Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Lily Grace loves to dance. She gets excited months ahead of time in anticipation of the Nutcracker ballet and she can be found months after it still twirling and reenacting each dance.
 She has been sooo excited. First of all, she is required to wear all pink and according to her, they must know that pink is  her favorite color. Ha! Secondly, she is taking lessons at the same ballet school that performs the Nutcracker each year. When we went to tour and register, she had one question for them, "Where is Clara?" (the main character in the Nutcraker). According to Gracie, when she grows up she is going to dance on the Nutcracker stage.
Today finally arrived and she started ballet class this morning. Needless to say, she LOVED class and came out twirling, showing us what she had learned and asking when she could go back. So cute!!
It's so much fun to see her get to do something she really enjoys!!  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Her Many Sides

Self proclaimed Super Hero Bride shopping at Costco

Recreated Angelina Ballerina on her way to Target and a few other stops

Lily Grace loves to dress up and when she does she likes to get into character and usually does so for most of the day. Matt and I love watching her.  She is so cute and some of the things she comes up with are quite entertaining.
She doesn't think twice about going out in public all dressed up either.  She is convinced that other people really believe she is the character and being embarrassed doesn't even cross he mind. She has an abundance of confidence. I love that about her.  I'm happy to foster that confidence too. Other than church, school or a special occasion, I'm fine with her wearing it out and about.  (Too cute! An older couple got behind us at Costco when she was in the above dance outfit and I could hear the wife comment fondly to her husband about how she could remember those sweet days.  They are fleeting and certainly should be cherrished.)  I know the day is coming when she will likely care more about what others think ( I pray not ) but until then, she is definitely her own girl.

Best Lunch Ever

Yes, these two friends actually ended up in the same class.

Last Friday I began voluntary lunch duty at Lily Grace's school. Now I know that lots of my teacher friends are thinking that I must be crazy volunteering for all things, "lunch duty." Acutally, it was one of the best lunches I've ever been to.
The kindergarten classes at Lily Grace's school have their own cafeteria so when you volunteer, it's just to work with Kindergarten. I loved being able to see her interact with her friends and getting to know them.
I prayed and prayed for these days, and I don't waant to take a one of them for granted, not even if that means lunch duty. When I picked Lily Grace up that afternoon, I told her how much I enjoyed seeing her at lunch. She smiled a big smile and said, "My heart almost burst I was so excited to see you.". She then proceeded to tell me about the friends I may have helped at lunch. It made for a great conversation on the ride home.
I want her to always know that what is important to her or is a part of her life is very important to me. And I really want to savor and enjoy all the moments I can before I become "an embarrassment." Ha! Ha,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our Kindergarten Girl

 Right before leaving home

A Kindergartner in the car

 Before entering the school

 A sweet moment with her teacher

 She is blessed to have two teachers.

 Big girl

 Wearing her gingerbread headband at pick up

I’ve never contemplated a post for so long.   I knew this day was coming and for weeks I have actually been thinking about it and how I would even begin writing about it.
The range of emotion that comes with being a parent is limitless.  Today was no exception.  I have never felt so proud and excited and yet so sad all at once.
I am blessed, blessed, blessed. I have spent each day of the last four and a half years with the love of my life, right by my side. And today, that all changed. Today, I woke as a mom of a Kindergartner and watched her begin a new chapter in her young little life. 
Lily Grace awoke bright and early and from that moment on, she has beamed with excitement.  After eating a breakfast of her choice (homemade blueberry waffles) she quickly got into her uniform. (which she loves because it twirls) She was so proud and all to happy to pose for pictures.  
Once at school the emotions really started to kick in.  I was trying to hold it together and so was Lily Grace.  I was trying not to cry my eyes out and Lily Grace was trying not to burst from excitement.  She was the first to arrive and was greeted with hugs from her teachers.  It was just the sweetest sight.  My baby was in fact, a big girl.  She was shown around the room and then sat to start on a project.  With one last hug and kiss and a lot of tears, daddy and I said goodbye.  Matt was very supportive today and while he didn't cry, his proud daddy side showed all through him.
Upon pickup she was still excited and couldn't wait to share all about the Gingerbread hunt she had been on, the places she had gone in the building and the new friends she had met.  It was priceless. 
Daddy and I then honored her request with a trip to Build A Bear where she got to enjoy the gift card Gran sent her as a Starting School treat.  Once there, she ran into one of the little girls that joined her at school today and they were both quick to share who the other was.  Too cute!  Once her lamb was all stuffed and dressed, it was off to a special lunch at the restaurant of her choice. It really has been a special, special day.
Lily Grace, thank you for always making me smile.  I will always, always cherish the alone time we have shared. I will certainly miss having you so close by and with that, feeling as though I could protect and shield you from being hurt.  I know however that I need not worry so much about that because other than bugs, you are one of the bravest little girls I know.
Daddy and I are so excited to watch you grow.  We can’t wait to share in your excitement in all that you learn and do.  We look forward to working on homework with you and hearing about your new friendships and class happenings.  And we will always be here to help lift what may feel like the weight of the world off your shoulders when trials come along.  School is about learning in so many ways. 
We are at such peace knowing that you will hear about God each day and learn about your faith.  Remember, even though mommy isn’t there, God always is. 
You, Lily Grace are more than a Kindergartner.  You are a blessing!! We are very, very proud of you and even more proud to be your parents.  We love, love, love you!!

       If I could keep you little, I’d keep you close to me.
But then I’d miss you growing into who you’re meant to be.
                            If I could keep you little… by Marianne Richmond

Friday, August 5, 2011

Last Week before Kindergarten: Day 5

It's grocery day around our house, and Lily Grace and I are two people who actually enjoy this task.  We get in no hurry, often enjoy a snack and browse extensively.  (one of the hazards of grocery shopping at Super Target)
I've recently started printing my grocery list.  Lily Grace asked that I print her one.  I did and let me just say that we have had the most fun with it.  She loves checking behind me and even trying to find an item on the list for mark off  before I do.  She is so cute telling me where to find it on the list if she comes across it before I do.  She carries it around guarding it and making sure we get everything.  So fun!
Lily Grace you are the best shopping buddy!!!  You make grocery shopping sooooooo much fun!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Last Week before Kindergarten: Day 4

Today we enjoyed lunch with daddy.  Lily Grace has always loved going out to visit Matt at work.  She loves to mimic what Matt does and ask him how things are going out in the plant.  According to her, she's going to be an engineer like daddy and ride to work with him when she's a big girl.  Oh how your daddy would love that my girl!!!
You will notice however, that the standard issued safety glasses won't cut it.  Lily Grace fancied hers up a bit and these are the ones she wears each time we visit. Too cute!  
Once back home from lunch, her day got even better. She received a package from her great grandmother, Honey.  Just look at these adorable handmade dolls.  Honey had a friend make these for Lily Grace and as you can see, she is just smitten.  What a treasure they are!  
Thank you Honey for such a special and thoughtful gift!!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Last Week before Kindergarten: Day 3

 Lily Grace chose pineapple scented shampoo.

 With their new cuts all glittered up

 Lily Grace chose pink toenail polish of course.

Some cute little girls and very proud mommas

 Posing on the Runway

 Oh yes! Pinkies up of course

 Post chocolate covered strawberries

Even a fancy girl gets tired

Today we joined friends Gretchen and Claire for one very fancy and special day.  
Both Lily Grace and Claire started off the day with a haircut and mini-pedi at Sweet and Sassy.  Oh! And of course you don't show up for such a fancy day without doing so in your fanciest jewels and a twirly dress.  They were so cute.  They giggled and really got into the whole thing.  Gretchen and I got so tickled at how relaxed they were to the point that they acted like they have standing appointments and do this every Wednesday.  So funny!
After getting all glittered and painted, we were off to a quaint little tea room for High Tea.  It was a first for all of us and we all enjoyed it. Lily Grace was in awe and thrilled to see them bring sweets like chocolate dipped strawberries and scones with the tea sandwiches. (no waiting until the very end for the sweets)  The girls loved sipping tea (lemonade) from their petite tea cups and the teapot played music each time you picked it up to pour from it.  
We  all had so much fun!!!  Today was really a special day.  I will be  honest and admit that it didn't start out that way. I woke in tears at the thought (ok more like the realization) that we are another day closer to Kindergarten.  The tears flowed easily and hard so I called Matt simply to say, "I am not ok and I don't think I can let her go each day."  Selfish I know...but tell that to a momma's heart.  That made today all the more special.  While it is true, I will not have Lily Grace with me all day every day anymore, I will have special memories like this one that will last forever.  Lily Grace, I already treasure it more than you know.
Matt I have told you this before, but I don't think that I could ever say it enough.  Thank you for working so hard and for the sacrifices that you make so that I can be a stay at home mom and share special moments like this with our precious girl.  

Last Week before Kindergarten: Day 2

Lily Grace and Mia spent Tuesday enjoying NONstop play.  From the time we walked through the front door at Mia's house to the time we pulled out of the drive, these two stayed busy.  That house was filled with explorers, princesses, pirates and least of all giggles.  They were so much fun to watch and listen too.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch and both Lily Grace and I had the best time visiting.  Those are some of the best days, the ones where you get together with friends and just hang out.  
Susan and I met and became friends while still teaching at separate schools and waiting to travel to China for our daughters.  It's  hard to believe that we will walk back into a school building next week, not a teachers but as parents.  

Last Week before Kindergarten: Day 1

So how do you spend the last week at home before starting Kindergarten?  You pack the week with as much fun as possible.  
These 3 have been having playdates since they were babies.  They've ran the gamut, from Kindermusik and Gymnastics to Preschool and on Monday, bowling.  
Elliot has really held his own with these two girls.  When Kindergarten starts,  I think they will both miss seeing him as often as they do.