April has been such a lovely month. The spring weather we are having has been glorious, I’m finally experiencing some relief from the first trimester nausea and fatigue, and we’ve been keeping busy with playdates, playground time, and plenty of Easter festivities. Here’s a look at some of the best April had to offer.
// READING LATELY //
I had a number of wonderful reading experiences this month. I was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed this negatively reviewed book from one of my favorite authors (and don’t quite understand where all the book hate is coming from, to be honest; I thought it was one of her best works!). This book was a wonderful (if not entirely conclusive) finale to a series I’ve loved. I was deeply moved by this romance and this family drama, and I could NOT put this thriller down.
// WATCHING LATELY //
Fuller House, Season 4: It took Luke and me over three months to get through the thirteen half-hour episodes in the most recent season of this show . . . clearly, television watching has not been our priority lately. Though it’s admittedly pretty cheesy, I love the wholesome values, silly antics, and family focus of this show, and season 4 was no exception. It was nice to have a break from the DJ love triangle story line and focus on other characters. I especially enjoyed following Kimmy’s pregnancy and watching DJ navigate some difficult parenting challenges. This show is easy to watch, and provided us with some much-needed comic relief (if only for a half hour per week) in recent months.
My Rating: 4 Stars.
// LATEST CHARLIE-ISMS //
I’m not sure if it’s a new phase we’ve entered, or if I’m simply appreciating these final months with an only child, but I’ve been enjoying my time with Charleston more than ever lately. He’s grown so much more independent in the last few months, and hanging out with him has been more like spending time with a best friend than a child. I know our dynamic will change once the twins arrive, but I am happy to be in such a great place right now. And the things he says—they’re just the best!
+ “Did you know I can think in my eyes? When I close them, I just look and think and see things.”
+ After Luke mentioned a pregnant friend who had lost her baby. “I hope the baby knows his way home.” I know this was out of context, but the metaphorical meaning of his words melted my heart.
+ “I’m going to be a doctor after I’m five. Wait a second. I’ll still be a kid then. If only they had a kid’s doctor’s office that kids could work in.”
+ Upon receiving a compliment: “God just made me suuuper talented. It’s my job!”
+ On my tendency to press snooze on my alarm in the morning: “Why when the alarm goes off do you still sleep? You should just set it for later next time.”
+ “My favorite color is orange and my third favorite color is green.” Me: “What’s your second favorite color?” Charleston: “I don’t have a second favorite. I like every color.”
+ “I can’t wait to go to Heaven! I wonder what God will have for me there. I hope He has presents and surprises!”
+ Me: “Do you know your gymnastics teachers’ names?” Charleston: “Let’s see. One of them is named Coach. Miss Coach.”
+ When I tried to explain the purpose of the Brinks armored truck outside of our rec center: “Oh, so he’s a bank robber?”
+ “Why did God make bad words?” Me: “God didn’t make bad words, people did.” Charleston: “That’s not very nice, because then people will say them to us.”
+ On the yogurt-covered pretzels he was eating: “I think they put whipped cream on top of these pretzels.”
+ Looking at a map in my Bible: “What is this map of?” Me: “It’s a map showing where Jesus lived.” Charleston: “You mean it’s a map of Heaven?”
// HAPPENINGS AND HIGHLIGHTS //
We inaugurated the Easter season with a trip to the mall to visit the Easter Bunny, which Charleston LOVED. He truly adores the Easter Bunny, and hugged, kissed, snuggled, and pet him almost the entire time he was sitting on his lap. He let Mr. Bunny know that he would like jelly beans and Starbursts in his Easter eggs this year, and promised to leave out some carrots for him on the night before Easter (though Charleston is very confused as to how the Easter Bunny can eat carrots when his mouth doesn’t open . . . that boy is too smart for his own good, sometimes! He also wondered why the Easter Bunny looked so different in his cousin’s Bunny pictures. These things aren’t so easy to explain!).
On Palm Sunday we attended the city-wide egg hunt at a local park. This was our fourth year attending, and it’s become a fun tradition! Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous, but because it was such a nice day, the park was PACKED. There were separate hunting spots based on age and we ended up letting Charleston go with the 0-3 year-olds because the 4-7 year-old area was a madhouse and we were worried our little guy would get trampled. He loved the hunt itself, but got off to a slow start, then insisted on opening each egg as he found it rather than running after more eggs. By the end, he got the hang of it and got some pretty good loot.
During Holy Week, we participated in one of my favorite spring traditions, our Easter Story Egg. Each day we opened the wooden nesting egg and read a Bible story from our book. Charleston was really into it this year, and it was a special way to prepare our hearts and minds for Easter.
Our second egg hunt of the week was at a friend’s house with our MOPS group. We had a very high egg-to-kid ratio, and the kids had a blast finding as many eggs as their baskets could hold. Charleston was quite excited about the dinosaur figurines in some of his eggs, which quickly became his favorite toys of the week. We have been so blessed by our MOPS friends over the past year, and are thankful for that wonderful community of moms and kids.
On the Saturday morning before Easter, we dyed our Easter eggs! This is a tradition I’ve loved since childhood, and I don’t think I’ve ever missed a year. It’s been so fun to do it with Charleston, and he enjoys it more each year. This year we dyed both hardboiled eggs and confetti eggs, and did a mix of classic and sparkle dye. We were less elaborate with our dying than we have been in the past (before Charleston was born, Luke and I liked to get pretty creative with our color combinations and patterns) but we all had a lot of fun and our eggs turned out great.
We served and attended our church’s Saturday evening Easter services (they asked regular members to go on Saturday to free up space for guests on Sunday). It was a fantastic service, with an amazing message about all that we have received because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. That night, before bed, Charleston got ready for the Easter Bunny: we set out eggs to be hidden, a basket to be filled, and some carrots for the Easter Bunny to eat. Charleston also added in some water in case he was thirsty, some books for him to read while he ate his carrots, and some crafts he was excited for the Easter Bunny to see. All of this was unprompted by me, but I used to do the EXACT same thing to get ready for Santa and the Easter Bunny growing up!
Easter morning was just the best! Since we weren’t attending church, we got to sleep in a bit. When we came downstairs, Charleston was THRILLED to see the basket of goodies the Easter Bunny had left him (there were paints and brushes, a set of watercolors, an activity book, an Easter Book, a jump rope, a card, a chocolate bunny, some Peeps, and binoculars). His favorite was the confetti at the bottom of the basket! He also quickly latched onto the binoculars, which proved quite useful in hunting for eggs. He did a great job searching and only needed help finding a couple of them. He was happy to see that the eggs had been filled with jelly beans and Starbursts, per his request when we visited the Easter Bunny earlier in the month. I keep thinking that the magic of holidays will wear off for him soon, but so far they just keep getting better and Luke and I are soaking it up!
On Easter afternoon we headed over to my in-laws’ house for some barbecue and a confetti egg hunt. Luke’s sister was out of town, so it was just us and Luke’s parents, but it was such a nice day. Charleston had all of the confetti eggs to himself and had a blast with them. My father-in-law was the recipient of nearly every egg-smashing, and he was such a great sport. Arlo had a great time running around with their German Shepherd, but by the end of the day he was a mess—covered in confetti and tiny stickers that got matted into his fur. (It literally took hours of brushing to get them all out.) But I think he would say it was worth it, and we all headed home at the end of the day feeling tired but happy.
Last week Charleston had his last class and a casual performance for the theater program he’d been doing since January with ZACH Theatre. Every Monday, for the past few months, the kids have worked on learning two dances to songs from Moana, and it was awesome to get to see the kids perform. Charleston was fighting a cold on performance day, so his enthusiasm was less than it would have been otherwise, but he did a fantastic job! Although he was a little younger and less mature than the other kids in the class and had trouble keeping up during some of the classes, he totally rocked his performance (I fully admit my bias here). Best of all, he was SO proud of himself and is begging to do theater again. Such a difference from his first performing experience last November, when he literally ran off the stage! I was thrilled with his hard work and dedication throughout the class, and my mama heart couldn’t have been more proud of him on performance day! Musical theater was one of my very favorite things growing up, and it’s fun to get to see Charleston having fun with it too.
A lot of our month (or rather, Luke’s month, since he’s awesome and is handling the logistics) has been taken up by the home-buying process! That’s right, we bought a house! Or at least, we are about to. If all goes well, we will close on a house in Liberty Hill (about twelve miles north of our current home) this week. We’ve always rented our homes, so buying a house is a big deal for us! We are excited about our home, a new build that meets all of our house requirements (one story, four bedrooms, a play area, nice yard, family-friendly neighborhood). I am not looking forward to the move itself, but am thankful that we aren’t moving far and are able to spread the move out over a few weeks. I’m also thankful to be moving with plenty of time to get settled before the twins arrive. I have a lot of nesting in my future!
What was the highlight of your April? I’d love to hear about it!