Sisters, friends, blessed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Mornings

Thursday mornings are pretty special around here.  Sacred really.  For the past 4 and half years, Thursday mornings have been Kyle's family morning with us.  First, it was a 'Daddy Date' with one year old Hadley, while I was busy nesting for the arrival of Piper.  Then, for Piper's first year of life Thursday mornings offered vitally important time for both Kyle & Hadley to bond and appreciate one another's love for all things outdoors and adventurous.  Even at age 2, Hadley was game for just about anything Daddy had in mind.  Once Piper was old enough to have dropped that morning nap, Thursday mornings became a welcome and much anticipated haven of family time each week.  Magically dropped in amongest the craziness of Kyle's busy week, and mine running after two toddlers, it was always the most refreshing part of the week. Our adventures started out small but have grown over the years to all sorts of fun.  

While out hiking together this morning, quietly observing deer along our path, trying out different walking sticks, finding 'treasures' along the way, and holding sweet little hands, I began to realize that our sacred & treasured Thursday mornings will be changing once again with the coming season. And while they won't end, they will certainly take on another shape with both the transition of Kindergarten and the new baby.  A new shape that will likely feel funny at first, but will grow into a whole new kind of sacred. 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Special Sleepover

With my due date fast approaching, the girls got to have a very special sleepover at Auntie Kara & Uncle Frank's house this past weekend so Kyle & I could prepare the nursery.  While the girls were in Auntie Kara's loving care running through sprinklers with Sydney & Ava, picking wild raspberries, eating popsicles, grilling out with Uncle Frank, visiting the farm with Grandma & Grandpa A, and eating s'mores around the campfire, I had Kyle up to his ears in putting things together!  

We were both up til midnight on Saturday hanging room darkening curtains, banging together a new dresser, putting the girls' old crib back together, etc. And were up bright and early on Sunday to quickly finish up before meeting back up with the girls.  We also had the special project of putting together a 'big kid' room for Piper, as she still sleeps in the crib-turned-toddler-bed, and making a new office/craft area as the office space is now the nursery. Just like we did for Hadley's birthday last year, we redecorated Piper's room and added a big twin sized bed for the almost 4 year old!  While Hadley had requested pink, purple & blue butterflies for her birthday room, Piper wanted a yellow & orange frog bedroom.  When asked what her new room looks like, she is always quick to add, "Not real frogs though."  To which I am never quite sure if she is happy or sad about! 
SO excited to be going on their sleepover!  Even Piper, who's never been over night without us!
With Auntie Kara  - Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a special weekend!!!

I am happy to report that the nesting, er I mean rearranging & redecorating is nearly complete and looks wonderful.  The frog bedroom was an absolute hit, as well as the new craft area.  Now if the baby could just wait to come until after the Summer Olympics are over (so I can watch & enjoy them this time, unlike last time when Piper was born on opening day) We Are Ready!

One Month

Oh. My. Word! Where has the time gone?  We are down to just one month left until Baby's due date on August 23rd!  And are the girls ever excited!  So excited, in fact, that they think it would be okay for the baby to come a little bit early (little being the operative word here) so they can hurry up and meet their new brother or sister!  They both think that our baby is going to be a little brother, but Hadley is quick to admit wanting it to be another little sister (and who wouldn't when you've got such a great little sister like, Piper!).  For whatever reason, both Kyle & I kind of think it is going to be a boy as well, but we would obviously joyfully welcome a little girl too! 

Both girls have offered up suggestions for names. Hadley likes 'Steegal' for a boy (something she made up).  And Piper has only offered up such suggestions as 'Pancake or Tomato' with a knowing smirk.  Fortunately, I think Kyle & I have narrowed the search down, and have one name for either a boy or a girl.  

We visited the midwife last week for our 35 week appointment, and the girls were a great help... I have a feeling they will be a great help once that little baby arrives as well! 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Family Vacation TOP TEN:

Ahhhh, family vacation.  Here at last!  Once again bringing warmth, sunshine & sweet memories for the rest of the year!  We ventured on up to Northern Wisconsin this year, (a little earlier than usual to avoid actually having the baby while there!) to a great little resort in Eagle River.  It was a lovely week just the four of us.

10. Golfing~  Kyle got in a round of 9 right at our resort, while the girls (and I) thoroughly enjoyed playing caddy to him.

We all got in a little mini-golfing as well.

9. Fishing ~ The resort had a beautiful little island area that was just right for fishing off a shady dock, and were the sunfish ever biting!

8. Ice Cream EVERY Day ~ In keeping with our now 3 year tradition, we ate ice cream every single day!  
Root beer floats & ice cream sandwiches topped the list.  Leave it to Piper to find a way to make a root beer float messy (you retrieve the ice cream with your fingers apparently!).

7. Critters ~ We saw a lot of different animals while up there, but 'Chip' tops the list.  The resort area was a chipmunk haven, and the girls could not resist feeding 'Chip' when he arrived at our screen door several times each day! 

We also visited Wildwoods Animal Zoo, where Hadley happily fed all kinds of different animals; including: giant bucks, parakeets that landed on you, & goats to name just a few!

The bird house was nothing short of amazing if you could get over wings periodically side swiping your head! 
While Piper on the other hand, kept her distance from the animals that might 'eat her clothes, or climb on her, or scratch her!'  She'd rather stick to frogs & worms :). 

6. Beach Time ~ This was the first time we had beach access just footsteps from our resort cabin, and we loved it!  Piper could have floated all day.
And Hadley could have splashed around all day.

5. Bond Falls ~ We drove up into Michigan one morning to hike through Bond Falls.  It was breathtaking, refreshing, and to be honest...quite the workout for this nearly 8 month pregnant Mama!  But, obviously SO worth it!

Contrary to our experience hiking over last year's family vacation, Piper was a trooper!  Never whining or asking Daddy to carry her, WOW!  As for Hadley, we could hardly keep up with her!

3a. Extra 'Happy Hadley' Time ~  It was wonderful to have so much undivided time with our Hadley girl!

 Always skipping!
Squeals of delight!

3b. Extra 'Peppy Piper' Time ~ It was wonderful to have so much undivided time with our Piper girl!

Ever the ham!
Lovin' on a frog, imagine that.

2. Sister Love ~ The girls were delighted with the pair of twin beds they found in their bedroom, and spent each night giggling in each others bed until lights out.  I even heard Piper say the first night, 'Isn't it good to be sisters, Had.' Hadley followed with a resounding, 'Yah!' 

1. Family Time ~  We had much to be thankful for, just the 4 of us, ahhhh.  One. Last. Time!  It was amazing how many different times the girls thought up things they couldn't wait to do with 'our baby' on next year's vacation.  They are going to be such wonderful big sisters, what a blessing! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Graham Fam 2012

It was time for the annual Graham Family Vacation at my parent's lake home this past weekend, and was the weather ever perfect! Professional photos started the weekend out.  Brooklyn & Hadley afterward.
Piper & Savannah afterward.

Piper got in some good volleyball time with Grammie afterward too.
I know, that just might be the dorkiest picture of us yet, but we sure had fun playing Indian poker once all of the kiddos were in bed!

Off for a pontoon ride Saturday morning, and Grandpa had a lot of 'helpers' driving the boat.  Kenzie & Piper pictured.

Some pretty cute and cozy Dads & daughters.
We docked across the lake for some beach time and brunch at the lake's restaurant, Westwood. Where Piper & Brooklyn set right to work ridding the area of 'Ew' (aka seaweed).

Wow! Look at that 'Ew bucket!'
Hadley found time to dig & splash with little cousin, Kenzie, as well as pitch in while Kyle and her uncles made a HUGE sandcastle along shore!

Had to take a little time out to compare those growing bellies!  Those lucky little cousins are due just 6 weeks apart (me in Aug & Heidi in Oct)! 

Not surprisingly, the Dads thought they needed to join in on the bulging belly pics!  

And as usual, the highlight of the weekend was the endless hours spent swimming in the pool together!  Piper & I taking a little time out from splashing around.

Hadley was a little fish, enjoying every minute of the silliness any one of her uncles, or her dad, or her Grandpa, or Brooklyn had with her in the pool.

All 15 (+) of the Graham Crew!  How lucky & blessed we all are!