Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Decor (Sort of) & Outings

It's October and it's snowing today!  

This is my favorite, such a cozy day for baking and cooking and staying inside. I have blueberry streusel muffins on the counter that I baked this morning and homemade chili in the crock pot to warm up this very early snowy day.  Gideon spent the morning convincing his Gram to take him outside--he loves being outside in all kinds of weather.  Our snowy afternoon will be for crafting, playing in the basement and reading :)

So here is just a little October post about what we've been up to since getting back from Hawaii and settling back into real life...

The two pics below are my only attempt at decorating for fall.  It's too hard with little boys to do much fall decorating, nothing is safe from their chubby little hands!  They think the pumpkins I have on our dining room table are specifically for them to play with HA!  They love to roll them around.  Such weird-o's.  

I really only decorated the big statement piece in our living room, the antique barn door which serves as our "mantel" since we have no fireplace.  I like how it turned out and mostly the boys can't reach anything so it stays looking nice.  The only other decor are the pumpkins on a seasonal runner on the dining room table and my Yankee fall candle in the kitchen.  

Did I mention Gideon grew the pumpkins?  He grew 5 total and was VERY proud when we picked them.  He's a tiny little gardener.  We'll carve them in a few weeks at big friend's fall party we are hosting.

Stuck with browns, blues, white and orange this year for decoration.  And this candle is DELICIOUS!! Sugared Pumpkin Swirl.

Earlier this week we went to the zoo to see the dinosaur exhibit again (Gid's FAVORITE!) and the new pumpkin displays.  We were impressed and had a really great morning out.  It was a cool, overcast day and the boys did so well.  I was thankful for the peaceful time with them.

This little Sir has started standing independently and is gaining the courage to take steps!  He's so close!

Daddy and Giddy post-nap watching The Good Dinosaur.  They were both very into it.

Even though it's snowing today we had amazing weekend weather.  Warm enough for shorts and t-shirts!  Both boys are happiest outside so whenever possible that's where we hang.

Yesterday afternoon we made homemade pizza.  This was the easiest dinner and so tasty!  I bought pre-made raw pizza dough from our deli section and then we topped it with marinara, sweet Italian sausage, red pepper, black olives and mozzarella.  Served with salad and had a quick, yummy dinner

Today I had a positive report at my 24 week midwife appointment!  Baby is healthy, active and super fat-85th percentile if their ultrasound is correct!  The glucose test this morning was as awful as I remember-yuck that drink is satanic and gives me an automatic headache!  Happy for a healthy little one growing in there.  Gosh, this poor kid, I barely even update on him at all.  Oh and he's a boy!  Never made an official blog post about that *hand to forehead*.

The rest of the week we have visits foster care visits and caseworkers coming by, dropping off dinner to friends who just moved into a new house, fall family pictures, volunteering at church and making sure we fit in lots of playtime and downtime.  October really is the best-we're living it up!

...but the life he lives, he lives to God.

Romans 6:10

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hawaii 7 Year Anniversary Trip

We are home from the anniversary trip of a lifetime!  

Ever since we were first married we have been dreaming about where we want to go to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  Hawaii always came up as a dream destination for us.  And here we are at 7 years and just went a little early :)   Both boys were at good ages and my parents were available to keep them.  So we got outta town!

Earlier this year we decided that we have had an INSANE last few months.  Between a move back to Colorado, foster care, two new jobs, Ryan's health battles, buying a new home and a pregnancy, we thought we might as well just live it up and head out early to celebrate early.  


We spent 7 nights on the Big Island at the Fairmont Orchid resort.  It was truly breathtaking and everything we had hoped and waited for.  We are so thankful for this time away.

Left, at dinner our first night after a full day of travel.  Dinner was right on the ocean over incredible fresh seafood.  Right, the view from our hotel over the ocean

Ryan tried the Mai Tai's and thought they were pretty good!  To the right was more ocean views at another dinner.

We visited a Macadamia Nut factory and bought lots of gifts for grandparents.  We also spent A LOT of time day and night lounging near the ocean and pool reading and relaxing

This was the view that greeted us every morning from the lobby.  There aren't windows or doors on most businesses-it's just open right to the elements!

We ordered room service one night (Ryan's favorite) and believe me when I say Ryan lived in his bathrobe

We attended a Luau with an amazing ocean view.  It was open bar, endless buffet and an incredible show.  The weather was perfect, 80 degrees and just cloudy enough to keep the sun off of us.  This was one of our favorite events!

These are pretty gruesome shots :(   Poor piggie.  They roasted him in the ground all day and Ryan says he was delicious.  I didn't eat much pig because grilled tasting anything is not agreeing with me.  But I took full advantage of all the other very good Hawaiian food!

Ryan staged this shot and was very proud of himself!  Our Luau tickets and necklaces

On Saturday we hiked to Rainbow Falls in Hawaii State Park.  The 80 foot waterfall was gorgeous and the hike was short-just my type right now!

We hiked through an dense tropical forest for a bit and ended up at a river that fed into the waterfall.  There were many still areas with fresh water pools bordered by rocks so Ryan spent some time pool jumping and exploring.  We both had so much fun.

We started every morning off snorkeling and sea kayaking.  Ryan tried paddle boarding also and was a natural.  We saw sea turtles, a creepy eel and lots of bright tropical fish.

More dinner pictures and the delicious drinks we ordered.  Mai Tai for Ryan and a smoothie for me

I didn't take very many pictures of our food because we were always STARVING and just devoured it.  But I did get a pic of a Kona Coffee Mud Pie from dinner one night.  And my FAVORITE food on the whole trip, an Acai bowl.  It was a tropical fresh smoothie on bottom topped with several sliced fresh fruits, toasted coconut and drizzled with honey.  It was a huge bowl and I devoured the whole thing.

I don't have any more pictures to share because we mostly didn't have our phones on us.  The way a vacation should be!  We intentionally spent time away from screens and savored different moments with no need to capture it.  It was the trip of a lifetime that we will always remember.  

It was important for us to get away this year and just celebrate 7 wonderful, challenging, growing, beautiful years married.

And it couldn't have happened without grandparents who kept our sweet boys.  They are really the ones who need a vacation now :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September Outings and Pics

Wednesday is shaping up to be a good day!  I got the boys out of the house ON MY OWN to the park and then to lunch with friends.  This hasn't happened in months.  I just didn't have the energy to wrangle two wiggly boys on my own.  We've spent a lot of time at home or adventuring on the weekend with Daddy to make sure we don't go stir crazy.

Week 21-22 (they keep changing my due date) seems to be the beginning of an upswing in energy and health.  I hope the progress sticks!

Just a few random photos lately of what we've been up to...

Daddy busted our the guitar Saturday morning.  Both boys couldn't get enough and of course thought they should help.  On the right, Gideon was all smiles until I asked for a picture HA!

My mom and I took the boys to a toddler dance party at the library.  Sir got mostly into it crawling around.  Gideon had fun too but was a little shy and just wanted to go explore the play area

Anytime this baby stands up it just makes me laugh!  He's so short and fat and I just love how brave he is to get up on everything.  His favorite spot is the open front door to see what's happening out there

It was the perfect day for a park this morning!  Cool, sunny and not crowded.

Even Baby got into climbing but thought it was a good idea to eat wood chips so back to the stroller he went.

We met up with 4 of my friends for lunch at Chick-Fil-A and it was actually a lot of fun as chaotic as the picture is!  Not everyone is even pictured.  It was 5 mamas, 9 kids and of course one more on the way.  A sweet grandma came up to us to tell us that our kids were well behaved and we were all doing a great job

After the park and lunch we came home to rest.  Fat little Sir crashed after his bottle just like this.  Swoon!

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

1 Chronicle 16:10

Monday, September 18, 2017

We're Here! We're Alive! We're Stressed!

The last few weeks have flown by for us.  

We have been in the trenches dealing with several challenges and those issues have just flat out worn us out.  Life has often felt heavy in August and September. 

 In no particular order we've been trying to navigate and manage...

This little one has given me a SUPER hard pregnancy.  I'm just exhausted only half way through.  I was still barfing up until last week (week 20-21), fighting through horrible weekly migraines, and battling general nausea that lasts all day.  I haven't really felt "good" since about early June.  This week seems to be a little light at the end of the tunnel as I've felt the best I've felt in months.  I made homemade soup and cookies yesterday, we went to zoo as a family and I didn't barf which was a huge win!

Since mid-August we are weaving through the very time consuming and stressful path that is managing an unreasonable and possibly mentally unwell tenant.  We have two rental properties that we personally manage and we unfortunately got a pretty crummy tenant in to one of the properties last month.  We've been dealing with threats, harassing e-mails/phone calls/texts, no rent payment and many other issues.  We didn't know how stressful being a land lord was until we got a bad renter.  Pray for resolution and for this tenant to simmer down or move out!

Foster Care
I intentionally have not and cannot share much about our little foster Sir.  There have been updates on his case over the last 9 months that are sad, unbelievable, difficult and stressful.  The story surrounding his little life is so broken but we see a lot of redemption in his placement with us.  We have ongoing case worker visits, lawyer visits, court hearings and many other details to determine the future of Baby Boy.  I'll post updates here but legally we're bound to not share much at this point in his story.  We are trudging forward in his case praying for wisdom, his safety, and God's sovereign hand

Ryan's Health
Poor husband.  He just cannot catch a breath when it comes to health.  Since April 2017 Ryan started experiencing some relapses in his health and was kind of just generally "unwell" where his guts were concerned.  He had stomach aches, bleeding, diarrhea and an overall sickness and stomach aches most days that were fairly unexplainable.  We tried strict diet elimination, steroids, antibiotics and GI medicines without a lot of luck.  He had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, capsule swallow study, stool samples, blood samples and more.  

The cherry on top was that he contracted C. Diff through the endoscopy which is an infection (often hospital acquired) that is SO difficult to get rid of.  He was on antibiotics for 2 weeks that made him feel just terrible.  The stool sample earlier this month to see if the meds worked showed he was still C. Diff positive and now was testing positive for E. Coli overgrowth.  What in the world?!  He's back on antibiotics for 6 weeks that just have crummy side effects.  He also started a new medicine for Crohn's called Stelera to manage the alarming increase of Crohn's symptoms we were seeing.

All that to say, Ryan's health has been low at best and takes a toll on him in every way.

We are ready for a little rest soon and a time to fill our tanks.  Some reprieve from the difficulties and a lighter load as we go into fall would be an immense answer to prayer.  We still see God's hand on our lives right now and what we deal with is manageable--many others around the world deal with life or death issues.  Ours are difficult in their own ways but we recognize the resources we have to help us cope.  It's just tiresome and we have to check ourselves to not become weary.  

So that's why the updates have been few and far between right now.  We've busy managing a lot of chaos as well as our jobs, home and two busy little redheaded boys :)

"I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Job 42:2

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Baby Boy 9 Month Update

Age: 9 months

This little Sir is the happiest, healthiest, most content and smiley he's ever been in his little life.  He spends most of his day exploring the entire house, getting into trouble, ferociously eating any paper he finds on the ground and  giving me heart attacks at his insane bravery!  He's a good eater, good sleeper, big pooper, hearty laugher, loud talker, and toothy smiler.  Oh how we love our little fat Sir!

Weight: 23 lbs

Length: 28.5 inches

Sizes: He's in all 12 month clothes, size 5 diapers for the day and these ridiculous huge size 6 overnight diapers (that are eating up his college fund) to contain his massive morning poops!    

Eyes: Blue and happy!  That's the best way to describe his eyeballs.

Hair: Red! It's getting redder by the day and he gets so many compliments.  He's has two curls right on top that curl backwards like a tidal wave and a little wave at the nape of his neck.

Sleeping:  Baby Boy is a fantastic night sleeper!  He's a solid 11-12 hours at night from about 7:00 pm -6:30 am.  Sometimes he's up earlier.  He naps from 8:30-9:30 am and 12:30-2:30 everyday.

Eating: Eating is this Baby's calling in life!  He'll devour a strawberry in minutes, chomp on bread, gnaw down all veggies and comsume a whole jar of purees.  He's happy to be fed now with a spoon which is nice.  Mostly he likes to feed himself and has never met a food he doesn't like.  He drinks about 32 oz of formula a day over 4 bottles.  He still shocks me but he guzzles a 10 oz bottle at bedtime.  It's SO MUCH formula!  But he loves it.

Milestones/Words: Crawling like lightning, walking along the coffee table and stair railing, pulling up on everything and even trying to climb the slide out back.  He says "Ma Ma" reliably and babbles a lot of other sounds.  He's so busy and always exploring something new.  He's happy to play with Gideon (if Gid will allow it) or just play on his own.

Memorable Outings:  We went to a toddler dance party at the library this week and Baby kept up very well!  We went to the zoo as a family last weekend and up to a cabin outside of Lyons several weekends ago for some mountain time.

Favorite toys/activities:  I would say Baby reliably LOVES the wooden work bench and wooden tools in the living room, anything that lights up, playing with the pots and pans in the cupboard and crinkling up paper.  He likes to be wrestled by Ryan, eat grass he pulls up, and loves anything soft and furry like his favorite bear.  He loves being in the carrier on Ryan and will follow him around in the morning until he puts him in there.  He also loves outings, having playdates, stroller walks and baths.

Funny Moments: This far little Sir laughs SO MUCH!  It's so fun to see what makes him crinkle up his nose.  If you click his tongue at him or make a big "gulp" sound he will laugh and laugh and laugh.

Looking forward to:  Walking!  He is so ready to keep up with Giddy in the backyard and climb up everything.  I can't wait for him to start talking so he can tell us what he's thinking about and of course just to see more of his personality blossom and grow.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What's Up Wednesdays!

What's Up Wednesday!

Another blogger I really like posted this and I thought it was a cute way to sum up what we're up to lately!

What we're eating this week:
Peanut butter oatmeal cookies (courtesy of Gideon's baking skillz), too many frozen meal lunches, chicken tacos and breakfast for dinner

What I'm reminiscing about:
Having a brand new 2 year old in the house has made me reflect on the last 2 years and how FAST a childhood goes.  It's bananas! I love to reminisce on Gideon's earliest days and all the milestones he has hit so far.  It's bittersweet to see him getting older-he gets easier by the day as he is more independent but of course a snuggly warm baby positively pulls at my heart strings any day

What I'm loving:
Podcasts on the way to work, 15 minute power cleaning sessions, packing lunches at night, crock pot meals and Starbuck's pumpkin spice ground coffee in the morning

What we've been up to:
I have 1 week left of orientation at Children's and that has been consuming so much of our time and focus.  After next week I go down to my regular schedule of 1 day per week (hallelujah!).  We've been up to getting new roofs on our house from the May hailstorm, attempting to keep up with our home and laundry, prioritizing quality family evenings and resting on the weekends

What I'm dreading:
I can't think of anything really!  I was thinking how hard the winter might be when it's too cold to spend the mornings outdoors.  Gideon and I spend a good hour each morning gardening, riding cars, airplane spotting and playing while Baby naps.  When it's super cold this winter we will have to make a fun space in the basement!

What I'm working on:
I'll answer this for all of us.  Ryan is working on starting to study for his PE license and starting a new medicine for his Crohn's (update coming soon!).  Gideon is working in sharing and potty training.  Baby Boy is working on balance and exploring every nook and cranny of the house.  I am working on patience in parenting and becoming a humble, excellent nurse at my new job

What I'm excited about:
Finding out our baby's gender on next week (although I wouldn't find out if it were just up to me) and HAWAII vacation this month with my hubs and no children!!!  I cannot even stop thinking about the beach and unlimited sleep and the ocean.  I'm 100% certain it will be a trip of a lifetime.

What I'm watching/reading:
I'm not into any shows at all and don't ask Ryan what I want to watch because I think all TV is garbage and I'm no fun to watch with haha!  I have a long list of books to start reading including Jen Hatmaker's Of Mess and Moxie and Becoming Mom Strong by Heidi St. John and The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown.  And many others!

What I'm listening to:
Jen Hatmaker's For the Love podcast, The Busy Mom podcast, The Next Right Thing podcast and the Michael Buble Pandora station :)

What I'm wearing:
Scrubs or yoga pants and a maternity shirt

What I'm doing this weekend:  
I have a mini nursing school reunion planned with a few friends and their babies on Saturday plus church and some quality family time

What I'm looking forward to next month:
Halloween!  I love Halloween.  It's fall, there is delicious food to be cooked, costumes to be made, cool mornings and the best colors all year.  I can't wait to trick or treat with Giddy and welcome in autumn.  He was so tiny last year when we trick or treated but he totally got into it and now that he can walk and loves candy...well I think we'll have another Halloween fan at our house!

What else is new:
That about covers it!  We feel so busy which I don't like but this is just a season and soon we'll be in a nice rhythm of fall MOPS, fall bible studies, and the coziness of fall.  Bring on the pumpkin spice everything!  Gid and I already made chocolate chip pumpkin bread last week and I know more is soon in our future

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Gideon's 2nd Birthday Party + Randoms

Gideon turned two!  We planned a day of all his favorites and I think he had a special, fun day being the birthday boy and getting lots of treats. He's so darn sweet!  This 2 year old brings us so much joy, so much life to our home and we love him immensely!

We started the day with Lamar's Donuts and coffee for mama :)  Sprinkles for just about everyone-including Baby!

While Baby napped we blew up the inflatable slide we had for his party and let Gid climb up and slide down.  He also found a huge cricket that he loved

His cake was from Das Meyers.  The make the most fabulous cakes EVER!!  We order triple white every time (to die for!!!!) and what the bakers create is always so beautiful.  This bug cake did not disappoint!

A random pic of Ryan and Gid from a park date they had.   Too cute to not include!

Gideon woke up Saturday morning to balloons, decorations and a table of presents.  He literally could not stop talking about the balloons all over the house and pretty much ignored his gifts HA!  Typical kid.

He received a big boy helmet for his balance bike and I think he is just WAY too cute in it!  Toddler and biker gang member combined.

We ended his day with a birthday party with his grandparents, pizza, cake and gifts.  He was exhausted by the end of it but we wanted his 2nd birthday to be one to remember.  We are so thankful for our 2 year old Gideon!

And a few other random pics that I just needed to include:

Gideon LOVES baking!!  We made chocolate chip pumpkin bread which was delicious and a little early for the fall season, but anytime if pumpkin time if you ask me!  We all had it for dessert that night

My parent's neighborhood hosts an annual Bike parade with the local fire department.  Everyone decorates their bikes or strollers, walks about a 1/2 mile behind the fire engine and gets ice cream at the end!

Gideon was so intrigued by the fire truck.  He wanted to touch all the buttons and climb on everything

Daddy, Giddy, Gramps, Gram and Baby all watching the kids play in the fire hose water that the firemen shot into the air!


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