Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter 2013!

Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

Our beautiful Easter morning began earlier than the birds could wake up so we could make it to the 7:30 Mass. It was a beautiful Mass where we were blessed to be able to have a seat (thanks for arriving at Church at 7am.).
"I love you and your candy." LOL!

The kids saw their baskets as soon as the got downstairs before Mass, finding a book each, an outfit, a big chocolate bunny and a Lego friend. We saved the egg hunt for after Mass where they ran around, complaining of being cold, grabbing their 20 eggs each (that the bunny was caught hiding at 10 PM last night). The ate too much candy before we took off to my parents in Iowa for the day.

We ate dinner, had a wonderful Easter Egg Hunt of 25 eggs each!! and a big bag full of goodies, ate way too much, played outside, before making our way for home around 4:30. I was quickly reminded why I wished we did not live in our neighborhood upon our arrival home. Gees, gotta love the Holidays and Family. (Well, I am not sure we HAVE to love our family all the time).

ANYWAY, we at least enjoyed our day with my family in Iowa and are thankful they still invite us to Holiday gatherings. Our kids would not have it any other way, and are already looking forward to the fun egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa's house next year.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Stuck in Limbo it goes.

Chris and I are considering moving to the Tampa, Florida area.

For those of you who know us somewhat, this will not come as much as a surprise.

First, Chris worked from there for a year, getting to know the area some and the weather a lot. He liked what he saw for the most part. He has joined a long term contract that will continue to bring him to the Florida area as well as at least one other area as of right now.

There are clearly things we like about the area, the obvious one being the weather. We would love to live in a warm to hot area. The proximity to the ocean is key as well. Additionally, there are fun things for us to do as a family year around (opposed to fun things to do inside during the winter here). We have researched the area up one side and down the other, finding areas in and around Tampa that have grade A school systems elementary through high school, are safe (low crime) and are in our price range. We watched one house we loved sell. Now there is another we love, and others we would like to see.

Initially, we did not tell the kids. But, Chris asked them one night at dinner (much to my surprise). Their feedback was positive with hesitation. But, they are kids. They don't really know what they are saying, what to expect, what fears and hesitations they should have (LIKE WE DO!). Alivia is probably 50-50. She knows what it is like to start a new school, and she is hesitant with that. When she sees homes we are looking at, that gets her excited. She knows she will miss her friends here, but she will be able to visit them because they all live close to her grandparents. Addison (who is like me), throws more caution to the wind and is ready to go. She is set with her face time with friends if we move and is ready. Asher is more like Alivia and says he will miss his little friends he has made. He is really too young to comprehend what is going on (I think he should have been left out of the conversation until we knew what we were doing. It just causes too unnecessary worry).

We have had the real estate agents come through, tell us what they would price our house at, and when we should do it (like yesterday). We have been in touch with a recommended real estate agent in Florida who has been quite helpful. We have the loan pre approval (so we can refinance if we stay), the house is organized and cleaned, and moving company estimates.

Now, we just have to decide.

I am not analytical like Chris. So, I have made my decision. Chris likes to keep us all hanging in Limbo (can you sense my frustration?). At this point, I just want to say let's just stay because I am so sick of being in limbo. I can't do anything to the house because we may move. I feel like I can't buy anything (like buy clothes for the kids for next year) because I don't know where we will be living. The whole limbo thing is getting quite old and frustrating. We gave ourselves until the end of March to decide.

Chris and I know this is a now or never decision. If we do not move now, it will probably never happen. The longer we are here, the more difficult it will be to do later. I am, for all intents and purposes, a single child. There is a small window now where my parents are retired but they do not need my help. That will not always be the case. We will, someday, have to move back to be near our parents. If we ever want to live in the land of the warm near the ocean, it is truly now or never.

Are we being selfish by leaving our family behind? Maybe. It depends upon how you look at it. Many people we know live here away from family. It happens and it works. They visit and they go to visit them. Chris talked to his parents about the possibility of our relocation, but I have yet to talk to mine. I know my family's opinion from the last time this came up.

We are an active family. I HATE being stuck inside all winter because I do not like being cold. We all go stir crazy. We are hoping that our family would visit us if we moved, but we can not count on that. Some of our family does not visit now and we live near them. So, who knows.  We will miss our family here in the midwest, but we know we would come back to visit, keep in close contact with them like we do now, etc, etc. We only get one life...where do we want to spend it and how do we want to spend it? Our parents chose to live here, do we have to forever too?

The main hesitation for not moving at all is the kids, the unknown factors, the expense of selling, buying and moving, the question of if I will get a job there and where (I'm pretty sure I can get a job, but one can't be so sure), the kids the kids the kids, etc, etc. It is a big deal to pick up a family of 5, hire a moving company, and truck it 25 hours away.  Chris would continue to work from home and travel to the Tampa, office and other work sites as he does not. So, as of now, his job would remain pretty much the same.

The month of March is coming to an end. I am hoping our time in Limbo is too.

Suggestions? Feedback? How do we decide? This all sounds vaguely familiar...

Monday, March 18, 2013


If you are reading this, you know that my blog has gone private. I was not sure who was reading it locally before, so I am sure I blocked my readers by doing this. However, I had someone from another country download my entire blog over the course of a couple days. I have tried to find the images online, but only found one on some random sight about strep throat images. It creeps me out to wonder what this person from a whole other world was doing with my blog information and pictures.

Therefore, it is now and forever private unless someone asks to read it.

I feel my kids are safer already.

Thanks for reading!

Asher's Kindergarten Round Up

Today, Chris and I went with our last child, Asher, to Kindergarten Round up. We felt like the old parents as many were there for the first time. I could have stood up front and presented! Asher was so excited to go, running in front of us up to the school. This surprised me as he has been saying how he did not want to go. Now, things have changed, thankfully.
Once inside the doors, a crowd of parents and scared kiddos were gathering in the hall. Quickly, Asher was swooped down the hall in one direction towards the Kindergarten rooms while Chris and I were directed the other way towards the library.
The information was the same. Then, it was the counselor's turn to present. She ends her presentation with a poem that always makes me cry. I tried really hard to distract myself so I would not cry, but it did not work. I squirmed in my seat, make Chris annoyed, until the poem was over and I was struggling to hold back my emotions. I think this was the poem...

The First Day of Kindergarten

I used to be little, but not anymore,
Tomorrow I'll get up and walk out the door.
I'm going to Kindergarten--it's the first time for me.
It's great to be big, but I'm scared as can be.
My tummy's in knots. You want to know why?
I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe I'll cry.
When Dad leaves the school and I'm there all alone,
I'm thinking that maybe I'll want to go home.
But wait--Mommy said I'll play lots of new games,
And meet lots of friends--I can learn all their names.
The first day of Kindergarten, oh there's so much to do!
There's painting and books and a big playground, too!
I used to be little, but not anymore.
Tomorrow I'll get up and walk out the door.
I'm going to Kindergarten--it's my first day, you see.
It's great to be big! I'm so glad that I'm me.

Asher had a great time! We walked in to the classroom to find him singing and doing the actions to a song. I remember the girls at round up, both staring at their toes scared to death. Asher, well, he was having a blast! He was stuck to the side of his friend Cameron, so we were happy they had each other to overcome any fears.
It makes me so sad that all my kids are growing up and going to school. I have loved and cherish my years at home with them. I will miss their hugs, laughter and many "I love you, Mommy" during the day while they are all in school. The plans for me are still up in the air, but I am sure I will keep busy doing something. I hope to get a part time nursing job to fill my nights until I can get a pharmaceutical job. At least the nursing job can be scaled back during the summer months so I can still enjoy those long summer days with them.
 I am not going to count the days. But, I will cherish these last few months with my little boy home alone with me. We will go out to lunch, go shopping, go to the park, take bike rides, play cars and just enjoy each other as long as we can.
Gosh, growing up is so tough! Asher is ready, I just need to get there.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Summer Sick

I am sick of winter or summer sick. Like being home sick, summer sick is the term I am using for missing summer. Bring on the green grass to mow, the pool, the sunshine, the suncreen. the bugs, the bike rides, long evening walks after dinner, soccer, daily running, lemonade, ice cream, etc, etc.

No More Snow!

The kids had a teacher in service on Friday, making this last weekend another 4 day weekend since today was yet another snow day. I am not sure what this means for spring break (or will the kids be going back to school after labor day?). I can not keep up with the ever changing schedules. All I know, is I want it to be warm. Yes, it is March and I know I am to expect variable temperatures. But really, enough is enough.

I shoveled the wet snow while Chris snow blowed the fluffy snow last night for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Today, I shoveled the driveway, returning in the afternoon to shovel our never ending side walks. Chris wants me to do Insanity with him! Really?!??! NO!! I was the insane one that shoveled, thank you very much (I really need to learn to use the snow blower).

I keep saying, we can live anywhere we want to, so why do we live in this snowy tundra? :)

Summer...I miss you.


Mommy's Birthday

Last week was my birthday.

I hate my birthday. My parents say I used to talk about my birthday months in advance when I was a kid (much like my kids do now). They say I loved my birthday. But, over the years (and there have been many birthdays now), I have grown to not like my birthday. Not only am I getting older, a year older at a time, but my birthday tends to end with disappointment. As adults, our birthday, at least now, is just another day.

Unfortunately, this year was not much different.

With that said, Asher and I tried to go out and have a little fun. We loaded up in the car and set out. I had a store I wanted to visit, lululemon.

We ran a few errands, visiting Von Maur shopping for Chris' upcoming birthday, shopping at a few Village Pointe stores before ending up at Lululemon. That store is cool if you are into cool work out gear. The host, I believe, wears things from there. I did not buy anything as Asher was not into shopping or allowing me to try anything on. But, I looked a lot. :) Somehow Asher and I ended up at Orange Leaf at Village Pointe. Yummy. We had fun together. 

At home after school, Chris had made me a chocolate chocolate cake. It was really yummy and pretty. I am impressed with his cake decorating skills. I asked the kids where they wanted to eat for dinner. You'd think I asked them where to go to get their teeth pulled or something. Mamas Pizza was too far so they wanted to go to 5 Guys (where I would have had a grilled cheese). Somehow Chris convinced them to go to Mamas. Next year I am picking. :)

The kids gave me a gift card to Orange Leaf while Chris gave me a napkin holder and a gift card. In all fairness, I had dropped a line about wanting a napkin holder. Chris knew he would receive some flack for his gift giving skills this year or lack their of. I joked that I am going to give him a keychain for his upcoming birthday (payback is hell! :) ).

My birthday was okay. It really is just another day with an additional year tacked on to my age. Birthdays are what you make of them. So, from now on, I am going to plan my own day. I am very thoughtful about making everyone else have wonderful birthdays, so it is my turn to make mine wonderful...starting with next year's birthday! It is going to be fabulous!

The Busy Tooth Fairy

Addison has been keeping the tooth fairy quite busy. On March 4 (last Monday), Addison lost her first front tooth. Then, yesterday, March 9, Addison lost her second front tooth! She looks so different.

The first one was pulled by her friend Kaitlyn during school. It bothered Kaitlyn that Addison's tooth was "hanging by a thread." How funny is that! That night, the tooth fairy must have thought it was too windy because she did not make it (ooops!). The second night, the Tooth Fairy remembered and brought Addison a chapter book that she asked her to bring and $5.

The second tooth was hanging by a thread after lunch yesterday. Addison reluctantly allowed me to pull it. Really, I barely touched it and it came out. She was beyond thrilled. Addison asked the tooth fairy for fairy dust this time (FYI: I found the fairy dust at Hobby Lobby and put it in a tiny corked bottle. The corked bottles come in a package of 9 or something. The fairy dusk is actually called fairy dust but appears to be very fine glitter. It comes in many different colors. Addison got purple, of course.). She received money plus the fairy dust this morning.

Here is Addison's new look. :) She's pretty excited! She had face time with her friend Kaitlyn to show off her new look!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

February 2013 in Review

 We got through February bringing us one step closer to warmer days (PLEASE!). There were snow days (too many), visits to the zoo and OCM, open gym, Jumpin Jax, Valentine's Day parties, play dates, sleepovers on the farm, and so much more. Chris finished up his big ol widget and lost a few hairs in that 10 month long process. Gees! His team is lucky to have snagged a whopper contract that will keep him safe for a few years (no thanks to the drama Obama team and apocalypse sequestration.) So, whew! That is something we do not want to experience again (and hopefully I will be working if it does!). We are so thankful he took the contract in Florida moving onto a team out of Philly so he could keep his job. He does not think his old team was so it was all about making hard choices that kept his job this time. Thank God for watching out for us! Onto March, Girls on the Run, swim lessons, a birthday maybe, Easter, an adventure or 2, and maybe, just maybe spring?

So, Chris finished the month with a few days off after working 13 hour days for the last 2. I think he found it nice just to chill and rest his coding brain a bit. He continues Insanity work outs when he can and is trying to cut out drinking Coke (oh, help him!).
Alivia remains as social as ever. There are days were her teenage years that are coming sneak in. We wish they could stay young forever. She is such a sweet girl, generally. :)
Addison was sick less in February (but started off March getting sick!). We will get there I hope. She likes to play her her bestie little friend from school and play with her many stuffed dogs.
Asher is a wild 5 year old who is never tired. I take him places that wear me out and he still wants more. Where does he get his energy? He likes to play with his friends, but he likes to stay in and play cars and pirates with Mommy and Daddy, too.
Me. Yeah, nothing ever changes with me. I stopped looking for a job when Chris secured his, cancelling a pharma interview (I could not go to work now anyway, not yet). I know now that I need suits before I apply in the fall so I am prepared. For now, I will just keep being a Mom and trying to stay sane. :)

Happy March and Bring on Spring!

February Pictures