Thursday, March 19, 2020

Lily Turned Eight! The Birthday Questionnaire

  1. What is your favorite color: pink, purple and blue
  2. What is are you looking forward to in the next year: Going camping in Yellowstone and eating s’mores. 
  3. What is your favorite fruit: avocado and oranges 
  4. What is your favorite movie or TV show: Who was series (on Netflix) or Matilda 
  5. What is your favorite season: Spring because it’s sometimes warm, but sometimes it rains. You never need gloves to ride bikes to school and all the flowers bloom. It's just so pretty.
  6. What is your favorite animal: Puppies and bunnies.
  7. What is your favorite song: Any song from the Hamilton soundtrack
  8. What is your favorite book: Harry Potter and Babysitter’s Club and Whatever After 
  9. Who is your best friend: Simone, Daisy & Lily (cue heart-melting)
  10. What is your favorite thing about school: science + art + writing
  11. What is your favorite sport: ballet
  12. I am best at: the splits and cartwheels. (Mom's Note: She practices all the time, so I would expect this to be the case). 
  13. What is your favorite snack: chocolate rolls and smoothies
  14. What is your favorite dessert: cupcakes
  15. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be: London or Hawaii
  16. What do you want to learn more about: Dance History and Art history. Also, cooking. 
  17. What do you want for your birthday dinner: Sushi. (Mom's Note: on her actual birthday Alicia had pneumonia. She still wanted to go out for sushi and we had a lemon sheet cake for dessert. We did all that - but, she barely ate any. We still owe her a proper sushi dinner.) 
  18. What do you want to be when you grow-up: a dancer  
  19. Where is your favorite place to go: Anywhere. I just want to go anywhere right now. (Mom's Note: We are on day six of a home quarantine because of the COVID-19 virus. The kids missing school and friends and activities.) 
  20. What is your favorite game: Sleeping Queens 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Letter to my Wild One: Five and a Half

My dearest Violet,

This letter is coming to you closer to your half birthday than to your actual birthday, but I guess that’s life with three growing and active kids, right? But truth be told, I’ve been waiting for the exact right moment to write your birthday letter. The words have been swirling around my head, but the stillness I needed to write them and the ability to exactly articulate what to say have been missing.
At five years old, you are something of a conundrum. Most days you are generous and creative, but also hot-tempered and bossy. And sometimes, you manage to be all at once. In this past year, you have burst forth from your babyhood into a real-live girl – one who attends kindergarten! And rides a two-wheeler bike for miles at a time! Who takes piano lessons! Who races at swim meets and plays soccer and does gymnastics! A kid who hikes up steep hills and runs 5K races! A girl with best friends and drop-off playdates! A kid who is starting to sound out blends and words! A girl who loves to walk her puppy and rollerblade around the court! A girl who loves to bake cookies and dance around the kitchen. But, never fear my wild angel, you still love nothing more than a long morning snuggle complete with books (and coffee for me).
This past summer, we took our family vacation to New York. We spent a week playing tourist around NYC – playing in central park, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, taking in the views from the Empire State building and eating all the pizza we could handle. The second week we spent touring upstate New York, spending time in Ithaca, Lake George, and the Catskills.
In Ithaca, we went to Robert Treman State Park to hike up a set of waterfalls. The hike was rugged and wild and beautiful. It was hard, sweaty work, but we laughed and played and took in the magnificence of it all.  At the end of the seven-mile hike, there was a stream-fed natural pool beneath the waterfall – complete with a diving board. One by one, we all took to the diving board to jump into the sixty-something degree water. You were bound and determined to do as your sisters did, and step by step you climbed the ladder. I watched you take tentative steps towards the end of the board, your eyes focused ahead. You stood at the end of the board looking down, and after what seemed to be an agonizingly long ten seconds, you took a deep breath and jumped.
Sometimes in your life, there will be moments when you will need to hold tight to your courage and you will wonder if you enough faith to support you. There will be moments when you will be so filled with awe and joy, you will wonder how to hold it all. And there will moments when you will encounter such loneliness and emptiness, you’ll wonder how to survive it. This does not mean something is wrong with you. This means you are human. My hope for your life, wild one, is that you welcome all three.

Because here’s the honest truth about life: It will not be perfect. It will be messy. It will be chaotic. It will be beautiful. It’s you. Showing up. Shining your light.
This year, at five (and a half!) rotations of the sun, I see you a little different. I see you a little more wild. A little more luminous. More comfortable in your own skin. More accepting of this messy, heart-breaking, hope-drenched life you live.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky and all the water in the ocean.


Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Five (and five months!): A questionnaire

  1. What is your favorite color: red and purple. black. green. blue. and white. (I'm guessing it's all of them).
  2. What is your favorite toy: stuffies (She does love her stuffed animals and does all her creative play with her favorite stuffed animals.) 
  3. What is your favorite fruit: apples or grapes 
  4. What is your favorite movie: The Grinch or Spirit (We watched the cartoon version of The Grinch almost every day between Thanksgiving and New Years. We have since cut her off.) 
  5. What is your favorite thing to wear: dresses 
  6. What is your favorite animal: puppies, horses, and bunnies  
  7. What is your favorite song: "Small Boat" and "Hygge" (This is Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" - I love that she calls it "small boat" and never correct her. I hope she calls it this for her entire life. Her other favorite is from the Broadway Frozen soundtrack.) 
  8.  What is your favorite book: Ivy + Bean (We have been reading through the entire series this past year - and have loved them all. Other favorites include Bear and Mouse, Mother Bruce and any from the Bear Book Series by Karma Wilson 
  9. Who is your best friend: Shea (These two are the cutest friends.) 
  10. What is your favorite breakfast: chocolate chip pancakes and bacon 
  11. What is your favorite lunch: macaroni and cheese (Its not just any macaroni + cheese - it's Annie's that is her absolute favorite). 
  12. What is your favorite dinner: spaghetti and meatballs or cheese pizza 
  13. What is your favorite snack: banana bread 
  14. What is your favorite dessert: cotton candy (Mom's note - she had cotton candy one time when she was three. She still talks about it.)   
  15. What do you sleep with at night: all my stuffed animals and Piper 
  16. What is your favorite thing to play outside: ride my bike or jump on the trampoline with Shea or walk Piper around the block. 
  17. What do you want for your birthday dinner: this girl celebrated her birthday in upstate New York. We celebrated that day with a sunset boat ride on the Hudson and pizza at Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company 
  18. What do you want to be when you grow-up: a teacher, a car driver, and a mom 
  19. Where is your favorite place to go: Lake Tahoe with Shea or Grandma and Grandpa's house to go swimming. Even in the winter!! 
  20. What is your favorite game: Uno Dare