March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Our Loss

I've struggled desperately over this post. My struggles have involved every aspect of it ~ what to say, how to say it, what the title should be, finding the time to sit at the computer to create it. My blog is mainly intended for extended family and friends to keep up with our lives and someday for my children to see and read what we did when they were growing up. It is for the monumental and trivial aspects of our life. This post is about one of those monumental events, and I can't move forward and post about the mundane until it is done. So here isn't perfect, it isn't eloquent, it isn't polished, it isn't complete, but it is what I have to offer for now.

There are times in your life when you wake up and go on with your day and then something happens and life is never the same. We all get reminders of this several times a year ~ These reminders come from events we read about in the paper or those that affect people in the periphery of our life or sometimes from our friends' lives. Well, just shy of three weeks ago we had one of those life changing events occur in our family.

This is my story the way I need to tell it. I'm sure Steve and Frank both have their own set of details that they have to tell when they tell the story. There are no words to express all of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions but this is a start.

The morning started out ordinary ~ I woke up before the sun, drank my coffee, checked my e-mail, had my quiet time, reviewed the events of the day and then I did the one thing that three weeks ago I would have told you was consistently missing from my life ~ I went for a run. Frank woke up and found my long gone so instead of climbing back between the sheets, he did the one thing that three weeks ago he would have told you was consistently missing from his life ~ he had a quiet time.

A bit after 6:00 I crossed the street and ran by the elementary school. I was pondering who Mary Frances would have as a kindergarten teacher, where her class would be, and when the crayon was going to appear on our mailbox knowing that Tootsie was probably at the same time praying for a pink crayon. As I turned to get to our street I heard the firetrucks and paramedics leaving the station. I had a sinking feeling ~ I knew something was wrong though I didn't know if they were going to my house or my in-laws house. I quickened the pace a bit and then a lot when I saw the trucks barrelling down my street. Talk about feeling helpless ~ chasing a firetruck on foot wondering where they were going. Then our houses came into view {yes, we live three doors down from where Frank grew up and his parents still live}. I saw the ambulance backing into my in laws driveway, and I knew that something was desperately wrong. I sprinted to my back to door to find Frank already on the phone trying to get someone at his parent's house. He raced out the door to go see what he could do. I will spare you the rest of the minute details but what I need to say is that we lost our beloved Tootsie that morning of March 9, 2010.
This is sad ~ sad for Steve, sad for Frank, sad for the community, but most of all sad for our children. She loved many, but our children held a special place in her heart. She called them her "special blessings" and she truly cherished the time she was able to spend with them. They were a joy to her and she always made it fun.
Over time I might be able to express our gratitude for all that everyone has done over the last few weeks as well as share more details about Tootsie and what she meant to me and to many, but there is not time now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cards, Cards, Cards

What do you do with all of the cards that come through your door?

I don't know about your family, but our extended family loves cards. It is funny because I am not a big card person. I used to my former life I tried to remember everyone's birthday and tried to send everyone a birthday card. Not anymore ~ These days I am doing good to have an idea for a gift much less a card. I still have everyone's {and I mean everyone birthday written on my calendar, and you typically get a little extra prayer that day and maybe a phone call, e-mail, facebook note, or if we are really close to you a gift, but no card.

Well, back to all of of those cards... My children get cards for their birthday, Valentine's Day, Halloween, the list goes on and on. It seems for every occasion they are receiving a card, and they love it. They love to get something in the mail. They love to read and reread the cards. They have even been known to sleep with the cards. They truly cherish this remembrance of them.

Mom on the other hand struggles with these cards ~ what do I do with them? I don't want to throw them away, but I also don't want them adding to the clutter of our world. One day, a while back, when flipping through some magazine {possibly Parenting}, I came across this idea...

and we LOVE it! Each of my children has their own "card book". It keeps our cards together. We can read and reread the cards. We can take them apart to play with them, organize them, sort them. There is no clutter. It is their own personal book. We can relive birthdays and other holidays. We can talk about family and friends.

What you need?
- a collection of cards
- a hole punch
- a large binder ring ~ ours are 2 inches

Speaking of cards, we have a birthday dinner to prepare for. We're off to pick up Mary Frances from school, make a carrot cake, set the table, and pick up the house.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blogging for Business

Okay, maybe I really am ready to go back to why I started my blog in the first place ~ to take monogram and applique orders. This doesn't mean I am going to change my blog completely. I will still put stories of our life, recipes we create, quotes we read, etc..., but I am going to enhance the monogram/applique information.

I've had a couple of small orders recently for the raggy cross in the last couple of weeks and realized it would be nice to be able to send people here for information.

This is one of my favorite designs and has been well received in the community, but I have a whole lot of other things I can do. I have them and would love to use them so I'm going to put my list back on the side bar. I will slowly link pictures to them. I really want to do this, but it also causes me a bit of anxiety. There are already so many things that go undone each day and this is something I do not HAVE to do. Actually that is true of blogging in general, but it is fun. On that note, I'm off to cut out shorts for Easter.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekend Wanderings

Besides tired and dirty children what do you get when you go to a museum, play outside, attend a baby shower, watch dog trials, eat dinner with friends...?

Well weekend wanderings of course...

We spent the weekend {a long weekend} in Mobile...Because Frank can work at their Mobile office we left Thursday night so he could put in a full day of work here on Thursday and there on Friday. The rest of us wondered what we would do? ShuShu, Aunt Anna, and Uncle Bill were all at work. Our Mobile friends were at school. Where could we play? The little people are always a hit and the little house is cool, but we needed something new, something different.

Ah Ah...

The Mobile Carnival Museum

My children loved going to the Mardi Gras parades when were home a few weeks ago so we decided to continue the festivities. We went to the Mobile Carnival Museum. If you find yourself in the bay area or live there and want something to do on a dreary rainy day, I highly recommend it! We payed $7 for admission for four {plus as much for peanut butter and mint moonpies when we left}. That money provided hours of entertainment. Take friends...the more the merrier.

There was a float...

There were costumes...

We threw beads...

We laughed...

We climbed...

We changed clothes and danced...

There are no pictures to prove it, but rumor has it that there were two of these dresses. Mary Frances and I both wore one and danced together. Wish you had been there...

On with our wanderings ~ no pictures, but we spent the afternoon playing outside with friends. The babies napped {inside}, the mommies sewed {you do know that Easter is coming and it's early}, and the big kids played. Family dinner with ShuShu's famous lasagna for supper.

Saturday wanderings~ the girls went to Aunt Anna's baby shower. No pictures because I sent the camera with Frank. The boy's went to Baldwin County to support my brother and his dog Grenny. Grenny is an almost three year old black lab who my brother has spent an extrodinary amount of time and energy training. She was participating in hunt trials which I can't say I understand completely, but I do know she got three passes which is excellent. We are all very proud of Bill and Grenny.

Of course Stephen made a new friend...that's why we call him "the mayor!"

To complete our weekend we ate an easy, casual dinner with good friends...Thank you Anne & Chris ~ you were especially sweet to include my mom!