Friday, March 28, 2014

Confession Friday 3-28!

Happy Friday!!!

Still no fixed computer. I haven't even gotten to sit down with Eric since Monday night…we've been tag-teaming all week long, so obviously there has been no time for computer repair. But what is the one blog post that I can type up all night long that doesn't require tons of pictures? Confession Friday! And since I haven't done one in a while, I'm doing it.


First. These two. What a pair! They are wrestling each other one minute, hugging and kissing the next. I confess that I am going to have my hands FULL with this brother/sister duo. Meanwhile, Evie continues to be the mother hen while the younger ones duke it out. :)

I confess that my kids are obsessed with freckles, thanks to me making a big deal out of Evelyn's first one several months ago. Now when new little dots are discovered there is shouting and fanfare and much excitement around here. Including the day I heard, "MOOOM, THERE'S A FRECKLE ON GRACIE'S ______!" I won't fill in the blank. It was pretty funny, though. :)

I confess that my son only says two words…and the pediatrician says that's fine…I know you are pretty worried. :) But I swear he belts out, "Let it go!" in his best baby speak, and if you don't know what that's from, I don't know you.

I confess that I am 90% sure I'm homeschooling my kids after next year. I know I said I'd never. But I think I'm gonna. Any time I mention it to the kids, Gracie starts calling me "teacher" and refuses to acknowledge that I'm also her mom. This should be fun!

Oh! Speaking of school. Evelyn is officially going to Kindergarten next year. I confess that I am SAD. That wasn't the plan. But we don't have a choice in the matter, apparently. Guess my baby is going to be the youngest in the class, after all. Boo. Good thing it won't matter after next year, haha.



The kids were attempting selfies this morning. I'm sure this was just after their mission to send gibberish messages to several of my Facebook friends. Ay yi yi…. They use my phone more than I do.

I confess that there is nothing quite as annoying as going to paint your nails and realizing that the only material you have to take the old finger nail polish off with is toilet paper. First world problems. But really sucky ones.

I confess that I've fallen asleep three times this week before brushing my teeth. Three times! I'm not proud of that. Don't tell my dentist. I obviously need more sleep.

I confess that I take full advantage of Eric being away to cook quick meals that he doesn't like to eat. They aren't exactly diet-friendly. Oh, daddy isn't home? Sloppy joe night! Haha.

I confess that I just realized I get to see my husband during waking hours tonight. Wahoo! When the first words you speak to each other are always "I miss you" you know it's time to be home for a while. Praise the Lord for the weekend!

I can't spend any more time whipping these confessions up, cause I've got children to get ready for school. It's so great that I have three little kids to get ready every day, bundle up, and buckled into carseats (x2) so that one of them can go to school for less than three hours…why in the world can't everyone take the bus? I'd pay for that. No…seriously. Let's consider this, school district.

Haha. Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up!

Well, I'm still blogging from an old computer (and it still flashes "hey you fool, I'm out of disk space!" every five minutes or so) but there has to be a weekend wrap up, right? Eric promises me that our other computer will be like brand new once he fixes it. Can't wait. Let's do that! ;)

I just have to mark the momentous occasion that Eric and I did, indeed, get a night out alone this weekend. WAHOO!! Thank you to my in-laws. :) Evelyn was over-the-moon excited that Reagan got to stay with his sisters, and I thoroughly enjoyed eating with two hands. My date was pretty cute, too.

Eric kept sighing and smiling and and saying, "aww" throughout our entire meal. You'd think he was a guy in love with his bride or something, but no, I was totally upstaged by the father/daughter date going on behind me, haha. Really, it was seriously cute. Eric is a total sucker for that stuff…and now he definitely has the bug to start taking the girls out on dates. They are just the right age to really start appreciating it. I love him for loving kids.

Before date nights though, the kids and I went to the nursing home for a little celebration. My uncle Charlie turned 73 on Saturday. He was looking great, laughing, and enjoying some birthday cake. Charlie is another man I love who loves children. Even though he can't really speak anymore, his eyes light up when the kids are around, and he gets a good chuckle at the babies. I'm really happy that we were able to see him. I'd give just about anything to have a conversation with him again, to rewind time and spend an afternoon at the park, or playing "Charlie chase" around the cars in the driveway. He was my first best friend. :)

On Sunday Eric had a speaking engagement at a church in St. Charles, MO to share some of his experiences in Haiti for The Pitch. He was long gone before any of us were awake, so it was up to me to get all of us ready to go to church and serve in the nursery this week. The kids love playing there, and I snapped a few pictures of each of them to send to their dad who I knew would be missing them on a day we normally spend together.




Cuties. It was a cold day, but gosh darn, I was bound to throw some Spring color in our wardrobe.

That afternoon we had lunch with my family to celebrate my cousin Austin's 16th birthday. I'll be honest…I had never met my cousin Austin before yesterday. Is that crazy?? We just don't get to spend enough time with my dad's side of the family. I know there are other cousins I've never met…but that's the way it goes sometimes with big families, I suppose.


Anyway, thanks to Facebook, Austin found my mom and started joking with her that he heard she liked to bake…so you know…maybe she should think about baking him a birthday cake. :) And hello…you do not say something like that to my mother - she will totally do it. And she did. Haha. So we were able to have a nice lunch and some dessert with family we rarely get to see. Thank you mom for putting that together. :)

We had a great weekend, and there's a full week ahead for us. I have meetings, Eric has class and a seminar to host…one of those weeks where we'll only see each other coming and going. There's always next weekend, right? :)


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mail is Fun!

Hi friends! Coming at you from our old computer…the one with barely any disk space, which makes it darn near impossible to blog, haha. We're, once again, waiting for a part to come in so that we can repair our main computer.

You'd think I would be annoyed by our technology issues, but I have to say that I am actually quite impressed with how these things hold up. Our kids stomp on them, drop them, bang on the keys (the hooligans!) and yet they still keep humming away…sometimes after getting a new part that was busted off. 

I can't upload large files onto this laptop, but I can show you phone pictures of the awesome mail day we had yesterday! First we were delivered a huge box of SPRING CLOTHES for the kiddos. Hooray! I placed an order during an awesome sale after I realized my yearly blunder…unfortunately they were delivered a day too late for picture day, but that all worked out anyway. And now my children actually have decent things to wear in public. :) Haha, maybe next year I'll think ahead. Probably not.

But my favorite was this little gem in our mailbox.


Eric works in marketing. We're no strangers to this stuff. But it still makes me smile how Disney goes the extra mile. I mean. They already have our money, haha. But they still do these fun things to get you excited for a vacation…even if it is still months away. 



Just too much fun! I can't wait until we get our magic bands. :)

Last night we had a great dinner with some friends…thanks Ben and Laura for your hospitality! Some people are good at that stuff. I'm not very, so I'm going to try to work on it. I recently re-took a spiritual gifts test…I do that from time to time to see if my strengths have changed (they don't, haha) and out of allll the spiritual gifts a person can have, "hospitality" comes in dead last for me all the time. That's kind of terrible. At least it sounds terrible!

But it's true. I rank super high in "discernment" "faith" and "wisdom" but anything that deals with people…nope…not so good. Not a people person, I guess. :) I suppose it's good to know what things don't come naturally to you as much as it's good to understand where your strengths lie. Gives you something to work on and be conscious of. Right? 

Anyway, that's just a little update for today! I hope that we can get things repaired asap and be back to normal soon. I'm not sure that I've had a single normal blogging week since the New Year. It's getting old…so thank you friends who are still hanging in here with me. You're the best!


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Planning Curse

Being a super-planner can be such a blessing at times…and oh can it be such a curse at times. 

Some people like to live their lives very spontaneously-on the fly. They live to go and do, and many times they don't know what the next week of their life looks like, but there will be some fun thrown in there, certainly. 

And then there's me. Part of the fun, or maybe even most of it, of going and doing anything IS the planning. I like to dream about things, map things out, strategize, seek opinions…and did I mention dreaming about the fun we'll have? That's me -  I'm a planner and dreamer. I'm not super spontaneous, and I don't like plans to change. That is where the curse comes in. When things don't work out, it's even more of a disappointment when I've been looking forward to it so much.

For the past two weekends I have had one goal in mind. Just one. To sit down with my husband, who has been super busy lately and often away, and have a meal. No kids…just Eric and me. We haven't had that since…before Reagan was born? Maybe once since then? No joke, I have not been 100% alone with my own husband in a long, long time. 

Whether it be illness or really unpredictable circumstances (or a combination of the two!) I have yet to see that plan come to fruition. We were literally an hour away from seeing my dream come true this weekend when the plans had to change last minute. So once again, we traded  a quiet meal at a nice restaurant for a trip to P'Sghetti's with our third wheel, Reagan. Haha.

Adrien - 0
Murphy - 2

One of these weekends, I WILL see my plans through. We'll just have to keep on trying. :)

How about this for bad planning? Put on my spring shoes for church on Sunday, only to be walking around in sleet and snow all day, haha.

Now, I can tell you one thing that I am chronically very bad at planning…and that also became painfully obvious this weekend. That would be Spring clothes for my kids. I looove buying clothes for Fall…I stock closets full with Christmas attire…and almost immediately after the holidays I start scouting the internet for sundresses. But then there's that pesky Spring.

When it comes to this time of the year and I open up my kids' closets, my stomach sinks. It's a pathetic scene of snowman shirts and sweaters hanging askew…only half of the hangers actually have clothes on them anymore. It might be a super warm day, but are there any short sleeves to be found? Nope. I never, ever plan for this season. 

This year more than ever this is a huge problem, since I have a child in school who has to look presentable every day. :) And today is Spring picture day for Evelyn. Not a darn thing to wear. I spent the entire weekend trying to figure this one out…looked in every store (neon is NOT flattering for Spring pictures, fashion world.) Didn't find a thing.

I got so desperate that last night at 11:30 I was down in the basement on a hope and a prayer that I could dig something out for my child to wear today. And then…the heavens parted and light beamed down from above.  :)

There sat a brand new outfit, folded in a bin, tags still intact…purchased nearly two years ago, because it was adorable and on sale and I knew that some day I would have a kid that would fit into it. Haha. And it just so happened to be Evie's size. And after a weekend of many things not going right I smiled to myself. I couldn't have had any idea two years ago what a sanity-saving purchase this would be…but I do remember two years ago thinking, "I'll appreciate having this someday."

Indeed, I do!

Yay for obsessive planning two years ago…Evie is modeling the sanity-saver outfit. :D

And that was my weekend. It was extraordinarily ordinary, even though it wasn't planned to be that way. But ordinary can be awesome, too. We weren't sick. We laughed a lot. We loved a lot. And I got some new sunglasses…so…score! :D

Most importantly all of our basic needs were met, and I'm thankful that most of the trials of today don't matter years or even weeks from now. I'm thankful that most of our problems are things that we can look back on and laugh about. I'm thankful for my kids that come along on date nights. I'm thankful for Eric, who is so sweet to me. I'm thankful for family that love us and friends that we love. And since I cannot see into the future or know all of the "why" answers when things just don't seem to go right, I'm thankful for God's grace over my life. Could I have been saved from something this weekend because I didn't go to a certain place at a certain time? I'll never know. So when things don't go the way that I planned them…I will continue to be thankful.

I think it's going to be a good day today. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Surviving

When Evelyn started school in the fall, my only concern was that my poor child (who had never spent any time in daycare or at a babysitter's) would spend the entire school year sick. That's the one thing about staying home that can truly come back and bite you in the butt later on. She would surely be a target for illness.

What I didn't anticipate was that Evie would be fine...but mom and dad would have the worst cold and flu season EVER. Haha. Anything that our kids have gotten this year has taken them down for maybe a day or two...but when Eric and I get it, watch out. We are sick forever, and it hits hard.

This weekend while we should have been celebrating a milestone for our family and having a first date night out in over a month, we were couch-bound and miserable. The stomach flu that I thought was just a little thing (I totally lied to you all last Friday, I guess) lingered on and on and on.... Today is the first day that I'm feeling relatively normal and Eric is about 75% of the way there. I think I caught it a day before he did.

Luckily I was able to open the computer long enough to book our vacation and dining reservations for later this year, haha. Ain't nothing gonna stop me from that! ;) We got everything we wanted - hooray! So this weekend wasn't a total bust.

Also, yesterday was my brother Roger's 23rd birthday. Happy Birthday, little brother!


Yes that is my father singing happy birthday through the dining room window. My family is...awesome. Haha.

We ventured over to my parent's house yesterday evening (where I hope we didn't transfer our germs!) to see my brother and have dinner. I couldn't even finish my taco. It was a great taco, but...my stomach said, "No way. You're a fool." I'm glad we were able to get out in the fresh air for a while. The kids had a blast running around!

I can't believe my little brother is 23 years old. Twenty-three was a big year for me. Huge. I celebrated my birthday, got married, moved out of state, got on a plane for the first time, saw the ocean for the first time, found out I was pregnant, moved back home, and had my first baby. All before turning 24. So, Roger...good luck, buddy! Could be the craziest year of your life. :D

I thought I needed to check in just so everyone would know we're still alive. Barely, but we're here. I hope today finds you happy and healthy. Enjoy the sunshine!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The End of a Chapter

We're dropping like flies with some sort of stomach bug around here. First it was Reagan, then me, and now Gracie. Thankfully it doesn't seem to last very long! But it's the worst kind of queasy nauseous feeling that just doesn't go away. Kind of like morning sickness, for those who have been so blessed. :)

But we're trying not to let that damper our spirits. Today is a HUGE day for us.

HUGE!!

It's a day nearly six years in the making...a day we've waited for and dreamed about.

As of this morning...around 8:00am....


...our family gathered around to click the button on our very last student loan payment.

We are now, officially, debt free!!!

So. It's a pretty good day. :)



Had to get a screenshot of the words, "Payoff." We've been waiting a long time to see that!!

We could have never known when we started our marriage with the goal to be debt free as soon as possible that there would be three additional little sets of hands gathered around with us for the occasion. Haha. Life is crazy. 

I don't know exactly what I expected this day to look like. Don't know what I expected to feel. There was no balloon drop or flying confetti at the press of a button. No mega-phones announcing "Hey Robert family...YOU'RE DEBT FREE!" There is no fanfare surrounding this long-awaited goal. Just a quiet little victory...on a quiet little street...in our quiet little town. :) But to us, it means so much. 

Thank you to all of those who have been so encouraging over these past few years. And for those who are still slowly chipping away at your own goals...keep it up. You can do it. It might take much longer than you expected, but it will happen for you if you don't give up. 

So...now what? Haha. We've had this goal for so long it almost seems like we would be lost without it. From here we move on to the next baby step in line. We'll save up some money for our fully-funded emergency fund, start working on a down payment for a house, and hopefully, eventually, we'll have a place to call our own. There's always something to look forward to. And in the meantime....

We're going to celebrate this evening by doing something we have never let ourselves do. We are going to finally and officially book a family vacation. That was our promise to ourselves, that we would wait until we were debt free before we would take our Disney trip, and boy was that a tough one to keep, haha. 

So even though some of us are feeling less than great today, it's a wonderful day! And okay, let me create my own little celebration:


I can't help it, it's how I feel inside. :)

Hey Eric - WE DID IT!! :D

Haha. Have a happy weekend!




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Roy G. Biv

**Blogger friends...Hello. I have been reading your posts every day. (Yay!) But blogger won't let me comment. I am trying to fix this problem. The end. :)

I don't know what it is about this time of the year, but something about it makes us want to get out craft paper and take pictures with it. Haha. I don't do it intentionally, it's just something I realized the other day while we were putting together a patchwork rainbow on my bedroom wall. By this time of the year we are so stir-crazy we'll do just about anything to herald Spring. Several years ago we created a paper paradise. Last year we made trees on the walls one day and cowboy patches the next. This year, we're begging for Spring to come in technicolor. 

Evelyn and Grace both enjoyed creating a photo backdrop this time. Evie helped a lot with choosing the rainbow patterns (she LOVES making patterns!) and Grace couldn't wait to put together our raindrop umbrella.

This is just going to be one of those "lots of pictures" posts. There was snow on the ground outside, but inside were warm showers and shining rainbows!

I decided to save myself a headache this time and just let each kid take their own turn being silly. :)






The raindrop umbrella was FUN. A big hit to twirl around with. I saw a picture of this sometime somewhere (I have no idea where) and I mentally filed it away for a day just like today. Make one for your kiddos with tape, string, and some blue paper! And an umbrella, of course. :)








Grace knows how we end the photo fun...gotta jump on the bed!

Evelyn has tons of fun doing these pictures. She wants to see every pose right after she does it, haha. I never tell the kids what to do, they just act like their little selves. 







Evie can't resist telling the camera how old she is. :)








Then there is Reagan...who definitely doesn't share his sisters' love of pictures. Oh, it's just torture for the little guy. 


Actually, it's not. But he likes to give me a hard time. Like, literally, he will laugh and smile the whole time, until I raise the camera. Then on cue, he puts on a sad or grumpy face. I put the camera down, and he laughs. 


Sometimes I'm able to catch part of a smile...and sometimes I'm not.




He's a total faker. Haha.






Little stinker. :)

It's always a fun way to pass the Winter blues. Eric came from his trip the other night and chuckled at the scene on the wall. "I like your rainbow." He's used to our daytime antics by now. No surprise to walk into the room in the middle of the night and find a paper mural on the wall. :D

We hope that you have a bright and sunshiny day today. Fourteen days until Spring!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Home

Eric is home. <3 

He came sneaking in last night, smelling like a far off place and with lots of dust on his sneakers. And just like a spring storm, he was gone just as soon as he came. The kids got to see him for a few minutes this morning before he had to turn around and leave for work. It's okay though. Our world is back in balance…and he came bearing Haitian candies which are pretty yummy, so the kids are distracted. :)

We probably stayed up a little too late telling stories. I cannot wait for him to get to share some of his experiences here - definitely look for some guest blogging in the near future. I'm excited to get to look through all of the pictures and video myself! Eric took the "good" computer with him to Haiti, and I'm still using the old one, so I don't have any pictures or anything to share. So…here's The Pitch logo for some color, haha.



So many people have asked what Eric was doing in Haiti exactly and if he was on a "missions trip." While I'll leave the details up to Eric to tell, I can tell you that he was sort of on a missions trip…but maybe not exactly what many north americans think of when you say "mission trip." Haha.

The work that our family is doing with The Pitch in Haiti is a partnership, really. An on-going partnership where we work at home and abroad for the organization. There will be many trips to Haiti…for just Eric…for Eric and I…and eventually for our entire family. This will allow us to be involved in long term projects and to create relationships with people that we will see over and over again. And oh my goodness…some of the friendships Eric has made already. Sigh…makes me cry and I haven't even gotten to go myself yet.

As much as he missed us at home, it was hard for Eric to say goodbye to some of the friends he made - even in just a short time. We're already planning his next trip, and I'm not gonna lie…I wanna go soon, too! :)

I have a lot of projects I want to get done this week. Including FINALLY getting something done about the header I have here and on Facebook, wishing you all "Season's Greetings" in March. Haha. The kids and I have been working on something, but it's been hard to get much done lately. Hopefully by the week's end there will be some new color around here. :) There are some other momentous things on the horizon for us…so…stick around! Wahoo!


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