Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Outside the touch of time

This past weekend, I celebrated in the marriage of  my baby brother.  For some reason, I was not expecting the wave of emotions that came with the event. 

 My brother and I were very close as kids.  We were just a mere 2 and a half years apart, much the same as Grayson and Ella.  In fact, I think seeing my own kids share the same type of relationship with each other is what made this occassion even more emotional. 

From what I hear, when Daniel was born I wasn't the happiest camper.  But, who would be when you were the center of attention for 2 plus years!  I know the stories of me going under his baby bed and kicking his mattress to scare him.  Yes, I was a little mischevious!  On the other hand, I also remember playing for hours together whether it was ninja turtles, building tents, the sandbox, wrestling, etc.  We had a blast!   I also remember us hanging our heads outside of our bedroom doors after coming home from a trip to the mall.  We had both not been the best behaved (probably hiding under clothing racks) and were waiting on our "spankings."  We would tease eachother until it was our turn.  Then, there were nights that I couldn't sleep and Daniel would stay up with me until I fell asleep.  He was always so genuinely caring.  Christmas mornings were great too!  Much like other siblings, we would both wake up and rush our parents out of bed!  Dad always had a way of making us wait though!  Daniel and I had a thing for making potions.  We would pour just about every liquid in our bathroom closet into a cup and dare eachother to drink it!  Disgusting!

Then, there were other times when he "cramped" my style.  I wanted my own space and when he would cry those alligator tears to go down the street to Carrie's with me, I wanted no part of it.  Thinking of it now makes me want to cry for being so selfish!  And, then there was the time that he refused to get off of the computer when I had an expected "IM" session with an older boy.  My temper got the best of me and he ended up with a broken arm.  Man, I was mean!  And, Daniel, is just as sweet now and he always was.  This story has been told many times to my own daughter when she loses her temper and even to my students in my classroom! 

I love my baby brother so much and am so thankful God placed him in my life.  Our life lessons as children are helping me mold my own children into the kind of big sister and little brother they should be.  I love watching them play and create special memories and hope that they will always cherish eachother.  One thing I know for sure is that I felt extremely proud this past weekend!  There is not much better than watching your baby brother accomplish something so big and look so happy!  He holds a very special place inside of his sister's heart.

I ran into this quote the other day that perfectly summarizes my feelings as the big sis:  To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. - Clara Ortega

Bekah, Daniel, and Me during a family photo shoot.

Daniel in my car when I just learned to drive. 

Dad, Daniel and I during our annual beach trip.

Downtown Disney 2007

Halloween:  Me, Bekah, Daniel, and Carrie

Annual camping trip :)  Ella was nice enough to tell me I was fat and wasn't dressed right in this picture!

My baby brother all grown up with his beautiful bride!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vacation 2012 and a New Change

Last week we took our family vacation to Florida and unfortunately, we had to come home! :)  We really did enjoy our trip and are looking forward to others in the future.  What great memories we created!

This trip was even more special because we were able to spend half of our time in Disney and half of our time in Kermie's childhood town.  We started out our week in Orlando at our hotel pool and Downtown Disney.  We have stayed at this resort twice now and really LOVE it!  It has the whole "home away from home" atmosphere and is super family friendly. Towards the middle of the week, we drove to Sarasota to spend some time at the beaches there and visit places Kermie had childhood memories from.  After two days in Sarasota, we headed back to our resort in Orlando to finish with a bang.... Disney World's Magic Kingdom.  Ella was super pumped about being able to ride more rides this year and fun was had by all. 

Our vacation story can be told through all of the pictures below.  :)  Enjoy!

Orlando has a ton of great shopping outlets.  This picture was taken our last night at the Premium Outlets.

Another outlet picture.

Ella is posing in her new dress Kermie had bought for her during our trip.

We enjoyed Siesta Key Beach and Lido Beach :)

Nice way to enjoy a flight home.

Grayson enjoyed 85% of his first plane ride.  He fell asleep on the way there and was good up until about the last thirty minutes on the way home :)

Family picture at Kermie's elementary school:  Gocio Elementary.

My two main men at Yoder's in Sarasota.

Loving the beach!

Us girls loved it too!

Family night out in Lido Beach.  Awesome shopping area!

A little Ben & Jerry's to top off the day!

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  Half way between Orlando and Sarasota.

Meeting Goofy:  the only character we met.  Grayson is not fond of people in costume. 

Ready for Disney World!

Having a blast on the carousel.

Enjoying the Main Street Parade in ponchos :)

Sporting a new outfit.

Ella's most favorite ride:  Splash Mountain.  She told me the entire way that she had waited her "whole life" to ride Splash Mountain!

Waiting for our flight at the Lexington Airport.

Enjoying a "top down" car!

He liked it too!

A quick family picture in our hotel room.


and more swimming!

Enjoying a ride at Disney's Boardwalk.  More work than riding for mom and dad!

Two cute guys on the beach!

Ella had a blast at the beach this year!  She played for hours!

Posing before indulging in some very scrumptious food at Yoder's. 
Every time I come home from a vacation, I always say... "This was the best vacation ever!"  I'd like to say that again about this one too! :)  We were able to do everything we had on our "to do list" and hardly had to wait for any ride at Magic Kingdom which is awesome for this time of year!  We had some rain, but with the rain came much needed down time.  We ate well, slept well, relaxed well, and played hard!  I guess that is all you can ask for in a family vacation :)

Upon arriving home, I embarked on a new change in my life... changing to a new elementary school and teaching a new grade and subject!  This change was one that was prayed long and hard about and one that wasn't easy to make!  I love Southern Elementary for two very important reasons:  the kids and my co-workers, but my family and I new a change was needed.  So, when offered a job at Eastern Elementary teaching fifth grade I was excited to say "YES!"  I am so excited to have a fresh start and learn lots of new things.  My heart hurts to say goodbye to those I will no longer be with, but is happy to meet those new faces I will soon love!  So, here's to a summer of planning and preparing for a new change come August! :)