Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Escape 2012

Well, we are freshly sun-kissed and home from our vacation in Grand Cayman.  For those people who have zero clue where the Cayman Islands are, mainly because a lot of people have asked where it is, here is a map! It is the tiny group of islands SW of Cuba.
It is a tiny island, only 20-ish miles long and a few miles wide. We LOVED our time there! Everyone we met was super friendly, I never got propositioned to buy drugs, and always felt very safe. John & I went with my brother and his wife, Kathy. The 2 couples definitely have very different ideas of what "vacation" includes. For John & I it means waking up at 7 (our inner alarm clocks unfortunately) plenty of beach/pool time, but having that equaled out by plenty of exploring and excursions to stay busy. For David & Kathy it means sleeping in and oodles of beach/pool relaxing time, with other outings sprinkled in. We had a solid dose of both though for our vaca together! Many of our planned outings got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy making its way through the Caribbean to our east, which made the water super choppy and the weather very windy/sporadically rainy. But it was fun watching it rain sideways :) And the government there has the ability to close all on-the-water activities that include any tourists. BUT that made for those days to be spent reading on the beach and enjoying drinks by the pool bar!

So Sunday was our first full day there and we spent it 100% relaxing and figuring out what we would do with our week. David & John figured out they weren't going to be playing "good" volleyball all week, which was a tad hilarious to watch. Me & Kathy started our tans (well, my burn). We explored the ocean in front of our resort, which was very rocky but also cool because it was coral all over and we saw tons of fish just standing in knee-deep water!

Monday was our snorkel day! We all caught on fairly quickly and made our way from the pool to the dock right in front of the resort. We swam in schools of these big blue/silverish fish, saw tarpon, a starfish, and tons of other fish I couldn't even try to name. We then made our way to a place called Rum Point and snorkeled around their pier, which was my favorite spot. There were lots of rocks and coral and we saw tons of different colorful fish all over. Our final place was called Starfish Beach, which wasn't that great for snorkeling except for a couple spots, but we saw these tiny, clear jellyfish that freaked me out at first until one of the locals said they were harmless. We saw 4 starfish while there; John & David picked a couple up. They feel like a rock! We ate at a delicious beach-side restaurant for lunch and then made our way back to enjoy the pool for a few hours before the resort party. After the resort-party we made our own drinks in our room.... and photo-taking ensued.

Tuesday we went to the Botanical Gardens and saw tons of cool plants and 7 Blue Iguanas! Tried a failed attempt at 7 Mile Beach.... We ended up walking through tons of "private beach" area while on our search for the public beaches, ate at a tasty restaurant (but really... everywhere was tasty; I didn't eat a single thing that wasn't beyond delicious on this trip), and finally drove up to the public beach. By this point, however, it was pouring... So we just drove back to the resort where it wasn't raining and hung out on the beach.

The rest of the week was spent mostly on the beach & by the pool as well because literally every outing was cancelled, but the weather was stunning! We made most of our breakfasts and 1 dinner to save some money. Read a ton. Ate more delectable food. Best dinner was for sure at this place called Tukka about 5 mins from the resort. I had the 2nd best steak I've ever had (nothing beats Ruth's Chris) and John had a tuna steak, which he said was equally amazing. We spent 1 morning/early afternoon shopping in Georgetown and finally at 7 Mile Beach. Also, found out that island time is a very real thing... everything was super laid back and fairly "slow". I loved it... John was going a tad crazy from it :)

John drove on the wrong side of the car & rode... That was terrifying! Especially when David was in charge of the map ;)

All in all it was an amazing trip! HUGE thanks to Meghan & Trevor for letting us rent out their timeshare! If the kids had been with, solid chance I may have stayed!

Book series suggestion from the week: The Circles Series by Ted Dekker. So good!

AND exciting news that happened the day before we left, John got a job! He is going to be a personal banker at Wells Fargo and starts next week! PTL. Now we're off to hopefully get some cute costume pics of the kids... and definitely using a friend's technique of bribing with candy for cuteness!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In A Nutshell

Well, it has been a while!

I haven't felt very "bloggy" for quite some time. Mainly, because I didn't want to come on here solely to whine/complain about junk. And John was gone a lot this summer, so odds are that is what would have happened. But I thought I would do a little update/rundown for those of you wondering what is going on in our lives! Its exciting, I promise ;-)

John was laid off 3 weeks ago. Currently in job-searching mode. And as much as this time in our life sucks because of it (losing his job 3 weeks before a vacation... not exactly great timing!), I can see a bit of where the "it all happens for a reason" and "God has it in His plans" talk can come from. His grandpa Gint passed away last Thursday. This time off work gave John time to visit Gint in his last weeks much more than he would have been able to, and to help his mother and father plan the funeral all week that is tomorrow evening. His uncles are spread across the country, and one was on a trip to Germany at the time, so a lot of the "burden" of this time has fallen on the shoulders of my in-laws. But from what I have seen of their work on the arrangements it is going to be beautiful, and fitting for a man who very much deserves to have his life celebrated, as he seemed to always be celebrating life when I saw him.

I am still working as a nanny, and the kids still come with every day. It has truly been amazing watching them all grow up around each other. Addison & Brooke growing from 2 year olds  to being almost 4 and being so incredibly bright it amazes me most days. And such great little playmates, there is nothing those two cannot create in their imaginations together. Aaron was 3 months old when I started, and now he is almost 2 1/2! He and Jake went from being two separate little boys who did their own thing throughout the day, to being mostly inseparable. If it has wheels, it is gold to those two.

Brooke is almost 4! She starts gymnastics in 2 weeks, and is so excited to start school so she can learn to write her name just like her cousins. Growing up wayyy too quickly for my liking! She definitely still has her little spit-fire personality, and I just love it :) It drives daddy a tad insane some days! She has decided naps are unnecessary, but we still have "quiet time" every day. At home it is with her princess cd and tons of books. At work it is with a movie and dolls. Although, I am looking for a longer cd to bring so we can cut the movies out of the equation. Brooklyn is all girl. If it is pink, sparkly, Barbie, or "cute" it has her name written allll over it. She loves shopping. And superheroes. A girl after my own heart <3

And Jake is almost 3! Only 2 months away! He has grown so much physically and developmentally in the last 6 months it baffles me. He went from barely talking, to 4-word sentences. He barely toddled around and tripped all over himself, and now he loves to show us how "super fast" he can run by literally running as fast as he can all over the apartment. Trucks, tractors, and trains are his favorites above every other toy or topic you could bring up to him. He excitedly watches out the window while we're driving to make sure he points out every semi-truck and dump trunk he can see. He can count to 10, can say his prayers, and loves to copy big sister. He is growing up so fast, but will never stop being my baby boy! It is a good thing he still loves to cuddle so much :)

Well, time to finish the last-minute packing and get some rest! A week on the beaches of Grand Cayman is calling our names.... only 1 more day to get through!

Have a lovely week all :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Strengths & Weaknesses

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

 - Food. This is easily my number 1. And sweet over salty ever since Jake was born, before him I didn't have much of a sweet tooth at all. And this new "diet" (I'm going with calling it a lifestyle change - aka lifestyle to look awesome in the swimsuit John bought me for our vaca) is testing that weakness, but so far, so good! Sweets & chips, I shall defeat you.

 - Underwear. I get gift cards for VS from the hubs (a lot) and easily spend every cent on underwear (I fully realize this isn't what John wants me to buy with them haha oops). You can never have too much! And there are so many cute & different styles & colors & designs! If there is anything I hoard, its underwear.

 - Clothes shopping for the kids, or really any form of shopping for any children. I love the amazingly well-kept hand-me-downs from my sister and a couple friends, but there is nothing like seeing brand new adorable outfits on the kiddos... Lets just say I'm officially not allowed to buy them another single item of clothing until fall. 

 - Insecurity. Its a huge roller coaster of emotions, and I know drives my husband insane. But my body is so completely different after having kids, I have to tackle dieting and working out so differently than I did before... the old tricks don't work and figuring out new ones that do is freaking hard! So, this one is still very much a work in progress.... Talk to me again in October. That's my end date.

 - Anger. Mainly taking out my anger on my husband. I mean, he is the only adult I see most days besides my bosses, and taking out anger on 2 & 3 yr old's is just not okay! So he is generally the poor soul who has to take the big load of my daily frustrations. And when he is gone, every few days I am far too short fused with the kids, because he isn't there to let it out on. It is something I'm really working on, and need to find another area to displace my anger to. An okay area.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

So I'm not so big into the soul searching thing and I found this much harder than the weaknesses, so I asked John for list off the top of his head.... here is the list he texts back:

1. "You're a jawsome mom" (yes he actually said jawsome)
2. "You're tactful for the most part"
3. "You're a great kisser, amazing actually"
4. "You make sweet spiced potatoes"
5. "You see the best in people; which is good, because I see the worst"

Well, there ya have it. So come on over for some spiced potatoes sometime, apparently they're good enough to make the top 5!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Typical Day

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

It is really hard to think of a "typical" day in my life.... most days are very different! I work part-time as a nanny, babysit for my nieces/nephew 1 day/week, have 1 day totally off which is our laundry day, and then there is the weekend, which is generally busy trying to keep the kids entertained! But there are some parts to the day that is typical...

6-6:30 a.m.> Jacob wakes up. Sometimes he wakes up Brooklyn too, but he generally leaves her be. And a couple times/month he sleeps until 7! I feel like an entirely new person those days.

7-8:30> Brooklyn wake up some time in here, every day is different. And if we're watching my sister's kids, we leave the house by 7 that day.

6:30-8:30> Breakfast, shower for me, gets kids dressed and ready, do the same for myself, pack diaper bag, check facebook/email, watch 5 minutes of the news before the kids yell for cartoons, search for sippy cups, keys, and shoes that have all been hidden somewhere within the apartment

8:40> Leave for either work (Mon, Tues, Fri) or the gym (Weds)

9-1ish> (Mon, Tues, Fri) Do the nanny thing, which generally includes snack time, cartoons, playing with oodles of toys, playing outside (this time is generally quite relaxing actually!), wrestling, a lot of breaking up fights & kissing boo-boos, diaper changes, playing princess or doctor, making lunch, cleaning up toys & dishes, laying Addison & Aaron down for their naps, and then Brooke, Jake, & I head home to lay them down for naps.

7-4ish> (Thurs) Watch my nieces and nephew. Day consists of a lot of the same as nanny days but the baby is much younger and my older nieces are much more helpful with Brooke & Jake! And it involves lots of baby snuggles and enjoying the good baby smells :)

1-3> Nap time. At home I mostly relax and catch up on Game of Thrones or read a book, and sometimes take a short nap myself (especially the days Brooke insists on cuddles in order to sleep). Very rarely this time is actually productive haha but sometimes!

4ish-6> Any of these activities: Play outside, do puzzles, color, play playdoh, go for a walk, go to park, kids attacking John when he gets home from work

6-7:30> Prepare and serve dinner, give kids baths, clean up toys from the living room

7:30-8:30> Pre-bedtime wrestle time, read books, cuddles, prayers, checking for monsters int heir room in all sorts of ridiculous places, including but not limited to - under the bed, in the princess castle & barbie house, int he closet, in all lights & pictures, in the fans, in eyes, nose, and mouth. Finally we are allowed to leave their room and they (usually) stay in bed.

8:30-bedtime> Sit down and let the body relax, turn on some show or movie, cuddle with the hubs on the couch when hes home and not playing Diablo (that game blows btw), clean up dinner dishes, lock doors & windows, go to sleep anywhere between 10 and midnight.

I know, my days are super exciting and thrilling haha. If you made it all the way through you should receive an award!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Back to the "30 Things" blogs. I'm going to answer several of the questions in this one, mainly because I don't see any reason for them to have long, drawn-out explanations! And don't want to for some of them.

7. What is your dream job, and why?
Interior designer. Hands down. No, not an interior decorator, an interior designer is the one who designs what the interior layout of a building is going to be. I took a couple classes on this in high school, and one in college (even though it has had nothing to do with my degree); but I don't want to pursue it because it is hard to get a good job in this field, and takes forever to do so. But I love it. Because you know how you walk into a building or house and just think "This is the stupidest layout of rooms/entries ever, this makes no sense!"..... or maybe that's just me? Probably. But its one of my pet peeves, and I'm good at fixing it. So that would be my ultimate dream job!

8. What are 5 passions you have?
1) Kids. Obviously. I'm a nanny, I'm restarting school this fall to become an elementary school teacher; I'm generally a big fan of kids. And they are our future after all! Why not try to help mold them into a solid adult?

2) Art. There is nothing better than spending an entire afternoon in an art museum delving into each piece.... I know. I'm a nerd.

3) Music. It can heal the soul.

4) Capturing memories. I love taking pictures (even though they generally aren't very good!), and then scrapbook them so they are forever beautifully kept.

5) Family. I have been surrounded by a pretty great family my entire life, and feel it is most important to keep those relationships strong.

I'm skipping #9. I don't want to write about something that personal right now.

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
Its freshman year of high school. End of the school day. Grandpa is picking us up but I forgot something in one of my classes. So I go running into school, up to the 2nd level to my algebra class to get my papers and am on my way out. I run down the stairs on my way back out, and on my way down am interrupted by the hot upperclassman who was also in that class saying "Hey" (yes, since he was retaking algebra 1 as a junior I now realize he was a moron lol). So, I turn my head to say something, but then completely wipe out on the stairs, falling down the remaining ones. THANK GOD THIS WAS AFTER SCHOOL. But Mr Hot Stuff totally saw it and I was so embarrassed.... He also found it completely awesome to remind me about it constantly for the rest of the semester.

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
1) Not using blinkers while driving. Seriously, did you all fail driver's ed?!

2) Wearing all other makeup BESIDES mascara. It looks stupid.

3) Awkwardly designed houses/buildings. I'm desperately hoping we can build our own house when we are able to buy, so I don't have to go through 800 houses hating all of their designs.

4) At the gym, when people take the machine right next to you, when there are 5 identical ones open..... I don't wanna smell your B.O.

5) Spelling the majority of everything you post on facebook/twitter/whatever incorrectly. There is a spell-check tool for a reason, use it. P.S. "Cray" (crazy), "da" (the), "dey" (they) and other such stupid things, also fall into this category!

6) Clothes/Towels folded & put away incorrectly

7) Christmas decorations up past the first week of January. Its super tacky, and time too embrace the blah-ness that is the rest of winter.

8) Stoners.

9) Flakes. If you say you're going to do something or be somewhere, do it or be there. I fully understand things come up, ESPECIALLY when you have kids. But flaking on things all the time is just annoying, and makes it so I don't even want to attempt anymore.

10) When the people at the nail spa just won't stop talking to you while you're getting a pedicure. That might be rude, but I brought a book for a reason. To get this 30 minutes to just completely relax away from the kids.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Guess who fell behind on their plan to blog better? This girl. Spring cleaning projects, the gym, SLEEP, and life have taken precedence the last little while. Which I think is good, but I want to keep up with it to a point :) Plus, I have this stalker-girl from Wisconsin who visits my blog at least daily... Her name is Ashley and shes a tad crazy. We have completely cut her out of our lives except I can't block her from my blog. But ah well, at least she is blocked in all other manners at least! So for this one I'll be answering some questions from a friend's blog that she asked me (and a few others) to answer. Although, sorry Amanda, I'm not writing my own new ones at the end. Lol. I just don't have the mental capacity for it today.... The day is only half-done and already it has already drained me to exhaustion (laundry day + hyper kiddos = really, really busy morning).

1. What inspired your blog?
     I honestly don't entirely know. There was never really a "purpose" behind it. Except to vent a little. I started it a couple years ago at the end of a crazy-busy summer. John was never home due to work, and it was nice to get on here and just vent a little about how the day went and how I was feeling about things, because I wasn't able to with him as much. So, I guess loneliness inspired my blog.

2. What lessons have you learned from blogging?
     That more people pay attention than you think (or sometimes want to); and to keep my mouth shut about certain things. But really, I only use the second one when it comes to blogging, I guess I haven't applied it to real-life just yet. Ah, well :)

3. Whats your favorite article of clothing you own and why?
     My Express jeans. They fit wonderfully. Make my butt look awesome. I could wear them for a month straight and they would never stretch or lose shape. I have never done this btw but I have worn them a couple days in a row before and they're fantastic always. So whoever says spending a little extra on jeans isn't worth it, they're a liar. I have had them for over a year and they have never faded, stretched, or worn holes (and that is saying something for how often I am crawling around on the floor with my kids). My last pair lasted 5 years!

4. It's a rainy, gloomy day. What are your plans?
     Solid chance a Target trip is going to happen, I love to shop when it is crummy out. Bringing the kids out in the mud & puddles to play (as long as its warm enough). Lots of movies. And home cooking. I also love to cook on rainy, yucky days.

5. One pet-peeve when it comes to blogging?
     Constantly spelling words incorrectly. I'm sure I do it too, but I know it isn't 50 words/blog. There is a spell-check button for a reason - use it!

6. Losing what piece of jewelry would devastate you the most?
     My wedding ring. Hands down. Obviously. I have misplaced it before (because I'm not one of those people that wears my rings 24/7, those babies come off the second I'm home to relax for the day), and I was flipping out until I finally found it. It now goes 1 of 3 places always: top of the hutch on the computer desk, top of the bookcase, or top of the candle in the bathroom.

7. Where would you recommend going for a quick getaway?
     The North Shore on Lake Superior/Duluth. It is beautiful, there is tons to do, and there are so many places you can get away to be completely alone if you want to. It is my absolute favorite place in Minnesota. If we stay here the rest of our lives, I hope to one day move there.

8. Your next goal in life is what?
     Finishing school. John & I both start up again this fall. I really enjoy school (for the most part), so I'm excited to begin again.

9. Favorite comfort food?
     Mac n cheese. With a hot dog on the side.

10. If money was no object starting NOW, what would be your first purchase?
     New cars for both John & myself. He would get a truck, I would get a Traverse, it would be glorious.

11. A book you've read more than once and can recommend?
     The Help. Its amazing. I have read it twice since I got it this past fall. The movie is great, but the book is that much better. Read it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Is It Over Yet?

6. Whats is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

This one isn't actually as tough as I thought it would be to come up with. Because there is only one thing that sticks out from everything else that was physically and emotionally draining beyond a level I thought I could experience. I know there are parents - some I know and love dearly - who have gone through and currently go through far, far worse with their children, but this is what I have experienced.

Dealing with Jake being sick is the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life so far. 

The first trip to the hospital was awful - he was only 6 weeks old and could barely breathe. He had RSV & Bronchiolitis - a combination that would truly leave its mark on his tiny little body. The first time he spent 7 days at Children's Hospital. Being on oxygen, nebulizer (basically asthma treatments, but for small children) treatments every single hour, antibiotics to fight off the double ear infection he also got while there, several chest xrays, and having IVs to keep him hydrated. I stayed with him the whole time, John stayed as much as he could when he didn't have to work, and the rest of our family was amazing and took care of Brooklyn the entire time. The nurses & doctors were truly my saving grace - answering any and every question, and allowing me to vent & cry when I needed it. And now that is what his amazing respiratory specialist is for.

From then on that first round of sickness has brought on what is called Reactive Airway Disease. Basically a lesser form of asthma, that may or may not go away with time. There is no way of telling at all. With this we do daily lung steroid treatments with the nebulizer , and every single cold he gets is 50 times worse than it should be and he gets terribly sick. Won't eat, sleeps all day/night, but needs at least 8-10 doses of his neb medications because each of these colds settles right into his lungs and brings the wheezing back. And it made him -SO- crabby, every day, until he was about 18 months. I am so thankful that the constant crying, whining, and extreme neediness passes more with every day.

But I have (and I don't think he has either) never experienced anything worse than this last trip in December. Teething in molars turned into Jake breathing so hard they thought his muscles were going to just entirely give out. We couldn't keep up with the constant neb treatments at home, so he was admitted to Children's. The last trip paled in comparison to this one.... Having to physically hold down your 23 month old so hard that he gets bruises all over his legs and arms so that they could get each of the 6 IVs they had to put in him (he is a suuuuuper sweaty kid, so with a fever added he was sweating through all of the tape for his IVs). Listening to him scream "All done! Help me! All done!" the entire time, until he gave out from pure exhaustion and just finally fell asleep. I still tear up just thinking about it. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen. And each of the 4 days was just full of constant exhaustion from both me & Jacob. Very little sleep, constant fighting & crying from him, trying to entertain him in any and every way possible within his 2 foot boundary of his IV's.

Since then he has been very healthy, even got through 2 colds with no wheezing! But now with more teething he is battling the wheezing once again. And hopefully with the extreme rounds of nebs we are treating him with, it won't be another trip to even the doctor. Because I feel I get a bit more mentally weak with each trip. And feel like the world's worst mother, because I can't just keep him healthy. Also, because I in no way want to remember the majority of his first 18 months. I have the good parts held in my memory, but cannot wait until all of the times Jake & I felt so miserable are just a very, very distant memory.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


5. What are the 5 things that make you the most happy right now?

1) Alone time. I know, it sounds terrible; but the time when I am just away from everyone is my time where I can truly recharge my mental batteries. I love my kids, and I love to nanny, but being around my children 24/7 and then adding in two other bundles of adorableness 3 days a week...... It can get a bit emotionally draining, especially when John is gone for work. So I enjoy every moment of my alone time - because without it I get a *tad* impatient & annoyed with everything in life. And starting this month John is giving me a once a month night out completely and totally alone, to do just whatever. I'm so excited for this to start.....

2) Date nights. We also make sure to do once a month date nights. Time where we are just us. No matter how busy our schedules are, or how little we have seen each other in a few weeks because of John's work & drill schedules, we make sure to find time for this night to take a few hours and just have fun together. With no cell phones (the only exception being a text or 2 to make sure the kids are doing alright with the sitter). And we take turns planning it. I'm excited to plan May's :) Its fun to plan these nights and make them feel like we're just dating again.

3) Brooklyn & Jacob. They bring such an immense amount of love & joy into my life. Brooke's goofy & contagious laugh; her snappy little personality. Jake's big hugs & turning everything into a game. Its hard to describe, but these two make every day worth it.

4) Shopping. Yep, I'm a total girl. But I love shopping, even when its just window shopping.

5) Friends - and family that has become friends. They make the big, difficult parts of life that much easier to go through. And push you to see beyond just your point of view, which is often needed!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ahhhhh, to be 16 again....

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16-year-old self, if you could.

1) Date. Its fun. And it shows you exactly what you do & don't want the man you marry in the future to be like. And it doesn't keep you wondering "what it would be like to be with other people" like you will hear from others in their marriages. But don't get too serious with any of them. However, when a sexy blue-eyed guy with sandy-blond hair comes around.... stick with him. Its worth it :)

2) Stay in softball, even though the coach is a major creep/perv/jerk. Because you are going to miss playing the game more than anything.

3) Stick with your good friends, and don't worry about the ones who easily come into and just as easily leave your life. They aren't worth it.

4) Do better in school. It is so worth it.

5) Don't wear that ugly blue shirt on your last day of senior year. It is horrendous looking, does not look "school spirit-ish", and you will have 100 pictures in that stupid thing.

6) Spend plenty of time with your parents & siblings. You will actually miss them when you leave for college.

7) Don't get those highlights. Just DON'T.

8) Enjoy having very minimal responsibilities and so much free time! Have adventures. Go to every single concert you can. Because you will never lose your love for seeing new artists live, but you will lose the time to do it.

9) Don't worry about what people think. Be yourself and enjoy every minute of it. Plus, it may help you with that whole fear of public speaking thing.

10) Learn how to cook. Seriously. And be more adventurous in what foods you try. Maybe it'll make you less picky as an adult.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
(I know I have skipped days, but blogging every single day is hard! Not a chance I'm going to do this in just 30 days, If I get done with these questions by the end of May I'll be quite satisfied!)
Ahhhh, my mom and dad :) We've had highs, we've had lows, as I think any parent-child relationship has! Lets start with mi padre!

I feel I am quite a lot like my father, which is probably why we butted heads so much when I was a teenager. Because when you put two outspoken & stubborn people together, there is going to be friction lol. And really, I was a pain in the butt, I fully understand that. But I was right, the majority of the time ;-) Although, he may have known better about the boyfriends I brought home when he would give them the stink eye the whole time they were over! It was pretty funny to see the guys squirm :) But I also had great times with him as kids & teen. He was the one who when we were on vacation would always take us out exploring. And the one that when we would go up to Lake Superior would come out hiking and climbing on all the rocks with me because no one else would. Even if we did fall down a giant hill that had flat rocks all over it (not our best idea to date). He would sit down and help with math homework, and help us to practice whichever sport it was we were playing at the time so we could do our best. He made sure life as a kid was genuinely fun. And I absolutely love what our father-daughter relationship has grown into. He is an excellent grandfather to my kids (the silly grandpa monster as the kids call him), and is wonderful to sit out on the deck and just talk to. I'm glad I had my kids so young, so that they can experience all the fun that grandpa has to share!

My mom & I have had a pretty usual mother-daughter relationship I feel. Well, what I think should be normal and what I hope to have with Brooklyn one day. Minus the teen years. Have I already mentioned I was a sucky teenager at home? Because I was. We had some good fights, some good door slamming, I don't want to live here, I can't wait to be 18, etc, etc fights. But boy am I thankful I'm past that! Because my mom is a person I can talk to about absolutely anything. She doesn't judge what me or my siblings choose to do, but she helps us to move along the best possible path. My favorite memories are our shopping trips we have taken, because even if I get nothing, we have a blast. Especially Day After Thanksgiving. An entire day spent with my mom and sister where we talk, laugh, go out to eat, gossip, and complain. If we go a few days without talking it feels just weird! And she has a huge heart. She loves her kids and grandbabbies more than anything (although I'm quite positive the grandbabbies have outranked us ever since Josephine was born; but I understand, they're cuter). She has taught me to love people, even for their flaws. She has tried to teach me how to be "lady-like", but unfortunately most of that never sunk in lol. She is the queen of etiquette, so I know how to be proper when it is absolutely required (I have a feeling this will be quite useful with John's career in the military!). Mostly she has taught me what being a mom truly should be like. And not to belch in public.

I thank God every day for the parents He gave me, because they gave me the best upbringing I could imagine; even if I didn't deserve it all the time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Things We Fear The Most

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

1- I am terrified of hitting a deer while I'm driving. Or someone else is driving. Or ever. In a vehicle. Because I am positive I won't just quickly hit it, it dies, and move along. I'm quite sure it would come through my windshield, antlers thrashing, and then kill/brutally harm me & anyone in the car, especially the kids. And since we drive up north to the cabin at night several times a year.... Lets just say I am SUPER alert for the entire drive!! This whole fear started when my brother & I were driving to the cabin really late one night after a Blaine football game..... He said he would stay  awake and help watch for deer on the back roads. Well, anyone who knows David knows that didn't happen, the guy loves to sleep. Well, we're on the last 2 miles before we get to the cabin, driving around the lake, when 3 deer come bolting out right in front of us. I slam the brakes, David wakes up flipping out thinking we've died, and the deer just STAND THERE! So I, being 17 and dumb and never encountering deer in this way before, honked at them. And they came running at the car! None of them officially hit it, but one just stood there right next to the hood looking all intimidating like "I'm gonna get you for that" (that's what I thought in my head, I doubt it was actually thinking anything lol). So, I honked again, and they ran off. And ever since, I'm a freak about watching the ditch while driving at night.

2- Burning alive. I know its a pretty common fear, but it is the last way I would want to die. I have no idea where the fear came from, but I'm not a big "fire" person. Bonfires are good and all, I just stay a distance away. Unlike my husband; who can never be too close. 

3- This one is pretty obvious. Losing John. He is my rock, my best friend. And he has been a major part of my life since we were in middle school. Whether it be to divorce, or death, it isn't anything I want to think about. I will probably be the world's biggest wreck during deployment. Hopefully I'll be able to keep my cool as well as some of the strong ladies I know. Being married, having a family, it was always my ultimate goal/dream, and I have no idea what I would do if it was taken away from me.

Until next time!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

30 Days.... Boom, Boom!

     So life has actually been fairly.... calm lately! It has been so nice. John has been home *most* weekends, and last weekend when he had a trip up north we all got to stay at the cabin with my parents, so that weekend was still fun and we got to see him each day! I know his work schedule is about to get really intense again, until like September, so I feel incredibly blessed that this past month has been so low-key on the work end of things for him. 
     But since I sort of stink at keeping up on this blog, I'm giving myself a bit of a challenge! I saw it on a friend's blog. Its a list of things to blog about for 30 days straight. Plus, it will help keep my mind off of how horrendously bored I will be most nights!  So I start today, now that we finally have our computer back and working like a champ!

Here it is:

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.  
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents.

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

7. What is your dream job, and why?

8. What are 5 passions you have?

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

1. List 20 random things about yourself.
1- I'm a middle child, and very much have the "middle-child syndrome". I'm loud, blunt, and stubborn to the core. But I also prefer to go-with-the-flow. It isn't necessary to stress about every little thing! Save that for the big importants.
2- I'm crazy paranoid. It drives John nuts. I keep the apartment super locked-down when he isn't home, and I lock my car no matter where I am or where I am parked. And I look behind me about every 10 seconds when I'm outside and its dark. There are way too many more to list!
3- I love underwear. When I'm super-stressed about something, I go on an underwear shopping spree.
4- I'm a Harry Potter nerd to the core.
5- If I watch a horror flick/thriller, you can bet on the fact that it will take me about 4 hours to fall asleep. With all of the lights on. But I still love them.
6- Neither of our kids were planned, but I wouldn't change it for a thing. They bring more joy to my life than I could have ever expected.
7- John & I have known each other since we were 8. I still find it super cute, even in my own head.
8- Junior year I told John I could never wait for him if he joined the military (I know, I was a terrible person, but we hadn't been dating long!). Boy, did that ever change!
9- Spring is my favorite season. I love seeing everything be "re-born"
 10- I have huge feet. Size 10. And since having Jake I officially have to get a wide in most heels.... Its embarrassing.
11- I have dance parties with my kids to the closing music at the end of every movie we watch, it is my absolute favorite part of the day.
12- I love to cook, but am pretty limited in what I know how to make. A cook-book is on my birthday list this year!
13- I hate lettuce. And get criticized for it often. It tastes like a mixture of dirt & water, exactly where it came from. I'm perfectly happy never having a salad!
14- I'm a Republican. For the most part. 
15- I have always wanted to foster older kids..... But my husband is really against it. Not right now of course, but later in life. We'll see where the fight ends up :)
16- I love Disney Channel. I'm embarrassed to even mention how many episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place I watched late at night while John was at training last spring/summer.
17- I love to take pictures & scrapbook. I am soooo
18- I love art. One of my favorite days I can think of is when I spent 4 hours at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and got to go through and read about and delve into each piece.
19- I was not born with a green thumb. I have killed every plant my husband has given me. Thank goodness he generally saves them. Needless to say, last summer while he was gone, I only had a cactus.
20- I love to change room layouts & colors. Our living room furniture gets moved around at least every 6 months. If only I had the funds to redecorate that often!

Well, there it is, until tomorrow!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ohhhh Those Tiny Booger Producers

Man, I feel like life has been going non-stop lately. I know, I know, its good to be busy and doing things and blah, blah, blah. But for real, I just want to be bored and have nothing to do for a few days! I think that is why I have SO been looking forward to this coming weekend.... John & I are going to this Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat thing that is through the National Guard. It isn't supposed to be a blasty-blast or anything, but it is a free weekend away from kids & responsibilities! And, not going to lie, the hotel looks sweet from the pictures online. And we get a date night! And a king-sized bed, without any tiny booger-producers climbing in with us at the butt-crack of dawn. Or, well, before it! Idk I'm just excited, and don't really have too many expectations for the weekend. Just that it will fun for some 1-on-1 time with my man, for more than a few hours :)

As I was babbling about before, life has been a tad busy. It all seemed to start about a week & a half before Christmas, when Jake got admitted to Children's for his RAD (Reactive Airway Disease) acting up again (aka oxygen levels dropping, wheezing like crazy, breathing so hard they thought his muscles were going to give out.... ya know, fun things).  Caused by..... *dun dun dun* a COLD. Seriously. Lets just say a 23 month old + oodles of needles + oodles of masked doctors poking & prodding at him = an interesting 4 days spent! He got back at them though, slowly but surely. First, he nailed one of the nurses in the head & eye with this huge boot-thing he had to have on his leg (to protect his IV since it was the 6th one they had put in...). He threw sippy cups at them several times, cried so loud they couldn't even check his breathing, and once he got the boot off, whipped toys when they started coming close to him. I mean, come on, the drs totally had it coming! I was fully rooting for him, except when he was crying, because that mostly broke my heart, and also made me feel slightly insane after so much of it.

So, we got through Christmas festivities with both kids being mostly sick the entire time, and Jake was crazy sick for his birthday again, but about a week or 2 into January everything cleared up and the kids have both been healthy since! Jake had his 2nd birthday party, had a blast, even though he somehow hates cake. So now we are transitioning slowly into John's "new" work schedule, which basically includes a lot of traveling. He works for the NG Event Team, so he brings the rock walls and obstacle courses and basketball/football games and other such things to events where recruiters are at and helps out. But it means a very, very busy spring & summer for him. So far he has been traveling anywhere between 5-10 days for January and February, and as time moves forward this summer he could be gone anywhere from 3-5 days/week depending on the events and everything... BUT the God-send in all of this is that we can travel with him when we're able, and that it will only send him within Minnesota. Soooo I'm going to try to be more appreciative about it, because really the whole job and benefits and everything is such a blessing to all 4 of us... I'll just have to remember that when he's gone!

Some updates on the kids:
Brooklyn was 3 (going on 13) on Nov. 18th! She is definitely my child.... stubborn to the core and will do anything to get her way! Haha so she keeps us on our toes for sure... But she is so very sweet & funny as well. She is always saying hilarious things, and has an amazing memory and can recall things all the time when we ask about them. Mostly slightly embarrassing things, but what better are kids for than for some solid embarrassment once in a while!? She loves to be cuddled with, and is starting to get very into all things girly. Princesses, barbies, littlest pet shop, dresses, HORSES; but she still loves playing boyish things with her brother. They play cars/trains all the time, and have wrestling matches that could go up against those of the "real" wrestlers in the WWE! She doesn't like to sit and just color anymore, but she loves to paint and do puzzles. Candy Land and Memory are her favorite games, and she can turn ANYTHING into a "mommy, daddy, and baby" and play with them. She is day-time potty trained, now we are starting to naptime potty train,, which has been going very well so far, no accidents! The next beast is overnight... That may be a little while!

Jacob just turned 2 at the end of December! He started walking a few weeks before Christmas, so is constantly trying to go faster and do different things. His favorite is to jump on his big sister's bed with her... And then turn it into a wrestling match. He loves all things having to do with cars, trucks, trains, buses, airplanes, and balls. He is very boy! Basketball is his favorite sport, and he always tries to get on the court when we watch John's cousin's games. He gets very concerned that they are not always trying to "shoot" the ball! He is working on his words and putting together 2-word phrases. He knows several, but not always ones he has done on his own. His physical therapist and teacher have been very happy with all the progress he has made since daddy got home from training! He loves to color, but still hates most food. The kid just will NOT eat most things. So he is still strictly on pediasure every day right before bed to ensure he has enough calories & nutrition in him for the day! Peek-a-boo, "night-night", and chase are among his favorite things to play. He tries to play with his sister's toys with her, but she just generally gets upset because he wrecks whatever she was trying to set up or play lol. He is starting to get interested in the potty and always wants to sit on it, but hasn't gone in it yet. But I am terrified to potty-train him! Anyone who has potty trained a boy I would love some tips! I know he is young, but he is interested! I just don't know what to do with his little thingy, I know, TMI lol.

I am still a nanny in Coon Rapids and love working with these kids :-) And Brooke & Jake love having playmates! Even if they do all fight like siblings ;-) And we're starting to look for a new place to rent this fall, 3 bedrooms, and can be an apartments, townhouse, or home! Let me know if you know of nice places with reasonable prices!

Just heard the sounds of Addison waking up, time to get back to work! Until next time :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 - Its A Wrap

So a friend of mine did this on her blog, Meggan's Moments, and I thought it was cute/a good wrap-up, so here goes :)

1. What did you do in 2011 that you have never done before?
I was home alone with the kids for 7 months.... I'm not gonna lie, kind of feel like a rockstar for that one. Mainly for the fact that none of the 3 of us died. Went on an airplane completely alone, yes I was fully freaking out the entire time. Any and all things having to with the military... But my favorite was the first time I saw my man in his uniform (and figuring out how to take it off ;-) haha)

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
 Uhmmmm I have never really made a "resolution" exactly... I just tend to make goals throughout the year. My main goal was to lose weight & go to the gym regularly this last year, and I did. I lost 12 pounds while John was gone, and went to the gym 2-4 times each week. Sadly, I gained 8 back since John came home (the man does not allow eggs & meat or chicken & cottage cheese for every meal), but have lost 3 of it again since the new year started.
Goals for this year = Like how I look in a swimsuit this summer - this includes losing more weight, hoping for another 15 pounds by my birthday, and shave off that other pesky 5 I gained back by June. Be more understanding and patient towards my kids - I should have known I would create super stubborn children, especially at the ages of 2 & 3! Bring them on a walk or to the park every day that it is nice enough out. Enroll Brooke in soccer camp (the girl loves soccer), and swimming lessons. Create a budget and stick to it. Make time 1 night each month for just John & I to go out on a date.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Kayla had her second baby boy. Meggan had her son. Solid chance I forgot someone, my memory is terrible!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My husband's best friend's father passed away very suddenly to cancer last spring.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Just different parts of the US :)

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Never having to "visit" my husband. I am done with that junk. Not because I don't love seeing him, I just don't want him gone from home again this year :)

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
 March 2nd - The day John left for Basic Training. I was such a wreck.
September 29th - The day John came home for good from training, I was so excited and happy and flipping out all at the same time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Potty training Brooke. Jake walking - totally his achievement but I am just so stinkin happy about it!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not seeing friends enough. This year was so insanely busy, I missed my girls like crazy and didn't see them nearly enough.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope! Can't say the same about my sickness-prone little man though.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The slide-climber for the kids. New living room furniture. Everything having to do with the trip to DC. Gym membership.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Bills. Rent. Booooooo.

13. What did you get really excited about?
The trips out east, they were so much fun! And I know I'm a broken record, but John coming home. I was excited for 7 whole months.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Party Rock Anthem. I love it, the kids love it, and we jammed/danced like fools to it all the time.

15. Compared to last year are you:
- happier or sadder? Much, much happier, 2010 kind of sucked the big one.
-thinner or fatter? Thinner, thank God.
-richer or poorer? Richer, sounds weird to say rich in any way, shape, or form lol.

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Gone to the park more with the kids. Jake just made it physically and mentally exhausting. We spent most of our outside time outside of the apartments.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
 Less time spent at the hospital. Hoping that 2012 means Jacob's body kicking out that Reactive Airway Disease.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
With lots of family, it was a great Christmas season.

19. What were your favorite books of the year?
The Help was absolutely amazing. So excited to buy the movie. Every book I read by Jodi Piccoult. She is an outstanding author, and every book is so different.

20. What was your favorite music of the year?
Couldn't tell ya.... anything upbeat I loved this year.

21. What were your favorite films of this year?
Friends With Benefits, Harry Potter 7.2, Crazy Stupid Love.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Criminal Minds. The Mentalist. One Tree Hill as always. And I totally watched a ton of late-night Wizards of Waverly Place while I was writing letters to John lol.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Spent the day pouting, because it was a super hard day with the kids. But that evening me & my sister went to MOA kid-free, it totally made up for the day! I turned 22!

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having John home the whole time. I am willing to bet about 12 trillion dollars I would have had almost zero breakdowns then, instead of at least 1 a day.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?
Uhmmmmm Idk. I don't really have one ever. Its pretty much wear junk that fits, doesn't make you look like a hoe-bag,  and you think is cute. And some days it is 100% about comfort, thats what days off are for!

26. What kept you sane?
Letters. Phone calls. The internet (mainly the 3-13 ladies). Friends & family. Tuesday nights at the gym, alone. The kids' sweet moments. Having awesome bosses. Seriously, no sucking up needed, I think if I had any other job this past year I would have gone nuts. Jake turning a massive corner and going from screaming/crabby 24/7 to be so happy the majority of the time!

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
 Giving your large master bedroom for your 2 children to share and moving into their much smaller room is so worth it. It made them so happy, and has kept their crazy amount of toys *mostly* in one area. Also, always update the computer when it tells you to. Always hitting "Remind Me Later" leads to computer problems..... for the next 10 months. Props to my awesome cousin Sam who is currently working on fixing it. Sooooo excited to have a working computer at home again!!

Overall 2011 trumped 2010 by a mile :) And hopefully 2012 will be even better!