Just keep swimming

It's been a rough couple of weeks around here. We're trying to get back on track...but it's always hard to get moving again. Just keep swimming. Right?

My family had visitation, funeral, and burial services for my Grandpa. Edison stayed home with Alex, because Alex doesn't understand and it would be unfair to him to be expected to be well behaved for something like that and have no understanding of what's going on. We left the decision up to Matthew on whether or not he wanted to attend services. He's old enough and understands enough to decide on his comfort level. He chose to attend the services, and he did such a good job. I was very impressed with how well he handled everything. We've had some sad days since, but we lean on each other and we're moving forward.

The weather has not helped lately, either. For a couple weeks now it's been rainy and dreary, with very little sunlight. I'm ready for summer!

Tuesday we had a cloudy morning, but it …

On death & dying

My Grandpa passed away peacefully at home yesterday afternoon, surrounded by family. He died in my Grandma's arms, on their 54th wedding anniversary.

His death was peaceful, he appeared comfortable and did not struggle, and his wife and children were by his side as he took his last breaths. I honestly can't think of a better way to pass on from this life.

One of the only few certainties of life is death. I don't fear death, and I don't dread death, and I try to teach my children the same. That doesn't mean I'm ready for death, or to lose my loved ones, but I understand that death is a part of life, and I try to have a healthy understanding and respect for death.

That doesn't make it easy.

It's been a very rough couple of weeks - learning that Grandpa's illness had progressed, then trying different medical interventions to improve his health, only to create new (worse) problems, to learning that there was nothing left to do medically except keep Gra…

Happy 6th birthday, Alex!!

Our sweet, spunky, emotional, adventure-loving Alex turned 6 years old this Monday!

We celebrated with a fun mini-vacation at The Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells. We stayed 2 nights, had a blast, and are still exhausted.

Great Wolf Lodge staff gave Alex a special set of birthday wolf ears, which he is super proud of. He's worn them constantly since Sunday afternoon when they were given to him, and he only takes them off to swim, bathe, or sleep. 
We had a great trip, and I'm working on a blog post/review of our stay, so that should be ready soon. I have a ton of pictures! I bought a waterproof pouch for my phone so I could take pictures in the waterpark, and I'm SO glad I did. We got some great pictures. 

The boys loved the waterslides and the wave pool. There are many different pools/slides/activity areas to enjoy in the waterpark, and we love it because there is a ton of variety, it's all indoors (it was raining and chilly most of our stay, but it didn't…

What 7 Years of Marriage has Taught Me

This past Monday marked 7 years of marriage for us. I feel like that's a big deal! We've had a lot of experiences over these 7 years (more than that if you count friendship + dating time). Many good experiences, our share of bad experiences, but we have faced each storm and sunrise together. We are stronger together now than we have ever been, and I am so excited to see what the next 7+ years have in store for us. We've got big plans!

April 22, 2012

So, in honor of our 7 years of marriage, here are 7 things I've learned along the way:
Marriage is work. It is hard work, it is rewarding work, it is absolutely worth it work, but it is work. You cannot expect to get married and everything will always be wonderful without putting time and effort into it. A neglected marriage will quickly become an unhappy marriage. Put the work in. It's worth it. Communication is key. You need to be on the same page as your spouse, and in order for that to happen, you need to communicate…

Where have I been?

I feel like I blinked, and all of a sudden it's the end of April. Where did the time go?? 

Well, we celebrated Christmas. For the most part it was pretty relaxed, just us celebrating. Edison took the kids to the Christmas celebration for my side of the family, since I had to work. And we got together with various other family members during the month - I find it's nicer to have small gatherings, that way you can really have some quality time with the people you're celebrating with. Big celebrations can be fun once in awhile, but I prefer a small group.

Somewhere around Christmas, we started realizing that my grandparents, who still live on their own and take care of themselves, were slowing down. We had many discussions, and realized that we wanted to help them as they age and decline physically. So, we started visiting them more often, cooking them meals, that kind of thing. We spent 3 months nearly full time with them as we helped them to appointments, and with medicatio…

Eating Coconuts...Just Like Coyote Peterson

One of Matthew's absolute favorite YouTube personalities right now is Coyote Peterson, of the channel Brave Wilderness. This has been a favorite of Matthew's for a long time now, and we can often hear bangs and crashes coming from Matthew's room as he acts out Coyote's sting videos. Some of his favorite toys are a set of plastic bugs, tweezers (or as he calls them, entomology forceps), his "glass capsule" (a plastic container), and you can't forget his cowboy hat. He wears that hat everywhere. He's also got "Coyote pants", "Coyote boots", and a "Coyote vest". And for Christmas, he wants a "Coyote pack" and "genuine leather Coyote hat".


One of Matthew's absolute favorite things to do is act out Coyote's videos. One of Coyote's videos is about having a coconut breakfast, and Coyote shows the kids how to collect a coconut, open it, eat the meat, and drink the coconut water. Matthew sai…

Where'd October Go?

(Alex is hiding under this blanket)

So, where'd October go? Around here, it passed in a flurry of sick, a short vacation, and 2 more weeks of sick. And before we knew it, it was Halloween and we hadn't done anything to celebrate other than one trip to the local Pumpkin Patch. Fail.
It's been a rough month. It started off with Matthew getting a stomach bug, and constantly vomiting for about 24 hours. Poor little guy was miserable. Any liquid or food he consumed came right back up. Over and over. Finally he started keeping food & drink down, and we spent the next few days re-hydrating him. 
Here's Matthew, feeling much better, snuggled up with his cat Simba.

Matthew was feeling much better just in time for our trip to The Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells, that we'd had planned for several months. (If you are able to schedule your trip a couple months in advance, they have awesome coupon codes.) This was our second trip to the Lodge, we had gone in May of …