A Jumping Good Time

Heather and Molly reminded me of the day Teri and I took the girls to Brown's Berry Patch. They have a giant blow-up trampoline and as you can see, the urge to get silly was just too much. So we had to "jump" in on the action. But talk about fun! We laughed so hard. And as you can see, Teri was quite the showoff.


New Pics

Fun at Bounce It Out

Good Morning Sunshine!
Being Silly with Sister

Bath Time


A Dash of This and a Pinch of That

Seems like I haven't had much blogging time lately. Nothing earth shattering going on and nothing I feel compelled enough over to write about. And what can I say. My children are exhausting! Most days I can barely string together enough words to form one complete sentence. But in a nutshell, here's a bit of an update.

Had fun last weekend at Disney on Ice.

Spent Monday evening with my grandparents, which is always a treat.

Busy planning Cullen's 1st birthday :-) I'll post more about that this coming week.

Took the plunge and scheduled Cullen's first haircut for Feb 25th.

Trying to learn how take photos with my new camera. And that ia proving more difficult than I had expected.

Celebrated Shawn's 33rd b-day on the 21st.

Alex had a fabulous week at school and home.

Cullen has a yucky cold AGAIN!

And today we went to Bounce It Out and the kiddos both had a great time. Pictures to follow.

Sorry I don't have anything more interesting to report. Hopefully it stays that way.


Happy MLK Day

Each Day last week Alex came home talking about Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. She had so many questions. Was he a good man? Why did someone kill him? What was he trying to do?

It really opened up doors to conversations we hadn't really yet had. About issues that were, this year, are even closer to home. She was very interested in hearing about Rosa Parks and why she was arrested when she didn't do anything wrong. She couldn't understand how people could be treated differently solely based on the color of their skin. She found MLK to be a fascinating individual and even asked if we could visit his old house on our next vacation.

Apparently she and her teacher had also had similar conversations. And at one point she told me how we probably wouldn't have Cullen in our family if it wasn't for Martin Luther King Jr. I said, "you're right baby...you are so very right". So we went on to talk about how not only can whites and blacks share bathrooms, buses and restaurants now....but they can also share a family name.
"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."
Tomorrow will also mark an important day for our nation. For the first time in America's history we will have a black president.
Happy Birthday Doctor King!


The Deep Freeze

I don't know about you, but I am so tired of being cold.

And thank GOD this week is almost behind us. Talk about crazy. Since 2001 when I started working in the gas industry, we have not experienced this degree of cold over this large of an area for this length of time. Our systems have been in a state of emergency since Wednesday and will continue through Monday. It's been a zoo at work. Utility companies issuing continuous alerts, gas pipelines transporting their absolute maximum amounts, prices going haywire, etc. At the same time, it's been exciting. Each minute has brought a new problem to solve and a new fire to put out. There were laughs and there were many, many moments of near tears. But we made it through.

And despite the bone chilling temps, Alex did look pretty darn cute waiting for the bus yesterday morning!


A Weekend Guest

We had a sweet little visitor this weekend. Someone Alex has waited all school year to bring home. She was simply beaming coming off the bus on Friday! Indeed it was our turn to host Mr. Bear for the weekend. As you might guess, Mr. Bear is a classroom friend who takes turns visiting each student's home.

Mr. Bear got to see an unusual weekend for us. A weekend at home. After the craziness of the last few weeks, we all enjoyed some down time. Alex did a great job taking care of her new pal. And Cullen was kind enough to share many of his things. And here are a few photos to remember our special weekend.

Some breakfast pouridge for Mr. Bear


Some fun in the snow

Celebrating Papa Steve's birthday. Ins't he a good sport!

Chocolate cake. Yummo!!!

And thank you Miss C for sending home a "stuffed" friend.


Move Over Paula

On Monday Alex's teacher allowed each student to choose a Christmas present to bring in to share with the class. I would have thought Alex would have chosen one of her various Barbies or Hannah Montana toys. Nope, not Alex. Instead she chose her new Paula Deen cookbook from Nanie. And she had been BEGGING to make a recipe ever since Christmas. So that night I let her make her own dinner, a Mexican Omelet. She also sported the look by wearing her new apron, oven mitts and chef's hat from Grammy. Unfortunately she forbid me from photographing her in it citing she would look ridiculous and she didn't want people seeing her look so ridiculous.

And tonight it was/is just the boy and me. Daddy is in Niagara/Buffalo for the night and Alex decided to stay with Grandma and keep her company. Oh how I wish I could scoop this guy up and bring him to bed with me. He is the world's best snuggler! And isn't that face the most kissable ever (even with the crusty nose)!!!


A Dozen Years and Still Going Strong

Yes, today Shawn and I celebrate 12 years of wedded bliss. Well, at least the 12 years is accurate. Has it all been blissful? Not hardly. But we made it through and are stronger than ever.

Kids. That's what we were on January 4th 1997. Two kids desperately in love. But kids all the same. Both 20 at the time, we were married a bit young by today's standards. But I guess when it is right, it's just right. We had a lot of growing up to do, and we chose to do it together. We aren't the people now that we were then. And fortunately over the years, we grew closer and not further apart as many couples do. I'd say it was our struggles (loss of parents, difficult finances, infertility, adoption, etc) that drew us closer, but I think life's challenges only magnify what is already there, the good or the bad. Shawn is my soulmate. I have no doubt. I will love him until the day I die.

This past week I have witnessed a lot of grieving. From friends, my husband, my daughter. But none was harder to watch than from my mother-in-law. As we all gathered around the casket, each grieved. But as I watched my mother-in-law stroke his hand good-bye, my heart broke in a million pieces. I cannot imagine her pain. Her loneliness. All I could think was that if it were Shawn lying there, it would take everything in my power not to crawl in with him.

Shawn, I love you more than words could ever tell. For the father, husband, and friend that you are. You truly are everything to me.

And in the words of Shania Twain, "looks like we made it"!


A Life Remembered

The services yesterday were beautiful. Shawn was able to give a touching eulogy. He also made the following video.