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a day in my life (april)

The excitement of turning 41 was not very, but I did have a nice day celebrating with my family the day before my actual birthday (which fell on a Sunday which is a no-go for anything very fun. Ha.)  Instead of moping around about how Dave and I didn’t go out for our anniversary a couple of days before… and the fact that my birthday looked like it could very well go by with an equal like of “hurrah,”  I decided to be pro-active.  I opened the birthday card from my parents, deposited the birthday check, and told the family we were going to Nashville to see some botanical gardens.

As family outings go, they rarely go as planned.  Since we were all going to be starving by the time we made it to the gardens, we decided it would be foolish to make everyone wait to eat ’till we felt we’d gotten our money’s worth out of the gardens.  So, we chose to eat first.  We took a chance and drove to The Old Spaghetti Factory.  For some reason, Dave and I have never had good luck getting into TOSF within a reasonable time frame.  We were pleasantly shocked when we walked in with the family and were seated right away in what appeared to be “the royal room for families of six whose mama’s are turning 41.”

It was an awesome meal.  How fun (and unusual) to be at a NICE restaurant where the kids could order (and eat) something other than chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese. (Well, I did talk Seth into choosing spaghetti over the mac and cheese, and he did not like it.  Because spaghetti is his favorite meal at home, I couldn’t quite figure that one out.  Nonetheless, 3 out of 4 child eaters is considered a win.)  The little two got a cotton candy soda and the rest of us ordered cream sodas that came with the special souvenir glass.  (I’m happy to report that nearly 3 weeks later, all four glasses are intact.)


After our lunch which was so good, I didn’t really feel like going to the gardens anymore.  After all, there we were in downtown Nashville with plenty to do and see, so we opted to just walk around a bit.  We stopped at the river where Faith and Seth were able to pet some giant poodles and before we headed for home, we visited a candy store.  It was a very fun family outing and I felt very blessed to enjoy it for my birthday.

Visit my friends who are also choosing one day a month to document in photos. Next up in the circle is Jessie. Check her out.

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April 24, 2014 - 8:23 am

Sara - Happy 41st Birthday!!! We love TOSF too!

a day in my life (march)

Project day was a snow day this time. (Yes!) I’m glad it was, or I’m not sure I would have braved the sheets of ice while sporting my husband’s boots. I have a prominent fear of falling on the ice which has been perpetuated by falling on the ice. But the risk was well worth it to see the kids merrily sledding and the drippy ice twinkling.

I invite you to check out my brilliant friend Andrea’s blog and continue around our circle.

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March 24, 2014 - 8:06 am

Kristina Knight - What a fab day – and fab pictures, Clair! We’ve had our share of snow days, too, but most have also been too cold for sledding. :( At least it’s pretty to look at, right?

March 24, 2014 - 8:24 am

andrea - the kids look like they’re having a blast. you crack me up with your fear of falling on ice comment.

March 24, 2014 - 9:35 am

Ella - I love all the pictures but that top one is spectacular!

March 24, 2014 - 11:11 am

sara - That the so cold but so very fun!! The pictures are beautiful!

a day in my life (february)

Had a bit of trouble finding my mojo for the project this month.  But Presidents day came, and Dave was home, and the kids were home, and we left our home and got outside!  It was just what we all needed– some fresh air and exercise on a nearby trail.  I was the slow poke, lollygagging behind the crowd taking photos with my iphone.  The brave boys went all the way to AND across the bridge, while the girls and I called getting to the bridge “far enough.”  It was a great day for the soul- all of them.

I’m sure the rain held off for as long as it could.  Only the lollygaggers of our bunch got a little wet as we packed back into the Suburban and headed for home.

Please visit my sweet friend Tara’s blog, Confessions of an Armadillo, for another interpretation of “a day in my life.”


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February 24, 2014 - 8:30 am

andrea - I love your pictures! You even do amazing work with a phone cam. Great eye.

We need an outdoor adventure over here as well. The winter blahs have set in under these gray PNW skies. Thanks for the inspiration!

February 24, 2014 - 10:54 am

Kaleena - I love that very first photo with the barn!
Kaleena recently posted…a heart.My Profile

March 3, 2014 - 4:18 pm

Marlene Griner - I love your photography. You see the world in a beautiful way. Love, Mom

saying “yes” on Valentine’s Day

I’m not known for getting too festive, but this Valentine’s Day I did a little more than nothing.

Each child got a gift to their liking;  Olivia- a pair of comfy Marvel socks and ear phones, Paul- a Pokemon XY card set, Faith- the Frozen CD (and no I don’t regret it, yet) and Seth- Super Buddies DVD ( I couldn’t resist the golden retriever puppies dressed in capes and masks. )  Dave and I exchanged treats too with him getting extra points for chocolate covered strawberries.

Anyway, Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday this year and it was a teacher workday, so no school for the kids.  When I realized this I knew I needed a plan… what could I do with the kids on this holiday?  Make sugar cookies?  No, I don’t like to make sugar cookies…  Wait, Clair… this is about the kids, not you.  The question is not, “what would you like to do?” but “how could you show the kids love on this Valentine’s Day?”   Make sugar cookies?  Yep. This would be the real gift to them.  Isn’t the true spirit of giving best demonstrated when one sacrifices her own wants/comfort for the happiness of another?  (Ah… light bulbs are going off and decades of church attendance are paying off.) You see, I almost never make sugar cookies because it seems to be such a time-consuming and tedious process (not to mention messy— flour all over the table and sprinkles that you will be sweeping up for days after you thought you had already gotten the last of them.) Anyway, whenever someone suggests it, I usually say “no.”

I’ve recently read some great articles about “saying yes.”  Samantha Hines’ “Say Yes” piece from The Creative Mama really struck a chord with me last year, and I’ve recently been given the gift to reflect on the topic some more after reading “Saying Yes More Often” by Ginger Unzueta.  While the kids didn’t actually ask to make sugar cookies (surely, they had given up hope long ago,) I still felt like initiating this project was a way for me to say “yes,” and that is what I wanted to do.  Yes, I would rather see the kids smiling and talking with each other rather than staring at a screen of some sort.   Yes, I would like to spend 7 hours making cookies that will be gone in a couple of days, because I want to spend that time with my children who are growing up oh-so-quickly.  Yes, I’ll let go of the worry about the mess because we will be making a memory which lasts longer than messes.  ”Remember that one Valentine’s Day when we made the heart shaped sugar cookies and everyone was getting all creative, especially Dad who made stripes with the frosting and even got into a little sgraffito action?”  ”Remember when we learned that purple wasn’t the easiest color to make with frosting and we ended up with more of a gray?”  ”Remember the day after Valentine’s Day when we subsisted on sugar cookies and leftover pizza?”  (Wait… that last memory is one I’d rather forget.)

So here’s to saying “yes” more, and bon appetit!

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February 19, 2014 - 2:19 pm

Ella - When I say yes to sugar cookies I also say yes to pillsbury refrigerated dough. ;) they look great! Fun day!

The littlest Valentines

Faith and Seth both had fun with Valentine related school activities.  The traditional making of the Valentine’s mailbox made for a creative evening.  Seth was very vocal about what he wanted his to look like. His pattern would be “red heart, green heart, card…” all around the bucket.  He also asked requested that heart on the top of the bucket be cut to look like a broken heart which could doubled as a cracking dinosaur egg.  Only trouble was that on the weekend after the school party, we found the Valentines Seth was to give to his classmates still in his bucket.  I asked what he was doing when the other kids were passing their cards out, and he just wasn’t sure.

In order to cover up a “Dr. Scholls” logo on her box, Faith found some Christmas duct tape.  Here’s to originality.  Maybe it’s sort of like dressing up as Santa Claus for Halloween (which is pretty genius.)

Now I have to add my two cents worth on the new trend at school for the distribution of Valentines. Why are teachers telling the kids NOT to address the cards and to only sign their name? Hello!!! The whole fun of the entire Valentine exchange is picking out the perfect card for each of your friends and crushes and then analyzing every card you receive until you are satisfied with the deeper meaning you’ve extracted from words such as “I hope you will BEE mine.”  So I must say, I feel a little bad for Faith who is totally at the age to get into that.  She could have had at least 3 hours of fun plotting her “tos” and explaining her “froms.”

After school it was time to cut up the rug, AKA the gymnasium floor. The elementary school always sponsors a dance near Valentine’s Day. When I first heard about this tradition, I thought it outrageously inappropriate for their age level, but I have come to see it for what it is… a big party with music and cupcakes and pizza and a little dancing.

It was at one of these Valentine’s Day dances two years ago that I first saw Seth dance… I mean REALLY dance. I was shocked. I had no idea that this three year old’s interpretation of dancing was to get on the floor and bounce from hand to foot, twirl around, and repeat. I never taught him this, nor did his dad nor older siblings. I’m guessing he must have watched a break dancing movie from the 80s or something.  Nevertheless, THIS is how he dances.

After the dance, I was talking about how I couldn’t quite capture Seth’s moves on my iphone.  One of the kids asked me why I didn’t video tape it.  Hmmm… it didn’t occur to me!  I’m still getting use to the iphone and will try to remember it has a video camera next time.

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February 21, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Ella - This post is so awesome. Jane got to address her cards this year. She spent a long time on it! But I never noticed the post analysis. Maybe next year. Too bad for faith. Hilarious about Seth’s dance moves.

February 28, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Paul - I am leaving a comment to prove I am reading your blog. Clair, you are so talented. Mom and I love reading about you and your sweet family. Wish I could have been there to partake of some of those great looking sugar cookies. Love, Dad.