Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

****I am grateful for
1) a wonderful Christmas
2) lots of smiles
3) cold weather
4) time with family
5) days off

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sometimes you just gotta believe...

****I am grateful for
1) little reminders
2) trusting that someone up there knows more than I do down here
3) letting things go
4) reminding myself that everything will be ok
5) believing in things you can't actually see

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Daddy's Little Princess

****I am grateful for
1) her scrumptious cheeks
2) that beautiful hair
3) her precious smile
4) that adorable nose
5) our perfect little girl

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa Visit 2011

I am absolutely in love with their shirts this year... love them! Our visit went great, Emery is infatuated with Santa and was more than happy to cooperate. She froze up a little once in his lap, but not in a scared way, just a "I'm not sure what to do way." They both talked his ear off and gave him a list of things they'd like. I'd say it was a total success!

****I am grateful for
1) weekends
2) antibiotics (I'll be getting some soon, no time to be sick!)
3) afternoon naps
4) great Santa visits
5) Christmas shopping is done (now to wrap... blech!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - A Letter From Santa

The smile says it all!

****I am grateful for
1) that huge smile with those beautiful, huge teeth (have I said I hope he grows in to those!?!?)
2) surprise letters from Santa
3) shiny envelopes
4) reinforcement for the Good List and wanting to be on it!
5) a magical time of year

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keep your eye on the prize!

**Warning: Ecstatic rambling ahead!**

Infertility = IVF = crappy insurance companies don't pay = a LOT of debt.

As much as I wish I could say we did, Jeff and I don't exactly rake in the big bucks. Especially here lately. Jeff is a surveyor for a very small company that is doing good to hold it's head above water in the current state of the economy. His boss is awesome and he's worked for the company for almost 20 years. That's a big deal, not many 39 year olds have been at their job for that long. Sadly, things are rough right now and we're doing our best to hold out until things turn around. As for me, teachers don't make squat. Let's face it, we don't teach for the income! Also, I'm the insurance carrier so by the time they take all the goodies (medical insurance, dental insurance, vision, disability, life insurance, insurance in case a crazy parent wants to sue me... you get the picture) out of my check, it's missing a huge chunk.

When we learned we would have to do IVF all those years ago we had just started building a new house. A wonderful, big, beautiful layout, perfect for parties, house. So, we were faced with a decision. Break our contract and do IVF or build the house and maybe do IVF down the road some day. It was a no brainer and within a week, we had broken our contract. I don't think we could have made a better decision.

Over the years and five, 100% self-pay, IVFs, the debt has piled up. Our RE is awesome and tried to help, but even with some discounts and donated meds, the costs were unbelievable. So, we went with a company and got it all worked out and have been paying since November 2006. As we added IVFs, we increased our payments. However, today we can officially say that IVFs #1, 2, 3, and 5 are officially paid off and the kids cannot be repo'd! Words do not even describe how thrilled I am. It took us 5 years and 1 month and over $40,000 but we did it! Now all we have to do is pay off IVF #4 and we are done. (Have I ever mentioned how hard it is to pay on an IVF that didn't work or you lost your precious miracles? Cause if I haven't, it sucks.) So many times I thought we'd never get here, but I was determined to keep my eye on the prize and we made it! I think it's the first time I've ever been happy to actually see money leave my account because I knew that money meant an end of an era!!!

Someone told me that IVF was not a debt and that I should look at it as an investment. Ummm, it's a debt. I'd be willing to do it a million times over, but it's still a debt. I should have been able to spend that money ON my kids, not trying to have them.

Someone else said, my kids were priceless. They are priceless, but imagine if I'd been able to put over $40,000 away for their college. IVF was not priceless, it cost us a great deal. But again, we'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

It's funny how people that have never had to spend money just to have a child say things. I guess it just goes to show that I know God's favor and blessings in a totally different way than others. I may have had to pay a small fortune, but my children will always know just how much they were wanted!!

****I am grateful for
1) 4/5 of our IVFs are paid off!!!!
2) final payments
3) new beginnings
4) cold, cold, cold weather
5) lights are up, tree is up (although part is not lighting up... grrrr), and stockings are hung!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Unconditional Love

is what I have for this boy. <3

****I am grateful for
1) superheros
2) big teeth that you have to grow in to
3) freckles
4) conversations w/this six year old
5) learning what unconditional love was the moment I learned he was on his way

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would wish you a Happy Thanksgiving by posting adorable pictures of my children and being one of those really obnoxious Moms (can you imagine?), but apparently we were all too busy stuffing our faces to take pictures! So in lieu, I leave you with this:

Now that's funny. ;o)

****I am grateful for
1) a wonderful Thanksgiving
2) my awesome family
3) medical miracles (I have two!)
4) our frozen totsicles hanging out in Houston
5) still three whole days of vacation left!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Miss. Frosty

OK, so maybe it's not totally "wordless." This was Emery's winter outfit from her pageant this past weekend (more on that later). There's a scarf too, but she goes nutso when I put it on her, so we pass on that. I think this little girl is just so darn pretty!

****I am grateful for
1) Miss. Frosty
2) homemade outfits
3) that adorable smile
4) lots of time with my kiddos this week
5) having so many things to be grateful for

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Emery's 2 year pictures

I finally got Emery's pictures taken today for her two year birthday, I know, bad mommy. Let's just say it was not a pleasant experience at all and I should have just done it myself (which I am going to go and do). The photographer was awful, they place was way too busy, we were rushed, and Emery was completely unimpressed and was in total diva mode. I *should* have brought Chase with us because he can always get her to smile, but he was with my mom and niece and they were just waking up when we were on our way to the appointment. Lazy bums, that I'm totally jealous of! Anyway, here's the two best (neither have the #2 or word "two" in them like I wanted). *sigh* At least these are cute!

****I am grateful for
1) a whole week off of work... LOVE it!
2) lots of time with family this week
3) rain... woohoo
4) Duchess is home
5) only three weeks back and work and then we're off again for Christmas break

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pageant Day! *update*

Emery had her third pageant today and did great! Out of 9 toddlers and some very stiff competition she got third alternate and best smile. But even better, she had a great time and rocked the stage! She had no nap and it was hotter than all get-out and she never had one melt-down, so very proud of our little girl!! No photos allowed in the pageant room, but here's the two I got outside with my phone, not great, but you can see just how beautiful she is!

*edited to add: Today I found out that Emery was only two points behind the first alternate, which means that it was a very close competition. There were only two judges, which was odd, and one worked for the system, which is not right, but anyway the same judge marked her one point lower on each parts than the first runner up. That being said, had she had her blue dress on, she would have probably won because that was the same judge that "would like to see her in a darker pink or blue." LOL, can't please everyone, but just made me even prouder of my baby girl!*

Here's the outfit Nana and I made for her "Fall wear." LOVE it and she'll be wearing it on Thanksgiving for sure! Was pretty easy to make too!

****I am grateful for
1) a fun time at Disney on Ice yesterday
2) one more week of work until a whole week off for Thanksgiving!
3) two kiddos tucked warmly in their beds
4) rain in the forecast!
5) a chance to sit down and get off my feet

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I've learned over the last couple of months.

~ I've learned that when one generation begins to be born, another begins to die. That is the circle of life and a very difficult lesson to learn.
~ I've learned that the world doesn't stop, or even slow down, just because you need it to or think it should. In fact, that is usually when it speeds up.
~ I've learned that things never happen just one at time. The saying, "when it rains it pours" is true. Sometimes it pours good and sometimes it pours bad. The bad just seems easier to find.
~ I've learned that last goodbyes are never good enough.
~ I've learned that time does not necessarily make things easier or better, it just makes things more tolerable. You learn to adjust to a new normal.
~ I've learned that sometimes the little things don't make a big of difference and then sometimes those little things make all the difference in the world.
~ I've learned that it's so important to say I love you every chance you get because you never know when those chances will end.
~ I've learned that you shouldn't wish the days away because you can't get them back.
~ I've learned that you should never take time with others for granted, young or old, because you never know when that time will end.
~ I've learned that sometimes you have to find a way to laugh just so you don't cry and sometimes you just have to cry.
~ I've learned that you should enjoy growing old because there are many that will never get that chance.
~ I've learned to love the people God has given me, because one day He will need them back.

A friend's twin brother was in a terrible car accident on Sunday and passed away yesterday. He was around my age with two young children. I am heartbroken for her and her family. They are some of the sweetest people I know. On November 1st he had posted a very sweet message to her on telling her how much he loved her and how grateful he was that she was his sister. I can't think of a better last message.

****I am grateful for
1) in heaven there is no suffering or pain
2) cold weather
3) meds to get Jeff feeling better
4) a warm bed to sleep in
5) my family and friends

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Looking for some great holiday give-aways, search no more!


****I am grateful for
1) that extra hour of sleep, even if my youngest didn't get the memo
2) cuddle time
3) awesome give aways
4) Duchess is getting all moved in
5) only two weeks until Thanksgiving break!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We aren't going to know what to do with all our time!

Tonight was Chase's last ball game of the season. His last karate class (he's on a three month break) was last week. All we have left on the schedule is gymnastics with the Princess once a week. This means we've gone from having 4 nights a week jammed packed with one, two, and even three things to pretty much nothing. Our schedule has not been this free in three years and I don't think we're going to know what to do with all our time! No fears, spring ball will be here before we know it (but we're sure going to enjoy our time off between now and then)!!!!

****I am grateful for
1) my awesome husband
2) Duchess got her closing papers on the house and it should be all hers in the next few days!
3) Friday is almost here!
4) weekends, oh how I LOVE weekends
5) winter is coming, gotta love winter after all this heat we've been having

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween - 2011

***I am grateful for
1) my bed, can't wait to crawl into it
2) a weekend that's not packed to the brim
3) this Monday is over
4) seeing smiles on my kid's faces
5) a wonderful Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (almost) - True Bravery

Didn't even flinch, of course that brand new Angry Bird - Pig might have had something to do with it!

***I am grateful for
1) my brave guy
2) a big brother that wanted to show his little sister that flu shots didn't hurt
3) little surprises that can make something scary a little less scary
4) humpday!
5) only 17 school days until Thanksgiving break!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New header added to the rotation!

A certain blog has a new header in the rotation, have you seen it yet? Thanks Sweetie Baby's Custom Blog Designs!!!!

****I am grateful for
1) beautiful weather
2) the little bit of rain we did get
3) a wonderful weekend
4) tomorrow's dinner is all ready to go, just needs to be heated up (yeah for me being on top of things!)
5) The school year is officially 1/4 of the way over (but who's counting?? I am!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chase has written a page in history... again!

In January of 2009, Chase was three years old. He was little, adorable, shy, and the absolute cutest thing we had ever seen. Then he started karate and he looked like this:

Yep, he was even cuter in that crisp white uniform and was all smiles as we walked out the door to his first class. Then we got there and all he wanted was his daddy on the floor with him. His daddy gladly obliged and over the years Chase has become quite the expert in his class. We have seen many kids come and go, his school grow by leaps and bounds, and experienced lots of life events during this time. Emery has patiently (and not so patiently) sat through many a class watching her big brother do his stuff and has even picked up a thing or two herself. Each time Chase has tested I've been amazed at all he has learned and I really credit his usually excellent behavior to the discipline he has learned in this class. More than once we've almost called it quits because the time commitment has been tough on top of baseball and other things, but Chase has always made the call to stick with it. His determination and discipline paid off in a big way today. Today he wrote a page in history that can never be changed as he became the first "Tiny Tiger" in the history of his school to earn the top belt, the coveted "Tiger Belt!" I am so proud of Chase, I have always known he is destined for great things and today he has proven it once again!

Man I love this boy!

****I am grateful for
1) the chance to be his Mommy
2) the respect Chase has earned from those around him
3) the respect Chase has earned for himself
4) the accomplishments of my children
5) the smile on his face that showed just how proud of himself he was

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Princess Emery is TWO!!!

Today our Princess is officially TWO, officially a toddler. Well, I think 2 is when they become a toddler. Either way, she's still my baby and always will be. I look at her and she is quickly becoming a little girl. Just look at that sweet face.

If you ask her how old she is, she says four.... or five. Every once in a while it's two, but normally she likes to give herself a couple of extra years. We have decided that she will be voted "most likely to get a fake i.d." in high school (she would be in so much trouble). I'll admit, it's not only cute, it's pretty funny because she's so determined when she says it!

Nana made her another special cake so she'd have a cake on her actual birthday. We figure it was her cake and if she wanted to put her fingers in it, then so be it.
Here's a close-up of her cake, fit for a Princess I'd say. ;o)
I always wanted a daughter and when I was pregnant I had no doubt that it was a girl. Everyday I thank the Lord for both of my children and am so thankful that I have one of each, that they are healthy, happy, taken care of, and that I get to be their Mommy. Words can't even describe how awesome these last two years have been and how much joy this little girl has brought into our lives. Sometimes it still feels like a dream, the most wonderful dream I could have.

Sweet Emery,

Today you are two years old. I know I say it every time, but these two years have gone so fast. When I wrapped you in your towel this evening and held you in my arms I could feel a lump in my throat as I picture myself doing the exact same thing just two short years ago. You were so tiny, so new, so fragile. Now you are a big girl that wants to be independent and on the go. It's amazing how two years can change so much.

You do so many new things every day that it's impossible to keep up. You are a busy girl with a million different things going on! Every day brings new challenges, new skills being learned, and new things to be done!

You are loved by so many people and manage to wrap every one you meet around your little finger in a matter of seconds. Your laughter and smile are contagious and can bright even the cloudiest days.

You have recently developed a love for ice cream. To be more specific, you have recently developed a love for Blue.Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. You ask to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Of course we don't actually let you, but you do eat your fair share. I'm wondering if we should buy stock in Blue Bell.

You adore animals and have no fear. If Houdini walks anywhere near you, it's not long before you hear him meowing for help because he's been tackled... by you. Yoda and Leah love to cover you in kisses and for the most part you are OK with it. If you are at your limit, you have your way of letting them know.

I could go on and on about all the wonderful things going on with you, but I'll end with a thank you. Thank you for letting me be your mommy. Thank you for the "I lub yous." Thank you for the huge hugs and then sweet kisses that you give me on a daily basis. Thank you for making my life even sweeter just by being in it.

Happy 2nd birthday Emery Faith, you are my 2nd miracle, the 2nd half of why I was born!

~ Mommy

****I am grateful for
1) two awesome, unbelievable years
2) that good things come to those that wait
3) being stubborn, if I weren't I would have given up way too soon
4) that things happen for a reason
5) that someone up there knows what he is doing

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Princess Emery's 2nd Birthday Bash!

Somebody had an awesome birthday party today to celebrate her 2nd birthday!!!! Nothing like celebrating two awesome years with with tons of wonderful family and friends!!! I would post pics of them, but since the blog is public and I don't have permission, I hate to do that. However, here are some of our day! I realized I don't have any of big brother, some how I've got to get that boy to stay still and take pictures!!!!

****I am grateful for
1) a day that wasn't too hot
2) a wonderful birthday party!
3) celebrations!
4) family and friends
5) that smile on her face!!