Sunday, February 26, 2012

And We're Off!

Well, almost! We are off to Florida in the next couple days and I can't wait!!! I looked at the 10 day forecast and it looks like sunny and anywhere from 79 to 81 everyday. I'll take that! The only thing that is making me not so excited is the thought of traveling on a plane with two toddlers, still as lap children. Yes, they have to sit on our laps for the whole flight... three hours! We will survive and then we will be in sunny Florida, even if it goes horribly bad.
I have lots of photos to get up on here and need to get some of them from my mom's camera. But I will update what I have at the moment. Caleb got back from his week-long trip to southwestern Montana snowmobiling in the mountains. He brought back some awesome pictures and I was just so happy to see him home, safe and sound. I even managed to have some fun while he was gone! I had a couple girls' nights at my house and I must say, I just love my girlfriends! I don't know what I would do without them!!! It is so awesome to have friends to walk through life with, people that love you, pray for you, and support you, despite all our differences and faults. I am thankful for all of you!

I also got to go visit my Aunt Kathy and Sue in Hudson for the day and also saw my cousins and had a really great time! It is so nice to visit with them all. I just wish we lived closer!! I have some really great pictures from my mom's camera that I NEED to remember to post. The boys had a blast playing the drums at my aunts... a real drum set! They were banging away!

A picture Caleb took snowmobiling. Looks so amazing!!
Papa reading books with the boys.

Auntie Rach and the boys... snuggling, or tickling?? Not sure! I must say, Rachael has been such a blessing in my life! She has been a HUGE support and help with the boys, especially when the guys are away. She also, though, has been such an awesome friend, confidant and sister to me over the past few years. I really appreciate her!
It really helps that my boys love her so much too! :)
Being goofy! Wearing "hats"!!
The boys wanted "bellies" like Auntie's so they have tupperwear bowls in their shirts! They just kept taping their bellies saying, BABY, BABY! (Oh, and I might want to be clearer, my sister-in-law, Rachael is a little over 5 months pregnant!)
My sweet boys, best buds. I find them always together. They just were both sitting up on the hearth. Having a little heart to heart! :)
Max the ham!
And Luke... the mad scientist?!? Ha ha ha ha!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone! We will be packing, packing for the rest of ours! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Valentine's to Remember!

I have had many memorable Valentine's Days over the years. With all things from receiving carnations from boys in middle school, to dancing with my husband at the Valentine's dance over 12 years ago... never to have thought that he would end up to be my husband, to being surprised with a homemade meal prepared by my boyfriend (Caleb) and his best friend for my girlfriend and I, to many other fun surprises and sweet things over the years. BUT I must say, this year will go down in the books, as one to be remembered! Let me explain...

Caleb and I decided to make a flying trip to the cities on Valentine's Day to do some shopping for things for his upcoming snowmobile trip, to make some returns, and to stop at some of our favorite stores that we don't get to frequent in our neck of the woods... simple things like Target and Trader Joe's. And it also worked out for us to see our friends, Chad and Kasey, that just got back from their honeymoon Monday night! It was a nice day... we did some shopping, went out for lunch at Granite City Brewery, had fun looking around in shops and the boys were great all day too!!

But the memorable part of the day came from a major wardrobe malfunction while we were in the mall. Caleb was upstairs in the Rosedale Mall looking in Roger's and Holland's while I was trying my hardest to keep the boys entertained. Glitter on the carpet was only entertaining to them for about 30 seconds and then they were running through the mall like crazy men. And that day just happened to be one of the days where I had the boys in matching outfits, exactly, as little adorable twin toddlers. So they were gathering lots of attention as they were practicing holding hands and walking together and then they were making faces on the glass railing, etc. I was desperate to keep them busy and well mannered since we were being watched so carefully. I spotted a little kiosk down on the lower level and decided to scoop the boys up and take them down the escalator to check out this cool remote control helicopter buzzing around.

As soon as we landed on the main floor they both saw the helicopter and got so excited. I was still walking with them in my arms and when we got close I bent down to put them on their feet. Mind you I was a little sweaty from chasing them the past hour in the mall and my pants were sagging more than normal and I had no free hand to give them a good HIKE before I squatted. Yup, you guessed it, as I slowly squatted down to release the boys my pants released .... yes, my pants split right up the butt!!!!!!!! At this point I paniced and immediately begin to actually SWEAT! I grab Luke back right away knowing that I have to think quick to just  flee this whole situation. But of course by time I grab Luke and sit on my feet to cover my tush Max has already darted off after the stupid helicopter. Now at this point I was really panicking! There was no backup. I left the stroller with Caleb upstairs that had my purse, my phone, and any other security blanket I would have needed. So as I sat there in a cold sweat I was watching Max run farther and farther away as the toy helicopter salesman (who was foreign) was successfully selling this toy to my toddler! And as I continued to plea with the salesman, saying, "please make the helicopter come towards me so Max comes towards me," the salesman would just fly it father away.

Have you ever heard of the flight or fight response to stress. I'm sure. But they say those are your two options of response. Either you want to run, flee the situation or hid in a hole or you fight, face things head on and tackle them. This whole concept makes more sense to me when you are maybe in competition or taking a test, etc, but not when your butt is showing in public, yet my mind/body had the same decions and I decided to fight. What else could I do because with two small children I figured it was a little unfair to them if I chose to flee! So I worked up the courage and stood up with Luke in my arms and proceeded to follow the direction Max was headed in and bent down to pick him up. (And at the same time mooned the toy helicopter salesman). I then tried my hardest to find the up escalator as my heart was pounding out of my chest and I just kept going to the down one instead, then looked to the stairs and thought bad idea, then found the up escalator finally!

As I took my first step on I just started to get the giggles and couldn't stop laughing knowing that everyone below me could see my hot pink underwear and my butt (mind you, it was Valentine's Day). And then as I am going up the escalator people are pointing at me with my armful of matching children only to probably die as I passed with my hinney showing! I finally get to Caleb and he immediately knew something was wrong! I think he was beyond shocked! I hand him both boys and turn to show him and the saleswoman helping him that I NEED to go buy pants NOW! I proceed to walk into the first store and tell the girl working that I need to buy pants that I can walk out of the dressing room with because I have a little situation... oh man! Good news, the store I happened to walk into was having a $10 off any denim sale, lucky me! :)

It all worked out in the end and was no real big deal, but talk about memorable!!! I just hit a spot on the escalator where I just thought... "Why am I taking myself so seriously?! Who really cares, and hey, Happy Valentine's Day to all you single men out there!" Hahahaha! All in all, it was a great day in the cities with my awesome little family... and... I got new jeans without (almost) any debate from my husband! As I turned around to show Caleb the rip and tell him I needed new pants the first thing he said to me was... "Do you have any extra in the car?" Only Caleb. Yes honey, I pack extra clothes for me and the boys in case we ALL blow out our diapers! NO! I'm buying pants, NOW! Ha!
A picture of THE pants... I was telling this story to my girlfriends the other night and they thought I should post a picture of me in the pants, but I figured enough people already saw it!
So yes, it was a great Valentine's Day altogether. And Valentine's to me is all about love and this year (and last) I just feel like I have more to love. It was fun to have a family day in the cities, with our boys, nothing that was typically romantic, but perfect to me! I know I have said it before but I LOVE being a mom. My boys are just a blast and I am excited to have more babies someday! Children are such a blessing and have made my life feel so full.

We are off to visit my aunt Kathy and Sue tomorrow in Hudson which will be a fun day and then it's time to get ready for Florida. We leave in 8 days!!! I have lots of organizing and packing to do and I just can't wait! Warm and sun, here we come!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why I Love Winter

I have so enjoyed some time with my husband lately. Since it is cold and frozen outside... I get to see him more! (One of the reasons why those long winter months seem to bother me less than most). In the warm sunny summer months I rarely feel like I see him... and when I do... things are crazy! So we have been enjoying time with our boys. Relaxing, working on our house, and just taking time to get things done that get neglected the rest of the year!

Have I told you ... lately, that I love... PINTEREST?!! (Really, who doesn't)
Here are just a few of the things I have done that are inspired by pinterest! Above is the inside of my pantry door. I painted the top panel with chalkboard paint for a "built-in" grocery list! My husband's big complaint is now having to take the door with him to the store... ha ha... funny guy. I love it!
Here is another pinterest find. Yes, I know it looks gross, but it actually tastes good. And I am sharing this for anyone who has little ones to feed (Amber & Dawn, you came to mind!) It is cheap, easy, and they will eat it! :) So check it out here...
My sweet babies in the early morning. I had just changed their diapers and took their jammies off and then snuggled them up on the couch with blankets while I ran upstairs to grab their clothes. They were watching Dora the Explorer here. Their TV watching time is only at about a 10 min span, and then they get bored.

Having breakfast with Dad on the "big boy" stools! :) My boys have such an amazing dad!
Aunt Kathy and Grandma Clara came to visit! Here is Kathy and Luke playing!
The boys showing off their skills on the rocking ottoman. So funny!
Luke attacking Max!
Aunt Kathy (with Luke), Grandma Clara (with Max), and Grandma Cookie :)

Have a great Friday!!! Enjoy the weekend! We are looking forward to laying low and I also have a baby shower for my cousin who had twin girls about five years ago... and now she is having ONE girl this time! Very excited for her... and I LOVE buying girl stuff. Just so fun!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wedding Pictures!

So here a few photos of the wedding weekend. I'm super excited to see if the photographer got a good family one of the four of us. She set up her lights in front of one of the BIG fireplaces to take some shots and I'm hoping that one turned out of us! We'll see!! My mom was saying that we need to send out an Easter card with a picture from the wedding!! I would if postage was free! But instead it just went up again ...

My mom, Luke and I right before the ceremony was about  to start!

Two out of the FOUR ring bearers!!

The whole crew! My boys (Luke, Max), flower girl - Avery (bride's cousin's daughter), Tyler and John (groom's nephews).

Our little family...

Luke and I

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lazy Sunday

It is so nice to just relax on a Sunday... feels so great! I am continually telling myself that it's ok to just do nothing today! Right now all three of my boys are taking a nap! :) I wish I was, but as hard as I try... I can never seem to nap in the middle of the day, and especially not when the sun is shining like it is today! Yesterday we had the big Gilbertson/Yoder wedding celebration! It was great! I think it was one of the, if not theE most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. It was all candle lit and very romantic. And the best part?? Our boys did well! Luke RAN up the isle and Max kind of just stood at the back. He made an attempt at one point but only made it a few feet before Luke came barreling back down the isle! All in all, for two 20 month olds, they did great! No real melt downs, and they even did good through pictures! We (Caleb and I) are pretty exhausted today though. We got home around 1:00 am last night and my parents already had the boys fast asleep at home for us. You know, with little ones, they just don't seem to care how late we stay up... they are still up and ready to go as usual! :)

Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks. I am hoping to get picture from my mom of the wedding soon! She said she got a couple really good ones of the boys with the flower girl. I'm excited to see!!

I have climbers!

One of the boys' new favorite things to do is to play pretend eating! They sit at the table like "big boys" in their chairs and pretend to drink, stir, eat and even feed each other!!


Luke in Grandpa Joe's hat!

Max too!

The boys... reading this morning. Caleb and I are sometimes dumb-founded by how well our boys play together by themselves. This morning they just sat in their play room for about an hour and looked at books and played quietly! SO nice!!
So sweet... reading out loud.
Well, I need to run. Making a lemon-blueberry yogurt loaf I found on pinterest. I'll let you know how it turns out!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Effects of Caffine...

I apologize in advance if this post ends up being a little all over the place. Some people can drink a cup of coffee in the late afternoon and fall asleep on the couch that evening while watching Dancing With the Stars and talking on the phone at the same time... Mom... but others can feel its caffeinated wrath for hours and hours later... that would be me! Good news, I'm getting some things done around the house!
Caleb and I have been talking a lot lately about the boys' personalities. Just the other day I was saying that if I had to use one word to describe each of my boys it would be "tuffy" or "brute" for Luke and "sweetheart" for Max. Luke is just that, TOUGH! He's always ready for a fight and always on the look-out for trouble! He eggs his brother on and never hesitates to throw a grunt or two into any conversation. He is just so funny! He's always on his toy four wheeler or in his "little tikes" car making the most realistic sounds! Luke is also IN LOVE with snowmobiles and any type of motor. He comes unglued when he hears his dad start his sled in the garage and like I said before, for a 20 month old his motor sounds are amazing! He varies his little vroom-vroom to sound different for cars, trucks, snowmobiles, lawn mowers, etc! But one of my favorite things he has been doing lately is finding me... then making a little grunt to get my attention and then giving me the sweetest smile when I glance at him. It's almost as if he is reassuring himself that I'm still paying attention!
So, about my sweetheart. I mean that in more ways than one. Max is just a big-old softy! With his brother he is always so quick to share and always finds Luke's blankie and then is so excited to give it to him. He also is quick to dramatize ouchies and really soakes up hugs and kisses. He also loves all the trucks and cars that Luke loves, but Max is just so much more relaxed about it all. I can see Luke someday having a tricked-out muscle car and Max being completely content in a practical, safe and reliable sedan! Ha ha! They are just so different, and that makes them so fun! Max also has been giving me the sweetest little long distance glances and is so quick to giggle when he sees me smile back and better yet, rarely ever denies me a kiss when I ask. (As for Luke, it is so rare if I ever get a kiss!)

So sweet to find the boys just tucked under the couch playing together.

Out for a little sled ride!

I'm amazed Caleb got this old sled to run!! He said it can be the boys' someday... ha ha!

You would never be able to tell by the pictures how much they love this, but trust me... they do!!
Also, I just finished my book that I was telling you about... Loving the Little Years... and I found something that really hit home with me tonight. Caleb and I were just talking today and I was telling him how I can get frustrated with being a stay-at-home-mom at times. I know that it's totally normal, but I was voicing to him some of my frustrations... and I came across this on the last page of my book tonight...
"Everyone to whom God has given wealth, and possessions, and the power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil--this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart." (Eccl. 5:19)
She goes on to say...
Blessing, like children, are not ethereal and weightless. Sometimes they feel like they come at you like a Kansas hail storm -- they might leave a welt! But if you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil, God will give you the kind of overwhelming joy that cannot remember the details. Motherhood is hard work. It is repetitive and often times menial. Accept it. Rejoice in it. This is your toil. Right here. Those are the faces. Enjoy them. The days of your life are supposed to be full of things like this. But joy is not giddy. It is not an emotional rush -- it is what happens when you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil. So rejoice in your children. Look them in the eyes and give thanks. You will not even remember the work of all this planting when the harvest of joy overwhelms you.
I just loved that! Hit me right where I was at and it is really applicable no matter what your lot or toil is. So today I thank God for my double trouble full of love and giggles lots and toils! :)