i have been waiting for this week's challenge to post this recent favorite photo of my little one. seeing my header, can you tell how much i love it? sunrise. sunflare. sunset. i love catching the sun.
it's late. the girls are sleeping and i should be in bed myself. but this is just about the only time i have to myself, and i hate to miss it. even if i'm going to be up a few times tonight with crosby, and prying open heavy eyelids tomorrow at work. still, i have to blog again. i have to recount this day. and i have to write to ensure the good days are remembered. life lately has been tough. balancing being a full-time working mom again; navigating the life as a wife of a husband who is in year two of school for his mba on top of being very needed at work, which makes him even more busy and stressed; juggling a toddler and an infant with daycare and preschool, swim lessons, and play dates; trying to establish a schedule and routine with home-cooked meals and sent from home lunches; tossing in some fun each day and on the weekends to avoid the mundane chores that constantly stare me in the face as i rewrite them over and over on my ever changing to-do lists. needless to say, i'm pretty exhausted most of the time, but i never fail to force a smile. how goes the saying, don't ever let 'em see you sweat? so, today, we made the plans to go apple picking. we went for the first time last fall, and had such a great time, and it resulted in wonderful memories and homemade applesauce that carried us mostly through the entire year. admittedly, we had our frustrations during the rest of the day- when do i have time to vacuum and put clothes away and go for a run? when does michael have time to write his paper and study for his quiz and pay bills? i was tired, after being up last night with crosby and up early with harper, who moseyed over to our room at 6 am, hopped into bed with us, kicked michael out (he went to her bed to catch some zzz's, smart man) and failed to fall back to sleep, thus neither did her mama. i was cranky. i didn't have a good morning, and i was grouchy the rest of the afternoon. but out in that apple orchard, we were a family having fun together. no tears. no loud voices. no need to say no. just us. just love. just how i love to spend a sunday.
so i sit here, surrounded by my recipe books and grocery list for meal planning, heaping pile of folded laundry on my bed that needs to be put away, empty lunch boxes waiting to be filled, and these memories from today. i keep going back to it, but this is why i blog. because looking back a month from now, i won't remember that we may have been a bit cranky with each other (or if i do, i won't recall why). but i will remember what an awesomely beautiful, sunny, blue-sky day it was and the laughter and joy we shared as a family. and that's what i want my girls to remember, too.
first apple picked, immediately eaten. down to the core.
my face conveys the story that i had been bonked on the head a few times by falling apples picked by harper while on my shoulders. i'm just preparing for yet another one.
michael relegated himself as the one to keep production going. i was obviously taking too many photos to pick very many apples. and yet, we still managed to come home with a bushel.
crosby is so stylish and coordinated. apple shirt and jeans for our apple picking occasion. the same outfit as harper wore, as gifted by auntie kelly.
i did a mini photo shoot with the girls for crosby's 6 month, so more photos from this day to come soon. and more catching up as i sift through and edit pictures from the last few weeks. work has kept me busy, but i do love my blogging. stay tuned...
...um, not so much. what started out as a need to get out of the house for a while last saturday afternoon of labor day weekend had us running back into the house in panic mode a couple hours later. we had been pent up inside most of the afternoon after a morning spent at the farmer's market and doing errands. it was sweltering hot and we were attempting to cross items off our to-do list on this last weekend of summer before our return to school, michael's mba and the girls in daycare overtook our lives making it exceptionally busy- straightening the basement, purging things we don't need, doing laundry, napping the kids. we decided to head to the local fair for a bit, and asked harper's preschool teacher, who lives around the corner, to join us. we knew the threat of rain was evident, but decided to chance it, even when we heard the rolling thunder as we exited the car and walked to the fair entrance. i took this photo when we finally found ourselves among the rides. the sky looked like this...
and i was not about to head up on the ferris wheel with lightning in sight. crazy people. nor was i going on this ride.
been on it once, many many moons ago, and only remember walking off of it and into a tree. not trying that again.
so we walked around, found some fun of our own...
tried our hands at some games, completely rigged by the way. harper wanted a dora doll, so we paid $5 to play the fishing game. you pay $2, you get the cheap on the ground in the bucket toy. you pay $5, you get to pick a hanging stuffed toy.
needless to say, she won exactly what she spied.
did i mention rigged games? see the much larger dora hanging on the wall? well, harper saw this after she won her little one and of course, wanted it. michael was coaxed by the vendor to try his arm at this game. he gave it three tries, and with every throw, only the blue can remained standing on the table. glued down? filled with sand? we'll never know. but we didn't get the dora.
this was the one ride harper decided she wanted to go on, which i was just fine with. michael bought the tickets, and on his way back, the hail storm rolled in, sending us running into the shelter of the barns. when the rains stopped, the slide remained closed.
so, we stomped in the puddles.
hung out with some farm friends.
ate some yummy carnival food.
rode the merry-go-round.
and walked through the fun house.
and then the sky turned much more ominous.
and we booked it back to the car.
we made it home safely before the storms took over. and michael and i both agreed that the short (and pricey) trip was completely worth it.
my girls love the water. but it hasn't always been this way. for crosby, yes, she has always immediately calmed at bath time or when held in the pool or when sitting on the shore splashing in the lake.
for harper, it wasn't until this summer that she found her inner fish. last summer, she wanted nothing more than to play next to the water. fill buckets, pour them into different containers and repeat. but this year, she has gained courage.
we have spent so much time in various bodies of water these past few months- swimming pools, lakes, splash parks, beaches, baths, backyard blow ups. she has seen her friends jump and swim and dive. and she has slowly become a girl who never says no to going swimming. we fitted her with a moveable life jacket and occasionally some inner tubes to top it off, she spreads her little fins and off she goes. makes this mama so nervous that i watch with hawk eyes constantly.
and so we decided it was time to sign her up for swim lessons. i had heard about a swim school that was opening up in our area- a building and pool dedicated only to swim lessons, and a few family swims per week. i had heard from others on facebook how wonderful the other locations were. last week was our first session with ms. maggie. and harper loves it. it's the first activity where she's not clinging onto our legs, tears slowly welling up in her eyes, begging us not to leave her. she confidently tells me that i can go back and sit behind the glass to watch.
and then we watch and smile and beam with pride. she waves and we wave back. she looks at us and smiles shyly and we clap for her accomplishments. we've only been twice, but she's already made some great progress, showing more comfort in the water, floating on her back and scooping and kicking just as ms. maggie instructs.
my mom reminds me of my swim lessons as a kid. the lessons were held in our neighbor's backyard pool. the teacher, ms, judy, would throw me in the water. repeatedly, i tried my best to clamor out on the side of the pool from sheer terror, but she'd only pull me back in. and somehow, i still manage to love the water and swimming and the freeness and weightlessness of it all. i hope i've passed this along to my girls, and i hope that harper's lessons continue to go better than mine did.