The Luau.

One year ago today, Derek’s sister got married.  After living in Hawaii most of the year, she came back home and longed for a Hawaiian themed wedding.  We did the best we could for a October wedding.  And just like today, it was 80 degrees that day.  Simply perfect.

Plans had been made and invitations nearly printed up for the wedding to be held at a relative’s house further up north, near Flint.  After a somewhat tearful epiphany one day, she called me in tears and told me that most of her friends from down here would not be able to attend.   Then she asked me if she could have it in our backyard.  Something like 5 weeks from that day.

Having just started my second year of nursing school, I almost burst out in tears.  But I conceded.  And we got to work on the much neglected yard and house that would be providing for a hundred and some people.

In the end, some might say it was far from perfect.  But it was a blast.

She and her husband have since moved back to Hawaii this year and are loving life.

The End.

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Where the heart is.

Maybe it’s time for something new.

So many things are changing that I really don’t know what that something is just yet.

Who knows if I’ll ever actually figure it out.

So I’m going to think.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of some happenings.

This past weekend, my entire family gathered at the cottage up north to celebrate the life of my grandmother, who passed away in December.  It was a perfect weekend, and I wish I could have gotten a picture of everyone that was there, because it wouldn’t have been the same without each and every one of them.  I have to admit that my family is pretty awesome.

Here’s me and my sis on the day we graduated Nursing school.  I remember thinking that day that we couldn’t possibly be there already.  But we’ve come a long way since that day back in April.

Here’s me and my mama in Florida earlier this year.  I heart her.

Here’s my hubby in Florida this year.  It took me about a dozen pictures to get this one, but it was worth it.  I heart him too.

This is our newest addition to the family.  It’s fun to look at.

Here’s Derek’s sister and her hubby on their wedding day.  An impromptu luau in our backyard last fall.  It turned out to be quite the party.

I asked these two to smile and this is what I got.  Those little salamanders think they’re slick.

A glimpse into part of our living room remodel that’s been done for more than a year now.

I love this picture.  It was pretty cold out that day and they kept insisting that their uncle take them out on the tractor.

And that’s all the time I’ve got right now.  I’ll be back soon.

One.

Hi.

Just thought you’d like to know that I am still alive and kicking.  As much as one overworked, overloaded and sleep deprived nursing student can be, I suppose.  Okay, a little exaggeration there, sorry.  It really isn’t that bad.  I will say that the first semester (AKA, the semester that almost derailed my decade long journey through college) WAS that bad.  But, I’m assuming that you’ve already guessed that I did make it out alive.

I can’t say that it’s gotten any easier, but I suppose as I cram more and more knowledge into my brain and add to that mountain of clinical hours I have to complete, it takes off a bit of the stress.  I got through my surgical rotation and am now working in labor and delivery.  But that’s just clinical.  Do you want to hear about the lecture portion of the class?  Try taking six exams in six weeks.  With each exam covering roughly ten to fifteen chapters.  Six. Weeks. Six. Exams.

Are you tired of hearing me whine yet?  I’m kinda tired of whining.  Hence, end of whining spree.

So, what else has been going on in my world, you ask?  Here’s a preview.

My dependable little Saturn finally saw its last day in December.  Courtesy of someone pulling out in front of Derek.  Everyone was okay, minus the fractured sternum Derek nursed for a few weeks after that, but the little coupe just didn’t make it.

I would show you some pictures of the house, and the little bit of progress made while I was on “blog vacation”, except I’m pretty sure the damage is quite similar to that of a tornado paying us a quick in and out visit.  Changing some of the rooms around, some new furniture, you know, just a little bit of this and that.  Those perpetual ‘this and that’s’ of our lives, what would I do without them?

We went to Florida while I was on spring break, and spend most of our two weeks hanging out with our niece and nephew, who we only get to see a few times a year.  There may have been a little jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet in there as well.

I briefly looked at that first picture and wondered just what was going through my head at that time to give me such a look, but then I remembered what had been going through my head up until the second I jumped from that plane.  What the heck am I doing here?  Except maybe with a different word.  Or two.

And you know what?  I loved it.  L.O.V.E.D. it.  I really wish I could just hire  a full time skydiving team, because I swear it’s better than that first sip of coffee in the morning.  Those four or five minutes when there was nothing but sky around me was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt.  And if I could, I would bottle it up and give it to everyone.  There is absolutely nothing to worry about.  Well, except maybe pulling that little cord that will hopefully bring you back to reality safely, but that’s what the other guy was for, right?

And me?  You know the little worry bug, daughter of, well, big worry bug?  I didn’t even think about that chute, or any of the things that could possibly go wrong because I was too awed.  Now that’s one way to clear your head.  Never mind all that meditation stuff, and just go skydiving.

And that’s all the time I’ve got today.  I’m beginning to feel guilty because my maternal-child book has been closed for a few hours.  It doesn’t get much rest these days, so I must go give it a little company.

Until next time! (Which I’ll try to make a little sooner than 6 months, okay?)

The U.P.

It seems that whenever there are functions with Derek’s family, there are always just as many kids as there are adults.  It’s hectic and loud, but it’s wonderful.  Whenever there are functions with my family, however, the dogs seem to take over the role that kids seem to fill.  It’s just as hectic and loud, and it’s just as wonderful.

We went up north earlier this month to celebrate my grandmother’s 88th birthday.  And just as always, had a very relaxing trip.

We got there and Derek went fishing with my cousins and their spouses, while I sucked it up and put my toes in the freezing lake to give the dog’s their bath.  Because the last bath they’d received was the last time we were there, and that was two years ago.

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They met up with all their “cousin” dogs and played the afternoon away on the beach.  Here’s the beginning of the pack.

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My sister-in-law showed up and brought her husky.  Those three absolutely love each other.  And notice how Kirra just sits and watches over her men?

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And because eight dogs just wasn’t enough, she had to go and adopt this little creature.

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And Derek and I almost left with another.  What a trip that would have been.  I’ve puppy-sat that little girl only a few times and boy, am I glad we didn’t get another puppy.

As far as the people go.  Remember, those human beings?  Well, we didn’t actually do a whole lot of anything.  There was plenty of this going on.

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And this.

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Up North.  I miss you already.  And I almost kissed the beach before we left, knowing there would be a peaceful ride home.

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They didn’t make a sound the entire six hours.  Those are some worn out puppies.

Down in the VA-lley

So, Virginia.  What a lovely place.  Especially when your time is spent with a hoard of wonderful women.

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The Capri’s (that’s what they call themselves, and I’m still not sure just how that came about) finally decided to allow us young gals into their ‘club’. I’ve officially decided that no matter the reason for the name, to me it simply means good luck.

We shopped. A LOT. As in, we shopped the entire time we were there. It wasn’t a shopathon, it was a completely new word that I haven’t quite put my finger on yet.  Whatever the case, just realize that there was no skimping on the amount of shopping we did.  Have I gotten my point across yet?

When all the shops were closed and we weren’t physically able to shop, we sat on the porch, taking in the view, talking about nothing in general, and just having a great time.

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And oh yeah, doting on this fuzzball.

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This is Paddy.  The beaver.  My Aunt rescued her and is raising her until she is able to go out into the wild again.  And let me tell you, I almost died from the cuteness of this creature.  And the sound she made.  If you ever get a chance, please find some audio of a beaver and just listen.  It’s pretty adorable.

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Among the multitude of animals on Sassy Cat Hill, some of the others include; Mr. Kowalski, the rooster, Cedric, the box turtle, and of course the eight?? cats that live there.

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Thanks again ladies for a wonderful weekend!  Same time next year?

A night at the Castle

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We spent last weekend up north for Derek’s brother’s wedding.  It was held at Castle Farms and that place is simply beautiful!

Most importantly, we got to see our niece and nephew from Florida!

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This little angel turned one the day before the wedding so we had fun celebrating.

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And this little man couldn’t have been more adorable in his tux.  He was the ring bearer, though when the time came he wasn’t nearly this happy about it.

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I had to throw this picture of Derek and his dad in there because you really have no idea how rare a shot like this is.  I remember asking them to smile and almost falling off my chair when they actually did.  It’s a little blurry, mainly because I don’t think I was all there at this point, and definitely not enough to remember to use the auto-focus.

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Sadly, there is no hidden message or underlying reason for this post

Can we please talk about babies for a moment?  Since mine don’t have that soft, sweet smell, are covered in fur, and sleep on the floor, I have to settle for doting on my nephews and niece.  Let me tell you, that’s a pretty hard thing to do.

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Or not.  That little guy I am holding there is my brother’s son, who I just saw for the first time since Christmas and am refusing to let him grow up any further. 

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These two belong to Derek’s sister.  The boy just turned two the day after Christmas and the sweet little girl is seven months old.  Those two couldn’t be more different, he is a little hellion (though I suppose most two year olds are) who I don’t have a single picture of with a smile on his face, and she is all smiles and laughs.

And if you’re like most people I know, I’ll give you the shortest answer I can right now.  Yes, the feeling is there, and it’s not going to leave.

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