Saturday, June 28, 2014

just yesterday

Yesterday you were looking through a box of some old pictures, and I died a little bit.  When did you grow up?  I looked at all those pictures and you looked so. . . little.  In my mind, it seems like they were taken just yesterday.  Your once bright-blue eyes (that are so very green now).  The cute round little face with those perfect cheeks I've loved since the day you were born.  Princess dresses and fairy houses.  Those first tiny freckles on your nose. 

You're taller than me now.  Beautiful.  You have a great sense of humor- I find myself laughing out loud at the funny things you say all the time.  Just yesterday, I was laughing at the things you said because they were funny in a cute sort of way.  (You know, when you didn't really mean to be funny, but it was so cute I couldn't help but laugh?  The way we giggle about the things Claire and Sam say?)  Now it's different.  I laugh at your jokes the way I would laugh with a good friend.  

Just yesterday it was frilly nightgowns and piggy tails.  A dozen new adventures with your sisters every day- with you at the lead of course. (You always did have an amazing imagination.)  Tea parties every day.  And a flair for the dramatic.

OK, some things never change.  :)

Just yesterday, you and Kate would come up with the craziest outfits to wear to "go on an explore" in the fields.  You slept with on your "care bear couch" and were never far from your "corner" (your favorite blanket).

Your first trip to the ocean.  And Disneyland.

The first ballet recital.

(Remember when Uncle Ronnie started calling you "Sassafras"?   His own little special name just for you!)

Just yesterday, you were counting down the days to our skip-the-pumpkin-walk parties.  One of these days, I'm afraid you're going to plan a skip-the-family-party party. 

I can't quite figure out when it happened.  One day you were my little girl.  Just yesterday I thought it would last forever.  The princesses and play dates.  Nap times and dress-up times and crying-over-toys times.

Suddenly it all seems new.  Our days our filled with drive-you-to-work time.  Friend time and Volleyball time.  First crushes (with code names, of course). Your first little ballet slippers have turned into pointe shoes.  Piggy tails are now "messy buns".  You borrow my make-up.  I go to your room to find my missing shoes.  You update me on the coolest new songs (and are learning I've always been behind in that department :).  We have late night talks and riding-in-the-car talks and you act surprised to find out that I had to suffer through some of the same stupid middle school stuff that you are dealing with (some things never change).

Lately I look at you and wonder that you are mine.  A beautiful, smart, funny, and talented girl.  My girl.

Just yesterday you made me a mom.

Today you make me a happy one.  Happy number fourteen, Ryenne Ashleigh.


Our little girl is 14!  How did that happen, I ask?

Her cute friends called me the day before her bday, asking if they could come decorate her room during school.  Of course, I said yes (and then hurried to clean her room :)!    They called me just before they got to our house, telling me to come outside and take a picture.  "You'll know why when you see us," they told me.  
I sure did!  It's not often you see a car driving down the road with two beautiful girls and a swimming pool on top!  

They filled her room with the pool, balloons, crepe paper, and lots of fun other goodies!

She was super suprised and excited!

The next morning, which was her official bday, we woke her up with our traditional birthday donut and candles.  Usually, the kids request chocolate milk (a rare treat around here), but Ryenne isn't a big fan and asked for apple juice instead.  She loves herself some apple juice! (She has also started a drink-out-of-canning-jar trend around here too.)

She has decided to try out for the volleyball team this year, and so her sisters gave her a certificate for a new volleyball.

After seeing one of my good friends do something similar for her girls on their 12th birthday, I was able to put together one of my favorite birthday gifts yet- a special book filled with letters from many of the amazing women in our life.  Aunts, grandmas, older cousins, friends moms, and some of my special friends too (and of course her awesome Dad!).  I had asked them to write her a letter telling her what they wish they had known when they were fourteen and entering the high school years (along with any special words of love for Ryenne, of course!)  Every letter was amazing.  I loved reading them as I compiled the book.  I feel so thankful for the many remarkable examples the girls and I have to look up to in our lives.  It makes it so much easier to raise good girls when they have so many good women to pattern their lives after.

Although I knew she would come to appreciate the book over time, I didn't know how excited she would be right now.  She actually really loves it though, and I have been happy to be able to talk about some of the perspective she has gained from reading through her letters.  I can't wait to do this for each of the girls.

 I loved this cute birthday cake Claire drew on the chalk board for Ryenne's birthday!  She gets so excited about` everyone's birthdays!  I love having little ones around to celebrate special days like this- my favorite is the way my little's gather a few of their most prized personal treasures, wrap them in a blanket, and give them away to the birthday boy or girl.  One of these days, we won't have those fun, heartfelt little presents. . .

Happy Birthday Ryenne girl!  We love you!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

and more savannah

I loved the streets in Savannah.  Seriously beautiful!

 One afternoon we took a walk to an old, unrestored mansion we had heard about.  The man who owns it hasn't done anything to restore it, but sells antiques in it.  The plaster is crumbling everywhere, but it still has the original lights, trim, etc.  Some may not like things like this, but being the nerds we are we were dying.  It was amazing!  We mostly pretended to look at the antiques (although I'm still thinking of places I would have put that Pennsylvania blue chest that was way out my price range :).  What we really spent our time looking at was the house.  Everything is so massive and grand in scale, and the details in everything were so beautiful!  We may have dreamed about what it would be like to take on a project like that.  (See, we are nuts.)  We were so glad we didn't miss this one!

 Just another walk through Forsyth Park.  Beautiful!  One evening while we were there, a bunch of high school students and their families were there taking pictures for prom.  People watching at it's best!

One day we decided to take a little trip to Tybee Island, which is only about 20 minutes from Savannah.  On the way, we stopped at Fort Pulaski, a fort which was built after the Revolutionary War and was used for the last time during the Civil War.  It was so interesting, and so cool to see the canon balls still in the walls of the fort.

Next, we went to the Tybee Island Lighthouse and visited the light keepers home and museum.  So many stairs but definitely worth it!

 Lucky for us, the Azaleas came into bloom while we were in Savannah.  Beautiful color everywhere!

 We stopped into this shop one day on one of our walks, where all the yarn is hand spun.  We had fun talking to this dude, and even talked sheep (it seems sheep are pretty cool, after all!)  Savannah has a huge design school and so the whole historic district has a very fun, artsy feel to it.  I would have loved to bought some of this yarn for Kate, my resident yarn appreciator!

Of course, we had to make several stops to Leopold's- which is famous for ice cream.  The line usually backs up down the street, so we were happy to make friends with this cute guy, Ron.  He came right to our table and talked us through the details of every. single. flavor.  Best customer service ever!  Did you know the old 50's song "Tutti Frutti" was written about Leopold's ice cream?

 (The story is that these dejected lions appeared at this house following the Civil War, reflecting the owners feelings about the outcome of the war.  Made us smile every time we saw them!)

Dinner at the Olde Pink House the last night in Savannah.

We loved this trip.