Why does parenting often result in that crushing, insides crumbling kind of feeling? Jacob starts 1st grade on Monday. Since they have half day Kindergarten, he will soon be heading to school from 9am-4pm… seems like an eternity to me! Conversation today as we were heading to the mall:

Jacob: “Mom, is today a special day?”

Me: “Of course it is a special day today. We all get to hang out together and be together all day long. That always makes for a special day.”

Jacob, in a sassy 1st grade ready voice: “Moooommmmm… that is just like every day of my whole life. What’s so special about that?”

Me, hit by a freight train of emotions and suddenly bursting into tears: “Because, Jacob, when you start school, we won’t get to have every, single day to hang out like this. You’ll be in school.”

Him: “Cool. I guess it is a special day then.”

Oh… little does he know how special of a day it really is to me.

A First Loss


Jacob lost his first tooth on Saturday. We had gone bowling Friday morning and when he got into the car he said "Hey Mom… my tooth is loose!" When I went to look at it, it was very loose. For the rest of that day, Jacob had his tongue on his tooth and his finger on his tooth wiggling away at it. I’m surprised it took until Saturday for it to come out!

My family Christmas celebration was on Saturday. Within a few minutes of sitting down to eat our Christmas meal, Jacob hollered that his tooth had fallen out. The entire room full of my family errupted in cheers. It was a very exciting moment and Jacob was thrilled!

The tooth right next to it is wiggly now. I bet he has a couple teeth gone by the month is over. 

"At Least Not a Dot"



Feliz Navidad, as sung by Kelly:

"At least not a dot…At least not a dot…At least not a dot la la la la la la la laaaaa…" "I want to wish you a Merry Christmas! I want to wish you a Merry Christmas! I want to wish you a Merry Christmas in the bottom of the stars."

Hi Mom!



Kelly had her preschool Christmas program last week. You may remember Jacob’s from last year where he was "that" kid who sang at the top of his little lungs throughout the entire program. Knowing Kelly, I was surprised she did not do the same. She did a great job at her program and played the part of a cow (I think…however she told us she was a sheep!). It was an adorable little program and Kelly looked so pretty in her Christmas dress. Throughout the entire program when she would make KelsChristmasProgram043.jpgeye contact with us, she would get a huge grin on her face and wave. After the program, we got in the car to leave and she said "Mommy…when can I do that again? I loved being in my Christmas program!"


Dear Santa



(Taken by the staff photographer at Breakfast with Santa. Check out last years picture by clicking HERE. What a difference a year makes!)

Our "Dear Santa" letters for this year:

"Dear Santa, Melmo…backback…backpack… Love, Ella"

"Dear Santa Claus,
I would like for you to surprise me this year. I have been good this year. I stayed on green in my classroom the whole year so far. I sleep in my bed all night without calling for my mommy and daddy. I use my manners. Please and thank you. How are you? I want one thing this year. I would like a Transformer.  I love you! Jacob"

"Dear Santa,
How have you been? I only want a candy cane this year. I want a two baby stroller with two seats. I would like a dolly house and a dolly this year. How’s your ride? Do you like carrots? I do what my mommy and daddy say. I like sparkles. Will you get mom and dad something cute that they want too? I loved that time we took that picture sitting on your lap. That was nice. You were cool. What houses are you going to?  My name is Kelly and we are in Kansas…not Iowa. I hope you can find it. Nothing else! Love, Kelly" 

A Little Friend



I have had a little friend helping me with my work today. Yes…Mr Ladybug (aren’t they misters if they are this yellow color?) decided that he wants to be a recruiter, so he has been spending the day on my computer, determined to learn everything he can about the industry so he too someday can be in this profession.

Why, do you ask, am I allowing him to hang out on my computer? Well… the answer is easy. Kelly had an absolute meltdown of a fit when I was going to take him outside "to be with his family". "But, I think he wants to be part of our family Mommy… please can he stay?" 

Being the sucker for those cute blue eyes and a passionate heart, I am now working away with a ladybug hanging out on my computer.  

I'm Not the Only Person Losing My Mind


Remember when I did this (Did I Seriously Just Do That post)?? Well, that was the last time I had visited that particular grocery store…until yesterday.

Yesterday, I was in the area of our local Hy-Vee grocery store and needed some groceries. I only had Ella with me, so I thought it was as good of time as any. I had my list with me and had some time before I had to pick Kelly up from school. Ella and I completed our grocery shopping trip and we headed out to the good ole’ mini van to put the groceries inside. I pulled the cart up to the passenger side of the van and glanced in the window only to find a lady sitting in the drivers side talking on her cell phone.

Certain that I had walked up to the wrong van, I peeked in the back and saw  the kids carseats and some other recognizable things that made me sure it was my van. I peeked back in the window and the lady looked back at me with a "What???" look on her face. As I walked over to the drivers side, she opened the door and I said "Ummm… I think this is my van!" She looked at me puzzled, then a light obviously went off in her head and she put the phone back up to her ear and said "I’ve got to go…figured it out. Bye", and hung up the phone. She then went on to explain that she was visiting her sister and brother-in-law from out of state and took their van to the grocery store to pick up a few things. She said that she was just on the phone with her brother-in-law trying to figure out why the key wasn’t starting the van!

She was terribly embarassed… and it got worse. After that, she could not figure out which van in the parking lot was the one that she drove to the store in! Eventually she unloaded her groceries from my van and carried on her way, thoroughly embarassed. Inside, I was sneakily happy that  I was not the only person who does things like that. There are other people out there in the world who are losing their mind as well!

A Flood of Memories



One of my fondest memories from growing up was the whole process of choosing and decorating the Christmas tree. If my memory serves me correctly, we would always go out to a Christmas tree farm. I vaguely remember my sister Kathy always getting the final say on which Christmas tree we got to bring home. She had very specific requirements. I was more interested in hanging out in the tree farm kiddie house and drinking hot chocolate. Even then, I was not fond of the cold weather. I always wanted to get the poor, lonely Charlie Brown trees anyway so it was probably better that Kathy got to take the lead on that.

DSC_0007-1.jpgThe first house that I lived in growing up was what we refer to now as the house on 30th Drive. I lived there from birth until we moved when I was in 2nd grade. I have very strong memories of the Christmas season at that house. I don’t know why my memories were stronger there than any of the other houses we lived in, but when it comes to Christmas, the moments spent at that house are vivid in my mind.

Tonight, as we were putting up the tree, Kelly begged to put the star up on the top. We don’t use a star… I haven’t found the perfect star tree topper yet, so for now we use a huge bow. As Nick lifted her up to place the bow on top of the tree, memories flooded back to me of those times on 30th drive. My sister and I would alternate years of who got to put the star on the tree. Being fairly close in age, and now being a mother and assuming that we were both whining "not fair", we usually ended up both putting the star on. One first, then we would take it down, and then dad would lift the other up to put the star on the tree. I’m sure there were times that we spent the evening with dad picking us up to place the star on the tree, yet again.

The magic of the season is upon us, and the memories my kids will someday be sharing are being made. My wish for all is to take time this holiday season to rediscover the magic. If you can’t find the magic anywhere, just look through the eyes of a child… we are never to old to make memories magical. 


I elfed my kids. I know that sounds like something that could get me sent to the bighouse, but trust me, it isn’t. If you want a great laugh, click on this link and check out my kids, all elfed out!

Jacob, Kelly and Ella Elfed 

My kids cracked up so hard when I showed this to them. Once Jacob was able to contain himself, the first thing he said was, "Mommy… I really don’t remember doing that!" He thought he had actually dressed up like an elf and did a little jig,

If you elf yourself, make sure to send me the link. 

Oh Kelly!

"Middle children can feel forgotten or overlooked because of the attention or demands of either the firstborns or the lastborns. Some of these children never seem to find their place in the social order, and they try to rebel or misbehave in order to draw attention to themselves."
Kelly is my middle child. Kelly also celebrated her fourth birthday one week ago today. In true "overlooked" middle child fashion, it has taken me an entire week to get a post up here to acknowledge her birthday.  
Kelly is anything but overlooked…she would not allow it! She demands attention, and usually gets it, anywhere she goes. Kelly is sweet and stubborn all wrapped up in one beautiful little package. She is definitely my diva. She is so much fun and she has such a strong, adorable little personality.  
Kellys4thBirthdayParty096.jpgI love Kelly’s smile. I love her silly spirit. I love how she can trip over air…she is so darn clumsy! I love how she tries hard in things that she really wants to try hard in, but I also love how she can just let things go if she doesn’t think it should be important. Kelly thrives on approval from her older brother. If Jacob thinks that it is cool, Kelly is on board. I love how she says, "Now mommy, don’t laugh at this okay?" and then says something that completely cracks you up.
Sweet, sweet, Kelly. We love you so much and cannot believe how grown up you are becoming. Thanks for being our special big girl. You will never be too big for mommy and daddy to hold you. We love you! Happy 4th Birthday ladybug!