Friday, August 26, 2011

Road Trip

Hello! Well, we survived a fairly lengthy trip back to good old Illinois to visit both our families. We've actually been back for over a week now, but it has taken us awhile to get back into the swing of things. We were gone for 8 days (that is counting travel days...we drove), which I think was about 3 days too many for Ben. His mood steadily declined over the last few days of the trip and hadn't improved much since we'd been home.....until today. Today he is at least becoming recognizable as the child I know. I love him with all my heart but the last several days have been very, very rough. Hopefully we've turned a corner and Ben will be back to his old self soon. Although stress-inducing at times, it was soooo nice to be back home. We were able to enjoy the company of family and friends which is always a blessing!

Here are some pics:

I love this picture of Ben and his cousin, Ava....

Ava, My Sis-in-Law Nathalie, Me and Ben....and a deer head:

Ava and Ben celebrating Ava's 5th birthday:

Another pic of us with Nat and Ava:

I love this one of Ben. He looks so grown up!

Another one of the four of Greg:

Ben with cousin Reagan:

And my personal favorite....Ben swimming at Grandma and Grandpa Reynolds' house. He LOVED it even though the water was freezing (only 78 degrees at one point). His little mouth was chattering like crazy, but he still had a great time.

In other news, we celebrated the one year anniversary of the day Ben's adoption became 100% complete. We bought him a little play kitchen as a gift to celebrate the day. Whenever he goes to the speech pathologist, he always plays with the toy kitchen they have, so I figured he would enjoy one here at home. It was a BIG hit. Poor Greg had to assemble it though. I had no idea it would be in so many tiny pieces. It took him a couple of hours to get it together, but I know Ben appreciates it :-)

It is finally cooler around here today. The weather in Illinois was nice and cool the entire time we were there, so I was hopeful that when we returned to Nebraska, it would be the same way. I was wrong. It has been wretchedly humid and still above normal temps for the past week. Today, however, has been beautiful!! We went to the outdoor mall this morning and it was in the mid-70's!!! I actually wore jeans. It was magical. Although the days have been hot (with the exception of today), the evening temps are starting to back off a little and I can even detect the tiniest hint of fall in the evening air. I love when that starts to happen. The "creeping in" of fall is one of my favorite things about living in the midwest. For me, fall has always stirred up something in me that makes me feel like anything is possible. I know it's weird, but it happens every year. I think it's because this is the time of year that school starts and I was always one of those kids who looked forward to a new school year; a new year of adventures and endless possibilities. I guess this time of year just takes me back there for awhile. It's a nice feeling.

I hope, wherever you are, you're feeling nice too :-)


Friday, August 5, 2011

Fridays are for Lists

I read several different blogs a few times a week and it seems like the majority of them do some kind of list on Friday. I enjoy those lists, so I think I'll do my own today. And if you know me at all, you will not be surprised that this list is going to be completely random and probably weird....

1) I miss running outside. I hate that if I attempt an outdoor run these days, I'll either drop dead from heat stroke or just spontaneously combust. Neither sounds pleasant. So I run on the "dreadmill". Blech! I think I'm ready for fall....and it's only early August.

2) Greg claims he saw Adam Levine from Maroon 5 at the golf course last Friday. I kind of believe him because A) One of the other members of the group is from Lincoln and B) Greg is really good at spotting celebrities. All of the celebrity sightings we've had in Vegas have happened because Greg has pointed them out (except for one....I believe it was either me or Mike that spotted Loni Anderson...and she looked exactly the same as she did on WKRP in Cinncinati).
Apparently, Greg and his buddy, Rick, were at the course's snack cart ordering a hot dog when Rick's cell phone started ringing. His ring tone is "You're the Best Around" from The Karate Kid (awesome, by the way) and the alleged Mr. Levine thought it was funny....that is how he caught Greg's attention. And since he and Greg both ordered a hot dog, Greg now likes to refer to the time "when he had a hot dog with Adam Levine from Maroon 5".

3) I'm so stinking ready for my brother to be back from Afghanistan. I miss him. Less than two more months to go....thank God!!

4) The SuperTarget we shop at is right by our church. I took Ben this morning so we could get some grocery shopping done and he started crying when we pulled into the Target parking lot. Apparently, he thought we were going to church (VBS was last week). Hopefully his new found love of church carries through to this weekend when we attempt to go as a family again...fingers crossed.

5) I had jury duty early this week. It was my first time ever serving. DUI case. Some of it was interesting and some of it was mind-numbingly boring. I took some political science classes in college for the fun of it (my major was psychology, but I found poli sci very interesting). At the time, I thought being a trial lawyer would be fun. Let's just say I no longer feel that way after completing jury duty.

6) I recently discovered why I had such a hard time with algebra but such an easy time with geometry in high school. I was reading something (can't remember where or what) that said algebra and geometry require the use of opposite hemispheres of the brain. I did a little more research on it because I am a nerd.....according to Google, algebra is a "left-brained" activity (the left hemisphere of the brain directs the cognitive processes of logic, symbols and language) while geometry is a "right-brained" activity (the right hemisphere deals with creative, spatial and musical processing). I am definitely more of a "right-brained" gal....thus, much better at geometry. Kind of interesting. Or not.

7) I love puppy chow. Not the dog food, but the snack food. I normally don't crave sweets. As far as chocolate or candy or cake or other sweets are concerned....I can take them or leave them. I prefer salt to sweets. Except for the darn puppy chow. I seriously crave the stuff. And if I make it, I'll eat it until I feel sick. I don't get it. Is it because of the presence of the peanut butter?? I adore peanut butter. Greg's brother Mike thinks it's the combination of sweet and a little salty (from the rice chex) that makes it irresistible. I think he may be on to something.

8) I really want to do a marathon. A full one. My original goal was to do this in 2012 but I don't think it's going to happen. It takes an enormous amount of time to train and I don't want to be away from Greg and Ben that much. Maybe when Ben starts pre-school in a couple of years.....

9) My dad bought me a couple of tomato plants while Greg and I were in Vegas and he and my mom were here watching Ben. Can I just say that I am PUMPED about these things!?! I check them every day and so far, there are 2 growing on one plant and 1 on the other. Both of them have several blooms though, so hopefully there will be more coming. I love tomatoes. LOVE them. I would love to have a full blown garden, but our yard is way too small for that. Maybe some day!!

10) I think I'm too wordy for lists.

Have a great weekend!