My new job is going splendidly well! I love the people, I love the management, I love how organized and efficiently everything is run. Those are elements I've been yearning for in my professional life and it is inspiring to show up to a well oiled machine everyday. The new job has meant a new routine for all of us, however, as my work hours are a bit different with all of the orientation and getting acquainted business. Mad props to Shawn for holding down the fort while I get into my (our) new routine. The stay at home parent definitely bears the brunt of the blow during times like these and I am thankful for the way that he has stepped in when I can not. I look forward to getting home even more these days, with the garden in all of its glory and the weather just perfect for all things outdoors. No matter how tired we all are with the craziness of the last few weeks on our shoulders, the promise of summer and all of its freedom makes the stress just melt away.
Speaking of summer, we've been living in the water every chance we get. River is a water loving baby times one thousand. Shawn picked up a little baby pool to put next to the big pool and River and Brees have made that $10 contraption the best investment ever. I love to set up shop in my lounge chair and just watch them play, splashing around and giggling like crazy. Brees refuses to get into the big pool this year no matter how hard we try to coerce her. "I like my baby pool!" she tells us in her decisive way. And so the little pool it is, a big fish in a small pond.
That last photo shows a glimpse of another project that's been keeping us busy: a little makeover for the front of our house that's been four years in the making. For the last 9 months, we've been painting, demolishing, repairing, uprooting, replanting, etc. to get the quaint modern cottage feel of our dreams. It's almost ALMOST done, just a walkway to put into place and few more details to perfect. It's so nice to have a real, usable front porch space.
Isabelle has successfully completed the fourth grade! It has been a rewarding school year filled with learning, good friends, and tons of activities. She was placed in a more challenging dance class this year and really took her talent to the next level. She worked really hard in math and brought her grades way up thanks to a lot of hours at the kitchen table, practicing and studying. She recently performed in her first piano recital, so confident and graceful behind that baby grand on the big stage. My heart was in my throat as she played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", a piece she played over and over in the living room as we all praised her. She is such a go getter, always willing to try something new and put herself out there. I admire her tenacious spirit so much. She says that she wants to be a special education teacher when she grows up and I can totally picture her as an art therapist working with kids in need. There's something so special about her and it is a beautiful think to watch her grow.
Brees has been busy learning how to write her name, creating art projects with the finger paints the Easter Bunny left for her, and tending to her garden. Here she is in typical Brees fashion, all blurry and busy and up to something. On this night, I caught her outside in her nightgown and rubber boots well after bath time. She swiped the top of a pineapple from the compost because she wanted to plant it in her garden "so that the kids can have some fruit". She is the funniest, most vivacious little character and I love to be around her. She makes me laugh every single day and truly reminds me to just let it go. Every day is an adventure with my female version of Huckeberry Finn.
We are really lucky, Shawn and I, to have such great kids. Not a day goes by that I don't remind myself of that. They love each other so much and are constantly showing love, looking out for each other, supporting each other. Belle can't get 10 feet away without Brees asking, "Where's Sissy? Is she okay?'. Belle is always clucking after her brother and sister like a little mama hen and River thinks she hung the moon. The three of them just click, they move together in a very soulful way that makes me feel so blessed every time I'm around them. They understand the concept of family, the hard work that goes into it but, more importantly, the reward that awaits when you love big. I pray that the three of them always look to each other for love and support, that they always know how blessed they are to have each other.