Sunday, September 11, 2011

In an Instant

Often times we encounter events that are life changing.  Most of the life changes I have had have been planned or happened over time, like having a baby, getting married, graduating from school, etc.  I can't think of a time where in an "instant" something in my life has changed forever.  This happened to me last weekend.  And I need to say while this "instant" has changed a part of my life forever, it doesn't hold a candle to real tragedy.  I know there could be a lot worse "instants." begin with.  Look at this cute picture.  Notice her sweet, beautiful smile.  This is the last of it's kind...... 

Last Friday we packed up to go camping, arrived just before dark and rushed to put up two tents before it was pitch dark.  We got everything set up and I decided to run up to the park check-in and register our arrival.  About 15 minutes later I headed back to camp.  This was when I learned of the "instant".  "Lilly lost her tooth" I was told as I saw everyone huddled around her and she was cuddled in her Kelly's (a good friend) arms.   After some gentle gum checking and a flashlight search for the tooth on the ground, we luckily found it didn't break or shove back in - it just popped right out, nice and clean and bloody enough to freak her brother out.
(Tooth is in my hand)
 Now you may think this is a strange "instant", but as I registered what was said and saw that she was "okish", I realized that the little two year old smile I love was forever lost, knocked out by a (thankfully) cold fire ring after a run in the dark.

See what I mean?  A mother's instant worry, still a face I love, but that sweet smile...........luckily Bella drew us a picture......
That's not going to give a mother nightmares........A few days later though, the swelling has gone down.

 Still a cute smile and easy to love, but my two year old will have a six year old smile for the next 4 or so years.  In an "instant" that little girl smile was forever changed, but my prayers include a big and repetitive thank you that my "instant" was not as bad as it could have been.  She's still a stinking cute little girl.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ricketts Glen

This was our last summer hurrah.  We went camping over Labor Day weekend at Ricketts Glen Campsite.  It was a great place!  Waterfall hikes, big lake and beach, tree filled campsites, great friends and good food.  I didn't take very many pictures, but if any of my campbuddies sends me some good shots I will add them.  I dream of being a great photographer, but I think I am meant more to have friends who are good behind the lense.
 Valerie, Lilly and Taylor Sunning.
 Natalie and Kiley beginning what ends up being a huge sandcastle.
 Lathen hanging out with his dad at the lake.
Aaron and Nic - and yes they did capsize once. 
 Taylor, Mariah and Valerie - boat beauties.
Taylor did Lilly and Nic's hair up nice and fancy. 
 Whitney, Bella, Arielle and Elizabeth striking a pose.
 Friends while hiking.
 Me at the big waterfall - 96 feet or so.
Not all, but a big chunk of the crew - there were about 65 of us. And we were allready discussing next year.  Fun times and great memories.

The Girl's First Concert

The girls went to their first concert this summer.  While nothing can beat my first concert (MC Hammer), Tayor Swift was pretty cool.  We went with some good friends and had a great girl time.  We had been listening to the Taylor CD for the whole previous month so we would be ready.  Surprisingly my tomboy Kiley danced the night away more than Valerie.  I think Valerie was trying not to block people behind her with her tallness.  Bella and Arielle made a sign and they and their friends were set on holding it up almost the whole night.  I finally convinced them to put it down and dance.   I didn't take any pictures, but my good friend Jen did a great job of documenting the event and the pre-event of making T Swift T-Shirts.  Her links are below.   I loved watching my girls have fun and I loved spending time with good girl friends....which is a good thing since traffic was horrible and we ended up spending about 8 hours together.  All part of the good memory. :)

First Day of School

Just about every year I forget to take first day of school photos.  This year I got 4 of the 5.  Kiley's picture is at the end of the day of the first day.
 Valerie is 16 and a Junior.
 Kiley is 12 and in 7th grade.
 Bella is 7 and in 2nd grade and Arielle is 9 and in 4th grade.
Nic is 15 and a Sophmore.
 Lathen is 6 months and doesn't have any schedule.
Lilly is 2 1/2 and will have a one day a week homeschool preschool.  She is very excited.

New Sunroom!!!

We finally have it complete!  Well, I still need to stain the french doors and get a few pieces of furniture, but it is at least done enough that we can enjoy it!  It feels so good to sit on the couch and read a book with all the natural light around.  The kids really like doing homework there too.  It can be closed off, and quieter, yet it is still a part of us.
I love that one of the kitchen bay windows opens up right into the sunroom.  Of course when we first used it I was shocked to see the kids jumping through it.  Jim said I was silly to not even consider that would happen.

 The patio is even finished now.  It looks really great, almost as great as my model. :)  If it only quits raining then we can have a good old fall barbecue.

Many thanks to my dear husband who wasn't too excited about this adventure in the first place, but fully supported (and funded) it for me.  Kisses to him and lots of sunshine to the rest of us.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And I am on my own....

I have been so lucky to have wonderful parents and in laws who helped me so much over the past couple of weeks. I had a driver, a cook, a painter, a maid, my own laundry service and nannies galore. Today is the first day they are all gone. And if you look at the picture below, it has been less than 12 hours, but that table is indicative of my whole house. The nice thing is I don't feel any pressure to get it all done. My to do list today consists of updating this blog and freezing half the pepperoni in my fridge. Anything beyond that is bonus. New babies are the best excuses for messy houses. THANK YOU to all my wonderful parents and the love and care you showed us.

I have Two Babies

I have two babies. The big baby is set on making sure we know that. The big baby loves to sneak out at nap time and put on some beautiful lipstick. The little baby still hasn't figure out what to do when he is awake.
The big baby is so delightful with her humor and fluffy blond hair.
The little baby is a GREAT sleeper and has such soft and cuddly skin.Both babies are so wonderful to have in our family.

Sweet 16!

Look at this pretty girl -and this was a lay around the house and don't do your hair PJ day. Val turns 16 this year! We are so lucky to have her as a daughter. She is kind, responsible and reliable. I love that she likes to be my friend. We couldn't have a better example for the other kids. Jim and got more than lucky when she came into our lives. I'd post a cute baby picture of her, but alas, she was born in the olden days when we had to develop our film. Just picture in your mind a little girl with big chubby cheeks. Right now, I picture in my mind a tall capable, responsible driver. 6 months and the licence can be hers!


March 18, 2011

Lathen William Atkinson came into this world at 8 lbs and 5 oz, 21 1/4 inches long. Bigger by an ounce and 1/4 inch than any of my other children. And...he is a brown haired baby, just what I ordered.

Because he was born at 5 pm and was a planned c-section, this is the best I have ever looked post baby - no glasses and make-up. A good way to end it! To celebrate, Jim had each of the kids pick out a dozen roses. They left the store and someone said they looked like a circus parading out to the car. What a good man I have! This little boy came into a loving family that will cuddle and adore him and hang him by his arms when he is only 2 days old.
He is looking at me with those sweet little eyes saying "Mama, what have you done to me?"
I tell him you may get hung by your arms and pushed around a bit, but look at everyone who is so excited to love and cuddle you.
You have a GREAT life ahead of you, you lucky boy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One Week Left

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. I am sitting here drying my toes in front of the fireplace and trying not to waste time. I went out to get errands done today with Lilly, in the pouring rain, and she insisted on walking on her own, holding her own umbrella. Needles to say, I got very wet.

I finished today one of my last "to do" items before this baby comes. I had to go buy a boring nursing bra. I don't know why it is so irritating for me to do. It just seems like so much money for a piece of clothing that is never really flattering, but you have to have it. It's kind of like buying tires for your car or a new vacuum cleaner.

In about two minutes I am out the door again to go and watch a simple machines demonstration by Arielle. I don't mind going, but I really wish my toes were dry before I headed out again.

Anyway, below is a cute picture of 3 round bellied ladies. I think we all look great. Our good friend Jen hosted a baby brunch for us - food was sooooo good, seating, as you can see, was so comfortable and friends were so delightful.

All I have left to say is come baby, please come. I have your feeding support purchased and I am ready to feel what it is like to breath with out toes poking my lungs.