Friday, May 27, 2011

Annapolis, May 2011

This week Riley, Dean, and I went with my dad to visit my grandparents in Annapolis. It was a quick trip, but so fun to see my grandparents, aunts, and uncles interacting with the kids. Memories always come flooding in when I go back there. As a kid we would spend a week every summer at their house on the Chesapeake (in addition to shorter visits throughout the year). The summer trips were always so special. For several years we went on our own - no parents! At Mumu's house (poor Grandpa always got left out of the title) there were hard rules, but also so many special treats. One of the famous Mumu sayings is "tough!" which was always brought out when anyone was complaining or whining. At Mumu's house you were expected to brush teeth multiple times a day (a hard rule to follow for kids on vacation), wash hands before all meals, bring dishes to the sink, and always say please and thank you. You were also expected to drink your daily root beer float, eat MANY Mumu cookies (to those of you that haven't had them you are missing out), go sailing and eat lots of potato sticks.

Rose perfume, canasta, Disney movies on the floor of the den, rides in the dingy, sailing trips, dodging jelly fish, riding fold-up bikes around the block, trips to the aquarium, naps on the porch, learning to sew, running past the scarey stuffed marlin in the basement, running through the pouring rain with JCPenny's garment bags over our clothes, crabcakes, Mumu cake...need I say more?

It was precious to watch my ailing Mumu play with Riley as she has so many babies. She can make them "talk", laugh, and squeal just by looking at them. Riley was no exception. I loved sitting in the living room and watching them interact. It was magic to have her hold Riley on her lap and see them giggle together. As many know, Mumu is quite sick and sometimes not entirely herself. But in the presence of small children, she is everything I remember her to be. She is my amazing grandmother and it was such a treat to see her in that glow once more.

Update - long overdue

I am embarrassed that I haven't blogged in 5 months. Life has been incredibly busy and time is flying by. Dean is a crazy little boy who loves to learn ("What's that Mommy? What does this mean Mommy?), loves to play outside, and loves to snuggle with his blanket (so much like his Mommy). Riley is growing in leaps and bounds. She is almost crawling now, babbling all day long, and can feed herself little bits of food. The kids together are quite a pair. Some moments they play together, others they have to be separated. It's quite obvious that Riley loves her big brother, but Dean is not quite ready to share all his toys and space with his sister.

We have moved into a new house in Wake Forest and LOVE it. We quickly realized after Riley was born that we needed more space if we wanted to ever have friends and relatives come and see us. With Josh working from home we are free to pick where we live which gave us the freedom to take some time and visit a number of neighboring towns. We were very interested in somewhere that was smaller and a tighter community. Raleigh is a wonderful city, but very anonymous feeling - too many people and too many choices. Wake Forest has been a great place for us and our neighborhood includes wonderful attributes like at-home-parents weekly playgroups, monthly ladies night out, book club, block parties, etc. So great.

We are entering into a new chapter in life. Dean will begin preschool in the fall and ages into all kinds of new activities like swim lessons, parent-kid karate class, and other more independent adventures. The next 6 months is filled with weddings of friends and families. My brother Mark and Josh's brother Joel are getting married this year, bringing fantastic new women into our family. We are only a little over a week away from celebrating our 6th anniversary. Seems like much longer in so many ways, and shorter in others. It's been such an adventure and we await the many more with eager anticipation.

Josh's business is incredibly buys and growing rapidly. He and his brother Zach have joined forces over the last year and quadrupled business. They have a team of dedicated contract employees, not to mention the other family members that are working for them. While my sister-in-law Lauren and I miss our husbands as they travel and toil away, we are SOOOOOO proud of what they have accomplished and the company they are building.

So to sum it up: busy work, busy mom, growing kids, new house, extreme thankfulness for the blessings we've been given.