Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow Days!

I know you've all been inundated with pictures on your FB feed of people in the snow...sledding, building snowmen, having a snowball fight...I've even had some up there.

But, I've just gotta say: my boys....they love snow.


Parker woke up at 5 am on Thursday morning.  Looking for the snow.  There wasn't any at that hour, but {thankfully} he went back to sleep until 7 am and by then....yep, by then we had a good 3 inches.  He was beyond excited and at 7 am he was ready to dig out the snowsuit, gloves, hat, and scarf to go play in the crazy blizzard snow we got on Thursday morning.

It took Andrew a few minutes to figure out what we were showing him out the window.  Parker: 'Don't you see it Andrew - SNOW!  It snowed while we were sleeping.' Andrew: Silence...Staring out the window.  And then, like a light flicking on, Andrew saw it.  Squealing with delight, he ran to the door, ready to go out in his Cars PJ's.

And, Brandon.  Well, let's just say this snow brings out the kid in him.  Sledding, snowball fights, snow caves, snowmen, snow ice cream, name it, we've done it in the past four days.

We've played with our neighbor friends, some best buddies, cousins, and grandparents....anything to get out in the snow!


And, what's even more exciting?!  There's more on the way!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2013 Goals: Running

I'm a runner.  I've always loved it.  I talked my husband into loving it.  And, one day, I hope my kids will do it for fun (and exercise). 

And, although I took a brief hiatus from actually 'running' at my normal level while I was pregnant and while my kids were babies...I'm back in the running saddle...and, man, have I missed it.

When my friend Joy mentioned that she wanted to be able to run a half marathon, and that she was making that one of her goals for this year, I was pretty darn excited.  There's nothing better than having a 'running buddy'.  Someone to push me to keep going.  Someone to keep me from skipping the long or hard (or cold) running days.  Someone to remind me of the goal we have - 13.1 miles.

So, I signed up...along with a few other friends...and laced up those running shoes for an intense few months of training.

This is our calendar for February. (Thank you Lisa!)  The run is on April 13, 2013 (Rock the Parkway).  We are less than 8 weeks away.  It seems crazy to actually want to run 13.1 miles, but so did that marathon I did in 2006.  It's something I'll never forget and something I'll be able to check off my list of accomplishments this year.

I'll tell ya what though, it's hard.  Not the running, but finding the time to run.  Brandon's been a trooper...letting me go in the evenings...early in the the middle of the day.  Wherever we can squeeze it in, we're hitting our goals and we're gonna do this thing.

When it's all over, we will have ran more than 148.1 miles.  Whew! 

I am so excited about this goal.  I feel so alive when I'm pushing my body and in complete control of how well (or badly) I do on a running day. 

So, with us luck and cheer us on...we've still got a long way to go, but with 8 weeks to go, I think we are starting to see the ribbon at the finish line!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The {Not So} Crazy Cousin Sleepover

Parker and Andrew eagerly awaited this sleepover for days and days and days.  The cousin sleepover.

When these boys get together....anything can happen.

Usually there's some silly shananigans going on.  And, rightfully so, these four boys are typically referred to as 'the crazy cousins'.

So, Brandon and I went into the Saturday night cousin sleepover with expectations of silliness, rough housing, loud, and crazy cousins.

We were surprised.

These four boys played.  They laughed.  They explored.  They wore lights on their heads and back packs on their backs, but they were exactly the opposite of crazy.  They were perfect and fun and they actually gave Brandon and I a pretty relaxing evening.

{Grandma And Grandpa even came by for dinner and to play for a while.}

It made my heart smile to see these cousins having so much fun together.  They are so close and I love that.  I love it that Parker and Cameron are only three months apart and they love playing together.  I love it that Cooper can lead the older boys (and talk them into) doing anything and that he has such a soft spot for Andrew.  I think their bond is awesome and I know through fun memories and many many more sleepovers to come, that they will always be best friend cousins.

These boys are growing up so fast and I'm so thankful that Parker and Andrew have such wonderful cousins in their lives.

We can't wait for the next {not so} crazy cousin sleepover!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Day

Happy Love Day!

From my Lovies!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Clearing The Air

Let me just say first of all....thank you so so so so so so much for all of your kind words, your messages, you letting me talk and talk and talk through our 'issue' last week.  Thank you for not judging or telling me I was over reacting.  Thank you for caring and for being there for me.

I know my post last week was really really vague and I received some emails and messages from our friends and loved ones asking what was goin' on.  Is someone sick?  No.  Is someone hurt?  Not really.  Well then, what happened?  And, I filled them in...because I thought they should know why I was so sad.

I won't give specifics.  But, let me just clear the air on one topic.

Bullying.  Or teasing or harassing....whatever you call it....when a child is scared and feels less than worthy because of someone else's words or is NOT tolerated by this Momma.  Especially if that child is my own.

Don't mess with my kids.  Just sayin'.

I was scared last week and frustrated and mad and really, really, really sad for a few reasons.  And, luckily, through our prayers, your thoughts, and your talking it through with me, we've cleared the air and gotten explanations from those who have troubled us...and my Momma Bear is back in hibernation mode {if that's really even possible}.

I love my kids and nothing, absolutely nothing, can measure up to that.  Not unkind words, or hurtful people.  It is something that never breaks.  And, as a Momma, I will do whatever it takes to protect my children.

Thank you for being a kind person in Parker and Andrew's lives.  You mean to much to us.

We had a wonderful weekend full of cousin fun!  Here's to a new week that brings more smiles to my sweet family!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beautiful Evening

We've had a pretty rough week.  And, one of these days I'll get up enough courage to share it with you, to find the right words to use to portray our heartbreak and the dark cloud that appeared over our family yesterday.  But, for now, I can't.  I don't even know what to say or where to start.  So, I'll leave it at that and fill you in another day - a day when just thinking about what to say won't make my eyes water and my hands clam up.  Good enough? 

Skipping ahead to today - can you believe this weather??  We enjoyed such a beautiful evening, an evening that makes even the darkest clouds fade away into the night and smiles light up the sky and make you stop and thank your lucky stars for the people in your life that bring you joy.

For Christmas our family gift was a fire pit.  And, tonight we used it for the first time.  We invited the neighbors, broke out the marshmallows, chocolate, and Graham Crackers and had a good old fashioned S'More makin' party.

It was just what we needed.

A pick-me-up.

A laugh out loud, mom gossip session, kids running and playing, dads talkin', and just an all around fun evening.

I needed to see these smiles.

I am so so so thankful for my husband - who seems to know just what to say and how to be the most amazing dad.  Friends who are listening to me and telling me that I'm doing the right thing.  Our family who loves my little guys so much and who would do anything to protect them.  The other adults in my kid's lives who love them and care for them and help us to make the hard parent decisions that jump out and trip us up along the way.  The people I work with who hear my Mom fears every day and who have been down these roads themselves, but yet they help to guide me in this Mom adventure - with all of its highs and lows.  I am thankful for my faith that helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how far off it seems to be.

Right now I am mad and frustrated and have a huge Momma Bear heart, and I want nothing more than to protect my kids from every awful person out there, but I know that's not possible, so I can't let it bring us down.  Because of this, tonight I am most thankful for this beautiful evening and all of the love and laughter it brought back into my heart.  It inflated me with faith and hope and gave me a little peace of mind that everything will turn out fine in the end.

It's funny how a simple beautiful evening can do this.  How the sun shining, the windows open, and the ability to play outdoors can bring out a 'sunny' side that you weren't sure you'd see for a while.  Yep, this beautiful evening is just what I needed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


There's this small window...the window when your child still looks like a baby, but has some amazing kid qualities.  This window that shows pieces of their time as an infant, yet shows a glimpse into the future and what their personality and features will be when they are 'big'. 

I've looked through this window with Parker - it's a wonderful moment in time when your baby still wants to be held, snuggled, loved on, and rocked, but yet, he wants to do it all himself.  It's that moment in time when they have chubby cheeks, but those cheeks are slowly becoming more defined.  Their bellies still bulge with cute little buttons, but the outline of muscles are starting to form.  This window is short- lived and sometimes hard to find, but when it's there, it's the most precious time for a Momma. 

I think about this window so often.  About how Andrew is living in this window right now.  How I want to grasp a hold of this window and not let it slip away.  I want to be in this moment forever.  But, I know Andrew will grow, just like Parker (no matter how many times I tell them not to), into the big boy he's going to become.

I needed to come up with a way to capture this time in their lives.  Some way that would capture their uniqueness and their features...their personalities.  This had to be something that would mean something to me....although it may not show these things to others.  I needed a way to hold onto the in-between time, the time when my boys are still little, tender souls, but yet have the characteristics that make them the boys they are.

So, I thought and I thought and I thought and I decided to make something.  I had to search for the perfect photograph to make this possible.  And, in the end, I found the perfect pictures, and the perfect idea to capture exactly what I wanted.  I made silhouettes.

I am in love with these two profiles. 


Look at your chubby cheeks and the way you have your head tilted downward.  I can picture your face, your thick, blond, curly hair, and your double chin.  I can see your eyes aimed downward and your shy smile.  When Parker saw this he said: 'Mom, why is Andrew's head bigger than mine?'  Oh man, do I love my Andrew's hair.  It is big and blond and so tender.  It's just right.  Just the window in time I was looking for.  I captured it.  Right here.


I found a photo of you from when you were two years old.  You had a grin, your eyes where glowing in fun, your hair, unlike Andrew's, was thinner, but still thicker than any other boy I knew at the time.  Your silly personality shows in your profile and the way you hold your head up shows your confidence...even at the age of two.  I love this one.  I caught it...I was able to hang onto this moment in your life.

I made these silhouettes without much of a plan, but they've turned out to be my favorite keepsake.  I know these two boys.  Inside and out.  And, I am so happy to have found a perfect way to capture them at this special time in their lives.  If you haven't done this with your kiddos...I encourage it.  Before the moment slips away.

There are many ways to make a silhouette, but the easiest way for me to do it (with two little boys who won't sit still for photos) was to find a photo I already had of their profiles, order it in a 5 by 7 photo, tape the photo to a black sheet of construction paper, and then cut the profile out of the picture.  I wasn't sure how this would work out, but it worked perfectly for me.

I am so proud of these silhouettes - not because I made them myself - but, because of the meaning they hold.  The little boys they've captured.  I love them.