Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rest in peace, my love...

In March of this year, I celebrated my 40th birthday. I had quit biting my nails, I had lost nearly 80 pounds and generally speaking, life was oh so good! I was enjoying a very liberating time of life! The summer was filled with memory-making camping trips, everyone was healthy and we all seemed to be filled with much happiness! But life has its own agenda. When you least expect it, tragedy strikes.

On August 5th, the world lost a wonderful person. My beloved husband, Dean, left us. Unexpectedly, tragically...very, very sadly. He was an amazing person and the loss of him has been and will be felt for many years by very many people.

Smart, hilarious, fun-loving, affectionate, loving...there are SOOO many adjectives I could use to describe him! At the top of the list, though, is EXCELLENT father! I know none better, nor probably ever will! His girls were his life and everything he did was ulitimately for them! My girls will always know their father as a hero! That is my goal in life, to keep him at the forefront of their thoughts, to make them remember the wonderful Daddy he truly was!

And I would be remiss to not remember him myself as a wonderful husband! As in all marriages, we had our issues to overcome, but in the grand scheme of life, those issues are now all unimportant, insignificant, completely and utterly meaningless! He loved me dearly and I loved him even more! My heart aches when I remember that I'll never see him again, that he'll never see his girls again, that he'll be missing out on everything this life has to offer!

I never imagined just how hard picking out a casket for your 42 year old husband could be, and I found myself unable to do it! Dean and I had discussed many things, final death arrangements being one of those. He and I both agreed that the ridiculous amount of money spent on final arrangements is SO not needed!! In the end, I gave way to my inlaws. His parents made the decisions and I paid the bill. All I can say is, thank goodness for life insurance! When it is my turn to depart this world, my decisions have been written down and paid for, so my children will not feel the need to spend a lot of money to "prove" to the world how much they loved me. Ah, well...water under the bridge...

So far, we've managed Halloween and Luci's birthday without him. Christmas will come and go as well and life continues to march on despite the tragedies. I have always had a pretty good coping mechanism no matter what was thrown at me and this is no different. The girls seem to have adjusted well and that was my only concern. So the only thing left to do is pick myself up, dust myself off and keep moving forward. Through these past 4 months, I have found out who my true friends are! They are the BEST group of people I have ever met and I am blessed beyond belief to have them all in my life! With their help along with the help of mine and Dean's families, the girls and I have managed to emerge from the shock nearly none the worse for wear! And I have every hope of a bright and happy future for the three of us! We feel Dean's presence around us daily and are hopeful that he is proud of the job we're doing...I'm sure he is!

Miss you like crazy, Dean! I love you, today, tomorrow...forever! Until we meet again...


Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.~David Searls

To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~Thomas Campbell

Love is stronger than death even though it can't stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can't separate people from love. It can't take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death. ~unknown

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Adventures

Sorry to those who follow this blog and have been patiently or impatientlly waiting for my next post! But at long last, here it is! This has proven to be a fun-filled BUSY summer for us! We camped at the same campground for the July 4th weekend as we did for Memorial Day weekend, but I didn't take any pictures. Nothing significant happened and I was more interested in MAKING memories rather than capturing them with the camera. Immediately after our trip, the girls started the Rebecca Kelly Ballet daycamp again. This was Drew's 4th year and Luci's 2nd. Here Luci practises a final pose for one particular dance.

In this shot, you can see Drew in the middle and if you look closely, Luci's head is peeking out behind Drew's partner.

One advantage of the girls being so small, is that they are almost always chosen for the pick-up parts.

The 6 and 7 year old group. Luci prances across stage.

Part of Drew's group. 4 other girls were on the other side of the stage doing a separate dance with scarves.

Yet another prop, a feather duster! This dance was really cute! Can you believe that Drew was one of the oldest girls in this group???

Another prop, this time a hat. Drew was crouched over like this so that the rest of the group could leap over her.

Getting a pep talk for the recital which was performed later that evening. I was once again unable to go as I had booked a wedding. But next year, I already know the date of the show and have it blocked off! Yay! Finally I'll get to see the recital not just the dress rehearsal!

Dean, my mother, Dean's parents and Dan and Tina and the kids all went to see the recital, and the girls got tons of roses as usual! Dean took these shots of the girls with all their instructors. Here's Hillary.

Here's Therese.

Here they are with their favorite instructor, Raul.

And finally, with Rebecca Kelly herself! The girls just love this daycamp! Too bad it wasn't more than a week long!

Last week, my cousin Heather, her boyfriend John and all their kids came up for the whole week. And I was the lucky host who got to see them every night and morning because they stayed with me!! Last year I barely got to see them at all as they stayed somewhere else, so I was SOOO happy when they accepted my offer of lodgings! Hannah and Grace enjoy their lunch with Drew and Luci on the upper walkway of the playgym in the yard.

After lunch, I convinced them all to sit for me for a photo shoot! Hats and hay!

Hannah Banana!


Cowgirl Drew!

My little beauties!

I love the lighting effect on this shot of Luci!

Luci is the only one who would stay long enough to let me take a bunch of shots, so I got the most of her. The rest of them ran off to jump in the pool.

Luci was in the house getting her suit on when I snapped this.

We left Heather and her gang on Friday to go to our next camping trip in Mexico, NY, Jellystone Campground. We met up with Sue and Scott, Dana and Tina and Dean's parents and all travelled together in a big caravan. This campground has tons of stuff for the kids to do which is why I like it so much. This year, they have a brand-new bouncy "pillow". Basically, just a huge rectangular air-blown pillow for the kids to jump on. They all loved it...until they all started getting hurt! First Darien came off crying that someone elbowed her in the face. Luci was slightly and momentarily injured, but she's never one to let an injury slow her down when she's having fun, so she was right back at it. I believe Max was crying at one point...not to mention a few other kids not from our group were crying as well. The last straw was when Drew came off the pillow holding her arm and carrying on like I've never seen her do before! I seriously thought her arm was broken! We called it a day for the bouncy pillow and headed back to our camper to assess the situation. Drew wanted to lie down with an ice pack and Dean ran for dinner. After a quick McDonald's dinner, I determined that we should probably take Drew to the ER...just in case! I really couldn't determine whether or not it was broken, so in the truck and to Oswego Hospital we went. Harborfest was going on, it was a Friday night and I had nightmares of spending the entire night in the ER. I was wrong. We were the ONLY ones in the waiting room and they got us right in! Xrays were done quickly and the xray techs let Drew pick out one of the images of her arm so she could take a printed picture of it home with her to keep. THANKFULLY, her wrist was not broken and it was only just a bad sprain. They gave her a sling, some Motrin and all we had to do was wait for the xray tech to print the picture. He came in and said the printer wasn't working, so he gave her an actual xray to take home instead. I can't believe the service at this ER! Absolutely NOTHING like the ER service we recieve at home! Everyone was so nice and they got us in and out of there within an hour or so! Unbelievable! They also informed us that Drew was the 2nd kid that night who had been there from the same campground with a foot injury from the same bouncy pillow! Needless to say, nobody got back on it for the rest of the weekend! Anyway, here's Drew with her new outfit accesory!

Sitting around the campfire!

Grandma and Luci.

Tina helps Sonja with a marshmellow.

On Saturday, Grandpa treated us all to a trip to Thunder Island Waterpark in Fulton, NY. It was a very small park, only about 5 or 6 slides total, a kiddie lagoon with 2 kiddie slides, a small lazy river ride, a mini-put golf course and a cool go-kart ride. As it turned out, the size of the park was perfect as we did very little walking in the blazing hot sun! All the kids could do all the slides but one as none of them made the height requirement. Even Drew did a few slides with Daddy, but she ended up sitting most of the day with Grandma as her arm was really hurting her. Here, Luci comes out of the tube!

Sonja, Luci and Max enjoy the mushroom fountain in the lagoon.

Dan and Max drive the go-karts.

Dean takes Luci and Tina takes Sonja and the 3 cars race! If you know Dan and Dean, you'll believe me when I say that watching it was hilarious! Dean had taken Drew on them earlier in the day, but I wasn't there to take pictures!

On the ride home, we had Max and Luci in our truck. Here's what a few hours in a waterpark and a half-hour drive back to the campground will do to 5 and 6 year old kids! Max, head propped and drool flowing...

And Luci slumped over on a pile of towels. It was a very quiet ride!

Back at the campground, the kids all pulled out some tubes and the river rides began!

Quick lunch break...

Darien poses in the pool.

Jeb flies off the slide.


My crazy girl!

Drew chose to watch instead of swim.

Sue and Darien.

Waiting for the wagon ride at the pick-up spot.

Singing songs on the wagon with Boo Boo.

Back to tubing!

So ends another post. Coming up, we have another camping trip scheduled for Ausable Chasm...I SOOO cannot wait for that!!!

Today's Quotes:

Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. ~Garrison Keillor

Campers: Nature's way of feeding mosquitoes. ~Author Unknown