Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Yes, it has been a LONG time

I pretty much gave up on this blog awhile back, figuring I was past it, moving on into a new phase that didn't need a blog. And I guess I am still kind of in that mindset. But I do like to regularly check back in to see what my remaining blog friends are up to.

The past few months have been a little rocky. Our youngest - Kate - who is now 3 (yes! 3!) has become the poster child for temper tantrums. When she isn't in the throws of a temper tantrum, we are tiptoeing around her in fear of setting her off, which is absolutely no way to live. Yesterday she had 4 full blown temper tantrums.

Hubby and I are clueless about how to deal with it - we've tried everything we can think of. Ignoring. Hugging. Reasoning. Threatening. Punishing. Taking away. Rewarding. And, yes, spanking. Nothing works. We've turned her doorknob around so we can lock her in her room. We did have a child proofer on it, but she figured out how to get it off. I know that, like all things, this shall pass. But that doesn't provide much reassurance at this point. I've even googled "toddler boarding schools." Yes, that's how bad it has gotten.

On a happier note, Emma is a joy (most of the time). She turned 5 last month, is making great progress with reading, is playing soccer and taking ballet and tennis lessons. She makes jokes (albeit mostly dumb, silly ones), is kind, and still likes to snuggle. We are hoping that Kate will take some clues from her!

They both look very sweet here in this Easter picture!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What the heck is going on?

Since it's been over a month and a half since my last post, I am sure that is the very question that the masses are wondering...or the two or three people who are still sticking with my sad excuse for a blog!

So, here is a quick update on life.

Fabulous vacation on Kiawah Island, SC at the end of August.  Just a blast!  The girls were fun and enjoyed the water.  Emma became a brave little fish in the water and didn't even want to wear her puddle jumper.

Girls started school. Both girls are at the same preschool as last year.  Emma is in the 3 year old class and Kate is in the toddler class (again).  They go three days a week from 9-12.  Kate is still a little uncertain about the whole thing, but Emma is loving every minute of it.


Mommy ran a race. I ran a half marathon this past weekend.  I've been training with a friend pretty hard since June.  This is my 4th one to run and I was just about 2 minutes off my personal record, which I set 8 years and 2 children ago.  So I was happy.  I think I'm going to run another in November. And, as a side note, I've lost about 15 pounds since May, in large part, due to the training.  I can finally fit into most of my pre-baby clothes and it feels great!


Those really are the highlights, so, no fear, you haven't missed much!  I need to do an update on the girls some time soon since they seem to be getting bigger, smarter, funnier, cuter, crazier, more inquisitive, and sassier every day.  In fact, Kate will be TWO next month.  No way?!?!

Thanks for sticking with me!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Conception Deception just made my week!!!

She just posted that I won her Grace Adele Giveaway.

I am beyond excited!

I hadn't heard of Grace Adele before she posted about the giveaway.  Since then, I've spent some time playing around on the website, and I am absolutely stoked to get to go pick something out now!  I mean, seriously, the inside liner alone of this one bag she posted was enough to make my heart race a little!

Her Grace Adele site is here in case you want to take a look: https://suzannebanks.graceadele.us/

The whole Grace Adele site appears to be down for maintenance today, I assume because they are putting up the new Fall/Winter line right now!!!!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

She has a new name

Since the point of this blog is to capture the big and small things in my family's life, I would be a negligent mom if I didn't post about Kate's new name.

Our little Kate - almost 20 months old - was born Sarah Kate Elder.  We knew from the start we wanted to call her Kate, but couldn't come up with a middle name that flowed.  We use Emma's middle name (Grace) a lot and figured the same would hold true for #2.  So we decided to use Sarah Kate, a name I really like, and just call her Kate.  I knew this would pose some hassles in life, but was ok with that.

Well, 20 months later, we've decided to legally change her name to "Kate Sarah."  No, it doesn't flow as well, but I think it was the right thing to do.  For example, picture Kate and I at the doctors office...nurse comes out and calls "Sarah"...I continue to sit there without batting an eyelash...then like 30 seconds later, I'm like, "oh right, that's my kid."  Really not a big deal, but we decided it would save some time explaining throughout her life.

Oh, and as a side note, the process is very easy to change a name in Virginia.  So, there you go, we now have a sweet Kate Sarah!  Either way you write the name, she's absolutely precious!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

And off to school she goes!

The preschool where Emma goes three days a week, 9am-12pm, had an opening in its toddler class.  So we decided to put Kate in two days a week, again 9am-12pm.  She is kind of dropping her morning nap right now, so figured it was a good time to do it so that I could still have the mornings to get work done.

The first 4 or 5 times were a little tough. In fact, on her second day, they called me to come pick her up because she had cried for 2 straight hours.  But, the last time I took her, for the very first time, she didn't cry when I left!

The teachers are super loving, and I like that she is getting to interact with not only other kids, but kids a little bit older than her (technically she didn't meet the cut-off for being in the class since she has an October birthday).  She'll be in the same class next year, and that time around, she'll be one of the oldest kids.

I can't believe how fast she is growing up, already almost a year and a half old.  I still think of her as my little baby.  Not sure if that's because she is the youngest or because she doesn't have a lot of hair so she looks younger!  Regardless, she's a precious joy and it was a little hard to let her take such a big girl step as going to school!

Here are her first day of school pictures!  I think she looks happier than she really is.  One of her favorite words is "backpack."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Three Years!

Emma turns three today. 

She is fun, caring, very silly, moody, smart, athletic, stubborn, and truly the joy in our lives (along with her sister). 

Every day I am shocked at what a little girl she is - the baby is almost completely gone.  She has a strong will, a mind of her own, and an obsession with princesses! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

We have a new baby!

And her name is Bitty Baby!  Santa knew exactly what Emma wanted!

Sweet Kate got a tricycle (though it's way too big, so Emma will likely keep it "safe" for her in the meantime).

All in all it was a GREAT Christmas!  Hope it was for all of you as well!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is sad

Recently I posted about a childhood friend who had a son battling a vicious brain tumor.  The family brought little Henry home from the hospital a month or two ago, knowing that his days were numbered.  And sadly, Henry passed away on Sunday night.  I can't even express how heartbroken I am.  As a mother, I am constantly putting myself in my friend's shoes, imagining what it would be like if it was my child.

I have to share this amazing letter my friend posted on Facebook on a page to remember her son.  The example of my friend's faith has been literally life-changing to me.  And while I never had a chance to meet sweet Henry in person, he will always have a very special place in my heart.

Our Precious Henry,

Several years ago we were living in a tiny apartment. Daddy was at work and I took a test. I'd taken pregnancy tests before but this was different - this one showed TWO lines! At that moment I was stuck by the symbolism - a line for me, and a line representing the life I was now responsible for, the life I'd cherish and enjoy the rest of my days. That was my plan. I believe it was God's plan too.

Enjoying your first two years was more.... more everything than your dad and I thought it would be.  More difficult, more rewarding, more painful, more joyful, more tiring and more exhilarating than we ever suspected parenthood would be.

Your sweet cackling laugh always compelled us to laugh along, your big blue eyes could change our made-up minds. We were continuously blown away by your creativity, industriousness, intelligence, and coordination. We speculated that you'd be an engineer or a surgeon or do something to maximize your incredible potential. That was our plan. We believe it was God's plan too.

When Miri came along we so enjoyed seeing the two of you interact. Your gentle hugs and kisses, the way you'd giggle and chase each other, even your single-word arguments over whether a particular food was "tasty!" or "wummy!"  Her look of adoration stuck from the moment she met you, and when you nicknamed her your "Best-Friend Miwi," we knew you two would enjoy a life-long friendship.  That was our plan. We believe it was God's plan too.

The year preceding your earthly death was difficult. We tried and tried but couldn't understand the challenges you faced and presented. We had no knowledge of this vicious disease, but learned about grace, forgiveness, patience, and perseverance during this time. We still giggled, still played, still worked, but it wasn't until your body began to show outward signs that we began to grasp the source of affliction.

When we learned of your brain tumor we prayed. Thousands prayed. We demanded in prayer, we begged in prayer, we took authority in prayer, we took personal inventories and confessed our shortcomings in prayer, we gathered with groups in prayer, and wept silently, alone in prayer.

We did everything we could think of to strengthen our prayers - prayers for a miraculous healing. A miraculous healing was our plan, and we believe that once you became sick, it became God's plan too.

So many are quick to sign God's name to your vicious disease, to your suffering, to your death.  In the Old Testament, Job attributed his suffering to God too, but after God confronted Job on his lack of understanding about the complexity of the universe, Job repented, admitting he'd spoken of things he did not know (Job 42:3).

Your dad and I also do not know. We do not know why it was you that suffered and died so young. We do not know why the prayers of thousands did not prevail. We just do. not. know.

But some things we do know. We know there is much going on behind the scenes of this fallen world, a world tremendously influenced by God's powerful adversary.  We know that spiritual warfare invades our lives, and often leaves devastation in its wake.

We also know, according to Hebrews 1:3, that Jesus is the radiance of God's glory and the EXACT representation of God’s being. We know that this exact representation of God, Jesus Christ, came to give life, and life more abundantly. So we know your pain, your death, did not come from God, but from an evil place.  And we know one most crucial thing - we know how to fight back.

We will fight with... surrender.  We choose to surrender the anger, the despair, and defeat we feel.  We lay these feelings at the feet of Jesus, to whom the battle belongs.

We know how he fought for us - with complete self-sacrifice.  In fact, that sacrifice is our assurance that we'll see you again.

So we will instead strive to use our energies to be generous to those who could never repay, to be gentle to those who don't make it easy, to pour into the lives of those who hurt, and to, one act at a time, spread the liberating love of Christ.

We'll fail at times, but we pledge to live this way, to honor you, Henry, and to honor the One who now gently holds your small hand.  That's our plan. And living a life that loves sacrificially, well, that always God's plan too.

Sweet boy, we miss you with every breath, but we'll all be together before you know it, celebrating the ultimate victory of love. Until then Precious One, all our love.

Mom & Dad

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Grinch Meets the Pledge of Allegiance

For those of you not up on your Grinch, the last line of the song is "Mr. Grinch. You're a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich. With arsenic sauce!" Apparently it is now the last line of the Pledge as well.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Please Pray for my Friend

A childhood friend of mine is going through the most terrible thing I can ever imagine, knowing that her sweet four year old son is dying and there isn't anything she can do about it.  Her family was just featured on the local news and I've included a link if you want to watch it.


Please, please, please pray for sweet Henry and strength for his family!   I find myself crying almost every day when Henry pops into my mind.  And tonight, when I was really tired and just wanted to lay Emma in bed and go to bed myself, I was ok with one more book and a little more snuggle time.  Because I want to live in this very moment and cherish every second.