Life's What You Make It!

This blog is designed to keep you up-to-date on our familiy's adventures!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

As anyone that knows me realizes, I love pictures. I dream about retiring from nursing to open my own professional photography studio. What fun to take pictures of families and kids all day long! (OK, this would have its own challenges, but I think it would be fun nonetheless!)

I think I love pictures so much because they capture the people we care about and capture a memory that we want to hold onto forever. My mom, who struggled with weight her whole life, as I have, always hated having her picture taken. When she died, I tried to gather as many pictures of her as I could find. There were not many! Somehow she always managed to avoid the picture, hid behind someone, or even went so far as to cut herself out of the picture. I regret this deeply. Having pictures of my mom is one way I can hold onto her and her memory. I think this is one reason I go a little over board with my family and friends. I want to hold everyone close to me and look back at all the memories and fun times we have had.

A picture is truly worth a thousand words. A beautiful picture can capture something that simply cannot be described in words. The look on Taya's face the first time she saw her baby sister or the girls excited faces as they get ready to perform for a dance show.

However, as I was looking back over my blog the other day and talking with my friend Tracy, I came to some realizations. First, pictures usually only capture the happy times. We don't often think to grab the camera and take a picture when one of the kids falls and is crying because they scraped their knee. Nobody takes a picture of people in the middle of a fight. I don't take a picture of myself dirty and grubby while I'm cleaning and doing the laundry. Pictures capture the happy times and the fun times, but life is not always happy and fun. Sometimes life is boring, sad, scary, frustrating, overwhelming and uncomfortable.

The second "major ephipheny" was that as much as I love blogging because I can look back and remember what we've been doing and all the fun times we've had, my blog really only scratches the surface of who I am and what I do on a day to day basis. Similar to a reality show, which is only a semi-accurate depiction of real life, my blog is as real as it can be most of the time. Simply put, I don't want to post all the real, private, scary stuff going on in my life on the internet for the whole world to read. Nobody wants to read about a day when all I did was laundry, dishes, baths, and watched TV. BORING!! But, those kind of days, and these kinds of things are just as important to the fabric of my life as all the fun and happy times.

So, look at my postings of what a great weekend we had last weekend. What I didn't mention was that...

It rained just enough during our BBQ to get Corey all wet while he was grilling. We had to move the food to the stove and our chair cushions on the deck got all wet, so it was miserable to entertain outside...

Corey and I got into a fight on his birthday that lasted for several hours... Partially ruined the day... Stupid...

Our time at our nephew's birthday party was awkward and uncomfortable because Corey and his sister are not speaking...

Corey scared me the day we took the girls to the Como Zoo because he was short of breath all day... One possible sign, should the shortness of breath continue or worsen, that his kidneys are doing worse.. He had to sit in the shade and rest most of the day while the girls went on rides....

I found out my dad has cancer...

This is my life. The good and the bad. There are no pictures to capture the bad times. Sometimes I don't want to remember the bad times, sometimes I do. But, the good times and the bad times and the boring times are important to me. They are my life and a part of who I am.

Nobody and nothing is perfect....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Como Zoo

On Sunday, we went to our nephew's 1st birthday party. It was a blast watching him dig into his cake and get frosting all over his face. The girls had fun swimming in a pool in the backyard and playing with their cousins.

Monday, Corey took the day off of work so we could do something fun with the girls. The girls had a list of activities they wanted to do ranging from going to the Mall of America to a huge waterpark, but in the end we decided to go to the Como Zoo. It was a gorgeous day!! We enjoyed looking at all the animals in the zoo. The girls particularily loved the monkeys and the polar bears. Then we went to Como Town and the girls had an absolute blast playing in the playground and going on all the rides. Chloe has not always been the bravest about going on rides. She is usually excited to go on, and then about half way through realizes she is scared to death and wants to get off. However, she seems to be enjoying them more as she gets a little older. The girls went on a kiddie coaster called the Screaming Dragon and Chloe laughed, screamed, raised her arms high in the air as she went down a drop off and when she got off the ride, hopped right back in line to go on again! At the end of the day, the girls were exhausted!

Happy Birthday Corey!!

Saturday was Corey's 41st birthday! Although Corey says he isn't "into" birthdays because it is just another year closer to death (JEEZ hon!), we managed to "make" him celebrate a little. We drove down to the Cities to enjoy (our fav!) Indian food for lunch with my dad and my sister. Corey resisted a little again when we made him open his presents in the restaurant claiming he doesn't like attention brought to him, but when we threatened him with either opening his presents or having the staff at the restaurant sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him, he gave up and decided to at least open his presents. See hon, that wasn't so bad! Corey then spent a few hours in the evening putting together one of his presents--a wall mount for our TV. Amazingly, it really went up without a hitch. Today is Tuesday and the TV is still hanging there on the wall. AMAZING!!

Happy Birthday again BABE! I hope you realize how much you're loved and appreciated!! (even when you're cranky or you don't unload the dishwasher or you don't...just kidding!!)


On Friday, it was our turn to host the monthly BBQ for our summer BBQ "rounds". Corey and I worried and debated about rescheduling due to the weather, but decided in the end to go for it. We didn't let the rain get us down! Good food, good friends! Nay had the great idea of bringing makeup and a design book to paint the kids' faces. All of the kids absolutely LOVED IT!! Even Austin, Tracy and Mike's 15 year old son, was a good sport and let Naomi's husband Bob (who is in the military) paint his face in a cool camo design. The kids rode bikes, played at the park just down the road, and had a blast "trashing" the house. I got to catch up with my friends who I have been missing while on vaca. We've had so much fun with our BBQ rounds we're going to continue the tradition throughout the year. Next get together Nay and Bob's in October!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A weekend in Wisconsin

This past weekend, Corey and I and Bleeker (a friend of Corey's from work), headed out to Eau Claire, Wisconsin to visit Corey's friend Heather and her husband Ryan. My dad and sister graciously agreed to watch the girls. It was a really great weekend!

Friday we went out to eat at a great Mexican restaurant called Azul Tequila. Then, we found a local bar that had a really cool outdoor area that reminded me of the tiki bars in Florida. And yes, they had swings at the bar! How cool is that! In between the rain we played bean bags. (I'm kind of getting addicted to playing bags!) In fact, Ryan and I made quite the winning team. We won 3 out of 4 games against Bleeker and Lefty (Ryan & Heather's friend).

Saturday, Heather and Ryan made us an awesome brunch of pancakes, bacon and eggs and we enjoyed going to the movies and seeing Eclipse. (AGAIN) Heather and I LOVE the Twilight saga and kind of coerced everyone else to come with us to see the movie!! But, as long as we got our dose of Edward, we didn't care. Heather took us on a tour of Eau Claire and showed us all the places she knew from her childhood. (Heather grew up in Eau Claire.) Then, Ryan grilled for us and we relaxed outside and wrapped up the evening with a little shuffleboard (Doug E. Fresh has nothing on me in shuffleboard! Sorry, inside joke!)

We had a delicious brunch fixed for us again on Sunday, we played a mean game of Cranium and then headed home. It was a relaxing, fun, laid-back weekend.

Taya and Chloe also had fun spending time with grandpa and their aunt, going out to eat, and going shopping at the outlet mall in Albertville.