Oct 20, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Man, I just realized it's Thursday.....oh well!

I'm loving looking down and seeing a ring on my finger! Makes me smile SO big!

I'm loving Alex in this new hat (even though it's orange, it's still super cute!)

I am loving my new app on my phone called RunTracker. It keeps up with distance, pace, calories, and I can compare each run. It even makes a big deal when I set a new personal record. It's great!

I'm loving that yesterday was report card day and both girls made Honor Roll! I'm one proud momma!

Lots of love at our house!

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Oct 18, 2011

Raising Daughters

One of my BFFs shared a blog with me today, and it had us both in tears. You see, we both have spent some time raising daughters as single mommas...and as single moms can assure you, it's difficult sometimes to stop stressing and just enjoy your kids. There's always more going on that you can handle. I LOVE this blog post even though it is not a blog that I normally follow. I would love to be all high-techy on you and do like most people do and say read this blog post HERE and connect that word to the blog...but that's not me. I have no clue how to do that, plus I don't have the time to find out. Not to mention, I want the words to go in my blog book so I can remember them always. If someone turns me in for plagiarism then they should know they are as good as volunteering to raise my children while I am spending time in jail. Also, this is actually about fathers raising daughters but it applies to mothers just the same. With all that being said, here ya go......enjoy!

50 Rules for Raising Daughters
1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

Wasn't that great?! Now, please stop reading my blog and go out and play with your kids!! Pin It Now!

Oct 17, 2011

Finding out the Big News

We didn't immediately tell K&A the big news about the engagement. It happened on a weekend that they are with their grandparent's on their dad's side so we chose to wait. We picked them up Sunday before church. We were planning on recording their reaction but once they got in the car, we were too anxious to start the recorder. I turned around in my seat and held out my hand and said "Look what Michael gave me." They both screamed and then Alex started talking about how it matched my dress and was so pretty....then she squealed so loud I am pretty sure people in Africa heard her and yelled "A ring?!?! You got a ring?! Y'all are getting married?!?!" #lots more screaming to follow from both
It was beyond hilarious. You see, I never wear much jewelry and I happen to have on a watch that Alex obviously didn't remember seeing me wear before. So she thought I was referring to the watch....then it slowly hit her. Kate was just screaming but she wasn't completely overwhelmed like Alex. You see, little girls dream of their wedding days......and Alex has been dreaming of MY wedding day. She was dying for me to get a ring so she was super excited!
As soon as we got back in the car after church, she said "Can we talk about the wedding? We need to start planning. I think we need a small wedding in Hawaii....." and she has yet to stop planning........... Pin It Now!

Oct 16, 2011

October 16, 2011

To say that October has been a big month for us is the understatement of the century!

Today, Kate decided to follow her sister's lead and make the big walk down the aisle at church. She asked Jesus into her heart several nights ago at bedtime prayer but she was sooooo nervous about walking down in front of everyone.

Everyone always asks how you can tell my girls apart. Well, in the looks department, I don't have much advice. They look nothing alike to me. But in the personality department, they are polar opposites. Alex is a leader. She could care less what anyone around her is doing, she's gonna do her thing no matter what. No one intimidates her and she's usually not embarrassed easily. Kate on the other hand, worries a lot about what people think. She's not quite as confident and needs lots of reassurance.

Kate was so nervous today but she knew what she wanted to do and she did it. There were many worried glances today but she made it! I couldn't be prouder. And of course, Alex pranced right up to the lady that she met last week and said "I'm back and I brought my sister!"

I feel so blessed that both of my girls will be baptized on the same day. It's only fitting that they were born together and now they are going to be born again together. We've joked about how our family and friends are going to fill up the whole church next Sunday just for the baptism.

Wonder what other blessings we will receive in this amazing month?!

I love you Kathryn Paige Steppe and I'm so proud to be your mom!

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Oct 15, 2011

I said Yes!!!

This is a day I'll never forget. I have a ring on my finger and my face hurts from smiling.

FH and I met in a wedding. I was a bridesmaid and he was a groomsman. Sounds romantic, right? Wrong, it wasn't. I had the biggest crush on him ever, and I'm not the quietest person so he knew all about it. He also didn't share the feelings......lol, we had fun hanging out with the rest of the wedding party, but that was about it. The wedding weekend ended with a "nice to meet you" goodbye hug instead of a "can I get your number?" see ya later like I would have preferred.

I've learned enough in life to know that even when I disagree, God has my best interests in mind. The timing was bad....I needed some time to be single me. Thank goodness the Big Guy always knows what he's doing because the year following that I had the most fun ever. I got so close to my girlfriends that they became my sisters. I made memories that I'll keep in my heart forever, but still something was missing.....

And where do you go to find someone that you kinda knew at one point......well facebook of course! I'm not scared to admit that I tracked that man down. There was just something about him......after we developed a solid facebook "relationship", I asked him out. Yep, you read that right. I asked him. Hey, it's the 2000s, I feel no need to sit around and wait on a man......the rest is history. He was dubbed FH within a week of our first date, my friend J still has the email to prove it. I knew that he was my soulmate so I just had to convince him that I was his.

We've spent hours upon hours of our time discussing our future together. We've know for awhile that we wanted to grow old together. (Notice I said "we", it's no longer one sided, he realized that God created me with him in mind and vice versa.) Today we decided to go look at rings. FH has been looking at them for awhile and he had a few, ahem, emails of rings I liked. We do everything together, he's my best friend, so we thought it would be fitting if we ring shopped together. Not to mention, he's awful (no offense-hi babe!) at keeping secrets from me so this is what we knew would work for us! We finally found "the ring" at about the third place we went to and we both just knew it was the one as soon as it was on my hand. So we got it, or rather, FH got it, obviously. I told him long long ago that I didn't care how he proposed to me, as long as he was down on one knee when he did it. When I walked into the living room, he grabbed my hands and got down on his knee. Let me just stop there and tell u that I was already in tears and he was tearing up too (although he may not admit that). I wish I had it recorded because I remember that he said the most beautiful words to me that I've ever heard, but I was so nervous that I couldn't concentrate. And I said yes, imagine that!!!

We were both such a hot mess and I even knew it was coming! I have never in my life been so happy. When I tell you that I've waited my entire life for a man like FH, I'm not exaggerating the tiniest bit. He's my soulmate, my best friend, my partner in life. My future, my right now, my absolute everything. He treats my kids as if they were his own and he would bend over backwards just to make us happy. Even if I thanked God every minute of every day for the rest of my life, I still couldn't show enough gratitude for the man that I've been given.

We don't have a date set, we don't even know what kind of wedding we want. All we know is we want to go through life hand in hand, for better or worse. what could be better?

Oh and by the way, he's so use to me (and all my friends) calling him FH, that he said we could keep calling him that...except now instead of Future Husband, he'll just be my Fantastic Husband. I think that sounds pretty much perfect.

Oh and just so you know, I made him a friendship bracelet just yesterday, so he got some new fancy jewelry too......even if there is no bling to it!

Love you FH!!

Today, our life truly begins.

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Oct 9, 2011

October 9, 2011

This is a day I'll never forget. Alex asked Jesus to come into her heart awhile ago but she's started talking about getting baptized recently. She's been too scared to walk down the aisle at church to tell them she's ready. Today, she decided she was ready. After many questions, and lots of reassurance, the two of us walked down the aisle and got it done. I introduced her and then I stepped back and let her do the talking. If you know me, you know that I have a hard time being on the sidelines. But this was the most important decision my child will ever make, so I wanted her to do it on her own. She was so brave and I'm so proud. She will be baptized on October 23, we had to schedule it for 2 weeks away so her daddy could be there. I'm already planning on purchasing waterproof mascara for the occasion.
It was a difficult day for Kate. She wanted to follow in her sister's footsteps, but I wanted to make sure she was aware of the decision, not just copying her sister. In the end, she decided to wait. I'm pretty sure she's ready to make the move as well, she says she will this coming Sunday. Oh what a blessing it would be to have both my daughters baptized on the same day!
Alex has spent the entire day telling us who all her new brothers and sisters (in Christ) are. She's so excited to be a part of a new family of believers and I could not be happier for her.

God is good....all the time.

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Oct 7, 2011

Memories are Free

Thank God for that. We may not have a huge house or a huge yard to play in, but making memories is free. I realize this as I sit outside in the parking lot, as the sun goes down, watching Alex practice her cartwheel over and over and over again. The parking lot lines are taking the place of her balance beam. Practice makes perfect.

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Oct 3, 2011

Time flies

I woke up this morning and realized how old my kids are....

They went from this (October 2006):

To this (October 2011):

in what feels like a matter of minutes! Time please slow down because blogging about teenagers is not something I'm ready to do anytime soon!

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