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 8 and 2 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

These are self-explanatory...

(my brother Eric with his wife Teri)

(my dad)

(mouthful of marshmallow)

(licking the back of a chair...)

(jello cake!)


Friday, May 27, 2011

Hobbies and Reminiscing

It's the end of the day, and I just realized it is May 26. Call me silly, but my heart still swells when it is the 26th of any month because that is when my little boy gets one month older. I always look back and remember how much my life has changed in the last two years...

One year ago I had an active baby who was almost done with his bottle and formula, was crawling everywhere, and grew closer everyday to being a toddler! Now he IS a toddler, and our life is full of the joy he has brought to us.

I'm sure all mothers look back at their babies and wonder what they will look like when they grow up, what they will become, how they will do in school, how they will treat their friends...I can't wait to see how my little boy turns out!

I have also realized that life is all about family--not about silly problems, or friends that come and go. Too many people get so caught up in their jobs or friends that they forget how important it is to make memories with your own family. When you are young, friends are how you measure your "worth", but when you become an adult and have your own family to raise--then you see how valuable a strong bond with your spouse and children is, and I want to do my best to keep that my priority.

Lately I have been catching up on my scrapbooking. I am sorry to say I had to catch up from Thanksgiving 2010! Usually I do it every couple months and stay caught up. This time with the holidays, a toddler, and having two jobs--I just have not had the free time! I always get overwhelmed when I have a lot to scrap, but once I get started I remember how much I love it and how much I enjoy sharing our memories with others.

I put my heart and soul into my scrapbooking--this are records that will last forever and generations will look back on to see how we lived and what we did! I wish I had journals to look back at what my family used to do. And I don't just glue pictures on paper and write notes in between. I carefully choose colors, ribbon, embellishments, and all kinds of other doodads to accentuate what the picture is conveying. It is truly one of my favorite hobbies!

My other hobbies are sewing, crocheting, gardening, cooking, and now--couponing! I have had my sewing/embroidery machine for a little over 2 years now and I have come very far in teaching myself how to sew. It is hard when you don't know anyone else that can show you how to do something! Thank God for Youtube! That is how I learned to knit (which I do NOT like).


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Italian Festival 2011

Sunday we hit the road for McAlester and attended our second Italian Festival! It is a 2 hour drive each way out to SE Oklahoma, but we have a great time so it is worth it! This was Brad's first time with us, and it was my job to sit in the back and keep him happy for 4 hours in the car...

My dad drove to our house, then he rode with all of us in our PT Cruiser from there. Him and Nick sat up front and talked about guy stuff, and Brad and I sat in the back playing, snacking, and looking at the Sunday paper. It was overcast and warming up when we got there, but after awhile the clouds cleared off and it heated up quickly to the mid 90's!

At the entrance there were several Panteras and a Lamborghini on display, so of course the guys had to go over there and gawk at them!

By then it was around noon so we headed straight for the Italian food tent and got our trays filled with delicious pastas, salad, bread, meatballs, and sausage! Brad sampled each thing we had and his favorite was the meatballs!

After eating we walked around the fair to see all of the different vendors and rides there. It seemed there were a lot more food vendors there this year than last! Gourmet Italian food, gyros, BBQ, corndogs, funnel cakes, ice cream, etc. I told dad that next year we may have to forego the food tent and just go around sampling the different vendors!

There were several carnival rides there but of course my little boy is still a bit too little for most of them! We decided on the carousel and his daddy had fun riding it with him!

After that, we went the building with all of the different craft booths and wine vendors in it. Right before we left, we had to get our usual--Nick got a homemade ice cream bar and I got an extra long corndog for the road! Brad enjoyed sampling each of these from us.

I expected Brad to nap on the way back because it was already 2pm and he had been up way longer than usual. He had a different plan! He only napped maybe 20 minutes of the trip halfway thru, but thankfully he was in pretty good spirits for me. I on the other hand was very tired and could have used a nap!

Yesterday was my sister-in-law's birthday so we all 3 hit the road again and headed out to Foster for a cookout and birthday party. There was road work on the usual highway we take so a 1hr drive there turned into a 1 1/2 hour drive. We took a different route back to avoid it, but got stuck behind a slow semi so it took another 1 1/2 hours to get home! We were very ready to be out of the car by the time we got home. No more roadtrips for awhile!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flowers and Friends!

I hope everyone is having a great Saturday today and is not too disappointed that the world did not end as predicted. Those who are TRUE Christians will know that we can not know the day or the hour that this will happen!

I want to start off with pictures of my backyard flowers! I planted them about a month ago and they are doing wonderful. I stuck with my usual begonias and spike, added more dianthus (not pictured) and also decided to try out some celosia! It is the fushia-colored spikey flower.

If you recall, shortly after our NY trip all of the seedlings I had planted shriveled up and died...so this time I bought an already growing tomato plant, then added tomato seeds in the same planter. So far they are all doing well! The big plant has a few blooms on it, and the seedlings are about 3-4 inches tall.

I was off today because we are going to the Italian Festival tomorrow. We decided to have a cookout and invite our favorite couple friends over! The weather was hot but nice and it went good for our first cookout of the year. My grilling skills were a bit rusty but it went well!

Rachel has a little girl named Jet that is turning one next month, and she is due with little girl Tinley in August! Since I have a touch of baby-fever setting in, I am fully prepared to help with baby needs (and monogrammed gifts)! Plus Brad loves playing with cute little blonde girls!

We all had a great time together just hanging out. I put Brad to bed around 9pm, and they stayed and talked with us until almost 11pm! Once Nick starts telling stories, it's hard to get him to stop, lol! It is so nice to finally find a down-to-earth couple that we both get along with, and they have a baby close to Brad's age! We are all looking forward to getting a waterside cabin together next month at the Illinois River!

Tomorrow we are getting up bright and early to drive 2 hours into SE Oklahoma to attend the Italian Festival again! We had a great time last year and this time Brad is going with us. Check back for pics!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We Will Remember

Today my family went to the OKC Memorial Museum. For those out of state who are not familiar with this, it is a memorial for the 168 people who were killed in the terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in downtown OKC on April 19, 1995.

At the time it happened I was a mere 8 years old and attending a private school just a couple of miles from the site. I heard the blast and remember the chaos, but I do not recall much of people talking to me about what had happened afterward. But I do remember every year spending a moment in silence on April 19 to remember those who lost their lives. In 2001 the primary suspect--Timothy McVeigh--was executed on my 15th birthday.

There is an indoor part to the museum where you will find pictures, news footage, artifacts, debris, and countless other mementos from that sad day, and the path through the museum tells the story of the bombing, the rescue efforts, the survivors, and the capture of the criminals responsible. It was a very moving experience, and I am glad that I was finally able to pay my own respects to my neighbors.

On the outside is a reflecting pond and 168 chairs to signify a place for each of the babies, children, and adults who were killed.

As I have gotten older, and can understand a bit more how destructive this day was for the many family members and friends who were affected. And now as a parent, I can only imagine the devastation I would feel to find out my own child was mercilessly killed in a bombing. There is a popular picture from the rescue efforts of a firefighter carrying a small child out of the rubble. This child is very bloody and banged up with no clothes on. And the part that makes my heart stop is that this child was just a few months younger than my own son is now... despite efforts to save her, she was pronounced dead at the hospital later that day.

For those interested, you can click here to see their website and read more about the museum that will help us always remember those lives that were lost 16 years ago.


Friday, May 13, 2011

May Days

Remember me talking about the great deal I got on a 16x20 photo canvas from canvasondemand.com? Well it arrived the other day and looks fabulous!! The colors are brilliant, and it looks right at home on the mantel:

I went ahead and pulled down the other two 8x10 canvases that I had by the stairs so that they could snuggle up next to the big one. Here is another view of the whole fireplace/mantel...

I am very happy with the order, and I highly recommend them!!

So I have started another hobby, and I recently finished a "project" for it: my coupon box! It has about 30 envelopes that are labeled with categories of coupons. Right now I have them in a photo storage box, but it is a bit too big so I am going to keep my eye out for a smaller one.

To clarify, I had been using coupons before but it was really just like everyone else--make my regular shopping list and whatever is on there that I have a coupon for then I use it. But there are two big differences in this way of couponing: 1) only use coupons for things when they are on sale 2)stockpile enough product to last 6-8wks until it goes on sale again. That is how you save big money! I have only been doing it a couple of weeks now. I subscribed to the Sunday/Wednesday paper, and also to the magazine All You (it has lots of coupons in it).

Now don't get it confused with that stupid pseudo-reality show Extreme Couponing...we in the coupon game do NOT like that show. It is so unrealistic. Nobody is going to have that many coupons, need that much mustard, or spend that much time "couponing" every week. Plus a lot of the stores break their coupon rules just for the effect of the show. Hopefully these crazy people donate all of their unneeded items to charity after their 15 minutes of fame on TV...

Anywho, I have a decent amount of coupons already and have already done 3 successful shopping trips! Two were at Homeland, and one was at CVS. At all of them I saved 60-70% off of my total bill! Right now I am just working on getting my stockpile up so I am still doing most of my basic grocery shopping at Walmart. But once I get going in a month or two, I should be saving big time! Me and my mom are each other's coupon buddy so we always talk about good sales and exchanged unused coupons. I also have a couple other girls at work who are big couponers that are teaching me tricks! Nick and I are so used to buying generic everything that this is like a luxury to finally have name-brand food, LOL!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Celebrating Mothers

Today was my SECOND Mother's Day!! I worked last night so my dear hubby called me shortly after midnight to tell me "Happy Mother's Day" and see how my night was going. I *thankfully* had a very easy night and got to relax and chat with my friend Rachel! We are working on planning our joint family vacay to the Illinois River next month. More info on that later though ;)

When I got off work that morning I headed to my mom's house for--what else? Coffee and chit chat!! I wished her a happy Mother's Day and spent a couple of hours over there before heading home to go to bed. When I got up this afternoon, Nick had helped Brad "write" me a note saying that he loves me. I cut some fresh roses from our backyard and we all 3 headed down to Foster to spend the evening with Nick's family.

His mom cooked a delicious ham dinner for all of us. Some storms were close by so we spent the rest of our time there sitting outside talking while the children played and the clouds blew by. Then little boy started getting tired so we packed up and headed back home--he was asleep before we hit the highway! When we got home, I put him right to bed and while I was doing that, Nick surprised me with some fresh flowers and a nice glass of Moscato! We sat together on the back patio with a candle and enjoyed the breezy weather.

Tomorrow my mom is coming here at noon and I am taking her out to a fabulous little Italian restaurant here in Norman. Then we are going to come back to my house and work on our coupon boxes! We went to a coupon class together last week and we are both ready and gung-ho to beat the system and perfect the coupon game! We are still working on getting started, so when we make a bit more progress I will update on that also!

I hope all of the mothers out there had a fabulous day and remember--it's not really about all the gifts you get or getting taken out to dinner. It is about remembering how blessed we are to be a mother and to get the chance to earn a child's love. I am beyond blessed with my little miracle baby who has been so healthy, a great sleeper, and has his daddy's good looks! I know he loves me, and hopefully soon he will understand how much I love him!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Helping Daddy Wash Cars

Tonight I got off work from my day job in time to actually see the sun AND spent lots of time with my boys!! I had a spontaneous urge to grab everybody up and celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Taco Bueno!! So that's just what we did. I knew the "real" Mexican restaurants would be packed and I've been craving Bueno since I saw a commercial the other day. It was delish (even tho they were out of guacamole) and Brad probably ate as much as we did!

When we got home, Nick decided to wash both of our cars since it had cooled down a bit outside and Brad was full of energy. We all 3 stayed outside and Brad loved running around in the water and helping his daddy out! It was too adorable. Of course I had to take a bunch of pics!

To start with, here is my beautiful grass that is sprouting up! I planted it myself ;)

Is that not the cutest thing!? I know he will have a blast this summer playing in the pool.

Needless to say he got soaked and got a bath before bed! I was very happy to snuggle him and put him to bed myself because I couldn't last night, and I won't be able to the next 2 nights either. My heart just melts when he lays his head on my shoulder and tucks his arm under mine.....*sigh*

While I was bathing him, Nick went out front and got a picture of a BAT on our front porch. Yes, a bat.

I recently had a big custom order for embroidered shirts, and on the last one my machine decided to try and eat the shirt. The thread kept getting snagged by the bobbin, and I can't get it to quit. I ended up having to hand embroider the back of the last shirt to look like the others--I think it turned out pretty good! But now my machine has to go to the doctor next week so that I can embroider a birthday shirt for my soon-to-be 2 year old!!

I'm getting up early tomorrow to help my mom with her big garage sale day 2. Fun fun!

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