Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Small Sticker

Several years ago, Tim and I were behind a vehicle with a memorial sticker on the back window.  We commented how we didn't know if we could do that, as we'd be saddened by the constant reminder.  Never did I imagine that we'd be ordering decals of our own to remember our son, Austin, just two years ago.  In reality, with child loss, you need no reminder...the loss is ever-present.  The comfort by which this sticker brings though was and is unexpected.  When I'm driving and glance through my rear view mirror, the sticker is visible, with Austin's name shining back at me.  Seeing his name makes me feel as if a part of him is there.  Even though I already know that to be true.

Austin was always quick to call "shotgun" whenever we would drive anywhere.  As he grew older, his size nearly demanded it.  At only 14, he had already surpassed his dad and me in height.  With those broad shoulders and long legs, he seemed to hover over all of us - and he loved every minute of it.  Tim actually felt guilty when we'd ride together, somewhat forcing Austin to take the backseat.  Even though we both drive SUVs, the space in the back just couldn't comfortably contain our sprouting boy.

Being on the road is a difficult time when you're grieving.  I remember those first few months after he passed, and sobbing the entire way to work and back home.  Every single day.  It was lonely in the truck, and if anything, it felt the only time I could release all the sadness my heart would swell with each hour without him.  Even now, I find driving to be hard and I wish that my sweet boy would be sitting co-pilot beside me, lovingly reaching his arm around mine to hug me or singing to favorite songs with him on the radio.  And though I know his seat may be empty, I still feel his spirit with me regularly.  Each time I glance at his sticker, warmth passes over me as if I can hear him whisper, "I Love You, Mom."

Now, when I see other stickers, I will pause and pray for the passengers inside.  No matter the age or the time that has spanned since their passing, I know prayers are forever needed in families of child loss.  I ask God to bring them peace and to lift them up in warmth and love so that they may know and feel His presence.  Though strangers, we share a connection on the road in that moment, and I carry them in my thoughts throughout that day.

I also notice others reading Austin's memorial sticker when they are behind me in traffic.  I often wonder what goes through their minds.  Sometimes I can see the sadness in the eyes, in the realization of his age at his passing.  Sometimes I'll see a couple exchange glances in their vehicle after reading it, maybe thanking God for the blessings they have.  Sometimes I'll catch a parent reading it, then see them look in the backseat at their children and can almost feel their thankful prayer being sent up.  Perhaps it is a way to not only remember Austin but help others realize how precious and short this life is and how we should all make every moment count.  That's certainly something Austin would've make a difference with one small sticker.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

All these years...

Tim and I are home from a wonderfully romantic weekend at the lake.  Eighteen years ago, we honeymooned at Kentucky Lake and have been returning every few years or so.  We try to combine each trip with a mixture of old favorites and new finds.  More important than anything we do however, is just the planned one on one time we get to reconnect as a couple.

This year was our first to vacation at the lake as boat owners.  I remember the many trips we'd made before, lingering at the piers and wishing.  Our "lil piddly", as I deemed her this trip, may not be a regal or majestic vessel like what surrounded us, but she got us where we wanted to go.  Whether we were bird watching, fishing, or speeding down the waterway, we thoroughly enjoyed our hours in the boat this weekend.  The largest part of the time, Tim would fish, I would read, and we'd listen to old country songs in the background.  Our first night there the weather cooperated and we soaked in a sunset while rocking gently on the glistening lake, hand in hand.

No plans or itineraries were made for this mini getaway, which is not the norm for me, but I wanted to be free to do whatever, whenever.  We were intentionally lazy, napping midday, or when a thunderstorm soaked other plans. Diets were tossed out the window at our first stop to fuel up, as we binged on road trip goodies and mega fountain sodas.  A trip to the lake is not complete without a stop at the Liteside Cafe for a scrumptious muffin (or two), or a meal at Patti's, which usually includes their famous two inch pork chops.  We grilled at our cabin one night and enjoyed lots of time on the back deck overlooking the lake. 

I enjoyed reading there one morning, while Tim went on an early fishing outing.  At the beginning of the third book in the series, the author wrote a dedication to her husband.  I connected to her words and felt it was an accurate description for Tim and me.  "I could fill a thousand book with words of love and still not have shared but a small portion of who you are to me." -Cindy Woodsmall

I felt then it was a beautiful way to sum up our weekend, our marriage, and our life together.  All those years ago, as I stood before him and said "I do" I didn't think it possible to love him more.  Now, I know love grows with each passing day, as the life you make together just strengthens it.  Whether it be through the joyous times, or those of pain, each milestone, every moment and memory adds to your relationship.  But to truly describe all that Tim is to me...impossible.  There are no words, as what we have can only be shared through the heart.  What I can say is that this weekend was amazing and I am beyond blessed to share my life with such a man!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lost in the pages

I'm reading a new book.  It seems every summer I pick out one of the fattest novels I can find to savor on the weekends and whenever I get a chance to read.  This summer, I am reading, "Sisters of the Quilt" by Cindy Woodsmall.  It is actually a trilogy, three books rolled into one, although I'm still on the first.

I started reading it a couple weekends ago on the boat.  Actually, I picked it out while Tim was purchasing his fishing license and bait for our Sunday afternoon outing.  While I enjoy fishing, I can only do it for so long.  Reading though is something I could get lost in for hours.

This series is set in an Amish community, is Christian based, and faith inspired.  Although I'm only a few chapters in, I'm hooked, anxiously awaiting the next time my hands can wrap around the large spine of the book.  I'm connected to the lead character, Hannah, who faces tragedy both personally and through events within her family.  Though only 17, her faith is strong but wavers in these uncertain moments.

My love of books is a mixture of what my mother passed down to me and my innate desire to write, almost since birth.  As a child, I remember my mom reading to me and how excited I was when I first learned to read to myself.  I would read for hours on end and usually my mom would be right beside me, doing the same.  That early foundation for reading is probably what influenced my love to write.  Words would jump out to me from a book and I would think to myself, I want to do this someday!

Writing a book has been an evolving dream of mine for years.  I used to think I wanted to write children's books but life has a way of shifting the course of your journey.  Now, I hope my first book is life inspired and will help other's facing child loss.  Between this blog, and the memorial blog I started for Austin shortly after his passing, I'm sure several chapters have already been formed.  ...Someday.

For now, I enjoy writing for this blog, as well as reading whenever I make the time.  This long weekend ahead will certainly be the perfect opportunity to lose myself in a chapter or two...or three or four!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Date Night

Romance has been in the air at the Blair house this week and it's not just because our anniversary was yesterday.  Tim and I admittedly have been wrapped up in each other, reliving the moments and memories of our early dates and wedding, as well as planning our upcoming mini-vacation we'll be taking this weekend to celebrate.  But, the mirror checks, sweaty palms, and constant time checking came from our son, Noah, as he eagerly awaited his "first" date.

Over the weekend Noah secured himself a new girlfriend.  This was quickly apparent to me from the never ending ding of the texts he received on Saturday night.  By Sunday afternoon, he was asking when he might be able to go out to a movie with her.    We opted for the bargain show on Monday at 5 pm.  Though it was barely over 24 hours away, you'd thought by his reactions it was a decade-long wait.

Even though he had the option of sleeping in on Monday morning, soon as my coffee rustling routine awoke him, he bounced out of the bed, wide awake.  With a kiss, I was out the door to start my day at work.  Tim was close behind me, but not until after he called to report Noah's activity.  Without asking (never happens!) he was in the shower, already getting ready for his early evening date.  Even though Tim advised him against it, he was dressed from head to toe, cologne included, before 9 a.m.

I called to check in on him around lunch and he informed me that he'd taken off his shirt to eat - smart move - but was officially counting down the hours.  When I arrived home that afternoon, he went back through the routines I'm sure he'd done a billion times over that day.  Hair...check.  Teeth...check.  Cologne...check.  Wallet...check.

Mom went through her own routine of questions and advice and a fair shake of warnings.  I asked him what movie they were seeing and he smiled.  "Well, I let her pick," he said,  "And she told me that made me the sweetest boyfriend she's ever had."  He then said, counting his money, "How much are tickets?"  I told him my best guess, since it was a bargain show and he replied, "Ok, because I plan to be a gentleman and pay for hers."  This was my smiling moment but I had to do it privately so that he would continue talking to me.

We arrived to the movies way ahead of time because he all but pushed me out the door to get there.  Although he would've preferred to shoot me a quick kiss and have me leave, I stayed put.  I promised him I'd stay in the truck, not to embarrass him, but I had to see her and know that her parents truly knew this was a date.  My comment of "I was once a 6th grader too you know" prompted him to shoot back with a "yeah, a hundred years ago" and a grin.

He did sweetly hug and kiss me, as well as thank me for bringing him prior to anyone seeing the interaction.  By his behavior change, I could sense that his girlfriend had arrived.  He made his way to the theatre door and moments later a hoard of females followed.  I caught glimpse of "the girl" who was cute as could be, wearing a sweet little sundress and even a flower in her hair.  What was humorous, but I guess expected with a girl, her little sister and mom were just steps behind her. 

Later, when I got a brief telling of the evening, Noah said her family sat six rows behind them.  He emphasized six rows so I'm sure he felt the momma's eyes on the back of his neck.  Even still, he seemed to have a good time and enjoyed his first date.  Although it makes me a little weepy, thinking my baby boy is old enough to have this "first" already, I'm happy for him.  He certainly is having a summer to remember! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For Father's Day

Today is Father's Day.  I imagine this holiday is hard on Tim, as I know the assault of emotions that come over me on Mother's Day.  I started my day in prayer for him, have continued prayers throughout the day, and will end it the same way. 

When you have children in two worlds, days like today are beyond difficult.  You miss and long for the child that has passed on, but you also treasure and love the one who remains.  Your soul feels torn, wavering between the two.

What I know for sure, is that I could not have picked a better father for my children.  In the nearly 17 years that Tim has been a Dad, I've continually been amazed at his unselfish love and devotion to his boys.

Of course, Austin was our first.  I know that makes today even harder for him.  I'll share a post from Austin's blog about how we learned of our pregnancy. 
How it all began...

But of course, Austin said it best about his Dad with this -
In Austin's words...

All that doesn't overshadow the wonderful relationship Tim also has with Noah.  Our "little" eleven year old now nearly looks Tim in the eye, with shoulders broadly stretching to reach the same frame as his Dad's.  Noah takes after Tim in so many other ways as well, especially their personalities.  Neither has ever met a stranger and both will talk your ears off (whether you want them to or not)! 

I love to watch them banter and pick each other, shoot hoops together, fight about who caught the biggest fish, and the sweetest of all - when Noah still seeks to snuggle on his Dad's strong arm.  From birth, that has been his safe spot.  Whether he awoke from a nightmare, was sick, or just needed some Dad time, that crook in Tim's arm, between his shoulder and elbow, was the only pillow Noah needed to drift off into dreamland.  I hope Noah never outgrows this, at least in knowing his Dad is always there for him, with loving support and open arms.

Happy Father's Day to the best possible "Dad" I could have have chosen for my children.  God truly blessed me with Tim.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From the Ashes

There's a home in our neighborhood that suffered fire damage a few months back.  Luckily, it was not a total loss, as the fire department contained it to just the master bedroom/bath.  (Kudos to my hubby and his crew)  While the home suffered smoke damage, it could've been much worse.  It happened during the day and nobody was injured.  Really, as far as a house fire is concerned it was one of those "best case scenarios."

I'm sure the family living there doesn't feel the same though.  Their life has been turned upside down the past few months, having to move out on a moment's notice and juggle all the things that come with tragedy or disaster.  Their life has been paused, while the world continues to move forward.  They are living out of boxes in a temporary house while working to rebuild their home.  I'm sure they've had a multitude of decisions to make in the midst of the chaos.

As the home is directly behind ours, I've watched their progress the past few weeks.  One of the things that has amazed me the most is the overwhelming support system they have.  The majority of the work they've done, it seems, has been done by family and friends.  Those friends have worked all hours of the day and night, with the first whacks of the hammer always coming by daylight and the whir of the generator humming through the midnight hour. 

This weekend, I was on the deck letting the dogs play in the yard, and continued to watch their work.  It hit me how symbolic it was of what they were doing, rebuilding after loss.  While their work was physical and you could visually see the progress, it reminded me so much of our own home and the "rebuilding" we've done since losing Austin.

Rebuilding after child loss is no comparison to that of a fire.  A home is material and everything under a roof can be replaced.  Your child cannot.  There will forever be a void where that child was and should now be.  But the damages - spiritually, emotionally and even physically a family suffers from that loss exist, and without an effort made to "rebuild," it can tear a family apart. 

I think back to those first few days, weeks and months after the loss and how broken we were.  I once described it as a cracked windshield.  It still functions and to an unknown observer may look the same, even normal.  But, through the eyes of the family, there are pieces, fragments of what once remained.  You can't do anything without seeing and feeling the loss.  At points you feel as if your family is floating, forever paused in the pain and chaos, and yet everyone else goes on.  There were so many times I wanted to scream, "We are still hurting.  It has not gone away.  It never will," in hopes that time would just stop.

Over time, I guess you just learn move forward ; maybe you just learn to fake it better each day, because in reality the loss never goes away.  Days do get easier, sometimes.  Maybe you just get busier with life again and find ways to fill the space so that you don't think.  It's been two and half years and the pain can come slamming back into me just as if it were that first night all over again.  It happens less often now and I know what triggers it, I expect it on certain days.  Sometimes sadness just comes though and you just have to let it ride it's course.  Sometimes you just have to cry. 

But, I can look back and see progress.  Even though the pain is still there, the loss is still felt, and Austin will be forever missed, I do see where we've grown.  I remember our "firsts" without him - holidays, vacations, special moments - and how I didn't think it was possible we'd get through it but we did.  I remember the fog I was in for so long, not wanting to leave the house or see another living soul, but over time, I returned.  I remember the many prayers I spent asking God to heal our family, to pull those ties closer instead of the stretching away I was feeling at the time.  We are stronger now.  We hug, we talk, we laugh.  Even if in the background each of us has a piece that aches for Austin, and always will, we continue on.  

Our rebuilding, the literal patching back together of our family, wasn't as easy as going to the store and buying supplies.  This healing doesn't come overnight and can only be found from one source.  Our continual restoration comes only from the Master Carpenter.  God is the only answer I can give as to why we've survived all this time without Austin.  Only through Him did we find peace, strength and hope. 

While I can't begin to ever understand the why behind Austin's death, I see purpose from the pain.  I know that he would be proud of how we've progressed, how we've used his story to help and inspire others, and how we push forward every day to make this life the most that it can be until we are all together as a family again.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Whirlwind Weekend

Is it really Monday?...already?  Wow - where did the weekend go!?  That short window of freedom, from Friday evening to Sunday night, always seems to pass quickly but never as much as during the summer. 

Maybe it is because we try to cram so much into them that it makes the time go by so fast? It's just our way of enjoying every moment, I guess. Even the sun tries to stretch out the days as long as he can, sinking into the skyline as slowly as possible.  In the summer, day and night seem to dance together a bit longer, as twilight lingers.  We certainly soaked up every minute of our weekend, which was wonderful at the time but surely makes Monday difficult to face! 

Friday night Noah was my travel buddy again as we visited another Relay For Life in Christian county.  Noah had never been to Hopkinsville so he was excited to see another part of the state.  Top of his list was seeing the helicopter on the stand and hearing about Ft. Campbell, Western State Hospital (though he was disappointed he couldn't go on a tour) and the many edible treats at Relay, including walkin' tacos, grilled corn on the cob and fried oreos. 

But, I think what made his smile the biggest though, were the two young girls flirting with him on the track.  He made one loop and returned to me, with a smile the spanned from ear to ear saying, "Well, I guess I still got it!" as he retold the story of being informed he was "liked".  This was an especially timely ego boost, as his girlfriend had texted him earlier that day to break up.  Her excuse was that it was too hard in the summer, so Noah laughed as we left the event later that night, wondering how that long distance of a relationship would work, had he accepted their offers.

Saturday was just as eventful, as Mom cashed in her dinner coupon I.O.U. I gave her for Mother's Day.  Noah and I picked her up that morning and we didn't return her home until early evening.  We spent the day in Bowling Green, laughing, shopping, eating sushi, laughing, shopping and enjoying time together.  No sooner than we pulled into the driveway at home to get Tim, we were pulling right back out, trying to make it to the Drive-In.  Even a random thunderstorm in the middle of the second movie couldn't rain on our fun though, as we scrambled into the truck to see the ending.  It was a wonderful, family-filled day - and night!

And, as much as I would've enjoyed sleeping in a bit longer on Sunday, it was too beautiful of a day to waste a moment indoors.  Like a precision race team, we loaded the truck, changed into swimwear and were out on the river by lunch-thirty.  The weather was absolutely amazing, mid 80's, no humidity, slight breeze and it was the perfect temperature for a shady fishing hole.  Tim and Noah battled with their poles, trying to out fish each other, while I kicked back and took in several chapters of a new book.  The boat rocked us gently, and our stresses of the week melted into the liquid silk that surrounded us.

We made it home just as the sun was calling it a day, cheated and ordered pizza in, and snuggled on the couch for some tv time.  The entire weekend was spontaneous, jam-packed, sprinkled with laughter, and cushioned with family from beginning to end.  I feel blessed to have enjoyed each and every precious morsel!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One little pink balloon

Relay For Life has been a part of my life for what seems like forever.  In reality, I've been involved with Relay since I started working for the American Cancer Society, 13 years ago.  For my children though, it's all they've ever known. 

My first year with ACS, I formed a family team.  That same year was our first scare with the C-word, as my Grandma had several suspicious skin cancers removed.  Thankfully, she would not suffer with the disease but through the years it managed to strike several in our family.  On the positive side, I see the inspiration my Aunt Becky was as she faced breast cancer and the impact she made on a local - and even national level - through her volunteer efforts with ACS.  Sadly, my Grandpa wasn't as fortunate, as we lost him to a brave battle against lung cancer, eighteen months after his diagnosis.

Seeing the impact cancer had on my family and the difference Relay could make, my oldest son, Austin, was quick to jump in and take the reigns as Team Captain for our family.  He was just a baby really, only 7 years old, the first year he asked to be in charge.  With his leadership our family team reached new heights and he was recognized as Top Youth Fundraiser several years in a row.  The Relay after he passed, our family pulled together and collected a record $8000+ in his memory. 

As proud as were of that amount, Relay For Life was just never the same.  That event was harder on my family than I could have ever predicted.  Our kids broke down several times throughout the night and we left in an exhausted physical/emotional mess.  Even today, nearly three years later I can't be at an event without being overcome with sadness and emotions remembering my sweet little boy.  Though I will always hold a special place in my heart for Relay, I just can't participate the way I did when Austin was with us.

This past year, I lost an amazing volunteer and friend, Peggy Gregory, to breast cancer.  She was my Reach volunteer, unselfishly helping other women facing breast cancer even as she fought for her own life.  She was also an avid Relay For Life-r, forming a team at her church known as S.O.A.R. (so others acheive recovery).  As I saw Peggy's family and friends sitting in the bleachers last Friday night, my heart literally ached for them.  I remmeber all too well how emotional and difficult it was for us our first Relay without Austin.  (How hard it was for me even in that moment, missing him.)  Immediately, I began praying for them to have peace throughout the event, to feel Peggy's presence and love, and to let her inspiration carry through to others at the Relay.

In a loving tribute, I listened to a beautiful speech about Peggy as they named an award in her memory and noticed the dozens of pink balloons her family held, representing the 49 years she was with us on this earth - as well as one white balloon symbolizing her 50th birthday in Heaven she would have this week.  The family planned to release the balloons at the 50 yard line as they walked the track.  While I missed their release, I noticed the bunches of balloons when they floated above me.  One small group of them struggled to make it to the clouds.

At first I was filled with sadness for her family, worried they would see them and it could somehow bring down this moment for them.  I urged those balloons to move as they neared the electricity lines.  I prayed they wouldn't get stuck.  One by one they passed through the small section between the lines until it came to the last pink balloon.  It wrapped itself around the line and would not let go.  That little pink balloon was determined, as much as I willed it away, to stick around.  Doing so, it kept the "bunch" there with it - floating above.  As quick as the worry fell over me, laughter and hope soon replaced it.

If there was ever a more determined and inspirational "little pink package" - it was Peggy.  I felt as if that little pink balloon was Peggy's way of telling her family, "I'm here!  I see you - and I'm staying all night!"  Goosebumps filled my arms and my heart swelled with memories of her.  And to make the moment even better, as Noah and I made our way around the track later, we overheard her husband making the very same observation.  I was so happy for them and that they could find comfort in an otherwise difficult evening for their family. 

That little pink balloon has been nagging at me though ever since...pulling on me to do just one more thing.  So, I'm making one last push this fundraising season in Peggy's memory.  Though I haven't had a team since 2009, I still am actively involved (sometimes anonymously and behind the scenes) raising money, helping other teams, and using my influence to bring on new volunteers to various events.  But whatever you do, you never feel like it is enough. 

Working for ACS as long as I have, I know that every dollar counts.  Every donation is one step closer to a cure.  Every little bit makes a difference.  And that's what Peggy (and my sweet Austin) were all about.  They just wanted to help others and to make this world a better place. 

If you haven't had an opportunity to give to your American Cancer Society this year, please take this moment to do so.  Do it in memory of Peggy and her brave in honor of Austin and his many years of volunteering for the cause...or do it for someone you know and love that has been touched by cancer.  Whether it is $5 or $50, every dollar makes a difference!

To donate quickly and easily, visit my online page at:

or mail a check to:  1302 Frederica St, Owensboro, KY 42301 (attn: Heather Blair)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Noah is attending Vacation Bible School this week at our church.  He's been going since he was big enough to walk up the tall steps leading into the front doors.  In those days, I'd park and walk him all the way in, his little hand tucked in mine.  I always left in comfort knowing his big brother, Austin, would be there, just a few rows back keeping an eye on him.  Seems unreal now that Noah's so grown, more than able to go into the church on his own.  In fact, this year will be his last as a VBS student at Beaver Dam Baptist.

Sending him off yesterday brought back memories of my own childhood and summers spent at VBS.  As we spent much of our summer between our grandparent's houses anyway, the week of VBS we would "move in" to Grandma and Grandpa Coons' house.  Grandpa was pastor of Garden Green Baptist and since church was a family affair there we were not only students, but assistants, teachers, helpers and anything else they needed!  I literally grew up through the years at VBS, from being the cute little youngster singing "This little light of mine" to teaching a teen class (as a teenager myself), to coming back as an adult leader all those years later. 

My fondest memories include the hours spent preparing with my Aunt Becky, Grandma, and Grandpa in the weeks leading up to Bible school...coloring and designing posters....the annual parade we'd walk as a group in the neighborhood by the church...the smell of the Baptist Bookstore where we'd pick up supplies...the sharp contrast of lemonade and cookies in my proud I was the year I learned all our pledges without reading the overhead projector...(overhead projectors!)...ARTS & CRAFTS!!!...glue on my fingers...feeling Jesus in my heart! 

And then as an adult...feeding my childhood fantasy of becoming a teacher, if only for one week a year...lesson supply shopping...organizing and planning...and greatest of all, sharing Jesus with the children, seeing it click, and watching them come forward later in the week.  There is no greater honor than helping a child become a Christian and being there for those first steps.

Thinking back to all those moments makes me realize how much I miss it.  Unfortunately, our church holds VBS during the day so I've never been able to volunteer.  But, maybe someday soon.  Until then, I'll live vicariously through Noah, as he excitedly tells me about his day and the fun he had at Vacation Bible School!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blair's (Evening) Bistro

One of my favorite ways to have dinner in the summer is outside on the deck.  The best time is at dusk, just as the sun is setting.  The sky is a warm and cool mixture, with hues of orange and red blending into blue.  As if by cue, the rope lights cast a soft glow around our outside room.  Although the stars are not yet visible, the twinkle from fireflies dance in the yard below.  This was exactly the atmosphere we had the pleasure of enjoying on Saturday for our impromptu date night. 

Noah made plans yesterday afternoon to spend the night with his cousins, so Tim and I knew we'd have the evening to ourselves.  After weighing going out vs staying in, we opted for a simple night at home.  Sure, we  like eating out and being waited on and watching a movie on the big screen, but I knew I could recreate the same night (if not better) - and certainly cheaper - at the house.  Appetizers on the deck...check.  Steak dinner...check.  Popcorn and movie on the couch later in the night....check and check!  The best part was, there was no late drive home, long waits or tips, or whispers and cell phone interrupting the movie.

It was an ideal date night, as the weather was beautiful, the steak was mouthwatering, the movie a sweet romantic comedy (he let me pick!) and the company - perfect.  For an unplanned, last minute evening, I don't know how it could've been any better.  And, I'm pretty sure it was good enough that he'll ask me out again!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sweet Summertime

Summer break only just begun and already I feel it slipping through my fingers.  Time passes so quickly and before you know it all the lazy, crazy days of summer will be gone.  I'm sure Noah feels the same way as so far every one of his "free days" have been filled with busyness.  Not counting the extra long weekend we just came off of, the other two days of this week have been lost to work, running errands, and appointments. 

Tomorrow won't be any better, as I've taken a sick day to get his dentist, shots, and school physical done and out of the way.  Since I'm anticipating a little bit of stress with tomorrow's vaccinations, I thought I'd focus on some joy this evening!  Even though summer just started (and it officially doesn't begin until June 21 - our anniversary), I thought I'd "recap" what I know I will love and enjoy about it, even before it happens.

Actually, we did experience a bit of summer this weekend so I'll backtrack and begin with those memories.  They included visits to our local annual Strawberry Festival...complete with carnival rides, cake walk, ice cream, sunscreen, funnel cakes, oh, and of course, strawberries!  We also managed to squeeze in some time at the grill and enjoyed fresh, crisp salad, grilled chicken and tenderloin, brats, and hot potato salad (the official food line-up for any great cookout!)  And last, but certainly not least, our first of many summer trips to the Drive-In!

I love the Drive-In and would go every weekend if my schedule would allow and they'd stagger movies the right way.  This past weekend was wonderful, as they were showing movies my guys would agree to - "Thor" and "Fast Five".  Even though they were action packed macho movies, I was a happy camper (and the views I had weren't too shabby on either of them)!  No matter what is on though, I just love sitting outside under a blanket of stars, enveloped with the scent of honeysuckle, feet up on a cooler, snuggled under a blanket, with a big tub of popcorn and being entertained.

What we didn't get to enjoy this past weekend, but I hope to soon, was being out on our boat.  With the flooding, the rivers just aren't safe to be on yet so unless we want to drive an hour, it'll have to wait.  I tend to avoid the water on a holiday weekend anyway, as we prefer the calm and peaceful scene versus the party barge.  By next weekend though I hope to be perched in my co-captain's chair rocking gently with a fishing pole in hand afloat whatever lake we decide to visit.  Boating is a big chunk of our summer time and I couldn't be happier about that!

Summer for us will also include lots of S'mores, homemade ice cream, grilled-everything-you-can-imagine, fresh vegetables from the garden, roasted hot dogs, Island Burgers and any other seasonal delight...camping (and we do it old school, in a tent, on the dirt, the way God intended!) least one trip to the zoo...some type of mini family vacation, lots of day trips, road trips and other watching on a soft gazing from the deck...catching lightin' bugs...swimming...4 wheelin'....corn hole...sleeping in, staying up late...being lazy, bonfires, cookouts, family, friends....FUN!  So, I guess I better get off here and start enjoying all that summer has to offer!
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