Before I get to Genevieve and her birthday, though, I have to talk for just a minute about graduation. As most of you know, this was my first year teaching all seniors at the school that I have been trying to get to since I came back into the system two and a half years ago. I had an incredible year, and I really loved and enjoyed my students, and I'm going to miss them. I realized this year that I'm doing what I want to do, and for the first time in my life, I'm not keeping one eye open for something else or wondering what I will do next. I still love change, but I'm also realizing that my need for change is part of what makes this job perfect for me. The whole cyclical nature of the school year and getting a new batch of students each year really works for me. The hours and vacations allow me to be home when my kids are home, and now that I've found a school where I'm happy, I feel like I am home.
So, the weekend in pictures:
Sunday, my whole family was coming over to celebrate Genevieve's birthday and have lunch together while my sister and her family were here from Georgia. My grandmother, aunt, brother and his family, and parents were coming, the house was a wreck, and Big daddy woke up sick as a dog and unable to get out of bed, much less help me clean. After a lot of freaking out and yelling at the kids to help me, I got things reasonably presentable, and the afternoon turned out to be very nice. Genevieve enjoyed opening a few presents.
and especially reading the cards.
Of course, she had a little help.
She enjoyed being the belle of the ball.
I had to be at the Coliseum at 6:00 for graduation. I hadn't seen my students since their last class a week before, and I enjoyed playing mama one last time as I bobby-pinned hats to heads, negotiated mortarboard swaps for a better fit, and delivered contraband purses to the real mamas out in the crowd, since they couldn't be carried in the procession. I made sure to snap pictures of a few of my favorites, like the captain of the football team.
and his girlfriend
and their friends. Four of the kids in this picture are headed to Vanderbilt, some with full academic scholarships. After all the application essays I edited, I feel kind of proud of that.
Can't forget my class clowns.
The next morning was the baby's actual birthday, and she woke up in such a happy mood, it was almost as if she knew the day was special. We spent the morning relaxing and playing in our PJs before heading out to the Chockley's. She took a walk with big brother
and discussed badminton strategy with Joshua.
But she insisted that all the singing stop immediately.
She was clearly ready to get this party started.
Once we got to the Chockley's, we relaxed while the men made fire and cooked meat.
Stephanie and Chloe were clearly impressed by Big Daddy's skills.
Finally it was time for desert. Genevieve wasn't sure she liked her cupcake, even after I tried to help by wiping off most of the sticky frosting.
Then she was sure she didn't like it. At all.
What she really wanted was a fake cookie, of course
and a mojito
But even Big daddy, who usually prefers "just fruit," couldn't resist Andria's homemade ice cream.