Monday, September 21, 2015

O turned 9, and we did stuff.

I kid you not when I say that Olivia is the best thing that has happened in my life. This girl is so full of personality and spunk, I can hardly keep up with her. She talks ALL. OF. THE. TIME. and she is perpetually overflowing with interesting things to say. She is bursting with ideas and energy, she even overwhelms herself at times. I love her more than words can say. I don't have enough arms to hug her with, I can't kiss her rosy cheeks enough and I never tire of her spirit. This girl is unique, and I get to have her in my life.

Pinch me, how did I get so lucky?

Wow..... what a sweet girl.

My girl turned 9. The other day she was arguing her case about something and told me, "I'm almost 13." Not yet dear, not yet. Let's just get through 9. 9 means 3rd grade, it means "late-overs", and it means being able to stay home alone while I run a quick errand.

It also means a birthday party to celebrate!!!

I have to admit that I didn't go all out with her party this year. Aside from last year, ALL of her other birthday parties were a really big deal. There was a great theme, we had cool decorations and games and I had planned it for weeks in advance. O wanted to do an "Into the Woods" themed party this year and she had some very, very creative, and mostly plausible ideas of what we could do with it. I was totally on board, and then.... I just didn't really feel like going all out. Her invites weren't as cool as years past and I was feeling embarrassed about how I was going about the whole thing. AND THEN.... I realized, it doesn't really matter all that much. She's going to have a good time because she gets to be a part of planning it. She's going to remember it because her friends came and they had a good time. So, I decided to pause, and I made an effort to chill out and quit fretting. Granted, I came to that conclusion 30 minutes before the party started, but hey, I did it!!

O had a great time. She got to dress up, she played with friends, she ate pizza and drank root beer. Life was good.


I have NO IDEA what is going on here, but the look on A's face is enough to 
creep me out for decades. She is such a funny kid. 

The kids discovered the photo BOMB and they took so much 
delight in bombing every single picture they could.

Okay, it is just silly to have a princess crown on an archer, right?

I dressed up as a witch and sent them on a quest to find "magical" objects.

A has the squeaky pig.

A piƱata is a birthday tradition in the Hill family. 
Here O takes a whack at the evil monkey.

H pauses to let me take a picture.

Another thing we do to celebrate birthdays at our house is have a nice dinner out. This year O chose to invite my BFF, Genny, as her guest. I bring this up for two reasons, one, it is relevant to this birthday post and two, G let me know she felt she wasn't featured enough in my last blog post. So, here are some pictures from our dinner. It took many tries to get a decent pic and I'm not sure which one qualifies as the "decent picture." :p

O is THRILLED to have strawberry and blueberry syrup.

O and her bunny ears. She's always doing the bunny ears.
Okay, G's smile is the same in the following three pics. I'm waiting for O to give me a smile 
and she is getting increasingly bored with my attempts to get one.

Finally G is done too!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pictures are fun to see

We've keep ourselves busy this year with a lot of fun and different things. As I was looking through pictures I realized, I haven't taken very many this year, compared to years past. I can't believe I've missed some of our stories. If there isn't a picture, it didn't happen, right? Well, at least in my brain, that is the unfortunate truth. 

One day in the Spring, we went with a few other families to a children's museum in Annapolis. The room that kept the kids occupied the longest was the doctor's room. There were some really cool things in there and I'm not at all surprised it held their attention as long as it did. See, even my mom friend D is engrossed in an X-ray.

Here, O is giving us a truthful representation of how it feels to sprain your ankle.

Sometimes, this little bug of mine falls asleep in my bed and I can't resist 
taking a picture to document that she's still.

O was CONVINCED she had successfully eaten her broccoli. She was just as CONVINCED we were wrong when we told her she had to eat more than the little bushy tops.

My cousin visited DC and we were lucky enough to have the pleasure of her company for the afternoon. I've lived so far away from my family for so long, I've come to really miss being a part of their gatherings. My UT family is always up to something and it's fun to be in the know.

O wanted me to do this, I promise.

I turned on the oven and discovered a cheerio had somehow made it's way inside.
The result.

This spring, we finally made one of my dreams come true and we bought chickens. It took a decent part of once evening to construct their indoor coop. 

The original 5. 
Only one of them is still alive. Our yard isn't very chicken friendly.

This kid of mine. 
Don't YOU chase YOUR chickens around in YOUR cape?

We added 7 more babies. None of them survived.

We actually used our trampoline.

Truth be told, we went to 6 Flags a lot this summer. I was bent on making sure we got our moneys worth from the passes we bought last year and hardly used. So, we were weekly visitors. Okay, not really, but it averaged out that way. We were there 4 times in one week and I was really happy about that. In the Spring we went with the K family. One of my favorite things about R, of the K family, is how sweet she is with my girl. It melted my heart to see them hold hands during the day.

One fun 6 Flags adventure we had in the Spring was with a friend from school. She taught O in 1st grade, I volunteered weekly in her classroom and I've thought of her as a friend ever since. She finished her Masters Degree and was moving in the summer. I'm so happy she was excited to go to 6 Flags with us. She is a huge roller coaster fan and it was a lot of fun to spend time with her there. Yep, there is O and her ever predictable photo face.

On The Nightstand
My Story, Elizabeth Smart by Chris Stewart and Elizabeth Smart
Okay, I've been fascinated by this story ever since it broke. I was living in Salt Lake City when it happened and she was found not too far from my house. Anyway, I've kept tabs off and on through the years so when it was a selection for my friends book club, I decided to read it. What I've been curious about the most with her life, is how she went on. What she experienced was HORRIFIC and, now she is living a "normal" life. AMAZING!!

It wasn't until the very last chapter, of course, that she addressed my curiosity of how she did it. I'm not going to lie, it was hard to read. Her experiences were gut wrenching and abhorrent. I am glad I made it to the last chapter because her explanation of how she made it through and is living today was worth it.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt
Meh.... I'm trying to get into it. I started reading another of his books 4 years ago and didn't end up finishing it. I'm going to give finishing this one an honest effort. I'm not convinced I'll have it done in time for book club, but.... that's okay.

O - You need to shave.
L - Ya, why did you steal my razor?
M - To Shave.
L - Why didn't you shave?
M - I couldn't bend over. (This was after I hurt myself on a ropes course at girl's camp. This conversation occurred over a week past the end of girl's camp.)

On the way home from Girl's Camp, I had sweet A in the car with me.- I'm sorry I'm not being funny right now.
M - It's okay for your funny to take a break.
A - I'm trying not to be too prideful about being funny. 

O Speaks
M - Bahhhh!
O - What?
M - Brain freeze.
O - Oh, I don't get those.
M - You will.
O - No I won't.
M - Yes you will, everybody gets them.
O - Jesus didn't get them.
M - Jesus never had a Slurpee.