Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A few recent pictures of our holiday season ...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Thankful

This year, I am especially excited for the holidays because I get to enjoy them with my little family. This year I am thankful for ...
- The excitement that Jackson experiences each time he sees or learns something new.
- My husband, who went and got me a chocoloate milkshake at 9 p.m. last night with no whip cream and two cherries. I'm not even pregnant (when this kind of thing would be much more common)!
- School. Yes, that's right, for school. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that I'd be getting a B in a Stats course. It makes me feel proud of myself.
- My girl friends. Without these ladies, my life would be boring and without laughter.
- My home. While I"m always wishing that I had this or that for my house, I'm thankful to have a warm place to rest our heads and to raise Jackson that is close to friends and family.
- Flannel. I'm obsessed with it. Jackson has like 4 new flannel shirts for the winter.
- Pictures. I get so caught up in looking at old photos sometimes. They make me happy.
- My grandparents. Never have you met such fun and supportive people in your life. They are ALWAYS there for us!
- My job. I've been in my current position for a little over a year now and I am one lucky chick. The people I work with are INSANEly great!
- Airplanes - especially the one that will be taking me and Jackson to Florida in January. Counting the days.
- Uggs. I don't care if these ever go out of style I'm still going to wear them.
- God. For giving me so many blessings and for planning my life just the way he wants it.
- Wine. I've been drinking it regularly latey. Pinot Noir.
- Cousins. These people are my friends forever, even if I don't see them as often as I'd like.
- Brothers. We're all over the map, but get us in a room together and it's like the good times we had growing up all over again.
- Pinterest. Have you SEEN this website!? It's insanely addicting and fun. I. Love. It.
- Diet Coke. It's horrible for me but I can't give it up. Everything in moderation, right?
- My iPad. One of the coolest gifts I've ever received. Such a fun toy. DJ and Jackson would agree.
- My sisters-in-law. Growing up an only girl was fun/challenging. I'm thankful for my SIL's and their friendship.
- Fingerless gloves. These things are the bomb diggity. I have three pairs.

I'm thankful for so much. I might post more things I'm thankful for later. Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cute Ideas to Remember

Have you seen the website pinterest.com? It's awesome...and addicting.
A few cute ideas that I loved from this website:
- have your kids wake up to a room filled with balloons on their birthday.
- take a photo of you and your spouse on each wedding anniversary holding a framed number indicating the number of years you've been mArried (e.g., on your 8th anniversary the framed number would be 8).

Rocka Rocka, Mama?

I just came into my bedroom after rocking Jackson to sleep feeling like the luckiest person on earth.
I'll admit that since he turned two two, it has been tough sometimes dealing with this little boy who doesn't know how to deal with his emotions and hates hearing "no" (and believe me - he hears "no" a lot!). But tonight ... there were no tantrums, no struggles, and no tears. Jack and I had the house to ourselves and had one of the best evenings I have had in a long time. We played, we laughed, we watched Wonder Pets and I fell even more in love with my little man.
To end the night, Jack said, "Rocka rocka Mama?" My heart melted. He laid his little head on my shoulder while I rocked him to sleep. I'm so lucky to be this kid's mom it's crazy. I wanted to write this down tonight so I'd remember it some day when these years seem like a blur. Jack you are an amazing, soft-hearted little boy and I am blessed to be your mom. Love you, Buddy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Boy Bed

Jackson isn't a baby anymore (sniff, sniff). On Sunday night he slept in his big boy bed for the first time! He got up twice and had a mischevious little grin on his face when he stuck his nose into our bedroom door. After the second time up, I decided to lay down with him in his bed (I think he was a little scared of the change.)

I laid with Jack for about 20 minutes. He talked, he sang, he kicked the wall, he asked where Tucker was ... all of the things little boys do when they are stalling bedtime. I closed my eyes and tried to pretend I was asleep so he'd follow. Jack whispered "honk honk" and squeezed my nose twice. Ha! I was trying SO hard not to lose it - I was doing the silent shaking laugh. Every time I think about him honking my nose I laugh. I'm putting this story in his baby book.

Monday morning he marched into our room with a HUGE smile on his face. He was SO PROUD that he'd spent the night in his bed. He said, "Mama, sleep in bed!" So cute - made my heart melt.

Last night was his second night in the big boy bed. I laid him down and never heard a peep til this morning. I think this might be less of a big deal than I thought (knock on wood)! I'll have to remember that next time we're trying something new (e.g., potty training).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just when ...

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm taking on too much. Between work, school, being a wife and mom, visiting family, repainting my kitchen, studying, going to conferences and retreats out of town .... I was feeling stretched thin. It started to take a toll on me, giving me some serious stress and doubts about my abilities to keep up with everything.

But today, I had a great day. I got a B+ on my first Stats exam! Ah!!!!

I had the biggest smile on my face when leaving class. If you want to know the truth, I wasn't sure if I could do it. I've done the work, I've put in the time, but sometimes I doubt my brainp0wer - especially now after I've been out of school for so long. Needless to say this B+ exceeded my expectations and I feel better about what I can do.

Just goes to show you that just when you're feeling down or needing a boost, God provides if its what you need. I can do all things through He who strengthens me, right?!

DJ is taking me out tomorrow night to celebrate this small win for a stressed mama.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Family Weekend

Last weekend we had a great visit from my parents. When my dad arrived he gave me a big hug and walked me right into the house. We sat and chatted for about five minutes when all of a sudden I heard a knock on the door. It was my mom! She had surprised us and come along with Dad. I was stunned! It took me a few minutes to say anything because I was SO not expecting her to be here. What an awesome surprise!!!

We headed out to Roanoke to visit Matt, Jennifer, Nate, Jenna, and my nephews. What a fun time! It's so nice when we can all get together. Jackson was the boys' little shadow - following them around all weekend with a constant smile on his face. They had fun using apples for batting practice, playing in the barn, going for walks up to the creek, and riding around on the tractor. Here's a few pictures from our time in Roanoke. Thanks Matt and Jennifer for your hospitality!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to School

Today I became a student again. At 11:30, I went to my first course at IUSB. My hope is that this will lead me to become a Masters student next year. I'm taking Introduction to Statistics Theory in Economics and Business. According to my professor, it's as exciting as it sounds. He made it very clear that this was going to be a very difficult course, that he does not accept late work, that he will not provide extra credit, and that there will be NO going to use the restroom during class. I felt like I was in high school again hearing this man talk about "the real world" and "real deadlines". But the truth is, most of the students in my class are sophomores! 20 years old! It's true that they probably need to hear these things, but it just sounded so weird after having been in "the real world" for a few years myself.
After class I went up and spoke with my professor. Turns out, he's a really nice guy. He encouraged me to come to him with questions, answered all SIX of my questions today nicely and with confidence, and even said I could attend a 10 a.m. course on the same days of the week if it better suits my work schedule. He asked me where I work and about what I do. I think we'll get along nicely.
The main thing will be staying on top of the work. He told students that it would be best if this was their only class so that they could spend the 8-10 hours a week that this course requires. I was delighted, thinking "Hey! This IS my only class." But then I remember that I have my life to juggle - working, mommying, wife-ing. All wonderful things that I wouldn't trade for the world. Can you say balance!?!? I think my social life might take a hurting throughout this semester, but that's cool with me. Here's to growing up and learning about linear regression!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Last weekend my mom and I went to Las Vegas. What an amazing time! We stayed at a beautiful hotel and got to see Garth Brooks in an amazing concert. I'm so lucky to have such loving parents that spoil me often. Here's a shot of my mom and I just before the concert. They wouldn't let us take pictures of Garth, but I SO wish I could have so that I can show you how awesome it was! Garth was funny, charming, talented, entertaining, ... I could go on and on. What a blast!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I took this picture of Jackson last night when we were playing outside. It was taken with my phone, which stinks, because I think if I'd had a real camera handy it would have turned out really well.
I'm starting classes at IUSB August 29th. I will be taking an introduction to statistics theory in economics and business. Y.I.K.E.S. I was not accepted into the Masters of Public Affairs Program, but if I do well in this course and a course in Political Science the head of the program said that he would take me. I think it might be nice to get my feet when in an undergraduate level course anyway. The good news is that I'll go on Mondays and Wednesdays over the lunch hour so I won't miss any time (at least for class) with my family. I'm sure that I'll have to take some time away from them to study, but it will be so worth it in the long run.

SOOOO looking forward to next week! My mom arrives on Tuesday night, Wednesday night DJ and I are going to see Sheryl Crow, and we leave for Vegas on Thursday! I can hardly wait. We're going to check out the sites on Friday and hit the pool and go out for a nice dinner. Saturday we're going to get massages and then go to the GARTH BROOKS concert Saturday night. Sunday morning it's brunch and then we head home! It will be a quick trip, but lots of fun. Looking forward to hanging with my mom so much.

Peace & Love,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summah Summah Summah Time

We had a really fun weekend. I took the day off on Friday to go visit my great friend Jeanine. We hadn't seen each other in 4 years and had never met each other's kids! Jeanine and Henry took us to the Indy Zoo and then we went out for lunch. It was a great day! We bounced right back to the way we used to be and had a great time. No more four-year gaps
Jeanine! Here are a few shots from the zoo. The highlight was seeing the 18-day-old baby elephant, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture.

Henry and Jeanine

Jack and the Penguins of Madagascar!

Henry & Jackson

When we got home from Indy, DJ was mowing hay so we stopped by to see him. Thought I'd grab a few shots of my cutie on his 4020.

The farmer and his boy.

On Saturday night we celebrated Jonny's 12th birthday. He took Jackson swimming, being the fun uncle that he is, and I snapped a few photos. It was so hot my lense was steaming up so the pictures are a little cloudy.

Love this one!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jackson's Two Year Photos

Our baby turned two on June 11th. I had a wonderful photographer capture these shots of him. Her name is Hannah Wright - she's a homeschooled senior and has already started her own photography business. I think she did an excellent job capturing our little cutie.


I tried the mocha cocounut latte at Starbucks yesterday and fell in love! This treat is a delicious way to start your day. There are real flakes of coconut sprinkled on top so you get to enjoy some coconut flakes with each sip. Yum! Thanks to my loving father, I am able to splurge on a Starbucks coffee every now and then - he keeps my Florida Starbucks gift card stocked up. I think he has a secret motive - every time I drink Starbucks I think of him. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Domestic Guru ...er not

Lately I've been trying to do little things for DJ to make his life easier. He works so hard and pulls some long hours, so I've been trying to do things like make the coffee the night before so he doesn't have to when he gets up and packing his lunch when I know he's not going to go out the next day.
Now I'm not really the type of girl that feels "convicted" to pack my husband's lunch. It has always just seemed so unimportant when I have a full-time job, a two year old, and a life! I mean, he can do it himself, right? But certain events in my life recently have made me appreciate him and all he does for us. The life of a farmer's wife isn't always easy, but I'm definitely thankful for what we have and for how much he loves me and Jack and for how hard he works to build a future for us.
That said ... I haven't been doing so great in the dinner-making department. Unless I make a plan in the morning (and have all the groceries I need) ... which is rare ... I seem to just run out of time to make dinner. Not good. This means we eat a lot of frozen pizza and Subway. So tonight, I'm going to try to make a nice dinner for us - steak on the grill with scalloped potatoes and asparagus. Wish me luck.

Does anyone have suggestions for quick and easy dinners!?
Peace and Love,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wildwood Here We Come

So two weekends ago our friends Joe and Kristy invited us to come up and spend the weekend with them. They have a camper (with an awesome double porch) near lake Juno in Edwardsburg. DJ and I spent a Saturday night hanging out with them and then had so much fun we took Jack up the following day to go out on the water. Well...
We had so much fun we bought a camper too! It's just a small resting spot for evenings and time between the water, but it's fun! Joe and Kristy have been introducing us to the folks at Wildwood campgrounds - most of whom spend the weekends up there. Everyone seems really friendly and there are definitely a few characters! Still lots of settling in to do, but we spent our first night there last weekend and everyone did great (Tucker too!). I'm so glad to have a little getaway spot for the weekends - it is fun to be out on the water and to spend more time with Jack and Deej.

In other news...
In just a few weeks my mom and I are going to Las Vegas to celbrate our 30/50 birthdays! I CAN'T wait! My dad really spoiled us and is sending us to stay at the Wynn. Neither one of us are into gambling but we'll have a lot of fun laying by the pool and oh yeah - going to see GARTH BROOKS!!!! I have wanted to see him in concert since I was little and babysat my cousins Ryan and Adam when their parents (Trace adn Ann) went to see Garth at the Joyce Center. My wish is about to come true. I think I might cry when I see him.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Fun

Alittle recap of our lives over the past few weeks ...

I snapped this picture of my (not so) little boy sleeping last night. I can't believe how much he's changed just in the past few months. He's talking like crazy and saying things like:

  • Scuse Me!

  • Ew!

  • Farm Shoes (The shoes he only wears when we go to the farm - he loves them!)

  • Tucker jumped in da poo

  • What's dat?!

Everything is so exciting and wonderful to him and his reactions to everything make me so happy.

Fun at Aunt Dawn's
"Riding" the steer at the fair with Grandpa Reed.

Jack's first roller coast ride at the fair!

Not sure who's more nervous to ride the fire truck - Daddy or Jackson?

Riding the Bumper Boats at the fair. He wasn't too impressed.

Jack showing his dairy beef steer - he got 2nd place!

Jonny showing his dairy beef steer. He also got 2nd place in his class.

Jack L.O.V.E.S. his uncles, Jake and Jonny. He lights up whenever he sees them (and the feeling is mutual). :)

I turned 30 last Monday and my great friends Heather and Heidi had put all these signs and flags up in my front yard in the middle of the night before my birthday. So fun! Thanks girls!

In June we got to hang out with our awesome cousins Trace and Kendall while their mom and dad took older sister Carlee to a volleyball tournament in Florida. We had so much fun! Here's a few pictures from our trip to the zoo.

Riding the train. It was HOT!