The last month has been filled with fun and good things for the C family.
It all looked something like this:
1. Chris PASSED COMPS. It was a long ordeal. After weeks of full time preparation (while also taking and teaching classes), he took 1 week-long take home comp, 3 killer sit-downs, and two weeks later enjoyed his "oral comps", where his board threw questions at him for two hours. He did so great, and still managed to be home for bedtime mutton-bustin' most nights, even when it meant returning to campus after they were tucked in. I remember one night, my heart was breaking into a million pieces, I JUST WANTED HIM TO STAY HOME. I held it in. I kissed him goodbye and wished him good luck and picked up toys and watched some tv, reminding myself it would come to an end. And it did. I am so proud of this man. He is now an official doctoral candidate and ABD, "all but dissertation."
2. A few days after passing comps, this man of ours turned the big 3-0. Not going to lie, since he is a closet Star Wars geek and his birthday is "May the fourth be with you", I was dying to throw him a big Star Wars party. Chris isn't a guy who likes to have a party for himself, so we kept it simple. A few days before his birthday I took the kids out to find some presents. Carly spotted a My Little Pony shirt (in the mens section?) and said "Look! A daddy pony shirt! I bet daddy would just looooove a daddy pony shirt!" Luckily I talked her down from that one. The morning of his big day our friends watched the kids and we did some shopping and had lunch. Poor guy struck out, but we did manage to find the girls some cute swimsuits on sale. Isn't that just the life of a parent? We also went into the glasses shop where we have Groupons to get our eyes tested and new pairs of glasses (we both have awful eyes). Turns out the place was a bit too hip for these simple old folk. We each found exactly ONE pair of glasses that would work. We spent the rest of the day with the kids, having cake and blowing out candles and opening a few gifts. I'm so grateful for this man of mine, even if he is old now.
3. Well, we didn't have a 30th birthday party, but that didn't stop me from having a little Cinco de Mayo get-together the following day. We had a Mexican food potluck with some of our great friends. Mexican food and I have a very special relationship, and the 3 days of leftovers afterwards made me quite happy. Not to mention the GF tres leches cake my friend made. At the last minute I decided to make a pinata. I looked it up on Pinterest, adjusted a few things to fit the supplies I already had, and made an absolutely beautiful Ritz box pinata filled with random candy, stickers, and birthday party supplies I found around the house. It was so classy. But the kids seemed to enjoy themselves, and it took several rounds of whacking before it burst open.
4. We enjoyed a MSU baseball game with Chris's adviser Jim, and his wife Linda. Jim and Linda have bee quite good about spoiling our kids, and our kids sure like them. They help make up for the absence of family we have here in the Mitten. MSU baseball games are fun and family friendly, but between comps and the bad weather this spring, this was the first game we were able to make it to . . . the last game of the season. We had fun, but it never ceases to amaze me just how chaotic our little family is. At least we're cute, right?
5. I enjoyed my 4th Mother's Day. I got myself some photo albums, and Chris know me so well . . . I woke up to a People magazine, 4 different Snickers bars, and a family portrait drawn by Carly. Chris did everything that day, changing diapers, dressing kids for church, making dinner. And I got a nap. He made me breakfast, too, and Carly was especially excited that they made me pink (strawberry) milk. I really only like strawberry milk when I'm pregnant, so I choked a little down before offering it to her. I am so blessed to have these little people in my life. They give me a fun for my money, and I end my days exhausted and emotionally spent, but then I look through my phone at pictures and I can't help but smile. They are just so darn cute.
6. Carly finished her year of joyschool preschool! It was a great year, and I enjoyed getting to know the kids, and Carly was always so excited when Tuesdays rolled around. We ended with a bang, doing a Z is for Zoo field trip. I made a little scavenger hunt for the kids to mark the animals they found. Afterwards, we had a picnic and one mom brought cupcakes and another made "graduation" certificates. I can't believe how quickly the school year went by. It really is such a strange thing. And I look at the pictures comparing Carly on the first and last days of school . . . her face looks older and her body looks stronger. We got her all signed up for Tuesday/Thursday preschool at the out-of-district school I was hoping to get her in to. She's excited for "big kid school when I turn 4!", but this mama's heart is just a little heavy about it all.
Its been a good and busy month.
I was hoping Chris's schedule would calm down a bit after comps, but that hasn't quite happened, with a two-week grant writing course going on and a national conference to prepare for. But that's what June is for (fingers crossed).
We have a fun summer ahead of us with lots of adventures. We live a sweet life. I think sometimes I can't wait for this phase to be over, can't wait for Chris to have a normal job and have a house and have our kids be a little older. But I know when that days comes we'll look back on these crazy chaotic but fun-filled days with fondness and a whole lot of laughter.