Tuesday, August 30, 2016

another set of smooth legs

We have some hairy legs in our family (and this is written about those legs with their owner's permission:).  Elle and I not so much, but my three little girls have had some good little furry coats covering their legs through the years.  So when Grace was ten-years-old she decided it was time to shave her legs.

I don't remember the details, but I'm pretty sure I must have absent-mindedly brushed off her request, telling her she was much too young and who cares if her legs were hairy.  Because come on, ten?  Let's stay young and put off that hassle as long as we can!  But that little determined girl of mine didn't take no for an answer (a pattern that would become more prominent in the future...that is one determined girl) and took matters into her own hands. 

I wrote about the result back HERE.


Needless to say we had some pretty great follow-up conversations and learned a lot from that little incident.  This stuff girls worry about needs to be talked through with a mother who will actually listen instead of brushing off, so I've gotten a lot better through the years.

I don't know if that leg shaving episode was one of the seeds for more communication in our family or if it just comes with having a whole slew of girls, or if Grace's personality is just so open that things come up all the time (I really do love that), but we discuss things a lot more now that we have a bunch of girls in the midst of the whole maturation mumbo-jumbo around here.

Well, Claire is now twelve and has made it through with her hairy legs just fine.  She's a little slower to want to grow up than Elle and Grace were.  She turned 12 in January and has never once said anything about wanting to wear make-up (my older girls were dying to wear mascara by then so that was the age we started allowing it).  

But Claire finally decided (with Grace's help cajoling her) that the time has come to get some smooth legs.  Let's get out the razors!  

Grace was pretty delighted to be assigned as the teacher this time around.
And as you can see, Claire was pretty excited too.

They worked on those suckers for quite a while...

And they came out triumphant.  

So far so good, no major chunks of skin taken out and some pretty smooth legs have emerged that can finally see the light of day :)  Ha!

It's kinda nice to have a second mother around to help shape us up around here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

a shout-out to dads

Father's Day 2016

Let's pretend it's still June and Father's Day just came and went.

Because we should celebrate dads pretty often I think. 

There is a funny story a mother told my mom after one of her speeches way back when and we shared it a few times when we were speaking at Time Out for Women:

The mother said that one day her daughter came and asked her how hard it was to be a mom.

The mother thought about that question for a little bit and wondered how she would answer.  I mean, it's hard, there's no doubt about that, but it's hard in good ways and how do you explain that to your child in the right way?  

Before she could answer, her daughter said, "is it sometimes just so hard you wish you could be a Dad?"

Ha.  Such a telling story that often kids don't see the whole picture of what Dads do.  

I know there are some who are not around and have all kinds of issues, but there are oh so many who work their tails off for their kids and families, and are steady "builders."  

Dave is one of them and I thank my lucky stars every day (ok, most days, because let's be honest there are occasional days he makes me feel like slamming a door or two :) that he is mine.  

And that he's theirs.

Shout out not only to this dad we adore, but to all Dads out there who are doing their thing without much pomp and circumstance, who make their childrens' eyes light up.

If yours is one of those, (maybe he is and you have forgotten lately in the hustle and bustle of being the mom), hug him extra today and think of three things to complement him on tonight.

Because Dads make the world go around.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Grace's masterpiece video covering our Iceland adventures...

...right here:
iceland from grace pothier on Vimeo.

Made me tear up as I watched it again just now.

I'll be forever grateful for these videos sweet Grace, and grateful to Elle too who took so much of the footage.  I am one lucky mama.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss and Jokulsarlon...try pronouncing those suckers! (Iceland part 2)

Our second (and last) day in Iceland was spent visiting two waterfalls and driving for hours on end to get to the glacier lagoon.

It seems kind of crazy that you could spend a day visiting two waterfalls and driving for hours on end to see a lagoon chock full of glaciers and think it's the most fun you've ever had.  It's not like it's high adventure or Disneyland-esque.  But there is something about Iceland that makes just seeing it such a huge treat.

Is it the light?  Is it the beauty?  Was it that awesome rental car we got? (ha!) Was it just that we were cherishing being together as a family?

The first place we visited bright and early (as bright and early as you can get in a place that never gets dark) was SELJALANDSFOSS.
 Doesn't look that huge from far away right?  But see those tiny people below?
That kind of shows off how massive it is.

The cool thing about this waterfall is that we could walk under it.

Here they are ready to get wet under that thing:

 Going in:

 And coming out the other side:

Hiking up out of it:

 Looking back:
Um, yeah, it was pretty cool...but I think partly you had to be there to get the power of it all.

So here are a couple videos to show the magnitude and sheer amount of water coming off that cliff and our family heading to traipse underneath it:

And here's a clip from the other side:

We explored the smaller waterfalls nearby,

...did a little jumping:
...and a little pose how Lucy wanted to do it:
A wanna-be grumpy tourist:

And a family pretty in love with that spot:

We stopped for a little lunch at this fish and chip place we had read about in the guide book:
 This lady from New Zealand whips up some pretty tasty stuff there.
 It did not disappoint.

Next we headed to SKOGAFOSS.
Looks similar to Seljalandsfoss right?  But it was so cool because instead of going under this one we went to the top.  See those people way up there on the above photo in that railed in area?  That's the very top.  Then there's a group of people one level below too.
We climbed up this gorgeous hillside:

It was high.

This was the first vantage point:

(Can you make out that profile in that rock to the left up there...looks like a grumpy guy with a tall cap on watching the waterfall.)
 Elle with the grumpy guy:
 Me with my girl I didn't want to ever let go:

And here's the second vantage point way up at the tippy top:
There were white birds gliding around in the spray and it was just so beautiful and strangely peaceful even with such a roaring waterfall.

There is a place you can climb up and over a little ladder to get further up where the water came from...and there are another few waterfalls back there.

Sorry you're enduring a LOT of pictures here, but with Grace and Elle and I all oohing and aahhing over every little things and trying to capture it all with two different cameras believe me these ones are just the tip of the iceberg of photos we took.  So fun for us to remember all this stuff through the photos (and Grace's whiz-bang video that's coming too).

Here we are going back down...

 Goodbye Skogafoss...we loved you.

From there we headed to JOKULSARLON glacier lagoon.

It was not close.

We drove across the whole bottom section of Iceland to get there.  But we had seen pictures and were dying to see it ourselves.  I'll admit, a few hours into the drive Dave and I looked at each other and wondered if all this driving was really going to be worth it.

But from the minute we arrived we realized we would have driven two times that long to get this view, because what an amazing part of God's creation to see all those giant icebergs shifting and floating...we saw one crack apart as they all eventually make their way off into the ocean from this lagoon where they come from the mountain.

I loved how some of them had black stripes from the mountains, some were quite vivid blue,

Some were carved up and under from all the water that has passed through.

 We watched for a while on one side of the lagoon...

Then drove to the other side to see how it looked from there...
 Even more blue.
We were kind of mesmerized waiting to see some action as they cracked and heaved to make their way to the ocean, but Lucy gave us the wrap-it-up call:
Ha!  So we packed back up and headed back to where we were going to stay next to the airport since our flight was first thing the next morning.

We stopped in this picturesque little town called VIK en route back to Reykjavik.
...where there is a black sand beach:

I think those rock formations below are called the three gnomes out in the water:

God is an incredible artist.

It was near midnight by the time we reached the hotel (still daylight though) to snuggle down to sleep before our early morning flight.

Oh man what a time that was.

We bid goodbye to that beautiful land...as well as the purple flowers (that even lined the runway!)
 ...and headed on home.

Off to the next adventure:  project take-Elle-to-college.

We were extra grateful for every single minute we had with her there, and split up in Boston on our layover so Elle and I could head out on her summer school college adventure.
All about that back HERE.

Goodbye to gorgeous Iceland for now...we'll be back!  Max is gonna love that place some day.  How we missed that kid!
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