Thursday, September 29, 2011


This past weekend was homecoming, Emma's first big event of High school.
Dress shopping was fun and painless...she found something she loved in three hours or less. She found some friends to go with and a place to dine, and was all set until the big day.
I may be a little biased, but I think she was the most beautiful girl in town.

Maxie came over to help with makeup and jewelry :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

18 years and 26 days

Last photo of my sweet Ben, taken on Saturday, the last day he was mobile.

He was a part of our family for 18+ years. Almost my entire adult life.
These last 'bonus' 26 days have been filled with lots of attention, holding, stroking of fur, scratching of chins, and I love yous. I can't believe he survived the last 7 days without food, 2 without water. He just didn't want to go.
Thanks for being the best kitty ever, sweet gentle Ben.
We will always love you.
You will always be my first baby.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

On my iPhone: end of summer

I currently have 472 photos on my iPhone. That's far more than I've taken with my camera in a very long time. Here are a few favorites from the end of summer 2011.
LMDO: Laughing my diaper off. Awesome.

Lola enjoying a corn on the cob. Be careful...she will bite you and she will try to steal the cob.

All packed and ready to go to Temagami.

Home from soccer camp. Someone was a little tired. I can't imagine why she chose this as her resting spot.

On the road again...

Cool fungi on Temagami

Beautiful sunset view from my kitchen.

Plunging into the icy cold lake in Temagami.

Bates hamburgers: an after Ortho tradition. Every appointment is followed by a trip to Bates. 2 burgers, a large fry, and a large chocolate shake, which we share. Next month she gets her braces off and we'll have to make up excuses to go to Bates.

Em & I in Temagami.

Friday, September 23, 2011

This kid had a birthday and I didn't blog about it

The first few weeks of school have been kicking my butt, as usual. Add in soccer games, practices, tournaments, and open houses and I have been a scattered mess.
This week there has been a little more time to breathe. Next week will be better.

So anyway, my beautiful baby turned 14 on Sunday. I was with her in Lansing at a soccer tournament (naturally) while Bart was with Evan in Dublin, Ohio for a tournament (naturally). It was actually a pretty good day, considering. She started the morning with a raspberry turnover from Grand Traverse Pie Company (a favorite) at the crack of dawn. She scored a goal (the game winning goal, it turns out) in her game. We drove around the campus of MSU for awhile so she could see it. Totally deserted. weird. It was 10:30, NOT 8:30. We wanted to go into the SBS but it doesn't open until noon. That's how I can tell I'm getting old; being incensed at how things are done. Seriously, noon? I'm sure I was out and about before noon on Sundays.
So we went home and rested and watched tv and snuggled with Lola. Took her to the park. Waited for the boys. We wanted to get sushi for dinner but Koji was closed so we ended up at Poole's tavern. Another favorite. No complaints :)

She is turning into such a fun and wonderful young woman. You'll probably never meet another 14 year old who begged for hardwood flooring for her birthday (and got it). We have some good conversations. She takes her studies very seriously. 14 looks like it might be a little sassier than 13, which was plenty sassy to begin with. I'm hoping it's a phase. Otherwise, this kid is practically perfect in every way. Love love love.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

7 days and going strong

Exactly one week ago we were rushing home from vacation, trying to beat the 6pm closing time of our vet's office. Our precious kitty, Ben, was very sick and probably not going to make it more than another day or so. He was on medication and doing better before we left, but took a turn for the worse. He'd lost a lot of weight, was not eating, needed a blood transfusion, had a mass in his belly. The prognosis was grim. The only thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to bring him home. As soon as possible, for as long as possible.
It was a very long car ride. A very emotional car ride.
The first night was rough. Ben was frail, and we were afraid of mishandling him; we didn't want to cause any pain. We brought him into our room, so that if he needed us, we would be there. We slept on and off all night, never too deeply. I checked on him 20 times. And in the morning, he was still here.
We carried him into every room we were in. Offered food constantly. Put little dishes of water all over the house. Above all, we spent time with him. We snuggled him and told him how much we loved him.
Fast forward a week. Every day he has gotten stronger. He's eating 10 times a day, using his litterbox, jumping up on and off of the furniture, curling into a ball and sleeping, grooming,
In other words, he is acting like his old self.
He is still extremely skinny, and I know he isn't cured. But every extra day I get with him is a miracle. Every morning when I wake up and he's sitting there waiting for us to feed him is a great day in my book.
And to think that they wanted to administer the final shot to him. I'm so glad we listened to our instincts and brought him home.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First day of school wrap up

It was a quick one...the kids only had half a day. Ridiculous.
Evan is in seventh grade this year. Overall, I think he's happy with his schedule. We all got a surprise in that he was placed in Advanced Math after being told his grades weren't enough to keep him in. Band, AR, History, French, Science, ELA & Painting round out his schedule. Painting? He was aiming for rocketry.
Emma is in ninth grade. She also likes her teachers and classes. Right off the bat her biology teacher tried to discourage freshmen from being in the class. We're hoping that isn't the tone for the whole year. She knows it's going to be hard. She's willing to work. We've got the driving situation worked out. No homework the first day. Things are good.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

five good things : August 2011

August was kind of a crap shoot for me.
I spent about 2 weeks with a nasty stomach virus that blew in like a storm and lingered much longer than necessary. I'm still not convinced that it's fully gone, because the last few days it's been bothering me again.
The virus was so bad that I missed my 25th high school reunion and my sister-in-law's birthday celebration.
I also didn't drink coffee or eat dairy for 2 weeks. Two of the major food groups and I was unable to enjoy either. It practically killed me.
On the other hand, the hateful heat that plagued us for the month of July disappeared and we had some very nice, unseasonably cool weather. I hope that it's a sign of a beautiful Fall to come.

1. The Help
I don't get to go to the movies as often as I would like, so when I do I want to see something that is great. This is a great movie. I loved the cast, all of them. I loved that this movie showcased so many fantastic actresses. It was as good as the book, which is rare. I highly recommend it.
2. I was surprised with tickets to not one, but TWO shows that I really have wanted to see. We'll be seeing Kathy Griffin in September and Wicked in December, on our anniversary! I couldn't have been more surprised or happy. I can't wait!
3. Watching a new team come together.
This year Evan moved up to 11x11 play, on larger fields, a new coach and with an almost totally new team. That is a lot of changes in one season. They had their first test as a team during the Rush Kick Off Classic, and performed very well. They won the first three games and lost the final game. While they do have some work to do this season, I saw some really good soccer. I can see the improvement Evan has made in the short time he has been training. It should be an exciting season.
4. Transitioning to high school.
Sometime in the two weeks before Transition Day, I started to get emotional and freaked out about the fact that my baby girl will be in high school this year. How is it possible? It's just the most bizarre feeling to me. She has handled it like a pro. Her supplies are organized. She's printed out several copies of her schedule. She's found some friends to have lunch with. She even mapped out her route from class to class, complete with arrows. I was a basket case in HS. I was so afraid to be alone in classes. She's just so cool about it all. How did I give birth to this uber smart creature?
She even attended her first school function: the freshman dance. And she had fun. We are ready to tackle this year! (some of us more than others)

So, I don't have a fifth thing this month. I consider myself lucky to have anything good to focus on after being sick. I will take my four good things and file them away.
August 2011, you weren't the worst month, but you weren't the best either.
Hello, September.