*family visit

My parents were out here for a week and we had a great time, seeing a lot of the area.  Here are a bunch of the pictures we took::

On our way to Portsmouth, New Hampshire we stopped here in Marblehead for lunch and a look-around. It was so quaint and pretty.

look at this adorable garden shed!

We also stopped in Salem for a couple hours - I'd love to go back and read more about the history [Ben would like to point out that popular opinion puts the Puritans in a poor light, when really the leaders of the church condemned the trials. Thankfully I am married to a History Professor :)]. I'd heard there was a lot of cheesy witch references, but it really wasn't that bad.  I just love seeing these old old Puritan houses:

at the Strawberry Banke museum in Portsmouth where they've preserved and recreated life there from the 1600s to WW2 era - we all loved it!!

dinner at a fancy restaurant. the girls were amazing! whew.

enjoying her gnocchi:

My mushroom arancini. I feel like arancini were invented with me in mind :)

Vera was so proud and happy to make our coffee in the hotel room. Ah I love to stay in a hotel : )

exploring the garden at strawberry banke:

playing kitchen:

Vera thought the weaving and spinning yarn was especially fascinating. I'd love to get her started in some craftiwork...

Edie wanted to do it her way:

a 300-or-so year old loom:

my dad talking it up with the cooper:

it rained almost the whole time they were here:

John Adams was born in Quincy and we finally went on the tour of his and John Quincy Adams' birthplaces and farm. This is a replica of Abigail's desk.

We went down to New Bedford to check out the whaling museum. My great great great grandfather, Bela Franklin Ward, was a seaman on a whaling ship until a Nantusket sleigh ride made him quit and move west. We tried to find his name somewhere.. don't think we were able to, but it was neat to see it all!

A quick ride on the swan boats before we took them to the airport:

It was a wonderful time all around - does us good to have loved ones share in our life here!



I had to run an errand last night at the mall and Ben sent me this text update:

Both girls got their Olympic outfits on to do cartwheels and somersaults. Vera actually completed a 5 - and I told her if she was in the Olympics, she would get a gold medal. She is now uber excited about the Olympics and fantasizing about it.

He later told me that Edie wanted a gymnastics outfit like Vera, so she put on this little number.  She was very proud of herself and kept saying Vewa, look! Vewa, look!

They break my heart I love them so much!


*la menor

Just some recent pictures of little Eden, such a funny and feisty little girl:

getting better on the tricycle:

loved the high-waisted jammies here:

she got herself all fancy here to help me take out the trash:

posing in her new boden swimsuit:


*la niñez


I read this post recently and I got a little lump in my throat it was so sweet.  Everyone tells you how fast it goes and how you have to hold on and appreciate them when they are small.  Lately I have been letting Edie especially just be a kid - when we go on walks I try to not be in a hurry and let her walk along every curb, climb up on the fence, look at the bugs, push the stroller.  After school I try to let Vera play in the school yard as long as she wants with her friends - they go back by these trees and have some sort of hidden treasure they collect and protect.  I feel like Vera - despite a crazy difficult emotional and sassy stage we are in the middle of - still has so much childlike innocence about her and I love when I see it.  I just went back and tried to find some recent pictures that capture the essence childhood... the sweetness, the innocence, their little ways of being a child  :)  Just a few:

One such morning in Boston, walking along the curbs:

Taking a picture to show Tia how she painted her own nails - with markers:

waiting for their ice cream at the neighborhood shop:

cracking themselves up by spinning and throwing grass in the air:

little huddles around chalk:

extreme excitement over these prepackaged snowcones from the ice cream truck: