The Best Gift

Today is my parents' 40th wedding anniversary.
Forty Years.
My life from birth until now, plus eleven more years
That's how long they've been married. 
It's just incredible.

I have never wondered how much my parents love each other.
Because I have known it in my heart every single day of my life.
It is unconditionally.
Maybe not always the easiest kind of love, but the kind that's deep and supportive and unwavering.
The kind that teaches their children how to love.
And that lesson is the best gift they could have ever given me.

In honor of my parents' anniversary, my brothers, Chris and I threw them a surprise party last night.
 And although there were a few times this past month when I thought we might not pull it off, we managed to keep it under wraps and the party was totally perfect.
It was a fantastic evening full of laughter, family and lifelong friends, and I think my parents could feel just how loved they are by so many.
Which is exactly what the world's best parents deserve.

Congratulations, BM and BK!
I love you so much.

Thank you,Sabrina and Jane for helping us plan and set up for the party, and to all of our wonderful family and friends for bringing delicious food and the best company:). 
We did it!



It's not just in theory anymore...
We are really getting married!!!!!
With seven short minutes to spare before losing the hold we had placed on our date, 
we took the exciting leap of booking our venue~
the beautiful Oxon Hill Manor!

It's got it all. 
It is newly renovated and every last one of the rooms inside the manor home is gorgeous.
The gardens are beautiful and meticulously landscaped, the Potomac River is in the distance, and there is even an outdoor tent for me to hang my fairy lights.
I am over the moon.

I am also quickly becoming aware of the fact that I will need to be much more decisive throughout the wedding planning process than I usually am.
It literally took everything I had to make this one decision, and yet I know that there are 150,000 more decisions to make right around the corner.
How daunting (and EXCITING!)
At least I have already made the best decision of all:
to marry Chris!



My classroom is a zoo.
For the past 4 days I have been responsible not only for 23 rambunctious eight year olds, but also literally animals themselves.

That's right:  it's Been a HUGE week in Miss R.'s class.
This past Tuesday and Wednesday my students and I became the proud parents of eight baby chicks.
We impatiently waited 20 long days for them to hatch, and oh how worth the wait it has been.

The entire hatching process from start to finish was totally surreal.
It is slow and steady and completely and utterly nerve racking when you feel like you're the one responsible for their survival and you have no idea what you're doing
I was a nervous wreck. 
But nature is incredible and aw-inspiring, and everything worked out just as it should.
This past Tuesday was the 20 day mark, and it was Monday night at my house (yes, I took the eggs home every night from day 16 on) when the first chick poked a hole in its egg and started faintly chirping her hellos into the world. 
It was incredible. 
And I was so nervous for her. 
What if she needed help? What if she got stuck in there? What if the incubator wasn't warm enough for her?
I hardly slept a wink. 
I checked on that egg every 2 hours, waiting for some sign that I had done a good job nurturing these eggs.
And low and behold around 6:45 on Tuesday morning, I walked over to the incubator and saw this:
 She made it! 
And she was chirping and encouraging her brothers and sisters to come out of their eggs, too!
 By Tuesday afternoon, my students and I had welcomed 2 more chicks, and we actually got to watch one as it made its way out of its shell and into the world.
That was unbelievable.
The process of getting out of their shells is so utterly exhausting for them, I can hardly believe that a single chick makes it through the journey.
 I took the three chicks home with me that night, and took the opportunity to have them all to myself and to have a full on baby chick modeling session.

I also discovered that Kenzie would literally eat baby chicks if given the chance.
(Don't worry- she was not given the chance.)

 Then, when I got to my classroom on Wednesday, five more chicks had hatched!
 I mean come on~
They are so absurdly cute!
 And soft...
And funny...
 And hungry!

They are also really adventurous!
We named this little guy Indiana Chirps, because he's always waddling away from the group and getting into some sort of trouble.
 Can't you just see him plotting some sort of escape?
 I am obsessed with these chicks.
And I for sure will start crying when we have to give them back to the farm where they came from.
But I wouldn't have traded this experience with my students for anything.
I'm just so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to hang out with the coolest chicks in town. 
And yes, I think they'd say the same about me :).
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