Monday, December 17, 2012

Worlds Were Shattered

On December 14, a HORRIFIC tragedy happened. 20 innocent children and 6 adults were murdered in a completely senseless act of evil. There's no rationale or understanding it, despite the 24 hour news coverage and all the guesses as to what caused it.

When I heard the news, I was shocked, horrified and completely heartbroken. My thoughts immediately went to the mothers that no longer had their babies to tuck into bed. The tiny souls that were taken too soon, are constantly on my mind. And I'm not ashamed to say I had a lot of anxiety. I was scared about going on into public places, scared for my kids, scared to go to work, etc.

You see, I know what it feels like to have a loved one ripped away from you without so much as a warning. I know what it feels like to have lose someone to murder, a horrible act of violence. It destroys your world, and changes everything in a matter of seconds. You are never the same person after something like that happens to you, especially when it becomes a media frenzy/top story. I remember thinking after Kelsey was killed, "Everyone is going on with their normal lives, and I can't even seem to make it through an hour without falling apart."

And I think that's where a lot of my fear and anxiety was coming from. To some degree, I know the feelings that those people in Connecticut are feeling right now. The "why us", the "how did this happen", the "why is everyone else acting totally normal". I wanted to breakdown and hug my babies for hours on end and not let them go anywhere without me ever. Because I know what it's like to lose a loved one to murder. And I don't want to feel it again. I also felt guilty that I was able to go about my everyday life and I felt so sad that anyone else had to feel the immense grief and pain that comes with an event like this.

But I had to distance myself from all the news coverage and the countless internet articles, because the anxiety and overwhelming sadness were threatening to swallow me up. These families need time and space to heal not a camera lens shoved down their throats! Coping with the untimely death of a loved one is never easy, but when the story is being played on every media outlet there is, it's incredibly difficult to cope.

I want those in Newtown to know, that I grieve with them, that they aren't forgotten. As we move closer to Christmas, I will remember those families who have holes in them now, the ones who have presents that will never be opened. I know it's a rough road without a lot of answers. I am one of those fortunate enough to have my family surrounding me this holiday, and I will cherish it all.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

Our holiday was absolutely wonderful. We were able to spend it with family and kept it pretty low key. Not to mention, we chowed down on a bunch of yummy food. And this year we have a lot to be thankful for.

  1. We got the house!!!! Closing is in a couple of weeks. You know what that means? Living with my parents is almost over. I'm really grateful for the roof over my head and my parents' generosity. But I'm SO ready to be on my own again. It's tough trying to meld a bunch of different people and personalities together.
  2. My job. I feel so incredibly blessed to be working again. The people are great and the job is just what I remember it being, something I love to do. I actually thought to myself (yesterday - BLACK FRIDAY- and today) how much fun it was to be working!
  3. Ryan's job. It continues to be the main source of income and the only source of health insurance for our family. With all of the economic uncertainty and upheaval, it's truly amazing to not have to worry about how the bills will get paid or how we'll feed the kids. 
  4. Ryan and the kids! Seriously, as much as I claim they stress me out, they are the best things in my life. They make me laugh, cheer me up, and love me unconditionally. Even when I lose my temper. But the best thing about them, is that they've taught me to love on a whole new scale.
  5. Our family is all happy and healthy. Despite a few minor hiccups i.e. colds, scrapes, bumps, and bruises - our family is incredibly healthy! I've seen so many people get bad health news recently that I am all the more thankful for our good fortune!
  6. Friends, I am blessed to be making new ones and to have old friends who are willing to listen or hang out with me when they can. 
  7. So much more. I can't even name it all, but I truly felt like this year, Thanksgiving was more than just a big dinner for me. It was an occassion where I truly noted all the things I can count as blessings in my life.
After our delicious dinner, I went out Thanksgiving day/Black Friday shopping. It was crazy but a ton of fun. I was so happy my friend called and asked me to go with her. I was able to get all the Harry Potter movies (nerd alert) for $1.96 a piece and basically stocked up our wardrobes for the winter. Oh and I may or may not have bought little Miss Sarah a pink Christmas tree. It was on sale and glittery and well she's been asking for one. Her eyes when she saw it, were totally worth the crowds and craziness. What can I say? The girl loves pink.

And here are the photos I promised last post. Family ones and a few of the kids from Thanksgiving.

Family portrait session

Thanksgiving Day Photos

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy November

Still working on a redesign idea and a new name ... but for now enjoy the Thanksgiving festivities.

A quick update on us. House hunting has been a long and time consuming process, and has pretty much been our main focus for the last month or so! BUT We may have found our house! We just finished inspections and are on round two of negotiations with it and I'm hoping we can be moved and settled before Christmas. (Mostly because I want to get a cliche "our new home" ornament. Silly I know.) But I really hope everything comes through, because both Ryan and I had an "ah ha" moment when we walked into this house. You know the "this is our house, stop traipsing all over town to look at more" moment. Suffice it to say, I would be kind of really frustrated if we had to start all over again. So we're praying hard right now that things go well!

I got a job! I'm now a part time barista (coffee shop worker) again. It's something I did throughout high school and college. I'm good at it, well actually I'm really good at it. At one point I had lofty dreams of owning my own coffee place and making a living out of it. Then the economy tanked and real life took over. (One baby right after another.) But for now, I am loving having a job in the evenings. Adult interaction and extra cash, what could be better right? Honestly, it's probably one of the best things I have done for myself and my kids in a long time. Having a focus other than my kids, has been incredibly good for me. I feel more balanced, even amid all the added "busy-ness" of having a job.

The kids are doing well. Both of them are fast moving and into everything. We have most definitely reached the terrible twos. I've come to call it the time when selective hearing develops in kids! Seriously, Sarah hears me but doesn't listen about 90% of the time! Incredibly frustrating, but then she does something endearing like saying "Mommy I lub you sooo much". And I temporarily forget why I was mad, until she starts back up doing EXACTLY what I told her not to do 10 seconds beforehand. Andrew, is learning new words everyday and has made it his goal to find anything and everything that can be deemed climb-able. I think we may have some broken arms in his future. Seriously, the kid climbs EVERYTHING!

So between the house finding, the new job, and my wild and crazy kiddos, life is moving at an incredibly fast pace. Luckily, we had  family pictures Saturday and I think we got some really cute shots. I love that I have the opportunity to document this time in our lives, because I know when I look back on it years from now, I'll wonder how I let it go by so fast! When I get my copy of the pictures, I'll be sure to post some!

And now it's time for a shower and bed so I can start this crazy marathon all over again tomorrow.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Heads Up

I'm thinking of overhauling the look of this blog soon. Maybe make it a little fancier and I am considering a new blog name as well. I've got a few ideas right now, but we'll see what actually comes of it!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Last Few Weeks

Here's a picture post of life here in our household for the last few weeks.

Sword fighting

My birthday

Sarah reading me my birthday card

Birthday roses
My birthday gift from my hubby!

Carousel ride with Sarah

Finding Nemo 3-D
Finding Nemo 3-D

Handsome 1 year old boy

Trip to the zoo
Riding the carousel at the zoo
Train at the zoo

He loves swinging


Sleeping funny (rain boots on, messed up bed, sprawled out)

Preschool Fall Fun Day at church
Loving the fact that he can color on the wall!
K-State Babies
Again sleeping strangely. That's the mat from the changing table.

Swinging with Papa

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Andrew's 12 Month Stats

In the midst of all that is life, I realized I never got around to putting up Andrew's stats from his one year appointment. Now that's he's almost 14 months, here is what he can do or what he has accomplished as of right now!

  • 21 lbs 9.6 oz 30%
  • 28 3/4 inches 25%
  • Head circumference 19 1/2 inches (Off the charts) Although we managed to avoid any additional testing like MRI's or CAT scans because his head stayed on the same growth pattern and didn't jump up further off the charts.
  • 4 top teeth, 4 bottom teeth, and 4 molars.
  • Loves to play ball
  • Is OBSESSED with pigs! Seriously, he loves them. He screams PIG whenever he sees one
  • He's attempting silverware usage, but gets much less frustrated with his hands.
  • Still uses a bottle, but he loves his cup too.
  • Know where his toes are
  • Loves to dance. Anytime music comes on, he is shaking his little booty. But his absolute favorite song in the whole world is "Some Nights" by Fun (edited of course).
  • Says "sock, shoe, Zach, Dodo (Codie), Papa, Mama, Dada, Mammy (Grammy), Sissy, pih (pig), doh (dog), kitty, ball, noo noo (which means I want what you have)
  • Not only walks, which he mastered around 12 1/2 months but he runs places. One of his favorite games is playing chase with Sarah
  • Claps
  • Plays peek a boo
  • He's accident prone. He bonks his head A LOT. A few days ago he feel into the coffee table and he's sporting a Frankenstein-esque bump/gash on his forhead. Complete with green color.
  • Loves his toy cars, both ride on and little ones
  • He likes knocking down block towers and building them back up again
  • Another favorite activity is playing with stacking cups
  • He spends a lot of time "helping" whether it's putting away dishes or dusting or vacuuming. He loves to help clean and it's always pretty amusing to let him.
  • He can take off his socks and shoes and loves to do so in the car especially
  • His cousins are now 9 months old and he finds them pretty amusing to play with. And he's started being a lot more gentle with them, so they enjoy his company too. 
  • Yammers to himself in "baby speak" a lot. I wish there was some way to know what he means when he says "bwee bwee" because he says it a lot.
It's been an amazing 13 almost 14 months with this little guy. He is the perfect blend of laid back, active, sweet and snuggly, and rough and tumble. I am so blessed to have a healthy and happy little boy! And I know that the future will hold more adventure, frustrations, fun times, and love!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's Been A Long Time

I haven't blogged in awhile because, well life happened. Two kids Two mobile kids, house hunting, life groups, play groups, play dates, errands; the list goes on and on. The truth is I was feeling really stretched thin and like we had two many things going on, and blogging didn't even enter my mind.

Now that I feel like we are on a good routine again, I am hoping to pick back up and hopefully be a bit more regular with my posting.  But here's a quick run down of what's been going on with us since I last updated!

Andrew walks! And I don't mean he toddles, takes a few steps, wobbles a bit more, and then falls. This kid is fast. He can be halfway across the house in the thirty seconds it takes to toss something in the trash. He can also climb stair cases and has some weird obsession with playing in bathrooms. Both not a good thing. But it does mean that when I don't see him in the immediate vicinity, he's pretty easy to find. Oh and just a few days ago, he figured out the running thing. It's a whole new ballgame when your kids can both run away from you, in opposite directions, at the same time. *Sigh*

I had a birthday! I'm now 26 years old and I don't feel any wiser, enlightened, or any of those things that are supposed to come with age. In fact I feel a whole lot of "what the heck am I doing?" I hear that's pretty normal though. As a mom of two little ones, there's a lot of making things up as I go and a lot of mistakes too. But the joy of little kids, is that to them, you are always Super Mommy. The one who may get frustrated and feel like pulling out your hair, but also the one who swoops in and kisses boo boos, fixes meals, plays silly games, and makes the kiddos laugh. So I'm another year older and I'm pretty stoked to see where this next year takes me.

We're house hunting! It's official! We hope to find something soon and be in a house before the end of the year, but those are hopes. Luckily, we are in a place where we are able to take our time and find the house that fits our needs. Buying a house is such a "grown up" thing to do and it's kind of a daunting task. Finding the place where my kids will have their first memories, the place where we'll live for at least 5-7 years, the place that is home. But I am ready for the challenge of finding this house and making it ours!

And on top of those things, we've had a heck of a time just living. Life with two toddlers, well it's crazy busy, a lot of fun, and often a bit frustrating! I'll be back with a picture post and Andrew 12 month update!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Things Kids Says

Normally I pride myself on being able to understand my kids, even when the general public thinks they are speaking gibberish. But I have a few gems from the last couple of days that I really wanted to share with you guys.

First, from Sarah. MOST of the time a stranger can understand what she is saying (unless she's talking really fast or super excited.)

Yesterday was one of those days where nothing went right and everyone was in a bad mood. So I was talking to my sister and she suggested maybe the kids would go down for a second N-A-P. (Spelled out instead of using the actual word.) Well Little Miss Thing has learned a few things about spelling recently and she spun around to give us her opinion on that. She looked right at us, stomped her foot and said "I don't want to go DVD." Funniest thing ever, because she knew we were talking about naps but only knows how to "spell" DVD.

Then this morning, I was putting my contacts in and she followed me into the bathroom.
"What you doing Mommy?"
"Putting in my eyes, I can't see if I don't" (My dad used to tell me that all the time when I was little and he was putting in his contacts.)
"No, those are your tic-tacs." She was 100% serious.

Andrew: Lately he has been learning new words like crazy. But deciphering them among his baby-speak is not an easy task. Case in point.

His newest word is banana or "nanana". Yesterday, he was sitting on the kitchen floor screaming "nananananana" over and over and I just assumed it was him being grumpy. Until I walked closer to the bananas and he got louder. I picked one up and he could barely contain his excitement and begin screeching "NANANA!" When I gave it to him, he gave me this look, like "Why did it take so long?"

He also says "Pig" thanks to a singing piggy bank. "Dog" is another favorite.

Every morning we go through about a 20 minute ordeal where he says "Zach" over and over again. Usually it's around breakfast time. He will say it repeatedly no matter how many times you tell him Zach is at school or show him that Zach's room is empty. He just keeps looking at the door and yelling or whispering "Zach" depending on how he's feeling.

Can't wait to see what else these kids have on their minds.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Party Time

So I'm sure I mentioned Andrew's party theme was "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." With our little guy and his love of food and eating, it just seemed to fit. Plus the decorations were pretty simple to do (but very cute) and we had some great food ideas.

Well, his party was great. We did everything you do at parties. We ate some lunch, opened some presents, ate some cake, watched a little boy smash into a RED smash cake (I was reminded why I chose white for Sarah's first birthday), gave said boy a sink bath, and chatted with all our guests. It was a lot of fun and I was struck by how blessed we are to have all our family and a bunch of friends nearby to celebrate him.

Our banister caterpillar was the official party guest greeter

Almost walking 
Happy camper

Beautiful cupcake spread! My mother in-law made this, the head was the smash cake.

Opening gifts 
Something noisy!!

Happy birthday little man!

Finger lickin' good

Is there something on my face?

Cleaning up!

Over the mantel. 

His actual birthday was the Monday following his party. Daddy took off work and we spent the day just hanging out and enjoying our one year old. Unfortunately, Andrew had a bit of a cold, but he didn't let that get in his way. We had some hot dogs on the grill (Birthday Boy's favorite) with our family that evening and celebrated this little guy once again!

Andrew's First Year Photo Book

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