Our little fishy

>> Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ryan and I met while SCUBA diving. Well, not literally. It is still a hobby we share. I can't get enough of the water. I had my first swim at 4 months old. Emily had her's at three months old. We are so proud of her!

Ryan's dad and his wife have a pool that was open and ready to go on the 4th. We swam, laughed, ate, and had an all around great time. We then went to my ma's for a fantastic fireworks show hosted by Mitch. Emily was a tired girl by the time we got home. It was fabulous!

Getting reading to go under...

OK, here we go!

She is so fun

and brave.

Our little family.

Emily laughing at Grandpa Joe. This may be an all time favorite of mine.

I go a little overboard with the sunscreen.


A Follow-Up

>> Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The post titled "Choices" below has generated the most comments and conversation ever on this blog. 28 people opted to have their comments not posted, rather, sent straight to my personal email or my Facebook email. All but one of those comments were from people my age with divorced parents. I was overcome with the responses of people my age trying to navigate their way through adult life with children, spouses, in-laws, holidays, and all the other aspects that make up life while also adding in the difficult piece of having divorced parents.

The post was simply commentary based on my experience with divorce. A lot has happened since my parents divorced almost ten years ago. Shockingly, some things have become easier while other things have not. My dad remarried and has an almost three year old daughter with his wife. My mom is with a wonderful man and they will be married soon as well. To say my life turned out different than I thought it would is an understatement. To say that I'm not happy with how it turned out is a misinterpretation of my words. As with most things in life, the key is to adapt. In my case, it may take a while. However, when I do accept and understand why something has changed or is different than what I expected, I do so with a full heart and no strings attached.

The Choices post started a meaningful conversation. One person wrote " it's a conversation our society desperately needs to have". I did not write the post in haste. For the first time I asked Ryan if he was OK with me posting it since the post referred to his experience as well. My heart if heavy with one response. I deleted the post for an evening, but I felt that it needed to be re-posted with one correction. Holidays are not "the worst". Holidays are difficult. We all work hard to make the holidays special and pleasant. That does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I believe family dynamics are hard when people do not know exactly where one is coming from. The post Choices comes from a place of trying to understand, deal, and discuss as well as a place of love for my old, new, and growing family.



Ryan's parents divorced when he was in 9th grade. Mine separated when I was a Junior in high school. They divorced sometime later... I'm not sure exactly when. Either way, it profoundly changed both of us. It continues to shape our lives everyday. I didn't realize that having divorced parents would be such an issue when we had Emily. Divorce is ugly, sad, and it devastates families. I don't care how people try to sugarcoat it. It sucks. It will suck forever; there is no way around it.  


I showed a documentary to my Juniors this last year called: Operation Homecoming; Writing the Wartime Experience.  It's great and available on instant Netflix. A veteran said: "There are some things one should not heal from: a broken home and war." This hit me hard. It hit the students hard as well. Many students wrote about their experience with divorce. It broke my heart. I wonder if parents know/truly understand the impact they are having on their children when they decide to divorce. When they decide to leave. It isn't just an issue of being "happy". It's an issue of stability. The family unit provides stability. That is what children need: stability, love, and consistency. 


So, Emily has four sets of grandparents. People say, "More people to love her!". I don't agree. Of course it means more people to love her, but it also means a life that is different for her due to the choices of others. She is lucky to have eight people in the role of grandparent, but it's hard being that Ryan and I grew up with our parents married. It's not as though we had to travel between houses- we each had the traditional family experience for most of our lives. Three of our four parents re-married later.  We don't think of their spouses as "step-parents". It's different. It's a reality I didn't think I would live. I didn't want divorced parents (who does?). I don't want Emily to be afraid that Ryan and I will divorce. I don't want Emily to think that divorce is the norm. I want her to know that we are a family unit. Always. Period.

I'm writing this because I know a lot of people my age are dealing with the same issues we are. Holidays are difficult. How does one decide where to spend Christmas without traveling to four different homes, eating four different Christmas dinners, opening too many gifts, and not hurting anyone's feelings? How does one explain the reality of divorce to a child?


A very lovely post. Enjoy!

>> Thursday, July 7, 2011



Trip of a lifetime

>> Sunday, July 3, 2011

First meeting of Emily and her great-great-grandmother Cline.
Emily is blessed enough to have TWO great-great grandmothers. Last weekend we made the trip to visit my great-grandmother Cline. My mom, Mitch, Ryan,  Emily, and Lucy joined me on a trip I will never forget. We left at 2:30 AM. Emily fell right back asleep, and so did I. We woke up at 4:45 in The Gorge. It was breathtaking. Ryan parked the truck at a spot that overlooked The Gorge with us facing the sun that was rising. I nursed Emily while Ryan and Lucy went for a little walk. Emily went right back to sleep and we were once again on our way.

We arrived just in time for a shower my mom's friends put on for us. It was intimate and lovely. Later that day we went to see my great-grandma Cline. She is 97, witty, and just as lovely as I remembered her to be. She was so excited to meet Emily. My great-grandma Cline is the mother of my mom's mom. Five generations between her and I. My grandma died in a car accident in 2001. I wish she could have met Emily.
Five Generations

We visited for a couple hours and then went to visit my grandpa. It was a lot of visiting, but Emily did wonderful. We finally got to bed at 11:30 that night. We left at 9 the next morning to come home. The drive home was just as positive as the ride there. Emily successfully completed her first road trip!


It was the best of times

Emily and Grandma Sue at our Father's day bbq.

Emily all ready for a day of shopping with the girls!
With our home on the upward swing, Ryan and I felt comfortable enough to have his brother, his brother's wife, and their 5.5 month old baby stay with us for a week.  I was beyond excited. I was up til midnight every night for a week prepping for their arrival. We still hadn't moved everything in from the remodel, so we had some work to do. Thankfully, I had the help of my mom and mother-in-law. I was also finishing up work the week they were to visit. I was busy. But hey, everyone is busy.

Emily and Grandpa Joe
Emily, Ryan, and Darin
The week was wonderful. I had to work only two days and then I was off on summer break. Chelsea, my sister in law, watched Emily while Ryan and I were working. She also made some killer snicker doodles and banana bread. They had a blast. We had dinners, a date night, a girls only shopping day, and just good old fashioned hang out time with family. It was the first time we had company stay, and it felt great. Emily and her cousin, Aubrey, had a great time as well. They were so cute exploring each other. Aubrey is just amazing and adorable. Emily is growing everyday. We are so in love with both girls. Every night I went to bed feeling so blessed to have a wonderful nuclear family, but also a wonderful extended family. I have had some seriously tough family issues this year. It was nice to enjoy the simple and loving company of Darin, Chelsea, and little Aubrey.

I was honestly sad to have the week end. It flew by. I hope they can move up here soon, however, I just know Aubrey and Emily are going to be BFF no matter how far apart they are:-). 


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