Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Park Overhaul

This is Channing Heights Park. It is right down the street from our house. Evelyn has "grown up" at this park. She started calling it the "Green Circle Park" when she started talking. The wooden panel with the circle in the above shot is green.. hence the name.

It is an old park.. the play equipment, from what I understand, was put up in the mid-80's. With a new bond measure that past in 2008, THPRD (our parks and rec group) put money toward revamping some of the older parks, including our beloved Green Circle Park!

Evelyn and I went online last fall to THPRD's website and saw pictures of what the new play equipment would look like. And oh, my... she got SO excited! Why? Two words : CURLY SLIDE!! She has learned all of her months of the year as she has counted down to when the park would be done.

Well.. last month the overhaul started. We have taken many walks down to the park to watch the progess. The "park guys" have been so nice to Evelyn, talking with her and showing her what they are up to. It has been fun for her. They are ALMOST done.. so I thought I would show you the progress (I unfortunately didn't get pics of the bare lot!):

Starting to build the play structure


Forms for the cement surround

The entire play structure.. so cool!

Cement done...

... with a ramp and a place for bikes and strollers!

Wood chips are poured, benches and picnic table are cemented in!

Someone is very excited!!

I expect the park to be "finished" in a couple of weeks. Evelyn wants to have a "park party" to celebrate! Sounds fun to me!

Miss You, Dad...

8 years ago today he left this earth. The worst day of my life to date. I have pretty good memory, but I sometimes fear that I will forget things about him that I loved. Some big things, lots of little silly things... all are what made him who he was, so special to me.

Here are some that come to mind this morning....

*I would always go to my dad if I needed something during the night. That's just who I went to... not sure why. He slept on the left side of the bed. And he would never be upset that I woke him. Maybe that's why I sleep on the left side of the bed....

*I fit perfectly into him to snuggle on the couch when I was little... and not so little!! :) Many times I cried into his chest... and he just let me, not saying a word.

*He loved Christmas.. and he always would go check to see if Santa showed up before we were allowed into the living room. He usually then would tell us, with a sheepish grin, that he DIDN'T come.. just to get a reaction. I think we fell for it every time, too!! :)

* He would get on the floor with us girls and "play rough". We would climb all over him and he would take us on rides on his back. He would tickle us, tackle us, and dog pile us, too! I get claustrophobic pretty easily, but I loved to be a the bottom of the pile, laughing hysterically!!

*He would "jig" when he got you with a good joke or said something funny. (If you watch the ending scene in the movie "Erin Brokovich", when Ed gets Erin to think he lowered her bonus.. and does a little jig after ribbing her for not being good at apologizing... that jig... TOTALLY my dad. I could watch that scene over and over... )

*He would answer the phone, "Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening this is Don" in the most cheerful voice.. no matter what his mood.

*He was the one who delivered bad news to us girls. He had a way of breaking it gently yet to the point. With a hug, too.

*He rooted for the underdog.. being a Duck fan in the 70' s and 80' s taught him that I think!

*He was an amazing basketball coach... and an amazing football referee.

*My sweet mom is an amazing cook... but dad was the pancake maker.. and he made really good pancakes!!

*He had cereal EVERY night before bed.. and always shared his leftover milk with the cats. We took one of the cats (our Sam) after he died.. and he STILL will come running in the evenings if he hears a spoon clank against a bowl. My dad even made an impression on the cat!

* My freshman year I didn't make the cheerleading squad. I was so sad. If you made the squad, you got a carnation. Dad came home from work that night with a special carnation for me.. I still have that carnation!

*He called his parents on a regular basis... and he always ended by telling them he loved them, even his dad. That made an impression on me.

I could go on and on and on.....

One of the best things about my dad is that he took time to know me... really know me. He knew my strengths and weaknesses, and wanted me to use both to better myself. He was a consummate encourager. My cheerleader.

n old note from him, written to me when I was about 10, says:

Always be yourself-keep your loving caring heart. You are one of a kind. People will always like you because you are you!! You should give yourself more credit; you don't have to take second to anyone. Stand tall, and let the world see you. Daddy will always love you and always be there if you need me.
Love, Dad

I will always cherish those words, words from a man who knew me and loved me well.

I hope I can always be myself, be kind, and stand tall for you, dad.. and be half the person you were. I hope I make you proud. I miss you so much... oh, so much. I wish I could call you up, just to hear your voice. I wish Evelyn and Matthew could know you, play with you, laugh with you, be encouraged by you, be loved by you.
I just wish you were still here. Period.

Some anniversaries of your passing are easier than others.
This year is a harder one for me. So, I will let the tears flow, yet I will carry on. With hope. With wonderful memories. With you in my heart always. That's what you would want.

I love you, Dad...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter Sunday

Let's first go back to Friday.. we dyed eggs for the first time ever. She was way more into the stickers and other little decals that come in the PAAS box than actually dying the eggs but we had fun and she said she was excited to do it again next year!

Easter morning we got up and went to church. Evelyn was so excited to wear her Easter dress.. she has had it for a LONG time and I wanted her to save it to wear it today and she did! After church we went to my mom's for brunch. Still not sure how Doug and I are going to do the whole Easter Bunny thing... really not a fan of it, but its a fun for the kids. My mom and her Doug played Easter bunny this year and Evelyn had fun opening her stuff.

I really wanted to get a family picture... I am hoping it will get easier as the kids get bigger!!

Both Evelyn and Doug were under the weather, so they both took long naps when we got home from my moms. Matthew and I headed over to Doug's aunt Mary's to be with his family, and they joined us later.

Napping with Uncle Don

His cousin Mitchell kept saying "Matthew.. do you want some cake?" and Matthew was just cracking up.. total belly laughs. It was great!

Aunt Kristin helping Evelyn find eggs during the annual Easter Egg Hunt

Evelyn LOVES her Granddad.. and he loves her too!

We had a lovely meal with Doug's family and then came home and all of us went to bed early!!

One thing to note about this year is that Evelyn is now really understanding that Jesus died on the cross.. but she kinda focuses on that. She wants to read that story in her bible more than the resurrection story. So we have had a good teaching opportunity this Easter season to focus on the fact that He is RISEN.. and that is what we celebrate!

Happy Easter all!

Here we go...

We have come to that part of having two kids when they begin to "germ-share"! Evelyn had a pretty yucky cold for the past couple of weeks. I think this is the longest she had ever been sick. Anyways.. she finally managed to pass it on to her brother before getting over it. Poor buddy isn't feeling so hot, but in true Matthew fashion, he is handling it pretty good. He is not as happy as he usually is and is really congested and snarfly. He really hates having his nose suctioned with the bulb syringe, too.. thankfully I haven't had to do it too often. Overall, tho, he is being a trooper!! Momma is trying not to get cabin fever and finding things for us to do. I can't wait for ALL of us to be healthy again here!!

Not too sick to pose for a cute picture!!

My two NASCAR fans... I heart them!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Moments like these...

.. I hope to remember always!!

Evelyn has known how to spell her name for a long time. She has been able to write many letters, but she has never written her name out correctly or as nicely as she did today. I was so excited and proud. Although sick, she was pretty excited too!!

My friend Jody and I were just talking the other day about how for the first couple of years of life there are SO many milestones that are met. These days Evelyn is developing beautifully and getting smarter but there aren't as many "big" moments as there were when she was younger.

I consider this one of those "big" moments. I love being her mom! Go baby girl, go!!

No Foolin'...

Four years ago today, April 1st, I found out I was pregnant with my sweet Evelyn Joy!!

I remember waking up at 4am and needing to use the bathroom. Even tho we had taken the month "off" from trying something nudged me to grab a pregnancy test out of the cupboard. At 4am! Half asleep and without my glasses on, I took the test. In previous testing, it would take forever to get a "not pregnant" indicator. But within a few seconds there was a reading:

I thought I was seeing things, so I went back into the bedroom, got my glasses, and came back for another look. I remember starting to shake and starting to cry. I went back into the bedroom and woke up Doug to tell him.... at 4 in the morning!! He still gives me a hard time about that! :)

Even tho April 1st is a day of joking.. I am SO thankful that there was no kidding around about this!

I love you, Evelyn Joy!