Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mountain Vacation continued

      The day after my graduation, on Sunday, we decided to drive through the Smokey Mountain National Park and head into Gaitlinburg.  On the way there, we stopped at some of the areas along the side of highway to watch the mountain streams and let the girls play in the water and on the rocks.

   Hannah and Riley had loads of fun throwing rocks into water.  We spent a couple of hours in Gaitlinburg.  We walked around, I got some licorice, because I love the licorice at this one store there. After lunch, we decided to head in to Pigeon Forge, and  check out Wonderworks.



Wonderworks is full of all kinds of.  Like this rope course, that David and I did.  They also had a bed of nails to lay on, earthquake simulations, tornado simulations, a climbing wall, a pedal bike that would flip you upside down and much more.  We all had a good time there.


   At the end of our Wonderworks day, Grandpa Bob, David and Hannah played a game of Lazer Tag, while Riley rode the merry go round.  We began our journey across the state line exhausted but happy.  David made good on his promise to stop and climb on the rocks.  I stayed in the car with Riley, who had fallen asleep.  I guess Hannah got rather brave on the rocks!  

We saw a family of elk that live in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park just miles from the exit.  That was neat.  I've never seen a bison in the wild.  

Our mountain excursion was a good one.  We packed up early morning and headed on Monday, taking out time with the drive.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nothing in particular

A drawing of Hannah's I found recently.  

Teaching Hannah to do the dishes.  

David and Hannah, each drawing in their sketch books.  

Hannah's drawings.  

I think my graduation had an impact on Hannah already.  

Driving.  Silly girls.  

Riley, rocking her ponytail.  It tames her hair and makes her look older!  

My girls. ; )

At the playground.  

Riley, trying to lift one of my weights after my workout.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's a baby!

Yep.  Most of you, perhaps even all of you, already knew that David and I are expecting again.  
It was a shock and a surprise for us.  More so for me, because I had other plans, and those plans were changed immediately.  For the last two months, I've been wrapping my brain around everything.  It's been hard.  Added to my personal feelings are the worst pregnancy symptoms I've ever experienced.  I have nausea, all the time.  There have been times when it was so intense that it was woken me from sleep.  I pee all the time, sometimes 4 times a night.  That's not supposed to happen for another 4 months!  My food tastes are so particular, likely because of the nausea.  The only thing I want are bread and carbs and cheese.  I'm tired and have no energy, that's given right.  I've maintained exercising at least 5 days a week and every day it is a struggle.  Right now, it doesn't make me feel good.  But I do it because I know it is good for me.  Plus, I have to do something to offset all the bread and carbs I'm consuming.    
Along with all that, there's the added bonus of David and I having to buy a new to us vehicle.  In case you were wondering, I have never wanted a minivan.  I repeat I HAVE NEVER WANTED A MINIVAN.  Of course there are other options, but price for space, a minivan can't be beat.  So that's likely what we'll end up with because I'm not going to intentionally spend more money so I don't have to drive a stinkin minivan. Plus there's all this little stuff.  I had been playing around with the idea of being a surrogate, that can't happen now.  Surrogacy agencies do not want women who have had 3 C-Sections, which I absolutely have to have this time.  Josh, Leah, David and I had begun to plan a trip to Italy next March.  That's not going to happen now.  Quite frankly, I don't want to be breast feeding while traveling Italy.  And then there is my first marathon on April 14th.  I'll have 3 months to train for that.  
I know these are all selfish things but that's exactly why I wasn't planning on having my own baby.  
I talked to my OB about my feelings, he was very understanding.  He told me that it's hard when you start a pregnancy feeling so bad because you begin to build a negative bond with the baby.  He said that most of the time that goes away when you can feel the baby move.  I'm anxiously awaiting some baby movements so I can start to feel some excitement about this pregnancy.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sylva, Nc and Graduation

It was the finale to many, many years of hard work.  When I met David, I was going to school to be a nurse.  It was a goofy decision.  My dad had mentioned one time that he thought I would be a good one.  Compliments from Garry Davis NEVER happened, which is why I allowed it to dictate my career choice at the time.  Though right out of high school, I  said I wanted to go to law school.  My dad also told me he didn't think I had the patience to make through college, then law school.  So David and I meet, during my first semester of college.  We got married right after my second semester.  Then he deployed.  I went to school while he was gone.  Then he came home and we had orders for Italy.  So after 4 or 5 semesters, I can't remember exactly, I put school on hold to move to Italy.  Going to school became mildly complicated after that.  I took off a couple of semesters, so we could get settled and acclimated to living in a foreign country.  When I was ready to go back to school, I faced more complications.  Completing nursing school would be nearly impossible in Italy.  I had no way to do clinicals.  So David and I began to talk.  He said he wasn't sure why I didn't go to school for criminal justice.  He knew how much I loved it.  I realized he was right.  And I could do that from Italy.  So I changed my career path.  I finished my AS right after we moved back to the United States.  I had to take a public speaking course, and it was the only class I couldn't do online.  After completing my AS, I knew I wanted to go on for my BS.  I found Western Carolina University, which had a BS in criminal justice in distance learning, meaning I could complete my degree online.  I wasn't exactly thrilled about it, because I had been taking classes online for so long, I actually looked forward to sitting in a classroom.  To this day, I will tell you that sitting in a classroom would be so much easier than than sitting in front of a computer.  When you have a teacher, lecturing right in front of you, you are aware of everything they put emphasis on.  It's not so clear in online classes, which can take some time to figure out between online communication.  

All that brings me here, to this cabin in the mountains.  Where I would walk the stage for my BS in Criminal Justice.  I give all credit to Bob Cernock and Hannah Cernock.  You see, I wasn't going to walk the stage.  I had initially turned in my application saying "No" that I would not attend the ceremony.  Then I got this email from Bob, telling me what an impact it would be for Hannah to see my walk across the stage and receive my diploma.  As I read it, I knew he was right.  I emailed the people at the school, and asked if I could change my answer to "Yes."

They did.  We decided to make it a short weekend getaway.  We found a cabin in Sylva, NC and decided to stay for 3 nights.  

I may not have been able to enjoy a glass of bubbly to celebrate, so I made myself a bubble bath in the jetted tub.  And sat in there for an hour reading.  It was wonderful.  

Sunrise, the morning of my graduation.  

I was so nervous.  I thought they'd forget to call my name.  I know, it's ridiculous.  

The girls, being silly upstairs.  

Heading to the college.  

Walking up to the auditorium.  


I'm sitting close to the left end, in the 3rd or 4th row back.  

They did not forget to call my name!  Because Bob is so familiar with the graduation process, he had everyone positioned so I could see them well.  So when I walked in to the auditorium, there was Hannah and David.  And when I walked off the stage, after receiving my diploma, Hannah was standing right at the rail, waving at me.  

Sunrise from our bedroom.  

After graduation, we went out for dinner.  Then went home and played Sorry for hours.  

I'm glad I did it.  

Scenes from Hannah's birthday

Last year, we started a new tradition for Hannah's birthday.  One of the things we did was let her open gifts from on the day before her birthday party. Our reason for this is how overwhelming kids' birthday parties always are!  Especially little kids.  Then they have a bratty, over tired, over stimulated moment and the parent asks them self why they go through all the trouble for this bratty kid.  
It worked great last year.  So this year, we spread her festivities out again.  The day she got her "big" gift from us, we let her open it.  This was about 5 days before her birthday.  

We got Hannah some roller blades.  She's really into roller skating right now.  The reason we got roller blades, instead of roller skates, is that Hannah can wear them are the skating rink and outside on the street and sidewalk.  

She's getting the hang of it!  

Here she is opening her gift from Aunt Debbie.  She's pointing at it as she says "It's the Merida with the bow and arrow!"

Reading her card.  

Opening Aunt Casey, Uncle Matt and Ethan's gift.  

These are Bella Ballerina Shoes.  They allow the person wearing them to twirl.  And twirl.  And twirl some more.  

Here she is trying them out.  

Here she is on her birthday morning.  We a few little gifts from mom, dad and Riley.  And Grandpa Bob. 

Create your own books from grandpa.  

Reading more cards.  

Riley was curious, she wanted to see Hannah's card too!  

Here is Hannah, watching the birthday video that Aunt Casey and Ethan made her.  I wish I had recorded it because her expression when she first saw it was priceless!  It was the smile that was a mix between bashful and bliss.  So cute.