Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Our Beach

We're slightly obsessed.  Maybe because we've never lived near a beach before, so it still feels like a vacation.  Maybe because it's a five minute walk from our house.  Or maybe because it's a beautiful beach where the little ones can spend hours playing.  Whatever the reason, I've quickly grown to love being able to walk to the water.  It has been two weeks now, so on our morning walks to the beach, we have started seeing the same people.  Lilly and I say 'good morning' to everyone, and Jack loves showing off his wave--usually a few seconds too late for them to see, but flapping his entire arm just the same.  We walk by a golf course first, and Lilly and I always stop to look for golf balls.  So far, we've found two, and each time, the discovery has made Lilly's day.  She always wants to know who they belong to, and after I explain to her that we can't track down their owners, she proudly carries the golf ball in her hand until we get home.  We continue down to the beach, where I park the stroller and let the little ones out.  Lilly runs around, skipping and dancing and making sand angels and climbing on rocks.  It took her a few days to get over her fear of seaweed (a trait I'm pretty sure she inherited directly from her Godmother) and venture into the water.  She now walks down and collects rocks and shells and draws in the sand with sticks.  Jack, too, has become more adventurous.  He went from not wanting to put his feet in the sand to crawling around, picking up (and trying to eat) sand, and he heads straight for the water every time.  I'm tempted to let him go in and see what happens.

making sand angels

attacking Lilly's sand castle!

getting awfully adventurous, climbing on the rocks
sneak attack!

crawling with his shell 

balancing on the rocks

As we approach the beach, we see the same man every morning.  He reminds me of Dad.  He walks out of his simple house, right next to the beach.  He has a cup of coffee in one hand and his newspaper under his arm, and heads toward a picnic bench on the beach where he leisurely enjoys his morning.  He's an athlete of some sort--either a triathlete or a cyclist (you can tell by the shaved legs...a family characteristic that I am well aware of).  He's faltering in the hair department.  As Lilly would say, he's got "bald pots" just like Papa.  He smiles and says good morning to us, and I often see him just watching Lilly and Jack play on the beach--not in a creepy way--with a smile in his eyes like he's reminiscing.  He reminds me of Dad right down to his's the same pretty much every day.  Khaki shorts and a white t-shirt.  I've only seen his sandals from a distance, but I'm pretty sure if I looked closer, I'd discover that they are Tevas.  This morning, he was doing a few laps on the beach, and even his knee lift was the same as Dad's!

The only noticeable difference between this man and Dad is that Dad would be walking to the beach with his coffee, his kindle, and with Mum.  When I see this man, he makes me smile.  I can't wait for the day when I get to walk down to our beach with Mum and Dad, because they'll have to come back from Singapore some time.  And when they do, there's a nice little room above the garage in Fairfield, CT that is calling their name.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We're Back!

After a long break, it's time for the Clarks to return to the blogging world.  It's impossible to try and recount the past two months into one blog entry, so I'm going to start off slowly, with a few pictures from OUR MOVE!!  It has been two weeks since we left our condo in Stamford and moved up to Fairfield.  And we love it!  We love having a house.  We love the privacy of our own backyard.  We (well, really I) love the kitchen.  I love being able to cook dinner while Lilly sits up at the counter painting and Jack plays on the floor nearby.  We love being able to walk to the end of our street and be on the beach.  We love being so much closer to lots of our good friends.  It feels like we're on vacation.  It has only been two weeks, but we're happier.  Out of the blue tonight, Jim stopped what he was doing and turned to me to tell me how happy he is.  I have said the same thing to Jim countless times over the past two weeks.

Here, in a nutshell, is our big move.

Stamford, all packed up. 
Helper #1
Helper #2
Jim's dad picked the wrong night to drop by!  (Real) helper #3!
The move took its toll on everyone
"Helping" unpack in Fairfield!
We've figured out new routines.  Jim has to leave for work half an hour earlier than he used to, which means that we all have breakfast, Jim goes off to work and the little ones and I go for a walk to the beach.  This weekend, Lilly was very excited to show Jim "our beach".  

We've been able to spend more time with friends.  I have to take some pictures of everyone next time we're all together, but we feel very welcome in Fairfield.  Mel and Jerry (and Margot) looked after Lilly for an entire day while we moved, and then made us pizzas for dinner before we collapsed back in Stamford for our last night.  Marie and Luke (and Peter) looked after Lilly the next day.  Lilly has grown accustomed to being dropped off, and now tells me on a daily basis that I can drop her off at (insert any of her friends' names here) house.  We leave at 7:55am for 8am swim lessons and Kate's house now, instead of 7:15 from Stamford.  Brien, Liz and Stella have been over for dinner.  We've found new parks.  There's not much to complain about here.

Lilly and I making cupcakes in the new kitchen

Jack wants to help too.  This is how he spends the majority of his day!
Lilly and Margot all dressed up!
Sitting at the counter, ready for breakfast.
Brien teaching Stella and Lilly the art of pizza making on the grill

Our new park, and discovering a neighborhood worm.
Loving life in our backyard 
Jack pretty much sums it up, clapping his hands whenever anyone says, "yaaaay!"
And so begins the next chapter in our life.  I know it's going to be a good one.