Sunday, October 26, 2014

Life...

Nuts.  Life has been crazy the past month.  Just this morning, I couldn't remember what day it was.  We have had a wedding and a funeral and lots of driving in between plus normal busy everyday life.  Scott just wrapped up reffing, we are cleaning up from summer and catching up on the piles of stuff that are driving me bonkers today.  I promise I will dust of the blog...I may be like 6 weeks behind but one of these days the snow will fly, we will be homebound and there will be more time to catch up on the blog.  In good news, my sister found a venue and a date so we have our calender set for August 1st, 2015!  We are all excited!  Now off to dig out of the laundry room and the hundreds of loads that await...see you soon my friends! xoxo -Erin

Friday, October 10, 2014

Seasons...

Just the other night at PEO our chaplain read this following verse and then just 2 days later, I read it again for bible study.  I was meant to read Ecclesiastes 3:1.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

The scripture goes on to list a multitude of seasons we go through in this life.  And with each season there is adjustment, letting go of what was and embracing what is.  The study notes say this, Solomon's point in this section is that God has a plan for all people.  Thus he provides cycles of life, each with its work for us to do.  

This all has me thinking about seasons in my mothering life...
I remember the season of desperately wanting to stay at home but having the responsibility to complete my contract and then when I stayed home I spent days filling my outlook calendar in with my nursing schedule and play-dates so I would be productive.  It took time to situate into my new role.  Then another season of welcoming our sweet daughter into the world and again a season of change was upon us, balancing two babes totally dependent on me.  It took time to adjust.

I was just texting a friend words of encouragement because she is in the season of welcoming child #2 in the family.  Oh I remember it well.  Feeling pulled in multiple directions, the older one having to wait, the younger one stretching their lungs, and all the while you haven't showered in days and your husband comes home to a chaotic (albeit loving) home with no dinner on the table. 
Yes it takes time to get used to the seasons of our life and recognize it is a season.

This morning it dawned on me, we are in a new season in our home.  A season of growing up and independence.  I was getting ready for preschool and we were running late per usual for this not morning people family.  I yelled (er I sweetly called) down to Solon to grab a breakfast bar and drink for him and his sister and like that they were fed.  Fed people. FED.

It was equal parts sorrow and joy.  The moment I yearned for when it was all I could do to get everyone dressed and fed everyday and now they can do it all on their own.  A new season.

Naps don't dictate our schedule but school does.

We have no diapers, no high chairs, no bottles (most of the time), no cribs and the only babies belong to Vera.  We are in a season of young children now.  BUT we do have sweet bedtime talks, dance parties, playing games, telling jokes, imaginations, funny quips and a whole lot of I love yous, tickles, kisses and hugs.  And flexibility to be adventurous and skip naps and grab a meal on the go.

We are in a new season.  My role is changing.

So I am giving myself grace..  I know if I don't embrace right now and be thankful, it will be over and we will be wishing we had it back.  There's no time for the I wish or I should have...

And I am beginning to be that mom, you know that well meaning old mature lady that told me to enjoy it and soak it all up when I looked death warmed over and hadn't showered in 5 days, because the days might be long (and they can be, even at this stage they can be) but the years do go by so so fast.

Yes I do agree God....

There is a a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens...
Eccleisastes 3:1


Finding gratitude and contentment because, 
God provides cycles of life each with its work for us to do.

Don't be sad it is over, smile because it happened.

Note for my mother - no this does not mean we are giving up ;), just means I am striving for contentment/graitude at this moment in my life ;).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mommy, ME and Baby Make 3 Tea...

It is no secret I love to plan parties for my kiddos' birthdays!  I spend too much time perusing pinterest and picking their brain as to what their heart's desires are.  It is fun for me, I know it isn't everyone's thing :)!  It makes my heart happy when their eyes light up!  This year as I mentioned in my previous post, Vera wanted princesses, baby, pink, purple and sparkle.  She has been loving having "real" tea parties with water with the whole family and one of her favorite books is Princess Bitty Baby.  SO, we combined in all up into the theme "Mommy, Me and Baby Make 3 tea", which was perfect for a 3rd birthday.  We invited 2 little girls and their mommies to come so there was 3 of everything :).
My mom scavenged the flea markets and found some sweet tea cups to use in addition to my Grandma Dingman's tea cups.  They are all beautiful and unique.  We also used my Grandma Wetherbee's silver tea set and our fine china.  It was fun to use it all and my grandma even polished the silver before she gave it to me and packed it in air tight containers so no polishing was needed!
We used princess napkins, borrowed 2 extra dolly high chairs and added a perfectly sized table to accommodate all of our guests.
We had mini doughnuts, mini cupcakes, princess goldfish, mini muffins and we made grape kabobs.  We also had pink lemonade or real English tea.
Each person had their own name tag and as part of their thank you note, we sent the little girls home with their tags that became door tags for their bedroom!
The girls felt pretty fancy with their dollies, drinks and beautiful outfits.  The mommies enjoyed chatting too!
We played a few princess games including Walk like Aerial (gunnysack races), Find the Missing Princess shoe (where I hid Cinderella's glass slippers around the house and they had to find them), and we took pictures with fun props.  We rounded out the fun morning with gifts and play time.


Queen and Princess M being silly...

Queen and Princess P being sweet...

And mother like daughter equal parts sweet and spicy!

It was a wonderful way to wish our sweet Vera a Happy 3rd Birthday and a special mommy moment. I have always dreamed of having a daughter to have tea with and do girly things with, I am so thankful :).


Monday, October 6, 2014

A tailgate princess-themed party?!....

What is a girl to do when every fall weekend is filled with football...last year we embraced it and had a football and cheerleaders party.  This year Solon was ready for a boys-only, friend party so no joint party.  Vera asked for princesses, baby, pink, purple and Aerial cupcake as her wishes for her 3rd birthday.  I decided to do a family party while everyone was in town for the game and save everyone from driving to our house, we just had it in the parking lot after the game was over.  I then had a little girls only tea while Solon was at preschool and daddy was at work followed by a family lunch out to celebrate.  Everyone got to celebrate and there was no shortage of cake and fun...so the parking lot was not my ideal party setting, Vera was loved and got exactly what she wanted - pink, purple, sparkles, princesses, babies and an Aerial cupcake!

The table set-up!  Pink velvet cupcakes with purple frosting and sprinkles (note and one Aerial cupcake with 3 candles)


The big 3 year old princess

More princess cupcakes...

Making a wish and blowing out the candles...


And of course she was showered with lots of lovely presents including some matching baby and me clothes for her bitty baby.  Nana even sewed matching PJ's to match,not only baby, but cousin Grace too!  More celebration documentation to come!!!

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cyclone Football time...

It wouldn't be fall without an ISU football post!  We got season tickets for the 8th season.  This year, however, with wiggly children in tow, we opted for the hillside.  We all have been happier despite the outcome of many of the games!  We still consume large amounts of concession stand goodies.  We also enjoy tailgating with family and friends before the game!  Vera even had a birthday party in the parking lot...more to come on that soon!  Hoping the rest of the season goes well.  The one thing about being a cyclone is you are loyal and true no matter how good or bad you are.  What a plight we are passing on to our kids :).
A little football with daddy before the game...

My girl and I

On the hill and ready for the game!

Testing out the capacity of the new ride for tailgating - it holds A LOT of stuff and people!

Grandma came and joined us for one game, the company was superior to the game :)!

And never fear, when the cyclones are away, we invite friends over and tailgate in the family room...

Go Cyclones!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Swagger Wagon..

Yes I drive a van and before you haters out there throw up in your mouth I have to say, don't knock it til you drive it....just sayin!  I was told that once you drive a minivan, you will be converted and I think that is true.  I am not sure who loves it more, the kids, Scott or I.  Vera is smitten with the automatic sliding doors, Scott likes the nice, quiet ride, I love the fact that I am no longer launching myself over the middle seat to buckle kids up for preschool and Solon is pretty impressed with the multitude of secret compartments and cup holders (for which have only held water so far ;).

Now the story behind the minivan is a good marriage 101 story so I thought I would record it for someday...

You see about 6 1/2 years ago and much earlier in our marriage.  I decided we needed a new vehicle at the time we were double income no kids and none on the way.  I drove a bug and Scott drove a large white sedan.  I scouted out the car I wanted.  We went together and made a deal and were sacked with a car payment for the next 5 years.  Yes car payments are a part of life and with 2 incomes, it was not a huge deal...but once I had Solon in my arms and my dreams changed in an instant.  We went from 2 incomes to 1.  Because of my pressure to buy the last car, we had to give up a lot of extras like cable, etc because of the debt we owed.  It was one of those decisions that haunted Scott and I.  We hadn't prayed about it, it was my idea and he went along with it, despite his better judgement.  Luckily we paid it off a year earlier, God provided in the interim despite the stretch financially and we both learned a very valuable lesson for this time around.


Our SUV was our primary mode of transportation, we rarely use Scott's car for any family outings.  We had some issues with it about 18 months (in the middle of our house purchase) and we had to completely replace the transmission (to the tune of 5000), luckily GM claimed some fault and paid 80% but it was still a hefty bill.  After that, the car seemed to never fully recover and our trust in it had waned.  We continued to drive it though in hopes we could eek out a few more years of no car payments.

However on a recent trip to the lake, the air conditioning sensor started to go crazy and not work reliably, the automatic windows were not working consistently and the most important -- the engine was still being quite temperamental  Given this is our primary car for our children, reliability is paramount.  Scott and I chatted and he did a lot of research while I prayed on the sidelines, giving my opinion when necessary but this time letting Scott take the lead in the ultimate decision.  I had learned my lesson the last time around...

Scott realized after much research the best time to buy a car was the end of August/beginning of September and Toyota was offering 0% financing  He chose Toyota for the reliability - remember our chief concern! He asked me my preference on color and necessities for features.  Since it has been so long since our last car purchase, all of the "necessities" come standard!  This time we got what we needed and nothing extra, praise God for his patience with us. We are learning!

He went to a few different dealers to get the best deal for our SUV (knowing it was a lemon, we didn't feel comfortable selling it ourselves).  One afternoon, after a trip to the dealer over lunch he drove into the driveway with our new car.  I didn't know what he chose, that he went and that he was bringing home a new car. If you know me, this was a huge trust moment for me in my husband and guess what he more then rose to the occasion.  I feel like we have vindicated ourselves from our last not well prayed about decision!

And we all love it...and we got to keep our ISU plates (priorities)

Scott got it with 0 miles on it and it only had the 21 miles from Ames on it when he got home.  I have never owned a car SO new!!!! It was stressful watching the odometer click each mile away.  We are up over 1000 already :(.

It has been a month and we are all smitten, I am officially a van convert and it has been a blessing to our family to have a reliable car again - no stress about what unexpected fix-it bill might pop up.  We know what day the bill is due and how much ;)!  We still haven't eaten any snacks and it is still very clean.  Scott is impressed and he should be, you mamas know how hard it is to keep a car clean.  It still smells new and I hope it does for a while as we won't be getting a new car for another 7+ years :).

So call me what you may - soccer mom, swagger wagon, shaggin wagon...I love it and I am happy to give you and your 6 closest friends a ride too :).

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