Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I want to record on the blog one little detail about our dearest Annalee.

She loves shoes. Yes, shoes!

She loves her shoes, she loves my shoes, she loves random visitor's shoes, she loves daddy's shoes.... all shoes. She will try them on, walk around, carry them, hoard them. She will always choose to have shoes on if she sees them. She loves shoes.

I have pink sparkly shoes I bought for 49 cents. She loves those shoes. But she also loves her handmedown shoes from the Lippert girls, Crocs and tennis shoes and comfy shoes. She just loves them all!

She can also say "shoe". Before she would just walk up to us with shoes and cry. Now we can hear her loud and clear when she smiles and says shoe, we know what she wants. She can get a few pairs on by herself now, too. Such a big girl.

Maybe we need to invest in a shoe organizer for Annalee's room already.


PS - Bonus details about Annalee!

*Her verbal has exploded the last few weeks. She repeats often. She says all our names, lots of food, body parts (bellee), and random things, a few words put together. Her "hi" is adorable. She says her own name too and it comes out like "Annee".

*She loves chips! she says "bip" and she wants nothing else if she sees them. I think she likes the crunch. And salt. Heck, who can blame her. A few weeks ago, we swear she said "can I have a chip please?" - Greg and I did a double take.

*She has been going through a growth spurt, we think. Sleeping more, eating a ton. Breakfast would last an hour or more if we let her! I think she did get taller the last weeks though! Yay for her!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Life is Heavy.

I got the call from my sister. I'm sure many, most, people have had calls like that. The call the baby died, it's cancer, there was an accident... those sort of "my life is never going to be the same" phone calls. Tragic. Tough. Terrible.

This one, a week ago, was seasoned with grace from the beginning. For me, thanks Jesus. My sister was the one to call. Level-headed and surely good in toughness. "I want you to know that your Dad, our Dad, has Alzheimer's."

We knew something wasn't right with his memory. His short-term memory has been off the last couple years. A few moments of "could it be dementia" occurred but overall, I contributed it to stress/anxiety, him dealing with his family, and loads of transitions to walk through the past few years. He was still him! So to get the call, this official diagnosis, was a blow. Because there is no cure. There are no answers, only loads of unknowns.

And it's toughness at it's best/worst. My dad, my sweet, amazing daddy, is going to lose his memory. He will most likely no longer remember me, my sister, his wife or his darling grandchildren. He may forget how to do basic tasks. His brain will know something about a toothbrush, but won't know the steps to put toothpaste on and brush his teeth. He'll know he's supposed to eat a french fry but may use a spoon to eat it. He will know he wants to say "shoe" but he'll only come up with "laces" or "foot". It's such a wacky disease. He is still functioning well (know I am saying that overly joyous here!) but we do not know how this will progress.

I'm 32, almost 33. My dad is 71. Too, too young. I am GRATEFUL for the years we have had but I want MORE. None of us knows our days. We could die in the next ten minutes. But human nature is to cling to this life, being this is what we see. But that desire for something greater, something that doesn't sting of sickness and disease and death, that tells me we were created for something more. I just hate that we are going to have to go down a hard, emotional road of saying good-bye piece by piece.

My mom's mother, my grandma Doris, had Alzheimer's. We have already been dealt this hand. It is not pleasant, this we know. My mom, oh my poor mom, has watched her mom and will now watch her husband battle their memory. It is not fair. We know life is not fair. We know. But it hurts. The reality hurts.

It must be said that my dad is wonderful. I'm sure I will gush about him over and over on here, as I grieve his memory loss. He has been a wonderful father. Loving, giving, concerned, overprotective to a fault. He is sentimental, emotional, loyal, and hilarious. But the trait I think most exemplifies him is kindness. Never, ever have I had to see my dad get angry at a waitress, be cruel to a friend or stranger, or yell at us. Never. He was a boss to quite a few people and I'm sure the majority would sing his praises. He is not perfect, of course. But my dad is just not mean, he has always recognized that people deserve respect and kindness and that is such a rarity. He is so loved by his wife, kids, grandkids and we hold him in high regard. Truly.

I cling to the lessons we've learned, that hard IS good. It's good for us to have hard, tough, terrible in life. It makes us rest in the unseen, unfamiliar next-life stuff. Our faith. That we were created for something more, something better than a disease that will destroy this life. So our lives are about to get harder and our theology is about to get more real. But I am trusting and hoping the Lord is going to overflow us with grace in this.

For now, in the days after, my family and I are focusing on Making Every Day Count. We are going to smoosh years of memories into months, days. More on that later. We are taking it one day at a time. That's all we can do, of course. But we don't want to waste the time we have with one amazing guy. I am going to plan to spend as much time in Minnesota as I can (or get my parents here as much as I can). It's working out for my aunt to take me and the kids at the end of the month for a week or so. It's about a seven hour drive, which will continue to be a tough thing for me, not being in the daily life there. I am so very ready to give him a hug, to preach to all of us and to take video/photos, naturally. He is such a good storyteller.

He has loved us well. And I will say to myself and my sister and my mom, let's love him well through this damn disease.
Cracking jokes, as always.

Here we go, another new normal for us.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

May, Be May.

Last weekend it was cold:

And blast it all, it's STILL cold. And RAINY. And windy. And it might even snow again. We were supposed to begin putting in our lawn last Friday. It will be a week later, thanks to said weather.

Yesterday I was terribly down and I have a better perspective today. But I could REALLY use some sunshine. It's coming, apparently. And I, along with loads of others I'm sure, am very much anticipating it's rays!


And yes, I know that rain is good. We need it. It'll be all sparkling green around here. I know, I know.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

FIL is 61.

My father-in-law is awesome. I'm so glad I married Greg and that Dale is his dad. He's a wonderful man and I know Greg is a wonderful guy due in part to Dale's example. I love that he likes routine and simple things (like the same breakfast every day), but is also ready for adventure and travel and always willing to drop anything for family. He's great at advice and he's always encouraging people. He's giving, kind, and humble, and cares about eternal things in this life he's been given. He always calls people by their name, no matter what they do. He's talented in a variety of ways, like he is the best backer-upper driver I've ever seen. Big truck, tiny space, no problem. He also gives really great hugs and I'm thrilled our kids will grow up with that love. He likes his sports, movies, and quiet but he would drop them all to make pancakes for our kids. Really good pancakes. I am always happy to see him, truly. Doesn't that say it all?

Happy Birthday Dad K! We love you!
Fun at Cherry Berry celebrating this guy tonight!
He'll hate all this attention but it had to be done at least once!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

MD 2015.

I guess I'll shoot for posting on holidays this month. We had a busy week, migraines and busy events for me and stressful deadlines for Greg. So Friday night we ditched town for the happy place, Buffalo. We came back this morning so it was quick but nice to get away just us four and see "the greats." The weather was cold but that's ok. We stayed inside and got in some games of pinochle! Grandmoother and I won against Greg and Grandpa, in case you care to know! Love seeing the kids with these two.
"the greats"
Annalee was feverish and tired last night but I didn't mind as that meant we got snuggles! My morning was spent with her snuggled up to me for the first hours. Rare and sweet.

It has rained or snowed all day. So dreary. Where's the lovely flower-ful spring weather?! This day is tough for so many, and I recall that, so I find the snow and miserable cold fitting in some regard. But I'm ready for sun and warmth.

My husband and kids have made this day relaxing for me. All my kids are such a gift. And it must be said that I have two awesome moms (neither who I'll see today but they are loved and appreciated greatly!).


Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day.

I'm spending May Day 2015 watching Alexia (and our kids of course). Fun (albeit tiring as there are no naps at the same time)! Currently Annalee is napping, Eli's making mud, Alexia is watching and chewing on a water bottle. We are on the porch in the sun so you can't beat that!

A few pics from our day thus far: