Wednesday, December 23, 2009

There's no place like home for the holidays...

Well, here we are. It's the night before the night before Christmas! Already. Wow. The time seems to be flying by faster and faster every year. The house is already framed, and it has a roof! We're still looking at mid-February to move in :) We've been busy, busy lately, and now that I'm on break I'm getting to catch up on some things that have gone neglected (i.e. the laundry!), and we'll be spending time with friends and family over the holidays. I can't wait! As hectic as it is during this time, I always look forward to knowing this is a time of year when we all make time for each other and let each other know we're loved. Of course, having 2 brothers, it's also a time for noogies, irritation, and getting picked on although we're all grown, but still... I wouldn't trade them for anything. I have the most fun, loving, giving family, and I consider my friends my family, too, because they are there for me and are as special to me as my family is. Life is good, we are very blessed, and we're looking forward to see what the new year holds. Merry Christmas, everyone, and God bless!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Speaking of thankful...

So the lot has been cleared, and the footer has been set. I drove by the site today, and they've gotten the blocks and bricks ready to put around the foundation. I got a text from Troy (my contractor) last weekend saying that the guy who helped me pick out the bricks actually helped me pick out ones they didn't carry. Great! So I could either keep those and wait a week for them to get ordered or look online at a site he gave me to find some that were close to what I wanted. I chose the latter, which is good because they are already there and ready to be put up after the holiday. One more minor setback, but I'm sure it won't be the last. As Troy told me, "Welcome to house building!" haha!

In light of all that has happened, though, we continue to be grateful. We have wonderful friends and family who love us, Lilly's coughing is getting better (she has setbacks sometimes, but mostly it's gone), and we continue to be blessed in other areas of our lives. We've never been ones to save our thankfulness for the Thanksgiving season, but it does seem an appropriate time to post some things we are thankful for, not the least of which is the progress of our new home :)

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone! And don't get mauled tomorrow if you're going shopping-- making it home safely with limbs intact can be just one more thing among thousands to be thankful for ;p

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

There's no place like home...

The last post was in July, just a few weeks before our house burned down. Thanks to an outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and neighbors we were able to salvage a few things and get moved into an apartment, conveniently located across from Siegel. The apartment is nice, and living here has been as great as can be expected under the circumstances. We miss Punjab a lot, but Lilly has adjusted to life as an only dog despite her fear of being in confined spaces. She still coughs some, but the vet said her lungs will be easily irritated because of the damage, and colds and congestion are to be expected.

I have replaced a lot of furniture and clothing (and earned a free round trip from Southwest on my credit card!) in the process. Maybe I'll earn another one when it's all said and done, and I'll be able to take Gia to Cali to see Vanessa like I've been promising :) Of all the things we lost (Punjab excluded here), my pictures and memorabilia from when Gia was little and stuff I saved of Patrick's are the hardest to not have anymore. However, the fact that we weren't home and are safe are the best parts of it. If we'd been asleep the outcome could have been much worse, so for that I am thankful.

I will make a concerted effort to keep everyone updated on the new house as it progresses and be a better blogger. People have told me that building a new house (something I never thought I would do) would be exciting in spite of the circumstances, and at first I was skeptical and told them those statements only served to volunteer them to help me pick things out :D lol But it really is getting exciting now that the old house has been demolished and removed and the construction crew is getting ready to lay the foundation. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it doesn't appear to be an oncoming train ;p All we're waiting for is the approval of the building permit, which should come very soon! After that the building should go fairly quickly, and we should be in our new house around February. Did someone say housewarming party? :D

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hot town, summer in the city...

Last month was recital time for Barfield School of Dance! The week of, went to Blair School of Music for rehearsal all day Monday, and I ended up taking four girls around Green Hills in between rehearsals. We spotted a Chinese restaurant and pulled in since we were all very hungry and had missed lunch. It was really good, and the girls got full. I took some of my food home, and Gia was holding my leftover box when she discovered that her pants were wet. The sauce from my teriyaki chicken had leaked out and had made a puddle in Gia’s seat! It was really gross, but it was very funny! Once we were able to stop we rummaged through the trunk and found some old shorts for her to change into. Thank goodness I don’t keep an immaculate car—she wouldn’t have found anything to wear!

We got lost looking for Whole Foods, and then I had to drag the girls away from the samples set up throughout the store, though they didn’t mind getting away from the three-milk cheese that made most of them gag! lol Then we went to the mall where the girls made a bee-line for Godiva, got their treats, and then wandered around for a little while before time to head back for more rehearsing. The girls were lots of fun, and I had a great time with them. After the final rehearsal I ended up with three of the four coming back for the night, so we ordered pizza and played Uno for a little while before calling it a night. The next day they girls watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and just hung out until time to go back to dance for their regular class.

Recital days are generally very busy and crazy, but this year Gia’s class only danced in two shows instead of three or four, so I was grateful not to have to camp out at Vanderbilt for the weekend. She didn’t leave anything at home this year (yay!), and she actually let me help her with her hair and make-up. Now, the bun she needed was a new style her teacher showed her that she hadn’t gotten down-pat yet, but I enjoyed helping her all the same, although I did mess it up once and couldn’t figure out what went wrong until I watched another girl do hers. Saggy-bun-disaster was averted! And then when she had everything she needed Gia said, “Thanks, Mommy, I’ll see you later.” I asked, “Is that my cue to leave?” Of course ;)

Lots of people came to support Gia at her recitals, and that made her very happy. She loves having friends and family come to watch her, and she looked as beautiful as always up there on the stage. Her class did a fantastic job in all of their dances. Those of you there on Saturday night missed all the tiny tots Sunday afternoon. They were so cute in their little fluffy costumes, and it reminded me of Gia’s very first dance recital where her first time on stage for the jazz song sent her into a meltdown. She couldn’t see the audience because the stage lights were so bright, and I had to leave from backstage, so she stood on stage with her arms reaching out like Helen Keller, bawling her eyes out until I could go back around and get her. That was the most heartbreaking yet funny to look back on things I have even witnessed. She certainly has come a long way, though, eh? Even after that first enormous bout of stage fright, she was ready to rock ‘n’ roll through her dance gymnastics routine, and I’ve never seen her more than just a little nervous since.

Summer Days, Drifting Away to Uh Oh Those Summer Nights...

Uh well-a well-a well-a huh; tell me more, tell me more...

Ok! The summer has flown by so far. I can’t believe we’ve been out of school for over a month. Our garden is gorgeous, and there are many veggies almost ready to pick (including a Siamese squash) and some we’ve already devoured. The other plants are budding and growing so fast— the growth is amazing every day, probably thanks to the organic fish fertilizer we’ve put on the garden. I’m almost afraid of the food that is coming! I can’t imagine that we’ll be able to eat that many cucumbers, corn, squash, tomatoes, peppers, etc., but what can’t be canned will be given away. That’s good new for you! :D

Gia and Corinne attended Camp Forget-Me-Not, sponsored by Alive Hospice. Gia never really wanted to go by herself, so Melissa and I talked about sending both girls this year together since Corinne is in for the summer. They LOVED it! I think it was great for both of them to work out and talk about feelings they still have from losing Patrick. It was very therapeutic for them, and what’s even better is that they had a blast. The girls even suggested that they change their names so they can go back again next year! Lol They made masks to represent the feelings we show on the outside vs. the ones we keep inside, they shared a blanket and wrote their feelings on it to show them that the campers are all connected, and they cut it apart on the last day to take their own pieces home. There was a butterfly release ceremony that Gia said was really beautiful, and they showed a slide show of the camp activities throughout the week. Apart from all the tough work they did working through grief and the feelings that come with it, they had tons of fun on Water Day, with the petting zoo that came to camp, and on the playground just hanging out. Thank you, Alive Hospice, for providing such a wonderful program for children!

We’ve been going each week to Movies Under the Stars. Most nights during the week a big screen is set up at a different location around town, and they show older movies. Parks and Recreation provides this service, and they even have sodas and popcorn for sale, or you can bring your own picnic. We usually raid the fridge after tumbling, grab a blanket, and met Katie and her parents at Siegel Park. Gia and Katie promptly go to the picnic tables away from everyone else to talk and do girlie things. Glad we get to hang out ;) lol

Speaking of tumbling, Gia has decided to add that to her repertoire of activities. The kind coaches at Elite have allowed her into Katie’s Nitro class even though Gia hasn’t had a lick of gymnastics in about 8 years! She is working on a back handspring and is willing to do what it takes to learn at an advanced pace, but I cringe every time she falls and have to push images of broken bones out of my head! The great thing about gymnastics is that it will help her in her dancing, increasing her control, muscle coordination, and strength. If we can just have these things and no injuries I’ll be a happy person :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Love is...

...going out into the rain--without being asked-- to get me cup of coffee because there is none in the house.

I wanted to post an update on Nanny Pat for everyone who is concerned and hasn't seen the updates on my other pages. She was at Summit, the doctors ran tests, and it seems that there is no permanent damage as a result of the stroke. They are concerned about some blockage in her neck, but they are giving her meds for that and will be keeping an eye on it. My mom and I were going to go sit with her today, but she gets to come home! My aunts will be taking her to her apartment in Manchester, where she will get some rest and have people over to hang out with her and keep her company. She loves to visit and be visited, so be sure to stop by when you can (did you like that, Nanny? I put in a plug for you ;p hehe).

On a side note, I would like to ask everyone to keep the Currah family in your thoughts, prayers, good vibes, etc. They are having a tough time (as are all of us who know and love them) as a result of the unfair judgment against Frank in court this week. The story is long and involved if you don't know it, so instead of delving into details here, I'll just say that it is the opinion of lots of people that justice was certainly not served; instead ignorance, bias, and greed had the upper hand. Operation: Save Frank (as Stacy so aptly named it) has commenced. We're hoping he won't need a permanent place on anyone's prayer list, but keep him (and his family) there for a while. At least until our mission has been completed :)

I hope all of you moms had a great Mother's Day and were told how much you mean to your families. School is out in 2 weeks, and I can't wait! This will be the first year in several that I haven't worked all summer (though I couldn't resist a 2 hr/wk tutoring gig-- play money for the rest of my time off!), and I plan to thoroughly enjoy it. I don't have plans yet (except the cookout June 27-- DON'T FORGET), so I may just go whichever way the wind blows me.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

There'll be days like this my Mama said

Last night we took Gia and Livi out to eat because of their accomplishments in Accelerated Reader. I promised them dinner out for going above and beyond their goals, so they chose TGIFridays. As we were all sitting around the table on the patio talking, Gia giggled and told me I should dress up in a silver wig, get a table in a cute guy's section, and when he came over say, "Hey there, Sailor!" LOL She is so funny! Of course, this made me laugh out loud, thereby embarrassing her ("Gosh, Mommy, you are so LOUD!), but it made me realize a couple of things.

First, Gia has a great sense of humor. She pops off with random accents, makes some of the craziest observations, says some of the funniest things, and sometimes it's all at the same time. Getting her to talk isn't so easy sometimes, but get her at a table or playing a game, and she'll talk your ear off. I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming. She is smart (granted, sometimes her math skills concerning money can make you forget she's on the math team ;p hehe), thoughtful, and has an enormous loving heart. I cannot even express the joy I feel having her as my daughter.

Second, although I love who she has become and where she is in life now, I do miss her being little. There was a very young girl at the table next to us, and when she was finished eating her parents let her get up and stand at the table or go to the fence surrounding the patio while they finished eating. It reminded me of how when she was little Gia would ask to get up while we were waiting on our food or after we ate and pretend to be the server. She would ask for pen and paper and get to work. Sometimes she would act like a character straight out of Mel's Diner, and sometimes she would be very formal as if we were at a 5-star restaurant. She'd throw in an accent or two and scribble our orders down on her paper, turn around, come back, and present the food to us. She'd always ask how we liked it and if we wanted anything else. That alone made her imaginary food delicious.

She's growing up so fast! We were at Ashley and Olivia's birthday party today, and it seems like yesterday she was turning 5 at her surprise birthday party at the park, when really it's Olivia who is 5 now. Time flies, and as sad as it is sometimes, I feel honored to be a part of all of those girls' lives. I remember holding them for the first time, and now they are young girls, nothing babyish about them anymore. Even watching Gia's friends grow from snaggle-toothed Nickelodeon fans to rockstars-in-training, it still seems too fast. For me, of course, but not for them. They are so eager to grow up.

We went to Open House at the middle school Thursday night, and it reminded me of how it doesn't feel like I went to middle school myself so long ago. This being Mother's Day weekend and all, I've been reminiscing quite a bit, and it made me understand how my mom still sees me as a toddler in my little pink bikini and pigtails, holding my favorite red purse, posing for yet another photo; a picture that for everyone else looks faded in the family album, but a picture that for her is still as vivid as the day she took it. I guess those memories never really fade for a mom, and that I am thankful for. For me, for her, for everyone out there who loves her child without limits.

To all of you moms out there, especially mine, Happy Mother's Day.