My Birthday Week

I just love celebrating special days surrounded by little kids. All week, there has been whispering and planning and little scurrying feet running around gathering supplies for secret projects. The girls and John made my birthday so special. Ginger was sad that it was a school day on my birthday, but kindergarten is a pretty fun place to be on a birthday.

IMG_3876John asked Ginger what she wanted to give me for my birthday and she said a book, since I love books. He asked her what kind of a book and she suggested a craft book. How thoughtful! She got me a soap making book and train stickers (that she insisted I share with her). Ruby made me a fabric covered book that she and John bound together. She included a sweet dedication that is so touching. She worked really hard on this. John bought me the most awesome bag from Irenes’ made by Appetite. I just love it.

I got to chaperone with Ruby’s class on their field trip to the pumpkin patch.  The next day, I took my own class to a different pumpkin patch where I got to drive the hayride tractor out to the field! On the bus with Ruby, we sat with one of her new friends. They whispered and giggled the whole way there, it was too cute.

IMG_3698It was an amazingly beautiful week full of sweet small moments. I am a lucky girl.

Pumpkin Patch!

IMG_3625This has been the most incredible fall! We are in peak leaf season right now. Every view, even in a parking lot, is breathtaking. It makes me so giddy! I love fall and feel so lucky to live in a place with fall color.

IMG_3615This weekend we visited “our” farm, Gathering Together, for a CSA member pumpkin harvest celebration. It was sunny, about 60 and I was so excited. They welcomed us with freshly made potato donuts, hot apple cider (from a friend’s farm – La Mancha – the best!), chips and house made salsa, coffee, and house-made wine! We saw a bunch of friends, including one of my students. 🙂 Then we gave ourselves a little farm tour (we didn’t wait for the farmer to give us the hayride), walked out to the huge pumpkin patch and hunted around for just the right ones.

IMG_3618It was the perfect day.

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bookworms

As I type, Ruby is reading a chapter book to herself in bed, Ginger is picture reading (with lots of memorized phrases from the book) in her bed, John is flipping through a magazine on the couch and I am willing myself to finish this post before I check out the new books I brought home from the library today. We are definitely a family of readers and I couldn’t be prouder!

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Lounging at the library

Creating a cozy book nook while I unpack my classroom

Creating a cozy book nook while I unpack my classroom

Snuggling up to read with Richard Scarry

Snuggling up to read with Richard Scarry

We have consciously made reading and books of all kinds accessible to the girls from a very young age and built reading into all kinds of routines in our days. It calms, it connects, it makes us laugh. I’m so grateful we can all share it together.

10 Years!

Newport Bay

Newport Bay

John and I recently celebrated our 10 year anniversary (!) by retracing our steps of our honeymoon. We both grew up in Florida and lived there until 8 years ago. Neither of us had been to Oregon, but we both had a pull toward it and decided to travel here on our honeymoon. We actually stayed a night in the town we now live in because John thought there was a chance he would apply to grad school here.

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Boiler Bay

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Bob Straub State Park

My parents came out for a couple of weeks and John and I left the girls with them – our first trip away from them – while we drove up the coast, ate our way through Portland, and spent some time in wine country. It was my first vacation away from the girls. I went away for a few days to visit friends several years ago, but I’m not sure if that counts because I was pregnant and sick the whole time. 😉

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Bob Straub State Park

Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout State Park

We stopped on a whim at Cape Lookout State Park and hiked along a steep, rainforested cliff hoping for a clearing and view of the ocean. It was one of my favorite things about Oregon – the wet, green forests full of ferns and moss that open up into incredibly dramatic views of the ocean.

Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout State Park

Twin Rocks

Twin Rocks

We stopped for the night in a small, loveable coastal town in a motel that looked out on the ocean. We were charmed and dreamed of having a place of our own on this coastline.

Manzanita

Manzanita

I missed the girls terribly, but enjoyed the spontaneity, leisurely pace, and ability to do things that we couldn’t have done with the girls tagging along. I’ll try to post more adventures from Portland soon. These photos were all from the first day!

Big Changes

Summer is in full-swing here. Ruby is out of school (a first-grader now!). We’ve had lots of sunny warm days and we’re all gearing up for big things to come this fall.

First day of kindergarten

First day of kindergarten

Last day of K - I think she's grown up a bit, yes?

Last day of K – I think she’s grown up a bit, yes?

This kid will be going to preschool.

IMG_2901(hopefully she won’t break too many hearts)

AND, I will be going back to teaching! A half-time kindergarten teaching position opened up in our school district, so I applied, went through an intense interview process including teaching a lesson to kindergarteners I’d never met before while the hiring committee of seven people observed (yikes!), and got the job! I’m so excited and proud.

It’s going to be a biiiig adjustment for all of us this fall and I’m a little nervous about that (moms, any advice on balancing working outside the home, taking care of your own little ones, the house, and yourself???) but in the meantime, I’m going to soak up as much of this as possible:

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Happy Summer!

Three!

My sweet little Ginger turned three! IMG_2538

We had a quiet celebration with the four of us at home. (We had big plans, but alas, Ruby was very sick and on breathing treatments every four hours. So sad! Plans are postponed.)

Ginger’s only requests were for treats. She named everything she could think of in the weeks leading up to her big day. In the end, I decided for her and made a chocolate cake with chocolate filling and cream cheese frosting.

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She was thrilled.

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Gigi is a silly little girl, always making funny faces and jokes. She is super smart and already starting to read! She is the absolute sweetest kid. She’s the first one to cheer someone up, crawl into your lap for a snuggle, and give sloppy kisses. I couldn’t love her more.

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content

This weekend I was lucky enough to get phone calls from three dear friends. We caught up with each other and one friend said, “You’re really living the life right now, Megan.” It’s true and I know it. I am trying to be as present as I can, because this is really it. My family is healthy. John’s dental surgeries (yes, plural) over the last year are done! We’ve begun birthday celebrating season.

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The girls are almost 3 and 6. (When Ginger was born and things were hard, I was told, “just wait ’till they’re 3 and 6. It’s magical then.” It’s true. They’re fairly independent, play together, are innocent, and are so deliciously adorable.)

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Spring is on it’s way. I’m working on big plans for my shop. I get to run past mountains, llamas, sheep, and a covered bridge. I miss my far-away family and friends (and the Florida sunshine), but I am trying hard to look around me, take a breath, and appreciate.