Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Private or not private??

I'm a terrible blogger.  There's not two ways about it.  I've recently thought about just closing down my blog all together.  The problem is a love the idea of blogging.  I really want to write down all the small moments and random thoughts I'm thinking to look back on.  Even looking back on some of my entries on this blog is a hoot. (yes I just said "hoot").

So instead of closing I'm going to try to do better.  But I'm also thinking about making this blog private.  So if you'd like to be invited to continue reading (if anyone still reads) just leave your email in a comment and I'll add you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer break part two!

Upon leaving Waycross the previous weekend, Lexi and Robby said the didn't want to go, and Rob's mom was happy to let them spend the week with her. So they stayed! And it was strange to come home with only three kiddos in tow. Haley was a little sad at first, but she's getting a turn next week!

We spent the week pretty much playing at the pool. Daddy even joined us one night after dinner. I really enjoyed being able to spend a little more one one one time with Haley. I worry that since she's right in the middle, she often doesn't get as much attention. We had lots of fun staying up late watching movies and playing together.

The two older girls and I were invited to Megan's baby shower on Sunday, so Haley and I drove back to Waycross on Saturday. We went swimming and played with Uncle Chip, Uncle Caleb, Aunt Megan, and Aunt Mo. It was really nice to spend time with the family.

Uncle Chip and Uncle Caleb even took Robby for some "man time" on Saturday and again on Sunday during the baby shower. They were trying to blow up a watermelon. Unfortunately both attempts were unsuccessful (whew!), but they did manage to blow up some apples. They all want to try again next weekend when we will be down there again (And Rob can participate too).

The shower was very fun. The received so many nice things. I can't wait for little Jude to make his appearance in September!

Just as couple pictures of the shower...I wish I had taken some of Megan standing...her baby bump is *so* cute!





Since we'll be back down (this makes THREE weekends in a row!!) to Waycross next weekend to celebrate the 4th of July, Haley stayed at MeMa's and Lexi and Robby and I came home. It was a nice little reunion for David and Lindsey. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

10 years!!

The second weekend of summer vacation marked our 10th anniversary!!

On June 17, 2000, Rob and I were married for time and all eternity in the Atlanta Temple.

Some (very) random things I remember about that day...

I was so happy that my mom made my dress. I loved that she did that for me.

The drive up to Atlanta seemed forever long, but the drive back was worse! There was a ton of traffic.

Being surrounded by family in the temple was such an amazing feeling.

My brother was the only siblings not there...he was on his mission still (What better reason to miss it could there be!?)

My grandmother wore a white dress with tiny black polka dots. She said since they didn't do "white weddings" for every wedding anymore, she wanted to wear as close to all white as possible. :)

June is a hot month in Georgia....that's all I'm sayin...

My poor oldest niece was sick during our reception. Poor thing!

I was amazed how many people came to our reception!!

I was *HAPPY* (and still am!)

I remember feeling the spirit so strong.

I remember thinking that Emily (my sister) was there in spirit too.

We were so young!! I was 19 and Rob was 25. I really need to scan some wedding pictures... this was our engagement picture.



And 10 years later, Rob and I on Tybee Island.


Five kids and ten years later, we're a little gray-er (Mainly Rob haha!) and a little wiser (?), but this much is the same: We are in love! I never thought I could love him more, but with each passing year, I do.

The week of our anniversary, we went down to Rob's parents and spent a couple days with them, including a day at the beach with everyone, and then he and I ran away for the weekend to Savannah while his parents watched the kids. I love spending time with Rob and this trip was really nice.

I recently read this quote on my friend's blog, and I love it! (Thanks Amy!)
"A perfect marriage doesn't require a perfect man and a perfect woman... It requires a man and a woman working together towards perfection."
--Elder Dallin H. Oaks
I think that pretty much sums it all up. We are by no means perfect. Like any couple, we have ups and downs, but we try really hard to work together.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Babe. I love you!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Part One!

School is out, and our summer plans have been in full swing! Jenn and her kids came down to visit for a week. My kids love when they come to visit. They really have a lot of fun together.

We kicked off the week with a day full of swimming. Have I mentioned how much I *love* my mom's pool!?! It's the only thing that gets us through these hot Georgia summers. We spent the day just swimming and laughing and playing, and grilled out for dinner and swam some more. By bedtime, we had 9 exhausted and SUNBURNED kiddos. I guess we didn't reapply sunscreen enough. Poor babies! They were such troopers though. We tried to go do things in the mornings the rest of the week, and wait to swim in the later afternoon when the sun wasn't quite so strong.

We went to the Georgia Children's Museum in Macon and had a lot of fun with the kids. It's not a fancy museum by any means, but it's just a fun place. They have a big room with different areas to play...a kitchen area, a dress up area, a moonsand area, blocks, a puppet theater, and even a little kid play area separate from the rest. The kids pretty much went from station to station and played with it all.
When they had had enough of that, we went to another floor where when they have little play houses set up to resemble houses from various countries. You get to pick up a passport and collect stamps from each country. We had the older children write down one of the interesting facts from each country. There was also a place where you could be a news reporter, and a little room with a king and queen throne and some dress up clothes. We did take some pictures, but I will have to get them from Jenn.
There is also a huge arts/crafts room with long tables and stuff to color. This time, they also had a BUNCH of different drums there too, and they LOVED creating a huge racket with them. 8 kids all pounding on stuff...woah. It was loud!
On the main floor, they also had some interesting things to play with. There was a section with bubbles, and BIG bubble wands made out of various tubes (there was even one with a hula hoop in a tire cut in half, but there weren't any bubbles in it).
After we played the morning away, we had a picnic lunch outside on the benches, and returned to Nana's to swim some more!

We also visited the Museum of Aviation with the kids that week, and they always love going there. They have a couple different airplanes that they can sit in and push buttons and pretend to fly. Oh and they love trying to decide who gets to push the buttons in the elevators. :D

A special treat was taking the kids to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The kids all thought it was really funny. Jenn and I were kind of grossed out. :D It's still funny to hear the kids making references to it. Later that day in the pool, they were playing "cheese-touch".

I think we grilled out the entire week, making dinner time easy and delicious! One cool thing we tried was grilling pizza! How fun is that!? I have to be honest, I totally wasn't a believer, but it was really good and EASY! I want to try it again soon.

One of the reasons Jenn chose this week to come visit, was that Saturday was a 5K race in Macon. I participated in my first 5K with Jenn and Laura in February. It was SO fun. I decided then I wanted to do more. So she and I got up early that Saturday and went to the race. It was really fun to be with her, even though I am much slower than she is, she humored me and kept her pace with mine. During the race, as I tried to push myself to run as well as walk, I really struggled to control my breathing (I really am NOT a good runner *sigh*. It was just all over the place and I ended up having I guess like a little Asthma attack. I have had Asthma since I was about 5, and generally I don't have many problems with it, except when I exercise, or get sick. And when it happened, I got panicked which I'm sure makes it worse, but thankfully Jenn helped me to calm down and breathe, and we pretty much walked the rest of the race. I felt kind of mortified that it happened. Here I am struggling so bad, and Jenn was barely winded! But I know that she's fitter than I am, and like anything, it takes time. It was a pretty small race, and even tho we came in last, I still took about 10 minutes off the last 5K I did. :)
So THANKS Jenn for doing it with me, even though I held you back. I love you! <3

It was sad to see them go back home, but hopefully we can make a trip up to see them before the summer is over.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

College take 2.....errr 3??

After High School, I went to college for a semester and did terrible. I withdrew before the end of the first semester so I wouldn't fail. It was crushing. (Granted, my adviser had over-loaded me for my first semester, but I didn't know that then...) I certainly wasn't a genius, but I felt like I was pretty smart. After that, I enrolled at a technical college for a Respiratory Therapy certificate. I think I finished one or two quarters there before life just took over. I got married, started working more to help pay the bills, and then we started our family, and I was lucky enough to become a stay-at-home-mom. There just wasn't any time for school. And I was content with that. Over the years I've thought about starting back to school, even just to take one or two classes here and there, but the timing never worked out (and for a reason, I believe--Heavenly Father knows best!!).

This fall, I will have 4 kids in school. In another 2 years, Lindsey will go too, and I won't have anyone home during the day. I think this brought on more thought to going back to school. Of course this is new territory for me, and has been met with worry as well. My kids still need me, so can I do both? Will this put a strain on my marriage? So many questions.

In trying to decide what to study, I've tried to think about all the different things that interest me. The problem is I like a lot of different things, but for some reason I keep coming back to Nursing. The next decision to make was where to go? This was kind of difficult for me too. But in the end, what made the decision for me is I want to have a degree, not just a certificate. It might seem silly, and maybe it is, but for whatever reason I really want a degree, or more specifically, a Bachelor's degree. What's strange is I don't look at other people who go through certificate nursing programs and think less of them, in fact I'm quite impressed! But this just feels *right* for me!

Today I took the first leap and submitted my application to college! Despite my worries (that will probably ALWAYS be there) of whether I can handle it all, and meet the needs of my family, etc....I AM EXCITED! I have no idea how long it will take me to finish, or what speed bumps I'll surely meet along the way, but it's the first time in a lot of years that it just feels *right*!

College, here I come!
My kids are already teasing me that they will be asking me if I've done MY homework! :)

Summer Plans!

It's already summer break for the kids! In efforts to keep away the grumpies and fighting, I've attempted to have tons of stuff to keep the kiddos busy and having fun. We started on Thursday by decorating journals that they will write in over the summer. They really had fun picking out papers and what they wanted on it, and I showed them how to cover the books. (I will post pictures later, but they really turned out cute!) We've already had a couple entries in their journals, and it's been fun sharing them with each other. On Friday, since it was Rob's birthday, I had them each write something about their Dad. Then after dinner, they each got to share their entry with him.

The pool is open and we will take our first dip tomorrow!!! I can hardly wait. It's so much fun, and the kids have a total blast (not to mention, they play hard and thus, sleep hard at the end of the day!). We are going to grill out and just play the day away. We plan on spending a LOT of time there this summer!

I'm running my second 5K on June 12th! I'm really excited. I am by no means a good runner, but I REALLY enjoyed the first race, and want to do more! My only goal is to better my time each race, even if it's only by a few seconds. I have LOTS of room for improvement. :) My twin sister is doing it with me. She is a great motivator!

June 17th marks 10 years Rob and I have been married. Hard to believe it's been ten years. It sure has gone by fast! I am the luckiest girl around to have such a great guy. I still get butterflies when he holds my hand, or kisses me. I am more in love with him than ever. Though we (like any marriage) have had our ups and downs over the last 10 years, we've stuck together. Rob is truly my very best friend. Here's to another 10 years (and many more!). We're going to visit Rob's parents and take the kids to the beach, and then Rob and I are going to run away for the weekend to Savannah. I love that we are able to get away from time to time by ourselves. A huge thanks goes to Mema and PePa for watching the kids!

The end of June, we'll be visiting them again but this time for a Baby Shower for my sister in law. I'm beyond excited for Megan and Caleb. They are going to be great parents. I look forward to meeting little Jude when he arrives in September. It seems almost strange to watch them go through this phase of first time parenthood. Seems like I was *just* there. Hard to believe it's been almost nine years. It'll be amazing to see how this little sweet baby changes their lives forever (for good!!). There truly is nothing like being a mom!

July brings (hopefully) another beach trip! When Mom and I went to Panama City Beach in April, it was just SO fun, that we decided we really wanted to go back there again. The beaches are SO nice. Hopefully, though, this oil spill will stay away from our beautiful beach! We are planning a trip back to Panama City with Rob and the kids, as well as some of my siblings and their families for 4th of July weekend. I'm sure if we don't go there, we will find somewhere else to go, but I REALLY love it there.

That's basically our summer planned out. Throw in some library days, playgroups, and some day trips, and we've got a very full summer. I love it!

May Birthdays!

May is a busy month! Not only is school coming to an end, which means all the end of year activities, but birthdays too!!

Haley turned six on May 18th!!


I can't believe she's six. Time has just flown by!! I love my bug-a-boo SO much. She is so sweet, and still loves to snuggle with her momma. ;0) Haley's pretty independent (I suppose that comes from being the middle child) but also loves being with everyone. She likes Barbies and dancing and her favorite color is purple. I just love that bug! (I refer to her as "Bug" quite often!)

This year, we had a small family celebration on her birthday. We were so happy that my Uncle Don and Aunt Nancy were able to come visit, and happened to be in town for her birthday as well!













Sticking with the same idea as her cake (and because we had so much fondant left over), I made cupcakes for her to take to class. Sadly this is the only picture I got of them. Think ahead next time, Erin!!




The that weekend, Haley had her first friend party. We did some painting and "creating" and even decorated cupcakes (to eat of course). She had so much fun!






















Then on May 28th, Rob turned 35!! I LOVE teasing him that he's so old! HA! (I'm so much younger because I'm still in my twenties. :D) But I also tell him I keep him young. We celebrated as a family, and as always, the kids got in there to help lick off the candles!






Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thankfuls everyday keep the woes away

Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself about something, and start feeling like "woe is me", I try to remember some very sound advice I once received.

When I was pregnant with Lindsey, as I neared my due date, I was, like most pregnant women, READY. I was ready see my feet again, ready to sleep on my stomach, ready to eat without having heartburn, all those things. I wanted my baby in my arms instead of inside me. I'd never gone overdue with any of my other babies. Alexis came 3 days early, and the other 3 I was induced either a few days before, or on their due date. I just naturally assumed that Lindsey would be the same. Induced right around her due date.
So, the week before I was due, I went in for my prenatal visit, hoping it would be my last. Much to my dismay, it wasn't. My doctor was going to be out of town the next week, and my cervix was not favorable to be induced yet, so we scheduled a tentative induction for 2 weeks later, a week over due. But my doctor was optimistic and he said he really didn't think that I would make to that date. It was, afterall my 5th baby!

When I left his office and got in my car, the flood gates opened. It seemed like an eternity away, 2 more weeks. I cried as I told my husband that we'd have to wait another 2 weeks, and I cried some more when I called to tell my mom. (I blame some of it on pregnancy hormones.) The response I got from my mom was not what I expected. She said, "But at least you get to have the baby...Think about those you don't get to..." She also said that maybe I could think of ways to serve others, and that it would help the time go by faster. My first reaction was "ugh, I wanted sympathy!!" But I got over that quickly and realized how selfish I was being, and how precious the gift of this baby is, and waiting another two weeks was not going to kill me. I started thinking about all the reasons I had to be thankful, and tried to do things for others, and it totally changed my outlook.

I did make it to my next appointment, two weeks later, much to my dr's surprise, and even made it a couple more days to my induction. But once I changed my attitude, and focused on what I have to be thankful for, it was easy. It just wasn't important to me, how long I had to wait after that.

Since then, off and on when I've found myself feeling sorry for myself again, I think about this experience, and find reasons to be thankful again, and find my attitude changes and I think less of myself and more of others. So I find myself continually trying to be always thankful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cyber-friend (now IRL TOO!)

When I got pregnant with Haley, I joined an online messageboard for women expecting babies the same month as me. It was neat to be able to talk to other women who were going through similar things, and just having that friendship. We grew to become a close bunch of friends as we prepared for celebrated the births of our babies. The years have passed, our group has gotten a little smaller and we now talk on a private messageboard. Our babies that brought us all together are turning 6. We've been together through good and bad times. We've celebrated with each other for special occasions, and been a shoulder to lean on when someone needed it. We've welcomed new babies into our group as some of us have added to our families, and we've cried as some of us lost dear loved ones. This little group is like a second family to me.
It's from this group that I met my friend Mikki. We went from talking on our board to emailing each other, and then talking via IM or text messages, and then talking on the phone, and our friendship has become even closer. This past weekend, Mikki came to visit and we got to meet in real life for the first time. It's honestly like we've known each other our whole lives. I think I was a little nervous because I am initially a very shy person when I first meet someone. I worried that maybe there would be some awkward silences, but there really wasn't. She laughed right along with me as I took my first (of several) wrong turns as we left the Atlanta airport.
I didn't realize how much I must talk about her until this visit because my kids were really excited to meet Mikki as well. I thought they might be a little shy as sometimes kids can be around new people, but they weren't at all! Robby and Lexi were saying yesterday evening "I wish Mikki didn't have to go home, I wish she could stay here forever....I love Mikki." It was really sweet to see how they took her just as I did!
As it always happens, the weekend flew by all too fast and we found ourselves driving back to the airport today to say our "See you laters" (I hate goodbyes). David told me as we pulled away that he was sad. I was sad too. But we're already working on the "next time" we'll get to see each other. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Making life easier

Years ago, I heard someone say (or maybe it was something I read) that when it comes to keeping up with your house, if there's something that makes a job easier, tho it might cost a little extra, USE it (or do it, etc). I believe the example they gave was the bathtub and a using a product that will do the "scrubbing" work for you. I'm butchering the example, but hopefully you get the idea. Sometimes in order to take care of everything we do, we have to take shortcuts.

So that got me thinking. I wonder if all my fellow mom-friends have something that they do to make life just a little bit easier. My "guilty-pleasure" if you will, is paper plates. Yes, I admit it, we buy them regularly. It's built into my grocery budget.

Washing dishes isn't a big deal (ESPECIALLY with a dishwasher), but I will admit that being able to just throw away the plates after dinner, it just makes my life that much easier. So while I do hate how much waste it is, and sometimes feel disgusted by that thought, I enjoy using paper plates.

Don't worry, if you're ever over for dinner, I promise we'll dust off the dishes and use the real stuff for you. Maybe. ;0)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

motherhood

I think when it comes to our children, it's safe to say that we always want the absolute best for them. We're also probably hardest on ourselves when we lose our patience or get overwhelmed. It's easy to concentrate on all the things I have done "wrong" rather than focus on the good that I have accomplished.

I think some people consider me a "tough" mom. I have expectations for my children, and they have to face consequences (good or bad). I make them clean their rooms everyday, they have to help out with dishes and laundry, they don't receive an allowance, and they don't get to choose to not help. I try to teach them that we are a family, through thick or thin, and that includes things like dishes and feeding the dog and taking the trash out. Of course, they are children and don't particularly like doing chores (unless it's scrubbing the toilets or Windex-ing the mirrors and windows, and then they all are volunteering and fighting over who gets to do it) and so we do have occasional tantrums or attitudes of not wanting to do the job, but I think on the whole, my kids do a GREAT job of helping where they're needed. And I try to make sure I am pointing out those jobs well done, though I am sure I could do better in that regard.

Also having children as close together as we do brings challenges. I think I say "Please stop fighting" about 27 times a day, and inevitably, someone hits or pushes their brother or sister, and tears ensue. Some days I reach my boiling point and my patience runs low. I have to remind myself that this too shall pass, and it's really normal for siblings to fight. (And I'm not talking about like fist fights, but fighting over toys, or "she took my doll", or "he's looking at me", or "she's making a noise that's anoooooying"...) However, some days I DO feel like all my kids do is fight all day long. And those are the days that I'm hardest perhaps on myself, wondering how I've failed my children, that they can't get through 5 minutes without SOMEONE fighting. But after I've had a chance to calm down, I can see the "real" problem (most likely, they're bored!) and can help make a difference.

This week, I've been trying to take more note on the GOOD things. And I haven't been disappointed! As crazy and busy as my kids can be, they can also be so incredibly loving and kind. And these tender moments remind me that these are precious spirits whom I have been SO incredibly blessed to be entrusted with. I feel my Heavenly Father's love for me through these wonderful kids.

Yesterday for lunch, I took David and Lindsey to Chick-fil-A. We ate our lunch, and then I got ice cream for them as a treat. David wanted a cone, and I got Linds a cup because I knew she wouldn't eat it fast enough and it would be a big mess. But of course, once we got to the table, she was sad that she didn't have a cone. Now, it seems silly, but not only is ice cream a pretty big deal because we don't have it often, but having a cone is a big deal too, as we usually just get them cups. So when David offered his cone to Lindsey, I was shocked! And it wasn't one of the cases where he offers something up and then 2 minutes later, decides he wants it back. He handed over his cone to her, and happily ate her cup of ice cream, not complaining once about it.

Then last night, as we were celebrating my birthday, we were getting ready for the cake and blowing out candles. Alexis wanted to sit by me, but of course it was Haley's seat and she wanted to sit there herself. At first, I thought to myself "Oh great, here comes another round of fighting". But, it turned out not to be. When Haley saw Alexis being sad about it, she offered her chair up, and then of course David wanted to sit by me, and Alexis said, "no he wants to sit there", and then David decided he wanted to share, and offered to let her sit by him, but then when that didn't work, he moved and went and sat on the other side, and then each kid is trying to solve the problem so that somehow they ALL could sit by me. And it touched me that my kids were all trying to find a way for everyone to be happy with the outcome. That was a nice birthday present right there!

There are numerous examples like these, and I need to recognize them more, rather than concentrating on the arguing and fighting. I have great kids. What has surprised me most about Motherhood is not how much I could possibly love these rascals, but how much I learn from them. While I think we always have room for improvement, I think I'm doing a pretty good job with them. They are my world, and I love them so much.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Linds

(Warning, I sing "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" on this video....watch out world, American Idol, here I come! Or not....)
video

Lindsey has me totally wrapped around her little finger (and her dad's finger, and her siblings finger....pretty much everyone she meets). Some days I worry that she's spoiled, but I am not so sure. Sure she has some of the typical 5th child syndrome... She's the baby...she gets away with some stuff that the other kids didn't... I get that (being the baby of my family afterall!). But I also see how sweet and loving she is. And it makes me worry a little less (for now....we'll talk again when she hits puberty...)

I hate for this to sound like favortism, because it's not. But I really could not have asked for a better little caboose to our family. I love my little Pookie (a nickname she has had since she was a teenie tiny peanut).

video

Thursday, March 11, 2010

did I mention???

MY BABY IS POTTY TRAINED!!!!!!!!!!!

After 8 1/2 years of diapering, we are done! (well, we still have to tackle the night time training, but that's small potatoes.) What ever will I do with the $ saved on buying diapers!?! Hmmmm....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The sweet sights of Spring

The weather around here has perked up and we've had a few glorious days where we left the windows open and played as long as we could outside. I absolutely love spring. I wish it was a little longer of a season here in Georgia, but I will enjoy what I can. (Before we know it, it'll be muggy and hot!)

I am really looking forward to camping and the late evenings when it is still light outside at 8pm, and when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. I love bbqing on the deck with friends, and trips to the park, and the smell of a freshly cut lawn. Oh, I love spring! I feel rejuvinated and have tons of projects that I want to take on. Hopefully I can FINISH them all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I heart books

I haven't always loved reading. In fact, I don't think I really gained a LOVE for reading until sometime within in the last couple years. I've often heard people talk about different seasons of life. There are some things that you just can't do (or don't want to do) at some stages of your life, that you might want to do later. The last 8 1/2 years I've been in the thick of babies. What a joyful and FULL time of life it has been for me. Between the daily hub-bub of diapers, toys, bottles and sippy cups, play time and naptime, meal times and trying to keep up with the mess, I was lucky to find any time to read. And if I did, I was more likely to fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion.

But within the last year or two, as my kids are getting older, and more independent, my day to day hub-bub is changing and I've discovered the joy of a good book! I can't get enough! My list of books to read is growing rapidly. What a fun hobby this is!

I got an early birthday present from Rob last week. Since I was having surgery and would be down for a while, he wanted me to have it early. He got me a Sony e-reader! What a fun gadget this is! I've already got several books loaded on it, just waiting for me to dive in! I have a great husband!! :)

What's on YOUR to-read list?