Tuesday, November 29, 2011

so i'm a couple behind...

Sorry I've been MIA for the last couple days.  I've been busy...getting a job!  Yes, on Thursday I'll be re-entering the land of the employed full time for the first time in 3 years.  I'm excited and nervous and a little sad.  Excited because adult interaction and another income...YAY!  Nervous because I have to get up and get dressed everyday..no more days of being in yoga pants and t-shirts...boo! And sad because tomorrow is my last day at home with the kids.  This will be the first time that Bryce has been taken care of by anyone but me on a regular full-time basis.  I will miss being at home with him and Brianna, but it is certainly time for me to get back out there.  We're running around trying to figure out daycare, as the place we thought he would go doesn't have any openings now.  There is a daycare right next door to my work so we are checking that out on Thursday night and if all goes well he will be starting there on Monday.  Cross your fingers!  Brianna is super excited about starting the latchkey program at Aquin where she will go before and after school.  Mostly because she'll get to play with her friends longer in the afternoon.  I know it will definitely be an adjustment for all of us but I'm really hoping it goes as smooth as possible.  Besides the craziness of starting a job and finding daycare...Bryce's birthday is on Saturday and we're having a little party...so I have to get all of that ready as well.  There is just not enough time this week!  But I know we'll get through it and it'll all be OK.  I'm looking forward to this new exciting chapter in my life...now if only we could sell that darn house!  Hopefully this job is the first of many good things happening to our family!  Much love, blogland!  Thanks for continuing to come back to read my ramblings...it means more to me than you know!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

finding our normal...

Today was such a great day.  We played games, napped, and watched movies together.  It isn't often anymore that we are able to enjoy days like this...where it is just the four of us.  Amongst all the family fun I cooked twice and did laundry.  It was such an ordinary normal day...but it was wonderful today.  It didn't feel ordinary or normal.  It felt special and rare.  Maybe this is one of the lessons I have to learn during this whole process.  Being together is such a blessing, I need to cherish this time we have together, even if some of it is spent doing laundry and cooking.  I spent my day feeling appreciative, loved and very very blessed.  It was a good day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

black friday...

(OK so I'm cheating a little bit and actually writing this on Saturday. )

Did you spend Black Friday shopping?  I sure did, but I did it from the comfort of a chair in my pjs.  I made quite the little dent in my shopping list yesterday and I found some great deals and saved a bunch of money and I didn't have to stand in line once!  I stuck to my budget, got what I wanted and am pretty happy with my progress.  I even got our Christmas cards ordered yesterday and they are in my grimy little hands ready for me to get addressed and mailed.  I just make so much more progress on my shopping when I do it from my computer, as I said before it is easier to stay within my budget and I can jump around to find the best deals without driving all over town.  Plus I'm giving the UPS guy job security right? :)  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family and/or friends!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

from my turkeys to yours...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a post between cooking and baking...

Just wanted to pop on here to do my blog post for the day while I'm in between recipes!  Mashed potatoes are done! Still have dessert and scalloped potatoes left though.  It is a good thing I like being in the kitchen! It has been a crazy day trying to get everything put together for our trip to Illinois but we made it and I would really like nothing more than to curl up with my book or even just go to sleep.  But I will be glad I got everything done tonight once it is done so I'll just push on through!  I should get back to it, the longer I sit here the harder it is to get started again.  Oh, one piece of good news today...Bryce made the whole trip without a pull-up on!  We did have to stop once to go to the bathroom, but it was pretty good for our first attempt.  I'm hoping this pack of pull-ups I bought on Monday will be my last!
Happy cooking and baking to those of you out there preparing for tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

i really should be sleeping...

But, I just finished drinking some caffeine and even though I am exhausted I know I won't be able to sleep (good thing I have some new books to keep me occupied during my insomnia!).  I really should try to get some sleep, tomorrow will be crazy!  Brianna gets out of school early (which is a very good thing since we're heading back to Illinois tomorrow afternoon) but it seems like there just isn't enough time to get things done when I have to pick her up at one.  Thankfully I got laundry and my work done today so tomorrow I really just need to pack and pick up some stuff.  I'm going to try to con my mother-in-law into taking some photos of us over the weekend so that I can possibly get our Christmas cards ordered (can't really beat Sam's Club 100 cards for $15 plus they are ready in 24 hours).  I'm hoping for a pretty laid back weekend overall though just some good times with family.  Just what the doctor ordered!  I'm going to really try to remember to post while we are gone, but we'll see! I promise that I will still have 30 posts for the month of November!  :)  If you are traveling tomorrow, travel safely and enjoy your family and friends...they are what make everything worthwhile. 

Monday, November 21, 2011


I'm having a severe mental block on what to write about.  My life is pretty much consumed with the same things all the time these days and I'm sure you are tired of reading about them, because frankly I am tired of thinking and writing about them.  I've spent a good part of the day trying to come up with Christmas gifts for those on my list.  I usually am really good with this, I can figure out what someone wants and find a good price (usually) and I know it isn't about the gifts but one of the best things in the world is watching someone open something you put a lot of thought and care into, knowing that they will love it because you know them.  This year...I am blocked.  I don't even know what to get my own kids.  I'm hoping the holiday spirit overtakes me soon, because it just isn't hitting me thus far.  Plus, I can't even comprehend that my baby is turning 3 in only 12 days.  So, what is going on with you guys these days?  Anything you want to discuss or know about?  Throw out some suggestions so I can stop  boring you with my pointless rambling!  For now I will leave you with this question...what is the best Christmas gift you've ever received?  For me I guess it would be my engagement ring.  :)  But after that it would probably be my Flip, I love being able to quickly and easily record fun things!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

sunday smiles...

These four kids crack me up!

This next picture pretty much summarizes this saying I found recently.

So there's this boy. He kind of stole my heart. He calls me "mom"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

birthday boy...

The birthday boy with his cake.  He is the best 6 year old boy ever!

Friday, November 18, 2011

missouri state of mind...

We made it to Missouri about 8pm.  I worked on Braden's cake when we got here and just finished a little bit ago.  Now it is time to get the kiddos to bed (yes they are ALL still up at 11pm) and get some sleep myself.  I'm guessing none of them will want to sleep in tomorrow morning!  I'm pretty happy with the way Braden's cake turned out.  He asked for a Mario DS cake...and that is what I tried to give him!  Night all...I'll be back tomorrow hopefully with a couple more pictures (if I can steal them from Angie or mom since my camera is still broken). But here is my cell phone picture of Braden's birthday cake!

PS.  Happy Birthday Grandma!  Hope it was a great one!  See you tomorrow!! Love you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

he's here...

Bob has arrived safely in Iowa (for the weekend at least).  I'm so glad he is here even though we really didn't get a chance to talk.  It is just nice having him here.  I have a big list for tomorrow that I have to tackle and get done before it is time to pick Brianna up from school...so I should probably get to bed.  Hopefully none of it will actually take me that long tomorrow.  Can't wait to see Angie, Nick and the boys tomorrow night!!  I hope Braden's cake turns out as good as I picture it in my head!  I'm sure I'll post a picture or two Saturday night!  Yay!  I haven't made a cake in a while, and I'm excited to make his birthday cake.  Then I need to get into gear and start planning the little man's 3rd birthday!  (ugh...it hurts my heart a little that my baby is going to be 3!).  OK kiddos, I'm heading to bed...all four of us under one roof...I think I'll sleep well tonight!  Much love!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

still have a headache...still have nothing to say...

Still have this headache I can't quite kick.  Booo!  And I seriously have nothing to talk about today, I did laundry and made some chocolate mustaches for Braden's birthday party this weekend.  They didn't turn out too bad, but I still have a few more to make.  That was pretty much the extent of my day, other than wrangling the kids who seem to be a little crazy this week (or else my patience is running really thin..probably both).  Bob will be here tomorrow night and we can't wait!  Bryce woke up from his nap today and looked so sad, I asked him what was wrong and he said "I'm just sad because I miss daddy"  It took me a while to pick my heart up off the ground.  If you could all just say an extra prayer or send a good thought or two our way so that this house will just sell so we can all be together again sooner rather than later, we'd really appreciate it.  I'm very thankful that we'll all be together this weekend and then again on Wednesday for Thanksgiving.  I think it will be just what we all need.  I'm off to bed peeps, maybe tomorrow will be headache free!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

my attempt to write something of substance...

I know I've been sort of "phoning in" this one post a day thing, but I don't have a lot to talk about or I'm too exhausted by the end of the day to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard if you will).  I'm at a loss for what to say, things are the same, no big news to share, no huge revelations or solving of great mysteries.  Our days are strangely ordinary, with the exception of missing Bob dearly.  We're doing OK, getting by, making plans...just not the plans we thought we'd be making by now.  I truly thought when we put our house on the market in February (yes it has really been that long) that by Christmas time we'd be settling into a new house enjoying this new chapter in our lives.  Now, that isn't to say things aren't going just fine, but we're still in the same holding pattern.  On the bright side, the kids are doing well, other than missing daddy.  They played outside until it was dark tonight.  I love that about living here, they have spent so much more time outside and they love it.  They were already talking about going sledding when it snows again.  They are keeping me going and keeping me focused on the good stuff.  Alright, now that everyone is finally asleep, I need to try to get some sleep myself to get rid of this headache that has been plaguing me all day.  Until tomorrow friends!

Monday, November 14, 2011

just a quick one tonight...

Before I forget and drop into bed, just a quick post. Angie asked me to make a rosary for her and tonight I finally got it done!  What do you think? (sorry for the not so great photo...so sleepy!)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

sunday funday...

Oh weekend...how fast you go. Today I was a busy little jewelry bee and got a bunch of stuff made to be delivered next weekend.  Brianna got to go along with her little friend Mya to hold her hand while she got her ears pierced (Mya not Brianna).  Brianna hasn't said she is ready to get hers pierced quite yet so we'll see how that changes in the next few months/years.  :)  Otherwise, it was just a typical Sunday...just ask Bryce and Papa Lester!

i forgot again...

Man...I forgot to post again.  We were gone all day yesterday and after I got the kids in bed, I read a little bit and then went to sleep myself.  The kids are both still sleeping and Bryce is currently trying to push me out of the bed.  Although, he did just crawl in here about 20 minutes ago, so that is a vast improvement on what has been going on lately.  I almost hate to say this out loud so as not to jinx myself...BUT he is almost entirely potty trained.  Thank goodness!  He still has pull-ups for at night, just can't seem to get that down, but otherwise he is good throughout the day.  Well, I have a lot of jewelry to make today so I should probably get at it.  Can I tell you a secret though...I really would love nothing better than to just curl up with my book!  It sort of reminds me of the Dan Brown books The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, if you are into those sorts of books you should check out The Guardian by Robbie Cheuvront and Erik Reed.  I'm about half way through and am really enjoying it.  With that, I will leave you with this picture of the kiddos from yesterday...pre-fighting!  (Sorry Grandma that you had to listen to the endless fighting and complaining yesterday!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

friday photos...

Some belated Halloween pictures.  Here are the pumpkins that we painted.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

trying to end on a good note...

I just erased the post I was going to put up.  It wasn't a happy post, but it was what I thought I needed to get out.  Well, after I wrote it down, I deleted it, determined not to put any negativity out into the world tonight.  Instead I'm going to focus on 3 very special people today.  Today, 3 people dear to me have their birthdays. 
The first, my Aunt Jean.  This is the woman who babysat me when I was little, who would only give me 1/2 a glass of milk when I was a kid (but believe me I now know why...kids spill EVERYTHING!) and who I've shared a few beers, laughter and some tears with over the years.  She is a good egg and I'm so glad she is a part of my family.  I know she'd always have my back and really what more could you want in a family member? 
The second, my dear friend Dawn.  Dawn and I met at Knox and I adore everything about her.  She is sweet, kind, funny, and the perfect balance of being a grown-up and yet having the heart of a child.  She always seems to know exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it and I know that I am a better person for knowing her.  She makes me want to be a better person, wife, mom and friend.  I am truly blessed to have a friend like her.
And last (but certainly not least)...Ian.  Ian is my cousin's little boy who only spent a short time on this earth.  He is the angel watching over our whole family and he has the best mommy, daddy and sister anyone could ask for.  I'm sure he is celebrating his birthday in heaven eating some M&Ms and Skittles with Papa Joe. 

Thanks you three for reminding me of just a few of the blessing I have in my life.  Love to you all!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

snow...oh no...

Today was the first snowstorm of the season.  We got a bunch of heavy wet snow in a very short period of time, it made for quite the mess!  While a good deal of it has melted already it is still leaving a mess behind.  The gravel was a muddy gross mess before the snow and it is about 100 times worse now.  It was a long drive into school this morning.  The 5 mile trip took us about 20 minutes.  I really want to like the snow, I do...but I HATE driving in it.  The kids got up this morning and were so excited about the snow.  I don't like that my first thought when I see snow is a negative one.  I miss being a kid where the winter meant late starts, snow days and playing in the snow.  Oh to be a kid again! :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

my great escape...

I love books and reading.  It is pretty much my favorite thing to do.  I have read a lot this year (like 110 books so far) I think part of the reason that I have devoured so many books is because it is my escape.  When my brain is idle I obsess over the house not being sold, money, not finding a full-time job yet and on and on.  Mindless TV sometimes can do the trick, but there is nothing better than getting lost in a book.  Reading is my trick to let go of all my stresses, it is the ultimate "me" time.  Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with friends and the kids, but when I'm alone I read.  As much as I love quiet time, I don't really like being alone.  Shopping is no fun by myself, and while sometimes I need a few hours where I just veg in front of the TV...I never feel guilty about spending spare time reading like I do when I waste time watching TV (that probably tells you the caliber of shows I watch that I feel guilty watching them).  Books are my great escape.  I love everything about the process from picking out the books at the library to seeing them stacked up next to my bed to watching my "to be read" pile grow smaller as my "read" pile gets bigger.  I love that my kids love the library.  While I don't love that my kids (ahem...Bryce) are hard on books, I love that they touch them and look at the pictures and make up their own stories.  I love that their books are used and don't look brand new.  I hope this love of mine sticks with them and becomes a love of their own.
I will admit when at Brianna's conferences last week my heart broke a little when she said reading was her least favorite part of school, we'll definitely have to work to change that! 
I'm so appreciative of my parents (especially mom) for instilling in me a love of reading. If you can believe it, I think she actually reads more than I do.
This is a completely random post that has no real point except that I have books on the brain and I'm trying to keep up with my one post a day so this is what you get today!
If anyone needs some book suggestions, let me know...I can share ones with you that I have really enjoyed this year! Anyone want to guess how many I'll have read by the end of 2011?  My goal was to make it to 100 but maybe I'll make it to 120! (an average of 10 books a month...wow...apparently I either need to sleep more or get another hobby! :))

Monday, November 07, 2011

am i the only one...

Do you all plan out your Christmas shopping?  I'm just wondering if I'm a little crazy and my frugalness (so totally a word) is becoming a problem, because I have spreadsheets.  I've started researching what each person on my list will be getting for Christmas, I search for the best deals, I use ebates if I shop online.  (If  you do a lot of shopping online ebates is totally worth your time to look into www.ebates.com and if you sign up...use me as a referral! :)).  I know exactly how much I'll be spending on each person on my list and I know exactly what I can/will get for that amount.  I like my money to go far.  And yes I know that Christmas isn't about gifts, but I personally get so much joy out of seeing someone love a gift I've picked out for them, it makes me happy and it makes them feel special.  Here is the thing with me...when I am shopping for gifts I am a total impulse buyer and if I don't have a plan I will totally blow my budget in no time.  Hence the reason I shop online, the pull to just get one more thing for this person or that person isn't quite as strong.  Inquiring minds want to know...do you do your Christmas shopping with a plan or do you just buy whatever strikes your fancy while you're shopping? 

(sorry for the completely random post, but I feel like time is moving so quickly these days and there isn't enough time to get everything done so I'm trying to get a jump on things!)

Sunday, November 06, 2011


So tired tonight so I'm going to start my week out with the reasons I feel so lucky.
  • a peaceful, quiet drive back to Iowa this evening
  • goodnight kisses from my babies
  • a sister to chat with on my drive home
  • a husband who listened to me ramble for an hour
  • the support and unconditional love of an amazing husband
  • an email that said exactly what I needed to hear from a dear sweet friend
  • faith that there are brighter days ahead
  • knowledge that even if the stormy days continue for a while...I am never alone in the storm
I hope you all feel as lucky as I do. 

This is what I'm keeping in mind this week...

"Faith in God includes faith in his timing."
"I'm not telling you it is going to be easy, I'm telling you it is going to be worth it"

Saturday, November 05, 2011

not much to say...

I figured I would get my post ready while I'm sitting here waiting for Bob to get back from dropping the kids off at Bob and Nancy's.  Silver lining of living apart...we get more date nights now than we did before! (Thanks Bob & Nancy!)  Before I get back to reading my book while I wait I thought I'd share with you some of the stuff I made for Brianna's class for their Halloween party.  As much as I've complained about being room  mom, it is actually pretty fun and I have an excuse to make this stuff.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend (they always go too fast don't they?)!
 owl cupcakes
 broomstick goodie bags
apple slice mouths
string cheese fingers

oh shoot...

Wow, 5 days in and I've already missed a post.  Darn it! I guess I'll just have to post twice today. I don't even really know what to write about.  So I guess lets go back to October and see what I've missed.  Brian & Mary's wedding!  I never shared any pictures, did I?  Well let's remedy that right now shall we?  It was a beautiful wedding and Bob and I had so much fun celebrating with them. Here are some pictures from the day.
 the happy couple (photo borrowed from Mary's mom, Diana)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

the post where i continue to talk about our unsold house...

(This is a very random post...I'm exhausted and this is the only thing I could think of on the 3 1/2 hour drive back to Illinois today...you've been warned.)

The weirdest part about living with my parents while Bob is still in our house is that when people ask my address, I honestly have to think about what to say.  I constantly wonder which address I should use.  My drivers license is still issued in Illinois and all our bills, etc still come to the house in Illinois, but I really live in Iowa now.  So all of Brianna's school stuff I have the Iowa address, and my resume has been updated to show the Iowa address, but when people ask me (like they did in the ER the other night) I have to stop and think about what the appropriate answer is.  It is just a strange situation when you have to really think about your address.  Who knew an address could be so complicated? :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

it may be a long month...

Day 2 and I'm already struggling to get my post done. Not a good sign for the rest of the month. I'm hoping this exercise in writing everyday will be a good outlet for me. I think it has been hard for me to write the last couple of months because there is all this stuff that is hard to discuss, and I guess part of me is worried that people will be upset that I'm complaining about things that in the scheme of things aren't that important, we are all healthy and relatively happy, we have a roof over our heads (two actually)I get all of that and believe me I am truly thankful for all of those things, but I'm struggling...this living apart thing is hard, harder than I thought it would be I think. I'm tired and I feel like I'm not being a good mom, wife, daughter, friend or employee. I feel like every day is a battle just to keep my head above water, and while I'm surrounded by people who love and support me, I feel like I'm failing them. I feel a little beat down and broken right now. I have faith that it will all turn around and someday I will look back at this time in my life and know that it made me stronger and shaped the person I am, but right now, in the thick of it it is hard to see the positive side. This is the right thing for us, in my heart I know that to be true, but I'm sort of wishing what was right didn't have to be so damn hard all the time. But as they say...this too shall pass.
This is a pretty "woe is me" post. I know all of this is hard on our entire family, please don't think I am that self-absorbed to think this is only hard on me, but it is my blog and from my point-of-view so this is what you get! :)
But given that this is a month to be thankful I would like to say thanks to my parents (both the ones I was born to and the ones who have treated me like their own since I met their son)...no words could ever adequately thank you for all that you do for us..for me. We could not do any of this without your love and support. You mean more to us than you could ever possibly know. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for everything.
And with that I'm going to work for a while. Goodnight Blogland!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

i'm baaaaaack...

Oh my it has been a while! I'm challenging myself to post every day during November...which may actually be a huge challenge since we will be on the road almost every weekend in November, but I'm going to give it a try. So, November started out with a bang, since early this morning (right about midnight) Bryce woke up with a terrible croupy-cough.  We took him outside to try to see if the cold air would help, gave him a nebulizer treatment, but nothing seemed to really help.  He sounded terrible and you could really see in his chest he was struggling with his breathing.  So we headed into the ER at 1am, got him some medicine and sat around waiting to see if he would regress.  He did fine so we were discharged about 3:30am and headed to get his prescription filled.  We got home about 4:15ish and the rest of the day was pretty much a wash.I did take Brianna's girl scout troop (well I guess they are actually my troop since I'm the leader) to an event tonight and I'm about ready for bed. 
November has been interesting so far...lets hope the rest of the month doesn't bring too many surprises...or at least only brings good surprises!
my sick little monkey boy