Monday, May 30, 2011


Just a number but a pretty large one when you consider a person's life.  My dad would've been that number today.  Here's a yellow rose (his favorite) in honor of this day.

Grateful to be spending the day with my brother of whom I don't see very often these days.  Here we are taken yesterday after church.

Happy birthday Dad.  I'm sure you're smiling down today.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Kindergarten Graduation That Wasn't

We have a knack in our family for having a sickness during a major event.  Kindergarten graduation did not disappoint.  Camren had been sick on the Sunday prior to the Tuesday evening graduation but it was a quick fever with a little lethargy but not too much pomp and circumstance.  No, that was reserved for the actual graduate on graduation day.  After reading my friends Kim's blog then maybe I shouldn't feel so bad about our well planned graduation but I was a horrible, miserable mess.  So here goes...

Conner woke up not feeling well Tuesday morning.  He even had a very low grade 99 degree fever.  I gave him some Tylenol and said I'd pick him up prior to or at lunch but he needed to go for his final graduation practice and then he could rest all afternoon before the program.  This graduation is a little more elaborate than apparently others (ahem, Kim) with a 30 minute program (including surprises for the parents) performed by the students and a full cap, gown, sash & class ring ensemble as well as the diploma presentation.  Of course there are only 3 students in his class so even if it weren't for my extreme desire to see him perform in this program that he has literally practiced all year for some of it then it was also quite a disappointment for his classmates for him not to participate.  Now back to the story...

I was about to head to school when I got the call.  Conner was not feeling well and was in fact worse.  By the time I got there he was in tears and burning up.  So we went home for more Tylenol/Motrin and hopes that a nice long nap would cure his ailments.  I called the nurse to see if there was a compelling enough reason to bring him in for an antibiotic shot to get him through the evening but since Camren's illness on Sunday had been short lived we both assumed it was a virus.  Then on the way home Conner vomited.  After that Conner did nap and did feel better for a while so we all proceeded to get ready.  And then he vomited again about an hour before he had to be at school.  Oh, did I mention he also had chills.  Yeah that too.  Things were not looking good but it was time for more medicine and I was hoping he could at least go and walk down to get his diploma.  He mustered up the energy to do that and we got to school in time (well, after they held up the end of graduation for 15 minutes) and put his cap and gown on over his suit and tie and he wouldn't do it.  He was afraid he night throw up going down the aisle.  So that was it.  We sat in the back while Andy accepted his diploma and I cried the whole time.

It seems ridiculous as I recount it.  It was just a small moment in time.  But to us that had spent months planning this event it was devastating.

At least I got some pictures of him and his two classmates in their caps and gowns.

The next morning he was feeling some better but still running fever.  Since we were also leaving for vacation that morning we made an unscheduled visit to the doctor and of course he had strep throat.  Or at least we think so even though his quick test was negative but Camren's was positive.  So two shots of antibiotics later (one for each boy) and we boarded a plane to Florida.  I'd like to say that's the rest of the story but we had to make a connecting flight in sunny Orlando but due to weather in the midwest we had an eventual 7+ hour delay.  So I did what any other mother with a credit card might do.  I rented a car, two car seats and drove our little sick, happy family down 3 hours and 15 minutes to Ft. Myers.  Best decision I've ever made.  Well, at least this week.  Especially compared to coercing my child to kindergarten graduation for naught.
Conner and Ms. McFarland

Andy and Conner

Ani, Conner and Emma Grace

Camren being too cute!

If Conner had performed he would've been the "candy man" in one of the numbers.

Note the streaks of tears in my makeup on the right side of my face!

Beautiful silhouette by one of the moms at school.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sweet GM

Today would've been my sweet Mamaw's 72nd birthday.  I could write about her all day.  It still takes my breath away to think she's not with us anymore.  I always called her Mamaw but when my boys came along we started calling her Great Mamaw then just GM for short.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite pics from the last trip we had out west with her before she got sick.  I'm so grateful for all the time I was blessed with her.  I learned so many lessons from her while she with us but I seem to maybe have learned even more from her after she's been gone.  Or maybe I'm just now applying them.  Either way her spirit inspires me every day.

Conner, baby Camren & GM 
May 2008

Donna & GM at The Fish Market (one of their faves)
May 2008

One of my fav pics of all time in her newly 
remodeled, beautiful, California backyard.  
Traveling solo cross country with a 3 year 
old and 5 month old was SO worth it.  
So grateful for this trip...and looking forward to 
seeing her again one day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Dad

Centennial Park
Dad, Me & Mom

My dad passed away 14 years ago today from complications of lung cancer.  It's amazing how your mind takes over on certain anniversaries, birthday, etc.  I dreamt about him last night.  I don't remember my parents taking me to Centennial Park however I have many pictures from there when I was little.  It's still one of my favorite places to go and now I take my children there often.  Thinking of you today, Dad.  Love, Julie

Monday, May 2, 2011

65 Days to Reshaping It All

I encourage anyone interested in some encouragement in the food department to check out the button on the right side of my blog.  This site will be offering daily tips and encouragement for all of us on our daily journey with food.  Candace Cameron Bure (DJ from Full House) recently published a book entitled Reshaping It All that talks about her journey with food but it also talks about the spiritual connection. As I tell anyone when I talk to them about my sideline passion of nutrition, it's a lifestyle not a diet, and I think this book follows in the same direction.  She also lists recipes that she uses in her family.

Disclaimer***I've yet to purchase this book for myself (although I did buy my Mom a copy for Mother's Day and I flipped through her copy before I mailed it).  I've been trying to catch up on some other reading (ahem, book club that's already been extended once amongst other things ;-)  But I do intend on getting the book later this week.  What really pushed me into wanting to get this book sooner rather than later was reading about the 65 Days to Reshaping It All event and Candace's co-author Darlene Schacht  saying that this book can be an inspiration for everyone whether you need to lose 100 pounds or just need to maintain your day to day journey with food.  So even though I'm not looking to lose weight it's always a good idea to have encouragement and re-affirmation of what my daily walk with food needs to be.  I like how Darlene admits that she herself has been doing some things she shouldn't and she co-authored the book!  Of course life circumstances puts us in different places for different reasons and even if you've done well in the past there's always room to slip up.  We always need encouragement and what better place to find if with other Christian women.  My goal is to be healthy for myself and my family.  I want to break the cycle of disease in my family and be as strong as I can so long as the Lord wants me in service here on this earth!

So here's to eating my salad today when I might be craving something else...