My Birthday Gift

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This is what Anthony gave me for my birthday. Yep, its the sunrise – and it was all for me, seriously!

I went for a run yesterday morning and as I was walking to cool down I checked my phone for any new emails or facebook birthday messages (I love those) and I found an email from Anthony that said, “Happy Birthday! Your assignments are as follows: 1. Pack our bags for over night, including anything you want for the beach. 2. Pack the kids for over night. and 3. Natalie will need a birthday gift for MaKayla. More details to come.” I was so excited. Anthony had planned a night for he and I, gotten a sitter for the kids AND RSVP-ed “yes” to a birthday party for Natalie that I had already RSVP-ed “No” to because I had thought we were doing something as a family – which meant he had also made arrangements to get her to and from the party so that she could do something fun with her friends.

All day I anticipated, guessed and wondered what we were going to do.

What we ended up doing was simple really but so incredibly thoughtful and romantic. We stayed 30 minutes from our house at a hotel with a balcony over looking the beach (I’ve been saying I wanted to stay at a hotel ON the beach forever). He had no plans, except that we could do whatever I wanted – whenever I wanted. We had dinner, walked on the beach in the evening, and had desserts. But the kicker was something I’ve been talking about forever – seeing the sunrise over the ocean.

It was amazing. It was peaceful. It was beautiful.

After the sunrise we relaxed more, had breakfast and then spent the next few hours on the beach. I had never been to the beach without children. And although I love the beach with children I LOVED it without. It was so completely relaxing. I could sit in my beach chair, lean my head back, close my eyes and just listen to the waves without worrying where my kids were at all times. I could swim out far in the water with Anthony and relax in the rolling waves. It was so perfect. It was just what I needed. I am so lucky to have a husband who listens to what I really want to do and then makes it happen.

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Finding My Happy Place

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Yesterday I was in a bad mood. No reason really, just in somewhat of a funk. Just one of those days that happen from time to time. Anthony was out of town and I wasn’t seeming to pull myself out of it. I tried a nap, which didn’t go well and only made things worse. After that it was time to go and get Bella and as we were walking to the bus stop I realized what a beautiful day it was. The weather was perfect, not hot, not humid and a soft cool breeze was blowing. I thought to myself, “This is far to beautiful of a day to be in such a sour mood.” I decided I could either stay home and probably not get out of my sour mood, or I could do something to get out of my funk.

So when Bella got off the bus I asked her how quickly she could finish her homework, she told me she could do it super fast and 30 minutes later we were loaded in the car headed for the coast. For the next 3 hours I sat in my beach chair and watched my kids splash in the waves, dig in the sand, and chase birds. And I splashed in a few waves myself too. There is something therapeutic about listening to the ocean. It instantly changed my mood. We had a great time and the kids wanted to know if we were going to the beach again today. I love the beach.

Sunday Thoughts About My Kids

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This morning the kids and I were ready for church at 9:50am, it was nothing short of a miracle. Anthony leaves early for meetings and we usually aim to leave by 10:15am but that very easily turns into 10:30am and we’re often racing to be on time, or are just plain late. I didn’t know what to do with that extra 25 minutes we had and Ethan looked so cute in the tie he was wearing I decided to try to get a picture or two of him. Taking pictures of Ethan didn’t take long so it turned into taking pictures of everyone, and then I decided to get in the shot too. And since I documented the day I thought I’d post a few things about each of them now just for my own memory sake. They change so much so quickly and I have been a less than stellar blogger this year that I wanted to record a bit about them right now.

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Ethan is 2. I could end the paragraph about him right there and you’d know so much, but there is so much more about my little guy than just the tantrums and irrational thought processes. There are a few signs of the terrible twos wrapping up for Ethan (I just crossed my fingers and toes as well as knocked on the nearest wood I could find), he has moments of pure sweetness and he’s developing such a fun little personality. It cracks me up to see how much of a “boy” he is. He grew up among pink and princesses and yet he wants nothing to do with it (well, he is oblivious to pink toys in general) he’s all about trains, race cars, space shuttles, burping and other bodily functions. Total boy. I am so glad we have a little boy.

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Isabella’s smile makes me laugh. Don’t get me wrong she is absolutely beautiful, but a toothless goofy grin gets me every time. It seems everyday she gets older and older (and I guess she does) and I wish it would slow just a bit. This weekend we attended a baptism for a friend of hers and I spent the entire time realizing that in just 7 short months it will be her turn. How on earth can she be turning 8 this year?  I do, however, find myself more and more embracing the idea that she is growing up and being excited about what is to come, but every once in a while I have to catch my breath when I think of all the challenges that can come with her getting older.

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And Natalie, so big and yet so little at the same time. At times she seems to want to hold onto being small just as much as we want it. Other times she’s too big for everything. She will start Kindergarten in the fall and as much as I’m tired of driving her to and from school everyday and look forward to her being able to ride the bus I will miss her. It will be strange to just have Ethan all day, and I am certain Ethan will miss his playmate. She’s so helpful lately and so unbelievably smart. The questions she asks, the things she catches on to and her quick wit amaze me all the time. She keeps us on our toes and keeps us entertained all the time. Life is never dull when she is around.

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Almost daily Anthony and I have a conversation about how wonderful our children are. How smart, funny, beautiful, handsome and just awesome they are. Never were any parents more proud of their children than we are of ours. 

Happy Mother’s Day


Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and all my littles are tucked snuggly into bed sleeping soundly. We spent the day together as a family and I have heard hints and whispers of plans they have for me tomorrow – they include toast and presents wrapped in homemade wrapping paper. The perfect Mother’s Day for a mom with children 7, 5 and 2.  Just as it should be.

But, before I was the mother of these 3 precious blessings my life was affected forever because of countless mothers. First there was my own mother who always seemed to know just what to say or what to do. It seemed to be so natural, so effortless, so easy. Then there were teachers both from school and church, some who I watched become mother’s, others whose children were my own age, and some who were grandmothers. There were my own Grandmother’s who although far away showed constant love and concern for me and for my family.  As I grew older I grew close to some of my Young Women leaders at church. They watched me grow from a girl to a woman and most definitely helped to shape the woman I would become. At the same time my good friend’s mothers taught me and showed me what good women look like. Soon I became an Aunt and I watched my Sister and Sister-in-laws gracefully step into their new found roll and looked up to them because of it. Then I met my husband and his mother entered my life. I am forever grateful to her for the mother she was to him, and now the friend and mother she is to me. Even still I am affected by the mother’s that surround me. Now, I am a peer. I see mother’s with children older than mine and learn from their experience and wisdom. I see the way my friends mother their children and I am inspired to be a better mom myself.

My life is full of mothers, and because of that my life has been immeasurably blessed.

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers.