Friday, October 6, 2017

10 Short Years

Ten years ago, I woke up next to my little Hummel before the crack of dawn and whispered giddily Im getting marrrrriiiieeeeddd . I hope I never forget that excitement and love. I remember feeling like my heart could about burst with all of it. We drank coffee and Baileys, I gave Brian a pep talk over the phone about how he was going to get through the day and I waited nervously for the time to come.


If I could go back today and do it differently, the only thing I would change would be apple and pumpkin pie for dessert. And I'd run down that grassy isle rather than walk.


Ten short years. Every time I think it legitimately can't get better, it of course does.
I love you more now than I did then.
Even though you don't know the difference between a sausage and smokie, I'd still choose you every single damn time.
Happy Anniversary, Bri.
I love you.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Happy 6th Birthday, Buddy

Dear Jace,
   Today you are six years old.
WHAT?! That means that all the things that *I feel like six year olds should do on their own, you are going to start doing, right??!! hahaha, we can all just have a good laugh at that.
For real though, I love that you are six and I am so looking forward to this year of your life. I am certain its going to be your (our) best one yet.
Your favorite place to be right now is sitting on the kitchen counter (feet and all) or standing at the sink washing dishes. I love letting you help do the dishes. You are chatty and funny while doing it, plus you do a really good job.


Your current favorite songs are Blackbird by The Beatles (Boss baby version), I'm Still Standing by Elton John (Sing version) and True Colors by Justin Timberlake (The Trolls version) .... so pretty much you are obsessed with movie sound tracks right now and those 3 stand out. We listen to a lot of the music from those movies and you love it! If you could just sit and listen to it on my phone all day, you would be happy.

I am going to say it - I think you are a bit of a home body. And that is terribly hard for your extremely extroverted mom to wrap her head around. I mean, you like going a few places in town, and over to our friends houses. But, out of town? Oh you never want to do that. You are not a road trip fan and if given the choice you would almost always stay home. You also still get terribly car sick, so that doesn't help. Last October we finally got you prescription nausea meds and it helped 1000% .... you were like a new kid on road trips, but then you decided you don't like the taste of it and now won't take it. We've forced it a few times, but have since given up. We *may* have found the answer in the form of pressure point bracelets and essential oils on your tummy. Fingers crossed.


Your favorite food is fruit. Thats it. Although you do pretty much eat everything, fruit is your go-to #1 food. I am perfectly fine with that.

You love playing made up games with Maizey and Winnie. "lets pretend Im.... and lets pretend you're.... " and that can go on for hours at a time. Usually an unbelievably big mess accompanies that, but I usually just have to take what I can get. I will take playing with no fighting with a mess. I think you just like it best when you are playing with them. Or when you guys get to watch a movie/show together. I will find all of you huddled in the corner of the couch, under one blanket, happily snuggled up. Its one of my favorites to see.

You don't get to watch a ton of tv even though you love it. Pretty much just a movie on Friday nights. Your behavior goes a bit off the rails if you watch too much, so probably about 6 months ago, we had to shut it down completely and have slowly let it back into your life. It was a great reset for you.

You absolutely love "relaxing baths" ; epsom salt and lavender oil. It's made a huge difference in your life. I love putting a calm and relaxed Jace to bed at night.

You know how to read. You just refuse to do it for me. I have overheard you many times in the last few weeks reading books to yourself, but when I ask to sit and listen you clam up, say you don't know how and beg me to read it to you. I'm proud of you. Also annoyed you won't read to me. haha. I want to hear you, so come on already!!!


We have spent a lot of time this year just trying to figure out what makes you tick. How to speak your language. How to get you to do what you need/we want you to do without it always being a huge freaking fight and ending with everyone in tears. We have tried to figure out how to meet you where you are at. We've come a long way and we still have a long way to go.

You are currently afraid to be basically anywhere in our house alone. Your bedroom, the kitchen, sometimes the living room. Downstairs - absolutely not. Outside - nope. It has been incredibly frustrating because it feels like we've gone backwards -back to helping you get dressed, supervising your every move outside, feeling like you are always clinging to us. But we had to let it go, and like I said, meet you where you are at. Ok, you currently don't want to be alone. So rather than arguing about it and then ending up being there with you in the end, we ask you to do it and when you ask us to come, we do. Its cut down on fighting and time wasting and it's getting done and we are hopeful that one day soon you will move on from this. Please, go back to being independent and capable. Please. Until then, at least I still get to pick your clothes - so I suppose that's the up side!
We have also worked a lot on talking about controlling emotions. Ohhhhh man, do you know how to show us a lot of emotions. Some times all of them at a very heightened level and all at once. It's intense. You cry a lot. You argue a lot. You fight a lot. You laugh hysterically a lot. You go from here to there and back to here very quickly and loudly and often. You often feel misunderstood - meaning when we think you are being mean, you are just trying to "play" (your words), so that has lead to a lot more talking about being respectful about what the people you are trying to play with are saying to you. When we say STOP, you should stop, because that's respectful. Blah blah blah. You've heard it all a million times and you will continue to hear it until you finally start doing it. But that being said, we have also tried to, again, meet you where you're at. So if you are getting rowdy and wanting to play in a rougher way, we try and be silly with you. I suppose we have worked on trying to play the way you like to (while of course still being appropriate and kind), rather than just the way we want you to. Does that make any sense? I hope so. We really just want all of us to be having fun and getting along. Thats legit all we are trying to get at.


The truth is, we've had some hard days this last year. Some not very proud moments for Mom. Some very bad moments. But at the end of every day, we just always wanted you to know, that despite those tough moments, you are very very loved. We all get upset, we all cry, we all have emotions that we need to work through, and at the end of the day, if you go to bed knowing we love you, then thats all that matters. We are pretty sure the rest will sort itself out with time and patience.

You are our favorite Buddy, Budski, Buds, Jace. You make us laugh, you make us crazy and you have the absolute most genuine smile. You mean it when you smile and I love that about you. You give really good hugs and like to hang on for a long time. You get up before 6:00 every single morning and really prefer if I am up before you. I oblige and we spend mornings together, playing cards, eating breakfast, going for bikes rides. You like a good breakfast sandwich and oatmeal full of fruit and chocolate chips, a big plate of fries, and sushi. You like to say everything you drink is coffee or beer and its basically always water. You don't like cold or slippery clothes and you love wearing gloves. You refused sandals all summer. You know who you are and are unwavering in that.

I can't wait to see what your sixth year brings. I'm hoping for lots of laughs and adventures and some good friday nights, watching movies.

We love you so much, Buddy.
Happy happy happy birthday.
Love, Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday Maizey Rae

Maizey Rae!
Today you are eight years old.
I love it. And it simultaneously kills me.
Maybe I've said this every year, maybe I haven't; either way, I can barely believe I have been your mom for EIGHT WHOLE YEARS. There have been some very long days, and these years have been very short. That saying is not a lie. I haven't loved every single minute of these years, but I have loved YOU every single minute of them.
You are an absolute gift to our family and we could not feel more blessed to have you in it. You continue to be kind, happy, easy going, friendly, welcoming, curious and fun. You are always up for an adventure. In fact, I couldn't possibly plan enough adventures to appease you. You always want to be going, doing, seeing. You are an absolute extrovert, and I can say in 100% confidence that you got that from me. Right now, since you need me for all of your adventures, it's sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) exhausting, but I really do love it. I am certain your sense of adventure and love of people will take you some amazing places in your life, and I can't wait to witness that.


You love reading and can often be found a long time after your light should have been out, cuddled in bed reading away. You aren't picky and often surprise me with your choices - Archie comics, magazines, Geronimo Stilton, old Westerns, Little House on The Prairie - you are enthralled with them all. You are also always willing to sit down and read to Jace or Winnie or Henry or Frankie, or really anyone that asks. You don't mind waiting however long it takes for me to get the other kids to bed at night because it means you get more time to read. I absolutely love this.


You love climbing your tree and giving tree climbing classes to the other kids. You like swinging and biking and looking for cool forest treasures. There are always pieces of bark, rocks, sticks, moss or dirty leaves in your pockets, on your bedroom floor, in the side pocket of the car door, in your backpack.... ok, its always everywhere. Its dirty and makes me crazy. But it brings you joy, so I suppose I should lay off of you, right? Maybe just start cleaning it up better and I will allow it! haha. Anything that you can use your imagination for, you are interested in. You are handy to have around in cases such as, when we are camping and don't have a clothes line - you rig up something using sticks and some vine you find on the forest floor. Thats a skill, taking what you have and making it work for you. That one you got from your dad I guess, because it definitely wasn't me.

(this was your paddle for the paddle board you guys made out of drift wood)

You are legitimately the best big sister ever. I mean, those kids do not know how good they have it. You share every single thing you have/get, you let them go first, sit where they want (even if you were there first), play with anything they want (even if you had it first), help them when they need it, help them when they dont want it and aren't being nice, make sure they are safe, entertain them.... the list goes on and on. Dad and I are lucky you are such a helpful, kind big sister, there are not enough words to explain how much help it is for us and we are so appreciative of it.
You did so well at school last year, we are so proud of the friend you are and how well you do in class. You practice hard at the work that is sent home (spelling words) and your tests show that. You have seriously messy printing!!! I am always telling you to slow down and write neater, but you would just rather not. Maybe this will be the year that you figure that out, maybe not. :)
You recently started loving fried eggs and raisin english muffins. Your favourite food is still chicken pot pie and request it on a weekly basis. Also still obsessed with sushi. You claim to like sparking water but you make a hilarious face at every sip and get through maybe 4 sips before you are done. We keep telling you its ok not to like it, but for some reason you just really want to. You don't care for milk or yogurt or bananas, but you love banana bread. You eat everything we give you, even if you don't like it! Thanks for that!


You don't exactly have a favourite song right now, but one of your favourite things to do is listen to a playlist on Spotify called "Chilling on a dirt road" .... You like to get dads old cell phone and a pair of ear buds and sit somewhere quiet and listen to it. You know all the songs and are always singing. Your favourite artist is definitely Luke Bryan so we listen to him a lot.
Tonight at bed time, you saw me get a bit weepy while tucking you in and telling you all the reasons I love being your mom. You just truly, truly, truly make us so happy. We are figuring out together how to navigate this having an older kid and some days it's harder than others, but I think we are doing a pretty good job, all of us together.
Thanks for being so darn awesome. We love you. Really, really love you.
Happy 8th birthday, Missy moo.
Love, Mom and Dad.