Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Weekend

What a great Easter weekend we have had here at the Dickerson House. We started our festivities on Friday when Jason's parents and sister came for dinner and to play with Haley. We grilled out, colored eggs, and just enjoyed each other's company. I love it when they come, and I know Haley does too. Here are a couple pictures from that night.
Haley and Grandpa. Given just a short amount of time I think Haley can cause anyone to lose their voice. All she wants are books read to her. She will bring me book after book after book everyday.

Haley and Grandma. I love this picture!

On Saturday Jason, Haley, and I went to the annual BLUE/WHITE UK Spring Football game. Since Jason played football for UK there is an alumni lunch that takes place before the game itself. These events are always such a great time, we get to catch up with some great friends and past teammates of Jason's as well as talk with and hear stories of some of the older guys that played at UK. It is always neat to see them all talking together and to see just how things have changed over the years. It catches me off guard every time to see how everyone has had such different experiences within this one program, but then again the program has had a lot of changes itself.
Easter Sunday was a wonderful day. We attended a great church service in which we were able to be witness to eight people who have come forward to be baptized and show their devotion to the Lord. Although it has been a few years, each time I see this I reminisce back on the day I was baptized and how proud I was. I also look forward and think of the days when I get to watch my children take this step of faith. I know I will cry my eyes out.  

We also did an Easter egg hunt with Haley at my mother's house. She is so darn cute. She had such a blast and didn't quite understand what the basket was for. Each time she would pick up an egg Jason would ask her if she wanted to put it in her basket and she would immediately say. "No!". Shake her head and move on to the next one. She got to the point where she was carrying six eggs at once all tucked into her arms.

I am starting to find out that the perfect family pictures I would like to get from time to time are no more. Haley refused to cooperate in the picture this year. I finally had to put my hand up her dress to tickle her belly for the slightest smirk.

This is a comparison of us from Easter last year. I cannot believe how much Haley has grown and changed over the past year. We have been so very blessed to have her in our lives. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Forever my fur-babies! The best dogs in the world.

This post will only make sense to those pet lovers out there. I always remember having a pet growing up. As a child we always had a dog in the house and I was always bringing kittens home from who knows where. Never fail, I think every single cat or other animal I brought home was named Molly. Fast forward to college, Jason and I had been dating for about two years and he asked his parents for a dog for his birthday. We took a trip down to his hometown for a little family celebration and much to my surprise his dad had looked around a gave Jason a 3 month old Black Lab. Cutest thing and full of so much energy. When Jason asked me what I wanted her name to be, of course I offered up Molly. So little Miss Chevious Molly she was.
This is a picture of Jason, Molly, and me just a few days after getting her at a Fourth of July party in 2005. She was such a good dog. Although I am sure we did, I don't remember having any trouble training her. Of course Jason and I had bought a couple of books and videos on how to train dogs..lol. So we were well prepared. It wasn't even a year after we got Molly that we had decided to get another dog and had set our sights on a Golder Retriever puppy. We were very fortunate to have found a breeder in Jackson, Kentucky, the Anderson's. The couple that we got in touch with will forever be considered friends of mine. I remembered that Jason and I didn't have enough money to cover their full asking price and all I remember is how they stressed over and over that they just wanted their dogs to be in good, loving homes. Jason had emailed them some information about himself and me, and we were able to work out a cost that worked for all of us. We took a trip to Jackson to "pick out" which puppy we wanted. It came to us so easy, there was one male puppy that liked to snuggle up to Jason's chest when he would hold it. This was our puppy.
The day the puppies were released by the vet as being ready to go to their separate homes we got a call from the Anderson's. Jason and I immediately jumped in the car to go pick him up. We couldn't wait to bring him home to Molly. We named him Handsome Hank. As you can see in the picture above Molly was a great teacher of all things dog for Hank. She was surprisingly gentle with him and let him bite and pull on her ears all the time. So it was life with two dogs. I am still not sure if Hank ever really learned how to ask to go outside on his own, he just always followed Molly.
This picture is from 2006, it was part of Jason and mine''s Engagement pictures. It is funny how the dogs have such different personalities. Molly has always been more laid back and well behaved, while Hank was into everything and always had to be the center of attention. I am laughing in all of the pictures we took with the dogs. We would get Hank to sit down and every time we tried getting him to lay down he would lay down and then immediately roll over, belly up to show everyone his goods. He was so proud of himself.
This picture was Halloween 2010. My three little dogs..ha. There was a lot of worry about how the dogs would do when we brought Haley home from the hospital. A lot of un-needed worrying. They have been great with her from day one. Haley climbs all over them, and gives them hugs and kisses all the time. I am so glad we have so many pictures and videos of her with them.

This was taken February 2011. Unfortunately this is where our story takes a turn, this is the last family picture with both dogs. In December 2010 we found out that Hank had bone cancer and would only have a few months left to live before his pain would become unmanageable and we would need to put him down.  That day came soon after this picture was taken. It was by far the worst experience of my life. I wish I never had to do it. Then in the following days I had to listen to Haley running all over the house looking for him, mostly each morning and after each nap. At 14 months old, I didn't realize how much Haley's day revolved around him.  At this point it has been less than three months since that day and just as we think things are coming to a new normal for our household. This week we learned that Molly has very large tumors growing in her liver and spleen. The specialist we took her to told us we would have maybe "weeks" with her. Could this really be happening? I ask myself all the time and the truth is Yes, it is. I can't believe it, but it is. I guess in the large scheme of things, the two of them really do belong together. So I ask you to give a little extra love to your pets, let them know you need them. Over the past week I have received many words of support, even some cards and flowers. But there is one friend who sent the following that always seems to bring a tear to my eye and peace in my heart, so that is what I will end this with:
The Rainbow Bridge
inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart, Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We have so much fun!

There have been a couple of occasions where I have let Haley pick out her clothes for the day. I will get a couple of outfits and lay them out letting Haley tell me which one she wants to wear. My grandmother keeps telling me that I am really setting myself up and that I shouldn't do this, but I always think it is interesting to see what she picks. I like to see what her tastes are, or maybe try to see what it tells me about what her mood is for that day. I probably try to read into it too much. Anyway, over the past couple of weeks Haley continues to bring me her penguin house shoes and her cat snow suit hat, ... and it looks adorable on her.
At least for now she doesn't really go out of her room in it and she seems to understand that we do have to put on an actual outfit before leaving the house. As for now though, she has a blast doing this and I cant wait to show her these pictures one day when she is older.

I did break out some little dress up clothes that I had bought about a year ago from the dollar section at Target. She loves these too! She is such a little princess. I always thought it had to be taught to stand in front of a mirror and swing your hips to see your skirt sway from side to side, but apparently not. The first time we put one of these on her, it was the first thing she did. It was so darn cute and I wish I had caught that moment on video. She had such a big smile on her face. I hope these pictures help her to remember all the fun we have together.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Break

I love Jason being a teacher, and I love it even more when I think about the Fall Breaks, Spring Breaks, and Summer Breaks our family will have together. Since this is Jason's first year teaching, this is our first spring break experience for us since college. My how things have changed. This year we went to Cincinnati. Jason had LASIK surgery on Friday and we spent the remainder of the weekend in Cincinnati spending time with Jason's family. LASIK is something Jason has always talked about and I have never seen someone with as much trouble with contacts than him. Thankfully the surgery went very well. He went into it with his vision at 20/400, and within 24 hours it was 20/25. 20/15 is what we hope it will be at his final checkup today. He is thrilled to have had the opportunity to get this done and it has made such a huge difference for him.

Here is Haley after her first night in a hotel. She did wonderfully, and slept so well. Jason was under doctor's orders to rest as much as possible the night after his surgery, so Haley and I spent our time watching the world go by out our window, walking the halls, ordering room service, and bath time. I wish I had a picture of our view, we were overlooking the historic Fountain Square.
This is Haley playing with her cousin Olivia. Haley loves playing with Olivia so much and just follows her around their house. I know as they grow Olivia will always be someone Haley looks up to and will want to be just like her.
They were taking a short break from demolishing Olivia's room to watch some Blue's Clues. They did so well keeping each other entertained while the adults were watching UK in their final four game. We kept poking our heads in to check on them expecting to find them into something they shouldn't, but that didn't happen.
Haley had such a blast with Olivia's toys. She was in heaven and really took to this stroller and baby.

By the time we made it to Jason's aunt and uncle's house Haley was toast. This is a picture of Haley sleeping in the arms of her Grandma (Jason's mom), and with her Great-Aunt (Jason's mom's sister). Unfortunately, Jason's aunt passed away later that week from cancer. She was the strongest lady I had ever seen battling such a vicious disease. Over the past few years of going through treatments you would have never known anything was going on. She was always up beat, always with a smile, and always more concerned with how you were doing than with herself. I have never seen someone handle such a thing with such grace, and she will be greatly missed.
Here is a link to a song that was sung by some family members of Jason's uncle and his aunt's funeral service. It was a beautiful arrangement with one gentlemen on the guitar and one lady singing. It is such a beautiful song and just wanted to share.