Monday, August 25, 2014

A first born and first time mom's first day of school

So just for memory sake..I felt the need to recap the the semi-first day of school.  All went well this morning to get us on the road to a happy drop off for kindergarten assessments.  I made sure to get some protein in T followed by a good lunch complete with fruits and veggies.  I kept reminding him of a couple letters he struggles with and bam, WE WERE READY!

 We loaded up and what came out of T's mouth was precious beyond words.. Like he'd been thinking for a while and was ready for his speech.  He said, "Mom, I just can't believe how far I've come with my knowings, and mom, I'm SO excited for kindergarten but I'm really going to miss you."

Que the burning nose and misty eye.  I immediately thought, boy you can't do this to me now.  THIS is the unpardonable.  I've heard like a million times not to cry in front of your kids before KINDERGARTEN.  Everyone says SAVE the tears.  Heck, even Titus said don't cry. And after all, its barely a half day and they're just testing him. Seriously.Get.It.together.  Self-talk never really works for me.

We then prayed while Maeve yelled "my turn pray," which lightened the mood. We walked in, me nervous, Titus like he owned the place.   He saw the principal and asked if he should go up and introduce himself and shake her hand.  Shake her hand?  Are you 25?!   Since she quickly began giving directions we opted out. Good thing, because the tears would have probably started then.  #crazymom

We walked down the hallway and I began to feel nervous about my emotional state.  Don't you love how this is suddenly about me?!  Can I be a more typical first time mom?!

Anyways, he walked up, said his name to which they didn't catch the last name and I had to say it 3 times.  Each time my voice trembled more.  The greeter teacher's eye grew wider and I could read her mind, "SHE's gonna blow."  I basically pushed Titus to her and bolted into the paperwork classroom.

SOBBING.  A sweet teacher hugged me and gave me a tissue.  I was mortified since I thought I would have been high-fiving.  Out of body experience to say the least.  Another sweet parent made me not feel like a complete loser which I appreciated.  It's a good thing they didn't have room mother sign ups because my gratitude may have caused a terrible impulse decision right then.

After school I was 2nd in line for the carpool.  I'm sure you're surprised. Titus bounced into the car and declared he PASSED... "MOM, I get to go to KINDERGARTEN."  I'm not completely sure why he thought you could fail but apparently he did.  My bad.  His excitement became my own and any leftover hormones were gone.  Just happy to have my boy back!  I asked 500 questions to only get "I think I did good."

Then tonight while talking to his Dad he announced what his FAVORITE test was.... "ya know the one where you put headphones on and listen for the beep and raise your hand."  The hearing test??!  YUP, he was talking about the HEARING TEST.

Why am I not surprised?!  Can I just take a wild guess that the hearing tests was the only one he got to move with?  Good luck teachers, he's all yours.  

And as for me, I asked T if he thought I cried and he gave me a puzzled look and said, "NO, that would be WAY embarrassing."  Oh good... good thing I didn't SOB.

Well let's just say I'm wearing waterproof make up next time.... for  meet the teacher and the real first day.  What can I say, I'm pregnant and he's my first baby.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The first days of Kindergarten.

When you (Titus) were 18 months old I quickly learned I was parenting a strong willed child.  I bought all the Dobson books we could afford as seminarians and your Dad and I thought our dominant traits were working their genetic magic as our parents whispered, "told ya so."  When BOTH parents hear their entire life how strong willed they were (or are), this was not a surprise.  Truthfully, your Dad and I are a lot alike.  It makes for a "fun" first year of marriage and then a dream team begins to form.... or so we like to think.

After deciding you were strong willed, I was happy for us. And you.  Why?  I knew if Jesus would become your first love, you'd change your world.  That's been my prayer.  

Right now, we're in the trenches and a strong willed child combined with lots of energy sometimes looks like a frazzled mom who may lose her mind if you backtalk or wrestle one more time (when we've asked you not to).   Other times it feels like we're making progress... like when you tell on yourself because you know you hurt someone's feelings even knowing you will have to apologize and make it right.  Your honesty is something I praise God for and I pray he only continues to sow the seed of truth in your heart.  Either way, I see glimmers of the man you are becoming, and my sweet boy, you are going to be like your Daddy.... and Your Grandpa, and your Papa, but most of all like Christ... the one you placed your childlike faith in last year.   

So... as I send you out into your first days of Kindergarten know your Dad and I are camping out on Psalm 1 and Proverbs 1 and praying a few specific things for you this year...

1.  Self-control-- That God would continue to develop the ability to think first before you act.  
2.  Leadership- That you can influence your friends and show them Christ instead of following someone into trouble.
3.  Christ-likeness-  That God would continue to work in your heart and that it would come out in word and deed. 
4. Protection from evil-  For your own safety to the scary influences of public school we pray Christ would stand guard over you.   
5.  Understanding-  that you would learn to read.  Seems simple but it's truly a gift.  Yes,  I'd appreciate the break (for me) of you being able to read star wars comics,  but I pray more than anything that you will be able to read the Bible and understand God's word for yourself and you would begin to hide his word in your heart.  Our pastor spoke about helping your child memorize scripture so that one day when hard times come, YOU will bleed the gospel.  Bam. our goal. 

And can I just say....aside from anything sentimental, it's stinkin' time.  I'm sure I'll have a good cry at some point but don't take offense if I high five your teachers on the way out.  I can see those little birdie wings starting to flutter and I'm so happy for you.  So here's the thing... you go fly, my sweet baby boy, but I'll be close if you need me... as in like 2 minutes away. As in... I'll think about you constantly and stick figure people and hearts will fill your lunch box notes until you can read.  As in... I love  As in... I'm so glad I got to be the one to spend my days with you the past 5 years. 

And spoiler.  #You'renotridingthebus.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Maeve is 2!

Here's the thing.  2 years came and went so fast that I am just hoping to jot down and few things about our sweet girl before she's 2 1/2. 
Our sweet and sassy Maeve is 2 and what a joy she brings to our home.  I've often said I feel like I'm raising the baby version of Tina Fey because she's quirky little thing.  Maeve keeps us laughing and has proven to be just as strong willed as her brother.  We often say that she lives in a world of pink and purple.. her favorite colors and adores all things girly.  She may proclaim to you that she's beautiful and a princess if you stick around long enough.  Maeve is a fun girl to be a mommy to! 

She's a little picky with food at times and has earned her title as the best climber in the family.  She has a petite little frame and tips the scales at 23 lbs.  She loves big and her best buddy is her brother.  I'm so thankful that they play so well together.  She can often be found trying to swipe my make up, jewelry, and shoes.  She looks just like her Daddy and wakes up asking "where's my daddy." 

Sweet Maeve, 

You are such a precious gift to us.  You fill our days with laughter and give the best smooches.  We learned just after your turned 2 that you would become a big sister.  We are so excited to continue to watch you grow and love your big and little siblings.  We love you more than words and pray for you daily to know the hope of salvation at a young age.  Happy 2 yr old birthday bloggy style... better late than never!!! 

Love, Mommy

Friday, March 28, 2014

And now he's 5...

It's hard to believe that my little man is now 5 and heading into kindergarten next year.  How is that possible?!

I'm not sure how to sum up Titus is a little blog post because but here's a few things....

So here's a tidbit.  He's strong willed, witty, and a love bug.  He's a people person and perceptive, yet a little mouthy at times too.  He's a little creature of habit and loves to be outside.  His days are good or the best ever!  His favorite activities include riding his bike, digging in the dirt or playing with legos.  The boy has energy coming out of his ears! He loves to spend time with Ryan, and for that I'm so thankful!  He hasn't been super interested in school but he's been pretty pumped to start learning to read.  We have a workbook we use each night and he is working hard!  Since he hates bedtime, he will do anything to avoid it a little longer so our lesson is perfect during this time!

Titus is the best big brother to Maeve and really has become my little helper.  She's wild about "bubby" by the way.  These two play really well together (mostly) and I hope will continue to have a sweet relationship over the years.

I often hear people say Titus looks like me (and Maeve Ryan) but who knows.  He has his Daddy's build, even now, which is pretty awesome for him! :)  As he approaches kindergarten, here's really no place I would have rather been the past 5 years than home with him.  I'm so glad we took the minialist approach with preschool and many other activities.  Our time has been such a blessing!  Happy 5th (a little late) smoochie pants!  You're my fav little boy in all the world!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Six years later....

This past Saturday we celebrated 6 years of marriage.  I'd have to say this past year was a really good year in our marriage.  Quite possibly my favorite.  Maybe it's the lack of transition we got to enjoy.. no babies, no moves, no major life stressors or maybe that it's that we are growing in our understanding as what a team looks like a bit more.  Who knows, but it was a good year and I can only thank God for his goodness.  Six things I've learned....

1.  You can't be proud, unforgiving or selfish and have an awesome marriage.  It just doesn't work.  It makes things pretty ugly pretty fast.

2.  Transition makes things a bit more challenging, but will make you stronger after the growing pains.

3.  Kids take lots of $, add stress, and take away less sleep but the joy they bring is unmeasurable.  Def a precious gift and so worth it.  We've def grown from becoming parents.

4.  Decisions should be prayed through and talked through together, however, as a wife it's freeing to know that Ryan has the final say.  I trust his love for us to make the best decision considering our family first.  (This has been one of the biggest things we'd say hindsight is 20/20 on).

5.  A Marriage will never be what it should without the love and support of a local church.  I repeat.. Your marriage needs JESUS and the support of a thriving local church.  I say this with the encouragement to leave the "consumer" mentality behind and get your hands dirty serving and committing to a church that is biblically sound.  Our pastor hit it out of the park talking about this here   from 3/2/2014

6.  Bring your sense of humor.  Laughter with your spouse is life-giving.

Now.. let's walk through memory lane....

Year 1- married, pregnant 3 months later followed by a 3,000 mile move to Portland.  Lots of transition that year!

March 11th of year 2 we met our first baby!! 

Year 3 Ryan went away to a 3 month Army school.  He flew in to celebrate our Anniversary and Titus' 2nd Birthday!

Year 4 we got pregnant again (Maeve) and said our goodbyes to friends and family in Portland and moved to NC

Year 5 we met Maeve and bought our first home!
Year 6 we began some fun home projects and started a small group in our house!

present- Disney World

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Disney last day

So the date night probably didn't need a post but let's just say we had lots of fun even though we lost our car.  Insert convo-

Me:  (while walking into the park) Do you know for sure where we parked?
Ryan: Yea yea.  I think I have a good idea.

The end.  We walked around for at least 30 minutes and I'm convinced we'd still be if it wasn't for my prayers.  I asked Ryan if he thought we should summon the bike security guard for help, but he didn't seem to think asking for help finding a MINI VAN would get us very far at Disney.  Go figure.

Back to our last day!  We brought our A-game to Epcot followed by a final visit to Magic Kingdom.  We spilt up from the rents for them to do a little country touring while we visited the beloveds.  Mickey and Minnie.  If you know my girl, you know, she sleeps and carries her "meow" everywhere.  Translate- Minnie Mouse.  She is obsessed.  It was really love at first sight for her and that lovey so seeing the real Minnie invoked sweet giggles and smooches.   Thankfully we didn't conclude the year with a strange virus after that.

Then we headed to check out some countries!  We snacked on fish and chips in England, crepes (they weren't super) in Paris and a pretzel in Germany.  Good thing we walked 500 miles that week.

The kids took some pics with princesses since they own Epcot and eventually we met up with the gparents before going to Magic Kingdom.

See Maeve checking out her belly button.  I'm surprise she didn't proceed to show Jasmine her own!
We arrived at Magic Kingdom as the afternoon parade was ending.  I still don't understand why Ryan was less enthused on jumping into the conga with 6 ft characters but whatevs.

We did a couple rides and called it a wrap.  Our trip was awesome.  The weather was perfect, our kids were troopers, and having Ryan's parents with us to experience it together was the cherry on top! Our hearts were full, but a little sad knowing we'd say goodbye the next day for quite a few months.

My final tips on Disney...

1.  Do your research.  Buy books.  Know everything you possibly can about the time of year you are going and from there, map out a sensible plan (with flexibility).

2.  Go armed with snacks, water, surprises, etc.  This will save your wallet.  We opted to eat most meals by lunch box or at the condo but would buy daily treats at the parks (Plaza sundae, dole whips etc).  Since it was Christmas, our elf came with us and brought the kids Disney themed treats each morning for good behavior the day before!  Worked like a charm.

3.  Attitude is everything.  If you are having fun and loving life, your kids will too.  Let tantrums roll off your back when they happen (bc they prob will) and enjoy the magic Disney has to offer through your kid's eyes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Animal Kingdom

Our third day at Disney we went to Animal Kingdom!  It's probably Ryan's favorite park!  I love it but my fav is Magic Kingdom.. always and forever!

Upon pulling into the parking gate, we asked if there was a military discount on parking (I think it just depends on who's at your gate if you get in free).  Ryan HATES asking but sometimes I make him. :) She didn't give us a freebie but she did give us a "magic moment" to park at the very front.. which was prob better than free!  High five!

We got there when the gates opened and divided to grab fast passes!  We found out there wasn't a line for the Safari (the fast pass stop) so we met there and took a ride.  It was perfect and fun!  Since the animals were up and moving we really got to see quite a bit!  

Next we stopped at Camp Mickey to meet some characters while Mom Epp went to get in line for the Animal Kingdom show.  It's Broadway quality and you will walk out wanting to belt "the circle of life."  We had awesome seats and Titus was chosen to be apart of the show and march around.  It was another big highlight for him.  I kinda wanted to cry watching him act so grown! 

Next Ryan and his Dad used the Fast Passes on Everest and the rest went to Dinosaur Land before heading the the Finding Nemo show.  Titus rode Dinosaur barely avoided a heart attack.  As for the show, it was fabulous!!  Like SO adorable.  I didn't want it to end!  

clearly Maeve needed a nap at this point!!!

Then we took a train to Rafiki's Animal planet.  My kids LOVED LOVED LOVED the petting zoo.  They love animals which just makes me laugh.  It's not like I hate animals, but I've never been in love.  I know.. that probably makes me a terrible person.  

While at the petting zoo, Maeve stalked a goat saying HUUUUUGGG over and over.  He was probably a male since we all know her love for men.  I really didn't think they would ever leave!  

Of course we bribed them to go and most of the crew went to A Bugs Life while Maeve napped with me in her stroller.  I browsed stores looking for our family ornament of the year.  

We called it a day after that and caught the end of the afternoon parade.  Animal Kingdom closes around 5 in the winter so it was a good excuse to head out and for Ryan and I to catch a date night.  Amen and AMEN!  That will get it's own post!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sea World!!!

I guess it's time I keep this vacation recap going.. like 4 months later!  A shout out goes to my sweet friend who's basically been on pins and needles.  ;) Here we go, Rebecca!

 We broke up our trip with a chill day at Sea World.  Bausch Gardens offers active duty military families to come to their park for free once a year.  We graciously obliged!  :)

We had a great time petting stingrays, dolphins and visiting penguins.  Titus enjoyed the rides and the best part was that some military friends from NC joined us there! We all happened to be at Disney the same week!  Late last summer we all talked about going but never really knew the dates the other was going!  It was fun that we were all there the same time and decided to meet up for Sea World!

 It was a perfect low key day checking out a different park.  We thought Sea World was fun but it didn't quite compare to the caliber of Disney World.  Disney is perfectly clean, everyone is friendly and giving it 100%. A-game to the max. Although Sea World was good, Disney def is better. So, all that to say, if your child is REALLY into marine life.. do it... but if not, I'd save my money.  Since it was free, it was completely worth it for us!

The two favs here was a pretty sweet roller coaster for adults called the mantis.  You lay down on your stomach with the track above your head.  It was quite the rush and I managed to keep my undies dry.  Barely.  Whew.  Titus also loved feeding the dolphins for $20, but hey.. when in Rome.  I mostly took pics since I wasn't dying to hold dead fish and feed something slimy!  We left early afternoon and enjoyed a chill evening.  It was a great middle of the week thing!  Thanks SeaWorld!

ryan.. no worries.. I'm your paparazzi! 

Yup.. she touch a stingray!

inside an aquarium 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Disney Day 2

My absolute favorite place at Disney... or maybe anywhere is MAGIC KINGDOM.  I love it!  It's magical!!!  Day 2 this was on our agenda!

We got to the park when it opened and high tailed it in.  The guys picked up a fast pass for us and Mom Epp, the kids and I rode the Buzz Lightyear ride in Tomorrowland.  It was a fav for T.   Then we booked it to Fantasyland and walked right onto quite a few rides!  Titus did his first roller coaster.  Although he was slightly terrified of Goofy's Barnstormer ride, he did pretty well! :)  Then we hopped on Dumbo, the tea cups, carousel, Winnie the Pooh and a meeting with the evil stepsisters!

By that time, we were ready for a snack so headed over to chill with Gaston at the new pub.  Cinnamon rolls and a chocolate croissant were the perfect way to unwind.  After that, we rode Ariel's new ride which was a fav!!  By that time we were ready for T's long awaited hair cut at Disney.  I scheduled this a  few months back and that hair was READY for a cut.  He was in heaven with his faux hawk and pixie dust in his hair.  Maeve got some pixie dust too!! Then we were ready to head back to the condos for naps before going back for a late night!

My in-laws decided to party the day away at Magic Kingdom!! :)

That evening we ate an early dinner at the condo and then headed back. We began with Dole Whips (pineapple ice cream float) in Adventureland.  SO GOOD!!  After that we rode Pirates of the Caribbean (T's fav ride) and Big Thunder Railroad. Once again, T was terrified.  Ryan felt bad for taking him on it but ya live and learn right?! Then we danced with the Incredibles in Tomorrowland and T rode a rocket ride with Grandpa while Ryan and I rode Space Mountain.  We rode the train and explored a little more before fireworks!

T was getting tired.. a meltdown was pending but a sundae was coming!
 Then we got a spot at the electrical parade complete with Plaza sundaes (my fav).  That bought more time on the need for sleep for our kids!  The parade was beautiful and we were ready for bed! The day could not had gone better.  The Lord was so good to us and the warm sunny temps were icing on the cake!! We put the kids down just before midnight!  Our elf came to Disney with us and filled our Dollar Tree mail box with themed treats for the parks we would be going to.  We gave lots of treats for good behavior and used every last ounce of bribery.  It worked!  Praise the Lord for a great day!