Sunday, April 28, 2013

Simple Saturday

Today was a very laid back Saturday... very simple. There was nothing on the agenda, no plans to adhere to... it was wonderful. Okay, well, it started off pretty rocky. Cranky kids, cranky parents. Fortunately some time-outs (for kids AND parents) worked their magic and by 10am the attitude shifted and thus the great day began.

The kids helped Derek tinker with the mower. Speaking of attitude problems-- this machine is no exception.

We spent a good portion of the morning cleaning the house. I know I'm getting old and boring when I am sooooo glad to have some time to clean up! We did take a quick "tattattoo" break.

For lunch, we went out with Great Grandpa, Grandpa Forrest, and Grandma Linda for Chinese. Derek left to work at a wedding around 4:00. (side note: my husband works three different jobs in the course of most months all so I can work jobs that I don't get paid to do... school, intern, SAHM. If that's not husband of the year, I don't know what is!)

I was SO glad when Mom called out of the blue and said she wanted to come visit! We enjoyed a Girls Night Out (Jackson was with his other grandparents). After Belle went to bed, Mom and I played a game of Rack-o. I bought it at a garage sale before Jackson was even born and never played it until tonight! It was fun. Derek will be thrilled when I make him play with me. 

Mom left after she lost the game was over around 9ish and it's been completely silent in the house ever since. I don't even remember the last time I spent time alone all by myself. I am a total extrovert; I draw my energy from socializing with people. I love spending time with Derek and the kids after work and school. But sitting in total quiet for the past three and a half hours has been wonderful. Not so wonderful that I want to make it a habit for Saturday nights, but it really was a nice night-- just what I needed before my next two weeks is filled with lots of end-of-the-semester schoolwork coming up along many busy weekends ahead. 

I hope your weekend was just as relaxing and refreshing!


Monday, April 22, 2013


Derek and I have celebrated birthdays recently and we've both turned 29-- the last year of our 20s! How did we get to be so old?! Derek's birthday was in March and mine was just yesterday.

I had class the night of Derek's birthday, so we celebrated a day early. We went to Oklahoma Joe's for dinner and just had cake as a family. It was a simple celebration, but it was a nice relaxing night as a family!

It was for the best that we didn't do a big party. Jackson helped make a from-the-box-cake early in the afternoon, but then I forgot to take it out of the oven.... so it was burnt to a crisp. Knowing Jackson would be devastated that his cake didn't turn out okay, I rushed to make one during nap time, only I had to make it from scratch. It wasn't burnt, but it was pretty disgusting... 

Derek really wanted some technical nerdy stuff and so he bought it all himself. I wanted the kids to wrap something up for him, so we bought him Wreck-It Ralph. Of course, it was mostly for the kids, but Derek enjoyed the movie when we watched it at the theater.

My birthday was yesterday, but my first celebration was a few weeks ago when Mom took me to see the Mary Poppins musical! This was the movie that I watched over and over when I was a little girl and it was so neat to see it live! It is an excellent show and a great night out with Mom!

I began my birthday weekend in tears as I left class early to get a last minute check it with the oral surgeon. Apparently, I developed what is called a "dry socket" and it was terribly painful. However, through the help of a topical treatment and narcotics I managed the pain enough to have a great weekend! I mean, weekend birthdays are rare and it's important to make them count!

Despite all of the cold and yucky weather lately (and snow projected tomorrow!), the weather this weekend was great! We ventured to the zoo in the afternoon after naps, and then Derek and I had a wonderful date night-- dinner, good conversation, and a movie at my favorite theater with recliners as seats! Oh man, it is sooooo comfy!

Jackson was so excited it was my birthday and he enjoyed telling everyone about it, which ended up getting me a delicious cinnamon roll for dessert at one of my favorite local BBQ places. We napped all afternoon, went back to church, and then spent the rest of the evening outside. It was a perfect day! 

Oh, and for my birthday I got tickets to see the Goo Goo Dolls in concert!!!!!!! I've only been wanting to go to a Goo Goo Dolls concert, since like, I was 15 and would listen to Iris on repeat. I am beyond excited, if you can't tell!

We are totally looking forward to see what this year has in store. For one, I am graduating in just a few months with my Master's degree. WOO HOO!!! And then secondly, Derek is starting grad school NEXT WEEK. Life is about to get even MORE crazy, but we are ready. Maybe we'll actually get our basement finished and maybe I can convince my hubby that we need another baby. I mean, time is not on our side-- we're getting old! ;) 


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Look how fat you are!

Yes, those are the exact words Jackson said to me as he showed me the picture he drew of us.

"Look Mom, I drew a picture and we're holding hands! Look how fat you are!!"

(he indicated that I'm the one on the left)

I honestly didn't know what to say other than, "Thanks so much, sweetie! I love it!" My sister-in-law suggested that maybe he meant "tall" and so I think I'll stick with that. At least we're holding hands! 

He also middle-named me last night-- "Mommy Marie!" :)

This morning, Jackson woke up the sun and he crawled into our bed. He is such an excellent cuddler that I was looking forward to some snuggles... but he clearly wasn't going back to sleep. There were at least 3,000 words spoken from his mouth before 7 am. His thought process was all over the place and he just kept talking and talking (with the occasional, "mmhhmm" as I longingly hoped to get more sleep).  His topics ranged between...
I like soft carrots. Mom, can we make all carrots soft today?
What would happen if we did the INSIDE of the puzzle first?! Wouldn't that be silly??
... and he kept going. I told myself to enjoy it as I know that when the teenage years come our way, I'm going to wish he'd even say ten words to me in a single day.

One thing Jackson did say this morning was his Bible verse that we've been working on all week. (How awesome is the Lord Most High! Psalm 47:2). He can even tell the story of how God performed an AWESOME miracle when he parted the sea for the Israelites to escape the Egyptians. Earlier this week, he was asking about the story.

Did the sea go back together after they got to other side? (Yes.) Did the Egyptians get to the other side too (No.) Did the Egyptians say, "Aww, man?" (Well maybe, or something like that....).
There's hardly ever a dull moment in our house! I like it that way. :)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The ABCDEFG song

If there is any one thing that I hear from friends, family, and even strangers about Belle (aside that she looks like a spitting image of me) it is how amazed they all are with how well she talks. Even her pediatrician at her well-child check up mentioned that she talks more like a three year old rather than the two year old that she is.

Belle loves to sing and she often breaks out in songs that I had no idea she even knew. I love listening to her sing. She can sing a ton of songs, but if you just say, "Belle, can you sing me a song?", she'll start singing the ABC's-- her version anyway. These unique characteristics are present every time she sings the song. It goes:

A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K- "ELMO-P" Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X....
T-U-V-W-X... T-U-V-W-X 

Depending on the day, she can get stuck in the T-U-V-W-X cycle for a dozen times before moving on. And then she ends:

Now I know my ABCDEFG's next time won't you sing with me.

It's adorable and she's so consistent! She was singing the other day in the car and so I tried to capture it. Turns out, I captured a great shot of her personality and eventually, she cooperated and partially cooperated. 

Belle's two year old stats (or, 2 years + 2 months): Her weight was 50% and her height was 22%. Shorty! She didn't cry too much when she got her shot, but she made sure the nurse was aware of her displeasure with her pouty lip and evil glare. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Three adventures, one wonderful weekend

This last weekend was absolutely wonderful! Our family was spread out across three different places, so there are three stories to tell!

I had a conference in Jefferson City and was going to travel alone, but when Jackson got invited to go on a trip, I asked my parents if Belle could stay with them, so Derek and I enjoyed a weekend getaway! The annual conference of the American Counseling Association of Missouri was this weekend and not only did I attend, I lead a presentation in one of the breakout sessions. What an experience! I was nervous and excited; I mean, I'm a grad student talking in front of seasoned professionals. I had so much fun and it went really well. And seriously, who knew I could talk for a solid 90 minutes?! (no comment Mom and Dad). It really helped that I feel passionately about my topic and am convinced that it's a message that needs to be heard. The topic: How military psychology relates to your civilian counseling career. Want to know more? Just ask. :)

After the conference, Derek and I had the laziest, most wonderful weekends. We ventured out to explore the beauty of Jefferson City and the Missouri Capitol Building, but we also took naps, watch several shows/movies in bed, and we event went shopping. Oh, it was delightful and much needed!

Jackson went on a much anticipated vacation with Grandma Linda, Grandpa Forrest, and cousin Gabe to Nebraska. They ventured to the Strategic Air & Space Museum and the Omaha Zoo among other parks and playthings. Jackson and Gabe love spending time together and when together, their energy multiplies by like, a zillion. :)

Though Jackson and Gabe never got the chance to meet Grandpa Clarence (he passed away just a few months after our wedding), it was special for Forrest to be able to teach the boys about the Strategic Air Command in wich Grandpa served. 

Jackson got to hold a butterfly!!! Can you believe he was still enough for this to even happen!?! He thought it was pretty cool.

... but not the coolest part of the zoo. That memory belongs to some sort of buffalo-thing that pooped while they passed by in the train. He was cracking up just telling me about it. Oh, boys.... 

And Belle, she stayed with my parents and she was SO thrilled when I told her she was going to Grammy and Papa's. She told Ms Beth, "I gonna go see Papa Johne!" And when she said his name, her voice jumped like three octaves. And in fact, when we met mom to pick her up on Sunday, after giving me a welcome hug, Belle leaned back over to Mom and asked to go back home with her. 

On Saturday, I received this text from Dad. He was trying to install cabinets and Belle wasn't being all that great of a helper. 

And this is a text from Mom later that afternoon. Belle was hanging out with Aunt Ashley and Molly chowing down on Cheez-its. Practically heaven on earth for both Ash and Belle. 

This truly was a great weekend. Everyone had lots of fun! And Sunday evening was just as great when we all came together and played! I love my little family and we are just so blessed to be surrounded by wonderful family too! 

(My wonderful weekend did not carry over into the beginning of the week. I got my wisdom tooth, my one and only, removed today and I've been miserable since about 10am! Plus, my face is swollen and I look ridiculous. Derek has taken excellent care of me and the kiddos. Seriously, I am so blessed!)


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Finally, Easter pics!!

As it worked out, I was finally able to sort through our Easter pictures. Never mind the fact that it happened in class tonight, but at least it's done! I'm going home tonight and leaving my computer packed away. 

We had a wonderful Easter weekend. It was relaxing and we spent time with family. And it was really special that Jackson was able to explain what the real meaning of Easter is all about!! 

Gangnam Style?

It was a rainy, yucky day the day the church Easter Egg hunt was planned, so we hunted inside. Jackson woke up that morning and said, "These are my hunting clothes!!"

Belle and her friend Savannah!

This is Jackson's expression in EVERY family photo!!

This is incredibly funny because Ashley grew up with this expression on her face about 80% of the time. Belle actually looks a lot like Aunt Ashley, and clearly she has the attitude too!

She's so precious!!!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Walking in Sunshine

This past week and upcoming week are more jam-packed than normal. My time on the computer has been minimal and even then it was doing boring things like writing papers, case reports, and presentations. I have barely even logged into facebook and I still have a ton of super cute Easter pictures that I haven't even uploaded to my computer yet! I promise to share the cuteness when I get around to it!!

In the meantime, I wanted to throw a post together about our week. The weather has been really nice this week and we've enjoyed it a lot! Three times this week, I walked to either drop off or pick up the kids from Ms. Beth's house. It's a 1.5 mile walk round trip and barely takes 20 minutes.

I have loved walking for multiple reasons:
  • It's great exercise-- nothing like pushing an extra 65 pounds up a hill.
  • Sunshine and exercise is good for the brain and it helps me focus better for all my school and intern work! 
  • Quality time with the kids-- We clearly live very close to our daycare. It's a very short drive home before we get busy with chores/dinner/activities at the house. So, the 10 minute walk home is great conversation time! Plus, sometimes we stop at the park across the street. (Have I ever mentioned how much we love the location of our house?! It's amazing. We walk to church and the grocery store sometimes too!)
  • I enjoy the slower pace and the break it allows from my very busy "go, go, go" life right now. Instead of zooming past houses in the van, Jackson is noticing house numbers. We can see buds blooming on trees and the flowers breaking through the ground. It's wonderful.
The only downside is the weird looks that I get when I walk one way with no kids in the stroller. I've considered putting a "I'm going to pick up my kids" sign because it does feel so strange to push a stroller with no kiddos. Plus, one time a lady actually asked. My neighbors will either get used to me walking by and know that I am either just dropped them off/am going to pick the up... or be convinced that I'm a crazy lady. Which may or may not be accurate regardless of the stroller situation. :)

Have you been enjoying the sunshine?



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