Sunday, July 10, 2011

Party People

If a vacation ever came close to feeling like one big party - it was this one. From the day we got there till the day before we left we were celebrating graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions (our SB family that is :) <3) and national holidays. It was a blast. We started off by celebrating this lovely high school graduate.

Graduating high school is such an exciting time. Facing a new chapter of your life - full of opportunity and freedom, choices and chances. So much to look forward to, and learn from. I loved the carefree nature of childhood. I look back fondly on the freedom of my high school days. But I have to say many of my greatest joys, most precious memories and most profound experiences all took place after I graduated. So congratulations sweet Claire! We are so proud of you and wish you wonderful days ahead.

And of course in Jet's mind - it was all for him. Every game, group-hug, song or sparkler would bring a smile to his face that said "yep. I'm glad you're excited about me being here as I am," as he'd clap with the rest of us. And why not? He's a pretty cool kid.

I mean...the ladies love him.

He even got his own special hawaiian lei at cousin Claire's graduation party.

The Big Kahuna.

And of course the Fourth of July party was not to be outdone. We celebrated our Freedom with the necessary 4 F's - family, friends, food and fireworks.

Jet (being the delightful 2 year old he is) opted out of the food, was selective with the friends, and completely rejected the fireworks.

But he still had a great time. :) this my car?

And of course...who has time for food when you're secretly a super hero?

Shh...don't tell...

All the festivities (combined with the confidence he had through his secret identity and the meant-for-him license plate) made Jet brave enough to try and secure himself another girl-friend.

I think it worked. She looks charmed doesn't she?

Then during an attempt at a family photo...he and Daddy worked on charming Mommy....

...not quite what I was looking for...

That's more like it.

The evening ended with smiles on our faces...

and sparklers in our hands...

And we felt pretty super about it.

More to come... :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Tonight I took a bubble bath and read a magazine in the tub. Admittedly it was a June 2009 addition of Cookie Magazine that has sat in our bathroom for 3 years now (back when I had time to read parenting magazines ;) lol). And of course by "read" I really mean "skimmed", and by "bubble bath" I mean a few of Jet's leftover suds were still in the tub when I ran the water for me. But nevertheless...for 10 minutes I slipped into a carefree zen-like state.

Less than one article in...momma-hood called, and I was out and I can't complain...cause tucking this little guy in bed is the best job in the world.

And it was nice to relax for even 10 minutes. As a child, I never understood the phrase "We're gonna need a vacation from this vacation!"
I kinda do now.
Cause when you vacation don't really do it to do it for the fun, the family time, the memories, the experience.
And we vacationed BIG.

Like venti-decaf-iced-mocha-big. Oh yeah. Big stuff.
Actually, our vacation was even bigger than that.

We arrived in sunny CA without a hitch, ready for everything we had planned, anxious for the fun to begin, wondering if it'd be everything we'd hoped it would be...

And after one day of the breeze, the beach, and the beautiful feeling we had from just being there together...

...we knew it was.

And we couldn't wait for the rest of it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ready or Not

This time tomorrow we will be in California.
Jet is doing his final checklist.

Backpack of toys and books. Check.

Snack for the plane. Check.

Mouse Ears. Check.

Ok I'm not too crazy about these mouse ears...but I hear they're a must have.

So how come I feel like I'm forgetting something...

Maybe if I think about it really hard I'll remember...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe it! How embarrassing!

I almost forgot Mommy!

Ok ya'll - I'm off! Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Who's your Daddy?

Who's your Daddy?
by Jet Penny

There are so many things that a daddy can be,
But here is who my Daddy is to me.

My Daddy is strong and funny and smart,
He loves me and Mommy with all of his heart.

He lets me be silly and crazy and loud!
And it's obvious that I make him proud.

I love being with him - and I try every day,
to be just like my Daddy in every way.

Today we gave Daddy a present or two -
To remind him he's special - and say "I love you."

But the greatest of presents is easy to see -
It's being together... my Daddy and me.

Happy Father's Day Da-da!
Also to my Papi and Grandad (the best grandpa's ever!)
and my Papa and Geedaddy (the best great-grandpa's ever!)
We love you so much!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Catching up on life/Life catching up with us!

As I sat on the couch watching Regis and Kelly a few mornings ago (a rarity since "The Cartoon Nazi" - formerly known as Jet Penny - usually rejects such morning habits) I found myself living the dream.
This is my dream.

I can still remember those summer days when school was finally out - and we (my brother, sister and I) would wake up in the lazy-late morning, eat our cheerios on the couch and watch Regis and Kathy Lee (yep...we go way back). And I would think Wow...Mommy gets to do this every day...she is so lucky. I remember it as one of the most relaxing things ever. It was a symbol of freedom. Nothing to do - we're home together - and we're watching Regis. When I was home sick - it was one of the things that made me feel better. Then my college days - I'd come home from and early class to catch the end of Regis and Kelly while my mom rode the stationary bike in our garage (lol. you're welcome Momma.) and think I can't believe she still watches this every morning...she is so lucky. Now - here I am. At home on a weekday morning - feeding my son his oatmeal because he refuses to pick a spoon for any length of time, and thinking I can't believe he's letting me watch Regis and Kelly...I am so lucky.

So lucky to to be able to lounge around on the occasional day when there's no therapy appointments, doctors visits, photography sessions or urgent grocery-shopping trips. It's even nice to have a break from the the fun extra things like Gymboree classes, Library Time, playdates at the park or mommy's "retail therapy" at Target. Those things are fun...but being at nice.

And apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Things have been really busy over the past few months. Not days. Not weeks. Months. I'm talking borderline crazy. Okay honestly - we crossed that border a couple of times and things were downright ridiculously crazy. Sometimes it was good crazy...but more often it was overwhelming-stressful -"what is happening here?!" -crazy. There were late nights followed by early mornings. Skipped showers and forgotten appointments.
It was "curls gone wild" for the little man. And momma...well....thank goodness I'm the one behind the camera.

To try and explain everything that went on would take more time than I have energy to devote to it. But let's just say the past 2 months have been something along of the lines of - 3 loved ones in 3 different hospitals (sometimes at the same time), 1 ER visit with the little guy, 9 weddings (working not attending), some out-of-town family visits, our 5 year anniversary, 5 birthdays, 1 big birthday party, speaking at a Ladies Retreat on "healing and blessings", a last-minute amazing fundraiser, and several emotional journeys of love and loss - waiting and praying - hurting and healing.
And lots of praying.
My heart has worked harder than my body - but my body is pretty darn tired. And I'm not alone in that I know. In fact - none of the big things were really happening to me - but around me. And that's hard in it's own way. Hard to know what to do...where to be...who to help and how.
And the craziest part of all - it's not really over. It's never really over is it? But I feel things slowing down. My brain is starting to process things better. I'm going to bed a little earlier. I'm feeling a little less panic and a little more peace. And I'm praying a little more peace on all the people I love who have been going through a lot (often more than I have) as well.
I have learned so much from you.
I think of you every day.
I love you more than ever.
I'm so happy to have you in my life.
If you think I'm talking to you...I am.
There are more than one of don't overthink it.
Just know...everything is going to be okay.
I can feel it.

Just as I feel excited about our trip next week to CALIFORNIA.

Oh my goodness gracious I am so ready for this trip!
Well...not really "ready" per say....I haven't done much at all in preparation. But emotionally - I am ready!
Normally before a big trip you feel more anxious. Things to do! Suitcases to pack! Lists to make then cross off! AHH!
But all I feel Yes - that's it. Joy. I smile when I think of it. I take a deep breath and sigh. Sometimes I even get teary-eyed. For those of you who don't know why a trip California could make me cry (lol) I will explain.
It's because we are going to THIS.
The National Conference of the Spina Bifida Association. If I had more brain cells I'd explain it more but bottom line - this means so many things to me right now. It represents my family - my miracle boy - the amazing friends that have been with us from the beginning and/or have now helped us be able to attend. It means education, validation, representation and motivation. It means sweet reunions with dear friends. It means the beach, Yogurtland, pizookies, sunny days and breezy nights. It means Disneyland!
Jet is carefully planning his wardrobe...

...and studying up on his princesses in preparation.

It means laughter, lazy-dayz, and lots and lots of love. SO much love that I would have never experienced if not for the one thing that I never would have chosen in our lives - spina bifida.
And what makes me cry.
The fact that God is using us - using this trial in our lives - for blessings. Mixing the tears of worry and fear with tears of joy and relief. I've never cried so much as I do now that I'm a mother - and I'm not sure if that's just a rite of passage or just me! lol. But I'm glad I do. Because it allows me to feel so many emotions that I wouldn't trade for anything. It makes me appreciative. It makes me compassionate. It makes me honest.
It makes
He makes me, me.

So get ready California!
There may be tears - whether they will be mine or Jet's (or BOTH) after a 4 hour plane ride I don't know! lol. But we are ready! We are coming! And we are so so excited!

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