Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy 80th Birthday Nanny Betty...

We celebrated my Grandmother's 80th Birthday on Sunday. My Mom threw her a surprise party at her house.  She had no idea and said she wasn't even suspicious until she saw all the cars parked at my Mom's.  We were very concerned about the weather because her in Florida we have had some crazy weather.  For example today the high is 60.  This is 20 degrees below the norm for this time of year.  Of course, I am not complaining because I know the heat wave is just around the corner.

The weather was supposed to be rainy but luckily the rain held off and it ended up being the perfect day even though it was over cast and not sunny.  As per usual I didn't get as many pictures as I'd have liked to but I got a few so here they are.
My sister was in charge of decorations and everything looked wonderful.

Walking in.


Looking good for 80 huh??

The menu included hamburgers and hot dogs but my niece wanted pizza.  LOL

The grill masters: Dave and his Dad, my Uncle Vern and Thor. (Natalie's boyfriend)
Sydnee working on getting 80 candles on the cake.  No easy feat.  LOL 
She got them all on there but I'm not going to lie after five minutes of constant lighting and the wind we never did get them all lit so my Gram made her birthday wish blowing out about 70 of the 80 LOL.

My girls plus the "two Hannah's" my niece and McKenlee's BFF.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


My best friend's son had his 9th birthday on Sunday.  My friend had us over for pizza and cake.  While we were there her Mom pulled out a CD of a video made for her one Mother's Day by her children.  We all got such a kick out of watching this video.  My best friend was about 16 when this video was  made.  As I watched the video, memories started flooding back in.  We all were laughing and sharing choruses of  "Oh, I remember that."   It got me to thinking about just how much my friend and I have shared.   We knew each other before we met our husbands, had our children, became professionals, (her not me, lol).  I knew her in middle school but I think our friendship became solid in high school.  I've known her husband Mark even longer, although we were never friends until after they got together.  I remember when I started 6th grade which is middle school here in these parts.  Your core academics were blocked together with the same group of kids.  Mark was in my academics, so 4 of our 7 classes were together.  Who would of thought that years later that boy I hardly knew, because lets face it, in 6th grade boys were still a little bit gross.  That's what we told each other anyway, would become such a big part of my life and my memories.  Who knew that he would marry my best friend, the one I wouldn't even know until two years later.  Who knew we would attend each other's weddings, and watch each other's children grow up.  Who knew???

High school came around but Tricia was a year behind me so we didn't start hanging with each other until my sophomore year.  However, most of my memories of the two of us in those early years are of my junior year when I was driving.   I remember I picked her up for school.  One time I almost killed her because I wasn't paying attention (typical teenage driver) and the car in front of me stopped and I didn't.  Luckily, there was a stretch of grass beside the road that I could pull onto verses hitting the car in front of me.  We still talk about that so thankful that we can laugh about it now.

It was around this time that Mark started pursuing Trish.  I remember her telling me that she just didn't like him that way and he wouldn't take the hint. LOL  He was persistent that Mark and in time won her over.  So for the last 26 years it has not just been Tricia but Tricia and Mark.

The night I met my husband the first place I went to the next morning was Tricia's house.  I remember I sat on her bed and made her listen to every detail of that night, over and over and over again.  I sometimes think I fell in love with Dave that first night although logic tells me that's ridiculous.  Somewhere deep inside I believe a part of me knew he was going to play an integral part in my life but logic told me to ignore it.
I drove him back to his hotel to catch the bus that would take him to the airport and back to England then headed to my best friends house of course, isn't that the way it should be.  :)

Two years later she was in my wedding.  Two years after that I was in hers after just having had my first baby girl and hoping like hell the bridesmaid dress was still going to fit me even though I had it sized prior to my pregnancy.  (Don't worry it did.)

Over the next six years we didn't spend a lot of time together.  I was busy being a Mom and she was busy going to school and climbing that corporate ladder.  What I have always cherished about our friendship though is that we can always pick up as if we just talked yesterday.  This is the time in my life when I became close to my other dearest friend Karen.  Karen and I worked together part time at night so we could be home with our babies.  Her son Trevor and Sydnee were each other's first friends.  We use to joke and say when we would call each other "so who's four walls do we want to look at today with the kids."  LOL

Karen will have her own post on my blog soon too.

When I was 28 and certain that our family was complete Tricia called and shared with me the fantastic news that her and Mark were expecting their first child.  I was beyond excited for her and secretly giggling because this was the girl that vowed at her bridal shower that she "was not having children."  I always knew she would, but like all things, Tricia does things on her own time line and no one else's.  I was also secretly hoping that even though Marissa and Natalie would be two years apart that they would grow up to be close like their Moms.

Well, I  needn't have worried about that two year gap effecting the chances of our children becoming best friends because low and behold two months later I discovered that Dave and I were OOPS expecting our third child.  I will never forget Mark's reactions when I called them to share the news.  Instead of congratulations or were so happy for you.  Mark's first response was "THREE, YOUR GOING TO HAVE THREE?"  Another thing we still laugh about to this day.   I loved being pregnant with my best friend.  We compared notes on how we were feeling.  We shopped together for baby things.  We fought over who was going to get to name their daughter Marissa,  a name we both loved.  Well, you see who won that one.  LOL

I have another memory of being pregnant at the same time as Tricia that I am sure she shares that we don't really talk about much because it is very sad.  Tricia had another friend at the time who was pregnant.  We were all at her baby shower together sporting our pregnant bellies and sharing in the joy of what was to come.  Tricia was due first, then me, then her friend L.  Just before L was due her baby died in utero.  She delivered a still born little girl.  We were all pregnant with little girls and so excited at the prospect of raising our daughters.  As Tricia and I held our healthy little girls our hearts broke for L.  When I look back on that time in my life and cherish the memories of being pregnant and spoiling my new baby along side my best friend and hers.  I remember L and say a prayer of thanks for my healthy pregnancy's and healthy children.

When Tricia's daughter Marissa was about about two Tricia had the opportunity to come home and spend a year being a stay at home Mom to Marissa.  Tricia and Mark rented a condo about a mile and a half from my house and Tricia and I were together with our daughter's almost everyday.  We took the girls to the park, to the beach, to the library, and to Mom's club and MOPS events.  Those were such fun times and it's then that Marissa and McKenlee became the best of friends.  I love looking back at pictures from that time.  I treasure those days.

About a year later Tricia decided to go back to work and then shortly after that they bought a beautiful new home about an hour away from us.  That was tough.

It has been about ten years now that they have lived an hour away but I am so proud of how much we talk (at  least once a week) and still manage to get together.  We average about once a month.  Our girls are still the best of friends and love hanging out together.  We have taken so many vacations together with memories I will always cherish.

I sure do wish I would of taken more video of when Dave and I were young or when our kids were younger because we sure do love watching them and taking trips down memory lane.

A friend of mine recently lost her best friend very unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm.  She was 44 and left a husband and three sons.  When I called my friend to tell her how sorry I was an express my condolences her words to me were.  "Suzie, take a minute and call Tricia". " Let her know how much you love her and how important she is to you." So  I did, that very same day but I decided I wanted a little more.  I wanted it in writing, forever captured on my own little piece of the internet.

I love you and am so blessed to have you in my life, you are the best friend a girl could ever ask for. I love that we are raising our families together.  Sharing in births, first days of school, birthday parties, first loves, graduations, college, and so much more.  

Here's to many more years of memories!!  (I am hoping that in ten years when we are watching videos of ourselves from now instead of saying "oh my gosh look how skinny I was"  we will be saying "oh yeah that was back when I was 30lbs (for you) 70lbs (for me) heavier."  LOL


Tricia and I with our beautiful children.

Friday, March 15, 2013


I have cabin fever.  The cruise helped but not enough.  It's the occupational hazard of two full timers and a part timer under a year.  Don't know if you have ever tried it but getting out of the house with a 3 month old, a 5 month old, and a 10 month old, plus a 20 month old is a logistical nightmare.  I don't even own a stroller big enough to fit all three.  I could manage it on the days I just have the two babies and the toddler but I just can't muster the motivation.

I am on house guest overload.  My niece and her friend leave on Friday morning and my in laws and Dave's Aunt and Uncle arrive on Wednesday for a months stay.   It's not intentional but my husband's family always seem to plan their trips back to back.  Don't get me wrong I love having them I just wish that I didn't work from home or that I didn't work at all while they are here.  It's hard to balance working and trying to make sure they are enjoying themselves.

I'm missing my college girl and looking forward to having her home for the summer.  Our family dynamic changes when she is gone.  My younger two seem to bicker more. (I think she is the buffer for them because now that she doesn't live with us all school year they appreciate her more and both love spending time with her.)

I have caught a cold.  I hate having a stuffed nose.  I very rarely get sick.  I think this is due to the fact that being a day care provider for 20 years I have been exposed to just about everything.  Not this time though I'm sneezing like crazy and can't keep enough tissues in the house.  They say cruise ships are germ pits well I believe it.  LOL

My grandmother will be 80 next month and we are planning a party for her.  How blessed am I to be 42 and still  have my grandmother.  I love that my children have a great grandmother.  I had my great grandmother until I was 28, I hope Sydnee is as lucky.

I'm frustrated that my income tax refund is being delayed.  I fall into the group of 660 thousand people who filed with H and R block with the furthering education tax form 8863.  We don't need it for anything specific just paying off bills.  It's just the principle.  I'm trying not to complain, I've been hearing stories of people who need it for rent or their children's college tuition.   It's just frustrating when you are expecting it and there is a problem.

Ok,  I realized I should have titled this post "complaining" (except for the part about my Gram) and since I don't like to dwell on the negative I'm stopping now.

Have a fantastic weekend, I'm going to give it my best effort.  :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We're Back!!!

We are back from our cruise and it was wonderful. Nassau and Freeport were beautiful. The ocean was the most beautiful color and the weather was gorgeous. I will admit the water was a little cold so that was a little disappointing because it was just to cold to swim. But hey I am not complaining. We had a fantastic time. The girls even went on a banana boat tour ride where they ended up in the water. I stayed on the nice warm beach. I loved having the one on one time with McKenlee I loved experiencing the cruise through her eyes it was awesome. She was so excited and so awed by the whole cruise experience. I will never forget her face when we first walked on the ship and she saw the huge glass elevators and the ornate decor. She had no idea what to expect and the awe in her eyes told me it had exceeded all expectations. She kept saying. "I can 't believe how big the ship is." I'm hoping that some time soon we will get to go on a cruise vacation as a family.
First night on the ship.

McKenlee and my niece Kerry and her friend Emma in Freeport.

My sweet girl and her new hat.

My girl and I.


At dinner.  (What is up with my bangs in this picture  lol )

Kerry and I.


The girls on the banana boat ride.