Thursday, May 29, 2014

Soccer Comes To An End.

Kaden's soccer season is FINALLY over & we celebrated with a family trip to Sporting Park this week. It would be the boys' first Sporting game and they were excited to see some soccer or maybe they were excited to stay up past their bedtime, either way, we had a great time!

Kaden representing his Mommy's work---last year this shirt swallowed him!

& I guess, I should comment on the FINALLY part--that was more Kaden's wish than my wish. On the last weekend of soccer he had two games, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. We told him that after Sunday's game he wouldn't have any more games and he kept proclaiming, with his hands stretched out to the side and about head height that "I only have one more game & then its over, FOREVER.". 

We started off the season in tears & game by game things got a little bit better. We never really had a breakthrough game but he at least seemed to be enjoying himself to some degree. Sure he might have been playing in the dirt while practice was going on or may have had to play catch up because he wasn't paying attention when the ball took off in the other direction but he was still smiling, for the most part.

A couple of games I even went out on the field and tried to scoot him along, you know encourage some friendly kicking of the ball or stealing of the ball. (I am sure you are all having a very hard time believing that I would actually go on the field and "coach" my child, but its true--I was that mom!)

His favorite parts of soccer were playing Pirates during practice and then running through the "tunnel" that the parents did after each game.

His least favorite part of soccer, the actual game. He avoided the huddle around the ball. During the last game he finally got a little closer, albeit he was running around the circle with his arms flailing like he was the one being chased. Now, I will give it to him, he looked cute doing it and the parents all thought his reaction and comments were adorable, I just wanted him to kick the ball.

On the last game the Coach let him and one of his buddies be the Captains. They both got to walk out to the middle of the field, shake hands and call heads or tails. As soon as he flipped the coin, Kaden caught it. In the air. Can you say "let's try this again"? He also started the game which actually I think might have helped, he was focused for the first few minutes. He had one breakaway with the ball which led to a Comet's score---I don't think it counts as an assist but he was sooo happy. As were Justin and I.

It was just nice to see the kid smiling for a change--it had been a long season and the breakaways that he did have all ended without a goal, a couple by inches and you could just see his heart break so this was good. He needed this. The Comets needed this. & I think since we ended on a "good" note, he might actually want to play again next year. I mean he did get a medal and a cupcake which he thought was SOOOOOO AWESOME.

& if he doesn't, I know one kid that is just dying to get out there and try. The same kid who watched from the sidelines this year as his brother played. The same kid who picked flowers for me, kicked the soccer balls out of the net for the boys, cheered on the team. This kid is so ready for his shot...

Sunday, May 25, 2014


A lot of May has been about Logan, after all it was his birthday month & we had a number of celebrations for him but another big dude had a pretty important month too.

Mr. Kaden finished his first year of pre-school & celebrated with a carnival a few weeks ago with all his friends at school, Daddy & Grammy---I was out of town traveling so I sadly missed it. But lucky for me, Grammy took a few pictures and Kaden told me all about it. Well, kind of. He said he got to play with Sophia, which was really all that mattered. It was a good day at pre-school when Sophia was there, each Tuesday & Fridays when she wasn't, wasn't as great.

He was sad to learn that it was his last day of pre-school & that he wouldn't get to see some of his friends for awhile but he perked up when I told him we would be back in August when schools starts again and this time it will be for three days a week.

You see, this kid has an August 31st birthday, which is one day before the cut-off for attending Kindergarten this coming year. & instead of standing by the bigger kids at the edge of our sub-division and getting on the big yellow school bus, he will spend another year at pre-school.

You always hear that with boys waiting another year might make the most sense & I think for us it does. Academically, Kaden is on par, if not, ahead of the game & would do just fine but, honestly, he could use a little more time to mature. He is a boy. & he would be the youngest in his class. We figured being the youngest in the class may not be the best foot to start off on.

I mean, we are talking about making decisions that will shape our child's future. Is this the best thing for him?  Will he understand that even though he and Colton will both be 5, they will be in different grades? There are lots of questions but I think we know the answer...

One more year will allow him to grow a little taller, to grow a little smarter, to grow a little more patient & to mature a little more. One more year will start him off on the right foot. 

Yes, we think this is the best thing for him. (It may not be the best thing for anyone else in this same position---every situation is different.) Yes, he will understand, eventually. & selfishly, my BIG guy stays a baby for one more year! There is just something super scary knowing that this lil' man of ours is going to be FIVE in just a few short months, no need to add Kindergarten at the same time too. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy {Belated} Mother's Day

When asked what I wanted to do for Mother's Day I said, "be with my boys"--all three of them. It didn't really matter to me what we did, just as long as we were together. After all, they are the reason I get to partake in this little old holiday. And you know, some Moms' may have wanted a spa day, to go shopping or just quiet time & I can totally get that but for me, I just wanted to soak up my time with them. I work outside the home and part of that requires travels so I already feel like I give up too much of my time so giving up time on a Sunday just wasn't something that I wanted to do. I needed this day with them.

We started off Sunday like every other recent Sunday with the early service at church. The boys were pretty excited for Sunday Class and came out proclaiming that "JESUS LOVES EVERYONE!". That He does. That He does. We actually had some special guests for church, Grammy, Uncle Adam, Aunt Becky and Cousin Colton. We followed church up with brunch at our house but not before stopping and grabbing my iced tea. Mother's Day wouldn't be Mother's Day without a tea! Actually, I don't think any day would be an "okay" day without a tea!

Before we dug into brunch, we sang Cousin Colton Happy Birthday since it was his actual birthday & lucky him, he got to blow out a candle on a cinnamon roll. YUM! The big 5, where has time gone?

We had just a few hours before nap time so the boys and I took off for Sky Zone. I figured that since Logan had such a great time there on his birthday that we should go back & let Kaden see what all the fun was about. Luckily, it wasn't busy at all and the boys hopped from one trampoline to the next.

We did have one tragedy & it pretty much happened as soon as I got the boys socks on and sent them to jump--I dropped my tea and it busted all over the floor. I was so distraught & for the rest of the hour I was sooooo thirsty.

So we made stop #2 at Sonic on the way home. Hey, a happy wife is a happy life.

Once home Logan mentioned how he wanted to sleep on my shoulder & laid his head down as I carried him in. He had me & we spent the next few hours having family nap time on the couch. Logan curled up next to me. Kaden laying next to Justin and we all fell asleep watching golf.

A few hours later we woke up and Justin started dinner. He grilled one of my favorites, we had salmon and then grilled chicken with his homemade guacamole---to.die.for. & then I skipped out of the house and headed off to the hospital to meet Mr. Breck.

Mr. Breck decided to come a few weeks early and give his mom the best Mother's Day gift EVER. He might have been 4+ weeks early but he didn't spend one second in the NICU, he passed every test with flying colors and was headed home just two short days later. CHAMP! & did I mention he is the cutest little thing?!? I could have sat there all night holding him & talking to his mommy and daddy, just the perfect little family of three. Couldn't be happier for them.

Now, not only did I spend most of the day with my boys, which was more than enough, they also spoiled me with flowers and chocolate covered strawberries at work. They each made the most adorable homemade gifts & cards while at Brenda's---thank you Ms. Brenda for always making us Moms feel so special. I had a huge smile on my face when they showed me what they had made & they couldn't have been more proud.

& just like my birthday which last for the entire month, a few days later another gift showed up in the mail. Who knew Justin had such great taste. I mean seriously, how did he know I wanted a necklace that was small and dainty, one that I would NEVER take off. I mean its like he knew exactly what I wanted! ;0)

Mother's Day was pretty much everything I needed--so it might not have been picture perfect and I didn't get to spend it with my mother who I respect now more than ever BUT I got to spend it with my arms around these two, whether they liked it or not.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Plus Two

We had a busy couple of weeks. Not only have I had a number of photo shoots (my last few that were scheduled prior to the announcement) but we had Logan's 3rd birthday shoot as Batman and we had a family session--both with Katy Gitto Photography. I had planned to have Logan's 3rd birthday shoot all along but the family session was suppose to be my entire family but life can get a little busy and not everything works out as hoped or as planned. So instead, we decided to make it our 2014 South Family shoot & this time, we brought two special guests. Stoli and Brodi. After all, they have been part of our family for 9+ years & we have no professional pictures with them--I am sure we will treasure these as much as any of the other images.

I didn't feel like shopping (shocking, I know) so we just went with the same outfits that we were going to use for the Hartley family pictures & for the most part, the colors worked well. Both Katy and I were a little worried on whether or not we would even get the shoot in because the sky was looking a little scary but we did. & as critical as one can be of themselves, the pictures turned out pretty great. The boys and Justin look great & the dogs behaved pretty darn good considering it was a new area...

Here are a few of my favorite images from the shoot. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The birthDAY

Each year I take off on Logan's birthday--usually on Kaden's too but the last few years his has fallen on a weekend--& we make it a mommy & son day. It's not often that I get a full day of one on one time with either of the boys, just them and me & I thinks its important for them to have that time. No one to talk over them. No one to distract them. & more importantly, no one to distract me. I am all their's.

These days have by far become one of my most favorite days of the year & I am pretty sure I get just as excited as they do.

This year Logan had three requests, to go to "Mommy's work", to eat lunch at "train place, me want french fries & milk shake" & to eat dinner at T-Rex to see the dinosaurs.

Our first stop of the day was at Kaden's pre-school to drop him off & to visit Grammy at her classroom. The kids were working on their 8th grade play so we didn't get to see them but Logan did get his sticker for the day.

Up next was a trip to Target. We needed to pick up a few birthday donations & deliver them to Operation Breakthrough. In years past we have asked for donations versus gifts at their birthday parties, we wanted to show the kids the value of helping others and how great it feels to be the giver and not always the receiver. We then realized, that we also needed to teach our children how to receive graciously, not always an easy thing to do. With this in mind, we came up with a different plan, we would allow birthday gifts at the party & then we would do donations on our own, on their birthday if possible. We would take them with us to pick out the donations and to deliver them.

Since it was Logan's third birthday we did toothbrushes and toothpastes, just like Kaden's third birthday. Logan loved pulling the toothpaste off the shelves and we wiped them clean out of kids' toothpaste and multiple styles of toothbrushes. He then found some travel toothbrush kits & we threw a few of those in too.

& thanks to Dawn & Nolan who donated a bag full too, we had quite a few to deliver to Operation Breakthrough for the boys and girls there. & somehow, I ended up carrying all the bags while he just looked cute. But he does do a good job looking cute--in his American Eagle jeans and all!

Next up, checking his first item of his wish list, visiting mommy's work. I work with some pretty amazing women who just happen to all have kids about the same age as Kaden and Logan & we love seeing everyone's littles. We may have gone as far as arranging marriages for a few of our kids, Logan being one of them, his girlfriend's name is Lucy. Logan and Lucy. Both with the biggest, bluest eyes & both with the blondest hair you will ever see. Its safe to say that their kids would be the cutest kiddos EVER.

He, of course, had to take his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's sword in with him & I verified, only firearms are not allowed on the premises. By the time we left he had scored a bag of M&Ms, a soccer stress ball, & numerous aww so cute. & the only way I could get him to leave was to let him know what was next on our big adventure--SKY ZONE.

To say he LOVED Sky Zone would be an understatement. We only had about 30 minutes to jump and explore so he went full speed ahead. Coincidentally, we showed up during Toddler Time--Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30-11-- & it was perfect. There weren't any big kids, actually, not many kids at all. He had the trampolines basically to himself. & although he was sad to leave, he was super excited to keep his cool new orange socks.

It was now lunch time. We headed out to Fritz's for french fries and milkshakes which is exactly what he ended up having. Nothing more. Nothing less. & I love that exactly one year later he is still just as excited as ever to see the trains.

I ate. He drank. 

We CHEERED a special toast to being three. 

The next part of this guy's special day wasn't all that great but was certainly needed to get through the rest of the evening, Nap Time. After waking up from nap we loaded up in the car and headed out to an early dinner. We were on our way to T-Rex. This time went a little better than the last time. We took Kaden here for his first birthday and there were a few tears, he wasn't a fan of dinosaurs just yet. 

The boys were a little hesitant at first and then we reminded them that they were just pretend and couldn't get them, they slowly proceeded into the restaurant. Once we were in our seats they perked up and started looking around at all the animals. We went on a little scavenger hunt & of course had to buy them each the souvenir cup. Justin and I weren't looking forward to the food because we all know how expensive but yet terrible these sorts of restaurants can be, especially when you can't avoid the gift shop, but the kids ate better than I have ever seen them eat. They even left room for a little birthday cupcake. 

& somehow they managed to still leave room for more cake once we returned home. One of the best things about having kids this age (well there are lots of great things) is the fact that they will sing when asked which means, both you and I don't have to hear my annoying voice. 

Now I should explain Logan's reaction---this was the second time someone had blown out HIS candles. The first time we sang him Happy Birthday just a few days prior at his party his Cousin Colton blew out the candles. & this time, on his REAL birthday, his brother just had to blow out the last one. His face really does say it all. 

The day finally came to an end & it was no surprise that Logan was pretty much out as his head hit his pillow. What was a surprise---what he was wearing. Yes, even Batman needs rest. 

See, I told you, by far one of my favorite days of the year.