when super enzo turned four

when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four
super enzo and his favoritest sidekick-turned-cape, super blanky "beebee"

when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four
 birthday mornings tend to be special for our family. made-to-order breakfast ("gwuten-fwee donuts wif chocowate fwosting, peese!"), singing, and presents first thing. the drum set was a joint gift from both sets of grandparents. people seem to think we are crazy for bringing that noise maker into the house, but it seems normal to us.  my dad and brother both play, so maybe i am used to it. family band in the making!

when super enzo turned four
and  then he came to the dinner table with his hair slicked back with 1/2 a can of mousse, so he could be fancy on his birthday night. tears rolling down my face in laughter with this one. all.the.time.
when super enzo turned four
when super enzo turned four

a couple days later we hosted a low-key superhero dance party for a few family friends. glow sticks for the win! (really the only extra thing we purchased, other than food.) spidey-bat-man had a super time.

i may still be in denial that he is FOUR. long days and short years for sure.

in my attempt to make up some lost documenting of our daily life, i will be sharing photo posts of important moments from the past year; big & special and little & mundane, but all important. the perfectionist in me cringes at the thought of this belated out-of-orderness, but the story teller in me would rather have them recorded than forgotten. enjoy!

ten days of no sugar

oh hey, sandals! welcome to 2014! and you little green chucks busted a move at hip hop class.
sandal weather arrived in albuquerque and i can't say that i mind. now that we have finally bounced back from the latest round of stomach bug (the last month has just been one sickness after another), i am just ready to get on with the onset of spring. the urge to clean house and declutter shelves has come upon me.  opening windows and airing out over-wintered cooped up rooms.  and this is where i feel a bit guilty that our weather was really nothing compared to our midwest family and friends.  but not too guilty.  they can always come visit next winter, right?  (yes, that is an invitation.)

uncluttering house and inbox and to-do list before the weekend... with hopes that an uncluttered mind will follow, allowing us a true time of rest. because in that rest and with that rest, we can better address that which threatens to overwhelm. #notinmyo
speaking of house guests, things might be a tight fit if you do make it out to land of enchantment. we recently found out we will be staying in this rental much much longer than we hoped or expected.  the continued effects of unemployment and a fresh sting of disappointment.  it has been a humbling reminder to be content.

contentment in general has been a struggle lately.  my body has not quite recovered from last summer's miscarriage.  last week i hit the, "i will do whatever is necessary" point and made the snap decision to start whole30 round 2 the next day.  ten days down and going strong, folks.  killing the sugar beast was the worst part, mostly because i would like to eat all the emotions.  but i am determined to take back my health, however much i am able.  it is too soon to tell how my body will respond, but i do feel more clear headed and regaining energy.

mourning with those who mourn twice in the last four days. our prayers are with the brokenhearted. there is no promise of tomorrow. but there is Hope. #andgracewillleadmehome

there has been much broken heartedness this february.  i will remember this month and the loss felt so keenly by those we know.  my own sorrow for our baby lost - the due date approaches this weekend - has been a constant companion. it threatens to overwhelm.  and i pray to remember i can experience joy more fully knowing sorrow.

march is around the corner - as in tomorrow - and it promises big things.  a theological conference on wrestling with contentment, some big (good) changes with my classical conversations job, our oldest turning nine,  a super fantastic girls weekend, and my 35th birthday to name a few.  and countless of the unexpected too, i am sure.

see you on the flip side (of the calendar),
xoxo,
annalea

S I X T Y

sixty
today this handsome fellow turns sixty years old!
(happy birthday dad! i wish we could be there to celebrate with you.)
these are a few of my favorite shots from his trip to visit us last june.
(see you in two months, pops! until then, lots of facetime hugs and kisses.)

sixty
sixty
sixty
sixty
sixty
sixty

2014 class valentines

IMG_9614
2014 class valentines

these valentines were the easiest.  and free!  and the kiddos did most of the work themselves!
(picking out the rocks was super fun, i was told.)

30 minutes to whip up about 30 homemade goodies is a-okay with me.  they were passed out to their classical conversations classmates today.  oh the sweetness of hearing enzo show me treasured "vawentimes" from his little friends.

i haven't decided how we will celebrate at home this week.  i love lovin' on my crew with a little something special. (2013 and 2012)  my best ideas usually come at the last minute, so i still have 3 days, right?

valentine inspiration from deliajude

saying goodbye to clover

in memory of clover
in memory of clover
just last week, luca was asked what made him happiest in the whole wide world.  
"clover, my hamster," he answered without delay.

this sweet black bear hamster has been luca's favorite of favorites for the past two years. clover was his happy place and a source of constant comfort.  it was recommended that a pet might be therapeutic for autism and anxiety. boy, was that right. clover was an important part of our daily life and our family functioning. and yesterday we had to say goodbye.

Will you please keep Luca in thought and prayer? This sweet black bear hamster has been his favorite of favorites for the past 2 years. Clover is his happy place and a source of constant comfort. We are saying goodbye today and it is oh so hard for our bo
 In a week full of tragic and unexpected loss of human life - at church, at work, back in IL - this small sorrow over Luca's first pet could seem inconsequential. But then I remember the sweet provision of opportunities to help our children walk through he
i would never have guessed it would be so sad! and that drawing above just brings tears to my eyes. this little rodent will always hold such a special place in our memory. he was truly a gift of peace in a tumultuous time.

how good is the provision of opportunities to help our children walk through healthy grief in the small stuff! because the big is inevitable. i am grateful for a safe home. and knowing love that is worth sadness.

photo(153)
we are oh so thankful for clover.

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fyi: when i student taught in college, one of the lesson plans i wrote for my 4yo class was on dealing with the death of a pet.  i used the book i'll always love you by hans wilhelm and it was such a touching story to revisit this week with my own kiddos.   
xoxo, annalea