Thursday, January 29, 2015

Back Already

I'm going to plug away at writing down things from Christmas even though I can't remember half of what happened.

It was so nice this year to have Kathy and Alan come from Andalusia and Sherry and David from Chattanooga - by way of St. Augustine where they were visiting grandchildren.  It was a quick day for Alan and Kathy and full of lots of people and activity, but it was still good.  Lots of laughter and good memories.

Sherry and David parked their motor home in Wetumpka and came and went as they felt like it.  They had the 3 kitties with them, so we took Graysen to see them one day.  Unfortunately, she went to sleep and missed them, but we enjoyed visiting their neat little home on wheels.  It's really nice to have most everything they need and be able to drive all over the country.  Very comfortable.  I was impressed at the kitchen and how the space is used so cleverly.  Sherry even cooked the black-eyed peas for New Year's Day lunch and brought them over.  

Below are just a lot of pictures that I took - none of them very good - but it's just kind of the way it was that week.  

Even though Graysen is not present in this picture, it's representative of her playing.  I think she liked the little quilt I made her and dragged it around trying to wrap up her "Big Baby," as opposed to just baby that she brought with her.  The baby bottles were a novelty, and she enjoyed those. She still loves her beach chair from last summer, and we even kept the sand in the legs intact.  




A real hit was Mama's walker.  It wasn't only Graysen who was fascinated with it.....


It was pretty fun for Sammy and Sawyer too.




Those cute boys and their dad Roland.  I somehow didn't get a good picture of Natalie.  She and Emily were trying to make up for lost time and talking and chasing children.


Sawyer was quite good at stringing Graysen's new wooden beads.  There is one picture that I can't find that shows Sawyer putting them on the string at one end and Sammy busily taking them off at the other end.


Beads make good ingredients for cooking also.


Just a few little quiet moments in the midst of all the fun.









Aunt Kathy is showing her the proper way to apply stickers to her feet.  It took a little getting used to, but she learned to love airplanes and trains all over her body. I found a blue train in the shower after she had gone home, and it made me sad.










The weather in Alabama was warm enough for a long walk one day.


And lunch served outside on another.





I was so wanting to take her for her first carousel ride, but we kept on finding other things to do.  We went to the zoo one day, and Emily and Graysen went to Columbus to spend some time with Natalie and Roland and the "boyees" as Graysen calls them.

But on the very last day, we just did it.  Of course, by the time we got to the mall, she was asleep.


Emily finally had to wake her up and show her what was going on.  


Wow, lots of neigh-neighs.


We weren't sure if she would ride one because she is a little afraid of neigh-neighs sometimes.




I'm not sure she ever completely relaxed, but she didn't cry or complain and maybe even enjoyed it.  I think seeing Mimi appear and disappear every few seconds confused her, but it was a fun time.




The night before going home.  I was making the most of our time, knowing it was going to be a long time before seeing them again.  


That wallpaper behind them is GONE, and the whole room is painted Comforting - the same as the kitchen.



Last sweet look for Mimi before getting on the plane.  So sad.


There are still memories and pictures but just no time to post them.

The house is upside down with painting, organizing, making decisions, trying to get it ready to put on the market.  I think we're in for a whole bunch of work and exhaustion, but we're plodding on and trying to make this change happen.

Maybe some pictures of all the improvements Mike has done tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January, the Silent Month

Silent in terms of my blogging.  It just gets too much when I think of all the pictures waiting to be posted and talked about and the things happening every day.  I come here almost every day because I like to check in on the blogs on my side bar - and there's always that feeling of guilt.

Maybe just a quick, non-wordy synopsis!

Elise's graduation.  This deserves more than a quick post.  It has been a long ride, one that she took on despite a lot of negatives and persevered and did better than even she expected.  Mike was not able to travel the first of December, so I flew to Lubbock for her induction and graduation.  I can't believe how (kind of) comfortable I've become with flying.  These short flights where I have a window seat are the best.

 I can't remember all we did - eating Thai the first night, going to the induction on Friday, having lunch with friends at Abuelo's (The Flavor of Mexico!)  and snuggling down and watching old Christmas movies.  I also had dinner with friends - Jo and Larry - on Saturday night and that was so nice - to finally go to their house and meet Daisy the beagle and then go to a nice restaurant, Harrigan's.   A really nice restaurant, and we had a great time talking and observing some of our fellow diners.

Most of the pictures were on FB, but here are a few more to remember.








It was a fun weekend, and it was so nice to see some of Lubbock, the Texas Tech campus, and just talk a lot.  The new job has been reported to be wonderful, so all is well in Texas.  I'll get more details this weekend.

Oh, Christmas!  What a fun, jam-packed week.  We really had no plans or places we had to be - people just came to us this time.  We had a few things planned, but if we got up and didn't want to do them - we didn't.

Elise got there on Christmas night, flying into Montgomery late.  I can't remember what we did on the 26th, but I know I was working some.  On the 27th, Mike went to Atlanta to pick up Emily and Graysen (we missed Ryan this year because of work).

Some pictures of her 3rd airplane trip.  The other 2 she was too young to enjoy it, but she was well behaved the whole trip, and she and Emily both enjoyed it - I guess as much as you can enjoy 5 or so hours in a plane with a toddler.

























After looking so forward to seeing her arrive, I just can't remember it.  I do know that it didn't take her long to warm up to us this time, and she immediately saw her stocking and made a beeline for that.  She learned "o-pen" this year and got quite good at it.  We doled her gifts out over the whole week so she could enjoy things gradually.  She loved pointing out the ornaments on the tree and recognizing no-flake, neigh-neigh, sheep, Santa, and no-man.  I have a snowman and teddy bear sitting on a sled every year, but somehow she took offense to that and wouldn't go near it.  Not sure which creature spooked her.

Alan and Kathy came Sunday for lunch, and we (I) could hardly wait for lunch to be over so we could find out what the new baby was going to be.  I brought in for dessert pink and blue iced cupcakes and let everyone take one in the color they thought the sex was going to be.  I think only 2 people picked the blue!  Then Emily went and got the correct white-iced one with the colored cake.  Graysen took one bite, and everyone started laughing and exclaiming over the fact that it was pink.  She had no idea what she had done to excite everyone so much.  We're all happy with that - very much so.  New B aby already has a closet full of clothes and lots of toys and a nursery almost furnished.

So this took 3 hours to write off and on while I was doing other things, so I'm ending now and coming back later - hopefully.  I found a bunch of pictures Emily downloaded on my computer from her camera of the weeks before Christmas, and I want to be sure to save those on here.













Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Another St. George's Island Vacation


We had so much fun on St. George's last summer that we had really wanted to get back down there this fall.  A few things got in the way - like 7 weeks of chemotherapy and a major surgery and recovery.

But we made it in November.  Back to the Sea Turtle.  Good memories of good times.



Graysen and I spent a lot of time last summer on this porch while the others fished.  She would play in her pool and get so excited when a bicycle would appear or people would walk by.  It was such a special time for really getting to know her.



These stairs were not as hard to climb in the cooler weather - although not my favorite thing to do.


The ocean was as pretty as I've ever seen it - a clear blue and as calm as glass at times.



Too bad it was so cold.  This is as close as I got to the sand and water.

 

Mike did go down the first day and set up some fishing things.  He wanted to test the 10 and 11 foot rods he bought for Emily and Ryan.  I hear that "they will throw our line 90 to 110 yards," whatever that means.  Unfortunately, the chemo headache was there full force the whole time we were down there, and he didn't feel like trying it again.


The only way we could get outside without being too cold was to put on jackets and take walks around the area.  It felt like we were the only people on the island at times, but we would see people every once in awhile.  That sunshine is deceptive; it was COLD.



The landscape is different and interesting.



With a few man-eating plants.



I feel like the Sea Turtle is a little outclassed in our neighborhood, but it's exactly what we want and need.  It's roomy and clean with 3 bedrooms, and a large kitchen/living room/dining area.  There's a big deck on the back and a screened porch on the front.  It was perfect for 4 adults and a baby, but it seemed a little lonely with just us and no baby sounds.





This is the house next door.  I think it's beautiful but peeking out the window on a stormy night and seeing it in darkness is spooky.  That wind can really howl around the corners and shake the little house on stilts.


We really haven't explored the island too much outside The Plantation, which is a gated area.  We were too busy last summer, and we just didn't want to get out much this time.  We ate at a restaurant in Apalachicola on the way in and never left the island, just eating the things we took with us.


The first time we crossed this long bridge was in the early 80s with 3 excited children and a car top carrier with bubbles blowing behind us from some spilled dishwashing liquid. That still makes me smile.  More good memories.


I'd love for us to get a chance to go back again.