Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Anniversary Weekend



My life with my husband is complete, however we are on opposite work schedules and he has a rotating workweek, therefore we don't spend a lot of "awake" time with one another. We have a blended family and have been married now for only 2 years, in our relationship for 5 ½ years it seems like it has been so much longer. This is not in a bad way, we just met later in life and most of our children are older, therefore putting us in the later stages of relationships. We have six children combined and ½ of them are adults at this time. Our children are important to us regardless of their age. Obviously, this is not either of our first marriage and we have learned from our previous marriage making time for your spouse is important to keep a healthy marriage, we try to get away for just the two of us every now and then. One of our favorite cities is Chicago. We enjoy going to watch a Cub’s game. We try to go to at least one thing new when we are there because Chicago has so many things to do. Our favorite spot in the city is the Navy Pier, to stroll down the pier, watching the different people interacting with one another, the specialty shops, the ships, the beautiful scenery and skyline, and to reminisce about our perfect romantic weekend. Evenings are absolutely gorgeous with the lights from the attractions to the skyline lights and it always cools off there. We have learned on Saturday and Wednesday during the summer months there is a firework display as well over Lake Michigan.



We celebrated our second anniversary weekend in Chicago. We started with The Field Museum. After 5 hours and seeing everything, we wanted to see, we went to the hotel to check in. We stayed at the Wyndham Hotel, downtown Chicago. The first time we actually stayed downtown. We could see Lake Michigan a little from our window if we stood on our tiptoes, if we were on just one floor higher we would have been able to see Lake Michigan from our window. Later that evening we took off walking downtown, wanting to find somewhere nice to eat. After walking for a little while and turning corners, we could see Lake Michigan. We had forgotten that our hotel was only a mile away from Navy Pier. We ended up walking to the pier. We found Bubba Gump’s Shrimp but the line was excessively long, we kept walking.



We came to the docking port to The Spirit of Chicago; he took my hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. This is a special boat to us, two years ago just a couple of months before our wedding, Todd had planned a special weekend for us in Chicago. We had tickets to the Cub’s game on Sunday and he wanted to make it an entire weekend because of how stressed I was with Matthew, my oldest, graduating and planning the wedding. That weekend was the most romantic weekend we have ever had. He booked a dinner cruise on The Spirit of Chicago. The cruise was 3 hours and had entertainment on board after a wonderful dinner. When I came back from the restroom, Todd was just smiling at me. He had such a beautiful smile. One of the entertainers stated that if you have a song that you would like to dance to please let him know. I noticed the two female entertainers were looking over towards our table then I heard the beginning of Todd’s and my song, “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. I looked up excited to hear our song and mentioned to him, now this is a perfect night because they are playing our song. He smiled and said that they were playing it for a reason; he had requested it and asked me if I would like to dance with him. This was the first time we have ever danced, he told me on our first date that he does not dance, so I never expected to have a first dance with him. I felt like I was floating on the dance floor. It was as if we were alone on this boat, the feelings were so intense, I could feel the love he had for me by asking them to play this song for us and by him asking me to dance, he also showed it in his face as he looked at me while were dancing. After dancing for a while, we went to the top to enjoy Chicago City’s Skyline. It was such a beautiful day, windy but beautiful. I think I was walking on cloud nine for several weeks after that weekend.



All right, back to this past weekend, after he squeezed my hand, we smiled at one another knowing how special that ship is to us. We continued walking and Todd found this place called Riva. It is a seafood restaurant with the main restaurant on the second floor. We went inside and were seated close enough to the windows to have a gorgeous view of the pier. Our dinners were so beautifully plated, I wanted to take a picture of it. I felt like I was being served a meal from the show Top Chef with how fancy and pretty they were. We typically do not order dessert but we chose to share one because it was a special occasion. Our meals and dessert was delicious, he found the perfect restaurant for us. We did wait a long time for the waiter to bring our bill. Todd joked a little because of how long we were waiting how we should make a run for it to “dine and dash”; he mentioned how he thinks we could get away with it if it were not for the stairs, which is where we would get caught. This made both of us crack up laughing. I am very slow going down stairs due to my knee. I can only take one stair at a time because I cannot bend my knee going down yet. After finally paying our bill, we walked some on the pier and then headed back to our hotel. It was a great anniversary. I feel so blessed to be married to a man who truly cares about my children and me. He is my best friend, my soul mate and someone who respects me and makes me laugh. I love you Todd.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reflections of 2 years ago.

Today is a special day. My night in white shining armor made me his wife on this day 2 years ago. It seems so much longer then 2 years, and that is not in a bad way, maybe because other then how he introduces me and my last name changing things have not changed with us. We have lived with one another now for starting 6 years.

July 26, 2008

What a perfect day it was! My good friend from Des Moines became ordained only because a friend of mine, who begged me to let him marry us for over a year bailed on us only 6 weeks prior to the wedding. I am so thankful that she was willing to do this huge favor for me.

I had made the girls and my arm bouquets months before. I was very happy with the way they turned out. However, the day before the Wedding I no longer could find the arm bouquets, to this day, I still have no idea what happened to them. I ended up picking up some small yellow carnations while I was picking up the roses for our ceremony. I put parts of several ceremonies together to make the perfect one for us. We wanted to include our children, so I added a red rose ceremony not only for the bride and groom but for the children as well. Todd's sister said that the rose ceremony brought tears to her eyes.

Todd and I both had agreed on a very small wedding and we wanted the children to stand up with me. Pictures of our wedding has been uploaded on Friday Flashback 6. We both thought it would be nice to have the service and the reception in our backyard. Oh how I worried about the weather. Iowa City was flooding that Summer, so much rain. The way I decorated the area that we had our service came to me while I was dreaming. Only thing we forgot was to light the tikki torches.

I baked my cakes and practiced several times before the big day. I had brought cakes to work several times that Summer for my co-workers. The only request I had was that they had to give opinions on the cake and frosting. I ended up with a chocolate and a white sheet cakes and my tier cake was a raspberry cake. My Mother came to stay with us a couple of days prior and she helped me with some decorations on the cakes. Other then the heat of that day melting some of the frosting, I was very happy with the way the cakes turned out. My Mother was also the person who walked me down the aisle and gave me away. Right before we started that journey, she began to cry and told me how happy she was that I found Todd and wanted me to always be happy. She felt Todd was a good man and great to my boys.

Todd and I decided to make as much of the food as we could for the reception. We placed the food on the patio under the porch. We had BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, pasta salad, potato salad, chips and dip, and cucumbers and onions from our garden. I know it may not have been a fancy meal like most people have at their weddings, but this was exactly what we wanted for those who came. We wanted a more of a family gathering event. Todd's Mother and Jim showed and so did his sister and her family. His friend Susan from work showed up but two of his good friends did not make it. I had 3 co-workers and 2 close friends from Des Moines and my Mother. None of my sister's made it for one reason or another.

Our colors were white and light yellow. I let the girls chose the colors. I felt that this wasn't my first wedding and it wasn't as important to me what colors we were going to have. I also felt since the girls were going to be the ones to wear the dress then let them choose. I think they liked the fact that they had say. When we announced the wedding date to the children, the girls and I went to the computer and they chose the dress and color. They did an outstanding job with their dress choice. We wanted them to pick something that they could wear to another Summer event if they had too. I found shirts to match the same yellow the girls had for the boys and since the girls' dress had some white eyelet lace on it, I thought white ties for the boys.

Moments before I had to leave to get my hair done and pick up the flowers, Todd's ex wife showed up at our house. She wanted to see if this marriage is what Todd really wanted and to let him know it's still not too late. Emily came down and then showed her the cakes my Mother and I had made and how we decorated the yard. She was so proud of them. She was truly happy that day. She told me how she thought things were so pretty and the music we walked down the aisle she thought was perfect as well. Todd and I felt the same way. I searched the Internet for an instrumental piece to Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight", Todd's and my song. We had it burnt to CD and played it at the wedding. One thing we didn't think of, that was after we all went down the aisle, who was going to turn the player off? We stood there looking at the guest for a little bit, because we were facing them, then thought Ethan could go run and turn it off and he did.

Our Wedding may not have been what most people consider as a perfect wedding but it was perfect for us. We laughed and expressed our love for one another as well as joining our families together. I placed his ring on the wrong hand and we laughed at that. He dropped cake down my cleavage and acted as if he was going to take care of it by eating it. Everyone laughed at that. The weather wasn't too hot, we had tents over the tables during the reception.

It was a perfect day. A day I married the man that I love, my soul mate, my best friend.

Here is our ceremony:

The union into which you are about to enter is the closest and tenderest into which human beings can come. It is a union founded upon mutual respect and affection. Your paths will be parallel, your responsibilities will increase, but your joy will be multiplied if you are sincere and earnest with one another.

Todd, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto her, for so long as you both shall live?

Jolene, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto him, so long as you both shall live?

Take hands and repeat after me: I, Todd, take you, Jolene, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, to love and to cherish, from this day forward.

I, Jolene, take you, Todd, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, to love and to cherish, from this day forward.

Do you have a ring for the bride? Please place the ring on the bride's finger and say: With this ring, I thee wed.

Is there a ring for the groom? Please place the ring on the groom's finger and say: With this ring, I thee wed.
Let these rings be given and received as a token of your affection, sincerity and fidelity to one another.

A single red rose always meant "I love you".

Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings - which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.

But for your first gift as husband and wife I want you now to give each other the gift of a a single rose. So please exchange your first gift as husband and wife; a gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

Remember, the single rose says the words: "I love you".

There may be times filled with happiness, sorrow, tears or laughter,whatever it may be, remember love has given you wings; your journey begins today; Todd and Jolene, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, remember the love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make your marriage a glorious union, and it is by love that your marriage will endure.



After exchanging roses, the couple will then give each child a rose, a hug, and whisper, "I love you." "Not only are Todd and Jolene creating a marriage today, but they also are forming a family with Kera, Matthew, Emily, Joshua, Ethan, and Noah. Just as it is appropriate for Todd and Jolene to declare their love for each other in the gift of a rose, they also wish to show you (to the children) how much they love you with the gift of a rose."


Forasmuch as Todd and Jolene have consented together in wedlock and have witnessed the same before this company, and have given and pledged their vows to each other, and have declared the same by joining hands, by the authority vested in me by the State of Iowa, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
(You may kiss the bride. You may kiss the groom.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Be-lated Flashback Friday 6










Monday, July 26 will be my anniversary. This week's Flashback will be of that special day.

Re-Cap of This Week

What a week it has been. Such an emotional roller coaster, home and work. I will start with work.

WORK: I feel very unappreciated at work and taken advantage of by my supervisors. It's funny, I hear from other department management on what a great asset I am to Mercer and how they would love for me to be in their department. My management, they rely on me a lot. When they are looking for policies or protocol, they ask me because they know that I know what they are looking for and where they can find it YET they will not allow me to do anything more then what they have me doing now. We have a position in our department, one that is a BA level. I have tried for this position prior. The first time a year ago and was shot down because they wanted my expertise with the dependent eligibility audit because, well that is my baby. I have trained 2 others now. In March I attempted this position again but was told I couldn't because I was on a verbal warning. Something they do frequently to me to keep me in our department. NOW I was 3 weeks away from getting off said warning and the HR Rep was very surprised that they didn't overlook the 3 weeks. I think it was because one of my co-workers and good friend wanted the position and I think they want her to do this as well. They were going to let her until the HR Rep found out that the supervisors just happened to not follow through with the paper work for her verbal warning that she was just received 2 months prior. Once my 3 weeks were over, the position was then withdrawn, they felt they didn't have a need for it. Now she is off her verbal and behold the position opens up again. As I said, I tried for the position and the next day, she was informed by one of the supervisors that the position was available again. Now, I love this friend but seriously, if she gets this it will be because they are hand picking her not because she is more qualified. She does not even have a BA, so I don't know why she would be able to even post for the position. I want to say something but I don't want to create problems for her either. I JUST WANT AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH TOO!!!!

HOME: Sunday, I had so many emotions when the boys came home from spending 4 days with their paternal grandmother and aunt. We sat around the Kitchen table talking. It's great to have Matthew active in our lives again. While we were sitting there Joshua verbally attacked Matthew and had very aggressive behavior towards him. I think he was jealous somewhat with the attention Matthew was giving to their cousin Jordyn. I agreed with some of the things Joshua said but also understood Matthew's points as well. I just sat there basically staying out of it. Last year, Ethan had felt very left out and was treated like a little kid when Jordyn was treated as a teen. There is only 4 months between Jordyn and Ethan, however a year in grade due to when their birthdays fall, also girls tend to mature faster then boys do. Before the boys left I made it a point to remind them how Ethan felt last year.

**Pause, I think I need to explain Jordyn before I carry on** Jordyn is their uncle David's first born. She was the first granddaughter. Jordyn has always been treated as if she is perfect and Ethan has been the forgotten child. His picture was not even added to their grandmother's wall until he was 2 years old, this only after I pointed it out to my ex-husband at that time. Jordyn has a lot of characteristics that Matthew has and she is into Goth like Matthew did at that age. Matthew sees a lot of him in her, however she is right down bratty to her brother, unlike Matthew was to his brothers. Poor Jon could do nothing right. Recently they found out that David has this family disease and he has taken it not well. He has become depressed and is drinking a lot. I guess he interacts the best with his son Jon, so now Jon has become Dave's favorite and Jordyn, unfortunately she sees the wrath when Dave is drunk.**

So, back to the boys. Joshua was telling Matthew how he has a blind spot to Jordyn, how he treats her great and left Ethan out again. Matthew explained that Jordyn needed the time, but Joshua pointed out that it shouldn't be at the expense of Ethan. This went on for nearly 20 minutes then Matthew told him that he is not sure where this aggressive behavior came from and that this is not the right time to get into it with Ethan sitting right there and he felt that it could be making him feel bad. Joshua pipes up well that is because you have a cousin crush on her and if you don't like it then leave. Hmmm...that is when I spoke up. I firmly said NO. No he does not have to leave. None of my children will ever tell another child to leave unless they are harming another. Joshua apologized and stated he was wrong that he told him to leave, then picked up his stuff and left the Kitchen. Ethan said that he agreed with both Joshua and Matthew when Matthew told him he was sorry.

I felt bad for all of them, but mostly Ethan. Ethan is having such a tough time with hormones...13 is such a tough age on the child as well as the parent. The child can be sweet one second and then Damon from 'The Omen' the next. I have been seeing Joshua's personalty changing over the past month. One I am not enjoying at all. He lies about where he is, he takes off without asking and informing anyone where he is at. He refuses to find a job because he does not see any point because he should be having fun instead of working. He is becoming somewhat of a player, I hate this. In a two week period, he made out with a strange girl coming home with a hickey, confessed his feelings for another talking all week, then having his ex come over and well things happened that shouldn't have happened.. This ex has such strong feelings for Joshua, this will not help her one bit. I guess Matthew had talked about this as well on the way home, how he is not an adult and how he shouldn't just take off like he does without talking to me. He also shared his feelings about how Joshua has been acting with females. This may be some of the reason Joshua was aggressive with him.

In one of my conversation I shared with Matthew how I felt about the way they treat me and their Father. Well he asked me a question that led to it. I told him I don't want this to come across wrong because I want them to have a relationship with their Father and it may sound like I'm jealous but truthfully it's just frustration. They all can spend hours laughing and talking to their Father whenever he chooses to call or rarely sees them. He gets to be the "buddy" when actually I feel he has abandoned them as he has him Mother, Sister, Brothers, and Niece and Nephews. I put all the "parenting" into them. I'm there through good and bad, yet I'm the bad one because I have to be the only one who is parenting. I understand I am the one with the physical custody, but their Father does not stand behind me one bit, he actually encourages them to go against me. How I think their Father is wrong for encouraging Joshua to go to college in another state because Joshua has no concept of how much more it will cost him and he refuses to work to save anything for college. After I shared this with Matthew, he had tears in his eyes. He told me he was so sorry for the way he treated me the 2 years prior to last Summer. He told me he understands exactly what I was trying to say and that he does appreciate everything I have given them and thinks I am a great Mother. I felt bad I made him fight tears, yet I had the same feeling I did when I looked into his angelic face the day he was born. He touched my heart immensely. I have succeed with Matthew. I raised a decent loving young man that has so much potential to succeed in life. Now, I'm not saying the other 3 won't be, but they are still not adults and Matthew gave me heck his Senior year, however it started only a couple of months before he turned 18 unlike Joshua who is starting 9 months early. I did do something right with Matthew.

Matthew called me to inform me he knows who his dorm roommate will be and what dorm he has been assigned to. He will move in some time during the latter part of August. I'm looking forward to having home with us for about 3 weeks. I hope he comes to visit often. I know the boys enjoy him as well, even Joshua when he is his normal self.

I realized this week, this year I will have two children in the stages of a child that are the worse times... 13 year old and a Senior year child. Oh I am going to be an emotional wreck. I joked with some of my friends at work that I think I may become an alcoholic this year, that or find some middle eastern meditation. I'm going to need something, that is for sure.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flashback Friday 5



Ethan at the age of 3. I loved the way the walls looked in that room. It took me the entire labor day weekend but I was able to complete it. Well the alpha stenciling and I hand drew and painted the Dalmatians. The yellow paint was added about 1 week before Ethan was born.

Just the way I am.

Occasionally, I become quiet to most and very hard on myself. Summers have always been fun, we spend many summer nights sitting on our porch with a nice cool drink and on Todd’s nights off, and we will even have some nice frozen drinks and make fruit smoothie for the kids. We typically take 2 weeks off and plan to do things with the family and get away for a week or several days. A summer passion of ours is our gardens, vegetable as well as for me flowers. Another passion of ours Sand Volleyball league we play on. I am frustrated with myself because I have not loss as much weight as I had planned by this time.

This summer so far has been a let down to me in so many ways and I have moments that I am truly sad and sometimes feel left out. I know no one in my family is meaning to do this and I have no means of pointing it out to them. It is not their fault I feel this way, so I need to pick myself up and move on. Well, some things I have shared with my husband.

The first thing that is a let down this summer is our gardens. We planned all winter and started planting seeds in the spring. Most of our seeds did not take this year, but we had to start them in a different place compared to last year due to Emily using the bedroom now. Well she does not stay in it at all, it is more of storage of her belongings and that is entirely a different topic and thorn in my side when I have three of my sons sharing one room. One being in High School, one in Junior High, and the youngest in Elementary, again, I do not even want to start that tangent. Any way, I guess it was an early sign that our gardens will not flourish like last year. I was so excited about finishing the small flowerbeds around the shed. I did not expect them to be full as the front, it has been 3 years in the making and the flowers spreading, but unfortunately, the side of the different types of lilies, I did not get see most of the flowers bloom because of the rabbits eating them. I have researched what I can do differently and adding alyssums as my borders will be necessary from now on. The vegetable garden is not doing as well either. The tomatoes look sick and the plants themselves look to be dying. We will not have many of our own fresh tomatoes for me to be able to can with this fall. None of our squash or zucchini turned out due to the squash vine borer. We do plan to start new and hope to have a fall harvest of these crops. We are having problems with our broccoli, cauliflower, corn, sugar snap, and cucumbers as well this year. Our beans and peppers are doing great. Due to my knee, I have not been able to assist as much in the garden, however last weekend felt great. I was able to spend 3 hours each day in the garden; weeding and harvesting beans. I did not feel useless or left out last weekend. I felt sore in the arms, shoulder, and back from all the activity. Not a bad sore but a good workout sore. I loved that feeling. I loved the feeling of being productive as well.

This is a great segment into my next let down. Sand Volleyball league. I am not able to participate at all this year because of the knee. I do enjoy watching Todd and Joshua play, but last weekend for some reason it was tough. I wanted to get onto the sand and play in the worse way. I watched the team laugh and have a good time and felt like an outsider for some reason watching. I cheered as I usually do but I did not feel the connection as if I was playing. After the game, Todd and one of our team players did not help by talking to one another on a subject that was just the two of them. I finally got sick of it after 40 minutes of just waiting and being bit by bugs that I just left.


We are not really having vacation like the one we typically do this year. Todd is not able to take any time off this summer due to the new communication center. He was promoted to a shift supervisor and has been putting many extra hours in. This has been great for him, because he was starting to feel very down about his job. At times, he would feel that he is at a stand still with his career and have self-doubt with his life at times. We all do this from time to time; I know I am stuck there with my job as well. I was thrilled that he got this position, I think it will do wonders for him, I just wish he were not on the third shift any longer. I was really hoping he would be on first shift; however, I would dread it more if he ended up on second shift. I would rarely have time with him on that shift. We did have a weekend vacation and we are going to try to go camping one weekend this summer. I miss camping and I do have a concern with camping. Depending on the ground, how rough the terrain, it may be hard on the knee. Also sleeping on the air mattress, getting up and down, I know will be difficult on the knee. I think I am going to try to get one of the newer air mattresses that set up higher.

We have not had one successful bonfire this year. I attempted one with Noah and his friends for his “Welcome Summer” party, but I think it was just too damp that day. We have not had any time on the porch as we typically do.

I think this is a bigger one for me…it is the summer before Joshua’s senior year. I am so not looking forward to Joshua graduating. Yes, he has been a little thorn from time to time but he is a good kid. He has been so understand. Occasionally he will complain how the girls do nothing around the house and it is not fair, but I do not blame him. He is right, it would and is old that they do not put forth effort and assist where they should, yet they complain about how things are sometimes. He has not complained how he hasn’t had driver’s education therefore does not have his driving license yet. He has not complained for the most part about sharing a room with his younger brothers. I know he is not happy about it but he understands. When he was younger, he would tell me that when he gets older he is going to take care of me. He does not realize how much he does take care of me now. I love time with him. I love how he makes me laugh. I love the same with the other boys, but Joshua has a showman personality. I love how he interacts with Todd. He is so helpful around the house inside and out. He knows and understands my limitations and will jump right in to help where I cannot. Joshua is trying to go to college out of state and this is going to be very tough on me. I want all of my children to spread their wings and be successful; I just do not think I am ready to let them fly so far away yet. I do not want to deal with the senior attitude that all of the children so far developed. I do not want to ruin the relationship we have for a short while.

I just hope I can snap out of this, so I can enjoy the rest of the summer. As stated earlier, I did share some of these feelings with Todd. I hope that he will assist with some of this. I know he cares and he does try. He made dinner reservations two nights ago to a wonderful restaurant in a small town about 30 minutes away from us, since the boys are with the paternal grandmother this week. He has also made plans for our anniversary in two weeks. Chicago, here we come. He found some free things for us to do that would be perfect for us. One of them is dancing. On Sunday’s in the park, they have a professional provide free dance lessons. The Sunday we will be there, it will be the “Waltz”. One that we feel we need a lot more help with. We will get to dance for our anniversary, something that I miss so much.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Take One of Joshua's Senior Pictures





First round of photos I took for Joshua's outdoor Senior Photos...well at least my favs from the first round.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Vacation 2007

Since we had such a large vacation in 2006, 2007 was going to have to be scaled back. We ended up going camping at Backbone State Park for 4 days and 3 nights. We rented canoes and paddle boats, but the lake was way too dirty to go swimming. The boys had fun, but the girls didn't enjoy it too much after the 2st day. Kera and Matthew were unable to make it do to work. Emily brought a friend and so did Joshua.

The tent the girls, Todd and I slept in.

The tent the boys slept in.

Emily and her friend.

The boys and Todd playing badminton



Todd building our camp fire.

Enjoying the fire...one of the best things about going camping.







Flashback Friday 4



One of my favorites of Lisa and I.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sharing Bedrooms

I don't know why this memory came to me but it hit me last night while I was trying to sleep and I couldn't get it out of my mind.

Lisa and I shared bedrooms up until I was 9 years old. We shared a white with decorative gold double canopy bed. I recall on Sunday nights, after we were to be in bed, we would stand on the bed as if it were our stage. We would then reenact what we could remember from the "Tony Orlando and Dawn Show". We both had our favorite Dawn that we would act out.

We often pretended our bed was a boat when we were younger as well, with the canopy being the sail.

Jumping on our bed was do-able as long as we were short and didn't jump high. Oh my, we would get into so much trouble when we knocked the bars off of the canopy. We quickly learned how to fix that, so we didn't have to ask Mom or Dad.

We were only allowed to sleep with our parent when we had a bad dream (what we called nightmares). Due to this rule, sometimes Lisa and I would share what our dreams were about. We started to notice a pattern regarding one of our re-occurring dreams. Looking back now, it wasn't scary at all but when you are in early grade school, it terrified us. Yes, I said us. Lisa and I would have the same re-occurring dream on the same night. The first time I started to describe the dream, she interrupted me and finished telling me about my dream.

Our dream was that we (Mom, Dad, Lisa, and I) went to visit this friend. This friend's house was on a huge hill. Lisa and I were told to stay in the car while my parents visited. While we waited, we climbed upfront and took the car for a drive. We were having a good time. We were at our current age in this dream, not a driving age. We both took turns driving and after awhile we thought that we were gone long enough and didn't want to get in trouble, so we drove back BUT the house was gone. We went around the block hoping this would make the house reappear but it didn't, we did this several times...no house, no parents. We thought that we better go looking for the house and our Mom and Dad. We started to drive downtown, there was this bridge we had to drive over. Now this bridge does not exist in Des Moines. It was a very steep and high bridge. One that resembles the bridges that go over the Mississippi river but steeper. Once we were on the top, the bridge would open up and the car fell to the ground. We always woke up before the car hit the ground.

Once we realized we were having the same dream on the same nights, we would just lay in our bed with one another. Our arms around each other, comforting one another. Strangely, when we moved to the southside and we finally had our own bedrooms, we never had that dream again.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Vacation 2006

Chicago for 4 days and 3 nights. It was a very busy, enjoyable, and stressful vacation.

Day 1 The Museum of Science and Industry





Day 2
Field Museum








Adler Planetarium


Shedd's Aquarium


Day 3 and 4, we spent at Six Flags






September Goals