"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday // One Last Christmas

This past weekend we finally celebrated Christmas with Cody's family. Since Cassi, James, Ella and Ivy had spent Christmas and New Year's in England with James's family, we had not yet exchanged gifts or gathered around the table together. So on Saturday night, we packed up the last of the wrapped gifts, enjoyed a turkey feast, and collected more Star Wars stuff!

The ladies all received new robes from Nana Deanne, Ivy LOVED her new Peppa Pig toys, and Jaden got ecstatic over his new Nike Elite shorts and basketball socks, while Brandon swooned over MORE Star Wars Lego's and his new Death Star Hot Wheels track. And we now have enough movie gift cards to last us at least through summer. ;)

Monday, January 16, 2017


"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2017"

Jaden: One of your teammate's moms stepped into help at practice yesterday, trying to make for a bigger body in there during scrimmaging to toughen you all up a bit. Well, you paid her no mind and ended up taking a big swipe at her, assertively blocking one of her shot attempts and making all the daddies laugh along the sidelines. Your coaches have been telling you to get more aggressive, and you're definitely listening. ;)

Brandon: We finally had family Christmas with Papa Tim and Nana Deanne this weekend, and you received these adorable Chewbacca one piece jammies. You looked so cute and funny in them at the same time, and it took me back to your baby and toddler days when I used to love watching you waddle around in your footie jammies. The Star Wars craze continues, as you spent your weekend putting together more Lego Star Wars sets, and it's adorable watching you study those instruction books so carefully!

Friday, January 13, 2017


"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2017"

Jaden: The other night, your bedroom door was closed after showers and all was quiet in there. Normally the time of night when you want to watch a cartoon to wind down before bed, I cracked open that door of yours to find you reading a chapter book all to yourself by the light of your little lamp. You weren't doing it for homework - you were doing it because you wanted to! We have come a long ways, bud. Yesterday, you brought home a math award from school - a certificate of achievement for mastering the addition table - being able to answer all facts in under 3 seconds!

Brandon: We are having some fun together turning your bedroom into a little Star Wars oasis. You  have latched onto this Star Wars thing so much so it's a good thing that they continue to make new movies every year! You received this pillow case in the mail from Target the other day and just love it. You get a big smile on your face every time you lay your head down on it at the end of the day! You also now have a Storm Trooper clock by your bed, a Darth Vader money bank, and Mommy has several cool prints on order for above your bed. And the Star Wars Golden Book collection we got you for Christmas makes you eager to do your reading homework every night. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Memories from Christmas Break

It was two weeks off for this mama and her boys. I counted three days (not consecutive) that we never left our pajamas. We saw Sing in the movie theater on a Tuesday afternoon, visited Texas Roadhouse for a dinner out where Brandon learned that he loved to crack peanut shells, went to a UNI basketball game, played lots of board games and lots of Star Wars on the PS4, spent an entire day happily working on a 3D castle puzzle, went shopping for more new items with our Christmas money, took bubble baths before supper, subway tiled our kitchen, treated ourselves to a new set of dishes, learned how to use our new electric smoker, took down the Christmas tree(s), spent a couple of full afternoons at the UNI WRC... and had one festive New Year's Eve with a couple of our favorite families.

Pictures and just a few stories of our time off together.

I love the WRC and our access to it. The boys spent hours in the pool, on the basketball courts, and climbing that rock wall. Mommy even got in the pool on the second day, and some family friends showed up at the same time as us one afternoon, allowing the mommies to sit poolside chatting, while our kids played happily together for a good three hours.

Jaden made it to the top of the rock wall, while Brandon made it halfway up twice! They were both very proud of themselves, and Mommy was extremely thankful for the really nice and helpful UNI student employee that spent so much careful and helpful time with them while he assisted them with their climb.

This kid cracks me up! He is so eager to have big muscles and run fast. If he wasn't too scared and nervous to actually compete, Cody and I both think he'd be a pretty darn good little athlete!

We put some important touches on our kitchen. The subway tile is a dream, and now we just have to touch up some paint spots and add the crown molding!

Snapshots of New Year's Eve. It was a rowdy bunch, with the boys commanding ownership over the basement, the girls filling the living room with every Barbie and doll you could imagine, and the adults gathered around the kitchen island and the dining table with two different kinds of bacon-wrapped appetizers, a cheese platter and cheese ball, pizza and monster bars, wine and whiskey, games of Sequence and Poker... and plastic champagne glasses and sparkling white grape juice for the kids. By the end of the night, the kids were pouring their own juice in the glasses (the adults totally losing track of how much they were drinking), and the adults were blasting Spotify 90's rap music throughout the house. With five minutes to go until midnight, I pulled out the noise makers, we turned to NBC, and the kids helped us ring in the New Year in loud and festive style. It was quite the night, and we all agreed we need to do that a lot more often. (With maybe a little less whiskey and much earlier bedtimes). ;)

These pictures make me laugh. And you just try to get a solid group picture of these kiddos! :)

Happy New Year!!

The absolute final picture taken of 2016. What a year!