Monday, April 30, 2012

Family time at Pohick Bay...

We couldn't let Adam miss out on all of the fun, so after our morning at the farm I brought Adam out to the campground.  I have to say, there is something so nice about the quiet yet energetic feel of a campground.  On the one hand you can walk around, without holding hands, and not have to worry about traffic and yet on a weekend like this one, you're still surrounded by lots of other families enjoying time together and making memories, just like us. 

We took advantage of the opportunity to really let Adam explore and while we had to encourage him to move it along a bit from time to time, it was nice to just slow down and let him walk on his own time--finding sticks, randomly stopping to jump in a pile of leaves, or stopping to say hi to a fellow camper and of course telling them about the fun morning we'd had at the farm!

We spent some time at the park, spent some time in front of the fire, and even found some time to settle down and watch "Winnie the Pooh." 

I'm not sure Adam could have asked for a better day...I'm not sure I could have either.

Frying Pan Park

I remember going to Frying Pan Park when I was a kid, in fact my memories are mostly of GG (the lady who would stay with us when my parents would go on trips) taking me, and somehow that seems to make the memories that much more special.  Anyhow, I figured it was time for Adam to check it out so with Kathleen and Olivia in tow, we headed over on a beautiful and sunny morning.

Spring is definitely a great time to visit, I couldn't believe how many baby animals we got to see.  The kids were mesmerized, pointing from one animal to another.  It's really great how close up you can get. 

While all the animals were fun to see, I'd say a highlight for Adam was getting to test out the various tractors.  It's clear he takes his tractor driving very any good farmer would. 

To top off our morning at the farm we took the kids on a carousel ride.  This was Olivia's first ride on a carousel and Adam loved having his cousin along for the ride. 

It was a great (free!) morning for the cousins, for the mommies, for the aunties and for the sisters! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Date the woods...

Last Friday we sent Adam off to Grandma and Grandpa's while Andy, Liddy and I headed out to the woods for a night of camping at Pohick Bay Regional Park.  Our main goal was to map out our spring break trip and put together our packing/grocery list for next week's trip to Myrtle Beach.  Of course, that didn't take quite as long as we thought, so mostly we just enjoyed the beautiful scenery and relaxed. 

Pohick Bay is another place that makes you feel like you must be hours away from home, and yet it's a 15 minute drive from our house.  With awesome views of the water and great hiking trails, it's a wonderful campground and the clear starry night didn't hurt!

We had a great assortment of cheese and crackers for happy hour and then grilled up some shrimp to put on salad for dinner.  We snuck in a post-dinner walk around the campground and then settled in by the fire.  It was a great evening and I'm sure I'll find that grocery list somewhere! ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"How 'bout day?"

Every night, even before Adam could even answer, before he goes to bed, one of us sits in his rocking chair with him to talk about his day.  Awhile back, our daily question of "Adam, tell us about your day, what did you do?" Turned into Adam prompting us after bath and brushing teeth to do "How 'bout day." 

I have to say, on nights when all we want to do is go right from bath to brushing teeth to bed, Adam catching us and reminding us that, "no, we gotta do how 'bout day first," is a great reminder that we should take some time to unwind, as a family, and talk about what happened in all those hours that we were apart. 

It's definitely a special part of the day where we'll hear about what he had for lunch, which kids got into trouble during the day (even fessing up to his own mischievous behavior) and highlighting his favorite parts which tend to involve playing outside. 

Recently we've started to prompt Adam to ask us about our days...I mean it's only fair.  It usually goes quickly from us trying to get in a few bits about our day to him laughing about something one of the Lillys in his class did. 

However tonight, Adam told me to sit down so he could do "How 'bout Mommy's day." A little shocked, and mostly hoping that he didn't expect I'd sit in his lap, I proceeded to sit in the rocking chair as he sat Indian style across from me on the ottoman.  He folded his hands in his lap and asked, "So Mommy? Did you go to work today?"  "Did you have meetings?" "Did you take Liddy for a walk?" "Did you see the space shuttle on the 47?" "You did?? Yay!!"  And he then proceeded to clap his hands in excitement for the great day I had.

Even if I hadn't written this down, I know I'd never forget it...

Monday, April 16, 2012


I remember I was sitting in board meetings in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I remember checking the news at our break at lunch, mostly just trying to escape Robert's Rules of Order for a few moments.  Just trying to find some normalcy in my day.  I remember seeing the headline that a shooting had taken place at a college.  At my college.  Suddenly I remember praying for normalcy and for some "rules of order" to wipe away the chaos I was reading about. 

I remember feeling like I was in a daze and yet everyone around me seemed to be carrying on as usual.  Sure they had read the news and perhaps the gravity of it just hadn't hit them yet, but all of a sudden we were being called back to order and I was back to reporting out on financials and strategic goals.  I suppose I took some comfort in this distraction.  Surely by the time the meeting was over I'd find that it was simply a joke.  Some article from The Onion that had somehow found it's way to the USA Today

Instead, as my meeting adjourned I was confronted with the bitter truth that in fact 32 of my fellow Hokies had lost their lives.  They had lost their lives on the same campus that I had called home just four years earlier.  They had lost their lives while filling their minds with the knowledge that was to carry them throughout the rest of their lives.  They had lost their lives to someone who had lost their way, had lost their sense of humanity.

I remember sitting in the hotel bar that evening with my members and volunteers and I listened as they carried on about their day.  Talking about the meeting that had taken place and the future of the organization.  I remember that my eyes were glued to the television.  Watching ambulances and squad cars race across my beloved drill field.  I watched as the students cried and hugged one another.  I watched until I realized I had more important things to do. 

It was then that I started making phone calls.  Lots of phone calls.  I called my husband, whom I'd met on that campus, I called every friend and roommate that I had current numbers for.  I knew they were safe, they had to be safe, they had all graduated and moved on.  And yet there was this need inside of me to know for certain that they were ok.  My heart ached as I heard each friend answer and in those moments I thought of those that were on that campus making the same calls only to not hear an answer. 

My blood runs orange and maroon and I remember feeling so ashamed that I didn't have anything orange or maroon in my suitcase to wear the next day.  How could that be?  

I then remembered my first class at Virginia Tech.  It was 9:15 on Monday morning.  I was so proud that I had managed a schedule that didn't require an 8:00 wake up on Monday morning.  I remember walking across the drill field, still weary of the outfit I'd settled on, shorts and a t-shirt, not too casual, not too dressy, but then, how did college kids dress?  I remember walking up the steps to Norris Hall and entering the lecture hall and taking my seat right in the middle.  I remember thinking how lucky I was to finally be a student at Virginia Tech.  To finally be a real Hokie (having played one for many years in my previous life.) 

I remember then the sensation of the wind being kicked out of me.  How could so many Hokies have lost their lives in the same place, the same campus, the same building, where my life really began?  I've always been a proud Hokie, I was born a proud Hokie, but in that moment I knew that being a Hokie had taken on a new meaning.  

The next morning, without an inch of orange or maroon on me, I sat in my second day of board meetings, and listened as our chairman asked that we all take a moment of silence to honor Virginia Tech.  At that moment I was proud to consider everyone in the room a Hokie because let's face it...the world could use more Hokies. 

"We will prevail...we will prevail...we are Virginia Tech."

Pedals and Wedges...

Loving that the sun is staying out later and later.  It's great being able to get outdoors after dinner to burn off some extra energy before bath and bed!  The other night we took Adam's bike out for a spin.  He is still trying to sort out how to pedal, but we're getting there. 

We also worked on Adam's short game, hitting a few balls around the yard.  Adam seems dead set on being a lefty on the course--which is ok, a lefty did just win The Masters. 

After his practice round Adam was willing to sign a few autographs, waved to the crowd and even looked ready to toss his ball into the crowd.  A true pro in the making!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hunting for eggs...

Adam had a great time hunting for eggs in our front yard.  His face would just light up when he'd find another one.  He was so proud of himself.

Once his basket was full he decided to check out what all that rattling was inside the eggs. I'm not sure there is anything that can make my son grin such a big grin as an Easter egg filled with M&M's (or rocks, as we still call them). 

Easter is the promise of great things to come and M&M's are just the icing on the cake!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Easter!

Even though Adam's pink eye kept us from church Sunday morning, we still had a great day celebrating with our little family. 

The Easter Bunny even found his way to our house, even though we originally told him we'd be at Grandma and Grandpa's.  Adam was spoiled with some new puzzles, a new train, a "DinoTrain" coloring/painting book, a helicopter and a space shuttle.  He loved it all!

We spent the day cooking up an Easter feast, putting puzzles together, hunting for eggs (more on that later) and of course, watching The Masters.

It wasn't the day I had planned, but I'm not sure it could have been any better.