Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Heart Family Bonding!

We had the best time last weekend with our good friends, the Jacks Family.  They were coming back from their vacation and drove through our area so we met up for some fun!
Logan and Andrew are "heart buddies."  It really is amazing to be with these boys, as they just exude energy and happiness and fun.  It almost takes your breath away seeing them together, their little hearts beating and knowing what a couple of amazing miracles they are.
This waterpark just opened inside a hotel near our home.  We had been there before, just to check it out and not to swim.  We had promised to take Andrew back sometime and swim, and this was a perfect opportunity! 
It is the neatest place!  They have several pools, and different sizes of waterslides- perfect for all ages.  This was the kids section where the boys could touch and go down the waterslides by themselves.  They had a blast!
But Andrew would rather jump on Wyatt's lap and slide!  Ha!  Wyatt is Logan's big brother and Andrew thinks Logan is pretty lucky to have such an awesome big brother!
Wyatt was so sweet to take such good care of Andrew and help him get around the pool and down the slides.  Andrew got pretty attached to him!
Andrew loved playing all over the huge pirate ship.  It had lots of little hidden slides and places to crawl through.  They never had these things when I was a kid!  Wow!

Andrew liked sitting on the water fountains that squirt up at you!  He thought it was so funny!
I was having fun experimenting with my new camera!  I love how it captured the sprays of the water!
I realize this was fairly risky of me to take my camera this close to the water!  But I was confident nothing would happen to it!  I took good care of it!  Ha!
Andrew absolutely loves waterslides.  Of all sizes.  And he wants to go again and again and again.  They go so fast, and one of us has to go with him on the bigger ones.  He squeals the whole way down and Craig and I about drown ourselves trying to hold him up at the end without going under!
Once everyone was all shriveled up we headed back up to their hotel room so the adults could order some dinner.  They boys had already happily eaten their Shrek happy meals by the pool earlier!
While we waited for our food, the kids had a blast playing in the room together!  (Sorry Ryan, you got posted on my blog!  Ha!)
Where's Andrew and Logan???  And Shrek???
There they are!  Participating in Andrew's first game of hide and seek (I know, I am sad to admit that!)
Andrew loved the game!  He totally caught right on.  He'd go "1...2...3...4....5...ready or not, here I come!"  He got really into it!  Except he'd say that same thing when it was his turn to hide!  Ha!
I am a little sad for Andrew that he doesn't have a big brother.  He would totally love it.  Someone to look up to, ya know?  Here they were having fun introducing Andrew to America's Funniest Home Videos.  He loved it.  Amazing the things he learns when we hang out with Logan and "Quiet!" (That is what Andrew called Wyatt!  Ha!  I think he's heard that word a few times in his life!)
The next day, the Jacks' came over to our house to grill out and play some more before they headed home.  I love this picture of Andrew's swing set getting some use!  Usually it is just him on it, and he only lasts about 2 minutes!
But he went wherever "Quiet" went, so he played and played on this thing!
He even learned to Teeter Totter!  Ha!  Wyatt is a better partner than mommy!
And action shot of Andrew performing his latest trick.  Yes, he does it on purpose!  Ha!  Check out Wyatt being all careful and concerned.  I love it!
 Saying our goodbyes.  I could just cry thinking about how much the Jacks family means to us.  How amazing it is that we really only met a couple of years ago but it seems like a lifetime.  That we've shared the same experiences and we understand each other so perfectly because we've all been there.  We've seen our children endure so much and come out on top.  We have so much to celebrate.  I love the bond we share as heart families and friends.
Heart brothers for life.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lake Fever!

It's that time of year again!  Time to bring out the boat and enjoy a surgery-free summer at the lake!  We are so excited!
We had a little boat-washing party last weekend!  We even know how to make cleaning up the boat fun!
Andrew was a big help!
This is what he's seen his mama do plenty of times!  Ha!
Pretending to "fall" off the edge!  Silly boy!
When he got in the boat, he ran up to the front, sat down and said "put it in the water!"  He knows the drill!  As you can see, he was a big help.
He kept getting the sponges wet, then throwing them all over the driveway!  I think the driveway was cleaner than the boat at this point!  Ha!
Andrew found a worm
As you can see, he was not scared of it at all.
I was slightly grossed out at this point...
 He wrapped it around his finger and smushed it in his hands so much that his worm broke in two.
He was not very happy about that!  I love that I have a little boy who doesn't care how slimy his hands get, although my carpet is practically trashed and I vacuum at least every other day!  Boys will be boys, I guess!
After we washed up the boat, the next day we went to the lake to put the dock in.
Andrew was a big help here, too.
He loved throwing rocks in the lake and watching daddy and papa put in the dock.
I absolutely love this picture.  Usually there are several more rows of docks so you can never have this clear of a view of ours.  Also, I love how the lake is like glass, and there are no other docks or boats in the water.  It is just so peaceful.  It reminds me of all of those special times I had at the lake growing up.  I am so glad that Andrew gets to experience it now, too.
We also played at the park for a little while.
The next time we head to the lake we will be putting in the boat and I cannot wait.  Andrew has grown to love boating, too.  Each summer he loves it more than the last.  I am thinking this year he is going to go crazy over it!  

I can't help but think of the fact that last summer we got the news that Andrew wouldn't need surgery for another year.  And that now the year has gone by and we just got let off the hook again.

It is one of those things you learn as the parent of a heart child.  You learn to live day by day and not think about next summer, or next Christmas or "next" anything because the truth is, you can easily let it consume your thoughts.  You can worry until your body aches and it doesn't do any good.

You have learned this because there have been one too many appointments where you have heard bad news.  Where your world has come crashing down and you realize that this journey as a heart parent will never be over.  You have to tread carefully, and not make too many plans.

Just in case.

But you always cling to that hope.  The hope that maybe...just maybe, the next time you will hear the good news you've waited so long for.
And we intend to enjoy every minute in between!

Monday, May 17, 2010


We have a little fish on our hands!
Andrew loves the water.  What can I say?  He takes after his mama!
A little family fun in the pool!
I am behind in updating again, but a couple weekends ago we took a trip to Minnesota to surprise Craig's brother for his 40th birthday.
The party was on Saturday, so we got into town Friday night and stayed in a hotel so we didn't spoil the surprise and show up at their house early!
Andrew had a blast with his cousins, Evie and Jayden, in the pool.
And a little fun with daddy, Uncle Jay and Auntie Rachel, too!  Oh yeah, and mommy.  Because I did spend a little time in the pool.  Just mostly took pictures instead!
This was his first water fight.  Daddy and Andrew vs. Uncle Jay and Evie!
Not sure who won...but everyone had a blast!
Once they were all shriveled up we decided to hit the hay!
Our sister in law planned this whole party for her husband.  It was quite an event!  She pulled it off perfectly!  Everyone met before heading to the house on Saturday morning.  The guys all attended a baseball game at the new Minnesota Twins Target Field.
Keith was so surprised.  I am trying to figure out how I'm going to top this for Craig's 40th!  Ha!  It's okay...I have a few years to figure it out!
 Here is everyone coming in the house. 
Here are all the guys before heading to the game in a shuttle.  All of Keith's brothers and brothers-in-law were there, along with his father, father in law and several long time friends.  It was a very special day and a special surprise.
 All the kids and moms and grandma hung out at the house while the guys were at the game.  Everyone had a great day.
Grandma Huegel with Andrew and Evie
 Uncle Jeff even flew in from Chicago for the weekend.  He and his wife have the newest Huegel cousin- baby Abby, who we met a few weeks ago when we went to visit them.  The kids all love playing with Uncle "Jepp!"
And of course Jack had to give Andrew a special ride in his jeep!  Andrew got some pointers from Jack on how to steer, since he still hasn't entirely figured that out yet!
The surprise continued... After the game, Darlene had the party continue at a favorite pizza place in town, Broadway Pizza.  This was the coolest place!  It has a train that runs around the entire restaurant.
Of course, Andrew was entranced by the whole thing.
Surprise #2!  Entering the party room at Broadway Pizza.  There were about 40 people there (more than those who attended the game).  Keith was only expecting just a few people at the dinner.
Andrew and Jayden pretty much chased the train around all night!
Look how excited Andrew is in this picture!  His smile couldn't get much bigger!
Can you tell he was a little more than just happy about this train?  Ha!
Giving Jayden some love!
Andrew just adores all of his cousins.  I know I say this all the time, but I am so grateful that Andrew is able to grow up with so many cousins his own age.  I think at one time, 3 of us were pregnant at the same time!  It is so fun.
We always have an awesome time with Craig's family.  I love being around all of his siblings, since I didn't grow up with any myself.  I always knew I'd marry into a big family, and I'm so glad I did!  There is never a dull moment, that is for sure!
Happy Birthday, Uncle Keith!  We love you!

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