Pregnancy #4 update

We went for our ultrasound this morning at 11AM. I haven’t felt that anxious or sick for a long time… the uncertainty kills me.  That’s part of my type A personality and something I’m working on… I’m not always in control and God is constantly reminding me of that.

Everything looked OK from what I can tell/what we were told. They didn’t see any additional soft markers, but the EIF is still present and there were a couple of things they couldn’t visualize. We will go back for another ultrasound and ECHO in 4-6 weeks (when they can get it scheduled). This is completely unrelated to the EIF but because of Shae’s history of VSD (ventricular septal defect).  So while I do feel a little more at ease for now, I also know that nothing in life is guaranteed.

I had a lot of those thoughts the past few days… I am not guaranteed a healthy or typical baby, but I’m also not guaranteed my own health or the health of my other kids for tomorrow. Life is scary and unpredictable and at any time I can be thrown a curve ball and knocked off the path that I thought my life was on.  This is where my anxiety sets in and I need to continue to work on this daily.  Typically I just try not to think about “what ifs”, but sometimes I think it’s necessary to challenge myself to be ok with “what ifs”.

One of the biggest things this soft marker has reminded me is that even if things don’t go how I planned doesn’t mean they aren’t going how God planned. And really life isn’t about my plan after all. So for now I’ll keep praying that God gives me the strength and grace I need to deal with all of life’s curveballs and what ifs.

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Pregnancy #4

I have yet to blog about this pregnancy at all! And while I doubt I’ll do even a monthly post I do want to write down a few things for my own memory….

We found out we were pregnant with Baby G #4 on March 16th- the day before St. Patty’s Day.  After my miscarriage in mid-January I was extremely anxious for the first month or two but that didn’t stop me from telling family/friends our exciting news.  I was definitely more cautious and tried not to get my hopes up, but I was really hopeful that this pregnancy would not end in miscarriage.

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They had no idea the little secret we were keeping from them 😉

We waited until about 8 weeks to tell the kids about the baby.  We probably should have waited a little longer but at the same time I was telling people and I didn’t want them to find out from anyone but us.  I knew once we told the kids it would be pretty public knowledge at least within our St. Michaels church/school community, and thats definitely what happened.  I had a lot of the kids teachers coming up to me and carefully asking  “uhhh I’m not sure if we are supposed to know this or not but…CONGRATS!” It was pretty sweet that Shae and August got to share the news, because you could just tell how excited and proud they were from the very beginning.

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This pregnancy has overall been my easiest so far.  I’ve been super tired and had the normal pregnancy complaints: heartburn, back pain, fatigue, but overall nothing too crazy and I’ve been embracing it much much more than I ever have before!  I felt like it was a girl from pretty early on because I’ve been craving sweets, carbs and any kind of meat still makes me nauseous!

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I’ve definitely indulged in a few more of these than probably necessary 😉

I’m definitely missing my normal clothes, pre-pregnancy body, and adult beverages (especially in the summer!), but I know that it will be over before I know it so I’m trying to not wish this pregnancy away which I think I’ve done too much in the past.

We found out the gender on July 5th and I was so excited to tell the kids… We also found out on July 5th that this baby has something called EIF (echogenic intracardiac foci) which is a “soft marker” for chromosomal abnormalities.  This definitely took a little bit of the excitement out of the day and gender reveal, but I went on as if everything was typical because there was no reason to not continue to be excited for our sweet baby GIRL!

 When we first found out about the EIF I was a little stunned but took it all in stride and tried to not stress or focus on it too much.  We are going in for a level 2 ultrasound tomorrow (July 19th) and I will be honest- I’ve been incredibly emotional in the past few days.  I am scared and nervous.  There is absolutely nothing to do about the possibility of our baby not being typical, but the thought is definitely daunting.  Having grown up with an older brother with a chromosomal abnormality I know firsthand how life changing this would be for our family.  I also know firsthand that this would not be a horrible awful thing.  It would be an incredible challenge and an incredible blessing.  I know I am up for whatever God gives me- I am just more than ready for a few more answers!

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If there are any extra prayers out there tonight we would love a few for our sweet babe!  I’m not even sure what exactly I’m praying for right now, but I think the best way to describe it is just strength and grace no matter what we find or don’t find tomorrow.

(Over)Commitment Issues

Overcommitment seems to be the name of the game for 2016-2017 in the Gallagher household.  For some reason I felt that I needed to say “yes” to everything and “no” to nothing and that has definitely made me feel like we are running on overdrive almost all of the time… and its also the reason for the horrible job I’ve done blogging (somethings gotta give!)

I’ve been attempting to:

  • help my Dad with the family side gig of boat/RV storage
  • help run the accounting for my Brothers startup construction company
  • be President of the Mothers of Young Children group at church
  • be a coordinator for Vacation Bible School at church
  • be an active member of a Bible study and two separate playgroups
  • workout a few times a week
  • run a household
  • get my kids involved in extracurricular activities (gymnastics, swim, soccer, t-ball)
  • be a Mom, wife, sister and friend

… and with all of this attempting comes a lot of moments of feeling like I’m absolutely failing.

One of the biggest challenges of motherhood for me has been figuring out how to feel like myself while raising my children.  It is an impossible thing to explain, especially for me- someone who always knew one of the only things I wanted out of life was to be a Mom!  For some reason though “just being a Mom” isn’t all I dreamed it would be.  Yes- I adore my kids as much as the next person, but I also really struggle with feeling like my only responsibility in life is raising good kids.  I mean that is a HUGE overwhelming task, and a lot of days I feel like I’m utterly failing.  I truly wonder more often than not if my kids would be better kids if they weren’t around me 90-100% of the time? Shouldn’t there be some more balance?!

Balance is something that I know everyone struggles with, so I try to give myself grace and remember that I’m not alone in feeling this way.  I keep reminding myself that we have big changes around the corner- Shae will start full time Kindergarten in the Fall and all 3 kids will be in school for a couple of days a week!  So I’m trying to soak up the last bit of time we have before we are a “grade school family”- crazy!  But I’m also craving something else, something for me to feel more like me…

I read back through my blog and it was exactly 2 years ago that I made the decision to quit working as a part time Physical Therapist to focus more on my family.  In that post I talked about enjoying the little things and spending more time focusing on my family.  I definitely think I’ve achieved that, but I’ve also felt a constant ache for something more.  I know that I’m not ready to commit to anything substantial and don’t feel that PT is my calling right now

So, with all of the extra commitments I’ve made this past year I’m making one more.  I’m committing to getting my real estate license.  Totally crazy, but something that I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years now.  Real Estate completely fascinates me and I spend more time on Zillow and the local real estate apps than I’d like to admit.  Also, with my brother’s business taking off he needs some extra help with listing his flips so that is where I’m going to start! I”m not sure exactly where this road is going to take me, but I’m really excited to find out.  I’m excited to have something “for me”

(I wrote this post 4 months ago…. but never hit publish!  In the past 4 months things have gotten busier and slower at the same time.  I’ve delegated and taken on more… balance- I’m still working on it 😉 )

On miscarriage…

Ohhh friends… where do I even begin?! I wish that I had been able to keep up this little space over the last several months because there is so much I want to document and remember, but truthfully it has been pushed way, waaaay to the back.  Now it is time though so lets go backwards…

Back in December 2016 Clint and I decided that it was finally “time” to start trying to expand our family again.  He had been ready for another bambino for awhile but I knew the time wasn’t quite right for us until after one of my best friends weddings in the beginning of December.  We had a crazy busy and amazing 2016 with lots of weddings and travel and I knew being pregnant wasn’t the best thing for me or the family quite yet.  So, after the wedding and travel season wrapped up we started trying and praying for Baby Gallagher #4.

On Clint’s 32nd birthday (December 27th) I rushed the kids to CVS right when they opened at 8am to grab pregnancy tests, and much to my surprise and excitement it was positive! (I swear the CVS employee must have thought I was a nut job bringing my 3 small children to CVS in their jammies to buy a pregnancy test).  I was so excited to give Clint this present for his birthday and was just in complete shock that we were fortunate enough to get pregnant the first month.  Unfortunately, just a few weeks later I miscarried that sweet babe.  That was definitely an experience that rocked my world.  I always thought in the back of my head that I would miscarry at some point, but I would have never ever been able to guess how much this experience would affect me.  I was completely torn up inside, and at the same time felt so grateful and selfish because I already have 3 sweet babies.

For weeks I kept feeling like I had done something wrong, or that it was somehow my fault that I had miscarried… maybe we shouldn’t have waited so long to try for another baby?  Maybe I shouldn’t have taken that workout class? Did I overdo it and somehow cause my body to miscarry?  Did I tell too many people too early?  Eventually, through lots and lots and LOTS of great talks with close family and friends I was able to recognize and accept that this was just a part of God’s plan.  Although I was able to accept the miscarriage, it is definitely not something I will ever forget.

After the miscarriage my anxiety was through the roof about trying again for another baby.  Am I forcing something that is not supposed to happen?  Is God trying to tell me that we are only supposed to have 3 babies?  Will my body be able to carry another pregnancy to term?? All of these questions completely consumed my every thought and it quite honestly started to drive me a little crazy.  Thats when we decided we needed to get out of town and we took our little trip to Disney the beginning of March.  Little did I know that just a few weeks later I would, with an extremely grateful heart, take another positive pregnancy test 😉

One of the biggest things that I learned through the entire miscarriage process is how much it helped me to talk about it.  I hated thinking that no one knew what was going on with me.  I feel like there is a stigma around miscarriages, and for some reason they aren’t talked about as much as I wish they were!  I remember feeling like I was walking around carrying this enormous secret inside of me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t share with the world.  I wanted to scream from every street corner “I was pregnant!! and now I’m not! and I’m really really sad about it and thats ok!”

Maybe this is just how I felt about it, but because I felt this way I’ve had this burning desire to share about my miscarriage.  I think it is such a common thing and I want anyone who has experienced it, or is going through it right now to know that it is OK to talk about it.  It is actually great to talk about it in my opinion!  I don’t think I would have been able to accept it nearly as easily/quickly if I hadn’t had tons of conversations about my feelings and how sad I was.  So please if you need someone to talk to about a miscarriage- reach out!  Someone around you has experienced this before and I’m they sure would be open to talking to you about it.

 

Disneyland 2017

Clint and I have always said that we aren’t “Disney people” but in late January I decided we needed to get out of KC for a quick getaway.  I wanted to take the kids somewhere fun, but also wanted to stay away from anywhere that may put us at risk for Zika… so naturally I started looking to California/Arizona. At first Clint wasn’t sold on Disneyland but the more I looked into it the more convenient it appeared!  We could go for 3 nights/4 days, no need to rent a car, and the weather looked gorgeous but even if it wasn’t in the 70-80s we’d still be able to have lots of fun (I was worried about booking a beach vacation and having 60s the whole time).  There was a pool for swimming and obviously the two parks to spend time in. So after a lot of talking and researching I booked the trip and it worked out that we’d be headed to Cali on Augusts 4th birthday!

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The pilots on our first flight were SO nice!
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Cutest little mini-mes
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Sharing headphones
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He KILLED me with his rolling suitcase

We took the first flight out of KC which put us in California by 10:30 local time.  We got round trip passes for the Disneyland resort shuttle which was extremely convenient.  Since we booked the trip so last minute we didn’t have a ton of choices on hotels but ended up being very pleased.  We booked the Paradise Pier Hotel and had a room with “concierge service” which basically was just a room with drinks/snacks all day and a decent continental breakfast in the morning.  This worked out great for us because it gave us a easy place to sit and have breakfast and to grab snacks throughout the day when we were at our hotel.  Our room wasn’t ready right away so we went to the concierge room and thats where they told us they had upgraded us to a 2 bedroom suite!!  I had only booked a 1 bedroom to save money but the 2 bedrooms was SO SO nice for our family of 5!

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Waiting to board the shuttle

We spent some time that first day checking out the hotel, swimming in the pool (although it was a bit chilly!), and spent lots of time on the water slide which was a huge hit with the kids.  On the first night, August’s birthday, I booked dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen which was recommended when we booked the trip.  It was a good way to see a lot of characters, but honestly our kids aren’t that into characters and the food was just ok… in the end I’m glad we did it just to get in the Disney spirit but I’m not sure we’d do that if we ever went back (more on that later 😉 ).  **Side note: Emmett was with us in Disney but would not go near any characters so he isn’t in many photos!

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Killing time with Legos at the Lego Store
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Ready for Goofy’s Kitchen 😉
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Minnie!
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Chip… or Dale?? No clue
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Loved dancing with Goofy

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Our first full day was spent in Disneyland and holy cow it was BUSY!  I thought when we booked the trip that we were going to have relatively slow days because we would be doing the parks on Thursday/Friday before Spring breaks but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  We were overwhelmed from the second we walked into the park and probably did it all completely wrong- I just couldn’t believe how quickly the lines became ridiculously long.  We hit several of the main rides- Tea cups, Small world, meeting Mickey at his house, Buzz Lightyear, Big Thunder mountain (a fave!),etc.  I packed a ton of snacks into lunch boxes which saved us lots of money in the park.  We did splurge and bought 3 Dole Whips to share and they were definitely worth the money- YUMM! At about 3PM after 6 hours in the park Clint ran to Splash Mountain to grab fast passes and we hopped in line to meet some princesses, and even though Shae had a major meltdown in line she loved meeting the princesses.  The fast passes were for 7:30PM so we decided to take a break from the park and come back later.  After a pretty terrible dinner at a Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Disney we headed back into the park to ride a few more rides, and caught just a glimpse of the Electrical Parade from the Astro Orbiters ride.  I just couldn’t believe how early people lined up on Main Street for the parade and my kids were definitely not patient enough to do that just for a parade.  Clint, Shae and August did Splash Mountain and we basically ran home after that because we just couldn’t handle any more crowds!

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Teacups with my Princess!
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Shae said Its a Small World was her favorite ride!
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Pretending that he loves Disney!
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Dole Whip
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Shae loved meeting the Princesses

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Mickey at his house

The next day we were feeling pretty defeated because of the crazy crowds at Disneyland but at California Adventure we had a much better experience!  We did the magic hour here too (if you stay at a Disney resort you get in an hour early), and it was actually beneficial this day- we didn’t think that extra hour did us much good at Disneyland.  We were much smarter about our time and fast passes and were able to ride a lot more rides in a shorter time at California Adventure (we went the opposite way of the crowds- away from Radiator Springs and just got a fast pass for that ride).  Around 2PM the kids said they’d rather go to the pool then spend any more time in the park so we headed back to the hotel and Clint and E took a nap while I took the big kids to the pool which was crazy crowded (it had been pretty empty two days before when we had gone).  After swimming and showering we headed back to California Adventure because Mickey’s Fun wheel (Ferris wheel) had opened back up- we could see the Wheel from our room but we thought it would be closed our entire trip so the kids were excited to ride it!  Clint and I both rode California Screamin’ which I loved (I seriously still love roller coasters!), and we had a crazy expensive dinner of corndogs in the park! We rode the Little Mermaid ride and grabbed cotton candy for the walk home (E hated it of course…).  One random thing- finding alcohol was not easy!!  We thought there would be beer at all of the concessions but was definitely much harder to find than that!  Clint found a restaurant that would sell us beer in solo cups so luckily  we could have a couple beers in the park- a necessity for us 😉

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Toy Story ride- it was a good one and we didn’t have to wait at all (later the wait was 1 hour+)
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Radiator Springs Racers- one of my favorites!
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Anna and Elsa- neither boy was interested this time
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Clint/Emmett nap time!
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They love the pool!
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Mickeys Fun Wheel
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View from Mickeys Fun Wheel
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8PM cotton candy is always a good idea at Disney 😉

Our last day was a bit of a waste.  We had to check out by 11 so we did breakfast and packed up and then left our bags at the bell hop and basically walked around for a few hours… by this point we were kind of just ready to get home so looking back I may have booked an earlier flight out but it all worked out fine.  My favorite thing about those few hours was sipping Starbucks with Clint while the kids played forever with the legos outside the Lego store.  Oh and the sandwiches at Earl of Sandwich were delicious!  Probably my favorite thing I ate the whole trip.

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Outside the Lego store- one of our favorite places!
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Saying goodbye to Minnie
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Characters in the lobby our hotel- was the perfect send-off
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This kid was sooo tired
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So was he…
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And clearly Shae needs more sleep too!

So all in all the trip was wonderful!  We made so many memories with the kids and thats what its all about.  We also decided that we likely won’t return to Disney any time soon.  I would like to take the kids to Disney World in a few (5) years possibly but I’m not sure I’ll be able to convince Clint so I may have to recruit family members for that trip 😉 .

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  This week has been a little crazier than anticipated- Clint had a last minute work trip come up, and when I say last minute I mean he booked the flights at 8am Wednesday and flew out of MCI at 2:45pm Wednesday… that would stress me out!

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Funny side story- I asked August to get me a beer on Wednesday (single parenting is rough) and he came up with 2 and said “Here’s 2, one for now and one for after dinner”- good call son!

Here are 5 things for this week:

1)  We started demo on our Master bathroom last week so it was a busy weekend full of tiling and we’ve continued to make some progress this week.  Hoping to knock out the shower tile this weekend so we can get measured for the glass doors… I’m ready to have my own shower back!

2)  I was randomly looking at the blog last week and remembered that I made 1 year videos for Shae and August so the kids and I watched them one afternoon.  August was literally in tears watching his and then Emmett said “now my turn!”… uh oh.  So I had the worst Mom guilt and after watching Shae and August’s I knew I wanted to make E one too.  It took about 4 hours total time to make but I’m SOOO glad I did it… I doubt I will make these for any year after their 1st, but maybe I should make a family one for each year?! We will see how that turns out (don’t hold your breath).

  3) After I snapped about August crying during his video (the sweetest thing ever!) I had several friends ask how I made the videos so I did a quick tutorial on Snapchat.  I uploaded the tutorial here too- not very fancy but hopefully it will teach someone how to do this because I promise the videos are worth the time! Let me know if you’re making one and have questions (I may or may not be able to help!?).

4)  Skinnytaste. How did I never hear about this wonderful resource before a month ago?! I bought the cookbook off Amazon after tons of my favorite bloggers mentioned it and it is amazing. I actually really love to cook but I don’t like getting too fancy and I won’t cook separate meals for my kids so this has been a great cookbook for me! So far I’ve made the chicken enchiladas, the oven fried chicken, and the turkey stuffed peppers.  I have a list of the next things I want to try (including the shrimp and grits, buffalo melts, and all the salads- yumm!)

5) Since last weeks post I officially booked our trip to Disneyland!  This is such a random thing for us but I am SO SO excited.  We haven’t told the kids yet, but I’m thinking of doing something fun for Valentines Day and telling them then.  We leave the morning of August’s 4th birthday so it is surely going to be a special trip for all.  Send any favorite rides or must-dos my way! (I’m not usually one to buy Disney gear but I think Shae has to have this)

 

 

 

 

Resurrecting the blog

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I decided that I need some motivation to keep this blog going for these 3 and their memories since there is no possibility of baby books for any of them… so I’m going to attempt to post 1x/week and just keep it simple. I always love reading “5 on Friday” posts that just have 5 random things so I’m going to just try to start there… wish me luck!

1. My Mom randomly bought me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and I think it is easily one of my favorite gifts EVER… I think I’ve read 7 books in the last month which means I’ve put off a lot of my adulting responsibilities and stayed up far too late too many nights. My favorite book so far though is definitely November 9 by Colleen Hoover… I read it in under 24 hours because I just couldn’t put it down. I may try to do a book review post if I keep up the reading- but for now if you’re looking for a good book start with November 9- you won’t regret it!

2. Bar Method. It has truly changed my life. I struggled with back pain since my pregnancy with Shae and I always struggle with committing to a workout plan. I’ve been going to Bar Method consistently for over a year and I am addicted (in the best kind of way). Bar allows me a safe way to increase my core strength which helps to protect my back as well as providing a whole body workout creating long and lean muscles.  Its not a workout where I need to run and jump in the shower after so I can easily run errands once I leave, and I rarely ever dread going which his huge for me! I really can’t say enough good things about Bar Method so if you have one in your area I would definitely recommend trying it out. And if you’re in KC I have some free passes and would love for you to join me!

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Pretending to be a real life ballerina- although I am FAR from it considering I can’t even bend over touch my toes 😉

3.  We are gutting our master bathroom- finally!!  We’ve been our house almost 4 years and the master bath has needed an update the whole time so I’m so excited that we are finally able to get it done!  My brother and his guys are helping us, but we are also going to try to do a good amount of it by ourselves to save money.  Will hopefully be able to do a whole post on it sooner than later… but for now heres a before and a pic of the marble/tile we are going to use!

4. Has anyone ever been to Disneyland?!  We are thinking of a last minute “pre-Spring Break” trip and want to steer clear of Zika so we are thinking of California… any suggestions?!  I’ve never been one that is dying to go to Disney, but maybe we should do it?! Would love any insight- especially specific to DisneyLAND! The kids are 5,4, and 2.5 so I’m nervous that its going to just be too overwhelming and I definitely don’t want to spend a bunch of money and have it be a bust…

5. I took Shae to Nordstrom a couple of weeks ago for their shoe tying class.  I felt like she was getting close to being ready to learn how to tie her shoes and I’d heard great things about the class.  It was really informative and gave a good starting point but I think she was one of the youngest at not quite 5.5 and she didn’t pick it up as well as some of the older kids.  Also, she’s a lefty so I honestly had a hard time trying to teach her!  They do use this nifty little thing which I think helps at first, but only until they figure out the”loops”.

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Fingers crossed I’ll be back with another post next week- and maybe it will be more exciting… maybe!

Christmas 2016

This year we started celebrating Christmas as soon as we got back to KC from Evansville! Ok, actually we started before, because I had most of my decorating before we left home for Thanksgiving… I loved coming home to a decorated house and we even picked up our tree on our drive in (literally straight from Indiana to the Christmas tree lot near our house).

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The big kids had their Christmas program the first week of December and it couldn’t have been more adorable! Last year only Shae was able to participate in the Christmas program for preschool so it was great getting to see both kiddos up there performing- and oh boy did August perform 😉

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Clints Christmas party was a big celebration this year because the current CEO is retiring so the company threw a huge party… I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many engineers in one room.

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We stayed home this year for Christmas so we were able to go to Christmas Eve Mass at St. Michaels which is so special to us now that it has become our second home!  We had my parents over for dinner that evening and made sure to get to bed on time so Santa could come!

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Christmas Day the kids were up and at ’em and we had a great relaxing day at home complete with monkey bread, PJs all day, and lots of quality family time.

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Here are the other random “Christmas time pics”

Shae- 5 years

(I’m about 4 months late here but I swear this was written about 3 months ago- making the blog a higher priority in the coming year 😉 )

5 years ago we were just beginning this amazing journey with our sweet 5 lb baby girl, and what a whirlwind of a journey it has been.  I could have never predicted where we would be 5 years after the birth of our sweet Shae Mary, and I could have never dreamed for anything more. Its hard to even remember back to Shae’s newborn days because they truly feel like a lifetime ago.

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Shae is the sweetest gift and she has challenged me to become a better version of myself since the day she was born.  She is a teacher, a listener, and a rule follower.  She adores playing with her brothers- as long as they play exactly what she wants and how she wants, of course.  She loves school and learning, and can’t wait for the day when she will finally get to go to school all day every day.  She has a quiet and reserved personality, especially when I see her interact with her peers in a school or play setting.  But at home, oh my, this girl has a big personality at home.  She is stubborn and opinionated, strong-willed in the truest sense of the word.  Some days I’m just not sure how we are going to survive her, and the next moment I just want to eat her up!

For Shae’s 5th birthday she was fortunate enough to be a flower girl in my best friend’s wedding- and what a blessed day that was.  Kara was the friend that introduced Clint and I, the one who quite literally forced us together, and I will be forever grateful to her for that.  To have Shae as a part of Kara’s special day was an amazing thing, and to celebrate the gift of Shae’s life 5 years ago on the same day was truly special, and a day I will never ever forget.

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I wanted to start including Shae more in the writing of this blog, as I’ve always wanted the blog to be full of memories for our family to share for years to come (not to mention I’ve had MAJOR writers block every time I’ve sat down to write lately). So here are Shae’s answers to a few questions at 5 years old:

Favorite food? Black olives, pasta

Favorite thing to do? Art, go to gymnastics

Favorite color? Pink and Purple and Red and Blue

Favorite outfit? Flower girl dress

Best part about school? Craft Time

Shae Mary-

I love you more than you will ever know. Every day I want you to know how treasured you are, but I also want you to never take anything God gave you for granted.  Always remain respectful of others and never forget to have fun in life too!  One of our favorite songs right now is titled “Humble and Kind” and those two words carry so much responsibility.  Don’t ever forget that Mommy and Daddy are here for you, even when you feel like we aren’t on the same team- I promise we will always be your biggest supporters and truest fans.  Dream big baby girl, you can do anything or be anything that you chose.  Work hard and never ever give up! Lots of love,

Mommy

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PS I came across Shae’s 1 year video… so so glad I made these!

 

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means Christmas is right around the corner!  WE traveled to Indiana again this year for Thanksgiving and as always we had a great time catching up with family and friends.

I told Clint that this year was the first time since before Shae was born that I remember traveling to Indiana and not being completely overwhelmed and sleep deprived.  The first time we traveled to Indiana with kids was when Shae was 6 weeks old, and I literally remember bringing every piece of baby equipment that we owned…. our car was completely packed down and I was beyond sleep deprived.  This time we packed some clothes in bags for about 45 minutes the night before we left and off we went!  Life with kids truly did get easier as time went on and I started to get the hang of things (and once I stopped worrying soooo much about the small stuff!)

We drove in Wednesday leaving around 7:45am (after a quick stop at Starbucks of course!) and made it to Evansville in about 6 hours without stops…. Stopping just seems like way more work than its worth and the kids are kind of used to just driving straight through so its the way to go for us!  Wednesday we just hung out with family, and enjoyed our favorite pizza- Turonis!

Thursday was another relaxing day (for me).  My mother in law outdoes herself every year and did a lot of the cooking/prep work ahead of time and put in a ton more effort on Thanksgiving Day to make a delicious Thanksgiving feast! Always one of my favorite meals of the year 😉 Pops and Clint took the kids for the annual rocket launch.  Apparently it was successful but I decided to sit this year out and stayed home to enjoy some quiet time to myself!

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The best family shot we could get
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Selfie with my girl

Clint, Shawn and August went musky fishing on Friday and August “helped” Pops catch a musky- August’s first!  And by help I mean he sat in the boat and ate snacks and drank (spilled) hot chocolate.  I think all 3 boys had the best day ever

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Friday night Clint and I enjoyed a great night out with old friends.  Its always so nice to get back to Indiana and catch up with all of Clints high school friends.  After all these years they feel like family to me too

Saturday was another low key day. We visited the Rudolphs and let the kids play in their backyard and rested up for the drive home Sunday!

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Amazing the difference 5 years makes!

Sunday we had another uneventful drive home, and then straight back to the grind! We stopped a mile from our house to pick up our Christmas tree, got it set up and (mostly) decorated, and then Clint flew out for a work trip Monday!  Nothing like chaos to keep us finding a way to win.