Monday, March 27, 2017

march 20 - march 26: violins, car problems, and hugs

^^ these sheep got a shearing this week for our fhe activity. fuzzy boy heads for the win!


^^ one morning this past week, we woke up and got all ready for the day: breakfast, clothes, shoes, bags. the works.  it had been exciting outside because our neighbors were having some of their trees fell, and the boys were going nuts about the bulldozers and chipper. as we got packed in the car (our good and faithful little blue!) and shut the doors, I put the key in and turned and the car didn't start. at all. our starter had been slow to start the car in the past few weeks and it looked like it had finally given up the ghost. thankfully, our insurance covered a tow, and we got the car down to the dealership to get it a new starter. we were a bit flustered about not being able to get out, but, as you can see, our cul-de-sac was buzzing with exciting activity and these little boys didn't have too much to complain about.

^^ since little blue was in the shop for over a day, we walked to simon's preschool on thursday morning. it's about a mile and a half to get there and (mostly) has sidewalks all the way down. it was such a fun adventure walking there and the weather was so good, that we decided we should make a habit of walking there from now on. plus, pushing two 30 lbs+ boys in the double makes for good exercise. 

^^other exciting news in the way of transportation: new car seats for these fellas! I never in my wildest, younger-laurel dreams could have imagined the fun I would have scouring and researching the internet for convertible car seats. now, when you hear convertible I know what you're thinking: glamorous! and they are. and then, getting them installed! was it slightly invigorating? was I  thrilled about how aesthetically pleasing these matching seats looked in the backseat of our car? YES and YES.
we are LIVING THE DREAM, people! the dream. ;)

 we had a visit to the doctor for asher babe this week! this little man is nearly 33 lbs and rippling with happiness. ^^

thank you, amazon, for these pouches. thank  you, korea, for this english.^^

^^ on friday night, we attended a concert on campus given by this violin PRODIGY! seriously. it was incredible and also so neat to be able to go somewhere so close to home to see her.

here is a video from when she was 15 and just unreal as a violinist. please note, in the video, her incredible gold SCRUNCHIE that matches her CUMMBERBUND! such fashion.

I just thought this video was too sweet not to share. excuse the poor camera phone quality. ^^

Sunday, March 19, 2017

march 13 - march 19: river walk and trains

this week was slow and easy. we came back from a trip to the outer banks early in the week, and although it was spring break, phil needed to work a bit this week at school (his dissertation proposal is at the beginning of april). so, we were back at the museum and playground circuit in the mornings and hanging out with phil in the afternoons and watching more than our fair share of "madam secretary."

^^ sweet and fresh simon from a bath with dad and asher.

we took a walk on the hillsborough river walk this week. asher is currently a stroller-hater and had to walk. he's not the best at following a path though, so it took a while to go a short distance. still, it was fun to explore (and make sure asher didn't wander into the eno river...).


^^ somehow the grammar mistake in this graffiti-ed sentence on the underbelly pillar of a bridge takes away from it's desired profundity. also, the fact that it's written on a pillar. under a bridge. in hillsborough, nc. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

spring break 2017: the outer banks

for part of  spring break this year, we went to the outer banks. we had the chance to go last year at this time with friends and at thanksgiving, and this time my dad and my sister and her husband were able to fly out and enjoy this gem of east coast beauty with us. we left on thursday and the weather was great when we arrived, but by friday evening a cold front settled in and by sunday there was snow falling and the winds were fast and chilly. funny how it the weather was given that this has been one of the mildest winters. just our luck! still, it was a new outer banks experiences and the sights were still lovely, the company excellent, and the food delicious. it felt special this time too to show my family some of the places we love here.



^^ it's impossible to come out to nags head and not visit jeanette's pier or take a walk on this beautiful beach. it may seem of little consequence, but we were happy for simon this trip for walking on the beach all by himself. each time we have come (especially the first time last year), he has been resistant to walking on the sand (he doesn't like the way it feels on his feet, he says). this time, however, he asked to take off his shoes at the car and was content to stroll on the beach without any fuss. asher, ever the sand-lover, was in the ergobaby for the duration of the walk in order to avoid his inevitable sand consumption. haha! the ways in which these two little boys are different from each other (and both wonderful and sweet, of course) are many. they keep us on our toes, for sure.

the boys were glad to get to know their fun-loving "papa" better during this trip. simon was especially taken with grandpa. and they spent time talking on the deck (below) about cars and trucks. grandpa also  read them books and chased simon and asher around on the ground a few times during his stay , much to their total delight.

^^the house we stay in has a lovely view of the ocean front (and the main road, simon's #1 source of entertainment with all the traffic that comes through for him to observe and comment on).

 we had a seafood smorgasbord at "dirty dick's crab house" on friday night (I know, the restaurant's name is ghastly!). we got  the mariner's special and it was excelleeeeent. that is, if you love fried food and seafood and malted vinegar and everything that is good on this blessed earth. and, yes, OUR DIET STARTS TOMORROW! ;) ^^

^^ one ESPECIALLY chilly morning, simon was like, "mooooom! I want to go to the park, please! I want slides and swings and I want asher to play with me." so, we went out for about 10 minutes to this park. the boys were, as seen above, elated to be playing on the big mama swing, but we soon had to rush ourselves inside because WIND and COLD and BRRRRR!

though we are still novice outer bankers, we have a few places that we like to visit each time now. one place in particular that I wanted to show my dad was the nags head nature preserve. the trail we usually walk was inaccessible due to high waters overflowing the path, so we tried a new path that lead out to the sound. 
^^ such excellent explorers!

^^at one of the lookout points on the trail. 


 on saturday, we went to the wright brothers national memorial. being there makes me want to know more more about the lives of these brothers and their story.  it seemed interesting that they chose some small, remote barrier islands to be the place where they would attempt (and eventually succeed in flight), but we learned that they chose to come here because of the perfect conditions it had for their experiments: wind, sand, and solitude. 

^^ at the ranger station, we found this cute (but creepy?? jk, phil) ranger and the most handsome tow-headed ranger  there ever was! 

^^ I loved the words on the monument here describing the wright brothers and their  incredible accomplishments: that they had "dauntless resolution" and "unconquerable faith."

I don't have many photos from sunday, but that morning we attended church services (our church has a building just one mile from where we stayed) and afterwards we drove down south to cape hatteras to see the hatteras lighthouse. the drive down in beautiful, and it's so neat because you get to a point, between avon and hatteras, where the strip of land you are driving down is so narrow that it cannot be more than 200 yards between the sound and the sea. it's incredible! we didn't stay long at the lighthouse since it was so chilly (and snowing!). when we got home we took naps (a sunday must!), ate phil's homemade pizza, and enjoyed a sunset over the sound (below), card games, and good conversation.

on monday morning, my dad and sister and her husband flew home early. we spent that day at a park with the boys, eating donuts (below!), napping, reading, and we took a long drive to visit the northern towns of the outer banks (duck and corolla).
^^the best donuts on the coast! 

during our drive up north, we found a long boardwalk in duck  for us to run on. the boys were grateful to move around and run their legs after a long drive. ^^

^^ simon was saying some pretty funny things during this trip. after watching a princess show one morning (while we prepared breakfast), he kept saying to me, "I can be a princess, mama!" I asked him, "do you maybe want to be a prince instead of a princess?" and he responded, "no, I want to be a princess." It was funny and sweet! haha! also, late one night, we could hear him that he was still awake, and when phil went in to ask him what was up he said, in a tired voice, "dad, I want to eat a scrumptious!" just a scrumptious. he wasn't sure what sort of delicious thing he wanted, but it needed to be a scrumptious something!  that made us laugh. :)