The last two weeks have held so many sweet moments, the kind you hope you'll never forget, the kind that wait for no one and aren't terribly keen on posing for the camera.

So this is a list, in no particular order, because it's all I have time for in between the happies.

1. After a week of swimming lessons (and Dani heading toward yet another repeat of the beginner class), Larry joined us at the pool (after having worked 14 hours the night before and having been up for at least 24) and taught his little girl to swim like a fish. A fish with a noodle, that is. But still. She puts her face in the water now and kicks like a champ, thanks to Daddy.

2. Nana and Papa visited this week. The boys (Larry, Caed, Papa) went to the Indians game (the one that had a two-hour rain delay, then lasted 14 innings). And the girls (me, Dani, Nana) went to the Apple store and out to dinner. We sat outside on the deck on a gorgeous night while Dani ate fancy mac-n-cheese and squealed with delight when a "baby birdie" snacked on the noodles that had dropped. Then as we walked through an accessories store on the way back to the car, Dani (after commenting about how she loved all the "neck-uh-laces" and "brace-uh-lets"--she adds her own syllable to both), began to dance like a goofball through the store. She made silly faces in between outbursts of her own laughter. She's our comedian.

3. I took the kids to the science center. They spent over an hour in the kids' area, had a blast, and wonder of wonders, did not bring home any viral souvenirs. This miraculous germ avoidance made me the happiest of all.

4. Caed learned to swim this summer, the ultimate motivation coming from his desire to get in the bigger pool with his cousins and be able to go down to the "super twirly slide". Last week we met the cousins at the pool and Caed went down the slide with his cousins James non-stop for more than an hour. The delight on his face stays with me, even now.

5. We made a pretend volcano, experimenting with baking soda and vinegar on the back porch. The kids were mesmerized. Dani was hesitant at first, wondering if she should change out of flip-flops so the hot lava didn't burn her toes. Caed showed decidedly less caution, imploring me to "just pour in the whole bottle and see how big it gets!"

6. My long-time friend and kindred spirit from college came north for a family visit, and we met for dinner last week. The conversation plunged down to soul-depth before the guacamole arrived. Then within the next ten minutes she had me laughing so hard I almost choked on the coconut-mango rice. She's just that kind of friend. Now if only she didn't live so far away.

7. Speaking of long-time friends, I'm sitting here typing this post at the kitchen table of my dearest friend Becky. The kids and I drove down yesterday for our semi-annual visit. Caed, Max and Dani were too excited to sleep last night, and we figured they'd sleep in this morning. We figured wrong. They're taking the concept of spending "every waking moment" together to a literal extreme. I can't say I blame them. When you're finally reunited with your best-est friends, why waste time sleeping?

8. Oh, I almost forgot! We finally made it to the zoo! The place was packed (what a zoo!), but we still had a chance to feed fish to a seal, feed lettuce to a giraffe, and to wave to the grizzly cups from a very considerable distance. We met up with some new friends, and spent the better part of the day exploring together.

I realize this isn't my typical sort of post--to blurt out bluntly the events of the last few weeks. But I appreciate you indulging me in it, as I simply had to get it down here before the sweet moments disappeared entirely from my memory. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go. A full shipment of happies is due in today, and I need to be there to receive it. Have a great weekend, friends!

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