Matt turned 42. I turned 38. Those numbers are nothing special, so maybe we should stop counting general birthdays...but who really cares! Neither of us feel old. Neither of us look old, so says me....so, I will keep on counting and celebrating and eating cake. Mmmm...cake. Speaking of which, I made a delicious chocolate layer cake with a whipped cocoa buttercream frosting for
We finished off our black tie circuit for the year. Starting in January, we had the preview event for the Auto Show. That led into the Flower Show. Which led into the Red Ball. Which finally led into the Cherry Bash. I must admit that we clean up nicely, and we make the most out of each unique event. Free flowing food and alcohol certainly make them all easy to enjoy. Now we get to spend the better part of a year preparing for the next round.
Outside of being fancy, there have been plenty of other to-dos. Finnley and I have more than taken advantage of the nice weather. Mid-month we hosted a St. Patrick's Day party for kiddos and moms. There was a bounce house, bubbles, toys, music, laughter, toddler-fighting, running around, and lots lots more. We picnicked outside and let the kids run wild in their very best greens. We indulged in good treats and the ever-important mommy
We have also had play dates at indoor play places and museums, as well as at outdoor playgrounds. Both are fun, but Finnley would certainly take being outside over anything. She doesn't care if she is at the park or in her own backyard, she will make a grand time of it, for sure. She will play alone, with friends, or with her mommy / daddy / or fur-brother. She is a go-gettem nature enthusiast. She loves to walk, spin, swing, climb, slide, mulch investigate, sidewalk chalk, picnic on a blanket, and do pretty much anything else she can think to do in the out of doors. I like it. How could I not? Fresh air does us all some epically great good.
One of the greatest things about living where we do in South Jersey is our proximity to just about a gazillion places to visit. We can be in NYC in a little over an hour. We can be in center city Philadelphia in 15 minutes. We can be in Washington D.C. in a matter of hours. And, we can be at the Jersey Shore in an close to an hour on the dot. In all of the four years that we have lived here, we have managed to venture out to all of those places (often several times), EXCEPT for the Jersey shore. So, when the unusual warm days started stacking up, my friends started to get the itch to head to the boardwalk. For once, I couldn't resist the urge, either. I loaded up a kid and the car, and we headed East until we hit the ocean. We landed in Ocean City, NJ, and we made a day of it. The warm air struggled with some cooler air near the shore, and it took longer for the fog and haze to burn off there than it did inland. I loved it even more with the shades of gray and soft silhouettes streaking the shoreline. You had to get close to it in order to initially see the ocean, but as the afternoon started to fade, so did the land-clouds. We loved it regardless, and we walked the boardwalk, ate lunch at one of the local food courts, and we dug our toes into the sand. Finnley took it a step further, as she scooped sand / danced/ rock-hopped, and twirled her way about the beach. It brought me such joy to witness my little girl in explorative action, and I found myself even more enamored with my camera than ever. I am so blessed to have this child to walk through life with, and I am equally as lucky to have such moments captured permanently on film. My head can't possibly keep all of these special times organized and stored in detail and depth...but my faithful camera can. I look forward to more beach trips along our coastline in the early and late seasons this year to create even more of these awesome memories.
In ordinary real time life, Finnley continues to grow up before our very eyes. She is all sorts of 2.5 going on 3 at this point. That means she is loads of fun, and that she is in a constant state of learning and growing. It also means that she can throw a tantrum with the best of them. These tantrums self-feed and can last as long as a half hour, loaded up with yelling / crying / door slamming / running away / you-name-it-she-does-it-ing. She more than makes up for the random but expected (almost daily) nastiness by continually saying things that will stop you in your tracks with fits of laughter. These things have included, but are in no way limited to, the following:
"Hey, what's in my tushy?"
"You going to eat Batman's poop?"
"Are you earrings? Are you eyes? Are you teeth? Noooo...you're mommy!"
"Poop, get out of my tushy!"
"OK, I HEAR YOU!
"Daddy's in my tushy!"
As you can tell, anything involving the tushy is entertainment for Finnley. Potty humor starts at a very early age, I guess. Sometimes her vocabulary seemingly only includes the word "no", or the words, "no, YOU do it". And, as quickly as she snaps into a moment (an "it feels just like it might almost never-end sort of moment") of terrible-toddlerishness, she will snap right back out of it and do something to remind you what an awesome little human being she is. Eh, you take the bad with the good with everything in life, so nothing out of the ordinary here, I suppose.
So, that is essentially a month worth of updates, snippets of our daily life, and collages and photos of our random adventures. As the days get longer and the weather continues to improve, I am certain that the updates will become more frequent and will be even more photo-laden...see, sunshine makes for happy people, lots of time spent out of the house, and generally amazing light for picture taking. We are sure to get out and take it all in, one glorious day at a time.