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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Caught Being Good.

Because I so often seem to share the negative, or not so good things that I run into with various companies. I just have to share my most recent feel-good situation that happened on our anniversary.

J had made reservations at PF Changs, which is currently just about my favorite restaurant and a frequent date night place for us. When he made the reservation he told the manager (who took the reservation) that it was our five year anniversary.

Little did he know that she would take that and run with it.

When we arrived, Rachel, the manager, showed us to our table which was in the corner and had a bouquet of beautiful flowers and chocolates shaped in a heart around the vase. How sweet, I thought.

But that wasn't it.

As Rachel handed us our menus, she told us that the night was on her.

"What?" I just about screamed.

She wasn't kidding. She told us to get our drinks, an appetizer, our meals and that we had to get dessert and that our evening was covered. She was just so glad that we were there for our anniversary (and was a true romantic at heart.)

J and I could not even believe it and both of us thought we would be modest and order on the lighter side. But Rachel continued to stop by the table making sure we got drinks. Making sure we ordered lettuce wraps and when we were finished with our entrees and telling our waiter, no dessert, she was right there telling us that we just had to have dessert.

J had no idea what she had planned for the evening and it was awesome. Special that she went out of her way with flowers and chocolates and even above and beyond by comping our evening.

(We did, in case you're wondering, still leave a very generous tip for our server.)

Because I'm quite sure PF Changs didn't get anything out of it by doing this the entire evening was proof that some people (and companies) are still kind at heart.

Thanks again Rachel, and PF Changs.

We had an awesome anniversary dinner and will be back (with friends) very soon. (Next weekend to be exact.)

So, has anything like this ever happened to you?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Repeat Tonight.

I think I've played this song about ten times this evening. J has his headphones on while he tries to get some work done on his laptop, but I don't care. I'm dancing around, picking up, getting ready for another day.

I hope this song brings a smile to your face like it did mine. And maybe it will even make you shake it a little bit. Come on, you know you want to.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our Report Card.

M just came home with a writing assignment she did in class about her huge family. I consider this a "parent" report card because I think it shows just the way she sees her family and her life and seems completely well adjusted and content with her life.

My Huge Family By M.
(with spelling errors corrected by myself considering she's in
2nd grade.)

I have a really big family. I have 2 moms, 2 dads, 2 brothers, 1 sister, 2
dogs, 1 cat, 3 fish. Don't you think that's a big family? Thanks if you said
yes. Thanks if you say no.

One of my moms jobs is to work as a nears (nurse) at a hospitle (hospital). My other moms job is to take care of me, my brothers and my little sister, Evelyn. My first dad works at a place helping people fix their problems. He's the manijer (manager). Don't you think that's asome (awesome) or what? My other dad works at the same hospitle (hospital) as my mom dose (does) exsept (except) he is the ofisor (officer). One time he got into a fight.

I have amazing people in my family so thanks for learning about my family.

M's pretty amazing herself, isn't she?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Name That Baby.

Since the moment H was born, I have been told how much resemblance there is between H and T. One has even has gone so far to ask me if I'm sure I've birthed my babes as they look like they all have the same mother. I promise you, I birthed two. And only two.

I have to be honest, I really don't see it and even now sometimes wonder what the heck people are saying. From time to time (like this last summer) there might be a moment or day where I really see it, but for the most part, I don't.

Regardless, sometimes when I look back at pictures I do see the resemblance and then I can't even believe I missed it before.

The same goes for E and M now. Do I think they look alike? Not really, but there is no denying the simple little resemblances and characteristics they both share.

J and I went through some of T and M's old baby photos this past weekend and were astounded at the similarities. Some of them J couldn't even tell me who it was unless he looked at the cd.

So let's play a game. Everyone likes games, don't they?

Can you figure out who's who without using the backgrounds or other factors for consideration?

And even if it's super simple and you can tell right away, do you see the things I see or am I simply losing my mind?

Good Luck!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Like Sand Through The Hourglass....

...These are the days of my life.

Do you know how much I love Fridays?

And these 80 degree, sunny days?

Or my favorite thing today, my husband surprising me and coming home from work mid-afternoon?

So, so happy that I let him wear shorts today. He's sporting one of his favorite summer outfits. Of course purchased by Lori (T and M's mom) He gets a lot of his favorite things from her. Go figure!
Are you loving those cheeks as much as I am?

I love this picture. I love that E's baby feet are hanging out the stroller and H's long bruised up boy legs are hanging down so low. While H never stops yapping on the walk to the park, E tunes him out and falls fast asleep. Every time so far.

Airing out the toes.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Hot Rod Wheels.

And those are H's words, not mine.

After swimming lessons last Thursday night I was really, really thirsty. But I couldn't justify paying $2.00 for a soda at the community center. So instead I asked J if we could go through the coffee shop drive through so I could get a little pick me up.

My logic makes no sense, I know. I am willing to spend $3 plus for a coffee but not the $2 for the soda.

My dear, oh so dear, husband got in a little fender bender with the Caribou Coffee drive through last Thursday evening making that $3 coffee more like $250. (Our deductible.)

(By the way, if one more person says or asks me if it's cause they didn't have a changing table, I will scream.)

And of course this fender bender wasn't in his vehicle, but instead, mine. More well known as "Granny Vanny", our mini-van.

Tabling the issue and the damage (considering it drove and all) for the weekend so we could fully celebrate H, I finally got an appointment at the body shop on Tuesday morning.

I asked the night before that they have a loaner vehicle ready and waiting for me as I'd need to move two car seats and have two small children with me. I, of course, made the mistake of assuming they'd loan me another van or larger vehicle, but instead they gave us the "hot rod."

A 2009 Chrysler Sebring with everything our little hearts could desire. Except enough room for our family. (Though that doesn't seem to bother H, he is quite infatuated with these new wheels, his new open window view of the world and oh, that little tiny fact that he now sits right next to E and his hands can reach right into her rear facing car seat. That alone is almost enough for us to get in another accident.)

It's a tight fit in that back seat with two car seats and yesterday helping a friend out I had to toss one more in there.

Let's just say that is the reason I drive a mini-van.

Thankfully I haven't had to take all four kids anywhere since Monday. We would have been quite the squished sight.

Tuesday's word from the auto body shop was that they believed it would be worth fixing the damage but it is very close to being the magic amount that our insurance company would total the vehicle out.

So now we're playing the waiting game. Waiting on our insurance company to give us either the go-ahead to proceed with the body work or to tell us to go pick out something new.

Can you guess where I am leaning?

I would definitely like to take the money from "Granny Vanny" and put it towards another vehicle.

My, ahem, dream mini-van.

(Can you even believe I am saying that?)

But until then, I'm just a mom driving a hot rod.

A cool one, at that, as H has begun watching "Sid The Science Kid" on PBS. And the one song he seems to have picked up from it is;

I love my mom.
My mom is cool.
Cool, indeed. A cool, hot rod driving mom. What could be better, really?

Friday, April 17, 2009


And today, he is three.

I have absolutely loved this day.

Are you wondering where the time has gone? Isn't it hard to believe that three years have gone by? Yet I can barely remember a life without him.

Three years old.
Getting ready to open cards that came in the mail and presents from mom and dad.
His big surprise present was waiting outside.

Lots of phone calls.
A doctor visit. Is three too old to share his height and weight?
39 1/2 inches tall and 36 pounds.
Can you even believe it?

You must click on this one and see his sweet, sweet face.

Do you have any inkling how much love and joy I have in my heart because of this boy?

Oh Henry,

How on earth did you turn three already?

When did your legs get so long? Your hands so big? Your mind so full?

You continue to amaze me. Every single day.

My wish for you, just like last year, continues to be:

May you never lose your sense of wonder, of curiousity and believing that you can do or be anything if you set your mind to it.

May you love deeply and feel the love that so many have for you.

May you live each day to it's fullest and never lose your belly laugh.
May you never go to bed wondering just how much you are loved.

Because you are so loved. Oh so loved.

Happy 3rd birthday!

Let's make this year even better than two.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

The End of Being Two.

For days now I have reminded him that soon, very soon, he won't be two any more.

And today was no different.

When he awoke, right away I told him that today would be his last day being two.

His last breakfast and soccer and lunch and nap and everything else we did today, because tomorrow he'll be three.

And I am sad. In that bittersweet sad kind of way.

I have really liked two.

No, I have loved him being two.

And there are so many things I want to remember. The way he called cars, beep-beeps. The crazy, silly (sassy) things he did this last year. The way he transformed before my eyes from little one to big one.

Two was a good year.

Three will be good, too.

And while it is a bittersweet transition, I can't wait for tomorrow. (Friday)
I love birthdays.
Love, love, love birthdays.
Especially his birthday.
Where we will celebrate him all day long.

So the presents are wrapped.
The invites for his Saturday party have been sent.

The preparations are done.

His birthday shirt (our tradition) is ready to be worn.
The cinnamon rolls are ready to be baked come 6am tomorrow.

And tomorrow morning, we'll all awake and though there will be nothing noticably different, something will be.
This precious little boy will be one year older.


He will be three and I will be the mother of a three year old, which sounds so much older and wiser and more serious than being the mother of a two year old.

Tonight, on his last night of being two, I hope never to forget, amidst all the crazy busy days and years that fly by like minutes, that I have really loved two.

And that this is how he looked his last night of being two.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Five Years Ago.

Engagement. Nov. 2003.
We got married.
Our anniversary has gotten overlooked a little bit the past couple years since H was born because he was born two years to the day that we were married.

And this year is no exception. Come Friday, our minds will be filled with birthday details and festivities. All weekend long.

But this week, I am remembering and celebrating that five years ago this week, we were busy finalizing wedding details, attending to out of town friends and family and most importantly, we committed our lives to one another. Forever.

Life just hasn't been the same since.

And I am so thankful.

Thankful that I call this man my husband. Thankful that we continue to work at making our marriage come first amidst the craziness we call life. Thankful that I can honestly say, I got to marry my best friend.
And that is all pretty lucky, isn't it?

April 17, 2004.

Lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Lucky we're in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday
-Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat "Lucky"

Happy Five Years, J! I love you!

Monday, April 13, 2009

And So It Begins.

Spoon feeding, that is.

As the calendar aged Miss E four months old, she is on the way to trying all sorts of new and exciting things.

First up, rice cereal.

Her first feeding was Sunday night after a busy Easter day with T and M watching every move while J tried feeding her and I tried photographing the monumental event. And H ran around like usual. So, needless to say, I tried again today on my own without an audience and it went a little bit smoother.

While she's not a huge fan yet, she will be, in time.

"Look at me! I'm getting so big."
Sitting pretty in the high chair.
"I'm not sure about this yet."

"You call that food?"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is Risen. He is Risen Indeed.

For as long as I can remember there are certain times where I will hear certain songs and lyrics and be completely floored. Overwhelmed with the meaning and understanding behind the song.

It is easy to get stuck in that place of going through the motions as a Christian. Going to church just as something you check off on the list.

And lately, there is a part of me that has felt very much that way. As though I am stuck, going through the motions. Couple that with sometimes missing some of the worship due to a child needing to go potty or needing to nurse an infant and I've felt distant and lost.

I'm being honest. Because it'd be much too easy to sugarcoat it.

I could elaborate here. I could go into the exact thoughts I've had, the questions I've grappled with, along with the struggle I've battled. Most all relating back to losses and trying to make sense of it. Wondering why, when so many people get on their knees begging and praying and expecting miracles, the Lord takes away. I'm not only referring to my own loss of my mom, but other friends losses.

Parents, spouses, babies, friends.

And then feeling selfish, and guilty, for even wondering such things. Because I know that He gives, and He takes away.

Today, as we left church and drove to my dad's. J and I sipping coffees while three of the four kids snoozed on the way. This song came on the radio. And while I've heard it many times before, today, something inside of me clicked.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

...Eternal glory that far outweighs them all...

Because of Good Friday and because of today, Easter Sunday, we will get to see that eternal glory someday. Eternal glory that outweighs all the pain, the struggling, the suffering.

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
-Chris Tomlin

Today, I was reminded, by a song on the radio, no less, that I will rise.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

That He is there and all I need to do is hope in Him and He will help me through this season, much like he's helped me through every other season in my life.

I will rise when He calls my name.

Because He is risen.
He is risen indeed.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Samara, The Camel.

In today's news, the Minnesota Zoo's newest camels are named Samara and Sarah.

...The female calves — named Samara and Sarah — will debut on the Northern
Trail this morning.

Samara was born March 13 and weighed 98 pounds. Sarah was born April 2
and also weighed 98 pounds. Zookeepers have kept them out of the public
spotlight until they gained enough weight, could nurse properly and maneuver
around their exhibit. ...

It's funny enough that one is named Samara, it makes it even more ironic considering I have a sister named Sarah too.

One plus, at least I get to be the oldest since I've spent my life being the (oh so deprived) middle child. (I kid. I was not so deprived.)

And in my camel-life, I'm only 98 pounds. Who can complain about that?

Thanks, Kim, for pointing this out to me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Mess That Is Easter Egg Decorating.

Last night, we decorated Easter Eggs. I hesitate to say, we, because I wasn't much part.

I hovered. That's what I do when these messy activities take place.

I can't lie about it. There is no way to make excuses. These kind of messes stress me out.

It's like the whole carving pumpkins debacle. I picture worse case scenario. Pumpkin guts all over. Messy floor. Messy kids.

It's the same with the Easter Egg dying. I picture dyed walls and dye on the floor and the kids, oh the kids, dye on their arms and their clothes and ugh, what a mess.
I wish this weren't the case. I wish I could just let it go. Let them have fun without having to change their clothes into old sweats and t-shirts. Not cover the table and floor with newspaper.
Give me baking or cooking help messes any day. I don't mind.

And I don't mind the mess at someone else's house or even at school. Let them play in flour or mud or chocolate pudding. I have no qualms. But when it is here. In this house and I am responsible for them and this mess, I get queasy.
And I hover.

But I don't want them to miss out. I don't want to be that kind of mother. The one who nags and is annoyed with the mess. The one who makes it no fun.

I want to be the mom who is up to my elbows in the mess with them. I want to be the mom who says it's just a messy kitchen, let it go.

I'm not there yet.
Lord willing, someday.

For now, I am the mom that hovers. Quietly, so as not to ruin their fun.

I let J take the lead and lead them.

I want them to remember that they did these things. With each other.

And that they had fun.
That they made a mess.
And that it was ok. It was totally ok.

Even if I only hovered.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

He's Got Talent.

Well, what kind of mother would I be if I didn't say so, right?

But biased or not, H is turning into our own little Beethoven. And he's not even in lessons. (Perhaps that's his fascination.) Many mornings, after breakfast and before we really get "moving" for the day, he'll climb up on the bench. Scatter T and M's books (since they are actually in lessons) around the top of the piano and play.

Not always so beautifully. Mostly clumsy and in no sort of order. But he plays.

And this next video is H just kicking his scooter down the street. Probably nothing monumental or exciting to much of the world. But he is very proud of this. Very. So I must share it. Because I've already shown it to him 137 times here on the computer, I think it's time to show it off to people outside of this house.

And obviously this video was taken a few days ago because what used to look like spring looked like winter again this morning. It did indeed snow. Thankfully, it's melting quickly.

My apologies in advance on my froggy voice. I'm on day four of a hoarse throat. Miss M gave me a great piece of advice last night that if I would just clear my throat or cough I would sound better. Well, I never thought of that, Dr. M. (Or yes I did, and it doesn't matter if I clear my throat 1000 times, the hoarse throaty baritone voice, it's still there.)

Talented, he is.

He's approaching a big birthday. A chapter in the book, page turning birthday. And just seeing him grow up, play the piano, ride his scooter is crazy to think of just how different our life was three short years ago. And I'm sure, if you've been following us along for any long amount of time you probably remember him dancing and learning how to walk and talk.


What a ride we are on, wouldn't you say?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Four Months.

My baby is four months old today.

And I'm sure there is some mother on the internet writing about her baby being fifteen or eighteen or maybe even twenty, but it's all the same to me.

She is changing. Before our eyes. From newborn baby to infant. To babe with a personality. A laugh. A smile.

She engages. Oh she is so engaging.

And she is beautiful. So beautiful.

When people tell me how beautiful she is, I can't help but fill up with pride and agree. She is so beautiful.

I caught myself whining yesterday. Miss E, our good little sleeper had been waking for just a couple nights and I was tired. Beyond belief tired. And I started to complain. And whine. And then I caught myself and realized I have a gift that no one else has. I have her.

And just as I said days after she was born. She is worth every single part.

Because, I have her. On loan from her creator.

I have her.

She weighed in at a petite 13lbs and 13 ounces and she's 25 inches long. You may or may not remember but this is so very different than H as a babe.

She is still not taking bottles. Still a great sleeper (minus this week at least) and still so content and happy about life.

I find myself savoring these baby days even amidst the chaos, confusion and the hustle, bustle of life. Remembering that we only have each day once.

Here are some pictures and happenings from the month:

She continues to be a gentle girl full of peace. So calm. Even when placed in terrifying situations with her big brother. (IE The bathtub, for the record, that is my hand holding on to her.)

Wide-eyed while talking to her boppa.

Mama and E.

E's first visit to the elementary school. She was indeed a big hit.


And this will only probably matter to two or three people in the world, but look closely. Miss E has got her thumb.

Some might say, like mother, like daughter.

Happy four months little gift of mine.