Sunday, December 30, 2012

Back from almost dead

I hope you all had a lovely holiday!
We had a great time with our families- and all of my 6 siblings were home at my mom's for Christmas this year! It was extra special with my two baby nieces there, and my brother who is a Captain in the Army and will deploy to Afghanistan next month :(. We cherished our time... but....
All three kids had the pukes, a few of us had flu-like symptoms, and upon driving home on Friday (which I shouldn't have done), I fell into bed and did not wake up until now, Sunday (I think) morning. I had every possible virus/bacterial infection to have at once. Fever, puking, sinus infection, probably strep throat, body aches, and total exhaustion. Fun! Drugs are starting to work, but dude, that was scary. I couldn't function, not one ounce. Right now I can't stand up for more than a few minutes but I feel alive, which is amazing!

I'll post soon about our Christmas craziness. Here is a family photo... I got bangs. It's fun but I feel like they make my cheeks look fat. Plus I'm pale due to sickness/lack of sun. I need a makeover! Everyone else looks darling, as usual! (Pete still in pj's... his day to puke...)


Thanksgiving!

***this was originally written after thanksgiving- just was able to publish now. more soon... I think I got the picture problem solved. Merry Christmas!***


We had a great holiday! I forgot my camera, but hope to gather pictures from my sister. I found these pics on my camera from last week, and thought... "toys? who needs toys?" ... not my kids :).

rigging up a vine to swing on

yeehaw! 



the fort all the kids built in the woods... love it! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'll figure it out later

The picture thing- I'll figure it out later.
This blog will still be here when I'm ready to come back...
After exams.
Hopefully I'll hear something about Nursing school (for this first round of admissions)?
Hopefully Zach will survive taking Boards 3 days after Christmas (this will be his unbreak-break).
I'll reassess this little writing space later. Real life being lived... full of awesome kids, kids throwing epic tantrums, kids turning into pre-teenagers already (judging by a certain daughter's attitude), parents studying hard, parents loving their kids fully and attempting not to kick them to mars in the middle of their fights and sassiness, all of us having a BLAST with friends and playing outside and not cooking and getting ready for Christmas.
I'll keep documenting our family stuff here... eventually.
To anyone out there reading... hope you are well!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

bummer!

well, I have this lovely post sitting in drafts because blogger won't let me upload any more pictures. And this blog isn't even that old! Apparently I have reached my picture limit and now have to upgrade? pay? I haven't read the fine print yet, but it's annoying I'm sure. I never knew there was a limit to pictures on a blog. Since I'm sure blogger reads posts and spies on its users, maybe one of you spies could let me know what's up? Anyone else have any advice/ideas? I'm not up for paying... hmmm.....

Anyway, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. We didn't travel too far this year, which was a treat because driving 5 hours with 3 kids and not a lot of gas money and a lot of studying to do can be... stressful. To say the least.

I was going to show you some cute pictures of our "black friday" hike... since we're pretty anti-consumeristic these days, with that whole "lack of income" thing ;). We're not big shoppers anyway, and never have been. Zach loves me for that! ha! Hiking is waaaay better than shopping. Love the NC mountains! Then we came home and decked the halls... the kids had a great time decorating.

Okay. off to study... lemme know what you think of the blogger picture thing... if I even have any readers left???

Monday, November 19, 2012

color

exams and parties and classes galore...
But this sight of Autumn, before its edges start to blend with the winds of winter, reminds me of a final, deep, contented last breath. I could learn from these colors...
blue sky






photo by Pete :)



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

love, true love...

We live on this beautiful piece of land, owned by our landlord, of course. A lot of people stop to admire it, and there have even been weddings here! The son of some neighbors a few houses down got married here in the summer, and this past weekend we spied on another wedding taking place. It was the son of our landlord's good friend. So delightful to watch, and to be aware that we are surrounded by such beauty! We are lucky lucky lucky.
Leah and I spied on the guests gathering at the gazebo 

after it was over, we went to check it out! 

such a gorgeous, simple arrangement

The sweet couple had nothing but family and friends gathered around, sweet flowers, and the beauty of the land to start their married life together... I LOVE how simple it was! 
I love living here! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

my very favorite

It's November... Thanksgiving time!

Unfortunately, I hear more Americans grumbling about politics than being grateful.

Let's review: We just had an election, where all citizens over the age of 18 were free to vote for the candidate of their choosing. There was no bloodshed and no civil unrest. We had a peaceful election. Half the country didn't get who they wanted to be president next, and yet there is no rioting, and things are calm and respectful, while those people are STILL free to express their disappointment.  I believe that our country is ultimately a good, hopeful place. I'm very proud to be an American and very happy to have learned from so many other countries and cultures too. I respect our President and believe that we should support him and pray for him.

I think we need go get back to gratitude. To help, here is my VERY FAVORITE hymn. Of all time. Since I was a little girl. It is just awesome.

Also, please keep my friend Tara and her family in your thoughts and prayers. I posted about her brother Ryan a few weeks ago. He passed away last week. Offer up peace and hope for all those souls who will be deeply missing him in the coming days, months, and years. And be grateful for the time you have with your loved ones! Every day is a gift.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween happened...

It did! It was fun. We went to our besties' neighborhood and hung out and ate a lot and the daddies took the kids out. They only lost 2 kids! And NONE of my kids got lost. Don't worry, the others were promptly recovered by a responsible aunt and a responsible friend. We are lucky like that. But remember, the DADdies were in charge. Just wanted to reiterate.

Last week was one of those where all the stars aligned (jobs, class, halloween events, zach studying like a maniac, kid getting in trouble at school, etc) to create pure stress. It was fun*.

*not fun.

This weekend has been fabulous recovery time, and that extra hour helped a lot! I'm about ready to submit a very important nursing school application, so I've worked on that between studying sessions for my phys exam on spinal pathways/nerves. I'm such a dork that this is actually enjoyable to me. DORK. Even if I don't get in, and of course there's a big chance that I won't, it's still fun to pretend like I'm 21 and filling out school applications :). Maybe going back to school will reverse the course of my gray hairs...

Sorry, I forgot about my #1 life project(s)... those 3 kids of mine... in their halloween costumes! Here they are...

the gypsy

the wolverine 

the army guy with red eyes and orange teeth (zombie army guy!)

I do think they're pretty cute. 
I'm very grateful for my kids and their creativity... they know we don't have extra cash for new costumes, and just decided to dress up with their hand-me-down dress-up clothes that they love to play with. They are so understanding and rad like that. I love them a lot.

Happy November! Have a great week...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Treat!

My kids don't like the tricks so much. Treats for us! (and DUH, I steal their candy.)

We carved these pumpkins two weeks ago, and then they promptly rotted on a warm day. Oops! I keep trying to teach the kids about the whole concept of "patience"... not sinking in yet... ha!

I'll post some costume photos after tonight! Sam is going in the worn out old wolverine costume with nothing on his head (he HATES anything on his face/head) so he's easy. Pete will be an "army guy" like his Uncle Tyler, and Leah will be a gypsy (interestingly, two of my sisters are actual gypsies, adopted from Romania, and they are ethnically Roma or "gypsy" as they're commonly called. A bit of history for your Halloween...).

Have fun, be safe, and say some prayers for our north east friends dealing with so much yuck. So sorry for all of you dealing with the storm aftermath.
carving... (we roasted the seeds. yum)

say cheese

all aglow

artsy fartsy picture

Friday, October 26, 2012

still here...

October is such a great month, and IT is the one that speeds by? not fair! But yes, I'm still here. I have some fun pumpkin carving pictures that I keep forgetting to upload and I have nothing to say about politics here, so this is quite the boring blog to read. Our days are filled with homework, ballet, piano, more homework, and lots of playing outside. We're going hiking this weekend (if it's not too soggy) and I can't wait to be outside on a mountain. My head is swimming with names of bones and nerves of the spinal cord and making myself look grand as I fill out nursing school applications (while wondering if I'm insane for even attempting this education with three kids). I want to go for it- I want to do this, so any positive and happy thoughts prayers you could send out to my application would be very appreciated ;). If I get in, it will be a crazy and intense four semesters, but I've survived various other crazy and intense life "seasons"... so I believe I can make it work. I will most likely come back here in a  year and laugh at myself and barely be hanging on, but that's what makes life exciting, no?

By the way, someone asked me the other day how I "do it all"... to which I promptly laughed hysterically. Because this is what I don't do: clean. or cook really. Or wash my car. Or shop. And my kids sometimes wear clothes a few times in a row (not back-to-back though, because I have to fool the teachers). My house still looks (somewhat) fine, I still have a few friends who don't mind a little dust, and I spend time doing what truly matters: being with my kids, hangin' with my husband, finishing up whatever work I have, studying for my class, and loving our friends however we can. We are so, so lucky. I'm pretty sure I'll look back on this time and appreciate my friends and family and all the education I'm privileged to receive, and Zach is working hard to receive, and I won't remember a thing about the dusty end table or the small (bigger now) rip in my (faux) leather chair or the fact that we eat a lot of beans and rice. We're alive, we're thriving, and non-cooking is healthier anyway ;). Oh, and dirty houses build our immune systems- that's the truth!!! Just ask microbiology!

Have a great weekend NOT cleaning... enjoy!

(oh- and regarding my post below about my friend's brother? have you seen how much has been raised??? Thank you to ANY and ALL of you who gave, even just a little. I'm so humbled. If you want to check out what I'm talking about, read the post below. Rock on, good people.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not what I want to blog about.

I'm always wanting to update here- to put up fun pictures, tell crazy stories, rant about whatever is bothering me.

What I don't want to EVER have to do is come here and tell you about my friend Tara's brother, who is dying. He is 29, awesome, funny, a daddy, and a husband. And he's leaving our world. He's leaving his precious family behind, and they have nothing. I hate cancer and I hate what it takes from us. It cannot take this family's spirit, and it cannot take a community surrounding this dear family and helping them in their most desperate time.

A documentary was done about Ryan's dying. You can find that by clicking HERE. You should watch it. It will change the way you live your days. It will.

Now please PLEASE go HERE and give. even just one dollar. Twenty? anything. Please. This is really happening- this is really my friend's brother. I don't know what else to do to help them. The only way I can think to help is to share their story. Will you share it too? Will you share and give if you are able? Will you pray?

Thanks friends. Truly.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Blue Grass on the OBX

Oh HIIIII friends!
I've been MIA and busy. We went with our friends to the Outer Banks of NC last weekend- not because we actually had time to fit that into our busy schedules, but because sometimes you just have to say WHATEVER and drop your life and GO. And when you combine good friends, the OBX, and a Bluegrass Festival, you CANNOT say no. It's therapy, folks. Yes, I just said folks. Thank you, Bluegrass Festival.

Then this week happened, which was called nuts because I had to buy new tires for my car, work on my Anatomy class, take Pete to the dentist, work a little on a case, do some continuing education, work on my nursing school applications, clean (that's stupid), and remember to take a shower in between ferrying my kids to various events. I barely squeezed in 7 miles which is why I'm rocking in the corner shaking and considering anxiety meds. Hope to get a run in tomorrrowwwwwwwwwww. Oh and Zach. That guy. busy few weeks with tests and patients soooo. I feel crazy- crazier than normal. That's never good.

So here is the photo dump.

mamas. 

we had a nice warm day :)

sand 

daddies. 

besties. 

out on a sand bar (we were on the sound side of the islands)


friends. 

card games set to music

Bluegrass on the Sound, anyone?

totally awesome. 


this is what Lily liked to do best 

of course we had to squeeze in a hike at the dunes




Thursday, October 4, 2012

fall skies

from my front door


Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.
William Cullen Bryant

Monday, October 1, 2012

Scenes of Cute

Hope you had a great weekend!

Ours was rainy one day and busy the next. Good times with friends... and good times with baking, music, and studying.

Here are those cute scenes I promised...
banana bread on a Friday afternoon! 

there's a lot of butter in this. 

Writing her own music

Love it when this happens :)
Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SMILE!

Life is busy... life is good!

Leah has started piano lessons, and she's SO GOOD. natural talent!

My husband plays guitar and is teaching Pete. His hands are small but he's a smart boy and I know he'll pick it up!

Sam has the voice of an angel... and loves singing "call me maybe" loudly from the back of the car.

I have the coolest family. I love that we spur each other on to follow our dreams- my kids and Zach are so encouraging and really want me to apply to nursing school, which makes this whole thing seem so wonderful even in the midst of hard work.

Today is a good day. I have the ingredients to make banana bread AND pumpkin bread.

Celebrate the small things!

And thanks to a blog I enjoy (Girls Gone Child), Sam and I just got to listen to this delightful song, and now we're off to pick up the big kids.

Smile!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September

This is the month I've always wanted to SPEED through. It always messes with me... always. I have a lot to enjoy, like my mom's birthday and my son's birthday... but, I'm always a little down regardless of the joyful events. I've heard others say that September is a bad month for people with depression. I'm not suffering from depression/anxiety currently- I certainly have, in the past, but a good combination of exercise/running (a lot) and sleep (not a lot, but at least enough) over the past 5 years have really kept it all in check for me.

Still, September is a weird time for me. Summer is over, the light begins to change, and we're all starting back into our routines (school, extracurriculars, work). In NC, it's still HOT. I think that's part of my problem. I so hate the heat. I really want it to be over, and it rarely breaks. Fall doesn't really arrive here until mid October, and I LONG for fall. I pray for cooler weather, less humidity, colorful leaves. September stands in the way of my fall arriving, and so I get cranky.

Also, it's a hard time for my son. I can tell every year. The worst trauma of his little life happened in September of his infancy. We weren't able to bring him home until the following Spring. But I can always tell that his spirit is more fearful, more fragile, and he physically wants to be much closer to me at all times. He needs to feel secure. So we do a lot of snuggling and I carry around my BIG 5 year old, whenever he wants me to. Because it's going to take many, MANY seasons of "do-overs" to ease the damage that was done to him. Over and over, I will show him that he is safe. That he is mine. That he belongs. That I will never, ever, abandon him.

Sigh. Come on September. It's time for you to hurry along.
This is the "anthem" that runs through my head as I plug through these long days...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

remembering

In the midst of this crazy life, memories of 9/11 still sting the corners of my eyes and the depth of my heart. I forgot that it would become a history lesson. To those of us alive when it happened, and old enough to understand what was happening, we each have our recollection of what happened the very moment we found out that people were attacking other people. Why? We'll never really know. All I know is that both of my kids came home from school talking all about it. My 8 and 6 year old children. It was surreal. They told me all about what had happened. It was their history lesson.

They asked me how I felt on that day, and where I had been, and had I watched it all on TV? Yes, babies, I watched it on TV, next to a girl I didn't know, in our college campus coffee shop. I was shaking, but she was sobbing, because her uncle was on the 83rd floor.

"Mommy, why did those guys do it? My teacher said they were Muslims. What is "Muslim"? "

"Buddy, Muslims are a group of people who believe in something. You know how we call ourselves "Christians" because that's our religion? Their religion is very similar to ours. They use some different words and a different book to study, but they love God like we do. And they are good, good people. Every group of people has some bad guys in it. Every group. And so our job is to love others, to be kind to others, and to respect others, and really, that's the best way to help the bad guys to not be bad anymore. But some will stay bad, and they will do bad things, and sometimes, that's just the way the world is. So we just keep on living, and bringing light to the dark places, with our kindness."

"okay mom. That sounds like the best way, kind of like being nice to bullies and showing them that being mean doesn't work."

You got it, babies. That's exactly what it's like.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So.

With this lack of posting, I'm going to lose the 2 readers I have left!!!

I'm still here, barely hangin' on... This class. This CLASS! Are you sick of me writing about THE CLASS??? It's the hardest class ever. EVVVEEERRRRRRRR. Okay I'm done. But it's sucking the life force out of me, plus every free second I have. Had my first practical on Tuesday and have my first exam next Tuesday. I'm not stressed or anything. Not at all. I just studied more than I ever have for anything and STILL didn't feel confident. Not stressful at all.

Onto happier things... this past weekend we got to see my brother for for the first time in more than a year! That was pure joy! He is my brother #2, kid #3 out of the 6 of us. He is a Captain in the Army and he and his fabulous wife Ginna are moving HOME! Well, to NC at least, which is way closer than Alaska :). They were house hunting near their new base and we got to celebrate their precious baby Caroline's 1st birthday!

CAKE! 

caaaaaake.

Sam talking politics with Shay and Tom. They all agree on leaning to the left a bit. (or they could have been talking about Power Rangers).

cousins! presents! 

Mimi and PopPop with their 9th (out of 10) great grandchild. That, my friends, is living! 

In other awesomeness, Sammy had his first day of pre-K today!!! He was SO READY. And he's SO HAPPY! I love how much he loves school.
Hi, I'm Sam, the perfect student. 
That's about it. We have another big day this week, possibly involving my BABY (pictured above) turning FIVE. WHAT THE HECK.

I'll be back soon!