Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009


As much as I love Christmas and all the days leading up to it, this Christmas, I found myself just trying to get through it and get it over with. We did have a nice family dinner on Christmas night with my dad and my brother and his family. I loved being with my family and made it as special as I could for the boys but something (someone) was obviously missing. My mom made such an impact on all of our lives and truly emitted the Christmas spirit. Through all of the tears we shed, we also chose to honor the day in a way that my mom would have. We know she's that special angel looking down on us and somehow that helps to ease our daily pain. I did start a new tradition this year to honor Mom. I bought each of us: my dad, my brother, and myself an angel ornament to put on each of our Christmas trees as a way to symbolize what Mom means to us and each year I plan to purchase a different angel to add to our trees. It will be a special way to remember her at Christmas as we decorate.


I will say that nothing beats seeing Christmas through the eyes of children. I love seeing my boys walk down the stairs and gaze at the tree all lit up with their gifts surrounding it. Ripken is at such a fun age for Christmas joy and although he was a little unsure about all of these gifts left for him, he quickly joined in on the fun with his brothers.

By the way, he refers to Santa as that "Ho, Ho" guy.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ouch!

I know it's been a while. Been a little overwhelmed lately and then to top things off for me, I fell down my stairs and broke my booty bone. Yes, a small fracture of the tailbone. It hurts sooooo bad!
I do have lots of pictures and updates that I promise to add soon, but right now I think I need another pain pill.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful

It was tough celebrating Thanksgiving this year without Mom but I still had to pause and consider all of the things that I am thankful for.

-I am thankful for my four wonderful boys and what a blessing they are, even when they are driving me nuts! : )
-I am thankful for my husband who treats me better than I probably deserve at times and loves me unconditionally.
-I am thankful for my dad who has always been such a positive influence on my life and the choices I make.
-I am thankful for my brother and so happy that we are still close after all these years.
-I am thankful for my sister-in-law. She has made my dad feel comfortable in knowing that he is always welcome in their home and can pop in anytime for dinner or if he's just missing my mom and needs some company.
-I am thankful for Dave's family and enjoy the time we spend with them. Wish we could see them more often.
-I am thankful for my fabulous friends, both old and new, who always seem to be there when I need them the most. You know who you are! : )
-And I am thankful for my precious mom and will cherish the beautiful memories she left behind. She was a true angel and one of a kind.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I love you Mom

My sweet mother passed away on Thursday, October 29th. We thought we'd have her here with us longer and I still cannot believe she is gone. I've picked up the phone at least three times since I got back home to call her. She left us way too soon. Yes, I'm thankful that she is no longer in pain, but how I wish she could still be here with us.
It hurts my heart to think about never being able to talk to her again here on earth. It hurts my heart to see my dad so sad and heartbroken without the love of his life. It hurts my heart to see the tears in my brothers' eyes when people talk about what a wonderful mother she was. It hurts my heart to think that Ripken, my sweet youngest son who loves his grandmother so, will one day forget her because he won't have those precious memories of her that the older boys have. It hurts my heart that seven grandchildren have lost such an important figure in their lives. It hurts my heart to see the sadness on the faces of her brother and best friend.
It hurts my heart to say this but, I really miss my mom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mom

Well, this is the blog I haven't really been able to write about. Wish I never had to write about. Last week we got "the talk" from the doctors. You know the talk that one never wants to get about someone they love. After two years of intensive treatments for my mom's breast cancer, the doctors feel that they've done all that they can do. I'm ANGRY, DISAPPOINTED, and SAD.
ANGRY that we put Mom through two years of hellish treatments only to wind up here, with them telling us it hasn't helped. ANGRY that this cancer has taken one of the most vibrant people I know and turned her into someone in constant pain who needs around the clock care. I'm DISAPPOINTED in myself that I wasn't able to find something/someone that could help her. I'm DISAPPOINTED that my sons don't have their grandma at their games cheering them on.
But mostly I'm just SAD that I may lose the most influential person in my life. She made me the person I am today and I cannot imagine my life without her. She's the first person I call to share good news and the first person I turn to with bad news. She's my rock and I just don't know if I'll be the same person without her.
I will say that I'm not ready to give up and neither is she. She's the most optimistic person I know and she's remained positive and faithful throughout all of this so we owe it her to remain the same way. We believe in the power of prayer and know that we have hundreds of people praying for her.
Tonight I pray for mercy and peace.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Love Fall!!






















Last week, the boys and I took advantage of my furlough day and went to Uncle Shucks' Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. As you can see by the pictures, the boys had a blast and we did manage to find our way OUT of the maze after a not so brief time. Yes, we were completely lost and tried to rely on my 10 year old's sense of direction and map skills. But hey, I figured he certainly could do as well as I could! Reed was too busy helping me keep the little ones out of the mud, although he was quick to point out when Ridge seemed to get us deeper into the maze rather than closer to the exit. Ripken was afraid of the mud and River slid up in it five minutes after we reached the first corner of the maze. I guess it didn't occur to me how much mud rain can create in a corn field. But regardless, we had a blast and yes, we did find our way out with only a slight case of claustrophobia from me! Dave just doesn't know the fun he misses out on when he works!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Elmo








Recently we were given tickets to see "Sesame Street Live". What fun! We had great seats in a VIP Suite. We even got to use the same entrance that the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers players and coaches use. Walking down the players' hallway was Ridge's favorite part. He was a little indifferent about the show, but River and Ripken loved it, of course. As you can probably tell from the pictures, they enjoyed hanging out in the suite during intermission as much as the show!






Saturday, September 26, 2009

Enough already!

I'm certainly intelligent enough to know how important it is to have rain, but ENOUGH already!! I'm so sick of the rain. There's actually been talk around town of joining together to build an ark. Seriously, it is so hard to imagine that this time last year we were in the middle of a horrible drought. Could not even water the lawns or wash the cars. I guess it's all or nothing here in Atlanta!

I also feel the need to blame the rain for Clemson's loss today. First half of the game, no rain... we're winning, playing well. Second half, the skies open up to torrential downpours and well, we lost the game.

And of course, I'm still trying to get the smell out of my basement from the flooding it endured last week during the Great Atlanta Flood of 2009, but I certainly shall not complain after seeing those homes that were basically underwater.

Okay, so I complained a little....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

RIPKEN is 3!!





























































We had Ripken's third birthday party at a neat little place called "Imaginations at Play". What fun! He and his friends had such a good time. It took my shy little fellow a while to warm up and get use to everything, but once he actually started playing, he had a ball. You'd never imagine that he is the fourth child! I really thought he'd be my wild child who wasn't afraid of anything, but he's actually the most timid of the bunch! Doesn't like being the center of the attention either; in fact, he cried when we all gathered around to sing "Happy Birthday" and wouldn't even consider blowing the candles out! His brother, River, gladly did it for him. Anyway, just wanted to include a few pictures of my now "three year old" at his party.

Monday, August 24, 2009

School's in!!


Well, it seems like forever since I've had the chance to add to my blog. With the start up of a new school season and football season, it's been quite crazy. Nothing new, just the usual chaos. School seems to be going well. River started Kindergarten and Reed started High School on the same day.... kinda crazy, huh? The night before they started, Reed was talking about how nervous he was and River was listening in on the conversation and decided to add his two cents...


River: Why are you nervous Reed? I'm starting Kindergarten and I'm not nervous.

Me: Well, why are you NOT nervous, River?

River: Because I was the only kid in Pre-K who never got a red-face on my chart. Are you afraid you might get a red face, Reed? Is that why you are nervous? : )


So everyday when Reed gets home from high school we've been asking him "did you get a red face today?" Yep, he loves that!


Oh, and 5th grade is off to a great start for Ridge. Can't believe this is his last year of elementary school. It's a little sad how quick they grow up.





Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tyler


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite nephew!!
He's 17 today. He is a SENIOR now and is still a nice kid.
I'm holding out hope that he'll be a Tiger next fall (as in Clemson University). He unfortunately remains a Gamecock fan for some unknown reason but I still have one more year to work on him!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The World Series












What an exciting week! We took our number 2 son (birth order, not ranking) to participate with his baseball team in the World Series in Tennessee. Ridge and his team went with the hopes of doing well enough to last a few games. Well, they accomplished that and so much more. We went undefeated and made it to the final championship game. They fought hard but lost the title game 4-2 to a team that had been together for quite awhile. We later found out that team was the number one ranked 10U team in the nation, so we felt pretty good about our performance. Most importantly was the fact that these boys had a blast! This experience was something that they will never forget. Nor will I!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One of my Favorite Photos
























This is one of my favorite photos because it's me with all four of my fabulous sons. I only wish that my hubby was in it with us. But someone had to take the picture! And on this rare occasion, it wasn't me!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Independence Day!













Had a wonderful 4th with neighbors as we
celebrated a day of great importance to our
country.
Let freedom ring!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Just want to say HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to my fabulous hubby!! What a lucky chick I am! Not only does he rock as a husband but he is such an awesome dad! As River says "he's my favorite dad! Yes, he's his only dad, but you get the idea...

I also have to send a "shout out" to MY dad. What a fortunate girl I was to grow up with such a wonderful father. He's always been such an important part of my life and helped mold me into the person I am today. (Now you know who to blame!!)

So when I think of these two dads, I stand in awe that I am lucky enough to have BOTH in my life!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Update on Mom

Mom came home from Duke yesterday. She doesn't have to go back until July. She's really looking forward to spending this time at home. Staying in a hotel and traveling back and forth to the hospital daily has really taken a toil on both of my parents. But if this new treatment works, it will all be worthwhile! She's in a lot of pain right now from the heat therapy and radiation, so keep those prayers coming!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who knew?!


I have to admit, I've never been a fan of those parties where you have someone come and try to sell stuff to all of your friends and you, in return, get free stuff. But after hosting my first ever Tupperware party, I must say... this rocks!! Check out all of the FREE stuff I earned. Crazy, huh? And to all of my friends, I apologize, but I do hope you are enjoying your new Tupperware.

I certainly am!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Graduation" Day


Well, it seems like only yesterday that #3 was being born and yet, now he is ready to start "real" school as he calls it. It was a bittersweet experience yesterday at River's Pre-K graduation/celebration. It was wonderful to see him so excited and I love seeing how much he has grown mentally/socially/physically this year, but a part of me would love to hold time still for just a little longer. The ceremony was held at the park and the weather cooperated quite nicely. It was beautiful and sunny, although a little windy. Each of the three classes came up one at a time to perform a couple of songs complete with movements of course. I was very impressed with River's class and their song. It was a song that involved signing each letter of the alphabet and also singing the sound that letter made. It was quite impressive just how well all of the kids did. I'll try to post a video clip later. After the performance, each child was called up to get their certificate and was given the opportunity to tell what they planned to be when they grew up. River stated that he wanted to be a "fireman". Although, the man beside me thought he said "Spiderman", which if I have to admit would have been as equally impressive.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

My "Lovey"


Just a quickie I had to share.... I was putting Ripken to bed and I looked around for his favorite "lovey" but didn't see it. I said "Ripken, where is your lovey?" With the sweetest little voice, he said "YOU are my lovey!" (or in his words: You my wuvey!)

And you see why that kid gets his way....

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mom

I had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday with my five favorite fellows! As much as I enjoyed my day, my mind was deep in thought of my own mother. She and Dad left yesterday to head back to Duke where they will spend the next two weeks receiving a new type of treatment. It is a combination of chemo, radiation, and "heat therapy". At this point she's been undergoing treatments for over a year and a half and unfortunately the cancer still hasn't stopped spreading. We remain optimistic largely due to the fact that SHE is so optimistic. She never ceases to amaze me with her faith and spirit. Who knew someone so emotional could also be so strong?! Those of you who know her know what I mean by emotional... don't know if it's overactive tear ducts or an excessive amount of liquid, but every emotion that anyone else is going through makes my mom cry. She cries when she sees happiness, sadness, helplessness, hurt, ... well you get the picture. Quite often she doesn't even know the person she's crying for! : ) But it's that love that she has for others that makes her such an inspiration to all of us. How blessed we all are to have her in our lives.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Photo Shoot















The day before Easter, we met with two fabulous photographers at the Botanical Gardens in Athens for a family photo shoot. I've known Sara (one of the photographers) for a few years. She use to teach with me. But it was the first time I had met Dana. They were both wonderful and the boys really had fun with it. If you ever need a photographer, e-mail me and I'll send you their info. They had some interesting subjects to work with as you can see....
Poor River who has sun-sensitive eyes really struggled with keeping his eyes open. He kept asking if we could take the pictures in the shade! They did a wonderful job of actually catching him with his eyes open, although he was squinting in most of them.... but to be honest, I think that's just how he smiles. Ridge used to look the same way in his pictures but seems to have finally mastered the art of smiling. Ripken, who has a phobia to photographers, was completely at ease and even said "cheese" at least a hundred times. All in all I think the pictures turned out great... I love outdoor shots. Being that they took well over 100 shots, the hardest part now is choosing which ones to order. I have to decide quickly though and get some family shots up in the house that actually include Ripken. He's two and a half and he's not included in any framed photos! Oh, the guilt!! What kind of mom am I?? Dave just thinks we should put his name on the back of some of the other pictures... afterall, our boys all looked the same at this age. (shhh, he'll never know, right??)