Saturday, May 20, 2017

well, hello!

I have abandoned this little space of mine for way too long (9 months to be exact). I'm not sure how it happened or why really. I guess just work and grad school kind of pushed everything else aside. The other day I took a few photos of the girls and since I haven't even taken out my real camera in a little over a year it brought up a lot. Last time I took pictures was of Dakota I believe and taking pictures was (is) something that I love and dusting it off, charging my abandoned camera, taking a few photos of the girls, and trying to remember the settings all just reminded me how much I have missed it and got me thinking about how much I missed blogging and documenting our life. It felt really good to get out there again.

So, these past nine months. Nicole turned four in January and she is still at the daycare and has made lots of friends there. She is such a social little girl and makes friends with everyone. She loves to talk (and talk and talk!). She knows what she wants and can be stubborn. She is super sweet and always compliments others and wants to do everything Kennadie is doing. She has done swimming lessons, gymnastics and most recently cheerleading, which was so adorable. She still sees her bio brother every few months or so and sees her bio mom quite often.

 Kennadie started second grade is September and still loves school, and her teacher has been so wonderful. She's doing awesome in school and loves math and she reads for almost an hour every night. She has made some friends in her class but her best friend is still Raine and they've managed to stay pretty close even though they are in different classes. Kennadie has been doing horseback riding for about 9 months or so and loves it. She is also doing soccer again after taking a little break from it. She's a shy and sensitive little girl (wonder where she gets that from?!), embarrasses easily (me, again), but once she opens up her silly, fun, adventurous side comes out, and she's always willing to try anything. She's turning into a mature and caring 8-year old who asks me all the time if we can adopt again, and that she'd love an older sister.

I started working at the elementary school in late August as a 1:1 in the special ed room.  I've really enjoyed it here this school year and it didn't take long to fall in love with the kids I get to work with! I'm only part time right now but it's worked out well since I started grad school for my master's in aba last October, and holy shit it's been pretty intense with the amount of school work I have. I'm hoping it will all be worth it in the end- a good job that pays well with flexibility, more money, and I definitely want to stick it out for me. I just keep thinking when I graduate from school it will be something that I did for me, something that I finished, something to be proud of, and to show my girls that although sometimes things suck and are hard that in the end it is worth it.

I will leave with some pictures I took of the girls the other evening.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

August

We are on the last stretch of summer break and I'm trying to soak up every day because by the end of the month school will start up again, I will be working, summer will be coming to an end, and fall will be right around the corner. As much as I love fall I am not looking forward to it at all this year- I would love summer to last at least another few months. For some reason this summer is going by so fast!

My mom and I took Kennadie out to lunch at her choice of restaurants (Friendly's of course) and back to school shopping. We only made it to Justice because by the time we checked out I had a headache and was done- I've never been big on shopping and thankfully Kennadie was over it too :) She got a good amount of clothes so I think we just need to get new shoes and some pants and she should be good for a while.

Kennadie started horseback riding, which she is loving right now. She tried cheerleading and said she liked it but doesn't want to do it. I'm proud that she's trying different things and knows what she likes and doesn't really like. I had her at the art camp also and she was having a tough time finding kids to play with and it was really bothering her so we let her stop going. I always told myself I would never force my kids in social situations they are not comfortable with. I remember what it's like and it sucks and can be awful so I would never want to force her to do something. I'm proud of her for trying as long as she did and that's all that matters. What else? The girls got their back to school hair cuts and after all these years of participating in the summer reading, Kennadie's name was chosen and she finally won one of the big prizes that she really wanted. This year she really wanted and won the cat basket- there was a cat stuffed animal, a bunch of the bad kitty books, and an animal drawing book. Very cute!

Krista and Tim are engaged! Super excited and happy for them! We love Tim and are so glad he is the one! He proposed to her in Nashville last weekend :)

I've been applying to a bunch of jobs, however I was offered a job at the elementary school if all goes as planned. I love the idea of working at a school because of the hours- same hours as the girls, vacations and summers off with the girls. But I also think doing social work would be really interesting and challenging. I think I need something challenging and different right now. I've also been thinking about aba type work and eventually working as a bcba. I have a phone interview for an aba position next week so we will see. I started my application for grad school also. I'm all over the place and I wish I just knew what it was that I wanted to do!

That's pretty much all for now. We have one more trip left before school starts and I'm pretty excited about going to the Cape and relaxing before I start working full time.

Some photos of our August from my iPhone.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

when you haven't been to the beach this summer...


I have no idea how or why we hadn't made it to the beach yet this summer, it's a little strange as we typically go to the ocean or at least the lake as much as possible each summer. This summer has just been the fastest summer ever it seems! We finally made it to ocean beach and we had the best day- swimming, finding crabs and shells, playing in the sand, exploring, climbing rocks, eating lunch on our blanket, and treating the girls to ice cream that melted way too fast before we headed home.

Some photos from my phone from our beach day-

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

coming home

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My sister has been down here for the week, Bruce, Diane, Jennifer, and her boys have been staying at my parents' house for the week and just left to go back to Tennessee, and we just got back from New Hampshire. Going away always gets me daydreaming about moving somewhere else. I have never lived far from "home", from this little town, from where I grew up, from the only place I've ever known as home, and I have always wondered if there's something more out there. I have never felt that this is where I belong.

Ever since I can remember I have always dreamed about moving to Florida- days filled with sunshine, blue skies, warm weather, and the beach year-round. It's something that I started thinking about in my late teens and has never left me no matter how hard I try to make this feel like home to me.

I started to think about all this again after our trip to New Hampshire. No traffic where we were, hardly any street lights, the views when driving down any given road were incredible, no huge crowds of people, and it looked and smelled and felt so clean. I would easily pack up my little family and move tomorrow if Josh was on board, but I'm not sure Josh would actually leave where we live now. At the very least, I am hoping and can definitely see us traveling a lot more than we have in the past, and down the road maybe having a home up here in New England somewhere and a home in the islands, Florida, or somewhere south. Josh and I also talked about instead of doing meaningless birthday gifts and Christmas gifts of "stuff" that just goes to waste by not being played with anyway, that we use that money to travel instead. Our girls will remember the trips we take and memories made way more than any toy.

It's never been easy for us coming home to "real" life after days away from to-do lists, stress, worry, responsibilites, routines, schedules. But I have come back refreshed and feeling committed to adding in more pleasure and travel to real life. We had a really great routine going while we were away. We were active and busy and doing different and new things. We had a great bedtime routine going with the girls- dinner, a post-dinner swim and more exploring outside, some fruit for a snack, baths, cuddling, and a show before bed. We may not be able to escape the traffic where we live or having to work or scooping cat litter or folding laundry or paying bills, but there are so many things that we can do to make real life a little less mundane and stressful- getting rid of unnecessary monthly payments, lowering certain bills, simplifying in all areas of our life.  I came back from this trip feeling content knowing that although we may not always be able to be in vacation mode all the time, we certainly can be more intentional about the way we live and adding many of the same types of activities that we did while we were away into our day-to-day life right here at home.

Monday, August 1, 2016

last bits of vacation

The rest of our vacation week was spent with family- Bruce, Diane, Jenni and her boys came up from Tennessee for a few days and stayed at my parent's house. I knew this time with them was special- Oma and Opa getting to spend time with their great-grandchildren and all of us together for the first time in 11 years. I hope we all can make this an annual get together because 11 years is 10 years too long. I want our kids to know their cousins. They all instantly took to each other, as if we see them all the time and I loved seeing it happen. I think kids just know family even when they have never met in person.

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