"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Right about now I'm wishing I had a laptop instead of desk top. Can't exactly carry that desk top around with me and typing all of this on my phone is possible but not ideal. I haven't even blogged photos and stories from our Thanksgiving trip to Oklahoma to see Casey's family, but there are other things to deal with. 
Grandpa had a fall at home last week. He wasn't injured, but he was wobbly & weak and I was super worried about him being there alone. Misty stepped up and we arranged for two caregivers to check in on him and be on call in case of emergency so that we could all still make the trip. Misty's parents and Drew's mom took him food two days and we just called him a couple times a day to make sure he was okay. I prayed hard about that before and during the entire trip and God did me a solid because Grandpa's weekend was uneventful and I got to spend a few days with both of my brothers and our families for the first time since Casey moved almost 2 years ago. And while the drive is long, I also needed that uninterrupted travel & together time with just Drew & Eleanor. It was a blessing and I'm grateful. 
We got home Sunday, Grandpa was doing pretty good and then... Grandpa had another fall yesterday (Tuesday) morning. His LifeLine detected the fall and called 911. They had to break the door down, but they got in and checked him out right before I got there. They determined he didn't need emergency room care and left. It didn't take me long to realize he needed somebody to check things out, so I made an appointment with his regular doctor. Then I realized he wasn't going to be able to walk on his own at all. Drew came to get Eleanor, Kyle came to help with Grandpa and we got him to the doctor. A long wait and short exam later and they sent us to the hospital anyway. So here he is, in the hospital. He's super weak, in a bit of pain, and pretty confused. Nothing is broken, thank God. He does have an infection and they think it's a UTI. (Those can be nasty in he elderly.)  He's on antibiotics and hopefully that will take care of the infection. He is really weak and is going to need quite a bit of therapy to regain strength and function. He will most likely be in the hospital a few days and then go to a skilled rehab facility where they can care for his personal needs and he can get physical therapy. We don't have any way to know how long that will last or what he will need after that. 
He knows where he is, but is also saying things that make zero sense. For example, he just looked at me and said, "Today's the 30th, isn't it?"  (I was impressed.) But in the next breath he asked, "Have you talked to Cleve today?" That one got to me a little since it is almost exactly two years since we did this very thing with Dad and he died a few weeks later. 

Deep breath. One day at a time. Please pray for God's guidance and that we will be led to the place where Grandpa can get the care he needs. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving: Round 1

It's late, we have packing to do, and morning is going to come much too early, but...
Tonight we had Thanksgiving with Drew's mom and siblings and I want to post the photos before time gets away from me.  We had a delicious meal and a lovely evening together.  I give thanks for this group that I get to call family. 

Eleanor approved of the turkey and bread.  Green beans?  Dream on. 
 Can't believe Corbin is big enough to be sitting with us and eating potatoes and green beans like a pro! 
 Beep, beep! 
 Let's try for a family shot.  (Notice that Nonnie's puppy, Cooper, made the family photo this year!) 
 One more try. 
 One more to make sure we got at least one decent one. 
Hey, that's us! 

 JR said the blessing before our meal tonight and totally nailed it.  It was AWESOME and so is he. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm bragging. Forgive me.

Me: The ex-therapy momma in me got really excited this morning when Eleanor followed directions with two steps.   

Drew: Huh? 

Me: That's kind of a bid deal for language development... when you can tell your toddler something that has two steps and they can understand and complete the task without further prompting.  We were at Grandpa's and I said, "Eleanor, can you go get the newspaper and take it to Grandpa?"  She walked across the room, bent down, picked up the paper and carried it back across the room and laid it in Grandpa's lap.  Of course, after she gave it to him she wanted it back... but, still. 

Drew:  That's awesome!  "Eleanor, go get Ribbit and bring him to me." 

(I swear y'all, she listened as he said that, walked through the mess of toys in the floor, picked up her stuffed frog, carried him back to her Daddy, and laid that toy in his lap.) 

Me: See?! 

Drew: This is awesome!  "Eleanor, go the fridge and get Daddy a beer!" 

Eleanor was puzzled, but Drew and I got a good laugh out of that one.  (Disclaimer: We did not really make our toddler fetch her father an alcoholic beverage.) 

She's also impressed me lately by pointing out when she sees a circle.  She's been pointing out stars for several months.  There are decorative stars on the walls at Grandpa's house, I've told her what they are and then she started pointing them out in other places.  It sounds sort of like "car", but she spontaneously & specifically points out stars when she says it.  Multiple times I've been surprised to look down and see that she really was seeing a star in a book or in a pattern on her clothing.  She has a shape book that we read often, but I didn't know if it was making any sense to her until last week when she pointed to a circle and said it.  I thought it might have been a fluke, but I took the opportunity to show her circles in tons of other things around the house and now she's doing it on her own all the time.  Last Friday I put her in the cart at Target and as I was buckling her in, she put her finger through a cutout on the side of the cart and said, "circle".  (The rest of the cart is a crisscross pattern, but that one circle was unique and there for fastening something.) 

So, on top of talking up a storm, she's understanding even more.  Don't think the kid understands what you're saying?  Add in something like the word "Santa" to your conversation and see if there's a response.  I promise she's listening and understands so much more than we think.  Speaking of Santa...

Yesterday morning we went to do our Thanksgiving grocery shopping.  We are about a quarter of the way down an aisle when I notice that Eleanor was leaning over the edge of the cart and waving to someone.  It isn't unusual for her to wave or say Hi to people, but when I turned to see who she was waving to I saw this elderly man with a white beard waving back to her.  I smiled, he continued walking past our aisle, and then Eleanor threw her hands in the air and yelled, "SANTA!".  She learned about Santa a few weeks ago when the stores took down their Halloween decorations and replaced them with Christmas decorations.  The grocery store had Santa balloons, I told her who it was, and now she's interested in Santa every time she seem him in a picture.  After that nice man waved to her, she just kept yelling "Santa!" and other shoppers were stopping to ask if she was really calling that man Santa.  We went on our way and a few aisles later we ran into Santa again.  He wasn't a tall man, maybe 5'9", but he was the absolute perfect shape to be Santa and had perfectly white hair and beard.  When Eleanor smiled at him, he stopped, waved at her & gently said, "Ho, Ho, Ho".  She got shy and leaned into me, so he took a few steps back and gave her another little wave.  She couldn't hide her smile after that.  We visited for a few minutes and he shared with me that that happens to him often with young children and he really enjoys playing along.  I thanked him for making our day, but I wish I had thought to ask if he would take a photo with her.  I mean, it's not every day you run into Santa in the canned food aisle. 

Proof that Eleanor is just a normal, messy, happy (and totally adorable in overalls & Converse) toddler...

Sunday, November 20, 2016


These days the blog is 99.9% photos of Eleanor. When I'm not sharing photos, I actually do still like to write. Often times writing is a way for me to find myself. I've seen this thing going around Facebook lately and yesterday I made Drew do it with me. Fine, I didn't MAKE him, he was a willing participant. His answers to these questions seem to speak some truth about me and how he loves me, even if he doesn't know how tall I actually am. Also, I LOVE that men can just answer a question and not need to elaborate. How refreshing it must be to be so succinct. 

The challenge: 

Ladies, WITHOUT prompting, ask your husband or boyfriend these questions and write EXACTLY what they say.

•What is something I always say?
Drewwww (In my whining voice) & "are you serious?" & "bounce with me"
•What makes me happy? 
The sun 
•What makes me sad? 
•How tall am I? 
5' 4" 
•What's my favorite thing to do? 
Be with Eleanor or shop 
•What do I do when you're not here? 
Start a lot of little bitty projects 
•If I become famous, what will it be for?
Mother Theresa-ism 
•What makes you proud of me? 
You're a good momma and you take care of people 
•What is my favorite food? 
Chocolate or cereal 
•Where is my favorite place to visit?
The beach 
•If I could go anywhere, where would it be? 
Back to Hawaii 
•How do I annoy you? 
(He giggles nervously) You wait until I'm ready to go to sleep before you talk. Or talk during a football game. Or talk nonstop for hours. 
•What is my favorite movie? 
Used to be Gone With The Wind, but I would say Les Mis 
•You get a phone call that I am in trouble, who am I with?
Misty. Definitely Misty. 

Your turn ladies.

Life with E

Life with Eleanor. It's hardly ever boring. Every day she displays a bit more sass. I mean, really. She is toddler, hear her roar. 
The only 30 seconds that she sat still for Kayla's volleyball game on Saturday. She'll do things for Kayla & Braeden that she won't do for just anyone. 
Before church this morning. She didn't want to wear the bow, only a weird black headband. And she did NOT want me to take her photo. Good times. 
After church I convinced Drew to take the sectional apart so I could clean under it. That turned into also vacuuming dog hair off each and every upholstered surface. Eleanor helped. 
Nonnie's new puppy, Cooper. 

Friday, November 18, 2016


I love Fridays.  This morning Eleanor and I went to run a few errands and do a little shopping.  I'm trying to find her a pair of Converse sneakers in the next size up (that's not easy to do since her feet are still so tiny but she needs shoes for walking), so we went to the Promenade and declared it the perfect excuse to have an Auntie Ann's pretzel for breakfast. 
That look on Eleanor's face says, "This pretzel is delicious & my mouth is full.  Also, I'm quite happy snuggled up to my Mommy, but I really want to turn my head and look at the birds that are begging for a bit of my food." 

 The other day I stopped by the girls' gravesites just to check on things.  It was a beautiful sunny day and, for the first time, I let Eleanor run around and play a while.  It was kind of weird (I mean, this isn't the kind of scenario that any parent plans), but it was also kind of special. 
 Why sit in your chair when you could sit on the dog? 
 Girls Night Out with these lovely ladies is always a treat.  We are experts at eating and visiting; we aren't very good at taking selfies.  Heidi & Cheryl, we need to do two things.  One: we need to remember to take pictures together when the night is young and I am wearing lipstick.  Two: help me master that art of the perfect selfie camera angle so that I'm not always staring straight into the camera and looking like a goon while you ladies are looking so lovely. 
I always feel a tiny bit prettier in black & white (maybe I was born in the wrong time period) and it's my blog, so I'm changing the photo to my liking. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Playing outside, it's the thing to do.  All the cool kids are doing it.  My kid might just stay in the back yard if we would let her.  The weather has been lovely and we're spending as much time as possible enjoying it before it turns cold (at which point I'm guessing we will still enjoy it, but bundled up). 

 Let me help you wash windows, Dad.  (she climbs!) 
 I'll spot you. 

 Taking a breather

 Places to go, a big yard to explore. 

 And the same photo, but black & white. 

Friday, November 11, 2016


It took long enough, but autumn as finally arrived.  Yesterday we spent a bit of time playing outside. It was actually Eleanor's first time playing in the back yard since she's become a walking pro and she was quite pleased over it all.  Prepare yourself for picture overload. 

 She wanted up on the slide but can't quite get up there by herself just yet. 
 When you wiggle your rear end enough, you wind up sliding down all by yourself!  Wow! Did you see that?! 

Oh, her expressions.  

 Label this one "frustration". 
 Oh! Another leaf! These things are everywhere! 
 Drew came out when he was done working and helped me tear out what was left of my tomato plants (would you believe I had 4 tomatoes on there that were still actually worth picking?) and Eleanor watched through the gate.  Okay, fine, Drew did the work and I took photos of Eleanor through the gate.  But look how cute she is.  If this doesn't make you smile then you have a real problem.  I'd seek professional help.  I mean, come on, look at that face. 
 Wait, don't bit the fence.  Seriously, don't...
 You're biting the fence.  I thought we weren't going to bit the fence. 
 Bath time.