Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Yesterday a friend of mine sent me a link to the video above. If you want, watch it before reading on. If not, this post is a bit of a spoiler. ;)

I'm normally skeptical about YouTube forwards, especially ones that say they will make you cry. However, the friend that sent it to me rarely forwards stuff so I decided it must be worth watching.

I totally cried. Ems was on my lap watching it with me and since she couldn't read the papers that the girls are holding up, she didn't understand what was going on.

Basically, three kids, grandparents and a mom and dad go on a vacation to rent a cabin in the mountains near a cliff. While the mom and dad are signing the rental agreement, the kids stay in the car and somehow the car gets knocked out of gear and starts rolling towards the cliff. The mother, in a desperate attempt to save her babies, stands in front of the car to block it and her kids remember the look on her face as the car ran her over. Thankfully, her body somewhat detained the car's rolling and the grandpa was able to get in the car and pull the parking brake. The mom miraculously survived but is paralyzed from the waist down and is still an incredible mother. Her kids sing her praises of how she is their best friend, how she has come to every piano recital, tennis tournament, etc.

I was so moved to tears because I know that I would do the same thing for my babies...risk my life or even give my life.

The daughters of this woman made her this beautiful tribute video and I began to wonder, what kind of video could my kids make about me someday?

See, I believe that truly amazing parenting happens when we go beyond what's required of us. No one thinks that their mom is a hero for simply providing food and shelter. I long with all my heart to be a hero to my kids, hopefully not in such a dramatic way as this YouTube video, but if so, let it be.

I think the hardest part of being a mom is how thankless it is at times. Obviously, Emersyn has no appreciation for me getting up early to make sure she is bathed, dressed cute for school, and a lunch packed. She could care less that I strive to get up early and spend quiet time with the Lord, in a quest to be a better woman which makes me a better mom. She doesn't bat an eye when we deliver a meal to someone sick or when I stress out over real estate deals so that I can help provide for our family. But someday, she's going to know the kind of mother that I was today. And if I wait until she's old enough to understand all that I do for her before I start to do these things for her, it will be too late. Does that make sense?

Good parenting isn't just hanging out with your kids, making sure they are {relatively} safe, fed and clothed. It's turning off the computer to play Memory for the 12th time that day. It's making my daughter a cup of tea and having a discussion about silly made up things, like how her daughter Hair Baby loves watching UmiZoomi but it apparently drives Emersyn crazy. It's letting her help bake and not caring when she spills the sugar. It's being loving to her daddy and modeling how to be a selfless wife. It's going out of my way to make sure that I get enough sleep so I'm not cranky in the mornings when it's time to get ready. My heart aches for my children to call me their hero what am I doing about that today?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Everett: 15 month update

Last Friday was Everett's slightly belated 15 month appointment. that I do the math, it was super belated. He'll be 17 months in January so I guess this was his 16 month appointment technically.

My sweet boy weighed in at 25lbs, 4 oz (52nd percentile) and was 32.5 inches long (76th percentile) and his noggin is right on track for being huge at 49cm (88th percentile). I looked back and saw that Emersyn weighed around 24lbs at this age so he's just a little bigger then his big sis.

I was looking at past blog posts and was saddened that I was SO good at documenting Emersyn's life. It's so fun to look back and read! However, I know this is a common story among the second born child but still, it challenges me to do better!

Fun facts about Everett at this age:

*He goes to bed around 8-8:30 and wakes up between 7:30-8:30, usually around 8. Emersyn was a hoarder and slept with 10 blankets and 15 stuffed animals in her crib (once she was a toddler and it was safe to do this of course) and Everett refuses to sleep with anything in his crib except a blanket or two and his gloworm. I have tried to get him to bond with this sweet little puppy dog and every time I put him in the crib, I find him chucked across the room the next morning. It's kind of hilarious to me. Also, Everett won't sleep with socks on so I find those thrown out of the crib as well. 

*He loves music. His favorite song is "You Can't Stop the Beat", the Glee version. It starts out really slow and then there's this, "5,6,7,8" part that kicks the beat into fast mode and Everett can hardly contain himself during this part. He starts doing his crazy riverdance feet and screaming and laughing. Oh, it makes my heart so happy. And whenever we turn on the music, he goes digging around in the toys looking for a microphone.

*He loves playing with his sister and adores her. Whenever Emersyn sings Everett claps and cheers when she's done. They play really well, although Everett is starting to hold his own lately. Emersyn can't just do her big sister toy jacking anymore, Everett knows what's up and won't stand to have toys stolen out of his hands anymore!

*His favorite toy is probably his beep beep, what we call his little ride on Toy Story car/walking toy. He tears around with it through the house and seems to appreciate the speed he is able to attain on our hardwood floors.

*Speaking of hardwood floors, these have been kind of tough on Everett. It seems like everyday he has a red spot on his head from crashing on the floors. :/

*Favorite foods: any kind of sweet bread, particularly the pumpkin bread from Starbucks; apples, bananas, waffles, beans, crackers, mac and cheese w/peas, cheese, oatmeal, blueberries, bagels, spaghetti and meat sauce. He seems to be pickier then I remember Emersyn being at this age.

*He loves our kitty and is always chasing after her saying, "kee kee....kee kee".

*Everett doesn't have too many words yet. His sister speaks for the two of them just fine though, which I think could be why Everett isn't in any hurry to speak. He does say mama, dada, kee kee, num num (for food), bah bah (bottle or milk) and gah (again).

*He loves banging on things. Everything is a hammer or drum and you enjoy the new wood floors that make lots of noise when you bang on them. (tell me again, why did we do wood floors?? ha ha) I see a future drummer in our future.

*He are the happ happ happiest baby in the world. Yes, he cries and throws fits sometimes but most of the time he's laughing and giggling like it's the best day ever. I get so many compliments on how handsome he is and I can't help but agree. He is SO handsome, I can hardly stand it. I love his little Shrek teeth and sweet little grin.

*He is a TOTAL mama's boy.....and I LOVE it!!! I am by far his favorite person in the world, though he does love his daddy too. But when he sees me come into a room he comes running with the biggest smile ever and usually a ear blasting scream. I am so so thankful for my boy. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My one word

I know I'm late to the "one word" party, but nevertheless, I'm here! :)

The "one word" movement is about choosing one word this year to focus on and live out. Not a huge list, though I do have a few other things I would like to focus on this year as well. One word. I can do that.

The word I have chosen is PROGRESS. Progress is defined as "ovement, as toward a goal; advance. Development or growth, Steady improvement."

I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person, as I'm sure you've read about here in the past few years since I've been blogging. And because of this mentality, I'm often paralyzed by the need for perfection. I feel like the Lord gave me a word and kind of a divine revelation in my own life. I posted it on Facebook and it seemed like I am for sure not the only person that needed to hear it. This is what I posted....

This year I'm focusing on progress, not perfection. Sometimes I'm paralyzed by the fact I can't do it all. I don't have a perfect house, perfect marriage or have mastered the art of being a perfect mother. But I can stop and fold one load of laundry even if I don't have time to reorganize the linen closet first....I can iron one of my husband's shirts even if I don't have time to iron them all...and I can pause and read my kids a story, even if I don't have time to sit and get out a craft project. I won't hit my goal weight in one week but each pound that comes off is one that will get me closer to my goal. It's the little things that will all add up someday. Instead of stressing about all that I am not, I am going to choose to focus on who I can be at that moment of each day. Today I was tempted to be overwhelmed by all that needs to be done around the house but instead, I took it one task at a time and at the end of the day, I feel good about what I did instead of complaining about what I didn't get done. Progress not perfection in 2013! I can do it!

I love it when you start with a thought and then before you know it, your fingers have typed out exactly what you need to hear. 

I have been experiencing so much more peace even in just these first few days of 2013. And interestingly enough, my productivity has increased! 

Instead of getting overwhelmed, I've been using snippets of time to get stuff done around the house. This is huge for me....I often just get discouraged and cranky! Yesterday I had a big cleaning day planned and the kids were going to their Nana's. Nana had to cancel so I had to postpone my cleaning day. I decided to just do what I could though and I ended up getting a lot done even while my kiddos were running around. 

Progress applies to so much more then just chores......just in case you were wondering. :) 

Progress in 2013. 

What's your word?  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holiday Highlights

I am so behind with blogging! I almost decided just to not blog about the holidays but I do want to be able to look back on these memories someday so here are some of the highlights in a nutshell!

My parents were here for two weeks. Time with them means unlimited Starbucks (hallelujah) and great fun. My mom took me to get a peppermint hair treatment. It was magical. 

My parents also took us to Great Wolf Lodge for the night! It was so so fun!! Unfortunately Emersyn was battling a fever much of the time we were there but thankfully ibuprofen helped and she was still able to have a ton of fun!

 The kids loved the story time in their pajamas and then it *snowed* bubbles! Such a magical Christmas moment for Emersyn. Everett was really into the story time too, was totally watching.

We're going to make Great Wolf Lodge an annual tradition. We went last year too. :) Emersyn got to enjoy all of the slides this year except for one that is for bigger kids and adults only. She was by far the smallest kid we saw going on the big slides, she's so brave. She gets that from her daddy, he gives her amazing confidence. We had so much fun going with my parents because they were able to play with Everett while we went on slides with Ems and then later Brett and I got to go on the craziest slide ever, it was awesome!!

On Christmas Sunday I made my debut as the Tiny Tunes preschool choir director. The kids did SO good, I was so proud of them!!
 The preschool choir has kids from age 3 through Kindergarten. They sang "Angels We Have Heard On High" and "Happy Birthday to Jesus".

 My kids looked adorable but we didn't get any great pics of them. Everett was over it by the time church was done. I loved how they matched. My mom bought Emersyn's dress that I picked out and then I just so happened to have this shirt for Everett. I got a bow tie from a friend's shop and it was so darling. I was stressing over buying Everett black dress shoes because they would only be worn once or twice and I couldn't find any I loved. Then I remembered that he has black converse and they looked so cute and way more his style. :) Emersyn's dress fit her big so it will be a repeat next year. Everett also has the same shirt in a 2T (I'm a diligent Gymboree shopper when there's sales) so they will wear the same thing next year but I'll mix it up somehow, maybe get Everett a vest or something.

On Christmas Sunday, Brett and I got to go away for the night!

It was a much needed getaway after our crazy couple of months. We went up to the Skamania Lodge and enjoyed yummy food, drinks and relaxation. We played Scrabble on Brett's kindle, read and enjoyed some peace and quiet as well as sleeping in! So thankful to have a husband I enjoy so much, he's truly my favorite person to hang out with. Marriage is a blessing. 

On Christmas Eve we headed to our church's candlelight service. It's one of the highlights of the holiday season for me. The kids wore cute holiday clothes and Everett sported his bow tie once again. They are so cute sometimes I can't really handle it. 


After the service we headed to our family friend's house for their annual Christmas Eve party, another highlight in our season. The Meichtry famly is so fun, they do a big potluck style dinner and then afterwards the grandma plays Christmas carols on the piano and then Santa comes. I love seeing my kids being loved by another family. It warms my heart. They treat my kids like they are grandkids and it's so special. 

 This is Emersyn's sweet little friend Ian, the Meichtry's grandson. They were in a wedding together last summer and Emersyn wore a big white dress for it so she thinks they got married. I would love if Emersyn married Ian, officially unite the families. :) (Sorry Lou, it's just not looking for for Emersyn and Riley due to the distance). :)  

For New Year's we decided to stay home. We'd been going out so often that a night at home is just what I wanted. You know you've been going out too much when you tell your 4 year old that it's almost dinner time and she asks where we're going to eat. :) 

We decided to have a simple dinner of soup and then enjoy some sparkling wine and appetizers through the night. I also ordered some amazing chocolate covered strawberries as a special dessert from a store near us. They were SO good. Brett stopped at the store on his way home from work that day and got me flowers and bought Emersyn some special sparkling cider for her to ring in the New Year. We watched the ball drop at 9pm and toasted the New Year with Emersyn. We had so much fun with her that we are going to make this a tradition. It would be fun to even get together with friends, ring in the eastern time new years and then head home. I just don't like being out and on the roads at midnight and it's obviously not ideal with kids. We put Everett to bed at 8 and then had an hour of fun and games with Emersyn which she LOVED!

We had such a great holiday season! In light of the tragic events that took place earlier in the month in our nation, I was feeling extra blessed and content this year. I normally place expectations on holidays, not in a bad way, just out of a desire to make them extra special. This year I was just so thankful that we were all healthy and together. Sometimes I look at my life and can't believe how blessed I am. 

Here's to an amazing new year for us all!!

Christmas Day

This year we did the same thing we have done for Christmas day since Emersyn was born. We go to the Jensen's in the morning for breakfast and presents and then head back to our house for the rest of the day to hang out with my parents and my brother and his wife.

My kids and their cousins, Genevieve (15) and Annabel (8). They will have a much younger cousin this February, Brett's brother and their wife are expecting their first! 

Everett got his first pair of TOMS! 

 So happy we got a picture of the 4 of us! This is a rare thing.

 My parents got Everett a workbench from Ikea. This is so perfect for him since his favorite thing to do is bang on things!

The kids got some really great gifts from their aunts, uncles and granparents. Brett and I only got them stocking stuffers. We really don't want the focus of Christmas to be presents but we don't want to tell people they can't get them gifts so this is a good compromise.

We had a "happy birthday to Jesus" party after dinner. My mom bought this crazy candle from the store and apparently we didn't light it correctly because all of the sudden it started emitting sparks and a huge flame. It was hilarious, although it scared Emersyn, oops!