Sunday, February 5, 2012

Oh yea, I now round up!

Last week I had a big birthday. The big 3-5.  Good stuff.  Birthdays are just plain fun and this one was no exception.

Special thanks to The Austins who supplied this years's special birthday cake (when Lyla said there was a cake for Kiwi I didn't know she meant a real double-layer, fresh-fruit-filled, Kiwi cake with candles and all!!)

Back in Cincinnati, my actual birthday on 2/2 was great. Lou & the girls got me a new Sony Tablet - that is just exactly what I needed (and wanted)!  And Josie picked out the sweetest butterfly photo holder, which is too cute.  (Sidebar - it is obvious I am working too much when Josie says of my two birthday presents - now you have a little computer that you can carry around so you can work even more and now you have a new picture holder so you can have pictures of us on your desk. BOOO.)  

In other news, Wednesday 2/1 was (okay, I'll say it) probably the highlight of my career in education policy to date.  Just as soon as I figure out how best to tell why, I will do so here.  So, yea, my birthday was great. Super duper great.

Back to Chicago, For Music and More!

Not that we needed an excuse to take a trip to Chicago last weekend, but Elizabeth Mitchell making another stop at the Old Town School of Folk Music sealed the deal.  Perhaps you remember our first Elizabeth Mitchell concert in October 2010 - when Lyla was turning three two, when Jack was just a few weeks old, when Josie was really getting used to the idea of becoming a big sister and before I was put on bedrest with Bea. Perhaps you remember just how important Elizabeth Mitchell has been in our family and perhaps you remember why Three Little Birds represents so much.  So, Elizabeth Mitchell and her sweet little family came back to Chicago and we couldn't pass it up. I didn't take my camera (luckily Tia did) and you can click here to see all her photos. I did snap a few on my phone and took some videos there as well and hope to put them together into another montage one of these days. For now though, suffice it to say that we had another beautiful time at the concert. It was a really amazing thing to have Beatrice there with us this year and a really heart-tugging thing to see how much Jack, Lyla & Josie have all grown up and changed since last year.  (When did our little Josie become one of the biggest kids in the room?!) 
Here we are pre-show.  Keep an eye out for the some EM videos here eventually.

The rest of the weekend was the typical good ole' fashioned family "slow-time" at the Austin condo with all the sweetness and silliness you could expect from our four little ones.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend.

First a special treat -

 And lots of playtime -

And sweet Jackpot -

And a game they invented with "Twilight Sparkle" and "Uni" -

And general silly, sweetness -

And Josie dresses up like a, um, pirate -

And Bea becomes more and more part of the crew -

Always exploring (and in this case trying to get under the table to the cat) -

A quiet moment with Josie and Bea playing together -

A little time to just veg -

Oh - and the two photos that compelled me to buy the new portrait lens that is in route as we speak.

And then - back to reality - the last of the weekend's Doritos on the drive home -

You're are right sweet sister, it's never long enough.  Each trip is just as perfect as the last one - from all this to the great moments not captured - (yummy, super delicious Popeye's feast and our perfect sister time chatting with the babies while the boys and big girls went on a train ride).  Good stuff. Thanks for everything (especially letting us take over your whole room - oh and for the endless coffee!) XO