Summer is nearing and it makes me think of my dad.
I was lucky to have a childhood that allowed me to travel. The downside was of course having parents that had divorced, but the upside was another wonderful family that I looked forward to seeing every summer. I went through bouts of homesickness. I was just a kid after-all. But, now I get to have such wonderful memories of my sister and I travelling every summer once school let out. The excitement built towards the end of the school year and we got to start packing our bags. My mom would tuck sweet notes into our bags hidden among our clothes so that we could find them throughout our trip.
Ashley and I became pros at travelling on our own. When I was 11 and she was 6 we could maneuver even the largest airports. We had given up having a flight attendant walk us to our next flight, and usually we had to wait longer to find someone to walk with us anyway. We loved the freedom of getting to walk with all those people rushing to their next destination.

We spent each summer in California until my dad moved to New Hampshire before my senior year.Every school year I waited until school let out so I could smell that familiar smell that only California has. I miss that earthy smell. I find myself having dreams about it. Even though we moved from California when I was 9, something about that smell really makes me feel like I'm home.

We spent our summers with our brothers, staying up late watching movies, making popcorn, terrorizing the neighborhood, sometimes fighting, but always having adventures. We would walk or ride our bikes all over the place. We would go and get ice cream, browse the stores in the neighborhood and just wander. I miss the freedom of California summers.

We would spend time at the lake camping, riding in my Uncle's boat, riding jet-skis, driving the California coast, spending time with family, swimming at my Aunt's parents pool and if we were lucky visiting Disneyland or Universal.
I may have not thought I was so lucky when I was that young being a child of divorce, but I sure did live a charmed childhood. I have my dad and my stepmom to thank for those summers. They are great memories.
I don't think I can even put it properly into words how much those memories mean to me. 


We got some snow finally. The last two winters have been pretty mild as far as snow fall goes. The boys always get so excited when we get some snow. They get to play in it, and Nana makes them snow cream which they love. The snow started Friday night with just freezing rain and then turning to actual snow. I think we only got about an inch or two, but just enough to make a snowman and Nana to make an arsenal of snow balls before we went out.  Josh even came out and joined the fun. 


It seems like it's been forever since I've updated the blog. Life has gotten in the way and I have been slacking. Our Halloween was pretty fun. My sister and brother in law had a party at their house for their 9th anniversary.
We had a great time. I dressed up as Frenchie from Grease and Josh went as a Death Eater but didn't wear his mask most of the night since it was so hot.
We did our usual trick or treating and went to my mom and Floyd's for trick or treating their neighborhood. They made chili and the large group of us adults and the boys headed out for candy.
The boys were so excited for their costumes this year. They have always chosen their own costumes and this year was no different. They wanted to be Harry and Ron from Harry Potter. Harry Potter is an institution in this house. They have a definite obsession.
Taylor has always said he is Harry Potter because of the scar he has on his forehead from when they were little. Callum wanted to be Ron and had to have his hair orange as well. We picked up hair spray both orange and red to try and get the color right. They were both so excited.
It's so much fun to do Halloween with them. They have already started thinking about their ideas for costumes for next year.

Before we sprayed Callum's hair.









1st Graders!


The boys are first graders this year!
They are in the same school as they were last year. They are in a blended class, so they are basically in the same class as they were last year but are now part of the 1st graders and doing some different work than the Kindergartners in the class.
They are now officially the other teacher's students but still get to see their kindergarten teacher every day.
Because of this they wanted no part in Joshua and I walking them into school on the first day. They told us "we know where we're going, you don't have to walk us we know where to go"
It was bittersweet. It's amazing to watch your kids grow up and become independent and so sure of themselves that they don't need you to hold their hand and walk them into the next step in their life. (even if I really wanted to do it) I have to give them that space and let them do things that they are ready to do on their own. We've been so lucky and have had no tears starting school this year or last even if I felt a little misty.

We are so proud of them.




We had a pretty great Easter.
I had been stressing out about not having enough money to get the boys the usual stuff for their baskets. I am having a hard time getting adjusted to this new biweekly pay period. I have to say though that I pulled it off and the boys were non the wiser and they were ecstatic about their baskets.

I went Saturday and filled eggs at my mom's so they would be ready to hide over there for the egg hunt. They're getting way too smart for me to try and hide them in the trunk and carry them in with everything else like we've done in the past years. They notice everything!

The boys woke us up around 9 to tell us we needed to go downstairs so they could see what the bunny brought them.
I didn't hide any eggs around the house like I did last year and they remembered. Darn it. I should have thought of hiding the hard boiled eggs.
They seemed to be satisfied with the answer that the egg hunt was at Mammaw's this year, last year my mom had a flood in her basement so we had to do an indoor hunt at our house because of how horrible the weather was.

It was beautiful out this year. It was a really nice day at mom and Floyd's. Yummy food and an all around peaceful day.









Aunt Shannon & Uncle Matt taught the boys how to blind people with plastic and the sun.





How Does Your Garden Grow?

The boys had their first play a few weeks ago.
It was all of the kids from Kindergarten and First grade in their school.
They had been practicing some songs for weeks in school in their theater arts class.
Taylor was a weed and Callum was a bunny.
It was so cute and hilarious seeing all the kids singing. The school's sound system was pretty terrible and I had to try so hard to not laugh when the kids that had speaking parts came up to the microphone and got super close to it and did their lines. It was pretty hard to hear what they were saying since it sounded like they were swallowing the microphone. The boys just had singing parts, I think they had a few of the first graders that did the few speaking parts.
The boys were so excited about being in a play and were so proud.
They did a great job and weren't nervous at all about singing in front of a whole gym full of people watching.
The kids all made their "costumes" in class which were little hats to go with what character they were.
I was surprised at the turnout of parents. They really had a full house.
Just my family there were 8 of us there for the boys.
I need to take the time and upload the video we took. It was just too cute.












First Lost Tooth

Callum is the first of the boys to have our very first wiggly tooth.
That tooth was hanging on for dear life for over a week. I was joking around and telling him we were going to tie a string to it and shoot off a rocket with it. He was not amused and said "mommy you'll blow up my tooth!" He told me "it's my deshision"

OMG we have our first wiggly tooth!

I guess he finally got tired of it getting stuck forward and pulled it out at school one day last week.
He called me after school and was so excited. He told me it was bleeding a bit at school so he just took a tissue and pulled it out.
They have little rubber bracelets at school that has a little plastic tooth shaped locked to give to the kids so they don't lose it.
He was so proud.
I may have gone a little overboard on the tooth fairy. I had thought of only a dollar and to try and find a gold coin but I had school that night and there was no way he was going to wait for the tooth fairy to the next night. He would have been so disappointed.
I ended up taking money out at the store and couldn't decide if we should give him just a dollar or a five. I ended up giving him a five dollar bill....I figured since it's his first tooth.
I told him the next morning wow, five dollars! that must be special for your first tooth, I can't imagine she pays that everytime!



I got a call from a weird number last night while I was working at the Children's Hospital for clinical. I tried to call it back but got an error message from Verizon and realized it was too many numbers. I figured it was just a collector and didn't think much of it. I got to my car when we were done had a missed call from my sister and a text that said "call me ASAP" with everything going on lately my heart sank. I called her and she told me Rhiana I'm on my way to your house.....I asked her why? Preparing for something I couldn't even imagine.... dads dead, he's gone. I sat there and couldn't even absorb it. I didn't cry, I didn't think it could possibly be true. I asked if she was joking and she said of course not. She said she wanted to be at my house when I got home so I wasn't alone. I drove to her house instead since the boys would have been asleep. I called Josh and he was pretty quiet, I asked if he knew and he did, he had talked to my brother in law.
They all expected I'd be at clinicals til at least 11 but we'd got out at 9. The long number that had called was my step mom or my sister trying to get a hold of me. Lisa my step mom found him in the shower about 6:30 am their time in Australia, most likely a heart attack. I called her from my sister's, she sounded so lost. I've never heard her like that. She's always strong and outspoken. My heart broke into a million pieces. She told me they thought it was fast so he wasn't in pain or suffer. "we had a good life, no regrets. I should have had more time" I told her how sorry I was and we loved her, asked if she had someone there with her.
I'm just numb.
Josh drove to my sister's and met me there last night. We stayed til about 1 and Ash and I went through old pictures and cried and hugged and shared our total disbelief.
Dad and I talked every few months. Our last phone call was Skype and he was showing me around their house and the boys got to say hi. We always talked at least an hour but it didn't happen frequently. I have so much guilt. So many should haves.
I just have to cling on to the good times and all the great things we got to do together or I'll go crazy.
We haven't told the boys yet, they adored him. Josh figured we'd tell them this weekend so they have some time to absorb or deal with it rather than their school week.
I'm so glad we spent so much time together during his October visit. We stayed up until 2 or 3 each night talking and looking at pictures.
It was never a perfect situation because of my parents being divorced and living so far but I loved him so much. It just was what it was. We talked on holidays, birthdays and saw each other at least once a year. It sucked not having him close growing up and not having him as involved in my life as I would have liked, but we made do. I knew he loved me even if it wasn't perfect.
Now we wait to see what they're  going to do for transporting him back state side and when.
He wanted to be cremated and be near his dad in Minnesota.
I still just can't believe it.
I hate that life just goes on around me when I just want it to stop and honor him. I just want the world to be sad and mourning with me. Its been hard going through the motions of life today. I have my moments where I'm calm and then when it's quiet and I'm not distracted that I just lose it.
I don't know when this will sink in that it's real.

My sister wrote this and I don't want to forget it. It sums up exactly how I have been feeling about it.

"It's not any easier this morning.. If anything it's worse. I never got the chance to do the things I wanted to do with you. You were gone too soon when I was a child, and now that I'm an adult you've gone too soon again, but this time there's no coming back. If you ever felt like we didn't care, I'm so sorry. I should have picked up the phone more often, or written an email more often. We just got into this routine where this was normal. It was just how it was. I have so much regret now that you're gone, and nothing will repair it. My loving father, even though you might not have had the words for me, we had a silent understanding of one another. I'll miss you and love you forever. This pain I feel now will strengthen me, I promise."

I love you dad.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Big Boy Beds

The last couple of months the boys have gotten increasingly worse about never sleeping in their own beds. I can try to get them to stay in them longer by making sure I go in there before I finally fall asleep to make sure they're covered up and in their beds without dangling over the sides.
It was definitely time to get rid of the toddler beds when each night I went in and their faces were smashed up against the little rails and from their waist down was hanging over the side.
They're pretty fretful sleepers anyway and being in a small bed really didn't help with that at all.
Josh and I had a few different options in mind for quite a while now. There was a loft bed that Ashley Furniture had that we really liked because of the storage and having to have two beds in their room. Callum is terrified of heights it's turned out so we knew that a bunk bed just wasn't going to work. They're both like me when they wake up and stumble around and we definitely didn't want to chance someone not making a step and falling off the bunk.

We ended up going to something like 6 furniture places last Saturday checking out different options. We still liked the loft beds but they were pretty pricey, especially since we had to buy two and that didn't include having to buy mattresses as well.
We ended up going to this place Josh used to go to when he was young that is in a seedier part of Louisville. The salesman was really nice albeit a little pushy, turned out he was the owner of the place too.
They carry everything that Ashley Furniture carries and can order the pieces they don't have in store for quite a bit cheaper.
We ended up seeing a nice bedroom set in black with a twin sleigh bed that we both really liked. All of their beds came with mattress and box springs so that was even better.
The boys still really liked the loft bed idea but we were worried about the beds just not growing with them and the "cool" factor now at 5 years old just wouldn't carry over as long as we'd like with having to shell out over $1500 for them.
We ended up going for the black bedroom set and adding an extra twin. It came out less than the two loft beds and also had a chest and a long dresser that came with the set.
The best part was that they were able to deliver them that night. Sweet relief, we maybe had a whole nights worth of sleep ahead of us without little people kicking Josh out of bed.
These kids have a nicer bedroom set than we do that's for sure, our room is still an eclectic mix of junk pile finds and what people have given us...except for our king bed.
The boys were so excited to have "big boy" beds and we went on our way home to let them pick out bedding for their new beds.
They of course picked the same thing and both picked out a Star Wars themed comforter set.

They've been sleeping a bit better except now all their big furniture covers the outlets in their room so we can't use a plug in night light like we've had all along.Taylor woke up screaming at me about how scared he was so I've resorted to leaving the bathroom light on all night with the door cracked because their room is pitch black. I woke up with both of them bed with me this morning but since last week it's only been one of them or the other not both so that's a step in the right direction.

why yes that is a book "How to Speak Wookie" on their dresser.




This alarm clock here made me lose it when I went to Florida for my Uncles funeral (more on that later) He loved buying the boys cool new toys, clothes, video games...he loved when I would send him videos and was just an awesome great Uncle...he truly enjoyed the boys. When I got to my aunts and the first thing she did was tell me to make sure I took this home for the boys because he knew the boys would love it and he was saving it for their birthday I just lost it.
Needless to say, this little alarm clock has really helped our mornings. They have really liked having control of when they get up and hitting his head for the snooze. They've been carrying Anakin around all over the house.