September 26, 2016

Summer 2016: Texas

The last trip of our summer was out to Texas to visit our family who live near Austin. We squeezed this in right before moving (literally, nine days after we got back from Texas we moved!) and I'm so glad we were able to make this trip happen. Finn is such good buddies with his little cousins and I hope that through FaceTime and mail, they stay just as close these next couple of years.

While in Texas we rented a pontoon boat, took the kids to the movies, got to go on a kidless date night, Miles went on a ride-a-long with his brother, and Jenny and I snuck in some Target and Starbucks visits. It was the perfect trip to wrap up all our summer travels.




 The littlest of the cousins were always eating. 
Like, ALL the time.

 Love how my sister in law has my kids displayed.






 Goodbye group hug

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September 18, 2016

Our Last Week in Savannah

I've got several blogs I need to get caught up on, but since tomorrow marks one week since we flew out of Georgia I figured I would start by sharing our last week in Savannah.

The movers spent three days packing up our house. Some of our things went in to storage for the next two years, some things got boxed to be sent over "early" and the rest was packed and crated and should arrive in England in about six weeks. We ended up moving in to a hotel for the last several days since we had no furniture and were living out of suitcases already. Despite the chaos that accompanies all moves, we were able to squeeze a lot in to our last week which felt like a nice way to wrap up our time in Savannah. I wish we got to live there longer as we had such a great time living in such a charming city. I'm so grateful for the friends made and the experiences and memories that we take with us.



One last date night:

My last class with Stroller Strong Moms:


 Lunch at one of my favorite places, Slys:

 Breakfast at the Funky Brunch:

Tunnel to Towers 5k:


 Beach trip to Tybee Island



Went to mass so Finn could practice his music note writing:

 Sold my car:

 Took a trip to the Savannah Candy Kitchen.
Mary was not happy she had to take a picture before she could tear into that bag:

Had a lovely girls' night with the most awesome cake:


House still for sale. Sigh.

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September 5, 2016

Huppy Love

Today was hard. Early this morning I drove Roscoe up to Atlanta where I had to say goodbye, though I hope it was just goodbye for now.

It was pretty confusing and stressful sorting through all the logistics of bringing Roscoe to England with us. But we had mostly figured it all out and knew it was going to cost a lot (around $1600), but it felt like the right thing to do - to keep Roscoe with his family, even in, especially in, his older years.

But literally the day we had decided on our plan, Roscoe nearly collapsed after running around outside. Several months prior he completely collapsed after sprinting around with a puppy. That time was very scary and we thought he might have gone in to cardiac arrest. Fortunately he recovered and went back to his normal behavior and routine that same evening. 

But because of this more recent "syncopal episode" the vet told us she could not recommend flying with him and thought that even though there was a small chance he would be ok, there was a greater chance he wouldn't. 

That combined with his age (8.5), and the fact that he's a short muzzle dog, flying Roscoe to England with us no longer felt like the right thing to do for him.

The good news is that after running some test (and ECG, blood work, and ultrasound of his heart), the likely cause of his collapsing is due to heart arrhythmia which is something that can be controlled with medication. Even better, Roscoe's arrhythmia doesn't warrant any medication at this time as it's not severe enough. In the future he may need medication, and he can't sprint around acting like a young pup anymore despite him wanting to, but so long as it doesn't get any worse, Roscoe will likely die with arrhythmia and not from it.

There is a transatlantic cruise that has a kennel for dogs, but it departs from New York and we just don't have the time to figure out how to get him to New York (and I mean that literally - we leave in a week), not to mention the cost is pretty steep (more so than flying) AND he still would be in a kennel for large periods of time and for a much longer duration than a flight which would just put more stress on him than I'm comfortable with.

Thankfully we do have a great plan for Roscoe. My brother and his wife have graciously offered to take him in and give him a loving home. They are expecting a baby in November and I love the idea of Roscoe being around my baby niece. I told him last night it was his new job now - to take care of her.

The complicated aspect of this plan, because of course there has to be some challenge, is that my brother moves to Oklahoma four days after we fly to England. Fortunately my two closest friends are helping to transport Roscoe out to Oklahoma. I met my friend Deb in Atlanta today and she took Roscoe to Mississippi and will watch him for a week until she links up with our other friend Anna who will transport him to her home in Arkansas and watch him for a week and then link up with my brother once he's moved. So today starts Roscoe's own little Manifest Destiny as he begins his journey west.

I know it's the right thing for him, but selfishly I want him with us. He's a member of our family and has been through so much with us and saying goodbye was really, really hard. Literally an hour or so before he collapsed the other week Miles said to me (as I was stressing about how to bring Roscoe) "the thing is, Roscoe has been more of a constant in your life these last seven years than I have." Which was funny, and depressingly true, and sweet. Miles has been deployed five times since we've owned Roscoe, and been away for countless training events and field time. Roscoe was such a comfort to me after losing Cale and the night Miles called to tell me Daren had been killed Roscoe literally would not leave my side. Dogs are so in tune with emotion, I really do think that. And that made saying goodbye even harder as I didn't want him to be concerned with why I'm so sad and crying so much. I was a little worried he would be confused when he got in a different car and I drove off without him, but he really seemed to be ok with everything which made it a little easier.

And I know we can't pass up this opportunity for our family to live in England and for Miles to get to study at Oxford, I could never turn that down for a dog, yet there's this part of me that feels like I'm abandoning him by leaving him behind. I just feel really guilty about it, because like I said he's part of our family so even though bringing him wouldn't be right, not bringing him doesn't feel right either.

I can only hope that Roscoe is still alive when we return and that today's goodbye wasn't final. But if it was, I am so thankful for the wonderful seven years we got with him. He's sure had his dog shaming moments, but he's been the most loving and loyal dog and and will forever be our Huppy.




August 23, 2016

Summer 2016: Wisconsin

At the end of July we flew to Wisconsin for the 4th annual Hidalgo Warner Golf Tournament which is an awesome event put together by one of Daren's close friends to honor Daren and family friend Rich Warner who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The tournament and silent auction raise funds for Daren and Rich's memorial funds, and the Fischer house of Milwaukee. This year $43,000 was raised!! 

Miles had to return to Virginia for the last couple weeks of the course he was in, but the kids and I stayed in Wisconsin a few extra days to spend time with the grandparents and cousins. 


My golf team was composed of my sisters-in-law, my mother-in-law and the mom of Daren's best friend. We are pretty terrible golfers, but we looked cute thanks to the shirts my mother-in-law got us, so there's that!



My friend Julie and her husband Brad came over from Minnesota for the golf outing and dinner following. Getting to spend time with her sweet family was such a treat. 


We got to go to a Brewers baseball game which was a lot of fun. Grandma graciously offered to watch the little ones, but the older cousins got to come. Finn loved the fireworks that would go off after a home run. 





And ee got a trip in to the Madison zoo which is a really great zoo and is FREE!




always a spot for you, Cale.
It was a really nice trip and a great way to spend time with Miles' family before we leave.





Until next time, Wisconsin!


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August 10, 2016

Say Yes to the Mess

I'm not really great at playing with my kids. Like actual playing. It sounds terrible, but I get bored and just don't have the patience that I wish I had. I enjoy reading to them, but find that when it comes to playing with trains, tucks, legos or especially playing make-believe, I'm just not great at being all in with them. I'd much prefer to take them to the library, go on a walk, go to the beach, just do some sort of activity with them. Sometimes I feel guilty about this and other times I just remind myself that we all have strengths and hunting for monsters just isn't one of mine.

I'm trying to get better about saying 'yes' more often instead of 'no' or 'we'll see.' It's hard, especially if Miles is gone, to always indulge them, and sometimes they don't deserve it or it really does need to wait until later, but there are many times that I'm just being too lazy or am not prioritizing the way I really should be.

Tonight Finn asked if we could go on a walk so he could dig in the construction site. It felt nice to just say yes and not worry if he was going to get super messy or if we would be cutting it close to dinner.


The other week Finn wanted to do some art projects. And so I got some paper, put some paint on a plate and gave them a few brushes. I really did next to nothing and yet they loved it. I need to do stuff like that more often.


So what if he wants to get every. single. truck out from time to time. Far too often I get frazzled with the messes, especially as we try to keep the house mostly show ready. But he ever so sweetly played with these trucks and why own all these toys if I'm not going to let him enjoy them?! My goal is to just partake in more of his enjoyment in these little moments.



One day far too soon they will stop asking to do these things. And while I'm not looking to make their childhood some nonstop Pinterest perfection, I do want them to just have memories of Mom saying yes and being fully engaged in their little worlds from time to time.


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