Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 3

Family Vacation Continues with DAY THREE: Making mini sailboats - Family Olympics begins - 3 legged race - sack race - water balloon toss - sponge relay - Laughter abounds - Swimming off pontoon boats - lots more flying across lake on tube - trying new foods (shrimp and grits) - evening boat ride - husband with great attitude (even though pulled something in his back and can hardly move) - sneaking more zingers from freezer - gold medalists standing on cooler to receive medals - spa treatments (pedis, manis, waxing) - kids collapsing at end of day - bonding

Monday, July 30, 2012

Family Reunion (Through My Eyes)

This is our Home Sweet Home for this week (Lake Gaston, NC). The place where we have gathered to celebrate the life of Gram and enjoy the gift of family. As Mike said, "I think I can force myself to enjoy this place for a week!" ha,ha! I'm waking up to day 3, but I wanted to pause and capture a few of the moments from the first couple of days.

DAY ONE: Evening arrival - hugs - excitement - running through enormous home - hide n go seek with cousins - laughing - smiling - catching up - unloading vehicles - sitting on porch watching storm blow in - lights flicker - power out - no phone signals - darkness - flashlight hide-n-go seek - shadow pictures on the wall - illumination once again   - cheering - jumping on my bed with niece - cousins showing each other favorite dsi games- happiness - everyone has arrived safely (I wonder how many thousands of miles were driven to get here?!)

DAY TWO: Sleeping in - kids laughing through the intercom system on every floor of the house - choosing Family Olympic Teams - finalizing upcoming Olympic events - niece opening slightly late birthday gift - giving said niece piggyback down to the dock - hanging out dockside - clam hunting -  pontoon arriving - surprise, renting a second pontoon too - happy husband getting to be 'captain' for the week - enjoying breeze through my hair and sun on my skin on the boat - Kids loading pontoon slightly past capacity (they're small, right?!) - tubing with cousins - learning family traditions (like sneaking zingers out of the freezer) - playing farkle - reconnecting - exhausted kids - exhausted parents - late yummy dinner off grill - watching Olympics - Playing Train Dominoes - cousins  bonding - exhausted kids crashing - watching Jordan Weiber lose Olympic spot :( - parents licking peanut butter pie filling off spoons - contentment

DAY THREE: Drifting up the stairs I already hear the sounds of feet running through the hall, kids excitedly playing, parents visiting, breakfast dishes clanging. Oh, sweet day ahead!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Party, not a Funeral

Looking forward to 28 of us gathering at the Lake House for a week of celebrating the life and legacy of Mike's Gram! (She requested a party instead of a funeral...so a week long party is ahead!) Giggles, scrabble competition, cousins, splashing, laughter, memories, balloon launch, family olympics, too much food, and thousands of photos attempting to capture it all! But I will miss Gram sharing it all with us! I really do hope there are windows in the floor of heaven so she can peek down on us!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This n That

First, I got my first rejection letter from a publisher this week.  It's okay though. Dr. Seuss was apparently rejected by 26 publishers or something like that, before his work got picked up.

Second, I can't believe school is just a few weeks away - we got school supplies and first day of school outfits this week. Geez. Ready or not, here we come Middle School!

Which brings me to the third thing, I do not want to spend the rest of my life being a substitute teacher, but, what oh what, am I suppose to do next? Go back to being a social worker -- so stressful (seriously, not worth 'death threats'!). Pursue a writing career -  feels like a needle in the haystack. Go back to Admin work - kinda enjoyed that, but pay is horrible.  What, oh what? Oh to go back 20 years ago when I graduated High School and my future 'mapped out' looked so clear -- be a teacher, raise a family.  When you are younger everything had a different perspective.

I LOVE the life I'm living...I just wish I could get this 'career' thing figured out! And then there is this to consider...


But before I have to figure out a career and head back to school - I have a friendship to enjoy for the next several days - and we still have a trip to NC to sneak in! A week long celebration of family and celebrating the life and legacy of Gram.  24 of us in one house (13 of which are under age 11) - and 4 others in the 'quieter house'.  Looking forward to the loud, laughter, craziness of family!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Michigan Memories

I know I posted our vacation pictures on facebook, but I just wanted to put a few on my blog - a random assortment of memories - captured in time - remembering some of the happy moments spent with family. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Road Trip Bucket List

Stuck on the bridge for 20 minutes today trying to get back to
Missouri, had this view of the Arch! Beautiful Clouds today!  I wonder
how many times I've crossed the Mighty Mississippi in the past 16 years?! 
When I had seen this idea to do a Road Trip Bucket List at The Happy Family Movement, I immediately set out to make my own list for our next road trip.  Well we just returned from the road trip to Michigan (1300 miles roundtrip) - and this may be one of the 'funnest' times we've ever had in the car, thanks to our Bucket List!  "The List" forced us to take frequent stops and encouraged us to enjoy the journey! I'm already working on a new list for our next trip, which will include some of the same and some different ones!

So, it's a toss up, which one of these things caused the most laughter...

  • Chinese Fire Drill
  • Bubble Gum blowing contest
  • All 4 of us going down a slide at the same time

And these were definitely the most yummy...

  • Buying Ice cream
  • Getting slushies

The hardest ones...

  • Saying the alphabet backwards
  • Thinking of A to Z memories from our trip

The ones we got the most exercise from...

  • Finding a geocache
  • Playing Tag at a rest area
And lastly some of the cutest pictures...

  • Stopping an advertised billboard (the world's largest rocking chair!)

  • Getting girls picture next to a statue (Jesse James)

  • Running through a field (which happened to be at the giant cross we always drive by)

Yes, there is definitely joy in the journey, if you take time to enjoy it! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Merry 4th of July!

We went ice skating on the 4th of July (a first!) This kinda made it feel a bit more like Christmas than the 4th of July...so I joked with the girls we should call this our Merry 4th of July...and I kept saying it to Sarah 'cuz she kept giving me this 'look' every time I said it! ;) Well I forgot my camera and left my phone in the car during ice skating, so I have no pictures, but the news was there and they did get a good shot of Mike and the girls skating. The girls are wearing blue jeans and orange sweatshirts. (Yes, it was 100 degrees outside! Such a refreshing activity to do in the summer heat!) Here's the link to the news story.

Here we are celebrating America's Birthday at Hammon's Field. How fun it is to sit on the softest grass ever on the baseball field to watch the fireworks!

And this must be the week for the Baker Family to be in the news, because Sarah made the paper for swim team too.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This Fairy Tale Life

I woke up and read a friend's facebook post this morning (she'd posted it late last night), which said, "Happy birthday to my 39 year old hubby...amazing man!", and I was reminded that it was at his birthday party 21 years ago, I first laid eyes on Mike. Oh we were both too shy to actually even speak to each other that night, but I definitely remember giggling with my friends about this 'new cute guy'! He wouldn't ask me out on a date until two months later, the week before he was to leave for college, but well, here we are living some kind of fairy tale life all these years later...

I texted him and told him that if I knew then what I know now, then I would have kissed him right then and there! Ha, ha, I know...I couldn't even bring myself to say hi that night!

Our first year dating.

And here we are last week. 
And lastly, I must say, that I'm kinda sad that we've gone all the way through our Z to A summer already, and today is our last day, "A Day" - but I am happy because that mean's I get to eat Andy's Frozen Custard today! I'd say that's the perfect way to celebrate 21 years of living this fairy tale life with our two princesses!