Sunday, July 10, 2011


Our family vacation this summer was to join the rest of my family in Breckenridge, CO. What better way to beat the miserable Houston heat than to have 2 weeks in 70 degree weather. Although, we got a little scared when it snowed the second day we were there (5 inches!). But after building a snowman, it melted and all was right with the world. We had a blast. We celebrated Mimi's (my mom), 60th birthday! We celebrated Father's Day ( I don't know the last time I actually saw my dad on Father's Day) and we did so many fun things.

There were firsts: Eli went to his first movie theater movie (Cars 2), he went on a first real hike and he got to bungee bounce. He also went on his first canoe trip to fish for the first time with his dad, pap and Uncle... however after 15 minutes he only caught seaweed and it started to storm like armageddon so, wasn't a complete success. But he had fun.

We rode the Cog Railway that went all the way up to the summit of Pike's Peak (14,110 feet) and it traveled on a 25% grade upward at times. So cool! and the views were AMAZING. Of course Eli believes that any train he rides includes shopping at the train station so he kept saying "Can we go shopping?", that is my boy.

RJ and I have been doing P90X so we thought we could conquer more difficult hiking with my dad this time... and we did... ugh. P90X does not quite prepare you for altitude but we made it and were so happy on the way back down!

We took a small road trip to see the Red Rocks Amphitheater which was such a beautiful site, however we couldn't actually see the inside because there was a Willie Nelson concert that started at 3:30! Oh well, everything we saw around it was worth the drive.

The most important thing we did was deliver RJ's mom to her final resting place(s). She had one request for us and that was that she wanted her ashes to be spread in the Rocky Mountains... so we did! 3 different places and she will be able to look out in all different directions from high altitude. And we were honored to get her there.

Here are some various pics from the trip, more to follow once I get my I-phone pics situated....

Gondola ride to Peak 8

Atop Peak 8


View from lunch ( one block from my parents' house)

View from the cog railway (going up)

At the Summit!


Eli on the Gondola


The Boys on Pike's Peak

More Boys on Pike's Peak

Eli Hiking

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I love my various i-phone cameras....

Mother's Day

Missing you today, Mary.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Remembering Nana

As I sit to write a tribute to RJ's mom, I am bombarded with so many memories and thoughts and feelings. She was both strong and soft, stubborn and giving, and above all, how she loved her family. Her smile when she saw one of her grandchildren would light up a room. And her sorrow in the loss of her twin grandsons was deep. She didn't have much but would have given it all away to help a loved one. She always welcomed a friend as family and cherished our friends' children as her own. She valued honesty and simple living. I am reminded of the song to which she and RJ danced at our wedding, "Simple Man" (the Shinedown version). I feel it truly spoke to how she hoped RJ's life would unfold. Her message to RJ, I believe, is one we can all stand to learn. With the love of family and ourselves we have it all.

Mary Elizabeth Wagner 11/3/46- 3/20/11
My Mother-in-law, my "mom", my friend.

Some photo faves of our time with Nana

Friday, February 25, 2011


Just some random pics from the past couple of months...

Having fun in the snow in Pittsburgh

Trying to figure this stuff out

Post-snow cheek breakdown

See a lot of this face since we turned 3

Me and my boy.. the love of my life!

Christmas morning kolache breakfast

Eli and our friend, Amy... just a cheesy face. (On him, not her)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Eli is 3!

We celebrated Eli's 3rd birthday, once again, with the train theme. This is the second year in a row. Not that I don't love trains, I am just hoping for a new theme next year... I have now bought everything possible "train-themed" thus far and I don't think they make anything else so.. to avoid reusing the same old decorations, we must move past this party phase!

Mimi and Pap sent Eli this GIANT Thomas tent, a very big hit at the party. Now to find a place for it while we try to sell our house! We also made our own balloons this year with a kit.... I LOVED THIS.

Eli started opening presents before we even got in the room...

Our dear, dear nanny, Nena...

Eli's friends enjoying cupcakes on the kitchen floor.

Crazy mother I know, but I bought him this drumkit.. he seems really musical so we will see. The good news is.. it has a volume button!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween 2010

In keeping with the spirit of Trains... Eli's Halloween costume was a train conductor... oddly he did not want to be Thomas (and thankfully). This is the first year he enjoyed Halloween, anticipated its arrival and participated in all our goofy family activities. After a week of practicing saying "Trick or Treat" he prompty went to the first house and annnounced... "Can I have Candy?"... Then the second house he went to he asked the owner where she had gotten her ceramic pumpkin.. Her response "I can't remember, I think Target". His response.. " I love Target!" (where he gets most of his trains, of course). And the last house had a small decorative spider to which he responded by singing (loudly) "Itsy Bitsy Spider". On any account, was a blast and cannot wait until next year!!!

Lil Conductor

At the "Punkin Patch"

Too Cute


Helping out

Me and him...