today.

Today I am home again with a sick Bailey (fever+coughing).

Today I have dinner in the crock pot already which makes me feel like the most accomplished woman ever.

Today my eyes burn from my 2am bedtime last night (but client edits are slowing getting caught up and Christmas gifts are being made… I just won’t sleep until 2012!).

Today the house might not get picked up at all because I’m desperately trying to hit the My Publisher sale that ends tonight.

Today it will be hard to chose between nap with the kids or work. At this point the nap just might win.

Today might be a 3+ Dew day.

Today I wish I could shut the computer and craft with my girl all day. I might just end up doing that.

Today I wish my mom the HAPPIEST birthday ever, even though she’s not feeling well either.

Today I took the kids to preschool, hit the gas station for my soda AND did a quick grocery store run for one last dinner ingredient all with NO bra on. Yep. It’s that kind of day.

Today Bailey learned how to play Angry Birds and is happily killing pigs as I type.

Today a shower might be optional.

Today I might announce that I’m going to offer boudoir sessions and I’m equal parts thrilled (because I’m loving them) and terrified people will think I’m insane.

Today I wish I had a cleaning lady, a laundress and an assistant. Oh and a nanny. I totally would love a nanny today.

Today I found gloves Chris swore I lost right where I told him I put them.

Today I can’t wait to give him a huge “I told you so” when he gets home.

Today I’m just in survival mode, trying to smile and keep my patience in check.

We’ll see how it goes.

UPDATE!

It’s now 6pm and I just realized I never actually published this post this morning. I also just realized that I never turned on the crock pot.

The kids are eating mac n’ cheese (NON organic) and we’ll order Chinese later.

We DID get the tree decorated to surprise Chris (he’s not a fan of doing the ornaments so it was fun to surprise him with it finished) and the kids actually got into it which was surprising.

I’m on Dew #2, forgot to eat lunch and have the start of a headache which I’m sure is directly related to lack of food and sleep today.

Chris is home (we are LOVING him not coaching basketball!) so he’ll take over baths for me which means I can start editing early tonight.

Hopefully I’m bed before the clock strikes midnight!

Our Thanksgiving.

I’ll post what we did all morning yesterday later because there are so many funny photos it’ll take me a little while to edit them all. Oh man they crack me up though! After lunch and a little quiet time we headed over to the Allen’s for dinner. My favorite part of the day is always before dinner when everyone gathers in their driveway to play with the kids. Footballs being thrown, little cars driving around, laughter, catching up with cousins, etc. It just makes me happy.

We also always try to grab a few quick snapshots because Christmas is crazier and colder… so for everyone in C’s family I wanted to get some of them posted!

Totally a snapshot but I am in love! ALL my kids looking at the camera and smiling? A miracle!

The newest addition to our family! Harper! C’s cousin Shayne and her husband, Dan, are amazing parents! It was so fun to see them in action yesterday! And it was even better to get my baby fix!

The girls loved getting to hold Harper too! Maybe even more than me!

Harper with her Grandma and Grandpa (C’s Uncle Tim and Aunt Linda)… I LOVE her face+smile in this shot!

I LOVE baby bubbles!

The whole family. Without a tripod along for the day (who carries one? ever? not me!) I dragged their grill into the yard and balanced a rock+ my camera on top. Then Gray and I just RAN LIKE HELL to get into position. I have no idea why I’m craning my neck though! UGH! Out of the few shots we managed this was the best though so it will have to do!

We had such a great day, only to be followed by yet another awesome day today! We had my little sister (by love, not blood), Kelsey, come over for lunch today, we got more Christmas lights up (C calls it our “lighting scheme”), we took the kids to Ted Drewes for ice cream BEFORE dinner and to scout out the tree lot, we had movie night, I had a great session this morning with my best friend’s family and the list goes on. Just a really really good day. After naps (when I worked AND fit in a run) Chris came out, went to our front door, stood there looking out and said, “I’m just so happy.” Oh man that was it. All I needed. Everything else was just icing on the cake.

Tomorrow we’re going to go ninja on our laundry pile, finish the lighting scheme, and go buy our Christmas tree. I’m hoping to get the house decorated too. And run again. I can already tell it’s going to be a good day!

Happy Turkey Day from our little turkeys

Our neighbor Tim teaches at Nipher Middle School in Kirkwood (where I went to school!) and every year he dresses up as Tim Turkey so the kids can get a photo with him (they each pay for the photo and the money goes to charity I think). The other night he came over to surprise our kids all dressed up and the girls loved it! Gray wouldn’t get near him though!

For some reason Parker totally cracked me up! She was my favorite wearing the turkey head!

Riley above and Emma below…

Bailey…

Yep, Parker in the head is totally my fav!

We might not make it to Santa’s lap this year but at least we got to sit on a Turkey lap! HA!

SO random!

Happy Thanksgiving you guys! We’ve spent an awesome+quiet morning at home and then will head over to the Allen’s later. I can’t wait to strap the feed bag on!

Go Webster!

Beat Kirkwood!

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Best article ever HERE about our town’s Turkey Day tradition! Chris and I grew up in Kirkwood but now live/teach/send our kids to school in Webster. To some we’re total traitors but to us we just feel blessed to still be a part of the tradition! And we’re SUPER happy on this side of the tracks!

meet buffalo and red feather OR let me tell you about surprise #2!

A couple of months ago I was clueless on what to do for Parker’s horse party. I’m not a huge lover of horses and Pinterest, for the first time EVER, was kind of failing me so I put it out there on FB that I was in need of ideas. That’s when I got the links to the sock-stick-horses which were MY favorite part of her party but it also led to a quick email from Tonya that led to Parker’s favorite part of the party!

The morning of her party (which happened to be her actual birthday, Nov 18) I told her that I had a BIG surprise coming. She thought it was new cowboy boots. This was her waiting…

She was so sweet. And SO excited!

So when Tonya pulled up and we all ran out it was awesome watching her because she still didn’t get it until I knelt down, hugged her and told her just WHAT was in that big red trailer!

Oh man. That kid literally didn’t stop smiling the entire time. She also didn’t leave those horse’s sides the entire time! She couldn’t have been happier! And it really made the party simple. Stay outside and brush/walk/pet the horses! No craft or game or anything. No kids inside even! My house stayed clean, the kids had fun and the two hours went super fast.

I am eternally grateful to Tonya and her two tiny+chubby horses. It was SO hard keeping this a secret but SO worth it! I will never forget Parker’s face that day. Ever. Her smile and sweet love for those horses will be with me forever.

And just so the party documentation is over… here is the cake my mom made for me while I was freaking out about baking (thanks mom!)….

And here were her mantle decorations…

I just cut paper to look like grass and flowers, taped them to books and stood toy horses all around. I left our thankful garland up and added her name bunting I threw together super fast the night before. My favorite part is the garland I made by tying together the left over sock pieces from the stick horses! I’m totally saving it for other mantles. Of course the party stayed outside so no one even saw this but whatever, it totally made PJ happy!

All in all I worked my butt off for Parker but it was all SO very worth it. It was her first real birthday party and man did that kid deserve it! It’s so much fun to hear her tell everyone about the “chubby little horses that came to her house JUST for her!” Perfection!

Why I hate church.

I love God. I really do. And I CRAVE learning about Him and being fed by the Holy Spirit. I started giving a monthly donation to Joy FM simply because I get more out of listening to the radio than I do church every week. And don’t get me wrong, I love our church. The people, the clergy, etc. I grew up there so my love runs deep.

However.

I HATE going to church.

I hate having to rush in the morning. I hate arguing with the kids about what they’re going to wear. I hate making sure any of us have suitable clean clothes (my laundry pile is constantly overflowing) ready. I hate doing it by myself which happens a lot because I work so much on Sunday’s most weeks I leave C at home to get his work done so that when I get home we can tag team. I hate making sure we’re on time for choir. I hate Children’s Chapel because so many kids don’t listen and so it’s constant disciplining of other people’s kids which makes me extremely uncomfortable. I hate every single time I have to say SHHHH. I hate that I have to say it at least a million times to my kids and others (during choir or Children’s Chapel or Faith Quest). I hate keeping the kids still+quiet in the short time between Children’s Chapel and communion. I hate all the “shhh” and “we don’t talk in church” and “color quietly please” and “please stop talking” I have to say. I hate all the times I have to put my hand on one of their shoulders which is my nice+silent way of saying SHUT UP.¬† I hate community time which is watching three kids to make sure they don’t run/spill/yell/leave/etc instead of me nicely chatting with adults which I think is the intended purpose. I hate Faith Quest (Sunday school) because it means getting three kids to three different classes all at the exact same time.

Sorry.

I just got home from church and am making all three kids play in the playroom in the basement right now. I need silence. Getting through two hours at church seriously does me in. I come home exhausted and frustrated and fed up.

And the funny part is that they were GOOD today! People complimented me on how well behaved they were. But it was because I didn’t pay one iota of attention to the service and was just ON them to stay calm+quiet. It is exhausting and sucks every ounce of joy right out of me.

I get home, like today, grumpy and hating my kids. When really they did nothing wrong except be kids during a very adult service.

I yearn to sit in church, ALONE, and actually learn something. I’d love time to catch up with my friends or introduce myself to new worshipers I don’t know. I’d love to open a hymnal and actually sing a song.

Ugh.

Every Sunday though it’s like the past is erased because most times I wake up excited to help out in Children’s Chapel and Bailey’s Faith Quest class. I’m excited to see our friends and hear the choirs sing and just BE at church. But by the end of the service it’s the same story. I’m DONE and ready to come home to hide under the covers.

Today I decided that maybe writing about it would help.

I’m trying desperately to change my attitude to one of gratitude. Maybe today it’s worse because this week was SO busy i’m just exhausted anyway. Maybe it’s the gloomy weather. Whatever it is I almost lost it today at church and so we skipped Faith Quest, headed straight to QT for a soda and are home with the kids banished to the basement. I need to sit in silence for a few more minutes, make lunch and hopefully my mood will change.

 

Surprise #1

A HUGE part of my week was keeping in the BIG surprise that my sister was coming to town. So in addition to gallery deadlines and ear tube surgery and party planning and work and blog sneak peeks and gift buying and YOU NAME IT I knew Abbie was coming in and we were kidnapping my mom on Thursday for HER November birthday. It was one of the best parts of the week but knowing I would get nothing accomplished on Thursday (except FUN) just added to my stress level. It ALL worked out in the end with just a few extra late late nights (that I’ve made up for the last two nights when I’ve been asleep before 11pm!).

We decided to surprise my mom by sneaking up to the front door (which is the door NO ONE ever uses at their house) and ringing the doorbell… the following shots aren’t great technically b/c my mom was in the shade and I didn’t change my settings fast enough but I still love them! The look on her face is priceless!

 

Mom was SO shocked! It was awesome! And SO worth keeping it a secret for so long! We’d been planning it at least 6 weeks and it was SO hard not to tell someone! My mom was working around the house and hadn’t showered so after a quick rinse off we headed out for our surprise day… shopping and lunch in downtown old St. Charles. My mom LOVES shopping there and we’d never been just the three of us! She was really excited!

HA! Sorry mom, I just had to post this! The light where I could set the camera was horrible so I made them keep scooting around to find a decent spot and then the wind kept blowing so my mom kept blinking… I think I threatened her if she didn’t keep her eyes open so she made them REALLY wide and I got this! HA! Which will never see the light of day BUT did make the blog b/c it’s the best one of the three of us I have! Oh well!

It was an awesome day that yielded a lot of Christmas shopping (almost DONE for this year!), some fun things we bought ourselves and a great lunch out. Just the girls. Just HER girls. I can’t wait for our four girls to be old enough to do this with them too! We also hit the mall on the way home and ended up buying all the kid’s Christmas outfits which was great to get done and finished the day by meeting the boys/kids at Rigazzi’s for dinner. SO fun!

Just wait until you see what surprise #2 was!

the photo I couldn’t post two days ago.

See that little munchkin back there?

The first big surprise of the week¬† was that my sister and her girls came into town. Wednesday afternoon I took Sam to pick up Parker from school and the look on PJ’s face when she saw who was here was priceless. The last three days were constant surprise faces which was so many kinds of awesome I can’t even tell you! Abbie helped Terri and I finish all the horses, she stuffed all my Christmas cards (that’s RIGHT people! DONE with my Christmas cards!), helped me make dinner and hung out with me all evening. It was incredible.

My parents had NO idea they were in town so surprise #2 is coming soon….

Dear Sara, my horses kick your bunting’s ass.

I’m KIDDING. And I hope that made my friend Sara laugh because we are both INSANE and working feverishly on our daughter’s birthday parties this week. And I bet you one hundred million trillion dollars that if we didn’t do one damn thing except throw some candy on a table and let them open+play with their gifts as their friends tear through our houses they’d be just as happy.

Someone said to me that I’m not crafting for my kid but to impress the other parents and all I can say to that is F-you. That’s SO not it. I’m doing it because it’s my love language.

If I don’t stay up all night making something for someone, spend more on supplies than if I’d bought a gift or spend countless hours creating it it’s like I don’t love them enough. The more insane my crafting gets the bigger my love. Or something like that.

This is just ME. And it’s not to show off my killer hot gluing skillz to other less cool parents and it’s not to win the BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER award. It’s just because this is Parker’s first ever birthday party (with friends invited), she begged for a “horse” party and my mom-guilt over my middle child runs deep so I’m going all out. For her. Because I love her and this is how I show it. Which just means that someday my kids will be sitting in a therapist’s chair telling her I didn’t love them enough for one reason or another and I’ll have to show them these photos and say “SEE THIS? I didn’t sleep for a week I love you so much!”. Thank God for blogging so I have actual proof of my love for my children. I might have to send them links someday to prove it but at least they can’t deny it right? Because if it’s written in a blog it has to be true.

ANYWAY.

Let me introduce you to the cutest party favors ever! Sock Stick Horses!

First I bought knee high socks at Target (CHEAP). Then I cut off a chunk of the sock and cut felt ears.

Then I stuffed the socks with simple+cheap poly-fill (or whatever that white fluffy stuff is you can use in pillows). Actually my mother-in-law did 90% of the stuffing for me today!

I glued the ears together.

I bought fleece at Hobby Lobby (where I got all the other supplies except the socks), cut a long strip and then cut fringe.

I glued two strips of fleece to the back of the head (all done with hot glue). The top layer I tied together and then all the strips were pulled/stretched so they curled. I had no idea fleece did this but it does and works perfectly!

Then I glued on two eyes, the ears and ribbon. Super simple.

I made a little hole in the filling so the rod would fit in, shoved more filling around the rod, shot glue down around the rod so the sock would stick and then tied a ribbon. The really are pretty sturdy.

AND DONE!

I did add a little bow to a few of them!

Wanna know how many I made? 20.

Terri did ALL the stuffing and manes so really she did a lot of the hard parts today! THANK YOU TERRI! Gray’s ear tube surgery came at the best time which was a fact hidden from me until today when I had hours at home to get these bad boys done.

So each kid gets a horse and a cowboy hat (from Oriental Trading) for their party favors! I can’t wait to take photos!

These next shots are totally fuzzy but they make me laugh so I’m posting them!

Aren’t they adorable? The kids LOVE them.

A few weeks ago I posted on FB that I had NO ideas for a horse party and people came through BIG time with THIS link and THIS one. I sort of took those ideas and made these my own… and I love them!

Looking back I should have put the ears more on the side and spread the eyes out but WHATEVER. I am not a horse expert!

Ok, are you guys ready for the HUGE surprise? Well, you’ll have to wait two more days! But just know that Parker will freak her freak at her party! All of the adults are dying with excitement!

And some day Sara I’m going to challenge you to a crafting dual. We’ll see who wins. We’ll see.

three days. or five. or thirty nine.

Did you know we have 39 days until Christmas? That means I should be finishing about one project every 2 days if I want to save my sanity the week before Christmas. Which means I have this running list of shit to do in my head that forces me to tell everyone I meet how much I need to do and how long I have to do it.

But before I can even fathom sitting down to work on all the handmade Christmas crap I saw on Pinterest and now just HAVE to create, I have to survive the next three days. Which include, in no particular order… Gray having tube surgery (in an hour and a half), finishing 20 stick horses for Parker’s party, creating party decorations, figuring out the TWO party menus, shopping for food, pulling off a big surprise, wrapping presents, painting the inside of our fireplace black, having our new gas logs installed, a photo shoot, hosting two birthday parties and the list goes on. See? I have this insane need to keep talking about my lists. Sort of to make it real and mostly to keep me on track and not forgetting something because I haven’t written one single thing down yet, it’s all in the good ole noggin.

And while I should heave a HUGE sigh of relief Saturday morning after having survived the next three days (today included) I can’t because we have a session in the morning and I’m hosting our Fresh Class in the afternoon. Here at my house the day after hosting two birthday parties in one day. Sunday brings a choir performance by Parker, a birthday party Parker is attending and another session for me. Monday morning, after my IEP meeting at Parker’s preschool (this is another post but she qualifies for speech therapy THANK YOU JESUS) I’m going to go outside and lay on the ground and just breath. Because THAT is the moment I will know I survived.

So if you’re driving down Lockwood Monday morning around 10am and you see me all sprawled out on the lawn of our church give me a big HONK HONK in celebration of completing the next five days.

Next week? Screw Thanksgiving, I’ll be diving head first into my handmade Christmas!