About Me

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I am 36 years old and a mother of two beautiful little girls. Kevin and I have been married for 11 years. He is a stay-at-home dad who runs his own business from our home. I am a part-time 3rd grade teacher and have been teaching for 15 years. I live no more than 10 minutes away from my parents, in-laws, sisters, nieces, newest nephew, grandparents, aunts, and uncles... I wouldn't want it any other way!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oh How She Has Grown...Katelyn Alexis

It is so hard to believe that my first-born baby is part-way through kindergarten already. I cannot even begin to tell you all the ways that she has grown and changed over the last 5 years. She is such a unique and cool kid. I swear, even if she weren't my child, she would still be one of my best friends...she's that special.

Just last night, she really showed a new level of maturity. I was taking a bath, Kevin was watching television in our bedroom, Kennedy was asleep, and Katelyn was watching tv in the basement. She came up into the bathroom with red eyes and a red face. She told me that she needed to talk becasue she had just watched something on tv that made her really sad. She explained that she was watching a show about a boy who lost his dog. At the end of the movie, the boy found his dog and was yelling for the dog to come to him...classic happy ending. Well, this show evoked a lot of emotion in Katelyn, the kind of emotion she had never felt from a television show before. As she was explaining the show to me, she really started crying hard. Then she said, in her biggest outburst yet, "and it made me think of how much I love you!...sob...sob...sob). Kevin could kind of hear this from the bedroom. He asked if everything was alright and if we needed him. I assured him that everything was just fine. Katelyn and I hugged and she cried her little eyes out. I told her that it is okay to have emotions about things she sees, reads, or hears. I told her that I have cried at movies and books before too. I then explained to her that she was having "happy tears" because the movie had a happy ending. I also told her that Daddy had "happy tears" when we got married. She tried to laugh, but it just made her cry harder. She didn't want to cry, so she said, "I'm laughing, not crying...sob...sob..sob).

Wow! What an experience! I think we connected on a new level last night. Can you believe the emotions and maturity of this 5-year old girl of mine? I told you she is a cool kid!
I thought it would be fun to show how my oldest baby has grown over the last 5 years through pictures. Here are lots of my favorites throughout the years...

February 27, 2003...The happiest day of my life

Gymboree...we spent a lot of time here when Katelyn was a baby/toddler

1st Day of Gymnastics - 18 Months Old

1st Day of Preschool

Here she is on her 1st day of kindergarten!
Aren't pictures amazing? Each picture brings that particular moment in time right back to me, just like it was yesterday. I can feel her personality in each picture. I can remember games we played, songs we sang, the cuddles of her little hands. If it is really quiet...I can almost hear her laughter.
The transformation of my baby into a beautiful little girl reminds me of the journey that a caterpillar takes as it becomes a butterfly. Just like a butterfly, my beautiful Katelyn is spreading her wings and exploring the world around her. Katelyn, guess what...Mommy has "happy tears" right now. I get "happy tears" everytime I look at these pictures of you.
You are special and I love you dearly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday Nights...My Favorite Night of the Week

We are a perfectly happy family of 4...daddy, mommy, two little girls, and our dog. Our family is just the right size for my lifestyle and personality (I could do without the dog, but that is a whole other story). There was a long stretch of time between Kennedy's first birthday and when she turned 2 and a half where Kevin and I toyed with the idea of possibly having a third child. We kept coming back to the fact that we really like things the way they are. But, I often wondered what we might be missing if we didn't have a third child. It is so hard to know when your family is complete, it is such a hard decision to come to. We felt mostly sure for a long time, but alas, we are 100% sure that our family is perfectly complete just the way it is.

I have to say that I truly do not know how large families manage all of the activities and schedules that are unique to each family member. I applaud them for being able to do it. However, I am a bit (okay, a LOT) obsessive as well as a perfectionist. I stress over the little details that most people do not even notice. Luckily, three of my best friends are the same way (Amy, Carie, and Samantha). I can always call them to discuss those ever important decisions like...which Halloween costume should I go with? What about the treat bag? And then there are Easter baskets and Christmas dresses...these are huge decisions that must be made months in advance in order to get everything I select in the sizes the girls need. One of the things I get most nervous about is, heaven forbid, what if things get discontinued?... like the Easter basket I love and the bedroom suit that the girls each have. My goodness, I couldn't possibly have one child mismatch from the other two! Like I said, details that many people don't expend a ton of energy on, but Amy, Carie, Samantha, and I surely do. It is good that we know this about ourselves and can laugh about it. We know that we are a wee bit ridiculous.

Now, to get back to the title of this post, Wednesdays are definitely my favorite night of the entire week! Believe it or not, Wednesdays are even better than Friday nights for me. Katelyn is in gymnastics from 5:30 - 7:30 on Mondays and Thursdays. Kennedy is in gymnastics from 5:30 - 6:15 on Thursdays. Kevin and I have a double dance lesson every Tuesday from 6:00 - 7:30. By the time we factor in drive time each way for gymnastics and dance as well as getting the girls to and from our parents houses for babysitting on dance nights, we are not home much during the week. But on Wednesdays, Katelyn is in Awanas from 6:30 - 8:00. Our wonderful, saint of a neighbor, takes all of the neighborhood kids to and from Awanas every Wednesday...she's the BEST! On Wednesdays, I do not have to leave the house once I get home from work. It is so hard to rush home from work, gets the girls changed and ready for their events, make sure we have all had time to eat, and then rush out the door. It is exhausting to be so rushed after work. Then when we do get back home in the evenings, it is snack time, bath time, and bedtime...whew! All of these activities and the girls are only in one extracurricular each. We gave up soccer this fall, but am somehow going to resume in the spring. I am not sure if it is possible to manage two sports for each of the girls, but we are going to give it a try. I think that soccer and gymnastics are excellent sports for kids. There are already so many other activities that we have not even tried.

Once again, how do large families manage all of these activities and schedules? I am so lucky that Kevin stays home with the girls because he can get dinner prepared each evening before we head out. There is absolutely no way I would have time after to work to prepare dinner. We would be eating out a ton, which is terribly unhealthy and expensive.

I usually do not have to rush off anywhere on Friday nights. But, I am so damn tired by the time Friday rolls around that I cannot even move. I usually go to bed earlier on Friday nights than any other night of the week and then sleep in on Saturday mornings (thanks to my amazing husband for making that possible most Saturdays).

So, there you have it. Our busy, weekly schedule in a nutshell. My mom keeps telling me that this is just the start of such a lifestyle. As the girls get older, my mom assures me that all of our lives will continue to get busier and busier. As long as I continue to have my Wednesday nights to take a deep breath and sigh, I think I'll be able to keep up with our schedules. Life is never boring around here, which is actually just the way I like it.