Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Over Achiever :)

Forgive me for changing my blog header one day before the official start of December. It just seems that I am never able to actually change it once a month like I intend, so when I had it finished this afternoon I just had to put it up before I forgot!

I am really loving creating new headers using Picasa. I had been a huge fan of Scrapblog up until recently, but I really love the way that I can stretch the header across the entire page. If you want to read a great tutorial on how to do this look here.

Now if I only I could get those stubborn tabs of mine to center. :( I have tried various things, but they want to center vertically down my page if I try and mess with them. Ugh. Oh well. I suppose somehow my life will go on. :)

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Monday, November 28, 2011

It Just Feels Good

When was the last time I had laughed until I cried?

You know. Doubled over. Trying to catch your breath. Sounds of snorts and grunts escaping from your mouth...

When it's finished tears are streaming down your cheeks and your stomach aches.

It just feels so good!

So what exactly made me laugh so hard? My husband of course.

Looking back now the story doesn't seem quite as funny as it did to me at that moment, but I must share, because this type of humor is exactly what I love about Chris. (Okay, no I take that above comment back. After typing up this story I was in a complete fit of laughter all over again. Funny stuff I tell ya.)

Alright - setting the scene...

Last night I was getting the boys in to their pajamas. The boys were given some pajamas as a gift from my cousin a few months ago. Ethan pirate pajamas and Grayson firefighter ones. Whenever Ethan dons his pj's he says "Arrrgggghhhh," as any good pirate would.

Well, last night Grayson asked me, "What do I say?"

I told him, "You say, "Is everybody okay?"

Chris spoke up, "That's not what you say! He doesn't just walk in to a burning house, look around and say "Is everybody okay?" What do you think the people there are going to say? Yep, just fine here! Just working on my tan!"

It was just the way he said it. His tone of voice. It did me in.

I love being married to that man.

I love how my boys watched me losing it on the floor and then Ethan asked, "What's Mommy doing?"

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. -Melody Beattie
I love Thanksgiving.
A moment in time where we pause in our hurried lives, look past our to-do lists and wishlists and instead soak up all of the incredible blessings that are right in front of our eyes.
And so tonight I want to take the time to write down a few of those things that I am so thankful for in my life.
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These little boys who truly are the best of friends. Not many moments pass in a day where these two are not attached at the hip. I love to witness their relationship deepening right in front of my eyes. I remember the days of parallel play which have now been replaced with playing together. This morning I walked downstairs and they were full of conversation, using their imaginations, and creating stories of how the couch moved itself downstairs.
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Little boys in footie pajamas on our couch. Curled up, bookie in hand, ready for books, brushing, and prayers.
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The way Adelyn calls me "MeeMee."
The words that are beginning to spring from her mouth, "Uh-oh. All done. Sock. Tummy. Duck. Hi. DaDa."
Her giggle and the way that dimple shows whenever she does it. Does.Me.In.
I love her at 15 months. This is a fun age!
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This man I married. He is such a giver of himself. He pours himself in to his job daily, and then as soon as he is home pours himself fully in to his role as husband and father. Every evenings his sons beg him to "wrestle daddy" and he always obliges. Today he spent his entire day in the garage constructing a Christmas/birthday present for Ethan and Grayson, only to hurriedly finish that to whisk the boys out for a night on the town at the movies and dinner. I am so thankful for him, his handiness, his mind, and his heart.
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Witnessing firsts. Adelyn's first time playing in the snow and Ethan's first time eating it all by himself. :)
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An excuse to spend time in my new kitchen, counter top covered in flour, thinking about all the ones I love digging in to these treats tomorrow. There is just something so cozy about making pies!
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The nose picking
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The pouting and puppy dog faces. (Here he was sad because his brother wouldn't give him another hug.)
Not to mention my parents, Chris's parents, our siblings, neices, nephews, friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors...
I'm thankful for all of it.
Every single person that makes my life what it is.
The good stuff.
The bad stuff.
The annoying stuff.
The busy stuff.
The funny stuff.
The wild stuff.
Happy Thanksgiving!
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

A New Baby

No...not mine.

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But I will claim her as my niece, that is a certainty!

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This past Wednesday morning she arrived. The kids and I were there with my Mom and brother David to welcome her in to this crazy world. It was so incredible to be there for that moment. To see the look on my brother's face when he came in to the waiting room and announced, "I have a girl! Gabrielle Kathryn!"

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Her first name means Strength of God.

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Her middle name is after my mother (yes, she was a bit excited about that!)

She was 9 lbs. 6 oz. and 21 inches long. She is the chubbiest, most darling little girl with a head full of dark hair.

I love seeing my brother and sis with a daughter of their own!!! Michael was completely taken within minutes. I witnessed his heart being stolen away second by second as he held that little pink headed girl in his arms.

There is just something about having a little girl. (Right Davene?) :)

The other night I snuck back down to the hospital alone, just to get my hands on her.

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Oh the smell of baby. It is a beautiful thing.

In other news, it has been a remarkable weekend. Not remarkable in the sense that anything extraordinary happened, but just remarkable in the fact that our family soaked each other up and as I sit here tonight I feel full.

Today we ate lunch together at a restaurant and nobody cried, spilled their drink, choked on food, or went wild. It was just a pleasant lunch where I actually found myself leaning back and eating my food. (In the past I would realize that my entire body was tense with my eyes darting to the left of me, the right of me, across from me...all the while my arms flailing about trying to maintain some sort of control).

My mind is going 1,000 miles an hour with all these tangents it wants me write about...but instead I need to stop it here and perhaps turn some of those tangents in to subsequent posts!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

A Beautiful Saturday

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I just also need to mention, so it isn't forgotten, a few of those beautiful moments from today as well. After nap time today Ethan, Grayson, and I spent about half an hour watching old home movies on our computer. It was so much fun to re-live the memories, sights, and sounds of our family not so long ago. The first time they crawled, them meeting their sister for the first time, holding her for the first time, getting tickled by their Daddy...so many precious memories.

And then tonight. Before my eyes was a memory in the making that I wanted to sear in to my brain. I had just given all three children a bath. They were all three running around the entire upstairs level of the house shrieking, dancing, and laughing together. There was just something about those precious clean little bodies just enjoying life and that moment in time. I found myelf thinking about how those three individuals would grow up one day and move apart from each other. They won't always be under the same roof, they possibly won't always be each other's dearest friends, they for sure won't always be taking baths together! And so for those few minutes tonight I just soaked in the sight of them. I laughed along with them and just about busted out of complete and utter love. It was just ridiculous.

And then Adelyn peed on the carpet and our moment passed.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We Survived!

Just moments upon arriving at the library Grayson announced, "I have to go pee!" The four of us rushed off to the bathroom and sure enough he did. Then Ethan had to pee. Then we washed up and headed out to story time. I was so proud of them!

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We made it all the way through story time and then Ethan had to go again. And he did! Then we washed hands and walked out. As soon as we walked out Grayson announced that he had to go too. So we went back in. And then he did. :)

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We spent a lot more time in the bathroom than actually looking at books yesterday - but the plus side is that we left there with dry pants so everyone was happy! The boys were obsessed with all the new things in the bathroom. The light, the button to flush the toilet, the automatic sinks, the hand dryer. So much fun! Adelyn just sat in her stroller taking lessons and soaking it all in.

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On a bit of a different note, but yet somewhat still tied together, I have been feeling extremely meloncholy the past couple of days. Perhaps it's the fact that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. (What is it about this month that makes us actually slow down and count our blessings? I need to carry this attitude with me more often). Whatever is causing it, I have just been a mess of emotions lately.

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I was instructed a couple of days ago by a mother of grown children to suck every minute out of every day while my children are in this stage of life. To take a minute and sear in to my brain the feeling of having Adelyn in my arms, her head on my shoulder. To relish in the fact that my sons still say, "Mommy, hold me" and crawl up in my lap. To love the insanity of having three young children constantly in my care all day long. Oh how I will long for these days when they are gone. I can just tell and just know that I am living my glory years right now. Not that I won't love every stage of mothering these children, I know I will, but yet there is something so special and so magical about this time. Where their Daddy and I are their protectors, their comforters, their cuddlers, their security. Where evenings are spent together at home because there is no where else that they have to be. No school events, no friends homes, no sporting events...just home, rolling around on the carpet, building fortresses out of legos, rocking a baby doll to sleep, drinking apple pie out of a plastic kiddie cup. (Not to mention the fact that right now in my life all four of our parents are in great health and here with us. This too has been really hitting me lately. I don't want to take their presence in our lives for granted. What a blessing it is to have such incredible parents in our life!)

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Big Boys (and a nervous mother)

We're headed to the library for story time in underwear for the first time ever! Gulp. Wish us luck!
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The UnSuper Mom

I came across this yesterday and fell in love. It just spoke to me. There are so many days when I am overwhelmed by all the "to-do's" that life throws my way. I can look at women around me who appear to do it all, and I can feel guilt and envy rearing their ugly head. This was just an awesome reminder to see that I am not alone in this awesome journey of motherhood, and to just take a deep breath and soak in these little bodies around me...and maybe, just maybe, take a little time for myself once in awhile too.

Taken from www.productiveparenting.com

The Un-Super Mom

By Jill VanHimbergen

It seems to me that there’s an awful lot of praise these days for the multi-tasker, the Super Mom, the “She does it all!” type of gal. This evolved breed of woman plunges the toilet while she
breastfeeds the baby, responds to email, stirs the chili, kisses her husband and
reads her four-year-old Corduroy and the New Pocket. This evolved breed
of woman works full time, moms full time, presides over her local MOPS group,
and hits the gym at least five times a week. In addition, this knock-your-socks-off lady gets the thank-you-notes in the mail the day after she receives the gift, immediately uploads her photos to Facebook, and throws a helluva baby shower.

I have discovered, after three years of motherhood, that I am not this “How in the world does she do it all?!” type of girl. I am more of a “Well, I guess she does the best with what she has” kind of chick. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I multitask all right. No gettin’ around that one. But
things turn out kind of sloppy, mis-shapen, and misplaced when I do. Dirty
diapers get thrown down the laundry chute, library books grow fees, coupons get
thrown down the pit of despair that is my pantry, and sometimes, especially when
headed to the zoo, I hear a little voice from the backseat say, “Mommy, are we
lost or something?”

I have tried hard to evolve into the Super-Mom-She-Creature I feel that many of my peers have successfully become, but it seems that if I attempt to run an errand, have a playdate and make a meal all in the same day, I will more than likely burst into flames.And yet something repeatedly gnaws at me to become a person I am not meant to be. This twisted inner voice that says, Oh, man, she has three kids and she organizes fundraisers for bone marrow transplants? I should do something like that. Or Oh, wow, she’s got two kids and she figures out how to shop at four different grocery stores to buy only organic and local and make five meals a week that do
not include macaroni or chicken nuggets. I should buy a cookbook or something
and figure out how to do that.

So, who is this little devil inside me that is repeatedly trying to convince me to bite off more than I can chew? This twisted little voice who tries to convince me to be something that I’m not? Is
it my own twisted psyche? Society? Oprah?Whatever it is, it’s time for it to shush. Somewhere along the way, I filled my giant pockets with greedy handfuls of guilt. Guilt that my house isn’t clean enough, that my kid’s birthday party isn’t cool enough, that I am not present enough, that I am not creative enough. Somewhere along the way, I got this idea that I could and should DO IT ALL.But today, that’s changing. Today, I’m putting on a pocketless sundress and I’m skipping through my clover-filled yard to go on a bear hunt with my boys. I’m leaving the crap on the counter and the blocks on the floor. I’m making tuna melts for dinner. And I’m starting a
movement.A movement in praise of the Un-Super Mom, the mono-tasker, the
“I can only handle one thing at a time!” type of gal.

The Un-Super Mom does not run the PTA, the book club, and the church youth group. The Un-Super Mom has a glass of wine in front of her DVRed shows, reads her book, and goes to
bed. The Un-Super Mom does not organize the coat closet and she does not dust
the ceiling fans. The Un-Super Mom takes a nap. She might even eat a clich├ęd
bon-bon or two…or four. The Un-Super Mom does not pull her weeds. She embraces
them as God’s lush, green, shrub-choking plan for her garden. The Un-Super Mom
has lollipop sticks stuck to the leather seating of her car and she has—GASP!—
processed foods in her pantry. The Un-Super Mom sometimes lets her kids watch
more than the suggested daily hour of TV.

The Un-Super Mom is the mom who figures out how to NOT do it all, the mom who drinks her coffee and reads the newspaper and maybe stays in her pajamas a little too long. The mom who accepts the fact that she has limits. That they are unique to her. And that they are to
be embraced and respected.And to all you “Do It All” Mamas out there
staying up tonight to fold laundry, check emails, and make scrapbooks? You go
girls! But I’m not with you tonight. Tonight I’m gonna eat a cookie and go to
bed. I’m leaving the laundry in the basket, the toy boat on the stairs, and the
unopened mail on the counter. I’m emptying my pockets of all the guilt and
missed expectations and I’m accepting the fact that I simply was not wired to
run a fundraiser, iron shirts, or give a crap about cooking from scratch.

Goodnight, scary little Martha Stewart/Oprah voice in my head. Come back when
you resemble something much cooler and funnier like Gilda Radner or Tina Fey.

Then, we’ll talk.

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