You Can Never Break Us!

This photo speaks volumes to me. It was taken last week on Mark's birthday. I took the opportunity to flip the camera around and snap this shot of my parents on the couch with Matt and me. Please do not think my dad is some sort of psychopath. And Matt sticking his tongue out, well, that's just our silly, entertaining son as he always is. At the time we were a little high on frosting and ice cream.

There was a time when I thought our family would never be like this again. However goofy we may seem; it's normal to us. Esophageal cancer wasn't going to steal it and neither was my dad's emergency surgery. We pressed on, battled through and won!


Ruled By the Clock

If I said summer break would be less busy without worrying about the clock, than I was really really really wrong!

With both boys home I find our mornings go by very quickly. They play and bicker. Eat and then eat some more. And some times they play so well together and I enjoy watching them share happily. In the midst of this I am still trying to be diligent with my workout routine and so far so good, but trust me, most days I would really like to skip it. My 45 minute high-energy pilates/yoga routine is interrupted with lots of, "Mom he's touching me and pushing me and hitting me and sitting in my chair and not watching what I want to watch...." Need I go on?

By the time I shower, which is a must since we are going out every day for swimming lessons and I prefer not to look like something the cat dragged in, it's lunchtime and then we are out the door.

We come home, Mark goes down for a nap, and I crash for a couple hours until it's dinnertime. Ah, those peaceful two hours go by way too fast, unless they are interrupted by any of Matt's neighborhood friends buzzing in and out our front door.

Steve's class is demanding to say the least. I am back to mowing the lawn for him and running errands with the boys in tow in order to give him a peaceful study space. I don't mind helping in this way, but again, it takes time away from my already busy day. I've had a basket full of folded clean clothes that has sat in the corner of our bedroom for five days. There is also a pile of papers screaming to be filed. Oh when will I get to this, I will never know!

So why I haven't been to your blog page lately....well....you can probably guess by now. I just can't do it all and, honestly, it's been the last thing on my mind.

All this craziness will end by the first of July, which is just around the bend. Steve's class will be over. Swimming lessons complete. And I purposed to keep July open for some family/friends time. Should be nice.


Third Birthday Wish


Look What We Can Do!

"I can peddle all by myself without someone pushing me!"

"And I can jump off the diving board and the water is twelve feet deep!"


She'll Be Pretty In Pink

On Sunday I was here. Really, I was! Maybe you can look for me here or quite possibly here, since she was the guest of honor.

Truth be told I had to leave early to relieve a hubby that needed to write a five-page paper due this week and the boys weren't helping him accomplish that -- even with their favorite shows on the tube. I sure can't wait for his classes to be put to rest, but I had a two-hour long blast!

Blessings, Steph!


Time In A Bottle

Let me say right off the bat that I absolutely loved Matt's third year of life. We were done with diapers and the crib, but his childhood innocence wasn't tainted yet. It was a time when he was experiencing a whole new world around him. We started taking more trips to zoos, museums, parks and we could finally see a movie at the theatre as a family. I wish I could contain that year.

Today my independent as ever Mark turns three and I am experiencing the same emotions all over again. I get to open that bottle and remind myself how much fun it was. He's so funny in his own quirky way and when I get a boo boo he asks me, "Can I kiss it for you, Mommy?" Gosh, I love him to death!

His favorite knock knock joke goes something like this:

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Water, who?
Water are you waiting for, let me in!

Happy Birthday, little man! We are so glad God made you a part of our family!


...and today is his birthday too!

Last Mother's Day I was allowed to possess the remote control the entire day, which meant no NASCAR race or baseball games. I think we ended up watching Raiders of the Lost Ark as a family while eating popcorn. I didn't cook or clean up. I was granted quiet time from my boys and they were told not to bug me, but to leave mommy alone to rest. I didn't have to wipe dirty faces or wash sticky hands. Bathtime was daddy's duty while mommy sat on the couch. It was my day to do whatever I wanted to.

Fast forward to Father's Day on Sunday. My boys surprised their dad with a handcrafted key holder. Matt presented Steve with a couple packets on "Why My Dad Is So Special". They both made cards and Matt wrote a poem: For my dad who is the best, today I will give you rest.

I mowed the lawn for my deserving hubby who usually works all day and walks through our door to give even more time to his sons. I picked up his favorite pizza at Uno's Grill and after the boys went to bed I made a DQ-run for Steve's favorite Blizzard (Heath). I tried to be on top of all other duties thinking Daddy needed his time out, but to my surprise, Steve told me to sit down while he served the kids.

He took pride in filling Mark's glass with more milk and grabbing a spoon for Matt. He enjoyed helping Mark snap his carseat buckle in place. It's as if he was celebrating his responsibilities as a dad instead of shelving them for a day like someone else I know. He even replaced a door's doorknob which busted the day before.

As I watched him willingly do these many things, I also learned that doing what appears to be nothing but a mundane parental task are actually tasks that speak life into our children. They should be celebrated and not dreaded. I decided to flip my attitude switch from bad to good. Yes, wiping a child's face for the billionth time gets old, but they appreciate the hard work we put into it and that makes me happy.

It's still morning while I type this. Mark is sleeping like an angel and Matt is hard at work playing his beloved baseball video game. Steve is getting ready for work with loads of reading and typing ahead of him for his class. The day is ahead of me and I pray my attitude remains good, calm, collected and that through my daily work, though mundane, breathes life into my kids and that alone fulfills me.


The Dad I Celebrate


What on Earth is happening?

A lot, if you must know. It's been almost a week since my last post. I assumed our summer days would be easy going and free with only swimming lessons to worry about. Boy was I wrong!

My best friend from the Lonestar State is up visiting. Oh how I love Kristi! Our kids love their time together and we are catching up on our lives too. Feels good. (This was the only opportunity to take a snapshot with all of them in one place -- watching TV.)

I signed both boys up for a Father's Day craft project through our parks department and realized next time I will assume it's for children in grade school. Here I thought they would do a simple memory hand stamp or something, but no, it was an serious art project that took over an hour to do. Throw an almost 3-year old in the mix and, oh my, I was on edge. Mark was ready to dive into the paint tray and have some serious fun. Live and learn.

Steve's work schedule is less demanding during summer break and some days it's good to meet him for lunch. The boys sprint to the high school's front doors. They can't wait to see their daddy and roam the empty school halls.

And lately I've been receiving emails from many companies wanting to promote products on my blog. Anything from Precious Moments sales to tropical island lotions to school supplies to photography. I haven't responded yet and not sure if I will.

Swimming lessons. Oh yes! Everyday Matt counts the hours until 12:30pm when we leave. He loves loves loves loves them!

Sometimes my exercise routine is interrupted by two boys bickering upstairs over what show to watch. One wants Dora the Explorer while the other prefers Pokemon. One wants the rocker while the other wants the office chair. I find myself yelling in between breaths, "Boys, I am exercising! Don't make me angry by having to come up and deal with you!"

Throw in outside play, walks to the park, trying desperately to keep up with the household chores and extra time in our morning jammies and you have days that are over before we know it. Until we meet again.......


Summer Begins

Today summer break officially kicks off. I will celebrate by giving you my top ten reasons why I love this time:

10. Our nights and mornings are not ruled by the clock.

9. After dinner family walks, which lead into long conversations with our neighbors.

8. Grilling

7. Water balloon fights

6. Steve dresses down for summer school and wears polos instead of dress shirts w. a tie. Less ironing for moi!

5. Sitting on our front porch step enjoying frozen treats.

4. Just put on your Crocs on and go - no jacket required.

3. Park dates w. my mommy friends and their kids.

2. Swimming

1. Being a family!


Just the Four of Us

This week marks the last days of school. Unlike when Matt finished kindergarten, I am a bit down. Last year I wasn't too sad kissing those half day classes goodbye. Picking Matt up at 10:40am every.single.day got old real fast.

But this year is different. His 1st grade experience is over and while it excites me watching both my boys grow into the beings God created them to be, it saddens me at the same time that its moments never to grasp again. And to think Mark will be in full-day kindergarten in just two years...well...don't get me started on that one.

Now I won't leave you depressed thinking, "Gee, Lori really knows how to make my day! What a downer!" I am sooo looking forward to summer break. Even though June is jammed packed with swimming lessons, Matt's baseball season coming to and end and Steve taking a summer class that calls for tons of reading and typing, we purposely made July a month of less commitments in order to allow time to do family things -- whatever they may be.

I feel such completeness when I look at my family. Mark is out of diapers and in a regular bed -- the last two toddler mountains to overcome in my book. And while I whimpered a little taking down the crib a few weeks ago, contentment came in like a flood. To put these two to rest actually felt good. I can't explain it, but at this moment it feels good to move on and flow with time. And when July comes we can plan little family activities and not worry about packing diapers and getting that nap time in. Even though Mark still naps 2-3 hours every afternoon (thank God), he is able to last a bit longer without having a melt down.

Here's to summer break! Oh the possibilities.....