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Today was the day.
It was time for the dingy (and stinky) pink cast to COME OFF.
We headed to the Dr's office bright and early, ready to be rid of this "ball and chain":

Waiting for the Dr to come in

The Dr comes in and says, "Come with me, let's go take a look at the X-rays..."

He pulls them up, takes a few looks and then he says, "hmmm...."

(Hmmmm... what is THAT supposed to mean?)

"Well, it looks like she won't be getting it off today. I am really sorry! See that line... that CRACK right there? It's still broken... it still needs time to heal. Why don't you plan on coming back next week."

Sooooo, that means ONE more week of stinkiness, ONE more week of bathtime supervision, ONE MORE WEEK of this BALL and CHAIN!

As we are leaving, Hallie proceeds to tell me about what she does on the MONKEY BARS at school.

MONKEY BARS- WhAt?!?!?!?

Can you believe your daughter?

Dang cracks...

I saw another one today, except this one made me laugh!

Man o Man. What would I do without these two?!?

Love THEM... Love YOU

Miss you Babe- ALWAYS.


OUR adorable Birthday boy...

A mom who likes to take photos + an adorable birthday boy = LOTS and LOTS OF PICTURES
(Consider THAT your warning ;)

This was 100% HIS choice of songs, he LOVES them!


On November 17, 2006 our life was greatly blessed with the addition of our sweet, baby boy:


*Max is our SILLY boy*
He says funny things and will do crazy things just to make us laugh.
He loves his "STHith-tuh" and looks forward to her arrival after school.
Hallie is his BEST friend.
Max has always been the mellow-er of our two kids- he is a chill little guy (much like his Dad). He enjoys being outside, watching TV and LOVES playing on ANYTHING electronic.
He loves ALL things with motors. If it can go "vroom vroom" you will find him trying to drive/ride it!

He enjoys playing with (and on) cars/tractors and plays with Lego's on a daily basis.

He loves guns and pretend shooting and will use just about anything to be his makeshift "gun." He really likes tools and anytime he sees them he tries to "help" fix something.
I can't believe our Curious George watching, Where the Wild Things Are reading, itouch loving tot is now 4...

(Max LOVES watching Curious George EVERY morning and when Ryan saw this book he knew he had to get it for his little "monkeys")

?!?!Wow... 4... ReAllY?!?!

The night before, I got all the presents out so Max had something FUN to wake up to.
crepe papered his bedroom door:
Max woke up BRIGHT and early. He was SO excited to open presents...
BUT he didn't want to break through his door, so he spent the day getting in and out of his room like THIS:
(He loved it... but I got tired of it REAL fast)
After we got Hallie off to school, it was time to get some balloons and head off for a birthday photo shoot...

So this picture BEST describes Max's personality:

"How old are you Bubz"
~Smile Bubba~

Ha ha... I get this look A LOT:
It's called the "Seriously Mom?!? You want ANOTHER picture" look
Man oh man... what a handsome little feller WE have
After the shoot, we rushed home to get everything ready for the Birthday Party.
I wanted something EASY and no stress...
So I opted for a party at the park, ordered pizza and bought cupcakes. (Am I lazy, or just smart?!?!?! I say SMART!!!!)
Someone just had to take a little sneak peak...
(definitely his FATHERS son!!!)
Let the present opening BEGIN:
A POP gun

Who'd ever think sugary cereal would make a boy SO happy...
...that's what happens when your Mom doesn't buy it (I know, I'm mean like that!)

~Happy Birthday to YOU~
It was a fun party, but the fun wasn't over yet...
It was time to head off to the Tucson Children's Museum. Max LOVES the Children's Museum and asks frequently when we can go. He was SO excited to be going to his favorite place.
The excitement lasted only a short while because this BIRTHDAY BOY was out fast
The cat nap gave him all the energy he needed to let LOOSE and have a blast.
Children's Museum fun:
I love Max's little cheekies, they are getting less chubby as he gets older. Ryan always thought I was a little weird when I would say this, but I think they are so cute I just want to take a little nibble.
Yes, that's right...on those little cheekies right THERE:
Once home, we opened the remaining family presents:
sang the final Happy Birthday for the day

Max wanted another construction cake for his birthday. Definitely not my best work, but he was happy and that's ALL that matters!


Happy Birthday Bubz
Thank you for brightening our lives with your wit and laughter

~We love you~


It was a wonderful day. So glad we could ALL be there for it...



So I am often asked, "How are you doing?"

My reply is usually, "Really good" (accompanied with a smile)
...and yes, I am usually doing JUST fine and that smile is completely genuine.

But then there are times, like RIGHT now, where I am just sitting here, looking at pictures and thinking about how good life was:

Two BEAUTIFUL children:

Ryan had a job/residency that he loved
We had a happy/healthy marriage (I am not trying to act like it was perfect, but it was really good. Did we get frustrated with one another- of course, who doesn't!?!??!)
We were VERY much in love and just enjoying life.

Then cancer came...

It changed a lot of things.

Am I angry?-No

Am I sad- YES

Do I miss Ryan?- INSANELY so...

So here I am listening to THIS song and I think about how wonderful things were. How I miss having my best friend by my side to talk to, laugh with, cry with, vent and complain to, annoy, tease and just love with ALL my heart.

That loving has not stopped, nor will it ever.

I miss you Babe, I miss everything WE had together.

I still remember hearing this song on the radio after having Hallie, she was only a week old and I had to return back to school and I just sat in the car crying because I thought of how lucky I was to be married to such an AMAZING person, who was now the father of our child.

And now I sit here crying because nothing has changed, you are STILL amazing and a million times more than I thought 7 years ago...

(Mother's Day 2010- one week before Ryan passed away)


"I am the man who will fight for your honor... I'll be the hero that you're dreaming of. We'll live forever, knowing together that we did it all for the GLORY OF LOVE."

Thank you for being my EVERYTHING then, now and forever!!!!

Love you...



Just a baby...

As much as I don't want to think about it- it's here.
Our baby boy is going to be 4 tomorrow!
WOW... where has the time gone?!? I swear he was just 18 months!!!!

This shirt DEFINITELY describes his personality:
As much as this little turkey drives me crazy, I can't help but smile because he always has me laughing- much like SOMEONE I know...

There is so much of you in him and I am SO grateful for that.

Tomorrow also marks your 6 month anniversary- it will be a bittersweet day. Days like tomorrow are hard because I just want SO badly for you to physically be here, but I know your love and goodness will be shining down upon your baby boy.

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day... someone special is turning 4!




Don't you just love them?
...the shoes ;)

These babies got me through 13.1 sometimes fun, sometimes not so fun miles. Thank you for showing me that good shoes DO make a difference.
♥I HEART my Podiatrist♥

After 2.5 months of solid training, I completed my 2nd Half Marathon along with my Dad and friend-Taralie.

My first experience was really neat, but this time around I really enjoyed doing a bigger race for a GREAT cause- Susan G. Komen Foundation.

I recently found out that a mother from Hallie's class, who is a Breast Cancer SURVIVOR, is now fighting through another bout of a different type of cancer. We decided to run in honor of her-Katrina. Even though this was benefiting Susan G. Komen, I will ALWAYS be a TEAM RYAN supporter, cancer is CANCER... so we ran as TEAM RYAN & KATRINA


The day before we left, our friend Emily came over to drop off a little pre/post race goodie bag.
Emily has also been training with Taralie and I, but she decided to pass on this race in order to do a race a few weeks later.
We arrived in Scottsdale and had to go straight to the Expo to pick up our goodie bag, bib and a few other fun things...
I love how our bibs were personalized... it made for a more FUN race :)

Hallie got this shirt at the Expo
~I LOVE it~

and my dad bought me this shoe charm:
He definitely was my running buddy for the race, but I'm pretty sure I had another running buddy that day too ;)

After getting all our "goods," we headed to our resort. It was so nice to spend the time with my parents and the kids. We went swimming, had a scrumptious pre-race dinner and then it was LIGHTS OUT at 9pm- we had an EARLY morning ahead of us.

We met up bright and early for the 7 am race

GO TEAM Ryan & Katrina

The race had over 4,500 runners, mostly women, who were all running to support the cause. The race had bands playing every 3 miles and had a really neat atmosphere. I loved running among all the PINK boas, tutu's, butterfly wings, hair bows etc.. it was REALLY fun.

However, the race started to be "NOT SO" fun for me around mile 11. I was DONE. I was tired physically and mentally. I SO wanted to stop and walk, but good thing my Dad was there to keep me chugging along. He kept me going those last two miles and then FINALLY we arrived at the finish line- THANKS Dad!!!

The start of the finish line stretch

OUR fan club:

Sadly, I wasn't able to see the kids or my mom as I rounded the HOME stretch, but I DID see a friend from church who belted out a loud, "GOOOO MARRRRRGIE!!!!!!!" to give me that much needed LAST push to the finish line.

I can't describe how sweet the reunion is after you've done a long race and you are reunited with your family. I really missed the kids during my race and I couldn't WAIT to see them. I really look at running much like life... the end may seem FOREVER away, but it IS there. There are definitely harder parts and easier parts, but you can and WILL get through them. You can choose to either complain the entire time or you can make the best of it. When you do finally see the end in sight you realize how insignificant those bumps in the road were along the way because all that matters at the moment is finishing. Most importantly, when you see those loved ones who are waiting for you and cheering you on, it makes it ALL totally worth it.

This was my first time seeing Hallie after the race... I LOVE this picture:

All the kids cared about was the medal. They wanted me to finish so they could get my (as Max calls it) "Golden Medal"

The Half-Marathoners
Taralie purchased these really cute and cool headbands that keep the sweat/hair out of your face...they say:
OPERATION shrink a booty


(Katrina just finished radiation and will be starting chemo this Tuesday- PLEASE keep her in your thoughts and prayers!!!)

Pink, Pink and MORE Pink

It was SO great to have Mom and Dad here...
Thank you guys for all the LOVE and support!


So, I did it Babe, again...
THIS time it was for you and every other fighter out there!

~Loving and missing you ALWAYS~