Saturday, May 26, 2012

Just one of my hare-brained schemes

Our original plans for the weekend fell through.  So, I started thinking.  A dangerous pastime, I know.  I had this strange compulsion to take pictures of waterfalls.  Andrew is *almost* always up for my crazy ideas.  So he went along with it.

And this time, my scheme not only involved us, but I decided last minute (as in 48 hours notice) to see if we could stay with our cousins, Destinee and Ryan, in Asheville.  And they said yes, too!  Hooray for spontaneity!

We made the quick trip up the road on Friday night.  The kids were so happy to see each other and get along so well.  We let them stay up way too late.  But how often do they get to play with cousins?  Then the adults stayed up even later playing Ticket to Ride.  Destinee kicked our booties.

The next day the kids whined to leave their cousins behind as we took off for the waterfalls.

 The visit was too short!

We went to DuPont State Forest.  It is a perfect spot for kids our age.  You take a three mile hike and get to see THREE waterfalls along the way.  SWEET!

Hooker Falls, as seen from the top...

and from the bottom.

Triple Falls,
where part of the Hunger Games movie was filmed!

We took our obligatory pics of kids jumping off things,

and doing cute supermodel poses.

They've got their smiles down.

And the final waterfall is High Falls.
Absolutely gorgeous.

 Such a fun family getaway.
The kids were great on the hike.
 So happy my family will go along with my hare-brained schemes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I realize that Mother's Day can be a sensitive and touchy holiday for some.  But for me, I just revel in getting spoiled for the day.  While I am far from the perfect mom, I am trying dang hard.  And I love and cherish my role as a mother.  And the three great kids that get to be the recipients of my attempts.  Here's how they took care of me this year:

*For our date the night before, Andrew took me swing dancing.  LOVED that.  We had an hour-long lesson followed by a dance where we got to practice our East Coast Jitterbug.
It was fun!
And I'm afraid we already forgot all our moves.

*Whitney (with a little help from Caroline) made me a giant chalk drawing Mother's Day card. 

She describes me as

(love that she included my beauty mark!)

(because I play video games)

 and brave.
(she says I helped rescue her in the ocean...)

And Care Bear added this portrait of me.
in pigtails.
with eyelashes.

During Activity Days at church, Whit made me this corsage.
I learned about a Southern tradition.
On Mother's Day, you are supposed to give your mom 
a red flower if her mother is still living.
And a white one if her mother has passed away.
We've lived here for nine years and I'm finally
properly accessorized for the holiday.

During primary, the kids colored these flowers:
Here's what they had to say about me:
My mom makes the best...
B: Italian salad
W: Bacon
C: Cheese

My favorite thing to do with my mom is...
B:  summer school and road trip
W:  walk
C:  play games

My mom is good at...
B:  cooking
W:  art
C:  painting

My mom is as beautiful as...
B:  An Uncle Tone Painting (when I first read this, I thought it said I was as beautiful as Uncle Tone.  That was confusing.)
W: a flower
C: a bird

My Mom teaches me...
B:  How to be nice
W:  Math

My Mom loves me because...
B:  she is my friend
W:  she loves me

I love my Mom because...
B:  she is awesome
W:  she's my Mom.

The girls also brought home gifts they made at school.
Whit made me breakfast in bed!
(which Andrew had already planned, so I got two days in a row!)

Care Bear gave me a candle holder.

Andrew made a yummy lasagna dinner
And I got cheesecake for dessert.
And a fabulous book for my gift.

 It was a wonderful day.

Thanks, you guys!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


We had Whit's annual eye exam with Dr. Buckley recently.  We were THRILLED to hear that her vision is excellent!  She is seeing 20/20 in both of her eyes.  Yippee! 

I was thinking back to some of our first visits at the Duke Eye Center.
Look how little she was!
Two-year-old Whit and her then-crush Dr. Buckley

The patching, surgeries, and visits seemed never-ending.  I was afraid my little girl would never have normal vision.   I was afraid the first thing people would notice about her would be her not-quite-aligned eyes.  I worried about how that would affect her education, her range of choices for sports and activities, her ability to make friends. It consumed my mind and stressed me out.  It was terrifying.

 Fast forward six years....
Dr. Buckley hasn't aged a bit.  :)

At this point in our lives, Duane's Syndrome feels like a thing of the past.  While it is a congenital disorder and has no "cure", the symptoms are barely visible in Whit.  She is thriving in school, both academically and socially.  I don't feel like she is limited in any way by her eyesight.  We've come a long way.  And I'm so grateful for the access she had to Dr. Buckley and his life-changing surgeries.

At the end of her appt, he said, "Come back in a year or two."  We'll take two, thank you very much.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Everybody jump!

The loft is still an enigma.  I've already changed my mind about having the Wii up there.  Not nearly enough room for dance parties with my girlfriends.  Right now I'm thinking it will just be a little seating area with a bookshelf.  We can hang out, play board games, read, just enjoy the peacefulness that always abounds in our home....Ok now you know I'm dreaming.

In the meantime, while I continue my sofa-hunting adventures, this is the most common use for the loft.

Let me know if you want to come over and jump off the stairs with us.

 I'd be happy to take pictures of you, too.