Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wonderful Time Spent With Family

This year for Thanksgiving we got to spend the day with both sides of the family. Tuesday night I started on the pies. This year I had a couple new recipes that I wanted to try so I HAD to make test pies, and they turned out great. Wednesday is when the real baking and prepping started. Before I knew it 8 hours had passed and 4pies had been baked, cranberry sauce made, cooled and then chilled. Another new recipe I tried was Roasted Asparagus with Feta Cheese, so I did a trial run on Wednesday as well. I made some garlic artichoke hummus for pre-meal snacking. Wednesday was a very busy day!!

With the sounding of my alarm at 3:30 am the turkey was put into the oven (with the help of my husband of course), and Thanksgiving day had begun. Let me tell you, I love oven bags for turkey. There is nothing like being able to put the turkey in the oven and going back to sleep knowing that I don't have to baste the turkey and it will STILL be moist. Once the yams and asparagus were finished we headed to Trent and Jessica's where she had prepared the rest of the meal. She did an absolutely amazing job and this was her first time making a Thanksgiving dinner and turkey. It really does not surprise me though, Jessica is a pretty amazing girl who has become such a great friend. It was great hanging with the cousins and grandma.

Next we were off to the other side of the family. It was so much fun hanging with the family, talking, laughing and watching Cody bust his moves...the boy can get down!! As ornery as that little guy can be sometimes, he sure can make us smile. I love to see my family happy, especially the ones that are working through struggles. Tough times are what strengthen us as individuals and sometimes we just need to experience them to put things into perspective.

Although family time was awesome, Black Friday (or shall I say Thursday?) was a bust. Usually I am a die hard Black Friday participant, but this year opening the doors as early as some of the stores did was such a disappointment to me. Despite Walmart's claims of "there will be no lines since we are opening at 10pm" there was indeed a line that went from the front of the store out to the street half way to Costco. Figuring we would get inside and everything would be gone, we moved on to the next store which proved to be equally as disappointing. Eric and I decided we would go home. We went to Walmart at 8:30am on Friday and still got all the stuff we wanted. We hit Target, TJ Maxx, Sears, Walmart (another location), Victoria's Secret, and Best Buy. Our Christmas shopping is almost done...yay!! Tonight we will catch up on our sleep :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let the Month of Thanks Continue!

Initially this was supposed to be my blog entry to kick off November, the month of thanks. Too bad that crazy thing called life got in the way. So, I deleted my saved document and started all over today, November 15th. Each day I have been thinking of how lucky I am and about the great life that I am blessed with. I was fortunate to have something I was grateful for each day.

When I was younger, I thought I had it all planned out. I thought I knew exactly how my life was supposed to be. HA, I had no idea!!! This month I have thought about all the blessings in my life and how they have changed me as a person. I have amazing family and friends, and my three sons are pretty awesome too.

In my family I have people that I can talk straight to and get honest feedback from, they are always there to lend a hand to help, an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. Throughout the years my family has had their struggles with many things including, drugs, and alcohol. Even with all the struggles, my family has some of the biggest hearts I have ever seen. I love each one of them for who they are and what they bring to our family!!

They say that true friends are hard to come by, and I have found this to be true. I have fewer than a handful of people that I consider true friends, they also happen to be really great people! Something special about my family and friends is that we don't always see eye to eye on issues, yet we continue to love and respect one another. We don't talk everyday, or visit with each other on a regular basis, but we are still there to celebrate the good times, laugh about the silly things our kids do, and be there when we are needed. This is what true friendship is and I am so grateful to have the family and friends in my life to share it with.

My boys, well...they are pretty amazing! Each one of them is unique. These boys are constantly making me smile and laugh. And I find that sometimes it is so hard to discipline them when all I want to do is laugh!! When I was young I envisioned myself being a mommy to little girls: dressing them up, doing their hair, playing dolls with them and having tea parties. Turns out that it just wasn't meant to be, and I am MORE than ok with that now.

Each time I was convinced that I was having a girl, I think because I wanted it so bad. When I was pregnant with Isaac, I was REALLY sure he was a girl. The day that I was due to have my ultrasound, I stopped by my cousins house to chat. It was then that she told me her cousin had passed away from an overdose, he left two little boys behind. At that moment I decided that I no longer cared what the gender of my baby was, I was just glad that he was healthy. All along God knew exactly what I could handle...I am so glad that God doesn't just give us what we want and pray for, he gives us what is best for us. God did however bless me with three neices that I could play barbies with...I mean have tea parties with and do their hair. It is fun every once in awhile, but dang to have to do that daily, umm, no thanks! Doing my hair and make-up alone is enough of a task!

Andrew is a smart kid, he is witty, such a momma's boy and overall just a good kid, soon to be adult. He has such a great heart, and is so much fun to be around. It is so funny to watch him say the things to his brothers that I have said to him his whole life, it is like he has those "ah-ha, this is what mom meant" moments. It took me so long to get there, I was so stubborn. He is not the typical teenager who gets into trouble. He doesn't befriend a certain "type" of person, they don't all dress the same, very much different in fact. I love that he trusts me enough to come to me with the happenings in his life and for advice or just to talk. He is a lot like me when I was younger as far as learning goes, he struggled with mainstream learning but is rocking it at Charter! I am so proud of the effort he has made to graduate school, he is on track to graduate early. He loves music, he and his friends can be found at Guitar Center often trying out new equipment and playing the guitar and drums.

Eric is also a smart boy, and has no problem with learning. I knew he was smart but was blown away at his school conferences. His scores on the MAPS testing were at a 10th grade level, and he was receiveing A's, a B+ and an F. He quickly found out through that F that NOT turning in a project could be detrimental to his grade. He really enjoys science, sports and video games. He is still such a cuddly and lovey boy at 11 years old. He is playing the drums in band this year so we went to a music store to get his book. There, I found a book for beginning singing that came with a CD. As we were listening to the CD, I realized he has an ear for music and understands it. Me...not so much. He has come such a long way behavior wise. As annoying as he finds his little brother, he has great restraint when Isaac does something like punch him in the face. That is definately something we are working on!! This year marked Eric's 5th year in tackle football. He has become such an excellent player and has much heart when it comes to playing the game.

Isaac is my baby boy. He is silly, smart, artistic and a super sensitive kid. This year he finally found the joy in reading, YAY!!! It had been a struggle up until this year. Like his big brothers, Isaac also has an interest in science. He loves to go to Lakeshore Learning to see the types of science kits that they have. He once used an entire box of baking soda and 3/4 of a bottle of vinegar (the one from costco...the REALLY big one) on the front sidewalk to make a volcano. He is very artistic, loves to draw, color, paint and he is constantly creating things out of stuff he finds around the house. It is always interesting to see what he comes up with. This boy of mine cracks me up with some of the things he does. I went through some stuff to donate: purses, shoes, scarves, and clothes, and he goes into the garage and puts some of this stuff on, strutting like a model on a runway. Here he is in some pink heals, a scarf to match and just his shorts! After he realized I found this funny, he continued his runway session with other equally fashionable ensembles. He loves to make people laugh. He loves to ride his bike and do tricks and is working on learning to ride a skateboard. The skateboard wasn't as easy for him as the bike. When he was 4 he took off his training wheels (yep, he did it himself) and jumped on the bike and started riding it. He is always finding new ways to amaze us.

My kids are pretty amazing. No matter what my kids do, say, or how they behave the love I have for them will never, ever change. Isaac asks me (a lot) "Will you love me even if I do something bad?" I tell him "Of course I will", then he says "Something really, really bad?". Then I say "I wouldn't like what you did, but would still love you." Unconditional love, they know that no matter what mistakes are made my love will always remain unchanged. Although I have to say that this repeated question of "really, really bad?" has got me a little nervous, lol. He assures me that he has no evil schemes up his sleeve.

I am going to close this out with giving thanks to my best friend, my husband. There is so much about Eric that I am thankful for. Most importantly he is a great husband and father, there is nothing that he would not do for us. He is adventurous and keeps us on our toes. He has been so involved in raising our boys, he taught all three of them how to tie their shoes, and he helps with every aspect of the care of our boys and our home. Sometimes I am amazed at how much he does and is willing to do for us. There are days that I have been so busy with school work or running around that I didn't quite get to everything. I forget to take something out for dinner sometimes or don't get to the latest disaster that the kids have made, and he NEVER complains. He understands that I don't always have enough time or that I get so wrapped up in my school work that I forget things like, oh taking out dinner...oopsie!

He has supported everything that I have wanted to do like going into the Army, surrogacy and going back to school. While I was away for those 8 months of training, he made sure our boys were taken care of, he acted as both mom and dad. I know how hard it is to have to be both parents, and he did it and did it well.

When I came to him with my idea of wanting to become a surrogate, he was unfamiliar with it but supported me. Surrogacy is one of the things that has made a big impact on our lives, it wasn't just me, he too was a huge part of both journies. He drove me to my transfers, gave me injections, sat with me through the sad and scary times of my journies and has just gone above and beyond to help and support me through everything. Now that I am going to school, same thing. He has been so supportive and I don't think I could have done it without him. I am so happy that we are where we are today, and I wouldn't change a thing about our life together!!