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Pack It Up Pack It In, We’re Moving Again

2017 June 15
by Becky

It’s with a heavy-yet-excited heart that I can officially share our news, that after four blissful years in St. Louis, we’re moving back to Washington D.C.

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After over a month of waiting and stressing and planning (which is really hard when you have no dates or times or places to work with), this thing is finally real. And though we’ve been expecting it for the entirety of our time here, the news still came as a shock. Funny how no amount of preparing can make pulling up roots easier. We’re leaving our wonderful friends, incredible neighborhood, and a school experience better than any I’d ever imagined. It’s hard and sad but we are really excited to go back to another city we L-O-V-E.

BeforeWeGoList

So instead of making the typical summer to-do list, we made a “Before We Go” list. Things we need to do before we pull out of town. Shockingly, while bogged down in the chores of getting our house ready to sell, we’ve been crossing off things at a ridiculously rapid rate.

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Memorial Day weekend was an amazing opportunity since Stu took an extra day off and my parents came to visit. We checked out the beautiful new Kiener Plaza and it’s lovely new playground and splash pad before wandering down to City Garden, one of our all-time favorite St. Louis summer hangs. That one will be crossed off the list ten times over!

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We’ve made our usual frequent trips to the gardens, but our last visit was even more fun with the addition of warm weather, allowing for water fun with our buddies Kate, Cooper, and Marley. There’s a ton of incredible stuff in our nation’s capitol, but the D.C. Botanic Gardens can’t touch MOBOT. It’s not even a fair fight.

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Our Goodnight St. Louis book is still in constant bed time book rotation and there were a couple places we’d somehow yet to visit with Finn, you know, second kid and all. So one day after camp we popped over to Crown Candy for “mil-shacks” and rock candy with our friends Katie, Anna, and Joaquin. I always fear long lines, but 3:30pm on the last week of school was a perfect time to beat the crowds.

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Finn chose chocolate and couldn’t believe the abundance of milkshake delivered to our table. He insisted we drink our treat simultaneously. Like a date.

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Stu and I snuck away for a couple days of “neighborhood-and-school hunting” last week sans-kids, but I couldn’t wait to get back for a Circus Flora show…it’s one of our favorite yearly events and last weekend was gorgeous, making the tent a perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon. If you don’t have tickets yet, GO!!!! Even the cheapest seats are amazing! I love that one minute we can’t breathe watching trapeze artists fly through the air and the next minute we’re giving those same people high-fives after the show. Circus Flora is a St. Louis GEM.

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Other items we’ve crossed off include Suson Farm, Ted Drewes, The Magic House, and City Museum—all to be repeated I hope. Ethan and I will be seeing The Little Mermaid at the Muny next week. Ethan is finishing up Zoo camp this week and off to another exciting camp adventure next week. Fitting it all in will be tough, so its a good thing we get to most of our favorite places on a fairly regular basis.

We’ll be selling our house and buying a new one (or maybe already did…) and have the next month and a half planned to the hour just to get everywhere one more time.

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Top on my mind was getting some long-overdue family photos at our beloved Tower Grove Park, courtesy of my friend Casey. It poured for our entire session so we’re planning another one, but Casey still of course managed to snap some beautiful shots like the one above.

The boys seem excited for the move, which may or may not have something to do with us promising them bunk beds. Whatever the case, we’re full steam ahead and will be gone by August.

So stop by for a run through the backyard sprinkler or meet us on a Saturday at the Tower Grove Farmers Market or let’s grab dinner. Soon.

We’re going to miss this place!

Full

2017 May 13
by Becky

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“Full” best explains life right now.

Full of happiness, full of stress, full of adorable moments, full of growth, and full of changes.

For the second year, I agreed to help with a not-so-minor part of our school’s biggest fundraising event, a “soriee” if you will, and what with my new job and the kids expanding schedules and so so many favors and other volunteer projects happening ALL in the same several weeks, I’ve felt like I’m barely keeping my head above water. Don’t get me wrong, it I love doing hands-on creative projects in the evenings, but sometimes even things you enjoy feel like a burden when there are just so many other priorities.

It’s also hard to focus on being a patient and fun parent when there are so many things on my mind. It would be easier to complete a task like answering emails or making dinner or ordering paper lanterns. So while there were SO many errands to run and loose ends to tie up, Finn and I still have three days alone together and we made sure to escape to the garden last week for my favorite ever flowers: irises and peonies.

This is the best season!!! Totally spectacular!! Every bed was bursting with brilliant color, each one more incredible than the next.

We like to play the “find your favorite” game, fully aware it’s an impossible task.

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Finn was enamored with the deep purple Alliums with their round heads swaying in the lovely spring breezes. “Purple balls!” he yelled around every curve in the path.

(I think it’s funny my friend Kristin at Thirdstory(ies) took this exact same picture last week. Brains in sync.)

Prior to this day the rain had been record-breaking and disastrous, so when it finally stopped, we couldn’t wait to be outside. An excuse to call the walk to the giant koi bridge my workout for the day.

Too bad our walk was so slow and stop-ridden there’s no way I burned more than 50 calories.

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Irises. You are so bizarre and wild and I’m enamored with you. Those fuzzy orange tongues get me every year, I think they are so adorable. No flower is like another, this particular garden like a crowd of eccentric characters all clambering for the title of “Most Amazing”.  I must have said “Look at this one!” 72 times while walking the meandering path through these gems and Finn was much better this year, remembering to use his nose and not his hands with the gentle petals.

And yet before those fat fish got their food, we stopped again to gaze at my tip-top-ultimate favorite blooms, out in all their glory.

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There just aren’t words.

Actually, I take that back. After sticking his nose in a couple dozen peonies, Finn declared, “They taste like orange juice!” And you know, I think he’s kind of right.

I love how the peony beds follow the curve of the path, all mixed together in pinks and whites and reds. All in different stages of bloom. Many embodied my current state: FULL.

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This little Finn. The second kid thing sneaks up on me in weird ways. Life wasn’t as busy when Ethan was little (though my five-year-ago self would probably disagree), and I had what seemed like endless time to go everywhere, see everything, to keep us from going stir crazy at home. It is more deliberate with Finn, taking time for just the two of us to explore our favorite places without friends or big brother around to get in his way.

Times for him to choose.

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He’s a pretty awesome little companion.

I’ll forever be grateful for the beauty and wonder these gardens provide. They are right down the street and the most amazing spot to spend an hour or three. Walking the garden’s paths, I always feel completely removed from the city around us, transported to a different–and seemingly perfect—time and place. My heart swells to know my kids cherish them too.

See? Full.