Friday, May 30, 2014

I've been loaned a second son....

We've adopted another family member that has been with us for the week. 


It's John. :)

He has been hanging out with us as my mom finishes off her last week of work before summer vacation. You know there is a six year old boy in your house when Pokemon is on your TV, your kids are running through the house acting like dogs on leashes, and you are asked to pen letters that look like this:

...on Evelyn's request. There has been a lot more video game talk around here. Haha.

It has been an interesting glimpse into what life with four kids might look like. Only, the added fourth is the oldest and therefore it's probably nothing like adding a fourth little kid to the crew. :)

Unfortunately this week, I was also hit with my first very real migraine. Migraines are the worst sort of sick and twisted torture a body can inflict on itself.

Holy moly. I am SORRY for those of you who put up with it on a frequent basis...and I sincerely hope I'm not about to join your ranks. Sigh.... The women in my family have a history of suffering from migraines, and I thought maybe, just maybe, I might have snuck by unscathed. Until Wednesday. It didn't occur to me as I was sitting on the couch and bright lights started flashing in front of my eyes that my brain was actually telling me, "WATCH OUT, A TRAIN IS PLOWING TOWARDS YOUR CRANIUM!" Because that's exactly what happened next...or at least that's what it felt like. I was down for the count.

My head was still tender yesterday when Eric messaged me from work saying that he felt like he was coming down with the flu. Ay yi yi. So it's been an interesting week around here, to say the least. We're a bit out of sorts, not quite in our summertime groove just yet, and looking forward to some normalcy. That's not to say we don't want John around. The kids have been keeping themselves highly entertained....



Bubble blowing pictures make me laugh. Pucker up, buttercup!



I just heard Evelyn call John "Honey" in the other room. 

"Don't call me that! Let's play Star Wars."

"Okay, who are you going to be?"

"Darth Maul."

"Darth Maul doesn't live in a kingdom - not this kingdom, anyway."

Ahaha. An interesting week, indeed.

Someday Reagan will be six, and I'm not sure if he'll be roping his sisters into Star Wars, or if his sisters will be dressing him up in tutus. Maybe a bit of both. Tutu wearing stormtroopers. Yes, that is a highly likely scenario. :)

At least bubbles remain a universal language. 

As usual, I am so looking forward to the weekend. Though I have a dentist appointment on Monday, so time can just stay as still as possible for as long as possible as far as I am concerned. Oy. I don't mind going to the dentist. But I have wisdom teeth coming in. And three babies in four years has left my poor mouth a wreck. I just know I'm going to come out of that office sentenced with a summer's worth of dental work. Story of my life! I've been told I am "the perfect dental patient!" because I lay stock-still while they hammer away in there...totally blasé. Well yeah...because that's what I've done since I was like, seven years old and getting all of my baby teeth pulled out, haha. Root canals? Psh. I've had three. Child's play. :)

Anyway. Since I'm sure you are not interested in my entire dental history, I'm going to end this right here. Poor Reagan is currently being banished from playing with the group, because he keeps knocking everything down. Haha. Better go rescue the baby! One more day as the temporary mom of four. I think I'll miss all the Mario talk around here. :)

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Surprise - It's Shannon!

It was early on Friday morning when I messaged my little sister and asked her where she was. She sent me this picture in reply:


And I got an uncontrollable case of the giggles. :)

If you're not from around here then this picture probably doesn't mean a whole lot to you. But what it means for us is that my sister had made it through the night on a long road trip and was just coming into our tiny town. She was home!

Soon she was messaging me that she was at my parent's house, and that's when I realized, Oh no! No one is home and she's probably locked out. Sure enough, "Can you come and get me?  I have to go to the bathroom!!" Baha. Poor thing! All three of my kids were still snoozing in their PJ's so I hurried up and woke them all, loaded them into the car and raced to my parent's house. What followed after that was a great weekend full of surprises for our family and quite a bit of quality time spent together. It went by super fast, but I think Shannon would agree that the trip she made home was worth every mile.

It was all a last minute affair. One of Shannon's fellow marine friends was getting married this weekend. He also happened to be from our area. So when she found out that he was coming home for the holiday weekend for his wedding, they cooked up a plan that she should come along. I am so thankful for Shannon's friend and his willingness to let her tag along for this trip!

The plan was that on Sunday she would attend the wedding and then spend the night in a hotel with some of the wedding party, wake up the next morning, and go back to her base. So we loaded Shannon up the in car on Sunday and started making our way to the wedding. Eric asked Shannon, "So...what are you going to be doing tonight? Do you really know any of these people?"

"Uh, not really," she said. "I'll probably just hang out in the hotel room."

I knew then what Eric was going to say next. "Well, Shannon. Are you sure you don't just want us to take you to this wedding and then bring you back up here tomorrow morning?"

Hey, now that's a novel idea! So while we were all set and ready to say our goodbyes, it was decided at the last minute to bring her home to stay for one more night. I know that sure made my mama happy. :)

I tried to make a vlog of this weekend last night. I was sooo tired by the time I was finishing it up, so it ends kind of abruptly, haha, but you'll get the gist. Our Memorial Day weekend blog includes Evelyn's graduation from preschool and some clips from our time with Shannon at home. It barely scratches the surface of our weekend, but I still thought I'd share it!


This weekend certainly reminded me of the importance of family and the thankfulness I have towards those who serve our country, past and present - especially those who have given their lives for our freedom. I'm so happy that we were able to spend Memorial Day with our soldier. And I continually pray for all of the friends and family we have serving in the military. I know that so many of you have family members that are serving as well. You know and can appreciate how special it is to get to see and spend time with them. Thank them from us the next time you see them, won't you? :)

And seriously...how cute was that preschool graduation song? Haha. 

I hope you all have are having a great week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Start of Our Weekend - Pre-K Graduation!

I am completely overwhelmed by this weekend.

Sometimes there is very little to tell about, and sometimes there is so much that I don't even know where to start. Our weekend began on Thursday and went through Monday, and it feels like it all started a month ago. :)

Many of you know by now that we had a huge surprise for my mom on Friday. My sister Shannon, who is a Marine stationed in North Carolina, came for a visit over the long holiday weekend. I'm pretty sure that I was the only family member who knew she was coming, and I'm pretty sure that it made my mom's summer already, haha. My mama was definitely surprised! It was wonderful getting to spend time with my sister, and I plan to share more about that tomorrow!

Before marines came marching home, we had a preschool graduation in our family. I didn't get a chance to share much of that last week, and I certainly don't want to skip it. It's how we started our weekend, and it was such a cute and memorable way to begin it.


First, let me just say that, generally speaking, I am a rule follower. I know that's shocking to many of you. :) So when a note was sent home saying, "There is no need for your child to be at school before 5:50pm. The doors will not be opened, " I took that as meaning, "Don't come early!" So I didn't. We came at 5:50pm. And I bet you can't guess what happened.

Haha. The entire cafeteria was already packed with people. Clearly, the doors were opened before 5:50pm. We found ourselves a seat in the very far corner in the very back of the room. And now I know not to take memos from the school seriously anymore. ;) It's too bad this knowledge will do me no good, as this was the first and the last preschool graduation that we will be attending at this school.  Grace will get one year here next year before we move away. *Tear* Don't wan't to talk about that.

Anyway.

We really didn't care about the seating thing, I just thought it was funny. :) And it didn't matter, because once the show began, we went to stand in the back of the room with half of the other parents to get pictures and video. 



Evelyn had been singing the cutest song at home all week in preparation for the very short but very adorable performance. I'm going to try to work it into a vlog for this week, because it would just be a shame not to.

And soon it was time for each of the kiddos to get their "diplomas." Evie was one of the last names called thanks to being a "Robert" in the afternoon class. You could tell watching her that she was so excited every time one of her friend's names were called out...but eventually...I think she started getting worried that she was never going to get hers, haha. Sorry, sister. I have no experience being at the end of the alphabet in school, myself. I was an "F" kid growing up. ;)



But as you can see, she did indeed get her diploma!

As the kids were dismissed to go back and sit with mom and dad, we watched as Evelyn went the exact opposite direction of where we had been sitting. "What is she doing? Is she lost?" There was a moment that we lost sight of her in a sea of kids, but then the crowd parted and we saw that she wasn't confused at all. Instead of coming straight back to us, she ran over to her teacher Ms. Leslie and gave her a hug. :D 

Afterwards there were cookies to be eaten.



And my children love cookies.



Haha.

Before we left for the evening, we had to make sure to say goodbye and thank you to Ms. Leslie one last time for the school year. This was the perfect time for Grace to get to meet her teacher for next year. Our little Gracie girl will be in the afternoon class, just like her big sister was. 


I am SO thankful for our school and the teachers in it. I love teachers. It was what I was going to be before I decided that being a mom full-time was what I was called to do. I just can't express enough how thankful I am to know there are caring adults who want to grow our children. That's fantastic to me. I am thankful that in our small community our public school teachers still have the freedom to do that...to be creative and use their strengths in a safe environment. Ms. Leslie and Mrs. Mueth are running a wonderful Pre-K program at our public school. I wouldn't hesitate to send any of our friends their way. :)

We are still strongly entertaining the idea of homeschooling after next year, so I am trying to savor these moments that we have while we have them. Man...that's another post for another day. (I've been saying that a lot lately!)

We ended our day on Thursday by letting Evie choose to do what she wanted. And what did she want to do? To play on the playground, of course!

Tonight Evelyn has Kindergarten screening. And time just keeps ticking away....


It's funny. That night as we were sitting around a cafeteria table, Eric's dad Greg was asking my mom how Shannon was doing and when she would get to come home next. I was sitting right across from them with my knowledge of what was happening the next day tucked inside my noggin.

"Oh, it will be a while before she's home again," my mom said. "She has to save up so many days to get leave."

Bwahaha. It was so hard not to smile and give it away. :)

To be continued....


Friday, May 23, 2014

School's Out for Summer!

It's late. I can barely keep my eyelids open. This stay at home mom is NOT used the pace we were at today, haha. Dentist appointments out of town this morning for the girls (no cavities - woot!), then Evie to school and the rest of us in church meetings for the rest of the afternoon. Pick up Evie, eat dinner, preschool graduation, and playing at the playground all evening long. None of that seems too crazy on it's own, but when you have three kids to feed, get ready and tote along to each place, it's enough to wear a homebody out!

This day was the "breaking point" day. The "if I can just get through this day" day. Because now...now it's summer vacation for us! And while that doesn't mean our schedule gets lighter, it does mean that we have a little more control over it.

At the very beginning of the school year I had this crazy idea to take a picture of Evelyn every single day before school and then compile it all into a fast-moving video to show the changes she went through in a year. Yeah, if you have kids in school you know what an insane idea that is, haha. Sometimes you're doing good just to get out the door. :)

But. I did try my best. Even though we had camera issues, and computer issues...oh, so many computer issues...so that I missed nearly half of the school year, because I couldn't upload pictures. I still picked up the camera and took a picture when I could. What I got were a few photos representing different seasons, and it definitely documented how our little preschooler turned into a big girl over the course of the school year.



As you will see in this video, many times I couldn't get a picture with just Evelyn because either Grace or Reagan or both of them decided that they had to be in the picture, too, haha. But that's okay! They existed during this time period. :) From the first day of school to the very last, here is a video of Evelyn during her one and only preschool year. I hope you enjoy watching it, because we had lots of fun making it!


There were so many times yesterday that I wanted to break down and sob like a little baby, but I mostly controlled myself. I did cry a bit at key times, but my tears were concealed by sunglasses, and no one else had to know about my moments of weakness. :) Haha.

Honestly, it's not about the end of preschool in and of itself that was making me sad. It was just...that...it was an end. And I hate endings...of any kind. Especially endings to happy times. And this was a fantastic year. I loved our routine. And now I'm not going to reach for Evelyn's backpack every day at 11:45 and say, "Okay, time to go!" And I'm not going to come home and make lunch with Grace and Reagan and put my baby down for a nap so that I can do my chores. And I'm not going to have an excuse to show up at my parent's house at 2:30 every single day so that I can walk Evie across the field and then push my babies on the swings in their backyard. Everything is going to be different. We have to find a new routine again.

I tried to slow down all day and savor every last. But it was such a hectic day that there was hardly any time to think about it. So when it did hit me...well...that's when the blubbering started. :)

ANYWAY. Preschool graduation was cute, and we have video and pictures that I will certainly be sharing with you next week. And...I'm sitting on a HUGE secret right now.  By the time you're reading this some of you might know what it is. It's a good one for our family! There's some sneaky stuff going on. :) It'll be a great way to kick off our summer break, so stay tuned next week and I'm sure you'll hear all about it.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Summer Bucket List!

I can't believe that tomorrow is Evie's last day of school. I mean. What? How did that school year fly by so fast? And how did my child grow so much in that short amount of time?? I've been working on a small project during this school year which I'll be wrapping up tomorrow night, and that project involves looking at pictures of my baby - something any mother could do for hours and hours. She's changed.

Tomorrow we get to go to her preschool graduation, which already sends me into fits of giggles. I'm not sure how I feel about using the word "graduation" in reference to my own kid just yet. It sounds absurd. But maybe that's why it's so cute and funny. :)

With our summer vacation looming just around the corner, we're sharing our Summer Bucket List today. I'm numbering these babies, too, and we'll check them off one by one. But maybe not in order. :) There are so many things we can't wait to do!



1. Have a family picnic
2. Roast marshmallows and make s'mores
 3. Build a sandcastle
4. Throw a party for friends
5. Get a tan!
6. Take the kids somewhere they have never been
 7. Visit some favorite spots - The St. Louis Zoo, Grant's Farm, and The Magic House
8. Have a scavenger hunt
9. Ride carnival rides
10. Eat sno-cones
11. Go swimming 
12. Make a bubble tent
13. Go to a parade
14. Shop for vacation
15. Teach the kids a new game
16. Start a savings project with the girls
17. Random acts of kindness
18. Make fresh lemonade
19. Go to the theater
20. Ride a bike
21. Have regular family movie nights
22. Read a new book
23. Kids plan dinner night
24. Blow giant bubbles
25. Take family photos
26. Send letters in the mail
27. Ice cream sundae night
28. Take many long walks
29. Find a new park
30. Go to Disney World!

Had to throw that last one in there, haha. Technically the kids will have already started school when we go on vacation, but it will still be the summer season, so it counts. :) I'm getting excited just thinking about all of the fun things we can do! I can't wait to check each and every one of these things off of our list.

Are there any things you are looking forward to this summer? I would love to hear your ideas! There are more than 30 days of summer, ya know. :)

Now it's time to get my oldest baby ready for her second to last day of preschool. Ever. I'm still stuttering over this, considering we had no intentions of sending her to Kindergarten next year when she started the school year. Evelyn's preschool days came and went like the twinkling of an eye. I know she had a great year, made so many friends, and loved her teachers. But we are all looking forward to the fun of summer vacation! I hope you'll stick around with us as we work on this list and enjoy the next few months!




Monday, May 19, 2014

The Weekend in Fast Forward

Are you ready for the quickest weekend wrap up ever? I have 20 minutes to write this thing. Feel free to read it like the fast talking guy from the 80's Micro Machines commercials, cause that's about as fast as I'm typing it. :)

First, on Friday. Eric ended up getting home earlier than I expected which was amazing and the kids were super excited to have their dad back...at least the ones who were at home. This guy didn't want to let go of his daddy for the entire rest of the weekend.


Attached!

Our day was sweetened when we discovered something fun in our pile of mail. Tickets to a party at Disney World!


Reagan doesn't need one, because he's free. Just the way we like it. Haha. Several things have changed about our trip since the last time I updated, but I don't want to Disney you out or anything. Cause you know...don't get me started!

We surprised Evie with Eric when we picked her up from school and ended up hanging out at my parent's house for the afternoon where a MIRACLE happened that maybe I'll get to tell you about someday, but it set the tone for an awesome rest of the weekend. That evening we had a special dinner at Eric's parent's house with Denny and the rest of the immediate Greg Robert family. :) It was great! The kids got to run around with cousins and we had a yummy catered meal. Why don't I get meals catered for parties? It would save me a giant headache as I am no cook. Anyway.

So, Saturday. It was date night Saturday. It was fabulous as usual.

And Sunday was jam-packed. So full that I didn't even get to do all of the things I had planned to do. We had plans to meet with some of Eric's co-workers at the Strawberry Fest for lunch. Church was great on Sunday morning, but it ran over, which meant lunch was pushed back a bit, which meant all of the rest of our plans were pushed back, too, haha.


Kids waiting for balloons at the Strawberry Festival!


But they got tired of waiting. 

Slides are better...


We had a delicious lunch with great friends and family and it was a beautiful afternoon. I was sad to discover the time and what I had feared, that I wouldn't have time to make it to a friend's baby shower. Our friends and neighbors Jeremy and Christina are expecting their first baby in July, a boy, and they chose a super cute and meaningful name for their son:


We ended up taking a walk yesterday evening and we ran into Jeremy and Christina on our front lawns - yay! So even though I wasn't able to make it the shower, we were still able to deliver a gift and chat a bit. 

I know I'm leaving a bunch of things out, but you know what, time is up. Micro Machines commercial ends right about...now!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Confession Friday 5-16!


Hello, friends! It's been one of those weeks around here. Eric finally threw up his hands and said, "Enough with these crazy people, I'm hijacking a plane and getting the heck out of Dodge!"

Not really. He had a work conference in Chicago, leaving me to hold down the fort. It just so happened that Eric was taking off on a plane the same day his brother flew in from Arizona, which is just...really bad timing, haha. So we're hoping that Eric gets back in time this evening to have a family dinner before Denny heads back home. We shall see!

This is so wrong, but speaking of dinner...haha.

A very momentous anniversary is coming around the corner. No, it's not our wedding anniversary. I confess that I will soon be celebrating 5 years of nonstop breastfeeding!! Woot! Yes, Reagan still nurses. And honestly, I'm just happy that certain parts of me haven't fallen right off. (Three more years of this, and studies tell me I am 99.9% guaranteed to never get breast cancer. Well, if I've come this far....haha.)

And speaking of celebrating 5 years....

That can only mean that a certain little girl is gearing up for a birthday! I confess that I am sticking to my guns and NOT doing big parties this year. Just something small with the grandparents. And...Evie wants a character birthday. Like, I can just walk in a store and buy the decorations. This has never happened before.

I confess that Sam's Club has the best store-brand toilet paper ever. Not even kidding. It's totally worth the membership just for the TP. :)

I confess that I had a scary moment right before going on the air at the Dave Ramsey Show last month. It was…an itch. On my ear. Under my headphones. I mean, I know it sounds dumb, but have you ever had an itch you can't scratch? I literally had seconds to decide if I should wince through the interview or move those perfectly placed headphones and scratch my darn ear as they were counting down, "5,4,3...." It was an intense few seconds, but I moved those headphones and scratched that itch. Probably freaked the producers out, but seriously...it was a good choice.

A couple of un-shared photos from our time at the Dave Ramsey show. Remember how I told you that Reagan fell and got a giant goose egg right before we went on the air?

Womp womp. 

Should have seen it from the side!

I confess that I was flipping through old Facebook posts recently, and I stumbled across one from February 2012 that caught my attention. A friend of mine had posted on my wall, "I had a dream about you last night that you were pregnant - with a boy!" I honestly don't remember if I knew that I was pregnant then or not, but I said back, "Haha, that would be hilarious!" Thing is, I was pregnant…with a boy. Meagan Pflueger, I think you have a gift. :D About a month and a half later we were sharing the news!

I confess that this was the month that we would have welcomed home our fourth baby. Sigh. My, would life be looking quite different right now. But...you can't dwell on what might have been, can you? I am very thankful for the babies I've held...and at least one child I still get to meet someday.

I confess that when Eric is away, the rest of us all pile into one bed and try our darndest to get comfortable at night. We are one big mess of tangled legs and arms in a much too small bed. But it's kinda nice, really. Until I have to untangle myself to sneak out and write a blog post. :)

I confess that I just ate a bowl of ice cream, followed by a piece of cold pizza from Mother's Day. Yeah, this late night blogging thing probably isn't so good for my see-food diet. I see it, I eat it. Badunk-ching!

^^I confess that I think I'm morphing into my husband with his corny joke telling. You should hear us together in the car. It's pretty bad. :)

I confess that nothing is cuter than a sleeping kid.
And so well behaved!

I confess that it's springtime which means I have HOUSE FEVER. Too bad we aren't purchasing a home any time soon. However, I can tell you any and every house that's listed for sale in a 30 mile radius. Haha. I make it my business to know these things.

I confess that if Eric and I ever find a breaking point in our relationship...it's going to be over the purchase of our first home. Oh dear, it's not going to be a pretty thing to see. That's a blog post for a whole other day. :D

I hope you all have a great weekend! Ours is chalk full of stuff, which I'm really looking forward to. See you on Monday!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Strawberries and Sunshine

Sometimes blogging can be a very difficult thing to do. I find that particularly true when life isn't exactly going according to plan. Because life can be messy. It certainly isn't contained in five minutes worth of daily reading material. And as any blogger can tell you, you are darned if you do and darned if you don't share all of the details of your life.

On one hand, people will gossip about you, call you out, and roll their eyes if you get too personal with the bad stuff that's happening in your life. Many people are very supportive when you share your struggles and your true feelings and show your imperfections. Many other people think that it's distasteful. Darned if you do.

On the other hand, people will gossip about you, call you out, and roll their eyes if all you ever share is the good stuff. The safe stuff. All of the things that make it seem like you are trying to paint this perfect portrait of a fake life. The other half of your readers WANT to read about your occasional blunders and get bored when life is just too happy. Darned if you don't.

Personally, I try not to dwell on the negative...if you haven't guessed. :) Growing up in a church setting, I was taught not to glorify my mistakes, but to share them if they could help someone else or if it was something that I was working on or trying to overcome and wanted help with. I have to say that's it's proven to be great advice, and it has certainly saved me from regretting a few things later. (I might hold some kind of world record for un-published blog posts. There have been many times I've written a novel, slept on it, and then decided NOT to hit publish the next day.) That isn't to say I've never published something I have regretted later. Whoops. :)

So. All of that is to say that life is a little messy right now. I enjoy sharing all of the good things we experience, but there are parts of my life that are really sucktacular. I don't feel comfortable sharing the details here, because these things are beyond my own little family's scope, but I don't think it's always necessary to know all of the details to appreciate when someone is just going through something. We could really use your prayers right now. Specifically prayers for the right things to say at the right times...that we always keep our focus on God's will...and that he ultimately gets the glory from this situation.

I apologize for being so vague, and please know that we are all in good health and all of that. This is actually something we have been dealing with for a long, long time. It's not anything new. But for anyone who has ever thought that things must always be coming up roses for the Robert's...wrong-o. We get to deal with real life, too. We're in the trenches of it.

In spite of life's hardships, we manage to find sunshine through the clouds. Yesterday was a beautiful day filled with strawberry picking, water gun fights, and chocolate cake. Not bad for a Monday afternoon. :)

My mom loves to garden, and this year she has a lovely strawberry patch which is producing a TON of strawberries. A few have been ready to pick, so the girls took turns helping their grandma find a few gems so that we could sample the first little harvest of the season.





The vast majority are still tiny and green, so I foresee a lot more strawberry picking in our future.  No one is going to complain about that.



And the verdict was...that they were delicious! The strawberries have a wonderful flavor and are completely pesticide free, so you can't beat that. :)

After playing out in the sun for a while the kids decided that they needed to try out all of John's new water guns, and boy did they have a blast running around outside, shooting each other (and the adults!) and getting completely soaked. Oh, to be a kid again!


They especially enjoyed torturing my brother Justin. :)



Haha, completely drenched. Eventually we needed the kiddos to dry out, so we told them to water grandma's plants instead. They thought it was a great idea - score one for the parent team. 



It's nice to forget about your worries for a while and just laugh and play. :)

And make chocolate cake.


Because chocolate cake always makes it better. 

I suppose that now I have to make some sort of analogy to tie this all together. 

You know, sometimes life is like strawberries in the sunshine. A little sour...a little sweet. Okay, no. That's too cheesy even for me. :) Life is like a water gun?

Yeah, that. Life is like a water gun. For no reason. It just is. Feel free to interpret that any way you'd like - the Picasso of analogies. 

Haha. I am thankful for sunshine even on cloudy days. There is always a reason to smile...so I hope you find MANY reasons to smile today!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Weekend

Mother's Day weekend was...interesting. It was good! Mostly. And I was able to spend a lot of time being a mother, which only validated my share in the mom club. :)

We spent a ton of time all together as a family. We didn't go anywhere or do anything unless every single person was along and accounted for. Even the short trip to pick up the family pizza on Sunday night resulted in all five of us piling in the car, because don't you know that it takes five people to grab a box through the Pizza Hut window?

It all began on Friday evening when we spent a fun night at home watching movies and hanging out. Have you all seen Gravity yet? Don't watch it unless you want an ulcer, but Eric and I thought it was excellent. And...it confirmed my resolution to never ever (ever) accept any invitations to travel into space. You never know when NASA might come calling, and if you are reading this NASA...NO. I will not do it.

While we're talking movies, I finally got a chance to see Saving Mr. Banks as well, and...I loved it. Just like I knew I would. See those movies, my friends.

Saturday was another family-filled day. First, with a gigantic wedding shower at the park for my cousin Ashley and her brand new husband Cody. They had a fantastic turn out!



It was a beautiful day with more of that gorgeous weather. The kids played and played until we made them leave to do some shopping. I love that Eric and I are finally at a point in our lives that we aren't afraid to take all of our kids out in public. Haha. When they act like hooligans, which they typically do, we laugh. It's the mark of parenthood insanity. When the first baby threw a fit in the store...we freaked out. When the second baby came along...we started avoiding the store all together - not even worth the humiliation. Well, now that our third child is getting a bit bigger we see our family as one big traveling comic act. We appear publicly for everyone else's entertainment.

Unfortunately, on the way home from our shopping excursion we started hearing some strange gagging noises coming from Reagan's carseat. Little buddy is still rear-facing, so I couldn't see him or help him, but Gracie announced to us all that her brother was tossing his cookies.

Great.

We brought him home and set up a spot on the couch, where he continued to get sick all evening long. So I got to wear the Dr. Mom hat this weekend as well, catching vomit in my hands a couple of times - you know...all of that glamorous mom stuff.

Luckily Reagan's rebound rate from sickness is quite impressive. Much like the bout of flu our family was struck with before Christmas, Reagan woke up the next morning fit as a fiddle. It was as if he had never gotten sick. Still, I wasn't about to take him to church in the nursery and possibly pass something along.

So on Mother's Day I did not get to attend church with my family, but instead I was left at home with a very disappointed little boy who didn't understand why he couldn't go with his dad and sisters. We had a quiet morning here where I was able to take my time getting ready for the day and do a few chores. Even on Mother's Day there are chores to be done. :)

But our day looked up from there when Eric and the girls walked back through the door bearing lunch and gifts and bright smiling faces. The girls were so excited to give me what they had been working on in Sunday School and also what they had picked out at the store for me. I love getting gifts from my kids, because I love the look on their faces when they give the gifts to me. (You should have seen me on Christmas Eve when Evie gave me a plastic pearl bracelet. Her face...her expectant, jubilant face...I totally did the ugly cry. Sobbed like a little baby. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids happy.)



Can't tell you how blessed I feel to play the mom part for this crew. Also...Reagan's pucker slays me. He gives the best kisses. 

We enjoyed spending the afternoon visiting with my mom and Eric's mom and then going out again to get groceries for the week. It was dinnertime by the time we got home, and since my one request for the day was "No cooking, please" that's when we decided to get that pizza I was talking about earlier. The rest of the evening was spent taking a long walk around town and then coming home to watch the season finale of my favorite show.

(OH MY GOSH!! Do any of you watch Once Upon a Time?? Holy crap!)

So overall, I really can't complain! Yes there was sickness thrown in there, and yes I was totally crabby for half of the weekend (maybe I didn't mention that part) but Mother's Day actually turned out quite nicely, thanks to Eric working behind the scenes and who always makes sure I feel loved and appreciated. He's the best, but I'll save that stuff for Father's Day. :)


Friday, May 9, 2014

Evelyn's First Field Trip

This weekend mothers will be celebrated all over the country. Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful moms I know! I have a pretty great one, and I love being a mom myself. It's what I've always wanted to do. It's why I ultimately decided to change majors in college, because "I'm never going to use this teaching degree that's costing me THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of private-school dollars, because I'm going to be a stay at home mom, anyway!" But that's a really long story for another time. :)

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending some time with the child that made me a mommy first. It was Evelyn's very first school field trip to the St. Louis Zoo, and I had been looking forward to it for weeks as a chance to spend some one-on-one time with the child I get that with least of all. I haven't spent a single moment alone with my daughter since she started school in the fall. Come to think of it...have I really spent any time alone with her since Gracie came into our lives? The girls are sort of a package deal. Where one goes they both go. So it is definitely a rare treat to get just one of them on their own.

Per the classroom rules, every child had to have a parent go along on the field trip in order to attend. Obviously it wouldn't be difficult for me to go along, but when Eric found out about the trip, he didn't want to be left out, haha. Eric works in St. Louis, so he devised a plan to take a half day off of work and meet us in the morning to hang out for a couple of hours. That half day eventually turned into a whole day, and we decided we wouldn't tell Evelyn he would be there. It would be a little surprise to see daddy magically show up at the same place we were at. :)

Evie was super excited yesterday morning to get dressed and head to school. She is normally in the afternoon class, so being at school early made it feel extra special!



Grace and Reagan thought they needed to jump into a picture, too. Normally Reagan wants nothing to do with lining up for a pose, but yesterday his rear was glued to that wall, haha. He wanted his picture taken, darn it! 

We arrived to a classroom full of little ones with their parents nearby. I don't think any child was more than two feet from mom or dad, but guess which kid had no problem running clear across the room and doing her own thing? :) I was cracking up as Evie discovered "new" people in her classroom - all of the kiddos in the morning class that she doesn't normally get to see. "Who are you??" Baha.

Soon it was time to get on the bus. That would have seriously been field trip enough for Evelyn. It was her absolute dream to board a giant yellow school bus someday...you might remember that Evie threw a fit on her first day of school when we showed up to pick her up afterwards. She was going to march right on with the bus kids!

We climbed up the giant steps and found a seat. I could tell she was really excited. Probably because she kept smiling so big and saying, "I'm really excited!" :)



We were off, and she was in heaven...at least for the first half of the trip! Evelyn soon discovered the reality of school buses. She was looking a little less than enthusiastic at one point, and I said, "Are you sleepy, Ev?"

"No. I'm just bored!"

Haha, yep.


We ended up having absolutely perfect weather for the day - could not have worked out better for a zoo day. Evelyn and I explored the Herpetarium while I waited for a "secret" message from Eric telling us that he had arrived. It didn't take long, and then I let Evie know she had a little surprise waiting for her.


We walked clear across the entire zoo after Eric let me know he was there, and we found our missing link. Evelyn was happy to see her dad and even more happy to see that he had powerade, haha. She was thirsty! She hopped right up on Eric's shoulders and we were off for a day of exploring.


Which included some dole whips, of course....



We were supposed to be sharing that, but Evelyn wasn't super interested in sharing. :) Can't blame her - it's a yummy treat! And very refreshing. If you're ever anywhere that serves dole soft-serve...do yourself a favor and get some!




Evie even got her face painted - something we wouldn't ordinarily do with all three kids in tow.


It was a short day, but I think it ended up being the perfect amount of time. Evelyn said more than once that she missed Gracie. I could tell that she wished her sister was there having fun with her. And by the time we were on our way home, she was even ready to see her little brother, too. :)

Eric surprised ME by asking the teachers if Evie and I could just ride home with him at the end of the day. I was fully expecting to get right back on the bus and part ways with Eric, but it was really nice to be able to all go home together. Before we left, Evelyn picked out some souvenirs for Reagan and Grace, and she couldn't wait to get home and give them their gifts. 

I would say that Evelyn had a very successful first field trip! Even at a place as big as the zoo, we bumped into friends all day, and Eric and I chuckled every time Evie would call out, "HEY TIM!" or "HI ANNABELLE!" :) 

I did manage to shoot a little footage of our day (goodness I love having this working computer!) so here is a very short video of Evie's first field trip!


I loved getting that special time with my first baby. Once again, we want to wish all of the moms a very happy Mother's Day! I hope that you are able to do a little something for yourself this weekend...or better yet, let someone do something for you! Have a great weekend!


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