Tuesday, December 18, 2007


While up at my mom's this weekend, we got dumped on with snow. The snow I remember as a child. The snow that is big enough on the side of the drive way to actually sled down it or build forts. My kids had a great time! Fortunately, it was not bitter cold so we played and played!

Now the boys are both sick with fever, wheezing and the occasional vomit! Go figure...

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Great Family Outing

It is so easy to run up to the corner and grab a Christmas Tree. Well, it may not be easy but it is easier then finding a place to cut one down and then actually doing it.

I wanted to do the "traditional" cut down this year to give the kids a fantastic experience. It was everything I could have even dreamed it would be! When we arrived they took us out to the trees on a wagon (barrels of hay for seats)! The kids ran around in the snowing while Owen kept saying "Mommy,I love all the trees". They watched in awe as Daddy took the big saw and cut it down. We ended the time with a wagon ride back and donuts! What a childs' dream (or a mommys').

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Famous Christmas Letter

Every year I listen to others' comments about standard (the one that you write once, copy and send out to everyone) christmas letters. Most comments offered are not positive - it's laughable, it isn't personal, it's so "the Jones". You know what - I do it and I am proud of it. Personally, I prefer not to receive a Christmas card if it doesn't have a written message, a picture or a letter. Anyone can buy cards and throw an address and a stamp on them. I want an update, a photo, a sign of some love. Is this so wrong?

This year Janie wrote our Christmas letter. Am I training her early or just letting her express herself through writing. Whatever the case, it was not easy to let gp but she did a great job and I am proud of her!

Happy writing!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Happy Thanksgiving

This is a time of year to think about all of the amazing things in our lives. Although I try to remain positive most of the time, there are those days where I am not. Actually, they are more like hours. Usually, I can pull myself out of the anxiety and overwhelming chaos by thinking of my healthy, funny and beautiful child. I am able to get over the money woes by reflecting on my incredible husband. I am able to get past most all obstacles by looking at my big life picture. And that is this~ I have an amazing family. I love spending time with them and they make me laugh and smile constantly! I have the best friends that anyone could dream of having. I have old ones and new ones and I learn from them, laugh and cry with them. I have job that I look forward to going to every single day (okay most days). I have a husband who truly loves me and our children. I have children! I have healthy, crazy, loving children! Finally, I feel that I was raised with all of the right things. I have been taught how to appreciate, how to give, how to be kind, how to be a friend and parent and wife. I have been taught how to be thankful!

Monday, November 19, 2007

NICU Fashion Show

Last Thursday our family was part of the NICU Fashion show - "Something to be Thankful for". This is the biggest fundraiser that the Family Advisory board does every year. I am proud to say that it was once again a success! Actually, it was pretty amazing. The group of volunteers that puts this on are amazing people that I now call friends. Everyone worked so hard to make this happen. We had a huge silent auction, great food and a good attendance. One of our members, Billie, put together some great and touching slide shows as well as a very "true life" speech.

I am proud to be part of this group and still amazed that we pulled it off.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween

A great day it was...

There is nothing like the excitement of two 2 1/2 year olds running down from a house screaming "I got candy". The boys thought the entire night was awesome! They said trick or treat and thank you at every house and consumed more candy in one night than they have in their entire life thus far. What fun!

No I am really looking forward to Santa coming...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Some updates

Life is busy and therefore my computer time is spent checking e-mails instead of blogging. Let me start with the latest...

Yesterday the fam went to Huckleberry Railroad and had a great time! It was all decorated for Halloween and for a steep price we went on a train ride and trick-o-treated. The kids all loved it!

A week ago I returned from a fantastic trip to San Diego with my girlfriends. These are my best girlfriends from high school. We do this trip annually to some random location. It of course is always hard to find a date and make the arrangements but once we are there, there is nothing like it. The conversations are irreplacable and the laughter and tear flow easily. I return refreshed and excited that I still have these great people in my life! I would love to post a picture but I did not bring my camera so I am still waiting on them from a friend. More later.

A few weeks ago we took the kids to the CMU homecoming game. This was the boys first football game and they did great! We actually made it through the game and completely missed naptime (1st time EVER!)

One last thing - If you are reading this, link to my friend Billies' blog and read her writing on "Perspective". It is a good reality check for all of us.

More soon, I hope!

Friday, September 21, 2007

7 and 2 1/2

There were many times this week that I questioned my ability as a parent. I am not sure if I have little patience or if this is something that many go through. I am going to go with both!

I will start with the positive - Janie has been amazing! She is in such a good stage. She is an incredible help, comes in the door from school and does her homework and for some reason has cut out the whining. I am loving it and I often wonder how I would do it without her. She is patient and rarely makes me feel guilty for all that I ask of her with the little time I give her. She even came to me the other night and ask me if there was any laundry to fold. Seriously? Actually, I think she was in it for allowance but hey, I'll take it! She started ice skating last week and is loving it. I am loving 7 years old!

The boys on the other hand are out of control. I will say out loud that I will never (well try not to) critique others' parenting skills again. We are definitely in a "no" means "yes" stage. Just the other day I let Owen out of the stroller in that mall so that I could have his foot measured. He proceed immediately to pick up a jewelry box and throw it on the floor. After I told him no, he walked over to the circular rack and starting throwing all of the head bands and barrettes off of it. Seriously, I have no control. You can tell by the pics above that they are STINKERS!

Thank God there are cute! Thank God they go to bed at 8p and sleep through the night! Thank God there is wine!

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Great Reunion

Our friend Ben

Our friend Eden

Last weekend we participated in the annual NICU reunion at the hospital where the boys were born. Fortunately my mom was able to be here to bring the kids down to this amazing event. Since I am on the Family Advisory Board for the NICU, I worked at the event for the entire day. It was music to my heart seeing all of the little ones enjoying games, food, music by our rock star friend John, and great times. The best part of course was seeing all of the amazing Docs and nurses who help our children survive in their most fragile times.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

And so it was 7 years ago

As my daughter had just turned 3 months old, she had to say goodbye to her maternal grandfather. We had not planned this child so early in our marriage but I truly believe that she was a symbol of the circle of life. She arrived to us in time so that my father, whose life was cut short by the cancer demons, was able to meet his first grandchild. The 3 months with the two of them seemed short. We lived in Phoenix and he lived in Michigan. He made it to her birth and was able to hold her at several later dates. In his weakened state, he fed her a bottle and played to her on the piano. A love that only a grandparent knows.

I would give many things to be able to sit and have a conversation about life with him now, receive one of his tight hugs or listen to his heavenly fingers strike the piano. None of this however would mean as much as it would to see him with all of his 5 grandchildren.

He was a man of courage, passion and pure love. He loved my mother and his children without effort. He loved friends and strangers. He gave all he had to anyone who needed it. He taught me life lessons that I can only now appreciate now as a parent.

I wish I could rewind back seven years to tell him a few more things. I wish I could share my children's' everyday milestones with him. I wish I could hug him, kiss him and hold his hand. I wish he knew our entire family, his son-in-law, daughter-in-law and 4 more precious grandchildren.

Dad, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish you were here!





Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Potty Training 101

The question is - do I really want to do this? I know it is not about me or convenience, but really? After playing for a bit at the park this afternoon, I watched what looked like a 3 year girl pull her pants and underwear off at the foot of the slide and stick it out like she was a boy aiming for Cheerios. Really, she stood right there and peed all over her clothes. Then she took her shoes off, emptied them out and continued to play. When the mother realized what had just happened (because my kids were shouting oooh, pee, pee mama!), she was devastated. All that would come out of my mouth was "It happens to the best of us. Look at it this way, you don't have to run home to go to the bathroom" Not sure if that was good or not.

Kyle is doing pretty well with potty training. He went in his pull-up three times today and once was during his nap. He occasionally asks to go but will most often go if you ask him. He thinks it is so cool to watch himself and I think he is so cute in his training pants. Of course Owen, who has zero interest in the potty, must where the training pants, also but over his diaper!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It's still summer

I feel like I am grasping for every last breath of summer as mid-August is approaching. I am booking every free minute, trying to get a lot of family activities in and appreciate it while work is still slow and the weather is fabulous! We seem to stay busy all of the time. Janie has continued gymnastics all summer and also added in Camp Wolverine, which turned out to be fantastic. Keeping her busy has been a good thing!

The boys just continue to 2 years old. They have started to understand discipline (well, maybe), talk in short sentences and continue to beat each other up. They are such boys. I am definetly in a stage where I don't know if things are getting easier or harder. Kyle continues to go number 1 on the potty but I have not overpersued it, probably because I am lazy and Owen is so far from potty training.

All else is well! Owen had Fifths disease last week but is over it now. I just returned from a conference at Boyne and am looking forward to two festival this weeks, one the following along with our annual NICU reunion.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Baby Abby

I am a proud new aunt or Abigail Elizabeth Lindley! She was born to my brother and sister-in-law last Sunday weighing in at a hefty 8lbs., 13oz.

Welcome to the family and love you to death Abby!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Although I am truly trying to enjoy these few weeks of calmness at work, good weather and extra time with my kiddos, I am very apprehensive about summer being over already darnit! I need to get over it and continue to enjoy the "terrible twos" (and yes, we are so there) and a Hannah Montana wanna-be.

I do have to say that my dear friend, probably the best friend that I have ever had, has been really sick for a while now. She has had severe stomach pain for over 6 weeks and they can't figure out what is going on. She has had multiple trips to the ER, many test without any outcome and now she is living on Dramamine and Vicodin. I hate this! I hate that insurance limits her ability to just run to any DR. I hate that she has never complained in her life, and now at times she looks like a sad old lady. I hate that all she want to do is swim and golf with her kids but instead she has to lay on the couch. I hate that I can not make it better! So, I can only pray that this test she is having on Tuesday will give us some answers and selfishly, I can have my ROCK back!

Here are a few random pictures of our summer!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The 4th and beyond

The day following our arrival home from vacation, Mike's Dad and family arrived for an annual visit. I say family meaning - wife, wifes' daughter, and daughters' son. Interesting would be a nice way to leave it. They live in California and typically drive out every year for a visit. I love Mike's dad. He has worked very hard all of his life and is a good guy. He has however made many decisions in this lifetime which I would describe as not-so-good! Anyway, their 4 day visit turned into 8 days and that is okay. I have my house back now and Mike got to see his dad.

We did take everyone to the cottage on the 4th and did a bit of swimming and lots of eating (that is what my family does). The boys had a blast playing with my cousin's daughter, Caroline, who has no problem keeping up the conversation with them.