A couple of weeks ago, I had my first friend from Atlanta visit.

Not just any friend, but Kelsey.

Out of all the awesome friends I had back in Atlanta, I've only kept in close contact with a couple.  And this girl?  Well, she saw me through some pretty dark moments over this past year and I'm keeping her forever.

This trip was long in the making.  We pretty much started planning it before I left in August.  Which is how you have to plan when one of you has 5 kids.  The timing of her visit couldn't have been more perfect.  For either of us.  It was awesome to have a familiar face, sitting on my couch, getting all the Jeopardy question wrong with me.

We had an awesome week*.

My only gripe from her trip is that I didn't take more pictures (problem with not blogging anymore, I never have my camera on me now).

Sorry I didn't cook for you at all Kelsey.

 *planned trip was 4 days, but Buddy Passes granted us a few extra days.

andrew was totally smitten with khloe.
he gave me googley eyes many times to which i smiled and said, "not a chance, buddy."


Resurrecting Easter

Easter has long since passed, but I've been hanging out there in my mind.  Thinking, processing, searching.

My brother died five months ago.

I made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.  Not without missing him and thinking of him, but without the hurt.  Since I was little I've always been a bit emotionally stunted.  My processor takes awhile to catch up with reality.  So this delayed mourning didn't surprise me.

But Easter was hard.

We had the best time dying eggs and having an egg hunt with our new neighborhood.  I was surrounded by family and got to cook and host.  We played cards and grilled out.  The weather was perfect.

But I was mad.

Felt a bit lied to.

Because you know that part of the Bible where they talk about how Death has lost it's sting?

It hasn't.

Death still hurts like hell.

And I miss him.  We all do.  And that's not very fair.

In year's past, I've celebrated Easter in a very personal way.  Each member of my little family was saved from a life that wasn't, well, this.  And that has always resonated with Easter in my mind.  Old things new.  Dead things alive.

I've come through this particular pain.

While I'm under no illusions that grief won't slap me from the side from now until forever, I can look at this particular holiday and not be mad.

Because it was a fabulous day.


I Like It

What's cooking?


Well, I have entered the realm of adulthood and am hosting a family holiday gathering for the first time so our kitchen is hopping.  I have two eager helpers, and I use that word with only a tiny bit of sarcasm.

*please note: all of those pictures are old.  so far all that's been prepared for Sunday is a massive amount of JELLO eggs.

I refuse to say, "We've been busy" because, who hasn't?  

But we have been.  That good, heart filling, go to bed happy kind of busy.

Gabe started Pre-K.

The first preschool we started was great, but he was older than most of the kids and the 2 hour mandatory nap had him screaming and crying and begging me not to leave him.  Nope.  Couldn't do it.  I held out for a few weeks, but when it just wasn't easing up, I switched him.  I now have to drive him 10 miles away (feels like an eternity when everything else we do is within a few blocks), but it's beyond worth it.

He's happy and learning a lot.

Which is good since, gulp, he is officially registered for kindergarten.

An event he chose to get all kinds of fancy for.

I've tried every chore chart out there.  

All of them.

And after all of them failed, I went to my old trusty notebook and started whipping up some daily lists.  It's working great for us.  Josie gets a list and gets it done whenever.  It's pretty fun having a kid that can read a list and not need to be nagged.

Have I told you how much I've loved living in the same city as my family?

It's been everything I thought it would be.  Dinners and random visits and card games.  I'm totally bummed that it's already time for them to start migrating North again.  My Grandma was the first to head out.  Thankfully, we have a few more visitors coming in April and my Mom is staying through May.

School Spirit: Sports Wear Day

Except it wasn't.  Or I was the only parent that read the calendar.

I'm going with the second.

Hey, at least I didn't tell her it was Crazy Hair Day.

This guy.

This year was not easy on us.  It was downright cruel.

This week, as we prepared for Easter and I thought about good things dying and being buried and coming back to life I couldn't help but be glad.  Dark days followed by light.  I like it.

We had a date last week where we walked for miles then had dinner under palm trees with live music and strawberry shortcake bigger than my head and man, was it dreamy.


Time to go hard boil some eggs.  I hope you have a fabulous Easter.


First Day - April 2015