Tuesday, June 30

My Mom's Retirement Party

We had my mother's retirement party on Saturday. After many years of teaching, she has called it quits...at least for now. I'm sure this isn't the full end of teaching for her. It's in her blood and she does a great job with it.

The party was great. Everyone had a good time and the chocolate fountain was the hit of the party. Well, except for when we attacked her with silly string courtesy of my mother-in-law. It's the start of a vengeful war I'm sure.

After the party, family came back to my parents where we sat and talked and caught up for awhile. It was nice to have everyone together. That rarely happens.

Happy Retirement, Mom! I'm proud of you and the job you've accomplished.

Friday, June 26


I'm here in my hometown, planning and soon celebrating my mother's retirement from her career in teaching. While I'm here, my husband is in our town cleaning up from the storm that rolled through yesterday. We have branches down all over our yard. Luckily, that's about all the damage for us. Our neighbors didn't fair as well and have holes in roofs and across cars and such. Matt is without power though. Went out early this morning around 3am and the energy company says it won't be on until tomorrow night.

The party planning is going well and I hope by late tonight we'll be done and ready for tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing so many of our family friends and meeting some of my mom's more recent friends I haven't gotten to meet yet.

I hope those of you in MI survived the storm all right!! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 24

a photo blog

Because of the love affair I'm having with my new camera (Thanks, J!) I have developed another blog called A Thousand Words where I will be posting my more non-family pictures. It'll be the place for my photo shoot outs and any other weird pictures I happen to be taking at that time. Anything pertaining to the boys or Matt and I will be posted here. Stories will be here.

If you're interested in staying current on both blogs, be sure to subscribe to or "follow" them both individually.

We're heading out of town for my mom's retirement party Wednesday, so I probably won't be around much. Have a great weekend!!

Monday, June 22

Detroit RiverDays

Yesterday, for Father's Day, Matt and I took the kids to Detroit for a festival. We moved to Michigan five years ago and we've never been down to Detroit RiverDays. We've been to Detroit for sports games, and a few theater shows and such, but never for a festival. We were pleasantly surprised. The Tall Ships were there, which is something we've never seen before.

Payton loved it, despite his skinned knee.

His favorite parts were playing in the water fountains...

and seeing how close we live to Canada. He kept calling it China. So cute.

Maxwell said his favorite parts were the dog we met named "Max" and seeing the "really big boats". Both of those are typical Max.

Matt and I enjoyed being on the river and being together as a family. It was not a planned adventure and only happened because Matt's work let him go early yesterday. Other than the price of some of the activities, there was no cost. We stuck to the free stuff and really enjoyed ourselves and the little family.

We truly do live in a beautiful and underestimated area. It's a shame people, including me, don't see what Detroit has to offer. Now that we've been, I think we'll be more inclined to head down for events.

Sunday, June 21

Father's Day

I think Matt has worked almost every Father's Day since we moved to Michigan. Somehow he ends up working Mother's Day and Father's Day every year. But I guess it's about having a special day for him, not about what day that falls on, right? Matt will get his day on Tuesday.

My own father and I have had a weird relationship. Growing up he spent a lot of time traveling for work and I don't have a lot of memories of him, I'm sorry to say. When I got married and started having kids things changed. We've butted heads a couple of times on the way I choose to raise my kids and over decisions I've made with my life, but I know he's still proud of me and loves me. He has grown as a grandfather and is re-learning, after a long time without small children around, how to act and react and show them attention and love. He is a "fixer" who always wants to do what he can do help and will give to his children in their time of need. And I know that the love is there. And that's what's most important to me.

And beyond my biological father, I've been blessed with a gracious and caring father-in-law. He has accepted me as the daughter he didn't create and loved me as part of the family from very early on. He listens to my rules about my kids (and breaks them when I'm not around) and is the father-in-law all my friends are envious of. I'm grateful to have him in my life.

I have really been blessed with a great handful of examples of father figures in my life, from men at my childhood church to uncles who care for me as a father would. And my boys have a huge number of male role models in their lives with uncles, cousins, grandfathers and even a great grandfather. We have all been truly blessed.

Saturday, June 20

Lazy Saturday

Although I'm feeling better I'm still not 100%. I have a scratchy throat and can't stop coughing.

Payton has tball pictures today. That's always a great time of standing around waiting for 45 minutes for the pictures and then in 3 minutes they're done. One of his friends from school has invited him to a birthday party today, so he'll be going there. We need to get a gift! Oops. Forgot about that part...

While he's at the party, Max and I will...um...I don't know. It's pointless to go home for an hour and 20 minutes, but it's hard to find something to do with Max that he can remain interested in for a full hour.

Matt's at work.

Pretty much a lazy summer Saturday. Which is what we need because the next three weeks are going to be crazy and constant going. Guess I better rest up now!

Friday, June 19

Friday My Town Shoot Out - Metal

I have been loving my camera so much that I've joined a casual group of photographers who all work on the same assignment all week and post the images on Fridays. It's called the "My Town Shoot Out" blog and although they've been going on for a long time, this was my first week. The idea is to take the weekly assignment and show off what you have available to you and your photography skills based on the theme. The assignment was "metal".

My first photo is one of the many beautiful buildings in Detroit.

This photo, also from Detroit, is of some metal work on a wooden door of a church.

My next two photos are the sundial at the local public library.

The National Coney Island has a huge spinning metal tower as it's sign post.

And I don't live too far from what's referred to as "The Nautical Mile" where I found these beautiful lamp posts.

That's it for me this week. Next week's theme is "Colors of the Rainbow" and I already took some great pictures today!

Thursday, June 18

This is what happens when my boys watch WIPEOUT...


The boys' first full day back from my inlaws and I am sick. We spent 30 minutes outside and I'm exhausted. I have some headcold/sinus thing going on. It's so gross.

I am hoping that this will be better by tomorrow (please???) and we can do something fun. The weekend holds 2 birthday parties, tball pictures and Matt working on Father's Day. Of course.

I posted some new pictures of the boys and pics I've taken playing with my camera on our Picasa Web Album. Be sure to check them out.

By the way, these pictures show the difference in what happens when I take the boys outside to play...

Tuesday, June 16


Today was a great success!!! I socially stepped out of my comfort zone and engaged in several conversations with people I didn't know at all or didn't know well. I feel that I made some really great connections with people and I extended myself past what I normally would have been comfortable with. Beyond that, I emotionally stepped out of my comfort zone by challenging any fears I had about activities we were doing at The Adventure Center.

And physically I pushed extra hard. I did all the challenges that were presented to me, even leading a great team building event with my group, the Awesome Walnuts. And on the high ropes course, I was second up and did an AMAZING job. Twenty-seven feet in the air, I completed a cargo net horizontal cross, a hand and foot crawl on 2 suspended ropes ("kitty crawl" like shown in the pic), a swinging rope step, a balance beam (Look Mom, no hands!!) and a broken bridge walk before completing the series with a rip-cord drop. AWESOME!! I'm so proud of myself. This is one of those things I said I would do if I was ever given the chance and I did everything to the fullest and best of my ability. And I wowed some of my future co-workers and showed them a side of me they didn't know.

When/If I get some pictures from others who were there today, I'll be sure to post. Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts today. I'm sure they helped make today the amazing day it was.

pray for me today....

today I'm "adventuring" with my new co-workers.
teambuilding is what they call it.
I'm nervous and anxious about the relationships I may or may not form.
and I'm scared of the challenges I may face.
both physical and emotional.
I won't be home for 14 hours...
pray for me.

Monday, June 15

what an amazing weekend...

My inlaws took the boys on Wednesday after Payton's day of graduation activities. That left me and Matt home just the two of us. We went to a nice dinner and saw a movie. Then Thursday set up for our garage sale.

By some fluke, Matt stayed home this weekend from military and we had a great weekend together. We had our garage sale, did some resale shopping, hung out with our favorite mentor couple (Hi Ron & Kelly!), saw a few movies and ate at some great restaurants (I love restaurant.com!!!!)

Through these last few days, we've done some deep discussions, laughing and had a few heart-to-hearts. It's been great for us and just what we needed. Who needs a fancy hotel to escape to when you have everything you need right here at home.

Babe, I've loved every moment of our last 6 days together. Thank you for sharing it with me.

Thursday, June 11

and the year ends...

It happened. Payton graduated kindergarten yesterday, no matter how ready I was or wasn't. He did a great job. They sang, said a poem and did a little dance. I am so very proud of him and all he has achieved this year. And I really do look forward to watching him become an amazing little man.

Here are some pictures. Enjoy!!