Whoops, did I say I was going to post monthly family photos and summaries of our doings?  Don't look too hard for February's entry.  But then again, that's February for you: Good intentions, dreary execution.

But here is today's March entry, with a photo taken in the two minutes before Sam ran out the door to piano lessons.  Louie came up to the camera to check things out (maybe bomb-sniffing dog potential? he can earn his retainer reimbursement money! [see below]) just as the shutter clicked.  Classic.  For the record, none of us liked this photo: Lauren didn't like her hair, Sam was goofy, my bangs never cooperate and I swear that double chin is no longer welcome here, Maddy is blurry, and G is nowhere to be seen.  Perfect, I say (except the G missing part). Real.

So what to say about us this month?

Sam got his braces off, then 6 days later Louie delighted in finding his retainer case and chomped it, snapping the retainer cleanly in half.  I think we now hold the record for fastest return to the orthodontist for a new retainer.  Go, W family pride!

I have not exercised once this month.  And I have quit eating sugar 6 times this month but the mini Cadbury eggs have gotten the better of me every single time. My house is too close to a neighborhood grocery store that stocks Cadbury for me to exercise self control.  And I don't walk there, I drive.  Still, I am inspired by all my marathon training, vegan eating friends out there. I'm living vicariously through them for now, but inspired.

After a long hiatus we have started reading a book out loud together when we can.  I just may have been inspired in part by this article about a dad and daughter who read aloud together every night until she left for college.  Fantastic.  So, what are your suggestions for read-alouds with kids (ages 11-16)? Over the years we've done Harry Potters, Under Sea Over Stone, Hunger Games, Little Women, King in the Window, The Wheel on the School, a bunch of EB Whites... How about you?

Speaking of good articles, do you use Delicious?  I have started bookmarking articles there that I find interesting and I'd love to know what you're reading, too. Drop me a comment or an email if you have a delicious account so I can check out your favorite articles, too.

Yesterday, we watched the old musical Carousel.  I had forgotten about all that talk of Billy beating and hitting Julie Jordan. Billy! It's not okay. Still, that scene at the end when he comes back to earth to make everything all right for his daughter...Sigh. I think it's ripe for a revival. I'm picturing Hugh Jackman as Billy Bigelow, maybe Katie Clark as Julie Jordan. 

Lauren took the SATs this month; I think she finds out tomorrow how she did.  I'm finding myself to be in complete denial about this whole college idea. Right now she's looking into USU, BYU, Westminster, Washington University in St. Louis (hey Christie!), and Emory. But it changes weekly. Trying to strike the balance of being supportive/interested without falling into the zone of over-controlling on one side and complete denial on the other is a challenge.

Maddy delights us with her jaunty zesty fashion sense.  She puts scarves and layers and sparkly shoes and leggings together like nobody's business.  

She's been dreading violin lessons lately and we had a long tearful talk in the parking lot for 15 minutes before she went in. Oh the pressure she puts on herself, that girl.  I basically gave her a license to fail gloriously, here's your license to mess up, Maddy.  To make mistakes and slop your way through something and not be the best.  Just be the one who has fun doing it. Don't worry about the recital and measuring up. Just flail your arms around and make music for you.  My two girls could give each other lessons: one has extra doses of laidbackness, the other has conscientiousness to spare. It's too bad they can't just ladle a little into the other's cup.

Finally, it has been brought to my attention that I do not post very many pictures of myself.  Here ya go, circa today, proof that I do indeed exist: 


                      beyond here there be thighs...