Monday, December 29, 2008

Make it Snappy

Well a Merry Christmas it was! I've been thinking about Christmas and it's truest meaning- the birthday of Jesus Christ! I want my son (and other kids- whom ever they might be) to grow up with an understanding of the importance and significance of the day December 25th. I think that I always focused on Santa Clause and the presents myself. So how do I, as a parent get the point across to Riley that it's all about Jesus? And still getting to enjoy the excitement from present opening? Well that's still to be determined. For now, John and I agreed that we'd make it our family tradition to read out loud the Christmas story in both Mathew and Luke from the Bible on Christmas Eve.

As we look forward to 2009, I am especially eager to practice my own photo journalism documentations of the passing days... with my brand new Camera!!! It's a Cannon Rebel XSI! I struggle with this post (being honest) because I don't want to relay the message that I am all about material things. I'm not. Truth is, I could be happy with very little. Just give me food, shelter and some clothes and I'll be just fine. But this camera has really stirred my excitement and passion. You see, it's not necessarily the camera that makes me happy. Pictures are so valuable to me.. They are beautifully captured moments in time that you can never get back. The best you can do is preserve them. So the camera allows me to do just that with more crispness and clarity than I've been able to do thus far! So anyway- without further adieu...
Here are some shots that I've taken in the last couple days!

John wanted to try out his new Christmas present, a range finder so we went to a nearby field where he often goes Quail hunting so he could test it out. I brought the camera with some props and just took the time as a photo shoot!

Later on Christmas day, we drove to California to visit John's family. After we opened presents with the family, we went out to our favorite Hollywood mexican restaruant and met up with Dharma's (from Darma and Greg: Jenna Elfman) husband! They just had a baby not that long ago so we got to talk kids for a bit! The next day we decided we'd take a hike so that I could try out my new baby back pack!!! Quite comfy, I must say. Riley must have thought so too! Most of the time, he was up and looking around, but he got tired toward the end and sacked out. After the little hike, we drove to the beach to let the dogs play in the ocean since Cana is a total water dog but has never seen the ocean!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

2008 went by in a hurry,
left only with memories- quite a flurry
Travels, visits and camping galore,
Escapades endless, mostly outdoor!
Hiked Camelback, Payson and West Clear Creek,
Off Roading in the Xterra adventures to seek.
A themed bash we organized to celebrate
We and each of our friends picked a land to emulate
One house Mexico, Germany and Italy too
The legacy of our party’ll be hard to out-do
Good times had by all, I heard many say
As I enjoyed time with my cousin CJ

The 13th of January I embarked on a run
The mile markers passed until 13.1

At 12 weeks expecting, my baby and I
Crossed that finish line, a goal satisfied!!!
In January my parents hit the road
To Phoenix they came from their Texas abode.
We drove to check out their old house- present day
And got our pick of the Super bowl Soiree.
John’s family came to stay from both near and far
To watch the drag races with some funny car;
Parents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins too
Alison and Oh ya- can’t forget Matthew
Tracked John through his flight, ‘twas a day at the Base
And decisions were made at a pokey snails pace.

By mid-February the visits did culminate.
I could’ve slept for a full week straight!
Though exhausted we were, rest we did not
And John began planning our desert plot.
The backyard was barren - a desolate place.
Transformed it o’er months to what I now embrace!
Up went the wall and trees soon to trail
Sprinklers and barbeque island to help with resale!

A March trip to Utah to visit some friends.
We figured, “Why not?” Free plane tix to spend.
Snowboarding and poker and dinner with chums
Home 3 days late- flying standby was dumb.
John flew to Red Flag around April time
Exploring Alaska on Uncle Sam’s dime.
Then the school year was over, my job is done -
With expecting a baby, my ‘mommy’ job'll be fun.
In June more traveling, on the road we did go
For Matthew’s Sniper School grad in San Diego.
Then, I went with my folks to the Frisco Bay
To watch my cousin Gwen be given away!
Next - to Texas to meet Trav, Pam and the folks!
We cowboy’d it up and ate brisket we smoked
That was our last travel op til Riley’s due date.
Through the month of July all I could do was wait.
So swimming kept me busy, me and my fleabag
And sewing -- whipped up a flightsuit diaper bag.

As my belly grew I just couldn’t’ wait
To hold my sweet babe, due 8-8-08
As each day passed, in my womb he would stay
But ten days late- it was finally the day!
At 5:45 on the 18th I woke
To the sound of a “POP” as my water broke.
Two hours passed and the hospital we sought
Never made it!!! Gave birth in a parking lot!
John played the doc and delivered our son.
An ambulance ride to the hospital, I won!
But thriving and well were both Riley and I
What a memorable story, none could deny!
After help from the Mom’s - both John’s and mine
Left just us in the house… time to redefine
Our family- for we’re no more parents-to-be
Now it’s John and I plus Baby makes three!
A mother I became and an Aunt the next day
As Brenden arrived without further delay.

In October I played in a Crud Tournament
And a visit from Kelly was quite the event.
With our Church friends we tried to gather evidence
Up in Pine for a night of mystery and suspense
A Halloween murder mystery, the first I’ve done
Played Sardines, and hiked- ‘twas a weekend of fun!
Then, John planned both a Tanker and Taxi ride
The thrill of the jet left me dewy-eyed

November came with a “Hip Hip Hurrah!”
Time for Riley to meet his GREAT Grandma’s!
Hopped a plane to Pittsburgh as the li’l guy slept,
Arrived at Grammy, Aunt and Uncle’s doorstep.
Turkey comatose wore off and we bid them adieu,.
Packed a rental car for a Cleveland stop through.
Stayed with Katey and family- friends so dear!
To our High School Reunion we went- 10 whole years!
Back into the car, to Illinois we’d cram
John, myself, two babies and Pam
Through rain and snow John drove it with ease
Once there we sat down for good ol’ Mac and Cheese!
Chatted with cousins not seen in some time -
Many bodies around for the babies to climb.
Finally back to the airport for our flight out
But not before giving Krista Joy a shout!

So now it’s December and I’m sure you can see
This past year for us Wilsons was crazy Busy!
Keep in mind, if we saw you but didn’t comment
It’s not you, it’s just me ‘cause this rhymer’s spent!
So a ‘Merry Christmas to all ‘ I wish from my heart
And with 2009 a new chapter we’ll start.
We pray that this letter finds you in good cheer
And that each day is blessed in the coming new year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


C'mon... it's almost Christmas.. Gimme a break!!! It has been truly difficult to keep up with the memory verses. One a week sounds totally reasonable.. what's my problem?

OK.. I was reading a book ("A Woman After God's Own Heart," by Elizabeth George) and came across a verse that I'd like for my next memory verse.

Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

So as for the past verses... Here we go.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come from your mouths, but only that which is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, for whom you are sealed for the day of redemption. Do not act in bitterness, anger and ____, brawling and slander or any form of malice. Be kind to one another, forgiving each other just as Christ Jesus forgave you.
Ephesians 4:29-32

Whom have I in Heaven, but Thee. And besides Thee I desire nothing on earth. Though my heart and my flesh may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalms 73:24-25(?)

I tell you the truth, unless a kernal of wheat fall to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.
John 12:24 (I remember that because of Christmas Eve!)

Anyway- a Merry Christmas to you!!
And don't forget that Jesus is THE REASON for the season!

God Bless!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa's Helpers

Yesterday I got together with some of my friends who are also staying home with their infants. We actually get together weekly (in theory.. usually at least a couple times a month though) to do lunch. It's our Mommy's play dates! They are great. So anyway, yesterday was a date with more purpose! We baked (and "no baked") delectable cookies together while listening to Jessica Simpson's Christmas album and then divvied up the goodies at the end. What a great way to get you in to the Christmas spirit!

Carrie, Chrissy and I

Making the good stuff!
The babies got free entertainment
And they got to "play" together
(ie: look at eachother)
All that fun really wears a boy out!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Shameful Memory Monday

I've been bad. I've let this busy season over run me. Even now, there are a trillion things running through my mind that are on my "to do" list and the memory verses are taking a back seat... which isn't right. Really, how hard is it to commit some words to memory in a week. I don't know why it seems so exhausting to me...

New Verse:
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Ephesians 4:30-32

Anyhow, here are the previous memory verses:

Whom have I in heaven, but Thee. And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. Though my heart and my flesh may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
-Psalms 73:25-26

I tell you the truth, until a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
-John 12:24

Let no unwholesome talk come from your mouths, but only that which is edifying to others.... Shoot- I wasn't very good at memorizing this one (and to make it worse, it's the one I PICKED!)
-Ephesians 4:29

And last weeks, I was running around across the nation and I didn't do it. :(
Thank God it's a new week and I can start fresh!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Progress Report

Riley is almost 4 months and he is getting to be quite fun! He just started rolling over.. Actually his first time (that I know of) was when we were in Illinois at Uncle Tim's house. I didn't see it, but I left him on his back and came back into the room and he was on his belly! There were a couple more times that I missed the actual roll, but finally caught it with my own eyes once we got back home last week!

Onto more breaking news...
I got Riley a jumparoo and he loves it! The first day or so he wasn't too sure. He seemed to like it when I was there to encourage him, but once I walked away he would get quite upset about being stuck in that thing. He's definitely getting more enjoyment and more air from the bouncy seat!

And one final video... Riley is teething - i can feel it and I swear I saw it weeks ago peeking through, but now I don't see the tooth anymore, but he is showing all the classic signs... Lots of drool, sleepless nights, chewing on anything he can get his little hands on...

This poor Giraffe didn't stand a chance!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Go Boom!!!

My husband is so GREAT!!! Let me go back... As we were leaving Hill AFB, he set up a Wives Tanker ride and signed me up for it because he thought I'd really enjoy it. Well, it was scheduled for the day before we moved and all was going smooth, until we got to the Guard base and they were having maintenance issues with their plane. They kept rolling the take off time back hoping to get the problem fixed or get a new plane.. Turns out the mission was canceled and even though the offered another go the next day, I couldn't take it since we were moving that day. So I never got to do that!

After the Spouses Taxi Rides for the last graduating class, John brought up the Tanker rides again. I thought the Taxi ride was where it's at, but he kept insisting to get me up in a Tanker. For those un-Air Forced... A Tanker is like a flying gas station. The guys will refuel mid-air on long missions so that they can keep going without having to land and go through those shenanigans (Krista's word). In fact I learned the KC135's logo today- "You can't kick @$$ without Tanker gas!" So John went ahead and set it up again (for me). I woke up this morning at 4:00 AM because we had to meet at the base at 5:15 and be at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport where the Guard base is by 6:15 AM! Totally worth it- BTW. There was a pretty big group of us wives, and we loaded up onto the KC135, giddy like little school girls.
Did I mention that it was WAY EARLY. We got to watch the sun rise as we went out to load up on the plane!
I got the opportunity to watch the take off from the Boom pod. The Boom is the nozzle used in refueling and it's in the back of the plane. There is a "Boom Operator" who lays back there and messes with the Joy Stick to navigate the Boom to connect with the jets! Anyway, it was a take off like I've never experienced! We were laying down and as the plane inclined, we felt like we were face planting into the runway! It was pretty cool!
Here's the Boom pod as the operator was doing his thing and one of the girls was watching her hubby refuel about 50 feet away.

I got to see John as he was in the jet RIGHT on the wing of our plane and also him refueling where I could put on the headset and talk to him! He was so close that he waved to me from inside my little window! It was soooooooooooo neat!The long pole coming down from the top of the picture, with the ARIZ-ANG writing is the BOOM. You can see where it goes into the jet and pumps in the gas from the air. It takes much skill, both on the pilot and Boom operator's part to navigate that thing to the perfect spot! Just amazing!
Wave "HI" to John- he's in the front seat!

Here are the KC135's
Me and Colleen- the Head Wife (who I knew at Hill... She's awesome!)
All hopped up on adrenaline after the ride!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Many Reunions

On the trip to PA, OH, and IL I was able to catch up with many friends. (Before I get too far into this post, here is my disclaimer...)
That being said, there were also many that I wasn't able to see.. 9 days goes by fast when you're trying to pack it as full as possible!
So if you're one of my dear friends from Ohio and you're wondering why you didn't get a surprise visit, please understand that you were in my thoughts and it killed me to be soooooo close and not stop, but next time expect a visit!
We worked in my 10 year High School Reunion (Nordonia High School- I actually graduated from Marysville, but spent most of my childhood with the Nordonia crew) which was the day after Thanksgiving. With my best friend, Katey, we planned to meet up and attend together! As we arrived, there were many familiar faces but of course it took a little social lubercant to initiate interaction. Yes- I'm talking drinks.. It's funny how a room full of people who know eachother can be an extremely awkward place until a few drinks are had, then everyone is best of friends!! Anyway, here are some "Then" and "Now" pictures.

My Maid of Honor, Katey and I
circa 2005

Katey and I (Rip in the middle) in Hawaii for her wedding
Circa 2002
High School Cross Country Team
circa 1995
High School Biology Class- Lauren in front right
circa 1996
Katey, Me, Lauren
circa 2008

Katey and Me!
circa 2008
Beyond the HS Reunion, I had a couple of personal reunions of my own with a couple college friends/roomates.
Krista was the first person I met when I was moving into the dorms at college. I remember my mom was there to help me move in and it was an exciting and scary time. I wondered if I'd make any friends since everyone on the floor just seemed intimidating to me. Then in walked Krista and introduced herself. I remember feeling at ease because she was so warm and sweet and I could see myself in a lasting friendship with her and then the college experience seemed manageable! She lived right across the hall from me and we both had roomates who, soon after classes began, decided to go elsewhere. So Krista and I kept our own rooms but considered eachother roomates since we'd always be together in one room or the other.

Krista, Alison (her original roomate), Me, and Brenda (my original roomate)
circa 1998
Krista, Pam, Me, Katey, Marybeth and Erin (from left to right)
circa 2005

Krista and I
circa 2008
Krista and Riley
circa 2008
Karly and I met because we were both in the Athletic Training program and we became friends and decided to be roommates our last year in college. She is one of the most considerate people I know and she'd always go out of her way to let others know she was thinking about them. If someone was down, she'd be the first to take them out and get their mind off of what was bringing them down. I recall many study dates with Karly and I'm pretty sure I would not have done near as well as I did in college with out her!! She was a dance minor and I learned some mad moves from her as well!

Heather, Me and Karly
circa 2002

Heather, Karly and Me
circa 2002

Karly, Riley and Me
circa 2008

John was a total trooper as I galavanted around with my old friends. He kept himself occupied playing with kids, or making fun of cable TV, or just being an incredible husband and helping me out where I needed it!!

John reading to adorable Avery and Riley

Friday, December 5, 2008


While visiting Great Grandma's, it actually worked out perfect to combine our drive out to Illinois with Pam's desire to bring Brenden to see Great Grandma (on the Winslow side). So we met up and did the voyage together. It was the first chance to get the boys together- Brenden and Riley that is! Though the meeting was more for our pleasure than theirs right now (I don't even know if they noticed each other much), but it sure makes me excited for when they are older and they can pal around together!!! The trip was as good as it could have been (for driving 16+ hours in 2 days with two 3 month old babies) and though I mentally prepared for the worst- screaming the whole way- it was quite the opposite. Two sleeping babies for most of the trip with an occasional awakening accompanied with smiles and coos!

Brenden and Riley

Brenden being a total trooper during the long car rideThis video is just the boys.. they aren't doing anything special- but they are so stinkin cute that I wanted to post it anyway!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

4th Generation- Plus more!

Wow am I exhausted!!! We spent the last 9 days traveling from Phoenix to Pittsburgh, through Ohio to Illinois, back to Pittsburgh and then finally home again! The end result was a wonderful, though over-stuffed trip packed full of visits! Riley got to meet his 2 Great Grandma's- which was the main purpose for the trip!!! Four generations all together, visiting can be quite exciting!

4 Generations!!! Chey's side
4 Generations- John's sideBy the looks of it, my grandma and his grandma got into a fist fight and gave each other matching shiners.. Coincidentally, they both had a fall right before we came which left them a little bruised. Luckily they are both fine with no major damage, just what you see in the picture!

Grandma Wilson lovin on Riley
Chey's Uncle, Grandma, Mom, and Aunt (and of course the babies!)

I think the men on the trip couldn't argue that it was exciting (with a little too much fun in the garage and playing on heavy machinery)!

Stay tuned... I have a lot of catching up to do in the world of blogging!