Saturday, December 24, 2011

who we are

It is a rare occasion that I hand over my camera and ask someone to take a picture of the four of us. 
Emme had a sweet little school performance the other night and I handed the camera to Nonni. I am so glad I did! This is not for a card or anything, but it is a good representation of who we are right now.

My pastor said at church the other day that we often want to come to church or come to God when we have everything "just right" in our lives. He reminded the congregation that God wants us to do just the opposite. He wants us to remember that He accepts us just the way we are RIGHT now, not "just right" now. That lesson hit home for me. I want to believe that I know that about my God. I think I do. 

The problem is that I can't let myself be accepting of the new mother and wife I am, even when I know that God is. I have been and continue to be very hard on myself about what I am accomplishing this year in preparation for Christmas. I feel like I have just been off, the learning curve for working mother is a big one.
I compare my last year's  self. And dear last year self, you rocked it out girlfriend. 

But today, as I slow down after two family Christmases and I look around the house....  I see all the loads of unfolded laundry, half-wrapped presents under the tree, decorations haphazardly laying on the floor, kitchen counters covered in baking preparations, I am beginning to see things clearly.

 THIS is who I am right now, who we are right now, and right now will soon be over. So I'm regaining my footing--surveying the scene, and it's grand. I'm burrowing into my family, reflecting on this last year and how far our family has come, feeling grateful and content. 

May you all enjoy your RIGHT NOW as we are enjoying ours.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


We have been preparing for his arrival for some time now.
It looks different than years passed have looked.
But the effort is being made to make this year special.
We have forgotten to add cotton balls to santa's ever-growing beard,
missed the removal of a few chain links, and pulling ornaments out of our advent calendar has been overlooked a time or two.
But Harry the elf has landed in a new destination each morning, we have gotten the traditional pictures documenting the passing of time and contentment of family.
We are doing it.
I beat myself up a lot being a working mom, worried that I am not giving them the time the need or deserve. Frankly, they are not getting the same me, I am stretched too thin to believe that they are. BUT, they are getting quality time, intentional time. Two parents that are committed to giving them memories and family traditions. And for the moment, that has to be enough. 

We decorated the tree and the house on Black Friday and ate OUR Thanksgiving meal the next day. It was a quiet way to begin the holiday season. 

The mild Saturday weather took Dad-O out to man the lights while Mommy cooked a small turkey breast, roasted root veggies and cubed potatoes. We ate pecan pie with whiskey maple cream sauce for dessert (dad-o's delight) and we began making our annual christmas cd for friends and family.

We have been preparing for his arrival for some time now.
It looks different than years passed have looked.
But the effort is being made to make this year special.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our Autumn

As we continue to adjust to our new life
I find myself being very protective of our time.
When you go from every day all day to three or four awake hours a day with your family
perspective shifts

We spent much of our time off of "life"

living life to our fullest
This fall we have done just that

We picked out pumpkins

Drew up our intended outcome

removed the seeds (one-handed of course)

and full body attack (of course)

We carved them up, taking in the fall view of our new little cottage home

posed in front of colorful mums

and in our side yard.

Dad-O went to B's first school halloween party
and MiMi went to E's
and I worked

And the only person who struggled with that was me, 
but I am letting go a little bit at a time, 
and so very thankful that someone was there for them both,
 even if it was not me. (really I AM)

We trick-or-treated only some of whom we wanted, 
because after a school day, there just simply is not enough time 
to go everywhere we want to go

And we smiled a bit more for the camera.....

more than that
the camera stayed hung on it's hook a little more than usual
and we made some memories that will have no snapshots attached to them
we made the most of life

Sunday, October 30, 2011

the circus

Not many people know this about me,
but I bet most people could guess.
I HATE the circus.
It totally freaks me out.
I did not want to go
and I especially did not want to put my kids on an elephant or a camel 
or any other wild and stinky animal.
But it made for some good pictures.
Seriously.....could this camel be any more of a poser?
So for the kids sake, I powered through, and tried to see to it that it was not 
obvious how uncomfortable I was.
And the kids loved every minute of it, 
they have talked about it for days now.
Afterall, we were not going to tell these guys no!
Thanks Uncle Jet and Uncle Charlie! 
The kids had a blast at the circus, and it was so cool to watch them enjoy it with you both!

but next time....I think I will take your word for it!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Moms and muffins

I am one proud momma!
He is such an amazing kid!
A few weeks ago, the class studied the letter M,
and as the invitation stated
what better M is there to celebrate than the M in MOM.
And so was created, "Moms and Muffins" morning at K class.

They sang their songs, introduced us to their friends, 
and showed us what a typical morning in K looks like.
I wanted to stay all day.
I am so thankful I was able to attend
even though it was heart-breaking to leave.

We shared a muffin and a glass of milk and he held my hand the whole time I was there.
I still dream he will do that at his 12th grade open lofty?

This is the poem he wrote me,
 I hope he can feel how happy he makes me!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

maple leaf

Dad-o had a previous obligation and we were on our own this year at Maple Leaf.
Aunt K was kind enough to invite us to share the festivities with her family
so we hung with K and her littles,
ate her aunt's amazing confections,
and cheered on the bands.

We boogied to the catchy tunes to keep warm.

and snuggled under the blanket in the lulls of the parade

and after a few hours of napping (mom included) we headed to the park with our kc friends c and c.
Dad-O arrived back home just in time for a few drinks and a feast on the front porch with more friends.
A most low-key Maple Leaf in comparison to many before, 
but the stories of Maple Leaf past still come to play...every year.
And this year I was ok not to one-up those stories!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

school carnival

my sweet boy is getting older
and a social life is budding
so the school carnival was unavoidable
because there were people to see and places to go

he followed his new found buddies from Kindergarten class to all the bouncy houses
and there were games to play

and he even let his little sister tag-a-long

and we shared pizza with his new friends too

Monday, October 24, 2011

our hidden gem

Burried in Carthage, back in the woods a bit
behind the "vietnamese"
lives a little oasis
a little miniature botanical garden 
we have all to ourselves
with a coy pond full of every shade of orange and yellow a box of crayons has to offer
we ride our bikes the half mile it takes to get there
with bread in hand
and we feed the fish and bask in the sun
our little hidden gem
that feels like, for just a moment, that little has changed in our lives the past year

and it is just us, taking in the world around us

Saturday, October 22, 2011

making memories

This year Nonni and Poppy decided that a vacation meant including the littles in their fun.
An overnight and two days at Roaring River
fishing, cleaning the fish, eating the fish
the whole shebang
Ben was a great helper, as emme kept all the fisherman entertained with singing and dancing.
They got to stay in a camper, eat lots of Nonni's cooking, play with fire (with supervision of course), search for rocks, learn how to play slap-jack, eat smores and drink coke.
What a time.
and Ben is already picking out our campsite for next year
this may have to be an annual event.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A few last hurrahs

It has been a while, I know
Balancing work life and home life while trying to do both better that average
has proven to be quite difficult for me.
I have been thinking back a lot lately
to the time when I started this blog. 
And I reminded that the MAIN reason I started to record our life
was to have it to look back on this blog when I get the time to scrapbook, or even better,  to print the blog as a scrapbook.
But....for my kids, for myself, and my husband.
I loved the thought of others reading the blog
and still do!
But I do not want it to be about that so much that I have to edit each picture,
or be grammatically correct or moving with each entry
So, with that said,
a few pictures and words about the last few hurrahs
as a non-working mother
before work truly began

Papa took "the boys" canoeing
Ben and Dad-O loved it
and we both agreed that it is something we hope to do more often

We went to the lake with our good friends, A and B.
And, at first, I did not want to because I felt so overwhelmed at the thought of going with work around the weekend. And, with many of the reasons I call her my friend, Mommy M gave me a piece of her mind about why we should go and enjoy ourselves. And WOW was she right, it was so nice to get away, and be with people we love, and who love us right back. And I find myself thinking back to the serenity of that weekend when I am overwhelmed with what our life looks like now.

And MiMi took us all to KC to shop for uniforms for E and some school clothes for B, and we had a great time in the hotel with their first waterslide. We ate at a dinosaur cafe complete with volcano dessert, and I was reminded why I should never be sad to not be invited on a shopping trip, because I stink at shopping! (thanks Cindy)

Just a few memories.....
More to come