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We met on the Colorado Trail in 1996, completed an unsupported bike ride across America (Todd all the way, me CO to OR) in 2003, and then in 2005 we got married. Now, we have two children...let the next adventure begin!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Creating Happiness

Creating happiness is my New Years Resolution for 2012.  While I've had a few set backs, it's hard not to find or create happiness daily when you have two little girls.  Below is a glimpse of our last month, with the highlight having Santa (Roger) and Mrs. Claus (Linda) visit the neighborhood.  Todd and I hosted the event in a little gazebo in our neighborhood, where a lot of happiness was created for a bunch of little ones...Linda and Roger were a hit for at least 50 kids!

The Mr and Mrs. Claus in the gazebo was so sweet (and a definite must for next year) but nothing beats Savannah's message to Santa (she had 3 things to tell him, which she would remind me at least weekly):
1.  I don't need any presents.
2.  Don't come through the doggie door. Come through the back door.
3. Turn off the alarm.

1. Todd is quite verbal that the girls have too much already..Savannah is obviously listening.

2. Savannah: Mommy, I have a question for you. (She loves starting off her questions with this statement).  Do we have a chimney?"  (Unfortunately, this was before I pulled out the Christmas decorations so I wasn't thinking of the question, nor my response.)
Me:  "No, we only have a fireplace."
Savannah: "How is Santa going to get in??"
Me:  "Oh, well, he can come in through the doggie door."
Savannah: After a pondering few seconds, "Mommy, Santa can't come in through the doggie door. He won't fit?!!"
Me: "Good point Savannah. We'll have to leave a note and then ask him to come through the back door instead."
Savannah: "Okay mommy, that's a good idea."

3.  There have been a few instances when our house alarm went off - and it's very loud.  Savannah hates it so she wanted to make sure Santa knew to turn it off as the noise is too much for her ears.

Here's to 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Thankful Thanksgiving

There are many things I am thankful for:
  • Two beautiful, healthy girls who express their love for each other often (which warms my heart every time)
  • A great father for the girls, who isn't a slacker, thus helping me maintain what little sanity I sometimes feel I have left
  • An amazing sister who reminds me often to remember the important things in life  
  • Two brothers to keep my perspective balanced when they think Lisa and/or me are a bit over the top
  • Linda and Roger 
  • Bjorn
  • Great in-laws 
  • Wonderful family, friends and neighbors
  • A beautiful home
  • A great job thus giving me the means to give freely and openly to others in need
  • Good health
  • The time and energy to update the blog!

It is this list that I really had an opportunity to reflect on the blessings around me at Thanksgiving.  For the first time, I traveled solo with two small children to Jacksonville, taking a leap of faith that it would be okay. And, it was.  The girls and I loved visiting everyone in Florida and while Todd's presence was missed, he and I realized a trip to Jax solo is a good idea.  Lisa and I are not easy to be around (just ask Joey) so we like it when we are in our own little world, no matter the level of chaos.  To those who know us well, there is always chaos with changing plans, time delays, and a lot of "unsolicited" sisterly advice to each other.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal, not just with Lisa, Edward and David's family, but also with my step-brother Erling and his family, David's childhood best friend, Michael and his family, plus my sister-in-law Jen's mom, dad and sister.  We had a large group and a TON of food (4 turkeys).  Definitely one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember among my family in a long time.  Either I've learned to relax or I've learned to let go.  Probably both.

In addition, David and Alyece made it official to get married.  The reception was nice and hosted by their church.  The support they've received from the church has been amazing.  It was nice of Alyece to wait until I arrived to celebrate their nuptials.

Unfortunately, when we got back to Denver, Sophia and I both got a little sick.  Me - I had an eye infection and poor Sophia a very bad cold.  Dang it if she wasn't feeling 100% on her birthday AGAIN! We both made it through the day and the following week.  Thank goodness Ed and Bev stayed with us through the weekend to brighten our spirits as I always enjoy their company.  Below is my tribute to Miss Sophia turning 2, which is still hard to believe.  She is still a tiny tot (5th percentile) so selfishly I'm still hanging on as if she is only 18 months...

Now we've spent the last few weeks gearing up for Christmas and the arrival of Mr and Mrs. Claus!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sophia, will you forgive me?

My dearest Sophia,

Please know I love you very much.  I know it’s been a long time and I’m sorry. I’m sorry if you feel your birthday, or any monumental moment in your life over the last year wasn’t worth me taking the time to record for you, as I did for your sister.  This includes your first step, your first words, or even your first timeout… Instead, I hope you realize that I was doing my best trying to enjoy each of these moments with you, preparing myself for the beginning of a new day.

A mother of two small toddlers is a challenging job, and while I’m not here to make excuses I hope one day you will be able to empathize with the craziness of the world in which we live in: I work full-time, trying to give you and Savannah all the love and attention you deserve - while maintaining a bit of sanity and rest.

While the last year has been one whirlwind after another, it’s been a great year.  You and your sister are such a blessing, and you both continue to give your dad and me a special gift with your presence.  Sophia, your Mamaw Linda and Papaw Roger have enjoyed watching you grow, as your second year has been a bit different than Savannah’s. You are definitely your own little person. 

We all agree that you have an adventurous and courageous spirit.  You have an independent mind, prefer to always get what you want, and with your high sense of playfulness you shake it off pretty quickly, especially when we make you laugh. Your deep brown eyes make it obvious you are part Latino, but it is really evident by the way you enjoy music, especially when you catch the rhythm of a song.  We think you are the most polite, loveable little girl we’ve ever known; when you hug you tap one's shoulder to spread more love their way and one of your first words was, “Tank youuu”.  You say thank you often, and we love to hear it!  Your politeness falls by the way side when you and your sister fight.  I love watching you hold your own with Savannah and I love watching you more when you two share hugs and you say “wuvvv you naanah”.

So my Sophia Bonita, please forgive me.  I love all that you are and I will do my best not to let you, or your sister down again.

Your mother,


To everyone one else –the task of sorting through thousands of pictures became overwhelming but I’m relieved to have caught up.  Here’s a recap of the past year:

November:  Sophia turned one!  We celebrated with Todd’s whole family with a special visit from Lisa, Joey, Ethan and Evelyn!  Unfortunately, Todd, Sophia and then the rest of the family got sick (Thanksgiving) with a 24 hour virus.  It wasn’t her best day, nor ours the day after.  (This included Lisa and Joey – fortunately the twins didn’t get sick too.)

Lisa and the twins stayed with us for 3 weeks while we all got ready for Christmas. It was great to watch the little cousins play together.

We welcomed Jan, who took over Jamie’s apartment.  While it was tough losing Jamie, Jan was a great addition to our family.  She and I grew our friendship over the next 7 months.  Jan, who is a retired teacher, moved back to Denver to be closer to Kersten, her daughter.  Jan was living in Lindsborg, KS where she spent the last 20 years enjoying her retirement.

December: Christmas was a bit anticlimactic.  Savannah got a bike but all she could say was “mommy, I wanted a red one not a pink one…?”  REALLY?   I think I had a better time leading up to the big day vs. the big day.  Poor Linda and Roger woke up at the crack of dawn to be at our house for the big moment…and well, Savannah didn’t seem to care.  I have a feeling Santa will be more generous to those children charities instead!  Nonetheless, it was still fun with little ones.  Todd's family came over for Christmas dinner, which was nice too.

January:  I got really sad news… my beloved friend Dave Hazlehurst’s lung cancer would win the fight for his life.  He was told he would have 4-6 months left.  Despite this, he still decided to take a Panama Cruise in February.  That’s the Dave I love.

February:  I became a Dale Carnegie graduate – great class and it gave me many moments of reflection of my past experiences, while helping me confirm my long term goals. 
March: We traveled to FL for the twins first birthday... more like an extravaganza. Their party was bigger than Lisa’s wedding, but deservingly so since she has waited so long to be a mother. And quite a mom she is – I’ve never seen one person exude such a level of patience managing the demands of two small little ones. Sophia also took her first steps on this trip.  It was an exciting weekend all around!

We also visited Dave and Ruthie so I could spend time with Dave, sharing good moments and reflecting on the person he and Ruthie helped me become.  I have always admired their companionship and strength as a couple. 

During this visit, we also spent an evening with Todd's extended family, the Havens.  They are a fun group so it was a good time and really appreciated the hospitality.

April: Todd became a Dale Carnegie graduate!  Todd loved it so much he contemplated helping out a future class as a teacher assistant. 

Bjorn and my aunt Audhild came to Colorado for a nice visit.  Since they both know Colorado as much as me, we stayed in the Denver area.  I made Bjorn a special Norwegian birthday dinner celebration. I’m sure I am one of the few half Nicarguan's who feels more like a Norwegian!
We spent Easter in Salida with Ed and Bev – we all had a great time but was definitely one of the coldest Easter’s I’ve ever experienced!

Linda and I took the girls to their first Disney on Ice. We barely made it through intermission and I even splurged on great seats, thinking it'd be worth it. I believe there should be a book out there on "what not to do when you have small girls under 3." I think this Disney on Ice may be on the list, although Linda and I loved it!

May: Savannah’s 3rd birthday party!  I loved hearing all morning, “mommy, are my friends here yet??!”   I decided to host the party at my house (certain this would be in the book as mentioned above as it was a lot of work) and hired a balloon guy. He was a big hit! 

 I also believe Savannah is smarter than most 3 year olds. Every day she amazes me with her vocabulary, sense of logic and reasoning, and well, assertiveness…She also got to see Jamie as Savannah still misses her.  The hug at her birthday really says it all.  Jamie and I still manage to see each other monthly over a sushi dinner, allowing us to really catch up. 
We celebrated Stacy’s high school and Vicky and Amanda’s college graduations – I’m thinking Savannah and Sophia are growing up way too fast.  I can’t imagine Cindy and Joanie’s emotions watching their sweet girls reach such a significant milestone in their life. 

I received very sad news…Dave lost his battle with lung cancer.  The saddest part for me was that I wasn’t close enough to Ruthie during this difficult moment in time.

The end of the month wasn't great either, as Sophia lost her front tooth…temporarily.   I also confirmed what I believed she had – a very high tolerance for pain.  Sophia fell down on a coffee table leg that was cast iron.  Thinking she lost her tooth all together, she only pushed it up back in her gum.  I think it hurt me more than her…if that is at all possible.  This happened at Custer State Park in South Dakota.  Luckily, this happened at the end of the trip as we spent a great weekend helping Marge and Pup celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary and Pup’s 80h birthday!  Most of Todd's extended family came so it was a great party.
June: We learned that Ed’s (my father-in law) battle with cancer was up for one more fight.  The prognosis was positive which was a relief for all of us.  God bless Ed (and for all of the prayers his way) for having to go through a second surgery. 

Later in the month, I spent a few days in Atlanta helping Ruthie with Dave’s life celebration at their home.   It meant a lot to me to be there for Ruthie.

Jan moved out of the apartment to head back to Lindsborg, KS, after her daughter Kersten decided to move to Washington, DC to start a new chapter in her life.  I hated to see Jan go but viewed the last 7 months as a gift. 

We took our first camping trip of the summer in beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park.  My friend Joyce and her family joined us which was fun.  I wasn’t quite prepared, as I forgot to pack proper footwear for Savannah and me.  I guess I am alittle rusty on my scouting skills that I learned long ago…  She and I both went for a little hike with her red cowboy boots and me in slippers.  Todd didn't go on the hike...of course, reflectively I wonder if he was a bit embarrased.  ;)

Savannah started a montessori preschool two days a week.  Not sure who it was toughest for – me or Linda.  Of course, Savannah acted like she was right at home.

Last, but not least, Todd sold his motorcycle. He decided as a father of small children it didn't feel right to keep it, nor drive it. Kudos to him for letting it go.

July:  Lisa and family, plus Destyni and Tracy stayed with us for a few weeks (Joey and Tracy left after the long weekend).  We camped at the lake over the 4th with Brad, Al, Joanie, Ron and Amanda.  Unfortunately, on the drive to the lake, Jan called me to share that her daughter, Kersten – who was almost my age, was killed in a car accident on her way to DC. It was hard to get the news out of my head all weekend, realizing how quickly things can change.  Between Ruthie and Jan, it was an emotional few weeks.  I was also reminded on the same weekend of the circle of life.  My nephew Gabriel called me to tell me he and his wife, Sam are expecting a baby!  Geez, he still seems like a baby to me...

Since we had a house full, Todd took a mini-vacation doing a solo 4-day bicyling tour in the NW Colorado mountains.  He finished his last day riding into Loveland, CO from Grand Lake where he cycled over Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s impressive to know my husband is almost as conditioned as he was 8 years ago when he cycled across America!

During the last week in July, Todd, the girls and I rented a condo on St. Augustine beach for a week. My family hung out with us a lot, which was great. I especially loved having my nieces and nephews around since I don’t get to see them as often.   It was a nice time with my family and I hope to make it an annual tradition. 

I celebrated my 40th birthday with Lisa in Greece!  When she and I were around 10 - we talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up.  She said go to Greece (I'm certain my response was, "Huh?  Where?"; I said work in the tallest building in Jacksonville. My ambition speaks to the latter and thank goodness somewhere in my early twenties Lisa's adventurous spirit rubbed off on me.  Ultimately, we decided to fulfill the goal of Greece (I did work in the tallest building in Jax when I was 21).  One of the gifts from our husbands is that Todd and Joey were solo parents while we were gone.  While we both missed our families, Lisa and I had a memorable trip together.    

Amanda, Todd’s niece, moved in to the carriage house apartment!  We love having her around and the girls love her too.

Ed continues to win the cancer fight – the prayers and blessings worked!  He is working his way back to a normal life again.  Ed already bought himself a new truck. 
Savannah started her first day at a regular school – 5 days a week from 9 to noon – in a Montessori, dual language program, close to our house.  This means Savannah and I now get to spend almost every morning until 9:00 a.m. together.   While the schedule has been tough with my job, the best part of my day is when I drop her off and pick her up.  I especially love when I ask her the best part of her day and she says, "when you pick me up mommy."  Seriously – can it get better than that??

September:  Papaw Roger finally retired after 30+ years with Sandoz (Todd's company too.)  He has been home - took a two week trip to visit and hang out with his dad and is enjoying the idea that he doesn't have to go into work anymore.  Life is good for Roger! 

We took our final camping trip for the summer at the lake with Brad and a few of Todd's cousins.  Sophia and Savannah both love the boat.  Brad is great with the girls too and they especially love to drive it when he lets them.  Especially Sophia - she seemed to take it quite seriously, and wasn't near as cautious as Savannah. I'm worried she will truly be my little daredevil.  This was likely the last camping trip in our pop-up trailer.  We will likely buy a different one next summer – a hybrid type.  While I love the pop-up, Todd is tired of the work it takes to set up.  I have to admit the older (and softer) I get, it would be nice to have something you just “walk into to” and it’s ready.  Especially our second to last camping trip...the lights wouldn't come on and we didn't know why.  Todd was able to figure it out but the whole time it was raining outside, already dark and the girls and I were huddled in the back, hungry and tired.  Our neighbors were meeting us the next morning so we were happy to get it resolved, but wow, what a long hour for all of us.  The rest of the weekend was great, even though it did rain alot. I still can't believe we used to rough it in a tent.  Geez. 

Ruthie came to visit for a few days.  We took a trip to Cottonwood Pass, a place that has special meaning and Ruthie wanted to leave a little bit of Dave up there.  It was a special moment for me to be a part of with her. While Ruthie was visiting, according to Todd, Ruthie must have placed an organization spell on me. Ever since she left I’ve been going through the house like a whirlwind, organizing room by room…I have to admit that I feel less stressed when my house is in better order.  Thank you Ruthie!

Brittany’s little boy, Jacob, turned one!  Hard to believe she is a mother too!  She and Korey are an amazing young couple sorting out the trials and tribulations of marriage, parenthood and life in general.
Todd, Linda, the girls and me went to San Diego for a long weekend.  I stayed one more night as I had a work-related conference to attend.  This was the same weekend as Race for the Cure. Since Roger was out of town, Todd and I decided that Linda, a two-time breast cancer survivor, could not be alone during this particular weekend.  As a result, we invited her to come to San Diego with us so we could celebrate Linda's life. While we didn't participate in the race - even in San Diego - we did have a survivor breakfast for her. While we were there, we also had a chance to visit with the Dargan's - Todd's cousins on his Dad's side. 

The last weekend in the month, we attended Halloween neighborhood party after party after party - of which I even hosted one with all the neighborhood kids!   By the third Halloween get- together we were all pretty Halloweened out… This year we were butterflies and Todd was a butterfly catcher. 

November: The girls and I are in Jacksonville for Thanksgiving.  Todd decided to stay in Denver.  First, he has definitely spent a lot of quality time with my family already this year and second, the flights were quite expensive.  The next update will be focused on this visit and Sophia's #2 birthday, which is just around the corner.

Wow, what a year!  It sure did go by fast!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Seriously, you left us...Are you kidding me??? :)

Today is Thanksgiving and a time to reflect on the blessings in our life.   We are blessed in so many respects - healthy, sweet girls, a wonderful family, great jobs and a great place to call home.  In addition, we've had great experiences and wonderful friendships.  One of the friendships we've had is with Jamie who bought a place of her own.  I think we were all in shock when we knew last Spring she would likely move out in the fall...and the reality came quickly at the end of October.   Jamie joined our life 10 years ago and has been part of our family ever since. 

We miss her being around and Sackee and I also miss Joey. However, I can't speak for Todd or the neighbors on missing Joey though.  As J says: "he's a dog only a mother can love."  :) 

On a personal note, Jamie - thank you again for everything - you are a sister to me. You inspire me, support me and really understand me.  While I know you haven't really left our lives, there is certainly a void on 36th Avenue.  xoxo  Debbie

Below is my tribute for her and Joe Boy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Big Girl Panties

I think this is my longest gap…geez…life has certainly gotten away from me and I can’t believe we are in October. Below is a not-so-short recap since the Tri.

Todd took the first week in August off (Bev stayed with us the last week in July) to be with the girls as Linda was on vacation visiting her children/grandchildren back east. I have limited (ok zero) vacation time left due to my maternity leave and time spent in Florida this year. So, Todd, my taskmaster (I say this in the most loving way) did several things while at home such as cleaning out both girls closets; researched, reviewed, looked at and ultimately purchased a refrigerator, and last but not least, he began the task of potty training Savannah.

Cindy (Todd's sister) sent us a fool-proof 3 day guaranteed potty training process that she heard about from a friend. Todd was up for the challenge. While I was sad to not be a part of it during the day, by the end of the night I was relieved to give back the duty to Todd in the morning.

I’ve never been more proud of Todd as a father. He exhibited a high level of patience, fun and inspiration for Savannah. It was very fun to watch. My favorite was when she would potty, she would scream (if I were the one in the bathroom with her), “Daddy, Daddy, come look, come look, I pottied!” He would then run in the bathroom, look inside, jump in the air and then give her a high five. (I hate that I missed capturing this on video!) Some of my all time favorite potty quotes by Savannah during this potty training journey:

Her response to buying big girl panties and throwing away her diapers: "ok, shurre. I'm a big girl now, huh?"

Savannah’s first few words on the first morning of potty training with Dad: "no more diapers for me, huh mommy?"

What Savannah would say the first several times as she sat on her potty chair (the first time she screamed bloody murder and crying like Todd was tortuing her – I happened to walk in during a morning break from work):

"Hold you, hold you (mommy or daddy). Don’ttttt lettttt gooooo, don’t let go, hold you, hoooollllldddd youuuuuuu!!"

Every night since, Savannah will say this after kisses night night:
“Mommy (or Daddy), I wake you up if I need to go potty ok? I’ll say mommy/daddy, mommy/daddy, mommy/daddy, ookkaaaay?” (She says the latter real fast except the ok part)

Savannah continues to keep us entertained and also moved to a big girl bed.

August was a memorable month for her! Here are a few other memorable quotes:

She told Grandma Linda who was wearing pink: “Grandma, you’re not a princess.”

I don’t normally wear sunglasses but it was really bright outside so I put on Todd’s pair while we were all riding in the car. Savannah says: “Mommy, what are you doing? Those are daddy’s - take them off – I don’t like them.”

Jamie was upstairs doing laundry and not sure how/why this came up but it’s classic of Savannah explaining to Jamie what she won’t get (and not sure why): “I get no bubble gum, no ice cream, no chocolate.. I get nothing!” (Here’s the link to the video that Jamie posted - open in a new window or back arrow back to this post.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E5DhBwEw8s

We just had a great visit from Ruthie and Dave and I was especially sad after they left.

Savannah: “Mommy, why are you crying?”
Debbie: “Because I’m sad that Ruthie and Dave left.”
Savannah: “That’s ok – they can come over tomorrow.”
Debbie: “No, they are going out of town, but I’ll be okay.”

A few contemplative seconds later…
Savannah: “Mommy, do you want to put your head on my shoulder”
Debbie: “Thanks Savannah, I’ll be ok.”

A few seconds later…
Savannah: “Mommy, do you want to take a nap on me?” 
Debbie: “Thanks Savannah, I’ll be ok.”

A few seconds later…
Savannah: “Mommy, do you want me to rock you in the chair?”
By now, I couldn’t help but smile and put my head on her shoulder…

While Savannah continues to have her “moments” it is these moments that melt our hearts.  Here is something Ruthie taught her and we do it every night now.  At dinner last week she randomly did it to me, then I grabbed my Flip (my newest toy to record every minute of my girls lives...according to Todd that is) and she did it for me again.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7BPbmoZrYw

Sophia – she is getting bigger and is now 10 months old. She is definitely more curious and is challenging us to really baby proof our house. It is difficult to leave her unattended for even a second if she is not in a safe place that has enough stimulation to keep her occupied. She still scoots around and when she knows she is not supposed to go after something I swear her scoots get faster and she starts to laugh. (She loves to go after the dogs water bowl.) We think she loves music more than Savannah. Sophia loves to give open mouth kisses, loves boys (below is her getting some attn from our neighbor Holly's son Noah) and is still less fond of strangers. She laughs all the time and is the most easy going child – Todd and I couldn’t have gotten luckier!

Everything else has been quite busy – since my last entry, a few other notable things have occurred.

First, I co-hosted Brittany’s baby shower in Jacksonville with Lisa and the parents. (Todd, super dad, stayed home with the girls all weekend). It was a great trip and I enjoyed being in Jax. On the first day I arrived, LouAnn, Joey’s cousin, watched the twins so Lisa and I could go to the beach for a few hours. What a blessing to have a small get-away. It felt like old times except our conversation has evolved from boyfriends to children. It was great to see everyone and especially the twins - they are getting so big and are as sweet as ever.  Ethan is still a mini-Joey that's for sure and Evelyn is do dainty with very feminine features.  Balls of love that's for sure.  Lisa also got baptized while I was home and everyone, except Bjorn and my little Brother and his family were there to witness it.

While I was in Jax for Brittany’s shower, it’s evident I haven’t updated this in a long time as Brittany just gave birth to Jacob Allen Gancars on September 20th and was 6 lbs 14 oz. They had a small scare and Jacob spent a few days in the hospital but all is going well now. I am very proud of Korey and Brittany as they are doing really well. And, they bought a place and moved in the weekend of her shower. I can’t wait to meet little Jacob, which looks like will be mid-December. I also just found out Brittany’s brother, Gabriel (who has visited me twice) is engaged and plans to marry in December. Todd’s a bit over all the trips to Jax and I will likely do this one solo again!
I also cut my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. A whopping 10 inches! I like it and is definitely a lot easier to manage but is a bit short for me at the moment. While I will likely ne
ver let my hair grow that long again, I am looking forward to it growing out just a few more inches.   

The third week in August we met Joanie, Ron, Zack and Amanda in Salida to celebrate Ed and Bev’s 51st wedding anniversary. It was nice, as we always enjoy our visits to Salida. It was hard to believe we hadn’t made the trip to Salida since their 50th anniversary and that our visits with Ed and Bev have all been in Denver. Todd and I vowed to visit them in Salida more often this coming year – I just love their home and it always seems so relaxing in their company.  Bev and Savannah had fun dancing one day...thanks to Aunt Joanie Savannah got a new tutu.  Bev pulled hers out too (square dancing tutu for Bev) and admittedly, I never thought I'd see Bev twirl around like this and Savannah LOVED every minute of it!

Over the Labor Day weekend, Savannah was in her first wedding and while she only walked part way down the aisle, we were quite proud of her. The wedding started right at noon, which is her normal nap time, so we didn’t know what to expect. At the end of the wedding, she didn’t want to take a picture with the bride, Amanda (Todd’s cousin-in-law), until I told her that if she did she could go to the party. She immediately perked up, smiled for the camera and took some photos, then says to me” ok, I get to go to party now, okay?” And wow, did she party! She danced, danced and danced. Sara, Todd’s cousin, danced a lot with her and Savannah just loved it. I’m sure all Sara remembers from Savannah is “again? again??!”

The second week in September we went to Broomfield Days with Linda and Roger. Savannah got her face painted for the first time and she thought she was something else. She had a blast and it’s always nice to spend time with Linda and Roger.

We also got bittersweet news that Jamie is moving out! She bought a house and just closed on her house on Friday. In some metaphorcial way, Jamie is also all grown up as she has left our humble nest.  It’s been a sad few months (she told us last spring she would probably move out in the fall) but we are all very happy for her. She’s been with us for 10 years - so hard to believe!  Not sure what our dog, Sackee will do without Joey (Jamie's dog). Another little girl who isn’t as happy is Savannah. In fact, she is very clear regarding her opinion of Jamie’s boyfriend, Sean. Jamie, Todd and I think it’s because Sean is taking Jamie away from her/us. More to come on this chapter of our lives, but in the meantime, check out this video of her describing her feelings toward Sean. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDvjAvdP-g0
As mentioned from a quote from Savannah above, we had a great visit from Dave and Ruthie at the end of September.  Please say a prayer for Dave and Ruthie as they are traveling cross-country in their RV and just arrived in WA state.  Dave still flies back to Atlanta every two weeks to undergo preventative chemo treatments (he's in a clinical trial so he has to do it in Atlanta).  It is so impressive they are traveling around and just making the trips back to Atlanta..geez, I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  In any event, we all hope it works and please send positive prayers to Dave, Ruthie and their family.

We've also done a lot of walking for a "cure".  In mid-Sept we met Todd's family (Aunty Patty, Uncle Frank and Aunt Marge) who do a big fund raiser for Relay for Life (the theme this year was Alice in Wonderland and they raised I believe $12,000!). In late Sept, Savannah and Todd did Light the Night walk with Jamie (lymphoma) and then we kicked off the month in October walking in the Race for the Cure with Linda (breast cancer) and Roger. 

We feel blessed to have so many wonderful people in the girls lives...happy fall.    The Hepplers