Friday, June 1, 2018

Prek Grad in the House!

My baby girl is a preschool grad.  How is this possible and how am I going to let go of her for 8 hours in a day?  How am I going to continue to send her off year after year now?  Let me stop with the questions because I know that answer, I just will.  Even if I cry while doing it.
 I of course had to decorate their little table congratulating our baby.  I made her a little sign that I may just use every year and take the exact same picture to look back on.  That would be cool to have at her high school graduation party.  Let's not get that far ahead of ourselves though.

 We got so lucky with her teacher and the teacher assistant.  Chloe adored them both and just seeing the way they interacted with Chloe, set me at ease early on and was able to leave her stress free.  I was in awe of just how far she came within such a little time.  And I was super proud at her graduation when her teacher announced she was the top reader.  She (me) read 310 books!

Here are some of my favorite memories from this year:
 
The night before her first day.  So exciting for us both!
The big day!
Teacher Appreciation Day.  This was one of my favorite moments because I was so happy to give back to her teachers because they played such a big role on Chloe's life so far.  I know Mrs. Tapp showed up everyday our of heart and it was not just a job for her, she is so appreciated by me.  Chloe also made them little books where she told them her favorite things about them and they LOVED them!
Hitting the 300 book club!  WOO HOO!
100 Days of School.  Chloe picked to do 100 of her favorite things and we put them on a shirt!
I know this was one of her favorites too.  She got to go to Build A Bear for reaching her goal of 300 books.

All these moments are so bittersweet.  I am so sad that the same girl who I cradled in my arms 5 years ago is the same little girl who now knows how to write her name.  It is so sweet though because I know she will do amazing things and I get to be there with her along the way.  I get to witness it and that is a blessing!

Dino Party for my Two Year Old

One thing is for sure, Mason hit the terrible twos way before his second birthday.  This dude is more than a handful and more than two, all I know is I don't have enough hands to keep up.  When he was a baby, he was the calmest and most content baby and looking back, I am sure he was plotting the whole time.  But he is the sweetest boy who loves his momma.  
We went over to a friend's house a while ago who also has a little boy and has all kinds of dinosaur toys and Mason had a hayday with them.  That was the start of his dino obsession.  The kid has the roar down pat.  Originally, I has planned to do a Taco Twosday party but Eric suggested we do a theme he actually liked and dinos were the winner.
I LOVE a theme so I started my Pinterest search.  I started off with a few things from Oriental Trading which has so many options to so many different themes and holidays and is also affordable.  That is how I decided on the colors: green, orange, blue, and browns.  I hit up the Dollar Tree of course.

 I had a blast doing the favor bags.  Chloe and I made salt dough dinosaur fossils which I wish I would have taken pictures of.  That was fun to do with my little girl.  We did dino fruit snacks, stickers, treats, and mini dinosaurs.


We had it at this place called We Rock the Spectrum which is actually the place we went on his actual birthday last year.  It is a really neat place.  They have a zipline, trampoline, rock wall, all kinds of swings, a playroom, and a lot of other cool stuff. 

On his actual birthday, we had lunch and took him to the park.  That was pretty much it.  He had no clue what was going on.  I always set up at their little table for birthdays and holidays and in his two years, he never fails to destroy.  I never learn though.  One day, we will appreciate it or maybe not!  He is a boy after all.


One thing I was surprised about was getting this last shot.  No, he was not smiling BUT he was still and I got a perfect shot of the Two balloon.  That never happens.  I am usually chasing him around the house and ended up with 20 blurry action shots.   Parties are stressful the day of so when it passes and we can just hang out and celebrate together, it is the best part.

Monday, February 26, 2018

10 Years Later

Ten years and two kids later and we are FINALLY engaged!  February 24th was the day and in true Eric fashion, he did it the day before his birthday.  I felt bad for about two seconds for stealing his shine but the sparkler on my hand quickly snapped me out of that!  Plus, it will help me remember the date because to be honest, it takes me at least 3 seconds to remember my kids year of birth when asked.

He did it in the most perfect way. 
 Backstory:  I lost my mom a year and a half ago and then her twin sister which is basically my second mother about six months ago.  For as long as I can remember, my aunt went to the same church and my mom went there frequently as well.  Without asking, the church supported us the whole way through.  They loved the twins and our family and we will be forever grateful for them.  Let me get back on track because I could go on and on.   The church has a memorial garden for cremation remains of church members and my mom and aunt's are together and were actually poured together at my aunt's funeral.  That is the exact place Eric proposed.  Typing this makes me emotional because at this time in my life, I could not think of a better place, not even the Eiffel Tower.  I am someone who believes they are with me at all times and I do not have to go to that place to visit them but just the symbolism of it all.  It was Eric's way of honoring their presence and that is something they smiled down on.  I am sure of it.




I never really cared or pushed Eric to propose but once we had Mason, it did bother me that I did not carry the same last name as him and my kids.  We are family no matter what though!  He def made up for it!




Saturday, December 23, 2017

Here Comes Santa Clause...

Christmas is coming in full force and I am not mad about it.  As much as it puts a dent in the funds coming in the house, it is so worth it especially having kids.  Seeing your kids get so excited not to mention being able to pull the "Santa's watching" card is as they say the most wonderful time of the year!  All the festivities and activities that lead up to Christmas Day really make it special to me.  Basically every weekend we try to do at least one thing involving Christmas and Chloe being the mini me she is, loves every bit of it.  So the first thing of the list was to see Santa.


To me, every kid should have a Santa pic where they're clearly terrified.  It is kind of like a hazing, you know since nothing comes free in life.  I remember taking Chloe, my first baby to see Santa for the first time and feeling bad that I wanted her first picture with Santa to be one where she was crying but then feeling so bad when she did but then feeling happy after we paid and saw the pictures we just paid for.  Twisted, right?  So, you can imagine how I felt when Mason did not cry on his first Santa pic last year, but this one above made up for it.  

Another festivity we have partook in was chasing Mason off from the tree.  We put up the tree within the first few days of December and literally the first day Mason pushed the tree completely over.  That was one of four times so far that this little midget knocked it over.  So, now we have a misshapen tree decorated only at the top with lights only at the bottom.  I had so many plans for Christmas tree pics but I have come to terms with the fact that this year's decor is not going to be ideal.  Within the first ten minutes of Mason waking up, he is throwing my cute Christmas throw pillow and throw blankets over the back of the couch.  It is a good thing though because it has never been anything special and it was our very first tree and about time for an upgrade for next year.  See below for the saddest tree you will ever see.


We have went to a light show, went to Winterfest a few times, saw Santa two times, among other things.  As fun as those things are, the reason for the season is what it is all about.  Out of all the wild stories that come out of The Bible (and there are some crazy ones), my favorite is the birth and story of Jesus Christ.  Like most people, I get caught up in wondering if we got enough presents for the kids and why the big dude in red gets all the credit but in the end, that stuff does not matter.  It is about the times spent with family and the love we feel and give.  In the end, isn't that what God wants us all to be about? 



Monday, December 18, 2017

Grief

As bad as it hurts, there is growth in grief.  It will hurt like nothing else you have experienced and it will bring you to a place you never thought you could go but it also teaches you a lesson and you never come out of it the same person you were before.  At least this has been my experience.

Every 15th of the month before my mind even comprehends what time of the month it is, I find myself getting sad or mad for the silliest things and I realize another month has gone by without two of my loved ones.  Once those emotions hit, I realize that it is that time again.  On November 15, 2016 I lost my mother and September 15, 2017, I lost my second mother who was my mother's twin.  That is how grief is.  One minute you think you are totally fine and then the next minute, you are in a ball hit with the most intense emotions.

I have had a couple people I love pass but this past year has been the first time I have had someone really close to me pass and it made me realize just how long term grief is.  I have come to terms with the fact that I will always grieve and people are uncomfortable with grief because there is nothing they can do so most likely, it is going to be lonely at times.  I will never stop missing my loved ones and the fact that I will most likely experience every emotion under the sun for my whole life when it comes to them.

I will have times where I am happy when I think about how my mom used to say, "Thank you, Jesus" after everything even a fart.  I will have times that I have gratitude that God gave me two women who would give you the shirt off their back.  I will experience anger and lash out over the littlest things.  I will have sadness that my children will not physically have a grandma here to spoil them.

But at the end of the day, I believe they are together.  My mom is free from cancer, pain, and heartache the world gave her and my aunt is free from being in and out of the hospital.  That to me is what I wish for them and more so how can I stay sad.  Shoot, I am jealous.  They do not have to deal with all the worldly problems.  

The whole experience forces you to really get to know yourself and for me it has been a struggle to be in the trenches of my own sorrow and  just be there.  It is a sad place to be but if you don't really feel the emotions, it will be a sadness I will stay in and never climb out of.  It is one thing to grieve and another thing to let it be an experience that changes you for the worse.  Don't get me wrong, I have had many nights I drink too much wine because I just plainly don't want to deal with it but the key is not getting stuck in that pattern and making that the new way of getting through the days.

There are so many lessons in losing someone especially a parent and what my mother would want is for me to come out of this better than I was before.  I am a firm believer that every single hardship in our lives can teach us something and God will pull you through.  There are so many times I look back of the last few years and wonder how the heck I got through it.  I remember taking my mom to chemo and then her being on hospice and then how many times my aunt was in and out of the hospital and even dying in front of me before the paramedics brought her back to life.  The only reason my family got through those moments are by the grace of God.  

  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The BIG One!

Somehow this child has been on this earth for a whole year.  It went by so fast but I can't remember life without him.

On his actual birthday, we took the kids to a kids gym with all kinds of swings, a zipline, trampoline, and lots of other fun activities.  They had a blast and Chloe even said it was better than the real park.  That is saying something because she is a park feen.
We celebrated his birthday that Sunday and went to an inside water park called Coco Keys here in Kansas City,  The kid loves water so we thought he would love it but we were so wrong.  I think he was confused as to why the water was not warm and why it was flying all over the place!  It did not help that he got splashed the first 10 minutes we were there!  He finally warmed up after a couple hours and just cruised around the lazy river with his daddy. 









We really had the best time and were there for about 6 hours.  The best part was that they were worn out by the time we got home and even slept in a little the next day!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter 2017

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.” (Romans 6:9)
So, we took the kids to an Easter parade Saturday and the above picture happened.  Mason literally smiled ear to ear as soon as Eric put him in the Easter bunny's lap.  I just knew he was going to be hysterical because he doesn't even go to family.  He is really stuck at my hip when we are around strangers.  And if that did not make me happy enough, Chloe decided this was her first year she was going to go to the Easter bunny without being scared and she even wanted to go a second time!  I swear they surprise the heck out of me sometimes!  There has been a handful of times that Mason has been called a she and we jokingly call him our little princess due to the deli woman calling him that and I can kinda see why because of the picture below.  The kid is a pretty little boy.  I mean, look at his lashes!  Chloe has always been a beauty so how can I expect anything less!


For the first time ever, Eric and I went to church.  I do not go as often as I should and Eric never goes.  I was so happy when he said he would go with us on Easter.  A week before, he asked me if you stand or sit in church.  He had no clue but I am happy he went for me!  This was my first Easter without my mom but we went to church with my aunt Emogene which is her twin so that comforted me.  Experiencing the first holidays after my mom passing is hard but having my "back up mom" makes things bearable. 




This is the first year I didn't get a cute headband for Chloe's hair.  Seems like something not worth mentioning but if you know me, you know it is a big deal finding the perfect outfit, shoes, and bow for Easter for Chloe.  I decided to go with rhinestone hair pins like you see on prom hair.  I did a little half up half down special occasion up-do situation.  I was proud of myself  because it turned out pretty good!  And I found the perfect little four piece suit on Macy's website for Mason.  He was as handsome as I imagined!

We decided to get Chloe a bike this year for Easter.  It is a little much in my opinion for Easter but we only did it because her birthday is in winter so if we get her a bike then, she won't be able to ride it for  a while.   She was so excited.  Mason was as excited as an almost one year old can be for Easter.