March, So Far

We voted in the Democratic primary and took Jack along as he was staying with us that day.  Doing our part to turn Texas blue.  Or at least purplish.  🙂  Stopped by the garden and then came back to our place to play for awhile.


I’ve so enjoyed watching Elle play volleyball this season. The whole team has really grown and improved in their skills. We watched her final tournament, in which her team took 2nd place against older, bigger girls and showed a lot of heart and determination, plus some amazing plays. So proud of these Emoji Aces!


Workday in the community garden is always fun because we get to visit with more of our fellow gardeners and spruce things up in the common areas.  I worked in the butterfly garden while Rich helped haul wheelbarrows full of mulch.  We were both pretty tired by the time we got home, but hurray for a good workout!


My brother Joe, sister in law Denise, daughter Ellie, her husband Blane, and Blane’s dad came through town so we all had a great dinner by Rich at Sarah’s and a lot of laughs with all.


Granddaughter Ally turned 11 years old, hard to believe! She is a sweet, chatty girl who is very outgoing and makes friends wherever she may be. She has a kind heart and a big smile for everyone! She’s silly and sassy, smart and funny, great at reading, basketball and softball, not to mention beating us regularly at board games. We love it when she comes to stay with us and she’s one of our best travel partners ever! We love you, Ally!



Where did February go?

I have been slacking off, apparently!  Lots going on, as always.  Here’s a little catch-up for February.

First off, our son in law Corey had a birthday on the 2nd.   He’s a great husband and dad and one of the hardest working guys we know. He’s also a lot of fun and can tell some funny stories, which is pretty much a requirement to be in our family.  We have lots of interesting conversations and always enjoy hanging out with him. AND despite leaning toward the metal category, he is surprisingly versatile at Song Pop Party, kicking most of our *&#$%es in many genres.  We love you, Corey!

Next up, granddaughter Elle’s 10th birthday. Yes, another one hits double digits. Man, the time is flying by!  She is sweet and sassy, kind and thoughtful, funny and silly. She is a great reader and writer and I can’t believe the long passages she can memorize and recite! She excels at soccer and volleyball and gets more skilled every year. She still beats us at board games and likes our after-school slushie treats, visiting Ajax, and “arguing” back and forth with Grandpa. We love you, Elle!

We babysat the boys overnight while Elle was in a soccer tournament and while she had a birthday sleepover.  Beck was a little upset because he didn’t get to go to the birthday slumber party so we made our own party at the Studio Movie Grill where we ate pizza and watched “Peter Rabbit.”  Then just the usual fun and games at our house. They are great kids and we always have a good time with them.

Found this little oasis of Philadelphia in Dallas while driving to Elle’s volleyball games.  Tastes pretty darned close to a Philly cheesesteak and we’ve been back one more time when I had an Italian hoagie that was almost perfect.  Hurray for a little bit of home!

Okay, maybe February needs more than one post!  To be continued…

Our shared celebration day

Rich and I had our 13th wedding anniversary on January 18, which was also my mom’s 87th birthday.  We just happened to get married on her birthday because it was my next day off in Jan. 2005 while we were living in Unalaska.  🙂 Kinda makes it easy to remember both and none of us minds sharing the day.  Chatted with Mom on the phone and Rich and I had a nice dinner out at a Mexican restaurant we hadn’t tried before.

Happy birthday to my Mom! We’ve shared too many adventures to count and she’s always up for another one. From her example, I learned the love of reading, music, travel and education, the importance of family, the fun of trying new things and striking up conversations with random strangers, the sense of fulfillment in getting involved wherever we may be, the necessity of laughing at ourselves and not taking life too seriously. She’s always been our champion and biggest supporter. Thanks, Mom, and here’s to many more!

And happy anniversary to Rich!  Since it’s been 13 years now, I am calling this our “lucky” year.  It was a huge leap of faith to move to remote Alaska to be with this guy but I couldn’t be happier about it. He’s smart and funny and talented and feeds me great food every day (witness the pounds I have gained), we share the same ideals and values, he’s a fabulous Grandpa to the kids and my best travel partner. Here’s to 13 more and 13 more after that.  I wouldn’t have anyone else!

Happy Birthday, Emery and Beck

These cute cousins share a birthday one year apart on November 23, which happened to be on Thanksgiving this year.  We are very thankful for them!  Happy 8th birthday to Emery and happy 7th birthday to Beck.  Maybe it’s because they were born on the same day, but they have a lot in common!  Both are really smart, kind, creative, so funny, and talented in many ways. Emery is very crafty and artistic, Beck is musical and great at building things. They both have awesome dance moves.  They are both thinkers and often ponder important questions. Emery loves to write stories and Beck is quite a storyteller himself. They regularly beat us at games! Most of all, they each have a very kind, sweet heart.We are so happy these grandkids are ours!


I missed posting our son in law Miles’ birthday while we were on our vacation.  Miles lives here in Dallas so we get to see him pretty often.  He’s such a good guy and we have a lot of great conversations about many issues and current events.  He’s also a fabulous dad to three kids and a fantastic husband to my daughter Sarah. I just can’t say enough good things about him!  He’s a hard worker but also knows how to have fun with the kids and to encourage them in all their activities.  We’re lucky to have him in our family.  Happy belated, Miles!

Youngest grandson Jack turns three in a couple of days.  We’ve been lucky to be around since his earliest days and he’s grown up with Gigi and Grandpa a few minutes away.  He loves Grandpa and wants his attention whenever we are together.  He’s a really sweet kid who does not get upset easily and walks around with a happy attitude.  He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and playing any kind of sport. Even at this age, he can slam a baseball, kick a soccer ball, and hit a golf ball–just has a lot of natural talent which is pretty amazing and funny.  He likes to come over to our house and hang out, looking for the cats and attempting to hold Ajax.  He’s very loving and a completely easy kid.  Yesterday he had a party for his birthday and had a blast with all of his little friends.  Happy birthday, Jack!  We love you like crazy!

Happy Birthday, Ada!

Our second-youngest little cutie turned 3 today.  Ada is quite the talker and keeps us cracking up with the funny things she says in her sweet little voice.  She’s already an adventurer and wanted to “practice” swimming without her floaties when she was here.  She was hilarious, belly flopping into the pool, swimming under water to Bonnie, coming up sputtering and pushing her hair out of her face only to quickly plunge back in.  Right now she loves Legos and baby dolls and books and playing with her siblings and cousins.  She says she wants a “Doc McStuffins AND a Spiderman” birthday party.  She’s a smartie and a thoughtful, kind little girl.  Happy birthday, Ada! We love you bunches!

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Yesterday was my first-born’s birthday.  My life was sweetly changed when I became a mother to a little girl so full of life and joy and sassiness. I am proud to be her mom, proud of all she’s done through the years, and proud to watch her parent her own kids on an almost daily basis. She is loving and compassionate, kind and caring, lots of fun, and a wonderful example to her little ones about how to treat others. We have great talks about all kinds of interesting and sometimes hard stuff; she is hilarious and regularly cracks me up with her stories; I have a big time hanging out with her and I couldn’t be more grateful that we live in the same town where I get to be involved in life with her, Miles and the kids. It’s really been a blessing to be close by and to make up for lost time after all those years far away in Alaska.  Now if we could only get her sisters and their families to join us in Dallas, life would be complete!  Happy birthday, Sarah! We love you!


Earlier in the day, I took Ally, Aidan and Elle to “Altitude,” one of those trampoline jumping places and they had a good time wearing themselves out.  We then brought Elle back home because her family was going to Beck’s closing ceremonies for the day camp he’s been attending all week.  Ally was invited to go with them so Aidan and I headed back home.

Later, Rich, Aidan and I met Sarah, Miles and the rest of the kids for dinner at Ida Claire (cute southern name for a restaurant, huh?) to celebrate Sarah’s birthday.  We enjoyed our meal and had a great time visiting with everyone.  Miles left early to take Elle to soccer practice with Ally in tow; he later called back to say practice had apparently been cancelled and they were going home.  Ally then spent the night with Elle and Beck came home with us for the night.


Aidan and Beck swam and then watched “The BFG” before bedtime.  This morning I picked up Ally and Jack at Sarah’s house and brought them over to ours.  Sarah and Miles are having a little weekend getaway for her birthday and Elle has gone to her other grandparents’ for a visit so Rich and I will have Beck and Jack along with Aidan and Ally for a couple of days. We are staying at Sarah’s since there’s more room and all of the boys’ stuff is more handy here.

Bonnie and her three kids arrive either tomorrow night or Monday morning, so we will have all 8 grandkids here for a couple of days overlap. That should be a blast for all and I am hoping against hope I might get a group photo since those are very hard to come by!

How’s your weekend going?