Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Great Celebration!

We had a fun day celebrating Josiah! We woke up and had pancakes (Josiah chose to have a green one and so his was made to order), then he got to open his presents from mom and dad. Back in January I mentioned some great deals I found and one of them has been in storage since then. Here he is riding his new bike and wearing his new shoes...as well as his pajamas. :) He was pretty excited!!

Later that morning our family (minus Seth...it was nap time for him), along with some of Josiah's friends and his grandpa Holder headed off to the Red Hawks game. They have a party package which equals NO planning needed...ahhhh...what a fun birthday! :)

The party crew

We got to eat (food was included as well as a DQ cake) down by the dugout so the players came over and signed hats and gloves. With the party each kid got a new baseball hat so most kids had theirs signed....pretty fun!

Sporting his new hat and the gapping hole in his mouth!

Grandpa Holder and Alayna enjoying the game

Even Hawkeye came and gave the kids his signature!

During the 7th inning 'stretch' the boys got to go up and sing "Take me out to the ball game" over the speaker system. It was pretty cute! I have it recorded. Though I came home with a bit of a sun burn, it was a PERFECT day for a baseball game, all the boys had fun, Josiah felt loved and he greatly appreciated his fun party.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday Josiah!!!

8 years ago this morning I woke up early with some back pains. Knowing my due date wasn't until the middle of June I assumed I was having 'braxton hicks' contractions or that I was just getting so pregnant that I was having more pains. We timed them and they weren't overly consistent so Dan and I each went off to work later that morning.

I got quite a few phone calls from him that day checking in with me and the contractions continued all day at work. Though I was having them regularly all day I didn't tell anyone initially b/c I assumed they would tell me, "it's nothing, don't worry about it" and so I would just hold my back a little when they came and when dealing with a customer I'd put a smile on my face and hope they would soon dissipate. I was supposed to work late that night at the bank in the drive-up, so I finally mentioned to someone what was going on just to get an opinion as to whether or not I should go out there by myself. Still thinking it would probably be nothing and that I'd go to work, I told them and to my surprise they told me to head home and they'd find someone to fill that spot.

At about 5:30 I headed home....on the way home they got progressively worse and by the time I reached our apartment and saw Dan they were getting quite a bit more intense. I took a bath to relax, made sure our bags were packed and Dan called the hospital to see what we should do. They told us to stay home as long as we could and so we did. After my bath I paced in our apartment, Dan rubbed my back and then he was feeling a bit more nervous and felt like we should get going at about 7 or 7:30. I said "ok, but can we please leave the bags in the car b/c I KNOW they are going to tell me I'm not in labor and send me home and then I'll be embarrassed". He didn't really respond and so we got the bags, got in the car, stopped at a gas station for a calling card (this was 8 years ago, remember) and we went to the hospital.

Riding in the car was HUGELY uncomfortable during contractions, going up to the hospital floor was uncomfortable (and I was embarrassed b/c Dan insisted that I was in labor and he was bringing the bags no matter what I said). We got registered and they checked me right away and I was 4cm dilated, the nurse was shocked. My first question was, "does that mean you won't be sending me home?" The nurse laughed and said, "no, you're definitely in labor", you can imagine my husbands delight to hear that he was right!! :)

After sitting in the jacuzzi tub during multiple intense contractions, I got out and was going to walk the halls for a while. The nurse mentioned she should check to see if I had dilated anymore first and shock of all shocks I was 9cm dilated!!!! As a first time mom that was a bit intense because all of a sudden everyone was moving really fast and coming in and out of my room super quick. The contractions got even more intense and the nurse told me to get ready to push. I looked up at her and said, "how long does this part normally take" (I had no drugs and was wondering if I was REALLY going to be able to do this)....her response, "for most, about 2 hours". You can imagine my fear!! Well, thankfully she was wrong. It was probably closer to 15 minutes and 5 pushes later that we welcomed Josiah into the world. It was amazing....welcoming our first born into the world....it was a moment I will never forget.....

I feel so blessed to be his mom. Watching him grow and seeing who God has created him to be has been so rewarding. As a parent there are times when it's stressful and challenging, but then you step back and look at the big picture and you realize how incredible it is to be called a parent.

Dear Josiah: I love listening to you talk about Jesus, you ask challenging questions that hopefully will continue to stretch and strengthen your faith. Josiah, you are an amazing big brother...Alayna and Seth are blessed to have you. The fact that you take time each day after school to wrestle your brother and to play with him is adorable. You have really taken to heart our conversation about how your friends will change over the years and that's ok, but you need to work at making your brother and sister your friends because they will always be a part of your life. You desire to do what's right and are often challenged to be an example to those around you. Just a couple weeks ago you came home from school and were telling me how a kid told you that, "everyone gets yellow slips in school" (which means a note sent home to the parents and a trip to the office) and you came home and told me that it frustrated you that he said that because you have never had a yellow slip. My heart smiled. Your heart is precious and I love to sit back and watch you....you aren't perfect and you make mistakes and that's ok, but continue to strive to be obedient to us and even more importantly to God's word, He has great things in store for you. I love you my precious first born.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Great Reminder...

Every year around our anniversary we try to take time away from the kids to just be together. This year was even more important...with a busy school year for Dan we wanted to make sure we had some good time together. And we did!! Thanks mom for watching the kids! People always ask us what we are going to do....sometimes we go places (nothing far away...usually the cities), but it's not about where we go or what we do...we just love that we can talk and do anything we want without worrying about nap times or schedules. It's fun to remember that we truly enjoy being together with or without our kids. Yep, if I had to do it all over again...I'd marry him again in a heartbeat. :) Maybe next year for our 10 year...how about a trip??? We'll see.

We did move into the 21st century this weekend though by getting cell phones which was a lot of fun. We enjoyed dinner and a movie (a RARE combo for us to do) and we also enjoyed sleeping in and going to brunch together. Overall, it was an amazing relaxing weekend with great conversation and a lot of fun. I'm always sad when I talk to couples that have kids and they tell me they don't have time for date nights or weekends away....I have to say, those times are vital to make sure as a couple you're still connected and I'd sacrifice in other areas to make sure we can have those times together. I loved my husband before my kids were ever in the picture. Though even after 2 nights I was missing them like C-R-A-Z-Y and I had great cuddles when we got home....I'm glad we had time as a couple and I'm glad our kids have grandparents that love to have time with just them too. What a blessing!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

To My Prince

You are my husband and truly my best friend, 9 years ago today we got married...can you even believe it's been that long ago already?? I thought I loved you then, but I had no idea the depth of love I would gain each year of our marriage. I'm grateful to have you as my husband. You are considerate and unselfish. You put me above your own interests. You love God's word and take your role as husband, father, teacher/principal and church leader as a serious calling. Thank you for providing for us and loving us. Josiah and Seth would do well to follow your lead and I pray that Alayna would find a man like her daddy one day. I love you and I feel truly blessed to be your wife! Here's a little trip down memory lane....our wedding day.

I love you and I can't wait to see what God has in store for us and for our family as we continue on life's journey together!

Another Season...

Today marked my last time being a part of Exhale (formerly MOPS). It is bittersweet to close that season. I so appreciated the ministry and friendship of other moms with young kids, but after 6 years, it's time to move on. I'm not sure what next year holds (even though I've been asked numerous times what I plan to do), but I do know that though I will miss seeing many of the moms on such a regular basis, I know this was the right next step for me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

For Mother's Day we took a trip to St. Cloud to celebrate birthday's and what better way to celebrate Mother's Day...then with your mom! The kids enjoyed fishing in the pond out back, and of course playing with their cousins (we're blessed that they all have cousins that are similar in age to each of them...that makes for fun times!) All in all...it was another great weekend!

My family....brother, mom, sister, me

The "MOMS" on Mother's Day...me, mom, sister, sister in law

**did you happen to notice my new necklace?? A very pretty present from my hubby and 3 kids!

Cabin Fun...in the rain

We have had some busy weekends lately, but they have been a lot of F-U-N too! Two weekends ago we headed up to my brothers cabin and our families hung out along with my mom and step-dad. The weather conditions weren't ideal, but the kids found ways to have fun in the rain anyway. I love great family time