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Why Do They Say, "Sleep Like a Baby"?!

Remember how I once mentioned that I could only play nine holes of golf before folding up like a cheap suitcase?  Well, with keeping babies overnight it appears my limit is two nights.  Three days of keeping up with their (and my) daily routine and two nights of feedings.  Waking up in the middle of the night was always the worse thing to do when I had my babies in my twenties.  Unfortunately,  I must report that it is still just as terrible in my fifties.  Just this week I have been keeping our youngest grand, Grayson,  who is seven months old.  He still wakes up once in the middle of the night.  Night one I was all over it, jumping up the minute I heard the first whimper.  Hubby actually said I had not lost my "middle of the night barking orders skills" over the years.  I told him to get the bottle ready while I grabbed the baby and changed his diaper.  He said he stood at attention and said, "Yes mam!!"  Night two I never heard the baby cry and when Hubby finally awakened me to go get him,  I was like, "Huh?  What baby?"

Whenever Hubby came in at 5 O'Clock today he found me wrapped up in a blanket on my bed sound asleep.    I heard him calling my name and when I finally came to,  he asked if there was something wrong with me?  "What?  What are you talking about?", I said.  Well, he was wondering why I was in bed asleep at 5 O'Clock.  Hmmm...Let's see; I would have given him an eye roll but my eyes were WAY too tired to make that motion.  That question reminded me of another one I was asked by my mother when I was about 27 years old.  She looked at me one day and said, "You sure do look tired."  The bubble over my head said, "No crap.  I have 4 children ages 6 and under.  I can't imagine WHY in the world I would look tired.  Oh yea...It's probably because I AM tired...(sigh)".

And so, I do understand the need for routine and nap times where babies are concerned.  For mere survival.  Of the parent.  But then for me,  the dilemma becomes:  What will I do while they nap?  Will I catch up on all the laundry and dishes or perhaps even wash my face and brush my teeth?  Or will I attempt to catch a few Z's while they do the same?  Inevitably, I always end up trying to catch up on house work.  And that, my friend, is exactly why I find myself dragging throughout the day and longing for the moment the last feeding is finished so I can collapse into my bed.

Mamas, I'm just going to put it out there.  There are many things that you will miss whenever your child begins to grow up.  However, getting up in the middle of the night is not one of them.  I always forget how difficult this stage is until I have an overnighter with one of the babies and then I remember how much I love my sleep.  I know, I may be sad, sad woman but that's just the truth of the matter.  And by the way...Where did the saying "I'm gonna sleep like a baby" even come from anyway?  It should be I'm NOT gonna sleep like a baby!

Maria's Field of Hope

After getting up at 4 am Wednesday morning and spending most of my day in airports I arrived in Cleveland sound 2:30. Exhausted. I mean I was ready to jump in bed by 6 o'clock. But that really wasn't an option. Holli had been anxiously awaiting my arrival for days and I needed to be in YaYa mode!  We decided to run pick up dinner and while we were out Caitlin asked if I would like to go to Maria's Field of Hope. Of course I wanted to visit this sunflower patch that I had only heard about and missed viewing last summer. However, I was not quite prepared for the emotional impact this field would have on me. 
                                   
   In April 2006, 6 year old Maria McNamara was diagnosed with a diffused intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a terminal brain tumor that would take her life in the course of 14 months. Maria's parents founded www.prayersfrommaria that has awarded hundreds of thousand of dollars in research grants to fund the most promising childhood brain cancer studies. Maria's Field of Hope, was planted in 2014 to draw attention to the lack of funding for childhood cancer. The field was inspired by the spirit and memory of Maria McNamara, planted as a way to love and honor the courageous children who are battling cancer and those who were lost. 
                                   
    4.5 acres of both Russian Mammoth and Thunderbird sunflowers cover Maria's Field of Hope. 
                                 

                                 

                                 

                                
Throughout the field notes could be found tied to the sunflowers. Notes from family members in memory of children whose lives had been lost to cancer and also prayers for children suffering from this terrible disease. I was totally in awe at the number of notes I saw there. It broke my heart for all of those children battling cancer and for their families who were praying for their healing. And for those lost. As I turned around and around I saw so many notes. That represented so many children. My heart was heavy. I told Holli that these were for the sick children who were in the hospital and not able to get outside and play. We talked about how she needed to pray for them when she said her prayers each night. We continued to walk through the field and take some photos.

                     

                     

                     

                    

                   

                  
In August 2016 the city of Avon declared the Sunflower to be the Official Flower of the city in honor of Maria McNamara and the Sunflower Field she inspired. 

                  If you would like to make a donation, go to www.PrayersFromMaria.org or text    
                  "SUNFLOWER" to 91999. 

The Last Weekend of Summer

Labor Day Weekend. The last weekend of summer. Or so they say. It still feels pretty hot here in the south and most likely will for at least another month. But because it was the last weekend of summer and the first weekend of college football season we decided to escape to the lake house for this long weekend. 

I was still attempting to recover from our Colorado trip. It was a wonderful getaway but there were planes delays, as usual, on our return trip and then all that catching up to do after being away for a week. And to top all of that off a flare-up with my stomach that left me reeling for days. I needed to just rest. To relax and recoup. And the lake house was the best place to achieve all of those goals. 

There really wasn't much of a plan for the weekend except to walk around town for a bit on Saturday morning and watch a little football that afternoon. Oh, and any trip to the lake wouldn't be complete without a couple of boat rides. 
                       
                    If you're gonna get on a boat, you may as well take a fishing pole with you...
                                       

                                       
                                                                  Boat riding was fun!
                                       
And the start of football season...well, the Tigers did start off very well. But Livie sure did look cute in her Game Day colors!


I needed this long weekend and really began to feel better by Sunday.  I slept in, ate light and piddled around. It was nice to have a few "do nothing days". But now Hubby and I are getting ready to both head out again, each going in separate directions for a week and a half. He, on an annual hunting/camping trip to Colorado and I to Cleveland to see Caitlin and the kiddos. I know, I know...Only home long enough to catch our breath buy hey, there are places to go and things to do and see.  And we, gypsies, don't want to miss one second of it!  So, off we go again in a couple of days. Hoping that by the time we return,  things might have cooled down a bit here. But we've lived here our entire lives and know that a small cool breeze in early fall is only a tease here in Louisiana. I'm sure we will still be running our air conditioners for Thanksgiving. But we will take what we can get. Even if it is only a small glimpse of what the rest of the country calls autumn. 
                      
                                                               Good-bye, Summer...

Outdoor Fun in Breckenridge

Before this week, I had only visited Colorado in the winter time when the ground was snow covered. Well, with exception of during my childhood whenever we made a few trips during the summer. But I had truly forgotten how beautiful this part of the country is.  Not only are the temperatures mild, there is the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors unlike you can do during the steamy, hot days of summer in Louisiana. 

In addition to hiking, Hubby booked a fly fishing trip one day. He had never done this type of fishing before and although he said it was quite different and more difficult, he managed to catch several fish and had a good time doing so. 
                     
  
                     

Our second hiking trip was a little more difficult...at least for me. Where as the first trip was a gradual incline on a trail, this trip was on very rocky terrain.  And I also did not realize that we were actually hiking up the side of a mountain until we reached a point that we were well above the treetops when I looked down. I sat down, gasped for breath and my fear of heights immediately kicked in. I announced that I was done and turned around to head back down the mountain. 
                                  
                                                   This trail was uphill all the way. 
                                  
                                        We came upon this little cabin on our way up. 
                                  

                                  
Among these papers we found a booklet that explained the purpose that this cabin was actually built. It was constructed so that hikers could take refuge here because of bad weather conditions or even to sleep in if needed. 
                                 
Here I am trying to catch my breath. We only made it to about 11,400 feet.  This hike kicked my butt!
                   
                       We did, however, make it far enough to see this beautiful waterfall. 
                   

                  


The weather turned a bit rainy and cold for a couple of days so we went into downtown Beckenridge, which is a quaint little town that I simply fell in love with!  The unique shops and restaurants were just my cup of tea and I'm bring back quite a few items from this trip. 
                                 

                                 
Crepes a La Cart is a pretty popular place in Breckenridge. People stand in long lines just to purchase one of their yummy crepes. 
                      
    You can stand there and watch them make the crepes through the glass window in the cart.
                                   
The line wasn't terribly long that day, so Robby and Sandra each got a crepe. And yes...I took a couple bites of Hubby's since he got a gluten-free Nutella and banana one. Oh my goodness...To die for!
                                   
We also visited a store called, Overland, which was by far one of my favorite shops. I purchased a few items to be shipped home but while we were there I played around with a few of their awesome hats!
                       

Colorado was all I expected and more. What a great end of summer trip for us...
                       

                                              
                        

Hiking in Colorado

Sunday morning we woke up and immediately made a plan to go for a hike. I was feeling so much better that I was sure I could make it with no problem. Until...we started the upward climb.  Some hiking sticks were taken out and I was happy to take one, however, I didn't know how thankful I would be until later on when I asked Hubby if he could hear that man chopping wood. Confused, he said no. I said, "Oh, that's just my heartbeat I hear in my ears."  The round trip hike was 5.4 miles. Needless to say, there were some difficult moments for me as my body attempted acclimate. Hubby was good and stayed by me all the way, stopping when I needed to rest and giving me water. It was a lovely hike. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was nice and cool. 
                                 

                    

                                   
                                          See my walking stick?  It came in quite handy!

                                  
    The mountains were gorgeous and the quietness made for such a peaceful morning hike. 

                    
        This guy right here is a keeper for sure. He kept pace with me and never complained. 

                    
    This is after we made it as far up as we were going on the trail. I sure was happy that I would be heading downhill now. 

                               
I felt pretty accomplished at the end of this hike and happy to just be able to do it. I told Hubby that the past four years I don't think I could have made it with all the problems I was having with my Hashimoto's. It feels good.  It really does. 

Later, after a lunch downtown and a drive through the mountains, we stopped and hiked a short ways to a waterfall. There was also an old mine there. 
                                

                                

                  

                 

                 
This is probably my favorite photo of the day. After I edited it and got another good look at it, I decided that I would watercolor it when I returned home. 

So far, this trip has been like a little slice of Heaven on Earth for me. The mountains, fresh air and cool temperatures. Being outdoors with no television. This is just what we needed at this time. Thankful for these moments. 




Cooling Off in Colorado

Earlier this summer our friends who have a home in Colorado asked us to visit.  They asked when we would like to come and I said, "Whenever it is so hot I don't think I will make it."  And that is now.  Louisiana is so very hot at the end of August that it is difficult to breathe outside.  Of course, we have been having lots of rain and in most places rain means cooling off.  Not so in Louisiana.  As a matter of fact it was 79 degrees just the other day and that sounds really nice, right?  So Hubby decided he would go out and work in his shop.  I told him I thought it was still pretty hot out there but he went anyway.  For about 15 minutes.  Then saying that he could hardly believe it was 79 degrees, looked up the temperature on the Internet.  It was indeed 79.  With the humidity at 93%.  With a "feels like" of 102 degrees.  Yep...that's Louisiana in August.  And so, as I was saying...We decided to head to Colorado for a glorious week of much cooler weather.

Our travel day was pretty much a wash (as most are).  Our flights were delayed from the very beginning but we eventually made it to Denver where our friend picked us up from the airport and we headed to their home in Breckenridge. 

I'm not going to lie, the temperatures were wonderful with it dropping to 49 degrees by the time we ate dinner. But the altitude. Oh my goodness. You see, I have asthma and being at just below 10,000 feet, I started having problems breathing almost immediately. Fortunately for me, our friends have oxygen and after I used a bit of that I felt much better. 

This morning I awoke to this view from my window...
                           
                                  Oh, what a glorious week it was going to be.