Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A smile for the day

We think about Anna each and every day, but some days the memories are sharper than others.  Today is one of those days, as March 21 marks the third year since it was discovered that Anna had cancer.  It can be a tough day, but I wanted to share a little bit of Anna that always makes us smile and even laugh through our tears. 

We miss these giggles and silliness so very much!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Who needs a spring break in Mexico when you can spend it in the tropical midwest?

We were very fortunate to enjoy a spring break last week with sunshine, warm temperatures, shorts and t-shirts, and especially fortunate that we didn't have to leave the upper midwest to experience it!  Days that feel more like June than March, days of record high temperatures will get no complaints from me!  We had contemplated heading further south in search of early spring warmth, but we are thankful we didn't waste a trip when we could enjoy beautiful weather right here.

We did get away from home for a few days, but not too far - just to the Wisconsin Dells.   Our spring break didn't line up with vacations for extended family, so instead of passing by the Dells as we often do on our way to visit family in southeastern Wisconsin, we made this our destination. It's not the happening place we hear it is in later spring or summer, but we were able to hit a few of the highlights. 

Of course we had to stay at a waterpark hotel.  The Dells is "The Waterpark Capital of the World," after all.  Even I was brave enough to try out most of the slides and rides.

Here are a few of the highlights in photos.

Shots inside the waterpark rarely turn out for me, as clearly evidenced by the second photo, which is better than most of the ones I took.

We did make a few new friends!

And tried out a few of the Dells famous tourist attractions...

Overall, we just had fun spending time together as a family.

If we are lucky, this weather will stick around for a while!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kindergarten Roundup

Our school recently held its Kindergarten Roundup.  It is always a fun time as the Preschoolers get a sneak peek into what Kindergarten will be like.   As the Kindergarten aide, I got to help with Roundup and witness firsthand those eager little ones experiencing a little bit of life as a Kindergartener.  Some came roaring into the classroom with no apparent apprehension whatsoever.  Others lingered for a while near mom or dad before slowly beginning to explore the world of Kindergarten.  Everyone seemed to enjoy their time, and I imagine they can hardly wait for the next five or so months to pass by. 

I have helped at Roundup night before, but this year was a little different.  The thought never left my mind that Anna would have been at this one.  She would have been one of those five year olds eager to move on to the next step.  I watched those children and wondered which one Anna would have been most like.  Confident, tentative, social, shy...which of those characteristics would have been most apparent?  Which of those other little girls would she have formed close friendships with?  Would she still have her eye on the same little boy she liked to call her "boyfriend" in her brief time in preschool? 

As the years pass by, I don't doubt that I will always be aware of where Anna would have been, and that on occasions such as these I will be full of wonderings about what she would have been like.  But I was surprised, though I probably shouldn't have been, by the intensity of it all that day.  I try to prepare myself for events like these, but the power of the emotions continues to catch me off guard at times.  And I know there is a lifetime of events like this to come.  First days of school, school productions, high school graduation...I will always in my mind and heart see one more face, one more beautiful smile among the rest of the kids. 

I miss you so much, my beautiful Anna, everyday!