Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

With a family of 5, it's nearly impossible to get a good picture where everyone is:


looking in the same direction

wearing nice clothes (I'm happy with decent)

not crying (smiling is an added bonus)

This is close...

And this is even better!

I am so glad that we took the time to take pictures on Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Saying Goodbye

When Ashley and I were newlyweds, eager to establish our little family, we went out and got a puppy. I remember meeting the breeder half way between Chapin (where we lived at the time) and the upstate (where she lived). She brought two Rottweiler puppies for us to chose from and I remember it being hard to make a decision. They were both so cute. In the end, we chose the one that seemed most interested in us and she became our first baby.

I emailed our families announcing our new addition and we spent hours doting on her. We read books about training Rottweilers and bought her lots of toys and treats. Sweet little Lou. She could fit in the floor board of the front seat.

Not long after adopting Lou we moved to a house downtown. It had a sun room for her but she mostly had the run of the house. She grew and grew and played with Fudge (our neighbor's spaniel) at the park across the street.

We adopted a kitten and Lou accepted her into our family. Later we got another dog so that Lou could have a better companion. Then we moved from our downtown house to an "adult" house in Irmo. We found a place with a big yard for the dogs and built Lou and Sammie (our second dog) a fence so that they could run. The four of us went for boat rides and went swimming in the lake.

We made them stay outside when we moved. Lou never complained.

Then we had twins. We threw the ball less and less. Still, she never complained.

Next came Wyatt...and with the third child came the weekly, "did you remember to feed the dogs?" But, sweet Lou still loved us and was happy with the attention she got. Sammie followed her around like her shadow so she had constant company. The years went by. The old girl started to limp a bit and her face aged with time. She still loved to play ball.

Finally we moved to Lexington and this time got an underground fence. Such a smart girl: it only took her a couple of days to learn the limits of her new yard. She slowed down even more. Little did we know, cancer was taking over her bones.

Finally the day came when we had to let her go. April 11th.

Almost 2 weeks ago.

It's taken me this long to write about it. I do not think Ashley or I realized how truly brutal it would be. Saying goodbye is so hard.

Rest in peace, Loudie. We all love and miss you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

5 year olds


April 10th Andrew and John turned FIVE! They are getting so big and changing so much!

Fewer mispronunciations.

More independence.

Stronger opinions.

Bigger vocabularies.

I had all these thoughts and fears that five year olds were big boys...not toddlers anymore. I feared that the boys would go through an overnight change marked by the need for privacy and that they would be too cool for mama all of the sudden. Thankfully, I was wrong! The changes that are taking place in the boys have been slow and steady. They still hold my hand crossing the parking lot, still give me kisses goodnight, and still hug me in front of their friends.

The boys had a big birthday weekend! Friday night and Saturday morning they played tee ball games, then Saturday afternoon we went to Frankie's with some of their friends from school; it was a little over the top for Ashley and I, but the kids had a ball. Granny Meg and Pop took us all for a birthday dinner and then Sunday the boys had their end of the season soccer party (on their actual birthday) and got trophies! I brought cup cakes and their team had a little birthday celebration for the special boys.

Our sweet boys have come so far in 5 years! It still amazes me when I stop to think about the way our family has been blessed by those two...and how strong they have been- right from the beginning.

Ash and John riding go carts

Nana and Jack ridingFour silly boys- Andy, Jonathan, John and Jack!