Saturday, August 01, 2015

Lazy Saturday

It's not often that we get to have a lazy Saturday.  I know that with school around the corner the weekends will fill up fast with activities and sleepovers.  I mean who am I kidding, even though its a lazy Saturday I still have 4 girls here snoozing.  I think I heard dancing and giggling about 2 a.m.  Macy is all about sleepovers and girlfriends.  I love that.  I'd be lost without my best girls.  She takes after her momma.

Macy had volleyball camp this week at our high school and she had a blast.  She went with her two BFF's so that made it more fun.  She has played club for the last few years and this year wasn't feeling it and didn't tryout.  I was sad.  She had lost the love for the game.  But, after camp, I think she's loving it again.  I'm glad because its just in time for school tryouts.  I think mostly she's confused about what she should do for high school.  It's sad they have to know what they want to do at age 13.  I mean, really!  She tends to be a worry wart.  She takes after her momma.

Reid has had a summer job and he's really liking it.  At first he was not to sure about it because its retail and anyone who knows my boy, knows he's a quiet and shy one.  Of course, since it's retail  there is a lot of interaction with know customer service.....and he wasn't too sure about that.  But, it has been so good for him!  He has really done a great job and we are so proud of him.  And he loves that paycheck, too.  There is even little chatter about him being Employee of the Month.  Well, you know, I did work retail in my younger days and I loved it.  Except for returns.  ha!  I guess, he takes after his momma.

(Thanks to Kim for sneaking this pic)

We hopped a plane and went on a whirlwind Las Vegas trip.  One of my dear friends Jen got married to the sweetest guy.  Her and Braden are a gorgeous couple and just perfect for each other.  She was the most beautiful bride and I was so honored to be a part of her big day.  She had a beautiful wedding outside in the Venus Gardens at Caesars Palace.  It was a perfect day with wonderful people.  I loved getting to spend time with her getting ready and celebrating her big day. I have known Jen for almost 18 years and her sweet servant heart and kind spirit are one of the reasons I love her so.....  She deserves all the happiness in the world!

So, while we were in Vegas, we had to make a family vacation out of it.  We like to call ourselves the Griswolds.  We had a blast and saw some really interesting people and places.  I'm so glad we got to share this trip with the kids.  We had so much fun together.  I love my family and am so thankful for every minute we get to spend together.  Now, I did have to hide Macy's eyes a few times from the crazy people on the Strip and Freemont Street.  ha!  She was cracking up.  Reid took a picture with some Showgirls so I'm thinking that was the highlight of his weekend.  It cost me 6 bucks.

We also got to take a tour of the Hoover Dam.  It was perfect.  Well, hot, but perfect.  I think it was 118 degrees that day.  We loved the Bellagio water fountain.  We walked past it all the time because it was next to our hotel.  Everytime we passed it we watched it like it was the first time.  We got to eat on top if the stratosphere and that was really neat.  I'm not a fan of heights but I took one for the team.  There are a few rides on top of it and I think everyone who rode those have to have a screw loose!  It looked terrifying!  Even Reid said no...whew!  He did do the zip line over Freemont Street and he rode the rollercoaster on top of New York, New York.  You couldn't pay me enough to do that.  He's a little daredevil.  I am a chicken.  So, on that, he does not take after his momma!

So, thats a wrap for today.  Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

High School Graduate in the House

Taking selfies before selfies were cool (OMG look at my 1999 eyebrows)

I've been going through all my blogs these last few days. You know, since I haven't been here since 2012.  I had forgot about all the things I wrote about and the fun things we have done.  I still can't believe I have a high school graduate.  To be honest, I have been in a heap of a mess.  Still.  It's so weird to look back on all these post and see Reid look so young.  I mean, I knew that would happen but geez.  I feel like it was just yesterday that he was hitting a wiffle ball into the neighbors backyard or riding his bike around the block with the neighborhood posse.  I feel like the last few years are a blur and I want them back.  I think of all the things I would have done differently as a parent.  All the things that I feel like as a Mom I failed miserably at day after day.  Then I think, ok, there were SOME things you did right.  But, mostly, I'm hard on myself and think of all the things I would change.  Well, don't we all.  (Please tell me I'm not alone.  haha)

Reid....aka "Rooster"

One thing is for sure, I do know that I absolutely love, love, love my boy.  He is a great kid.  I know I'm partial but I really am so proud of him and the young man he is becoming.  I can see it more and more everyday and he makes me and his Dad so proud.  I've watched him grow into this strong Christian man and sometimes I can't believe he is mine.  I watched him stand up at my Dad's funeral and talk about his Papaw with such grace and love that my heart was bursting out of my chest.  I have watched him stand in the pulpit of our church to pray, serve communion or talk about how wonderful camp was to the congregation and I am so proud I can't even stand it.

Senior pics by his auntie momma Ash who gave him his first Slurpee at 6 weeks old...WHAT! ha!

His Senior year has been such a fun time for us.  He has kept us on our toes.  I have loved the busyness and often had to remind myself to slow down and enjoy this moment.  He has gone to Colorado for Trek, church camps, youth events, school Winter Formals, Prom, got a job, had a fun time in PALs, drove all over town in his big red truck and took the mandatory after school naps.  You know, like all teenagers. Man, what I would't give for a nap.  When he would nap, I would sometimes sneak in his room just to stare at him.  His legs almost touch the end of the bed, he takes up the whole queen size but when I look at his face I still see that sweet little snaggle tooth boy who couldn't go anywhere without me, loved to sleep with me and snuggle when his Dad was working night shift work.  He used to tell me he would save me from monsters. He would give me butterfly kisses and the best hugs ever.  He was my main squeeze.  My sweetie.  And at that time mommy could do no wrong.  I was always worried that when he was a teenager that he would hate me, yell at me or disappoint me by going down the wrong road but I was wrong. You know what, he still loves me, hugs me even though he's way taller than me, he's still my main squeeze and every once in a while he'll lay in bed with me to watch TV.  Oh, heart be still.  He is the sweetest, most loving kid and I am lucky to call him my son.  He is respectful to me and his Dad, he loves his sister (he's really protective of her, but shhhh) and that is all we ask for. I mean, don't get me wrong, we have had our moments of cra-cra, late night scoldings and missed curfews.  But, those were teaching moments and I'm thankful for them.  God has truly blessed us with Keaton Reid and I look forward to watching what God has in store for our boy.

Trekking through Colorado with the youth group 

Party Time

 The Sab's

 Reid, Aunt Ashley, Uncle B, Bubbie

 Fun at Graduation

 Reid, Jaxon, Braxton, Maddi and Avery...his fan club

 Reid and his other mothers.  Robyn, Holly and Kim

 Reid and Neena looking sweet as ever

Granny, Van, Linda, Marc, Me, Troy and Reid.  So glad they came!!

He has decided to stay here for a year and go to a local community college.  As happy as I am that he is not leaving the nest.....yet.....I still worry if we are making the right decision. I know he's missing out on some of the fun freshman year festivities at college but I feel in my heart we are doing what is best for him.  I know we have to TRUST as I know what kind of kid he is.  Though sweet and kind, he is also shy and a little unsure of things.  My prayer is that he matures just a bit and by next semester or next year he will have a little more understanding of what he wants to do and can feel God's guidance in all he does.  As a mom, I want him to be happy, independent and thrive wherever God plants him. I just pray its not Alaska or something like that.

I have prayed for this moment since he was born and the hardest thing now is sitting back and watching God's hands take the lead.  My prayer for my boy is that he is happy, healthy and that he puts God first in everything he does.  I also pray that he trusts the Heavenly Father with his life, is fervent in prayer and never lets go of the teachings of our Lord that his Dad and I have tried our hardest to instill in him.  We planted that seed when he was just a baby and pray that it continues to grow through the years.

"I have no greater JOY than to hear that my
 children are walking in the truth."  
3 John 1:4

God is ever so faithful,

Thursday, July 02, 2015

In a stinkin' nutshell

Life has taken so many turns since the last time I posted in August of 2012. There is no way I can catch up and I kick myself for not being a better blogger.  I have loved reading through all the things we have done in the past or the things my kids have done or said and not having any documentation since 2012 makes me sad.  Really sad.  Time goes by so quickly.

So beware... if my family reads this...its all old news.  But I had to write it down before I forgot.  :)


Let's a stickin' nutshell.

*I lost my sweet Nana in 2012.  She had a 'bout with Breast Cancer in 2011 and decided to do radiation treatment.  She was in remission for a while but it ended up taking her life at the age of 87. I was lucky enough, along with my siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, mom, dad and a lot of friends from church to be there with her for her last moments on this earth and it was such a life changing moment for me.  To see her best friend of 50 years cry was almost more than I could bear.  They had coffee together everyday.  EVERYDAY at 3:00. They were like Lucy and Ethel.  I wanted to be them when I grew up.

I can't even put into words how much I miss her.  Her presence always gave me a sense of peace and love. She could just walk into a room and be the brightest light there, her hugs were like no other and her words of wisdom were quiet and humble.  What I wouldn't give to hear her voice one more time. Sometimes I just wish for one more afternoon coffee time with her.  I have so many things to tell her. Mainly, that I love her.

*Right after Nana died, my sweet and strong Daddy got sick.  We had been wondering for a while if something wasn't right.  He just hadn't been himself but, in true Gordon fashion, he reassured us that we were crazy.  :)  He started showing some signs of forgetfulness.  Not of who we were but of random and everyday things.  My dad was a true country boy.  He was raised on a farm and knew all things about hauling hay, fixing and driving tractors, cars, trucks, mowers, cows, horses and whatever else roamed the land.  He had this common sense of the earth like no one I ever knew.  If there was a storm brewing or anything happening around town we were all fine as long as Dad was fine.  If Dad ever felt scared or nervous, we were all in trouble. There was one particular day when my sister had asked him to change the headlights on her Suburban and he had no idea what to do.  He just stared at the bulb and said, "I have never done this.  I don't know how."

Um, excuse me.  You've only done this 5,000 times.

There was more, but it was then that we knew something wasn't right.  He was originally diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's late 2013/early 2014. That went on for a bit with significant changes.  Later, he started having numbing issues with his hands and arms.  My mom took him in and they ran some tests thinking that it could possibly be Parkinson's, which is one of the secondary diseases that often accompanies Alzheimer's.  But, it was not.  It was something we, as a family were not prepared for. They had misdiagnosed his illness.  I will never forget that conference call from my mom.  She had me, my sister and brother on the line to break the news.  My Dad had Frontal Temporal Degeneration and Lou Gehrigs Disease/ALS.  They gave him 4-6 months to live.  This was March 2013.  We were devastated.

We knew that time was not on our side so we tried to make every effort to go home as much as possible.  Every weekend was filled with family time, laughs, cries and pictures. Lots of pictures. Dad couldn't figure out why in the world we were there so much.  Along with the visits from us were the visits from home health nurses, trips to the doctor and adult sitters so my mom could get errands ran around town or just get out for a breather.  He couldn't go and do as he used to and that made him mad.  But, he got used to it.  He hated having a "sitter".  One time he locked one of them out side in the heat and they had to sit in the car until mom got home.  ha!

The only upside to dads illness, if there could be such a thing, is that he only had ALS in the upper part of his body, its called bulbar ALS.  So, he could still walk around but didn't have the use of his arms and hands.  Later, the use of his throat would prove to the the WORST EVER!

Summer came and went and our last family vacation to Port Aransas would be one that I will remember forever.  We all had to take turns watching Dad. He would just walk out in the ocean like he was heading to the next island. He had no fear. The dementia was making him more child like day by day. He had fun with all the grand kids and the pictures we have are priceless. Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went. Turkey meant nothing. Presents meant nothing.  Time was moving too quickly.  I could cry at the drop of a hat.  Usually at night, you could find me in my closet in a big stinkin' weepy heap of a mess.  Songs were my refuge and me and my ear buds became best friends.  Dad loved worship songs and that was my happy place.  I could feel him.  The old him.  The songs reminded me of him and how much he loved Jesus.  Dad put his trust in his Heavenly Father and seeing his faith through this illness has forever changed me.

Eating had become horrible and his throat just wouldn't work like it used to. He had lost weight and would get so frustrated because he couldn't eat.  He loved fried catfish and got really mad one Sunday after church when he got choked.  It scared us and the kids so bad.

I've had a few of those calls that bring you to your knees, but the one telling me to hurry and get home because Dad isn't gonna make it too much longer and the ambulance is on the way is the worst. I don't really remember that 2ish hour drive.  Its only by the Grace of God that I made it in one piece.   I checked the mail a few weeks later and had a red light ticket in there....I was like...oops.

All I know is I was honored to be there for my Dad's last breath on January 30, 2014.  He entered those gates of Heaven running, I'm sure!  For the next few days we were loved on, prayed over, hugged and blessed by everyone. Even though the days were a blur we felt the love from our friends and family flow abundantly.  As much as I miss Dad everyday, I know he is free of pain, free of disease and free to eat whatever he wants.  I'm sure the Blue Bell is perfect in Heaven.

God is ever so faithful,