Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's either the British-inspired Thomas, or the well-mannered Chick-fil-A employees

Regardless of the source, we are benefitting from Seth's exposure to polite behavior.

Last week, we met Jim for an impromptu lunch at the golden arches. As we sat there in our sticky playplace booth, Seth carefully selected a french fry.

"Mommy, this is a french fry," he proclaimed to me. "It is de-wish-ous. Here, you have it!"

I took the fry, and gave it an enthusiastic taste, while Jim commended Seth on his generosity: "Buddy, thank you for sharing your fries with Mommy," to which Seth cheekily replied:

"Daddy, it was my pleasure!"

Too funny, let me tell you. Granted, he is as prone as the next three-year-old to throw a tantrum that will make you want to rip your ears off, but more often than not, he's pretty much the sweetest thing ever to be born.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


When we started to plan Nonna’s trip to Nashville, I was pretty sure (weather-permitting) it’d involve a trip to the zoo, to Cheekwood, to the fountains – pretty much anything we could do to be out in the sunshine, reserving indoor activities like a movie, the science center, or the library only if Mother Nature was PMSing.

The one exception that I was keeping under wraps was a Friday night “date,” just for the girls.  When I saw the line-up for July 1 at the Grand Ole Opry, I jumped all over it.  Darius Rucker (yes, Hootie himself!), the Jane Dear Girls, and more.

I hate to spend money, on anything, and I couldn’t quite bring myself to spring for the $60 tickets, but I got lucky with a pair of “cheap seats.”  Check it out:

rucker seats

When Jim and I went to the Opry back in ‘08, we had floor seats, and they were great, but I wanted to see how things would look from the balcony.  I know it’s further away from the stage, but I think we’ll have a good view of the whole house….and I think we got pretty lucky with the aisle seats up in the front.

So!  That’s what’s on the Momma-and-Nonna agenda to kick off our holiday weekend!

What’s on your calendar to jump start your long Independence Day weekend?

Friday, June 24, 2011

County Fair 2010

Yes, you read the title right.  That’s county fair 2010.  I started this post, and then…  Does that work as an excuse for an 11 month delay?  Well, regardless, the pictures are cute, so, I’m gonna post it anyway!

Last summer, on one of our many trips to Ohio, Gramp-e took us to the Lucas County fair.

ohio trip - 7.23 091

Discovery #1:  Seth is NOT a fan of the agricultural barn.  Not a fan AT ALL.

fair fear seth.23 117

Discovery #2:  Erin, also, is not so much a fan of the agricultural barn. lol!

fair fear.23 115  ohio trip - 7.23 116

Discovery #3:  Seth is a natural on horseback.  He loved it!  (Sidenote: we are going horseback riding when we go on vacation with Doug and Sara next month.  I can’t wait!)

ohio trip - 7.23 092  ohio trip - 7.23 097    ohio trip - 7.23 111    pony ride 001.23 098 pony ride 002.23 100 pony ride 006 wave.23 109 pony ride 008 pat.23 113

And seeing as how fair fare is ridiculously overpriced (and probably the most unhealthy food around), we opted for Chipotle for dinner, and boy, Seth did not disappoint.  He can put down a burrito bowl like it’s nobody’s business!

ohio trip - 7.23 118

Now, fast forward to 2011.  Gramp-e took us to the Rally by the Rails festival (back home) this past May, and while there weren’t pony rides, Seth had has first experience on carnival rides.  Mostly, he rode the kiddie train and motorcycles, but we also got him on the Tilt-A-Whirl, and he LOVED it!  Who knew?

ohio pre-mem day trip 014 ohio pre-mem day trip 007

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We’re zoo’ing it!

I have to say, me and zoos don’t have the best relationship.  It’s not the zoo’s fault.  It just seems like drama seems to follow me in through the turnstile.  But I’m pleased to report that our first summer trip to the Nashville Zoo earlier this month was a huge success.

We, of course, had to pick up Erin’s boyfriend Xander to tag along.
 june wk 1 001

Little Miss in her protective sun gear.
 june wk 1 002

$100 to the person who can find Seth in this picture:

june wk 1 003 
Of all the animals in the zoo, the boys seemed to be most fascinated with the coy fish.  Seriously?june wk 1 004 june wk 1 005 june wk 1 006 june wk 1 007 
I personally, loved the flamingoes.  It was a new exhibit since my last visit in ‘09.

june wk 1 009

june wk 1 008 june wk 1 010
And, or course, the majestic elephants, which was our last stop of the day, given the fact that it was 96 degrees by the time we made it to this section of the zoo.  (Translation = way too hot to keep site-seeing.

june wk 1 011 june wk 1 012 june wk 1 013

We bought a zoo membership this year, so I’m hoping to get back next week when Nonna visits, and maybe have a daddy-date, too, in early July.  And maybe, just maybe, since we gets reciprocal membership at the Toledo Zoo, we’ll try that again, too, the next time we’re back in Ohio.

Have you been to the zoo yet this year?  What is your favorite exhibit?

Monday, June 20, 2011

It’s either the hair, or the glasses

Thursday of last week was an EARLY day around these parts.  Like, day-started-at-3:30 AM- early.  That said, nobody judge that we were noshing on microwave popcorn at 10:30.

Popcorn at our house isn’t that noteworthy.  Distraction popcorn isn’t that noteworthy, either.  But I chose to document this particular snack, though, because Seth had me rolling on the floor with his commentary as he waited and watched the corn pop.

june wk 2 006

“Mom, check it out, I hear it!”

“Mom, just you wait, it’s gonna get bigger and big!”

“Mom, you get that bowl, and I get the biggest bowl!”

“Mom, do you see, do you see?  Who’s in there on the poppin’ bag?  It’s Colonel Sanders!!!”

Too.  Funny.

Funnier, because we have fed Seth KFC all of once in his entire life… he even knows who the chicken maven is, let alone enough to confuse him with good ol’ Orville is beyond me!

cs or

Friday, June 17, 2011

Drives me nuts…

But it’s relatively harmless (to both them and the couches),

And it keeps them happy for a good while,

And it’s one of the few things they can “play” together,

So I suppose I shouldn’t roll my eyes too heavily,


june wk 2 009
Man, it drives me nuts!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Thursday: early (2:30AM is early!!!) morning wake-up with a feverish Seth; no VBS; pack the car: hugs Miss Tiff’ny bye; 0 miles-per-hour construction traffic on I-71 in KY; Greema’s driveway at 1 AM and a 40+ degree temperature drop.

Friday: rain, rain, rain and COLD (wardrobe severely lacking in the warm dept –oops!); lots of hugs and tears and “look how far we’ve all come” memories exchanged; diet blown on yummy funeral luncheon desserts; date night at Pizza Papolis, Kohls, and (oh-how-I’ve-missed-you!) Handel’s; first hot tub foray in over 4 years; and Seth, back in our bed (what is up with that?) at 2 AM.

Saturday: lazy morning; shipped the cranky boy off to a day of fountains and movies with Grampe; Hobby Lobby and WalMart fun with the best MIL in the world; cookout with Doug and Sara and Sara’s homemade angel food cake and homemade whipped cream (yum!).

Sunday: early departure; Meijer run for AAA batteries for DVD headphones; Covington, KY Chipotle with pretty much the rest of the entire world; way too many potty breaks in KY; home by 5 PM; pasta for dinner; Kroger run for milk and bananas; bath, bottle, bed for the littles; The Next Food Network Star; and a sweet (uninterrupted!!!!  all night!!!!) sleep in my own bed.

Glad to be home.  Stumped on the week’s meal plan and grocery list. Forecast says rain all week but today; need to get to the greenway at some point today.  Want to pick up some cheery geraniums for the pots on the front porch.  Want more for it to be 2 weeks and 3 days from now so I can head to the airport to pick up NONNA!!!!!  Patience; it’s not so much my virtue…. And now you’re caught up.

Oh, yeah.  Erin took her first steps over the course of the last few days.  She’s getting braver and surer, but she is still pure speed on her knees.   Just a little bit longer!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

VBS week

It has been a crazy week around here.  It’s VBS week at our church, so that means early mornings up and out the door, and getting home tired and hot!

I’m working on the registration and administration team, so I’m getting the chance to put some names with faces, and meet several families from our neighborhood.

Erin is pseudo-enjoying her time in the nursery with “the boys” (she is the only girl in the nursery right now!):


And of course, Seth is loving hanging out with his “bestest friends” all day long:
Thursday was going to be our last day of VBS, as we’ll be heading to Ohio for Zachary’s funeral, but 2 AM brought Seth to our bed with a 102 fever, so we’re just chillin’ at home today.  I’m hoping that he is just a little run down from all the fun, and that a quiet morning, and an even quieter afternoon of movie-watching, car-riding “fun” will be just the ticket to get him back to normal…

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

Seth was at my side as I was scrolling through Facebook posts in the wake of the news that Zachary had gone to be with Jesus at 4:24 pm, June 5, 2011.

As he looked at Stephanie’s profile picture – a sad, but radiant mommy holding her sweet baby, free of feeding tubes and wires – he said to me, “Mommy, she is doing a great job taking care of Baby Zach!”  He paused, and then continued:  “In heaven, Zach won’t need his carseat, and he can eat Duncan’s cupcakes!!!”

Amen, dear Seth.

No more restraints, and bring on the cupcakes!  Sweet Zach is now healed and whole forevermore!

Sweet baby….


As of early Sunday afternoon, Zach has slipped into a coma.  Craig and Steph may only have a few hours before their precious baby is ushered into the joy of heaven.

It’s silly, really….everything I know and believe about my faith tells me that the very moment this precious soul is in heaven, he will know nothing but praise and adoration for his Maker.  Yet in my heart, I still cling to a mommy’s hope that my own sweet boy is waiting to welcome him to his eternal home, and that they will go off, hand in hand, to be the best of friends that they were not able to be here on earth…

Please continue to pray for Stephanie, Craig, and Aaron; their families; our family as we grieve with them; and for all of those who have been touched by Zachary’s life.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

In the waiting and the why….

My heart is so heavy tonight.

My sweet friend Stephanie is preparing to say goodbye to her son, 10-month-old Zachary Paul.

We were so innocent and naive back in 2007 when we all (we, being me, Steph, and our mutual friend Kristen) got pregnant with our first babies. 

msg krr swb edit 
Then I lost mine, and Steph lost hers.  And although we went on to have my Seth in December ‘07, and then her Aaron almost a year to the day later in ‘08, we have both been asked the unthinkable -- to give our second-born sons back to their Maker.

Stephanie and her husband Craig have a handful of days left with their sweet boy….please, please bathe this family that means so much to us in your prayers.  They need a grace and peace that no parent should have to muster, and although I know that they are clinging to the hope of heaven, there is no grief like that of a parent who has to say goodbye so soon…..


You can read more about Zach’s precious fight for his life here.  I know that your prayers and words of encouragement will mean the world to Craig and Steph.