Winter in the Great Smoky Mountains


We drove through the national park yesterday to see what winter did to the mountains. Beauty! Icy! Cold!

Pictures are behind the cut. Enjoy.

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The Patio Party that wasn’t.

Despite our five-month-long effort to prepare the backyard for a big bash celebrating my father-in-law’s 70th birthday, we spent the entire evening inside on account of rain.

Of course it rained!

Yet, there is still much to be grateful for. Above all, Bill was surprised by the event and had a wonderful evening, which was the point. And even though we were not able to enjoy our backyard for the party, there will be other opportunities for that and the work needed to be done anyway.

Do you remember the sand pit? The previous owners of our house left an empty space where they used to have an above-ground pool.

Original backyardToday, you would not have known such a wreck had existed. Though we had help from landscapers, let me brag on Chuck for building that wooden retaining wall entirely on his own.

The Patio Party that wasn'tThere will be other parties and gatherings to enjoy in this space, but it wasn’t meant to be Saturday night. Instead, we sang Happy Birthday and socialized inside the house, which was fine in the end.

Happy 70th

Blowing out 70 candles

Bill in Vol Pants

Miller Family, 2013

August 17, 2013

Actually, there was one in the family who enjoyed the patio Saturday night, yet he was small enough to fit under the eave and stay dry.The only one who enjoyed the patio party

River frolic

This is how I spent my birthday: the boys on my bday

Major at the river

River frolicMy 35th birthday was magnificent. Thanks to all who were a part of it either in person or in spirit. *Much love*

Thanksgiving 2012

If there is one thing my sister and I are grateful for it is our boys’ ability to interact with one another as if they see each other all the time and not just twice a year. They love each other so dearly despite the distance. There have never been reintroductions or urgings to play. As soon as these four are in the same room, they are off and running. And then there are major tears when it’s time to leave. As usual, Thanksgiving went  by too quickly.

Photos from the 2012 North vs. South game tomorrow!

Much Needed

It really was a merry Christmas. I have more than 500 photos to prove it. Here is the best one:

It was also a very loud Christmas – because of them:

Jacob, 10

Jeremy, 8

Owen, 7

Jack, 5

Many blessings to you and yours for the new year. See you in 2012.


A Mother’s Day Tradition

It’s been a long-standing tradition to visit the family cemetery on Mother’s Day weekend to decorate the gravesite of Grandma (Georgia) Miller. As most of you know, Chuck lost his mother last fall so we had even more reason to keep the tradition going.

After paying our respects, we walked around the cemetery identifying family plots. The earliest member we could find was born in 1843. For record keeping, I took photos of every headstone that bore the family name and quizzed Bill (Chuck’s father) on how we’re related. Every time we told Jeremy how So-and-So was related to him, he’d ask, “Did he fight in the Civil War?” Our little history buff is going to love our summer trip to Washington D.C.

And now they’re gone.

The Przylucki Texas trip was over almost as quickly as it began. Four days of driving for three days of visiting make for both a long and short trip, but despite the many miles it took for them to get here, I am thankful. It’s always been a desire of Becky’s and mine that our boys grow up as “together” as they can. The distance between our cities presents a great challenge, but so far, so good. The four boys love being together, and at their ages, we couldn’t hope for much more.

I’ll edit more photos along the way, but now I’m going to bed. Apparently sleep wasn’t on the agenda this weekend.

The Simplest Answers are Often the Best Ones

For those of you who know us, or at least know the details of our current situation, then you know Chuck’s mother has been battling cancer for a year and a half, and though the last few months have been the hardest, it has been a gift to have her longer than everyone initially feared.

The end of the battle is near, and because I believe honest conversations with simple answers are good, I’ve chosen to tell Jeremy the surface issues regarding his grandmother’s health in the last few weeks. Just tonight at dinner, I told him that we may not have her much longer, and that if he wanted to talk about dying, then I was okay with that.

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