Tag Archives: my girls

wednesday morning in the garden

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It’s hot this week, and we’re starting to feel it in the early mornings too. I considered skipping this week’s visit after the late night at the Muny the night before, but it’s hard to break a habit once it’s formed. The girls were drowsy, but in good spirits. I promised we’d walk straight to the jumping fountains, and this morning they were all in. It was that warm.

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The oranges and yellows and pinks are in full force, but in the shade there are magical things happening. We shadow hopped our way through the place and tried to stay cool.

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I’m seeing so many of the flowers that we’ll see in a few weeks when we’re on vacation. It makes me think of the things that I need to do before said vacation, but I try to force those thoughts to the rear for the rest of the walk.

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Instead I look for the weirdly beautiful things, buds unfurling, seed pods twirling, leaves that seemed to have been painted by garden fairies in the night. A cardinal plays in the fountains with the girls, hopping one pad in front of them each time. I finally catch him in the frame.

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I’m glad we started this longest day of the year here. The garden at its peak is not to be missed.

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random photos from the blur that was may

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I thought I’d post some completely random photos that have been hanging out in the media library of this blog for a month or more. It was such a busy spring, and it took until this past weekend before I felt like I could take a final deep breath and recenter myself on summer. I’m not going to lie, it feels great.

I love these photos of E and family after her 8th grade promotion. We were lucky to have BOTH sets of grandparents come to the Wednesday night event, which made it extra special.

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F participated in her spring concert at school – this marks year nine at this school between the two girls, and I think that this was my favorite concert of all. I love this shot M got of her just before they started to play.

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M started working on the summer front installation in our bedroom over Mother’s Day weekend. He’s had to do a few repairs to the piece – including fixing the frame which has broken several times, plus cleaning and painting it. Now it just needs some trim, and we can call this project done.

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M and I took the day off one Monday in May to help chaperone an 8th grade trip to Camp Manitowa in Illinois with 95 students. It was such a treat to get to hang out with them all – they really are a great group of kids. E is such a lucky kid to have had such a great middle school experience. I disliked my middle school years so much, and I assumed that was a relatively universal feeling. But E seemed to love every minute of it. If I had to go back in time and do middle school again, I wish I could do hers.

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Girls’ Soccer was a bit of a bust this year. The season is so short in the spring, and we had so much rain in April that they only managed to get one game in, which is really too bad because they are so much fun to watch. E’s been fortunate enough to have been able to play league soccer since kindergarten, but watching her play for her school is a different level of fun. The game we did get to attend was on the Sumner High School field, an amazing historic school in our city. Sumner was the first African-American high school west of the Mississippi, and its alumni roster is extremely impressive. It was our first time hanging out on its campus.

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F wrapped up her second grade year. It was a good one, but challenging in many ways. Learning how to navigate peer relationships has been a big focus for F this year. We saw tremendous growth in her, and her reading skills have really taken off. I catch her with a book under her arm quite a bit now – sometimes she’ll ask me to turn off NPR in the car so that she can concentrate on her reading. This summer she’s getting to do some new bigger kid camp experiences which will be great for her. She’ll be joining her big sister (in E’s final year) at College for Kids on one of our local community college campuses – the one where I used to teach. The students sign up for four classes a day – eight classes total over two weeks – and they move from class to class and building to building, taking science and art and theater and math and computer courses in college classrooms and labs.

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As soon as school was out, the girls headed to KY to hang out for a week with their grandparents and cousins. M and I had a chance to catch up on a lot of work, watch a movie or two, run in the cooler morning temps, and meet up with friends for drinks and dinner. It was nice to have Memorial Day in that week, maybe one of the only days in the last 13 years when we’ve had a day off of work and no children in the house. We slept in, read books, went on a sixteen mile bike ride, and even went to the grocery store TOGETHER. It was nothing short of magical. We’ve got another one in July, when the girls head up to the other side of the family. Grandparent Camp rocks!

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Cruising along through June now, deadlines behind me, a stack of books in front of me, and vacation on the horizon. I’ll take it.

wednesday morning in the garden

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I’m really excited to be on a summer schedule again. It means a little more sleep in the morning without that early middle school start bell. It also means that I have both girls with me in the morning, which is really nice on garden mornings.

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I was never a big fan of lilies – their scent can be really overpowering and they always remind me of funeral flowers. That’s probably not a fair assessment, but they’ve never really captured my attention or interest. But walking through the garden this morning was revelatory. The sheer variety of lilies on display was breathtaking. We thought we’d walk right past them, but found ourselves hopping from one to another, each prettier than the last. I’m a convert.

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The other really exciting part of the morning was when the girls both caught a glimpse of jumping water over the brick wall around the boxwood garden. The jumping fountains (as we call them) haven’t been operational in at least eight years. They were E’s favorite part of the garden when she was little, but they were frequently turned off. We asked a gardener once about them, and they said they were always in need of repair and so they stopped using them. F’s never seen them, but she’s always been curious about them since E points out the landing pads around the perimeter of the space each time we walk through.

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I wasn’t sure I was going to get them out of there – they hopped back and forth underneath the arcing sprays. Some things you never get too old for. I’m glad about that.

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