On Wednesday, May 23, Ms. Ava had her first ever last day of school - does that make sense? I sat in the floor of our living room on Tuesday night wrapping up teacher thank you gifts and crying my eyes out. When did Ava get big enough to have teachers to give gifts to? Pumpkin Shell has been such a sweet little school for Ava to start. The class was small, her teachers were kind and exhibited a warmth to our nervous girl. After those first few tearful weeks, Pumpkin Shell became a place Ava loved to go. She is missing her friends and teachers already. Here she is with her lead teacher, Sophie.
The kiddos made signs to put in their yards and paper graduation hats.
A few pieces of artwork Ava made at our church's day school, where she'll go Tuesday through Thursday this summer. Josh is taking Mondays off to spend with Ava, and Tuesday through Thursday afternoons and all day Fridays will be spent with Abby and Kynlee. It's been an adjustment getting accustomed to our summer schedule, but I think we're going to love it.
Little Ms Liberty helping me shop at Target
At church on Wednesday night we had a cookout. The kiddos (and Josh) played soccer, jumped rope, threw beanbags, and drew with chalk
while the adults tried to keep our burgers and dogs from flying away in the gusty wind.
On Sunday, May 27, we headed to Dallas to take Ava and her entourage to Baba and Pops. Ava stayed with them for the week while Josh and I traveled for a vacation/work trip (pictured below Ava's vacation pictures).
The following pictures were generously supplied by Baba throughout our long week away from Ava.
Playing at the park
Snuggling with her new best friend
Sewing project with a friend
Stuffing the pillows
This is the first time Ava has ever cried while we're gone. Five seems to have brought on a new side of Ava. She really likes to be with Josh and me at home. New situations and time away from us are stressful to her. I know it's a normal phase of life, but it doesn't make it any easier. She had a blast at Baba and Pops and was only tearful a few times, or when we'd call. Luckily she had a furry friend to snuggle with...oh and a Baba and Pops to spoil her rotten.
No tears on her trip to Six Flags
Ready to start a day of fun
Spinning in the teacups
Riding the little swings (she rode the big swings too)
Spinning with Baba
Twirling in the hat
Rapids with Pops
After the soaking
A friend came over to swim
Just plain silly
Wagon behind the lawnmower? Of course
Seeing the dinosaurs in Glen Rose
Hunting for dinosaur footprints in the river with Pops
Nature walking with Pops
While Ava was doing everything fun in Texas, Josh and I were beaching it in Florida. I had a conference to attend in Boca Raton Wednesday through Saturday. With Monday being a holiday, and Tuesday counting as my travel day, we headed out on Sunday for a few personal days before my work started.
We started our week in Palm Beach.
With a street named Ocean, you know it's paradise.
Josh studied for the Bar and I read David Copperfield while we both worked on our tans.
Josh found a coconut washed up on the shore.
Beautiful flower outside our hotel
Loving the palm trees
We saw an old friend at a fancy sweet shop in Palm Beach.
The next day we took a road trip across the state to Naples, Florida. On our way, we drove through Everglades National Forest.
We packed a picnic lunch and camped out to wait on the sunset.
A few sights in Naples: We Love Ava, a sailboat, and a protected sea turtle nest.
The main reason we drove to Naples was to see the sunset on the ocean.
So we headed out onto the city pier to watch
Taken by a fellow-sunset enjoyer. I managed to flag down a Swiss, what are the odds? Her accent was obvious as soon as we started talking, so we spent a few minutes reminiscing about the Alps and then she snapped this lovely shot for us.
On Wednesday we headed to Boca Raton for my conference.
Josh sat in the plush atrium and studied for the bar while I was in sessions.
We did have some down time at the resort.
The boat ride from our resort to the beach
Crystal clear water and a private beach
with cabana boy,
it was tough work - let me tell you.
I'm such a beach lover, but Josh is more of a mountain person. He was so sweet to suffer the sand and walk along the shore with me. I think there's such an energy to be gleaned from the ocean, and I left feeling so relaxed and wonderful.
Speaking of energy - say hello to a chocolate ice-cream brownie dream.
Maybe I ate 12 of these, who was counting?
We were definitely glad to get home to our sweet girl.
Josh took us to Chuy's, yes, we have one in Norman now...they call the Boom Boom sauce Boomer Sauce but it's still just as delicious. Ava and I decided to dance the flamenco out of sheer Tex-Mex joy.
Finally, we finished reading Charlotte's Web. Sure, I was a puddle of Mommy in the floor for the last two chapters but it was worth it. If you haven't read it as an adult I encourage you to pick it up. It was so much more beautiful and profound than I ever realized as a child.
I hope your summer is starting out just lovely. We hope to see some of your sweet faces over the next few months!