Friday, December 31, 2010

Hope for 2011

On my desk, where I sit and type this, there is a calendar that sits under my keyboard. It is where I keep track of my life and all that my family does. Every month, as the days tick by, the corners of that month start to curl up. I can tell it is getting close to the end of the month when I am constantly feeling the edges of the calendar brush against my wrists as I type. This year it feels like those curled edges have meant more. Throughout 2010 we were counting the days. Counting down until we added our newest member to our family, counting until Derek goes back to work, counting the days since Clara was born, counting the days since Derek was laid off (again). These months have flown by and meant so much. I have endured stress to a capacity that I never have before but I have also known great joy. Now as I sit here, on the precipice of a new year, I feel as though the pages flew off of the calendar way too fast this year. Yet, I am sure that everyone (me) says that every year.

Hope, it's my word of the year for 2011. I look at 2011 hoping for quite a bit. I hope for better job stability for Derek. I hope to be a better mother to my THREE girls. I hope to be a better wife and friend. I hope for more confidence, more motivation, more time management... or just more time in general, more patience and more trust. I hope that I can be a better follower of Christ, depend more on Him as he has continued to provide for us even in our darkest hours this year. I hope for big things like no more financial stress and I hope for small things, like keeping up with my laundry all year. As I tear off the page of 2010 tonight I hope that next year as I tear off 2011 I can say that it was a better year. That I was a better person. No resolutions required :) Happy New Year to you all! See you next year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a great Christmas 2010. Lots of time with family and friends. We attended our church's Christmas Eve service this year for the first time in 5 years and it was so nice to be calm and still and focus on the "reason for the season". I hope you all had a great Christmas too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bootcamp Diva Conclusion

So my month of Boot-camp Diva is over. I was really not that thrilled with the idea when my sister-in-law first told me. However I was determined to do it, mostly because someone else had paid for me to do it and because my sister-in-law was going too so I had someone to do it with. I was really anxious because I thought I would be huffing and puffing while everyone else was doing all the exercises with no effort. I was wrong. It was really hard but really good. Everyone is doing their own thing so no one is watching you (except the trainer to make sure you aren't going to hurt yourself doing something wrong). It was a great overall experience and I lost 8 inches over my body. I wish I could continue to do it but unfortunately it's not in the cards with Derek out of work right now. However, it has shown me that I can do stuff at home that will help me to get in better shape in a very short amount of time each week. So as I approach a new year and things are going to be getting back to normal in about a week and a half... there is one resolution, as cliche as it is, that is going to be on my list... get in shape.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookies !!!

There is nothing better to do in December than to make (eat) cookies and decorate (eat) cookies and share (eat) cookies. So that's what we did this December.
We decorated cookies at Audrey's preschool party.




We decorated cookies with friends.





We had Aunties come over and we made Russian tea cakes, chocolate crinkles, ginger cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, oatmeal bars.... I think that was it. We were covered in flour, sugar, you name it. It was a great time. The kids (mine and their cousins) loved playing together while we baked and we involved them when we could.

When decorating time comes well, that's always the best. How do they decide what is going to go on their cookie masterpieces? They don't, they put everything on. Watching more go in their mouths than actually gets on the cookie... which is quite a feat because there is A LOT on the cookie. It's is just a holiday moment that you cannot miss.

We decorated with friends and family this year and consumed way too much sugar... but that's what the holidays are for, right? Just agree, it makes me feel better :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bazaar

So as I mentioned a couple of months ago, I am going pro with my hooking :) a.k.a. crocheting. IN a feeble attempt to bring in a few extra dollars and not have my girls each end up with 25 hats a piece. So, I decided to do the Suquamish Elementary School Bazaar. I love bazaars. Looking at all the homemade crafts. Admiring the work others do and supporting local artists. It's all great and there was such a fabulous variety at this bazaar.

I shared a booth with a friend of mine who makes gorgeous bows for little girls. It was nice to have someone to sit with for 6 hours. I was very nervous going into it and had a little over 40 hats done. I tried to stick to just a few styles and did mostly baby/toddler hats. It went.......... okay. I sold seven hats but most of them were to people I knew but I really appreciated the support. I am glad it is over though. I really enjoy making custom orders better because then I have specific instructions on what to make and what size. I am still struggling with lack of confidence in my work as most of the customers I have/had so far are people I know... I some times wonder if they are buying them just to be nice. Hopefully not. We'll see.

I have had two stores express interest in selling my hats and plan to look into that in the new year. I also have a Facebook Fanpage that I am hoping to get some orders off of. We'll see. I'd rather not do Etsy mostly because I don't wanna deal with shipping things frequently but if things don't take off in any other way I am going that route. Stay tuned and feel free to check out my fanpage to see photos of all my work.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Three months...


It doesn't sound like a long period of time but it isn't a super short period of time either. And yet that is the amount of time our Clara bear has been in our lives. I remember how long those first few months felt when I had Audrey and yet I think all I had to do this time was blink and she's three months old (and yes, I realize how cliche that sounds).

Clara is growing like a weed. She's approx. 13.5 pounds and about 25 inches long. I can't believe how big she is getting. She is just about ready to move up to 3-6 month clothes (earlier than both of her sisters) and it is very bittersweet for me. I am in no way vacillating on wanting more children but I just wish this time would slow down, just a little.

She is a great baby. She smiles easily and still loves her sisters. She holds her head up well now and is discovering her hands. I can't wait to see what this next month brings, including her first Christmas.

Happy three months, my bear. I have truly enjoyed the addition of you to our family. I can't wait to see what the next few months bring.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Year end resolutions??

Who says you need a new year to make a resolution? Not I! For my birthday my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law went in together and bought me a month's worth of Boot-camp Diva classes. I am nervous about how this is going to go. I am really not in shape and don't want to make a fool of myself. But Nicole will be there with me so at least I will know someone. And it's only a month... we'll see what kind of results I can get out of it in a month. :) Can't wait to report back! First class is tonight, wish me luck :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas time is HERE!

Although I am not feeling in the Christmas mood the way I usually am this time of year I am trying. I want to feel the usual overwhelming cheer that sometimes makes me tear up (cheesy, I know) but it's true. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year. I want it to last twice as long as it does and am always let down the day after Christmas and especially after New Year's when all the holidays are done for another year and it's back to business as usual. I am missing it this year... I am not entirely sure why. Derek was laid off this time last year and it didn't matter then... *sigh* who knows. Anyway, I stuck with tradition and put up the tree the night after Thanksgiving. The stockings went up... minus Clara's that we still have to get. The wreath is on the front door and we even added a snowman garland this year! (gotta love a $1.50 craft from JoAnn's :))

It's all here... I'm just not. But my kids will never know because we are still drinking hot cocoa, dancing to Christmas songs, planning on our annual cookie decorating and making Christmas crafts. Where are you Christmas cheer... please come and visit me... soon!

So here is what Christmas at our house looks like:




Monday, November 29, 2010

28 on the 28th

That's right ladies and gentleman... I am officially 28! I honestly don't know how I feel about it. On one hand it is just a number, but on the other that number is getting bigger and bigger. :) I just feel like my twenties are flying by. I know that is in big part due to having little kids... time flies and crawls simultaneously. I feel like I just turned 20 though.... weird. Well it was pretty low-key this year due to all that's going on. But friends of ours took us out to lunch and I got a few small presents. Derek and the girls got me the new Colbie Calliat CD and I love it. I got a great cold cup from Starbucks from a friend and a Women of Faith book from my mom. Derek cooked me dinner and we even had cheesecake!!!


It was the no-bake kind (a.k.a. the kind we can afford) but it was delicious!!!! We even put candles on it and the girls and Derek sang me Happy Birthday. It was a good day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving

Well it's here again. A time to be thankful... While I have been trying all month to focus on this holiday, which is my absolute favorite, and be thankful for what we do have I am noticing that I am not in my normal holiday cheer this year. Facing a second holiday season with Derek not working, well, it blows... big time. I am very thankful for my husband who works hard (when there is work) and for my three beautiful, healthy girls. I am thankful that I am healthy. I am thankful that (with the exception of needing tires on the Kia) we have two cars in good working condition. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.....

I am just not feeling it this year. God is providing for us and I am constantly amazed at that miracle but I am still bummed. I hate that we have to go through this a second year in a row. I hate that we have to watch every tiny penny so much more than we've ever had to. I hate the panic I feel every time we buy anything because there is so little money to go around right now. *sigh*

And, I hate that I feel like I shouldn't be feeling any of this because if I trusted God enough there would be no stress/worry/panic about this. Well there is. I know that this time of year isn't just about giving but I like giving. I want to give... and I can't... again...

This too shall pass....

So for Thanksgiving, that is what this post was supposed to be about :), we went to my mom and step-dad's house. We did it on Friday thanks to the snowstorm that made the roads a little dangerous for a few days. We had a delicious dinner (the girls "helped" Papa)


and had a good time just being together. The guys watched football, Audrey and Brianna colored placemats for the table,



and I crocheted (only two weeks until the bazaar). I made the pies and they turned out quite well :)

Lemon Meringue Pie

My first homemade pumpkin pie

I am thankful... I am thankful... I am thankful

Friday, November 26, 2010

Snow storm - November 2010

I am NOT a big fan of snow but don't usually mind it too much if we are all safe and warm and together when it happens. And with Derek not working we don't have to worry about him missing work. So when snow was threatening our area I figured we would just hunker down and "weather the storm" (pun intended). Well on Sunday evening, it started to snow. By Monday it was REALLY snowing and a storm was rolling in. The girls were excited for the first snow of the season and were anxious to go for a "snow walk" with Daddy.


I started to get worried only because our area is prone to power outages anyway and I knew that if we lost power it was going to get cold... quick. In times B.C. (before children) I would have thought that a major inconvenience. But now, A.C., it is just dangerous. It's not like I can keep my two year old and my four year old in their beds all day to keep warm.

So finally Monday night at about 6:15, the power finally went out for good. We dealt with it and went to bed praying that we would have power by morning. Around 3:30 am we got power back for about 2 minutes... just enough to tease. By morning our house was quite frigid. Thankfully our neighbors are friends and had a generator that they were able to use to have a space heater in their house. It wasn't tropical but it was a lot warmer than our house. They have three kids (2 of them girls) and so our girls had plenty to do. When it became apparent that the power wasn't going to come back on before dark, at 4:30 p.m., we decided to head to our church to spend the night. They almost always have power because they are on the same power grid as the local urgent care center. We packed up our car and headed that way. After a scary (at least for me) drive the seven miles to church we were there, safe and warm (YAY). Of course the kids thought it was a big adventure. They had friends, they had toys and LOTS of room to run around. Plus they got to sleep in sleeping bags.... does it get any better? After a nice hot dinner we all watched Toy Story 3.

Watching Toy Story 3

Then off to bed. Praying, once again, that our power would be back on in the morning because it was going to definitely be time to shower by then. :)

Wednesday morning came and we discovered that our power came back on around 8:00 am. We headed home. The drive was a little better but still a little slippery in places. We got home safe and sound and it took the entire rest of the day for the house to warm back up. But I don't think I ever appreciated a hot shower as much as I did that day. Thanksgiving morning we woke up to a white winter land still and the kids went out and played for a while but by late afternoon it was all gone (YAY YAY YAY!) ... so that means we are off to my mom and kenny's today for a delayed Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sanctuary

Stress is in abundance at our house... Derek is unemployed, again.... the holidays are here and Derek is unemployed, again... my birthday is in less than two weeks and Derek is unemployed, again... this time is worse though because we are getting a lot less unemployment than last time and we are waiting... waiting on God... waiting on a miracle ... waiting...

My life feels like those three dots ... ... ... an ellipsis... waiting.

While we wait I try and find sanctuary. I read the Bible and am comforted by it's words. Then the phone rings and it's someone who wants money and my sense of peace is gone and my ellipsis is back ... ... ... ...

So I seek more sanctuary. Having a clean and organized house makes me feel calm and accomplished... so I clean. I make a list and enthusiastically cross off each item that I complete. Then we need something and I have to look at our bank account to see if we can afford to go buy more batteries for the baby's swing.

Sanctuary gone...

ellipsis back...

waiting...

I remember that we are in a time of Thanksgiving and decide to count all the things we are thankful for: house (hoping inside we don't lose it), cars that are in good running order at the moment (even though the Kia needs tires we can't afford and we could potentially lose those too), church family (who I feel guilty for all the help we have received from them in the last year) and my ellipsis is back...
...
...
...

then I think of my children. I think of how frustrated I can get with them when they do NOT stop fighting. I think of how irritated I get when I hear nothing but whining and demands. I think of how short my patience seems lately and I feel guilty. These three children are treasures and I am more grateful for them than I let them know. I think of all the regrets I have about the times I have lost it with them and said things I didn't mean or yelled when I shouldn't have. Then I feel like a failure and all sense of sanctuary is gone...
...
...

Then one of them smiles at me


or says, "I love you, mommy" or is kind to another one without being asked...

or accomplishes something they didn't think they could do and you see the look of triumph on their faces...


That's when it doesn't matter anymore. That's when I can look at Derek and smile and genuinely mean it. That's when we can forget, even if only for a moment, about all that is going on in our lives that isn't easy.

Sanctuary

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two months

Clara is already two months old. I cannot believe it. I feel like time is slipping so fast and yet so slow all at the same time. With her being my baby, I don't want it to go so fast but yet, time speeds up. Why is it that times flies when something you don't want to happen is coming and yet can go SO slow when you are waiting for something you want to happen. And the kicker is that it can be both fast and slow simultaneously... sigh. Well, Clara is a healthy and happy two month old. She is 12 pounds (93%) and 23.5" long (96%). She is hitting all her developmental milestones perfectly. She is a sweet baby. She loves to smile at her sisters and most others as well. She sleeps like an angel at night and most of the time during the day. I cannot complain about hardly anything where she is concerned. I am very blessed to have an awesome baby :)




Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween is a magical time. It's a time where you can dress up and be whatever you want to be. It is a time to be silly and fun and fantastical. Kids of all shapes and sizes (and ages) can gallivant around in dresses, shiny shoes, tiaras,

carry swords, wear eye patches, dress up your dog as a bunny or a bumble bee,

wear massive amounts of make-up and false eyelashes that are so ridiculous that you can hardly see out of them and everyone smiles at you. Everyone joins in and thinks it is a grand thing. No one points and laughs, no one thinks you are out of your gourd and why? Because it's Halloween. We get to be silly AND get free candy, really for no particular reason.

But it's one of my favorite days of the year, especially since I had children. This year I had the particular joy of having my dad visit on Halloween.

Dad pushing Clara down Front Street while the big girls trick-or-treated

He lives over 3,000 miles away in Florida and we don't see him a lot. However, he has starting truck driving again and occasionally gets loads up this way. He had that chance this weekend and was able to see our newest addition and get to go trick-or-treating with us. It was awesome and over all too quickly of course. But for me Halloween was extra special with him here. And it kicks off the holiday season... don't blink because before you know it, it'll be Audrey's FIFTH birthday in January... that's how the year always ends up for me.
Happy Halloween!!!

Brianna in a Bounce House

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Psych...

Remember in the nineties when someone would tell you something and then say "Pysch!!" ? Like, "I have $100 for you.... PSYCH!!", "You have a booger on your face.... PSYCH!!!", "Your underwear is showing... PSYCH!!!" So you get the idea. (I was in Jr. High in the early/mid-nineties) Right now though I am NOT in Jr. High but I feel like life is psyching me out... constantly. Derek found out that Friday is his last day (again) and he will be out of work (again) and the holiday season is upon us (again). I feel like in the last 16 months we are getting "psyched" at every turn with Derek's job. He gets work and then gets laid off. His bosses all love him but there just isn't enough work. It's like, "here, have a job. Catch up on your bills and finally relax... PSYCH!!! NO MORE JOB FOR YOU!!!" AAAHHHHHH!!!! I know there is a reason for everything that happens. I know that God has everything in His control and His timing. I know I don't deserve a job any more than any one else out there but GEEEEZZZZZE! I just have one word.......... why?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkins!


I love going to the pumpkin patch each year and this year was no exception. We went to a new pumpkin patch this year, Sunrise Hills Farm, in Kingston due to it being a field trip for Audrey's preschool. Although it was cold and foggy it was still a good time. Auntie Bekah came with us and the girls got cute little pumpkins that we ended up decorating with Mr. Potato Head pieces because mama didn't want to deal with carving this year.

They got to jump in hay,


go through a hay maze & a corn maze,


climb a hay bale mountain, walk through the flower fields and pick out their own pumpkins.


Not too shabby. Can't wait till next year when all three of them can be traipsing through the pumpkin patch.