.

This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have a little boy who is getting ready to be a BIG brother! Our second IVF worked and we are expecting another boy in April 2015 ♥



Friday, December 19, 2014

Democracy in Action


Evidently I haven't posted in over 2 weeks?! I apologize for my absence. I have been internally struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed this month. I am more than halfway thru my pregnancy and I KNOW that it will be over before I realize. There is much more preparation work that I want to do this time around but I feel like I can't focus on ANY of that until the holidays are over and behind me. I am taking it one day at a time until January then I can get busy!

I am happy to say that I am ready for Christmas! I have all of my shopping AND wrapping done, and the presents are waiting patiently underneath the tree for Christmas morning. All of my yummy treats are baked and my out-of-town relatives have been shipped a box of goodies. My cards are sent, the firewood is stacked and ready, and my pantry is full of food waiting to be cooked! Now it is time to sit back and enjoy the festivities before they are over in a flash and it is 2015.

Something else we have been busy doing is new to this blog...I haven't spoken about it publicly because I wanted to get it resolved and over with. Let me share the story that inspired the title of this blog....

Do you recall that we bought our vintage camper in April? Well in around August/September we received a certified letter from a lawyer here in Norman saying that he represented our neighbor (who has never spoken to us in the 8 years we lived here) and that we were in violation of the neighborhood "covenants" by storing the camper in our driveway. He included a copy of these covenants and warned that if we did not comply then we would have a lawsuit against us.

We were absolutely stunned--first by the nerve of this hateful person who would rather hire a lawyer and sue his neighbor than to come over and knock on our door, and second by how we were deceived by our realtor who never disclosed these covenants to us. We had asked specifically when we bought our house in 2006 if there was an HOA, and they said there was not. Well no technically there is not an association but these covenants (that were started in 1977) are still on the records and are enforceable by the homeowners in this addition.
 
To get him off our back while we figured out what to do, we moved our camper to my dad's land for temporary storage. Then in November we got another certified letter from this same lawyer stating that we were still in violation because our trash cans were being stored on the side of our house, and he included a picture of our trash cans as "Exhibit A". He warned this was our last notice and if we did not comply then he was authorized to file a lawsuit.

We got in touch with a real estate lawyer for his legal advice to see if we could go against our realtor for anything and in the end it would not have been worth it to file a lawsuit. As for our neighbor, we had a plan of our own.....
 
Nick and I read the several pages of covenants and found at the end that it said they could be modified in whole or in part by a majority of the homeowners. I immediately got the idea to write a petition to modify several of the pertinent covenants and go door to door for signatures. I did my research and printed a list of the 69 addresses included in my addition with the homeowner name and what year they bought their house. I then typed up the proposed changes that we wanted to make to the covenants and Nick and I set out knocking on doors to spread our message and get signatures.

It took a few weeks due to the changing weather and holidays but we finished up on Saturday and got more than the majority of signatures that we needed! In total we got 51 signatures, and most of our other neighbors had no idea about these covenants either. Yesterday we went to our county clerk's office to notarize our paperwork and file it with the county. It is now officially changed and I will hand out a letter thanking each person who signed to support it.

We are going to my dad's tomorrow morning to pick up our camper and bring it back home!! I won't be surprised if we get another letter from the lawyer but if we do, I will send my OWN letter to him stating that the covenants have been modified and if we hear from him again then we will file harassment charges. I am also not against getting the local news involved......

Don't mess with the bull or you'll get the horns :)

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Time Fun

Happy December! We have been enjoying the festivity in the air. Our Christmas lights went up the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and I have the inside all fancied up. The only thing we don't have is our tree. We usually get a fresh tree sometime during the first week of December, so we will probably go find one this weekend.

On Tuesday they had a family Christmas party at my work with Santa, cookies, hot cocoa, and face painting. Brad loved and got a great picture with Santa!






Today was a family night at our local museum so I invited my brother and his son to go with me and Brad to check out the dinosaurs. The boys had a fun time running around and checking out the exhibits.




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Sunday, November 30, 2014

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies!


I found this recipe in my cookbook and I have no idea where I got it from. I have been wanting to make cookies but everything takes a ton of butter, and butter is one thing that I am super stingy with right now. This recipe calls for NO butter so I decided to give it a shot!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 box yellow cake mix
1c PB
1/2c oil
2tbs water
2 eggs
1/2 bag milk chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat 350, mix all ingredients except chocolate chips until well blended. Fold in chips then place by spoonful onto cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 min until golden brown, then remove and cool on rack.
 
* * * * * * * *

I was curious how these would turn out with a cake mix but they turned out fabulous! You would never guess the ingredients just by looking at them or eating one. I changed the recipe a bit by adding the chocolate chips and I am happy that I did that. The peanut butter flavor is pretty subtle and not overpowering. I highly recommend this! These are ingredients that you usually have in the pantry so go make some!

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

5 Months and HALFWAY Along!

On Tuesday I hit the 20 week mark! Only 20 more weeks to go until I can hold this new little baby in my arms and kiss his furry head :) Hopefully he won't make me wait a few extra days like his big brother did.

2 weeks ago (the same day as the gender reveal party) we had our Level II ultrasound, so here are some pics from that day.....





I can definitely tell my belly is getting bigger and more people are noticing the "bump" now. Thank God for maternity clothes! They are so comfy. I still haven't broken down and gotten maternity jeans...I've been squeaking by with stretchy pants and my homemade belly band for my old jeans. I'm sure I'll cave soon with the cold weather coming in.

Here are some belly pics for you guys!


I am proud to say that I have only gained 6lb of pregnancy weight so far! I am ignoring the fact that I had gained 4lb of IVF-medication weight the week before.....Ha! According the internets, I should expect to gain about a pound per week from now until delivery. Doesn't that sound fun??

As for pregnancy related symptoms, I have none! I feel great and seem to finally be sleeping better. My sinuses have gone haywire but I think part of that is my usual autumn allergies. I remember having exaggerated allergies with my last one too. I feel a bit overwhelmed with already being halfway and with the stress of the holidays upon me. There is a lot of prep work I want to have done soon but I can't really do anything with Thanksgiving and Christmas taking up my time and energy. I think in January when things calm down I am going to jump in with both feet so that I have nothing that needs to be done when the baby comes.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Thanksgiving with your family! I am cooking a few dishes and we are all going to my mom's tonight for her dinner at 5pm, then I am cooking a big dinner of my own tomorrow for us and my dad is going to join us for that. This weekend will be full of taking down the turkey stuff and putting up the Christmas stuff!


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

The BIG Gender Reveal!

Let me start off by saying that almost everyone thought we were having a girl! On my poll here 66% of voters were for PINK, and at our gender reveal party Thursday evening there was a lot of pink shirts!

Thursday morning was our 4 month checkup and level II ultrasound. Brad went with us because he was VERY excited to see a live ultrasound, but we told the tech we didn't want him to hear the result. She wrote it on a piece of paper for us, so for the rest of the day Nick and I were the only ones who knew!

That evening we had a big gender reveal party for our close friends and family! Everyone was really excited and very anxious to find out the results. I invited everyone to wear the color of their guess, and there was a majority of pink! I of course wore blue because I preferred a boy :) I had blue food and pink food, and our big reveal was a black balloon with colored confetti in it. After everyone made a plate, we got the party started!




 ^Nick's best friend Terry and his girlfriend Meghan

 ^Me and my mumsy

 ^My SIL Sarah and my MIL Penny

 ^Me and my dad



Everyone counted down from 10, and Nick wielded a very large knife to pop the mystery balloon.....



BLUE!!
 
 ^Cupcakes that my SIL Amy made for her guess. She chose wisely!

 ^Brad and his cousin Zoe

 ^Brad eating a reveal cupcake that I made


In the middle of running around to stores for the final party preparations, I organized a quick photo shoot with Brad to make our official gender reveal picture!! (Idea courtesy of Pinterest, of course). I posted this on Facebook during the party so it was a surprise to everyone at the same time!



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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Welcome November! Pics from the Week

I have just a few more Halloween pics to sneak in! Brad had his school party on Friday so of course he had a blast wearing his costume and playing with all of his friends.





The day before Halloween Nick helped Brad carve the pumpkin. They had a fun time and it turned out great!






A few days ago I colored my hair--brown on the roots for the grays, then red on the bottom ombre part! I love it!


Tonight Nick and I attended a beautiful wedding of a girl I work with. It was the first time either of us had been to a Catholic ceremony, so that part was new and interesting! The reception was beautiful and I pray she'll have a life full of wedded bliss.







 Right now I am 17wks and 4 days pregnant, only FIVE more days until our next ultrasound!!! I just can't wait until that day, then our gender reveal party will be that night! Be sure to cast your vote on the side ---------->>


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween!


That is my little giraffe! On Sunday evening we took him to Edmond for the Storybook Forest. We got there just as the sun was setting and he enjoyed seeing all of the storybook characters and getting candy! At the end there is a hayride and games. He had a great time!






I have to work tomorrow and I'm *hoping* to get off in time to go with them trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. This weekend I will have to squeeze in time to take down the Halloween decorations and put up the turkey stuff!

In other news---we find out in 2 weeks if we are having a boy or girl!!!! I put a poll on the side ------> so that you can vote on what you think it is!

 
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Home From the Beach

I would like to start off this post by pointing out that it is my 500th post for this blog!! Thank you for reading.

Late Sunday night we returned from our short getaway to Cancun, Mexico! We left early Thursday morning and arrived that afternoon for 4 days and 3 nights of relaxation and beach time. This was our first time there and we didn't really know what to expect, but it was AMAZING and we both had a fabulous time. Out of all of the beaches we have been to, this is definitely at the top and the best part is there were NO JELLYFISH spotted anywhere on the trip. Here are the highlights:


Sunrise on the plane


 Arrival at the Cancun airport
 

Our all-inclusive resort on the coast

 

View from our balcony
 


The water was unbelievably clear and blue
 


The mandatory "sandy feet" picture
 


We walked up and down the beach one evening and watched the moon rise for a couple of hours.
 



 

On Saturday we headed up the coast to the harbor to take an all-day boat ride to the island of Isla Mujeres. We snorkeled, swam, shopped, then had lunch on the beach!
 

That's me! I call this a "kite swing"
 



The views on the boat were just amazing. So beautiful!
 


Pulling into the harbor on the island
 



On our way back to Cancun from the island, the crew on the boat turned up the music and had some fun with costumes and drinks
 

Coming back to Cancun
 


It was a great little getaway for us, and Brad of course had a fun time with his grandparents :) When he is older he will get the privilege of going on big trips with us. I know we will be returning to Cancun in the future. We were really impressed with the kindness and helpfulness of the locals down there.

I took an underwater camera and used it up while I was snorkeling. I will get those developed soon and hopefully they turned out well! Once I get everybody unpacked and the house back in order, I will make time to get my brand new embroidery machine out of the box!


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