09 August 2015

6 Months of Ups & Downs

Well, here we are, more than half way through the year & I'm just now sitting down to write my first post for 2015.  I wish I could say it was because a bunch of great things were going on.  Unfortunately, this first 6 months have had more than it's fair share of tough times.  Rich & I, both, lost our Father's within 5 months of one another.  Along with the passing's, there were many ups & downs that go along with those... illnesses, hospital stays, memorial services, sadness, etc.
With that being said... it hasn't stopped our beautiful kids from growing; changing; learning... just becoming amazing human beings.

We started the year with school; play-dates; arts & crafts, library time; playing in the rain & reading books.



We lost Rich's Dad late in January...
Richard Carlson Anderson:  November 17, 1948 to January 31, 2015.
Richard; Rick; Old Man; PopPop... no matter the name, we will keep his memory alive by describing him to Jett & Delilah as a loving, caring & kind Grandfather.  I'll never forget one afternoon, when the twin's were about 2yrs old & Rick was over for a visit... Delilah kept bringing him books to read.  One after the other.  He just sat there patiently, pulling her back into his lap, reading every word.
We began February by watching the Superbowl with friends & family.  Rick must have definitely been smiling down as the New England Patriots won their 4th Superbowl.  After the game, the kiddos were so beat that they & their buddy, Owen, snuggled up in our bed to watch Frozen.
 We also took our usual trip to Galveston/Texas City to see Grandaddy.  We ate dinner at our favorite restaurant, Gringo's; went to visit Memaw's grave & walked by the water.  Rich even took the kids to visit the local fire station in Texas City.  Jett & Delilah never pass up an opportunity to hop inside the truck!


Of course we celebrated Valentines Day sporting special V-Day shirts & taking some yummy treats to share with our friends at school.  Then, that weekend, on the actual day, we all went to have a yummy breakfast together at IHOP... AKA the Pancake store.  Afterwards, Grandy picked them up for a busy day at the transportation museum & the park, while Rich & I snuck away to see a movie.
Here's just some random pics from February that I wanted to include...


March was a super busy month... I made some cosmetic changes to our family room; we had playdates; we took our monthly trip to visit Grandaddy; Rich & I managed to get out for a date night with Kevin & Angela on St. Patrick's Day to the Alamo Area FOOLS bash; did a little shopping; lots of playing; & even a "venture" with Grandy:


At the end of March we attended a special birthday party for our cousin, Tucker.  He's getting so big!
Easter fell in April this year. I made the twins custom shirts to wear to school & then, since Rich worked on Easter Sunday, we celebrated with family, neighbors & friends on Saturday afternoon.  After a yummy, special breakfast & searching for baskets, everyone came over for lunch & dying/hunting for eggs. 


Another favorite thing that we like to do every year is take our annual photos in the bluebonnets.  Afterwards, we had dinner at one of our favorite places, Sandra's, in Spring Branch.
Delilah got to go on a very special "venture" with Grandy... they went to see the display of Fiesta gowns.  Delilah was definitely in her element.
On the morning of April 15th, I called to check in on Grandaddy.  When he didn't answer, I knew something had happened.  Sure enough, he had fallen.  Grandy came to the rescue to sit for Jett & Delilah while Rich & I headed to Texas City to see Dad in the  hospital.  That weekend was the weekend that we decided to move Dad back to SA, closer to us.  While we were away, Grandy took the kids on several outings with Aunt Milagros & cousin Brisa. 

We had our first, real emergency scare... Well, I did!  Jett slammed his thumb in the car door.  It wasn't broken but it sure hurt.  Eventually, he lost his entire thumb nail.  But, he was a brave trooper!
 Rich hit a milestone this year... On April 26th, he turned the BIG 4-0! We celebrated his special day by having a "Cheers & Beers to 40 years" party!  Even Grandaddy attended & we all had a fantastic time!

Have I mentioned that Delilah has a style of her very own?
 Since Fiesta is such a big deal, here, in San Antonio, the schools celebrate it also.  The kids got to make their own crowns & walk in a parade.
 Some additional photos from April I wanted to include:

The first week of May we took a trip to Texas City to pack up & bring home some of Grandaddy's things, to decorate his new room at the assisted living facility.  While we were there, we enjoyed a nice, peaceful breakfast on the beach.


First day of swimming in the neighborhood pool this year!  The twins were sooo excited.  So was Daddy!
 Mother's Day didn't go quite as planned... Before we could pick Dad up for brunch, we received news that he had a "scare".  Rich immediately went over to the house & called for 911.  He spent the next 2 weeks in ICU.  But, before the day ended, I was able to steal a picture with each of my babies that made my dream of becoming a Mom come true.

 At school, Jett & Delilah filled out these questionnaires.  I LOVE their answers.
Since moving to our new home a year ago, we have all made such great friends.  There are always plenty of kids to play with.
At the end of the school year, Bulverde Baptist put on a wonderful presentation.  All of the kids got to get up on stage to sing & dance.  They had a blast this first year & just adored their teach, Ms. Jennifer Wheeler.
 Some of my favorite pictures from May:
JUNEWe stayed extremely busy during June.  Lots of visits to Grandaddy while he was in rehab at Legends of Stone Oak; playing with our new water table; VBS at Concordia Church; arts & crafts; & play-dates.

On June 25th at 1:45am, as I held his hand at his bedside, we lost my Dad.  He was truly an honorable man... loving, selfless, hardworking & loyal with a hysterical, dry wit.  He'd do anything for his family & friends.  That's just how I will talk about him to Jett & Delilah.
Billy Alvin Stringer:  March 6, 1938 to June 25th, 2015.
On July 1st we headed off to Boston to spend a week with Rich's family.  It was tough for me to leave but it was a much needed distraction from mourning my Dad's passing.
Although Jett had already taken a plane ride when he & Rich flew to Boston last year, this was Delilah's very first time.  She did AWESOME!!
We had so much fun while there.  We visited with lots of family; played at the beach; went for a candy run at the general store; watched fireworks; ate ice cream with cousins; rode in a 4th of July parade and most importantly... made lots of memories.





 Also, while there, Rich, his sister, Jen & Grandy released Rick's ashes into the ocean.  Then, on Sunday we attended a church mass in his honor & had a special picnic at a park with The Anderson family.
 It's always tough to say "good-bye".
Not too long after we returned from Boston Rich & I flew off to Las Vegas to celebrate Angela Walker's 50th b-day.  It was a very short 36 hours but it was the very first time, since the kids had been born, that he & I were able to take a trip.  Alone.  With no kids.  Alone.  By ourselves.

While we were jet-setting in Vegas, Grandy, Jett & Delilah had their own fun.
This kids started swim lessons in July.  They've always loved the water & never feared it.  So, we thought it was about time that they learn to be safe.  After a lesson we had the rest of the gang over for pizza & popcicles.
 The Twins had their second round of VBS at Northside Christian Church. 
Towards the end of the month we had the opportunity to take a drive to Kerrville to visit Aunt Carol, Uncle David, cousins Kelly, Scott & JD.  Clarence, Milagros & Brisa came along, as well.  We swam in the pool, ate pizza & finished off the day with a "make-your-own ice-cream sundae" bar.  Such a beautiful & fun-filled day.
Here are a few extra photos from the month of July:

Well, that wraps up the first 7 months of 2015.  Like I mentioned, it's been filled with a lot of heartache but with that being said, it's made me appreciate all of the supposedly "small" moments all that much more.  As I'm finishing this up, I'm watching Jett & Delilah run around the house in their "skivvies" pretending to ice-skate while wearing their house slippers.  It's times such as these that I know that all of our loved ones, gone before us, are smiling down... MeMaw; Grandaddy; Pop-pop; Jarrod; & all those before them.