Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We said good-bye to Grandma Dorothy.

Just a half-hour after I wrote my last blog I got the call from my mom that Grandma had passed away that morning. I cried for the first time. I think reality hit me at that moment.
Then I realized we had less than 24 hours to do laundry, clean (b/c who likes to come home to a messy house?), pack and get ready for the 16 hour drive to Houston the next morning.
Why didn't we fly, you ask? I was all for flying....until I looked up last minute airline tickets over Memorial Day weekend. Even out of Omaha or Kansas City, we were looking at $700-$900 per person! My family has made this trip so many times growing up, that I figured we might as well start the tradition with my little family, so we packed the car (with food and movies, in hopes Presley would not hate us) and headed south.

We left about 10 am Thursday morning, stopped for a late lunch to let P get out and run around for awhile and drove until about 7 pm when we decided to stay overnight just south of Oklahoma City. We ate dinner at Punkin's (where Elvis never leaves the building....at least that is what the billboard said!)....a real ma/pa restaurant...no alcohol (bummer) and they close at 8 pm on Thursdays nights?! Presley did great, we basically let her watch whatever movies she wanted, for as long as she wanted. I know growing up we didn't have this luxury, but if I'm going to strap a 2 year old in car seat for 16 hours...I might as well let her watch Monsters Inc 2500 times.
We got on the road by 8 am Friday morning and met my parents at our hotel at about 3 pm. Ask me how many hours Presley slept in the car during these 16 hours? Go ahead, ask me!......ZERO!

Everyone was gathering at my uncle Danny's that night so we decided to give Presley some pool time before we headed over there. Surprisingly, Presley did pretty good considering she was around a lot of family she hasn't seen since last summer...she even made a new best friend with my 12 year old cousin Luke!
It was nice to see everyone, if only the reason we were gathering wasn't to say good-bye to Dirty Dort (as many of us called her!)

Saturday we slept in and woke Presley up at 9 am and were able to get some more swimming time in before the service at 2:30. The service was so nice! My uncle David and cousin Lee gave great eulogys, extremely tear-jerking. It was a very, hard hour. Steve was very helpful with keeping Presley occupied, even taking her and Boston out to the hallway when they were getting restless during the service.

(September 2007 - we were lucky enough to have my grandparents fly up for our wedding day)
August 2009 - Four generation of girls

June 2010 in Wisconsin

After the service, we all gathered at my Aunt Ann's house for dinner and drinks. We had a toast to my Grandma with brandy manhattan's, her favorite drink. It was a nice, relaxing evening. We were able to talk and laugh and enjoy the great warm weather!

Even Presley's hair had fun....spiral curls, out of control! (she is doomed to have bad hair for the rest of her life)

Unfortunately, we had to get back on the road Sunday morning. We drove from 8 am until about 6:45 pm and stayed between Wichita and Kansas City. P actually slept for 2 hours in the car! And we finally arrived home about noon on Monday, exhausted!

So 100 gallons of gas later (you can do the math on how much we spent), 3 different hotel rooms in 4 nights, hours of Monsters Inc and Toy Story 3 and we are finally back home. It was a long weekend but I am so happy that we went to say goodbye to my grandma. We love you Grandma! We will miss you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

There is no good time.

My grandma isn't going very good. Two weeks ago they said, maybe weeks or months. Yesterday, they said she might not make it thru the night. It is terrible the amount of times you say or hear someone say 'This is not a good time!'. Is there a good time? We are talking about the end of someone's life! It's time to NOT think about ourselves and what is convenient for us! Both of our jobs are so busy right now and so far they have been very understanding in knowing we'll be taking off for Texas soon. My co-workers and friends have kept us in their thoughts and prayers and it's great to have that support.
I know my grandma has been in pain and probably doesn't REALLY know what is going on. She will be going to a better place though and that helps comfort me. A place where there is no pain or suffering. A place where she can crack open her Miller Lite before 11 am and no one will judge her! :)

We are all worried about my grandpa....I don't know really if he understands what exactly is going on or what the outcome will be. He will have a lot of family and support around him though. My mom is holding up fairly well, or maybe she hides her pain and worry from us kids. I think once she gets to Texas and is around her brothers and sisters that might change.
We are hanging in there and waiting for that sobering phone call. :(

Monday, May 23, 2011

Great Strides for a great cause!

So Saturday I got up nice and early and was at work about 6 am. I worked until about 9 am b/c we had to be at the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides walk before 10 am. It was rainy that night and that morning...and by 9:30 the sun was shining! It was perfect for this great cause!
Here is the Andrea's Angels team, together we raised over $20k in 4 months! Mostly due to the dedication and love for Andrea and her family and all the hard work and efforts of her mother Susie! We love you guys!
We had some good play time on the playground!

It looks like she is going so fast on this horse (thanks to the wind)....actually she was barely moving!

Mommy and Presley cheesing for Daddy!

Even Boston was able to enjoy the swings!

We got home about 1 pm and put P down for a nap. We did some cleaning, laundry and yard work (and I actually enjoyed a magazine on the deck!).

Of course, Presley talked and sang to herself for almost 2 hours and then she finally fell asleep. I woke her up about 4:00 and went to change her diaper. I took off her jeans and she didn't have a diaper on! I thought "Did I really forget to put a diaper on her?" No! There on the floor was her diaper. She had taken her jeans off, taken her diaper off and then put her jeans back on! Of course, everything was wet but it was funny!

We had Brock, Jackie and Miss Ava over for dinner. Ava will be 2 years old in August and she is so adorable! Her and P got along pretty well, after taking some time to get acquainted! They played on the slide and shared toys and baby dolls!

They have the same dark, curly hair...but Ava's eyes are so blue! So pretty!

Sunday we did some shopping and playing outside and then nap time! Steve worked in the garage and I did some laundry and was able to read more magazines on the deck! (for a weekend that was forecasted to be rainy and dreary...we had the perfect weather!) Presley spent over an hour in her crib singing and stripping down, this time I found her sleeping with no pants or diaper on! Lovely!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I can't wait for another great, busy week and Memorial Day weekend ahead of us!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Five Question Friday!

1. Do you and your spouse go to bed at the same time?
Normally, yes... but there are times when there is something on television that I 'just have to watch' and Steve isn't interested so he'll go to bed without me. Or vice-versa...he'll be watching a car show (like he is right now!) and I'll go to bed and read for a while.

2. A question for the ladies --- What kind of facial hair do you like on your man?
A little scruff is nice, no mustache or full beard though.

3. What's the worst vacation you've ever taken? Yikes! I don't want to say one of our family reunions but that's all I can really think of! I was newly pregnant and sleeping in a large house with about 12 other people. It was hard to sleep, I couldn't drink...it was just too stressful that year.

4. What's the first-ever blog you followed? My friend Shannon and I started following LOSTASOCK probably about 4 years ago. We still follow it and love it! It feels like I have known this family for so long....and I've never met them!

5. Do you enjoy amusement parks? Love them! Though I may be getting too old for them. The last time we spent the day at an amusement park (years ago!), I got the worst headache from the rides! I love the rides, the food, the games....I might be slightly obsessed with skee-ball. I think we are going to take P to Adventureland this year, I'm not sure how she'll like it but we'll never know until we try!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend fun!

Normally Saturdays Presley will sleep in and then she won't take a nap...which is fine b/c a lot of times we are busy so it's nice NOT to have to worry about her taking a nap...and if she doesn't take a nap she is normally in a pretty good mood anyway.
So we got home from the mall about 2:30, which is normally too late to try to put her down for a nap. We decided to pop in Monsters, Inc in hopes she would sit still for 90 minutes in place of her nap time.
About 4:30, after the movie was over she was purposely causing trouble. Throwing toys and hitting (which have become two new things for us!), I told her she was being naughty and asked if she wanted to lay in her crib for a while and she said yes! So her and 3 of her baby dolls laid down for a semi-time-out....and she fell asleep!
This is how we found her when we woke her up at 5! All the babies lined up in a row! So cute!
I went out for girls night! It had been a long time, there were 8 of us with 3 newbies! As always a lot of margaritas, cheese dip and laughs were had!

Today Steve went to Lazerfest with a friend and Presley and I had girls day! We hung out and played most of the morning. I laid her down for a nap (with her babies again) but I'm pretty sure she just sat in there and talked for 2 hours. So I decided we'd get out and go to the mall and try to spend some money.
We had some hitting, kicking, throwing things incidents...and I tried official time-outs on a dining room chair. The girl mocks me! She slides down off the chair and the minute I turn around to put her back up there...she races to get back on it and laughs! At one point tonight she threw the remote off the couch...knowing she isn't supposed to throw it and she looked at me said 'naughty?' and then pointed to the chair! Obviously we have some more work to do with this fun.

Locks Be Gone! Part II

Friday night friends and family (and even strangers) helped raise money for my sister, Samantha to shave her head for Cystic Fibrosis! The generosity of people is amazing and we are all so thankful to everyone who donated and came out to participate in this great event! We had a goal of $10k...we came up a little short but still raised $7200 in 6 weeks!
Sam's hair was long enough to donate to Locks of Love also, so they put 10 small ponytails in her hair and auctioned off chances to cut off a pony tail! I paid to be the first to cut one off!
Holly paid to be the first one to buzz her head!

And just like Holly was....Samantha is so beautiful bald! So adorable!

Andrea and Samantha hugging! Andrea is the reason we raise money for this great cause! They are so cute!

The three of us girls...all different hair! Five years ago we all had the same hair! (I should find a picture!)

Steve wasn't able to attend b/c all of our babysitters were either at Miss Kitty's with us or busy with other things but I think I took enough pictures to help him feel like he was there! ha!

It was a great night! Thank you Samantha for being so willing to do this and thank you to Susie for putting so much time and effort into making a great event like this come together! We love you!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Five Question Friday...is back again!

1. Tube socks, calf socks, crew, ankle, none?
I would say calf socks. I don't like to have cold ankles! ha!

2. Was your childs (children's) name a mutual decision or was it a debate? If you don't have children, do you plan on giving your spouse a say, or do you have a name you MUST have, regardless if your other half likes it or not?!
It was completely mutual! About 5 years ago we heard the name Presley on the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition and we both loved it and always talked about using that name. Of course, when you actually have to NAME A KID, you take it a little more seriously! We couldn't get away from it. Our problem was the middle name, not a lot of names sounded good with Presley. So we went with Grace, after Steve grandma!

3. What is your favorite type of weather? I would say 80 degrees. I'm usually cold, so the warmer the better! Jeans and flip-flops would be perfect.

4. If left to your own devices, what time would you wake up every day? Seems these days I can't sleep past 9 am. So I'd be happy with 9:30 at this point. It is nice to get up early and get stuff done but Steve and I are sleep lovers! We are happy that we finally have a kid who will sleep past 7 am! (crossing my fingers....feels like I'm jinxing us tonight!)

5. Have you bought your cemetery plots yet? No! It was hard enough to buy life insurance! My mom has mentioned that we should have a will...but it just doesn't seem like we should have to think about that yet!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More random blah

- So one of houses behind us was painted John Deere green about 5 years ago, then about two years ago the house went into foreclosure (or maybe the guy just died?!) and a little over a year ago it was bought and fixed up (no longer John Deere green!). The owners race pigeons. They have a little pigeon coop (is that what you would call it?) in the backyard and it isn't unusual to see these pigeons flying overhead. So I guess we get our own little personal pigeon racing show....don't be jealous!

- People amaze me! Everyone knows we are raising money for Locks Be Gone and it amazes me and shocks me the people that have donated! Most of the people I've rec'd money from at work, are people I don't even talk to that much...more co-workers, not close friends!

- I was determined to NOT turn on our air conditioning on Monday when it was 85 degrees (knowing Tuesday was supposed to be 92 and Wednesday 85), but as Presley was sitting on the couch with little beads of sweat on her tiny, cute nose....I just had to. Too bad I'm probably going to want to turn on the heat by Friday when the high temp is 60.

- A month ago Presley was not afraid of thunder....today she is. We have had rolling thunder almost all evening and she couldn't get close enough to me on the couch! It was cute, but I was really hoping we could've avoided this stage of childhood! :)

- I'm watching DVR'd Dr. Phil from a couple days ago....this 30 year old girl has 5 kids with 5 different dads, shouldn't there be a law/rule/requirement that you need to have a brain to have kids? Just saying.

- We love Presley's little personality. Though we are beginning to see a temper and a stubborn little thing! We always say 'I love you!' and 'I love you too'....the other day I told her she was cute and she said 'you cute too'! HA!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nice weather brings busy days!

If the last 4 days are a sign of things to come when we have nice weather, we have busy days ahead!

Thursday night was the first night of the Valley Junction farmers market, so we headed out to look around and listen to some music. Friday night we went to Urbandale Friday Fest, which is great b/c they have a nice playground for the kids, pizza, beer, music and softball games to watch! Presley did a little dancing, ate a lollipop and enjoyed the swings!

Saturday we got up and drove west to Waukee for their city wide garage sales, we got some good stuff for P....then we drove an hour east to go to Pella for tulip time! Samantha, Jon and Boston followed us there to see pretty flowers and eat some Dutch letters!

The weather was perfect! Sunny and warm with a good breeze! Presley was SO good! Then we drove an hour and a half back west to Earlham for cousin Ava's 2nd birthday party. We thought for sure P would fall asleep for a quick nap on the way there....we were wrong. No nap for her.

She was SO good that whole day! She played with her cousin Ella, followed her around...without us having to go with her! It was awesome and such a change for us! Maybe we'll have some good babysitters this year at Okoboji! ;)

Mother's Day was perfect too. We met my family out for brunch at Mullets (yes, we are classy!) and then we walked over to Principal Park to watch the I-Cubs game! The weather was perfect, the beer was cold, the kids were good. Presley even got brave enough to play in the water fountain! It was a great mother's day!

We are all exhausted from our busy, busy weekend! And we have another busy weekend to come, so we'll just have to take it easy for a couple days!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Random randomness

- I'm reading Two Kisses for Maddy, a story about a man who lost his wife 27 hours after giving birth to their baby girl. Of course, it is a sad book. It makes me cry. I often read some of the passages to Steve, who says it is too sad and I shouldn't be reading stuff like that. But the humor included in the story is awesome too, but it makes me wonder why I want to read about sad stories like this. I think it makes me more grateful for what I have and I think we can all use a little of that every now and then.

- I think I mentioned our neighbors bought a nice playset for their backyard. We scored on this deal. They aren't home that much, so guess who takes advantage of the slide and swing? This family!

- Presley is stubborn. She wants to be outside as often as possible, but she will fight to put her shoes on! She is already losing on precious outdoor fun b/c she is unwilling to cooperate when it comes to wearing pants and shoes when going outside! Guess she'll learn!

- Our friends are getting married in the Dominican Republic next February, Steve will be going for sure b/c it is one of his best friends. I really want to go b/c I would hate to miss out on this opportunity to travel to a sunny beach in February and I love Nick and Sarah and we've been waiting for this deal for years! :) However.....I've already asked my mom to watch P. She will, but I'm not sure if she wants to. I haven't totally disregarded the idea of taking P with us. Am I totally crazy?

- Presley is a pig when it comes to food. I wish she would eat more of a variety of food, but I really can't complain. I'm not sure she ever gets full. She will devour fruit in seconds...literally seconds. I'm not sure she chews her food sometimes.
But of course, if we buy her a $5 meal at a restaurant she wants nothing to do with it (unless it's TGIFridays where she gets a huge bowl of mandarin oranges and she'll eat every last one of them).

- For the last two months we haven't been allowed a minute of overtime at work (after almost 2 years of having mandatory OT), now we get word that they are wanting us to work overtime in the next couple weeks with possible mandatory weekends. YOU ARE KIDDING ME? Right when the weather starts to get nice and every weekend is already busy, figures.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Well, I have pictures galore from Vegas last weekend.
We got there about 10 pm Thursday night and didn't do too much. We got something to eat and walked around mainly near our hotel. Steve tried to tell me that we were going to stay up for 3 days straight and warn me that I would not be going to bed at 10 pm, like he knew I would want to! :) That night we were in bed about 1:30...which was really 3:30 am Iowa time, so I was pretty proud of myself.
Steve had a list of about 30 things he wanted to do while we were there, and we actually did a pretty good job at crossing those things off the list.
Friday morning we ate at Mon Abi Gabi in our hotel (1st item off list), we did some shopping and walking around the south end of the strip.
Steve took this pic on the inside of the Miracle Mile Shopping mall.

New York, New York....and we did ride the roller coaster! (item #2 off the list) It was worth it! It has been so long since either one of us had been on a roller coaster ride and it was fun!

We ate at Dick's Last Resort inside Excalibur (#3 off the list)...where the employees basically treat you like crap and make fun of you the whole time. They usually make hats that say obnoxious things like, 'I choke the chicken for Justin Bieber' or 'Happy Ending $5'. We did not get hats, but I got called 'peroxide' and 'cougar'. It was a different experience but it was fun!

The art work and architecture in all of these hotels is just amazing! We took way too many pictures of everything!

Yes, I played the American Idol penny slot machine. No, I didn't win. (in fact, we didn't win anything in the 3 days we were there!)

We did miss our baby while we were gone. The Elvis Cirque shop gave us some reminders of her! :)

My favorite thing in all of Vegas...the fountains at the Bellagio!

That night we headed downtown to Fremont Street. We ate at the Chart House a seafood place in the Golden Nugget (#4 off the list). Downtown has tons of entertainment and music, you can even zipline over the street above everyone (one thing we did NOT do, but wish we would've)!

We did really good and were up until 3 am this night! and we got up too early Saturday morning and started walking up the north end of the strip.

The Beatles Cirque show was inside the Mirage.

We came across a rat-rod car show across the street from the Stratosphere, so of course, Steve wanted to check it out and the cars were pretty darn cool. Plus it gave us an excuse to spend some more time enjoying the 80 degree weather.

We made our way to the top of the Stratosphere. AMAZING view!!!!!!!

And we actually rode the Big Shot. The ride that shoots you straight up in the air....when you are already 109 stories in the air! (item #5 off the list) I will admit, I was freaked out! It was worth it but I was shaking when we got off!

The ceiling in the Venetian. Again, the art work is just amazing everywhere you go!

This is also on the inside! Even though it looks like it is outdoors and you can take a gondola ride!

Saturday night we were so exhausted! We went to bed early (10 pm!) but it was worth it! We spent two days just being on the go! My calf muscles hurt SO BAD from walking around for two days straight!

It was a great trip and we had fun! It was nice to get away but it is good to be home!