Sunday, January 11, 2015

Remember when......

I have decided to start a series about remembering the memories. I'll be posting stories of me, Matthew, the kids, world events....whatever strikes my fancy. I will be posting these whenever I remember a good story to tell.

Up first is a story about Landon. Landon and his potty seat. Landon is almost two and Chase is almost one in this story)

This is Landon and Landon's seat to his potty. This is Landon right after he put it over his head and ran over to me laughing. Of course I snapped a picture. Of course I laughed.

Then I told him it was time to take it off. He tried. Nope. I tugged. Nope.

See, what happened here is that the seat was just a little small for his head. If you tried to push it off the edges started scratching his face. (you can see in the picture it's smooth side down)

I did what any good mom would do. I sprayed him with some cooking spray. Nope. Didn't work.
I poured vegetable oil around his head. Nope. Didn't work.
I even took some butter out of the fridge and rubbed it over the edges. Nope. Didn't work.

At this point he started to freak out a little. Since it was during the day and during the week I called his doctor. They were like "uummmmm, yeah, we can't do anything, take him to the ER or call the fire department". So that's what we did. I took him to the ER.

I couldn't put a shirt on him so I decided to forget the pants too (it was summer). And based on that decision I decided to leave Chase in just a diaper too. I did put shoes on them. So that makes me an OK mom, right??

Anyways, back to the story. We get to the ER and walk in. The nurse at the counter doesn't look up at first. She just says "What does your ch........" obviously you can tell when she looks up. She doesn't even finish her sentence. She was just like "oh, ok, I see." and she tried very very hard not to laugh.

We didn't even have to do any paperwork or insurance or anything. They took us right back. (I'll throw in there was a slow day at the ER).

So here we are walking through the hallways. 2 boys only in diapers and shoes. One with the potty seat on his head. People were definitely smiling. Some even laughing out loud.

So to make this really long, but shouldn't be, story short. It ended up we went into a room. Landon had no less then 5-6 doctors in there and probably the same amount of nurses. All of them trying to get it off with out having to cut it off. They talked. The tried so many things.

It was actually very amusing. These are doctors and nurses who take care of the sickest kids, the worst diseases and no one could figure out how to get a potty seat off my kids head.

About half an hour of trying all sorts of things, one of the doctors brought in some kind of "super lube". He poured the entire bottle over his head. Four doctors then very slowly slid it over his head. It was like watching surgery. The doctors all communicated very effectively what each was doing.

In the end I was very thankful these medical professionals treated me and my kid with so much respect and attention. It's not that I was scared medically that something was wrong. I was scared that my kids would be scared - and I didn't want Landon to go to college with a potty seat stuck on his head.

So there ya have it. The first post in the "Remember When" series.

Hope you all enjoyed my sons antics!!! And trust me, so much more to come. Much much more!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome 2015

Time for my yearly review. I do this just not for you guys but for myself. It's a great way to capture many things I had forgotten about and an awesome way for me to reflect on the past year. I way for me to make my goals for the next year

And since I had a throw away monthly calendar (never had one before), it might make remembering much harder then previous years.

We started the year off right with our annual #friedfoodextravaganza. We had some great family and friends to help us eat all the food.

Since January is usually pretty chill month there is not a whole lot to report. Except one thing. THE COLD. We had just about the coldest weather I could ever remember. I do remember one night being -25 without the wind chill factored in. School was closed many days. Doors on cars froze and broke (uh, yeah, mine). You really couldn't be out side for more then a few minutes. And on top of the cold, the snow came. It kept falling and falling and falling. So much snow.

See what happened was my latch broke and it was about -10 outside. So yeah that was awesome.

It just kept snowing. And snowing. And snowing.

3 pretty awesome things happened this month.

The first completely amazing, awesome thing was that my daughter, Emma, and my husband were both baptized. It was one of the most emotional things I have ever seen. I just bawled like a baby hearing their stories and watching them be baptized by some of the most influential pastors I have ever known. I believe I already wrote a blog on this Although I am not sure I actually published it. Some blogs I write are just for me and my family to have record of.



#2 Monster Jam!!!!!! We try and take the kids to one event each year. The past two years it has been the Monster Jam. It is one of the loudest things I have ever been to but one of the coolest. The kids all just sit and stare in awe. (Emma was there too but she was sitting on the seat beside me)

And here we are back to snow. Now I thought we had a lot of snow in January. I was soooooo wrong. February was horrible.  It was the most snow I think I had ever seen.

March was kind of a chill month also. We did have 2 cool things happen.

#1 - I got tattoo #11. Backstory is  - I took my grandma to get her first tattoo when she was 77 then took her to get her second tattoo the following year. The first tattoo was a rose and lady bug and the second was a monarch butterfly, so yup, I got a butterfly. It's beautiful. It's amazing. And I will always have some of my grandma with me.

My grandma getting her first tattoo in 2004

Here is my and grandma

And here is my new tattoo!!

#2  We took the kids on a small Spring Break Trip. It was only a two day trip in a local water park here and possibly a stop a The LARGEST Candy Store in the USA!!! The candy store was quite amazing. And we only spent about $60 so I think we did really well!!! Next we were off to Maui Sands Resort in Sandusky, OH. It's just over an hour drive for us so it wasn't so bad in this Ohio winter. Now this is a new waterpark here. We do have the cool ones like Kalahari and Great Wolf Lodge but they were kind of pricey and I found a Groupon for Maui Sands. So this waterpark would of been great if we had small children (ages 3-6) but it was not meant for children older then that. We had fun but there was not a whole lot to do.

The crazy boys!

Emma and her friend

April is on of my favorite months. Everything tends to be fresh and new. The smell in the air is fresh. Clean. Energizing.

April was a busy, yet, not so busy month.

Emma turned 12 this month!!! We celebrated pretty low key for her. She had a few friends over and they did girly stuff. We ate pizza. We ate cake. That's it.

It wouldn't be a birthday celebration without a trip to WalMart right??

For Emma's birthday we re did her room. She was complaining about her baby room so Matt and I fixed that. We got rid of all pink ( since she decided she hates that color). We painted, got new curtains, new rug, new accessories and did it all in one weekend!! We did have some painting help from some friends, and thank goodness for that!!

It went from "baby room pink" to this. I am in love with the teal and orange. And painting the one wall a neutral brown was a really awesome idea. 

Almost all the fabric stuff came from good ole Target clearance. The rest was stuff I found over the previous months here and there. And this is a room that will grow with her. No more baby. 

Let's see....we also had Easter this month. Our Easter's are pretty low key. We go baskets, church and visit family. This is a day that for me personally I do a lot of reflection. I like to spend some time alone and pray and journal. I know it sounds weird but Easter is probably the day I write in my journal the most. 

Next on the list (and of course this is totally out of order cause I am cool like that) - We had a women's retreat in Amish country the first week on April. It was an amazing, uplifting time. My sister in law went with me and I was able to spend a lot of time with her. We talked, we shared, we prayed. I went home so refreshed.

Yup. This is what we do at night after the retreat. 

In April we also had the kids pictures done. Matt's little brother is a phenomenal photographer. He is still in his teems but we were thrilled with his work. He has put in alot of learning and dedication to photography. 

OK, so this was a very busy month, so I am going to try and breeze through it. And this is so not in any order......

Matt and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary. Honestly I cannot remember what we did that night. We didn't even take any is one of Matt from right around that day

Emma's very first ever SCHOOL PLAY!!!! She only had a two line part but let me tell you....SHE ROCKED IT!!!! It was called Haphazardly Ever After. Basically a messed up fairy tale. Emma played the phone operator.

Emma was also selected as STUDENT OF THE WEEK!!!!!

One weekend my hubby scored some tickets to Norwalk Raceway for some drag races. We drove. We sat in traffic. It rained. We never saw a race. I got stuck in mud. Long drive home. But we did get to walk on the track. That part was actually really awesome. I had no idea it was that sticky. The boys lost their shoes a few times.

We went to the Akron Rubberducks baseball game too!! Not many pictures because my kids were crazy that night!!

 My brother, Gary, came in town from Florida. We had lunch at Luigi's and went to visit grandma for a little bit. Man, I miss him and the kids so much!

Landon graduated the 2nd grade!!! He is making the move up to the next school for 3rd to 5th!! Can you believe it??!!!

And sometime during this month we actually re did the boys room too!! We didn't go all out like we did Emma's room.
The could not decide on a color until they agreed on ORANGE. Yup, ORANGE. And I was going to make them some cool flame curtains but they couldn't decide on which flame pattern so we picked out a camo print.

So on top of the craziness of the end of school activities we are preparing for vacation. We left May 31st but since most of the vacation happened in June, it's going to the June recap.


So let's start with VACATION!!!! 3 families went to Virginia Beach for a whole week!!! We had some bumps in the beginning (mainly due to being tired and hungry) but as the week progressed I witnessed these kids bonding in ways I never imagined. They were all pretty great and they all showed so much love and respect for everyone. I won't completely bore you with all details, but I will leave you with a ton pf pictures!!

After we got home, it was prime strawberry picking season. So we went to a local farm and picked strawberries until we got enough!! And let me tell you, they were so sweet and juicy!

Sometime during the month we went to the Akron Zoo with my sister in law, BIL and nephews. All the kids were very well behaved and we all had a really great time!

And we rounded out the month with some landscaping!! Our yard is always a hot mess. We try every single year to make it pretty but by July it just looks awful again!


Ok, so let's just start off with Emma leaving me for 9 whole days! Emma flew ALL BY HERSELF to Texas to visit her Aunt, Uncle and cousins. She did so good at the airport right up until she had to board, then we both kind of lost it. But she did good. She got herself together and did really well on the flights. And she had a total blast spending time with family!

And speaking of Emma, she got a smartphone for her birthday in April. Ever since then she has been a #selfie queen!! Seriously, 100's and 100's of selfie. So it was only right I get her this shirt

Moving on to the 4th of July. I don't know why but I did not snap a ton of pictures. Boo.
We had two parties. The first one was on July 4th and I co hosted with a friend of mine. The 2nd party was the next day at my BFF's house. 

Here are a few other random photos before I get to the Grand Finale of JULY




And the big GRAND FINALE of July was our Kids Adventure Week at my church, Cornerstone FMC!!!!! I had the honor and privilege of being the assistant director this year. It meant a lot of work and a ton of fun. We had a science theme this year and the kids loved it!! We had the biggest and absolutley best group of volunteers. They loved on these kids so hard. I walked away each night in tears because of all the love in that place. 



Well August always starts off with a bang! My birthday is August 2nd, so yeah, pretty awesome. We went to dinner with another couple to the Melting Pot in Cleveland. It's by far my favorrite place to eat, like ever.
As for my birthday present, my wonderful and handy husband re did our bedroom (I'm starting to see a theme this year..LOL). We repurposed all of our furniture by sanding and painting. We painted the walls and added a little bit of new decor as well as new curtains. One of the changes I really love is we took the closet doors off and put up curtains!! I am so in love with our new bedroom.

Another highlight of the month is CAMPING!! Well, to be honest, Matt went camping with his brothers so me and the kids decided to do our own kind of camping. Thank you
 Yup, hotel camping is my favorite. The boys had an awesome time. We were joined by my friend Stacy and her son.

Next on the agenda is the start of football / cheer. Well technically it started in July but that was mostly camps and stuff. The real practice and games started this month. And let me tell you how insane this was. 3 kids. 3 different teams. 3 different practice schedules. 3 different game schedules. INSANE. Oh, and Matthew helped coach Chase's team. It was pure craziness but I seriously love it. Just love it!!! I love the friends we make. I love seeing my kids compete. I love concession stand food. I love it all!!

Chase #49


Landon #40

And yes, SCHOOL FINALLY STARTED!!!! One of my most favorite and least favorite times of year all wrapped in one. Luckily all my kids got amazing teachers this year so it should be a great year!!

And last but not least......


Led to this.....

Let me tell you, this was one happy guy here. He has had the same piece of crap car for 10 years. He spent so much time that day trying to fix it. It became a time vs. money thing. It would of taken so long and so much money for him to fix it. We were much better off getting him a new car and that's what we did!


In a nut shell this month was taken over by football / cheer with no time for anything else.

And I should mention I became unemployed again....blah blah blah, some news different year. BUT..... that gave me and my sister in law to start a little jewelry business. Nicole Jean Creations.
We make all kinds of pretty necklaces, hair pins, earrings and are always venturing out trying new things. Again, I love spending time with Samantha and I love our little business. 

For all the good pictures and products, visit the link above (these are kinda behind the scene photos)

And of course here are a few random photos that I just love to remember.....

Matthew and I on September 30th - The first day of my NEW JOB!!!

I don't really need to explain this, do I?

And I am kind of in love with the photo of myself. Seriously.


Wow - already at October!!

October was an exciting month for us!!! Matt and I were able to go to New York City for 3 days ALL BY OURSELVES!!! NO KIDS!!!! I am beyond thankful for that time to spend with my husband. Just me and him. It was much needed.

Little Italy (our favorite!!)

Carriage ride in Central Park

Top of Rockafellar Plaza

Subway selfie

Before Matt and I went to NYC, me, Chase, and Emma took a little road trip to Indianapolis for my cousins babyshower!! It's only a 5-6 hour trip and the kids did wonderful!!

While me and 2 of the kids were traveling my husband was at home starting the kitchen remodel. He was able to get all the floors done in the weekend I was gone.

And lastly, our Fall Family Pitctures. Matt's brother was our photgrapher yet again and yet again we got amazing results.

Oh, I can't forget about Halloween!! Emma was a nerd, Landon and Chase were both Iron was the Iron Patriout, but of course I forget which one and I don't even have pictures....UGH

Emma's is on the left, Landon's is the football and Chase's is the Stormtrooper


Ok, so first things first. November is a big, busy month for us. Lots and lots going on. Let's start with the boys birthdays!!! Chase is November 6th and Landon is November 29th (they are about 11 months apart)

We did a huge combined party for them at Zip City - it's an awesome indoor trampoline and zip lining place. They had a blast!!

Next on the agenda was our first craft show for Nicole Jean Creations!! We had a blast and our table turned out beyond cool!

And check out these adorable haircuts......

And we finally finished the kitchen. We did the floors, refinished the cabinets, painted the walls and got some new decor. It took many many hours of hardwork but the finish product looks beyond awesome.

**side note - cabinets are actually more of a dark teal and the walls are a gold, the pictures did not come out very good**

Of course we cannot forget Thanksgiving. we had Matt's family over again and somehow ended up with 3 turkeys. Oops. We roasted one, we smoked one and the in laws brought one. Dinner was so yummy. And after we went and spent sometime with my grandma and my family. 

Only photo taken.
" I am thankful for mom because I wouldn't be alive"

Black Friday shopping (and no, I did not go out early because that is stupid)

Even these two rugrats got in on the action. They went to Gamestop at midnight to spend birthday money. They ended up getting 6 games!!!


Whew.....thank you al who stuck with me on my very long yearly recap.

And here we are at December.

Honestly December was rough for me. I have been an emotional wreck and slightly depressed this month. I was there but no really there, you know what I mean? I put on a brave face for the kids but I'm sure they knew something wasn't right.

Holidays in general are hard for me. I have so much expectation and every year I am let down. Well this year I decided to try my best to have no expectations and I think it backfired. It left me solemn. Left me just blah. No excitement. None.

But still, I think we had a great month.

Let's start with all the yummy stuff first!! I went to a friends annual cookie exchange and walked away with 19 different kinds of cookies.

I was also able to go through my grandma's recipes. I made a few of the favorites and let me tell you, it was worth the work!

As a family we did our gingerbread house and decorated Santa cookies. Decorating the cookies is probably my favorite Christmas activity each year. It's a low key event that allows all of us to chat and catch up. It also allows me to see each kid and their own personality.

And one of the big events of the season is Matthew's birthday!! This year he turned 29 which means next year we will finally be in our 30's together!!

Of course we have Christmas. The most magical time of year. 

And here is a few shots of what my kids did most of the winter break.........

Emma was too busy taking selfies to be in any of my pictures....hahahaha

We went bowling the day after Christmas 

Can't forget about Chase's basketball debut!!! Love watching this kid learn the game!

Very last on our list this year was New Year's Eve (and Day). we went to church for most of the night. Kids had a great time playing games and jumping in the jumpy houses. I had a great time singing and listening to some music. We left around 1115pm and headed home. Mommy and Daddy were both beat from having to work. So we got home, got in our jammies and watched the ball drop.

And that folks has been our 2014. It was definitely a year of ups and downs, thankfully more ups. I think we are starting to get the hang of this life. For the 3rd year in a row we were practically debt free and paid for EVERYTHING in cash. Everything you see above was ALL CASH (well, with the exception of Matt's car). No credit cards, no debt. This is such a great feeling. I'm not saying we still don't struggle and sometimes we both wish we had a credit card, but it feels good at the end of the day to not owe money to someone. 

This year we worked a lot on our family dynamic. As the kids get older they are becoming their own little people. The each have way different personalities. We are continually learning how to live together in peace. Some days we surely don't but we are working on it. 

This year has been a big year for me and my relationship with Christ. I won't go into all the details but I will tell you that God has put a lot of things in my face. I have had to come to grips with many different areas of my life. Some ways I flourished, some I have failed. Failed miserably. But I am trying. I am praying. I am journaling. I am reaching out. I do not want to end up a bitter old woman who holds on to the past. I do not want to be that woman who speaks her mind to it's full extent. That's when I tend to hurt people. Some people have walked away from me. I have had to walk away from some people. It's tough. Finding your place stinks. But I am a work in progress. My life is a work in progress. It always will be. I will never be 100% perfect. I made a promise to myself, God and my husband and kids. I will try to be a little better each day. Do a little more. 

Thank you to everyone who has been part of the crazy journey of 2014. It sure was a crazy ride. I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store for me and the family!!

Love you all!!