November 29, 2011

Re-Cap–Part Two

Someone turned {insert jibberish talk here}
Oh, let’s not focus on it, but I should be called “Christie the Grey”.  Seriously.  And the thing about aging is that the following, it turns out, IS true – which I think my mother warned me about but I was too delusional to believe:

  • You do eventually dread your own birthday.  This is truth.  Long gone are the party hats and kazoos and hard candy numbers on your cake.  They don’t make your number in hard candy, honey. And let’s face it – those hats are miserable on a double chin.  Am I right?
  • You do eventually start cropping up regrets about what you haven’t done yet.  Only they usually involve things like laundry, dishes, and bill paying.  True dat.
  • You do NOT find that growing old is graceful.  For Pete's sake, I barely escaped falling on my rear at my own birthday dinner – stupid tile floors.  I used to be a dancer people.  Don't hate.  I did!  And I was not afraid of sliding to the ground, all while performing a flawless “splits” maneuver.  Now the floor seems like an awfully long way down, down, down. (and let's face it - getting up is even more know it's true.)
  • You do eventually find that eating too much does in fact, have real-time consequences.  Not like when you were young and your parents would say “you eat all that and yer gonna get sick!”.  No, this time it’s for real.  You eat all that and you will be up at 12, 2, 4, and 6 AM swearing off Hibachi, burping up acid, and moaning in agony while downing a bottle of pepto.  You will.
  • There are not enough well-wishers in the world to make getting old fun like it used to be. You’ve long since passed the point where “counting up” feels exciting. I’m 5! I’m 13! I’m Sweet 16! I’m 18! I’m 21! I’m…25… Oh no, I’m 30…. Oh my gah, I’m 35. Wait…stop this…I’m 37…holy cow, I’m almost 40. My life is almost over. I’m old. Stop the rocking! I want to get off! And so on.

The un-matched Ahi Tuna Tower

Note to self:  Next time, get a dye job, wear makeup and ix-nay-on the ipe-strays

School Stuff
My children are the cutest thing to happen to the planet in, like, ummm…ever.  Amen.  Make sure you see them both – Q is right behind Miss Cheeks.

This is a picture of the two of them in their pre-school Thanksgiving presentation.  I cried.  Then I snapped pictures.  Then I waved and comforted a weepy Keira who wanted to sit with mommy.  Then I did the ugly cry in the car on the way home, because they’re getting older (see above) and there is nothing I can do to change that…nor would I want to.  Mostly.  Some days yes, some days no.  But in moments like this, when they are so incredibly precious, I want to freeze time and never forget the way they sound, the way they laugh, the way they feel when I hug them…I just want to freeze it because I know I will blink and just like their babyhood, it will be gone…

Caramel Apple Making
So you can buy these Caramel “beads” now, (we got ours at Wal-Mart and I’m pretty sure they were by Kraft in the baking section) and they melt super easy on the stove or in the microwave and then you just dip away and let the apples rest for an hour in the fridge.  My kind of caramel apple.  And also?  It doesn’t get all hard and miserable, like when you peel a hundred pieces of caramel and then it gets like a Sugar Daddy and you break your teeth on it.  Not like that.  No, just soft and pliable and yummy.  We really enjoyed this – and it’s easy for the kids to help. 


Breaking Dawn
I haven’t seen it, so resist the urge to tell me if you loved or hated it.  Maybe you couldn’t care less.  I’m only here to say…ahem…Team Jacob.  That is all.  (except for this: yes, I read the books and yes, I know the ending.  So nevermind the spoiler…I’m still Team Jacob right up until the whole Imprint nonsense.  Seriously, what is that?  Yuck.)

30 Days of Giving & Thanks

30 Days of Giving and Thanks

Keepin’ it super real over here with a little confession time: we only made it half way through the month before we fell apart.  I would love to blame it on TOO MANY COMMITMENTS.  I would love to.  Can I?  Ok, I won’t.  But I will say that we had the best intentions, and then got inundated with doctors visits, Quint’s surgery, post-op treatment, school performances, work (x4 jobs), company, Thanksgiving, and many other things.  The shameful thing to this, is that none of that should have really mattered.  It wasn’t about going so far above and beyond every day.  It was only about a small gesture of thanks each day.  And we couldn’t even summon that up after about the 16th.  I’m remorseful.  It’s been really bothering me.  What does that say about us?  That we’re not “grateful”?  Certainly we are.  But more so, that we couldn’t take even that ten minutes a day to show it?  Ouch.  Not too happy about that.  Still, it’s about the attempt.  It’s about the “challenge” and this was a challenge.  Especially in light of the fact that were not completely successful.  I’m not sorry we tried – that was the point.  It’s the point of ALL of the challenges – to try and step outside your comfort zone and do something different.  They aren’t meant to be easy – or where’s the challenge?  I think you just have to prepare yourself for the potential to fail.  And you also have to be willing to look at what that might say about you.  Good or bad.  You’re the only one who can say.  Just make sure your excuses are believable to you.  That’s what I tell myself. (and sadly, my excuses were kind of LAME-O)

November 26, 2011

Re-Cap ~ Part One

So, re-caps are not really my thing.  I just don’t love the whole “here was our day” or our week, month, etc.  I like reading them for all of you, but not writing them for myself.  (yes, that’s a fact…I read your blog)  But I think in this case – just because I’m so far behind I will officially never (I say, never) catch up – perhaps I can break my own rule for once.  

Breaking it down in two parts…it’s that bad:

First of all – Quint’s surgery went great, and I have a post brewing about that whole experience.  He did so amazing…what a trooper!  He is doing fabulous– but still in pain, and prone to some crankiness.  We’re managing that with his meds, and we’re hopeful that he’ll be back to his normal happy self within another week.

Post op and at home…he was alert and amazing!

Thanksgiving was wonderful!  We were able to relax and have an incredible meal – and our little guy did great (albeit on a diet of ice-cream and popsicles!)  We enjoyed ourselves tremendously and were able to spend some quality time with friends who took care of us!  What a blessing!!


My Brother & His Better Half Visited:  OK, I could write a book about my little brother and his amazing wife and our way-too-short four days together.  They are such a great couple and they take such good care of their niece and nephew.  We had a fabulous time while they were here – and I have to say, we were very sad to see them go.  The kids ADORE them, as does Big Sis.  We tried to do as much as we could while they were here, but I feel like we left so much out. Boo hoo!  It couldn’t be helped  - we were busy celebrating birthdays, ahem…


Because Someone turned 4: Yes, I can’t believe it.  Don’t get me started.  Cough.  Seriously.  I will cry.  Tears have been shed.  I’m not sure what happened, but I blinked and he’s four.  Friends, do you remember when he was like this tiny little thing?  Me too.  And ouch.  It hurts…but I’m so darn proud of him!  We started the day with balloons and streamers everywhere.  Then Birthday Donuts (Quint’s choice!) and SpiderMan cupcakes for school.  Then it was off to Freddy’s for burgers, fries, and chocolate sundaes, and back home to play with the amazing presents he got showered with from his Aunt and Uncle.  Are you seeing a theme here?  Lots of chocolate.  Quint’s LOVE LANGUAGE.


What I adore here is that each and every present got the same level of excitement.  He was genuinely so stinkin’ happy with everything he got.  I love these faces – they really show what a joyful boy he is.

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December’s Challenge: Ok, I’ll talk about Giving & Thanks in the next post – but I wanted to remind all of you that December’s challenge “31 Days of Goodwill” is coming this week!  The good news about this challenge is that you have only four tasks and they can be customized to fit your personality.  Here is the gist again:  

31 Days of Goodwill

I’m taking four baby-steps back to the meaning of Christmas – which for our family is all about a wonderful gift that had no bow, no wrapping, but cost more than money could ever purchase. The birth, life, love and forgiveness of a perfect lamb…Jesus.  

Now, I realize, that may not be your personal conviction – but it certainly lends me to want more out of Christmas for my kids than a frenzy of desire, followed by inevitable meltdowns. No, I want more for them. I want more for us. Does this mean we won’t decorate a tree or hang a stocking or sip eggnog? No. However, this does mean that this year we are going to find FOUR WAYS to spread GOODWILL and try to reconnect to our fellow man – our neighbors, our community, our church family, and yes – even to our world. Each act will take a different form, and I’m not sure what that will look like – it could be caroling to our neighbors and delivering cookies, serving food at the local shelter, volunteering in Children’s church, and sponsoring an orphanage in Africa. I don’t know. But I have hope that with each act, we will have a little part of restoring the brotherhood of mankind…just enough to wet our heart for more.
There will be a signup Mr. Linky on the 1st of December for those of you looking to participate and blog about it too! 
Part Two Update coming!!
Miss all of you wonderful people…feels like I'm so out of sync with writing - miss it!!

November 21, 2011

An amazing child…


Quint’s surgery is over and he is sleeping.  I have so much to say about this…and so many emotions running through my heart, I don’t even know where to begin. 

What is a normal routine surgery for so many, was anything but for little Quint.  We had so much riding on this surgery and so many issues and health concerns that all tied back to it going well.  It was imperative, we knew that.  But it turned out to be a matter of life and death, and that, we had no way of knowing.  We were on a time-clock we didn’t even know existed. 

My instinct upon hearing this as the surgeon talked us through the surgery, was initially dismay.   I was disappointed in myself for not knowing, somehow.  For not being able to tie all the symptoms together and as ridiculous as it sounds, know that he was in trouble.  But that’s a useless cycle to get caught in.  You mean we could have lost him?  Any given day he could have just slipped away from us…

Yes…he could have.  Far too easily.  And it makes me shudder in fear to even think it…

But he’s an amazing child.

Quint’s surgeon is a kind and mild-mannered ENT with an incredible bedside manner.  He had built a relationship with Quint over the past several months that had set us all at ease.  We sought out the best, and found the best.  It was that simple.  But he was more than a doctor to Quint, he was genuinely concerned and invested in the outcome and gave us hope that we had all but lost.

He said it repeatedly…”that’s an amazing boy”.  He also said things like “I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire career” and “I don’t know how he was breathing or functioning or eating”.  But he returned it all with these words…

“ As the surgery got underway, I kept looking down at Quint and thinking what an amazing little boy he is.  I just know in my heart he’s going to do something amazing in his life.  God has certainly had his hand on him.  There is a big purpose for this little guy.  Plain and simple.”


I couldn’t agree more.

He’s an amazing child…

And we are beyond blessed to have front row seats to the amazing things that he will surely do.

More to come.

November 19, 2011

A Special Request

I know it’s been a while…like 8 days or something nuts.  And I’ve said every day that I was going to come on here and update and share some pictures – because there’s a lot happening.  Fall Festivals, Thanksgiving programs at school, our wonderful and way too short visit with my brother and his amazing wife, our foray into Caramel Apple making, too much laundry and way too many dishes (yes, that’s a real post that I have in the wings), a certain little boy who turned four this week – and his mama (stop, I’m blushing) who turned whasafasafusashe (age who must not be named here).  So much to tell, so many pictures to share…and that’s not even to mention our 30 Days of Giving & Thanks Challenge that we’re smack dab in the middle of – or my glorious confession about how we kind of fell down on that a bit this past week.  That’s not even to mention my amazing and wonderful and Joy of my heart Mom, who has a birthday tomorrow.  (Happy Birthday, Momma…I love you so…)

Because more important than all of this…and sitting at the top of my heart’s list, is our sweet son, Quint.


Quint is having surgery Monday morning.  As in, less than 48 hours from now.  Please don’t worry – this has been a long time coming.  But it involves lots of little things that need fixing, and we’re anxious and relieved and hopeful and scared and encouraged and feeling trepidation.   And without regaling the entire tale – I will merely say this for now: little man is our heart.  He is pure sunshine and any of you who have met or spent time with him, know this to be true.  His mega-watt smile lights up a room, and he truly touches those who know him.  He’s a rascal – no doubt.  But his affection and honest happy spirit knows no bounds.  All the more reason why we are longing to see these issues resolved, once and for all. 

We have pinned very high hopes on this surgery, and that in and of itself leaves us feeling vulnerable.  There are, it feels, innumerable issues that could be resolved simply by a successful surgery.  On the other hand, we are well aware that some things just might not change at all.  And that leaves us feeling like we’re walking on murky water. 

I know this might seem a bit cryptic – and I don’t mean to be, I’m just being protective.  Post-op, I might feel more apt to sharing.   I just want to implore you to pray for Quint this week.  This week’s Thanksgiving celebration is so apropos, as we are so thankful for our son’s life and his contagious joy.  We are thanking the Lord that we were chosen to be Quint’s parents.  We're leaning on the goodness and mercy of God – who we trust implicitly with our son’s life and we're praying that three years of struggle, questions, sickness and discomfort might finally be at an end. 

Would you pray for us?  It would mean so very much


November 13, 2011

Day 13–30 Days of Giving & Thanks

I can tell you what I’m thankful for today…

An Aunt and Uncle who came all the way from Cali to celebrate a certain nephew’s 4th birthday

That's what I’m very thankful for…

And that I get to take pictures like this for four wonderful days…





Love you little brother…love you both…what a treat for us…

November 11, 2011

Day 11–30 Days of Giving and Thanks

Hmmm…who should get these Banana Nut Bread beauties?!?!
I can tell you now, it will certainly be someone we are thankful for!

Tough decision…Quint will probably fight me for them…this is true.


Hope your challenge is going well!!!  We are having a great time with ours…
(and maybe eating a little too much of the Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread….maybe)

My little brother and his wonderful wife come to visit us tomorrow from Cali –
and I have to say, it is a treat that I have been waiting 8 years for!! 

Hope your weekend is full of many things to give thanks for…

November 7, 2011

Giving & Thanks–Day 7

30 Days of Giving and Thanks

I don’t have much to report today, except this: I have always said that I prefer to give gifts rather than receive them.  It just does something for me.  Fills me up.  I don’t even know.  So this challenge has given me this rush of “giving” – even if it’s something small – and I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying it.  It doesn't hurt that it's Fall...and leaves are all over the yard, the cool weather has settled in, rain is falling..oh and also, my house smells like Sugar Cookies…but that’s a whole other story about scented wax and my new obsession (because I’m always late to the trend party).  Meanwhile, if you’re not signed up to participate in 30 Days of Giving & Thanks, maybe you should consider it?  Not too late – only one week in!  You can read all about this month’s challenge by clicking the Tab above labeled “Challenges”. 

Meanwhile?  You can’t handle the cute. 
I’m just sayin’.  No one, and I mean no one, can rock a “purse hat” like my baby… 
Dare to disagree.

IMG_7632-rev  IMG_7612-rev
IMG_7615-rev  IMG_7626-rev

November 5, 2011

Day 5–Giving & Thanks

Oh let me just tell you…I am LOVING this Giving & Thanks Challenge.  When AB and I discussed who we would like to express our gratefulness to – we had such a big list, we realized we might have to scale back a bit – now, that was definitely a bonus.  Realizing how many people you have in your life to be thankful for?  Realizing how much you want to let them know that?  Wondering why you maybe hadn’t taken the time before this challenge?  Yeah…eye opening!

Meanwhile, it’s my turn to give these two beauties away…and I am so excited!  I know just who I want to have them.  Also, just knowing we’ve committed to more of those to the people we appreciate – it’s making me kind of bubble over…no pun intended.  

Can I just tell you how much more satisfying it is to take the focus off of yourself and put it onto others?  It is.  Satisfying and a relief.  And Fun.  Did I mention fun?  Because hello…it’s not all about us for a whole month – and I am so stinking glad for it.  We’re boring anyway…this is way more rewarding…


If you haven’t signed up, you can do so in the previous post, and leave a comment so I know you put your hat in.  People, this is too fun to pass up.  I have so many ideas swirling around in my noggin – and I only have 25 days left to make them happen for this challenge.  

Oh wait…maybe this could be one of those life changes that makes me realize what I need more of in my heart and in my life…"giving” and being “thankful” and not just as a monthly challenge.  

{see this is part where we all agree that this is, in fact, the WHOLE POINT of the challenges – to produce a long term change by way of discipline for a short time}

You in?  How can you not be?

Moving on – you have to {I say, you have to} see my daughter in her Halloween goodness.  You have to.  She is just DELICIOUS in every sense of the word.  I mean, could you not eat her up?  I want to.  In fact, I did!  Except she told me to just eat “a wittle bit, mommy”.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!  Help a sister out – I can’t help myself!!!  {admit it…you want a nibble too, don’t you?!}  The apple cheeks?  To die for! 

Here’s what I’m thankful for….this amazing, wonderful, bright, happy, smart, and funny little girl who I get to call my daughter….


November 2, 2011

30 Days of Giving and Thanks begins–Day 2

30 Days of Giving and Thanks

Technically, it began yesterday – so I should have posted this yesterday.  Still, I have to say, I am super excited about this month's challenge!  If you missed the rules, here’s a recap:

This Challenge is designed to stir up our sense of gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.  Over this thirty days, we will be finding ways each day to Give or to offer Thanks.  It doesn’t have to be monetary, but it certainly can be. 
Here’s what our family is doing:
Even days of the month (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.), an act of “Thanks” - a note-card to a family member, co-worker, friend, or neighbor to say that we are thankful for them.
Odd days (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) an act of giving, just because.  We’re going with small gifts that will either be hand-carried or mailed.  From homemade items to small gift cards ($5)

You can do 100 different things.  You can make baked goods and deliver them with a note-card every other day.  You can create homemade crafts.  You can show up at someone’s house and rake their leaves.  You can clean for an elderly friend.  You can volunteer at a soup kitchen.  You know what your family is good at and can commit to!  You can come up with a variety of amazing ways to offer Thanks or Give to others.  Whatever you decide, the discipline is to make it happen all of the 30 days of November.

This is a choice to say that for this year, for this month, for this holiday season - we’re reaching out to those we maybe haven’t been so great at keeping up with, or maybe those we just want to show extra love to, or to those who have needs that we can meet.

Whatever your reasons, and whomever you lavish your Thanks and Giving on…we want to turn-around the habit of taking care of ourselves or always looking out for #1 into Giving and Thanks.  You will be blessed! (trust me…)

Anton took the first week, because he had quite a few people he wanted to express gratitude for.  I’m up next week!  I’m excited about this challenge for lots of reasons, but here’s just a few:

  • I’m happy to put the focus from “self” to “others” for a change.  Focusing on showing love to others helps remove the desire of selfishness.  (Something I don’t mind saying that I struggle with…daily.)
  • I’m feeling excited about the idea of taking  a whole month to show others that I’m thankful for them.  Whether that be through a note-card or a small gift.
  • This feels like such a great opportunity to live by example for our kiddos; showing our gratefulness for others
  • I really, really like giving gifts.  Maybe because it’s one of my own love languages.
  • I have a massive stock of bananas in my freezer just screaming to be put into warm bread and delivered.
  • I also have a lovely supply of note-cards, patiently waiting in the nesting basket…


If you want to sign up to participate – please enter you name and blog address below in the Mr. Linky!  If you don’t have a blog, you can still sign up – it’s good to know who’s making a go of it.

Now, let’s do this, “thankful” style!

More pics to come of the Banana Bread and the ways we are reaching out…

I’m really excited to hear about what your family does!!! 

Is anyone else shocked to find that we are in November already?  How did that happen??