Thursday, November 28, 2013

married to medicine

Joe worked the overnight shift in ER last night and he will again tonight. So the kids and I are trying our best (or not...depending on who you are) to be quiet so he can get some sleep.

As you can tell its going swimmingly. Ok. It isn't:(  The whining, screaming, fighting and mess making is at an all time HIGH today. But I think the ear plugs I gave Joe an hour ago are helping. Now I just need to find a pair for me!

Thankfully my parents are on their way here! To spend the weekend with us (and all our chaos)! Tomorrow we will be feasting and giving thanks like good Americans. But for today we are surviving. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Life with a toddler.

Somehow I forgot that life with a toddler is like living with a whirling mess-making tornado with endless energy. It hasn't been that long since Charlotte was a toddler so I really shouldn't be that out of practice! And yet I am constantly astounded by the havoc Hannah can create! 

I decided to clean out and organize our playroom the other day. I spent HOURS on this project. I thought I would never finish. But 1 o'clock in the morning eventually...I did. 

And doesn't it look nice? (I am not brave enough to share the before picture. It was a wreck! Piles and piles of stuff crammed on those shelves. Trust me while this is still "busy", it's a lot better than it was:)

Hannah can destroy all my hard work in 30 seconds flat.  And does many, many times a day. Why did I even try?!

Just this morning while giving Isaiah a haircut, I placed Hannah on a (step)stool in the bathroom with us in order to minimize her damage. She managed to unload an entire box of panty liners and tampons and chewed ALL OF THEM. Then I sent her to the playroom while I worked on cleaning up the bathroom.  Upon emerging from the bathroom I discovered she had gotten her siblings half eaten bowls of soggy cereal off the dining room table and dumped them all over herself, the dining room floor, the playroom (carpeted!) floor and the playroom table! So much for damage control. 

[^This was the snack Charlotte served her yesterday while I was getting dressed!]

Just the other day Hannah decided to clean off the play room table all by herself...with a dirty in poopy diaper dirty! So helpful. 

To quote a much wiser mother than me, "Life with kids. There are so many opportunities for reality to exceed our worst possible pre-kid nightmares." I couldn't agree more. 

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

And now I am off to buy a turkey...and all the fixings! Because while I am good at many things (like making all sorts of Thanksgiving/fall related crafts with my kids) cooking and baking are not my forte. I do them because I have to not because I want to. However I am hosting this year...and I imagine my parents are expecting a real Thanksgiving meal and not just the random leftovers from our fridge. I can procrastinate no longer! (I wish I were joking about not having a turkey the day before Thanksgiving but it's true!) Wish me luck. I am assuming its a zoo out there. 

One last thing. See that pinecone turkey without eyes (bottom left picture in the collage). The one hiding behind the gourd. I am pretty sure our mischievous toddler ate his eyes. Seriously. She swiped him when my back was turned. I tried to rescue him before he met his demise but she works fast! By the time I got to him he was in pieces. I managed to kinda put him back together except his eyes were NOWHERE to be found. I imagine they will be showing up in a dirty diaper in the next 12-24 hours. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I have never been a very timely person. And I will be the first to admit that having kids has not helped this situation. Not one little bit. Admittedly I still think that I can just run out the door at a moment's notice and get to my destination lickety split (with time to spare)! Yes, I am the mother of 3 young children and I might be slightly delusional.

Because these days "running out the door" actually consists of:

Announcing to the children that we will be leaving soon. This announcement usually occurs 15-30 minutes before we need to depart. 

Then when they do nothing to help us actually leave, I announce again (and again...and again...) that WE ARE LEAVING and they need to get ready. 

Typically this results in them moving at a snail's pace. Sometimes towards the front door. If I am lucky. More often just aimlessly moving about occurs. 

Inevitably as I am instructing them to put on their jackets and shoes, they announce to me that they do not have socks on. Yet no child makes any sort of attempt to locate the missing socks or inform me where they may have ditched said socks! About 50% of the time I send the kids to find their own socks. Which is successful 0.5% of the time. The other 50% of the time I run to their rooms and grab new socks. Honestly, dependent on the weather, a lot of the times we skip socks all together. [As in 45 degrees or warmer = no socks necessary.] That way we can avoid the "my socks are scrunching my toes" catastrophe that prevents my children from putting on their shoes! 

Oh the shoes! Always the shoes. Never a matched pair to be found. I blame the baby. She has a toddle off with mis-matched shoes obsession currently. If all 3 children have matched, seasonally appropriate shoes on in under 5 minutes I call that a VICTORY. 

It's at this point that Charlotte is typically having a full on melt down because she does NOT want to wear her jacket. She insists on a sweater despite the frigid temperatures. Meanwhile Isaiah is refusing to zip his jacket because "it's too stiff"! And the baby is no where to be found. It's like a marathon. One that I did not train for. 

After many a stern word the big kids are finally ready-to-go. I place them in their "holding spot" while I run off to locate the baby. Without fail, she has gotten into something and created a mess in another part of the house. A mess that I do not have the time nor the energy to clean up. So it is left for my return. Because clearly I will want to pick up an entire box of Cheerios or re-roll all the toilet paper later. 

Upon my return to the entry I am relieved to see the kids still in their holding spot. Unfortunately by this point they are usually either a little slap happy or arguing. And I have lost all common sense and most of my ability to cope, so all speaking is banished. A silent zone is declared. 

If the baby has not soiled her diaper (which she often does just moments before we are to leave), we are on the home stretch! Kind of. Because at this point I still have to collect all necessary items. Diaper bag with diapers AND wipes. Big kid snack AND a baby snack. Three water bottles FILLED with water. Cell phone, wallet and keys! And of course any activity related paraphernalia dependent on our destination (back pack, library books, ballet slippers, etc). Don't even get me started with hats, mittens and scarves. They are my nemesis. They come off almost as quick as I can get them on the kids! To be completely honest, many times I just carry the hats and mittens in a bag and distribute them as the children decide they need them. Call me lazy. I like to think I am raising smart, independent thinkers:)

It's at this point that we are FINALLY walking out the door and yet the other half of the battle still awaits me. The CARSEATS. I won't elaborate too much. But anyone that has had the pleasure of strapping a resistant child into one of these child restraining systems knows my pain. Thankfully Isaiah can strap himself in! Every little bit helps. 

Nine times out ten, its at this step in the departure process that I realize that I have not brushed my teeth or my hair or more likely both. So I run back into the house to groom myself just a bit. And of course grab myself the breakfast I skipped earlier. (By "breakfast" I mean a granola bar or a piece of candy.)

And THAT is how we "run out the door" these days. The same song and dance every day. Multiple times a day. It's slightly painful. Always tiring. And sometimes just impossible. 

 So if you know me in real life and I am late to our next function, now you know why. And if by some miracle I am on time (or relatively close), feel free to pat me on the back or give me a high five. And if by some miracle I still have my sanity intact and I am able to string together a somewhat intelligent conversation....well then I probably left the kids at home:)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Queen of the Castle

Be warned. This is going nowhere. Nowhere fast. It's been a long-ish weekend with Joe gone in the ER and the kids & I cooped up inside. We could have gotten out more. But it's so cold we didn't. Which means I have a lot of thoughts floating around in my noggin just waiting to get out. Ready? Ok. Here we go.

 [And by "so cold" I mean mid-20s and NO snow. Which by my former Fargo dwelling standards is warm for late November. What can I say? Chicago winters have completely spoiled me!] 

Apparently I went to sleep last night in my house and woke up this morning in a castle! At least according to my resident  princess and ninja:) They are busy protecting us and our property from "bad guys". The basement is a jail. How convenient! Meanwhile I am just trying to muster the motivation to get myself and my littlest charge dressed for the day. So far the comfy jammies are winning this power struggle! But I am confident we will be dressed before Joe returns this evening. Mostly confident. It's likely to happen...after I have my soda:)

Last night I did get out of the house. By myself! For a sewing night with friends. I braved the cold and it was totally worth it. We skyped with my mom during our sewing because one friend wants to learn to quilt and my mom is a darn talented quilter. Quilt lessons via Skype worked quite well. Which surprised me. I had thought you would need to be in-person for that kind of thing. Not so much! The Skypeing also made it crystal clear that I have turned into my mother. Within the first 30 seconds of the quilt lesson my mom said two things I had told my friend verbatim. Seriously word-for-word. Random things I had said before Skypeing. It was kind of creepy. My friends found it quite entertaining. 

Yes. I am my mother. I denied it a few weeks ago to my childhood friend's dad. I told him I just had her hands (and her cluttered kitchen sink window sill). But that is a lie. I am just like her in so many ways. Thank you Skype for revealing that to me. 

I was hoping to whip through a lot of small projects last night BECAUSE in a couple weeks I am participating in my first ever craft fair!!! So I wanted to get a bunch of merchandise ready, but my machine was not cooperating! Many a broken needles and uncooperative threads later, I asked my mom for help. She suggested I clean my machine. "Get all the fuzz out!" I was skeptical but willing to try it. Reluctantly I spent my evening cleaning out the fuzz. I even filed down the metal plate thing...with a nail file my mom had put in my sewing kit two years ago. Up until last night I had no clue WHY I had a nail file in my sewing stuff. Now I know. And guess what? Much to my mother's delight (and mine too) my machine is working beautifully!

So today I have been sewing like crazy! Trying to make up for lost time. Apparently my mom knows everything. Fuzz in a sewing machine DOES break needles! I guess it's a good thing I am turning into my mom, someday I will know everything too. That will come in handy:)

This morning I texted Joe looking for some wisdom on handling a little situation in which our children snuck candy and lied to me about the quantity of candy consumed. [It was 3-4 pieces each NOT the stated 1.] When he didn't respond quickly enough I got frustrated. And then I thought about it. He is in the emergency department learning to medically manage real emergencies. Between performing chest compressions on a teen that succeeded at committing suicide and explainining the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia to an autistic child and caregiver and working to get a elderly patient with a hemorrhagic stroke admitted to the ICU, well maybe, just maybe he doesn't have the time to manage my "emergencies" too. I sent the kids to their respective rooms and pondered the situation some more. The candy situation that is. 

Insert a long break here.

It is now almost 12 hours later and I am just now finishing up this long rambly stream of conscience post. 

At 11 am I finally got Hannah dressed! While I was dressing her, the big kids decided to serve themselves lunch. Isaiah made a PB&J and Charlotte served herself leftover mac n cheese. Apparently they don't really need me:)

Joe did eventually text me back. He suggested I throw away half the candy. I didn't. But then in an ironic twist of fate half the candy got ruined. The fan (vent?) in the kitchen ceiling randomly poured water out of it RIGHT INTO the open bag of candy! It really happened. And I could hardly believe it. Still makes me smile just thinking about. Though I hope the pouring water doesn't become a regular occurrence. 

I better end. Because soon I am going to plummet low low low and explain exactly why I don't care for my updated Facebook app. And that is not worthy of discussion. Although arguably nothing I shared today was worthy of discussion:) Oh and yes, I did manage to get dressed before Joe arrived home. And he was even early. Well, if you consider a baggy t-shirt and yoga pants dressed, then I was dressed! Showered? You'll never know. 

[some of my homemade goods to sell]

Friday, November 22, 2013

Visitors Welcome:)

If you like your toilet paper unrolled & re-rolled ahead of time...

...and your bread pre-chewed...

...and your purse unpacked and scattered...

...and your cell phone slobbered on...

...and your Cheerios served on the floor...

...and your Kleenex crumpled (maybe used & put back in the box. Maybe;)...

...and your wake up call nice and early...

...and endless pleas to play...

...well then come on over! You'll love it here!! Consider yourself warned though. Because these are just a few of our "normal" daily occurrences!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Until tonight happened, I was going to write about how just yesterday I was telling a new mom (that was complaining about unsolicited parenting advice/comments) that A) she will get used to it because it happens ALL.THE.TIME. and B) now that I have 3 kids I get far fewer of these comments because either people assume I know what I am doing or I just don't hear the comments because I am too distracted wrangling 3 kids! It's probably the latter. Definitely the latter. 

Because just this morning at the library it was pretty darn evident that I had NO CLUE what I was doing. Here's how it went down: I was reading 'Corduroy' to the girls while they were "telling" the story using the corresponding flannel board & pieces, when an older child came and took Corduroy's escalator. Charlotte was immediately distraught. (Admittedly, I was annoyed too). I calmly explained to Charlotte that she needed to use her words and ask for the piece back. She did. The other child said NO...and smiled.  Charlotte broke down into a puddle of tears. I tried to calm her by explaining that we could finish the story without the escalator. She wasn't having it. Her crying escalated to fit throwing levels which made it crystal clear that library time was OVER. 

As we were walking out, the other child put the escalator back. Meanwhile I am carrying Hannah plus a thousand pounds worth of library books while Charlotte trails behind screaming/crying. Fun times. Fun times had by all. But the part that really irritated me? This whole escalator scene played out right in front of the other child's caregiver (Grandma...if I had to guess) who did absolutely nothing to intervene! Frustrating. So very frustrating. And I felt completely clueless as to how I was supposed to handle the situation. 

Ok. So I guess I told that story in its entirety. Sorry. (But only kinda...) 

Now for the real story. Tonight while Joe was off doing his med student thing (on his first day in the ER!), I was at home patting myself on the back for doing such a stellar job solo parenting. 

The big kids were playing quietly in the girls' room while Hannah toddled around and I was cutting out a future sewing project. Dinner had been eaten & cleaned up. Two of the three kids were in jammies. The living room and playroom were a wreck! Toys everywhere. But who cares? I was doing good! We were doing good. Except one thing...the kids were quiet. Too quiet. The kind of quiet that stirs fear in a mother's heart...
...because it means trouble...

Every single clothing item out of all three dressers + all the dress up clothes + one of Isaiah's drawers dumped out and mixed together. They were thorough! To add insult to injury, I had just emptied and organized Charlotte's dresser two days ago. Why?!? Why....

Monday, November 18, 2013

Giving Thanks

I made a Thanksgiving banner for our home. I like it a lot. It's simple & fall-ish. And the fact that I created it from supplies I already owned just makes it that much better.

What I didn't expect from hanging this banner was the reminiscing and pondering it has caused me to do. It's simple message has me thinking of all the things I have to be thankful for. 

I know I grumble & complain a lot here on {the archives}...especially about medical school...but I have a lot MORE to be thankful for. So in no particular order, THE TOP 13 THINGS I am thankful for in 2013: 

1. My husband and his seemingly never ending energy & intelligence. 
2. My three healthy children. That have ALL *mostly* slept through the night for the entire year. Can't ask for much more than that!
3. Government loans that allow my husband to study medicine while I stay home & raise our babies. (Yes, I realize in the near-ish future I will be cursing these same loans once they come due. It's a double edged sword. But for now I am embracing it.)
4. Friends that have become like family this past year. It will make leaving here next summer harder but for now it makes life so much sweeter. 
5. Time to craft & create and just be me. 
6. A small windfall of money that allowed us to purchase a new-to-us car for Joe before his old one broke down. 
7. Extended family. Especially when you guys come visit us. We love our family and we love visitors! It's a winning combination. 
8. Living in an area in which people generously pass down children's clothing. Nice clothes. And lots of them! Oh and all the good stuff people put on the curb as trash. Treasures!
10. Discovering that I am OK with being in my 30s. It's not at all terrible like I had imagined. Maybe in a few years I will be singing a different tune:) For now I am liking this decade. 
11. My iPhone. (Purchased by my former employer. Thank you WH!) Yep. I love it. Probably a bit too much. 
12. The opportunity to work in childcare at MOPS and make a little money. Fun money Plus I earn it by playing with babies, what could be better?!
13. The fact that I realized that it is 2013 and NOT 2012 therefore the need to change my list to '13 Top Things' instead of the 12 I had on here until just moments before I hit publish. WOW. Oh wow. Yep, it's 2013. Has been for 11 months. How I missed that important detail I am not sure. I guess I am also thankful I can laugh at myself and my mistakes:)

Hmmm. A lot of those revolved around money. Or lack thereof. Who knew I could be so thankful for being so poor?!

Oh and in regards to #8, here is my latest curbside treasure:
A desk just for me! I love it. But it clearly needs some TLC. Any suggestions on what I should do with it...paint colors, technique, etc. All ideas welcome. My parents are coming to visit for Thanksgiving. Yay! Which means my mom will probably be forced to help me tackle this project...

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I know I have mentioned this before, but it is worthy of repeating...especially for the purpose of this story: we have a tiny kitchen. Which has its perks, mind you! But it also comes with a few drawbacks as well. Mainly lack of storage. Half of my "kitchen supplies" live in our basement. Including food items. Not the most convenient. Not ideal. But we make do. 

Our kitchen is so small that it only has ONE drawer. That's it. So that one drawer contains a lot of stuff!  Generally it is a jumbled mess. But within that mess are my very necessary items. Joe doesn't like a mess...of any kind. 

So not surprising, the other day when he was left home (for too long apparently) he took it upon himself to clean out our kitchen drawer. His goal was to simplify and purge the unnecessary items. [He often purges for me when left to his own devices...which isn't all bad since I am far too sentimental and attached to stuff.]

He got rid of baby utensils and kitchen utensils alike, as well as random junk. While the drawer is still a mess, it is less full and easier to find things. I actually like it but I never would have done it myself. 

But what made me really smile was the fact that he felt it necessary to keep TWO ice cream scoops. I am glad he has his priorities straight. This from the man that didn't like ice cream when we met. He's a changed man. I think I will keep him. Him and both our very necessary ice cream scoops!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My unhelpful helpers:)

THIS is why it takes me days to complete the laundry! 

Update: I literally stepped out of the room for 2 minutes to post these pictures and upon my return I discovered my girls "organizing" the fridge! Oh my. 

[Yes, Charlotte had a wardrobe change - she found something prettier in the clean laundry! Hannah followed suit and added a sweatshirt to her outfit.]

Their help knows no limits!

I better crack open that Pepsi and at least attempt to get this place in some kind of order before Joe joins us for lunch. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Yesterday afternoon I dressed up the kids and had a little Christmas card photo shoot.

 (The only reason I am this far ahead of the game is because my friend designs our Christmas cards every year - for free! And while she loves doing it, I don't want to add to her pre-holiday stress. SO I try to get the pictures to her plenty early. Plus this particular photo idea was from last year. It never happened last year. Oops. Since I had 12 months to plan it...I finally pulled it off!  Although it was still somewhat painful to get all 3 kids to cooperate. But I persevered. And NO the picture above is NOT the card picture. My photography skills are pretty minimal/ non-existent but I like to believe I am a little better than that!)

All that to was very fitting that we got our first snow fall of the season yesterday! It sure made it feel more Christmas-y as the kids were romping around in their red & green outfits. 

And while they were excited to get out and enjoy the snow...I was not! I convinced them to wait until daddy got home because "daddy really likes to play in the snow". Worked like a charm. (Sorry Joe.) I can only imagine how tortuous it was to search for all the appropriate snow gear and then bundle all 3 of them up. To play outside for a grand total of 7 whole minutes. Okay maybe 10. That's a pretty big maybe. To then un-bundle all of the whiny, cold, snot-nosed children and put said gear away. So glad you "like" to play in the snow!

But here's the real meat of the story. All of the above was just random ramblings. Last winter, Isaiah and his kindergarten teacher told me (on several occasions) that Isaiah was working very hard to create a snowman picture. His teacher seemed impressed with the details he was including and thought he was very artistic. I heard about this particular project almost daily for a month (or so) before I finally saw it. As you can imagine I was very excited to see his creation and my expectations were HIGH. 

Isaiah's Snowman:

I just about died when I saw it! Artistic indeed!

Happy 11-12-13:)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Holmquist 287

Tomorrow morning when Joe drives off to Men's Bible Study he will be taking a little piece of our history with him. A small white particle board drawer thing from college. More specifically his dorm room. And a dresser, also cheap particle board, given to newlywed us as a hand-me-down. I am a sentimental sap, can you tell?! Up until recently we were still using these furniture pieces in our home. We no longer need them, but someone in our congregation does. So we are gladly gifting them to him. Happy they can be put to good use. However I must commemorate them (and what they represent to me) first. 

This was Joe's dorm room:

Oh my! This picture has too many funny things going on I can't possibly mention all of them. The computer! It was brand new. Purchased just for college. The love seat under the loft...Joe snuck that in from the common lounge area. Wasn't much, but it sure beat the camping chair that had been there. See that fancy N64 gaming system? I bought that for him as a high school graduation present. Coolest girlfriend ever! (We still own it too. Clearly a wise investment.) My mom made him that quilt. And the gray towel? We still use them regularly. In fact they are some of my favorites because they hide everything grubby little hands wipe on them! Oh and somewhere in that mess is the white drawer thing. I am sure of it. 

Holmquist 287. Joe and his roommate Brian lived there for 2 years. It was good to them. But it was even better to me. Because that is where Joe proposed to me. Romantic, eh?

Every little girl's dream to receive a marriage proposal while hanging out in her boyfriend's dorm room eating crackers and watching TLC! Amiright?!

Yep, Britney Spears was there too. Pure class I tell ya. 

In Joe's defense, he had better plans. A romantic scavenger hunt of sorts. But we had time constraints (both of us were heading out of town that day with our respective families) AND mostly I was crabby and uncooperative. He DID get down on one knee AND he had a beautiful speech prepared. Which I kinda ruined by interrupting. I blurted out, "Oh you are going to do it now, aren't you?" before he had a chance to properly pop the question. Oops. 

[Side note: before I went to Joe's dorm that fateful August afternoon I had contemplated changing into something nicer. I didn't. I was too hot and crabby. And I still regret that decision to this day.]

And then I went with my parents to Montana for the weekend. Because it was Labor Day Weekend and that is what I had done every Labor Day weekend since I was 3 months old! That year I won Billy Bass (the singing fish) and wore a candy crown. And apparently jean overalls were all the rage...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


During nap time today I sewed! And listened to CME (continuing medical education) lectures. But that wasn't nearly as fun. I got a bit carried away. With the sewing. Not the lectures. And the girls were sleeping so well. Resulting in us being a tad late for picking up Isaiah from school. Oops. We weren't really late. There were still kids lined up by the fence and vehicles in the pick up line. A few anyways. I felt bad of course. And immediately apologized. 

Sorry I was late.
Isaiah: Thats okay.

Me: Were you worried?
Isaiah: Yeah. Kind of. 

Me: You don't have to worry. I will ALWAYS come get you. 
Isaiah:  No. That's not why I was worried Mom. 

Me: Oh....oh. Why were you worried then?
Isaiah: I was worried I would be late to art class!

Me: ....

I guess I am glad he trusts me to always be there for him?!?

Later as we were leaving his art class, Charlotte & Isaiah were raising to the van when Charlotte's pants suddenly dropped. Like down to her ankles. She immediately stopped and bent over (all the way over!) to assess the situation. Funniest thing I saw all day! I just wish I had been quick enough to snap a picture....weirdly enough she didn't oblige my request to re-create the moment for a picture;)

And here is a little sneak peak at my sewing project from today...
My girls' Easter dresses. Yep. I just said EASTER dresses. Because clearly that is how I should be spending my precious free time in NOVEMBER. Makes perfect sense. Or none at alll. What can I say? I got the idea a few months ago and I have been slightly obsessed ever since. I just had to make them. So I did. And I LOVE them. Might even make a few more. 

Oh. And have no fear we made it to art class ON TIME. We were the first ones there actually. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Picnic Lunch

Charlotte: "Ok Hannah, I am packing our lunch. Lets pretend this is our lunch!"

Charlotte: "Ok Hannah. It's time to eat our lunch. We have napkins, pizza and macaroni. You want more?"

Oh Monday mornings how I love you. And my newly created skinny grey cords. I love you too. 

Was the bizarre bathroom picnic the result of under-supervised children while I sewed? Maybe:) But I needed something to wear with my new black boots...
I think these will do nicely. I have a pair of really old khakis I want to attack with my sewing machine next. But they will have to wait for nap time. Because I have two little girls that want to play doll house with their mama. How can I resist that?

Update: A few people have asked me how I transformed my pants. Well HERE is the answer.  I followed Dwija's super easy tutorial. I mean it. It is easy! It only took about 15 minutes to transform old pants into something I love once again. And those kahkis? Skinny already:) I have a pair of jeans that are up for the chopping block next! Have a sewing machine and old pants with some stretch? Give it a try! You won't regret it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Aunt Chelsea

Joe's little sister, Chelsea came to visit us this weekend. It was pretty fabulous. All three kids loved having her around and were constantly vying for her attention. The entire purpose of her visit was just to hang out. And that we did! She joined us for Charlotte's dance class and the kids' workshop at Home Depot yesterday. And today we went to church (on time!) and then cheered on the Vikings while eating a lunch of snack-y food. 

We sure have enjoyed having an extra set of hands around to help with the kids. However I am sure Aunt Chelsea could have done with a little less whining and sibling rivalry. The kids of course. Not her and her brother:) 

Chelsea and I even managed to sneak in a little shopping. Just the two of us. {Charlie charmed me again! Boots to be featured soon...} And we have been staying up late at night chatting. It's nice having another night owl around. 

The funny thing is that "Joe's little sister" isn't so little anymore. She's a grown up woman. But sometimes I forget that. Chelsea was only 7 years old when Joe and I started dating! {That's only one year older than Isaiah is now. I can hardly wrap my mind around that fact.} During our late night chats we have been looking at old photo albums and reminiscing. It's funny. Her memories are completely different than mine. But then again she was just a kid! Her biggest memory from our wedding day was that I allowed her to walk barefoot down the aisle (as a junior bridesmaid) because her grandma had hemmed her dress too short. A fact I had completely forgotten. Other details from that day stick out as a little more monumental to me:)

Ok. Now for the fun part. Old pictures of us...

These pictures are from 2001-2002. There are NO pictures of Chelsea and I the first year Joe and I dated. Why? Because Chelsea didn't like me then. I was "the new girlfriend". And I didn't measure up in her 7 year old mind. I wasn't tall, skinny and blonde. But I won her over eventually. Even if I am short and a brunette. 

Thanks Chels for visiting! Please come back anytime...we loved having you here. Hopefully the feeling is mutual. 

Sorry. I can't skip this somewhat related funny just cracks me up. 

Friday evening Charlotte and I drove into Chicago to pick up Aunt Chelsea from the bus stop. At the very beginning of the drive Charlotte informed me that she was helping the car move with her legs (i.e. Flinstone style). I thanked her for her help and then completely forgot about it. It was a rainy day with lots of traffic. So it was a long sloooow drive. An hour into our journey Charlotte whined from the backseat, "Mo-om!". Turning a simple one syllable term of endearment into a drawn out two syllable complaint as only a child can. She continued to explain (in a whiny voice) that her legs were tired and I would have to move the car for the rest of the drive! 

I did willingly. We made it. And Charlotte's legs rested and recovered:)