Friday, September 30, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. Do you apologize to your kids if you're wrong?

2. Do you have a class ring, Letterman's jacket, or similar obscenely priced high school "must have"?

3. If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would you choose?

4. What is your favorite (unused) baby name?

5. If you could make your child like something what would it be?
1. I do apologize if I am wrong. I think it helps my kids to see that I am a person, not perfect {shocking!} and that I make mistakes too. Plus, I think that being able to apologize when you make a mistake is such an important thing, it teaches responsibility.
2. I do have a class ring. I remember being so excited to pick out my ring and what I wanted on it. 
3. I really like being 30, but maybe 29. No real reason why 29, but I liked that age.
4. I still love Claire and Kate and Violet and...the list is ENDLESS! For boys though, I LOVE the name Aaron.
5. Sleeping, reading, sleeping, sleeping and sleeping. Okay, I kid, kind of. How about PICKING UP AFTER THEMSELVES! Wouldn't that be amazing!?! Toys put away, dirty clothes in the hamper, sigh, a woman can dream. 


It's Friday, that means that it is time to share your cell phone pics from the last week.
Head on over to Life.rearranged and link up!

life rearranged

My little girls love to help me unstack the dishwasher {score!}.
While handing me the cups Ainsley found the steaming basket.
She was obsessed with how you open and close it and just had to share the experience with Abby.

Adison was psyched that she got to play some games after school one day.
She was in. the. zone.
Nothing fazed her.

It's beginning to look like Halloween here.
K found these at Target when we went the other day.
The kids had a lot of fun putting them on the window.

I'm not sure that there is much to say about this picture.
Me + hot dog costume = awesome

Ainsley likes to pretend to sleep.
This picture is just too sweet.
They are starting to play so much better together.
I love it.

I love to make hair things for my girls.
They had red, white and blue ones for the 4th and I am planning on making some Christmas ones too.
Oh, Halloween or Fall ones would be fun...oh the possibilities.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Funny

The Good: Having such an amazing support group in you all. Thank you so much for the support and encouragement that you gave me on my last post. You guys brought tears to my eyes, thank you, I love you all! The big girls are loving school right now, it's been really neat to watch them grow and blossom. Abby getting along famously with Ainsley. She wants her home when Ainsley is at school and they just play so well. 

The Bad: Adjusting to my new medicine has been a bit rough this week. Yes, it's getting better but it's still an adjustment.
The Funny: Right now I am listening to Lee direct a game of "Hop-a-handa Rosy" with Abby and K. Ainsley informed me today that when she grows up she wants to have a baby girl and name her Sarah. If she has a boy, she wants to name him "Cuke" {it rhymes with Puke} then she told me that if she had another little girl she would name her Piggy. Yes, never a dull moment at our house :)


It's time for some real-ness here.

I have been struggling lately.

To keep up.
To maintain.
To keep the daily pace.

I dawned on me a few week ago that it's depression.

I battled the baby blues with Abby.

Those were some of the lowest.

I think it all started when I was going through the miscarriages.
But when going through something like that when you have a husband, a child, a job and a grieving family you survive.
You put one foot in front of the other and survive.
So, I did that.

Yes, I grieved.
I cried, yelled and sobbed.
But, the heaviness of it didn't surface.

Fast forward through time and I was making it through life.
Plodding along, one foot in front of the other.
This feeling though was growing and taking shape.

I thought
All mothers feel this tired, worn out, anxious, frustrated...
It's totally normal to dread getting out of bed in the morning {EVERY morning}
Everyone would rather sit on the couch all day doing nothing.

Yes, I still got things done

I did it because I had to, not because I wanted to {in all honesty though, does anyone enjoy these things?}.
Everything started to feel like a chore and I was just not enjoying things like I felt/wanted to.

Sure, I would feel joy at watching my children and the interactions, but something, some intangible thing was missing.
I was off somehow.

There became this desperation of sorts.
Something, something is off.
What is it?

I'm not feeling like me anymore, I feel like this cranky person.

Where did the me go that would crank up the music and make a fool out of herself dancing with the kids?
Sure, she would pop up every once in a while, but finding her so rarely didn't feel right.

The sleeplessness started as did the feeling of constant exhaustion.
This is normal, right?
All mothers talk about how tired they feel, this must be normal.

But then, one day, out of the blue, the answer hit me.

Why didn't I think of this sooner?
We have a family history of it.
I've seen it before.
Why didn't I think of it sooner.


If I am being honest here and I am among friends, time to be totally honest.

I think part of it was pride.
In my mind, I had survived my previous struggle.
People told me that they couldn't have gone through what we went through and come out doing so well.
So by golly, I was going to get through this thing with flying colors.
I was going to make it.
I was not only going to survive it, I was going to THRIVE.

There depression sat though, bidding it's time.
Waiting for the light bulb moment, aha.

I kind of sat on the idea for a while.
Letting it permeate my brain.
Trying to decide how I felt about it.
Was it depression, was it not.
What to do, what to do.

I talked with K about it, he was supportive.
Call the doctor, he said.
I talked to my mom about it.
Call the doctor, she said.
I talked to a good friend about it.
Call the doctor, she said.

Finally, I called my doctor.
Two days later I was sitting down talking with her.

With tears in my eyes and a desire to feel better.

To be the mother I want to be.
To be able to find joy again, not just rarely but when the time was right.
To feel like myself again.
The girl that has been patiently waiting for me to figure this whole thing out.

So, I am doing something about it.
I am becoming me again.
Slowly, but surely.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I'm Diggin' Wednesday {random style}

{Ainsley jumping on the trampoline at a friend's house}
I thought for most of the morning that today was Thursday, *SURPRISE* it's Wednesday.
So, Wednesday it is.
I'm Diggin' that the older girls had Monday and Tuesday off of school. It was nice having them home. The house seemed extra quiet this morning with just Abby and me.

I'm Diggin' that Abby is super possessive of her siblings. She is not afraid to say, "Ainsley my sister!" "Adison is mine."

I'm Diggin' coffee {as usual} I have been EXHAUSTED lately. Simply dragging which is just not fun at all. Maybe more sleep would help.
I'm Diggin' that I actually didn't gag when I ate an onion {on accident} the other day. I gag when I eat them or when I have lettuce in my food. I LOVE salads, but lettuce + tacos = gag

I'm Diggin' that I got to talk to my mom for an hour yesterday. My mom is seriously one of my best friends, life has been so busy for both of us that we haven't had much time to connect.
I'm Diggin' my new ESV bible. 

I use Instagram for my phone. Now that I have updated to Instagram 2.0 my pictures NEVER post to my photos on my phone like they used to automatically do. Anyone else have this problem or know how to fix it???

Monday, September 26, 2011

A case of the Mondays

Today was a rough day, I'm not going to sugarcoat it.
But seeing this smiling face, kissing the rounded cheek of my baby and hearing the laughter of my eldest soothes.

I don't know if I have been particularly sensitive or what, but man today won.
I admit it.

I have been reminded that it my weakness Christ is strong.
That strength and knowledge of it's existence can make rough days more bearable.

With that it mind, the verse that I see printed on my wall reminds me to keep at it.

"Let us keep running the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

Yes, there will be days that are hard, but for me, knowing that this is the race I am supposed to be on makes all the difference.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yo- title by Kirk

I couldn't decide what to title today's post.
So I asked K, he told me "Yo" so "Yo" it is.

This weekend has been pretty laid back.
Yesterday morning we went to the Farmer's Market.
We snagged all sorts of yumminess that was chomped on all afternoon.
In the evening we had church.
A nice, laid-back, easy Saturday.

Oh, and I got a nap in.
All around a success.

This morning all three girls cuddled on the recliner together and watched some cartoons.
I couldn't resist snapping a picture of the cuteness.

We finally decided to head out to Target.
It was there we discovered the Halloween costumes.

I personally think I make a lovely hot dog and K makes a darling banana.
The kids thought it was hysterical {and were probably wondering if we had lost our minds}.
{P.S. Target has Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer}

After that we stopped by to see my brother and sister-in-law for a bit.
Adison then asked if we could go for a hike.
It was a gorgeous afternoon so why not.

Abby was so into K.
She wanted him to hold his hand most of the time.
On the rare occasion that I got to hold her hand she would suddenly change her mind and call for her Daddy.

Hey look, it's me!

This nice couple was walking the trail as well.
They offered to snap a picture of the five of us before we got into the woods.
As you can tell the walk was impromptu as seen by Ainsley and I wearing flip flops.

The big girls had so much fun running through the woods.
Poor Abby tried to keep up but her little legs got tired easily and she would want to be carried for a bit.
K and I were more than happy to.
At this point in the walk Adison and Ainsley decided to collect rocks.
Ainsley said it was to
scare off animals or dinosaurs

All three girls.
K and I got to hold hands for a bit and watch our three girls enjoy nature.
It was such a nice moment.

I just had to include this picture.
Abby is such a silly little cutie pie.

How has your weekend been?

Friday, September 23, 2011


It's Friday, that means it is time to share cell phone pics over at Life.rearranged.

life rearranged

I got a new bible.
Well, actually, I got K and I new bibles.
Our pastor at church started the ESV version.
I love my new pink bible.
Adison helped me make the pink choice, I couldn't decide between red or pink.

Ainsley's little plant is growing like a weed.
I though it would be fun to draw a face on the cup, I thought the grass looked like hair.
Ainsley is obsessed with checking to see how long the grass has grown

I don't think this little rascal could get any cuter if she tried.
The other morning she was laying down watching some Sesame Street after the big girls headed off to school.

My new love.
This coffee creamer is soooo good!
It has cinnamon in it which makes me think of warming up after some cold weather.
I'm a bit obsessed with it, I hope my vanilla creamer isn't too jealous.

I took the girls to the park yesterday.
The girls had a lot of fun running and playing.
I want to be outside as much as possible.

Five Question Friday

1. Dream job...realistic and completely unrealistic.

2. Do you fart in front of your significant other?

3. What's the furthest you've ever traveled from home? How far and where was it?

4. How do you celebrate birthday for your kids? Family only or friends? ... Alternate for those without kiddos: How did you celebrate birthdays as a kid?

5. Fave thing about fall?

1. Realistic- exactly what I am doing now. I love being a stay at home mom, sure it can be tough, but it is so rewarding.
Unrealistic- a cupcake taster. Yep, I want to be able to taste test cupcakes, mmmmm.

2. We've been together going on 12 years, enough said.

3. I've been to Canada, briefly and then on our honeymoon we went to Jamaica.

4. Normally we do a family party and then depending on the child's age we do a friends party. As a kid, we always lived far away from family so it was normally my immediate family with a couple of friends.

5. Blue jeans and the cold weather coffee. I love the leaves turning colors and the crisp air. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Funny

The Good: K is HOME!!! He was gone for a week for work. The girls and I got to see their cousins as well as K's sister and her hubby for a birthday party. We had a wonderful time hanging out. I got a new Bible, it's pink. We went to the park this afternoon, it was perfect out. Adison has been doing phenomenally in math, such an answer to prayer. I got the BEST coffee creamer the other day, International Delights Cinnamon Dolce Cream. It is soooo good!

The Bad: the little girls have a cold, nothing awful. Lee keeps coughing and Abby is cranky. Please pray for a blogging friend, her family is going through some medical scares and could really use some prayer. Thanks guys, you are the best community of friends EVER!

The Funny: Once upon a time, a long long time ago K and I bought little Adison a Dora the Explorer backpack. Said backpack came with a pretend magnifying glass and pretend binoculars. Those have been favorites at our house for a L-O-N-G time. Lee has once again fallen in love with the binoculars and has to bring them with her. The only problem is that she can't say "binoculars" instead she calls them "bin-oc-alrs". She was getting really frustrated about it.

Mama, I can't say BIN-OC-ALRS!!"
Honey, it's a hard word to say. When you get older I'm sure you will be able to say it.

Then she thought it was really funny the way that she was saying it and kept repeating it over and over again.

Abby has been saying "up and down, up and down" over and over again lately.
On the stairs
up and down, up and down
Walking down the path in the backyard on the bricks
up and down, up and down
Walking around the house whispering
up and down, up and down

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I'm Diggin' Wednesday

1. K is coming home this afternoon!!! I didn't write about it before because I'm paranoid like that. He left last Thursday at 6:15 in the morning. I miss him terribly. The girls miss him terribly. We are so ready to have him home. It has been fun talking with him on the phone and texting, but there is just nothing to spending time together.

2. The gorgeous weather. It is nice and crisp and cool in the morning then warms up in the afternoon. I'm talking an almost 40 degree difference on some days. There are a few leaves changing colors but it could easily pass for Spring right now.

3. Adison and Ainsley's birthdays are about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks away. They are both REALLY excited!!!

4. Friends: I love the encouragement and love.

Head on over to Staying Home and Staying Sane to link up!

Monday, September 19, 2011


There have been a lot walks with friends.

Sisters helping sisters.

Playing with Legos.

Consoling a lot of temper tantrums, poor baby...errr...I mean toddler.

Having interesting conversations about weather and science with a certain almost 9 year old.

Checking on grass that is growing, well, like a weed, just like a certain almost 4 year old.

Lately there has been lots of life going on. Lots of everyday things that as Ainsley likes to say makes us a family of 5.

How are you doing? Do anything fun this weekend?

Friday, September 16, 2011


It's Friday which means that it is time to share all of those fun cell phone pics for the week.
Head on over to Life.rearranged, link up and share!
life rearranged

After school on Tuesday Ainsley walked up to me and said
Mommy, will you take my picture?
Of course sweetie!
This is now one of my all-time favorite Ainsley pictures.

Yesterday my friend Clara and I went for a walk with our little kiddos.
We were walking and talking when I looked down and saw it.
The first Autumn Leaf.
I love this time of year, the chill in the air and the leaves changing colors.

Yesterday after our walk Abby and I stopped by the store.
I got her out of the van and she started yelling
Car Car!!!
She then proceeded to "drive" around the store and charm pretty much everyone there.

After school yesterday I decided to take the girls out for a treat.
I asked what they would like and the unanimous consensus was donuts!
It was fun to do something different.
Adison's cinnamon roll was the size of her head!

This is Ainsley's grass.
She got the seeds at church on Saturday and has had so much fun watching them grow.
Yesterday she asked me to take this picture and send it to K.
It cracks me up how often I get this request from her.

My InstaChallenge picture.
While at the store I found these bad boys.
I LOVE pumpernickel sticks.
They are so good and addicting.
They have had these in my mom's town for months now I kept checking to see if we would get them in our fair city.
Lo and behold they have arrived.

Five Question Friday

1. If you had a weekly newspaper column, what would you name it?

2. Who is your mentor/inspiration?

3. What is your wake up beverage of choice?

4. Would you wear your mom's clothes?

5. When you were a kid, did you put posters on your wall? If so, what were they of?

1. This is a tough one. Um, The House of Cupcakes or Surviving and Thriving with Coffee and Cupcakes...I don't know what. Sorry

2. I have a lot, my mom, my mother in law, my friends. My inspiration though would be my kids, they are constantly inspiring me to better my self.

3. Coffee, coffee, coffee and coffee. Yes, I love it. Coffee with some milk and vanilla creamer is the breakfast of champions, err, well...this mama.

4. Yes I would, my mom dresses really well.

5. I did have posters on my wall. The ones that I remember the most were my New Kids on the Block posters. I even had a large one of Jordan, I had the biggest crush on him.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Funny

The Good: the weather, folks, it has been soooo nice. It's a taste of fall. I say taste because it's supposed to be back in the mid to upper 80s next week. I took the girls to get donuts after picking up Adison from school today. I have been sleeping well, yippee! Seriously, my alarm clock has been having to wake me up lately. This is fantastic. Abby has been talking so much more lately, it amazes me.

The Bad: the dynamic, temper tantrum-ing duo. Seriously, these two could get an award for the synchronizing and tandem tantrums. Adison had the WORST substitute teacher EVER earlier in the week. That whole fiasco needs it's own post. 

The Funny: I can't think of anything really funny that's happened lately. More sweetness than anything. Little moments between sisters, a surprise kiss or hug. Abby likes to talk to K on the phone when he is at work, she holds the phone and says Hi Daddy, hi! It's really sweet.

I'm not popular

Adison is a storyteller.
She has either been writing or telling stories for as long as I can remember.

If you find a piece of paper in our home the chances are very good that there is some sort of tale written on it.

If she finds a scrap of paper she is writing on it.
She also staples paper together to make her own books.

The other morning on my way to take her to school Adison asked me if she could read me a story.

It started out really cute and entertaining and then she read:
I'm not popular at school either

My brain stepped on the brakes, sccchrrreeeccchhh

Whoa, what?

Adison, what do you mean you aren't popular?

As a mom, we want our child to be well-liked.
I mean, they are the most amazing creatures ever, we want others to recognize that as well.

Well, I do know almost everyone at school, but I'm not that popular.

Honey, I think that third grade is just way too young to be considering something such as popularity.

Then I started thinking, do I really want my child to be popular?
I know that I don't want her to be picked on or made to feel rejected, but popular?
I'm just not so keen on that idea either.

Honey, I think that it is more important that you are nice to everyone and try to include them than to be popular.

I know that it is what is in her heart that is the most important.
Adison has aces in golden hearts, she so kind and really doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

The goal is to help her to see that she is above all of that.
That as a Christian she should find her identity in Christ.
That she was fearfully and wonderfully made exactly how God intended for her to be.

Adison, God made you just the way he wanted to you to be made.

How do I help her to realize this?
How do I help her to see that the opinions of others and the world are just not important?

I just don't think it's important.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We've reached THAT phase

I think that we have reached THAT phase with Abby.
The one that strikes fear and anxiety into my heart.
Okay, that was maybe a bit dramatic.
More like, the one that tells me that life with this little rascal is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

The one that prepares me to pray even more fervently for just enough grace.
Just enough to get me through the day.
Grace for her, to love on her and shower her in affection when she is throwing the 10,000,000th temper tantrum of the day.
Grace for her sisters who have to listen to and survive around the tantrum.
For K and I, to have the love and patience to handle the completely erratic, unstable mind of a soon to be two year old.

The phase where we become "those people" at the grocery store that everyone stares at because their child is throwing a fit.
{It doesn't bother me one bit, but the looks of pity received are hysterical.}

Yes, I think we have reached THAT phase.
The one that can turn her into a screaming banshee over something that two seconds ago was no big deal.
The phase that I find myself crouched down, speaking with a calm, gentle voice to a red, tear stained face.

The phase where my darling precious baby, will really transform into a toddler.
Where the look in her eyes changes, she will suddenly look bigger and will talk more.

Yes, even though I have been so loathe to admit it, my baby is growing up.
Growing up to be an amazing little girl.
A child that has already blessed us beyond measure.

A child that while I at time cry tears of gratitude over, I am sure to be crying tears of frustration over as well.

This time, while it is a time of growth for her, is also a time of growth for me.
It expands me, tests me in ways that I haven't been tested before.
I have never had an almost 9 year old, an almost 4 year old and almost 2 year old before.

While they are growing, changing, opening to the world, as her parents, K and I are also going through the same changes.

Yes folks, THAT phase is upon us.

Monday, September 12, 2011

All I needed was a slice of apple pie

Yesterday afternoon we took the girls to a new park.
It was about 20 minutes away from our fair city.

All we knew was that the park was in a certain town, we didn't know anything more.

K packed up a picnic lunch while I got the kids ready to go.

Past corn fields and grain elevators.

As we pull into the town we were wondering where the park could be.

We passed high school boys standing outside the fire station waving American flags.

We passed a baseball diamond and there, behind the diamond we saw it..

The park.
Oh if you could of heard the whoops and hollers of our three children.

We pull into the parking lot and immediately noticed all the cars.
Two families were having some get togethers.

We pulled into our space, got the kids out of the car and let them go to the playground.

They were ready and all but sprinted to discover the new fun things that awaited their exploration.

The bigger girls quickly found other children to play with while Abby was more than happy to explore by herself.

K and I watched the excitement while unpacking our lunches and getting things ready.

Kids, time to eat!

Do I have to eat now?

No, you can eat when you are ready for a break.

K and I talked and ate and watched the kids while they played.
Laughing and commenting on how they each found the thing that they like to do.

Adison- the swings
Ainsley- the slides
Abby- the bouncy bridge

The girls would come and go, eating and then running off to play.

At one time, Abby finished eating, looked back at Ainsley and said:
Come on, sister

After a bit the girls all called for Daddy to come play with them.
They are used to me playing, Daddy being at the park was a treat.

I sat there, finishing up my lunch and taking it all in.

The sound of my children laughing with my husband.
The corn fields just beyond the playground.
The baseball diamond off to the left.

It was a snapshot of America.
Such a blessed way to spend an anniversary of such horrific trauma.

This was America.
Children laughing.
Being together.

Then, to make the afternoon even more wonderful a trio of older adults came with their musical instruments.
One man played the guitar and sang, another man played the fiddle and the woman also played her fiddle.

In between songs, the trio would talk and laugh a bit.

Then I could hear the music again and occasionally the sound of the man singing.

The children would come and go, needing drinks or a snack.
I played and rode with Ainsley on the swing for a bit, went down the slides with Abby and explored the playground with Adison.
Ainsley wanted to swing so high that we could touch the trees.

Eventually K and I made our way back to the table.
I then told him that all we needed was a piece of apple pie because it doesn't get any more American then that moment.

Yesterday afternoon was a treat.
A moment when the world felt right again.
When all was as it should be.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering- 10 years

Today marks 10 years since the horrific attacks on our country.

10 years

It just doesn't seem possible that much time has passed.

This morning I watched some of the memorial services with my girls.
Footage was shown of that day, that day of airplanes, fire and tears.

So many tears.

Ainsley looked over at me and said:
Mama, I don't like it.

I told her that I don't like it either.

I don't like that it happened.
I don't like the hurt.
I don't like it that people's lives are forever changed.
I don't like knowing that people are living without their loved ones anymore.
I don't like that our children are growing up in a world that has known terror such as this.

10 years

I remember that day like it was yesterday.
The feelings.
The sheer terror.
The knowledge that life as we knew it was forever changed.
Right at that moment.
We all felt it, that shift.
The awakening.
The knowledge.

This wasn't an accident or some sort of mistake.

I remember my alarm going off, the radio news was playing.
A plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.
How does that happen?

At the time it was thought to be a small aircraft.

K got up, was getting ready for school and had turned on the television.

Danna, you need to get out here.

I remember seeing the plane hit the second tower.

The knowledge.
The fear.
The sadness.

Today my heart is heavy.
The heart of our country is heavy.

Lives were lost, loved ones died.
Lives were and are forever changed.

10 years

Together we are a united, strong country.
We stand together.
We support one another.
We hold each other up.

We stand together.

God bless those that that their lives.
God bless those who lost loved ones.
God bless this great nation of ours.
God bless those who are making sacrifices to keep our country safe.