MIA

Well, as you can tell, I haven’t been updating much lately. Everyday I wake up with the plan to make time to get some pictures, or try a new recipe, or sew something up, and update the blog. But due to lack of sleep this last week, a hubby working from 7am-3:30pm, then attending night school from 4:30pm-9:15pm, and me staying home with our two girls, my 3 nieces, and one daycare child, on top of being 30+ weeks pregnant, equals one EXHAUSTED mama. Last night I actually did take some 31 weeks pregnant, only to upload them and see I had set the focus wrong and they all were pretty darn blurry. I thought about retaking them, but instead I quickly gave my girls bath, got them ready for bed, cleaned the house, made the Hubby’s lunch, and went to bed. Ha.

The rest of this week will probably continue on being busy busy busy, but hoping this weekend I can finally do some update blogging. (Although with PJ having Drill during the day on Saturday and part of Sunday, an with Father’s Day being Sunday, we will see if I have time.) And next M-F will pretty much be the same as this week.

But seeing as the girls are currently occupied, I have a few minutes to spare.

Rhem surprises me everyday. This girl loves to learn, loves to explore, and is such a nurturer. While her sister is starting the “testing limits and hitting” stage, Rhem is very patient with her and has yet to strike back. I am really wanting to get her in some classes soon, like dance or gymnastics. And hopefully she will be getting swimming lessons soon as well. Often times I find myself just watching her, wondering HOW I already have a child who is 3 (going on 13) and how blessed I am with such a sweet, silly three year old!

Hadiley. Oh my wild child. She hates strollers (unless they are in our house, then she must be pushed all around our small house…) as well as carriers, she wants to walk…err. run. Which would be fine, if she would listen and follow us, or you know, hold my hand. I am just realizing that she is starting to growing taller, so I am constantly putting clothes away that I literally just got out of storage. She has mastered the art of kissing without drooling ALL OVER your face, and although she doesn’t always want to give mom or dad a kiss, when she does, she HAS to give you 15 in a row. Her vocabulary is growing each day, which I love, but sad to see my baby girl growing up SO fast. (and I mean FAST! seeing as she walked 3 whole months before Rhem learned to walk.) She is now saying:
More, All done, Mom, Dada, Up, Please, Thank You, I love you, Bye/Hi, No, Yes.

Where have my babies gone? Well, all is good, because baby boy will be here in 9 weeks!! I am very excited for August to get here, so I will have my newborn little boy, an 18 month toddler girl, and my 3 and half year old teenager. 😉 I had an appointment last Friday, I was measure right on tract, no swelling, good blood pressure, and great numbers on my glucose test. And heart beat was strong. My next Appointment is Next Friday, when I will be 32 weeks 5 days, then I will have another at 34w. 5d. Then 36w.5d. Then 37w. 5d. then 38w.5d. then 39w.5d. and then HOPEFULLY baby will be here! 6 more appointments (maybe 7) Ahh. So close.

I love knowing he will be here so soon, but at the same time I look around the house and thing, Oh no, we have only 9 weeks to finish all these rooms. (Kitchen needs finished primed and painted. Living room needs trim and baseboard put up, hallway needs second coat of primer plus paint and baseboard, “green” room needs to finish being mudded, then primed, then painted, then base board, then a door put on, oh and we need to add lights to the room, THEN we can finally bring our bed and dresser down and set up for baby, then the “blue” room needs the ceiling replaced because of some mold, then painted, then we can turn it back into the girls room. Oh and the bathroom still needs baseboard. Writing this list makes me want to cry. haha.) After baby gets here, we then can move to focusing on repainting the upstairs and getting new baseboard and trim up there, and focus on the outside, which will includ painting some of the house, LOTS of weeding, and tearing somethings out. so. much. work. blah.

Okay. now I must clean up all the crumbs my sweet Hadiley just poured all over the couch and new rug, and clean up the water that Rhem spilled during her “tea” party, and finish cleaning up dinner.

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what makes it feel like home

I could go on and on (as could my husband) about all the things that drive us crazy about our house. Things that need to be done (and I am not talking about just little paint jobs, like floors that are ripped up and need to be relaid and walls that need to be re-dry walled, etc, etc.) and how we wish our house looked like. But then I remind myself how blessed we are to have a roof over our heads, with enough room for our family, dog, and daycare kids to roam around. So today I am focusing on the things in our house that I love and make it more than just a house, but our home.

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a dream catcher that I have had since I was little.IMG_4921
my girls play kitchen, next to my “big” kitchen so they can cook along with me.IMG_4923
our china cabniet that we found for a steal at a DAV to keep our treasures.IMG_4926 IMG_4927
including my willow tree collection… IMG_4930
as well as the cake topper from our wedding…IMG_4933 IMG_4934
and some of my favorite books. IMG_4936
our giant bed in our big open room.IMG_4939
Rhemidy’s closet door that I painted with flowers and have been tracking her growth. IMG_4942
and a picture in our bathroom, that I had in my childhood home’s bathroom of a little girl carrying a doll. I love this picture because the girl looks like me and has a doll that looks so much like a doll I use to have, and now Rhemidy looks like the girl in the picture.
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and of course, our giant back yard. (it goes beyond the chain-link fence to that line of trees, It hasnt been used much this winter with how horribly cold has been) Although in the summer it is a PAIN to mow, taking 2 hours on our rider, it has so much room for having friends over for parties, and bon fires, and the taking the kids exploring.

-brittney

All in a year

I cannot believe we are towards the end of February 2014. Last year honestly felt like it passed by in a blink of an eye. Today’s entry is a look back of last year. At the beginning of last year I made a list of things I wanted for 2013. Including meeting my beautiful girl Hadiley, traveling more, making more family memories, bake and cook more, and getting healthy. I am happy to say all of these things happened.
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One last date night with having an only child in January.IMG_6286
Meeting sweet, baby Hadiley in February.IMG_6725
After a week in the NICU, Rhem finally getting to know her sister on Valentines Day.IMG_7611 IMG_7633
Building Rhemidy’s first snow man in February.IMG_8285
Rhemidy’s first time Easter egg hunting in March.392593_10151551167530140_2045987755_n
We celebrated Rhemidy turning 2 with a Red Riding Hood theme in March.IMG_9379
Lasagna inspired pita pocket sandwich.tn1 tn6
Hadiley’s first big trip to Nashville Tennessee for a wedding for our dear friend Boo in April.IMG_1301
We met a new, and unexpected, second cousin in April.IMG_1343 IMG_2442
I baked and decorated many cakes for baby showers and birthdays.IMG_2952_edited-1
The girls met their new beautiful cousin, Toria in May.IMG_3269b IMG_3419b
We took many family walks and jumped in every puddle.IMG_3675 IMG_3744
We visited the zoo a few times during the summer.IMG_4937
We went swimming whenever we got a chance.IMG_4899b IMG_4762
We visited friends who moved an hour away.IMG_8966
We tried out the new water park down town.IMG_9015
We took Hadiley to see her first fireworks, and Rhem enjoyed Popsicles in July. IMG_8691
We took the girls for their very first drive in movie. IMG_9208
We took many walks to a park a couple miles away. IMG_0443
We met the Duggars, a family I look up too for their love for one another and family values. IMG_2060
We made sure to get some pictures of all four of us. Although I really should print some out!IMG_1461 IMG_1478
We celebrated Hadiley’s first Halloween and Rhemidy picked out what they would be. And I made the costumes in October.
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We celebrated this little Turkey’s first Thanksgiving in November. 🙂IMG_2397
We cut down our first every real Christmas tree in November.
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We celebrated Hadiley’s first Christmas in December.
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And in Decemeber we found out we will be adding another arrow to our family this summer.

What an amazing year, and I am so excited for all that 2014 has in store for us!

-Brittney

What have I been doing lately?

Once again, I have been slacking on updating. I apologize. Whenever I read blogs, I always look for one who often update with pictures. I love being able to get a glimpse into others lives. To me, the more pictures, the better. So today I give you a post with lots of pictures to make up for being gone. 🙂

So what have we’ve been up to? Well we have had my niece Leona over, Hadiley has been growing (4 months already!), we have been baby wearing, playing in mud, going on walks, sunning diapers, celebrating PJ’s birthday, playing, playing, playing, and even scheduled in a trip to the zoo. 🙂
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love.
brittney

Eleven Years.

In this entry, I will take a look back at the last 11 years of my life. I will share with my readers where I come from and how it has molded me to the person I am today. Seeing as my oldest is not even two yet, this entry will not have much to do with raising my girls, instead it is a day of reflection.

The day was Tuesday, March 5th, 2002. A typical morning for me. I woke up early, got dressed in my uniform, ate my breakfast, and got in the car and my mom to drove me off to the catholic school I attended. I was in six grade and your typical 12 year old. I lived with my mom and step dad with my older sister, but we spent every other weekend at our dads, with our half sisters. It may have been a “broken” family, but it was my family, and it was a pretty good life. That day at school was just like any other day. At 2:45 the last bell rang, and I got my backpack and headed outside to get picked up. My mom smiled as I got in the car. On the drive home she was extremely quiet. Instantly I could tell something was wrong. In my head I kept thinking what could possibly be wrong. I remember wondering if one of our pets had died, I hoped and prayed it wasn’t my beloved cat, Cappio. However, for the 7 minute drive home, my mom said nothing. I remember pulling up into the drive way, wondering if I was going to walk into the house and notice one of our pets gone. I could not imagine why my mom was acting so weird. She turned off the car and turned to me. “Brittney, I have something I need to tell you” she began. “This morning… your dad was arrested.” I remember sitting there confused. Hearing what she was saying, but not quite comprehending it. My dad? Arrested? She continued to inform me he was arrested for involvement in drugs. She wanted to let me know right then, because she knew it would be on the news for all to see. I remember just being so confused, and a bit numb. I remember walking in, and still looking around for the pets, still thinking maybe she was joking, and really one of the pets died. But all my pets where still there, my dad really was arrested. That night on the news I watched them talk about my dad, arrested for many things, but the main charges were for selling drugs and fraud.

The next two years were hard. School was hard to face. “Friends” were coming up asking if I was related to the guy in the news, seeing we had the same last night. Older kids talked about me as a walked by, as if I couldn’t hear them. I remember on day in math I asked to use the bathroom, when I walked back to the class room I heard the teacher telling the students about what she has heard about who my dad was and what he had done. I sat in the hallway feeling numb. Not wanting to go back into that room. I felt so judged. I felt so alone. Over the course of those 2 years, more family was arrested. An aunt, an uncle, a cousin, a grandma. More charges. More hurtful words about my family in print. It was difficult. I went through denial. I went through anger. I went into depression. My dad was sentenced to 35 years of prison. My grandma was sentenced to 10, but a couple years later passed away while in prison due to a heart attack. A cousin sentenced to 5, and an aunt sentenced to 12 years. My life as I knew it, was no more.

The summer before 8th grade my mom signed me up for a church camp. She knew I needed help, I needed someone to talk too. The camp changed a lot of things. As corny as it might sound, but I found Jesus at that camp. I found love. I found acceptance. I found joy. I went home that summer changed. Yes, there was still some pain and confusion left, but I was a happier child. I felt more whole again. I remember in 8th grade I had teachers pull me aside and ask how my summer went. They told me they saw a change in me. They were impressed. I was a nicer person. I was smiling. My grades all went back up. I was strong again.

When I entered highschool I decided to have my name changed in the school system to be the same as my mom and step dads. I had come a long way since that day in 2002, but I didn’t want to bring that baggage with me into highschool. For once I didn’t want people judging me because of who my dad was. For the first two years of highschool no one knew. When I started drivers ed, and got a job I had to use my legal last name, so suddenly friends where realizing that the name I had been going by, wasn’t my real name. However, I was a lot stronger. I was able to talk about my family, without falling apart. I continued to use my mom’s last name, though.

The first couple years of highschool I still made some mistakes, dated boys I wish I didn’t, but as the years went by, I grew more in my faith and focused more on doing good for my community as well as helping others around the U.S. through mission trips. I still made mistakes, because let’s face it no one is or will be perfect, but I was able to get through highschool, having many friends, and have dated boys and still never had been drunk nor having sex. It is still possible girls to make i through highschool with out getting drunk and hooking up!

Towards the end of my Junior year I began dating PJ. Two years after graduating highschool we got married. Our relationship was pretty strong, we had a few bumps in the road, but after 3 years of dating we tied the knot. It was two short months after our wedding that we became pregnant with our first.

We are now 2 months away from our 3 year anniversary of marriage. The last 3 years have brought two amazing girls that have filled my life with more love and more joy than I could ever imagine. The last 3 years has also brought some difficult times and pain. However, every obstacle I have been able to get over with the help of God, and amazing friends and family.

11 years ago today I couldn’t imagine what my life was going to end up being like. But today I sit here, knowing because of life events I am a stronger person, with faith in an awesome God, who has brought me two beautiful little girls. It has also brought me the knowledge to know that I can get through anything with the grace of God, and I am excited to see what the future has in store for my family and me. You never know what life is going to throw at you, but in the end it makes you who you are. The trick is deciding how you are going to let it affect your life. You can choose to let it destroy you, or choose to rise above it. My past has also showed me what I want for my girls. Less brokenness, and more love. Don’t get me wrong, my childhood wasn’t just filled with pain. I have an awesome mom and step dad who has showed me what kind of marriage I want. One where they respect each other, support each other, and obviously love each other. I have awesome memories of family vacations (with both parents) as well as many amazing memories of camping in the backyard with my mom that I plan to pass on with my girls. My life has definitely not always been an easy one, but there has been a lot of joy in the mess. For that, I am thankful. & I want to pass that joy on to my kids.

Well here is to the future, and a happy, healthy home for my girls.
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love. brittney