Tuesday, April 29, 2014

...to tell the kids that

...Daddy is coming home.

I'll call these TBTuesday...

July 2005 
July 2005
By this time next week the laundry will be piled higher, dinnertime will be a little more lively, the bedtime routine will be a little louder (Mark's known for riling the kids up instead of settling them down), and the evenings will no longer be lonely.

I thought I would share some old reunion photos over the next few days and share some of the thoughts and manic preparations through the next week.

For today I thought I would share some perceptions.

Reasons why people assume I am excited when they learn Mark is coming home:

1.  I will have help managing the kids.
2.  I will have help schlepping the kids to their activities.
3.  I will have help entertaining the kids.
4.  I will have help with the kids at bedtime.
5.  I will have help with chores around the house.

Reasons why people assume the kids are excited:

1.  They love their Dad and just want to be around him.
2.  They love their Dad and want him to watch them do things. ("Watch me jump Daddy! "Watch me build this Daddy!  Look at me Dad!").
3.  They love their Dad and want him to sit next to them. (Think homework, reading, watching TV.)
4.  They love their Dad and they want to take him places (Park, ball-field, school, out-to-dinner)
5.  They love their Dad and want to know he's nearby when they need him.

I think...I have demonstrated that I don't need any help.  In fact, I think we have managed pretty well.  Sure...the house could be tidier, we could eat more balanced meals, we could be a little more prompt to our activities, and the kids could go to bed at a more reasonable hour.   But those things don't really matter.  My kids don't care how messy our house is or what time they go to bed, they love having frozen waffles for dinner, and they aren't late for anything.

I am really excited Mark is coming home for the same reasons as the kids...

1.  I love Mark and just want to be around him.
2.  I love Mark and enjoy it when he sits at the counter and watches me make dinner.
3.  I love Mark and want to sit next to him to drink coffee, watch the Tigers, or sit by the fire together.
4.  I love Mark and want to go out to dinner, go for family runs, and to the park with the kids together.
5.  I love Mark and just want to know that when I have something I want to talk about, run by him, or ask him about...I can.

I have big plans for next week...
1.  Coffee
2.  Eating
3.  Baseball (Tiger's and the big kids)
4.  And...lots of time spent watching Mark and the kids make up for lost time.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

...to enjoy a most amazing

...spa destination.

With the three ladies I love the most.

I can't believe you all pulled off one of the best surprises ever!  And...even more surprising is that I loved the way in which you did it.

A few of the things I'm sure to remember with a smile:

I have never heard of a town called "Skinny Alice" but I'll always think of this town with a smile.  And will refer to it as such from here on out.  Note:  It's really pronounced "Skinny Atlas" and spelled Skaneateles.

I have never EVER went to a bar in my bathrobe and may never again.  (You must keep in mind that most (actually ALL) of the other guests were in shirts/ties....)  But it sure was fun in good company!

Blind taste tests really do work when you have to figure out which piece of chocolate you like the most.  Who knew that Goji would be my favorite?

Champagne at 3:00 in the afternoon tastes delicious!

Turning 40 is awesome...and I'm not even quite there yet!

It turns out I might not mind surprises after all...

Thoughtfully planned, sweetly presented, and perfectly executed.

Thank you Mom, Meghan, and Amy....I couldn't have planned anything more perfect.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

...to attend to soo many things...

...my mind is spinning.

This is why:

Do you remember this photo?

I do.

Soon, in the...

Same city.
Same airport.

With the same kiddos waiting to catch the first glimpse....

He's coming.  

So SOON!!  (Before my birthday (Mother's Day)...

Same anticipation.

Unbridled excitement.

Monday, April 21, 2014

...to enjoy our Spring Break...

...I can't believe how quickly that week went by!

The kids' week off from school went much too quickly.

We started with the Veterinary Open House and then headed off to MI.

There, the kids spent time with our families and I spent several days touring Ann Arbor with my very favorite realtor ever.  

The house hunting game is tiring and stressful.  And so very interesting!  Before I started actually touring homes, I thought I would be happy with something simple and small.  Not.so.much.

I marked the quaint homes.  You know, the ones with three bedrooms.  The ones that needed only a minor renovation (or two or three)....Houses with no yards or small yards.  Houses with only one bathroom.

Well...it turns out I'm a bit picky.  Who knew?

This house-hunting thing is going to take another trip.  Or two.

We saved the Great Wolf Lodge for the end of spring break.  The kids' most favorite destination!  My Dad's Christmas gift to the kids.

They sure did have fun!  I only a few photos to document our time.  (My camera doesn't mix too well with water.)

 I needed a vacation from this vacation!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

...to celebrate Easter.

...with my wee ones...

They are still excited about the egg hunt....

Quirky stuffed animals...

 Finding their baskets...

And decorating Easter eggs...

(Even though we decorated them this afternoon.  After they found white Easter eggs throughout the house.  Just call me #momoftheyear.

Happy Easter.

The Crow Kids 2014-Year of the floppy hats.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

...to enjoy the Veterinary Open House

...at Cornell University with the kids.

Sometime last year Isabella's teacher mentioned that Cornell holds an open house at their Veterinary Clinic for families.  She knew how interested Isabella is in animals and thought that she would really enjoy this event.  I marked it on our calendar hoping it would work out for us to go as a family.

I am so glad I did.

We all really enjoyed the day.  They put on an incredible open house.  There were all kinds of demonstrations from hands on (milking cows) to scientific (the pathology lab) to just fun to see (dog agility).  We around about twenty minutes before the doors opened.  There were probably 100 people in front of us already!  And thank goodness we arrived early.  One of the students told me they expected 12,000 visitors this year!

They had a petting zoo...

This cow had a large hole in her stomach.  While it was rather gross (you could actually see the food in her stomach) this station was supposed to demonstrate how they study digestion to help other sick cows.  They actually take the probiotics from her stomach and give it to sick cows.  The vet student said this cow has saved several other cows.

They had a milking station...

And several other fun animals to see and pet.  This particular horse they painted her skeletal structure on this side and her organs on the other.

The kids were able to get all prepped for surgery...

in order to suture up Audrey's didi.

All better.

Who wouldn't like to see a horse running on a treadmill!  

And the farrier demonstration was so interesting...

...for one of them anyways.  This demo kept the younger three's attention for about one minute.
They found the rocks much.more.interesting.

We finished up the day with face painting...

snake touching...

and bird watching...

What a memorable day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

...we wanted to announce our decision

...to all of you family and friends who have really been so patient with us.

This decision process has not been easy:

The distance between Mark and I, the dropped phone calls, the poor-quality Skype sessions with the kids, the many, many emails and texts between us....

There were so many email exchanges Mark has had with West Point and both schools (students and faculty at both schools)...

The fact that he is in Af-ghan-is-tan and there was this little process called the elections he was busy with...

All of these factors have complicated our decision process.

Without further adieu...

Hail to the Victors Valiant.

Go Blue.


I mean Go Green!

Let the rivalry continue!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

...to enjoy our free weekend

...it could be awhile until we get another!

Don't worry.  I (we) stayed plenty busy.

I spent the day on Saturday with Abbey at a Girl Scout event.  She was delighted to spend the day crafting and creating.

This mess...it's about to permanently disappear.  No more snow pants.  No more face masks.  They are washed, dried and ready for packing (or giving) away.  

Side note:  For those of you wondering, there is still no verdict on whether or not our cherubs will need their snow gear through the next winter season.  Technically, we still have nine more days to decide.  

It was nice enough to spend a little time outdoors today.  Sunny and 42 degrees.  

I am not kidding when I say that Audrey must have asked to go to the beach at least five different times throughout the day.  I guess our winter has been so long she has lost all perspective on appropriate beach-going weather.

As you can see, I started a little project.

We watched a little baseball.  Too bad the Tiger's lost.  The big kids watched this game start-to-finish.  Isabella even donned her rally cap late in the ninth inning!  

Because we didn't buy the package from Time-Warner this year there are no commercials.  Instead, this image (below), shows up during the commercial breaks.  So I sang "This Little Light of Mine" each break-time...for last year's sake.  The kids did not appreciate this.

Abbey and I shot some hoops....

This girl sure can dribble!
While Will played with the boys across the street.

Audrey rode her bike.  We played catch.  And the kids even dug one more sled out from the snow.  As you can see, it is melting.  

Slowly but surely it is melting.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

...to show the signs of Spring

...around our home.

1.  We have started 'finding' long lost items.

Can you tell what this is?

It is one of our shovels.  Thus far we have found one bath toy, three shovels, and two sleds.  Mmm...wonder what else we have lost?  Only about 2.5 feet of snow to go!

2.  Audrey was able to actually play outside!

As you may have gathered, this girl is a tad...finnicky.  Well, the Little Queen finally deemed the weather 'suitable'.

3.  We can almost see the sidewalk to our side door.

4.  The children are wearing shorts.  Does it matter they are still wearing boots and winter coats?

Oh.  And today was also the first day of baseball practice.

(Baseball is an extra...a bonus sign of spring if you will.  Yes, practice was in-doors.)

5.  A new batch of beautiful purple (my favorite color) tulips (my favorite spring flower) were delivered to my door...

Spring is that much closer to Mark coming home.

If I am really lucky...there will only be one more batch of flowers delivered...