Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving. {a family affair}

Thanksgiving is all about family. Eating, laughing, sharing, watching football and spending time together. I look forward to it every year. 

Family is always close to the top of  my thankful list during Thanksgiving, but I realized this year that even though I'm thankful for family I haven't really let "family" sink in.

You see, I have a uniquely large family, and by large I mean huge. 
My mom is one of eleven children. Think about that for a minute, one of eleven, and they only had one bathroom in their house. Yikes. My aunt figured out that Jacob is the 68th direct descendant of my grandparents. 68th! Just 12 days later the 69th was born and my sister is having the 70th in January. It's incredible that two people who decided to marry 70ish years ago has resulted in so many people in such a short period of time. 
 The number continues to grow when you add in my dad's side of the family with about 20 people.

I have been so fortunate to have such a large close family. Some of my greatest childhood memories are from large family functions. There is never a dull moment. Something is always going on, and we never do anything small. Thanksgiving dinner usually consists of at least thirty people. I love it! I love the craziness of our get togethers. I love that there are is always a group of us for the smallest of occasions. I love that within a 5 mile radius of my house there are roughly 30 people I can call who are willing to help me in a moments notice.  

 Then it occurred to me, not only am I fortunate for all these people, but my boys get to grow up with all these wonderful people too. Not only do they have my family but Brett's also. They have aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, cousins, second cousins, cousins two, three, four time removed (whatever all that means). There's not a lot of kids out there that can say that. We have a unique situation and I'm thankful for each person that makes up our family. 

For as long as I can remember on Thanksgiving I have always said I am thankful for my family, but it took me 30 years to really understand why I am thankful for them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful on Paper. {Week 4}

Today is the last day of Thankful on Paper. 
My last letter is to my parents. 
I thought about writing to them individually but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I wanted to thank them as one. I mean if they weren't together in the first place I wouldn't be here.
While a lot of people can probably thank their parents for creating them, a lot probably can't thank them for being the best people I earth. And seriously my parents are. 
Over the years they have shown me how to be caring, giving, loving, strong, honest and independent.
I am thankful they have shown me the importance of family and togetherness.
I am thankful for their example of a good marriage and how to stick together through the good and the bad. 
I am thankful that they gave me three awesome sisters.
I am thankful they love Brett and the boys. 
I am most thankful for their support, even when they don't agree with me, and for always loving me even when I'm not the easiest to love.
They are truly the greatest parents anyone could ask for and I'm grateful to call them mine.
Looking at this picture reminds me of how thankful I am for them. If it wasn't for the two of them we wouldn't have this fabulous family. 

To see who others are thankful for, click here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful on Paper. {Week 3}

This week I am thankful for...
My Sister, Erin.
My sisters, Amy, Erin, Me, and Emily
Before I go into the whys, I have to say, I am the oldest daughter of four girls. I have three of the best younger sisters I could ever ask for. They are each unique in their own ways, have great senses of humor and each brings something different into my life. Two of them, Amy and Erin, have children that are Ethan's best friends and Emily, who doesn't have any kids, is by far the favorite aunt (she has turn tables for goodness sake). I could have written letters to each one with a long list of thank yous, but this week I chose Erin.

I chose Erin because not only is she my sister, she is my best friend.
Fifteen years ago, if you would have asked me who my best friend would be at age thirty, I would never have told you Erin. She was my tag along younger sister that I had to take around with me, drive to and fro and share a room with. We fought, we yelled, we generally didn't get along. I was way too cool for her and her silly friends.
Then one day, things turned around. The short version of a long funny story is, we went to a party, got drunk, then got caught by mom and dad. We bonded and from that point on we were friends.
I don't know how it has happened but through the years we have gotten closer and closer. We've supported one another through everything, we stood by one another at our weddings, we live within blocks of one another, our kids play together, we talk everyday.
I'm thankful that she has been with me during all the good times and all the bad times. She could have easily just been my sister throughout the years, but she has been so much more. I'm thankful to have her in my life and I'm thankful that we get to share our lives together.
Thank you Erin!

To read who others are thankful for, click here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Roller Skates & Quacamole.

I saw this video on Facebook today and I love it. 
I love the video, I love the song, I love the skates. All of it. Adorable. 

It's the same song from the HP commercial with the baby in the walker gliding all across America. Have you seen it? I could watch it over and over. Ethan likes it too. 

And speaking of adorable. I finally have a YouTube account and figured out how to upload videos of my own. It's about time, right? This one is from my phone so it's not the best quality, but Ethan is still too cute.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful on Paper. {Week 2}

This week I am thankful for my Aunt Pam.
I have a lot of aunts, seven to be exact, but I am by far the closest to Pam and always have been. 

She is the kindest, most giving and selfless person I know. 
I am thankful for her because she has been a wonderful example of how to serve and give to others.
Many times in my life I have watched her put herself aside in order to care of someone else's needs.
She selflessly cares for my Uncle Jimbo, who has downs syndrome, and always puts him and his needs first.
It's not an easy job and I'm thankful that her (and my mom too) are able and willing to do so.

I'm also thankful that she has been a part of every event in my life. She's been to every birthday party, prom, shower, you name it, willing to help and share in the moments.

I'm thankful in knowing she will be by my side, day or night, if I need her.

I'm extremely thankful that she loves my boys tremendously. She loves them as if they were her own grand kids, and they love her back just as much. Jacob just doesn't know it yet.

I'm thankful that God has given me such a wonderful Aunt to share my life with.
Thank you Aunt Pam for being you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ten on Ten. {November}

Ten on Ten is ten consecutive photos for ten hours on the tenth of every month. 

 To check out other Ten on Tens click here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


On Sunday Brett and I attended a silent auction. 
I won the basket called, "Girls Night Out", which included five chick flicks, a popcorn bowl and all the makings for popcorn.
I haven't watched any of the flicks yet since I don't have any chicks at home but we did make the popcorn tonight.
I have never made popcorn at home. I mean I've put the Orville Redenbacher bag in the microwave before, but I've never made it on the stove. 
Here's the fixin's. Fancy Williams Sonoma Popcorn.
The excitement coming out of him was almost more than he could handle. He was seriously shaking.
And the laughter coming out of him was almost too much for me to bear.
He's seen popcorn being popped before, at Target, but apparently at home it's much more entertaining.
He was proud of his finished product.
(and seriously this cheesy smile he's got going on is killing me)
My advice to all you with wee little ones...get some kernels of corn and pop away.
It'll make an evening full of fun and entertainment.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bangs and a Piercing.

Maybe it's because I just turned 30,
or maybe it's because I just had a baby,
but whatever the reason I wanted a change.
So I decided to cut bangs. It can take me about 40 minutes to wash, blow dry and style my hair and since I don't have that kind of time everyday I've been wearing my hair pulled back. Bangs give me a little style.
I like them.
Then for a little extra bling I decided to re-pierce my nose. 
I had done it about 2 years ago but it came out and the hole closed up. I had also gotten some flack for having a "facial piercing" at work so I decided to not have it re-done.
But now that I'm staying home I brought it back. 
I'm so punk rock. 
(insert lots of sarcasm and laughter)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful on Paper {Week 1}

I decided to participate in Thankful on Paper this Thanksgiving season. 
I'm not one to say thank you often and I thought this would be a great opportunity to express my gratitude to those I love most. It's often too easy to overlook the ones we love and not take the time to thank them for what they do in our lives. 

So here's how "Thankful on Paper" works. 
On Wednesday I will write a letter of thankfulness to one person and deliver it to them. 
On Thursday I will write about the person I choose and why I am thankful for them.

The first person I chose was my husband, Brett.
I truly do not thank him enough for what he does and who he is. So I wrote him a letter with a list of all the reasons I am thankful for him. I won't share all of the reasons but here are a few.

I am thankful for his patience, especially with me.
I am thankful that he is an awesome Dad to the boys.
I am thankful for his loyalty to me and others.
I am thankful that he works everyday and provides for us.
I am thankful that he is letting me fulfill my dream of being a stay at home mom.
I am thankful for his cooking.
I am thankful that he continues to love me even when I am not easy to love.

I am especially thankful for the memories that we have created together, as a family, and I look forward to those that we will continue to make.

I am thankful for Brett.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


he might be embarrassed about putting the Kotex box on his head...
but for right now it's pretty darn funny.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tid Bits.

I'm no longer terrified of taking both kids out by myself. 
Yesterday we successfully went on a walk for 30 minutes without any crying.
Today we made it through Target as if we were pros. 
I know it sounds really silly but my confidence was boosted. I also know that there will be a day when all hell breaks loose and I will most likely leave a shopping cart full of items in the middle of Target and march my kids out of the store. I'm just happy it wasn't today.

Tomorrow I'm going to be participating in Thankful on Paper. I don't usually do stuff like this but I thought it would be a good way to express my gratitude to some of the most important people in my life. Honestly, I feel that I don't say "Thank You" enough and what better way than to express it in written form.

My Aunt Pam gave me this the night of our pumpkin carving party and I love it. Very cute and clever.

 Unfortunately the flowers are starting to die due to the crazy heat we've been having. It's literally killing me.

I voted today. Did you? It's such a great thing to exercise your right to vote. Something I take for granted living in our great country. I can't imagine living somewhere that would not allow me that right.

Ethan's been doing two things lately that make me crack up.
First, he puts random things on top of my head, stickers, rubber bands, toy cars, and says, "You princess." Yep, that's right buddy...I am.
Secondly, when it's time to go to bed or take a nap he puts his hand up and says, "5 minutes, Ok? Ok." Where has he learned to negotiate already?

Ethan is also rather obsessed with Jacob. While eating lunch today I was holding Jacob and he insisted twice that I bring Jacob over to him so he could kiss him. He gives him a little kiss on the head and then puts his forehead to Jacobs and says, "Awwww". He's so sweet to him that it makes me want to cry.

Lastly, here's the little pumpkin as I write. Snug and sleeping.
By the way, he slept 6 hours straight last night. Cross your fingers this becomes a trend.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkins and Costumes.

On Friday night we held our annual Pumpkin Carving Party.
Our friends and family joined us for some good food and lots of pumpkin carving. 
I almost didn't want to have the party this year since I thought having an infant and throwing a party would be stressful, and I was right, it was, but it was so worth it. Everyone always has a good time and really who wants to carve pumpkins alone. It's always better in a group. Plus we had prizes this year so that made it even better.  
Ethan started by helping Emily with her pumpkin.
 The girls enjoyed their pumpkins this year too.

Ethan was intent on getting every seed out. 
The good thing about having a party is that Jacob was passed around from one person to the next, which meant that my arms got a nice break.

No party is complete without cupcakes.
Pumpkins Galore.
Our little family of four carving away. 
It was a great night of carving!

With pumpkin carving done we were then ready for Halloween.
Ethan had been talking about his costume all week long but when the time came to put it on he wasn't too excited about it. So we made a big deal about how awesome he looked in it, plus I bribed him with some M&M's, and he wore it. 
Here's my little monkey and tiny skeleton.
We headed over to Erin's house to have dinner and go trick or treating. 
Jacob was too hot in his costume so he's now a little football player. 
The kids had a blast trick or treating.

 Yes that's Brett. He was dressed up as Jamarcus Russell, the dead Raider. Only Raider fans get it and a few loyal fans we passed by thought it was quite clever.
After a little bit of trick or treating we headed to the park down the street for a little carnival they have there. The kids got to play a few silly games which resulted in more candy, it was perfect for them. 
They had a great night. Abby even told Erin that it was the best party she had ever had in the whole world. Too sweet. 
Happy Halloween!!