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.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A break in the clouds

Like a warm burst of sunshine on a dreary day, little Zackary Duane Ipson has spread happiness and warmth among our family.
March 7th my sister Megan and her husband Ben became parents, welcoming to the world a 5 lb 15 oz bundle of sweet monkeyness. I've never held such a small fry before, my babies were all whoppers. Mom and Dad seem to be settling in just fine to their new roles as parents.

Motherhood looks beautiful on Meg. Welcome to the family little Zackary Duane. May you not get clobbered by your cousins!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Chocoholics Anonymous-A Tale of Two Turtles

Today is my 16th wedding anniversary and I am in a serious need of really good chocolate. Honestly, today kinda stinks, big rotten egg stinks. I guess my rose colored glasses are broken, every time I think of the fabulous, happy memories about our wedding day I get all teary eyed. Even blogging about chocolate is trying my patients(I've been typing this post all day!).

I decided to make 2 kinds of turtle desserts, the first one is the pictured scrumdiddliumptious one above, a Paula Deen delight, the second one was this tried and true favorite. Both are equally rich, gooey and definitely filled that need to devour chocolate goodness. Why did I make two you ask? Today being my anniversary I was afraid that if I made the cake and it was disappointing I would be left wanting the other turtle bars, so better be safe than really sorry and grouchy(thanks for the life's lesson Brenda). *Warning about the Turtle Cake, my top cake layer didn't cook exactly how I thought it should, it was gooier than I would have liked it*

Turtle Cake


1 box German chocolate cake mix

1 14 oz package of caramel candies

1 stick butter

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 c chocolate chips

1 c chopped nuts


3 T cocoa

1/2 stick butter

1/3 c milk

1 T light corn syrup

1/8 t salt

2 c powdered sugar

1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cake according to directions on box. Pour half of batter into prepared 9x 13 pan, reserve other half. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Don't turn off oven. Meanwhile, melt caramel candies with butter in a pan. When completely melted, remove from heat an stir in condensed milk until smooth. Let mixture cool completely. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Spread mix over cooled cake. Pour remaining batter over mixture and return to oven for another 25 to 30 minutes. While cake is baking, prepare frosting. Mix together cocoa, butter, milk, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for approximately 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Using a handheld mixer, beat powdered sugar and vanilla into cocoa mixture: beat until smooth. Pour icing over warm cake.

Duane and I were the best of friends, completely madly in love. I miss him dearly and wish he were by my side this day, like he was those 16 short years ago. Really I do know that he has never left me, I am not alone, but sometimes that faith that you cling to slips and sadness sweeps over you. Right now I feel that sadness, just a longing to hold him, share with him some of my yummy creations, laugh with him about some of the children's antics, use him as a sounding board for my frustrations. I miss him.

We were two peas in a pod!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hannah's version of tough love (and an award!)

Shortly after Duane had passed away Hannah began a friendship with Jessica. A grown up woman with big boobs, grey hair and a baby. Did I mention where Jessica lives? My closet, yes you heard me right, my closet. Ahh, the sweet imagination of a three year old. Well for some time now Jessica has come out of the closet(no pun intended) to play with Hannah, join us for family gatherings, and even visit with us while we all piled on my bed. But sadly last week Hannah and Jessica apparently had a falling out.
Hannah: Jessica is mean!
Mommy: Really Hannah? Why is Jessica mean?
Hannah: She doesn't play nice with me and her don't like me! Her is mean, mean, mean.
Mommy: What should we do about Jessica Hannah?
Hannah: Let's put her outside!
Mommy: Outside?
Hannah: Yes(and she opens the door, and shoos out Jessica)
I feel such pity for Jessica and her baby, hopefully they can get imaginary government assistance.

Last week my bloggy friend from Arizona, Bobbi Jo gave me this sweet award. I have loved getting to read and learn about others sisters out and about in the blog world. This is how Bobbi Jo described the award:

"We each have one thing or another that we struggle with , be it a personal issue or family we all seem to come together and support one another.
I love the many wonderful people I have met through blogging. I have laughed daily with some, cried with others and prayed for many of you daily."

I could not agree more! I have been on the receiving end of some great bloggy love from friends where I live to friends far away to friends I have never even met, and I love in return sending out bloggy love. So I have chosen these great blog friends to give the Sisterhood Award to:

Brenda at Three Little Men and Me
Jennifer P at The Peterson's go Public
Theresa at No Bologna Zone!
Sally at Sparkly Squares
Jori at Jeff& Me + three
Kory at Families are Everything
Stacey at The SPASM Family

If you accept this award, the rules are...
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.

Each day to live....

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

Duane's last Dance

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