Saturday, June 21, 2014

Random in June...or otherwise known as a bunch of cute kid pics

June is flying by, y'all.

As school has ended, our days our longer, and we have had a lot of good time with family and friends.

Here's our newest little nugget, Callie, born May 27, and visiting our house for dinner. Such a sweet angel.

Silas, Zoe, and Jake decided to form a train after Shout one night...

I was finally convinced to get into the pool...however my butt did not leave that raft. It's still a bit chilly.

I've been enjoying passing a lot of our toddler toys down to my niece...and then getting sweet pics of her playing with them.

I mean, really. She's so freaking adorable. I'd do (and buy) anything for this kid!

Gramma was in charge of Claire last weekend, so we popped over to visit and go to the park with her. She loved playing with her big cousins!

So, there's our mid-June randoms for you. I'm sure more to come soon!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Some Friday Night Fun

Last Friday, Nanny, Gramma and I took the kids to a nearby park that had super cute rides. For $1 a ticket, the kids could do a carousel, helicopters, boats, cars, and a train.

They had a blast...and it didn't hurt that a huge storm blew through before we got there and chased everyone else away. We had it pretty much to ourselves for about 30 minutes.

We ended the night at a Hibachi buffet where I ate way too much, and Jake and Brooklyn spent about $12 in Nanny and Gramma's quarters feeding the fish.

It really was a great night, and I know Chad was super jealous to miss out while he was playing poker and drinking beer with all of his guy friends.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Special Birthday Party

Last Saturday, June 7, would have been my father-in-law's birthday. 
Yes, a week before Father's Day. 
Yes, we have now forged through Easter, my niece/my birthday, Mother's Day, my mother-in-law's birthday, Memorial Day, his birthday, Father's Day, Flag name it.

Yes, they all are bittersweet. (By the way, I am beginning to hate that word, but unfortunately that crappy word sums up life these days.) 

Websters says the definition of bittersweet is "pleasure alloyed with pain."

Want to know my interpretation?
We are choosing to live. We are choosing joy. We are choosing love.
But, it still just plain sucks.

And have you ever tried to deal with grief in a multi-generational setting? Quite the challenge.
But in a way, having these children around, having them know what happened to Pops, talking openly about Pops, remembering fond memories of Pops, and having them see our emotions on both good days and bad, has helped us all.

So, with that being said, on a day that we knew had high potential for being sucky, we decided to have a birthday party.

For Pops.

Brooklyn helped choose the menu, based on what she remembers Pops loving....shrimp and s'mores. I added in ribs and slaw, because I knew we all loved that. 

Jake drew a picture.

Claire smiled and entertained.

There was swimming, there were balloons, there were laughs (even from the adults), and there was love.

God, it still sucks, though.

I could have painted a pretty picture for you, you know. A post filled with happy, smiling photos of the kids and some great Instagram-ish food pics. But that was for Facebook. Here, on this blog, you all deserve to know the story behind the pictures. 

We are still hurting. We are still mourning this loss, and we know we will for a long, long time. Like a forever long time. We feel blessed with what time we did have. But we feel cheated, oh so cheated, for the times that will never come. We are lost many days. We find ourselves staring blankly at a tile a homemade train pictures. We sometimes feel, out of nowhere, like someone just punched us in the gut. We call them "waves." Sometimes we can talk openly about it. Sometimes we can't. I see prayer requests on Facebook and in emails, and do you know, I pray extra hard these days for those requests? Because I know that your prayers for US are the only thing that gets us through these times.

These times.
These days.
These months.

Three months.

Life changed March 18. Chad and I admitted this week that there are now two parts to our life. The days before March 18 and the days after.

Time can soften the blow, yes. (The waves do come less frequently the more time that passes.) Prayers can offer comfort and peace and rest, oh yes. But loving each other and spending as much time with those you love and making those times count, that's what ultimately gets you by.

So, on this day, at this birthday party, we loved. We laughed. We ate and drank. We released balloons. We remembered. And then we loved some more.

Happy, happy birthday, Larry.

God, I miss you.

You were so loved by many. You were loved by many because of who you were. You were so loved because of how you loved others. You gave freely of yourself. You were 100% genuine. You gave hugs that could take your breath away. You called us on the phone "just because." You found things to build and fix just because you could and you wanted to. You listened, but you also really liked to talk. You reminded us to slow down in life and enjoy every second of the ride. You were relieved when I finally admitted that I wasn't Superwoman. You bought me as many crab legs as I wanted and loved the fact that I could eat as many as you. And you showed us that the people in your family included way more than just the people that shared your DNA or your last name.

Family was everything to Larry. Once you were in, you were in. And if you weren't in, it wasn't because he didn't want you in.

It was just because he hadn't met you yet.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Confession Time!

It's time for another confession!

Now, I know what you are saying.

"Jaclyn, what could you possibly have to confess now? You already declared your highest weight on the internet. You admitted freely that you love being a working mom. You happily shared what you do to "cheat" while you eat healthy, and you begrudgingly admitted that you are not Superwoman."

But, friends, I have not shared something deep and personal with you.

My music.

My tunes.

My playlist.

My jams.

Y'all. You would be embarrassed for me if knew what I was blaring in my earbuds while I was running.

Or what I listen to for 5 hours straight when I have to drive for work alone in the car.

I used to think that maybe I have the worst taste in music...but now I just prefer to think I have an eclectic taste in music.

Let's take a quick gander at my music catalogue, shall we?

In just one screen shot, we have Glee, Katy Perry, Broadway, the UNC Clef Hangers, Brendan, Magic, and some more Glee.
Yes, there are some mainstream musicians on there...but what if I told you that Katy Perry was actually downloaded at Brooklyn's request and Rude by Magic was a new song I just heard in Zumba that I loved. Totally did not find it on my own.
Looking at a screen shot of artists here....We have the Wicked cast, Casting Crowns, Cher, and Chicago.
Quite eclectic, right?

My running playlist?

Even more entertaining...

And finally, Pandora.

This is real, people.

I think I just like songs I can sing to....showtunes, Disney hits, Christmas carols, you name it.

Music is meant to evoke feeling...and these days I want to evoke as much happiness and hope in my life as I can.

Ironically, though, I am not a fan of the Pharrell "Happy" song.

So, if that means blasting "For the First Time in Forever" while running mile 2 or squatting to Wilson Phillips Radio (thank goodness for the most patient trainer ever), then so be it!

So, what's your guilty listening pleasure? Share it with me...and maybe I'll add it to my playlist.

If I can sing along to it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Goodbye Third Grade, Hello Summer!

Last Thursday was a tough school/work day for Brooklyn and I as we spent the day at the pool for her end-of-the-year class party. :-)

A bit overcast and cloudy at times, but we survived. And as much as I love my job, a cloudy day at the pool is always better than a sunny day in the office.

B with one of her besties...

She completely shocked me when she was one of the first kids off the high dive. Such a little fish she has become!

After the high dive, the slide was no biggie.

Here is Brooklyn on her first and her last days of 3rd grade. Physically, I would say there are minor differences (much less than in previous years)...some layered hair, some new adult teeth, and probably a few inches grown. But emotionally and maturity-wise, there have been huge differences.

Some good and some....well.....challenging.

It was a fantastic year, though, and I am so thankful for Mrs. Tripp, her fabulous teacher. We have been so lucky every single year to have been blessed with amazing teachers for Brooklyn. It's a blessing to not have had to worry about my childrens' educations.

Now, it's three months of hang time with dad- visits to the library, golf course, tattoo parlor (kidding) and Starbucks. I have a pretty large honey-do list for them, too, so they won't be TOO bored. :-)

Happy summer, everyone!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May Miscellaneous!

Well, how about that. It's June 3rd, and I am finishing up May posts. It's a spring/summer miracle. And I'll take it.
Our lilies have started blooming in our yard. Unfortunately, Jake thought I would LOVE one as a gift and pulled the first one right out of the ground, roots and all.
It's a good thing he's cute.
 "Hunting" some killer bees. :-)
 Memorial Day Cookout fun at my friend, Sarah's, house for her son's birthday.


And the newest member of our family, Callie Elizabeth, was born Tuesday, May 27th. Callie's dad is like my little brother/cousin/God-family all in one. Let's just call him a "Brousin." But regardless, he and his wife, Krystin, had the most precious baby girl, and we are thrilled.
Love these two girls! And even better, they live right down the street so lots of newborn snuggles in my future!

That's a wrap for May!

I think...

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pappy's is open!!

Last weekend, Pappy's Paradise opened for business...
...and the kids could not be happier!

My parents hosted a cookout on Memorial Day, and we had a great time with family and friends!
 Love seeing my beautiful cousins!

And the kids had a great time playing with her God-siblings in the (semi-frigid) pool.

And our littlest one just had fun eating snacks and walking around the deck. :-) 
We are giving a big old "YAY for Summer" over here at our house! Let the fun begin!


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