Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween



HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
love, baby octopus & the octo's mama & papa

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

4 months today!

Today Emmaus is 4 months old! I really can't believe it has been that long, yet at the same time it kinda feels like she has been a part of our family forever. She is seriously the most sweet natured child I know. She spends most of her days blowing raspberries and saying "agooooo" she is quite a verbal child. She smiles all the time and rarely cries. Unless she is bored-which is new this month. When she gets bored or is done sleeping or snuggling she lets you know about it. She is moving at her own pace on her milestones and she receives physical therapy once a week to help her work toward things like neck and truck strength, pushing up on her hands when she is on her tummy, putting weight on her legs, rolling over ect ect. Just like every mom I am slightly anxious that she isn't doing these things. But I am very proud her for the things she is doing and how far she has come in the last month. She loves to lay on her play mat and swat at toys. She also is getting better at sitting (kinda sitting kinda slumping) in her bumbo and reaching for her toys. She also loves when we sing & read her books. 
I weighed her and measured her today at home because we don't go to the doc for another 2 weeks. On our home scale the kid weights 16lbs! UMMM woah!   And she was around 27inches long. I'm sure my measurements weren't perfect. So I'm guessing between 26.5 & 27 inches. She is HUGE! But because she is so long she isn't all that rolly polly-don't get me wrong she has some rolls, just not roll upon roll. Very few of her 3-6month clothes fit now. So we are on to her 6month wardrobe already. She nurses about every 4 hours during the day & is still waking up at night to eat. Usually only once- and sometimes I think it is because she has woken up having a seizure and then thinks..."hey since I'm already up I may as well have a little snicker snacker". She is still sleeping in our room. I am worried she will have a really long seizure at night and that we won't hear it if she is in her room. I know that is not something I can control, but I am not ready to move her out. People have suggested a video monitor- but still I don't know that I would wake up unless she is right there. She does have seizures a almost every night so I don't think it is a stupid fear...just not quite sure what we are going to do about that. But for now she's staying in the pack & play where I can hear her. 
Here are a few pictures from the last week. One of her with my grandma, at Dunns cider mill, and then some looking cute. The last 4 are from today. They make me laugh. 






 blowing a raspberry
                                                                 So serious
                                                                        Sweet face
                                                    And shes done! Look at that scowl!
Happy 4months little girl! It is a pleasure to be your mommy. Your daddy and I love you so very much and are so proud of you!

Love,
La (aka mommy)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner


Hola!
The winner of the felt bloom giveaway is Jenni at Simply Prudent  who was commenter #3.
 

 
Jenni, please email me at kathrynjgibson (at) gmail (dot) com so that I can get your order!
 
Thank you to everyone who entered and became followers of our blogs.  We are so thankful for your support and new friendship!
 
Katie and Laurisa

 

Monday, October 24, 2011

10 things I love about my hubby being a daddy

1. He is a proactive papa. I think it is kinda normal for a first time mom to notice/worry about the little things but when I mention something to him, not only do I google it but then later he will say "well when I looked it up it said it could have been x, y, or z".

2.  Even though I am the pediatric nurse Dan is the "med giver" in our house. And he rocks at it.

3. I love the conversations he has with Emmaus when He doesn't know I am listening.

4. Even though he hates all the frilly stuff and HUGE bows I put on our daughter- he allows it and says "Your mommy likes for you to look good" or "Your mommy keeps you stylin'" to the baby once I show him what she is wearing

5. He told me today that he sets his alarm for 4am when I am at work just so he can wake up and check on her.

6. Emmaus' "Jesus Storybook Bible" was on the coffee table this morning and it was in her room last night-which leads me to believe that he took the time to read her a story out of it last night. (This kinda melts my heart)

7. Dan is and always has been on board with us cloth diapering our kiddo. In fact I have actually heard him say "Why would anyone choose disposable" I promise I didn't brainwash him.

8. Emmaus gets physical therapy and Dan does her exercises with her multiple times a day. And not because I ask him to...just because he wants to be involved in her development

9. He bought her chiefs socks (which I then turned into leg warmers) so they could cheer on the chiefs together (in style) on game day.

10. He says all the time that he is so glad that God gave US a daughter with TSC and not to someone who wouldn't love her or care for her as much. (I mean seriously?!? What a great attitude)

Those are just a few things I love about my hubby being a dad. He is a WONDERFUL father and Emmaus is very lucky to have a dad like him. With him as a dad she will always feel loved and know how much she is worth.

Just wanted to brag on my hubby.
Love,
La

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dragon mom

So a good friend sent me THIS article. READ IT. It is written by a mom who has a son with Taysachs disease- who won't live to see his third birthday.  It is a very raw, real, and sad article. And although Emmaus' doesn't necessarily have a terminal (God willing) disease. I can really relate with much of what the mother is saying. 

 I love these sections-

NOBODY asks dragon parents for advice; we’re too scary. Our grief is primal and unwieldy and embarrassing. The certainties that most parents face are irrelevant to us, and frankly, kind of silly. Our narratives are grisly, the stakes impossibly high. Conversations about which seizure medication is most effective or how to feed children who have trouble swallowing are tantamount to breathing fire at a dinner party or on the playground. Like Dr. Spock suddenly possessed by Al Gore, we offer inconvenient truths and foretell disaster.

and this

I can see my reflection in his greenish-gold eyes. I am a reflection of him and not the other way around, and this is, I believe, as it should be. This is a love story, and like all great love stories, it is a story of loss. Parenting, I’ve come to understand, is about loving my child today. Now. In fact, for any parent, anywhere, that’s all there is. 

Emmaus is changing me, as I'm sure having kids changes all parents- however- she isn't just changing my responsibility level, or my sleep level. She is changing my character. I am super competitive by nature and she is changing that. If she was "normal" (I kinda hate that word) and not rolling, not putting weight on her legs, not grasping toys I think I would be frustrated. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!? I am admitting I would be frustrated that she wasn't developing fast enough- that my friends babies are doing "better" & more tricks than she is. I would be putting her in every program available to make her the BEST (cough...tiger mom). However, having Emmaus has taken out the competition. It has made me proud of the accomplishments she's making. It has made me slow down & enjoy the simple things in life. This week I hung out with a friend who's son is 2 weeks older than Emmaus. The kid is ADVANCED. He is so strong! He stood (with mama's help) and was grabbing stuff off there coffee table! Very soon he will be independently sitting. He was playing with a teething ring. Seeing it across the blanket, reaching for it and grabbing it & in a very coordinated mannor bring it to his mouth and chewing on it. His movements were very coordinated. And then next to him was Emmaus. I have no doubt if she was a "normal" baby I would have been thinking "WHY ISN'T SHE DOING THIS STUFF!" However instead I was impressed with my friends son and impressed with my daughter. She was sitting (in my lap) so well that day! She was being very strong keeping her trunk and neck up most of the time. She was cracking us up with her constant chatter and raspberries. I am thankful that God has given me the gift of perspective. I hate that it is in the form of TSC and that it affects us daily, but thankful for the perspective.
This little girl is changing me. Shaping me. Making me a decent human being. And I'm thankful for her joyful, bubbly, verbal self.
That's all for now.
Happy Saturday
Love, La


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Infinity Scarf tutorial by Katie Gibson

I am so excited to have my first guest blogger! Katie and I know each other originally from KSU and now from the blog world. She is super crafty and DANG can work a sewing machine! You have to go check out some of the great stuff she makes. PLUS the girl can write a great tutorial! Pintrest has nothing on this girl! Enjoy the tutorial and be sure to comment for the giveaway! I am going to try to up-cycle some old clothing I have and make an infinity scarf next week. I will be sure to post a pic! So here she is! The super crafty, stylish, talented Katie Gibson.
Hi!
I'm Katie.


I write at Katie.J.Gibson. My full time gig is a sewing teacher in a local school district (which I adore) and care-taker of my man and our pup.

My passions are Jesus, Family, Sewing, and saving money/figuring out how to do things just a little cheaper.  While we aren't there yet, we can't wait to join the world of parenthood with a little one, complete with cloth diapers, homemade baby food, and momma-made fashion.

First off, I wanted to thank Laurisa for letting me guest blog here at Land of La.  Her blog is such a blessing- can I get an Amen?  We know each other from K State and, while we didn't talk much then (I was a bad resident on her floor!), we've recently reconnected in blog world.  Thanks, Girl!

Being a sewing teacher has taught me that many people don't find value in sewing. Isn't that a shame?  I feel that Project Runway has made it cool again (and made me realize that all us sewers who were thumping away before the show was around were always cool!), but I still run into the occasional "My daughter has a B in Sewing.  How is that possible?"  I won't get in to why that would happen, but the attitude is out there.  I like to teach my students how to be trendy, acquire sewing skills, read a stinkin' pattern, and refashion clothing they already have in order to save money.  I like to blog tutorials about fun things to sew and usually write them so that middle schoolers will understand the directions (and so that I can read them when I want to make it down the road!).  There have been days in class when I have extra time and, woop, pull up the bloggy and teach the girls how to do something.  Total life saver.

Anyway, this is a tutorial for an infinity scarf.  I love scarves and have several, but none of these.  They are SO easy (we're talking 10 minutes once you figure it out!) and take little fabric.  I refashioned some old sweatpants that I stole from my Dad in high school, but you can use any fabric- even a tablecloth (which I also did!)  I apologize for my scarf not being prettier or cooler.  You'd think I'd pull all the stops on my first guest post.  Well, it's been a tight month.  Sticking firmly to the budget!  I scoured my house for something innovative to use.  Deal with it. 



First, cut your fabric.  If you are buying fabric from the fabric store, you will need about 30 inches.  Your fabric will be folded in half (the way it was stored on the bolt), so cut it so that you have 2 really long pieces that are each 15 inches wide (depending on your fabric, they with be either 15"by 45" or 15" by 58".  Both are fine).

Here is how I cut my sweatpants:



Next- sew both pieces together along the short side with right sides together.  Your goal is to now have a very long rectangle that is 15 inches wide.  I serged my edges (just because it’s faster), but you probably don’t need to finish your seam allowances because you won’t be washing this a lot (unless you are Laurisa and have a sweet baby girl barfing on you =D)



Next, you want to sew this long rectangle into a long tube.  In the world of fart-polluted middle school, we call this folding hot-dog style.  That means your rectangle will be long and skinny, like a hot dog (as opposed to a short and fat hamburger).  Fold with right sides together and sew the raw edges (aka edges opposite the fold).  Again, I serged this edge, but you can just use a sewing machine.



Okay!  Long tube.  Believe it or not, you are so almost done.  Turn that puppy right side out.



Now, this is the tricky part- we want to sew the two openings of the tube together.  SO, lay one end of the tube against the other, right sides together (obviously- you have it turned right side out!).



Sew along the raw edge as much as you can.  The tube will curl around itself and, eventually, you won’t really be able to sew it anymore.  Backstitch and pull it out of the machine.  You should be left with just a small hole.



You can blind stitch the hole shut or just stitch it with your machine.  To be quite honest, you won’t ever see it.  Just hide it behind your hair!



Finished!  You can embellish it with t-shirt braids:



Or felt blooms:


Ooooh, so cute.  Want a felt bloom?  You’ve come to the right place!  We are giving a set of 3 brooch felt blooms away- or a felt bloom baby headband- to one lucky winner.



What do you have to do?  Follow these easy steps:

Become a follower of Land of LA &  Become a follower of Katie.J.Gibson (we need friends, people!)

Leave a comment telling us what color you’d want a flower bloom in.

 We will randomly pick the lucky winner Tuesday evening, October 25th and announcing it HERE on Wednesday, October 26th.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Guest posting on a monday morning.

Umm couple things.
1. It is EXTREMELY hard to give a 3 month old 10mls of meds! It's kinda an art form really-Yep I know I am a pediatric nurse and I stink at it (at home at least).  She gets 15mls at night that I don't even attempt cause my hubby takes care of it! -Thank you Dan for not being a nurse and giving meds better than I do! (Love that man!)

2. WE HAVE NO FOOD IN OUR HOUSE!  I need to go to Trader Joes ASAP.

3. I am guest posting OVER HERE today. Go check it out.

That's all for now!
Love La

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What we ate

WHAT WE ATE:
Well I kinda love...kinda hate pintrest. (This is a different story for another time )But one thing I do LOVE is the food ideas! Here are few recipes I have tried lately and we have loved. 



 

Slow cooked shredded chicken with corn, tomatoes and black beans. Prepare the night before and turn your crock pot on in the morning for an easy weeknight meal. Low fat and low in points. Serve over rice with chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, fat free sour cream and reduced fat cheddar.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken 
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 servings  Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts  Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 190 • Fat: 1.5 g • Fiber: 5.6 g • Carbs: 23.1 g • Protein: 21 g 

  • 24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
  • 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies (aka rotel)
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (you can also use the frozen cubes from trader Joe's a great alternative to fresh) 
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped (I had a white onion so I used that instead I used about 1/4 of it) 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste
Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice (extra pts).
For the original blog post that shares this recipe go HERE


And then we served it over this


  


Chipotle's "Skinny" Cilantro Lime Rice
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes 
Servings: 4  Size: 3/4 cup  Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 201.0 • Fat: 3.4 • Carbs: 37.4 • Fiber: 0 • Protein: 4.0 g

  • 1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low andcover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.
HERE is the original rice blog post  (It really does taste like chipolte!)


With these Jalapeno Poppers

You will need a can of Pillsbury Crescent dough, cream cheese, 2-3 fresh jalapeños, and bacon (if you want... I always want bacon.) Oven pre-heated to 350 degrees F. 

Chop the jalapeños into small pieces. Clean out the seeds. Don't stick your fingers in your eyes or mouth for the rest of the day.

Cut the bacon into pieces and then cook it up. I usually cut it up first cuz then you have nice, neat pieces and it doesn't get too crumbly. Just watch it so it doesn't burn. Unless you like burnt bacon. But that's weird.

Roll out your dough. It's perforated into triangles, but I cut each triangle in half with a pizza cutter and do one popper on each half. Does that make sense? Sorry I didn't take pictures of that part. You can do it without cutting the crescents in half, and they'll just be a little bigger than bite size. 

Layer a small dollop of cream cheese, a piece or two of jalapeño, and bacon. 


Bring the corners of the dough together and twist them together at the top. Press the edges of the dough together so the insides don't gush out.


Bake 10-15 minutes at 350 and munch away! 

go HERE for the original blog post of this recipe





Can I get a collective YUM??? 
Everything was so good & easy. I had all the stuff to make the chicken santa fe on hand and it was super easy to prep in the AM for a delish meal in the PM (I didn't even de-thaw my frozen chicken breast- just added them to the crock pot frozen) 
Cook away!
Love, La

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bipolar mama

First I want to say I am so thankful for all of those people who have helped us out financially in the last few months. Bringing meals, writing checks, saving up change, giving us odd jobs, etsy orders, ect. We have truly been so blessed. I spent most of the morning paying medical bills. GEEZ it is hard to pay for stuff. I would think people would be eager to take our money but it is just a process! Plus I found out that my bank only allows 1000.00 to be charged to each debit card per day. I think this might be the one time it would have been easier to have a credit card so I don't have to call back on monday to pay more bills. Oh well. It is kinda amusing to me that my couch, and end tables didn't even cost 1000.00 bucks. Yet when I bought them when I moved into our first apartment I felt like I was spending SOOO MUCH MONEY! Haha. You live you learn right?!

So a short update on Em. She is still having seizures daily. I called her neurologist yesterday and they increased her meds again. I am growing weary of these daily seizures. They really are just heartbreaking and taking a toll on this mama. She is such a sweet girl and it just sucks that she has such a hard road to travel. We are trying to stay positive but to be honest I just feel tired and heartbroken. It is kinda an odd thing to have a kiddo with such a chronic problem. Because having a baby brings so much joy! She is so happy and her smile just lights up my world. She is funny and thinks I'm funny and we just laugh at each other a lot. She loves to play and snuggle and all those things are so joyful and then we have the seizures. And those just suck. I feel so bipolar because I live in a world of joy & heartache. I can be laughing at my cooing child one second and ready to burst into tears another because she is having another seizure and that makes me sad.
People always ask how she is and I try to focus on her being good. Cause she is. I know if she could talk she would say she is good. That her life is mainly happy & fun and that is just interrupted several times a day.
She gets weekly physical therapy and I was impressed with how good she did yesterday. I love our therapist and she gives us tons of ideas for how to help her get stronger and to hit developmental milestones. She has been pretty sleepy today but did sit (when I say sit I kinda mean slump/slant) in her bumbo for a bit and bat at her toys. But that is progress none the less.
Please pray that her increase in meds wouldn't make her overly tired so she has good awake times to play and develop. And pray that the increase in meds decrease her seizures. We have a really good week last week and the week before where she was only having 1-2 seizures a day. I would love to get back there or to ZERO (oh God please let us get to zero!) but this week she has been having 8-10 a day. Which seems like a lot to this mama.
I guess that is all for now.
Love, La


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Photos

So I think we have THE BEST family photographer. This one time she moved to London and I was really sad....but then she moved back and it made me happy! She did our engagement, wedding, maternity, newborn, and now some family photos for us. My favorite thing about Alea is that is doesn't do posey photos but instead just captures us living our lives. Also- she makes us look like super models.  I don't consider myself or our family photogenic...yet she makes us look good.  So here are a few (or more than a few...I couldn't just choose a couple) of our latest shoot with her. 
Check here out HERE. OR email her HERE.
Her shoots are 1/2 off for the month of October! So call her & schedule a shoot. Your family will never look how it looks right now & you will want to remember these days! One of my favorite things about my home is that is full of memories in the form of photos. 


    
 









Diapering lesson #87

So it has been a while since I have written anything about cloth diapering. I know half of you still think I am a fool for choosing cloth, the other half think I am super trendy & the other half (wait three 1/2's?) think I am saving the environment one cloth diaper at a time.

Well we still love it! When I say WE I mean Dan, myself & Emmaus' hiney. Since we started the cloth about 9weeks ago we have not had a single diaper rash (excluding the first one she got when I used too much detergent-but that was more of a chemical burn not diaper rash & a huge mommy fail) I don't rush to change the kid when she pee's or poo's because I know A. She won't get a rash & B. she won't leak. Now please understand I change her plenty- I am not just letting her sit there in poo all day but I don't rush to change her out of fear of those above mentioned things. (The kid kinda sharts a lot...you know a fart and a shit all in one- it is a teeny amout of poo...so I don't change those until she at least pees too) Anyway We still are loving it. We wash diapers about every other day. The washing process is kinda lengthy (cold rinse, hot wash with soap, hot rinse & dry pads, line dry shells) so we do them in the evening so we have clean diapers in the morning. Our water bill did go up...but only 6bucks! Which 6 bucks for a months worth of diapers! I dare to say even a good couponer would spend more.

So remember how I mentioned above she doesn't leak? Well I did learn a good cloth lesson today when she DID leak.
LESSON #87 You must have about even snaps on both sides of the diaper. (They snap closed) and on one side I snapped the 3rd snap, and on the other I snapped the sixth. Yah- I was in a hurry. Well lesson learned snap evenly- she leaked on the side with only 3 snaps fassened. (Why lesson #87 you ask? no clue. random number. I kinda do that a lot. I have a huge list of numbers of why I will never stand in the front at jazzercise too... all random numbers, but valid reasons)

So I would say 12bucks for the last 2months of cloth diapering is a great price & really it is easy and environmentally friendly...but mostly it's cheap.

Love,
La

Monday, October 10, 2011

NAMES

So after finding out we can have more kids we have spent the last 45 minutes discussing baby names...why you ask? I don't really know. But we found this great website (that I wish I would have found when I was preggo) that you can type in the names and it tells you how popular it has been and how many kids were named that in the last few years.
4 kids were named Emmaus last year (which the genetics counselor told me she had seen a baby boy named Emmaus recently! what are the odds?!)
But this is the messed up thing. There were more kids named Purple, President, Superman, Female, Senate & TURTLE than Emmaus.

UMM wow. We seriously have laughed for the last 45 minutes reading these names.  We are considering TURTLE for baby #2...very unisex don't you think?!

Love,
La

Good News

So I heard from the genetics department at Children's Mercy today. They got our lab results back and both Dan and I are negative for having TSC. Which means two things. One that Emmaus' disease was a random genetic mutation and not genetically passed on. And two that us having future biological children is a possibility. There is still a VERY slight chance (1%) that it is a germ-line mutation (which cannot be tested) and that we could have another child with TSC. But 1% is a much less than 50%. (I mean people use  birth control without worry and that is 99% accurate- so a 1%chance doesn't bother me)

So God willing Emmaus will get to have biological brothers and sisters.

This makes my heart happy.
Almost as much as this little girl. 




















Love,
La

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Joy


Psalm 28:7

7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
   my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
   and with my song I praise him.
So thankful for this joyful little gal. She brings so much happiness into our home.
Happy Sunday!
Love,
La

Friday, October 7, 2011

Things Remembered aka the longest post EVER!


These are the cutest little hand dimples I ever have seen. I might be a little bit obsessed with the hand dimples. And that wrist roll? I mean COME ON!!! I might be a little bit obsessed with the wrist roll too. I love that chubby babes.

So I have been thinking a lot lately about memories from growing up so I thought I would share a few.

We lived in a neighbor hood in PV until i was in 5th grade. One of the neighboorhood kids was super creative and would turn his garage into different things then invite the rest of the kids to the party. So one year it was a haunted house, one year it was a hippie dance party, ect. I also was in a "band" with this kid. 
----------------------->
Yep that was our official band pic.(look at me in all my 4th grade cuteness- I thought I was so BA) We are pretty cool. Also the shortest boy was Ian. He was the first guy I ever kissed...Got paid 5 bucks to do it and I even liked him! Yep I was a business woman even then...ummm wait... can I get arrested for admitting this?! Ian died in Iraq a few years back. He has a wife and daughter. I still think of his wife and daughter. In fact I was thinking and praying for them just yesterday. 

I also was obsessed with little house on the prairie. So much so that when I switched to a new school in 2nd grade I wanted to go by Laura instead of Laurisa- (my 1st grade teacher called me Larissa all year long too so that was part of the problem) Anyway back to my obsession. I once wore a prairie outfit- long dress, boots, and no joke a SUN BONNET to school...I didn't actually wear the bonnet on my head during school, but it was loosely tied and then hung off the back of my shoulders (ever seen little house on the prairie?) We used to have prairie nights in my house where we would turn off all the light and use the oil lamps my mom had. YEP-my parents were that cool to play along. 

We had a "friend of the zoo" pass when I was little. We used to go the KC zoo ALL the time. I still love the zoo. I know people say our zoo sucks...but some of my most fun memories is my mom taking us to the zoo. Sometimes if we were "sick" she would take us to the zoo- that was always fun because it was just you and mom (you know those ailments that keep a kid home from school, but allow them to be functioning at 100% capacity- aka pink eye & the sorts).  
(this pic is my mom and I pre-zoo days)

My brother and I used to get up really early and get ready for school really fast so we could go play together outside before school. We always got along pretty well. He was probably my best friend growing up. 
This is a pic of my grandma (mom's mom), my brother and I on the day he was born. YEP TAKE IN THE GLORY OF THOSE BANGS.... 

My dad once surprised me and took me to the USA women's gymnastic team tour at kemper. It was right after they won the gold in 1996 and I was OBSESSED (with every other little girl in america) gymnastics. I remember not knowing where we were going and when I realized where we were I was in awe. My parents didn't have a lot of money when I was little, so this memory was a huge deal then, but it means a lot now too. That they knew I would love going to that so much and just surprised me and took me. 

One last memory. My grandpa lived in Winfield, Ks. We would go visit a lot but once a year we would make a special trip down there to go to the bluegrass festival they hold.  One of my favorite memories! Our neighborhood friends the Franzki's (who also had the garage that turned into haunted houses and hippie dance parties) would go too. They would camp and we would stay and my Grandpa & Judy's house. I loved being in winfield. My grandpa Doc and Judy always made me feel so special. I loved spending time with them and being in the "country". I remember going to the festival and hearing the music from all directions, going to the big stage and watching the shows. I remember the vendors, the food, the smells, to me that is probably one of my most vivid, favorite memories.  I've thought about going again as an adult. However, I no longer particularly love the sound of banjo's or the mandolin or of blue grass, I'm sure I would find the vendors less exciting, and the mass crowds of people more overwhelming. And I think it would probably ruin it. So I will let it be, keep it safe in my memory. But I do miss winfield, my Grandpa Doc & Judy-I guess I just miss that time.
But let's be honest- this time's not so bad either. Here's to making you some good memories kid.

Love, La