Sterling is finished with second year! Monday he took his test and found out he passed and was SO ready for a break. He requested driving up to West Palm to check out where we'll live in three or so months. Spend some time dreaming about the future we were a little too nervous to dream about before :) and since our new van has a dvd player so the two hour drive (four hours round trip) seemed like an ok idea, we headed out! It actually was REALLY fun. There are a thousand places we have talked about living (in West Palm Beach, in Palm Beach, in Boynton Beach, in Delray Beach, in Wellington, etc.) but we didn't have a very good idea of what driving distances to West Palm were actually like. We're pretty set on Delray Beach now and had been given a great elementary school recommendation, so with nothing else to go on--we mapquested the elementary school and just drove around the surrounding area! Haha! We found a beautiful park to eat sandwiches at and we kept remarking how QUIET it felt! It was DEFINITELY a suburbia, and not the Miami kind. It was heaven.
The kids also had just filled up their "Love Jar" (saying 'I'd love to!' instead of whining when they are asked to do something) and the reward was ice cream you got to put toppings on. So we found a froyo type place and the kids were very, very happy. Will had more toppings than ice cream, but I think he was very happy with the arrangement, haha! We got home much too late, and probably should've stopped talking about baby names BEFORE the heated convo, but all is well (I think we have a name now, actually) and we made it home.
Sterling took the entire next day to just enjoy family time. Ruthie had school and since she has Spring Break coming up we decided to send her to school and take another family day when she has school off and maybe do something a little bigger at that time. We went on a morning walk after school drop off. Did dishes, ya know, the usual. Then after picking Ruth up at noon we headed straight to the zoo with our lunches and swimsuits packed.
We have been to the zoo...a lot. I love it. Especially in the winter time. It's gorgeous and quiet and when we go on weekday mornings it's not very busy so my kids can run and jump and run and jump endlessly without me having to constantly be on their case. It's a win/win. Plus, having two playgrounds and three splash pads make it so you never get tired of going because you can do something different every single time. BUT Sterling has only gone to the zoo about four times total. So he was excited to go, and to add to the fun we decided to do a few things that we have NEVER done at our zoo in our almost three years of membership (!). First, we rented a bike. Since we've seen all the animals and stopped at all the lookout caves and everything, we thought it would be nice (and help beat the heat, it's been sooooo hot lately!) to just ride around the zoo. The kids were delighted and I thought it was great since Sterling told me to take it easy and pretty much pedaled the entire family around the over three miles of zoo. It was awesome. And it only cost us just over $20 so it was a fun splurge!
|I looked up from my sandwich and saw Will's arm around Molly. SOOOO cute!|
The second thing we splurged on was $5 to feed the giraffes. I have always told the kids 'maybe sometime when dad is with us' and it's just never happened. This was WAAAAY more fun than I had anticipated, and I'm really glad we took the opportunity! Also, I thought it was more expensive, but it wasn't, haha.
|I like how the giraffe is looking right at me.|
|They have such long tongues!|
|I added this picture because this guy is my favorite animal lately. It's hard to scale from the picture, but he is HUUUUUUUGE and those antlers? They twist and go up and up and up---I've never seen an animal with SUCH LONG antlers. It's pretty regal.|
We ditched the bike when our two hours were up and headed for the splash pad. It's been hitting the 90s lately and I guess all you need is that extra five degrees to really make it feel like full-on summer has hit. People are hitting up their pools now (ours just closed for three weeks of renovation....couldn't do that in the FIVE last months of winter?!?!?!) and the splash pad was a necessity.
|Will conned Sterling into getting a $3 frisbee when we went to campus to get a new decal for our new van.|
And then we grilled. Because when daddy has time for dinner, it seems to be our tradition now. And there is nothing like grilled brats. (Except grilled brats eaten with my mom's homemade applesauce. Sterling and I miss it so much we spent the entire meal figuring out when would be a good time to have a canning day. Because we need that in our lives, haha.) It was a beautiful day of sunshine and fun. And, of course, a few tantrums and meltdowns. But since there were no naps, they really were awesome. I wish every day was a daddy day! Unfortunately, that night Sterling and I mapped out his study for eight weeks for Step 1 Boards (he has to pass to move on in med school) which is a little disjointed since he has four weeks, then masters classes for a month, then four more weeks....but just mapping out those eight weeks made Sterling ready to jump right back into studying. And...we are back to 12 hour study days. At least he's home for dinner at nights now! And this morning he took Ruth to school while I did the blood glucose test at the OB--so lots of perks to just studying and no actual classes right now! I'll take it! Plus, we are looking forward to a great General Conference weekend. Life is good right now and we are so grateful for everyone's prayers and thoughts on our behalf this last stressful semester. We are sooooo happy it is behind us!