Monday, December 10, 2012


I've been thinking about this post for a long time, but I've been reluctant to write it, because I don't want it to sound like I'm bragging... or proud... or anything else but thankful!

For a LONG time, I dreaded Mondays...  It usually started on Sunday nights, when I would develop an awful pit in my stomach, to the point where sometimes it was even nausea.  I was NOT happy in my job situation and I was SO ready to move on.  Then, on Monday mornings on my way to work, I would steel myself (a little pun, for those of you who know where I worked) for what was to come... the personalities I would have to deal with, the situations I was "up against."  Please understand that for the most part, I worked with absolutely wonderful people and the situations weren't often terrible...  it's just that I felt like I was being called to be at home... and it wasn't working out... YET.

I am MOSTLY appreciative of Don during this whole time.  First of all, he was COMPLETELY on board with my quitting my job when it was time (God's time... not ours, obviously!  Because if it had been OUR time, our house would have sold quickly and we would have MOVED ON, BABY!).  He was my sounding board when I was in particularly bad situations at work.  And he just loved me through the yucky times.

It has been a year now since I've left full-time employment (still teaching part-time, and I LOVE that I can keep my toes in my field).  There are days when I am buried (almost literally!) in laundry that I think:  I signed up for this???  But not very often!  It has been a sacrifice for sure to do this... financially especially, but I am so, so blessed!

The biggest thing I've noticed since I have become a "SAHM" is my Mondays.  I no longer get that awful feeling in my stomach on Sunday nights.  And I can fully embrace and even love my Mondays now.  And for that, I am grateful.  And blessed.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hair we go!

I've documented some of Bub's amazing hair transformations in the past, but this time it was Sis's turn.  She hasn't REALLY gotten it cut in at least 3 years, but she was ready for a change...

I made her pose for a couple "before" pictures...  I absolutely LOVE her long hair, but I completely understand the compulsion for change in one's hair...  that's always been my thing, too.

Before - Front

Before - Back

The first cut.  Aaghhhh!!!

Just a little pile of hair on the floor...

After - Back

After - Front

I love her new look, but even more importantly, Sis loves it!!!!  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I just had the opportunity to go to Chicago twice... within two weeks.  What an awesome time I had.... both times!  The first time was just Don and I (for 2 nights), then we took the kids with us last Wednesday and stayed until Monday.  So for a recap of both trips, via Instagram... stay with me.  :)

I absolutely love driving into the city... especially on a clear, bright day.

We stayed at the gorgeous Palmer House, which has a fabulous ceiling in the lobby...

And wonderful, retro-styled rooms.

Ooh la la!  This meant we got free snacks in the EXECUTIVE LEVEL (because we have so many points...)

And of course, Don brought his bike along...

I got to wear my new-to-me thrifted shoes...  I love new (to me) shoes!
And we got to enjoy SUSHI!!  Yum!

Then, when we went back with the kids, there was more fun to be had...

We had an amazing view from the 39th floor in our hotel room right on the Magnificent Mile.
We were within walking distance of what Bub called "heaven on earth" (an 8-story Sports Authority).  Ha.

We even shopped at Trader Joe's.

 The kids and I had a fabulous day at the Museum of Science and Industry while Don was in a meeting.

And we even braved public transportation on our own!
That evening, we went for a long walk around Chicago...
 And passed Iron Man and the Hulk (who gave Bub a bro-fist).

Saturday was Don's birthday, and we had a fabulous day!

 We walked around and hung out in phone booths...

 We went to Dave & Buster's and played video games.

Then that night, Don and Bub went to the Notre Dame/Miami football game at Soldier Field while Sis and I had a GNO... we went to Ed Debevics and a movie.  What a fabulous night!

Sunday, we woke up early to watch a part of the Chicago Marathon, which came right by our hotel... we were almost exactly at the one-mile mark.  There were runners everywhere!

We finished up our day by heading to Six Flags - Chicago (which is a fun way to use our St Louis season passes).

 Overall, it was a lot of fun, and we were all sad to leave.  Although it IS good to be home.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A weekend escape

Because I'm sure you've memorized all my previous posts, I'm POSITIVE you remember our little weekend getaway Don and I took a few years ago to the hills of Missouri just to get away (and let Don ride his bike).  But just in case you have temporarily forgotten, you can refresh your memory here.

Anyway, Don has since ridden the trail several times that JUST HAPPENS to be right next to where we stayed before.  And really likes said trail.  So, a few weekends ago, on a weekend that just happened to fall on our anniversary weekend, we left the kids with my mother-in-law, packed up the car, picked up our friends Brad and Cara, and headed back to the same town.  And the same cabin company.  But NOT the 7-bedroom Shangri-la that we had the last time.  Which actually was fine with me.  We stayed in a gorgeous/rustic 2-bedroom log cabin with an open kitchen/living room.  Just like the last time I blogged about it, you will NOT find any pictures of me in this post...  I did NOT wear makeup and I DID wear sweatpants all weekend... and it was HEAVENLY.  We turned our electronics (phones) off, because they didn't work anyway.  We watched a ton of movies, we play games, the boys rode their bikes, Cara and I took a personality/psychology test (it was more fun than it sounds... really!), and we cooked/ate a LOT!

It was such a good place to COMPLETELY unwind, relax and enjoy each other's company.  Here are some shots from the weekend.
Don making sure the bikes were ready for a ride
Our kitchen (with no dishwasher, might I add!)

The awesome fireplace that we made use of the ENTIRE WEEKEND

The closest neighbor was WAY up that hill
The awesome/rustic master bath

So while we girls were "home" relaxing, the boys were actually out riding

with mud all over them!
Speaking of riding, Don was just accepted to participating in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race.  Thousands of riders apply, but they only let 1,700 participate.  {insert proud wife jig}  He's been training for this for a year and a half already.  To keep up with his training/biking adventures, you can read his blog at

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Royal Rumble, Baby!

So, Bub LOVES the WWE.  Like, LOVES it.  Don and I, well, you know... well, how do I put this?  Well...  we could do without it.  How was that?  But because Bub loves it, we've been forced to at least acknowledge the presence of the WWE in our lives.

The last 2 years' Halloween costumes have been WWE "fighters."

Hulk Hogan last year
And here's the post from the year before.  (here)

So, for Christmas this year, Don and I got Bub tickets (2, for Don and Bub only...  not me... no sirree) to the Royal Rumble which was held in St Louis.  Needless to say, he was EXCITED!

A few weeks ago, the boys took the MetroLink to downtown for the big show (haha.  big show is the name of a wrestler... just a little WWE humor for ya).

Don took the camera and got some GREAT shots of the night.  Just thought I'd share some of them with you.

A cage match.  Apparently one of these big dudes is Big Show (see previous "joke")

John Cena.  I know him because he was in a movie I've seen.  And he's the dad in that annoying Fred movie on Nickelodeon.

Crazy fire.  And crazy HOW. MANY. PEOPLE. ARE. THERE.
Bub was into the event
This is one of the funniest pictures I think I've ever seen.

This final picture actually got me all teary-eyed when I saw it...  the raw, pure expression of excitement and joy on Bub's face was unbelievable to me.  He poses for photos with a "cool" look... which I also like, but this?  This captures how excited he really was.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Family slumber party weekend, circa 2012

Hey, there!  Maybe I should have made one of my goals for 2012 to BLOG MORE!!!  Well, I'm going to TRY to catch up and post some things that have already happened and then post more regularly in the future.  I have to remember that my whole purpose for blogging is to remember all our "adventures."  So if I don't document them, it's like they never happened.  Right?  :)

So, I know I talked last year about our family slumber party we all have at my parents' house once a year (here is my update from 2010 and pics from 2009 and also here). We had it once again this year (duh!  it's "annual!").  This year, my brother was able to get off work and so we were ALL together ALL weekend.  It was so fun!

Last year, my nephew was very close to being born but wasn't here yet.  This year, not only was he here, he was our weekend entertainment.  We are all mush around him...  It's so fun to be around such a fun baby!

He was showing off his steps from one chair to the other.

He perks up the minute he sees a camera... what a cutie ham!

We played lots of games... my brother even made some brackets for our games... one was single elimination and the other was double elimination!  ha.

These are some game players that DO NOT LIKE TO LOSE!

The kids had a great time with Nana and Papa:  cooking, doing crafts and playing the piano.

We girls shopped (like normal) and the boys went a shot trap (I'm not even sure I phrased that correctly).  When we went to Old Navy and I saw that Christy had a shirt on from there, I made her pose.  She's such a good sport!

On Saturday morning, Don and I talked my brother and brother-in-law (and Bub) into going with us to the Saturday morning outdoor circuit workout that we go to (until I sprained my back and had to take 6 weeks off... that's another story for another day).  We did that while my sisters and my brother's girlfriend went for a walk (did I mention that it was snowy??).

After that, we were all done with exercising (on to eating!), except for Don who is training for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race this summer.  He rode his bike in the snow later in the weekend.

Here are some final shots from the weekend.  I say this every year, but I {heart} my family.