Aug 26, 2014

That Busy Life

You could say that middle school is crazy...
but I do appreciate the fact that the principal told us that this is the
year that they need to "fall on their face", that we as parents need to let
THEM learn the consequences of forgetting a book at school or what happens
when the dog eats their homework.
Because they need to learn now, so that they don't screw up when they get
into high school, where everything counts towards college.

Is college seriously something I can mention already?
I remember when I thought it was too early to sign them up for preschool....

When people say "don't blink", they really aren't exaggerating.

So, gone are the days of micromanaging their schoolwork.....
or at least, kinda gone. A mom can't stop cold turkey.

Thank goodness in middle school there isn't as much busy homework.
Cause we really don't have time for that.

Kate has softball practice one night a week for two hours...this will soon
be two nights a week for two hours. Do you know how long two hours is
when you are just sitting and watching? #longtime Not to mention, she is
the new kid, which makes me the new mom, which means I know no one.
And we live about 15 minutes away from the ball field so I don't really
want to just drop her off.....annnnnndddd I kinda like to watch. So there's that.

I decided last night that two hours is way too long for me to be just sitting.
So I took off and ran for the first hour. (ran usually means walk/jog/crawl for me)
I'm sure the other parents thought I was nuts because it was at least 400 degrees outside.
But I gotta fit it in when I can.
And I was able to run around the fields so at certain points, I could still watch.

I'd say I got a pretty good burn in. So I'll be trying to do this every time, hopefully.

And let me tell you how amazing I looked during the second part of softball practice....

Alex splits her time between volleyball and cross country.
She just plays on the 5th and 6th grade volleyball team so it's not very intense.
So she has volleyball practice on Mondays, Cross country Tuesday-Friday,
And volleyball games will be on Saturdays.

Whew. These two girls are taking me in three different directions this year.
And to say I love it would be a huge understatement.
I love watching them play whatever sport they are playing.
I love sitting in the car waiting for practice to end, like my Mom always did for me.

But I do miss my husband.

If there were just a few more hours in the day, I'd have it all....

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Aug 25, 2014

Middle School

So yeah, it's been about a month and a half, but we've been busy!!

K&A started middle school.
How is that possible?

4th grade vs 6th grade.

You can't read it well above, but Kate wants to be a nurse at LeBonheur and Alex wants to be a Pediatric Cardiologist.

Thank you little brother Harper. :)

The girls moved up to the middle school section at church and they are loving it, including Wednesday night youth group.

Alex joined the cross country team and has been doing several 5Ks lately with me.

Alex is also on the 5th and 6th grade volleyball team. So she's staying pretty busy right now!

Kate just started playing travel softball so our entire lives are changing. It's very involved, but she loves softball so I finally gave in and found her a team. I pray that we can balance this....


I'm beyond excited about everything going on in our lives right now. We are staying busy and enjoying the great memories we are making.

I'm gonna try to update more often again but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. :)

Until next time....
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Jul 10, 2014

The Lake Life

Memorial Day weekend.
Yep, I'm posting this a little bit late.
That's what happens when you take pictures with your "real camera" and then
have to transfer them to your computer.
That takes too much time.

We had a blast...I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Take me back!!!
It must be noted that my favorite memory of the whole trip was when Alex climbed up
on the cliff to jump.
At first, my nephew, D, was like "Heck no, I'm not going up there!"
Then Alex showed him up....and he couldn't be shown up by a girl.
So you had to climb up out of the water holding onto a tree branch.
It took him a few minutes to get up there....and right when he did,
he looked over and screamed "Oh poop! there's a snake!" And dove in the water.

Personally, I would have passed out.
He said it was head up, hissing at him like it was going to strike.
But I won't forget how quickly he moved after seeing it. :)

Things are always better at the lake.
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Jul 7, 2014

Stars and Stripes

I'm not much of a runner.
Although I really, really try to be.
And I really want to be.
But I have old lady legs that ache when I run.
Something is always hurting.
And, let's be honest, my legs have a lot of weight to carry.

But I LOVE to run 5Ks.
Maybe it's because I love to race.
Maybe it's because I like to waste money.
Who knows.

This year has been super awesome because lots of my friends are running them too.
Normally we just talk about doing them, but never sign up.
Also, my sister has discovered a love for running.
And we won't even talk about how she beats me every time.
And Alex has decided she likes to run them too.
Which I LOVE, but dang, why aren't kids cheaper to sign up??

This past weekend, we did the Stars and Stripes 5K.

When we originally signed up, I thought we were going to die.
Memphis in July is no joke.
But it ended up being not that hot.

Kate and FH weren't running so Kate made us some signs.

Alex was so nervous!
This was her first "real" 5K.
Her previous 5K had basically nobody running and
this 5K had about 1,200 people running....
so yeah, it was a bit different.

We ran together the whole time.
At first, I was worried about my time.
I wanted to have a good time.
And then, I realized that we weren't in the greatest part of town.
And that running with her was worth much more than a good time.

She did great.
We had to walk several times.
And a few times, I honestly thought she might quit.
Her legs hurt, her stomach hurt. She couldn't breathe.
But I cheered for her the whole way.
And tried my hand at motivational speaking.

And just when she said she couldn't go any longer,
I looked over and there was a guy running with one leg.
And I told her if he could do it, she could.

When we could finally see the finish line, I told her we had to finish strong.
So we ran, or really jogged.
We even ran holding hands at one point.
Right at the end, she looked over at me, grinned a real big sneaky grin,
and took off sprinting.
Of course, I was trapped behind 2 old ladies and had to dodge them.
She beat me by 4 seconds...that little stinker, I couldn't believe it.
But I also couldn't have been more proud.

My time wasn't great.
I hated not going as hard as I could.
But I got to hang out with my daughter.
And bond over a love for racing.
I wouldn't have had it any other way.

But next time, I'm leaving her before she can beat me. :)

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Jun 30, 2014

Raising Pre-Teen Steppe Sisters

I love Mom blogs.
But I've noticed lately that most of my fellow mom blogger friends
have kids that are younger than mine.
And while I love reading about babies and toddlers and all that goes
along with raising them, I miss out on advice from moms of older kids.

I feel all alone with these pre-teens of mine.
It's like I'm a pioneer paving the way....and I need a guide book.

If you knew half the things my kids would request a reality show for them.
John and Kate plus 8 FH & Lo plus 8 minus 6.
For years, I have entertained my friends with their quotes of the day.

I don't know what it is about my kids, but they can make anybody laugh.
"Hilarious" is the adjective I have heard most describing them.
"Quiet" is the adjective that I have yet to hear once.

Maybe it makes them funnier because there are 2 of them?
Or maybe they are just twice as silly.

Either way, they keep me entertained.

They couldn't be more different.

I sat in the movie theater with one of them the other day, holding her
hand throughout the entire movie. No shame, not embarassed at all to
be with her mom.

And the other, I had to threaten her life because she memorized every
single word to Miley Cyrus' new song "23" while away this summer.
And thought it was "no big deal because there's only one cuss word"
but when the one cuss word is the F bomb, it's just not okay.

And then, after I told her that if she ever listened to that song again
that I would lock her in the attic, she acted like I just killed her puppy
with my bare hands.

Staring out the window of the car, tears in her eyes, looking like she
was plotting a suicide mission to bomb an innocent building.
All over some Miley Cyrus.

It's harder being the Mom of a pre-teen than it is actually being a pre-teen.
No matter what anybody says.

Of course, in her pre-teen mind it was perfectly fine that it talked about
drugs and had the F bomb because "it's not like that means I'm gonna
do that stuff" and because "I don't even watch the video because it's bad..."

pre-teen jusification.

I always knew twins would be different, I just didn't realize how different.
One hasn't even mentioned shaving her legs, the other one said, and I quote,
"It's not that I want to shave my legs Mom, it's just that I'm a hairy beast."

pre-teen drama.

And I probably shouldn't mention this, since this is on the internet and all, and
they are going to kill me when they see this....oh nevermind, I can't even tell you
about the time they were staring at each other's armpits looking for hair.
"It's there Mom, it's just really REALLY blonde....."

pre-teen delusions.

I should probably also mention that one is very skilled at texting. And doesn't
hold the normal teenage attitude towards boys of "let me text him every 3 minutes
and drive him crazy". She is what FH called really good. Texting boys just enough
so they get interested in talking to her and then gets all "ok, gotta go now!".
I'm kinda proud of this.

I'm also proud that when I asked her if she had been texting the boy she met at camp,
she said I asked her about the other boy that she had been texting and she said,
"Oh, I deleted him. He wasn't texting me at all so I just took him out of my phone."
do your thing, girl.

pre-teen boy-texting.

I have one that wears heels. All day, every day.
I wasn't going to buy those heels, but if you ask your mom for something the day
before your brother's funeral, chances are pretty high she'll buy you anything you want.
And so she got heels.
And wears them more than her tennis shoes.
I'm still not sure whose kid she is.
Her sister prefers tennis shoes or cowgirl boots.
And sports bras vs real ones.

pre-teen fashion.

I guess that's all I got for now on the pre-teen pioneer front.
I'll update you as I learn things.
Maybe you can learn from my mistakes?

This is what happens when I say "act like you like each other."

Even if these girls keep me on the edge of my seat,
I'm so glad to have them home for this entire week.
They will be gone the rest of July!!
Summer camp, a week at the lake, a week with their dad,
and finally a week at the beach.

I only hope that they remember my name when they get back home.
And that they don't come home singing any more songs with the F bomb.


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Jun 25, 2014

My Empty Lap

I know most people wonder...but are too afraid to ask.

Will we have another baby?

I understand why people are scared to ask me this.
I wouldn't want to ask me either.

My best answer is "I sure do hope so."

We had trouble getting pregnant with Harper.
So I'm not sure if we will have trouble again, or if it will happen.

I also have a tendency to have twins...which we avoided with
Harper, but can we avoid that twice? Who knows.

Would I mind if I had twins? Heck no.
My bank account would mind, twins are expensive.

But ever since Harper died, I want to be surrounded by babies.
Lots of them.

I want to be a mother to kids that don't have one.
I want to cuddle babies that aren't cuddled.
I want to pray for babies in the NICU that have no one on their team.
And I want to birth 10 of them.

The bad thing is, I'm not that good at being pregnant.
I'm stubborn. But I can fix that. If I am lucky enough to get
pregnant again, I will listen when FH tells me to put my feet up.
I will sit and be fat and just grow that baby.

Because I know what it feels like when something goes wrong.

I get high blood pressure.
Like stupid, scary high blood pressure.
And I swell, like before I finish peeing on the pregnancy test stick.

I birth premature babies. It's what I do.
K&A were born at 34 weeks. Harper was born at 27 weeks.

I've never been more than 34 weeks pregnant, but I have looked at least 48 weeks pregnant.

What you may not know about me is that I'm uber competitive.
If I'm next to you, we are racing. I've always been that way.
And now, it's almost like a challenge.
Can I birth a full term, healthy baby?
Will I ever have a baby that I get to hold in the delivery room? Instead of waiting days to see...

Only God knows the answer to that.

This summer so far has been bittersweet for several reasons.

First off, K&A are away almost the entire summer.
When they are gone, I miss them but it also makes me miss Harper more.
Our house is so quiet that it hurts my ears.

Second, I decided before the summer started that I was taking full advantage of this
non-pregnant summer. We've gone on trips that we wouldn't have been able to go on
if Harper were still here. It's heartbreaking because I would miss every vacation for
every summer if we could have him back, but that's not how it works.

When we were on our way to the lake recently, one of the girls innocently asked
where we would put Harper if he were there. {Since we overpacked, big time.}
I assured her it wouldn't be a problem fitting him in if he were there.

So, we are making it a point to enjoy the summer the best we can.
And enjoy each other as a family of 4.....or as a family of 2 most nights while the girls
are off having the best summer ever.

One day, I think our family will expand again.
It could be a full term baby.
It could be adoption.
But I know there is a plan.

The funny thing is, after I had Harper, I felt like I would have more kids.
Which was weird, because I never planned on having more.
But it just felt like I should keep my maternity clothes just in case.....

I always said that there will be no more kids after 35 (I'm only 31, for the record!),
because I wanted to retire and travel in an RV with FH without having
to worry about my kids being in high school.
Or attending an elementary program with gray hair (as a Mom, not a Grandma)

But now, I realize that raising kids is "living my life".
The years when they are young, and you want to pull your hair out, or you just want to
take a bathroom break without having someone knock on the door needing you....
Those are "the good ole days". Those are the days that make your life worth living.

All I know is I can't wait until my lap is no longer empty.
And I get to see FH with a sweet baby in his arms. :)

***Disclaimer: because of the emergency C-section that I had with Harper and
because of all the complications, I am at a huge risk if I get pregnant within the
first year after he was born. So in no way, shape, or form is this blog post prepping
y'all for bigs news. Just so y'all know. In other words, I live in a small town so
don't start telling people I'm knocked up, mmmkay?***
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Jun 10, 2014

Mother's Day at the Safari Park

Mother's Day this year was a bit different than any other year.
Of course, I remembered last year...when we told our Moms that we were
pregnant. And I thought about how I was suppose to be a Mom of 3 this year...

Needless to say, we needed a distraction on this day.
And I wanted to work on appreciating what I have, instead of what I'm missing.

And lo and behold, a groupon appeared to save the day.

to the The TN Safari Park.

If you live in TN, or anywhere close to Alamo, you must
go immediately. You should also not think about how dirty your
car will get, since there will be food dropping all over the place and
animals will be licking your windshield.

You should also know that, if you are like me, you will be scared to death.
And probably scream a lot and have your husband and children laugh
out loud at you often.

So you drive through the park and the animals walk up to your car.
You can buy food, and let's be honest, you must buy food.
It's just not as fun if you don't.

Let's also get one other fact clear....the people who own this park are
genius! We pay for the food and we feed the animals for them. It's like
a perfectly crafted trap to get us to do all the work for them.

The birds. Let's just say only a mother could love that face.
There really are some unfortunate looking birds there.
I wish I had a picture of one of them....but like I said U.G.L.Y.

The ostrich. Ooo. Emmm. Geee. I can't even.
They straight up come into your car without an invitation.
And when you pull your food away from them, they go-go-gadget that neck
all the way to keep grabbing your food.
Kinda like this:
Probably the only moment I can remember where I wish that I had the old school manual roll-up windows
because the automatic window was just not rolling up fast enough. They. are. scary.
The buffalo.
There is a video for this.....but it's really loud and obnoxious. As in, I'm really loud and obnoxious in it. We should have known better than trying to feed a buffalo that was away from a herd. Like, basically he was so huge and scary that he had no friends. And if the other buffalo are scared of him, then we probably should have been also.

Buffalo heads are larger than they appear in pictures. Believe that.
All the other animals, we could basically roll the window up on their faces and they got the picture.
The buffalo? Not so much.
FH tried to roll the window up to get rid of him and his big, fat, THICK neck rolled that junk back down. Did you hear me? He pushed the window back down.
All I can say is that it's a good thing that I wasn't driving because he might have lost a head, because
I know I would have floored it at that moment.
Heck, I was safely on the other side and I was screaming at the top of my lungs.
Poor FH, when the going gets tough, I do not get tough with it. At least when it comes to buffalo.
Needless to say, we had lots of fun.
Next time we go, I might need a Xanax though.

The girls? Well, let's just say they were braver than I was.
But then again, when you are that young, you don't think about death by way of buffalo eating.
And your life doesn't flash before your eyes.

Kate made me a cake for Mother's Day. And I have to tell you, it was amazing!
My kids watch way too much Cake Boss on Netflix but it has paid off....
I know they've watched too much when they tell me they need a piper to decorate....

Kate bought all the ingredients for the cake and did all of it herself.
Alex? Well, she bought herself a stuffed buffalo and called it a day.
She said she didn't have enough money left over to buy me a gift. Haha, good thing she's cute.

Hope everyone had as great of a Mother's Day as I did!!! Pin It Now!