Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Little Blessings #9

My Job! That's right - I love my job and feel it is such an amazing blessing. I love the ladies I work with, of course the atmosphere, and what I do. I've worked at the State Botanical Garden for about 4 years at varying capacities. From field trips and summer camps, to registration guru, to my present (and favorite) role of curricula writer.
I mainly work in developing and training teachers on our Garden Earth Naturalist curriculum that is geared for 3-5 grade students. We have been approved to be published Nationally through 4-H, which is so very exciting! It is really neat to think that this wonderful environmental education tool will be available to children all over the country. I digress, because I could talk about this wonderful program for hours...
As a not so on-the-way sidetrack to the Environmental Education Alliance conference a few weeks ago, we went to the Okefenokee Swamp. We took a motor boat out on the swamp for a few hours. Below are some of the pictures. Oh, and the first picture above is from our Exotic birds and reptiles of the forest program. That was a BABY anaconda!

Golden Club
Creepin' alligator...
we stopped counting at 27 gators about a 3rd of the way in.
My boss and I walking through the pine/palmetto forest - a very important ecosystem that is quite endangered due to fire suppression and development.

A bit more about my job - as part of of the University, we are an outreach facility. Well, I have to give my boss the "Above and Beyond" award for all she does. Beyond what she does to help educate teachers and children about protecting our natural world, she is an amazing woman and friend. She has been so flexible with me throughout school, pregnancy, and babe. I am so sad to leave Athens and this amazing experience I have had at the Garden. She is a blessing that is hard to express. I always thought that a 'mentor' was kind of silly, but she is definitely that. Someone to strive to be like and to leave a legacy. Again, I digress. I just really love my job and am sad to leave...
Speaking of leaving, I have an interview on Thursday. Please pray for me to find something that will fit into our new life in Decatur and still be able to provide for the family in every way (time, hugs, and financially).
Love and blessings!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Little Blessings #8

It is such a part of our life - music. Ben and I spent many a date-night and traveling the southeast to concerts, and still do when we have an adult weekend. Esther has a love for music and singing that warms our hearts. She'll ask for music and loves to have dance parties. I'm happy that music will be a large part of her life too. Maybe she'll be a drummer...

Esther's makeshift drumset started with sitting on our 3-tiered plant stand and placing her drum and tambourine on the other tiers. In the middle of her music show, she realized that someone else would be living in our house (we had been discussing moving earlier). As you can hear, she doesn't want anyone else to move in, because she wants to still be able to play in it.

May music and dancing bless your week! Hope your weekend was full of sunshine and fun!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Little Blessings #3-7

Since I've been slacking on posting (out of town at a conference), I'm quintupling up on the little blessings today.

#3 - that my little lady loves digging in the dirt....and dresses!
#4 - Imagination! She's made a 'bridge' out of her books to get across the 'pond'.
#5 - Sunshine! I love the warmth and sunshine...and the simplicity of hanging clothes on the line.
#6 - Sidewalk Chalk (or any other creative toy that occupies a child's mind for a good 30 minutes). Wonderful!
#7 - More and more glimpses of spring. Camillas and buds on my jasmine.

The 'little blessings' keep on coming....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Little Blessings #2

One of the biggest blessings in my life - my husband, Benjamin. Today is our 6-year anniversary. I woke up this morning, remembering that beautiful day. My Mom called my hotel room around 7:00 and said, "Are you ready to get married?" Even though I was exhausted from staying out late with all our friends and family that had come in town, I jumped out of bed. "Yes!" I was ready to get married - never a doubt in my mind. Ben and I dated for almost 5 years before getting married, living apart for a year while I was in AmeriCorps. Not that I had had a lot of experience, but I knew that Ben was something special. He actually made me feel good about myself and loved me unconditionally. He made me laugh, held me when I cried, didn't mind my extreme moodiness, thought my goofiness was adorable, and respected and shared my views on life. Over 10 years after meeting him, things have only gotten better! I love this man more today than ever. He is an amazing husband and father. I love watching his relationship with Esther and knowing that they will always be close.
We always joke that we 'complete' each other, but it is true. I know most people feel this way about the spouses, but also see a lot of people who constantly complain about their loved ones or just don't seem to get it. Well, we've got and don't plan on letting it go. Marriage takes work, and I feel some people give up way to easy. Not saying that some marriages should be ended for various reasons, but I think many people just stop trying. Communication, openness and understanding, and prayer are the keys. I feel very lucky to have met my match and married young. I look forward to growing old with my love, having more baby(ies), and being grands together one day. Okay, enough mushiness...
Benjamin, I love you with all my heart. More today than 6 years ago on our wedding day. It did not bother me that all you could say was "I love you" during our vows, because those words say it all! Thank you for loving me, for loving my family, and loving our family. I feel like the luckiest gal in the world! Oh yeah, and did I mention that I think you're incredibly handsome! Happy Anniversary!
I'm letting him sleep in, otherwise I wouldn't be wasting my time on the computer. After wake-up, brunch and watching our wedding video snuggled under a blanket with our littlest love.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Everyday Treasures and

My two favorite blogs reminded me today of slowing down and appreciating the little things around me that make my life so full. Lil' Songbird is a beautiful friend, Ansley, who lives right outside of Athens. She makes homemade soap (that is amazing), knits, take great photographs, and has a wonderful family - among other things. Her, Feeding the Soul theme is a great idea that I'm stealing. I'm not as good at posting everyday, but will do my best for a couple times a week. Soule Mama's Everyday Treasures was another happy reminder to count your blessings and to be thankful. So, here is the start to -
My Little Blessings.
Of course, my sweet Esther is an amazing blessing. I love this picture from my birthday last year. I think it epitomizes motherhood and the friendship of me and my wee one. A happy walk, hand in hand.

After an adult weekend (E stayed w/ Grandma and Poppi) and two full days of work, I was really missing my girl (and I'm leaving for a conference for 3 days tomorrow). I got home last night and snuggled and kissed my heart out - even with her pushing me away and saying "no kisses, Mama!" We later took a walk after dinner and I stared at her in awe. Everyone says they grow up so fast, and it has hit me how true that is. She is not a baby anymore. Her imagination and cleverness amazes me. Man, I love this girl!
A funny quote from our walk home last night. "I like crickets - they taste good. Papa, do you want to eat some?" For the record, she has never eaten crickets to my knowledge. She was listening to the night sounds and recognized the crickets. Not sure how that progressed to eating them, but it was really funny.
So there's the start of 'My little blessings'. I'm at the Environmental Education Alliance conference the rest of the week, so will be back next week. Enjoy your 'Everyday Treasures', things that 'Feed Your Soul' and the many 'Little Blessings' in your life!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Esther and I had a lovely visit to our good friends' farm, Backyard Harvest, last week. Becky and I used to work together at the Botanical Garden before she decided to be a full-time organic farmer with her husband, Boo. We had a wonderful time digging carrots and walking around the farm. They also have a lot of critters on the farm, my favorites being Buddy and Rose, the llama and alpaca, though the many dogs and kitties are sweet as can be.
I think Esther cleaned them out on carrots. She even broke her very annoying no-vegetable rule and ate a few bits. These are sweetest carrots I've ever tasted. Delicious!

The weird cold-hot weather we've been having (and the crazy snow) have knocked out most of the crops, but they still had some lettuces and cilantro in the greenhouses. Esther wasn't so sure about the lettuce.
Boo and E had some basketball fun, too. Taking a rest in between sets :)
As I am not a cold-weather girl, I am loving the sunshine and warm temperatures of late. Wishing you and yours a sunny week!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Snow Day

We had so much fun in are snow this past weekend. We got about 7 inches in Athens, which is quite the big deal for us. Esther had read about snow and see it on movies, but this was her first 'real deal'. She loved it! We had a hard time explaining why she couldn't stay out there for hours. The main reason being, we had no power for a good 26+ hours. With no way to warm up, we only let her play for a few hours. She had a blast building a snowman, sledding, and throwing snowballs. We still have a good bit of snow in the yard, but it is mushy and has lost its luster.

Esther relaxing on the make-shift sled
The scarf E asked for and I made in cold hours of the morning. As usual, she hates posing.
Cuddling to stay warm
Playing blocks by candle and flashlight. Entertaining w/out lights for the few hours before bedtime was the hardest part.
I love her laugh - pure joy!