Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to the country

It's been a little while since I posted. It took some time to get caught up from our trip to my grandparents. The trip was incredible. Better than I could have ever dreamed. Everyone had a great time spending time with everyone. Dad took the grand kids on a ride on Grandma's golf cart. They seemed to really enjoy that. They got to feed apples to miniature horses, they caught lizards, frogs, praying mantis, and they got to see a black widow up close. It's fun getting back to the country. Back to nature. What kid wouldn't love being outside with all of the animals? The bigger kids (me, my brother, my sister, and our spouses) had a great time as well. Me, my brother, and brother in law took turns target practicing with my AK. My uncle Steve has a huge farm and there's a corner set aside to shoot stuff. It's amazing how relaxing that can be. I had left my clip at home so we had to manually load the shells in one by one. It didn't seem to bother anyone. Isaiah got his first chance to shoot a rifle (with my help, of course). He was thrilled. Spending time with Brian and Matt makes me want to schedule a "Man's Weekend" every year. I know several families that do it and I will make it happen, if possible.

Karyn stayed indoors as much as possible. The A/C is just too great to pass up for a pregnant woman. I can totally understand that. That allowed time for bonding with my sister and sister in law. They seemed to have a great time chatting with Grandma and watching Grandpa sleep in his favorite recliner. It was a lot of fun seeing reactions to the kids bringing their latest capture to show off. My Grandma isn't a big fan of things that crawl or hop. My grandma awoke Sunday morning to a frog in her sink. Not sure how it got there. We're going with "He found his way there on his own." Who knows. My family of four (plus two in the oven) stayed at their house. My brother and sister got hotel rooms. This gave me a chance for some one on one conversations with Grandma. I cherish these and I always will. I'm sure I'll write all about it soon.

Grandpa looks great. Last time I saw him, he wasn't doing so well. With the help of physical therapists and regular nurse visits, he's back on the right track. He sang a song to my brother. A catchy little ditty about something. Every morning he gets up and finds Grandma to give her a kiss. She said he does it every morning and every night before going to sleep, he touches her on her shoulder and says "I love you.". Inspiring. He talked to me about coming to East Tennessee some years back and visiting Norris Lake. He remembers catching all the blue gill. They loved him there and he was told to come back fishing there anytime. He was allowed to fish in a spot that you're not usually allowed to fish in. The game warden allowed it. Must be the Smith charm but we do get some pretty sweet perks. My grandpa worked hard in his life. He was in the Army. Horseback. People have come from Fort Campbell to interview him about his time in the Army. I haven't had a chance to see the interview yet. I will track it down, though. Grandma told me of how she "stole" him. They went to church together and he was seeing another girl. She went up to him and gave him an ultimatum. The other girl came up to him after church service and asked if he was coming with her. He left with Grandma and the rest is history. 68 years of marriage later and you can tell they still love each other the same. Absolutely priceless.

I went to the Titans game with my brother in law and had a great time. Karyn took the boys swimming with my nieces while we were gone. I picked them up after dropping Matt off.We all joined back up on Sunday for breakfast before hitting the road back home. My dad will be going back to Brazil in the next week or so. We're back at work. I've called Grandma a few times since we left. I miss them already. I can't wait to go back. Maybe the twins will be here by then. I saw a picture there of my cousin Ben holding his twin babies. One was 4 lbs 2 oz and one was 4 lbs 5 oz at birth. I haven't seen Ben in forever but we used to get in trouble together. We once set one of my grandparents' neighbor's houses on fire with stray bottle rockets. To which my grandma defended us with her life. She told them it wasn't us. No way. He and I need to catch up. Life does go on. Way too fast. Enjoy your family while you have them. Once they're gone, they're gone. Only memories survive. I have so many great stories to tell my kids about my family. I'm so proud.


Karyn's doctor's appointment for her thyroid has been rescheduled. We were planning on knowing where we stand on urgency of surgery. As of now, we're still in limbo. If we're going to do it during the pregnancy, it has to be soon or it won't be as safe. She's still having issues with breathing and her throat feels scratchy. We were able to get the doctor to approve a temporary disability tag for her. At least she won't have to walk very far from her car to get where she's going. We've been feeding her cravings of Dunkin' Donuts, funnel cake from IHOP, and lots of fresh fruit. I know how badly she would like a Starbuck's right now but she's able to resist the urges for the well being of the babies. She is a wonderful mother and I'm so proud to call her my wife. Isaiah is getting used to kindergarten. He has a first year teacher and she seems to really love him. He's a lot more tired at night since he's been at school all day. We'll call that a win. Jason is loving 5th grade so far and seems to be doing well. He's a typical boy. Always coming home with bumps and bruises. I love my boys.

We've started the process of "nesting". We're trying to clean every inch of this house like it's going to stay clean for the next 4-6 months for the babies' arrival. We stay so busy with everyday life since we both work full time jobs that it's hard to keep up. I have a bunch of projects to complete before they get here. Repairs, painting, and shelf building to name a few. We'll get it done. There's a lot of stuff that I write that doesn't end up in this blog but will end up in the book I make for the twins. I can't say enough how much I appreciate the support of our friends and family. Our life wouldn't be possible without them. The counseling, the prayers, and even the shoulders to cry on from time to time. I thank you.

Oh and it's 13 days until FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! I'm sure several posts will be dedicated to the Big Orange. It wouldn't be a blog from my perspective without it. Trust God. Love your family. And Go Vols.

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