Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Lots of balloons and confetti around our house lately with a whirlwind of birthdays! First Bridgid's twins. then brother-in-law Dan. then David. then dad. then brother in law jamie, then niece Katie. My sisters and I all married men who have birthdays within a week or so of my dad's birthday. We all married Virgos. David's birthday is a day away from my dad's. My birthday is the same as David's mom's birthday. (cue twilight zone music) I'm not a big zodiac sign follower, but there are many coincidences that must mean something to a tarot card reader somewhere. Still with me?






I digress.






I feel like I hit the father jackpot when it came time for God to pick out a dad for me. He is kind, loving, thoughtful, patient, happy, and loves his family more than life itself. We've all felt it since we were born and still do into adulthood. Well, he has a big birthday today (coughcoughseventycoughcough) and boy did we celebrate this weekend!! He declared "no parties", didn't want any hooplah or going out to dinner like we do every year on his birthday. So we agreed. Girl Scout's Honor






Kind of.




Well, we didn't have a party on his birthday like he asked, but 2 days before doesn't count right? And we didn't go out for dinner like we always do, but we cooked dinner for him so that doesn't count right? We didn't have any hooplah, but a yummy cake we knew he'd love because of his sweet tooth and just because we had a bunch of balloons accidentally floating around the house doesn't count either right? We didn't have surprise guests & jump out at him yelling "SURPRISE" when he thought he was coming over to pick us up to go to Cheeburger-Cheeburger for fun. No, that wasn't us that broke all his rules. His girls would never do that! We always followed his rules growing up and still do to this day.(nose growing)


Well, we took matters in our own hands and so glad we did. Planning for his big day was as much fun as blowing out the candles with him! All eventy-say of them! We felt like we were preparing for the show "This is Your Life" as we called childhood friends using our maiden name so they'd know who we were, calling and emailing coast guard buddies, soccer friends, Motorola colleagues from his 30 years there, refing friends, anyone who knows how special he is asking them for a story, a memory, a compliment, a sentence, a novel, whatever they could send about our dad. We split up lists, we scoured the white pages looking for phone numbers, emails, to ask people we knew and people we didn't know what they loved about our dad. We sent emails, we left messages, sent smoke signals not sure what we'd hear back in return.



The.





response.





was.




overwhelming.




It was beautiful!

It was magical to read.



We had people coming out of the deep deep woodwork to write or call to tell us a way our dad had touched their lives and the common theme that rang true in all the stories is that he made so many people feel special, loved and important just like he had for his family for the last 70 years.





At last word count, it was over 10,000 words.





(pressing pause button) I'll let that sink in for a minute.


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10,000 words. As in TEN THOUSAND words of love said about our sweet dad and it brought tears to our eyes to see it all come together and truly know the amount of inspiration he's had on so many people far and near. Funny stories. Compliments. Sad stories where he helped a friend. Kind stories. Loving stories. Happy stories.


We compiled the stories into a beautiful book with pictures. And boy did we find pictures! We pulled out our shovels and did more digging and found some from all over. Hundreds of pictures. His baby pictures, teen pictures, family pictures, grandchildren pictures and pictures of his beautiful life coupled with the words was something he'll have to know just how special he is to not only his family, but so many others that poured out their hearts to him with gratitude and love! We knew he is a special man, but to have so many others articulate it just like we had felt our whole lives was one of the most heartwarming experiences of my life! To say he is loved by many is an understatement.
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and boy did we burn the midnight oil assembling, analyzing, cutting, pasting, strategizing the book so it would be absolutely perfect for our favorite dad...
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I lost count, but it had to have been over 60 pages once assembled...






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it was such a fun labor of love...didn't even feel like work...

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each page was a different memory, a different story, a different lifetime all randomly put together to make up his beautiful life...
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it was like were in a time machine going through boxes and boxes of old pictures...
dad and his dog Lassie - oh my cute...
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he could've been a JCPenny model back in 1957
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and he perused each page with such appreciation and couldn't believe who wrote in...
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We thought that the book was going to be a little stocking stuffer of a gift, but it snowballed into this we-need-to-quit-our-job-for-2-weeks-and-work-on-this-full-time project, but we already has his "big" gift. We couldn't just give it to him. No, that'd be too easy. We made him work for it just like he has made us work for our big gifts at any holiday. The scavenger hunt. He's famous for it and has been a longstanding tradition in our house where you run around the house reading rhyming clues until the big reveal. David is the substitute rhymer so he put together quite the trail. Lead him all over the house and even by the mailbox...
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even zipped out into the cars looking for the next clue - the kids were having just as much fun...
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and he loved it... (high fiving fam)
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look who's going to be a race star?? (giggling so hard every time i see this)

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Boy, was it a hot debate in our family about this gift - whether he'd like it, wanna go, worry about his knee, etc, but we knew we were safe when he showed up at our house wearing a NASCAR shirt that no one in our family had ever seen before! Since his girls pretty much have filled his entire closet with his wardrobe, we were all shocked to see this shirt, but knew it was a sign! And boy did he love it! When he was told to blow out his candles and make a wish, he, in true dad fashion, proclaimed, "I don't need to make a wish because they've already come true having a family like all of you". (happy sigh)


So Happy Birthday Dad! You are loved by so many...thank you for always being the wind beneath our wings...Photobucket
for more incredible pictures from this "event", click here :)


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little Tyra

I've always been a fan of a dress with a cinching belt at the waist like Tyra Banks...in my mind, she made them popular (who knows who really did?) and always think of her when I see them...
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I think Lily is trying to emulate that look and bring it into fashion in the toddler world. (humming, 'she's bringing belted back' song) I don't know about you, but Lily could walk the runway in this adorable dress of Peytons...no, she won't be on Toddlers and Tiaras, (most obnoxious show on tv) but she'd sure give them a run for their money if she did! (& added gobbed on makeup, hair extensions, spray tan, and pushy parents)
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Oh, how I love me a little ruffle bloomers on top of her already poofy cloth diaper'd booty... looks like she's off to a tennis match with her K-Swiss shoes-ies... Do I detect a little Strawberry blonde on our hands? yum.
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trying to pose like Tyra making her serious face...
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this girl plays a mean game of tic tac toe with sidewalk chalk...she's a real shark at school
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Have I mentioned Lily likes to sleep? This girl will stop in the middle of anything, ANYWHERE and snuggle with the closest shoulder, blanket, bed, couch or uuuummm, sidewalk. Just needs some chill time for a minute or so then off to playing.
Mind you, this was in the drizzling rain on wet pavers and she decided it was time to rest. Laid her for 20-30 seconds and then actually got annoyed with me when I picked her up.
What. in. the. world?
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Playing mommy at school for Meet Your Teacher where she acted so proud to be on her turf showing us the ropes...
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A little game of levitated peek a boo...Criss Angel would be so proud...
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Oh and how I love me some hand-holding...when we're ready to walk somewhere, Lily will stand still in front of us, raise her hand in the air looking back for one of us to grab hold for the stroll. (heart melting into puddle)
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And we have a little Elmo lover on our hands. Ever since she saw his picture in a catalog and kept turning back to the Elmo (Ma-Moe) page squealing in the delight. Tell the family that she likes Elmo and suddenly we have an entire collection for her of puppets, books and the like on our hands...
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I think Lily agrees with her mama..."rafting" should be an olympic sport and Life is Good!
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Daddy

Does this girl love her daddy or what? He was in the pool while she was eating and thought it was so super cool that she could see him through the window! Be still my heart!! (chomping on monitor trying to eat cuteness)
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Life is Good!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...

My mom and sissies had our annual trip to the Hyatt this weekend. We do it every summer and start planning and getting excited for it in January. We narrow down a date that works for everyone (TALL task) and put it in sharpie marker in our calendar. More than once we had to use white-out in our calendar as the date kept changing (and boy do you have a whopper of a reason to change the coveted date; have to go in front of a committee and everything), but we managed at the tail end of summer plan it and it was like the biggest cherry on top to one of the best summers I've ever had.

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We lounged by the pool, floated the lazy river, played games, pored over rag magazines, dozed in hammocks (not together, we're close, but not that close-lol), played DJ, had deep talks about life and love and boy did we laugh. We're like a comedian team with our timing, one liners, zingers and jokes like they were scripted. That all leads to a lot of fun and a very full love cup!
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We relaxed...like a lot...
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and made sure our toes were in tip-top shape...
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Did I mention we laughed? like, a lot...

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They say you can pick your friends but you can't pick your relatives. The crazy thing about that saying is that these are the very same people I'd pick as my family if I could.

Why are our drinks on "E" in ever picture?
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Music was the theme of the weekend. Jen brought Katie's IPOD boom box (Thank you Katie Bug!!) and we were jamming to Katie's favorite tunes. One minute, we'd pick the sappiest of songs to listen to, be crying at the lyrics, passing out tissues, then the next minute we'd find the best teen dance song and shaking our booty to Katie's hip hop music. Have you seen the wedding dance done down the aisle yet? If not, check out this video. I was laughing and had happy tears rolling down my cheeks the first time I saw this...What a neat way to start their life together...with lots of laughter. I was SO inspired by this!



if the box doesn't play click here



I wish I had my video camera for the reenactment of that video, but I couldn't give up my cruical role in the dance, but I did manage to snap this picture. We all recreated the aisle dance. Molly had the moves down the best of everyone. I swear she practiced them before she came.

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There were many belly laughs to say the least...

Important Notable Note I'd like to note about this Note: I did not wear this hat with this outfit. lol:)
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I can't believe these friends double as my sisters! How did I get so lucky?
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It was one of those weekends that leave you feeling loved, refreshed, fulfilled, happy and all ooey-gooey inside.
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Life is Good

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Club Med Part 2

On vaca, one thing I didn't miss was the computer while I was gone (I thought I'd be lost without it) so I'm trying to keep it off as much as possible since being back and it might delay some posts, but it's my "New Fall's Resolution" to limit computer time as much as possible...never too late for resolutions right? As much as I love the computer, life is a lot more fun and productive without it!! I bought Lily this cute floppy hat for the trip, but sometimes it looked more like a cowboy hat!! Another title for this picture could've been Bubblicious because of her little bubble outfit!

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I had BIG plans for this picture! Big plans I tell you! The bright aqua adirondack chair, coupled with her multi-colored halter top dress and watch out! It was sunset time, the background was plush, the colors were vibrant. and I was licking my chops at just the thought of the shots I'd get!!

The only problem is Lily was not a big fan of sitting and posing in this chair. She wanted to stand up and be cool! Check out her reaction when David told her to sit on her bottom, which she did slightly begrudgingly!! lol She just sat there like she was frozen, sitting in the chair and couldn't stand up again! (covering up giggling face)

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This was my favorite place ever!! 2 rocking chairs and 1 baby adirondack chair! It was like it was meant for us to sit and contemplate life. Ok, maybe that didn't happen, but my magazine was extra oober delicious to read under this huge tree! (which they trimmed bare the day we were leaving...a sign? I think so)
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Please excuse the tan lines. I had a different suit on everyday so my lines were all over the place!
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Lily loves her ice cream just like her momma!! When I gave her the cone, she wanted only ice cream, but nothing to do with the cone so she kept shoving her face deeper into the cone as she ate it. It was on her forehead in no time!!
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She just started bending over holding her tummy when she laughs like she can't laugh hard enough!! We're ready for her to start knee slapping at the same time!!
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A little collage of the fun! Sidenote: David KNOWS it is not cool to wear socks with his brown shoes and wants the readers to know. He had them on so he didn't have to hold them for an upcoming rollerblading session.
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I can't smile big enough when I'm with Lily Pie!! I still feel like I'm living a dream when I'm with her!! When will it hit me that she's ours and we get to "keep her" forever!!???????
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Nothing cuter than a baby (ok, toddler) in a tee and bloomers!!
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Lily had a caricature done of her in babyland and it came out so cute! (to be scanned) Daddy was above the artist's head doing the craziest song and dance I've ever seen him do to keep Lily still and looking in one direction. That was a long 20 minutes!Photobucket



Scoping out her next adventure...
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Oh, do I love this little person!!! Yummy! I could just eat her face for every meal!! I wish I could put a picture of her heart on this blog because it's oh so sweet!!
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Ok, the waving this girl did was like she was in training for the Miss America pageant! I think she was looking for her sash and crown! She would walk into the middle of a crowded area, plant herself in one spot and stand there and wave at anyone who would give her the time of day! The people who waved back were our best friends and we wanted to pay them because we were so happy she got the attention she was looking for.

The ones who didn't wave? Hmmm, let's just say Lily's momma had a little talking to them! Ok, maybe not, but there might've been a dirty look or 2 given. (ala Molly's training)
I'm just sayin.

Wouldn't you wave back at this little girl? (excuse the smoothie covered dress)
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I think she was playing peek-a-boo with herself here...
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Here she is contemplating life...ok, not really, but she's looking for her next wave victim...that's how she rolls...
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Here's Abraham Lincoln fighting a 4 year old while Mr. USA and Spideman look on! What? You don't see that everyday? (4 year old's mom was oober cool btw)
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They invited all the kids on stage after a show and even though Lily was too small to go alone, she had a 'chaperone' go up with her. Notice I'm the only non-working adult on stage! lol. No shame when you're away with people you'll never see again!!
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Did I mention Lily loves to dance!? Turn on some booty music and she rocks it out!!
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Holy mega post! U still with me?? Just a few more! Gotta get them on here for volume 4 blog book!

Lily is signing like crazy these days and the newest one is "I love you" where she crosses her hands across her chest and it makes me weak in the knees everytime! She'll do it randomly and unsolicited; sometimes in her high chair or if I'm putting her in her car seat as I'm buckling her up. Too cute for my little heart to handle!! Oh, and she JUST learned how to shake her head YES! As in just a day before this video was taken!! Finally! It's not the strongest yes, but we'll take it!
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All in all, it was one of those vacations that go down in history as being the favorite of all favorites! Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as a family which was much needed! Lily was all smiles and it was neat to see this place through her eyes as she explored and seeing her so happy brings me more joy than I could ever imagine! I think her little brain was on overload from all the excitement as this happened on our last day there in her handmade CM tee-shirt!!

Lily-out!

(note: she's eating lunch in her highchair)
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Life is Good!