Saturday, August 18, 2012

Relishing the moment

Yesterday I received an email in my inbox that scared the heck out of me.   It was an email confirming some details about Julia's preschool start just a few weeks from now.  If I hadn't filled out the application myself, I might have deleted the message with the words, "I am so excited to have Julia in my class this year..." thinking it must have been meant for someone else.  Those words looked foreign in front of me.  My child?  Old enough to attend school?  
Preschool is right around the corner.  While it only comprises about 7 hours of her week, this is her introduction to school.  
It begins.  
We talk about it every morning.  We discuss what her first morning will look like and who will be in her class with her.  We pass the church everyday that houses Busy Bee's and she proudly announces that this is her school.  We have bought a new pink lunch bag and have scheduled a hair cut.  Julia has decided that she would like to eat "Rice Krispies and pumpkin pancakes" on the morning of her big day.  Though that breakfast is 3 weeks away, I have already bought the ingredients.  Mimi has bought her a new book on the transition into school and we tell stories at night about what she will learn in her classroom.  I keep telling myself that all of this preparation will make the first day (and every subsequent morning) go smoothly.  As the time draws near, I realize that as much as Julia requires the preparation for this milestone, we need a crash course in sending our child to school.
I think this is going to go a lot easier for Julia than it will for me.  
I have watched others send their children off to school.  When your children are young it is difficult to imagine that they will ever be ready for "big kid" milestones.  When diapers and sleepless nights are the only tangible measures in sight, buses and friendships do not enter into any kind of reality.  One day they just seem to arrive at your doorstep without much announcement.  We are forced to acknowledge that times are changing, our children are growing.  
Julia reminds me everyday that she is growing.  She wants to be big enough to go on the waterslide at "Mimi's club".  She has a few years to go on that one, but every morning she asks if she is big enough.  She reminds me that she is ready for preschool and ready to learn.  She holds conversations with me that surprise the heck out of me, like when she asked the other day how Jesus can fit inside of her heart since we describe Him as "so big".  All of this growth is so exciting.  I have resolved that it is inevitable and therefore it's best to embrace it.  I have found that the only way to preserve any ounce of this fast paced scene is to document it.  I wish that I had the luxury of taking family photos at a certain time every year.  Though it does't seem to happen often enough, it is so important to capture these times. 
The following photos were taken by Becca Neufeld (best photographer ever!) on Charlie's first birthday.  I cherish these pictures - this is truly Julia and Charlie.  We were also able to capture the 5 generations in my family.  
On Julia's first day of preschool, the plan is to walk the 1/2 mile to Busy Bee.  I like the thought of drawing out every moment of this morning :) 
I will be walking behind Julia with my camera in hand, snapping photos of every step.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blues are back!

We admittedly have a stash of blueberries in our kitchen at all times.  They are the perfect snack for every member of the family (except Scout, she steers away from fruit, but will gladly partake in any other morsel).  We have them no matter what the season.  The problem?  When you taste fresh blues that are in-season, picked straight from the vine, it is difficult to ever imagine buying a carton in the grocery store mid-January.  They'll be there, but the freshness can never be replicated.  There is nothing like a true blue.  
Today we went blueberry picking.  It was bright and early - our first task of the day.  Even Julia had her own half carton hitched to a rope that set conveniently around her neck for free hands.  Charlie was content to pick his own from the comforts of the Boba carrier.  He had a perfect angle and a mighty appetite.   The other pickers thought he was quite hysterical.  Something about this simple task of picking our fruit made my heart quite happy.  I am thankful that I live just minutes away from farms that help teach my children the value of local produce.  We are blessed to experience the abundance that we have around us.  There are so many lessons involved for Julia and Charlie.  The best part of the whole experience was the sense of accomplishment that Julia felt as she picked her own bucket.  The blueberry muffins that we made later today tasted so much better with the our morning's work added to the mix.  It helped that this was the BEST EVER blueberry muffin recipe...the secret is in the "burned butter".  
Blueberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We will all be dreaming in blue tonight.
It's true, she picked almost all of them on her own (besides the ones that she stole from our buckets when we looked away)...her giggle is a precious give-away.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The way life should be.

 Where we pick our favorite lobsters straight from the docks, we're serenaded by an old man playing the accordion at the local farmers market, the kids are lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean, and "a double scoop of chocolate" is a daily order. 

I picked up this adorable fabric in Portsmouth, NH on our way home.  I couldn't help it, I'm on a lobster kick.  The one on top is for Charlie and the crab is for Charlie's new baby cousin who will make his appearance in January (he'll need some beach inspiration mid-winter!)