Thursday, December 14, 2017

Back when Bo came to town.

Bo (my sister, Amiee) is an incredible auntie. For Labor Day weekend, she made a quick trip to Durham to hang with her favorite gals, and they LOVED it. She was here for about 4 days, and we made pretty good use of our time, if I do say so myself (at least for people with little children in really hot weather).

Amiee had one culinary request for her visit: Donuts from Monuts. I love when Amiee comes (for many reasons but especially) because she always asks for Monuts. We tend to forget about Monuts just in our day-to-day life. They do more than donuts, but we reallllly love their donuts. They have super fun and eclectic flavors, so we get a mixed dozen and everyone tries a bite or two of everything. We probably all looked like Lily when all was said and done, but she's really the only one who we could photograph in a socially acceptable manner.



Amiee's visit overlapped with the dinner we hosted for Brad's Greek class (every time he has precepted or taught, we've invited his class over for dinner at the beginning of the semester), and it was extremely helpful to have an extra adult to help with prep. And by prep, I mean chase Lily around and keep her from climbing everything.

She also bought Claire this Belle and the Beast gown, which was the dress of Claire's dreams.

She was just beside herself.

We also watched Beauty and the Beast with the girls for the first time. This was Lily's take on things.

She actually enjoyed it, but she missed her morning nap, so she was just kinda hanging on.

Also that weekend, we ended up scoring free tickets for the Duke/North Carolina Central University football game (including vouchers for hot dogs, drinks, and popcorn). Obviously, we decked out in Duke blue and went to cheer on the Blue Devils (have you ever wondered why they're the Blue Devils? Read this.).


And look who was there for pre-game fun!!

Bought this cheap shaker. It was a very wise purchase. Also, this was very pre-game. A lot more people showed up by game time.


This little hand sign Claire's trying out is the hand sign that the college kids were using while cheering. I'm guessing it's for devil horns? Maybe bull horns for Durham: the bull city? An attempt to be like all the Texas schools?


I thought this was funny. I'm not sure if you can tell, but there are devil horns, tails, and pitchforks all over this sign.

Found this camel monument outside of one of the science buildings.

We left at halftime because a couple of girls were getting tiiiired. Claire and Lily were, too. Also. Immediately after this, we had to get Brad to use his card to get us into a random, locked building because Claire HAD TO GO POTTY NOW.

On Sunday, we all got to church on time and had beautiful weather. I can't remember what we did for lunch...I'd like to think we took Amiee somewhere fun, but it's completely possible that we ate leftovers; it's escaping me now.

Our attempt at a Sunday morning sister shot. Lily would not cooperate.

But we did get this one!

And Lily does not stand upon ceremony for Bo.

Amiee's birthday is in October, not early September, but we knew that we wouldn't see her until Christmas, so we had a mini party for her during her visit. We made some cupcakes and gave her our present, and Claire loved it because almost no one enjoys a party more than Claire.



We had such a great time and were quite sad when she had to leave. We're very much looking forward to seeing her at Christmas! We love you, BO!

Brad and I needed to take care of a few things at Target, so Amiee (and the Target dog) entertained the girls.


Amiee is really a wizard at getting great pictures with the girls. I stole, I mean borrowed, these from her.

My personal favorite.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Around here lately: September 2017 edition

In the theme of playing catch-up, here are the Claire-isms from September.

I gave her 2 pieces of money. (dollars)

Can we watch Belle and the Beast?

I uncharged Bo's iPad. (unplugged)

If we saw Gaston, Daddy, you would need a sword to fight him. And if nobody had a sword, Bo, you could protect us. If he broke my dress, I would be very sad.

Where did you put Nana? (Where is Nana?)



Don't bash it, Daddy! (backseat driving instructions for Brad not to hit a traffic cone. He was in no danger of hitting said cone, by the way.)

That was the BEST CUPCAKE EVER, Mommy! Fank you!

I'm giving you a kiss to take with you.

You can live here with us. That's your only option, Bo.

I'm so excited that Mrs. Catherine is giving me the job! (after I told her she needed to be a helper to our friend who was watching our girls + her own 2 children while I ran an errand.)


Raiding the dress-up bin at church.

Axels and Romans, Sepulonions. (working on the books of the New Testament: Acts, Romans, Thessalonians. And no, we did not teach her that Thessalonians comes after Romans.)

Taste a little swig.

Can Lily go to school with me? I can watch her.

Daddy, I dropped that heavy on my toe.

Racket shoes = tennis shoes (I'm assuming she connected tennis shoes with Brad's love of playing racquetball.)


Snuggling a flower.

Be a good little grownup doing whatever it is you're doing!

That makes me cross. (we'd been watching a lot of Thomas the Train and enjoying their British vocabulary.)

While putting on her shoes:
Ok, Toe. Have a nice little rest!

I'm playing with the eggs. I'm not breaking them. I'm being very gentle.

Thank you for letting me grow up. I really like that.


Don't climb over, Lily!!

Why is that fire wiggling and juggling?

Windows = the lenses of my glasses

Can we just finish this conversation? I would like to watch Thomas, please.

Do you have any more talking to do for this conversation? Apparently, we have already entered the teenage years??

Come along, my darlings!


Princess pow-wow

Every time I look in her bed, her legs are longer than ever! referring to Lily

This sticker is running out of sticky.

Hal's donkey is going very fast! referring to Hallie's horse on the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap

This is a slurpery apple.

Hide and Peek = Hide and Seek

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's been a while...

And it's time to play catch-up! Life's been busy, and blogging took a backseat. 

But, we have been living life and things have been going on, even if they haven't been blog-umented. However, since I keep this blog as a way to record the days of our life, I'm going to do a little back tracking. 

This is Brad's fourth year of Ph.d. work. What?? It's true! 
What this means:
1. He's completely done with coursework (technically, that was also true last year).
2. He's finished with his preliminary/comprehensive exams and is ABD (all but dissertation).
3. He's fully working on his dissertation (I'll explain the premise of his project sometime, if anyone is interested. Just let me know.). His particular project involves a lot of Greek translation (Byzantine, not Koine. There are just way too many different kinds of Greek, y'all.).
4. He's also the instructor of record (read: he has his very own real class) wherein he does teach Koine Greek (not Byzantine) to Div students. Because we're all about the Greek around here.

He's a busy little smarty-pants.

Claire is in 3-day-a-week/half-day preschool. Guys. She was MADE for preschool. She loves absolutely everything about it. She loves the creativity, the structure, the FRIENDS, the catchy songs and rhymes. Just everything. She's also old enough to go to children's church on Sundays and feels like such a big girl. Annnnd...every week when we pick her up, the leaders have a chuckle and story about something funny she has said. Pray for us.

Lily is still climbing things. And getting into things. I'm trying to keep things from getting too out of hand (read: keep her from playing in the toilet and/or climbing on the toilet to turn on the water and play in the bathroom sink (we actually got an additional lock for the bathroom (Claire can reach it, but Lily cannot.). Or climb on the deck furniture to get over the deck railings (it's at least a 6 foot drop to the ground.). I'm also trying to keep their closets stocked with the right size clothes because holy cow, those Boswell girls are growing long legs! Oh! And Lily is starting to talk. It's preshy (for now...I have a feeling it's going to grow bigger than we can imagine before too long).

(I've also been co-leading a small group for Women's Bible Study at church for a second year. I love my group and am really enjoying our study on Nehemiah. Not the only thing I've been up to, but this is a brief update.) 

We're wrapping up the semester and looking forward to Christmas break...then we move into another busy semester before we know it.

That's a very truncated version of our life recently. I'll expand some/play catch-up in the next few posts (hopefully). 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sunday Snapshots: Summer 2017

Taking Sunday pictures of the girls has become a favorite of mine, especially since my weekly photos of Lily wrapped up back in April. Some of my favorite pictures of the girls have come out of this little tradition. I definitely don't get it done every Sunday (because, y'all, let's face it- sometimes the girls are just not feeling it), but I try to as often as I can. Here are ones I (or Brad) captured this summer. Enjoy!



Technically, this was Memorial Day, not a Sunday.

Taken by Grandpa, who very much enjoys the Sunday shots, while we were in Europe. Thanks, Grandpa!






This one was just ill-fated. Bless it. But, it was their last time wearing white for the summer (because I actually follow that old-fashioned rule, for the most part, being the true Southerner that I am).

I was so fortunate to get a happy-looking shot for this one. In nursery that morning, Lily had tripped and hit her head HARD, resulting in a cut + GIGANTIC goose egg. She wasn't feeling her best. Thankfully, you can't really see the damage. Poor thing.

I'll keep taking pictures as I can and will hopefully be back with Sunday snapshots: Fall 2017 edition in a couple of months!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Around here lately: August 2017 edition

Lily, go see Mommy. Your face is a terrible mess!

Oh Lily, you look so pretty!
*raises voice an octave to pretend to be Lily* Thank you, Claire!

Erin kisses Claire's forehead.
You love your little girl, Mommy.



I like girls. And I like boys. But I don't like some boys' trucks. I like Poppy's big red truck, but some trucks are too giant for little girls.

Hears sirens.
There must be danger out there!

Shares her pink Pygmy Puff with Lily
Erin: That was so nice of you to share your Pygmy Puff with Lily. 
Claire: It was so nice of Bo to buy it for me. Maybe next time we go to Universal, Bo can buy Lily her very own purple Pygmy Puff!

New brown toys! = Brand new toys!



Why is Daddy gone to Boston? I wanted him to stay forever!

Referring to Tim and Azad napping on the couch.
When are the doctors going to wake up?

Erin: Claire, don't grow up.
Claire: I have to.
E: Why?
C: Because that's what God does to little children!



Here you go my friends!
*Dumps a bucket of sand at our feet*

Claire: Why is JoJo crying? In a Fancy Nancy story.
Erin: Hmm...because the sand castle fell down?
Claire: That sounds about right.

Erin: I don't chew my fingernails.
Claire: Neither me!



Look, I'm eating so goodly.

Oh no. Lily's crying and not having fun anymore.

I wish Gran and Grandpa could stay five one hundred days. And Uncle Tim. And Azad.



When friends leave, that is so sad.

But my hands are full. I have a balloon, my doctor tool, and a brush!

Referring to a nameless chive on Veggietales:
Hm. Let's call him Twinkle.



I want to be a firefighter. Can Daddy help me? I might need a little help fire-fightering.

Shaw-shedge = Sausage

I haven't seen my home in a very very long time. And I missed it!



Lily dumps out blocks, making a loud crashing noise.
Claire: I'm alright!

Claire: That's Kristoff and his donkey.
Erin: Reindeer.
Claire: Finn.
Erin: Sven.
Claire: Finn.
Erin: Sven.
Claire: S-Finn.

Anna (from Frozen) is one of my fravrite girls.



Lily walks away.
Come back, you!

I'm not going to be thirsty. I have some spit.

When we were waiting for Daddy, Lily and I prayed a game called Minion Noise. *wild jibberish*



The regly ones = The regular ones

Referring to a FaceTime call.
Claire: Can you pause it?
Erin: We can't. It's not a movie.
Claire: Please?
Erin: Are you saying you want us to stop talking until you get back?
Claire: Yes!

Bo is so nice. She gives us things like cats. (Bo = my sister, cats = stuffed cats)



Referring to Lily.
That baby...she's always silly and dramatic.

Erin: I'm going to miss you when you go to preschool.
Claire: You don't have to miss me...I'm not going to be very far.

I was just petting her. She's the cheeky one.

On your marks, get set, PARTY!



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Topsail Island 2017

This was our third year in a row to vacation on Topsail Island with the Boswells. (PSA: apparently, the proper, North Carolinian pronunciation for "Topsail" is actually "top-sull.") It was even our third year at the same beach house. We're starting to feel very at home here, guys.

Because of her school schedule, Rachael couldn't join this year, but, surprisingly, Tim was able to! And, he brought a friend of his from medical school, so we still had a full house. Bill, Barbara, Tim, and Azad all trickled into Durham Friday night-Saturday morning of our vacation week and got on the road (along with Claire) after lunch on that Saturday to get checked into the house. Lily and I stayed in Durham, waiting on Brad to get back into town from Boston (yes, he has traveled ALL SUMMER) Sunday morning. After we picked him up bright and early at 8:00 am, we made our way to the beach and got there before lunch. (It may not be the Gulf, but, man, is it great being less than 3 hours from the beach!)


Playing with Uncle Tim!

I feel like Lily is listening for words of wisdom here.

Urology resident on the left, cardiothoracic resident on the right. Apparently, they work long, hard hours and need naps. Who knew? ;)

Our first two days were beautiful and sunny and appropriately beachy. Which was great! And then they were followed by two days of rain and gray. Bleh. Thankfully, against my usual inclination to take fewer games and toys, I'd given into impulse and packed a boatload of things. Strategy games for the grown-ups, toys/movies/games for the little girls, and a few puzzles. Not the same as romping on the sand and splashing in the ocean, but better than twiddling our thumbs, right?












Brad and I squeezed in a date night, thanks to babysitters who were willing to play endlessly with the children, so we headed to the Mexican restaurant that we've eaten at on our date nights for the previous two years. It's SO NICE not to have to schedule babysitters. Why did no one ever tell me how stressful the whole Babysitter Dilemma is? Oh my word. I was not prepared for the difficulties of Acquiring and Scheduling Babysitters.



We only ended up going out for dinner once (thanks to a fantastic kitchen + an incredible picnic table on the huge back porch) on one of the rainy days, but I snagged some good pictures while we waited on a table!






Here are a few shots of how big our picnic table on the porch was:

I would also like to point out that Azad let Lily do/have/eat/take anything and everything she wanted. Obviously, she loved him the most.

The table extends from here to that far back railing. It's huge.

And this is the view from the picnic table, so obviously, we ate outside as often as we could.

And here's Lily BOSSING a piece of corn-on-the-cob. She has two teeth, guys. Two. Both on the bottom.

And thankfully, we did get some really good beach time!












Tim and Azad made this massive sand castle for the girls to destroy. The girls LOVED it.



On our last night, we went to a local ice cream shop that we really like. Good ice cream + a giant screen onto which they project family-friendly movies! It's the cutest and oh-so-fun.

Trying to get a few pictures on our way to ice cream.

Lily (and Claire) among the lilies!



He ACTUALLY gave her whatever she wanted. She would point to ice cream, and he'd ask for a sample of whatever she pointed to.

And then he shared his ice cream with her.


Don't get used to it, Lily.

Thanks for the ice cream, Grandpa! Don't mind my post-sugar crazy eyes...

We returned to Durham on Saturday and went to church all together on Sunday, followed by brunch and trips to the airport.




Azad sat down...

...and Lily knows where to go to get all the things.

Sweet shots with Gran while waiting for our table.


The girls really love having an uncle. It's too bad he lives so far away...





Pre-naptime story.

We had a wonderful trip, rain and all. Thank you, Boswell family (and Azad) for such a fantastic time together! Until next time.