Friday, August 26, 2011


Both kiddos had a full week of school this week
(except the hour early heat dismissal every day).
They both did great! 
Evan is getting used to his new bedtime and certainly eats much better at dinnertime
since he isn't home grazing all day long!
I think the biggest adjustments are in MY day!
I am now home ALONE all day long!
I drop the kids off and go work out for an hour and a half.
Then come home.
To the QUIET.

It's peaceful.
It's tranquil.
It's bizarre and unnerving!

A few things that I did this week that were soooo different than anything I have known for the past 12 years:
~I sat on the patio and read my book for 1 1/2 hours--STRAIGHT.  No interruptions.
~I was able to check my email (and stalk blogs) very quickly since I didn't have to get up and get anyone snacks.
~I went to the bathroom and NO ONE came in!!!  This happened multiple times and I was hyper-aware of it every.single.time.
~I grocery shopped for 2 weeks in less than 1 hour!  And I didn't have to re-sort all of my items at the checkout to filter out the "extras" that fell into the cart!
~I went to Target alone.  When I got there I got to actually use the ladies room.  Normally we have to use the family bathroom or go in the big handicap stall. 
~I went to the library and didn't visit the children's level.  Very odd.
~I left the bank without a sticker on my shirt OR a sucker.
~I made important phone calls--without having to do 20 things between each call or hiding on the staircase for quiet.

This is just crazy.  Not sure if I like it, but I think I will get used to it! 
Sure beats the alternative---getting a j.o.b.  {shivers}

But by the end of the day, I am so excited to pick the kiddos up from school and begin the craziness of the evening schedule!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

It is so hard to believe that summer is over and it's time for school to start.
None of us are ready for it!

 Miss Rylee started 7th grade.....
WHEN did she start looking so grown up???

And this little munchkin bird started Kindergarten! 
He was so excited to go this morning!  He kept saying "Let's get this show on the road!"
I would have been fine to keep him home and snuggle with him.
It's so hard to let go.

He was totally fine with me leaving him.  Does he NOT know he's killing me???  Geesh. 

Have a great first day! 

(I will spare you the pic Tyson took of me sportin' the ugly cry after dropping Evan off!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Dear Evan,
I cannot believe you are 5 years old today.  How has this time gone by so fast? 
It seems like yesterday you were my little baby bird.

You came into this world 10 days early and showed us right away what a little fighter you were.  The first 4 months of your life were very scary for Daddy and I.  But you came through it all just fine.
You are such a special boy, Evan Michael. 

From the time you were itty bitty, people have always commented on what a communicator you would be. 
That is so true!  You have always been a talker.  Now you are 5 and you love learning about words.  You love to spell them, read them, use them and learn what they mean.
From the time you were 8 months old, you have had a love for trains.  That love has really become your passion.  You know so much about trains...engines, cars, the track, the signals.  You love GeoTrax and build your layouts all over the house--taking up several rooms at a time!

You are such a smart boy!  You watch National Geographic alot and can recite entire episodes (with the British accent the narrator uses!)  You also love to research things on Wikipedia, and I'm pretty sure you just tuck the knowledge away for the day you may need it.

You love music and can sing a song after only hearing it once or twice!  I have never seen a child with rhythm like you have!

You eat like a linebacker most of the time.  And when you are going through a growth spurt--forget the grocery budget!  You love ramen noodles and want them almost every day for lunch.

You are a great little brother!  Rylee loves you so much!  And I know that you are going to be a terrific BIG brother!

You have a wonderful heart.  You always have a smile for everyone and genuine compassion for others. You are funny, silly and you like to tell knock-knock jokes.

You are also stubborn, obstinate, loud and you MUST have the last word--always.  As frustrating as that can be at times, I know that those traits are going to benefit you!  I cannot wait to see what you do with your life, you truly are special!

Every day of your life has been an absolute joy.  I feel so blessed to be your Mommy. 

Tomorrow Daddy and I will take you to Kindergarten.  I am still not sure how I am going to handle it.  It feels like I am just not ready for you to leave the safety of being tucked under my wing and flying into the world.  But you are super excited and I know you will do great!

So today, my sweet son....I wish you the very happiest of birthdays.....and many more to come!
You are my heart, my soul, my sunshine. 
I love you baby boy!
Happy, happy birthday!

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Party Time!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled WILW post to bring you a special edition of
"Birthday Bash 2011"

This year's party theme was "Minute to Win It"!  It was perfect for the crowd we had!
We had about 30 guests who each received a score card when we started. 
Each player chose a game (some games could accomodate 3-4 people).
Once everyone was stationed, we started the clock.  If they completed the task in 60 seconds, it got
circled on the score card.  Then everyone moved to another game. 

Junk in the Trunk--tie a tissue box full of ping pong balls around your waist.  Get all the balls out by shaking, wiggling, etc.

Egg Roll---Get an egg into the target by fanning it with a pizza box!

Candy Elevator--Tied 2 pencils together.  Contestants have to pull the strings and get 3 m&m's in their mouth!

Suck It Up--Use a straw to suck up M&M's and get them into a bowl!

Tilt-A-Cup--Stack 8 cups.  Bounce a ping pong ball and catch it in the cup.  Move bottom cup to top and continue process until all balls and cups are used!  (This was REALLY hard!)

Floatacious--Stack 5 empty soda cans in a plate floating in water!

A Bit Dicey--Stack 6 dice on a popsicle stick in your mouth!

Face the Cookie--get a cookie from forehead into mouth only using facial muscles!  (Hilarious to watch!)

Sticky Balls (we called it Sticky Marbles--Jr. High kids.  Ya know.)--Roll marbles from one end of the table and get it to stick to the double sided tape at the opposite end of the table.

Everyone worked up an appetite playing games so we had a yummy taco bar!

We sang "Happy Birthday" to Evan....

....and then to Rylee

All the kiddos got a plain cupcake and we set out different candy toppings.  They had one minute to decorated their cupcake however they wanted!

And of course.....presents!

Guests all went home with water bottle party favors with a goody bag attached. 

It was such an easy party to put together, and SOOO much fun!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011


  Dear Rylee,
I cannot believe it has been 12 years already!  It seems like yesterday you were born, making me a Momma for the very first time.

Seriously kid, you had me at "hello"! 

We have been through so much together; some bad, but mostly good.  You have this special way of lighting up a room. Small children are drawn to your fun-loving, tender nature.  Old people are dazzled by your grace and nice manners.  I know you are going to do wonderful things with your life. 

You sure have done wonderful things for MY life.

You are smart, funny, gentle, athletic, beautiful and so much fun to be around. You enjoy doing nice things for others and helping when needed.   As you enter your pre-teen years, you are becoming a lovely young lady.  You amaze me with your quick wit and knowledge of mythology.  You think you are awesome because now you can sit in the front seat in the car.  I love to watch you run Cross Country and play volleyball, fine tuning your skills and striving to be your best.
I feel so very blessed to be your Momma.  I love watching you learn new things about yourself as you embark on this journey of self-discovery. 
You are a great big sister.  Evan loves you to the ends of the Earth, and I know your new little sister will too!

Please know that I will always be here for you and I promise to continue to love you unconditionally.  I will continue to learn from you and cherish every day together. 
I love you to the moon and back baby girl!
Have a wonderful, incredible, delightful 12th birthday! 
I love YOU! 

Love, Mommy

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's Almost Time.....

This is an exciting week around our house.  My 2 kiddos' birthdays are 10 days apart.  Rylee is August 8th and Evan is August 18.  For my sanity simplicity reasons, we always do 1 big bash the weekend between their birthdays.  We invite family and the kids invite their friends and we get it all done in one fell swoop! 
Since it's usually a big event, we go ALL out!  I work best with a theme (can't help it, it's my inner Girl Scout trying to come out!). 
In the past we have done a carnival (the entire yard was set up with carnival games that were awarded with tickets.  The garage was set up like a store and at the end of the party everyone cashed in their tickets for cool prizes instead of goody bags.  We played calliope music and served popcorn, sno cones, etc.  No creepy carnies were invited.)
Another year we had a big Bunco bash.  Complete with dice-shaped cakes!
Last year we had an outdoor movie night.  We started the party close to dusk, and had soft pretzels, popcorn, and nachos for our guests to enjoy during the movie.  Our backyard was full of lawn chairs and blankets and we set up a projector and large movie screen!  So fun!

This year's theme was a little harder to decide. 
Evan is turning 5 this year, so it's really the first year he has invited his little friends. 
To do a party that will entertain 5 year old boys AND 12 year old girls (PLUS aunts, uncles and grandparents) is a little tricky!

But we came up with a GREAT theme.  And it's gonna be awesome!  We are a little concerned about safety since my family is so stinkin' competitive, but it's gonna be a BLAST!!! 
I'm not gonna tell you what it is, because I only have 60 seconds left.
And because you might practice.

Any guesses?????

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday

Hey everybody!  Welcome to August. 
Although I do love fall, I am sad to see summer coming to an end.
Soon the kiddos will be in school, we will once again be governed by our crazy schedule, and it will be getting dark early.  These are things I do not love.

But what I AM lovin' this week:

I love, love, love this picture of my boy!  Last week we went to our fave waterpark and this is what 1 trip around the lazy river will do for a little guy who has been on the go all day!

On days like this, the boy needs his nap!  So I got the rough job of cruising around the lazy river for an hour while he slept.  Too bad I can't get paid for this, cuz I could seriously do nothing but watch this kid sleep for 8 hours straight!

No, this isn't the latest "As Seen on TV" gadget!  It is my beloved new KitchenAid Patty Maker!  I'll let you in on a little secret......I'm not a very good hamburger patty patter-outer.  Shhh......
So I picked up this little fella and now......

Voila!  Perfect patties every time!  The patty maker has different settings, you just choose if you want 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2 pound burgers, stuff in the beef, twist and out pops a perfect patty!  Slap that baby on the grill and you get summertime perfection!  I also made up a bunch for the freezer!

Have ya'll seen this show?  This is my new guilty pleasure.  It's like watching a train know it's bad and you really shouldn't look but can't tear your eyes away.  The instructor is a harsh, neurotic control freak.  The moms are back stabbing nutcases who live vicariously through their daughters.  It's crazy to watch, yet there is a definite entertainment factor.  Check it out!