Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Time to play catch-up!

It's been a couple of years since I've last posted anything...and I know how much my son Cameron loves to look at our family blog, so it's never been a better time to start than now!

Our family has been through a lot the last 2 years so that might explain why I kind of forgot about this old blog...

It's almost 2015, this year has been a blur mostly and has just flown on by...I'm ready for it to be over with.

I have a 9th grader, and 7th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader and a kindergartner...they are all great boys and are doing well in school!  My junior high boys have both been on the honor roll and my younger 3 had great report cards last month...I'm so grateful they didn't take after my schooling!!  They are capable of so much and I expect them to do amazing things in their lives!!  I love them all so much, they truly are what I live for.

We recently had our family pictures done by my sassy friend, Becky.  I think they turned out pretty fabulous!




Thursday, April 12, 2012

Payton turns 3 !!!

So my baby turned 3 yesterday...THREE!!!  Hip hip hooray!!!  He's 43 pounds of pure joy and I couldn't have asked for a more fabulous caboose to our family train!  When I found out we were having our FIFTH boy, I cried for the daughter I would never have, but completely loved and accepted the new little bundle of BOY JOY that would continue to grow and develop inside of me.  My aunt told me on the phone as I was crying and feeling sad about not getting the daughter I thought I was meant to have, that she had this feeling that he was going to be a really special boy; not that my other ones AREN'T, mind you (lol); but he definitely is a one-of-a-kind and I'm so glad he forced his way into our family unit because I can't imagine life without him!!  He is Mr. Friendly and talks to everyone.  I hope he continues on with his valiant spirit of friendliness and spreads that joy and sunshine wherever he goes and wherever life takes him.  He is so helpful and wants to do everything HIMSELF...which can get a little frustrating when time is of the essence, but he's a great helper when I need an extra hand.  He attracts attention everywhere we go and people just LOVE him.  But you really can't help not loving him, I mean, just look at this kid!!  I would get him into modeling and acting but I would never impose that kind of a lifestyle on my sweet child...so for now he'll just have to be the entertainment everywhere we go :)


He wanted a basketball hoop so we got him his very own.  We have one already that gramma got the boys from the goodwill, but he wanted HIS OWN, so he got it!!  He spends so much time shooting hoops and he's really good at it, so it only made sense to get him his very own.  We got him a cute little birthday cake from one of my favorite little bakeries, Dippidee over by where we live.  He chose chocolate brownie ice cream and wanted chicken nuggets and broccoli for dinner, yumm :-P

We're having a family party for him this weekend, and to top it all off, daddy's birthday is 2 days AFTER Pay Pay, so its going to be a fun-filled partying weekend for our family.  So much fun!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's great to be 8 ! For Cameron, that is!

Our sunny-boy turned 8 this past week!  Remembering back to when I was 8 and it feels like yesterday!!  I can't exactly remember WHAT I did for that particular birthday, but a very pivotal memory of being 8 was on the day I was to be baptized, November 30th...my family was involved in an auto accident just hours before my baptism was to take place.  I still remember sitting in the front seat and seeing the stopped car in front of us getting closer and closer, faster and faster, wondering if my mom was going to stop?  And then, BOOM!  My head went through the windshield and as soon as I noticed my head dripping blood, I passed out.  That, not so fun.  But I was determined to get baptized, and although it felt like the accident and my baptism happened on seperate days,  I managed to go through with it, giant goose-egg and all!!  It's my sweet boy's turn to get baptized and hopefully nothing like that will happen to him so he can prove that he really wants to go through with it, but he has told me he WANTS to get baptized, and I'm proud he's old enough to make that decision for himself, that he wants to do what Jesus did and follow him and his example!!  I know he wishes his daddy could baptize him, but it's not a possibility right now but he still wants to make that choice to be baptized :)

The day before his actual birthday I met him at his school for lunch, with his younger brothers.  Then I got to go into his classroom and talk a little about him and why he's special...and embarrass him a little, too :)

That night he wasn't feeling good and came down with a fever, so I made sure he rested up that night and luckily he was feeling well enough for his birthday party the next day. 

We decided on going to a movie for his birthday, but he could only invite around 4 friends...well 2 of those he invited couldn't come so I had him invite 2 more friends, girls at that.  I only heard back from 1 of their parents and she couldn't go, either.  I had already purchased the tix online so I had my older two boys each invite a friend so they didn't go to waste!  I felt bad that only 2 of Cameron's actual friends could make it, but with everyone combined, it made for a fun time! 

We went to go see Journey 2: The mysterious Island.  I wasn't sure what to expect but it exceeded my expectations, I thought it had enough action, comedy and special effects where it made for an enjoyable movie for all. 

FLORIDA 2012



Me and my love

So here I am, ready to post about mine and Jason's trip down to FLORIDA...this isn't really us, but I thought it was a good representation of how I felt we looked while hanging out in Palm Beach :)

My lovely mama was kind, and OH-SO-BRAVE-ENOUGH to come stay at our home and take care of our boys so I could have a getaway with my honey.  This was definitely the longest time we've spent away from our kids by 1 day, so that meant I had to plan for that 1 extra day, too :)

We left early on Saturday the 4th and were up in the air by 8am.  I prefer flying early so we have more time to play, of course!!  We had a stop-over in Atlanta so it wasn't a straight flight to W Palm Beach, but to me, part of the whole traveling experience is the time spent in the airport terminals.  I love it!  Part of the whole memory of the vacation to me, are the smells, the food, and of course the frisking that TSA agents get off on!

Although I am an anxious person when it comes to flying, I really do enjoy it; especially the take-off!  What can I say, I have a need for speed!  I would have loved to be a racecar driver (think exotic imports racing, not the whole ugly NASCAR thing, lol)  Maybe someday, right?  For now I'll enjoy driving Jason's Z~

We got into WPB around 4pm on Saturday and to my surprise it was cloudy and (gasp!) raining!!  In Florida, seriously??  Oh well, was gonna make the most of it, it's not everyday I got to fly down to Florida with my sweetie, raining or not!  We attempted to rent a convertible while down there, but turns out everyone thought the same thing and we were outta luck.  Our choices were either a mini-van (NOT!) or a Crown Vic...seriously?!!  The lesser of 2 evils; ok, we'll go with the Crown Vic!  And a black one at that, that I could handle! lol


our hotel as we were leaving :(

It was rather humilliating, to say the least, to pull up into the WPB ritzy Ritz-Carlton in our Crown Vic when there were a plethora of fancy-shmancy cars everywhere, and there we were in our Crown Vic, ha!  Not to mention they only offered valet services for parking so we could't avoid being seen!  I'm sure the unlucky fellow who had to go and round up the car for us was less than thrilled!! lol  But at least we had some wheels so we could go and check out W Palm Beach and the surrounding areas...including the KEYS!  It was a smooth ride with couch-like seats, so can't change what already is, we just made it the butt-end of a lot of jokes down there to keep us laughing :)  We got a kick out of assuming people thought, at first-glance, that we were cops...until they realized we were just some random people driving around in a cop car trying to trip people out!

Gotta love the Crown Vic!!


We ate at a FABULOUSLY rich, luxurious restaurant in our hotel, the Angle Restaurant.  They serve a la carte, so you get the idea on the amount of our tab!  Luckily the company was paying, so I had no reservations other than our scheduled time for seating :)  They served the food in a most ornate way and upon ordering a "salad", of what I thought would be a mixture of greens among other things, wasn't even really a salad at all!  At least not a typical salad that I'm used to and I was pleasantly surprised that it was what it was!  We had these donut holes for dessert that consisted of Nutella in the middle and 2 dipping sauces of coffee and banana...yumm!  The only thing that would have made the dessert perfect would have been MORE Nutella inside :-P 



We went back to our room and opened our sliding glass door that led to the patio, and let the sounds of the majestic waves rolling up onto the beach soothe our souls :)  We sat out on that patio and just soaked up everything that was around us at the moment and I could have stayed out there all night listening to the sounds of the ocean...I was so grateful for that moment in time to enjoy one of God's most lovely creations, and what better setting than to enjoy it with my dear husband!!


A view to a kill...the view from our room!

So Sunday we took our sweet time getting out of bed, and enjoyed the sweet sounds of the ocean, yet again.  Once we finally dragged our butts outta bed, we headed over to the fitness center they had on site...overlooking THE BEACH!!  Too bad I was just short enough to get the full view of the ocean :(

I sure enjoyed working out at the same time as Jason; I wish we had a pass to a gym somewhere back home, but I just can't justify the cost for us to go...so for now I will just enjoy that day that we WERE able to workout together :)
self-portrait while cruisin' in the Crown Vic!

Then it was time to hit the road and drive down to the Keys!  Jason has a lot of good memories as a kid hanging out down there so he was excited to show me the area.  The only downer was it was CLOUDY, yuck!!  I guess it was a GOOD THING?? we didn't  have our convertible :(  Jason wanted to take me to this place called Pennecamp State Park where you can snorkel and do all sorts of other things...which would have been great on a sunny day!  Somehow the idea of snorkeling on a rainy, dreary day just seemed too COLD.  So we passed on that one and just decided to find a place to eat, instead. 

He also remembered a place called The Green Turtle...so thanks to the handy GPS devices on most phones, we were able to find it...but it didn't look very appealing.  There didn't seem to be anyone there to eat, which is usually the first sign that you might wanna pass that one up!  Or it may have been that the sun wasn't out and shining, which always seems to make even the diviest of dives look more appealing!  So we decided to pack that and kept on driving to find a place that looked "alive"! lol

We spied a place called The Fish House that looked NOT like Salmonella poisoning so we figured we'd give it a try...as long as they had a mean key lime pie to boot!  This particular restaurant catches the fish they sell in their market and also to the surrounding area restaurants, too.  We got to sit outside, YES!  Outside!!  By the ocean, nontheless...and we even got to be entertained by some nurse sharks, a lone lemon shark, some gulls, and a pelican feeding in this little inlet from the ocean that is built around the inside of the outside eating area of the restaurant.  Of course my thought was how much the boys would LOVE to see what we were seeing, being the mom that I am ;) 

view of the ocean from the fish house restaurant (see, cloudy!!) but still beautiful~

the fish house property at night!

sharks!


funny pelican, competing with the sharks for some grub!









We did find that they had a pretty darn good key lime pie with cashews in the crust, so what did we do?  We bought the whole danged pie and took it back to the hotel...it was superbowl Sunday, afterall!  I guess in the adventure of going to a destination  is part of the fun and you don't always realize how far you went to get there!  So we def had a long drive back but I was able to catch a glimpse of that dirty, fascinating place called MIAMI~ It went whizzing right by and all I got were a few fuzzy pictures of the many, many lights in that town...a part of me wanted to check it out and see what all the hype is about but I suppose a part of me thought that I might actually enjoy the city-life of Miami and maybe it was better just to let it pass right on by ...:)



yep that's Miami

So we made it to the last 1/2 hour of the game and we basically just showed up to show our faces to those people who had put the superbowl party...I was more happy that we spent a little too much time in the Keys, though!  So we happily headed back to our room, changed, a decided to take a walk on the beach...ahhh, the LIFE!! 

Our hotel was literally right on the beach so we had it all to ourselves as it was windy out, but what's not to love about your hair being blown around by the sea air??!  Not to mention we had the ridiculous luxury of all of the multi-million dollar houses to walk by and "ooh and ahhh" over, then go right into a conversation about how ridiculous it was for ANYBODY to have to have something like these homes...even though  I'm sure if we were given the chance to have one for FREE, we'd totally jump at the chance for a beachfront property, no doubt!! LoL  I have to wonder whose houses of the rich and famous we were literally walking right in the backyards of!! 


our walk on the beach...taken in the dark with my basic camera, but still looks cool~

So that night was indeed, a magical night that I will always remember, it was also the last night before I would wake up the next morning to the horrible news I was hoping I'd never have to hear.  That next day was a cloudy and rainy day; it rained bucket-loads that only added to the difficulty of the news I'd received that morning.  That morning I learned that one of our sweet kitties had died in a most tragic way.  If you missed that post and want to read more, click here on this Charlie link.

Luckily our 4th and final day in Florida turned out to be better than the previous day had been.  I was extremely sad but also didn't want to let it spoil our last day there, and luckily the sun decided to come out for a visit so I could feel its healing warmth while Jason was in his last seminar meeting.  After he was done we went down to sit on the beach on some chairs and just relax and take it all in, one last time.  Wow, the ocean is peaceful...even when the waves are crashing against the shore, it's still a wonderfully calming sound.  I now know why Jason has wanted to move down there all these years, so I told him I'm officially sold on the idea of retiring there when the kids are grown and have their own families and lives...we laughed it up taking pics of ourselves on the beach and got overtaken by the seagulls by my ever-willingness to give the birds a piece of the pie, so-to-speak :)


feeding the gulls...you feed 1, you feed them all! :/

looking south


beautiful pelican overhead...ahhh, I LOVE Florida!

And then, just like that, it was time to head to the airport...so long Palm Beach, it was nice to FINALLY make you're aquaintance...I hope we get to come back and visit you VERY, VERY, SOON; and bring the WHOLE FAMILY next time. 



beautiful florida sunset @the airport





and jason enjoying that beautiful sunset...


...and might I add one of my fave new (new for me, anyways) rapper's FLO RIDA.  This video I put on here is the one song that I love, that reminds me of our getaway...nothing like music to take you away to another place when life can get monotonous, especially when his stage name is the place in where you're vacay'n and it pulls those memories all together perfectly  ;) 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Beautiful, unpredictable and sometimes tragic, LIFE.

Charlie, our little angel~  09/2010- 02/6/2012



So I was hoping to first post about mine and Jason's trip down to Florida, but life is unpredictable, right? 

I suppose one of my reservations about going out of town and leaving my sweet boys and animals behind is the thought about the "what-if's" that could happen.  I am sure I am not the only one in the history of this civilization that has had these kinds of thoughts, or scenarios run through my head, but I feel sometimes, like I am.  And the next question is, do I create a reality as a direct result of my thoughts?  One can always speculate, I guess.  It's like that Law of Attraction thing~  you attract what you think and feel, right??  Well then if that's the case, why don't I attract my imaginings of winning the lottery or traveling the world, or running my own business doing something I love...??  Why does it always seem like I turn my worries and fears into my reality instead of the other way around?  Sometimes I feel like life just doesn't make any sense and that it is downright cruel, especially the people that habitate on it...but that's another story for another time. 

So with that said, I have to say that traveling without the WHOLE family together leaves a gap for me to fill in with the incessant worries about what COULD happen...I think the usual is, what if I die in a fiery airplane crash and leave my children mother/fatherless?  What would become of them, what would be their fate?  What if something happens to one of them because I wasn't there to "control" the situation??  I came to a realization that I have an issue with needing to feel in control, and it comes out in so many situations and I think I'm finally starting to realize when this happens.  My biggest hurdle to overcome, I feel, is to let go of that control and let God take care of things...and then I did and look what happened when I let go of that control!!  <insert angry face, fist shaking in the air>

I know I need to look on the bright side of things and gratefully report that I came home to all of my boys alive and healthy...(well, the healthy part, not-so-much as I've been dealing with sick kids since Jason and myself got home, grrrrr!) but in general, yes, HEALTHY.   My house was still standing and nobody got into trouble with the law, haha.  But amidst all of the good stuff that was there when we got back, there was also the realization of the sadness and sense of loss we were also coming back to.  While it thankfully wasn't one of our sweet children, it was still a part of our family that we lost in a freak accident while we were away.  That piece of the family pie was our furry little feline child, Charlie. One of our boys didn't die, but our kitty died; and not in a "glad-she-was-put-out-of her-misery" kind of way, but in a tragic, something that you don't want to think about, kind of way. 

Jason and I left early, early Saturday morning of the 4th and were to come back late, late on the 7th.  I had typed up instructions for all of the boys in great detail, along with meal plans and directions on how to operate the tv/dvd systems and of course, the washer and dryer in case anything needed to be washed.  I thought I was super-prepared to leave and I even put a note on the microwave to kindly remind my mom to turn off the stove/ovens after they'd been used; my mom can be a little scatter-brained so I felt that putting that up would give ME peace of mind that the house wouldn't accidentally burn down!

I get a call Monday morning from Cameron saying that he's sick and doesn't think he can go to school; I hear the coughing and know that he is indeed, not well enough to go to school.  So I give the school a call and let them know he won't be coming in that day, and hang up thinking that's that.  Not a big deal, I'm sure my mom can handle having him at home even though that wasn't in the "plans".   Well, just as unpredictable life is and seems to make plans of its own, I get the call that forever will haunt me until I can find out why it had to happen in the first place...I pick up my phone and listen in and all I can hear is commotion and upset in the background, sounded like Cameron was hysterical and I'm thinking to myself, "he must have the croup and isn't able to breathe very well so he's become hysterical and my mom is calling me to find out what to do for him".  That's a logical thought given the fact that this has happened before where his cough has escalated into the croup and I just figured that I'd be giving my mom directions on helping his cough to ease up.  But this wasn't the case as she proceeded to tell me through sobbing and crying, that the kitty was in the washer and it was dead!  It must have gotten washed and drowned somehow, but it was dead!!  I couldn't believe what I was hearing and yet it's almost as if my subconcious memory had been through it all before, it seemed oddly familiar with how it was all playing out. 

I started crying and repeating, "She's dead?  Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I'm so sorry mom, I'm so sorry!!  Do you want me to have somebody come over and help you?  You need somebody to come and help you with the boys!!  Oh my gosh, I can't belive this happened!!", and all of the other things I was saying, as the shock was hitting me hard from what I was hearing on the other end of the phone.  I was shaking, in disbelief, I felt sick to my stomach and I was trying to process how this could have happened in the first place.  Washed??!  How does one wash a cat on accident without knowing the cat was in there?  Did my 2 1/2 year old turn on the washer somehow??  My mom didn't know, but to me I couldn't figure how she had drowned from being washed as you have to physically load the clothes into the washer first and one would definitely see the cat inside if that were to happen...

I hung up and was crying and shaking uncontrollably...Jason was in one of the seminars for the convention we went down there for, and I just remember texting him to please come back to the room.  His immediate response was, of course, what's wrong?  I text him back that "Lucy's dead!!"  I was assuming it was her, and I suppose I need to explain a little about the washing machine we have and how it played a part in the demise of our sweet little Charlie, first.
We got Lucy and Charlie back in October of 2010, sisters.  It was actually my mom who told me about them.  We had just lost our kitty, Shadow, that we had had since 1999 and it was upsetting for us, but we figured she was going to pass as her health had rapidly declined and we kind of expected it to happen.  We have a cat Zoey that we got at the same time we got Shadow, as we adopted them from the Humane Society of Utah and so they had been with us even before we had our boys.  We also have another cat, Maizy which I had found at a church building in the middle of winter, and couldn't just leave her there.  I brought her home thinking we would find her owners after posting a "found cat" sign, but nobody ever called so we just added her to our family, as well. 


At the time Shadow had wandered off to go and die, Maizy had disappeared as well.  She would periodically do this so I wasn't too concerned, but she also hadn't come back either, and I think we assumed she might have died somewhere, too...so the thought of having lost 2 cats at once and only having Zoey left, I was thinking it might be nice to bring in another friend for her so she wouldn't be lonely, hence I decided to go and check out the kittens that my mom's neighbor's cat had.  They sure were cute, little fur-balls they were!!  I had my eye on this particular kitty who seemed to be the fluffiest and she almost resembled a little lion...she was fiesty and would nibble my fingers and play around with me, so I thought, this is the one!  I want this one.  That is, until my mom convinced me take another one along with her so that they could be together; that it would be better for them AND for us if they stayed together.  There were 4 of them total, so I wasn't sure which one out of the other 3 we should take, so I just told my mom to have them pick out the one that was the closest one to the kitty I had picked out.

 I was pretty sure that Jason wouldn't like this one little bit;  I mean bringing home another new kitty was one thing, but to bring home TWO, would really be pushing it.  But I also justified it by saying to myself that if the kids would be happy and I would be happy to have a couple of new furry family members added to our home, then why can't we be the ones to make that decision?!  So I decided that they were coming home whether he liked it or not :)

Maizy actually showed up the day when we happened to stumble upon Shadown's body~ oddly, Cameron had been the one to find her as she had gone off to die in the empty lot next to our neighbors driveway and had started decomposing there and he spotted her laying in the weeds.  It was a shock and we were sad but I was also grateful we had found her body so we could bury her and put her to rest; I was really grateful to be able to do that.  I don't know what the connection was with Maizy being gone until we found out where Shadow's body was, but I don't know how much of a coincidence it was that she just happened to come out of 'hiding' within the hour of finding Shadow and burying her.  So we now had 4 cats again, but I'm a cat person and these 2 new little fur-balls were a delight to have in our family. 

                              You can see why I couldn't resist taking these cuties home!!



So they eventually ended up in the laundry room as their homebase.  Their food was there, their litter, and soft places to sleep.  I have a front-loading washer and so the tight seal that the door has when it closes causes a moldy, musty smell.  I just decided to leave the door ajar to air out and I've been doing that ever since we got them.  It never occured to me that it would also be the last place where Charlie would breathe her last breath of life. 

In the morning as I would usually let them out of the laundry room, I would see that Lucy preferred to sleep inside the stainless steel washer drum, which I thought nothing of, until now, of course.  Jason would usually close up the door because it was slightly in the way when you'd walk in there, and he thought it was unsanitary to let them sleep in there because of the fact that that is where we washed our clothes (ok, how much more unsanitary could they be from your dirty underwear, DH??)
So I would just open it up again, ha!  Take that Jason :)

It didn't even cross my mind to tell my mom this~ she's stayed over before and nothing bad ever happened; I had also left her detailed instructions on how to operate the washer/dryer and made sure to put that she should leave the door open to air it out...not so that the kitties wouldn't get shut in and suffocate!!  Hindsight is an annoying little bugger sometimes, and I keep kicking myself of what I woulda, shoulda, coulda done to prevent this from happening. 

Charlie inevitably was supposed to leave this earth and it was going to happen whether I was home, or not; whether my mom was going to absent-mindedly close the washer door, unbeknownst that Charlie was stuck inside or whether she could have been crushed by something in the house and gone that way...we'll never know, and what happened can't be undone.  I think I am having the hardest time with that part, just knowing that her passing away is FINAL in an earthly sense.

I know and believe that her spirit is alive and well, in the spirit world where there are countless concourses of animal spirits!!  That definitely brings me comfort, but remembering what she was doing, just a WEEK ago, and now she's gone, that's what I can't spend too much time thinking about or I feel sick.  How and if she suffered in that torture chamber, that makes me sick...so I try to get out of those thinking patterns and just try to accept things the way they are, even if I am just so sad. 
Another very tough part of what happened was having to tell my boys that Charlie had died...we are all animal lovers and she was a part of our family;  I knew that Jaeden and Braxton would probably take it the hardest.  I wonder if Cameron shut down about the whole situation because he was there, he saw Charlie after my mom pulled her out of the washer, and he had to deal with a very hard emotional situation, and I wasn't there to comfort him, or his brothers!!  I didn't want to, but knew that I needed to be the one to tell them what had happened.  And being 3,000 miles away didn't help with having to do that!!

We had a little burial for her last night and I am glad that we got that out of the way...we had her in some garbage bags in the garage and I hated having to go in there and see that she was just stowed away in some trash bags like that, her little body outlining what she once was around our home, and the personality she possessed...and then I have to remind myself that her spirit lives on; it was her SPIRIT that gave her that spark of life, her personality, even her odd behaviors sometimes.  Her body was like a glove that a hand is taken out of and no longer moves, wiggles.  But there is something about seeing that body and wanting to still hold onto that, even if it is lifeless.  That's another hard part about losing an animal or loved one.

Luckily for me I haven't lost a close family member so this was probably the closest thing to that very thing.  Jason and I lost a dear friend 4 1/2 years ago who died tragically and suddenly and that shook me pretty hard; but other than losing grandparents whom I really didn't know very well, I'm having to learn how hard it is to lose somebody, whether that be a human or an animal, and having to accept that they aren't there anymore; they were here, and you remember the memories of them, and then they're gone, only to give those memories more meaning. 

I hope this isn't to prepare me and my family to have to deal with the loss of someone close to us anytime soon, but like my title of "Beautiful, unpredictable and sometimes tragic, LIFE", that's exactly what it is.  You never know what you're going to get, and sometimes that's welcomed and sometimes, not so much.  I guess the lesson is learning to accept what happens and trust that God is in control and things happen for a reason...or so we're told, right??  I'm trying to be ok with that, but right now it's difficult and I hope to be more enlightened after this experience.  In the meantime I will try to remember the fun times and memories that I have in my mind and in my heart about sweet little Charlie.  I wanted to share some pictures of her and the time she had with us on this earth, which definitely wasn't long enough~ but when is it long enough when you lose a loved one?  What you wouldn't give to get one more day with them to say what you wish you could have, or treated them better or said you'd loved them more. 

Lucy on the top left, Charlie on the bottom right.

Charlie decided she'd like to be a part of the proud zucchini moment as I was taking this picture, and hopped up on the table to get in on the action, silly thing~!