Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9 years...what?!?!!!

Today we celebrate 9 years of marriage.  Crazy!

We will celebrate with a trip to the chiropractor, maybe get a quick lunch and there will likely be some house cleaning and studying mixed in.  Super romantic.

I would say that 9 years is something to really be recognized for us though!

We have been through A LOT!

Did you know that we met and moved in together within a couple of months and only 4 months after we began dating, Sean bought my ring?!  Then, after having only dated for 7 months, we got engaged.  We were married 13 months later.  So we were married 20 months after we started dating.

We were CRAZY kids!  And we had not a clue what saying "I do" REALLY meant.  We thought we did...we loved each other, we were committed to spending the rest of our lives together through sickness and health, richer or poorer, in the good times AND the bad.  Only we just knew that for us, there probably wasn't going to be very many bad times.

Yup, we believed that.  Oh my...young and naive!

I will NEVER forget what a perfect day our wedding day was.  It was truly my dream wedding!

And after we got married, we were going to try to start a family right away!
Only that was our first test.  It didn't work out as we had hoped and planned.
This marked our fist MAJOR marital struggle.  It was such a hard time dealing with infertility and all that came with it.

We made it through...and we were blessed with Tate!

And then Sean decided to go back to school.  I was proud of him and wanted him to, but this meant another major challenge.  Money, time, stress...all challenges in our marriage.

We made it through...Sean graduated, we moved for Sean to start his new career and we began the next chapter of our lives.

 We then started discussing how we would grow our family again.  We knew we wanted more kids.  The started the next challenge...agreeing on how we would accomplish this goal.  Then, after agreeing...getting there.

We made it through...

We knew our life was going to change drastically, so we made time for just be together, to be alone before our world was turned upside down.

And was it ever!!!  We grew our family by adding our Cason and Wesley within a few short weeks of one another and both with severe needs beyond anything we could have prepared ourselves for.
People thought we were crazy, WE thought we were crazy at times!  Life was crazy ALL the still is. :)

You know what though, God brought us together for a reason.  Only Sean could put up with my brand of crazy...there may not be another man who could!  He supports me and values my opinion and disagrees with me when he should and reigns me in when I get a wild idea and also lets me be free to follow my dreams for me and our family when he feels it's right.

It has NOT been pure bliss over these 9 just hasn't.  However, no matter how bad of a place we were in, I never in a million years would have rather been in a happy place with someone else.  I will take challenging times with Sean ANY DAY over not challenging times with anyone else.  And we've had lots and lots of challenges and disagreements and had to work through so much.  With each challenge that we conquer, we are stronger and more prepared to handle the challenges ahead of us.

We have built this crazy awesome life together with a lot of awesome and just as much crazy.  And I love my life with Sean.

However, I can honestly say that 9 years ago, I would have passed out if I had gotten a glimpse into what our life would become.  We never planned for things to turn out the way they did...not in a million years!

I can also say that we never knew in a million years how amazing things would be.  The doors that would be opened in our hearts that we didn't know existed.

And we love each  other more today than we did 9 years I would say that we are moving in the right direction!

And only God knows what lies ahead for us.  He certainly has created a life for us that has surprised us and scared us and forced us to be strong and lean on each other.  We welcome His plan for us and for our marriage in the years to come.

Sean, it's been a pretty awesome, scary and wild ride over these last 9 years!  I can't imagine being on this ride of my life with anyone else!  Happy Anniversary!!!!  To many many many more years of crazy...only I'd be okay if it calmed down JUST a bit! ;)  I love you more than I could ever express!!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Hawkeye State!

The Cy-Hawk Trophy is back HOME where it belongs.  We are afterall, the HAWKEYE state!!!

There's pretty much no better time of year than football season!
I'm loving the cooler weather, the fact that in the fall we celebrate not only my birthday, but Sean's, Tate's and our anniversary...all in about a 3 week span of time!  Then, add in Hawkeye football every's such a great time of year!

Next weekend is my birthday...on Saturday, to celebrate, we will be heading to Kinnick with DeCooks to tailgate and then watch the Hawks play and then my wonderful parents are keeping the boys for the night so that we can stay in Iowa City to go out downtown and stay the night!  Soooo excited to celebrate my 33rd with the Hawkeyes at Kinnick and then out with the DeCooks!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I have no idea what I would do without each of these girls!  I have the most amazing friends!
(I know some of you are not pictured here, but it's only because I didn't have access to a picture of us that I would post for everyone to other words, it was a terrible picture of me!)

I feel like I have been so dependent on these friends lately...for advice, words of encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, someone to cheer me up, someone to make me laugh and everything in between.  It's taken years to grow many of these friendships into what they are today and many of us have been through SO MUCH.  It feels so incredible to have such a diverse network of loving women to lean on.  I feel the need to thank them every day for their constant love and support.  As of late, these ladies have carried me more than I'm sure many of them know! know that I probably couldn't come up with the words.  You are far beyond anything I knew I would have in a friend.  There is nothing you don't know about me and though you know all of the bad, you still love me unconditionally.  You are family...I couldn't imagine my world without you in it.  I owe you so much and there is nothing I can't count on your for.  We've grown up together, gone through so many phases of life together and grew stronger in our friendship through everything. I can't ever thank you enough for all you've done for me and my family!  I can't wait to grow old and look back at all of our adventures together and laugh and cry together, just like we do now!  So many times you have been my strength and my rock...even times when you didn't know it.  To thank you for all you've done wouldn't be enough.

Jamie...I can count on you to always tell it like it is.  Whether I like it or not. :)  You make me laugh  I love that we are starting this new business venture together and though you know the "real me", so still are willing to be my business partner! ;)  That might be kind of crazy of you, but I love that.  I can't imagine starting this new venture with anyone else!  I know in doing this, our friendship will only grow stronger!

Sarah...It took a while for us to really get to know each other after we became family, but I think there was a reason for that.  It happened at the right time for us and now, not only are you my sister-in-law, but you're one of my best friends.  I love that I can confide in you and you will not judge me and can always count on you for sound advice. :)  And all that you guys have done for our family has not gone unnoticed.  Thank you for always being a listening ear and a helping hand!

Lisa...It's truly unbelievable that we didn't meet before we did.  Our parents knew each other for years...we knew each other's parents, yet we never met.  I think with you as well, there was a reason we didn't meet before.  We met at just the right time in our lives.  And it was like we always knew each other.  You're there for me day or night...anytime I need you and you help me always with a smile on your face!  I can always count on your honest opinion and your words of encouragement.  So glad we were brought together when we were! 

Sara...Can you believe it's been almost 10 years since we met?!  I knew...that 4th of July, that this was a friendship that was going to last.  I can always count on you to bring a smile to my face and to be a listening ear.  We have made so many memories together and I can completely be myself around you.  I know you won't judge me, but will always be honest with me.  We "get" each other.  Though miles separate us now, our friendship has not suffered.  I have no idea what I would have done without you for all of these years and look forward to so many more adventures with you and your family!

Melissa...Wow...we have been through A LOT!  It's hard to know where to begin.  I love you for your honest opinion and for how much we laugh together.  I love that you ALWAYS tell me the always tell me  your honest opinion whether I like it or not.  And we have some serious fun together.  You are always interested in everything I have to say...whether it's interesting or not! :)

Amanda...What I love so much about our friendship is that though miles have separated us and long times have passed between times we spoke, we always pick up right where we left off.  We laugh...a lot.  I can always always always count on you to make me laugh.  Can you believe we met 12 years ago...almost to the day?!  It was...mid September 2001.  Yikes.  We've seen each other through a lot of stuff and our friendship has only grown stronger.  We've both grown and changed into very different people since we first became friends, but our friendship has grown and changed right along with us...I know it always will.

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky!
Love each of you ladies so much and just wanted you to know! :) 


It's been a rough month or so.  I don't always get overwhelmed easily...or if I do, I am good at hiding it, but right now, I am just so overwhelmed.  I am mentally and emotionally exhausted.  Between dealing with Wesley's school situation, Cason's transition to walking and all of the work that comes with that for us in order to avoid him getting into poor walking habits (in regard to his gate...bracing, what to work on, etc.),  changing up some 'behind the scenes' stuff in regard to Cason's respite services he gets through his brain injury waiver, a dental situation for Tate (that has been taken care of thank goodness!), Sean starting school and being so incredibly busy, editing images, it being the busiest time of the year for Jennie Peakin Photography and getting the final things done in order to announce all about my big business venture with my friend, Jamie, I am drowning.  I truly feel like I can't breath sometimes.  I told a friend today, "I just want to go to bed and sleep for a week".  I do.  I cry at the drop of a hat.  Learning of some things that some people have said about me behind my back has set me over and made me physically feel sick.  I feel like I have lost most of my brain function, have no memory of anything anymore.  Thank goodness for my trusty planner! :)

And I just want to drive through McDonalds and eat the crap out of a cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, a McChicken and fries with hot mustard.  All of it...I would devour it...for reals.  Then I remember that I am eating Paleo and I go grab some grapes and wallow in my dietary misery.

Really though, I am loving the Paleo diet because I've never felt better...ever.  It's amazing how avoiding processed foods changes more than you ever knew it could.  For one...I used to have to wash my hair every other day or I would be a grease, I can go a week and still no grease!  It's nuts...and yes, I went 6 days once without washing my hair...don't judge.  I was testing how long it would take to get greasy and it never did...soooo I figured I should at least clean it so it didn't stink.  Apparently washing your hair has more benefit than just getting the grease out. ;)

So all of this is part of the reason that I have been absent from this blog.  I will be back, I love this blog...even writing this all down is making me feel a little better!  For the next couple of weeks, I will be writing only when I have a little extra time...which is almost never.  Ha. :)

Since I haven't posted this yet...

And this is nothing.  He walks ALL OVER now.  I would say that 90% of the time, he walks now.  We are so proud of him!!!!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Over the last month...

Well where do I even begin?!  A lot has gone on over the last month.  Just getting into the new routine of the school year, sleep schedules, etc. has been quite the adjustment!

I've been 3 weeks on a paleo cleanse and feel great!  I haven't had a migraine for weeks and have managed to lose a few pounds too!  And eating clean isn't that hard, but it is definitely pricey!

 We had an "incident" at Wesley's school which made us feel most comfortable pulling him out for the time being while some things are ironed out.  It is an extremely long story, but the way short version is that Wesley was left in the nurse's office with a fever for several hours without me getting a phone call.  The nurse "forgot" to call me.  We had had a detailed conversation about the importance of her calling me in several situations  ESPECIALLY if Wes had a fever.  That along with a plethora of other things  has caused us to question whether we should even send him back there.  They have made it clear they are willing to work with us to make us comfortable sending him back, but we will see...  

We celebrated my Dad's birthday and it still makes me so happy that my whole family is all living so close to one another!  Love that we can all get together and all of Stewart cousins are able to play on a regular basis!

Cason started walking a few days ago!  Praise GOD!  He has defied all odds!  He is truly a miracle child and we adore him beyond words and are so incredibly proud of his accomplishments!
He went from a few steps to literally 2 hours later, walking across the room.  Then, the next day, we has walking about 50% of the time, the day after that probably 75% of the time and now today he has even begun pulling himself up from sitting without having to use furniture to stand.  He is now walking about 90% of the time.

Football season has begun!!!!

We had tickets to the first game and it never gets old being in Iowa City, surrounded by fellow Hawkeye fans and watching the Hawks come in to some AC/DC.  I love me some Kinnick Stadium!

We bleed black and gold! 

Kinnick Stadium is one of my favorite places to be!

Hoping we'll get to be there with the DeCook's on September 21st for my birthday...oh, and maybe they'll pull out a win that day! :)

And the girl with me pictured above?  That's Jamie...she and I met 1/7/08 (yup, I remember the exact date...did you know that, Jamie?!).  Anyway, she and I have taken our relationship to the next level and have become business partners!  She is an incredibly talented photographer and we are joining forces on something we are super excited to announce in a couple of weeks!

I was planning on getting better at keeping my blog updated once school was back in session, but with Wesley returning home for these last couple of weeks, that didn't work out as planned.  So hopefully soon I will be getting better!'s been a long time!