You Only Live Once, This Is How I’m Doing It!

Category: Family Page 2 of 6

Happy Birthday Jenny

We love you!

He is…

…the love of my life.

So thankful

For my wonderful family.

For sisters who look like me.

For cousins and nephews and their cheesy smiles.

For future nieces or nephews.

For football and snuggles.

For time spent laughing and talking around the dinner table long after the food is gone.

For puppies that love attention.

For the one I adore and for being adored in return.

And for a million other things….

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving full of delicious food and quality time with so many that I love. Those that weren’t there were thought of and missed. I’m so lucky for everyone and everything in my life.

Hoping every one of you were surrounded by love and warmth on this holiday.

You are missed

Today we had the funeral for my step father-in-law, Ron. I can’t really come up with the right words. Saying goodbye is really hard. It just doesn’t seem right that he won’t be around.

Phoebe still runs around the house when we’re over at my mother-in-law’s house looking for him. She begs for food so much more because he could never resist her little face. She adored him. When a dog adores someone I think that says a lot about them.

She really adored him.

He was only 58. That’s way, way too young. It’s good that he’s not in pain anymore.

But it was too soon.

I sat next to my dad at the funeral. I can’t imagine losing him. Ever. He’s so much older than Ron was. My dad is going to be 73. Ron was only 58.

Fifty eight.

It’s just so unfair.

I don’t deal well with death. It makes me sad and angry. No one I know should ever die.

The fact that people I know are mortal? Terrifies me.

I want to put every single person I love in a bubble. They are not allowed to leave me. Ever.

But unfortunately part of life is death. I’m not ok with that but I don’t really get a choice in the matter.

This holiday season I’ll be holding everyone I love a little bit closer.

And I’ll be remembering the one who is missing.

Phoebe wants some pie

Today we had my family over to celebrate Joel’s birthday. He doesn’t actually turn ::cough:: 29 ::cough:: until Wednesday but having my family drive all the way out is generally only possible on the weekend. Joel and I will celebrate his birthday just the two of us later this week but for tonight he enjoyed the crazy attention my family offers.

It wasn’t anything big or fancy but there was plenty of love. And that’s what really matters.

Oh and that pie? Definitely bought it at the store. I wasn’t about to risk losing a hand two days in a row.

Wasn’t me

I am the oldest of six kids. I have two older half brothers as well but they’re much older so we didn’t grow up together. I was an only child for almost the first three years of my life so I can remember what it was like to have 100% of my parents’ attention on me.

I kind of like attention… a lot.

As you can imagine, once my sister was born I was a little jealous. I loved her and I eventually had a lot of fun playing with all my sisters. Now I can’t imagine my life without a single one of them. As a kid I didn’t always have that perspective though. It seemed like the only reason I ever got in trouble was because of fighting with my siblings. I used to tell my mom if it wasn’t for my sisters I’d have a perfect life.

Now I obviously know I was enough of a trouble maker that only child or not I would have been in my share of trouble. I still blame my siblings for a little bit of my evil though. It was because of my sister Elizabeth that I told my very first lie.

I don’t remember how old I was exactly, but it was only me and Liz so I couldn’t have been older than 4. She was old enough to sit on her own so I imagine she was probably around 1. Our living room was connected to the kitchen so my mom was cooking dinner while I played with Liz on our living room couch.

She was bugging me.

I don’t remember what she was doing exactly. Probably just being a normal baby. Whatever it was I’d had enough. I pushed her. And she fell off the couch.


I froze there not knowing what to do. I knew I was in big trouble. I’d just pushed my baby sister off the couch and now she was crying.

My mom rushed in from the kitchen,

“What happened?”

And a little light bulb went off in my head. Oh, she doesn’t know…. and suddenly I blurted out,

She just, uh…. fell….all by herself.”

My mom raised her eyebrows,

“Really? She just fell? She didn’t have any help?

I can still feel the heat that went to my face as I denied any part in the matter once again. The very first realization that my mom couldn’t see everything and wasn’t everywhere felt empowering. I can still feel how my breath got quicker and more shallow and I can imagine that my eyes were wide and tilted up in a way that screamed guilt to my mom. She’s not dumb.

Now I know, she knew. My mom knew before she asked. My 3 or 4 year old self thought I was really clever though. I totally got away with it. But I was a sensitive little kid. From the moment the words escaped my mouth I felt guilty. By the time it was bed time and she was tucking me in I confessed. I burst into tears and said how sorry I was.

She didn’t punish me. I think she knew that the guilt I felt the whole day was punishment enough.

My sisters and I still had plenty more fights. I’m sure I pushed her down too many more times to count. I know I told more lies over the course of my childhood. Some I got away with, some I didn’t. For some reason that first one and the feelings that went with it have always stuck with me.

And don’t worry, my sister? Got even with me as soon as she was big enough to push back. Love you, Sis.

Good dog

Phoebe really is such a good dog. She’s tiny but unlike most little dogs get isn’t nippy and she’s really great with kids. Don’t believe me? Here she is with my two year old nephew Jordan.

Jordan: “Come here Phoebe! Cuddle me!

Squishy puppy! Her face is kind of says ::sigh:: really?!

Joel said he thought Jordan was trying to perform the Vulcan mind meld on her. We do call him Jordie after all. Don’t worry, I made sure he didn’t actually put his fingers in her eyes.

This was the last picture I took. She was ready to get down but there was no growling or lip curling. She was totally resigned to the cuddles and pulling.

Seriously I don’t know how I ended up with such a great dog. There are a lot of things I’m worried about when I think about having my own kids. Whether or not Phoebe will get along with the babies however, isn’t one of them.

I love that sweet little girl.

Pizza instead of cake

My sister turned 20 the other day so today we had her over for a mini birthday celebration. We hung out together and cooked (!) while the boys took advantage of the indoor basketball court. I actually had such a great time cooking. Normally it’s pretty boring for me which is why I don’t do it as often as I should. Between all the chatting and laughing we didn’t have time to feel bored at all. Guess I need to work on getting a sister wife to move in with us.

The domesticating was followed by a quicker than planned dip in the pool. We would have stayed longer but it was too cold for us girls to jump in so we were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I guess that’s what we get for being wussy about the cold, huh? The boy had an absolute blast though.

Anthony didn’t like actually swimming. However, he inched his way along the entire circumference of the pool and thought it was the best thing ever. Silly buddy.

Be still my heart. Seriously, this picture makes me swoon. He’s going to be an amazing daddy someday. For now, he’s the world’s best uncle.

After we tired the boys out and donated at least a pint of blood to the local mosquito population we headed back inside for dessert. A traditional birthday celebration would have cake but my family rarely does anything the normal way. Naomi requested my fruit pizza. Who am I to say no? Especially when it’s to something so delicious.

Beautiful birthday girl and the birthday pizza.

Naomi with her men. I think the boys were kind of cheesed out by this point. They just wanted to nom on the pizza.Who can blame them?

It wasn’t anything fancy but it was full of lots of laugh and love. Being part of a huge family is the best because it never goes too long before there’s another birthday to celebrate. Any excuse to get together and eat yummy food? I’ll take it.

Death by deliciousness

One of my very favorite summer activities is going to the county fair. I guess I’m a Hoosier girl at heart. I was born there after all.

Anyway, since we have season tickets to Six Flags we didn’t care to do any rides this year. We planned to go last Sunday but Joel wasn’t feeling well. Since it was the second to last day most of the animals had already gone home (or been sold for burgers). We did get to see llamas though.

That meant that this year, it was all about the fried goodness. Joel and I have pretty healthy diets normally. At the fair? All that goes out the window. Joel was super excited to try fried Oreos (video here) for the first time. I was all about getting the classic elephant ear.

Love my family, love my dog, love my life. It was a good, good day.

Very Brave

Today we went to the fair out in Indiana. Joel’s putting together a video for me that I’ll post later. For tonight I’ll just leave you with this teaser.

Anthony couldn’t have been more excited to hold the python. Afterward he kept telling people “I got to pet the snake. I was very brave.”

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