Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saying Goodbye

This weekend was a difficult one for us for two reasons. We had to say two very sad goodbyes. One was to our dear friends who are moving to another state to pursue a career in ministry. We were so blessed to have had this sweet family in our lives for so many years. Our kids play together like siblings. Sometimes that means fighting, but most times that means a love that is seen in their every interaction. Here is a picture of their oldest with our oldest when they were itty bitties. Apparently neither one could figure out how this bike was supposed to work. 

And here they are a few years later. Besties for sure!

And while I'm at it, I might as well include a pic with our littles too. Here is our silly crew:

Such sweet friends. We love them like family and our hearts ache as we let them go. But that said, we are so proud of them and all the Lord is doing in their lives.

The other goodbye we had was to our sweet cat Digit. Oh how we will miss that sweet boy. I got Digit almost 12 years ago. I had one cat at the time (Coda) and the vet recommended that I get a second cat so that Coda wouldn't be so lonely when I was away at work all day. So, being the cat lover I was, I jumped at any excuse to get another one. I always joked that I only owned 1 cat because Digit belonged to Coda.

Just before our move to Alaska, the vet told us that Digit was in the throws of kidney failure. This was not something that could be reversed. There were several things we could do to help slow down the progression, but eventually it would take its toll on his body. Within a year of that diagnosis, Digit's body weight went from a healthy 10 pounds to just under 5. The poor cat was withering away. He was quite literally skin and bones. Over the last month, I have played nurse maid to him. I've been administering medications twice daily and have also been injecting IV fluids under his skin once daily. He HATED these procedures, but in true Digit fashion, he never made a fuss. He was such a good boy.

I could tell he wasn't feeling well because he had stopped purring. This was a big sign to us that something was wrong because Digit always had a strong pur. So much so that the vet could never really tell if  his heartbeat was strong because she could never hear it over his pur. So when the purring stopped completely, we knew he must be miserable. I finally decided that we needed to see if any of these interventions were doing any good.

On Friday, I took him in to check and found that he had lost weight yet again and his symptoms had only worsened. At that point, the vet and I agreed that the most humane thing to do was to let him go. So we said our sad goodbyes and on Saturday morning, we let the vet put him to sleep. SO HARD! I held him the entire time and it was peaceful and quick. Harder on me than him really. Claire is sad, but handing it well. Sarah is clueless. I don't even think she has noticed that he is gone.

Here is Claire holding sweet Digit. She had just drawn a picture of him on her easel and wanted a picture with him beside his picture. Look how she is holding him. Such a patient cat.

Goodbye sweet boy. You will definitely be missed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Whole Heap-a-House Pics

So the house. We closed on our house on October 16th. And I kid you not, we were completely unpacked within 2 weeks. That's just how I roll. Can't stand the boxes. But I didn't want to post pictures yet because we were going to have the entire interior painted and I wanted to wait until that was done. 

Also we were going to purchase a ton of new furniture and I wanted to make sure it was all in and set up. Prior to now, our furniture was a mixture of hand-me-downs from family members and steals at garage sales. It was an eclectic mix and it worked for us. We had talked many times about getting new stuff one day, but once the kids came along we realized how much they spilled, barfed and peed on things (not to mention drawings with rogue markers). So we decided that we would wait to buy  new stuff until they were a little older. 

When we moved to Alaska, we made a decision that when the time came to head back to Texas, we would have a huge garage sale and sell all of our used furniture. Thus avoid having to move it all back. When we returned we could buy new furniture that would fit whatever house we were hoping to have for the long haul. Granted, when we made this grand plan, it was based on our anticipation of spending 2 to 3 years in Alaska. Little did we know we would only spend 11 short months there. But the plan was made and we weren't going to let an early departure deter us. No sir!  

So after a looooooong day of shopping, we picked out all the new furniture and it was delivered within the first week we were in the house. The painting was finished mid-November and I had all my decor in place and ready to go by Thanksgiving. So why no pics? Well, Thanksgiving started the season of hosting for us. We hosted Thanksgiving for my Dad and step-mom. We hosted a Christmas party for 50 of our church friends. We hosted Christmas for Michael's family and we hosted Christmas for my mom, step-dad and his mom.  It was hectic, it was mad chaos and I loved every minute of it. Seriously. I would host every year if I could. Much like Monica on Friends, I love, LOVE to play hostess. 

But that kept me too busy to blog and WAY to busy to take proper pictures of our house. But now that everyone is gone and the house is quiet (at least until our next hosting gig this weekend), I will present to you our house:

Here we are on our closing day. Since we hope to stay in this house until the girls graduate high school and beyond, (no guarantee of that in the oil business, but one can hope.) I wanted a family picture of us on move in day so we would always remember how little our sweet girls were when we moved in.

Here is our entry. 

This view of the entry is for my Mom so she can see the entry table she helped me buy. Love it!

Our dining room with our new dining room table. And you can't see them all that well, but the framed pictures on the wall are three of my favorites that we took with our camera while in Alaska. This way I can still see some of the beauty we were so blessed to live in for the past year. Oh how I miss it!

Office and all our new office furniture. 

Living room with our new couches, chair and end tables. Ahhhhh.

Another view looking into the breakfast nook where our two beauties are enjoying their lunch on our new breakfast table! 


Love my cabinets!!!

Master bedroom. Still needs window treatments. Another project for another day. 

At the top of the stairs, there are three extra stairs that step up into our gameroom.

I love how the game room overlooks the entry and NOT our living room. Keeps the noise levels more tolerable that way.

Our guest room. The bed still needs to be made after our last guest departed, but you get the idea. 

This will be my workout room if we ever get rid of that mattress in there. It was our old king mattress that we had and hated. It was just too soft. We held on to it so that our guests over Christmas could sleep on it and not the floor. It was handy, but now I am ready for some floor space so I can get my Jillian Michael's workout going again.

This room has no purpose except to store random items that have no home yet. So I guess I am not COMPLETELY unpacked. There are two boxes of books that are waiting for us to either purchase a bookshelf, or haul them out to the garage. Not sure which. This room may become a craft room or a quiet space to do my Bible study time. Maybe eventually a homework room for the girls. It's nice to have so many options! I like how it has a cut out to the entry but still has a door. Gives a little privacy, yet I can still hear/monitor the girls while they play. 

Sarah's room and new furniture.

With every room decor change, I have painted letters for the girls names that would coordinate. I think Sarah's name this time around is my favorite. I took various elements from her bedspread and used those elements in each letter. 

The arched doorway in Sarah's room leads to her own personal sink. Her closet is opposite the sink. 

Looking into Sarah's sink area, you can see the shared tub/potty area and looking beyond that you can see into Claire's room. This bathroom set up was one of the features in this house that I loved the most. Since we hope to be here when we have teenage girls, I could think of no better set up than for them each to have their own sink and counter space in the mornings. 

When we left Alaska, Claire  made it perfectly clear that she wanted a purple room. I wasn't quite sure how well purple would go with her bedding since there is very little purple to be found in it, but I think it turned out quite nice.

Why yes that IS five hundred sixty eight stuffed animals on her bed thankyouverymuch! How my girl sleeps like that is beyond me. 

She was NOT happy with me when I made her get white curtains. She wanted them to be purple too. But this momma had to draw a line somewhere. I had to introduce the phrase "Accent Color" into her vocabulary. She got over it pretty quick once I put the purple ribbons at the top. 

And there is Claire's sink. 

This picture and the next one I took specifically for my Alaska friends. This is our "view" from our game room windows. We do live on top of one another. A far cry from my almost acre lot in Soldotna. 

And see all that green stuff out there? That, my frozen friends, is what happens when the high is still 75 in January. It is nice to still be able to go out in shorts and flip flops, but I am SO jealous of all the snow you've been getting this year. Can I come back and play with you guys??

To say that the Lord has blessed our socks off with this house would be the understatement of the century. We feel so blessed to have such a lovely home and can't wait to see how the Lord plans to use it for His glory in the days, weeks and years to come!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's Time

October 11th? Has it really been that long since I've blogged? I knew it had been awhile, but gracious me that's a LOOOOOONG blog break.

It's funny how the longer I'm away from blogging, the easier it is to put it off. And the sad part is that I LOVE to blog. It is so therapeutic for me. I really have missed it. And while I am sure this time away has lost me over half of my 10 readers, I will soldier on for the 5 who remain.

So what has happened in the last 3 months? I'll give you the abridged version in a list below. Let's call this the teaser list. For you it will be a foreshadowing of blog entries to come. For me, it will be a To Do list of blogs that need to be written pronto.

So in the past three months . . . . .

 . . . . we closed on our house and got all unpacked and settled.
 . . . . we bought an insane amount of new furniture to fill said house. (The salesman is our new BFF)
. . . . .Sarah decided she wanted to start potty training THE DAY THE MOVERS ARRIVED.
. . . . . we hosted a Christmas party for our ABF and had over 50 people crammed into our living room about 2 days after we unpacked the last box. (and we loved every minute of it!)
. . . . .we stayed home for the holidays and were host to 4 different family Christmases at various times in the months of November, December and January.
. . . . . I became nursemaid to one or our ailing cats and now know how to administer IV fluids to a feline.
. . . . . our healthy cat was attached by a rogue neighbor cat and I am now extending my cat hospice care to him as well. (apparently I am in training to become a vet whether I like it or not.)

I am sure there is more. Much, much more. But it is late and I am too tired to think of it all. I will get to work on this list and expound on each of these very soon. I promise! I may combine the first two as one blog post so I can get to those house pictures everyone is hinting at wanting!!

For now, the blog is back in business, baby. Oh how I've missed it!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Toddler Tuesday

Today we ventured out to one of the parks downtown. They were having  a Toddler Tuesday event where they read stories, have a few activities and a craft. The story today was one about Mickey Mouse. At the end of the story, they brought out Mickey and Minnie. 

Sarah was quite star struck when Mickey and Minnie came out but was not willing AT ALL to take a picture with either of them. 

I didn't take pictures of the craft because it really was more of a craft for the mommies. Sadly, it was a lot of intricate cutting and origami style folding. Not really something my 4 and 2 year old were able to do. So we will just move on to pictures of the girls' favorite part of the park. The splash fountains. 

We came here to play a few weeks back because we knew there was a playground, but had no clue that there were these great fountains. We weren't prepared for water play and promised the girls that we would come back on another day. So today, I came prepared with swim suits, towels, etc. Claire jumped right in and had a blast. Sarah, on the other hand, was a little more timid at first. She preferred to hang out on the perimeter and splash her feet.

Eventually she warmed up and was splashing around just like big sister.

The water runs in cycles. Sometimes the water arcs WAY high and other times it is more tame. At one point the water stopped all together for a minute or so before starting back up. Here are the girls waiting for the water to come back on.

And here they are when the water started up again. 

I absolutely love those two pictures because they show my girls personalities to a T. Claire is very expressive and couldn't hide her emotions if she tried. Sarah is more stoic and her expression hardly changes. It makes it that much more impressive when I manage to get a smiley pic of her. 

Sarah reached the point of exhaustion well before Claire did. The last 20 minutes looked like this for Sarah:

and like this for Claire:

So much fun! Finally Sarah looked up at me and said, "All done water!" So I took the hint and we left so my precious baby could have lunch and a nap.  I am glad we got to take advantage of this park before we move out to the suburbs. I know from experience that once we are there, we will be reluctant to brave all the traffic to get to this park very often.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yes Today, Sweetie

So Michael is out of town on business. We are fortunate that he doesn't have to go out of town too often, but when he does it really makes me sympathize with some of my fellow mom friends who have hubbies who have to travel a ton.

Anytime he is going to be out, I know that my days will be loooooong so I always try to come up with something to do to make time fly. Today I decided that it would be fun to have a "Yes Today, Sweetie" day. You see, so often when we are at the mall or any store in general, the girls see tons of fun stuff that they want to do. I get lots of, "Mommy, can we go there?" or "Mommy, can we have one of those?" And as you might guess, more often than not, the answer is, "Not today, sweetie." Mainly because we are at these particular stores with an agenda. I've got precious little time to get the items on my list and get out before lunch time, nap time or melt-down time . . . whichever comes first. 

But not today. Nope. Today, we went to the mall and the only agenda was kid fun. As we walked in, Claire looked at me and said, "No shopping today? Just fun?" And I was happy to say, "Yep! No shopping, just fun!"

So on our "Yes Today, Sweetie" day, we played at the indoor playground:

We took a spin on the 2-story merry-go-round:

After that, we ate lunch at Sarah's favorite place, "Old McDonalds":

After lunch, they each got their own quarter so they could get some candy out of the machines:

Then we took time for some ski ball:

And of course, you HAVE to ride on the mall train:

And we finished out the morning with a trip to the Great American Cookie Company.

Now Sarah is sleeping off the morning and I have two very happy, blissful girls. So. Much. Fun. I hope it was worth the battles I will have to fight the next time we head to the mall with a Mommy Agenda. They will no doubt get to hear "Not Today, Sweetie" again, but at least now they know that sometimes they get to hear, "Yes Today, Sweetie!"