Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I could've just opened up a box of....


..but I wouldn't have gotten a chuckle out of what Grace said!


Last night for dinner I made homemade Beef Stroganoff, why I don't make it more often is a question to me because I LOVE it!! 6 out of 7 Summers monkeys gave it two thumbs up(I don't think Emma could get past the mushrooms, "dats gusting mom", enough said). Surprisingly easy to make, full of flavor, full of noodles, mushrooms and of course what makes it stroganoff, sour cream. What is there not to love about it?! After all plates were cleaned, minus a few 'gusting mushrooms, tummy's pleasantly full, Grace turned to me and said "Mom, that was great Hamburger Helper!" Curses Betty Crocker for creating a box mix that tastes similar to the genuine thing! It was funny and confusing all rolled up in one. I guess I'll take it as a compliment, especially since I discovered a while back that they liked Hamburger Helper over some of my creations(just wrong on so many levels, my curried pumpkin soup is killer!).


So if your children are like my monkeys and actually prefer HH over your cooking but you'd like the satisfaction of creating it from scratch here's the recipe of..


It's not Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs beef stew meat

4 T butter

31/2 c beef broth

4 T ketchup

2 t salt

1 t pepper

1/2 t garlic powder

8 oz sliced mushrooms

1 onion, thinly sliced

5 T flour

1 c or more sour cream


Brown stew meat in melted butter, stirring occasionally. Reserving 1/2 of broth, stir in remaining broth, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onions. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer until beef is tender. You may need to add additional water while it is cooking. After the beef is tender add mushrooms and cook an additional 10 minutes. While that is simmering blend into reserved broth the 5 T of flour, making sure to get lumps out. Gradually stir into stroganoff and bring to a boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add sour cream and serve over hot noodles. YUM!


Hope you enjoy Kelly and Lisa ;)!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A text message to treasure

A few days ago I was scanning through my saved text messages trying to delete old ones and make room for new ones. I remember doing this shortly after Duane had passed away but making sure to lock any messages that might have been from him. I needed to hold on to any words that he may have spoken to me texts, written or taped. As I entered into 2008 text's, horrible that I have that many I know, I became aware that I was entering into the possible last text communications between Duane and I. Amazing how things just seemed to turn out, not a coincidence I'm sure. The last text Duane sent me said simply..."Take your time".

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"Take your time".

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I was probably shopping or out to lunch with Jessie or who knows what, but now it has gained such different meaning. One of my favorite songs is from Brad Paisley "Waitin' on a Woman", you must watch the video to truly appreciate the song, but here are part of the lyrics that make be boo hoo every time I listen:

"I've read somewhere statistics show

The man's always the first to go

And that makes sense 'cause I know she won't be ready

So when it finally comes my time

And I get to the other side

I'll find myself a bench, if they've got any

I hope she takes her time, 'cause I don't mind

Waitin' on a Woman

Honey, take your time, 'cause I don't mind

Waitin' on a woman."


He knew me so well.

One year has passed today since our separation began, seven little babies separated from a wonderful father, a wife separated from her dear husband, parents separated from a loving son. We all ache for his laugh, touch, humor, sincerity, knowledge and little bit of the man that we loved. Duane knew we would need little reminders now and then. So I will read that final text and take my time, enjoy life, cry, laugh, and eventually meet him at that bench where he waits for us, for me. I'll take my time, 'cause he won't mind waintin' on his woman.
I love you Duane.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Doorbells

I think we've all done it. As kids, I think we've all enjoyed it. But nothing could compare from my childhood or be sweeter to me than that ding dong ditch I received this morning. That sweet sound of the doorbell ringing, opening the front door and finding a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers. Thank you dear secret friend for bringing a smile to my face and happy tears to my eyes.
I can't express in words adequately how tough this past month has been. The anticipation of marking off the calendar one year since Duane's passing. But really the one year calendar dates won't start on November 10, they've started already. It was late August at the parent back to school night when we first noticed the jaundice in his eyes. Mid September when we discovered the cancer had come back and chemo would start all over again. The beginning of October when he finally decided that he just couldn't work anymore and took a months leave of absence, not knowing that would be the wisest thing he would ever do. To spend that last month none stop with Duane was such a sweet blessing to me and especially the young babies, Emma and Hannah.

When Duane passed I assumed that one year was a long time. Foolish girl. It's just a drop in the bucket. My heart still aches, hurts and will do so for a long time. When my eternal glasses break it's so hard to see past the temporal separation that Duane and I are enduring. And yes, I do believe that even though my sweetheart is happy, pain free and in a peaceful place that he feels the separation just as I do. You don't loose that love, it never fades, if anything it just grows and evolves.

Thank you my doorbell friend for readjusting my eternal glasses, setting them straight, and putting me once again back on the straight path. It's a long hard journey ahead. I need those little kicks in the rear especially when they're in flower form.



Friday, September 11, 2009

A 2-year olds torture device and a little chocolate on the side

Many many moons ago when I was first blessed with becoming a mother I knew of some classic toys that must be a must in my children's toy box. Toys like pop beads, the "corn popper" push toy, the pull telephone and the shape sorter. Do you remember the Tupperware shape sorter? Did your memory fail you too? My memory should be fired for the lack of devotion to it's employer. How could I have forgotten 6 previous children's suffering from this harmless looking toy? Fortunately or unfortunately for Emma, she will be the last of the Summers children to receive torture from the shape sorter. Such a harmless looking toy, educational, bright and really fun to shake the shapes out. But it's putting the shapes back in where the frustration begins for my little 2 year old. As my sweet, calm, level headed toddler begins her first embark on the shape sorter, giggles and grins are quickly replaced with "oh man!", "help me, help me!", and "I tant do it". The phrases coming from that child were hysterical, just the humor I needed today. She on the other hand did not find the humor in it, but someday she too will forget, purchase one for her toddler and then threaten to fire her memory for it's lack of devotion!



Because today is Friday, because I haven't blog in a very, very, very long time because I've had zucchini in abundance, I'm including a Chocoholics Anonymous recipe. This is one of my favorite summertime chocolate recipes simply because is uses a vegetable that any summer garden probably has growing out the wazoo! It's such a moist, chocolaty cake that is one of my families requested favorites. I have to give a big thanks to my dear friend Heidi for sharing this recipe with me.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1 1/2 c sugar
1 c butter
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 sour cream
1/4 c cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 c shredded zucchini
1 c chocolate chips
1 c chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat 3 minutes until fluffy. Add sour cream and mix until combined, then add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and mix again until just combined. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts. This is a stiff batter. Spread the batter into a 9 x 13 pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Frost with your favorite chocolate icing. Yummy delicious!



Two little zucchini plants produced so much zucchini my kids thought they were about to die of zucchini poisoning. I was in heaven on the other hand, all ready to plant more next year just so I can make and eat another fresh from my garden
Chocolate Zucchini Cake!


Friday, September 4, 2009

I blame it all on......


Hopefully I can get my creative juices flowing soon because that part of my brain has been harshly deprived. Thanks Farmtown, Bouncing Balls and of course I don't want to forget Spinning Bubbles. Don't know what I'm taking about, "Join me on Facebook", well only if you want to be sucked into the pit of despair. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jo Bro's*(insert teeny bopper scream here)* We Love You!

video

Nothing sums up last night quite like my Katie Rose. I treated the ladies with concert tickets to see our favorite boy band, The Jonas Brothers, and yes I meant "our favorite", I love them too!

You need to watch the videos in order to truly get the jest of Katie's frenzy. The first one cracks me up, the pure 100% delight and euphoria, they were simply just rising out of the stage.

video

This next one I decided to show you not because of the fantastic camera workmanship but the fact that Katie was shaking by arm silly! I swear between her and Molly I was brutally beaten. They both kept slapping my arm with excitement. And don't get me wrong, Molly was EQUALLY excited just not as frantic about her excitement. It was straight from the Beatles mania i swear!

video

This last video I think she was about to take flight! Watch her hands and her facial expressions. I laughed so hard, about to pee my pants hard.

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Yesterday I noticed that my diamond solitaire was missing from my wedding set. To say the least I was beside myself, looking and praying that the little diamond would be found. But so far no such luck, it really could be anywhere in the house or worse out in the world. I guess I don't really have to express to much how devastating this has been, but to find the silver lining and grace from God, since obviously it was going to fall out I'm so thankful that it fell out on the same day we went to see the Jonas Brothers. The complete sorrow and devastation was lifted away as I watched those 3 boys perform their hearts out.

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So Jo Bros, thank you, and WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

One year older and wiser too....

Today my Benny Boo Boo turned 13. He wanted aviator sunglasses and "cool clothes, you know mom, shirts that don't hand down real low like I'm 6 feet tall but I'm not" and yes he was that particular, shoot me now. He also had to share his special day with Father's Day, a very weepy day in the Summers home.
One year ago my little man still let his mom pick out his clothes, choose his hair cut and he played with bugs named Fred.

One year later my 13 year old young man went to Abercrombie, got a shag hair cut(blech) and would rather look at cute girls, be cool and try not to be too much of a dork.


Bye bye my little man.



Good bye to a lose of innocence one that no 13 year old boy should go through.




But as the song goes, "one year older and wiser too..."
Happy Birthday to you!
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I love you Ben, I'm proud of you and of how much you've grown up. You are wiser and wittier and wackier and 100% completely WONDERFUL!






Friday, June 12, 2009

Nam Hai-Lesson Learned

If you happened to be from my neck of the woods, cook with an ethnic twist, or are just a glutton for olfactory punishment you know the store Nam Hai. Often I have frequented there, mostly for special soy sauce, curry or yellow split peas. Often I have taken a deep breath upon entering the store and braced for the worst. Never have I experienced what happened today.

After a fun lunch with three of my monkeys Jack, Hannah and Emma (I've been almost naked lately with the kids being scattered so much), I decided to run across the street to the stinky fish store as Jack calls it. All the noses present had experienced the Nam Hai aroma but today even my seasoned nose/brain connection cried out to the Heavens for relief!

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One minute in the store, kid you not, I looked down at my regurgitating sensitive child Emma, (with almost that same expression on her face as in the pic) as she said "oh, it tinky!". Thank goodness for small blessings and baggies of cheerios in my purse, I was able to catch the nauseated child's vomit. Yes it was that smelly. So lesson learned, Emma is cordially uninvited to join me on my next trip to the stinky fish store.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Because......

....... he was playing 12 year old boy dress up with Christian.



.....he won them at the claw machine at Wal-Mart.




.......he couldn't find the bottoms so he wore the top instead.



........he thought it would make the most awesome, grande banana phone EVER!
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And his momma misses him while he's at scout camp because.....
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.....he's just my BEN!
Love ya buddy.





Sunday, June 7, 2009

Molly Smiles

You would think by now that I would be prepared and carry with me an arsenal of tissues. My eyes leak so often that whenever Hannah or Emma see me teary they automatically say, "You miss Dada?" Unfortunately they're right 99.9% of the time that I'm crying.


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This recital weekend was no exception except the tears were 100% missing Duane. I should have known, Friday night was definitely a tear jerker for me and all around me, heck, anyone who knew our loved Duane couldn't help but be touched by his oldest daughters, my Miss Molly doing a beautiful dance tribute to her daddy.


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"Molly Smiles" was just not any song chosen. This past Christmas Molly was given the gift of solo lessons and a solo performance at this years Pointe Night.(a gift because of the extra time and love her dance teacher Ms. Farry would be putting forth) When I talked to Ms. Farry not only was she on board but she had had a dream a few days prior about Molly dancing to "Molly Smiles". A true inspiration from our Father in Heaven I'm sure.



Despite the tears this year recital was just wonderful. The dancing and music was entertaining but the family support and love stole the show for me. Uncle Darrell came in from Colorado to watch the ladies and Jack perform (Ben opted not to this year which was wise since he was sick this weekend with a 103 fever). Grandparents, aunts and uncles and this year a new addition a cousin Zack all supported the kids through three separate 2 hour recitals, now that's love. Let's not forget my dear friend Jessie that took care of the little ladies, changed 2 mother load poopies and 2 hysterical Emma barfs, yes she is a true BFF(couldn't resist the slang).









Here's the video of Molly dancing to "Molly Smiles". Sorry, it's not that great, I was crying and nervous for Molly and trying to hold still all at the same time. Not a great video combination. I love my Molly and am so proud of her these past almost 7 months. She has shown not just outer beauty but her inner beauty especially when my Molly Smiles.







Thursday, May 28, 2009

When Grace is in Charge

When Grace is in charge..... pictures of the eyes pop up on the camera. (Don't you love to see the thought processes of a 6 year old?)

When Grace is in charge..... shoes are perfectly aligned.


I should leave Grace in charge of the trash!




Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Neglect 101

I was thinking of teaching a community education course on neglect. It's been over a week now since the Summers home has taken the trash to the curb. *Notice the overturned trash can not in use or the lid on the other can again not in use.
Don't you think I'm perfectly qualified? One always wants a professor with not only smarts but experience. Neglect 101, not a course I want to have on my motherly resume.
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*This is my 100th post, so ironic it's about trash. Does that say something about me? Yikes!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Well since a baby was not an option

Meet Lincoln, the newest member of the Summers family. He's an absolute Pug-a-licious 9 week old bundle of sweetness. Duane was a Pug lover but never a Pug owner. Lincoln will be a sweet therapeutic puppy ready to help lessen some of our Daddy loneliness. And yes I know that it won't at all take away any pain we feel about losing my love to cancer, but how can that mug not bring some joy.
So why the name Lincoln? Ever since our dog Penny died we've decided to stick with an evolving theme for our dog names, Penny-Copper-Lincoln.(although size wise that is so not proportionate) Plus Duane's birthday and Abe Lincoln's birthday are the same. Perfecto!

He's such a little small fry compared to Copper the Moose. We were a little nervous about the meeting, I mean Copper is just so big. But after a few, well maybe more than a few butt sniffing sessions they seem to be getting along just peachy.



Grandma and Grandad, isn't that just adorable? Smile, he's our missing "Linc", a perfect fit for our family.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My favorite time of the year, wink wink!

Have your children started a countdown yet? Soon the school year will be tucked behind us and ballet will come to a fantastic conclusion with the annual Dance Recital! Oh yes, my little ballerinas and tumblers will get all gussied up and dance their little hearts out.
As I'm finding with a lot of normal everyday activities that used to give me angst (and the ballet recital was one of those love/hate activities) I'm actual excited this year. *Theresa you can close your mouth now. I have been blessed to have the help of my mother these past 6 months since Duane's passing. She took over my job as ballet chauffeur and observer. It was one area that I needed to hand over to someone else, unfrazzled nerves were important for some reason and rush hour traffic never helps. But with the letting go of that task I lost the weekly check on their progress in dance. So like a relative visiting only at Christmas I will see the change in my little dancers.
  • Has Katie gotten the hang of point shoes?
  • Does Molly incorporate dramatic expression into her dance?
  • Will my Grace remember the dance or have to watch the teacher off stage
  • And lastly will Hannah-nannah break out in some form of the funky chicken or dance with her class?
But most of all I can't wait to see the tribute Molly pays to her dad. She's been working since the new year on a solo to the song "Molly Smiles". She loves dance and loved even more that her dad always worked backstage and even did a few dad dances for the recital. She misses that special time with him, I see it in her eyes. But I will feel the love I know radiating from that young woman when she dances, not for me or anyone else, but for her dad. It really will be my favorite time of the year.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Chocoholics Anonymous-I know I've said this before.....


But, I think I may have found my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.(at least for this week)

It's soft yet crispy, loaded with chocolate chips, and has a surprising twist.



I got the recipe from a mom at ballet. She's quite the chocolate chip cookie lover I found out, they bake these babies every Sunday! I was shocked that they made them every Sunday, but after downing a few this morning for breakfast, I now understand why. I could make them a weekly ritual myself.


It's funny how very small the world really is. My sister's aunt in-law Lori goes to church with cookie Lori (yes, two Lori's) and cookie Lori also lives next door to Duane's oncologist(whom we loved). Aunt in-law Lori was talking about cookie Lori at Easter dinner and these fabulous cookies made their way into our conversation, so when I was at ballet last week cookie Lori(who has the recipe perfectly memorized), jotted it down and the rest is history. *Did you just follow that or did I just sound like an airhead?*



Lori's Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 c softened butter

3/4 c brown sugar

1/4 c sugar

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

1 small package vanilla instant pudding

2 1/4 c flour

1 t soda

1 t salt

12 oz chocolate chips ( I used a bag and a half)


Cream your butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time then add vanilla extract and vanilla pudding. Lastly add in flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Spoon onto baking sheets and bake at 375 for 9-11 min.



No fancy steps, sifting, nothing really difficult. Lori says no matter how you make them they turn out the same delicious cookie every time. I love them, I'm sold. But I'm sure next week I will have cheated on them and found a new love. Just call me a cookie floozy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Duane's gift to me



Happy Mother's Day to those of you who have been barfed on, pooped on, slobbered on; kicked, hair pulled, yelled at; kissed, snuggled, cuddled, cooed at, and said in the sweetest of voices, "Mommy I love You!".


I wanted to share with all of you a special gift that was given to me a few years ago, that took the passing of my love for me to cherish it so. As I cleaned out my closet I found the hard copy of a talk Duane wrote and gave in church a few years ago on Mother's Day. I appreciated it then, cherish it now. I hope that all who want to read it feel how truly blessed we are to be called Mother. Click here to read the talk. I love you all, Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things that make you go EWWWWW!


For years my friend Jessie and I have frequented many a McDonald's, definitely not for the food, but for the kids to have playtime and "McTherapy" as we've begun to call it. Her little monkeys are all in school now and it pretty much is a Hannah and Emma playtime while I chit chat with my best friend. So many memories. Poopy diapers, accidents, salt in strangers cups(good one Molly!), ball pits, slides, and lots of laughter. But yesterday topped them all, 14 years of going to McD's and Emma has left her mark(she has to compete fiercely, she has 6 other siblings to beat)!


At one point during our lunch I noticed the absence of my petite 21 month old Emma. Jessie and I began to glance around the possible hiding places. The horrifying thought crept into my mind, THE BATHROOM! Now the terror in my brain was only for the trapped little babe and her fear because she could not get out. "How long had she been in there?" I thought as I opened the closed door to the playrooms bathroom. Of course those fears quickly left as I glanced down at my naked child playing in the toilet, the TOILET! For the love of Pete! What kind of mother lets her toddler play in a public bathrooms toilet, Naked?(keep those comments to yourself) She was happily splashing, swirling tp around, and proud of the fact that she had thrown her diaper in the trash and had gone potty on the floor. Aah sanitary! Of course I did what any level headed mother would do and.....


took a picture!


The vile thoughts that raced through my mind could not be scrubbed like her sweet little arms were, thoroughly scrubbed, like a surgeons. I can only hope that the toilet had been cleaned recently, like 5 minutes before she decided to pretend play Polly the Plumber.
I'm just racking up those "World's Worst Mother" awards, don't even try to beat me, I'm an unstoppable force!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Am I off my rocker? You don't have to answer that!

This morning I was just saying to my mom how much I have missed blogging. The ease and fun has not come as easily as of late. The joyful moments in my life have been slipping away because of my inability to think, type, and just find humor. Don't take this the wrong way, I have been laughing, but tears have been more prevalent.
Last night I listened to Hannah have a conversation with the wind, laughter felt good, smiling was nice. So when I read this quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley I knew it wasn't a coincidence that I read it today.
"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."
I've had a headache a lot lately. The wheels started to turn and smoke started to billow from my brain, crying cannot take up the majority of my emotions, I need to laugh more, need to have more fun with my monkeys. My Ben tried to convince me yesterday that we needed a marshmallow gun. Yesterday I wasn't to convinced. Today, well today I think I need to make an investment in my mental well being and buy a few of these bad boys. Want to play?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My moods are giving me whiplash! Thanks Hannah

For the past few weeks I've been bothered by this irritating crick in my neck. One might guess it's because of poor sleeping habits, or an improper positioning of my neck on my pillow. But after a deep examining of the past weeks events I've diagnosed it with whiplash from erratic moods complicated by a three year old.
First erratic mood situation. I come home from a fabulous date with my Jack, doughnuts and hot chocolate. Just a great time talking, listening, and of course eating yummy doughnut goodness. I come home to happy calls, "Mommy!", give my offering of doughnuts, hear praises of delight. Happy times, happy times! After a few minutes we notice the absence of one loud wild woman, Hannah. Katie comes running into the living room, "Mom, Hannah looks dead! She curled up with a blanket in the bathroom." WHIP! Emotional snap back, of course this mom automatically thinks the worst running to the bathroom, but then WHIP! quickly snaps back as the laughter follows the realization that she had just fallen asleep naked in the bathroom.
Next aid to my condition. My very first blanket project, a minky monkey quilt for my little monkey nephew Zackary Duane. Ohhh, how much fun I had(with the help of my friend Joni) learning how to sew my first quilt. The domestic juices were just flowing, a new love was developed, a calming activity found. A blanket was created that my sister loved and nephew looks adorable wrapped up in, but.......

WHIP! Another emotional snap. The very next day, last Sunday, Hannah decided that a wasabi almond was not suitable for her mouth, but better placed in her right ear. And of course I being the determined mother decided that I could retrieve the stuck nut, WRONG! My mood turned gloomy as we watched that nut slip farther and farther back into her ear canal and eventually gone because it had slipped so far back. *Note to self, that's why a doctor spends so many years in school, to save mothers and three year olds the heartache and pain of trying to retrieve stuck nuts. After several doctors and few unsuccessful tries Hannah ended up having an outpatient surgery to remove the wasabi almond. A nut head no longer.




The next day, presumably still under the influence, Hannah made a major decision, you know the ones advised not to make when coming out of anesthetics, she cut her hair! WHIP! After the euphoria of an almond free child, Hannah plunged us once again into a pit of despair. How on earth could we possibly fix the Billie Ray Cyrus doo she had created. Learning a valuable lesson just a few days before, I decided to call on a professional to fix the mullet madness.




And voila! An adorable child once again, thanks Genelle.




It's much shorter, a little more high maintenance, but sooo much better than the chop job I would have done. Hannah has learned much these past few weeks. Nuts only go in the mouth, hair is only cut by professionals and if mom comes at you with a pair of tweezers, RUN!!!!!
I decided that my neck needed to have a break, no more whipping back and forth between emotions. I would like to concentrate on one emotion at a time, and preferable in longer intervals. But after much crying on the shoulder of my mom, talking late at night, and a few great talks heard from some very wise and loving leaders of our church, I've decided that this too shall pass. It's hard right now, I relied so much on my Duane to get me through all these whiplash moments, but I have been asked to do it differently now, and I will. I will find a better way to muddle through life's roller coaster ride, without the whiplash. My neck needs a break!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some things can never change

Dear Duane,
We did it, we continued on with our family tradition! Spring break arrived, fighting commenced, couch potato's sprouted, sleeping in once again reigned supreme, Guidry playtime occurred and hotel heaven happened. I contemplated whether or not to embark on this last one task without you, but Duane, some things can never change. Katie brought a little remembrance of you along so you wouldn't feel that left out. We did miss you horribly, especially when I had to run home at 11:00 to get the sleeping bag that Ben forgot(I didn't even get a ticket! Are you jealous?)



How could we give up hotel pizza, Mazzio's with a little root beer, yum! Do you remember that first year that we had hotel pizza, we had just come back from the zoo and surprised the kids with a night at the Springhill Suites, man that New Yorker was divine. I can see your face now, huge smile, downing that slice of heaven. Such a silly little tradition, but it was ours and we will always think of you while we down our slices of heaven.


Don't you love the smiles on their faces? These moments strengthen me Duane, through all the hard times, and lately we've had a lot of those moments, little smiles like Gracie's give me just that extra boost to keep going.


Can you believe how excited our monkeys can get when you explain that since we are on the first floor, no one is beneath us and that they can dance and jump as much as they want? What a bunch of nut heads, it was like a night club, but without the booze, scandalously dressed women and looser dogs.



Emma decided to boogie down too! She perfected the fine art of eating calzones and dancing at the same time, without choking and barfing. As a matter of fact I think she was even serenading us with her lovely rendition of Life is a Highway.



We played a few games, fought a few fights(did you know Duane that Home Improvement had ugly people on it?), watched a little American Idol, snuggled a few babies to sleep and enjoyed the evening at the hotel. It's quiet now, the kids are all asleep, now and then Emma stirs, I miss you painfully right now but I know that for our children, fun traditions must continue. I love you dearly because, some things can never change.

Love,
Beautiful

Each day to live....

Finding the little things in the day that make me smile.



Duane's last Dance

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