Monday, November 9, 2009

In Memory of Memaw

I am more proud then I can say to announce that my mom completed a half marathon a couple of weeks ago. She ran in memory of my grandmother who passed away in April of Alzheimer's. I am more proud of her then I could ever express in words and wanted to share this with all of you guys. My sister ran most of the way with her just to coach her through this amazingly difficult task. Mom finished 9th out of over 50 runners in her age bracket. She totally beat her goal time. Here are some of her words:

"The rain started about 1 minute into my run and continued throughout the trek but 13.1 miles and 2 hours and 9 minutes later, I crossed the finish line. The most gruesome, taxing but most awesome things I have ever done on a personal level. The last two miles were the hardest not only physically but mentally but I felt Mom's spirit with me. I just kept reminding myself of the struggles she endured and told myself that if she could do it, I can too....and I did it!!"

I love you mom and am so proud to call you my mom.


Just thought you guys might like to see Greg and Bella in their costumes. We have a cute little Tinkerbell and a freaky bad guy who must have lost his last fight from the looks of him. I guess I should be thankful he wanted to dress up at all. Next year he will probably think he is too cool. I can't believe these are all the pictures I took! It was such a busy night that I just forgot. We went trick or treating then had some friends over for a fire in the fire pit. We roasted some marshmellows, hot dogs, and had some apples with caramel! It was yummy. Wish you were hear!

First Pumpkin Carving

You will have to excuse all my pictures and stories but we are going to have a year full of firsts and I want to document them all! The day after we got our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch we carved them, of course. Greg was totally excited about this. He researched his design on line and being the artist he is took his time making it perfect. He made a Fox symbol on his pumpkin which is one of his favorite scater clothing brands. Ryan made his smiling pumpkin face and let Greg do a Bears logo on the other side of his. I put some crosses on mine but first had to help Bella with hers. She wanted a spider. We had a great time together and lined them up the stairs to the porch which looked really cool at night:)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pumpkin Works

We have this great place nearby called Pumpkin Works which is open only in the fall. It has all kinds of fun fall activities including pumpkin sling shots, hayrides, carriage rides, a huge pumpkin patch, and every type of maze you can think of (corn maze, hay maze, spider maze. It is really cool. So we took the kids last week and had a blast. We did some of the mazes together.

Greg wanted to do some of the hay mazes with him but I was reluctant. If you don't know what a hay maze is let me enlighten you. It is a huge mound of hay which has a maze running through it which means the paths of the maze are completely enclosed and VERY narrow. It is freaky! At first when we went in with our little lights I had to do some serious mind control not to scream and freak out. Greg was fearless, of course and had a blast. After a little bit I got used to it thought and even went in a second one. I would not. however go in the one where you could only crawl because the opening was so small. Greg went in that one alone and didn't come out for 45 minutes! Yeah, no thank you. While we did the mazes Ryan and Bella went to the toddler area where Bell got to play in a big box of corn and pet animals. She loves the animals of course.

Later we took a hay ride to the pumpkin patch and got some awesome pumpkins. Greg wanted to biggest one he could find and Bella wanted the smallest "baby pumpkin" she could find.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Traveling with Kids

We traveled with the kids by car to Texas last week for my brothers wedding. I will give more info about the wedding and pictures in later entries but I felt the traveling process earned itself it's own special entry. We decided to drive in stead of fly. We rented a large SUV so we could have plenty of room for the trip. One of the reasons we decided not to fly was because the expense for the four of us would have been crazy. But more then that I find that when we travel with the kids we have to bring a ridiculous amount of stuff. I swear we packed a forth of our belongings! We have to bring the usual clothes, toiletries and shoes but in addition we have to have sleeping supplies, medicines, bath toys, sippy cups, stroller, snacks, backpacks with school work, toys for the hotel as well as things for the 14-16 hour car ride, diaper bag, car seat, pack and play and anything else we might need for every possible occasion and catastrophe. The whole packing process is enough to kill me! The huge car we rented was packed down. I can imagine us dragging all of that stuff into the air port and up to the counter only to be told it would be an extra $300 in baggage prices!

So we packed one stroller, one pack and play, one carseat, 5 pillows, four blankets, one lap tray, 13 bags and four people in the SUV and were ready to go. We breathed the "the" sigh of relief and exhaustion (this is the same sigh that happens every time we finally get everyone and everything in the car to go somewhere). We finally got on the highway two hours past our planned time of departure. Nine miles down the highway we heard the first dreaded words........."Mommy, I need to go potty." Ahhhh! Already! After that we stoped about 8 more times for the potty that day. It seemed like 800, though as we were tyring to get to Texarcana where we planned to have a sit down dinner, and let the kids swim at the hotel pool before before we had to go to bed. Everytime we stopped Greg wanted to check out the gas station which you would think was a gallaria shopping mall. The first time we took a trip he spent all of his spending money at the gas stations on the way there. He is so hillarious.

The kids actually did really well in the car, though. Praise the Lord for the invention of the portable DVD player!!!! A MUST HAVE for anyone traveling with kids. They could watch that thing all day if I let them. We turned that thing on and it was more quiet then I ever remember. I finally layed my head down on my pillow to take a much needed nap after the last few days of getting ready for the trip and sleep was comming fast......"MOMMY WAKE UP!!!" "DON'T SLEEP MOMMY!!!" I have no idea why but Bella does not like me to sleep when she is not sleeping. This happened several times on the trip. I was thrilled.

Amazingly, we roled into Texarcana at 6. it helped that we had forgotten about ganging an hour when we changed time zones. The hotel was nice but it was a huge let down that Texas temps wer unusually cool which made the pool freezing. But the boys still decided to get in the hot tub. We got all dressed to go in only to find that it was broken and also freezing. Oh, well.

So Thursday came and we were all excited to get to Dallas. We set off for our three hour drive. I put a movie in for Bella and Greg was asked to work on some homework for all the days he is missing. Greg is a carbon copy of me when I was his age as we both have ADHD and have difficulty stying on task. As usual he kept finding things to distract him from his work. Greg was trying to get my attention to show me something. As I looked back to see what he was trying to show me I realized what he was doing too late. All of a sudden the dome light came on and the car started beeping, announcing that a door was ajar! Yeah, we were going 75 on the highway at the time and Greg had decided he would show me how the door wouldn't open if he was holding it shut. Yeah, we pulled over immediately and he got a good lecture. He honestly didn't think it would open. Yeah, Greg, why would the car open if you pull the handle? That is crazy! We ragged on him for the rest of the trip.

We finally got to Dallas without killing each other at 12:00. I breathed a sigh of relief!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

5 months

I can't believe it has been five months since the kids joined our family! At the same time I can hardly remember life without them. Things have continued to go so well with the transition for everyone. Greg started back to school a couple of weeks ago so he is now in the sixth grade! It really feels weird to have a preteen. We are struggling a little with the increase in homework and the difficulty of the schoolwork but he is staying tough and it done. Greg is also on the football team. It is a huge time commitment and tons of work on his part but he is LOVING it. I was so proud to see him playing today in the game. I am hopelessly stupid when it comes to football but I do my best to keep up with what is going on. He plays defensive tackle and his coach told him this week that he is the best defensive tackle on the team right now. Of course, I am biased but I think he looks great out there on the field. Today he was able to get the ball when it was fumbled from the other team. That probably has some kind of football term but I don't know what it is. I didn't have to understand anything to know it was good though because Greg jumped on the field with the ball and leaped in victory back to the sidelines where he high-fived his coach! It was great to watch him so excited! Of course Ryan is ecstatic that he has a son who loves football just like he did.
Bella who was officially potty trained at the end of June was able to graduate to the big girl class at preschool. She did pretty well with the transition and loves her new teacher, Mrs. Libby. We will be starting KinderMusic next week. For those of you who have never heard of it, it is basically a music class for children birth - 7. At Bella's age I go with her. The class uses music, instruments and movement. The class is really beneficial for development, moto skills, bonding and of course learning all about music. I went to the parent orientation last week and got the CD of music we will be using this year. Bella loves it. We have been dancing around in the kitchen when I cook dinner each night making up silly things to the music. I can't wait to see what she does in class. She is also set to begin her first Ballet class in September. I know we are going to be busy with all of these activites but I know the kids love them so much we are going to try it and see how it goes. Regardless, it will be a fun ride:)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Greif Continued

It is strange how grief works. After a lifetime of memories with someone we go to only days of funeral proceedings (if that), before resuming our everyday life again. It just doesn't seem to be enough to honor those we love. It is weird how much it seems to make us forget sometimes when we get all wrapped up in everyday life again. There are times you forget your sorrow. The extent of this depends on how often you were around your lost loved one before they passed. Obviously, I did not see my grandmother very much since I moved to Indiana four years ago so when I came back from the funeral it was easy for me to throw myself back into my busy life with plenty of things to distract me from the hole inside. But it was still there…….waiting to be noticed. Then when I least expect it the hole makes itself known, usually triggered by some kind of smell, sound or sight. Seeing a group of older women having lunch together reminds me of her and how she loved to socialize. I pictured her with her purse on her arm having lunch with her girlfriends. I can see her smiling in my head as she laughs and eats something sweet. I will be at church as the familiar notes of a new hymn begin. I can see her singing out as she stands in the pew. She wasn’t gifted with a great voice but that didn’t matter. It makes me laugh to remember her listening to my ipod a couple of years ago and see her as she sang so loud with the head phones on. I have no idea what song it was but she was having a blast. The quilt she made me is on my bed. It has the little tag saying, “Made with love by Grandmother”. In every room of my house there are traces of her even though she never was able to see my house. I have a picture of her and I in the living room. I love that picture. It is the love and kindness in her eyes. The picture captured it so well. I can remember just what her hands and feet look like and how she walked. But every time I think of any of these things I feel that emptiness and it makes me sad. I wonder when these memories will make me happy. Isn’t that what is suppose to happen after a while? But right now I never feel anything but pain when I think of her. Whenever I think of Memaw it inevitable makes me remember Pepaw and I feel the crushing pain of worry creep in. Thinking of him in the house alone every night. Is he lonely, sad, crying? I HATE that I can’t be there to be with him. I pray hard that God will bring him peace and remind him of all the people that love him. I think the hardest thing is when I think of how much she would have loved Bella. She, ofcourse, would have loved Greg also but she would have loved the little girl in Bella. I tell Bella about her and show her pictures but it grieves me so much that she will never get to meet her great grandmother who was so special and important to me. She never will really understand. Memaw would have loved to make her clothes, shop for her, snuggle with her and sing songs with her. And Bella would have loved her. It is my biggest regret that I was not able to give her a grandchild before she died. I know it is no fault of mine but I can’t help but be a little annoyed with God that He didn’t let her at least meet Bella and Greg.
I know so many of you guys have lost loved ones. I know we can never really completely understand each others circumstances but I feel that I empathize with you in a whole new way. I get it….I really do and there are no words to say that will truly describe the depth of the feeling. I miss her so much it hurts like nothing I have ever experienced. But just when I start to feel the hole of hopelessness I remember I will see her again. I can’t believe I actually forget that sometimes. I think it is this world. It seems to pull me into itself and make me forget the bigger picture…the end of the story. I know that Jesus will care for me and I know He is taking care of her now. There is truly nothing else that could comfort me but the knowledge of Him at this moment. Praise you Lord, thank you for your everlasting presence and omniscient strength. Without it I would surly die of a broken heart.