May 16, 2016

A Peek at Our Week: May 9 - 15

Our final week of school got off to a rocky start.

Ella woke up with a nasty stomach virus.
The bowl is to catch the puke.  This girl put it to good use.

The child who never naps (not even when she was a toddler) took two naps on this day.

Day two of Ella's illness.
Ella was able to sit up, so I relaxed the quarantine a bit.
Annie is thrilled to be allowed to sit next to her sister.
(Big mistake, btw.  Huge.)

While I was home with Ella Mae, Nick went to Kate's Field Day.

Kate had a BLAST!
So sad that Ella had to miss her field day on Monday.

Sweet sleepy Teense.
Little did I know she was coming down with the virus too...

To try to take our minds off of vomit, we started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!!

Annie and I made a trip to the donut shop.

We took these to school to celebrate Kate's summer birthday.

Kate's celebration day at the park!

Annie got in on the action.

Kate and three of her favorite friends.

Such sweet first graders.

On the walk back to school Annie fell asleep in the wagon.

Tuckered out.

Last day of school as a first- and second-grader!

Sister pic!

Six ladies in my car!
We had an end-of-school party for a few girls in each class.

Snacks in the dining room.

Group pic of these sweet girlies.
Ainsley, Kate, Ella, Addison, Landry, Paige, Addison, and Annie.  :)

Friday at home.
School's out for summer!

Officially a third grader.

A real live second grader.

End of school year present was the newest Fancy Nancy.
Let the sister slumber parties begin!

Saturday afternoon with my beautiful Kate.

Nana and Ella!
Celebrating Mother's Day with my MIL a week late.

Annie and Poppa!
These girls love their grandparents!

Stomach virus aside, it was a great last week of school.  And now begins my favorite time of year: SUMMER!

May 11, 2016

Root. Bud. Blossom. Flourish.

This year's MOPS theme was "A Fierce Flourishing," and at my first MOPS event of the year the discussion prompted us to discuss where we flourish.  My immediate, unspoken thought was England.

I recognized the urgent truth of this realization in my soul, ya'll.  I've experienced big relocations before (six times before, if we're counting) so this ain't my first rodeo, but our move from Cheltenham to Tulsa was different.  

Different because I flourished in England like I never had anywhere else.  Different because the way of life in the UK suited me in every conceivable respect.  Different because living in Cheltenham utterly and completely ruined me for living in America. 

Every person is unique, so naturally every person's preferences and priorities are unique.  This means that certain people are best suited for life in America while others are best suited for life in Germany while others are best suited for life in Japan.  Being born in a certain place does not mean that it is your ideal location.  I am American, but I am best suited for England.  The Brits get pretty much everything right as far as I am concerned — their fundamental values align perfectly with my preferences and priorities.  In England, I flourished.

In Oklahoma I am a big fat square peg surrounded by round holes.  So many of the things I care about the most — healthy food supply, eliminating poverty, gun control, improving public education, the walkable lifestyle, universal health care, tolerance for other faiths, respect for minorities, women's rights, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few — are not part of Oklahoma culture.  No one really even wants to discuss most of these issues.  The traditional Oklahoma point of view cannot abide alternative thoughts and ideas.  Square peg (me), round holes (Oklahoma).  

About a month ago, I was so unhappy that I started fantasizing about leaving.  Nick and I wondered aloud if we should move somewhere where the residents prioritize at least a few of the issues we care about the most.  We talked our way through the process; after all, relocation is second nature for us.  It felt amazing to plot our escape.

And then we considered the things that we have worked so hard for here.  The girls are happy enough at their school.  Nick loves the people he works with and he feels appreciated by his company.  I have MOPS, my book club, and a master's program that I enjoy.  We found a wonderful church.  Our girls' relationships with their cousins are things of beauty.  All of those things in combination showed me that we have put down some tender, tentative roots over the course of the last year.  Shallow as those roots may be, they exist.

We have rooted.  Some of us more hesitantly than others.  Nick and I cannot in good conscience rip those tender little roots out of the ground just as they are getting started.  We've worked so hard for those little roots.  It has taken so long just to get this far.

I have rooted.  Reluctantly.

Though I am miles away from flourishing, I'll take whatever growth I can get.

The Oklahoma soil and climate are harsh for this Aubrey-plant.  I know for a fact that there are little roots working away underneath the surface, but it's a struggle every step of the way.  I'm going to take that as a positive sign that there is at least a chance that I in time I will be able to bud.  Later on I might blossom.  Maybe some day I'll even flourish here as I did in England.

Right now I'll settle for roots.

May 9, 2016

A Peek at Our Week: May 2 - 8

Last Monday feels like a really long time ago.  

When I started selecting photos, I was surprised at what I saw.  This was less than a week ago?!  It feels like ages since then!

Monday Funday

Just a little after supper group hug.
I love the love between these three sisters.

 Tuesday at the Capitol

On Tuesday our school district sent a group of parents, administrators, and teachers to the state capitol to try to convince our legislators not to run public education into the ground.
Oklahoma spends less per pupil on K-12 education than 46 out of 50 states.

See that heart over OKC?
I am an Oklahoman, born and raised, but the idiocy of our state legislature is breaking my heart.

Sushi and Shopping (and a Funeral and a Front Tooth) Wednesday

Annie and I did a little shopping before our lunch date with my college roommate.
Do these glasses look good or what?!

This beauty lost a tooth!
Those front teeth drastically change the way kids look.
Am I ready for my Mo-mo to join the ranks of big kids??
No.  No, I am not.

We lost more than a tooth on Wednesday.
Ella's beloved beta fish Sapphire died and was buried in our back garden.
RIP, Sapphire.

Ella grieves by writing book reviews on Goodreads.

Annie's got a little something on her nose.  :)

Thursday, Clouded Leopards and Uniforms

The first graders have a different theme for the last 26 days of school.
Thursday was uniform day.
I think they meant sports, but Kate broke out the Dean Close uni.
She was so thrilled to wear it without the scratchy tights.

Ella Mae's GT group presented on their work this semester.
Naturally Ella's topic was a cat.

Ella Mae and her fellow Explorers.
Addison, Kienna, Ainsley, Isaac, Ella, Collin, and Gregory.
There is some serious brainpower and personality in that group!

Final Friday 

Ella's class performed their play on Friday afternoon.
Our girl was Baker #3.

Annie was dying to be a baker like her big sis.

Ella and her sweet teacher, Mrs George.

Ella's fabulous student teacher, Ms Rumbaugh.

Nick and I treated ourselves to a truly unique date night at Living Kitchen Farm.
It doesn't get any more farm-to-table than this place.
Everything that was prepared in our eight course meal was grown or foraged right there on the farm.

This is our dessert.
Native pecans, two kinds of mousse, and sugared lichen.

Almost Mother's Day Saturday

These four spoiled me rotten all weekend.
Picnic on the patio!

Annie and her beloved Grandpa.
These two.
So much love.

Mothering Sunday

My mom came to Tulsa for Mother's Day!

My momma and the three little lovelies who made me a mama!

After church we had lunch at the Bistro at Seville.
Such a great way to celebrate Mother's Day.

We had a fantastic week — grad school finals, state capitol trip, a visit from the Tooth Fairy, a fishy funeral, a presentation, a play, date night, and Mother's Day awesomeness — and the week ahead looks even more fantastic because this is our last week of school!