Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alabama's Cheaha Mountain

The year is rapidly slipping by, and I was moderately concerned about visiting a state highpoint during the year. Today my fears were soothed as I got a chance to visit the top of Alabama: Cheaha Mountain. I was at the FSE-16 conference in Atlanta and made the early morning drive across state lines to visit the highpoint. It was a bit chilly, but the leaves were nice, and it was good to get out of the hotel for a bit. See the trip report for a full account of my trip.

Monday, November 10, 2008

And then there were four . . .

I feel compelled this evening to write a bit. The last couple of months have been full of ups and downs. We've been so blessed to have grandmas here to help take care of us and the support of dear friends here and friends and family everywhere else. Jonathan's birth, Hyrum's appendectomy, bishopric calling and travels and just all of us generally trying to adjust to Jonathan's addition has created a little craziness around our house.

Jonathan continues to bless our life everyday as does Hannah. Hannah loves her little brother and I'm sure she will have no problem mothering him for the rest of his life. She loves to give him hugs and kisses. Today she kept wiping the drool off his chin. Jonathan continues to grow and look so cute with his double chin. I wait everyday for that first real giggle. I think I heard one the other night but it may have been a dream.

Hyrum is out of town again this week but happily for me this his last trip for the semester, at least work related travel. He and Ian are hatching a trip for over Christmas break, we'll see what happens with that. I sure miss him when he's gone and so does Hannah. Today she heard the wind rustling leaves outside our door and asked if it was daddy. I said no and she followed up with Grandpa. She was pretty disappointed that neither Daddy nor Grandpa was going to walk in our door.

We've seen the Wrights for the last two weekends and she loves seeing them. We are glad they live close enough to see pretty often. We wish we could see my parents more often though. We're feeling pretty lucky for having seen them twice this year. Family is a wonderful blessing. We're so lucky to be part of two big wonderful families. We just wish we could all live a little closer together. I have siblings in Utah, Idaho, and Colorado with my parents in New York and Hyrum's parents are in Texas with siblings in Texas and Utah.

I'm really looking forward to the holiday season. I love the smells, the music and just the general feelings. I love shopping for Christmas presents and planning my goodies for the holiday. I bought fabric the other day to make a tree skirt. I am really excited. I love creating things whether it's crafts, dresses for Hannah, food or something else. I feel intelligent when I figure out how to make a pattern for the project I have in mind. These days, an opportunity to use my brain is greatly appreciated. I always hated math in school but I have to admit that I use it a lot when I am making a pattern. I never thought I'd say that.

We're doing well just trying to make it one day at a time. We are loving life and dealing with all the excitement and the daily happenings that remind us we're alive and really blessed. I'm glad that my problems are potty training our toddler and keeping our infant happy. Those things really are pretty simple compared to things other people have to deal with. I'm grateful for my husband. I have two beautiful children and the opportunity to care for them and love them is such a blessing. God has blessed us and for that I am grateful.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Allen 31, Wylie 28

It's been almost ten years since I graduated from "dear old Allen High," but yesterday, I had a chance to go back in time for a few minutes. My youngest brother is a drum major in the Allen Eagle Escadrille marching band, and a senior this year, so we decided to take in a game and a halftime show. Heather and I packed up the letter jacket, loaded up the kids and made the 4-hour trek up to Allen for the final home game of the season.

It's the first high school football game I've been to since being in high school myself, and I'd almost forgotten what high school football in Texas is like. The football wasn't particularly stellar, but the environment can't be beat. Even the little kids enjoyed it, though I think they were ready to leave after we saw the band at half-time. Seeing the 500+ member marching band perform was amazing. It was also a new experience, since I've always been in the band, not watching it.

Allen ended up winning the game by 3 points, and will mostly likely go the playoffs, though based upon what I saw last night, I'm not very confident in their chances. Still, for a few hours, it was good to be an Allen Eagle again.