dear mister.

it is not kind to send your hormonally-challenged, fat-cha wife pictures as such...
(ReAL chicago pizza)

and this...
(lakeshore drive on a beautiful day)

here's a tip, paco...
next time you go to her hometown and send these kinds of things, you might leave her with something other than nathan's hotdogs cooked on the STOVE (okay, they actually don't suck) which will be placed in lovely albertson's buns or maybe at least bring her back some fannie mae candy (the milk chocolate butter creams) or a new cubs hat or an italian beef sandwich or photo booth pictures from navy pier or cotton candy from wrigley field...

...i'm just saying...

the wonderful woman you have to come home to...


circle of life.

it must go on.

after the hardest week of my life knowing i'd be saying good-bye to my sweet avery, it seems like you just can't possibly remember that there is always going to be tomorrow.
no matter what it holds.
people (and animals) and incidents so change our lives that it's so very difficult to somehow know that tomorrow will always be there to help you through what life brings your way.
why are faith and trust so difficult to remember?
hmmm...i guess there is that 'being human' thing, huh?
well, i will try not to ramble (ie. take a seat), but just wanted to share (and maybe give myself a visual reminder) that He is always taking care of us...

here is one of the last pictures of avery in her favorite, worn-out spot next to my bed, and that "please, mom, would you close the door so i can lay here?" her sweet eyes would seem to say.
"it's time for bed, right?"
this was taken just the day before. of course, she had to take one last swim to freak her mom out ;)
and then, mosby, who's spooked by water (yes. he is lab.), is like, "hey! ARE YOU CRAZY, OLD LADY?! get out of there quick! what were you thinking?!"
now, it's friday morning.
we hold our avery, talk to the boys, say good-byes and think we can cry no more.
a few hours pass, when suddenly, a little comic relief comes our way...at least for me :)
mister and i pick up jack from school around lunch time for his arm's moment of freedom.
noticing anything on his face? if not, maybe this will help...
"MOM!! YOU ARE NOT HOLDING MY EYES CLOSED TIGHT ENOUGH FOR ME NOT TO LOOK!!!" poor jackie didn't want to, but couldn't help trying to look while the nice man used pliers to twist and turn and yank the ginormous pins out of his bones. sweet.
apparently, mister also couldn't help looking and by the time it was over this is what i saw...
oh, wait. i'm sorry. this probably didn't give you the full view of the shade of green he and jack both turned.
ah. here it is...
til death do us part. right, honey?
thank you, mom, for working in an e.r. and telling gory stories during dinnertime. no queezy tummy for me :)
so next we scramble home to gather all the boys so they don't have to enter the house for the first time without avery by themselves. we cried a lot and we talked a lot. my boys grew up so much that day. no one fought. no one said unkind words. no one wanted to be with anyone else, but our own little family. that brought more tears to mister and myself. we were so amazed by how vocal each boy was at expressing how they were feeling. hmmm....how amazing that smiles were already beginning to creep back into our hearts.
now it was time to finish this
so it could travel to houston for this young lady's first birthday :) happy first birthday, kaitlyn!!! that is exactly how you should eat cake!
and before the night was over, we headed to the first of 4 hockey games for the weekend.
sadly, early the next morning, mister had to catch a plane to miami (i know, boo-hoo, right?) and all activities resumed. each boy had two games that day and why wouldn't they be at the same times? i can't thank my friends enough for helping out with all of this! you are our angels :)
and finally, enters today.
always best to start the morning with a little implosion of texas stadium followed by bagels and sunday school and a visit with bibber. a nice morning :)
but wait!!! my kids are fat like me and could not have been more excited than when we went here for lunch...
they were all like, "in your face, dad! no jimmy john's for you!"
mister, you're crying right? ;)
okay. hurry home. logan, change clothes, you two, get ready for God and me.
ugh. what time is it?
YES! time to green flag it to win the hockey championship where this guy (the white blur)
scored FIVE goals!!!
yes...i was THAT mom in the crowd you probably wanted to move away from after a while and darn proud of it! can you tell?
and as the circle closes on this weekend, what did we come home to?
a newbie in the pool trying to follow in his big sister's footsteps...
and just maybe trying to save his froggie :) you go, mosby-moo!


good-bye my sweet girl.

to my sweet avery.
thank you for loving us. over 13 years ago, mister and i started our lives and family together. in the spring of that first year, we were blessed with our first baby, avery laquisha. you have filled our lives with so much love and happiness. you were there to welcome home all of the boys and have helped us raise them to be sweet, caring little men. you are and will always remain the best vacuum there ever was. you were such a patient horsey during the toy story phase of life. you never ceased to amaze us at your ability to within seconds completely devour a whole pizza, sandwich, or entire loaf of bread. and, by the way, you were years of living proof that chocolate really doesn't kill dogs, it seemed to improve your quality of life :) i loved watching grandpa come into town and take you for your special walks and how after a trash scavenger hunt in the neighborhood you always enjoyed your laps in the pool. i love that you are probably the only retriever that didn't actually retrieve. although you made the best catches of food hardly ever letting a crumb hit the floor. one thing that especially makes me smile is when after you knew everyone was sleeping, you would unzip the boys' backpacks, pull out their lunch boxes, unzip them and eat their leftovers. remember the time when you ate the tiger cake i made for logan right before the scout meeting? as much as it frustrated me, i secretly loved when you would wait for me to engage in conversation with someone outside, then would slyly sneak around the corner of the house and go on one of your adventures. i love that you were so stubborn and would miss us so much when we were on vacations that we couldn't board you and had to find people to watch you at our house. and i love how you love those friends. i love how every time i was pregnant you seemed to know and were always by my side. i love that you and i were the queens of the house. i love how you come up to us and nudge our hands up on top of your head. i love the marks you have made on the rugs in your favorite spots...and i love how i will always be able to see you circling before you lay down. i hope it's okay, but i also love how you would finally lose it with mosby and snap at him. i love the way he watches you and oh so wants to be like you someday. i love when our family remembers how after we got you we took you everywhere with us like to kinsey's first birthday. i love how you always seem to be listening to me when i talk to you, especially when i'm cleaning. i love how you are so sweet and patient with the boys. and i love when i see them smiling at you and rubbing you behind your ears. i love how you would pretend not to be sleeping on the cozy blanket beds you would make with the boys' blankets. i love that you NEVER forget when you're supposed to eat and make it known to all...i believe this is the heart of our souls' connection ;) i love remembering when you and mister started running together and how you would get so excited when he put his shoes on. i love how we are both lazy lima beans. i love that everyone close to us knows that you are a part of our family and will always remember that. i love that your smiling eyes and ever-wagging tail were always the first thing i'd see when i came home.
thank you for being my sweet girl, old lady and best friend with mister.
i. love. you.

sweet dreams,


procrastination at it's best...

so it is ME, not jack, who has put off completing his project and during the final hours what do i do?
take a stroll down memory lane of course!

i love this midget!

and this studly beach guy!

and this sweet boy who will do anything for a laugh!

...now, what was i doing?....


dear beach.

are your ears ringing? do you remember me?
mister and i REALLY miss you.
just thought you should know.