Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Quite a catch up . . .

Because I haven't blogged in so long, there are many milestones I haven't included in this family "diary." Let the review begin . . .

Over the summer, Haley and I canned pickles. It was so much fun to work on a project together and it's oh so rewarding to watch the counter fill with fruit (or veggies) from our labor.

After they sat in our pantry for a while it was finally time to pull them out and sample our wares. I'd love to lie and say they were the best pickles ever . . . but I have to be honest and say, they were so salty it wasn't even funny. I have no idea what went wrong as we followed a recipe to a "t" but we'll try again next year.

Skipping ahead a few months  . . . Halloween brought along some fun costumes for the whole family. We went to "The Farm" in Snohomish which has to be one of the coolest places in our area for the fall. They have animals, hay rides, trackers to play on, corn kernels to jump in, yummy foods (corn on the cob, hot apple cider etc.) and of course, great pumpkins. This year, we took Mandy, one our most favoritest cousins with us which only added to the fun!!

And we all jumped on the dress up wagon . . . cause it's fun!!

We had a blast walking around our neighborhood!

November brought a long anticipated and saved for vacation to DISNEYLAND!!!!!

The last time we had flown on a plane, both girls were pretty little so even the plane ride was fantastic. The night before we actually entered the park was sooooo hard to sleep as we knew bright and early the next day, we'd be in Disneyland for real!!! All the saving and planning and dreaming came to fruition . . .

After a true welcome from some well loved characters, we were off to explore the park, ride some rides and experience one of the best weeks our family has ever had.

We split our time equally between Disneyland and California Adventure and got favorites in each park. Because it was the first weekend of November, the crowds were unbelievably small. We hardly waited in a single line and were able to ride tons and tons and tons of rides.

In Disneyland, we found the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in which the girls were transformed into beautiful princesses.

In seven days, we saw everything possible to see, rode everything possible to ride, ate every Mickey thing possible to eat, watched every possible show and parade, met every character possible to meet, and made more memories that I'd ever thought possible. We will NEVER forget this vacation!

I've been to Disneyland many times as a kid and even a few times as an adult but this was my most favorite trip in the whole world. Watching the trip through their eyes was amazing!!

Haley lost her first tooth. No - it was not the first tooth to come out but the others have had to be pulled out by the dentist. She's like a shark and keeps getting a second row of teeth behind the baby teeth. It was a big event to actually be able to pull one out herself!!

January brought another asthma flare - the first on in two years. It was so frusting . Logically I know it's a cronic illness but knowing it and then living it are two seperate things. It was so nice to pretend it didn't exist. There had to be much adjustment to family life around the house as mom was out of commission for a month and a half. Through the support of some amazing family members and great friends as well as a very understanding staff, we made it out the other side and have entered the "recovery zone" in which we baby step off some nasty but life saving drugs and wait out the side effects hoping to once again returning to "normal" whatever that means!!

On March 7th, my dad turned 60. The man who taught me how to work hard, take care of those around you and laugh through life, entered the next decade in his journey. We celebrated with a family dinner and enjoyed telling and hearing fun stories of the last  60 years. I can't describe how much I love my Dad. He is like no other and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

Hannah participated in her first ever track meet. She is one well rounded kiddo and is involved in so many great activities. This year she decided to give Runner's Club a try. After weeks of practice and a day of running in the halls, the grand finale was a track meet at the high school including all four elementary schools in our district. All we ever ask of our kids is that they try their best. If they come in last but they tried their best, then we're thrilled. It was Hannah's idea to put in some evenings of practice with her track coach daddy. My favorite part of the whole thing was that it was all her own ideas. We didn't ask her to join. We didn't tell her she needed to practice. It was all her. The big day came and we had a blast watching her run the 400. She came in 8th out of 30. Great! Then came the 4x400 relay. The first girl took off like a shot and quickly ran to the head of the pack with lots of room to spare. Then came Hannah's turn and after a successful handoff, she took off at an even greater speed and widened the gap!! At this point I am screaming like a crazy woman. I was so excited for her! I was amazed at the fact that even when the girl behind her began to close the gap, Hannah stayed her steady pace and focused on her race allowing her to give girl number three a nice leg up. Girl numbered three ran a good race and a few of the other teams caught up with us. And then came the grand finale hand off. I would have been thrilled for Hannah to have felt so proud of her winning lap but I could see the possibility of a group victory and I was off my seat!! Girl number four got the baton and ran like the wind!! Half way around the track, Hannah and the rest of her teammates started jogging along the last little stretch cheering and screaming for their teammate. As she crossed the finish line in first place, the feeling of pride as her momma swelled inside of me and as I saw the sweet Grandma Merry tears, you would have thought Hannah had just won the Olympics!! I would have been just as excited for her to have come in last. It was so cool that she chose an activity that was new to her, stuck it out and tried her best. But man was it fun to see a victory!!!

And last, but certainly not least, my sweet little sister is going to have a baby!! We couldn't be more excited around here to welcome a new nephew/cousin very soon!! I may be bias but I think she's the cutest pregnant lady around!! I went up north on Monday as I had the honor of being at an ultrasound and we added a surprise visit to our grandma. I can't tell you how special it was to see her love on that sweet belly that held her first ever great grandson!!

There it is. The long awaited and much needed catch up of the Marsh family. I am grateful to Hannah and her inspiration to re-start something we love so much. And I am grateful to all those around us who make this life worth blogging about!

We titled this blog "The Years are Short" . . . one of my favorite speakers said, "In life the days seem long but looking back the years are so short." May we take advantage of each day - to capture the good and the bad and the in between in this crazy journey because in spite of the never ending loads of laundry and ever piling sink of dishes and repetitive chores and events and highs and lows and expected and surprising, the years are short and so worth every moment.

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