Blossoming

I love the changing of seasons. It excites me while simultaneously bringing my awareness to the evanescence of life. Gotta appreciate what you enjoy while it’s happening. For me, right now, that’s blossoming trees. Trees. Covered with flowers. Is that not something right out of a fantasy? They last for such a short time, but they are amazing. We are lucky that our neighborhood is filled with these gems, so this time of year is magical for walks and bike rides.

This is Henry’s bus stop. They did some great runway walks down the Pink Carpet the other day.

We’ve had a lot going on of late, including a combined picnic/party for both the boys’ schools. Can you spot Henry in the Gaga Ball Pit? Hint: he’s wearing purple and is on the move.

Charlie covered every inch of the place.

This past weekend, we packed up and headed to Whitewater State Park in SE Minnesota. Henry was at the exhausting, nose-running stage of a cold, but was still the first one up both mornings.

The rest of us were pretty content to stay snuggled up until the temperatures crept up a bit higher.

Joe and Henry scoped things out right away, while Charlie and I did some reading by the fire. Henry was excited when we finally joined them.

We pushed their limits with our all together hike, but it was beautiful and well worth it.

There were a couple of places where you could choose which way to go around an obstacle. In this instance, Joe and Henry chose the…steep and rocky way.

Charlie and I preferred stair-stepping roots.

There were a lot of ledges with nice views, and Joe didn’t miss very many of them.

Where is he?!

Henry needed to get out there, too.

Peeking through the trees at me!

Joe and I each took separate walks exploring the park while the other chilled at the campsite with the boys. My walk took me to Inspiration Point.

Also to Chimney Rock

Our campsite was a cart-in site, so we were nicely isolated. On the path to our site was this tree. Charlie thought it looked like there was a sloth wrapped around the trunk.

There they are!

Water trickling past to the nearby river made for delightful sleeping noises.

On our drive home, we stopped at Carley State Park for the obvious reason. It was small, but quite charming.

Back home, Blue did some really good snuggling with Henry to help his cold feel better.

Last night, Charlie had his first cello performance, and it was a doozy! Every fifth-grader at his school was onstage at Northrup Auditorium at the University of Minnesota.

He was in the back row, so hard to see, but you can just see his head poking up in about the middle of the photo below.

He did great, and said that with the lighting, he felt like he was playing to an empty room with an applause track playing in between songs 🙂

So proud!

The same day, Henry had Field Day, and it was some high energy sillies. He’s been training for this event for years.

Massive version of the egg-on-a-spoon race

Doing the squiggle scooter relay at the same time his teacher braved it!

The kid favorite is always the relay race where they have to wear their gym teacher’s clothes while running. By the end they’d added their own twist where two of them would wear the same articles of clothing at the same time, making it something like a three-legged-race.

So yeah, things are going swimmingly around here! It’s a great day to have a great day.

Fresh

Easter was so sweet this year, with the boys’ cousins finally old enough to hunt for eggs and with their brand new cousins just about to make their debuts.

The new fire pit area even got some use, because spring is simply taking forEVer to get here.

Found em!

Henry never passes up an opportunity to swing

He started a trend!

So sweet!

The next day, after a long time of consideration and conversation with my coworkers, my mentor and Joe, I finally let my building administration know that I would be leaving at the end of the quarter. I struggled coming to terms with not finishing the year, but as soon as I made the decision official, I felt an instant joy and relief.

My incredible team was supportive and even got a cake for my last day.

They’re very silly 🙂

This choice has made me so happy! It’s not fun to come to terms with the career you chose being a bad fit, but every day is a new day. Wishing them away so you can stop feeling deep dread and anxiety for a while is not a good way to live.

Now I get to walk my son to school every morning and spend one-on-one time hearing what’s on his mind. (He’s the little black figure in the lower right. Not a great shot, but it was the first day I got to walk him, and after staring my return journey, I felt so grateful and happy that I just grabbed a pic to remember the moment).

I have the emotional energy and mental capacity to draw with Henry when he asks. We designed our own Minecraft characters the other day.

The timing also was pretty excellent, because both of Joe’s sisters went into labor my first day of not working!

We were able to provide some nice walks and play time to help the older siblings relax a bit. After basically growing up in quarantine, having their parents suddenly disappear for days was pretty tough to deal with.

In a combo effort of organizing what’s gotten away from me and self-reflection, I’ve been methodically going through our house and cleaning, sorting, and purging. Naturally, a bit of rearranging goes along with that. The biggest change so far was ditching the Lego table!

The new setup is a work-in-progress still, but now we have a seating arrangement that makes sense! I’ll show the full arrangement one day when it’s more set, but here’s a sneak preview. I took this picture after Joe brushed the boys’ hair with his new hairbrush. They ended up with some…interesting hairdos.

Henry’s been taking some classes at MITY (Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth), which has gotten us out and about earlier on Saturdays than we normally do. We ended up at Day-By-Day Cafe this past weekend after his classes. You gotta love a place that allows you to build jelly-cream towers!

I was able to meet the new babies, both boys, during the week, but Joe, Charlie and Henry got to meet them for the first time on Sunday.

Adorable Archie

Lovable Leo

Life is very good.