Happy 5th Birthday, Alexandra!

I think Alex is probably a bit more interested in automotives than the average little girl. I guess we can thank her daddy for that. Well, with this interest, came a fascination with convertibles. She points them out whenever she sees them and talks about how neat they are.
So yesterday Shawn brought home this sporty little number. Alex was in awe of it. So she and daddy took a spin around the neighborhood. And tomorrow they plan to take it to Taekwondo to Wow all of her friends.

And after her birthday dinner tonight at Carrabba's Alex received her big gift from Mommy and Daddy. Her very our princess convertible!!! Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!


In Memory of...

Jennifer Duncan Young
Sept 6, 1972 - March 4, 2003
Daughter, grandaughter, sister, niece, wife, mother
...and my cousin and friend

Today, family and friends gathered to remember my dear cousin Jen who passed away five years ago. Jennifer was taken suddenly at the age of 30. She tragically left behind 3 very small children. It was a horrific time for our family and still continues to be an area of healing for many of us. I don't talk about Jen often. I honestly don't often think about Jen either. Or at least I try not to. It is easier to pretend that Jen never existed than to acknowledge this gaping hole that she left in the lives of so many. I know that is not the answer. Perhaps someday I will face her death and allow the wounds to heal. Maybe someday I will be able to recall our endless memories together without my heart breaking into a million pieces all over again. But not today and probably not tomorrow either. Hopefully someday. So just for a moment, I will remember her. I will look back on the years we shared together, as cousins and best friends. I will shed the tears I don't normally allow to fall.

Each September a benefit golf tournament is held in remberence of Jennifer. A portion of the proceeds are donated to The Pieters Life Center at Heritage Christian Home. In her honor, they invited us to a ceremony where they dedicated this beautiful bench in her memory.

As mentioned, this loss shook our whole family. All of us cousins have always been extremely close. For many of us, it was like losing a sibling. My cousin Worthy is a musician. He wrote the following song for Jennifer this past year.
Check out this video: Just One More Day

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Jen, no words could ever express how much we miss you. We expected to have so many more years with one another. I thought we would raise our children together. But God had other plans. I don't know why, but I guess he did. I still can't fully wrap my brain around the fact that you are gone. We miss you and I will love you forever. ~Sue


Beauty and the Beast

My little Beauty celebrated another milestone yesterday. She graduated preschool! She has been practicing her graduation walk for some time now, but kept secret the songs and activities they had planned. How did this happen? When did this happen? I swear it was just yesterday that she fit in th crook of my arm.And the boy...or should I say The Beast! That kid is growing like it is his full time job. In three months we have already outgrown 3 sizes. I was amazed to see that all of his 3-6 month jammies are too small. So I spent the weekend washing all of his 6-9 months stuff. He definitely won't be the peanut that his sister is! And look at that boy in his saucer. He looks like a 6 month old! Slow down buddy!And shhhhhh! Don't tell my husband. But I was lonely last night with him out of town. So I invited another man to bed......


Happy Father's Day & Congrats Grad!

Alex's school had a Father's Day event last week. The dads met the children at Lowe's and they did a project together. Alex made a bird feeder for Shawn.

Daddy and his little man sharing some "lovins".

And since we spent Sunday at Darien, we took grandpa to breakfast yesterday for Father's Day. His gift, more pictures of the kids. Who would have guessed.

And on Saturday, I watched my eldest nephew accept his high school diploma. If this was any indication of how my own children's graduations will be....I will likely need a valium. I was filled with so many emotions from pride to nostalgia along with a handful of other things. My sweet, sweet Jordan. Oh how I love that kid!


3 Months Old

It is so hard to believe that just three short months ago, we had no idea that Cullen was about to enter our lives. Cullen has completed our family in every way. I feel like he has been with us forever and can't imagine not having him in our lives. Maybe it's because I have carried him in my heart for so long. And just when I think it is impossible to love him any more, it happens. I am eternally grateful for these two blessings I call my children.
And I just had to share Cullen's latest trick. Sorry it's so dark, but I had to grab the camera in a hurry!


Cullen Talking

The following is how Cullen gets our attention. He doesn't cry...just squeals. You can also hear Alex singing in the background. And if you watch closely you can tell when he finally notices that I am watching him. Boy do I love this kid.


Fun With Friends

Yesterday we had such a nice time. We introduced the Henick's to Hibachi! It was a lot of fun and the girls thought our chef was so funny performing all of his tricks. And not only did Teri broaden her food horizons.....but she actually liked it! And Gabi tried Alex'x shrimp, but wasn't a fan.

Afterwards the girls talked their dads into an impromptu Red Wings Game! We were quite proud of Howie who usually isn't nearly that spontaneous :-)

Meanwhile the Moms and babies fit in a quick trip to BRU, some dessert takeout from Phillips and then kicked our feet up back at my house. Even Ellie and Cullen joined in on the friend time as they took their first bath together. And let me tell you how cute that was. But poor Ellie was the brunt of Cullen's new trick of kicking his feet and splashing water everywhere. What a boy!