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Racing for the Cure

Thursday, September 29, 2011
I know that I keep promising posts... and I really am working on some. I just really haven't had time to finalize them. They are coming though! ;)

Until then, I have to tell you that I just registered to run in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Lexington on October 15. It is a 5K and I just could not be more excited about running it, for a lot of reasons. For one, it means that I'm actually going to run, which has been completely hit and miss lately. I don't have any goals of making record time... I even considered doing it without the chip-timer, just so I could enjoy the run without pressuring myself to go faster. :) I didn't do that... but it did cross my mind. 

Of course, the more obvious reason that I'm excited about it is because of the cause. In case you don't know, my mom is a breast cancer survivor. She isn't even 50 yet... and she has survived breast cancer. I thank God daily that she is alive and pray almost daily that it doesn't come back into our lives through her, myself, or my daughter (among my other female family members). 

When I made my life list a little more than a year ago, I listed "Raising money for breast cancer research/awareness." I won't mark it off until I've raised a considerable amount (probably $5,000 or so), but I have to start some place! So, I'm asking all of you who feel compelled to visit my personal fundraising page and make a gift. It doesn't have to be a large gift... a gift of any size will help! And, please share this with your friends and family, too. 

Breast cancer impacts the lives of everyone... let's join together and find a cure! 

And to sweeten the pot, there will be a drawing for a giveaway! If you donate to Susan G. Komen on my page prior to October 15, you will be entered to win a $25 Visa Gift Card! So, even if you donate a small amount, you have a chance of getting your money back! Winner will be announced on October 15 after the race! 


Monday, September 12, 2011
I procrastinate occasionally... like when I have a blog post almost complete and then decide that I really don't like a big section of it... and then instead of just re-writing it or working on it, I decide I want to do an entirely new post. 

Tonight is that night. Aren't you lucky? 

I remembered a story that I wanted to blog a while back... and never did. Or did I? Maybe I did and can't find it or recall it.

Either way, it was a story that I love because it shows the sensitivity of my little baby boy... at the sweet age of 4. 

We were at the movie theater to see Kung Fu Panda 2. The kids and I had met Brad at the dollar theater to see it after work one day this summer. I really enjoyed the first Kung Fu Panda, so I was probably as happy as the kids to go and watch it. I had no idea that my little man would end up in tears. 

Spoiler alert... if you don't want to know part of the movie, then don't read any further. :) 

About two-thirds of the way through the movie, Kung Fu Panda (Po) remembers a day from his childhood when his mother left him in a basket to save him from being harmed or killed by the enemy. It was a very visually dramatic part of the movie, where both the mother and the baby are sad and the baby is reaching for his mother from the basket. As you can imagine, it was very sad. That's when Jake turns around to look up at me from his position on my lap (he sits there to see over the seats in front of him, supposedly, but I think it's really because he just loves being cuddled up). Jake has big tears in his eyes and is puckering up the saddest little lip. He whispers, "His mommy left him." That's when I heard my heart break in half. :) Of course, I explained that she did it to save him, but he was still so upset. He choked back tears for the rest of the movie... and then he proceeded to cry when we walked out to the car, saying that it was just so sad that the panda couldn't stay with his mommy forever. 

Oh, my sensitive son. I hope you stay this way forever. 


Sunday, September 11, 2011
On a regular day, I could possibly be the type to have a small mini-pity party for myself, because I happen to get a little carried away with the idea that I do everything at the house and no one ever seems to notice it. :) 

Well, this weekend, I was proven wrong. 

My wonderful hubby came home with flowers and chocolate for me yesterday afternoon. Now, I am completely ignoring the fact that I'm pretty certain the only reason that he did this was because Paul happened to suggest that it would be a good idea for both of them to bring flowers home to me AND Rebecca. I do know my husband well enough to know that he knows me well enough to know that, while I love flowers and romantic gestures, the practical side of Andrea almost always prevails and says, "Why did you waste money on something that's going to die in like two days?" :) I did not do that. Instead, I think I said something like, "Thanks, Paul, for suggesting that to Brad." I know, I know... equally as horrible. :) In return, they both laughed and I continued to explain that it has rarely happened in the 12 years we have been together (like twice, I think), so I'm pretty certain that I have Brad pegged. Not that I'm complaining, because I really do honestly say to Brad that it's a waste of money to bring home flowers. Anyway... I certainly do not want him to think that I didn't appreciate it. And I definitely love the flowers. It was perfectly sweet and thoughtful... and while I'm just about the toughest person in the world to please, I have to say that it really did make me happy. :) The simple fact that Brad took the time to do something extra for me on a pretty ordinary day really did make me feel appreciated and loved. So, good job, Brad (and Paul - ah hem). :)

And, then there was this morning... when my son proclaimed to his dad that he was indeed only his mommy's baby boy. He proceeded to give me some of the best hugs and kisses and snuggles that a mommy could ever want. Of course, Brad was gagging and pouting, but I was pretty enamored by my baby boy and all of his love. There is just something special between a mom and her baby boy. I can't explain it. It isn't more or better than it is with a daughter... at all. But, it is a different sweetness, much like that of what I think a dad-daughter bond is like. 

And, then, there's Bailey. My sweet daughter... she is always creating... always making gifts. She could hold my heart in the palm of her hand. And, today, she made me cry with her sweetness. I had gone to wash the car and when I got back, she was running around the house, telling me not to go into the kitchen. She had made me the most beautiful coffee mug and a homemade card. The mug said, "Werld Gratist Mom" on one side, with a cute little drawing of the world and stars. On the other side, it said, "This is for pop. Love Bailey." She knows I don't drink coffee, so she wanted to make sure I wasn't confused. lol. It's a keeper. Forever. 

I sit here tonight looking at the computer... ready to finish a post that I've been writing for about a week and can't seem to finish. But, instead, I can only write that my heart is absolutely and completely full. I guess it is fitting, considering that today marks the 10 year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. My heart should be full... I have so much to be thankful for. I can't thank God enough for all of the blessings he has given me. I can't think of enough words to thank all of the men and women who keep us safe with their service. All I can do is cherish the wonderful freedoms we have and pray that I never take them for granted. Life is good... and having love makes it incredible. Thank you to Brad and my babies for making me feel so special on an almost ordinary day. I love you and I'm so happy to have such a perfectly sweet family. 

Now, if only I would have been playing someone else in my fantasy football league. Then, my day would have been PERFECT. My mom seriously is beating me with a score of like 92-56. Had I played anyone else in the league, I'd be winning. I mean, for real... who in the world gets 90+ points in fantasy football? Ugh. MOM. I guess I should be saying, "Girl Power" or something like that, since we are kicking butt. :)

Still here!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hello world!
It has been a while.
Yes, we are still here.
Yes, we are still alive and well.
Yes, we are still living life to the fullest.
Where do I even begin to start to get caught up?
Well, I guess I’ll just work my way through what we have been doing. This could take a while. Grab your favorite caffeinated drink. Then, again, with my adult onset ADD, this might really only take a few seconds... then, I'll be on to writing a completely separate post that has nothing to do with anything. It happens. A lot. I just don't post them all. Yes, you can thank me later.
First and foremost, I have to tell you that the kids are both doing wonderfully in school. It is as if Jake has transformed into another child altogether. He loves school. He comes home spelling words, like the word, RED, in both English and sign language. He sings us songs, both Christian and traditional preschool songs. He tells me about the Bible and about baby Jesus and he loves to say the Pledge of Allegiance and the “Robin Hood” pledge, which is really the pledge to the Christian flag, but it says “brotherhood” in it and Jake calls it the Robin Hood pledge for that reason. J Yes, he is still kind of a little baby boy. Yet, you wouldn't think he is my baby boy at all if you walked into school with us each day. Oh, he still holds my hand, thankfully. He still gives me the traditional hug, kiss, and a high five before he goes into his class... sometimes twice. :) But, he doesn't hesitate. He doesn't seem nervous. He walks into his classroom with confidence and a smile. His teacher says he interacts with the class a lot during the day, often raising his hand to answer questions or offering his thoughts on something. I am one beaming proud momma... I am so close to feeling like I can mark off the list item that I have - to teach Jake to walk into a room with confidence and less insecurity. Although, I'm quite certain I never taught him anything... just encouraged him to use what he already has always had. 
Bailey also loves school, as she has from day 1. She has had a little bit tougher time this year, seeing as how she is extremely competitive and is also in an extremely competitive class. She’s had more insecurities than I’m used to and many more than I would ever want her to have, but she is doing great. It is incredible to see how much she has grown since her preschool days… both physically and mentally. It is truly bittersweet. She is reading wonderfully... she is improving in math and learning more and more. My favorite thing about Bailey though is that Bailey still loves everyone she meets. She never meets a stranger and always comes home telling me about how she loves everyone in her class. She has a new best friend everyday... often coming home with drawings of her with this friend or that and the words "Best Friends Forever." It used to bother me that she didn't really have one friend that she counts as her "best friend" because I felt like she longed for that kind of friend. But, now, I am seeing that she really and truly does see each friend that she makes as her "best" friend. I love that she really loves people that much. 
Brad and I are still happily married on most days. He's been rocking at the awesome dad role lately... not sure what got into him, but I can say that I am loving every second of it. Super Dad award is totally going to him these days. I am one lucky woman. Not to mention that he's a really fabulous husband. (Sidenote, I am totally wanting a treadmill... so there is some motivation to my compliments). :) 

Fall is about to hit our area of the world, which really makes me happy. It also stresses me out just a little... because our schedule gets insane. I am not sure I can handle insane as well as I have in the past... mainly because I think the new version of insane is a little more hectic than the old version. :) We now have homework out our eyeballs, and I'm being nice when I say it that way. We started soccer tonight in the drizzling, windy, cold rain for Bailey and will start Jake's season on Friday. And, UK football... the first home game is on Saturday. Oh... and then there is Girl Scouts. Holidays, birthdays, and my favorite cooking season of the year is right around the corner, too. Eek. I feel like it is 2012 already. :) 

We kicked off the start of our fall last weekend at the hottest game in the history of football (for us anyway) when we visited Dawn and Brandon and joined them for the Ohio State football game. If you know me well, you know that I'm not an OSU fan at all. However... and yes, this is a big however... we had a fabulous time! Of course, I didn't really care much about the game (it was a complete blow out), but I had so much fun hanging out with Dawn. Brad had such a great time hanging out with Brandon. And, we as a group, just had a great time hanging out together. It was so nice to have a relaxing time (we all slept a good 12 hours), enjoying good food and drinks and wonderful company. Thank you to Dawn and Brandon for inviting us to go!

Of course, since we went to the OSU game with Dawn and Brandon, the kids had to go have some fun, too. And, they definitely had their fill. They went fishing with my mom, dad and my nephew, Braden. They caught more fish than they could count, needing an almost assembly-line fashion to keep them baited and cast out. Bailey was the queen at baiting hooks (she loves to fish with worms AND minnows). Jake wouldn't even touch the fish or anything that would get his hands dirty. :) Like mother like daughter... like father like son. Haha. They also got to spend some quality time at my grandfather and uncle's home, playing with their cousins and enjoying the country life. I am told that they get really nervous walking on a back country road... it's really tough to understand how it's OK to just walk in the middle of the road when we have always told them just the opposite. My city kids... the city kids I never thought I'd have. lol. 

We all enjoyed some quality time on Sunday and Monday at my parents' house, which is something that we never seem to have enough of. It always seems like we are rushing in and out when we visit our families... so this weekend was a welcome opportunity to just hang out and catch up. It's especially relaxing when I know that it is something we might not have again until the holidays. Did I mention our crazy busy schedule? 

And that doesn't really catch us up, does it? But, it's close! I'll have more soon. Hope you are all enjoying the beginning to your fall!