Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bikes & Trikes

This weekend Clark decided that he NEEDED a bike with pedals. He had a balance bike but really didn't like it - and at summer camp they get to ride tricycles nearly every day, which he loves. When he first asked for a bike with pedals, I thought he meant a 2-wheeler. Truth is, Aurora's bike should be the perfect size for him and it's been our plan all along to hand it down when she's ready for something bigger. She was into that plan until I told her there wouldn't be training wheels on her next bike... regardless, we asked Clark to try her bike and he could not propel it forward. He's too light to pedal! So, we looked all over for a bike or a trike that would fit him without breaking the bank, and ended up finding an awesome Schwinn tricycle on craigslist. We met up with the sellers at Starbucks and could not be happier with our $25 purchase.

Aurora really thinks she needs training wheels on her bike and floaties in the pool, but I'm hoping she can spend enough time riding and swimming this summer to give them up. While the new trike (and the trip to Starbucks) were VERY exciting, the most exciting thing to happen today was when Grandma, Grandpa and Finley came over!!!

They're going to be spending a lot of time with the kiddos in the coming months and I hope they aren't already regretting that decision. The kids were the perfect combination of over-tired (Aurora had a sleepover last night) and thrilled out of their minds, which quickly led to total chaos and meltdowns. We have another week of summer camp and a long weekend before mom and dad are on duty, and I think they'll be able to settle down by then. Thank goodness Finley's so calm!

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Today my mom posted this on Facebook - a picture from nearly 60 years ago, when nobody could've imagined a world where we share our thoughts, feelings, memories and daily lives with each other online. I asked my kids if they knew who it was and they had no idea.

Then my brother texted me this picture from about 35 years ago - a time when mobile devices only existed in science fiction. I showed it to my kids and they had no idea who it was. I asked Aurora to do the math... if it was 35 years ago, who was that little girl? And who would her daddy be? When she finally figured it out, Clark said "That can't be Grandpa Slane. It must be Uncle Slane!"

We celebrated Father's Day by taking Chuck to see Finding Dory and bought him a Finding Dory video game. It's amazing how technology has changed, but one thing remains the same; little girls (and boys) love their daddies! And we've had some good ones in this family.

In keeping with tradition, we also asked Clark a few questions about his daddy. I wonder how we all would've filled these out when we were young. If only people carried little cameras in their back pockets all those decades ago...

Wishing a very happy Father's Day to all the daddies in our lives. We love and miss you!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Silly Monkeys

We had such a busy weekend that I don't know where to start. There was a work event with Aurora, a birthday party with the whole family, a Bachelorette party with girlfriends, a day at the movies and more. I've been splurging and eating junk food while taking a little break from running due to some minor back pain and the nearly unbearable heat of summer. This weekend was packed with fun and memorable experiences, and yet, I only have one picture to share.

I feel like I spent a lot of time this weekend telling my friends the difference between Aurora and Clark. Aurora has always been good and sweet and easy. She wants to learn the rules and follow them. She's creative and helpful. Clark just wants his way, and if that means refusing to eat his food, spoiling other people's fun and making us all crazy, so be it! And yet, all of the celebrating - birthdays, weddings, life - this is what it's all about. I love both of these silly monkeys through and through. Even when they're moping because the world isn't going their way...

Sunday, June 5, 2016


The kid's have been settling in to their summer routine, which has basically been no routine! They hung out with Grandma Nancy at home for a few days this week before she headed back to AZ. Clark's been telling me how much he liked being with his Grandma and I know he appreciated the unstructured time at home. We don't get a lot of that in our lives. I remember childhood summers spent playing with neighbors, riding bikes, coloring and watching Saturday morning cartoons - before you could watch cartoons on demand, on any screen. Sometimes I worry that we're structuring their lives too much, but it takes them awhile to settle into unstructured days so having a few things on the calendar is always a good thing. This weekend our only scheduled activities were a Home Depot workshop and summer kid's club movie at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Tomorrow they both start Summer Blast, a day camp run by Aurora's after school program. Aurora is SO excited and I'm sure Clark will have a good time. His teacher sent this picture on the last day of school and I know a few of his classmates will be there.

They'll be in Summer Blast for 7-weeks and I'm sure they'll both make new friends and have a good time. Their summer schedule will be a little like school, but with later and more relaxed mornings, which is a routine I think we'll all enjoy...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Kissing Camels

This Memorial Day weekend was almost too epic for one blog post! Saturday morning Aurora and I did the ARC Daisy 5K and Kid's Mile.

Afterwards, Grandma Nancy came down from AZ and we headed out for a road trip to Johnson City. We took a tour of Johnson's boyhood home and the kids were sworn in as Junior Rangers. It was adorable. Then we headed to the new Hill Country Science Mill right next door.

After a busy afternoon of learning and playing, we checked in to our cabin at the Exotic Resort Zoo. I randomly came across this little gem online and from the moment we drove in, the whole family was oohing and aahhing. We were driving right next to the animals! We spent the majority of our stay touring, feeding, and watching wildlife.

We kissed camels (seriously), fed zebras, and had herds of animals follow us around for food. It was amazing! There was a swimming pool right in front of our cabin and we all enjoyed cooling off with a swim and some ice cream. Today we had a quiet morning with a few deer and donkeys right outside our door. The kids named them Chocolate, Vanilla, and Deer Tail. Once they had names, I knew there would be tears when it was time to say goodbye!!!

Nothing a quick stop to the gift shop couldn't cure. We had a couple of mishaps on the trip, like when the tractor pulling our tour tram ran out of gas, and when my car wouldn't start as we were getting ready to go. We got very lucky in that we somehow avoided most of the rain storms and the staff at the resort knew how to jump a car. Now we've got a few days at home with nothing much on the calendar. Grandma Nancy will be watching the kids during a short week without school or camp. All in all, not a bad start to the summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Little Transitions

We're about to head into a long weekend, but not before one more half day of school. I cannot believe second grade is over! Aurora has had an amazing week which included telling jokes in-between acts at the talent show, getting her yearbook, going to her last Girl Scout meeting of the year, and having her last playdate with Vivi & Lizzy. She also made this awesome video:

Aurora had fantastic teachers and the Principal sent out an end of year message today that nearly had me in tears. "I’m desperately trying to step gracefully to the cadence of time marching on. Admittedly, I am having a hard time letting go of all our children as the little transitions from grade to grade, and gradually larger stepping stones to middle and high school, appear to be trying to camouflage the BIG milestones taunting us from around the corner. It feels like our children are little for sooooo long and then poof-" The baby phase seems to last forever, then before you know it your little baby is going into THIRD GRADE! But, not before a few months of summer vacation...

Saturday, May 21, 2016


The clear highlight of this weekend was the Bubble Run 5K, which Aurora & I ran/walked with Anne, Melody, Presley and Elizabeth. Aurora's done kids runs before, but this was her first full 5K! It was super fun, quite colorful and very wet.

Aurora says she's a runner girl now so we can expect her to be participating in more events like this in the future. In fact, we happen to have another run on the calendar next weekend! Here's hoping her shoes will be dry by then...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pool Party

This weekend we attended a pool party to say goodbye to our sweet neighbors, Vivian & Elizabeth. Aurora has been so lucky to have twin girls her age living two doors down for the last 3-years, but they're moving back to Houston and everybody in 2nd grade is going to miss them! When we RSVP'ed, Aurora told me she would have fun at the party and cry afterwards.

Clark stayed with me for most of the party. He did decide to go swimming for a few minutes, though we hadn't packed his shorts because he insisted he would not want to go swimming. Luckily, boys can get away with undies in a pool. "Mommy, these are my muscle sprouts!"

I know that there will be tears on the last day of school, but we're hoping that a great family will move in and Aurora will have some new friends to play with soon.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Seeing Red

This week was Teacher Appreciation Week. Aside from being like second moms, their teachers ensured that every child came home with amazing Mother's Day projects, which I for one appreciated immensely! It was also Game Day in Aurora's GT program (Chuck attended).

We spent the first part of the weekend marking the end of babyhood in this house, as we transformed Clark's nursery into a big boy room. We have officially outgrown the crib/daybed and rocking chair that got us through two babies/toddlers. They've been replaced with the coolest bed on the planet. Clark hasn't wanted to sleep in his room lately, but last night he had no problems.

This morning I made breakfast, headed out for a quick run, then got ready for a girl's day out with Aurora. We brought cheese, crackers, strawberries, chocolates, and wine to Painting with a Twist, Mommy and Me edition. I painted the big tree and Aurora made the little one. It was very sweet, and Aurora's glad to have something new (and red) to go in her room as well.

By the time we came home the boys had finished the food shopping, complete with flowers and cheesecake. What more could a mama ask for? Being a Mom at this stage is nonstop, but it's such a blessing. Being a working mom has been incredibly fulfilling, but these last couple of weeks have been especially hectic and I'm not sure our moms (or the kid's teachers) got as much appreciation as they deserve. We love and appreciate you, today and everyday. Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Forward and Back

This weekend has been unusual in that we've had NOTHING ON THE CALENDAR. Honestly, I think we all needed a bit of downtime. It's been quite a week. On Monday I went to a luncheon with my HR Team from LIVESTRONG circa 5 years back. It was great to see Mona & Bailey!

On Thursday my manager from Travis County took me out to lunch. It was my last full day in the office. I have sincerely enjoyed working with Dianna and didn't intend to be such a short-timer.

Friday morning I took a 5-mile run, then used the locker facilities one last time, said my goodbyes to the team at Travis County, and headed to LIVESTRONG for my first day back as Director of People Programs. It was a week filled with a LOT of hugs (and lunches!).

The minute I arrived at the Foundation I felt right at home. I have a new desk, a new title, some new responsibilities, and a whole new outlook moving forward - but was glad to see so many old friends. I was afraid I might feel uncomfortable or regret the decision, but honestly I'm more excited about my work and career than I have been for a long time. 

As for this weekend, I've been reading, prepping meals for the week, doing laundry, caring for a 3-year old boy with pinkeye, and watching Aurora apply the makeup she got for her birthday. When she's ready, I'll give her some pointers. Until then...