Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Life can be crazy...seriously. I know this already. I've faced some real highs and real lows, but sometimes it feels like when it rains, it pours. Needless to say, we've been getting pretty wet these last few weeks. It hasn't been without it's good moments though too. So here's a breakdown of what's been going on.

The good...this is the easy part. The good comes in the form of our weekends. The last two have been really great. It's busy season for Adam right now so our weekend together as a family starts Saturday afternoon and ends Sunday night. It's not ideal, but it's short lived and we've been managing to pack a lot into those few hours.

A few weekends ago I went to my friends house for a Sips and Strokes painting party. I was very hesitant to try one of these since I lack the ability to draw a straight line with a ruler, but it was actually a lot of fun and something I would really like to do again. The teacher may or may not have helped me, but if she did it was only once.

I'm not quite ready to quit my day job, but I was pretty happy with my finished product and now I understand why people like to do this so much.

Two weekends ago we drove to Louisville to celebrate Taylor's 7th birthday. Nothing makes you feel more old then seeing kids grow up.

 Landon spent the night with his cousin which allowed Adam and I to FINALLY do something without a kid! That is rare these days, so we used it wisely and went to a winery. We met up with my Dad and our friends for the Valentine's wine and chocolate pairing at our favorite winery. Heaven!

Non-drinkers are not pictured, being Adam and Cathy. We all had a great time though and were able to take a tour of the cellar and distillery.

And although EVERYONE around us has received snowfall this year, Nashville hasn't gotten a single snowflake. We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of snow in Indiana which made for a beautiful setting in the vineyards. 

Fast forward seven whole days and one thing that made this weekend so wonderful was the 70 degree weather we had on Saturday!!! While Adam worked, Landon and I spent the entire day outside (along with the rest of the city). I wanted to explore a new park so we headed over one of the most popular parks for kids. We lucked out hitting the playground at 12:30 when most kids were at home having lunch and taking their naps. Now we always go around that time to avoid the crowds. We took a break for lunch where we continued to enjoy the nice weather. I think the highlight of my weekend was being about to eat lunch outside  while soaking up some sun. 

Sunday, we took a long, rural, drive to Northwestern Tennessee to see the Bald Eagles at Reelfoot Lake. Reelfoot is known as a winter ground for Bald Eagles with more than 200 in the peak months of January and February. While some stay year-round, the bare trees this time of year make for the best time to spot them. After a long drive we boarded a school bus for a lakeside tour. Our first sighting was a large nest, but there were no eagles. Eagles build and use the same nest for life. They can weigh as much as two tons and be as large as 9 feet in diameter. While the average is only 5 feet in diameter, it's a pretty impressive sight to see. 

A few minutes later we spotted a pair of Bald Eagles in a tree, but they quickly took off. It's impossible to easily distinguish between a male and female. Surprisingly enough a baby will be full size within three months of birth, but won't have the while head or tail until it reaches maturity around 5 years of age.

Driving around we happened upon one in field all alone.

 Being only a few hundred feet from him, it wasn't long before he took off as well. It was quite a sight to see these majestic birds flying around.

I know Landon was most excited about actually getting to ride on a school bus as he knows school buses are for bigger kids, but he also enjoyed looking for the eagles and looking at them through the binoculars. We plan on going back in the summer to try and see some young one and spend some time of the lake.

So there's the good of recent now onto the bad. Adam worked at a client right next to Reelfoot Lake a few weeks ago. On their last day the client took them to the local science center of sorts called the Discovery Center. At the end of the tour you an option of going down either the escalator or a gigantic slide inside a metal man sculpture. 

Being who he is, he choose the slide and didn't quite nail the landing. Instead he ended up at the local immediate center with a cut-open and broken big toe. Unfortunately, there was little the immediate care center could do for him so when he arrived home we headed to the Vanderbilt ER to basically spend the night. To make matters worse, kids are not allowed in the ER and so Landon and I spent 5 hours inside the car in the parking lot waiting for him. Not too fun for any of us. Adam getting the worst of it having to endure shots in the toe, removal of his toenail, stitches and crutches. 

Lesson learned, there comes a time when you no longer play on slides.

A little more bad...we are a one tv family, so when the lamp in our DLP goes out, we are without tv in the Lewis household.

Some people may put this on their ugly list, but most people have a number of tv's in their home. We don't even have a service provider. Instead, ours is connected to our computer and we only watch select shows/movies. I've always been against a tv in the bedroom and poor Landon will never have a tv in his bedroom. I'm liking the fact that Landon can't ask to watch tv anymore since he was starting to ask everyday to watch Superwhy or Cars. On the flipside, Adam and I have taken to watching a few shows on our laptop in bed which completely defeats the purpose of no tv in the bedroom. I know we will get it fixed or get a new one eventually, I'm just wondering if when the weather gets better will we even miss it. Still, it makes the bad list because Revenge, Scandal, Nashville and Walking Dead are all on or coming back from break soon and I HAVE to watch them!!! It's also bad, because Adam goes back out of town in a few weeks and tv is the only thing I have after 8pm.

Onto the ugly, this is where is gets really bad. On his way to work last week Adam stopped at a gas station to get a drink. Leaving the gas station and getting back onto the main road means pulling out and going across four lanes of traffic. Not wanting to block the traffic he back tracked to the light and as he was driving someone pulled out from the gas station, through three lanes and hit him. A little ironic and very crappy. Luckily, he walked away unharmed broken toe no more broken, but it messed up our car pretty badly and set off both airbags.

The worst part is being an older car we are pretty sure it's going to be totaled. She hit him right on the front wheel which broke the wheel, suspension and a part of the transmission. Everything on a Volvo is expensive so along with having to fix the airbags, dash, windshield, and body, we have a suspicion they will total it instead. Pretty crappy given we probably won't get much for it and we don't want to have a car payment. Making matters worse, the Volvo was the only car we could transport Kaiser in. It's also the only car we could transport our tv in which is exactly why it hasn't been fixed yet. Now we have bigger matters to attend to and a broken tv is nothing compared to a broken car. For now, Adam's driving a rental and we are just waiting to see what the insurance company says.

I've said before that I want to use my blog as a way to document our lives. Not everything is peaches and cream everyday. We've seemed to be getting hit with our fair share of bad luck lately, but done some fun things and spent some quality time together. So here it is all is, the good (which is really great), the bad, and the ugly. 


Week Long Hometown Celebrations

The end of January was a big time for us. You would think Landon turning 3 would be a big enough deal, but that may have been somewhat overshadowed by Noni's 90th birthday and getting to meet Dennis Prager. Honestly, I can't say which one was the biggest event. They were all special in their own right. I took off work for a few days and so we were able to celebrate an extended weekend in Louisville with all of our family and friends.

Saturday the 25th was kind of a hodgepodge day. Landon and I headed to Louisville while Adam was working. We stopped at Nana's house to spend some time with her and Taylor. As Landon gets older his, affinity for his cousin Taylor grows more and more. After a little time there, we all headed Noni's house to see the birthday girl on her actual birthday. By that time, Adam had gotten off and drove to Louisville to take Noni out on an extra special birthday dinner for just the two of them. So, while they had dinner, Landon and I spent the evening with friends at our favorite pizza place. After his dinner, Adam met up us with and together we went to Matt and Marty's house so they could give Landon his birthday gifts. We ended our night by driving to my Dad's farm and back to our old apartment where we stayed for the long weekend. Not wanting to take off his new head lamp, a gift from his Uncle and Aunt, he fell asleep in the car with it still on atop his head.

Sunday Matt and Marty came out to the farm and the guys shot guns while Landon, Marty, and I built a snowWOMAN.

She's a farmer snowwoman. Landon was super excited to get to play in the snow. He's been asking about it since it turned cold, but Nashville has yet to get anything more than a dusting. Lucky for him, that has not been the case in Kentucky this year and there was just enough snow for him to enjoy.

That evening we headed to Noni's house to celebrate her 90th birthday!!!!! Can you imagine what it is like to live for 90 years? I can't. And might I add, she has done it with dignity, beauty and grace. The day before her birthday, Katherine was teaching her to text and now she texts everyone. How awesome is she??? Speaking of awesome, we started a little facebook petition for everyone to send her birthday cards for her birthday. Our goal was 90 cards for her 90th and guess how many she got? 90!!!!!!!!! (I texted her last night for the final number). Huge thanks to everyone that sent her cards. It was truly an awesome thing!

I can't wait to be celebrating 100 years with her. She will probably tell me otherwise, but I hope Landon gets the chance to really know her. She has so much wisdom and life behind her and she is always teaching us and helping us to better our lives. Another wise person I adore says, "The significant are rarely famous and the famous are rarely significant." Whenever Prager says this I always think of Noni. She's not famous by any means, but everyone who meets her quickly realizes how significant she is. I want Landon to have that opportunity too as he gets older.

Unfortunately after the party Adam had to leave for a business trip, but Taylor went home with us which made Landon the happiest kid in the world. Last year instead of having a big birthday party for a two year old we took them both out for a fun day. They both enjoyed it so much that I decided to do it again.
Monday morning the boys woke up early and we headed to the Louisville Science Center. They had a blast running around, exploring things, doing activities, and trying experiments.

I hadn't been to the Science Center in years and was worried it would be boring to a three year old, but I was surprised how interactive all of the exhibits were. To be honest, even adults could spend hours playing with many of the same exhibits the boys enjoyed.

And I have to admit, it was pretty neat to see them as enthralled with the huge mirrored bowl as I use to be when I was a kid. At the same time, it also made me feel really old.

Afterwards, we headed to Nonis so the boys could take a nap. I got to visit a little more with Noni and Katherine met up with us there to spend the second half of the fun day with us. Once they were up we took them to Incredible Dave and boy did they love it. There are multiple inflatables, a huge jungle gym, tons of arcade games, a bowling alley, etc.  At first Landon was a little unsure about the inflatable, but thanks to some encouragement and help from Taylor he quickly overcame it.

Best part was, Katherine and I could even participate in all the fun.

We ALL had a blast running, jumping and sliding. But after a few hours we had worked up quite an appetite and even though it was Landon's birthday celebration I had to get my Senior Iguanas fix in while I was in town. Katherine had never been so I felt even more obligated to introduce her to my favorite of favorite restaurants. We had a delicious dinner, dessert, and they sang Happy Birthday to Landon in Spanish. It was a great day!

Tuesday was a great day too. We took the morning easy and Landon got to spend some time hanging out with Papa. Of course, they had to make sure and get their farm chores in. Which includes both feeding the baby cows in the barn and giving the Mama's hay with the tractor. He loves it now and I hope he always does, but I like knowing that if he ever becomes a lazy/spoiled teenager I can just send him to the farm for some real labor.

That afternoon we met my former co-worker and friend, Nan for lunch at another great local restaurant. I meant to get a picture of Nan and Landon and completely forgot. Nan is one of the nicest people I had the great pleasure of meeting her over my years at UPS. It's always worthwhile keeping in touch with the good ones. And as an example of how "good" she is, she not only gave Landon a birthday present, but brought me a beautiful flower corsage for the occasion. On top of being an all around good person, she's also a dreamer like myself. Despite having raised four children, her and her husband still have their own hopes and dreams and plans for their future. It's funny because we both want to be in the Northwest so I'm hoping eventually our get-togethers can happen in Oregon or Seattle instead of Louisville. Stranger things have happened.

After lunch it was back to Noni's house where Adam's Mom picked up Landon while I got to do something I've been waiting to do for Dennis Prager! Words cannot express how excited I was to finally meet him. He came to Louisville for a discussion about Religion in today's society with Albert Mohler at the Baptist Seminary. Marty and I, both huge fans, attended the discussion along with a pre-event VIP meet-and-greet. The VIP event was our chance to actually meet and talk to him. I don't remember the last time I was so nervous. Thank God for Marty. We had a good laugh at ourselves over our school girl giddiness. I literally had to keep telling myself "He's just a man, he's just a man."

For his birthday he always asks people to write him a letter telling him how he has influenced their lives, so I had a letter written for him and I was honored to be able to give it to him in person. He even took his own picture with Marty and I so he would have a face to go with the letter. Instead of getting his autograph I asked him to write in Hebrew something he had said to me on the radio "If I knew him, I'd be him." HERE I talked about that phone conversation and how much those words meant to me. 

It was a great experience to meet someone who has had so much influence on my life. The discussion was wonderful as well and although I've been listening to Prager for so long that I didn't hear anything earth shattering from him, it was different seeing him talk in person as compared to listening to him on the radio. I hope I get the opportunity to meet him again someday.

For me it couldn't get much better than Tuesday, but Wednesday was a big day too. Landon turned 3!!!

It's taken some practice keeping that pinky finger down, but he finally got the hang of showing off his new age. Since it was his birthday I let him dress himself, completely with his new rainboots from Uncle Matt and Aunt Marty. He did his morning chores with Papa and then we headed to Grandma's house for a birthday celebration.

With a visit to Grandma's the whirlwind visit to Louisville was complete. We had managed to visit everyone. He had a great time opening gifts, playing with his new toys, and of course having...

CAKE! I showed him how to lick the icing off the candles, but then he took a bite out of the 3 and started spitting wax out of his mouth. Oh well, maybe next year. 
And if that birthday celebration wasn't enough, we then headed back to Papa's house for another birthday celebration. 

After the party at Papa's I loaded up the car and we headed back to Nashville. We arrived back home late Wednesday night and continued business as usually Thursday and Friday.

Since Adam was away for Landon's actual birthday we had one last celebration just the three of us on Saturday. Landon loves race cars and ever since he saw go karts in Daytona Beach he's been wanting to drive one. We live right down the street from a track and whenever he sees them driving he asks if Daddy can take him tomorrow. Since the weather was actually nice for a change we figured it was the perfect time to take him on a go kart. Nothing is better than seeing your Husband and Son doing boys things and having a good time.

Makes my heart so happy. We ended his birthday with a small little birthday celebration at home and a few gifts.

One of the gifts we gave him was a watch. When I picked him up from daycare Friday he kept telling me he wanted a watch for his birthday. I don't know if another kid had one or they learned about them in class, but I was able to stop at Walmart and find a cute kids race car watch that night. Of all the things we've bought him or things he has done over the years nothing has made him seem more grown up to us than seeing him with a watch on his wrist. He absolutely loves it and is constantly asking me to tell him what time it is. He also makes sure to keep him sleeve pulled up so he can see it at all times. 

3 going on 13. I look forward to seeing what the years bring for him as a child growing up and for us as his parents. As trying as some days can be, it's an amazing journey, one that just keeps getting better and better. 

And just incase this post wasn't long enough, I caught the tail end of Landon spontaneously singing happy birthday to himself while he ate his cake.