Friday, July 30, 2010

It's all about the grandkids!

We joke that everything is all about the grandkids now...but I wouldn't have it any other way! I am so grateful that my kids have such fantastic grandparents (on both sides of the family) that love them so much...and my kids love them right back too! These pictures are from June 4th. Another Sunday visit to my parents house, but this time my brother's family was in town too! So, my mom had her camera out to take pictures of all their cuties! Here is a picture of Noah holding his cousin Ezra. He was so-o excited to get to hold him!

All the grandkids! Ezra, Noah, Audrey, Lincoln.

I am pleased that we were able to get them all to stay sitting on the couch for more than one picture!

Playing outside. Noah in the house...and notice Audrey peeking out the side!

What's this? Me in a picture? Ha, ha. Usually I'm behind the camera. Here I am chatting with Chels and holding my cuddly nephew Ezra.

Noah making Ezra smile. Too cute.

Bubble time!

My dad holding Ezra.

Not that every good picture has to have the subject looking at the camera (I love this one of Lincoln for example), but I was super impressed with my mom that she was able to get a picture of each of her grandkids actually looking at the camera...and she only took one or two tries with each child to do it! That's more of a feat than it may sound like.



Fireman Noah.



Back on the 2nd of June we attended a memorial with military honors for my father's mother. My grandma passed away back in 1982, just a few days before I turned 5 years old. She served as a nurse for the military during WWII, but records containing that information were destroyed in a fire before her death. So, when she was buried wasn't given her due military honors at the graveside. Over time my dad's brother Greg was eventually able to compile enough necessary information to prove her eligibility for those military honors. The day my grandpa chose for the family to gather together and do this ceremony was on her birthday...and his. They have the same birth-date!

When I pulled up to the memorial in my car with my boys, I saw that my dad wearing his uniform from his time in the service. That was long enough ago that I don't remember ever seeing him wear it, so that was novel. I was super impressed that he could still fit in them too! Not many grandpa's can still manage to fit into something that they wore in their 20's! Here is my dad holding Noah's hand during the ceremony:

My mom holding Lincoln:

Lincoln was kind of funny (for himself) that evening. During a good portion of the memorial he was actually a little bit somber as if he knew what the occasion was about.

(A shot of my dad saluting during the ceremony). I have never attended a memorial with military honors before. While there are many other people in my life that served in the military, I have been lucky enough not to have to part with them in this life yet. So, this was a special experience for me - and it was also nice to have a time to reflect on my grandma Virginia specifically. Before she died she was very ill (cancer), and since I was so young my memories are of her also are hazy. What I do remember clearly is visiting her in her bed at home. She was always so happy to see us, and always was pleased to offer us candy from her candy dish. I still do remember knowing, even at that young age, that she loved me. I share that because I have never documented my memories of my grandma Virginia.

Here is a quick clip of the lone bugler playing Taps:

Back in college I recorded an interview with my grandfather for a paper I wrote. I am looking for a copy of it, and if I find it then I will attach a link to it here. I do remember being so touched as he spoke not only of his experiences during the war, but also of his love for his country and specifically also for the American flag. In addition he talked to me about meeting his future wife (my grandma) during that time of his service. While my grandpa was a pilot during the war, he eventually became a physician (to my grandmother's initial dismay). I find it endearing though that they not only both shared a desire to serve others professionally within the medical field, but that they also both showed their devotion to their country through service during the war. I would imagine that it was special for my grandma to know that all her family was gathered together that day to honor her, and the allegiance that she demonstrated for our country.

Here my grandpa is being presented with the folded American flag. I read up on what the meanings are for each of the 13 folds in the flag for this ceremony, and found it fascinating. Apparently, the 13-fold practice was procedure long before the meanings were assigned to each fold. The assignment of meaning to each fold was added to give a dimension of religious significance to the ceremony. I found it beautiful to read through the list. I won't list all of them here, but would like to share the meaning of one: "The ninth fold of the flag is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion the character of the men and women who have made the country great molded."

This is my grandpa making a few emotion filled remarks as he showed to us the robe which was his wife's as a nurse.

I love this picture of Lincoln and my dad.

My grandpa and my dad.

My grandpa with family members who attended in military cousin, cousin's husband, and my dad.

And, as with any family gathering, there was time to mingle and chat. The boys appreciated the chance to be unrestricted and roam about the beautiful cemetery grounds.

Afterward, my family (and Matt's girlfriend Katie) came back to our house for some refreshments and to play cards. My dad let Noah put on his uniform (which he loved), and here he is giving a serious military salute...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

May wrap up!

Wahoo! Time to wrap up the random photos from May that didn't find their way into their own post already. First of all, my sweet cousin Kathy and her husband Christopher had their first baby (Claire) on the 15th of March. We were able to attend the baby blessing on May 2nd, and then we went over to their home to mingle with family. While there Noah went on a picture taking rampage, and while most of the photos (from his height) aren't very flattering - I thought this one of Kathy was cute (even though you can't see the baby) I have to include it.

Here are Mark and my boys ogling baby Claire. Noah and Lincoln go nuts for babies right now.

Noah loved running around and playing video games with the bigger kids (some of my cousins), and I had to include this picture showing Noah's video game concentration face.

This is just a quick picture I snapped (from the 5th of May) during an impromptu play date that my friend Claire threw together in her backyard. Just loved seeing these seven sweet kids (all 5 and under) sitting together at a table eating together...

I recently read a book titled The Help, which I loved. It was kind of my last plea for my book club to read that before I moved, and I'm glad we did. I devoured it in two (long) nights and fell in love with the characters in the book. Another reason that I (and other members of our book club) wanted to read it when we did is that the author Kathryn Stockett came for a book reading at The Kings English on May 6th. I really enjoyed hearing her speak, and I must say that I really have high hopes for the movie that they're making of this book. Anyway - after she was done speaking at the art gallery next door, we went to the bookstore for book signings. I tried to snap a picture of "Kitty" signing my book, but my camera batteries died. Luckily my friend Sarah was at least able to snap this picture of her with her phone...

My brother Josh's girlfriend Emily is so dang sweet! This is her bringing a pie to my mom on Mother's Day. Not only is the pie pretty (and the girl!), but pie is my mom's favorite treat.

My cousin (who returned home from a mission in India) spoke in church on Mother's Day (May 9th). After hearing him speak we went over to his parents' house for refreshments and to mingle. My mom ended up taking Noah outside and snapping a few pictures of him. How can you help it when he is this cute?!

Here are a few random pictures of my boys from the middle of May. I'll be the first to admit that my boys fight and argue with each other as often as the next kids do, but I just love when they play together and are little buddies. In fact, there is probably nothing that I love more than that.

Mark's mom was sweet enough to hold onto Mark's favorite stuffed animal from when he was a little boy. Several months ago she gave it to Noah, and he was thrilled. He thinks that it is so cool that it was his daddy's when he was little. Noah named it "monkey-face" and he doesn't sleep without him now. Noah even occasionally pals around with him and teaches him how to color:

We anticipated the release of Toy Story 3 for a long time at our house. One day I realized that the trailer was available online, so I pulled it up on my computer. The boys scampered up onto the bar for a better view of my laptop, and I had to snap this quick picture. I think that they had me re-play that short trailer 9 or 10 times...

As the residency year neared an friends Claire, Leah & I realized that we would all be going different directions and that we should splurge and do something special together for a last hurrah. At first we tried to plan a short getaway together, but that didn't pan we opted for the less expensive (and closer) option of a spa day. I was able to buy a discounted gift card online and also combine it with a special the spa was running, so we got a killer deal (thanks, Shirodhara Day Spa!).

There was only one day (May 29th) within about a 3 month span that we could get our husbands schedules to align so they could watch their kids while we went. So! When the day arrived, we headed off to the spa for nearly 5 hours of worry-free bliss!

Thanks, Leah & Claire. I had such a great time...and I miss you!

Now to wrap up this post. On the last day of May we ended up taking the boys out for dinner to Noodles & Co. It wasn't a special occasion or anything, just a fun dinner out as a family. I keep my camera in the diaper bag so I snapped a couple of pictures. These two pictures aren't anything amazing, but we had such a fun evening that night that they make me smile when I look at them. So, onto the blog they go...for me to smile at anytime I want.
Goodbye, May.