Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love for St. John

Last year summer time, was spent agonizing over where to send Acilia to Kindergarten. I am not one to really look deep into the future, and when we bought out home in 2004, the school district was not on our list of things to check. Time flies as you may know. We found ourselves with a daughter that was graduating from preschool and rapidly approaching her first year in a "real" school setting. We loved her preschool so much, it was a tough task to find something comparable. I asked around, I visited schools. Nothing was coming up. Time was ticking and I can't exactly recall what brought me to visit St. John. The bottom line is, I did and when I walked in the door, I knew it was the place Acilia would be spending her Kindergarten year. Problem solved. She started her first day at a new school, I was relieved. As the days passed, I felt closer and closer linked to a family that I was growing with the parents and staff at St. John. The year quickly came to an end and the decision was made to stick it out through 8th grade. God willing. It's clearly God's will that we are there now, and better yet, I am feeling a strong pull to join the church there. Another story for another post.
Did I mention time flies? Well, it does, and we have entered our second year at St. John. My daughter, my sweet little girl has grown quickly and she is one day from completing her first week of first grade.
Today was a leap. Last year, in Kindergarten, my little dear would not step foot inside of her classroom unless she had me by her side. She absolutely could NOT do it. I happily joined her as we walked into the classroom each day, and watched her engage with her teacher as she settled in to her day at school. First grade is different however. Kids don't often have mom/dad accompany them into the classroom, infact, most of them are dropped at the door and with a kiss good bye bid farewell to their loving parents for the day. For a while, I was hopeless that would ever be my child. As much as I secretly enjoy her being attached to me as her comfort, I want her to spread her wings!
Today was a leap (did I mention that already?) Acilia and I were chatting on the way to school. With that, I was moved to ask her if she felt ready to walk in by herself today. She quickly stated she was ready. Too easy? Today was a leap of faith. I asked her if she was sure, and she said she was. She was ready to be a big kid. I pulled in to the parking lot, kissed my precious first born good bye and she was on her way. Did she really just leave me behind without so much as a bat of the eye? She did! I was so proud! I stood outside of the door, (in the rain) and watched her journey down the hallway to her locker. She knew exactly what she was doing! She looked like she had been walking into school on her own for years. She emptied her backpack into her locker and then walked right in to her classroom.
Mom was happy. Acilia was happy. Augie and Jen Kohl were happy too! Augie is the groundskeeper at the school. He greets everyone at the door every day. We got to know him last year, as we walked by him on the way in and out of school. He knew how special it was that Acilia felt comfortable enough to venture into the hallway on her own. He even gave me a thumbs up and big smile. He was proud of her too! Jen Kohl, another who I got to know last year, walked past Acilia in the hall and smiled as she looked back realizing what was going on. She too gave me a big thumbs up with a smile. You see, we all speak in the parent code. We are family afterall, and family picks up on those special moments.
St. John is a family to us. We love the school, we love the teachers, we love the environment! We love that God led us right where we are.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

1st grade...

How could it be, the little girl I gave birth to 6 years ago, has grown into a first grader!? This is a moment in parenthood that proves just how fast time moves. I made the mistake of blinking my eyes, the summer flew by! My daughter, sweet Acilia Rhiann is starting first grade tomorrow. My baby is no longer a baby but a blossoming flower that is growing with beauty and grace!

I went to Vegas...

and I survived!!
Not only did I survive, but I thoroughly enjoyed the trip!! (Aside from my mini internal meltdown the first night. I missed my kids, I missed my home and had a small panic attack. It ended and I moved on to enjoy the whole trip, and lived to tell about it!!)

We left Wednesday, August 19th. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 12:35 and today's standards calls for a 2 hour window pre flight to get through security and situated at your gate. That didn't happen, we were running late (typical style of my husband, I, however like to be prompt so I can relax. Being late is something I have come to accept when I am with him though!) we made it to the gate with 10 minutes to spare, I popped a 10 mg tranquilizer to calm my jitters and we boarded. The flight, for being over three hours went incredibly fast and we were there! Las Vegas baby!! I was euphoric when we landed. Ironically speaking as nervous as I was to leave home, I truly LOVE flying! Nothing compares to the beautiful sights you see from that small window of the plane.
I found it quite amusing that the minute you step off the plane, you are greeted with slot machines!! Only in Vegas! We went to retrieve our luggage and headed to pick up our rental car. (A convertible Mustang).
OOH! Side note, I had a blast doing the most simple thing...riding the monorail shuttle from the parking lot at the airport to our terminal. Weird, I know, but it was fun :)

Picked up the car, headed to THE hotel of all hotels! I am telling you, if ever you get the chance to stay at this hotel, DO IT! Don't hesitate. Where did we stay? The Venetian! It is "staged" (rather well I might add) to feel like Italy. There are gondolas, there are beautiful painted ceilings, there are fountains, there is marble and gold and, and, and. There is no detail left behind and it was BREATHTAKING! I can't say enough. I was walking through just trying to soak up the beauty as well as snapping every picture I could to capture the beauty.
We entered our room and got situated and then without batting an eye, left the room to explore the town that has such a reputation! I can't recall detail for detail the way our days played out, but during our time there, we ate incredible (tasteful as well as expensive) food, shopped in great stores, walked, talked, took a gondola ride (ROMANTIC! ROMANTIC! FABULOUS! LOVED IT!) visited Madame Tussuad's, watched a Pirate show at Treasure Island, the amazing fountain water show at the Bellagio, visited with some fabulous friends that came in from Arizona to enjoy a few days with us and I learned how to play Craps. What a fun time! We even situated ourselves at an Oxygen bar. The homeopathic way to get a little boost on no sleep and jet lag :)
Friday came, the day to leave. Our trip was not long enough, yet it was long enough to ache for my children. As the hours passed, and the more children I saw, I literally melted each time missing them! We missed our scheduled flight (did I mention Al is always late, well, this time he doesn't get full blame, we were both completely wrapped up in our fun times that we both submitted to being irresponsible about watching the time!) but were able to make a flight two hours later. We checked our bags and headed through security. Al realized a bit too late that he had forgotten to take his knife off his belt (he's an electrician, he uses it to cut wires and is in full habit of clipping it on his belt as he gets dressed in the morning) he thought by chance, sheer luck if you will, that he would slide through security with no issue. NOT THE CASE. He was flagged and long story short, had a report filed. Just call him Mr. Terrorist himself :/
We flew home, as night fell. Making the sights from that little window on the plane even more beautiful. We landed safe and sound, came home and went to bed with sweet memories of an amazing trip!

Pictures from Vegas

There are many many many pictures that I took, I chose these to highlight our trip :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vegas bound!

Yes, Al and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage next Thursday.
Yes, We will be traveling to celebrate.
Yes, we had a Bahamas trip planned the year we got married to celebrate our union.
Yes, the trip to the Bahamas was cancelled, therefore we had no honeymoon.
Yes, at that time, I was 100% relieved, because I was NOT a traveler at the time, due to panic attacks hindering my life for 20 some years.
Yes, the time has come to pack up and travel far away from home, with just myself and my husband.
Yes, I am beyond excited.
Yes, I am in denial that the time has finally come (considering I booked this trip ages ago, but as life so often does, it came with the blink of an eye!)
Yes, I am scared, nervous, jittery, not quite sure how to word my internal feelings but I do get a major case of the butterflies when I even *think* of actually going.
The days are flying, and in just 8 days WE will be flying to our destination in Vegas.
I could get nervous, the old Karrie would, but the new Karrie is trusting that God will be by my side. Afterall, that's most likely why you have two sides to your body, one side for your life companion, and the other side for our Father in Heaven!