The Amazing Gabbie

Dearest Bitty,

This photo so perfectly sums up how you are these days. You are absolutely, perfectly 4!

You turned four nearly a week ago now, and it's a testament to how busy you and your sister keep us that I am just now getting to post this. You are the most beautiful, smart, hilarious, active, talkative, loud, adorable, loving, amazing four-year-old I have ever met. You never stop talking or singing, and although, I admit, it wears on me from time to time, I still absolutely love hearing everything you have to say.

I have to tell you that you are perfectly what I thought any daughter of mine would be like, and it could go without saying (although it won't), that I love you more everyday than the day before. I am so glad that you are the person that made me a mom.

I hope you never stop being yourself, because who you are is amazing.

(Looking back: Gabbie at three, two, one, zero)

Homework, Part 1

Since we don't have nearly enough stuff keeping us busy lately, we've decided to do some major work on our yard this summer. This is our third summer living in our house, and it's definitely way past time for us to put our mark on the yard.

We decided to do one of the biggest jobs first; taking out a couple of trees and trimming branches on a couple of others. There is a huge honey locust right behind our house that was fine, and healthy, but that also has tiny leaves that build up in our gutters, clogging them and causing water to pour over the gutters and into our basement on more than one occasion. You know, not one of our favorite occurrences.

I guess I should have said, there WAS a huge honey locust right behind our house, because it's no longer there. They were there and done by noon today when Aaron stopped home for lunch. The difference is amazing, no?

We also had some branches trimmed on the tree that's just off to the right in the photo, and a diseased oak taken out in front so that the blight in that tree didn't spread to the two other oaks we have in our yard, and one branch that was brushing our house taken off the maple on the side of our house.

We'll miss out on some shade, but I like a house that feels light and airy, and I think we'll definitely have even more of that feeling now.

Still on our list of yard to-dos (and I doubt we'll get them all done this summer, but that won't be for lack of trying):

(Here's an old picture of the front of our house for reference:

  • Tear out all of the overgrown bushes in the front yard (and the decorative tree that is even more overgrown and blocks our porch).
  • Trim down the lilac bush so we can see out our front window.
  • Add window boxes along our porch railing, filled with red geraniums
  • Add back in some new bushes, grasses, and colorful flowers in front
  • Paint the front door
  • Put house numbers above the garage
  • Replace the lights
  • Replace the mailbox
  • Clean up the porch, and add a couple of chairs where an old pile of wood, left by the previous owners, currently sits


Right next to my parent's house, where I grew up, is a large park. During the summers especially, I spent a lot of time playing in the park, on each and every piece of play equipment that was there. One of the best things in the park is a giant metal slide.

My mom emailed my brother, sister, and I early last month to let us know that they had started to take out the old, metal, apparently dangerous (although we all survived childhood just fine), equipment, and the slide wasn't long for the world. Right before we got there on Easter weekend, they had taken out the swings! Seriously, right before Easter, on a spring break weekend, they took all of the swings out of a park.

We decided that Gabbie had to try out the slide just once before it was gone. It's pretty tall and intimidating, and she had never even gone near it before (there's some newer, plastic play equipment that she uses). I tagged along, with the camera to capture a few images for posterity.

She had a great time! Sophie even tried it once or twice from a third of the way up.

A quick slide story:

When we were little, and feeling pretty daring, we three kids would each take a piece of wax paper with us to the park. We then would proceed to go down the slide, sitting on the wax paper. And when I say, "go down the slide," I really mean, "fly down the slide with increasing speed each time." Waxing up the slide was so much fun! For us, at least. Now I kind of feel sorry for the next, unsuspecting kids who would likely fly off the end of the slide when they thought they'd just slip down at it's usual, leisurely pace (it was typically covered with sap from the tree right above, so it sometimes took a little effort to get down).
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