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i am thankful.

Friday, November 28, 2008
I know i'm a day late with this one. But this time of year always forces me to reflect on the many, many things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my loving family. They have supported me in everything I have done. I Love them all near and far and really do appreciate all the support especially during this past year.

I am thankful for my dad's health. This past year has been a roller coaster for my dad. He is so special to me and seeing what he has had to struggle with has been extremely difficult. A year ago this past wednesday marks the one year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis. He has come a long, long way since. He has had every test imaginable, had blood drawn thousands of times, had a few bone marrow biopsies, went on long term disability, spent a few weeks in the hospital, has had 2 surgeries, and TONS of doctors appointments. I am thankful he has shown me what true strength is. I am thankful he has never given up, despite what he has endured. I am SO thankful he is with us here today. and everyday.

I am thankful for my mom. Seriously, this past year has been the hardest on her. She has been so strong for my dad, my mimi and my entire family for that matter. She has truely carried the weight of the world on her shoulders. She has makes me want to be a stronger person, she is truely a testiment of strength. I am so thankful that she is my mom and that I have had her by my side through everything.

I am thankful for my Mimi. I am so incredibly thankful for the time I was able to spend with her, especially in the end. She was an amazing woman and I am so thankful I am able to call her my Mimi. She taught me so much about life, living and always kept me laughing. I miss her so much, especially during this time of year. Luckily, I know she is with me always.

I am thankful for my wonderful friends. They have all supported me in their individual ways and each and every way has been appreciated greatly.

I am thankful for my health. Seeing other's struggles really makes me feel lucky for the life and health I have.

I am thankful for Gar. He taught me so much about life. He taught me what unconditional love is all about. He gave me experiences I would have never had. He gave so much of himself to others despite his extreme suffering. He really was such a strong person. I still miss him every single day, I'm sure I will forever. But, I am thankful he was in my life and so thankful for the time we were able to spend together.

I am thankful for my boyfriend. Sure it isn't easy living states apart but all things considered he has been a huge comfort especially with Mimi and Gar's passing as well as my dads illness.

I am thankful for my two little nieces. They sure bring so much joy into my life. Even though they are 1,000 miles away :)

I am thankful for my faith. enough said.

Now for some of the smaller, yet still important things...

I am thankful for...

my new car.
my ability to go to college.
the beach right down the road.
good habatchi restaurants. yum!
good music.
artists who write all their own lyrics.
my job.
hot and iced tea.
wednesday night dinners at poppy and grandmas.
my lab/disection partner amanda.
lindt white chocolate & coconut bars...thanks gar for introducing me to these :)
my digital camera.
my cell phone and texting.
people who make me smile.
my comfy bed :)
rascal flatts and taylor swift concerts.
modern medicine.
my hopes and dreams.
the holiday season.
good home-cooked meals.
my love for cooking.
my laptop.
iTunes and my iPod.
my ability to be somewhat creative.


I hope everyone had a very happy thanksgiving!

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Oh man, this is from April. We were all standing at the door of my brothers room laughing our butts off! Maybe it was one of those "you had to be there" moments...
video

God is So Great

video
Chloe learned this song at preschool. I love it!

almost 30...






Today my sister turned 29!



Here are 29 of the tons of reasons why she is the best sister around!




29. She is an amazing mother.


28. She has given me two beautiful nieces.


27. She is a fantastic wife and a navy wife at that!


26. She makes fantastic nachos! :)


25. She has always been here for me.


24. She is kind, caring, and always willing to help.


23. She is a very strong woman.


22. Many times she has to be like a single mom when Andy is out to sea for months at a time.


21. She used to take me out to icecream when she first got her liscense.


20. We used to have date nights when Andy would go out to sea (before the
girls came along)


19. I was so excited when she surprised us one Christmas and told us she was
moving in!


18. She really is a good cook although she always says she isn't.


17. She is beautiful inside and out.


16. She always has supported me in everything I have done.


15. She would make a great manicurist--you should see her do her own
nails...man, I wish I was that good!
14. She makes me laugh-- our plans to open up a nail salon ;)

13. She is a fantastic organizer!
12. She always puts her family first.
11. She is very intelligent, even though she thought Alaska was an island ;)
10. She is a strong woman.
9. She always takes excellent care of my nieces.
8. She gives great advice that I value more than she knows.
7. She is one of the only people that I will trust with my future
children.
6. She has a beautiful smile.
5. She has been there for me at the most difficult times in my life.
4. She always made sure to have a close relationship with me and my brother
even when she lived with her real mom.
3. She always has defended me, no matter what.
2. She always tries her hardest at whatever she attempts and usually
succeeds!
1. She is amazing.

Cara,

Even though I am in CT and you are in GA please know I wish I could have been there to help you celebrate....And I'm there in spirit :) I know it is a hard birthday having your Hubby gone. But just remember to take a few extra minutes for YOURSELF today. I love you VERY much! I can't wait to see you at Christmas. Have a very happy birthday!

love always,
Your little sis :)

Surprise, Surprise!

My parents had tickets to fly down and spend a week at my sister's house in Georgia so that they could be there for Chloe's 4th birthday. I knew I couldn't miss out on all the fun so I booked my ticket for a Thursday to Monday. And I kept it a secret from my sister and Chloe! It was SOOO hard, so many times I almost slipped because I wanted to tell my sister how excited I was. So Thursday Oct. 23 I flew into Jacksonville Airport. My parents had arrived the day before and my mom and I had devised a plan. She told my sister they had to run back to the airport because the suitcase with all of Chloe's birthday presents from family back home never made the connection so they were sending it the next day (thursday). So I arrive call my mom we plan to meet in baggage claim. Mind you the night before this all I had talked to my sister and she was convinced I would be showing up with my parents on Wednesday and how upset she was when I wasn't there but that she understood that I had school and all. So I come around the corner and there is Chloe and my mom. I yell Chloe's name and she saw me and came running yelling "Auntie, Auntie, Auntie!!" It was precious and of course melted my sappy heart. Haha! Everyone was clapping and commenting how cute it was. Then I grab my bags and I head outside and my sister pulls up with my dad. Notices me and flies out of the car and gives me the biggest hug. It was perfect. I had TOTALLY surprised her and Chloe. And poor little Hannah didn't know the difference, she was asleep in the car ;) Anyways...I had a fantastic time. I spent alot of time with the girls of course. Poor Andy was working non-stop as they were trying to get their boat ready to go out to sea. But all around it was such a fun trip and I was so sad to go home monday. I miss them all!
Sorry for the massive amounts of pictures and the fact that they are completely out of order!
Chloe got a Barbie Jeep from her parents and .my parents. She LOVES it. We let her open it at about 7am. So that Andy could see her. We didn't know if he was going to make it to her party because work has been so crazy for him (luckily he did end up making it). So that is why we are all in our PJs. And that is Chloe's cousin Allison who came up from FL along with Cara's mom to celebrate Chloe's birthday
My Hannah!

Me and the girls.


I can't resist those chubby cheeks! She has grown so much!


Chloes other grandparents bought her a bouncehouse for her birthday party--this was her and I bouncing in it!




Blowing out the candles!





Opening presents :)






The Friday before her birthday she got to bring in cupcakes to her preschool. She loved the frosting, but wasn't a fan of the "cake" haha!







Chloe got the job of sprinkler..She helped me make the cupcakes for her preschool.














Dear Catlin,

**warning, the following post proves that I am a true sap :)**

The past three months have been pretty great due to the cutie pictured above ;)

I couldn't have asked for a more supportive boyfriend especially with everything that went on with my dad and brother. It truely means alot to me. We have made some awesome memories in these three short months. I am sure that there will be many, many more to come. You make me laugh when I couldn't even imagine smiling. You came into my life at a perfect time and I couldn't be happier. Thank you for all that you are!

Love,

A very happy girl :)