Thank Goodness It Is Monday…

…now we can rest!

THAT was an insanely crazy weekend and I’m looking forward to a hopefully slower-paced week so we can all get a little rest and recuperating done.

Thank you for all of your well-wishes, presents and phone calls on Em’s birthday yesterday. She had a blast and truly felt loved. She even told me that yesterday was the best birthday EVER. No pressure for next year or anything!

Since we had a big party last year, I told her we needed to keep it small this year. She invited a few of her friends and we went to Common Thread, a sewing studio and lovely Jin helped the girls make monster pillows.


You should totally stop in for a class or visit with Jin and her cute puppy, Lucca – it is such a cool place!


Next we went to Mix ‘N Munch for lunch. They have gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches…and about 50 different kinds of cereal. Yes. Like cold cereal and milk. But…that is what Em wanted and that is what she got.


(Like how Daddy is clearly feeling outnumbered by all of the girls as he sits patiently in the back corner?)

Then we walked down for a little Menchie’s treat. Again, Em’s choice.


I love that pic of Em. She had something in her eye and I didn’t realize it when I took the photo – but I love that she looks like she is winking. Such a cute 8-year old!

What a blessing it is to know that Em has such a great group of girls to depend on and have fun with!


Some of the girls went home at that point, but the party didn’t stop. Em decided she wanted her ears pierced. Yeah, I know she doesn’t look too sure of it here…


…but she powered through…


…and now has some bling!


And is also now obsessed with cleaning/turning/admiring them.

So it was a pretty full birthday. Throw in a jog-a-thon, Girl Scout meeting, birthday dinner, a Silent Auction for the girls’ school, bringing in 200 pairs of shoes the Brownies collected for Japan, a little bit of gardening and…oh, YEAH…signing all the paperwork on OUR HOUSE, and it was a pretty full weekend, too.

C’mon, Monday. Bring it.

It is GREAT to be EIGHT.

Dear Emma Gracie,

Today you are eight. For the past few months your answer to all questions has simply been, “I can probably do that when I am eight,” or “Yeah, I think I’ll do that when I am eight.” So I’m thinking starting today you are going to be able to do EVERYthing.

Although, I think you are pretty much on your way to doing every and anything you put your mind to. I am forever astounded by how *old* you seem. Each day you try something new, figure something out on your own, or surprise even yourself with a new discovery. It is so exciting to watch, with just a little twinge of sadness. For as eager as you are to be older, Mommy is just as hesitant to let go.

But the more we let you go and explore, the prouder you make us. You are a spectacular girl. I’ll try to stop calling you “little” now that you are “8 years old!” (*said with the rolling of the eyes*) But you will forever be my little Gracie Girl. And I hope this is your best year yet, baby.

Happy Birthday, Emmy.

eight years of emma grace from carrie voris on Vimeo.


This has been the longest week, ever. I am so relieved to finally be at Friday. The time change (yes, let me complain about it one more time – and then no more, I promise!) really reeked havoc on our mornings around here. It should not take two small girls an hour and ten minutes to eat, get dressed, brush teeth and hair, gather their school things and walk across the street. Yet we have been sprinting through traffic and up the sidewalk as the bell is ringing at least 4 of the last 5 days. Not a great way to start the day.

This morning I am feeling a little “off” still. I was trying to blame an icky tummy yesterday on maybe some bad eggsalad? But I think it is more likely just due to stress and nerves since it was still hanging around this morning at 5 when I woke up. Yes, 5 as in A.M.  I hate that, but sometimes it is just better to give in and get up for the day than lie in bed and think about all you should be doing instead of just…lying there in bed.

So I was up early and feeling “iffy.” The girls were not up early due to the time change (ok, really – that is the very last time!) and they were feeling lollygaggy (didn’t you know if you add a “Y” to a word it makes it a legitimate adjective? It’s true!) so we were scrambling yet again.

“Have you brushed your teeth?”
“Have you packed your homework?”
“Do you have your shoes?”

Ahhhh…a lot of  “no’s” complete with empty stares. Like this is the absolute first time we have ever had to get ready for school.

Finally get them deposited at school, after owing at least $1 to the Lent jar (gave up yelling at the girls for Lent. Ha!), and get home to start stripping the beds and picking up the house.

I start to throw some stuff on Em’s desk and just about come unglued when I realize that despite asking her continually for the past week to clean up her desk, I cannot even SEE the top of the desk! “Packrat” doesn’t begin to describe that girl!

I’m just about to storm out of her room in a fit, which really is kind of counter-productive if you think about it since I am home ALONE…nobody cares if I stomp around angrily, and then I see – tucked amongst the Pollys, scraps of paper, and old homework, this…


Ooooh…this girl is good. And she knows how to use it.

Eyes Wide Open.

This morning it looked like a scene right out of COPS here on our little, quiet, neighborhood street. There was an attempted burglary. There was a lockdown at our school. There was every cop in the city on our street. And there was a suspect handcuffed on the curb in front of our house. And that was all before 9am in the morning. It was quite an eye-opening experience, that is for sure. All of the suspects were apprehended and our quiet little town has since returned to normal, or as close to normal as we get here in barely controlled chaos-ville.

We might live near LA…but it certainly isn’t the ghetto. Things like this don’t happen here, do they?

Earlier this week we started out at the “Happiest Place on Earth” where I was treated to another eye-opening experience. Since we had the day off of school I promised the girls I would take them to Disney and we invited our friend Audrey. It was a pretty popular destination since a few of Em & Audrey’s friends showed up as well. (They also happen to be some of my Brownie girls, too…they are the best girls ever!)


Girl Power. My little 2nd grade Brownies took on Darth Vader in the Jedi Training Program.


It is a thing of beauty to watch these girls grow literally right in front of my very eyes. It is also a little bit heartbreaking. I can’t think of them growing up without getting that tightening in my chest and a little bit weepy. But look at them! Even last year, there would have been no way that Em and Audrey would even think of getting up in front of hundreds of people on stage to learn how to use a lightsaber. But there they were…


Tell me she doesn’t look like a focused, well…at least twelve-year-old!

Yeah, it has been a trying week on many fronts.
But it is nice to have my eyes opened every once in awhile. I certainly don’t want to miss any of this crazy thing called life.


Newest fishy in the sea.

Her month of hard work has paid off. Her coach told her last night she is ready to move onto the swim team.


She literally “lit up” when they told her. She is clearly very proud of making the team and I am so very proud of her, too.

And I am very impressed with her desire to get into the freezing pool every single night to practice. And also that she has a seriously wicked butterfly stroke. So much better than her mama’s…by far. Her Coach walked her through it for the first time last night and I think surprised everyone with how quickly she got it.

Now whenever Coach T. says they are going to do a race, Em asks “can we do the butterfly stroke?” (Cue the rest of the class groaning and complaining.) I just pray she continues to be so in love with swimming when she is required to swim an hour every night of the week.

(Tonight’s photo credit goes to Addie. She is not going to be impressed with spending that much more time at the pool, I can tell you that much.)

Day One Down.

Today was the first day of a much-needed four-day weekend.

We stayed in our jammies for a good part of the morning. Jamie (the other Birdie) and I put together six supercapes for a birthday party order we have next week and I took the girls to a yummy lunch.

Then Em and her BFF, Audrey, visited Aunt JB where they got to be voice talent for a little webisode that hopefully will air on the website – you can bet I’ll let you know if it makes it live.


They were awesome. And they are so funny together.

Although, this is the smile I get from Em these days…


Not so funny. It is a kind of “half” smile. I think it is because she is afraid that her tooth is going to fall right out of her head.


Yeah, that front tooth on the right is just hanging out…I’ll have to tell our “tale of the lost tooth” from a few weeks ago when I get a free minute, maybe over the next few days “off.”

Addikins (and all her teeth) were along for the ride today, too.


Throw it down (inside your head)

In order for this whole story to make sense (or for you to find it half as funny as I do!) you have to know the rest of the story.

So, Em was introduced to Miley Cyrus’ song Hoedown Throwdown two weeks ago by her friend Bella. Oh yes, complete with a dance routine and they have been recruiting their second-grade friends to perform it in the school Variety Show. (Which isn’t until March – but that is a different story altogether.)

Em has been singing this song non-stop for the past two weeks. I may or may not have asked her a few times to “sing inside her head,” for it is one of those songs. It gets stuck in your head and you end up humming it while you are brushing your teeth first thing in the morning and still singing it when you are putting your pjs on at night.

So I was at the recycling center this morning dumping the mixed paper into the bin when I saw this…


Oh…snap! Not even an anonymous note. Audrey put it out there and even signed her name. Apparently her friends are a little over the Throwdown, too. She did ask nicely with a please, though.  I’ve been laughing about it all day.

Not that I want to thwart your love for music, Em – but maybe you should sing it inside your head…

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School’s In Session

And now we have a super second-grader….


And a kickin’ kindergartener….


Although they were not feeling very cooperative this morning…


At least not cooperative at the SAME time…


Emma looks to me like she is heading off to fourth grade! She looks so old.


And once she found her BFF, she pretty much charged into the classroom and never looked back.

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Addie was a little more cautious and unsure. But she was happy to have her best friend to walk to school with.


And after signing in…


And a little quiet time in the classroom with Daddy…


She was all set and ready for school.

And Mama walked back home with Daddy with dry eyes.

Yes, you heard me! The world did not implode. The hours flew by and before I knew it – it was time to walk over and pick up both my girls from school.

A good first day for all of us.

We’ve got ants!

E: “Daddy! My ants came today! 50 of them!
D: “Um…aren’t we generally trying to keep ants OUT of the house?”


The Ant Hill was one of Em’s purchases with a birthday gift card. We anxiously awaited the arrival of the ants through the mail, and once they finally came, Em studied the instructions to make sure the ants got into the Hill with no incidents.


And we’ve just been waiting for them to get accustomed to their new surroundings.


They’ve provided hours of entertainment already…


…and have even inspired this week’s creative writing entry for Em’s homework.


Clearly it is the most exciting thing going on around this place.

Birthday Wish ~ Best Shot Monday

This isn’t my shot – I was actually delivering the cupcakes – I think either Jam or Uncle Jeff took this one. But it is the one photo that stopped me as I was downloading my camera tonight.

I just love the look on her face. She was so excited by every little part of turning seven. From having all of her very best friends over for the tea party, to the family date night, to all of the awesome wishes and gifts from family and friends, I think she was a little overwhelmed this weekend, but I think she has decided that seven is a pretty good thing.

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