Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When Your In-Laws Fail You

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

I love my mother-in-law.

She really is fantastic, she is kind and caring and treats me like her own. She's fabulous. I wouldn't trade her for any mother-in-law out there, that's how much I love her.

But she failed me. Horribly failed me.

Let me back up a bit.

Some of you long time followers will remember this post, where I talked about our annual pumpkin carving contest and chili cook off. I made Rachael Ray's Autumn Harvest Chili, and if I do say so myself, it was great. However, this was a contest filled with firefighters and farm boys, so a vegetarian chili with mushrooms and zucchini did not impress these meat-loving men. I took last place, and was awarded the boobie prize. I'm still miffed that I didn't get new boobies out of the deal, but whatever.

I ended up writing in to the Rachael Ray show to explain that I did a great job on the chili, but I lost and I needed a new recipe to impress these burly men. And then nothing happened.

Until yesterday.

I went to bible study, and returned home early because Ben decided to catch a cold and start his initial coughing right outside of the classroom where I was going to drop the boys off, making me look like the horrible parent that brings sick kids to bible study. I was (kindly) informed that they could not take him, and I went home. I returned to a message on my answering machine from Erin at the Rachael Ray show!!! She had gotten my e-mail a while back, and they were actually considering me for another segment, not the original one that I had written in about, and would I mind calling her back?

By this time, my kids were staring at me as I was jumping up and down, screaming. And then they went back to what they were doing, as they are used to their mother's random outbursts of excitement.

I called Erin back, and got her voicemail. She called me back a while later and told me what they were looking for.

Erin: "We are actually focusing on in-laws in an upcoming segment, are you married?"

Me: Holy canolies, this is going to be great. I love Lori, and we can go on the Rachael Ray show together! How fun is that? "Yes, I am."

Erin: "Great! the segment we are working on is mothers-in-law that need a makeover. Would you say that your mother-in-law is in need of a makeover?"

Me: (Heart dropping) Crapola. She doesn't need a makeover, she's beautiful! And she's more stylish than I am! Why can't it be mothers-in-law that think their daughters-in-law need makeovers? Dangit, how can I still get in on the show?

Erin: (sensing my hesitation) "We are a family show, and this would all be in good fun, we would never make anyone feel uncomfortable."

Me: "Yeah, I just... my mother-in-law would love a makeover, but she really is quite stylish and doesn't need one."

Erin: "Oh, OK, thanks! We do keep info on file, so we will keep your number in case anything else comes up that we might consider you for."

Me: "Please do, I would love to be on the show, call me for anything!"

Did I tell her I had a lot of kids, including twins? No. did I tell her I had a blog? No. Did I do anything at all and do anything besides choke and stand there, dumbfounded and look like an idiot? That would be a no. Do I stand any chance of getting on the Rachael Ray show after this lovely conversation? Uh, no.

Darn my stylish mother-in-law and her good taste.

Just kidding, I love you Mom!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Free At Last

Last week was a barbecue at Emma's school. We had gotten a notice home, and Emma was so very excited. We told her we would go, both Marty and I, and have lunch with her and it would be so fun.

She was thrilled.

So what does an extremely sleep-deprived set of parents do in a situation like this? They would never forget about it, right? Of course not!

Ummm, yeah.

She came home on the bus Friday, and asked in her meek, little disappointed voice, "Mommy, I thought you were coming to the barbecue today. I waited for you, but you never came."

I have never felt like such a heel in all my life.

I apologized profusely, and held her while she cried I cried. "Baby, I am so very sorry. I messed that one up big time. I completely forgot, and I am so sorry. I wanted to come have lunch with you, and I missed it, I am so very sorry. Will you forgive me?"

"That's OK, Mommy, I forgive you. I thought maybe you were talking about another barbecue." And with that, she skipped happily away.

So today, in an effort to shed the title of the World's Worst Mom Ever, I went to her school, bought an adult lunch ticket and met her class and ate cafeteria lunch with her. She beamed from ear to ear and could not sit down she was so excited. Seriously. She literally stood the entire time.

I chatted with her classmates and hugged my darling, pizza-eating girl. As she was leaving, she said, "Mommy, thank you so much for coming to lunch today." At last, I am freed of my horrible Mommy-guilt. "I was happy to come. Thank you for letting me share lunch with you, Emms!" She hugged my neck and sighed in my ear, the sigh of a happy, contented girl. "I think I'll let you do it again sometime."

It's a date, darling. It's a date.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! Are you feeling guilty for drying the dishes with your shirt? Hope that no one saw when you ran to the mailbox in your jammies? Overcome with embarrassment after your child asked the grocery clerk, who did not have a baby in her tummy, if she "had a baby in her tummy?" Well don't be! Not Me! Monday was born out of MckMama's desire to admit some of her imperfections and reveal a few moments we'd all rather forget. You may find it therapeutic to join in and do the same thing!

After a slightly snippy conversation with my darling hubby at midnight last night, when we were both extremely tired and wanting to go to bed, we did NOT have the following conversation:
Marty: "Sweetie, I'm sorry for being cranky and snipping at you. You don't deserve to be treated that way."
Me: "Thank you, honey, and I forgive you."
Marty: "You're welcome. (insert cheek-kiss here) And I forgive you, too."
Me: "Oh, no, I wasn't apologizing."
(Luckily, he laughed.)


I did NOT recently make a delicious Quinoa and Avocado soup for dinner. It is served with lime wedges for squeezing, so I did NOT give each child a lime wedge and them immediately grab my camera, knowing what was coming. I mean, who does that? NOT me!

Here I will document Ben's thought process as he ate his dinner. Because it is more fun that way.

"Hmmm... I like squeezing this squeezy thing. Why is Mom taking pictures? Oh, because I'm so cute!"
"This thing looks tasty, I want to try it!"
"I'll take a big bite, and get the full taste of whatever this is. I like everything, so it's bound to be good..."
"What the?!?"
"How is it so tasty on my soup but not in my mouth?"
"You deceived me, little tasty thing! That's not right!"
And then, about three minutes later, he decided to give the lime another chance...
My darling Ben did NOT end up eating the entire lime wedge, one crazy face after another.

Grant, who is a little more cautious, did NOT have a great time squeezing, but refused to give in to my pleas of "Just try it, and I'll take your picture!" Smart kid.
And Emma, always up for some attention, did NOT agree to lick the lime in order to get her picture taken, too. There is NO WAY I would prey on her desire for attention in order to get a great picture. I mean, who would do that? NOT me!
And although she did not enjoy it, it was no where near her two-year-old days of dipping lemon wedges in ketchup and ranch dressing and eating them. If only I had had a camera out then.
I did NOT thoroughly enjoy the meal, and the wonderful entertainment that came with it.


I did NOT recently come home from errands right before the bus came to drop off Emma. I decided to make it an adventure, stopping the van at the end of the driveway, pulling up the back hatch and tailgating to wait for the bus. The neighbor did NOT pull in and see us sitting there in the sun, at the end of the driveway, and think I was nuts. Well, he is probably used to me by now, and knows I am nuts. Anywhoo, when the bus came, I did NOT decide to let Emma sit in my lap and drive up the driveway, since this is something that Marty does with her all the time and I wanted in on the fun, too. I did NOT let the twins sit in the front passenger seat for the ride up the driveway.

This sounded like a great idea.

The kids did NOT do great, giggling and laughing, until it came to the point that we had to actually park the van. Our driveway is straight, and my parking spot is straight ahead, so I do a loopy-thing to get in at an angle. Picture driving a question mark, from the bottom. In the midst of the left turn, Grant most certainly did NOT open the passenger door, and the momentum of the turn did NOT attempt to push him out of my moving vehicle. I did NOT find myself sitting in the drivers seat, with a five year old chattering happily in my lap, reaching past a two year old to grab the back of the shirt of another two year old so that he did not do a face plant in the gravel driveway out of a moving car.

I did NOT gripe and complain to my darling hubby that night that he does dangerous yet fun stuff with the kids all the time, but the one time I try it, I almost kill/maim somebody. He did NOT respond, "Moms shouldn't do Dad things. That's just the way it goes."

I did NOT hit him.

What did you NOT do this week?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Plan of Attack

"Mommy, I'm going to go down the slide." Grant's little voice filled the air. He is so cute, talking so well, each word perfectly pronounced and deliberate. "I'm going to go down the slide first. And then BenjaBen is going to want to go down first, but he can't because I am going down first." He looks at me, head slightly dipped and staring at me under furrowed brows, because this is really serious, Mom. "And then BenjaBen is not going down first, and he will be frustrated."

Is it really appropriate to bust out laughing at your two-year-old's plan to intentionally tick off his two-year-old brother, just because you think it is adorable the way he says "frustrated"? Frustrated. Picture a little adorable boy, almost rolling each R with a few L's thrown in the sound. Frlr-us-trlr-ated. I wish I could get video on here, it's just too cute.

So Grant ran off, going down the slide first, looking over his shoulder at Ben, watching to see him get frustrated. And there was Ben, sweet, non-competitive Ben, bouncing on the bouncy bridge not caring a lick if Grant took all the turns on the slide or not.

I hope all twin sibling rivalry is this easy.

Don't worry, I already know better. But I can have a few minutes of my delusion, right? Please? K, thanks!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me!

One year ago today, I took the leap, and started this blog.

I told no one, trying to find my way before I allowed others to view my thoughts and ramblings. It didn't last, because things are public, and people found out. It worked out well.

So here I am, one year; three hundred fifty one posts; nineteen thousand hits; and one additional child later and I have logged many hours at the computer documenting the lives of my sweet kiddos. I am so very happy I started this adventure, and am thrilled to have this to look back on later. I have discovered that I have a few talents I didn't know about, and that people are entertained by my crazy life. I love the fact that this has been an outlet for me to recognize the humor in my rough days, and that I have become part of a little community of people who I would have never met, but have now consider friends.

Wow, that sounded cheesy.

But it is true. I love blogging, and I love the friends I have developed through blogging. I love that my hubby can come home from work knowing that I had a rough day, and bring me chocolate without me even having to ask. I love that my parents and my brother and sister-in-law can feel more involved in our kids' lives, even living 100 miles(ish) away.

So today I will celebrate my blogaversary with... something. I had all these ideas for what I could do, but let's be honest here, I'm just happy I got the blogaversary post out on the actual blogaversary, not out tomorrow but back-dated to today.

Maybe to celebrate, I'll take a long, glorious bubble bath. Or maybe just a shower. Yeah, that's more like it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Promises, Promises

So what do you get when you cross three small children, a baby who doesn't sleep, a couple of boxes of peaches that need canning, the first date night that we can remember in a year, four family members with high fevers, a Grandma in the ICU and a trip down south to visit friends?

Um, what you would get is... no time to blog. You might be stuck with Not Me! Monday! scripts swirling through your head, and you might be getting phone calls from family members oh-so-politely reminding you that a.) you haven't blogged in several days and b.) you still haven't posted pictures of the first day of school. Or the fair.

OK, so I'll get on that. But first, do you all remember this post? Where I wrote a nice letter to Mother Nature, asking oh-so-politely for some more summer? Well, I got my way. It's going to be a gorgeous week, and I will probably not be getting to pictures in the next few days. I will be filling myself and my children to the brim with as much vitamin D as we can get before the sun disappears until next March.

OK, I will promise to do at least one photo post this week. But I'm not telling which one. Or if it's even one I've been promising to do, or a new one. You will have to wait and see!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursdays with Tiffani

Welcome back to Thursdays with Tiffani, which was created by Tiffiny over at The Story of Our Life. It's kinda funny, we've been following each other's blogs for a while, and this morning at MOPS I looked across the room and actually saw her, so I got to meet her for the first time. Pretty cool!

I'm thankful for:
The knowledge that my parents have a great circle of friends that are there whenever they need them. It is sometimes hard being so far away, and I am relieved that they have people who love them so much. Thank you, Debi, you are a true angel. My heart is content knowing you are there. God bless you!

I'm listening to: Bob the Builder, as I am letting the television keep my kids entertained while I blog. Wait, did I just say that out loud? Oopsies! Oh, and I just heard the sweet voice of my darling kindergartener, who went in to her room for some "quiet time" at one thirty and just woke up. It's five PM. She's been busy!

What's for dinner tonight: I have to figure that out. But I'm stalling by blogging. Cuz' I'm a rock star mother, with the kids watching TV and no dinner plan at five PM and all.

Looking forward to: Halloween, and all the fun spooky things that it entails. Decorating the house in the night while the kids are sleeping, and having them wake to cobwebs and ghosts. I can't wait!

Missing: Still missing my tennis shoe. And sleep. I really miss sleep...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How You Know You Shoulda Stayed In Bed....

1. When you are very groggy from you late night fight with your hubby the night before, where you both were so very tired and exhausted that neither of you made much sense, and both went to bed mad.

2. When you wake up in the morning and find that one of the blades to the ceiling fan has mysteriously broken off in the night and is laying on the floor. This should really serve as a very clear sign that the day is not going to go well, and you'd best go back to bed and stay there.

3. When you walk your daughter to the bus stop and realize that you've missed it for the second day in a row. Then have a nice chat with the neighbor and realize that even though the bus came at 9:07 for the first two weeks, it is now coming at 9:03.

4. When you drive your once-again devastated daughter to school, who is sad because she really really likes taking the bus and you had promised her that you would do your best not to miss the bus again. Yeah, lying to and disappointing your child would be a great sign that the day is shot and needs a do-over.

5. When you decide to try and make the day better, so you treat yourself to a large Sweet Tea at McD's, only to get the very large tea and drop it in your van and dump half the contents on top of the portable DVD player that is sitting between the front seats. You might pick it up to have a large volume of tea start pouring out of the speakers and the seams. Seriously should have stayed in bed.

6. You go home to put the DVD player in a container of rice to try and absorb the liquid, and head out again to finish your errands. It probably would have been a good idea to just go back to bed instead, but you spent all of yesterday going through each diaper bag to use the last of the diapers and wipes, because you are completely out of both sizes of diapers and have exactly four wipes left in the house. The repercussions of staying home far outweigh the risks of leaving again.

7. You finish your errands, head for home and- for the third time in a row- get off at the wrong exit. There might be a chance that you have lived at your house for two years, and should really know your freeway exit by now, but just hop off on the first one that says "Birch Bay" because you are a complete dork.

So how was your morning?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's Goin' On

We have been busy here in Stauffer-land.

First of all, thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers regarding Marty's Grandma. She made it through surgery fine, and the doctors said everything went "surprisingly well." He said that the damage that they found should have killed her, and they were amazed that she made it to surgery, not just through surgery.

Who says God doesn't move mountains? Thank you Lord, for the miracle of Grandma's life.

On the closer home-front, on Friday Ben spiked a fever. In the afternoon and evening, it was around 101-102. By ten at night it was 104.3. I put him in the bathtub and sent Marty to the store for some Motrin. I took it again, and it was up to 106. I was starting to panic be a little concerned. I started slowly pouring lukewarm water over his head and chest, and dosed him with Motrin. About fifteen minutes later, it was down to 103. By the time I put him in bed, it was 100.7. That I can handle.

The next day, he was fine. Woke up with a temp of 98.3, and acted as if nothing had happened. Crazy Ben.

Saturday night, however, Grant did the same thing. So we Motrin-ed him and bathed him, he got up to 105 at the peak, and he was fine by morning. Strange thing, this bug.

Sunday was our family reunion. I knew that Grant was fine, as he was following Ben's lead. However, I did not want to find out that he was still contagious and have us infect someone else. Really, who wants to be known as the one who made Great Aunt So and So sick and die? No, thank you.

I took Emma and Drew and left Marty home with the twins. I have to be honest, having two kids to look after was a piece of cake. We have never really experienced that before, since we went from one child to three children. I kinda like it. We will have to do things like that more often.

And today, Drew has a fever. His is not anywhere near the twins' so there is a good chance that his is more teething related than virus related, but we are taking no chances. We are prepared and ready for it if it gets high.

I'm sorry I am not blogging much lately, I seem to have absolutely no time at all to sit down and write. The kids are still doing funny things, I just can't get on here to tell all of you about them. This is the time of year that I have to fight Marty for the computer in the evenings, as his three fantasy football teams need some time and attention, too.

OK, I'm off to get Emma from the school bus. Man, fall is busy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Calling all Prayer Warriors

I got a call from my Mom-in-law this morning. Marty's Grandma was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night. She got an MRI and was diagnosed with a torn aorta and was rushed into open heart surgery at nine this morning.

Will you all pray, please? Thank you!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

It has been eight years.

It's amazing, really, how a nation can change in eight years. And at the same time, how not much can change at all.

I remember clearly that day. Marty and I both had the day off of work, and he had come over and we were hanging out when someone called him. Turn on the TV, something is happening. We turned it on and every channel was filled with the same images. The first plane had crashed, and I remember the feeling of horror at the situation, but still not even having brushed the surface of anything remotely close to the truth.

How can someone accidentally crash a plane into a building? Did the pilot have a heart attack? What's going on?

Then, the second plane hit, and news of the pentagon hit and one more missing plane, and it became clear it was no accident.

It is amazing to me how quickly denial came. There was no way anyone could deliberately do something like this, right? This was a dream. Or a hoax. Or something other than the horror that was filling my TV.

We remained glued to the TV all day, watching again and again the video of the towers collapsing. Hearing the witnesses that talked of people jumping, and the repeated thumps of bodies landing, after deciding that a quick end was better than death by fire.

The nation mourned for a week. Everywhere you went was solemn, people were quiet and reflective. There was no laughter, it seemed out of place. Hushed tones filled the entire country as we held the world's largest funeral. I have never experienced anything like it, and I don't want to ever again.

I remember the weeks of news stories of people searching through the rubble. We were in shock to find out details, as Osama Bin Laden became a household name. We celebrated as the rescuers found people alive, and marveled at the miracle of it all. God showed himself amongst the horror, and gave us hope.

It has been eight years. We can choose to remember the feelings of horror, and how out of that came the hope and the promise of a country united. We can remember the patriotism, and how the nation really came together. People were nicer. Small Town USA was everywhere. We suddenly remembered what mattered most, what life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was really about.

We changed.

Here, eight years later, are we truly remembering everything that fateful day brought about? Do we still feel that same patriotism on a daily basis? Are we remembering what matters most?

I hope so. And I hope to remember, every day, that we are living in the greatest country on earth. And I hope to never forget the lives that were lost on that day, or the lives that have been lost in this battle since. Every life makes an impact, and every life matters.

Thank you to our military that fight for our freedom on a daily basis. We as a nation are nothing without you. You are real-life super-heroes, and I am in awe at your dedication to preserving the land that I love.

And I will never forget.

God Bless the USA

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin' here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

by Lee Greenwood

9-11 Post coming later today

Thursday, September 10, 2009

John 3:16, Emma style

"For God so loved the world that He gave his only son. And whoever believes in Him shall not panic, but have everlasting life."

Fitting, isn't it?

Dangerous Dogs

I got this as an e-mail today and I thought I'd share it with you all. As a former Doberman Pinscher owner and large dog lover, this is an issue that is close to my heart, but I haven't seen anything like this. All I can say is... WOW.

Please read!!!

If you are an owner of a dog that belongs to a 'dangerous breed' category and you also have a child or a visiting small child please take this as a warning.

Don't leave your dog with a small child unattended under any circumstances!!!
Only one little moment was enough for the following to happen.

See the photo below .....

Gotta love it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When it rains...

...everything breaks at once.

Our DVD player died recently. It really wasn't a surprise, as we have several small children who like to push buttons. I had not moved it out of reach as I was trying to teach them that there were some things that you just need to leave alone.

This was my first mistake.

Ben A child who shall remain nameless decided to load his own movie in the DVD player, unaware of the fact that the DVD could not actually sit crooked and stick out of the front of the tray before you shove the tray in by sheer force. I know, it's a shock that it jammed.

Yesterday I dis-assembled the DVD player in hopes that I would be able to un-jam the thing and salvage it. Nineteen screws lined up oh-so-carefully-so-that-I-would-remember-where-they-came-out-of later, I discovered the little motor that pushes the gears to open the tray was missing it's little gear, and there was a little pile of shredded plastic beneath it.

Rest In Peace, little DVD player. I'm sorry your life was cut short at the hands of Ben the children.

While all this was going on, the kids were watching Lilo and Stitch on the VCR. Yes, we still have a VCR. And a record player. And an 8-track. We're not technology people, ok? Anywhoo, not ten minutes after the fate of the DVD player was sealed, I heard, "MooooOOOOOOMMMM!" It's not working!" I went into the living room to find all the kids lined up on the couch, staring at a black screen.


I messed around with some things, checking wires, plugging and un-plugging, trying to revive my precious eleven year-old VCR. Meanwhile, I was being assisted by the oh-so-helpful five-year-old who was chirping at me from the couch.

"Mom, it can't work cuz there are wires sticking out. Fix the wires!" "Those are from the DVD player. They have nothing to do with this."

"Mom, try pushing that little button right there. I know it will work." "The record button? With your movie in there? Trust me, that's not going to have the result you want."

"Mom, it's not working. That didn't work, it's still black. Nope, that didn't work either. You are not fixing it at all. Not that one. Nope, still not working. Wow, Mom, you really suck at fixing things."

OK, that last part may not have been exactly what she said. It's hard to remember from yesterday.

With the wonderful support I was receiving, I decided to give up and try to fix it at naptime today. You know, when I'm alone.

Wish me luck, I cannot handle living without movies so that I can rely on the TV to entertain the kids while I shower.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Now I have that song running through my head. And I bet you do to, thanks to me. Your welcome.

My darling Emma is off to Kindergarten again. Excited to climb those big steps of the school bus, not even looking back at her Momma and three brothers waving from the side of the road. (Sniff!)

Drew is now a mover. He is still an army crawler, but is quickly gaining speed and exploring the house. There's nothing quite like putting your not-really-mobile-yet baby in the middle of the living room, leaving for a minute and return to find he has left the room, gone down the hall and is licking the basin of the toilet.


The twins are in such an adorable stage! I overheard this conversation this morning, as they were sitting next to each other on the couch, reading a children's Bible:

Grant: See, dis da Art.
Ben: Boat, boaaaat?
Grant: No, not a boat, a Art!
Ben: Dis Ark?
Grant: No, das not de art, Das Jesus. DIS de Art.

OK, that's probably one of those cute kid conversations that only I and my family will appreciate, but I had to record it here.

And now I'm still on a spring cleaning kick. And like I said on Facebook, I like to consider myself to be six months EARLY. Even though I skipped spring cleaning entirely last spring. I am feeling great now that I am focusing on things that have been dragging me down for months.

Yesterday was our anniversary and we enjoyed a great day at home. I looked back on the calendar and we have not had a day where both of us were home and we were not going somewhere since spring. We really enjoyed the time to work together and accomplish things that have been put off, since it is hard to do things while supervising/teaching/shaping and molding the hearts and minds of four small children. Without letting them burn down the house.

Oh, and on a related note, many people have mentioned how young I looked on my wedding day. Yes, I did. In fact, that picture of me was one Amy used as her album cover of her portfolio for a while, but too many people actually thought I was a flower girl or a teenage bride. Just to clarify, I was twenty five when I got married. And I still look younger than my age, although not as much as I did then, the kids have aged me. I'm not complaining!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary, My Love

Seven years ago today, I married the love of my life.

I cannot believe it has been seven years. And four kids. This morning, we were looking at our wedding pictures with the kids and telling them about the day we got married. They lost interest quickly, but it was fun to look through and remember.

I wore white and silver Adidas tennis shoes with blue laces. Marty looked dashing in his tux.

We planned an indoor wedding at the church I grew up in, and an outdoor reception in my parent's backyard. We set up the day before, the tables, chairs, dance floor and everything were in place. We were ready. And the morning dawned bright and... raining. I woke in the living room of my parents house, having had a sleepover the night before with my bridesmaids. One last slumber party with just the girls, then I was to be someone's wife.

I woke and looked out the bay windows into the side yard, and found rain dripping off the trees that bordered the property. I went to the front, and saw rain coning down in the front yard. I took a deep breath, and went to the back yard where we had spent hours the day before setting everything up.

The backyard was dry.

I remember going out there and realizing that it was raining everywhere except the backyard where the reception would be held. I stood there, in the dawn of my wedding day, amazed at the miracle that was taking place around me. I could see the rain in all directions except for that one rectangle that was my reception. God moved that morning, and I could feel it.

It was going to be a great day.

And a great day it was. I married my one true love, my first love. Although I thought I had loved before, nothing compared to the love that I had (and still have) for my groom.

I remember clearly the peace I felt that day. I had no cold feet, no second guessing. I knew without a doubt that this was the man that God had chosen for me, this was my "better half." Or I was his "better half," or something like that.

By the time the reception came, it was clear and sunny. We had a huge barbecue, and ate a ton.

Marty's birthday was last week, and I got a little flak about not doing a birthday post for him. But I did not want to do two sappy, lovey-dovey, ego-inflating posts in seven days, so here is my one big one.

Marty is a great Dad, he loves our kids so much. He gets down on the floor and plays, wrestles, and generally enjoys spending time with the kids often, and they absolutely adore him. He is loving and very loyal, he would rather spend time with us than anyone else. What wife does not love hearing, "Some of the guys were going out for drinks after work, but I'd rather come home to you guys." I mean seriously.

He makes me laugh like no one else can, and he gets me. And if you know me, you will understand how unique that is. We were friends first, and that friendship has served us well.

The last seven years have had many ups and downs, and the stresses of having four kids in four years have not always been easy. But we are still standing, Marty and I, ready to take on the next challenge in our lives. I read a quote recently that said, "Sometimes on the way to our dreams, we got lost and find another one." This is so true. If someone asked us on our wedding day, "Where will you be in seven years?" We would never have guessed we'd be where we are right now. But the image of what we wanted then compared to what we have now is no comparison. We love our family. We love our little tiny house. We love looking forward to the future, dreaming big about the adventures we will embrace together as our family grows. (And when I say our family grows, I mean, as the kids grow up, not gain in numbers!)

I love you, honey. I love you more that I did on our wedding day, and I look forward to spending our forever together. Seven down, sixty eight to go!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm Famous!!! (OK, not really.)

First of all, how do you all like the new design? This has taken me MONTHS to create as I only have snippets of time to do things, and I am not very good at Photoshop. But it's almost done! I have a few more tweaks I want to make over the next day or so, but it will be really-really done soon.

And secondly, I am pleased to announce that Amy and my pictures MADE THE NEWS!!! OK, the news story was not about Amy and I and our fantastical photography, (hey, spell check thinks fantastical is a real word! WooHoo!) but our pics are there nonetheless. We loved shooting Andrew and Melissa's wedding, their pure joy and love made the day absolutely amazing. Her infectious laugh, his slip of the tongue, and You Tube have combined to make this couple a sensation, and our photos were pulled off of Amy's blog and used in the news story. Click here for the King 5 story, my photo is the black and white that is shown first, and the rest are Amy's. (And just to clarify, we did the photography, not the video.) They have also been interviewed by Inside Edition, Kiro 7 news, Komo 4 News, and Good Morning America. They are such a great couple!

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Please Hold...

While this blog is being messed with!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dear Ben,

First of all, I'd like to say that you are a very kind and adventurous boy. Your love of life is amazing, and I love how you do things with reckless abandon. Although these qualities are hard on me as a parent now, they will no doubt serve you well later in life.

However, I'd like to address something that has been on my mind. During naptime today, I do understand that you were having a hard time getting to sleep. And I am aware that it was simply a matter of caring so very much about those around you that brought about your actions today, but I truly think this is something we should discuss.

You see, Grant was actually sleeping. I know that to you, being the tender age of two, may not know the difference between a child who is sleeping and a child who needs life-support, so it could be very easy to see why you thought he needed those sudden chest compressions. On a side note, I have no idea where you learned CPR, but your technique was pretty spot-on.

You may not understand this concept, but you both need sleep during the day. However, Grant needs naps more than you do. If he gets over-tired, well, lets just say his whine is so strong you could pour it and serve it with some great cheese he has a hard time controlling his emotions. And if he falls asleep, only to be woken moments later by the sudden burst of oxygen and blood traveling through his heart, he cannot go back to sleep.

Here's an idea. If you are supposed to be sleeping, and your brother is laying still with his eyes closed, how about you just assume that he actually is doing what he is supposed to and leave him alone? Is that a good idea? Yes, your persistence in making sure he stayed awake this afternoon was very admirable, but not necessarily well timed.

This is why you got the time-out in the bathtub.

I know, the bathtub is not really a traditional time out spot, but I needed someplace to put you that would not disturb anyone else around. Since we have six rooms and five people here, I was short on options. I know you would destroy explore the laundry room, so the bathroom was all that was left.

I really think we can come to an agreement here, don't you? We can discus this later, as I know you are (finally) sleeping as I write this. I can hear Grant in his bed, wide awake and kicking the wall. Tonight's birthday party ought to be a blast.

We'll chat soon.

Love you bunches,


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Today, my darling little baby girl goes to school.

She's not a baby anymore. I cannot hold on to her any longer, thinking she is going to stay little forever. But a part of me wants to.

Last night I was watching her in the tub, and she is as long as the tub is. Where did the time go? When did she grow from the sweet little wee one who fell asleep in my arms to this tall, beautiful big kid? I don't know. The last five years has flown by. And at the same time, I can hardly remember life without her in it.

I asked her this morning if she was really ready. "Are you sure?" I asked her, "you can stay here for another year and be little for a while longer!"

"I'm ready, mom! I'm really ready." She stood with confidence, in her Dora jammies and slept-in hair. "But, Emma," I pleaded, "You can stay here and be my little girl forever. Can't I just keep you little?" I reached out to hold her, bring her in close to try and hold on to the moment, one of the last moments of her non-school-attending childhood. "Mooommmyy," (complete with eye roll and big sigh,) "I want to go to school, and I'm not little anymore. I can go to school and be your big girl forever!"

I guess I will have to be happy with that.

Today is bittersweet. I know that she is ready. I know that she is excited, and I know that this will be so very good for her.

But I'm not ready to let go of my sweet baby. Even though my sweet baby is already gone, and has been for a while now. Instead, I have a confident, kind, enthusiastic and oh-so-smart big girl.

A big girl who is going to school today.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Summer vs. Fall

Reasons why Summer is best:

Summer is great! Really, do I need reasons? OK, well for the two of you that are not convinced, here is my list.

There are plenty of things to do outside to keep the kids from fighting occupied.

Open windows; clean, warm air; and sunshine are fabulous.

It's so much easier to leave the house without worrying about finding socks and coats, hats and gloves.

Shorts and t-shirts are smaller, so there is a lot less laundry.

Two-year-olds can put on their own sandals, but not their own socks and shoes.

With the invention of new spray-on-sunscreen, going outside is simple and quick.

The beach is a great place to thoroughly exhaust the kids explore.

Eighty degree weather is my favorite!

Spraying kids with a hose can provide hours of fun for parents who are frustrated with kids who are just not listening the kids.

Flowers and green things are pretty.

Barbecue. Need I say more?

Summer kids clothes are so cute!

Matching socks is a horrendously boring and time-consuming task, and should never be attempted by a family of six.

It is much more socially acceptable to go out in shorts, a tank top, with your hair pulled back and very little makeup. The look of "going outside to work out/play" fits in well with the "Mom lifestyle."

Fresh fruit and veggies are the best! There is a much larger variety of things to cook for dinner in the summer.

The grill. Oh, did I cover that when I said "Barbecue?" Well, I wanted to make sure you were listening.

I become a Football Widow in the fall. And I kinda like my hubby. And my evening computer time.

Fall leads to winter, and winter has January and February, my two least favorite months of the year.

Summer has July and August, two of my most favorite months of the year!

Longer days=happier me. Shorter days=grumpier me.

Reasons why Fall isn't soooooo bad...

Fall clothes hide more chub than summer clothes do. I mean... not that I need to hide anything... well... (cough)

The crispness in the air is wonderful to breathe in.

The changing leaves are gorgeous.

Halloween is so much fun!

The crock pot is my friend.

I've almost perfected my Chili recipe for the Chili cook off this year, and I'm ready to win!

Fall kids clothes are so cute.

You no longer have to mow the lawn and pull weeds. Unless, of course, you are like us never fully pulled weeds from summer, then you have a LOT of work to do.

Can't I have just one more week of eighty degree weather?