Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Driving, turkeys and a whole lotta scooter riding

This year for Thanksgiving, we packed up the Subaru and headed north. We drove for almost a 1,000 miles to the great state of Iowa to spend the holiday with our extended family. First family road trip to Iowa ever. And I was dreading it like I dread cleaning my bathrooms. Not because I couldn't wait to see our family. Because. I. Hate. Driving. That. Far. I can recollect all of the long drives we used to take as kids without all the bells and whistles we have now. Like the DS. Or Leapster. Or iPods. A promise is a promise though and I told my aunt & uncle we would come so by God, we came.

Our little Native American

Delaney sporting her new Razor Graffiti Scooter she bought with her birthday money

Hadley riding on her new Barbie Scooter (her sister's old scooter). She is thrilled because it's not slow like her Dora scooter. She's not even allowed to look at her Barbie scooter unless she's wearing a helmet (yeah, it's that bad).

This is what much of Iowa looks like.

The girls thought it was so cool that cows were just grazing everyfreakingwhere.

Bundle up girls cuz it's cold outside!

Hadley & Uncle Brian (who is by far one of the best uncles in the whole wide world).

Aunt Shelly with the girls

Family shot (side note: I was thinking of using this picture on our family Christmas card but Doug shot that down immediately after seeing it as our background on the computer).

Action shot

Yes, scooters are even fun for adults!

Shelly was a bit more nervous than Brian...

We're breaking all the rules in Iowa! We don't need no stinking rules...(calm down people, we were in a secluded parking lot in the middle of nowhere).

Sm'ores time!

No...Delaney didn't like her sm'ores at all.

I haven't even looked at this game since junior high at least. They really should put a warning on the box that you might wanna stretch your muscles before attempting to contort your body into harmful positions.

Cousin Jenni with the girls

After we left Delaney openly sobbed her heart out for 45 minutes. This was taken later in the afternoon. Poor poopskie. You can't cry like that without taking a siesta.

We had such a good time. I have been unable to stop dwelling on the thought that maybe we need to be closer to our extended family. Being around them all made me miss the whole good chaotic feel that holidays have when you're surrounded by the folks you have all this history with. I loved seeing my cousins because there are 1,000 memories of playing in my grandma's basement with them as kids. Our family has the one uncle who has consistently been playing practical jokes on everyone since as far back as I can remember. He did not disappoint me this time either. I love how everyone shows up with tons of food and we sit around and eat and talk and eat and talk. Most of all, I love how even though it's been years since I've visited, it's like we pick up where we left off as if nothing ever changed. All still held together by the thread of family. And it's nice that the girls finally can put faces to names. Until our next visit, I will have to replay this one over and over.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For the man in our lives...

Someone here just had a birthday....but this person, let's call him Doug, does not like to celebrate his birthday. Why? Now that's a good question and one that I have yet to figure out. Maybe some childhood drama with a clown? Your guess is as good as mine. Dunno know. Nonetheless, that didn't stop the girls in this house from wanting to celebrate. I mean ALL the girls too just so you know. Cuz, we love our man, our daddy, our friend, my husband. He works hard every single day with little complaints to take care of us. We just wanted to show him that while we are not gonna throw a big party and embarrass him, we did want to celebrate. Kinda gangsta-style too.

We even hired a band! Too much?

The planner

The helpers

Birthday Boy with his girls

One of Delaney's gifts, a faux glittery poinsettia. Cuz you can always use one of these!

I love this picture! I love how proud she is of the card she made & how excited Doug got which made her very very happy.

Hadley figured Doug could use more sponges. You know, you can never really have enough!

Pin the tail on the donkey (Delaney insisted).

Some people claimed she was cheating for feeling on the door for the tail area. I say, we didn't establish any rules up front so who I am to call her a cheater?

#1 Doug

#2 Hadley

#3 Delaney

#4 Katie

Some of us ended up wearing more than eating. So glad I decided to wait on the baths.

Minimal mess & so pretty :)

So I got the idea from one of my favorite blogs to take the girls to the Dollar Tree & let them pick out gifts for Doug's birthday. I gave each girl a $3 limit and told them they could buy whatever they thought their daddy would like. Here's what the birthday boy ended up with:

Delaney: cell phone case, tape measurer, glittery faux poinsettia

Hadley: sponges, TV remote, mini light to attach to a book

It turned out to be so much fun from the gifts to the pin the tail on the donkey to the cake! We had a wonderful night and hope the man in our lives knows how much we all love and adore him! Happy Birthday Doug....here's to many many more!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Whatcha reading?

It's been a while since I've shared some of my favorite reads but I felt like I could NOT not share this book. My mother recently told me about it and I found it while scanning the shelves at Goodwill, which has become a great place for me to find cheap books. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a memoir written about her dysfunctional parents and her life with them. It was so good I can't even put it into words. My heart broke for the kids in this story. While there is serious neglect from the parents, I could not help but feel this tremendous love from the father. My emotions were constantly conflicting as I kept reading. Some pages I felt like I could seriously weep and others left me laughing out loud. A serious page turner and as far as I'm concerned, a MUST read. It left me feeling like there is nothing I can't handle or overcome with my own family. In the end, it's the bonds of childhood that hold us together throughout our lives.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My blue eyed girl...

Happy Birthday to my sweet, firstborn child. Delaney Grace. The girl that made me a momma. The girl that captured my heart in ways I could never have imagined possible. The girl that amazes me every single day of her life. I am including my favorite "story" that I picked up one day while shopping in Hallmark. I started crying right there in the store. I went back after Hadley was born so I could buy her a copy of her own as well. It's a "celebration of life, love and the bond between mother and child." Could not have said it better myself.

Someday by Alison McGhee & Peter H. Reynolds

One day I counted your fingers and kissed each one.

One day the first snowflakes fell, and I held you up and watched them melt on your baby skin.

One day we crossed the street, and you held my hand tight.

Then, you were my baby, and now you are my child.

Sometimes, when you sleep, I watch you dream, and I dream too....

That someday you will dive into the cool, clear water of a lake.

Someday you will walk into a deep wood.

Someday your eyes will be filled with a joy so deep that they shine.

Someday you will run so fast and so far your heart will feel like fire.

Someday you will swing high-so high, higher than you ever dared to swing.

Someday you will hear something so sad that you will fold up with sorrow.

Someday you will call a song to the wind, and the wind will carry your song away.

Someday I will stand on this porch, and watch your arms waving to me until I no longer see you.

Someday you will look at this house and wonder how something that feels so big can look so small.

Someday you will feel a small weight against your strong back.

Someday I will watch you brushing your child's hair.

Someday, a long time from now, your own hair will glow silver in the sun.

And when that day comes, love, you will remember me.