Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Celebration of Life and a Celebration of Birth

Almost a month ago my best friend Cassie text me to tell me she needed a ride from the airport because she was flying in to see her dad for his birthday in a few weeks since he hadn't been doing very well. Unfortunately, she sent me a message the next day that her dad passed away, so now she was coming in for his funeral instead of his birthday. Her dad and my dad were good friends. They went to college together and then worked together for years. Before I moved here with my mom I would spend my weekends here with my dad and we would go to Cassie's house. She and I would play and our dads would talk and watch tv together. So, when I finally moved here in the 7th grade, I was lucky enough to already have a friend that I had known for years at my new school! Cassie and I remained best friends all through high school and college, were in each others weddings (more on that here), I named my daughter after her (and some times I see Cassie in my daughter when she is being sassy) and to this day she is still my best friend. This has not been easy with me being here in our hometown while she has lived in Conway, Fayetteville, Hawaii, Colorado, and back to Hawaii! But, thanks to lots of texting, phone calls and Facebook we have been able to keep up with eachother and stay close. We always can pick right up where we leave off when she visits - even before we leave the airport parking lot sometimes (right Cassie?) :)

This is my second friend to lose a father in the last few months - I am not a fan of this season of life. I know it is inevitable, but I just don't think I will ever be ready for it to happen. I know I will be in this situation also - hopefully not any time soon, so I am trying my best to  be there for them because I know I will need them for the same thing.

On Saturday, instead of a funeral, my friend had a Celebration of Life for her dad. After going to two of these recently, this is definitely what I want for my parents also. I would love to celebrate their life and tell stories of better times - which is how I want my parents remembered. It was such a nice service to celebrate such a special man. After the service we went to lunch and guess who was in the booth beside us - Cassie and her husband! It was so nice to, just for a little while, have a life where I can accidentally run into my best friend at home.

I am holding out hope that they will move back closer some day. I love their life - it is so different from mine and full of amazing things - most of which they wouldn't have here. But, the family and friends could help make up for it - I am no tropical island, but I have a few good traits ;)  Don't get me wrong, I love my life too, every little bit of it. Cassie and I have talked about how different our day to day lives are and how we both love eachothers lives too - it is just crazy all the different places our lives can take us, but we still can have the same true best friend! I have lots of friends, but no one is as great as that one great friends you grow up with.

Saturday night Nathan fired up his new outdoor griddle and cooked us up a big breakfast for dinner! Eggs, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes and french toast! It was all so good! It even started snowing while he was out there cooking - so being the good wife I am I stood at the door, in the warm house and handed him stuff :) We found another classic movie to watch with the kids during dinner that night - Problem Child! The loved it! John Ritter is one of my favorites so this has always been one of my favorite movies from my childhood.

Grilling in the snow :)

Sunday after church the kids and I went to lunch while Nathan went to draft Ryan's t-ball team. Then we were invited to a first birthday party for one of our friends. It was the cutest lumberjack themed party! The kids had such a good time! After that we just had a quiet evening at home cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the week.

Nathan and the birthday boy, Huntley!
We are counting down to Spring Break next week where the kids and I are hitting the road on some adventures and then maybe Nathan and I get to go on an adventure alone :)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Parties, An Award and Some Pool Time

We kicked off our weekend with movie night at home! We are trying to find old movies we liked when we were younger and watch them with our kids. So, Friday night we introduced them to Little Rascals. They loved it! I cannot imagine 5 year olds running around that freely in todays world like they were in that movie though - we just live in a different time now. Nathan barbecued chicken and I made sides and his favorite dessert (magic bars) and the kids loved all the food for once! It was a good night :)

Saturday we had a double birthday party for two boys in Noah's class at school. It was at the Bacchus Family Adventure Farm. We have had both kids parties there and love that place. It is so much fun and the kids just love the animals and activities. An F1 tornado came through there just a few days before the party and took out the nursery building. Sadly, they lost their wallaby and it's baby. Thankfully, the rest of the farm seemed ok and the owners had the best attitude about it. We fed animals, played football, rode the train, and played in the sun. It was a great party!

Later that day Noah had his awards ceremony for basketball. Noah seemed most improved on the team to me (in my unbiased mom opinion) - he came a long way this season. Nathan was head coach of a team for the first time and really did great! It wasn't as easy as he thought and I think he liked it more than he thought. Now, on to baseball and softball!

We got a nice surprise visit that evening from my older brother. He happened to be in town and got a hotel room so we all met at the hotel so the kids could swim and then went to dinner together. I don't get to see him and his girls much so it was so good to visit with them. 9 Gunn kids in a pool made for a wild Saturday night!

Sweet Mermaid Emmie
Sunday we went to Church and spent the afternoon doing a little shopping for house renovation stuff and future birthday presents :) We ended our weekend with dinner at Noah's favorite restaurant Sumo. 

Now onto visiting with friends from out of state, a celebration of life, a birthday party and whatever else we can get into before losing an hour of sleep on Sunday!

Monday, February 27, 2017

4 Days, Turned 10 Days Off

Noah had a Friday off and then the following Monday off for President's Day. So, I kept Ryan out of daycare those days also and we planned to have a fun 4 day weekend.

Friday we started off with a fun day at home. Slept in, played with toys, watched movies and made a family grocery trip. Then Friday night we all went to see the Lego Batman Movie. Noah and I had already seen it the week before, but it was really good and we wanted to go back and see it with Nathan and Ryan. I actually liked it even better then second time :)

We started Saturday at the gym for Noah's basketball game. Then we all took off for Fayetteville to watch the last weekend Razoraback basketball game. The kids had never been to one of their games and Nathan and I hadn't been since before we had Noah, so it had been awhile. We figured there would be  people selling tickets outside when we got there but there wasn't. So, we bought tickets at the box office, made a visit to the gift shop, got popcorn, hot dogs, pizza, and ice cream and found our seats. Our seats happened to be on the very top row. At first we thought maybe we could move down a little since the games on TV always have lots of open seats. However, this game was pretty packed. Plus, I actually liked our seats at the very top. The kids were able to stand and cheer or dance and not worry about hitting anyone or blocking anyone. The kids had the best time - they cheered loud, loved the food and were constantly smiling. I am hoping to make it to more games next year. Now it is Razorback baseball season, so we are on  the lookout for some nice weather that we can make it to watch a baseball game.

On Sunday, the kids and I went to church and Nathan went to golf. After that, the kids and I went to Chili's (one of the kids favorites - more for the games than the food I think). My grandma called me at work a few days earlier and just wanted to visit with me. We had a nice talk and I told her that we had 4 days off coming up so we would try to make it out to visit with her one of those days. We usually only go to my grandmas on the holidays and we don't get much time to visit then because my family is so huge. I have always kept to myself and don't want to overstay my welcome anywhere, including at families houses. This visit was so nice and as soon as we left we all 3 started talking about when we will go back and visit. Because, honestly, who knows how many more visits like this I am going to be able to have with her.

The real reason he likes Chili's so much :)

Grandma reading the kids a story :)
My grandma has a huge Bill Clinton head in her living room - it doesn't get much better than that!
On our last day off, we had another lazy home day, got our Rhea Lanas stuff sorted out, watched another Harry Potter (we are half way done now), played super heroes and then it was time for another basketball game for Noah. Noah had started a mild cough on Saturday, but by Monday it was pretty bad. He didn't have a fever though and felt totally fine otherwise so I thought maybe it was his allergies.

Noah giving out a "hug" at his basketball game  :)

When I got Noah up Tuesday morning his cough sounded even worse and he just didn't look like he felt well. I didn't want to take him to the doctor since the flu is so bad right now we didn't want to catch it there. I called the doctor and they said as long as he had no other symptoms he could wait to be seen until he had been coughing a few more days, but if he wasn't better by Thursday then he needed to be seen. So, I took him to work with me and kept him home for the day. His cough was so often and loud he would have been a disturbance at school for sure.

Wednesday morning Noah had sounded better overnight so we were headed to school. He then began coughing so hard on the way to school that his face was red and purple and he was gagging. So, I just took him back to work with me and made him an appointment for that day. The nurse said they had seen several flu cases that day, so wearing masks would be a good idea. So, we put our masks on and headed in. We weren't the only ones in masks either! Noah's doctor said he had a bronchial virus and they had seen it last over 2 weeks in kids, so we may see it a little longer but it shouldn't get worse. Since his cough had started out sounding like croup, he went ahead and gave him a one time steroid in the office.

Thursday morning I got Noah up and he was sounding much better already! Then, I went to get Ryan up. She is usually asleep when I go to wake her up but this time she was up and thirsty - which is abnormal for her. Then I felt her and she felt hot. I took her temperature and it was 101. So, once I got Noah well, of course Ryan had to get started. I loaded the kids up, took Noah to school and then called to get Ryan an appointment. Once we got home I took her temperature again and it was 98.4 - I had not given her any medicine. She was starting to cough a little and sneeze too. I kept checking her temp until her appointment and it never again got over 99.5, I didn't know what to think, but knew if she got worse after 5:00 p.m., I would wish I had kept her appointment. So, we got our masks on and went back to the doctor. The doctor said he thought she was just suffering from allergies or maybe the "virus of the week" if her fever returned but he wanted to check her for flu and RSV anyway since it has been going around and her symptoms are the start of it. Since her symptoms were so new and mild he had to do a test that took 2 hours to get the results back on. So, after an awful swabbing and gag session we were off back home. Thankfully both test came back negative so we just upped her allergy medicine.

Finally, on Friday both kids were well enough to go to their schools. I volunteered at Noah's school that morning and read to his class after lunch. Then after a quick grocery trip I picked up Ryan and then Noah and we had to get ready for another basketball game. After the game we decided to take the kids to The Old Bank to eat. Nathan and I had been before, but we thought the kids may like it so we gave it a try. There was a 30 minute wait, which was a little stressful with two hungry kids, but not too bad. There are so many TVs and things on the walls there that the kids loved. There was a TV at our table and we could see 12 more from where we were sitting - all showing different things. The food was good and the kids meals came with free ice cream - I call that a win!

Saturday was Noah's last basketball game. On the way in he said he was sad it was over and he wanted to play again next year - which surprised me. He hasn't complained much this year, I just never know how much he is enjoying himself. After the game we had lunch and then went back home. I told Nathan that after being with the kids 24/7 for the past week I really could use a night with just him. So, thankfully him mom was able to come watch the kids while we went out for dinner and a movie. We tried out a Thai place and then watched Fist Fight - which was pretty funny! It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud and I did a few times on this movie along with some hand over the mouth shocking moments. It was nice to get out for the evening and talk without being interrupted for a potty break or to fill a sippy cup.

On Sunday, we all went to church and had lunch. Then the kids and I went to see Rock Dog - a new movie they had been wanting to see. After that we went home to Daddy cooking us pork loin on his new grill and the kids and I played "Disney World" (where we pretend to pack up and go to Disney World) and Ninja Turtles.

Ryan made herself at home in the isle ;)
Of course, we had to play the quarter games after the movie :)
I am so thankful that I have a job that I can bring my kid to or work from home with a sick kid - if not, I don't know what I would do. 10 days out of our normal routine is crazy, fun at times, but not ideal either. Today we are all finally back to our normal routines and feeling much better. Daycare is closed tomorrow, but hopefully after that it will be awhile before we have to all take off again. I love routines and hate when it gets messed up. Now we have a pretty quiet week followed by a basketball awards ceremony and double birthday party this weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Love is in the air...

We have been celebrating love here lately! First off was the long awaited Daddy Daughter Dance at our church. As soon as we saw the announcement about this dance Nathan said "we will be going to this" :) Of course Ryan wanted to go - not only does she like to dance all the time but she thinks she is going to marry her daddy :) We did the dance right and even got a corsage and boutonniere. Nathan said she was so excited and danced in the truck the whole way there. Thankfully he sent me lots of pictures and videos so I could see how much fun she was having. I know this is something she will always remember and I am hoping to make it an annual tradition. I never got to do one of these when I was a child - even though my dad did take me to a New Kids on the Block concert all by himself and he even crimped my hair before the show :)

While Nathan and Ryan were out, Noah and I were making memories of our own. The Lego Batman movie came out the same day as the dance so we decided to have a Mother Son date night too. First we went to "chips and dip" (as Noah calls it) for dinner and then the movie. The movie was really good - lots of adult humor (nothing inappropriate) so Noah and I both laughed - a lot (Noah slightly louder than me) :)

Noah had a ballgame Saturday and then we decided to find something to do outside since we were lucky enough to get 85 degree weather in February. We tried to think of a hike to go on, but decided to check out the new walking trail here in town. The walk was almost 2.5 miles and the weather was perfect for it. The turn around point was McDonalds - which was perfect for a cookie break :)

Snoozing on our walk :)
Saturday night we had a living room campout! We made our own pizzas, got the air bed out and watched Dennis The Menace :) The kids LOVED that movie - which is one of me and Nathan's favorites so it was so cool to laugh along with the kids while watching it.

I know a lot of people do not like Valentine's Day, but I love it. Love is such a special thing and I feel celebrating it extra once a year is important. I got the kids up early so they could open their Valentines from me and Nathan. On Noah's first Valentine's Day we got him a huge bear and he still sleeps with it to this day. So, Ryan asked if she could get one for this Valentines Day. So, she got that and a Hei Hei from Moana. Noah asked for a Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings game. The kids elves made a quick appearance and brought them Valentines too - a Minecraft guy, baby Moana and some chocolates. Ryan got Noah a WWE cartoon and Noah got Ryan the Moana soundtrack - which we have been listening to on repeat. Nathan gave me a massage certificate, roses and chocolates (about the chocolates - Nathan said "I don't know what hazelnuts are but they were $9 a box so they better be good). Nathan got a new golf bag which he took to the golf course when it came in two weeks ago, but he did open all the Die Hard movies and a new pull-over on Valentines Day.

I was able to go to Noah's class Valentine party with him. They had ice cream sundaes and I brought a craft to do with the class. I taped the word LOVE on a canvas (with a heart for the O) and they colored them and then took the tape off to reveal the word still in white. They acted like they really liked it and they all turned out so different and so good! Noah was cracking me up during the party. He was telling the kids "please work hard on this and don't mess them up, my momma worked really hard on these" :)

I requested one of my favorite meals (shrimp boil) for our Valentine dinner so Nathan made that for us. Other than that we didn't do anything special on Valentine's Day. Just family dinner, and fell asleep watching the news - like old boring people :)