Tuesday, November 30, 2010

final november post...

I cannot believe that it is the last day of November today.  Where has this month, heck...where has this year gone?  Can you believe that I posted 31 times this month?  I'm going to try to be better about posting (at least during the week...the weekends are a little trickier).  I don't have a lot to say tonight, Bryce was up in the middle of the night, he has croup (at least)  we may be taking a trip to the doctor tomorrow if he isn't better, he sounds pretty awful.  Hoping that the germs stop with him, we have a birthday party to throw on Saturday!  I'm going to try to get everyone to bed early and hope that some good rest will have healing powers.  I'll leave you with some pictures of the boys (Braden & Bryce) birthday party.  Hope you are all staying healthy! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

monday monday...

Oh Monday...why must you be so hard on me? I am still recovering from the weekend. We didn't get home until late last night and now it seems that some germs are invading our house! Ugh! And...since the germs are invading...I got nothing for you tonght. I'll be back tomorrow hopefully with some pictures from the weekend. I'm off to tuck everyone (including myself) into bed. Tuesday, will you be my friend?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2 great giveaways!!

Just popping in to tell you to go enter these two great giveaways!!

Welcome to our Wonderland is giving away Jemos, an adorable little eco-friendly shoe.  Go over there and enter (many chances to enter)  I'm hoping Bryce would still fit in these  (if I win) but if not, they'd be a great gift!! :)

Greening Sam and Avery is still running their Mama May I giveaway.  Great little green toys.  We could all use a little less plastic under the Christmas tree!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

shop 'til you drop...

Oh goodness, I am tired.  We left mom and dad's Saturday morning at 7am.  We got home at 1am on Sunday.  That is a lot of shopping.  The good thing is that I am 99% done with all of my Christmas shopping and Bryce's birthday shopping.  It is such a good feeling to be done.  I got (I think) some great gifts at great prices and am all-in-all happy with how the day turned out.  I had a great time shopping with my mom, sister, aunt and grandma.  There was tons of laughing, joking and great bargains...what more could a girl ask for? :)  Hopefully when I sort through the stuff I still feel like I am done shopping!

Friday, November 26, 2010

thanksgiving wrap up...

Hope all of my lovely readers had a great Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful time celebrating with family in Iowa.  Thursday started with having my grandmas to my parent's house to celebrate both Bryce's and my nephew, Braden's birthdays.  The boys did great sharing their party, and there was plenty of cupcakes and cookies to make everyone happy.  Mom cooked a fantastic meal and we all had a great time.  Thursday night we celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom's side.  The kids had a great time running around and playing with the puppies (two of my cousins brought their puppies).  Everyone headed to bed when we got home.  Mom, Angie and I headed out shopping early Friday morning and got a few things (we were only gone for a couple hours) and then we helped mom put up her Christmas decorations (it was freezing outside...brr).  It was a good, but tiring day, lots of laughing and fun.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

gobble, gobble...

From my turkeys to yours...have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!  I have so very much to be thankful for, including the wonderful people who visit my little corner of the blogosphere.  Much love and happiness to you all this holiday season! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the final show...

If you have read here for a while you know I have great love for Minus Six.  They are (were) a Quad Cities based band, who's members are friends of our friends.  Over the last 3-4 years we have gone to many shows and have gotten to know the band members.  Their shows are so fun, it is impossible not to smile and laugh and dance at their shows and as an added bonus the guys are amazingly sweet and fun.  Well, after their 7 1/2 year run they have decided to move on and they had their final show on Saturday night.  After much scrambling and last minute plans my friend Dawn and I drove to Rock Island, IL to see them play their final show.  We met up with our friends Alli & Steve (and Gavin) for dinner and then watched part of the show with them.  Dawn and I were determined to make it to the end of the show, but by the time 1:30 rolled around we were both beat, so we ended up leaving then and missing the last 30ish min of the show.  The guys had 300 (according to their facebook event posting) friends, family, and fans attend their last show.  It was amazing, they played straight through, and I for one enjoyed every minute of their show.  Someone posted their final song on YouTube, so I'm sharing it with you.  AMAZING! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

another giveaway...

Just letting all my faithful readers know that there is another giveaway going on over at Greening Sam and Avery.  Looks like some pretty cool toys!  Head on over there and enter to win, and if you're like me and say, "I never win anything...why bother" Well let me tell you, you can win!  Because seriously, if I can win...so can you.  :)  What are you waiting for?  Get over there, spread the word and maybe this week will be your lucky week. 

when i knew...

**I guess I will publish this today since I did accidentally and it is showing up in my google reader, I guess it was a sign to just publish and stop overthinking it!**

A lot of people I know are pregnant or have recently had babies, this got me to thinking about how I knew I was ready to have kids.  I know the exact moment it happened. 
I have always wanted kids, anyone that knew me for more than 10 minutes knew that.  It is the one thing I have always wanted.  After Bob and I got married, I knew I still wanted kids, but the question was when.  I didn't feel ready right after we got married, I wanted to enjoy married life, and quite selfishly I enjoyed only taking care of myself.  About a year after we were married we were surprised to find out we were expecting.  I will be honest, it was a mixed bag of emotions for me.  I was happy, excited...but really really scared.  I didn't know if I was ready.  I still felt like a kid, so how would I be able to take care of a baby.  I am terrible with secrets, so during the time we weren't telling anyone I withdrew.  I didn't talk to my mom or sister as much, I was shorter with friends.  All because the one thing that was occupying all of my mind I couldn't talk about.  We did tell our parents and siblings before we went for our first doctor's visit, but asked them to keep it quiet until after we had our initial visit.  Our first visit didn't yield exactly what I thought it would, the baby was measuring smaller than it should have and there was no visible heartbeat, the doctor wanted us to come back in a week, because it was possible the baby was just to new/small to see the heartbeat yet, but by the next week it should be visible.  At the next appointment there was still no heartbeat, and we heard the devastating news that I had had a miscarriage.  The doctor wanted to see us back in 2 weeks, I had to get out of the office so Bob stayed to make the appointment.  My heart broke into a million pieces.  I still (6 years later) remember every single detail of that appointment, what the room looked like, how it smelled, the exact words the doctor said.  Needless to say the next few months were very rough for us, lots of wondering and what-ifs.  So, yes, I know the exact moment I knew when I was ready to have kids...it was the exact moment that I found out our baby was gone.  That year we bought a Christmas ornament that says "snow  fun without you" and on the back it says Baby Carroll 2004.  Each year as I hang that ornament I get a little sad, but it makes me feel even more that our angel is a part of our family.  It has been six years and two kids, but I still wonder how our family would be different if the miscarriage had never happened.  I look at my two babies and know that my first angel hand picked them and sent them to me, that my family is exactly the way it was meant to be, but there is still an ache left in my heart.

the fuzzy line of censoring...

I've written several posts over the last few weeks and either deleted them or they are sitting in my draft folder.  I am a serial people-pleaser and am constantly worried about how others are judging me.  So, when I write a post all of these thoughts run through my head, is it funny enough, will anyone like it, will anyone be offended, am I sharing too much,  will anyone relate, is it written well enough and most of all will anyone read it and come back to read more.  Does anyone else deal with this?  I started this blog as a way to keep family and friends updated on our little family, but after 5 years it is becoming more about me, the person I am at this moment.  The struggles and triumphs, successes and failures, the good AND the bad.  My hope is that one day my kids will read through this and understand a little more about who their mom is, and for me this is a little like my form of therapy.  I have a post sitting in my draft folder that I want to publish, but I'm afraid of how it will be received.  I think tomorrow I will just suck it up and publish it...what is the worst that can happen? 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

i did it...sort of...

I didn't really go into details about my big sewing fail the other day, mostly because it is embarrassing that I could not for the life of me figure out the threading of the bobbin and thread.  It seriously took me about 2 hours to do that.  Then I kept forgetting to put the little foot thing down so I had a big mess on my hands and some wasted thread.  When I FINALLY got everything going on Sunday and even was making some pretty straight stitches, I realized that I was sewing the back of the shirt to the front...oops!  My mom is an amazing sewer, as in...made clothes for us and for our dolls and even whipped up a dress for me to wear to a wedding the weekend before the wedding, amazing kind of sewer.  Anyway, Sunday's debacle left me a little gunshy to try again (and I've been busy) so tonight I tried again.  And we have a semi-success.  The stitching is not great (not straight and too far away from the edge of the material, but it is wearable for my kid!  :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

happy birthday...

Braden turns 5 today.  Oh my sweet little nephew and godson, how in the world are you 5?  I love you buddy, can't wait to celebrate with you on Thursday!!  Hope your birthday is the best!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This beautiful woman turns 80 years old today.  I have so many things I want to say, yet none seem adequate to honor her on this special day.   Her smile lights up a room, and her heart is bigger than you could possibly imagine.  Her love for her family runs so deep, there are no words that can describe it.  She teaches by example and loves unconditionally.  Some of my favorite childhood memories were spent on the farm during the summer.  And now, taking the kids to visit her is one of my favorite things to do.  The kids light up around her and she never complains when they make a mess or pull out her flowers (ahem...Bryce), she just smiles and laughs and says that it is getting towards the end of the season anyway.  I am so glad my kids get to see her as much as they do, to feel her love, to see her smile, to be on the receiving end of her hugs, to make memories.  I learn so much from her every minute I'm around her, I feel so lucky that she is a part of my life.  She is an amazing mom, grandma, and great-grandma, sister, wife, and friend.  I only hope that I can be half the woman she is someday.  She is a beautiful, amazing woman.  No words do her justice, really...I'm a fool to even try, I guess I could best sum it up by quoting my 2 year old nephew, Jackson, when asked if he had fun at her birthday party "yes--I love her".  Well said, little man, well said.
Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma.  I hope you have the most beautiful of days...you deserve it.  I love you with all of my heart.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

things that make me smile on this gloomy day...

sleep disturbances...

I think we need to get Brianna a twin bed.  Not because she has outgrown the bed she is in now, but because when she crawls into our bed I have somewhere to sleep!  It doesn't happen often but when it does, man I get no sleep when either kid is in bed with us.  I struggle with what to do, because sometimes she is genuinely scared and doesn't want to be two flights of stairs (albeit small flights) away from us.  Plus, the horrible drawback of a tri-level house is that the lowest level is freezing during the winter, so I sometimes (just SOMETIMES) feel bad for her.  But when she is in our bed I am constantly being kicked in the back, face and generally just pushed out of bed.  It does not make for a great night of sleep, especially for someone that doesn't get a lot of sleep anyway.  Normally I (or Bob) walk her back to her room and tuck her back in, but sometimes we are either too tired to take her back downstairs or I don't realize she is there until I get kicked, elbowed or laid on.  I think Bryce is even worse than Brianna, that kid doesn't stay still even in sleep!  Plus they both have this habit of laying across the bed (essentially making an H with us and said child).  Bob and I are usually clutching to the edge of the bed, and it isn't even like we have a small bed, it is a king sized bed!  How can people so small take up so much room?  (can you tell this is what happened last night?) 

**have you gone over to Greening Sam and Avery yet and entered the toy giveaway??  Head on over there!**

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

my kids...

There are so many things about my kids at this age that I want to remember (and some that I want to forget).  Bryce's little personality is developing more and more and it is so fun to watch and Brianna, well what can I say about her...she is 5 going on 15...I am in trouble!

Bryce now tries to get attention anytime he does anything.  He will color a picture and hold it up and say "made it!"  and will continue to say it until you acknowledge his picture then he beams with pride.  When he does something like buckle himself in his booster seat or picks up something he'll say "high 5" and you have to high five him...he will wait until you do.  He loves to laugh and run and get into things...he is talking all the time now, his laughter is completely contagious, I dare you not to laugh when he is laughing.  He is just a sweet boy with a stubborn streak and he knows how to melt his mama's heart.

Brianna is a sweet girl she told me the other day that what she really wanted for Christmas is to spend time with her whole family.  She loves puzzles and books and clothes...oh dear lord.  The girl changes her clothes about 5 times a day, and she is always dressed completely inappropriately for the weather, skirts and tank tops in November, but don't try telling her to put on long pants or long sleeves, you will have a major fight on your hands...it is all about looking cute.  She struts around like a model and says the craziest things that leave Bob and I with our mouths hanging open looking at each other like "did she just say that".  She loves her brother to pieces, even though he is not always nice to her, she hugs and kisses him anytime he'll let her.

Sometimes I lay in bed recounting all the ways I have failed, I yelled too much, I didn't play with them enough, etc (this list could go on forever).  I pray for more patience, to do better tomorrow.  But looking beyond the day to day, at the big picture I look at the people they are becoming and I know that I'm doing OK.

Monday, November 15, 2010

monday mind dump...

Well, now that I've spoiled you all with frequent posts, I suppose I shouldn't stop now.  I'm laying on the couch, watching a rerun of Grey's Anatomy, with all of this garbage running through my head.  I thought maybe if I wrote it out I would be able to sleep, sort of like my nightly therapy.  Feel free to skim or skip, I have no idea if this will make sense or not.  Bullet points is what you get today/tonight...and maybe if you are good a picture or two at the end. (Edited to add:  apparently this is mostly a Christmas related post)
  • I'm seriously stressing about Christmas this year.  I have no idea what to get the kids.  They are only 5 and 2...shouldn't this be easy??  Brianna really wants the Rapunzel Doll that the squirrels (or whatever) braid her hair...is it terrible that the only thing I can think is that the hair will be ruined and tangled about 10 seconds after she gets it so it is really putting me off from buying it.  Even though it is pretty much the only thing she has consistently said she wants.
  • I love the idea of the Vtech V-reader for Brianna...but the more I think about it the more it feels like a racket to me.  Buy the system (which isn't cheap) then you have to buy the "books" because if you only have 1 she'll get bored and not use it so then the whole thing is a waste.
  • I love buying gifts for others, I love finding a good deal or something unique that I know the person getting is going to love.  My sister frequently emails me asking me to find something for her.  I am her personal shopper..and I love it.  Does anyone actually want to pay me to shop for them...I think it might be my true calling :)
  • I hate cleaning...I mean seriously HATE it.  I constantly tell Bob that I would be the perfect housewife except for the cleaning.  I love to cook/bake, I love being with my kids (most days :)  But I lose serious points on the housewife status on the cleaning.  My mom suggested I find someone who hates to cook/bake, but loves to clean and swap with them.  (Now you see where I get my brilliance!) Do I have any takers?
  • I need a new vacuum cleaner.  I cleaned this weekend (yes, that is why you guys had snow, because it rarely happens) and essentially had to vacuum the house with the stupid hose because the vacuum wouldn't pick anything up. 
  • I DO NOT want a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.  Apparently I'm still a kid and like to get things for Christmas that are fun.  (a vacuum cleaner does not fall into my fun category...see above).  I like to get books, DVDs, etc.  I think it is mostly because we live on a pretty strict budget (for the most part).  We don't just go buy things because we want them.  If I want to read a new book, I go to the library and wait until it is available, we rent DVDs from the library or redbox for $1 (and even that is rare).  To me, a Christmas or birthday present should be something you want that you wouldn't buy for yourself, a treat if you will...a vacuum cleaner to me is the opposite of a treat.  Am I the only one who thinks this way?? 
  • My husband is Mr. Practical, pretty sure he just read that above, shook his head and thought of 10 reasons why that statement above is completely illogical, he also thinks I'm insane...but loves me anyway.
  • My in-laws brought me over an extra sewing machine that they had because of a recent post.  I tried it out...lets just say the score is now sewing machine-1 -- Amber--0.  But I'm giving it another shot tomorrow.  (PS. Thanks Bob and Nancy!!  You guys are great!)
  • The most complicated thing I cooked/baked this weekend was monkey bread.  (see--cleaned this weekend and read as "I spent a long-ass time cleaning my kitchen and did not want to dirty it)  I am ill-prepared for meals this week.  I hate that, it makes me feel behind already.  Tomorrow I need to make my meal schedule and grocery list.
  • I watch an insane amount of crappy reality TV.  I should be embarrassed or ashamed...but I'm not, I love that junk.  Real Housewives, 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom...they are my crack.  I just can't quit them!
  • Last weekend while driving to IA with the kids I saw the most amazing sunset.  I remember thinking when I saw it that sunsets like that one are one of the million reasons I love IA.
  • I think it is hilarious that 12 years ago I couldn't wait to leave IA and never live there again.  Now, there is no place I'd rather raise my family.  Funny how time changes things. 
  • It seems like lots of my friends are pregnant or just had babies recently.  I feel old and outdated, I mean, my oldest is 5.  It also gives me a bit of baby fever.
  • My husband probably just fell of his chair while shaking his head NO after reading that last one! :)
  • I've been thinking about Bryce's birthday cake for about 2 months now.  I think I know what I'm going to make, it could be cool or it could turn out like crap...tune in early December to find out! :)  Maybe I'll take some pictures of what my kitchen looks like when I'm making a cake...I am not the *ahem* neatest person while I bake and decorate.
  • If any of you still wonder why I can't sleep at night take a look at the above list.  This is only a small portion of what is running through my head and even after writing this all out...I'm still not tired and my mind is still running wild.
  • I almost forgot...I promised you pictures.  My reasons for actually making myself go to sleep so I can function tomorrow and not be a grouch! :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

amazing giveaway...

There is an amazing giveaway going on over at Greening Sam and Avery right now.  Get over there, check it out and spread the word!  Even thought I really want to win this giveaway, I'm posting tonight so that you, my lovely readers, can have as many chances to win as possible.  But I'm sure you all already know about this, right??  Beacause you ARE reading Greening Sam and Avery daily, RIGHT??  If you aren't, what are you waiting for??  Get going...NOW!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

mean mommy...

I am at the end of my rope.  My children will NOT pick up their stuff.  (This post is mostly about Brianna because I know she understands what is expected of her)  I ask nicely, we try the jar thing, I give her one thing to do at a time so she doesn't get overwhelmed.  The other night I was done trying to reason.  I got a big black garbage bag and picked up every toy on the floor and put it in the garbage bag to throw away. (Just so you know I have threatened her with this, it wasn't as if this came out of the blue).   Brianna sat there sobbing, begging me not to throw her stuff away, and still she didn't try to pick anything up.  she was inconsolable by the time Bob got home.  I took the bag in the garage to wait for garbage day.  I felt horrible the whole time I was doing it, but I wanted and needed to prove my point.  I couldn't cry or show her any sympathy.  (Although I did cry later when I splashed boiling water on my stomach as I was draining pasta for dinner...sobbed actually, and it had way more to do with "throwing away" her toys than the pain of the burn).  I am just afraid that this isn't going to get through to her...that she has too much "stuff" for this to really affect her in any significant way.  I guess we'll see what happens, but days like that one make it really suck to be the mommy, to know that while you try to do everything you can to protect your child from pain to be the one actually causing them pain in order to try to teach them a bigger lesson.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

new project...

I found the cutest superhero capes online and thought, I can do that (well...with some help from my mom!).  So a Christmas idea was born.  My kids along with my nephews are getting reversible superhero capes for Christmas.  I worked on the emblems for the capes over the weekend and I am super excited to see the final results. My mom is doing the actual sewing of the capes because I don't know how to sew, but really want to learn, I even have a sewing machine on my Christmas list.  We'll see if Santa gets the memo and brings me one! :)  Here are the finished emblems...what do you think??

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

bluff lake...

After our relaxing weekend at Riverside we decided to take mom and dad to Bluff Lake as a thank you (as if having dinner with 4 kids 5 and under is a good thank you!)  The food was yummy as always and the kids had a lot of fun feeding the ducks.  (this post is mostly to share pictures because what is there really to say about all you can eat chicken and shrimp but yum?) :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Angie and Nick had plans to go to Riverside Casino to celebrate their anniversary.  They asked us if we'd like to go with them, so we decided as an early Christmas present to ourselves we would go.  Mom offered to watch the kids so we could have a relaxing weekend.  We headed there on Friday afternoon and stayed until Sunday.  After we got there we hung out in the room for a while, made ourselves some drinks and played some cards.  We eventually went down to eat some dinner and hit up the casino.  Unfortunately, Friday night I left the casino having lost about $4 (Bob lost $10).  I am not joking when I tell you that we were all sleeping by about 10pm on Friday night.  Saturday the boys had planned to play some golf and Angie and I were set to do some shopping and pamper ourselves with manicures and pedicures.  After we got back to the hotel we went back down to the casino where I won $100!  WooHoo I was so excited.  Angie and Nick insisted on taking us to dinner to thank me for watching the boys so we got dressed up and headed down to the restaurant.  The food was incredible, we were all stuffed by the time we left.  Bob was too full to even try the dessert (so you know he was full).  I think we again were asleep by like 10pm  (we are nothing if not exciting!).  Sunday we hit up the casino again before we left where we lost half of the money that I won the day before, but hey we still came out ahead so I was just fine with that!  It was a great weekend and so fun to spend some time with my sister and Nick.  Thanks again for letting us tag along guys! :)

Happy 7th Anniversary Angie & Nick!!

Monday, November 08, 2010

we're going on a bug hunt...

While in St. Louis at my sister's I figured it was the perfect time to use the prizes I won for the August Challenge over at Greening Sam and Avery.  The kids were all very excited to go on a bug hunt!  They were a little frustrated at first because they weren't catching anything (since most of the bugs we were finding were crickets).  But after I caught a cricket and they got to take a look at it, they excitedly started looking for other bugs.  In the end we really only caught a cricket and a grasshopper, but the kids loved looking at them and pointing out the eyes, etc.  I don't really know much about bugs but I told them what I knew.  They had a blast!  We didn't end up taking our walk to collect leaves and identify them with the other prize, so that will have to wait until spring, but the kids enjoyed looking through the leaves and pointing out the differences.  Thanks Greening Sam and Avery for such an amazing prize!!

Friday, November 05, 2010

a week with my nephews...

After our eventful trip to get to my sister's house, the week with the boys was a breeze.  The kids were really very good and I had so much fun actually getting to spend time with them.  We played outside a lot.  Swang on the swingset, played Simon Says, freeze dance, had races, played hide and seek and went on a bug hunt (which I will be telling you about in the next post).  We also made cupcakes, I made applesauce, put together puzzles, played games and did lots of Halloween crafts.  Brianna and Bryce loved spending time with their cousins.  While we were away, Bob spent all of his free time at work.  Which is a big bummer but he had the time he needed to focus on work without feeling guilty that he wasn't spending time with us.  I'll leave you with some pictures of our week, we didn't really do anything special but it was fun all the same!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad car ride...

I was going to just throw this in with the post about my week with 4 kids, but thought this trip deserved a post of its very own, so here it is!
The kids and I traveled to my sister's for a week to help her out and watch the boys.  The trip to St. Louis started out a little rocky.  I've never driven that far with the kids by myself before so I was a little nervous.  I switched around my client so I could go there in the morning and hopefully get on the road early with the kids as to avoid some traffic and get to St. Louis before it got too dark.  Bob and Nancy arrived to watch the kids and I left to go to work...or I tried to go to work.  My car wouldn't start.  Awesome way to start my day.  I ended up taking their car to work.  I had planned on being done with work in a couple hours so that I could be on the road by 12 or 1.  Can you guess what happened?  I ended up working until 2:30, then it is a 30 minute drive home.  I knew I was going to be pushing it to get on the road before rush hour started, especially since after I got home Bob's dad ran out to get and install a new battery for my car.  We ended up not getting on the road until about 4:15.  I knew this was going to be trouble, but I didn't know how much until we started driving.  It took 2 hours to get to Joliet (which if you know where we live usually takes 1 hour at most).  When we finally got out of some of the traffic and construction I looked back at the kids and Bryce threw up.  Awesome.  So I pulled over, got him cleaned up as best as I could and got back on the road.  Then Brianna had to go to the bathroom, so I figured we might as well stop and get some dinner  even though we were only beginning the trip.  As we got our food at McDonalds I was carrying everything and trying to make sure the kids weren't getting into anything and 2 (full) glasses of pop fell off the tray and all over the floor.  I felt stupid and terrible and apologized 1000 times to the workers.  We finally settled down to eat and got back on the road.  Thankfully, after that the trip was very uneventful.  We got to my sisters about 11:30...7+ hours after we started out, for a trip that normally takes between 5 and 5 1/2 hours.  It was a long afternoon/night...but we made it.  And I am happy to report the return trip home took us 5 1/2 hours and we made NO stops the entire time, the kids were angels in the car (I had to keep checking to make sure they were actually my children!)

late night wonderings...

I was just scrolling through my google reader (which I love using...but is solely the cause of me rarely leaving comments on blogs, because most of them I never have to click over to the actual blog, I can read it right from the reader screen...and yes I know that is lazy, but I do comment when I feel compelled to or just to say hi, I just don't do it as often as I should) ANYWAY...as I was scrolling through my reader I read this post and it made me think harder about something that has been bothering me a bit lately.  As I've been posting all of these catch-up posts and flipping back through the blog I realized there are a handful of pictures of me.  I started to wonder if all of my time behind the camera is keeping me separate from what it is I'm trying to capture.  I want to remember the good times, the laughs, how little my children were...but when they look back at the pictures I've captured of their lives...of our lives, will they wonder where I am?  It makes me sad to think that they may, at some point in their lives, wonder if I was present.  I always put the camera down and participate in whatever we're doing, but when they look back at pictures to help trigger those memories...I'm not there.  I feel strongly that it is important to capture our lives, I just wish I was able to be a part of the moment that I'm capturing.  Does that make any sense?  Does anyone else feel like this?  Do you have a suggestion/solution, because I'm all ears!   

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

pumpkin patch...

We headed out to the pumpkin patch with the kids again this year (it is sort of becoming a tradition and I love it).  See I'm not a huge Halloween person (I know, I know).  It is fun to get the kids costumes, but I don't look forward to it...they are expensive, and it is hard to find a costume that everyone can agree on...plus have you seen the girl's costumes??  They get shorter and skimpier every year...why in the world do I want my 5 year old to dress like that? Anyway, I'm not a Halloween person, I wasn't even as a kid, of course trick-or-treating was fun and I enjoyed the candy, but it just isn't my holiday.  I do however love fall and all things associated with fall...the changing leaves, pumpkins, the cool air.  Fall is my favorite season.  All of these things make me love the pumpkin patch.  This year Brian and Mary met up with us at our favorite pumpkin farm.  The kids are getting old enough that they have started to love going on rides and we even went on our first hayride!  We all had a great time and it was a beautiful day (although a little chillly).  We were so glad that Brian and Mary came along with us!