How to play outside

A few weeks ago at preschool, during recess, a boy walked over to us and said "I'm done playing outside, I want to go in." My mom and I were surprised since we had only been out maybe five minutes. After distracting him with a different activity, my mom remarked how kids today don't know how to play outside. But how would they with everything to entertain them inside?

Growing up in North Carolina, my sisters and I were outside everyday. At least, that is how I remember it. Riding bikes in our cul-de-sac, examining the bugs around the yard, climbing trees, living our world of make-believe in the woods behind our house, catching fireflies at night, and every other activity we could find around our neighborhood. That was my life, and I feel happy every time I think of my childhood. I hate knowing that Hadley and Carsen won't have the same opportunities because I can't just let them explore on their own without worrying for their safety. But so help me, I will teach them how to play outside if it is the last thing I do.

This year, that is my focus (among everything else going on in my life). Throughout this year I want to move away from the toys we have inside, and expand their imaginations for what they can find outside. My fondest memories are of playing with what we found rather than what we brought outside with us. I hope when my children are grown they are able to say the same thing.

Let me show you December

December was so great. It made me so anxious for next year when Carsen can enjoy it that much more. That tiny newborn baby stage is so great, but there is also something magical about your kids being old enough to enjoy things around them. 

This year Hadi was a little stressed that since we don't have a chimney, Santa would not be able to find a way into our house. And since Jake and I are pretty awesome, we made one. Also we had no room for a tree, so we made a felt tree. Basically we had a super "we are poor and white trash" christmas, but to Hadley we are now the coolest parents. Well, we were the coolest parents. Her opinion of us has definitely shifted now that we are more than a month out. You win some, you lose some. 

Business

^^ proof the kids survived. 

Last week Jake left on his first ever "business trip" to New Jersey for corporate training. He flew for his first time in like 6 years, was voted the "daily winner," successfully avoided getting drunk at the bar every night, almost got to visit New York,  ate a deep-fried oreo and a sandwich comprised of chicken fingers, bacon, mac&cheese and french fries at a shop appropriately named "Fatty's," and WAS THE WEEKLY WINNER out of the entire group of 28 trainees.

And I survived being alone with both kids for a whole week and no one died. So,  I'd say we both had pretty successful weeks.

Only Nineteen Days Late

What a wild New Years Eve!

Appetizers, pizza, dancing, singing, wii playing, countdown, sparklers, fireworks, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" New Years kiss, and back home. 

We read stories, said prayers, laid both kids down, and then at 9:54 pm I curled up bed and fell fast asleep.   
So we lied to the kids. Big deal. I got into bed before 10 and that is celebration enough. Happy new year to us all!

2014 - you were hard and emotional trying and successful and beautiful all rolled into one. You showed me at my worst, but gave me my best. While I'm not anxious to ever repeat this year, I will give you credit for changing me for the better. Thanks for that. 

Now, 2015, let's do this. Be kind, will ya?

27

27 is already shaping up to be a great year. I can just feel it all around me. I'm ready, so bring it on!

Christmas 2014

"Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. 
Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. 
Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand."
-How The Grinch Stole Christmas

This year, Man. This Christmas was good. I feel like I finally tapped into the real Christmas spirit and I was riding it all December long. You know that after-Christmas let down where you feel depressed that it's all over in one day? It never came. All of the joy I was feeling leading up to Christmas is still just sitting here waiting to be used up in different ways. This year instead of being center stage, the presents and anticipation of santa, for me, was just icing on an already delicious and beautiful cake. Although the NEW HARRY POTTER COVERS and book mp3's, sheepskin meditation rug, grill and shop vac made for pretty great icing.

Celebrating with Hadley and Carsen has been so great this month. We had a "kindness elf" named Holly join our Christmas traditions this year and it's climbing the top to one of my favorite things I will look forward to each year. It in no way knocked out any of Hadi's attitude (a girl can dream, right?), but seeing her eyes light up and body bounce with excitement at the chance to make a simple card for someone was so great. We baked together, delivered treats, made lots of notes, colored pictures, talked kindly to Carsen and other friends, and discussed (but never followed through haha) doing kind things like leaving a gift for the mailman and taking treats to the fire station or city librarians. It breaks my heart to think I have a limited amount of these years where the belief in this magic is so real. Having Hadley around made our holidays a million times better, but nothing can top watching the two of them opening stockings and presents on Christmas morning. I love how much they love each other.


Hadley's highlights: taylor swift cd, microphone, and her princesses with clip on dresses

Carsen's highlights: the "punch and drop" box, his waddle book and Hadley's microphone 


Xoxo


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