Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We've survived September

Still alive here! I've once again slipped into my infrequent posting ways. September has been a crazy month! Here's a quick run down of the month:

We spent Labor Day weekend visiting Joey's family in Mishawaka, Indiana and attending his brother Aaron and sister-in-law Michelle's couples' baby shower in anticipation of the first grandson on Joey's side, soon to arrive in mid-October. 

The second weekend of September, my friend Anne and her boyfriend John visited Nashville and treated us to an amazing Ben Folds concert with the Nashville Symphony. Then it was back to Mishawaka the following weekend for the Notre Dame/Michigan game - otherwise known as Moonsoon weekend. The area received 11 inches of rain within 48 hours, and we were poured on during the 3rd and 4th quarters of the game - but managed to hang in there until the end, despite being soaked head to toe, as the game was awesome and we had 50-yard line tickets.

Last weekend was a big first for me in that I left the girls overnight for the first time (in the wonderfully capable hands of their grandparents) to join Joey in attending a wedding in Baltimore of a friend of his from law school. And despite the fact that I pined for the girls the whole time, thought about them incessantly - particularly during their bedtime, as that felt like the hardest time to be away - and had to physically restrain myself from stopping and cuddling every baby in a stroller we encountered in our walks around the Inner Harbor, I enjoyed the time away immensely. We slept in both mornings, enjoyed long, leisurely brunches with coffee and the paper, strolled around Fells Point with no particular purpose, ate the best crab cakes we've ever tasted at a local favorite, danced the night away at a fabulous outdoor reception under a beautiful tent (at a completely amazing venue), stayed up late partying with friends, and noticed how easy it was to get ready for a wedding without 2 babies whining at your feet. And though it was a nice reminder of how uncomplicated life is when traveling without children, I can't tell you how much my heart pounded with joy to pull into the driveway Sunday evening and see these beautiful little gals running to the car to hug us.

I've got so much updating to do - the girls are doing all kinds of funny things that I've wanted to make note of - but for now I'll leave you with some great new photos (click here!) that my friend (and our favorite photographer) Kim took of the girls. Kim was in town over the past 3 days and stayed with us on Thursday and Friday night, which was so fun - and so we managed to squeeze in a photo session and finally (!), after 15 months, get a nice family picture of the four of us. Thanks, Kim!

Hoping to write more soon...but in the mean time, we're truly enjoying being in town this weekend and just hanging out together as a family.  Have a great rest of your weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We took the plunge...

and finally bought ourselves a minivan.  My transformation to a (future) soccer mom is now complete.

The day after we bought it, my parents congratulated us, and then my Dad jokingly told me to go to McDonald's, order 3 orders of large fries, and then dump them all over the back seat and floor of our minivan, as eventually it will look like that.

I'm not sure why I still cringe a little when I tell people that we bought a minivan.  Seriously, it's completely awesome, and brand new and wonderful in every way.  I read that the Honda Odyssey (which we purchased) is often regarded as the Lexus of minivans, and that couldn't be more true - the ride is smooth, the interior is beautiful, roomy, and comfortable, there are compartments and storage areas for just about everything you can think of, and the car is just built for kids with side curtain airbags, automatic sliding doors, built in sunshades, and tons of other great safety features.  Best of all, Joey can actually drive this car (he was too tall to even get behind the wheel in my old car, as the convertible car seat forced the driver's seat so far forward that his tall legs wouldn't fit).  We've already taken one road trip up to South Bend, IN in the minivan, and it honestly seemed like Anna and Margaret were just more comfortable.  Throw in some snacks and a DVD, and voila - a (somewhat) whine-free road trip.

So I'm getting over that minivan stigma quickly, although strangely enough I still find myself behind an infuriating driver of on Odyssey, Sienna, Town and Country, etc. -  driving 10 miles below the speed limit and changing lanes without even looking - and I find myself mumbling under my breath, "Dang minivan driver."  And a few other words that I cannot print in this blog.  Luckily, I really don't care about the "coolness" aspect (or lack thereof) in driving a minivan - I neither measured my hipness based on the car I drive, nor ever could claim to be hip in the first place.  

I really do feel so lucky to be driving a brand new, completely awesome car that is perfect for our girls - and I'm so thankful to Joey for working so hard to enable us to do this.  Our girls are positively giddy about the car.  I made the mistake on the first day we owned the car of letting them crawl around inside (while parked in the driveway) while I was organizing a few things and setting up the car seats, and I think the thrill of not being strapped into car seats got to them, as they now demand to play in the car every day.  Something about pushing the radio buttons, climbing up and down the seats, sitting behind the steering wheel, and walking from the front seat to the back provides for the world's best indoor playground.  I really should never have started that - but hey, it does kill about an hour of time every day.

I need to update you all on a few cool new things they are doing and saying - so I'll work on that today!  Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday to Anne

Today, my friend Anne turns 30 years old. Happy Birthday Annie! Wishing you so much happiness on your special day!

Anne and I met when we were 15 years old at the fine academic institution of Visitation Academy High School in St. Louis, MO. I feel so blessed to have had Anne as a friend by my side through high school, college, grad school, and our moving all over the place - her to Philadelphia and back to St. Louis, me to North Carolina, DC and Nashville.  We've seen each other through job changes, relationship changes, house moves, and the ups and downs of life.  

Anna and Margaret are so very blessed to have "Aunt Anne" in their life - Anne was calling and emailing me moments after their birth, spent a weekend getting to know them in Nashville when they were 4 weeks old, and then made multiple trips to see them since then - and was there to help us celebrate their first birthday. She's spoiled them with gift after gift and treats them with so much love, generosity, and kindness.  We are all so lucky to have her in our lives, and I often feel that I don't deserve such a perfect friend who unconditionally loves and supports all of us, even through this last year when I haven't been the friend I've wanted to be because I've gotten so caught up with caring for the girls.  To have a friend who forgives you for not returning emails and phone calls, and for not being there when they could have used your company and support - well, that truly is a good friend.

At my bridesmaid luncheon in July 2004
Holding 4 week old Anna
And 4-week old Margaret

Thank you, Anne, for being the most loyal, supportive friend in my life.  Joey, the girls and I are so thankful for you!  We are so excited to celebrate your birthday this weekend in Nashville.  Lots of love from our family to you.