Emee and Camille

February 7, 2015

Taken on the morning of my sister's return to Louisiana, before the tears began to flow and the reality of her departure hit. We have loved having my sister in the DC area for the past few years and will really miss having her so close. 

The Storybook Village

January 28, 2015

When we built our storybook village back in 2011, I had no idea it would grow to become one of our favorite winter traditions. Camille was 4 or 5 at the time and it was a fun way to create spaces those characters who dominated her imagination and lived in books that had to be read again and again. Each year we pull out the village and Camille adds new elements...new literary neighbors, snow men, trees, etc. This year's new additions included an extra large house for the BFG and a clock tower for Hugo Cabret. Not only is it a lovely way to decorate during December and January, it is also a nostalgic and colorful trip down the lane of her favorite childhood books. Not sure how long she will continue to add to the village over the coming years, but it is certainly something we will all treasure for a long time.

Ryan and Noah

January 16, 2015

This silly little song made me cry tonight: 

I'm very glad I got my puppy
Because yesterday it turned into a bulldozer.
And when I was riding it, it turned back into a puppy.
It kicked me away.
The very next day it turned into a grape and I ate it.
It wasn't very yummy . 
It exploded in my tummy and I had to get surgery.
It wasn't very nice. 
They forgot to give me rice.
So I asked a chicken for its egg, and it said yes.
When I was holding it in my hand it, went
P-O-O-F, P-O-O-F, P-O-O-F 
People Order Our French fries.

Written by a couple of second grade boys, this looney little tune became their anthem. They sang it, chanted it, yelled it and taught it to everyone around them. And tonight, five years later, that little song popped up on Noah's phone and made me cry. 

Ryan, who has been Noah's best friend since we lived in Sicily, sent it tonight to Noah via text message along with a little note that said "Remember this?". Yep. We all remember it and what's even more amazing and tear-inducing for me is that their friendship is still going strong despite living on two different coasts, despite entering middle school and changing voices, and despite long gaps of time between visits. These two military kids have managed to maintain their connection and that just makes me choke up. It really does. 

Three years ago when we boarded the plane to leave Sicily, we weren't alone. We flew on a military flight surrounded by other military families moving back to the States and amazingly Ryan's family was also assigned to the same flight. This meant the boys were able to hang out together aka gorge themselves on movies and DS games for the entirety of overnight flight, but it also meant that they were able to extend their time together before we all said our good-byes at the pancake house and headed for our new stateside duty stations. We promised to stay in touch and talked about far fetched plans to get together, but to be honest , I just wasn't sure when or how our paths would cross again. 

And then the harsh reality of adjusting to Stateside life began. Both boys struggled to adjust to new schools. Both boys had to work hard to make new friends and figure out how to navigate a very different world far from the security and familiarity of a small overseas military base. There were phone calls and in November of that first year, Noah boarded a plane by himself and headed to California. It was a much needed boost for both of them. We all vowed to keep the boys in touch. And we did.

Last year Ryan flew to Arizona to spend time with us. The boys text and face time on a fairly regular basis. And tomorrow Noah will board another plane headed to California for a long weekend with Ryan's family. Somehow despite all of the miles between them, these two military kids have maintained a bond that I hope will continue for a very long time. 

Scottsdale, Arizona 2013

Snow Day

January 10, 2015

 Earlier this week we had the first snow of this winter season. So funny to watch Hugo experiencing this winter phenomen for the first time. Similar to Camille's initial reaction to sand at the beach, he was, at first, pretty cautions,  but within short order he was romping, bouncing, and frolicking with glee.  School was canceled, snow ball fights ensued, and sledding occurred. It was a good first snow.

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