Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's Official....We Have a Kindergartener!!

I don't know how it happened but Steven and I woke up today and we found out we have a Kindergartener!! Where oh where has the time gone? Cole has been asking when he could start school since pretty much the time he started talking. Whenever he would see a big yellow school bus go by, he would say, "Man I can't wait until I can ride the bus! Mom, how many more days until I can go to school?!"
And today, after nearly six years of waiting, he got his wish. Steven, all three boys and I got up this morning, got dressed, had breakfast together and headed down to the neighborhood bus stop to wait. Cole was so excited to see his friends at the bus stop and have somebody to sit with. Before the bus came, he gave us all hugs and kisses and said "I love you", and then just walked straight up onto the bus with a big old smile on his face.
We waved goodbye...and then all got in the car to drive to his school. We met him when he got off the bus and helped him find his way to where he was supposed to line up. He was happy to find out that his friend from daycare was in his class, and said "See Brody, I knew you would be here!" Then it was time to go into the classroom. Amid all the parents snapping pictures and giving hugs, we told our big boy how much we love him and sent him on his way.
Now that he is at school and I have a moment to think, I realize I am feeling all kinds of emotions...
I am so happy that Cole finally gets to start school and learn all kinds of new and exciting things,
I am sad that no matter what I do time just seems to keep slipping by faster and faster,
I am hopeful that this year in school is a good one for him,
I am proud of what a big boy he has become,
I am thankful for all the blessings in my life including my three amazing boys and loving husband,
And ...
I am excited to hear all about his day the moment he steps off that big yellow bus.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


(a day at the zoo from Steven's perspective)
Jack Loved This Monkey

Feed the Birds Toppins Toppins

Hot Enough For Water....Finally.

Dad's Favorite "The Talking Raven"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For All These Reasons and More...

For bringing me into this world,
I thank you.
For raising me the way you did,
I am grateful to you.
For being with me through cancer,
I feel safe when I am with you.
For the wife that you are to Dad,
I look up to you.
For the way you handle all life throws your way,
I admire you.
For all the times I am saddened or heartbroken,
I lean on you.
For being an independent and strong woman,
I am proud of you.
For all you hope to achieve in this life,
I support you.
For all you have achieved already,
I am humbled by you.
For your willingness to be a friend,
I value you.
For all these reasons and more,
I love you.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
You are amazing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Number 2 is Turning 4 !!!!!!

I can't believe it has already been four years ago today that our second son, Aidan Scott Finnegan came into this world, eleven days late but "right on time".
He weighed in as our largest baby, 9 lbs. 6 oz and 21 inches long. It's cliche, but oh so true... from the moment I laid eyes on him, I was in love. We all were, Steven, myself and his big brother Cole.
You can't really help but love Aidan. He is one of the sweetest, most sincerely kind kids I think I have ever known. Today when he woke up and realized today was his birthday, the first thing he said to Cole was, "Cole, you can help me open my presents if you want." He melts my heart on a daily basis.
He has an amazing spirit of fun and a true zest for life. He loves to dress up and has such an amazing imagination. In fact tonight, his "invisible" (not imaginary) friends, Jordan and "My Friend that Doesn't Have a Name" will be joining our birthday BBQ. Aidan says, "of course they'll be he-ah (that is Aidan for "here"), they live in our house!"
Aidan is always the first one to tell someone he misses them, or that he is excited to see them. He has no trouble giving someone a hug and a smile and telling them "I love you".
Sometimes, I can't believe just how lucky Steven and I are to have three such amazing boys. The blessings are endless. Happy Birthday, Aidan!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And I Love Her

Dudes... she's Hot and she's 30..... almost. I am so very proud and in love with my wife. I am not sure how many people subscribe to this blog, but whoever you are, now you know, and she does too because it's on the Internet, and anything on the Internet I am told is true. Fifteen years I have known this person, and we have been through a lot. She is a wonderful Mom and she makes me laugh a lot. One of the greatest qualities about her is she doesn't have to "TRY" and be funny, she is funny....and she is Hot! Did I mention that? I know what she would say to that is, "Steven, you have to say that because I am the only woman in the room" which makes me laugh.

I look forward to the future and I am happy about RIGHT NOW because, I have to be honest, I get to write on a blog about the person I love the most. These next 30 years with her can be best summed up by the Tim Mcgraw Song "My Next 30 Years"

"Hey my next thirty years I’m gonna have some fun. Try to forget about all the crazy things I’ve done. Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears, and I’ll do it better in my next thirty years. My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores; Cry a little less, laugh a little more. Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear, Figure out just what I’m doing here... In my next thirty years."

The truth is I think I have finally figured out what I am doing here, and laughing is a lot more fun then fearing for the future. I love you Babe, and I hope you enjoy your 30th Birthday. I have a fun filled weekend planned for us. Did I mention you are hot? I love you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has been concerned w/ my recent status "updates" on Facebook. The other day when it read, "Laura is devastated..." so many of you wanted to let me know you were thinking of me and wondered if there was anything you could do to help. The problem was that I was in such a place that I didn't have the energy or even the wherewithal to explain it. I am so sorry for worrying any of you.

Most of you have heard me talk about the "'Cushman Group" of friends that I have grown up with. The "parent generation" which includes my own mom and dad, have all known each other and been friends since college. So for over thirty years. Subsequantly, there are "the kids" (my generation) that have grown up together and known each other since the day we were all born. Now, we have reached adulthood, many of us have married and also had children of our own. Our group has been growing "exponentially", all the while we have remained close and shared the milestones of our lives. Nearly every summer of my life, we have all gotten together and camped at my family's property on Lake Cushman. I mean real, honest to God camping. Tents, outdoor cooking, outhouses... The real deal. And we love it.

We have experienced the death of grandparents and aunts and uncles of the group ...and have all banded together to get through the hard times. Those times have been difficult and there have been many tears shed, but somehow they were "doable". I think those times were a little easier to handle because we had time to mentally prepare ourselves that it was coming. Our grandmas and grandpas have been older and have lived their lives, leaving their legacies to carry on.

We have all been okay and able to manage all that life has thrown our way, together....

But now life has thrown us the most difficult heartache yet. On Sunday night, David Warren (one of the men of my father's generation) passed away suddenly. I have been trying to explain it to people around me, but I think part of the problem is that the connection we all have within the group is not something that can be explained. The love that we all have for one another cannot be put into words because, honestly, the words have not been invented yet.....It's too big.

I am an extremely lucky girl because I have had not one wonderful father figure in my life, but four. David, Charlie, John, and my dad, Dennis have all shaped me and molded me into the person I am today. My life is so very much more intricate and enriched for having had these people in my life.

When we first got the word on Sunday night (my dad called me from California to tell me he had just gotten the call) I was stunned. It was not a reality that I had ever even considered.... To be without any of "my dad's" was the furthest thing from my imagination. And it did it hurt. I really didn't think my physical body could contain it all. It was just too painful. I broke. Into a million tiny shattered pieces. I broke. And then I thought about Pam (David's wife) and their two sons, Damian and Matt, and I broke all over again for them and the pain they were in.

We all went to the hospital that night and helped hold each other upright. It was honestly, the most surreal experience I have ever lived through. And I remember thinking as we were all standing there together, "I wonder what the nurses and doctors are making of this group?" Are they wondering how we all fit together, because from the outside I imagine it would be pretty hard to define. So many people of so many ages, but all as close as family. Closer. So much closer.

That first night when we got home sometime in the early morning hours, I don't remember getting into bed and I certainly don't remember falling asleep. I just know that once I was asleep, it was just murky and black. I am normally someone that dreams all night long. But that night there was nothing. Just blackness. Except for one dream....

I dreamed that we were all together in a house and there was a sense of sadness but nobody really knew why. I remember realizing I had a voice mail on my phone so I went to check it, and it was David. I heard his voice as clear as anything say, "I love you Laura, I love all of you and always have. You will all be okay. I am so proud of each of you, and I will see you soon. I want you to have a happy birthday. I love you." In my dream, I got off the phone and told everybody, "it's okay, we don't have to be sad. David is okay. I just got a call from him. It was all a bad dream. He's okay."

Then I realized in my dream that my voicemail was an old one that I had forgotten to delete, and once again we were all sad realizing that he was gone....

But then I woke up....really woke up and sat up in bed in the dark and was not an old message. My 30th birthday is in two weeks. It hasn't happened yet and David said he wanted me to have a happy birthday. The message, his voice, the images were all so clear. Too clear to be just a dream.

I know David was "making the rounds" that night because I wasn't the only one that dreamt of him. There were a few of us, and each of us felt the same thing...that he wanted us to know he loved us and that everything was going to be okay.

His service is going to be Saturday, and we will all come together again. The Cushman group will be together again holding each other together...and somehow.....someday....I know we will be okay. We always have been, and we will continue to be because we are blessed with a love so great that words can't define it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cole's Musical Prowess.... amazing!! Let me tell you why. Yesterday, I had the boys all buckled into their seats in my car while we waited in the driveway for Steven to get home, because as soon as he did we were all hitting the road and going to our friends' house for dinner.

The heat was blaring, the music was blasting, and we were all dancing in our seats. I took the opportunity to pump up the base quite a bit just to add to the fun.....

A few seconds go by, and from the backseat I hear Cole say:

"Ummmm, Mom? Is the car farting?"

Awesome. :o)

Here I Go...Look Out!!!

Okay, it's official!! I have been scrapbooking and cardmaking for some time now, but until now I had yet to put my work on display. That is all changing today. I decided that I am going to showcase some of my stuff on my other blog: as well as on galleries in the stamping arena so I can finally get some feedback and figure out what my next crafting step will be.

I have always wanted to potentially make some money at my hobby (just enough to support the habit) , and I think this will help me achieve that goal.

Soon enough, I will also be opening an Etsy store (it's a website where all kinds of handmade items are bought and sold), and I will let you all know when that happens.

In the meantime, just think good thoughts for me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank God for Fevers and Phone Nurses...

So the other day Steven and the kids and I were at our friends' the Silva's house for dinner. After dinner (or before I can't remember because it seems these days that I have short term memory loss...) Alecia began snapping pictures of Jackson. This girl has amazing talent (and her own portrait studio might I add) and in the matter of minutes she had taken some darling pictures. Then she went into her office, did some editing, and this, my friends is the outcome. It is really wonderful having such amazingly talented friends!
Which brings me nicely to the other reason for this post. Lots of people say that blogging is kind of like journaling and someday when years have passed, you can look back at the things you've blogged about and remember the stories of your life.... Some blog entries are funny (like the things our kids say or do), some are sad (like when a family member or dear pet falls ill or passes away), and some are straight from the heart because they "just need to be written"...

To have a friend like Alecia is a blessing. Simply stated, the time spent together is easy and fun and makes us both laugh. It also seems to offer the safety for feeling comfortable enough to cry, and open up about the burdens on our hearts.

This has not always been the case, however. There have been times when "life happened" to the two of us, hearts have been broken, and the distance between us has been cold and far. In those times, I tried to rationalize with "well some people come into your life for a time and then life moves on..." However, there was not a day that went by that I didn't think about her or her family and wonder if things could have (or should have) gone differently. In fact, at the risk of sounding a bit "stalker-esque" I even drove by her house once with fresh made chocolate chip cookies, wondering if I should just "stop in and chat". But I didn't, I drove home and ate the whole batch myself....

Anyway, one fateful day (about 18 months into having not seen or spoken) I got a call on the nurse triage line where I work as a phone nurse. As soon as the person on the other end began to speak, my heart threatened to beat out of my chest....I recognized that was hers. It was Alecia, and she was calling about her son who had a fever. I am not someone who gets nervous as a rule, but I was nervous in that moment. I knew who she was but she didn't know it was me. I identified myself, gave her the option of talking to another nurse, and she graciously declined saying she trusted my medical judgement and wanted to hear what I had to say.
So we talked about fever and what to watch for, and then we just talked....

The conversation was not at all like I had hypothesized it would be. It was calm, and collected and extremely pleasant. I couldn't talk for very long seeing as I was at work, but we did talk for a bit and we got caught up on what had happened in our lives in the last year and a half.
To make a very long story short, Alecia and I got together a few more times to talk about things, and the growth that she and I had both made personally in our time apart, continues to astound me today. True, feelings had been hurt and hearts had been cracked, but that was not enough to keep us from figuring it out and putting the pieces back together. It truly felt as if something larger was at play, because the reconnection (although very emotional) was somehow seamless...
I love Alecia and her family with everything I have, and I appreciate more than she will ever know the part that she plays in my life. I am saddened when I think about all that we missed in the 18 months of our lives that we were not speaking, but I am looking so forward to the fact that now we have the rest of our lives to share...
Thank God (really) for fevers and phone nurses. And truly amazing friendships.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas 2008

Visit to make your own!