Thursday, April 26, 2012

BLTN: Easter Sunday 2012

easter 2012 vert

This is about as good as it got for a posed picture….lol!

I’ll follow up soon with a post about our at –home egg hunt.  Little Miss kept up with Brother like a rock star!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The love of a good man

This is the face I see pop up on my screen every time my cell phone rings.

This is the man who has held my hand through the birth of three, soon to be four, incredible little people – little people who are blessed to carry his name.

Jim - scrubs shot close up 
This is the guy that brought into my life some of the best friends a girl could ask to inherit.

jim doug rick

This is the guy who knows how to have fun with his kids (and other people’s kids, too!).

early sept cont 012
This is the guy who is my partner, in every sense of the word.

early oct 032
This is the guy who still makes my heart skip when he winks at me.

my hottie

Happy birthday, Jim.
You are everything the sappy, cliched Hallmark card
that I didn’t get you says you are.
I hope I’m by your side for every moment
of the next 32 (plus) years.

Friday, April 13, 2012

BLTN: Happy Valentine’s Day (from TN)

I know, more sappiness about Tennessee and how much we miss our friends and blah blah blah.
But seriously, how cute is this?
AP vday
We got a valentine from Aylin Pearl….and for weeks, it was up on our (magnetic) laundry room door, so we would see it every day.
It is nice to be missed.  I can appreciate it that we are, and my grown up heart could handle it if we weren’t (which, thankfully isn’t the case).  But it does my mommy-heart good to see the joy it brings Seth and Erin to know that their friends miss them as much as they miss their friends.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shaping up

This week has been dichotomous, to say the least.

Monday and Tuesday were rough days for this stay-at-home momma.  While many of my friends were reveling in the fact that they were, for a change, home with their spring break-ing little ones, for me….it was just another start to another week.

Tuesday night found me angrily flipping off the stove dial and walking away from a cooking dinner to sequester myself in my closet.


Nothing profound was bad about the start to the week, despite Seth’s first drawing-on-the-wall-with-markers experience, and Jim being gone from home both Monday and Tuesday nights, and Erin mastering her temper tantrum throwing skills….


I’m pregnant.  VERY pregnant.  And uncomfortable.  And not sleeping well.  And yadda yadda yadda and by 6 pm Tuesday, I’d just had it.

However, miracle of miracles…Wednesday morning came, and although it came in the form of Erin screaming her head off at 5:40 AM, we had a peaceful morning of cartoons and waffles with Rediwhip and sprinkles, followed by grocery shopping, well-behaved and unsupervised (I KNOW!!!) play time in the basement, and then….Erin napped while Seth played across the street at Lucas’ house for 3+ hours, and I baked brownies as a thank you gesture, and the next thing I knew, it was after 4 PM, and that means home stretch til Jim comes home.

Not to mention that Wednesday night, we joined another family for 1/2 price pizza night at a local restaurant followed by ice cream; Thursday will hold storytime and then some mommy-time watching American Idol  with girlfriends (sans my kiddos!); Friday night, Jim scored free tickets to a comedy show, so we get a date night (thank you to my awesome mother-in-law for babysitting!); and then Saturday, we are going out again with two other couples to celebrate Jim’s birthday.  Yipee!!!

So.  What’s the point?

None, really, other than a reminder to me that this sweet life I’m living is ever changing, ever shifting, and as bad as a week can start, it can wrap up pretty darn good. =)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

To Honor our Miss Tiff’ny

erin tiff 12.30.11

She is a babysitter, little sister, best friend, co-pilot, packing buddy, confidant all rolled into one.

I wasn’t looking for her, and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t looking for me, but from an initial fist bump in the church sanctuary (that she doesn’t remember) to an early spring afternoon sitting at a neighborhood playground, a friendship sprung and blossomed and thrived.

One dreary day in late January, only a few weeks after we returned to Ohio, I expected Jim to bring home a pizza for dinner.  Which, to his credit, he did.  He also brought home our Tiffany!

Oh, they had plotted and schemed and kept me in the dark to plan a surprise visit.  And I was so thrilled to see her standing in my box-strewn house (boxes, I may add, that she helped pack just two short months before), that I didn’t even care that I hadn’t showered that day.

We had the best, albeit short, visit, showing off our “hometown” via Handel’s Ice Cream, Frisch’s hot fudge cake, and Tony Packo’s chili dogs.  (And yes, in her own words, there are times when it rocks to have a pregnant friend!)

phone dump 2.24 003 phone dump 2.24 007 (Erin was way more excited to be with Tiff than she was to try Hungarian pickles….!)

We shopped, played Phase 10 and Candyland, went to Bible study and MOPS, watched American Idol auditions, and basically, just did the “everyday life” that we’d been doing together for months, and it was heaven, and I sobbed like a baby when I had to shut my front door behind her and send her back to Tennessee…

And although I got to see her again in March when we went to Tennessee for spring break, part of that visit was sending her off again….this time, for longer and further away…

Now, we are surviving a months-long separation with only letters to hold us over.  We are used to talking every day, sharing coffee and meals and shopping trips, seamlessly co-caring for my little ones, and now….she is hundreds of miles away at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, training and learning and growing and serving her country in the National Guard.


I’m so very proud of her.

But I miss her so.

Her car is sitting in my driveway.   An antique skeleton key on my memo board reminds me to pray for her health and safety.  A hundred times a day, I think, I need to put this in my next letter to Tiff….  Her voice, lovingly recorded, fills the darkness of Erin’s nursery as the lullabies she wrote my children play on repeat.  She is never far from my mind or heart.

And today, she turns 21.

So far from home.  Not surrounded by family and friends and cake and well-wishes.  But she is being remembered and celebrated nonetheless.

Tiffany, you are a joy.  A virtuous woman beyond your years.  You are a treasure to all who know you.  You are a blessing beyond measure to our family.  And I’m counting the number of sleeps til you’re back in Ohio with us.  (It’s 102, by the way!)

Happy birthday, darling girl!  You are going to own 21!

tiff thumbs up

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Better Late Than Never debut: Spring Break 2012

There are SO many posts that I am behind on.  SO many.  So, rather than just move forward, I am, again, going to attempt to get caught up, so, you’ll start to see another category in the “looking for?” cloud and in my titles, which is Better Late Than Never (which I’m going to shorten to BLTN), and try my darndest to get the blog back up to speed before little Miss or Mister makes an appearance.  Wish me luck!

First up, Spring Break 2012!

While the Ohio schools we are surrounded by are just now this week on spring break, our Tennessee friends enjoyed an earlier respite the first week of March.  It happened to coincide with a trip we needed to make anyways to tie up some loose ends in White House, so….off we went, in the midst of really, really severe tornadic weather.

Yeah, we’re smart like that.

2012-03-02 18.32.17

Thankfully, we made it to Tennessee safe and sound (though late, as we stopped in Elizabethtown, KY, for the night after too many hours of traffic and weather).  Needless to say, as the following pictures will speak for themselves, but Seth and his BFF Gage were thrilled to be reunited.

   2012-03-03 11.05.08 tn 07tn 08 2012-03-03 12.24.19

We didn’t actually DO much while we were back in Tennessee.  We had lunch at Las Maracas with the Knacks, and hung out with our small group for Andrea’s birthday, and spent Sunday morning worship with our dear WHFBC family, but other than that…. it was just shopping at Target….

2012-03-07 11.11.28

Hanging out at the house……

2012-03-05 09.31.31

Playdates at Moss Wright State Park….

2012-03-06 11.43.01  2012-03-06 11.42.50mw 01mw 03mw 02mw 04

Lunch at Chick-fil-A…..

2012-03-07 12.34.38      2012-03-07 12.34.33

A morning at Monkey Joe’s….

tn 05tn 0tn 03

tn 04  And quality time with friends we miss so very much…

tn 02
The drive home was fairly uneventful, if wet.  Jim had left Tennessee Sunday after church, driving the Mazda home (as we are storing it for Tiffany while she is at basic training, but that’s a whole ‘nother post), so it was just me and the kiddos the following Thursday.

It rained the ENTIRE way from White House to Dayton, but there weren’t too many issues along the way.  Most people took compassion on the very pregnant momma trying to herd two toddlers into gas stations and McDonald’s in the pouring rain, so, there was that perk, lol.

2012-03-08 08.48.24

And Twizzlers.  It’s how I roll when I’m taxi cabbing-it solo. =)

2012-03-08 13.59.59

It’s hard to comprehend that we have already been in Ohio for 3.5 months, and that by the time we return to Tennessee for our next visit, our family will be one member greater.  Watching pictures pop up in my Facebook and Google reader feeds of baseball season kicking off, and birthday shirts being embroidered, and Easter celebrations being hosted, all hundreds of miles away, is bittersweet.  I’m SO thankful for the routes of social media that keep us all connected….

But I’d trade all the Kit-Kats in Seth and Erin’s easter baskets for a hug from Aylin Pearl right about now….


Monday, April 9, 2012

32w Update


How far along: 32w2d

Total weight gain: only 7 lbs!  I know there is no reason to celebrate that, really, and that weight gain in pregnancy is expected and healthy, but still….having had so much success using Weight Watchers Online last summer, it’s nice to know that I’m not going to have a ridiculous amount of extra work to do this summer to get the baby weight off.

General disposition:  Well, let’s see.  I had a complete and utter meltdown Easter moring when we had 10 minutes until we were supposed to leave, and my hair was wet and I hadn’t found something to wear and Jim and both kids were still in pajamas and Erin had pooped and I hadn’t had a chance to drink my (decaf) coffee and I was snapping at Jim and it just wasn’t pretty at all…. 

Not to mention that I spent my 31st week of pregnancy sicker than I’ve been in a looooong time.   We were never able to find the  source or cause, but for 6 days, I couldn’t keep anything in my system.  It was awful.  Thankfully, I was able to avoid needing a hospital IV, but it was close.  I was never so happy to get my appetite back!

So, in general, I’ve been a little bit cranky.  I’m uncomfortable and tired and eager to meet this little one, and most days, I’m okay (thank you, Prozac!), but some days….I’m not super fun to be around….just keepin’ it real!

Sleep:  I gave in and bought Unisom.  It didn’t work. =(  And made me feel all jittery.  Boo.  So, now I’m just back to not sleeping well at all.  I can’t get comfy, the baby likes to kickbox at night, and I have to pee (or at least my bladder thinks it needs to pee) all. night. long.  So….sleep.  Coming maybe in August?  I’m hopeful. 

Best moment this week:
Not really pregnancy related, but, probably slicing into a wonderfully ripe watermelon (the first of the season for us) and eating pretty much the whole thing in one setting.  (Granted, it was a little watermelon – like, the size of a cantaloupe), but still….so yummy.

Movement:  S/he never stops.  Ever.  EVER.  I literally have bruises from the kicks.   

Labor Signs/Body Changes of Note:  Not really.  I have more contractions with this pregnancy than I remember from the others, but I’m attributing that to not being on bedrest.  I would imagine that still being so active brings on the contractions.  I’m had really bad leg cramps at night, sometimes, so powerful that I wake Jim with my crying (and that is saying something – he is a SOUND sleeper).  My heartburn/indigestion has been pretty intense, and, while this is embarrassing, I’ll document it here – I have had the WORST gas with this pregnancy – like, clear a city block noxious.  I’m beyond ready for that to resolve!

What I miss:  Being able to be more active with Seth and Erin.  Recently, Seth asked me to pull him and Erin in the wagon, and while I knew it was the right answer, telling him that, no, I couldn’t, until the baby came out, was still sad for me.  I also miss sleeping through the night and being able to drink coffee or eat chocolate without wanting to rip out my esophagus, but, I’ll deal. 

What I am looking forward to:
  Um, Jim, this will be news to you, but….we’re having family/maternity pictures done in 2 weeks, and I am SO excited!  Lisa Feather Photography is our photog of choice, and I can’t wait to work with her…  Until then, here are a couple inspiration shots I’m looking forward to imitating:

imageimage image


Sunday, April 8, 2012