Thursday, August 21, 2014

while it lasts

Last night at dinner, John asked if I was sure we done having children because Evie would LOVE a playmate. I assured him- YES we are done with babies. We have four pretty amazing kids. Two of which will be leaving the nest soon. And four short years later we will only have one child at home...which we've never experienced before. I am looking forward to our life together as empty nesters, weddings and grandchildren. If things had happened differently- timing, spacing, etc...I would have loved to have had 6 or 7 kiddos running around. But it's just not the way it worked out. All of which is quite surprising because I never wanted kids growing up. When I was younger my friends would play with baby dolls and later talk about how many kids they'd have. My friend Kristina always said 8 and she is expecting  baby #7 in October. I wanted nothing to do with them. But thank goodness for happy accidents because I'm so blessed with the ones we have. Mostly because of the twins, they completely changed my perspective on having kids...for the better. On all my subsequent pregnancies, I secretly hoped for twins! Wouldn't that have been fun!?

Anyway, I'm content where we are in life. I don't think that motherly urge you get while holding a newborn or lovingly squeezing a baby ever goes away. Mine hasn't. I have friends who are having babies and I sometimes think....ooooohhhhh I want one! But my heart and mind know it's time for the next stage in life. It's a difficult decision for a mom to make, but I'm ready!

For now, I'm just enjoying it all while it lasts. From the big things like dances, conferences and concerts to the little moments like last night. Evie and I spent about an hour last night hanging out in the back yard. I pushed her on the swing. We collected acorns. We walked around the yard identifying flowers and plants.

So much of life is a collection of the little things.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Saturday morning as we hauled out stain, a ladder and other painting gear to the play set (time for the annual staining...yippee!) Evie found a sweet little bird sitting next to some ornamental grass. I didn't want to spook it so we stayed back. It looked like a dove that had hurt its wing.

An hour and half later (staining complete!) we headed back to the garage and I didn't see the bird. Which was kind of strange considering I was almost positive it had a broken wing and that John was going to have dispose of it eventually. Once everything was put away I went out to investigate a bit further. Just as a I approached the tall grass a dove came flying out. My 'holy crap!' was quickly echoed with Evie's 'howee cwap!'. Lovely parenting I know...but it could have been sooooo much worse! Anyway I figured this meant that the injured bird had hobbled into the shade of the grasses for respite from the sun and heat. And to hide from Emma.

I peered through the grasses very carefully with Evie as my captive audience. She was all hunched over trying to be really quiet. Nothing. We didn't find a thing. I was bummed. Evie was really bummed. As we were walking inside up the deck stairs (just on the other side of these grasses) I heard the tiniest "cheep". I discovered it wasn't an injured dove that I had seen. It was in fact two baby doves huddled together. Mama kicked them out a bit too soon and they couldn't get lift off the ground. Poor babies!

So we gathered some bird seed and set it out for them. Evie had a blast checking on them all day to make sure they were well. Mama dove was always close making sure they were ok as well. Sunday morning when I went to check on them I noticed there were ants everywhere. I tried to swat away the ants and scared the babies into flight in the process. They took a very short flight to the neighbor's dogwood tree. Later they were back with mama in their nest in our magnolia.

McKynna told me this was obviously a lesson meant for me. That if I kick my chicks (girls) out of the nest too soon, then I'll have to rescue them and help get them back home. I told her no. I think its a lesson for you guys to know that mom will push you to try new things and explore. And if those adventures don't work out- you are always welcome back home. potato- patado I suppose. :)

We had a busy weekend with staining, mowing, going to the zoo and having Jeff over for dinner. The kids had homework and Corynn had two sleepovers. All those things considered...this was my favorite part of the whole weekend.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Enjoying the little things

Yesterday morning after getting home from dropping off Corynn at school, Evie asked me if we could play outside. " Oh please oh please mom!"

So of course we went outside and played on the swing set. I sometimes watch her and wonder what it would be like to care free and little...always so excited about the littlest things. We switched out her baby swing for a youth swing and she was elated! I never knew how much joy could be gathered from simply taking a swing from storage in the garage and hooking it up could bring to her. And then I lowered the regular swing so she could use both and you would have thought it was Christmas! "You are the greatest mom ever!" " This day is just the best!" It was quite adorable.

**And just for the record...this is day four of wearing her sparkly dresses. She has this mint green one and a coral one. She has been wearing one of them (and sometimes both at the same time) since Tuesday. She really really likes them...they are pretty cute! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

School Days 2014

The girls started school this week. I'm still kind of in shock that summer is already over. What is it with school starting so darn early!? Not that I is nice only having one child during the day. :)

This year we have a sixth grader in Middle School and two juniors in High School! Say what!? I know right? It's completely nuts. I mean it all feels right and natural but just saying 'sixth grader' and 'juniors' boggles the mind.

The girls indulged me in 'First Day' photos:

Corynn before school...she started on Tuesday. 

Corynn after a successful first day in the big new school!

Evie and I hanging out. (This is me sans makeup but that's pretty much how I roll. A no fuss kind of girl. But that may have to change because the wrinkles and age are definitely starting to show. yuck)

Pretty sure Evie missed her sister!

The twinners started school on Wednesday. Had to take the photo inside since they leave for school at 6:15 and it was still dark outside. A huge shout out to John for taking them so I don't have to make two school runs in the morning. 

 The next batch of photos are of our "Back to School"'s an annual celebratory thing. Sometimes we order pizza, go out to a restaurant, pick up some Dairy Queen or just celebrate at home. In any case we celebrate and kick off another exciting school year! 

My favorite part. I printed off 'first day' school photos from all the past years and hung them from the light fixture over the dining table. So fun to see how much our little ladies have grown. My favorites were of the first day of kindergarten. My wittle babes! 

And a german chocolate cake for dessert! 

Here's to an amazing 2014-2015 school year! 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Mayo Visit 2014

Corynn had a check up appointment at Mayo this past week. So John, Evie, Corynn and I headed up there for a quick visit. We left after lunch on Tuesday and were home Wednesday night.

Her appointments went really well. They are still impressed with her recovery and mobility. There are a couple of surgeries that may need to be addressed in the future, but for now she's doing great. Just needs to keep stretching and strengthening the muscles. Oh and her surgeons also told her to quit growing. She's passed two of them up in height! ;)

The art at the Mayo Clinic campus is AMAZING! And it's everywhere! These blown glass pieces have always been a favorite of mine!

This otter/beaver is inlayed marble in one of exam rooms. It was whole scene with two swimming otters further up. So pretty! 

Corynn showing off her moves to Dr. Shin

Her whole team is still working the Brachial Plexus clinic and giving hope to so many! 

Dr. Spinner...happy with how well she's doing! 

It was a nice short visit. And reassuring to know she doing so well. 

I would like to share a sweet little story. Evie has many grandmas; Grandma Ski (which she pronounces as all one word which sounds like gram-ski) and Grandma Scarborough (which she pronounces gram borrow). She has always referred to Grandma Kelly as just grandma. And Jeff is just grandpa.

Well, from the minute we left for Rochester on Tuesday I felt Nancy's presence. We had made this trip so many times together. There were and are so many memories of her and with her in Rochester, at Mayo and St. Mary's. She helped so much with Corynn's care. I couldn't help but think of her. I never shared my thoughts with Corynn or John and kept those feelings to myself. However on Wednesday morning, we weren't more than five feet off the elevator into the Mayo building when Evie says "I miss grandma. I really miss her." John and I were shocked. It was so out of the blue. John had been thinking it and so had Corynn. And to have Evie verbalize it gave us a sense of peace knowing Nancy was near. We all miss her so much.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

pfew! Bring on the weekend!

The past week seems to have just flown by. It feels like we've been going non-stop and I can't wait for the weekend! This is the last weekend before school starts....kind of a bummer!

Here's some of what has been going on:

John, Jeff, Evie and I went out to the Country Fair. Evie loved the petting zoo. She would lean in real close and talk to the animals. It was really sweet! 

John let Evie run through the sprinklers one night. She was pretty much in heaven! 

 Lots of one on one time together with Evie. She found some buttons and I taught her how to group according to color and size. She's a smart cookie! 

AND then the girlies came home! Evie was so excited to see them! 

Lots of hugs and loves and squeezes! 

The girls had a blast and had fun stories to share about their adventures with Gma Ski. I'm so thankful they had this chance to spend time with her and make these memories! She's a wonderful grandma! 

Friday, August 01, 2014

Monkey and Me

The three oldest are in Florida this week with their grandma Ski. She took them to Disney World! FUN! FUN! Which leaves just Evie and I home all day. The first day was horrendous! Not sure if it was the fact she had to get up at 3 a.m. so we could take the group to the airport in Omaha or that her one and only nap was from 9am-10am. BUT by 6pm she was a holy terror. Yelling, crying...basically a complete mess. John and I called it a night and were in bed at 8.

Yesterday was pretty good- she helped me run errands and do some projects. We painted a chair for Corynn's desk, modge-podged new paper on her dresser drawers and added new pulls, bought some mulch and finished spreading it in one of the flowers beds, went to the grocery store and worked on the cradle (a project that will end up being a cradle for her baby dolls).  John grilled up some steak last night and it was a pretty uneventful evening.

TODAY- we are going to the water park. Evie's pick! I asked her if what she wanted to do: swimming? Zoo? Park? She chose the water park...she loves that place! I do too because it only takes a few hours to wear her out and then she takes a 3 hour nap! SCORE!!!

It's fun having some one on one time with the kids. We took the twins to DC last summer, Corynn to AZ over spring break and now Evie gets a stay-cation at home. She doesn't get to travel, but she does get control of the tv and gets to watch all the cartoons she wants! She gets to play all day and gets her mommy and daddy to herself. Still a pretty good deal if you ask me!