Saying Goodbye

I called my grandma on Sunday evening to wish her a Happy Easter. Unfortunately I reached my aunt instead who informed me that she had been taken to the hospital. The next morning she was gone.

My grandmother hadn't been herself for quite a while. But even though she moved a little more slowly each day, her mind was very much ahead of her feet. She loved playing word games, brain-teasers, Boggle, etc. She was a night-owl. She drank scotch and water and had a Facebook account. She was cool-headed and warm-hearted through and through.

I feel so lucky to have shared so many years and important memories with her. She spent much of her time showing her support for her grandkids - you never doubted that grandma's face would be in the crowd beaming with pride at every game, competition or ceremony. I feel blessed to have had her witness me marrying the man of my dreams and to have had her visit me at the hospital when my babies were born.

There are so many things that made my grandmother special to me - her sense of humor, her hugs, her strength. But one of the things that I hold the most dear was her way with words. Every so often I'd get an email from her in response to one of my blog posts - usually the more emotional ones - that both validated my feelings and gave me encouragement to "keep on keepin' on" as they say.

I've saved every one of those emails. I'm going to miss her heartfelt words of wisdom so very much.

Saying goodbye is never easy.
Grandma and her 4th great-grandchild, Ethan (2007)
With Aiden on his 1st birthday (2008)
Christmas Eve at Grandma's condo 2010
Christmas Eve 2010
Please keep my family in your thoughts as we prepare to celebrate the life of my dad's mom, Mary Rita Frankrone Pike.

Busy family visit!

Last week my mom, sister and nieces came to visit us in Austin. Being the type-A personality that I am, I made a list of all the activities I wanted to be sure to do with my visitors. Although it was exhausting, I'm happy to say that we checked every one of them off that list!

We visited the Easter Bunny for a group shot

We rode the MetroRail downtown to go to the Children's Museum

We watched Ethan play...or, um, cover 2nd his t-ball game 

We swam at the pool in my neighborhood

We played at Zilker Park

We had "movie night" with a special treat of being able to have a snack in the toy-room (Ricky's choice, popcorn and gummy bears, went over really well!)

We filled our bellies at Hula Hut
(and Rudy's and Chuy's and The Spaghetti Warehouse among others...hey, it's no secret that I'm not a cook!)

We also shopped til we dropped at the Outlet Mall, saw the movie Hop (although I couldn't tell you how it was for the bazillion potty-breaks between the kiddos) and Nana bought the kids some great shoes at Sandy's Shoes and Toys (which I highly recommend for their quality kids shoes, selection and awesome discount room!)

So much to do in such little time...but we managed to do it! I so thoroughly enjoyed having their company but it really went by way too fast.

Aiden's Journey: Awarness and Hope

It is with much excitement that I am sharing this with all my blog readers. Many of you were able to see the debut of this short film documentary at the Little Fire Big Heart event back in September of 2010, but if you haven't seen it (or want to see it again), grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable. The film is about 15 minutes in length and captures our story of the beginning of Aiden's life.

Much appreciation and credit to Tommy Nolan of Creative Video Solutions for approaching me with the concept and producing the entire piece from film shoot to edit room.

We intend to use this piece to raise awareness about craniofacial conditions throughout Aiden's life and have even submitted it as part of the 2011 Genetic Alliance Gene Screen event (we are waiting to hear back).

At the very least, we will have a very special keepsake for the boys when they are older.

We hope you enjoy!