Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A year of grief...and another thank you

"Grief is not something to be fixed. It's something to be borne, together. And when the time is right, there is always something that is born from it. After real grief, we are reborn as people with wider and deeper vision and greater compassion for the pain of others. We know that. So through our friend's grief, we maintain in our hearts the hope that in the end, good will come of it. But we don't say that to our friend. We let our friend discover that on her own. Hope is a door each one must open for herself." -Glennon Doyle Melton, Carry On Warrior

For the last year, you all have walked the path of grief with us. You have opened your hearts to us. You have expanded your prayers to include us. You have shown us those doors of Hope...but allowed us to walk through at the times when we were ready. Sometimes you knew we needed you to hold our hands and walk through with us. Just like sometimes you knew we needed to walk through some doors alone.

In thinking about this day, I had thought about just reposting the "Thank You" post that I did last year. Many of the sentiments, if not all, still ring true today.

But I would be remiss if I didn't say another thank you again today.

For the prayers.
For the meals.
For the talks.
For the tissues.
For the laughs.
For the memories.
For the songs.
For the letters.
For the voicemails.
For the cardinals.
For the texts.
For the runs.
For the shoulders.
For the love.

Thank you.

Thank you for loving us. For loving Larry. And for standing by us this past year.

We could not have made it through each holiday passing day without you.

And we carry you all with us in our hearts as we walk through those Doors of Hope into the next year.

Thank you.

Love continues to hold us ALL together.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Finishing up the February happenings...

March 8th...not too bad to be wrapping up February.

Several weeks ago, Jake attended a birthday party for his friend, Ella. It was a superhero party and Jake had a BLAST.

For Black History Month, Jake had to write a "report" for school. His person was Harriet Tubman. He wrote a sentence about her contributions, the dates she lived and drew a picture.

Friday, February 13, we met our family for dinner. Claire had a great time with her cousins.
And Aunt Jaclyn ordered ice cream, which didn't hurt matters...

Brooklyn came to work with me during a teacher work-afternoon, and I gave her an Excel job. I mean, when you are in 4th grade, your days of coloring in Mommy's office are over.
(And yes, I realize that last sentence is ironic since Brooklyn is sitting in front of two posters in my office that have been colored. But that's what they pay ME the big bucks to do.)

So, welp, that's February in a nutshell.

And you all know how I feel about March...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Night to Remember...

It's nights like these that I want to remember forever...

On Thursday, February 26, our church Shout Family helped serve dinner at our local homeless shelter.

Our kids were so eager and willing to pitch in, and they truly made us all so proud.

These are two of my most favorite young them so much and want my kids to be JUST like them when they grow up!

We were so grateful that the roads were clear enough for all of us to come out in 6 inches of snow to make this dinner happen. It is a blessing for us to be able to do this, and I already look forward to the next time. My kids are so incredibly lucky in life- spoiled even. I am thankful that, at this age, they have this opportunity to give back and thankful for a church that makes things like this happen for us.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Snow Day FUN?!

The jury is still out on whether or not I consider snow days fun. Looking back on these pictures, it appears that we had a wonderful day filled with memories the kids will cherish forever.

In the moment, however, I am a big ball of stress- rescheduling meetings in my head, praying that our power stays on (and having mini heart attacks every time the lights flash), and constantly wiping the snow tracks off the hardwood floors.

But these nuggets had a great day either way you look at it.

And I used them for some Girl Scout marketing...

The grown-ups enjoyed some quick sledding down the driveway. (Hey, it's got to be good for something.)

And I made a pitiful snowman with Jake.

Jake called him Snow Feet. I had him use Thin Mints as eyes, so we could use him for more shameless Girl Scout marketing.

And then we all made our own personlized Snow Cream. What's that, you say? Thin Mint Snow Cream? Why, yes, yes, I will.

Judging by all the pictures that I saw on Facebook, so many of my local friends had a great snow day. Me? I'm ready for some Pappy's Paradise pool time. Bring on SUMMER!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Brooklyn's Birthday Bonanza

I'm pretty sure we celebrated Brooklyn's birthday for 8 days straight. It started on Saturday, February 21 when her Godmother, Godsister and I surprised her with a trip to Charlotte to visit the American Girl Store.
The girls (and moms) had a great time and it was so nice just spending some quality time together.

We expected that she would go to school and Girl Scouts on Tuesday, the 24th (her actual birthday). So, she made homemade Japan flag cookies for Girl Scouts (they were learning about Japan) and we bought a tub of chocolate chip cookies for her class.

Unfortunately, we had unexpected ice that day, so school and Girl Scouts were both cancelled. So, we stuck a candle in a Japan cookie and had an inpromtu celebration that day. (Luckily, I at least had all her presents bought and wrapped for that day.) When the ice cleared, we met her grandparents at her favorite restaurant, Golden Corral, and had a birthday dinner together.

We also read her baby book that night....crazy to see how far she has come in 10 years!

Then, on Saturday, the 28th, Brooklyn had her Friends Party at TumbleBees, a local gymnastics center. She had a BLAST and kept talking about going back again next year.

These three sweet girls have been friends before even their FIRST birthdays. So grateful that they have Girl Scouts to keep them together.

We ended the night with her "official" family party with her grandparents and aunt, uncle, and cousin.

Whew, Brooklyn, we love you, but celebrating your birthday is EXHAUSTING! I was quite thrilled when the festivities were over but so thankful to celebrate 10 memorable, precious years with my first baby.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

V-day Shenanigans

Chad and I have always kept Valentine's Day very low-key. This year's weekend was no different, but we did have some sweet moments with our littlest valentines.

Friday the 13th, I attended the annual school dance at Jake's pre-school. I have been attending these since Brooklyn was about 2, so it was a little sad knowing it was the last time I would be standing around with moms and dads for 30 minutes watching dozens of kids running around and screaming in a cafeteria. :-)

On Valentine's Day, we did "make your own pizzas" and chocolate fondue with the kids.

Nothing flashy; Nothing fancy. Just some good old fashioned quality family time. A rarity these days, so we'll take it any time we can get it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February Recap: #splitaplatelosesomeweight

Month 2 is in the books...

#splitaplatelosesomeweight is still in full swing.

In February, Chad and I split 7 meals.

The good news? That's one less meal than January.

The bad news? We seemed to have eaten a tremendous amount of burritos and cheeseburgers...which as one would guess, is not really conducive to the whole "lose some weight" part of the plan. Even when you are only eating half.

We used our holiday freebies on President's Day and Valentine's Day and the "bonus day" on Brooklyn's birthday.

It's still a challenge, but I do find it kinda "fun." (Chad would probably disagree.) For March, I would like to continue to cut down on eating out and maybe lay off the red meat, but we shall see. :-)


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