A mothers love is forever.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

THREE!?! My oh my...

Can you believe that our little Holly is three years old? It's true. I cannot think of Holly's birthday without thinking of that day that we got the call. I remember it very vividly! I was at work and I was in charge that day. I got connected and the caller id had our agency on it... I couldn't believe it! Within three hours of my baby's birth, I was able to hold her! She captivated my every being the moment I laid my eyes on her... and to be honest, well before that! Holly was easy to fall in love with. She was tiny and beautiful and such a great little baby. Today, she is growing and beaitful and such a great big girl! I love everything about her... even her sassiness! It's hard to believe that she is three. That she is going on Christmas #4 with us... that she is a preschooler with her very own Leappad! My baby is growing up.... but she will always be my baby. Happy Birthday my dear, sweet Holly! I love you with all my heart, from meeces to pieces, from the moon and back! xoxoxo

Sunday, September 11, 2011

i remember. may they will never forget.

I will remember. I will never forget that day. I will never forget the hushed understanding among Americans that followed for weeks. I will never get the images out of my head. And I do this by choice. Sept 11, 2001 was a day that not only changed America, it changed the world. It affected every race, ethnicity, religion, and sex. It was a day of shock, sadness, awe, heroism, terror, and grief. I remember where I was. I will tell my children all about it when they are older. And, I will do my very best not to let them forget. Today, we took them to the dedication of a steel piece of the World Trade Center. Apparently there are 1200 pieces out there and there was a rigorous application process in order to place these where they would be most appreciated. I am proud that the firefighters in my small town took the initiative and were chosen. God Bless America, ten years to the day the world was forever changed.
Before they unveiled the steel piece.

They closed down Grand River Avenue.


I cannot get over the bent nails.

Baby girls, I pray your generation never understands the grief associated with this type of terror.
And if you do, I pray that you will never take for granted the beauty of each day. xox

Monday, September 5, 2011

DOWN TWENTY with more to go!

I just wanted to say that today was great for me! The past week I've buckled back down on my eating. I'm back to protein shakes, eggs, salads and chicken mostly (with the occasional chocolate!). I have been weighing myself every Monday since March regardless of weight loss or gain. I printed a chart off the computer and hang it in the bathroom so I can see it all the time. I know weight isn't the best indicator of health. I know that focusing on that soley isn't the best long term plan but right now, for me, it helps. I like to have something measureable. Not simply a lowered jean size or better fitting shirt (although that is great too!). So, the coolest thing was today, I saw results! When I see results, I have increased motivation to continue eating healthy!! I am now down exactly 20 pounds since March!!! I am so thrilled! I want to keep going, keep it up and maybe even be forced to buy MORE new jeans! (I rewarded myself this fall with 2 pair from Maurices) I struggled a lot the past two months but at least maintained... hopefully with this new loss I can stay motivated to drop a few more pounds! Maybe 10 by my birthday!?!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sweet, sweet summer!

My sister came down with her two boys this week and we decided to take them all to the MillPond. It's a large pond that is located in the heart of our small town. They have great paths to walk, ducks to feed and various shops, ice cream and even a playstructure the kids can usually play at (it's currently closed). It was  a beautiful day for all of us and I'm thankful for the time with my nephews, sister and my mom!

Holly really wanted to wear that hair clippy but it didn't match (I'm kinda a stickler) so I decided to put it on her hat instead of a fishing hook! She's just getting to big, too fast!

Hanny was quite a serious kiddo today. She had her "baby" with her and I was so afraid she'd drop it in the pond but she wouldn't let go so she spent much time in the stroller and short periods w/o baby closer to the water.

So very, very thankful for my family this week. Thanking God for the health of our family members and saying many prayers of thanks. God has been good to us, and we are humbled.

Weight Challenges

In March I posted about a life change that I was making... eating healthier, exercising and just maintaining and overall healthier lifestyle. My main goal of coarse was to lose weight and get back into some clothing I haven't worn in a few years. Since then, I've lost 16 pounds. Honestly, this has been extremely challenging and it seems to get harder every day.

I joined Jazz.er.cise in October with the hopes of going at least 2-3 days per week. I  LOVE the workout there! I feel energized and truly feel like I'm getting my butt kicked. I started out going the 2 days per week and did great! Lately... um, really, the past two months (just after signing on a year), I've slacked. Big time. I can find every excuse not to go. Mornings are too early and besides, Aaron has to leave for work earlier now that he drives further. Afternoons in summer are full of mowing the lawn, fixing dinners, and enjoying being a family. During the day, well, I never do that simply because it's just not plausible. They do have childcare available, free of charge, on tues, wed & thurs but I just can't seem to get to that session. The good news is that I've been walking 4 mile walks with my mom during this time, usually 1-2 times each week. I used to love exercise. I was a huge tomboy growing up and played softball and basketball like it was no ones business. As I've gotten older, I find that what I really missed was the competition of it all.

When I went on my food overhaul, I was basing it all on a book titled "Fee.d Musc.le, Starv.e F.at". It worked pretty good for me. The hardest part is finding the time to actually cook. They don't want me to make just one meal. It's making an omelet every single morning. Then having basically chicken, salad or fish (which I don't eat) at each meal. I am horrible at making meals, let alone for just one person! My mornings are full of getting three people dressed and ready for their day, feeding my kiddos, the cats, cleaning, laundry, etc... whatever is on for the day, it's never an omelet. I started incorporating protein shakes into my day and that is something I've stuck with. I usually substitute breakfast. It recommends at least one meal per day. What I found was when it came time to re-incorporate carbs into my diet (at two weeks), it got harder. And harder. My cravings are back and full force. I snack just like I did before. I am working very hard at this and attempting to choose healthy snacks. I'm learning that just because it's a good option, eating a ton of it defeats the purpose. UGH!

So, I think I'm doing pretty good overall. I've just been stuck. But that is nothing new. I've been here before. At least this time I'm down 16 pounds. My goal is to lose twice that. Or more. So... I've got more work to do. Some ideas I've had are to go to be earlier and get up at 5:30am. Then I'll come downstairs and workout to the Zu.mba Wii game I've got (at least a couple days per week). Couple that with the occasional Jazze.rcise and walks and I've got myself a good gig. Maybe If I got up earlier, I'd have time after Zum.ba to make myself that omelet! So, that's the idea... we'll see what happens. Getting to bed earlier will be my toughest challenge. It's the time of the day when my girls are asleep and there is no timer ticking telling me they'll be up soon and that my time is limited. I know they'll be down for hours.

So, that's my lifestyle change update. Hopefully in a few months I can chart some more progress!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We signed Holly up for preschool this week. It is bittersweet for sure. I am really excited for this part of the girls life! I really liked school (always academics, but hated the social aspect in high school)! I'm anxious to see if we've made the right decision. I think it's crazy how much time I've put into looking into preschools, and I am worried about if this is the "right" one. Preschool is preschool, right? Maybe not... Aaron's only worried that the girls get the right amount of math & science that they should. I'm worried that the teachers should be nice, the potty the right size and the classroom exciting. Oh, and that she LEARN enough to get her to where she needs to be to start Kgtn in two years. Yikes! We paid our deposit on a Christian school's preschool program. It's non-refundable yet I still feel the need to look further. There was one other school I had wanted to tour. So, this week, I plan to. I want to see it. I want to let my heart settle. I'm hoping that by seeing this other school, I'll know. But if I don't, surely after a few days of school, I will know for sure! I pray that the decision we made was a good one. I have a good feeling about the place, but I still worry.

Worrying = Mommyhood. 4sure.

Monday, June 27, 2011


We've had LOTS of first this past week! From picking strawberries, to hair cuts and finally the first dentist appt!! The girls did AWESOME with all of it!

First Haircuts went much better than I had ever expected! They sat so well and watched the tv with cartoons on that was there. They got to choose to sit on a carousel horse or in a car. At first they both picked a horse but Hannah changed her mind before the cut and sat in the car. Holly's is so short but makes her curls curlier! Hannahs cut some loose ends but sure didn't take much off. Double edge sword I guess. I like the cut look but so sad they take hair. The girls were thrilled with the balloon and sucker they got after their cuts were done! I cannot get over how cute my babies are and how fast they are growing!

Holly was leaning to watch the tv they had there for the kids to watch.

Holly After... Shorter than I had hoped but CUTER than I imagined!!

Hannah getting hers cut too...

Hannah's After... longer than I hoped, couldn't tell it was done but still CUTE!
 We went Strawberry picking for the very first time about a week ago with my mom, sister and her two boys. The weather cooperated but barely! It was humid but not terribly hot as we had storms heading in! Hannah ate a ton of strawberries and Holly had a couple. Funny thing is they only eat them there and never when I put them on their plates! Silly girls!
Dis one? Hanny picking strawberries... she probably ate more than she put in the box!

Holly picking strawberries... and by the look on her face, likely being bossy too!

Today was dentist day! This was the girls first OFFICIAL time at the dentist. I had taken Holly once before along with my appointment just to have her see them and start the process of warming up to the idea. They both did extremely well! They sat in the chairs and went for a ride in them, then they both allowed the dental hygenists to polish them with the "Mr. Tickly" and they used Mr. Squirty to spray water into a cup and sucked it out with Mr. Slirpy! The girls had a great time! Almost as much time as the staff did helping them! They were thrilled to get new toothbrushes and at the end asked for a cookie. UMMMM? Yes, a cookie! We all got a laugh out of that! I was so proud of them! Holly has all 20 of her teeth and Hannah has 17! 
Hannah getting her teeth checked by Dr Brunner

Holly getting hers checked by Dr Brunner

Patty did Hannahs teeth and Lisa did Hollys! Afterward they gave the girls princess tiaras and wands!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The past two days Holly has said two things that I just cracked up hearing and I LOVE that she is at this stage! It's way too cute to hear her and what her understanding is of things.... thought I'd share!

Yesterday after her nap, Holly and I were relaxing on the couch watching Mickey and our cat, Maui was sitting next to her. She was petting him and he in return was putting his front (declawed) paws on her arm. After a minute of them being cute, she turned to me and asked "Mommy, what does Maui have?". I was confused and asked "what do you mean?". She then paused and said "He has M&M's mommy!"... she was referring to the little soft pads on his paws! LOVE IT.

Then today we were at AAA getting some trip tix and the lady at the counter was saying hello to the girls. So, Holly standing in her stroller said to the woman, "This is Hannah. And, this is mommy. And, (pointing to herself), this is ME!",,,,

The things this kiddo comes up with just make me laugh! I love them both dearly! Just had to share those silly tales!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Secondary Infertility

Noooo.... not me! I have a friend who is facing secondary infertility (infertility after having a first child). I'm not familiar enough with this to offer her the support she rightly deserves. Anyone know of some online support she might benefit from? I can empathize with many aspects of infertility but not secondary. I know there must be a difference. When I was going through it before my girls, I couldn't understand someone who had one child and so deseperately sought another when they were surely blessed by the first, afterall, I would have been extremely grateful for one child! I can understand better now but certainly back then, I had some anger. So... any suggestions on resources would be fantastic! Thanks!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chosen Once More.

Once again, we were asked by our ado.ptio.n agency if we were interested in speaking on their adop.tive parent panel to prospective adop.tive couples. We did this the fall after Hannah was born and here we are going to do it again. Our response was a definate YES!

I love to tell Holly's story. I love to tell our story. The story from beginning to end. From my first REI appt, through my miscarriages, into our decision to adopt. Through the paperwork, the matching, the failed placement and the waiting. And waiting. And sadness. And anger. And despair. And then the rest of the first chapter in our parenting ventures, our match, and placement with our beautiful Holly. And eventually, the twist, the birth of our silly Hannah.

Without one part of the story, it's not complete. It's our story. Our creation as a family. I know there are many stories with such similar paths and it once made me sad. I used to say I'd NEVER wish that on anyone. The pain and loss is great in infertility and adoptio.n. But, now, with the way things have turned out... I know it was HIS plan for me. And, I cannot say I wouldn't wish it on anyone anymore because if their story turns out even half as awesome as ours, then it was well worth every tear. Guaranteed.

So it goes without question that we'll go and we'll represent the domestic ad.option side of things. The cool part is that we have a few more years under our belts and we might be able to answer the questions with a bit more grace and much more understanding. I pray that our words help others and our story with our semi-open adop.tion gives them a sense of what could be, with their own spin on how to proceed with their birth families. I'm excited, and anxious and as always, thrilled to share our story!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two Pee Pees on the Potty....

OMG. So, I proudly proclaimed Holly potty trained in November, a couple of weeks before her birthday. And she was. She's been nearly accident free since. And never had a poo accident. She did great and was so easy to train. It was like she kinda took over and just did it on her own once she learned how to poo on the potty. It was smooth. It got to the point where when I go somewhere, if I put her on the potty before we leave, I stopped worrying about what would happen when we were out. I carry a potty seat with me in a cute bag and all has been well.

Add Hannah. Now Hannah is starting to show a HUGE interest in potty training. She's been going on the potty for months, but not consistently. She never knew to tell me before but now, when she tells me, she goes. And it's almost always the truth (Holly's to the point where she knows that if she requests the potty, she can sit and play there and get out of things like dinner, naps, or leaving the house if she's not in the mood). Hannah is doing both pee and poo on the potty, and quite regularly. I switched her over to mostly pull-ups now because it's just easier because she's so frequently dry.

The clincher? I don't like little pottys. The girls don't sit on them well and they make more of a mess to clean up. I trained them to sit on the potty with a seat. So, now there are two going. At home, I've figured this out. I have three bathrooms so I can either have two per bathroom upstairs or occasionally I have to do one up and one down. When we go out, like to a restaurant for instance, that's when it gets challenging. Sometimes both girls want to go. And sometimes they want to go multiple times during a meal. And sometimes they need to poo. Both of them. So lately, I spend a LOT of time in public bathrooms. Yuck. I never, ever, ever, imagined what potty training would mean to me as a mom. The thought never crossed my mind. But now, I carry a toilet seat with me everywhere. I have sat on bathroom floors for 25 minutes while one of my kids pooped. I have kneeled dozens of times on my jeans, touched seats I would have never touched and started to truly appreciate what a clean public bathroom can mean. At least little boys can stand to pee.

Ahhh... the joys of potty training!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just life.

I recently decided that I'm a terrible blogger. I need to take a second look at my new years resolutions to see how often I had said I wanted to blog. I think it was twice each month. Gosh, is that all? I feel like every time I sit down to write, I get writers block. Do I write about my weight loss journey? My girls? Both? Then I get confused and want to do it all in one. Then I think it's too much. So I stop writing and do read other blogs instead. Afterall... that's more fun!

My diet life change has been going well so far. It has been very hard but I've stuck with it for the most part. I've lost a few pounds and already feel a bit better in my jeans. That's the good part. The bad part is that I still crave junk food. Pizza, chocolate, candy, desserts, crackers, chips... all the sweet and salty I can think of, I do. So that makes it hard. It's not like I'm eating all this chicken and salad and thinking, WOW I LOOOOVE this stuff. Nope. I still love Pizza the most. And another thing is that it makes me cranky. I hate not being able to eat my carbs, as I choose. It's frustrating and makes me testy sometimes. I wish I weren't like that but I am. It is who I am. I also feel bad because it makes it hard to enjoy a meal with my husband or kids. They are eating things I would rather be eating. Well, actually, that's mostly Aaron. The girls eat mostly cut up fruits, veggies and some meat. It's Aaron who eats the yummy stuff. He doesn't like veggies, and the things I am eating. I guess you could say cooking right now is a challenge.

Which brings me to my next resolution on making two new meals a month. I've tried new stuff on this diet, but cooking new meals? Not really. If you count making a new egg scramble or adding salsa to my chicken breast then I'm good. But, if you're thinking casserole, crock pot, etc... then nope, nothings been new. Can't experiment right now. I just have to focus on me and what I'm eating and NOT eating.

My girls are the light of my life. The things they say remind me every day why I wanted to be a mom. I love this age! They explore everything and Holly's big into questions. It cracks me right up when she turns to me and says "Momma, I have a question for you". I laugh and say ok, what is your question.... because if I say sure??? then she says "yeah". I have to ask her to ask me the question! And, if something is bothering her, she'll ask me, "what's bugging you mommy?". That means for me to ask her, what's bugging you Holly. Usually, her shirt is itchy. They tell on each other now too which is crazy! If I don't see what they do, I don't give a time out (unless it's obvious and there are tears). But, we use time-outs for both girls and they are awesome with them. They work! Thanks SuperNanny! lol  Aaron and I have been watching that show since before we had kids and we continue to in order to perfect what we're learning. Sometimes Holly WANTS a timeout and we can't quite figure out what to do about that. If we warn her, or have to talk to her about something then she'll automatically say she wants a timeout. We tell her no that we're not putting her in one but if she wants to sit alone for a few, she can. Hannah is talking like crazy now. She says so many new words and I love it. Yesterday her new word was rainbow but it sounds like ram-oh. She's starting to put together 2-3 words and she's learning right behind Holly how to use the potty. She loves to do it and can even tell me now sometimes before she needs to go and can hold it until we get to the potty. I'm hoping she'll be as easy to train as Holly was.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A big change...

For many years I've struggled with my weight. This isn't a new concept to me. I remember as a young lady hearing about "yo-yo" dieting and never imagined I'd be one of those people. I knew better. I had watched my mom for years tirelessly weigh and measure her food on a little We.ight W.atchers scale. She knew long ago (wish I'd have known then to listen to mom like I know now!) that when I got out of high school and stopped working out day in and day out... that the pounds would add up. I didn't listen. I ate whatever I wanted. Freshman year college = 15 extra pounds. Did I learn then? Nope. So year after year, I ate what I wanted and today I am officially "obese"... clinically speaking.

I don't remember my first diet but it wasn't until sometime during college (at least that I can remember). Likely, it was W.eightW.at.chers. I joined and was successful! Lost it all. Lost more. I was doing great. Then when it came time to pay the piper to "maintain my weight"... I quit. Then I got married. I remember when we bought my wedding gown. It was an entire year and a half before my wedding. (I was engaged for three years). I got a size 12. I loved the dress! It was great! Then, late i the fall the year preceeding my wedding, someone asked to see my dress. I tried it on for them.... and couldn't zip it. Yup. When I told my mom I was heartbroken. But, she said something to me I will NEVER forget and I will hopefully do the same for my girls. She told me, "Don't stress about it. We have a long time before the wedding. If you lose weight and fit in it, great! If not, don't worry, you and I will go get a dress closer to time that fits and no one will know". WOW. It took the stress right off me. The weight, literally and figuratively, was lifted from my shoulders of the burden of needing to lose weight. The cool thing was, it worked! Taking the stress off of it made losing weight more fun, easier and something I knew I was doing only for myself, not for a dress! The best part was that I did in fact need a new dress... but it was the same dress, just two sizes SMALLER!

Since my wedding I've joined WW another 2 times. I've been successful. Lost my weight, then put it back on plus 5 or so pounds. My excuses as to how I got to this weight continue on from there. I blame infertility! Why not right?? I blame lots on damn infertility! But, I remember with my first miscarriage, somewhere inside wondering if I'd hurt the baby by working out. Then number two happened and I thought the same thing. Bring on IUI's and IVF and I was deathly afraid all the 'goods' would fall out if I worked out. So I quit working out. I ate whatever I wanted and viola. Another 15 pounds (give or take). Then came Hannah. Sure, blame the baby! So, with Hannah I wasn't PLANNING a pregnancy because I had been told I could not conceive. So I hadn't bothered losing weight since my two miscarriages or the extra I put on after treatments. So I was at my highest weight ever when I got pregnant. I gained 44 pounds during my pregnancy. WAY over what they wanted me to. Guess what? It was ALL water. I lost every pound in 10 days after having my baby girl. Ten days. There is a fact out there that says you can only lose about 3 pounds in ONE WEEK, if you lose more, it's water. So... I did it in less than a week and a half. You cannot tell me it was fat.

Fast forward 20 months. This past fall, just after Hannah's first birthday, I decided to lose a few pounds because I finally could. I went down about 10 pounds, and fast. It was great. Then I quit. Since then, I've put on 20. So here I sit, at my highest weight ever. Just 3 pounds bigger than I was when I got prenant with Hannah. I'm not happy with my weight. But I'm not necessarily embarassed by it either. I know I look chunky. I know that last night when I saw a guy I went to high school with, I ducked quickly and headed another way. But I think I've been through a lot. My body went through world war III with my pregnancy and before that, miscarriages and infertility treatments. But. There's a big but. I can't blame them anymore. It's all on me now.

So, today, I make a big change. I am not following WW. I am not doing this because of a deadline. I have no wedding, no pregnancy, nothing that I need to worry about. I am deciding to make a change for my heart, for my girls, and for me. I want them to see me eat more salads. I want them to enjoy eating chicken. I want them to know what vegetables taste like. They do all of this now but as they grow, I hope that if I'm making better choices, they too will make them. I know that I have been here before. I have said this is a lifelong struggle and this is not a diet. Diets don't work. Lifelong changes do. But this time I will do better. I will do better. I will do better. I. WILL. DO. BETTER.  For me. and for them too.

 So cheers... to a new lifestyle. One that will not be easy for me because I LIKE my carbs, my sweets, my italian food... I can do it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Everybody cleanup!

My dear sweet Holly... I LOVE that when I asked you to help mommy clean up and handed you the daddy and big girl for your dollhouse, you put them away with no problems! Even more than that was later seeing how you had placed them when you put them away! See, looks just like you and daddy doing your favorite thing right now... standing all over the furniture!!

Thank you sweetie for giving mommy and daddy a good belly laugh just before bed!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Been busy this week!

Some new things we are doing....