Puddle Jumpers

Rainy Days are a bummer.  Except that rainy days sometimes bring rainbows, and they ALWAYS bring puddles!

When you play in puddles, you get all wet.  I don’t think they mind.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

This was 2 seconds before she face planted and the fun was over.

It was a blissful 15 minutes though.

These kids are my favorites.

the first lady and me

Michelle Obama and I have so much in common.  Right?  She was on The Daily Show on Tuesday with her new book:  American Grown.

The Daily Show with Michelle Obama

The Daily Show with Michelle Obama, pt 2

OK, so we don’t have a lot in common, but now we BOTH garden. And she’s totally right. Our kids LOVE fresh fruits and vegetables – I think in part because they help grown them, pick them at a local berry farm, or help pick them out at the grocery store or farmers market. Most of the time, that’s what they eat first off their plates. Both of them chowed down on the green pepper we picked Tuesday night.  And they can put away some blueberries like it’s their job.

I think this gardening thing is going to be much fun.

The raised bed Russ built for our very first garden, filled in with compost and organic gardening soil

A few weeks after we planted…nothing was dead yet:  success!

We purchased plants for the top tier (roma tomatoes, grape tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and jalapenos) and tried out organic seeds on the lower tier (carrots, green onion, spinach, cantaloupe, and watermelon).  Russ has been faithfully watering the garden, and I have been faithfully weeding.  Caleb tried to sabbatoge the jalapenos and zucchini by pulling them up (because that’s what it looked like I was doing, I suppose).  But we saved them.  Taylor and I check on the vegetables almost every afternoon to see how big they are getting and if they are ready to be picked.  And Tuesday, they finally were!

Taylor grabbed her bucket to collect our loot.   Then we both went inside to wash everything and get it ready for dinner.  She was very excited and wanted to try all of the goodies that came out of our very own garden!

Our first harvest:  Green pepper, Jalapeno peppers, itty bitty carrots, giant grape tomato, and green onions

We had a mighty good salad last night.  Wow, fresh really does taste so much better!  I highly recommend this gardening thing.  Fun for the whole family!

THE bridge

In the Lowcountry, we have the Ravenel Bridge, sometimes called the Cooper River Bridge, but most people just call it THE Bridge.   It has it’s own website.  It’s a pretty bridge; it’s on a lot of Charleston merchandise, second I would say to Rainbow Row.  People run on it – I even saw a woman running the steep incline part while pushing a double stroller, so the bridge obviously has magical powers.  There is the Cooper River Bridge Run with some 40,000 participants (crazies, I say).   We walked on it at 11:00 pm with 12 middle school girls wearing glow jewelry during a lock-in a few weeks ago.   It has some pretty impressive views from the top.  For us, it’s Pops and Grammy’s bridge because it’s the way we get to their house….you know, over the river to grandmother’s house we go.

As we were out and about yesterday, we caught the bridge from several different locations.

The view from Waterfront Park in Charleston

The view from Shem Creek Park in Mt. Pleasant

The view from Memorial Waterfront Park in Mt. Pleasant

The view from the bridge, on our way home after a busy day

what dreams are made of

Last Christmas, my sister and brother-in-law gave us a fire pit.  We were really excited about, but there was always some reason we didn’t actually USE it…it was too cold or too hot or too light outside or raining…or Russ was working late…or I was working late.  You know, life.  But last weekend, we decided it was the perfect time to try it out.  So great! And now we are hooked.  We did it again last night.

I mean, really, what’s better than sitting around the fire on a crisp fall evening sipping hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music, roasting marshmallows, making s’mores and hanging out with your favorite people?  Nothing.  Nada.  The only thing that would make it better is if Caleb would refrain from trying to touch the fire and therefore be allowed to hang out with us.  So far, he’s only made it 5 minutes before I put him to bed so we can enjoy the time without fear of third degree burns and a screaming toddler.  But the upside of that is that Taylor has gotten some good quality time with the undivided attention from both parents.

Last night we sat around talking for a while.  Taylor finished her hot chocolate, then pulled her s’more apart, ate the melty chocolate, then scraped the gooey marshmallow off the cracker, then decided to put the cracker in the bushes for the ducks.  Then she wiped melty chocolate and gooey marshmallow on her jeans (*note to self:  bring wipes outside next time).  She sits back in her chair for a minute gazing into the fire before looking at Russ and saying:

Daddy I want to cuddle with you.

and climbs up into his lap with her blanket in hand.

His face was covered side to side with a grin of perfect contentment as he says back to her:

I love you so much.

She gives him a kiss and says:

I love my whole family.

Then she snuggles her hello kitty hat covered head under his chin as he and I share a glance that confirms that this is what dreams are made of.

fickle

Back when it was winter, I could not wait for it to be Spring….to be able to go outside without a coat and gloves…to be able to get in my car in the morning without scraping ice off my windshield.  When Spring finally showed up, I thought “Spring is my favorite season!”  And we went outside every afternoon and played.  I pulled my flip flops back out.  Life was good.  But the love of Spring was quickly followed by the longing for summer and the kiddie pool in the back yard and THE BEACH.  Then when it was warm enough for the pool and the beach and the waterpark, I declared “Summer is my favorite season.”  But then it was hot, with temperatures over 100 for many many days, and I began to long for fall.  When fall arrived, I thought “Fall is surely my most favorite of seasons!”

I mean, with fall comes football, Taylor’s birthday, Halloween, and the fair.  It’s good times.

As fickle as I’ve been with the seasons, I am pretty sure fall is really my favorite season (I know I won’t long for winter).  We’ve had a lot of fun so far this fall.

We’ve had soccer games (Taylor played; Russ coached; I chased Caleb around the field)

Taylor rides her bike every afternoon – it’s getting hard to keep up with her now.

We play in the backyard almost every afternoon as well.  If we don’t, Caleb stands at the backdoor screaming and pointing.

Taylor LOVES doing homework.  If she doesn’t have any, I have to make some up.

And the best thing about fall:  we finally hung my hammock.

There is nothing better than swaying in the hammock while the kids play in the back yard on a crisp fall afternoon.  Nothing.