Wednesday, January 7, 2015

December In Photos

No words tonight. I'm tired. But I love these memories.

Monday, December 8, 2014


This past weekend was just...good. Where we really enjoyed just being together. I was making dinner Sunday night and heard these three out front. My camera is fuzzy but these moments- these are what make me happy.

Thankful for a husband who plays with his kids.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kinder Recap, And When I Don't Cry

My house is quiet tonight. Mike is working out of town this week so I try to busy myself at night. We usually get all our books and movies rentals from the library but when I want it to seem EXTRA cool we do the REDBOX. So tonight Ella is watching Rio 2 and Maxwell is watching Ninja Turtles on TV in my bed (He hasn't seen it so he thinks this is a HUGE deal. Which means I have myself to thank for every karate chop he gives Ella tomorrow). But right now, my house is so relaxing and calm. And Pandora is reading my mind because every song that comes on is the best.

So here's a recap of our first week of Kindergarten. Well, they love it. Like, they could probably go all day and be great. Our district has early and late start. We start late, which is not really late, and the kids go from 10-1:20. Except we live across the street from the school at 7:45 parents start dropping kids off and my two begin asking, "Can we go yet? Can we go yet?" while they stare out the window. And this is where I bang my head on the wall and try to use a polite voice and say, "Nope. We STILL don't start til 10." So one week down and we have our 'for now' schedule. Maxwell is up between 6 and 7, Ella around 7:30 and we do breakfast, pack lunches then head to the gym. A. because I should.  B. because they go to they gym's childcare and I don't have to hear them ask me if it's 10 yet.

It seems like there are two kinds of Moms. The criers and the coldhearted  dry eyes. Apparently I don't fit into either. Because the first day of school, I was SO READY. I was excited, relived, and anxious for them to experience more than I could offer. It was time, and there was ZERO tears or sadness. I have friends who feel the same, but they had to wear sunglasses to drop off. They were weepy and it was hard for them to let go. But I waved goodbye and walked home with a smile. Although my tears come at the dumbest times. Like when my kids were in a cheesy fourth of July parade with Miley's 'Party In The USA' blasting in the background. And then when I got the text from their preschool teacher with a video clip of Maxwell during the school dance contest which HE WON (insert waterworks and proudest Mom ever). Then yesterday at our first soccer practice, with the very friends of mine who cried during kinder drop off...I was the only one who got misty eyes as I watched them practice for the first time. So I cry. Good cries. Happy cries. Nostalgic, not sad. Apparently just not when everyone else does.

And the time goes by SO QUICK. I work from home. Just a little. Together with a business partner we buy mass quantities of beauty products from wholesale retailers and then we sell them on Amazon and eBay. I've been doing this for over a year and while it's a long stretch from school counseling it's extra money and I can do it from home. So now, I can do it without my kids interrupting me.

But really, dropping them off and picking them up is my favorite thing. I love watching them run up to the gate to be the first in line and greet their friends. I'm happy with their teacher because they're happy with school. This means she's doing a good job, right? When I pick them up they give me the toothiest smiles and run in my arms telling me they learned about the letter C, sunny weather, and how to shut the door when they pee. I love you kindergarten.

After day two Ella started talking about Cloe and Natalie. I asked Maxwell if he played with any friends. He said, "Of course." When I asked their names he looked annoyed and said, "I don't know." So, OK. He's playing. With boys. Do the names really matter on day two? Nope.

I made them take pictures in our back yard today. If it seems like they loved it, they really didn't. But I missed my camera and pictures of them together. They were annoyed at me but I bribed them with fruit rollups. The bribe won.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our Girl, Age 5

Ella Vita, Age 5.

I meant to write you this on your birthday. But I didn't, did I? So I'm writing you now sweet girl. And you really are our sweet girl. When Daddy and I talk about you, the first thing we comment on is your tender heart. You are so kind and loving. And you know how to articulate this. You tell us all day long how much you love us and it fills my cup. "I'm so glad that you're my Mom and Dad's my Dad," you tell me over and over. Ella, I'm so glad that you're OUR girl.

You are so smart. These days you're a little encyclopedia and you overflow with tips and trivia. You teach me about the food chain, the solar system, and you make mention of the revolution and the red coats. I just nod my head, #i'mnotsmarterthanafiveyearold. Thank you Ruff Ruffman and Wild Kratts.

Some of your favorites: strawberries, chocolate, pink, fairies, the ocean, 'teenager shows' (on Disney channel), the library, catalogs that come in the mail (any kind, really), donuts, finger paint, doing dishes, and your FAMILY. You love your family- your brothers and sister, your Grandparents, your Uncles.

You are totally into dogs. I am not. But the joy you find in animals is a perfect example of how motherhood has changed me. I find SUCH delight watching you when you're happy. Even if it's over Chihuahuas.

Sometimes when I watch you I'm struck by your gorgeous face and huge smile. You are beautiful. But it's your kind heart that makes you stunning.

You enjoy girly things. You like pedicures and twirling in frilly dresses. While you play in the dirt and wrestle. You make it easy to go with the flow. I love watching you play with Maxwell. You are an encourager and you are genuinely happy for your brother when he does well. That's such a great way to show your love.

You start Kindergarten next month! I feel good about you starting because you are ready to grow.  You have a quiet confidence about you and you're a great leader for Maxwell. You will start school together and I am so excited for all the things you'll learn and friends you'll meet. You are gong to be amazing!

When I prayed that God would make me a Mama I knew parenting would be hard, but I had no idea how rewarding and fulfilling it would be too. In my worst moments I still find joy because of you and your brother. You have given my life a new purpose and reason. I am your Mama. Any sacrifice I make for you comes back to bless me tenfold. You make me want to be better at life because you're watching me. I'm modeling it all for you with my words, my choices, my relationships. I for sure fall short but you motivate me to try harder.

Thank you for your silly spirit and your gentle presence. You are so special to this family. Your middle name is Vita after your great grandmother, and it suits you well. Vita means life and you bring so much life to our home. You make us so happy.

Thank you God for choosing me to be her Mama. She is a gift and truly brings us such joy.

We love you Ella Vita.

...Maxwell's post next...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Early Mother's Day

(A week early is better than a week late...)

On this mother's day it feels especially important to me to honor the generations of women in our lives. It's incredibly special that Maxwell and Ella have relationships with their grandmothers and great grandmothers who nurture, guide and love them. It's beautiful to watch the multigenerational passing on of heritage, stories, and traditions. Even the simple recognition of quirks and mannerisms become significant when we match them to older family members.

Ella clutches her hands together, close to her body, just like Blano does.

Maxwell gets withdrawn and sad when visiting company leaves, "Just like Mike used to," Grandma Judie tells me.

Their influence is immeasurable to me as well. They affirm me at my best and recharge me at my worst. I take note of how they make me feel and tuck it my heart. Let me treat our children and their children this way! I SO value that they respect our boundaries and support our authority as parents.

I'm a big believer in, 'It Takes A Village To Raise A Child.' Because I don't think anyone can be too loved. So thank you to our mothers and grandmothers who love our children, uniquely, with all they have.

Happy Mother's Day to Nana, Blano, Grandma Judie and Noni.

Please don't be offended when the kids describe you...and say that you are all old and have dots. Kids say the darndest things ;)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Break 2014

The impossible happened and I had two of my best friends come visit with all their kids. What do you get when you throw together seven toddlers, one infant and three best girlfriends? eye, early happy hour for moms, a few tears, LOTS of laughs, and an epic two night sleepover. It was amazing.