"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."

Monday, February 29, 2016


"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2016"

Jaden: If his first career choice as an NFL star doesn't pan out, he's starting to think he wants to work for a zoo taking care of animals. Jack Hanna is rubbing off on him.

Brandon: We bathed in sunlight on Saturday, and this one showed us his new running back moves while playing catch with Papa Bob and his big brother. And then we went and bought all new t-ball gear - per his request. He still says he doesn't want to play t-ball this summer because he's too shy to play in a real game, but he has definite potential if he ever changes his mind! For now, our own backyard is his playing field and that's okay.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

a swimming party for our boys

With two boys with winter birthdays, I'm always scrambling to come up with some fun and new idea for parties. Our house is not big enough to host parties in, and even if it was, the boys are to the ages where they want to be able to be a little bit more active and invite more people. We also run up against a challenge of their big days only being a month apart. So this past fall, when both of them asked for swimming parties for their birthdays, I had the idea to host a joint party for them right in between their two birthdays. This would still provide an opportunity to have smaller family celebrations on their birthdays with a big friends party in the middle.

And so on February 13th I finally took advantage of my alumni status at UNI and rented out the amazing WRC indoor pool facility for a private shindig. This facility is amazing, and it was perfect for our group. With a big water slide, basketball hoops and volleyball nets in the water, tubes to float on, life jackets offered in every size, a hot tub and a zero entry pool, and a full staff of lifeguards, we could not have asked for more. And while the temperatures were cold outside, and the small snow storm was tracking into our area, we stayed warm and cozy inside with a February pool party. I was a little worried that hosting a party the Saturday night before Valentine's Day would result in a low turnout but I was completely wrong. Everyone on our guest list RSVP'd except for one person, and we had plenty of additional guests with siblings and parents that joined in on the fun - looking for a great excuse to get out of the house in the middle of winter and enjoy each other's company.

Cousin Karla got to be one of our lifeguards!

Brandon's favorite part... the slide.

Jaden never left the basketball hoop and volleyball net area.

One of the things I loved most about this party was our guest list. The boys invited kids from school, kids from Blessed Beginnings and kids from their sports teams. It was the first party that I really let them make all the decisions on who they wanted to invite, and it was so fun seeing all the different groups of kids come together. Everyone had a lot of fun. And talk about an easy party. Throw the kids in the water and our work was done! I had a good hour and a half of being able to just watch and visit poolside with the other moms and dads. It turned into a social event for everyone.

After 90 minutes of swimming, we coaxed all of the hungry kids out of the pool and let them indulge in plenty of cake, ice cream, juice boxes and cookies. Most of the kids had seconds of everything, and we embarrassed the heck out of the boys with a  large chorus of the "Happy Birthday" song.

One of my favorite pictures and moments of the party. Brandon's two favorite girls, Kyla and Abby, got up on their chairs and sang a duet of Happy Birthday to Brandon before the whole group sang its version. He knows how to pick 'em. ;)

A great party... a huge success... memories made!