Sunday, June 30, 2013

Call Me Crazy

As if my last post wasn't me-centric enough, here's a layout about meeeeeee!

Really I just had to share it because my birthday is one of the rare times that I use the excuse to make a layout about myself (although I am trying to be better about documenting my stuff too.). and I made it super fast in 5 minute increments between wiping butts and puppy walking and sweeping crumbs off of the floor for the 1,011th time today. Like I said people, living the dream.

...and I hope you didn't think I was really being all... here's my happy life and I'm gonna shove it right down your blog reading throat. It was just what I was feeling, and have been feeling, and so I put it out there... but now weirdly I feel that was over-indulgent and showy, and really I just wanted to keep it 100.... (am I even someone who says, "keep it 100?" suddenly I am second guessing everything.)

...weird news for you is that invariably whenever I write a post about how good something is the s--- hits the fan about any number of other things.. or sometimes, ironically, the thing I wrote about in the first place starts to go terribly wrong... (and now I am knocking on wood and any wood-like surface in my vicinity.. and crossing myself and doing all kinds of other random superstitious acts I can think of and... omg. I named myself "Lucky" for gods sake! I am doomed! My entire life is going to fall apart just when I finally got up the balls to write about how great everything is!)....

... and right now... just as I am typing this I've decided that this is proof. I am crazy. officially. I've always secretly suspected I was nuts..... but now I know. and so do you. Well, this is awkward.

Friday, June 28, 2013

30 Something

So far I have to say the 30's kick major boo-tay.

Yesterday I turned 31. I think there is one very simple reason why I look at this as a great thing instead of a-- holy crap, I'm now in my thirties--- moment. That reason is: I have never been this happy in my entire life. Seriously. My days are full. to the brim. I get to raise my 4 kids (easily the most challenging and equally rewarding aspect of my life.). I get to be a wife to my best friend. I get to own a dog. I get to own a house. I get to live in one of the top 10 US cities to raise a family. I get to scrapbook regularly and put all of my creative energy into trying to turn my passion into a career. I get to play roller derby. (Just so we're clear... I get that saying, "get" in a sentence in grammatically not cool. But I get to not give a s---.) (Besides, if proper writing etiquette is your jam you probably stopped reading at boo-tay.) :)

Beyond all of that, I feel like I finally know myself. I have no doubt about what I want out of this life.... This past year has been one of evolution and self discovery for me. I have embraced my flaws and decided that they are kinda cool because they make me, me. I have found a way to balance my life, finally. I have aggressively pursued all that I can to make me a bigger, badder, stronger, happier version.... I have gone out of my comfort zone countless times. I have stopped hoarding my time. I have learned to give space and take space when needed. I have set goals, realistic and otherwise. I have made plans and stuck to them. I have believed in myself and my family support system.

I'm not trying to paint some rosy picture of my life (although it probably seems like I am... right now you're probably thinking... "who does she think she is? nobody's life is perfect." --- I agree, mine certainly isn't. But it is a happy one.) Here is my disclaimer: I'm not saying I don't have my fair share of hiccups... and wtf am I doing moments... times when I want to pull my hair out... when I fantasize about being on a beach somewhere. alone. stranded for all time..... (but even when I experience those rough moments.. or days... I try to tell myself that they are all just a big piece of the happy picture. without down and out moments would the awesome ones feel so epic?)....

I was telling Hottie last night that I really think these are "the good old days.".... I know that probably sounds a little silly or even ridiculous to say. But, really. I just can't imagine things getting any better. I know in my heart that this is a time period that we will look back on fondly, one that we will cling to and reminisce about.... not to say that it will never be this good again or that it's fleeting.... but it does feel a little like lightning in a bottle, and I plan to soak up every last flash. (except for the ones where my kids are driving me bonkers... like Ev is shouting, "MOM! Will you WIPE me!" from the bathroom and I'm in the middle of changing Dez while the puppy is pooping on the floor.... and Nakiah is asking for a soda for the millionth time while I am furiously wondering why Aidan is not responding to my, "I need help," text..... those are the ones I will quickly block from my memory so I can go write a blog post about how happy and fulfilled I am.)

Bring it on 30's... and may you continue how you have begun. (began? begun? Oh man, where are those English majors when I need them?)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I realized that I never shared this page on the blog like I had intended. What do you think? Aren't the photos adorable? I just can't help but swoon when I see a Daddy carrying his kid on his shoulders. So sweet. 

We are coming out of Puppymonium (pandemonium?). The first two nights were rough (ruff!). Lots of whining and crying and our little dude is a loud hoss! (Quiet, Fritz!) But last night he turned a corner and only 2 times he whined very lightly to let us know he needed to go out. Then he did his business and lazily hopped back into his crate for more sleep. (Good dog, Fritz!) He has been willingly taking naps in his crate, eating and drinking fine, pottying outside, and generally being the cutest and most perfect dog on the planet. He even did amazing at the vet today (cha-ching.). So there's you're update.

In other news.... It's my BIRTHDAY tomorrow!
I'm so excited. (Yes, I am mentally 5 when it comes to birthdays.) Just not sure what a girl with small kids and a brand spanking new puppy can get away with doing for her birthday. (girls just wanna have fu-un!)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Puppy's First Day

Meet Mr. Snicklefritz McGee.

You can call him Fritz.

We were so excited to welcome him into the family that we ended up getting him a whole day early.

It's so strange and overwhelming to have an animal in the house. Like I said before, I diligently read all of the puppy training materials I could get my hands on... and bought all of the necessary items in preparation for his arrival..... but I can't help but feel like... what the heck was I thinking?! a PUPPY!? I really have no idea what I am doing, people! (Maybe we should have started with a rabbit or a cat or something more our speed like a turtle.)

Last night was his first night home and he did ok. He whined and cried most of the night away (which I know is totally normal since he is adjusting and missing his family). He went potty outside. He slept in his crate (a little). He kept Hottie and I up all night. I quickly began to wonder how long this whiny phase lasts and if I am doing absolutely every single thing wrong. (I, of course, convince myself I am.) 

This morning the kids got up extra early (how they slept through all of his racket is beyond me, but I thank my lucky stars.) and wanted to be involved in every little thing puppy. "I wanna take him outside!" "Can I teach him to sit?" "Why won't he climb in my lap?" "I think he has to pee!" Although I am happy they want to help out I can't help but think this would be much easier if I could do it alone. Alas, we are one big happy family. So we will do it together. And it will be a never ending test of my patience and confidence that we can do this puppy raising thing. (Can we actually pull this off? Because I'm not so sure!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pretty Much Killing It: Summer Edition

We are in full on summer mode around here. Sleeping in (until 6am for me and Dez, 9 for Ev). Visits to the pool (how I am pulling that off solo with the kids is beyond me, but I am! Woot!). Picnics. Playing outside. Book club-ing (Kiah & I are reading the Harry Potter series together). Watching lots of movies. Eating numerous popsicles a day (the kids, not me... I am sugar free until my birthday. 7 more days!) 

Summer in KY is different for us. There are no beaches to visit all day long or oceans to practically live in to stay cool. But we are finding lots of other ways to keep busy... and most of them are free (which is awesome).

Here's a couple of layouts with photos from last summer...

I have to admit, this season is going better then I anticipated. We've done a great job of taking it easy. Balancing play with house work, and tv time with outside or non tv activities. Maybe it's because it's my second summer as a stay at home mom, or maybe it's the fact that I am not huge and pregnant. I'm up for going new places and trying out new things and breaking up the day with simple little activities... so that it goes by without one big yellfest or me shouting, "go outside & DO something," over and over.... (admittedly this has happened.. just not as often as I thought it would. ha.)

..... all bets are off on Sunday when we bring home our puppy though. I'm nervous about what this new edition will mean for our family. (and also, even though I have read 3 puppy training books, I'm still convinced that we have NO idea what we are doing.) and we probably won't be going anywhere or be doing much of anything besides spending time with him.... but hey, there will always be stuff to "do" ("WALK THE DOG!")("CLEAN UP THE POOP!!") can't wait.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Daddy's Day

Happy Father's day! It's just another day around here. We're not doing much in the way of celebration. Hottie works 5am-3pm and then we might hit up an incredibly crowded restaurant or sit in the surround sound he loves so much and watch a new movie together. One thing about this Hallmark holiday is that it is a reminder of how much we appreciate Daddy..... and how we don't always tell him that.

Maybe most other days of the year we don't think about saying it....
but we are so lucky to have him....
he works his tail off to provide the best life for this family.....
he is trustworthy and level headed and fun....
he is not afraid to discipline and also won't hesitate to cut the kids some slack.....
he is loving....
he "watches" them three nights a week while I go off galavanting on roller-skates (my words, not his)...
he is patient and forgiving....
he is kind...
he is silly...... sometimes.....
he can be counted on any and every time the kids need something....
he is smart and steadfast....
he hugs them and tickles them and kisses them goodnight.....
he cooks dinners and wipes butts and boogers like a boss (not at the same time, cuz that would be gross).....
he even gives lipgloss lessons....

One day my kids will grow up and realize what an amazingly wonderful Dad they have. (I'm not sure at this point they have the capacity to fully comprehend his epic Dad-ness.) They will become parents of their own and one thing I really hope for them is that they are just like him with their kids. Seriously, so lucky. We love you, Daddy. (and you are hot. which has nothing to do with fathers day... but, still. just sayin.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

We Are Family

I've been really struggling with missing family lately. Honestly, it's been the worst part of moving here. The thing I hate the most. Our closest family is 7 hours away. Of course I knew we would miss everyone when we made the decision to leave. I knew it would be hard. But this is ridiculous. It's difficult for me to connect with family in such different time zones, and to nurture relationships that are so important to me.... there are just more challenges than I anticipated. It makes me really sad. 

You know that I don't like to be a grumpy Gus on the blog. I like to keep it somewhat positive for the people who stop by, so I don't bum you guys out. But this has been weighing heavy on me. My kids ask about their cousins and grandparents all. the. time..... like, daily. Which I guess is a really great thing... but it makes me sad we can't be nearer to everyone so that the kids could continue to get to know them and feel close to them... to grow up with them. 

Here are some photos from when Hotties parents came to visit recently.
(We are so lucky that they are retired, and have built traveling into their budget.)

All that being said, there really isn't much we can do. Our family is literally spread from coast to coast now, so even if we wanted to move near "them" we couldn't. We have members in California, Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Virginia, New York? Connecticut?. All we can do is plan trips when possible, keep our home open to any and all who want to visit, make the most of our time together when it does happen, and teach our kids that they are surrounded by so much love... even if it is from afar...... and share pictures... lots, and lots of pictures.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Puppy Love

We are getting a puppy. Did I mention this? (and also, I must be crazy. but... maybe you already noticed that.)

He is a boy. He is a weimaraner. We bring him home on or around June 22nd. We are planning, and prepping, and reading every puppy training manual we can get our hands on (and by we, I mean me, here.)

I'm really excited. We have waited years to have a pet and have always pined away for a dog. Maybe it's not the most convenient time... having four kids, one of which is an 8 months old... starting a roller derby carrer (that takes up a shocking amount of my time)... but for some reason it feels right and we are going for it. Can't wait for him to become part of the family, I'm in love with him already!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What A Treat

Not much to say today so I thought I'd share a layout I made after my recent Cali visit. Dezmond was salivating and chomping at the bit for his first fry. Can't say I blame him since we were at In-n-Out. I don't know if it was the smell or just the look of glee on me & my sisters faces that prompted him to be so interested in the food. Someday, Dez, someday you'll experience this California Treat.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

To The Stars and Back

Just popping in quickly today to share a recent layout with ya'll. This page is a bit of a departure for me, since I love working with color. When I stumbled upon a slew of b&w&grey products I was inspired to create a monochromatic layout.

*********Images removed for publication**********

It's kind of fun to do things outside of your box from time to time. I find it's especially helpful if in a slump as a way to get those juices flowing again. Then again, in order to be in a slump I'd actually have to be given time to create things... maybe I will make more time soon.

My inlaws are in town so the next couple of days will be filled with sight seeing and Mammoth caving, (and tying not to bust my ass while they watch me at practice) and all sorts of fun things. So I'll have a lot to report back about. I love when we have visitors, it's the perfect motivation to go out and do something!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Plans

So I made this layout about the things I wanted to do with the fam this summer....

There's some pretty basic stuff. I guess I didn't want a pressure of a big summer bucket list this year so that in August I wouldn't feel like a big loser for not checking things off. Then I thought, why not just make a list (something I may not have shared.. I am a list fanatic... I typically have 3 going at a time.... and also, it's probably making me lose my mind). 

So here is my list of summer activities (that we probably will never get to because between roller derby, a new Mom's group I joined, Ev's summer camp, vacation, and a new puppy (did I tell you we're getting a puppy?) it is going to be busy already.)

Road Trip
Splash Pad
Mammoth Caves
Homemade Play Dough
Make Popsicles
Backyard Camping
Lemonade Stand
Cardboard Box Projects
Collect & Paint Rocks
Family Movie Nights
Taco Tuesdays
Car Wash
Train Dog
Sonic Happy Hour
Blow Bubbles
Kids Museum
Mini Golf
Catch Fire Flies
PJ Day
Amusement Park Fun
Fly a Kite
Dollar Theater
Summer Camp
Make Jello Cake for 4th of July
Cloud Watching
Obstacle Course
Cover the Driveway in Sidewalk Chalk
Ice Cream Party
Homemade Pizzas
Make Puppets
Puppet Show
Windy Street Cafe
Root Beer Floats
Harry Potter Book Club
Eat Mud Pudding w/Worms
Handprint Canvases
Decorate Dishes
Water Sponge Fight

Someone had the idea to write down all of these things on slips of paper, letting the kids draw one out every time they claim they are bored, and then doing that thing.......cute, but that doesn't really work for us....... I figure I will do these things as I see fit. If my kids tell me they are bored I will refer them to this list posted on the fridge (shocking, another list.)

No matter how often I clean these things always need to get done again. You know whats amazing? I haven't heard the word "bored" yet!(insert evil Mom laugh here.) What are you doing this summer?