Monday, January 24, 2011

Mama's Little Co-pilots

Let me just start by saying that I swore I would never dress my kids matter what.  But when I saw this cute little airplane shirt, I just couldn't make up my mind which boy to buy it for, so I bought it for both.  I hadn't really intended on putting them in it at the same time, but that was before Aiden saw that they both had the same shirt.  So, all I heard about for several days was "when can we wear our airplane shirts?" "where's my airplane shirt?"  "where's frudder's (aka brother's) airplane shirt?"  So I put Aiden in his shirt and promised him that brother would have his on too when he got home from school.  I have to say it was pretty cute:)

Aiden really likes taking pictures, so I will occasionally let him take a few if we are on carpet and he promises to be extra careful.  He took this one of me and Miller.  I used to complain that I was never in any pictures with my kids because I was always the one taking them.  I guess this is my solution!

Next, we have another sweet Aiden moment.  It snowed here recently and we were stuck inside until daddy got home because I wasn't too sure how I'd juggle both of them in the snow since Miller is so young and probably couldn't stay out there too long.  So, I avoided a potential tantrum moment with Aiden and just waited for Scott to get home from work.  In the mean time, Aiden asked me if Miller could get in his choo-choo train tent with him.  I said yes and he immediately sprang into action to get it all set up for him.  He set up the tent and then ran into his room to get books for them to read inside the train.  So sweet!

Then daddy came home and we had our snow play time.  It was Miller's first time and he wasn't too sure about it to say the least.  In the chaos of getting them both ready, I forgot to put on Miller's gloves and didn't realize it until he put his little hand down in the snow and started bawling.  Mom job:  FAIL!

So, I scooped him up and we came inside for a fire and hot chocolate with daddy.  Followed by about 12 more fires through the weekend.  Aiden loves those fires!  We had the most relaxing weekend with no plans and just watched movies, cartoons and cuddled by the fire.  I actually started the week rested! 

This last picture, I just took about an hour and a half ago.  My mom was reading Aiden books and left the room for just a minute to get something.  When she came back, she found him passed out underneath his book.  Poor baby!  Being three is hard work!

He has an aptitude check at school in May to make sure he is on track.  They sent home a copy of the check list they are going to go by and we have been working really hard on it.  Today, we worked on learning his birthday and he got it down with no problem......June twenty foureth:)  Close enough for me! Ha!

much love,


Monday, January 17, 2011

If You're Happy and You Know It.....

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes me happy and what I want to do with my life.  The huge lesson that I have learned from losing my dad is that life is short.  It is a recurring thought in my head every day.  When someone cuts me off in traffic, life is too short to get angry at someone who most likely didn't even realize they cut me off because they are busy in their own world.....and on and on.  Life is full of tiny annoyances that can lead to you spending your day upset, annoyed or angry.  And for what?  More likely than not, whatever or whoever you are upset about is not spending any time thinking about you!

I got into a conversation today about making life changes to make yourself happy.  A great lesson we can all learn in life is to go for what makes us happy, no matter how scared you are to make a change.  Life is too short to waste it anywhere other than where you want to be.  No one can make these decisions for you and no one can make you happy other than yourself.  I have realized lately that throughout this past year I have been wishing at times for someone to come and rescue me from the grief I have been feeling.  For someone to come along and do something or say something that will just make it all make sense and help me to be in a happy place.  The other day, it just hit me like a ton of bricks.....the person I have been waiting on is ME!  You and only you can control whether you are happy or sad, positive or negative, joyous or full of gloom.  You can't control what anyone says or does to you or what experiences life throws at you but you are the only one who has complete control over how you react to a situation.  You are the only one who can decide that you are going to be happy. 

I think I was wishing someone would come rescue me because that's what my dad always did for us.  Any time I had a problem, we would sit down and talk about every aspect of the problem and possible solutions until we had a game plan.  I guess I've been wishing there was someone else I could go to in that way who could help with this, the biggest obstacle I have ever faced.  The truth is, he wasn't solving my problems for me.  I now realize that he was teaching me how to solve my own problems.  Of all the wonderful things my dad did for me, probably the greatest thing he did was to live and let me watch him do it. 

And the lessons continue......

One last thing before I go.  A few pictures of the number 1 thing that makes me happy:

All dressed up for church.  What a doll!

much love,


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Home Alone

Scott left at 7:00 a.m. this morning for a business trip to Orlando for some meetings.  Of course, he couldn't resist the temptation of beautiful Florida weather and had to go down a day early to play golf.  So, the boys and I will be on our own until Wednesday.  Any and all prayers are happily accepted!  We started off the day by going to my nephew, Easton's, first basketball game.  Aiden was totally fixed on watching those older boys play.  He wanted out on that court so bad!  He wanted in that game!  Easton's team played great, but as he put it to me when I told him what a great job he did "maybe next time you come watch me play we will win."  Poor guy.  I should have told him that at 5 years old, he is already as good a basketball player as I was when I played in 6th grade!  That probably would have made him feel better.

I wanted to write a little bit about how much Aiden LOVES his baby brother.....or "frudder" as he likes to call him.  It is the sweetest thing I have ever seen.  He literally lights up and is so excited every time he sees him.  He keeps telling me he wants me to have five (yikes!) more babies because he loves being a big brother so much.  He gets so concerned any time Miller is crying and always wants to help him.  This morning, I was in the other room getting breakfast ready and when I came back into the bedroom, Aiden had gotten out all of Miller's favorite toys and sat them up all in a row in front of him so he could play.  Melts my heart!  Later on this afternoon, Miller was fussy because he is teething and Aiden was trying hard to make him laugh.  Finally, Miller smiled and Aiden said "Mama!  He found his smile again!  He's not sad anymore!".  What a sweetheart!  

When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember holding Aiden one night before bed and feeling so guilty  that he wouldn't be getting my undivided attention anymore.  This baby was going to forever change his life and he didn't know it or ask for it.  I worried that I wouldn't be able to give him all the attention he needed or that he would feel jealous or sad about all the attention I would need to give to the baby.  I also wondered how my love could possibly be split in two.  I love Aiden as much as it is possible to love someone, so what would happen when I had another baby to love?  As soon as Miller was born, I had my answer.  Your love doesn't split in two, it doubles.  And having Miller has somehow made my love for Aiden grow even more.  I see him loving and taking care of his brother and it shows me even more sides of him to love.  He is such a sweet and caring boy and God has so richly blessed me with these children.  Miller seems to have the same sweet and kind spirit that Aiden has and I can only pray that will continue.  I realize now that I was wrong to feel guilty that he wouldn't be getting my undivided attention.  Miller has blessed Aiden's life just as much as he has blessed ours.  These boys are going to be the best of friends and I am so excited to watch their relationship grow.   

Love those baby blues.....

Aiden has begged for months to be able to take a bath with Miller and a few nights ago, he got his chance.  We have dipped him in there with him before, but this was the first where we put him in and let them play.  So fun!

I may not post any more until after Scott gets back.  I am anticipating being a little bit stressed and staying busy spending some good play time with them:).  Someday, I am sure I will be reading this and wishing I could be back in this very moment, feeling the stress, covered in baby food and slobber.  I don't plan on wasting a second of it.

much love,


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year! Happy New Year!

All I can say is thank God for my mom.  She is always so willing to keep the kids at the drop of a hat, which is usually how it goes.  I used to plan everything way in advance, but that was bk....before kids.  So, when I called to see if she would watch the boys so I could have a VERY last minute New Year's dinner with friends who also had no plans, it was so great that she was willing.  Mom, I owe you a lot!!!
This is my contribution to the meal.....Beef Tenderloin En Croute'.  One of the fanciest dishes I make.  It is delicious and always impresses anytime I take it somewhere.  I even took some of the extra puff pastry and put 2011 on the top, just to add a little something extra special.  All I need to do is remember to rewrite my recipe and put in bold capitol letters:  ATTENTION!  THE TWINE WILL DISAPPEAR INTO THE MEAT WHEN YOU COOK IT, SO YOU HAVE TO BE SURE TO TAKE IT OFF BEFORE YOU PUT THE MEAT INTO THE PUFF PASTRY!!!
That's right.....I left the stupid twine on and realized what I had done as soon as I took the first slice into my masterpiece.  What a dummy!  This is why I always try to downplay my cooking abilities anytime someone says I am a good cook.  Let's be real--I know how to find good recipes and I know how to follow them.  Case in point--I knew to remove the twine (I'm not that dumb!), but it's not on the recipe, so I forgot!  At least it tasted like a million bucks and was easy to remove.  So embarrassing!!!

Everyone smiling.....pretending the twine is no big deal.

Scott popping the champagne we brought.  I can't believe I got this picture right as the cork was coming out!
Becca, me, Ruth Ann, Rachel and Rae Lynn

Rachel, me, Rae Lynn and Ruth Ann

What a fun night!  All I asked for was a fun and relatively uneventful night (let's just say last New Year's Eve wasn't one of the best) and that's just what I got.  A fun evening with sweet friends and home semi-early for bed.  Perfect!  Happy New Year to all of you.  I hope 2011 brings you happiness, love, joy and success.  

much love,


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Santa Clause May Have Stopped at Our House.....Twice

Continuing with my December rewind.........Let me first say my name is Gina and I am a Christmasaholic.  That being said, having a very active three year old who is on Christmas vacation from school and an 8 month old rolling from one end of the room to the next is not conducive to a) Christmas baking b) putting up millions of Christmas decorations c) getting anything done.  This Christmas felt like a mad dash from one day to the next to fit in everything I wanted to do.....Welcome to life with more than one child:)  It was jam packed even with Scott being off work for TWO weeks!  I digress.....on to the Christmas festivities:

First, we got some reindeer food from a boy in Aiden's class.  Such a cute idea!  It was a little zip lock baggie with oatmeal and red and green glitter mixed in.  They left a note telling us to sprinkle it in our backyard on Christmas Eve so Santa's reindeer could find their way to our chimney.  It was a hit and I think we have a new family tradition.

Mama and Aiden making sure the trail leads through the yard to the chimney.

Aiden is the biggest ham I have ever seen.  My parents always said I was a camera ham, but this kid has to have me beat.  The "Christmas Ribbon" on his chest is a door knocker I made in FOURTH GRADE.  I am a sentimental sap, so I still have it.  For the past few years I have let Aiden decorate his room with some of our old decorations.  This is one of them and he insisted on displaying it as some sort of award or personal decoration while he took his picture with the plate of cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer.  Such a ham!

And.....the reason for the title of this blog:)  Santa may have outdone himself this year.  It's a little hard to tell, but under the tree is completely full and things overflowed into the living room.....not to mention the stockings.  I don't think Santa knows how to budget:)

Aiden with his Nana and the scarf she knitted for him.  He loved it!

I had every intention of taking the obligitory pictures of the boys in front of the tree, but sadly I woke up the day after Christmas and realized that the picture below is the only one I have where they are both even in the same shot.  Mom duty: FAIL  Oh well, at least I have pictures of them.

A wonderful Christmas spread put on by my brother and sister-in-law.  It was such a wonderful meal!

This may be the first picture I have of just me and my brother, Michael, since about 2001.  Pathetic, I know, but here we are. 

Aiden's new "jumpoline" that Santa brought him.  Santa forgot to put it together and it took daddy nearly 2 hours.  Daddy says he is going to have words with the Elves next year:)

Next, I have a little update on this sweet little chunky monkey.  Miller has had quite the week!  He isn't crawling yet, but is going to any day.  He has the army crawl down pat and can get to anything he wants with no problem.  He will even maneuver around a doorway!  This week brought his first purposeful word.  I know he isn't even 9 months old yet, but I swear it has happened!  He has been saying dada and wawa (water) for quite some time, but they have just been sounds he makes.  Until yesterday.  I had made Aiden a cup of water and when I walked by Miller with it, he said "wawa" and reached for the cup.  Thinking it must be a fluke since he isn't even 9 months old yet, I went and got his sippy cup, put water in it and asked him, "do you want this?" and he said "wawa" and reached for the cup!  Crazy!  Later that day, we were at Chic-fil-A and he clapped for the first time.  Now he does it all day.  He claps and then sometimes will throw his hands in the air.  So sweet!  He also started pulling up on things this week.  This kid is ready to be on the move!

Wearig his new UGG boots Uncle Mike and Aunt CC got him for Christmas.

What a December to remember!  It's hard for me to believe that this time next year I will have a 4 1/2 year old and an 20 month old running around my house.  It reminds me of a poem my mom had etched on a stone in her kitchen for years.  A few years ago, after I had Aiden, my dad made me a copy and I ran across it the other day:

"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow
For babies grow up, we learn to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep".

Still makes me cry every time I read it, but it is such a good reminder.  Dad always told me that he and my mom would give anything for my brother and I to be babies again and I know someday I will feel that way too.  I'm going to go kiss my babies......

much love,


Monday, January 3, 2011

December Rewind

So, I'm going to backtrack a bit and recap our December.  We were BUSY!  We started out with a Christmas party with my wonderful Bunco get out of the house, eat, drink wine and have adult conversation group:)  We gave up on playing Bunco a long time ago because we all have too much to say and we never got around to playing anyway. 

Next, we had Aiden's first school Christmas Program.  I can't even tell you how excited I was!  It was a challenging day for me because it fell on December 14th, the one year anniversary of my dad passing away AND it was held in the chapel where we had his service.  But I was also baptized in that chapel and Scott and I were married there, so this day gave me another happy memory for this place and that was how I had to look at it.  Aiden was quite the performer.  I could fill up two or three blog posts with pictures of him singing loudly, taking full body bows after each song and just all around being a ham like his mother. But I narrowed it down to four:

Starting off great!

He was rocking those bells!

Oops....he decided to do a stage dive to add extra drama to the program. he's pouting because he got in trouble and Ms. Sharon told him stage diving was a no-no.  What can I say?!?  He wants to do what he wants to do.  I have no idea where he gets it from.......

I have to say, he put on quite a show!  Next, we took the boys to the Christmas Train in Dry Gulch, just outside of Pryor.  It's put on by Church on the Move and it was really neat for the kids.  It's a whole town set up for Christmas with carriage rides, pony rides, a carousel and of course a real steam train.  Aiden was so excited I didn't think we were going to be able to keep him in his seat!

                                         Wearing the train conductor's hat.  He was so excited!

You can't put a price on seeing your child this excited!  Well, this one was about $70, so I guess you can:)

Running through the hay bale maze.  Scott was trying to get him out so we could leave, but he just kept running and laughing.  So fun!

PASSED OUT!  He never sleeps in the car anymore, so we were pretty sure he was worn out when we looked back and saw him like this.  It was a really fun night. 

I think I'll write about Christmas and New Year's Eve in another post.  This one is already long enough.  Looking back is making me exhausted!  I need a vacation!

much love,


Saturday, January 1, 2011

In With a Whimper and Out With a Bang!

One of my New Year's resolutions is to start a blog. Not because I think I have too much interesting to say, but because my talented sister-in-law has a blog ( and she was telling me that she is going to take her blog and have it turned into a book. What a fabulous idea! I've always wished I was the kind of person who kept a diary, but I'm not. So, I'm going to try a blog of what goes on and maybe someday it will be something my kids will enjoy reading. Here goes!

If there's one thing this past year has taught me, it's that things are never just "good" or "bad" in life. Most of the time it's a little of both. That pretty much sums up 2010 for our family. We started the year out with a whimper because we had just lost a man who meant so much to all of us, my dad. 
But then, just four months later, we had the joy of this day:

My dad always said life was like this.  He would move his hands from left to right and say "sometimes life goes this a way, and sometimes it goes that a way". He was so right! This has been the hardest year of my life.  But as I was laying in bed this morning cuddling with my two babies and husband, I started crying because it occurred to me:  this is 1/1/11.....I made it through 2010.  I did that!  I now know that I can make it through anything.  I also learned that there is a strength we have as mothers that we don't even know is there.  It would have been so easy for me to curl up and feel sorry for myself this year.  But I have two beautiful boys who count on me and even though some days the only thing getting me out of bed was thought of how disappointed my dad would be if I didn't get on with life, I DID IT.  I made the choice every day to press on and to be the best mother I can be.  I am proud of myself for that and I think he probably is too.

The year ended with a bang, literally, when I crashed into the back of a car that I thought was turning but ended up stopped in front of me.  The first wreck that was my fault since I was 19.  

So, now it is 2011 and I am declaring this the year of happy.  I am going to do everything I can this year to soak in every ounce of joy that I can because life is short and none of us are promised tomorrow.  Life is a gift and so are these boys.
BRING IT ON 2011!!!!

much love,