New address!

29 May

IMG_0327

I am WAY more excited about this than I probably should be!  But we have searched High. Low. In town. Out of town. Big yards. Small yards. And we FINALLY found our new home!  Moving soon!

Hockey…and so it begins

30 Mar

IMG_2520

No more baseball. This was the first time with a stick in hand. NOT THE LAST!

Spring Break Staycation

29 Mar

We had a trip to Colorado in mind. We like to ski! Unfortunately a lithotripsy interfered with that. So – it was a staycation instead.

On Palm Sunday we celebrated beautiful dresses, curls in thick hair, and dogwood trees.

IMG_5921

If this isn’t an answered prayer, I don’t know what is…

IMG_2590

We visited nearby Cathedral Caverns, and marveled at the depths of the cave!

IMG_5937

Belle, a dogwood tree, and her notebook.

IMG_5929

We had a picnic at Ditto Landing. This was a perfect, awesome day.

IMG_5985

IMG_5981

 

IMG_5992

 

We picked flowers and put them in vases.

IMG_6018

We had LOTS of fun at Southern Adventures!IMG_6052 Some of us launched rockets. This picture is my favorite. He is NOT happy at the moment. Can’t you tell by his body language?!

IMG_6122

Finally, success.
IMG_6121

We rode around the park and even did some fishing!

IMG_6191

IMG_6272

IMG_6271

And even though it was not a trip to the mountains, a good time was had by all!

We are a WCA family

29 Feb

Last summer Joe, Joseph, Bidbit and Bees participated in a fundraiser golf tournament for WCA. This winter they wanted to have our family photo taken for the WCA magazine. We all dressed in school colors. I am so thankful for this photo of both sides of our family, with all of our children!

golf image kelly's 4

Celebrating a DECADE!

21 Jan

I met the man I would marry 11 years ago. I married him the next year. We are celebrating TEN YEARS! of marriage this month.

Joe’s work schedule has been crazy. We only had a 4 day weekend to celebrate, thinking we might go somewhere more special later in the year. Our friends overheard us talking about this 4 days free, and where we might go. They decided to plan a weekend with us, and before I ever knew it, we were suddenly planning a trip to VEGAS  – with 6 of our “closest friends”! This was definitely not the trip I had in mind for my tenth wedding anniversary, but I have to admit it was the most fun trip I have ever been on.

The group had a blast. We partied – hard – like we were 20. But this time we had more money, so we also had more fun. We purchased a table at a super top secret bar, and we went to fancy shows and restaurants. We rode in a limo on the strip, stopping at In-and-out burger and Pawn Stars. We saw the fountains at Bellagio and ate at the restaurant at the top of the building. We shopped at high end boutiques and I even brought home Louis Vuitton sunglasses. We gambled – black jack and craps – and we all brought home extra money in our pockets.

The day and night of our anniversary was ours alone. The group went to zipline on the red rocks. Joe and I took a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, which neither of us had ever seen. It was a whole day trip and it was AMAZING. Here we are in the little area where we landed in the canyon.

IMG_5842

IMG_5837

 

IMG_5834

Hoover Dam

That night we had special reservations at a secret restaurant. It was by chef Jose Andres and only allowed 8 people per evening!  We had to order tickets for dinner weeks and weeks before we left. The golden ticket arrive in the mail and was our pass to get inside.

Once we were seated at the 8 person table, the chefs prepared a very extensive menu for us, bordering on art and chemistry combined.

IMG_2460

They worked so hard on every little detail. Each course was tiny, just a few bites at most, but there were probably 23 courses in all!  Each was presented in an amazing artful fashion. These flowers were edible:

Part of our dinner!

These little bites were bubbles with food inside. They were prepared right in front of our eyes.

IMG_2454This was a dessert finished off with a blowtorch.

IMG_2453

This is us, back at Aria, dressed for dinner.

Our date night at Aria

 

Vegas will always bring me memories of fun and friends. Happy ten years!  Here is to many more!

 

Happy 6th birthday to our Boo!

12 Jan

This was a birthday party for the books. Belle decided she wanted a skating party. An ICE SKATING PARTY. We are not sure why she wanted this kind of party. She did not know how to ice skate. Recently the winter Olympics were on television and she did see a lot of skating. We can only figure this is how she got the idea. I think she was more into the decor and the idea of wearing a skating outfit than actually ice skating. The decor was definitely on point:

IMG_5718_2

Even her American Girl was there, dressed to skate as well.

IMG_2621

And this girl is a FAN of a beautiful cake.

IMG_2620

IMG_5719

 

The panic started to set in when I got RSVPs. She had invited BOTH kindergarten classes to skate. KINDERGARTEN. Few of them had even been skating before. None of them actually knew how. Start the valium IV drip. I was not going to make it through this party without a nervous breakdown.

IMG_5739

At the end of the day, it was awesome. Lots of parents were terrific sports and skated with their kids, some really mastering the skills that day. My kids had a BALL. They skated with their dad until they skated with their friends until they were soon flying around the rink all on their own.

Ice Skating
Interestingly, this guy had a blast too. Later in the month, we would visit his aunt Kim. Our family would discuss baseball sign ups and how we were going to get to the park on the day they were scheduled. He spoke up and said he didn’t want to do baseball this spring. (!!) A former college catcher, his dad’s heart may or may not have broken into tiny bits, but he didn’t show it, thankfully. We encouraged him to sign up for it. Sports are fun, we said.

I want to ice skate, he said.

!!!  You just never know what a skating party will bring.

For this guy it became his #1 sport and several all star teams and tournaments. All from a 6 year old party.

Helping a sister out

12 Jan

IMG_2511

I’ve never felt like I was living the story of Esther quite like I did this month. I’ve been drawn to that story since learning about it, particularly the idea of how God prepares us – all our lives – to bring glory to his kingdom, in the most perfect timing imaginable.

My sister-in-law is one of a kind: hilariously funny with a huge heart. I felt a special connection with her from the moment I first met her. When she called me in January, I was literally moments away from 25 guests appearing on my doorstep for a baby shower I was hosting at my home. I almost didn’t answer the call but something made me pick up. I was not prepared for her to start the call with words that sent chills down my spine: “I felt a lump.” After urging her to get herself in a doctor’s office – stat – and some reassurance, I hung up, truly thinking she would probably be okay. But none of this came with easy timing. Though her family would continue to be most supportive, they had recently established a new home in the neighboring state, and she had few friends to lean on and absolutely no established medical care yet. Once we found her a solid doctor, things started moving quickly: positive findings, orders for more imaging, requests for genetic testing, big decisions to make. Her house is a 4 hour drive from mine, so I hopped in the car to attend the biggest decision making appointments: meeting the oncologist, evaluating the prognosis, and making chemotherapy decisions.

I didn’t know a thing about cancer before I met Joe. But God knew everything. He knew I would be helpful to Kim when her time came. He stirred my heart and I quickly became an advocate – maybe THE advocate – for women’s reproductive cancers in our region. After forming a nonprofit, I counseled patients and their families, helped them find appropriate social networks and resources. I had never had cancer. No one close to me had ever had cancer. But I had a need to do this in a way I could never explain to anyone else.

When Kim was diagnosed my husband was at the busiest height of his career. I was his stand-in for her, a link to bridge her to his knowledge and expertise. And I could do it with my own authority too. I knew the tough questions to ask and the important decisions that needed to be made. God had prepared me for such a time as this.

When it all came together, we had a plan in place for Kim. Our whole family went for her first chemotherapy. Joe was there to support her at the doctor’s office and I was there to help support her at home. Nothing was more special than this time we all had together with her family. The photo above was the early morning just before her first chemo.

Kim received the strongest chemo available. She had a good prognosis if it worked. She then had several major surgeries. She was BRAC+. Her chances of getting this cancer were almost certain. We wanted to make sure it would never come back, anywhere. Her daughter and sister have had to do major prophylactic surgeries to prepare for their own inevitable fates. Joe, thankfully, was negative.

This picture was taken in January of 2012. It is not May 2016 as I update this. Kim is still cancer free. She has since enjoyed her daughter’s wedding, the birth of her grandson, her son’s graduation from high school and him starting college at Troy. She has moved to the beach. She enjoys every minute of her new lease on life.

For such a time as this – I felt like every moment of my life had led to me helping Kim navigate those scary waters. God was there for her in a mighty way, and it was a privilege to be a small part of it.

%d bloggers like this: