Sunday, July 24, 2016

1,000 Blog Posts

I have now published 1,000 blog posts in 9 years. It's definitely been a creative outlet for me to organize stories and photos and track the kid's growth, while keeping a record of these crazy, busy, and magical years of parenthood and childhood. Clark is getting sillier, sweeter, and more nostalgic as he gets older. His favorite thing to say is "When I was a baby..." and the next thing out of his mouth is often bizarre and usually untrue. Aurora rolled her eyes at me the other day and has been needing quiet time in her room more and more often. Chuck and I are enjoying success in our careers and hobbies, and as much as we love our kiddos, we look forward to the day when we can talk, vacation, and enjoy quiet time together again. After 1,000 posts, I would think our weekends may be getting too routine to be interesting anymore, but it seems there's always something new on the horizon! This week I bought a new bike. It's the first bike I've owned since I was a teenager! I took the family out to the ballgame, we had a sleepover, and we headed to my parent's condo pool, which was just about the perfect way to spend a hot weekend afternoon.


Swim lessons have been going well and both kids are getting more confident in the water. Once I have a bike rack on my car I'll start riding with the kids too. I'm hoping to get Aurora to give up her training wheels soon. For now, I'm taking short training rides from the office and spin classes at the gym on weekends. I recently registered for my first 20-mile LIVESTRONG Challenge and I have a ton of running events on the calendar - but I certainly don't predict any triathlons in my future. I do predict many more years of blogging, even as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are clearly overtaking the personal blog. I hope you'll continue along for the ride!  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Anniversaries

This week I found and posted these photos and on Facebook and got hundreds of likes and comments in celebration of our 19th wedding anniversary and my 10-year anniversary at the Foundation. The truth is, the reaction on Facebook was probably the best part of either celebration. Especially considering that the #1 comment was that I still look exactly the same (which is incorrect but hey, I'll take it!).

19 years of marriage. We were so young!
Filling out new hire paperwork in 2006.
We are definitely at a stage where taking time off, going on vacations, and scheduling date nights feels like more work than it's worth. So, this was just a normal workweek. We did go out to dinner on Tuesday night and took the kids with us.

Family Date Night.
It was lovely! Chuck's had a fun week for totally different reasons. He downloaded the Pokemon app that's sweeping the nation and both kids are totally into it. But the most exciting part of his week was finishing out his computer re-build and setting up his new virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. He's been working for months to order parts and get this up and running and I have to say, it's pretty cool (and it's funny watching other people use it).

There's a Pokemon in our yard! Catch it! 
Immersed in a VR world.
I've come to realize that if we're going to do anything to celebrate my 40th Birthday or our 20th Anniversary, it's going to have to come from me. Maybe by then I'll have the energy to plan something, but two kids really do require 4X more energy than one. And while Chuck's been putting his extra time and energy into video games, I've been putting my extra time and energy into my fitness plan. I just joined the Austin Runners Club and this year I'll be doing the Distance Challenge. In fact, the ARC just featured me on their blog! I haven't been running as much during the summer, but I'm doing yoga and Pilates, taking cycling classes, and I've been putting together my training schedule for the year. I've also been coordinating a bunch of home repair projects and just registered for an intensive HR Certification class this fall. As busy as life feels today, this fall will be even busier! So, this weekend with the Wadeys has been pretty low key, and I think we're all grateful for the downtime.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Melody

This week we wore my parents out big time, but thank goodness they were here to watch the kids during a week without summer camp! We also had an ice cream social, a sleepover, and started swim lessons - all of which involved my friend Anne and her daughter (one of Aurora's BFFs) Melody.


Aurora and my parents would all agree that while she got a lot of time with Melody, she probably had a little too much time with her brother. Today she needed some mommy-daughter time, so I took her out for high tea and some shopping. 


Not a bad end to another fun weekend with the Wadeys. Tomorrow summer camp is back in session and I would say there's nothing much happening in July - except my 10 year anniversary with LIVESTRONG, Bernice's birthday, our 19 year wedding anniversary, and Grandma Nancy's birthday! I'm hoping we'll be able to go out for a date night soon, but I hear my folks may need some time to recover first...

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Fun

I am a big fan of 3-day 4th of July weekends, and this one did not disappoint. Saturday we went to the lake and Aurora got to play with a bunch of her old school friends before we headed to a BBQ with some of my old work friends. Sunday she had her first playdate with our new neighbors; two girls who are 6 and 9 years old, and this morning we went to the Lakeway 4th of July parade, then had a big neighborhood playdate across the street. 


This afternoon we went out to the movies and had planned to stay out to watch fireworks, but we were all just a little too tired. My folks came over and we watched some pretty impressive fireworks from our balcony before both kids conked out. I told Aurora that I wished tomorrow could be a holiday, too, but she disagreed because then she'd only get three days with Grandma & Grandpa instead of four! I'm sure they will have a great week. I don't love it when our temps get up into the 90's and 100's, but I am a big fan of summer fun and we have certainly been having our share.

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

Daddies

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

Routine

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

Bubbles!!!

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...