Our Junior Infant

Dear sisters,

There were big changes for all of us this fall! Esther is married, Rachel is having a baby and has a kindergartener, Janna has started a master’s, Jewel is  moving to Wisconsin, and my Archer has started school!

Archer has started junior infants, which is not exactly like kindergarten but not exactly like preschool either. Instead of one year before first grade, Ireland has two years before first grade: Junior infants and Senior infants (which is an oxymoron?)  In the States, he would likely not attend kindergarten until next year because he is a late November baby. So I am thinking of this year, from my American perspective, as preschool, except he already did a year of (FREE) preschool (thanks, Irish government)! He started September 1. He plays happily at school, he’s making friends. He sometimes says he doesn’t want to go, but has a good time when he’s there. Your typical kid.

snazzy tracksuit uniform!
snazzy tracksuit uniform!  random farm detritus!

Continue reading “Our Junior Infant”

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Missing NJ

Dear sisters,

When Kevin and I moved to NJ a little over 4 years ago we never thought we’d come to love it so much! I think NJ gets a bad rap from the rest of the country, itss nickname is the armpit of the USA.

dove-billboard

I still remember the first time we drove to NJ to interview/audition at Rutgers/Westminster Choir College. We stayed at the college hotel on campus in New Brunswick. I had to drive down route 1 by myself in rush hour traffic to get to Princeton for my early morning audition and all we could see was concrete. Luckily Princeton was super beautiful and charming enough to convince me that there were pretty green spaces in NJ. We’ve grown to really love our little corner of NJ. Getting to live in the woods out in the country was a big help. If we had been in an apartment building near the city I would have been ready to leave a long time ago.

Here, in no particular order are things I’ll truly miss about NJ:

Continue reading “Missing NJ”

Grad School!

Miriam, Archer, and I started school the same year. I’m super proud of them and can’t wait to hear how they do in school. On my end, I’ve made it through three weeks of grad school. It has been an adjustment, for sure. Going from working full time to full time studies, from getting a paycheck to accruing debt, from driving at least 30 miles a day to living and studying all within a mile and a half, from being the daughter of college professionals to being a student on the campus we grew up running around on. Here, in no particular order, is a list of things that have taken up brain space as I’ve been adjusting to school. Continue reading “Grad School!”

Kindergarten!

Dear sisters,

This week, I became the mother of a kindergartener.

yes, her backpack is comically large on her
yes, her backpack is comically large on her

This photo was actually taken on the second day of kindergarten (today). The morning of the first day was not our finest–we were running late, and Miriam was nervous, and I knew that stopping to take a photo would just make her more grumpy. She had a great day (after some sadness at drop-off) and this morning she was much happier.

Kindergarten is a pretty big milestone. Continue reading “Kindergarten!”

This Girl’s Guide to Being a Bride

Thank you for your thoughts in the last post, sisters! I loved the behind-the-scenes commentary on Marcus and my wedding, and I have a couple thoughts and tips to add for any future brides (and grooms!) out there as they prep for the big day.

1) Realize that there will be things that really really stress you out about wedding planning. I would love to say that I was calm and composed about the wedding the entire time, but that would be a lie. I’m usually pretty low key. People have called me “soothing” more than once. But there were times during wedding planning that I couldn’t bring myself to a calm state of mind about things.

One of those times was figuring out the guest list (worrying certain people would be offended, worrying about costs if it gets too big, etc.). What do you MEAN I can’t invite all my long lost whomevers I used to be close to without paying hundreds of dollars extra? What if this person who knows that person who knows the person I’m inviting gets upset that their 3rd connection on LinkedIn was invited but they weren’t? I’m making light of the situation, but it really did affect me a lot. I praise Marcus for his ability to pull me through my stress on the guest list. In the end, we invited 200 people (sounds like a lot but we both have big families!!) and about 140 came. 140 was a lovely number, not too big and not too small. See below for a picture of the reception hall waiting to be filled 🙂

ReceptionHall

Continue reading “This Girl’s Guide to Being a Bride”