Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sports 24/7

When I was younger, and even into my college years, I had very little appreciation for professional sports.  Even though I grew up in a house where Sundays meant football was on t.v. all day long and even though I actually played sports in middle and high school (ok, well, 'played' is a bit generous; I was on teams), once I went off to college there were likely weeks, months and maybe even a year there when there was not a single football or baseball game on t.v.  And then one day I met Christian and tolerated the occasional game on in the background while I read a book because I had fallen in love. And then a few more years passed and I might have watched a few minutes here or there and paid attention for one or two of those "you have to see this" plays because I was actually starting to enjoy it. And now it is 17 years later and there is an 8 year-old who hasn't met a sport she doesn't like and a 4 year-old who already knows the colors and quarterbacks of most of the NFL teams.  I suppose what that means is that all weekend long there is a cacophony of sports noise - games on tvs and radios and ESPN highlight clips and You Tube videos capturing the incredible moments we missed - and lots and lots and lots of discussions about who we want to win.  

So, if your house is anything like mine and you were paying attention last night you probably busted out your favorite Red Sox shirt early this morning too:

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

More Summer?

Unreal.  It is October.  It is actually starting to feel cool (ish) outside and yet I still have not found the time to post the rest of the summertime pics I wanted to share.  The 7th blogiversary came and went and  (I suppose) the hectic pace of life over here in the Vaicius house made it impossible to celebrate the occasion.  Maybe this is just the natural progression of things over here.  I think about it all the time. Eight year old Lucy has some strong opinions already and the start of preteen angst and those things taken together remind me regularly that she just might not want me to broadcast her life over the great interwebs.  There is no real roadmap for this sort of thing. So, perhaps the occasional update for posterity is just about right for everyone.

And on that note, I give you a few of my favorites from our lovely beach vacation:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

These Days

The school season is in full swing and we have (mostly) adapted to the chaotic routine - and really a routine would be lovely, but it is actually nothing like a routine and it feels like every day brings some new plan(s).  Quite often we send one or both kids off to school and say "someone will pick you up, eventually."  And there is really no way it would work without endless amounts of help from friends and family and after care and job flexibility. I long for weekends and holidays and nights of no homework and school hot lunches, because it is all so incredibly time-consuming.  I am often reminded, though, by those who have been through it, that these are wonderful days and rather than allow the chaos to stress me out, I should embrace it and appreciate every wild moment of it.  So I do.  Correction, I try to.  

As a result of all of the above, I find that there is very little free time in the day for extra-curriculars and even some vital needs - reading still happens (although not frequently enough), running still happens (but only when I wake up at 5:30 a.m.), taking pictures happens (but mostly with the IPhone because I cannot ever seem to remember to grab the real camera), and blogging rarely happens.  Fortunately, I think the winding-down or down-sizing (or whatever it is) of the blog is - in some ways - a good thing. Luz is 8 now and is starting to appreciate privacy and it makes me wonder, how much sharing is too much?  Is she going to be an angsty teenager who is disgusted that the first decade of her life was put out there for everyone to see?  There is no road map or guide or litmus test for how this sort of thing plays out, but I have some doubts about whether I would have appreciated having my life on display in front of people I did not ask to share it with.  So, maybe sporadic posts and less detail is the way to go.  I don't know.  I am not ready to wrap it up entirely; I am just thinking more about this person Luz is becoming and what impact the blog will have on future Lucy.  

While I am figuring it all out, here are a few more pics from the Disney Cruise.  The first couple are from our day trip to Nassau where Christian basically made us walk the entire city in 100 degree heat so that we could see all of the important landmarks - the Queen's staircase (and according to Lucy's count it was 64 steps, not 66) and the old British fort.  Christian could not understand why the kids were not psyched.  I totally got it and, like James, looked like I was a part of the Bataan death march.  Some nut-job, local even stopped us at one point and told us we needed to get our kids something to drink because they both looked dehydrated and miserable.  But while we were there I figured out that Nassau is really all about shopping in the a/c, high-end shopping.  Needless to say, we didn't do any of that.  

The remainder of these pics are from Castaway Cay, Disney's private island.  The only way to get there is to go on a Disney cruise, so you better enjoy every minute of it - I don't care if you are hot and tired and don't like the feeling of sand in your toes or sweating while you eat.  We did though, it was actually a blast - starting with a 7 a.m. 5k and ending with closing time at the beach around 5 p.m.  Lucy's favorite part - snorkeling with Christian and searching for the hidden Disney treasures underwater.  James' favorite part - the BBQ and endless soft-serve ice cream.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


It is still August and in some parts of the country kids are continuing to enjoy the last few days of summer vacation, so I think it is somewhat excusable that I am just now getting around to posting some of the highlights of the summertime.

After a quick 4th of July in Atlanta (where we were rained on every single day - including before and after the Peachtree Road Race) the kiddos geared up for our Disney Dream adventure.  We spent two days in Orlando before the cruise departed (one day at Hollywood and one day in the Magic Kingdom) and then 3 nights on the Disney Dream cruising to the Bahamas and Disney's extra-special, private island, Castaway Cay. 

I was a totally reluctant cruise-goer.  I protested this cruise for a few years and last December, during a weak moment, I said I would go.  Papa-T called my bluff and 6 months later there I was on the veranda, staring out at the beautiful water, wondering why I ever protested.

Here I am with Jamesy on Castaway Cay - doesn't it even look fake (that's because it basically is):

More to come - there is only so much time in the day. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Yikes...Time Flies

I never did this with Lu and am really kicking myself.  I love taking and seeing these photos of James in basically the same place each year almost at exactly the same time (give or take a few days). It is always amazing to me that time passes so quickly.  I was warned.  I said I understood.  I really had no idea.  It is so quick, in fact, that some days I feel like I got shorted a few hours.  I wonder how it is that the day is over already and it is pushing 11 p.m. and I am gearing up for another week that will pass in the blink of an eye.  Oh well, I am a broken record.  I know.






And the look in the last picture captures this 4 year-old personality perfectly - following mama's orders is such a chore.  There is so much sweetness and wonder inside of there, but there is a also a decent amount of boundary testing and patience testing and sleep deprivation (yeah, at some point over the summer J started having nightmares) and insistence that he just be allowed to grow right up and skip all of the years between 4 and 14.  Not so fast, little guy.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Aaaaah Summer

What can I say, the kiddos and Christian have been on vacation for the past month and a half so things have felt a little bit like vacation for me around here too - late nights, lazy mornings, and relaxed responsibilities.  As a result, I have not spent much time blogging.  Another reason for the absence is that I have been using Instagram much more frequently and the blog just seems duplicative.  There are only so many cute pictures of the kiddos and brief updates about our lives that the public can tolerate, or so I imagine.  I did not (yet) make the decision to stop blogging altogether, but the kids are older and tougher to photograph, the days (and nights) are much busier now that they are older and I seem to have much less free time.  So, maybe this is just the natural progression.  I will continue to try to post periodically, just to keep track of the goings on around here for the kiddos, for posterity.

And for those of you who are wondering how the kiddos are doing and what we have been up to this summer, I can catch you up to date in just a few pictures.  While Christian was grading AP exams in Cincinnati, Luz and James spent two weeks in Atlanta at Nana and Papa-T's house.  They loved every minute of their time in ATL and spent it swimming, hanging out with their cousins and learning Tai Kwon Do.  And me? Oh, I worked (and enjoyed having the house all to myself, no cleaning/cooking/laundry/etc).   With the exception of another brief trip to ATL for 4th of July, the rest of the summer has been filled with softball and summer camps.  The softball season ended (finally) last Saturday and Lu was selected to represent her team (along with 2 other kids) on the Allstars team.  I missed the warm ups but by the time I got to the game it was clear Lu's head was not in the right place and Christian said she was totally nervous and feeling completely incapable.  My heart ached for her because that is such a tough feeling but she pulled it together and her first at bat was a beautiful double (and just the confidence boost she needed to get through the game).

We have a few more trips planned (Disney cruise, Houston for Red Sox v. Astros, Pensacola) before school starts but the summer is racing by and it is hard to imagine that in a month it will be back to the crazy school-year routine around here.  

A little glimpse of summertime:

Luz, in the hole, ready to pat

It was always hot at the ballpark and James quickly learned to improvise:

Ready to swing. She is better than I ever was at softball:

Playing at the zoo with sweet baby Walker:

Last trip of the summer to the concession stand:

Allstars & 3rd place trophy:

Ready to jump in the Thibodaux pool:

Sunday, June 09, 2013


James is playing Carrollton t-ball this summer and somehow Christian ended up coaching the team.  All this after he swore he would never coach softball/t-ball again at the end of Lucy's season last year. But, for better or worse, he found himself in the particular position he wanted no part of and with a much less dutiful child.  What Lu lacks in athletic prowess is balanced beautifully by her coach-ability and diligence.  James is the opposite end of the spectrum and completely takes advantage of the fact that his dad is the coach.  The incessant whining and begging "just to bat, instead of playing outfield" and the exhausting excuses, 'the sun is in my eyes'; 'this hat is itchy'; 'it's so hot',  only fall by the wayside when he fields a grounder and easily beats a runner to the base or knocks the ball too far for 4 year-old legs to chase - those are the moments when he actually has a good time and, for a second, we can all enjoy an hour at the ballpark.  


Lu, coaching 3rd, full of advice and motivation

Feet don't fail me now. The kid is actually fast if he tries.

Post-game team drink, best part of the afternoon, apparently

Monday, May 27, 2013

Jawbone Up

Do any of you have one of these?

If so, do you love it?

I am fascinated.  A few friends have them and are hooked.  

I love my Garmin and am a recent convert to the Nike Running App, but I think I am ready for the Jawbone Up.  This little guy will record all of the things in life that fascinate me most - movement, sleep, and nutrition.  I don't know though - am I going to become even more obsessed?  Is this overkill?  I sense I might go a little crazy once I see how little I move (seriously, I sit at a desk ALL DAY, most days) and that I am actually an inefficient sleeper (mama ears will do that).  And then, of course, there is the dilemma of the color choice. Why so many tempting options?  It is just setting me up for buyer's remorse.  I am still on the fence, but I will give you a full report if I decide to do it. 

How was your Memorial Day weekend?  There are few things in life I love as much as a three day weekend.  This one was perfect - lots of sunshine and time outside and running and swimming and snowballs and long walks and bbq and time with friends and even a little organizing/cleaning and work (although not nearly enough).  All of that and I actually feel relaxed, truly.  I hope you do too!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May Days

We are already half way through the month of May and it feels like I have not had a moment to catch my breath.  I have had to travel a bit for work this month and that, coupled with the end of the year activities for the kiddos, has made it slightly more chaotic than what is customary around here.  May has been filled with wonderful things - softball is in full swing, which means many nights and days each week at the ballpark (when we are not rained out - which has happened quite a bit), Lu made her First Communion, and we celebrated Mother's Day!

Lu and James with GG and mom-mom:

And w/ Nana and Papa who came to NOLA to celebrate Lucy's First Communion:

So, yeah, things have been crazy, but we have managed some quite moments and some of the usual stuff of life that barely bears reporting.  There have been afternoons on the porch enjoying the cooler than usual May weather.  James had two cavities filled.  Lucy learned how to write in script and has the most incredible penmanship ever when she writes in cursive (and this is the kid who did not even figure out she was left handed until she was 5).  Christian and I are finally going to be the same age again tomorrow (39, for those of you keeping track).  And we are all eagerly awaiting summer break and all of the magic in store so stay tuned!  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

All Weekend Long

NOLA's 2013 Jazz Fest kicked off Friday and what was going to be a peaceful, kid free visit to the Fest on Saturday afternoon for Christian turned into a family affair. Luz had been begging to go all day - dreaming about mango freezes and strawberry lemonade, but James was initially content to spend a quiet afternoon at home with me.  At the last minute he worried that he would be missing out and changed his mind, so we all headed out there for a beautiful afternoon.  There are many NOLA favorites in my life, but sunset at Jazz Fest is very close to the top of that list and I got to experience a beautiful one on Saturday evening.  After spending the entire day outside - starting with a 7:30 a.m. run/bike/dog walk outing, followed by a few hours at the park for James' t-ball practice, and ending with JF - the kids crashed the second their heads hit their pillows.

Today was another long and fun-filled day.  We headed to the Northshore to pick strawberries with some friends.  The strawberry fields were covered in mud thanks to a  torrential downpour, but the kids were not deterred.  We ate our weight in strawberries as we picked and came home with 12 pints. I am curious to see how long it will last us.  The kids loved picking strawberries and playing on all of the toys in one of the most bizarre playgrounds I have ever seen. There were castaway swing sets and merry-go-rounds that have been outlawed for years - the land of the misfit play sets.  There were see-saws and a zip line and a gigantic dome-like, in-ground trampoline that is a total liability.  Of course the kids loved every minute of it...and I have to say, I enjoyed it too.

Luz, enjoying her ice cream snowball:

Staring at the clouds, listening to Andrew Bird:

Picking strawberries:

My girl, so grown up:

In the fields:

Strawberry mouth:

James, zip-lining:

Having fun, despite the potential liability: