Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Life Changes but Memories Don't.

Change is hard because its uncomfortable.  It's unfamiliar.  It's starting over.  It's a new beginning.  BUT.....change is good.  Now that the bittersweet news is out, I have accepted a 2nd grade position at Iron Station Elementary!  Best Part?!  Its 5 minutes from my house, 5 minutes ya'll!!!!  I'm confident that Gods timing is always perfect.  With that said, this wasn't an easy decision.

I worked at Corvian for 4 years.  I was there when it went from 75 students to over 300.  I looped with two classes (kindergarten to 1st each time) and was supposed to continue one of those loops this year.  I got to see my sweet little nieces (the Gibson crew) in the hallways each day.  I met some amazing kids whom I'll never forget and their parents.....talking about support, wow.  I still keep in touch with many of the kids and parents I've had in the past and I am so grateful for that.  I also met some of my closest friends.  We knew when one another needed help (work smarter, not harder) and most importantly, we had a good time!  Oh how I'll miss working with you know who you are!  

Although this has been a struggle to decide to leave, I know it is what's best for my family.  Thank you all for your sweet words, encouragement and prayers.  Cheers to a new beginning but the memories lasting!

My first team at Corvian (Sara not pictured).  What would I have done without y'all?!

Corvian 5K...a yearly tradition.

A summer out at the brewery!  2016.  

Decade day with Jenel and Kristen.  Representin' the 80s.


THIS, this right here is what I'm going to miss the most, our Friday morning coffee dates.
PS.  Where are you Jenel?!

LOVE these girls.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Working Out: Mission Impossible.

So, I've accepted it.  I'm never working out, EVER.  If you don't want to hear me complain or hear excuses, then just go ahead and skip this blog post because its about to happen.

This is all from a momma's point of view.  First, we carry these precious babies for 9 months.  Our whole body literally everything.  If it doesn't stretch I guess expand is a better word.  Not fair.  THEN we have the baby.  This consists of sleepless nights (or 2-4 hour stretches) constant feedings and lets be honest, WHO wants to work out with little to no sleep? OK, so that lasts AT LEAST 6-8 weeks.  THEN we go back to work and thats just a whole new point of exhaustion, a working mom.  THEN they become a toddler and are pretty much glue.  This so happens to be the story of my life currently.

I literally CANNOT do anything without Lyla.  I've been setting my alarm all summer (maybe not ALLLLL, but a few times a week) to get up before she gets up just so I can work out.  Guess what time she gets up...LIKE.CLOCK.WORK.....6:30am.  Yep, 6:30am.  Its summer.  Summer means I'm not working.  I DO NOT get up at 6:30am because I enjoy it.  So, if I want to get a work out in, I have to be done by 6:30am.  So. Annoying.  Let's be realistic, there were few days this summer I actually go up on time before she did.  If she was up, she would scream bloody murder if I left to go to the gym, if I took her, she wouldn't go in the daycare (because again, she's stuck like glue) or my other favorite option she would work out with me.  Joy.  Working out with me = pointless.  "Mom, look!", "Mom, I want to use the mat.", "Mom, why are you doing that?", or "Mom, can I have some milk?"  OMG.

So for those of you who are like (in a matter of fact, annoying voice), "Why not go to the gym at night?"  Well funny you should ask, remember when I said she screams bloody murder when I leave....well same thing happens at night.  Then Erik has to deal with her screaming, get them fed, bathed and in the bed after working all day.  I personally don't think thats fair.  Yes, I can leave her when she is screaming but its not my favorite thing to do and honestly, its just not worth the hassle.  Also, I like to actually see my husband at night so I don't really care to go to the gym then....we have to eat, bathe the kids and put them to bed, you know, the whole parenting thing?!  An excuse?  Maybe but its true.

So this is basically a rant.  If you see me and my unfit self, just remember this blog post.  Let me have some excuses and you know what, you can have them too.  We are tired, working moms.  Give yourself a break.  I sure have.  I mean, I like cake and watching THE CHEW during nap time.  Ain't nobody got time to work out.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Los Cabos, Mexico.

Once again my husband has worked his butt off and we were sent to Los Cabos, Mexico!  The trip didn't start off too well.  Shocker.  On Saturday morning we got up at 2am so we could be at the airport by 4am.  Plane was set to take off at 6am.  We got on the plane at normal time and 1.5 hours later we were told there were "maintenance issues".  We had to get off the plane so we could catch another plane.  3 HOURS LATER......we were sent home. the way, we were flying Southwest.  So Sunday we did the same thing as the day before and the plane actually took off on time, hallelujah!  We arrived in Mexico around 1pm.  The resort was beautiful and had any and everything you could ever want right there within walking distance.

Lots of cactus around due to minimal participation.  Duh.

So barren.  I wouldn't say the drive from the airport was very pretty but the resort was.

We went swimming with dolphins.  An AMAZING experience.  Dolphins are the coolest mammals alive.  If you haven't gone, save up to do it.  

Lots of time spent relaxing in the pool.

Headed to dinner on the resort.  This night we had seafood, one of our favorite meals on the trip.

View from the seafood restaurant.  

Love this random cross in the distance.

We went to karaoke night.  Quite entertaining.

 We went shopping "downtown" with a few friends we met on the island.

Hilarious friends we met!

Quite possibly the biggest beer I have ever seen.

Our last night.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lyla turns THREE.

Our youngest is THREE, how can that be?!  I've got rhymes.  Lyla requested an Elsa party.  Yes...we are at least 3 years behind.  She LOVES Frozen and up until a few months ago, we watched that movie at least once a week.  I'm over it.  BUT its not my birthday, so.....she got her Elsa party.  I am beginning to realize that Gage and Lyla's birthdays are way too close together.  Gage is March 20th and Lyla's is May 8th...way too close for throwing birthday parties.  No more big birthday parties.  At what point do I have to start only inviting Gage's friends?!  Probably now, huh?  I like throwing parties, but two in 6 weeks gets a little much.  Since this post isn't about me, I'll move along.

So, it was a typical birthday party day.  The weatherman was calling for rain in the morning.  By noon when the party started, it was beautiful.  We had Lyla's (or mine to be honest) closest friends and family over.  We built Olaf with paper plates, rode toys, ate hot dogs, rode in the horse carriage, got tattoos and ate cupcakes.  Lyla fell asleep while on the carriage and stayed asleep on my moms shoulder for an hour.  Sounds like a successful party to me :)

The Birthday Girl :) 

Frozen cupcakes!

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Pin the nose on Olaf.

Love them!

Singing Happy Birthday :)

Carriage Ride

 Dan is a trooper.


Sienna, Lyla and Callie

Making Olaf with Gemma

Gemma & Lyla

Grey, Olivia, Elise, Gemma, Lyla, Maverick, Sloan, Sienna, Addi, Gage, Reese, Callie, Bryce and Mia (some not picture).  So many friends to help us celebrate, we love ya'll!

This was a few days before her party to celebrate her cousin Mia's birthday, but I had to post :)  She looks so big here! Can't believe she's 3.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gage is FIVE.

As every parent says, I can't believe you are FIVE!  Let's take a little trip back to memory lane.  I was HUGE when I was pregnant with you.  I think I gained like 60 lbs, seriously.  However, the pregnancy was a breeze.....until the end when I had preclamsia, which means I was in the hospital longer, on a magnesium drip (its horrible by the way) and had a catheter.....and I still had another kid.  What. In. The. World?!  God is tricky, he made me forget that mess.

Gage, you are always on the go.  Always.  You do not stop.

You do not nap but you are a pretty good sleeper at night.  You have 4 blankets that you sleep with:  Carolina, Jurassic Park, Panthers and a little teal one you've had since you were a baby...a little excessive, don't ya think?!

You still pee in your pants at least once a day.  Mad at me?  Then stop, seriously.  You just cannot seem to slow down and actually take a second to go to the bathroom.

You love Ninja Turtles (still), any superhero, "color songs", which are videos on youtube of superheroes, play dough, surprise eggs, can pretty much find anything and navigate my phone better than I can.

You watch too much TV.  You would sit in front of it all day if we let you.

You love to play outside "when you feel like it".  You learned how to ride a bike without training wheels when you were about last summer.  You saw Mia doing it and decided you wanted to.  It didn't take you but a few minutes and you did it on your own!

You love putting legos or any sort of blocks/building sets together.

You hate to brush your teeth.  You love footy pajamas.  You would eat 5 lbs of yogurt a day if we let you.  You love milk and will drink water too.  You are OBSESSED with candy.  It's a little scary how much you love it.  Spankings, time out and sitting in your room aren't very effective but if you say, "I'm taking away candy" have. a. fit.

You are such an AWESOME brother.  You will do anything for Lyla and you take such good care of her.  That's one of my favorite things about you :)

You are kind hearted.  You love to wrestle with your dad and play with your sister.  You enjoy the little things in life like playing in the dirt, running in the grass and playing hide and go seek.

You started going to Pre-K/Daycare at The Learning Express in August 2016.  I get the usual, "he did a good job but had trouble keeping his hands to himself" almost every day.  Your teacher, Ms. Danielle says that you participate a lot and answer lots of questions during group time.  You love school and have learned so much!

I CANNOT believe you will be starting kindergarten in August.  That makes me sad but excited at the same time.  I will get to be with you.  If I know you well, I think you'll walk right in to your class on the first day with no problem (I hope).  You are going to do great things.  I want you to be kind.  I want you to be that kid that stands up for others and is a good friend.  I want you to always do your best and be respectful to your teachers.  I want you to try when you aren't sure and know that its ok to mess up.  I know you have all these qualities in you.  I want you to always trust God and put him first and everything else will follow.

You have taught me more than you'll ever know.  You challenge me in ways I've never been challenged before but you were the first to call me mom and for that, you're my buddy.

To celebrate your birthday we had family and friends come to the farm.  Unfortunately it rained all morning so we had to set up in the barn.  You wanted a sports party!  So we had baseball decorations, baseball cupcakes made by LaLa, me (I just iced the stitches on the baseballs) and your cousins.  You all played soccer, hit off the tee, rode bikes, hit a baseball piƱata and ran around.  The day actually turned out to be beautiful and you had a great time!  You said it was the "Best Birthday Ever!"

**That's as good as it gets with the pictures.  I'll try more later...thanks blogger (insert eye roll).

Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Hair Journey.

A little over 3 years ago my hair journey began (it showed up in my time hop today so here I am)!   I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was 7 months pregnant with Lyla.  I was putting my hair up half way and saw a little bald spot (about the size of a dime) near my hairline by my forehead.  I was in a hurry to get somewhere (I don't remember where) so I didn't think much of it.  I actually thought it was part of the pregnancy because its not uncommon for women to loose hair AFTER pregnancy so I thought maybe mine came a little early.  The day went on and the more I thought about it I decided I should have Erik check for more spots.  Although, I really didn't think he would find any.  As he looked through my head I could feel my heart beating fast, hoping he wasn't going to say anything (not uncommon for Erik, bless his heart) or see anything.  Then, I heard him gasp, "Oh my gosh".  I thought he was kidding, I literally said, "shut up, you're joking".  He said, "No really, you have a huge spot back here".  It took a minute to sink in and I wanted to know exactly what he was talking about so I had him take a picture of the spot.  It was literally the size of a baseball....a baseball people, how did we not notice this before???  I immediately broke down.  Of course I thought the worse, I have cancer?  Why does our mind always tend to wonder to what could possibly be the worst case scenario?!  I immediately called my doctor.  It was after hours so I had to wait for a nurse to call me back.  Of course when the nurse finally called back, she acted like it was "part of the pregnancy".  Anyways, months after visits to the doctors and dermatologists, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata, which is loss of hair in round areas of the scalp.  It is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks your hair follicles which stops hair growth.  I was told my hair could never come back, it could come back and fall out again (many, many times), or this could be a one time deal.  However, I was still convinced that it had everything to do with pregnancy and as soon as Lyla came out, my hair would all grow back.  Ha.  Wishful thinking.

After the diagnosis I cried many tears, wondered "why me", became angry at God, was embarrassed about my looks, the list goes on.  I tried to hide the baldness for months with hats and I struggled with getting my haircut because I didn't want to loose what little I had left.  But one day I did it anyways.  THAT was a hard day.  I had never cried about a hair cut (I was always confident it would grow back in no time if I didn't like it) but this cut just wasn't me.  I was (still am) the girl who likes to wear my hair up in a ponytail, that's just how I roll :)

Through this, I've grown in my FAITH tremendously.  I've learned that you never know what people are going through.  To not care what other people think.  To remain hopeful and to trust in God's plan.  Easier said than done.  I had to convince myself for a while that it would be fine.  What if my hair didn't grow back?  What if it kept falling out?  No matter what my hair decided to do, I was certain about this, God is good ALL.THE.TIME.

It's been over three years and God has put hair back on my head, thank you Jesus!  It hasn't grown fast like it did before this journey but its growing and for that, I'm grateful.  It still falls out in clumps (every morning) but I have not had a visible bald spot (at least to most people) in a long time.  I still struggle with my hair style because short hair is not my thing, but it works.  I can get it in a pony tail....can I get a HALLELUJAH?  Whoop Whoop!  Its super thick at my roots and thin the longer it gets towards the ends.  Weird.  But people, I've got hair on my head.  I wasn't sure if that day would ever come again.  I was prepared to wear a wig my whole life.  Sike.  Those things suck.  I would rather be bald.  But for real, I am so thankful.

Although, I've grown so much through this (not vertically), I can't go as far and say I WOULDN'T change a thing (I think people lie about that anyways).  BUT, this is MY story and its part of who I am.  Now, enjoy my hair journey pictures.  

All was well at 12 weeks pregnant.....dun dun dun.  

This is the first spot I noticed on November 9, 2013.

This is the picture that Erik took the same night he found the "baseball" size spot. 

3 months later......February 19, 2014   

Sorry, this is gross.  I'm not gonna lie, I was scared to wash my hair a lot because that's when it would fall out the most. 

My first trim.  My little ponytail...poor thing.  

My first solution was a wig.  I'm wearing it in this picture and below.  

My hat wearing' days.

March 26, 2014...A little over a month later, I had a little growth.  This was after using topical cream from the dermatologist.  The cream was the best option since I was pregnant at the time.  

June 2014.
After Lyla was born I was able to get steroid shots!  They were injected in my scalp in every bald spot.  Depending on the size of the bald spot, I got up to 20-30 injections in some.  Not the best feeling in the world but tolerable.  This is what happened in less than a month :)  

How it looked in a pony tail.  I ended up stopping the steroids after about 2 rounds.  They made me C.R.A.Z.Y.  I couldn't sleep and when I did, I dreamed about killing people.  

This was in August of 2014 (9 months into my journey), the day after I got my hair cut off.  I hated it.

This was taken over a year after my haircut.  My hair was definitely growing but s.s.s.s.l.l.l.l.o.o.o.o.w.w.w.w.w.l.l.l.l.l.y.y.y.y.y.

October 2015

November 2015.

What a difference a year makes!  Our Christmas card from 2014 and 2015.  

April 2016.  Not a huge difference from above.  It grows in spurts for some reason.

June 2016

October 2016.  

Christmas 2016.  

Throwback to 2011.  
I can't WAIT for this day have long hair.  Please Lord, I'll be good :)  

Thank you all for sharing my journey with me!  I cannot thank my family and friends enough for the daily motivation to go through this journey.  This blog has been beyond helpful to share my feelings and even to help others going through the same things.  

*Disclaimer:  Ladies, it is completely normal to loose some hair after giving birth.  I did with Gage.  This was like beyond excessive hair loss, clumps of hair and obvious bald spots.  I've had women contact me after reading my blog because they were scared their hair was falling out.  Hang in there, being a momma is worth it :)