Sunday, December 16, 2007

From our Family to Yours

In the words of Abby...
Merry Christmas
"Have a New Ear!"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

$20 Santa

$20. That's what I spent for the rights to this digital picture. Taken with Santa at the mall. On the spur of the moment. With the kids in their school clothes from that morning, and their big clunky new boots for the quarter inch of snow on the ground. With Ethan's surly smile and Abby looking like she's ready for bed. Ethan asked for a new Krypto Superdog toy. Abby asked for a purple skirt and a Barbie purse. They were both in awe and delight at sitting on Santa's lap.

I love it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Baby. My Big Girl.

Abby is the most precious, beautiful, talented, curious, hilarious little girl I know.

Abby is the most stubborn, strong-willed, overly-independent, curious, frustrating little girl I know.

These things all reside simultaneously within a girl-child who is at one moment an amazingly bright 4 year old, at another a tantruming 2-year old, and at yet another a precious and cuddly infant.

Some days, I can't get enough of Abby's silly antics and adventurous nature.

Some days, I have had my fill of her antics by 9:00. In the morning.

Today was one of the latter.

So to remind myself of what a precious joy that my daughter is all of the time, regardless of her behavior, I look at pictures like these. And my heart overflows with love for the sweet and precocious little girl who calls me Mom.


We love autumn. It's our favorite season. The beautiful leaves changing colors, pumpkins, cooler weather, long shadows as evening approaches.

Here are some autumn shots through the years, reminding me of just how quickly my children are growing.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A pictoral summary

My two Big Kids getting ready to start preschool again this year!
Abby had a rough start, but has hit her stride with a new teacher Miss Damian whom we LOVE! Just this week, Abby stayed on the rug during the entire 15 minute circle time (for the first time) -and- cleaned up all of the dress-up area without prompting (for the first time). There is hope for Kindergarten yet!
Ethan is doing fabulously in his 3 year old class. He started this year knowing his letters and letter sounds, shapes, colors, and most of his numbers, but his new teacher Miss Jennifer is finding ways to challenge him.

Abby turned FOUR! She had a spectacular Tinkerbell party, and even got everyone to dance the chicken dance for her birthday (her favorite dance).
Jennifer, Donielle, LeeAnn, Jenny and Me (Missing: Merideth)
My Jennifer's have finally met! We went for a girls' weekend away to scrapbook, talk and stay up way too late (isn't that always the way it goes?) Jennifer and her sisters, Jenny and I ... it was a lot of fun!
My super-silly Superkids!

Abby has made huge developmental progress over the last 3 months! Here, she drew a picture of "Awful Alvin" (from LarryBoy) just like Daddy did - - - isn't it good? I love the squiggly hair.

Ethan loves music. Here, he's playing the Melodica, but the amazing thing is that he found a newspaper ad that has music notes in it (on the right-hand page, at the bottom) and he "played" the music. Then he wrote out his own music on the green paper (see all the lines - they're notes).

Did you miss me?


I have been absent. At least here. For a few months.

Lately, my life has been beyond overly busy. I have taken on two large projects (one for church and one for preschool) that have

Rewarding? Sure. Stupid? Definitely.

And now, as I sit writing this at 12:47 a.m., I realize yet another bad side effect of being over-extended. Insomnia.

But, one good thing comes. This blog is finally going to get a little update. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Camping is made for Abby

Abby and her centipede --- "I love him so much, Mom!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Good Ending to a Bad Day

This morning was not a great morning. I woke up tired and crabby. I didn't get nearly as much done as I'd hoped while the kids were at the babysitting co-op. I've mentally looked up my "to-do" list and I can't even find the bottom of it. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with the tasks on my plate right now. So this morning put me in a foul mood.

But things have turned up. I had a weigh-in today at Weight Watchers and discovered that I have finally met a milestone I've been eyeing for a month now - I am down 25 pounds (and a half!) I have 7 more to go until I'm at my goal weight - I'm so hopeful I will make it by my original deadline of Abby's birthday (August 26th). It's definitely attainable!

In other good news, I am going away on a scrapbooking weekend with Jennifer and her 3 sisters in just two short days... and today I found out that Jenny will probably be able to come, too! I can't imagine a more fun girls' weekend, with some great girls!

In a little while we are headed to one of our local kids' gyms for some open gym time, which should be really fun. All in all, a great ending to a day that started out poorly. Yay!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Is it sacreligious...

...if I see Ethan playing with a rosary, animating Jesus on the cross walking down the street yelling, "c'mon, beads!" as they trail along behind? Oh yeah. And I laugh out loud.

Just wonderin'. ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This one's for Jennifer

I have decided that I will share with you the names that Mark and I would have chosen for Baby #3. Last year, I listed the names that we considered, but were not chosen. But it's time to drop the big ones on you. [The middle names are for our great friends, Jenny and Paul, who would have been this baby's Godparents.]

The girls names are....

Leah Jennifer (runner up)
Elise Jennifer (the winner)

The boys names are...

Aaron Paul (runner up)
Simon Paul (the winner)

The end of waiting

It has been almost 2 months since our deadline past for adopting another baby. We set Ethan's birthday as our deadline over a year ago, giving ourselves a firm cutoff of when we would stop being "in waiting." When we figured our lives could be back to normal.

The truth is, I didn't pour as much of myself into waiting this time around. I didn't do any advertising or networking. I didn't look for situations that might work out. I didn't put much effort in at all. My life already was "normal", so there was no need to return to it.

It has taken me a year-and-a-half, but over that time I became perfectly OK and happy with being a Mom of 2 kids instead of 3. For all my complaining, I do realize that I have two amazing kids. Kids who are great friends to each other. Kids who are so different from one another in personality, temperament and interests. But yet kids who really, really enjoy one another. If you ask either one who their best friend is, they will choose each other. They are growing up together, sharing stages together. They are already close in the exact way I missed growing up with 3 much-older sisters.

Since May, I have been waiting for the dams to open up and the flood to come, the flood of my grief over the finality of our family unit. But they haven't come. Even when I feel tiny pangs of longing when I see a newborn, and I turn in on myself to really feel what I am feeling, the tears are few. I feel a little guilty about that, like maybe we shouldn't have even put ourselves out there for another adoption. Like maybe I didn't really want it as much as I should have. But then I remember that 18 months ago, I felt very differently than I do today.

And I think I understand what has happened to me in the last 18 months to change me so much. I have finally become content with what I have.

Summer, glorious summer

For the last month or so, our family has had one priority... to enjoy summertime. To soak up every second of fun that we can. To enjoy the weather, and each other.

We've succeeded.

Here are some pictures from the last month to let you know what we've been doing.

Ethan had a great 3rd birthday party with our immediate family. He had a space theme, and everyone got to make their own space hat. It was fun!

Our 5th tri-annual (once every three years) family reunion for my dad's side of the family. 61 of us met up in Tennesse for lots of great times. The kids especially had a ball!

Abby and Ethan's first time bowling. We shared the day with their cousin, Dylan. We had such fun!

Camping trip #1 (of 4, I think). The campground had lots of stuff to do. And we were lucky that our friends Jenny and Paul and 5-year-old Aidan came out to visit with us one night!
Check out my new campfire coffee percolator (thanks, Mom and Dad-in-law!)

My poor chipmunk! Mark got his wisdom teeth pulled last Friday. Yesterday, he had to go in because he thought he had a dry socket. The prognosis: "you're old." It's going to take a long time to get back to 100% for a 30-something patient. ;)

We had a visit from Mark's sister's family (Tracy, Jeremy, 3-year-old Lana and 2-year-old David). The kids had a great time playing!

My curious girl found my nail polish and decided to paint her toenails in the foyer (the left foot - pink on top of the white that Grandma had painted). Thank goodness she was very neat!

We spent a day with my parents at a local waterpark. Abby is enjoying the splash fountains, and Ethan loved to send the beach ball flying in the lake.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

You Like to Read, Right??

My bestest friend, Jennifer, has challenged herself to read 52 books in 2007. She writes reviews of the books and posts them here.

She has added a fun little challenge for herself where she will select one of us to choose her 30th book to read. The best part - she will send us her copy of the book once she's done! A free book, and a well-written review! What's better than that?

I hope you'll join me in entering the contest. All you have to do is write a comment on this post by Friday. Easy-shmeesy. And I promise, Jenn doesn't bite. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've Never Been So Excited About A Keyring

I've reached some major weight loss milestones.

First, I am down a size in pants and shirts. My old jeans are pretty much falling off. I have been adjusting my belt 4 notches from where I used to be.

Second, I am over half-way to my weight loss goal.

Third, I have lost 18 pounds in 9 weeks - that is a 2-pound-per-week average.

Fourth, two people who I haven't seen in months have taken one look at me and said, "Wow - you've lost a lot of weight!" That makes me happy, because it's hard to see the difference on myself since it is gradual.

Fourth, I have lost over 10% of my original weight. With the 10% loss, Weight Watchers gives out a keyring.

I'm so damn proud of that stupid thing. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday to My Son

Today, Ethan turns 3.

Where has the year gone?

Into mud puddles, and belly laughs,
into super snacks, and Buzz Lightyear,
into squeezy hugs, and climbing monkey bars,
into being a great friend, and loving preschool,
into a new favorite color (pink), and spaceships.

I can't wait to see where the next year will go.

Birthday breakfast to Ethan's specs: Rice Krispies with 3 big strawberries (stems cut off, Mom!)
The "Birthday Boy" hat
Ethan's lunch request: Sunshine PBJ with carrots and crackers (the dip in the middle is yogurt)

"I'm THREE!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nine is Fine

Nine years ago today, I woke up after a very restful night of sleep.

I walked out of my room to the "today's the day!" sign my Mom had made for me.

I danced in the living room with my Dad.

I got my hair done with my Mom, bridesmaids and nieces.

I arrived at the church in my Dad's button down shirt and a pair of shorts.

I got fully dressed in the priests' vestibule.

My friend Amy put a penny in my shoe for good luck.

I watched the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk to the front of a beautiful church with our loved ones there.

I watched Mark walk down the aisle between his parents, waiting for me with a small smile on his face and tears in his eyes.

I listened to the music change.

I took my parents' arms and walked slowly down that same aisle.

My heart was leaping and I could only focus on the man waiting for me.

My Dad stepped on my dress. :)

After what seemed like forever, I finally recited my promises to Mark.

After what seemed like forever again, I finally kissed my husband and walked back down that aisle.

It was simply amazing.

Happy Anniversary to the man who still looks at me with that small tearful smile, and still makes my heart leap.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Garage Sale Philosophies

Garage Sale Mantras

Mark: Put a "25 cents" sticker on it. It'll sell! [a.k.a. EVERYTHING must go!]

Trista: If the sale is neatly organized, everyone will buy more. [We got at least 15 comments about how this was the most organized garage sale people had been to.]

Abby: If it's an item of girls clothes or shoes, and I have ever worn it in my life, it's still mine and you can't have it!

Ethan: Wow.... look at all these toys!!

The end of the Garage Sale

Day two of garage sale. Final day.

First customer wanders in at 9:15.

Big items sold: 2 highchairs, my mom's comforter set, countertop dishwasher.

Little items sold: A TON more clothes (how in the heck are half the clothes still there???), housewares.

Day two total: $282

Grand total: $897 (including $100 owed to my mom and my neighbor)

Who would have ever thought we could make $800 at a garage sale???

Friday, May 11, 2007

Man, am I tired

Day one of the garage sale.

People started showing up at 7:30 (the sale didn't officially start until 9:00).

Big items sold: 3 exersaucers, the swing, the crib, 2 strollers.

Little items sold: A TON of clothes, lots of toys.

Day One Total: $615.

Holy cow.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Busy busy busy

I've been incredibly busy lately. One of my priorities is a garage sale I'll be having this weekend.

This is the official "we are done having babies" sale. We gave ourselves a deadline of Ethan's birthday (in 2 weeks) to have a match or adoption placement. Since it doesn't look like that will happen, we are cleaning out our house of all of the stuff that goes with babies and toddlers!

Included is 40 boxes of girl/boy clothes up to size 3T, a crib, swing, exersaucer, stroller, infant car seat, bottles and sippy cups, tons of toys, etc. It's all going to leave my house one way or another! ;) I'll let you know how I do!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Who is the cutest girl in the world?

You'd better be thinking Abby! ;)

10.5 in 4

WW results: Down 10.5 pounds in just 4 weeks! Woohoo! My clothes are definitely feeling looser - I can't wait to buy new things in smaller sizes.

I LOVE this program. I am no longer eating beyond being hungry. And I eat foods that are much healthier. AND I even eat dessert every single day! What's not to love??

Mark has also been doing well - down 6.5 pounds!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

WW Update

The good news: I'm down 7-1/4 pounds from last week.

The bad news: I had the stomach flu.


I think not.

[I do estimate that about 2-1/2 pounds was true loss, while the other 5ish pounds were flu-related - probably mostly water. Boo.]

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!