Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Next Chapter

Tomorrow is day 7 and what a transition we've made since last Thursday. I'll start off by saying it was much harder than I ever anticipated taking Jordan to college and leaving her there. I had been so excited for her that I was really not even sure how it would feel when the day actually came. It was much more emotional and heart wrenching than I expected.
We left at 5:00 AM because we had a limited amount of time to move her in. Jordan started to cry before we even left the house. She made it a point to go find each one of the dogs and say a proper goodbye. She hugged them and kissed them and the tears started to flow.
The day went extremely fast and before we knew it Jordan was all moved in and it was time for us to leave. I asked Jordan if she wanted to say goodbye in her room or if she wanted to walk us out to the truck. She opted to walk us outside. I grabbed her and hugged her hard.... I wanted to tell her I loved her and how proud I was of her but no words would come out of my mouth... but she knew. I just had to walk away and get in the truck.

Within a few hours of being home Jordan was on the phone sobbing "I can't stay here". It was heartbreaking. We knew Jordan had been apprehensive the last few weeks but I didn't know how hard it was going to be on her. For 3 days she really struggled, having a major breakdown at least once a day. All we could do was tell her we understood, validate her feeling and tell her that this was normal and that it was going to get better... she had a hard time believing us.

Much to our relief by Sunday she was starting to turn around. Monday classes started and that really helped her. She doing really well! We know she will still have days where she feels homesick but I know she's going to be OK.
How do I know she's going to be OK?
Every time I talk to her she throws out the name of a new friend.
She went and bought a student season ticket to all the hockey games.
She felt comfortable enough to go to the rec center on her own to work out.
She's gone to every single welcome activity.
She asked for a door stop to prop her door open to welcome others to enter.
She loves her classes.
She's driven herself to the bank and up to Wal-Mart and Meijers
(she's finding her way around the town)
I watch her Facebook and she's been adding a lot of new friends from Ferris.
She calls me just to tell me what an awesome dinner she had in the cafeteria.

We couldn't be happier for her......

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One More Day....

Tomorrow is Jordan's last day home before we take her to college and all our lives will change forever. Craig and I have done our best to try and prepare her for this next adventure in her life. I have no doubt that she'll be successful but more than that I want her to be happy. I want her to embrace this amazing opportunity and love every minute of it. I want her to wake up every morning exhilarated and loving life!
As much as Jordan is looking forward to going to Ferris she's also a little nervous and apprehensive. She's has had this amazing life the last 18 years, awesome friends, a wonderful supportive extended family, an amazing 13 years of school and extracurricular activities of which she thrived on, a church that she loves... the list goes on. It's hard for her to comprehend that what's ahead will be just as amazing.

I don't think she's wasted one minute the last few weeks without trying to cram in as many more memories as she possible can before she leaves. She's going to movies with friends, having sleepovers with friends, going to the beach, having a party at the cottage, heading up to the school to say goodbye to coaches and underclassmen, having lunch dates with grandparents, and yes, spending time with Craig and I too. She went to the zoo with Craig and I on Sunday. We are relishing these last days before she spreads her wings.

I don't know how I'll feel when we leave her at college Thursday. But I do know that if I'm crying when we drive away it will be tears of joy and thankfulness.... the happiness that this little 8 pound baby girl brought to our lives is indescribable ...... and the best is yet to come!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My type of off roading... finally!

For many many years, nearly 25 years now, we've been four wheeling. It's a passion of Craig's and I've always joined in and gone along. Our kids have grown up with it and we've had many great family memories surrounding the truck, Jeep, four wheelers, dune buggy, etc. Silver Lake is where we mainly head several times a summer. Craig has never lost his love of Silver Lake and I don't think he ever will... but I don't share his enthusiasm for the sand dunes. I still love to go but mostly I hang out at the campground, go antiquing, and cook the meals while they are out playing in the dunes. I can only handle so much sun and sand.
For the last few years when we've been up at Silver Lake I notice these off road trails and have been asking Craig to take me four wheeling on the two tracks. We never seen to find the time as he would rather be out in the dunes. Well, there are no off road sand dune 4X4 parks around Kalaaska but the off road two tracks are everywhere. For the last several days we've been hitting the trails. I absolutely love it! It's so beautiful! Below are some photos I've snapped the last few days. And be sure to check out the last two photos.

As we were driving around on the trails I mentioned to Craig that a lot of the area looked familiar. Sure enough, a lot of the trails we were driving around on were the same trails that we snowmobiled on two years ago when we rented a little log cabin up in Grayling and snowmobiled for a week. I didn't realize how close we were to Grayling until I started to recognize things. Above is a photo I took yesterday while riding around on the trails... now look at the photo below......
This is the exact same spot taken 2 years ago when we were snowmobiling. How awesome is that!!!!

Clean Towels

Jessica: You know what's different about this camping trip from the last?
Craig: No, what?
Jessica: This is our 3rd day here and we are still using a single bath towel. Last time when the kids were with us all the towels were dirty on the first day.
Craig: Well, I'd rather have dirty towels.
Jessica: Me too.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A day in the Sand and Sun

I did something out of the ordinary for me yesterday... well, kind of. I spend the day in the sand and the sun. For those of you that know me you know if you are looking for me you can usually find me under a shade tree. But this is something that I've wanted to do for a long time..... Visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It's a national park after all and I'm a huge nature lover so it's only natural that I've been yearning to go there. And if I can't make it to Yellowstone or Yosemite right now then Sleeping Bear Dunes will have to do for the time being. It did not disappoint me and it was a great day!
We live close to Lake Michigan and I've been to the beach many times in my life so I wasn't really expecting it to be much different than what I had grown up with. It wasn't at all what I had imagined it would be. Much more spectacular and beautiful! Craig and I started off with a 7 mile scenic drive that had 12 scenic stops along the way. When we came to the stop that said Lake Michigan overlook I almost suggested that we not even get out and hike to that one. After all, you've seen one Lake Michigan beach, you've seen them all. As you walk up to the beach I thought we would be pretty flush to the lake. Wrong! It's the tallest steepest dune on Lake Michigan and what a view!
My handsome hubby. He's so wonderful to chauffeur me to all my desires.
Here's a sign at the top of the dune... notice the sign says return climb is "Extremely Exhausting".
At first glance you might think that I'm standing on the waters edge. I'm at the top of the dune and those little specks are people that decided to down the dune.
Craig was very close to going down and climbing back up... I NEVER considered it. I'd still be there if I had. Craig changed his mind when we watched people take an hour to return and went most of the way on their hands and knees.
And I did learn why they call it Sleeping Bear Dunes. Indian legend has it that a mother and two cubs tried to cross the lake. Along the way the two cubs drown. The mother bear lay down on the dune forever waiting for her cubs. The cubs rose from their watery grave to create the two Manitou Islands.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Compliments of Jordan

I think Jordan is an amazing photographer. She has an artistic touch that is beautiful. I'm going to frame this for my office. Thank you Jordan!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer is flying by......

We've had a busy busy busy last month. I sometimes find myself getting overwhelmed from all the busyness but then I take a step back and realize it's the now that counts. It's the friends, family and memories that will last a lifetime. Ten years from now I will not remember that I left laundry needing to be done, my garden beds needed weeding (sorry Mom), etc, etc.
This is what counts... Caleb's best bud Josh coming home from college for the weekend and they get to spend the day at the lake together. And by the way... this was my favorite photo from the week.
We had the bi-annual Ormsby twins reunion last weekend. My maternal grandmother was an identical twin and this reunion is all of their descendants. My semi-grown children are at the age of "Oh Mom! Do we have to go to that reunion?" but they were good little children and didn't baulk too much. And at least I got them to pose for this great family shot while we were there. Only wish Ian could have been in the photo.
Here is a photo of me with my lovely parents. It's funny listening to everyone talk at the reunion..... "Wow, you look just like so and so.... My how those kids have grown.... Doesn't so and so look more and more like so and so as the years go by". I've never thought that I looked like my mother. I always thought that I resembled my fathers side of the family but looking at this photo I can see some resemblance to my mother.
Here's a photo of my mother with all of her siblings (from left to right... my mother Sherry, Uncle Dallas, Aunt Carole, & Aunt Lyn).
I love this photo. In the stripped shirt is my cousin Paul. He was born on my 9th birthday. I was crazy about that little boy (still am) and he tagged along with me for many years when we were young. That's another one of my cousins David on the other side of me. He's Paul's older brother and I adored him growing up. This is what reunions are for.
Caleb's girlfriend Bailey made this beautiful cake for the reunion. Isn't she wonderful? We just love Bailey!
And now for my Fiona followers, an update on Fiona. Boy did we have a scary week with her! Monday she went in for her second (and last) hip surgery. She did so well with her first surgery that I was really pretty confident with her going into this one. We asked the vet if he would consider spaying her during this surgery so she wouldn't have to go through yet another surgery. The vet told us he would see how well the surgery was progressing and if things were going smoothly then he would decide at that time. Ok, fine. Early afternoon Craig got a message on his voice mail at work from the vet saying Fiona was fine and he would call again in a few hours. Well, evidently things didn't stay fine. The next phone call from the vet was not good at all. From what we understand the hip part of the surgery went perfect so the vet made the decision to go ahead and spay her. The vet now tells us that in retrospect that was not a good idea and he will never do that to a dog again that is already going through a major surgery. As soon as the surgery was finished and Fiona was recovering she got dangerously hyperthermic, went into shock and her heart stopped. For all practical purposed Fiona was dead. The staff went to work on her doing chest compressions and giving her epi to get her heart started back up, which thankfully worked. They put her back on a respirator and kept her on it for the rest of the day. The vet took her home with him that night so he could keep an eye on her. The next day she progressed along so the vet let us take her home that night. But she has bruised lungs from the chest compressions and was coughing terrible. She couldn't walk around without going into a coughing fit. The vet said we now had to watch her closely for pneumonia complications. My poor baby!

Every day she had gotten better and better. She is amazing! In fact, we have to keep her calm for fear that she is doing too much. She is still coughing but each day that gets a little better. My main concern for her now is the incision on her belly from the spay. The vet used staples to close it and the skin edges are not approximated. It looks like the skin edges have rolled in so it is preventing her from healing. It's been almost a week and it is still oozing and looks like a fresh cut. I think we will take her back to the vet tomorrow.

Craig and I were talking the other day..... Fiona has no idea what a lucky puppy she was to have ended up in our home. What we have gone through to try and get her healthy, emotionally and financially! Good thing we love her so much!