Friday, May 30, 2008

Bring on the Buddies!

May 2005 was a very exciting month for Grandma Johnson and Aunt Rachie. You see, we doubled the number of buddies in our family that month. In less than three weeks, Sandy went from having four grandchildren to having eight. Wow! Needless to say, it was a busy month. So many buddies to see, so little time! As we've been celebrating the quadruplets' birthdays this month, I've been feeling nostalgic and thought I'd share some of the Kodak moments with you. It's not quite as good as sharing the love in person, but it will have to suffice.

Ayden:
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Kazie:
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Kasia & Kenzie:
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rach & twins3 copy
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The triplets:
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Unfortunately, I don't have a recent pic with all four of these birthday buddies. Nor do I have any pics with ALL of my buddies in one shot. That's okay though, cuz we've got another one arriving in the next few weeks...so we'll wait until she can join the fun. I'm looking forward to it! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Drug-Free Me

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For the first time in roughly ten years, I am 100% Zoloft-free. I've struggled with depression for as long as I can remember, but it took me quite a few years to realize what was going on. It took me even longer to admit/accept that treatment was necessary. I can't say enough about the wonders of Zoloft.

Of course, as with anything, there are downsides. For years, the negatives paled in comparison to the benefits, but I no longer believe this to be the case. So I've given Zoloft the boot...and it's fighting back! I expected a few emotional moments during my six-week weaning process, but that has actually been very minimal. The worst of it has been the headaches and dizziness...the physical withdrawal symptoms can be quite brutal. I had no idea! Kinda makes me hope I can stay drug-free for good! Wish me luck...or more accurately, wish Hunter luck! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Perfect Day

Yesterday was perfect in every way. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a ride. Here's our route:
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Of course, the map doesn't do it justice. Heck, even the pictures don't do it justice! It was the perfect temperature, the perfect scenery, and the perfect feeling of freedom from everything. There were bikers EVERYWHERE, of every variety. However, we didn't see a single V-strom (other than our own Wee), so I guess we're still unique in that regard...lol. We're also unique in that 90% of the other riders do not wear helmets...yikes!!! Are you kidding me? I'll be honest...if you don't wear a helmet then your brain must not be functioning at a level that is worth saving anyway. Because really folks, that's just insane.

Anyway, back to the good stuff. We were riding along, climbing some mountains, and started encountering a few patches of snow.
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Apparently this car encountered a snow patch that was unconquerable:
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Poor dudes never did get unstuck while we were there, and they had quite a bit of assistance! Some good samaritan ended up with a flat tire as a result of his efforts; he just changed the tire and went back to try and help some more! What a nice guy.

This is why we never take pictures of ourselves:
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What a bunch of weirdos.

Some of the epic scenery:
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Shortly after taking these photos, I managed to have a near-death experience. It was the one 'flaw' in our otherwise perfect day. We were riding along, minding our own business, when I felt a tickle on the back of my wrist. Knowing that I tend to be somewhat bug-paranoid, I tried to dismiss it as a product of my over-active imagination. Then I figured, just to be on the safe side, I should 'make room' for any potential winged hitchhikers to exit the premises. I stretched out my arm and kinda 'expanded' the space between the top of my wrist and my sleeve to allow this winged critter to escape...thinking all the while that there was really no winged critter and I was just indulging my irrational paranoia. Well imagine my horror when I glanced down at my wrist and saw a large, evil, malicious BEE emerging!!! FREAKY FRIDAY, FOLKS! Seriously, I have an irrational fear of bees. I can maintain control when I encounter pretty much anything...spiders, beetles, snakes, etc...I can deal with them. Mostly by making someone else deal with the actual problem while I leave the room but still, I'm in control and I don't freak out. But if it's a bee, it's over...I can't handle bees. And hello, I had one IN MY SLEEVE!!!! I'm pretty much freaking out just thinking about it. I can't believe it didn't sting me...holy cow. What a close call!!! I'll be in therapy all week but hey, no bee stings!

After surviving the near death experience and returning from a breathtaking ride, we really didn't want to call it a day. So we topped it off with a lovely Dusk at Daybreak adventure. How's that for an oxymoron...dusk at Daybreak?! Anyway, we thought it would be fun to take the tuggies and watch the sunset there. And then, since it was a full moon, we also watched the moonrise. It was beautiful. Absolutely perfect, in fact.
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It's so unfortunate that such a beautiful day has to be followed by a Monday. Isn't it time for another weekend?!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fortune

We're planning a road trip. Yesterday I stopped by Hunter's office and he showed me the route he was planning (see map below). While in his office, I opened my fortune cookie. Hunter taped the fortune to the map before scanning it, so you can see for yourself.
seattle trip
Ironic, isn't it?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Fun Never Stops

A few more photos for your enjoyment. Some of these are from the weekend, and others are just random pics I got from Becca's computer. Good stuff! :)

Braxton must have measuring the local wildlife:
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This one will eat you if you don't clean your room:
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Where the wild things are:
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Braxton's new best friend:
kazie 185 copy
More of the local wildlife:
kazie 017 copy
The Birthday Girl:
kazie 191 copy
Maddie McSweet-Cheeks
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Man, I love these kids! They are so cute. And they have the best mamas, too...my sisters rock. I'm pretty sure the Good Lord knew what He was doing when He invented families. Especially mine...I think I'll keep every one of these dudes. :)

Fiestaville

So I saw this post a few weeks ago, and immediately called Becca. You see, Kazie is pretty much the biggest Dora the Explorer fan ever invented, and I'm not even kidding. Whenever I have taken Kazie to the store, she FREAKS OUT every time she sees a Dora product. You would not believe how many Dora products can be found between the cereal aisle and the checkout stand at Walmart...I swear there were at least 754 items before I lost count. These stinking marketing folks have obviously never been to a grocery store with a young child (fan). It pretty much guarantees at least one major meltdown ultimately costing no less than $10.00 per child. Poor Ruthie gets a double-dose with her twins, who are also major Dora fans. How do you mamas do it? I really have no idea...

Well anyway, I completely went off-topic. My point is that I saw these plans for a rockin' Dora birthday party, and knew it had to be done. You see, it's Kazie's birthday and she is THREE!!! Crazy. So I'm off to Minersville to join the fiesta. Messie and Maddie were super nice and decided to join me. Woohoo!

After a whirlwind of planning, preparation and pre-party panicking (how many p's can YOU fit into one sentence?), the guests began to arrive. I had big plans to tell you all about the cool setup, and how it played out just like an episode of the Dora show. The kids all wore backpacks, and had a mission to help the birthday girl find the fiesta tent. They had a map to follow (just like the real Dora) and they even had to tell Swiper, "Swiper no swiping!!!" I fully intended to provide all the wonderful, exciting and fun-filled details...including the tragic balloon incident...but have you looked at the time?! I am pooped and had every intention of going to bed early tonight. Ya, so much for that!

Anyhoo, I fear I'm becoming incoherent. So without further ado, I leave you with this:
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I'll admit, I could not resist the crack shot:
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swiper
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There may or may not be more to come, depending on whether I manage to drag myself out of bed tomorrow. :)