Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sweet Summertime

Oh, what a day! Eric was given a Sunday off as they asked him to work on Friday. We loved every single minute of sharing a "true" weekend as a family. He has worked Sunday through Thursday since we moved to Seattle (more than 11 years ago!) and therefore, he has never had a schedule that allowed for Saturdays and Sundays off--it is a total downer.

I will not digress or wallow.
We spent the morning at church-- 10 a.m. class teaching the 3 year olds. The girls absolutely loved having Eric there and he was a help to me, the little ones, and a welcome presence for Liv and Audrey.

After the church service (which was all about marriage and honoring one another and rekindling passion--a great sermon to have him at ;) we went to Lavender Hill Farm out in the "country" thanks to learning about it from Carrie and Darren. (Carrie happened to be there with her kids as well--fab!)

The pictures capture it best...

sweet and silly

beautiful Bliss

belly laughing beauty

The girls lavendar sachets are nestled under their pillows, fresh cut lavendar is drying in their rooms and the sweet memories of the day are lingering in our hearts...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sally's Spa & Satellites

Audrey aka "Sally"opened a day spa this week. Foot soaks, facials, and sweet talk. I am officially water logged and blissed out--in a really grateful way.

Sally opened her salon featuring al fresco treatments.

Sally is the quintessential shop owner--she asks all about your children, work, pets and comments on how she is thoroughly impressed that one can juggle it all. She then lets you know how pleased she is that you were willing to give oneself some "me time" and have a spa treatment. She offers a warm vanilla or lavendar soak. She speaks about how she was not sure if she should pursue a career as a waitress or as someone who does nails. She comments on how her parents think Stanford would have been the best option for her. Honest to God.

Sally caters to all ages.

She even provides a relaxing waiting area complete with reading material.

I visited again on day two. She had moved operations indoors until the sun rose higher in the sky and the weather warmed. Inside she was able to turn up the service a notch with pictures of customers loved ones, seashells, some flowers, and anything else one may desire (a coaster for my coffee cup and a bud vase given to me by my grandmother, for example).

Sally's Spa has been such a hit that satellite offices have popped up all over the place.

Here is Schyler's Spa

And "Sparkle & Spa" (which was founded some time ago by Olivia & Jewel but specialized in hair and nail polish originally. They've now expanded to offer "soaks" and massage!)

Finally there is "Shine" which is run by Olivia

She defines her spa as a more "natural" haven

Her differentiator is the botanical bath

So far none of the fabulous entrepreneurs have asked for money but their mamas plan to plithe them with plenty of popsicles and praise as we need them to stay in business for a long time to come. At least for Summer 2009.

And the Award Goes to Olivia Bliss Wilkinson...

Third grade teacher Miss Moe passed out student awards on the last day of school.
Liv took the award for Excellent Effort. There was a time (not long ago) that Eric and I did not think this first born girl of ours would have received such an award to be truthful. Olivia is certainly bright but we have not always seen her as someone who stretches herself as much as we think she should (or maybe better put--as we would like).

It appears we've been sorely mistaken.

The joys of being the first born! Poor child of ours. Seriously.

Liv also received nearly all 4's (equivalent of A's) in "Effort" on her report card and again, we were so incredibly impressed with her. Good grades matter for sure but GREAT grades in effort, teamwork, and social skills now that is what matters most here at Wilkinson Manor. And our Liv blossomed across the board.

Next week Olivia moves on to "team" level at her gymnastics academy. It was hard earned. Not that it took much to receive the green light to move forward from her pre-team coach who trained her for the past year but she certainly did have to make an impression on her tough to crack parents.

She needed to joyfully go to class, work hard at all the skills, and show us that she could be committed to training 9 hours a week. Without any complaints.

She did it. Beautifully.

Look out Fellow Future Olympians, Ivy League Pals, and Hollywood--Olivia Bliss Wilkinson's star is rising! And her parents couldn't be more proud.

Pop Star on Patrol

Olivia and her closest buds were selected to be on Brookside Elementary's "Patrol" squad next year. Incoming fourth, fifth, and sixth graders are chosen to help maintain order at school pick up and drop off. It is quite an honor and those who made the cut will proudly tell you, "Not everyone gets on Patrol."

After a video training session and seminar Olivia was ready to hit the pavement and get some hands on training.

I picked her up after patrol on day one and she bound into the car.

"It was awesome and I am sooo proud of myself. The best part? When I put on the vest I can write any one up for misconduct. I've already given Emmanuel a warning."

Be afraid, Brooksiders.

Here is Olivia and her dear friend and fellow patroler, Jewel, sharing celebratory popsicles.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Graduate

Audrey E. reached a major milestone recently. She bid farewell to kindergarten and Lake Forest Park Montessori where she has spent her weekdays for four years.

She will miss her dear friends greatly.

And so will her mama!

If I can only pick the groom!

I surprised her with "tea for two" at Queen Mary's.
She declared it the "fanciest day of her life."

She only referred to me as "mother" throughout the luncheon.

"Even the sugar is fancy, Mother!"

I am not sure if I would have enjoyed tea with the Queen of England herself as much as I enjoyed tea with my Audrey.

Oh, what she does to my heart!

Clearly, being a first grader is tired work...She even had a TV shoot (a follow-up on Seattle's KING TV (NBC) after her first day of kindergarten story in September!)

To The Class of 2021!

A Family Affair

The Brown side of the family embarked on our bi-annual "kick off summer" and family reunion trip to Hilton Head, SC at the end of May.

An overnight at the airport due to a very early morning flight proved a good call once we got the girls down to bed.

Bedtime @ Seattle airport hotel, 10 p.m.

and up again a few short hours later.
4 a.m. airport bound

An uneventful yet long (12 hour journey) netted some siestas

and finally a dip in the Atlantic

and playtime with the natives.

Highlights for Olivia and Audrey were hanging with their 5 female cousins (age range 5-19).

Bike rides, beach days

pool swims

mini golf outing (Team Wilkies garnered two hole-in-ones!)

family dinners (host your own supper one night)
daily banana splits and root beer floats!

the nightly dance parties

and concerts will be remembered forever

Papa Frank crooning "Country Roads" leads the highlight reel

Thankfully there was also a lot of chill time

and bonding time

and of course, the family photo sheet on the beach!

Can't wait for Reunion 2011!