Sunday, May 31, 2009


Our babies are growing up! Max, Elliot, Isabella, and Maggie

Friday, May 29, 2009

More on Alaska

Well, it's Friday night and I'm finally sitting in front of my computer to do something other than catch up on work. This morning was Maggie's dance performance at her preschool. She has taken a little dance class through the school this past year (it's cheaper and much more convenient given that it is during the school day). We're going to a real dance school next year because she loved it so much. I plan on posting the video when I figure out how to get it to go up. It's adorable, I promise. After her performance, I took her to her classroom to drop her off with her friends. She cried. She clung to me. She begged me to leave. With that, a surge of mom guilt kicked in, and I scooped her up and took her to work with me instead. I use the term work very loosely, but it was fun to be with her today.

So, time for the Alaska write up....

We cruised with Holland America on the Westerdam. It left out of Seattle and returned to Seattle. This is the same ship we sailed on just ten days after Allie died. That time, we left from Lisbon, Portugal and ended in Rome, Italy. I have to tell you, I was really happy about getting back on this ship. When we were on it the last time, people would excitedly ask us "are you on your honeymoon?" (seeing as we were the youngest couple on that cruise by more than twenty years). We would lower our heads and mumble no, or sometimes we would tell them we were grieving parents. I hated that feeling. This time, I was happy to answer the question if we were celebrating anything special. YES! As a matter of fact we were--our tenth wedding anniversary!!! Finally, it was the honeymoon I dreamed of (our first one was three days in San Antonio because we had no money).

Here are a few of the trip highlights:

  • The Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. This was a last minute decision we made when we went to the Space Needle. We loved it and especially loved the Science Fiction Museum that was there as well.
  • Brunching at the top of the Space Needle. The restaurant rotates all the way around every 47 minutes. This was such a cool way to see the city. The food was surprisingly good too!
  • Cruising Glacier Bay. The ship cruised through Glacier Bay in Alaska for more than five hours. From any spot on the ship, the view was breathtaking. They opened the bow of the ship which is normally closed to guests.
  • Whale watching in Juneau. One of my favorite childhood memories was whale watching in California. I loved it. I think I drew a whale's tale coming out of the water for more than a year. When we were looking at excursions for the trip, this is the one thing I insisted we do. Before we got on the ship, I got a little anxious. I was so worried it would be like those experiences where you loved something as a kid that turned out to be totally lame as an adult. Thankfully, it wasn't. I loved it.
  • Ocean rafting to the volcano coast in Sitka. This was my FAVORITE thing we did the entire vacation. It wasn't what I was originally envisioning--just so much better. We rode a ocean raft that has six seats that look like you have to stradle a mechanical bull. The seats are padded and you have a metal bar to hold on to. Your wearing a big old red jumpsuit and then a big hood tight on your face to protect you from the cold. The driver goes 45 miles a hour jumping the waves on the water. It is exhilirating! We laughed, screamed, and bumped along the water. We were flying through the water! He slowed us down after about 15 miles and took us to the volcano coast. All inactive volcanoes. Amazing. We saw otters floating around us, sea lions that craned their necks to see us, and a giant bald eagles nest. All of my pictures of that were corrupted, so I don't have any to share from this. It was so fantastic. We loved it.
  • Snorkeling in Ketchikan. Yes, we snorkeled in Alaska. No, my pictures aren't corrupted from this one. I just refused to take a picture of us in wetsuits!! It wasn't quite as much about what we saw but the fact we did it. The water was 40 degrees. The wetsuits (only our lips and cheeks were exposed in the end) helped keep our bodies at 98 degrees. It was very fun.
It was a terrific vacation. I'm so thankful that we were able to go. I have the best husband ever. Our actual anniversary is next Friday, June 5th. We'll probably go out to dinner but take Maggie with us. Other than that, there are no plans.

So, it only took me two hours to write this because I've been distracted.

Monday, May 25, 2009


It's my intent to do a full write up, but I don't have time yet. So here are some of the pictures!

View of Seattle from our ship.

Mt. Rainier outside Seattle.

Lounging outside watching Glacier Bay go by

The ice that had broken off in Glacier Bay

On the bow of the ship watching Glacier Bay. It was chilly!

One of the glaciers we passed

View from the boat when we went whale watching in Juneau

First sighting of a humpback whale

Mother and calf

Humpback diving for food
Bald eagle hanging out on the rocks

Sea lions lounging
He hates this picture but I like it

The tramway to the top of Mt. Roberts in Juneau

View from the top of Mt. Roberts

"Lady Baltimore" in captivity on the top of Mt. Roberts. She was shot in the beak and it blinded her in the left eye.

Our ship, the Westerdam


In Ketchikan. We had to get this picture for Maggie!

They are hanging out the second floor window. These dogs were cracking us up.

Another picture intended for Maggie

Our last night on the cruise. Second formal night.

Victoria, British Columbia. We loved walking the city


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cruising Alaska

Andrew and I have spent the last week in the most beautiful, breathtaking place for the past week--Alaska. Our 10th wedding anniversary cruise was this past week. It was fantastic. We disconnected from the world (with the exception of Skyping with Maggie and my mom a few times)--no Twitter, Facebook, or email. It felt decadent.

I'll blog and share more soon, but for now, I'm off to catch up on American Idol and stare at my pretty little girl angelically sleeping in her bed. We missed her so much!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Look out Big D--The minivan will be rolling in!!!

I am so excited! Tracey got the dream job. THE dream job at THE best possible school. One where she will teach classes to motivated students, have engaged parents, and be able to have content that she loves and is passionate about. Rich is working at a new law firm already here in Dallas (and can I just say he is the easiest houseguest EVER? Yeah, even runs to the grocery store to get "shaky cheese" before spaghetti for dinner for you AND unloads the dishwasher).

Mad, mad love for my amazing friend and her family. CANNOT wait for you to get your minivan driving ass UP HERE!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My model

This was from the Frisco Women’s League Mother/Daughter Tea yesterday. As Allie’s sister, Maggie was a model in their fashion show along with Taylor’s sisters, Tessa (left) and Tristyn (right). She was so cute!

Maggie does photography

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Baby Drew?

I'm not pregnant. Not yet. And this fact? Seriously disappoints Maggie. She talks about being a big sister every day. How other friends have siblings they play with. How she has a sister but doesn't with her. How she ONLY wants a BROTHER. Baby Drew, she is already calling him.

Yesterday, when I walked into her preschool to pick her up, she enthusiastically ran to me. I leaned down thinking she was going to tell me about day. Instead, she threw me off with, "I will be the big sister when Baby Drew is here!!" Well, ok.

About a week ago, she began talking to me about babies. When she gets on this topic, I often just ask a few questions or remain silent to listen to what she has to say. The subject came about because her friend from playgroup is going to have a baby sister. The conversation went something like this...

Maggie: "Well, I already habe a baby sistah."
Me: "Yes, you do."
Maggie: "And her name is Allie. She in Heaben. She had kemia, it very bad."
Me: "That's right. We don't like leukemia and we miss having Allie here with us."
Maggie: "Oh, and Mama! You going to habe a baby in your tummy and he going to be Baby Drew!:
Me: "Oh really?"
Maggie: "Oh yes, and he's going to be my baby brother. I will lub him and then he will go to HEABEN!"
Me: "No, honey, if we have another baby, he or she will not go to Heaven. Just Allie did."
Maggie: "No, my babies go to Heaben."

Sweet little girl.