Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Party

October has been flying by and when I looked at the calendar & saw that we had less than two weeks to Halloween--I figured I better get to crackin on pumpkins.

Sometimes being tardy pays off and this was one of those instances--instead of paying $6 a pumpkin, I paid $3. We had invited the Walshes and Berberiches over to the house for the Chiefs game & figured that the kiddos could decorate pumpkins while the dads watched the game. Kids would be entertained, Dads would get to watch their game in not complete chaos. Win. Win.

Tiffany and I did a little pumpkin prepping with some masking tape before letting the kids go wild. I was contemplating doing a few Superhero pumpkins but that would be like opening up a can of worms with the boys so I tucked that one back in my pocket to pull out maybe next year. This year we went the simple route with initials.

K for Kaden.

L for Logan.

S for Sophie.

Kaden wanted black. Logan wanted red. Sophie wanted blue. & between picking out colors for their pumpkins and  brushes we didn't hear one single fuss or argument. Jason and I kind of looked at each other in amazement & waited for a few more seconds as we both couldn't believe what we were hearing, or actually, what we WEREN'T hearing!

As the kids worked on their pumpkins Tiffany and I ran around wiping paint off of everything---the kids, their clothes, the table & the pumpkins---STAY IN THE LINES! Come 'on now.

After a few coats we set the pumpkins aside to dry & dinner was served. Nathan had arrived and everyone wanted to play so they quickly ate their dinner and off to play they went. Its so nice having kids the same age as your life long friends' kids.

& yes, our fall activities have certainly changed--they went from tailgating at Chiefs or Pitt games to pumpkin decorating but I for one wouldn't change a thing!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Not Good-Bye

This past week my husband lost his grandmother, Nannie. She not only was his grandmother but she was also a great-grandmother, a great-great-grandmother, a mother, a friend & a TRUE BLUE Royals fan.

She was 99.

Nannie lived such a full life & on Friday we gathered as a family & celebrated her and the legacy that she has left behind. In some way or another, I think Nannie had a bigger plan. She wanted the family to get together again & to spend some real quality time with one another. & she saw to it that it happened. Justin's uncle, that the boys and I have never met & he hasn't seen since he was a junior in high school, was able to be here & stayed with Janet. So we got to meet and get to know him a little more. Yes, we wish it all would have been under better circumstances but it never fails, something always comes up so this was Nannie's way of telling us we couldn't put it off any longer.

We weren't sure if the boys would understand and I am certain they don't get fully comprehend what has happened but Kaden knew what we all needed to hear.

"It's okay to be sad but Nannie is in Heaven now and will always be in our hearts."

& you know, he is exactly right. She has been welcomed into her forever home with our Lord Jesus Christ and one day we will all be reunited and live together for eternity. Just thinking about being reunited one day with all our loved ones who have gone before us brings a smile to my face.

It's never easy saying good-bye to someone that you love & that loved you and your family but it makes it a little easier knowing what the future has in store for all of us.

Nannie was a remarkable woman. & I was lucky enough to have known her over the last 12 years or so. She instantly accepted me into the family, as though I had always been part of it. & when our boys arrived, she was just so happy to meet them. She loved holding Kaden and Logan & I love that these two little dudes got to meet her & celebrate her life right along with us.

They always made the most out of going and seeing Nannie. We would take her on walks. They would trick-or-treat her room. They would have races as she sat back and gave the signal to go. She would love on them & they would love on her back.

She did amazing things in her 99 years---traveled to Italy at age 90, drove until 91---& attended the 1985 World Series Game 7 here in Kansas City when the Royals took the crown. & although I fully believe she had a plan when she passed so peacefully in her sleep on October 18th, I can't help but think she was buying tickets for the best seat in the ballpark. She is throwing one amazing BASH in Heaven right now as she is cheering on her Boys in Blue.

Cheers to you Sophie!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Quick Trip Home

I had plans to spend one of the past weekends with my hubby at the American Royal but the weather was a little cold and things just weren't looking to play out like we envisioned so while he BBQ'd all weekend, I loaded the car up and headed home for some family time. We hadn't seen my mom since our beach vacation back at the end of August and frankly, that was just too long to have gone without a little Grandma Sara in our life.

This weekend also happened to be a very special weekend for my niece, Leah. She was turning 13 & while she was visiting us a few months back she asked that I come back for her birthday. At the time I didn't think we would be able to but kept my eye on the calendar and everything worked out to right so we kept it a secret until she arrived the following morning. We pulled into Grandma Sara's and Papa Tom's house just in time to watch the second game of the ALDS against the Los Angeles A's.

Since it was her 13th birthday and all we had to have a cake for her. Not just any cake either, a tie-dye one. With lots of sprinkles. & birthday banner.

& of course there was a lot of taste testing that took place during the making of the cake.

Not only were Papa Tom and Grandma Sara happy to see us but so were Priest and Jade. Priest was having a rough week but by the time we arrived he was feeling a little better & the boys had him feeling like his old normal doggie-self by the time we left. Now Priest isn't typically a snuggler, he doesn't like it when you all up in his space but for some reason he will always allow me to lay on him and this particular weekend he even allowed Kaden to cuddle up and watch a little TV. He's becoming quite the softy in his old age. 

& he (+Jade) was certainly on top of it when the treats came out--as was Logan. I'm not sure which one was more excited to hear the jars clanking when Papa Tom dug in for treats.

For the last couple of years Leah has held her birthday slumber parties at my mom and dad's. Pretty sure she wants to get away from her brothers for a few days...

Her and Gabby arrived around lunchtime and since my sister was there we figured we would go ahead and sing happy birthday and eat some cake in honor of her turning thirteen. Its crazy knowing that this beautiful young lady is not only thirteen but only inches from being as tall as I am now. Makes me feel old and SMALL. 

After nap-time, Uncle Zack came over and played with the boys outside as I took some pictures of Leah and Gabby. Uncle Zack's drawings put my creativity to shame so I of course didn't capture his, only mine. 

On a regular visit home my mom usually fixes whatever it is that the boys and I would like to eat, our favorites, so to speak. On this weekend I didn't get the royal treatment, Miss Leah did & rightfully so. Her requests were probably better than what my requests would have been--We feasted on meatballs---the best meatballs EVER, mac & cheese, deviled eggs, & corn. For breakfast we had homemade donuts & then Round Steak Stew for lunch. Its no wonder I gain 5 pounds each time I go home. 

Unfortunately we didn't get to stay long on Sunday as I wanted to be back in KC in time for the Chiefs game and the Royals game but we still managed to make it to church and spend some quality time with my littlest niece, Miss Maddie. There are certainly reasons as to why Justin and I live in and have made OUR home in Kansas City--we love it here--but that doesn't mean I don't think about moving home and having more of this in our every day lives. Very few things in life are as calming and relaxing for my heart and soul. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shots & Ikea

A few weeks back we had Kaden's 5 year old checkup. I wasn't looking forward to this checkup as I knew he would be receiving a round of shots. How many? I wasn't quiet sure, just knew he was due.

I'm one of those people who likes to watch every second of a shot being administered or blood being drawn. I like to know when the needles is going in and when it is coming out. I don't like surprises. So I figured it might be best to talk about the shots leading up to the appointment versus letting them spring it on him. We talked about how they would probably be in his leg, that they would only hurt for a second and that we could go for ice cream after. & at the last minute I threw in that we could go to Ikea and get his new bunk bed. We were already planning on getting the bunk beds so I just used it as another carrot for good behavior while we were getting his shots. & I know what you are thinking, now he will expect something big after every shot. NOPE. I made it clear that this was a ONE time ONLY thing and that is was only for FIVE year old shots. & it worked because a week later he had to get a flu shot and he didn't ask for anything besides the sucker the nurse gave him!

Anyways, for the most part the checkup went off without a hitch.

Weight: 43.4 pounds (75th percentage)
Height: 3 feet 9 inches or 45 inches tall (90th percentage)
Blood Pressure: 74/54

The hitch, well it came with his eye exam. We aren't sure if he just wasn't into doing the exam or if he was really having a hard time so we have decided to just go ahead and see a pediatric ophthalmologist just to be sure.

He took his shots like a champ, only a few tears and then we were on our way to Ikea. We made it in and out with in 20 minutes and had his new bed in hand.

The kids were a little disappointed when I explained that we wouldn't be putting the bed together just yet, that I had to do a little painting before it was actually time to build it. And over the next week and half I painted as they rode their bikes and cheered on the Royals to yet another victory.

& I won't lie, this wasn't an easy task--it was a very time consuming task as I only had two sawhorses and had to keep rotating pieces of wood for painting. In all, I think we painted about 45 pieces not once but twice.

Sunday afternoon I started putting the bed together.

After taking a break and having dinner, Justin and I went back to work and finished it up. The boys were so stoked, UNTIL I told them there was NO sleeping on the bed until we had two mattresses. BUMMER.

So that is where we are at. 5 year old shots & a new bunk bed. I have since added a cute end table and shelving unit to the room but still have so much to do to complete the makeover but it will happen in due time. & I think if you ask Kaden, he'll say getting the shots was a pretty small price to pay for his work-in-progress-cool new room.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Over the last few baseball seasons the men in my life, my dad and husband, have both made declarations of "THIS IS OUR YEAR" for the Royals. & each year, we have fallen a little short, that is until this year & THIS IS definitely OUR YEAR!

One of Justin and I's favorite pastimes is attending games of our Boys in Blue. When I was pregnant with Kaden we were season ticket holders---the 21 game package. And although we haven't purchased any packages since, we have certainly attended our fair share of games each year. This year we may just be into double digits but that's only because of recent games. We figured out fairly quickly that we weren't bringing the best of luck for our Royals and vowed to stay away until the bad luck wore off.

We went opening weekend for Justin's birthday with his Mom & his brother's family.

We went a few nights later with the boys.

We went on Easter.

We met up with my parents for a game where they surprised us with a few extra fans that evening.

& on September 15th we went on a date night & beat the White Socks, the curse had been broken and we felt as though any game from there on out was fair game--pun intended.

The last two weeks of September were unreal. Will we or won't we make it to the playoffs? Will we get to know what it really feels like to be in a playoff atmosphere after such a long drought? Could this really be OUR year? It was almost as if you didn't want to watch whatever it was that was happening. "I can't look, just tell me the score when its over."

I won't forget where we were with they clenched our first playoff birth since '85---right in my living room with the same individuals that we started the season off with, Grammy, Adam, Becky and Colton. The boys even got to stay up and witness history & we took a selfie of course.

I may have cried just a little while watching those boys celebrate. Their hard work and dedication was paying off and they were peaking at just the right time.

& that evening started what will go down in history as one of the wildest playoff runs in the history of MLB. Justin and I were lucky enough to grab 4 tickets to the Wildcard game at Kauffman stadium where we hosted the Oakland A's. On paper, they were the superior team. No one really had us winning the game---except a dugout full of baseball players, 40k+ fans standing on their feet the entire game and thousands of true KC fans around the world.

How could small ball come out on top? Well it did & it was the most EPIC night of our lives. I still can't believe what I witnessed in person. We went from the highest of all highs to the lowest of all lows to maybe we have chance to don't look back boys & then we came crashing back down, only to be picked back up by Salvie's base hit which shot past the 3rd basemen.

Janet was saying Hail Mary after Hail Mary. I had my towel on top of my head chanting to myself, you can do this. you can do this. over and over and over. As we heard the crack of the bat there was this silence that came over the stadium for a split second as we all hoped and prayed and would pass through & when it did, all HELL broke loose in that place. Everyone was hugging, high-fiving, and screaming THAT JUST HAPPENED.

It was an unbelievable feeling and Justin and I were still in shock when we pulled into our driveway just before 2 in the morning. Not only will that game go down as probably one of the best games EVER in the history of MLB but it also had to be one of the longest games EVER too---4 hours and 45 minutes and 12 innings. EPIC.

& that game set the stage for the next series with the LA Angels. Once again, we were not favored but don't count our Boys in Blue out. We not only took the first two games from them on their own field, we finished them out in game 3 at The K. & although I wasn't in attendance, I didn't miss a second of the games--I may have had to get a few extra Sonic Teas to help get me through the next day and may still not be caught up on sleep but its totally worth it. Man are these boys planning ball right now---the whole nation is behind them.

We have saved every news headline from the Kansas City Star, some day the boys will get a kick out of them. But it isn't just headline and stories from KC, & other fans, fans of the Orioles are sharing about how nice our ball club is, well that's icing on the cake. They are just boys having a good time.

& here we are up 2-0 on the Orioles. Our first match-up back on our home field. & I couldn't be more excited for the game tonight. A little nervous actually---I guess I finally know what it feels like to be my mom as she watched me playing in high school. She always had her hands buried in her face and just as nervous as could be. & granted, these aren't "my" boys but they are OUR boys & that is what I love about the Kansas City Royals. If you have been a fan for as long as we have, my dad has, then you feel like you are right there with them---along for this amazing ride that will only get sweeter. It's been great, but it ain't over yet!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hello World. Hello Baylor.

In the early mornings of September 6th this little man was welcomed into the world.

Mr. Baylor Robert Johnson. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Perfect in every single way. & when we are with the Johnsons all I want to do is hold him. & not let go. How could anyone let go of this handsome lil' dude?!?

& I'm not the only one that likes to hold the newest little guy & if you didn't know us, you'd think he was holding his little brother. When Baylor is in his lap he loves holding his hand and gently touching his head. & as the picture shows, he smiles from ear to ear. I won't lie, seeing Kaden hold Baylor makes think twice about being done at two.

& a little guy this cute deserved being celebrated but since his mommy, Korie, didn't find out what she was having we decided to throw a little Sip & See party after he was born. A little sprinkle of a shower where we not only could shower Korie with love and a few gifts but also meet the newest love of her life.

So with a Sip & See in mind we reached out to a few friends and family for them to save the date. The girls (Abby, Meghann, Rachel) & I pulled together a Hello World themed shower with yummy food, desserts and even yummier drinks---after all this was a Sip & See, the baby boy had already arrived so all us girls could just enjoy ourselves.

& I am kicking myself for not taking more pictures. Kicking myself for not getting a picture with the new mom of three, who by the way looks AMAZING and so at peace with three babies. & my lack of pictures could possibly be explained by holding this guy…

It's sometimes hard to come to grips with the fact that we aren't in college anymore. Although it seems like it was just yesterday, it wasn't. Here we are, in our thirties with husbands and babies. & there are very few things in life that bring me as much joy as watching my best friends bring life into the world. I am so blessed knowing that my boys will grow up being such great friends with my person's kiddos. We may have had fun in college but THIS adventure, is by far the best adventure we have had & it is only going to get better.