Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Drive

The kids and I are started our annual summer trek to Minnesota. We covered 400 miles 11 hours. Oops. We are going to have to pick up the pace tomorrow. But we were just having too much fun - playing along the way. We hit up a playground in one town, a splash pad in the next and our last stop was McDonalds. 

And since we had been having such a great travel day and the kids were being such great travelers I decided to splurge and buy Happy Meals for the girls. Upon the discovery of these...

...instead of the advertised Beanie Boos (stuffed animals) the tears flowed. Those were the least happy Happy Meals I've ever witnessed. Overall though this trip is going well. We've had a few minor mishaps...sunglasses in a (used) toilet, another pair of sunglasses broken, one cut chin at the playground and a few sibling squabbles. But really we are all healthy and mostly happy travelers. I couldn't ask for more. 

400 miles down. 1,000 to go!

Friday, June 9, 2017


Double DIGITS. 

As a child I can remember how exciting it was turning 10. I mean double digits! How cool was that?!  Now as the parent of a soon-to-be 10 year old double digits doesn't sound quite so cool. In fact I can't stop crying because ten YEARS has absolutely flown by. All those people that said "don't blink" and "they grow up so fast"...they were right. Darn it. I blinked and he's more than half grown. 

How did we go from the mom + baby on the left to the kid + mom on the right so quickly? I'll never understand it. Don't get me wrong I'm incredibly proud of the kid Isaiah is today. He's smart and funny and creative. He's an amazing big brother. This kid is the definition of a book worm and his use of language cracks me up. Just tonight he was pushing the coffee table out of the way so "we would have adequate floor space" (for our family dance party). But he will always be my baby. The one who made me a mom. The one who made me love so deeply it feels like my heart might just burst at times. The one who has taught me how to be a mother. (Sorry kid I really don't know what I'm doing but you've been a great experiment!) Being his mother has been one of my greatest joys and accomplishments. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sweetest Seven

Tomorrow morning this girl will wake up a SEVEN year old! 

And just like I've said every year...I'm not sure how that happened. Because seven years ago tonight I was nine days past my due date and HUGE and 100% convinced I would be pregnant forrrevvvverrrrrr:) 

And now she is seven. And I'm very much not pregnant;-) I loved looking back at these birthday celebration pictures but more than that I really enjoyed celebrating Charlotte today as a family. 

Because of Joe's trauma schedule we did not have a party but instead chose to have a family fun day! It started with donuts for breakfast followed by gift opening and an hour of jumping at an indoor trampoline place. Which Charlotte deemed "the best birthday ever - even without friends". Then we had pizza and ended our day at the beach with our residency family. 

P.S. After every last morsel of those birthday donuts were consumed Charlotte decided to inform that she doesn't like sprinkles on her donuts! Say what?!? That information would have been hugely useful years ago considering 3 of her 7 birthdays have included SPRINKLE donuts. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

We did. We finished the 2016-2017 school year!!! One in public school. Two in homeschool. And one just causing trouble. It was quite the year. 

I'd be lying if I wrote we ended strong. We limped and puttered to a crashing stop. But we made it! And to be completely honest the girls' homeschool ended weeks ago but today was the end of year party for our co-op. So I'm calling today the last day;-) 

Next year school will look different once again. (Three in public school...I think.)  But I'm so glad we had this year. We were stretched and learned and grew together. It was a good year. I gained confidence in deciding what is best for my children and taking action regardless of what others thought. And my children - ALL of my children thrived this year. 

I know I'm going to look back on this year fondly for years to come! Plus it was (supposedly the hardest year of residency or so we've been told) and we are a month away from finishing that too!!! 

P.S. While I was taking these last day of school pictures Levi was playing quietly in the other room...

I should have known he was being TOO quiet! This doll got her teeth and hands and feet thoroughly brushed with an entire tube of paste! That stinker. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dance Recital: 2017

This little dancer rocked her 3rd dance recital! She may be one of the littlest dancers on the stage (still) but she is in her element up there. All smiles. Absolutely no hesitation. She loves it. And we love watching her do her thing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Yesterday a group of us resident spouses and residents went horseback riding on the beach. With Joe still on MICU that meant I had to line up a babysitter. (Which is something I never do!) But I moved heaven and earth to make it happen or so it felt. And it was so completely worth it! 

I have always LOVED horseback riding. And it was so fun! I mean riding a horse in the ocean?!? Come on! But the best part was spending an uninterrupted afternoon with friends. These ladies have basically carried me through residency. They have hung out with me at all hours of the day and night. They've played with my kids. They've listened to me laugh, cry and complain. (I've done too much of the last one lately). They have supported me through some of the longest, hardest and loneliest months (almost years!) of my life. I'd be lost without them. So horseback riding with them on the beach was pretty much a dream come true. (Except in my dream my horse was talking to me and in reality Roman did not speak;-)

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Lest anyone think I've got this life thing figured out I'm here to set the record straight. My lack of posting doesn't mean I've finally got my act together. Quite the opposite actually! On Wednesday I was having my very own pity party (for no apparent reason other than the fact that Joe is on MICU and that makes life plain ICky...terrible pun intended). So Thursday I woke up with a fresh sense of ambition. Thursday was going to be my day. I was going to be productive and happy. 

My goals for the day were simple and completely reasonable:

1. Drop Isaiah at the bus ON TIME and with a packed lunch. 
2. Finish folding the laundry. (I had half a load left and I would be all caught up!!!)
3. Make two returns at stores before zumba. 

That's it. That's ALL I wanted to accomplish in my entire day. Well that and keep the tiny humans alive. But that's kinda a given, right?

If you count chasing the bus down to the bus stop as "on time" then I totally accomplished HALF of my first goal. Thank goodness for school lunch because that lunch did NOT get packed...yet again. Sorry kid. After our mad dash to the bus stop I sat down to fold that laundry. I was SO close to finishing when Charlotte announced she spilt her milk....INSIDE the fridge!!! On the top shelf and it had dripped down onto ALL the shelves and inside each drawer. Nothing was safe from that milk spill. As I was emptying and scrubbing my fridge Levi walked into the kitchen and announced that he had gone "pee pee in his undies". Which meant I had to stop that clean up job to clean him and throw in a load of potty laundry. Just as I was nearly finished scrubbing the fridge Levi announced from the living room that he had pooped in his undies! And like the novice mom I still am I "checked" BEFORE moving him into the bathroom. Bad move. Very bad move. The mess was no longer contained between the living room and the bathroom. (I will leave it at that.) And so I threw in yet another load of laundry and bathed Levi and bleached most surfaces of my house. All of this happened before I was even able to get myself dressed or eat my oatmeal! We did eventually make it out the door only to have my van overheat in the Wal-Mart parking lot. 

And THAT is my life in a nutshell. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Little Project

I'm sure I've mentioned it a million times but it's worth mentioning one more time: I despise our master bathroom!!! It's not the outdated and very vintage lime green counter that I adamantly dislike. It's not the matching-yet-clashing green floral wallpaper that bother me so much. The ugly hanging ball lights and weird vanity/make up area...I can handle those! It's the tub. I hate that tub! More like that tub hates me. I swear it's mocking me. It's old and dirty. As in you can't scrub hard enough to get it clean. It's peeling. And the tiles are bowed and moldy. It is all kinds of YUCK. And the worst part is (even if I could get past the dirty factor) I can't bathe in it. The back of the tub and the wall line up perfectly and there is absolutely no angle. Meaning laying in the tub is nearly impossible and incredibly uncomfortable! And I LOVE taking baths. Long leisurely baths. They are my favorite. If I could list it as a hobby I totally would (along with sleeping). And my plan for surviving residency (as the spouse) was long baths with good books. But that hasn't happened. Not once. And I'm tired of waiting for a new bathroom. So today after putting Levi down for his nap I told my girls to meet me in my room for a "special project" and we took matters to our own hands...

Yup. We started tearing it out. I don't really know what I'm doing. But I've been watching a few YouTube videos and I'm willing to try. And I've got plenty of time. And great helpers:) We ended day 1 of with half of the main wall of tiles being torn down - which unearthed A LOT of mold (no surprise there!) and ants (big surprise!). 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Break 2017

Without a doubt Spring Break 2017 was FAR better than Spring Break 2016 (even though Joe had to work most of the week). And here are the reasons why:

1. No one threw up.
2. We all got to sleep in our own beds.
3. We didn't spend a ridiculous number of hours driving from camp ground to camp ground all over the state of Texas.


4. We spent the week with our very best friends!!!!!!!

These people drove 1,200 miles to spend 4 days in our home and it was THE BEST! The weather obviously wasn't the best for our first beach day:(  But that didn't stop us from having a great time. Plus those Wisconsin kids thought boogie boarding and swimming was fun regardless of the temperature. My Texan crew may have had slightly different opinions. But we all agreed being together was great!

And that was just the FIRST DAY! The rest of the week was much of the same. Playing at home. Exploring local parks and attractions. Spending time at the beach. Kayaking.  Playing cards after all the kids were in bed. Staying up a smidge too late at night talking. Oh and baby wearing zumba of course! I had to take my favorite people to my (new) favorite place!

In middle of the week we dressed all the children in black, white and red and loaded them up into the minivans and brought them here....

TO A PIRATE SHIP!!! It was such a fun surprise! The kids absolutely loved it. And the best part was they had NO CLUE until they were standing in front of the ship. (I kept the pirate goodies hidden until then:) It didn't taken them long to get into character either.

Even us moms got into it by the end:)

And then because four days is just not long enough for time with best friends we convinced our husbands that one more day together was needed. So we ALL drove to San Antonio to spend the day together as they started their journey home. I mean no one was shooting out of Texas or anything! Might as well check out the River Walk and Alamo together...along with everyone else in the entire state of Texas on the Friday of Spring Break which also happened to be St. Patrick's Day. Oops! It was a tad busy, but totally worth it for just a little more time together.