Archive for June, 2015

Watkins Cousins!

Wendy and Nate were going on a weekend get-away and Mimi and PopPop watched Luke and Elise for a few days.  So we had all 4 watkins grandkids hanging out.  They dont get to see each other that often, so it was non-stop playing for 4 days!  I was exhausted!

We had lots of leftover birthday cupcakes:




Read lots of books with Mimi:


Waited for PopPop to get home:




Went to the mall on rainy days:


Went to the park on sunny days:


Played lots of ‘mousy’ with Elise:


And did lots of bubbles and popsicles outside:


The highlight of the visit was the firetruck at PopPops office!  Dad was getting a certificate of appreciation and they wanted to do a photo-op in front of a firetruck, so he had them come by the office while the kids were in town.  Major grandpa brownie points.  The kids had an awesome time getting an upfront and personal experience with the firetruck.  The firemen were so nice and let the kids do all sorts of fun stuff:



Playing with the hose:


Sitting in the driver’s seat (Wil was actually the first person to sit in the seat, and pushed the horn and made the siren go off, so they had to turn it off for everyone else, haha):


Climbing on the back:


and new hats!


All the cousins had an awesome time the whole week.  And the best news of all – at the end of the week – the 5th watkins grandchild was born.  Cole was born on June 5th.  We are so excited to meet him next month.  Congrats Maggie and Phil – Cole is so lucky to have you!


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Happy Birthday Evie!!









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We had a little party at the playground on her birthday.  My sister and her family were in town, and Andrew and Jessie came over, along with all the grandparents of course.  We made a big fuss of her birthday all day and told her we were going to have a special party after dinner.  I made cupcakes, and all the kids got balloons. Evie loved opening presents – except the clothes, which she tossed out of the bag like tissue paper.  We’ve celebrated enough birthdays that Evie knew exactly what she was supposed to do when we lit the candles on her cupcake.  We just had to make sure she waited until after we finished her birthday song.  She had a wonderful time.  Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate with us!


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In Transition

I’m currently hanging in Btown while Phil is living in Chicago on Jared and Karen’s couch.  Most of May was spent freaking out over rental properties, getting things organized at work, packing, and I dont even know what else.  Its kind of a blur.  Lets see if I can recall anything….

In early May, Phil and I worked on closing out things at work.  I am actually staying on as a ‘casual’ employee which means I am no longer faculty, but can still work on and bill for ongoing projects.  Im glad to have some continuity in my career, and I enjoy my work, but am a little stressed out on how im going to get things (anything?) done without childcare for the next few months.

We finalized a rental house on May 20th after 3 weeks of looking. Our buddy Brian is a realtor in Chicago and was basically our savior throughout the whole process.  Since Phil and I were way to busy to actually go SEE any of the houses, Brian just did everything for us.  I really dont know how we are going to repay him.  He found us a great place and I’m so so thankful to have a house!  But the rental isnt available until June 16th.  So Phil is crashing with friends for a few weeks. And I’ll stay in Bloomington switching between the grandparents houses.

My last day in the office was May 15th.  Then I spent the week packing.  Phils last day was the 23rd.  We were already planning on going to a wedding in Indiana over memorial day – so we packed up the essentials: kids, dog, clothes  – and went to say with the grandparents.  But we didnt get nearly enough done before we left – so both Phil and I flew back to Baltimore for a few days and then met with the movers on the 28th. It was the longest we spent away from the kids together – I just wish it was for a vacation, rather than packing! But we got everything done and drove back to Bloomington overnight in time for Evie’s birthday.

So yeah –  Right now Wi land Evie are loving spending time at both grandparents houses.  My sister and her family were even here for a bit – and the cousins stayed at Mimi and PopPops  – so all 4 cousins got to hang out for 5 days.  Then my parents went up to MI to meet Phil and Maggie’s new baby, Cole!  The 5th Watkins grandchild! He is seriously the most precious thing ever.  Phil is coming down on the weekends to see the kids,  and we’re just going day by day until we hear when the movers can get our stuff to Chicago. Currently our move-in window is June 22th-June 26th. Until we get the call from the movers – we’re just hanging out in Btown!


Here are some shots of our last weeks in Baltimore – I’ll have more posts of our adventures in Bloomington in the coming weeks.


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Goodbye Baltimore

There are so many thing that we are going to miss about Baltimore.  Phil and I absolutely loved living in a big city, where we could walk to many great restaurants, parks, and professional sporting events.  Everything we wanted or needed was within about 5 miles of us.  We had amazing jobs, colleagues and friends. Some of my favorite memories include:

  • Walking to M&T stadium in sub-zero weather with Phil at the end of November for our first Ravens game.  We created our own little pub crawl stopping at various bars to warm-up on our way.  We sat next to come of the craziest fans, and had an amazing time.
  • Dropping of Wil at school on Thursday mornings, then walking to Firehouse coffee to meet up with Laurel and Christina and their little ones.  Then after running errands, we would all pick-up the older boys and head to the tot-lot with Fionnuala and anyone else who could make it.
  • Waiting for Phil to get home during the week, then walking to Patterson Park, where we would sit on the rock, pick flowers, walk around the duck pond, or stop by the garden.
  • Meeting up with Phil’s friends for happy hour down in Canton — or meetings up with Phil on Fridays at Stackhouse for a beer before getting home to get the kids — or Phil hopping down to Roman’s after putting the kids to bed. So many good bars in Baltimore!
  • Coming home from work, seeing Liz and the kids on the stoop doing chalk and the kids running to greet me.
  • Going for runs after work along the promenade, through fell’s point, butchers hill, patterson park, canton – and all the other small little neighborhoods that made-up southeast Baltimore.
  • Having the ability to go to the aquarium, zoo, or science center with the kids on 15-mins notice.

Of course city living had its drawbacks, too.  I’m pretty sick of living in a row house.  Its only 11 feet 9 inches wide and the walls were caving in after 4 years.  We were simply outgrowing the space.  And even though the park was close, there is no substitute for having your own outdoor space, and our stoop wasnt exactly the ‘outdoor space’ I wanted.  Row house living also provided many neighbors – not all of which were that great.  Some were crazy, some were on drugs, some were crazy and on drugs.  Some left food and bulk trash in the alley which led to a huge rat problem and many patches in Phil’s tires.  There were cops on our street probably every other weekend for some sort of disturbance.


So we are looking forward to our new space: A big back yard for Barney and the kids –  fewer neighbors, fewer rats – less trash, crime, and police sirens.  But I know we will miss being so close to all the fun things we enjoy doing. Most of all we will miss our friends.









date night

date night





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