Sunday, October 26, 2008

For the Beauty of the Earth

In an effort to be a better pet owner and give our dog what the great Dog Whisperer says must be top priority, exercise, we took Dakota on a couple of great walks last week!  The first day I pulled the stroller out in preparation and Asher and Haven decided they preferred different modes of transportation, like her feet and his bike.  What a concept!  Sometimes I'm amazed at how fast my little ones are growing up right in front of my eyes.  Anyway, on our walk I kept finding myself thinking about how grateful I am for the beautiful place I live and the simple pleasures I enjoy and often take for granted, like the fresh air, blue and sometimes cloudy skies, awesome trees, the view of puget sound, the horses that come to greet us as we walk by, my kids that like to be close to me.  

Take off!
Also, this is a shot of our house and I must put a plug in for Asher's awesome, wooden, peadal-less, park racer bike, as recommended by one of my most favorite friends, Alyssa.   See what she had to say about these bikes here, look at #6.

The horses we at the little grey building when we approached the fence, and when they heard speaking to each other, they looked up and headed our way.

Kiddo and his sister, or so we're told, enjoying the carrots we brought to share

My little horse lover

My pack, because you know I am the Pack Leader!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Picture Special by Dustin and Ciera

My brother Dustin and his wife, Ciera, take awesome pictures!  In an effort to spread the word about their photography business they are offering a special in November.  In a nutshell, if you would like to partake of this great deal, you'll pay $25 for a 15 minute session and receive the 3 best digital images via email or on CD for an additional $2, with permission to print as many as you like! Check out their photography blog here to find out all the details and how to make an appointment. Look here to see a sampling of their work, our family pictures taken last fall. When you make your appointment, tell them their favorite sister sent you!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sweet Reunion with the Dunham Clan

Meet Connor Dunham!

Connor was one of my most very favorite patients at Children's, and his family was no exception.  The first time I cared for Connor was my first day back from maternity leave after I had Asher.  He had recently been diagnosed with Leukemia, just after his second birthday.  Fairly soon after the initial diagnosis, it was determined that Connor would require a bone marrow transplant.  Cute Connor and his mom spent a year in Seattle (they are from Wasilla, AK) with frequent visits from family, while he underwent treatment.   To make a long and difficult story short, Connor is now two years post transplant and doing awesome!  Last week he had to undergo a bunch of tests at Children's to follow up on his progress so they made a family trip out of it.  Alicia, Connor's mom, had emailed to see if we were available for a visit during their time in Seattle.  I was so honored that they would remember me and want to spend an afternoon with us.  Anyway, Thursday they drove up to our house to hang out for a few hours and eat dinner with us.  The kids had a blast and the grown ups enjoyed catching up!  Selfishly, it was a great payoff for me as a nurse to get to see Connor doing so great after taking care of him and his family when things were just plain crappy.  Visiting with the Dunhams made me miss my job just a tiny bit.  Taking care of families while they endure the unimaginable, is both a challenge and a huge blessing. 

Halle, Connor, Haven, Carson and Asher
I love how all the kids look like besty friends, when this was the first time they met

The whole gang, including Connor's mom, Alicia, and dad, Steve and Dakota!

The pleasure was all mine Dunhams!  Until next time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Please California, Vote YES on Prop. 8

Many of you have heard of Prop. 8 (Protect Marriage Amendment), but if you haven't it's important that you do.  There is great concern that each state will be facing similar votes in the near future.  Watch the videos below so you better understand how your family will be affected if Prop. 8 fails.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No Men or Kids Allowed on this Trip

Last week, I embarked on a 10-day girls vacation.  Preparing to leave was a huge task, but once I climbed in the car with my mom and sister at 4:45 AM a couple Thursdays ago, I was set.  Many of you who know my mom, know that she has become quite the world traveler over the past 10 years.  In summer of 2007 she had the crazy idea to plan a girls cruise, but she was hoping to do it that fall.  I convinced her to give us all a year to save our pennies and so we got the word out and planned the trip for last month.  Originally there were going to be about 14 of us, but as they always do, things came up and a few people had to change their plans.  Anyway, the final group consisted of myself, my mom, my sister and her mother-in-law (Mary), Aunt Becky and Grandma Degraw (aka Soptich),  and Aunt Robin and her mom Tinker.  In planning the trip, our travel agent, Mom, thought it would be fun to spend a couple days in Disney World prior to hopping on the boat.  On the recommendations of our hotel concierge, we went to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  Which meant we saved $30 on our admission, there were no lines at any of the rides and there was trick or treating all over the park until midnight. Just imagine 5 grown women trick or treating until there was no room in our candy bags.  Anyway, it was an awesome trip, and the best part was that I only had to worry about me.  I recommend this type of trip for anyone who wants an opportunity to renew their appreciation for an amazing spouse, awesome children and a supportive extended family! Thanks Mike for taking great care of the kids and house while I was gone.  Thanks Margo and Grandma Barrett for filling in all the gaps!

Mary, Becky, Sarah and Mom when we arrived at Magic Kingdom

Gotta love when the wait time is 0 minutes (which is what this sign said)

Mary was a good sport and went on all the roller coasters with us.  Here she is on Thunder Mountain, repeating, "I hate you Sarah!"

Many people took this Halloween party very seriously.  Here is Ursala showing us what is underneath the tentacles, she said everyone wants to know.  Also notice Tinker Bell in the background.  Too bad we all left our princess gowns at home.

Flat Stanley was the only male allowed to travel with us!

Me and Mom.  One of the highlights of this trip for my mom was when everyone asked if we were sisters.  Our cabin steward even asked if we were twins!  Notice I said one of the highlights for my mom.  I can only hope that when I'm 51 and Halle is 29 people will think that we are sisters.

The beautiful waters of Cozumel

This is what I spent a lot of time reading.  I loved it, but I must say I'm sad to see the saga end.

The last night of our cruise it was pretty windy!  All the decks were closed so we went out on our balcony to check things out.  Mary was a little nervous so I let her borrow my life jacket.

Sarah, Mom and I that same windy night.  The boat rocked pretty good until the wee hours of the morning.

For a more thorough account and more fun pictures, since I only took about 10, you can visit Sarah's blog.