Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So Blessed!

The past few weeks and the past few months have been a multitude of things that I can hardly go into, but it has been a lot of activity, a lot of fun, a lot of driving...and a whole lot to be thankful for! :)

Hannah had her first performance for school. But guess what? Mommy's camera memory card was MIA when I arrived, video camera was uncharged and all I had in the back of the church was an iphone. Regardless, she was adorable and it was fun to watch her as well as all the other children sing their favorite songs they had learned over the past month to all the Moms and Dads.  We then celebrated back in her classroom with a pumpkin pie that the class had made and brought home all her arts and crafts for the fall.  She sang one song out of about 10 and at one point just propped her hand on her chin (on the alter) and looked around at everyone. Guess it was just not that entertaining. Ha

We took a long trip to Indiana to see my Grandfather (my Mother's father) the weekend before Thanksgiving.  We drove 12 hours up Saturday and left Tuesday morning. It was quick, it was long but it was special.  I enjoyed each second of playing Wii with Grandpa and him watching the kids. He had not seen Hannah since she was born and he had not met Chase yet either. It was a wonderful trip that we will treasure always.

A Four generation Picture!

After returning Tuesday, we relaxed Wednesday and then spent Thanksgiving Day at my Dad's house.  Nonne and Aunt Alexis came up for the festivities too. We enjoyed a great meal and some wonderful family time. It was our first Thanksgiving in the US in four years. Of course Tom was missing and that was sad, but knowing we will see him in just a few weeks made it all the merrier to celebrate. Tom was also able to enjoy a nice Thanksgiving in Pakistan with a Honey Baked Ham (that was obviously shipped in) at the Consul Generals house. He was more than grateful to have all his favorites for the holidays too, especially since he couldn't be with us. Chicken was just not going to cut it this time. Right honey?

We ended the weekend with some one on one time with Aunt Alexis and Nonne. We had a great visit, one that included Mommy and Alexis getting massages and shopping. Hip Hip Hooray!! The kids also got to  make a gingerbread house and we all had a ball. Aside from the dead rodent under my sun room...it was a great weekend! Right guys? Ha

I have so much to be thankful for, so many good friends, such a wonderful family, my two beautiful children and most importantly Tom. We have missed him so much and we are just counting down the days until we can see him. And at least now the days can actually be counted on just a few hands..instead of on a few pages of a calendar.  We cant wait!

Only ONE MORE WEEK Honey!!! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pass It On 2010!!!

That darn Hallmark channel does it to me every time!! As the tears stream down my face in yet another feel good holiday movie (and thank goodness for those), I sat thinking...what can I do? How can I make a difference? I go down this path often, but as you already know, last year a special family in Kenya enjoyed a Christmas of a lifetime thanks to your kind generosity. Together we accomplished something wonderful! You gave money; you shipped boxes and boxes of clothes, some even new clothes and toys to a family you had never met and a family all the way across the world in Kenya. And you know what, it was incredible! I only wish you could have seen the faces of the children and their parents sharing what is a normal holiday for us, but something new and magical for all of them. Their eyes, their hearts ... all filled with so much love. It was my favorite memory of Kenya and one that will last with me forever.

So, I am at it again. My mission … T O    M A K E     A     D I F F E R E N C E ! ! !

Who am I? You know me…I’m just Heather. I can barely get my kids fed, bathed and in bed without a meltdown. But when the kids go to bed and the wonderful quiet moment comes upon me, and oh do I love those moments, this is what I think about it.

My dreams are big and hopefully one day they will be huge! In Kenya, I wanted to start a non-profit while I was there (in the last six months before I left); I wanted to DO something but just couldn’t figure out “what”. Then it dawned on me in my search for solving all of Kenya’s problems (Ha Ha), why not help the ones living with you every day. Help Florence (my housekeeper) and her family! I am going to do it again this year. I'm going to help Florence and her family but I, sadly, will not be able to ask anyone to ship anything this year. She is with a new family now and I am not sure if having 20 - 30 large boxes arriving at her new families home is what they want. But if you want to help them out again, I will personally be sending them some money along with a box or two to put some smiles on their faces. Faces I must admit, I miss dearly.

However, my real mission in writing this email is to try and make a difference this holiday season, but this year I wanted to do something different. This year I wanted to try and help people here in the good old USA! I want to help people in the US find the true meaning of Christmas. You read it people and guess what, the results are in...Yes, Heather is probably a tad bit crazy and definitely a dreamer!!! :) But you know what, it can't hurt!

I am starting...

Pass It On 2010!!

I would love all of you to join me! I am asking that you give $5 to a complete stranger and then kindly ask them to ...

It is hard to do sometimes, it is hard to give money to someone not knowing them, number one, but also not knowing what their intentions may be or where it is going. Some may go and buy a coffee at Starbucks for themselves and some may add another $5 and then give $10 to someone. Who knows the possibilities? But the point is, that person who bought the coffee will think about it not just once, but often. Maybe he/she in turn buys a coffee for the person behind him in line or gives the homeless man on the street some money. Again...who really knows? But the point is...we are giving to others in an act of spontanious kindness. How special is that?
It may be disappointing at first to see people's reactions. I once decided to buy a homeless man standing next to a Wendys in Los Angeles a hamburger while I was in the drive-thru. I found him, gave him the bag with the hamburger in it and do you know what he said? I am a vegetarian!!! He then asked if I would get him a sandwich at Subway!!! Can you believe it? If you ever lived in LA, it makes sense but it was frustrating for me to hear or to not be appreciated for wanting to give him some food. I in turn decided I needed to give it to someone so I went down Hollywood Blvd. (not the fancy part) ha, and found a man digging in the trash. I pulled over, reached across the car to give him the hot Wendys bag and asked him to please take the hamburger. Do you know what HE said? He wanted to know if I poisoned it. I seriously can’t make this stuff up people, I promise! So again, my point is this. Who knows what kind of reaction people will give you. It doesn't really matter. Maybe you just tell them you wanted to make a difference this holiday and if you do not need the money, please give it to someone who does. But make sure to tell them to Pass It On! :)

It is just one time and only $5. I myself will probably do it a few times. I will get the guy or girl that might be offended, or the person that stuffs it in his pocket without a thank you, but you know what, I am ok with that. I will eventually get that person that gives me a smile and knows what this is all about. Then, I will know what I have done is good…and that most importantly, THEY get it! There are hard times now I know, really hard times. But if you could help me make a difference this year, it would be the greatest gift ever, other than having my wonderful husband home of course! :) Please, if you can, forward this to your friends and have them forward it to their friends. We have seen it before; there are movies about this stuff, right?

Why not be a part of it?

Oh, and if you want to help Florence and her family out again this year with something small or a monetary donation, please address it to me and I will make sure it gets to her! For those of you who don’t know Florence and her family from Nairobi, Kenya...check out my blog from last year, Asante Sana!

My new address is below:

731 N. Superior Ave.

Decatur, GA 30033

I would love to hear your stories about your Pass It On experience, so make sure to share them with me or
leave a comment on this blog! :)

With all my heart and all my love to all those near and far....Thank you!!! And Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Better Than The Alternative!

This is what my ER nurse said to me last week when she noticed I had my birthday recently.  I obviously said, oh yeah, my birthday and she said..."It's better than the alternative". I quickly asked, alternative to what? She replied...dying.  Well...OK THEN. Wow! That wasn't what I expected; however, I was in the ER... maybe she sees death a lot. But then it got me thinking...oh yeah, here I go on one of those tangents again.  She is exactly right! Why squint my nose at a silly birthday, a 36th for that matter, right? But why even fret about anything so silly anymore. Why do I even worry about all that small stuff? And as my birthday resolution was the day of my birthday and then soon after the ER trip...just take one day at a time, and don't sweat that small stuff anymore, because life is just too darn short!  Oh yeah, I worry about it all. I worry if the house is clean enough, have the kids been played with equally and had their specific Mommy time, are the kids getting challenged enough, are they eating well...AM I EATING WELL??? Ha Ha. This birthday as well as many moments in my life, including this random ER visit made me take another look at how I am living my life and am I really making the most out of each and every day. There will be some tough days, sad days, super super hard days...but there are so so many good days, it's like...why worry?? I am preaching to the choir with this blog in particular but its a nice lesson and one I wanted to share.  During the holidays you can't help but take a second look at your life and appreciate everything you have and every moment you have been given.  I know I am so very blessed and beyond thankful for everything in my life.

Is your glass half empty or half full?

By the way- I am fine from the ER visit, not to worry.  One urgent care and one ER visit in one week was definitely a lot! I was put on steroids to treat one thing and in the mean time...it depleted my calcium. Fun times! Ha 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Party, Party, Party!

We have been to four birthday parties in the past two weeks. Its been lots of fun! The great thing was...I was able to see some of my bridesmaids! I got to see four very dear friends (and their children of course), that I have not seen in years.  It was wonderful!  It was a great couple weeks.  It did however include a trip to the Urgent Care in between and some late nights for my parents (for me) due to some crazy back spasms, but don't worry, all is well! Hope you enjoy the pictures.  We had a blast! :)

My friend Alison's daughter had her 6th birthday party last weekend at a park. The kids had a blast and it was great to see the kids playing together and catch up.  Hannah's great new photo skills took the picture of Alison and I. Ha Ha


The above are pictures of my girlfriend Kellie from college. It was her daughter Hope's 3rd birthday. The last time I saw her I was heading to the hospital to deliver Chase. This is at her Dad's farm.
She was visiting from California.

My friend Meredith with her daugther Sydney. It was her 4th birthday party! And a picture with Kim (waiting for cake), my other bridesmaid and dear friend and a pic with her boys :)

I was also finally able to meet the new addition to the Keifer Family...sweet Bradley.

The last birthday party for the week was mine. I am calling it, the "almost 40" birthday since I feel I have passed the threshold of the 35 and under crowd. Boo Hoo. Ha Ha. And although I did not mean to be so drastic, a hair cut and color was definitely needed since it had been over four months.  The DARK brown hair however, was not intentional. I feel a little goth and am hoping that it fades faster than anticipated. For now, I am still adjusting to looking in the mirror at this OLD face with DARK, DARK hair. Ha ha I am glad however that I was home to celebrate with family and friends and again only wished hubby could have been here to celebrate with us. 

Thank you to all my family and friends for all the wonderful birthday wishes and for all the time you took to make my day (and weekend) so very special.  I love you all!

Flowers from my Honey :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Third Time's A Charm

No I'm not talking about another baby people, I'm talking about my THIRD Halloween Blog! Plus, for those of you that even thought it...how on earth would I have gotten pregnant? Ha Ha

Ok..so Halloween this year, our FIRST in the US, was wonderful although it was missing the very fun and goofy side of my other half. :( Luckily we had his brother to make up for the "funny" costume this year and we got a really good laugh. Thanks Justin!! :) We had the family over to our new house (including Nonne from Charleston!) and even had the neighbors too! We had some fun nibbles, a few drinks and got ready for the big neighborhood Halloween event.  FYI, a wagon is essential in trick or treating...just in case you didn't know. It either carries alcohol for the adults or your tired children, either way...its a great thing to have! :) Ha

We first went to a neighborhood pot luck and although we didn't actually participate, we met up with some of the kids so they could play a little while it was still early and then headed out on our trick or treating path.  Chase had a little trouble with his costume as the spider man pants would not stay on and he refused to wear the top half, so in a last minute effort...he was a cowboy with chaps and all. It used to be his Dad's when he was a kid- so cute! Although the chaps did not stay on the whole night (even after I stapled them to his jeans), the vest made it for the entire evening. He started out in the house with Mom's cowboy hat, but that didn't make it either. However, Papa Andy decided to add the hat to his ensemble for the evening, so at least it got some good use.

They loved every minute of Halloween this year, if you cant tell. Chase went in after the first hour with Nonne and Uncle Justin and Aunt Christin decided to go home- it was a school night!! But Hannah, Papa Andy and myself stayed out an extra hour...for some more fun and extra treats. The whole weekend was a blast! Thanks to all who celebrated with us!

We missed you Daddy! These pictures are for you...

Trick or Treat!

Hannah with her BFF during "late night" (after 8 pm) Ha Ha

Our New House with the fall leaves :)

Chase looking to see what he got in his pumpkin, walking in the neighborhood and Papa Andy and Nonne taking a little breather. Ha

Hannah with the neighborhood gang and a pic with Uncle Justin and Aunt Christin. (Chase in Spider-man outfit before the "change"). Ha

Chase with his new friend Quinn, my Witch shoes and our new neighbors :)

With the family :)

Chase as a cowboy and Nonne in her feather mask with the kids!

Special Agent Rodney Sanders on his protection detail for Hannah and Chase. :)
Justin...your so cute!!