Acceptance and The Present

We are settling into a new routine of having both children in school, as we are trying to figure out the balance of activities, family time and leisure.  Anna Cate is not doing year round swim and just played one sport, softball, this Fall  and we wanted Molly to get used to kindergarten before we signed her up for anything.  Intentionally or not, it is a time for us to slow down, to figure this thing out. And, to be honest, BJ and I are still trying to cope and process with his health issues.

"Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it." -Michael J Fox

Molly Mae started kindergarten and Anna Cate got the hang of 4th grade as well as enjoyed a softball season. I'm having one of the best school years I can remember in a long time. 

I keep lots of books by my bedside. Sometimes, it is a novel or a memoir I can't put down or a book I'm periodically trying to get into, but there are always some "self help" type books there -- a book on parenting, on marriage, on healthy eating.  Last night, I picked up A New Earth  and randomly read a chapter on understanding the illusion of Time, and the power of the present, where Eckart says something like: "Time isn't precious at all, because it is an allusion. . the Now -- that is precious indeed."

So while I want to write and scream and process my fears about the future, I have to focus on the now.

Molly loves her teacher, and I get the feeling Ms Welsh loves Molly as well. It really is a perfect fit, and I'm so thankful for the transition for Molly. 

 Anna Cate loves life and is such an amazing big sister, my heart almost bursts when I hear them play or talk when they don't know I'm listening. When she knows I'm around, Anna CAte often antagonizes the heck out of Molly. 
I notice in the above picture Molly standing on her tippy toes to be a little closer to her sister.
 Being a teacher is hard, and I don't make as much money as I wish I did, but I'm realizing daily this school year that  working with young people is my passion, and how lucky I am to get to be around kids daily.
 Life is good in the now.
We had a good Fall, enjoying the gifts of the season -- both of our life and of the year.

The Pumpkin patch:

In October, Mom came to visit for the weekend so BJ and I could go away. 
They went to a movie, bowling, got manicures and pedicures, 
and prepared a lovely Halloween tea party/brunch before they entered the Trunk or Treat at the neighborhood party. 

She completely spoiled the girls the entire weekend, and then wished them well on Monday morning (a pajama day at school).
BJ and I really enjoyed a weekend away.
We stayed at an adorable little cottage in a great town in southwest Virginia: Floyd. It is my type place -- old fashioned with a fresh flavor of new energy from people dropping out of the life on a hamster wheel (suburbia/city life with traffic, careers and children's activities). We listed to bluegrass, enjoyed a farmer's market and dreamed about stepping out of our busy life by staying here for 48 hours.

We enjoyed a Hokie game, even if we didn't enjoy the outcome (losing in quadruple overtime)

We treated ourself to a few wineries.

Halloween:  We enjoyed the tricks and treats this year. Our friend and neighbor makes these kids' Halloween by scaring them from his front porch, so the night before he scared them, we post-it-noted his car. Norah gave the kids a lesson in the garage before we stealthily walked over and accomplished our mission.

On Halloween morning, Anna Cate and I had a date to the gym while Molly Mae and Marion prepared a beautiful brunch.
 Our trick looked even better in the day light.

We had our dear friends over and the big girls, both dressed as Malificent actually enjoyed a Haunted House:

These girls looked great with their wigs and make up when the evening started, but I didn't get a picture of that -- this is all I got. A tired, worn out pose.

Horse Races: the best Saturday in Virginia. This year, we took the girls to the horse races at Montpelier and while the rain deterred some of the fun and our guests from coming, it was still a beautiful day with friends.

Molly and I invented a Shirley Temple mimosa -- sparkling water and Orange Juice.

Both the girls love horses, especially Anna Cate.

The girls continue to adore their baby cousin, Graham. I sort of think they look alike.

So, it has been a good Fall, and as I look back at these pictures I'm reminded that we are ok. . . in the now. 

While in some ways when I feel like my very breath has been knocked out of me as I think of BJ's future with Parkinson's Disease, I just have to focus on the ways life has stayed the same and the blessings of the ways we are changing. 

BJ has started Occupational Therapy and Molly loves to be his guide.
We have friends, healthy children and one more thing to add to our list of blessings -- good healthcare.
Oh, and a lot of wine for me! 
"Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the bottle." -- Paulo Coelho, Brida