Tuesday, December 1, 2009

my message of the day....

"today you have a cause for celebration. Today, you should celebrate what an unbelievable life you have had so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make you stronger. Just as a gem cannot be polished without friction, nor can a life be perfected ..."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pool Party

Today was Samantha's birthday party. We rented a local indoor pool and it was much nicer than I expected. The water was warm, the kids had a great time & now Sam is sleeping soundly @ 8:15. Nothing like hours in the water to wear a girl out. Fortunately with the floaties and the shallow end, I did not have to get in the pool. I am way too pale to be in a bathing suit this time of the year.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Samantha's big day

I got the rest of Sam's birthday pictures today. Here are 3 of my favorites.

So, the cake is a sorry excuse. This is why walmart makes my cakes Sam wanted to stack a round cake with 2 different sized cupcakes. Took a lot of icing and the cupcakes kept sliding. Wasn't pretty but tasted good.

Sam saw this doll a few weeks ago and has been begging for it since. Of course I had to get it for her and gave it to her from Cameron. (I've kept open his bank account and use his debit card to buy her birthday and Christmas gifts from him.)

She is sound asleeo beside me now hugging that doll.
Can't believe tomorrow is Monday already. Where did the weekend go?!?!

Happy Birthday Samantha

My little Princess is 6 today!

Her 1st birthday:

Her 2nd birthday, with Cameron & Ian at McDonalds:

Her 3rd birthday was celebrated as best we could at Children's Hospital.

Her 4th birthday - she must have had a big wish that year!

Her 5th birthday was a big surprise party.

Will post 6th birthday pics in a few.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Be the Match

Joining the National Bone Marrow Registry is free until the end of 2009. Visit: www.bethematch.org for more information. You could be the one who saves a life.

My family

has suffered another loss. My cousin's son (age 21) was killed in a MVA. I am leaving shortly to be with them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Birthday pictures

I can't sleep. Again. So I decided to check my email. I am glad that I did because I received a sampling of Sam's birthday pictures taken last weekend. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

1st Annual Cameron Brown Courage Award

Tonight was the annual football banquet. They presented a new award at the ceremony tonight - The Cameron Brown Courage Award given for "Never Giving Up." I didn't go, but have heard about it from a few people and my brother has it on video. The coach apparently had a hard time presenting the award, he kept tearing up and finally said "I can't do this" and just announced the winners - one for each team. The 3rd/4th grade winner was the first girl to play. The 5th/6th grade winner was one of Cameron's friends who happened to be the littlest one on the team but he never quit trying. The difference he made in this world makes me very proud.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday photos

Taken today after the 5K

I wish I had eyelashes like Sam

Me & my girl at my nephew's 3rd birthday party

Category: What was I thinking?!?!?

For some insane reason I thought registering for a 5K was a good idea. It's only 3.1 miles right? I can do that..... As the day approached, I got more & more nervous. Seriously, what was I thinking. I am not a runner. I am not a jogger.

So, today was the big day. I had 2 goals going in 1) finish and 2) not be last. Turns out, I was first in my (old) age group! Even got a medal. Granted, there was not a load of competition, but hey, it's a start.

Now, I am sitting with my feet up and that is the extent of my plans for the rest of the day. I can barely walk!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My girl....

is turning 6 soon! She had birthday pictures today - the first ones we've had taken outside. I was nervous about scheduling them because the weather is so unpredictable, but it was a beautiful afternoon. I can't wait to get them back. The lady had good ideas and took loads of pics. Sam, of course, was in her modeling mood and posing all over the park.

We got there a little early, so I snapped a few while we were waiting.

She keeps saying that she wants to get her hair cut. I've relented and told her that next week we could get 2-3 inches cut off. I won't give more than that. I think she would regret it.
We are in birthday party planning mode. We are planning a pool party for 11/21. Her invitations came late last week so I need to get those moving. I've drafted my nephews to blow up all 20 floaties and 20 beach balls. I hope to hear back from the life guards this week too.
Off to play barbies & paint fingernails....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

It's been a little while since I posted a Marley picture. This was taken last week. Marley has long passed up Sam in size. Sam maintains the prize for volume!

Thursday night was Trick or Treat for our area. Sam dressed as Hannah Montana.

Here she is with Christian and Emily.

The gathering of the candy is where her fun lies. She doesn't really like to eat candy (just Hershey bars and Hershey kisses), but that didn't stop her from getting her bucket full.

It was a long night with a lot of walking.

Friday, October 30, 2009

So this is it

The one year anniversary. Not sure how I am going to make it through the day. I think this picture of Sam is a pretty good representation of how I am feeling (of course she is not holding a glass of wine...)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Time flies

This time last year, we had checked into the hospice room at Children's. The whole family was gathered. Waiting for what we knew was the unevitable. Friday will mark one year that he's been gone.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I went to my first youth football game in 2 years today. It was a nice experience, not as hard as I had thought it would be. It was their last home game and since they dedicated the season to Cameron, I thought going was the right thing to do. They announced his name with the players. The team had his "#2" stickers on their helmets and my niece who is a cheerleader has a #2 patch on her skirt. The kids were all very sweet. It is nice to know that Cam has not been forgotten. In 5 days it will be one year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Our friend Matthew did not get good news today. Please keep him & his family in your prayers.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Swine flu?

Just picked Sam up from school. Temp was 101.7 & she says she feels "tired and slow." She is snuggled in her favorite quilt on the couch sipping some OJ & watching Hannah Montana. Waiting on a call back from the ped. Ugh!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Flower Girl

Yesterday was our friend Angie's wedding. Samantha was lucky enough to be the flower girl. She was thrilled to get her hair curled and to finally get to wear the pretty dress. It was a beautiful day for a wedding.

Sam did get a little bored waiting for the other's to get ready.

Walking down the aisle. Despite the rotten grin, she got a little shy and wanted to walk with the matron of honor.

She cut loose at the reception and danced the night away.

At some point she kicked off her shoes because "the big girls did." We nearly had to drag her off the dance floor to go home. She was asleep before we got out of town.

Thanks to Angie for allowing Samantha to have this opportunity. Angie and Sam have an unfortunate special bond - both have lost big brothers to cancer. It was good for Samantha to see that you can lose your brother, but still get to grow up, get married and have fun.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Last night Sam & I went shopping. We headed to Kohl's with our coupon and intent to get a new outfit for school pictures and a new winter coat that she needed this morning for ice skating. On the way to the store, Sam started talking about Cameron. She kept saying how much she misses him, how she wishes he was still here so we could buy him a new winter coat too. Then she wondered if he was cold, if he could run & play now and if he gets to see grandma. Broke my heart to hear her suffering.

We've had a very busy Saturday. Today started with Samantha's first ice skating lesson of the season. She was very excited to go - she woke up a little after 7 am asking if it was time to leave yet. She then had 4 clothing changes because her pants were too itchy, too tight, too loose. Finally, she decided on something.

After skating, we headed to Walmart to buy her Halloween costume. Shockingly, she wants to be Hannah Montana! The trick now will be keeping her from losing the pieces before trick or treat.

Next was cousin Emily's birthday party at the skating rink.

After the party, we headed to the Fall Festival at the church. We started with Sam's first hayride.

Then pumpkin painting.

Finally, the bounce house.

We're home now and she is playing with Marley. Tonight we're planning an encore of Monsters vs. Aliens & some popcorn.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Daisy Scouts

Yesterday Samantha had her first Daisy Scouts meeting. There were 15 kindergarten and 1st grade girls there - all very excited. (I am glad I am not the troop leader.) They had a garden party where they learned table manners and did some crafts. Much different from our boy scout experiences where we learned about bugs, knots and fishing. Between ice skating lessons, daisy scouts, being a flower girl and birthday parties, we are in for a busy fall.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


with a chance of meatballs! I took Sam to the theater to see it this weekend. We opted out of the 3-D version as they tend to be too intense for her. It was little scary for her towards the end, but overall she loved it. Of course, she loves every movie that we go to see. She loves the experience of going to the theater. She loves the popcorn (& sometimes a hot dog too!) There are several movies coming up that are on her list - especially The Princess and the Frog and Alvin & the Chipmunks 2 - both due out in December.

We also went to the library yesterday. Sam was able to get her very own library card. She is so proud to have it. She has stashed it away in her little purple purse.

Now, for a quiet evening at home.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Days like today

I really miss my mom.

Sam woke up feeling bad. She had a low-grade temp and digestive problems. My mom would not have blinked an eye at providing childcare. She would have thrown on her clothes, jumped in her car and been here in just a few minutes so I wouldn't be late for work. Instead, I had to scramble to find help. I can't believe it has almost been a year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back from Hilton Head

Thanks to the kindness of friends, we had a wonderful long weekend on Hilton Head Island. Sam was so excited to be at the ocean again - this is her 4th trip to the 4th different beach. My plan is to take her to as many different beaches along the eastern coast as possible. Because of the holiday, she only missed one day of school.

I can't believe she tried the raft again after her disasterous ride in Florida.

She has a drawer full of bathing suits, but only wants to wear this one. Next year, I won't make the mistake of over-buying. Well, I probably will but maybe she will agree to wear different ones so all of the pictures don't look the same.
Off to finish unpacking & to do some laundry. She is off to school tomorrow while I plan to spend the day relaxing & have lunch with my dad.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another busy week(s)

Samantha officially started kindergarten on August 20th. She was so exited she bounded out of bed the first morning. She wanted to pick out her own clothes, which could have been dangerous as she has a unique sense of style - lots of color and prints. I was pleasantly surprised by the outfit she put together. Here she is looking very much like a school girl.

We nearly missed the bus on the first day! It came 15 minutes earlier than last year. We had just walked outside to take some pictures when the bus pulled in. She had to run down the hill to get on.

Yesterday we went to the Marietta Aquatic Center. I believe it was the last weekend it is open. It is a huge kiddie pool that is heated, it has slides, sprinklers, a lazy river and a big pirate ship. She had blast.

I hadn't noticed how long her hair has gotten until I saw this profile picture.

Today we went to our friend Angie's wedding shower. It was very nice. Her friends obviously put a lot of time/effort into this event. Sam is going to be the flower girl. It has taken a bit of work to keep her out of the pretty dress!
We're home now & hopefully in for a quiet (an early) evening.
Until next time....