Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where we live.

This doesn't have much to do with Emily, except that a lot of this was about making our house a baby-friendly place.

We have an arrangement with a lovely Dartmouth professor & local pastor to rent a home he owns at a discounted rate in exchange for doing our best to get & keep it in good shape. If anyone is interested, click on the link below for an album with some before (taken before we moved in in August) & after (taken the week before Thanksgiving) pictures:

A VERY BIG thank you to my mom who helped me with all of the painting as well as some cleaning, and to Alasdair who did all the bathroom upgrades himself. Oh, and to my Grammy T. for the rug in the living room.

We still have more to do...I'm trying to get motivated to paint trim & sand down the window frames... we are hoping that "operation mousetrap" will take out the very noisy mice who seem to have taken over the attic!... we need to cover the windows for winter....maybe some more furniture & decorating..... but it's nice to have the biggest things settled!

We love being in a place that is so conducive to being outdoors. The cats are in heaven roaming the fields & climbing trees, Alasdair & I love walking on the trails & running on the dirt road, and Emily is always asking to play outside.


Cousin love.

It's been said many times, but we are so thankful for our families. We spent Thanksgiving with my side last week. Highlights: lots of time together in the living room playing with kids, watching football, talking, reading; the annual Friday soccer game & Ware family gathering; going for walks. Lowlight: Granny Ware's fall, broken hip, and waiting days for surgery. We were at least able to have a nice visit with her at the hospital. If you want to see all of the pictures from Thanksgiving, click here or on the words "view all photo albums" to the right.

The whole clan after Alasdair's sermon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Aunt Bucky came to visit! Heres what happened.

About 90% this:

Along with a little bit of walking in the rain, Emily & Becky pushing the stroller around and around the house, a smattering of grownup conversation & movie watching, and bit of this:

So much fun! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I have no idea where she got this from, but Emily is suddenly very interested in cleaning. Maybe she is trying to tell me something?

I found her at the end of a nap using a sock to rub at her sheet, saying "cean! cean!" and whenever she came to a dirty spot she said "ucky!". (In her defense, the sheet was pretty dirty.) In the grocery store while I was looking at orange juice, I turned around to find her rubbing her hand in a wet spot on the cloor. "Cean."

Friday, November 19, 2010


The first year we lived in Philadelphia, I did a lot of complaining about the weather (too hot! not enough snow!) and the customer service (pretty universally awful) and the general dirty city-ishness of everything. At some point I decided to start a list of all the things I really liked about living there. I never got around to actually writing it, but I did keep a running mental list of the things I would miss most. Emily & I are visiting for a few days, before I leave her with Granny Groves for the weekend & join Alasdair at the CCEF annual conference in Virginia.
This is our first real visit back (except for the moving weekend, which didn't really count) and I am struck by how much it still feels like home. I feel pretty settled in in NH, and happy there. But Philadelphia/Glenside is still very comfortable. It probably helps that it was 40 degrees & freezing rain in NH yesterday, and today it's in the 60's & sunny here.

So, I'm inspired to post about some of my favorite things about Philly.
In no particular order (except the 1st one:).

People. This one is obvious. We LOVED living 10 minutes away from my family-in-law; they aren't just family but among our best friends. We made other dear friends (mostly through shared Boston sports passion!) and couldn't believe our luck when a favorite Dartmouth couple moved to town last year.

(The only family photo I can come up with on short notice is from 2006!)

(Pre Evyn, Emily, Madda & Guilliam!)

Wissahickon Park. Philly has more trees & parks than any other city I can think of. This park was our woodland retreat in the midst of the concrete. Right off Lincoln Drive, but you feel like you're in the middle of the woods. Miles & miles of trails. Our entrance to the park is also down the street from our favorite cheesesteak place, and I would always start craving cheesesteaks at the end of a run. Dalessandro's should probably make the list of things I miss too!

Target. I didn't used to like Target. (Too much red...) In Philly we lived very near a terrible awful Walmart: badly organized, bad service and LONG LINES at every time of day. After one particularly terrible shopping experience, I left everything in my cart, drove the road to the brand new Target, and never looked back. It was clean! The carts rolled smoothly! The employees knew where everything was! Now we are back to the land of no-Target... sigh.

Springtime. Summer & winter leave a lot to be desired (see above) BUT fall lasts forever since it doesn't really get cold until December, and Spring is just spectacular. It comes early and the city bursts with color.

Germantown Avenue. The cobblestones are not the greatest for driving, and it takes ages to get anywhere on a Saturday... but it has so much character. The nice shops in Chestnut Hill (and the since-closed Borders where I waited in line at midnight to buy Harry Potter 7!) to the funky Mt. Airy restaurants (we ate a lot of takeout Indian food from Tiffin and spent many hours pre-Emily watching football games or unwinding after Frisbee games at McMenamin's).

Walking/running/biking/swimming along the Schuylkill. Colorful boathouse row. Brisk wind off the water. We spent many summer evenings biking the Art Museum to the Falls Bridge loop while I trained for the Philly Women's Tri. (Yes, I swam in the Schuylkill. And lived to tell about it.)

New Life Glenside. We loved our church. Vibrant, real, diverse. Serious about living out the gospel in the real world.

Walk A Crooked Mile Bookstore. This little train station - turned - amazing used bookstore was just over a (crooked?) mile from our house. A neighborhood staple, the owners would post warning signs of suspicious local happenings, host community concerts, etc. One winter the neighbors decorated with Christmas lights and set out gingerbread cookies & cider. We loved to stop & browse the outdoor displays while on a walk, and now & then would take the time to wander about the 80,ooo+ books crammed inside.

Citizen's Bank Park. One of the best perks of my job (2nd to the annual Bahamas trip!) was free sports tickets. I'm not a huge hockey fan, Sixers games are depressing (plus I go insane by about the 3rd time the automated announcer says "Andre Iguadala-dala-dala-dala..!"), Eagles tickets were hard to come by (plus I'm not sure I could spend that much time surrounded by Eagles fans... apologies to my siblings-in-law!)... BUT even before they were great, the Phillies were easy to fall in love with & CBP is a beautiful ball park. After growing up at Fenway, I couldn't believe a baseball stadium could really be that clean! I was able to go to 10+ games a year, and can't really picture a better way to spend a summer evening. Emily made her first trip at 6 weeks old.

Location. Philly is on the way to everywhere on the East Coast. We often got to see friends when they needed a place to stay along a road trip. We could also make weekend trips to visit friends & family in DC, NY, Boston, NH, OH etc. [Related: something I do NOT miss... driving through New Jersey.]

Smith Playground. If you have kids, you have to check this place out. It's huge, free, clean & diverse (I regularly heard 3-4 languages while we were there.) Lots of outdoor play areas, including a special spot for kids under 5, plus an old mansion that has been completely turned into a playhouse.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Visit to Philly

We visited my wonderful mother-in-law & brother-in-law on our way to the CCEF Conference in Virginia last weekend, and then left Emily there for the weekend. I'm pretty sure she never noticed we were gone! [I also got to visit Becky at the TFA! No pictures, but they couldn't capture the place anyway.]
Upon arriving at the house, she immediately headed for Granny (by way of the basket of books & this random hat). And yes, she wore her ladybug suit for the 7 hr car ride down.

When Granny couldn't be had, she enjoyed playing piano with Uncle Alden & bouncing on the trampoline with her friends William & Madda.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Things Emily Is Into: Fall 2010

Emily is still into a lot of the old favorites: books (she'll "read" to herself now too), rocks, bow-bows, etc., as well as some new things. She's becoming very verbal, so lots of her new interests have Emi-words to go with them. We keep meaning to write a list of all her words, but I think there are too many now.

"On! On!"
Lately Emily has been bringing me things to put on her. Usually her finger puppets, or a shirt she has dragged out of the bin of workout clothes that lives on the floor of my closet, or a jacket we've left lying around. Or her ladybug costume from Halloween. Here she is wearing Daddy's jacket.

[or "Hauwp" ? I can't decide how to spell it, but it's Emily's word for "help"]
She's learning to ask my for help when she can't do something on her own. But more often, she wants to "hewp" me. She has to have her hand on the handle of the broom or the shopping cart. She also likes to mimic what we are doing. She'll run her hand along the wall when she sees me painting, or join Alasdair in stretching after a run.

None of us can get enough of looking out the big windows into the field behind our house. The look & colors keep changing, and it's so pretty. Emily spends a lot of time looking out & pointing & yelling "neighhh!" [at the horses next door] or "muhn" [moon]. We also try to get out regularly to the trails in those woods.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I just found some old pictures on my camera, that reminded me of something I meant to post over the summer. I love corn on the cob. When it's fresh & local in late August, it's probably my favorite food. Here's a picture of Emily's involvement in eating corn in 2009... and then in 2010.

I'm glad she shares my love!