27 July 2013


Troy blessed our littlest mister at church on Sunday, July 7th. It was the perfect ending to my favorite week of the year (more here, here, and here).

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Afterwards, we hosted a luncheon at our house. I threw together a dessert and drinks table at the last minute because I couldn't resist an opportunity to pull out party supplies. I have a serious weakness for anything nautical, and since it was still the week of the Fourth and Crew's name just sounds nautical, the party naturally fell into that theme.



We've been so busy this summer that I didn't even start thinking about the celebration until the day before, so I had to wing it with what I had on hand.






It became the lasting joke as we were preparing the day before that we might not have enough food. Every time we thought we were set, we realized more people were coming and we were worried we might run out. We made several trips back to the store for more rolls, more bottled water, more desserts, more plates, and on and on.

We ended up with enough pulled pork and cheesy potatoes to feed an army.




We crammed tables and chairs into every nook and cranny.

The boys formed a boys' club once again.

The star of the party missed the whole thing.

He woke up in time to supervise clean up and be entertained by uncles and aunts and cousins galore.

More nautical touches.

Crew falling back asleep on me after the party was the icing on the cake at the end of such a beautiful day, surrounded by friends and family from afar. He sure is loved.

24 July 2013

The Story of a Thumb

Once upon a time, there was a baby boy who found his thumb when he was three months old.

His parents were delighted because his thumb could put him back to sleep at any hour and it couldn't fall off or get lost. 

The boy grew older and still relied on his thumb for comfort and to fall asleep at night. His little brother followed in his footsteps and loved his thumb as well.

The boy rarely sucked his thumb outside of his home, unless he was completely exhausted.


The boy grew and grew until he was five and half years old and his mom reluctantly thought it might be time to break the habit. One day, they visited the dentist. The dentist revealed that no damage had been inflicted on his teeth alignment so far, but it would be wise to stop thumbsucking before he started losing teeth.

The dentist promised a huge prize to the boy if he could make it thirty days without sucking his thumb. He took a picture of him with the prize and gave him a copy to put on his wall at home, along with a sticker chart to track his success.

The boy came home completely motivated to stop sucking his thumb. His mom knew that the prize alone wouldn't be enough incentive to break the habit in the middle of the night, especially since the boy had relied on his thumb every single night for over five years.

On night one, the mom brushed some Mavala Stop (a bitter tasting polish) on the boy's thumb. It took him several hours to fall asleep and he washed out his mouth many times from accidentally sticking his thumb in. He finally fell asleep, only to wake up several times throughout the night.

But the next morning, he got to put his first sticker on his chart. The mom and the boy had a long talk about how he could do hard things. And he was ready to try it again on night two.

He fell asleep a little faster and woke up a few less times. And that was all it took. By night three, he fell asleep with ease and slept through the night without waking up to pop his thumb in.

The boy continued making progress for thirty days. The polish was brushed on each night and the sticker was stuck on each morning. 


The mom was shocked at how easy the whole process was. After struggling for nearly three years with the boy and potty training, she expected it to be a much more difficult journey.

She was delighted to take the boy back to the dentist on day thirty to claim the prize he had worked so diligently for. The boy beamed when a giant semi truck toy was placed in his arms.

He also earned a "thumbs up" trophy.

Even the dentist came out to congratulate him.

The little boy's confidence soared knowing that he had conquered a very hard thing.

22 July 2013

Having Fun is Hard Work

When school got out in May, I was really worried about how we were going to fill our endless summer days.

Now, I'm looking forward to school starting again just so things can settle down a bit.

Don't get me wrong, we've been having a blast, it just seems like we have been going nonstop. I can hardly catch my breath - let alone get to posting about Crew's blessing and all of the other events that have made our summer memorable.

Sometimes I think, when I'm old and gray, I might want to remember the details of my life when I was young and carefree (ha ha) with little ones always clinging to my legs. The last four days in particular have been a whirlwind of one event to the next:

Wednesday - I cleaned my house like a mad woman to get ready for the next round of company. We haven't gone more than a few days the last six weeks without someone staying with us. We sure love all the visitors, even if means washing the sheets and towels and remaking the guest bed over and over. This time, it was my cute teenage cousins from Michigan. I started making dinner preparations at 3pm in the afternoon to make sure everything ran smoothly.

Just when I was feeling on top of the world as far as preparedness went, the dinner completely burned when I went to reheat it a few hours later. Two extra minutes on the stove and it wasn't even redeemable. I scrambled to make it all over again in the short time span I had before the boys' Tball game, which included sending Troy to the store for an ingredient I used up the first time. Talk about a frazzled, maddening half hour that resulted in us not eating until after the game at 8pm when everyone was hot and starving.

Thursday - I spent most of the night and early morning hovered over the porcelain bowl and sleeping in intervals on the bathroom floor. I was the only one in my family (thankfully) to catch a violent stomach bug. It's a good thing I'm used to being pregnant and having to power through events even on the verge of keeling over. I didn't want my cousins to have a lame time while they were visiting us, so out we went.

We started out at our weekly movie theater flick where Nash and his friend Bella decided it would be a good idea to perform Kung Fu fighting up and down the aisles (the movie was Kung Fu Panda and it did not hold their attention). Then we headed to the waterpark and battled the crowds and the heat for a few hours. I took a short nap with Crew back at home and even though I still felt awful, I headed out to book club because I had already committed to being there and I hated to miss out. After a quality girls' night out, I came home earlier than normal to recoup (yeah right) and spend time with my cousins (who were watching The Host with Troy - yeah I think he's glad I came home...).

Friday - After another rough night, I repacked everyone bright and early for another eventful day. We dropped my cousins off on the other side of town and Blake bawled for a good half hour because he was afraid he would forget them. We loved having them around and wish we could see them more often.

We then drove an hour south to my friend Kristen's house and immediately hit the pool. After a few more hours in the sun, I forced Nash to get a nap in since he was at his breaking point (and I was too).


Troy met up with our friends after work and they all drove down to meet us for dinner and "The Sound of Music" at an outdoor theater. Nash kept calling the nuns "nuts" and Blake lit up when they sang "Do Re Mi" because he knew all the words. 

We didn't make it home till close to midnight. For boys that usually go to bed at 8pm, let's just say that we were all in hysterics on the drive home. The boys were crying hysterically at completely irrational things, and Troy and I were laughing hysterically because they were so out of control that we couldn't even reason with them.

Saturday - I woke up finally feeling better, but I didn't have a second to notice because it was time to unpack from the day before and repack for the day ahead. We kicked off the morning with our annual neighborhood breakfast and carnival, complete with bounce houses, cotton candy, rocket launching and sno cones.

We hopped from that tiring event right to the next one; a work party at the cabin. We hosted 20+ people from Troy's office for a BBQ lunch. We spent the afternoon eating, chatting, playing ping pong and bean bag toss, and trying to keep the under 5 five crowd from disturbing the over 20 crowd.

We invited a family from work to go boating after the party ended. It went later than expected, but none of us wanted to let the idea go. So, we quickly changed our collective five children and loaded up all the gear. By the time we got the boat launched, we only had about a half hour on the water before our friends had to take off for a wedding reception. We barely got the surfboard out when it was time to pull in the boat and cover it all up again.


We quickly cleaned up the cabin and rushed back home to meet up with our good friends for a birthday celebration. We missed the dinner and movie portion of the night because of our other commitments, but we wanted to make sure our friend knew he was a priority too. We called several places to hunt down a Key Lime pie (his favorite) to top off the night.

While we were enroute, our friends' movie got out earlier than we thought it would and they beat us to our house. We told them to go on in, and of course at that point Troy missed the exit that he takes every single day, delaying us even more. We eventually made it home to join them, with non-napped kids asleep in the backseat again

It wasn't until that point that I realized we had overcommitted ourselves just a tad. It's hard when you want to do it all.

Add in six feedings a day, sibling rivalry to no end, temperatures over 100° everyday, endless loads of washing swimsuits and towels, and trying to get design orders completed in any spare minutes I had - and I was utterly exhausted. And I didn't plan on this being a novel, so if you've made it this far, I'm exhausted for you too.

My dad has said "having fun is hard work" my entire life. I think I'm beginning to understand that sentiment. Nonstop fun takes a ton of work behind the scenes and even though it's worth it, I wouldn't mind a little breather.

All I can say is it's a good thing that last week was the week Crew started consistently sleeping through the night.

16 July 2013

Crew | Three Months

Time, please slow down! Although I'm mourning the loss of my newborn, Crew is constantly cooing and smiling and giggling and those things almost make up for the tiny lump that used to curl up on my chest every day. He is still an absolute dream baby.