Trip to Colorado

(Warning- this is a long post!)

Last week we took an unplanned family trip to Fort Collins, Colorado after the passing of my mom’s sister, Renee. I posted 3 weeks ago about her hospitalization. We had high hopes that she was on the road to recovery, however, she passed away early in the morning on August, 20th.

Ironically, my dad passed away this same month 3 years ago, when I was 6 months pregnant with Emma. I’m not liking this ‘losing a close family member during my 6th month of pregnancy’ trend. Adversity makes us stronger, right?

Back to our Colorado trip… we debated if Robin and Emma should travel to Colorado with me but I’m so glad they made the trip. Ft. Collins is a beautiful town and we had some great family time even though we were there under sad circumstances.

Emma has flown on an airplane twice before but she wasn’t quite old enough to appreciate it or remember it… this time she LOVED every second of the airplane experience!

We left on Tuesday mid-day and returned home early afternoon on Friday. We stayed in a hotel room with my mom and brother and had some real family bonding time! Emma slept great every night and was really well behaved during the entire trip. I was so proud of her.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Day 1: Tuesday, August 25th:

Big Girl Emma walking through the airport with Uncle Brandon:


Such a big girl!


On the plane… ready to take off:




On the underground train at the Denver airport:


Uncle Brandon and Emma watching ALL of our luggage at the Denver airport:


After making it to the hotel, Emma had to do this for about 30 minutes!


Day 2, Wednesday, August 26th:

We started the day by having brunch at one of my aunt’s favorite restaurants, “The Silver Grill.” The breakfast food was amazing!

Emma sat next to her 2nd cousin, Olivia, who is almost 5 years old- they had a great time together as you can tell from the pictures below:





Emma and my cousin Steve, one of Renee’s two sons:


Robin, Emma, and Olivia checking out the church:


The funeral was at 4:30 on Wednesday followed by a dinner reception at the church. I did not get any pictures from the reception. Everything during the ceremony was beautiful and perfect.

That evening we decided to go for a swim in our hotel pool and then hang out with my cousins.



Day 3, Thursday, August 27th:

We spent most of the day on Thursday taking care of Steve’s kiddos so that they could take care of some things.

In the evening we all went to dinner and then treated ourselves to “Walrus” ice cream. Emma had strawberry ice cream in a white chocolate dipped sprinkle cone- this is what Olivia decided that Emma wanted. :)



Sweet Madeline eating her ice cream:


The gang: Adults (left to right): Robin, Jill, Jeff, Gail, Danny, Robin, Steve

Kids: (left to right): Olivia, Emma, and Madeline


Day 4, Friday, August 28th:

We had to catch a shuttle from Fort Collins to the Denver airport around 10:00 on Friday morning. The shuttle ride TO Denver was great- we all took naps. The shuttle ride on Friday was not as great- there were NO shocks on the bus and I felt like I was going to go into labor at any minute- talk about a rough ride! We did have a scenic drive and got to look at the beautiful countryside out the windows. Emma loved riding the shuttle:




I love this view (out the window) of the countryside with the mountains in the background, God is so amazing!:


The Denver airport:


Waiting patiently for the underground train:


“Look, our airplane Daddy!”



This picture really sums up the end of our trip… Emma was very tired and ready to be home. She was fairly restless on the flight home, but luckily she was just slap-happy and laughed hysterically. We prefer that to crying. :)


Scary Weekend

We had quite an eventful few days this past weekend.  On Friday, we got a call from my cousin to report that my Aunt Renee (mom’s 59 year old sister) had fallen down some stairs at their house while on Vacation in Shreveport and was now in ICU due to a brain bleed.  Initially, she was very stable.  However, by 9:30 Friday night things really took a turn for the worse and 2 doctors indicated that she most likely would not make it through the night. 

My mom, my brother Brandon, and I jumped in the car at midnight on Friday and drove straight to Shreveport, arriving to the hospital at 6 am. 

To make a long story short and save you all of the gory details, Renee made a miraculous turn for the better sometime during the night on Friday night/early Saturday.  Saturday morning she was somewhat alert and she went into emergency brain surgery which the Neurosurgeon felt went very well. 

We stayed in Shreveport for the weekend but had to return home Sunday night because we all had to work on Monday.

When we left on Sunday, Aunt Renee was still on the ventilator, but in stable condition.  Right now, things will be evaluated one day at a time.  We are just so grateful that she made it through the surgery and seems to be improving daily.

***On a side note, I want to thank my incredibly supportive husband for encouraging me to go be with my family.  He stayed home with Emma and played the role of single dad for two whole days.  I think Emma really gave him a run for his money but he didn’t complain one bit.  Thank you Robin for being such a great dad and husband.***

Here is a picture of Renee with mom and Emma during her most recent visit to Tulsa on June 25th. 



Here is a picture of the door to Renee’s ICU hospital room.  Renee’s Granddaughter, Olivia, drew these pictures for Renee after she “got sick.”  She drew a picture of her doll, Molly, and a picture of Renee as a ROCKSTAR!  I thought this was so sweet!IMG_0010


One bright side to the event (as if there could be a bright side to such a tragic event) is that all 4 cousins got to be together for the first time in about 10 years.  I only have two cousins: Jeff and Steve (Renee’s sons.)  We saw each other yearly when we were growing up but as we have become adults and moved to opposite ends of the U.S, our time together has become very scarce.  It was great to see both of my cousins, even if it was under crummy circumstances. 


Jeff, Brandon, Jill, and Steve:



Olivia taking advantage of having two strong guys to swing her in the hallway at the hospital:  Uncle Jeff on her left, and 2nd Cousin Brandon on her right:


We continue to pray for Renee daily.  We know that it will be a long, difficult recovery process but she is a very strong person and we have faith that she can do it!  We welcome your prayers for Aunt Renee and her two sons. 



My mom surprised Robin and I with tickets to the musical “Wicked” for our 9th Anniversary.  We have been anxiously waiting to go for almost two months.  We had heard so many good reviews and WOW the show far exceeded our expectations!  Talk about entertaining… I was on the edge of my seat the entire show and it felt so good to laugh at all of the hilarious one-liners!

Baby Foster seemed to love the music from inside the womb too- he was really moving throughout the show. 

Thanks mom for watching Emma and for the awesome tickets.  We had an awesome date night that we’ll never forget!

Promotion Sunday

Last Sunday at church was Promotion Sunday- the Sunday when all of the kids move on to their next class because it is a new school year.

Let’s just say that Emma doesn’t appreciate “change.”  We talked to her about Promotion Sunday for several days so she would be prepared, but it didn’t seem to ease her nerves.  She was so nervous!  We were the first ones in her class (which didn’t help!)  I went in with her and sat at one of the round tables with her.  She looked around, studied everything in the room, sucked her fingers, etc.  Her first question was “Where’d the baby dolls go?”  She really missed the baby dolls and cribs from her old classroom!

Most of her good friends are still in her class but the mix did change quite a bit which really threw her off!  We talked to her about the importance of making new friends.

We survived the Sunday and now move on to preparing her for her first day of school in a few weeks!



Grandma’s 90th Birthday

My Grandma, Emma’s Great-Grandma, turned 90 years old on July 31st! 

My Grandma was a huge part of my life growing up.  She and Grandpa lived in Bartlesville for most of  their lives.  I spent a week with them every summer and saw them at least once a month during the regular school year. 

I have to admit that Grandma spoiled me just a tad bit.  That’s what Grandparents are for, right?

She now lives in a nursing home in Tulsa.  It makes me sad to see her so limited and aged.  It’s just not the way I remember her.  I guess that’s just a part of aging, but it’s hard.

We try to visit her as often as we can, but it’s getting harder and harder to go see  her with a busy 2 and half year old! :)

Here is a picture of Grandma, Emma, and me at her birthday party. (I wish Emma was smiling in this picture, we tried!)


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