Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A weekend to remember

We had one of those weekends.  The good kind, the kind you catch yourself saying, make a memory, hold onto this moment and remember it next time you feel like nothing is going your way.  I felt blessed to have grown enough to notice the gifts that were given to me, to stop and listen to the laughter that was filling my house and just listen, to realize that time spent with the people you love is important, really important.

It was Kylynn's fifth birthday and we began the party on Thursday and kept on all weekend long.  She awoke bright and early on her special day and put on the fancy outfit she had deemed appropiate and was rewarded with her first present before I was even out of bed.  She spent the next hour bouncing on her new swing and seeing if her friends were home so she could show it off.

That evening we gave her the gifts from us.  Roller skates (ice skates she calls them), a baby seat for her bike, some summer dresses and googles.  We marveled at her grown up responses to her gifts, "what I've always wanted, forever...it's so beautiful...oh my word, and wondered if it was possible to love a girl more.

The next day my sister was there, I had reinforcements and I took full advantage.  She took Kylynn off for a little date while I took just two kids to speech therapy.  Aunt Jessie took Kylynn for her first manicure and I'm pretty sure she will have gotten more manicures than me by the time she's 12, but I didn't have an aunt Jessie.  Kyle and I snuck off for our first date in 8 weeks! with Chloe in tow (having just a one year old still counts as a date in my book).  We went to an estate sale at the oldest house in Bryan and just got to enjoy the view because the prices were laughably high.  We ended up finding a rug for our study and sneaking off for a lunch out.

That afternoon my sister and I took the kids to the pool and had such a blast.  It was Chloe's first time to go to the pool and the girl LOVED it, I'm talking wanted nothing to do with me, never cried when she fell in, and wanted to be able to walk right on into the deep in.  We ate up a bag full of oreos and apples but still manage to eat the yummy lasagna waiting for us when we got home (yes my handyman can cook too!)

Saturday the rest of my family was here and it was time to celebrate the five year old again.  We headed out to the Hullabaloo diner because it had made it's way onto the Food Network and the food is amazing, it was the perfect place to take guests.  When we got there there was a long wait so they sent us around to the patio to wait.  We get back there and they have live music, actually good, live music and strangely enough the first thing he says is I have an extra mic if anyone wants to join me.  Well, now that you mention it we are the proud owners of a musician in our family (my brother in law).  So we spent the next couple of hours listening to them sing for us, eating amazing food, and enjoying the beautiful day.  It was by far the most fun I've had in ages, it was magical, I kept wanting to stop time and live in that moment a little longer.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching Kylynn open every Barbie/Princess item they sell in the stores and eating an amazing cake.  As I'm sure you are all aware, I did not make this cake, nope that would be crafty and I am nothing if not the opposite of crafty.  My sweet friend, Crystal, has begun her own cake business and I was blown away by what she came up with when I asked for a strawberry shortcake cake.  I have never seen anything like this in real life, she made the strawberry cake by grinding up real strawberries, wow!  If you need a cake, cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, you get the idea I'll put you in touch with her, anything you can dream up she can do.

When they left Saturday evening I was so full of joy.  It was hard to see them leave but I felt blessed have taken the time to live in the moments of this weekend, not to mention there was still two days left of it to enjoy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

*School is out and we are claiming this the summer of "there's no hurry."  I want my children to not have to "hurry up" this summer the way they have the past four months.  I want them to stay in their pajamas as long as they want.  Better yet I want to have at least one a day a week where we all go straight from jamas to bathing suits to jamas.  I want us all to rest, to be restored, to get to know each other again, to allow Chloe the time to find her place, and learn that she won't always have to spend so much time in a car seat.

*Have I told you guys the doctor things Jack is lactose intolerant.  I can't remember if I have, but I believe he's correct and so far we're seeing less symptoms he was having before we removed dairy from his diet.  He misses cheetos, a lot.

*My baby turns 5, as in five years old, as in it's been five whole years since I laid in that hospital bed and found out I had a girl, a girl!  Five just sounds so old.  Have I mentioned she's going to kindergarten next year, which means tomorrow she'll be 16 and next week she'll have her own children.  Sigh...

*I signed the kids up for gymnastics, we are all super excited!  When I was standing there watching the girls practice, I couldn't help but remember how that used to be my dream.  I was passionate about gymnastics, I would tape the competitions on TV and watch them over and over and try to learn how to do their routines.  The one small problem was I was not a gymnast, so when I was 15, I decided that since I loved gymnastics so much I should take some gymnastic classes (duh!).  I called around and found a place that offered beginning classes to older kids.  I had a blast.  Yesterday I tried to teach Kylynn to do a cart wheel, which involved me doing a cart wheel, A. wow! I felt brave doing a cart wheel, I mean you are hurling yourself at the ground, and B. ouch, who knew how many muscles it takes to do a cartwheel.

*Last night for dinner I made my own ChickFila salads, copied them to a T and can I tell you, they were amazing!  This might also have to be the summer of the ChickFila chicken strip salad.

*Speaking of ChickFila I decided that I wanted a peach milkshake like they offered a few summers ago. I had bought the peaches and cream ice cream from Bluebell, so I knew it would be amazing.  I asked Kyle if he would make it for me because sometimes I just get sick of preparing food (I do it all day long!) and he said sure.  When he gave me my milkshake, it tasted, well, bad.  I couldn't figure out what had gone wrong, until I realized there was something in it I had to chew.  He told me very proudly that he had put graham crackers in it, because he went the other day and ordered a shake and he paid very close attention to how to make it.  My sweet husband had order a banana pudding milkshake and had confused that with a peach milkshake, also we realized they were most likely putting vanilla wafers in it, not graham crackers!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

A celebration for Chloe

Some sweet friends of mine finally talked me into having a little shower for Chloe, I was a little hesitant to have a shower for a third baby (what would Emily Post say?).  But as someone pointed out, every baby deserves to be celebrated, and in our circle of friends we are blessed to get to get together on a regular basis to celebrate another baby!  My friends threw me a wonderful shower to celebrate Chloe's adoption.

It was definitely my kind of shower, we sat around and talked and talked, you know that great mama talk that can go on forever, sharing all the struggles your dealing with now and laughing at how silly some of the things that keep you up at night really are.

We ate the most amazing cupcakes, really amazing.  I'll let you in on a little secret, I'm not a fan of cupcakes and not really a fan of icing either, but these cupcakes and icing were to die for.  Actually my friend who made the cupcakes also is incredibly crafty, great with kids, has a great eye for style...I'm thinking that maybe it's not fair for God to give out talents so lopsidedly (can you believe spell check is not asking me to fix that word).

I have been blessed by so many gifts from these women and other friends throughout Chloe's adoption, prayers, meals, encouragement, and hand-me-downs, I really didn't want another thing.  Some people were sneaky and brought a little something, and I must admit it was nice to get Chloe's first personalized item.

Thank you all who came, I can't tell you what it means to have an evening to catch up with so many of the women I adore, it had been a long time and I had forgotten how much I need that.  There was a time where I had no real friends to my name, was newly married, and thought that there was no way God cared enough to help me out of the dark place I'd ended up.  When I look at each one of you I'm reminded how much He loves me, how much he has used each one of you as His hands and feet to show me just how special I am to Him.  You all are a blessing I never deserved but will hold onto as tight as I can.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What I'm loving this month

I'm not sure exactly how to say this, I don't want to get some weird hits on my blog this week, so here goes nothing.  When I was pregnant with Kylynn I went from being "chesty" to "very chesty" and even as I lost most of that weight over the past 5 years, that particular area of my body is the exact same size as it was when I was a nursing mama.  So I hate putting on a swimsuit for all the normal reason plus the reason of looking like a 60 year old woman with her chest hanging done around her waist.  Not to mention I look like I'm trying to be revealing, really I'm not I just can't find a top to fit me correctly!

I decided enough was enough and I was just going to have to shell out some money for a swim top this year, even the cheapskate in me is so happy with the results.  Land's End has such an amazing selection for swim suits no matter what your particular flaw(s) are.  In several of the tops you can pick your size and THEN choose your cup size (if you are a D or above) or even choose tops made for women who've had a mastectomy or are long waisted.  So for 40$ after shipping, I got this lovely lady.

I love it, love it, love it!  It fits so nicely, it has underwire (can I get a hallelujah!) and I can keep the girls completely covered, which is always nice when you live in a relatively small town and are always running into friends at the pool (am I the only one who feels odd standing in a bathing suit talking to our youth pastor?).  I had the swim mini that I got from Land's End last year on clearance for 10$ so for 50$ I have a swimsuit I actually feel good in, for the first time since I became a mom.

We are part of a new ministry at our church aimed at raising awareness in the church to care for orphans.  The leader of the group went to a conference on the topic of orphan care and brought back the book, Castaway Kid by R. B. Mitchell.  I'm not quite done with the book yet but I am blowing through it, it is amazing and uplifting and basically you need to read it.  I am struck while I read it on the many adults who made a difference in his life growing up even though he was never adopted.  I am even more struck that God has more in store for our family and what he would like us to do to love the orphan.

Have you had the chicken strip salad at Chick Fila, well you need to.  Personally I'm not usually one to waste a good eating out by getting a salad, but this salad is better than anything else I've ever had there.  It's the perfect combination of getting in several vegetables but still getting that great flavor of their chicken.

Did y'all watch the finale of Parenthood.  Ok I know it was like a whole month ago, but I DVRed and watched it a couple of weeks ago, so good!  I was going to eat a piece of cake while watching it, ultimate relaxation, but I cried the entire hour and couldn't eat my cake (don't you worry I ate it later).  Please tell me you guys love this show, such good TV!

My friend I love but have never met, Elizabeth, told me to read Please Look after Mom by Kyung-sook Shin, and I always do what she says.  It was awesome, loved getting to learn little bits about Korean culture and it was beautifully written.  My only critique was I would have like more of it, I think (although I might have just been confused by the names) that there is a child that we never get to know and we could have gotten to know the father more as well.

Finally I would like to bring back dancing in the rain.  I believe in it, as in if I had a I had a "rules to live by" it would contain, never pass up a chance to dance in the rain.  You can have things like that on your rules when you live in Texas, in Seattle I'm thinking not so much.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chloe's room

The room before, this is the only picture I could find, the day we moved in.
This is a view of what would become Chloe's room from our other "true" loft
When we began house hunting a couple of years ago we did what any two uptight people would do, we made a list of what the house had to have, what would be a nice bonus, and what would make it unacceptable.  Then we walked into our home and we broke all our rules, we bought a three bedroom, two and a half bath house with all the bedrooms upstairs, none of those things were supposed to happen (we were supposed to get more bedrooms and bathrooms out of a move).  But this was the house that God gave us and I love everything about it, how it's old and every room is crying out to be made new (and we get to do that!), it has a ton of space although admittedly a lot of that space is tricky to make use of.

Someday our daughters will share a room but for now Chloe needed her own room, so we took this three bedroom house and made it four.  Connected to our bedroom was a sitting room that was a loft, as in one of the walls was missing from it being a complete room.  So Kyle framed out the wall we hired someone to put up the sheet rock, Kyle took over again and textured and painted the room.

I couldn't seem to get a could picture w/o the flash which messes up the colors some but we you get the gist.

The after: Chloe's room
One of the reasons that God placed me in this house was so I could meet my friend, K, she is a talented woman whom I adore, she is probably the only person I enjoy talking on the phone to, she always makes me happy with her calls of something she has to tell me real quick, she is always enthusiastic about life.  Most importantly, K was one of the the biggest cheerleader in my life during Chloe's adoption and as soon as we found out it was a girl, she came over to show me the quilt she was making for my daughter.

It was like she had crawled inside my heart and discovered what I love, this quilt is so beautiful it includes my favorite colors and the patterns remind me of patterns I see on my grandmother's blankets and dishes.  It reminds me of walking through a antique store and finding a treasure.  I treasure this quilt and therefore I went against K's wishes and hung it up on the wall as the focal point of the room, I just had to design the room around it, Chloe can snuggle with it when she's older.  K went on to make me a bumper for the crib, a crib skirt, and curtains.  I cannot repay her for what she did for me, it's appropriate though that my daughter whom God gifted to me resides in a room filled with items gifted to me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

She's a graduate

Kylynn had her pre-school graduation this week which made me think to the first time I got to wear elbow length gloves.  At my pre-school graduation I wore knee-socks on my hands, really it's a true story.  I really loved Miss Piggy, what does that say about me?, and I loved her elbow length gloves.  I thought that my pre-school graduation was a fine enough event for me to need such gloves, but my mom disagreed.  Never one to be deterred by a mother's no, I snuck some knee-socks in my backpack and apparently the teachers thought it was too funny to stop me.  I wish I had the pictures here at my house but they're at my parent's, I can tell you that in those pictures it is clear that I fully believe that, 1. I look very good and 2. there's no difference between elbow length gloves and knee socks.  There is not a hint of embarrassment on my face.

Pre-school graduations are at the same time silly and exciting.  As a parent watching you catch yourself feeling sentimental over this school she'll never go to again, these friends she won't see anymore and then you snap out of it and realize, she's four and she doesn't know the difference.  All the same I was glad for the chance to make her feel special, to remind her that it's a big deal to be starting kindergarten next year and to remember all she's learned this year.

I'm perhaps the only parent who actually watched the event, the rest of them spent the entire time viewing it through their camera lens and since that was Kyle's job, I figured I might as well enjoy what was before me at that moment.  They began with a play, Kylynn played someone from the orient, which I thought was rather appropriate.  They then sang us several songs, said a Bible verse, and of course "graduated."

The kids did such a great job, the play was done really well and the set and the costumes were amazing, way more than I was expecting.  Afterwards we got to look through their scrapbooks and of course eat some cookies, which Kylynn told me before was what she was looking forward to the most, she's apparently not one for sentiment :).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Catch up

I'm not sure where I've been, how I went a week without blogging and worse a week without reading all the blogs I love so much.  Life has been busy and I find myself sometimes wondering how I'll ever get it all done.  Is it just me or do you ever read the blogs of the women with 4,5,6,7 kids and wonder how that is actually possible, am I doing something wrong?

Some fun things we've been up to lately.  Kylynn had her ballet recital and Nana came down for a visit, and got to meet her granddaughter for the first time.

Chloe went swimming for the first time, she was semi-interested.

I found this awesome website, tinyprints, and made the most beautiful mother's day cards you ever did see.  I forgot to take a picture of Nana's before sealing it, but took some of my mom's.  I will never buy another Hallmark, not to mention they have coupon codes!

We took our first trip as a family of five.  It was good, it was hectic and busy, but good.  While we were home we got to celebrate my parent's 35th anniversary.  I will always treasure sitting at that restaurant listening to them talk of the last 35 years, not to mention I had the best steak of my life :).

We also enjoyed some relaxing in the pool and celebrating our moms!

That catches y'all up to this week, but you don't want to see pictures of my messy house or laundry, so we'll leave it there for now :)