Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye, 2007

I can't believe that another year has come and gone! It's crazy how fast time flies... So much so that it scares me. You can never slow life down enough.

Though I have been blessed with an amazing life and I have suffered very little hardship, I do have to look at 2007 and say that it's been on of my better years. I think the reason that I feel so fondly about this year that is almost a memory is because of my dear Brooke. Not only did Brooke make my world a more beautiful place, but she has caused me to remember and reflect more upon TIME and the events in which I fill it. Prior to her birth the time just all blended together for me but with Brooke here, I am constantly anticipating her new developments and achievements. I also think that by writing down (or blogging about) her milestones, I am able to truly instill them into my memory. Being Brookie's mom is my dream come true, so 2007brought upon the fulfillment of my deepest ambition.

One of the biggest things that I'm proud of in 2007 was the growth of my marriage. I can honestly say that I have fallen more and more in love with John over the last year. Watching him be a daddy to our baby and learning new facets of him has really strengthened my affection and appreciate for him and who he is. I am really proud that we have learned to put one another BEFORE Brooke (as hard as it may be) and realize that we are nothing for her unless we meet one another's needs first. John is truly my best friend and companion and I am so excited to see what the future years hold for us. It's so awesome to be in this life with someone I love so very much!

Some of my other favorite highlights of 2007 include:

~Being able to watch my precious nephew, Nathan, blossom into a crazy little toddler.
~Becoming a full time stay-at-home-mom.
~John and I buying our first new car as a couple.
~Spending lots of time with family and strengthening inter-family relationships.
~Going to Florida on vacation. What a blast that was!

God has been so good to my family! I am so blessed that nothing really tragic or awful happened directly to my family or me in 2007. We really do have it so good! I sure do have a lot to smile about:-)

Well, I'm off to send John to work:-( I'll be celebrating the arrival of the new year alone but it's all good. I was able to spend the whole day with John and then we went over to his grandma's for a bit, so it's been a great day. I can be happy about that!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Did We Find THE House?

These last few days have been pretty eventful in our house search! Remember a month or so ago how I said that there was a house we loved but they took it off the market? WELL... They put it back on the market a few days ago AND the price was reduced by $10,000! We were so excited when our realtor notified us of this so we went to see the house immediately. After much thought and prayer and sleeping on the decision for a night, we woke up this morning and felt peace about putting an offer in on the house! Now.. Here's the catch (Isn't there always a catch with me??), another family is extremely interested in the house. They wanted to buy it the last time also. So if God wants us to have this house it looks like He's going to have to figure that one out. God knows best and I just pray that His will will be done in all of this! I'll keep you posted.

So, my latest addiction is the game Risk. John got it for Christmas and I was really dreading him wanting to play it. We had John' brother and his fiance over to play it last night and it was really, really fun! I was actually pretty good at it and I was a big threat. I owned all of North America and South America and I was working my way into Africa. Not too shabby! At first I thought I would be majorly confused by the game but after a bit I caught on.. Much to my husband's surprise:-) Tonight we're going over to Luke and Ali's to play it again. I hope I don't get sick of it. Surely I won't anytime soon!

Brooke and I are feeling much better after our cold. She's back to being my happy, smiling girl and I'm SO thankful for that! She's sleeping better and she is such a blast to play with. When she was sick I was so drained and tired from her constant crying and now that she's herself I can actually have some time to myself to blog and do some house work. When she was sick she only wanted ME and she had to be on my lap at all times. I put her down the other day to go to the bathroom and she had a fit so I ended up taking her with me. Oh the things we do as mothers! Lol!

John had last night off which meant he could go to church with me today. I just love being able to have my husband next to me at church and it only happens every 6Th and 7Th week so I savor it. It is so nice to be able to have the help with Brooke at church and not to feel like a single mother! It's just the best. This morning I didn't hear my alarm and I got up at 8:06 to leave my house by 8:13. Yikes! So I quickly got myself ready and ran off to worship practice and I left Brookie with John. He dressed her so nicely and brought her to church about an hour later. It was so cute because he even put her bracelet on her! He put her ruffle butt tights on backwards too. Haha! I didn't tell him though because it wasn't worth hurting his feelings.

OK, I'm off to get my family ready to go over to Ali's and then it's off to conquer the world I go!

Friday, December 28, 2007

ANOTHER Nasty Cold:-(

I don't have much to say other than I'M SICK:-( I have another yucky cold and I'm exhausted and feel miserable. I can barely keep my eyes opened or carry on the daily functions of life because I feel so much like crap. I am furious that I've caught another cold. What the heck is up with this?

Brookie is sick too, of course. Why in the world wouldn't she be??? I think that she might have en ear infection because she's miserable and tugging at her right ear. I'm not sure though and I'm apprehensive to take her in. I always feel like a neurotic mommy when there's nothing wrong with her. If she has another night of waking up several times, I think I'm taking her to the walk-in tomorrow.

Ugh, I think I'm going to go send John off to work and die. I'm feeling rather annoyed and sick right now. This is going to be a long winter if we can't stay healthy! I guess life goes on...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Can You Say CROWDED?????

Ugh, I'm feeling so annoyed about our house hunt right now. It's just so frustrating because there's NOTHING out there in our price range right now. Yeah, we can be approved for a wonderful, beautiful home... But because I'm a stay-at-home-mom, we don't want to bind our resources to the max on a house. We still want to be able to live freely and comfortably and give to the Lord.

It makes it even more frustrating when I look around our house and see baby stuff EVERYWHERE. I totally don't mind the baby things, I mean I DID sign up for this... It's just that have absolutely no room for anything and each new toy that Brookie gets is crammed into yet another crevice of our 1000 square foot home. I love our home and I'm so thankful that God has placed a roof over our head, but it really is time to move on and get something that fits our needs more efficiently.

As you all know, John's brother is going to be buying our house. He is getting married at the end of May and we talked it over last night and he said that he can wait until April for us to buy a house. Our realtor advised us to find an apartment instead of giving up a buyer because buyers are a hard thing to come upon in this market. So, if we don't find a house by then, it looks like we'll moving into an apartment for a few months until we find the perfect house. I sure hope it doesn't come to that!

We search the listings every day. When we find one that looks promising we go to visit it only to discover that it's horrid! We're working with a reasonable price range too, so you would think that we could find a semi-decent home!

I know that God has promised us that He will provide for our needs. I know that He is faithful and that nothing but nothing is too big for Him. I love the verse that says, "My thoughts are bigger than your thoughts. My ways are bigger than your ways." That's crazy to think that though this seems insurmountable to me, God already has the perfect house lined up for us and He knows the end result. I'm just really working on having faith and not allowing my finite, human mind to destroy that. It's so easy to think from a worldly perspective and not like God desires for us to think.

It's also really hard because it's tempting to think how nice of a house we could have if I worked. I would never, EVER go to work because I know that raising Brooke is much more important than a stupid house. It's easy to caught up in my materialistic desires and think like that, but it only lasts for a split second. One look at my daughter reassures me that being in the home is where God has called me... And I'm not budging! 20 years from now my kids aren't going to care about the house they lived in, but they are going to care about the mom they had that was there for them.

So, please be in prayer for us. Before we know it this will all be settled, but in the mean time, I need to patient and wait on the Lord. Hopefully I'll learn what I'm supposed to from all of this! That's what matters!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas was Wonderful!

Hey folks! It's been a few days because we've been so busy, but here I am to report about all our Christmas festivities!

Christmas Eve was a nice day. We did some last minute shopping, went out to lunch, and then we stopped by our church's live nativity for a bit. It was far too cold to have Brooke out so we had to leave (which didn't bother me ONE bit!). We then went to John's grandma's house to see his side of the family and then we went to my sister's house for Mexican food. It was a late night for Miss Brooke, but she did totally fine with it.

That night ended up being a horrendous night for Brooke. She woke up screaming about 3 times in the middle of the night. She was inconsolable at some of those wakings. This made for a very sleepy Christmas day.

I woke up at 7 to notice that my husband wasn't next to me... I listened for a few minutes and I heard some dishes clanking around downstairs. I didn't think that John was cooking because he does NOT cook, but much to my surprise, he made us waffles and sausage. Everything tasted wonderful and I felt so loved that he would figure out how to do something that he doesn't ordinarily do just to put a smile on my face. He was so cute because he was playing Christmas music and everything while he was cooking. What a good catch:-)

Brooke was grumpy from the second she woke up on Christmas day:-( I was kind of sad because I had envisioned her first Christmas to be very magical and that she would love it, but she could have cared less about most of it! We got her some clothes, new Nike shoes, the Grab and Go Hippo, and some books and she had absolutely NO interest in opening them. All she wanted to do was play with the Tic Tacs I got in my stocking! Lol! I was so happy that we didn't spend an insane amount of money on her.

John spoiled me rotten! He got me 3 pairs of jeans, a beautiful sweater, 4 DVD's, 2 marriage/romance books that were from the Christian bookstore, a nightie.. AND he stuffed my stocking with the most thoughtful things. He got me all of my favorite candies and gum and then he got me a $25 gift certificate to McDonald's because I like to have soda when I'm out and about. He "scolds" me for how much money I spend on drinks!

After we got cleaned up at our house, we headed off to John's grandma's house where we exchanged gifts with John's extended family. Everyone draws names so we only had to buy 2 gifts. We made out like bandits though! Everyone was very gracious to us. I got some candles, a gift card to Target, and the person who drew my name had beautiful picture of Brooke blown up and matted onto a gorgeous frame! It is so special. John's Aunt also made me tons of beautiful bows for Brooke. Now I truly do have a bow for every outfit:-) They are perfect and I know how much time and thought went into making them.

We then headed over to my parent's house where we all got tons more presents. Brooke practically got a new Gymboree wardrobe. There's no doubt that she'll be the best dressed little girl now! She also got some nice books and toys. My mom had a sterling silver bracelet with pink pearls made for her. It says her name on it and it will grow with her. It was the most precious, thoughtful gift that my mom could have thought of and we'll cherish it forever. It also looks so precious on Brooke's tiny little wrist! We stuck around for the afternoon and then we had prime rib and twice baked potatoes. We were stuffed when we left.

Finally it was time for our 4Th Christmas of the day. We went to John's parent's house to exchange gifts with John's immediate family. They too, of course, spoiled us like crazy! John's parents got us an awesome patio set for our deck this summer. We've wanted one for quite some time and they took care of it for us! We're really looking forward to using it. Brooke also got TONS of toys. My favorite toy that they got her are the Peek A Blocks from Fisher Price. They're so much fun and they're wicked cool. We've enjoyed them so much already! She also got a $50 gift card to Babies R Us, so we'll have fun with that too!! Sarah got us a satellite radio for our car and we've been loving it so far.

Christmas was a long, but amazing day. I could go on for hour listing the many gifts that were given to us, but at the end of the day, however, what meant the most to me was how many PEOPLE we have that love us and wanted to make our Christmas special.

I am so thankful that Jesus was born to come into the world and save us from our sins. How amazing it must have been for Mary to have delivered the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS. That's a pretty phenomenal day in history! Without that critical event in time, we would have nothing to live for. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!

We took down all of decorations today, and that was a little bit sad, but life must go on, I guess. John's back to work tonight also. It's not fun being an adult sometimes!

I hope that everyone had a special Christmas!

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Goose Egg to End the Day...

Today has been a really nice, relaxing day. John woke up around 1 and that was around the time Brooke and I were getting home from church. After we hung out for a while, we went out for some shopping, to see some Christmas lights, and for dinner. I enjoyed my little family so much... As usual!

Quick story: We were at Wal Mart and it was pouring outside so John told me to wait at the front door and he would go run and get the car. So, I'm standing there with Brooke and this old lady shakes her finger at me and YELLS, "You better cover that baby up." I turned around and looked at her and said, "First of all, I'm not an idiot. I know that she needs to be bundled up. And even more important than that, I'm her mother and I will decided when she gets bundled up. I don't need to be told what to do with my own kid." I was LIVID. I despise when people look at me and tell me how to take care of my baby. I may look young... heck, I AM young... But I try to be the best mom in the universe to my baby. I think that many old people look at young mothers and think that we don't have a clue. I snapped at this old lady in particular because I've had several old ladies give me unsolicited advice on how I raise Brooke. WHO DOES THAT???????????

So, anyways, Brooke slept through our ride through the Christmas lights, so we came home and she was completely WIRED. She was so hyper so I figured I would give her and extra hour or so to unwind. Well, she loves to play in her car seat. It's actually hilarious to watch. Tonight she managed to get herself in and then she climbed to the top of it. That's when it all went down hill.. She catapulted herself and landed on the wooden kitchen floor head first:-( I felt so awful that I cried. I saw her fall and I came so close to catching her but I missed. She screamed and screamed and I gave her some Motrin and nursed her. She perked right up so I'm not too concerned about her. She does have a nasty looking goose egg though. Hopefully it goes away by tomorrow but I'm truly doubting that it will.

Well, it's time for movie night with my husband. Yay! I can't wait. I'm not sure if I'll be on the computer in the next few days to come because we'll be busy, busy... So if not, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!! :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Soupy Saturday

I love to make soup on Saturday afternoons. I usually go grocery shopping with my mom and sister in the morning, but that only keeps me occupied until about 11:30, so I have lots of other time to fill. I love making soup because my whole house smells wonderful and it's the perfect, easy dinner for a winter's night.

Today I made beef and vegetable soup with garlic, onions, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, and potatoes. The broth was a combination of beef broth, canned diced tomatoes (with the juice, of course), and tomato paste, so it was rich, tangy, and hearty. I simmered it from about 12 until 4:30 and it was just perfect by the time I served it.

John loved my soup! In fact, he woke up and asked me what smelled so good. Of course I was very proud! Brooke ate a TON of my soup. She loved all of the veggies and they were so tender that she could chew them up just fine. I was shocked at how much she ate.

I made a HUGE pot of soup that could have easily fed 10 people (no exaggeration!) so I have 2 FULL plastic containers of this soup hanging out in my fridge. Though my soup is wonderful and all, I don't think that John and I will even make a small dent in it. We're awful with leftovers. I should really learn to cook for 2 (or 3) instead of 10 all of the time!

I also made corn muffins because they're John's favorite. I make mine with applesauce and they just melt in your mouth. We had them hot out of the oven and they were to die for me.

I'm starting to sound like those people on the cooking shows I watch. I'm obsessed with The Food Network. I really am. It's not even funny! I constantly have that channel on in my house. I like that it's clean and that Brooke won't pick up any bad words by listening to it. It's also such an enlightening channel. I've learned so much! It's pretty pitiful though because I watch so many cooking shows that I'm starting to catch some reruns. It didn't occur to me that cooking shows were ever reran. Now I know! :-)

Tonight is John's last night of work until Wednesday night!!!! He doesn't have to work Christmas or Christmas Eve. Imagine that! Cops never get holidays off. He didn't even request these days off, either. This was simply how his schedule worked out. Thank you God!

I'm off to go iron my clothes for church tomorrow and of course relax with my man! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, December 21, 2007

What's With the Hands?

Brooke has had me laughing all day long. She has this new fascination with her hands. She's known how to wave for quite some time, but now she's waving to people on the TV, to strangers, to her toys, and she's also turning her hands around to wave to herself. It's so funny! I'm not really sure what sparked her new interest in waving, but it's so precious to watch.

She's also been obsessed over her dolly. All you have to do is take the doll from her and she FREAKS out. If she doesn't have her doll with her and you ask her where it is she looks everywhere frantically until she finds it. Needless to say, this silly doll has gone everywhere with us since we bought it. It's so precious to think that Brooke enjoys something that much.

Brooke has been taking more and more steps lately. She doesn't like to show off for people but for John and me she sure does! Her steps used to be so careful, but now she can take off without effort. She does still get scared when she realizes that she's walking and then she falls on her bottom. She's also SUPER fast at crawling so she still tends to crawl to things she's excited about reaching. She's also doing this silly little walk where she walks on all-fours, like a bear crawl. It's hilarious to watch her. I'm telling you, this kid is so much fun:-)

Brooke also slept from 7-4 last night without waking up. Yay for Brookie!!! I fed her at 4 and I probably should have put her back in her crib, but my bed was so warm and cozy that I lazily decided not to. She slept from 4-8:30 in my bed and I really love having her next to me. I realize that I need to kick the habit before baby #2 comes, but he or she isn't even conceived yet, so I have time.

Our house hunt is still the same... A wild goose chase. It's really frustrating. God has the perfect house for us and He'll show it to us in HIS time. Keeping patient is not very easy, but I know that I need to wait on God. He's never let us down!

OK, I have 2 hours until I have to send my husband to work so I'm going to go enjoy him. Have I ever mentioned that I love him?? He's just the best:-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Rocket Ship Tour"

My dad is so goofy! Ever since I can remember he has called quick trips "rocket ship tours." So, today, Ali, Nathan, my dad, Brooke and I, all took a quick trip (as most NORMAL people call it!) to the outlet malls. Alison needed some new shoes for Nathan and I just had nothing else to do so I tagged along. It's only about an hour and a half away, so it really isn't that bad.

Anyways, I got the wonderful pleasure of sitting in the back seat with Brookie and Nathan on the way there. They were such a blast! They really were. They kept laughing hysterically at one another and at me. We sang songs and read books and played all manner of silly games. They kept passing their toys back and forth and there was even some crying about who had what. The biggest fights were over Brooke's silly little doll. Lol! I'm telling you, these babies ate the ENTIRE way there. They had Goldfish, Kix, a cereal bar, and tiny pieces of candy cane (as a special treat) that kept them pacified. Neither one of them was too interested in lunch. I wonder why?? LOL! Towards the very end of our journey both of the kids started to freak out. Luckily the screaming was minimal and they cheered up immediately upon getting out of the car.

This rocket ship tour was just to go in a few of the stores. None of us wanted to make it an all day affair. I wasn't planning on really spending any money but I saw a sale that was too wonderful to pass up at Osh Kosh. They had racks and racks full of clothes that were marked down 70%! They also had tons of $3.99 shirts too. Though I wanted the whole store, I figured I should try to practice frugality, seeing as how it's Christmas time and we have lots of other expenses. I did get Brooke some adorable overalls with a matching shirt. A $52 value for... $15!!!!! It's so cute too. I feel happy about my purchase:-) I'm going to wrap that up with her other Christmas presents so she has to wait to wear it.

It's crazy because Brooke only nursed 4 times today. It was so odd to not have her latched on to me the whole day. I guess my little girl is growing up and depending less and less on me to nourish her. She's just so curious about REAL food that nursing sometimes plays second fiddle. A little sad...

For about a month now we have been struggling with Brooke's sleep. She TOTALLY regressed in her sleeping patterns and I am thrilled to report that she's almost completely back on track... Sleeping for at least 6 or 7 hours in a row without waking. Before this whole sleep regression crap hit us she was sleeping from 7 to 4:30 or 5, and now she's sleeping from 7 until maybe 3 or 4. The last month or so she had been waking up at 9:30. 11:30, and 1:30 to nurse so I'll take the strides she's making. It will improve! Babies go through stages like this.

Well, I'm off to go make John's lunch. I wish I didn't have to send him to work tonight:-( Someone has to pay the bills, I suppose! Before I go though, I do have a cute picture for you:

This was taken at the Outback the other night. My silly sister put a cloth napkin on Brooke's head and we all thought that this picture was so precious.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brooke's First Dolly!

John has been saying that he wants to get Brooke her first baby doll for Christmas. We've been looking and looking for the perfect doll but we hadn't really found on that we thought was worthy of Brooke. We had to go to the store for some wrapping paper today and I gave Brooke a doll to hold on toand she and the doll were instant friends. Brooke looked at this silly little doll and squealed with delight and then screamed every time I tried to take it from her. I gave her another doll to hold and she threw it on the ground. Crazy! So, because we're softies we caved and bought her the doll! We even decided that she could have it before Christmas because she and the doll are inseperable.

I just went into check on her and she is literally snuggling with the doll. I'm truly astounded by how much she likes it. I thought that she would be disinterested by it but she is truly enamored by the doll. She kisses it and holds onto it so nicely. Maybe she's ready for a REAL baby??? Lol! (Yes, we're still waiting)

I will say that I'm kind of disappointed that this doll isn't very special. It's not all that cute and it was only $5. I envisioned her first doll as this beautiful doll. I guess to a 10-month-old none of that matters though. Ha!

Well, I'm going to go watch Kitchen Nightmares with John before he goes to work tonight. I love that show. Gordon Ramsey is so hilarious. I'm off for some laughs!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Date Night!

Last night John and I wanted to use some free movie tickets we received for our birthday and we also had some more Christmas shopping to do. We dropped Brooke off at John's parent's house and off we went. I was really, really nervous (I get nervous every time I leave her) because I knew that we would be away from her for longer than we ever had been before. We left her at 4:45 and we didn't get back until after 9. However, we came back and she was sleeping soundly and apparently she was happy the whole entire night!! YAY!

About our night: First we had dinner at the food court in the mall. We really didn't have any time to go to a sit down dinner. Then we did some shopping, which turned into me trying on a bunch of clothes so John could have some ideas about what to buy for me. We then saw I Am Legend, with Will Smith. It was so freaky but very good! I thoroughly enjoyed my night out with my wonderful man:-)

Every time I leave Brooke I feel so guilty. Granted, I leave her with people that love her more than anything in the universe, but I feel like me needing and taking time for myself makes me a sub par mom. I just pride myself so much on taking care of Brooke and meeting her needs that it just doesn't seem normal to leave her.. Even for a little bit! As my mother-in-law told me, though, Brooke needs her parents to have a strong marriage and if going out without her from time-to-time will refresh us and help us rekindle our spark, then we don't need to feel bad. I'm probably just being ridiculous about this! I'm a little attached to my baby. Have you noticed?

Tonight we're going to Outback with my whole family to celebrate my brother's graduation. He now has his masters in engineering and we're very proud of him! I'm just happy that I get a steak out of the deal. Ha!!

I can't believe Christmas is a week away. Does that even seem possible? Holy cow! I have ALL of John's shopping to do so I better get moving. Yikes! I hope you all are keep your sanity during this crazy time of year. I know that it's hard to!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


We were supposed to get this huge storm last night into today. Everyone was stocking up on groceries. This was evident by town being PACKED all day yesterday. You couldn't move anywhere you went. Our church was also cancelled and John geared up for a long, treacherous night at work. Everyone was waiting on this dumb storm.

I woke up this morning to no precipitation. Nothing. I guess it had been sleeting all night while John was at work but he said that it stopped this morning, just in time for his commute home. Around noon or so we started to get some pretty heavy ice, but that only lasted for about an hour. After that, it turned to snow. The snow was with us on and off for a few hours and then it stopped. Apparently it's supposed to rain tonight and that's the end of it. Wow, I'm really glad that I geared up for this humongous storm! Ha!

With the uncertainty of the storm we ended up staying in all day long. John woke up at 1 so it really wasn't too long or lonely of a day. Brooke kept me well entertained and cracking up for much of the day so I had no time to be bored! She's hilarious.. She's been going UP the stairs for months now and she's still fascinated by doing so. However, she just learned that she can go DOWN them, as well. So instead of chasing her up the stairs all day, I now sit in limbo, halfway up the stairs. She likes to go up a few stairs and then down a few, which takes her forever to reach the top. I don't want to get a gate for the stairs because she enjoys that activity so much and it really is good exercise for her. I guess I'll tolerate it for her happiness! Man, it sure is exhausting though!

Well, other than the fact that were caged in by some ridiculous storm, we have nothing new to report over here. John has to work tonight but then has Monday and Tuesday night off so we're very excited about that! I'm off to enjoy Extreme Home Makeover with my hubby. Until next time...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How Can She Be 10-Months-Old Already??

Dearest Brooke,

Since you were born,

~I dream more extravagantly, loved more deeply, and laugh louder.

~I've felt like I'm truly living my dream by being your mommy.

~I've cherished our countless hours of play-time on the floor of our living room.

~I've been honored to wipe your nose, change your messy diapers, clean up your throw up, and give you baths.

~I've loved picking out your outfit every morning and dressing you (even though you roll away from me).

~I've treasured the endless hours of nursing you. As I sit and watch you eat, I have the joy of praying over you, caressing you, tickling your feet, and playing with your hair.

~I've learned that everything just can't be picture perfect. You make messes and I've come to realize that that's FINE!

~I've watched you sleep.

~I've put your needs before mine because I love you more than life itself. Your happiness is mine.

~I've interceded for you before the throne of God. I pray for you every night before you go to bed.

~I've been mesmerized by you as you develop so quickly. Each day you show me something new that you can do and watching you complete new tasks gives me so much excitement!

~I've been your biggest fan as you reach new accomplishments.

~I've wished that I could just slow down life and digest every day as it comes. Life with you is going by MUCH too quickly.

~I've feared losing you but I have ultimately realized that you're God's baby, not mine.

~I've cried for you and with you and I've laughed with you and at you.

~I've felt the pressure to be the best I can be every day to give you the mommy you deserve.

There's nothing in the world that I wouldn't do for you, Brooke. I love you with all of my heart and I will ALWAYS be here for you. Even when you mess up, my arms will be wide open with compassion and love to restore you. I can't wait to watch you grow through the years!

I love you, princess!



My cone head girl...

The morning after she was born. Notice that the cone head is gone??

Now... 10 months later. These were taking tonight in her Christmas jammies.

I know that her head's cut off here, but I love her mischievous look that she's giving her. That's my crazy girl for you!

Up the stairs she goes. What a shock!

There's that mischievous face again...

She is so fascinated with clothes baskets.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Flying Solo

I am so blessed to have so many people in my life that keep me company. Between my parents, my in-laws, my sister-in-law, my sister, and John, I rarely have to go about my daily activities alone. There is almost always someone who wants to tag along with what I'm doing. However, I didn't have anyone to hang out with today and I must admit, I really enjoyed my day alone with just my Brooke.

First Brooke and I went to the mall to look for some Christmas gifts for John. We found nothing for him but we did buy Brooke a beautiful Christmas dress. Of course I got a bargain! It was originally $40 and I got it for $15!!! I'll post pictures of it when she wears it. She got a little bit fussy after we were there for a bit so we sat on a bench right in front of the decorative Christmas trees and she nursed for a few minutes and then had some Kix for a snack. Right as we sat down this old man started playing Christmas carols on the grand piano and it was so relaxing! So, for about 15 minutes my princess and I relaxed and sang (quietly) to the music. Brooke was dancing and clapping too. How precious!

After the mall we went to my mom's work to take her to lunch. We went to Taco Bell and Brookie had some beans (her favorite). A grandmother who will remain nameless (HAHA) managed to get beans ALL over Brooke so she looked kind of silly when we left. I was mortified because I had to go to Wal Mart after lunch. Hopefully nobody noticed!

So, Wal Mart was a total zoo. It was crazy. First of all, it took me forever to drive there because the traffic was insane. I was about ready to come unglued by the time I got there and of course I had to search forever to find a parking spot. I ended up taking the expectant mother parking spot right by the door. I'm sure some pregnant woman wasn't happy with me but oh well. It was freezing out and I had a small child who I needed to get in the store as quickly as possible. I really didn't feel too bad. Besides, I could be pregnant for all anyone else knows! Brooke was pretty unhappy towards the end of the trip so I ended up pushing a heaping cart filled with $120 worth of groceries while holding a screaming 20 pound baby. She also screamed while I loaded everything into the car. Not too fun! Needless to say, I'm glad that my grocery shopping is done.

Once we got home John was awake. I had such an enjoyable day and I didn't even depend on anyone to entertain me (except for Brooke, of course). Though I'll admit the adult company is nice, it's just great to know that being alone isn't so bad after all!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snow Day!

We have been snowed in for most of the day. I'm not sure of the exact amount of snow we got, but I believe that it was somewhere around a foot. I am so thankful that John had the day off and that we had the chance to be closed in as a family.

Last night we were hoping that the snow wouldn't start until later this morning because we are running MEGA low on groceries. However, the snow started around 7 or 8this morning and Brooke let us sleep until 10:30. By that time, the roads were impossible for a trip to the grocery store. Oh well, we made due with what we had. I guess I learned my lesson to go grocery shopping BEFORE a storm! By dinner time our road was actually plowed so Ali had us over for dinner. She saved us all from the creative dinner that I would have made out of my few ingredients I have on stock. Lol! So, first thing tomorrow I'll be on my way to Wal Mart to do my dreaded grocery shopping. YUCK!

This winter has already been awful and it's not even technically winter yet. We're supposed to get a really, really bad storm on Sunday. I heard that we could potentially get around 3 feet of snow. Yikes! I sure hope that the weather reports are wrong. As I kid I loved being snowed in but as an adult it's just so different. John's job requires that he goes in, regardless of the weather conditions, so it's just an enormous inconvenience for us all.

CALLING ALL BREASTFEEDING MOMMIES: Brooke has this odd attachment to my boobs still. The only thing that she wants to do is sit at my breast all day. She's OK to suck slowly and not really even eat so I know that she's not doing it because she's starving. Although, sometimes she acts really hungry, even though I just nursed her. At times she just sits there and talks to me and laughs at me, but the second I put my boob away she freaks out. I don't know what this is or how to handle it. Honestly, I think that she nursed for half the day today. I'm not even exaggerating. I don't know if this is her form of separation anxiety or if she's really hungry for some reason, but to be truthful, it's kind of driving me insane. She's been waking up more to nurse and I'm baffled. Does anyone have any clue why this is going on? Every time I put her down today or gave her to John she had a conniption and the only way she would be consoled was by nursing. Just when I think I have her figured out she goes and does this! Lol

Well, John's back to work tonight:-( The snow stopped hours ago so I'm hoping and praying that he has a safe night at work. I'm off to pack his lunch...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Sleepy and Thirsty Bug

John went into work last night with an upset stomach. He thought it was just something he ate so pressed on and diligently went to work. Before he left the house he was guzzling water like crazy. We talked around midnight and off to bed I went. Little did I know, he was at work upset to his stomach all night long:-( He said he had a wicked busy night too with several arrests and he just had to rise above the sickness and carry on. While he was at work, Brooke was awake for much of the night. She demanded having my nipple in her mouth for most of the night and she screamed every time I unlatched her. Talk about a long night...

I woke up this morning to John throwing up in the bathroom. Poor guy! He said that he felt totally fine once he threw up and then he went to bed until 12:30 this afternoon. He doesn't work tonight so he always wakes up early when has the night off.

Anyways, when I got up for the day, I began to realize that I was sick too:-( I have this unsatiable thirst (like John did) and I have absolutely NO energy. My stomach is uneasy, though I have yet to throw up. I tried to go about my day like normal, thinking that it would fix everything, only to discover that I didn't have enough energy to do much of anything. Brooke was super fussy this morning so after a bit she and I took an hour and 45 minute nap on the couch. When I woke up, I still felt like I got hit by a truck and I had absolutely NO energy. I've never felt so exhausted in my life (except for maybe the first trimester of pregnancy.. And NO, I'm not pregnant).

I was so frustrated because I just knew that I wouldn't get to rest or anything the rest of the day, with John being sick and all. However, he woke up feeling a lot better and he decided to take Brookie to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. Normally I would have argued and begged to go with them, but today I kicked them out of the house and slept for 2 hours! It was so strange being able to sleep and not have to worry about Brooke. I forgot what that was like! I woke up still feeling completely exhausted, but my stomach didn't hurt as much as it did.

Tonight John and I had our special dinner out planned and because we both had an appetite we decided to go. The food at this place was mediocre, but we enjoyed the nice atmosphere and most importantly, one another. Brooke had a blast at my parent's house. When we went to pick her up she was having so much fun that she didn't even acknowledge John or me. My parents didn't want us to take her home they were enjoying her so much. What a relief that I can leave her with people and know that she'll be OK.

So, John and I are completely wiped out and we're both inhaling water. Hopefully a good night's rest will fix this all. I'm off to bed. I sure hope Brooke cooperates with our plan to SLEEP tonight!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Teeth #5 & #6 Are Here!

Brooke has 2 new top teeth! They are completely cut through the gums and I am so excited because she has been so happy that I would have never guessed that she was teething. This morning she was a little fussy and all she wanted to do was nurse and be held, but throughout the early morning and the early afternoon she was a true joy to be around.

Later this afternoon she took an hour and a half nap. She woke up happy, but so, so, so clingy. For almost 2 hours she wasn't content to do anything by lay in my arms and snuggle or nurse. She wasn't grumpy or anything, just extra dependent on me, which is great. I love snuggling days with my princess. I think that her gums must have just been bothering her and she knew that I would comfort her and make her feel better. I absolutely LOVE being her mother. I had such a precious day of relaxation with her. I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything in the universe. It's such gift and privilege to be a mommy:-)

Brooke did get VERY fussy before bed tonight so I gave her some teething tablets and a dose of Tylenol and she's been out for awhile now. I hope that she sleeps well. The only difference in her behavior lately has been that she's been waking up screaming pretty frequently. She's never been one to wake up very often so I thought that she was just growing and needed to eat more or that she was regressing in her sleep patterns. Silly me, she's just been teething these last few nights. I can't believe that I let this one slip by me. I feel so bad now because if I had realized that she was teething I would have helped her more by giving her medicines and things. I guess all I can do is try better next time.

John and I went to the mall with Ali and Mr. Nathan tonight. We had such a blast together. We rented one of those double strollers that looks like a racing car. Brooke and Nathan had a total blast and they didn't fuss once the whole trip. What fun! John and I bought Brookie her first pair of Nike's tonight. We're saving them for Christmas and it's going to be so hard waiting to put them on her. They're pink, of course, and they are so cute. John's always looked forward to buying her her first Nike's (he's a Nike snob) so this was a special day for us. I also got a $44 Izod shirt for myself for $9.99. Have I ever mentioned that I love a bargain?? I feel so happy about my purchase now!

I suffered a HUGE disappointment today. I know that it's minimal compared to starvation, sickness, homelessness, etc... But it's pretty upsetting in my little world. Shift bids are going on at John's work, meaning that everyone gets to pick which shifts they want to work the most. Those with seniority get to work the shifts they want and those who are lower on the totem poll (like John) pretty much get the crappy leftovers. Well, there was a huge possibility that John was going to work days because people are transferring off of the day shift. I was all excited and picturing how awesome that would be for our little family. Well, now it looks like John will be stuck on nights again (for at LEAST 6 months). While nights aren't as bad as the evening shift, there is still no comparison to John working the day shift. I know that God is good and that John has a great job, but it's so hard to not resent the stupid police force for the impact it has on my life. I guess I shouldn't have counted my chickens before they hatched!

Okie doke, I'm off to go make John's lunch (or midnight snack) for work and then I'm going to enjoy a few minutes with him before he leaves for work.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Birthday John!

Today is my husband's 25Th birthday! Man, 25 just sounds so old to me for some reason. I keep reminding him that he's half way to 50. Lol!

Brookie and I got him a really nice knife for work. He wanted one to have on his duty belt in case he ever needs one so I went to the store and had some help picking one out. ME... Buying a knife?? That was humorous. I said to the man, "My husband's a cop and I need to buy a knife for him. What do you recommend?" Of course he laughed at my total ignorance in knife selection, but ultimately we ended up picking out a great knife that John loves. Yay for us! I also got John a Sabres hat and I'm taking him out to a romantic dinner on Tuesday night. I can't wait for that!

John had to work last night and it figures that he got home a half an hour late, at 8this morning. He slept the morning away and then he woke up to watch his Buffalo Bills WIN! I think that the Buffalo win was his favorite birthday gift. Ha!

After awhile we went to John's parent's house where we had a joint birthday party for the both of us. We got so many nice things! Collectively we got 2 free movie passes, a $50 gift card to the movies (DATE NIGHT!!), a Pyrex set, the new Life game (that has the debit card instead of money), a gift card to Cold Stone Creamery, and money. My father-in-law, who's a mechanic, did a break job on our car for us and they paid for all of the parts. That was our big present and we were very thankful to be spared of the expense. Thanks guys! My in-laws also got me some sweaters, which was very sweet of them. We are so loved:-)

Because it's my husband's birthday, I would just like to say that I'm so thankful to be married to him. He is such a wonderful guy who takes amazing care of his family and I'm truly honored that I am his wife. I'm so excited to be able to grow old with him and to see what the future has in store for us. So many people search for their whole lives to find that special someone and I feel so blessed to have already found my prince charming. Every night that I send him out to work in the cold, snow and wind, I am constantly reminded that he would do anything in the universe to take care of our needs and to provide for Brooke and me. He has afforded me the amazing luxury of staying home with our baby and he never complains about all of the hard work he has to do. I love you John! You're my best friend and I'm so proud of you:-)

John has tonight off because he has to go to some firearms training or something all day tomorrow. That means that I get to sleep next to him on his birthday night! Yay! OK, well I'm going to go snuggle up next to my birthday boy.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Party, A Celebration, A Shopping Trip.. AND A Patridge in a Pear Tree

What busy day! I just don't even know where to begin. My day started at 7:30 this morning. I had to wake Brooke up and get her ready because she went to a Christmas party with John's parents this morning. John's dad adores her and wanted to take her to his work Christmas party, so I agreed to let her go. I was REALLY nervous because I hate being away from her, but she did great! I sent her with her yogurt and some snacks and she didn't even need to nurse when they brought her back to me. I was amazed at how well she did! She was with them from 9-12 and I have to say that it was so odd not having my little buddy along side me. I missed her so much and I decided that the baby-free life may be very convenient for running errands, but it's just not any fun!

At 12 I attended a surprise party for my daddy! Our church threw him a party to celebrate his 2 anniversaries... 1, he's now been in the ministry for 25 years. Amazing! And 2, it was his 10Th anniversary with our church. He was so surprised and we had a wonderful time with our church family. I'm so proud of my dad because he has accomplished so much in his ministry. God has really used to him in some pretty incredible ways and it's been so awesome to see God at work in his life.

After my dad's party I had to do some last minute birthday shopping for John. EVERY store we went in was jam packed. It was awful trying to park and then bundle up a baby and bring her our into the freezing cold. She was really a trooper though. I ended up getting John some nice things, but not without shoving people and forging through many crowds of shoppers.

A total stranger did an amazing act of kindness for me today. I'm still really touched that she did this. I was sitting in Target nursing Brooke and I mentioned to my sister-in-law, Sarah (who went with me), that I was thirsty. She offered to get me a drink but I told her that I would just wait. Anyways, there was this lady sitting at a table near us who was with her mom her tiny little baby. I saw her get up but I thought nothing of it. A few minutes later she plopped a bottle of water on the table and said, "I heard you say you were thirsty. I have a 2 year old at home and my baby is 3 months old and I've breastfed both of them. I know that nursing makes me thirsty, so from one breastfeeding mom to another, here's a nice cold bottle of water." Can you believe that???? Who, in this cruel, heartless world, does things like that for people anymore? I thanked her repeatedly and I wish that I had some way of contacting her again to thank her once more. That honestly made my busy, hectic, crazy shopping trip so much more enjoyable. My goal is to bless someone else in return. The next time I see a woman with a small baby or a fellow breastfeeding mommy, I'm going to make it a point to do something similar. That's the way it should be, after all!

One more thing about the VBAC I've been ranting about lately... Stacy (I hope I spelled your name right!), I totally agree with you about doctors being so opposed to VBACs. I did all of my prenatal care with Brooke through a midwife and I absolutely loved how they worked and how they treated me. I think that the main difference is that they understand the emotions that are involved with childbirth a whole lot more than most doctors, especially more than male doctors, of course. I also agree with you about giving birth being a natural thing that the body does. I hate that it becomes so medical or that people treat it like it's a disease or something.

OK, well, I'm off to go get some rest after this whirlwind of a day. I have some cute pictures of my princess in her Christmas dress today. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

She's not smiling for me here, but at least you can see her pretty dress that my dad bought for her. Doesn't she look like a Christmas tree??

Heading up the stairs...

I couldn't resist this picture. Too cute!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Day With Lola

John and I had a small road trip today. Because I'm trying to keep something a secret from someone that might potentially read this, I can't divulge where we went or what our mission was. I know you all are on pins and needles because my life is just so exciting, but oh well. LOL!

Anyways, my brother loaned us his GPS system (that we affectionately named Lola) to help guide us to our destination. John and I get lost EVERY single time we go anywhere and this time we didn't. It was just the most amazing device I've ever used. It was insane how much stuff this little piece of metal(Sorry, Lola, but it's true) knew. We needed some cash and we asked Lola where the nearest ATM was and within minutes we were at a bank. Incredible! I think that I'm going to steal her from my brother. She's stolen my heart!

Our trip was really fun! We went to a really nice mall and had a nice lunch. Brooke was so well behaved and I was so shocked at how happy she was. We didn't get home until 8:30 but she was such a trooper through it all. Poor John has to be at work at 11 tonight so he won't be able to rest from his long day of driving. I feel awful for him:-(

Kara, thank you so much for the helpful comment. It sounds like you've beaten the odds and that is fantastic news for me! I can definitely attempt a VBAC, and who knows? I just might succeed! I tried to read your blog but it wouldn't let me because I'm not invited to do so. Do you think that you would mind letting me read it? How did you find me, by the way? I'm so excited that someone actually reads my blog. Lol! Corny, I know. Thanks again. I'm going to check out the website that you sent me tonight.

Alrighty, I'm going to go do some house work. Funny, I wasn't home all day but the house is still a mess. How did that happen???

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I Want a VBAC

I know that it's weird because I'm not pregnant and I'm not even trying to conceive baby #2, but I have been thinking A LOT about having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) lately. The weeks and months after Brookie was born I had a lot of sadness and frustration over the method in which she was delivered. I am confessing right now that though I don't cry about it or feel depressed over it anymore, I still really, really wish that I could have delivered Brooke the NORMAL way. The first thing I asked the midwife after they took Brooke away from me was "Can I have a vaginally delivery next time?" That desire hasn't lessened one bit from that point on.

A C-Section just sounds so easy to me! People hear that I had one and they don't know that I spent 20+ hours enduring a drug-free labor. I worked so hard to handle the pain naturally and it would have been so amazing to deliver without any medical interventions.

Every time that I watch A Baby Story and see women deliver naturally, I have to admit that I'm a little jealous. The thought of having your baby delivered and then put immediately on your chest... all mucousy and bloody... just enthralls me. When you have a c-section, your baby is quickly taken from you. There were nurses who got to hold my precious daughter before I did and that thought still kills me. When Brooke was still a newborn, I used to irrationally have the thought that she didn't feel connected to me because I didn't hold her first. I know now that that's not the case, but it really took me some time to forgive myself for that. I kept thinking that if I had pushed harder or longer or that if I had done something else different then she could have come out vaginally.

Most people in my life think that my desire for this is so crazy and they simply don't understand why a vaginal delivery is so important to me. It just feels like part of my womanhood is compromised because I can't deliver a baby. For some odd reasons it kills me. Honestly, though, I feel really guilty for feeling "bad" about having a C-Section. I know that I have a beautiful, healthy, amazing baby and that there are women out there that would kill to have a baby... No matter what it took. Even though I have come to grips with that and I'm not sad anymore, I still don't think that it's wrong for me to have the desire to try for a VBAC next time around.

The doctor who delivered Brooke told me that I shouldn't ever try to deliver vaginally. He said that Brooke wasn't all that big of a baby and if my pelvis was big enough then I wouldn't have had any trouble delivering her. You would never know that I didn't have a big pelvis by the look of my hips! I used to laugh and call them "childbearing hips." HA! Anyways, I know that he's a medical professional with many years of schooling, but is that his educated GUESS or is this a FACT? I just don't know.

The thought of simply scheduling C-Sections for my future kids sounds horrible to me. I will never have the opportunity to labor for them. That's robbery because being in labor is an act of love. It's something so amazing and empowering that you do to bring your baby into this world. It doesn't even sound exciting to have a date and a time where you go into the hospital and get sliced open. Half the fun of Brooke's birth was the uncertainty of it all and not knowing when she would arrive.

Another main reason that I really want to try for a VBAC is because I missed precious moments of Brooke's first days because I was either doped up on pain killers or I was in too much pain. My recovery in the hospital was really rough because I refused to take any medication. I was sick of feeling like a space cadet so I told them I wouldn't take any more. Long story short, I ended up getting really bad blood clots and having excessive bleeding. My point is that I shouldn't have had to sacrifice time with Brooke for my recovery. SHE was what mattered and if I had had a vaginal delivery I wouldn't have had to be on such nasty medications. I can only imagine having a new baby AND Brooke and trying to manage a C-Section recovery. No thank you.. I'll try for a VBAC.

I've also been doing research and I've found that 40-60 percent of VBAC's are successful! Women that succeed at VBAC's are usually women that had scheduled C-Sections due to their baby being breach or whatever the cause may be. Those who have had C-Sections for the reason I did aren't too likely to deliver vaginally in the future. I still have hope though!

John doesn't think that trying for a VBAC is wise, either. He says that if I'm putting my life at risk (because there's an ever-so-small risk of a life threatening uterine rupture) then it's selfish of me to try. I tend to disagree because having major surgery like a C-Section is also putting my life at risk. Either way you slice it there's still risk involved!

I hope that this post didn't seem like a pity part. I promise that I'm definitely NOT feeling sorry for myself. I have so much to be thankful for! I'm just really eager to know what it feels like to deliver a baby vaginally because it's something that's very important to me. However, I am willing to accept that if I can never have a VBAC then it's OK. Brooke isn't any less special because she was delivered via C-Section and my future kids won't be either.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

John and Jillian's Pierogie Kitchen

*Before you read this post, I would like make a disclaimer: As I sifted through recipes, the word "pierogie" was spelled various different ways. Because of that, I'm not sure how to properly spell the word. My usual theory is that if I can't use or spell a word properly then I won't use it all, however, I am going to have to make an exception in this case... Seeing as how my whole entire entry is about "pierogies." So, read on and excuse my possible spelling mistake. :-)

Let me just say that John and I had a BLAST making pierogies today! We were in the kitchen from 12 until after 2 making these stupid things but it was quality time that we spent with one another. John was so sweet because he was really into learning how to cook and it was so cute. He also made me laugh the whole entire time.

Making the dough for the pierogies was what I feared the most. However, it was simple to make. It was 4 simply ingredients... Eggs, flour, salt, and sour cream. We mixed it together and kneaded it then John rolled it out on some wax paper. After it was rolled thin we cut the dough into circles. When we went to remove the circles they were 100 percent stuck to the paper. We let it get too wet because we didn't continually flour it like we should have. We were so annoyed! So we had to totally remove it from the paper (causing us to lose some of our dough). After that, we just rolled the dough in small amounts at a time and it was a lot easier to work with that way. While John rolled and cut the dough, I stuffed and sealed the dough. I stuffed them with mashed potatoes that were made with garlic butter (that I made myself with minced garlic), milk, and LOTS of cheddar cheese.

After our pierogies were properly assembled we boiled them. I made sauce with minced garlic, butter, salt, pepper, and parsley. I poured it over the pierogies and then tasted our creation and I knew that all the work was worth it. They were so amazing (If I can brag for just a second)!!! When we brought them to church everyone else loved them too! We were so very proud of our creation.

Our kitchen looked like a hurricane hit it. It is not very big at all and every surface was either covered with butter, garlic, flour, or some sort of pot or pan. When we were done I didn't even know where to start in order to clean the disastrous mess up. It took us forever to get everything nice and clean again but it was definitely a small price to pay for such a fabulous meal!

The hardest part of our pierogie making was keeping Brooke happy while our hands were covered with dough and flour. For a while she sat in her high chair with some Kix to snack on and some wooden spoons to play with. Other than that she just roamed around and wreaked havoc on our house. I was rather proud of how nicely she entertained herself!

Though our pierogies turned out delicious, we don't think that we'll be making them again in the near future. If we make them too often they won't be a treat and besides, they were SO much work. I don't think that we're too extremely eager to go through all of that trouble quite so soon. So, until next time, our pierogie kitchen is CLOSED!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Baby Steps!!!!!!

I excitedly report to you that my baby took her first steps today!!!!!! She's only 9 and a 1/2 months old. How could this be possible? I started walking at 9-months so this must just be my pay back. Lol! She took 2 steps and John I just thought that it was a lucky try for her. However, she continued to take 2 steps at a time throughout the night. John and I were ecstatic and of course we called everyone we know to tell them the wonderful (but scary!) news.

I remember when Brooke started to roll over that we thought it was just the most amazing thing in the universe. That seems like just yesterday and now she's WALKING. She's just growing up way too quickly for her mama! She can definitely take the steps but she reverts back to crawling so often because she's super quick at crawling. I'm thinking it will take her a few weeks or months until she starts walking as her primary method of mobility. I guess we'll see!

John has off until Friday night! I'm so excited. That means that we have the next 3 days and nights together. What a treat! I'm really looking forward to enjoying some quality time with him this week. His birthday is on Sunday so I'm trying to plan something romantic for us. Hopefully I figure something out. We have this thing at church tomorrow night where you have to make some European food (odd, I know) so John and I are spending the afternoon making homemade pierogies tomorrow. I'm really excited because he's so interested in learning how to cook. I've never made the recipe but it looks like a blast and fairly easy too. It will be a nice way to spend an afternoon with one another (and Brookie too, of course!).

I was so pleasantly surprised to see that I got comments on my last post! I honestly blog for ME because it's a nice daily release for me, but whenever I get comments, it just makes my day. So thank you Stacy and Alissa for making my day that much more exciting.

Monday, December 3, 2007

No Biting!

Brooke's newest thing is biting people or objects when she gets mad. For example, if I tell her she can't have something, she'll open up her mouth and try to get my finger, knee, arm, or any other body part of mine in her mouth. If she's not directly on my lap or right next to me and I tell her no, she'll bite whatever she is near to. The couch has been a major victim lately.

The other day in the church nursery she was looking at herself in the mirror and she was getting frustrated for some reason, so there's my daughter with her mouth wide open trying to bite her reflection in the mirror. It was actually really funny to watch! Lol

Tonight I tried to nurse her before I put her down for bed. She wanted to be playing, not eating, so I made her mad by interrupting her. Instead of simply refusing to eat, she clamped down on my nipple as hard and she possibly could and refused to let go until I flicked her cheeks. It was awful!

What made me really mad was when she bit Nathan the other day. They were having one of their little "fights" over who got to play with the book and Nathan won. She went up to his arm and bit it so hard that she left BITE MARKS:-( I felt so extremely bad. That is just not acceptable. I felt even more awful when he started to cry. He got this super offended look on his face too.

I'm petrified that Brooke is going to bite another baby in the church nursery. My sister understands when Brooke bites Nathan, even though I'm sure it doesn't make her happy. Any other random person might be highly annoyed with us. What if we have a visitor at the church and Brooke bites their kid?? That would not be a very nice welcome, now would it?

Every time that Brooke bites I pick her up, look her directly in the eyes and say in a stern voice, "NO biting, Brooke." I then smack her little hand. I honestly don't know what else to do. I'm getting really frustrated because I know that this is an issue that needs to be nipped in the bud. I think that attributing this biting to teething or "she doesn't know better" or any other excuse, is just wrong. She is willfully biting people in order to get her way or to show that she's mad. I happen to believe that babies are teachable and that if I'm persistent with disciplining her in this area then she'll catch on.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I would like this biting to end.. And soon!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happy 22Nd Birthday to Me!

Well today was my birthday! I had an overall very relaxing and enjoyable day and I was made to feel very special and very loved by many people. Brooke loves me so much that she woke up at 12:30 this morning just to wish me a happy birthday. What a sweet baby! Lol! She never wakes up at that time, so I'm just assuming that she simply couldn't wait any longer to see me on my birthday.

This was my first birthday as a mom and it's honestly a bit sad to realize that the world doesn't stop for your birthday. As a I kid I was the little princess on my birthday who didn't have to lift a finger and did whatever I wanted to do. Now that I have a baby to care for, it makes me realize how insignificant my birthday is in the scheme of things. Yes, it's special and important, but life still goes on, even though it's your birthday.

The biggest let down was this morning when I looked out the window... There was about 5 inches of snow and our roads weren't even plowed. NO FUN! So, getting to church was rough and there was some confusion as to whether or not there would even be church. Anyways, we ended up having church and my whole family got there safely. All's well that ends well!

I'll admit that I hate having a Sunday birthday because it just makes my birthday different. Not that God isn't the most important thing in my life or anything, it's just that I like to spend my birthdays doing the same things that I do every year on my birthday, and when church is in the morning and early afternoon, it just kind of throws the whole thing out of whack.

After church I went to my parent's house for my birthday lunch. My mom made me ham, homemade macaroni cheese, and lots of good veggies. We had ice cream cake for dessert. You can't beat that!

I was the recipient of lots of nice presents! Ali, Luke, and Nathan gave me Christmas jammies and a beautiful scarf and glove set that goes great with my coat. My brother and his wife gave me Ralph Lauren Romance (it's a perfume) that I've been dying for. It smells so good! My parents got me a shirt and a whole supply of Clinique makeup. I am in LOVE with Clinique but way too cheap to buy it for myself. How thoughtful of my mom to think of this for me! The last time I splurged on Clinique was for my wedding so it's been 2 years since I've gone all out. John and Brooke each got me a card and then John got me a beautiful new comforter set for our bedroom. I've wanted a new one for a while and this one is perfect. It's a silk material and it's a deep red with gold and tan accents. It looks stunning with my cherry furniture. My mother-in-law also made me my favorite cookies (she's made them for my birthday since I was 16!) and homemade Chex Mix. So yummy! See how loved I am?

John took Brooke and me to get our tree after my birthday lunch. It's so pretty. Brooke's enamored by it. Lol! After our tree was up my parents dropped in for Chinese food and then John and I put Brooke to bed and relaxed and watched a Christmas movie together.

John has to go back into work tonight so he's getting some rest now. I think I'm going to empty the dishwasher. Unfortunately work still has to be done... Even if it is your birthday!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

House Hunting Blues

I'm so frustrated. I want to SCREAM! After John and I got excited about that house yesterday we got a call from our realtor to tell us that the family all of the sudden decided withdrawal their house from the market. I'm totally shocked because the house looked like it was being all packed up for a move. Oh well, I guess it's just not God's will for us to have that house. We'll wait on Him and TRY to be patient, but it's just so hard sometimes. We saw another house this afternoon and it was another piece of garbage. I know with my heart that God has the perfect house for us and that He will never forget about our needs, but my HEAD keeps spinning. Hopefully this house hunt comes to an end soon!

On a much brighter note, I got a GREAT deal today! Everyone knows that bargains make me happy. I got the Gobble and Go Hippo from Fisher-Price today for (drum roll please).... 13 dollars!!!! John and I saw it at Wal Mart and we thought that it looked like fun, but we figured that it would be kind of expensive. We took it and scanned it and found that it was overstocked from Black Friday so they had an over abundance that they needed to get rid of. I looked online and most places are asking more than $50 for it. How awesome of a shopper am I?? I really want to give it to Brooke now but we're saving it for Christmas. I hope she likes it as much as we do. It's a walker that has little slots for blocks and shapes to put through it. I guess the hippo gobbles up the blocks if you run them over. It then turns into a little seat for her to rock on when she's gets too big for the walker. It's the same concept as the Stride to Ride Lion. I never thought that baby toys would consume so much of my thought! Lol!

Well, John's off tonight so we're going to head upstairs for a movie. Last night's movie was awesome... Probably one of the best I've seen in ages. Tonight we're watching Air Force One. So, on this birthday eve of mine, I'm going to go relax with my man!

Friday, November 30, 2007

So Much to Say About Nothing!

I haven't blogged in a few days (a rarity for me!) so I thought I would take a few minutes to catch you all up to speed.

*Annie: We had such an amazing time last night!! Sarah couldn't go at the last minute which made me sad, but luckily my mom bailed me out and was able to fill her shoes. Though I missed Sarah, I'll admit that it was nice to get out with just my mom and my sister. We three ladies haven't ventured out on our own in AGES! It was very special:-) I was thrilled because I came home and Brooke was sleeping soundly and she didn't even wake up to eat until hours after I got there. She didn't nurse for almost 7 hours in a row. Wow! John said she was a blast when she was awake and then she went to sleep with not fuss. What a relief!

*The House Hunt Continues: We've been looking at houses and there's A LOT of crap out there right now. It seems like every house we go isn't even a possibility. However, we found a gorgeous house today that we really love. It has an all new kitchen with really nice new appliances, oak cabinets, and a ceramic tile floor. It has a 3-seasons room, a dining room, family room, and living room... BUT there are 2 major let-downs. 1, it's not an ideal location. It's a remote little town that's quaint but it's a bit more removed from everything than we would have liked. It's only 10 minutes from either of our parents but we're not sure if it would be hard living there after living here, where we're only a stone's throw from all of the stores and restaurants. 2, the bedrooms are small. There's a HUGE master bedroom, but there are only 2 other bedrooms and they're tiny. We don't want our kids to be crowded. However, this house has SO much other space.

*Brooke: She is blossoming more and more by the second. It's crazy how quickly my little baby is growing up!

~She just learned a new word, "cheese." John taught her to say that when we hold the camera up to her and with some prodding, we get the cutest little voice in the universe yelling, "cheese!"

~She can also dance on demand. She has the most adorable little dance and if we say, "Dance, Brookie," she gets so excited and shakes her little body.

~She's so close to walking... She's stands unassisted for extended periods of time and cruises all over the house, but she has yet to take her first steps. I am NOT rushing it! Once she starts walking my life will never be the same again!!

~She is devouring solid foods now! She and her 4 teeth are learning how to chew things. She'll tolerate baby foods, but unless its a flavor that she really loves (like apple-cherry, peas, blueberry-banana-granola, or sweet potatoes) she'll only have a few bites. We do a lot of yogurt and soft foods, like rice, potatoes, noodles, and fruit. It's so fun watching her learn about new foods. I love it!

~I've mastered the art of putting pig tails in her hair! They are more work than her usual bow, but they're too cute. I've decided that she won't wear them very often though because if she does they won't be special. Besides, I only have 3 different colors of bows for pigtails... For her regular bow I have endless colors. I pretty much have a bow for every outfit. Hey, if I'm gonna have a girl, I mine as well dress her up!

~She has almost completely recovered from her yeast infection and her cold! She still has a nasty cough that is sometimes waking her up at night, but other than that, I have my happy, silly baby back. Yay for me! It is such a blast.

* My birthday is on Sunday so John took a personal day from work, which gives him tomorrow and Sunday off! We're going to get our Christmas tree on my birthday. I can't wait!

Well, like I said, John's off tonight. That means that it's time for a movie! We're watching Crimson Tide. He swears I'll like it. Let's hope!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tomorrow, Tomorrow... It's Only A Day Away!!

Tomorrow's my big outing to go see Annie with Alison and Sarah!!! I'm so excited to get out and do something for ME for a change, but I have to tell you, I'm so nervous about leaving Miss Brooke for that long.

I'm meeting up with the girls at 6:15, which means I have to leave Brookie a little bit after 6. The show then starts at 7 and with the intermission and everything I don't see it being over much before 10. By the time we get out to the car and drive home (which is about 20 minutes from the theater), I'm not going to be home until after 10. Yikes.. That's almost 4 hours. I've never been away from my girl for that long:-(

I know that John will take AMAZING care of Brooke and that they'll have a blast, but I'm apprehensive because she does NOT take a bottle. My mother-in-law gave her breast milk out of a straw last time she watched her and she did great with that, so I'm just going to have to bank on Brooke doing that again! The main problem I have is that I only have 4 ounces of breast milk left in the freezer. That's enough for maybe one feeding??? (I don't know much about ounces and stuff) My milk supply has been dwindling so I haven't been able to get much milk using my pump. I'm used to pumping and getting 5 ounces in 15 minutes and the other night I didn't even get a half an ounce. Not cool, considering I NEED milk for her. I'm going to try to pump in a minute, so hopefully that will be successful.

Brooke usually goes down around 8 so I figure that I'll feed her at 5:30, before I leave. Then if I leave her baby food dinner for her so she can eat that around 6:30- 7, to hopefully prevent her from being wicked hungry. Then John can give her a bath and then give her the breast milk right before bedtime. Do you notice that I'm trying to micro-manage this? Man, I drive myself nuts. I'm SO glad that she goes down on her own, or else I would be super, SUPER concerned. She doesn't usually wake up until after midnight so I'm hoping that she won't need anything else after she's down for the night. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

This is what I'm MOST concerned about... John has to be at work at 11, so he has to leave our house at 10:30. In case I don't get home until after 10:30, John's brother is going to come over to sit with Brooke until I arrive. I'm so worried that she'll wake up and not have her mommy and daddy and be totally freaked out. Josh is great and all, but Brookie might feel scared because she's obviously not as comfortable with him as she is with us. Ugh, hopefully I get home early enough!

OK, well I'm really, really going to try to enjoy myself. I'm being nuts about this, right? People leave their babies all the time and this is totally normal! RIGHT??? Wish me luck!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Wish

There's another beautiful country song out there that I absolutely love. It's called My Wish, by Rascal Flats. The guys who wrote this song wrote this for his baby girl and it talks about the dreams he has for her life. Read the lyrics. They so perfectly say so many things that I want to say!

"My Wish"

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

Isn't that a beautiful song? It's obviously much better when it's being sung, but the words are nice enough to be read all by themselves.

Every night when I put Brooke to bed I pray over her crib and I ask God to prepare her future husband, teachers, bosses, and friendships. I also ask that He would protect her from the many things out there that want to hurt her. I always stare at her and think of all of the wonderful things that are in her future if she follows God's will. I have so many dreams for her and I just can't wait to watch her be able to accomplish what God put her on this planet to do.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Wish that I could Keep Nathan!!

We had an awesome night tonight! My sister and her husband had a meeting to go to so John and I offered to watch Nathan. We had a total blast together and it just made me even more excited to have another baby.

As I was getting dinner ready, John played with both Brooke and Nathan. They read stories and played with Brookie's toys. It was actually easier having Nathan there because he and Brooke play so well together (most of the time!!) that it kept both babies engaged and happy. Neither baby was fussy or anything while they played... Except for when they fought over the books! Haha:-) They can NEVER seem to share those silly books.

We then had a quick dinner and because both babies ate well we had a special treat afterwards... POPSICLES!!!!! We stripped both babies down to only diapers and gave them a few bites of Popsicle. Brooke is crazy about them so we figured that Nathan would be too. It was hilarious because he took a HUGE bite out of a Popsicle and it was so cold that he was making this really funny face. He spit it out into a napkin and then picked it back up with his mouth when he was ready to suck on it again. I wish I had it on video! It was great fun.

While I did the dishes and got us all cleaned up, John played with the babies again. When I was done in the kitchen we then headed upstairs for bath time. Bath time was great! John was doing some things downstairs and I told him to be on standby because I didn't think I could handle both kids in the tub by myself. Wrong! They were absolute angels. They played so nicely together and they really enjoyed themselves. I was soaked from all of the splashing! It was so weird to wash Brooke and then have to wash Nathan.. It just kind of hit me that it is really DOUBLE the work. Man, it's just so much fun that it doesn't seem like work.

After bath time, John and I got the babies in their jammies. I chose to dress Nathan because he doesn't run away from me while I'm changing him! Lol! I left John with Brooke, who's a tough cookie when it comes to that stuff. From that point on we played, laughed, read stories, and sang. It was the perfect night!

I've come to the conclusion that having another baby around makes things not only more exciting and more entertaining, but it makes it EASIER. I know it sounds weird, but when you have another one around they seem to occupy each other and you have more opportunities to sit back and watch them. I was sad to see Nathan go tonight because I loved having him join our family activities so very much. I wonder if Alison wouldn't notice if I took him?? Lol

I'm super excited now to have another baby. Obviously we're still waiting, but I absolutely cannot wait until my house is filled with the laughter of another baby. There are so many fun days in my future. Being a mom (and an aunt to the most beautiful baby boy ever) is just the greatest!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's Always Something:-(

As I said the other day, Brooke has another cold. Unfortunately that same cold has now been passed on to me, leaving us where we were a few weeks ago.. Miserable and sick. Yesterday was the worst of it but today we both have the lingering cough and runny nose. I'm so annoyed that we keep getting colds!

Brooke also has a really, really awful diaper rash. I've been trying so hard to get rid of it and it's only gotten worse. It's now traveling down towards her thighs and it looks so uncomfortable for her. I feel so sad that she has to have this nasty rash. I think that it's thrush again because last time she had thrush she got a rash like this, though it wasn't nearly this bad. I also saw a few white spots in her mouth. So, it looks like we're back to the doctor on Monday to try to get her fixed yet again.

I also think that Brooke has another tooth coming in. It's hard to tell because she won't ever let me in her mouth. It's also on her top gums, which makes it even harder to be able to look. The one area is very swollen and I think that I feel an ever so slight part of a tooth. She's also gnawing on things and putting her fingers on that one spot in her mouth. Teeth are so annoying. They mess everything up!

All of these things have really done a number on our sleeping progress. For starters, she has been nursing to sleep. When she's well, she always goes down awake. I've just been wanting to snuggle with her and comfort her because I know she feels like garbage. She is also waking up A LOT. I think that it's cruel to let a sick baby with an itchy bottom, runny nose, cough, and sore gums sit in her crib to cry. Therefore I've been picking her up and giving in to her a whole lot more. I just hope that this doesn't totally undo everything that we taught her.

Brooke has even been waking up in the middle of the night and STAYING awake for hours at a time.. Something that she has NEVER done. The other night her cough woke her up at 1. It was such a bad cough that she was wide awake, causing her to want to play. It took me an hour to get her to calm down and go back to sleep. She has also been waking screaming at other times, in obvious discomfort. I know that she's sick so I'm trying to be patient, but this is SO difficult. I'm walking around like a zombie and I'm so not used to that!

Brooke also doesn't take naps. It's ridiculous. I know that she's exhausted and I've come to determine that the only way I'll be able to get her to nap is to let her cry-it-out. However, like I said before, I absolutely will not let my sick baby cry-it-out. So, it looks like we'll have to postpone trying to get Brooke to nap until she's better.

As I said a couple of days ago, John bought me tickets to go see Annie with Alison and Sarah next Thursday night. How the heck am I supposed to leave her if she won't go down without nursing??? I'm so anxious about this all. I don't even know what to do. I feel like I've been Brooke's personal pacifier lately, but is that because she's sick or is that because I've spoiled her? I just don't know. I really haven't given her much of an opportunity to go down awake lately. Hopefully she'll be all better by then and it won't even be an issue.

I want my healthy, happy, sleeping baby back. I love the sick baby just as much and I'm honored to be able to care for her, even in difficult circumstances, but my heart breaks for her when she isn't herself. Hopefully things improve.. And SOON!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Mistaken Meaning of Christmas

Picture this... All year long you make sure that you celebrate the birthdays of your close friends and family. You make a point not to forget these special dates ind your loved ones' lives and you anually plan elaborate parties, make their favorite meals, and lavish them with cards and presents. Now, finally, it's your birthday. You come home expecting to find all those that are near and dear to your heart, but instead you find nobody. Where are they? They're all too busy preparing your birthday events that they've totally forgotten about YOU.

I stopped to think today. I wonder if Jesus feels that way sometimes... Like we've forgotten His birthday. We are too consumed with shopping, baking, decorating, present- wrapping, tree-trimming, gift-giving, family get-togethers, and sending out Christmas cards that it's SO easy to not even reflect on the birth of the saviour of the world. He shows us His life CONSTANTLY, yet we can't take time out of elaborate Christmas festivites to honor Him as the guest of honor.

I started to think about all of this today when I ventured out into the Black Friday mayhem. I wanted to go to Target to look at a few sale items and I honestly could not MOVE in the store. Every single aisle was congested with floods of people and people were running into one another. Cross words were being exchanged among strangers as they were ramming into each other. It was so packed in that stupid store that there were no more carts available. That whole scene was ridiculous.
As Alison and I took our babies out to the car, we were completely frazzled.

I'm sick of cheap prices on DVD's or toys or clothing (or whatever else it might be) carrying so much weight in the holiday season. Obviously I have people to buy for and I love getting a great deal on things, but it's not worth it to me to save a few bucks if I have to get trampled on to do it. Society as a whole has commercialized this precious holiday and it no longer seems to be about anything but materialistic junk. I'm the worst offender here. It's way too easy to give our holiday shopping and our own personal wish list precedence over the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

If it was John's birthday (or the birthday of another family member), I would drop everything to ensure that his day was as special as it could possibly be. I would never forget to acknowledge him. In fact, I would fall all over myself to tell him how special he is to me. This brings me to the final question... Am I putting forth equal (or superior) efforts to honor Jesus' birthday? I'm ashamed to say that I'm not.

I want this Christmas season to be different. I'm not going to sweat the small stuff and stress over what gifts to buy for people. Instead, I'm going to channel all of my energy into remembering the great GIFT that was ever given to all of mankind. This is so much easier said that done but I'll remember the initial question that sparked this whole post... How would I feel if everyone I love forgot MY birthday?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Today was a great day for us. We spent the morning at my parents house. The guys went to Starbucks while my mom, sister, the babies, and I went to McDonald's for breakfast. We then just hung out around the house and watched the parade and cooked... And chased Brooke and Nathan, too, of course! At about 2, John and I went over to John's aunt's house, where we shared a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with his side of the family. All in all, it was a great day that was spent with all (well, most) of the people that I love.

Let me just note that Brooke looked absolutely precious in her new Thanksgiving outfit that John bought for her. I didn't take any picture because we were so busy, but she looked very festive! We were proud to show her off to everyone.

I sure do have a lot to thankful for! My heart is so full of thankfulness and joy as I reflect on all of life's many rich and wonderful blessing. God has been so good to us!

I'm thankful for:

~Jesus dying on the cross to not only save me from eternity in hell, but to give me a meaningful life NOW. It's so awesome that He loves me and that He gave me His word to lean on.

~My amazing husband! He is my best friend and I honestly couldn't ask for a better partner in life than him. He has his priorities in check and he takes amazing care of Brooke and me. I look up to him and his great attitude so much. He's an awesome example for me in so many areas.

~My beautiful daughter. Every time I look at her I am reminded of how blessed I am to be her mother. God could have chosen anyone in the universe to raise her and somehow He chose ME. Her vibrant smile and quirky personality make life so much more fun than it ever used to be!

~My parents. They give and give so freely of their time and money to show us that they love us. I honestly don't think there's anything that they wouldn't do for me. Their friendship and love is priceless.

~John's parents. They have welcomed me into their family and loved me as if I were their own daughter. They, like my own parents, would do anything for us. I'm so thankful that I'm so close with them, unlike so many other people are at odds with their in-laws.

~My nephew, Nathan. I love that little boy so much. I would claim him as my own baby if my sister would let me:-) He honestly melts my heart every time I look at him.

~My sister, Alison. She knows me better than I know myself and she is a great help and encouragement to me. I can call her at midnight and ask her a baby question. She's ALWAYS there for me. I can always count on her to make me smile too! She shares all of my memories and laughs from my childhood.

~My DAWG (John's sister, Sarah). She's my buddy and we always laugh for hours when we're together. She's so helpful and I admire her willing spirit. I always wanted a little sister and I finally got one when she came into my life!

~All my other siblings: My big brother, Jared and his wife Amanda, My brother-in-law, Luke, and for John's brother, Josh. They all love and support us!

~To live in the great country of America where I can worship God freely and not fear be imprisoned for my religious beliefs.

~A roof over my head.

~Cars to drive.

~Food on the table.

~Clothes and shoes to wear.

~My gifts and abilities that God has given me.

I'm sure that I could sit behind this computer for hours on end and write about all of things that I'm thankful for, but time won't allow that! Life is so amazing and I just wanted to stop for a minute and count my blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!!