Cozy and rainy, yesterday seemed the perfect day to hunker down at our house, work puzzles, make brioche dough (still need to bake them off), cuddle and read, work on our Lego set, play in the rain puddles, and of course, put on our Stanford gear and get ready to support Farm football. It was U of Oregon Ducks vs. the Cardinal, and the game turned out painfully for us. Despite this, the whole day was full of anticipation for a big game that seemed in some ways more significant than Big Game (Stanford v. Cal) this year. The Ducks roasted us. I happen to know enough Ducks personally to make the football rivalry fun, and all day the Facebook News Feed was hopping with fellow Stanford alums and Duck friends eager to see the outcome.

Go, Stanford! Katie enjoyed her Stanford parka given as a gift from our thoughtful friend Noreen, whose daughter is an alumna and whose son Max was my student for three years. They are a great family, full of humor and the joy of life, and it was so sweet of Noreen to remember us during her travels to the Stanford bookstore recently. It turned out that the parka was perfect for enjoying some of the rain outdoors yesterday, too!

And then I got a little sassy, and let Eric gnaw on our wheelie-duck that my cousin Kd got for us one year from the U of O gift shop. We love this thing. And yesterday morning, it was perfect for eating and little friendly smack-talking on Facebook. However, it turned out that there was no foie gras last night…

Today we had fun at a friend’s birthday party. Talon turned the big 4! We’ve known Talon and his family for a couple of years through our Music Together class. I have often been impressed with what a kind boy Talon is at our class, and at what a sweet relationship he has with his mommy. The theme for his party was “Cowboys and Cowgirls,” so we dressed a little western, and Talon’s mom and dad provided bandanas and cowboy hats. Fun! Katie has been very excited all evening that her goody bag contained a sheriff’s star.

My cowboy and my cowgirl

Horseshoes!

Katie played pin-the-tail-on-the-horse

Playing

Time for presents

Talon opens our present: a kit to build an electric bell, a bug magnifying jar, and a sea monkey kit.

Katie has said more than once how much fun she had today, and truly, I am loving this age of kiddo birthday parties and time with our music buddies outside of class. These are special memories, and I can’t think of a nicer group of kiddos and parents with whom to share this time. I remember so many of my own elementary school friends and birthday parties and our Girl Scout troop: even though that childhood season is behind all of us 30-somethings, and even though time and circumstances often change those first friendships, they always remain so special and so important. It would be a blessing to keep in touch with our music friends and parents over the years and to build on friendships we’ve begun—I truly hope we do—but even if our paths diverge someday, I am always going to remember and love this group of kiddos and their parents. I will always be thankful that we all shared this magical time of our childrens’ youngest years together.

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