Archive for the ‘family time’ Category

2016
27
Oct
21:11

a decade of silence

   Posted by: arcanai

today, we spoke for the first time in ten years.  it was a let’s-act-like-nothing-ever-happened 45 minute conversation.  there were tongue-biting moments but i played the game because i’m trying.  after all, i’m the one who extended the invitation because i feel she should have the opportunity to meet these amazing kids. it’s up to her to make that happen but i sincerely hope that she does.  i honestly had no clue how to respond to “so what have you been up to, other than having babies?”  how do you succinctly cover “what you’ve been up to” for a decade?  time will tell.

2016
1
Aug
20:26

moving on

   Posted by: arcanai

my step-mom sold the house and moved north today. i’m so glad to see her away from the increasingly crazy neighbors and getting closer to family so that she’s not so lonely all the time.  i’m also so sad to know that we’re not going to get to see her when we’re down there anymore.  i’m hoping we’ll be able to talk her into coming to visit us often because it’ll be a lot harder for us to visit her.  i’d love it if we could talk her into being a snowbird but i don’t have a lot of hope in that.  the turkey loves his grammy something fierce and i hope that the sequel gets that chance too!

2014
26
Jul
22:55

recreating the past

   Posted by: arcanai

when my MIL was about eight months pregnant with hubby, they came to the beach for vacation and FIL took her picture sitting in the monkey paw at the goofy golf place down the road. it’s always been the family story that this was hubby’s first trip to the beach and the reason he always wanted to live here.

MIL 8 months pregnant with hubby

this picture meant enough that, just before his 39th birthday, we did a beach vacation with his family and he and his mom posed with the monkey again.

mother, son, monkey - 39 years later

so it was always just an unstated understanding that, if we ever got pregnant, we would be paying a visit to the goofy golf monkey to celebrate the 8th month.

me 8 months pregnant with our son

the full monkey - i don't know if it had the evil red glowing eyes when MIL was pregnant

we three and the monkey

to me, this is probably one of the most special moments of my pregnancy. i love that we were able to recreate this memory that he and his mom shared and i hope that it means as much to her as it does to me.

capturing the moment, 48 years apart

2014
22
Jun
20:42

done traveling

   Posted by: arcanai

yesterday was our grand finale… a jam-packed day that was supposed to have been even busier.  we started off with hubby’s high school reunion that he’s been working so hard to organize all year.  they rented a house on the lake and basically just made it a “stop by and hang out” kind of day.  we stuck around there until about 14:30 and I got to meet several of his old classmates.  I was actually rather pleasantly surprised by it.  i had always thought my hubby was just one of the few that really made it out of the small town to see the world.  it turns out that more than a few of his classmates have had wonderful worldly adventures too.  i guess that shows my ignorance… or is it prejudice?

after the reunion, we were supposed to rush back to the house for a family reunion.  sadly, there was a death in the family so it turned out to be a funeral home reunion.  since the family get-together was cancelled and there needed to be time for people to visit the funeral parlor, the baby shower got moved up to that time slot and became more of a “drop by and drop off” kind of shower.  hubby’s sis and aunt did a beautiful job and we had a wonderful time seeing various family members.  we spent a few hours there and then went back to the class reunion for a little bit to see who else had shown up and then ended the night by paying our respects at the funeral home.  It was a long, tiring day but we packed a lot of socializing into it!


“a huge thank you to Brenda, Miranda, and aunt diane for throwing a beautiful shower. really, could we be any more blessed?”

From Wedowee Shower, posted by J’Lynn Holloway on 6/29/2014 (40 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2


this morning, we got up and headed south.  i can’t say much good about the trip.  while i am starting to feel more human, i can’t get rid of the horrible coughing fits.  hubby has been throwing cough drops down my throat but with all the coughing and the increased heartburn, they really just make me nauseous and don’t seem to calm the cough at all.  so i was sucking on a retched cough drop on the little windy roads on our way to swing by an uncle’s house and i ended up having my first puke of the pregnancy.  i yelled at hubby to pull the car over (on a tiny windy road with hardly any place to pull off) and just barely made it in time to throw the door open and hang my head out.  not fun, not fun at all.  there went all my breakfast and pretty much anything else I’ve eaten in the last few days.  thank God we had plenty of baby wipes in the car :-)   we finally made it to uncle’s house and had a nice little visit with him and the cousins before getting back on the road for home.  the GPS ended up taking us the long way home and we ran into severe storms most of the way so it was a long, tense drive with hubby worrying about keeping the car between the lines and making sure i was okay (but he sure didn’t make me suck on any more cough drops!).

i am so glad to be home.  we’ve been so blessed with all of these showers and getting to spend time with family and friends over the last several weeks but I’m just worn out.  i am definitely looking forward to staying home and relaxing and getting ready for our little turkey’s arrival over the next couple months.

2014
19
Jun
21:35

have plague, will travel

   Posted by: arcanai

the good news is that i only had that one night of slight fever.  the bad news is that i feel like crud with sinus and respiratory congestion and coughing fits that are not making baby happy at all.  i called in sick Monday and slept almost all day in the hopes that it would all just go away.  obviously, that postponed our travels too and made the furniture haul an impossibility for this trip.  that means hubby will have to make another trip on his own sometime later on.  Tuesday morning, after a night of coughing fits so severe I was sure I’d end up giving birth before daylight, I got up at 04:00 and went to the store with my trusty dr’s book in hand to stock up on cough and congestion medications that were on the approved list.  I still had no voice and felt pretty cruddy but i was determined to make the trip to ga so that hubby could meet his boss (who is ca-based so this was the only chance for them to meet in the foreseeable future).  we made the long drive after work (got a call from the dr office on the way letting me know that I am not diabetic – yay!!!) and ended up getting a hotel room around 23:00.  I’m glad we chose to go to a hotel, where I could keep my yuck quarantined, rather than staying with our friends like usual.  I’m sure I kept the entire hotel awake with my coughing.  I probably spent half the night in the bathroom breathing shower steam to get some relief.  poor hubby was frantically worried about me and the baby and kept asking if we needed to go to the hospital.  I had to assure him many times that there was nothing they could do for a bad cold and that I would immediately let him know if I saw any danger signs (bleeding or abnormal pains).  as for my son, he was just not happy at all.  after every coughing fit, he would just go into a kicking fit to get back at me.  poor kiddo.  we took our time getting around in the morning, working from the hotel while the cough calmed down.  happily, the steam must have loosened up whatever was killing my voice and I could actually talk a little. we got to the office mid-morning and found the break room all decked out in monkey baby cuteness.

leave it to beth to go all out with a crazy beautiful, impromptu office shower (more office pix below the fold).  we got to see most of the old gang plus hubby’s new boss, and the kids.  it was such a nice day and, again, I am completely blown away by the generosity of our co-workers and friends.

after work, we went to my brudder’s house for dinner.  my SIL made her yummy shepherd’s pie, just for me :-)   my niece played very shy but I was actually happy about her keeping her distance this time since I really didn’t want to get the poor little cutie sick. we had a great visit and received some more terrific gifts, which my brudder was very proud of shopping for himself :-)


we left at a reasonable time so that we could get to the hotel and try to get some sleep but, again, it was not meant to be for me. *sigh* this morning, we got up and went into the restaurant to work and visit some more. halfway through the morning, we looked up to see beth and the girls walk in. she is just all about the surprises! turns out they had to go to the university to have their bunnies fixed so they were near the area and figured it was time to try out my SIL’s wonderful cooking. They hung out for a couple hours while we worked and we enjoyed some great conversation and food with our friends and family all at once. after work, we made our way to ‘bama where I will hopefully get to recover and feel some better before hubby’s high school reunion and our baby shower on Saturday.

Read the rest of this entry »

2014
8
Jun
12:49

orlando shower

   Posted by: arcanai

after a great week+ of spending quality time with friends and family – including a couple days with my dad where he has looked and gotten around better than I’ve seen him in a long, long time – we are back home to relax for a few days before starting all over again with the in-laws. yesterday was the baby shower that my sissy, niece, and bff so graciously put together. once again, I was humbled by the love and generosity of our friends/family. I got to see a couple of ladies who mean the world to me even though I haven’t seen them in over a decade. there were a couple more that weren’t able to be there but I look forward to seeing them on our next trip down, at which time there will be three of us!!!

love this group of ladies like crazy!


“a huge thank you to my sissy, niece, and jenny for the fabulous shower (not to mention the lovely ladies who attended or were unable to attend)! we’re so blessed to have such great friends and family!!!”

From Orlando Baby Shower, posted by J’Lynn Holloway on 6/11/2014 (33 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2


2014
29
May
23:27

but i just held him in my arms yesterday…

   Posted by: arcanai

tonight, my firstborn nephew graduated high school.  I can’t believe how quickly he’s grown.  this is the young man who’s shining example finally convinced me to open my heart to Jesus.  I am so proud of him and so grateful to have him in my life.  I can’t wait to see what fantastic and exciting things his future holds.


“congratulations to my nephew, jimmy, and the rest of boone hs class of 2014!!! and now… go gators!!!”

From Grad Night 2014, posted by J’Lynn Holloway on 6/11/2014 (20 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2


2014
9
Feb
14:33

announcements: cheshire edition

   Posted by: arcanai

Wednesday night, we left Orlando and made the long drive up to Alabama.  Thursday morning, we gave hubby’s parents their “gift”.  it took them a while… his mom knew it was a picture of a baby but she couldn’t connect the dots to us.  after a couple moments, we clarified that they were having a new grandchild.  they were happy for us but I would not say they were really excited like my family.  it was about the reaction I expected actually… they’ve already got a pile of grandkids and two great-grandkids… what’s one more baby?  I don’t mean that to sound callous – like I said, they were happy for us.  I think shocked was the reigning emotion though; I think they had given up hope of their eldest son having a family.

the plan was to get the siblings together for lunch on Saturday and tell them then but hubby went ahead and told his sis and niece when they came over that night.  it turned out to be fine because his sis-n-law’s mom had some health problems so his brother wasn’t able to make it Saturday anyhow.  we told him over the phone and he was super excited.  we also told his aunt when she came over for the lunch and she immediately started planning a shower.  :-)   it was a great family visit and my sis-n-law even gave us some baby stuff that her grandson has outgrown on our way out of town.

tonight will be our last round of private announcements before we make the news public to everyone.  we have our closest friends around here gathering for a belated birthday dinner for me.  we’ll announce it to them and then post it on fb and then I’ve already got an email scheduled to go out to all our co-workers first thing tomorrow morning.  yay for being able to talk about the turkey!!!

2014
2
Feb
20:09

announcement: arcanai edition

   Posted by: arcanai

the real excitement has finally begun… making the news public!  we started with my family.  we drove down Thursday night (which was dubious to the last minute thanks to many bridges and roads being shut down because of ice… i10 opened literally thirty minutes before we wanted to leave) but didn’t get together with my dad and sissy until Saturday.  we got everyone together under the pretense of doing a family gathering in lieu of our family Disney day since dad wasn’t up to going to the parks.  it turned out to be a nice birthday party for me too when they surprised me with a fabulous carvel cake (is there any other kind?!).  this also presented us with the perfect opportunity for our reveal since the cake was frozen solid and we had to let it thaw a bit before I could cut it.  I told them I had something for them too.  I apologized for being late for Christmas but that it took a really long time to make.  I gave my sissy the announcement card that I had lovingly made and I gave my dad a gift bag with a framed pic of the sonogram.  this is the moment where my sissy has figured it out and my dad is still trying to figure out what the heck that picture is.  the whole family was thrilled and hubby and I were super excited to be making this “real”.  I told my niece that we were going to take her home with us to be our live-in nanny.  she didn’t seem to object.  we’ve got a few more announcements to make while we’re here this week – my cousin and my best friends (I actually ran into one of them today after church while looking at model homes with sissy’s family.  haven’t seen her in six years and in she walks while my sissy and I were testing the sofa in a rather nice living room.)- and then we’ll head to Alabama and go through all the fun again with hubby’s family.

2013
28
Sep
20:30

visiting the fam

   Posted by: arcanai

this pas weekend, hubby had a hilly bike race up in north ga.  it was a beautiful day and he did great… especially considering that he’s a Floridian athlete whose idea of “hill” training is riding repeats over the highway bridge.  the course had a mile of elevation change and he finished almost an hour quicker than he anticipated.

since we were going up to that neck of the woods anyhow, we decided to extend the trip a bit and visit our old office and my brudder’s family in their new habitat and new restaurant.  the restaurant is awesome and huge.  plenty of room for them to really grow it into a great business.  naturally, my SIL stuffed us silly and we were fat and happy with her fantastic cooking.  of course, this also meant that we got to see my baby girl for the first time since she was just an itty bitty.  we spent some time with her at the restaurant but she was shy and didn’t feel like getting to know us.  when we went back to their house, she decided to open up to us a bit showing us her great room and toys and how she can wrestle her daddy.before long, she had warmed up to us and let me pick her up and play with her. who doesn’t love being upside down?  it’s great fun! auntie arcanai is her favoritest aunt… she just doesn’t understand that yet :-) she likes to play “so big!”  i’m not sure if this is a well-known thing or not but it’s something we got from our mom.  basically, you say “so big!” in a high, sing-song voice and she reaches up to the sky to show you just how big she is.  I have fond memories of this and I’ve always done it with any baby I’ve ever held in my life.  apparently, it stuck with my brother too because this definitely was not her first rodeo.  it’s really stinkin adorable! the only family pic I got.  they were playing and having fun so it’s okay that their eyes weren’t all open.

2013
20
Jun
17:52

hope for the next generation

   Posted by: arcanai

We got to Orlando only to discover that this is the week the kids go to Student Life camp so we wouldn’t be seeing much of them.  This is the first year that all three have gone since it’s middle/high schoolers only.  They spend the week in the dorms at Stetson and have bible studies and prayer groups and play games and all that jazz.  The parents are allowed to join for the nightly big worship event so, last night, we piled in the van with my sissy, bro-n-law, and a couple of their friends and we headed to Deland to see the kiddos and check out the night of worship.

What an awesome sight it was!  The auditorium was packed with kids from different churches all over the state who all burned with passion for their faith.  The worship band Bellarive is there with them for the week, playing for all of the big group events.  My kids are in love with this band, partly because they’re great (I agree), but also because they’re from Orlando and actually started out at their former church.  For every song they played, hundreds of kids sang along with arms up high and pure joy in their faces.  It was incredible.  All I could do was marvel at it since it was so far from where I was at their ages.  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening and it gave me great hope for the future.

2013
18
Jun
15:07

eskimo kisses

   Posted by: arcanai

I surprised my daddy by showing up on his doorstep for father’s day when he thought I was far away at home.  It’s important to embrace the time we have together while it lasts.  We never know when it’ll be too late to show someone how much we love them.

2013
3
May
21:15

movin’ on up

   Posted by: arcanai

i got a call from my sis-n-law a couple weeks ago saying that they had moved to GA and bought a restaurant.  i was a bit sad over the fact that i won’t get to see my sweet little baby girl very much anymore (not that i see her much now but my visits to Orlando are definitely more regular than my visits to GA).  all in all, though, i know that it’s a good move for my brother and his family.  they have the chance to really build something together and that’s a wonderful thing.  my sis-n-law is a terrific cook and has excellent scruples so i have faith that she can make this work.  they had a soft opening this week and are already off to a booming start.  I’ve done what little i can to help by building a website and spreading the word to all of our friends who are near there.  i can’t wait to make a trip up there and check it out for myself!

2013
27
Jan
19:33

bringing the Holy Land home

   Posted by: arcanai

now that all of our kiddos have finally gotten their Christmas gifts from their favoritest aunt and uncle, i can share my special project. those who know us are aware that we travel a lot but we’re not huge on souvenirs. on our epic trip this past fall (am i ever going to post that travel log?), we were limited by time – the best destinations, Egypt and Israel, were crazy busy trying to see everything we possibly could – and packing space since i was very strict about our baggage limitations for the month overseas as i’m too cheap to pay for my bags to fly. we did make sure that we fulfilled specific requests, which were surprisingly few and highly reasonable. but we also had to bring back some gifts. for all the ladies/girls, we bought small pieces of murano glass from our quick tour of venice. my biggest thing, however, was that i wanted to have something meaningful for all the kiddos from the Holy Land. in our two days of frantic touring, we only had a couple souvenir opportunities and the nice stuff was either too big for our luggage space or too expensive (i really wish i would have bought that gorgeous olive wood nativity that i fell in love with in Bethlehem. we would have had to ship it back home but, in retrospect, it would have been worthwhile). my solution was to buy a bigger bottle of Holy water for hubby’s uncle (a special request from him) and use some of the water to hand-craft gifts for the kids. i ordered some cross-shaped glass vials and bought some jewelry cord, ends, and clasps. i couldn’t find any alpha beads small enough to fit in the vials so i ended up having to find some plain 3mm beads and write on them myself to form each kid’s name. i even did a couple of them with chips of wood which i felt gave it a really cool effect, considering that they were floating in Holy water. i’m a bit ashamed of how much cursing occurred during the assembly of these but we prayed over them when they were finished so i think that made up for it. i also prayed for each kid, individually, while i was working on theirs. i was really happy with the final product and i think all of the kids (well, all but the two infants) actually appreciated them.

2013
26
Jan
19:05

calligator’s first Christmas

   Posted by: arcanai

of course, i wasn’t around for her real first Christmas but this was my day to shower her with gifts.  i can’t believe how much she’s grown since i last saw her (thanksgiving).  she’ll be walking when i see her again.  *sigh*  it was a great day of togetherness with my brudder, SIL, niece, and their friends/family.  technically, the cookout was a triple birthday party for brudder, his MIL, and me as our birthdays are all a week apart.  my little calligator was the only one who made out with loot though ;-)

that's a heck of a chillin' nap

such rockin' footwear

ninja baby!

proud that i was able to give her her first fishing pole

i love that the cross is reflecting on her forehead