Monthly Archives: January 2015


Fletcher and Lola Gray got 2015 off to a colorful start when they ran the Color Vibe 5K! Thank goodness for amazing friends who suggested this and ran with the kiddos. They loved every colorful step of the race but I don’t think I could ever run this race – even just watching from a distance was stressful for me!


Legoland again

Our sweet Fletcher is turning 11 in a few days (eleven!!) and for his birthday this year, he asked to go to LEGOland. Actually, he’s been asking pretty much every year since the last time we went. The kid is LEGO crazy. This year, we made it happen.

The weather wasn’t great, but it didn’t matter at all. We surprised Fletcher with a secret meet-up with his buddy Henry and the entire Wade family, which was great. We joined forces for an incredible Mindstorms robotic class (seriously the most fun thing we did all day) and spent a few fun hours with them before they headed on to south Florida for New Years. The Gaddys stuck it out in the park until almost the bitter end, rounding out the day with plenty of rides, a fun 4D movie, a tour of mini-land after dark, and some amazing fireworks complete with glasses that made the fireworks look like exploding LEGO bricks!

So long, 2014! We’re going to Disney World.

2014 was not my favorite year. Not by a long shot.

2014 was the year of P.A.N.D.A.S. , a year of constant stress and worrying and watching and waiting and doubting. It started in January and ate it’s way mercilessly through 6 solid months. And even once summer arrived and the worst was behind us, I held on to the worry and the panic, held on when I should have been able to move forward, struggled to let go of the “whys” and the “what ifs”. And of course, there were other dark smudges obscuring the shiny surface of our year, sordid, greasy smears that threatened to take away Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas . . .

Yep. 2014 tested our mettle, that’s for sure.

But you know, we made it through. We, as a family, are stronger than all that mess swirling around us. We kicked 2014’s butt! And to celebrate, we packed up the car and headed to Disney World’s Fort Wilderness campground to ring in the new year with good friends.

It wasn’t as warm as we hoped for, and it drizzled on us pretty much constantly. But there was swimming and biking and golf cart rides through the campground, campfire sing-alongs with Chip & Dale, movies under the stars and a New Year’s Eve beach party with fireworks so amazing they brought me to tears.

So. Out with the old and in with the new. Welcome 2015! Bring it on. No matter what you throw at us, we can take it.


Oh Holy Night

I love Christmas Eve. After all the gifts have been wrapped and the cookies baked, but before the paper is torn off and Christmas secrets revealed . . . Christmas Eve is this beautiful pause, where everyone holds their breath in delicious, quiet anticipation. As exciting as Christmas morning is for the children, as much as I adore our Christmas afternoon oyster roast with friends, it is Christmas Eve that holds all the magic for me.

And our Christmas Eve this year was perfect.

Fletcher reprised his role as a wise man in the Christmas Eve tableau at church for the last time, and Lola Gray took on a new role as Gabriel. The candlelight service never fails to bring me to tears. After there was an amazing, candlelit dinner on the good china, with lasagna Raymond made from scratch (even the pasta!) and pumpkin pie made by our budding chef, Fletcher. With the kids already in their Christmas pajamas, the meal was the perfect mix of fancy and comfortable. Fletcher said he felt rich, sitting at the table with all the fancy china and crystal. I felt rich too, though the wealth came less from the trappings of the meal and more from the amazing people sitting around the table with me.