Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Someone that I Admire

I love that this MDA walk is coming up and that my sister asked us to walk in it. She is a very modest person and doesn't want anyone to ever feel sorry for her. This upcoming event is giving me the opportunity to brag a little about my sister and about how amazing of a person she is.  The two of us have been best friends forever. Yes, we have had our occasional disagreements which may have even turned into fights when young, but I have always looked up to her (even though I am the older sister). In high school, I depended on her to find the friends and once she did, I would mooch! :)  She was and is always so social and everyone loves her. I was in college when she found out she had Muscular Dystrophy. The news was hard for all of us to hear, especially her, but she was also glad to know the reasons behind her physical limitations. What has been challenging is that MD is a progressive disease, and things have become harder for her as she has gotten older. But honestly, she doesn't slow down. I am a witness to that. Even when she is so tired, she is patient with her kids (I mean, there might be an occasional blow up, but nobody is perfect), and is really good at getting their creative juices flowing. She loves her family so much.
Julie has always had this confidence, that I wish I had. She isn't afraid to speak her mind, and  has always known who she is. She has always been a listening ear for me during times of frustration or sadness and reassures me that I am normal. Ha
I remember when she was a camp counselor at an MD camp and I visited for the talent show. It was touching to see all of the participants performing. Some were in wheelchairs, others wore leg braces, but all had such special spirits. And what I remember most from that time is seeing the love my sister had for everyone there. I mean, serious, she struggles with some of the same things as the participants , but she was happy to be there and help.
Out of respect for her, I am not going to delve into all of the trials that she faces with MD, but the reason I am writing this post is for her and my five other readers to know how important she is to me and so many others. I am so excited to walk for her and for all of the other supporters that are going to be there for their family and friends.
I don't look at my sister and see Muscular Dystrophy, I never have. When I look at my sister, I see a beautiful, strong person who never gives up, even when the trials feel unbearable.
Thanks for being such a good example to me, sister.
If you can, come join us at the Oakland Colosseum, Feb 16th and support Muscular Dystrophy Association. Or, if you can't make it, donations are great too! Click here to donate. If you plan on donating, just do it now. If you are like me, you will read something, plan on taking action, then get busy or distracted. And before you know it, Feb 16th has come and gone.  If you don't choose to donate or participate, I won't hate you too much (hehe). Kidding. Any help is great. I just want everyone to know how amazing my sister is and one of the many wonderful people who would benefit from your help.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Snow Day

We have been wanting to take Ada to the snow for awhile now and we finally were able to go (Thanks Mom and Dad for watching Ivy).
We asked some friends if they wanted to join us and we were on our way.
Originally, our plan was to just go where my Brother-in-law and cousin-in-law went a few days back but there was a truck blocking the road to the sledding. Apparently  the truck was there to prevent people like us to go sledding. Private property. We ended up in a place called Cisco Grove and I was pleasantly surprised it was a place we went to when I was young. We were lucky we went when we did because it was crazy busy when we left.
Ada LOVED the snow. I thought for sure she would last an hour, tops, but she went strong for over two. In fact, we had to talk her into leaving. Here she is sliding down like a penguin (kind of).
 Love this picture! 
 I fear that one day, Ivy will be looking at some of our family and pictures and ask why she wasn't there. Love you Ivy! You were just too little.
 We started our rides off at a long, gradual down hill but soon realized the kids wouldn't last long making the long trek up, so we found a smaller, more kid friendly area which ended up being perfect.
 Scott got a snowball to the face, and no, it wasn't me that threw it.
 I am rarely in the pictures these days.
 Helping dad out of the snow
 Funniest picture of the day! Ada making a snow angel! Looks like she has no neck! I cracked up when I saw this little gem.

Such a fun day! Scott and I were pretty sore when we got home and Ada had a few meltdowns, but it was worth it. 
I am so glad that when we want to go to the snow, all we have to do is jump in the car and drive just over an hour, and when we are done and cold...we jump right back in the car and head back home!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Five Year to us!

Scott and I decided months ago that we would celebrate our fifth anniversary by going to a Bed and Breakfast. We spent our first night as a married couple in an awesome B&B in Salt Lake and we have wanted to go back to one ever since. We are Groupon fanatics and found this "Hidden Gem" on the Medecino Coast. Seriously, the most beautiful coastline I have ever seen. My camera sucks, so the pictures don't do justice. It was about a three hour, windy drive to get there, but the drive up was pretty too. 

 We stayed in a tiny, tiny town called, Elk (pop 200, but 75 according to the general store manager). The road had no guard rails or anything like that, just huge straight drop off down into the torrential water. At one point, we pulled over to take some pictures.
 First thing we saw when we pulled over, a dead animal...or person??

 Don't know what Scott was doing, but I thought it was a funny picture
 View from our room

 Game of Stratego while waiting for our breakfast to be served. The breakfast was OKAY. But that was fine because everything else was perfect
 Funny story:
We decided to drive up to Mendecino to see more coastline and check out the town. We drove into a state park and walked out onto a rocky ledge to see the water crashing up against the rocks. It had been cloudy but that was it. Scott told us to bring the umbrella and I laughed. Out on the cliff, the wind picked up and Scott kept saying it was starting to rain. I was giving him a hard time that it was just sprinkling and to relax. Within minutes, the wind was whipping around and it started hailing. HAILING!!!!
I was taking Scott's picture when that happened and I thought he was telling me to take more, but he was actually saying to hurry up (The wind and hail were muffling the sound).
His umbrella went inside out and we took off running. He was ahead of me and instead of waiting to make sure I was okay, he kept on running and yelled back a couple of times...Five years change things :)
In all seriousness, though, he said he knew that I was just fine because he could hear me screaming and laughing the whole time. As cold and wet as we got, it was hilarious!

The wind was still at bay in this picture

 Starting to pick up a little...Scott starting to push to head back to the car
 Rain starting a little and me saying that it was fine...and notice the ledge on both sides. Not the safest ledge I have ever stood on
 Waves getting bigger and more powerful
 Hail starting to come down and me misunderstanding Scott's requests for us to leave
 Getting pelted in the face and not wanting to humor me with pictures anymore
Shortly after this picture was taken, we took off running. 
Such a fun anniversary for us. I married the best guy and couldn't be happier.
Thanks for a great five years, Scott! I love you like crazy

Christmas 2012

I can't believe how fast this Christmas Season flew by. We had so much fun spending time with our family, making yummy goodies, celebrating our fifth anniversary and watching our girls open their presents (well, Ada anyway. Ivy was not quite sure what was going on).
December started off with a fun breakfast with Santa at the church. The people in charge made a really yummy breakfast for the kids, had the movie Rudolph on (The old school one) and last but not least, Santa. Ada was very adamant that she does not sit on Santa's lap. She told us that she would just STAND next to him. I tired to convince her that it was okay, but she would not budge. When Santa tried to put her on his lap, she went limp and slid right back down to the ground. Maybe it's a good thing, right? Maybe she will be the same way around all strangers.
 Waiting in line for Santa
 Not sure what to think of this guy
 Every year, there is a little neighborhood that goes all out on Christmas lights and decor. It is so magical and the girls loved it. We went twice this year. 

 We tried, but failed, to get everyone looking at the same time.
 Love Ivy's chubby cheeks

 Ada and I made goody plates and I gave her the sugar cookies that were a little burned or broken. She loved covering them in sprinkles and frosting. I let her eat hers, one of them anyway
 Ada's best buddy moved to Chicago this past fall and we have missed them so much. They came home for Christmas and the girls picked up where they left off. We attempted to make Graham Cracker houses, but they enjoyed snacking on the candy more than decorating. Well at least Ada did

 We made the mistake of waiting until Christmas Eve to wrap gifts. Not a good idea. Wrapping presents takes a long time. Next year things will be done differently.
 So, Ivy loves stuffed animals so we gave her, er, I mean Santa gave her a huge stuffed monkey. She saw it immediately and started freaking out. We could barely get her to stay still long enough for the picture
 Loving her monkey
 Ada loved opening up her gifts. Some she wasn't as excited once she saw what was inside
 Helping grandpa open his present

Scott loves games and I feel so bad because he has been talking about Risk for so long. We have a vintage game collection and Risk comes in the same packaging. When I was Christmas shopping, I had the game in my hand, but decided it was more than I wanted to spend and put it back. When we went back to buy it, it was sold out! Sorry Scott (Or maybe I put it back because I would actually have to play it if I bought it. Wink, wink)

 Ada got a Merida costume (Brave) and still hasn't tried it on. She is funny about anything that might be the tinniest bit scratchy. Just like her mom
 My favorite gift that Ivy got. A Y Bike. She loves it. She rides it outside, inside, and it helps with her balance as she masters the art of walking. Her cousin who is a few months older than her has one and he zooms all over the place on his. I see Ivy doing the same thing in the months to come. 
I am sad that Christmas is over, but excited for the New Year. Thanks to everyone who made this Holiday season so amazing and special!