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Boo!

Happy Halloween from the Hummingbird and the Panda!

I’ll admit it was a little hard for me to swallow the idea of a panda costume at first, but Fletcher totally owned it. He wore his costume to school on Friday, to the school evening Halloween activities, where we won the parent-child bake off with some pretty spectacular bloody glass cupcakes, to his orchestra Halloween concert on Saturday and then trick-or-treating Saturday night. And if it ever decides to cool down around here, I’m pretty sure he will wear it to sleep in all winter!

Lola Gray designed her beautiful Hummingbird costume, and together we constructed it more-or-less to her specifications. I love how sweet and creative she is, and that Halloween is still an opportunity to enter a beautiful fantasy world. I hope she holds on to that forever.

Plus, we managed not to kill each other in the process of finishing the costume! I’d call that a successful Halloween!

 

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Life – moving fast

I’m pretty sure I’ve used the Ferris Bueller quote here before, but it keeps popping into my head these days. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.” Sums up our family life perfectly.

Adjusting to the new school year hasn’t been easy. Fletcher adores middle school, but the work load is tougher and learning time management . . . well that’s not easy to do. And Lola’s 4th grade drama! The struggle is real, don’t ever doubt it.

I haven’t posted anything in ages because, honestly, I have felt like life is just one endless night of homework after another. But then, I tend to forget that the whole point of this blog is to remind me of the little things that make this journey one worth taking. And every time I stop and look backwards, the monotony of the day to day seems to fade and those beautiful moments emerge. Those moments are what life is all about, right? And while I still hate homework, I realize there is still a lot of beauty in my life.

In the past two months we have had lots of early morning walks to the bus stop, lots of late nights finishing up homework. But there have also been adventures with the Boy Scouts, a visit to Alabama and a visit from NayNay in Savannah. Lola Gray was inducted into the school Safety Patrol and took her first cooking class (she’s been making excellent pancakes and muffins ever since.) Both kids were extras in a movie being filmed in Savannah. And my dear Nicole spent a long weekend visiting with me and watching movies at the Savannah Film Festival.

So, I’m trying to accept the fact that, for right now, our lives aren’t going to slow down. But that’s ok, as long as I stop and look around every once in a while.

 

banana

 

St. Augustine

It has been a summer full of travel for us, across 3 different countries, but sometimes you don’t have to travel far from home to find yourself a world away. We wrapped up summer just a few miles down the coast in St. Augustine, Florida with the Gaddy clan. The beach was spectacular – wide and clean and nearly empty. We rode waves, collected diggers, saw a shark and dolphins and a manatee, found a beautiful star fish and lots of not so beautiful sand fleas – we even witnessed the excavation of a turtle nest. Plus there were aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents, lots of ice cream and nightly movies on the big back porch. Oh if only summer could last forever!!

 

 

 

30 Days in Rome: day 15

Two weeks into our trip and we still had not managed to visit the Roman Forum or go inside the Colosseum! Monday morning under cloudy skies, light rain and cool temperatures, we managed to remedy that.

In the afternoon we had a very long, lazy lunch followed by gladiator play and silliness in the courtyard behind our apartment.

 

 

 

This girl

Man do I love this girl. She is growing up so quickly – right on the edge of tween drama and acne and so many things I’m not yet ready for . . . but still very much a little girl at the same time. It is confusing. Sometimes frustrating. But I feel so privileged to be able to watch her growing into this truly amazing person.

 

 

Colorful

Fletcher and Lola Gray got 2015 off to a colorful start when they ran the Color Vibe 5K! Thank goodness for amazing friends who suggested this and ran with the kiddos. They loved every colorful step of the race but I don’t think I could ever run this race – even just watching from a distance was stressful for me!

Legoland again

Our sweet Fletcher is turning 11 in a few days (eleven!!) and for his birthday this year, he asked to go to LEGOland. Actually, he’s been asking pretty much every year since the last time we went. The kid is LEGO crazy. This year, we made it happen.

The weather wasn’t great, but it didn’t matter at all. We surprised Fletcher with a secret meet-up with his buddy Henry and the entire Wade family, which was great. We joined forces for an incredible Mindstorms robotic class (seriously the most fun thing we did all day) and spent a few fun hours with them before they headed on to south Florida for New Years. The Gaddys stuck it out in the park until almost the bitter end, rounding out the day with plenty of rides, a fun 4D movie, a tour of mini-land after dark, and some amazing fireworks complete with glasses that made the fireworks look like exploding LEGO bricks!