Friday, July 31, 2015

County Championship Meet











Evie swam in the county meet earlier this month! It was an experience for all of us. It was the best of the best swimmers after a long season of early practices and tough lessons - hundreds of kids showed up to swim. These swimmers were all six and under. 

 Evie was ranked 20th in the county going into the meet for her age group which is pretty spectacular.

I am most proud of Evie for beating her personal record over and over all season long. Evie improved by leaps and bounds which is what matters most. It's always better to compete against yourself instead of others although Evie did a fabulous job with her competition too. Evie did not like moving to the faster heats but it made her work harder to beat her personal record each week. 

County championship was stressful, steaming hot and crowded. It was held late in the afternoon and started thirty minutes late due to technical problems with the timers. None of that helps out in the six and under age group. 

Evie was about a second late jumping in for her freestyle and she rolled over too soon with her backstroke. That's okay though - her time for backstroke was about a minute faster than her first meet. She finished in 33 seconds at the championship but that shoulder roll caused her from placing.  Swimming provides lots of life lessons! 

On a positive note, Carl was able to take this fabulous picture of Evie right before she jumped into the pool. I love watching the older swimmers because their form is perfect and their times are amazing. There is something special about watching these tiny swimmers prance out onto the platform and dive into the big pool without even considering the magnitude of what they are accomplishing. 


Evie came in third for relay - she loves the relay and swims with a super fast fish, Sarah. 



One of her friends from school came in 6th in the county - way to go, Faith! Evie asked me how Faith did so well. My reply was Faith has her own swimming pool, is the fourth kid in her family to swim competitively and she practiced really hard all season.Hard work pays off - sometimes it takes longer than we would like but it does happen.  Evie was proud of her friend and I am proud of Evie. 

Henry also deserves some accolades because he sat through every hot swim practice and cheered for his sister at the long meets. His sweet little voice chanting, "Go Evie" is something I hope to always remember. 

Evie won 13 ribbons this swim season including first through seventh places plus two medals. She made new friends, took risks especially using the block for the first time and spent dozens of hours in the pool. I'd call that an amazing first season. 

We are looking forward to another swim season next summer with an extra swimmer in our family. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Henry's 4th Birthday Party!






Henry was so excited to celebrate his birthday at Jumpstreet! He wanted to have his party on his real birthday, July 5 which is of course a big travel day. 

Henry had a terrific turn out and enjoyed himself so much. Jumpstreet did an excellent job handling the party and it was nice having a smaller number of guests. Henry had 14 friends and it was perfect! He was most excited to have Sydney and Garner. Henry really missed Anderson and Matthew but understood vacation is fun too. 

The kids played and played. Then, we had cake and everyone went home. 

Perfect party - quick and easy! Sadly, I did not take many pictures. 

Henry loved being the birthday boy! We came home and opened presents. He wanted pizza for dinner and then we watched a movie before walking to the park for some fireworks.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Evie is 6.5!









Evie - You are 6.5! Time just keeps on ticking.You are an amazing little girl and have changed so much in the last six months.

You are social to the core. You find new friends everywhere you go and kids are constantly coming up to you to say hello that know you from around town. You LOVE people but also enjoy your "lonely" time. 

We are very similar my friend and that can be challenging. 

You and Henry are best friends and you keep him on the straight and narrow for me. He adores you too and listens to you so well. You hold his hand and keep him safe every where we go. You dress him, get his ice-water and his snacks and tuck him into bed. It's really quite helpful!

You have some serious Leadership Skills (thank you Sheryl Sandberg) and are able to get an entire pool to play swim team with you. Or a gaggle of kids to play school at the park. 

You feel very deeply and often tell me the "bad" things you do before I even notice. You have a strong conscious and it keeps you up at night if you do something wrong. 

You love to read and are making tons of progress. It is so cool to see you develop into a strong reader right before my eyes. It makes me so proud! You are a super smart girl and are looking forward to beginning your year as a first grader. 

Summer has been so much fun with you. Lots of pool time, playdates and adventures around town. 

You love pink, Lilly Pulitzer, American Girl and all things sweet. You are messy, funny, wild about your family and friends, a big snacker and the best little swimmer I know. You love babies, you never stop talking, you are athletic and enjoy trying new things. Your moods change quickly, you love to cuddle, sing songs and explore new places. Your memory is amazing, you make connections in an unbelievable way, you always know the perfect thing to say and you love all things outside. You dream big and play harder. You are our best girl! 

It's an absolute joy to be your Mama! I love you Evie Claire. 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday, Henry!


Henry - the day is finally here! You are 4! I have been asking you for months if could please stay three forever but you told me that turning four is the rules! Earlier this week, you asked me if I could still cuddle you when you were 4. I'll cuddle you as long as you will let me!


I have loved this past year with you but know that year four is awesome too. You have changed so much. Last year, you wore diapers, slept in a crib and hated the pool. This year, you wear undies to sleep in your big boy bed and you love the pool.


You are such a HAPPY boy and so well-behaved. I am amazed at how compliant you are with most anything that I say. You tell me "sa wee" all day long and are quick to help me if I need it. You have a BIG heart for others and want to be a good friend. You are sensitive to what others say and think - you do not like being called "baby" by anyone but me. Apparently, that is a BIG insult for a preschooler.  You tell me that you are my baby but not my real baby just my Henry baby.  You still rock at bedtime and love for me to sing songs. You beg to sit next to me or on my lap and give loves of cuddles. I carry you around a lot still at home but you told me that I cannot carry you in front of your big boy friends.




You are still a Mama's boy and choose me most of the time. You love Daddy too but I am usually your first choice. I will cherish these days because I know they will not last. Soon enough, Daddy will  become your best friend but I sure love how you reach your soft little hand for me, break out into a huge grin every time you see me and cover me with hugs and kisses.


You love playing outside, helping in the kitchen, mowing the grass with Daddy, acting out scenarios with your Rescue Bots and of course your favorite friend is Evie. You love her deeply and play with her for hours every day. Of course, you argue and hit but within minutes you are happy again. You miss her when she is gone and greet her like a rock star when she comes home. Last week, you had a babysitter and you ended up in Evie's bed. Evie LOVED it but you like to sleep more than play at nighttime. It was sweet though to see you cuddled up next to your sister.



We are on the go a lot since you have a big sister. You have learned to adapt to hot swim meets, to wait patiently in car line and listen to Evie read lots of girl books.




You have plenty of friends too! Anderson, Matthew and Eddie are your favorites. We have lots of playdates at the pool, parks and our houses.


You still love hummus, drinking white milk and anything sweet. You are finally eating some meat - Daddy's grilled chicken and pork chops are your favorites. All meat is "chickens" to you.


You say lots of cute things but one of my favorites has to be the YMC Way instead of the YMCA. When you burp - you say "up scuse." Everything you say is in a real Southern twang -pillow is pee - low, milk is meee ilk and cookie is kookie.


Henry - we cannot imagine our life without you our sweetest boy! What a gift you are to our family. We love you so much and are beyond thankful that God gave us such a special little boy.


We love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

10 Year Anniversary Trip











Carl and I celebrated our ten year anniversary earlier this month with a trip to Boca Raton, Florida. My mom and aunt were so sweet to come stay with the kids. It was our first time leaving them! Of course, they were fine and we were fine too. I had a few tears every day missing them a bit but knew that within minutes of seeing them life would be crazy again.

We enjoyed relaxing on the beach and eating yummy food. It was wonderful to have a break from the daily grind of motherhood. We love our children dearly but being a parent is a ton of work. Way more than either of us anticipated - it is constant and this break was wonderful in every way and much needed! We will not wait another 6.5 years before leaving again. 

Carl read a book which has not happened in years and I read a few books. We drank yummy cocktails and watched the waves come in and out. The beach is much easier without wrangling kids for sunscreen or toting down toys and snacks.  Our kids adore the beach and we enjoy family vacations but it was so nice to just have us to worry about. Life is much easier with just us but it is also not the same. I was just shocked by how easy it was to do everything without my kids in tow and hope this is something I will remember so I can be empathetic and helpful to other parents with young children as our kids get older. 

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Boca Beach Club and I highly recommend it. Hotel was beautiful and the staff were amazing. Everyone went above and beyond to make us feel special and took care of us so well. We took a water taxi between the two resorts and there was also a shuttle. We only left the resort once to go into the neighboring town for a bite to eat. 

On our anniversary, June 11, we ate dinner on the 27th floor at a restaurant called Blue. It was divine and they certainly made a HUGE effort in making it a special night for us. Perfect table, an anniversary card, a gorgeous dessert, etc. We had a fabulous view to enjoy while dining on scrumptious oysters, swordfish, salads and desserts. 

Wish I had more to say but it was just a perfect, low-key trip with my sweet husband. I will say that within moments of walking in the door - we wished were back in Florida. Our AC went out three times within the first week we were home and one of our children gave me a run for my money for an entire week after I got back and Carl left again for a week of travel. It was immediately back to being a mom and that is just the way I like it but it was beyond wonderful to spend the week with Carl! 

A BIG THANKS to my Mom and Aunt Libby for giving us a break and taking care of our kids while we were gone! 



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Kiawah 2015

















We drove to Kiawah from Lake Keowee, South Carolina which made it a much more reasonable drive.  We were in Charleston by 2 and went to swim at Uncle Rusty and Aunt Anne's house. There were 12 kids in the pool and everyone had a fabulous time. We miss seeing all of our family now that we are so far away.

From there, we had a 45 minute drive out to Kiawah but it is the most beautiful drive. Angel Oak trees, winding roads, salt air and a sense of nostalgia. 

We stopped at the grocery door and then checked into our cottage. Our family was on the beach within thirty minutes of arriving on the island. Beach life is the best!

We spent the week getting into my favorite type of routine - morning coffee around 8 and then beach until 1 and then a sun break with either an activity or a movie. Then, we'd hit the beach again either late afternoon or evening. Our kids love the beach as much as we do which makes it so pleasant.

We rented bikes which shortened our trip to less than three minutes. Kids love riding the bikes or in the burley. I think Evie will ride her own bike next time since she is getting so big.

We made our traditional trip to Red's for some yummy seafood, ate tons of boiled peanuts and enjoyed an early dinner by the golf course one evening. 

The best part about being at Kiawah is we can see some friends. Our friends the McDonald's came out on Wednesday for  an early dinner and some beach time. Evie and Henry adore their boys and it was a reunion for sure.






On Thursday, my sweet friend from college, Susan came out to visit us with her boys. My kids loved meeting Jack and Finn and it was so wonderful for me to see my friend!

It was a fabulous week at the beach - it always goes way too quickly. The first week back is tough too adjusting back to reality. It's been a hard week back for us. Our favorite neighbors moved to KY, my Harris Teeter closed and adjusting to summer with kids home all.the.time is always a bit tough. We are back in the swing of things and had a great week hanging with friends enjoying summer here in Nashville.

We loved our trip to Kiawah and cannot wait for next year!