Monday, June 29, 2009

NY Day Two: Two Chairs

It was a hard day. It didn’t start that way.

I went on a bike ride first thing this morning and came across a symbol with such impact that I had to take a picture…

To the average Joe (or June) this would appear to be two chairs overlooking the lake. To me, it represents so much more. All I could think about was the future…Robbie and I thirty years from now sitting in chairs that look just like these ones...overlooking some body of water…talking about the things that matter to us…our kids, grandkids…plain and simple…our family.

Family means something different depending on who you ask. To me, it represents the essence of who I am…the pieces of me that have somehow blended together to create one being. Each piece is dramatically different from the other, but somehow finds a way to connect to the other…That’s family.

My dad blessed me with a passion for life.
My mom taught me to love first and worry about the rest later.
My mom’s mom showed me the power of faith while her dad trained me in the art of story-telling.
My dad’s mom made me the hostess I am while my Grandpa Ike embedded a strength within me that never waivers.
And the intricate connections go on and on and on…each one of them a unique, twisted and beautiful part of me.

So as I spent the day at my grandparents’ farm, I teetered the emotional fence riding somewhere between nostalgia and finality…

how it began and how it will end…

and everything else in between.

The realization as I was wiping the tear from my son’s face, that I would be wiping a similar tear from the cheek of a man who has embodied strength my entire life.

Goodbyes are always hard, but they seem to be harder when they could be the last. I can only hope not.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

NY Day One: Dirty Uncle Paul

We all have one...the crazy relative...When it comes to my family, we have been BLESSED with crazies...of course, top of my list is my dirty Uncle Paul.

Here is a list of my favorite Uncle Paul moments:

1. Gave my great grandma a hickey
2. Grab my rearend while dancing (I'm talking two fistfuls)
3. Sang "Love in an Elevator" at the top of his lungs at my wedding.

Today we found him oozing up to Igglers. Ya gotta love him!

We had a great time with mom's family down at the lake. We ate, swam and ate some more. I am looking forward to a great week. This is the first time my brothers and I have ALL been together in four years. Aren't they cute?

Stay tuned for more adventures from Keuka Lake!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This Lady...

When I saw the picture of this lady today, I almost peed my pants...

I was standing at the zoo trying to get two preschoolers to smile when she bursts into my pic. Her face is classic! Poor lady...she didn't know what the heck was going on.

Lily and I had a great time at the zoo with my boss and her granddaughter. On Wednesdays it is $1 day so you can't beat the price. Of course, the animals were hot and pretty inactive, but the girls didn't seem to mind.

And...the carousel ride at the end of the afternoon was a nice way to cool off...
After a hot afternoon at the zoo, a drink is necessary but lo and behold, the concession stand closed at 3:00...WHAT??? Two little girls wanting red drink (not sure what that is) and the zoo decides there is no money to be made from patrons after 3:00. Must be a man running that place.

Monday, June 15, 2009

And Yet Another Birthday!

I love birthdays...we all know this. The kids and I have gotten quite good at going to the party supply aisle at Target and letting one pick out the giftbag, one pick out the party hats, and each pick out a card.

We headed north to meet Bobo and Igglers at Calhoun's to celebrate his 28th birthday. The kids were super excited to see them since it has been awhile since we've been together. Tate drew a special picture of him beating Bobo in Mario Kart. It was classic!

So in honor of my baby brother Rusty, I asked our friends and family what they love most about our Bobo. Here are some of their responses:

"His red hair."

"His tender heart."

"The way he loves to play with his niece and nephews."

"Passion he has to pursue his goals and dreams"

"He always does something to make me laugh..whether he tries to or not"

"Even though he's an old man now, he's still pretty cute."

"Sweet, sincere, southern charm"

"Because I love him (spoken like a true 3 yr old)

"His loyalty to family"

"He's a metro-sexual"

"He calls me everyday"

"He helps me win on my DS"

"His sense of humor"

And I didn't even have to pay any of them to say these nice things! No, son, are one knarly dude. So lucky to have you and so glad you were born today!

Biker Bar and Breasts

Yes...this is still a family friendly blog, but I had to post on here about our night on the patio at what used to be a nice waterfront restaurant.

A sitter...good friends...celebration of Non's birthday...

Sounds like the formula for a great night? Well almost, but not exactly...

Saturday night, Non, IMOM, RobBob and I decided to head down to Chatt to enjoy dinner on the river and hopefully get a glimpse of the fireworks from Riverbend.

We walked in and the once "good food, good view, good music" venue had turned into a smoky sports bar. Fortunately for us, they had built a new deck so we hustled out and waited on our waitresses.

Needless to say, the service wasn't great, the atmosphere was on a slow decline, and the clientale left a bit to be desired. Let's just say I saw more wrinkled ta-ta's in corsettes than I need to for the rest of my life.

Overall, the following was accomplished...

Good conversation (check)
Good steak (check) even though it wasn't the one I ordered :)
Good view of the fireworks (check)
Good way to celebrate the Nonster (check)

We decided that we had to get out of their before eleven as we weren't sure what would happen for the late shift. Wasn't the worst date of my life, actually not even close...

Pool Time

We have spending quite a bit of time at the pool over the past few weeks. This weekend we got to enjoy some swim time with great friends. The kids look so cute with their little tan lines and sunkissed hair. I am enjoying my Friday's off and gearing up for the big NY trip in 11 days.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Casseroles for Cancer

I am sifting through my old emails and I found one from a teacher regarding some graduates from our school. Needless to say, I wish I had come across this blog sooner than now. I feel inspired...Check it out and see for yourself...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Non's Birthday

We had a great time celebrating Nonny's last year in her twenties at Las Margaritas tonight. The kids were super excited to have a birthday party for Nonny and even insisted on buying party hats and blowers.

The best part of the night was the surprise whip cream in the face by the waitor. Totally caught off guard.

So to celebrate her 29 are the most wonderful things about our Non:

1. She has great skin.

2. She can ride bike on one foot.

3. She is not that flexible.

4. She likes ice cream as much I do.

5. She does good eye makeup.

6. She always eats my food like its the best thing she's ever had.

7. She paints Lily's toenails.

8. She is an awesome teacher.

9. Her cake batter cookies...YUM!!!

10. Oh and her enchiladas.

11. She is NOT a morning person.

12. She could watch FRIENDS every second of the day.

13. She plays hard to get.

14. She helps me nag RobBob.

15. She looks cute driving her JEEP.

16. She gives me pedicures.

17. She loves the beach.

18. She naps while she's sitting up.

19. She always goes to get Mexican with me even when noone else will.

20. She's always looking up new fun things to do on the computer.

21. She almost broke the stolen base record at Lee.

22. She still helps me bathe the kids and put dishes away.

23. My eyebrows!!!

24. She celebrates holidays with as much gusto as I do.

25. She helps Robbie pick out my gifts (which makes for a much better gift :)

26. She understands Tate like I do.

27. Her hair always looks perfect.

28. She cries when she watches Extreme Home Makeover.

And last but not least...#29...She is family and my kids wouldn't know what to do without her!

Here's to one of the best ladies I know. Happy Life Nonny! So glad you were born today!!!

How Dare You????

Um hello???? Excuse me???? What the hayday is goin' on??? I walked out of my breezeway door on Tuesday morning with kids in tow, only to find this... are seeing correctly, my window smashed in by this big feller...

And my beautiful KMAC Creation purse swiftly taken out of the front seat and on to WalMart and the local gas stations for multiple purchases totaling $800.
A lot of chaos call to the bank, waiting on insurance adjuster...all while these two sit on the stairs waiting for the "policeman to come and fix the window."

What a pain in the neck it has all been? New license, new debit card, new window for my car, newfound paranoia of my neighborhood safety.

But the Lord is good to me (and apparently random thieves). WalMart called today and had nicely placed my KMAC Creation on the shelf. heard that prized Glass Slipper and Pretty Ditty are back to their rightful owner.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

K Day

This weekend we travelled to KY for Robbie to play in the K Day Golf Tournament. The boys were excited to get their pic taken with Coach Brooks, head football coach at UK...

While the boys played golf all day Saturday,

we took the kids to Edwinna's for some poolfun.

Later that night, we went to Virg's parents for a night of grilling, dancing, and hottubbing.

As you can see from the pics...there's never a dull moment with this crew.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Still Rockin'

Well folks...apparently we've been rockin for two weeks because I just noticed Thursday that my last post was forever ago. And as my loyal reader, Matt, informed me...I have nothing to do while I'm here in Kentucky, so I need to get that blog updated. Here goes...

Lily Kate Squared

Last weekend, Lily was invited to the birthday party of her closet friend in school, known as Lily J. They really love the fact that they share the same name. It wasn't until I got to the party that I found out Lily J. is actually Lily Kathleen and they call her Lily Kate just like our own little Lily Katherine. It's so funny when you ask Lily how to spell her name she says, "L-I-L-Y-O". She hasn't quite figured out that the "O" is the first initial of her last name. It's darn cute.

With our living/working situation, the kids have not had the opportunity to have a social network of friends. Of course, they enjoy playing with our friends' kids, but they don't have friends of their own from school or church that they can spend time with outside of school. It was so great to see Lily running around with her "two best girls", Gavin and Lily J. It totally foreshadowed our life over the next ten years and I gotta admit...I kinda liked it.

Since it was Lily's party, Robbie decided to take Tate to the golf course. They'd been going to the driving range (which I'll post about once I get pics off Robbie's phone), and Robbie promised him he would they would go so he, Michael and Connie took him. Somewhere around Hole #5, I got this picture, with the caption..."Nonny stop saying those words!"

All in all it was a great day. I'm looking forward to an awesome summer filled with bike rides, golfing, pool time, and overall fun before we start KINDERGARDEN!!!!

Picnic in the Park

I sat at the computer typing away and radioing across campus about a car blocking the garbage dumpster. It was an average day in the Campus Safety Office at Lee...the place I had called home for almost a year. I was planning to leave early from work to get on the softball bus and drive to western Tennessee, so I was slightly rushed trying to get all of my duties taken care of. I had heard of him, but had not yet met him. The new guys in town were causing quite a stir.


I must pause here to interject some information that is necessary for the context of the story...

#1 I am a people person...we all know that! Doesn't really matter much who you are, I'm going to greet you with a smile and try to make you feel as welcomed as possible.

#2 Not much of a basketball fan...I made a great basketball stat girl because I couldn't care less what was going on in the game.

#3 I played and coached a minor sport...drove my own bus, pitiful recruiting budget, working a FULL time job on campus alongside acting as assistant coach for the softball team.

#4 I had recently been CRUSHED not once, but TWICE in relationships. We won't go into details about that only to say I had sworn off men for at least a year. This day fell in month #3 of that promise.


So back to men causing quite a stir. New basketball coaching staff whirl on to campus and immediately we all know...Things are quite different now. I had heard the undercurrent..."Have you seen the new guy?" as they all look at the single, cute girl who has been devastated on two occasions. I give them the roll of the eyes and obligatory "I'm not dating this year. I'm rolling into the millenium solo...just me and the ole JC." Seemed to work...

For the time being anyway...

So, I'm working away trying to get all of my things done before I have to leave for my trip and in he walks.

Nike shorts

Golf shirt

Feathered over-product hair

Round glasses

A little arrogant

Totally NOT my type

Most importantly...almost irritated that this chic working in the campus safety office is one conversation between him getting his campus ID and all she was doing was "chatty chatty chatty" (in his words EXACTLY!).

He left.

I thought.

"Well he seems nice enough. Maybe I should make him a casserole."

He thought.

"Where's my cell phone? That girl took up WAY too much of my time."

That was our first meeting. Now, I could go on and on about what happened over the next six months but I can sum it up to pure work of God. A little golf, a broken bookshelf, and my mother who gently nudged me back on the dating scene with her best advice of my life, "How much more time are you going to give to (Boy #1)?" Stopped me dead in my tracks.

A few weeks and office emails later and we were inseparable. I still hated basketball and thought my sport got the raw end of the deal, but that fiesty competition kept us on our toes. It was quite unexpected and unpredictable. As a dear friend told the two of us the other night, "You two could not be more different, yet it works...somehow...someway."

And work it has.

He makes me rest, when I only want to go.
I make him feel, when all he wants to do is BE.

He watches The Bachelorette.
I watch basketball (sometimes!).

He eats meat and potatoes.
I eat veggies and pasta.

He snuggles with the kids in the bed every morning.
I take the kids to ride their bikes.
He overanalyzes and underreacts.
I overreact and miss half of what's going on.
Yin and Yang. Oil and Water. Robbie and Autumn.

Simply Stated..."Marriage takes work and the more you work the more marriage you get."

So, to celebrate the start of our 9th year of marriage, I decided to take us back to the place where it started. I sent him on a picture text scavenger hunt, until he found me...

Sitting in the Alumni Park at Lee...

We talked.

We planned.

We remembered.

I still hate basketball...

But, God I love that man.