Spring Beach Trip

During B’s school break, we headed to the beach for some fun. It is a long drive, and the girls were going crazy when we stopped for lunch, so we found a patch of grass and ran races, did high knees, did jumping jacks, etc. Basically, we wore them out.
beach high step drive

Worked like a charm…

I think the girls were excited to get to the beach…
beach 1st day

We mostly played outside as much as possible. The girls seemed to prefer the pool area for playing, though we confined M to the splash area (no pool until potty trained). Both had a great time despite the restrictions.
beach float pads b

beach splash area girls

I did take M on the lazy river with me once.
beach lazy river with M

And, of course, we did spend time on the beach. One day we found a huge hole someone had dug, so the girls just had to continue the effort.
beach giant hole b

beach giant hole girls

beach giant hole all 3

We also had races on the beach, which led to this:
beach 3 collapse on beach

And we just generally played.
beach sunset m

beach sunset b

beach sister hug

beach sister hug 2

beach lion roar girls

This trip was not all fun, however, as Djadju’s health went from not great to imminently terminal over the course of a few days. Thus, I spent more time with Mimi sitting with him. The girls understood and handled it like champs. They also got to say their goodbyes to Djadju, which I think was nice. While his passing was unsettlingly quick, in many ways that quickness was a blessing. And an unexpected benefit to all that happened is that we ended up spending at least part of Mother’s Day with Mimi before we had to leave.
beach mothers day

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B Turns 8!

B turned 8 in April! Boggles my mind.

A couple of weekends before her birthday, I took her to see the Lion King.
birthday lion king with b

birthday lion king sign

birthday lion king cat

The weekend before her birthday, she got a pedi from Tati Kat.
birthday pedi

Then, she and her buddy Samantha (same birthday) had a joint birthday party at Samantha’s dojo (B’s wasn’t available, which made the decision much easier). It was FANTASTIC! B declared it her best birthday party ever. All of the kids seemed to have a great time!
birthday karate pose with s

birthday karate sign

birthday karate smile with s

B and Samantha got to lead the class.
birthday karate lead class

birthday karate just cake

birthday karate cookie cake

I am amazed – they are all smiling!
birthday karate smiling group

Probably because I promised we’d take a goofy face picture too…
birthday karate crazy group

The day of her birthday, we had her requested dinner of steak and mashed potatoes, along with a variety of bundt cakes. We did Star Wars themed balloons. Here’s my BB-8!
birthday bb8

birthday 8 balloon

birthday cake candles

birthday stair balloons

birthday present balloons

M gave her a Rey costume, which she loved!
birthday rey costume

After her birthday, we took her to Charleston for a long-planned trip. The Volvo Car Open was happening that weekend, so her gift was to get to see the finals of a professional tennis tournament (doubles and singles finals). We spent the whole weekend there as a family and had a great trip! As we were driving over, I gave the girls several choices for activities on Saturday. They chose to go see the Navy ships at Patriots Point. I was surprised, and Jason and I both thought we would need another activity for the day, but we decidedly did NOT. They LOVED exploring the ships!! We started with the USS Yorktown (aircraft carrier).
birthday charleston carrier and bridge

birthday charleston m plane

birthday charleston mock cockpit

It was soooooo windy…
birthday charleston girls

birthday charleston view of flight deck

King of the World!
birthday charleston flight deck king of the world

Exploring the bridge.
birthday charleston m bridge nav

birthday charleston m bridge

birthday charleston b bridge

birthday charleston b bridge window

We then explored the USS Laffey (destroyer), and we walked from one end to the other of the USS Clamagore (submarine). I don’t want any part of living on a submarine, but M LOVED it. She especially thought it was hysterical that Jason had to duck through every doorway. Sorry, I apparently only took this one picture.
birthday charleston destroyer

Saturday night, we all hung out in downtown Charleston and decided we would all like to live there. B declared she would be back someday to win this title herself, and that she would buy a house in Charleston after she won Wimbledon. You go B!
birthday charleston playground girls

USS Yorktown from downtown.
birthday charleston yorktown from downtown

birthday charleston yorktown from downtown with sail

The famous Pineapple fountain.
birthday charleston pineapple girls

birthday charleston girls late evening

birthday charleston pineapple night

Sunday was all about tennis. First, Jason took B to the doubles match, where Garcia/Mladenovic defeated Mattek-Sands/Safarova, while M and I hung out. Then I took B to the singles finals, where Sloane Stephens defeated Elena Vesnina in straight sets. It was a fantastically beautiful day, and we all had a great time, despite the long drive home.
birthday charleston tennis view

birthday charleston tennis another view

birthday charleston stephens serve

birthday charleston stephens trophy

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Late Winter/Early Spring

Wow – I am behind. Life. Is. Full…

Anyway, here are some things we’ve been up to since M’s birthday (through Easter).
First, B won an award for her class. Each class presented one award for Reading Achievement, Writing Achievement, and Math Achievement, as well as two Character awards. B was presented with the Reading Achievement award!
spring award

B also earned her brown belt!
spring brown belt b

While Jason was out of town, the girls and I had a “camp out” on the back porch. We have a tent, but it was chilly enough without adding the cold hard ground to the mix. We setup mats and sleeping bags – the girls were SOOOOO excited!! Here they are when I put them to bed, a couple of hours later, and in the morning when they woke up.
spring porch camp begin

spring porch camp sleep

spring porch camp end

While the weather has been iffy lately, early in spring we had some fantastic weather! So, M and I decided a picnic was in order. Those curls!
spring flower picnic

spring flower ball

She picked lots of flowers for me, too!
spring flower smell

spring flower m picked

spring flower display

At Easter, the weather was less nice, but we made do. First was the neighborhood Easter egg hunt.
spring easter neighborhood egg hunt

Then, we had to decorate our own eggs.
spring easter eggs

Easter morning the girls explored their baskets.
spring easter baskets

spring easter m basket

spring easter fiber light M

Our family egg hunt had to be indoors – that Easter bunny just had a feeling it was going to rain!
spring easter indoor eg hunt

spring easter indoor egg hunt kids

A few miscellaneous pics…M insisting on taking her bike down the driveway by herself…
spring bike down driveway

M writing some of her first words on the chalkboard.
spring m writing words

M “teaching” class to B.
spring m teach

M insisting on carrying my bag (we went shopping that day per her request).
spring m shopping

It was a very busy spring – more posts coming up for B’s birthday, Florida trip, and late spring!

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Joe Satriani Meet & Greet

For those who are not on Facebook, here is the picture from our recent meet & greet with Joe Satriani.

Joe Satriani is totally holding my guitar

Joe Satriani is totally holding my guitar.

Many thanks to all those who contributed money for the tickets. This was a dream come true for me.

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M Turns 4!!

bday 4 balloon

Look who is 4!! And she is very excited about it all! She’s grown a bit…
bday cradle comparison

bday cradle so big

We had a countdown calendar leading up to the big day, but truthfully, she started talking about her birthday in November! She requested two things for her birthday: bowling and Dave & Busters.

We started the festivities with her free birthday bowling game. She did great, and had a wonderful time!
bday bowling score

bday bowling stare down

bday bowling concentrate

After bowling, we played some video games for tickets, and she won these giant sweet tarts (which made her very happy).
bday bowling prize

A couple of days before her birthday, we got to go to Dave & Busters to celebrate her buddy Hawke’s birthday. She had a very successful night…
bday dbs for h bday

The day before the big day…
birthday eve

bday day before elsa dress

The big day!
bday 4 balloon countdown

bday 4 balloon and headband

We took Frozen cookie pops to school to share with her friends, and had a special cake for that night.
bday cakepops

bday cake

bday m with cake

Princess Sofia…and the Dark Side…
bday princess sofia lightsaber

She has a thing for Darth Vader (the stuffed doll is the gift she picked out from Auntie Fifi).
bday darth m

bday darth toy

…and mermaid tails…
bday mermaid tal hug

bday mermaid tail sleep

One of her surprises was a Princess Tea – Elsa and Anna were there! B was Guinevere, and M was Princess Flash.
bday tea princesses

Sweet sisters…
bday tea sisters

Trying to hold their tea cups (and pinky fingers) just right…
bday tea toast

B’s fav activity was the marshmallow catapult…
bday tea b catapult

Our gift to M was a trip to Great Wolf Lodge. She had been once before, but was only a baby so she did not remember. But B definitely remembered, and had M all amped up before we went. The first night we were there, we took them to Dave & Busters – they racked up again! The toys in their hands are from Dave & Busters, and they got Wolf ears when the arrived at GWL (M’s are special birthday wolf ears).
bday gwl room

bday gwl wolf ears

bday gwl thru window

bday gwl critter backdrop

They even had a Fort Mackenzie…
bday gwl fort m

Sliding is fun!

Saying goodbye:
bday gwl bear seat

I think we wore them out!
bday end

We had a great birthday celebration, which also included visits from Tatie Kat and Nana and Poppa – made some wonderful memories!

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Who is Almost 4?

This girl!
birthday eve

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The Holidays!

So, after Fall came the Holidays. Seriously, I am not really sure what happened to all those days of October, November, and December. They’re pretty much a blur. I apparently took quite a few pics tho…

The day after Thanksgiving, we took our annual trip to a local inn that always has lovely Christmas decorations to take photos. B wasn’t feeling well, but she was a trooper!
holiday inn tree both kneel

Sweet sisters…
holiday inn tree pic

They also enjoyed playing with the grand piano…
holiday inn b piano

holiday inn m piano

That weekend, the girls decorated their personal Christmas trees.
holiday dec b tree b

B patiently showed M how…
holiday dec b tree both

holiday dec m tree m

Our Elf then promptly got into trouble for not showing up on 1 December, and for not moving the second night after he did show up. Naughty Elf…B set him straight, and he was suitably apologetic.
holiday elf letter

holiday elf sorry

The following weekend, we picked out a tree and had breakfast with Santa’s Helpers.
holiday pick tree

holiday santa

And, of course, we had to decorate our tree.
holiday tree deco

B also got her first Christmas present – I took her to see The Sound of Music at a local theater!
holiday som us

We donated to a charity the theater group was promoting, and our donation enabled B to be in a photo with some of the Von Trapp family children.
holiday som kids

The weekend after that, we took the girls to their joint Christmas present – Disney on Ice. They were excited…
holiday disney m

holiday disney b

And then that Sunday was Santa Lucia day, so the girls decked out in their finery.
holiday sl m

holiday sl both

Somewhere during all of this, we went shopping, and M helped out the Salvation Army.
holiday donation m

And, of course, we had to drive around to see the neighborhood Christmas lights, where the girls (per tradition) wore their new Christmas pjs.
holiday new pjs

We spent New Year’s Eve with friends, and New Year’s Day in our Gator finery. We didn’t expect it to work, but we were hopeful, and we had fun anyway!
New Year gator girls moving

New Year gator just girls moving

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Well, the blog has been down since August, but it is back up again! I’m suddenly very behind…

Since then, B got her red belt,fall-karate-red.jpg

and her red-brown belt.

M continued to be her crazy fun self with her clothes.

B also participated in many tennis tournaments,

and even won some trophies (this was her first trophy).

B rode her bike to school for the first time,

and the girls jammed on their guitars.


We went to the beach,




to the fair,

and we had some Halloween fun.








And B and I had a great time seeing The Sound of Music together!


Next up…the holidays!

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At the end of July, we went to Michigan to visit family and say goodbye to my beloved Grandma. Early flight – the girls did great on the way there and back!

We visited family a lot – the girls LOVE their cousins…and they made sure their cousins knew that…
You’ll just have to take my word for it, I didn’t take many pictures. I do have some of time spent at the beach. B and I went to a rocky beach while M napped.




She even practiced her karate a little…it was a bit tricky on that beach!

We also spent some time in Lake Michigan. Jason and I never ventured in further than shin high – brrrrrr! But the girls had fun!


The girls played badminton. M’s game face…


The memorial was lovely. And heartbreakingly final.


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Continuing with the seemingly necessary (these days) monthly posts…July was full of more activities! Grandma & Grandpa visited, B started 2nd grade and lost a tooth, M went to her first theater movie, J got a year older…

The month started with a visit with Grandma & Grandpa, which meant lots of fun trips to various museums, bowling, playing in the rain, and lots of Boberry biscuits!








Grandma & Grandpa’s last day was B’s first day of 2nd grade(?!?)! Of course, we had to shop for the outfit first (fortunately for me, B loves Target, their clothes, and especially the dog).

First Day! I actually had to wake her up!





Doesn’t everyone read while lying on the hard floor after the first day of school?

B participated in a local tournament, and won two out of three matches!



We also took M to her first theater movie – Minions! She was very well behaved and had a GREAT time! The girls wore their minion dresses, of course.



And right before we left for our trip to Michigan, B lost another tooth!

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