Our “F5 Daughter” – Ellie at one year old

There are so many things I want to remember about Ellie at one year old. These weeks and months pass by in a such a hazy, joyful, tiring fog, and one stage rapidly replaces another, and so soon we forget so many of the details of life with these kids of ours. I love looking back on what Henry and Ben were like at various stages, and so often I think wow, I would never have remembered that!

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One day last week Shelly brought Ben and Ellie home after having them at her house for the day, and as she handed Ellie to me she said “Here’s your F5 daughter!” As in, tornado. And sure, all kids are like that at one year old. When they’re newly mobile and curious about everything and have no concept yet of consequences or danger or punishment. But Ellie? Shelly, Dave and I are all convinced that she may truly be the wildest one-year-old we’ve ever had in our care. She does not stop!! It seems to be her mission in life to make messes and get into trouble faster than we could ever, ever keep up with. She’s in the garbage, she’s in the pantry, she’s in the fridge; she’s taking all the wipes out of the wipes box or unrolling the toilet paper roll or opening the toilet and sticking her hand in. She’s throwing her food and cup on the floor during every meal time and trying to grab her diaper when we’re changing it.

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She opens drawers and strews towels and kitchen utensils everywhere; she loves getting into Henry’s craft cabinet in the dining room; and anytime she’s upstairs in the bathroom, she’s going after the boys’ electric toothbrushes so she can “brush” her teeth, she’s in the top drawer grabbing the brush to brush her hair or the toothpaste to try and eat; and in the boys’ room, she’s always begging to be put up on the top bunk so she can roll around up there like a goof ball. If the bath is running, she thinks it’s quite funny to grab as many things as she can – my mascara, the toothpaste – and throw it in the water. If we leave anything too close to the edge of the kitchen table, off it goes – Ben’s cereal, yogurt, cups of water.

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Her favorite new game is to throw whatever she can get her hands on down the stairs and then clap for herself when she’s done. The other day every pair of Henry’s pants from his dresser was thrown down as I got ready in the morning, and when we visited Dave’s brother last weekend, she threw every shoes that was by the front door down their basement steps. It’s quite hilarious, and she’s so proud of herself.

Keeping up with her is truly a full-time job when she’s awake. She has a lot of toys and she likes a lot of them, but she doesn’t do so well with playing on her own just yet. Henry was never able to play on his own and still isn’t good at it, and Ben was playing on his own already at this age and is still good at it. So it looks like we have another Henry on our hands in that respect. She really likes attention and does not like to be left alone. If we have to put her in the pack n play for a few minutes to keep her safe while we get something done, she’s fine for about a minute or two and then starts crying til we pick her up again.

But she’s happy. So, so happy! The girl smiles more than anyone I know, and she loves to show off her teeth – her “cheesy face” – while breathing loudly in and out through her nose for dramatic effect. She’s just about running now, and she has zero fear of climbing up on things. She loves walks in her stroller and her pink car, and she loves going down the slide at the park. She’s not afraid of strangers and is very social, walking right up to people and sometimes waving and saying “hi! hi!”

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Hi is just about her only word still, but man is it a cute word. :) The boys were both talking up a storm by this age, but they were also slower in the mobility department, so it’s been interesting to have that all be reversed with Ellie. She’ll say mama and “mom! mom!” and something that sounds like “hiiiidaaad” to Dave. But ask her to say anything else? Nope. She won’t even try repeating us. “Say ba-bye!” – nope. Nothin. When she wants something and I tell her “say please!” she’ll bounce up and down as if to say “gimme, gimme!” If I say “say thank you” she’ll go “mmm!” It’ll be fun to hear her finally talk, whenever she decides to!

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It’s fun to watch her start to “get” things, like stacking her Mega Blocks and feeding her baby doll and nodding her head when I ask her question and following little instructions. I’ll ask her to throw something in the garbage, and she will, and I think she knows how to clean up better than her brothers, taking such pride in picking up her toys and putting them where they belong. She claps and waves and blows kisses and plays peekaboo and points to the sky when she hears an airplane.

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Shelly has a dog named Ruby and when we ask “What does Ruby do? she’ll stick out her tongue and wag it back and forth like a dog. She’s learning what a bunny does and will crinkle her nose for us, and she knows where her belly is when we ask, sticking it out and patting it with a big grin on her face. She can also point to her hair and her nose!

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Her hair is still her most noteworthy physical feature – getting so long! We haven’t done too many pigtails lately since they look kind of cartoonish at this point. I like to do just a single ponytail off to one side of her head, and a few times I’ve done a ponytail farther back on her head with a barette/bow to hold her bangs to the side. She looks so grown-up and adorable! The past few nights I’ve put her hair in a loose ponytail on top of her head for when she sleeps, since otherwise it hangs past her nose and covers her face and I just can’t imagine that that’s comfortable when she’s trying to sleep!

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She’s still nursing a lot and I feel like she’ll probably go quite awhile longer. I know Ben would have nursed longer than the 13 months he did, but I was ready to be done and so I weaned him without much issue. But Ellie’s my last and just knowing I never get to do it again makes me want to go as long as she will want to! I’ve also never had a baby who’s been so OBSESSED with my boobs and with nursing. The boys never stuck their hands down my shirt or “asked” for it – but Ellie asks for it constantly! It’s both adorable and flattering and also a tad bit creepy at times, ha. She’s always sticking her hands down my shirt, and on several occasions now, I’ve be holding her and wearing just a nursing tank and before I really realized what was happening, she’d yanked down my shirt and latched on!

My supply had gone down a bit once I was done pumping and she was only nursing in the morning and at night. I didn’t really get “full” anymore, and I thought we were nearing the end. But then suddenly she was SO into it and nursing every coupe of hours on the days we were together, so my supply went way back up! I thought I’d ditched the pump for good a few weeks before she turned one, but then I went away for a night two weekends ago and had to pump twice while I was gone. So we’re still going strong, and I’m thankful she’s always been such a good nurser from day one.

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I mentioned this in her birthday post, but she is SUCH a mama’s girl. Mama’s girl and Shelly’s girl. It doesn’t phase her for me to be in another room or leaving the house when she’s with Shelly, or to be leaving me to go to Shelly’s, but when she’s with daddy or anyone else? She just wants mom! I feel bad for Dave, since I know she loves him – but he is a far, far third on her list of people she wants to be with at this stage in her life! It’s comical and a little heartbreaking to hear how she cries and squirms in his arms and then the second he hands her to me she’s just fine. The little stinker. He loves it when she does show him affection, though – voluntarily walking over to him for a hug or a big open-mouthed kiss like she likes to give.

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As for her stats… she has eight teeth now, four on top and four on the bottom, with a couple more visible just below her gums. Her teeth make her look so different, I think! Her top teeth have really wide gaps between them, which I know is good for her future smile and the room she’ll have in there for her grown-up teeth. Right now it just looks really cute and slightly goofy, too. She’s in 12-18 and 18-month clothes, though she has very few things to wear right now since all her 12-month stuff is too small, but the weather is still warm and most of her 18-month stuff is fall and winter stuff! Love this time of year but the transition between wardrobes for a growing-fast little kid is a challenge.

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I had her into the doctor a few weeks before she turned one since I thought she might have an ear infection (she didn’t) and she was 18 lbs, 5 oz. Her one-year check-up is at the end of this month. She’s a pretty good eater still, though she is already showing a preference for things that aren’t as good for her, and while she used to eat any veggie we put in front of her, she’s starting to spit things out and make faces at us now. Let the food battles begin, I guess. She doesn’t really like drinking cold milk from a sippy cup yet, instead preferring just water. She gets warmed-up cow’s milk from a bottle when she’s with Shelly or when I’m gone and Dave has to put her to bed. Otherwise she’s pretty much getting water and breast milk still to drink.

She loves to dance and will raise her hand above her head and bob up and down anytime she hears ANY music. She adores her big brothers, especially Henry, and the first day he came home after being in school all day, my heart about exploded when I saw how she reacted when he came in the door. She just lit up and ran right over to him, and when he sat on the floor she climbed on him like an excited puppy. Henry is equally obsessed with her, always wanting to see her and hug her and kiss her, and he likes to pick her up and carry her around the house, and for the most part, she just lets him. Ben loves her, too, and also wants the hugs and kisses, but he’s also kind of mean to her at times, too – stealing toys and even kicking her and pushing her at times now, which of course makes us freak out. Like how could you want to harm such a sweet thing?!

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She is one tough chick, though, hardly ever crying when she bumps her head or falls down or, ahem, gets kicked by her big brother. And when he wants a toy of hers, she will hold her own, tightening her grip, running away, and/or squealing at him. Oh, the future fights I’m sure we have in store for us…

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I’ve been working on this post for days, and every day I feel like there’s more to add. Last night we had tiki torches set up in our backyard and once Dave lit them, Ellie walked around the yard, keeping her distance from the fire and putting her lips together and blowing, as if trying to blow out a birthday candle. It was SO CUTE. And this morning she watched me curl my eyelashes in the bathroom and when I put the curler back in the drawer, she promptly opened the drawer back up, picked up the eyelash curler and put it up to her own eye, scrunching up her face while trying it out. Again, just adorable. All these little moments that will be forgotten one day in the near future, because our minds can’t possibly hold so many little memories, as much as we wish they could!

So that’s an update on Ellie at one… almost 13 months now actually! She’s just a doll face and we take such freakin joy from her. I say often that I can’t believe she’s real and I can’t believe she’s mine. I know I’m biased, but I think she’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.

Kindergarten and 3k!

School days are here again, and just like that we have TWO kids in school now. It’s both exciting and a little jarring – like whoa, how am I suddenly old enough for this?!

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Benny is just dipping his toe in the water of school, going to a private preschool for 3k one morning a week. His first day was this past Friday (Sep. 11), and Dave had the day off so we were both able to take him. The first week was just an hour and the parents stayed the whole time, and it was fun to observe him play side-by-side with other kids his age and explore all the toys in his classroom. As trepidatious as he was in the weeks leading up to his first day, he was really excited on Friday morning and really enjoyed his time at school. He’s excited to go back!

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This week class will be just an hour again, but the parents leave this time – it’ll be interesting to see how Benny does. Ellie and I will probably stick close-by and go for a walk and to the playground down the street. Then the third week starts the normal schedule, which is 9-11:15 a.m. He gets to go on a few field trips during the school year – the firehouse, a nature center and the zoo; he’ll get to celebrate his birthday with his classmates on his special day since it’s a Friday this year; and the class has a hamster named Dit Dot that we can sign up to take home for a weekend if we’d like. We’ll see. ;)

Ben these days is … 3 1/2. Enough said, right? He’s emotional and naughty and hilarious and very sweet when he wants to be. He’s obsessed with boxing and plays with his “guys” constantly, bringing them to bed, to the dinner table and in the bath with him. He also loves watching videos on my phone, and he asks to watch them by asking “Mom, can I go on Dubsmash?” Ha. I have a few Dubsmash videos saved on there, and he’s memorized them, and he’ll just bust them out at random sometimes and it’s hysterical. “Daaaaamn girl, you so smelly! Ew, I have to take a shower.”

He gets a lot of time outs for yelling, for hitting his brother, and for not listening, and he doesn’t do well with being told no. But having been through this age before, we know it’ll get better so we’re just doing our best to weather it!

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He’s a smart and free-spirited little man, and I’m eager to see him even out a bit emotionally, since there are so many parts of him and his personality that I know I will enjoy so much. They’re just a bit overshadowed right now! He’s an “angel” for Shelly, though, and he does seem to do better when his brother isn’t around. I told him over the summer that once Henry started school, he and I would have a special day and go bowling and to lunch, and he asks me once or twice a week when we’re going to do that. So we’ll do that soon, and it’ll be nice to have a little one-on-one time with my middle dude.

Then there’s Henry man, who is now a bona fide school kid, going to kindergarten all day every day. His first day was Tues, Sep. 1. He rides the bus, takes a lunch, and has recess each day. I love packing his lunch each day; it just brings me a real sense of satisfaction for some reason. Actually today he’s getting hot lunch for the first time since he was told it would be pancakes, so I had to load up his account with some money and he had to practice his 5-digit student ID number til he memorized it!

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He has gym class twice a week and then music class day, art class day and library day. He likes his teacher, and I got a voicemail from her last night just to “check in” about how school is going so far. She said what a pleasure Henry is to have in class, that’s he’s “attentive and kind,” that he participates and that he seems really “eager to learn.” I played it on speaker for Dave and we were proud. :)

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He has new Nikes and Vans and skinny (“rocker”) jeans that he wants to wear every day, and we put product in his hair to keep it out of his eyes, and I often have to do a double-take when he’s all ready for school, because he’s suddenly so TALL and lanky and grown-up looking. Where oh where did by baby go?!

He’ll be six in less than a month, and we’ve definitely entered the “golden years” with him. He’s mature and sweet and self-sufficient and more even-keeled than the under-five set. (Thank God.) He still does his fair share of whining and crying, and he loves to push his brother’s buttons, but for the most part, life with Henry is really good. I get so excited when he gets off the bus each day at 3:40 – he greets me with a huge smile and then comes inside and plops down on the couch to tell me about his day. He’s tired but handling the new schedule really well. I asked him if kindergarten feels like a long day and he said “nope, it goes by like that” and he snapped his fingers. So that’s good!

On the days Shelly has the little kids, she brings them home around 4:30 or 5:00 so I have a little time with just Henry. We’ve taken a few bike rides together and it’s SO nice to have that time with him.

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Henry’s obsessions include Minecraft, math and crafts. Minecraft beats out the other two big time, but the other two are still worth noting. Henry would eat, breathe and sleep Minecraft if he could. We set limits, but he does his fair share of playing the game on the XBox and – even more than actually playing – watching Minecraft videos on YouTube to learn new things. I feel like maybe I should have a problem with him being so obsessed with a video game, but I just don’t. He’s so GOOD at it, and it takes real thought and planning, and all the time I hear him using things he’s learned in Minecraft and then translating them to real-life scenarios.

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He also really seems to “get” math, and he’s really obsessed with time right now. Constantly he’s asking things like “how long will it take to get there?” “how many minutes til Shelly gets here?” “How many hours til I go back to school?” If I answer “two minutes,” he’ll say “oh, so 120 seconds.” If I say an hour and a half, he’ll say “so 90 minutes.” He asks “how old will I be when Ellie is 12?” and “how old will you be when I’m 50?” Then he asks things like “how many hours are in three days?” and “how many seconds are in five hours?” and “what’s 84 plus 84?” He keeps me on my toes!! The other day he asked “what’s 45 plus 45?” and I said “90.” He said “no, it’s 80… oh wait, but there’s an extra five and an extra five, so that’s an extra 10, so yeah, that’s 90!” I hope he’ll keep up that love of math.

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He asks me questions about God and Heaven and death, and I really appreciate that he’s so curious and will talk with me at length about these things. He’s also started to notice the color of people’s skin and the differences in appearances and abilities between kids in his class, and those types of comments and questions are harder for me to navigate. He went to his first friend birthday party on the weekend of Ellie’s party, a party where we dropped him off and came back for him a few hours later. He was really shy and scared at first, and leaving him there was very emotional for me! But I came back and he’d had a blast. It’s just a whole new world having a school-age kid.

So that’s that – my boys are in school and it’s such fun and a bit overwhelming to watch them grow so fast. I’m thankful as heck that I’m not working in an office anymore so I can experience it all so much more – the seeing Henry on and off the bus, the taking Benny to school, the volunteering and participating in a way I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. I have such fond memories of my school days, and I hope my kids love school, too. So far, so good!

Happy first birthday, Ellie!

Dear Ellie girl,

Nearly two weeks ago now, you turned one year old. Third child syndrome is in full force here, seeing as how I got Henry’s one-year post and Benny’s one-year post (plus a birthday party post, too!) done on their actual birthdays. Lucky for you, you face third-child syndrome very, very rarely. ;)

You came into this world fast and furious, and your first year of life matched that pace! How quickly this year passed, as we all got to know you and adore you, and as you grew from a teeny little baby with a head full of hair to a walking, jibber-jabbering, laughing little girl with a ponytail on top of her head.

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The theme for your birthday party was cherries since you are absolutely the cherry on top of the sundae that is our family of five. I always hoped and sort of just assumed I’d have a daughter as one of the three kids I longed to have, and once I had two boys first, that desire for a little girl was very strong, even as my belief that I would actually get a daughter dwindled.

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I was over the moon when we found out you were a girl, and even though you’re over a year old now, I still have many days when I can’t believe you’re actually real, and here, and my daughter. You are more beautiful and sweet and amazing than I could have hoped for or imagined. We’re all just smitten with you, and you seem to be quite a fan of all of us, too.

I told your dad the other day that I’m not sure anyone has ever loved me as much as you do. You are such a mama’s girl right now, and as much as it can be annoying when I want to get something done and you refuse to let me put you down, I just love it, too, and feel so lucky to be your mama.

I’m going to do another post very soon about who you are at one year old and what you’ve been up to lately. Here I just wanted to wish you an official, belated happy birthday on this old blog of mine, and recap your birthday and your party, too! Even if I’m late with your birthday post, I think I made up for it with your party. :)

On your actual birthday, you opened your presents from us first thing in the morning – pink Mega Blocks and a toy cell phone – and then later that day you and I met daddy for lunch by his new office. It was kind of a hike to get there and the restaurant we chose ended up being really disappointing, but we still enjoyed the one-on-one time with our girl! That evening I took you and Henry to a nearby soda shoppe for ice cream (Ben was being extra naughty and refused to eat his dinner, so he and daddy sadly didn’t get to come!) and we sat outside and you made a big mess of yourself with chocolate ice cream. Recently Added-960Recently Added-1034Recently Added-1053

Two days later we had your party. We’d been excited to have a summer baby and finally be able to have outdoor parties, and we had plans to put balloons along our fence and set up tables and chairs in the back yard – but alas, the day of your party ended up being the rainiest, grayest day of the whole summer. Such a bummer! So everyone was packed inside our tiny house yet again, but it still ended up being a wonderful party.

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The cherry theme was a big hit, and my favorite parts were your cherry dress and your cherry outfit with your name on the front; the cherry-themed chocolate cake with raspberry filling; and the Shirley Temple / Dirty Shirley bar complete with cute little cherry straws. :) The food was delicious, thanks to your dad; I got balloons and made a couple of photo banners for the dining room; and you got all kinds of awesome, girly gifts. You were totally in your element being surrounded by all the love and attention, and you made us proud when you devoured your cupcake like nobody’s business and hammed it up for the cameras in the process.

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The first birthday is sort of the unofficial end of the baby stage, which makes me a little sad, but I also think that the second year of life is one of the very best. Babies develop SO much in that second year, learning to talk and follow instructions and recognize people and colors and animals and body parts – it’s all so fun! And even in just the two weeks since your birthday, you already seem bigger and more grown-up to me – walking and nearly running now with such confidence and ease; growing out of your clothes at lightning speed; and just being more and more engaged with the world around you.

You are a dream come true, Ellie, and I thank God every single day for you. You’ve completed our family and brought us all such joy. Happy, happy birthday, sweet girl.

Love, Mom

What a difference a year makes.

Today’s a pretty big day for me. It was one year ago today that I decided to take the leap and join It Works. I was very pregnant, totally clueless, and incredibly excited to start something new. I didn’t know what was in store for me, but I just had a feeling, deep down, like this was going to be something big.

Fast-forward one quick year later and I am healthier, wealthier, happier and more fulfilled than I’ve ever been before. What started as a way to make a few hundred extra bucks a month to help pay for our nanny quickly turned into something that changed my life forever.

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Today was my last Monday at my job. This is my last week working for someone else – maybe forever. This feeling of being on the cusp of owning my own time and having total freedom over my life is indescribable. I thought I’d probably be 60 years old before I owned my own time! To have that at 33 is nothing short of amazing.

I didn’t think I had any intention of leaving my career. I didn’t think I had even let that thought enter my brain. And yet, I looked back on this post from almost a year ago, and I said this:

My BIG dream, though? If I really let myself ‘go there’ in my head? (I mean, I’m so not there in my head yet, and it seems ridiculous to even voice it out loud – or on my blog – but what the heck.) My big dream would be to make the kind of income that many of these people are making, the kind that far surpasses their day-job income and allows them to do this full-time. I would do It Works, join a yoga studio and finally be able to commit to becoming a super awesome yogi, and best of all, spend more time with my kids as they grow up. I’d donate much more to charity, and I’d be able to do things like take my family on vacation and save a nice chunk for each child’s college education.

It looks like it was my big dream from the beginning to make this happen – to own my time and to secure my family’s financial future. And now here I am! It’s just absolutely mind-blowing to me. We’ve paid off our credit card debt, we’re now able to save in a month what before we couldn’t even save in a year; Dave’s about to get a new car (the only thing he’s really ever wanted!) and we’re saving to buy our forever home hopefully by next summer. We can pay our bills more easily and treat ourselves once in awhile to things we never would have before.

I honestly think that one of the biggest keys to my success so far (besides consistent work, of course!) is the fact that I BELIEVED from the beginning that I’d succeed. I didn’t know how, and I didn’t know how long it would take, but I just believed I would do it.

There are so many things I couldn’t have anticipated, though, and I know that my teammates and sidelines all feel this way, too. Financial freedom aside, the entire experience has enhanced my life in countless ways. A jolt of electricity and excitement has been infused into my life and into my household. I feel healthier than ever before. I’ve developed as a person in virtually every aspect of my life – as a wife and mom, as an employee, as a friend, as a leader to my team. I’ve met so many wonderful people who I never would have met otherwise. I’ve gotten to do crazy fun things like go to Florida in January for conference and speak at a big event here in Milwaukee in March and go to St. Louis just last month for a leadership retreat. I feel like I’m a part of something BIG. Like there’s somewhere I belong and it’s right here – with these people, with this company.

And truly, I feel like I’m making a difference with what I’m doing. I’m leading a team that’s grown to almost 550 people in nearly 30 states and Canada, and it’s growing every day. It’s this incredible ripple effect that just keeps going – just because I decided to say yes a year ago! All of those people are getting healthier, setting and reaching goals, developing and improving themselves, getting out of debt, and helping others do the same. I truly thank God every single day for this opportunity. For giving me the courage to say yes and the motivation to work hard and to make these big things happen.

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I also think Ellie being on the way had something to do with the pull I was feeling to try this. I couldn’t have understood til she was here what it would be like to be the full-time working mom of three kids. To have my girl, my last baby, and to know how much faster it all goes when there’s another; and how a few hours in the evening just would not be enough with all of them. It was never enough, even before her, but since I didn’t think I had any other option, I made the most of it. I stayed positive, I cherished the time spent with my boys when I wasn’t at work. But now? To be at the point where Henry is starting kindergarten, for us to be officially entering the “school years,” and for me to be able to greet him off the bus each day, attend day events and field trips, and take him to his activities? It’s priceless.

I enrolled Ben in a 3k preschool program one morning a week for this year, and I’m SO excited for him to get out and make some friends and be away from home all on his own, without his big bro by his side. I feel so fortunate that it’s even an option now, since I’ll be able to take him and pick him up each Friday morning.

And Ellie. I’ve worked hard and sacrificed some time with her during this precious first year, but the result is being able to be with her so much more from here on out. Her little life is SO different than the life Henry and Ben had as babes. They’ll never know the difference, but I sure will. This is just the most fleeting, special time, when our kids are little, and I’m just so thankful that I can be around more for them now.

I’m eager to see what this journey will bring in year two. It’s exciting to not know what’s to come – who I’ll meet, what kind of experiences I’ll have, what the income will mean for our family, where this journey will lead. I do know, though, that I will never, ever take this for granted, and I will never stop working hard to make a better life for my family (and future generations of my family!) and to help my teammates do the same for their families. This opportunity is just one of the biggest blessings I have ever received.

Cheers to year two and all that lies ahead.

Day in the Life: Summer 2015

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The date is Wednesday, July 8, 2015.

Dave and I are 33 years old.
Henry is 5.75 years old.
Ben is 3 1/2 years old.
Ellie is 10 1/2 months old.

This will be my most half-you-know-what-ed DITL to date, but I’m proud I did it! This particular day was sandwiched in the middle of two trips out of town, and since I didn’t take any notes and am writing it up a week later, I’ll pretty much just be sharing the photos from the day!

The weekend prior was the 4th of July. We spent the day with family, going to a parade and then to my in-laws’ for a barbecue, and then the next day we left for two nights at a resort about an hour away. We had fun, but Ben was a bit of beast. The kid goes through phases where he’s just scared to poop and will hold it for days and days, and one of those phases coincided with our trip. Needless to say, he was not a happy camper, so we weren’t either. But we made the most of it and came away with some good memories anyway!

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The weekend after this (this past weekend) I spent in St. Louis on a leadership retreat for It Works. One of our uplines, Bonnie, invited the Double Diamonds and above in her downline for a weekend at her house filled with fun, learning and being spoiled. It was an absolute blast. I had a lot of moments of seriously, I can’t believe this is my life.

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I showed Ben these pics and he said “Mom, can I eat that cookie?” Sorry bud, you’re a little late. ;)

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So the day I picked for DITL was a Wednesday, one of the two days I worked last week between the two vacations. It was also the day we had scheduled the inspection on the new house we were set to buy, so Dave and I both left work early to do that. Busy, busy, busy!

Since then, the entire plan has gone out the window; we are no longer buying that house and we are no longer selling our house. A lot has gone down in a week! And as draining as it all was, we feel really good about how it all turned out. Next spring we should have the down payment and income to be able to buy our forever home, which was not the case right now. So waiting will be worth it, I’m sure of it.


Usually I write down times and quotes and little details, but alas, I do not have those this time. I do have photos though! This was our day.

6:30 a.m. or so

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Love that bed head!

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Somebody recently lost his first tooth!

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Got the inspection results back from our house and Dave was texting me about them from work.

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Shelly arrived around 8 a.m. and I was off to work til 2:30 or so. Amazon box waiting on my desk held some makeup primer and Bare Minerals foundation.

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The house that ultimately wasn’t meant to be.

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Henry is obsessed with making videos of himself dancing. I dare you to watch this and not laugh. Kid’s got passion, that’s for sure!

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Ellie’s started taking a few steps!

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Grocery shopping night, so not much food left in the house. Dave made a list and cooked while I entertained the children. And drank wine.

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And played Kinect Sports with Ben.

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I’m sure I spent time on the computer much of the evening, then wrote out a birthday card for my friend Kiersten and had a few bites of this delicious gelato! Bedtime was probably 11.

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Hopefully I’ll be back on my DITL game come fall. Though I think I may spend TOO much time on these posts usually, so maybe between this and what I normally do, I can find a happy medium! Love having them to look back on!

Henry’s last day of 4k

Just before Ellie was born last August, I was so worried about the timing of Henry’s first day of school, which was the same day as my due date – September 2. Would I miss his first day? Would I get to see him on and off the bus? Would I be there for that all-important moment in his childhood history?

Ellie made her arrival early – on the evening of his 4k open house, actually – and I was home with a couple days to spare before his first day of school. That morning was so exciting – we took pictures in the front yard and walked him down to the bus stop, with 6-day-old Ellie in her stroller. Henry was hardly nervous at all, and my heart got onto that big yellow school bus right along with him as I watched it drive away. I was so proud of him and happy for him, and I remember crying as I got back into the van that Dave was driving so we could follow the bus and make sure Henry got to school. Post-partum hormones probably didn’t help the situation.

Fast-forward nine quick months and my baby is hardly a baby anymore, and my biggest baby is officially a kindergartener.

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Henry had his last day of school a week ago today, and I was excited to get the official last day of school picture and put it next to the first day pic. I knew he’d grown – but wow!! I mean, the shirt has shrunk from many wearings and washings, but that boy has really grown. That little baby face has turned into the face of a kid. And just like that, his very first year of school is over.

I remind myself that we have so many first days and last days ahead of us, but oh, how apparent it is how fast it’ll all go.

He has mixed feelings about summer vacation. He likes the slower pace of his mornings but I know he misses his teacher and friends and the daily activities that came with school, too. He’s probably bored around home much of the time, and I know he’ll welcome school back when the time comes at the end of summer.

It’s strange to not yet know which school he’ll be at in the fall. We thought for sure our house would have sold by now and that we’d be planning our move to our new house, in our new school district – but alas, no dice just yet. So he may still go to a brand new school for kindergarten, or he may return to the same school where he went to 4k. It’s not fun being in limbo!

I bought a copy of Oh The Places You’ll Go and gave it to him on his last day, and inside the cover I wrote him a little note with all the highlights of 4k – riding the bus, center time, countless crafts, library days, mat man, the hammer song, field trips to First Stage and Green Meadows. I plan to jot down a few highlights in there at the end of each school year, as long as I can keep track of it through the years!

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Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset… So many of both still ahead of us. What a beautiful, amazing place to be.