Thursday, January 6, 2011

Things I love...on a Thursday afternoon...

I'm going to post a touchy-feely...feel good post. Why? Because it's a good day. I feel on top of it, and am in an all around good mood.
So, here are the things that make me happy today...

1.) Cal and Avery played like champs this morning and got along really well. When I came back from taking Avery to school, Cal said "I'll miss Avery while she's gone". Sweeties!

2.) My sisters are home this week, so I get to take Avery to school while they stay home with the other two kiddies. I love this little alone time that I get with Avery. We sing silly songs, get to school early (as opposed to running in all crazy), and hold hands as we walk in. It's such a little thing, and it amounts to about 25 minutes, but I love it.

3.) Lillian is such a good napper. When it's time for her nap, I get her blankie, and pick her up as we head up the stairs. We spend every little step of that walk up to her bed snuggling. I kiss her and hug her and tell her at least 50 times that I love her. She snuggles into my neck and gives me a little squeeze as I lay her in her bed. She doesn't make a peep, rolls over and falls right to sleep.

4.) Mae (the other little girl that I watch) realizes that Lillian is taking a nap and immediately starts asking for a blankie too. She would rather take a nap than stay awake without Lil. She is such a sweet little girl and loves Lillian (not as much as she loves Cal though;). She doens't care what blankie she sleeps with, just as long as she gets one. Right now, she is sleeping with my pink pashmina...because it was soft. She gets hugs and kisses too on her way to bed, and now after watching her for a few months, she lays right down and falls asleep too.

5.) While Avery is at school, and the babies are sleeping, Cal and I get to hang out a little. Right now, he is kicking my butt at Mario Party.

Maybe my happy attitude has something to do with my new Keurig coffee pot. Somehow, life seems a little easier with easy access to caffeine.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mr. Dobbins

Mr. Dobbins holding Avery
Mr. Dobbins will always be one of my favorite people. He and his wife Betty (she will always be Mrs. Dobbins to me...and another one of my favorite people), were always a solid and loving couple in our church growing up. I appreciated both of them more than I ever told them.
Mrs. Dobbins passed away in 2005, and Mr. Dobbins went to be with her this past weekend 1-1-11. I've loved them so much and for long that the reasons why sometimes seem muddled...but here are a few things that I can sort out and that you should know. I hope that you all are lucky enough to have someone as strong and special in your life as Mr. and Mrs. Dobbins.

Mr. Dobbins would sit in the back of the church on the right side. Our family sat in the same pew, but on the left side. Sometimes, I would purposely go in on his side (we were always late), just so I could give him a kiss on the cheek. He never minded that I squeezed in past him, and was always happy to see us.

Mrs. Dobbins never held her tongue. She didn't need to...she was always right. Her opinion meant about as much to me as my own mother's. She was a strong woman who was able to carry the weight of the world, run a tight kitchen (seriously...don't you DARE make a mess in the church kitchen!), take care of her children and grandchildren and never seem stressed.

Mr. Dobbins was my Grandpa Cox's friend. My Grandpa Cox was much older when he joined the church, but found a friend in Mr. Dobbins. How lucky to find someone that you have something in common with later in life! I love that they found one another. I love that Mr. Dobbins visited my Grandpa in the hospital, and I love Mr. Dobbins even more for being a friend to my sweet soft spoken Grandpa.

Mrs. Dobbins was everyone's Granny. She would stay in her chair in the church lobby after church and welcomed all of the love that came her way. Mr. Dobbins would stand near her. Later, after Betty passed away, Mr Dobbins would sit directly across where she used to sit and be ready for the hugs and kisses too.

Mr. Dobbins always held my hands when I leaned in to kiss his cheeks. His skin was soft, and he was always so gentle. He wasn't a small man, but he was sweet, loving and careful. He always remembered what was going on in my life. He was just like a grandpa.

When Chris and I were dating, Mrs. Dobbins declared that he was a good guy, and she liked him. She was an excellent judge of character. I'm pretty sure that she didn't like anyone else that I dated, so this was a BIG deal. If I wasn't sure about Chris before this, her opinion of him would have sealed the deal. Luckily for him, he got the seal of approval.

I've never seen a more devoted couple in my life. They weren't ostentatious with their love, but you just knew how deeply and madly in love they were. They built such a huge life around them, and you could tell that ever corner of that life was filled with love.

Their youngest daughter Missy took care of both of them through her life. I am so lucky to have known her for the majority of my life and to call her a friend. I love her so much, and when I think about the reasons that I love her...they are for the same reasons that I love her parents. She is loyal, devoted, loving, giving, caring, she speaks her mind, and she is a wonderful friend...and good cook;) I am so thankful that both Mr. and Mrs. Dobbins live on in her.

Mr. and Mrs. Dobbins were loyal and loving. They were there for their kids, grandkids and anyone else that needed them. I am so thankful for both of them, and the positive influence that they made on me. They were a cornerstone in my life, and I will forever be grateful to them both for being such positive role models to anyone that knew them.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year...

It's 1:11 on 1-1-11. I haven't blogged in over a year, so I thought, "maybe I'll start blogging again...or maybe not". Either way, I am blogging tonight.
I'm sitting alone in our living room waiting for the call to pick up my hubby from downtown GR and his gig at the Big O. Don't feel too sorry for me. We had a great night. My parents and sisters and our great friends, the Tenneys were all here to ring in the new year(s) with us. We ordered pizza, had snacks, played games and had our fake new year celebration at 9pm, right before Chris had to leave for his gig. Our pretend NYE was complete with a shiny ball that dropped from our loft as we counted down. *For the record, the "shiny ball" was really a giant bouncy ball wrapped up in Brandie's shiny sequined'll have to ask her about the sweater;)

Since it's been over a year since I've blogged, I decided that it might be a nice time to reflect on my favorite memories from 2010...big and no particular order.

New York City
We traveled with Kenowa's Band and Orchestra to NYC this year and brought Avery with us. It was an amazing trip and Avery was a great travel partner. If you ask her what her favorite thing about the trip was, she would say "when my dad stepped in gum...and sleeping on the bus". My favorites were playing on Evelyn's playground, and taking an art class in SOHO at the Children's Museum of the Arts.

Avery's 4th birthday
We are so fortunate to have birthdays that fall in the summer months. We can have fun parties without a whole lot of planning. This year, we did a Cinderella (of course) ice cream party with make your own sundaes. Of course, we set up the Bookie slip and slide (giant tarp with Mr. Bubble). Avery loved her giant dollhouse and still plays with everything she received. Age 4 has been good to us so far. Three was a little trying, but when she turned 4, it was a like a switch was flipped. She has been so mature and independent and loving...and funny. That kid cracks me up!

Lillian's 1st birthday
Lil had a fun Ladybug party this year, and was the little belle of the ball. It is so hard to believe that she turned one. Her first year went by in a flash. She started walking at 14 months, so her birthday was nice and easy to keep her interested. She has really started to develop a funny little personality. She is also my shy child, who is not a fan of strangers (or familiar people for that matter). While it can be tough at times, I sort of love that she clings to me. I don't mind that she is still my little baby...I like it that way.

Starting...and stopping working out
I started working out religiously in January, and stopped in April (I totally got out of the habit during my trip to NYC). I actually loved working out, so I don't know why it has been so hard to get back into it. I need to start again...the end.

Farmer's Market Saturdays
I stole away a few Saturdays this summer to hit the farmer's market in GR. I know this seems so simple and meaningless, but I LOVE the farmer's market, and I LOVE having a little snippet of time to myself.

Class Reunion
Was in June, and was a pain to plan, and I thought that we were going to cancel it, and it was stressful until the end, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. I'm actually looking forward to working on another one someday and seeing everyone again.

5 year anniversary
In July, we celebrated 5 years of marriage. Man, I love that man. He is so sweet and really loves us girls. We've gone through a lot in 5 years, and I've never felt more connected to him. He is such a great partner, and I am so lucky to have him.

Trip to PA
We took a whirlwind trip to PA after Thanksgiving and it was a blast. We visited the Diesner's, hit a few DDD restaurants and had lots of fun traveling with the Tenneys.

Wine tasting in TC
Wine tasting while not pregnant is much more fun that wine tasting while pregnant. I had a blast, and hanging out with the Lobbezoo brothers and sister-in-laws makes everything better.

Dance Class
Avery is in ballet, tap and jazz, and she LOVES it! I love taking her and listening to what she is learning. She is so fun and cannot wait until June when she gets to dance "ON STAGE"!

House full of kids
It's been a literal full house over here in 2010. We've had anywhere from 2-6 kids here and it's been a little crazy. I love all the babies that I've watched (Avery, Lillian, Alex, Cal, Mae, Brenna, Dylan) and they have all given me hilarious memories. They have also helped me fall asleep at night...because I am exhausted.

I've had 2 new ones that crack me up:

1.) While in the car, Ricky Martin's La Vida Loca comes on...
Cal: (YELLS from the back seat) WAIT! That's my dad's favorite song!
Me: Ricky Martin sings your dad's favorite song?
Cal: Yup...he loves to dance and sing to that Spanish song!
(you have to know Jamey Tenney to really appreciate to hilarity of this story)

2.) While changing our clothes...only happened just last week...
Avery: Mom, are you cold?
Me: Nope, I'm just getting dressed.
Avery: Do boobs get bigger when you are cold?
Me: Um...what?
Avery: Do boobs get bigger when it's cold? Cuz...yous boobs are bigger than my head"
Me:, boobs don't get bigger...only nipples get bigger in the cold.
Avery: OK...good. (and she runs to play)
Me: *relieved to have dodged a more uncomfortable conversation

Repainting the porch
Chris worked his tail off to refinish and repaint the porch (I did a little painting too). It makes our house look so much better. I don't hate looking at it....the end.

Bookie Drive-ins
We held 2 Bookie Drive-Ins this year. We hang a sheet from our back deck, make a fire, pop popcorn, and watch movies in the backyard. It's a lot of fun, and the kids love it.

Lillian's first steps, first words, and lots of other firsts
What can be said? It's amazing to see Lillian move from crawling to standing to taking tentative steps to attempting to run to chase the kids. Her first words happened almost simultaneously and were "Mama" and "Dada"...perfect. Now, her favorite thing to do is to point, and say "that" and shake her head "no".

A Stroke-Free Year
Since being diagnosed last December with CADASIL, I was worried that I would immediately see some effects of the disease. Luckily, this has been such an uneventful year in regards to my health that there are times that I get to forget that I have it. I thought that it would always be on my mind, so it's nice.

Conversations about Tito
Avery has an on again, off again relationship with Tito. He is an ever-evolving entity in our lives. Apparently, he lives in Florida. Sometimes, he is her boyfriend, sometimes he is her friend. Sometimes he is old enough to drive, sometimes he is 4.
She told me that Tito isn't in love with her anymore, and I had to check myself to remember that he wasn't real...because, I almost went to his house in Florida and kicked his 4 or 16 year old tail.

Sean and Steph's anniversary
Sean and Steph celebrated a year of marriage at the end of October...we love her, and I love to celebrate the day that she became a Dick. Chris surprised them by sending their wedding DVD to their hotel room.

Christmas 2010
Cookie the Elf made another appearance and kicked of the season. Avery was REALLY into Christmas, and Lillian was REALLY into the tree. We had a great Christmas (I got a Keurig!) and I was so grateful for the great kids and family that I have.

Lots of visits to Romulus and lots of visits from my parents
While I have no interest in ever living on the east side again, for some reason, I always want to be there visiting. I can't get enough of my family. I love them all so much, and whether we are there, or they are here...I always want us to have more time together.

These are just to name a few, and I KNOW that I am forgetting some. I know that 2011 will bring more fun memories. I mean, I live with a house full of characters, how could I NOT laugh my way through another year. I wish you all a great 2011 too.