So here we are and here is my first post on our new site. It's like moving into a new home (the website, I mean)...or maybe a new apartment that has the siding all ripped off for renovations and is strategically (insert sarcastic smirk here) located next to a water (ok...it's sewage, who am I kidding?!) treatment plant. Oops, guess I just described our situation. Actually, though, the area where the Childrens Hospital is located is very beautiful. It is just a few blocks from Loyola and Tulane Universities and lies on the banks of the Mississippi. The houses in the neighborhood are old and historic mansions that are kept up amazingly. There is a massive park next door (Audubon park) that houses a golf course, some large ponds with water fowl and turtles, the city zoo, playgrounds, and a large track that circumscribes the golf course. We have spent some very lovely afternoons chasing the girls around there, while they likewise chase lizards, turtles, ducks, and squirrels. Our "garments" as Brinley adorably calls our apartments are located about 20 minutes northwest of the hospital. They are being completely renovated (from Katrina damage), so Maren and the kids have been surrounded by Mexican laborers re-siding and painting, etc. The girls love the swimming pool, and have both recently learned to swim alone with arm floaties on. We are very careful in watching Brinley around the pool. Staying true to her personality she is somewhat less cautious than Lainie and loves to jump in the water whether I am ready to catch her or not. We usually usually only swim for 5 or 10 minutes, though, before they want to spend their time catching the many lizards around. Maren has been such a good sport about coming down here. We've enjoyed having more time to just be together as a family. I have more call here, but it is usually slower paced. It has been a blessing to relax and go to the zoo, the aquarium, the parks, and of course the wholesome family day we had in the French Quarter. Ha! It really was fun, though, and great for the family to visit in the light of day. Maren did flash several people...but only with our camera. She didn't get any beads for that. We've had a blast visiting the local eateries. That's probably why it doesn't show that I've been running 2 miles 4 times a week. Lainie stops to pick the flowers wherever we are. Even if they are weeds and not flowers. And sometimes even if they are just leaves and not even weed flowers. She is just so excited to have green and nice weather. She has also begun to exercise a new artistic streak. She's already filled one sketch book and is started on #2. I'm a little jealous, though, because most of her pictures are of her bear. Isaac is giggling now, and is a super content little man. Did I say "little"? I think we actually missed that stage. He is a joy. Brinley still misses her grandparents. She sure loved having both the Becksteads and then the Higbees visit us, demonstrated by her comment that "Grandma and Grandpa are missing us so much" everytime she sees and airplane.
We hope all of our loved ones know they are missed. We are super duper excited to travel west this summer and visit y'all!