Monday, February 27, 2017

2016 year-end videos.

February is trending to be the month we finally get around to recording our "year-end" videos.

First up, Sadie Lady (with guest appearance by Brooks):

Then, our Brooksy outside in a t-shirt in February:

And last, but not least, Owen:

See our 20132014 and 2015 videos, too!

my weekend in photos.

We had another date night swap to look forward to on Friday night, and were on deck for a turn to go out. We met with our good friends for a casual dinner at Beer Kitchen. Ironically, Colby and I hardly spoke to each other on our "date," but we both loved catching up with our friends across the table.

We were home at a decent hour to ensure a good night's sleep to prep for a 2 year old birthday party! We cleaned and baked and got a lineup of sweets in place for our family and a couple of close friends to come celebrate with us.

Sadie warmed up to her party after a slow start and was pleased as pie to have a plate full of sweets with no limitations. The theme was Curious George, because the girl can't get enough of that monkey. Thanks, Netflix, for being our knight in shining armor any time we need ya! 

"Show me how old you are!" ;-)

Post-party sugar crash.

Colby left for 24 hour getaway to the lake with a buddy for a round of golf. I'm always quite impressed with myself come 8 o'clock when I'm sitting in silence after the marathon of getting 3 kids bathed and to bed on my own. 

Sunday morning, however, I was less impressed with myself after an all but graceful morning of getting us out the door for church alone. It was a rocky morning for my oldest, but an apology note passed to me in church made it all better.

We had lunch with friends, then headed home to wait on Daddy.

Bedtime with the boys: Owen reading to Brooks the page that says "Boo Boo Butt"... over and over and over again. And Brooks laughing like it was the first time he's heard it every single time. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


I can count on one hand [or maybe even 1 finger] the number of ME outings I've had since the beginning of swim season last November. Weeknight grind on repeat week after week - with Colby and I crashing on the couch on cold winter evenings after our long days at work, our evening after-school routine, and getting the kids bathed and into bed to sit with one of our favorite shows on the tube. By the week's end, I craved our family weekends together, and felt we did a good job about being intentional to be together on weekends this winter. But after leaving my weekly women's small group night about a year ago, I've found this winter's swim season to feel a little longer than seasons past. (Likely because I have more kids than I have in most swim seasons prior.) And I was missing me girl time something fierce.

So when I got a "I think we should rent Bad Moms and drink wine soon" text from my bestie at the beginning of the week, it was on our calendar for 3 days later. And the anticipation was almost too much. But since everyone was all stomach-flu-stricken in my desperate corner, all I could keep thinking was, "PLEASE, GOD, MAKE IT GONE BY THURSDAY. Mama needs a break."

Praise the Lord that when Thursday came most of my crew was on the mend - or at least able to function without backup parenting. God heard my SOS for a girls night plea, and it was perfectly timed before a 48-hour final hoorah parenting solo while swim season finished off with the state meet weekend in Topeka.

Since February has brought the midwest some unseasonably warm and amazing and sunny spring weather, girls night started with our running shoes. Then, we lucked into her vacationing parents' new house located exactly halfway between our houses as our final destination for a night IN. You guys. We could hear the electricity humming. Ain't NOBODY in my personal space. Didn't even have to breathe the same air as my dogs. Or hear my dryer or dishwasher buzz trying to guilt me into getting up to put a load away. Or a dog's collar clanging as they scratched incessantly, or the clanking of our kitchen blinds from their nudging to be let outside. Or wondering what time Sadie will start crying to interrupt (or permanently end) my evening couch time.


We rented Bad Moms, made pomegranate cosmopolitans, then talked long into the night.. er, morning? Because you can cover a lot of ground when you're sitting on neighboring couches in the same room without distractions. 1AM was my cutoff. Only because my sentences were losing coherency. We didn't solve the world's problems, but we sure tried.

I sure was sleepy-faced for work the next morning. But that night was so good for my soul.

GIRLFRIENDS. God love 'em. And this one, especially.

(Seems the only pictures I have with just the two of us are sweaty post-run selfies. Project get some decent pics with my bestie is now underway.)

Monday, February 20, 2017

my weekend in photos.

After my latest bedtime in longer than I can remember, I was up before 6AM and had me and the kids out the door by 6:25 AM for my next couple of days as single mom. Thankfully, only 1 of us had to be dressed (myself), and none of us had to be fed. Nana & Papa were on duty while I was at work, and I got to experience the weekly tradition of Friday morning french toast.

After I picked up the kids, I couldn't resist an excuse to be outside to enjoy the weather. We (and a lot of other mommas) drove-thru Chik-fil-A for a dinner to go then stopped at a park for a picnic and play. It was fun to be spontaneous, but not as fun to convince them it was time to get in the car.

We had a fireplace project we started this weekend, so Alan instantly became Owen's new BFF when he let him use the drill gun. I'll share before and after pictures soon!

I was in bed before 9 after a chaotic rush to bed, and then up and out the door by 7:30 the next morning. We spent the day in Topeka cheering on the Lancers to a 3rd consecutive state championship.

Then we headed straight to Owen's last game of the season. He scored 12 points in his final game, and hustled hard against one of the more aggressive teams he's played this season. Proud of my little baller!

Feels nice to end both seasons on the same day in time to enjoy the rest of this weekend's amazing summer-like weather.

Since Monday was a holiday, for the rest of my family, I took a half day from work and wrangled everyone in for some outdoor fun outside of our normal routine. Since the WHOLE weekend was nice, everyone must have hit up the zoo on Saturday and Sunday because we had the place to ourselves!

Little sister refused to ride in the double stroller, which has me a little nervous with our Disney trip coming up. But either way, this Daddy of hers didn't mind the extra weight. <3 br="">

Sadie was especially fond of the orangutans (likely since she loves her some Curious George), Brooks was entranced by the penguins, and Owen loved watching the polar bear swim. We had a great day together at the zoo!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

life::an outtake.

If you could imagine this in a perfectly adorable toddler voice and "L"s pronounced as "W"s and the fact that I've seen these VERY sweet glimpses into the other side of age 3 in these last few weeks and the fact that he has NEVER volunteered to pray (and REFUSED to pray more times than I can count) you can maybe catch a glimpse into the melted puddle of mush that is my heart after listening to this prayer, as prayed by Brooks tonight:

Lord God, You made me and you made the sun. And you like the sun. And Jesus loves me. And he made the lights and the wall and the pictures and the roofs. And he made my superman jammies and the other things and the whole world. A-MEN.

Scratch Art Valentines.

I'm back with another kids' valentine reveal!

This year I was all about just getting these finished with as little effort as possible. We had my dad in town last weekend, and then everyone but me with some form of the stomach flu the week leading up to V-day,  so I didn't even bother with having the kids help with their valentines this year.

I whipped together another pinterest-inspired non-candy valentine for all 3 of the kids' classes. I made some slight modification to the free printables (linked below) that I found to make it more ink-friendly on the ol' printer, and added in the kids' names to save time with signing names later.

Scratch Art squares (125 sheets for $7.99) (or you can get heart-shaped sheets - i just decided for 3 kids it was more economical to buy the squares + bulk styluses!)
Wooden stylus (100 count for $5.62)
Label Printables (free!)
5x7 Plastic bags (100 for $5.95)

I had enough supplies to make 100 for $20 - or .20/valentine. Thankfully, I only had to put together 50 the night before Valentine's Day, but I plan to assemble more (with a different label) for goodie bags for Sadie's birthday party!

See my past candy-free valentine creations:
Main Squeeze
and Choo Choo.

Monday, February 13, 2017

my weekend in photos.

My dad arrived Thursday eve for a visit. What has easily become one of my favorite traditions occurred again this trip for a Friday lunch at Unforked over my lunch hour - just he and I.
Owen got sick Thursday night, Sadie Friday morning, Colby Sunday afternoon, and Brooks Sunday night. The two younger boys seemed to have been a one and done sort of sickness, while Daddy and Sadie still are struggling. Miraculously, I ended my weekend feeling healthy.

So there was a lot of bathtime.
And even more napping.
Meanwhile, Owen was off to another birthday party.
We were fed up with it, and got outside for some sunshine anyway.
We were treated to most of our meals out - some Spin & Jose Peppers - both as chosen by Owen. Our Spin was cut short with a table puking incident, and Jose Peppers we left Colby & Sadie at home.
My dad likes to come during Owen's sporting seasons to catch a game - so we did just that.
After breakfast on Sunday, my dad headed out. We loved having him in town for a short time, and always look forward to his next visit!
Now we're ready to get everyone HEALTHY for the final week of swim & basketball season.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

life::an outtake.

This throwback. It makes my heart so happy.

But also: tears. Because this was my first visit since her diagnosis. A month after we had returned from our visit at Christmas [that aside from my momma coming down with the flu and then passing it on to Colby & I to bring home to KC, it was normal and wonderful and filled my cup]. Then a few weeks later, less than a week prior to this visit, she was dealt the worst news of her life.

I can remember sitting on the loveseat across the room from her where she sat in the chair and verbalized much of what the doctors had told her. Her treatment plan. Her prognosis. The inevitable nature of this terminal diagnosis. The swarm of logistics regarding work and travel and finances and leaving my dad, my brother, my family, and the house and land behind. As she lost her composure, through the sobbing and tears she said, "Just give it a minute - this will stop. The waterworks are like a tick I can't control - but it will stop shortly."

In that moment, I kept my composure. Just as I did throughout that year in the moments I was faced with a lump in my throat and my heart breaking into a million pieces inside when I talked to her. But amidst the many things she had said to me during that conversation, that one had stuck out the most. She was less than a week into this battle and had shed enough tears to know their pattern. Oh, how I wished away her reality.

This morning, though, my composure is lacking. But being 3 years out from my sweet momma's cancer diagnosis and 2 years from her passing, I've shed enough tears to know that mine, too, will stop shortly.

(Original appearance of this photo appeared in "my weekend in photos" here.)