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Friday, November 30, 2012

The pajama cure!

Lucy wears her pajamas a lot.  Today she wore them all day.  We had some errands to run which made me think for a minute before I agreed to it but then I thought-- I don't care, and I don't care if anybody else cares, decision made.  Lucy was perfect for all 3 stops, and they were kind of long, I think it was the pajamas.  I tweaked my back yesterday ( only old people say that kind of thing).  I hurt it every year around this time (feeling even older now).  By the end of our shopping my back was hurting and making it hard for me to take a deep breath or carry Lucy and I said "oh, Lucy!  My back is hurting".  And she said, "put you jammies on, and drink you coffee, you feel better.  me no back hurt." This girl is brilliant.  So tonight I've already put my jammies on and I'll think I'll have a little hot drink later.  Doctor's order.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Janie is as good as new!

I'm so thankful for help!  Lucy naps until about 3:15 most days.  Which means that I'm nearly always grabbing her out of her crib and getting her in the car (jammies on...she insists on wearing them for nap) to pick the girls up from school.  We haven't walked to pick the kids up for ages because of this. Occasionally Lucy sleeps beyond 3:15 because -
a.) she's super tired
b.) I laid her down late
c.) she yelled and carried on in her crib until 2:25 when she finally passed out
I'll let you guess which of those three happened today.  Regardless, at 2:26 I knew there was no way in the world I was going to wake Lucy at 3:15.  And boy am I lucky because I am blessed to know plenty of people who will pick up my kids when I'm in a bind.  Two in particular are a God send and help me out a lot.  There's my amazing friend who sometimes just because she knows about my napping baby situation texts me around 3 and says she's picking my girls up.  This is the same friend who shows up in my driveway some mornings, no announcement, ready to take my kids to school and who on Tuesday mornings when Emma has chorus and needs to be at school 20 minutes early, but Eleanor does not, which makes drop off sticky, takes both of my girls and after dropping Emma and her own daughter at chorus, takes Eleanor out to breakfast at Khaldi's.   There's also my friend who has saved me at least a half a dozen times when I text her about pick up and who took Eleanor home after almost every soccer practice because Kevin and I had core group meetings at church at the same time.

I'm also thankful for car repairs that make a huge difference and don't cost quite as much as you feared. While gone for Thanksgiving the passenger side sliding door on the van broke.   Thank goodness we were able to close it and didn't have to drive down I-70 with a tarp over it.    Yesterday I brought into the shop and now Janie is like new!

Have I ever shown you this picture?  I don't think I posted it.  A few months ago Lucy and I went to Old Navy to find the girls a couple of school dresses.  I was looking through sizes and had my back turned to her.  I heard someone gasp and then crack up.  I turned around.  Lucy was down to her diaper.  She was looking for a dress to try on.  And like a really great mom, rather than get her dressed and out of the store, I took a picture.  And then she ran away.  And I had to chase a nearly naked baby around the children's section.  That's when we left.  I am thankful that as I get older, I embarrass much less easily.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Through another lens

I'm thankful to see the world through the eyes of my kids.

Yesterday we walked to lunch and on the way back (before Lucy had a total "I'm exhausted let me sleep" meltdown during which I had to carry her kicking and screaming down our street) we saw a sign that said --Leaf Collection in this area: November 29-December 6--.  I wondered aloud if that included us.  Emma said she hoped it did.  I agreed that we had some leaves to rake.  She looked at me quizzically.  So I explained what a leaf collection was.  She laughed and said she thought a leaf collection was when a group of people got together and collected leaves in their area and then compared them, and maybe afterwards they'd have cookies and apple cider.  Now that's a leaf collection to get  excited about!

I love Christmas, anyone who knows me well knows this.  I'm not quite ready for decorating....though we've been playing carols for a week.  I want to really get the house clean and clutter free before we bring out the decorations.  To my surprise and delight this morning Eleanor was totally decked out in an outfit that made her look like the cutest Christmas Elf.  She's ready and because of her sweet spirit I'm working like crazy to get there too!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

6 days and a Thanksgiving recap

We had a great Thanksgiving full of family, food and of course fun.  It's impossible not to feel incredibly thankful for all of these blessings  We forgot the camera but still caught a few good shots of a happy Thanksgiving!

We left Wednesday morning and headed west. We stopped in Columbia for lunch and trampoline jumping at Grandpa and Kyra's.  I'm so thankful for my Dad and his flexibility, both on and off the trampoline.  I love you, Dad!    

Getting all of the leaves off before jumping!

Jon and Lucy flying around the rink.
We (and I use this word liberally) went ice skating in the afternoon.  There was a small ice rink in a cute little area right by our hotel.  After, we celebrated Bill's actual birthday and mom's birthday one day early.  There were 18 of us and we were a little worried about going out to dinner  the night before Thanksgiving.  Next to the ice rink was a restaurant.  It ended up being perfect!  The kids (including Lucy) were able to sit in their own area, with a small couch, a coffee table and a couple of comfy chairs.  They could sit or stand and play around a little, which they loved.  The food was good and it was such a wonderful evening all being together.  I'm thankful that we get to go out to eat sometimes.  I know there are lots of  people who cannot.  

She didn't want to stop!
Ellie and Ellie, two peas in a pod.

Happy Birthday, dear Gram!

We ran, walked and strolled the KC Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  We can't remember exactly what year we began this tradition but we're pretty sure it was 2005 and just 3 people participated.   This year we had a gorgeous morning, and it was a record breaker for our family with 22 of us participating!  I'm thankful that my family is active and tries new things.

Part of our group! A couple of speed demons had already taken off to get to the front of the race line...the others, I'm not sure!
Our Thanksgiving meal is at 3:00 in the afternoon which means there's no rushing to have lunch ready. Instead we snack on appetizers and try to stay hungry for the main event.    My mom and brother got the turkey ready for the oven before the turkey trot and one of my aunts put it in promptly at 9.....while others of us were beginning our race.  That's what makes our Thanksgiving so wonderful.  Everybody works together.  No matter if you travel or live right in town you have some part in the meal.  Blake and Jon arrived in Kansas City direct from London at midnight on Wednesday.  They were as much help as anyone else.  I'm thankful to be a part of a family who values every single member.  

Kevin making gravy.
I was thrilled to meet our newest family member, baby David, my cousin Alex and her husband Matthew's son.  David is perfect; so calm and sweet and I loved snuggling him.  Of course Alex is sweet and calm and such a natural mom.  I'm thankful we both had great moms and aunts to learn from. My mom, my Aunt Kathy and my Aunt Trish are amazing moms and I learned (and continue to learn) so much from each of them, I know Alex has too.  Lucky, lucky us! 
My girls and Jon enjoying the baby.

I can't show you our youngest guest without also showing you our amazing oldest guest.  My Great Aunt Shorty at 85 with my mom and my Aunt Kathy, at whose house all of the festivities take place.

Lucy was happiest chasing Buster and Charlie, the cats.  She told me she wishes she had a cat. While we're not getting her a cat,  I'm thankful to have this happy, silly baby to make us all laugh.  

Lucy at the top of the stairs kissing Buster.  She really loves him!

The girls loved hanging out with their cousins, and their cousins made them feel like a million bucks, giving them so much attention.  I'm very thankful for Lauren, Ellie, Allie, and Lydia.  

On Friday we went to the Plaza and shopped a little bit, we love to go to Halls and find Christmas ornaments for the girls.  My Grandpa always enjoyed going there with us and had such an appreciation for beautiful things.  After shopping, we had lunch and margaritas, another Grandpa tradition.  Our lunch was so fun, we laughed the whole way through.  It makes me wish Blake and Jon were a few states closer.  It also makes me thankful that we keep traditions alive no matter how far apart we are. 

I had to super crop this photo because it was COLD and I was wearing a big puffy coat.  I'm not (too) vain but come on, Blake never looks big and puffy and his height and leaness did me no favors.  

All three girls were fabulous hotel guests!  Lucy slept in her pack and play again, after hopping right out of it this summer.   Emma and Eleanor shared a bed without a single fight...woooohooo!  I'm thankful that given enough time, often hard things change and become easy breezy things. 

Watching Frosty the Snowman on the iPad at 6:15 in the morning.  We slept through the night, I'm not complaining!

It was a brief visit on Saturday morning but I'm so thankful we got to see our Moore family too.  I do wish sometimes time would just stand still but all the same I'm thankful for small moments of time spent with people I dearly love.
The ONLY picture I got! Boooo!

We drove home Saturday afternoon and stopped at Culver's for an early dinner.  I'm thankful there is not a Culver's anywhere near me, I would have to buy bigger pants.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Phone pictures

Our phone pictures don't often get put onto the computer.  But when they do, it is so much fun and I'm thankful that we sometimes remember to snap pics!  This evening I got a fun little surprise when I looked through the most recent phone download, which was full of summer photos.  

A tiger stripe cone at Buck's.  MIZ-ZOU!
                                                  Waiting for pizza at Shakespeare's.

Geo caching in Forest Park.  Soon after this picture was taken someone discovered poison ivy and everyone had to race home for showers.

A River City Rascals game.  It was a fun night, although the dads were a nervous wreck worrying that the kids were going to get hit by a ball.  Then we got stuck at the field  because of a crazy rainstorm. Even with all of that, I'd sort of forgotten about the game...glad for the pictures!

Jungle Boogie at the Zoo.  We went early int the summer and had so much fun that we knew we'd be back for more evenings.  Darn!  Never made it back.

Great Wolf Lodge.  Pretty sure we were all delirious from the constant sound of water at this point.  

I'm not really sure.

Glad I was able to get these two off the mountain.  Although I think they'd both still really like to be there!
                   Best friends since they were newborns, on the gondola at Beaver Creek (post snow cones).

The Shakespeare Festival

The hottest night and we decided to have dinner on the patio at Bottleworks.  We are all soaked by the time we got home.

Perfecting their whittling skills.

                                                               Eleanor at Lou Fest. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I've written about it before but it's worth writing about again, I'm so thankful that I am surrounded by people who make me laugh many times each day.  Yesterday, Eleanor bought a book about hair, it includes all kinds of fancy hair dos.  Emma and Eleanor had a great time trying out some new styles.  One particular style necessitated the use of 12 pony tail holders on one head of hair.  I do not exaggerate when I say that this particular style made Emma's lovely red hair looked like a cartoon picture of someone with her finger in light socket.  The rubber bands got stuck and snarled, and the more Emma pulled the worse it got.  Even though Emma was in borderline crisis mode we couldn't help (Emma included) but laugh until our bellies hurt over her crazy hair.  We did finally get all of those  rubber bands out, I'm thankful for that too!

Having a toddler in your house pretty much guarantees that you'll laugh a lot.  This girl makes sure we have lots of opportunities to smile.  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Girls on The Run

Emma just completed her Girls on The Run 5K!  The program was a super experience. The team was coached by amazing young ladies from Washington University, who are such good role models.     I'm thankful that such a program exists for girls in our community.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I feel thankful to find little notes around our house all of the time.  Sometimes they make me smile or absolutely crack me up, and other times they make my heart melt.  I hope we keep passing notes in our house forever and ever.

In case the blue ink makes you go cross eyed:

to: Emma
fram: Eleanor
I can not wate intill we go to the book fair  I am so happy we ernd geting to go to the book fair  I do not now witch book I am going to cosen I do not now wehn we are going tomareo I think we are going in the morning becaus Leah will be hear.

I Love You

Everyone can make a diffrinc in the world

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Always teaching, always learning

Yesterday when Eleanor got home from school she showed Lucy a clay turtle which she made at school.  Very carefully she explained how it was made, stopping and elaborating after each "why".  Eleanor asked Lucy to touch the turtle and tell her how it felt.  Lucy responded "hard and cold".  To which Eleanor said "Oh good, good ideas".  I'm thankful to live with such good teachers and learners!  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


 All it takes is an empty plastic tub to make her this happy.  So thankful!   She helps put the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


In our body focused culture we seem to constantly find fault with our bodies..this is too big, that's too small, wrinkles here, stretch marks there...all to be banished or at least improved.  I've been known to jump right on that ship.  Blehhh!  I don't want to ever model that kind of ugly thinking for my kids.  Our bodies are something to be thankful for, not constantly criticized.   There is nothing I want to do physically that I can't.   I have enough energy to be the mom I want to be.  I can run and walk and carry girls whose legs hang nearly to the floor when I pick them up, and who get heavier every single day.  I can chase a toddler around the dining room table until she collapses in giggles, and then rock her to sleep on my soft shoulder.  I can cook and clean and carry load after load of laundry.  I can climb to the top of the tree house and slide down the big slide.  I can fit in the playhouse and push the swing forever.    I am strong and healthy and so thankful.
It's worth mentioning again how thankful I am to have enough energy.  And I do just mean enough.  Someday perhaps I'll also have some to spare?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My mom

At the Peabody to see the Rocketts!

I am so thankful to have an amazing mom who also happens to be tops in the gram department.  She's fun and smart and loves us so much.  She makes sure we know how much she loves us by telling us how important and special we are.  She makes our favorite food, remembers important days, encourages us and believes we can do anything.  She has a short memory for bad behavior and chooses to remember the good.  She also happens to be our cultural benefactor.  She makes sure that every year we go to the theatre to see shows that without her we could not.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012


2007, oh my goodness!  They are now 9, 16, and 6.  How did this happen?
I am thankful to have lots of wonderful family traditions.  This weekend we are celebrating our annual November Iowa City-Columbia-St. Louis weekend.  We miss Sean!!!  Next year road trip to Ames?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Staying home

I'm so thankful to be a stay-at-home mom.  I've never regretted this choice.  Even a few months ago when I wondered what my future might hold, I never doubted my past.  As I thought about what I might do next  I decided to become keenly aware of my daily life, what I loved and what I didn't, things I wouldn't get to do if I went back to work and things I wouldn't have to do.   What a great exercise.  I found out this is where I'm called to be right now.  My life is simple, compact and full of joy.  There's peace and contentment in my heart.  I  know lots of amazing working moms who are peaceful and happy too,  fulfillment isn't identical for every single mom.    What a blessing, to live in a world where women can choose what path they wish to follow.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Self Control

Today as we were going to school I asked Eleanor to tell me something she was going to work on today.  She told me to go first.  I said that this morning I'd be doing something that I knew was going to go slower than I wanted, probably not work out how I hoped and would make me feel a little out of control.  I told her I'd need help with not getting mad.  She said "so you're going to need some self control."   I'm really thankful we had that conversation this morning because in the midst of a really strange, long, frustrating morning of volunteering, whenever I thought of Ellie telling me I'd need some self control, I had to smile.
Another off topic photo!  Last night Eleanor and Lucy were reading in the hallway outside of the bathroom.  Emma was getting ready to shower but popped out to ask the girls to please read in the bathroom so she could hear.  Eleanor was reading a Dr. Seuss book and Lucy was so sweet in copying El's cadence as she read her own book.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Sometimes it feels like everyone's in a hurry, consumed by themselves and just not very nice.  Little ugly comments, judgement, selfishness-- it's rotten.  But usually, when you look around there's a whole lot more goodness than crumminess.  This morning, a total stranger bought my latte.  The person in the car in front of me at Starbucks paid for me!  I was shocked and totally tickled.  A simple, sweet act of kindness that made my day! Today I'm thankful for kind, thoughtful people.

This picture has nothing to do with kindness but I like the memory!  She loaded up this bin with stuffed animals and called it her boat.  Then she read her current favorite book "10 Red Apples" to them over and over.  Maybe this does have something to do with kindness....just looking at this picture makes me happy, and being happy makes me kinder!

Since this is my own little blog and if you read it you know me and this comes as no surprise to you, and you know that even if you don't agree with me my intention is not to offend you.......I'm also incredibly thankful that Barack Obama is the President!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Vote

  I remember taking Emma to the polls to cast my vote in the 2004 Presidential election, then taking Em and El to the polls in 2008 and today Eleanor and Lucy joined me. I'm very thankful to have the right to vote.   I hope that my girls will remember going to the polls with me and will know that in our family we VOTE! 

 4 years ago, after voting. 
                                      That mound of dirt behind the girls is now where we live!

The girls are casting their votes in Kids Voting today.  They were both really excited, which makes me really smile.  Recently the girls are very interested in the election.   Eleanor is full of all kinds of factoids about each candidate.  Yesterday's was that Mitt Romney has 18 grandchildren.  Emma has been asking tons of questions about the electoral college (she is not a fan) some that I cannot answer.  And yesterday they figured out that they would both be voting for the first time in a Presidential election in the year 2024, Emma will be 21 and Eleanor will be 18.  Can you guess how that conversation went over?