Background

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Motherhood Is…{48}

I am blessed by my children's creativity.

I was out running with the kids in the stroller and Eden stopped me because she saw a dinosaur! I couldn't figure out what she was talking about, until I looked at what she saw. She was noticing that there was a cloud that looked like a t-rex. I thought it was so cool that I just had to take a picture of it - because it actually *does* look like a dinosaur!

This isn't the only ounce of creativity that she shows on a daily basis. She and Hunter play so well together these days. He's getting to the stage of using his imagination and enjoying creative play with Eden. They've been known to have tea parties together. He loves to drive his cars. They love to color together. I just love it!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holidays are Here!

This week is the week of Thanksgiving and I'm not going to lie - I'm already getting a head start on Christmas decorating and crafting with the kids. Some of our crafts can't be shown yet because they're going to double as Christmas gifts for grandparents and other extended family.

Since Thanksgiving is first and I just can't overlook it completely I made shirts for the kids to wear to Thanksgiving dinner. I've tried my hand at different things, but this is by far what I'm most proud of to date! It didn't take a whole lot of time - probably 3 hours total, beginning to end {cutting the fabric to completion} - and they turned out kind of cute.
The kids and I are trying our best to get into the holiday spirit. It isn't taking much effort, so that's a plus! My favorite craft that the kids and I have worked on {that I can share now} is their Christmas list.
Eden had circled things in a Target catalog recently, so I cut them out and the kids and I made their Christmas list. After we glued the items on the card stock I broke out the white paint and let the kids paint "snow" on the paper. We included a hand print on the paper that I turned into snowmen {like an ornament I made last year with the kids} and I now use the lists as a visual to remind the kids to behave. If they're getting out of control they get a warning that the list will come down. If the list is down, Santa knows not to bring anything for them. Eden has had her list taken down at least twice and they've only been up for a week…she's just got too much energy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Motherhood Is…{47}

I am blessed to have this man in my life! {I mean, don't we look good together?!}

It is so great to get a night out every now and then. Not to mention, we got to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday together. I love getting dressed up every year for the ball, it's one of my favorite times of the year. The timing of the ball this year was perfect for when Lane came home from deployment. We were able to take a night out and spend time together without him having to take leave.

I've always been a firm believer that time away from the kids {especially with your significant other when you can} is vital to being a good mom {or dad!} Getting a night out gives me the opportunity to unwind. It never fails that Lane and I start talking about the kids when we aren't with the kids. What's funny is that no matter what we're talking about we end up laughing about it. Even if we're talking about something that might have made us want to rip our hair out earlier that day, we are able to laugh about it.

A night out is refreshing, rejuvenating, and restful! I love being able to spend time with Lane, especially when I can claim that I feel like I'm a better mom for doing so.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Motherhood Is...{46}

I am blessed that there are 4 people in our ice cream picture this month!

Don't we look good together?! I couldn't be more excited abut the fact that we all got to have ice cream together. Ice cream tasted so much better to know that our company was as good as it could get!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Motherhood Is…{45}

I am so blessed by so many things in this picture…

We only ever had to use one hand to count the months that Lane was gone
We had great ice cream company each month
We were able to celebrate each month instead of being disappointed/sad/depressed - each month marked one month closer to Daddy!
We had a great excuse for ice cream
We got to enjoy pumpkin pie ice cream!
Hunter never looked at the camera for our monthly pictures - it makes me laugh!
Eden counted each month for the visual in the picture
We got to have ice cream WITH Daddy after this monthly celebration because this was our last one before he came home.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Motherhood Is…{44}

I am beyond blessed that this man is home to share in our lives!

Being a mom is much easier when there is someone around to back me up. I know that I had a great support system throughout the duration of the deployment, but it was nothing like having Lane home! When he comes home from work and entertains the kids, or just simply reminds me of the small things that I accomplished throughout the day {that I tend to overlook} it makes life a lot easier.

To be able to look across my living room to see these three cuddling together makes my life so much brighter!

Motherhood Is…{43}

I'm blessed that this boy is changing from a baby into an independent little boy.

One of the motherhood curses - blessings often come disguised as things that are very bitter-sweet! I mean, who wouldn't be excited that he looks so cute sitting in his own listening circle at story time. But, just this time last year he was nursing while Eden was enjoying story time. Story time used to be "Eden's thing" - one of those things that I tried to keep regular after Hunter was born - and now it's something that we do because both kids enjoy it! How did he grow up so fast?!

I cannot discount the fact that I am blessed by his growth and his health, but could time slow down just a little bit?!

Motherhood Is...{42}

I'm blessed because I had a cute date while my husband was deployed.

{Ahhhhh!!!! The joy of being able to say WAS deployed!}

Anyways, check out that cute date that I had to see the movie "Planes" when we were in Georgia. We made sure Daddy came with us so he didn't miss out on an Eden-first. We also made sure to send the pictures to him so he knew that she was treated like royalty and had a drink, some candy, and some popcorn. I mean, it was her first trip to the movie theater, we had to make sure to do it right!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Firemen

Today the kids and I got to go to a playgroup with some friends from Lane's squadron. We went to a local indoor play place where they do organized activities with the kids throughout the day and my kids love it! My favorite activity that they do is they gather the kids, tell them that they're spies and that they have to sneak everything back into place before a song is over. The song is always the Mission Impossible song, and the kids fall for it every time! The entire place gets cleaned up in record time and the "spies" do all the work while having fun.

Today one of the special activities that they did was to have firefighters come hang out with the kids for a bit. I never realized the importance of this kind of thing until one of the other moms explained why the firemen visit the schools. The firemen came in, talked to the kids, and then put on all their gear that they would wear if they were coming into a burning house/building. To a kid, the full gear could be scary! The firemen are covered head to toe and talking through a mask. The only thing you can see on them is their eyes. It could be scary. The mom that explained this to me told me that sometimes when kids will hide from firemen which obviously makes it hard for the firemen to find, and even save, these kids. After hearing that I was super excited that the kids were able to see the not-so-scary fireman {in his regular, every day uniform} put on his full gear while explaining what each piece was for.
The coolest part for the kids was getting to hang out with the firetruck. They learned that we got to see the fire engine, not the fire truck. The truck has the big ladders, the engine carries more of the "stuff" that is needed on site at the emergencies.

After seeing all of the secret compartments of the fire engine, the kids were allowed the opportunity to spray the hose!




Monday, November 11, 2013

HE'S HOME!

The night before Lane came home no one in the house got much sleep. I knew we wouldn't when I saw how excited Eden was when she took down the last chain. She insisted on calling Daddy to tell him the chain came down. I woke up at 1am and couldn't go back to sleep. I watched a show and fell back asleep only to wake up at 5:00 for the day. I couldn't take the excitement anymore!!!!!

Once we got to the squadron we had just a bit more of sit and wait.
Bethany Sheets, myself, Kalee Hopson, Anna Palmer {she's the one I run with who had a baby mid-September}, Karin Barnes, and Robyn Torbenson
{photo taken by Jessica}


I had a photographer there with us {she did our predeployment pictures and the kids' Christmas pictures this year} so she captured some awesome pictures of us while we waited. I've only had a chance to check out some of our sneak peeks that she's put on Facebook {which is why the quality of these pictures isn't the best}.

Anticipation

While we were waiting on finding out exactly how early Lane would be coming home we were all going just a little bit crazy! Was it in a few days, had the replacements left to go out there yet, would they be home for Halloween/Thanksgiving, would everyone come home together?! Life was just up in the air and when we got news it was amazing!

Once we knew when they were coming home I made a countdown chain for Eden and we started planning out posters. As time grew closer and closer we made sure that we planned out treats and had friends over to help paint and decorate posters with us. The fridge was filled with beer, and I made sure there were options. The rice crispies were made to go into the bags that we made for the single Marines who were coming home to the barracks.
Our outfits were picked out…
The chains were coming down...

And all we needed was Lane to be on the ground in California again!!!!!

Challenge Accepted!

I know, I know, everyone is wanting news on Lane's homecoming {because HE'S HOME!!!!} but before I get into that - which I will because how can I not?! - I want to let you in on a secret…he came home within 30 days of us finding out that he'd be home before Christmas. That means he was coming home in almost 90 days…then all of a sudden he was coming home in less than 30. You do the math…that was QUICK. Not only was it quick, but I thought I had time to get in shape and look better {ok, feel better about myself} and all of a sudden that time didn't exist. I was fine with that, but I was freaking out about it just a little.

A friend of mine sells products through Advocare and I've heard about their 24 day challenge and I figured I'd give it a go. I started the challenge and was through it just in time for Lane to come home. My friend told me to make sure to take before and after pictures so I'd notice the difference, and I'm really glad I did.

I kind of wish I had taken the challenge a little more seriously because I did drink wine, margaritas, and I had ice cream {our 5 month celebration was in the middle of the challenge, and I knew it was our last one without Daddy - how could I not?!} I can only imagine how well the challenge would have gone if I had taken it 100% seriously and done everything I was supposed to do!

When it was all said and done I lost 6 pounds and 7.5 total inches {mostly from my bust and waist.} The challenge incorporates healthy, clean eating, and will be easy keep up with for the most part. Most mornings I was supposed to eat a protein, fruit, and complex carb and for lunch it was the same, but I swapped my fruit for a veggie, and then dinner was supposed to be the same as lunch without the carb. On days that I went for a run I would get hungry and need something extra for a snack, so I'd have an apple with natural peanut butter. I would also munch on raw nuts, different fruits and veggies, and I splurged by eating greek yogurt protein bars.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy Halloween!

This year I had the joy of taking the kids to Lane's squadron's Halloween Party AND trick-or-treating…by myself! It was a challenge to keep up with both kids, and keep both entertained when they were into doing different things - Eden loves the bounce houses, Hunter hates them; Hunter wants to run, Eden wants to sit and paint pumpkins - but all in all it worked out just splendidly.






Hunter took it upon himself to pass out candy. 


Costume contest!
On Halloween night we were invited over to a friends house for dinner before heading out to trick-or-treat as a group. We had lots of little ones running around getting excited about the upcoming sugar they were about to ingest! It's always nice when you can share the excitement of your kids with other parents! 

All the kiddos {and our babysitters!}
Hunter - Peter Pan
Charlotte - Peacock
Grace - Flapper
David and Katie - Mickey and Minnie
Cael - Iron Man
Coen - Captain America
Eden - Tinkerbell
Wesley - Lion {and the rest of his family were other characters from the Wizard of Oz - notice the picture is taken upon the Yellow Brick Road}
Sarah - the Nerd
 All the kids had their own cupcake. Lauren - the hostess - has a friend who makes cakes. She made one decorated with each of the kids' costumes.




Hunter's first trick-or-treat!



Pumpkins

Before we left Georgia, Grandma and Grandpa wanted to treat the kids {and me} to a fun outing! We met up at one of the local churches to pick out a pumpkin for each kid to carve. Grandma made dinner for us, and we all worked at getting the pumpkins emptied, designed, and carved. 



She eventually dug right in all on her own!



After we got home from our trip we went to another pumpkin patch with our playgroup here in California. We enjoyed a hay-maze and a hay ride before picking out our pumpkins with our friends.
Of course since we had more pumpkins we had to carve them again. We used the same stencils that we did at Grandma and Grandpa's house, so we were pros when it came to carving this time. Eden enjoyed reaching in and being brave when she got the "guts" out all by herself this time. Hunter was willing to reach his hand in when he was being helped, but surprisingly, he still had no interest in just diving in and getting dirty!