Sunday, June 30, 2013

Real Life: Belated Mothers' Day

I have had this post in "draft" form for two months.  I can't believe how fast that seemed to go by and slow at the same time.  This is what we did on Mother's Day weekend.
Saturday we played outside in the perfect weather.  

Alaire was teaching me how to use the scooter.  "You have to do your leg like this mom."
We have a tradition for Mothers' Day.  Every year for the last four years we go to breakfast at The Original Pancake House.  The place is packed and the wait is usually over an hour.  We go to Lowe's across the street and look at all of the things you can do to your house.  It passes the time and keeps Alaire busy running through the aisles.

Mike Tyson/ Alaire decided to draw tattoos on her face.  She loves tattoos. LOVES tattoos. 
 She draws sleeves and leg tattoos and says, "Mom, aren't these tattoos stylish?"  
"Yes Alaire."  (Please don't get face tattoos little one.)
I don't have any tattoos, but she always admires the ones she sees.

Back to Breakfast!  I could go for that again!

We ended the day with Cold Stone.  I can do Birthday Cake Remix any. day. of. the. week.

And popsicles... 

I hope all of the other mothers out there had a great day too... even if you probably already forgot what you did!  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Punch Salad

Before moving to Missouri, I lived in Minneapolis.  My favorite take out place for lunch when I was in school was Punch Pizza.  (ahh I miss it!)  They have wood fired pizza and a great salad.  I make it at home now, because I love it so much.  I have Drew hooked on it too!  I put way more on mine than Punch does, but it is similar.  This is perfect for lunch or to have as a side when grilling.

 I keep most of these ingredients on hand, but if you don't, use what you have!  It is super easy and simple.

Here is the recipe:

  • mixed greens
  • prosciutto ham (I get this from the Italian butcher and I rip it up)
  • strawberries
  • avocados
  • pine nuts
  • blue cheese or feta cheese crumbles
  • olive oil/ balsamic vinaigrette 

I put the mixed greens in a tupperware and shake the dressing on and then add the toppings.

If you are in the mood for a sweeter dressing, put equal parts of the the oil and vinegar in a magic bullet or blender and throw a handful of strawberries in and blend it.

That's it!  Super easy and super good!

 Hope you are having a great weekend!  Were celebrating a belated Fathers' Day because we just didn't really get the chance on the real day.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Let it Be

I've been thinking of writing this post for a few weeks.  I have so many projects I've been working on.  We are finally getting the baby's room ready and jumping into full summer mode.  We have been doing lots of fun stuff off of our "Summer Bucket List" that we made. I have wanted to share all of these projects and pictures, but before I share all of the fun stuff that I've been doing, there has also been some not so fun things going on in our house.  It has been weighing on my mind, but I don't know if I have the right words to say.  Sometimes I feel like it isn't my place, and it is a somewhat private matter.  I wanted to make sure that Drew is comfortable with me sharing this part of our life.  But here it goes.
This is the day Alaire was born.
My father-in-law, Jim, has had cancer for over three years.  He was diagnosed when Alaire was three months old.  We almost became comfortable at times with his illness, thinking that it was a normal part of life.  At first he didn't have typical reactions to chemo.  He didn't seem "sick".  He wasn't bed ridden or obviously ill for the first few years.  He worked everyday and lived a fairly normal life.  He never quit working or playing.

The last year has been much different.  My mother-in-law, Deb, has had to take care of him round the clock sometimes.  (As a side note, that woman is probably the most dedicated wife I have ever seen.  She lived out for better or for worse, through sickness and in health.) To say the least it has not been an easy year for either of them, or our family.  We have had multiple last minute trips back to South Dakota.  Each one ending with the circumstances becoming a little more complicated and have left us wondering what is coming next.

In April we went to see him after he had an infection in his chemo port and was airlifted to Sioux Falls to a better hospital.  It was really scary.  He had a 106.7 temperature at one point.  We stayed for about a week and a half and when we left things were better than when we got there, but still not good.
We didn't know that things would unravel so quickly and ended up going back a few weeks later to see him for the last time.  As difficult as it was I am glad we were able to be there to see him one last time and say our goodbyes.

This whole experience has been a whirlwind.  I don't think it completely sank in until we drove home.  I don't know what is harder to see, my husband losing his parent or my daughter questioning all of deaths' mysteries.  People often question what is worse, losing someone unexpectedly or knowing that they are sick.  The answer is both suck.  We've known Jim is sick, but you keep hoping the whole time for some miracle to take the illness away.  After living on borrowed time for a few years, you start to forget the circumstances and it becomes a new normal.

Drew and his dad were best friends.  They talked everyday.  He always has told me what a great dad he was.  He took Drew swimming every weekend, he encouraged him to conquer his fears, made lots of family memories on vacations and boat rides and picnic lunches,  let him be himself, shared an insane love for football movies, reading, and politics.  Jim was always a fun person to be around.  He loved to get out and be social and he loved to do things.  He also LOVED the Beatles.  They even played, "Let it Be" at the funeral.  His honorary paul bearers were: John, Paul, George and Ringo.  He would have thought that was awesome.

 When he came to visit he wanted to go to the zoo, a museum, the pool or out for dinner.  We are definitely going to miss sharing those memories with him.  It's really hard to think that he won't be there to see Alaire and any of our unborn children grow up.  He loved being a grandpa so much.

We always remind ourselves of how lucky our little family is, because we really are.  We have a great life.  We have everything we could possible need and a lot more.  We have each other, a home, a sweet daughter and another one coming any day.
Even with that said, there is still a huge hole in our hearts.  I think there always will be.  There is still a longing for a different outcome and we are left with a lot of questions.  I'm sure, like with all things, that time will make things a little better.

For now we are doing the best we can.  We are trying to be happy for everything good in our lives.  We are trying to grieve while trying to be excited for the birth of our second child.  The support of our friends and family has just been amazing and we are so thankful for that.

When things like this happen it makes me step back and watch myself as a mother and a wife and wonder if I am doing it right.  If something like that every happened to me or Drew, would I have wished I would have done something different?  Would my kids talk about me the way Drew and his brother talked about his dad?  Would they say I am a patient, intentional parent and spouse?  Would they know I am proud of them and want them to do what makes them happy in this life?  I hope so.  

I hope you have a great weekend with the ones you love. 
 Thanks for reading.
 I hate to write gloomy posts, but this is what is going on in our lives right now, as some of you have already known.  
I felt like I couldn't skip talking about it and post pictures of something I nailed into my wall first, because that stuff really is meaningless in the grand scheme of life.