Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful.

Being this is the month (and even more specifically the week) of thankfulness, naturally, it's been on my mind a lot lately about what I am grateful for this year.

The answer may be a little cliche, but it's these guys.


Seven and a half years ago, David and I were driving back home from our wedding and I remember looking over at him and saying "you're officially my family now!"  After six and a half years of being boyfriend/girlfriend or fiancee, there was just something special about saying "we're officially family."

I am always grateful for my extended family.  We are blessed with a large extended family and there are many of them that we are pretty close to and even get to see on a daily basis, but these days I see just how much "my" family means to me. 

For years I dreamed of having my own family.  I know it's probably not the thing to admit, but I never really had a job or career that I dreamed about.  Even when I was in college working towards a degree, my dreams always were about my future husband and kids.  I've just honestly only really seen myself as a wife and mom. 

And now, these guys are mine. 


I'm so thankful I get to be his wife and their mom. 
I'm so thankful I get to wake up and say goodnight to them everyday and night.
I'm so thankful I get to be the one to feed them, wash their dirty clothes, pick up their messes day end and day out.
I'm so thankful I am the one to kiss their tears and give them words of encouragement.
I'm so thankful I am the one he chooses to come home to every night and chooses to love.
I'm so thankful for every time I hear the word "mom" and for the smiles I get when they see me walk into the room. 

Believe me when I say these three can drive me more batty than anyone else and everyday is far from perfect, but I love them like no other. 

These guys are my world, my dreams come true, and I'm so thankful I get to call them mine.


*All pictures courtesy of Kelsey Nichols Photography*

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Four Months with Amelia Jane

This past weekend, baby girl hit the four month mark (18 weeks today).


I wish I could say things are so much better with her, but it seems like we take two steps forward, one step back. She was doing really well for a few weeks and then the past two it's been constant fuss and crying again.

I try to not say too much about her these days because I feel like it sounds like all I do is complain and that I am ungrateful.  But, I'm not.  Promise.  I am just emotionally drained from her.  I can deal with sleepless nights, but I have a hard time dealing with constant unhappiness.

We've pretty much tried every trick out there, but nothing seems to be the magic answer.  We've now seen three different medical professionals (and a chiropractor) and have been told by all there is nothing physically wrong with her to make her constantly fuss and cry like she does.  So, we sit and wait for her to grow out of whatever it is that makes her so unhappy.

Let's just say that time is moving slow.......very slow.

However, I don't want this to sound all down in the dumps, so here are a few things about this kid I can't get enough of.

Her smile.


Ironically, we call her smiley.  Though they are rare, her smiles are the best.  She smiles with her whole face and I can't get enough of it.  Just wish she do it a little more often.


She loves to cuddle when she's tired.


Even when she was a tiny babe, Olivia was never a cuddler.  It seriously took her three years before she somewhat liked to cuddle up to us. With this girl, when she's tired she still wants to be held and rocked.  Most likely, she will be our last baby, so I'm soaking it up this go round. 


She already loves her big sister.


I am so excited to watch the relationship grow.  Olivia can always make her smile and she watches
Olivia like a hawk.  in fact, I've already convinced myself her demeanor is going to change the moment she can start moving and attempting to keep up.  Hopefully it will be sooner than later.

And my favorite picture of you from the month...

Just because you look like a chunk but you are far from it. 

Here's to hoping month 5 has a few less tears from both of us.

***thank you for not judging my crappy cell phone pics....I do not know what a real camera is anymore.***






Thursday, November 21, 2013

Playing Catch Up.

I feel like I'm going nonstop these days. 

But hey, don't we all?

Every time I sit down to blog, I'm paged because someone needs something (most likely their butts wiped), a child loses their mind, or I think of a million other things I should be doing instead.

I miss blogging, writing, memory keeping....but I know it will get better in time. 

It's just a season.

At least I keep telling myself. 

That being said, let's play catch up....

Things have been busy for us.

Our week days have been filled with school, soaking up outside time before the weather changes for the winter, library trips, field trips, and just trying to survive the day....especially on the days David works late....which have been pretty frequent lately.

We've pretty much done nothing but fall themes for school this month.  We've covered leaves, scarecrows, and now onto Thanksgiving this week and next.  On Monday we took a trip to The Rock Ranch for their Pilgrim Days. I have to say that it was one of our favorite field trips so far.








We've got a new little crew that we've gone on the last few field trips on and we have more and more fun with each trip.  Our girls are all within a year of each other and now that Nic has Emma during the week, we all have babies within a year of each other.  Poor Gabe is still the odd man out, but he's not the only boy now at least.


I'm excited that we already have our next trip planned!

Oh, and that my kid actually posed with me for a picture....


Last time we did group shots on a field trip, my child cried and refused to have her pic taken with her own mother.  However, she had no problem joining in on the Pope family group shot.

Our weekends have been filled with family birthdays and a couple of special dates.

This past Sunday, we got to have a very special Nana/Mommy/Livi date night.  For the last few years, the three of us have attended the local Nutcracker performance every Christmas season.  We have always said that when she was old enough, we'd take Olivia to a more professional performance. Well, this summer when they started advertising for The Radio City Rockettes, we thought this year she was ready.




It was such a fun experience to have with her.  She sat amazed the entire show.  Of course, the sparkly costumes were her favorite.  At the end of the show she exclaimed "that was awesome!!!"

We even ended the evening with a cheesecake/ice cream date.  The evening was a win all around.


Can't wait to keep up this new yearly tradition and eventually let little sister tag along. 

So, that's a quick catch up of what we've been up to.  

Of course, a baby is crying as I type those words. Back to my day job.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Our week.

This week was one of those that goes down as almost perfect in my book.

Our week started a day later since we didn't actually get back from our weekend trip till Monday night, but it was one of those that had enough down time to not feel overwhelmed, but just enough stuff planned to make us not feel like we're going crazy couped up at home.



This kids love language is arts & crafts...especially ones that involve paint.  I love crafting too, but I do not love it so much with a four year old.  That being said...I'm trying.  We've been doing a lot more crafts and painting around here.....even if it's just painting tp rolls.  She's happy with it.


I have been begging this child for four years now to put on a pair of boots.  She'd live in her flip flops if it was up to her.  I finally convinced her and I have to say, I think she's pretty cute in them.  

 
Wednesday was a rough day around here...the baby was fussy all day long, Olivia didn't sleep well the night before.  To any of those single ladies who might be reading....A man who comes in after a twelve hour day, takes both kids outside so you can finish getting dinner on the table, and doesn't judge you because you've already had your first glass of wine before he got home...that's the type of man you need to marry.

 
Which I had to laugh the other night because this is what poor David looked like while eating dinner....had to hold the big one's hand while bouncing the little one.  Dinner with kids...so fun.


The new Pediatrician suggested we start Amelia on baby food sooner than later.  Evidently kids with reflux tend to have an easier time on food than formula.  Since she's been getting cereal in her bottles for months now, he told us to go ahead and dive right in with the fruits and veggies.  For the last few weeks I've been given her a little bit of cereal in a bowl to get her used to eating with a spoon and this week I finally got brave to give her some veggies.  So far so good. 


You may have noticed, but yes, we're back at home.  I'm sure I'll write more about it soon, but we pulled her out of school after a few weeks.  It wasn't working like we though it might and the three of us decided home is where she needs to be for now.  Thankfully we've been able to get back in the groove and we're all happy with our decision for now.

I posted about our "Just Us 2013" trip yesterday and ironically, part of our "Just us 2014" was made official yesterday. I'll share details later, but yep, next year involves leaving the country!!!


Things are getting better.  Very slowly...but they are getting better. 



It was parent watch night this week at dance.  It also happened to be Olivia's night to be line leader.  When you are four....HUGE DEAL!!!  She also had some surprised guest come and watch her.  Seeing her face light up when they walked in was totally worth it.  I may be biased, but I think she's the cutest little ballerina in the class.

This weekend is a quiet one filled with family.  My favorite kind.

Happy Friday! : )



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fourteen years of us and America's Castle

The husband and I ran away to the mountains for the weekend.

I think I've talked about it before, but we don't really put much into our wedding anniversary.  We do however put a little more recognition into the anniversary date in which we officially started dating.  Weird, I know.  Why?  I guess we feel like those years get just as much credit as the wedding ones.  We made it through just as much during those years as our wedded ones, so they get some recognition in our eyes.

That being said, we celebrate 14 years of us next week.
  
The exact date we are not sure of and have argued between two dates for the past six years, so by this point we just say it's sometime in the second week of November. 


We made plans months ago that we were finally going to knock something off my bucket list.


 It took me 31 years, but I finally made it to The Biltmore Estate.

I have to say I was a little worried because I've heard some people say it was a little disappointing, but it exceeded my expectations.  Maybe I set the bar a little low so it didn't have too much to live up to.   This place is unbelievable gorgeous in its own huge mansion way.  The detail put into everything is beyond amazing. 

I splurged for the $10 audio tour things and I think they were worth every penny if you go.  The husband didn't get one but now wishes he did. There is a lot of information they give you on those little things. The bonus part was that they already had the Christmas decorations up, but we didn't have to pay the Christmas prices.

Add some Christmas on top of some history and I'm in heaven.

If you ever get a chance to go, do it.  It's so neat to see how these people lived.  I personally don't think the rich of today don't even live the lifestyle these people got to live.  It is seriously like how the royalty of other countries live.  Can you imagine have a lady's maid there to do EVERYTHING for you.  If you'd like an comparison, think Downton Abby in America.

After our tour we headed down to the Biltmore's winery and had lunch.

Can someone say free wine tasting!?!? I may have been in heaven all day.

History, Christmas, and free wine = my personal paradise.

We ate lunch at a restaurant just down from the winery and it was the best meal we had all weekend.  We'd highly recommend Cedric's Tavern if your there.


Monday morning before we left to head home, we marked something off of David's bucket list and went zip lining. 

I don't have any pictures because they strongly advised you to not take anything since stuff easily gets dropped, but we had a great time.  Come to find out, the leaves were about three weeks behind on their peek color, so we were there at the perfect time to see them at their brightest.  I have to say that zip lining through the bright yellow leaves 200 feet up in the air, was something that you never forget.  It was a little scary at times, but totally worth it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It's one of those things that pictures wouldn't even do it justice.  So glad my husband talked me into it.  I actually felt more nervous on the platforms and rope bridges than I did flying through the air.

We went with the Navitat Zipline Adventures.  I would highly recommend them. Our tour guides were very professional and knowledgeable about the forest around us.  They were also great at putting you at ease when the nerves came. 


 The rest of the weekend was filled with walks through downtown Asheville, hung out at bookstores, took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway,  naps, went out to dinner at 8pm....all those things that are not as fun to do with small children. 

We soaked up our full 72 hours without children.

 
 

Happy 14 years of us!!!  Can't wait for the next "just us" trip!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

First Day~November 2013

It's been awhile, but here's a peek into our first day of November.

 Livi was begging me for these boots.  How unfortunate they didn't come in her size!!! ; )

 

It was a good one.


Linking up with Nic.