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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Be Creative

Flannery was trying to string some beads onto a thread yesterday, so I looked and looked for our little plastic "jewelry-making" needles, but I just couldn't find them.  (Of course, I found them today in a little container in her pajama drawer.  This is how crazy it gets when we're traveling!)  

Anyway, I had to improvise.  So I wrapped tape around and around the thread until the tape created a flexible little needle to sew with.  

Flannery fashioned a gorgeous necklace for....

who else?!  The dog, Annie! 

I'm not sure Annie loved it, but she did look elegant.  

How have you solved problems creatively this week?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Old Dress!

On Sunday, Flannery wore my old dress to church.  I think this was a dress I wore in kindergarten, if I remember correctly.  I remember loving the little purse that went with it.  I know it's a little Puritan's Pride, but I still thought it was pretty cute on her.  :)

Flannery filled the tiny purse with special sea shells from her Grammie's collection, and she pulled out one shell at a time to look at during church.  She just loves to collect tiny natural things--acorns, sticks, leaves, flowers--she is a collector of "nature," as she says.

So, thanks goes to my mom for saving a few of my favorite clothes.  I think Flannery felt fancy and special wearing a "mom" hand-me-down.

This is her on the porch before church.  What a cutie.

What tiny things did you love as a child?

Be in the Moment, VBS Style

Last week, Flanna and her sweet cousins participated in vacation bible school at my sister's church.  The girls really seemed to enjoy themselves.  They did a show for all the parents at the end of the week, and it was really adorable.  It had been a busy day for me, a busy day for my sister, a busy day for my husband, a busy day for my cousin and her kiddos, and just a generally crazy week for lots of us, but I really tried to check all my thoughts and worries at the door and just focus on the performance.  And what a performance it was!

The girls (almost all of the cousins around here are girls!) sang songs that my sister and her friends at VBS had taught all the children, along with sign language and hand movements for most of them.  It was amazing to see all they'd learned in just a week.  After living far from our family for the past two years, it kind of got me teary eyed sitting there in the crowd next to my cousin, watching our girls up there on the stage together with my sister while Robi ran around the sanctuary snapping photos of each of them.  It was really a moment of family for me, which I've missed.

And the best part was that, when the kids sang "God loves YOU!" and pointed, Flanna pointed at my sister every time and just grinned at her.

So many sweet moments, and I'm trying to take note of them as this busy life flies by.

My sister leading songs

Cousin time!

How do you prompt yourself to be in the moment more often?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Little Life Stories Connecting at a Single Point in Time

3 families' kiddos playing in the fire hydrant "sprinkler" at Athfest
How we love our friends in Athens!

We visited some friends in Athens this weekend, and were just so blessed to see so many friends who we love dearly!  We gathered at a party, and then spent a bit of time downtown at the Athfest Music Festival, too.  At the party, we saw several friends from out of town that we didn't know would be there.  And at Athfest, we ran into several old friends we didn't expect to see.   It was like an impromptu reunion!

It was so nice to have one weekend where we were able to connect with so many friends from all over the place.  I felt for a moment that this was a single point in time that connected all of our little life stories together.  It was really beautiful. (And yes, I know I'm cheesy!)

It was just so good to see our friends growing in their lives.  Friends who've adopted now happily settling into their new roles as parents.  Friends who've gotten married and are so sweetly in love.  Friends who've finished grad school moving on to exciting new phases of their lives.  Friends whose kids who've grown into high schoolers, and college students even!  Friends who've been accepted to neat grad school programs moving all over the world.  Friends who just got their first pet together as a married couple.  It was sweet to see the life stories of our friends continuing in such beautiful ways all around the globe.

And our story is continuing, too!

My new job is really rather exciting!  I haven't blogged much this past week, because I just had my very first full week of work at the Atlanta Speech School!   I'm working with their professional development team to create an institute for training birth to three daycare teachers on language and literacy.  I'll be doing follow-up coaching for the teachers throughout the school year, too, and will take data on student and teacher progress to see whether the professional development is making a positive difference.  It's exciting work that I'm really passionate about, and I feel very lucky to be a part of it.

Here are some cute photos of our Athens friend-o-rama-reunion experience.  Fun stuff!

Lauren & Jason, moving to England!

Dylan & Flannery people watching

These girls are so grown up now!  They entertained Flanna at the party. 

The newlyweds, Constantine & Sarah!

Stephanos (home from college in Greece!) chatting with my cute hubby

Alex, the new dad!, and Dan, moving to Boston soon!

Flanna and our friends' kids in the sprinkler

Who did you connect with this weekend?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Day with Daddy-O

Walking fast just like Daddy
On Friday, Robi took Flannery to explore the city and see a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  They had a great time together.  I'm so glad Flanna will have these sweet memories of special times with her daddy.  He's such a good example for the kiddos in our life.

Today, Flanna was telling her aunt Anne that "R-O-B-E-R-T" spells Robert.  Anne said, "Oh, so that's your dad's name?  But what do you call him?"  And Flanna said, "I just call him Daddy-O."

We love that Daddy-O.

Her very own marionette!

What special times have you created for the children in your life?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Annual Fathers' Day Fishing Trip

We celebrated Fathers' Day for Robi with our annual family fishing trip.  Our friend Clark let us fish at his beautiful pond, and we caught so many fish that we lost count!  Now that's a good day!

Clark & Flannery looking after the worms (Flanna wouldn't use them as bait!)

About to weigh the big one!

Flanna cooing to her little wormies.

A frog we saw when we got home, at the pond at my sister's house

How did you celebrate Fathers' Day?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We found a turtle!

This morning, Flannery and her Poppa found a turtle out in the yard.  Flanna made it a nice little habitat for the day (we'll release it this evening) and has been watching its every move.  After it sat hiding in its shell for about 45 minutes, we finally got smart and offered it some fruit and lettuce, and it started to explore.  Flannery named the turtle Fuschia, and Fuschia has seemed to most enjoy laying in her water bowl.

Flanna's been taking notes in a tiny notebook, just like a real scientist, recording her observations of the turtle.  Here's what she wrote:

It walks.
It sits in water.
It eats.
It pokes its head out.

And that is about all Fuschia seems to want to do.  Sounds like a pretty good life to me.

What did you love to study/observe when you were a kid?  I used to love to watch my dogs, and to follow them wherever they'd go in the woods.  They found the neatest cool mossy places, creeks, and cool rocks to lie on.  

Forget not the Beauty of the In-Between

Moving is such hard work!  But we did it--we made it to Georgia, and we unloaded our stuff!  We're storing our furniture at a friends's house and are staying with family for the summer while we house-hunt.  So, at least for a few weeks, we're done with lugging heavy boxes around, yay!

This morning, I got up early and took the dogs outside for a bit, and listening to the birds chattering in the woods, I was just transported right back to my childhood here in Georgia--how I'd wake up with windows open to a slight breeze, sun streaming through, and the busy sounds of the forest floating in.  

It's so nice to be back home.  And the best part is all the time we're getting to spend with family and good friends.  I know we'll look back on this transition summer--living with family, looking for a home of our own-- one day and will treasure the closeness we got to have with our family.   Once we have our own place, we'll have to plan times to see them once more, and the little everyday moments of shared experience won't be so common.

This whole time we've been moving, this little quote keeps popping up in my head, (from my favorite song of all time, which is also the inspiration for my blog title)

"I want to be champion of evening, to forget not the beauty of the in-between."

Forget not the beauty of the in-between.

I often try to rush things, to get to the next step, to keep growing and accomplishing and getting things settled and determined and decided.  But sometimes, there is also beauty in the in-between.  

What transition are you appreciating (or maybe not so much appreciating yet?) right now?  A new baby, recovery from surgery, moving, traveling, a new job?  Let the in-between be just that, and enjoy it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Everything is Cuter with a 4 Year Old

Everything is cuter when you're four.  Your tiny socks.  Your sparkly shoes.  Your skirt that can double as a tutu when you dress up.

And yes, even your moving boxes.  I mean, how cute is that?

Tomorrow's the big day that we load everything up!   The movers are coming to help us load at 9:30.  I hope we'll be ready!  Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor

Our school garden has done so well!  It's still a work in progress, but our herbs and flowers are flourishing, and the pond is looking beautiful!

Last week, the students and I made bruschetta with some fresh basil from the garden.  They had planted the basil, then picked it, washed it, plucked leaves from the stems, and ate it up!  It was so neat to see little picky eaters eating whole leaves of fresh basil at a time!  During our snack, I kept reiterating--"Guys, we GREW this basil ourselves!"  I think they thought it was pretty cool.  Almost all of them went back for seconds, thirds, even fourths!

Today was the 5th grade "moving up" ceremony at my school.  I have to admit I got a little teary-eyed watching some of my sweet students singing songs and walking across the stage to accept awards.  I'm so proud of them, and have been honored to get to be a part of their school experience.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Be it plants growing in a garden, or kids who now know how to write an essay as they move on to middle school.  Take time to revel in the little successes, the tiny accomplishments of your sphere of influence.  And then plant another seed, and start again.

What little success have you had recently?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Apparently I've Always Been Obsessed with Happiness


As I was sorting through the zillions of boxes of memorabilia I've lugged from state to state all these years, I found this neat little book I had made when I was 8 or 9, called "A Little Book of Happyness."  Inside were pictures I had drawn of my whole family, lists of my cousins and friends, and little stories or poems I had written.  

It was pretty much my current blog!  Cute little whimsies about happiness and my life.    

I couldn't believe it.  

Perhaps this interest I have in happiness is deep-rooted, just part of who I am.  Pretty neat, huh?

What parts of your personality have remained the same throughout your lifetime so far?

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

All the SLPs in our school district had a meeting and end-of-the-year gathering yesterday, and it was just so wonderful to get to spend some time as a whole group.   This group of ladies is full of kind, sweet, funny, creative, ambitious, thoughtful, reflective therapists who really care about the children they serve.  I've been so lucky to be a part of their team.  They gave me a sweet goodbye plant with a card that said, "It's easier to say "She sells seashells by the seashore" 5 times fast, than to say "Goodbye."--so appropriate I wondered if the card was published by ASHA (the national association of SLPs)!  (But it wasn't! Someone just found the perfect card!)

AND, to top it all off, there was wonderful food!  I brought these cute tomato/basil kabobs (with basil from the garden!) that my friend Rachel introduced me to years ago.  They were a hit!

So, there's another thing I'm going to miss.  My wonderful coworkers (and their wonderful potluck food!).  My next job has a lot to live up to!

me with Ruth, my fellow Ephesus Speechie 

The Whole CHCCS SLP Gang

What's your favorite thing about your job?