A sPoOkTaCuLaR time with Emma & Claire…October, 2022

Day 1-10 
The Nanny is on vacation this week, so I was the substitute & super happy to be here!  Love, love, love my time with the girls!  We had a blast!

Their lives have definitely changed in the past month…the flood from hurricane Ian forced them to evacuate by boat & move from their home, losing so many of their belongings & relocating in a temporary house a few blocks away.  Part of everyday conversations is “it survived the flood’ or “that was lost in the flood’ or “we can’t find that & don’t know what happened to it”.  The girls seem to be adjusting pretty good with the changes, while Sara & Kevin have a hundred more decisions to make about their home where the entire first floor was damaged & has to be rebuilt, two cars were totaled, many of their belongings drowned & destroyed.  Sara & her family will probably be out of their home for at least a year. We’re all very grateful that they are healthy & fine, but what a tragic life event.  One that no one ever wants.  But Sara & Kevin are two people that don’t panic, work well under stress & in chaos & that’s a good thing, because that’s where this flood put them.  Their entire street & wonderful neighbors also had to move & have losses that are similar.  I’m grateful they are all a close group & are staying in touch & cheering each other on to get through this nightmare.  And so, you do what you do when life gives you lemonsyou go on, persevere, try to get back to a normal life & make lemonade.  

Corn Maze fun times with all their friends the first evening I was there.

Sara & Emma in the maze.

Round & round & round!

Make your own flavor of icees.& I think they mixed in about every flavor.

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Turns out I can’t photograph little girls on mechanical bulls! #veryblurry  But they loved it!

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Taking the girls out for breakfast…such a treat for me.

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Baking Halloween cupcakes! (The aprons survived the flood!)

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Emma assured me this is what her Mommy lets her do!

Since the flood wrecked their home, they’ve moved temporarily a few blocks away to another nice neighborhood.  These three super cool sisters live close by & gave the girls some items they can’t use anymore…books, bike helmets, & roller skates.  Then they all stuck around to give Claire her first skating lesson.  But I love this photo, with my littles chatting with these older sweet girls…grateful for awesome new neighbors & these girls are outside exploring, climbing, blading, playing all the time.  Wonderful influences for Emma & Claire!

Emma ran a fever for a couple of days & stayed home from school.  We made her this little book nook inside her new closet.

Claire learning to stitch & sew.  She told me before I came down, that a fox I’d made her a few years ago didn’t survive the flood.  So, I’d cut out & brought the pieces to make a new one, only we decided she’d help me make it & learn to sew a bit.  I loved working with her on something I enjoy doing.  I hope she likes this hobby too someday.

We made the weed growing on their porch into a Halloween tree.

A lunch picnic by the lake in the neighborhood.

We love our trips to Kelly’s…the best ice cream & in the neighborhood too!

What a cutie in her sparkles & a bit of dirt on her nose & face!

Claire breaking open the Geode I’d brought her (couldn’t find her safety goggles —not sure they survived the flood—so we improvised & she looks safe & cool at the same time)!

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Sisters & best friends…these two love to play together & I love watching them!

Focused on the ride & all dressed up…precious!

Loves her funny headbands & faces too.

Such a joyful little girl!

Took a painting project with me for the girls to do…super messy but they created some good stuff!

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Just another fun selfie.

The four of us got to go to a new place (for me) to eat one night.  The girls were building things & chilling in the kids space.

Kevin, his nephew Andrew & the girls & I spent part of the day at Disney’s waterpark called Typhoon Lagoon.  It was fun!  These are the only two photos I got…didn’t pack my waterproof phone case, so had to leave the phone in my backpack most of the day.

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It’s Halloween & they’re ready for school this morning!

Emma loves loves loves balloons…she decorated this one with a sharpie (which she loves to use to decorate many things!)

Emma’s pumpkin she decorated at pre-school.

Ruth Rose & Bluey before the trick or treating began.  So love that Claire chose this random character from a book series she reads.  She’s not a princess, but a smart, bold, solution-finding girl…I thought that was a great choice!

A quick selfie with Bluey (before she discarded the hat) before the trick or treating began.

Emma, keeping up with the big kids & sweet, sweet Claire, watching out for her the whole time.

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This picture was taken in front of the house they use to live in when Claire was born.  It’s only a few blocks from their home now (well, the home that was flooded & someday they’ll be back in), but what one of the best decorated homes we visited.  The candy came out of the mouth of a big snake!

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All done trick or treating & back home, now they’re trading candy …what a night!

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Tonight was my night to say good bye…I fly out super early in the morning & will be boarded on the plane before they even get up tomorrow & their Nanny returns.  They’re growing so fast, & I always feel like I’m missing so much.  But we pack in as much together time as we can.  

I so treasure these moments with them & my time with Sara too. I was so grateful for the conversations Sara & were able to have during this visit.  I had been so worried about them all during the flood & was glad to see how they’re doing with so much disaster behind them & so much uncertainty in front of them.  But, life goes on & Sara & Kevin are working hard to make sure that Emma & Claire’s lives are altered as little as possible.  They are such a busy family & rebuilding a home with so many decisions & more time  required of them is a huge stress.

Not sure when I’ll get to see the girls next, but I hope it’s sooner than later & that Danny can join me.  But for now, I’m just grateful for the time & fun I had with them & the new memories we made.  


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