#MarkLovesTim

The invitation was on the fridge for weeks before Simon even noticed. The front read, “This day, I will marry my best friend / the one I laugh with, live for, love” and it featured Tim and Mark holding hands while walking.

“Tim is gay?” Simon asked. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Yes and he’s marrying Uncle Mark. We didn’t mention it because we didn’t think it was important,” we answered. “It’s going to be an awesome party celebrating two people who love each other very much. Just you wait…” we continued.

And then Simon walked away and that was the end of that. No more questions, or inquiries, or judgments, or rude comments, or justifications on the who/what/or why. Simon just simply believed in the power of love and the trust of our words.

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And was it an amazing party? Oh, yes indeed it was. We danced and sang and drank (maybe some of us a little too much) the night away in the beautiful mountains. My favorite part was watching Matt perform the ceremony and Bennett having the honor of bringing the rings down the aisle.

I was most proud, however, of Mark and Tim. I wish you both nothing but the best in your years together. In a world that doesn’t always value the power of love, know that we are rooting for you.

Simon is too, of course.

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Cora’s pretty pony

While at my sister’s house over the holidays, we jokingly pointed out that Cora got a princess bike, a puppy, and her very own pony all for Christmas. Yes, I know. EXCESSIVE. (Please note that the princess bike is the only thing she actually got to keep.)

The thing she talked about the most, however, was the pony. We asked her repeatedly if she wanted to go ride and she insisted that she wanted on the pony. Imagine her asking “Go ride pony?” on repeat. Before going outside, I would have bet $100 that she wouldn’t actually do it. Cora talks a big talk, but rarely follows through. Once we got into the arena, I was completely amazed at her willingness to climb up and go.

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It’s a good thing we don’t actually live closer, or else Cora would want to ride every single day. Spoiled little girls get whatever they want, apparently.

Christmas recap 2013

So Christmas was, what, two weeks ago? My bad. Does anybody expect anything less? I can hardly keep up with the piles of laundry around here, let alone sharing pictures on this blog.

We ended up traveling 10 hours to my sister’s house in Northern Colorado and had a wonderful time. No, really we did. Everyone got along and nobody yelled! It’s a Christmas miracle. Susannah recently moved into a bigger house and it’s pretty damn glorious. I liked my house until I saw hers, for real. We jokingly refer to it as The Ski Lodge. If you had two sets of twin boys, you would need a ski lodge too.

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It’s almost unbearable for me to look at these pictures. The boys (especially the older ones) get along and love each other so much. It’s so hard to not be near family. Simon, Roan, and Rowdy got the bright idea to set an alarm and wake up at 3:15 AM Christmas morning. THREE FIFTEEN AM. Grandpa heard the giggling and the running and sent them promptly back to bed.

It’s a good thing they aren’t around each other 24/7, because I can’t imagine the trouble they would cause.Christmas 2013 055Christmas 2013 050

Santa brought everything the kids were hoping for, of course. Santa even managed to deliver TWO bicycles and a highly coveted Playstation game to Colorado. (Did I mention we were 10 hours from home? Well done, Santa.) Other notable gifts: more Nike apparel because one can never have too many workout clothes (Hint: that wasn’t a gift for me), rolls of duct tape (why not?), an American Girl Doll, tennis racquets, Legos, books, Rainbow Loom Bands (Lord help me), wooden play food, and more clothes.

Some might call it tacky to share Christmas gifts. I share only in the interest of preserving history. One might look back and laugh some day at the Christmas gifts of ’13. If only this blog post could count as Thank you cards too. Thanks, family, for all the gifts. You guys rock.Christmas 2013 118

The gift we almost brought back with us was a puppy. Somebody dumped a dog (who immediately was pregnant) and my nephews ended up raising the puppies. Susannah managed to sell all of Rosie’s 11 puppies, except for their favorite three. While she really wanted us to take Opal, I liked the big boy Jasper. He was the calmest of the bunch and most well-behaved. We had Jasper loaded up in the van to begin the trek back to Kansas and were 5 miles down the road, when broken-hearted Rowdy texted that he wanted his puppy back.

We probably ended up dodging a bullet with that one, especially a working dog designed to herd cattle. Lord knows we didn’t need another mouth to feed, puddles to clean off the floor, and a puppy to train. And really it’s all good because Jasper will have plenty of company with four wild boys, five dogs, a barn full of kittens, cattle, and more horses than I can count.

He lives at a freaking Ski Lodge, remember?

Thanksgiving 2013

It feels INSANE to already be mid-December. What happened to November? Was the weather nice? Did my children reach in any new milestones? Did I blog? I can’t remember.

We did manage to go to Wichita and visit Matt’s entire family for Thanksgiving. He is one of 5 siblings, all who are married. Together there are 9 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Here is the thing with Matt’s family that is radically different from mine: THEY ALL GET ALONG NICELY. Well (not 100 % perfectly) but for the most part nobody yells, or loses their patience, or gets “hangry” (hungry/angry).

My boys were especially excited this year to see their older cousins from Southern California. Thanks to Instagram, they are both pretty convinced that Race and Cole are the coolest, most awesome, and admirable teenage cousins around. I tend to agree. We can’t wait to road trip out next year for Cole’s graduation.

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Now that I got that taken care of, I can move onto Christmas. Only 10 more days to go!

Happy day of your birth

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday. Let’s all take a moment and thank the Lord that she was born. Because without her, we wouldn’t have me. And without me, we wouldn’t have the World’s Most Adorable Children.

And we can all agree the world would be a very sad place without cute little peaches like this:10 year Anniversary 177

While I have your attention, I would also like to publically thank Grandma for keeping our babies so that Matt and I could pretend to be newlyweds. Simon, Bennett, and Cora all did great while staying at Gampa and Gampa’s house.

My Mom was such a good sport about Cora calling her Gampa 90% of the time. She also convinced Cora to take 3.5 hour naps in the crib. (Note: she does not do that for me) and to sleep through the night without milk. (Again: DOES NOT DO THAT FOR ME.) Cora did not cry or have any issues being away.

Must be a case of superior parenting.

Grandma also willingly laid down each night with Simon until he fell asleep since he was afraid of the “creepy people paintings” that reside in every room of their house. (Simon, I was afraid when I was growing up too. All those paintings are creepy.) Yesterday she spent her day driving 6.5 hours to my sister’s house in Colorado to go be with Simon. He is staying the week with Roan and Rowdy and “wanted Grandma so that he could sleep.”

(SHOUT OUT TO MY SIS: Thanks for keeping Simon in the mix of your boys. Not many people can get up at 3:30 every morning, work 8 hours, cook, clean, keep a beautiful house, and care for FIVE wild boys without losing their patience. Also, your hair looks good while doing it.)

I’m not sure what Grandma did for (good naturedgoes with the flow) Benny boy. Oh wait, she gave Bennett popsicles for breakfast and Pepsi for lunch. Some might call that cheating, but I call it pure genius on how to wiggle your way into Bennett’s heart.10 year Anniversary 175

Happy birthday, Gampa Grandma. I hope it was a great day. Thank you for loving on my babies.

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PS. I got a (teeny, soo tiny, white) tattoo on our honeymoon. Don’t freak out. Or tell Dad.

PPS. I LOOOOOVEEE YOU.

PPPS. Matt’s uncles, Tim and Mark, have offered to adopt me if you guys decide to disown me.

PPPPS. Tim and Mark have a BEAUTIFUL VACATION HOME in Florida. You can come visit me if you change your mind. I bet Christmas on the beach will be awesome with my new Dads.

Validating feelings

Happiness is boarding a plane with the Love of Your Life.

Bittersweet is (maybe?) nursing your 2 year old for the very last time.

Scared is Grandma for keeping the 2 year old (for her first over-nighter) without her Mama.

Hopeful is being assured that everyone will be fine, even the “baby” who nurses to sleep, and the anxious 10 year old, and the worried Mama, and the scared Grandma.

Patient is Grandpa as loud boys run through living rooms and jump down stairs.

Relief is turning off work email and grabbing two new books for some light beach reading.

Anxiety is not seeing our babies for an entire week. (See #4.)

Fear is that something bad will happen.

Peace is knowing that nothing will. (See #4.)

Love is all we need.

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Bliss is 10 whole years of marriage. Three beautiful babies. One week in paradise.

Catch y’all on the flip side.

Airshow 2012

Last weekend, we went to the Air Show in Wichita. It was a whirl-wind 24 hour visit. We went down to Wichita on Friday night and after nice, quiet naps in the van, not a single kiddo was tired. SHOCKING. We finally got everyone to bed around midnight and then the boys were up by 6:30 am on Saturday.

Awesome.

They were just a wee bit excited. Mama doesn't do 6:30 am but Grandma and Grandpa do! Yay for that.

Awesome air show. Unless you, like Cora, are afraid of loud noises.

I should have realized that Cora wasn't going to dig the loud noises. She HATED the Fourth of July so it really shouldn't have surprised me that gigantic airplanes would cause the same reaction. Mom fail for not thinking this through.

Sad baby was sad.

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Bennett didn't really dig it so much either. He was fine and certainly didn't cry and if you ask him now, he'll say that he loved the airshow. But it truthfully was a little bit much for him too, especially the end.

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Grandpa's are good for tired boys.

The End. Have a happy Friday, friends!

Over it

We had such a good weekend. A road trip to Wichita on Friday, the air show with family on Saturday, a trip to the pumpkin patch, my favorite friends over on Sunday, and beautiful weather to boot. I wish every weekend could be this jam packed and full of goodness.

To the up-coming week: bring it on. My cup is (currently) over-flowing.

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I never used to relate to "finally Friday" comments or jokes. When you stay home all day with kids, every day is work and weekends are nothing but the same. But now that I am working? I totally get it. I so look forward to the weekends with my family.

Only 5 more days until we can do it all over again.

Back in action

Oh, hi? Apparently I took a little blogging break. I shipped my big boys off to Grandma's house (and consequently to my sister's house in Colorado) and today is the first time I've opened my computer all week.

It's been a tough week. Having one baby to look after is such hard and tiring work. All the cooking and cleaning and intellectual baby brain building has plum worn. me. out. Just kidding! I am pretty sure I didn't turn the oven on the entire week. Ok, that was a lie. I did turn it on once to make muffins from a mix.

The rest of the time, however? Chinese take-out again? Don't mind if I do.

Drink

I also successfully managed to completely clean up my DVR and re-watch the entire last season of Weeds. I really had to adjust my TV watching expectations accordingly. Who can watch 17 episodes of Dateline after a two day Weeds marathon? We can. It helps that the temperature has been a MILLION degrees outside. No, seriously.

Some like it hot, right?

Date

We are going to pick up Simon and Bennett tomorrow in Great Bend and then we are going to hurry back here for the 4th of July. After that, a certain somebody turns 9 years old. (Be still my heart.) While I am pretty sure it's going to be a great week, I am not sure it can top this past week.

I hear the TV (and NOT MY KIDS) (Can I get an amen?) calling my name.