My dad reminded me I hadn't "dumped" my pics recently. So, without further adieu..

Boys will be boys and we have no neighbors, yet...

Finally re-painted our blue mirror off white. The mantel is on it's way to being done.


Declan's favorite activity these days: bike riding!! Yes, we live in a construction zone.


Declan swears he didn't etch this picture in our new leather couch. On the left, a picture he did draw. Hmmm. Fishy...

Sad girl misses brother Jack:

Mommy's glasses.

our fave...

Inaugural zoo trip with buddy Owen!

Love this girl!



No matter how much you prepare yourself for a pet to pass away, it hurts. Jack was our little ball of energy, goofball, quirky, happy boxer dog. He was our first taste of having true responsibility for someone besides ourselves. In December he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy which is fatal. His heart enlarges and there comes a point where his body can't keep up. We felt like we had finally gotten on the right cocktail of drugs but late last week he had periods of time where the lights were off. He started passing out and we had to shove his pills down his throat. He would lay down to rest and it would seem like he had a shiver every time he breathed. Things weren't working right. We were confused and sad because he had really good times throughout the days: feisty, happy to see us and play, good appetite. Ultimately, after a rough Friday night and good counsel from our vet, we decided Monday was the day. Jack had other plans because he passed out first thing on Saturday morning and we realized, if we waited for Monday, it would be for us. He was ready.

We had the best day. Mark cooked up pasta with butter and cheese which he inhaled. Him and I napped on my bed for an hour. I cuddle him as the "shivers" seemed stronger than ever. He ran around the backyard with Sophie and drank from this hole that has been created by the not-yet-built house next us draining a pool of water. We normally yell at him because he drinks until he pukes but, man, he drank/puked forever. Happiness for him!! Mark and I took him in mid-afternoon and stroked his head and told him he was a good boy and to enjoy running on those streets of gold. His passing was peaceful.

Declan is doing fine. He doesn't totally understand. He talks a lot about Jack being in heaven watching down over us. He also talks about taking a quick visit to heaven to say "hi" since he misses him. Tonight he prayed "dear God, thank you that Jack is dead so he can play in heaven." So, yeah, we have a ways to go with understanding what happened.

Sophie on the other hand is really sad. She misses her leader, her buddy. She is such a follower and we realized we didn't even know how to tell when she needs to use the bathroom because she just went when Jack indicated he needed to go. She is the opposite: quiet, easy. She is also older than Jack was and it seems like her age is catching up with her. Because of that and the heartbreak of going downstairs where both kennels were housed, we moved her kennel up to the nursery. Hey, no baby in there anyways! Ha! (Any day God, any day...) She now sleeps in our room too. Jack would have ripped the house apart so they were always kenneled at night. But, she sleeps quietly in the corner in her new dog bed and doesn't make a peep.

So our new normal is going to take some adjusting. We are still heartsick. The world feels a little gray right now but we know each day will get easier. The pain of losing a pet is so deep. But I'll take that pain because Jack was such a light in our lives for almost 8 years. He'll be missed but we'll see him again someday. Dogs DO go to heaven, don't ya know?!


sharing the journey

We have few people in our lives that we can share the adoption journey woes with. My friends listen to my frustrations and give me the sympathetic look (I don't doubt it is genuine...not knocking them). But, I don't have hardly anyone I know that just "gets it".

These past 9 weeks we have gone through foster care training. I'm not going to sugar coat it....it's been very hard. The information you have to process, the realities of what these kids go through, the unknowns about the future. It sucks. I don't know if we are cut out for this. But, we've met some amazing people. One of those people is a friend I've known for awhile (I graduated with her little brother) but we haven't spent much time together in person. So thankful for these new friendships. Especially thankful that I can openly share things with her that she just gets. From tonight's FB exchange:

"The balance of having hope and guarding your heart is impossible. Let me know when you figure it out. This is the.hardest.ever. BUT, I dream about how our little family (with whomever new members it will have) will feel so "right" and make this whole process make sense. Gotta dream, right?!"

No sympathetic nods, just similar dreams. Thank goodness. 


Spring Game

There is NO place like Nebraska. Serious. This picture is from yesterday's Spring Game. That's a glorified practice, folks. A practice with 60,000+ fans.

This was Declan's very first Husker game. I have friends that have taken their kiddos much younger than Decs but I know he doesn't sit for longer that 47 seconds and the games are a lot of work: you park far away, the stadium seating is cramped, etc etc. This Spring Game provided us the opportunity to spend a whole heck of a lot less on tickets than normal but get the Husker game day experience. Our good friend "Uncle Ryan" joined us which was the bees knees in Dec's mind. ;)
Among 60,000 fans we ran in to Nana & Papa!!
I can barely handle the cuteness:
Well, after waiting over 30 mins in our seats for the game to start, he lasted 3 minutes in to the first quarter. We had to bust out the trusty Iphone.
We definitely didn't stay until the end of the game (ahem halftime ahem) but quickly heard about a really special moment. There is a little boy named Jack who lives here in Nebraska and is battling a brain tumor. The team (specifically Rex Burkhead- # 22...Declan was representing) have rallied around him in such a huge way. At the end of the game he was given an opportunity to take a snap. Watch this video and grab a tissue. Even my guy friends said it made their allergies flare up. 


Easter 2013

I love Easter. Without the resurrection, what would we have?!
Please tell me you know this song? Love it. We sang it Easter morning [I always cry]:

"Then bursting forth, in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again. And as He stands in victory, sins curse has lost its grip on me, for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ!"

Saturday we decorated eggs. Declan begged all day long. Mama was sick. Eggs were done at 9pm. Don't judge...they got done, right?! ;)
We celebrated with both sides of our family on Sunday. It's a lot of activity but we are blessed to be near all of our family. Don't want to take that for granted.
It's worth forcing Nana & Papa pause for pic with their grandkiddos. So cute, right?!
These cousins are so close, it's precious. Hope they stay like that forever!
It was a little chaotic but we got the cousins all gathered for a pic with Grandma & Grandpa.

cute little fam..