Sunday, November 29, 2009

Our baby is growing up!

If you look closely, you can see Cooper's new teeth!

Current stats:
Weight- 23lbs 7oz
Length- 31 1/2 inches
Cuteness- Off the charts! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Busy, busy

Seriously... who decides to sell their house when they are this busy??? Oh yeah, we do! And I am trying to truly enjoy every step of the journey! I know the word *enjoy* probably doesn't seem to fit the situation, but I really do want to make sure I enjoy this season of our lives. Our life outside of moving is still speeding along like a freight train and I'm loving every minute of it- even though some days I'm not sure which way is up or down! I actually keep forgetting that tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I am thankful to my sister-in-law, Debbie, and brother-in-law, Randy, who are taking on 90% of Thanksgiving dinner this year and opening their house to host.

I'm in the home stretch with school and begin my student teaching experience on January 4th. I met one of my cooperating teachers on Monday afternoon and it has me even more excited (and nervous) than I was before, she seems like a great fit for me! I am thankful we will be all settled into the new house by January so I can truly focus on what I need to do in order to grow as a teacher. I am also thankful to have Rick as a resource in addition to my cooperating teachers- he has been a great help to me so far! I think what I'm least looking forward to with the whole student teaching thing is the "dress code"... jeans are only allowed on casual Friday. Eek. I have a lot of clothes shopping to do and very little sense of style or current fashion. Anyone care to help? And by help, I mean take me shopping and tell me what to buy- or at least send me some links to outfits I should be looking for. :)

We had a couple of doctor appointments yesterday: Cooper's had his one year well-baby check and I'm thankful he is healthy (more on his stats in my next post) and I had a long overdue eye appointment, too. I am thankful to be able to see everything a little sharper today! I also get to go back in a couple of weeks to pick out new glasses- my first new pair in like 9 years! I usually only wear my glasses at night, but maybe I'll change that with the new specs and maybe I'll even post a picture on here. Maybe.

We will be contributing to the retail world quite a bit over the next few weeks. Between birthdays (my sister's 30th!), a wedding (our nephew, Michael and his beautiful bride, Sarah), Christmas, school clothes shopping for me, and getting furniture, etc. for the house, we'll be out enjoying the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season. For the ability to do this, I am thankful.

We are living in limbo right now- bare walls, boxes lining the garage, and on the verge of emptying all the closets and drawers. We'll be living on the bare minimum of clothes and toys, preparing to move our stuff into all the new closets and storage we will have. I really can't wait to organize everything! I am thankful for a husband who likes organization as much as I do... although we have been known to get into *discussions* on how a particular space should be organized. I am also thankful for all free and cheap boxes and packing supplies we have been receiving from friends and family, it has helped tremendously to have boxes all ready to put together and fill. On Monday morning, I removed everything from the walls and tables, basically all of our decor'. I left the house for a meeting and class with piles and stacks of pictures, fake greenery, candles, and the like covering the family room floor, then joked on facebook about wishing the boxes could pack themselves. Guess what? The boxes didn't pack themselves- my amazing husband packed them! I came home from class at 10:30pm and the family room was clean and bare and I was thankful! Thankful for my husband and all the hard work he has been doing to prepare for the move and thankful I didn't have to pack all the stuff myself. He really is an amazing man. I would guess that by the end of this Thanksgiving weekend, almost the entire house will be ready to move. So exciting!

Finally, I am thankful for how patient our kids have been throughout this whole process. Riley is still thriving at preschool and loves going to learn and play with her friends. She has really been into dress-up lately and I love to watch her twirl around in her dresses and have tea parties. Tyson has the most incredible imagination and he's so creative, it just makes me laugh! He was determined to play dress-up with Riley the other day and wanted to wear a pretty dress, too. We put one on him for about 2 minutes to get a great blackmail photo, then let him dress-up as Bob the Builder and Buzz Lightyear instead. I think we'll have to search for some great gender neutral dress-up clothes soon! He asks about going to the new house several times a day, so I'm thankful that day is fast approaching. He's going to love having his own room and not having to worry about waking up his little brother during naps and bedtime. Cooper has been battling a nasty cold and 4 teeth working their way down, but he's been a real trooper! We had two semi-sleepless nights from the tooth pain and stuffy nose, but he was back to normal last night. I think his two front teeth on the top will be breaking through any second, with the next two coming in soon after. I look forward to him having his own room as well, a place to keep all of his age-appropriate toys so maybe his older brother and sister don't try and steal them all the time!

This post is full of many things I am thankful for, because I missed a thankful post on Monday and Tuesday. In case I don't get a chance to write anything tomorrow: Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I am thankful for the down time I am enjoying right now to rest and hopefully I can recover from this cold soon- I've been battling it for over a week. All the kids are asleep and Rick is out working on packing up some of the garage. I am tucked into bed with a book and some chamomile tea (and of course my laptop for about 2 more minutes). I don't expect my tired, achy body to last more than a chapter before I am sound asleep.

The next few weeks will bring many sleep deprived nights, packing, reminiscing about the house, and all the other joys that go along with moving... but for now I am resting.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Today I am thankful for my three amazing children.

They make my heart want to explode with love and pride.

On a similar note...
I'm thankful for the DVD player in the van, our kids' love for all things Disney (so I can still enjoy it all, too), indoor play areas a' la McDonalds and the mall, and the fact that in less than 3 weeks the kids will all have their very own rooms! No more episodes of brothers waking each other up and epic long bedtime routines. Okay, hopefully just less of them...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today I am thankful for...

This will be the first of seven thankful posts I will (hopefully) be writing leading up to Thanksgiving Day next Thursday. There is no rhyme or reason to the items I will write about. Some things may seem silly or frivolous, others will have a little deeper meaning for me- a little bit of everything. Here it goes!

Today I am thankful for...
  • Caffeine (Usually in the form of Starbucks, coffee with flavored creamer or Diet Dr. Pepper)
  • DVR's (So I have time for my real life and time to be entertained)
  • Reality T.V. (Including, but not limited to: Survivor, So You Think You Can Dance, The Biggest Loser, and The Amazing Race)
  • Cafe's with free wi-fi (Cafe' Delirium has a stool with a permanent impression of my butt after today- 6 hours!)
  • Kleenex (Will this cold ever go away???)
  • Mom jeans (I had 3 kids in less than 3 years, does this really need an explanation?)
  • My iPhone (Calendar, weather reports, texts, email, facebook, Internet, and an iPod, all rolled into one- Amazing!)
  • Pre-bought tickets for New Moon tonight (And two wonderful friends to go with!)

See, I told you some of the things would be frivolous and silly. These pretty much all are!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My response...

I’ve gone back and forth as to whether or not I should respond to an anonymous comment I received last week on my “I Heart Tuesdays!” post. I can think of a few ways to respond, but I choose to say “Thank you” to the person who attacked me in such a way. Thank you for reminding me what a blessed life I have and what amazing, supportive family and friends I am surrounded by.

My very initial reaction when reading the comment was to call my husband and laugh about receiving my first anonymous hater comment from someone I don’t even know. It was a little initiation into a club of fellow bloggers who have gotten similar comments: judgmental words from a complete stranger. I suppose not a complete stranger considering I do put quite a bit of myself out there for all the world to read when I write my posts. I started this blog as a way to keep family and friends up to date on our lives and occasionally, I use the blog as a personal journal of sorts. And I appreciate everyone who reads my words, whether you agree or disagree with them. I read other blogs with opinions and thoughts I don’t agree with and would never think of writing something negative to them. Ever. Especially if I didn’t even know them.

My day-after feeling was gratitude towards all of my friends and family who came to my defense and wrote such kind words both here on the blog and on facebook. Reassurance that Anonymous is coming from a narrow perspective that in no way reflects our actual situation as a family.

Since then, I have had mixed emotions. On the eve of what was an extremely exciting day in our family’s history, this Anonymous person chose to call me whiny and accuse me of living an extravagant life. How sad. I agree that I can be a bit whiny sometimes, can’t we all to some degree? And if living with no debt (except a mortgage) and paying cash for everything is extravagant, then so be it. And just to clarify, a HUGE majority of my stress lately comes from homework and not from flying. I love being a mom, at home with my adorable kids and I love my job as a flight attendant. I love being home with my family a majority of the time, but I also welcome a break every once in a while. I have mentioned before in previous blog posts, I am a better wife and mother after a little break and some “me” time, even when it involves a few days away, a relaxing hotel room, meeting new people all across the country, In N’ Out Burger and maybe a movie. I would almost go so far as to say that I would enjoy being a flight attendant even if I didn’t get paid- the bonus comes as a paycheck twice a month.

Now, I hope I don’t get judged for being excited about time away from my family for the occasional break. Not every woman was made to be a stay-at-home mom. I may have talked in my post about this dream life I have to stay at home every single day and live a blissful, laundry-filled existence, but that isn’t completely accurate. I think I would go a little crazy. I also chose to get an epidural during birth, does that make me less of a mom? No. We all make our own choices in life about how we will raise our families. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all live out those choices without facing judgment by the people around us?

I have incredible friends who choose to stay home with their kids, friends who have to work for financial reasons (either because they are a single mom or for other financial reasons), and those who choose to work because they want to provide a certain lifestyle for their kids and family with a two-income household. Every single family has figured out what situation works best for them, as it should be- without judgment from anyone. A close friend of my husband just bought his dream car, a classic, merely because he has always wanted to own one. An outsider may look at his purchase as extravagant or unnecessary. What they wouldn’t know, is that this person has saved and saved for years, setting aside a little bit here and there while still paying his bills and saving for his family’s future, just to buy a classic car like this- and paid cash for it. We all have our “classic car”, the one thing we have waited and saved and planned for, until the perfect time comes along. Guess what our “classic car” is? Yep, a larger home, in a safe neighborhood, with great schools and a home our kids will be able to bring their own children back to someday to visit grandma and grandpa. What is your “classic car”, something you’ve saved and sacrificed for? For some, it’s a vacation to Hawaii or Europe, for other’s it’s new furniture for the house. Whatever it is, the satisfaction of reaching that goal is very rewarding.

It’s hard for me when anyone would look at a family and question why both parents would choose to work, rather than have someone stay home fulltime with their kids, to maintain a particular lifestyle. Or look at a family who is struggling financially, when only one parent is working, and question why both parents wouldn’t choose to work to bring in more money. Passing judgment on anyone else is a slippery slope, so be careful. You never know when someone is lurking in the wings (or blog-stalking), waiting to pass judgment on you for something you feel completely comfortable with as a family. I know I’m not perfect, but I try and be careful not too press my own views or pass judgment on others.

The “I Heart Tuesdays!” post wasn’t written from a negative place on my part. I don’t hate the other days of my life, I promise. I hope that I can continue blogging about my life and my family’s lives without judgment and negativity involved. I enjoy peeking in on the lives of others through blogging as a way to feel a little more normal in the midst of chaotic days. To feel like I’m not alone on days when I’m overwhelmed or to share in the joyful days others are experiencing. There are some pretty incredible people out there blogging- some I know personally and some I don’t- and I am thankful for their willingness to share a part of themselves with us all.

Which brings me to my next blogging adventure. I will be beginning a week of posts containing things I am thankful for, which might be tough while I’m on the road, but I will try and get something in everyday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It only takes one...

That's what I kept hearing. It only takes one showing, one couple, one family, etc., for our house to sell. One couple came to see our house on Sunday. They set us an offer yesterday (Tuesday), we countered last night and they accepted our counter offer today.

We sold our house!!!

This will always be more than just a house to us- this was our home. Our first home. First home either of us ever purchased, first home as a married couple, first home as a family. We brought all of our kids home from the hospital to this house. I love this house and I will miss it. I will take with me so many memories, I can't even begin to list them all. And I hope the couple who bought it will love and care for it as much as Rick and I have for the past 5 years.

This will be our new home in about a month... I can't wait to begin building new memories in it.

I can't remember if I did this before, but here is a link to more pictures of the inside of the house... I can't wait to get in an put our own touches on it!
In case the link above doesn't work, you can copy and paste this:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I heart Tuesdays!

Because on Tuesdays...

... I get to drop Riley off at preschool and pick her up, hearing all about the fun she had learning.
... I get a chance to go to the grocery store, Costco, Target, etc., with 2 kids instead of 3.
... I get some quality time with my boys.
... I'm not stressed out about homework being due or laundry or other housework or leaving for a trip or any of the other things that usually occupy my time and energy. I take Tuesdays off from all of that.

On Tuesdays, I feel like the wife and mother I wish I were more often or all the time for that matter!

Sundays come in a close second to Tuesdays... we are up and out of the house early for church at 8:30am and then spend the day as a family doing various errands or other fun stuff. A relaxing day with all five of us home and no real agenda or schedule. Wonderful.

I don't like Mondays because I'm usually stressed out about homework due that night in class... mainly because I've neglected it all week because it comes in last in my list of priorities- always. So, I scramble to finish it before class and find myself extra stressed if the kids don't nap when they should or require more of my attention. Lame. Totally lame. Totally not their fault if I'm stressed and didn't finish my homework. I'm working on this one. Then there is the 4 hours I have to sit in class, missing out on time with my husband and kids... Pretty much, Mondays usually suck.

I don't like Wednesdays because I'm usually consumed with finishing all of the laundry so I can pack for work and leave town, knowing Rick and the kids will have clean clothes while I'm away. I cook 2-3 meals so I will have some good food in my food bag for work and so Rick has some food for leftovers while I'm gone. I usually make a quiche' and a casserole or chili or some other soup that travels well, then prepare the rest of my food for the 3 days I'll be gone. I also try and clean up the house as best as possible so that Rick will have one less thing to worry about while I'm gone and so Sarah (our wonderful nanny) can have a clean house to be in on Thursday and Friday, too. Basically, Wednesday means preparing myself to leave and preparing the house for me to be gone. Then I jet off on Wednesday nights to Oakland to start my trips...

Which brings me to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Not particularly horrible days, especially when I'm working an easy trip with long overnights (which doesn't seem to happen lately). Sometimes I get to relax in my hotel room, catch up on my reading for pleasure, grab and In N' Out Burger, see a movie, or just sleep... more often lately, I work a 12 hour day, get to the hotel with a 12 hour overnight (not as long as it sounds), then back out the door for another long day of flying- AND, I am away from my family. I don't get to drop Riley off at preschool on Thursdays and hear about her day or enjoy the quality time with Tyson and Cooper. Planning fun times with friends is tough because I'm gone, so Rick misses out on social stuff, too. Plus, he's home with the kids all by himself each evening after working all day and getting them up and ready each morning without help, too. Things that bring a little bit of guilt for me. Saturdays are spent working in the morning, then sitting around waiting to catch a flight home from Oakland, so I'm usually completely exhausted by the time I step foot in the door sometime late Saturday afternoon.

So... for right now, I love Tuesdays. I think because it represents the life I wish I could have everyday- the homework-free, no flying, stay-at-home mom life. The kind where I'm not stressed and all the laundry is finished and the house is clean and organized and I have time and energy to do fun and creative things with my kids and I have a homemade dinner on the table every night and I can do creative projects like scrapbooking and sewing and so on and so on and so on...

It will be really interesting to see what it will be like when I am student teaching, not flying, and home every night, although gone all day- something I'm NOT used to at all!

Alright... I'm done whining for a few posts, at least.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The par-tay!

Well, as much as you can party as a one year-old!

Mickey Mouse for Halloween... why not a Mickey Mouse birthday party, too?

Cooper started his big day with breakfast and his Disneyland bib...

Here comes the birthday boy!

The older kids were too busy enjoying the beautiful day to stop and pose for a family picture with us...

I forgot how boring it can be to watch a one year-old "open" gifts... we could have been there all day! Thank goodness for older siblings to help open gifts. :)

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Cooper, happy birthday to you!

Where's my cake?

Cooper's cake eating was a progressive thing...
Hmm... this feels squishy.

I moved things along a bit by putting some frosting on his lips.

One lick of that chocolate frosting and we were off and running!

I think Cooper enjoyed his cake!

All clean!!

A big thank you to all of my family who helped us celebrate Cooper's birthday. We really enjoyed getting a chance to visit and spend two really special days with everyone. I'm pretty sure I took about 300 pictures throughout the whole weekend!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Harvest Party: Times Two

Last Tuesday was the day for Harvest Parties- Riley's preschool in the morning and Abundant Life Church at night. The kids had so much fun at both of them! Rick was able to schedule around parent/teacher conferences in the morning and attend Riley's preschool Harvest Party. They did a cookie walk, had treats, and got a goodie bag. Tyson was extremely excited to play in Riley's classroom and Cooper enjoyed the train table.

Snack time

Fun with homemade play-doh!


Tyson loves the kitchen and the animals in Riley's classroom... he can't wait until next year when he can go to preschool!

Rick was lucky enough to attend the Trailblazers opening home game (which they won!!), an opportunity that came up last minute and happened to be at the same time as the church Harvest Party... no problem- thank goodness for strollers!

The kids were really excited to wear their costumes!

Cooper's Mickey Mouse costume was waiting for him in the Tri-Cities, so he wore his Cole Trickle/Days of Thunder PJ's and went to the Harvest Party as a race car driver! :)

Digging for treasure.

Riley played a little basketball, while daddy watched a little basketball!

And Tyson played on the slide...

Riley and her friend Kaylee

The kids' favorite game at the Harvest Party was the Duck Pond!

And here are a few more photos from Halloween that I hadn't downloaded from the second camera when I posted the other day...

Cassidy, Grandma Diane (my mom), and Riley


A little trick-or-treating...

Cooper's trick-or-treating involved being carried or the stroller...

All lined up in a row... gotta love mini-vans, right?!
Notice the zoned-out faces on Tyson and Riley... DVD player in the van. I have a love/hate relationship with it...

That concludes the Halloween portion of blogging for this year! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Cooper!!

I wanted to get this posted a little earlier, but we were having too much fun celebrating... I made it before midnight!

Last year...

One year later!

A very happy birthday to our little guy!
We love you!

Coming soon: Birthday party photos, Harvest Party, and more Halloween photos (found on our second camera that I forgot about)