Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sibling apology

Erin realized tonight that Sean had one of her pens, and she immediately took it. Sean asked if he could have it back since he had been using it for his homework over the past few days, but she wouldn't budge. It was hers, and that was that.

A few minutes later Erin walked over to the table where Sean was doing his homework, set this down next to him and walked away.

In situations like this she almost always starts to feel bad and ends up trying to do the right thing. I told her how proud I am of her, and that is made me and Sean happy that she was willing to give him back something that he used and she didn't, regardless of whether it belonged to her or not.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Winter in Florida

Thank you very much.

16 years ago

Yesterday was the birthday of my firstborn. The child that made me a mother. Sean came into this world with a bang, and nothing has changed about the way he approaches life. At 16 years old he has more drive and compassion than many adults I know. He has a heart of gold. I love him with every ounce of my being.

For his birthday I took Sean and two of his best friends, Aurelia and Kaitlin, to The Cheesecake Factory. When it was time for dessert the waiter and staff brought his cheesecake (vanilla bean) to him on a plate with "Happy birthday to you" written on it in chocolate. It was cute.
Aurelia, Sean and Kaitlin (blurry because it's from my phone)

Happy birthday to my sweet pea. You'll always be my baby boy, no matter how big you are or how old you get.

Zoe and Nena

These two are sisters. Nena, the little one (right below), was born about a week before Zoe (left below), but she's half the size. That's what is so special about her. Their colors and patterns are so different, and it's hard to believe they are siblings. Both of them are so cute.

Little Nena girl.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


At 38 years old I have my first cast. After walking around with two broken bones in my foot for over one month I saw a doctor who knew what he was doing and is correcting the problem. The second metatarsal and talus are both broken, and because of the amount of time that it's been since I injured it they have already started to heal. We could see in the x-ray the new bone forming over the existing bone.

I feel like such a goof for doing this and having no idea how I did it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The geckos

Brendan now has four geckos of his own, and is currently hosting a female of a friend (she's breeding with Brendan's only male). The last addition, Zoe, was a surprise for Brendan's birthday. When Bren bought Nena from Dan, the gecko breeder, he found out that she had a sister. He immediately showed me the video of this beautiful little girl, full of enthusiasm. I called Dan the next day without Bren knowing and bought her, but asked if he would keep her until Bren's birthday. We both told Brendan that someone in another city had purchased her so that he wouldn't keep thinking about buying her.

Dan is a great guy. He has a huge heart, and Brendan has become close to him. Brendan doesn't get close to anyone (except me). He really looks up to Dan, respects his opinion on everything, and enjoys talking to him. A few days before Bren's birthday I texted Dan and asked him if he would be willing to drive up to the track (where we would be for the race this past Friday) and bring the gecko. Not only would the gecko be a surprise, but seeing Dan would be, too.

It worked perfectly. On Friday, just before Brendan's main event, Dan and his fiance arrived at the track. Brendan was surprised, both for the gecko and for Dan to be there. He told me that he was happy that Dan would be able to watch him race, and he did. Dan was as filled with anticipation for Bren's race as I was, and we all cheered him on together. Bren was flying high having him there.

The little gecko that he got is white with lavender colored stripes. Although she looks absolutely nothing like her little sister, Nena, she is just as sweet. Both are very social and love to be held.

The four female geckos. The large one on the left belongs to his friend, and is currently breeding with Otis (Bren's only male-not pictured). Right beside her is Bren's first gecko, Rae, in the top right corner is Nena (the smallest who eats the most), and her sister, Zoe (his birthday gift). They do NOT live in this container. He just put them in there so that I could take a picture of them all together. They each have their own aquarium.

However, Bren got an extra birthday surprise. Dan is an MMA fighter and boxer. When he came to the track he brought his first ever pair of boxing gloves and gave them to Brendan. Although Brendan is not normally an emotional type of kid he has not yet stopped talking to me about this gift. He is so touched by the fact that Dan would think highly enough of him to give him something like that. He has them proudly displayed on his trophy shelf with his BMX trophies, and from time to time I find him in his room with them on.

The most amazing gift ever-Dan's first boxing gloves.

Thank you, Dan, for everything you have done for my baby boy. He trusts his heart and emotions with very few people, but he has found a friend in you like he has never known.

Rainbow cake

I made this cake once before for Erin's birthday party, and finally had an opportunity to make it again. Today one of our friends, Tina, turned 41. She loved the cake when I made it for Erin so I decided to make it for her birthday, too. This cake was created by Amanda, and she is a baking genius.
The six layers before being frosted.
I didn't have time to decorate the outside.

Half eaten rainbow cake.

Sidney and Brendan

Sidney, my cousin Liz's daughter, and Brendan were born exactly one week apart in 1997. They are so similar in so many ways that it's hard to believe that they are not siblings. Although this past weekend was filled with racing, it was more of a weekend of celebration for the two of them since they both just celebrated their birthdays. Both are 14 years old now. On Friday evening, after racing finished, Liz brought a birthday cake to the track. A few of the other riders came over to our tent, and we all sang Happy Birthday to the two birthday kiddos. Below is a picture of the cake with the nicknames for the two of them written on it.

Sidney is such a joy to be around. She truly is a great young lady, and we all love having her spend time here with us. I'm thankful that we have connected with her and my cousin in the way that we have so that we get to spend more time together. Like myself Sidney is a huge photography fan, and she spent a great deal of time at the track this weekend with my old EOS camera taking pictures of the racers. She has a lot of talent, and I enjoy seeing the pictures that she comes up with.

Ssquared girl

During one of the raffles at the race this weekend Brian won an Ssquared hat, and Erin has decided that she likes it. Ssquared is our local team (the owner of our track owns Ssquared, too). Although Erin is not on their team she just very well may be one day!


We have a new piano teacher for Sean and Erin, and instead of going to the music store for lessons she comes here to give the lessons. It's nice having the kids learn on their own piano instead of that of someone else. She's been coming here for three weeks, and said today that both of them are very talented musicians. It's been about two years since they started taking lessons, and I love listening to both of them play.

Erin with her piano teacher this afternoon.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 Gator Nationals

The Gator Nationals, hosted by our very own Oldsmar BMX track, was held this past Friday, Saturday and today. It was the second National event for Brendan, and Erin's first. Both Erin and Bren placed 3rd in their main events on Friday. On Saturday Erin did not make the main event, but Brendan did. He didn't end up placing in the main event, but it was a great race and he gave it his best effort. Today both of my babies made the main event after two qualifying rounds, and both ended up taking 4th place in their individual races. It was so exciting watching them race against BMXers from all around the world and still taking home a trophy for the race.

Friday, February 11:
Brendan on the track.

Saturday, February 12:

During one of the qualifying races for Erin the boy in front of her (she raced all boys again) fell and she didn't have time to get around him. She ended up crashing into him, and in the picture above she is getting back onto her bike. She didn't hesitate.
Getting a start after the crash.
That's my girl! No hesitation after a crash.
#75, my boy!
The view to the side from our tent (aka our second home for the past four days).

Erin at the gate for a qualifying round.

Brian loves to watch his girl race.
My cousin, Liz, and her daughter, Sidney, were in for the weekend to celebrate Sidney and Bren's birthdays (they were born one week apart). I LOVE this picture of her giving me a "sign" when I took the shot.
Sunday, February 13:

Sidney sporting her Ssquared shirt (the owner of our track owns Ssquared-the team that Mazin is on).

My baby birthday boy

On Friday, February 11, Brendan turned 14. My baby boy. We celebrated by enjoying the first day of the Gator Nationals, and Brendan earning a 3rd place trophy.

Brendan may be 14, but he is still very much a mama's boy. He still loves to snuggle, play with my hair, and hold my hand. I love every second of it, and hope that, once again, it continues for another year.

Bren asked for "the blueberry cake" for his birthday cake, and since I made it the day before for Liz we just cut a piece off of it and put his 14 candles on it for his midnight birthday celebration.

I love you, Booboo.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy 40th to the best friend EVER!

Pam celebrated her 40th birthday today. Honestly, she doesn't look even close to being 40 (not that being 40 is a negative thing at all). She is seriously the best friend I could have ever asked to have, and the longer I know her the more I find about her that I adore. Although the time we get to spend together is short, I know that she is never more than a phone call away and that she will always be there for me. That kind of friendship is one in a million, and I am so thankful to have her in my life.

Happy birthday, Pam. I love you.

Friday, February 04, 2011

The puzzle, part II

So Nala was taking a nap, looking cute.
Nothing unusual about that, right?

But what is unusual is where she was taking a nap...

The box of puzzle pieces is laying open on the table, and she thinks it's the perfect place to have a nap.
She is so.stinking.cute!


Erin and Ashley have been working on this puzzle after school. It's a map of the entire world. Yes, Erin does sit on the table when she's working on a puzzle. If her dad is home and working on it with her then she usually sits/stands on his lap while she works on it, too.

Blueberry Pound Cake

Seriously one of THE best cakes I've ever eaten. My go-to recipe for blueberry cake has always been Grandma B's recipe, but I decided a few days ago that I wanted to try one that is more of a true pound cake. I honestly didn't expect to find anything that came even close to the one that I've always used, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is seriously the best pound cake EVER! Brendan was the most skeptical. His favorite cake has always been Grandma B's blueberry cake, and he was not happy with me that I tried something else. However, after taking one bite he was hooked, too (doesn't mean that we don't still love the original!). He had two very large pieces right then. It's dense, loaded with blueberries, and packed with flavor in every bite. The technique for preparing the pan made me very skeptical, but I followed the directions exactly and it is perfect. The crust is a little crunchy and just what I wanted it to be.

The recipe for this Blueberry Pound Cake can be found here. Try it!! If you love pound cake and blueberries you will definitely not be disappointed. By the way, for the icing, which is not included in the recipe, I just combined powdered sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice and drizzled it over the top.