Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Kid-Isms

  • Nolan was having a talk with his friend about teacher names and said, "My teachers name is Miss Tobin, but that's not her real name, thats her teacher name."
  • During prayers one night, what seemed out of the blue to me, he prayed that "Tootsie would get more ornaments for Christmas." When I said that was a sweet prayer he said, "Well she just has ONE ornament. Its sad, she's a good girl."
  • On the same note, Tootsie is often like a 4th kid (I should have Tootsie-isms, involving what she managed to swipe and eat)...anyway, I told Nolan I was going to send Tootsie off to live with the elves and he said, "NO!! I love her too much." (She sleeps with him most of the night, most nights)
  • Nolan still calls instructions, "Re-structions."


  • Joseph will get heartbroken if he wants to play trains with Danny and D doesn't want to. He usually cries his eyes out, but sometimes he'll shove Daniel and say, "Play trains!!"
  • After the recent switch to big boy beds, the boys have done great with bedtime. Naptimes were a huge problem. I would kiss them goodnight, but then I would hear pitter patter. D: "Jo Jo, up! Play!" J: "No Danny, night night." D: Jo-Jo, UP!" J: "No play Danny." Pause. Double pitter patter. Giggles. Obvious, endless play. We have come up with a new naptime routine thats working, thankfully!!
  • If Daniel does a monster roar, Joseph gets genuinly scared and runs to me for protection. This amuses Daniel greatly. It does not amuse me after 5 minutes, so I'm tring to make dinner saying, "Danny, STOP SCARING YOUR BROTHER!"
  • These two are truly best friends or worst enemies. When they are getting along, its the best thing in the entire world. Much easier than having one two year old. When they are fighting and screaming, its very frustrating.
  • Joseph is smitten with our neighbor, Bella, who is 3. I'm not sure she's even aware J exists...she's a typical, sweet girl, who plays with the other girls in our neighborhood. But J will randomly say, "Friend Bella. Love Bella."


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Brian and I were excited to host Thanksgiving again this was funny to be at the same base, but a different house, with almost all new friends/guests. Not because the "old" friends aren't invited, but because they moved. So it was very bittersweet. Super sad to think how much we missed so many friends and families in our lives. And yet abundantely joyful to share the special day with the amazing friends in our lives.

These are Trader Joe's chocolate leave them out over night and they double in size, then you bake them. They were disgusting. Disgustingly delicious... I love getting fancy once in awhile!
Look at all that food! Brian fried a turkey and the rest was potluck style. These people know how to cook!!!
A few years ago I cut a picture out of a magazine with this centerpiec. Put a branch in an apple...put clothespins on the branches and then attach pictures. I was so excited to finally do it, with the vision in mind of all the many people we are thankful for...mostly our children. And of course friends and family that couldn't be with us. I actually had too many pictures. But I think the sentiment was there...
Turkey Coma!!!
The ladies (Tara, MC, Sam, Katy, Erin & Erica):

Stone Soup

The moral of the story of stone soup is "it is only by sharing that we feast." The kindergarteners hear the entire story and then invite their families to a stone soup celebration (near Thanksgiving). It was a very sweet celebration and different from any I've been to in the past. Of course, my favorite part was watching Nolan and his classmates perform Turkey Day songs: Nolan was very excited to show us the ropes of his classroom: Nolan and Daniel LOVED the soup! Joseph loved the bread. And cookies (he fell in the parking lot on the way in and was a disaster for the first few minutes we were there). Yeah, Danny liked the cookies too.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nolan's Birthday Party

Nolan's party was at an indoor putt-putt was a very simple, no frills party that I think was a big hit!
The kids played mini golf
Watched 3-d movies (7 minute films)
Panned for jewels...the owner would open a bag of sand and jewels, drop it in this mesh tray and the kids would wash away the sand, but the jewels/rocks would stay...and they got to keep them. Nolan said they were his pirate gold!
Captain America cupcakes:
Cake eating (after pizza eating) And a cool photo op that each birthday party gets to do! And at the end, there was zero clean up on our part. My kind of party! :)

Halloween Cookies

I'm very aware that Halloween was almost a month ago. I'm so very far behind on blogging, but I am determined to catch up! After school one day the boys and I decorated Halloween was a blast. Nolan is laughing because... Joseph is licking the icing.Then again Danny's icing never made it to his cookie.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Nolan!!

Dearest Nolan,

It seems like yesterday that I was running final errands on a Tuesday afternoon with your daddy preparing for your arrival. I was scheduled to be induced Wednesday morning, so I think that is what contributed in both of us ignoring the obvious signs that I was in labor. I constantly joke with you that you should get back in my belly for a little bit and cuddle. We didn't make it to Wednesday morning before went to the hospital . True to Nolan, you had your own agenda. I spent a long Tuesday night waiting for you, but ironically, you showed up around the same estimated time you would have if I would have been induced. Screaming, red, with bright red hair. I had prayed for a red head. I had prayed for a healthy baby. I had prayed for a child to call my own. And there you were. Though everyone tries so hard to explain, nothing could prepare me for motherhood. It was as if God scooped a bowl of love from my inside and handed it to me. I was forever and ever changed and I can't really remember now what life was like before you were in it. I don't want to. That's how awesome you are. Six years have rushed way too fast, but they have been so much fun. You are a pistol and you stop for nothing and no one. You are stubborn. You need to be heard. You are so smart. You are sensitive. You are unbelievably creative. You worship your daddy. You love your momma. You protect and guide your brothers. I try not to be sad that six years are behind you. Its so fun, how can I be sad? I'm so proud of you, little man. You are every dream come true that I could ever wish. I love you all the way to the moon (and back).

Love, Mommy

We woke you up with a surprise! You brought this as a treat to school for your birthday to hand out to other kids. Gloves and a packet of hot cocoa and marshmellows. Your class mates were very excited!! We finished off the day at Rainforest Cafe, where the staff sang you Happy Birthday with your dessert.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Pregnancy Testimony

This post was originally written in early Janueary, 2009. I kept writing and re-writing it. It has sat in my computer for far too long. The writing will never be perfect, but here it is. My testimony, my faith, my unending thanks for the way things have turned out. I think its the perfect day to post it.

This is a post that has been on my heart for a very long time to share. The Lord has urged me on in this for quite some time, however, even before I knew I was pregnant. For many reasons, I haven't sat down and written it. One reason is that it won't be easy and another is that in no way do I want to seem like I am seeking pity or airing our problems to the world. And yet, during some very difficult times in the past two years (and especially the last year) my heart and soul have found comfort and healing in many blogs, most of whose authors I have never and will never meet. To this day I'm amazed at their honesty and their stories and mostly their strength that they received from God. So, after much thought and praying I feel like it's only fair to pass on this testimony, that which is really my Savior's.

For those of you reading that don't know, Brian and I used a low dose fertility medicine to conceive Nolan, our first miracle. After two years of struggling with fertility and fighting doctors I talked an OB into trying that method before pursuing much more invasive testing that would have included surgery and put even the possibility of getting pregnant off by many months. After Nolan we had hopes that perhaps this time we would get pregnant without medical assistance, but to no avail. When Nolan was about a year, I began the same fertility medicine. Two times we got pregnant and two times we miscarried (very early). This was about the time Brian went on his four month deployment. I was crushed, knowing we would have to wait four more months before even trying. But the Lord had other plans for me. I began eating healthier, working out and spending alot more time with God. It was a cleansing period and when Brian returned, we were excited that this time it would work. We got pregnant rather quickly and waited. I worried. And prayed. And things seemed to be going okay.

And then one night, the rug was pulled out from underneath of us. We went to the ER because of excruciating pain in my left side. I knew and read enough about what could go wrong in pregnancies to know what was happening. I kept hoping and praying I was wrong, but when the ultrasound tech couldn't find anything at all on the screen one of my worst fears began to take form. What seemed like hours later the doctor gently informed me of what I already knew. The pregnancy was in my tube. I had an ectopic pregnancy. By the time I was being rushed into surgery to remove the baby, my tube had burst. They removed the baby, my left tube and a thousand dreams. That's the ugly of it. The amazing part starts here. Our friends were unbelievable during this time. Being away from family, our friends took that role of family. Nolan was taken care of for most of the weekend (Easter weekend by the way). We had meals brought to us for over a week so that we didn't have to worry about cooking. I was very weak and couldn't get out of bed for the first few days and after that I was supposed to take it easy. Friends visited, brought us goodies, movies and magazines. Friends and family from miles away sent flowers, cards, phone calls and prayers. And we felt those prayers. I thought I would fall apart, but the peace I experienced was utterly amazing to me. And amid the grief, I was shocked at how happy I could feel. Not for long. But for moments. For a while that's what my life became. Moments, connecting to one another. Gut wrenching sadness. Anger. A hug from my son which made me so happy. A phone call that brought hope and laughter. A whispered voice in my soul telling me I would get through this and this wouldn't be forever. I suppose my whole life is really about moments, but I get so caught up in things that it takes something unfortunate or truly sad or just monumental to make me stop and realize how wonderful small moments can be.

After a few months Brian and I met with a fertility specialist, a kind doctor who told us the good, the bad and the ugly of our situation. I went through another round of tests. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and more. I won't lie, it's not fun! The end result was what we had heard before. We're a "normal" couple. Nothing came up wrong, there should be no reason we shouldn't be able to conceive, although now our chances did go down because I had one less tube. It's called unexplained infertility. So we decided to try 3 cycles at this clinic. If unsuccessful, it most likely meant our next step was IVF, which our insurance would not cover. The first two cycles most of my mature follicles were on the wrong side. It was devastating to know we were trying for something that would most likely fail. We drove to Pensacola usually twice a week. Again, friends watched Nolan alot and this helped so so much. Two failed cycles. I wasn't sure I could take another failed cycle. I was emotionally drained and physically I was beat, too. Brian is a great pep talker, though, and everyday he told me I was stronger than I gave myself credit for. We cried and prayed together. We laughed alot, too. And then...things looked good, for the first time. According to the ultrasounds, everything was maturing on the right side, where I still had a tube. We tried not to get our hopes up, but we were very positive. And then, finally, after what seemed like eternity, I was able to take a home pregnancy test. I saw two lines immediately. I knelt on my bathroom floor, bawling and just thanking God.

It wasn't long, however, before the fear set in. What if I miscarried? What if I had another ectopic? If I lose my right tube will I ever have more kids? Would I be able to go through all this again? But my HCG levels were very good and so we settled in to wait for our first ultrasound, at the 6 1/2 weeks point. Those two and half weeks crept by. It was a snails pace, really. Every pain had me on edge, every ache, every sneeze. My ultrasound was scheduled for a Thursday afternoon. Wednesday arrived and I was on edge and in awe for more than just the reason that the following day I would have an ultrasound. It was November 12th, which marked what would have been my due date for the sweet baby I lost in my tube. I prayed that morning that someday I would get to hold him or her and that I was really going to try to let it go now. To move on and hopefully have more healing and less hurting. As I had most days since I had become pregnant I fell into bed to nap the second Nolan did, I was so exhausted. When I woke up from my nap I stood up. And felt a very similar excruciating pain all throughout my abdomen. I could barely walk. Truly, every step I took made me cry out in pain. It was happening again, another ectopic. On the day of my should- have- been due date. Brian was out of town. I would have to have surgery without him. I would miss Nolan's birthday party. I would miss bringing him to school the next day with his blue cupcakes he picked to share with his class for his birthday. I cried and called Cheyna, who had a 3 week old. In minutes she had it all under control, getting Abby and Nolan to Staci's house so she could take me to the ER. While I waited for her to arrive Nolan stroked my hair and told me it would be okay. This broke my heart in one thousand more pieces. He shouldn't have to see me like this. At the ER it was surreal and unsettling. I was put in the same room as my last ectopic. What seemed like forever they finally wheeled me to the ultrasound room. I prepared to see a blank screen. And then I saw my baby. And the flickering of a heartbeat. The tech smiled and told me congratulations and I cried. And then she moved the wand and I gasped. "Is that what I think it is?" I asked. "Yep. You have twins." My heart stopped. My breath was gone. "Does it have a heartbeat?" I croaked. "It sure does." And that's how I discovered I was having twin miracles. God had been working on my heart in so many ways and I understood instantly that it was no coincidence that I sat in the same room, 9 months after my ectopic, on my would have been due date, discovering this news. It was and it is a MIRACLE. God and I still have so much to work on and I have so much to improve on. He's made it clear lately to me that worry is not my job. Every single day, and sometimes more, I have to give over my miracles, my babies to Him. He wants me to be joyful, not fearful, of this pregnancy. And its a challenge, but I'm getting there. That is my testimony and my story.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Why I Love Motherhood

Because I get homemade necklaces, that come with a picture. And lots of love. He's so proud, he even takes a picture with my phone. I love him so much.

Halloween Night

As most of you know, we had quite the storm Saturday night, early Sunday that dropped a good amount of snow and brought heavy winds to our area. Lots of towns cancelled or post poned trick or treating...thankfully, base was not one of them. Monday night, we had a quick dinner at Sean and Tara's, with some very excited little ones, then went out to trick or treat!

My 3 little guys. I love this picture because Daniel is enthralled with Nolan's costume. Nolan wore Josephs elephant costume when he was (almost) two!
I wanted N to take off his mask for a picture and "bend down next to your brothers." But his brothers kept bending down with him, defeating the purpose! Ashlyn, the very beautiful witch!!!
Jillian, the cutest pumpkin in town!
My Danny. If you look closely, you'll see he has two black eyes from a terrible fall last week...that's for another blog post, but we perhaps should have dressed him like a raccoon. But he's such a cute elephant!!!! JoJo:
We had planned on taking them to a few houses, then one of us heading back to the house with the twins and handing out candy while the other parent stayed with Nolan. These boys went to every house their big brother did and refused to let us help carry their buckets. So our plan didn't pan out and by the time we returned home, trick or treating was done! We managed to get one pic of all 5 kids!! I kept seeing Nolan walking around in the elephant and tearing up at how quickly it all goes by. I have LOVED every single Halloween since Nolan was here...but so far, this was my favorite. All three of my boys trick or treating, friends to share in the night, a fabulous neighborhood and daddy home to enjoy it. We are very blessed.

Halloween Party

Saturday we went to a Halloween party at a neighborhood friends' house. In the interest of not wanting to be worried all not about the kids "ruining" their costumes before Halloween night, we decided to throw together a family costume and used mostly stuff we already had. I was the Queen Bee, the boys were my little worker bees and Brian was the beekeeper.
Nolan can't quite read yet, so he didn't know what this said, he just knew he was a bee!
Everyone got into the Halloween spirit, it was such a fun night!