Monday, April 30, 2012

ADVENTUREbalm : for clean water

*********SOLD OUT*********

I know everyone loves some good lip balm, right?  This stuff is awesome.  AND, it's handmade in my friend, Leslie's home.  And how cute are those little tins with the slide off tops?!  Oh my, you must try it! ;)
I know many of you have heard me speak of or post about water before.  Also, I have posted about The Adventure Project on here a time or two as well.  I joined with some friends Leslie and Tesi to DO something...something that would make a bigger impact than donating a bit of money.  We are selling the latest craze...ADVENTUREbalm!  :)

ADVENTUREbalm is made of organic coconut oil, locally produced beeswax, vitamin E oil and peppermint. It's refreshing...just like clean water! And 100% of your purchase will go directly to the Adventure Project. It takes $550 to hire and train ONE well-mechanic. This ONE mechanic will go on to care for FIFTY wells. And that equals clean water for FIVE THOUSAND people!!

Your purchase, dear reader, will make a huge dent!! Plus you'll get to enjoy the product. Or maybe your mom will enjoy the balm...these would be perfect as a little extra on Mother's Day. Or for your gal pal's birthday. Or even a little hostess gift. And lest you think this balm is only for women...WRONG! :)  This balm does not discriminate...the minty, refreshing feel housed in a slide top tin is perfect for men and women alike!

Please consider purchasing a tin (or three!) of ADVENTUREbalm. It's an easy way to be a part of a great big beautiful solution.

--Make your donation HERE, directly to The Adventure Project. It's tax deductible and a super secure site. As you check out, we'll let you do the math. I trust you. 1 tin is $7; 3 tins is $15. (6 tubs is $30, 7 is $ get it!) Every penny you donate will go to The Adventure Project. We took care of the overhead so your donation will go directly to the source! Remember, go HERE to make your purchase.

--Email me or find me. I will either track you down and hand you your balm, or we will mail it to you, free of charge. If you're not local, just email me ( your address and we'll send it asap.

Easy enough!
Thank you so much for considering being part of the solution!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

John Deere Pavilion...

We had a great day yesterday!  We had NOTHING on the agenda, loaded the kids up in the morning with some snacks and hopped in the car and flew by the seat of our pants all day.  We ended up at one point at the John Deere Pavilion.  Probably the BEST free place to take kids in the QCA...for reals.  It was awesome and the kids LOVED it!

It was a bit chilly so when we went outside, we had to keep moving, running and jumping to stay warm.  That created some great photos.  Wish I could share the pictures of ALL my boys, but here are some that I CAN share. :)

I love mid air shots.  I could never get shots like this with my point and shoot.  And seriously...his hair is great.  And he is just too much...

The giant combine was amazing...the boys were in awe!

And this one...well he was a spaz.  No other way to put it.  He is OBSESSED with all types of vehicles...trains, planes, trucks, different than what Tate was into at his age.  It's so interesting to see how different they are.  I love that I have a little guy that's into all that stuff now.  He is especially into airplanes.  I think Sean and I might take him to the air show this summer...he will freak out. :)  And honestly, it's fitting that he likes airplanes because I swear this kid can fly.  His feet are off the ground as much as they are on it.  About 75% of the pictures I took of him yesterday are like the one below...mid air.

And as you all know, it's been a struggle with this one.  It's been a lot of work, tiring, frustrating and just hard in general.  However, it must be noted that I had a "moment" yesterday.  Like a clear, world changing moment that I had yet to have with him.  One of those "I love you so much it hurts and can't remember my life before you were in it" moments.  Seriously people, this is huge and it was much needed and it was like a huge weight was lifted off of me when I felt it.  It gave me hope for brighter days.  Thank you God for giving me that moment at just the right time!

Here's to today being as wonderful as yesterday was!

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Down there"...

Tate got kneed "down there" today.  First time ever he's experienced that.  It was bad...he couldn't stand up...fetal position, dry heaving, seriously...not good.  Ugh.  Then, he yells through sobbing, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, YOU DON'T HAVE A PENIS!!!!  I WANT DADDY!"  I felt helpless.  I called Sean at work.  Not really an emergency, but thought I'd try in case he wasn't busy.  He wasn't.  He talked to Tate on the phone and calmed him down and then Tate was so unable to focus on holding the phone and dealing with this apparently horrific pain, he said, "just tell mommy what to do."  It was so sad and sweet and just kind of a new moment for me...for us.  This is the first time I felt like I could do nothing...only Sean could fix this.  In a weird way, looking at him on the floor crying like a baby, I felt like he was so grown up.  I don't know...strange, but kind of how I felt.  He was right, I don't understand how that felt.  After getting off the phone with Sean, he said, "maybe a warm bath will help".  Uh, okay.  So that's where he's at now...and he's not crying so I guess it's helping.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

'Tis the season...

...for photoshoots!
I am getting emails and phonecalls almost daily of families wanting photos of them and/or their children.  After a long break over the winter and the chaos of our major life changes, I was unsure if I was ready to do pictures again...or even if I ever would be!  However, I must have had a case of amnesia because all it took was shooting little Sophia, my friend Jamie's family and now this family for me to feel back in the groove.  Here is a Sneak Peek of a gorgeous family I photographed a few days ago at my favorite local location...

Check out more from their shoot HERE.
I am definitely scaling back on the amount of shoots I will be doing this year due to how much busier our lives are.  I have several shoots scheduled over the next few weeks and I am so excited about each of them!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Infertility Awareness Week...

It is Infertility Awareness Week.  I could write a book on our experiences in growing our family because of the infertility we experienced.  It would be a happy book.  Okay, ther first couple of chapters would be sad.  It was hard.  It felt like all of my friends and family were getting pregnant while we were trying.  And not to be too specific, but "trying" to get pregnant is only fun for about the first week or two and then it's just not fun at all.  In fact, it was probably one the most difficult times in our marriage for both of us.  Medications, hormones, disappointment, sadness and anger led to many arguments between Sean and I.  It was pretty terrible and we felt like there was no hope that we would ever grow our family like we thought we would.  And you know what?  There wasn't!  We were not supposed to grow our family like we thought we would!  We were supposed to grow it like God planned we would.

Infertility is what brought be to God.  I am SO THANKFUL for going through infertility because I was forced to lean on God and He showed himself to me.  I fully gave my heart to Him when I felt as though there was no hope and in what seemed like the blink of an eye, I had hope.  I knew I would get my family.  At that point, we stopped "trying" and followed what we knew was God's plan for our family and pursued adoption.

Adoption has blessed us once and is in the process of blessing us 2 more times!  Without infertility we would not have our boys, we would not have had our eyes opened to the beautiful gift that is adoption and we wouldn't have grown our family through Tate's birth family either.  I cannot imagine his birth family not being a part of our lives!

I will say though, no one could have made me understand this while I was going through it.  No one could have convinced me or made me understand what a blessing it was.  I would have thought they were insane!  Only God could do that.  Only He was able to show us what a blessing our infertility was.  He works in mysterious and unexpected ways!

I have such a heart for people going through infertility or people who have gone through it and either were able to get pregnant in the end or were blessed with adoption.  I feel like we have a connection.  I am dedicating extra time this week to pray for those who are experiencing or have experienced infertility.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Trying some new techniques...

We had the best evening yet as a family of 5 tonight.  Oh my goodness, we needed this day off that we were given more than we knew!  We had lots of discussion over brunch this morning about our parenting and what's best for each of our children.  The fact is, each of them must be parented differently than the other.  They have such different circumstances that brought them to us and different needs and love languages.  It was so wonderful to make some thought out decisions on the changes in techniques with our parenting of these amazing boys. 

So tonight, it was just easy and fun and relaxed and like no other night we've had.  It was so wonderful.  They didn't behave perfectly all night, that is for sure.  However, our reactions to their behaviors were different than they would have been 2 days ago and their responses to our reactions were much better than what we are used to dealing with.

I feel like we took a huge step forward this weekend.  It was good, we are feeling ready to start anew with our parenting techniques and grow from here.  Love it.  Love these boys...ALL of them! :)  We missed them while they were gone...though we wouldn't have turned down a 2nd night of being childless, we DID miss them and are happy we are all sleeping under the same roof tonight!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thank you, God.

I am having one of those days that it's KILLING me that I cannot post pictures of all 3 of my boys!  Tate is cute, no doubt, but I cannot wait until you can see our other 2 and I can post their names!  It's looking like September...we plan to finalize both of their adoptions that month.  This process is long and hard and stressful and frustrating, but it is unbelievably worth it!  God is's amazing how he knows me, knows our marriage and family far better than I know myself or we know our family.  He knows what's best for us even when it seems incredibly hard and almost impossible at times.  He is ALWAYS good even when it feels like we aren't in a good season and we've been handed more than we can handle.  We haven't...we can do all things through him...I can do this. 

Thank you God for showing me how I am so much more capable than I ever knew, for making me struggle so I must lean on you, for giving me this incredible family that I do not deserve, for showing me grace...grace that I NEED every single day when I faulter.  Thank you, God!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A day in the life...

I wanted to document a day in my life. I have been paying attention on the days that Sean works the day shift as to our routine so I could do a "Day in the life" post. With all of our appointments, we have to be routined! So this is a pretty typical day in my life. I must say that this example is a day when we only have 1 appointment which is pretty typical that I will schedule that way when Sean is working. However, many days we have 3 or 4 appointments in a day and it just isn't realistic for me to fit those in and still allow my children to nap. Unfortunately, sometimes naptimes must be interrupted or skipped to accomodate appointments if they cannot be scheduled on Sean's days off. Also, Sean's schedule rotates from days to nights every other month so my days are a bit different when he is on the night shift.

I am not going to lie, there are days when the picking up, cleaning, dishes, laundry are skipped so I can just relax or do other things that I would rather do. :) Problem with that is that then I have more work to fit in the next day which is no fun!

So at this season of my is what my days look like...

6:30am- The baby wakes up, I get him and change his diaper and usually put him in clothes because he wets out almost daily.

6:40am-Make a bottle and feed the baby.

6:50am-Clean out the bottle, bring the baby downstairs to play on the floor while I start a load of laundry.

7:00am-Make coffee for myself and check my email

7:15am-Pick up around the house, get clothes out of the dryer from the day before, fold clothes and about 3 times a week I am able to shower and get ready at this time.

7:45am-Our 3 year old wakes up, go upstairs to get him, unhook him from his feeding pump, change him into clothes and remove his crib sheet because he ALWAYS wets out.

8:00am-Bring him downstairs to play/watch a show while I throw away his feeding bag, clean out his tubing and draw up his meds.

8:15am-Give our 3 year old his meds, go back upstairs and clean out the syringes and tubing and make him breakfast.

8:25am-Get our 3 year old sat down to eat breakfast and pick up the toys that were strewn all over in the 15 minutes he was left alone.

8:30am-Tate (our 5 year old) wakes up and comes downstairs. He asks for breakfast, but I sit and drink coffee for a few minutes while he plays or watches a show.

8:40am-Tate asks for breakfast again so I get our 3 year old's plate of half eaten breakfast and let him play while I go upstairs and make Tate breakfast.

8:45am-Bring Tate's breakfast to him and check and change the baby's diaper.

8:55am-Feed the baby some breakfast.

9:10am-Get the baby cleaned up from breakfast, clean up Tate's plate from breakfast and ask him to go wash his face/hands and brush his teeth. Battle with him to do that for the next 10 minutes.

9:20am-Tate is brushing his teeth and I change the 3 year old's diaper while he is begging me to brush his teeth with his the meantime, the baby is getting tired so he is whining in the other room.

9:25am-Brush the 3 year old's teeth while I tell Tate to undress so we can put his clothes on him.

9:30am-Pick out Tate's clothes and tell him to put them on. Break up a fight between he and the 3 year old because the 3 year old won't give him "privacy" while he's dressing.

9:35am-Tate emerges from his room with his pants on backwards and it appears a tornado has passed through his room in the last 5 minutes. Tell Tate to put his pants on the right way and pick up his room.

9:45am-Tate does his version of picking up his room and I send him downstairs to play while I change the 3 year old's diaper and then send him downstairs to play with Tate.

9:50am-Check the baby's diaper, swaddle him and put him down for a nap while I hear fighting coming from the older boys downstairs.

9:55am-Clean off the water spilled all over the bathroom from teeth brushing and pick up the livingroom and any loose toys that have made their way upstairs.

10:00am-Head downstairs to break up the fight going on between the boys, sit down and make any phonecalls I need to make, check my email again.

10:15am-Change over the laundry and head upstairs to makeup on or sometimes do the dishes, vacuum, take out the trash, clean, dust, put clothes away...pretty much whatever needs done.

10:45am-Tate screams upstairs that he's hungry. Tell the boys to pick up their toys so and I make them lunch.

11:00am-Sit the boys down for lunch and usually eat along with them.

11:30am-Clean up lunch and go get the baby from his nap, change his diaper, yell for Tate to put his socks on and get his backpack ready. Make sure all 3 boys and the diaper bag are ready to head out for taking Tate to preschool.

11:45am-Ask the boys for the 20th time to put their shoes on because we have to go. Usually I have to repeat to Tate to go get his backpack which in the last 15 minutes he has lost.

12:00pm-Go out to the car, load up and buckle in all the boys to go pick up Ava (Tate's friend who we drive to preschool) and take Tate and Ava to preschool.

12:05pm-On the drive to Ava's daycare, I usually call my mom or a friend just to have some adult interaction.

12:13pm-Arrive at Ava's daycare and pull up front so she can come out and hop in the car. Then we head to preschool.

12:18pm-Arrive at the preschool...we're 3 minutes late...every single matter what, we are 3 minutes late. Good thing is that we sit in line in our cars and pull up and the teacher takes each child out 1 by 1, so technically we are not late, we're always just the last (or 2nd to last) car in line.

12:20pm-Kids are dropped off at preschool, rush home while talking with our 3 year old the whole time so he doesn't fall asleep in the car. If I make the mistake of making a phonecall, he typically falls asleep and then doesn't want to go down for a nap when we get home because he is apparently refreshed from his 5 minute snooze in the car.

12:30pm-Get home, immediately change 3 year old's diaper and lay him down for a nap. Make a bottle and feed it to the baby, change his diaper and quickly squeeze in something for lunch for him before one of his therapists arrives at 1 or sometimes 1:30.

1:00pm-OT, PT or his Early Access Teacher arrives...we do therapy with the baby for an hour to an hour and a half.

2:30pm-Wake 3 year old up and rush to change diapers, buckle the kids and head out to pick the kids up from preschool.

2:35pm-Return phonecalls or just call someone to chat on my drive to preschool.

2:45pm-Arrive at the preschool and wait in line until our turn to pick up Tate and Ava.

2:50pm-Tate and Ava are in the car and buckled in. Sometimes we will drive through Sonic Happy Hour and sometimes we will just head home.

3:00pm-Drop Ava off at home (before her mom was on maternity leave I would bring Ava home with us for about 45 minutes until her dad picked her up) and go home.

3:05pm-Get the boys inside, talk to Tate about his day at school, empty his backpack and send them either downstairs or outside to play while I check email, give the baby a snack and then put him down for a nap.

3:35pm-Get a snack for the older boys and sometimes one for myself as well. Edit pictures, relax, check Facebook, check the mail, just have some "me time".

4:00pm-Get a plan made for supper and make sure we have all of the necessary ingredients we need and do any early prep that needs done while the boys play. I will also spend this time doing any dishes or cleaning that needs done and sometimes switching over laundry again or folding/putting laundry away. I also use this time to write lists of things I need to pick up either that day or will add to a list I have going at all times for my weekly grocery run.

4:45pm-Break up the fight that is happening in the basement between the boys. When I go downstairs, I notice the most unbelievable mess ever, so after time outs because the boys hit each other, I make them clean up the mess...usually I help.

5:00pm-Monitor how much water our 3 year old has drank today and notice it's very little, so I bolus 4 oz of water in him. Afterwards, realize I haven't gone to the bathroom since I woke up and when I go to the bathroom I notice pee on the floor in front of the toilet from Tate who clearly pays no attention when he goes potty. Clean that up, notice the bathroom trash is packed full so I empty it and just clean the entire toilet while I am at it.

5:15pm-Hear the baby babbling from his bedroom. Go in, get him out of bed, change his diaper and feed him a bottle.

5:35pm-Clean out his bottle, prepare dinner for the kids while all 3 boys watch a show in the livingroom.

6:00pm-Set the table, finish making the kids' dinner and call them to the table so we can sit down and eat. I feed the baby while the big boys eat.

6:25pm-The boys are done eating. I clean up the table and just throw the dishes in the sink because I am too tired to wash them tonight.

6:30pm-Run a bath for the baby while the big boys play. Bath the baby and get him lotioned up and in his jammies.

6:50pm-Rangle up our 3 year old who HATES baths (even though he gets about 5 a week...he still hates them) while he is yelling "NO! NO!" over and over. Drain the baby's bath water, remove his bath seat and put fresh bath water in the tub. Undress our 3 year old and make him get in the tub. It's a battle for me to wash his hair and he screams like I am hurting him the entire time. In the meantime Tate is yelling for me from the livingroom for something or another and the baby is crying because I am out of his line of sight.

7:00pm-Finally the hair washing episode is complete and our 3 year old get taken out of the tub, dried off, lotioned up and we run upstairs and put his jammies on and I plop him in front of the TV to watch a show in the livingroom.

7:10pm-Drain the bathwater from our 3 year old, tell Tate to go pick out jammies and get undressed. Put him in the tub and wash him and get him all clean and let him play in the tub for a while. In the meantime, the other 2 boys are in the tiny bathroom with me at the same time watching Tate play in the tub. We all chat until Tate wants to get out of the tub.

7:30pm-Get Tate out and have him dry off and put his jammies on while I throw something together for dinner for Sean and I and throw it in the oven (if something isn't already in the crockpot that I put in there in the morning) and then make the baby a bottle.

7:50pm-Feed the baby, change his diaper, swaddle him and put him to bed.

8:15pm-Draw up our 3 year old's meds in the syringes. Rangle him up and give him his meds. Do hugs and kisses with him as Sean walks in the door from work. He tells Daddy goodnight and I go to put him to bed. When I get upstairs, I realize I never put his fresh sheet on his bed so I yell for Sean to grab me one. He can't find it. I run downstairs and dig one out of a basket of unfolded clean laundry, make his bed and put him down.

8:25pm-Talk to Sean about anything I need to speak with him about as I finish up our dinner. Tell him to turn on a show for Tate downstairs. Sometimes I will eat dinner with the kids and Sean will just eat leftovers, but if we eat together when he gets home, we usually plate up and eat in front of the television while Tate watches a show before bed.

9:00pm-Put Tate to bed. Go back downstairs and finally sit down and relax for the night. We catch up on our DVR'd shows at this time, sometimes I will check email and Facebook and edit pictures.

11:00pm or 12:00am-Prepare myself for bed...jammies, etc. Sean and I get our 3 year old's feeding bag filled with formula and get a nighttime diaper for him. We go upstairs and Sean changes his diaper while I hook his bag up to his pump and then hook him up for his nighttime feeding.

Sometime between 2-4am-Our 3 year old's feeding pump alarms and I crawl out of bed to shut it off and turn it back on again never to understand why this happens 50% of the time. Go right back to bed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back on track...

I stepped on the scale this morning and was 3 lbs heavier than I was the last time I checked. Frustrating. Totally my fault for cheating way too much. The cheating is done...right now. And the workouts will begin tomorrow. I would have thrown on my running shoes and went for a run immediately after stepping on the scale if I didn't have an appointment to be at and the winds weren't blowing at about 347 mph. So tomorrow it is. I not only could tell on the scale, but I just don't feel as good and don't have as much energy as I have had either. I attributed it to having 2 new little men in our family, but I know that's just an excuse...that's not why I am tired and feeling icky about myself. It's the lack of exercise and all the crap I am putting into my body. Can't wait to get back on track!

Today my Dad leaves for Haiti...

...he will be there for a week.
This will be his 2nd trip to Haiti to give anesthesia to patients for surgery. He went right after the earthquake. There was no question he wanted to go, he couldn't get there fast enough. It was dangerous and uncomfortable and the stories he told were scary. Yet, there was never a question that he wanted to go back. He doesn't hesitate to do anything to help someone else...he would give someone the shirt off of his back, he would risk his life to save another's. He is amazing, he is my dad and I couldn't be prouder of that.
And what an incredible example he is to so many...especially his grandchildren who adore him and are so blessed to call him Papa.
Please keep my dad in your prayers that he has a safe week while in Haiti.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

This week he goes to Kindergarten Roundup...

Not sure how that happened when he was just born a couple of years ago!
Seriously, it has not been 5 1/2 years since he was born, right?! A year ago, I remember thinking that there was no way he'd be ready for Kindergarten in a year, he had a lot of maturing to do. And I would venture to say he still isn't terribly mature, I still can't believe he will be able to survive in school all day long for 5 days a week, but he will. He's ready!
We're not ready, but he is!

The Burback Family

Before the wedding reception we went to last night, I was taking a couple of pictures of Cassie and Paul and decided the whole family should get in for a picture because seriously...look at them. I mean, they are too cute!
It's not often they're all done up like this at the same time...they are more the outdoorsy, dirt covered, layed back type of family. ;)
And how about Ayla with her hand on her hip...oh my, I LOVE it!
Too cute of pics not to share with you all!

Friday, April 13, 2012

On having ALL boys...

I always said I wanted a girl someday, I NEEDED a girl. I feel differently now. Truly I do! It's not that I would never want a girl. I guess, God knew me better. :) I am good with boys. My girls would be frazzled messes and I would likely be broke from all of the clothing I would buy them! :)

I am linking up with Kelly's Korner Blog to post about having all boys.

So if you're knew to my blog and coming over to visit from Kelly's Korner....HELLO! :) A snipit of our children situation for you...

We have 3 boys ages 1, 3 and 5. We adopted each of them at different ages...well, that's not entirely true. We are in the process of adopting the 2 youngest, therefor I am unable to post pictures or names of those boys until our adoptions are finalized. However, we adopted our oldest, Tate at birth. We have an open adoption with his most amazing birth family. You can read about our adoption story on the right sidebar if you wish. And someday in the next 5 or 6 months, I will be able to post about our 2 newest additions. Looking forward to that day!

Anyway, back to my thoughts on having boys...

I don't have girls (obviously!), so I can't really say that I fully know what I am talking about here. However, I feel like it's more acceptable or almost expected for a boy to be messy and disheveled moreso than a girl...and frankly, my kids are all quite disheveled! As a matter of fact, so am I! Ha. :) It's strange, I kinda like it that way...most of the time. I mean, there is a time and place for combed hair and clean, unstained clothes and clipped, clean fingernails and washed faces. Those times and places are rare in our family, but I believe there is a time and place nonetheless.

I know that God gave me boys for a reason. I believe as years go by, that reason will become more and more clear, but for now it's pretty wonderful having my 3 little Mama's boys who love playing in the dirt and wrestling on the floor with their daddy.

And I just am not one of those hovering moms who will be worried about them getting their clothes dirty or tearing their pants or getting dirt in their hair...I'm just not. So if I had a girl, I just am unsure people would turn the other cheek as readily. Maybe they'd be more likely to give a look of disgust or shake their heads...or maybe I am just paranoid and care WAY too much what people think (something I must work on for sure) and so I am just telling myself this. :) No matter if it's in my head or if it is fact, I would worry about that.

Also, I don't WANT to have to worry about them being put together and their hair being done and worry about their clothes and painting nails and what not. I am busy enough just having 3 little ones to worry about all that other stuff! I like being layed back about that stuff. Trust me, I love girly clothes and doing hair and makeup (I am a cosmetologist for crying out loud!), but it would lose it's appeal quickly if I had to do it on my daughter(s) every day. It loses it's appeal when I have to do it to myself! :)

I also have this little vision of bringing my boys to the Iowa Hawkeye football games each year, cheering on our team, watching the boys throw a football around with their dad. Not that girls can't do those things, but I remember being a young girl and it certainly wasn't on my list of priorities to watch football. And Sean and I LOVE's what we do in the fall, so our kids will likely be doing that with us.

Maybe more than anything at all, I know how I was as a teenager. Wow...I put my parents through hell. I was mean and disrespectful and hormonal and caddy and, well...a girl! I would not do well with a daughter if she were anything like I was as a could get bad! The thought of that scares me...a lot!

Only God knows why I don't have a daughter and maybe He will surprise us with one someday, but I will leave that up to Him. Because we chose to grow our family through the blessing of adoption, we have had the ability to make the decision of the sex of our children, but we have chosen to leave that decision to God. And as all of us know...HE knows best, His plans are perfect. I remember one time saying that there is no way I won't have a daughter someday, I wouldn't let that happen. That was back when I thought I had some control in my life and now I know I do not and I've said it time and time again...I am SO GRATEFUL that His plans have not been my own because my life would be a mess and so much less fullfilling if things had gone the way I had planned.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Do I complain a lot?

In an effort to be completely honest, I feel like I am complaining a lot. So this post will be dedicated to the things that are good and happy and great about my busy family of 5. Okay? Okay. :)
* I truly have the cutest boys ever...for reals. They are each so stinking adorable I can hardly stand it. :)
* The 2 oldest boys are actually becoming friends. I really think they will be such great brothers to each other someday. They play and get along about 50% of the time...this is a huge improvement from even a couple of weeks ago!
* The 2 oldest boys ADORE the youngest and he adores them right back.
* Our house is so full of love...really, it's wonderful.
* I always have someone to snuggle...always.
* These boys each go to bed incredibly well...and sleep through the night! Our bedtime routine takes about 10 minutes total. It's easy and for that I am thankful!
* There is always laughter to be heard in our home. Infectious laughter. Love it.
* Support from family and friends has literally come out of the woodwork. We feel so loved by so many.
* Seeing our middle child experience so many things with such pure joy, excitement and awe is a beautiful thing.
* Seeing our youngest progress and learn new things nearly every day is incredible.
* Seeing Tate be a big brother is a dream come true. We've always wanted this for him and he seems to have grown and matured so much in the last few months!
* I am closer to God since these 2 new additions have entered our family. I have needed to lean on Him and depend on Him more than ever and that is such an incredible gift.
* Seeing Sean with his boys brings so much joy to me. He loves them so much.
* I am never bored...ever.
* I feel more capable of handling things I never dreamed I would be able to handle just a few months ago.
* At the end of a long day after the boys are in bed, Sean and I will literally give each other a high five and say, "good job." Really...that may be weird, but I love that moment with him. You know it's like, we got this, we did good today, you did good let's relax just the 2 of us. And we breath a sigh of relief.
There are so many difficult times in the days, so much stress, worry and moments I am not proud of, but the good outweighs it. Really, I love my complete family. God has blessed Sean and I with such a different life than we much more challenging of a life, but so much more rewarding. I just can't believe my life sometimes, I can't believe this is all real. I get overwhelmed and weak and tired and stressed and angry and frustrated and all of the above. However, at the end of the day, I have realized that we've got this, we can do this and we are doing a good job because the boys know they're loved and they are alive and well and (usually) clean and fed and snuggled into their beds each night. Sean and I are able to give each other a high five and tell each other "good job" each and every night. The boys all wake up in the morning with smiles on their faces and rearing to go and we do it all over again. We got this.
So though I feel like "I can't do this, but I am doing it anyway" each morning. At night, I realize I can. I CAN do this! That's a great feeling.

The Easter Bunny!

The Easter Bunny made his annual visit at the Stewar Residence this year.
The kids were excited as usual!
Both of my blobs were a bit apprehensive, but did great!
And then he took off in his red Corvette with his driver to cruise the town and wave at all the kids and families out and about. Becuase that's how the Easter Bunny rolls...

Silk Dyed Eggs...

We have started a new tradition in our family over the last few years.
Silk Dyed Eggs.
We buy 100% Silk (they have to be 100% for it to work) and cut them apart, wrap them around eggs, wrap cotton fabric around them after that, boil them for 20 minutes in a water/vinegar mixture, take them out to cool and then reveal what they look like!
The reveal is always so exciting!
This year was our best year yet, I think.
They turned out awesome!

Planting Magic Jelly Beans...

Thank you to Pinterest, we did a little fun activity that the little kids LOVED (Brigg faked it that he thought it was exciting...ha). :)
So I told the kids I bought a magic jelly bean for each of them to plant the night before Easter. We planted and watered them...
And in the morning, they had grown LOLLIPOPS!
Tate and Ayla were especially amazed and excited!
It was so fun...AND made for a good photoshoot. ;)
Thanks Pinterest yet again!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

It's times like these...

We are heading to Muscatine today to spend Easter with my family. It's times like these that I wish Chris, Brenda, Bode and Boone were living up here. We will miss them so much this year and look forward to the near future when we will ALL be able to get together!

Happy Easter to all! You likely won't hear from me again until next week now and hopefully I'll have tons of fun pictures to post. :)

Friday, April 06, 2012

Preschool Spring Party

Tate and Ava had their preschool spring party yesterday.
As usual, there were lots of fun games, excited kids and sugary snacks. They even did an Easter Egg Hunt! :)