This past month has brought equal parts stress, change, heat, and fun. Stress because Josh is fervently studying for the Bar Exam; he takes it July 24 and 25. Change because Ava is going to our church's day school and my job has moved into a different season of recruitment/admissions. Heat because, well, it's summer. And fun because, well, it's summer! We find ourselves eating lots of cold and tasty things to combat the heat.
We baked a peach cake for a fundraiser at our church.
Always fun to be in the kitchen with my girl
Our finished product
June was my last month to teach Ava in the preschool class because in August she'll MOVE UP TO THE KINDERGARTEN CLASS. Good gravy where has my baby gone? Josh and I will continue to teach in her class on a rotation; that time is just too precious to pass up.
Have you doubts that boys are different from girls?
See the two boys build marker towers and swords:
See the two girls color the first page for almost half an hour and cut their eyes at the rowdy boys:
In the boys' defense, the second sheet allowed them to paint the wheels of a car and drive it along a neighborhood map.
For Father's Day we grabbed lunch at a favorite local pasta shop, Victoria's.
Ava loves to sit upstairs and watch the kitchen action.
Soon we received a call inviting us to go out with the Waggoners on their boat.
We thought about it for about four seconds and then slathered on sunscreen.
The red dirt makes the lake water look very brown, but it was refreshing nonetheless.
Last summer on the boat Ava was nervous about tubing and swimming, not this summer. She hopped right in and was ready for fun. It's so neat to watch her growing up into a little lady.
Loving our time in the water
Ava adores spending time with the four Waggoner kiddos. When I was younger we knew a family with four kids and their house was always one of my favorite places to go. I love to watch her experience that same faux big family.
When Josh takes a break from the Bar he really lets it all hang out.
Not wanting Tony to drive crazy and make the boys flip off the tube.
Her sassy stance did not work. Seconds after this shot both boys were overboard.
It was a fabulous day.
On our way home Ava fell asleep in the car for the first time in over a year.
Loving our Whataburger taquito breakfast
Day School has been such a happy place for Ava this summer.
Taking in a sunset with friends
My very last day teaching sweet preschoolers in Sunday School we bowled very near a wall shared with one of the adult classes. It may have been my last time teaching whether I was scheduled to go or not after all the racket we made!
We have been so lucky to have family and friends step in to help us out during this crazy time of Bar Prep. My mom came up for a week to love on Ava. Other friends have called and invited Ava to playdates, knowing days at home with a studying Daddy aren't very fun. So a big thank you to everyone who has helped, we are in your debt.
Ava absolutely adored her time with Baba. She cooked for us, did laundry, and helped me prepare for a big party at work.
We decided to have an inaugural Section Release Party for our incoming students. During their first year the students are grouped into four sections. With their sections they have the same schedule, teachers, and classes. The Dean opened up his home to our group and we anticipated about forty students and a few faculty to come. Imagine our shock when our 160th RSVP rolled in! I adore my job and the flexibility to be creative. How did we announce their sections?
With neon koozies
Entrance of the party
gorgeous backyard, even though it was hot we had outdoor air conditioners to make things bearable.
Not pictured are a Big Truck Taco truck and an Eskimo Sno truck. I told you this job was amazing.
Each student had a gift (thanks for tying a million bows Mom!) and after brief instructions they opened the package and pulled out their koozies, tanks, and schedules to reveal their sections. Then they scattered to designated parts around the backyard and started to get to know one another. It was one Hogwarts Sorting Hat short of pure magic. I'm not sure who had more fun at the party. It was a blast to finally see so many folks who I've been talking and emailing with since I started in January. AND they're all about to move to Norman. What other job lets you recruit 160 new friends every year? Love it!
Ater all the party festivities I took a day home to recover. Turns out I'm an old creaky lady after a night of fun like that. A day in the kitchen was the perfect prescription.
When this little guy has my ring and Josh's ring you know there is some serious cooking happening in the kitchen.
Beer bread with fresh mozzarella
Josh is playing on an indoor soccer team to help alleviate some of the Bar stress. Recognize some Waggoners? FYI, their shirts read: Anachronism
Ava dressed herself for the occasion.
Josh and Ava went 'off-list' and totally spoiled me at the grocery store.
Serious Bar Prep into the wee hours
Priss lost another tooth last week. Missy, the only person Ava will let near her wiggliest teeth, dropped by Day School to pull it. This time, instead of lollypops, the Tooth Fairy left magic beans that grew into floss, toothpaste, and a toothbrush.
It's so hot that we wait until the sun goes down to fill up our gas tanks.
If you are one of the seven people on the planet not loving the Civil Wars already, I'm here to change your life. Their album, Barton Hollow, is one of the few I've ever owned that is good from start to finish. In addition to gorgeous melodies, beautiful singers, and haunting sound, their lyrics are genius. Their album tells a story that is spookily like our marriage. Our closest friends know that Josh and I love fiercely and also are passionately opposed. There are times when I don't know if I want to strangle him or make out, true story. Anyway, at any point in my day I can click to a song on this album and it meets me exactly where I am.
A few of my favorite lyrics are:
"Let's walk down a road that has no end, Steal away where only angels tread, Heaven or Hell or somewhere in between, Cross your heart to take me where you lead, Don't go without me,"
"Your hands can heal, your hands can bruise, I don't have a choice but I still choose you, I don't love you, but I always will"
"Tell me it's nothing, try to convince me that I'm not drowning, Oh let me tell you I am"
"I just want to hold your hand, Hang on every word you say, Let's write a song for us, And sing it till we're old and gray"
"Where she walks no flowers bloom, He's the wall I see right through, She's the absinthe on my lips, The splinter in my fingertips, But who could do without you?"
Even better than all that is Josh serenading me with Civil Wars while I cook... "he sounds right out of a dream."
Despite the silliness shown in this picture, Ava is such a helper with housework lately. She vacuums, puts away dishes from the dishwasher, and folds and hangs up clothes. I think we'll keep her.
My forever friend, Leah, has this darling shop on Etsy selling Penny Charms. My collection is started with a penny stamped with our anniversary and 'ava james'. They are precious and you should check out her shop here.
Making pasta is such a lovely way to pass an evening.
On July 4th Ava insisted that we take her to a local park so she could show off her monkey bar skills. No matter that it was a thousand degrees, the girl was going to monkey bar. Polite sassiness will get you far in this family.
After cooling off we meandered out to Waggoner Farm for some celebrating.
I noticed an interesting 4th of July confetti on the grass around their house.
You guessed it. It was Chicken and Rooster Killin' day at the farm.
Josh, former cow judge champion, started licking his Aggie chops.
After some poultry adventures (where my camera and I stayed inside and splatter free) we set off some fireworks.
Ava is still not a huge fan of the loud, smoking fireworks.
She finally agreed to throw a few poppers.
Look at her all brave
We enjoyed fireworks on the farm and then watched the City of Norman's display on our way home.
Josh, proud of his kill, is excited to make Julia Childs' Coq au Vin this week. I can't wait either!
Please think of us as this month of crazy continues. After the Bar we'll be moving from Xanadu into a new little house we're calling The Hundred Acre Wood. We don't know how to move when it's cool and lovely outside. For now we'll just be renting The Hundred Acre Wood while we figure out where our next move is. I'm so ready to be settled and rooted, but immensely thankful to have a place to land for a while. Prayers coveted.