Monday, June 28, 2010


Isn’t it awesome how just hearing a song from the past can take you back to an exact time in your life? Isn’t it awesome how hearing a sad song can take you down an emotional landslide and with it your mood…and to the opposite effect, hearing an old favorite can turn your bad day into an exceptionally happy one, as you sing out loud, move to the beat, and forget your troubles, even if only for the length of the song…one cannot deny…music is powerful !!!

One of the first songs that I recall as a child takes me back to a time when we were making trips from the lake to Columbia for my Dad’s radiation treatments. My Mom and Dad would both sing, “You are my Sunshine”, including a seldom heard second verse that is nothing less than depressing, but as a child, I loved the song regardless – “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you’ll never know Dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away. (2nd verse) The other night Dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms, but when I woke dear, I was mistaken, so I hung my head and I cried”

I can remember singing to the radio with my Mom in the car and she’d cry over sad songs which made me cry too. During church I remember sitting next to Mom and singing from old hymn books wasn’t my favorite thing to do at that time in my life (not my style of music), but as I got older couldn’t wait to sing those same songs, and to this day, are some of my fondest memories of being with my Mom. My Dad took me to see Porter Waggoner because he planned to sing my favorite song was, “On the road again”. It was another favorite as we drove. Dad would sing to my Mom as he came in for dinner, “ Hey good looking, what cha’ got cookin’, how’s about cooking something up for me !!” Don’t ask…just some childhood music memories.

Today, music constantly flows throughout our household. Either radio blasting, mp3 on repeat, kids songs on tv, Billy playing guitar, or worst case scenario…me belting out crazy songs to the kids or trying to sing along with the radio. Blake’s playstation karaoke booed me off stage and told me to go home, but I had fun !!
I am happy that the kids love music the way I do. I love so many different types that my kids like it ALL !!! Billy can tolerate “most” of my music, but he usually turns of the CD player when I break out my old school hip hop, dance, or rap stuff…can’t help it once in a while !!! This post came about because last night the kids and I went downstairs, jammed to some awesome jazz while dancing and pretending to play different instruments, it was sooo much fun and it made me think how important music is in our lives!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Daddy Day !!!

Billy gave up being a musician to be a good Dad many years ago and he continues to make sacrifices for his children today. Everything he does is for his family. He is a wonderful husband, Father, teacher, provider and friend...We are so blessed to have him in our lives. We celebrated Father's Day by showering him with handmade presents from the kids. We met him at church and watched him play in the worship band...we are really proud of him. After church, we came home, got the smoker going, and started BBQing and hanging out by the pool. It was a beautiful, HOT day...perfect for celebrating the BEST DAD EVER !!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Along came Taylor...

February 25, 2008 7lb 14oz 20" long

Blake was 3 years old when we found out that a baby was on the way. Again, we weren't exactly "ready" for another child. (We had even said that we couldn't have another until we got Blake figured out!) This time I had no doubts, I knew I wanted two kids, I didn't want Blake to be an only child. And the fact that it was a baby girl was just perfect in my book! My Mom said that she already knew it was a girl and instead of being happy, I was very sad, by this time, Mom had already been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. With this pregnancy I tried to not talk about it because I knew that Mom would probably never get to meet this baby...actually, I really do not recall much of this pregnancy at all. I just remember worrying that the baby could be harmed by the overwhelming stressful situation with Mom. As it turns out, both pregnant Mommas and babies in bellies are very resilient! Mom passed away 3 months later, and although I couldn't imagine having a baby without her around, the rest of the pregnancy and delivery went perfect... Billy and Blake were both there in the delivery room the entire time and as my Sister made her appearance, so did Taylor Ann. This time, as they layed her on my chest, there WAS this instant "love at first sight" !!! Taylor proved to be my little blessing over and over again...without her, I'm not sure I could have made it through losing Mom.

I have really taken time to just watch her sleep and be little. I don't want to rush any part of it...I know she is our last child, so I try to soak it all up. To see Blake be such a wonderful big brother to her makes my heart happy! He is patient and kind and ever so forgiving to her! I never expected him to be able to share attention like he amazes me!

Taylor is 2 years old now. She has the "determined" gene from Blake! lol! She is very independent and mighty, but sweet as well..." I yuv yuuu dis muck !!!" she says with her arms stretched wide!!!

I love these kids with all of my heart and literally thank God EVERYDAY for them !!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blake- From the Beginning

January 6, 2004 7lbs 11oz 21" long

I was not prepared for a baby when we found out Blake was on the way. I was scared to be responsible for another person. I loved the way my life career was just getting started, I enjoyed living at the lake and all the craziness that went along with it. Looking back, I can see that Blake was a gift from God, that I needed to ground me, and make my life whole. One thing I was pleased about was the fact that, since my Mom was getting older, I was having a baby in time for her to have a relationship with him. My Mom was such a huge part of my life and I wanted her to go through this experience with me. She was very excited when I told her of the new addition to the family !!!

My entire pregnancy was uneventful...I never got too excited, but I did everything by the book to ensure we both were healthy. By the 9th month, I had read every book, watched every birthing episode ever created, so I thought I knew exactly what to expect...I couldn't wait to see my bundle of joy and cry tears of love and live happily ever after...well, things were not quite like they were on T.V. !! The delivery was normal but long, I was exhausted, drugged yet the pain med had worn off, so I was still in pain, and not in the mood to fall in love with anyone or anything. I held him and remember thinking that he didn't look like either Billy or I...he was cute, but that is all i really felt. I was extremely sad that I didn't feel this overwhelming bond with him our first seconds together, but I've never really been a "love at first sight" kinda person. The next two days were hectic with swarming nurses that were "making" me nurse a baby who was too tired to eat. We made it through and by the time we got home, I couldn't stop looking at him, I was falling for the little guy after all !!

Over the next couple weeks, Blake and I spent lots of time together (Billy was out-of-town for work). By this time, it didn't matter "when" I started loving him with all of my heart, the fact was...I forgot what it was like NOT to have him to love.

The smile on my Mom's face when she saw him, the way she squeezed him to pieces, and smothered him with kisses, was exactly what I had hoped for and more. He was the little light of her life, and she was his constant ally, as he could do NO wrong according to her!! He loved his Grammy and even though they only got to share four years together, they were wonderful times !

Blake is six years old and an amazing gift to us. He is always making us laugh, he is ummm...we'll call him "strong-willed" lol!! and above all, he has a huge heart!! He is the best big brother a little sis could ever want. I tell him everyday that he is going to make a wonderful difference in this world!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Riding Out the Storm

Who really trusts the weatherman anyways? This being our ONLY chance this summer to go on a camp and float trip, we decided to go against the forcast and “take our chances”, we figured, “so it may rain a bit, we’ll make fun of it anyways!”….off we headed for the Huzzah River in Steelville, Missouri. Billy and I really miss our “river” days, we used to do floats all the time (before kids), so we are fairly experienced and up for the challenge of taking Blake and Taylor along for a 6 mile raft trip. Plus we had my sister, Diana along and she is great help with the kids.
The morning started out great…we got an early start, set up camp, and then got headed out on our raft. The first 20 minutes was GREAT…then…the thunder rolled, and the lightening clapped, wait a minute Garth Brookes wasn’t there!!! Anyways, when the rain came, we just rowed through, until it kept coming down harder and harder with lightening EVERYWHERE!!! We were “only” 5 hours from pick-up….Yikes !! It got so bad at one point, we emptied out our raft on an embankment, flipped it upside down against some brush, propped it up on the oars, and crammed our two little towel -wrapped kids underneath to protect them from the storm!! I’m not sure if I should even mention the fact that my sister was seeing the world through the goose’s eyes…that is “Grey Goose Vodka” eyes!! Maybe she won’t remember this trip!!!
When I compare the past with the present, I realize one thing…EVERYTHING changes after kids. Before kids, we loved camping and rafting because it was away from everything, in the middle of the wilderness, private, relaxing, challenging, isolated, just us to fend for ourselves…NOW, those things are the exact reasons I did not enjoy this trip!!! With the little one’s along, being stuck in a thunderstorm on a quickly rising river with challenges around each bend scared me to pieces!! I could not stand the thought that something could happen to one of the kids and the next human being to ask for help would be 6 hours away! Not to mention the fact that the entire night in our tent was spent with Billy and I holding waterproof sleeping bags over the kids, trying to direct the rain, that was pouring down inside the tent, off of them. It was sooo loud that every once in a while I could hear Billy scream, “STOP RAINING!!!”, or “WHY???” and trust me, Billy is not a yelling type of person…it was just that bad. The lightening was flashing and striking all around us. A tiny bit of comfort was taken by the fact that we were all sleeping on rubber blow-up beds…would that even protect us from a direct lightening strike? Who knows, and thank God we didn’t have to find out!
Torrential rains continued all night long, but by daylight it seemed there might be a chance to recoup a bit of our trip. The sun began to shine and we took complete advantage of it…swimming, sun bathing, wading, and fishing to our hearts content. Billy and Blake caught lots of fish in the newly raised river levels. Diana, Taylor, and I swam with delight as we hunted for arrowheads, skipped the flat ones, and collected the shiny ones…even if our two day camping trip only afforded us two hours of enjoyment, it was worth it and served as a very MEMORABLE trip !!!

our campsite by the river...awesome!

Blake & Taylor with their first fish

Taylor with her snorkle

Blake ready to snorkle

Happy kid

Blake caught another!

fisherman Blake

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Time Marches On...

As the temps rise and the days grow longer, you notice that summer is near. Along with summer comes, warm days, BBQ grilling, swimming pools…and this year…the end of Kindergarten. I have had reminders in Blake’s backpack for weeks now, so why am I surprised that today is the Progress South Elementary School’s parade? It takes place on the last day of the school year. A gathering of children ranging from Kindergarten to fifth grade, police cars, a fire engine, boy scouts, teachers, and parents all making a final trip around the school and nearby neighborhood, marching their way into summer vacation! It is an amazing way to end a great year. I feel so blessed to be a part of it, but still emotion seems to take over…
Everyone with kids realize how fast time flies, but I am amazed that my little guy’s first year in school is already over! I’m not even sure I finished all of his homework yet! (most of the homework for Kindergarten is for the parents!) It seems like just yesterday, I was bawling like a baby as he entered the elementary school doors on that first day of Kindergarten, and now I’m crying to see him complete it…the problem is…I can’t tell if they are tears of joy or sadness. I suppose a bit of each. Anxiety sets in when I think how quickly our babies grow up…I am so proud of the person Blake is growing into, but there is still a part of me that wants him to stay little. I guess I should accept some assurance from him, as he watches me cry, he promises, “Mom, I’ll ALWAYS be your little guy!” I know he means it, even if he is rolling his big blue eyes as he says it!

Blake's First Day of Kindergarten

-Crazy Sock Day !!!

-First homework assignment

-1950's Day

-Blake's school pic

-Young Author's fair

-Pajama Day !!!

-Beach Day !!!

-Blake's Favorite Artwork


-Kanin, Hayden, & Blake