Monday, May 26, 2008

Time Out- Take Five

Last night Nick and I went to a terrific jazz concert - The Dave Brubeck Quartet. We have always loved Dave Brubeck - his "Time Out" album is the most famous - and Nick's love of the music is truly bred in him. Nick's father, Bill, was a big Brubeck fan and Nick listened to it a lot growing up. We had a Brubeck song on our wedding CD, even. So, given that is was memorial day weekend and that Nick's father was a veteran of WWII, it was pretty darn fitting that we got to attend a Brubeck concert. What we did not know - and that Mr. Brubeck talked about on-stage - was that Brubeck was a WWII vet of Patton's third army and he fought in the Battle of the Bulge - as did Nick's Dad!!!! It gave us chills to hear him talk about it, and then he played an absolutely beautiful song called "Weep No More" that he wrote after that battle. Nick and I could just feel Bill smiling down on us. We miss him and love him. But what a joyous way to remember him....a way he would approve of. Good jazz and a cocktail! :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How Does our Garden Grow?

Yesterday after the lovely morning Tea that I attended, I came home ready to work! It was a GORGEOUS day - truly perfect weather - and I was anxious to get in the garden. There is a brand new bed that I wanted to create and I wanted to reshape, expand on, and replant another bed. With the new patio we have been making great use of the backyard and I have been itching to get it landscaped. Nick, the kids and I spent the whole afternoon and evening in the backyard digging and planting. The kiddos were so helpful and had a blast. Liam regularly cried out at the top of his lungs "I LOVE DIRT". It was hilarious. Between the four of us we got all the work done - now we just have to see how our design grows out and how our little plants do! It was a great day and we all had so much fun. Here are some pics of the kids at work and at play.





Cucumber Sandwiches

One of the most wonderful things about my membership in Theta is the lifetime of terrific opportunities to meet all kinds of wonderful women! My move to Minnesota would not have been nearly as smooth without the Theta alums that I met here that helped me settle in. I have made Theta friends all over the world and it truly is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As with most thing in life, it is the little moments that tend to stand out, and add up to great value. It is like that with Theta. There have been some awesome "big" moments like Theta sisters in my wedding etc. But it is the small things like a meaningful card from a Theta sister unexpectedly in the mail, a great conversation, that are also so important. Yesterday I got to attend a lovely Theta Tea in a beautiful little town here in Minnesota called "Stillwater" that sits on the St. Croix river. We enjoyed the typical cucumber sandwiches, tea and scones - but the company was great. One of my best Theta friends was there with me, and we had the chance to sit with generations of Thetas and chat. It was a lovely time, on a lovely sunny day.

Keep on Dancin'

As mentioned below, Kate has been performing at her Dance Recital this past week. It is now over, but was a three night run of adorable tap dancing for Kate. She had great performances and tells me that she had a wonderful time. Below is a picture of her with a gift that Jillian brought her when she came to watch Kate with Uncle Patrick. The Lion's name is "Jazzy". Kate was so thrilled to have them there and was tickled by the gift, of course.

Also below is one of my favorite pics of Kate and Nick. Nick and I got to watch Kate from the audience on Friday night. Nick had been out of town all week on business, so it was his only chance to see her show. All other nights I had been helping backstage with all the kiddos. Nick surprised Kate with flowers after her performance - - hence the stage makeup still in full effect! :) Kate was sooooo happy. She did such a great job and it was a blast seeing her just have so much fun! No videos were allowed (to force you to buy the professional one) so I don't have any vid of the dance itself. After the intermission all three of us went inside to watch more of the show. Kate loved watching the "big kids" dance from the seats! She literally sat on the edge of her seat, craning to see as much as she could, bopping along to the music. So cute.



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sweet Kate

I just love this little girl.


Dancing Princess, er, Pirate

Kate is in her very first dance recital! She has been taking lessons at a terrific studio all year long and loves it. Every May, the studio puts on an incredibly professional dance production. It is so successful and popular with the community that it actually runs for three nights! So this week Kate has three performances. Last night was her first show and she did a terrific job! She had a blast. Their production is "Peter Pan" (ironically, my first show that I was in was "Peter Pan" as well)  Kate's class dances as a Pirate Crew. Tap-dancing pirates. To be perfectly frank, I was not pleased with the costumes....I had heard, and was reassured, that the costumes for Kate's age group were always incredibly precious, adorable, age appropriate etc. I recall mentioning to my Mom that I was afraid that, for dancing pirates, the costumes would wind up pretty much looking like the "pirate wench" Halloween outfit available at most Walgreens and Target stores :) As we walked through the dressing rooms, I saw a lot of the other pre-school classes dressed in precious Peter Pan outfits, adorable lost-children garb and incredibly cute Indian costumes. So my hopes were up, but quickly crushed as we arrived at Kate's dressing area and found - well you can see in the pics. It is not AWFUL, but is pretty much what I expected. The tot-version of pirate wench complete with shredded skirt, rhinestone skull and neon pink. :) The moms in our class were pretty dismayed. The funny thing is, though, all the other kids are INSANELY jealous of Kate and her crew. The other kids don't want fluffy tulle and pantaloons! They don't want lace and puffy skirts. They want the awesome cool hotpink pirate costume! Go figure.

Below are some pics of Kate at her first performance! She did great! She LOVED having the big kids in the dance company do her makeup - she thought that was just the coolest. Please remember, when viewing the garish rouge, that she is on a massive stage with bright lights, so all the kids are made-up for stage lighting! :) She felt very special and excited and thrilled. Nia and Gramps sent a beautiful flower bouquet for her first dance performance. Uncle Patrick and Jillian are coming to see her tonight and Nick and I have audience tickets tomorrow (right now I am working the green room). Hopefully I can get some video up soon.....






Pancakes

Nick is the best father. He and the kids have a special ritual of making pancakes together on the weekend. The kids get such a kick out of it and I love listening to them chatting away in the kitchen. Nick is so patient and sweet with them. I love that this is a memory they will have to cherish about their childhood...."remember when Dad used to make pancakes with us?" After they cook we all sit around the table and enjoy the delicious treats and marvel at their amazing Pancake skills. Sweet. In every sense of the word.


The Faces of Liam

As further evidence of Liam's cuteness and ability to render parental hearts into mush, witness "the pout". I think when he uses it, it does not have the effect that he intends as Nick and I tend to be thrown into giggle fits and whip out the camera to try to capture the look as opposed to us bending to Liam's will. But it is too cute. Here is a pic of the pout and of him just casual and cool. :)


K & L at Play

Here are some pics of the kiddos day-to-day....Liam on the playground (his favorite place to be), the kids at a picnic with neighborhood kids on a neighbors front lawn, and Kate at our friend Olivia's birthday party......






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Friday, May 16, 2008

Liam



I am insanely crazy about our son. He is the cutest guy in town. I will admit, he has me tightly wrapped around his sweet adorable perfect finger! :)  Here are some updates on the little big man.
-He is enormous. Tall and very active. He is in 3T clothes, having just turned two!  He still loves all things train, truck and car related. He loves to play outside and kick the soccer ball. He swings and climbs and slides and is very rough and tumble - regularly falling end over end or tripping and skidding along, only to hop right up and announce "I Ok, Mommy".


-He is so polite. He always remembers his "pleases", and especially his "thank yous".  If you sneezed he would say bless you and then ask if you are ok. If anyone were to burp, he would say "excuse me" for you. I love his manners. Love love love.


-His favorite food = popsicles. If you ask him what he wants for dinner he will say "Ummmmm, popsicle please. A (insert color) one."  Nice try, buddy.


-He is talking up a storm!  I cannot believe some of the things that come out of his mouth. He knows all his letters and their sounds and today, out of the blue, he counted to 13 in English and then counted to 7 in Spanish?!  He cracks me up. Here are some Liam verbal tales....


 - - - Yesterday he knocked over a part of a pile of magazines on accident. Once he saw the mess they made, he decided to gleefully finish the job by energetically sweeping the rest of the pile onto the floor. I reprimanded him with a stern "Liam!"...he looked at me, grinned, and in a sing-song voice repilied "Yep, that's meeeeee!"


------Also yesterday, I was getting Liam dressed for the lovely warm day.  I grabbed a shirt he had never worn before - a hand-me-down cute Hawaiian-style button down from my nephew.  Liam was violently opposed to getting dressed! He let me put his shorts on, but NOT the shirt. He was saying "NO! No shirt! That's MOMMY'S SHIRT! No FLOWERS! Mommy wears flowers! No Flowers on MY shirt!!!!!"  So Hawaiian shirts are apparently a fashion don't for Mr. Liam. Though I cannot think of the last time I wore a flowered shirt...


Here are some pics - and a melt-my-heart video moment that I captured while trying to get some video of Liam eating his favorite food. Such a sweet surprise!
video

Root, root, root for the Red Sox!

Last week the Red Sox were in town for a series against the Twins. One of my sorority sisters has season tickets and was not able to go, so Nick and I got the tix! Oh my WORD they were FANTASTIC!!! We had front row seats directly behind the Red Sox bullpen. Even though the Sox lost in quite an upset (Papelbon letting someone steal second?! What?!) it was fantastic baseball and we LOVE good baseball! Go Red Sox! Here are some pics....



Nick at the game.


Mags...a very enthusiastic member of Red Sox Nation.


Papelbon warming up - right in front of us!



Had to snap this because it is "Yooooouk" and "Harris". Harris has the wrong jersey on though.

Table for Two

Spring has sprung in Minnesota! Hooray! It really is beautiful. By this time next week it should be warm enough to start planting in the garden...still a little too chilly at night for some garden items. So in the meantime, we have our sun-porch fully operational. We we are growing tomatoes, basil, lettuce greens and lemons. That way they stay toasty enough and our community of bunny rabbits don't get to them! Kate and Liam love to help care for the plants. We have a little table on the porch and they get such a kick out of having meals out there and playing. So cute! Here are some pics....