Saturday, July 27, 2013

little (big)

This month has flown by and I've only blogged a handful of times.  Why?  Been busy doing stuff.  Not the kind of stuff that matters to anyone but me and my little family, but the big stuff really is the little stuff, isn't it?  The other day, the boys and I were sitting at the kitchen table when Dexter asked (while eating a clementine), "is Grammy coming to my house?"  I thought this question was out of the blue and I answered him, "I think she's going to visit us pretty soon, but why do you ask?"  He said, "I want Grammy to come to my house and bring oranges."  My heart melted.  Eating his clementine, he remembered that the last time my mom visited, she brought oranges and peeled and shared them with Dexter every day.  Toys, events, things, places...we try so hard to make the boys happy. To make sure that their minds are flooded with happy memories of their childhoods thus far. But what do they remember?  Grammy sharing oranges.  That's the big stuff.  Here are some other big, not-so-big, things we've been up to this July. 

Car Wash Night


Finally got some sand for the sand box...which they have pretty much outgrown (but they love it anyway). 

Daddy's Birthday
Wasn't it nice of Theo to pick out TMNT legos for his pops?
Picnic at the park

We met Pop Pop at the park for a little train ride.

Then went to Nana and Pop Pop's house for a nap...
and dinner.
 Mommy & Daddy had a double date to see Luke Bryan with friends.

An after-dinner trip to the park on a breezy summer night.

They loved this bridge.

Theo is obsessed with climbing.

His entire life, Dexter has been so scared of the baby swings.  All of the sudden, he's in love with the big swings.  He stayed here for a good 20 minutes or more.
When did my baby boy get so big?
Hope you've been as busy as we have, just enjoying the little (big) things and making little (special) memories.


Friday, July 26, 2013

weigh to stay: 6 months in

I'm behind on my monthly weight loss update, I guess because there's not much to say.  Not a whole lot has changed, and that's a good thing.

I started out in January with a goal of losing 20-24 pounds.  As of today, I've lost 27.  I'm very happy where I'm at as far as weight is concerned.  I'm staying in a 24-27 pound weight loss range.  What I'm not as happy about is that lately I've gotten lazy, so I know I will not be able to maintain my success if I don't start doing something differently.

I'm still logging EVERY THING I eat in  My Fitness Pal, and that's probably kept me on the wagon for the most part.  The problem is excuses. Lots of excuses.  It's been unbelievably hot and muggy.  I'm addicted to watching an episode of Dexter every night after the boys go to bed. Work is crazy right now so I've been working from home at night.  I like ice cream in the summertime. Truth is, I was busy before and found, no MADE, time to exercise.  I'm still doing some, but nothing like before.

I did purchase Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.  I think I've done it four times in a month...not exactly gonna get shredded like that.  It was hard as hell and I could see why it works and gets such great reviews (from people that actually do it).  The last two times I ran, I was not able to run as long as I had planned, so that was disappointing.  Use it or lose it, I suppose.

So, I'm happy to be staying within my weight goal by managing my calorie intake appropriately, but it's not really what I pictured starting out. I've not given up, it's not over. I still have the desire and drive to keep going. I just need to get past this slump.  I still have our vacation in sight and am looking forward to wearing shorts and feeling good about it.  I look forward to not feeling fatigued from long days of walking.

I'm very much looking forward to continuing towards my goal.

I haven't taken any progress photos and LORD KNOWS no one (ahem, husband) ever stops to take a photo of me, so here's a recent pic of Ryan and I on our way to the Luke Bryan concert with some friends last Sunday night!  (P.S. SO FUN!)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

time of year

This is the time of year when the air gets hot and sticky.  The humidity is almost suffocating.  Going from the cool comfort of an air conditioned room to the outdoors creates a physical reaction that forces me to breathe consciously, rather than effortlessly.

When the weather gets this way, my mind wanders.  It feels like both a lifetime and just a minute have passed since that day. I picture myself standing there.  Mind whirring and body numb.  Realizing the magnitude of what was going on around me but unable to purposefully take it all in.  Knowing that this moment was one that I had pictured, had feared, for many months but unable to wrap my head around the fact that this day had arrived.  Unable to fully feel what I expected to feel.  We were about to watch as my dad's casket was lowered into the ground and I was numb.  Cried out. Physically and emotionally drained.  Exhausted in every way.

I wore a sheer white shirt with red and black flowers on it with a knee length black skirt and black flats.  I smiled robotically as relatives took family photos in front of the treeline at the back edge of the cemetery, atop the hill where my dad's body lies today.  I repeatedly twisted my long(er) hair up in a knot with my fingers and held it there for a few seconds in an attempt to cool off before letting it fall again around my shoulders.  I stared off in the distance.  I hugged family members and friends and thanked them for their condolences.  What else can you say?  It's okay? No. Because it's not okay.

Just a week prior, I stood on the deck looking at him. Watching him. Waiting. He was working in the yard in the mid-July heat.  So many loose ends he wanted to tie up and things he wanted to take care of so my mom wouldn't have to. He knew he was running out of time.  He changed the oil in my mom's car less than a week before he died. He was a shell, literally a shell, of the man he once was.  Bones and skin.  Beyond thin.  Sickly.  I stood on the deck as he took a break.  He was wearing a hat and he sat in a chair in the yard just beyond the shed.  His head was down.  I contemplated.  Watched, waited.  Finally he moved and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I didn't know that that was the last Saturday I'd see my dad alive.

So today, July 23rd, is always my least favorite day.  Not because I expect horrible things to happen.  But because as soon as the first day of July rolls around, I start thinking about it. Feeling it.  The humidity. The emptiness that a girl feels when she loses her dad at 27.  They say you "lose" someone that you love. Lost loved ones.  It's the ones that are left behind who feel lost and abandoned.

Most days are fine.  Most days I think about my dad in a positive, pleasant way.  It took a long time for those images of him being very ill to be replaced with better memories of happy times.  However, July pretty much stinks from start to finish.  Now I can look at a photo and know immediately when it was taken.  Before he got sick or after. But most days I feel okay.

There are moments.'s so hard to explain to people that have never been through it.  Talking about it with people who do understand, I mean REALLY understand, is such a breath of fresh air.  Anyway, there are moments that still get me.  It's like finding out all over again.  Realizing all over again.  Something will happen - one of the boys will say something.  We'll be out doing something he would have enjoyed.  Seeing a place he would have loved to visit.  A song will play on the radio.  I'll catch myself telling a stupid joke that only I think is funny.  Those moments have the capacity to take my breath away, because I'll remember and realize that he'll never be here for that, to do that, to go there, to laugh at himself.  I know he's been gone for 6 years, but sometimes it still takes my breath away like a solid punch to the gut.

I don't know how else to explain it or what else to say.  Have you ever missed someone so much it takes your breath away like that?


To read previous posts I've written about losing my dad, click HERE.

Friday, July 12, 2013

just a name

Since we didn't find out the gender of our second baby, we had a really difficult time nailing down a name before the big day.  Dexter was born at 7:05am and we didn't settle on his name until around lunchtime.  We were deciding between Dexter and Crosby.  Anyway, I'll never forget that one of the first comments that we received about his name was that we named our kid after a fictional serial killer on Friday the 13th. 

Oh. Well, I guess that is interesting.

Naturally, I didn't really care and that was not going to change our minds about  our little baby's name.  We'd never even seen the show "Dexter."

A few weeks ago we started watching the first season of Dexter and well.... okay.  I get it!  Our son will be around a lot longer than this show and hopefully he's not associated with the character for all of his life.  It's a really good show, by the way.  It is SO odd hearing people say the name and especially the nickname, Dex. 

When your kid has an uncommon name, you just don't expect to hear it like that.  Ryan works with a guy named Theo and every time he mentions him, SO WEIRD.


have a good weekend.  :)  I'll just be here, watching Dexter and "Dexter" and being creeped out by the serial killer pictured above.  Not by the cutie bug pictured below.

cutie bug.  not serial killer.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

our tenth wedding anniversary

To say that our ten year anniversary snuck up on us would be an understatement.  I remember when we were dating and talking about getting married, how it would be our dream to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon.  Well, we underestimated how much the wedding and everything else would cost.  We settled for Jamaica (no complaints, we loved it!) and said we'd go to Hawaii for our 5 year anniversary.  We didn't really plan for a trip to Hawaii but during the winter prior to our 5th anniversary, we were presented with the opportunity to go on an Alaskan cruise shortly before our anniversary.  Amazing! But not Hawaii.  What is it about Hawaii?  I guess to us, it's the ultimate vacation destination.  Anyway, it worked out best that we go to Disney this fall and sorry Charlie, but we're just not the type of family that is able to go on two big vacations in one year.  So around March, I started looking for destinations for a romantic weekend getaway that were within driving distance.

I discovered Hocking Hills (in Ohio) and could not stop oohing and aahing over the images online.  So, I booked our trip to Ohio (again, not Hawaii) for the 4th through the 6th. Maybe it's a more realistic goal to get there for our 20th anniversary.  Maybe.

On Friday, July 5th, we celebrated 10 years of marriage.  I kept saying "know what we were doing 10 years ago right now?"  And we struggled a little to remember the sequence and details throughout our wedding day.  We pieced it together and had fun re-living the memories together.

Babies.  Just babies.

We stopped for lunch in Columbus and then headed south to Logan, where our hotel was.  I had never been to Columbus and noon on the 4th of July was certainly not the time to visit.  Deadsville.  But it seemed like a wonderful town.  Logan:  Not Hawaii.  I researched online and this town looked so cute with some of the neatest shops and restaurants.  In reality, the town was a dump.  Sorry, Logan.  I get the draw, the surrounding area of Hocking Hills is astounding.  Amazing.  But when we rolled into town, we didn't know that.  Logan could do a lot to increase tourism in the area - or at least the tourists' experience there.  We were lucky to have a delicious barbeque place called Millstone BBQ right next to our hotel.  It was the beginning of my undoing.  

Spiked Southern Tea (x2) and Apple Cinnamon Nachos.  Shew lawdy. 

I was too incapacitated (from the nachos, not the spiked tea) to go to the local fireworks, so we went back to our hotel to use the hot tub.  'Cept the jets weren't working.  Cool!  

Friday morning (our actual anniversary) we headed to Lancaster for our big adventure of the weekend. 

It rained/drizzled throughout our 2 hour zipline tour, but overall it wasn't terrible.  Most of the time we were protected by the canopy of trees.  I obviously wasn't able to take my camera or phone so I was happy they offered a photo package.  We got to ride 11 different lines and rappel down from the last platform.  

Practice time - learning how to self-rescue.

Lucky me! I got to be the first one to go across the first line.

Before I figured out that you steer with your wrists, I was twisty-turny.

Zipping across one of the 1,000+ foot lines, over 100 feet in the air!

Racing.  (Pretty sure I lost).

Getting ready to rappel.

After ziplining, we were hungry so we went into the town of Lancaster, OH, where we SHOULD have stayed.  It was super cute and historic with the neatest buildings and homes, as well as a modernized area with all of the amenities you could ask for.  I already want to take the boys to the Hocking Hills/Columbus area when they are a little older so I'll keep this in mind.  We found another neat spot to eat called Four Reasons.  So cute and delicious.  The rain let up so we stopped at the next attraction area on our way back to Logan. 

It was some pretty intense hiking despite this serene looking photo so afterwards, I was ready to do a bit of shopping and relaxing. 

Too bad these awesome-sauce boots were $130.

Friday night we ate at a Mexican restaurant near our hotel and it was delicious.  Afterwards, I wanted to die.  I ate way too much and am definitely going to have some make-up work to do for the damage I did this weekend.  Was it worth it?  Depends on whether or not I can lose this FIVE extra pounds or not... oh and by the way, the hot tub still wasn't working.  WASTE!

Saturday we got up and headed to the heart of Hocking Hills. I have to admit that up to this point in our trip, I was feeling pretty disappointed overall.  Glad that we were able to get away but pretty bummed about the gloomy weather and the town we stayed in.  (P.S. As we checked out, we noticed that the jets in the hot tub were indeed working again. WTH).  So we found Old Man's Cave which has several fantastic other spots to see, all within a 6 mile hike.  We did the entire thing and absolutely fell in love with the area.  It was gorgeous.  It seemed that there was a surprise around every corner.  The hike Saturday made the entire trip for me.  The ziplining was a fun adventure, but THIS was Hocking Hills. This is what we went there to see.  I again did not want to carry my camera, not knowing if it would rain, if I'd fall in the creek, or if I'd drop it in the mud so I went with only my cell.  If you have time or ever consider a day trip to the area though, please look up photos online.  Pictures can't come close to standing there in the magical natural wonder of Hocking Hills.  Swear.

It was truly magnificent.  My opinion of our trip went from hum-drum/so-so to over-the-top-wonderful in the 3+ hrs we spent hiking there.  I would have done more if I thought my legs would hold out!  It was pretty rugged (and dangerous even) in spots with lots of climbing.  I'm sore today but it was so worth it.  

Can't wait to take the boys when they get a little older. I thought of them so many times and how much they would love exploring the beauty of this place. We got home Saturday evening and picked up the boys first thing Sunday morning.  Oh, did it feel good to get them in my arms again!  What a fantastic break from work and reality for just a few short days.  So, was it anything like Hawaii?  Not a chance, and I'm okay with that.  

Having fun at Nana and Pop Pop's.

A lady who's been married for over 10 years