Sunday, April 26, 2015

An Acorn

Dear Charlotte,

This week you were an acorn. That's right, a small, brown nut. You were so excited about getting your own lines to say for the school musical "Nuts!" You practiced your lines after school while sorting your spelling words for weeks: 

"Hold on squirrel. What's the hurry? We need a chance, you know. 
We just fell off the big oak tree. We need a chance to grow!" 

Then you asked me probably two dozen times, "Are you available to come to my play?" And each time I assured you, "Yes! I wouldn't miss it!"

Do you remember how we rushed to Target to find black leggings and a black t-shirt just days before your show? We were so grateful to be living in America where Target was only 15 minutes away...and of course, we found exactly what we needed!

Here you are in your costume:
Truman and Amelia both thought you looked like a toasted marshmallow. But you and I agreed it was the perfect acorn outfit.

During both performances (one for your school and one for the parents), you stood up at the right time and delivered your lines with expression and complete cuteness. I felt so happy as I watched you sing and dance with your classmates. 
Sometimes I worry that as the youngest, you are too often left behind or made to tag-along to all your siblings' events. I guess that's what made this performance so special. This was all yours! And we all came to cheer you on - even Poppy was here all the way from Seattle. 

This afternoon we walked around the neighborhood. You picked tiny blue flowers that looked like bunches of grapes. You handed me a white puffy dandelion, and together we made a wish and blew the tiny seeds. You held my hand and skipped. You tried to steal Truman's pinecone which he kicked down the street like a soccer ball. And you shared your seat on the large roots of our favorite shade tree.

You are sunshine and joy. When the world gets overwhelming and I feel weary from all my responsibilities and decisions, I find peace in your smile, your big brown eyes, and your generous heart. And my world is righted again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring oh spring oh spring!

After living for three years in tropical weather (cold in Indonesia is when temperatures dip into the 70s), I had mixed feelings about winter. On the one hand, three years is a long time to go without enjoying snow, and snow is soooo much fun. On the other, cold temperatures really mess with psyche. Winter affected my exercise regimen, my eating habits, our utility bills, and our family recreational activities. However, there's nothing quite like a cold winter that makes me truly appreciate the feel of sunshine on my face, the first purple and yellow crocuses, and the teasing warm weather of those first few days of spring.

In the past couple weeks, we've found time to enjoy the first signs of spring.

Elise picked this miniature bouquet during our Harper's Ferry day.   

These kids looked like spring flowers Easter Sunday, turning their faces to the warm sun. They lingered in the yard long after the Easter eggs had all been found.

Between waking to a yard full of candy-filled eggs as a surprise by an anonymous friend (Schoney's??) and the Easter feast of yumminess...I love these signs of spring.

Just yesterday we snatched a quick visit to Ida Lee park because the weather was so very inviting. The trees and giant rocks were more tempting than the playground. So I boosted, cheered, and caught kids as they climbed trees and scrambled on the rocks. Watching Charlotte, I couldn't believe how grownup she seems. Gone are chubby legs and Buda-belly of toddlerhood. She is lengthy like her sisters. I guess while I've been hibernating this winter, she's been growing.

Even the spring rain has its benefits. On a cool morning run, the sprinkles felt like soft kisses and brought this beautiful sight. 

No matter what the weather, I love spending time with my children. That time together feels more precious lately with all our activities pulling us in different directions. 

Welcome Spring! Welcome sunshine! Welcome crocuses, daffodils, and tulips! Welcome robins! 
I have missed you!