Friday, August 25, 2017

Date Night

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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Another adventure

Making Homemade Salsa 

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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A new Campus

This Sunday our church launched its 4th campus just around the corner from our house. 

We were so excited to serve and attend this momentous occasion. 
The girls and I are serving in Kids Ministry (Madison loves on the babies and Lillian and I wiggle and worship with the early preschool kids). Rob helps with set up and will soon be drumming with the worship team and Cooper is Cooper- spreading joy wherever he goes. 

My boys 😍Heading into church 
We are so excited for this new adventure to serve our community and look forward to the many stories we will have to tell. 

Friday, August 4, 2017


Another school year, another band season and with band comes Fundraising :)

Our band does a fantastic job of providing opportunities for the students to fund raise for their band fees and this year for their big trip to Texas.

Madison chose to participate in the 2nd annual Rockathon.
She gathered her sponsors (THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!), collected her funds, loaded up her rocking chair and headed to complete the 12 hour adventure.

Madison arrived at school at 7pm Friday night (after a full day of school and home for a quick dinner)
She turned in her funds and selected her spot.
 A quick hug goodbye and a see you in the morning and she was ready to go.

It wasn't all rocking but it sure was a lot of fun...

Playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch

 Reading her favorite book series- the Sisters Grimm

And even a mid evening selfie for Momma

Then at 6:30 Saturday morning Daddy picked her up.

With the Rockathon complete she could finally sleep...

at least for 2 hours before she had to be up and ready to return to school for mini band camp (10am-5pm).

 Madison survived the practice (with a little bit of sunburn) and was home and in bed by 7pm.

We are so proud of her and her willingness to try new things, make friends, and put in the hard work necessary (even when your tired).

Her efforts were worth it and she raised the ENTIRE amount necessary to fund her trip to Texas this year and a bit extra toward her band fees.

I am not sure if there will be Rockathons in her future but the memories will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Adventure

A new month
a new adventure- Out into the world without a scarf 

Another step in the journey...