Friday, February 29, 2008

A Special Friend...Remembered Always

A lovey, a special blanket, best friend, that was Cora's little Nemo blanket all wrapped into one. Nemo and Cora have always had a special connection. I remember going to see Finding Nemo when I was 9 months pregnant with Cora. And then buying the DVD for her when it came out. She loved the movie and absolutely fell in love with Nemo. She wanted to watch it all the time. Darryl's parents saw a little blanket Nemo and sent that to Cora for her 2nd Christmas in 2004 during the 1st year Darryl was deployed to Iraq. That was it...they were inseperable. Nemo went everywhere with us. Of course whenever she had Nemo...the thumb went right in the mouth too. Ultimate security. With Darryl being could I limit such comfort.

Cora could not go to sleep at night if she didn't have her Nemo blanket. I tried limiting him as much as I could during the day but somehow she would always go and rescue him from her room. So we'll fast forward to 2007. We've been to the dentist a couple of times and he has advised limiting Nemo which would help with the thumb sucking and her teeth ultimately that were starting to form right around her thumb. I had wanted to make the transition several times before Darryl left on his 2nd deployment..but just didn't have the heart. She needed Nemo now more than ever (at least that is what I thought). So we go to Florida in October of 2007 to meet up with Darryl for his R&R. I was determined to set limits. She could only have him at night. So I would hide him during the day. In various closets..under the bed, behind furniture. Cora thought this was fun and made it her day's goal to find Nemo at all cost. Hmmm "Finding Nemo". She would preform death defying climbs in the closet to rescue her beloved blanket, and look endlessly until she found him. One day I guess I hid Nemo too well..or Shay got a hold of him somehow...but Cora didn't find him that day and I couldn't either. I forgot where I put him.
Cora struggled for a few nights. She still prays everynight that Grandma will find Nemo and then send him to WA. It was hard for Cora to leave FL without Nemo..but somehow I think it was OK because he was still somewhere at Grandma and Grandpa's house. As far as guilt goes on my part I don't think this could have happened a better way. Nemo has retired to Florida. Tatered and torn but loved more than any little Nemo blanket could be loved we know he is safe in Florida. In fact in the his last days spent with Cora she was wearing him on her head because of the hole that had worn through on the blanket part. Cora no longer sucks her thumb and I can already see the difference in her teeth. She had a permanent calus on her thumb where it would rub on her teeth and now that is gone too. Oh little Cora misses you. You will always be remembered and you will always have a special place in Cora's heart.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Knock On Wood

I keep talking about the sunshine and spring fever..I just don't want to jinx the weather. Look what we saw Saturday Feb. 23rd...may I point out. Daffodils and crocuses that were already in bloom. It was easy to believe the crocuses were already out...because we have seen a couple in our front yard...but it was just glorious to see those daffodils too. Every season I say this and every season it's the same...but I think spring is my favorite. (Just wait till summer and it will change again). To see the beautiful flowers coming from the ground after it being so cold and's like a renewal of the earth and spirit at the same time. The best thing is, is that Cora is as excited as I am to see our tulips bloom and the cherry tree outside of her window blossom. She calls it her princess tree. The seasons have been the way she's been counting down Daddy's homecoming. She knows after her princess tree blooms then the leaves will appear and then Daddy will be home shortly after.

We saw these beautiful flowers at the Seattle Temple. Even the flowers know it's hallowed ground. :) As we were were driving past the Temple, Cora started belting out one of my favorite primary songs "I love to see the Temple". I started to tear up and was again so grateful for this wonderful blessing of motherhood. There was a time in my life when I just didn't know if that was going to be the case.(Having children that is). I always catch myself saying that I don't want these little ones to grow up, but as they do, there is something more to treasure at every age. I am so happy to hear of Cora's love for flowers and the Temple. Just a few more of life's little moments to treasure.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I figure if this is the way I'm journaling I wanted to post some things that I've really taken an intrest in lately. As of late I've really enjoyed cloud scapes (word?) and just nature in general. I am grateful for this beautiful earth we live on and that we are able to see it's miracles everyday. It might be the lunar eclipse that took place tonight that inspired me. And also for the sheer fact we could see it tonight with it being February in Washington. They said on the news that this is the 3rd driest Feb. on record here. Happy about that! Guess I'm just having one of those days where my heart is just filled w/ wonder and awe. So here are some pictures I've taken within the last couple months of some moments in nature I've appreciated.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Spring Fever

I know, I know, it's February but after 2 beautiful days of sunny almost 60 degree weather it kind of makes you think spring is right around the corner. We did see some signs of spring today at Point Defiance Park. The daffodils were up (not blooming yet) and the rhododendrons had pink flowers starting to blossom. We also fed the ducks and ran around the park. We had a a really nice time. Unfortunately I forgot the bread I was saving in the freezer to feed the ducks. Luckily there was a very nice lady and her grandson there and they were more than willing to share the whole loaf of bread they brought. It reminded me of my childhood when we would vist my grandparents who lived on the Chesapeake bay. My Grandpa had some regular ducks that would frequent his back yard. My Grandma would break out the bread from the freezer and we'd feed "the regulars." It was so much fun today seeing Cora enjoy the same thing. Shay would even toss an occasional piece on the ground hoping the ducks would come close so she could get a good look or realistically a poke or prod. So here's to the beautiful days of February in WA. May there be more. :o)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shout Out

So Valentine's Day pretty much stinks if you are away from the one you love. I decided to instead see my glass half full today instead of half empty. Even though my Valentine is thousands of miles away, he still feels close. I'm grateful I can have a fun day with Cora and Shay. A fun tradition that my Dad started every valentines day was to set out a valentines card and treat on the table for us when we woke up. I just played cupid-claus and set out some treats for Cora and Shay. Just what they need in the morning...sugar. Cora made me a Valentine at preschool (I've really looked forward to those homemade crafts) which was so sweet. And Shay is just a little candy sweetheart herself. I wanted to say a special thank you to our friends who thought of us missing Darryl...the marshmellows were yummy. So here is a shout out to my special Valentine. I love you Darryl! I think cupid's arrow can still reach.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The girls and I were trying to take a Valentines picture for Daddy. After many attempts with no success....I wondered how I might just get one picture. So the girls started picking up toys and stuffed animals. Was that all it took? Ok we'll try it and I'll give up on the shot I was picturing in my head. Shay is just calling to say she loves Daddy.(Or maybe an important business call that just couldn't wait). And Cora is showcasing some of the fine stuffed animals Darryl has sent from Iraq. At least when we look back at this picture we'll know which toys were their favorites at the time. So here we are with our props...if that's what it takes then we'll use em'.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Soccer Anyone?

My first visable injury since I started playing soccer Saturday mornings. It's been so much fun to adorn the the cleats (hot pink) and the shin guards(kids size) again. I can't believe how long it's been since I've played. I guess you can take the girl out of soccer but you can't take soccer out of the girl. It's amazing how it feels when you see a ball flying through the air and try to trap it still on the ground. Or even try a little "give and go pass". I'm glad I remembered some of those things from the good ol' days. It's interesting playing here in WA in the winter...we play rain or shine. Which usually means rain. I'm so glad to have started this hobbie up again and am very grateful to my friends who have watched the girls so I could go. My parents keep telling me I'm too old or I'm really going to get hurt, and then who is going to take care of the girls. I agree w/ the old part...but it seems I can just as easily get hurt doing normal things around the house. Like in the beginning of January when I threw my back out from lifting Shay the wrong way. So here's to our hobbies and what we enjoy doing. I'm proud of my little souvenier (but hope they don't get bigger than that).

Friday, February 8, 2008

Little Shay 18 months Today

Wow this is a big milestone for our little one. She is so active and really coming into her own now. Everyday it seems she's saying something new. Usually needing a little translation of course. My favorite now is how she says Cora's name. She calls her Coco...which is pretty appropriate and actually goes together with her full name Shayniqua....(Just kidding). She is really into phones right now and I love it when she opens her play phone and says helwo. Funny thing how "they" always talk about the terrible 2's. For both of my girls right around 18 months is when they have a hard time getting their point across and start throwing fits. Right now if Shay doesn't get her way or if I'm not understanding her, she literally throws herself on the ground and starts fake crying. She loves her older sister and tries to emulate everything she does. She always is seeking approval from Cora, I guess because it seems Cora is always mad or frustrated with her for messing up or taking one of her toys. She loves a good game of chase and I just love they way she runs right now. She basically has one arm still while the other is going back and forth as fast as she can move it. She does have a favorite blanket that she calls gunk gunk...hmmm, I don't know where she got that from, but that's been what she's been calling it for awhile now and it's stuck.

One of the cutest things I love the most right now is one of Shay's bedtime rituals. Before Darryl left for Iraq last March we all went to Build-a-Bear as a family. The girls each picked out an animal (Cora picked Shay's since she was only 7 months) and then Daddy recorded his voice and a special message for each of them. Shay liked her lamb before we saw Darryl on R&R, but now it's like she cannot get enough of hearing his voice. I lay her down with her lamb, we say prayers, and then she wants me to play Daddy's message about 3 times. Then I go into Cora's room to say her prayers. And to our surprise everynight Cora and I hear Darryl's voice trailing from Shays room a couple more times. She's figured out how to press the button. It's So sweet and I love how she wants to hear his voice.
Even with Darryl experiencing less than half of her 18 months on earth, she still is Daddy's little girl. I can't wait to see what wonderful things she's doing when he gets home right before she turns 2 yrs old. ;)

*Shay reading to her Daddy Build-a-lamb.
PS Happy Birthday to my Dad yesterday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

One Clear Voice

Sometimes I forget that it is just not being apart from Darryl that is the most difficult part of the deployment...but the danger he is often in as well. On Friday night I had feelings I haven't had since Darryl's 1st deployment when his sleeping quarters were hit with an incoming morter. During his 1st deployment a morter hit the concrete blocks surrounding his sleeping area causing Darryl and his mattress to be hurtled across his room. We are so grateful that is all that happened for it could have been much worse. I had a sinking feeling that night that something was wrong. I couldn't sleep and my chest was tight. It was pretty horrible. I said a prayer that night and a feeling came over me that everything would be ok. I talked to Darryl 2 days later and low and behold he told me the story. (I don't know if I explained it right but I had no idea at the time what was going on when I was having those feelings).
So here we are Friday night...I couldn't sleep, tight pains in my chest, uneasy feelings like I can't explain. Again I said a prayer and was finally able to go to sleep. Come to find out on Sunday Darryl told me 4 rockets had landed in his living/work area on the base. Needless to say I'm grateful that we are so connected. I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost who can comfort and give us peace when we need it the most. I am grateful for my brave husband who tries to bring peace and comfort to those he serves with by bearing his testimony and giving of his time and talents. I almost forgot and I am happy to say that no one was hurt (too badly anyway).
I think there was one soldier who had some minor scratches, but Darryl said for those size rockets and for 4 of them that is a miracle. Be safe my dear soldier.