Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Little Panic and BIG Thank You

My little brother was involved in a car accident this past week. He broke his leg pretty bad, but otherwise is ok. My mom called to let me know that he'd been in a wreck and I sort of went into freak out mode. I went to the scene of the wreck since it was close to my home. Let me just say, accident scenes are WAY worse to view in the dark...and a trillion times worse when you know someone you love is involved. I had to park almost a half mile a way and run to get to him. Wait, let me tell the truth--I had to run with my pajamas on. The ones that kept falling off my butt. I do NOT promote leaving your home in pajamas ever, but if you must--dress them up with your brown flats like I did. :) Anyways--back to the original point here. As I approached the car, there were paramedics and firemen/women everywhere. They initially thought they may need the life flight, which sent me into a total panic. I really think if one can black out and remain standing--I probably did just that. Then I heard my little, tiny, baby, 6 foot tall, 21 year old brother say "I'm ok!" THANK THE LORD! I ended up riding in the EMS with him and keeping our parents posted as to what was going on during the drive to the hospital. Never losing his well known sense of humor, the kid asked the EMS driver to make a detour through Taco Bell before taking him to the ER. :) Always the funny guy, this kid.

He's ok now. He has the coolest, grossest bruise I've ever seen, and is now equiped with some metal hardware in his thigh, but ok. I think all of the big sisterly abuse I gave him as a child made him so tough.

I just have to say THANK YOU to all of the rescue workers who were there that night to help him and his buddies out! Everyone was calm and helpful. They treated me with respect and never left me guessing what was going on. I have several friends who volunteer as firefighters and EMTs, and I never realized how hard their job truly is. Even though Clint has "just" a broken leg, those flashing lights are burned into my head from that night. I don't know how these workers leave their own families to willingly put themselves in danger to help others. But, I'm definitely glad they do! :)

Charlie, always wanting to be like his uncle, shows off his own "ouchie". 

The Imagination Station

Last weekend we took the boys to The Imagination Station science center in Toledo. It is housed in the old COSI building. What a super cool place for kids (and adults) of all ages! We spent a large majority of our time in the "Little Kid Space" (complete with lots of fun water activities), but did check out the whole place. Max even got called up to assist during a demonstration! He thought he was famous. :) I really recommend checking the Imagination Station out! Teachers get in free (woohoo) with proper ID, as do kids 2 and under--which made our whole visit a whopping $16. Totally worth every penny! Here are a few shots from our day:

Fireman Maxwell

Charlie tries his hand at a computerized logic puzzle

Max loved to see how many balls he could make "float" over the air

Max's 5 minutes of fame

Charlie and Daddy play with sand and a spinning wheel

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Day + Snow Day

We got just enough snow this past week to enjoy a SNOW DAY! It just happened to be Valentine's Day as well. My mother in law stopped over to drop off some delicious "pupcakes" (as Charlie calls them) and sweet stuffed animals for the boys. The kids also drew some Valentine's Day cards for my parents to thank them for the gigantic, enormous, huge-tastic sized box of conversation hearts...the size box that ONLY grandparents can get away with buying. Max also wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you to his Papa for the obnoxiously loud air horn that he received. *sigh* Thanks, dad. We're pretty big fans of grandparents around here.


Say hello to my favorite red head...Hudson! This little dude is my best friend's son. It seems like only yesterday when I got the text messaged picture of 2 pink lines and the caption, "Does this look positive?" I was honored to be there when Kari and her husband found out that they were having a boy, and again when Hudson was born. I really feel like photographing his birth just, 5 minutes ago. But, like all kids do, Hudson has gotten bigger and bigger! He will be 9 whole months old on March 3! We had fun doing his photos today, even though I'm pretty sure that he spent the entire time making mental notes of how to be as naughty as possible while watching my boys!

 This one makes my teacher heart happy! I LOVE that he loves books so much at such a young age. Child prodigy?
I do believe so. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Relay for Life...

I just officially registered for this year's Relay for Life! I can't even go to the Relay website without getting choked up for multiple reasons. One reason being the happiness it brings me when I see how awesome my small town is when it comes to raising BIG money for the American Cancer Society! Why do I care so much about cancer research? Those are the other reasons my eyes flood with tears when I talk about Relay.

I remember being a 5 year old, seeing my grandpa lose his hair and become sick. I remember him being a nice guy. I remember him being on so many medications that altered his mood. I remember the day he told me that he didn't care that it was my birthday. He did care, though...and I knew it. I just was so confused. I'll never forget the day that my mother, father, youngest uncle and I were sitting in my house when the phone rang. An ear piercing ring, a ring that sounded eerily different than any other--even to a five year old. My mom answered the kitchen phone, my uncle rushed to the bathroom and slammed the door. I, myself, sat in silence (that's not common for me). I knew what that phone call meant. Grandpa was gone. He'd lost his battle with lung cancer, and his wife (the sweetest person I know), daughter and 3 sons had lost their father, and I lost my grandpa. I know I was sad at the time, but the reality of it never hit me until I reached my adult years and had babies of my own. My grandpa was not "old"--he was YOUNG. He never met my brother--his only grandson, or my five beautiful cousins. He never met his great grandsons. Somehow I know that my youngest son (Charlie, named after Grandpa) would love him to pieces--and vice versa. My son's a pistol...ornery, with a fiesty little temper. The same personality that Grandpa was well known for. But cancer prevented them from ever meeting.

When I was 16, I met my high school sweetheart, my Prince Charming. He didn't have a stupid white horse. He raised hogs and had a big black truck...and it was awesomely loud. :) He was my first love, with out a doubt. We spent 2 years dating and ended things as pretty close friends. I will never, ever forget the day he called with the news---he had cancer. CANCER!? He was barely of legal drinking age, much less battling cancer! How could this be happening to his parents? They'd lost a nephew AND son to accidents, and now their youngest son was battling cancer! Brian left this earth in January 2004. He put up a darn good fight though! I don't like to think cancer won this one--I think Brian won. He's with his cousin and brother now--having one heck of a time in Heaven. Rest assured, they have a Bud Light fountain and always an ample supply of snow for snowmobiling.

Four years ago, I started my own photography business. I began offering photographs to families who had children suffering terminal illnesses, primarily cancer. It breaks my heart to have seen many of these kids suffer. How can small children deserve something so terrible? Little Gabe and Tiana left lasting impressions with every person they met before they left this world.

Over this past summer, I met a cute little man. He was fighting his own battle with cancer--but you'd never have known it! He was an ornery little pumpkin! He's currently in remission and giving his grandmother a run for her money every day. (Of corse, she wouldn't have it any other way) I believe that this little dude is still here on this Earth because of all of the money put towards cancer research! 

I have the sweetest aunt that has been battling cancer off and on for the past few years. She recently beat it for a second time. Today, my mom shared that my aunt has grown her OWN hair back and is looking great as ever! She's still here, enjoying her granddaughter each day because of money put towards cancer research.

A VERY close family member of mine was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. Because of cancer research, she got rid of if with a simple surgical procedure! Thank goodness she is still here today!

Advances are being made EVERY day in the search for a cure! And Relay for Life is such a HUGE way to contribute to cancer research! It's my hope that one day no family will have to lose a grandfather, father, husband, son,mother, grandmother,wife, daughter, sister, brother, cousin or friend to this terrible disease!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

sugar and spice and everything nice.

My good friend Brandy came over to visit last night and brought her sweet baby girl, Brylee, with her. I hadn't seen Miss Brylee Lou since September! My goodness how she's grown! She was adorned with some serious bling yesterday when her mama took her to get her ears pierced. GAH! I need a little more little girl in my life. The cuteness is just over the top! Here are some shots I got of the lil punker while she was here visiting. Enjoy!