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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Three Years Ago Today

Three years ago today, my good friend Amy called me at 7am crying.  She said, "Something has happened to Brent!  I'm following the ambulance right now!"  She told me his symptoms.  It was pretty clear he was having a stroke.  I stood in my kitchen on my cell phone eight months pregnant crying and frantically trying to figure out how I could help her.  I got right to school and began talking with our friends.  Then we got another call from her.  It was indeed a stroke.  So bad they've moved him, already, from St. John's to St. Joe's.  Our compassionate principal let Laura and me go and visit.  We drove down there talking about how Brent is so athletic.  How could this happen to him?  What would we do if Amy lost her husband.  How can we help her cope?  We arrived to see our friend like we've never seen her.  She's a very strong woman.  Physically and emotionally.  There she sat slumped over and crying.  Cheeks and eyes red and ready for hugs.  We sat there for hours.  We ended up staying the whole day. When the principal came to visit she saw how shaken we all were and had us stay the day.  As the hours ticked by they told Amy they were unable to get the clot out in his brain.  There would be damage. 

We wondered what the future would bring.  The next day.  The holidays.  The next year. 

It's literally hard to believe THREE years have passed.  Brent has gone through hundreds of hours of therapy and treatments. 

Amy has gone through so much emotionally I can't even imagine.  She's in charge of so much at her house sometimes I can't believe it.  A couple weeks ago she lifted her snowblower into her truck and went to get a new tire for it.  I've never touched a snowblower in my life, let along lifted one.  She is amazing.

Here we are three years later.  They're going out tonight to celebrate.  Life. Love. Courage. Strength.

Amy recently recorded a radio commercial for the Courage Center.  It will play on 107.9 & Cities 97.  I hope you get a chance to hear it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our Christmas Card & Letter

I love to create our annual Christmas card.  I look forward to it from about September on.  I love the look through my pics to find the perfect ones.  To pick out outfits and plan photoshoots.  I love it.  It's a little piece of our family I mail out to over 100 addresses to say, "Hey!  Look at how happy/cute/fun/loving our family is!"  I love it!!  Here's 2010:
I love that we didn't do a Christmas shoot this year. 
This picture was taken on a very very hot August day.
It was a great family time.

Our Christmas letter this year:

We’ve been having fun decorating for Christmas and enjoying Christmas music. In the spirit of the song,

“My Favorite Things,” we’ve included a few of ours.
Christian’s favorite things: trains, Chuck E. Cheese, big boy underwear, running, balls, the beach, chocolate milk, dancing, building with blocks, fire trucks, jumping off of things, horses, the Children’s Museum, listening to stories & Old Country Buffet.

Victoria’s favorite things: art projects, Ms. Joy at pre-school, macaroni & cheese, the mall, Red Lobster, absolutely anything that has to do with Scooby Doo, stuffed animals, Underwater World, writing letters, movie night, being a flower girl, Grandmas and Grandpas, surprises, Girls’ Night Out & stickers.

Kelly’s favorite things: our backyard, supportive friends, Victoria’s questions and handwriting, Christian’s cuddles, smile & giggles, Skinny Girl, second graders, digital scrapbooking, family days (Saturday & Sunday), our godchild Walker, photography, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Kris our daycare mom, our kids’ amazing grandparents, craigslist & summers off.

Mark’s favorite things: hot summer nights, hugs, my wife, my children, Coors Lite, my new snow blower, the beach/ocean, ribs, mountains of Colorado, Mexico, my boat, the way my kids look at me while I work, Walker, Christmas (music, lights, etc.) & Quad Caulk.

These are a few of our favorite things.

Wishing you time to enjoy your favorite things in 2011.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Mark, Kelly, Victoria & Christian

Only ten days until Christmas.  The magic is in the air!  We've seen Santa several times.  The tree has been decorated (twice).  Most gifts are purchased (but not wrapped).  We've been enjoying a holiday story or two or three before bed each night.  I picked up a new copy of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas at the mall last night.  That was a pleasant surprise for them tonight. 

I love this time of year.  I can feel the memories being made.  It is the most wonderful time of the year.


As I previously blogged I loved Thanksgiving this year.  It was three days of family fun.

Do you think Christian likes pumpkin pie??

Victoria loves it too, she's just not quite so dramatic:)

Watching football.  Christian didn't stay put too long. 
However, he did want to feel like one of the big boys!

Getting ready to leave Grandma Jeanne & Papa Mark's.
Victoria will try to tie her shoes as long as you'll let her. 
Here she actually let Papa give her a lesson.

The grandchildren + Unlce Wayne

Will anyone look at the camera please??!!

Hangin' with Uncle Wayne. 
I think my brother loves rough housing with his only nephew.

Coloring and stickering with Mama Deb.

Boys having fun racing cars.
Christian looks like he's having the time of his life!!

It really was a terrific Thanksgiving!

Mini Van Drama

Yesterday I received a text from my husband asking me if I could stop by the Toyota dealership on my way home to look at a slightly used mini van that was just traded in. I needed to be there by 5.  Which I was.  I had to wait 20 minutes to see the mini van.  Then the back door was totally frozen shut.  I've been to the dealership before and have driven several mini vans with Vic telling me which route to take.  I hopped in and waited for him.  Then he comes back and says, "Take your time and enjoy!"  What?  All by myself in the dark and on icy roads??  He had to move 50 more cars before closing to get them plowed around.  Ok, I was off.  I decided I would drive it home for Mark to take a look.  The dealership is about a mile from our house.  I crossed the street and thought, "Wow, this handles really well in the. . .what is happening?  What is wrong?!?!?"  I RAN OUT OF GAS!  In the dark.  In ZERO degree weather.  Thankfully Vic gave me his card on the way out of the lot.  I called and he said he's on his way.  I could literally see the dealership in the rearview mirror.  It took Vic a whopping 22 minutes to bring gas.  An hour after I arrived at the dealership I finally made it home.  Neither Mark nor I were very impressed. As I was backing out of our driveway Mark came back out so I rolled down the window.  That sucker wouldn't go back up.  My patience were worn out.  Mark got in and drove it back to the dealership. 

I began eating dinner as the kids were finishing up.  Then they started playing a new game I've never seen before, "Hair Shop."  This is where Christian uses his little hands to flip around Victoria's hair like a little madman.  She says she likes it.  I told him to stop so he doesn't tangle her hair. 

Fast forward half an hour.  Mark was giving the kids a bath and called me to get him a comb for her hair.  He worked on it for a while.  Then I got her out and realized, the knot will never ever come out.  I secretly went to get the scissors and cut quite a large chunk of hair out of the back of her hair very slowly so she wouldn't hear the clipping.

By this time I was spent for the night.  We put them to bed early, 7:10 and I headed off to the grocery store.
Then I went to Michael's.  Then I still wasn't ready to go home.  I headed to the mall.  Mark called and said, "I don't want to bother you.  I just want to make sure you're ok." I replied, "I'm at the mall."  "Ooooh, you're fine.  See you later," was his response.  He knows shopping does a girl good.  Which it did.

Will I ever get a mini van?!  That is the question.

Monday, December 13, 2010

When Asked to Pose

The other day the kids looked so cute.  It may have been Thanksgiving.  I don't know, I just know they looked so darn cute I asked them to pose.  Literally.  I don't think I've ever used that term before.  Here's what I got:

This is the "I'm the big sister and I know what I'm doing here!!" shot.
Can you tell he's actually smiling?
He has already leanred her to push her buttons, I should have listed
that as one of his favorite things!

That's the awkward, "I'm two and I'm trying to fake smile" smile.

That's the, "Is this better??" shot.

This is the, "My mom reads US Weekly and
clearly leaves is lying around way too much." shot.

A little more natural. .  .

This is the,
"I've gotten my picture professionally
 taken nearly once a month for the last 4.5 years.  This is the way it's done" shot.