Tuesday, July 27, 2010

relay for life...

Reposting this to remind those of you who haven't donated but still want to, or to encourage those of you who are on the fence about donating. :)

Hello blog readers! I just wanted to write a quick post to remind you all of the Relay for Life I'm participating in on August 6th. I set a goal for myself to raise $1,000 this year. Currently I am at $510, which is completely awesome and I'm so grateful for all who have donated. But, I REALLY want to hit that $1,000 mark. The American Cancer Society does such great work and is so dear to my heart, I want to do everything in my power to raise as much money as I can. So, here is my proposition for you dear blog readers...if you donate between now and August 6th, you will be entered to win a free piece of jewelry from links of love. You can customize it anyway you want if you win. Go here to donate. Thank you so much for your love and support.

Monday, July 26, 2010

pictures...

New pictures going up in the July album of the wedding of these two wonderful people!
Congratulations Carl and Alaina! We are so happy for you and wish you many, many years of happiness!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a week of work...

My mom and dad are keeping the kids this week and bringing them back on Saturday in time for Brianna's birthday party. You would think relaxing would be in order for a week without kiddos, but instead we are trying to tackle some big projects. Our main project is fixing up our bathroom. We are replacing the drywall and putting up some surround walls above the tub, painting, etc. On top of that I have plans to clean carpets, and stain the deck, in addition to a massive cleaning and preparing for Brianna's party. I may not sleep a lot this week, but I hope when this week is over I have a great sense of accomplishment. Posting will be light this week...but I promise I'll be back and attempting to post more often! Have a great week everyone!

Friday, July 23, 2010

great new blog...

We are heading to Iowa today for my cousin Carl's wedding, and since I have nothing interesting going on in our lives to share...I will direct you to a website far more entertaining and smarter than mine! My friend Abbie has started this blog, Greening Sam and Avery. She has great projects that she has adapted for her young girls it is a great resource for teaching kids about the environment. Go check it out, I promise it will make you want to go out and learn more about the environment that surrounds you! Happy reading and happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

a little about my little man...

Some days my little man stomps all over the last nerve I have. I know it is shocking that my children are not perfect (haha!). Being home all day every day with them has a lot of benefits, however...by the time Bob walks in the house at the end of the day I am usually done. Even if we have a fabulous day together with few fights/tantrums, etc. Usually the hour before Bob gets home they lose their shit (pardon my language). I have no idea what happens in that last hour, it is like their bodies are taken over by the devil. Does this happen to anyone else or is it just my kids? ANYWAY, it seems like I focus on too much of the "bad" so in an effort to remind myself of how adorable my little man is I just wanted to write out this post. More for me than for anyone, because someday (probably soon) this little phase will be over and I'll miss it. Bryce STILL will not say mama. What is up with that. He looks at me with a gleam in his eye and calls me dada. GRR. Lately the only way I can get him to hug/kiss me is to pretend I'm crying. I stick my bottom lip out in a pout and make crying noises. He will stop what he is doing and run over to me and hug me and give me a kiss. I usually smile at him and say "thank you". Sometimes I continue to pretend to cry. He will hug and kiss me again, and maybe a third time. But then he takes his hand and pushes my bottom lip back in, as if to say "enough mom, I know you're not really crying". This always makes me laugh. So I guess when I want to stop the insanity from now on...I'll just pretend to cry.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

work in progress...

Lots of changes around here. Hope you like what I've done. Everything that was here before is still here...just in a neater fashion! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the changes. I'm not totally happy with the links of love and photo tabs, so I may be changing those, and I'm working on getting the links that are clicked on to open in a new window, it just might take me some time. I am not a webdesigner by any means, so things that would take some people a few minutes takes me hours! :)

of course...

I thought it was a good idea to start messing around with my header at midnight and of course it doesn't work the way I want. But I really need to go to bed now, so rest assured you are at "all the small things" I am just an idiot!

afternoon at the lake...

Since Bob has Fridays off this summer, we've been trying to do some family stuff on the weekends that we are home. This past Friday we decided to head up to Powers Lake to spend some time in the water and the sand. Nancy and Bob met up with us there and we had a fun, relaxing afternoon. Brianna and I spent some time finding pretty rocks and looking at snail shells. We found a shell with a snail still inside and we looked at it for a little bit and then put it back in the water. Hopefully we didn't disturb him too much. We also just floated for a little while in the water, talking and laughing...it was a great family day! (photos taken and shared with me by Nancy!)

This is a terrible picture of me but I'm posting it anyway because it is one of the rare pictures of me with my family.





Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a craft semi-success...

Brianna and I were making a trip to Michaels, I was getting a few things to put the finishing touches on some things I was working on (I will post details at a later date, as they are sort-of gifts) and she wanted to make something with me. So we looked around and found some flip-flops that we could decorate. Perfect craft for my little shoe lover! We started off and I realized the little string they had to hold the flower onto the flip-flop wasn't going to work very well. I decided to try hot glue. Well...that apparently doesn't work very well either, because the flowers were off in a matter of hours. Oh well, she still wears the flip-flops and they looked cute for a little while! We had fun making them together so that, in my book, makes it a semi-success! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

fourth of july...

After the wedding we headed to Wentzville to pick up the kids and spend the 4th of July with my sister and her family. Bob and I were a little slow all day and definitely still recovering from the wedding. We had a great time with Angie, Nick, the boys and Nick's family though and the food was as good as the company. On the downside, the kids slept horribly Sunday night. Both Brianna and Bryce were up until after 1am and even then both fell asleep on the couch, while I was attempting to sleep in the recliner. At 3am I decided to put Bryce in the pack-n-play so I could lay on the couch and ran into Angie and Nick's coffee table. Pretty sure I broke a toe (really not exaggerating). Oh well, it happens I guess. Monday Angie and I did manage to sneak away to go see Eclipse. We both liked it, but I think we were both too tired to really enjoy it! :) After the movie we headed home and headed back to reality. (Bryce was sleeping during the following pictures...I wasn't playing favorites with my kids!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

vince and shelley...

Our friend from Knox, Vince, got married on July 3rd to a wonderful girl named Shelley. Bob had the honor of being a groomsman in the wedding, so we headed down to Champaign on Thursday for a long weekend of fun. Angie and Nick kept the 2 kids so on Friday while Bob was off playing golf (where he shot a 68 by the way...30 on the front 9...he was on cloud 9) I drove 1/2 way to Wentzville, MO for a kid drop off. Friday night was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and we had so much fun hanging out with our Knox friends that were there...we even played a couple of games of caps in the hotel. (If you have never been to Knox or gone to school there or have a friend who went there...you will have no idea what this game is, but trust me it is one of the best games ever invented!). Saturday I had the luxury of laying in bed, reading, taking a nap, etc. I seriously did not leave the hotel room until I left for the wedding. Bob even brought me breakfast and lunch...heck I don't know if I even got out of bed until I got up to get ready! It was heaven. That is definitely not a luxury I have much of these days! The wedding was beautiful as was the reception. It was a beautiful day and they are such a great couple and we are so happy to get the pleasure of watching our friends get married. Especially those who were there with us the day we got married. Bob and I certainly enjoyed our kid free night and dance and laughed the night away with old friends. Congratulations Vince and Shelley!



photo stolen from Holly :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

busy summer continues...

Lets see...we're up to the weekend of June 26th/27th now. Bob's cousin John and his wife Kelly got married back in February in Jamaica but were having a reception back here in IL on June 26th. So we were excited to go to the reception and looking forward to seeing a lot of family, some of whom we hadn't seen in a long time. Friday Bryce started running a fever. It wasn't extremely high so we just wrote it off to teething (he is working on some molars). By Friday night/Saturday morning he was extremely crabby and just not himself. Bob went off to play golf on Saturday morning and I took Bryce (and Brianna) to the doctor. Bryce looked good...except for his throat. The doctor said that it was unlikely he had strep unless someone else had it. He mentioned that hand, foot and mouth disease was going around and that you don't necessarily present with the blisters. He didn't get a good look at Bryce's throat (other than to see that it was very red) and when his strep test came back negative he concluded that it was most likely hand, foot, and mouth disease and it would probably be best to keep him away from other kids. So, no reception for me or Bryce. What a bummer! Bob took Brianna and they had a great time, but I was sad to miss it! Bryce never spiked a fever all day on Saturday and since that is how you know you're not contagious anymore, we decided it was safe to go up to the lake on Sunday. We had such a great time at the lake the weather was fantastic...and I of course got my first burn of the season. We spent most of the day in the water and Brianna had so much fun playing with her cousin Joe. She is now writing him letters (he lives in Virginia) and they are going to be pen pals since they don't see each other much, but have so much fun when they are together. Enough with my rambling...here are a few pictures!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

father's day part 2...

I forgot in my previous Father's day post to show you Bob's Father's Day present. While cleaning out his grandma's lake house Bob and his dad ran across a couple of his grandpa's old clubs. Bob's dad cut them down so the kids could use them. So for Father's Day I decided to have some pictures taken of the kids with these clubs...sort of "golfing" pictures. The results far exceeded my expectations!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

father's day...

Father's day was a bit crazy this year! We took a very long weekend and first drove to Galesburg for the Knosher Outing. I usually go with Bob and watch but this year things were a little complicated so I just went to say hi to Harley and stop by the business office for my annual visit! I had the kiddos with me so they got to meet some very important people in our lives. I love taking them back to Knox, because that is where this little family started. Anyway we had a great visit with our friends in Galesburg, then we headed to Moline to visit with Alli and Gavin for a little bit. It has been a while since we've seen them and catch up and let the kids play together. After that stop we headed to Mom and Dad's. (Remember this is just the kids and I and we've been in and out of the car for the last 12 hours). On Friday my friend Jill and her kids came out to mom and dad's to play. We had great weather to start off the day, but after lunch the rain came. We tried to have the kids watch a movie...but they weren't having any of that. They ran around like crazy people! Friday night mom and dad watched the kids so I could go out for a girls night with Jill and her friend (my new friend) Lindsey. We had such a good time, it is amazing how much you don't even realize you need those times out until you have one. Saturday we went to my aunt and uncles 25th wedding anniversary party. It was nice to see a bunch of the family, but it is hard with 2 kids and no hubby to help out. Brianna danced for hours with my little cousin Nicole and was wiped out by the time we got home. Sunday we headed back home to see daddy for a little bit of Father's day! OH, while the kids and I were doing all of this...Bob was off playing golf in Galesburg and then in Michigan for our friend Vince's bachelor party. He had a very relaxing fun weekend and it was well deserved for being a fantastic daddy! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

lots of work and a fun filled weekend...

In addition to the old catch-up posts that are scheduled to post I'm going to try to keep up and post some stuff that is going on now. So you will be jumping back and forth from the past to the present...that should be fun for you!

This past weekend we were actually home! I know...it took us a while to get used to it too. We definitely made the most of it trying to pack in as much stuff as we could! A few weeks ago, Bob and Nancy (Bob's parents for those of you who don't know)saw a swing set up at the lake that one of Grandma's neighbors was giving away. They called to ask us if we wanted it and we said Of Course! (free is our favorite price!). So last week Bob(dad) went up there and dismantled the whole thing and drove it to our house. On Friday when Bob was off work, his mom and dad came over. We spent the morning putting together the swing set and surprised the kids with it when it was all assembled. It is perfect and the kids love it. I have video of Brianna's reaction in seeing it. She just ran over to her daddy and gave him a big hug and then ran over to me and gave me a hug too! They are really enjoying having swings in the yard. After we had some lunch and put Bryce down for a nap, we decided to do some landscaping. We have a few bushes that were 1/2 dead and just overgrown for the space so we removed them, along with trimming the bushes we kept and trimming the trees as well. It was hot, but we got a lot done and we were happy with the results! Friday night we all but collapsed in our beds. Saturday we decided to go see Toy Story 3. The kids were pretty good during the whole thing and I personally loved the movie. Very cute, funny, and sweet. I'm sure that will become part of our dvd collection! Sunday, Brianna had a playdate with 2 of her friends from preschool. She had a blast playing with the girls and was super tired by the end of the day. We had a busy weekend, but it was filled with laughing, smiling, and a whole lot of fun. It was truly a weekend where I appreciated all the small things!


weekend with the creech's...

Angie, Nick and the boys came up to visit the 2nd weekend in June. We decided we were going to head up to Bob's grandma's house in Powers Lake, WI for the weekend. The kids could swim and play on the beach and we could do the same. We got up there about 4 on Friday afternoon, Angie and I went for a run and the kids played in the lake. We had dinner and hung out assuming we would have the rest of the weekend to play in the water. Well Mother Nature had other plans. Saturday it was rainy and cold all day. We did end up going in the water for a little while...but it was very cold, so it didn't last long. The kids watched movies and played puzzles and ate junk food, and the adults played cards and ate junk food. Saturday night after we had hosed down the kids Bryce fell and hit his head on the piano. He got a good sized goose-egg right away, he seemed like himself and didn't lose consciousness but we decided to play on the safe side of things and head to the ER anyway. The doctor's said his exam seemed fine, but to keep an eye on him. We could have pushed for a CT scan but he was throwing a ball, talking and walking just fine so we took him back to the lake. I woke him up every three hours to make sure he was still OK. It is really hard to wake up a 1 year old when they don't want to be woken up. We made it through the night just fine, but he woke up with croup...of course! Sunday was more of the yucky cold weather so we didn't get much swim time...but the kids had a lot of fun together and so did the adults, we played many games of euchre! All-in-all a great trip to the lake, if you disregard the weather and the ER trip :)!

Friday, July 09, 2010

summer fun...

We have been trying to spend as much time outside lately as we can. We have had some crazy weather...tons of rain...and on those days we cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie, or I make a fort in the basement (or anything else I can think of to get us through the day!) When we can go out...we have spent some time in the pool. Both kids are hesitant of the pool at first...but usually end up loving it after I make them stay in kicking and screaming for a while! I'm hoping that we'll get a bunch more pool time this summer even though we have a lot of things going on! (I apologize that these posts are not very exciting...It is hard for me to remember back 2 months!)

video

Thursday, July 08, 2010

another review...

Things I Want My Daughters To Know by Elizabeth Noble was a complete 180 from Life Laughs. Barbara is a mom of four daughters, three from a previous marriage and her youngest daughter, Hannah, a product of her marriage to her current husband, Mark. Barbara is diagnosed with terminal cancer and in her final days writes letters to her daughters and also writes a journal for them to share. It is hard for me to review this book objectively, because as a mom my biggest fear is leaving my children too soon and not being able to tell them all the things I should be able to if I had a lifetime. At the center of the book is the theme that love is strong and especially that of a mother for her child. Children sometimes look at their parents as if they are perfect, but they are not and these girls find out that their mom was just a woman, a fallible human being who loved them with every ounce of her being through her letters to them.
One of my favorite passages "Please know that you had mine, unconditional, and powerful an awesome. So strong that I cannot believe it will die with me. I want to imagine it as a living thing that goes on beyond my body, and my death, as a vine that has grown and wound it's way through the very core of all of you and cannot be uprooted or destroyed, but rather will hold you up erect when everything else is crumbling and withering inside you."
I'll be honest this is not an easy read, it is heavy and sad and to be completely honest I didn't know if I'd make it through it. BUT, it made me think, it made me cry and I'm glad I finished it. It is hard to say I enjoyed it, but I though it was a good read. If you end up reading it, let me know what you think!

life laughs (a book review)...

Last week we headed to the library, one of my favorite places ever. Normally I go in there with a couple of books I want to check out and then end up finding a bunch more that catch my eye. I read (and enjoy) all kinds of books. It isn't strange to see me walk out of the library with a mystery novel, a biography, another nonfiction work, and some other novel. All of this is to say last week I went in with nothing in mind. All of the titles that I have been wanting to read were checked out so I wandered. I actually became sort of frustrated it was probably close to 30 minutes before something caught my eye. That us crazy for me, I can usually have 6 books in my arms in 5 minutes. Anyway, I ended up with 6 books, and since I am attempting to write on the blog more I decided to review a couple of them (maybe all of them).
Life Laughs by Jenny McCarthy was at the top of my library pile. I had previously read Belly Laughs and really enjoyed her straight-forward no holding back humor. This book was definitely more of that. She says things that many of us think but don't say out loud. Reading this book is like talking to an old friend over several glasses of wine where your conversation hops from one thing to another. She writes openly and honestly about marriage and divorce and being a mommy. I really enjoyed this book it was a light easy read that left me noddingy head and laughing. If you're looking for a quick fun read I suggest you pick this up.

graduation day...

Brianna graduated from preschool at the end of May. It was an adorable little ceremony where the kids wore caps, sang songs and got diplomas. It was so cute and a little heartbreaking to see Brianna up there in the first of many "graduations". I am having a hard time believing my baby will be turning 5 in just a few weeks. Here is a couple of pictures from graduation day and a video of the ceremony (I've been having problems with it so hopefully it works!)

Brianna & Miss Sandy (her teacher)


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

a new craft project...

It has been awhile since I've posted a craft project that we've worked on. For Mother's Day, Brianna made for me (at school) a flower pen. I thought they were so adorable (I have seen them other places before) so we decided to make some of our own! They are pretty easy to make, you just need some artificial flowers, green flower tape, pens, a flower pot (or something to put the completed pens in) and rocks (we used colorful ones we got from Michaels). I should have taken progressive pictures, but I was not that prepared. :) Hold the flower and pen together, wrap the flower tape around both to completely cover the pen. And voila...flower pens! I love these because we now have a colorful bouquet on our table at all times and I always know where our pens are!



Tuesday, July 06, 2010

mother's day...

Whew...2 months behind? What the heck have I been doing? Anyway...be prepared to be transported back in time for the next few posts!

This was our Mother's day to be in Iowa. We headed there Friday night after Bob got off work. We had a great weekend hanging out with the family. Mom and Dad hosted the gathering for both sides so we headed out to the Sportsman's Park. Everyone was a little nervous because the weather had been sketchy all weekend. It turned out to be a perfect day. There was a great turnout and it was so nice to see so many of our family members! The kids had so much fun playing with all of their cousins! I love these two monkeys that have given me the privilege to celebrate Mother's Day!