Monday, December 31, 2012

Things I learned in 2012

I'm trying to think of life as a big lesson to be learned. 

Like God is constantly refining me...

like I am under construction.

Hence, the name of this blog.

Anyways....  here's a list of lessons I've learned over the past year:

  • VO5 Styling Creme when applied liberally to wet hair (especially in front) will make my hair look like a greasy mess....even though I washed it less than an hour prior.  Using this product again is ill-advised.

  • I can survive heartbreak.  And it's ok for me to occasionally get a wee bit weepy about it still.

  • Before spraying "hairspray" on my hair- after taking the time to curl it all perfectly- it is helpful to read the bottle of "straight smooth hair serum" before using it as hairspray.  Failure to do so will result in very very flat hair.

  • Knuckles and cheese graters don't mix.

  • I can get into this whole "girl thing."  And I can enjoy it.  :)

  • Forgiveness is something we need to do because God commands us to.  Regardless of whether they ask for it or not.

  • Apologizing is a sign of maturity, integrity, and good character. 

  • Sometimes you just need to let go of old friendships to make room for new ones.  Being sad makes you human, moving on makes you wonderful.

  • It is possible to survive natural childbirth - regardless of whether it was in my birth plan or not.

  • The United States of America has chosen that they would rather have socialist policies rather than personal liberties.  I need to learn how to deal with that.

  • I have not been told "I want what you have" since we started building the new side of the house.  Funny...everyone wanted what we had when we lived in a little sh*thole of a house, and didn't care what other people thought of it.  Apparently, contentment should be the new American dream.

  • Some people are part of the problem, others are part of the solution.  It's important to figure out who is in which category quickly.

  • Respect needs to be earned.

  • Sometimes (oftentimes) the amount of generosity from others will still astound me.

  • Politicians lie.

  • There is spiritual warfare going on right now.  And if you're someone I love, be prepared to hear about how much God loves you - regardless of whether you want to hear it or not.  The fact of the matter is, if I love you, I want to see you in Heaven.  It would be more rude and hateful for me NOT to tell you about God's love for you.

  • Shellac manicures make me feel pretty.

  • Parts of my personality (ooohhhh, like my out-spoken-ness) often considered my worst trait can be something that others love about me.  I love those people.

  • I am blessed.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, Tursday.....Ramblings

1.  I missed my Tuesday Ten because, well....yesterday was Christmas.  Dave would say something like "no excuses," but really....I totally forgot that yesterday was Tuesday.  Today actually feels like a Monday.  But, I digress....

Note:  This post has been three days coming.  I started it on Wednesday...then came back to it yesterday (and changed the name), then working on it again today.  But I'm not changing the name.  Call me lazy...or honest...or whatever. 

2.  We had a FANTASTIC Christmas.  On the 23rd, we celebrated with D's family.  Breakfast for dinner meant pajamas for attire.  The boys loved it, and I enjoyed being comfortable.  (Note: Dave and I did not show up in our regular pj' a public service.  But yoga pants and sweats were just as nice.)  We all got to meet our new nephew, Finn.  He is 4 weeks older than Baby L....and about 10 pounds heavier.  :)


3.  The picture (below) has great significance.  First, it's the oldest and youngest grandchild on Dave's side.  Second, the outfit that Baby L. is wearing is a hand-me-down from Emily.  This is the outfit that Dave and I picked out as a present for Emily on our second date.  She was a new addition to the family when we first started dating, and he was eager to get her a cute Christmas gift...but was totally inept in a clothing store.  So, we went to Old Navy, and I picked out an outfit (complete with hat and booties to match, but Baby L. is not wearing them here).  Dave followed me around that store like a lost puppy.  He was sooooo cute.  This is also the outfit that clued Dave's sister, Marianne, that I was on the scene.  She knew her brother well enough to know that only a woman would accessorize.  :)

Full circle?  Yes, I think so.  :)


4.  Last Friday, we had another ER visit.  One cough from C. on the monitor was all Dave and I needed to JUMP into action.  11:30pm...we were both already sawing logs....I heard one bark and yelled, "DAVE!"  I ran to get C, he started the nebulizer.  Ten minutes into the treatment, his ribs were still retracting and nostrils flaring...he still wasn't, to the ER we all went.  This is officially our sixth ER visit with C...and the first time I've ever been able to see and talk to a respiratory therapist.  Good news:  this is the type of asthma he should outgrow.  Bad news:  not until he's 11 or 12.  Sigh.  Can I just say how much I HATE it when my boy can't breathe?!?!?  Enough to warrant the use of the word "hate."  Gr.  We have an appointment scheduled with the Dr. to talk about preventative measures with medicines.  In addition, Dave and I spent the entire day on the 24th de-allergy-ing the boys' room.  This includes stripping their beds down to one blanket and ONE stuffed animal.  Tears were shed...but they recovered quickly.  If this means my babe can breathe better....I'm all about it.

5. Due to the early Christmas celebration with D's family, we had the evening of the 24th off.  So, we made our way to church.  I embraced the whole girl-thing and put Baby L. in a special occasion dress complete with tights and mary jane type shoes.  Yep...I think I could get used to that.  :)  It's also the first time D. eldered at church where I had all three kids to myself.  We all survived, without tears- by them or by me.  So, I think I did ok #thankyouverymuch.  I must say that I LOVED worshipping on Christmas Eve.  In the past, our celebration schedule never really fit into the church schedule...(which, honestly, is the opposite of what it should be, right?).  I loved the carols, I loved the packed pews, I loved the message, I loved the warmth in the sanctuary.  Perhaps we'll need to make the family celebrations accommodate church going forward.


6.  We went to my parent's house on Christmas afternoon/evening.  King crab legs and prime rib.  My most favorite meal ever.  A. was the first one done eating, and then waited (impatiently) for the rest of us to finish so we could open presents.  This is where I had to tell him the story about my childhood where we could only open our gift from Santa and our stocking while my dad worked all the live long day.  THEN we had to wait for grandma's to arrive...THEN we had to wait until everyone was finished eating dinner...yes...this story officially made me an old-lady.  (A, when I was your age....[insert tale of woe here.]).  Sigh.


6.  C. was everybody's helper in opening gifts.  I don't think my dad opened one of his gift's himself.  C. was so happy to help.  It was sweet.


7.  The following picture is so sweet.  My mom and her only granddaughter.  :)  Love this pic!


8.  I have a baby that doesn't want to nap for more than 20 minutes.  This is terribly frustrating.  I'm not getting much done.

9.  I had all these grand plans to be "the awesome mom" during Christmas break.  I even purchased SCRIP (gift certificates) for movies and a few restaurants as surprises for the boys.  I lined up play dates on top of play dates.  I had big plans, I tell ya.  Then...a few play dates fizzled out...C. had an asthma attack....the brakes on my van broke (which are being fixed right now)...and a few friends got sick.  So, we're hunkered down until NYE.  My "the awesome mom" thoughts have given way to sock sorting, medical bill negotiations, and flu shot appointments.  How's that for a 360 degree turn?!?! 

10.  The following pictures is one of my favorites from Christmas Day.  Present carnage on the floor, cashed out baby on my lap.  See that baby acne on her face?!?!?  We'd avoided it for soooo long only to be hit HARD by it now.  Any ideas on how to fix it?


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Ramblings

  • I'm home tonight.  Trying to beat this cold I've got going on.  A. has his Christmas service tonight for school.  I'm missing it.  However, I've left strict instructions with the husby on recording it for me.  AND, there's a sweet fellow mom there who is sending me media pics of A. all spiffed up in his suit.  (Which he picked out for tonight- much to my chagrin...I had to iron.).

  • Due to my state of snottiness...I'm really glad I made the treats for MOPS, neighbors and teachers earlier in the week- before I was contaminated.

  • I've heard that the stomach flu is going around our school.  Again.  Oh joy.  Where is that bubble for my family?!?!?

  • It needs to be said:  It cost us $800 to have A. in hospital bills.  $5000 to have C.  And now we're estimating that our bills for baby L. will come dangerously close to $10,000.  Why?  Obamacare.  ZERO for profit insurance companies now carry maternity coverage.  This is because the Obamacare legislation is mandating they cover so many other things, but not maternity.  So, they all dropped it.  Those of us who are self-employed have to either private pay the whole lot or go on the doles (Medicaid).  We are not dole-type people.  So....we start paying.

  • I am ready for Christmas.  But I need to get over this cold- so I don't get everyone else sick...and I can hold my new nephew Finn!

  • I'm sitting in front of a half-folded MOUNTAIN of laundry.  I have no ambitions to fold it tonight. Zero.  And I'm ok with that.

  • My dear friend, Melody, and her family are preparing to spend the holidays in Latvia helping at a day center there.  Please join me in praying for safe travels and for lots of sharing of God's love!

  • That's all I have for tonight.  I'm going to go sneeze in bed.  :)

Monday, December 17, 2012


We can all ask


But, really...there is no answer to this question.

People want to know if he was mentally ill.

The answer to this is a resounding YES. 

No one in their right mind would do this.

People have asked me how I'm handling this with my boys.

They are nine and five.

My answer?

I am telling them the truth.

I'm not concealing it from them.

Yes, I am tayloring my conversations to what I know they can handle.

However, I want them to hear it from me first.

I want them to know that I will always tell them the truth.

That they can trust me and their father.

That, no matter what they're feeling, they can work it out with us.

I don't want them to hear it from friends and wonder

 "why did they hide this from me?"

And I want to direct their attention to something positive in all this madness.

Mr. Roger's mother once told him to "watch for helpers."

Yes, there was one evil person, but there are MANY helpers.

Helpers God put there to help everyone and show His love.

In the midst of darkness, there is Light.

I'm choosing to focus my eyes on that Light.

Light will always overcome darkness.

That is the Truth I'm choosing to focus on.

Friday, December 14, 2012


I have Chex Mix baking in my oven.

'nuf said.

1. If you bake during the holidays, what is your favorite thing to make?

Chex Mix.  The house smells so buttery and good.  Mmmmm.

I'd make these raspberry merange thingy's....but my mom makes those, so I don't have to.  But they are SOOOOO good!

2. Present giving: Gift bag vs wrapped box?

I like wrapped boxes.  Gift bags are cool for showers and such, but I always like to package things up neatly.  It just feels more Christmas-y to me.

3. What do you keep your thermostat on during the winter/summer in your house?

I want to say 64 winter and 76 in summer...I think.  I can't really remember for certain. 

4. When thinking of your "Christmas to-do list" what percentage "done" are you?

Shopping is done, crafting is at 40%, wrapping is a 20%, shipping is at 0%, cards are at 50%.

5. Do you do the "Elf on a Shelf"? If so, is your Elf naughty and what shenanigans has he gotten into?

No.  That thing gives me the creeps.

This is also where I could get on a little soap box and talk about how the kids have to be good because the Elf sees all, and he'll report to Santa if they've been bad or good....and I could talk about how the kiddos should want to be good all the time because that's what God would want....and I could talk about Santa not being real, etc. etc. etc....but I won't.  :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Nine years ago, I received the best title ever:  Mom.


I can't believe it's been NINE years!


How quickly life goes by...

in a blink we went from the picture above

to this:


Happy Birthday to my sweet, caring, sensitive, sports fanatic boy.

So glad God gave me you.


I can't wait to see what God has in store for you.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Ten

1.  I'm hoping I actually get to 10- I kept baby L. up way to late last night, and she was a nightmare getting to sleep.  HOWEVER, once she did get to sleep (10:30 instead of 8), she slept straight through until 5:30 (instead of waking up at her usual 2am).  Awesomeness....HOWEVER, she's being a beast for naps this morning.

2.  Tomorrow is A's birthday.  Yep, 12-12-12 will be his 9th birthday.  I'm knee deep in reindeer cookies.  Although his class size is small at school, he wants to bring treats to Cadets tomorrow night.  For 50 kids.  Seriously.

3.  I had to laugh at myself this morning.  What I THOUGHT was hair spray in an aerosol can (and have been using as such for 1 year!) is actually a sleek/straight/smooth serum.  So, I'd spend an hour (ok...20 minutes) curling my hair and spray that baby up only to have it fall flat before I got to my destination.  I've been like "what is UP with my hair?!?!?  it won't hold a curl!!!"  Oh yeah....READ THE CAN!

4.  I picked up our Christmas cards at Costco yesterday.  And the dude forgot to give me envelopes.  So, now I get to run back to Costco today.  Have I ever mentioned how inconvenient these little stops are with a newborn?!?!?

5.  This week is our CRAZY Christmas/birthday week.  We have something every night until next week.  Every.single.night.  We started this craziness last weekend.  It's making me tired just thinking about it.  So...a week from today- my Tuesday Ten may look like this:  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

6.  My heart is hurting for some friends of mine.  They are struggling right now.  Everytime I see them, I can see the stress written on their faces.  These are people I cherish.  Will you please keep them in your prayers?

7.  Ally has another ear infection.  And I need to get her some heart worm pills.  Pet here I come!

8.  I am within reach of my pre-baby weight.  Like one good low carb week away from pre-baby weight.  (which won't happen until after Christmas- just being honest here!).  But, the wonderful gift of childbirth has reformulated where everything gets distributed.  So, clothes are ill-fitting and not comfy at all.  This is frustrating.

9.  My postaprtum check up went well last week.  Car door to car door was 24 minutes.  I love that OB.  Even though he has the personality of a neurologist, he's thorough and fast.  I dig that.  Funny:  there's a paper filled out for every complication in childbirth.  The nurse was going over my chart and kept saying "oh my!" every time she turned the page and read about the complications we had.  She said "oh my" four times.  SOOOOOO glad we're on the other side of that!!!

10.  We FINALLY have pictures hanging on the walls in our rooms!  I have some walls to decorate in our room, but baby L's nursery is FINALLY all done!  Whoot!  Pictures to come later.  :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mt first post partum 5QF!

Can you believe that baby L. is already 6 weeks old?  Fastest (and yet, slowest) 6 weeks ever! 

You know what that means, though?  Yep....6 week post partum check up for me.


But, then I'm done with "all that" for an entire year.

Baby L. had about 4 nights where she was sleeping 8 hours a night.  Then, 2 nights ago, it abruptly came to an end.  I'm thinking that she wasn't getting enough calories during the day to give her enough all night- because she's CHUGGING during the late night feed. 

I know eventually I will sleep well again.  I know this.  So....I'm going to be patient while she grows.  She's such a little peanut!


1. How many times have you moved and do you have any tips?

I moved from my parent's house into my husband's house when we got married.  And then from our old house into the Love Shack.  (and a few times within the Love Shack when we built....but I don't think that counts). 

I really have no tips.  Other than to get rid of a lot of your crap BEFORE packing it.  I'm still uncovering boxes (YES- 7 YEARS LATER!!!)  and thinking "why the heck did I keep that?!?!".


2. Do you have a budget for the holidays, or just keep sliding the credit card and have a heart attack in Jan?

For those that know me, this answer will not come as any surprise.


No heart attacks in Jan.

Oh...and guess what our budget for the ENTIRE Christmas season is?!?!?!


Yep.  That's it.

Including Christmas cards.

Not only do we have an arseload of medical bills coming in to worry about, but D and I have always felt that the commercialism of the holiday really ruins the real meaning behind it all.  And commercialism really drives us nuts any other day of the year, so why make an exception for Christmas?!?!?

That said, my love language is gift giving.  I do enjoy gifting people I love and care about.  I'm also figuring out that it's in my boys' love language as well.  So, we do gift give to family members and friends...but within the budget.  Or with homemade gifts.  The boys get a stocking and 2 presents from us- and that's more than enough, we think.

(This is where I could tell you about D going all "crazy daddy", but I don't have his permission I'll just wait on that one).

3. What is the one medical thing you avoid like the plague?

UGH...the DENTIST!  GAH!  Makes me want to puke just thinking of it.

I loathe the dentist.

Dental appointments bring out the horrible side of me.  I get very mean to them.  I hate hate hate going.'s a bad aversion.

I need to make an appointment, though.  I'm about a year overdue.  Grrrrrr.

4. What your least favorite Christmas song?

Feliz Navidad.

Only my mom will get why this song really wants me to jab ice picks in my ear drums...but there's a reason behind it.

Long story made really short:

back seat of mini-van
5 hour trip to Wisconsin
she sang it over. and over. and over. and over.
and she smelled of blue hair.

5. This Christmas are you spending more, less or about the same? Why?

We've had the same Christmas budget for the past 3 years now.  Again...I hate that commercialism is so tied into this holiday.  Let's get back to grass roots, baby!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Top Ten. Lots of pictures

I cannot guarantee that I will make it on my computer I'm posting a Tuesday Ten on Monday night.  Cause I'm kinda a rebel that way.

And thanks, Mama M. for the idea to get around Bloggers nasty photo space constraints by using my Flikr stream!  I may just abandon blogger all together if this continues...but for now, while I weigh options, this shall do.  :)

Here's some pics:

1.  This is one of my favorite pics of baby L.  I took this in hope that it would be in the birth announcement, but if you look closely, she is actually a tad out of focus, and the blanket it in focus.  Grrrr.  It's still a sweet shot, though.  (And, the birth announcements turned out SWEET thanks to a fantastic graphic designer, Michelle).


2.  Poppa Hoppa and grandma Hoppa came over to celebrate D's birthday (which was actually Thanksgiving day, but we were with my family that day, so we got to do 2 celebrations!).  I love the look on my father-in-law's face here.  Sheer bliss and adoration.  What a sweet moment for Baby L. to look back on.

3.  A. loves to hold Baby L.  He is a doting big brother, and loves being a part of her life.  He doesn't even get rattled when she's fussy.  Big brother awesomeness.  :)


4.  Thanksgiving Day.  Sweet potato casserole.  This is my favorite dish of all time.  I seriously think I could eat it every day and be totally content.  My mom kinda torched the marshmallows.  She wanted to pull them off and redo it, but we started scooping before she could (in an effort to let her know we didn't care about some charcoal).  It was still really really good.  Crispy and good.  Mmmmmm.  Now I want some sweet potato casserole.


5.  Another cute shot that made it into the birth announcement.  I love her face makes me smile. :)


6.  Go Blue.


7.  Another sweet Grandpa picture.  This is my dad on Thanksgiving Day with his "mouse." 
( His nickname for his only granddaughter).  Again....look at the love on his face!  GAH!  I love grandpas.  :)


8.  Hunting weekend.  I FINALLY made it to see my "grandparents" (sometimes water IS thicker than blood- this is one of those times).  So, baby L. FINALLY got to meet her great grandparents.  I hadn't seen them in almost a year- since pregnancy and nursing home smells DON'T mix for me.  They had changed so much, but were the same old souls that I love and adore so much.  Grandma was LOVING the chance to hold L, but quickly gave her up- since L was REALLY fussy. 


9.  Thanksgiving morning.  D. taught our boys and the neighbor kid how to play Capture the Flag.  C. decided to "dress up" for the part by wearing karate pants, Batman mask and dog tags. 

Hard core, C., hard core.


10.  One of my favorite shots of my THREE kids.  Seriously...I have THREE kids!  (sometimes it's hard for even me to believe).  And again, Go Blue!