps. We don't shop, we don't go kart or golf, we play on a secluded beach and it's WONDERFUL!! We'll take a day to go to the Hattaras Light and then take the ferry to Ocracoke which will be fun. There's no internet so we take board games and just play as a family. Oh so much fun! Jessie's 30th birthday is Saturday (we spent more than one summer at the beach during J's birthday) and Paul's is Monday so we have bunch of celebrating to do as well. :o) B will be staying home because he just isn't a beach person so he'll be here holding down the fort, and knowing him, recovering from all the company we've had this past week, lol! My sweet introverted honey needs me-time alone and I'm hoping he'll get it this coming week. :o)
4. The ice cream truck. Hee hee! "La Cucaracha" indeed. :oP
5. Oh, jeepers, Rach and her sweet kiddos of course! :o)
6. Dinner and 'ritas. Yum yum yum.
7. Gabriel is such a funny little puddin'. He is so very desperate for "real" food he just looks at you while you eat. He'll call to you and grin at you in such an enticingly hopeful way that you feel like a heel denying him. I'm sure he'll be more than delighted to see his daddy tomorrow because then he'll get his very first solid food. Yay!
8. Ah, the weather today...it was so lovely. I hope our days at the beach are like today. :fingers crossed:
I'll post tomorrow, but beyond that I'm not sure when I'll have internet access again. Maybe we'll find a wi-fi hotspot and I can do quick updates once in a while. Keep your fingers crossed! :o)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
HUGS to you all! :o)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Remember yesterday when I mentioned how much Lily enjoys her "paintings"? Here are the photos I took. Now, it should be mentioned that most of the time when Lil sees a camera or lens she turns away immediately. She didn't even notice I had the camera trained on her.
Isn't she so so sweet? She took such pleasure in those wings and painting. :o)
Next, photos from CW last night:
Lily was VERY tired when it was time to leave. Jessie was carrying a snoozing Gabriel so we loaded Lil into the infant seat and low and behold, she still fit! Who's all kicked back?
Brien, Lily and I were supposed to go to Richmond this evening to help Kelsey celebrate her 12th birthday. B was to be home by 5:00 and we would hit the road and be there by 6:00. Brien has been busy with a conference the past few days and didn't get to leave work before 5:15. To add insult to injury there were four accidents on the interstate and a raging thunderstorm with hail. Needless to say, Kels had to celebrate without us. :o(
Woli and the kids came over to the house this evening so Jess could finish her hair and as Brien had had such a horrible afternoon, they agreed to watch Lil so I could take B to dinner and buy him a LARGE beer. Well, Lily hadn't napped today, after getting up WAY too early this morning after her late night last night. Jessie had a terrible time getting her to bed, dealing with the Jekell/Hyde child Lil is when overtired.
Thankfully, as of now, all children are tucked in and sleeping soundly and we adults are having some fun with Fail Blog, brought to you by the same folks as I Can Has Cheezburger. A word of caution, although the site has us all laughing our hineys off, it has quite a bit of slightly off-color/adult humor. It's totally worth it, though. My abs hurt from all the laughing! :oD
1. Yet another frog trail up my storm door. Look at the frog body prints. :o)
2. Dinner out with B.
3. All the laundry has been done--again. Whew!
4. The thunderstorm this afternoon brought with it cooler temps, if only for a while.
5. Fail blog. hee hee!
Rach, Brianna and Caleb arrive tomorrow for a playdate and I'm really looking forward to seeing them. :o) I'm off to play on the Fail Blog with B and Jessie! :o)
Monday, July 21, 2008
We had a wonderful evening with Woli, Doug and their crew but didn't get home until almost 9:00. Lily is having a terrible time trying to get to sleep. I've already been in and out of checking on her crying three times. She is currently crying again and I'm afraid she's just going to have to cry it out tonight as there is literally nothing else I can do for her. She's had a wash-off, clean jams, clean teeth, two stories, snuggles and storytelling. Her CD is playing wonderful classical music with soothing rain in the background, she has bear and "binkie" and her "hassy" and should be sleeping as I KNOW she is exhausted. Yet, she's still crying. I just feel sorry for her.
Lil and I had a quiet day at home, since Jessie took Ella and Gabriel with the Woli-clan to the Virginia Living Museum. It's funny, Hannah was such an extrovert she became more and more energized the more people who were around. Lily, however, is very much her father's child and as such, is quite the introvert. Sure, she loves to be around people, but she finds them draining at times and today she seemed to hit her wall. She got up early and she and I had some quiet time together (okay, I was pretty groggy and grumpy as I had NO interest in being up so early) and when Ella got up, she was happy to play with her. Then, she left Ella, grabbed her watercolors and sat at her little table to paint.
Lily LOVES to watercolor. I love to watch her watercolor. There is something quite soothing about it. Lil seems to get in an almost Zen-like state when she's with her "paintings". She is calm and serene, lazily twisting and twirling the brush here, dabbing it there. She was so tuned into her work she failed to notice the Gaulden clan leaving. I think she must have watercolored for about an hour she was so peacefully intent on what she was doing. When she finished, she grabbed my hand and pulled me to the fridge where she proudly hung her work. :o)
After watercoloring, Lil ran off to play by herself in the playroom. I think she was just on overload from being around so many people and she was really able to unwind today. Additionally, she's been going down for naps with no trouble once again. YAY! Bedtime (until this evening) had been the same way, but I know tonight she was just too wound up from this evening's events. (BTW, she's asleep now, poor baby.)
We met Woli, Doug and the kids at California "Taquito" for dinner and from there went to CW to try to get some photos of all the kiddos together. Now, to give you some background info, we had a seven year old, five year old, three year old, almost three year old, two year old and five month old children. The temperature was somewhere close to ten million degrees--okay, closer to 100, but you get. Care to guess how it went??
Actually, I think Doug managed to get some beautiful shots of the children all together and in smaller groups. I got a few nice ones that were more candid. The kids got FILTHY and had a good time with the apples and sheep they found and Lily added yet more rocks to her collection. But, it was a long day for most of the families involved and the light faded and it was time for us to come home--sopping wet. Oh, it is sooooooooo nasty out there.
Jessie and I were talking and I have to say my favorite season is Autumn, followed by Winter and then Spring. I LOATHE summer here. I really do. You know, I try not to complain too much, but summer here is just blech to me. In Blacksburg, the highest the temperature gets most days is mid to upper eighties and a really hot day is in the 90s (which rarely happened as I recall) and at night you can count on the temp dropping to the mid to upper 60s. You can sleep with your windows open and I know many many families didn't have A/C when we were growing up because, quite frankly, you didn't really need it.
Here, I equate summer with excessive heat and humidity. It is just plain hot, muggy, gross. Even at 9:40 tonight, the temperature is still 87 degrees! It's crazy I tell you--you can't catch a break!
I've decided there are two types of people in this world, those who can't stand to be cold, and those that can't stand to be hot. I fall into the latter category. If I had to die either by roasting or freezing, I'd take the cold any day of the week. Heat saps every bit of energy from my body and makes me wilt. Brien is the same, as was Hannah. In fact, Han couldn't stand to be in the heat for more than about fifteen minutes before her face turned a lovely shade of fushia and she melted. Jessie, meanwhile, was telling me just a few days ago how she just loves everything about summer. Ha! You can keep your summer and give me autumn any day now. :oP My argument is you can always put on more clothing, but you can only strip off so much before you risk getting arrested. And, it's like that Shel Silverstein poem "It's Hot":
I can’t get cool,
I’ve drunk a quart of lemonade,
I think I’ll take my shoes off
And sit around in the shade.
My back is sticky,
The sweat rolls down my chin.
I think I’ll take my clothes off
And sit around in my skin.
I’ve tried with ‘lectric fans,
And pools and ice cream cones.
I think I’ll take my skin off
And sit around in my bones.
It’s still hot!
1. Watching Lil paint--there's just something so soothing about it. She wore her butterfly wings and was just wonderful.
2. Dinner and photos with Woli and her crew. Her children are truly delightful and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE having conversations with Robert. :o)
3. My Bare Minerals arrived today. I think they look great and I can tell you, that even in the blistering heat and drenching humidity, they stayed in place and looked good and didn't feel heavy like my old foundation. Yay!
4. Holly the escape artist ran out the garage door this evening and then ran right back inside. Trust me, this is *definitely* a sparkly. ;o)
5. The tree frogs were back on the storm door last night. They left the most amazing trail from the ground up. I got a photo and hope it comes out. If so, I'll try and post it tomorrow.
6. Chocolate. 'nuff said. :oP
7. We read "The Poky Little Puppy" this evening. I'd forgotten just how cute those little puppies are. :o)
8. Oh, and for anyone interested in a divine children's book, The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch is fantastic. Lily has requested the story every day (at nap and bedtime!) since I introduced her to it last Thursday. It is a delightful story of cunning, wit and princesses who don't necessarily need to prince to get the job done. Check it out! :o)
No milestones today. I'm fairly certain there aren't too many more out there, having passed Saturday.
I would like to ask for you all to take a moment and send up prayers and positive thoughts of love and support for my friend, Betsy. Betsy is an amazing woman who lost her husband Memorial Day weekend 2007. I've been reading her blog since last August or September and have seen her highs and lows and tried to be as supportive as possible. She has a delicious sense of humor and two delightful spotted companions. Betsy's family has been so supportive throughout the past year and she and her dad apparently reconnected on many levels. Last week, Betsy's father suffered a severe stroke, and he passed away this past Sunday. Please, take a moment to send some positive vibes her way.
Thank you all! :o)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Yesterday was truly beautiful. Okay, it was actually very very HOT and HUMID, but the spirit of the day was wonderful. :o) We began the day at the FM (it was Saturday, after all), came home and cooked and then awaited the arrival of company.
Assuming I can remember everyone: Lissie, Paul, Jessie, Ella, Gabriel, Bridget, Cammie, Nana, Pop, Sammie, Jen, Derek, Kelsey, Miles, Lydia, Jocelyn, Dana, Josh, Glen, Chris, Marissa, Jess, Marc, Sydney, Nathan, Troy, Kat, Greyson, Pat, Rachel, Peter, Brianna, Caleb, Grandma, Bill, Woli, Doug, Kristine, Brock, Quinn and Ian. I think that's everyone. If it's not, I apologize for missing you. To those of you who came and helped make the day amazing, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
For me, the highlight of the day was seeing all the children playing in our backyard. Hannah so LOVED our backyard and was always desperate for lots and lots of children to play with. We had that in spades yesterday. :o) I just sat on the ground and enjoyed the kiddos. :o)
Lydie, Lil and Joce.
Poor Miles. I forgot to mention the sprinkler to Jen so although we were able to accommodate the little girls with clothing and suits, we had nothing for Miles. Derek ran to Tar-jay and found a suit for him. Until his daddy returned, he was sorely afraid we were going to declare sprinkler time over before he had his trunks. Thankfully, Derek made it. ;oP
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Holly LOVES water. LOVES LOVES LOVES it! We're not sure, but we think she may be trying to kill it, LOL!
Unfortunately, these were the only photos I took before I misplaced my camera so I missed the butterfly and balloon releases. :sigh:
Meanwhile, we had TONS of delicious food. Everyone who came brought something. I had to get a photo of this pie because it was just beautiful. It tasted pretty good too! :oP Lissie made this delicious peach pie. Have I mentioned I love peaches better than anything?
I'm eternally grateful for all the yummy-ness that was shared yesterday. Good food, good family and friends, EXCELLENT party. :o)
Dana makes and decorates cakes and she put a ton of heart and soul into this beauty. The cake sparkled, ya'll!
What follows are a few close-ups of the various items on the cake:
Oh, so so beautiful. :o) Thank you, Dana for all your hard work on this cake. It meant the world to us to have it. :o) (Sammie's butterflies were pretty divine as well!)
What follows are my purchases from the FM:
Flat-leaf parsley, chard, basil and garlic chives.
Sungolds. Um, yeah, they didn't last long!
Seriously, they were gone by the end of the night.
And, the lisianthus was in bloom this week. Aren't they gorgeous?? :o)
Josh's birthday was Friday and I made a triple layer homemade yellow cake with homemade frosting. So yummy! We went to dinner at Carrabba's as a family and then came home to have cake. Lily had fun with her uncle Josh, and dressing up.
Princess and a hat.
Lily and Uncle Josh. :o)
The Davis family birthday face. You MUST make this face when blowing out candles. Seriously. ;o)
This post is so rambly and can't seem to come together at all. It's all over the place with bits and pieces here and bits and pieces there. I'm sorry.
The butterfly release yesterday evening was everything I could have wished for. The butterflies were monarchs, which Hannah always loved, and they fluttered away so beautifully. We didn't want to leave the children out, so we gave them all balloons and released them as well. I could hear Hannah laughing as many of the balloons became stuck in our oak tree. She would have gotten tickled, and in that giggly Hannah voice would have delcared it a "balloon tree". The balloons were ready to greet us this morning, having decided it was time to come down.
We had one butterfly who seemed a little more chilled than the others and it hung around for quite some time. We were able to visit and show it to the children. At one point, one of the butterflies aparently flitted away towards the fence and the children went flocking after it. Rachel wrote this in an email to me last night: "I just had to share this with you, because I wasn't sure you were able to catch this "moment." I watched Lily and one of the butterflies play together a few moments after most of the others had flown away. She spotted it off in the grass, away from the crowd and she ran after it. It flitted and danced around the backyard while she chased it, arms spread high, giddy with delight. It was a beautiful moment, and it brought tears to my eyes."
Although I missed it, I know the children must have been beautiful, and I hope someone managed to snap a few shots. If you did, could you please share them with me? :o)
The kids were all pretty drained by the end of the evening, and some people had hours long rides home. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was to be surrounded by so many friends and so much family. Again, thank you all.
How could I not include the froggies?
Know what these are? They're tree frog prints in the condensation on the back door. Pretty cool, huh?
3. Butterfly releases, balloon releases, family and friends.
4. Making cards with Woli, Mom and Paul.
5. The family who are still here for a few more days.
I was trying to describe how I felt yesterday and decided it was rather like my thirtieth birthday. To me, it felt just like any other day, yet, I knew it was somewhat significant. The same held true for yesterday. It was just another day without Hannah, another day to be gotten through, another day in which to find the joy of living and life.
I'm extraordinarily exhausted this evening. Yesterday took a bunch out of me playing hostess to so many. I was wired last night and up until midnight than up with Lil at 6:15 this morning. I'm out of sorts and tired and grumpy. I don't mean to be, I just am. To anyone I may have been grouchy with today, I'm so sorry. I'm just tired.
I haven't crashed yet, and I'm unsure if I will. I haven't had a down yo in a while and can't help but wonder if I may be headed for one. I know when my stress level peaks and I'm extremely tired it tends to happen. I hope to head it off with an excellent nights' sleep tonight. Additionally, I've learned not to live in fear of the down yo. I appreciate the up yos I have and enjoy the times that are happy.
To everyone who dropped in to say hi, to delurk, to check-in, to let us know how we have made a difference in your lives, to send hugs and support--thank you. You mean the world to us and I LOVED having you with us yesterday! :o)