Monday, January 30, 2012

Tough Muddar

On Saturday, Curtis competed in a Tough Muddar, a 12 mile course where participants faced 29 obstacles designed by British special ops. Not only did he compete, but he lived!! He's a TOUGH MUDDAR!

The five Tough Muddars from our church.

I am incredible proud of Curtis for this accomplishment!! To think about where he was a year ago, to see how far he's come, and to know that finished this challenging course makes this accomplishment that much bigger.

From the group picture above, you can see how dirty the team was. Here's a picture of my washing machine, after washing a Tough Muddar load of laundry.
This picture was taken after the Tough Muddar load had been washed once and rinsed twice AND Curtis had vacuumed out the rocks.

Now that he's done a Tough Muddar, what next?

The Warrior Dash!! But not just a Warrior Dash (which is 3+ miles), but a Warrior Dash with your wife. Yep. I start "training" today so that I can compete with Curtis in a Warrior Dash. We're not 100% sure when we'll do it, but we're thinking it will be April or May.

I'm looking forward to working alongside Curtis to tackle a new challenge.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Things that make your heart stop

Going into your sons' bedroom to find and empty crib.
Thankfully, Curtis was the parent to make this discovery, and didn't react as dramatically and quickly as I would have. Instead, he calmly discovered.....
Seriously, Timothy. You're going to give Mommy a heart attack.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things Mommy forgot

From the time we had Benjamin till the time we had Timothy was the biggest gap we had between children. Today, I was reminded of the things that I have forgotten about have an almost two year old little boy. Timothy decided to give me a visual reminder of what life with an almost two year old is like.
(the wall)
(a book shelf)
(the washer AND dryer)
(a door)

Here we go again. A busy, fun, challenging, mischievous little boy.

One thing I've found encouraging is the reminder that sweet little Timothy is our last. I only have to go through all this one more time. In March, Curtis and I will be at a point we've never been at before as parents. It will be the longest amount of time we've gone without getting pregnant! Wohoo!

My, how times change.

From lipstick kisses and red hearts....
... to reminders on sticky notes.
My, how far we've come!

Though there are times when I miss the sweet romantic notes I would leave on Curtis' windshield and the little notes he would leave for me on the nightstand, I couldn't be happier with where we are now. I look at our family, our home, and the places where God has us serving, and I see how we are daily fulfilling our wedding vows to each other. I can also look back, and see how God has grown each of us individually and as a husband and wife.

Even if I could, I wouldn't go back to the days of courtship or early marriage. Though I'm not the same woman I was 11 year ago when I was a young bride, and Curtis isn't the same man he was, God, by his grace, has brought us closer together, solidifying our love for each other. As I talk to friends who are on the brink of marriage, I smile, knowing that they have no clue how wonderful marriage is, and what an amazing sanctification tool it is.

I'm thankful for the fun lipstick kisses memories. But I'm equally as thankful for the orange sticky note memories that we're making each day together.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life around here

The first week in January the kids all had the stomach bug. Thankfully it was very mild and passed quickly.

The second week in January was the week my children decided to destroy my house, room by room.

This week, they're passing around another virus.

I keep telling Curtis, "I need a break!!"

This weekend Timothy started running a temperature. By the beginning of the week, it was over 102 and starting to disturb his sleep. We took him to the pediatrician, and he had an ear infection. We suspect it was a bonus from the virus because the doctor told us that his temp shouldn't have been that high because his ears weren't that bad.

Tuesday afternoon, Micah started having asthma issues.

Wednesday and Thursday both big boys ran temperatures.

And here's the scene this morning.....

Benjamin is fine and so far, Elizabeth has been spared.

We're praying that Micah starts feeling better soon so that my mom can come visit! I'm looking forward to seeing her, and having her help so I can maybe get a bit of a break.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Because sometimes...

... you just need to see what a difference a year and some hard work can make.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


About two years ago, I posted this blog post, asking my readers to let me know which set of curtains worked best for the master bedroom. My goal was to complete my bedroom, making a calm oasis, before Timothy joined our family. Well, we all know how that turned out! Timothy arrived a month early, and my calm oasis was never finished. The master bedroom turned into a kind of nursery, complete with an infant crib, changing table and swing.

And that was okay with us! We were so thankful to have Timothy, but my desire for a grown up, finished room was still there.

A year ago, we put our house on the market. Our bedroom looked good, but didn't really feel like OUR bedroom. There weren't the personal touches that I was hoping for.

This fall, after our house was taken off the market, I decided to start that project again. I collected frames, pictures, vases and ideas.

Today, I FINALLY FINISHED!!!! Though there are still a couple projects I'd like to have in the room, I'm going to wait till our next master bedroom. I think I've found a good balance of making the room show ready, but at the same time making it homey for Curtis and me.

The view from the bedroom door.
I've been wanting to do something with the kids' infant pictures. I found the frames at a garage sale, painted them brown, used scrapbook paper I already had, and printed black and white pictures of each of the kids as infants. The piece of art between the kids' pictures was done and given to us by my sister, Shannon.
The top of Curtis' dresser. The cases were given to us from my other sister, Megan.

Today is a crazy day for Curtis and I. Timothy is sick, we have one car, co-op, deacon's meeting, bible study and preparing the house for bible study. But I'm really looking forward to crawling into bed in my FINISHED bedroom.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What a week

Last week the boys were going through the stomach bug that Elizabeth had. Though I thought we might accomplish some school, or at least work towards getting everyone on a schedule again, it didn't happen. And that was okay.

But that meant, this week, we had to get back on schedule, start school, start co-op, and start dance. I had high expectation, but was hopeful that we'd be able to accomplish everything we needed to.

Monday was an okay day. We had the Findleys over for a play date. I also got to go shopping with my friend Erin. It had been FOREVER since I had a shopping trip with a girlfriend. All in all, a good day.Tuesday was hectic. We had co-op, it was rainy, kinda crazy day. When we got home Tuesday afternoon, I asked the kids to play in their rooms so that I could work out. This is what they did.

Wednesday would be better! I knew it. We started the day off by working on chore charts. Then Elizabeth and I hit the books. While we were doing school, Micah and Benjamin were busy....
Wednesday was filled with many moments like the picture above. The toilet over flowed, Timothy went into the pantry, and I couldn't find him, and the front door was opened, so I was scared to death that he had run off. The kids were wild, foolish, and disobedient.

Thursday morning brought.....
Thursday night, Benjamin didn't put a pull up on, and flooded his bed. I looked at Curtis in complete frustration and said, "They're now destroying stuff in their sleep!" I was so ready for the week to be over.

Friday mornings are going to be a little hectic for this month. I have a Zumba class at 8:45, then Elizabeth has piano at 10. Curtis kindly planned on going into work a little late, so that he could help me get the whinny kids out the door. As we were all about to leave, we discovered Curtis had a flat tire on his car. So I had to take him to work before heading to Zumba.

This afternoon, Benjamin decided to throw mud on all his siblings. And did his siblings do anything to stop him? Did they come to get me? Nope. Four muddy children.

Ahhhhh!!!! When would the madness end?!?!

In all fairness, there have been some highlights to this week.

With the encouragement and motivation of Erin, I'm attempting to do Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred every day for 30 days. Today is day 12, and I haven't missed a day, even with all the craziness.

(Timothy, with my weights, ready to do Jillian with me!)

I also looked SUPER cute on Tuesday for our first day back to co-op. My mom has the best taste, and got me some great clothes to compliment my weight loss.
Speaking of weight loss, I've lost another 2lbs, despite the stress eating and drinking that I've done this week. It's encouraging to me to see that all the work I'm doing with The Shred and Zumba is paying off, and that my metabolism is doing some of the work for me.

Here's hoping my weekend is MUCH calmer than my week's been. I'm looking forward to having Curtis home for a THREE DAY WEEKEND!!! Thanks, MLK.

Monday, January 09, 2012


Every year we make New Year's Resolutions. And I'm sure for many of us, that involves something about being healthy, exercising more, losing weight..... And that's been true for Curtis and I for the past several years. The few pound you gain at the beginning of marriage merged with the few pounds that you gain at the end of your college career. Then we added 3 pregnancies in three years weight, the stress of children with health problems weight, and a master's degree weight.

After 10 years of marriage, we were both overweight, but motivated to fix the problem.

(10 year anniversary)
(11 year anniversary)

This year, as I make resolutions and goals for myself, it is so encouraging to look at these before and after pictures and be able to SEE the results of last year's resolution. Between the two of us, Curtis and I have lost 120lbs.

As I approach a new year, filled with new goals and new challenges, I feel very confident that I can accomplish the goals that I set for myself. My weight loss journey isn't quite over, but knowing that I have and CAN accomplish my goals is so motivating.

As I was talking to a friend yesterday, she put into perspective what Curtis and I have accomplished. It was so encouraging for me too look at where we were a year ago, and see where we are now. If you're facing the "eat healthy", "lose weight", or "exercise more" resolution this year, I hope the journey Curtis and I have been on can encourage you. If we can do it, you can do it!!

Friday, January 06, 2012


Carissa had lots of fun ideas for poses. I had a couple ideas too. Some worked out really well, some, not so much. Here are a few of the shots that aren't my favorite, but make my laugh.

In the picture above, we were trying to recreate a picture that we had taken while we were dating. None of them looked right. And my crazy laughing face doesn't help much.
Poor Curtis. He's not the most flexible guy in the world. He was trying to get into the right position, and had a little trouble at first. This picture makes me laugh because I'm smiling like nothing is wrong and Curtis looks miserable.
Cute idea. Poor execution on our part. Fail.
Curtis falling, and taking me with him.
One idea Carissa had was to have us all six of us lay in on the ground and she would shoot from above us. The kids didn't cooperate, and I ended up looking like this.....
This was one of the first pictures Carissa took. She told us to kiss. We did. She looked at her picture and said, "That looks fake," and walked off. I didn't know what she meant till I saw this picture. She was right. Looks fake.
Timothy just wanted in on the action too!

Family pictures

More awesome pictures from my friend Carissa! Not only did she take the beautiful pictures of Curtis and I, but she also volunteered to take pictures of all six of us. It's hard to get a good family picture, so I was thrilled with these! I've had so much fun framing them and hanging them in our home and in Curtis' new office.

I really liked this idea of having our pictures taken with each of the kids individually. I hope these will be cherished by each of them.

Isn't this picture stunning! Timothy's smiling, everyone's looking..... and then there's Benjamin. Sigh. What an accurate picture of him.


I've been trying to come up with a clever, cute-sey way to summarize 2011. And though I've found several fun ideas, it's just hard to use a cute way to sum up a very hard year.

2011 started as we arrived home from being away from home for nearly 3 weeks, celebrating Christmas with family, but also dealing with the sudden death of my uncle.

We joyfully celebrated Timothy's first year of life. My sister, Shannon, came for a visit, which brought the harsh reality that she would soon be leaving, and heading to Australia for a year to do missions work.

In April, my Papa Kerry passed away. Less than 48 hours later, we welcomed my new nephew. Bittersweet.

Our year continued in a flurry of birthday parties, recitals, broken air conditioners, traveling, and we wrapped up school.

In June my Papa Jimmie passed away.

A week after his funeral my dad was diagnosed with cancer.

During all this, Curtis and I were looking at moving to Michigan.

Our fall began as I started homeschooling TWO, rather than just one. My Dad had surgery, we traveled more, we got a puppy, the big boys played flag football, Elizabeth continued dancing.... life went on.

2011 was a hard year. I faced a lot of hard things. We dealt with a lot. Through it all, I saw God's faithful hand leading us forward. I learned, I loved, I lost, I grew. I'm so thankful for all the joys and trials of 2011.

And I'm praying 2012 will be a calmer year!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Birthday Tea

The day after Christmas we had the joy of celebrating both my Grandmas' birthday with them. Since Thanksgiving, Elizabeth had been wanting to throw a tea party the day after Christmas. When she realized the day was also her Great-Grandma's birthday, she REALLY wanted to host a tea party. With the help of my creative, loving mom, we had a lovely tea party.

For my Grandma's this was the first Christmas AND the first birthday without their husbands. I hope that the love we have for them was evident, and that the day was joyful, despite the sorrow I'm sure they both had.