Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quiet Christmas

We are spending this entire Christmas break at home. For one thing, our kids prefer to be at their own home on Christmas morning in front of their own tree etc. I like making them wait on their own stairs the way my parents made me wait. The music gets put on, the Lionel train sounds coming from the family room. Most importantly, the coffee is brewing so mom and dad can make it through the morning. I chose the Nutcracker for this morning, as it is a great background track and does not take away but adds to the scene.
We start by opening the stockings. It has gotten less formal as the kids get older. Now I simply sit on the couch with them as they pull out the small gifts which are no longer wrapped. Lottery tickets, gum (for the white things in your head that bite), usually a dollar tucked in the toe (so they don't start the new year off broke). I guess the lottery tickets have replaced that at least for this year. For generations it was one stocking at a time with all this little banter from Dad describing the gifts. I saw pictures on Facebook this year of a friends adult grown sons sitting on their stairs and I loved it. Oh, I forgot to mention the one gift that gets opened on Christmas Eve, new pajamas which we all wear. Heidi does a great job of getting this all together.
Every one gets gifts in our house. The dogs, the cats, no one gets coal, except me. I got coal in my stocking this year. Chocolate coal. They all think that is pretty funny. It tastes good. So we sit here enjoying our green Christmas with temps in the high 30's and low 40's. Great for running but not for snow sports. Which is OK because Connor is swimming two times a day everyday but Christmas and New Years.
I think I like a quiet Christmas. No travel, no pet sitters, our own beds and quality family time.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Good News - Bad News - Christmas 2011

Coburn’s 2011
Good News Bad News : 16th Edition

Good News: Full return to “old school” photo card and letter this year.
Bad News: It took two photo shoots to get pics we all could agree were right for the card.
Good News: Michael and Connor again visited Fritz and his boys in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for four days of skiing in February.
Bad News: Last day in Jackson produced -41 without the wind chill, grounding our plane.
Good News: Isabelle continues to ride horses at Chagrin Valley Farms and has gotten pretty good and looks like a champ in her riding outfits.
Bad News: We are now hearing talk of leasing horses, buying a saddle…this is bad, expensive news. Is horse ownership in our future?
Good News: Annelise played both Field Hockey and Lacrosse in Middle school this year.
Bad News: She stopped swimming to accommodate these other sports.
Good News: Connor finally got his X-Box and all the first person shooter games you could want.
Bad News: He signed up for High School swim team as part of the negotiations.
Good News: The kids all swam for Hudson Park Estates neighborhood swim team again.
Bad News: Kids weren’t too excited about early morning practice on summer break.
Good News: Heidi walked in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in San Diego in June with her friends Sonya and Karen.
Bad News: Heidi was not fully trained as she was still recovering from gallbladder surgery.
Good News: Our first summer vacation was to a dude ranch in Central California with Jackie and all of Heidi’s siblings and kids. Two rides a day, games and lots of fun.
Bad News: Square dancing. Something kinda weird about eating burgers surrounded by grazing cattle.
Good News: Our second summer vacation was a cruise to Mexico to celebrate Jack’s 80th birthday along with all of Heidi’s siblings and kids.
Bad News: Jack could not make it due to health issues for his wife Linda (she is fine now) but we all went anyway. Wore pre-planned t-shirts proclaiming “Celebrating Together”.
Good News: Our third summer vacation was with Michael’s side of the family, 17 of us in a house together for a week in Indiana leading up to a massive Murphy Family reunion with 70+. We are lucky to have such great families and opportunities to travel.
Bad News: Three family vacations in 2 months is a lot and our pets barely saw us this summer. Credit cards are still smoking. We missed the Pan-Mass Challenge.
Good News: We held another successful Tick-Tock Triathlon with 200 kids registered.
Bad News: Our kids can’t get out of this activity until they pass 18 years old.
Good News: Michael and Connor went with Steve Malerick and his boys to Ontario for a fly in fishing adventure on a 1948 DeHavilland Beaver plane.
Bad News: We went primitive with tents, no electric, no running water, latrines …
Good News: Heidi went to Atlanta for a girls’ weekend with her friends Dorothy and Sonya. They had lots of laughs and saw Duran Duran and Yacht Rock (google them).
Bad News: Where is the guy’s weekend? Heidi says, “what about Jackson Hole and fishing?”
Good News: Heidi, the girls and Kevin Malerick went to Harry Potter at Universal Studios in December. They had a fantastic time.
Bad News: Butter beer, 10 feet of churros and new wands add up to a lot.
Good News: We are spending Christmas at home this year as our own family around the tree.
Bad News: Connor will be swimming 2 X per day everyday but Christmas and New Years as it is hell week for the swim team.

Carcinoid Cancer google alert

One thing I found helpful is to create a google alert for Carcinoid Cancer and then whenever something new appears on the web, like this blog post, you will get an alert to it. Today I got a comment from someone on a post from a year ago. Her mom was just diagnosed and she found our story encouraging. That is great.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Like mother like daughter

Isabelle our 12 year old has been actively riding horses for 5 years now. Her progress is really coming along. She is now up to an 18" - 2' class and really looks confident and happy on the horse. Her mother, Heidi, as well as her grand mother and great grandmother on my side were all "horse women". There is some magic that takes place between a rider and horse and it is often girls of this age who just like to hang out at the barn and take care of the horses. Heidi puts a lot of time into making this happen and someday, Isabelle will really appreciate it.

Michael & Heidi's Info

What is going on in our lives and occassional updates on Heidi's fight with Carcinoid Cancer.