Friday, September 30, 2011

A-ga - Sister

This morning is the first time Isabelle actually said Cadence's name. Since she started talking a little she has always (for some unknown reason) called Cadence a-ga instead of sister. In our family we just know what she is saying. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Birthday Celebration!

We celebrated the September birthdays at Dylan's school. There were 5 this month! The parents planned a little party for them at the end of their day yesterday in the cafeteria.

It started with cup cakes, then popsicles and apple cider and ended with 2 goodie bags to take home. Needless to say, kids were super excited!

There are around 34 kids in both the 1st grade classes. Parents probably were wondering why their kids were so hyper when they got home! :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Super Mario & Princess Peach Party!

This weekend we celebrated Dylan's 7th birthday and Cadence's 4th Birthdays!!

Dylan came up with the idea of having them do a Super Mario & Princess Peach party. :)

I made the above mural (although got the idea online). Dylan loved it, when I put it up the morning of the party he kept telling me he couldn't stop looking at it. :)

We rented a huge water slide which the kids loved. They played all day on it...long after the party was over. Even Mark gave it a try before everyone showed up. :)

The girls made princess wands with glitter glue & colored princess pictures.

Lunch time was punch, hot dogs, watermelon and cheese balls...and the cheese balls were a huge hit with the kids! I wanted to keep it simple and things the kids would like.

Aunt Michelle came to town for the weekend of festivities! The kids were so excited she was here. Isabelle started to fade as the afternoon went on, she crawled up on Michelle's lap for a little rest. :)

We also had a snow cone machine!

Somehow Grandpa R. became the snow cone maker in the afternoon. So fun!

Homemade chocolate/vanilla swirl cupcakes for Dylan

and strawberry cupcakes for Cadence.

We waited until most of the kids had left to open gifts. In years past it was just too much chaos, so I decided to wait for things to calm down so the kids could really enjoy opening each gift. Dylan and Cadence took turns opening. Cadence really wanted the Tangled doll in picture above, she is super excited about it!

Dylan also enjoyed all his gifts!

It was such a fun day.

I was excited about how excited they were about their party. :)

Happy Birthday Kids!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lego Engineering Class

Dylan is taking a after school program called Lego Engineering.

This week they built a catapult and last week they built a vehicle that had a motor attached. It's teaching him different terminology and he is understanding how things work. The program encourages them to bring a camera and take pictures since they don't get to bring their creations home. These are the only ones he took! I was hoping for a little more. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cadence's School Project

Cadence had her first homework assignment last week.

She had to do a poster of her favorite things. She loved every moment of working on it!

1. Favorite color - purple

2. Favorite food - fruit

3. Favorite book - "That's not my fairy"

4. Favorite toy - My little pony

5. Favorite letter - C

6. Favorite number - 10

7. Favorite game - Candy Land

She also came home today with her 1st progress report. Her teacher says she listens to instructions well, holds pencil & scissors correctly and understand new concepts. But she needs to work on doing things by herself first then asking for help and not interrupting during "circle time". :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Cadence

Happy Birthday Cadence!

We celebrated Cadence turning 4 yesterday. It was a quiet day (Mark is out of town in Austin for the music festival). Cadence had a sleep over at Maggie's on Friday night...the first "real" one. Kati let them lay in bed and watch a movie and stay up late. :) She came home in the morning to our yardsale that was happening. Then in the afternoon we went to icecream together with Maggie.

I gave her a little gift to open on her actual birthday. We're having the party with Dylan this coming Saturday which is where the "big" celebration will happen!

It was a craft table she can use in her room. She loves it and right away set everything up just the way she wanted it. :)

In the evening Dylan's old preschool was having a BBQ & movie night (Rio). So we spent the night with Maggie as well enjoying the movie. It's a super cute movie!

More to come with birthdays soon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Cadence: Well Dylan, that is a angel in this picture
Dylan: No, it is a fairy
Cadence: That's the same thing
Dylan: No way it isn't. A fairy is like the tooth fairy and she is pretend. Angels are real things and they are here to protect us.
Cadence: Oh, ok.

Love overhearing these kind of conversations :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Today when we were leaving the library there was a woman who was dressed from head to toe, covering all but her eye area. I can't remember what religion it is.?

Cadence comes in close and whispers to me,
"Mom, she looks like someone from Star Wars."

So glad she whispered. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's 2:50 am and once again I can't sleep...

Last week my mom told me about a Martha Stewart essay contest that is suppose to be written about a time when you have experienced love. She had thought of Mark and the video that he had made for Lincoln's birthday and she thought we should submit that. But Mark had actually written the below piece years ago. If for nothing else it was good to revisit these emotions.

I love the way Mark writes and tells stories.

It’s 2:50am and once again I can’t sleep. Sometimes I feel as if he has completely rearranged my life…like he’s come inside of my heart and simply moved the furniture around. It’s still my furniture; it’s just not where I left it. But now that I think about it, isn’t that the way it should be? Is it possible to lose something you love and not feel as if your life has been rearranged? If so, maybe it wasn’t really love. If that is the case, I welcome the new arrangement. Although unsettling, I have proof that I have experienced the result of true love. Some people may live a lifetime and not experience this type of rearrangement…I don’t know if I should count them blessed or have pity. Maybe a little of both.

The one year anniversary of my son Lincoln’s birth was especially hard. I remember being flooded with memories…memories of the hospital, coming home, watching Jill hold him, the funeral. But none was more painful than writing him a birthday card and leaving it at his grave. I remember going to Walgreens and looking through the cards for about an hour. I wanted to make sure I found the right one. This was a surreal experience because I knew he would never read it but I still felt like it needed to be done…like I still had some things to tell him. It didn’t matter that he wasn’t going to read it, because reality is my heart still bleeds, feels, loves and knows. I remember holding him at night and whispering in his ear, “I love you, I love you…I know you don’t understand what I’m saying but I can’t stop telling you.” Buying the card gives me this image of a teenager pulling away in his car when his dad suddenly realizes he forgot to tell him something important. The dad is waving his hands in the air, but the kid never sees him and keeps on driving. In this story the kid never returns.

I sat in my car at the cemetery for about 30 minutes before I ever wrote a word. I didn’t know how to start this kind of letter. So I just wrote the first thing that came to mind. “Your mom and I miss you.” After the words made it to page, I just sat there and wept…simply reduced to a whimpering child. I tried to think of something else to write but nothing else came to mind. So I just sat there content with my one line. Ten minutes later my hand starts on the next sentence. Then another. Then another. Before you know it I’ve run out of space. I wrote it all so fast that I had to go back and reread my own words. The line I remember most is, “mom hasn’t been the same since you passed away. I think when you passed, a piece of her passed as well.”

I used to think that the goal of healing after tragedy is to recapture this part of your self that is missing. You know, to go back to the way things were. I don’t know if that is true any more. I think I’ve finally become content that my life will never be the same…that the new furniture arrangement is the way it’s going to stay. I’ve come to embrace that a piece of my wife has passed as well. I once heard an amputee say that he was grateful to be alive and that he had adjusted to his new life. He had learned how to function in a society of non-handicaps. He began to laugh again, form new relationships, and found a new job. But no matter what, that didn’t change the fact that every time he looked in the mirror he saw his leg was missing. That is how I feel. That piece that’s missing, that piece that keeps me up at night, that piece that has rearranged my life, these things exist because…I loved my son…I loved him infinitely…and I can’t stop if I tried. That is what I’ve come to live with.
One last thing, if I could somehow change the story it would go like this. My son was pulling away in his car when I remembered I forgot to tell him something. I waved my arms in the air as high as I could. He glanced in his rear view mirror and saw me standing there. He turned the car around and drove back towards home. My son pulled in the driveway, rolled down the window and asked, “what is it dad?” I would tell him, “I love it when you’re home and hate it when you’re gone. Can you stay with me a little bit longer?”

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pick my battles

This morning Isabelle was wanting to eat her cereal breakfast on top of the counters. Instead of making this a battle, I decided what is the harm...she can eat up there. She was pretty excited about the privilege. I sat in a chair nearby and ate my breakfast.

I guess I should have fought the battle of having her get down and saved myself the clean up.
Lesson learned for next time. :)