All SHE Wanted For Her 8th Birthday Was This ...

Which is a good thing considering I didn't buy her many gifts as the world is scheduled to end tomorrow.

Of course, all I wanted for her birthday was this ...

Unfortunately, we didn't even get a chance to eat this ...

Because of this ...

Two hours spent in the nurse's office today while I was running the Winter Holiday Party in Sheridan's class.  Two and a half hours spent in urgent care where we BOTH went to be seen.  Official diagnosis?  I have an upper respiratory infection.  Riley has strep throat. 

Thankfully the weariest of travelers made it back here safe and sound to celebrate Sheridan's special day ... and now to take care of us!  It was touch and go for awhile as the weather in Afghanistan actually canceled flights from Herat to Kabul for 48 hours.  When he did finally leave, he truly made his connecting flight from Kabul to Dubai solely by the hair on his chinny chin chin.

But he's here now.  And he's all ours for the next 18 days.  Let's just hope the antibiotics kick in for us so we can enjoy it!

P.S. For a good laugh, take a walk down memory lane with me when Sheridan turned three ... four ... five ... six ... and seven.


We Shlepped. We Vomited. And We Had A Private Concert By James Taylor.

This afternoon I took the girlies out of school early to doll it up for a special party.  The kids and I were invited to the State Department's annual Diplomacy At Home For The Holidays.  A party in honor of those families who have members on an unaccompanied tour. 

Usually the Secretary of State makes a speech and takes photos with the kids.  Which is honestly why we made the schlep in.  Though she wasn't able to make it, having a private concert by James Taylor somewhat made up for it!  

Lots of food.  TONS of candy.  A cupcake decorating station.  A few characters to dance with.  And mingling with friends, made the $20 parking, the vomiting (thankfully not in the new car), the whining, the sugar high, the sugar low, and the 1.5 hour drive home totally worth it!

Of course, I'll happily admit that I'm thankful there won't be a next time ...


Forgive Me Friends, For I Have Sinned ...

... For it's been over 5 weeks since my last posting.

With apparently so much to say and so little time, I'll spare us all the long, drawn out update, and fill you in on the latest ... in pictures.   Here is the story version of what we've been up to.

Thanksgiving came and went, and we were lucky to have shared the day with dear friends...

We said good-bye to Sheridan's fish (his "brother" was flushed a few weeks prior).  And promptly put the tank and accoutrements for sale!

Not too long after, I bid farewell to this sweet gal.

And a fond HELLO to this one. 

2011 Certified Pre-Owned Toyota Sequoia

 Grady was the casualty of a few of his sisters' play-dates.

The roof and walls were finally fixed from the hurricane's damage.  Eventually they'll be sanded and painted too ...

I looked down one morning and noticed this little jewel missing ... so off to the Unc my ring was sent!

 Then Hanukkah came ...

and Hanukkah went ...

There were many latkes made.  Old school style!

And gifts galore. 

Gray got the one gift he wanted more than ANYTHING.  A red Power Ranger Samurai Ninja costume.  Which he had on within about 30 seconds after opening his present.

I even got myself a little somethin' somethin'.


This Hanukkah was deemed by the girls as THE. BEST. EVER.   Which frankly, it should have been considering we admittedly spoiled them rotten.  The Jewish guilt factor for daddy being gone and turning their lives upside down for the year.

Other notables from the past month ...
My girlfriend came for a few day visit.  Of course, despite both having iPhones, and being together for several days straight, we never managed to snap a photo of us. 

The exciting news of our next adventure keeps us all sane as Matt enters his seventh month in Afghanistan.  Well beyond the half-way point, yet still not quite seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

And I had THE most amazing Karma moment recently involving my BOB Revolution stroller, which I promise to tell someday soon.

Until then ...

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