Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Few Weeks Of December

It's been weeks since my last post. I am not sure where they went. This time of year I think they get sucked into the abyss of holiday madness. I personally love the chaos of the season. I operate better under pressure. I like staring at the calendar knowing the days are numbered and there are gifts to be bought, lights to stare at, and Santa to sit on. It makes me Merry.

I love the temperatures that make you want to curl up fireside with a blanket, hot chocolate in hand. Wrapping paper with mod designs that spice up even the blandest gift. Peppermint candles and hand soaps that make you want to lick your hands.

The aroma of our tree fills the house. Pine. Heavenly! Thomas, Brent and I picked out the most perfect Douglas Fur. We wondered the rows bundled from head to toe, looking for one that would start our first Christmas, as a family of three, off right. Brent sawed it down with Thomas crouched down beside him, hands resting on his knees.

Next year will be even better. This years activities repeated and ones that were put on hold restarted. I can hardly contain myself just thinking about it. Decorating a yet to be selected, new house. Creating memories that Thomas will look forward to.

In the meantime I am going to enjoy every moment of this season and try to make the chaos last.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anything Is Possible

Today my girlfriend Carey did something amazing. She completed an Ironman. I tracked her distance and pace online, wishing I was there to see this feat in person, to cheer her on and be there at the finish line. Living in Maryland prevented me from being apart of the "on location cheering squad" but it didn't keep me from appreciating every one of her accomplishments. After each segment, a posted time and a cheer from me. I sat at my kitchen table all day whispering good girl Carey, keep going.

3,000 miles away I was proud . Proud because I know how hard she worked to get to this day. Proud because she was on pace to achieve her goal, proud because she is my friend and she inspires me and proud because I could see from so far away that she had faith in herself and her training.

At the eight hour mark she was just getting of the bike. She had finished the swim and six hours on a hard seat. I was in awe at that point, yet there was still five more hours of running to come. I'm sure any anxiety at this point was mine and she was confident, establishing her long stride to the finish line.

The amount of work that this race physically requires is incredible but more amazing is the mental toughness one must exhibit. I once read that if you know someone who desires to be a triathlete you are linked to someone extraordinary and you should be mindful of the privilege you have been afforded. I am aware everyday, she is an amazing friend and I am blessed to have her in my life.

Congratulations Carey, You are an IRONMAN.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Winter is officially creeping in. Almost all of the leaves have dropped, the rain has come periodically making it feel colder and the clocks have been turned back. Brent and I sat at the kitchen table this morning and he said he loved this weather, as a big gust of wind swept through the yard. I asked him if he thought he get sick of it. He said yes after a few months he may but that's whats great about being somewhere where there are seasons. Just when you think you can't take it anymore things change. We both are looking forward to fires on the weekends, bundling up in our winter coats and the first snow.

The weather has kept our little man in the house more so I am trying to come up with fun indoor activities that exhaust him just as much as running up and down the street. Friday we went to an Open Play through the county. It was in a gymnasium filled with mats, balls, hula hoops, bikes etc. The kids were all his age so he had a great time. Saturday was soccer practice :) There is an indoor facility that offers classes to children of all ages. They call his age group the Bunnies. So cute. A parent accompanies the child and they learn basic soccer skills while building balance and coordination by using all the fun stuff, parachutes, bubbles, noodles, cones, balls, etc. I loved seeing my two boys out there! T thought kicking the ball and running was so fun, in fact that was all he wanted to do. He wasn't really interested in listening, building towers, or holding the parachute. Brent and I could hardly blame him. Why do those things when you can play soccer? Swimming will start again in January so I think I have plenty to occupy him on a cold winter's day. Toys R Us is always a great place when all else fails.

I think we have a good contingency plan in place....bring on the cold!

Monday, November 3, 2008

November 3rd

Two years ago today I married my best friend. My life would not be the same without him and everyday I am so thankful that he is my partner. It's such a gift.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

What a Halloween week! Tuesday we spent the afternoon at Brent's office. We had to attend the 3rd Annual Bill Me Later House of Screams. They have department decorating contest, each floor competes against one another and some even divided themselves into sub-sections to try and out do one another. Apparently, some floors spent days working on it and it showed. I mean who wouldn't spend 16 hours creating a haunted house or the set from the Wizard of Oz when the alternative is work? Oh and the other huge motivator.....the winner gets $3,000 to divide between them! Seems like a no brainer to me but apparently the IT floor wasn't so into it. Hum. Although, I love my husband dearly I have to say his floor was the worst. Brent says they don't have time to play....they have deadlines. I get that, but it was pretty pathetic. My poor geeks. The kids were able to obtain an obscene amount of candy. There were buckets everywhere! Everyone thought T was a pretty adorable lion, he didn't really grasp the concept (which was fine by me) but had a fantastic time exploring. It was nice to see where Brent goes everyday and finally put names to faces.

Afterward, we went to my girlfriend Kara's house, who lives close by. Kara and I grew up together, we were neighbors. Now we have our own children, who hopefully will be life long friends. Annie is just 24 hours older than T. She is just precious and carries both her mother and father in her face. We had such a great time. The kids played and we sat around such a cozy fireplace eating pizza and drinking wine. Kara is a fabulous decorator. She is just like her mother. Eclectic with amazing vision, she haunts antique stores coming home with fabulous finds. Her newly remodel kitchen is outstanding; worth the hard work, hours of planning and shopping! I can't wait to see it when every detail is in place. We can't wait to have our own house so we can
reciprocate. It was a busy day but Thomas did great. He was cozy in his PJ's and bundled up in his car seat, asleep for the night before we even hit the highway!

Wednesday morning was spent Trick or Treating with our Playgroup friends. We meet at a local community center every week and let the kids run. This week everyone came in their costumes and we set up stations for them to stop at...a trial run if you will. T wasn't in the best mood, probably due to sleep
deprivation but we made it through. Most of the Moms brought items other than candy which I loved. T can't have it and even if he could I'd rather he didn't so pretzels, play dough and stickers were excellent stand ins. It was fun to see all of the kids running around it their outfits.

Thursday was no less
chaotic. It's important to me to create family traditions. I want Thomas to have a million fond memories of his childhood. Something different for each holiday but dinner will always be a staple. The dinning room table was covered by a large black web ensuring the appropriate Halloween setting. The cutest wire pumpkin sat at the center ready to set off an orange glow. Dinner would probably be a five course meal if Brent wasn't so particular. It's just as well, three is plenty and when you still have pumpkins to carve, cupcakes to ice and a little boy who needs a bath before bed, even it can feel like a course to many. Thomas enjoyed watching us carve the pumpkins and even helped scrape it out. Once the insides were in a bowl he thought they should go back in the pumpkin. He wasn't so fond of how it felt so that was sort lived. Dinner was nice and dessert was fun. Before I knew it, it was time for bed!

Finally it was Halloween Friday! It was time for one last go round of Trick or Treating. My girlfriends that I grew up with in this very neighborhood were all going to be here with their children. Brent was home early and after a good nap and dinner T was all set! It was a little cool here so we put clothes under his already warm costume (the weather was perfect) and met up with everyone. With our wagons stocked with beer and wine we carted the kids from house to house repeating what our parents had done 30 years ago. T was a trooper although, he didn't want to hold his pumpkin bucket. I think it was a little overwhelming! He visited all of the neighbors that take great joy in having him around. My little lion was just too precious.

Brent put Thomas to bed and we went next door to Heather's to celebrate her birthday! It's so nice to have Grandma and Grandpa here to babysit! We don't even have to plan's a huge blessing! Pizza, more beer, cake and lots of laughs was the perfect way to spend our night. I just loved it. It's nice to be home.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chapter One

Every three weeks T and I head to the library. It is often a two man operation. My Mom is frequently in tow to provide supervision as I search the stacks for books. It takes a little time as I try to find ones that T will like and aren't too wordy. I look until my bag is full and my shoulder can't take it anymore. It isn't abnormal for us to come home with thirty or forty books.

My mom and I read to him daily. Not only is someone snuggling him in the morning telling a fabulous story with pictures that jump off the page but I read to him before his nap and bedtime. Perhaps, it's my sound effects (which truly are far from good) or the fact that I point to the objects he knows but he loves it. One book is never enough.

Two or three times a day I am re-stacking the books that were once piled in a corner. I have them available should the mood strike and often it does. He slides all the books around, picks his favorite and turns the pages, sitting quietly looking at the pictures. It is such a sight.

I try to different books before he goes to sleep. Reading the same book is too redundant and I'd like to think I am exposing him to new things, words, and images. Although, he definitely has his favorites. When T was a baby I read that a night time routine is essential...bath, book, bed. Llama Llama Red Pajama was what we read every single night, a sign that sleep was soon to follow (it's all about repetition when they are itty bitty). It is an absolute must have for parents and has become one of his favorites. Are You My Mother is the other (it's a long one but he loves it) and I would say my Truck Is Stuck is a close third.

I only get about three pages into a new library book and he yelps for one of his favorites. Each night he seems to let me get in one more page. Eventually, I can get through a whole book and he will start to pick them. It's kinda nice to only have to read one "favorite" book a night instead of three.

I always wondered why Moms only let their child/ren take home one or two books from the library, three if they are lucky. I love that T has a choice and can have a different one three times a day if he wants. He can learn about trucks, dinosaurs, animals and school buses all in the same hour. I love watching him lay on the floor and look at the pictures...wondering if he hears my voice telling the story in his head. I love that it's free and we can go back everyday if we wanted. I hope his love continues for many many years.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Arizona People

I wish we were going to be in Arizona on the 25th of October. I know just how we would spend our evening. Grandma Donna would be available to babysit and Brent and I would head out on a much needed date! Our first stop would be an early dinner at Sushi Brokers. Eating early at this great restaurant not only allows to you to capitalize on Happy Hour pricing and get a table without waiting but it leaves you with plenty of time for a second activity later on! After we have been stuffed with fresh fish and spicy wasbi we would enjoy the night sitting under the stars, listening to this great artist and supporting a family in need. I am not sure you can get more romantic.

Although, I am sure this concert will be fantastic it will also be a bit sad. This amazing Mom and Dad are recovering from 3rd degree burns after surviving a plane crash in August. They have the most beautiful children (who are being taken care of by Nie's sisters in Utah) two of which will be there and perform. I wish I could be there to see it. I have come to admire them, especially Nie. Reading her blog inspires me to be a better Mom and a better person. I am anxiously awaiting her posts once she is able, in the meantime I re-read her blog taking something different with me each time.

Maybe some of our Arizona friends can make it and fill our shoes....I'm sure it will be a beautiful night!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pickin some punkins!

It's already the middle of October and T will be fifteen months old in a matter of days. The time truly flies by. We have been busy enjoying the fall. It will be a few more weeks before the leaves really start to change color and the weather stays in the 60's/70's for more than three days in a row. Tomorrow is supposed to be 80 but the displayed Halloween decorations help reinforce the season.

Last week the three of us spent the afternoon at Homestead Farms. It was great, a true farm, just like I remembered. The hayride took us out to the pumpkin patch. Pumpkins attached to vines were everywhere. Perfectly round and bright orange, prime for picking. The three of us found the best ones; two big, for Mommy and Daddy and a small white one for T. I was so happy to be there! I loved being with my boys and establishing our family traditions together. Showing Brent that there is more to Halloween than buying a very expensive pumpkin at a gas station was pretty great too. He was impressed by the farm and was shocked that pumpkins really aren't that expensive outside of the desert!

After our pumpkins were selected we visited the little petting zoo and touched the cow, goats and looked at the chickens. With our wheel barrel and bucket in tow we we moved on to the Apple Orchard. I picked several different types of apples and have enough to make apple crisp, apple bread, and feed T an apple or two a day. Brent was busy chasing T down the row and T was busy throwing apples. After plenty of exercise we checked out with apples, cider, pumpkins and smiles. We had a great time together!

This past Saturday we went to the Colorfest, a festival about 30 minutes away. It was the 45th Anniversary and something I went to as a child. It has changed over the years to be a huge attraction. There are more booths than ever and food vendors offer more than just hot chocolate and pancakes (nothing like an apple dumpling at 10:30am). Thomas played on the playground tunneled by large maple trees and Brent and Grandpa supervised. My mom and I walked around looking at the crafts and art work. We didn't buy anything but it was fun to be out! It's a good thing we went early, people were everywhere and it wasn't long before the town was filled with festival chaos.

Today I ran to the mall while Daddy was home to watch T. I think I could use a full 12 hours there. Not only do I need winter clothes for the entire family but I need to restock my closet with some clothes that fit! If only money grew on trees! I know it would certainly make my fabulous hubby happy!

Hoping we get a few more weekends with beautiful weather so I can finish out the farm/festival season with a bang!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Wasn't Kidding!!

These are pictures from yesterday's afternoon outside activities!

The deer are so fun for Thomas to see. Mom hates them cause they eat everything but it's great for him! They honestly have no fear and you can see that T can get pretty close before they go darting off. Once I point them out he can't get there fast enough. It's so cute to see his little legs move so quickly!

Monday, September 29, 2008

You want to go out....again??

We didn't do anything this weekend, literally. My parents were out of town so we had the house to ourselves. I guess between that and the weather vegetating was inevitable. It rained off and on which kept us from going anywhere really fun but allowed us to wander the neighborhood with T.

Thomas would be outside all day long if we allowed it. Normally, by 8:30am he is bringing you his shoes which are by the front door. He maneuvers his way onto your lap so you can put them on and signs please. It is just too precious and I immediately reward him for being so smart, we are outside in a matter of minutes. We walk the street, pick up acorns and leaves, and chase the squirrels. It not long before we move on to throwing a ball, pushing him on his "bike" and carrying around newspapers that were thrown on our neighbors driveways (I put them back). A few times a week we walk to the top of the circle to see the kids meet the school bus. T waits at the stop and watches intensely as they get in line to board. I wonder what he is thinking, I'm sure it's something like "Boy, those big kids are lucky". Going in is always traumatic. He is never ready so it isn't long before he is repeating the process that ushers us out the door. I don't mind. I'd go exploring with him any day and I'm happy he is so inquisitive.

I have wondered what we would do if we were living in Arizona. I heard yesterday it was 105, way to hot to be out. We miss our friends, family and some aspects of the west but overall, I'm happy we are here. The weather is beautiful and fall is quickly approaching. It's one of my favorite seasons. The leaves are starting to change color and puddle on the ground. I'm looking forward to it getting a little cooler, a crisp morning is so refreshing!

I am really excited about creating some great memories in the next couple weeks! Our weekends are just jammed packed, full of fun things! There are some fabulous Oktoberfests in the area and wonderful family owned farms. I can't wait to go pick apples, visit the pumpkin patches, take hayrides, and drink hot cider! I'd also like to squeeze in a scenic drive into the mountains. I know Brent would love to see all the trees and colors of the leaves. It truly is a masterpiece. Hopefully, it will only rain during the week :)

Do We Look Alike?

Three and a half generations of Wenning's
September visit with GG! Always great to see her!

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Finally Here!

Yesterday, was the start of a great week! Finally, my television shows will premier. I know I am a total dork but I get super excited about it. I sat down with the TV guide and highlighted everything that I want to either view or tivo so I don't miss a thing! I just look forward to mindless entertainment after a long day and it's another sign that fall is just around the corner.

The Emmy's kicked if off last night. Brent thinks those shows are excruitating to watch but I like to see who wins, what shows are nominated and who looks stunning. There were quite a few beauties last night! I really liked Brooke Shields dress and thought Mariska Hargitay looked fantastic. Christina Applegate had too much black eye make up on and it ruined it for me, Marcia Cross has me on the fence and Eva Longoria good very well be pregnant. Overall the show had it's ups and downs. The beginning monologue wasn't great and of course they ran out of time, rushing everyone at the end. I wonder if they ever learn. We topped off the night with True Blood on HBO. Great new series. I hate waiting seven days between eposides.

Tonight's schedule makes my husband happy, more so than me. Hero's has been long awaited and Terminator is a new love. I think my shows will take a back seat (Dancing with the stars is entertaining and Boston Legal is hysterical). Honestly, I don't mind. Brent can have one day to control the remote and it makes good use of the Tivo. Tomorrow's highlight is The Biggest Looser. I just think that show is fantastic. The transformations are amazing and every time Gillian is on I get motivated to go lift weights. I wish I could have her body, she is so buff.

I won't bore you with the weekly agenda but in the days ahead Fringe, House, Gray's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, The Office, Samantha Who, Damages, Eli Stone, 90210 and the Worst Week will all be coming to prime time and to my family room. I hope all of you can find some time to cozy up on the couch!

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Monday Already....

I am not sure who thought two days was sufficient. They must not have had a family. The weekends are simply too short. Our time with Brent should be longer, five days seems more appropriate. His work week often calls for long hours and we do not see much of him. We miss him, Thomas and I. The weekends allow us to catch up, be together. Saturday the three of us went to the pool. I am not sure who loves it more, Thomas or Brent. Thomas has no fear. He would walk right off the side if he could. He lays on his back and kicks. He turns his head to the side as if taking a breath in the middle of a freestyle stroke and jumps off the ledge. Brent loves carrying him around the pool, wading in and out of the waterfalls and taking him down this HUGE water slide. It makes my heart stop but I know he wouldn't let anything happen to him. I think more than anything Brent loves seeing how he much he has changed over five work days.

Saturday night Brent and I had a date. We actually made an attempt to get out of our "playing in the yard with a one year" clothes and look human. We went downtown to DC and had an amazing dinner at Oceanaire (coming to Phoenix soon). It was so great to be with my husband, have a glass of wine (or two), eat without being interrupted and talk. I'd tell you what we had but it's embarrassing the amount of food ordered and consumed. We didn't hold back, if it sounded good we ordered it and the bill was proof.

It didn't take a night out with my husband to realize how much I love him. It just reinforced it. I am so lucky to have found such a supportive friend to be my partner. He sacrifices for us and never complains. He moved across the country so I could be closer to my family, leaving his. He leaves the house before the sun is up and isn't home until it's down, with a long commute each way. He pays the bills, changes the breaks on the car, and fixes the crib after I break it every other week. He doesn't complain when there is nothing for dinner or when the house looks like a tornado hit.

I'm blessed to have someone who tells me things will be ok and holds my hand, someone who supports my dream to be a stay at home mom, and someone who chooses to be involved. Often giving up X Box, Sunday football games, happy hours, and the gym so he can be at home with his family, changing dirty diapers, chasing, bathing and reading books. He is a great Dad and T adores him. I cannot wait to see the two of them when Thomas is a little older.

He is the greatest and the weekends are not enough.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is It Nap Time Yet?

I've been in kind of a funk lately. No reason in particular. Could be that my recent hair cut didn't turn out how I had envisioned. Could be that I miss my girlfriends. Could be that my life is a little disorganized. As Thomas grows more clothes fill the closets and more toys are thrown though out the house. Our space seems to get more cluttered and our room a dumping ground. I don't want to get too settled (set up a desk, file cabinet etc.) because I hope a move is in our future, why set up just to have to pack it and move it? However, for the sake of my sanity I may have to do something....soon. Although, this all seems trivial during "the best part of the day".

The best part of the day is putting T down for his naps. Not because he will soon be sleeping quietly or because I will have a moment to myself but because I have fifteen minutes to cuddle and appreciate my son.

We have a routine. Upstairs to change his diaper and depending on our morning activities a good wipe down with a wash cloth. His favorite blue blanket and passifier are grabbed from his crib. Immediately, the blanket is pressed into his face and he puts his head on my shoulder. I too can smell the sweet sent that is attached to it and love that it provides comfort to us both. We move to the chair (the absolute best purchase we made) and I place him in the crook of my left arm. Nessled in his blanket lays on his chest and he waits for the bottle. I start rocking. As I sway he drinks his milk. He bends his little legs and tries to touch his toes, blanklet in hand. I can't help but think he is amazing, his arms flare in the air and feet rub against the arm of the chair. I think he likes the way the swade feels on his bare feet. I wonder what thoughts are flowing though his head. He is so perfect and we are so lucky.

I notice that each day he seems to get bigger. I dread the day he will no longer fit horizontally in the chair. In the meantime, I kisss his forhead, message his legs and tell him that his momma loves him. The bottle disappears faster than I like. Sometimes, he looks up at me and smiles. I can't help but smile back. He thinks I'm giving him permission to play. It's time for bed, where Big Bird awaits. I lay him in his bed, he stretches out and lets me cover him up. Passifier in place, Big Bird beside him and blue blanket scrunched up in his arms, our quite time is up.

It is during this time, when the house is quiet and it's just us that I forget about everything else. I appreciate what I have been given and remember that many have less. At such a young age T teaches me, puts things in perspective and manages to pull me out of my "funk". What a kid!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day

It was just the three of us this weekend, my parents went to the beach. Our time together started on Friday. Brent was given the day off because he worked a tremendous amount Monday through Thursday. It's nice that he is working for a company that appreciates him and rewards his hard work. Friday afternoon we went to the library. I stocked up on interesting books about trucks, fire engines, airplanes and animals. We have enough books to read a different one every day for a month. Hey, there is no limit and why read the same book a hundred times? It was raining so we ended our day with a Brent Ryan favorite, BBQ pizza from Papa Johns, a beer and a movie.

After feeding T breakfast Saturday morning we headed out for a jog and a look at the ducks. We get our exercise and Thomas is entertained as we run around the lake. I enjoyed it. The weather was perfect and the all the greenery still amazes us. To make sure we had the perfect balance of consumed calories and burned calories we came home and had pancakes by Chef Brent. If you have not experienced Brent's Breakfasts you are missing out! It negated all of our hard work but it was worth it, they were delicious! After T had a nap we headed out to the park. The park was fun but it was more humid and the sun was bright. We didn't stay long, just enough time for T to burn some energy. On the way home we stopped at one of my favorite farms. We got some fresh peaches and sweat corn. Local farms are another attraction that make me love the east. Ripe produce and the smell of the market.....yum.

Sunday was our busiest day of the weekend. We took Thomas to our local Airpark Cafe and had a great breakfast. We sat outside. The weather was beautiful and we had plenty of shade at a prime table. We had a great view of planes taking off and landing. T was in heaven. Airplanes are his favorite. He can hear them miles away while in the house!

This is Thomas' sign for airplane (arm raised, fingers to the sky). A slight variation on the true sign language sign, he is close!

After our bellies were nice and full we headed off to a great park (Cabin John)! It has lots of shade and a big playground for toddlers. T had fun, he climbed and slid and ran. It was perfect. They also had this fabulous little train. We bought our tickets and waited in the station. So cute! While we waited T fell backwards and with nothing to brace his fall he slammed his head into the concrete. I was a few steps away and I heard it. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. It was so loud. He was hysterical and I was panicked. We ran to the car where I had some cold ice packs and attempted to put ice on it (T didn't like that idea). We got him settled down and he seemed to be ok. I wondered if we should head for the hospital but our train was pulling into the station and he was beginning to act like himself. The whole ride I kept looking at his eyes to make sure they weren't dilated and feeling bumps. Our little guy must have a hard head cause he showed no signs of a concussion. The train had T in a trance. I am not sure he knew what it was but it sure had him looking.

Our Labor Day Weekend was ended today with a walk to Einstein's for bagels, some outside play, a little time with the hose and burgers on the grill. I had such a great weekend with my family. We missed Grandma and Grandpa but it was really nice to have the house to ourselves and be together.
I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much as we enjoyed ours.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma!

September 3rd marks my Grandmother's 93rd birthday! Born on a farm into a family of 11, she and her sister were the second set of twins born into the family. She met Harold Lester Wenning (Todd), my Grandfather, at a steel plant were they worked. She in the cafeteria and he as a supervisor. They married on New Years Eve 1939 and moved into a house which they helped build. The little white house on Georgetown Road was home for 63 years. It was there they raised four children and built memories. I traveled to that house for 26 years and fondly remember the details that made it a home. The door knobs with large key holes below that allowed you to peak into the room, the basement that could be a little scary, the pink bathroom with the fun rhyme above the toilet, the yard with wooden figures, the garage that barely fit a car and the kitchen with the bread box on white the counter.

Grandma is a great cook, it legendary. I've tried follow her instructions but somehow it never tastes quite as good, "it's just not Grandma's". I wish I could tell you about all of my favorite dishes but there are too many to count. Her strawberry jelly, corn, sweet potatoes, puddings, cakes and cookies are just the tip of the iceberg and disappear before you can blink! Delish!

After her children were grown she continued to be a caregiver, cleaning other peoples homes and sewing. She is amazing. I am not sure I have ever known anyone to work so hard. Growing up I have memories of her sitting down for a few moments only to be up offering someone something to eat or drink, always saying "What can I get you?". She would come visit and would clean our home, washing windows, doing laundry, and dusting. I am not sure if Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is inherited but if it is I know where I got it. I am thrilled to have received such a quality trait from her!

She moved into her apartment six years ago and continues to live independently. She is a little slower but not by much. She reads everyday, plays bridge and visits with her friends over dinner. I can only hope to be as young as she is at 93!

To help her welcome another year we made our first long road trip to Canton Ohio this past weekend. Home to the Football Hall of Fame, cousins and Grandmother! Unfortunately, Brent was not able to go because he had to work so my parents and sister filled in!

I was a little nervous about how Thomas would do, sitting in a car for six hours but he did great! We stopped about half way and let T play on the playground. Of course, I had to wiped him down excessively after! He was so well behaved and was in awe of all the trucks on the road.

We had such a nice visit. I am so glad we went! I was trying to remember the last time I was there and I think it was about three years ago. Way too long! It was so great to see everyone enjoying T. It's funny how life comes full circle, I remember loving on Seth and Samantha as babies, going in to get them from their naps and chasing them around the yard. Now, I watch as they do that with my son.

Saturday morning we went to see Samantha (my cousin) run which is always a treat because she is so talented. She came in first and ran well. It was here first meet as a Senior and I was happy that we were there to see it. Go Sam!
Seth kept us entertained with his antics, wish I had a picture. There was a skunk outside Saturday night and I swore it was underneath the window. It was so close the whole house smelled. Despite the horrible stench he was out in the yard, cell phone in hand to provide light (ridiculous) and a broom. I can't say his witch hunt was a success, the smell was there the next morning.

Saturday night was topped off with a bbq in the backyard. The weather was beautiful. Thomas had a fabulous time. He played in the dirt for hours with our corn cobs. I know it's a bit gross but it kept him entertained. He has never been that dirty in his 13 months of life. Good times!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Life Lessons

Little things make me happy. I love watching Tori & Dean In Love. I never used to be a fan but I think she is fantastic! We could totally be friends. I love the weather today. It's fairly cool and cloudy with rain threatening. I love this time in my life, living with my parents watching them interact with T. It's is something I will always treasure. I love it when it's just the three of us, spending time together as a family. I love laughing with Brent when Thomas does something amazing. I love watching Micheal Phelps make history and listening to Brent's commentary. I love a cold beer on a Friday night,take out, the beach, working up a good sweat and having a long conversation with a good friend.

Oprah always encourages people to be "present". That's always been my goal but somehow I always seem to be enjoying myself so much that I forget to stop, take a breath and savor it. Lately, that has changed. I have discovered what it's like to be in the moment and truly appreciate it. I don't want to miss a second!

Monday, August 11, 2008


I can't believe it's already the middle of August! We have had a busy couple of weeks! Brent's Mom, Donna, was here in July to help us celebrate Thomas' birthday and see the sights! It was so nice to see her, we had a great time. We took a tour of the The White House, went to The National Zoo, had lunch at the Inner Harbor and did a car tour of Baltimore (saw Brent's office etc.). We even managed to get in some pool time!

The next week we were off to the beach! We spent two weeks on the shore! It was fantastic. Brent was able to take the entire time off of work so we got in some quality time with Daddy. We really enjoyed having him around twenty four seven, T just adores him. They have so much fun chasing each other around and rough housing. Brent even taught him to jump on the bed (well, as much as a one year old can jump).

The weather was perfect and Thomas became a regular beach baby! He loved the sand and played with his shovels and buckets everyday. He would see Brent and the rest of the family in the ocean and just screech and point. Dying to get out there. Brent would come get him and take him in. He thought he was so big! He loved it until the water touched his little toes, then he didn't think it was so fun anymore! I have to say it was awfully cold. I could hardly blame him. We just had to keep him above water :)

My Mom's family arrived the second week, 38 people packed into four different houses. It was fun to see my cousins, who I had not seen in a long time. Besides sitting under the sun on the beach we ate dinner together every night. Each sibling (there are 7) in my Mom's family took a night and made a huge meal for all the hungry swimmers. Feeding 40 people isn't easy but each night we had something delicious! There were two people missing plus spouses so it wasn't quite a complete family reunion but it was close!

Our first family vacation was full of activity but it was so much fun! Can't wait till next year!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thomas had his first birthday party yesterday (July 20th) and had a ball!! We had a pretty large group, 20+ adults and 8 kids, all out in the backyard on the hottest day of the year! We may not have been in the desert but we certainly felt like we were in Arizona! You all were with us in spirit and in heat :) While the adults sweated, ate and drank the kids had a fabulous time in the blow up pool and sprinkler. It was so fun to watch them play and explore! T was exhausted by the end of the day but still managed to eat cake for the 1st time!

I will post the pictures of the past four days soon! There are so many, we had a great time with Grandma Donna! It was so nice to have her here, sightseeing was fun and we were so happy that she could be with us to celebrate T's first birthday! It made it extra special!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Else Can I Get Into?????