Monday, June 30, 2008

Yay for family!

I just adore my family and have enjoyed spending the past couple weekends with them. Last weekend was Dana's wedding shower, then she and Payton stayed the week at my house and then our whole family went to Ryan and Michelle's wedding, this past Saturday. It has been some truly great times with lots of the people I love. I'm feeling very thankful and fortunate to have such a large family and to have so many people around me to love and to love me back. That's just such an amazing feeling. So, again I say, yay for family!

On another note, I'm getting back on track with working out and all that good stuff. I didn't work out at all last week, with Dana and Payton being here and I didn't eat really well either, but that is all changing this week. I got up at 5:15 this morning, brushed my teeth and hair, threw on some clothes and headed out for a run. I ran/walked for 30 minutes and went a little over 2 miles. Certainly not my best time, but I actually haven't ran it about a month, so I have to ease back into it. I'm sure tomorrow will be better. It felt so good to be outside so early, when it's just starting to get light and it's so quiet everywhere. It was a great run. I plan on running every morning, Monday through Friday and then doing some strength training exercises at least 3 days a week as well. Hopefully I can drop another 10 pounds by the time Dana's wedding rolls around on August 16th. Anyway though, I'm back on track and that feels fantastic.

So, all in all, life has been pretty busy lately but it has also been pretty wonderful. Praise be to God!

Here are some pictures from the past two weekends.

Delyn, Dana and I at Dana's bridal shower.

Dana and I at her bridal shower.

The bride and bridesmaids (2 were missing).

The bridesmaids again...being goofy.

Me, Gavin and Asher in the van.

Delyn and I in the van on our way to Ryan and Michelle's wedding.

A table of the cousins at Ryan and Michelle's wedding.

Brian and I at Ryan and Michelle's wedding.

Ryan and Michelle.

Delyn, Dana and I at Ryan and Michelle's wedding.

My Dad being a total goof.

Delyn and my Mom being cute.

My lovely Lindsay.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fun Chaos

I haven't really had time to recap my weekend, so no pictures or anything have gone up yet. However, I've had some visitors over the past couple days. Dana and Payton are here. It's so fun to hang out with my sister and niece, and the kids enjoy playing and hanging out too. Dana and I got a ton done for the wedding, yesterday. We found all the bridesmaid jewelry, the clothes for Gavin and Riley, ties for Brian and Jason, etc. It was quite the productive day. Today we're going for a dress fitting for Dana. I can't believe the wedding's just a little over a month away! Anyway, I'll be doing my recap with pictures from the weekend, probably tomorrow, so watch for those. I've got some seriously good ones, although some of the people in them might not think so (insert evil laugh here).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blah, blah, blah...

Not a whole lot of exciting stuff to report. No new pictures either. I know, I'm a dud.

Gavin has his last day at basketball camp today, so no more mid-day runs to and from somewhere after this week. That will be nice, especially since it hits right at nap time for Asher, and that's not pretty.

Tomorrow we'll be heading up to Davison to hang out with mine and Brian's families at the campground. That should be a nice day. Brian's brother, his wife, and our nephews are up from Ohio, so I'm looking forward to seeing them.

We'll be back up there on Saturday morning and my sister, Dana's, wedding shower is at the clubhouse there. Do I have a shower gift yet? Um...nope. Do I have any idea of what I'm going to get her yet? Um...nope. So, as you can see, I'm quite organized.

I seriously feel so scatter-brained lately. It's terrible. It's like I can't keep anything straight. What's up with me? Such is the life of a Mom, I guess. I think this weather is kinda getting me down too. Where did the sun and the warm weather go? Don't get me wrong, rain is one of my absolute favorite things (thunderstorms really), but this is getting old. In fact, it's just chilly, occasionally drizzly, and gloomy. There haven't even really been any good thunderstorms. This weather has got to change or I'm going to go insane.

Yup, that's about all I've got for today. I'm sure I'll have lots of fun pictures and fun stories to tell on Sunday. So, until then...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Slip n' Slide On Outta The Weekend

What an incredibly wonderful Sunday and the end of a great weekend. We spent tons of time outside this weekend and got a ton done around the house. Let's just say that a small jungle had grown in our backyard and (thanks to my future brother-in-law who does tree trimming for a living) we found out that some of the trees that were in our yard, weren't exactly the kind of trees you want in your yard, but were actually weed trees. Yeah, real nice. We had 4 of them that were 10 feet tall or more. So, we did some much needed trimming, cutting, etc. and the backyard looks 100% better than it did on Friday. So, here I sit, showered and getting ready for bed. I'm feeling good about all the things we got accomplished this weekend and by all the nice and wonderful people and things we experienced as well. Brian and I had our Bible Study this morning and it was great, the boys all had a great time at Sunday School. We went out for lunch for Father's Day at Red Lobster, did a little shopping, came home and worked in the yard and played and now everyone is winding down and getting ready for the start of a new week. Gavin has basketball camp this week and is really looking forward to that. Riley, Asher and I will just be hanging out at home and I have some big projects planned to do around the house. My cousin, Jill, and my sweet baby 2nd cousin, Paige, will be coming over and hanging out a day or two this week too! Lots to be thankful for and to look forward to!

Here are some pictures from our day today. I've gotten pretty "picture happy" lately, so I'll be sharing a lot of pictures, I'm sure.

Gavin headin' down the slip n' slide.

Asher being his usual cute self.

Riley...word to yo mutha.

Gavin and his absolute favorite

My 3 favorite little men.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Blue Skies Smiling At Me...

Nothing but blue skies, do I see. There's a little Willie Nelson for ya. That really is what I was singing this morning to myself when Brian, the boys and I, headed outside at 9:30 in the morning to ride bikes and scooters in the driveway and play basketball (I'm sure some of our neighbors probably loved that at 9:30 in the morning). It was so beautiful out though. The temperature was perfect, one side of the sky was all clouds, but the other was nothing but blue and it was taking over.

We had a great day working out in the yard, grilling, eating outside and then going to Venue (the church service we attend on Saturday nights). There was an awesome band there playing (The Brian Smith band). Turns out, one of the members is a guy I knew from way back, who was in a different band when I met him. Let's just say, the band he is in now is worlds away from the one he was in before and I am worlds away from the person I was back then. He recognized me and remembered my name and we got talking about how much life had changed for the better. It was really cool to see him there. His wife was there and they are expecting in January and it was just awesome to see how great he is doing. I even bought one of their CDs, because they were so good.

Also, Asher came out of his children's ministry class with this manila folder that said "ASAP Paper". I, of course, was curious and opened it right away and really liked what I saw. Glued inside was a piece of paper that said this...

A Special Note About the Abbreviation ASAP

Generally we think of it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find a new way to deal with those rough days along the way.

There's work to do, deadlines to meet;
You've got no time to spare,
But as you hurry and scurry -

In the midst of family chaos,
"Quality time" is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest -

It may seem like your worries
Are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather -

God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
And He'll respond to all your needs -

And I'll leave you with some pictures from our day...

Here's a picture of the awesome sky this morning.

My cutie patootie, Asher.

Gavin after just taking a shot...he made it!

Riley being his cute, goofy self.

Riley being a sweet big brother to Asher.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Let The Mayhem Begin

Yeah, so they needed an apostrophe in school's, but oh well. I had to point that out, because that kind of stuff drives me nuts. LOL

Yay, it's the last day of school! The kids are excited, I'm excited, everything's great! I have big plans for big projects around here and I can't wait to get going on them. Not having to get up at the crack of dawn (ok, 6:50 isn't really that early, but in my world it is) is going to feel soooo good. Yeah, I'm diggin' it. It's hard to believe Riley will be in 1st grade next year and Gavin in 4th. Riley has come such a long way this year and is reading like crazy. I bought him some reading and math workbooks that are 1st grade level and he's flying through them. It's cool to see him so excited about learning. Gavin has always been ahead of where he needs to be and because of that and his good behavior, he was a tutor to Kindergarteners last year (they don't typically let 2nd graders be tutors) and then this year. He also was nominated for and was on Student Council. He was nominated for Service Squad for next year and has already started his duties for that. (Both, Student Council and Service Squad members are nominated by staff, so that's cool that the teachers think he should be a part of that). He's really doing great. His teacher told me that they are having an awards assembly today and that he is getting every single award (minus the perfect attendance, but he only missed one day). She is super proud of him and of course, I'm beaming. It feels so good to see your children doing so well and being good people. I truly am blessed.

So, goodbye to another year of school and hello summer!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Love Is In The Air

This is the lovely ecard I sent Brian this morning. LOL

Another year of wedded bliss has passed. While there have certainly been bumps in the road of life this year, there haven't been any in our marriage and I'm thankful for that. Today, Brian and I celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary!
Some of you may know the story, but for those who don't...
Brian and I met in 1st grade at Memphis Elementary, when we were 6 years old. We became friends and in 2nd grade we both remember me giving him a stack of sticky notes with a question on one and then "yes or no" on the next that he was supposed to circle. There were several questions and "yes or no" pages and they all started coming apart and getting all mixed up, so he gave up and didn't give it back to me. I apparently got over that. We then went on to 3rd grade where we officially became "boyfriend and girlfriend". I remember he gave me a card for Valentine's Day with a monkey on it. (Man, I wish I knew where that was, because it would definitely be fun to have it now). We also both played t-ball and his Mom clearly remembers how he could've gotten me out, but didn't because he said he didn't want to make me cry. (Awww, he was a sweetheart way back then too). We remained best friends through most of our school years and hung out together often, but just as friends. Then, we dated the summer between 11 and 12th grade. That was totally weird, because we had been such good friends for so long and it didn't end up lasting more than a month. We still remained super close though and hung out all the time and were clearly uncomfortable when the other was dating someone else. Fast forward to age 19. I had been dating a guy for a while and we had gotten engaged (whoa, who knows why, now looking back). Brian and I still continued to hang out and do things with groups of friends. Then one day, the guy who I had become engaged to, looked at me and said "Now that we're engaged, you can't hang out with Brian anymore." I couldn't believe it! Of course I protested, saying that he had been my best friend since childhood and there was no way I wasn't going to ever see him anymore. This guy insisted that if we were going to be together, that was the way it was going to be and in that instant, I knew....I was in love with my best friend, which is just as it should be. I ended up breaking off my engagement a few days later. I called Brian as soon as I did and couldn't get ahold of him, because he was up north camping. I called and called and kept insisting to his roomate (who was also a friend of mine and who had wanted to see us get together for a really long time) that he HAD to have Brian call me as soon as he got there. Well, he did and I told him the news and he was sooooo happy! And well...the rest is history. We got married about a year and a half later and here we are, nine years later!
Oh wow, it took so long for us to finally be together, right where we were meant to be, but now we have shared so much together and look forward to sharing so much more!
Here's some pictures of us from throughout the years.

Brian and I at Marcin Bowl in Canada when we were 19.

Brian and I on Christmas 2001 (I was pregnant with Riley), we were 23.

Brian and I getting ready to go out for our 6th anniversary (I was pregnant with Asher), we were 27.

Brian and I on the beach in Maine, in October 2007. We were 29.

The love note Brian wrote me in the sand on the beach in Maine. He's absolutely the best!

Tables and Cute Kids

Yeah, so one doesn't really have a whole lot to do with the other, but hey, that's what I've got for today. I took some pictures of Riley and Asher sitting at our new table set (Gavin was already at school). They think it's pretty much the coolest thing ever and couldn't decide what part of the bench they wanted to sit on for breakfast. Pretty cute. Anyway, so here's some pictures of that and then some random pictures I found on the camera when I was uploading the table ones.

So, here's our $50.00 table set. In the picture, the wood looks all different colors, but it actually is all the same...weird.

I'm not sure what Riley was doing, but hey, it's cute.

Riley's birthday at the park. Gavin, Riley, his best friend Kennedy, Cheyenne and Caden. He's really excited about the Transformer he's opening.

Asher at the park on Riley's birthday, showing me his dirty hands.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some Positivity Up In Here

So, every post I've written has been about something sad, and since I'm generally not a melancholy person, I thought I better hurry up and get a positive post up here, before I depress people away!

Anyway, the boys have two days of school left until summer vacation. I think I'm happy about that. LOL Seems like they are at a stage where they just can't get along, no matter what the circumstances are, but I'm hoping that will start getting better. I know Asher will be happy to have his big brothers home all day to play with. I'm seriously looking forward to not having to get up at 6:50 every morning for a few months. Aaaahhhh, rolling out of bed, putting on my bathing suit and heading outside with the kids. Sounds nice to me.

My sister, Dana's, wedding shower is next weekend and I'm looking forward to hanging out with all of my family at that. Our summer is packed with graduation parties, showers, weddings, etc. Not to mention that, but on June 20th, I have to call and find out if I'm on jury duty in Detroit and even if I'm not called that day, I am on call for 2 weeks. I guess if you've ever been in this situation, you know the drill. If you know me, you know I'm an anxiety-ridden spaz about driving, so fortunately, my Dad has offered to drive me there if I do get put on jury duty. What an awesome Dad.

Ooooh, ooooh. Something else I'm excited about! I was looking on Craigslist yesterday and came across a kitchen set. It's a big rectangular table with the wrap around benches and then two extra chairs. We went and checked it out and it was super cute and is exactly what we need. Asher is no longer really digging being in a highchair and our current kitchen table only seats 4 (which is also a major pain when we have company), so this one that sits 6 or more, is perfect. The kids think it's awesome, because they think it's like being in a restaurant. It's also got storage under both of the benches, so that's nifty. We are picking it up today! Yay! The only bad part is they had a long-haired white cat that liked to lay on the benches, so I have to de-hair it and of course I planned on doing a thorough upholstry cleaning anyway, so it's no biggie. Wanna hear the best part though? It's only $50.00! How awesome is that?!

Also, my weight-loss plan got a little off-track with the happenings of the past couple weeks, so I'm getting back on that. I'm feeling way too good to stop now. In fact, seeing some really great people have their lives end so early, just makes me more determined to be as healthy as I can be. So, here's to health and happiness and looking forward to what's to come!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More Loss

As I cheerfully wait in Riley's Kindergarten classroom yesterday morning, to go on our walking to McDonald's field trip, I hear one of the Mom's say, "I still can't believe Dr. Murphy died last night, I'm just so upset over it." and let me tell you, my heart sunk. The doctor who delivered Riley and Asher and who I absolutely adored, is gone. How can this be? He was only 60, about to celebrate his 61st birthday on June 18th. He was one of the most energetic, sweet, caring, funny and just plain genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He would always joke about Riley's name, because he had a dog named Riley, but he told me it was a name he had always liked and when he and his wife decided not to have anymore children (they have two sons and two daughters), he wanted to be able to use the name, so used it for his dog. He then would tell me, "Hey, don't feel bad. You know how many damn dogs there are named Murphy?!" He would sympathize with Gavin over his crazy cowlicks, because he had them too. He was just so much more than a doctor. He always would say "Hey, Danielle! How ya doin', kiddo?" when he walked into the room. He knew all of the kids and Brian's names and would ask specific things about them and remember things we had talked about the last time I was there, even though there may have been a year in between when I had last seen him. I used to joke with him that I would consider having one more baby, just so I could see him more often. He truly made each of his patients feel like they were his only patient. He would sit down and talk to you and never rush you along. He was just a truly amazing individual. I can't imagine how I will ever have that kind of relationship with another doctor and I absolutely dread the time when I'm going to have to find someone new. It's just so hard to believe that this vibrant man, with such a kind heart, is no longer with us. This community has suffered a great loss and he will be greatly missed. In fact, I miss him already.

Dr. Murphy with Asher 10-26-05
Dr. Murphy and I, just after delivering Asher. 10-26-05

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I never cease to be amazed.

Well, God's done it again. I prayed like crazy that there would be a sense of peace and comforting at the funeral home today and even though I prayed for days about it, I was still very nervous about how things were going to be. I should have known though, that God would take care of things. Initially seeing my aunt was hard and I think I gave her the biggest, most sincere hug I've ever given anyone in my life. She gave it right back and I really feel that it was a beautiful moment. Some tears were shed, but not the uncontrollable sobbing that I thought might ensue from me. I made sure that every hug I gave today really counted. I really thought about each one and lingered a little longer than I normally would with the casual hugs I give on most occasions. I have to tell you, WOW, I felt so much love and so much joy and thankfullness fill my heart today. While it was sad to see my uncle there and not hear his laugh or his funny and sarcastic comments and while it was hard to see my aunt hurting and her siblings and mother hurting for her, there was so much love that filled that room today. I could just feel how everyone was really pulling together to stay strong. My uncle was here from Georgia, whom I only get to see once or twice a year, and although the circumstances weren't the best, it was wonderful to see him. My cousin (his son) will be arriving from Georgia tomorrow and I look forward to seeing him as well. Just being with my family and really being appreciative of each other, was a blessing. Those weren't really the things I was expecting to experience today, and yet God provided them. Although I'm sure there are some rough times ahead for my aunt, I really think that the love and support of our family is going to help her through and that the peace and comfort that God showed us today, will carry her through to better times as well. I hope my Uncle Chris could see the love there today and that he is smiling down on all of us. He was so very loved and he will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So, here's where it begins...

I've decided to start blogging and kind of keeping track of things that I know if I don't write (or type), I may forget. Wow, life is kinda crazy right now. While I'm honestly in the happiest place I've ever been in my life, there are some things going on right now that are really weighing on me. My Uncle Chris passed away on Sunday evening. We found out the day before Easter that he had leukemia and just like that, in just over 2 months, it had taken him. I feel a sense of peace about it right now and am clinging to the Lord, but I have a feeling my world is going to be rocked when I get to the funeral home tomorrow and see my Aunt and the pain she is in. It's just so hard knowing that there really isn't anything you can say or do to take someone's pain away. Brian and I will be spending Thursday and Friday at the funeral home with our family and then the funeral will be on Saturday. We have some very emotional days ahead of us and I just hope that I can hold it together. I'm just praying that God will come alongside everyone who is there and is mourning Chris' passing and that a sense of peace will be over all of us.