A letter to me- 20 years from now..

I read this on facebook a couple of days ago and it has absolutely owned me.  I think one of my gifts is that I can actually slow down and ENJOY life.  I love my life.  I am so happy and so blessed.  I think this is a beautiful letter and makes me so sad about growing up.  There will be (and already are) so many things I miss about Andrew being a baby, but I love each and every day with him and have so enjoyed watching him grow and develop.  It is my greatest joy to be his Mom. 

I wonder if you've become one of those women who briefly lingers around, a safe distance behind, young moms carting their babies and toddlers through the grocery store with that far-off look in your eyes. If you gently smile at the mom when she looks up and catches your glance, obviously frazzled by how challenging taking 2 kids grocery shopping is, as if to tell her it's going to be okay. If you look at her and miss that time, want so badly to trade 5 minutes of the independence you have now that your kids are much older so that you can rest a toddler's head on your shoulder, or buckle a baby in their car seat, mindful not to pinch any belly chub in the harness.
I have a feeling that you might be, and there are some things I want you to know, some things I'm willing you to remember.
I want you to remember that they were the hardest thing you'd ever done. They challenged you, and they kept you up at night. They pushed your buttons, and they were never, ever quiet... unless they were in trouble. I want you to remember that you loved them the hardest you've ever loved anything, from day one, and every day after that.
I want you to know that you were completely overwhelmed nearly all the time. The thought of taking them anywhere by yourself made you want to hide in bed all day. You were overwhelmed by the responsibility. You had NO clue what you were doing. You were overwhelmed by how much they trusted you and how much they needed you. You were overwhelmed by how much you needed and loved them.
I want you to remember how it felt to lay side by side next to your 4-year-old before he drifted off to sleep. How you talked face to face, nose to nose, about his day. How you told him you were excited to see how much he would grow by the morning, and how in the morning you'd lay in bed next to him and stretch his arms and legs out, exclaiming, "LOOK HOW MUCH YOU GREW LAST NIGHT!" How that put the biggest smile on his face.
I want you to remember what it felt like to hold your 18-month-old on your lap, wrapping your arms around her and laying them on her bulging tummy. How the back of her head and the handful of baby curls at the nape of her neck felt and smelled when you rested your head atop hers.
I want you to know that you were acutely aware of how fast they were growing. Even though many days would pass in the blink of an eye, there would always be a moment when your world would snap to a halt, and you would look at them while they were doing something mundane and normal, and you would be painfully conscious that they were no longer the size they were last week, and that they would never be the size they are at that moment again.
I want you to know that you went to bed every night with one simple wish for the next day. To just do better.
Even though you were tired and challenged, exasperated and overwhelmed, you knew then that you would miss these days... most of them, at least. It was a truth that was hard to live with, and most of the time you ignored it because there was nothing you could do about the passing of time. If you spent your days mourning the ones that had gone by, you'd miss out on the days you were living in.
You knew you were on a light rail, moving at speeds you couldn't comprehend. You had no control over the ride that brought you to where you are today, but believe me when I say you searched so very hard to find the emergency brake.
Please know, please remember that you tried to savor that time. Be at peace, knowing you spent late afternoons curled up with them on the couch, that sometimes you just sat and watched them move and run, that occasionally you took inventory of all the things they'd learned in the last week, and that you appreciated your time with them the best you knew how. Know that despite your very best efforts, there was no way to freeze time.
I promise you, you tried.
Respectfully borrowed from http://www.blogher.com/letter-my-51-year-old-self?page=0,1


Funny Things I Forgot to Post

There are a couple of funny things that I have been meaning to post, but just never found the time to put them in here...
1.  Several weeks ago we made pigs in a blanket for breakfast.  As I was making them I told Andrew that we would call them "pigs in a BB" because he calls his blanket a BB.  He really liked them and nothing more was said about them.  about a week or so later we stopped at a gas station and he saw a sign and said "LOOK!!!"  What is it? I asked- "PIGS IN A BB!!!" and sure enough there was a poster on the window for some pigs in a blanket.  He was so proud of himself for spotting them.

2.  Again...several weeks ago...Andrew had a little bit of a cough.  One night he woke me up coughing so I went into his room to hold him upright (Spoiler alert-It is about to get gross, so skip to # 3 if you have a weak stomach). A few minutes later he got to coughing so much it made him throw up... and he threw up about 4 times before I could get to the bathroom.  Needless to say, I was COVERED in hotdog and other yummy treats from the day.  (BARF!) I was trying to keep him calm and had him sit on the floor in the bathroom and I ran and go Bo and then took a quick shower and got back to help.  By the time I got back, Bo had every light on and Andrew was ready to start his day!  UGH!  I finally got him settled back down.  I thought he was just about asleep and he said "mommy, can we get a trampoline?"  Me... Ummm, no, probably not.  And what do you know about trampolines? He responded with "I just do!" and with that, he closed his precious little eyes and was out for the rest of the night.  It just made me laugh. I just wondered about how he got to thinking about that after throwing up!

3.  He is still VERY in to music.  We got in the car the other day after school and the raido was on and he said "Hey!  this is the song from the parade!"  And it was... the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from last year.  Now, granted, we watched it several times, but probably haven't seen it in at least 6 months.  He knew that was one of the songs we listened to on the parade.  The next song was from the new Zac Brown Band album and he recognized their voices and sound right away too, even though he hadn't listened to the new CD yet.

4.  This morning I woke up to him RUNNING down the hallway at 6:15 and he ran into our room and proclaimed "I'm ready for school!!".  He had gotten up, changed clothes (and matched) and put on his shoes and socks!  What a big boy!

I wish I had time to write every night.  Andrew is really at such a fun age/stage right now. He cracks us up all the time.

Lazy Day at the Lake

We LOVE to go to the lake and especially love going with sweet friends. Thanks to Mandy and Gary for the invite! We had a blast!

My little fish!

Getting ready for his first tube ride.

Here we go!

... And they're off! He loved it for a while but was ready to be done about 10 minutes into the ride. I was so proud of him for being so brave.

Sweet Will and Mandy

Ella and Will

Jenn and sweet Bo

Loving a boat ride.


Getting lost in Rock N Roll... Drift Away

Drift Away by Dobie Gray is one of my favorite songs. Andrew and I have listened to it a couple of times but on Saturday he and Bo heard it while they were out going to Home Depot. He came home singing it and wanted to hear it again so I found it on YouTube and he sat and watched Dobie Gray sing it. He loved it! I can see him getting lost in rock and roll and drifting away too! (PS- he dressed himself in this plaid long sleeve shirt and corduroy pants and notice the mitten in the background- he thinks rock and roll people wear gloves and these are currently the only ones we have)

States and Capitals

YouTube Video

Andrew learned this song at school... Here are the lyrics so you can follow along.
Juneau's in Alaska and there's Lincoln in Nebraska
And it's Raleigh out in North Carolina and then
There's Madison, Wisconsin, and Olympia in Washington
Phoenix, Arizona, and Lansing, Michigan.

Here's Honolulu; Hawaii's a joy
Jackson, Mississippi, and Springfield, Illinois
South Carolina with Columbia down the way
And Annapolis in Maryland on Chesapeake Bay.

Pajama Day at School

My brother gave these superman PJ's to Andrew about a year (or more) ago. Today was pajama day at school and these are the ones that he wanted to wear... Never mind that they are about 3 inches too short! He didn't care and thought he was so cool.

1/2 Birthday party

It was just a really good excuse to get together with some of Andrew's friends from school. Several boys have December birthdays so we decided to have a little swim party. The kids were so cute and it was a perfect day! We had pizza and cupcakes and each kid got to take home a little bucket of treats too!

Ellie, Andrew, Blake

Emma, Ellie, Andrew

Blake and Emma

Blake and Andrew

Pizza Night

We had pizza night last week and Andrew & I decided to make one from scratch instead of ordering. We made a delicious tomato, spinach and mushroom pizza (& added a few pepperonis too!). He was a great helper! He ate most of it too! He didn't care for the tomatoes so we will skip those on his half next time.

Spreading the sauce.

Adding spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes

Now for the cheese!




And waiting...



Last summer Andrew went off the diving board, but this year he decided that he was not going to do it again until he was 8.  Each time we went to the pool, I would ask him if he wanted to go off the diving board and one time he got up there and walked out to the end, but backed off the board.  He just wasn't ready.  Last weekend we were there and he just said "I want to go off the diving board" so I said "OK" and off he went and did it again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again... well, you get the picture.  Needless to say he slept great that night.  I was so proud of him for finally begin brave enough to do it again!

Super Andrew

We found this cape/mask at Wal Mart the other day and surprised Andrew with it.   It was so funny to see him transform!  In this picture he was looking at himself in the mirror.  Can you tell how proud he is?  he also had to have his "super shorts" because they matched his cape and they were the only ones that  have "power"  We are loving his imagination these days!  I love to watch him play and listen to the conversations he has with his toys.

Texas 2012

For the last 7 years, we have taken a trip to Texas to visit my grandparents.  This year, Bo was not able to join us because of his new job.  I was a little nervous about flying solo- mainly because I was not checking our bags so I had 2 bags, carseat and my purse, and AMK's backpack and Andrew! Whew!  We made it and he did great.  We did have a 2 hour delay to start off the day, but luckily we had the iPad and some Super Why loaded!  

 Waiting on the flight
 Here we go!  Ready for take off!!
When we got to Texas, we were excited to see Mimi and Hannah there too.  Hannah was so glad to have a friend to play with other than Mimi an Gigi and Pops.  She and Andrew put on a concert right away.  Gigi and Pops also have a pool in their neighborhood so we spent several afternoons there .  The kids loved it and played so well together.  
Sunday we went to Denton to see Aunt Nan, Uncle Ralph and my cousin, Ryan and her 2 kiddos.  We had a DELICIOUS lunch and celebrated Gigi and Pops 86 ad 87 birthdays.  This month they will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary!  Isn't that cool?  They are so sweet and loving to each other and both of them take care of the other.  After lunch Ryan and I went a got a slip and slide for the kids and they played outside all afternoon!
 Ty, Keeli, Ryan, Andrew, Gigi, Pops, Hannah, Me
 Cousins having fun.
 This is the life!
 Beautiful Gigi
 AMK and Pops
Monday, we met Ralph, Ryan, Ty and Keeli at the Ft. Worth Stockyards to see the cattle drive.  Sweet Ty let Andrew and Hannah borrow some of his cowboy garb.  They were all so cute.  We got to see the longhorns walk down the street and Andrew was very impressed.  We had lunch, and Hannah and Ty rode a mechanical bull.  Then we all went to a little kid rodeo place and they all practiced their roping' and ridin'.  Everyone had so much fun.  The kids were so cute and Andrew thought he was a real cowboy.  He kept saying' ye-haw!  
 Love this and the sweet shadow.
 Gigi and Pops and their Great-Grandboys!
 Cattle Drive
 This lady thought Andrew was so cute, she wanted to have her picture made with him! Ha!  
 3 Buckaroos!
 Sweet Ty
  AMK and Mimi
 Andrew riding 
 Uncle Ralph lassoed AMK
 We caught Uncle Ralph!
 Handsome cowboy
 Real cowboys sleep in chaps.  
  Andrew teaching Gigi how to play his new guitar
 4 generations
 Reviewing the safety procedures on the way home.  We almost missed the flight because they changed our gate while we were sitting waiting on the flight.  When the flight at the gate were were at started boarding... and they called for Detroit, I knew we were in trouble.  We had to RUN through the airport to get to our new gate and were the LAST people on the plane.  WHEW!  Sweet Andrew fell asleep on the plane and slept the whole way home.  Can't wait to go again next year.