Monday, July 30, 2012

Mary Poppins in NYC

Love the clocks in the train stations

Check out Miss Priss who insisted on taking her purse.  Do you think she has enough pattern going on?

On the train

Giddy over Apple in Grand Central (And yes, that would be both of them- ha!)

Grand Central Station: The ceilings and chandeliers are beautiful. 

Here with Julie who she is hoping to add to her collection.

Lunch in the city

Random city pics

Time Square

Amazing show

Wet from head to toe.  Matt took the blunt and gave us the umbrella until Gracie decided playing in the rain with Daddy would be much more fun.  

Living now just a short train ride from New York City, we boarded  this weekend to catch the Broadway Show- Mary Poppins.
Lily Grace has been beyond excited about this show.  Mary Poppins was the first movie we allowed her to watch and is still her favorite.  She was also pretty excited about the train ride and going to NYC.  I must say, we all were.  What a new experience, and right here at our back door.  
The train stations are amazing.  I love all the clocks and the ceiling details and Grand Central, well it was just that....GRAND.  We had no idea the extent of this train station.  It's huge and houses more than just trains.  There are resteraunts, businesses and even ....drum roll Apple Store.  I thought Matt and Lily Grace were going to come unglued.  Hello...we've lived near an Apple store for several years, but each time they see one it's like the first time and then to have one in the train station made it even more cool.  
Once those two stopped drooling, we were off to do a little sight seeing since we arrived early.   First, we took Lily Grace for a little surprise stop.  American Girl doll store was in short walking distance as most things are in NY so we figured, why not?  She was in awe of the place. (I was a little giddy myself.  I was very much in to dolls as a little girl and this place was just amazing. ) It was definitely sensory overload with four floors of doll fun.  She quickly sought out Julie the doll she currently has her eye on.  We left empty handed but I have a very good feeling that we will soon be back.  
After a quick lunch, we were off to Time Square.  Wow!  That pretty much sums that up.  (However, quite the funny story there.)
Mary Poppins was AMAZING!!  It was the best show I have ever been to.  At the end of the performance, Mary Poppins flys through the audience and I thought Lily Grace may burst as she made it our way.  The smile on Lily Grace's face and her little hand waving nonstop, was priceless.  We all thoroughly enjoyed the show and watching it with her was just a cherished memory made.  
Once the show was over, we excited the theater only to be greeted by rain, and to be more exact, a downpour.  No worries though, because apparently when it rains in NY, magic happens.  All of sudden it seemed there was someone with a cart of umbrellas at every turn for sale.  And can I just say, that after we all endured a little wet fun, that was the best $5 spent.  
We enjoyed dinner at Grand Central station and dried out a bit before catching the train back home.  It was a wonderful day and wonderful memories made.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Friends Near and Far

We've spent today hanging out around home and cleaning house.  
Lily Grace has used today to hang out with friends, both near and far.  She and Molly took to the floor to enjoy a show together.  
Later in the day, she and Claire proved that miles don't have to interfere with friendship.  They enjoyed Face Timing each other. During this time they shared favorite songs,  dolls, pretend play, laughs and tons of questions and thoughts.  They were too cute and just go to prove that friendship can overcome any circumstance.  So sweet!

Happy 40th!

Of course this poster involved a lot of glitter

Just look at that goodness ooze.  Couldn't resist putting every last bit of lemon curd on this cake.  It was either that or drink it. HA!  So good!

Molly always makes sure to put herself in the mix of everything.  She managed to get whipped topping on her head while we were baking the cake.  Imagine that!  


Time together is a special day well spent.

Official qualifier of "Older Parent" status.  HA!

It's official!  Matt turned 40 over the weekend.  We had a wonderful time celebrating with him.  
Lily Grace welcomed him home Friday with a birthday poster and a new gadget that he had been hoping for.
We treated him to a homemade Coconut cake with Lemon Curd and Whipped Cream and Strawberries.  (Seriously, I could do an entire post on this cake.  It's from my new favorite cookbook and blog, Deliciously Organic.  It was DELICIOUS and contains no sugar and nothing artificial.  It's completely homemade and each of us have declared it our birthday cake. HA!) 
We also enjoyed all of Matt's favorite meals, along with some new ones and gave him the weekend off from lawn duty.  
On Saturday, we took a hike through the woods down by the stream close to our house.  It was beautiful.  Something about those woods seem to bring out even more chatter from our little Chatty Patty.  Needless to say, we didn't see any cool wildlife.  
His actual birthday was Sunday and we spent the day down on the shore after church.  It was the best weekend and we all enjoyed the celebration. Watching him and Lily Grace together is priceless and I know one of the best gifts he can receive.  
With Matt turning 40, we joke about how we have been together over half our lives, meeting at 18 and marrying at 21.  I must say, I can't imagine not being with him each day.  (Now don't get me wrong, there are days when he makes me nuts but...  
And I have told him he can't retire until he is at least 70 because there is no need for us to get locked up together too soon so... HA!)  He really is a good man.  
He's grown so much and we have grown so much together.  I look forward to celebrating another 40 birthdays with him.  
Happy Birthday Matt!  You are a wonderful husband and father.  Old but wonderful! Ha!  
You are above all a blessing to Lily Grace and me.  Happy, Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

VBS and a Fancy Meeting

All set for VBS
So excited about meeting Jane O'Connor

Lily  Grace is participating in VBS this week.  She was so excited to begin on Monday and we love hearing her share all she is learning and who she is meeting each night.

After I picked her up from VBS yesterday, we grabbed a quick snack on Main Street and then made our way to the library for an author visit.  
Jane O'Connor author of Fancy Nancy was the visiting author and Lily Grace was very excited about meeting her.  We arrived early as did Mrs. O'Connor so Lily Grace got some one on one time with her and was simply star struck.  Mrs. O'Connor shared with her about the new book she is writing now and even asked her to be a helper at the end of her reading.  It was so cute to watch Lily Grace so taken by her and all she had to say.  She was very excited to learn that Jane O'Connor owns a summer house here in our town. Knowing that, living here just flew up the acceptable meter with Lily Grace.  ha!  
Mrs. O'Connor read Fancy Nancy Mermaid Ballet and afterwards, Lily Grace along with some other girls demonstrated how to practice fancy posture by balancing a banana on your head just like in the story, Fancy Nancy Fashion Boutique.  
After getting her book signed, she was all smiles and couldn't wait to share it with someone and that someone was daddy.  What a blessing and  how awesome to be able to just stop by daddy's office to show off her newly signed book.  I can't say it enough...God is good!  We are still getting used to the idea of an hour and fifteen minutes being downsized to just 10 minutes.  
What a fancy day.  Mrs. O'Connor was just lovely and so much fun.  She even shared a little insider about her newest book.  While it doesn't have a title it involves Nancy's little sister JoJo writing on her beloved doll Marabelle.  Actually, JoJo draws a skull tattoo on Marabelle's stomach with a permanent marker.  Should be a fun read.  Lily Grace is looking forward to its release.  

The Beach: Finally

Lots of beautiful sailboats around here
She could have played in this sand all day

Now that we have moved to the CT shoreline, we live just a 5 minute drive from 3 beaches.  Now imagine living here for 3 weeks with a 6 year old and not going right away.  Lily Grace has been chomping at the bits to get to the beach.  After a little more than 3 weeks with all the boxes finally unpacked, we did just that last Friday.  We hit the beach for the entire day.  We had the best time.  The weather is wonderful here.  The water...COOOOOLD.  Having grown up in the south and around the Gulf of Mexico, visiting the Atlantic was a little different.  Obviously the's  brown and not white.  We don't have huge waves as the water is much calmer.  However, I've pretty much decided that the beach is the beach.  A chair by the water, seagulls overhead, views of passing sailboats, sand in your toes and the smell of the salt water... and it's all good.  
Lily Grace had the best time and would have stayed even longer if she could have.  We loved the quick trip home to rinse off and can't wait to make it back.  

June Move

Leaving Memphis:  On the day the movers arrived with our belongings in Ct, we received two offers on our house in Memphis.  God is so good and His timing is perfect.  Thanks for all your prayers!

Snake Patrol
I love the large trees that line our drive

One of our many wild guest and probably our favorite to see and watch

Brunch by the water after church

Happy Father's Day and memories made

First pulled tooth

Lily Grace has declared daddy the official tooth puller

A visit from the Tooth Fairy

A special request

Loving their new back yard

First let me say thank you to everyone who has called to check in on us.  The move went well and I am happy to report that the last box has been unpacked.  Still some decorating to be done along with some painting and other odd jobs but at least everything has a place.  Now get ready for a mega post.  Sorry it has taken me so long.
We all awoke early the morning of June 8, around 3:15 to be exact.  It was the last morning that we would wake up in TN in the house we had called home.  It was emotional and before we left we all went up into the attic and signed our names on one of the beams.  We had a lot of great times in that house and we will certainly miss it.  We pulled out of the garage while still dark and with tear filled eyes took one last look back and then headed for the airport.  Lily Grace and I boarded a 6:00 am flight and headed for our new home in CT.  Matt left the airport and swung back by the house to make sure all was clear, packed up Molly and started the long 22 hour drive.  (Yes, it's quite obvious he drew the short end of that stick.)  
Lily Grace and I were determined to spend the night in our new house as to avoid another hotel stay (After 4 whirlwind visits in a short period of time to look for a house in CT, we were tired of shifting our belongings for another hotel stay.) So, armed with the suitcases we brought with us, some packed sheets and air mattresses, we went about setting up house.  All was great.... UNTIL DARK settled in.  Did I mention that we own almost 2 acres of land and it's surrounded by woods?  Did I mention that there are no street lights here and it gets VERY dark here?  Yes, a stargazers paradise, but one creepy situation for a mom and a 6 year old.  I tried not to let on to Lily Grace how scared I was.  I thought if I did, I would send her a bad message and we had spent so much time stressing the positives of this move and new house.  I called to check in with Matt often and finally around 10:30 confided in him as I hunched down in the only spot in the house that could hold the cell connection (surrounded by woods people) that I was scared and didn't think I could do this myself.  I explained how dark it was and how there were so many new an creepy sounds, not to mention the new creepy sounds coming from this charming in the day 1958 Cape Cod.  Matt encouraged me to hang in there but go to a hotel if I didn't think I could.  Well, by this point it was getting very late and the thought of dragging a 6 year old out into the night where I would be lucky if I could even see her in the dark (ha!) and traveling roads I was unfamiliar with would be even worse.  So, I wiped my eyes, (yes I cried) and told Lily Grace we were in for the night.  I woke several times and called to check in on Matt who was suppose to stop and rest but instead filled up on coffee and a Five Guys hamburger near midnight.  As Lily Grace and I lay on our air mattresses, she finally fell asleep, OK so it wasn't that hard for her this kid can sleep anywhere and has always been that way.  I on the other hand lay terrified as now I was really alone, even my trusty sidekick had now left me and I'm pretty sure I have just heard a coyote howl.  I work hard to convince myself it was my imagination and while I want desperately to call Matt again, I can't .  Why?  Well, that would requite me to walk back downstairs to the one spot and let's see here..extreme darkness + howling+ leaving the only other person I have with me = NO WAY!  Now I probably should have prefaced this post by telling those of you who may not know that I am afraid of the dark and being alone.  I really don't care for either.  
I'm not sure when it happened, but I finally fell asleep for a couple of hours and woke a little before 6:00.  I've NEVER been so excited to see daylight.  Lily Grace on the other hand is still sleeping soundly.  I slip off the air mattress, literally, my husband is too cheap to buy the ones that are raised up off the floor, just kidding Matt and proceed downstairs.  I pick up the phone to call Matt and see a reflection in the window.  Is that that what I think it is?  IT IS!!!!  I step out on the front stoop and see Matt wearing a huge smile driving down the long tree covered drive.  I have never been more excited to see him in my life.  He and Molly drove the trip all the way through from Thursday morning to Friday morning at around 6:15 am resting only an hour.  
Matt said he was so excited to get here and just wanted to get out of that car so they pushed through.  Actually, his first words when he got out of the car were, "well,  you said you needed me."  That's Matt for you.  He will never know how much that meant to this scaredy cat.  
Matt got in some rest that morning and for the record, we spent a full week on those air mattresses before our furniture arrived.  By the time the movers got here, we were so ready for a bed, sick of eating out and just wanted to sit somewhere other than on the floor.  
All of our nearby neighbors have been over to introduce themselves and they are all just the nicest people.  And each has been sure to ask after we open our mouths, "Where are you all from?"  Imagine that! ha!  
Our neighbors behind us had us over for a bonfire the first night we were here and has since invited Lily Grace over to play and bring us fresh food from their garden.  
We love the weather and all that there is to see and do around here.  The wildlife on the other hand......  Just in the first week or so, we have found where we have a fox who has built a den in the woods to the side of us, had a wild turkey just walk in front of the car on our road, deer coming to feed, tons of bunnies, robins, cardinals and chipmunks as well as a confirmed coyote and snakes.  Oh yes, let's talk snakes.
Our neighbors to the side of us have lived there for 48 years and they are super nice and sweet.  One day in the yard we found a snake skin.  Well...... I am not about snakes.  So when they came over that Saturday afternoon, I asked them, do you get snakes around here?  Mrs. Sonya begins to tell me how they use to get them a lot and loved having them because they would take care of the insects and pest.  She proceeded to explain how there are no poisonous snakes in CT and how they so wished they (the Gardner snakes) would come back.  I'm thinking yeah, you can just keep them over there.  
Well, Monday morning rolls around and Matt is off to work.  We still have no furniture mind you we had just arrived the previous Thursday and Friday, but I can still get a jump on some cleaning and painting.  It's just before 8:00 am and I start down into the basement (now that creepy thing while immaculately clean and great for storage and a finished out room, just doesn't settle well with me.  I happen to find it just plain CREEPY but have to go down to check on some paint the previous owners had left.)  when I see an odd looking object.  I turn on the stair lights and continue to make my way down to turn on the floor light when I get a better look and declare that the object is none other than a SNAAAAAAKE!  I run upstairs, grab the phone and call Matt.  Through tears and screams, I insist that he get home RIGHT AWAY and get this thing out of this house.  Can I just tell you that Matt has the nerve in a calm voice to say to me, "Well do you think it will move before I get there?  It might make it difficult to find it."  Are you kidding me?  I let him know that I didn't take time to check with the snake on his plans and now sobbing just tell him to hurry it up.  Matt arrives 10 minutes later.  With a shovel in hand, (thank goodness we made a Home Depot run over the weekend) he makes his way down and yells up that it's just a harmless little snake.  I'm like what are you waiting on, take care of it.  Matt proceeds to do so and then I hear a little laugh followed by "Oh my."  I yell down to inquire and Matt informs me that there is another one and while they are only about 12-14" long, I want them OUT and NOW!  So Lily Grace is loving this and rubbing my shoulder at the top of the stairs telling me that it is OK and not to worry that she will take care of me.  Yeah right kid!  It's a snake and last I checked you aren't the biggest fan of wildlife.  But nonetheless, she and Matt are having a good time with this one.  Matt asks Lily Grace to come on down and take a look. Lily Grace makes it about halfway down and even though Matt has whacked the snake (sorry nature lovers, wrong house) his body still moves and Lily Grace lets out a yell and comes running up the stairs.  Why the screams great protector? HA! HA!  Matt comes up to get her and they are down there looking at these things.  Finally in a garbage bag, we are snake free.  Matt found the little hole where they had made their way in and plugged it up.  Needless to say, I haven't been back down there and have no plans of returning.  
We really are enjoying our new home and town.  We are already busy making memories here.  Matt celebrated his first Father's Day in our new house the weekend we arrived and with that came a new John Deer.  Matt's push mower days are behind him.  This yard is just too big for that as it would take a whole day to mow.  While it was a busy and crazy time, he had the best time riding that mower with Lily Grace.  They both wore smiles and Lily Grace will tell you that she and daddy own that John Deer.  Too funny!  We also enjoyed a nice brunch at a restaurant down by the water after church.  Lily Grace had the forethought to make Matt a card before we left Memphis and put it in a safe place so she could give it to him here in CT on Father's Day.  It was the first time I had seen it as well and it was adorable.  She wrote to him that she was excited for our family to be together in CT and that he was a cool dad and the best in the world.  So sweet!  That's all he needed.  Those two can be seen each Saturday out riding the mower together and I'm not quite sure which one of them is enjoying it the most.  
Another memory made has been the loss of a tooth.  Lily Grace lost her first tooth two weeks ago.  Daddy pulled it for her after dinner.  He was proud and she was excited.  She left a note for tooth fairy asking if she could keep her tooth.  The tooth fairy left her $6 since she was 6 years old loosing her first tooth and left her tooth as well.  She and I got busy sewing that tooth fairy pillow before leaving Memphis and it served us well.  
Molly is loving life here.  She loves the running room.  We had a white picket fence put up in the back and Molly couldn't be happier.  She loves the weather as we all do. (not too hot)  She also loves watching the deer and birds and she hasn't skipped a beat.  
I'd say we are pretty happy.  Having Matt so close is a blessing that we are all enjoying and thankful for.  Our house in Memphis has sold and we've already closed on it.  Our new home is just that...home.  We love it's charm and the community that surrounds it.  God has certainly blessed us and we couldn't be more grateful.