Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Saturday Party...

In a short while, Lora and her 3 girls will be joining my 3 boys and I for a little Saturday party. :)  Not sure what we're celebrating...maybe the end of summer?  Or maybe it's not really a party, but that's what we're telling the kids and so they're excited.

We will do muffin tin suppers for the kids and I have a feeling Lora and I will relax and partake in some adult beverages as well.  A sleepover may even cap off the party, but we'll see how things play out.  I think one little kindergartener is getting her back to school haircut and all the kiddos who are interested will get their nails painted. :)  Sean made it clear that he isn't super excited about Tate getting his painted, but I assured him we won't paint them pink and I'll remove it before the start of school. 

Maybe I'll even get my camera out and take some pictures!  It's been forever since I've taken many pictures of anything other than my photoshoots and Tate's new haircut! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh my...

Yup, Tate got his messy tresses chopped off.
I am a little sad, but also my heart just swells when I look at my big boy, with is fresh for Kindergarten haircut!  And he is SO PROUD of his new do.
Man, he's cute!
I loved his long hair...LOVED it.  I am secretly hoping there will be no more haircuts for him until it grows back. :)

someone got a haircut...

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

odds and ends

I am feeling a bit less overwhelmed this evening.  Not sure why.  Maybe it's the white russian I just drank. ;)  No really, I am a bit more as ease than my last post.

I feel like making a paper chain to count down the days until I am able to share the faces of our 2 sweet boys with all of you.  Problem is...I wouldn't know how long to make the chain because we don't have our adoption finalization date yet.

It's crazy, really.  Thinking of where we are today...where we were a year ago...the fact that even the day before we got the call for our baby, we never would have dreamed we would end up with 2 children within a month of each other, both with significant needs beyond your "average" child.  It's amazing how God's plans are often SO DIFFERENT from your own, often times His plans take us onto a road that's much more difficult and tiring than the road we would have chosen for ourselves, but with those challenges comes great reward. 

I am not going to tell you that we are at the 100% rewarding part yet. :)  Will we ever be as parents though?  I will say, this challenging road is reaping some rewards.  It's definitely redirected my focus in my life, aligned my priorities a bit more.  I faulter...often, but I notice those faults in my heart a lot more quickly than I did even 2 months ago.  I would consider this great progress.

The new house, though slowly coming together, is still complete chaos in my book.  I mean, I just want it to be unpacked and clean...that's all I ask.  Problem is, I have to DO it.  I've not been terribly successful at just getting at it until it's done.  I don't even know if that's possible with the family situation we have.  It will get will.  In the meantime, it's wonderful to still be able to entertain friends and family here and know that they are understanding of our house being out of sorts.  We have the best friends and family. :)

I am back on the weightloss wagon...finally.  I had gained some weight over the last few months.  I knew I was gaining, but feared stepping on the scale.  Apparently, I eat my emotions and I had A LOT of emotions going on over the course of the last severa months!  Also, I haven't run for months (at least on a regular basis, I haven't) and so I let myself go.  The second I saw the weight gain when I stepped on the scale a week ago, I was back on the wagon.  I am happy to say I have lost 7 lbs this week since paying attention to what I am putting in my body!  I signed up for the Color Run with some great friends and family.  It will be in Des Moines in October and so my plan is (as soon as it gets below 100 degrees!) to start running again!  I loved my time spent running and even moreso loved how I felt afterwards, so I am planning to get back at that...hopefully next week.  I am anticipating that will help in my losing ALL of the weight I gained and much, much more! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tate LOVES to dance...

He always has!  He will dance to almost anything.  Recently, he has taken to dancing to the music on his 3ds that plays on his Mario Kart game.  He's so funny.  That's what he's dancing to in this video.

Monday, July 23, 2012

stretched too far

So I feel like I have gotten myself stretched too far when it comes to my photography business.  Not sure what to do about it.  The problem is...I LOVE doing it.  LOVE it.  I love it when my clients are so happy with their pictures.  I love the process of taking the pictures, I love editing the pictures.  It's truly a passion of mine.

The time it takes me to get the pictures edited and to the clients is lengthening more and more.  I feel like I am not able to do everything I need to do...spend quality time with my kids, unpack (nope...we aren't completely unpacked), do the updates on our new house, SLEEP, take the 2 littles to all their appointments, relax, etc.  I just can't do it all.  I want to though.  I find myself staying up way too late editing and then being tired all day.

Maybe it will get better and easier when the 2 oldest boys are in school in a few weeks...not sure.  I don't know what to do about it.  In this moment, I am just feeling overwhelmed as I look at my house with unpacked boxes, unpainted areas, laundry that needs done, clothes that need put away and then I look at my computer and see I have 3 sessions that I haven't completed editing and remember telling my clients I'll try to have their pictures done within 2 weeks.  2 weeks flies by in the blink of an eye these days. 

I'm not going to lie...the extra money is really nice too.  I mean, we're doing a lot of things to our house and we don't charge things so we NEED the cash.  And the thought of taking a "break" from it makes me feel so sad.  I'm not saying I'm going to take a break, I just don't know what to do.  Maybe minisessions?  I don't know.  I'm just stressed about it.

And now it's almost midnight and I'm SO CLOSE to getting 1 of my sessions edited (by "so close", I mean about 2 hours away) so do I just suck it up and stay up so I can move onto the next one or do I go to bed so I am not miserably tired all day tomorrow?  Ugh.

Knowing me, I'll probably stay up...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Now I get it...

I remember when I used to think I was busy when I just had 1 child...then, for that month we had only 2 children, I thought I was REALLY busy.  Now I KNOW I'm busy...and no offense to all of you parents to 1 and 2 kids, but when I had 1 (and even 2 kids even though that was only for a month!) life was a vacation!!!  I don't know what on earth made me think I was so busy!  Between just meeting the basic needs of 3 kids and moving into a new home and remodeling and keeping a home clean that's 3x the size of a home you are used to, I have 2 of those kids with significant needs beyond what's considered "basic".  I feel like I have about 5 or 6 kids really...though I don't know what that feels like and those parents with 5 or 6 kids would likely argue with me that I'm busy! :)  It's almost comical trying to fit in 7-8 appointments per week, homecooked meals every night (because it's too pricey to go out all the time!), keep a house presentable and even clean on occassion (a rare occassion for us! Ha.), showering (not a regular occurance for me anymore), naptimes, seeing friends and family, paying bills (that's my job in our family), grocery shopping and errand running and trying to have some quality time just hanging out with my little family.  Oh and then there's disciplining and timeouts and breaking up arguments...that's what takes up what feels like 75% of my days right now!  It's nuts really.

So I finally get it...when those parents used to say that they were counting down the days until school started and their routine was in place...I get it.  I am so ready!  Until our two newest dumplings, I would have been one of those moms who was emotional and didn't want their "baby" to go to kindergarten.  Nope...not gonna be one of those moms now.  I can't wait  for what's in store for Tate.  I will be a bit emotional that day and soaking up my time with him on these last days leading up to the beginning of his school career, but I am ready (and so is HE) for him to get to this step.  I even enrolled our 3 year old in preschool...all day preschool.  He NEEDS it.  So I will be home with my real baby...the 1 year old.  Oh my, I love ALL of my boys, but 8am-2pm Monday through Friday is going to be amazing.  :)  I still will have about 1 appointment every day for our baby, but that is NOTHING compared to what we're doing now. 

I am ready for routine.  I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about it! :)  I know I will miss these days someday.  My life as a mom to children not yet in school is over.  That is a bit sad.  The freedom of taking a trip any time in the fall, winter or spring is gone.  That feeling of being able to shelter my children from things I don't want them to learn yet is also gone and that makes me a bit ill.  I am scared of what Tate might learn, hear or see now that I am not going to be there at every moment.  Yet, I am still ready for this new chapter.

1 month...that's all I have left with Tate before he is officially "school age"!  Eek!  Crazy!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

a day of golf...

Tate looks like such a big boy to me hear in his golf attire.
Sean took him golfing today while the little boys napped and then when they returned, all 5 of us piled into our bed and watched Zach Johnson's big win!
I think Sean is pretty excited that Tate likes to golf...hopefully this trend continues as Tate gets older so Sean will always have a golf buddy on hand! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

mind dump...

We have texture on our walls! Woohoo! We get paint Friday and then shelves in our new walk-in closet on Saturday as well as the trim put up that day. Then, Monday he will come and get our lights in the livingroom installed and that project will be behind us! I cannot wait to have that all done so that we can actually hang pictures, put stuff in our new closets and just LIVE in the space! Our furniture will arrive in August and then I should be able to have "AFTER" pictures of our livingroom for you!

Today is a BIG day in regard to the adoption of our youngest. It's an interesting situation that we are in. One that many think is strange or maybe that people don't agree with, but it is what we feel is best for all involved. I wish I were able to share details, but what I will say is that tomorrow will be a very sad day for our baby's birth parents and it will mark the next step for us in finalizing the adoption. We are in connection with his birth mom and therefor she knows our intentions and has given us her blessing. Many would say that it shouldn't matter, but it does to us. It matters what she thinks, it matters to us how she feels. So tomorrow I will have a sense of relief and a great feeling of sadness for her as well. Will you please join me in praying for her?

I had a photoshoot last night. PERFECT WEATHER! I love evening shoots...the light is exactly the light I like to work with. It didn't hurt one bit that the family I photographed was totally adorable (just like they were when I photographed them last year for the first time!) and fun! Oh my, families like the one I photographed tonight are the reason I love my job...for reals. And I really like the I kinda wanna be her friend. :)

So, back to some house talk...

I must say, it's been super fun sifting through all of my old things that I hadn't gotten out to use for a very long time. You know...artwork, bath mats, dishes. It's been like Christmas when I find things I forgot about and am able to utilize them finally. Guess it pays to be a hoarder sometimes! ;) Which makes me think of this really cool HUGE glass vase thing that sits about 3 1/2 or 4 feet tall that I got YEARS ago...before even meeting Sean. It's been sitting in storage for about 8 years and I cannot wait to pull it out and dust it off and put it in our new funky livingroom. It's orange and very unique and will fit in perfectly with our new stuff for that room and the color scheme! See people, you would be having just as much excitement in your life right now as I do if you were a hoarder too!

And I know all of you likely just want some pictures, but for now, my mind dump is all I got. Goodnight!

Monday, July 09, 2012

house fire...

It's super hard to see the degree of devastation in this picture, but it's bad.  This is the house we just moved out of on the 23rd.  It caught on fire this evening and the kitchen and side and back corner of the house are gone. The family who moved in is all OK, thank God!  The fire apparently started outside and was something they believe was no one's fault...could have happened when we were there! Ugh...makes me ill.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Before pictures of our house!

This house will likely be a work in progress for the next few years, but I wanted to post some "Before" pictures for those of you who haven't ever seen it or didn't see it before the work we've done on it. The "After" photos likely won't come for another couple of weeks. Can't wait to share those! Maybe I'll share some after photos of the completed rooms before that. For now, here it was in it's original glory...

The kitchen.
Awesome wallpaper and window treatments...not.
View of the kitchen from standing by the sink...

We removed wallpaper, painted, got new stainless appliances (only the fridge and the dishwasher, but the oven and microwave are coming in a month).  We will be replacing the floors by carrying the wood floors that are in the livingroom all the way through the kitchen and mudroom.  This will be done in a couple of months.  We just got a large (8'x5') sheet of steel that we are painting with chalkboard paint and hanging on our large wall at the end of our kitchen for a magnetic/chalkboard wall.  Hopefully that will be done next week.  We are replacing the cabinet pulls with THESE and hopefully replacing the dated ceiling fan before years end.  We are doing a cornice box in the fabric that our kitchen seats are upholstered in over the windows.  Next spring we will be replacing the countertops with quartz, getting a new sink and a glass tile backsplash and removing this planning desk area and replacing it with a pantry cupboard.  THEN, the project will be complete!

The main floor full bathroom.  This was supposed to be an easy project.  Nope.  The walls were ALL wallpapered with that paintable wallpaper.  It was a nightmare to remove.  Then, we exposed mold which led to breaking the toilet while trying to remove it so we could cut out the wall that was moldy.  So, in short, we ended up taking a lot of wall out to fix the mold issue, got a new toilet, lights and a new mirror, added beadboard to the walls, painted and voilah, it was done. :)  We will be replacing the floors with some sort of tile in the next couple of months.

Our master bedroom turned into a way bigger project than anticipated as well.  Shocker...that was a common theme in this house!  Again, the walls we THOUGHT were painted, were actually wallpapered, textured and painted on top of.  Long story short, we hired a contractor who is replacing all of our walls, has already framed and sheetrocked a new walk-in closet and an additional regular closet, is replacing our trip, did some electrical/lighting work and will hopefully be done with that in a week or so.  Can't wait to have a fully useable bedroom and closets!

Other view of our bedroom.  It's big.  It used to be 2 rooms and a wall was torn down years ago to make it one...hence the weird vent issue on the floor when you walk in the room.  That will be taken care of in the near future as well. :)

And another view of our room.

The den.  This room really was probably the easiest fix.  The border came off easily, the walls and closet were painted (thanks Mike!!!) and we replaced the faceplates for the outlets and switches and called it a day.  This room has sliding glass doors that lead out to our large screened in porch.  We love that porch!!!

Other view of our den.  This is standing in the doorway that leads to a half bath.

This is the main livingroom in the house.  This is the room you walk right into from the front door.  Again, major wall issues.  This is the other part that our contractor is working on.  He is replacing all of these walls as well.  Long story short...what we thought were walls, were wallpapered, textured and painted over paneling.  Awesome.  NOT!  There is currently no ceiling lights in here, but our contractor is adding can lights as well as THIS ceiling fan.  We got 2 of THESE couches (upholstered different, but still a similar color of green) which is going to give us a fun midcentury modern look in there.  We are excited!  I also have an amazing, huge painting done by a great friend that will grace the wall of this room...oh, and new window treatments for sure!  Can't wait!!!

The 2 little boys' room.  It didn't get painted...just new carpet (MUCH needed due to major pet odor), new window treatments and faceplates on the switches and outlets.  It's a huge room and there is TONS of open play space in here for the boys.

Another view of the room...

And another view facing the closet.  Those doors came off and will be replaced once painted or maybe just replaced with a fun curtain.

This is a little shelving area in the hallway upstairs outside of Tate's room.  It was painted more neutral and for now houses unpacked boxes!

All of this icky carpet got replaced!

The door leading to the little boys' room was painted with this lovely artwork.  It's now an off white...about 186 coats of it!  The trim is painted the same off white.  The awesome curtain has been taken down as well and has yet to be replaced.

This is one room we didn't touch.  It's a half bath upstairs outside of Tate's room.  It's crazy.  The boys think it's the coolest bathroom ever. Ha.  We plan to add a shower in it in a few years, so we decided just to leave it as is for now while the boys are still young and just redo it completely once we add the shower a few years down the road.

Another view of their under the sea bathroom...

Tate's room.  It's also huge.  It is now orange...his favorite color.  He picked the color and we let him have the sole decision in that.  He did is actually not too terribly neon.  I like it. :)  He also has new carpet...well, everywhere in the house where there was carpet, it was replaced.

We painted the trim off white.  He wanted us to keep it blue.  That's where were drew the line.  He likes it off white. :)
So that's it for now.  What isn't pictured is our finished basement, our mudroom, our screened in porch, our other bathroom and the 2 bedroom areas in the basement.  The basement will be refinished hopefully within the next year and a half and so we'll do before and after pictures of that when we do that. 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

4th of July Festivities...

I am mostly going to let the pictures do the talking...

Waiting for the fireworks to start...


That's Tate and Ava watching the show...

Amazing fireworks!!!

Phi Phi was WORN OUT from all the festivities!

Hope everyone had a happy 4th!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Grandpa turns 95!

My grandpa is such an amazing man...loving, full of humor and so full of life even at the ripe age of 95! It was so fun to celebrate him on Saturday along with so many other family members who made the trip to come to his surprise birthday party. :)  Even some family from California drove to come!!!

Several minutes after arriving at the party, Grandpa was still seeing people he was surprised were there!

He even got to meet our 2 newest additions to our family!  So glad he got to meet our boys!

Lots of cute kiddos were in attendance!

My cousin Geno and his wife Nickie's girls Hadley...

...and Brinley (who happened to just turn 1!)...

My cousin Gale and Ryan's girls Olivia...

...and Jazzy...

My nephew Boone...

And MANY more kids I didn't get pictures of!
It was a great party with lots of laughter, conversation, yummy food and fun!
Happy Birthday, Grandpa!!!!