Friday, July 29, 2016

Some Screenshots

So back in June I finally remembered how the screenshot function on my phone worked and screenshotted (is that a real word?) a bunch of things, starting with a couple of bacon related shirts that I was looking at on to buy for Luke as an anniversary gift (I know, super romantic!)

I ended up with this one: "Pigs are more than just bacon! they're also ham, pork chops, carnitas, ribs, pulled pork..."

But I also liked this one:

On Chick Fil A's cow appreciation day, I sent a picture to Luke of the kids and me dressed up as cows, and his silly response made me smile.

There are so many memes going around Facebook and Instagram, and when I saw this one, I laughed out loud and showed it to Luke. Some nights, that is so the truth for us! In the last two weeks especially, as we've transitioned Noelle to (finally!) going to sleep in her own bed, rather than with me.

My sister Heather was due this past Monday with her baby boy, and I texted her this picture the other day. She is SO ready to have him, and I'm SO excited to see his sweet face and hold my very first nephew!

Two Sundays ago, my friend Megan and I did a duathlon as a relay team. We had signed up for this months ago, and every now and then we'd be like, oh yeah, we have that race in July. The week leading up to it, I kept forgetting about it and about the fact that I would need to go pick up my race packet. Even the night before the race, I told someone I would see them at church the next day- I was definitely not in the race zone. Race day was sunny and hot, but thankfully started at 7 a.m. with a 2 mile run for me, then a 26 mile bike ride for Megan, and then 4 mile run for me. We ended up being the first female/female team (I think out of 4- ha!) and got a drinking glass as our award. We both had fun, and the best part is that Megan texted me a week later asking if I possibly wanted to do another one. Getting her hooked so we can go to races together and each do our favorite part!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Olden Days and A Trip to the Outlets

You know you eat at Chick Fil A too often when you're playing "store", and your 4 year old says "Your pleasure" after you buy your items and say thank you.

And maybe it also means we go shopping too often...

Last week, Noelle attended Vacation Bible School at Luke's parent's church for the second year. Last summer, she ended up crying almost every morning as I dropped her off, but this year, she was so excited to go and barely looked my direction as she joined the other 4 year olds. She had so much fun, and I think learned something- she at least told me that they talked about Noah and the Ark.

On Tuesday, I had Tyler and Sienna for the day, so after dropping Noelle off we went to run a few errands. As we were driving around, they asked me how old I was and told them 31, close in age to their mom and dad. Sienna said something about how her dad was born in the olden days, like in 1987 or something (which I know is not true because I'm younger than him!) I laughed so hard about it being the "olden days", and then Tyler asked me if in the "olden days" we had to make our clothes out of leaves. Stinkers!

The rest of the week I had some nice one-on-one time with Jonah. One day we came home and played in the pool for awhile and another day we went to get a treat at Starbucks and do some shopping. It was fun having that time with him and keeping ourselves busy without our girl!

This past weekend was our first weekend in the month of July without a birthday party to go to. We had nothing planned except for a dinner with my family since Becky is in town from Colorado. On Saturday morning we decided to drive up to the Gettysburg outlets to do some shopping. All we came home with was food (goldfish from the Pepperidge Farm oulet) and a loaf of bread from the Farmer's Market (it has bacon in it- Luke was sold!) Although, this is not entirely true, Noelle had her first shopping experience in Claire's to spend some birthday money and bought a little tiara. (I'm pretty sure we currently have no idea where it is.) Then we had dinner with my family and celebrated Becky's birthday early!

the fountain at the outlets
Sunday was another super relaxed day with church in the morning, hanging around the house all afternoon, and then my mom texted to see if we wanted to meet at Dairy Queen for some ice cream in the evening. Luke gets Dairy Queen's emails, and the blizzard of the month is supposed to be Monster Cookie- we've now been three times this month and they still don't have it! Soon! I really hope!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lemonade Stand, Cow Appreciation Day, and More!

We've been keeping ourselves busy with lots of summer fun activities! I know I've said this before, but I often get through a week and wonder how it flew by so quickly, and can't even remember everything that we did (I'm trying to be better about writing it all down!)

We of course play with the neighbors a lot, though sadly one of our neighbors just moved away last weekend. We already miss them, and will miss taking them to the bus stop in the mornings come fall. Before they left Noelle and Jonah had a blast "helping" them with a lemonade stand. Basically it was six kids sitting and standing around a tiny table screaming "LEMONADE" every time a car drove by. And then one of the two year olds tried to pick up the lemonade pitcher and spilled all the lemonade.

One of Noelle's best buddies, Sophie, gave her a few hand-me-down dresses, which Noelle of course wants to wear all the time. I told Sophie's mom that from now on, whenever I buy Noelle something to wear, I'm going to give it to her first and she can hand it to me in front of Noelle and say it's from Sophie. Maybe then we'll have fewer disagreements about clothes...

The other week I had a hysteroscopy done and got two polyps removed from my uterus (woohoo, lucky me!) Thankfully Luke was able to take a sick day and drove me to and from the procedure, and he took care of the kids for the rest of the day while I laid in bed. Our appointment time was 9:30, but the doctor had to take care of two emergencies before he got to me, so I didn't go back to the OR until almost 11. I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since the night before, and I was getting so hungry! But I walked into the OR, scooted down to the end of the bed, got my feet in the stirrups, and remember nothing after that. Thank you general anesthesia! I woke up behind our little recovery curtain about a half hour later, and thankfully the cramping wasn't too bad. By the next day, I felt mostly back to normal and didn't need to use any of the prescription strength pain killers. (yay!)

The day after my little procedure we met some friends at Clark's Elioak Farm. It was hot, and Noelle complained the minute we got out of the car, but then she was the one that didn't want to leave in the end. The littles played on the slides, pet the animals, watched tractors go by, and played with toys.

And last Tuesday, we celebrated Cow Appreciation Day at Chick Fil A. Noelle and I threw on some spots and ears that I made minutes before we walked out the door, squeezed Jonah into the 18 month sized Dalmatian costume, and met some friends from our church's MOPS group to get free food. I had been talking it up for a few days, and both of them were so excited to dress up as cows!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Infertility and a 5K

Because I'm an over-sharer, most everyone who asks if we're having a third baby has heard or will hear about how we've been pursuing infertility stuff. I know some people are super private about it, and I definitely appreciate and understand that. It's hard and sad, and innocent questions from people can really hurt. So sometimes it is just easier to gloss over it. If someone I don't know pretty well asks me about a third baby, I tend to answer with a quick "We hope so!" or "Hopefully sooner, rather than later!" I know not everyone wants to hear about my (lack of) cycle or about all the ultrasounds, blood work, and testing we've gone through and have to continue to go through.

ran the MD Race for the Family 5K
But I've also found that when I have opened up about it, quite a few of my friends are like "me too!", and "that's how we got our baby!" I've learned a lot in the last three months about infertility, and it affects so many couples (1 out of every 8!) The end of June marked one year since I first went to my GYN to start addressing everything. One year. Never did I think I'd be here a year later and still no baby, let alone no pregnancy.

I've gone back and forth between being content and knowing that God is in control, to spiraling into feeling really sad and like God doesn't care. Usually it's when I see or hear about a bunch of other pregnancy announcements that I start to feel the "why not me?" and "when will it be my turn?" questions coming back. I've gone through phases where I've completely shut out social media because I just don't want to see it. I am happy for my friends because I know that every single baby is a blessing, but it's still hard.

Back in June, I ran a 5K that I randomly found out about while driving to one of my appointments at Shady Grove. After dropping the kids off at my mom's, I was stopped at a light and saw a sign for the MD Race for the Family 5K and saw that it was hosted by Shady Grove Fertility. I quickly snapped a picture of the sign, and when I got to the waiting room for my appointment, I looked it up online. As soon as I saw that it was a race to increase awareness and raise funds for infertility, I knew I wanted to do it. The race also included a raffle for a giveaway worth $10,000 for fertility treatments. I knew my one little entry wouldn't give me much of a chance, but I wanted to support the cause anyhow.

The race itself was fun- we ran through the Baltimore Zoo, around the lake in Druid Hill Park, and then back to the zoo. They had fun activities for kids, and the race entry included your entry to the zoo for the day. I stayed to the end of the race festivities, and I'm so glad I did. The founder of the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation spoke, and shared their story of infertility. I cried through it, and again when they announced the winner of the raffle. She encouraged everyone going through infertility to not give up.

I'm praying for a baby, and if that's not what God wants for us, I'm praying that He will make it very clear to us and give us wisdom. And I'm praying that He'll help me cling to Him- because lot's of days, that's really hard.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Lot of Celebrating

Our 4th of July three day weekend involved lots of celebrating- a birthday party for a friend turning two on Saturday, a birthday party for a one year old on Sunday, a family party for Noelle on Sunday, and 4th of July cookout with my parents on Monday. Lots of fun things!

I didn't do a great job of getting pictures of everything, but hopefully that just means I was too busy living to think about the camera (at least that's what I'm telling myself!) On Sunday morning, Noelle came downstairs and the first thing she said was "I'm four today!" This is the first year she has understood that it's her birthday, and she's been so excited about turning four, especially after celebrating all her pre-school friend's birthdays. I gave her a big hug, and then we got her dressed in her new birthday dress (which we bought a matching one for her little birthday twin turning one that day!)

She kept asking to open her presents, but we were planning on waiting for the evening when the grandparents and aunts came over. She had pretty much already been given all the gifts we were getting for her (her balance bike, a new helmet, and the birthday dress), but I had one more little gift for her and we let her open it once we were all up and dressed for church. I filmed her opening the little horse necklace we bought for her, and of course, just as she's getting it out, Jonah sticks his hand down his diaper and comes out with some fresh poop on his fingers. Thanks, bud!

After church, we headed over to the park across the street and let the kids play on the playground for a bit. They of course had a blast, and then we headed to the first birthday party of the day. It was fun celebrating our friend's baby girl, and at one point during the afternoon five kids were crammed into the tiny baby swimming pool my friend had set up- and they were loving it!

A few hours later we headed home and got ready to celebrate Noelle with our families. We kept it simple and ordered pizza (cheese for Noelle, of course!), and as soon as everyone was there, she was eager to open presents. She was excited about everything, but especially about the Paw Patrol Skye dress (from Aunt Ruth) and Skye backpack/lunchbox (from Aunt Becky). In the span of a week the dress was already worn three times, and the backpack taken many places.

That evening, our neighbors brought out sparklers and Noelle and Jonah had a blast waving them around and playing with their friends. I didn't fully trust Jonah, but he did surprisingly well! Both Sunday night and Monday night, we heard fireworks going off and could even see parts of some over the top of the tree across the street from our house. The 4th was rainy, and a tiny bit chilly, but we had fun eating dinner (and way too much dessert!) with my parents and sister. All in all, a great weekend!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday, Noelle!

Dear Ellie,

Time has flown way too fast, as I'd been warned that it would, and here we are- you're a little girl now. No more toddler- no more stubby toddler legs, your face has matured, full on conversations- all the makings of a little girl. I keep telling you to not turn four, but you're so excited about being a "big girl!"

Your finished your first year of preschool, and other than those dark winter mornings, you were so eager to get to school and see your teachers and friends. You came home with new songs to sing, an exploding imagination, and best of all, you learned things about Jesus.

One of your favorite things to ask is "what day will it be when I wake up?" And if it's not the day you're looking for, you'll follow up with "and the day after that?" You're learning to associate certain days with certain things- you had school on Monday and Tuesdays, and church on Sundays. You've been recognizing most upper case letters, though I should probably be better about reviewing those with you over the summer!

You love playing with all your friends, especially Lillian and Kaylee at church, Addalyn, Riley, and Reese from school, and Sophie next door. You and Sophie have tea parties, become doctors to your stuffed animals, play in our little baby pool, and constantly change from one princess dress to the next.

Jonah is your favorite one minute and least favorite the next. He definitely has a thing for wanting the exact toy you've just picked up, which leads to lots of squealing and you yelling "no Jonah!" But mommy loves it when I see you two sitting together reading books, or when you hold hands when we're walking around somewhere. It makes me so thankful that you have each other!

It's hard to believe how far we've come since our bitty 5lb 13oz baby girl entered the world! You've grown in so many ways, and I know that there is still so much more ahead. Daddy and I are praying that you'll love Jesus most of all, and that a relationship with Him will spill over into every other part of your life. Don't ever forget how much He loves YOU!

And we love you more than you'll ever know!


Friday, July 1, 2016


I don't remember when I first downloaded the app, but quite possibly a year ago. I just didn't get it- why take pictures and videos that you couldn't keep? Why let people see them for a few seconds, and then never again? What was the purpose??

I still don't completely get it, but I most definitely use it. Over the winter one day, after Luke told me he had added the app to his phone, I took some videos of the kids just playing around in the basement. And sent them to Luke and my sisters- the only people I knew who had Snapchat. When my sisters would message me about what the kids were doing, and as they asked for more, I realized that Snapchat was a fun way to share some of my every day with any family who also had the app.

They started getting videos of the kids dancing and/or singing, pictures of Jonah getting perilously close to Zoe, videos of both kids throwing tantrums at the same time and me adding the message that it was only 8:00 in the morning. You know- my every day! My brother and Heather's husband heard about the videos, and since you can only play them once, or replay them right away, they each got the app for themselves so that they could join the fun.

Since getting the app, other features have been added- like the filters. You focus the picture on your face and then can choose from a bunch of different things- puppy dog face, filters that distort you face, give you braces and glasses, holiday themed ones and more. One of the best ones is a face swap one- get one or more people in the picture and it will swap your faces around. I was doing it with my siblings when we were all home for Easter and they were absolutely hilarious!

Some days I take a lot of snaps, other days I might forget about it entirely. Sometimes I use the filters just to keep Jonah entertained for awhile. But it's fun, and thankfully I figured out that I can at least save the snaps that I make- I just have to remember to do it! And as more friends have joined, it's fun seeing little pieces of their day!