Monday, December 8, 2014

my life is poop

Some mornings you just can't escape the reality that your life really is.... all about poop. 

It started off with a dream.  Yes.  I dreamt about poop.   Pregnancy does weird things to you.   I dreamt there was a turd in the toilet that I could not flush. (Someone... quick... analyze this dream!).  I tried and tried to flush it but.... there wasn't enough water pressure.  So, I looked in the tank of the toilet and realized the chain wasn't short enough and the stopper kept slowing down the flow.  I stuck my hand in the tank, pulled the chain up a few little "balls" (like those military dog tag chains that are ball necklaces) and then flushed and in my dream I saw a close up of the turd flushing down the toilet. SUCCESS!

I woke up (for the 5th time that morning... I can't get a decents night sleep anymore) to Ryan telling me Amelia had pooped in her pajamas and it was down her leg and on her floor... and she was trying her hardest to clean it up with baby wipes.  I got up and... cleaned up poop.

I put her in the bath because, really, that was the only solution to this mess.  Hudson wakes up and comes into the bathroom to..... poop.   He talks about his poop and asks if he's stinking up the bathroom. Yup.  Poop.

I make my way downstairs and find Ruby sniffing something on the living room floor.   She pooped in the early morning on the living room carpet.  I clean up poop.

I go back upstairs to brush my teeth and find the toilet filled with poop.  Hudson hasn't flushed. WHY CAN'T BOYS JUST FLUSH THE TOILET WHEN THEY ARE DONE?   I threaten to take a picture of it and tape it to his bedroom wall every time he leaves poop in the toilet because IF I HAVE TO SEE IT SO SHOULD HE.

And finally... I find myself cleaning the rabbit litter this morning.  More.  Stinkin.  Poop.  

What has my life become.   


Friday, December 5, 2014

13 weeks

I had my 13 week appointment on Wednesday.  Heartbeat was in the 160's and everything else was normal.  I went in to see LeeAnn Thursday night to take a peek at the baby.  He/She was being super wiggly and we weren't able to get a very good picture of the baby.  He/She was in a really awkward position and kind of upside down.   Have you heard of "the Angle of the Dangle"?   It's pretty fascinating!   We tried it with Amelia and I *think* we were accurate... but heck if I remember (I'd have to pull out her ultrasound pics).   We attempted to peek at this one but he/she wasn't giving us a super great side view.  I'm so glad I got to see this little one wiggling and moving all around.   Makes it feel more real (as if feeling like a huge 80 year old whale didn't feel real enough....).

I started an ExpectNet game to see what everyone thinks the baby will be, when it'll be born and how much he or she will weigh. I loved doing these games with the other kiddos pregnancies!

Cravings:  Nothing major recently... nothing that I "HAVE" to have.  

Symptoms/Feelings:   My hip issues are already starting.   I have begun to see the chiropractor (Which Amelia calls the "firecracker") at least once a week.  I do need to go again for the 2nd time this week.  Boobs are still hurting and huge.  I haven't been sleeping well either... quite a few nights in a row I have been waking up a couple times a night.  Makes for some unproductive and exhausting days.  

Changes:  Between my huge boobs and huge belly, my regular shirts end up too short on me.  I finally went shopping and got some maternity shirts and have ordered a few pair of pants off eBay.  

Baby right now, at 13 weeks, is the size of a peach

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

9 free favorite printable holiday tags

I love searching Pinterest for great printables.... especially when it comes time for Christmas and making gift tags!  I decided to post links to my favorites that I found on Pinterest.  I decided to print #3 from Shanty2Chic on cardstock.  Now if I can just get my printer to work.... I swear it was just working yesterday.  Today... no dice.  Doesn't want to load the paper.  GRRR.   Electronics.   

Free Printable Christmas Movie Quote Tags @ The Happy Tulip

Colorful Gift Tags @ ColorMeMeg

Black and White Tags @ Shanty2Chic

Adorable Stockings @ Fresh Picked Whimsy

12 Different Calligraphy Tags by Lindsay Bee  Download HERE

Hand Drawn Printable Gift Tags @HeyLook

Hand Illustrated Holiday Tags by Emily McDowell

Watercolor Printable Tags @Oana Befort

Vintage Printable Tags @Oana Befort

Thursday, November 27, 2014


November.   Thanksgiving.   The month of counting your blessings.    

In a way, this seems so cliche.  So.... forced.  Why must we wait until November to be thankful for what we have?   I know it isn't intentional but this month brings out everyone's awareness of all they've been blessed with.   Be it a roof over their heads, a healthy family, a heavy burden resolved, final peace in their life, family finally near them, a new job, the ability to provide for their family, their technology, good food, their favorite shoes... whatever.... everyone seems to awaken to the awareness of their blessings.  

I can't count my blessings.  I've been given so many.   I've had seasons of severe drought.  I've had seasons of plentitude.  I've had seasons of contentment.   In all those seasons, I've always had exactly what I needed and have been thankful for it all, no matter how much suckage was felt during that time.  

After coming from a season of severe drought, yet realizing now we had just enough, to a season of abundance (Lemon Dropper people let's all gag at this word), I realize in both there are things gained and things lost.  Things given and things taken.  Things needed and things unnecessary.  I'm so thankful for it all.  I'm thankful for the highs and lows.   Live always seems to come around in a circle... around and around.  I know drought in some way or shape or form will come again and I'll welcome it with thankfulness.  

This year it is hard to express my gratitude and thankfulness.  I have so much to be thankful for.  Spending my days with Amelia.  Being available for the boys at anytime.  A new little life growing inside me that I can't wait to meet.  Friends I never asked for or dreamt of.  Family that loves me through thick and thin (AHAH literally!).  Our health and that we aren't facing anything life threatening.  My horse that has come full circle... my childhood dream now available to MY children. A home we love.  Neighbors we love. A church that I love to worship in.  A God that we can freely worship.  Internet!  A job I love and enjoy doing every day- the good parts and the sucky parts and the happy parts and the annoying parts.  The financial ability to give freely to others.  The ability to travel as we wish.  Finances to pay off student loans in huge chunks every month, and that the light at the end of the tunnel is so much closer than 20-30 years I've always accustomed myself to.   

I hope you are all with loved ones today, or at least someone you're loved by.  I hope you can see all your blessings, no matter how big or small, and for those be thankful.   Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  May you be blessed beyond measure. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

12 weeks

Bread, cheese, cereal and milk.   Pizza sauce/spaghetti sauce give me heartburn and acid reflux.  I still eat it though, just not a ton.  I've also craved Arby's roast beef sandwiches and Wendy's spicy chicken sandwiches.  

Heartburn. UGH.  Peppermint oil has been my lifesaver here.  A drop under the tongue and wash it down with water helps super quick.   My boobs.. SORE and huge. Gross.  I remember why I hate pregnancy.   My sense of smell has been like super-sized.  CRAZY.  I haven't been as tired or nauseous lately which is a plus!

Changes:  I feel huge.  Still looking more fat than pregnant.  Gross.  

Baby right now, at 12 weeks, is the size of a plum

brain dump

It's 3am and I found myself wide awake and my brain churning.  Thoughts running rampant, trying to sort out the feelings I have about Porter and school.   My mind is racing with what should I do, am I doing the right thing, am I overreacting, am I being ridiculous.   I need to write it out.  I need to list it all.

Right now, for various reasons, I'm considering homeschooling or sending my kids to private schools.  This is something I never... ever.... ever... thought I'd consider.   I'm a teacher by degree.  I've worked in public schools and I am far beyond a helicopter parent who wants to shelter my kids from any little harm they could get in this world.   However, I feel like things have compiled to make me consider other options.

My biggest concern is Porter.   Porter.... at school he's the friendliest, kindest, most loyal friend to others that I know.  He goes out of his way to shovel the neighbors driveways and sidewalks when it snows.  When the neighbors dog gets loose, he runs outside to get him and take him home.  He's helpful.  Kind.  Goodhearted.  Social.  In kindergarten, I remember going into school with him one day and he said hi to every adult that worked there that he passed.  Teachers from different grades, the gym teacher, aides.  He was Mr. Social.   He was- and is- friends to everyone.   He gives up his snack if someone in his class doesn't have one.  He goes out of his way to do nice things for them.  He risks his mothers wrath and stays with his friend on the playground after school because his mom is late and he doesn't want him to be alone.  However, his choices in friends kind  I don't know how to put this nicely.   He's a great student-- academically, socially, and behaviorally.  He doesn't get in trouble.  He follows rules.   But the kids he gravitates towards... do not.   This is isn't something new... I've had concerns since Kindergarten.   And, as he's gotten older and I've become more involved at the school, there are other issues that have been raising red flags to me.

-Kindergarten.... he talked all the time about a 1st grader "G" who always seemed to be in trouble, or making bad choices.
-The one child in his class, "M" that had all kinds of rotten behaviors- belching in my face one day while I was helping a little girl tie her shoes, talking rudely to adults etc- is one he started to gravitate towards.
-First grade- he continued sitting by "M" at lunch, and playing with him on the playground.   We had many many discussions about choosing friends, and who you decide to hang out with can affect how others view you, and you have to make good choices in friends or you may find yourself in trouble even if YOU weren't doing anything wrong.
-Second grade was when I really became concerned with SCHOOL, as well as friends.  1.  His class was a bit... disorganized.   I volunteered in his classroom one day a week, for the entire morning before lunch.   He had a student teacher for part of the year, which compounded the inconsistency in his classroom.  One child had an MP3 player in class.  There were tons of distractions- a handful of kids who were just... off the wall.  During writing assignments I couldn't help but feel like.... Porter can do better than what he's doing.  He isn't putting forth enough effort because there isn't structure here.  He's just "getting by".  He's capable of more.
-I ask the boys every day... "Who did you sit with at lunch, kiddo?   Who did you play with a recess?"  I want to know who my child is choosing to spend their time with.   The boy in his 2nd grade class, "T", that he gravitated toward as a friend this year, knew more things than a 2nd grader should know.  It broke my heart, but also.... I don't want MY child exposed or hearing some of these things.  His dad had been in prison.  He stole from Porter.  He talked back to the teacher. He refused to listen to the teacher.  He put forth zero effort in his work and just scribbled.  The teacher told me at the end of the year that "T" was acting up more because he didn't want school to end and to be at home.  I'd discussed with the teacher if he was someone I should encourage or discourage Porter to play with/continue to be friends with.  He said Porter would be good for "T" but never let Porter go to his house.  My heart ached for this child but.... as a parent of my own child I have to protect MY child.   I felt like Porter was always going to have these friends he chose that I didn't allow him to hang out with outside of school.  And, as he gets older.... its going to get harder to discourage these friendships as peer pressure rises.
-2nd grade, a boy was talking to Porter about SEX.   He came home and asked what it was.  What the actual hell.  SECOND GRADE!
-Last year I had to stop the boys from riding the bus to and from school because the things I heard them say the 6th graders were talking about on the bus were so inappropriate.   Cussing, sexual words, threats to each other (not the boys, but other kids on the bus) etc.
-3rd grade, I went on a field trip and in my group there were 4 kids.  A little boy and girl who were super sweet, Porter and another boy "D" who was a wild child.... as in, teacher having to ask him repeatedly to do things, him refusing to listen to the teacher, throwing a tantrum, etc.  Who does Porter talk about playing with? THIS child!
-On the bus home from the field trip, I overheard another boy, "G", who was sitting in teh seat across the aisle from us say multiple totally inappropriate things. Mentioning something about "Condom candy" to the boy he was sitting with.  Joking about his friend (the boy he was sitting with) "licking his penis and liking it HAHAHA"  I was so appalled.  I said something to him numerous times and then the teacher did end up taking him to the front of the bus (along with "D" who was getting in trouble on the bus too).
-The girls in front of us on the bus had her mom's iPod and were looking at half naked black and white model pictures of men on it and giggling. THIRD GRADE!  I'm sorry... but 1, why are you keeping sexual pictures of men on your phone (celebrities and the like.... you know, like you see some people Pin on Pinterest as "eye candy") and giving it to your child to take to school???
-Hudson rides the bus from his school to Porter's after school so I can pick them up in one location.  Hudson told me one day a boy on the buss called him a "Mother F@$#er"
-Porter- 3rd grade- goes out to recess with 6th graders. Doesn't this seem like a bit of an age gap to be playing unsupervised??  4th and 5th graders are together for recess.
-Porter told me he was threatened during "Fun Friday recess" (an extra recess) by a 4th grader.   He was talking to his friend and this kid butted in, and Porter told him not to be rude and the boy told him "You'd better not talk to me or you'll be lying on the ground with a bloody nose/mouth (something like that)"

AUGH!  As you can see.... its not just one incident.  And honestly, I can handle bullying/mean kids.  I can handle that.  And my kids are no strangers to swear words... I'm not mother of the year by any means.  But our society put so much sexualization in EVERYTHING and I'm starting to see the trickle down effect... its not just parents who let their little girls dress like mini teenagers... its the sexual things kids know about, hear about, think about.... and it grosses me out.   I want my children to be CHILDREN for as long as they can be.  I don't want to have to explain to my 3rd grader what a condom is.  I don't want my 3rd grader oogling over sexual pictures of the opposite sex.  And, I don't feel this way so much about HUDSON'S experience at school... he's in 1st grade right now and I haven't had one concern about friends/kids in his class etc.  He plays with 2 little girls most often, and they take stuffed animals to school and play with them on the playground.  I haven't had any red flags with him- yet- other than the kid on the bus calling him a MF'er.

The hard thing is.... I don't dislike the school or school district.  I have no problem with the teachers or the curriculum.  I have FRIENDS who send their children there who have totally different experiences and who love it there.   I KNOW there are great kids that go to the school because I know their parents.  I want more than anything to LOVE where I send my kids to school.  I WANT to send them off to public school and feel they're safe and learning about age-appropriate things and not having access to the minds of children who have been corrupted by their parents/home environment.  I know private school isn't going to shelter them from all of this either.  There will be naughty kids there.  I know homeschool won't hide them from the horrors of the world forever, and to be honest it could totally trash our parent/child relationship because I honestly don't feel like I'm cut out for it.

I don't know what the solution is right now.  I do know I've had this nagging feeling for the past year that this isn't working.  I don't know what to do, or where to go.   I could discuss all these concerns with the principal but honestly.... are they going to follow my child around and make sure he's not hearing inappropriate conversations at school on the playground?  No.  Is it going to change how other parents are parenting their kids at home?  No.  Is it going to change Porter's choice in friends he plays with during free time?  No. Its all things that CAN'T be controlled that are the problem.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

what's gotten into me this year?

Usually we don't get our Christmas tree until the weekend after Thanksgiving.  We've actually been known not to put up a tree until freakin' the middle of December.  But this year.... I'm soooo ready to get decorated for the holidays, and it seems like so many of my Facebook friends are ready too!  PEER PRESSURE!

I know everyone complains that Thanksgiving gets looked over but.... why can't you celebrate Thanksgiving with Christmas decorations up?  I think I'm going to this year!!!

Amelia and I went grocery shopping today and we browsed all the Christmas aisles.  I picked up some stocking stuffers for the kids (I love being able to shop for presents with a toddler who won't remember HAHAH!) and I've already started ordering Christmas gifts.   During AJ's dance class I made a list on my phone of random people in our day to day lives that we should make/give gifts to (like their teachers, dance teacher, art teacher, Nancy at the barn who takes care of the horses, the UPS guy... etc).  I'm just... SO in the Christmas spirit this year!   YAY!  

This weekend I think we're heading up to the Novi Equestrian Expo and the boys have riding lessons on Sunday but I think somewhere in between there we're going to try to get down at least some of the Christmas decorations.  Besides.... Ry bought some shelves to organize the attic so this would be a PERFECT time to get that done too!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Because when...

When your 2 year old asks you to ride horses with you, you say yes.  Always. 

today... is a big day!

Today I did something that I thought would not happen for decades.

I paid of the 2nd and 3rd of my 5 student loans.  PAID IN FULL.   Oh my holy word.   It feels AWESOME to feel free from a chunk of that debt.

I can't wait to tackle the last 2, and then Ryan's.  I want to be student-loan debt free before next summer which will mean.... I will have paid off a total of $100k in student loans in a years' time.  Oh yes.   For reals.   AMAZING huge sigh of relief.

I have so many goals after that.  First will be Ryan finding his niche and working from home.... not sure what he plans to do but he is wanting to leave his job badly, but he needs to have SOMETHING to do with his time.

My next huge goal will be to buy either a farmhouse to renovate and 20-30 acres, or buy 20-30 acres and begin building our dream home on it.  That probably won't happen for a few more years but that's the next huge accomplishment I want to take on.  I still have no idea where we want to live long-term.   Its scary to think of moving away from Michigan but the longer I'm here the more I despise the weather.  The thing is.... I hate HOT summers, but I also hate months on end of soggy, gray, cold weather too.  Can I have somewhere that is 75* year round please?

Sunday, November 9, 2014


This weekend we went to Birch Run shopping.   Hudson picked out this red sweater at Nautica he looooved so we bought it for him.  He bugged us the whole entire day to wear it.   This morning, we told him he could wear it to church if he wanted to.  He was totally geeked.   On the way to church we overheard this conversation in the back of the truck.

Hudson:  Porter, I knit this sweater!
Porter:  No you didn't!  Mom, Hudson is saying he knit his sweater.  Did he?
Me:  I don't know.... maybe?
Hudson:  Yep!  See!!  That's why they call me a "K"nit-wit.

I about died.  Just.  About.  Died.

Then, after church we stopped at Dunham's.  Hudson hopped out and still had on his sticker/nametag from church.  He says "I could be a worker here!  I'm like.... a MINI worker!"  

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I have this daydream often that we live on a farm with chickens and goats and horses and I homeschool and the kids and I laugh all day and everything we do is filled with learning and wonder and excitement.  I know it's a fantasy.  It's not reality, or mine at least.  This is the highlight reel plastered on blogs and Instagram accounts.  

But what keeps resonating with me is this pull to homeschool them.  I really felt the urge beginning last fall, when Porter was in 2nd grade.  His class was disorganized and chaotic.  Luckily he's a good student and learns quickly, but every time I volunteered I couldn't help but think.... We could do this writing in half the time and I know porter can do a better job than he's doing!  And the friends.... He's a good kid but he is constantly drawn toward the naughty kids of the class.  He thrives on their exciting, rebellious behavior and constantly befriends them.  He knows their behavior is wrong.  He doesn't cross the line at school but he does come home with some behaviors and knowledge about things that we don't discuss or allow at home. We live in a bit of a transient community, but there are some great families and great boys in his grade that he could be friends with.  However, there is never more than 1 or 2 of these good kids in his class.

Last year I had the boys stop riding the school bus because of some of the things they told me were being said/talked about on the bus by 6th graders.  This year I was just appalled at some of the language and things spoken about by one of the boys in his class.  

And the more I really analyze schools-from teaching to volunteering positions- I realize how much time is "wasted" and not actually educational.  They're there for 7 hours a day.  So much of that time is spent transitioning 25+ kids from one lesson to the next, or getting everyone to follow directions or quiet down.   My kids are spending 7 hours a day with kids that I can't control what they learn from home or say at school and I'm not there to mediate.  They could be learning the same amount in less than half the time at home.  

I keep feeling like I'm being pulled to homeschool but the thing is.... I feel like the worst mother ever as it is.  My patience is shot by the evening.  I feel like my plate is so full as it is.  Truth be told, most days I look forward to dropping the boys off at school and having the day free from chaos and fighting.  I know that if I tried homeschooling it would be a bust.  I would suck not only as their teacher but as their mother as well.  Not to mention working from home on top of that.  I don't know how I could possibly balance it all. 

It kills me that I don't have the attitude of loving to be around my kids all the time.  It kills me that, I'll be honest, Porter's challenging personality exhausts me on a daily basis and that some days it is all I can do to even like him.  

I headed to bed with worries heavy on my shoulders.  I'm not sure what the right choice is for us.  Do I attempt to homeschool and really get my life in gear and organized to the minute and planned and productive?  Do I switch schools?  Do I look into private schools?  Do I hire someone to homeschool for me?  

I passed porters room on the way to bed and paused to watch him sleep.  I used to do this every night when he was little.  I love him with all my heart.  There are many days I don't like him (and many days I don't even like myself because of my lack of ability to deal with his personality) but I always love him.  I want to shelter him from the bad things in this world.  I worry about his choices.  I worry about the path he will take in life.  I just want the best for him. For all our kids.  Right now I just don't know what exactly IS the best.  

Thursday, November 6, 2014


-I cared a wonder (I’m scared of thunder)

-Early one morning snuggling in bed with Porter and I. 
Amelia:  "Poe, you gimme a frog?” 
Poe: "no”. 
Amelia: "dang it all"

-One day I called her Sugar Bear. She said "I not sugar bear. I just a-meeah"

-I was dropping her off at Oma's one morning and getting out of the truck she says "I don't want to scare Oma. She nice"

-She's so bossy to the boys. At dinner tonight she says "stop talking boys. Shhh!" She is constantly tattling on them but it's for the silliest things. Like "Poe say me to stop it". "Poe say me be quiet".  

-Riding in the car today I said "the clouds look like cotton candy!"  She laughed so hard and said "you funny mama!"  I said "I just want to eat those clouds up!"  She laughed harder and said "yum yum I eat them in my belly!!"

pay it forward....

I'm in this major pay-it-forward mood lately, and yesterday a friend inspired me to give anonymously more often.  Yesterday the boys and I headed to the Animal Shelter to drop off donations.  On the way there we swung through McD's to get a drink and McFlurry.  I paid for the car behind me.  This McD's was in kind of a sketchy area of town and the McD's worker looked at me like I had 2 heads when I told her I wanted to pay for the car behind me as well.  Porter was totally in awe that I did... he said "That was REALLY nice, mom!"  I hope that I inspired him, too.

Today, Amelia and I did a little shopping after dance class and I had a craving for a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's so we... uh I... decided to hit up drive through again.   I ordered and then noticed the really old, sputtering rusty truck behind me and thought... what the heck.  Two pay it forwards in two days.  So I paid for his order, too.  It was $20 or so, so I hope that maybe he was ordering for some work friends, too, and maybe I spread a little sunshine not only to his day but to theirs as well.


 I plan to make a list of things I can do throughout the holidays (and throughout the year!)... some intentional and some random and anonymous.   This year is the first year ever we've been in the financial position to just give freely and generously and it feels amazing to be able to do this for others.  So the moral of the story here is.... not that I've eaten fast food wayyyy too much lately, but that even the smallest little acts of kindness can go a long way.  Spread some sunshine into others' lives.


Monday, November 3, 2014

9 weeks

I feel like this had been the longest pregnancy ever.  I feel old and aged.  But technically it probably will be the longest pregnancy ever since I've practically been pregnant since the end of July.  With a two week miscarriage between the end of August/beginning of September and then pregnant again right after.   So. Yeah.  Longest pregnancy ever. 

I started this pregnancy thinking.  I don't need to gain an ounce.  I'm going to watch what I eat.  I'll exercise.   And then, like with the rest of my pregnancies but 10 times worse, the exhaustion and nausea hit.   I was going to bed at 8 every night and eating non stop during the day because a full tummy was the only thing that got rid of nausea (but then I was constantly uncomfortable because I was full). At almost 10 weeks I can kind of see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I don't have the extreme urge to nap everyday on top of sleeping 10 hours a night.  I do try not to walk into my room after putting Amelia down for a nap because my bed always looks so amazingly comfortable and the dim room after closing the curtains is just so cozy and relaxing.  

I've been getting constant heartburn and acid reflux.  It sucks.  Peppermint oil has been a HUGE help (put a drop under my tongue and then drink water). Literally everything I eat makes me acidy.   I crave cereal and milk (fruit loops!).  And I was craving bread-- anything breadlike.  That has lessens a little.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

lazy day ramblings

Today I have no expectations for completing anything.  We are having a lazy day.

It's rainy outside.  Has this been the rainiest October in Michigan or what??

Amelia feels ucky and is whiny.  She's had a stuffy nose since this weekend.   I've been lazy at applying oils.  GRR.

My legs and butt is soooore.  I went riding yesterday and it always is a great lower body workout.  I just wish I could make more time for it!

How does the morning fly by so quickly??   I swear, I drop the boys off at school and then its lunchtime.   Nevermind that we've done nothing but sit on the couch and watch cartoons, eat Sour Patch Kids and I've been busting butt catching up on work-related tasks.

We may or may not be eating Kraft Mac n Cheese for lunch.  Don't judge.

I just got back from an AMAZING work weekend trip in Chicago with some of the best girls you can find anywhere in the world.  I will be writing up my thoughts about this trip sometime soon I hope.   I've been trying to catch up on sleep.  The last two nights I've gone to bed at 8pm and slept for 10 hours.  Yesterday I also took a nap.

I've been so lazy at potty training Amelia.  The girl could be trained by now but I am a slacker.   I rest easy knowing it is highly unlikely she will go to kindergarten in a diaper.

Football is finally over and the boys are starting riding lessons.   I don't anticipate they'll care to show or anything like that, but I want to see if either of them have any further interest in riding more often. I really would like to get another horse that either one of the boys, or Ryan, or a friend could use and ride with me.   Its boring riding alone!  But, I hate to pay for another horse if it won't get used.  I know in about 2 years Amelia will be all over that... but in the meantime... not sure its necessary.  We'll see!   I have a feeling Porter will be more into riding than Hudson, but I really think riding could be a great confidence boost for Hudson- especially since he really has no interest in competitive team sports.   We'll see!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

the day that never ends....

I've been in a mood today.  Not a pretty one.  Ok.   I'm not in a pretty mood very much anymore anyhow.  (did that make sense?)  Anyhow, today just started out sucky and no matter what, it just kept being sucky.    There are some good little specks though.

  • Our life insurance guy was supposed to come tonight for a meeting... even though we finalized everything I'm like what the actual hell do we have to meet with you AGAIN?  I don't want to meet with you again until one of us knocks the bucket.  I don't have time for this shit. 
  • I cancelled said appointment.  
  • I finally hired a cleaning lady today... like an "all house clean my everything" cleaning person. She comes tomorrow.  I'm excited!  I'm also like... crap... we've got to clean the house for the cleaning person!  Seriously though, we just got back from camping and our house is FILLED to the brim with laundry and things not put away.  Not to mention we still haven't fully transitioned out summer stuff so we have two seasons of crap all over. 
  • Porter is FINALLY done with football. I loved watching them play but oh my everloving lord THREE 2-hour practices a night, plus a game on the weekends is more than I like to deal with. The season actually ended almost 2 weeks ago but the guy who runs the league decided to throw "one more in" so P's team (Michigan Center Red) played the other MC team (black).  It rained most of the game and was cold, but it was a nail biter all to the end.  The ended up tying. 
  • Tomorrow, in addition to my house getting cleaned, I'm getting my hair done.  It's been MONTHS!   It is soooo desperately in need of coloring.  I am going dark again.  I'm over the blonde.  Bleh.  Its okay for summer.  Something different.  But I love my dark hair.   
  • A few more days until CHICAGO!!!   I'm so in need of a weekend away.  I'm headed to FUEL (Fire Up Everything in Life) event with my Lemon Dropper girls.  YEAH!   I'm excited to be with these ladies this weekend, and to meet up with so many that I work with daily and know only from Facebook.  It's going to be an awesome weekend.  
  • This fall.... isn't fall supposed to be dry and crispy and cold?  Well... I feel like ours has been nothing but RAIN!  Seriously... its rained like every other day.  So, our leaves are totally wet. Can't rake them into piles for the kids because they're... WET.   I feel like its my most hated springtime taking over my favorite fall season.   MICHIGAN.... you're not helping yourself here.... I'm about over it.  
I'm so complainy.  I know.  Maybe I need to do my 3 positive things post.... no, what I need is a nap.  Like a long, no one bother me for days, nap.....

Monday, October 20, 2014

book issues

I have a really terrible problem.   I want to read.  I love reading.   I have lots of books I want to finish. But.... other things seem to come up and I never complete anything.  I start reading a book and then another one comes along that sounds SO good that I start that one, too. And then another.  And another.  And then finally I'm so overwhelmed and in the middle (or beginning...) of so many books I don't know where to focus!   This summer is where it all started.... I started the Divergent Series.  I got through 2 books and am only part way through the 3rd.  And now its been so long (and I've started so many others in the meantime) that I don't even remember where I was.  I decided to start a list of books I started but haven't completed yet this summer/fall. GAH! 

  • Divergent series

  • The fault in our stars

  • Summer sisters

  • The art of racing in the rain

  • Momfulness

  • Beautiful Mess

  • Start.

  • Desperate

  • Carry On, Warrior

  • Dare to Dream

  • Christ in the Chaos

  • Five Love Languages of Children

  • The Best Yes

Thursday, October 9, 2014

the best sound ever

This morning I had an ultrasound to figure out dates of our 4th little one.  Since I got pregnant so quickly after my miscarriage in August, we didn't have any dates to go on.  I was nervous to go to the ultrasound... I was terrified there wouldn't be a baby. I was guessing I was somewhere near 7/8 weeks along, so I was hoping that the heartbeat would be able to be heard.

I never thought I'd be so excited to hear a heartbeat in my life.  I saw the little flicker on the screen and I got teary eyed.  I was measuring 7 weeks 1 day, and the heartbeat was 150bpm.  YAY!  My due date is June 7, 2015.  I'm praying for a healthy, uneventful pregnancy and hopefully very minimal weight gain.  GAH.   I'm kind of disgusted because I truly could gain NOTHING this pregnancy and  be heavy enough.  I'm going to have to do some serious weight loss and toning after this baby arrives!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

thankful | september 30

A few years ago when I was seeing a therapist, she suggested I write down 3 things I'm thankful for at the end of the day.  The purpose was to focus my mind and heart on the positives from the day.  To see the successes, no matter how small.  I've kind of been in a rut lately and feel like I need to refocus a bit.  I don't think I'll do this daily, but whenever I feel negativity creeping in I'm going to try to document the good, the positive, the uplifting.  So, for today.... no matter how insignificant:
  1. This morning when I realized it was picture day for Porter, and I told him he'd have to wear the polo I had picked out for his school pictures instead of the outfit he'd picked out.... he accepted without a hitch.  No whining, no tantrum, no questions.
  2. Hudson conquered his fear of going upstairs alone to get his parrot that he wanted to take to school after I told him it was time to leave and I didn't have time to go upstairs with him.  He had the choice to go upstairs alone or go to school without.  And he mustered up his bravery and ran upstairs alone.  CHEER!!
  3. I've had an eye opening day... realizing what amazing women I'm in the presence of daily. Seeing one of my best friends reach a goal she's worked SO hard for, and deserves more than anyone.  Seeing two of my girls take on and replicate leadership skills.... it literally brought tears to my eyes.  And finally, I'm doing a pay it forward with some lavender oil I brought home from France.  One of the requirements is that my team has to pay it forward as well, and be nominated for the oil.  And reading through the nominations.... seeing how uplifting and kind these women are, how they cheer each other on, how they encourage and congratulate and acknowledge each other. This just makes my heart so happy.  Its hard, with women, to find friends who do that for you.  To find a group of people who can be truly happy for each other. Who can celebrate successes, encourage each other and tell each other openly that they're proud of them.   Truly makes my heart happy.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

back in the groove

Now that school is back in session, I feel like we're settling into a more "normal" groove.  Lots of things still going on, but it feels more manageable.  It has been a crazy, busy month (football has taken over for realz... gah!) and I so need to go back and pull out some pictures and blog about them. Lots of firsts for these kiddos!

  • Porter is playing tackle football.  I'm not thrilled they start so young (3rd grade) but he really likes it.  He gets braver and more confident with each practices (says Ryan... because I stay home with Amelia..... she's a wild beast at practice, trying to jump on the mats with all the big kids).   As much as I complain about practice time and the busy-ness, I love watching him play. 
  • Hudson is taking an art class- painting!  We signed him up for flag football but he refused to even attempt to participate so we aren't going to push it with him.  He's total opposite of Porter and I honestly don't see him in physical sports, but we'll see.  He was SO excited about the painting class!   
  • Amelia started dance class... Creative Movement.  She's super excited to go, and oh my gawwwww kill me with cuteness!  Can I tell you how long I've waited to have a little girl to wear a cute little leotard and piggies?  GAWWW!  She went into class without looking back, and when she came out she was ALL smiles, saying "I went a dance class!  I got a sticker!"
  • I haven't been out to ride Lacey as much as I've wanted to.  Once a week has been my average... which is phoooey.  But, it is what it is.  I finally ventured out into the trails/fields behind the barn and can't believe its taken me that long to go check it out.  Perfect riding areas!  I only wish we had another horse so I could have someone come along and ride with me.  It gets kind of boring riding alone. 
  • Amelia and I are headed to South Carolina next week for a girls-only weekend.  Well, it was supposed to be kid-free but I had literally NO ONE to watch her so I'm taking her along.  It'll be my grandma, mom, aunt, cousin, me and Amelia.  We're going to Edisto Island.  I can't wait. 4 full days of relaxing at the ocean. Heaven. 
Question for you readers.... we recently had an incident where I realized I REALLY needed to have parental security on our computer/internet for the kids.  So, our internet is pretty much locked down.  It has really opened my eyes to the age Porter is at, as well as how many things our kids are exposed to at such young ages.   Today Porter recognized this funny mom-parody ("All I need is Space") as the tune to "All about the bass".  I asked where he heard that song and he said he heard it at school.  So and so was on YouTube on the iPad.   (they have classroom iPads).  Kids at his school are also allowed to have iPods out on the playground.   Is it just me or..... does this seem inappropriate?  I mean, some of the "popular" music is soooo inappropriate for younger kids, and I'm sure half the parents don't listen to what the lyrics are saying.  We're really trying to watch what the boys are exposed to, and I'm just feeling uncomfortable with young kids having unmonitored access to YouTube and use of personal iPods with unmonitored materials on it.  What do you think?  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

dance class mom fail

I signed Amelia up for dance class for 2/3 year olds and was SO excited for her to go.  I ordered her a little leotard with skirt, ballet shoes and tights.  I knew she was going to love it- she LOVES to dance. After waiting 20 minutes for "her class" to start, we realized that the whole time we were waiting HER CLASS was in session!  Oops!  Good thing she was just as happy with hopping around the circles on the floor!  

Her first official class we made it to was as great as could be expected.  She went right into class, no issues at all.  She was ready!  I was afraid she's be nervous or want me to go with her but no.  She walked right in and never looked back.  They crawled through tunnels, danced fast and slow, walked across balance beams, jumped through hoops on the ground.  She came out of class beaming, telling me " I go a dance class!"   She loved it!   

Sunday, September 7, 2014

it doesn't have to be taboo

Have you seen the article about the Duggar kids floating around... The one talking about how they announced their pregnancy before the standard 12 weeks, and that they chose to do so because they would acknowledge their baby if they did miscarry?  This kind of hit home with me, and made me feel guilty.  

See, right after I came home from Silver retreat I found out I was pregnant.  Yes.  Pregnant.  #4.  Huge surprise and not planned.  At.  All.  I spent a good week feeling awful.... Thinking about the things that a 4th child would screw up.  Like drinking wine in France, or vacationing as a family in one hotel room or only having 3 cubby baskets in my foyer.   And then I started to realize how great it would be... One more child to love (or drive me crazy), one more chance to savor those little baby moments, one more gummy faced smile, one more first step.  I got excited about watching our 3 kiddos with a new baby, and seeing Porter and Hudson dote on another little baby.  I started to get excited.  

We have never really announced our pregnancies until I think close to 10 weeks.  Usually after we get a chance to have an ultrasound and hear the heartbeat.  Before we left for France we told a few family members, and I'd told a couple close friends. But while we were in France, Ryan talked freely about it.  My getting knocked up was kind of the butt of our jokes because, well, it's kind of funny when your friend asks if you have a tampon bc they need one in the middle of a castle tour and you're like "Hello, me? Did you forget I got knocked up?"  

We got home from France and I was looking forward to LeeAnn scanning me and hopefully becoming "Facebook official" as I was close to 9 weeks along.  

And then I miscarried.  And it kind of became this taboo, awkward thing.  Thank GOD I was home when this began because it was a painful few days, physically and emotionally.  I wanted to hole up in my room for the week and just be done with it.  It was an awful last week of summer.  I felt like I was in labor for half of the week and unable to do anything productive with the kids.  I was grumpy and sad and nonexistent as a mother.  I felt like a failure.  I let a few people know what happened but all the "acquaintances" that had been told?  What do you do then?  Ugh.  And then this article came out.  And I realized.... This doesn't have to be a big secret.  This happened.  This baby had a heartbeat and little arms that moved and it shouldn't be taboo.   It's part of our story.  I can write about it.  And document this as part of our life.

I am no stranger to miscarriage.  Before we had Porter I miscarried very early- at 5 weeks.  It was awful-  when the only thing you want is a baby and you lose a pregnancy you're so excited about and you don't have other children to keep you preoccupied and all you can think about is the waiting and wishing and hoping.  This miscarriage hasn't been as emotionally difficult- it was unexpected, both the pregnancy and the miscarriage, but I do feel sad when I realize I should be 12 weeks along now, and that other friends are announcing pregnancies and I would have been pregnant with them. 

I'm not sure where we will go from here. We hadn't planned on a 4th child but now that we welcomed the idea I feel like it feels right.  But then I worry that maybe the miscarriage was a sign that we aren't supposed to have a 4th.  That we don't need anymore craziness in our lives (who does?).  And, well, we all know the Ry and I never produce any calm, complacent, docile children so surely a 4th would be another wild, strong willed, independent kiddo.  I guess time will tell, and we'll have to see what direction prayers and fate point us in.  But for now, I rest easy knowing I don't have to feel like this is/was something to hide.  Thank you, Duggars, for opening my eyes.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

what a compliment

Amelia woke me up this morning stroking my hair.

A: "Hair look nice. Take a shower today? Take a bath today?"

Me: "Are you asking did I take a shower or am I going to take a shower?"

A: "Am I"

Me: (laughing)  "Yes, I am going to take a shower today"

A: (grinning, because she knows she's so goofy and cute) "Okayyyyy"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's a chair for...

Yesterday I had to have some bloodwork done so I took the kids with me.  Its usually an in an out type deal but for some reason, we ended up waiting in the waiting room for 50 minutes before being called back.

Anyhow, in the waiting room they have chairs all around, and one was like a loveseat chair but not quite as big.... inbetween a loveseat and a chair. Amelia climbs up, all charming and cute and says "Its a couch! I'm sitting on the couch!" So, porter sits with her and he says "Its just a double chair Amelia." 

Everyone's smiling at Amelia, who is just being adorable as usual. Hudson, who was super grumpy all morning, says all loud "It's a chair for fat people"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I spent the weekend in Spokane, WA for Young Livings Silver Retreat.   It was full of all kinds of firsts for me...

-Upgrading to First Class on my flight to Phoenix (Janell texts:  "I upgraded to first class last night on a whim... there's a seat next to me!  It's only $200!"   Nicole texts back:  "I'm going to kick your ass!")
-White water rafting ("I want a peace raft! You are all traitors!  I don't want to splash!  I want a new raft.  I need to switch rafts!")
-Ordering room service and spending way more on it than I ever would have in the past
-Buying my first pair of LuluLemon leggings.  HEAVEN On EARTH.  Worth the $90 (yes.  OUCH!)
-Crashing a wedding 

This weekend.... I can't even express in words how amazing it has been. This weekend has been about friendship, oils, education, camaraderie, more laughter than you could ever need, new experiences, and the realization that you're more blessed than you could ever have imagined. This weekend has made me realize how life changing the past year has been. Life changing in a GOOD way. A really, really, really good way. I'm going to miss all these girls once I arrive home but am thankful to know that we will be together again soon and when we do--- let the good times begin... AGAIN!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

just.... enjoy.

I tend to push myself too much, and am guilty of not setting aside quality time to just decompress... to relax, let loose, have fun and ENJOY THE DAY.   This summer..... its almost over and I feel like I haven't been allowed to do things that *I* want to do.  Things for myself.   Things with the kids.   And it's silly... because I can do anything I want, but I have this thought in my mind that I have to be productively working, or at least feeling like I'm working, or else I'm slacking.  So, I've spent a lot of my summer working my butt off.  Sure, it pays off.  It pays off WELL.  But.... I also know I need to cherish these days because babies don't keep.

Carly and Kinsley came over today and while we sat on the deck just watching the kids play (well.... I was regulating the boys b/c of course Porter always seems to make issues out of everything) and chatted about business and kids and life in general, I realized... I need to schedule time like this.  I NEEEEEED to make time for things like this.  To push work aside and just enjoy the day, enjoy the company, enjoy the kids.  

I hope that I keep this in mind, that I'll never regret the time spent with the kids or the time spent with friends.   I'll never look back on life and think "Oh, I wish I would have worked more".  No.   I need to keep perspective.  Today brought me that.  Thank you.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Amelia's Big Girl Bed

I'm not exactly sure how we're already to this point.... packing up the crib and busting out a big girl bed.   It's breaking my heart, I tell you! The last one is bittersweet.   So bittersweet.

I've been putting this off for awhile now.   We moved Porter into a twin bed when he turned 2.  Hudson we moved at 18 months.  Last weekend Ryan went out of town and that night, Amelia decided to show me her skills in scaling her crib.  She's officially on the loose.  I had been browsing Pinterest with ideas for her big girl room so I was getting excited at finally just changing things over.  I decided to go for it.

Originally I'd wanted to use the headboard I bought that matches her dresser.  However, after a botched attempt at putting a full sized bed in her room, I decided a twin was better suited.   She has a long dresser (which takes up room) and her big dollhouse and stable, and I plan to put an Expedit shelf in there as well.  So, twin it is.

Her room is pretty "vintage" inspired, so of course a Jenny Lind bed is only appropriate!  I scoured Craigslist and found one 2 hours away, by Lake Michigan.  You know what that means... ROAD TRIP!   I'll document that separately, because that's quite a story.

So, I got her bed home and set up, and she was so excited about it!  She keeps calling it her "Bunk Bed"   I love it.  She's doing pretty good so far staying in bed.  Naptime is probably the hardest.  But, lately she's been scaling back on naps as well.  She still needs them (seriously!!) but instead of her typical 2-3 hour naps its been a quick hour nap and then she's still grumpy. BOO!

I've already ordered a quilt from Pottery Barn Kids, and a bunch of different vintage sheets and pillow cases from Etsy and eBay.  I can't WAIT to pull her room all together!  It's going to be DARLING!