Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday!

Happy 7th Birthday to the little boy who made me a Grandma.  The past seven years have flown by and I can't imagine how boring they would have been if you weren't in them. 

I called you this morning to wish you a Happy Birthday and, when we were ready to hang up, the conversation went like this:

Me:  Bye, I love you.

You:  I love you to the moon and back.

Me:  I love you to infinity.

You:  Well, I love you to Heaven and back.

That makes my heart smile, because that is a lot of love.  Happy Birthday Rock Star.  Happy Birthday indeed.  I can't wait to see you in 8 more sleeps.  And I love YOU to Heaven and back.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Matthew!

Today is my favorite 4 year old's birthday!  Happy Birthday Little Buddy! 

I love your infectious giggle.  It honestly seems to start in your toes and by the time it escapes your lips, everyone else is laughing along with's just that darn adorable.  I love that the simplest things make you laugh.  The way you wiggle when we put lotion on you to the way your eyes light up when we make a silly face.  Everything is a reason to laugh.

I love your passion to entertain us by doing head stands.  "Yook, gwandma....I can stand on my head."  The amazing thing can!  Absolutely anywhere.  You just do it.  Put your head on the ground....your legs in the air...and balance.  It's really a feat to be quite proud of.  I love that you practice doing the splits.  There is no doubt in my mind that you will get all the way to the ground one day very soon.  I'm not really sure what you are going to do with this particular skill set down the road, but for now it is quite entertaining.

I love your bear hugs and kisses.  The way you wrap your arms around my neck and make that noise we all make when we are hugging each other hard.  Then you pull away, look me in the eyes and give me a big kiss.  It melts my heart every single time.

I especially love how much you love your Grandpa.  I don't know what it is about you, your brother and your Grandpa.  You all seem to just love each other.  The last time we came to visit I was the first one to come into the house.  You smiled, looked past me and said, "Where's Gwandpa?"  And the rest of the week it was the three of you glued at the hip.  Secretly, I don't mind.  There just might not be anything cuter than a boy and his grandpa.

Grandma loves spending time with you and experiencing new places with you.  I loved that we all got to hang out in Hawaii together last summer.  You loved the beach and the pool and the Hula Dancers!  You even tried to get your hips going just like them!  The Zoo, Safari Park, Sea World and Legoland are a few of our other favorite places to visit. 

Grandma hopes you have an amazing day and an even better year.  There will be even more doors opening for you this year, Little Buddy.  Grandma is so proud of you and so blessed that you are in my life.  Grandma and Grandpa love you to the moon and back! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends.  We have had a very fun December, filled with traditions of the season.  Women's Christmas Dinner, dinner parties, white elephant exchanges, shopping, decorating, baking, Christmas light viewing, fires in the fireplace, gift wrapping and, well, you get the picture.  Tonight we enjoyed Mountain View's Christmas Eve Candlelight service.  It always helps me to be able to relax and rein myself in to focus on what is really important about Christmas.  The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Perhaps Dr. Seuss summed it up best when he wrote:

Then the Grinch thought of something that he hadn't before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

Thanking Jesus for the real reason for the season.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Love You Sierra!

Today we had to make the painful decision to have our 14 year old Golden Retriever, Sierra, put to sleep.  She was no longer able to get up and down without help and she was clearly telling us that she was hurting.  It only seemed right to love her enough to end her pain.

She was an amazing dog.  She became part of our family in August of 1998.  She was an adorable puppy.  Full of energy and as mischievous as they come.  We affectionately nicknamed her 'Devil Dog.' 
She destroyed many a drip system because her love for water demanded that she chew on the hoses.  There are puppy teeth marks on the leg of one of my kitchen table chairs because the leg 'just hopped in her mouth.'  She refused to learn her name because, if she did, she would be required to listen.  She had a habit of stealing things and swallowing them whole.  Lucky for her, they usually came out the next day looking exactly like they went in.  (Sorry if that's TMI).  I distinctly remember a pair of knee high nylons and a scrunchy that she stole right out of my friends hair.  When scolded, in those early days, she would silently talk back by moving her mouth up and down while staring at you. Just about the time we thought she was going to be the death of us, she outgrew the puppy stage and became the best dog we have ever owned.

She knew how to love unconditionally.  She adored our daughter, and spent an entire day laying in a recliner chair after Lori had her wisdom teeth pulled.  She wasn't allowed on furniture, but her need to be close to Lori, to make sure she was ok, threw that rule temporarily out the window.  When Lori went away to school, Sierra missed her so much that she got sick.  The vet diagnosed her as being depressed.  She loved Lori that much.  The first time Lori came home from school Sierra laid in her lap and wouldn't get up.

Our son was always difficult to get up in the mornings.  If I really wanted to annoy him, I'd send Sierra into his room to wake him up.  She would get up on his bed with him.  Slowly, she would take over the entire bed until she had pushed him out.  She loved him enough to tolerate how irritated he got over that entire process.  Once he was up, she had no problem laying her head on his pillow and taking over the bed.  When he went away to school she had already figured out that she would survive his being gone.  That both of the kids would come and go and she would see them often.  When he would come home she would lean up against his legs and cry and carry on to welcome him home.

She loved Jon and I and wanted to spend every waking moment near us.  If Jon was working in the yard, she was laying somewhere near by. Every night when Jon got home from work she would meet him at the door with a stuffed toy hanging out of her mouth.  She would walk along behind him and push it into his legs as if to say, "Look what I brought you."  Often, she would catch an unfortunate bunny in the back yard and bring that to us too.  She loved me enough to go on my weight loss journey with me.  Getting up at O dark hundred to walk 3 plus miles  I sometimes think that all that walking kept her young longer.  She never once complained, or said she wanted to sleep in that morning.  In fact, if I decided that I didn't want to go for a walk that day she would stare at me and shame me into going.

She loved to go camping with us.  We bought a trailer about 8 years ago and she went on every trip we ever went on.  She would stake her claim to laying under the dining room table and happily settle in for the weekend.  She didn't care what the weather was like.  She didn't mind the down pours we had in Pismo or the thunderstorms in Big Bear.  Any day camping was a good day.  She was born for adventure.

She loved going to Lake Tahoe.  She was probably never happier then when we were there.  If we pulled up and stopped along the side of the lake she would jump out and run as fast as possible to take herself swimming.  She would swim after a ball or a stick for hours.  She never grew tired of it.  She loved to raft down the Truckee river.  She would contentedly lay in the yard of the cabin for hours, knowing that her beloved lake was nearby.  She loved going on long evening walks in the cool mountain air.  Bringing her home from there was always hard because it seemed she was meant to be there.

She loved kids.  She was so good and tolerant of both of our grandsons.  When Garrett was learning to stand, he would grab fists full of her hair to pull up.  She let them climb all over her and she never got snappy with them.  Sometimes she had that look.  The one that said, "Seriously, people, do you not see that these beasts are crawling all over me?"  She would give them a kiss and patiently wait for them to lose interest in her.  She would let them play with all of her toys and gently take treats from them.

She had her own friends too.  First there was her cousin, Sandy.  Sandy was a black lab/ golden retriever mix.  She was a dark mirror image of Sierra.  They would play for hours when they were younger.  Sandy was waiting for Sierra in Doggie Heaven today.  I'm sure, by now, Sierra is swimming and Sandy is standing on the shore glaring at her, because Sandy didn't like water.  Maybe something changed in heaven :)  The only pictures I have of them are of a light and a dark blur rolling in the grass.

 Then there was Bogey.  Bogey was a golden retriever that we met while we were out walking.  The two of them lived to play in the dirty, stinky creek on the trail near our house.  I became friends with Bogey's owner and we walked together nearly every day. When he moved away Sierra missed him like crazy.

 Next came Beckham.  Beck (as he is affectionately called) is Sierra's nephew.  He is Lori and Troy's dog.  He is a Golden Retriever and he and Sierra shared many adventures together.  They loved to swim in Lake Tahoe.   She would even share a large stick with him. She happily shared her spot under the trailer table with him while we were all stuck in the trailer during a thunder storm in Big Bear.  Older and wiser, she often looked amused at some of his shenanigans, knowing that they were just going to get him into trouble.

There was Nicholas.  Nicholas was a Newfoundland.  Huge, handsome and gentle all rolled into a slobbery playmate.  They walked together and played at the park.  Nicholas would not take a treat from his owner until Sierra had been given one first.  A true gentleman.  Nicholas was also waiting for Sierra today.  I'm sure there is some damp, green grass that they are rolling in together. 

This past weekend she got to meet her niece.  Jon and Heather's first puppy, Kona.  Kona is a mix of breeds and a sweet, smart, adorable little puppy.  Sierra wasn't too interested in playing, but I have a feeling that she may have given Kona some tips about how to behave just enough to stay on your owners good side.

When I think about how Sierra approached life and about her disposition I realize that she has silently taught me a great lesson.  To love with all of your heart and to enjoy what each and every day brings.  There wasn't a day that she didn't take time to stop and smell the roses (and the plants and the fire hydrants.)   

Our life is going to seem very empty for awhile.  While 14 years is a long time for a big dog it wasn't nearly long enough.  There are so many places she would have loved to go.  So many trails she would have loved to have explored.  I choose to believe that there is a special place for these special animals.  Hopefully, I will see her again someday.  I choose to believe that she is getting a head start on picking out the lakes we will swim in, the rivers we will raft down and the trails we will explore together. 

We love you Sierra!  Thank you for enriching our lives in ways you could never ever begin to understand.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday Rock Star!

Today you are officially 6.  Oh, I know your Mommy will say, "Not until such and such time tonight."  I'm not sure how the actual time can escape me.  Anyway, how is it that you are already 6?  How did 5 fly by so quickly?

You are an amazing little boy.  You were the best 5 year old ever.  Grandma and Grandpa love you more than words can ever say.  We are excited to watch what 6 will bring and so very thankful that God decided you should be our Grandson. 

Pictures often say more than words, so here are a few highlights of our year together:

We can't wait to see all of the pictures from next year.  We love you Rock Star!  Have the best birthday ever!

Grandma and Grandpa

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Photo Project Catch Up

I am super behind in posting my 52 week photo project pictures.  So, here they are in one big post:

They are backwards by week though:

Week 21:  This is where I live-

Week 20:  Place of Solitude-

Week 19:  A Sunny Day-

Week 18:  A Bug's Life-

Week 17:  From the Hip-

Week 16:  Planet Earth-

Thursday, April 19, 2012

52 Week Photo Project. Week 15: In Flight

This week's theme was 'In Flight.' I had several pictures that I couldn't decide between. I finally chose this one:

This was taken at the Naval Aviation Celebration in San Diego last year.