Category Archives: Brooke and Liz adventures

The Seasons Of Friendship


My My sister Miki and IDad explained the doctrine of the trinity to me by telling me about the many relationships he juggled. He told me God is one God, but three persons, and then he’d say: “You know, I’m your Dad, and I’m my Mom’s son, and I’m your Uncle’s brother. See? I’m three people, but I’m still one person. Each person is different.” He wasn’t eloquent, but he taught a good lesson. Each person was a different way of relating. As a Father, he related to us in authority. In teaching and guidance, and in placing rules and boundaries. As a son, he related in obedience and respect. He loved his Mother, respected her, obeyed her, when it was his role to do so. As a brother he related in friendship, companionship, and a sense of understanding, compassion. This gave me such a deep understanding of the trinity, and how God operates in three persons. I really appreciate my Dad’s wisdom in this particular teaching.

My twin and I, at our very best

His wisdom extended to other things too, in this case. As a Mom of 4, I am also juggling a variety of relationships, and at this season in my life, it feels as if some of those balls are going to drop. I’ve gone through periods of anxiety and frustration, feeling as if my friendships are suffering, my family is suffering, and I am suffering, all because I just can’t figure out how to spread myself thin enough to cover everyone. I’ve learned though, through one of my truest friends, that I don’t HAVE to cover everyone. Friendship has its seasons.

First, lets define a friend in the Biblical sense. According to Proverbs “there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” I always assumed as a child that that must automatically mean you spend more time with them. As an adult, my perspective has changed drastically. I’ve learned that friendship is a relationship that puts others before self, that to find good friends, one ought to seek wisdom in their friends.

That our companions influence us, and that there are Biblical examples of friendship that does stick closer than a Brother (David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi… etc.)


My little sister and I engaging in the normal silliness.

A friend is someone who loves you more than they love themselves. They understand you, and cherish you.

In my life I have lived in fear of losing friendships. But in losing friends, I learned that a friend I lost was one I never really had. There are some friendships that can survive the seasons we all go through, and those are the ones worth cultivating, sticking with. They are few and far between. I am blessed that in these types of friends, I am not truly short.


My husband, the best friend I’ve ever had. ❤

Friendship does have its seasons though. Marriage is the only friendship in which each season is always experienced (or ought to be) side by side and arm in arm with that friend. My husband has been through everything that I have been through. And I have joined him in his triumphs and tragedies as well. We have a friendship that transcends all others.

Family is similar to marriage, in that you are linked for life. It is a rare and tragic thing for living family members to be so separated, that they do not share in the general hills and valleys of life’. As for my other friends, I have learned that sometimes friendship is like the tide, it ebbs and flows. At one point I feared this cycle, thinking I would lose my friend. I have since found that what maintains our friendship in this ebb and flow is an understanding of permanence, and commitment. No matter what season I have been in with certain friends, the friendship itself remains strong, and is something I can always count on.
Friendship can go from the warm summer of everything going just as it ought, with plenty of things in common, and time to spend together, to a winter where time and opportunity just seem scarce. Do not think you have lost your friendship just because you and your friend have little in common at the moment, just love each other, and you will have that summer again.

Right now, as a Mom, I am in a season where friendship, of all kinds, takes a backseat to marriage and family. I can’t always drop all four of my children to go on a bike ride with a friend. Or take all of them along on a shopping trip. It requires careful planning, and a miracle of sorts for me to have special time alone with my adult friends. I have friends who despite the strong bond of friendship, we have little in common as far as life goes. I want to encourage other Moms, just because your friend of YEARS has no children yet, does not mean you cannot maintain your deep connection with her. Persevere. This is a season. It will ebb and flow with each one. I still go to my friend, Brooke, to cry, talk, ask advice, and whether or not she and I are in the same place right now, I always find her to be a good friend with plenty to think on, because she is that friend who always points me right back to scripture. She is wise, because her wisdom comes from fearing God, and that is what will make her a good friend no matter what season of life either of us are in. She reminds me of that verse in Proverbs: “As iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens a friend’s character.” Proverbs 27:17

BrookenINYC BrookenIweddingday BrooknIReginaConcert

I have many types of friends, with whom I can socialize while our children get together and have fun. I have a few friends going through the same season of life as I, and I find that comforting, challenging even.  We call and write one another to keep each other honest, to encourage each other. One such friend and I have thousands of emails under our belts with subjects such as “How do you handle an earache with your baby?” or “What do you feel God’s Word has to say about what media we expose our kids to?” or “How much chocolate did you eat today? I’ve had 3 bars already. It is a 3 chocolate bar kind of day…”  All I have to do is tell her I’m starting potty training this week, and I know she will be praying right on target, and maybe have some practical hands on advice. This is a woman who introduced me to the feared cloth diapers. And she was totally right! They aren’t nearly that bad. They are actually kind of easy if you know what you are doing, and baby is much more comfortable! Well worth the money saved! Jenny knows just what I need to hear because she has been there. She knows when I need some encouragement, some prayer, or someone to understand just what I am going through. She reminds me of another proverb: “Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda” (Prov. 25:20)

Friendship is not something we can control, or try to. It is a gift. And while we have it, we ought to cherish it by being a good friend. The most important thing I have learned is to have good friends you must BE a good friend. And that starts with thinking about how God has treated you. Loved you. He has forgiven you, loved you when you were unlovable. I know that as a friend, I have caused pain to my friends, whether I set out to, or not. Be the kind of friend you want to have, and be understanding with your friends when you are both in a season where it is hard to keep up with each other.
“A man who has friends must show himself to be friendly, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24


Pregnancy Update: We’ve reached the Halfway Mark!


Me and my girls

I’m not meticulous enough to do weekly updates on this current pregnancy, pregnancy number 4, but every now and then big stuff happens, and who am I to ignore it? Blogging is the way to go! So get comfortable, you’re gonna hear a pregnancy update!

We all know Pregnancies are pretty much one big development after another, so, today’s big development number 1: We’ve reached the halfway mark! 20 weeks! Yay! You may now pull out your togas and umbrella drinks and celebrate with me briefly. Don’t worry, I’m against party hats, so you can forego that ridiculous discomfort…

Part of the whole halfway mark is the biggie: The lets-see-if-we-can-tell-the-sex-ultrasound! Unfortunately, my husband and I really had issues with this particular milestone this time around. He didn’t want to know, and I did. Why?

Let us just say in our not so distant past, prior to, and part of the culmination leading to a huge change in our hearts regarding God, his Will, and his Word, we had a bit of a control issue with our whole procreation thing. I constantly wanted to NOT have babies, and my husband wanted to keep trying for that elusive boy. When we found out that Ava was a girl, it was difficult. He was disappointed that his prayers for a boy were not answered, and I was desperate for him to not be disappointed. At one point our marriage hit such a low point that I was sure it would not survive it. But by God’s grace, it was this that pushed us to a turning point. When you see a sinful, selfish person looking at you from the mirror, you realize the need for change. He blessed us with a beautiful and *very* delightful and vivacious Ava! 🙂 We have been SO blessed! It took that moment of bottoming out, however, to show us that our idea of family was very very short of a good family, and that on our own, we could not be perfect, or even good. Sin always kept us from contentment, peace, victory. When we sought God’s Word, his Will, life changed into something we never knew it could be. It became GOOD, satisfying.

So this time around, Allen said something like “I will not spend my time obsessing over what I want, I will wait and see until baby is born, and fall in love with him/her then!” But, I had a feeling it was a boy, and I felt we needed to know, considering that 3 daughters later, we are just shy of painting our house Barbie pink, as we pretty much are up to our eyeballs in that color. Boy things do not exist in this home! I needed to know so we would have what we need, and know what we don’t have! We agreed that I would find out, and he would not know.

Today was the big day! I would find out, tell the world, but keep the secret from him. We were agreed on this point. I went to the ultrasound with Brooke (the best moral support a friend can be!) and all three girls. We waltzed in there 20 minutes early (not like we were anxious to know or anything…) and FINALLY they called us for the ultrasound. The tech told us the baby was healthy, good, measuring well, good, and….. A BOY!

I was so excited I could have jumped out of my skin! The girls were so excited, and there were quite a few “Can we keep this secret after all?” dicey moments. We went out for a bite to eat, and to acclimate ourselves to this lovely new realization that God was blessing us with a son, brother, and whatever else God has planned for this precious little boy’s life. We hope it is to be a man of God, unafraid to speak God’s Word. It is fitting then, that we had chosen the name: Isaiah Allen. The girls were still jumping out of their skin at the prospect of having a brother. They were so excited that Brooke had to take them outside to do somersaults so they wouldn’t do them in the Doctor’s office, or just cause they were energetic, but I’m positive it was the excitement!

Nonetheless, we finally got home. Allen walked out the door, and I couldn’t help myself. I smiled.

Whoops. Now he knows! I smiled!

And so he does know. No secrets around here! I was too excited to keep it under wraps! That smile did me in! 😀 But we are excited beyond belief, all of us, to invite little Isaiah Allen in March.  As part of a count down to his very exciting birth, I will be sharing birth stories of each of my little ones, and I’d love to hear all of yours! Feel free to link yours in the comments below. 🙂


The Miracle On Kennedy Street


Yes.  Yesterday the impossible was possible.  All 3 children took a nap simultaneously.   Allen and I were thrilled, especially since this happened early enough so as not to disrupt bedtime, and late enough that he was already awake, and able to enjoy it.  This is the first time, aside from a weekend, where we have had time together while they are all sleeping.  I know that doesn’t sound all that earth shattering, but it was to us!  We rarely get time together alone, even on the weekends when he’s home at night, and to have that on a weekday was even more amazing!  We are also usually so tired when they are sleeping, that we take advantage and sleep too.

Not so yesterday!

We enjoyed some talking time, just us two.  Time to communicate WITHOUT screaming, hollering, hair pulling, wrestling matches, whining, or getting into something they shouldn’t.

I enjoyed my first uninterrupted and alone run.  When I take the kids for a walk it limits where I can go, how far I can go, and what pace I can set for how long.  So this was pretty monumental.  I started my first marathon training session, and I’m pumped to do more.  I was accompanied by Kaitey, via the telephone (Thank God for mobile phones!!  Anyone who knows me, knows I can’t do anything if there isn’t socializing attached!) Kaitey and I had a lovely conversation.  Its so nice to hear somebody else is having experiences similar to mine.  We had a little chuckle over what great friends we have in Schmo and Brooke respectively (and I quote: “Y’know the kind of friend you have where you can have fun doing ANYTHING?  Brooke and I could have fun poking our eyes out with a knife.  She’s that awesome!”  “Yeah, Schmo and I are like that too!  We could have fun with anything!” )

It is also nice to receive material motivation via friends.  I thrive on social support.  And I got it last night in spades from many friends, but Kaitey got the jump on ya’ll and was cheering me on as I was running.  Thanks Kaitey!    And thank you to everyone else!  I will be posting my athletic exploits on facebook.  Motherhood, as usual, makes EVERYTHING all the more interesting, so I’m sure I will have some interesting posts on training.  Like maybe:  Took the kids in their stroller, my time was extended a whole 30 minutes for potty stops and crises. woohoo. Emma dropped her Dora a mile back, and never noticed it, so I got a whole extra mile in! yay!

Wish me luck folks!

Thank God I Hit The Tree!


Yes I did really hit a tree.  It was quite an adventure!  As I skid along on melting ice, careening towards the cold cold water of the deep creek at Brooke’s, I slid to the side, dug in for the crash and:


I hit a tree.

Brooke was so startled, she couldn’t breathe.

She couldn’t breathe for laughing!!!  Then her Mom popped the window sash up and started snapping pictures.

Took me awhile to get off my sled, really.  Mostly because I was laughing too hard to get up, and had landed with my legs on either side of the tree! Almost like straddling a horse.  It was so funny, we sat there and laughed for almost 10 minutes!  I waved and smiled while Donna snapped memories that will NEVER be forgotten!   Once the picture makes its way onto the internet, it will be proudly published for sure!  Took us a long time to walk back up the hill again, and we slipped and fell a couple times on the way back up.  What an adventure!  I don’t think I’ve laughed that much in a long time!   I love hanging with Brooke, she keeps me young, and keeps me from getting too complacent.  All in all we had such a fun time taking a few runs down the hill (a few for Brooke, one was enough for me!  My heart was in my throat the whole time!!)

After this adventure we sat down to a delicious supper of spaghetti and salad, where my kids did me proud and ate their food politely, and there was a surprising lack of mess!  I was so proud of them both, they behaved so well!  We finished it all off with pineapple upside down cake (DELICIOUS Brooke!) Then settled in for chatting and the Super Bowl.  Sarah and Toby had a grand time playing Princess, King, and Castle, and eventually everyone else got in on the fun too!  (It’s great to be royalty, what can I say?)

We finished the night off with tea, hot chocolate, cheese, and crackers (the food at the Grater’s is always phenomenal!) and Emma stripped down only once, (blink and you miss it, because I caught her in the act.) Then everybody hopped into pajamas while the Super Bowl finished up, and we all slipped and slid out to the car, driving safely home to warm beds, and comfortable pillows!


Lateness Becomes Me? And Brooke Sniffs An Onion!


I write my post a little late today, but then many things have been late lately.  I’m just not feeling very motivational.  Yesterday was busy as all get out, and well worth it!  We spent our morning with Rachel K. and kids at Chick Fil A’s playland (McD’s was outdoors.  ugh.) Our children ran amuck while we chatted about grown up things and enjoyed adult company.  I know I’ve said this before, but it is so encouraging to know other women are experiencing what I experience in motherhood.  Its nice to sit with another mother and know, I’m not alone!  It was a rousing success, since my children fell asleep on the way home, after devouring some chicken nuggets from the best chicken place ever!

Upon getting home, I left the children to nap with Allen and sped up to the daycare.  The more I experience of motherhood with 3, life with 3, and energy levels with 3 kids, the more I think a full time job just isn’t in the cards!  Thankfully, my employer is flexible, and willing to work with me, and we had a wonderful chat sorting it all out.  I am very thankful to have such a family friendly employer! I got to visit my coworkers downstairs in my classroom, and enjoy the oohs and aahs over Ava.  Every mother enjoys fussing over, and watching others fuss over our baby.  Maybe she’s not so exceptional as I think, but I’d like to think she is!  I am partial after all, so I think she’s the cutest baby around!  Its nice to have others smile and giggle at her too.  I know, I’m shameless!  But there it is!  Motherhood is shameless in its promotion.  What can I say?

Brooke came over, Thankfully we had chosen Tuesday over Wednesday before this nasty snow was forecasted, so it all worked out for a weekly dose of Anti-Insanity time with Brooke!  The girls were full, and happy after Allen cooked supper (I love my husband!) He also put the girls to bed for us.  🙂

We finished the movie Emma, alternately tearing up, uttering “awww!” and swooning over Mr Knightley! Jane Austen, the original rom-com was there to supply a much needed bit of grown up introspection.  During the movie, many Brooke/Liz adventures ensued.  We spilled a bowl of popcorn, and made another, drank tea like all get out, and contemplated cold remedies for Brooke. We settled on a modified onion pack, so I chopped up an onion for her to breathe in.  It did its work on poor Brooke in no time!  She cried more than I did the whole movie!   All in all, the second half redeemed this adaptation of Emma, and it is growing on me!  It was very sweet and endearing.  Brooke and I finished off the night chatting.  This is where the real fun began.  We attempted to solve a real life mystery only to be thwarted by incomplete information, but had fun being Columbo and Monk, respectively.  A stinkbug scared the poop outta me, which scared the poop outta Brooke, who thought someone broke into the house!  We spent the next ten minutes looking over both our shoulders, for various reasons.  All in all, print cannot convey how much fun we had,  it was one of those evenings that unless you were there, it doesn’t hold the same weight.  Either way, we had a grand time, and this will go down in Liz and Brooke anecdotes as a biggie!

Now I shall enjoy the remainder of the day staring at the overwhelming pile of dishes I am doing ANYTHING to avoid…

Snow, Ice, Brooke, And More Snow!


Yesterday was uneventful, until Brooke came over for her regular ‘Save-Liz-From-Insanity’ visit.  We ate supper amid many stories and yarns from Sarah and Emma.  We decided on a quiet night in preceded by a trip to the library in search of a good movie to watch.  The library being 5 minutes up the road, this seemed simple and straightforward enough.  Allen pointed out that my car hadn’t been cleared off, so things were a bit complicated momentarily, till we got outside to find that the sun had done its work.  As we were shaking hands and smilingly congratulating ourselves over the fact that the snow and ice had melted off the car, we traipsed out to the car, piled in, started her up, only to find that the car was STUCK in the melted snow.  Whoops.  It took us a half hour, a shovel, ice scraper, time jumping on, pushing, yanking and rocking  the car to extract it from its icy prison.  once that was over, Brooke and I sped off to the library.  Dazzled by the number of titles, we perused eagerly while listening to storytime.  I was quite shocked to find that Brooke no longer remembered the wheels on the bus when I joined in eagerly with the storytime participants to find Brooke still browsing.  “aren’t you gonna sing too?” “Liz its been awhile since I sang wheels on the bus…”  “*GASP!*”  I figure though that there’s not much call for singing in dental assistantry, and even if there was, I’m sure wheels on the bus isn’t at the top of the queue… So on we went, browsing through.  We found the latest version of Emma, and being suckers for Jane Austen we eagerly brought it home!

At home, we baked an apple tart (it counted as my one dessert a day.. *sigh*) then settled in for Emma.  I must admit to being disappointed.  for an updated version with Johnny Lee Miller and Romola Garai, I was VERY disheartened  to find it  a bit slow and not as witty as I expected.  We didn’t finish it however, and I hope to be pleasantly surprised next week when we continue.  All in all, it was a lovely evening with Brooke as usual, and contained quite enough adventure and adult chatter to keep me going until next Wednesday!  Thank God for Brooke, she is my rock of adulthood keeping me from drowning in the abyss of brain cell loss induced by too much time with children.

This morning, baths were completed without incident.  No cuts, bruises, falls, or crying.  Hallelujah!  I went to the Doctor for my 6 week check up, and have been cleared for all strenuous activity.  Which means… tomorrow AM Ava and I are getting out the jogging stroller and taking a walk!  Abbe, Van, I am ready to start training!  Tips, ideas, etc, are ALL welcome!  erm.  isn’t it supposed to snow tomorrow?  uh oh.  I have to find a way to take a walk.  Anyone have a treadmill?  I also FINALLY made an appointment to see a doctor about my wrist (damn spiders.)  Tomorrow I should be getting an x-ray or somesuch at least.

I arrived home from the Doctor to visit with my Mom, Lisha, Miriam and Sheila Perez.  We had a lovely time over tuna, and my car got stuck in the snow again.  This time, in an attempt to free it, I managed to knock my Mom down, make a mess with ashes, and disturb the neighborhood with loud revving and spinning out.  Its still stuck.  Wish me luck to try and get it out for dance tonight!

A Grand Day Out


We had a great day yesterday, just hanging out watching movies all morning, going out to play in the snow again, and then cleaning the house!  Sarah learned a new skill, cherry picking!  She loved it!  Her other favorite was jumping jacks.  Emma didn’t quite have the coordination for either…  She fell on her bum once, and spent the rest of the time watching Sarah work it out from the comfortable confines of Mommy’s lap! 🙂  You can see the cherry picking video on facebook.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Brooke came over in the afternoon, and saved me from stir crazy heaven by taking me out for the evening (Ava came along for the food.)  We spent a glorious time eating and shopping!  What else does one need?  We bought a fabulous ring, and found some really good deals in Payless.  I looked for a running shoe, and got a better idea of what I really am looking for, narrowed the search a bit.  Next time out, I’m gonna start trying stuff on.  (It was kinda hard to try shoes on with the snuggly all full of chubby baby.) I have about a week and a half before I see the doctor and try to get cleared, and then its my pre pre training for a marathon.  I don’t have one picked out, but I am determined to do at least a half marathon before next year. I am a little nervous about doing this with arthritis, but if other people with arthritis can live normal lives, why can’t I?  So, I’m going for it!  Van and Abbe have inspired me that this is not only a way to get back in shape, but to also do great things in support of great people.   All in all, after yesterday, life is looking up!  And tonight, Dance with Leah!  Can this week get any better?  Its so nice to be moving forward to normalcy!

In other Liz news, (this is too good not to mention) I managed to injure my wrist last night thanks to a nightmare.  If it doesn’t improve soon, I will probably seeing a doctor about it, but it is the darndest thing I that I would manage such a feat!  This takes talent…  I was dreaming there was some huge spider, the size of my laptop, coming down from the ceiling, and I flipped out, jumped out of bed screaming.  Somehow during this, I injured my wrist.  This is not the first time this has happened, or that I’ve injured myself reacting so strongly to this particular dream.   But this is the first time its been this severe.  So we’ll see what happens.  I thought I dislocated it, but no luck trying to pop it back in.  I’ll keep you updated.  Good thing I have become adept at the skill of typing with one hand!

“It” didn’t hit the fan, only the couch! And, Brooke Makes The Blog!


So, yesterday was a decent day, but then naptime came along, deviously, and with plans to unravel anyone in its path.  Sarah, the non-napper in the house, went about her business as usual.  At naptime, she plays quietly in the room of her choice, her bedroom, or the playroom.  Well, she chose the playroom, and played herself to sleep within a half hour.  Emma, on the other hand, stayed mercilessly awake.  Tired to a fault, she REFUSED to sleep.  I took it calmly at first, but the little conversations coming constantly from the couch was enough to drive me into insanity by the end:

“Mommy? Mommy? I wanna tell you something”

“Yes, Emma”

“Well…. I wanna tell you something”

“What is it?”

“I wanna tell you something”

“Well what do you wanna tell me?”

“I wanna tell you something…”

Enough of that is sufficient to drive anyone batty!  But, by 2:45, luck, and perseverance would have her sleeping, HALLELUJAH!

At that point, Sarah was awake.  She went upstairs, got bored, and came down to color with me.  One step down and BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM, she was down the stairs, and crying.  I was unnerved, since I couldn’t get to her fast enough, as I had been in the chair, holding a sleeping Ava.  She jumped up, (Thank God) and came running to me, directly following the fall.  This was enough to convince me there were no breaks, since she was moving pretty fast, and without a limp.  She crawled into my lap, and we both cried over it for about 5 minutes, and then she colored happily, sniffles here and there.  She did end up with a little carpetburn on her ribs, which scared me enough to keep a close eye on her for a few hours.  Thankfully, she is acting normal.  That was scary!   I’ll be checking up on her a lot for the next few days!  Color me paranoid, but I was terrified that she had sustained some terrible injury!  There are just some parts of parenting that you can’t laugh or smile about.  They remind you of the HUGE responsibility you carry in having kids, and of how much your heart and soul are involved in their life and well being.

The afternoon was lazy, with lots of coloring going on, and a visit from Brooke was VERY looked forward to.  After recovering, every five minutes were punctuated with “Mommy, is Brooke NEVER coming?!” Brooke finally arrived around suppertime, and assisted in the making of tasty tortillas and tacos!  We had a wonderful time!

Now comes the good part:

After supper, Brooke and I retired to the living room for tea and Monk on Netflix.  The girls retired to the playroom for Toy Story 3.  Allen flitted back and forth, dealing with various and sundry crises on both ends.   Emma decided to join Brooke and I, halfway through our Monk episode, and plopped on the couch, directly beside Brooke.  Brooke reached over to pull her in for a hug, then IT happened.  “Um Liz, Emma might need a diaper change” Brooke told me, as the smell wafted over.  No sooner had I reached for the wipes and diaper, that TRUE panic ensued.  “Its…. its on her FINGERS! HOW did IT get there?!” Brooke says as she leaps off the couch, both of us staring at Emma in horror.  I reached for her wrist, and held the offending hand high, and away from the furniture.  Allen entered, as we discovered Emma’s blanket, lovey, and Brooke’s sweater, were all affected…  “Take this child to the bathtub, I got this!”I said to Allen, as he swooped her upstairs (My hero!)  We immediately inspected the scene of the crime more closely.  We found swathes across the couch where she’d been sitting, and removed all offending articles, grabbing the upholstery cleaner as we went.  I am so glad we bought one for pet stains…  pray tell, do they make a “child stains” version?  As we cleaned up the mess, Brooke and I had one of those “just gotta laugh” moments, and enjoyed the adventure of children.  It was actually pretty funny once the smell was gone…  A clean Emma emerged and Allen announced there may be further damage elsewhere.  We went on a poop hunt, and found only one smear in the playroom, praising Emma’s foresight of clearing that area of the floor, since only the carpet was affected.  Good Emma!  Once the furor died down, Brooke and I returned to our Monk episode wiser, and with extra washed hands.   After Allen left for work, the night was done, Monk was done, hugs were doled out, and everyone snuggled into bed cleaner, and happier.   Whew! That was fun!

In today’s news: Good luck to Abbe and Van in Disney!  Rock ‘Em guys!

Abbe and Van are running for a very worthy cause in Disney’s 2011 marathon, for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on January 9 in honor of their cousin, Alayna.  They leave today for Florida.  I wish them the best of luck, and all the best for Alayna as well, as she battles this awful disease.  You guys are all special in my book, and Alayna is a constant source of inspiration.   Go get ’em guys!

You can follow Abbe and Van here:

Or you can read more about their experience on Van’s blog: