Easily one of my favorite days of the year is visiting the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point. But strong winds and a chance of rain almost kept us away.
E took the day off specifically to visit and when we noticed huge gusts of wind and black clouds I was so upset. We'd had a rough week, but the weather had been wonderful. And now, finally the weekend with 100% chance of rain.
But we packed up the kids and decided to go for it. The soft overcast light actually made for beautiful photos and although we aren't dressed in summer clothes, we decided to splurge on a membership and we will be back.
I was under the impression that we'd be hitting the last of the tulips, but I was wrong (woot!), there were plenty that were just opening and lots more that had yet to open. Now let's hope for sun next weekend!
E and I haven't ever forced this relationship. Of course we insist on kindness, but these two are more compatible than I could have ever hoped. And after a solid week of fighting, they were back to being best friends. I don't have to suggest they hold hands, that's all them.
The overcast light actually made photographing the flowers a little hard. Everything looked so saturated that the colors almost seem to be blown out, even though saturation was not adjusted.
I love how much these two love gardens. They will choose a garden over the zoo, the fair, or really any other activity. They are almost as obsessed as I am. And now that we are members we will visit so much more (because going once was 1/4 the cost of membership, and membership includes three other museums!).
This yellow and red garden was my favorite of the day. It was so saturated I could hardly believe it. One thing you may not know about me regarding gardens? I am always drawn to the super strong saturated colors. Light pink, light yellow and peach in the garden is my among my least favorites. I always gravitate towards dark purple, red, bright yellow and deep dark peony pink.
This boy's horrible behavior broke on Thursday afternoon and he's been back to his normal self. No idea what that was about, but I'm happy it's over.
His favorite part of the garden is always the rivers and waterfalls.
This little girl is also feeling back to her normal happy mischievous self. Running away from Daddy was her favorite activity the entire time we were there.
I love James's darling adorable four year old forced grin. But getting a natural smile is much more rare and more of a gem.
Her forced smile is also hilarious, but I much prefer all her other facial expressions.
This dress has been in her closet for six months. As soon as I purchased I knew I wanted her to wear it for the first time to the tulip festival.
This girl was loving the polka music and was dancing on my shoulders like a crazy girl. She keeps us smiling always.
This time of year I feel like there is so much beauty around me I can hardly stand it. It has been a rough week to say the least. E went to the ER for severe abdominal pain on Tuesday and I've had stomach pain and tenderness all week too. E came home with his appendix still in tact, a perception for antibiotics, and orders to call a specialist.
Also, my kids? Bewitched. Seriously. I often talk about how magical parenthood is. And it is. It is wonderful. I am trying to keep things in perspective. But when I have dealt with punching, kicking and 498998 meltdowns before ten am, I feel a little burnt out.
Today I not only threatened jail to James (don't ask...) and started crying in front of him (which is super rare) and my tummy is just really hurting. Oh yea, and I mentioned E went to the ER with crazy abdominal pain too? Boo.
But, there is always a flip side. Always. We have health insurance. We will figure out what is going on and get better. My kids are healthy, however crazy they may be. Maybe they are acting like crazed circus animals because they have a touch of this tummy bug? I don't know. But it will pass.
AND, during all this, everything is showing off their most beautiful spring colors. My favorite tree of all, the Kawanzan Cherry, is in bloom. There is one in our neighborhood that looks like a fairytale. Last night I went at sunset (after a crazy infuriating day) and just lied under it, on some stranger's sidewalk. They saw me and laughed and joked that maybe I liked their tree more than they did. I agreed. I needed that. Pink flowers and birds chirping and sunset and blue sky.
I needed it.
Can you even believe this is real?! I didn't adjust saturation or anything. And as pretty as it is, it's a thousand times better in person.
One of my friends had a baby around Christmas time and for months we've been trying to arrange a time to take photos of her newborn. Things kept coming up and suddenly her newborn was hardly a newborn anymore, instead a darling infant.
As the days grew warmer I suggested taking our girls to the apple orchard and trying to get some photos in the blossoms. Today was overcast and warm and both of our big boys were at preschool, so it seemed like a perfect day.
Only later did I realize it was also Earth Day.
Spending a morning under the fragrant blossoms in the warm spring air, with two smily girls, was the best way to celebrate the earth. Green grass and zillions of dandelions didn't hurt either.
Baby girls (and boys) are heaven on earth.
Juliet has taken an interest in flowers (yea!) and photography. I brought the sweet bunny along as a prop and she insisted I take a photo of the "pretty bunny".
Juliet's baby cradle made such a perfect prop.
It's easy to be happy with the photos when you have the two sweetest girls in the land to photograph.
Juliet's darling outfit was a hand-me-down gift from a friend. Thank you Julia and Leah. LOVE.
Yesterday was the loveliest of days. A late Easter means more blooming flowers, more green grass and more possibility of warm weather. We got all three. Perfection.
The day started out early, the Easter Bunny visited leaving both kids with new Camelback backpacks for summer hiking and a few other small gifts. Juliet was in instant love with the rain boots and James said the watering can was the best present he's ever received. Sidewalk calk, candies and new garden shovels rounded out the baskets.
We had a small egg hunt in the house before breakfast. Juliet wore her new boots and her new backpack to look for eggs.
On the way to my mom's for brunch I insisted that we stop at my favorite tree of all time for some photos. It is rare that the Kawanzan Cherry is blooming at Easter (since it is one of the last trees to bloom) but since it was in its full glory, the kids obliged and gave me a few great smiles.
Kawanzan Cherries are my very favorite of all.
Cotton candy, I tell ya.
Dressing my kids for holidays is one of my very favorite things. This sweet vintage dress I found on Etsy a year ago. I knew it would be prefect for Easter, luckily it was a perfect fit when Easter rolled around.
My mom had a huge egg hunt organized for the kids. Sixty eggs filled with candy, coins, crackers, and raisins all for the grandchildren (only James and Juliet).
Adding knee highs and black shoes finished the 1960s feel of her outfit.
So many eggs in my mom's beautiful yard.
The baskets got fuller and fuller.
Scooping out the loot after the hunt with Auntie Melissa.
Juliet was in such a happy mood. Love it. Brunch was amazing. Family parties are my favorite. Missed taking any photos of anybody but the kids. Oops.
After naps at home we moved the party to the backyard and got excited for E's family to arrive.
Damma brought more baskets and presents and of course the kids were thrilled.
The fact that there is another kiddo on E's side makes such a fun change! For so long it was only our kids. Cousins are the best.
Relaxing and enjoying after the annual egg hunt. Once the kids followed the clues they were rewarded with even MORE presents and candy. Sheesh! Spoiled.
Dinner in the backyard was amazing. I was so thankful for warm weather, it feels so celebratory to eat outside in April!
After dinner cousin crazy hour. Emilia keeps up with my two amazingly well.
And this boy? Crazy and amazing. Looking at this photo I can totally imagine him as a twenty year old. Something about his jaw-line and pose. I can see by boy as an adult, almost. ;)
PS - After the last photo was taken we headed inside to wind down and say goodbye. James, noticing all the confusion, grabbed his candy filled Easter basket and high tailed it to his room, locking his door. Finally we realized he was missing, and his door was locked. We knocked and asked him if he was in there. No answer. Finally after thirty minutes of trying to unlock his lock we unscrewed the handle. We found him laughing his head off, and the candy completely consumed. We were MAD. So we swapped his handle so the lock was on the outside and got him in his PJs. Then, while I was putting Juliet to bed, he locked E in his room from the outside and found the candy AGAIN. Oh my gosh were we so pissed at him. Looking back it is quite funny, but gah, he's mischievous.