Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 year in review (1 of 2)

It has almost been a year since I have posted anything on here.  My life has been incredibly full, which is my only excuse.  However, I know that so many things happened that I wanted to record.  Facebook is good in the moment, but not for looking back or reminiscing.    This blog is.  As are the books of my blog posts that my mom prints out for me to keep. 

We ended 2012 with Sarah and Jason's big news that they shared with mom, dad and the kids on Christmas morning.  Lakyn said it was the "worst Christmas ever".  She couldn't stand the thought of sharing her aunt and uncle with anyone, and that night, she couldn't stop crying.   She told me that Aunt Sissy was the only adult that she really looked up to.  (Yeah.  Apparently I don't even rate.)  Blake, however, was ecstatic that he was going to get a "real cousin".

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So, using Facebook and my memory, I want to do a recap of 2013. 

January 8, 2013

Apparently at Upwards tonight they asked members of Lakyn's basketball team to lead a prayer during the devotional period. No one volunteered, so Lakyn thought she might as well do it. So there, in the First Baptist Church, Lakyn lead her team in the 'Hail Mary'. She couldn't figure out why no one joined in and 'followed along'.

I love her spirit and fearlessness.  I'm continually learning from her.

February 2013


Sarah, Jason, Steven and I went to see Kid Rock in concert.  I found it ironic, when taking into consideration how many concerts I've attended and the 'bad boy image' surrounding him, that Kid Rock's concert is the only one I have been to that has ever started with a prayer.


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In mid February, Blake pondered some of life's bigger questions....

   "Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?"

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The end of February we received some beautiful snow.  


 



Those two "lazy" snow days the kids: played 'basement basketball', played on the Wii, painted wooden toys, played the DS, read books, had a pretend car accident in basement resulting in pretend casts on arms and legs, played more '...basement basketball', went sledding, tried to break the family (Guiness) World Records in sommersaults and butt kicks, played in the snow, and played 'jukebox' (whatever that is) in the basement. I don't know about the kids, but I was tired just watching them!


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In March  I received a text from my friend, Manda, asking me what year 'Roll On' by Alabama came out. I texted back and told her that I would guess 1984-85.

(I was right. 1984.)

A little while later she called and explained.... She said that she was thinking of me that day and the earliest memory she had of me was of me sitting her down and playing that song for her, telling her all about it, making her listen to the story and anxiously waiting to hear if she liked it as much as I did.

As I look in the mirror at the increasing gray hair and wrinkles and mentally take note of all the ways I have changed, it was somewhat humorous to realize that in this small way I haven't changed at all. I STILL have the need for my friends to appreciate the music I do, often force feeding them links to music videos or articles about my favorite new songs.... In fact, I had done that just a few days before. And somehow, even though Manda wasn't in on that current round of exposure, she was still thinking of me and my musical tastes -and that made me smile.

PS-I have this great new song you need to hear!


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Lakyn experienced another heartbreaking moment in March.  It was at this time that Sarah and Jason found out that they were having a boy.  She again, started crying, only having come to terms with the possibility of being able to accept a girl, had her hopes dashed.  She said, and I quote, her "life was ruined".  It took a couple of hours for her to be able to come around and stop crying.  Still, she was, in no uncertain terms, not happy about the baby.


However, Sarah, Lakyn and I had big plans of keeping our tradition and seeing Taylor Swift  and Ed Sheeran in KC in August.  In keeping with the fact that the baby apparently "ruined everything" the concert was a week from Sarah's due date.  Being, "the best aunt ever" Sarah scored tickets for the concert in March in St. Louis.  She wanted to let Lakyn know that she was still important, even with a baby on the way, and I wanted to keep sharing my love of music.


Through some music and retail therapy in St. Louis, Lakyn started thinking that a baby my not be so bad after all. 


And, when Lakyn is excited, it's hard not to be excited too.  Her personality is so motivating and her excitement is contagious.  The girls time was a turning point for her, and a turning point for Sarah. From that point on she felt like she could be openly excited without worrying about breaking someone's heart. 


Of course, she apparently looks to Jillian Michaels for her ideas on motivating.  While watching The Biggest Loser, she stated, "I kinda like Jillian and how she pushes people. Some people need pushing." 
 
Who IS this child? I am pretty sure she isn't mine.....but I will keep her. 


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March was also a big month for Blake.  He came to me carrying an encyclopedia and said "Woooo, this is getting REALLY interesting!" He also asked if he could take it to school.  I must have looked perplexed when I said, "Why", because he exclaimed, "THERE'S SOME GOOD STUFF IN HERE!!"



Another question by Blake?   "Is there anything smaller than an atom?" Yeah. He was 7.

In March, Blake was also preparing for his first communion and had his first confession. He promptly came home and threw up. Not sure if that was a coincidence. On a side note, I went to confession for the first time in (roughly) 19 years and was NOT struck by lightning. Not sure if that was an oversight.

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In April Blake's class went on a field trip to Fantastic Caverns. 


This picture of Blake completely sums it up. At the beginning of the tour, when this picture was taken, he was already in need of a Xanax. After spending the hour tour trying to calm and reassure him, I was in need of TWO.

Also in April, Lakyn and I, along with Manda and her son, went to see Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley.  On the way there we have a fender bender and had to get a ride to the concert, as well as find a ride home.  We were determined to make it there because Manda LOVES Miranda, and I had a meet and greet pass to see Dierks.

However, when I met him, my face was twitching and I could barely speak for being tongue tied.  The events of the night had caught up to me.

 
 
After a while the stress had subsided and Lakyn and I enjoyed our evening.... She was "Happy, Happy, Happy!"
 


A few days later Lakyn turned ten and I officially had a "ten-ager".

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Blake's obsession with the encyclopedia continued.  After apparently reading another interesting fact, Blake brought the book to me, opened to 'myth' and to a picture of Mars, the Roman god of war. Pointing at the picture he says "It. Is. Just. Hanging. Out.  I don't think this is appropriate."  




 Go figure. Who would have thought that the questionable material in our house was in the form of a 1958 World Book Encyclopedia?


Another thing that is questionable?  Blake's sense of sportsmanship.

At the end of April, Blake was excited that the weather was so nice because that particular day was gym day. Apparently, during nice weather, the gym class raced on the track. Blake had shared that he always got third but that day would be the day he finally won.
 
That night, at supper, he excitedly shared that he had, indeed, came in 1st. He then gave us a play by play of how it transpired: "They yelled 'Go!' and I took off. I was in 3rd place, LIKE ALWAYS, but I kept running and eventually caught up with the girl in 2nd. We were side by side running and then I passed her....and then I passed the kid in 1st." He was so animated as he relived the race..... Then, AND I AM NOT KIDDING, Blake made air quotes with his hands when he said "The kid in 1st had an 'asthma attack.' The girl that had been in 2nd went back and checked on him....and I just kept running. BUT I GOT 1st!!!!"

Yeah. That's my kid. The one in 1st.
 
 
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In May, the 'tree house' that the kids were promised for Christmas was nearing completion. It only took almost six months..... Only.
Lakyn also decided it was time for her to start helping out with the yard work.  While mowing the yard, Lakyn wanted to ride with me so that she could also learn to mow. We had most of the yard mowed, and she had graduated to being in charge of speed and steering while I just rode along, when she noticed Steven return outside after going inside to get a drink. The mower lurched to a stop and I grabbed on to the fenders to keep from flying forward. I immediately tried to figure out what had happened when I heard Lakyn break into applause. I looked at her and she smiled and said...."It's SPRING!" I must have looked at her funny because she continued on explaining...."Daddy has his straw (cowboy) hat on now. It's SPRING!" 

 I guess some people mark spring's arrival by a date, or a temperature. My girl marks it by Steven putting up the felt and breaking out the straw cowboy hat.
 
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In May, Blake also had his first communion.  I was so proud of him, but my pride paled in comparison to his own.  Having many of the same worries and anxieties that I, myself, struggle with, this was a monumental occasion for him.  He was the only child going through first communion this year and, although nervous, he did wonderfully.
 

And what a sweet, charming young man he is turning into.  He even surprised me at the door with some weeds....er...uh....flowers.  I was so special I even got the roots.



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In June, Blake turned 8.  And because 16 is, apparently, just around the corner, he had a man-to-man meeting with his father that I was lucky to get to sit in on. He presented an idea to his daddy with supporting reasons as to why Steven should go along. The idea? He needs to go ahead and buy a vehicle, "nothing in the 2000's", and fix it up for him to drive when he is 16. Blake told him that they didn't "need the hassle" of trying to find something at the last minute.

And, really, it's hard to argue with his reason.  Examples? 

While heading to a wedding, we passed a very nice house that had a three rail wood fence that seemed to go on forever. I said, "Wow, that's quite a fence." Blake, observing from the back seat said, "Yeah, it's cute now....wait until it starts rotting. Then they'll regret it. They should've used pipe."

 Later, on the way home, we passed another large, very nice home but the yard was somewhat grown up. I mentioned to Steven that there was a lot of nice homes in that area. Blake, overhearing the conversation, once again piped up from the back, "Yeah....looks like they over spent on the house and now can't afford a lawn mower."
 
 
 
Maybe Steven should look into getting a vehicle for him now.  It might be easier than arguing with his logic.  However, I am not so sure about his logic regarding chainsaws.
 
In fact, in  early June, Blake told me that he wanted a chainsaw for his birthday.. I told him that I didn't think that was a good idea and that it wasn't going to happen. He told me that his daddy 'suggested' a chainsaw when he was six. (I highly doubt that.). He thought that he might as well get one and start using it....and practice carving.
 
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We spent most of June at ballgames.  Lakyn endured hers and Blake loved his.  He played on two teams and I saw real growth this season....thanks in large part to uncle Jason and the awesome batting gloves he bought Blake.
 
 

I also saw growth in Lakyn's acceptance for the baby, which we now knew as Case.  In fact, acceptance turned to excitement, which turned to love.  

And Case wasn't even here yet.


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And, of course, June found us camping and enjoying the sun.

 
 
We camped with Deanie and Linda and their friends at Pomme de Terre.  This was our first stay at the Damsite campground and Blake said he wasn't a fan.  He told all of them that they needed to go back to the Hermitage campground because, although they saved money at Damsite, it wouldn't be worth it in the end when they all developed skin cancer as a result of sun exposure.  You see, all the trees had been taken out years before by a tornado and, apparently, the trade off didn't make sense to Blake.
 
We took in a race at the Lucas Oil speedway while in the area and Deanie hooked Blake up with a ticket to race go karts.  As competitive as always, Blake won.   To my knowledge, no one had an asthma attack during the race.
 
 
I also took the kids to Big Surf for an outing at the end of June.  I think there is no better testament to a mother's love than her willingness to don a bathing suit for her children.

 



 
(2013 to be continued.....)
 
 
 

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