Happiness Is..{a day at the beach}

JDubbs and I took the kids to the beach earlier this month to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary.  We went out to dinner later that night, but during the day we just wanted to be together as a family.

In fact, I wanted to be present in the moment and give my kids all of my attention so I left the camera at home and just did my best with the Iphone.  These are undoubtedly snapshots, not portraits, and although they aren’t photographically perfect, the day absolutely was.

And that’s what’s important about that day.

Sometimes being aware of how perfect a day is as it is unfolding is one of the best gifts a parent can receive.

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Happiness Is…{a family first}

On my birthday recently, we planned on taking the kids to a local lake and enjoying the sunshine.  When the weekend rolled around, it was just too hot to think about basking in the sun, so instead we headed indoors to the local bowling alley for an afternoon of bowling and air conditioning!

Neither of our kids had ever been bowling, so JDubbs and I were really excited about this family first.  Em was totally into it, especially once she saw the purple balls; she even made the shoes look good!

Jax, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with those shoes, and so we explained that he couldn’t bowl without them.  We thought that bit of reverse psychology would work, but we were wrong.  He was fine with it and sat at the table to “keep score”–it’s all automated now, not like in my day–but he didn’t care!  We figured after watching his sister have so much fun, he’d eventually give in and join in.

We were right, but not the way we thought.  You know how you have to step up to the parquet floor on the alley?  Well, don’t forget, what goes up, must come down, and after about seven frames, Em fell off the step and whacked her head pretty good.  Combine that with the fact that it was close to naptime, she retired to the bench with her Binkie and Blankie for the remainder of the game.  At that point Jax was gracious enough to step in and finish her string and so he got a chance to play, too!

Sans shoes, of course.  Good thing nobody noticed!  He used the ramp to help guide the balls toward the pins, and between that and the bumpers, the kids nearly beat me!

But they did beat Daddy!  Bowling is the one of the only things where I am better than JDubbs, and it never gets old.  Perfect family fun!

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Happiness Is…{silly siblings}

Every now and then I think that JDubbs and I were crazy to have our kids 18 months apart.  But more often than not, when I see the fun that these two have together and how they are the best of friends, I can’t regret those sleepless nights or the few premature gray hairs I have grown!

All I hope and pray for in their future–besides good health and happiness–is that they remain such good friends.  Having siblings to count on is one of life’s blessings, and I can only hope that these two can always call each other their friend!

Such sweet, silly siblings!

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Happiness Is…{the darnedest things}

Remember that show with Bill Cosby, Kids Say The Darnedest Things?  Well Jax is now three-and-a-half going on forty and sometimes the most hilarious thing come out of his mouth!  Such as…

1.  Playing a video game at the local pizza place with Grammy, where you each get to steer a car around a race track.

Grammy to Jax, in her hard-core Boston accent: “Maybe next time your car will win.”

Jax to Grammy, with exaggerated patience:  “Grammy, it’s CAR not CAH.  You forgot the “errr” sound.”

2.  JDubbs and Jax come home to find our lilac tree has been uprooted somehow.  Bear? Gravity?  Who knows?  They go to investigate.

Jax: Daddy, what happened to our tree?”

JDubbs: I don’t know, buddy.  Maybe it just fell down.”

Jax, my own little Lorax:  “I bet the Once-ler got it.”

stellar photo credit to JDubbs

3.  Jax, playing nicely alone, in his usual good guy/bad guy mentality:  “Come on!  Let’s go defeat the bad whores!”

Me, choking on my soda:  “Jax! What did you just say?”

Jax, looking at me, puzzled and innocent: I’m battling the evil HORSE, Mom.  You know the one from Tangled?”

Me, feeling like a moron: “You mean Maximus?”

Jax: Yes.” but what he really meant was, “Duh, Mom. I’ve been saying “horse” since I could talk.  What else would I have said?”  Riiiiiiight….

And these are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!  Oh that Jax sure does keep us on our toes!

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Happiness Is…{littlest league}

I mentioned yesterday how Em and I spend our Saturdays together now that Jax has begun his fledgling baseball career.  JDubbs found a six-week mini-camp for 3-5 year olds, where they are introduced by a parent to the fundamentals of America’s pastime.

I’m not sure who’s more excited!

I can tell it’s just like when I took Em to my niece’s ballet recital–all those dreams and ideals about what it’s like to have a little version of yourself coming true.  JDubbs played baseball in college and it’s a passion of his–I bet this was what he dreamed having a son would be like.  I must admit, I certainly love it, too!

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Happiness Is…{bathtub babies}

Happiness Is the slippery, smiley, sweet faces of my babies in the bathtub.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating, especially with photos like these!

I think it’s the eyelashes.  I am a sucker for dark, drippy eyelashes.  And watching them play together so nicely.

Bathtime bonding in black and white is one of my favorite things.  What are yours?

Noggin!

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Happiness Is…{dancing and dandelion seeds}

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my ten-year-old niece’s dance recital.  JDubbs was at a concert so I brought the kids and we headed to the auditorium ready for some fun.

Em wore her tutu for the occasion.

It was so exciting not only to watch my niece perform, but to watch Em’s enchantment at all the older girls in their costumes up on the stage.  She sat in awe for three dances and then wanted to head onstage herself.  I literally had to chase her down the aisle and pick her up kicking and fighting to be let down so she could join in the performance.

After that we took a break and headed outside with my sister Jessie to give the kids a chance to stretch their legs.  We didn’t go far before a patch of dandelions caught their attention and we spent quite a while casting dandelion seeds to the wind.

Now my kids gather bouquets of them wherever we go.

Then back inside to see my niece perform 4 of her 5 dances.  I was so glad to be able to be there for her–even though we’re not too far away, our schedules often conflict with my sisters’ kids’ events.  I was so happy to be able to be there and for my kids to be there to share in her excitement, too.

Fun with family, enjoying our days.  Life is good.

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