Monday, September 11, 2017

Weekend Shenanigans

Friday night Football (who am I kidding- I am here for the band)

It was Madison's first performance in uniform for the season.
There is nothing as terrifying for this Momma then watching 275 "identical" students marching around the field.

Madison is in the first row of Marchers (behind the pit- standing) 4th from the left for the opening. I lose her in the beginning of Part 2 but am told that I will easily be able to find her when they perform part 3 :)
She loves what she does and we are so excited to watch her soar.
They will perform in their first competition this weekend in Canton, Ohio. She is really excited.

 Saturday birthday parties
Don't they look thrilled 😉
But they actually really enjoyed themselves.
 Sunday Slushies

This Momma is really struggling with her Moopers growing up- 15, learning to drive, a sophomore.
I often get teary just thinking about how quickly the next few years will fly by.
There are days her teenage-ness drives this Momma a bit nutty. Times when I wonder if she really gets it. When the hint of selfishness creeps into our home.
And then moments like this... a text telling me she brought me a frozen coke because she loves me
When she asks to take a slushie selfie and can we cuddle on the couch that my heart nearly explodes for this amazing blessing of a daughter.
And I remember that tomorrow isn't here yet, there is still time and I know exactly how I want to spend it.
Loving my Sparkles :)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sew Thankful

One of the things I missed while going through chemo was the time to sew and create.
And while I am no where close to where I was prior to treatment and everything takes significantly longer then it did previously- I am thankful to the blessing of sewing in my life.

I started with a project I began a year ago...
Happy Fall Y'all

 I had a few extras... guess I got a little pumpkin excited :)

I also strapped on my Bravery and signed up for a sewing class.
My wingman for the evening was a dear friend who also sews.

We tackled learning ZIPPERS :)

Getting started....
There were moments of joy and moments of complete frustration.
Moments of clarity and moments of utter confusion

In the end, my project looked as expected, I gained a skill (hopefully) and I learned a valuable lesson.

I learned that its good to try new things, its good to have an idea in mind but success (in this case finishing the project) does not mean a milestone is crossed off the list.
Going to a sewing class does not mean I am ready to do full time sewing.
Going to one class does not mean I am ready to take another
One evening of bravery does not mean strapping on the badge of bravery in all situations and circumstances
I learned that I am still on the road to progress that my limitations are still greater then my accomplishments.
I learned that its always wise to try but even wiser to accept the lessons learned.

And I am reminded, normal will return and there is much to look forward to in the future.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day

A blessed 3 day weekend to spend together as a family.

Our adventures might be ordinary but everything is better together.

Madi is a great Big Sister... giving the littles piggy back rides around the park trails

 The Sparkles laughing and telling stories together.
I love watching the world through their eyes
 Ice Cream from our favorite ice cream shop... Danny's Mexican Ice Cream
 Even a trip to Lowes isnt so bad when we go together...
Might Daddy pushing the sparkles around :)
Our weekend was filled with a little bit or work, a little bit of play and a whole lot of together time.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Date Night

Convertible Cruisin'
Wine Sipping
 Taco Eating
Perfect Evening with my love

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Our second weekend adventure arrived early Monday morning- 4am-as we dressed and loaded up Albert to begin our drive to view the eclipse.

Plans for experiencing the eclipse had been in the works for many months but the final decision of where to watch it (and who would be going) was not decided until later Sunday night when the weather could be confirmed to be clear.

The final decision was for the entire family to go and experience the phenomenon in Carthage, Tennessee.

Our day of travel included 17.5 hours start to finish and over 600 miles.

There was a lot of sleeping, a bit of grumbling, and many memories made.

We arrived a couple hours before it would begin to ensure we could scope out the best spot, set up the 3 cameras and be ready when it began.

Its GO time
 Attempting to use the cereal box pin prick viewers... interesting to use, Once
First views

Snuggles in the shade

 Daddy... way out in the field taking more pictures
Its an eerie feeling to have darkness descend on you in the middle of the day, creeping across the sky, cooling the scorching heat and leaving you wondering is this really happening.

But it did!


This is one of my favorite pictures of the day.
In the midst of the eclipse the Sparkles wanted a family picture- best i could do was a Momma selfie with Daddy in the background (there was no way he would leave his camera)
 What I didn't realize was that Daddy was taking the same picture of us (you can just see the light from my phone in the right corner of the picture)
We were both able to capture different aspects of this amazing experience and are blessed to have shared it together.

After totality, we stayed another hour in our spot watching the remainder of the eclipse, packing up Albert and reading the first Harry Potter as Daddy wanted to photograph the entire experience. Then we headed to Pizza Hut (which we found on our earlier surveillance) before beginning the long trek home.
Unlike many of the horror stories we heard from others or the fears of the news, our drive home was uneventful and the same length as our arrival (thanks to Daddy's amazing navigation skills and willingness to forge along roads and routes less traveled)

A stop for dinner and fuel was our only delay and we were home around 10:30pm.

Was it worth the 12 hour drive... most Sparkles would agree it was not
But who can really put a time limit on family memories

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Chicago Air Show

We woke up early Saturday morning (and decided it was too early so went back to sleep) then got up a couple hours later and loaded the Littles into Albert for our first of the weekend adventures....

The Chicago Air Show

The drive was fairly smooth and we made good time into the city.
Both Rob and I had forgotten that it has been several years since the Littles were with us to visit Chicago and the awe and wonder in their voices as we drove between the skyscrapers was adorable.

We found our parking garage (pre-paid), gathered our things and headed out to load the shuttle to the waterfront.
Part of our parking packaged included a FREE shuttle to the beach. The shuttles were school buses and while some might be disappointed or unhappy with this set up, this Momma was thrilled. (yes these days I am easily amused).
My excitement came from experiencing an every day "normal" with my littles. They ride the bus every morning and afternoon to and from school. So getting to see them climb aboard, sit in their seats (watching them pick their choices) and then riding along with them gave this Momma a slice of normal that has been missing the last year. I saw the ride through Cooper's eyes (about 3 inches above the lower edge of the window :) and listened to him count the cars and trucks go by. And even nod off to sleep as we rode back after the air show.

 Lillian's constant chatter to Daddy put a smile on my face as I heard her happily chatting about this and that and everything in between.
It was a great start to our day.

The shuttle was a quick ride to waterfront where we unloaded and began the short trek to find a spot to sit.

Once the sheet was laid out, the chairs set up and a snack passed out we quickly into our roles....
Chair Lounging Momma
Cuddler Cooper
and Alternating Lillian

Daddy was in his happy place taking pictures of fast planes

While the sun was hot there was a nice breeze throughout the afternoon and we watched a few of the planes before deciding on lunch

A bit more plane watching before and afternoon ice cream snack to cool the Littles down.

The final performance of the day was the Blue Angels

Lillian and Daddy enjoyed heading closer to the water front while Cooper and I stayed behind on our spot.
The perfect view for Cooper... not too close and as quiet as we could make it for him

 Taking a sand break- he was pretty bummed most of the day that I didn't bring him shovel and bucket (next time Bubba Momma will have more time to plan and be ready).
With the Air Show complete we heading into the crowds to head back to our shuttle and our car. It was a bit longer of a wait but the time passed quickly and soon we were headed to our final destination.
Gene and Judes for hotdogs.

Anyone who knows me well knows my love of hotdogs and Gene and Jude hotdogs in particular.  Maybe its childhood nostalgia or loving whats familiar but I would always argue that I love them because they are Amazing.
I am reminded frequently by my parents (whom I ask every time they go to the city if they will bring me back a hotdog) that Gene and Judes is out of the way (out in the suburbs of Chicago) and never on the way home but with my husband I rarely have to ask... he just knows

As we drove the 30 minutes out of our way to get hotdogs he said... "it was either bring you with me or have the car smell like hotdogs for 4 hours- I would rather bring you with me :)
Oh this man loves me 😍
 The line was short by Gene and Jude standards (only one wrap around) and I soon had the deliciousness in my hand.
 Nothing tastes better then the first bite (and yes we are sitting in a McDonalds eating as there are no seats at the hotdog stand and Cooper preferred a happy meal since he didn't want his fries touching his hot dog)

With our stomachs full of hotdog yumminess we loaded Albert and headed toward home.
It was a long day but filled with memories and lots of wonderful food.

Until our next adventure.

Friday, August 11, 2017

For the Love of Coffee :)

I figured with the newness of Remission and the still missing routine and norm to my days, some of you may be missing my frequent coffee and Starbucks post.

Never fear, its always a good day for Coffee

Ready to take on the days adventures

My days better then yours

That was the recent message I sent to Rob while he was away on a business trip...

Cooper Snuggles
Cookies and
Harry Potter movies

 then an after dinner Ice Cream run
A blessed day :)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


With Daddy away, Nana wanted to be sure Momma wasn't lonely so when she found a Dory fish she just had to buy it.

She made a quick bedtime drop off for of the new Cuddle.

The littles squealed with delight... and quickly negotiated a rotation for who would sleep with Dory and when.
Cooper- Sunday
Lillian- Monday
Madison- Tuesday
Then start Over
Cooper- Lillian- Madison
Cooper- Lillian- Madison

Notice who's missing... Momma

But Momma doesn't mind sharing with her sparkles.

Sweet dreams my loves