Wednesday, February 24, 2021

On Emma's Birthday


Bunny bunting (perfect for Easter and spring!) made by my Aunt Gail! 

Dolly Parton. Emma's favorite singer. A perfect gift from some of our most favorite people! Thanks Winkley family! 
Grace gave Emma items for her bunny! Lily-Rose is checking out her new hiding spot! 

Lily-Rose is just the sweetest! 

So many wonderful cards and letters (and even a comic book)! Thank you, everyone, for helping to make her birthday so very special! 
Boston Cream Pie Cake from Flour Bakery made for a very sweet ending to a very sweet day! 
Everything about today was so perfectly Emma and made for the most perfect thirteenth birthday celebration for our sweet youngest daughter! This birthday is one that we will all talk about for years to come! xo 

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Ultimate Birthday Surprise

Yesterday we pulled off the ultimate birthday surprise for Emma! With her birthday being a Sunday and Sunday being ski team, we had decided weeks ago that I would come up around 4:30pm and we'd have her birthday dinner there. A few weeks ago David said to me that we should get her skis for her birthday and that after dinner that day we could head to the ski shop and she could choose them and then have them ready to use the following week. A little over a week ago I said that we should do one better and have them ready for her to use ON her birthday. He loved that idea however, we'd need to sneak one of her boots out to make that happen. We decided that we'd run to Wachusett right then, telling the girls that we were off to do errands and we'd be back later.
When we go to the ski shop we found the skis and let the staff in on the plan (which they loved). We paid for the skis, bought two cider doughnuts and set off for home. During that drive we hatched the plan on how to pull this off.
Our plan (and hope) was that she wouldn't figure out any sooner than maybe Saturday night that one of her boots was missing. We would say things like "Emma, how did you loose a boot?!" or "See this is why I am always saying that ya'll need to put things back where they go." It was also decided that I would drive everyone up at 6:30am so that we "didn't have two cars there." We looped Grace in to the plan and began to hope that we could pull this off without a hitch!
Yesterday, we got to the mountain a little after 7:00am. Dave got out, Emma got out, Grace was taking a little longer (not surprising). Dave has a mat that they use for changing in and out of boots that he puts down near the car and they begin to get boots on. All of a sudden Emma says: "How do I only have one boot?!" and Dave replies: "What do you mean you only have one boot?" At this point Grace and I both get out of the car and look at her as her mind is boogled. I said "well, lets see if we can rent ONE boot!" knowing full well we can't. Dave replies that he needs to pick something up at the ski shop before we head to rentals. Emma grabs her skis and she and I head over to put them down and wait for David and Grace. On our walk over, Emma tells me that she really needs new skis for next year because her current ones are way too short. As we stand and wait for the others to arrive she is still perplexed..."I just don't know where that boot went. I know I brought it home. Maybe it's in Daddy's car???"
Dave and Grace arrive, he makes some more "dad comments" tells her to grab her one boot and we head in. He sends her over to go wait as he picks up the thing, then calls her over. She arrives and the staff have the two boots next to each other and the new set of skis. The staff, Dave, Grace and I wish her "happy birthday" and she then realizes what's happened and is blown away! Brand new skis on this gorgeous bluebird day for her thirteenth birthday! What could be better for a skier born in February?!
The pictures at the top of this post have been lightened so that Emma and her smile could be more easily seen. The pictures below are the straight-out-of iPhone ones. I kept them because I love how they show so perfectly how beautifully blue the sky was yesterday! xo

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Happy Thirteenth Birthday, Emma!


This sweet girl turned thirteen years old today and David and I just cannot even believe it! These thirteen years have passed by so incredibly quickly. It seems like just yesterday we had welcomed her into the world and here we are, thirteen years later, about to embark on the next part of the journey with her! We are in awe of the young woman she has become. We are so grateful that this sweet soul chose us to be her parents and we truly cannot wait to see what this next year has in store for her! Happy birthday, Emma Faith! We love you to the moon and stars and back and will be with you every step of the way (for the big things, the little things and everything in between)! xo 

Be sure to check back tomorrow when I share the story of Emma's ultimate birthday surprise! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

So, This Happened....


I am thrilled to get to be a doctoral student in the Walddorf cohort at Antioch University starting this fall! When I was an undergrad at the University of Hartford I had said that one day I would love to have an EdD. Of course, back then I also thought I was going to have four children and be done having all four of those babies by the time I was thirty! Oh, to be twenty years old again! Needless to say, since returning to The New England Center for Children this past August I have been toying with what my next chapter looks like (and doing some serious Googling). I knew that I needed to go back to school. And I knew that I really didn't want a second master's degree (unless it was an MDiv). The big question was what did I want a degree in? The more I thought about it the more I realized that if I could earn an EdD (or PhD) in Waldorf education THAT would be a dream come true. So, I took to the internet, Googled "EdD in Waldorf Education" and bam! the program at Antioch turned up first in the list of results. As I read, I knew that this was the program I was looking for! Antioch is pretty much the place to go for a degree in Waldorf education, and to have it here in New England just makes it even more fabulous! This fall is the first time they will be offering an EdD with a specialization in Waldorf education (in honor of the 100th anniversary of Waldorf education) so getting to be part of the very first cohort makes the entire thing even more special! I love that they are out-of-the-box thinkers. I love that they weave social justice into every thing they do and every class that they offer. I love that they would take a chance on a mom like me who was home raising her girls for fourteen years and homeschooling using Waldorf methods. I was honestly worried that me being home all these years and not racking up accolades and publishing in journals and making a name for myself might have worked against me, but they must have seen in me the potential I have and the unique perspective I bring! I am nervous to return to graduate school this fall, as so much has changed since I was last there. And I have no idea what I am getting into in regard to dissertation writing, but I am super excited to learn and grow as an educator and see where this community and this degree will take me! xo 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Valentine's Day Skiing


Valentine's Day falling on a Sunday means that they spend the day at one of their most beloved places! xo

Saturday, February 6, 2021

A Sweet Ending


A perfect winter evening to break in the brand new fire pit, and a perfect excuse for some Reese's s'mores! Have a wonderful rest of the weekend, everyone! xo

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Tuesday, February 2, 2021



There is nothing like waking up to a gorgeous winter wonderland outside! xo 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Some Incredible News!


On Saturday the girls auditioned for the summer dance intensive at Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. Walnut Hill is an incredible private high school here in Natick. It was a rather last minute decision, as it had been on my radar since this time last year, and then I hadn't checked to see when auditions were until this past Friday and wouldn't you know, they were the next day! And there was still room! It was absolutely a sign that they were meant to audition. So, David and I chatted with them to ask if they would be interested. After a few questions and some family discussion they decided to go for it. At lunch time that day we took the required first arabesque picture that each would need the next day and registered. 

With buns in their hair and their ballet shoes and pointe shoes in their bags, David drove them over for the 10:30am audition. He wished them luck and headed out to run a few errands before heading home. Together, we headed back over for 12:30pm pick up and they came out beaming. "It was SO fun, mama!" "Everyone was so nice!" "We did great!" "I got to be at the barre with the other girls who just started pointe while Grace and the older girls went across the floor!" Their smiles said it all. It was then that I said a little prayer "please let them make it." I knew that most in attendance were coming from some very serious ballet schools and I wasn't sure if our girls skills were going to be up to par with the other girls who were auditioning. The one thing we didn't know was when we would hear the results.  Thankfully, we wouldn't have to wait long! The two emails above arrived late this afternoon. With snow falling beautifully outside, I called the girls to come join us in the kitchen and gave them the good news. There was much rejoicing before they headed off to go tell their friends!  We are SO proud of them for being invited to such an elite program! We have no doubt that those two weeks will be absolutely incredible for them and that they will grow as dancers by leaps and bounds! My only concern is that we will have now opened a can of worms and that they are going to want to go there for high school (and who could blame them? After all, with their love of dance and the arts that would absolutely be the perfect place for them). Now, if only we could find that money tree.... xo