Saturday, January 31, 2009

To Denver and Back in Two Days...

My brother and I "literally" made a flying trip to Denver and back this week...we left Jackson Tuesday morning and landed back in Jackson Wednesday night / actually Thursday morning (1 AM). It was a tiring two days, but we were both glad we made the decision to go and be with our aunt. As you know, funerals are sad, but on the flip side, you get to see family you never get to see and meet family you didn't even know you had...

We only had time for the visitation / funeral, but I did manage to take a few pictures of the beautiful snow and mountains.


L to R: My brother Joey, our Aunt Alice, and Me

This picture was taken from the car as we were driving down the road to the funeral...I was trying to take a picture of the mountains...

This picture was taken from the parking lot of the funeral home...you can see the ground is covered with snow and the mountains in the background. You are looking at a cemetary but this is not where my uncle was buried...he was buried at a military cemetary. I had never been to a "military" graveside service so that was a neat experience...

This is just a park next to the hotel we stayed at on Tuesday night...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whirlwind of a Week...

On Thursday, my uncle passed away in Denver, Colorado. He is technically my great uncle but has always been really close to our family and was the last "connection" we had to my dad's side of the family. He was that "crazy" uncle that we all have, but I must admit he loved us and even though he was far away, he made every effort to be at our special occasions (graduations, weddings, etc) if at all possible.

My brothers, mom, and I all talked and decided at least one of us needed to go to Denver to represent the family at the funeral. Well, mom has never flown and is petrified of an airplane...so...we quickly knew she was not the one to send. My brother Brad is speaking at a conference this week, is already on the program, etc...so...we knew there was no way he could go once we found out the funeral arrangements. And so the "sweet" child of the family, Joey, volunteered to go no matter the price. I know it is hard to believe but my brother Joey really is sweeter than me! And then after much thought...I decided I needed to go with my brother. I knew the day of the funeral would come, and I would be upset that I was in Jackson and not there so Matt and I decided that we should find a way for me to go.

So with all that being said, I'm working Monday, Thursday, and Friday. We are leaving Tuesday morning...arrive in Denver in time for the visitation, spend the night, go to the funeral Wednesday morning and head back home...arriving back in Jackson late Wednesday night. That is what I mean by "whirlwind" of a week.

Please keep my aunt in your thoughts and prayers...my uncle was not in the best health but him passing away was pretty much a "sudden" thing...she was not prepared at all.

Matt is in charge for two days...he is the best, and I'm not worried as she loves her daddy more than her mommy, but it is always nice to have an extra set of hands when you are trying to get out the door for work / tired from working all day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reading Books...

As I've said in recent posts, Anna Lauren loves our neighbor Adam (or Ady as she calls him) and every day when we turn onto our street she begs to go to his house. Well, today was one of those days I gave in and off to "intrude" we went. And yes, as usual she managed to get supper out of the deal. Anyway, we talked Adam into coming to our house to play for a little while, which is unusual because he usually wants to stay at his house.

Matt and I just let them play in Anna Lauren's room and would check on them from time to time. Well, at one point, when I stuck my head around the corner to "peek" and make sure they were ok, this is what I saw...they had emptied Anna Lauren's canvas totes from her shelves and were sitting in them reading...I ran and got the camera and managed to get one shot...


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just for Smiles...

As most of you know, our dear friends (the Voss family) moved to Meridian this summer, and we continue to miss them on a daily basis. However, before they moved, they left a few "random" things for Anna Lauren...one being a pair of rubber boots that finally almost fit her...she found them in her closet the other night and had the best time prancing around and cooking in her kitchen with only her diaper and rubber boots.


And...her daddy made her the "best" bubble bath Saturday...she played and played and played!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just an Update...

Nothing really exciting to report, but I wanted to post because I know I have some "faithful" readers who get disappointed when day after day they go to our blog and find the same thing that was posted two weeks ago. So here goes to those "faithful" readers...

Last week we went back to reality after having two weeks at home together as a family. My work closes for two weeks during Christmas and Matt was fortunate enough to be able to take two weeks off so we enjoyed two weeks together. We traveled for a week seeing our families and celebrating Christmas and then stayed home for a week and just did as we pleased...we never do that so it was a special treat to say the least. Over and over, I reminded myself how "blessed" we are to have the jobs we have...we couldn't be in a better situation when it comes to time off work / stress level at work.

We are continued to be amazed by Anna Lauren who learns something / says something new every single day...here are some of the latest:

I was taking her to school last week and a police car was on the side of the road with the lights on...she said, POLICE! I had no clue she even knew about a police...

She has started eating pretty much everything we eat...tonight she insisted on eating a salad so I fixed her a little salad like ours and sure enough...she ate it. She also makes sure we say our blessing every night...and sometimes she makes sure we say a blessing several times throughout dinner. This week, we have begun letting her repeat us and say the blessing herself.

Her afternoon teacher (the one and only Ra Ra) has started painting hers and Holli Grace's finger nails and toe nails...they love it and will quickly hold their hands up / take off their shoes and say Ra Ra...and of course, they both tend to blow on the finger nails quite often to make sure they are dry. Now...I cannot paint her nails or fix her hair...but Ra Ra can do anything (yes, we send a matching bow in her bag every day for Ra Ra to fix her hair).

She has really started paying attention to her babies and playing with them...the other night, she discovered she had a baby with a pacifier and bottle...she has been playing with it constantly as well as still cooking in her new kitchen from Santa.

And the cell phone...she is obsessed with calling Nanny (Nanna) and talking to her. She will hold the phone and talk to her as long as Nanny will talk, which can sometimes go on for a quite a while.

And last but not least, Adam (Ady)...our next door neighbor. She loves this little boy more than words can express. Every day when we turn onto our street she starts saying Ady, crying, throwing a fit, whatever she can to try to get to Adam's house. We do go over about once a week to get her "Ady" fix, but when she goes over, she wants juice, dinner, the works. So...we try not to intrude as often as Anna Lauren would like.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

For Stevie and John...

For those of you who read my blog often, you are welcome to watch these videos, but I really put them on our blog because it was the easiest way to share them with my running partners from Saturday.

Stevie and John ~ I hope you enjoy these videos...of course Matt was real encouraging as on two of the videos he reminded us we were going up yet another hill. Yet another hill...were we ever not going up a hill?

I enjoyed running with you guys Saturday...we'll have to do it again some time, but please, let's pick a little more enjoyable race!

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

13.1 Miles of Hills...Done!

Well, this morning I managed to run 13.1 miles of nothing but hills at the 2nd annual MS Blues Marathon / Half Marathon in Jackson. I decided to go out on a limb and do the race at the last minute, and I'm glad I did, but I'm not afraid to admit, it was an extremely difficult course. I ran with my cousin's husband (Stevie) and one of his co-workers (John), and we had a great time "complaining" about the course and running with John as he completed his 1st 1/2 marathon.

Left to Right: John, Stevie, and Mandi (around mile 6.5)

Left to Right: John, Stevie, and Mandi (around mile 11)

Rounding the corner to the finish line...

Kristi Voss and Mandi...we were so excited to have Kristi stay with us Friday night and do the race (of course, she did the full marathon and did great). We miss her so much and enjoy any time we get to spend with her!
And last but not least...we realized our old camera had a video option so here is a short clip that Matt captured...notice how "encouraging" he is about yet another hill. Really...he was the best...he caught us 6 or 7 times throughout the couse and took many pictures, cheered, etc. I could not do it without all of his support. Anna Lauren on the other hand...she was not worried about us as she was having a great time at Nanna's house...thanks for keeping her Nanna!

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year...

Happy New Year...I would like to say we brought in the new year with excitement, but I must admit we got in bed around 10 PM...Matt watched TV for a little while, and I balanced our checkbook. Needless to say, we are getting old and have little excitement. However, we did make it to 11 PM to watch the ball drop in New York and woke up at midnight our time to the sound of fireworks...only to say...is that not enough fireworks...we are trying to sleep!

Although we did not bring in the new year with much excitement, we are looking forward to 2009 and wish you and your family a wonderful year as well!

Next on the "to do" list...I'm running the Jackson 1/2 marathon Saturday and yes, after driving the course the other day I must say I have lost my mind. I ran with my cousin's husband the day after Christmas, and he talked me into running the race with him, which is somewhat different for me as I am use to running with my favorite running partner, Matthew. However, Matt will be spectating Saturday...he is still enjoying his break after running Memphis (I'm the crazy one).

Coming soon...some more holiday pictures as well as race pictures...