Thursday, February 27, 2014

gram's basement

​I've mentioned Jess' grandma before. She's as dear to me as anyone I know, and the girls absolutely adore her. When we're not sick, we try to go visit about once a week. With the recent onslaught of disease in our house, we haven't been up to visit for quite a while. So today, as we appear to be in good health (although I fully expect leprosy or something to be just around the corner), I picked up some lunch and we headed to Gram's.

Gram's house is one of my favorite places. There is a sense of peace there unlike any other home I've been in. And it's like walking back in time. She and Pop (who isn't with us anymore) have always lived a frugal, simple life. Gram is content with the things she has and doesn't need anything more. Her basement is a wonderland for the girls. The toy cabinet is the same toy cabinet that Jess and his siblings played with, and the toys are just as old. But no matter - you step down the stairs and you step back in time. And honestly, when you're at Gram's, time stands still and everything is good and wonderful. Even if it's for just an hour.

I just love this lady. And her basement full of treasures.

Friday, February 21, 2014

a household of chronic illness

So since we had the miserable croup in November, one or all of us have been sick. We've run the gamut from a basic runny nose to a raging fever to coughs to the aforementioned vomit. Of course, since Lou was kind enough to vomit on me several times in Yellowstone, I naturally got the bug as well, and basically laid on the couch for the last two days. I'm fairly certain the girls love when I'm sick because it's basically a movie, then a movie, break for lunch, then hey, what about a movie. I'm honestly so sick of being sick. It's been a horribly long winter to say the least. 

This morning I woke up ravenous. My stomach was like OH HEY REMEMBER WHEN WE HAVEN'T EATEN FOR A FEW DAYS. My body had lost the aches, and suddenly my mind went - Top to bottom I whipped our little house in shape, loads of laundry, vacuuming, sanitizing. 

This afternoon, I picked up Belle from preschool, headed to Chick-Fil-A and then straight to the playground. We played outside for almost two hours. It was as though I couldn't breathe enough of that fresh, crisp air.

Germs be gone. We're so over it. And totally ready for spring.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


So I mentioned here that Annabelle has taken up a particular liking to drawing, coloring, sketching. All day long. Notebooks full. They are full of the people she loves, the toys she treasures, the things she sees, the vacations she remembers, and every day occurrences.

The other day I walked by and saw her notebook open to the most current illustration:

TRANSLATION: Lou Lou in her underwear.

I actually laughed out loud, and had to explain to Belle that I wasn't making fun of her, but that I thought this was maybe the best thing I'd ever seen. This is the kind of gem that makes these notebooks valuable. You better believe Imma hoard these for the rest of all time. And when she's grown up she can open them up and we can laugh together and she can realize how truly marvelous she was when she was four years old.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

winter wonderland

So we went to Yellowstone this past weekend. Most of you know that Yellowstone is basically a second home to us. We make at least one trip each summer. The entire Cheney crew also likes to make winter visits. It's not every year, but quite often. And before I say anything else about this trip, I want to make this clear: Yellowstone in the winter is spectacular. Magical. We already love that spot of earth, but seeing it covered and sparkling is amazing. The animals are also fairly stunning in winter: thriving, strong, beautiful.

But this trip wasn't just about the beauty. It was about the barf. Remember the never ending illness that has pervaded our family (Lou)? It went on vacation with us! Yay! Vomit. Lots of vomit.

Hotel room = vomit. Car = vomit. Shauntel = vomit. Lou's blanket = vommmmit.

It's honestly hard to think about anything more than...vomit. But we did manage to have some fun as Lou only spent half the time ill. Here are some photos. To distract me from the. You know what.

And really. It's a lovely place to visit in winter. Wind so cold it bites, but it also clears your mind. It's singularly beautiful.

Friday, February 14, 2014

happy heart day!

Go here to see Valentine's Day 2010.
Go here to see Valentine's Day 2011.
Go here to see Valentine's Day 2012.
Go here to see Valentine's Day 2013.


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