One Fall Day

One fall day all of us headed out to Vollmer Farm for some good old family fun. We piled on the hayride and rode out to the “Back Forty” playground.

We started off by trying out the Great Pumpkin Jump which is a HUGE 2500 square foot jumping pillow. Duff and the 4 oldest loved it but it was a little too much for Gab and Makinley.

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Mama Makinley

Here is Makinley.

She is now 18 months old and a little mama in training to be sure!

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A Scandalous Story of Love: Secret Lovers

Duff and I decided without a doubt we wanted to be together. I gradually became convinced that everyone would see the big picture. We were all adults. We wouldn’t be in college forever. We wouldn’t be bound to this group of friends for much longer. If Duff and I were destined to be a couple and live “happily ever after” it was worth the short term awkwardness. I figured we would give everyone a little time to digest the news of the recent break up before going public with our status.

We began with the best of intentions. We would limit our time together. We would play it cool for a while and hang out with friends. Get absorbed in our school work.

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A Trip to the ZOO!

Last week we made a day trip to the NC Zoo. If you’re a homeschooler and a planner, register 2 weeks in advance for tickets and save some serious cash. Here is the link to reserve tickets ahead of time for free admission as a homeschool student or instructor.

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A Scandalous Story of Love: The Break Up

Winter break came to an end and the guilty verdict soaked into my conscience. I headed back to college to start my spring semester of Sophomore year with my mind a complete jumble. I needed some clarity about this situation. I needed to reach some conclusions. The tiny analytical portion of my brain would need to come through for me and preserve normalcy once again by balancing the overbearing emotional side of me.

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Our Journey North

We recently returned from an 8 day trip to New England visiting lots of family. While this is not an exhaustive picture marathon it does capture some of the fun moments and experiences we had. I need to do a better job of capturing the trip in its entirety. I find I take my camera some places and forget to take it others so that we’re saturated with pictures of some things and void of pictures for others. Oh well, there’s always next time!

Before my mother fell ill with the stomach flu we had a great time visiting the UConn Animal Barns! Mimi (my mom) and I took my 6 kids and my brother’s 2 children up to see all of the animals one day while we were staying in Connecticut. My mom had never been as quiet as she was this particular day. I should have known something was up. Maybe it was repeatedly buckling and unbuckling 8 children over a 6 hour period that made her sick?

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A Scandalous Story of Love: Guilty

After a couple of days spent relaxing, skiing, and shopping, Mike and I made plans to attend a friend’s New Year’s Eve party. It would be a gathering of Mike’s old high school buddies. I only knew a handful of these people and was relieved when Duff called Mike to say he’d be there.

This was great! It would be just like old times! The three of us hanging out having a good time together. Mike and I obviously a couple again. The ring on my finger. There would be nothing left for Duff to speculate about. After tonight it would be evident that my bold overtures that last night in Boston were purely whimsical.

We arrived at the party ready to bring in 1993 with a raucous crowd of college aged coeds. It promised to be a wild night. I grabbed a beer and mingled with acquaintances while Mike quickly assimilated with his cronies. Spotting Duff’s familiar face through the crowd melted away my uneasiness. I crossed the room to greet him and received a wonderfully strong embrace. What was it about his hugs? They always made me feel so important.

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A Scandalous Story of Love: The Ring

Back home in Connecticut last minute Christmas shopping and preparations served to distract me from the confusion that was settling in from my big epiphany. Once the ribbons were untied, wrapping paper torn open, and food safely stored in tupperware my mind wandered back to the tangled web of emotions I’d carried home from Boston. Honestly, now that I’d separated myself from the source of my confusion things were gaining clarity. The intense emotions and events of that night were fading into a dreamlike memory that no longer seemed to reflect reality.

The jumble of confusion was replaced with a pit of guilt. Guilt that I had betrayed Mike. Guilt that I may have ruined something good trying to pursue the impossible. So when Mike called to invite me to NJ for New Year’s I quickly accepted and planned to move forward with our relationship without further hesitation.

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A Scandalous Story of Love: The Beginning

Well, I’ve been inspired a lot lately. Inspired by the calm we’ve been given in Gabby’s storm. Inspired by friends walking by faith. Inspired by a book called Crazy Love and another called One Month to Live. Inspired to be more transparent, passionate, and real. Inspired to leave a legacy. Inspired to live without regret.

Today my “Maine Man” (This is how Duff likes to refer to himself) turns 37 and I have recorded the beginning of our story as a gift to him. I am not writing this story because it’s perfect. Nor to demonstrate the “ins and outs” of meeting a suitable mate. I’m not arguing that we always made smart decisions that I want our children to emulate. I’m writing this story because after being together for 17 years, I am still completely in love with this man. A man that God perfectly chose to complete me. I want our children to see how God worked through us, in spite of ourselves. I want them to be familiar with the intricate details of how He crafted our story. How He called us, molded us, and shaped u,s into His image, even before we called Him Father.

So, without further adieu, here is the first chapter of our story.

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