Friday, September 30, 2011

Cloud 9...

I know I am slacking at posting pictures! Sorry! I have been sick and then busy busy, but I promise after this weekend, I will have LOTS of pictures to post!

I am feeling kind of on Cloud 9 today! I have multitude of emotions...relief, excitement, joy, blessed, and the list goes on. There is just so much that I have to be thankful for, so much that I have that I don't deserve. For once, I am feeling ahead of the game in regards to preparations for Tate's party (still BEHIND the game on running...eeeeeek!). I have truly the best family ever...I mean really, I am so blessed by them! I have incredible friends new and old. And both of those important parties in our life are just so supportive of us and our (what some people think) crazy decisions. I know I talk about it all the time and probably sound like a broken record, but we just couldn't get through these times without this support. Really, thank you all (you know who you are!) for everything you do!

And this weekend should be a ton of fun. We are celebrating Tate's 5th birthday with family tomorrow with a big Kung Fu Panda themed party complete with an amazing cake (pictures to come), sushi, a pinata, pizza, chicken wings, a bounce house, etc. Then, on Sunday I have 2 photoshoots! Yay!

Looking forward to seeing all of the family and seeing the joy on Tate's face at his party. :)

We wait...

We had our last PS-MAPP class last night. Crazy that it's already been 10 weeks! In about 2 hours, our licensing worker will be here to conduct our final homestudy visit. Then we wait. It is going to be a trying wait for us because we have a child that is waiting for a forever family that we are hoping to adopt. We know that during this waiting time, there is a possibility that this child could be adopted by another family and we are guarding our hearts so that if that happens, we are not devastated. Right now, with busy schedules and life, we have managed to do a good job at guarding our hearts, but while we wait and as things slow down for us, it is going to be more difficult. We know that God has a plan for us and for this child and our plans are oftentimes not His own. He may have an even better plan for us and our family.

So now we wait...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

8 weeks left, and already behind!

So my running goal is making me nervous. You see, I got quite sick about 10ish days ago. I couldn't hardly walk up the stairs without hacking up a lung and I was a sneezing, congestion, headachy mess for about 7 of those days. So I haven't run in about a week and a half. Ugh. Honestly, up until about 2 days ago, I really don't think I could have done it. However, the last 2 days were just me being too busy (or maybe just lazy) to run. So I am back at it and did my 2 miles tonight. Problem is...I need to kick it up to at LEAST 2 1/2 miles per time in order to make up for the lack of running I did this last week and a half. Or else I am going to have to increase to 3 mile runs a couple of weeks earlier than I had planned to. I have exactly 8 weeks of running left until Thanksgiving and I've only run 10.5 miles so far! Yikes!

So wish me luck!

So excited!

I just got done booking our New York trip! We aren't leaving the 25th of November now...change of plans, we are leaving the 29th instead. We get to stay an extra day out of the deal though. :) Thank goodness for a flexible Nana and Papa P...they are keeping Tate while we're gone. Is it November 29th yet?! ;)

Tate's Preschool Family Night...

Last night was Tate's Family Night open house at his preschool. It was just too cute being there and seeing all the kids together outside of the school setting. I got to meet some of the parents and chat a bit. The place was PACKED with so many kids and parents!!! The kids were to show their parents all of their favorite things to do while they are at preschool. All of the kids were just soooo proud. It was so cute. They were running around showing their parents certain toys or areas where they like to play. Then there were cookies and juice and crafts. Tate didn't want to leave, he was so proud.

I am so proud of him. I was the classroom volunteer yesterday (and am scheduled to be the volunteer about once a week) and so I got to observe how he is. I tried my best to keep my distance and spend my time mostly in different areas or with the other kids, but I still got to see how he acts and interacts with the kids and teachers. He can be quite the stinker at home, but he was so polite and sweet at school! It made me so full of pride! There are some amazing kids in his class...they were mostly all just such good kids! He and Ava really do stick by each other the whole time though. It's pretty cute! They are such wonderful friends to each other. It's so funny though, by the end of each week, they start to bicker like siblings. :) They are practically together as much as siblings since they see each other every day at preschool and then the DeCook's watch Tate once a week in the evenings while we're at PS-MAPP and on top of that, we hang out with DeCooks a lot on the weekends! They love each other so much though.

I still can't believe that Tate's already such a big boy! And in a week from today, he'll be 5!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Start spreading the newwwwws...we're leaving...

...November 25th!!!

Yup, Sean and I are going to New York City!!!!

We are leaving the day after Thanksgiving and going to try to attend the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center like I got to 2 years ago!

Sean has dreamed of going to New York City for years and I have been lucky enough to have been able to go there 3 times for work, but never just for pleasure. We know that with the addition of another child(ren) in the upcoming months, this may be the last chance we have to get to do something like this just the 2 of us for quite a while, so we're doing it!

Our hotel is in Times Square...just where we wanted to be, right in the middle of all the action! :)

There are no words to express how excited I am for Sean to experience NYC! I cannot wait to see his face! You just can't understand the amazingness that is New York City unless you've experienced it! That time of year in NYC is just magical! I've been there in the summer as well and there is just something about being there in the fall/winter that is so amazing...especially when the city is all decked out for the holidays...ahh, I get butterflies just thinking about it. :)

Have you ever watched What Not To Wear?

Well if you have, you know that Stacy and Clinton always talk about how you never know who you might run into and so you should always try to look put together no matter where you go. Whether it's the grocery store or the library or just to the gas station. Ya, I never believed them. I didn't buy it. Trust me, I look like a complete mess at least half of the time.

So it's kind of been a running joke for YEARS with Sean and I that whenever we go out to run a quick errand somewhere and I opt to not put myself together, without fail, we will run into someone Sean knows that I do not and he will introduce me to them. Seriously, every time. It's so embarrassing and likely embarrassing for him too!

So on Sunday morning, we decided to go to breakfast. I looked terrible...hadn't showered, maybe didn't even brush my hair, no makeup, same clothes on from the day before...just not lookin' good at all. We walk into IHOP and first thing, I hear Sean say, "OH HI! How are you?!" I look over and didn't recognize the person at all. Oh great, I get to meet someone new. Ugh. Turns out it was his work supervisor (well, he JUST got a new one, but it was the one before that) who has heard about me from Sean, but had never met me before. Ugh again.

Seriously, it never fails, every single time. I can't go out looking like that anymore. I don't know why it took me so long to learn that, but I think I may have FINALLY learned my lesson...maybe. :) Stacy and Clinton are never know who you will run into so you should always be presentable.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A great night to celebrate 7 years...

We had a great dinner at Bass Street Chop House in Rock Island.

It is one of those really pricely places that we will never go to unless it's a very special occasion. Pricey, but DEEEELICIOUS!

We had a babysitter who Tate LOVED (thanks Leslie!) and we will definitely use again...hooray!

We even went to a bar after dinner for a drink!

It was so fun!

I love this man!

7 year anniversary...

Today, Sean and I have been married for 7 years!

Have you heard of the 7 year itch? It's not true for us! We are at the best place in our marriage that we've probably ever been at. It's taken a long time and this marriage (as is any marriage) is constant work. We bicker and argue and fight and sometimes yell at each other. We drive each other crazy and disagree on so many things. I talked about our marriage the other day on this blog a's a snipit of what I said...

"It's taken (almost) 7 years of marriage to learn how to work together during the good and the bad. There were times when our reactions to things just made our situations seem worse and our arguments prolonged, but those difficult times have definitely taught us what not to do and what things work to make us a stronger unit. We've learned to pick our battles and most importantly learned that to change things, we need to change OURSELVES. We cannot change each other...especially not by telling the other one that they need to change. I remember a time when I felt that when things were rough, Sean was the one that needed to do all the changing. I was right and he wasn't. Period. And I would tell him that! I would tell him all of the things he needed to change. My how that has changed! Turns out I needed to change just as much as he did...maybe even more! And in learning that my reactions to things will change his actions, our marriage has changed immensely. It's been hard and continues to be and we both have so much more to learn."

Sean and I love each other more everyday and are committed to a lifetime together. And honestly, I cannot imagine doing life with anyone else in the world! I can't imagine growing my family with anyone else in this world!

We disagree on many things, but enjoy even MORE things together...

We've been through a lot together, from infertility to several moves to career changes to financial struggles to family deaths and much more. We have made it through a lot and know that we will have much much more to go through in this life together. We know that as long as we have each other, we can get through so much.

Let's take a look back to 7 years ago today...

I cannot believe how these little ones have grown!!!

Me and my girls.

From left to right...Jessica, Kay, Cassie, Me, Sara and Brenda...

Sean and his boys.

From left to right...Travis, Eric, Chris, Dale, Mike all holding my groom. :)

I love you, babe.

Happy Anniversary...can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thoughts as we complete our training...

One more week of PS-MAPP training and the following day, our FINAL homestudy and that's it...we wait for our license. I mean, that's it?! I am kind of panicking. Thank goodness for the support we will have from the other families in our PS-MAPP group. We have really grown to know these people and we are all in the same boat. You know how you just really can't truly understand what someone is going through and how they feel unless you are going through it (or have gone through it already) too? That's how we feel about these people...they just "get it". We have spent 3 hours per week with them for the last 10 weeks. We have learned about some of each others most darkest times and cried and laughed in front of each other. We've built a trust with them in sharing these things and feel comfortable being ourselves around them. We have shared so much with these people who 10 weeks ago, were complete strangers.

It feels so much like a new chapter in our lives is just beginning. I know I've said that before, but it's crazy how if really feels like we've graduated. :) We've learned SO SO MUCH that we will use in more ways than just parenting our next child/children. We are so grateful for all of the knowledge we've gained in this class. However, we do know that until we are parenting another child, we can't know what challenges may arise. We know that we are stepping into something that we never expected we would, situations that at times we felt we weren't equipped to handle. Nothing will be able to fully prepare us for what we are about to embark upon, but this class certainly has been a great eye opener and provided us with tools that we did not have before.

With all that being said, we are ready for it to be over. :) We have enjoyed it and learned a lot, but we are ready for the next step. These next couple/few months while we wait until we get our license are going to be brutal. We would appreciate prayer. I wish so much that I could be very specific about what your prayers could be for, but I cannot. Please pray for patience for us, for timing to be right, for Tate's adjustment, for all parties involved. Our plans and hopes over these last several weeks have taken a turn that we didn't expect and have led us into waters we had no idea we might be entering, so please pray for our adjustment as well and for strength for us to deal with some difficult times and situations that are likely coming our way. Thank you so much for praying for our really means so much to us!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sicky Sickerson...

He laid around literally all day long while I set up for the garage sale and then manned the garage sale. He was so good! Probably because he feels crummy. :(

And this is the gash from hitting his head last night...

Poor thing has been hacking up a lung all day and has yucky eyes and congestion.

And I'm starting to get nervous that he has pink eye...

I mean, he may as well! He seems to have everything else!

On a positive note, the first day of the garage sale was a success! We already made more than $200 and we haven't sold ANY of the large items! So we still have 2 stroller/carrier travel systems, a highchair, a glass top table and 4 chairs, a headboard, 4 large speakers, LOTS of clothing for women, men and children and tons of a lot more! It's a pretty big sale with lots of great, well taken care of stuff! Stop by if you'd like!

Don't forget about our GARAGE SALE!!!

We (along with a few others) are having a BIG garage sale at our house in Davenport today from 2pm-6pm and Saturday 8am-2pm. TONS of adult clothes and shoes, lots of baby items and baby/toddler clothes and shoes for boys and girls. A glass top table and chairs, tv stand, headboard, 2 stroller/carrier travel systems in great condition, TONS of CD's and DVD's, 4 large speakers, hundreds of baseball cards, home decor, electronics, children's toys, a lawnmower (in need of some repair) and more! Email me for the address and directions at Hope to see you here!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Poor Tater...

So I was at home trying to get some setting up for the garage sale done while Tate was at preschool and my phone's Tate's preschool. His teacher said that she thinks he has an ear infection...he was inconsolable and holding his ear saying it hurt. Sounds like an ear infection to me! So I called the amazing pediatrics office we started going to and got in to the doctor for an appointment 15 minutes later (Tate's preschool is across the street from his doctor's office). When we got there, he was crying...a lot. He was seriously hurting and wouldn't take his hand down from his ear. He looked PATHETIC! He got weighed and had lost 2lbs since 3 1/2 wks ago when he had his physical. This didn't surprise me because he hasn't been eating hardly anything in the last week since he's been sick. He got his temp checked...101.5. Then the doctor came in to look in his ear and he went BALISTIC! He was screaming and saying, "YOU'RE HURTING ME!!!!" He was like a wild man and then started coughing and then proceeded to vomit all over the table. Nice. Turns out, his ear was too waxy to see anything, so she had to clean it out first...oh great! That didn't go well. I was practically laying on him to hold him down while she did that. It was bad. She got a gigantic chunk of wax out and was able to look in his ear. She said it was a nasty infection, but not perferated. Whew. Then she wanted to check his lungs...she was worried about pneumonia since he's had it twice before. She said that for now they sound okay, but to keep an eye on him because she fears he's going to get worse before he gets better. Oh great! She gave him some medicine while we were there, prescribed him some antibiotics and we were on our way.

Fast forward to tonight...

He was feeling MUCH better and we had PS-MAPP. He no longer had a fever and Sean was still going to stay home from our class to stay with him, but he really wanted to go to DeCook's like he always does on Thursday nights. So we decided to let him. He did fine and was playing and having fun. He was jumping around (like the kids always to there) and fell and hit his head on the stone around their fireplace and gashed it. James said it was "a gusher". It is across his temple. He has a bandaid on it and I haven't even seen the gash yet because he won't let me take the bandaid off. James was worried he might need stitches or the glue. It hasn't bled or bothered him though, so we'll try to take a look tomorrow and decide if we should do anything about it.

Conveniently, he has school pictures on Monday. Ha. Good thing he has long hair and you won't really be able to see the cut anyway! Poor guy...nothing went his way today. :(

Feeling so blessed at 31...

I am 31 now.

I haven't had a birthday yet that's been hard. I have always been fine turning a year older!

I truly have the best family and friends that are just so generous!

I got lots of great things for my birthday, received such nice messages from so many people, got lots of cards in the mail, had people drop by to wish my a happy birthday and bring me beautiful things like this...

A gorgeous bouquet from a dear friend...

I even got a 2nd bouquet of flowers a few hours after receiving this one!
And here is my new, pink iPod.

It was so much fun picking great music to put on it that I can run to!

And if you know me, you know that Sonic Happy Hour just MAKES my day! So my birthday definitely wasn't going to go by without a trip to Sonic!

So many kind messages written in these cards that I received today. Gosh, I am blessed.

And there are so many other great things I received that aren't pictured here. I got to spend time with my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew, Tate, my mom and some friends at dinner in Muscatine tonight too. I got lots of phonecalls and text messages and TONS of Facebook messages wishing me a Happy Birthday. Thank you to all! Really. Thank you so much for making me feel so special and making my day so wonderful!

I am blessed and can't wait to see what my 31st year will hold!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So excited!

When I saw this table (with 2 leaves) and 4 chairs on Craigslist, my heart went pitter patter. adorably are those chairs?!!! LOVE THEM!

So it was $50...and it is SOLID. Such a great set...what a steal!

It took some convincing for Sean, but after we went to look at it and saw that quality and sturdiness of it, he was sold. He's trusting me to refurbish it so it looks good in our house.

So here are the before pictures...

Can't wait until it's done and I can show you all the AFTER pictures! I have a vision and think it's going to be soooo cute once it's complete!

It's been a great birthday so far...I got a new IPod (PINK!), a new wardrobe for the fall/winter (for was like bargain city yesterday and we scored BIG TIME!) and now a new table and chairs! Woohoo!

So tell me it's not just me...the table is totally cute, right?!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I am having a garage sale along with the DeCook's on Saturday, September 23rd from 2pm-6pm and the 24th from 8am-2pm. I am selling...
-TONS of great women's clothes in ALL SIZES...very gently used! (pretty much my whole old wardrobe before my weightloss and also lots of my mom and sister's old clothes they are letting me sell for them!)
-Men's clothing
-Womens shoes
-Several womens coats and jackets
-Baby and toddler clothes and toys for boys and girls
-LOTS of CD's and DVD's
-Home decor
-Glass top table and 4 chairs
-Lawnmower (needs repair)

In addition to all that, I don't even have the list of items the DeCook's are selling. It should have lots of great stuff. Hopefully the sale is successful and it will be worth the time and preparations!

If you don't know our address, email me at for our address and directions if you need them!

Hope to see you there!

It's my birthday week!

I learned of "birthday weeks" from my sister-in-law Brenda. She likes to celebrate her birthday week (and month) to spread out the celebration. I dig it! :)

So ecxited for a shopping extreganza today! I NEED new winter clothes and today is the day that I plan to get them! You know how when you're not looking for anything or don't have any money to buy anything, you can find tons of stuff and on the days when you want to buy things, you can't find anything you want? Ya, I hate that and am hoping that doesn't happen to me today! Can't wait for my mom to get here so we can go!

Tomorrow is my birthday! I love my birthday. :) Unfortunately, Sean works tomorrow night and so Tate and I will be on our own tomorrow evening. :( However, we did go out to Texas Roadhouse for an early birthday dinner for me last night. It was yummy. :) I remember telling Sean that it was no big deal if he worked on my birthday, and it's NOT a BIG deal, but now that the day is hear...I'm bummed. I am pretty certain I will survive. Ha.

I found a dining table and chairs on Craigslist for $50 that I am in love with the idea of purchasing and refurbishing. I've never refurbished any furniture before though, so if I can talk Sean into letting me purchase it (he's not completely convinced...but that's because he is not good at visualizing how things will look once complete), I may be calling on some friends and/or family for some advice and help. Okay, Leslie? Yup, I'm talking about you! I am (hopefully) selling our glass top table and chairs that I LOATH at our upcoming garage sale (details on that later) and so I have been looking for replacements for a long time!

Wish me luck shopping today!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My doctor...

I loved him. Great bedside manner. I was nervous because I HATE going to the doctor...hate it! He was so nice and made me feel so comfortable. I am relieved it's over.

a babysitter and a physical...

In all of Tate's 5 years of life, he has never had a babysitter stay with him. He's been watched by several family members and friends (who are pretty much family) on several occassions, but never a babysitter. Way back in the beginning of the summer, you may have remember me talking about Flamingo Friday. It was a neighborhood party we attended at my friend Leslie's house. There we met a young lady who babysits for Leslie's kids and I got her information in case I needed a sitter. Turns out, our anniversary is this coming weekend and we'd like to go out! We figured now was as good a time as any to break in a babysitter. So I called her up, booked her for Sunday evening for a few hours and voila, no inconveniencing of any family members or friends and a few hours out for Sean and I alone to celebrate our 7 years of marriage! Sweet!!! I know that Tate will love having someone here to play with all to himself for the time we're gone. And we've heard wonderful things about our babysitter and are super excited to have her watch Tate.

On another note...I seriously am not sure that I ever remember my allergies being worse than they are right now. Ever. I mean, I could dig my eyes out with a steak knife they itch so bad. And the constant sneezing and congestions is about more than I can take. I am going to the doctor tomorrow for a physical (ugh) and will definitely bring up my severe allergies. I have taken Allegra in the past and it didn't do anything for me. We'll see what he says.

About my physical...I haven't had one in longer than I care to admit. I hate going to the doctor, but have to as part of preparing to adopt again. I am nervous and dreading it...can't wait for it to be over.

Tate's fever came back after he'd been fever free all day. Not sure what that's all about. Anyway, he has to be fever free for at least 24 hours before going to school, so there will be no preschool for him tomorrow. He heard me say that and had a complete meltdown. I love that he loves preschool and feel bad that he can't go tomorrow. :( Poor thing.

I am off to bed...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hawkeye History...

It was beyond incredible to be in Kinnick Stadium to witness first hand, the biggest comeback in Iowa Hawkeye History!


We went with DeCooks and tailgated for a few hours in the fun!

Then, we got to watch that rollercoaster of a game that ended with the loudest I have ever heard Kinnick Stadium EVER. Even some of the players, when interviewed, said that it was the loudest they had ever heard that stadium It was so unbelievably exciting...I might have peed my pants a little. Maybe. ;)

After the game, we tailgated for another hour or so and by then, I was SO BEAT! I mean, all that excitement seriously wore me out!

We headed to Cassie's to pick up Tate. Sat out in their lawn and chatted about the game and then somehow decided that Tate would stay there another night and we would take Lani home with us for the night. So we packed her up and headed to eat Mexican at a local restaurant in Muscatine. It was yummy and we chatted and ate slowly and then left town. Thank goodness we took so long at the restaurant because we were only about 10 minutes out of town when Cassie called to tell me that Tate was running a 102.5 temperature. Darn it! So we turned the car around, met Cassie who had Tate in tow, returned a disappointed Lani to her mom (I was just as disappointed! I love that girl!) and took a HOT Tater bug and threw him in the car to head home. He was dead asleep and snoring within 10 minutes. He was not feeling well at all! Poor thing. :( I gave him some medicine before bed, let him sleep in bed with me and he slept all night. When he woke up, we had a fever again, but insisted he wasn't sick and wanted to go stay at Brigg, Lani and Ayla's house. He was so bummed that he couldn't stay there the night before. I gave him so more medicine and explained that he couldn't go back to Muscatine today. He has not had anymore medicine since and still is fever free...thank goodness! Let's hope it was just a fluke and he's back to himself from here on out!

2nd Homestudy and thoughts...

We had our 2nd homestudy visit on Wednesday and after it was over, we decided to go out to dinner and for a little drive. We happened upon a little lookout area in Davenport that we didn't even know existed. It was really pretty and really cold out!

Of course, I had my camera near by! :)

And just to keep it real...I LOVE this man, but he also drives me completely crazy sometimes! Ha. I don't want to fool you all into thinking we have the perfect marriage because we don't. In fact, that's just there a such thing as a perfect marriage? We bicker and argue more than I'd like to admit, but we also have so much fun together and laugh a lot! I think laughing together is so so important. He works incredibly hard to support our family and I am so grateful for him. We are in a good place right now. You know how there are just times/seasons of a marriage when things just "work" and then there are times when everything seems to be going wrong? You know, like when it doesn't matter what your spouse does, it's going to drive you nuts. We have those seasons, but right now we're good. We are enjoying each other so much and just on the same page. I love these seasons! I love these times that we are united in our paths and where we are envisioning we are heading as a family.

And he is an amazing Daddy and is going to be an amazing Daddy to another child(ren) in our near future. I can't wait to grow our family with him and pray that we can remain in our "good place" even though the path we are taking to grow our family is going to be challenging and new to us. I pray we stay united in our vision through all that is to come.

I love knowing that no matter what, we are in this together for the long haul...forever. We work through the difficult times and understand that we will disagree. It's taken (almost) 7 years of marriage to learn how to work together during the good and the bad. There were times when our reactions to things just made our situations seem worse and our arguments prolonged, but those difficult times have definitely taught us what not to do and what things work to make us a stronger unit. We've learned to pick our battles and most importantly learned that to change things, we need to change OURSELVES. We cannot change each other...especially not by telling the other one that they need to change. I remember a time when I felt that when things were rough, Sean was the one that needed to do all the changing. I was right and he wasn't. Period. And I would tell him that! I would tell him all of the things he needed to change. My how that has changed! Turns out I needed to change just as much as he did...maybe even more! And in learning that my reactions to things will change his actions, our marriage has changed immensely. It's been hard and continues to be and we both have so much more to learn.

I guess as we enter this next chapter in our lives as we grow our family, my mind goes to these types of things. As the days pass by and we are one step closer to our family changing with the addition of more children, I can't help but reflect on our marriage and family as it is now and how much it has changed. I feel the need to constantly remind myself of how to handle the trials because this next season is likely going to be a trying one with all of the changes that will be happening.

All that to say "bring it on"! We are as ready as we're going to be for this next chapter! We have 2 PS-MAPP classes left, we are completing the final little things we need to complete to be licensed and approved to bring another child into our home. Our hearts are ready and excited to love more children. We have handed our worries to God and know that He has a plan for our family and we are starting to see glimpses of what we believe that plan might be. We are nervous and excited and scared as our eyes have been opened to the possibility of our family looking much different than we ever thought it could possibly look. God is GOOD and amazing and surprises us as selfish, sinful, earthly beings who believe we have control of what is going to happen and believe we have the ability to dictate our future. We are trusting Him. We know we cannot dictate what is about to happen to our family. We know that what He has in store for us could be much different than we ever dreamed...we know it could be much more difficult. We are going to follow His will for our family with open hearts and put our trust in Him.

Could you pray for us? Could you pray that we are able to handle what could be given to us? Could you pray that we never forget, even when times get rough (as they likely will), that He is there and that He is the answer?

(on a side note...I have considered making this blog "Private" while we are going through the remainder of this process until our adoption is finalized. I want to continue to document this process, but due to confindentiality I either need to make this blog "Private", or start to avoid the topic until everything is said and done. Just wanted to give you fair warning that if this blog starts to show that you need a password to read it, that is why.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My baby boy's baby blues...

Ya, I know...he's not my "baby" anymore. You know what though? To me, he is still my baby.

He will soon be a brother! Eek! Boy am I ever worried about that's something we are not taking lightly. He has no idea what's about to come! No matter how much we try to talk to him about it and prepare him, we know that he won't really "get it" until he's living it.

He will soon be 5! 5!!!! I can hardly believe it! It seems like yesterday I was holding him in my arms for the first time, staring at him in awe that I had a son. Examining and trying to memorize every feature on his face.

5 is big to me. I am not sure why it seems SOOOO much older than 4, but it does. I am not ready for 5. I wasn't ready for 1 either. I remember not being ready for 1, wanting him to still be my baby. I am just as not ready for 5 as I was 4 years ago when he turned 1.

So for these next 3 weeks until he turns 5, I am going to do my best to fully enjoy having my 4 year old "baby" still.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So let's be real...

I try to be honest on here...portray my life as it really is. It's not that I am trying to be sneaky or portray our life as something different than what it really is by posting pictures of us smiling and happy, all willingly looking at the camera. I don't write about all of the great things in our life just so that you all think that there's no bad. It's just that those are the fun things to document. However, I was with a wonderful friend this morning chatting over coffee (now this is something I'm not sugar coating...I have met some truly amazing people as of late that I can't say enough good things about!) about "real life". You know, the dirty, gross, true life. We were talking about blogging and how we should be more "real" on our blogs. It's true. I believe I wrote about this a year or two ago and vowed to be more real and I truly feel as though I have been better than I once was, but it's slipped a bit back into me posting only the good things.

I really enjoy knowing that I am not alone in the typical family struggles we have. I love to support to my friends and family that need me and I pray for those of you who blog about the struggles you are having. I don't want to see that others are struggling, but there's so much power in knowing you have a support system, even if it's through prayer or an encouraging comment left on a blog post. Plus, I want you all to know the real me...the real Peakin Family. I don't want you to think that I am trying to show you only the good so that you think that things in my life are only roses and gumdrops. Let me tell you...they are not! By the grace of God, I am forgiven for my sins and am able to wake up each morning with a fresh start.

So here are some "real" things as of late (along with what the majority of my pictures look know, the ones that DON'T get posted!)...

I have been on my diet since January and lost a significant amount of weight, but I am struggling. I have cheated on my diet more times than I'd like to admit and my weightloss has slowed (and some weeks stopped completely) significantly. I have sooo much more to lose and so I am getting discouraged.

Tate had a ridiculously bad day today. Yikes, it was ugly. And my parenting was not top notch. I yelled at him more than once today, had no patience for his constant whining and tantrums. It was like he had no care in the world what I asked of him...he would look me right in the eye and tell me "no" and then go about doing whatever it was I had asked him to stop. He has also started hitting Sean when he's mad it him...I'm talking smacking him straight on the bald head. In true "Mother of the Year" fashion, I laughed the first time he did it. I am sorry, it was just funny hearing the slap sound right on the top of Sean's head. Ya, that wasn't a good idea to laugh at that. Parenting fail 483 for the week.

My running. I blogged about how wonderful and easy it was that first day that I picked it back up again. Ya, that feeling went away after about 3 blocks of running today. Today was Day 3 of being back to a running routine. I am sore, I didn't want to go this morning, I was praying the entire time that I could make it without stopping. It was miserable. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I only blog that I love it...I know. Mostly I do...every moment that I am NOT running, I love it. Of the half hour that I am actually doing it, for about 25 minutes of it I am HATING it. When that half hour increases to 45 minutes, I am anticipating hating it for 35 of those minutes. Just so we're clear, the SECOND I am done, I feel fantastic and am so happy I did it...and soooo happy it's over! Since at least 23 hours out of the day, I love running, I am still going to say I love it...because I do. Right?

I swear, I have an unending pile of laundry. I stay at home and still, I have tons of laundry, at least a few (and sometimes TONS) dirty dishes in the sink at all times, floors that need vacuumed and beds that almost never get made. There are days when I would be mortified if someone showed up unannounced. I try to avoid my house getting that bad, but sometimes I just can't avoid it.

Yes, we are excited to adopt another child. Soooo excited. However, I haven't blogged in depth about how soooo scared and nervous we are too. This adoption will be very different from adopting a healthy infant and getting him straight from the hospital. We are entering a world that is so new to us that no class will be able to teach us what to do in all situations. Sometimes I fear that we won't be able to handle some of the issues that may come up. I am selfishly scared that this child or children will never fully feel like we are their parents when I will want so desperately for them to feel that way. One time (about a year ago), Tate yelled from time out at the top of his lungs, "YOU'RE NOT MY MOMMY!!!!!" and though I truly don't think he really knew what that meant and think it was just a random statement that he would have made whether he had been adopted or not, it stung me to the core. I can't even tell you how deeply those words affected me and I fear that I will hear that from our next child(ren) again, only this time they will understand what they're saying and mean it.

And while I am talking about children. I still also get jealous of pregnancy. Not like I used to and not that I have a desire to get pregnant because I truly don't. I feel passionate about adoption and thank God every day he opened our family's eyes to adoption. However, adoption is expensive and scary. I still have jealousy towards people who want to grow their family and so all they have to do is get pregnant. Simple as that. And I know there is more to it than that and there are a whole different set of risks and costs and fears, but in my sinful heart and mind I sometimes still think, "it's not fair...why can't it be that east for us!"

I am terrible at saying "no". Terrible. I genuinely want to say "yes" to everything. I am scared of people thinking that I am not nice or don't care or am self centered if I say "no" to something they've asked of me. It has gotten me into lots and lots of stressful situations. I sometimes commit to too much. I want to help everyone and do all I can for everyone, but I think that sometimes I lose myself in the process. Oh, but then there are so many ways in which I am so selfish. Ahhhh, it's such a problem! And honestly, I wrote and deleted and then wrote this paragraph again because I don't want any of you to think that in writing this I am in any way, shape or form trying to hint at you all to not ask me for help or favors. It is truly one of my greatest joys to be able to help others and to strive to be a good friend or family member, so please don't think that. I just need to learn how to balance's not something I have mastered. I need to learn my limits.

Lastly, Tate HARDLY ever willingly smiles for pictures. He pretty much loathes my lens being in his face. Much bribery ensues when my camera is pointed at him. And often times, that rings true for Sean as well. Such a problem for a Mommy who loves to take pictures! :)

So all of the pictures above are the more typical pictures that end up coming out of my camera! Sometimes I catch Tate on a good day or in a good moment and he is a modeling, smiling machine. However, don't be fooled...those occasions are rare!

So there are some of my dirty truths as of late.

Back to original programming...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's gorgeous outside!

So this evening, we played.

Tate ran and laughed and played Frisbee and blew bubbles.

Why can't the weather just stay like this all the time?!

Seriously, he is just too expressive!

1.5 more miles logged...

I was going to run 2 miles today after my 1.5 mile run yesterday that felt so easy. Ya, I kinda woke up sore. I know it's good for my muscles to run anyway, but today my run was a bit harder due to some soreness. So, I only did another mile and a half. I plan to have a rest day on Saturday for sure because we'll be in IA City from morning until evening for the Iowa vs. Pittsburg game and due to Tate not having preschool on Friday and Sean working all day, I may not get my run in on Friday either. Darn it! We'll see if I can possibly fit it in on Friday somehow anyway.

I am just making sure I document all of this to keep myself accountable!

Wanna know what's super fun?

When your smaller sized mom with super cute style loses weight at the same time as you lose weight. Yup, that's super fun...and convenient. So all of her "fat clothes" become my NEW "skinny clothes"! Hooray!

I got to go shopping in my mom's stored away winter clothes last night and scored big time! Seriously, I can't wait for it to get cold now! I NEEDED clothes, I truly had nothing I could wear from last winter and in a moment of discouragement a couple of years ago, I got rid of all of my clothes that were smaller because I just knew I would never fit into them again. Well, thank goodness I was wrong, but unfortunately that means an entire new wardrobe that I need to purchase. Good thing my birthday is in a week...I asked for clothes.

Oh my goodness, I am giddy just thinking about all of the super cute stuff I have now...GIDDY! I have a LONG ways to go to my weightloss goal, but getting some cute, smaller clothes that fit gives me motivation for some reason. I was feeling awfully frumpy in my too baggy clothes and 1 pair of new jeans that actually fits.

Thanks, Mom!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hitting the pavement running...literally.

I hate to admit it, but I haven't had a regular running schedule since June. More like, my regular running schedule has been to not run. I started it as part of my weightloss journey and I ended up really enjoying it and as an added bonus, it really helped me lose weight! Then, it got HOT and I decided I would take a "few week break" from it. Well that extended out longer due to busy schedules and pure laziness. It's amazing how much energy I had when I ran regularly...I loved it! I have really noticed in the last month and a half that I have felt tired and lazy a lot more. I needed to start running again...plain and simple.

So today was the day...I dropped Tate and Ava off at daycare, put on my running clothes and shoes and took off. And MAN it felt GOOD! I thought I might not be able to run more than a half mile before feeling winded and having to stop, but turns out my body hasn't had a long enough break to forget how to run. :) Yay! I made it a mile and a half (which isn't great, but I'll take it!) without feeling like I really wanted to stop. I probably could have gone another half mile, but thought I wouldn't push it too much right away. I think I'll do 2 miles tomorrow and stick with that for a while and hopefully work back up to that 3 to 3 1/2 mile point in the next 4 to 6 weeks. I would like to find another 5k to run in the area sometime in November. Are there even any 5k's in November???

Just in case I cannot find a 5k at a time that's convenient for me, I feel like I still need a goal. So I have set a goal for myself...I want to run 100 miles by Thanksgiving. That's not even 10 miles per week. I think I can do that. And just to hold myself accountable, I am putting a new addition to my sidebar where I will track it. Ugh. I hope I am not setting myself up for failure!

I am starting at today. Wish me luck!

September 11th...

I can't put into words my feelings and thoughts from 9/11/01. Though it probably goes without saying, I will never forget. I will never forget where I was sitting, what I was doing, watching that 2nd plane hit. I will never forget that day, I will never forget how many people were lost that day.

I just sobbed for nearly 2 hours while I watched a special on History Channel about the events that day. It was a show that was a compilation of home videos and other videos from professionals from all around the vicinity of the World Trade Center. It documented from the moment the first plane hit until several minutes following the time that the 2nd tower collapsed. It was powerful and emotional to watch. I simply cannot believe that it's been 10 years already. It seems JUST like yesterday.

I blog to document my feelings and thoughts and I wish I could put them into words right now, but I just can't.

I will never forget.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Though we're disappointed...'s ALWAYS good to be a Hawkeye.

We did up the Hawkeye theme good at our house this weekend and we were all dressed to proudly support our team. We had to show the colors on the outside since you can't see the black and gold that we all bleed. ;)

And this pretty much sums up how all of us felt after the game...

We still love you Hawkeyes.