Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer days driftin' away

Well, our summer didn't exactly drift away - it kind of plunked to an end.  A flurry of activity including a move across town, a few trips to Texas, a stomach bug that just kept giving and a busy mommy and daddy were followed by the debut of our Kindergarten Girl.  I'm not sure it's how I would have orchestrated the perfect ending to our summer, but I'm thankful we all lived through it.

This summer Ava moved up to a twice-a-week advanced gymnastics class at Bart Conner.  After some tears in the beginning, a helpful Aunt Jaryn called and talked her through the next practice - okay, okay, maybe I broke Mom Rules and promised her a Sonic treat after too.  Whatever the motivation, Ava ended up loving her new big girl class.  We were amazed at how much she improved going twice a week.  Her cartwheels are olympicish!  For the school year we opted to go back to just once a week, but it'll be the same advanced class.  Academics first people, once a teacher always a teacher.

In late July a childhood friend of mine passed away.  Ava and I traveled to Texas so that I could attend the funeral.  It was heartbreaking and still doesn't seem real.

During our trip we tried to squeeze in as much family and friend time as possible.  Baba and Pops had saved a watermelon from their garden for Ava to pick.

Ava is a girl who loves watermelons.

Pops took us to a friend's house where we got to feed carrots to some pet deer.

We were happy to find time to see the Crawfords after the funeral.  Baba snapped this picture of Sarah and me with our babies:

Later we went for a swim, and Ava showed off her fish-like skills.

Pops drove us around on his new toy, already a favorite among the grands.

Upon returning to Norman we found a Daddy still studying away for the Bar exam.  Some Hobby Lobby time was just the answer for the Bave and me.

We also began packing up all of our things from Xanadu.  The precious family who we've been house-sitting for over the past two years moved back in early August.  What a gift that house was to us.  In other news, Ava has enough toys for 10 kids.  It's kind of insane.  You don't realize it in a huge house because the toys wander away into oblivion.  Then you go herding them into boxes and realize you might be a candidate for TLC's Hoarders.

A few days before the Bar exam Josh's parents came to take Ava to Texas for a little while.  Josh needed calm and focus.  The night before the his test I made a purchase for Josh that I never saw coming.  He needed earplugs to cancel out any background testing noise.  Wouldn't my dad be proud?

The night after the Bar exam I took Josh out to eat at his favorite restaurant in Norman, Benvenuti's.  He was still a bit shell-shocked, but soon got over it with a delicious flight of white wines.

Following in her Daddy's genius footsteps, Ava mastered the peg game at Cracker Barrel on her very first attempt.  It was the highlight of our breakfast that Saturday.

Moving has a tendency to lead to lots of eating out of fast-food bags.  Ava and I intervened by making a delicious fruit salad.  She is such a little chef.

Is there a more nauseating sight in this world?

Ava and I took a break from the boxes to buy school supplies.  She insisted on bringing Ms. Well, her stroller, some baby toys and a bottle, and her purse.  We're totally raising a low-maintentnce kid.

Ava handled all of the shopping; I was just chauffeur and paparazzi.

The first school supply on her list:

Like Santa Claus, checking her list once and twice.

Maybe we took a few breaks from the list

Finally it was time to purchase her supplies - she did it all by herself, even entered the PIN for my debit card.

All done!

Friends came over to help us move the heavy stuff on the hottest day all year.  It was 115 degrees.

During the second week of August our church had Mission Madness, its version of VBS.  The week kicked off with a water celebration outside on Sunday night.

In previous years Ava has not participated in many of the water activities.  She was timid and mostly stuck by me or played with sidewalk chalk.  This year was so different.  She charged up the tall slide,

and slid down into the icy water.

Again and again

I'm not sure where all this pluck came from, but it's fascinating to watch her grow into a spunky big girl.

"I'm Ava Locket, and I approve this slide."

Crawling through the rainbow water tunnel

Cheesing with friends

Loving on friends

And singing with friends

We enjoyed a fun week of singing, snack/crafts, rec, and Bible verses about how to love our neighbors.

Carefully working 

to build graham cracker neighborhoods.

This girl.  She's always been a good sleeper, but has never liked to admit being tired.

Enjoying an ice cream cone

Putting on makeup with Mommy

We went to Texas again for some family time before school started.  Ava sure knows how to road trip.

Two fish babies in the pool

I told you this toy was a hit.

Tuckered out

Soon it was orientation time for the class of law students we've been recruiting since I started working in January.  After our food-truck extravaganza at the Section Release Party, we had to keep things rolling with an ice cream truck at orientation.  Yummiest ice cream ever.

I'm sure I've mentioned a time or twenty how much I adore living in a college town.  There's this quiet all summer and then August comes parading in with thousands of excited students and a marching band to serenade you on your walk into work.  Norman in the fall is pure magic.

The one room in the new Hundred Acre Woods house that is photo-worthy.  

On promotion Sunday at church Brother Pastor always invites the kiddos to participate in the Blessing of the Backpacks.  This was Ava's first year to participate.  Since she's going into kindergarten she received a Bible and an activity bag to bring to "big church".  What a special day.  
(A big thank you to MLML and PLPL for the darling backpack!)

Ava spent a day off with Daddy, complete with Chess lessons at the library.

Most of our books are still in boxes, but Ava didn't mind.  Just like any good Lockett, she's up for Christmas 365 days a year.

Melt my heart, Ava's backpack and Josh's work bag stashed together by the front door.

And just like that, quick as a wink, Bava Lou went from this:

to this:

Independent, bright, kind, sassy, and eager to start her year as a Kindergarten Girl.

Walking to her little Kindie house with Daddy

Mommy and the Kindie (see Daddy and the Kindie at the bottom of this post)

Parents flanking the Kindergarten Girl

Ava James with her main teacher, Teacher Nancy

Ava hung up her backpack, put on her nametag, and began painting a picture.  With a quick hug and smooch to Josh and me she said goodbye.

And this was how we left her:

She had a wonderful day and loved every minute of Kindergarten.  Her little school is like an enchanted fairy land with zip lines and tree houses and adults who love her just almost as much as we do.  We are so excited for a wonderful year of Kindergarten!


Okay, I saved this picture for last because you have to see how handsome Josh looks.  If he showed up to your office looking like this, with all those smarticles floating around in his head, and three degrees under his belt, and was working for you as a Constitutional Intern...

would you not offer him a job as Assistant Attorney General of Criminal Appeals for the state of Oklahoma?  Yeah.  That's exactly what happened.  He'd been patiently waiting for his formal offer since March, just plugging away as an intern.  Then whamo.  He dropped Ava at her first day of kindergarten, dropped me off at the law school, drove himself to work and was offered his dream job.  To say we're proud of him doesn't begin to describe it.  We are so thankful for this amazing opportunity.  AND for the first time in our lives we have two professional incomes.  Think of all the name brand peanut butter I can buy!