Catching Up with a New Summer

Well, summer is officially upon us in New England, after a shaky and uncertain start. If ever more evidence was needed than this photograph, I am not sure.

So despite the fact that I have a couple more days of work at school, everything has taken a decidedly summer feel since Memorial Day. Even the grass seems to have excitedly come to life like never before, growing at a mutant-like pace, although I think that has to do with my wife’s tinkering with a secret chemical cocktail of fertilizing agents. That being said, the lawn has never looked better. Now all I need to do is wrap up school and some National Writing Project work for the real summer to start.

In fact, Ali and Hadley already kind of got started with Keri in the now annual Girls’ Trip 2011 (Version 4.0 in its current iteration I believe.). This time the three ladies headed north to the Green Mountains of Vermont for Ben and Jerry’s and Cabot Cheese tours among other sites. The slideshow below bears a nice witness to the trip.

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Since then we have had a lovely Mother’s Day. In fact, Hadley and I awoke early to make orange-cranberry muffins, only to discover that neither kids would eat them once they were baked. Hadley decided it was the cranberry that she opposed. Still, it was a beautiful day, rendering one of my favorite recent pictures of my girls.

This weekend Father’s Day arrived, which has been another lovely day. French toast and bacon for breakfast and a few small gifts made for a great morning. Yet even more impressive was my daughter’s second race on Saturday. Shortly after Ali and Keri ran a 5K, Hadley participated in a kids mini marathon for the second year in a row. Last year she did well, but was a little intimidated with all of the people and action surrounding her. This year, however, she performed wonderfully and very nearly beat everyone to the finish line, if not for slightly tripping over another little girl near the halfway point.

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Of course, none of us was worried about winning, but she was pretty impressive on the track. She certainly was proud of herself, although I think her mom and dad might have even been prouder.

Another Step Closer to Heartbreak

A few weeks ago my daughter came home from school with a flier for our town’s annual Daddy-Daughter Dance. Ali had been tipped off about the event at church earlier in the year, as Hadley’s Sunday school teacher was commenting how this year would be the first opportunity for the youngest of her four daughters who happens to be Hadley’s classmate. So, in some sense I knew I was doomed for a few months. Yet, nothing could quite prepare me for my three year-old chirping from her car seat that she really wanted to me to take her to the dance, that she was old enough, that she was “free and a big girl, and if you were free you were old enough to go.”

Photo: Ready for the Dance Photo: Father Daughter Dance 2011

Needless to say there was little doubt that this would be the first of many yearly expeditions with my lovely lass to the occasion. Despite any misgivings that I might have had about how young my daughter is and how I wish I could slow time just a little, Ali eased my anxiety and it became inevitable.

The next day, I arrived home with my daughter proclaiming how beautiful her new dress was, and how it was her favorite colors. Of course, the dress was already an essential part of what she what she was looking forward to about the evening. Her original plea even included, “I just want to go to the dance with you, Daddy, and wear a beautiful dress, and dance with you, and have Mommy paint my nails. I am not too little, Daddy.” As a result the heartbreak that has been well underway since the day she arrived in the world, cracked a little bit more even before we left for the dance.

Of course the day finally arrived last weekend. Even though there was a little chill in the air, we were able to get a couple of quality pics without too much trouble. As expected, Hadley wasn’t long for the actual dance. In fact, after a about forty-five minutes, she determined that it was far too loud. Perhaps more than anything she was ready to go to Friendly’s which was the plan for ending the evening.

So, our first dance turned out to be a quite a treat, complete with a chocolate dipped Peep sundae. Hadley was keen to make sure all the toppings were thoroughly sprinkled on the scoops of ice-cream. More than anything, I got the ultimate seal of approval when she offered to share the Peep with me, no small matter in the least.

Keeping Active Despite the Snow

Cute as  ButtonWell there is still plenty of snow on the ground, although we did fortunately avoid another heavy fall predicted earlier in the week. It has even gotten a little warmer of late to help melt a little of the few feet surrounding us. Now, we are just hoping for a nice long, slow thaw to avoid all of the potential flooding. Still, we have been pretty well confined the indoors, which is a little hard on the kiddos, although they are hanging in there.

Reading Early Drawing Large Hanging Out Indoors

They have been making the most of the indoor activities, like reading and coloring. Of course they do get stir crazy at times and we try to run them around outside, despite the snow being deep enough to lose them. This generally leave at least one of them looking like this.

Dead Tired