Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Recap Part 1

So I'm about a gazillion days behind in posting my Christmas sorry. I've been relishing the times of snuggling with our little blessings and just letting the world pass by outside. But unfortunately it is back to the grind of daily life and that means that we are up and at em. Emma started preschool yesterday, Nick's back to work full swing, and I'm trying to get ready for a little boys birthday party! I can't believe my little baby is going to be three years old...wowwie! Well I'm going to post photos in the order of which they occured. I have no idea how many Christmas Recap Parts we'll have....hmmmm :)

Here we go:

This is Emma the first time in hot rollers. She likes to look at me like "are you serious with this?" and I guess she was right. After 45 minutes of doing over her like a pagaent mom her hair looked EXACTLY as it always does. I was doing her hair for her Christmas concert which if you can even fathom I have NO pictures of!!! I'm crushed...I took oodles but a) this one mom stood in front of Emma almost the entire time and b) our camera was being all wonky and I couldn't get a photo to save my life...too dark, too blurry, etc. The bean hopefully got some good ones for me :)
Here we are at the Concert praying...isn't this boy just so adorable? I kept my man-hand in there so you could see his little precious. See? I did get SOME pictures at the concert, just not of the concert :/ Anyway, this picture is cute but especially cute when you look at the next one...

He had this look as if to say "really mom? Really? You're taking pictures during PRAYER? Real classy...." I love his facial expressions. He's really getting those Daddy/Jim Halpert looks down :)

The last photos of the day is a glimpse into our every day. During the mornings in December this is what you would see in our house...wake up, come downstairs, throw on a Santa hat (sometimes antlers!) and watch a little boob-tube! I love it!
Well those are the pictures for today! Hope you enjoyed them. The children are growing so fast and I count it such a joy to be here experiencing it. Hope you all have a wonderful day! I am hoping to catch up with two wonderful ladies after they shop for tile :) Happy Tuesday!!!
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

There is this amazing magazine that I am happy to tell you about! I've never taken out a subscription but think these deals are pretty sweet so I am excited to be getting one myself. Gazillions of my homeschool friends read this mag and highly recommend it. Check them out by clicking here. There are three options to choose from:

a) one-year subscription for $7.95. This is normally $25.00 so this is an amazing deal! Plus you'll get their e-planner free
b) You can get a one-year subscription, their Cranberries and Cream tote, and their e-book Cranberry Christmas for $19.95. Wowwie-zowwie
c) finally their third option is $37.00. What do you get you ask? Well you get two-year subscription, a Cranberries and Cream tote, a Schoolhouse Planner of your choice, plus the e-book, Cranberry Christmas. Talk about a great deal!!!

You can click on the link at the bottom of the link to subscribe. Just click here.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Friday!

Last night Emma had her Christmas concert and she did so, so good. My baby girl is growing so quickly and I could not be more proud of her.

Super excited it is Friday! Hooray! I've been super excited about this Friday because it is a lonely oasis of a day where we have nothing to do...nothing planned, no where to go, nada. It's surrounded by days filled to the brim of things to do...all day long, tasks, appointments, chore lists, and then obligations every evening. I know that that just comes with the territory of the holidays but come on people! This momma needs a break!

So tomorrow as I said I have the whole zip nada thing going on tomorrow except that Nick's mom asked if she could have the kids tomorrow. They love spending time at Anna's house so I said sure. I always miss them so much when they are gone, but admittedly I will get tons done with them not underfoot.

My plan is to get all of the Christmas presents wrapped and done! Tomorrow night we may have our first houseguest in and I think the house is pretty much ready for him. Cleaned and orderly is what I would call it, sans our bedrooms but I will get to those tomorrow. The guestroom is clean though so we are ready to go on that end.

Getting all of the presents wrapped will help out a lot as next week is go time. Tons of cooking and baking to do and I am so, so ready for it! Woo-hoo! Plus this weekend we are busy! Saturday we are going to Chicago and Sunday we have our neighborhood's Christmas party.

Have I told you about our neighborhood Christmas party? Well we live in a National registered historic neighborhood and at Christmas everyone lights luminaries and we go caroling. They also unveil our neighborhood Christmas ornament of the year, the chocolate cafe in the city brings hot cocoa, and there are horse drawn sleigh rides on the brick streets with Santa! How magical does all of that sound?

So anyway, just wanted to say Happy Friday!
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Past Week in Winter Wonderland

Here we get something called Lake Effect snow...the snow coming off Lake Michigan has tons of water in it so it is heavy and falls in thick huge flakes. I love it now that I am a Stay at home mom with no where to go. Ah, how I love our life.

The children were begging me to make a snowman so....
ta-da! Our first snowman! It wasn't three ballish as much as just a giant heap of snow. But we're happy!
We've been drinking lots of hot cocoa...with a candy cane of course :)

And we've been playing army men a lot, excuse me "sarges" as Cal calls them. The aqua colored guy in the middle...he's an indian. Wrong group of guys but it works I guess :)

In other news we made it to the Nutcracker! We go to the Nutcracker every year. This was Cal's first year so we were a little anxious. We actually didn't know if we were going to get to go. First of all with Nick in the hospital we were holding our breath. I knew I could not handle two kids at the Nutcracker by myself. Secondly this is the first year that we were going to have to buy tickets. Where I used to work we used to get them for free and when I went to buy them I almost choked on my tongue they were so expensive. Yeesh. Luckily my amazing and sweet editor hooked me up with some likey, hahaha!
Anywho here we are getting ready to leave. You would not believe the amount of people who stopped and gawked over the kids. It makes for one proud Momma, but as I realized when talking to another mom, people just don't dress their kids up anymore and that's sad. I guess the reality is that it's just too expensive to buy coats that they hardly ever wear...not to mention the hats, and muffs, and on and on. I am so glad it is important to my husband as well, that he gives me the green light to buy this stuff :).

Here we are at the show! The usher we had was so sweet! She offered to take our picture and then kept gushing over us, saying that we looked like we were models. Ha, ha! Dim lighting :) But seriously we have some adorable children!

Every year we go to the local Chocolate shop and get cocoa. This year we added Jordan almonds and the kids loved's Emma showing us how much she loves them! Sorry about the gross picture!
Here are my guys. It was so very extra special to have Nick with us.

And what do you do when you don't want your brother to steal your Jordan almonds? You hide them under a coaster of course!
There was also a Santa Moose (or Caribou??) there that the kids loved. Apparently "stand next to the moose" means "hey you two work together to try to knock the thing over".

Please excuse the undergarments in the picture :/ In not so Christmasy news, Cal bit Emma on the back...hard. Here is the result. He bit her through her shirt on the back. She was screaming, Cal got in huge trouble with his father, it was a bad night.

And the kids already have Cabin fever as is illustrated here. This was them playing "climbing the mountain"??? . No idea. I just love how they play together. Fun times we are having here.
Well I will try to blog before Christmas but I am superbly busy so if not have a Merry Christmas!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Praising the Lord!

A lot of times when something bad has happened I have a tendency to kind of spiral out of control and just get into a dark hole. I'm considering it a part of Spiritual Maturity that I didn't do that this time. See I tend to blame God or wonder what I did wrong to deserve this. But God doesn't work that way, does He? Noper Doodle. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." So that's what I did. I committed to casting my cares upon the Lord. I know that His Will will be done. Here is what I am praising Him for now:

Healing: Nick is home out of the hospital and his condition is improving! I can't thank you all enough for your prayers through this time! I am so thankful also that he wasn't in any severe amount of pain during this. He never had to take pain medicine or anything. There is some discomfort but other than that he was fine.

Vacation time: Nick had a lot of vacation time left which has to be used by the year end. We were having a hard time figuring out when he was even going to be able to take time off. With him in the hospital he has used up exactly enough that he'll be able to take time off the week of Christmas and have his time off now covered. God is so good.

Love: I thought that I loved Nick and I do, don't get me wrong. But when you have a scary situation it makes you see things in a different light. I am so in love with Nick and Ihave such a deeper appreciation for him and our relationship and the love we share.

Nick: Most people are kind of the "woe is me" type folk but not my husband. All he talked about in the hospital was how he was sad that he didn't get to take me to his company's Christmas party. No biggie. He is such a caring man. I love seeing him leading our family. When the kids came to visit with him they were scared and he helped them through. We had family prayers on his hospital bed. He's such a testament to God and I'm honored that I get to be his wife :)

Friends and family: It's always amazing to me when people are willing to just drop everything. Some people said "let me know what I can do". There are some people who are just angels on earth. My mother in law cleared her schedule so she could help with the kids which I so appreciated, especially on the first day. My emotions were so raw that I was being a little testy with the children. My editor, neighbors, and dear friend Betsey all were relentless. They knew little details I would need. Do you need milk? Meals? Someone to watch the kids? Someone to let Lucy out? Need me to stay with you at night? Need me to pick Emma up from preschool? To everyone who offered to help, thank you. Even though I never needed anything it reminded me that I was not alone.
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Nick Update

Sorry all of these photos have ships in the background. I'm trying to find pics of Nick I haven't used before and so you are getting photos from the Tall Ships Festival...nice, huh?

Thank you so much for your prayers for this amazing man! Today the doctor came in and said he is looking better. The infection has not spread more and the spots all over are not as red as they were. So this morning the doctor took him off of the IV antibiotics and switched him to pill form. When I left him tonight his leg no longer felt fevered and the swelling had gone down some.

If he continues to improve then the doctor will release him tomorrow afternoon. I am counting him to be out of the hospital tomorrow and we are so excited to have him home!

So thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray for him to recover. The doctor said he will have the redness and swollenness for a while while the infection is going away so we are on a bit of a journey here. Thanks!
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Please Pray for Nick

I posted a little before about this in my previous post. This past weekend Nick had some weird foot thing occur. First he thought it was a blister, then maybe Athlete's foot (I know, totally gross), then he thought it was an infected splinter. By the end of the weekend his foot had swollen and he could barely get a shoe on or walk.

Monday he went to a doctor who diagnosed him with a Staff Infection and was started on some antibiotics. Tuesday the infection was climbing up his calf and it was swollen and red. The doctor started another kind of antibiotics with the hope that two strong antibiotics together would stop it. This morning Nick woke up and its traveled up his thigh.

So I took him to the Emergency room where they basically looked at it and immediately admitted him to the hospital. Not good.

Tonight he is still there and it looks like he is looking at a 2 night stay. They have him on an IV of antibiotics and they've taken cultures and ultrasounds in which we are still waiting on the results.

Please pray for a speedy recovery. I know it is just an infection but truthfully I am terrified this is one of those things in which he never comes home or something insane like that. So please, please pray. My brain has just been mush today; I am just not myself without my other half. I truly do feel as though I am missing part of myself. The kids are a wreck. They sobbed when I put them in bed tonight because they missed their Daddy. That was really, really hard to deal with.

I guess specifically pray for Nick's healing, for me to have a calm spirit that I may get done what needs to be done and be good with the children, and please pray for the kids that their little hearts will not be troubled with this. Especially Emma as she worries so about things.

I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed and really with just small things, such as tomorrow is my bill paying day and quite frankly my little heart just isn't into doing day by day things. My awesome in-laws are also carrying me through this. Nick's mom had the kids all day today so I could be with Nick and her and the ladies in their family rescheduled plans so she can take the kids tomorrow. Nick's sister is also coming up tomorrow too. She always can get under my layers so I'll probably start crying when I see her.

I'm very glad I get to be with Nick tomorrow because the nurse's are driving me crazy! Nick was taken up to his room from the E.R. at about noon. The nurse wouldn't order him lunch. I went out two times for food and then items for him and when I came back it was 4:30 and no one had done anything for him. Why does he need to be in the hospital if noone is going to do anything? Ugh. So I was the witchy wife down at the Nurse's station demanding that they page the doctor. Something tells me that I am going to have to be witchy tomorrow and I don't care...I want my husband at home sooner rather than later. Hospitals drive me insane because the lack of initiative or care that these people exert. I know there's a huge complicated background and series of events that happen behind the scenes, but for me it is just maddening.

I guess I can't be too much of a witch though as today I was getting "don't I know you from somewhere?" Oh! You're a writer! Nick was laughing at me "look at my local celebrity of a wife". I don't know about that but I guess I shouldn't raise too much of a stink in the hospital...people know where to find me. I'll have another incident of someone going on and on about my business. Yoink.

Anyway, sorry this is so long. I just have no one to talk to at midnight so blogging is the next best thing, I guess. Thank you for your prayers. The good news is that other than an owie foot, Nick's not in any pain. What a mighty God we serve!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Having a Hard Time Making the Call

Last week I received a call from a lady named Julie. I was on the phone with someone for work so I had to let it go to my voicemail. Turns out Julie was calling to set up an evaluation for Calvin.

I cannot find it in me to call this woman back. Poor Julie.

Don't get me wrong. I will. Everyday though I find it at the bottom of my to-do list and as the day rushes by it gets swept off the bottom to the next day. See Cal's evaluation is for Special Needs Preschool.

Nick thinks I am insane with this not being able to call her back (or just not wanting to call her back) but it is hard. I know that we are doing this because it is the best thing for Cal and I know that it needs done, but for me, setting all of this up is facing our reality: therapy that I thought would be done before he ever turned 3 is now looking like it is just starting. It's kind of like staring into a black hole and having to will yourself to jump in. It won't be that bad. It's what's best. See this last therapy session ended at 3. I knew that...there was an end.

Where is the end to this?

So please pray for me...maybe today I'll have the willpower to jump in and call Julie back.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Our Weekend was a Very, Very, Very Fine Weekend

What a wonderful weekend we had! And the best part is that we really didn't do anything :) In the business of the holiday time it was really nice to not have anything planned. The picture above is from our City's tree lighting ceremony. We attended that Friday night and were treated to the local chocolate shop's hot cocoa. We also strolled through some new stores, had some chestnuts roasted on an open fire, and perused the gingerbread village competition for ideas. It was a lovely evening and the kids had so much fun. It was kind of funny though that the kids met Santa (didn't go too hot). Santa gave them each a candy cane as he was walking around meeting kids and then in some weird moment Calvin got kind of pushed over or fell. Poor guy. But anyway he stands up and starts screaming "santa broke my candy cane!" over and over. Funny guy. We looked like we were on the verge of a major meltdown but it quickly subsided when we went to the Gingerbread village...whew!
Here we are...I see Em still has a bit of hot cocoa on her face, God love her :)

Saturday mornin we all went out for a snowball fight. I love that about our little family...we're all out pounding one another with snowballs and it's fun! The kids were so excited about the 1/2" of snow we got...they are so precious I could just eat them up :) The photo above is Nick pelting Cal with a snowball. My sister says he looks like he's doing a souja boy move whatever that means ;)

This is Emma's face after she creamed her Daddy...ha!
Sunday we went to church and then just came home! Nick has the fireplace area ALMOST done. I am itching to take pictures of it but will wait until it's done. It's done enough that I was able to decorate the mantle and Nick got our stocking up. We now all finally have matching stockings so I was anxious to see how the new ones look. I think they look really nice!
Saturday Nick was complaining of an itchy sore foot and thought he might have some weird foot problem (ew, ew gross, I know). We aren't foot problem people so this seemed odd. Yesterday his toes and foot were REALLY swollen and red. This morning he said the pain is still there and now it hurts up his shin. He insisted on going to work but is going to be trying to get into a doctor's appointment today. Please be praying for him....I am so worried about my darling.
Happy Monday! I have two articles due today and last night our internet stopped failure is what Comcast's message said, grrr. So I am up super early finishing them up. Have a great day in the Lord!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Things I am excited about


A Day alone today...Nick's mom is taking the kids so they can help decorate her tree...isn't that nice of her? She is always thinking of them that way and they love helping her :) So far my day alone is consisting of conducting an interview (gag), visiting our rental place to place our Christmas order, and cleaning. Doesn't sound like the most fun day for me but at least I'll be able to say I got a lot accomplished, right?

Wrapping Christmas gifts!!! At least the first 5...then it gets kind of boring

Christmas Day...we are having gobs of people over and I LOVE it!

Emma's Christmas watching that little girl sing :)

Getting our fireplace/media area finished! Nick has had his newly made shelves down to paint and tonight I think we get to put them up and get everything organized! I cannot tell you how excited I am about that part since everything has been strewn all over my dining room for the past month. It is driving me insane to have it cluttery around here! Plus one of Calvin's favorite things is to dump DVD's so I pick those up...a lot!

*Snow!* I think Imentioned that but it is snowing and I LOVE snow! Emma does too. As I was putting her to bed last night she said so matter-of-factly "it's going to snow tonight, Daddy told me." Love.that.girl.

Happy Wednesday!
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