This has been a big year for racing in the Bailey family! Remember last year when I went from walking a one miler to running 15Ks and Joe went from 5Ks to half marathons? Well, we even surpassed that this year!
This was me at Color Me Rad in Tampa in May. Completely covered in colored corn starch.
For Mother's Day, Joe and the kids and I did the I Love Mother's 5K in Clearwater. I got a cool shirt.
This is one of my favorites.
We signed Rosemary up for the one mile kid's run after the 5K and we all ended up doing it together. It was so fun!
Joe had a crazy year! He is in this picture somewhere at the start of his first triathlon! This one was the Race from the Fort at Fort DeSoto. We camped out with some friends the night before and night after. The kids and I had a great time watching all the crazy people swimming in the freezing, choppy water from the edge of the sea.
Needless to say, they were pooped and had a nice nap in the wagon while waiting for daddy to finish. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of Joe after the race, but we were so proud of him!
In January Joe did his first marathon! It was the Disney Marathon. Here's Xander cheering on the runners from the family waiting area.
We had a pretty good time waiting for him to finish! It was ridiculously hot for the marathon. We were warned about freezes during this time of year, but it ended up being during a heat wave. People were carted back on stretchers due to heat stroke. Joe finished, though! In fact, it made him go crazy. He just signed up for the Dopey Challenge for next year- four days in a row: 5K, 10K, half, and full marathon! He's crazy!!!! Once again, no picture of him running. I need to get better about that!
And.... I signed up for my first half! Actually, two of them. In November I will be doing Wine and Dine at Epcot and in February I will be doing the Princess Half. I will most likely be walking the Princess with my mom, though.
I have not updated for quite some time. So many, many little moments I have missed. There's no way I can go back and record all of the little moments, but I can quickly highlight some of the biggest moments of the year. One of the biggest projects we accomplished this year was our patio renovation. What a difference! This was finished around February/March this year. It has already rained enough this summer for us to say that we successfully fixed our flooding issues and have a beautiful outdoor living space now! It was a huge project and my dad did an incredible job planning it, with my help and vision. I am still not 100% satisfied with the fire pit, but can't figure out what to do differently yet.
While we were out there working on the patio, I also moved and expanded my gardens. I now have two raised beds with veggies and herbs, and a beautiful butterfly garden! With a seashell walking path!
This is going to be annoying- the app I used to publish the photos for this update mixed up all the pictures and I can't change the order, sooooo.... bare with me....
This is the before.
This is one after shot. We extended it out about two feet, added the extension on the right for the grill, extended it all the way to the edge of the patio on the left for a toy area and fire pit.
This is the butterfly garden right after we finished it, before things had a chance to grow. Milkweed and salvia transplants are on the left, nectar plants in front of the birdbath, and a passionflower behind the birdbath that has attracted tons of Gulf Fritillaries!
Here's the butterfly garden a bit more mature.
My beautiful, beautiful passion flower in bloom!!!
Xander is trying to feed a caterpillar in this one!
Here's where it gets really annoying. Here's another after shot of the patio. You can see the fire pit area better in this one. Still trying to decide whether to build it in or keep it free standing.
Here's Joe tamping down the sand before we lay pavers (yes, we sweated LOTS during this project!)
The kids were a big help clearing out the old pavers and prepping the ground!
We decided to commemorate our backyard renovation by creating a time capsule. It was originally going to be buried under the patio, but, um, well, I think we forgot, so we ended up burying it in our butterfly garden. Everyone chose something to go in it and I wrote a little note explaining why we all chose what we did. It'll be interesting when we dig it up in years to find out what we pit in it and why!
Here is Rosemary ready to bury it!
Here is it in the ground ready to be covered up!
Yes, annoying and out of place. Joe laying pavers. I promise he did not do the entire thing himself! My dad and I were out there the whole time! I just wanted to snap some photos when I could! Joe stayed out there until past dark one night. It was a big project.
It has been WAY too long without a post! I am sad to think of all the things that have happened that are not getting documented! Unfortunately, I also have to mention that I killed YET ANOTHER computer. So, what's that, like 3 computers and maybe 3 phones, since starting this blog? Maybe 4 computers. I have lost count. Unfortunately, this time I aimed my poisoned arrow right at the hard drive- and succeeded. Which means, not only did I not update anything for a long, long time, but I also lost all the pictures from that time. So..... I am going to try to blog more. Right now I feel like I am in a transition phase and I'm having to make a lot of important decisions. Some things that are different about this year or things that I am debating:
1. Rosemary will start kindergarten. About a week after I enrolled her in the local public school, a sign went up and ground was broken on a new charter school right down the street. After much deliberation, I have applied and we are now waiting to find out whether we are able to enroll or if we enter the lottery. So, it's a waiting game.
2. We decided not to start Xander in preschool this year. He would be in the two-year program but will turn three less than a month later. We joined the YMCA and their nursery staff is amazing and they have a schedule that pretty much accomplishes everything I would hope he would get out of a traditional preschool- and we're already paying for it. So, we decided (for now) to keep him out another year. Unless....
3. I am debating whether this is the year I go back into the classroom. I feel bipolar and schizophrenic about this decision. One second I hear that calling stronger and louder and clearer than ever before and other times I'm reminded how I keep taking the fact that I am able to stay home with my babies while they're babies for granted. It is not a decision I am taking lightly. Once I go back, I'm back for good. I'm constantly reminded of one of Rosemary's books I bought her when she was a baby. It's called "The Three Questions" and it's based on a story by Tolstoy. To sum up a very beautiful fable that answers the questions "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?" The best time is now. The most important one is the one you are with right now. The right thing to do is good for the one standing by your side. One major hesitation about going back this year is that it would mean three MAJOR changes: me going back to work full time, Rosemary starting kindergarten, and Xander going to full time daycare. I'm not sure if that would be good for all three of us. Maybe another year to decide. Which brings me to the next thing....
4. If I do decide to stay home another year (or four if I wait for Xander to start kindergarten as was the original plan) I need to find a new direction. For the first three years of my motherhood I was engrossed in one playgroup and made it my life. The next two years were dedicated to another MOMS Club where I was a member of the board and delved into a lot of charity work which I loved. I also heavily involved myself in everything related to motherhood- church groups, medical lectures, books, everything mom you can think of. A few months ago I made some changes to start focusing on myself. We are in the process of church shopping and have found one we really like. I would like to involve myself a little more in the community and in service. I don't know how to do this without a support system, so I'm thinking of getting involved in the church. I want to veer away from motherhood-related organizations and focus on myself as a whole human- not just the mother part. I am a mother and put my children before all else, but it's time I focus on being a better person overall and show them a good example on how to live their life. The mother groups were incredibly important for me as I adjusted to being a stay at home mom, but I now need to focus on other aspects of myself. I see the importance of this more and more now that Rosemary is a little lady and not a baby, toddler, or preschooler. So, whether that means going back to work full time or finding other ways of involving myself in the community- I need to rewrite my mission statement for this stage of my life.
5. This is the year of the house. I have spent five years doing little fixes and now it's time to get this house fixed up. The little fixes just won't cut it anymore. First up is a patio redo. We had tons of flooding problems last year and hopefully the new patio and tweaks to the drainage system will prevent that from getting worse. Second, we are going to repaint the house. Other items on the wish list: repaint and new cabinets in the laundry room, new floors in the living room, and new roof. My dream wish list (probably won't happen this year but I really, really want and need if we are ever going to try to sell the house): new bathroom vanity in the kid's bathroom, complete renovation of master bath, and kitchen renovation. Of course, I learned last year that having this list ensures that if something can go wrong, it will. So, we will see what we are actually able to accomplish this year.
6. We have a lot of fun things planned to break the seriousness of all these decisions we have to make! We have two weekends in Disney on the calendar, and one weekend camping with friends! I already had one girl's weekend away with some incredible friends and have a second one scheduled with yet another beautiful and amazing friend! We are also planning a few days in New York City this summer as a special trip for Rosemary before starting preschool! So while we may not be setting off for Europe and cruising around the Caribbean like we did before we had kids, we are finally planning a big trip that will hopefully quell some of the wanderlust that has eaten at my heart and soul for the past five years.
I realize this blog is usually more of a scrapbook than a journal, but I needed to document these decisions that we are facing at this stage in our lives. I'm sure I will get back to the regularly scheduled cuteness of my precious offspring, but it feels good to get all these decisions out of my head and in a place where I will see it in five years and these decisions are no longer eating at me!
I have been a very bad blogger lately! But a BIG event happened today. Rosemary turned FIVE! I have no idea how that happened! I don't want to let any more time pass without documenting all the wonderfulness that is my little lady so this post is all about my little girl!
What a year this has been! She has grown so much. She is in VPK and has the most amazing teacher. She has more faith in her little finger than anyone else I know has in their entire body. She is the best big sister to Xander and is constantly kissing and hugging him and takes such good care of him. She loves her stuffed animals and usually has no less than 3 that she will carry around with her everywhere we go. She is also into Lalaloopsy and still calls herself a princess. She still dresses up occasionally but doesn't live in her princess dresses like she did when she was 3 and early 4 (which is so sad for me!). She is a little fashionista though! She loves to mix and match leggings and skirts and always has the most fashionable boots (which she never wears on the right feet). She loves science projects, writing, making books, painting, and gardening. She lovs fairies and running and loves her mygym class. She is incredibly strong willed, stubborn, persistent, and still has the occasional meltdown, but for the most part the screaming and crying fits have been replaced by "pouty arms and duck face". She is 5 going on 15.
She is in love with Lukas- a friend she's had since before she was born (his mom and I taught at the same school) and has been in her same class since she started preschool last year. She says she's going to marry him! Until this year her (our) life has revolved around playdates. Now that she's in school every day we don't see those friends as often but we have made new friends and I love seeing her with her girlfriends! She has a cute little group of girls, some of whom will be going to the same kindergarten as her next year.
Today I went to her class to celebrate her birthday with cookie cake and oranges. Then we went to the mall and got pictures with Santa and had dinner. She opened presents when we got home. We got her owl pellets to disect (my favorite gift!), a scrapbook, photo albums, and a nutcracker she can paint herself.
Her big birthday present this year was her first pet- a guinea pig named Guinea! It was her present from my parents and she loves him. It's so crazy that my baby girl has her first pet!
This is going to be a crazy year. We are planning a special trip for her this summer to New York City. It'll be her first big vacation and we want to make it special for her. Then she'll start kindergarten! I can't wait to see where this next year takes her. I love that little girl. She challenges me in ways I never thought possible. And she is perfect.
A couple weeks ago we were invited by a friend to go see Ice Age 2. Rosemary had been begging to go to the movies for a while so we attempted it with the whole family. As expected, Xander is just not ready for the movies! Rosemary and I loved it, though! Here are some pictures of her with her huge popcorn! I love the sequence of faces she's making as the popcorn falls down her shirt!