Sunday, March 30, 2014

Derek turned THIRTY!

On Wednesday of this week, Derek turned 30. Bring on the AARP flyers. You know how I feel about birthday surveys, but I knew better than to ask Derek to participate. This week was such a crazy week because I started a new job and then ended up sick. Our entire routine was flipped upside down and backwards, so unfortunately, I didn't get to celebrate his birthday as "big" as I'd hoped, but truth be told, Derek probably prefers it this way. I just love celebrating birthdays.

We went out to Oklahoma Joe's BBQ for dinner! Of course, it was delicious.

After dinner, Derek wanted to visit the music store and who am I to deny his birthday request. Clearly, Derek was in heaven. The store greeter did request that he not drool on the instruments.

Derek picked out a new surround sound system for the basement for his gift and after he got it all set up, we watched the Friends episode: The One Where They All Turn Thirty!

I took the kids to pick out a gift on Thursday. I asked for their input. Belle: Hugs! Jackson: A new car! They each picked out a new shirt. I figured they'd each feel special whenever they see Daddy wearing a shirt they picked. Belle picked out a "Captain 'Merica" shirt and Jackson picked a Kansas City Royals shirt. We had plans to go out to get individual little ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen that night, but I was just too sick to barely get out of bed, so we never actually celebrated with cake or ice cream. Maybe we can do it this week or next!

Derek had a group of guys over on Friday night to play poker and watch action movies with his new surround sound, which was the perfect opportunity to venture up to my parents for the evening! I know it's shocking, but Derek didn't take any photos while he was hanging out with the guys. Lame!

I have just a little over three weeks to tease Derek about being old before I join the ranks of thirty myself. Happy Birthday, old man! Love you!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We're so excited... and just can't hide it!

We're so excited... and just can't hide it!

Quite literally, I cannot hide it! It's been a challenge over the last several weeks (hello, sweatshirts!). I started a new job yesterday (!!!!) so now that I have secured employment, I finally felt comfortable sharing! It goes without saying, but we are so very excited. 

I am 14 weeks and am due in September! I'll be back with more news soon!

Linking up: 
The Life Of Faith


Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

The weather has continued to stay pretty nice this week and we've been outside most every day. Last night, we grilled burgers for dinner and ate outside. Sitting down at the table, I noticed Belle's face-- covered with dirt! I couldn't help but laugh.

It's been nice that as the kids have gotten older they have started playing together. It really does make my job easier. But at the same time, it makes it so much harder. Sibling fighting has become the bane of my existence. Mis an overly sensitive little girl with an obnoxious big brother who irritates her on purpose. Anyone have secrets to keeping the fighting at bay?!?

So I mentioned that I sprained my ankle last weekend. I spent a few days on crutches (when I haven't been planted on the couch) and have managed a slow walk on my own. The swelling has gone down though the bruising is much worse. Our pantry was bare so I ventured to the grocery store yesterday and I'm pretty sure that was a mistake. That was apparently too much walking and I'm in a bit more pain today. I really, really, REALLY want to be able to run my 5k next week and I'm just not sure I'll be able to make it happen! I'm so sad.

Today is my Dad's birthday (Happy birthday Dad!) and my sister has come home from school to visit! I'd like to point out that this is her first visit home this semester and the first time we've seen her since Christmas. Back when I was in school, I had two little sisters who used to get upset that I didn't come home often enough, even though I came home far more often than they do. Seems a little unfair. I just thought I'd mention it!

Derek and I are going to see Veronica Mars tonight!! I am so excited. The movie has been out for a week and we've waited to go with other fans of the show so we can share in the excitement! The show was on TV for three seasons before it was dropped... and the show ended in a big cliff hanger! I've been waiting to know what has happened since 2008!

I'm linking up with these ladies for 5 on Friday today! Happy Friday everyone!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Working for the Weekend

Derek has been at his new job now and is really liking it and I'm home with my kids and nephews, which is of course a blessing, so when I say we work for the weekends it's not that we don't like our jobs-- we just really like our weekends! :) We especially love the weekends after Derek's army weekend because we have two weeks worth of unwinding to do... and that's precisely what we did this weekend!

The weather was beautiful on Friday and the kids and I started yardwork early to cut back on what we'd need to do later. For the first time, the kids contributions were actually helpful! When Derek got home from work on Friday night, we decided to go out to eat-- and we ate out on the patio! It was a perfect evening out! 

Saturday morning, we headed out to the zoo for super hero day! I know I'm pretty biased, but Jackson and Belle were so cute! They were turning heads all over. There were plenty of cute super heroes keeping the zoo safe that day!

The conversation right before this photo:

Captain America: Who's your favorite hero?
Jackson (dressed as batman): Iron Man!
Captain America: Oh, bummer...

Jackson asked Captain America how he makes his shield always come back. Captain America had a great response-- "Well, lots of practice! Just like you have all of your batarangs that always come back!" And that is how Jackson knows these were REAL super heroes!

Jackson said "he forgot" to smile with Iron Man, which is ironic because he just told Captain America that Iron Man was his favorite. Even though I didn't capture a smile, Jackson did thing he was pretty cool.  Belle was really excited to see the superheroes until we actually met them.

Gearing up for our 5k in just two weeks, my sister-in-law and I went running on Saturday afternoon trying to do more outside running than treadmill running. Less than half a mile in, I somehow fell and sprained my ankle-- ouch. Mostly, I was worried about missing my 5k! I mean, when I started running in December, I couldn't even run one mile and it wasn't pretty! I obviously won't be breaking any records, but I want to compete just to know I can run the entire thing. I've been under the good care of my brother-in-law and the internet. Lots of icing, elevating, compressing, etc. Should be good in a few days. 

We still had fun stuff planned for Saturday night, so I didn't let my agonizing pain ankle mishap get in the way! Derek's whole side of the family planned to meet at our house to walk to the parade downtown. Everyone else walked while Derek drove me the half mile for curbside service. It was a fun parade-- but especially that we got to enjoy it with the whole family!

After the parade, we all ventured out to Chili's for dinner to celebrate Mary's birthday. For being a large group, our service was fantastic! Everyone had a great time being all together. This pic is blurry, but it's all of us-- Derek's parents, his brother and his family, our family, and great grandpa! 

And the birthday girl enjoyed some ice cream! I was too stuffed to be jealous. :)

Today has been less exciting. Poor Derek has been running this ship around here and he's exhausted. Belle was up in the middle of the night and both kids had accidents. His parents came over this afternoon and Linda helped start laundry and keep up with dishes and stuff all while I've just been on my hiney in different locations in the house. I'd be more fun if it wasn't painful. A friend loaned us some crutches, so I can finally do some things on my own without needed Derek for every little thing!

And this is how a twist of events can lead a man to look forward to going to work tomorrow morning! Waiting for the work week, perhaps? :)


Friday, March 14, 2014

A-Z Book Survey

Several weeks ago, I came across this book survey on a few blogs (My So-Called Chaos and Wild Blue Yonder and I thought it'd be fun to do myself! Today, Kelly from Kelly's Korner is having a reading link-up and so I thought it'd a perfect day to share! 

A: Author you've read the most books by: Meg Cabot, for sure! 

B: Best Sequel Ever: Hhm... I am a big fan of book series, so I am often a fan of sequels! The best, maybe the 3rd book in the Princess Diaries series Princess in Love, by Meg Cabot (of course!). 

C: Currently Reading: Nothing... GASP! I need to go pick a new book from the library!

D: Drink of Choice While Reading:  I don't really have a drink. Mostly because I want to be laying down. Maybe a Coke?

E: E-Reader or Physical Book?  I do love having a physical book, but I really love the convenience of an e-reader. I borrow books from the library instantaneously and no late fines! 

F: Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School: I'd like to say Four from Divergent. But who knows, I probably would have dated Ron Weasley or something. 

G: Glad You Gave This Book a Chance: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins. A friend brought the book series to me and said "READ THESE!". They sat on the shelf for months and months because the premise sounded awful! 

H: Hidden Gem Book: Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle. I stumbled across a free promotion for this book one afternoon (another reason I love e-readers!) I wasn't sure what to expect! It's a fun little book by a mom-blogger and was such a great read about find the glimpse of God in the most mundane or super silly parts of motherhood. She has another book that I want to read!

I: Important Moment in Your Reading Life: I'm going to go with reading The Outsiders for the second time in 6th grade. Over Christmas break of my 6th grade year, my family moved from Cleveland to St. Louis. The curriculum of the second semester in St. Louis (in every subject) was a repeat of what I had already done first semester in Cleveland. It was pretty boring and incredibly easy. But, when it came time to read The Outsider's a second time, I really enjoyed it. I wasn't reading to fill out worksheets or to contribute to class discussions (I already knew the answers!) so I really just read it for fun and I focused on the things I liked about the book!

J: Just Finished: God’s of Guilt by Michael Connelley. It’s the 5th book in the Lincoln Lawyer series. It’s a GREAT series!)

K: Kinds of Books You Wont Read: Romance Novels. No thanks! Also anything by Nicholas Sparks. Way too sappy.

L: Longest Book You've Ever Read: Without a doubt, the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). I have actually read the book in it's entirety.  As for fiction, I have no idea. The Harry Potter books got pretty long at the end of the series, so that's my best guess. 

M: Major Book Hangover Because Of: Every series I have ever read.

N: Number of Book Cases You Own: I rarely ever purchase books. We are avid library users! We do have one bookcase in Derek's office and it's pretty packed full. 

O: One book you have read multiple times: The Outsiders. I have read the book multiple times, even outside of 6th grade. :) I just love the story! 

P: Preferred place to read: Anywhere quiet and I can read uninterrupted. I'm not picky. I do love a comfy chair or being curled up in bed. 

Q: Quote That Inspires You From a Book You've Read:
 “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

R: Reading Regret: Every attempt I have made in trying to read Pride and Prejudice. I can't keep track of the characters. I get bored to death and end up having to get the movie from the library to figure out the point. 

S: Series You Started But Still Need to Finish (All Books Are Out): , I am pretty obsessive committed to finishing a series once I start, so if the sequels are out, I’ve already read them (or am on the waiting list at the library to receive them). 

T: Three of your Favorite Books: So hard! I feel like I have a ton of favorites across different genres... but if I have to narrow it down: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Size 12 is not Fat by Meg Cabot, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

U: Unapologetic Fangirl For: Young Adult fiction and celebrity memoirs

V: Very Excited for This Release More Than Others:  I don't really keep up with forthcoming books unless it's by accident. And by accident, last week I happened to read that JK Rowling is coming out with a sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling (under the Robert Galbraith pen name) and I'm pretty excited about that!

W: Worst Bookish Habits: After a really good book, sometimes I get in such a book rut because I just know that anything I read next won't be as good. So often, I have to pick something COMPLETELY different, so I don't try to compare. Other times, I might go a month (or more!) without picking up a book!

X: X Marks the Spot, Start at the Top of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book: Turns out, the 27th book is We Are a Part of History: The Story of the Orphan Trains by Michael Patrick, Evelyn Trickel, and Evelyn Sheets. It's a copy of the book my grandma co-authored! (She's the one in the middle!)

Y: Your Latest Book Purchase: Do book fines count? :) Like I mentioned earlier, I rarely purchase books. I am way too cheap and I'm not a big fan or rereading so I don't see much of the point. However, I did buy Divergent because it was a book club book and I couldn't wait! It was only $3 for the ebook, so it didn't seem too bad. 

Z: Zzzz-Snatcher Book-(The last book that kept you up way too late): I don’t miss too much sleep to read a book. I really value my sleep! Ha. I did set my kids in front of the TV so I could finish Divergent and not have to stay up too late. :)

I need another good book to read. What are some must-reads?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Taste of Spring Weather

I'm pretty sure I've made my opinion known about our ridiculously cold and miserable this winter has been. But this weekend, things started to turn around and we enjoyed some fabulous 70* temps. The kids are filthy and their laundry smells like sweaty feet... but it's been wonderful (even for the fact that I didn't have to have yet another conversation about why shorts weren't acceptable to play outside for a day or two!)

We were getting so antsy to be outside that we picnicked last week, even if it was in our winter coats! (It was 50* and their little noses were red, but they didn't care!)

The warmth crept in at the end of last week and the kids all enjoyed when Grandma Linda came over for a walk during her lunch break!

Monday is when the amazing-ness arrived. Honest to goodness, REAL shorts weather!! Can you tell we're excited??

The kids were outside from after naps until bed time-- we even ate dinner outside! It's time for me to add some grilling recipes into our menu. 

We spent the weekend up with my parents while Derek was on army duty and we had a great time. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring Minnie back home with us and we had a very, VERY sad little girl. Yesterday, my dad met us on his lunch break so we only had two bedtimes without it. We happened to meet up at the zoo exit and I figured we could just pop in for about an hour or so since it was so nice! The kids had a blast. 

It was  a very impromptu trip, so I didn't have snacks or a stroller! We only visited the polar bear and the penguins.

But they didn't disappoint (and really, those are the best exhibits the zoo has to offer!) 

We were able to get a glimpse of several animals while we rode the train and the tram, so everyone was happy! They all came home and took good naps so would be ready to play outside again! We made plans to meet up with friends at the park last night. I left the house at 6pm and it was 77*. We played outside for a little bit, but the cold front was coming in quick! Our friends invited us over so we played more inside. When we headed home at 7:20, it was 48*. Didn't take long to cool off, but the warm days were a great reminder that spring is just around the corner!! 

It's going to take some getting used to giving the kids a bath every single night and their laundry being covered in actual dirt... but they have been sleeping like champs! 


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Roller coasters

Roller coasters are Jackson's favorite thing to draw. Aside from drawing people, it's the only thing he'll draw... and he only draws people when prompted, so mostly it's just roller coasters. I'm pretty sure that every paper he has brought home from pre-school that involves markers has been roller coaster-fied. 

Lots and lots of roller coasters. 

A colorful roller coaster!

An extra large roller coaster!

I actually love looking in his backpack because every once in awhile, he brings home something he has made for me! I have been saving them (well, most, anyway... there was an envelope of cut up straws that I didn't keep around.) and I got a few out today and I just chuckled!

Roller coaster, roller coaster, roller coaster!

My favorite is the one on the left with the smiley face stickers! Kind of looks like passengers having a fun time!

Truthfully, I have thrown so many roller coasters drawings away without much thought, because truthfully, they aren't much more than scribbles! But I'm so glad I ended up finding several around the house so I could snap a few pics because it's something he has been so consistent with for so long! Who knows, maybe he'll grow up and be an engineer!



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