Hubby Is 30!

In honor of my amazing, talented, hilarious, handsome, wonderful, giving, loving Hubby’s dirty thirtieth birthday, I’d like to show this little collection of photos…

Before this happened…

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There were these two kids, on the night they met, at a Halloween party (right after the church service they played together)…

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You know, just trying to make scary faces with the cute guy you just met.

They were together a lot after that…

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This is our “college formal” face.

And I mean a lot…

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Our “middle school dance” date. He put a lot of work into that one!

Until one day, he proposed for real…

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This remains the only picture of us from that night. And we’re still making that stupid “college formal” face.

Practiced getting married…

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Post rehearsal dinner shenanigans.

And really did it…

This is totally characteristic of our relationship.
This is totally characteristic of our relationship.

Then we bought a house…

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We bought our house on the way to the airport to go to Italy. Obviously.

Shaved his head for children’s cancer…

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He’s done it several times, but this was the year he also raised $200 for his trashy mustache.

Went to this bar, our favorite bar, for 90 days in a row… three times…

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Finnigan’s Wake will always be home base for us.

And then we got pregnant and had this sweet gal…

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All of a sudden… parents!

I watched him become the most amazing dad…

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They’re still besties.

And then we did that a time or two more…

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I’m a little bit pregnant with J in this one…
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And I’m a LOT pregnant with him here.
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And here I’m a couple weeks away from having D!

With a few breaks for being awesome in between…

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Singing in his wedding band was still one of the most fun nights of my life!
Just a little family partying.
Just a little family partying.

All in all, I wouldn’t do life any differently or with anyone else. Hubby’s my rock. He’s my personal chef, my confidant, my treasured friend, my only lover, my companion, my “I need to tag out!” or “I can’t do this alone!” rescuer. He is my everything, and I can’t wait to spend the next thirty years with him. 30 looks good on you, babe. Happy birthday.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, y’all! We had a very busy and fun weekend followed closely by a busy Monday, so I’m feeling good about this post actually happening before noon!! I feel like there are so many more hilarious things that happened – I gotta get better at writing them down right away! Anyway, here’s what I’ve got!

 J, riding on a friend’s John Deere toy, in a very country accent: Hey, mama! How you?!

EK: Halloleen is coming up! Halloleen is coming up!
(She’s obsessed.)

Picking the kids up from preschool…
EK: That church was soooo fun!
Hubby: What was so fun?
EK: Playdoh! Do we have Playdoh at home?
Hubby: Nope.
(Mommy really doesn’t like Playdoh. That’s why it’s so much fun at school.)

Me, to a friend: I like your pants!
EK: Your pants have polka dots on them!
Me: That was almost a compliment.

Leaving for school…
EK: Bye bye, Dad!
J: Bye dad!
EK: I love you!
J: Wuv woo!
EK: See you after school!
J: See school!

Second recent obsession: Cindereller. And yes, that’s how she says it.

The train obsession continues with J…
J: I wan’ ride choo-choo train!
Me: That was a great sentence!

J and I were wrestling on the floor, and he hit his head (lightly, okay!) on the bed…
J: Ouch! I bonk head! I okay.

EK told her nursery caretaker at church on Sunday that she was “pumping”. Apparently she pulled her dress down to show her how. Yikes.

J: Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle dah! Hah bah bah bah bah bah dah! (Perfectly on pitch, by the way.)

EK: Night mom. See you when the sun comes up. (This is my favorite way she says goodnight.)

On EK’s birthday this last April, my friend Emily came for the weekend, and attended the birthday party in a gown, with gloves and a tiara (it was a princess party of course). EK has been talking about the princess who came to her birthday party and “put on her makeup in my bathroom” ever since. Emily visited with us again this past weekend, and EK was confused and then thrilled to find that Emily was the very same princess. It made for some colorful conversations that I wish I had recorded! Suffice it to say that we had a great weekend!

Another bedtime saying…
EK: Can you leave my door open a little bit?
Me: Sure, babe. Good night!
EK: Hey, like this much? (Shows me with her hands.)
Me: Yes… How’s this?
EK: That’s good. (Rolls over. Conversation over.)

Train obsession continues with EK…
EK: Mom, can you sing the song about the train?
Me: (Unsure what she is talking about) What song?
EK: The one about the train!
Me: (Not wanting to listen to the theme to Chuggington or Thomas) Okay, let me download them.


Now that it’s a couple days later, she literally does the locomotion and loves it. Mom win. (PS: I know you’re totally laughing about the songs listed underneath the “train songs”.)

On the way to school…
EK: Mommy, do you know the way downtown?
Me: Sure she does!
EK: Annie doesn’t know the way.
Me: I’m sure she does, babe.
EK: No. Annie doesn’t know the way downtown.

What are your kids saying and doing nowadays? Any hilarious misnomers or mispronunciations? Those are my favorite. Have a great week!

Currently 

Happy Monday, all! I am SO ON TIME with this week’s Currently that I’m surprised by myself. Anyway, I’m linking up like I do every week with Becky at Choose Happy, and also, because it’s the first week in October, I’m linking (on Wednesday) with Jenna at Gold & Bloom and Anne in Residence.

Eating || pumpkin muffins and lattes! I’ve been experimenting with recipes for both, typically of the gluten and dairy free variety. When I find my favorite I will post it!  Another think I’ve been totally crushing on are the toasted graham lattes at Starbucks. YUM. As you might recall, I’ve got a certain graham cracker obsession right now, and these fit the bill nicely.

Exploring || our lovely new weather and according wardrobes. It’s that time of year when I see what I need to get for the kids and Hubby and me. We are hard on stuff, and the kids are growing so fast!! I found a few things at Old Navy last week (among them are this chambray shirt and this shift dress), and we’ve ordered some things for Hubby. J miraculously fits in some of his stuff from last year, so I’m hoping we won’t spend too much for what we need for the cold.

Wearing || boots and scarves… And raincoats. The hurricane is blessedly far enough from us that all we’re getting is lots of rain and some wind. We are so thankful to not be flooded or destroyed. But this week we see the sun, and are thankful for that, too. EK has been asking when the sun would come out!

my front yard around midday last week.

Admiring || my Hubby this week. He is working on a recording project in the studio, and he’ll be working 12+ hour days all week, including his birthday on Wednesday. He is working hard and missing us, I know, but I’m proud of him for being excited about and dedicated to his work. He’s the best husband and dad I know.

Collecting || the “toy crumbs” from all over the house. Pieces of puzzles, pretend food/dishes, and other miscellaneous toys litter the floor in almost every room, and this week my goal is to clean up and organize at least a little bit on the days the kids are in school. Hopefully it’ll look a little better by Thursday afternoon than it does right now!

Anticipating || my church’s centennial celebration on Sunday! All 5 worship services that happen on Sunday mornings are combining for one mega service this weekend, and all the worship bands are combining to make it a huge deal. I am SO EXCITED to have this experience! If you are anywhere near central NC, check out Reynolda Church’s centennial celebration. We would LOVE to see you there!

Well, that’s a little bit about what’s going on in my life this week! What about you? What are you up to currently?

Doing Life Together

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

As humans, we are made for community. God created man, and then said he needed a companion. We need each other. We have the ability to help each other, enjoy each other, and make each other better people. There are countless cliches about community and being together: “It takes a village.” and “Two heads are better than one.” and “Birds of a feather flock together.” They show just how much we are meant to be with other people.

In the world of moms, there has been much talk recently of having or finding your “mom group”. Frequently that group is labelled a “tribe”. Tribe is an old word that’s making a reappearance in our culture. It makes me think of a bunch of people literally living together, in huts within a few hundred feet of each other, nomads even. Webster defines tribe as “a group of people that includes many families and relatives who have the same language, customs, and beliefs”.

Well, that’s really what it is, right? People living together, in similar stages of life, in at least semi-close proximity, surviving the trenches of parenting and doing life together. And – thank goodness! – those people I’ve got! My tribe won’t bat an eye when I call to ask about a weird-looking poop, or with questions about how to deal with my preschooler’s attitude. My tribe will come over to help us escape the rainy day (week!) boredom or meet us at the park to get the blues out of our systems. My tribe doesn’t think I’m a bad mom when we’re having Chick-fil-A for the fourth time this week.

It’s not always easy to find your tribe, but once you’ve got it, it’s a relief. It’s a great feeling to have someone you can chat with while the crazy swirls around you. It’s nice to be totally real, unaffected, and just plain relaxed around someone. Those people may be few and far between. Those people may be those you least expect. But be brave – strike up conversations, seek out those around you. Find your tribe. You were made to be a part of one.

Good Eaters

Getting your kids to make healthy eating choices is tough. And as much as I want them to choose fresh vegetables over fries, and fresh fruit over fruit snacks, it’s just not always going to happen. And I think that’s a good thing.

You see, kids should eat junk sometimes. For instance, who wants to be the mom of the kid at a slumber party who won’t eat the cinnamon rolls they heated up for breakfast? Or the kid who won’t eat a hot dog at the baseball game? I’m not saying either of those are bad things to feed your kids; my kids eat those things plenty. But we try to not have them on too regular a basis.

Usually, my kids are okay with the foods we choose to feed them. For toddlers, they’re extremely eclectic eaters, typically enjoying everything from Asian food to Mexican food (complete with spicy salsa) to salads. We tried (and will try with the third) to introduce them to lots of flavors and spices early on so that they wouldn’t have to only eat plain, boring food… mostly because we don’t like our food that way. We didn’t want to sacrifice our food preferences when we had kids.

But sometimes, my kids are totally picky. For instance, right now, they won’t eat leftovers. This is a bad thing for multiple reasons. First of all, I end up throwing more food away, and I hate that. I’m fairly good at portioning their food for them, so that there isn’t too much left on their plates at the end of meals, but if it’s leftovers (of any kind, homemade or takeout), they take two or three bites, and I can’t force any more down them. Secondly, it’s tough when you’re cooking to make the exact amount of food that will be eaten. I’m not the cook in our family, so the job doesn’t usually fall to me to do that, but Hubby (sorry babe) isn’t great at it either. The only good thing about that is that he loves leftovers and rarely wastes food (thanks babe).

When my kids are picky, I feel like it’s a catch 22. I want to take a stand and say, “You’ll eat what’s on your plate or nothing.” knowing that if they’re hungry, they’ll eat at least some of it. I don’t want them  to think that I’ll just make meal after meal until they decide they like something. But then again, I don’t want them to go hungry, or to lose their appetite for something because they’ve got a bad memory attached to it. That may sound crazy, but I’ve got adult friends with stories about how they were forced to eat something and now they don’t eat it, or how their parents always fixed a certain thing too often, and now they hate it. I don’t want to ruin a certain ingredient or dish for my kids because I forced them to eat it when they didn’t like it, or because they burned out on it.

Here are a few things I’ve learned to help them keep up their good eating skills:

  1. Put small helpings of everything in the meal on their plates. They tend to get tired of things after a few bites, but whatever they ask for more of, they can have. I waste less food, and they like the variety.
  2. Use ingredients in a variety of ways. We try to not make green beans the same way every time, or to only use basil in spaghetti sauce. That way, if they don’t like the green beans one way, they’ll probably find another way that they do like them.
  3. Hide vegetables in sauces, smoothies, and baked goods. This is a tried and true method used by many parents of toddlers, and I am a strong advocate. My kids eat zucchini in muffins, spinach in smoothies, and carrots and squash in their spaghetti sauce. Do they know? Maybe. If they do, they don’t care.
  4. Give them choices, and let them choose what they want whenever you can. I try to give them an “either or” situation if at all possible, and I try to ask them if they’ve got a preference. For instance, my son will sometimes ask for salsa, and my daughter will sometimes ask for sushi. They just as often ask for apples or bananas as snacks. Why not give them what they want if I can?

Do any of these work for you? Do you do something different to ensure that your kids are good eaters? I’m always looking for new ideas… tell me about how your family eats!