Monday, May 2, 2016

April Days . . .

April 1: It was my turn to drive the girls to acting. Henry and I went to get some Jeni's ice-cream and to hang out at The Factory to pass the time.

April 2: It was just a nice day at home hanging out together.

April 3: We had church and then Evie and I went to Ms. Hasting's wedding shower. Evie has loved this teacher although she is not her first grade teacher. It was a fun party to celebrate this sweet lady!

April 4: Henry's friend Matthew came home with us after school.

April 5: Evie showed her Master's pride with her bright pink shirt for PE.

April 6: Happy Birthday, Uncle Ben! Henry and Evie requested a "bowl" dinner. They love this and it is so easy for me. I just put different foods in bowls for them to eat: carrots, apples, strawberries, pieces of chicken, cashews, hummus etc.

April 7: Henry started his new month of swimming lessons with his friend Henry from church. We made dinner for a family with a new baby and then waited for Carl to get home. He had a delayed flight but he made it!

April 8: Eddie came over to play with Henry and then Evelyn came over to babysit. Evie was thrilled to have Evelyn babysit. She lives in our neighborhood and is the sister of one of our favorite sitters. Carl and I went to Fleming's to celebrate our friend Elizabeth's birthday. It was a super fun night!

April 9: We hosted a confirmation party at our house for three members of our small group that were confirmed last week. Carl grilled pork tenderloin and we had a chocolate cake from Costco. Everyone brought a side. It was an easy night of entertaining! 40 people but lots of fun!

April 10: Evie and I had a little date for some girl time. Of course, she picked Starbucks!

April 11: I walked the trails with my friend Wendy and caught up around the house after the busy weekend.

April 12: Henry had some warts frozen off and was super brave. Dr. B was impressed with my little buddy. Henry requested the appointment so I knew he really wanted these warts off his sweet little feet.

April 13: Phaedra and I went to Comfy Cow to sample ice-cream for our Earth Day Family Fun Night at Evie's school. That was a fun perk - we settled on chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream, birthday cake, coffee and strawberry. YUMMY!

April 14: Henry and I ran some errands and then we went to Chick fil A. We saw the Oscar Mayer Wiener mobile at Kroger. Henry was a big fan but he does not care for hot dogs.

April 15: I went to a brunch welcoming a new family to the area. Evie has become fast friends with the little girl, Avery. They just moved here in March and moved in across the street from Evie's friend Sarah that moved to Alabama. Avery took Sarah's spot in their classroom. Avery's mom, Mindy, is so nice and it was a fantastic morning with sweet friends. I had to leave early to volunteer in Evie's classroom but could have stayed all day! Henry and I had a nice afternoon together while Evie was gone to acting class. It's such a long day for her because she is gone from 8:00 AM until 6:30 PM but she really enjoys the class.

April 16: We went to Comfy Cow for ice-cream! Everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Carl grilled out and we had a nice dinner outside enjoying the weather.

April 17: Church in the morning and then I had book club for the neighborhood. We read Wonder and it was a superb read. It will become one of those books that middle schoolers across America read as part of their required reading. We had a fantastic discussion! Give this book a whirl if you have not already.

April 18: I walked the trails with Wendy to celebrate her birthday! Then, I had tons of work to do for Family Fun Night at the school. We enjoyed dinner outside to soak in every second of this beautiful day!

April 19:  Henry had a dentist appointment and then we met a friend for birthday lunch and pedicures. Henry went to play with his friend Henry that afternoon too. Evie's friend Avery came over for a playdate after school. The two girls came out of the school holding hands - so sweet!

April 20: It was first grade lunch day! We met at a new restaurant and enjoyed our last lunch together. I will miss these friends but hope to continue this with next years class. It builds so much community within the classroom to really get to know the other parents and children in the classroom. I am going to be Room Parent Coordinator for the school next year so hopefully this is something I can get going within the school.

April 21: Henry and I had a nice day together - lunch at Chick Fil A then a bike ride to the park. Evie had her first grade program BUGZ. It was super cute and countless people have told me that Evie knew the moves to her "I'm a Lady" song - I agree! It was fun to see her embracing her role on stage.
Henry had fun with his friend Eddie during the play.

April 22: It was a busy day preparing for Family Fun Night. Phaedra and I were beyond thrilled for it to be over. It has become difficult to plan school functions because of the all rules and regulations with large school districts. We are one and done with big school functions. After dozens of certificates of insurance, food truck vendor issues, lack of volunteers and numerous change of dates - it just a lot for a couple of moms to put together. I will pitch in next year when other moms plan the event but it was way more work than we anticipated. We had a terrific time and the administration at our school were amazing to work with - the principal was our bingo caller, the assistant principal helped us with obtaining district support and the PTO president volunteered to help us decorate. Lots of fun that night but so glad to cross that off our list.

April 23: We enjoyed a relaxing morning at home after a busy night! Emily Anne came to babysit early that afternoon so we could escape for a long date. It was so nice to have lots of time away and the kids enjoyed having their favorite sitter. We went to the Waves of Grace fundraiser that night. It was a silent auction and we won lots of cool stuff. Carl gets excited at these things and wrote our name down on anything that looked interesting. We are the proud new owners of all kinds of goodies but the money supports respite care for cancer patients and their families. We are happy to support such an important organization and so proof of our friends Jenn and Katie for their hard work with this organization!

April 24: We had church and then walked through the Main Street Festival. Evie and Henry picked a smoothie as their treat and it was a gorgeous day to hang outside. Evie and Henry may have had to write some sentences for using potty words in the car when we got home. It worked though because there have been no potty words all week! Carl took the kids swimming while I worked out at the YMCA.

April 25: It was a super busy day! I met Olympia to discuss my new PTO role for next year then went to an essential oil class and then to church to work on the nursery project. It was a terrific day!

April 26: Henry and I had a fun day together. He went to Matthew's house for a playdate that afternoon and I had some quality time with Evie at Starbucks. See she really is obsessed with the place! Evie worked on her spy skills when Henry got home. She was concerned that our neighbors had something weird going on and she was out there with her spy notebook taking copious notes. Hysterical!

April 27: I did some followup work for Family Fun Night at the school and then caught up around the house. Evie and Henry had a playdate with the neighbors! I spent the afternoon reading my book club book.

April 28: Evie had a field trip to Gentry's Farm. Henry went to Let it Shine camp so I could go with Evie. It was a really fun day working on map skills, using a compass, hunting for bugs, hiking and planting flowers. We spent the entire day outside even once both kiddos were home. I was still trying to finish my book. It was book club night and I was down to the wire. Carl got home early and I finished my book. Book was What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman and it was not my favorite. Very similar to Gone Girl but I am beginning to tire of that genre. It was still fun to discuss the book and spend time together. I am loving this book club so much.

April 29: Happy Birthday, Ipop! It was my last day volunteering in Evie's class -only 13 days to go! Woo Hoo . . . I LOVE summer and am excited for a break from such a rigorous schedule. It was my turn to drive the girls and it was a doozie. Groups of three girls can be hard and it is a difficult situation because Evie has been friends with Leah since they were one and Molly is new to their crew. I need to figure out some strategies for dealing with all the drama! Henry escaped this week by going to Eddie's to play. We had family game night and pizza so the night was not a complete loss.

April 30: We went to the 25th Anniversary of Evie's school. The organizers did a terrific job and it was fun to see so many familiar faces and listen to the choir sing 90's songs. Everyone Dance Now was definitely a favorite! Then, we headed to Henry's spring program. Henry loves to sing and was so adorable. We dropped Evie off at Owen's birthday party and then took Henry to lunch at Chick fil A. He sure loves his chicken! We had time for a quick break at home before heading to our small group party. It was a blast even in the rain. The kids swam in the heated pool and the adults enjoyed catching up. It is awesome that my kids are big enough to entertain themselves and I am able to relax at these events. Henry can swim but we still keep his float on him unless our eyes are directly on him. It's so easy for accidents to occur and only one adult was in the water. Evie is a fabulous swimmer and had a ball in the pool because it was so deep. Chris prepared amazing barbecue and then we had smores around the bonfire since it stopped raining. We had such a terrific night! It was good way to wrap up the month of April.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


March 1: Henry started his next level of swimming lessons and was so excited to be in class with his friend Henry from church! I went to lunch at Mere' Bulles for Courtney's birthday. Turning 40 is a big deal and definitely worth lots of celebration.

March 2: Evie enjoyed some grapefruit for breakfast! I ran to Sprout's for their grand opening. It was pretty crazy even finding a parking spot but lots of deals for sure. Loaves of fresh baked bread still warm from the oven for a dollar, four oranges for a dollar and the most delicious chocolate chip cookies for two dollars. It was our week to take bread to church and that was some delicious bread. We met in the nursery at church to plan for a renovation - it was fun to figure out furniture, toys, construction etc. 

March 3: Evie left for school and Henry was thrilled for swimming lessons. We ran some errands afterwards and stopped at the Donut Den for a sweet treat. Then, we picked up Evie and Harper Ainsley from school - Evie loves having her friends over after school which is fun but the girls get out of school so late at 3:30. Henry and I enjoyed  a little play time while the girls had a blast. Carl came home and played with the kiddos too and now Harper Ainsley thinks Carl is the best Daddy ever. He is a fantastic Daddy to our kids!

March 4: Evie had a Dr. Seuss parade at school and it was adorable watching all the kids pull their floats down the hallway. Henry is a big fan of first grade and enjoyed the parade too. I dropped off Henry at school, ran a few errands and then made it back to school to eat lunch with Evie and volunteer. Henry and I went to the library after school and then picked up the girls for acting. Leah was out of town so it was just Evie and Molly. Silly girls!

March 5: We went to Costco and Home Depot. Evie and Henry were delighted to make a toy wagon at the Build and Grow workshop. That's such a nice activity for Home Depot to sponsor! The Onello's came over for dinner. It's always a treat to see them!

March 6: Early church and I taught Children's Chapel. Evie and Henry took advantage of the gorgeous day and had a little picnic.

March 7: Dishwasher repair man came back again with the part this time. I walked the trails with Wendy and then brought Elliott home for a playdate with Henry. 

March 8: Henry had swimming lessons and then he wanted to go to McDonald's for lunch. I can eat the food but always get a stomach ache afterwards. Henry LOVES their fries! After lunch, we went to  get his hair cut and to the grocery store and then Evie's school nurse called. Evie was not feeling well so we picked her up from school. Henry really liked having the chance to take care of her. Carl was feeling under the weather on this day too so he went to the doctor. Allergies are common in TN and everyone suffers from them in my family except for me. Carl was able to rest a bit before attending a work dinner that night.

March 9: Evie woke up at 8:30 and felt awful. After we took Henry to school, I took her to the pediatrician. It was just a fever virus but I took her because the nurse told me that strep was going around Evie's school. We came home from the doctor and had a picnic lunch and worked on her make up work outside. Evie went with me to read a book to Henry's class for Read Across America week and Henry was super happy to see his sister. Henry might have almost broken some headphones but he was sorry! 

March 10: After swimming, we came home for a "home day" - it was so nice just to hang out at home. Henry painted his lizard from church the night before - he ran out of time there and really wanted to paint it. 

March 11: Evie was excited to show me her "cast" at lunchtime. She had a tiny cut between her thumb and finger from a dry erase board. I worked with the class on their spelling words - they are so speedy now that it does not take nearly as long! Henry and I had a nice long afternoon together while Evie went to acting class. 

March 12: Everyone had a bit of a lazy morning. Evie and I picked up Leah for a birthday party and then I dropped the girls off. These girls sure are lucky to go to such extraordinary parties. They met at a children's salon for dress-up. hair styles, make up and lunch. Then, they walked over to the theatre to see Zootopia. Kelly dropped off Evie five hours after I had taken the girls. Carl and I had a fantastic day with Henry. We took my van for new brakes, then to Chuck E. Cheese for some playtime, lunch at Chick FIl A and then grocery shopping. Henry is super laid back and easy so it was a nice break for us. That night, we took the children to church for Parents Night Out and then all of the adults met for dinner at Puckett's Boathouse. We had 26 people for dinner so it was a LONG affair but lots of fun too.  Evie and Henry had a ball with their friends and want to do it again soon.

March 13: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NANA! Carl and I went to our first Sunday School class in 25 years! Our church just started a class for parents with young children. I think it will be great for us and Evie thought it was hysterical that we had class instead of going to Starbucks. Evie earned her twenty points so I took her to the mall to get a few things and then to Starbucks! Evie has a fascination with that coffee shop. She had a vanilla frapachinno and lemon pound cake. I dropped Evie off and then headed to book club in the neighborhood. We read Orphan Train - it was a fantastic read and made for a boisterous discussion. Then, I went to a party at my neighbors house for a few minutes - mostly because I wanted to see the house! We LOVE the extra sunshine!

March 14: BUT we miss the extra sleep. Evie really has a hard time adjusting because she requires a lot of sleep just like her Mama. Carl left bright and early that morning and I barely could drag myself out of bed. Evie made the bus by the hair of her chinny chin chin. I had a hair appointment and then walked the trails with Wendy. Henry had hat day at school and thought he was such a BIG boy! 

March 15: Henry had swimming and then we met three friends from his class at the park for a playdate. Gorgeous days in March make outdoors the perfect place to play. All four boys had a blast together. We walked to pick up Evie from school and then headed to the park. Henry spent at least eight hours outside and he was dirty from head to toe. I made the kids a picnic dinner and we spent the rest of the evening outside. Evie and I worked on her timeline project for school. She appreciated looking at all of her baby pictures and selecting just the right ones to create her timeline. 

March 16: Evie was a MAJOR sleepyhead this morning. I practically had to drag her out of the bed. She was really feeling day light savings time in a big way. We drove her to school and then dyed Henry's hair blue with some hair glue for Wacky Wednesday at preschool. I had a clean-up day in the nursery at church throwing out old toys and creating more lists of what we need to do and purchase. We all enjoyed another fabulous afternoon outside after school and again after dinner. I adore this spring weather! 

March 17: Henry had a friend over after swimming lessons. He adores his friend Sydney!

March 18: Sarah came back from Alabama for a visit at school. Another mom sent me some sweet but blurry pictures of their reunion and then I met up with the girls at lunch.  Eddie came over to play with Henry while Kelly took the girls to acting.

March 19: We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame. It is a well done exhibit but very expensive. We went because they were having a spring break special - not sure I'd want to pay full-price with my kids so young. Evie did love the Taylor Swift exhibit and Henry enjoyed seeing all the old cars.

March 20: Carl had to fly out around lunch but we had a nice day. Sarah came over for a playdate and then we went to the library.

March 21: Spring Break is so nice! I love not rushing out the door to school. We went to the mall and out for doughnuts. Then, we came home for lunch and some playtime before heading to see the bunnies and to our favorite park in Nashville.

March 22: We drove to Raleigh! Our kids did great in the car as usual. We are so thankful for amazing travelers. We arrived at Candice and Carl's about 7. They had a delicious dinner for us and it was so nice to catch up. Curtis played with my kiddos and we all got to finish our conversations.

March 23: Carl took the kids for the day while Candice and I enjoyed a day together. I have been friends with Candice since I was 18. We are very different but compliment each other well. We went to Cameron Village - my favorite shopping center in Raleigh. I love Penzey's Spices and looking in the other stores. We stopped for a yummy Mexican lunch and then went to my favorite coffee shop. I have dreamed about that Kona Mocha for years! We did a little shopping at North Hills and then picked up Curtis from school. Carl got home with our kiddos. He kept them busy with a hike, visiting the Capitol, hiking in Umstead, lunch at Rudino's, a visit to the trampoline park and then smoothies. They had a blast with Daddy!! We all went to Chuck's for dinner - a burger place in downtown Raleigh. All the kiddos enjoyed their chocolate milkshakes and my burger was wonderful. All the kiddos went to sleep early after a busy day!

March 24: It was my turn with the kids while Carl golfed with my brother in Pinehurst. We hung out with Candice and her family for a bit. Then, we took a North Raleigh tour to all my favorite places - not much has changed but it is certainly a busier area of town. I took the kids to North Hills. They loved parking in an underground parking garage - we did a little window shopping and then met my friend, Courtney for lunch with her new baby Anderson. Courtney and I have been friends for nearly 30 years! Oh my goodness - I am really feeling old typing that! We went to church together while growing up in Gastonia. After lunch, I treated us to cupcakes at Edible Art. Evie and Henry loved the cupcakes but who does not love a cupcake! Then, we drove over to my brother's condo to meet up with him and Carl. We hung out for a bit and then went to Marble's Museum. That is an incredible children's museum - the best one that I have ever been to with my family. We picked up Mellow Mushroom on the way back to Ben's. Henry left his pillow at Candice's and it was a LONG night with Henry. One of the worst nights with him - I slept with him on a twin blowup mattress because he was distraught over his pillow. Who knew that he was this attached to a pillow? It was a terrible night that I do not want to remember but for the sake of keeping this a "real" recollection of our life it was the kind of night that made me thankful that I only have two children that generally sleep well while traveling.

March 25: Carl took care of the kids while I slept late and then we went to the science and history museums. Henry was not a fan of the science museum. He kept telling us that he was scared and needed to be held. We remedied that quickly by walking  over to the history museum. Ben and Mary Devon met us there! Both of the those museums are wonderful and free. That is an incredible resource for those who live nearby - lots of exhibits with many opportunities to learn new things. We went to the Farmer's Market. I love that place and still miss it! Then, we went to Pullen Park. This was Henry's favorite part of the entire trip. We went on a train ride and then the kids rode little boats. Pullen Park is amazing! Evie was getting cranky at this point and Henry was tired. He fell asleep once we were in the car. Carl stopped at Salsa Fresh for lunch. We used to eat that once a week. I ate in the car while Henry napped. Then, we went to Blake and Betty's house! Blake and Betty were our neighbors in Raleigh. They are wonderful people and helped us learn how to be neighbors, enjoy marriage and other important life lessons. Carl and I hope to be just like them when our children are grown. They welcomed Henry and Evie into their home with open arms and knew just how to interact with them. My kids are usually slow to warm up to new people. On the way, I told Evie that Blake and Betty had hoped to be their surrogate grandparents before we moved. Evie says they still can be! It was a delightful visit. Afterwards, we went to get Henry's pillow! Ben and Mary Devon babysat while we went to Sullivan's for dinner. That was one of our favorite spots back before kids. Pineapple martini, steak and scallops. Delicious!

March 26: We left Raleigh around 9 and headed to my parents house. Ikea was on the way so of course we had to stop for a short trip. Evie and Henry went to Small Land - goodness all stores should replicate Small Land . It was so nice to shop without kids. We really had an enthralling trip - trashcans, ribbon, bathmat etc. Cinnamon Rolls and pizza rounded out our visit and then we headed down the road to my parents. Evie and Henry were happily playing so we just hung out at home. 

March 27: Easter Day! One of my favorite holidays. Evie and Henry woke up around 7:30 to see their loot from the Easter Bunny and then we went to church. After church, we had lunch with my parents and Aunt Libby. It was nice to spend the holiday with my family. We usually stay in Nashville for Easter but decided to do something different this year. I really missed our church and church family but enjoyed celebrating with my family. 

March 28: Evie woke up sick and I immediately thought that it was strep. We dropped off Henry at school and made a bee line for the pediatricians office. Dr. B confirmed that it was indeed strep. Poor Evie took four naps that day and felt awful. 

March 29: Evie stayed home again since she was not fever free for 24 hours and because her antibiotics were not ready until lunchtime the day before. I picked up her work from school and goodness gracious there was a ton of make up work. Henry loved that Evie accompanied us to his swimming lesson. Evie told him that he was the best in the class. Chick fil A was next on our agenda!

March 30: Everyone went back to school!!! ALLEUIA! That was a long stretch without school for Evie. Henry had a friend over after school!

March 31: Henry and I had Spring Street at church - probably our last one of the school year due to a school field trip and our vacation. It has been such a treat to serve those women a warm meal and sit with them to chat. Sometimes I did not feel like going but I always felt good afterwards. Nothing like a perspective to change your day. I had book club that night - we read a book written by a guy that went to my high school Wiley Cash. The book was A Land More Kind than Home. We had a Southern feast with fried chicken, mac and cheese, green beans, salad, and coconut cake for dessert. We had a lively discussion as usual and enjoyed some time together. Looking forward to our next book!

That's a wrap for March! April is already in full swing and it is busier than ever!