and there you have it…


December 2009

four christmases and a funeral

I’m torn. Do write about the title, which I’ve decided to use regardless of my decision, or the year. It seems I should write about the year in review, it is New Year’s Eve. Though it’s really just another day without a party. Kids seem to have killed that party thing dead. It seems to matter to everyone else though, so maybe?

But what about all the Christmas memories? Like Jena falling out the window right before Christmas dinner? Or our spaceship earthesque Christmas with my sister attending via Skype, even though it was two in the AM there? What about our trip home from the funeral that ended up taking two days, instead of 5 hours? Or Santa’s phone call? Or? Or?

I can’t help thinking about this year though. It’s been a doosy. In college I was used to my world being turned upside down every few months. I’d take stress tests and be under ‘unberable’ amounts of stress every time. I had always ‘just moved’ or ‘just changed jobs.’ Then there was the whole getting married thing, that brought a little stress. Then there was all his changing jobs and both of our changing school situations. Crazy was the norm.

But then Grant was born, we moved to Orlando and things actually settled. For about 2-3 years things were relatively calm. Sure Jena came, but she was planned. We both had steady (non-commission) paychecks! We’d lived in the same area, even the same house for two years! We were obviously getting bored.

So to spice it up a bit we decided to start the year with an unplanned pregnancy. SURPRISE!

Immediately following that, my sister decides to move HALF WAY ACROSS THE WORLD! Running away from the mayhem that my family now brings everywhere we go, no doubt.

The very same month my sister takes off Neil’s Uncle Steve dies, while we are there with the family in Gainesville. Meanwhile my sister has been quarantined in South Korea for Swine flu at the peak of the pandemic.

A few months to deal with the shock, grief, try to catch your breath and Jacob arrives! Early of course, this being the year of unexpected EVERYTHING.

Starting to feel that life is returning to normal and oh guess what? Jacob has a dairy intolerance too. What? Not just milk like Grant? ALL dairy this time? Oh that’s just swell! I always wanted to be a vegan! Just in time for the holidays. Good thing I have no use for casseroles or baked goods OF ANY KIND!!

The my Grandma dies, and off I go with Jacob across country. As if dealing with grief weren’t enough add scouring every airport and covered dish for food I can actually eat, FUN!

Three days home from the trip that took 10 times as long as it was supposed to and the Christmases begin. The first was great, though the absence of Uncle Steve was a gaping hole no one wanted to address. The second was great, though the kids were getting a bit worn. By the third they were delirious and screaming. Add the musical instruments the recieved for gifts and Neil and I were beelining it for the door. By the fourth we just let the kids open theres and ended it, finishing our gifts to each other after they were in bed.

Reading it all again exhausts me, doing it all exhausted me. In fact the one over-riding feeling of this whole year has been exhaustion. There has been good, there has been joy. Watching our big kids grow closer to each other and now their new brother has been an amazingly unexpected joy. Watching Jacob period has been blessing beyond measure. Above all I’ve learned, no matter what I plan, God directs. I tattooed it on my foot so I’d never forget.

It’s been a stressful and grief filled year, but I look at the pictures below and my heart is full. Many thanks to Jon Shuler for capturing my family so perfectly, every time I look at these I smile. This is what I’m remembering from this year.

our little family


my little joy
little man
little man
Jena bena
melt my heart

Notice the two sets of legs in the background. You didn’t really think we’d leave poor Jacob with those two did you?

belly button

Me: what are you doing Grant?

Grant: I gettin da yucky stuffs out of his button.

Me: there’s stuff in Jacob’s belly button?

Grant: yeah, it’s crackers. I gits it all out now.


Jena: poo poo. look daddy.

*bends over and pull her diaper out*

Neil: get your hands out of your pants!

Jena: I stinky daddy. smells.

*sniffs her nose like a bunny*

Neil: whew! you do stink!

*Jena and Grant burst into giggles* It’s like they staged it.

i’m running out of titles for poop posts, this will have to do

So we’re at my in-laws for the holidays. They’ve got a big house, which will be nice in the future when my kids are older and less prone to hurting each other when out of ear shot.

Yesterday, Neil and I were in one of the bedrooms checking something on the computer when we heard a blood curdling scream from the other part of the house. I run out to the kitchen and see Grant curled into the fetal position on the floor. The following conversation ensued.

Me: Grant! Are you ok? What happened? What hurts?


I frantically pick him up, trying to get him to run to the bathroom.

Me: can u walk? put your feet down?


So I carry him to the bathroom, pull his pants down, and sit him on the potty.

Me: did we make it? are you ok now?

Grant: Yes, I’m ok. NOW GO AWAY MOMMY!

This the child that runs around the house playing light saber with his penis after he’s gone to the bathroom, and all of a sudden he’s to modest to go when I’m in sight. Whatever, it was probably better I not laugh my head off in front of him anyway.


As my early years of motherhood have taught me there are days, and then THERE ARE DAYS.

I know I haven’t even updated you all on my trip or the fiasco of a return that I had a totally positive attitude about until today. I’m still tired recovering from what should have been less than 8 hours of travel turning into a 28 hour fiasco, coming home from a FUNERAL. I just find out not only has my grandpa just lost his wife of 60+ years he also has a punctured lung and three cracked ribs that were missed last WEEK when he was taken to the doctor’s after his fall. So I sit there at my desk, having just gotten in and guess what Jacob does? I’m sure you already know.

It’s everywhere. All over his adorable outfit, all over the sling, all over the blanket. The pants were salvageable, the shirt not so much. Let’s hope it comes out of the sling as I’d rather not have the constant reminder everyday for the next year…the changing pad, yuck. But don’t worry I still have mountains of laundry left to do in the next TWO days, I’ll just throw it in there!

Did I mention that I threw his burp cloths in the wash last night and forgot to get them out of the dryer this morning? I also forgot nursing pads…this shall be interesting. But at least I remembered more diapers! Have to hold on to the little things…

Meanwhile my head is still a fog and all I want to do is crawl in bed and finally cry over my Grandma and then go to sleep till it’s all better. But I’m at work and Christmas is 8 days away. There’s 4 Christmases to plan for and pack for and wash for and shop for and SOME THING’S GOTTA GIVE!

Dear Santa,

I’m sorry I don’t believe in you anymore, but if you can forgive that I’d really just like to sleep for a week. Maybe the elves can watch my children, and Mrs. Clause can do the laundry….just a suggestion though. I really don’t care how you make it happen as long as they’re all alive still when I wake up.

That’s all. Thank you.


so flippin tired

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