Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Portrait of a Graduate- Back to Back

This kid. To say we are proud is QUITE the understatement. ❤️
Today was the inaugural Portrait of a Graduate awards ceremony at our new school, Canyon Creek. Teachers nominated kiddos that have gone above and beyond in the month of January in one of the 5 areas defined by the Olathe School District. Kaden was recognized for Initiative & Self-direction—setting goals & working to achieve them plus deciding what to do instead of waiting to be told by someone else.
I love that our school is taking the time to recognize students in this special way and inviting us to share in their recognition. He was quite proud of himself and recognition like this goes so far in building a student’s self-esteem and confidence—especially his.
Like I said, so proud of this kiddo of ours!

Lil South wasn’t about to be outdone by his brother & so today we were back at school supporting his awesome achievements.❤️
Logan was recognized for Communication—the ability to use words, actions and behaviors to share feelings, thoughts and information.
Again, I love that our school continues to take the time to recognize students in such a special way and inviting us to share in their recognition. There were so many proud kiddos, including ours, and so many proud and supportive parents there too! Such a great way to start the day.
Super blessed we get to claim this ROCKSTAR!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Kansas City Turns RED

What an exciting time it is to live in Kansas City and to be a Kansas City Chiefs fan! All over the city photo ops are popping up and you know me, I have to plan our weekends around seeing and getting the shots while we could. The first one popped up at Power and Light so I suggested to Justin that we we head down there to eat at County Road Ice House before Logan's basketball game. I knew if I threw in some BBQ, he'd be game!

& then we played the Titans--

and we won, so more popped up all over the city and the best ones, at Union Station. We had plans to see one Madelyn play basketball one Friday night but because school was canceled we decided to turn it into a taco and photo night with the Dalboms--the excitement in the city was BURSTING--KC is headed to the Super Bowl.

Monday, January 20, 2020

A new "home" & a Mega Mission

Today the boys and I, along with many friends and 100s of volunteers, came together for the MLK Mega Mission Serve Day—Where we packaged over 30,000 meals to help tackle hunger internationally, filled more than 1,000 bag lunches to assist the homeless in KC and made Valentines for Veterans.

As a family we have been looking for a new church to call home and my heart was tugging us towards Rez West--the United Methodist church that's only about 2 miles or so away from our home. We had only been attending for 2 weeks but it already felt so right. And it was so heartwarming to see so many families—of all ages working so hard. It most certainly was the most meaningful 2.5 hours we’ve spent together in a long time.

“The time is always RIGHT to do the RIGHT thing.” -Martin Luther King Jr

More LOVE. Less HATE.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

A New Year & Some Ink

So I did a thing yesterday...
At 37, I got my first, and probably only, tattoo.
This wasn’t an impulsive decision, I’ve actually wanted and talked about getting one for a long time but I just didn’t know what to get. I wanted something that was meaningful and spoke to me.
Over the last few years throughout our journey with ADHD, and honestly, just raising kids in general, I’ve found a deeper appreciation for the word GRACE. I’ve learned that showing even the littlest amount of grace can make all the difference, whether that’s with Kaden or Logan, Justin, our family or friends or even myself.
Showing grace to someone is showing them kindness that they haven’t earned. And sometimes it’s hardest to give grace to the people who are closest to us. Maybe that’s because we have higher expectations for them or we are so familiar to them that we just don’t think about the importance of extending grace to them.
I don’t want to overlook the importance of this and so, I did a thing.
grace upon grace.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Seeing Twenty Twenty

It's a new year, 2020. This year marks 20 years since I graduated high school which is hard to believe and yet, here we have a 10 year old and an 8 year old. 

We typically go bowling on the first day of the year but the weather was gorgeous and as we took out to find somewhere new to eat, we ended up right next to the ice skating rink. As we were eating the boys were begging to go, so we flipped the script and we went ice skating. Or shall I say the boys and I did, Justin remained a spectator. And as much as the boys wanted to be great at ice skating, they just weren't all that good. There was lots of holding onto me (which I managed to stay up on my feet the whole time), rail holding and sliding through water puddles--remember it was super warm for January 1st. At the end we were all still happy we gave it go, we just might stick to bowling though.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Picture Traditions

The holiday season seems to be flying by and typically I am on top of my annual photo traditions but not this year, but I did get them in before Christmas! 

It's amazing to be able to look back over the years at these pictures of the boys. I pray that they will appreciate them one day or at least maybe their future wives and kiddos. 

Rejoice in the birth of the Lord - for unto us a child is given this night to bring peace and love to all mankind.

Monday, December 23, 2019

2019 Lights Tour

Two years ago we did a KC Lights tour with the Shafers. We surprised the kiddos with PJs, pizza and a limo ride that took us down to The Plaza, Crown Center and through the neighborhoods of Waldo and Mission Hills. The kiddos still talk about that outing so Jenn and I thought we would recreate it and this time some of our other favorites came too, the Palangis.  

We did the same thing as last time---PJs, pizza and a limo BUT this year we were headed to a few different places--Lenexa, Overland Park and Olathe were our destinations figured if we stayed closer, we could see a few more places. And because we are both planners, we had a stop every hour or so that would allow the kids to get out and move. 

First up, Sar Ko Park in Lenexa and it was just beautiful. & yes, we all went in onesies!

After Sar Ko Park we hit up Deanna Rose and then tried to find another neighborhood but failed although it did lead us to a hidden gem of a cul-de-sac where we got star treatment as our limo had a little bit of a hard time turning around so the homeowners all stopped traffic and directed us. 
Such a lovely neighborhood.

Our 2nd to last stop of Pauley's Penguins, a home in Olathe that has hundreds, maybe thousands of penguins. And in all shapes and sizes. 

& our last stop was at the Olathe Community Center before heading back home & getting everyone tucked into bed for Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

A Hartley Christmas

The Hartley Christmas just keeps getting bigger and better each and every year. This year we added two new official family members and two furry family members & you better believe we packed us all under one roof--good thing Grandma and Papa have extra space these days. 

We decided to head down on Friday night so we would have a little time with my mom and dad before the rest of the family showed up---the boys don't get my mom and dad to themselves very often and they boys LOVE being spoiled by them. 

& our elves grew in numbers too, Trenton got in on the action this year, although he wouldn't wear his hat. One of the things I love most about going home for Christmas is that there it's a come as you are. Sweatpants and last year's Christmas shirts are totally a-okay!

Whoa, Nellie. She was furry. She was big. & She was in charge.

& we got to meet the newest four legged family member--Millie, my nephew, Blake's little Aussie-doodle. 

Finally, everyone had arrived and it was time to open presents. Kaden had one thing on his wish list, a blue tooth speaker. CHECK. & Logan wanted a Hydroflask. Also, CHECK.

After those two picture, I put my phone away and tried to get lost in the moment. The boys are getting to an age where their requests are becoming more specific but thankfully, they are still so very appreciative of anything they get. 

Once we were done unwrapping gifts we had a few hours to kill until the entire Hartley clan would be arriving so the kids got to coloring and building. Prior to heading down to my parents', Kaden and I ran to Michael and picked up a couple cardboard houses, they spent HOURS coloring this and even more surprising, everyone got along!! Best $8.00 ever spent!

& poor Nellie didn't know what to think of little Millie and could often be found perched on someone's shoulder, whomever was in this chair. She definitely doesn't realize how big she is getting.

The Hartley clan arrived, we all ate and then the BIG guy himself showed up. The boys once again proclaimed they both wanted new mountain bikes. Phew. 

& well, as for me, I was holding my newest buddy & actually was kind of the first person outside of my sister that got to keep him while his momma and daddy ran some errands. He slept pretty much the entire time but there wasn't anywhere else I would have wanted to be. 

& just like Thanksgiving, Christmas just wasn't the same, it probably never will be. We were all missing Uncle Scott so much but no more than Aunt Kelly, the girls and these three. It's hard to look at my dad and not be sad, he lost his brother and his best friend & I can still tell how much he is struggling with it. Which is why these family gatherings are so important--to take advantage of the time we do have because you just never know. 

This one, he's my favorite & his selfie game has improved greatly.

& after everyone was gone we loaded up all the kids in their matching pjs and we went to see the Carthage lights. The line was long but it was worth the wait. As we got back home, our camp out was ready for us. The kids, minus Logan and Trenton, and I were all sleeping out in the shed--it's the only place we had enough room to make it all work & we were determined to make it work. 

The following day was game day for the Chiefs and sadly we had to head home to KC. We made the most of our morning with Grandma Sara and Papa Tom but saying goodbye just doesn't get any easier, especially after a weekend that was full of all the people we love so much.