Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
We had a wonderful Christmas! For whatever reason, things came together smoothly this year, so there wasn't any crazy running around at the last minute or any of that. The anticipation just about did the boys in on Christmas Eve...poor ol' Griff appeared to be in physical pain a couple of times -- he just could not stand the waiting! I am happy to report that they both survived though, and had such a fun day. Unfortunately, Camden woke up the day after Christmas sick to his stomach, but luckily it passed quickly and soon he was back to his old self. Just glad the poor thing wasn't sick ON Christmas day...that would have been a major bummer.
Santa did not bring me a new laptop, so I am still blogging via Smartphone, I fear. I really miss my computer! The impending New Year has given me the motivation I needed to do some organizing, which has been great. I have been getting rid of things I don't want or need anymore and I hope to tackle more drawers, closets, etc. in the coming weeks.
It has also dawned one that I will be turning 40 in 37 days. How did that happen?!? I am not exactly sure how I feel about it. I don't remember caring one way or the other, when I turned 30. I think somewhere around 38 I might have raised an eyebrow. I think I am mostly thinking, 'Holy cow, I can't believe I am 40!' It just seems so odd to me. The good news is, I am in better shape than I was at age 30, feel better about myself, and am more content than I have ever been before. This past year in particular has been a year of letting go -- letting go of disappointment, letting go of things and people I can't control...still a lot of work to do in that area, but it is a start. So, I suppose I am looking at the coming year as a challenge (the good kind)...with my health being at the top of the list (physical, mental, and otherwise). Let the games begin!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
As you can see, a bit of progress has been made in the Roy/Smokey area. Don't get too excited though...they still spend the majority of their time wrestling and yowling. This was the first time, however, that Smokey attempted laying on the sofa at the same time as Roy. Baby steps, kitties, baby steps.
I have finally started letting Smokey outside this week. The boys are not happy about this at all, especially Griffin. He is afraid she will leave and won't come back. So far she hasn't even attempted to leave the yard. She does love it out there, though, and I am happy to report that she zeroed in on the pesky Squirrel Brothers in the blue spruce almost immediately. I hope they are shaking in their nasty little squirrel boots.
As for Riley, I don't know if he is experiencing a second wind, or if the old boy is just excited for Christmas. He has always loved a good squeak toy, and has quite a collection of them, but he stopped playing with his toys all together, a few months ago. However, for the past few days, he has been back to digging through his toy box and dragging out random toys throughout the day. It has been good to see him doing that again.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This post comes to you via my Smartphone. I am beginning to realize that my computer problem isn't going to be solved anytime soon, so I figured I had better see if I could blog from this thing. I can't believe I even figured out how to upload photos...it is crazy! Anyway, the above picture is of Camden and one of his classmates, reading instructions to their class on how to make a Christmas Cracker. The third grade classes are doing 'Christmas Around the World' this year, and his class is studying Australia. He has had a lot of fun with it. I have Pavlova baking in the oven as I type, for the feast at his school today. Then, at 3:30 p.m., we can all breath a big sigh of relief and I will probably have to sit and stare off onto space for a couple of hours! After that, the boys and I will get down to the fun stuff...getting our own family traditions in order, and get ready for the Big Day.
*Post edit: It turns out I had a crazy spelling error in the above post, thanks to Auto-correct. Unfortunately, editing is not something that is easy to do via Smartphone, and it took me about 45 minutes to finally erase that one word. So, I'm thinking that Smartphone blogging may not be for me after all! Ha!
Monday, December 19, 2011
This week is going to be busy. I will be working at the library this morning, followed by volunteering in Camden's class. Will be doing that again tomorrow, and then he is on Christmas vacation, yay! Griffin's vacation already began last week, so he is busy chomping at the bit, waiting for Santa to hurry up and get here already. Steve has five days off starting on Friday, so we are all looking forward to a nice, long holiday weekend. Hope you all are busy with Christmas preparations and enjoying this time!
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Speaking of Steve, he has been in Colorado this week for work. Both of the boys were pretty upset about him leaving, but I'm happy to report that they have done just fine. He is actually coming home a day early but they don't know that...can't wait to surprise them tomorrow!
Don't know exactly what happened with my Christmas shopping this year, but I managed to do 95% of it online, and I am pretty much done! I feel like I found exactly what I was looking for, for everyone on my list and it is so nice to have it done early and not be scrambling! I also tried something new and have been wrapping as I bought things, rather than leaving it all until the last minute. Should have tried this years ago! Ha!
Next week will be crazy with Cub Scouts, school festivities, baking for Steve's office party, and the like. I am hoping to get a good plan in place this weekend so I will be ready. I am itching to get baking some Christmas cookies but haven't gotten around to it yet. Anyone have any favorite recipes?
Saturday, December 03, 2011
This week was a humdinger, to say the least. It started out like any other week really, with school, karate, and Cub Scouts on Monday. This was the first pack meeting that we were able to attend this year, and it was a lot of fun. I think we are in for a great year of scouting! By Tuesday morning, I was making a call to Riley's vet to make an appointment to have him euthanized. He is 14 1/2 years old now, and in the past 6 months his health and well-being have failed quite a bit. Over the past couple of weeks I had talked with the vet a few times, trying to decide what was best for ol' Riley. Such a hard thing to have to think about, but I also don't want to make the mistake of having him suffer. By Wednesday morning, I was driving down the vet clinic to cancel the Thursday appointment. By lunchtime on Wednesday I had called back and rescheduled it. I was pretty much a wreck. Whenever there weren't children in sight that day, I would get all choked up at the thought of Riley not being here. So Thursday came, and Steve took the morning off to offer some moral support. He took the boys to school and at 9 a.m., the vet and one of his technicians showed up. I could tell almost as soon as they came in that they were thinking maybe it wasn't such a good idea. I just love our vet - - I am so thankful for his wisdom and for how deeply he cares for animals, but also for their people. He decided to draw some blood and run some labs to see how Riley's liver function was, among other things, and we talked about a new schedule of medication that will allow Riley to sleep better at night and be more comfortable during the day. Riley still eats really well, so that isn't an issue for him.
I have to admit, when the vet said he didn't think euthanizing him was a good idea after looking him over, I felt like an awful dog mom! I struggle so with not wanting to be selfish (keeping Riley around because I don't want to let him go) and doing what is best for him. So, now Riley and I have a new lease on life. I don't know how long Riley has left, but I am going to make sure that it is high on quality. I sure love that pup, and I'm so thankful that we get to spend more time together.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
One of my big problems is that I feel like I have at least one picture in order to write. I'm going to try to get over that and see if I can actually produce more writing.
Another problem I am currently facing is that I am getting that message from my laptop that says, "although your battery can still charge normally, it is reaching the end of its usable life". In other words, one day soon I go to turn on my laptop and it will be dead. I have already decided No More Batteries for this sucker...they are soooo expensive and I have already been through three. So then it will be back to a 9-year-old desktop that doesn't like to blog so much.
In September, I got a Smart phone. This keeps me from even turning my laptop on, most of the time. I can quickly check email and news on it and get on with my life. So it has cut way back on my computer time, which isn't a bad thing, y'all.
Life is BUSY. After two months of relaxation and reintegration, Steve headed back to work in mid-November. This was the point in which I had some adjusting to do. I will tell you that the first week was very hard for me! It took some getting use to. I am happy to say that we are now officially back into our old groove of family life and it feels good. That being said, any spare time is consumed with karate, Cub Scouts, homework, gymnastics, and the like. But it is all good.
So, here I am, playing Russian Roulette with my laptop. Here's hoping this battery will hang on for a couple more weeks, since I am feeling a renewed sense of creativity and all. As for now, my coffee cup is empty, which means it is time to wake up some little boys and get this day in motion.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Had to get a picture with my favorite sports writer.
Friday, September 30, 2011
When Cam and Griff's movie ended, Camden offered to be our butler.
Things got really crazy when we decided to dig out and try on our wedding attire. I would like to point out that Steve is wearing Camden's bow tie. I'm also pretty sure facial hair is against regulation with that uniform. I would also like to point out that my wedding gown is now too big for me. Not quite sure how that happened, but I'm not complaining. Ha!
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Anyone who knows Steve won't be surprised by any of this ~ he is completely and utterly dedicated to his role as father, and he doesn't take it lightly
He missed his boys so much while he was away, and didn't waste any time at all, jumping right back into family life. He's been taking Camden to school every morning, and picking him up in the afternoon. During the day, he pretty much does whatever Griffin wants, which of course, thrills Griffin to no end!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
We were really lucky that Steve made it home in time to celebrate with him. (As you can see, Steve is taking full advantage of the fact that he doesn't have to report back to work until mid-November, and therefore opting out of shaving).
Griffin wanted to put his Transformer "from Nana and Papa" on top of his birthday cake, so that is what we did. It was so big that I didn't have room to write his name. He proclaimed it his "best birthday cake EVER!"
Riley hasn't been feeling great lately, but he perked right up when he smelled birthday cake, and saw presents being opened. That dog loves a good party.
Griffin had a great time with his friends. I just can't believe my little Griff is five!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Oh my goodness...I am so done with this deployment. I just want Steve to be here NOW, so badly. You would think I could hold it together - - I mean, he's been gone for nearly a year, but this last little bit is just about doing me in. I am not a patient girl when it gets right down to the wire, and although it appears he will be coming home right around the time we've thought he'd be coming all along, all I can think about is, "why isn't he here now? why can't he come home earlier?" I seriously need to get a grip.
The boys (including Steve) and I have been through a lot this year. We were very lucky to have both my parents and my in-laws both come out for extended visits during that time. We've experienced kindness from the most unexpected places. The hardest parts of a deployment, though, are the parts that nobody else can help you with. Camden and Griffin have both struggled emotionally, in different ways. At times it has been so heartbreaking to watch, and really, there hasn't been a lot I could do other than listen. I really, truly was not prepared to deal with the effect that Steve's absence would have on the boys.
Long separation is rough on a marriage. Even a really good marriage. It is difficult to parent children from opposite sides of the globe, and to make decisions regarding your children. Stress certainly plays a major factor in making it more difficult, and I know that Steve and I both went through a period for a few months where our stress levels were so high that it was difficult to accomplish much at all. I think the worst time for me was after Steve had been home on leave, and it kind of carried on through the end of the school year. Never have I ever been happier for summer vacation and being able to have lots of fun with the boys ~ what a great distraction!
In the end, I'm proud of how we pulled through. Over the years, Steve has been gone a lot, so I knew before he left this time that I was completely capable of caring for the boys on my own. That being said, life is just a whole lot nicer with Steve around. Can't wait to have him back.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
My parents went back to Maine today, so the boys and I have been kind of down-in-the-dumps today. We had such a good visit with them ~ they arrived on June 1st, and having them here was just what we all needed. My parents are so laid back, good to me, good to the boys, and I love being with them. Camden and Griffin had some good sleepovers, mastered my mom's IPad, coaxed both of my parents to get in the pool with them, had some movie dates with them, Happy Meals every Tuesday night, foot rubs, endless amounts of ice cream, and Camden had a standing Tuesday night date with my mother to watch, "America's Got Talent". The boys were pretty much in and out of their house all day, every day, which is just how my parents like it. Riley got in on the action too ~ I think he stayed at their house about 95% of the time that they were here. He'd come home from time to time, but then would head right back next door, where Nana gave him biscuits (and always had a dish of food waiting on the window sill for Roy). My dad did some projects that Steve had been wanting done, and I am really thankful to him for that. Just a great visit. It went by too quickly, though. We miss you already!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The second is Sweat Bread, written by Jordan in North Carolina. She also includes recipes, and I just love seeing what she's growing in her garden and serving at her dinner table.
The only thing I've harvested so far is a ton of basil, mint, and rosemary, and one little cherry tomato! I think in about a week I should have some zucchini, and I already have plans for that!