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Friday, April 11, 2014

A letter to my (oldest) daughter: One Whole Hand

Miss Gianna -

Today you are five. A whole hand old.

You have told me so many times that you can’t wait to turn five so you can go to school and be in the big girl ballerina class. And I can’t wait for you to do all of those things (in the fall).

But five feels like such a big deal to me – so many adventures are coming your way (and have come your way over the past year) and that just goes along with growing up. And maybe that’s the part that I can’t quite get past, I love watching you grow but it’s hard to see all the “baby” parts of you leave one little piece at a time. Like how you only use your lovie some nights, and you say elephant the right way now.

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But I’m not sad that you are growing up – I love to watch you learn and explore, watching the world around you and how you experience it makes me smile bigger than anything else. You are hilarious, always making jokes and doing funny things. You are kind and respectful, always asking how my day was after work and that your sister is okay. You are lovable, with lots of unprompted “I love you, mommy”s and kisses. You are smart, chatty, sassy, strong willed.

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You are YOU! And I see such independence and uniqueness in you these days – from the outfits you pick out to the way you play with your toys. The stories you tell me, the games you make up. Your imagination is on fire!

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This year you have really learned what it is all about to be a big sister and you are successfully teaching Aleesia your girly ways. It’s so fun to watch you interact with her, especially now that she walks and talks and gets into your toys.

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You played soccer this year, you are doing great in dance, and you are finally catching on to swimming. Some of your favorite things right now are playing with Barbies, playing waitress or cash register, crafts, dress up, dressing up your dolls and pets, being outside, and anything related to FROZEN!

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We went to the beach with friends this summer and it was an unforgettable time. Time away from our normal life is so needed sometimes to just catch up and relax together.

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You have learned to write your name and are working on your letters and numbers. You are a wonderful artist, always wanting to do crafts and make masterpieces. And you are learning about faith and about God. This is something that we are working on together, whether you know it or not, and spending time with you at church and helping you to understand what is being said is wonderful. The simplicity with which you accept the world around you is admirable, and I hope you can retain that as you grow up because sometimes the answer really is just as simple as it seems.

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There isn’t always a lot of time that just you and I can spend together, but when we find that time we both hold on to it for as long as possible. Our relationship keeps growing stronger and stronger and each day I am reminded just how lucky I am that you are mine.

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Gianna, five is going to be so wonderful. We are going to tackle the next adventures in your life together, some things might be hard but like always we are going to work through them together because we are a team. I can’t wait to hear your little laugh and watch life as a five year old unfold through those blue eyes of yours.

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I love you more my little bug,

Mommy

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Birthday Eve Eve

I have had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that my baby is turning five. FIVE.

ONE WHOLE HAND.

I don’t even know, can’t even begin to put into words, how this happened so quickly.

Yet it wasn’t quick at all.

I remember snuggling that girl up in the hospital, waiting for someone to come in and tell me I was done babysitting or something. And then crying because she was MINE! Mine to snuggle for as long as I wanted.

It has been five years. Five of the hardest, most awesome years of my entire life.

And I still get to snuggle her as much as I want (although, she will tell you it isn’t always for as long as SHE wants at bedtime). But tonight, I snuggled her until she was asleep and she laid with me almost just like she did as a baby. Except you know, with arms and legs about 500x as long. But she always finds her same sweet spot right at my collar bone. The spot she was made to fit in for those snuggles.

I am normally pretty cry-y and sentimental-y but woah have I been a crying, blubbering, sentimental mess the past few days and I know it’s only going to get worse.  And it hit me that today is her birthday eve-eve. I will put her to bed as a four year old for the last time tomorrow night.

An awesome twitter friend put it best when she said five is hard for mom’s because all of their babyness is gone. We just registered her and had her kindergarten assessment this week (WHY did they schedule that on her birthday week!?). She is hilarious. And independent. And helpful. And sassy. And sweet. And she is not a baby anymore. She is a big kid. (and she will gladly tell you that all day long!)

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But she will always be my baby. And as I contemplate on just how I am going to remain composed over the next few days (and how in the world I am ever going to finish her birthday letter!) I will remind myself of all the AWESOME things this big kid is going to do in the next five years (and beyond, of course!). And we are going to have a seriously fun time celebrating her this weekend.

Because according to Gianna, five year olds are the coolest since they can chew gum.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

One month out

It hit me today that the half marathon is exactly a month away.

It also hit me that my training has taken a bit of a hit the past few weeks, at least my ability to run during the week.

I successfully completed 8 and 9 miles with a  good friend.

9 miles was really hard for some reason.  I don’t know why, but it was a hard run for me and a hard recovery. I ended up with HUGE blister on my big toe after which was so annoying (and ouchy). But the internet is amazing and gave me lots of awesome suggestions for running socks (who knew!), body glide and good old Vaseline between my toes (works AWESOMELY!).

But I pushed through and did 10 miles last weekend.  It was much better than 9, actually. I ran a steady pace at about 11:45 min/mile, which is juuuuust fine.  I didn’t hurt too badly after, I pushed myself when I needed to and my recovery was much better than the week before.

I am still a bit amazed that I ran 10 miles, actually.

A little less scared to add the next 3.  I am hoping to do 11.5 this weekend and 13 next. EEP!

I am trying not to feel like a slacker that I can’t get in 5 runs a week like my training app says I should.  I have to just be comfortable with what I CAN do and how well I can do it, right? I do everything I can to get those long runs in. But my motivation is waning a little bit – so feel free to cheer me on over the next few weeks, I think I am going to need it!

It’s getting real up in here, friends!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

dreaming of somewhere warm

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The great K debate

Never in a million years could I have a) imagined 4 years of parenthood could or would FLY by so fast or b) that where to send my oldest girl to school would be such a hard decision.

Mike and I both went to public school and it was fine – never really thought that we would send our kids anywhere other than public school, honestly. I’m not sure how the question arose for us, but within the last year we started talking about other school options and what might be the best choice for her/us.

Originally, we were unsure of the public school district we live in but we were assured that the level of education was nothing to be worried about. But somehow, we (me, mostly) still weren’t sure if that was the right place for her.  She’s a little hyper (yay, age of 4!) and easily distracted sometimes, she totally shuts down when Mike or I try to work with her on letters/numbers/anything education related really (and we do it just in everyday conversation, not in a “sit down and learn” kinda way!) and it turns out she does the same thing in preschool too.  The idea of sending her to school with 24 other 5 year olds to learn, when she doesn’t want to sit and learn, made me nervous.

Nervous that she would not pick up what she needed to, that she would get frustrated, that she needs more structure and even discipline in the classroom, if you will. Her prek teacher is a little…relaxed in the classroom which doesn’t do much for G. She pretty much requires structure to operate, and at the very least a regular predictable routine.  Sure, she adapts, but not easily or quickly as we have learned.

We are blessed to be able to afford the option of private school and we finally decided that catholic school was going to be the best fit for her. Maybe it will only be for one  year to sort of mold her and prepare her for what is expected of her at school, maybe not.  But we are all excited about it, nervous, but glad to have finally made a decision that we are comfortable with.

It’s going to be a big transition, there is no doubt about that. And we are hopeful mandatory uniforms will cut down on the morning escapades that often occur regularly.

BUT ALSO – my baby is going to Kindergarten! Hold me, tightly please.