Wednesday, April 23, 2014

125 Years of Educating Women

Today I leave my island home to go visit my Alma Mater, Converse College.  Most people have never heard of it, but I am so proud that I graduated from such a fine college.  This year marks 20 {GASP!} years since I graduated as well as the 125th anniversary of the college.
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There are three things that I’ve done that have made me the person I am today.  One of them is graduating from Converse. If you know nothing about Converse College this video might pique your interest.

This article came out recently and it describes some of the history that has been uncovered as they have been renovating Pell Hall, where I lived as a freshman.  If those walls could talk!
I am helping to plan our reunion and have asked classmates to send me photos from our college years.  I have laughed until I cried at some of the pictures, but out of respect, I’ll just share the ones that show us being “collegiate”.
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Yes. there are only two.  In my defense I have all my pictures in storage and can’t get to them now.  I’m sure there are plenty more of them there.
Because Converse is a private women's college they could place all sorts of rules on us.  They were just protecting us from ourselves, but we did in fact need that protection.  In addition to protecting us those rules also made us so very close.  My Converse friends will be there if I need them.  Period.
The first 6 weeks of our Freshman year we had a curfew.  Of midnight.  We did it too.  After the first six weeks we got our curfews extended until 2 a.m.  Can you imagine?  I can, and looking back on it, I’m so glad we had a curfew.  As my mama always says, “Nothing good ever happens after midnight.”  Truer words have never been spoken!
Our entire four years were had to live on campus.  We ate most of our meals in the the Dining Hall {not a cafeteria}  and were had a sit down dinner every night.  At the time that was unusual, but now it is un heard of.  It gave us such a strong bond.  We really knew our classmates.
Every college has convocation, and other ceremonies, but we were required to attend six a year and we would have to pay a fine or do labor if we missed them.  We had to go to Convocation, Festival of Lessons and Carols, May Day and Founder’s Day.  We detested dressing for all the ceremonies, but it was really special.
Another special tradition at Converse is the Big Sis/ Little Sis tradition.  During the first few weeks, freshman, juniors and transfers attend a series of mixers and fun activity nights.  Each Freshman is chosen by a Junior to be a little sis.  During Big Sis Lil Sis Week, the big sister’s identity is a carefully guarded secret. At night, mysterious runners deliver presents and goodies.  The even number classes are Pink Panthers and the odd numbered classes are Red Devils.  Of course I was a Pink Panther.  Pink is much better than red.  Old loyalties die hard.
So this weekend I will be reconnecting with women who share a common experience with me, but also love for the college who made us into the women we are today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rose Island Days

The day before Allen got home, our friends invited us to go to Rose Island with them and since it would be rude to not go, we joined them.

It was a bit choppy heading over there, but it was such a gorgeous day.  The boys started collecting things to make a fort and were so excited to show us their masterpiece.

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This is a straight out of the phone picture with no enhancements…

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While we were floating in the water, a little wave knocked me off balance and I put my hand down for balance and I came up with two small sand dollars!  I showed the boys how to dig their toes in the sand and find the sand dollars.  We came home with this.

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As soon as I put them out, the flies started cleaning them for me.  Did you know that you don’t have to bleach sand dollars?  You can leave them out in the sun and mother nature will bleach them for you?  Yep.

As we were coming home, I am always so thankful that we live this amazing life with amazing experiences.  My memory is not great, but I never want to forget what it feels like.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

He’s Back!

After 3 long months, Allen is finally home!  He has had a temporary assignment to California since January.  The boys and I were fine while he was gone, but it sure is nice to have the family back together under one roof!

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We did go visit him during the boys’ Winter break, but it was two months, once we got home from that that we didn’t see him.  It really makes me appreciate the sacrifices that the military spouses make every time their husbands are deployed.

The boys made him signs and were absolutely giddy leading up to his return on Saturday.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Beach Bag

Trust me when I say I put my beach bags to the test!  We are at the beach quite a bit, but mine also goes to the pool and is often on the boat too.  I regularly stuff it to overflowing and carry it, slide it, haul it and throw it in the trunk.

When we moved here, I used one of the LL Bean XL Boat and tote.  Those bags are sturdy and all of mine have held up well.  It’s down side was it’s weight.  Fully loaded it weighed approximately 99 pounds.  Sometimes bigger isn’t better.

About a year later my sister gifted me with a Scout bag.  It is was colorful, light and easy to keep clean.  It was just as big as the LL Bean bag, and I always had it full.  After a while the laminated material started coming apart on the handles.  They looked ok, but left a sticky residue on the hands.  No bueno.

So I decided it was time to actually find the best beach bag I could.

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I ordered this darling bag from Land’s End and I love it.  It isn’t as stiff as the LL Bean bags, and it has pockets.  Pockets are important.  Isn’t the kelly green monogram a great touch?

I can fit 3-4 towels and all our other necessities. 

What does a bona fide beach bum need for an afternoon at the beach?

I’m sure you’re eager to hear.I carry several  nylon zippered pouches with lots of sunscreen, goggles and an underwater camera.  I have other pouches that I keep stocked with granola bars, band aids, a few kids water toys, grocery bags to use for trash.  Hats are a real necessity for the strong sun, so I usually have one or two in my bag as well.  Last year I added a Jambox by jawbone to the bag and I love it!  Because I am fancy I also carry my iphone in a  ziplock bag.  {we have several waterproof cases, but sometimes a ziplock is just easier, you know}

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I’m really looking forward to getting lots of use from this beach bag.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Beaching It

We are enjoying every minute of Spring Break.  Although the boys and I thrive on schedules, I am enjoying just figuring it out as we go.

We have gone to the beach and although the boys are not enthusiastic about going, they always have a blast while we are there.

This just never gets old…

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Jackson’s buddies joined us today.  I think he wants to be their third twin!

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We also saw these Spotted Eagle Rays as we walked under the bridge to the beach.

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About 20 feet away there was another group of them.  11 in all!

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That never gets old either!

So I am putting the pressure on those of you who have been considering a visit.  We only have a year or so left here, so what are you waiting for?

Monday, April 14, 2014

This and That

The days are flying by and the boys are just growing up so fast.   I had to video the boys doing some of their tricks.  I’m always afraid I’ll forget what it’s like with them.  So here they are at 5 and a half and 7 and a half.

Well I can only get one small snippet to publish on here…They are totally in their element when they are doing their “tricks”!

Miller is constantly going onto the dock and observing the fish and creatures out there.  He never fails to run back inside and yell with total awe that he has seen a _______.  It doesn’t matter if it is a stingray or a minnow, he gets super excited every time.

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He’s still doing his signature move…the thumbs up seems to be here to stay!  As are apples.  If he is at home he eats 2-4 a day.

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This day he spotted a sea urchin…NIK_6115

an angel fish…

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a Nassau grouper…

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a baby angel fish ({we call them bumblebee fish}…

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and a bonefish.

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We later found some bubble bath…they go bonkers for bubble bath!

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And that wraps up the most random post of all time!

They boys have Spring break this week, so we will be beaching it and  having lots of time to chill!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tooth Fairy

Did you ever see the episode of Modern Family where The Tooth Fairy accidentally gives Lilly $100?  Well apparently my life imitates a sitcom, because we had a similar situation here the other night. 

The trailer for that episode sets it up perfectly.


Memorable Quotes:
Mitchell:
"The Tooth Fairy gave our daughter $100! Does she not know that the going rate for a tooth is five at the most?"
Cameron: "Well, obviously the Tooth Fairy made a mistake."
Mitchell: "That's because the Tooth Fairy had a little too much Chardonnay last night."
Cameron: "I think the Tooth Fairy can handle the Chardonnay. What I think she can't handle is criticizing someone who made an honest mistake in the dark of the night."

I do love Modern Family!

So back to Miller…Thursday afternoon he was wiggling it and being quite a drama queen about it, so I basically made him let me pull it. 

Yes I traumatized him, but…The dentist charges upwards of $150 to pull a tooth and the new one needed its space, so I just had to get in there and go for it. He will have to work it out with his therapist when he’s older.

Once the tooth was out he cried for a few seconds but was thrilled to get a popsicle and forgot all about his tooth trauma.  That night he happily put the tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy to exchange for the customary $5 that she leaves in our house.

The next morning the tooth fairy woke up at 5:48 and realized she had forgotten to do the exchange, so she hurried to her wallet and was careful to avoid the $50 bill in her wallet. She made the exchange and went back to bed.

Shortly after that Miller came to my room and informed me that the tooth fairy had left him $24.  Yes, she had avoided the $50 bill, but had managed to pick up a $20 bill instead of the $1 bill.  He was thrilled.  His brother felt gypped and I felt like a punk!

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Oh well, he went to the sports store and bought himself a new ball and we are all happy with the outcome.