Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aaaah Destin

I know it seems kind of odd that we took a vacation so soon after Bry lost his job, but it was already planned and paid for and we couldn't get a refund. So, we decided to take that time as a family and try to relax and regroup. We really tried hard not to worry about anything for a few days and just enjoy each other and the beautiful Florida sun.
Instead of eating out, we bought groceries and cooked all of our meals. The only other thing we splurged on was for Bay to go parasailing. We had promised her on her birthday that we would do something special for her in Florida and we decided to keep that promise. It's funny was probably the least we've ever spent on a vacation but it was the best vacation I can remember. It was so laid back and relaxed. The kids didn't get bored or worn out waiting in lines at restaurants. We didn't have to come in early from the beach so we could get ready to go anywhere. It was just so great! I am so glad that we went. It was truly therapeutic.
I have always said that I feel so close to God when I am near the ocean. I don't see how anyone can look out at the ocean and all of the wonders that it holds and not feel God's presence. It was an awesome trip and just what we needed at the time. I had a hard time choosing which pics to include so I'm afraid there are a lot. Unfortunately, I couldn't include the pic of Mom peeing on the side of the building in "butthole", Alabama. Or the pic of Bry's pants coming down as he was climbing onto the parasailing boat. They both threatened me. I think they were serious. So here are the ones I feel safe enough to show off. :) By the way, if anyone hears of any job openings in Destin...we are so there!
We stopped at a rest stop for a picnic lunch. Presley is in love with her Grumpsie. She was so excited to have him with her for so many days in a row!
Mom, Bay and Luke
Bay enjoying the soft, white Destin sand.
Luke was so proud of the little sand castles he made all by himself!
Presley is such a beach babe! She LOVES the sand!
The waves were making her nervous at first but she was fine once she climbed on her Daddy's back!
She laid like this for about 30 minutes. It was so cute! She looked like a little frog!
Daddy taking Luke out in the boat for some fun in the waves!
Luke and Bay were having such a blast sitting at the edge of the waves and letting them knock them backwards. They were laughing so hard! I love this pic of them smooching. So sweet!
Presley loves to dig holes in the sand. We had been helping her with this one all morning.
She was sitting on the edge of the hole and she turned around to look at something and fell in backwards. It was so funny! All you could see were legs and arms at first!
Me and my girl. I had to prove I was there. :)
Presley and Grammy- two beach babes!
My beautiful Bay
Bay and Grumps
He's such a cool dude! This is his surfer boy pose.
Bay kicking around on her wave board. We couldn't get over how clear the water was!
On our beach trips we usually try to find a cool sand castle and take a pic with it. We like to pretend like we actually did it ourselves. hehe.
Little beach bum ready to take a sunset walk on the beach.
Presley running down the beach. She loves the freedom she's allowed when there is so much wide open space.
My beautiful girl.
Daddy walking down the beach with his girls.
Mom and D
Bay and Daddy on the para-sailing boat.
Off they go! They had a blast. They were able to see some dolphins and a whale shark from the air!
My sweet babies.

On the first day, Bay found this hermit crab in a beautiful shell. He was our pet for the week. Luke named him Poopy, yes poopy. They fed the poor guy chips, crackers and raisins. Surprisingly, he lived through it. I had fun putting him on the table and letting him crawl towards Mom. She didn't like it so much. Anyway, on the last night we set Poopy free. The kids all said goodbye and off he went. I wasn't sad to see poopy go but I did kind of want to keep his pretty shell. Oh well.

We will be o.k.

The day after Bailey's 10th birthday we received some bad news. Bryan was laid off. I went through so many emotions that day. Fear, anger, uncertainty, did I say fear? The way we found out was horrible. We called to check our balance like we do every payday and noticed that his check had not gone into the bank. Bryan called to ask his boss what had happened. They recently changed accountants so we had been having these problems for a couple of weeks, so we didn't think much about it. But when he called, his boss told him that they were letting him go due to the fact that they weren't building any new stores right now. He explained to Bryan that they had always paid him 2 weeks in advance so that is why he didn't receive a check. No warning! Not even a day! We had bills coming out that day, including our mortgage! Luckily, Bryan had just turned in an expense report for travel and his boss was able to cut the check for that and it covered the bills, instead of going to pay off the credit card that he had used for the travel.
I had a few minutes of sheer panic. About a million thoughts went through my head at the same time. Will we lose our house? How will we pay Bailey's school tuition (due the next day!)? What about health insurance? Cars? Food? Christmas? And so many other things!?
Then I got angry. How dare they!? Bryan had spent most of the last 6 months away from us doing everything he could to make their business a success. He'd missed out on so much of the kids daily lives. He was constantly on the phone or flying off to help them at the last minute. He did everything he was asked. On top of his job, he washed windows, hung mirrors, installed phones, whatever they needed. I knew that 3 or 4 people had been fired (not let go) since he'd worked there due to wrongdoing. They were given 6 months severance. Bryan was offered 2, it was like a slap in the face. I know we were lucky to be offered anything. I don't take it for granted. But the fact that he did nothing wrong and was given so much less than people who were doing some pretty bad things on the job, just made me so sad for him. He respected these people, he trusted them when they assured him that even when they stopped building they would find a place for him. It just breaks my heart for him.
After the fear, anger and hurt, I started praying. I also called other people and asked them to start praying. Before I knew it, messages started pouring in from people I talk to all the time to people I haven't talked to in years. Messages of encouragement, prayer and support. I also learned that people had asked their friends, family and churches to pray for us. People I had never met. We also have had so many people putting in words for Bryan and he has received several requests for his resume due to these friends and family. It was, and is and amazing feeling. A feeling of community that I have never felt before. I felt peace for the first time since I'd heard the news.
I will admit, being human, the fear is still there. I don't do well with the unknown or change. The anger and hurt is something that I am working on and praying about daily. I know it does me or my family no good. But now I also have the peace that only comes through God. How can we fail when He is on our side? And with so many of our "community" speaking to Him on our behalf? We may not have the life we had before, but we will be o.k.
It has really taught us what is important and what we can live without. We have each other, we have our health, we have God's love and plan for our lives. There is a lesson for us to learn through this and I am determined to listen to God and hear what He has to say to me.
I have already learned so much and I am excited (and also a little afraid still) about what is in store for us. I am so grateful to our friends and family for the love and support that they have provided for us. We will be o.k.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bailey's Messy Birthday Party

Bailey loves reading my blogs, especially when they mention her. Well, with everything that has gone on in the past couple of weeks, I never got the chance to blog about her birthday party. Needless to say, I have heard lots of complaints about this and also reminders that I need to get to work on it. :) So my sweet Bay, here it goes...
Those who know me pretty well are aware of the fact that I like order. Not into messes. Seriously, play dough gives me the hives. But, since having children, I have been determined to not let that affect them. So when Bailey said that she wanted a messy party, I took some calming breaths and got to work.
I could write about all of the things we did but sometimes I think it's better to let the pictures speak for themselves....
Bay and the beautiful sign that I made for her.
Bay and the gang destroying my beautiful sign with finger paints.
Yep, that's a pool full of spaghetti. They were looking for treasures hidden under the noodles.
The kiddos after playing the slime game. They had to dig thru buckets of slime and find a necklace with a medal on it and then put it on.
This game was called "mess head". They picked a card with things like choc. syrup, slime, whipped cream on them and whatever they picked was then poured over their heads. If they picked a card with Bay's name on it then she got "slimed" also.
Presley picked strawberry syrup. :)
Bailey and Brando. She loved the fact that everyone kept picking her name.
After all the games were over, the kids were complaining about not being messy enough. So Bre and I dumped the buckets of slime on their heads.
Bryan spraying everyone off so they could go play on the water slide.
Bay getting a pie in the face.
Austin loved getting pied. He would try to lick all of the stuff off while I was pieing him. :)
Aussie showing off! The water slide is always a big hit!
Bay blowing out her "Bailey" candles. We couldn't believe they actually had her name.

After cake, we set up an ice cream sundae bar and let the kiddos make their own. Presley wanted lots of chocolate on hers!Ella and Seth wanted nothing to do with the messy games but they were all for the cake and sundae bar!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Double digits!!

I can't believe it has been 10 years since my beautiful Bailey came into my life! For so long I thought I would never be able to have a baby. So many prayers were answered when I found out I was pregnant with her. She is more than I ever could have hoped for, better than any prayer I could have come up with on my own. I am amazed at her beautiful spirit, her kindness, her sense of humor, her creativity. She is my little soul-mate, my mini me. The past 10 years with her have been the best years of my life.
Happy Birthday my angel! I am so proud of you!
Here are a few pics of Bailey's first 10 years... Our first family photo...I thought my heart would crack from all of the love that poured into it when I saw your little face!
Bay's first friend, her Aussie. She loved him from the start and they have been best buds since.
One year old and a few of your first steps!
Your two years old! You are so mischievous and full of fun!Three years old! You love to play outside while Mommy does her gardening!
Four years old and already a little fashionista!
Five years old and learning how to work the pout!
Six years old and ready to take off!
Seven years old and SO sassy!
Eight years old! My little beauty!
Nine years old and too big for your britches!! :)
Here you are at 10 years old! I think you will be taller than me!