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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

birthday thoughts

whoa. i'm 27.

for some reason, this is the first year in a while i actually know how old i am and it's sticking. in my mind i've been thinking i'm 25 for years now. when i was 24, i was 25, when i was 26, i was 25. and now and it seems sudden. and...closer to 30.

don't get me wrong- i'm not an ageist. getting older is clearly inevitable, and with every passing moment, our hearts beat, our eyes blink, and we get older. actually, i like getting older. at least i think i do. and i think i'm going to like my new age (and at least i'll have it right).

so bring it on, 27. i'm ready for whatever you've got!

"nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty." -coco chanel

Monday, July 27, 2009

nantucket photo journal: part 2

okay- part 2. are you ready? here goes...

the 4th of july was one of my favorite days for a few reasons, one of them being this GORGEOUS beach we stumbled upon at the end of pocomo road, in the middle of nowhere. we had decided to drive into town for the 4th's festivities, but as we sat in "traffic" we realized- so had everyone else. and on this vacation, we were all about staying the heck away from crowds and that type of nonsense. so we pulled a u-ey (is that even a word?) and decided to explore the entire island instead. i wanted to see the whole thing, not just the places we had already grown accustomed to. so we headed east towards polpis, pocomo, wauwinet, squam, and quidnet to see what was going down on the east side. and at the end of this long lovely dirt road, we stumbled upon this little slice of heaven. if you look on a map, you can see that this part of the island is literally a point inside nantucket harbor that has the warmest, clearest water, and on some days, the best wind, which is conducive a sport i later learned to be called kiteboarding. (and it's not for the faint of heart.) but it's SO cool to watch...

...key word here is watch. i'm afraid of heights, and just imagined myself being carried off in the wind to another part of the world...i guess i still need to work on that whole adventuresome thing :)

well, you've got to take one of these photos at the beach, right?

piper's infamous point. hilarious, darting little finger...

i love her scrunched nose and huge, dimpled smile.

a lighthouse along polpis road

on the 4th we also decided to let the kids stay awake for the 9:00 fireworks (which i 50% selfish, 50% stupid, and 98% fun). it was such a clear and beautiful evening and night. which had not been the case for the 3 years previous, we later found out. another little gift- no fog and fireworks that happened!
here are my snugglebugs loving on each other again. it was FRRR-EEZING because of the wind and the sun setting and all. the kids had warm enough clothes, but, typical of a mom, i was not adequately dressed for such weather.


elias enjoying a frozen lemonade

sunset at jetties beach

another hilarious aspect of our vacation was how we enlisted elias to be our personal photographer. he took pictures of dave and i all over the island, which cracks me up. here is some of his handiwork- one of my personal faves.

pretty sky, right?

okay, another hilarious thing. the fireworks finally start, and dave and i are jazzed up, knowing elias is going to DIG explosions in the sky. so he watched for, ohhh, 2 minutes, and then we turn around and he's playing in the sand with his trucks and diggers, paying NO MIND to the spectacle we ramped up for all day. so typical, right?! but here's the kicker: as we're walking from the beach to the car, elias says "i want to see those fireworks again, mommm!" lol. don't worry, bud, i took a video for ya...

day 2 of our island exploration led us out to madeket beach, on the west side of the island. more gorgeous beaches.

dada and pip

piper- why the furrowed brow, love?!

oh, you have a phone call?

here's elias building alicia a chair to sit in. how considerate :) his dada had taught him how to make a sand chair on our first beach day, and true to elias, he remembered...

if by some chance you haven't noticed...i love the beach.

like..a lot.

ALMOST as much as i love this picture.

me and my boy-boy outside this really cool toy store called pinwheels. i wanted EVERYTHING. and i'm almost 27.

this boy. i ADORE this boy.

the quaint streets of nantucket

in town

back for a beach day at our secret jewel on pocomo road. (every time i write that, it reminds me of this.)

we set up camp and then the tide started coming in. pip and i were so exclusive- an island on an island. niceee.

so pretty

daddy's girl...

swim lessons!

our little apartment

waiting for the "faaiirrryy" as elias called it. here he is giving us some directions...

and my girl girl and her navy blue saucers

goodbye, nantucket! we had so much fun!

still to come later this week: all the random books, movies, and music that i've read/watched/been listening to. can't wait!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

quote of the day

"there is a gigantic difference between earning a great deal of money and being rich"

marlene dietrich

Friday, July 24, 2009

we interrupt this program

to bring you exciting news!

(no, i am not pregnant.)

1. i start a new job next week! hootie-hoo!

which could not be better timing or more charmed. i'm TELLING you, God is always tying things up in pretty little packages that land on my lap and bless not only MY socks off, but other people's socks off TOO. sometimes i look up to the heavens and laugh like, "come onn- are you serious? because that's just ca-raaaazzzyy!"

so wicked long story semi-short, kate, the woman i worked for throughout college as a nanny (whom i visited while we were in nantucket [they have a place there]) called me up randomly looking to see if i knew anyone who could replace her housekeeper, because her housekeeper was fed up with her personal assistant and quit. well, i convinced her that she just needed me back to help make the walsh household run like a well-oiled machine.

now, i'm sure you're thinking "michelle, umm, you have a couple kids, right? how do you suppose you can work full time?" and i'd reply "you bring up a great point. i can't. at least, i don't want to. i really want to be home for my bubskis." which is where my very talented, super-efficient, and strikingly beautiful sister comes in. she and i are taking on the job together. we are a full time team. i'm going to work about 10 hours, she's going to take on about 30. and it's going to be AWESOME. mama gets out of the house, mama makes some bacons, mama is happy. and so the dream team, my sister nika and i, will become kate's personal assistants and event coordinators.

and that is the super-duper abbreviated version of a much better story i can tell you in person some time. and if i don't see you in person, well...we'll have to work on that, now won't we?

2. it's supposed to be sunny and warm tomorrow for the shea/stratton/shea cousin birthday bash!

please- sun: shine, will you!? everything i own is mildewing or growing mushrooms. literally. aahhh!!

we decided since 5/8 of our kids have a birthday within a 3 week span, we might as well do one big old family party for all of them. so tomorrow we're gonna be kicking it poolside with the fam to celebrate caley turning 12, madey turning 11, jack turning 7, isaiah turning 2, and piper turning 1. it's gonna be madness. so tonight and tomorrow i have like a thousand gifts to wrap and a few buckets of mac n cheese from scratch to make. love it.


you may now return to your regularly scheduled programming. tune in tomorrow for nantucket photo journal: part 2.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

nantucket photo journal: part 1

i have to preface this entire post by expressing much gratitude for the generosity and hospitality of the louise and jim ozias. (prepare for run-on) friends of theirs attend another local church here called the fellowship, and through that couple, the pastor of the fellowship, bernie powell, shared with dave at one of their monthly prayer meetings that the ozias' kindly open their home to pastors and their families to come stay with them on nantucket for free. yes, free. they have a nice little apartment over their garage that they graciously let us stay in and enjoy all that charming nantucket has to offer. God really is good. we had the opportunity to sit and chat with jim and louise one of the nights we were there and they have such a great story; from how they met and came to live in nantucket...about the church that met in their house for nearly a decade...about the love they had for their son, dave, who loved people almost as much as surfing, but passed away unexpectedly from a blood clot in 2001. and about how much they grew to love the Lord even more fully through that loss, and how his life and their strength and faith has shown so many on the island what the grace and peace of God is. an amazing couple. blessed to have met them and shared stories over boston cream pie. elias called them "jim and louisey" :)

with that said. here's some photos of our trip to the lovely island of nantucket.

this is pip driving the car on the ferry. we actually went over on a barge because it was the first boat to come in, and we had decided last minute to take our car (thank GOD we did), so we didn't have a reservation. wouldn't you know it, though, we were the very last car to get on the very first boat. God provides again.

elias spent the entire time (it takes 2 full hours on a big slow barge) with his head out the sun roof.

the view sitting in the front seat of the car. it was like when you ride in the back of station wagons as a kid and it's the coolest because you're looking backwards. there was no one to make funny faces at from the back of the barge, though. expect maybe seagulls.

me and my boy

piper playing dentist

ahoy! LAND! finally. what a pretty harbor...

SO many boats. and yachts.

this was our first beach day at nobadeer beach, which is on the surfside or south side of the island. so it had huge waves and it was almost empty when we'd arrive in the morning. it made us feel like we were at some private, exclusive island and had it all to ourselves. the airport is only a mile maybe from this beach so elias delighted in the hundreds of airplanes that took off overhead.

trucks and sand=all elias needs

piper literally spends almost the entire time we're at any beach climbing and crawling all over me. she finds great pleasure in being in my personal space. i find great pleasure in not having to share my personal space. this is not a good match...

a quick game of gotcha last. this time with no knives.

and of course, "frinsbee"

our first try at talking public transportation. yeah. 45 minutes later, the whole waiting with a 3 year old on a busy road made me about as anxious and annoyed as it gets. i will say that the buses are clean as a whistle and smell magnificent. are they fast or convenient? heck no.

but elias is adorable with his hat on backwards. i can't even take it.

out to dinner- piper makes sure everything makes it safely into her mouth.

while elias is busy looking cute

we made a habit of driving into town, finding a spot for the car, and meandering on brick sidewalks and cobblestone roads. even if we only had an hour or two, we enjoyed exploring the narrow windy back roads, looking in the shop windows (strollers + 3 year olds + expensive breakables = not a good idea to go in the stores), and enjoying the architecture of the homes and churches on the island.

elias and piper are kissaholics. they really love on each other, and it melts my heart.

note how ENORMOUS that tree. HUGE.

this is the library on nantucket. one of the many building with a grecian influence. we got ourselves a library card and rented movies took out new books for ourselves and the kids. we don't mess around. we love the library.

this was someones backyard. and i liked it.

dave and i joked about nantucket because there are typically these indicators (or pre-requisites?) for what is quintessentially nantucket, if you will. for example, you must have a yellow lab or a golden retriever, you must wear nantucket reds or maybe madras, and you most definitely grow roses on one of these delightful garden arbors:

we took the kids to a little aquarium (loosely termed) and it was a pretty expensive way to spend 20 minutes. ahh well. it's vacation, right?

a look in the tank

lots of crabs, of course

a jellyfish (i know. you were thinking- "man, what IS that?")

the coolest fish ever. talk about intelligent design!

me and elias, aka the blondies

this is children's beach, aptly named because it's a quiet little beach in the bay outfitted with a playground, snack bar, and green grassy field. all a kid needs, really.

my spunky little love. "ohh, mom, no more pictures, can't you see i hate them!"

elias teaching alicia to swim. cutest.

i love how he holds her by the neck. so primal, e.

there was this little hole in the wall convenience store at the end of our road (we stayed on lovers lane- how cute is that?!) that had soft serve ice cream. i am a sucker for soft serve, and davey indulged me (and elias) on more than one occasion. here we are curbside, enjoying our ice cream...

strike that- elias is enjoying my ice cream. greedy punk :)

tomorrow is part two of my photo journal and a nantucket wrap-up. soon to follow, some highlights, including the new books, movies, and music, that made my vacation.

can't wait :)

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