Bocas del Toro, Panama


Darin and I had a GREAT time in Panama. It was so nice for both of us to get away from school/work and spend a whole week together. We spent the first 4 days of our trip in a chain of islands called Bocas del Toro. We stayed on the Isla Colon in a small town on the beach.



Sometimes its easier to focus on the failing economy or the sickness and pain in the world... but today brings us back to what really matters.  We live in a country where we are free to worship and we can be what we want to be.  We can have families and friends and good jobs.  So today we give thanks for those things and so much more.  Thank you God for my amazing husband, my sassy baby girl, my family, my friends, for Bubba, for good medical care, for the men who give up their lives to fight for our country, for my little cozy house, for the fact that we have enough money to eat a big fancy dinner tonight, and for ALWAYS providing for us.

I hope you find so many things to be thankful for!

Happy Early Thanksgiving

We were thankful to spend some time out at the cabin this weekend before Gord and JoAnn leave town next week.

My Babies

I love that my baby girl loves to play outside with her buba as much as she can, that she loves to wrestle, jump off the counter, that she smiles and wants to be silly even when she is hurting.  It is so fun to see who these fabulous kids are growing up to be.

Thanks for fixing the website Aaron!

I've had a hard time uploading pics to the website for some reason.... so thanks Aaron for fixing it!  So these are a few pics from September.

Portrait of a Little Man

Dear Jack,

Four years ago, on a gray, dreary day a lot like today (only with a little snow dusting the ground), you "jumped out of Mama's belly," as you like to say, and made me into something different... a mother. That day was the start of an adventure that I doubt I'll ever really be able to put into words. We've had our highs and lows, you and me. A lot of fun, a lot of frustration, never a dull moment. And I know you will continue to keep me on my toes, and I have to say I'm looking forward to whatever you throw at me next.

You are a really neat kid, Jack. So smart, so tender, so funny. You have developed quite the personality; with all your charming neuroses and complexities, at your core you are just a really sweet, sensitive, loving boy. You have this way of offering comfort to people that is really remarkable, coming from a young kid. When Oli gets upset at night, you are there for him, fixing up his blanket and rubbing his back. The other day, I was upset about something and it was like your supersonic hearing picked up on my tears dripping from across the house; you ran to my rescue. And instead of saying something lame like I often do when you're upset (you're ok, go with the flow, just relax), you wrapped your spindly little arms around my neck and just held me and that small, huge gesture was exactly what I needed. And then you told me some knock-knock jokes, because you are hilarious.

This year for your birthday, you have really been anticipating the "Prrrresents!" You are so tickled by the idea that people might just give you toys because you exist. To be honest, you have been a little pushy about it, but I can definitely see where you're coming from. You are so enamored with Transformers and Super Heroes and all the tough-guy, little boy things. And yet, when I tuck you in at night, it just won't do if you don't get your "snuggles," and you'd love nothing more than to have me lay in bed with you for hours so you could fall asleep clutching my earlobe between your tiny thumb and forefinger of one hand and the corner of your blanket in the other. It's a strange time, this not-a-baby, not-a-big-boy time. I love when you read your books to me. More often than not, when you sound out a word, you get it right, and I hope you will grow to love reading like I do. And, even though I grumble when you yank too hard on my earlobe, our snuggle times are sacred to me, too. You love to hear stories about when you were a baby, and it makes me sad because I feel like my memories of that time are clouded from sleep-deprivation and other craziness, and I often have to rely on pictures or video to remember things about your baby days. I know you don't mind, because the pictures make it all more real to you, anyway. But still.

Jack, you're my oldest child, and everything with you is new to both of us. It's pretty amazing, really, the way you manage to change a little every day and then all of a sudden the reality of you growing up hits me like a ton of bricks. I have this memory from my 4th birthday, when I kept trying to get my mother (your Nana) to say that 4 was a big number, because all I wanted was to be a big girl, and she just kept telling me, "No, you're not really that big." I remember kind of thinking to myself, "why can't she just say that 4 is a big number to make me feel good, even if she doesn't think so?" Now that you're 4, I think I kind of understand why she wouldn't say that. You're not a baby, anymore, Jack. But you're not a Big Boy yet, either. And I am thankful for that, because I need the time to savor these precious moments with you.

I love you,


Just Us Apples

Charles River in Boston

From my latest trip to Boston.

Aren't they cute?

Mom and Dad enjoying the Biltmore landscape

Fall at the Biltmore

Mom, Dad and I went to the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, NC. America's largest home!

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