Been busy.

I’m almost done with the nursery, but my organizing efforts keep getting derailed by the billions of other things that seem to be going on right now. This is the second-to-last week of school, and because I, um, procrastinated a little, we cut it close with the all-school art contest last week.

Trinitas Christian School art contest.

We had 93 entries, which isn’t too bad for a school with only 150 students.

As the art teacher, I admit that I was a little annoyed that a lot of really good in-class projects were not entered in the contest. I know they’re out there…

…but at the same time, I was really happy that so many nice pieces did make it in.

The oil pastel parrots were a 5th/6th grade class project, as were the 2nd grade painted paper collages.

The polar bears and jaguar collage done by 4th graders. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the 1st prize pear drawing and elephant crayon resist two photos up were also done by a 4th grade private student. Pretty good, eh?

All of the prize-winning high school photos were taken by students in my 9th/10th grad photography class, which is doing some really nice work right now. It really is a bummer that the class only meets for 45 minutes twice a week — we didn’t get to a lot of the projects I had planned and I think that more practice with the camera would have been good for everybody.

(Just in case you’re wondering, I did NOT judge the contest: I have no objectivity when it comes to my students’ art! It is way too difficult for me to look at any of these and not think about how talented that particular student is and whether or not this particular piece is the best they can do. I was thrilled and relieved when we found two non-parent judges who did a great job and kept me off the hook.)

Another big event for us last week was the lovely baby shower thrown for us by the ladies in our church. The decorating was amazing (they found out that I like birds and ran with the theme) and we were showered with love and pink baby clothes.

Baby shower at St. Andrew's.

The younger girls kept themselves busy by picking out presents one at a time for me to open.

The little girls brought me the presents.

Even husband joined in the fun. (Yes, I have a strange expression on my face. Isn’t the camera charming about capturing little moments like that?)

Husband joined the fun for a while.

I now have the most amazing collection of baby gift bags, so if anyone local is going to a baby shower make sure you ask me before going out and buying one. It will take me years to re-use all of these!

So many pretty presents!

Fortunately, there were two little babies in the audience to keep everyone busy while I opened presents. I have to confess that I didn’t hold either one since my tummy makes it a little difficult and since I’m resting my arms in advance of their new, full-time occupation of holding my own bebe.

Kh. Nora's baby.

(Many thanks to Lauren Pope for taking the baby shower photos.)

In the end, I think that a fun time was had by all and we got some very lovely items for baby’s layette. Now all I have to do is get those last few bits and pieces of paraphernelia that we probably don’t need but which I definitely don’t want to run to the store for after baby is born. Which still feels as though it is going to be sooner rather than later.

Just 1 1/2 more weeks of school to go…

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Almost there.

Husband and I are counting this as my first Mother’s Day, seeing as growing a baby involves a fair amount of work (less than taking care of an infant, I”m sure, but enough work that you are already mothering before the baby is born). I got to ask for a meal of my choice, so he is fixing me quiche in the kitchen right now. Quiche with Danish blue cheese and mushrooms and onions and broccoli. Yum. Hopefully baby will be out and about by Father’s Day and I will get to return the favor.

My due date is only five weeks away. Five is suddenly sounding like a very, very small number. My mum went early with her babies, so I am hoping to get the nursery completely ready in the next two weeks so I won’t be huffing down the aisles of Target in between contractions. I’ve held off on some things because our church baby shower is next Sunday and you never know what you’re going to get. But as soon as the shower is over, I really need to get moving on a few things (sheets for the crib would be nice, don’t you think?).

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), school is keeping me very distracted these days as end-of-the-year momentum continues to grow. Entries for the highly anticipated all-school art contest are due on Tuesday, and I have had a crazy time for the past few weeks trying to get a couple of classes to finish projects in time. Sometimes kids can just be so slow.  And if they are slow, we run out of time to clean up or I end up doing bits and pieces of things for them after class, all of which results in very stressful teaching days and lots of extra hours spent at school. But now we’re at the “if it’s not done, it’s not done” stage and all I have to do is help organize and hang the entries and hand out prizes at the end. (No, I am not judging…I in no way want to be responsible for who gets those coveted prizes!) And I have vowed that we will only do very simple, very low-prep projects for the rest of the year. I may have said that before, but this time I really mean it.

Five more weeks. And then everything will be different.

I am terrified and I can’t wait.

I want to get away.

Husband and I took a little beach vacation over the weekend as a combination my birthday / his birthday / last weeks before parenthood present. (His birthday is the baby’s due date, so we’re hoping that we’ll be doing a different kind of celebrating in June.) We left right after school on Friday hoping to find a hotel in Destin or Sandestin but ran into a few difficulties of the sort that make pregnant women cry. Did you know that a lot of the great-looking hotels right next to the beach are not actually hotels but condos? We didn’t. We also didn’t know that there is a gigantic motorcycle rally in Panama City Beach at this time of year called — appropriately — “Thunder Beach.” We knew something was up when we passed people setting up lawn chairs facing the road in front of their beach houses. I mean, why would you look at the road when the beach is in your back yard? To check out the parade of Harleys, of course!

Thunder Beach motorcycle rally (oops).

To make a long story short, we gave up on Friday and tried again on Saturday, this time settling at a beach hotel in Fort Walton Beach. Second time was the charm.

Driving to the beach.

Sand dunes.

We wisened up and made a reservation that morning, so we set out full of confidence that a room by the beach awaited us. After a tasty dinner, we took a barefoot walk on the sand at sunset.

Fort Walton Beach.

Sunset.

Taking a nice evening walk.

The water was warm.

Weird jellyfish.

Must. Be. Poked.

Almost dark.

And another one the next morning. (That’s our hotel below.)

Our hotel.

The beach in the morning.

White and green and blue water.

Sand cliffs.

The best-looking condos.

Pelicans.

A little bird looking for breakfast.

Drama in the sky.

Beach-walking feet.

We had breakfast on our little patio.

Breakfast on the veranda.

And, on the way back, we found that our favorite snow-cone stand was open!

An added bonus.

Yummy snow cones.

A perfect ending to the perfect little vacation.