Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Joy and Pain

Last night I attended a memorial service for Jeff's dear great-aunt, who was really more like a grandmother. Today, I got to see a video of my new baby. The life cycle complete. There is always life, and there is always death. Always joy and always pain. And what a strange and wonderful creature it is who can feel both the joy and the pain so deeply and almost simultaneously. It is a privilege to have been created with this capacity. In the coming days and months, we will continue to grieve and to rejoice, and we will marvel at the fact that we can do both and be thankful that we, of all the animals, were created in just this way.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


My Sweet Weston,

You turned five --not without notice--but in the midst of a busy time, and I just haven't had a chance to put my thoughts down for you yet. You're five--a whole handful! Wow! How did that happen?! It has been an amazing year, and I have had a blast being a part of all your growing and changing and learning.

A year ago, you couldn't hear. You had your tonsils removed and tubes put in your ears in February, and you have been a different child ever since. We have seen you blossom in so many ways. Your speech has improved, and you have become much more interactive. You have always been a happy guy, but your enthusiasm for just about everything has really grown, and you are generally so full of joy.

Besides your hunger for life, you also have an insatiable hunger for food. You have a particular fondness for Honey Buns, cheese enchiladas, lasagna and shrimp. But, the truth is, you will pretty much eat anything that doesn't eat you first! It's obvious that you are a growing boy.

You completed a year of preschool in May and started Kindergarten in August. You LOVE school and are always excited to learn new things. In fact, one of your favorite activities is to "go around the table and tell what everyone learned today." You can write all your letters, both upper and lower case, and you are an excellent reader. You also continually amaze us with your math skills. You do seem a little indifferent when it comes to reporting the weather, and you have often been known to report that it is cloudy and cold when it is actually sunny and warm. (Now that I think about it, it may not be indifference. Maybe you are actually on a path to become a weatherman). You have really enjoyed being involved in CC since September, and though you are the youngest kid in your class, you often impress your teachers and the other parents with your abilities and your tenderheartedness.

We see this tenderheartedness at home as well. You are always giving us physical and verbal confirmations of your love. My favorite is when you tell me you love me "too much." You are so thoughtful and are always giving little gifts, as well. You look for opportunities to help out around the house and almost always work joyfully and with all your heart. When you turned 5, we decided you were ready for a weekly paid job around the house (which you have been asking for for a while), and you became the bathroom man. You are doing a great job of it, and we are so proud of you!

You are fascinated by tools and have decided you want to be a builder when you grow up. You are hoping your first professional building project will be a vet clinic for Ruth, and you are anticipating having lots of opportunities to learn about the business as we build our new house next year.

Weston, you are such a special little boy, and it is a true blessing to know you! You make me smile every day and fill my heart with love. Daddy and I are so proud of you, and we love you so very much! You are our favorite five-year-old in the whole world!!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back Among the "Landlubbers"

Well, despite not packing all the essentials (like pjs, underwear and swimsuits), a little seasickness, some chillier-than-expected weather and a cancelled shore excursion, we had a wonderful vacation! (Thank goodness for big-box stores, ginger pills, sweaters and refunds)!

We spent Saturday afternoon and evening at the Kemah Boardwalk, where we rode rides and ate seafood and took in all the sights. Sunday morning dawned chilly, but that didn't keep us from playing on the beach after breakfast and then spending most of the rest of the day at Dickens on the Strand, where we saw Victorian England come alive before our very eyes. When the festival was over, we made our way to one of the historic neighborhoods, where many beautiful, old trees were destroyed during Hurricane Ike. In an effort to preserve something of the beauty and majesty of these trees, many of the homeowners hired chainsaw artists to carve the remaining trunks into beautiful sculptures. The results are absolutely amazing! When it got too dark to see the sculptures, we found another seafood restaurant on the beach, where we enjoyed the food, the view and celebrating the anniversary of when we got engaged 13 years ago to the day, on that very beach.

Monday morning found us back on the beach, under slightly warmer conditions, where we played for a while before boarding the Carnival Ecstasy. The cruise was absolutely wonderful, and we would highly recommend it to anyone considering this type of vacation! The kids, undaunted by the chill in the air and the water, spent most of their time aboard the boat swimming in the pool, lounging in the hot tub and zipping down the three water slides--while Jeff and I, huddled under towels and jackets, relaxed and read on the deck. There were many other things to do aboard the ship as well, and each day was packed with fun from early in the morning until late at night. On Wednesday, we arrived in Progresso, Mexico, where we saw ancient Mayan ruins, ate at an authentic Mexican buffet and took in a horse and dance show. Thursday brought us to Cozumel, where our sub-ocean boat tour was cancelled, due to high winds and unsafe conditions. Instead, we did some shopping and then spent the rest of the day aboard the boat, enjoying all the Ecstasy had to offer. As we made our way back to Galveston on Friday, we learned how to make towel animals and witnessed the carving of an ice sculpture aboard the ship. It was a fabulous vacation, and we are all looking forward to another opportunity like this in the future!

My plan is to select a *few* of the 500+ pictures I took and dole them out in batches during the upcoming week. If you aren't a picture person, we certainly won't be offended if you skip the forthcoming slideshows. But, if you'd like to have a visual of our trip, we welcome you to join us here over the next few days.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sail Away With Me

The tickets have been purchased, the documents printed out and the bags packed (except for Jeff, who prefers to throw things in the bag as we are walking out the door, just to drive me crazy). Tomorrow, we are headed to Galveston, where we will enjoy the Kemah boardwalk, some fresh seafood and Dickens On The Strand, before boarding our cruise ship on Monday. We are so, so excited! I may not have a chance to update the blog while we're on the boat, but you can bet I'll have lots of pictures and some tales to tell when we get back next week.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010