>> Wednesday, July 06, 2011

This kid has come a long way...


Annual Camping

>> Friday, July 01, 2011

Our annual Memorial Day weekend camping trip was a little wet and cold at first but warmed up nicely by the last day or so. We were thrilled to add our friends who just moved back from Taiwan to our posse. Since both other families have babies less than a year old, L could hardly contain herself with excitement!

Here she is with Baby N and Baby F...

And of course W and his buddy...

We went on our usual hike and the kids did fabulously. Even the babies on their daddy's backs in their little backpacks were troopers...

This part made me slightly nervous...

Such a blessing to share memories in our expanding families together...



W's end of year pre-school field trip was to the Scovill Zoo on a ridiculously hot day in May. Thankfully the kids didn't seem to notice the heat and enjoyed the day tremendously.

The train and the carousel were the main attractions...

And oh, you should have heard the snickering from the parents on this exhibit. W showed his sweet naivete when he shouted out..."Mom, look, the turtles are WRESTLING!!"

After the zoo we headed to Monical's for lunch. I showed MY naivete when I tried to snap a quick pic of three riled up preschool boys waiting for their pizza. Here's attempt 1:

And again...

And I finally gave up...


Training Wheel Milestone

>> Sunday, May 08, 2011

Look what this kid was up to this weekend...

And of course a little of this too...


Princess Party

My sister-in-law and I took our girls to a Princess Party fundraiser at the High School this weekend. It was every little girl's dream come true. I seriously couldn't believe all the work these students went to!

L was just in heaven--she started asking me when we were going every 10 minutes about three days before the party so we made a countdown that helped appease her for a bit. Sometimes I worry about the whole "princess" phenomenon she's attached herself to but I couldn't help but be excited with her when I saw how custom fit this morning was for her taste.

She got to dress like her favorite princess so she wore a pink dress like Princess Aurora.

She wanted to wear all the same jewelry that mommy wore.

Making a tissue paper flower, one of many crafts she made.

Getting her nails of course.

Getting a butterfly painted on her face

Playing pin the lips on the froggy.

Decorating and eating her confetti cupcake.

Just before the clock struck midnight.


Beautiful Nightmare

>> Friday, April 22, 2011

There are some moments in life when one becomes frighteningly aware of how fiercely they love another person(s). I had one of those moments at 5:57 am this morning.

Last night Hubby and I watched Unstoppable, a great Denzel flick never lacking for suspense. When I went to bed my adrenaline was still pumping so I should have expected an interesting night.

I have no idea what time I started dreaming. I know they say you actually only dream for minutes or even seconds but it felt like my dream went on for an eternity.

I will spare the awful details of the nightmare but basically it all culminated in Stacy and I searching for two days straight in the wreckage of a building for our children. Yeah, it was horrifying.

We hadn't eaten, slept or had medical attention for our own cuts and bruises. Finally we found some kind of elevator that allowed us to get up to the fifth floor where we knew our children were. I got to L first but she didn't recognize me, was delirious, seeing things, having not eaten or slept herself for two days.

Stacy disappeared to continue looking for W. I scooped L up in my arms with tremendous relief and yet still agonizing fear of not having yet found W. At the same moment that I scooped her in my arms I woke up.

5:57 am. My pillow was wet from having cried in my sleep. At the same time that I felt relief in knowing it was just a dream, I tried instinctively to get back into the dream so I could find W. I couldn't sleep again, thank God, and although I knew Hubby's alarm would go off in three minutes I couldn't bear being alone in my surreal state so I woke him.

I sobbed as I recounted the dream to him and he gently shushed me and held me to comfort me back into reality.

It was in that moment that I realized how fiercely I love my children. Even though it was just a dream, I knew without a doubt that I absolutely would claw through burning wreckage to find my kids.

That I absolutely would go without food or water or sleep for days to get to them.

That I absolutely would enter that garish nightmare again if it meant I could find them and bring them to safety.

There are days when I wrongly take my children for granted. I tire of their incessant demands. I battle their disobedient ways. I forget how fantastic they are.

Today was not one of those days.

The beauty of my nightmare was realized today at 5:57 am and with a cloud lurking over my day, I lived today in an awareness that these precious lives have totally redefined my concept of love.



I have these great memories from my childhood of going to see the Gamma Phi Circus with my family. I was a young inexperienced gymnast totally enthralled by the amazing feats these performers/college kids could master (And just slightly freaked out by the clowns. OK, REALLY freaked out by the clowns.)

So ever since W was a baby I've been itching to take him but knew he wouldn't fully appreciate it until he was older. This was the first year I thought both kids could handle sitting still for that long (I might have been a bit optimistic with L yet.)

The show definitely did not disappoint and they have added so much cool stuff since I saw it some 25 years ago. Oh sheesh, that's a quarter of a century. Sigh...

W was totally captivated by every part. During one act when one of the girls was riding a unicycle across a tight wire he covered his eyes and said "I CAN'T WATCH!!" How does a five year old know to cover his eyes during an intensely suspenseful act?

He was clearly not listening though when the announcer warned children not to try these acts at home. That was the first thing he wanted to do with Daddy when he got home was to try out all the new tricks he had seen. Or maybe it was more Daddy who hadn't listened!

L was surprisingly attentive too. Except for about the last hour. Two and a half hours is a long time for even me to sit in one place! After the first act, a trampoline act, she got down from her seat and wanted to know when it was her turn to go down and give it a try.

We had a great time and are looking forward to trying it again in a couple years--maybe by then we'll have a gymnast or two of our own!


This is just awesome...

>> Friday, April 15, 2011

This web site has a constant, live video feed of an eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa - complete with adult and baby eagles.

Live TV : Ustream


There are just some days...

>> Thursday, April 14, 2011


Return to Hearts at Home

>> Sunday, March 27, 2011

I haven't been to the Hearts at Home Conference for a couple years and it was good to get back! I met my long-time high school friends there and we had a blast.

Are those some hip moms or what? Let me just pause for a moment and explain something. Yes, if you look close you will see that is the same outfit I am wearing in the previous post. I actually considered not posting one of the pictures when I realized this. However, it is just an indication of the minimalist I am. I have one winter outfit that I feel great in, so I wear it a lot. Rather than omit the picture I decided to be authentic instead!

Now, on to the good stuff. Hearts at Home is always one of those conferences where before I go I don't really think I need to go. Then when I go I realize how VERY much I needed to go.

There wasn't a whole of lot of earth-shattering, new material for me this year. But the reminders I received that I am God's child; He made me and designed me especially to be W and L's mommy; and that His love covers all my inadequacies brought Revolution to my life.

Some specifics I intend to be more diligent about attacking are:

1. My tendency to speculate about what others think. Jennifer Rothschild...

was one of the main speakers. She is a firecracker speaker who lost her sight at age 15 and now teaches women across the country how to walk by faith, not by sight. She reminded me that speculating only leads to allowing yourself to entertain thoughts based on feeling, not fact. Being a natural born "feeler" makes me really bad about this sometimes. See above paragraph about my speculation that you would care or even notice that I am wearing the same outfit in both photos. Sheesh...sometimes my neurotic tendencies are JUST. TOO. MUCH. for even me. Anyhoo...

2. Patience, patience, patience. I'm also a natural born "fixer." So when my kids are struggling, I swoop in to do it for them rather than let them struggle things out. I need to get better about this.

3. Intentionally cultivate independence in my children by being patient, patient, patient. See number 2. Can you tell I need some help in the patience area?

The rest of the weekend was just bonus. A's hubby brought us my fave...

so we could avoid the dinner rush. Ingenious.

This Southern Belle was the comedian for Girls Night Out and I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. Such an unassuming entertainer.

Then we stayed at A's house and the next day spent it eating, shopping and catching up on life as mommy's. (How do you spell mommy's? Mommies? Mommys? Is that even a word??)

And really, how better to top off a girl's weekend than some breakfast here...

and lunch here?!!...


Iowa Baby Shower

I had the great opportunity to take a weekend trip in February to visit a close friend of mine for her baby shower. Thankfully another friend of mine went with me so we had the chance to catch up on the five hour drive which made the time pass so much more quickly.

We had dinner at the Sugar Shack, a 50's style diner with a great Patty Melt and yummy chocolate malt. I'm a sucker for a good malt. Mmmm....

We then headed back to our hotel...

and had a chance to catch up more with the mom-to-be.

The next morning we went to the shower, thrown by the mom-to-be's sister in law. I have to say I'm not sure I've ever been to a baby shower with that much attention to detail! It was so well done and an awesome celebration of this new little life that God created.

C was opening presents for and hour and a half! Can you tell they are stocked and ready for this precious one?! (And this is just a glimpse...)

Yes, this is the gift hubby and I got her. And yes that is a duplicate you see in the background of the EXACT. SAME. THING. Why do registries not really work? Anyway, is she cute or what?

It was a great weekend and I was so glad I got to spend some time with my friend before her life changes forever. It is almost certain that life changes forever when a baby enters the picture. But their story is unique.

Halfway through their pregnancy they discovered that their baby has a rare chromosomal disorder that will affect his health and development in some possibly significant ways. I have been absolutely amazed at the grace with which they received this news. Grieving certainly, but moving forward towards acceptance, determined to prepare themselves for whatever this new journey may bring.

That is love.

Here's a sneak peek at their precious little peanut...


10 Year Trip-Part 7

>> Wednesday, February 02, 2011

OK, It is officially time to wrap up this post series. I had no idea it would take me this long to write a few silly posts. I guess when you add in Christmas and moving to the equation I can't be too hard on myself!

Our final day at sea was spent relaxing and planning mentally for the whirlwind of packing/closing/Christmas/moving that would await us when we returned home. Have I mentioned how serene the sunsets were?

The comedians on board were great and we spent our last evening enjoying some laughter in this lounge:

Dinner was delicious as always:

And of course a final farewell to our little friend:

Already looking forward to what we'll plan for celebrating Fifteen!


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