Sunday, December 26, 2010

Painting Update

The painting has been done for a few weeks now, but I have been to darn busy to post the results. Drum roll please....
The hallway is finished and I love it! The blue curtain still has to go and I have some things that still need to be hung on the wall. So much better than what we had before (you can see those pictures here). My buffet is done as well. We replaced this Sauder hutch that we had on loan from my mom and I am so glad to see it go (no offense mom :)

If that wasn't enough, my husband said we were on a roll and should just get the dining room taken care of- says the man who didn't want me painting in the first place. Here is a before shot:
The purple looked nice once upon a time, but if you remember, I recovered the old window seat cushions and got rid of the grape theme in our dining room. The purple just didn't match any more. I am in love with the new color. It's a brown with a little hint of red.
I've also been busy crafting away, but you'll have to wait and see all of those fun items after Christmas and the gifts have been given :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Another Party Down, Several More to Go

We had another Christmas party today with my dad's side of the family. I always look forward to it sine there are 11 grandkids (plus two husbands :) and three great grandkids. It is always crazy and busy and wonderful. I really wish we could get together more often, but as the grandkids grow up, move away and start their own families it is harder and harder to get together frequently.
Ring Around the Rosie
Emma and Ellie dancing

Connie with Ellie and Emma

Emma helping Great Grandpa open his present

I'm so glad everyone was able to make it; it was great to see the whole family. We love you all and look forward to the next time we see you!

Moving On Up

Due to a nasty ear infection no one has been sleeping well around our house. On top of our little peanut screaming for hours, she has decided she doesn't want to stay in her bed if we try to ignore her screaming. Don't get me wrong, we don't let her scream often or for long, but after several nights with only approximately four hours of sleep, it's hard to be really patient.

On night number two of little to no sleep, Emma decided she was not going to sleep in her crib. After trying desperately to get her to sleep for two hours, at 5:00 a.m. mommy caved and made her a bed on the floor in her room. The next day we went out and bought a railing for her bed and now she is in her big girl bed!

Even though she didn't sleep through the night (she only had one dose of her new meds for her ear) she did stay in bed all night. Mommy is proud, but the moment is bittersweet- my little girl is growing up!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Most Wonderful (and Busiest) Time of the Year!

Here is a quick catch up from Thanksgiving and the beginning of holiday craziness. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas, but all the hectic running around drives me a bit nutso sometimes... hence the lack of updates.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family this year. It was great to see everyone! My husband was thrilled to be part of the photo shoot for my mom's Christmas card this year as well.
As soon as we returned from Lansing, we put up our trees. Jason had put the outside lights up a few weeks prior to take advantage of the warm weather, but we typically wait until the Sunday after Thanksgiving to put up tour trees. Emma enjoyed it more this year, but was also a bit busier. She was unpacking ornaments faster than I could put them on the tree!

Only a few ornaments have broke and I am the only one who has knocked the tree down so far. Nothing like putting half of the ornaments back on at 1:30 in the morning after tipping it over twice while trying to put freshly wrapped presents under the tree!

The weekend after Thanksgiving we jumped head first into the Christmas festivities. We had a party with my mother-in-law's side where Mrs. Claus (aka Grandma Klein) came to visit. Last year it didn't go so well, so this year I prepped Emma a week before hand. I told her Mrs. Claus is a nice lady and if you be good and sit on her lap she will give you a present. It worked so well that when Mrs. Claus came out to read a story to the kids before passing out presents, Emma ran to her and sat on her lap right through the entire story!

She loves the new doctor kit she received and went right to work on Aunt Jessica.

Almost two weeks later Emma had the privilege to sit on Santa's lap at one of our favorite stores, Ecobuns. He even gave her a book to take home. She loved it!

The upcoming weekend promises more chaos with celebrations on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I truly look forward to the time spent with family and friends. Let's be sure we never forget the true reason for the season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holy Moly Savings!

Just had to give a quick update on the Shutterfly cards- thanks to my post, I received 50 free cards from Shutterfly! How awesome is that? On top of that, I had rewards points from when I used to buy Pampers diapers so I got another 25 free. Needless to say my $140 worth of cards was completely free- now that's a deal! All I had to do was pay $13 and some change for shipping. Not too bad :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

'Tis the Season to Spread Some Cheer

It's that time of year again.... I've really got to get in gear and pick out my Christmas cards. While the hubby couldn't care less about this ordeal, to me it's huge! There are a few friends and family that have never met our precious little one, so it's important to me to find just the right photo card to send out each year.

This year I have really been struggling to locate just the right one. I've got the pictures picked out, but finding a card that fits them all properly has proved to be a challenge. I can find ones I like, but typically the selection isn't big enough so I have a hard time finding one that meets my needs. Then I found all of these at Shutterfly. So many choices, I'm not sure which one to pick. Double bonus, they are all on sale right now too! There is something for everyone- whether you like bright vibrant colors or more traditional red and green. You can also order simple photo cards or get one like this that allows you to put a few pics along with a Christmas letter.

Here are a few of my favs:

(Feel free to click on the pic. to see all the info. at Shutterfly's website)

I also discovered they have folded cards that include your pics on the outside and a letter on the inside. This one fits our needs perfectly:

I have order pics from Shutterfly in the past so I already know the excellent quality of their products. I have always been happy with the pics I've ordered, plus it's so easy to simply upload them and then have the pictures delivered to your house when they are done. Now I just have to make a decision on a card!

*You can blog about Shutterfly for the opportunity to receive 50 free holiday cards this year*

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Painting We Will Go!

As if the month of December wasn't busy enough already, I have taken on a few home improvement projects as well. Not sure what I was thinking... Here is a sneak peek of a few of the things I am currently working on.
I have always wanted a buffet for our big dining room, but never been able to justify the cost. After a session at my MOPs group with Christy over at Room for Change I was totally motivated to find one and revamp it (check her out, she's got some great stuff). I found this beauty at Goodwill for $25! My husband didn't see the vision at first, but I think he's getting there :)
The stairwell and upstairs hall has been my other project. I have hated the paint since we moved in four years ago, but never had the gumption to do anything about it. I finally had it though and the old paint is going to go!

May I just express how much I detest taping things off to paint. I love the chair rail in the hall, but it made for a ton of extra work! Stay tuned to see how everything turns out.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 25

I am so thankful for the abundance of family and food we are able to enjoy today. The holidays are a wonderful excuse to spend some time with those we love. I wish we were able to do things like this more often, but time and distance make it hard. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday- Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 24

I am thankful for the church we belong to and all the relationships that have been created since we joined our faith community. It is wonderful to have a place of worship where you feel welcome and invited. If you are ever interested in checking it out feel free to contact me- we'd love to have you join us!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Days 21-23

Phew, I feel like I'm way behind here, but we have been busy battling the flu bug at our house. I've got three days to make up for. This will have to be a quick catch up because I am behind on so many other things as well!
Today I am thankful for:
1. Our house is finally healthy... I think. As soon as everyone seems better it strikes again. At this point in time I believe it is truly over. Hooray!
2. Washers and dryers. I could have never stayed on top of the laundry in the last week around here without mine. The washing machine may be antique and the dryer often emits an annoying, high squeak while running, but they still get the job done :)
3. The care and concern so many friends and family have extended to us in the past few days while we have been through the ringer. Many called and checked in, some dropped off necessary supplies and others sent thoughts and prayers our way. To each and every one of you, thank you!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 20

Technology. Sometimes it can leave us detached, drained, disconnected if we spend our time hooked up to it 24/7. Yet days like today, when I feel crummy and Emma's still working towards getting better, I am so thankful that I can pick up the phone and talk to my mom. We're separated by 150 miles or so which really sucks when your sick... sometimes you just need your mom. I am comforted by the fact that I can still connect with her though. Think back before electricity and telephone- our time together would be so much less than what it is now. So thank you Ben Franklin and Alexander Graham Bell!

Friday, November 19, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 19

I am so thankful that I have been blessed with a little girl who has always been a good sleeper. She started sleeping through the night at three months. I remember being in shock, waking up from a full nights sleep and panicking because I never heard her cry during the night. Days like these when she's sick and nobody is sleeping much during the night makes me realize how lucky I am 99% of the time when she sleeps without a problem.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 18

I am thankful for my local MOPs group. Unfortunately we didn't make it today since Miss Emma wasn't feeling to good last night, but I always look forward to our bi-weekly meetings. It is a great place to connect with other mommies and have two hours of time without kiddos. Don't get me wrong, I cherish my time with Emma. Yet we moms still need some time for us once in a while, where we can talk to other adults. This is a great place for it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 17

I am thankful for my sister-in-law today. Growing up as an only child I always wanted siblings- then I got married and gained not only a sister, but a friend as well. I'm so glad it has been easy to naturally create a relationship filled with laughter and fun. Thank you for allowing me to share your name for a while :)

November Thanksgivings- Day 16

Today I am thankful for my in-laws. Thank you for the boy with a tender heart and strong faith that you raised who has captured my heart. I appreciate your care and support over the years as we began our lives together and grow our family!

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 15

I am thankful for these two adorable boys and their family today. I have the privilege of playing, entertaining and caring for them during the school year while their mom teaches. They are a wonderful family to work for! I am blessed to bring Emma along with me as well and she loves playing with her "brothers". Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives and entrusting your little guys in my care- we love them to pieces!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 14

I am so thankful for all my grandparents today. I was even blessed to know four of my great grandmas through high school. It is so important to stay in touch with our older generation, there is so much we can learn from them. Thank you so much for the example you set for us every day!
My mom's mom and step-dad
My mom's dad and step-mom.

My dad's parents with my Grandma's sister-in-law.

Friday, November 12, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 13

I am thankful for my extended family today- aunts, uncles and cousins. I am blessed with a large family. For most of my life I was an only child so my cousins were the closest thing I had to brothers and sisters. Growing up I spent a lot of time with all the various family members and I know they played a part in shaping who I am today. I don't get to see as much of my family as I would like to now that I live at least an hour away from all of my family, but I love to get together with them whenever possible.
My mom's brother and sister in law with my three cousins Brandon, Lindsey and Taylor.

My dad and step-mom with my grandparents, his siblings and their spouses.

All of the grandkids on my dad's side: Katie, Carly, Sean. Cassie, Nicolette, Me, Connie, Kari, Courtney, Brittany, and Kayla.

November Thanksgivings- Day 12

Today I am thankful to spend some time with my mom and step-dad. One of the little guys I care for is battling a nasty flu bug (I pray you get better soon Gavers!) It worked out that I was able to trek over to Metamora to spend some time with them for a bit. Our time together is so few and far between that I cherish every moment we get!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 11

Thank you today to all of those who are serving and who have served our country. You are the reason we are free. Happy Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 10

So don't laugh at me for this one... but today I am thankful for my dog Harley. I grew up with lots of pets in my house, so it is only natural for me to continue the tradition in my own home. Only there's one catch- Jason doesn't really like animals in the house. Unfortunately for him, Harley and I came as a package deal so he puts up with him. The dog can be a pain in the butt; he doesn't listen well and will run away at the first chance he gets. He's a little bit quirky and definitely one of a kind. With all that being said, he is good company and wonderful to cuddle during those long nights of planting and harvesting. Nothing can pass by our house without Harley alerting me of it's presence. He is also wonderful with Emma and I hope she has the chance to make many memories with him and I did growing up with my dogs.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 9

I am so thankful for friends today. I have many from all walks of life, from every stage and each one holds a special place in my heart.

There are friends that I am also blessed to call family. Some have been part of my life from the very beginning and others I have gained along the way :)

There are friends from high school that have seen me at my best and at my worst... and they are always there for me.
There are my college friends who have been through student teaching and "growing up" together- getting married, having babies, etc.
There are friends I have made through my husband- girlfriends ,and then wives of his buddies- who have been a blast to get to know.

There are my "mom" friends, as Jason call them, who are wonderful to spend time with as well. They offer support, wisdom and guidance through this crazy journey we call motherhood. Sadly, there are no pictures of us due to the fact that we are often too busy chatting while trying to contain the children that there are not many moments available for a photo op :)
So thank you to each and every one of you, you know who you are- I am so glad that you are part of my life!

Monday, November 8, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 8

I am so thankful for the sunshine today! I am one of those people who gets kinda moody and glum when it's cloudy for extended for periods of time...Michigan really doesn't provide a hospitable environment for me about four months out of the year, but I love having four seasons. Now I am headed outside to soak up as much as I can, even if it is just to do some yard work :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November Thanksgvings- Day 7

I am thankful for my brothers today. They officially joined our family in 2009, but they had already made their way into my mom and step-dad's hearts long before the final court date. I know we don't have the typical sibling relationship that comes from years of living together and picking on each other, but we're getting there :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 6

Today I am so thankful to have a home. With the given state of the economy over the last several years, I have heard many stories of people who have lost their homes or had to sell them due to their circumstances.
It may be drafty, have minor bouts with mice during the spring and fall and be well over 100 years old, but it is our home :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 5

I am thankful for my step-parents today. Not only for the guidance, love and support they have given me, but for the relationship they have created with my mom and my dad. I am blessed to have not one, but two families who are always there for me.
*Bear with me and the old pictures. It turns out once Jason and I started dating, I didn't take many pics with each family. I have ones of them and ones of all four of us, but not many of myself with them.

My step-dad Joe is a amiable, loving man. We call him Papa Bear :) I couldn't ask for a better "second" father. He is very gracious like my mom- I'm so glad they found each other.

This is an old pic from a family vacay we took to Arizona before the start of my sophomore year in college.

My step-mom Cindy passed away last year from a brain aneurysm. Even though she was only part of my life for a fraction of hers, she touched my life in many ways. I strongly believe she is the reason my dad was baptized a few years ago.
I know, I know scary braces and funny "bangs" in my face. It was high school graduation what can I say?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 4

I am thankful for my mom and dad today. I mean I wouldn't be here without them right? But seriously, I couldn't have asked for better parents growing up. They worked hard every day to give me what ever I needed. Each did their best while providing love and security. I think that's what is the most important.

My mom and I have always been likethis (she even gloats about how people often confuse her for my older sister). Even my friends called her mom. She has been my best friend, my confidant and I don't know what I would do without her. Her daily life shows what a giving, selfless person she is. I only hope I can be half the mom she is for Emma.

My dad is stupendous. I'm sorry for all the turmoil I caused him as a teenager. It was hard for him to relate to me as I single father I'm sure. Yet we made it through and I am certainly a daddy's girl today. I look back on all the memories I have made with my grandfathers and pray that Emma will be able to make some of those herself someday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 3

Today I am thankful for my delightful daughter Emma. She brings joy and meaning to our lives everyday. I feel so blessed to be chosen to raise this wonderful girl with God's love and guidance. We certainly have our moments (can we say terrible two's?), but I wouldn't change things for the world. I love spending each day with her and watching her change and grow- even if it saddens me a bit to see her get bigger. I need to remember to cherish each moment for they are fleeting. Her giggle lights my world, her hugs warm my heart :)

We love you beautiful girl!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Thanksgivings- Day 2

Today I am thankful for my husband Jason. I know I don't tell him that often enough. It is definitely something I need to work on. It's so easy to neglect those in your life that are closest to you, especially when things are busy. And heaven knows it's been busy around our house with harvest.

When you are only able to spend Sundays together as a family unit, it's hard to be grateful for the time you have and not be bitter for all the time you missed. Yet that's exactly what you need to do! You both have to remember how hard the other is working to keep everything going.
I need to always be thankful how supportive and hard working my husband is. He is the reason why I am able to be with Emma 24/7. My hubby is a wonderful partner and amazing daddy. Thank you babe for all that you are and all that you do for our family. We love you!