Sunday, August 28, 2011

My "pretty-princess" is two years old!!

Time flies and I no longer have a baby girl! Ava Marie turned two on the twenty-sixth! To celebrate this grandious (that's a fancy name for "great" ~ Fancy Nancy books) occasion she got Chick-fil-a - pronounced "Chick-fuw-a" - for lunch and pizza for dinner (sure sign mommy and daddy are running a little behind in life:). After poking at a couple of sprinkles she spurned the cupcakes that her momma had lovingly made.

The highlight of the evening for Ava Marie was opening gifts. The lowlight of the evening for Luke was watching his little sister open gifts. The play kitchen was the big hit of the night and the following morning it precipitating several time-outs with siblings sitting side by side looking mournful. The little people house (dad and mother) and the turtle book (pa and ma) have gained momentum as the novelty of the kitchen has worn off. Aunt Julie/Uncle Sherwin gave a pretty fan and the gg's chimed in with a check. All in all the "pretty-princess" had a fabulous (that's a fancy name for "wonderful" ~ Fancy Nancy books) birthday. Daddy rocked his little girl to sleep, thinking that she is growing up way too fast!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Asheville, North Carolina

As I loaded up the "froggy" potty, I tried to remind myself again that my paradigm of vacation has been drastically redefined. You would think this would come easy as I lugged up all the loot that accompanies 2 kids and a pregnant wife. The day dreams of silent mornings with a cup of coffee on my chest blissfully lost in thought with my Bible by my side, wondering through the other world estate of George Biltmore listening to a fascinating audio tour, taking a romantic walk each evening around the lake, or devouring three books has been indefinately suspended for the next 20 years. Sadly, vacation is no longer all about me!

While we did enjoy coffee each morning while the kids decimated Granddad's pancakes, wondered the Biltmore Estate - two of five floors before the kids could take no more, enjoyed several family walks around the lake with a running commentary coming from the doublewide stroller, and managed to read 91 pages of an adult book and a half dozen "little people" books, vacation was very much an "us" event and not entirely a "me" occasion. Couldn't my self-centeredness die on another field of battle? Shout out to Granddad and Grandmother who joined us and for whom I am developing an ever deeper respect. They have the opportunity to have "me" vacations but instead choose to join "us" and thereby bring a little redemption back to the "me" side of things. Thanks Grandmother and Granddad (though we know you come for "them" and not for "us":)!

Highlights of our "us" vacation:
Throwing rocks into the stream at Montreat
Feeding trout at Mount Pisgah National Park
Swimming at the pool and playing in splash fountains at Black Mountain
Seeing "the ducks, goose, and geese" at Lake Tamahawk (notice the water theme)
The "castle"
Watching PBS cartoons at our "vacation home" - if it was "me" we'ld be watching Masterpiece theatre murder mystery instead of Curious George and Cat in the Hat
Sophia's aquiring of jellie beans through froggie potty successes - as I lose control over the definition of vacation, she gains contol over her bladder!
Bubbles and puzzles - grandmother's favorite was Sophia turning 360 degrees when told to "turn" the puzzle piece
Judah's broom horsie rides after dinner
Sophia's mastery of the stairs

Highlights of the "me" vacation:
Rhododendron Cottage which had a stone fireplace and screened in porch (w/ fireplace)
The Biltmore - the grounds were amazing; next time the lodge replete with fly fishing and bicycling
Eating: My Father's Pizza (casual), Maddison Inn (had a chef), the Biltmore (wonderful buffet), the Corner Kitchen (quaint and romantic), and Phil's BBQ Pit (awesome name).
Jogging around the .55 mile Tomahawk Lake; obviously not easy in light of above
Dominos in the evening which has absolutely no strategy as Katherine who doesn't have a strategic bone in her body was the family champion and I never came close to winning
Grandmother's cooking, grenadine (which has 4 tspoons of sugar per serving), and preztle m&ms
"wrestles," "readings," cuddles, answering a barrage of questions, and watching Grandparents with grandkids
Visiting my 47th state!