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Friday, August 30, 2013

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

You heard me! Santa has already called in for requests for the upcoming year and this is what I've seen around for my kids. I realize it's only August, and it's still super hot outside, but I found plans for a dress up clothes storage in her toy room. I saw these plans for dress up storage and I knew I had to have it. I got the ok from Santa to take some of the workload off the elves and help them all out.
http://ana-white.com/2010/11/craftiness-not-optional’s-dress-storage

I hope he gets his elves to start stitching some dress up clothes to fill the storage. I'm glad I was able to help them out so they could focus on the more exciting portion of the gift!

For Hunter, I found this!
I let Santa know that I had most of the parts for this, so he gave me the go-ahead to get started on this one too! He said he'd make sure his elves knew to get some foods put together so we could grill out together. What boy/man doesn't like to grill? I'm hoping he's excited about having his "man kitchen" because this is the same age Eden was when she got her kitchen. Santa let me help with that project too!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Motherhood Is...{34}

I am blessed that we reached the 3 month mark of deployment!

Hopefully this also marks half way completed. We are one month closer to hugging Daddy and we hopefully only have to wait another 3 months. With the last month behind us, hopefully we've hit our slump and we're on our way back up to excitement and fun again. No more flat tires, bad attitudes, and only more ice cream, fun, and play to fill the last months of missing Daddy!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hunter was giving his hand to Lane so he would wipe it off. 
Cheese!
Eden's turn!
Fun elephants at the Safari Park!
Hunter was tired after a long, hot day at the zoo.
Movie and popcorn
Coen was eating a messy brownie!
Bad to the bone
These 2 can warm my heart!
Oh man! Can it possibly be real?! My bib number was 655. I couldn't believe I had such a low number.
My little dancer before her first real class.
Stretching in class.
Sassy pants on her motorcycle after dance class.
Dad sent me this picture of where they buried Frasier. I still can't think about him {or going home in a month} without getting teary-eyed. We're going to miss that fur ball!
Bed head morning picture to send to Daddy.
Eden and I cleaned the toy room and I moved some things around. I'm hoping that with everything moved I've got more space for the kids to hang out.
Hunter said, "Maaaaaaa-ma! Haaa!" meaning, "Look Mom, it's a hat!"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Love

This week the kids and I will have our monthly ice cream date, and we will celebrate being 3 months closer to hugging Daddy! What could be sweeter? Over the past 3 months I have fallen in love with Lane over and over and over again {this is where I get mushy and lovey dovey - sorry!} Every time my phone rings my heart leaps out of my chest because it could be him - so if it's you, and I seem sad or let down when I answer, just know that you aren't him. Oh man, if you could hear the excitement from the kids when my phone rings! Hunter will come running from anywhere in the house, and it doesn't matter what Eden is doing, she immediately starts showing off. I love seeing his face when we talk, and the kids get even more excited than I do!

Lane might not be sending flowers or presents or goodies every day {which would break the bank, let's be real!} but he's there for us. When he talks to the kids he actually plays with them. He makes faces with Hunter - priceless! Eden will take my phone and go color, go swing, just go away and it's just the 2 of them talking. Sometimes he calls and he just watches what the kids are doing. If they fight or argue he steps up and tells them to work it out and makes sure they're being nice to one another. If I've mentioned that I've had a rough day, or few days, he mentions to Eden that she needs to make sure to be a helper for me. He also praises her for the days that I tell him she's been spectacular and has helped me out! He might be far away, but he's still so close! When I see him with our kids it melts my heart. Knowing that the kids squeal with delight at the idea of talking to him is so awesome!

Lane has made sure to be there for me at all of my special moments since he's been gone. He's called before and after my races and he's asked about Jane Wayne Day {JWD}. I talked to him in the middle of JWD and he was giving me pointers on what to do when I went to the range to shoot. He told me before my half marathon this weekend to remember him singing loud at the La Jolla Half Marathon to get me to run faster. He supports me in everything that I do even from afar! I couldn't ask for more - well, I guess I could. I could ask for the support from home! But, since I can't get that now, I will just continue falling in love with him from his current "home!"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Motherhood Is...{33}

This week I'm blessed by a lack of allergies in my kids.

Let me re-phrase that. I'm blessed by the lack of allergies in Hunter. Most kids have never been stung by a bee, but Hunter has been stung twice this summer. He loves bugs so he likes to play with them. Unfortunately with bees, once their wings get wet they can't fly anymore. Hunter sees a bug and he wants to pick it up - bees included! When he picks up a bee, the bee usually sticks it to him!

In the picture above {if you squint} you can see that his whole thumb is red and it's red until the crease in his palm. It was a little bit swollen, but this pictures is from the next day, so you can see that we don't have to worry too much about a bee allergy.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Murphy

Yesterday Murphy and his law decided to squash my good times, and give me a run for my money - quite literally since I ran a half marathon AND ended up spending cash I didn't expect to spend...

It all started when my phone alarmed at 2:45am yesterday. My alarm was set for 3:30, so at least I was able to get back to sleep after turning off my calendar reminder and then just wake for my real alarm - which was still way too early. I had planned my morning so nothing could go wrong. I was taking Lane's car down to the race, so I made sure it had gas in it. I put my spoon in the fridge on top of my yogurt. My bib number was with my shoes smack in front of the door so I had to trip over them to get out of the house. The keurig was filled, my cup was under the pour spout, and my k cup was sitting on top, ready to go in. See, nothing could go wrong! Everything was in line, and in order for me to get out and leave the house on time. {The kids stayed overnight with a friend so I didn't have to get them up and ready - just me - easy peasy!}

I got out the door, started driving, and about 10 minutes away from the house I realized I didn't have my ear buds for my music while I was running. At this point, I should have driven back home and crawled back into bed and called it a day! But I didn't. I kept going. I called Lane on my way down to the race and we talked a bit. He encouraged me to keep going, don't stop, all the good things he was yelling at me when we did the La Jolla race together in April.

I finished the race with no problem. Well, I finished the race. That's when everything really started to unravel! I got in my car to leave and as I was sitting in traffic someone told me that I had a flat tire. I called Anna, who had come to the finish to cheer me on, and she was willing to sit in the parking lot with me while I tried to figure out what my next step was. There were 3 random men standing around, so I asked them to help me change my tire. They did. The car rolled of the jack TWICE while they were changing the tire. Then the spare tire was flat. I called for roadside assistance and they sent a tow truck and gave me a tire store within my towing allowance on my insurance. I called to tell them I was coming in - they were closed! Of course they were, why wouldn't they be! Anna and I found a different tire place, called, they were less than a mile away. Next up, tow truck drove in circles in the parking lot looking for us as I watched him and told him where I was. Once at the tire place we discovered that I needed 4 new tires. The tires were old and in terrible shape! I left the car there, Anna drove me to Angie's house - where my kids were - and on the way up I realized that I didn't have my garage opener and wouldn't be able to get into my house. It wasn't the end of the world, I stayed at Angie's until we left her house at 3:30 to go pick up my car {I was supposed to get my kids out of Angie's hair around 11 at the latest!} We went down, got my car {left the older of our 4 kids with her neighbor/our babysitter and took the younger 2 so they'd get something of a nap in the car}, and as we were driving back home Angie called to say that my van keys were in her car. Not a big deal except I was going to stop at my house, get the van, then go get my kids because the car seats are in the van! Oh my goodness!

The day could only get better from there, right? Wrong. On my way home I was driving my normal route - the HOV lane on the interstate - and realized about a mile before my exit that I had done that the whole way without anyone else in my car. I don't know what I would have done if I had been pulled over. I would have cried for sure. The officer would have passed out from my stench when he got to my window. I hadn't had a chance to take a shower after the half that morning {and it was close to 6 by this point}, I stunk!!!!

When I was telling my parents how bad my day was my mom said things had to start looking up and I joked that I couldn't possibly say that because somehow things kept happening. I said something about my kids busting their heads open in the shower. Well, I should have kept my mouth shut! Hunter slipped and hit his forehead in the shower on the seat/shelf, and then Eden slipped and fell on her hip right on the metal door frame.

When I finally got in bed last night all I could do was laugh about everything that happened. If it could happen, it did. I'm so glad that we've got great friends around who are willing to drop everything to help us out. I couldn't have made it through the day yesterday without help. Everyone was willing to change their plans to make sure that me and my kids were taken care of and that we were safe and sane.  Today was a million times better and I hope Murphy takes his law somewhere else, because I had enough of it yesterday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

America's Finest City

Today marked the final race day for my triple crown series! I completed 3 half marathons this year and I couldn't be more excited about it. Well, maybe excited isn't the right word to describe my emotions surrounding the races {as I sit here with ice on my knee, covered in icy hot, having been awake for 17+ hours and the day from hell - but that's a story for later!} I think the best word for my accomplishments is proud. I never would have thought that running 13.1 miles was possible for me. I've never considered myself a runner before {though, to date, I have run 349 miles this year alone!} But I did it - 3 times this year! And I'm thinking about doing it again {all 3 races} next year! I know, I'm crazy!!!!!!

This race started out as one of my best races ever. The first half was amazing! I was fast {it was downhill} and I rocked it. Makes sense, I trained up to 5 miles this time - oops - so those miles, plus 1 more were excellent.
up in the top right corner of each screen shot you can see my average pace
From 6 on, I was miserable. My hips hurt, my quads were screaming at me, and I was starting to get discouraged. We ran past the airport and through the rental car return area. I was huffing diesel fuel and jet fuel...I was over it. From 6-8 miles I was having to talk myself into not walking the rest of the route. I kept telling myself, "I've run half of it with a good time, just walk the remaining miles." I knew I would be so disappointed if I just gave up on myself, but my time started to slow.


I did feel a little better around mile 9-10. I got a second wind of sorts {though my average time was much slower than I wanted with no hopes of fully recovering to what I was shooting for} Right around mile 11 there was a hill...and it was long. It started off gradual and I was able to run some of it. My goal was to start running again at 11.5 after a brief walk-for-water at the water station around mile 11, but the run didn't last long. The hill killed me! The hill lasted until after 12 miles so I just walk/jogged it. Once at the top people just kept saying, "it's just around the corner!" and, "one more turn and you're there!" so I just ran.
And then the street with the flags hit me like a ton of bricks. I missed Lane. I cried. I was mad that I was crying on the route. I sucked it up, remembered him pushing me and pulling me across the finish line at La Jolla in April, so I just kept going. Anna and her girls were there just before the finish, so I knew I had to look like I had myself together when she saw me {since I later lost it when I told her I cried on the course!}
As I saw Anna, I waved to her and her twins before I took off sprinting.
I found it somewhere in me to just run, and run fast! I could see the finish and I wanted to be there. I wanted to cross and be done. Get my medals and call it a day...

So, it was my worst overall time of all of my races, but Karin and I did all 3 of the triple crown series half marathons this year. We got a special medal for the completion of the 3 runs in addition to the finishers medal from the run today. When I walked around after the race my medals clinked together, and I couldn't be more proud to sound like I was walking around with a cowbell around my neck!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Frasier Peabody Travis

I don't even know where to start with this post. I can't make myself ok with the idea of this post. Frasier is gone...how?! Why?! I don't want to believe it...I remember picking him out when he was just weeks old. He was so tiny. He was so spunky. His fur was soft and silky. We named him Frasier because the show was a much loved one growing up. He earned his middle name of Peabody because every time he got excited about something he would pee everywhere! It was a big inconvenience when he was jumping because he was excited in addition to the peeing because he was excited!
Top: Frasier 2008
Bottom: Frasier 2006
Right: Frasier 2007
 Mom and Dad called last week and let me know that he wasn't doing well. Dad has made me say goodbye to this dog so many times because he's old, but this time I knew it was for real. I knew Frasier was getting exponentially older by the day {he actually turned 16 this June} and that he had to be hurting. He had lumps and bumps all over him, he had arthritic paws, and it was getting harder and harder for him to get around. Going up and down the stairs was near impossible, pads had to be on the floor for him to pee on because no matter how many times he went outside it wasn't enough, he had to be carried outside to go to the bathroom, and then he stopped eating. 

Next, Mom and Dad called to say that they had made an appointment at the vet, and Wednesday would be the day that we all had to say our final goodbyes. I know he lived a great life, I know he was loved, I know this is what's best for him - he sleeps 20 hours a day and is now whimpering in his sleep, he's hurting all the time. None of this changes the fact that I don't want it to happen.

Mom and Dad made sure to give him a life of extreme luxury once we knew the time had come. Dad was cooking Frasier's meals for him {and they were going un touched} and Mom made sure to brush him often {he loved sitting on the back deck with her while she brushed him} and Frasier got more phone calls than anyone I know! My sister called to check on him, I called more than once a day {in hopes that he was turning a corner and doing better - but I knew deep down that wasn't the case}, Parker called. People went to visit him one last time. The dog was loved!

Dad picked up medicine for him on Monday so that he would be calm going to the vet today. Frasier hated the vet. If you just drove in the directon of the vet's office, he would tremble and shed. Man, did he hate that place. An hour before heading to the vet, Frasier got his medicine and he was calm. Mom and Dad took him to the vet in his very favorite leopard print towel that went with him everywhere. He wasn't alone, and he was loved on until the very end. Dad sent a text once they got home and said, "Yes we were there. It was very emotional. He just went to sleep. Very peaceful. I haven't cried this much since Dad {Grampie} died. I have a hole dug in the back yard next to the deck. We will bury him when I finish digging. When we got home from the vet I put Frasier's box on top of his crate and Mom wrote his name on it and said 'best pet ever.'"
Random pictures from Frasier's last week of life - August 2013
The hardest part for me, other than not being there, is that I can't say goodbye to him. He can't hear me and he can't see me. The only way he knows you're there is if he can smell or feel your touch, neither of which I can offer him from afar. I hate it. 

I know my kids will miss him. Hunter may not notice his absence, but I know Eden will. 
July 2013
I talked to her a little bit about it, but just let her take the lead on where the conversation went. I started by telling her that Frasier won't be there when we go to Georgia for Parker's wedding. She of course asked why and I reminded her that Frasier was getting very old and that he was sick. I told her that he was going to be living with Jesus. This is when she got the most sad face I've ever seen and said to me, "but I will miss him..." and I cried. I didn't want to cry and I tried not to. But I did, and it was honest, and real that she saw that. I pulled myself together and I told her that we'll all miss him, but it was better for him. He won't be grumpy or hurting anymore. I told her that he's going to be able to run, jump, and play with Jesus, and that he was going to be very happy living in Heaven. 

One of Frasier's favorite places was Fripp. He loved golf cart rides, he loved the beach, and I think he just liked that it was one of the places he could just relax. There was no agenda, and he could lounge without hustle and bustle. He'd sit on the beach, smell the air, and let the wind blow in his ears! I'd like to think that Frasier's Heaven is much like Fripp...
Fripp Family photos - Green 2009, Orange 2010, Pink 2011
We're going to miss him, but we know that he's free of his pain and that he can see and hear again too.
My last talk with Frasier Wednesday morning, August 14. Mom kept telling him, "Brittany's on the phone," and, "She called to see you."
While Dad was digging his burial site, mom wrote on his burial box. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Movie Night

Lane has a pretty cool projector in his room while he's on deployment. We saw it before he left, but thought it wouldn't be worth the money. Well, once he got there and realized how little there was to do in his down time he quickly changed his mind. The guys will get together and play Tiger Woods Golf on the xbox that Lane took, or they'll watch a movie.

I decided that since he's having such a great time with his projector, he might as well get full use out of it. I opted for a movie night box for him. I stocked it with some good movie theater candies and some popcorn. He doesn't have a microwave in his room, but he said he has access to one. The movies that I'm sending him are the cheap, $5 movies from Target. Once I knew I wanted to send the box I just picked up a movie here and there if I saw something that I thought he'd watch.


{The Dances With Wolves movie will probably come home unopened, but it was a must! There's an ultimate embarrassing story that goes along with it, and I might as well let you in on the secret...I mean, I was only 7 or 8 when it happened! I told my friend's mom that when the man and woman are naked together in the movie that it made my butt tickle...are you done laughing yet...?! Ok, ok, like I said...I was too little to have any idea what I was talking about - or that I should keep those feelings to myself at least! So I put a note in the box with the movie that said, "I hope this doesn't make your butt tickle," because I know it'll give Lane a good laugh too. He makes fun of me for this at any chance he's given, so I'm just going to embrace it...I was little! I had no idea!!! And I can't believe I just told that story!!!!!!!}

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Motherhood Is...{32}

This week my biggest blessing is my friends.

I know, I know, you're looking at a picture of my feet {in brand new shoes!}, but I'm talking about my friends...Strange. But it isn't! This week I hit a deployment slump. I was in a funk and I wasn't sure why. The kids were behaving, we'd gone days without a timeout, Eden was using her manners, Hunter wasn't screaming - things were good. Which is why it was hard for me to talk to Lane at one point this week. He saw that I wasn't having a good day and I responded with, "today was just hard for me," but there was nothing outwardly hard about it. He didn't get it {he's not anything like me when it comes to this kind of stuff, I didn't expect him to get it}, but he did catch it and notice that something was up, so props!

I was talking to friends about my slump, and they were my "shoulder to cry on" because I didn't want to "cry" to Lane {even though I eventually did anyways!} Angie took my kids one morning and told me to just go out. Go somewhere, do something, and leave the kids at her house! I jumped at the idea. Originally I was going to go for a long run to help me prepare for my half marathon {in just a week!} but I decided not to. I even got dressed for my run and then changed at the last minute.

I went shopping. I didn't want to spend money, I just wanted to go to the mall and walk around. So I did. I got my coffee and I walked through the stores that have glass things, I wandered in and out of the stores that have things for ME, and I didn't buy anything for my kids! I found those shoes for $9 at Target {yes, there's a Target at our mall...and it's 3 stories tall!} There was a cute boutique type store {that my stroller doesn't fit through} that was having a buy one get one half off sale, so I got a dress for Lane's homecoming and for a baby shower I'm going to. Other than that, I just walked. I didn't answer questions about why, how, where, what next, can I have a snack, what's that, or anything else.

It was great to just get away and help pull myself from my slump and I couldn't have done it without the help of friends!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Crazy Hair

Eden didn't have much hair for so long. She didn't get her first hair cut until she was 2 and a half! Hunter needed one well before turning 1, but for tradition's sake, we waited. So all the cute things that you do to your kids' hair in the bath tub - stand it up, make it crazy, make it spike - we couldn't do with Eden for so long! I stood her hair on end the other day when I washed it and she let me take a picture so she could see it {I haven't hung a mirror in their bathroom since all the construction has happened.} When I took the picture and I was looking at it, I was taken back to a time before Hunter was born. I remember drying Eden's hair after a shower, and it was all over the place. I told her that her hair was so crazy and that I wanted to take a picture of it. Just look...
She's the same kid, but how on earth did she grow up so much?! Where did that baby go? How is she older now? But at the same time...how is this little girl still the same person?! My goodness!!!! Once again, time flies and motherhood proves to be bittersweet at every turn!

Bubble Bath

I did something tonight that I haven't been able to do in what seems like AGES! I took a bath in the master bathroom garden tub! This may seem like some small ordinary ordeal, but it is actually huge!!!

You see? This is what our bath tub looked like a year ago - more than a year ago! Last June Lane went to give Eden a bath and when he tried to turn the water off to the tub...nothing happened. We had to turn the water off to the house, have a plumber come out {twice} and tell us that ripping the bath tub apart like that wasn't necessary...ugh. The whole thing was a nightmare. 

Then enter the demo of the bathroom ceiling,
which led to the mirror falling off the wall, 
which led to taking out the whole 9 foot vanity {that we had planned on eventually replacing anyways}, 
which then we realized the tile didn't go under the vanity, 
which led to ripping out the hall bath tile {because it matched the master bathroom tile}, 
buuuuuut we didn't come out with enough full pieces of tile, 
so we had to retile the hallway bathroom,
and then we eventually made it back into the master bath to re-finish our work from last June...

to tile, 
paint, 
put up bead board, 
frame the windows, 
re-put together the ceiling, 
re-light the bathroom, 
frame and put a new face on the bath tub, 
build the vanities, 
and hang things - curtains {that I made} pictures {that I painted} and mirrors.
So, tonight, I took a bath...and stared at my brand new bathroom!
Please ignore the ceiling above the sinks that needs to be trimmed, the fact that one mirror isn't hung {because I almost killed myself and broke the one that is hanging by doing it by myself!}, and the fact that my sinks don't actually work...it's still a work in progress! Maybe next year everything will actually work!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Picture Post

Story time fun! 
Anyone want some plums?! These came from our tree in the back yard and they are d-lish!
Eden wanted to be wrapped like a baby, so I swaddled her. And Hunter put a hat on her!
Hunter sleeping with his new LSU pillow pet from Daddy.
My little dare devil!
There are days that I love my dogs, and there are days that I just want them to stay far, far away from me. This happened to make me feel like the safest place for them was far, far away from me. They left this gem for us in the middle of the living room floor while we were at the mall. It wasn't even a new basket...or new toys...or in a new place. Ugh!
Another goodie from Daddy!
Hunter is getting to be so handsome! There are days that he looks like such a grown up little boy to me.
With just a sweet little innocence of baby left!
This window was letting in so much heat in the mornings, so I had a friend come hang the blinds for me. You can no longer fry an egg on the granite counters early in the morning when the sun is beaming!
The first nap in a week! She's been refusing ALL naps, but every few days she needs those extra z's. 
Home made vegetable soup. Lots and lots of it! I made plenty for the freezer.
The facing on the bath tub. I'm so excited!!!!!
Eden's last goodie from Daddy - a reusable sticker book.
Dance parties are all fun and games...
...until someone accidentally releases the balloon! 
Under the blanket lies Ginger, the dog that we thought we were going to have to give away because she doesn't like children! Boy were we wrong...
Hunter sitting in timeout is becoming quite a regular these days. I think he'll eventually understand that hitting isn't nice. I hope he eventually does, anyways.

Yup, timeout again. This time he wasn't hitting his sister, he was hitting his friend who was hitting him back. 
Movie time!
Playing at Kidventures on the fire truck. Lots of fun!