Tuesday, August 26, 2008

About a Puppy

We have a new member of our family! On Saturday, we went to my niece's second birthday party (a blog to come later) in Ohio and came home on Sunday with a brand new seven week old Chocolate Lab puppy!

How did all of this happen you might ask? Well, when we arrived at the party there was a puppy in attendance and we were instantly smitten and just had to have one for ourselves. The puppy in attendance belonged to my brother in-law's in-laws and they told us where they got the pup, how many were left, etc. We talked it over and decided to go have a look. Sure enough, we found one we liked and brought her home!

I know many of you are saying "what are they thinking?" However, we've been talking for a while now about getting a dog and just have been waiting for the right time. We've also spent a lot of time researching breeds but knew deep down a lab was the best dog for kids. We figured within the next year we would find one we liked and get one, maybe even for the girls for Christmas. Since I am still home much of the time we knew getting one now would be easier as I am here to bond with her and train her.

Needless to say it has been an adventure so far. I have never owned a dog and don't know much about them, but I am quickly learning. Fortunately for me Bill had several dogs growing up which helps with the puppy rearing.

So. . . give a big warm welcome to Laci (yup, she's a girl!), our beautiful, loving new puppy!

Meet Laci

Proud new "parents"

One big happy family

Friday, August 22, 2008

Winning Isn't Everything - Or Is It?

One of my favorite pastimes every four years is watching the Summer Olympics. I LOVE the Summer Olympics, mainly because of swimming and track and field, two sports I competed in while in HS. I swam from age eight through senior year, so that sport particularly hits home for me. It is amazing how watching swimming on t.v. brings back the excitement of the sport as if I just swam in a meet yesterday (oh how I wish I were in that good of shape today!).

However, as much as I love watching the Olympics, I hate all of the emphasis the media puts on winning. I get so frustrated when a favored athlete fails to win the gold, despite their best effort, and one of the reporters asks stupid questions like "What do you think went wrong?" "What could you have done differently?" "What emotion are you feeling right now?" Well, depending on the expectation the said athlete had before going into the race, that could be anywhere from extremely happy, proud, etc., or sad and disappointed.

I realize winning the gold is a great accomplishment, and that many of the athletes want to win. However, when they don't win the gold, why can't we just congratulate them and tell them "good job?" If they are disappointed, they certainly don't need overeager reporters grilling them!

I can still remember a reporter (I shall keep him nameless), grilling the USA men's track and field relay team after they WON the silver years ago. That nameless reporter kept saying stuff like "what if this person had ran instead of this person?" and kept going on and on about how they "lost" the gold. The USA team was CLEARLY proud to have WON the silver, yet this reporter kept saying they lost. I was so mad I wrote a letter to NBC (with no response of course) expressing my disappointment. I still shake my head to this day when I see that same nameless reporter covering this year's Olympic events.

The other night I was annoyed because one of the woman hurdlers tripped and fell and failed to win any medal at all. Again with the stupid questions. "What are you feeling right now?" "What do you think happened?" Sheesh. Can you imagine? I am sure she was thinking, "DUH! I tripped and fell!" Yet she gave a classy answer and then walked away, only later to be shown on camera crying under the stands. *Sigh*. Later, one of the men was disqualified because he accidentally stepped into another lane during his race. You can only imagine the questions he was asked. Need I say more?

Michael Phelps did something that doesn't happen often. He won eight gold medals in one Olympics. EIGHT. Last time someone won even close to that many was in 1976 when Mark Spitz won seven. I have to admit I was so proud of Phelps, knowing he worked hard and deserved every medal. But one of those races he almost came in second. He out touched another swimmer by one hundredth of a second. Truly unbelievable. Had he lost that race I can only imagine the comments: Reporter: "What went wrong?" Michael: "Ummm, I just won the silver? And I have already won seven other golds. " In other words, NOTHING would have been at all wrong with that. And in another race, an amazingly exciting 4x100 relay, the men came back from behind to win the gold. They could have easily just won the silver. Again, what would have been so wrong with that?

These athletes work their tails off. Just making the Olympics is something they should all be proud of, and we should be equally proud and just celebrate the fact that they are there in the first place. I know I am. . . USA! USA! USA!

***California wedding blog coming soon. . . I promise!***

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boo's Turn - First Day of School (part two)

Where does all of the time go? Is it really possible that my baby started Kindergarten today? Not too long ago, I found myself getting weepy when she graduated from preschool. That really seems like just yesterday, but a whole summer has passed and the girls are back to school.

I swear each year goes by faster and faster. I remember when Boo was born, and was growing quickly, someone told me (my memory is failing me as to whom) " Watch out! They grow fast and before you know it she will be in Kindergarten." Well that day is here and I can hardly believe it.

I have been so excited for her to go, even though I knew I would miss having her home. I figured that it wouldn't be that different from preschool in that she'd only be gone part of the day, and I'd still have my mornings with her. Yet, when I dropped her off and she practically ran into the school, I felt my eyes well up with tears. How could it be that she is already so big, and that both of my girls are in school now?

I just know that each year will pass by quickly, and before I know it, she will be leaving for college. I just want it all to slow down a little, so I can savor every minute of it.

Proud Kindergartener all ready for school

Check out my new cool backpack

I'm ready for Kindergarten!

Off and running. . .

Boo arrives home from her big day (and FIRST bus ride!)

Glad to finally be at the same school as Kiki!

Awwww, sisterly love (I treasure these moments)

One very proud big sister (thanks for the flowers, Kiki!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - First Day of School Edition (part one)

Pictures from Kiki's first day of second grade. Boo starts Kindergarten tomorrow. . .

The big second grader

Gotta get a picture with Boo, too!

Waiting for the bus. . . it was late, as usual

Finally it is here!

Off she goes. . .

Are we done taking pictures yet, Mom?

Hours later. . .

Thanks for the flowers, Boo!

And what was Boo up to while big sis was at school today? Getting ready for her big day tomorrow:

Boo drawing her self portrait at her Kindergarten Orientation

Sunday, August 10, 2008

If You Are Only As Old As You Feel, then this week I'm 90

Rollercoasters. I love them. Well mostly. I am more of a good old fashioned rollercoaster gal. Put me on one of those wooden rollercoasters, the ones that slowly click clack up a huge hill and then race you down at high speeds. Now these newer, wilder, crazier the better rollercoasters? Do I like those? Notsomuch.

Son of Beast

I had a chance to ride dozens of these rollercoasters this past weekend when Bill and I made a kid-free trip to Kings Island to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We couldn't wait to go and ride all of the rides, without any worry about tired fussy children in big crowds and hot weather. We told each other we'd take our time, ride what we felt like riding, when we felt like it, and just enjoy each other's company.

We arrived about 45 minutes after the park opened and headed towards the first coaster we could see - Invertigo. Now that has got to be the most appropriate name for a ride I've ever heard. I had plenty of chances to back out, but tortured myself anyway. I watched this ride over and over again- the line for it actually weaves its way RIGHT UNDER the rollercoaster, so you get a good sense of what you are in for. You think that would have given me second thoughts (or third or fourth ones), but common sense clearly was left behind with the girls and Grandma.

View of Invertigo from the line

In case you have never had the torture pleasure of riding this ride, here's the description from the Kings Island website: "Sit back and witness the terror flash in the eyes of your fellow riders as you experience the only face-to-face inverted roller coaster in the Midwest! Scream your face off as you are lifted up a 138 foot hill and then released to soar through a 72 foot tall loop and two inversions at speeds of over 55 mph!"


Scream your face off? Ummm, for me it was more like "cry for help"! And I love how they say "sit back and witness the terror flash in the eyes of fellow riders". Like you can even see them, much less anything else!

Let me just say that by the time the ride was over (in about two minutes flat) I didn't know which way was up/down. I've always wondered what it was like to have "vertigo" and now I absolutely know. Not a great feeling I must say. People were getting off the ride and cheering and I wanted to puke. And THIS is supposed to be FUN? I think not.

After that I told Bill we had to ride some "tamer" rides for a while, until I could walk normally at least. So here are some pictures of some of the "tamer" rides we rode:

Viking Fury

Backlot Stunt Coaster

I was also "brave", despite my experience with Invertigo, and rode the Vortex. Crazy ride (six inversions!), but I survived it!


I loved the Son of Beast - definitely more my style. HUGE hill and super fast going down. Two years ago that ride had a big loop in the middle, but due to people getting injured structural problems, they took it out and rebuilt that section of the rollercoaster. The ride is much smoother now, thankfully!

Son of Beast (aerial view)

And then there was the Beast. I LOVED the Beast when I was nineteen years old. I rode that coaster 3-4 times in a visit if the line wasn't too bad. Most days I may feel like I am still twenty, but my body reminded me that I am clearly NOT. I was sore for three days after our trip. THREE DAYS! So, if you really are only as old as you feel, I'm 90 (for this week anyway)!

The infamous Beast

I was too chicken to ride the newest, craziest ride in the park, Firehawk. On this coaster you lie down and are facing the ground and "fly" over hills and inversions for a good part of the ride! All day I built up my courage to ride it because I knew Bill really wanted to. I kept looking at it, thinking about it, but couldn't quite get the courage. Finally, when I actually thought I might, we went over to get in line, only to find the wait was TWO HOURS! Bill loves the craziest of all rollercoasters and even he said, "NO WAY". So I lucked out this time. Yipee! Oh darn.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Party Time with JT

Kiki and Boo's friend (and part time brother) turned four last week! We had fun celebrating at Bounce Planet. Happy Birthday, JT!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, on a beautiful August day, we stood together in front of family and friends. We said our vows and pledged to be together forever. We laughed. We cried. We danced. We kissed. We rode in a Rolls (Grey Poupon and all!). We felt like royalty.

Hard to believe ten years has passed. So many memories were made that day and continue to be made everyday. We've had our share of ups and downs, but we've stayed strong, knowing we have each other. We have two beautiful girls, who remind us everyday that life is worth living, and to never take anything for granted. There will be more ups and downs, good times and bad, but we know we can make it. We have our love, faith, and trust in one another. We know that we will have many more wonderful memories to last us a lifetime.

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart!

Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.