Friday, December 19, 2014

turkey day

While Mike was out playing in his annual Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving morning, the kids and I hung out here. I went to make them our traditional made-from-scratch chocolate chip & blueberry muffins only to find the pantry void of any mixes. :( So after my pity-party, I realized I would have more room for food later on in the day and enjoyed the parade with the kids.

We went to Spence & Heather's like always and enjoyed some great family time. Right before we eat, we go around the table and say what we're thankful for. This year was funny because it seemed the tears started before anyone started speaking. We really are such a lucky bunch to have each other. I'm so thankful for this crazy family tree I've been given.

Both kids really latched on to Kaitlyn while we were there, especially Maddy. Brandt was a menace and super tired but handled himself fairly well. The weather was beautiful, I love being up there where things just seem quieter. After dinner we played Pictionary where the girls WHOOPED ON the guys. Heh.

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I'm thankful for Mike. He really is everything to me. This year has been prettydifficult & through it all, he's so strong. He takes such good care of us and loves us so much. I can't imagine how he loves me some times... It's a lot to take on, that's for sure! He's definitely the best dad ever, my kids won the lottery there.

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And my kids! Aaaaghhh. They're the best. We've definitely struggled with all the changes this year, but by 'we' I mean me. They've been champs. And Brandt is the perfect addition to our family, the little stinker. I keep praying for a kid that's 'easy' but instead I get these amazing, rotten, chock-full of personality babies, and he's no different. He keeps me on my toes for sure, but I guess that's what I need.

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My mom is such a blessing to me. She's ALWAYS there when I need her, always. Although I take some of her suggestions as criticism, I know she's just trying to help in her way. The kids adore her and honestly, I know for a fact I wouldn't have made it through this year without her. I am so blessed to have her as my mom!!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Huddy's Thanksgiving Feast

Hudson's preschool is so adorable! It's really a Mother's Day Out program that has kind of evolved into this amazing little Pre-K. His teachers are so wonderful and have been doing it for a long time, they really know what they're doing.

They had this fun Thanksgiving Feast for the kids & their families to come. Everyone brought food and the kids sang a little song. It was fun to mingle with some of the other parents and get to see Huddy with his friends.

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HA.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

5th Annual UCSP

I feel silly blogging about something that happened two days ago when I still haven't caught up with this fall, but oh well.

On Friday, we had our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. A couple of our besties couldn't make it, which was SO SAD. But luckily we had some new friends (well, not new, but new to our party) come over and we had so much fun!!

There was a lot of delicious food and the perfect White Elephant gifts. My favorite was the bed pan, which we ended up with (by choice!). I guess that's what happens when you invite a doctor to your party... I'm definitely going to have to up my game in that department.

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Mike got our sweaters when he was out of town this week. Mine was actually way uglier than it seems - that thing was heavy and those shoulder pads were out of control. I do love a good argyle sweater though... Stacie made hers, which was so adorable, and she definitely almost got my vote, but Matt (top right corner) gave her a run for her money with his, which had something about 'milk boarding' on it. Ya know, instead of water boarding??? Anyway, maybe you had to be there.

There were a lot of laughs, mostly about inappropriate-for-the-blog-things, and it was a GREAT night. Love these folks!

Fall soccer

With the struggle we had last fall with Maddy and Hudson having practice on the same nights, Mike knew one of the best ways to make sure that didn't happen was to be a coach himself so he could choose the nights. Luckily with his job, he was able to do it. He also asked my sister to help coach so in the event he was out of town, she could take over. He only missed one practice, but it was still a HUGE help to have her there. (Those 3-4 year olds are a little cuh-razy.)

SEPTEMBER

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His first practice with Mike as his coach. There were only two other boys on his team which was adorable. They decided on 'Raiders' as their team name, which was funny because both Mike & Ashley's high school mascots were the Raiders. (I suggested Raiders because they play right behind Mike's old high school.)

I was a little nervous about who we were going to get for Maddy's coach, but it couldn't have worked out any better. Coach Dustin was awesome. He even made them run. Which was great because...

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... Maddy's field this season was at least twice the size of her field the last time she played. The team name this go-round was the Bears.

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She got to be goalie for a little bit and LOVED it. She even scored a goal during the first game! It was so amazing. I could have cried.

Hudson also scored TWO goals during his first game! I couldn't believe it.

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And another one of Maddy's practices - she kinda got into the headband thing that her brother started.

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Meanwhile, Mike and Hudson entertained themselves.


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With Brandt & trying to juggle everything, I didn't have my camera at every practice, or even every game. *gasp* I know. Horrible. But I decided to let that be okay. :)

OCTOBER

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Hud really loved having Auntie Ashley as his coach.

I cannot say enough good things about Coach Dustin. Maddy finally got a little competitive and got pretty upset a couple of times when she didn't win when they ran laps. While he was still sweet with her, he didn't take her bologna. I loved it.

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My mom was so sweet and came to almost every game. Brian, Kirsten & Jenny made it to a couple as well. I'm glad we're a lot closer now so they don't have to travel as far!

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I think this is the day he had back-to-back games. It was also in the 90s. During the first game, he had two goals!! And during the second game, he ran into the goal post. TRAGIC. Thankfully he was fine. His mother still hasn't recovered.

NOVEMBER

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Grampa was so nice & came to support the kids at a few of the games as well. He also helped us carry our millions of belongings all around the fields since the games were on opposite sides of the complex. 

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Auntie Heather came to Hud's last game. I think he was excited to show off for her! ;) Also pictured is Ashley's current beau, Felix. We like this one.

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Hudson's team won every single game. It was pretty funny. And also a little sad for some of the teams they played, it was just a BEAT DOWN. And kids that age don't get it, so this one teammate of Hudson's would just go to the goal over and over and over. Hudson had a handful of goals and he was just so nonchalant about it - it was hilarious.

Maddy's team only lost a couple of games, tied once and won the rest. They don't focus so much on that and I don't really either, but I have a little pride, come on. We're going to see if there's any way Maddy can stay with this coach in the spring, even though she's 7 now. (He coaches for his goddaughter and she's only 6.)

What a great season! Although it was stressful at times, especially with Brandt, it's so worth it to see my kids getting involved and enjoying something like this.

Til next time!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ten months

My sweet baby turned 10 months (two weeks ago, ahem)!

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Not the best picture... it's getting tough!

He's still crawling around everywhere, army-style. He hasn't started pulling up at all but has started climbing over things. He gets himself stuck in the most awkward places. He stopped sleeping through the night right after he turned nine months, but he also started napping a little better so I had to take what I could get. Now he's not doing so well with napping either, my goodness, I don't know what the heck is wrong with this baby. If I'm supposed to have more, THIS ISN'T WHAT IS GOING TO CONVINCE ME. :) He got two more teeth, and YIKES, those suckers look like they hurt.

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He's generally pretty happy, although very particular about different things. The nights are really hard with him usually because he's so overtired from not sleeping during the day. My mantra is "This will pass, this will pass." I'm still breastfeeding, usually 4-5 times / day, I'm so grateful that things worked out. It's something I really enjoy, just spending time with him, but I could really do without the biting. :/

OCTOBER:

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Brandt with his cousin, Max. Max recently moved here from New York & Brandt couldn't be more thrilled. He especially loves crawling over to Max and touching him... Max doesn't like to be touched so this is hilarious. (For me.)

NOVEMBER:

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There is nothing more amazing than his smile and I just adore him. I'm so glad he's a part of our family & I can't wait to see what shenanigans he gets himself into in the months to come.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

Because I've taken the kids to this pumpkin patch every year, I had to make it there this year too. It ended up only working out to go on Halloween, which made things kind of hectic, but darn it, you don't mess with tradition!!

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HA.

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Man, has she grown!

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Have I mentioned Hud hates pictures now? Fun!

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Trying to get a picture with all three of these crazies... It takes patience. Which I'm sorely lacking.

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We love this place. Although it's not close anymore, it's free and it stores some great memories for us. What's funny is this is the first time Mike has ever been able to come... Hopefully not the last!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Trunk-or-Treat

This year our Trunk-or-Treat was on Halloween. I had been looking forward to walking door-to-door with the kids and them doing their thing and was actually going to skip the ward activity, but then they needed the Young Women to do the photo booth and all of the other leaders had something going that night. So.

We went to the pumpkin patch earlier that afternoon and ended up having to race home to make sure I could get to the church and set up in time. STRESS. It ended up working out just fine and Mike brought the kids to the church after he got them ready.

They looked so adorable. Hudson originally wanted to be Buzz Lightyear but by the time I got around to getting their costumes, I couldn't find the Buzz I wanted. Luckily Hud is pretty easygoing and was more than happy to be Iron Man. Now Brandt... I wanted him to use Hud's old shark costume, and Mike said he knew where it was. Guess what though? He didn't. :/ Luckily Kid to Kid came through with a little chicken costume that kept Little B warm - it got cold!!

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While I was taking pictures, Mike took the kids around and they had a good time. This ward does it a little differently - they dump all the candy in a huge bag and then distribute it to people that are actually lined up with their trunks decorated. So really, there were only maybe ten cards. It was weird.

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Brandt hung in there as long as he could but was pretty miserable by the end. I brought him home and put him to bed and Mike followed a little bit later.

*A couple days later, on that Sunday, Brandt had a fever of 103* and hadn't been sleeping at all, and what do ya know? Double ear infection. Poor kid.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Backtracking

Wayyyy back at the beginning of the year, Mike was working for a small litigation firm pretty close to our house. He hadn't been there a year when we both realized this was going to be a pretty insane position. His employer expected him to be there A. Lot. {kind of an understatement.} When I had Brandt, Mike had to fudge the truth a little bit to even get to take a couple days off. His boss told him, "When my wife had our kids, I went and shook the doctor's hand, gave her a hug, and went back to work." Ahhh, what a happy marriage they must have, yes? We knew the hours would be long but we had no idea the extent of it. In March, his old employer offered him a pretty sweet deal to come back, a deal which Mike just couldn't refuse. They mentioned that there would be some travel involved but the hours, the possibility of working from home some, and the hefty pay increase was too good to turn down.

After Mike was on the job two weeks, they sent him to Detroit. If you're doing the math in your head, Brandt was just a couple of months old.


I have no idea how I made it through. Oh wait, yes I do. My mom. If it wasn't for her, there's no way I could have done it. She came over almost every day, did my laundry, did the dishes, got Brandt to sleep (he's soooooooooooooo stubborn!), and was just exactly what I needed.



It was really tough to have him gone as much as he was, but it's a lot easier to write about this now that it's way in the past. He was gone basically every other week.




I'm so grateful for my babies! They make me smile every time I think about some of the crazy times we've had this last year. I love them so much!!!