Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Adara Swings

While Emily was laid up with the flu a couple weeks ago, I got to spend some time with just Adara.  She was so beautiful and fun playing on the swings with me.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Becky & Brian's Wedding

This was one classy wedding and we had a great time all weekend celebrating with family & catching up with friends.  Yummy pizza dinner (I'm still thinking about that pizza actually...) on Friday night, hours hanging out at an open house at Becky's & Brian's on Saturday (pinochle, Madeline reading to the three younger kids, Adara & Jack eating their weight in pistachios, kids climbing on Uncle Alden...) and then the big day on Sunday!  My parents graciously watched the kids for a lot of the weekend (we are so spoiled!), including all day on Sunday, freeing us up to focus on celebrating.  Alasdair & I spent the day with the men/women respectively... from what I hear, the guys mostly watched football at the bar while we watched Becky & Eowyn have their hair & makeup done at Becky's.  (Funny aside - the makeup artist, who was really sweet, turned out to be a close friend of one of my best friends from high school.)   Lots of things went well - the weather was perfect, travel from the Head of the Charles regatta was minimal, and the Red Sox won the ALCS in 6 games so as not to conflict with the wedding.  Becky had done so much good planning ahead of time that the weekend was pretty stress-free.  I've never been a part of such a calm wedding day! 

All of these pictures (except the obvious blurry ones from my phone) were taken by the photographers - Chris and Sarah Photography (

writing a letter to Brian (iphone)

The wedding itself was just the upscale yet cozy event I expected.  Alasdair performed the ceremony, which took place on the landing of an ornate staircase while the guests watched from below.  Libbie walked Becky down the "aisle" and Eowyn was matron(!) of honor.  After dinner, the immediate Groves family carried on the parody tradition, and the evening flew by amidst much talking & dancing.  I was so busy I forgot to eat cake - a first!

(the blurry pictures are mine)



A few bonuses... while we were in town, we just happened to find exactly the car we were looking for.  So, as of today I am driving this.  Wow.  Also, Jesse, Joya & Kirsten came up to NH after the wedding, so we got them all to ourselves yesterday evening.  :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Our weekend

Alasdair & I knew we'd lined up an intense fall for ourselves with 10 out of 11 straight weekends of travel by one or both of us from Sep through mid-November.  We did our best to compensate for Alasdair's work weekends by having him take extra days off, although of course there have been some extra factors that have eaten in to that margin (a flooded basement, extra work responsibilities for Alasdair, and first trimester tiredness for me -- oh hey, I guess that's an announcement:).

Anyways, this is weekend 6 out of 10 and the longest (by about a half day:) stretch that Alasdair will be gone.  He's at the CCEF National Conference in Texas, which has been very full but very good.  Here he is moderating a panel discussion during one of the main sessions.

Poor Emily is down for the count with the flu (thanks to the flu vaccine she got this week - sigh) and it's hard to see her so sick.  I'm thinking we're through the worst of it, but after three nights of croup and then 48 hours of high-moderate fever, body aches, intense fatigue (ie she literally hasn't gotten out of bed/off the couch in two full days) and lack of appetite (a few bites of food a day, plus some gatorade and water), I think it will take some time to recover.  Thus far the rest of us seem to have avoided it (fingers crossed!).   Thankfully, even though we can't be out much, I have had some help while A is away - some friends taking Adara on Thursday (before I knew she'd been exposed to the flu!), my mom here on Friday morning and the Eikoffs (who we'd already exposed) coming to play in the leaves today while Emily napped ...

(more cute pics from this series on our picasa page)

and then having us over to celebrate little Emily's 2nd birthday.  It was a sad little party.... Emily weak on the couch, little Emily with a cold (we hope!) and not wanting to eat.... but the grownups enjoyed the yummy snacks and Alex & Adara had a great time playing with balloons.  :)

Two funny little Emily moments.
1- After a couple days of not talking unless necessary... while in the car today Emily whispered barely audibly: "Mom, have you ever been baptized?"
Me: Yes.
Emily: Oh.  I never have.
Me:  Actually, you were when you were a baby.
Emily:  When you're baptized, you keep your clothes on when you go in the water.  I learned that in Sunday school.
Me: What else did you learn about baptism?  What does it mean?
Emily:  I don't know anything else about baptism.

2- I'd told her before we went in that her friends' dad would be at the birthday party, and was wearing his "doctor clothes" (scrubs), and that he might have some ideas about how to help her feel better.  She was laying on the couch when he walked into the room, and she immediately started telling him in her weak voice, "I threw up two times last day..."  He kindly crouched next to her and talked to her a little about how she felt.

I tried to put Adara (who has been her normal non-stop all weekend) to bed to early tonight and she wasn't ready to sleep.  She came out right away, took herself potty and brought me her pants & diaper to put back on.  Maybe 10 minutes later I heard some noises from where I was working in my office and peeked out to see her quietly reading books on the couch in the almost-darkness.  I decided to pretend I hadn't seen her and let it go.  After about half an hour, I went out, took this picture, and put her to bed.

Adara is two!

(outtake from our family church directory photo & running around the rest stop on our trip to PA)

Adara has seemed like a two year old to me for awhile now, so I was somewhat mentally prepared for this birthday.  She continues to amaze us (and keep us on our toes!) with her spunk and determination.  She's very active- constantly moving, running, climbing.  I'm always impressed by her toughness - when she falls down, she usually says "owwwch!" in a loud joking voice, and gets right up.  She's a ham, and knows when she's making me laugh when she should be in trouble.  She's very attached to mommy & daddy, but also wants to do things herself, and especially wants to do everything her big sister does.  I asked her who her best friend was, and without a beat she said "Emily."  She is social and often wakes up from her nap asking, "Play fwends?"  Her verbal skills have really taken off lately, she's speaking in full sentences, though she still veers off into fully unintelligible paragraphs sometimes. :)

Her favorite toy is her baby doll, especially loving to change her diaper.  She's developed the attention span to sit still for books, and asks to be read to constantly.  Her most comment request is to go to the "pwaygound."  I think she could be potty trained very easily - we tried it officially for a couple of days a month or so ago and she did great, but then decided she wanted to wear her diaper again.  She uses the toilet a lot, I haven't managed to be consistent with working on it...I have a feeling (a hope at least!) that she will just decide she's ready and that will be it.

I haven't really done birthday parties for the girls at young ages, but my friend Jill & her kids set up a celebration when we went over to play last week - complete with balloons, a gift & brownies!  What good friends!!

Her birthday was also the day of Shannon & Tyler's wedding rehearsal, and they gave all the girls really fun fairy dolls.  Between that and her other new doll from Daniel and Rosalie, the beloved doll collection got a real boost this weekend.  We also celebrated at Granny's house when we were in Philadelphia the weekend before... so I think she knows she is loved even if I didn't throw her a party. :)  I think her very favorite part about turning two was having her carseat turned around to face forwards "just like Emily."

We spent time with extended family last weekend at the wedding, and heard over and over that she looks just like me at that age.  Since Emily is pretty much all Groves, it's nice to see my genes coming through. :)

snuggling with mommy on her birthday morning

Thursday, October 10, 2013

One Wedding to Rule Them All

We spent last weekend in Westport for wedding #4 of 6 this year for my cousin Shannon's wedding.  Honestly, it was worth the trip just for the drive through Vermont peak foliage on Friday afternoon.

This was a Lord of the Rings themed wedding, which sounds like it could have been a kind of cheesy, but they did such a nice job with it that it didn't feel that way at all.  It was set in the spectacular backyard of our family friends the Sherman's.  Alasdair's officiated the wedding, and his Gandalf costume was the most dramatic.  Shannon's gorgeous dress was made by her grandmother-in-law.  Adara, Emily, Rosalie & Izzy were hobbit-style flower girls, and Daniel as the ring-bearer carried a sword. :)  My girls surprised me by refusing to walk down the aisle, so I had to escort them.  They both dumped their baskets upside down to drop the petals.  Oh well, at least they looked cute.  Mike also walked Daniel down the aisle, so it ended up being a whole family affair.  During the reception, there was archery and pumpkin painting, and the meal was catered by the same local farm who'd done Rob & Katy's rehearsal dinner. Yum.  At the end of the night, the guests released these really cool fire-powered lanterns into the sky.

 keeping an eye on baby Evie

The dinner the night before the wedding and breakfast the day after were both hosted at Stonysides, which I thought was a really fun way to experience a part of the family property we rarely see.  One of my favorite parts of the weekend was seeing Daniel & Adara play really well together (she's finally old enough to keep up with him) and also to see the girls play with their second cousins Izzy & Maggie.

We also celebrated Adara's birthday throughout the weekend, with candles in her Ernie's chocolate chip muffin (who needs cake?!), Mimi's fabulous homemade play-do, and a new doll from Daniel & Rosalie.

Happiness is a table full of cousins.

Daniel was so excited to give Adara the gift he'd helped wrap.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Philly trip

Alasdair had to spend a few days in Glenside to teach at CCEF (11 hours of teaching in 1.5 days!) a few weekends ago, so the girls and I tagged along to visit Granny.  Eowyn came up from DC to see us, we had visits with the Larsens and Leanders, and worshiped at New Life on Sunday morning.  A great little trip. :)

 Emily & Madda bounced on the trampoline for about 45 minutes straight.

 Olive, Madda, Emily, Adara

 celebrating Adara's 2nd birthday a week early with new baby doll accessories

 Smith Playground with Luci Leander

 4yo class at New Life.  The look on William's face kills me every time.

 McDonald's playplace stop on the way home.