Disappearing Act

Yeah, I’m good at disappearing! I always come back but when life gets crazy the blog is the first thing I let go. So what have we been up to? Well Brianna turned 9. I can’t believe it but it’s true! She had a great day on her birthday with her family, as well as a really fun karaoke party the weekend after with her friends.

brianna birthday 1

Her hair is a mess but she looked super cute in the new outfit from her grandma. I wish I had gotten a better picture of it!

brianna birthday party

Daddy working hard to help get ready for the party.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving my brother Michael, his boyfriend Scott, mom, Brianna, our friend Manda Lynn and I went to volunteer at the Freestore Foodbank downtown. It was an amazing experience. It was cold, oh my it was cold! But we were working so hard and it felt so good to be providing service to those in need in our community. I think our warm hearts helped keep our bodies warm too!

Those bright green vest are sexy! lol

Those bright green vest are sexy! lol

I was so proud of Brianna! She was a hard worker and didn’t complain all day! We worked for about 4 1/2 hours and she was a trooper! After we were finished she asked when we’d be going back. Success!! They were very impressed with her in the food room where she helped to pack bags with canned and boxed food.  I was very proud of our girl!

brianna foodbankOur Thanksgiving was great! We had a very full house. My brother Christopher and his partner Josh came in from DC. Michael’s boyfriend Scott came in from NYC. Manda Lynn joined us and my dad came over also. We cooked all morning while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love Thanksgiving! I love having a day to purposefully stop and give thanks for the things that we have been blessed with all year long. Sure, we should give thanks all year and I feel like I do. To me it’s also so much about being around those that you love and eating some YUMMY food!!

Our Thanksgiving table. It stretched into the dining room this year!

Our Thanksgiving table. It stretched into the living room this year!

This little guy loves pumpkin pie!!

This little guy loves pumpkin pie!! Also, anyone else think he looks drunk!?!? Drunk on pumpkin pie…hmmm!!

The day after Thanksgiving we got word that my great grandmother, whom we called Beebles, passed away. She was 89 years old. She had been in hospice for several weeks by that point. I kept saying “Watch, she’ll die on Thanksgiving.” Well, close enough! We had her funeral on Sunday which I had the privilege of singing at, accompanied by my dad (this was his grandmother). She was a truly remarkable woman. And she will be truly missed by her family.

Beautiful lady!

Beautiful lady!

Our last visit was a few years ago, the day after Christmas. She developed some pretty bad dementia. It's hard on people with dementia to be surrounded by people they can't recognize. And it's hard on young children to understand why grandma or grandpa can't remember who they are. Plus, it's just hard to go on visits with 4 young kids who have lots of energy!!

Our last visit was a few years ago, the day after Christmas. She developed some pretty bad dementia. It’s hard on people with dementia to be surrounded by people they can’t recognize. And it’s hard on young children to understand why grandma or grandpa can’t remember who they are. Plus, it’s just hard to go on visits with 4 young kids who have lots of energy!!

I will always cherish this visit. I wish I had gone more often but life too often got in the way.

I will always cherish this visit. I wish I had gone more often but life too often got in the way.

Friday and Saturday we started decorating the house for Christmas. This year we made the decision to put the Polar Express train on the dining room table and surround it with Steven’s village that he’s been collecting over the years. It looks sooo cool! And Micah, of course, was so glad to see the Polar Express come back. He LOVES this train! Eli loves it too! The morning after we had put it up I brought him downstairs. As we were coming down he caught sight of the train and started saying “Woo! Woo!” It was too cute! Especially since he’s only recently started saying very much at all!

christmas village

Today is the Feast of Saint Nicholas. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve learned to love this feast day since marrying Steven and becoming Catholic. I always loved opening my stocking on Christmas, it was my favorite thing! I love doing their stockings on December 6th. I feel like it gives them some excitement and fun during Advent. Plus, you get to break up the cost a little, which is always nice! lol- I just need to start planning better! Once again Steven was at Walmart last night picking up stuff (and so was my mom! Their stockings are always overflowing! lol)

st. nick 2013

Yes, I know the 4 year old has no clothes on! He rarely does! But he got some Monster University footie jammies from Saint Nick. They went on pretty quickly…for a while! Then he was naked again! lol

Today we are bracing for a nasty winter storm. The first part came through overnight in the form of sleet and freezing rain. This afternoon we are expecting anywhere from 3-6 inches of snow to fall on top of the ice. Fun! So of course the kids are off school and I’m fighting to keep my sanity! Teachers may love snow days…parents…not so much! lol I hope wherever you are that you are warm and safe today. I’ll check in again soon!

Throwback Thursday- Brianna 3 Months

Brianna was a joy as a baby! She had the most infectious little giggle- and she has kept it to this day. Her laugh can get anybody laughing! Her three month pictures are some of my favorites of her. I loved the outfit that she was wearing..I called it her little Anne Geddes outfit because it reminds me of clothes you would see in pictures the amazing photographer takes. So for today’s Throwback Thursday my favorite picture from her 3 month photo shoot. Oh how I loved those chubby cheeks!!!

Brianna three mos 1

Just 12 more days until she turns 9…I still can’t believe it!!

Throwback Thursday- Brianna Michelle

In a couple of weeks the girl who made me a mama will turn 9. Sometimes I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that I’m old enough to have a 9 year old! I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since this ball of energy with a personality that’s bigger than her came screaming into our lives! Our world forever changed the day she entered this world. Brianna is a very strong willed child. She knows what she wants and what she doesn’t. She is very independent. She was born a diva! She is so smart- too smart for her own good sometimes! And even though we butt heads a lot I wouldn’t change her for anything! That strong willed, independent personality is going to serve her well in this life, as long as we can teach her to channel it when and where appropriate! I’m grateful for her infectious laugh and the way she loves her brothers. She is definitely the princess in our home. (That doesn’t mean she gets when she wants all the time though, much to her dismay!!) I love this girl so much!

I thought for the next few Throwback Thursdays I would share with you a few of my favorite pictures of Bri. She has always been so photogenic and taking pictures of her is always so fun.

First up, her first official photo: her hospital picture.

Brianna birth

Her Stats:

Weight 7 lbs. 6.5 oz

Length 20 1/2 inches

Born November 19, 2004 at 3:24 am

Labor about 13 hours, delivered with the assistance of forceps after about 2 hours of pushing.

Head full of black hair

Looked just like mommy as a newborn (has since started looking more and more like her daddy)

Instantly had everyone who met her wrapped around her finger.

I knew immediately our lives would never be the same!

We love you Brianna Michelle!