Florida

While I was in Houston saying good bye to Chris,  Ken took the girls to Florida to visit his Dad and Judy and to say good bye to the warm weather before winter hits.

I joined them on Monday and we had some pool time and an adventure through a swamp, but most of all we had much needed hang and relax time.

 

Heart Day 2012

Every year that goes by and every Heart Day that passes is a good one.  It’s been 6 years since Ellie’s Open Heart surgery.   It’s hard to believe it.  There are whole days that go by that we almost forget that her heart still needs work and there is more surgery coming our way.  What a blessing to be able to say that.

This year I made a cake, vanilla with pink bubble gum marsh mellow icing (which I discovered anything besides actual bubble gum that is flavored bubble gum isn’t good unless you are under the age of 10, the girls loved it Ken and I not so much) and home made Mac and Cheese – per Ellie’s request.  We had movie night with the new Tinker Belle movie and there was a lot of listening to the new Taylor Swift CD that came out the day before heart day.

It was fun and exactly what it should be a day to celebrate and remember and most of all be thankful.

Fall Color

I think the colors are so much brighter and more beautiful this year.  Not sure if that is true or not and maybe I just forget from year to year.  I have heard that it depends on the amount of rain and the temperatures, I just know what looks pretty and it sure does this year.

 

Until we meet again

I had to share this. It was so Chris

Almost a year to the day after a group of us gathered in Orlando to do the Race for the Cure to help celebrate our Kimmy’s battle with cancer we headed to Houston to say goodbye to one of our own, Chris.

Orlando Last October

After fighting a very long, very hard battle with brain cancer with mutliple surgeries and clinical trails, Chris finally passed on at the end of September.

When someone passes it is always hard but Chris’ passing hit me so much harder.  For those that aren’t in the airline industry it’s difficult to truly understand what our first few years of flying were like.  We had pagers(remember those) and were on 24 hour call.  Our life was totally controlled by the airline schedulers.  Living in crash pads in hotels with 10 days (24 hour periods) off a month, your fellow roomies and those of the other crash pads became more than a family.   We laughed, cried, and yes drank together, sharing things that we wouldn’t even share with our closest friends and families.  Through that we became so much more than friends.  A bond was formed that will be there always, no matter how long goes between phone calls and visits.

That time gave me Chris, one of the truly good ones.  Always taking care of those around him with an eager smile, a hug or compliment when we needed it most and always an ear to listen.  We were all taken under his wing and sat there gladly.

Gathering us all together to celebrate him was so Chris.  He would have loved it.  A chance to get us in the same room doesn’t happen often enough these days.  Children and marriages, new careers and new airlines have all happened over the last 18 years.  We are all over the country but we flew in to say goodbye and reconnect.

With tears and laughs, we remembered the old days, shared the now days and said good bye to one of the truly good ones who we were lucky enough to call our own for the last 18 years.

Good bye for now Chris, till I see you again…

A little bit of Edinburgh

Edinburgh has to be one of my most favorite cities.  There is culture and history, shopping, hikes and loads of yummy food, but most of all the people are so friendly and nice.

In August and September I was able enjoy the annual Fringe festival (http://www.edfringe.com/) with friends and do a little bit of hiking up Arthur’s Seat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur’s_Seat,_Edinburgh) and of course enjoy amazing food with views to die for.

Elvis has left the picnic

August was a month of fun and adventure.

Even  with a few travel hiccups, Ellie was able to spend a week with her Nanny and Granddaddy in Virginia and Sadie and I joined her for a few days on either side.

Oh the things we did to pass a 6 hour airport delay

We got to go to Nanny’s work picnic which is always so much fun and this year was a 50’s sock hop theme complete with old cars, hula hoop contests, face painting and of course Elvis.

We went to a buffalo farm, fish farm, and to a really fun Swinging Bridge restaurant in Paint Bank, Va.

There was a trip to the transportation museum.

The best part was spending time with Nanny and Grandaddy, taking walks in the woods, enjoying sunsets, taking rides in the Camero and listening to Granddaddy play music.

Not a bad way to spend an August at all.

Playing tourist

The day after my 40th blow out party we spent with my friends Kathe and Joey and cousins Monique, Keith and their little ones at Monique’s at place on Smith Mountain Lake.  Playing in the water and out on the boat.

The week and celebration continued with a trip to Virginia Beach Ocean front.  It’s hard to believe we haven’t lived in Hampton Roads for six years and it’s been even longer than that since we actually spent time at the ocean front that didn’t center around food and drinks.

We decided that we would get a room and play tourist.

It was a blast.

The girls played on the giant inflated water slide on the beach, jumped in the ocean like dolphins, and we all enjoyed the sites, sounds, food and all the Ocean Front had to offer.  I must say it was so much fun playing tourist and we will have to do it again very soon.

 

You are only 40 once

I’ve been remiss.

I truly had an amazing 40th but for some reason have fallen so far behind on posting and then time has gotten away from me.

In a nut shell to celebrate my 40 years on this earth, we ventured to the land of my birth -Roanoke, Va.- where my amazing parents put together a good old fashion Colleen Birthday Cookout.  It came complete with loads of food, family and friends from all over, horse shoes, fire pits and even a tractor ride or two.

There is nothing more humbling than having people come celebrate the Birth of You.  It was so cool.  I was able to see so many of my nearest and dearest (it was especially fun to see my little ones playing with all of my family and friend’s little ones) and a good time was had by all.

The pictures that were taken were too many to count but here is a few from that day:

Actual Birthday drinks at my Birthday lunch