Life's What You Make It!

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kidneyfest--Part 2

So for the first Kidneyfest, Naomi made Corey cookies shaped like kidneys.
So this time Naomi made a home-made boob cake complete with a fondant bikini.
If you can't read it, the sign says "Forget cookies! Corey wants boobs!"
Naomi you rock!

Jess & Angi relaxing on the couch!

Jess, Heidi, Angi, DeNae, Naomi & myself

Corey loves the cake Nay!!

Corey, how do you get the ladies all of the time?

Jess & DeNae

Naomi & I.

My dear friend Nicole & I

So, if you remember, we had this huge party in January and named it Kidneyfest. We had to celebrate Corey getting a new kidney! Little did we know that things would fall apart, but then miraculously a new opportunity would present itself. Needless to say, by the time we actually had our surgery date of August 16th, it had been a little while since we had gotten together. Now Corey & I were both having surgery! So, my friends, being the awesome people that they are, decided we needed to have another get-together to celebrate and the idea for KidneyFest--Part 2 was born.

Naomi who had made kidney shaped cookies and kidney bean salad for the first Kidneyfest, outdid herself and made Corey a boob cake. Oh my goodness! How awesome is that? We laughed at that darn cake for 30 minutes and it was delicious! Cake Boss has nothing on you!

Looking back, I don't even remember exactly what we did. I only know that I just felt so loved & so supported. It was a celebrate of life, a celebration of new chances & a stress relief for a heart-breakingly miserable couple of months. We laughed and we celebrated and that is what life is about!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Random Summer Fun!

The girls also kept busy this summer with swimming lessons, a trip to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America, Granite City Days, & dance classes! 


We had our surgery date--August 16th! We were scared and nervous and excited and exhausted! Because I have to request my vacation time so far in advance at the hospital, it just so happened that I had 3 weeks of vacation the end of July, would return to work for 3 shifts and then we would have surgery. But, I am glad I did have those 3 weeks of vacation. I felt like I had so much to do to get ready. I wanted to get all the school shopping done--clothes, supplies, everything! 

We hadn't done much this summer! Corey didn't feel good! He was still trying to work full time and that usually took it all out of him. But, we really wanted to bring the girls to Valleyfair. I have never taken the girls there and probably hadn't been there myself since high school. I am so glad that we went! I can't remember the last time the four of us have had that much fun! Chloe has gotten braver in her old age and wasn't scared of any of the rides. Corey and Taya went on the BIG roller coasters and even I went on the corkscrew.

The girls had a blast at the water park where we spent a good part of the day and the lines weren't too long. Funnel cakes, pizza, hot dogs!! What could be better? The evening ended with a beautiful fireworks display. We left exhausted and happy! 

The Color Run

After visiting with my family, Corey and I headed down to the Cities with my friend Naomi so I could run in The Color Run on July 15th. To be honest, I didn't really want to do it. I had been stressed and had not been training for it or working out at all for that matter. Grumpy, grumpy! I just wanted to stay home. But, I am so thankful to Naomi for gently pushing me into going because it ended up being a great day! I remember when I was young and I used to think to myself, "If I get old and boring like my parents, just shoot me!" Now, more often than not, a quiet evening on the couch usually looks pretty attractive. But, I've also learned, that every time I've made myself do something, I have never had any regrets. The only regrets in life should be the things that you don't try, not that you tried and failed.

We stayed at a friend of Naomi's in the Cities and all went out to Psycho Suzi's Motorlounge the night before to, you know, gear up for the big race! So, between staying up late and my less than optimal night's sleep on the hide-a-bed, I was still a little grumpy when I woke up Sunday morning for the race. Originally, the race was going to be held around Lake Harriet (I think), but was changed to the State Fair grounds so it wasn't the most scenic venue. But, just something about all those people and the energy of the crowd made up for it. Every 1/2 a mile, there would be different "color stations" where staff would throw colored powder on you. Then at the end of the race, you would gather with everyone and on the count of three would throw your color packet  (that you had received when you signed up for the race) up in the air at the same time. You couldn't see and you couldn't breathe, but man was it fun!! I've since learned they have a color festival in India where they use powdered color. Cool! No regrets!!

Get together with the cousins

Taya loves the water

Taya leaping in

Big smiles from Chloe

Chloe leaping in

I have a small family. My mom has two sisters--Nancy & Barb who each had one child and my dad has one sister--Marlene who had three children. Yup! I have a grand total of five first cousins. And, it's not often that we get the chance to get together, especially with my mom's side of the family. My cousin Darren and his wife live in Chicago and my cousin Heather and her husband live in Baltimore. But, luckily, we were able to set aside some time in July to have a get-together at my Aunt Barb's place by Clearwater. We had so much fun! The girls, of course, love the pool and had to be dragged from the water at the end of the day.  We had a BBQ and just relaxed and visited. It was so great to catch up with everyone!

My dad and I

From left to right: Karin, Heather, myself & Darren.
All the first cousins on my mom's side of the family!!

My mom's sister Nancy, my Uncle Sheldon, their son Darren & Darren's wife Beth

My family

My moms' sister Barb, her husband Ken, Barb's daughter Heather,
Heather's husband Michael and their two kids Alex & Eli

Taya in Marching Band--June 2012

In 6th grade, Taya got to join band. Unlike when I was in school and we just chose what we wanted to play, Taya had "try-outs" before she had ever really picked up an instrument. She was assigned the clarinet. She had fun in band & did well. Luckily, because of piano lessons, she was already comfortable with reading music and what the notes were. So, when the opportunity arose to be in STORM marching band in June, she was excited to try something new!! She had practice every night for about two weeks and marched in parades in Sartell, Milaca & Sauk Rapids. It was so much fun to watch the parades and see what a great job Taya did!