Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Tear and a Smile

As 2009 draws to a close, a poem keeps popping up in my head.  It's called "A Tear and a Smile" written by Kahlil Gibran.

I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
for the joys of the mulititude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
to flow from my every part turn into laughter.

I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
of life's secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
to be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than
that I live weary and despairing.

I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
depths of my spirit, for I have seen those who are
satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and longing,
and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.

With evening's coming the flower folds her petals
and sleeps, embracing her longing.
At morning's approach she opens her lips to meet
the sun's kiss.

The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.

The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come
together and area cloud.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
to the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to return
to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And so does the spirit become separated from
the greater spirit to move in the world of matter
and pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
and the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
and return whence it came.

To the ocean of Love and Beauty ---- to G-d.

Life is a precious balance of good and bad.  I am a firm believer that you have to have both in order to live a truly fulfilled life.  2009 had some dark spots in it for us, but that only made the bright spots shine brighter.  I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Jewish Family's Holiday Tree

At the beginning of December, we made our way to the local Christmas tree lot to get our 2009 Holiday Tree. Since we moved here in 2003 we have ALWAYS visited this lot in the winter for a tree and then in the summer for pine straw. As we get out of the car, the gentleman approaches us and tells us about the tagging system and where we should look for what we want. We in turn tell him the story of our many years at this lot. About 10 minutes later we flag him down and point out the tree we will be taking home (this was a record, by the way. It usually takes me AT LEAST 30 minutes to pick out the perfect tree). Can you only imagine his surprise when we tell him we are Jewish!?!?!

As most of you know, I grew up in a "mixed" family...mother is Jewish, father is Christian. For as long as I can remember we had a menorah on the mantle and the tree in the corner of the living room. And for as long as I can remember Christmas wasn't really about religion. It was about a time to spend with and celebrate family.

When Marc and I bought this house, there were a lot of discussions and compromises in our future. One discussion...winter holiday time! He knew that I would want a tree and was obviously a little hesitant at the idea. Once I explained my point of view, he was a little more at ease, but still not totally sold. That first year I swear we had the older brother to the Charlie Brown tree. But it was our tree none the less.

Over the years the collection has grown, along with the tree. Our theme is blue, white, and silver with snowflakes and snowmen...a true representation of the SEASON of winter for us.

This year Ethan got to help decorate the tree. We even made a few ornaments at Nana's company holiday breakfast.

My favorite ornament

2009 Holiday Tree

We hope the holidays, however you choose to celebrate, was a memorable one for you!

My, how you've grown...

It's amazing what can happen in a year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Next American Idol???

Ethan's version of Train's "Hey Soul Sister"

So Long Surfer Dude

For almost two weeks, Ethan was bugging us to cut his hair.  He kept saying "I want it short like Carter's."  Marc and I both LOVE the long California surfer dude look.  We finally caved, deciding that it really wasn't fair to him to keep it long if he didn't want it.  Poor kid was constantly having to brush the hair out of his eyes.

Ethan and I made our way to our favorite haircut establishment, American Haircuts.  When he sat in the chair, Robert asked what he wanted.  I told him that Ethan requested it to be short so he could spike it.  I can't get over how different he looks!  At first, it was just odd.  I remember thinking, "You sound like my kid, but you sure don't look like him!"  It has taken some getting used to, but Ethan loves it, so that's all that matters. 

Ice Skating

A few weeks ago we decided to take Ethan ice skating.  He's been dying to go ever since we let him try on Marc's old skates one day.  We got to the rink and Marc took the skates into the Pro Shop to be sharpened.  The guy thought it was so cool that the skates were 30 years old! 

Once we got all suited up and stepped into the rink area, Ethan wasn't so excited.  Can you see the terror in his face?

After a lot of coaxing and some good old fashion trickery, we finally got him out there.  I was holding him and we would just gradually take a few steps closer to the ice.  When we were next to the door leading onto the rink, I distracted him as I stepped onto the ice.  Mind you, I don't skate well, so being on skates AND holding a wiggly 35 lb. toddler could have spelled disaster, but I am proud to say I kept my balance!  Once I was able to put him down, we convinced him to let Daddy take him to the door on the other side of the rink.  As soon as they got to the door..."Daddy, let's do it again!" 

My apologies for the blurry pictures (and the demon eyes).  I was trying to get a good one when I was told that I wasn't allowed to take pictures on the ice.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trip to Richmond

Two weeks ago we took a short but very sweet trip to Richmond, VA to visit my mom's family.  Gram, Ethan, and I flew out on Thursday night and Marc joined us on Friday after work.  This was the first time flying that Ethan had his own seat and of course, he wanted to sit by the window.

On Friday, Ethan and I spent most of the day with our cousins Faith and Sander.  Sander is a year older than Ethan and they got along so well!  The day was going great until Ethan took a tumble down the stairs and ended up with a bloody nose.  Poor kid...from then on out if he could hurt himself, he did.  It was a very clumsy weekend for him to say the least!

Here he is playing at Sander's house in his BBUs after the fall while his clothes were in the wash.

Saturday we had family pictures taken at Caston Studio.  I cannot wait to get those back!!  Then that night we had a great dinner at Lee and Faith's house.  Ethan had a blast playing with Ali. 

Sunday afternoon after brunch, we headed home.  Before we left, I had to get a picture of Ethan with Uncle Macaroni and Aunt Wheezy (Ronnie and Louise).

Then he promptly fell asleep in the car on the way to the airport...

And decided he wanted apple juice on the plane...this time giving me the window seat :)


For us, Halloween actually started on Friday!  Ethan got to dress up for school and have a party.  As you can see, he decided to be a Georgia football player.  We already had the jersey and helmet from last Hanukkah and he got the football pants and cleats for his birthday this year.  All that was missing was pads.  No problem!  We took Marc's old hockey pads and voila!  Instant football player!!

Here are Ethan, Jordan, and Audrey during the parade.  They gather ALL of the students and one class at a time, they start walking the circle around the entrance to the school.  There were some really clever costumes this year!

Here is Ethan's class, along with Pre-2.  See Spongbob?!  That was probably the most creative costume I've seen!  London's mom made it from felt and a cardboard box.  She was so cute...the only problem was that she couldn't sit down like everyone else!

On Saturday, our friends the Parkers came over to trick or treat with us.  You might remember Gabe (aka Batman)...he's Ethan's best friend.  His older brother, Dilyn and younger sister, Sadie came too.  The kids had a great time, despite the nasty weather.

And here is Ethan with his neighborhood friends...Carter, Colby, Emerson, and Ben

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soccer, Movies, and Waffle House!

This past Saturday we had our first lazy weekend day is a LONG time...and it felt so good!!  Sunday was a different story. 

Our first venture was to watch Marc play soccer.  I love going to the 11:00 games because the park is awesome and Ethan can run around and be...Ethan.  There is a rather large area in between the fence and the field, so Ethan took the opportunity to kick the ball around.  Notice he's sporting his new cleats he got for his birthday!!

The we decided to go for a ride on the trail around the field.  I really wish we had something like this in our area. 

Our next adventure took us down to Newnan.  We needed to grab some of Marc's old hockey gear for Ethan to wear this weekend for Halloween, so we went by Nana and Papa's house.  Then we took Ethan and Casey to see "Where The Wild Things Are."  This is one of Ethan's all time favorite books and it was Marc's favorite childhood book.  I was a little worried that Ethan would say that the movie was too loud, but he didn't.  He LOVED it!  About 30 minutes into it, he did get a little antsy so he switched off between sitting with one of us or standing up. 

After the movie we headed out to one of our favorite places to eat...Waffle House.  There's nothing better than breakfast for dinner!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weekend Getaway

This past weekend, Marc and I took a short trip up to Indiana and Ethan spent some time with Gram and Meme.  A great time was had by all!!

We arrived in Indiana LATE Friday night to meet Marc's cousin Jason and his girlfriend Jen.  Saturday we headed out to Bloomington for a party hosted by Jen's parents and some friends.  On the way there, we made a quick stop in downtown Bloomington to surprise my friend, Felicia.  She moved from Georgia a few months back and I haven't seen her since.  I got together with her boyfriend (also named Marc) and we surprised her at a restaurant called Opie Taylor's.  It was so great to see her again!!

After lunch, we headed out to the Pachynski's property.  Jen's parents share 70 acres with two other couples and it is some of the most beautiful land I've seen.

This is the view from their back porch

And this is from the front.  The leaves had just started to turn and the colors were breathtaking.

The name of the property is...

and their motto is...

Jen's dad, Dan, and the two other guys on the property, Tom and Larry, are in a band...hence the name Band Camp.  Each year, they host the "Fall Ball" and a few bands, including their own, play.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy live music, especially local bands.  Dan's bank, Another Fine Mess, closed the show and they were awesome!! 

Here's Dan on the bass...

And some other pictures...

While we were in Indiana, Ethan spent Saturday and part of Sunday with Gram and the rest of our long weekend with Meme, Casey, Jacob, and Uncle Mike.

Gram took him to the Apple Festival in Fayetteville

And had fun playing with playdough

When Ethan was with Meme, they went to Jacob's baseball game and it was so cold, they ended up watching the game from the car!

We all had such a great time this weekend.  It was easy for Marc and I to relax knowing that Ethan was in such good hand!

Happy Birthday!!

I can't believe my baby is 3...and I can't believe I'm so behing in blogging about it!  I had this great post planned out for his birthday and it just didn't happen.  Oh well.  No use dwelling.

We had Ethan's party the Saturday before his birthday.  He decided a few months ago that he wanted an UGA cake.  For those of you not familiar with college football (for shame!) Uga is the mascot for the Georgia Bulldogs.  I had such a hard time trying to figure this one out.  I knew that I wanted to make the cake again this year, but Uga is a copyrighted image.  You cannot buy a pan in his likeness and there is no way I am artistic enough to create something that would closely resemble him.  I ended up finding edible cupcake "picks" with Uga's picture on them!  Thank goodness!!  Nothing worse than letting a 3-year old down on his birthday!!

Luckily, the weather held out for us and the kids were able to play outside for a while and the adults watched the UGA v. UT game.  I only wish the game had gone as well as the party!  Ethan had a great time with his friends!  After everyone left, Uncle Jimmy and Hailey stuck around for a while.  The weather turned chilly so we bundled up under a blanket that Ethan got for his birthday.  It was a great day and he are so proud of our little man!!

These were taken the morning of his birthday before school.  He's getting so big!!!

I had the day off work so I made cupcakes and took them to school for their afternoon snack.  Here's Ethan with his birthday crown and his friend, Jordan.

After Marc got home from work, we went to Chick-a-lay for dinner and some ice-dream.  YUM!!