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Birthday Weekend Rewind

Oh Monday, why did you have to come so soon?

It was a great weekend for the most part.  It would have been a wonderful weekend had Andy not been sick all Saturday.  Because of that we cancelled our plans to go out that night for my birthday.  We'll try it again soon.

Saturday morning, my birthday, was pretty relaxing.  Andy made me cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we lounged around watching Rick Steves on TV.  Does anyone else out there love watching his travel show?  He has such a relaxing way about him.  Anyway, we watched Rick while Andy ran to the bathroom every 20 minutes.  I'm not even exaggerating.  He felt fine aside from the frequent bathroom trips.  We knew there was no way he was leaving the house like that, though, so we had a quick, easy lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches and I left at 11:30 with Aiden and Brennan for Aiden's last basketball tournament of the year while Andy and the babes stayed home.

At the tournament my sister came to watch so we were there kid-less since Aiden was playing and Bren was off with his buddies playing their tablets.  It was fun getting to catch up with her for 3 hours!  Sadly Aiden's team lost all three of their games.  Aiden gave it his all, ran his tail off and was hustling like a pro and that's all I can ask for - well, that and him having fun which he did.

The last game of the tournament and the season was played against his buddies, the other 5th grade team from our school.  Such a bummer but I think they actually all had fun playing each other!  The parents, on the other hand, did not enjoy it.  It's just not fun watching friends compete against each other.  The gym was pretty quiet through the whole game except for clapping after baskets made or when a kid was subbed out of the game.  It was a fun afternoon of ball but now we move on to soccer in two weeks.

We got home around 4 and stayed home the rest of the night.  We hung out watching TV and playing toys.  Because he knows how much I love it, Brennan grabbed my brush and brushed my hair for my birthday for an hour!  It was pure bliss!  Aiden jumped in for 15 minutes while Bren took his shower and brushed again for 45 minutes Sunday.  So sweet of them!

Sunday morning we picked up the house, had breakfast and headed out to my parent's farm to see the new baby lambs.  Tenley was hesitant but still reached right out to touch the lamb's nose.  No kisses for the babies but she did blow a kiss once to them.

 Tate was much more hesitant than Tenley.  He stood back a few feet until Gramma Jeannie held his hand and walked him up to them.  And then he just pet it a couple times before saying he was done.  :)

Brennan has finally gotten over his fear of the sheep thanks to Aiden's 4H sheep last summer!  Yay!  He walked through the barn no problem and didn't run when the momma's came to the fence.

Aiden is an old pro at this point and asked a lot of questions.  He held the lamb's for Tenley and Tate to see.

After we left the farm we headed to town to stop by Andy's folks' new house. We stayed for about 15 minutes then the kids all got too crazy so time to head out.  Because we didn't go out for supper for my birthday we stopped by my favorite pizza place in town and grabbed a pizza to go.

The rest of Sunday was spent coloring...

building puzzles...

hiding under blankets...

taking naps...

making my birthday cake (a day late because he wasn't feeling good the day before)...

and folding laundry...

We laid low Sunday evening, got showers and baths and went to bed early to prepare for the week ahead.  It was a great birthday weekend and the kids and Andy made me feel special from the minute I woke up Saturday to the minute I went to bed Sunday.  They sang me Happy Birthday a number of times, gave me lots of hugs and kisses, made me my cake and just helped around the house.  I have an amazing squad!

Here's to another week!

36 Things About Me

In honor of my 36th birthday tomorrow, here are 36 things about me.

I have two vices: Mt Dew and Andy

I'm a more patient mom of toddlers at age 36 than I was at age 26

I never though at age 26 I'd still have toddlers in the house ten years later!

I'm definitely NOT a night owl

I have a glass of chocolate milk every single morning with breakfast

I don't love children's movies because there's always a bad guy and my 
tender heart can't handle that

I'm turning 36 but my head still tells me I'm only 24

I share a birthday with my dear, sweet Grandma Louise in Heaven

I am a licensed cosmetologist but haven't worked in a salon
in almost 11 years

I worked in a bank for 4 years before getting to be a stay at home mom

I've lived in 5 different houses and 1 apartment in my life

My favorite genre of music is Oldies (mostly 60's) but I also
like Country and Soft Rock

I went to Hawaii in the 2nd grade with my family at the end of my
dad's 6 week work-stint there

I love having my house decorated for holidays but the day after each holiday
I am ready to put that stuff away and move on to the next

I love having candles or Scentsy wax burning

Some days I don't get the table wiped down from breakfast until after lunch

I love playing in my flower beds ... except when it's above 80 degrees :)

I watch The Young and the Restless every day of the week

I love to get lost in a good book, and when I do don't expect me to get off the couch
to clean the house or make supper

If I had really thought about what I love back in high school I'd either be
an accountant or meteorologist

I am a weather nut and almost always know what the forecast is.  If severe weather is
called for I geek out and try to be home so I can enjoy it when it comes through

I hate rodents, spiders, bugs and snakes and if a dog isn't my own I'm not a fan of it

I love kitty cats but am afraid to pet them because Andy is allergic and
I don't want to make him sneeze and be miserable

I'm a touchy-feelie type and give hugs to everyone

If I run across an adult throughout my day I chat their ear off
because I've only had toddler talk all day

If we are watching something that spooks me I MUST have all of my skin covered -
that includes my feet, ears, neck, hands - everything!

My favorite genres of books to read are romance and historical romance (westerns especially).
Growing up my favorites were kid ghost stories - not the spooky ones, more like
the sweet, sad, feel good in the end ones

I love sticking to our old traditions, like adding new ones and hate
when some get lost over time

I'm an old soul and think I should have been born in the 50's - or maybe
I was and have been reincarnated into this life (food for thought)

I like washing the outside of our windows because I have a handy-dandy
squeegee to do the job which makes it fun :)

I have chapstick in several places in my house, in my car and in my
purse because I always feel like I need some

I don't wear glasses or contacts

My favorite color is green but I have only one green scarf in my wardrobe,
otherwise everything else is pink, gray or black (mostly)

I would consider myself a fairly strict parent where rules apply but
I like goofing off and having fun with the kids when I can

I've had my wisdom teeth and gall bladder removed but still have my
tonsils, adenoids and appendix

I am a very nostalgic person, sometimes the weirdest items have special meaning to me,
 and I used to keep everything from trinkets to school papers
until I had kids and realized I just couldn't do that anymore

There it is, 36 things about me!  Now I'm off to go celebrate my birthday with the ones I love.  Have a great weekend everyone!

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week
Because of the unusually warm temperatures we got the grill out this week.  Monday night we had the most delicious marinated chicken breasts for supper - that grilled chicken sure did taste good after a long Winter!  Last night we grilled pork burgers and tonight marinated pork chops.  Mmm!

What I'm reminiscing about
Birthday's past, when my in-laws moved into their current house and how that was, Aiden's First Communion -- all this will be explained in this post.

What I'm loving
My book club.  It's so fun getting together with these women and talking!  I'm learning so much about them and forming relationships and networking and it's been so good for my mental health.  You just need to be around other women and talk about girl and mom and wife things.  I'm so happy I was asked to join!

What we've been up to
A lot of basketball, a lot of extended family time, a lot of getting outside to enjoy the amazing warm weather we've been having.

What I'm dreading
The colder temps returning this week.  I love that in February we almost always get a little warm up, kind of like a little "you're going to make it through Winter but here's a little boost" from God.  But that little bonus weather makes me extra antsy for Spring to hurry up and arrive.  One more month, we can make it!

What I'm working on
I'm going to start working on buying fabric for a few outfits my mom is going to make for Tenley. She still has the patterns she used when my sister and I were little girls so I'm really excited she's going to use those for Tenley.  She's going to make a flouncy sleeveless summer dress, a knit every day kind of dress and a cute little two piece hot weather outfit.  I can't wait to get fabric shopping!  I'm also working on purging the house.  Goodness do we need it!  I got a tiny start but really need to just take a couple of boxes to the basement storage room and start going through things.  I'm hoping to have a garage sale this spring/summer to get rid of a bunch of outgrown kids clothes.  That's what's taking up the most space down there. I also finally finished the invitations for a bridal shower my mom, sister and I are throwing for a cousin's fiance.  My printer ran out of ink and they've just been sitting there staring at me.  Finally finished stuffing and stamping the envelopes yesterday so I can get them mailed out today. Check that off my list of things to do!

What I'm excited about
My birthday!  This is my birthday week (YAY!!!) and I'm excited for Andy to take me out Saturday night to spoil me. :)

What I'm watching/reading
Watching: The Bachelor, RHOBH, Summer House, Are You The One like always.   Andy and I watched Bill Burr's newest comedy special and it was HILARIOUS!  Not for the faint of heart, he cusses a lot. We're also on a Saturday Night Live kick - we record it and watch it later in the week.
Reading: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain was this month's book club book and it was really good! This upcoming month's book is The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty - I helped pick it so am hoping it's really good so no one is disappointed.  I love Liane Moriarty, her books have all been so good, so I hope I didn't pick her one dud. I'm also reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young every morning.  It's a really calming way to start my day.

What I'm listening to
Mostly the radio or old CD's in the car.  Nothing new.  I do love when I catch Ed Sheeran's newest song on the radio, Shape of You - so good!  I first heard it on the Grammy's earlier this month and instantly loved it, which is strange since I'm not normally an Ed Sheeran fan.

What I'm wearing
I bought my first 'cold shoulder' shirt this week!  I've been wanting one for awhile and found a really adorable one at Target.  I can't wait for the right occasion to wear it!

What I'm doing this weekend
It's another CRAZY, BUSY weekend!  Friday evening we are moving Andy's parents - they decided it was time to downsize so we are moving them to a smaller home in a retirement community in our hometown.  Saturday is MY BIRTHDAY!!!  We have a basketball tournament for Aiden that afternoon then we have a sitter coming over for the evening so Andy can take me out to supper and to do a little shopping.  Sunday might be a quiet day but the weather is supposed to be cold again so we'll be inside that day.

What I'm looking forward to next month
Brennan's birthday!!!  That sweet boy is going to be 8 - I can't even believe that!  We are surprising him with tickets to the last Iowa Men's basketball game of the regular season and he gets to take a friend with him.  He's going to be so excited!

Bonus Q: What is my go-to beauty product
Lotion.  Sounds silly but I love slathering on a layer of yummy scented lotion after my showers and before bed.  I use Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea body cream most times.  Right now my favorite scents are Lavender & Spring Apricot and Gardenia & Fresh Rain.  I am 100% a floral scent kind of gal.

Life Lately

Hello hello!  Today is my Monday - Andy and the kids were all home yesterday for President's Day so today will be extra crazy trying to get the house back in order after the weekend and doing my usual busy Tuesday stuff (errands, groceries, etc).  And don't short weeks always feel extra long?  

Here's a little 'life lately' from around here.

Sweet little Tate fell asleep in the car with his hand in his pocket.  This made me smile. And yes, I was parked when I took the picture.

This silly little girl looked so springy last week when the temps were in the 50's and 60's so I had to take a picture.  Then she gave me this precious pose.  All the heart eyes!

Andy and Aiden went to a basketball tournament so these two goofballs, Tenley and I went to town for a Walmart run.  We couldn't resist taking a picture of them in this St Paddy's Day hat!

A few months ago I saw that Belinda Carlisle, solo artist and lead singer of The Go-Go's, was coming to a casino near us.  She was big in the 80's and my mom, sister and I all love her music so I suggested that for our birthdays (all within 6 weeks of each other) we go to the concert.  This was us at supper before the concert.

This is Belinda Carlisle!  She has been a singer/artist for 5 decades she said and holy smokes does she NOT look it!  She's gorgeous!  And wow did she have major energy!  She sounded amazing and we had so much fun singing and dancing along!

Every year in 4H the kids have to give a presentation to their club.  It's supposed to be ag/4H-related (ag being agriculture) but our club is lenient and lets them do anything they are interested in.  Last year Aiden did his presentation on shop safety.  This year together we decided he should build a blue bird house and do a presentation on how he built it, info about blue birds and where and how to put up the houses. Here he is with his finished product.  He's going to take this presentation and bird house to the fair, also. Photo credit goes to Andy.

Brennan is making his First Communion this April.  He needed a new dress shirt and tie, and dress shoes so since he was off school and Andy was home yesterday we headed to the big city to do some shopping. We left Andy, Aiden and Tate home to build that birdhouse while we went shopping with Tenley.  We had a great day and it was so fun to pair off these two and just get out and about the three of us!

That's been life lately!

I'm linking up with these sweet gals for their Tuesday Talk!

Tenley Louise || 15 Months

Loulie Girl!  You are quite the little sassafrass!  Oh my goodness, girl, you go from being the sweetest little pinky pink to a sassy little tough girl in a blink of an eye.  It's super adorable, for now. :)

You absolutely HATE to be told no.  The other day you were getting into something you shouldn't have.  I picked you up and moved you away and told you "no!" and boy did that break your heart!  You cried and cried and buried your face in my lap.  Sweet little pudding pie!

You haven't had any fear of strangers yet and seem to make friends wherever you go.  You let anyone hold you but always keep a close eye on where I am.

You are saying  more and more words every week.  Shoes, eyes, nose, book, milk, Tate, Tenley, Aiden and Brennan are your latest.  You even mimicked 'Happy Birthday' last week for Tate's big day!  I can pretty much get you to mimic any word I say but your clearest words are definitely shoes, eyes, milk, book, Da and Mama.

You have 4 teeth on top and 2 on the bottom.  You have started drooling again so I think your other two bottom teeth are starting to move around.

You are such a tiny little thing and are light as a feather.  You are getting taller, though, because I  notice your size 12m jeans are a little too short now.

You love to climb up on the chairs, couch, stools and piano bench but once you are up there you think you can't get back down.  Sometimes you will climb back down from the chairs and always the couch but the stools and piano bench and sometimes the chairs you will stand on and holler 'Ma! Ma!' until I come get you down.  We need to practice how to safely get down from them.  We should also practice safely crawling down stairs, that trick will come in handy some day.

Books and dolls are your favorite things to play with.  You pull as many books off the shelf that you can reach and sit down to look through them or have me read them to you.  You like to feed your dollies their bottle and set them in their highchair.  We alternate between two that you take to bed with you.

Morning naps are still hit or miss.  I think you'd be fine without them but after a busy weekend or a later night I lay you down and you always fall asleep.  I try to limit those morning naps to 1 hour so you still take a good afternoon nap. Those typically last from 1:00 to 3:30, sometimes later or sometimes earlier.  You go to bed at 8 every night and wake up around 6:30 or 7 the next morning.  You fall asleep with your two middle fingers in your mouth and your snuggle blankie up under your nose.

You haven't been much of a snuggler but lately you will sit on my or Daddy's laps while we are watching TV at night.  It might only last a minute or two but it's much more than you have ever done since you've been mobile so that's been nice for that extra contact.

Shoes!  Goodness do you love your shoes!  Obviously since it's one of your first words they are important to you.  :)  You will find a shoe and bring it to me then sit down and look at me until I put it on for you.  You try to put the shoe on yourself sometimes but haven't figured that skill out yet.  If we ask where your shoes go you point to your feet.

You are always one of the brightest spots in my day and I love you to pieces, my little girl.  I'm excited to see what this next month brings!

Weight: 22.8lbs
Height: 31"
Diaper: Pampers Swaddlers size 3
Clothes: 12 & 18mo, shoe size 4

Show and Tell Tuesday || My Loves

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  I'm linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday today.  The topic is to tell all about our loves.  I can't wait!

||Tenley Louise||

My sweet baby girl!  She is a total sassafrass - the spunk this little girl has!  Andy says she gets it from me and if that's the case we are in trouble!  She wants what she wants when she wants it and hates being told no.  Her 15month update is tomorrow so I will stop here.  #lovethisgirliegirl


I just did Tate's 3 year update so you just read all about him but there's always more to tell, right?  I love Tate's imagination - lately he is very much into pretending.  The other day he 'gave me' some treats and I pretended to set them on the couch next to me.  Then he had to go to the bathroom so I got up to take him and he got so upset because I left my pretend treat on the couch where Tenley could get it.  He would not let me walk away until I'd 'eaten' it or set it someplace higher where it was safe.  :)  #lovemytatietot


My sweet Brennie Joe!  This kid has the softest heart and the best sense of humor!  Goodness does he crack us up with his one liners!  He is a fairly quiet kid but then, bam!  Out pops something super funny from his mouth!  He's an old soul like me and has this neat maturity about him that makes him get me and Andy's humor.  He loves playing with Legos, doing anything Aiden is doing and being a big brother to Tate and Tenley.  #stilltheotherpeainmypod


Aiden absolutely LOVES sports but my goodness does this kid pick up on learning music super fast!  He's totally impressed his band teacher with his saxophone skills and he's advanced to the next difficulty level in his piano playing.  I love that he loves playing music as much as he does and that it's been easy for him to pick up.  He's a star student (in my opinion) with all A's.  He has also moved up to the  next 'level' as far as maturity goes and growing up goes.  He's a lot of fun and we can be more friends than parents with him these days.  He's such a good kid!  #whendidhegrowup?


This guy right here, he's the best! The best dad, best husband, best friend, best EVERYTHING and he's mine all mine!  He often says he got the better end of the deal when we got together but he's wrong because I DID!  He's amazing and I couldn't love him more if I tried.  #loveofmylife #highschoolsweethearts

I hope you all have special plans with the ones you love tonight.  I am making a special meal and heading out for a PTO meeting, ha!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Tate's 3rd Birthday Party

This past weekend we celebrated Tate's 3rd birthday with family.  He was so excited to have his party!  He talked about it non-stop the entire week leading up to it.  We went over who was coming many times a day.  He loved listing off all the names: Papa, and Gramma Jeannie, and PAT (always said loudly), and Charley, and Auntie...  and so on.  :)

I have a love-hate feeling about decorating the kid's birthday cakes.  I love the idea of making the cakes but once I start decorating them I hate the job because they never turn out quite like I want them to.  Plus the frosting of the cake drives me batty because I always push too hard and get bits of cake pulled up through it.  Things went a lot smoother this time and I wasn't too unhappy with how the cake turned out.

Tate sang with us as we all sang him 'Happy Birthday'.  He loves singing that song!

Tate seems like such a big boy sometimes.  He can blow out his candles all by himself, which seems silly to say as a three year old but when you compare it to Tenley on her first birthday (and Tate, too) it feels like a big accomplishment.

Time to open presents!  Tate's favorite place to play is in his sandbox and the grandparents know it.  One set got him a set of sandbox toys and the other set got him a front loader and dump truck set for digging in the sand.  He hasn't stopped asking to go play in his sandbox since -- hurry up warm weather!

My grandma gave Tate a few special gifts.  One was this little rocking chair and doll dressed in John Deere clothes. Tenley took it upon herself to promptly remove the doll and seat herself in that chair.

When I was a kid my grandma bought her first knitting machine. She made all of us grandkids sweatshirts with the tummy section removed and a knitted panel sewed in.  I think mine had teddy bears on it.  She moved to town this past summer and in all of her cleaning she found some of those sweatshirts she'd made but had never given out.  Tate ended up being one of the lucky recipients of those sweatshirts for his birthday - he loved the semi's on it!

My sister totally knocked Tate's present out of the park!!!  She went to Goodwill and found a small table that she then painted and glued Lego panels onto for a Lego table!!!  How perfect since we gave Tate his first box of Legos for his big day?!?

Food-wise, I made Brisket, Cheesy Shells and corn. Super simple and it totally hit the spot.  And holy smokes was that brisket delicious!!!  Ree really knows her stuff and she helped me impress the heck out of everyone with that incredible recipe!  I also made homemade ice cream with the ice cream maker Andy gave me for Christmas - so fun having that special treat!

It was a fun night celebrating our special boy.  Happy 3rd birthday, Tatie Tot!!!

Tate Turns Three!

Today's post is all about my THREE year old, Tate!

  • He loves putting together puzzles.  It doesn't matter if it's an 8 piece wooden puzzle or a 100 piece puzzle, he loves to sit and work at them.  He'll climb up to the counter where Tenley can't reach and work until he's completed a puzzle and then ask for another one.
  • Tate makes the best 'thinking expression'.  Anytime I ask him a question he'll sort of scrunch up his forehead, look to the one side with just his eyes and think about the answer.  He's very deliberate in his answers and never replies until he knows what he's wanting to say.  You can almost see the wheels turning in his cute little head.
  • Depending on what I have made for a meal Tate can be a very good eater or a very poor eater.  If I make something he loves he will eat and eat and eat and clean his plate.  If it's not something he loves he will piddle around, goof off, get off and on his chair a million times and be the last person to finish eating, which is saying something since Brennan is the world's slowest eater.

  • Every single day, as we are pulling away from the school where we've dropped the big boys off, Tate will ask me if he can have a snack and/or if he can watch his favorite shows.  And every single day I tell him no, it's too early for a snack, you just ate breakfast!
  • Tate's favorite shows to watch are Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Thomas the Train, Backyardigans and his favorite, Curious George.  When Tenley goes down for her morning nap it's Tate's TV time.  I'll ask him what he wants to watch and he'll tell me 'Dorge' (for George).  After that he wants to watch 'Daniel', then 'Backyards' or 'Thomas'.  
  • I do believe Tate would live outside if at all possible.  Playing outside is his very favorite thing to do.  When he asks to go outside and I tell him it's too cold he says "I will wear my hat.  And gloves. And coat.  You can too, Mom."  Smartie!

  • Tate loves playing with the big boys.  He is now big enough to tag along on 'boy's only' trips, like a recent trip to Menards.  He was grinning ear to ear when they got home.  He is very excited to get to go golfing with Daddy this summer.
  • Books are another 'favorite' of Tate's.  He reads them in bed before naptime, reads them in the car and at church, reads them all throughout the day...books are a huge part of Tate's life!
  • He still has those wicked swirls on either side of the back of his head.  No matter how long I've let his hair grow they still give him an 'Alfalfa' hairstyle.  I love it and hope he never outgrows it!
  • Tate's favorite drink is milk, favorite snack is Goldfish crackers or fruit snacks, favorite food is mostly any fruit.

  • Tate loves to be tickled and asks for this regularly!
  • He is quite the singer!  He will sing and sing and sing in the car and when he's finished with his made up song he'll ask "Mom, did you like that song?" :)
Currently Tate...
Wears: size 3T/4T shirts, 3T pants, size 9 shoes
Weighs: 40lbs 2oz, 97th %
Stands: 40.5"tall 95th%
Is: 100% potty trained
Has: 20 teeth

Tate is such an awesome kid and I love him more than words can say!

Happy 3rd birthday, Tatie Tot!!!