Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Installment 3, the Alexander files, Donita Jacobson photography

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blog Awards

Boy have I ever taken my time posting about these? My apologies to Karyn and Renee for taking MONTHS to post about their thoughtful nominations.

Thank you Karyn. The award is called the Life is Grand Award. And for this award I must give five reasons why I think life is grand and then tag five more people. My reasons life is grand are:

1. I am married to my best friend who happens to be the most amazing man and father that I've ever known
2. I have 3 beautiful and amazing children that I adore
3. I have everything that I need and lots of extras to be grateful for
4. I have a new circle of strong, intelligent women friends through our Artist's Way journey together
5. It's summer time in the mid-west and life is darn good

Dear Reader, would you like this award? Consider yourself tagged.

Thank you Renee. “Premio Dardos means ‘prize darts’ in Italian." This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.
Here are the rules for this award:
Step 1: Respond and rework -- answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
Step 2: Tag - eight other bloggers to do the same.

1) What food are you unable to resist? mashed potatoes and gravy
2) What is your biggest fear? losing a child or my hubby
3) Do you nap a lot? When I can
4) Who is the last person you hugged? Helena
5) What websites do you visit when you go online? Too many to count
6) What was the last item you bought? gas
7) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Ireland
8) If you could go to the Oscars, who would you want to sit next to? Johnny Depp
9) Has a celebrity's hair cut ever influenced your own hairstyle? yes, Meg Ryan and it was the worst and shortest haircut I've ever had
10) If your house was on fire, what one item would you grab? wedding album
11) What was the last movie you watched? There Will Be Blood (and there was, yuck)
12) What is the luckiest thing that ever happened to you? survived a crash on the interstate, hit by a drunk driver
13) If you had a whole day to yourself with no work, commitments or interruptions what would you do? Sleep. Blog. Read. Drink wine.
14) Is there a major goal you have that you haven't yet achieved? just raising these babies
15) Where did you meet your spouse? we worked together at CoOp Records in college
17) What States and Countries have you visited as an adult? AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MN, NE, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WV, WI, (Washington, DC), Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Denmark
18) What do you do to relieve stress? Cry. Sleep. Eat. Blog.
19) You must clean 1 of the following, baby poop or vomit. Which do you choose? poop
Dear Reader, would you like this award? Consider yourself tagged.

Golden Advocate

Introducing the GOLDEN ADVOCATE

The Golden Advocate Award is given to bloggers who have gone above and beyond to educate and advocate for people who have special needs. It was created in honor of my daughter Sophia who has Down syndrome, but it is not limited to the Ds community as all special needs count. The recipient may be a self advocate or a loved one, caregiver, therapist, teacher, community member, etc. to a person with special needs.

The recipient of this award has demonstrated courage, strength, and wisdom, and has used their blog to show the world how amazing people with special needs truly are. Recipients of this award do not shy away from speaking out against ignorance, cruelty, or injustices related to people with special needs. They can sometimes be found making phone calls to elected officials, signing petitions, attending rallies, and blogging about issues that are important to our community. On most days they educate by sharing their everyday experiences with us, allowing us to see how people with special needs are more alike than different. They wear their advocacy hat well and the world is a more beautiful, diverse, and inclusive place because they are in it.

To accept this award:
Simply accept it with the knowledge that your work is appreciated. Feel free to post it on your blog, or not. It's up to you with no strings attached.

To nominate a blogger for this award or to pass it on if you have received it:
Use the image, guidelines, and description listed here. Briefly summarize why the blogger deserves this award, post a link to their blog, and notify them that they have won. Link back to this post so that we can track how far it travels. Please limit your nominations to just 1 or 2 deserving bloggers.

The very 1st Golden Advocate goes to:
drum roll please
Sarah of Class of 2008. Sarah is a self advocate who has brought such joy into our lives with her blog. I tune in eagerly for every post as Sarah gives me hope, encouragement, and excitement for my daughter Sophia's future. This post in particular makes me so proud of her and the way she handles herself. Sarah, you are an inspiration and wonderful role model!

the Golden Advocate image was created with help here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Act III, Scenes 1 & 2

Scene 1: Mark returns from working all week (leaving the kids and I in IA) and not a moment too soon! After the kids went to sleep, we went out for the night to Spicoli's. We met up with my cousin Michael and sister Katie and ran into Kev, an old friend and co-worker from back in the day at CoOp Records. The Fat Tire was flowing and I did karaoke, some of which was caught on video, but I'm not sharing.

Scene 2: A serious storm blew in causing unbelievable damage to Waterloo and Cedar Falls, IA in the middle of the night. Mark was up giving Helena a bottle around 3:30 am when it started. He described the wind as more powerful than anything he's ever heard before and said it was frightening, shaking the whole house. There was hail, lightening, and thunder that was so loud, that you couldn't hear the trees being uprooted and tossed outside. In the morning everyone began to survey the damage, unable to believe our eyes. We are used to big thunderstorms in the mid-west, but have not seen anything like this. It looked like a tornado had blown through. There was surprisingly little damage to structures compared to the mass destruction of the trees. If a house or car was damaged, it was by a falling tree, not the wind or hail. Power lines were down everywhere and many were without power for days. Occasionally as they worked to turn it back on, the lines were catching fire. We are still waiting on word if it was possibly a macro or micro burst that caused the damage. Wind was clocked at over 60 mph before it broke the equipment at the airport, but a microburst puts it at over 100 mph. I'll attempt to embed a local news cast. If you can't see it, click here.

Below are the pictures that Mark and I shot. Unreal.

to be continued...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Installment 2, family photos, photography by Donita Jacobson

Monday, July 20, 2009


In an effort to put my money where my mouth is, I've joined a new initiative to educate and advocate about Down syndrome. This is a brand new group of DS bloggers who are interested in countering negative and inaccurate information about DS on the web. As the creator has stated, it's not about pushing political or religious agendas and it won't be about commenting every time someone uses the "R" word. Rather, it is set up to sound the alarm when something truly warrants a response from those of us 'in the know' in a thoughtful and positive manner. Sound interesting? Check out the blog here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Act II, Scenes 3, 4, & 5

Scene 3: My nephew Austin's baseball game.
Scene 4: Pizza Party with my sis, niece, and nephew

Scene 5: The Youth Pavillion.

End Act II
to be continued...

Wordless Wednesday

Installment 1, Photography by Donita Jacobson

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Act II, Scenes 1 & 2

Scene 1: Mark leaves C.F. to return home and teach his summer course for the week. The kids and I remain behind.

Scene 2: Swimming in the big and baby pools and jumping on the trampoline at my Aunt Sandy's with lots of cousins.

8 Years

Happy 8th Anniversary my sweet. Who would have ever guessed that a couple of crazy kids like us would have built such an amazing life together? It seems like yesterday that we were working at CoOp Records where the only care in the world were final exams and which concert to hit next.

You are truly the best man I've ever known and with you I am blessed.

Engagement photos

Ben still says it best. Our song and first dance:

I love you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

click to enlarge

Scenes 5-7

Act 1, continued...

Scene 5: The wedding. Mark's cousin and his beautiful bride are theater people and quite creative artists. In fact, Brian was the singer at our wedding and had to rush out when it was over to perform in a play that night. Their wedding was at the Oster Regent Theater and was set up like a play. It was really amazing. Both sets of parents were seated on either side of the stage in box seats. I forgot to take pictures of course.

Scene 6: The reception. C.F. Rotary. Very nice. We had a great time and were home in time to catch the fireworks on the high-def tv as the kids were no where near able to go out for the real thing after such a long exciting day.

The adoring Aunties

Mark's Aunt Judy, Godmother, and Iowa Secretary of Education

Bonus picture

Scene 7: The next day my sisters, parents, niece and nephew had dinner (good old IA pork tenderloins from Steamboat, yum!) with Grandpa and Aunt Andy. Grandpa's not feeling so great these days, but its always good to see him.
End Act 1

to be continued...

Monday, July 6, 2009

A 3 Act Play

Summer Vacation

ACT 1, Road trip to Iowa

Scene 1: Sophie turns 2! Before we venture out on the road, it's time for a few presents.

It really stinks that this pic is so out of focus because I love her expression

Scene 2: The drive. Typically it is 5 to 5 & 1/2 hours from our house to my hometown and where both sets of parents now live. Thanks to construction it was 6 & 1/2. We were in completely stopped and in Park for a long time so we let the kids out of their seats for a little while. (oh, don't judge me Internets!)
There's always a feeling of excitement as we near the 'loo (Waterloo to the rest of you). Catching sight of the brown noise reduction fence along the interstate in EDale means I'm almost home. Mark's parents moved back to C.F. (Cedar Falls) in May and we're seeing their new home for the first time. They graciously gave up their bedroom for our family of 5.
Scene 3: Meeting the grandparents. My folks came over and spent some time with their newest grand baby.

Scene 4: We are in town for a wedding on Mark's side. Everyone in his Huge family would be congregating at his parent's house and grilling out for his dad's birthday the night before the wedding. We'll take any excuse to party and get together.
say 'cheese' cousin Matt
3 brothers, notice the resemblance?

With skill we didn't know he possessed, Uncle Kent got a screaming baby to sleep

to be continued...