Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cousins!



Normally, when I am a month behind in blog posts, I try to forget everything that happened in that month and start fresh.  It would be impossible to do that this time.  Earlier this month, we spent a week in Navarre Beach, FL with Atticus' family.  This was our best beach trip as a family.  Not only were our boys both able to enjoy the beach much more this time around, we all loved spending time with their cousin, my niece, Madeline.  It was so much fun to watch the three of the kids interact together daily, from morning until night.  I was thrilled to see Finnan stepping up and taking on the role of the oldest.  Although he would initially get frustrated when Madeline would take apart his MegaBlok creations (something he really does take quite seriously), he would be able to compose himself and speak in very soft, sweet tones to Madeline: "Here, Madeline, let me help you [gently taking her block holding hand and moving it toward the building], let me show you how to do this.  That's right.  Want to get another block?"  Jude and Madeline are ten months apart and definitely potential trouble together in the coming years.  They spent time racing Madeline's baby stroller around the condo, vying for Paw-Paw's attention, feeding each other snacks, giving each other hugs and starting to work out tame wrestling matches.  Needless to say they loved spending time with Maddie and continue to ask about her.  I know these trips are going to get more and more fun as they get older and we get to see their relationships further develop.

More on the trip and pictures to follow!  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coming home

I don't travel much anymore.  But over the last three weeks I have been to the River Farm with my family, Washington D.C. for a girls' weekend, Chicago for a wedding, Navarre Beach with my family, and North Carolina for another girls' weekend.  I had a blast, but I yesterday I was happy to walk into my front door and be able to actually put my suitcase away.  I was showered with smiles, kisses and hugs (it had been a few days since I last saw the boys).  Jude gripped me like he never had before and said"I love you" no less than 20 times in the two hours I spent with him before his bedtime.  I was so thankful for their joy, for I was also sad coming home.  I knew when I walked in the door, our family was not as I left it.  Our dog, Roux, passed away while we were at the beach.  She died of old age peacefully in her sleep while at doggie day care.  In talking about Roux after her death both Atticus and I admitted that there were several times over the past couple of weeks we were afraid she was going to die.  We just never dared to say those words out loud or truly let our minds accept that.  Atticus and I got Roux a week after we first moved in together (in our current house) 8 years ago.  According to the adoption agency she was a one year old boxer mix, fully grown at 45 pounds, who had been abandoned and tied to a tree in a park in Marietta.  A couple months later it become very clear that she was actually a pure breed French Mastiff who ended up being 90 pounds.  Almost everyone who encountered Roux said, "She has a face only a mother could love."  I know her face was loved by many, but they were certainly right about me, I fell for her droopy eyes, underbite, shoelace drool and beautiful red coat.  She was a wonderful companion and guardian over the last eight years.  It is still hard to comprehend that she is really gone.  I wish I would have said goodbye.

Roux at the River Farm a couple of weeks ago.  This is when she started to really look bad.  I am glad that she got to go and truly be a dog- one last time.