Thursday, July 31, 2008

B-day Pics

Well, here's a few pics from the old man's b-day on Sunday :) Above is the cake I made him...special thanks to Wendi's friend Kristen whom I "borrowed" the idea from. I love it and I knew popcorn/movie-loving Kev would love it too (I think he did). Of course I made the cake part only vanilla with homemade frosting...so the non-chocolate loving guy in our house would eat it!
Probably the highlight of the b-day boy's day...dinner at our new Japanese Steakhouse in town (DoMo). I think it was pretty good, but again I had lost all sense of taste so while it looked good I couldn't be the judge of how it tasted...but daddy Kev liked it! As you can see from the firey pic above Dylan still does not like "hot fire"...he cried whenever our cook lit up the table :( And notice all the yummy food we have in front of us and then Dylan's yummy jar of sweet potatoes...pathetic!
Our fam. of 5 1/2 outside the restaurant...Shelby clutched the balloon and circus peanuts that she so proudly picked out for daddy (probably cuz she LOVES that candy so much and got it mostly for herself!) :)
Daddy and his girls showing off the cake...
The old man and lil' Shelba taking a stab at blowing out the big whopping 6 candles (we didn't have 33 in the house)...and you can see daddy got his Cold Stone creation ice cream again (his fav-cake batter with snickers mixed in!)
Hailey with her card and gift (cookies from Blondies)
Shelby with her card and gift to daddy (daddy LOVES Jelly Bellies!) :)
And Dylan with his lil' box of Soda Shoppe Jelly Bellies for Daddy...yes, we gave daddy lots of sweet treats...sorry daddy! We also went in on the BIG gift from my whole family...an i-pod, which he loves (and received in NC at the cabin).

Hope everyone is having a splendid week....ours has been slightly stressful. My cold ended up going southward and settling in my chest. I was feeling pretty awful yesterday and almost lost my voice. Thankfully daddy Kev was working from home so he kept an eye on the rowdy kids and I napped. Today I feel better so we ventured out to the city pool. I have been proud of myself for staying away from that chaotic place this summer, but the kids had a good time and are exhausted. It was extra nice that we ran into some friends and family who helped with Dylan so I could stay in the shade and off my feet :) Hailey even made a new friend...she's so good at being social...I love that about her. Add onto the sickness, the stress of our basement endeavor...and well, you can probably guess how time-consuming that is going to be and how just the thought of it is making Kev and I want to shed a few tears. But, I'm trying to put that all aside and gear up for our big weekend away! I'm so excited to have some alone-time (out of our house!) for our anniversary! St. Louis, MO here we come! :) So, until next time....hope you all are basking in the warm sun...or if you're like me...enjoying the coolness of an A/C'd house! :)

Fun with Friends!

A few fun pics from our Friday get-together with our wonderful pals, Chad and Corie and kiddos. We waited a tad bit long to take our kiddos group pic so this was the end result...some tired (and cranky) kids! :) I think the dog posed the best of all! :) But, aren't they a cute bunch of guys and girls...tired/crying or not!?!
Dylan really took to Chad...and who can blame him...look at the fun he had flying in the sky!
And what a lovely surprise that C&C treated Kev (and all of us) to a yummy DQ b-day cake for dessert! What a treat! We gobbled that thing right up! YUMM! Chad and Cor...you guys are the best and we enjoyed hanging with you for the evening...we really need to do it more often!

More Cutesy Girly Things! :)

Well, I couldn't resist posting some more pics of the new adorable clothes that are coming our way for the newest lil' Steg girl. Check 'em out...they are the cutest?! All from my family when we were in NC (thanks Mom and Dad, Aunt Mary and Grandma G!)...our girl is no doubt gonna be the best dressed baby in town! We are so blessed by such giving family/friends! Below (it's hard to see)...but my mom had all this adorable stuff packed in this big ol' hat box (it's under the blanket in this pic) that said "It's a Girl" and had cute little ballet slippers on it...really, really cute...and then check out the adorable outfits and the soft, cuddly blankies...and a really neat photo/scrap book! Makes me even more excited to see our sweet beauty in all this in just a month or two!
Again...more cute stuff! We are so spoiled, aren't we?! I promise I won't keep posting every outfit we get, but I can't help myself right now...I'm excited to meet our new girl! Below is one of my fav. outfits. It's one my mom bought at Children's Place when I was expecting Dylan (in case he was a girl)...of course we didn't need it them, but I'm excited we get to use it now cuz it's too cute! :)

And every baby needs a 1st Christmas outfit! My mom found this in NC...too cute! I can already picture our 3 month old in it this holiday season!
As you can tell...I just love baby clothes :) :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quack, Quack! :)

Above is me on Sunday (33/34 weeks)...looking like I swallowed a watermelon! LOL :) Compare to 28 weeks below...
Well, it's official...I'm in the "duck part" of pregnancy!

Ok, so I know that's gonna get some confused thoughts from people, and to make it more clear I'll just say I'm waddling like there's no tomorrow. I don't remember waddling with my other pregnancies, but lo and behold I am with this one! And maybe you can see why from above. Wow...I really have grown in the last few weeks...or I'd rather think it's the baby putting on the poundage (but who am I kidding?!) :) So, here I am at almost 34 weeks and my strut has definitely changed. Actually sometimes my waddle turns into a hobble and I look like a little old lady (especially after my weekly leg cramps...those stink!). The baby bump is definitely making itself known :) But, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love this growing girl inside me and although it's getting cramped in there I'm trying to bask in the ray of pregnancy of these last 6 weeks. Wow...did I actually just say that....6 weeks to go (check out our little pink flying baby on the side of the blog...she's about to zoom off the page!) I still remember when I was just 6 weeks pregnant and starting to get nauseous...and now our baby is about 4 lbs and almost ready to show her face. What an amazing miracle that has transformed over the course of 8 mos. As I often say...I am truly humbled to have done this all again....

All that to say that things are moving along as smoothly as they possibly can. I had my 33/34 week appt this morning and it'll probably be my last normal one...by that I mean from now on I get good ol' "pelvic checks". Not my fav., especially since I've been known to never dilate until the week of delivery...so why go and check me and give me that disappointment a month before my due date! But, baby is doing great...I'm measuring right on schedule (yay!), her head is down (double yay!), and that lil' heart was just thumping away (and she was moving like a crazy lady again this morning...as is an hourly occurrence :)). So, I am thankful...thankful that things are moving along perfectly and that our baby girl just needs to pack a few pounds on before she makes her grand debut in Sept! Grow, baby, grow (but not too much! I really am fine with the average 7/8lber!)

In other news, you might have guessed by now by my lack of blogging/emailing that my wonderful hubby is home safe and sound (sorry, but my communication skills usually go down the crapper when I'd rather be spending time with my Kev...as it should be! :)). It's so great to have him nestled back in my arms (though to be honest there has not been much time for rest/nestling...we've been so busy!)...but it's good to have him home and in our arms again.

The last week has been crazy for us...and I'll just jot all that down in a sentence or two (to be followed by pics later in the week...)....all the kid finished up swim lessons and did great...Hailey finished up diving too (I'm glad it's all over...the last 2 weeks have worn me out being in the pool and sun for 2 hours every day)....we enjoyed a day at our local county fair (it's an annual event and we love it...it was a great time, great food, great rides, etc)...we had a lovely time with our awesome old pals, Chad and Corie and kiddos on Friday night (they even bought Kev a yummy DQ cake for his b-day...what a treat! You guys are the BEST!)....and then Kev and I spent the weekend kid-less and cleaning :( :) I was hoping to find a little enjoyment too (maybe a movie or a nice dinner out), but I ended up sick all weekend (and it was all I could do to get all the laundry done), while Kev worked his booty off cleaning/clearing out our basement (it looks great and is almost ready to be "worked on")....and last, but not least...Kev turned 33 on Sunday...he spent most of the day working in the basement (poor guy!), but his parents did take us all out for a yummy Japanese dinner (I'm sure it was great, but I had totally lost my sense of taste/smell so I could have been eating broccoli stew with tuna mixed in...and it all would have tasted the same to me)...but it was a yummy dinner followed by a cake made from "the wonderful wife" and b-day gifts/treats from the "wonderful kids" :) More on all that in the way of pics to follow.....

Hope you all are having a fantastic week. We are gearing up for a wonderful weekend away (in St. Louis, most likely!) to celebrate our big 10th anniversary (which isn't for a couple weeks)....and the kids are gearing up for school (Hailey starts in 2 weeks...eek!). And I'll just say that I'm slightly overwhelmed. Not so much about the impending delivery or 4 kids...that all seems doable. But, the whole house situation and getting the basement started soon and wanting it all done in the snap of a finger. Well, it's all become obvious that it's NOT going to get done by Sept. and it's weighing on me big time. I am a planner and a perfectionist as you all know, and to not have a place/space for this baby and extra room for our family....well, let's just say I shed a few tears this weekend over my frustrations. Don't get me wrong, I trust that it'll work out and I know that babies don't need much to start out with...but I just want to sit and enjoy my new girl and my last baby when she arrives in Sept. I don't want to be surrounded by the chaos of a basement being finished and a house in shambles. I just want peace and enjoyment.....so I'm praying for that in the coming weeks. I know God has a plan and it will all work out....but I'm a fretter/worrier/stresser-type person (usually) so it all just weighs on my mind. Phew...so there ya' go...my real thoughts for the day....I'm slightly overwhelmed and feeling like a big ol' duck! :) Life is good!! :)

Mystery Solved!





Well, our family tree mystery has finally been solved! Are you surprised, mom?!

Yesterday, I FINALLY got the email we've been waiting for...our long lost memorial tree plaque for my grandparents was finally found! Yippee!

Ok, so let me back up a bit. Remember last October when I posted pics (see one above) of the amazingly beautiful red maple tree planted in honor of my Grandma and Grandpa Fergie on the trail near our house. It had already taken 6 mos for the tree to simply be planted...and at that point we were told the plaque was not yet ready and would placed at a "later date". Little did we all know how long that "later date" would be (almost 10 mos later)! Many months went by and I heard nothing so I started emailing/hounding our poor urban forest guy. He's been great about corresponding, but it was obvious from the get-go that there was some confusion going on. Lately I've been emailing/calling him weekly and before our NC vacation he told me he thought the plaque had been placed at the wrong tree cuz he remembered the plaque inscription and it being made. Ok...great...at least the plaque was made, but now we had to find it and it could be anywhere in the city of Bloomy (Kev even offered to drive around on his bike (in his "spare time") and see if he could solve the mystery!). We laughed initially at this...and my mom and I smiled thinking of the humor of it all and how my grandparents were probably smiling down from heaven and laughing as well at their little lost plaque escapade.

Anyway....long story short, but the plaque was found yesterday...and lo and behold it's probably been right under our noses all along! I laughed when I saw where it was placed....only a few hundred feet from our real tree and under a different red maple. I know I've driven by it a few dozen times at least and probably parked near it too and never noticed it (and from the looks of it, it's been there for awhile)....go figure...

So, the mystery has been solved and today the plaque is to be moved to the correct location nestled under our lovely red maple (that is now green in the summer). I'm so excited that this little dilemma has been solved and I hope my mom is too! The plaque came out great, I think, and it says perfectly what we all thought and loved about my grandparents. They were loved deeply and will be remembered always for that love and the smiles and laughter that they brought us all! Thinking of you always, grandma and grandpa, and missing you!

Congrats, Rich and Janet! :)


A congratulatory shout-out is in order today for my Uncle Rich and soon-to-be Aunt Janet! My wonderful uncle went and popped the question to his awesome girlfriend last week (actually a week ago today, I believe)...and she said "YES!" :) YAY! We're so excited for them both...truly, they are perfect for each other and I've never seen my uncle happier than since he's been with Janet. They make a great couple. Not to mention they are both brilliant and wonderful people. We're so excited for them as they begin their lives together. A Dec. 28 FL wedding is in the works (even though they live in NC)....and we're so hoping our fam. of six can make it down there in time to share in the special beach wedding! It's gonna be a grand event for sure. So, here's to my Uncle and Aunt-to-be and also to my cousin RJ who will be gaining a wonderful new woman in his life too :) Congrats and Best Wishes, Guys...we love you!!! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy B-day, Babe!



Well, today is my #1 Man's 33rd birthday! Can you believe I married such an old man?! J/K, Honey...but it is nice to be married to an older and wiser person than myself :)

I won't go and write a big old mushy gushy post today cuz I think everyone knows how I feel about my Kev. He's my soulmate, my best friend, the best husband and father I know and he definitely completes me and is my better half. Without him I am not the same and I can't imagine not having him in my life. His trip to Boston last week just made me further realize how much I love/need/want this man. His presence in my life is one of God's greatest blessings. Most of you know what an emotional basket case I've been the last 8 mos (and especially lately), but Kev has stood strong through my outbursts and he loves me unconditionally. I always wondered when I was younger if there would be a guy out there who could "put up with me"...well, wonder of wonders he sent Kev along and I knew the moment I started to date him over a decade ago that he was a keeper. And I've never looked back...he has been the ONE for me. He is the most patient, loving, caring, giving, thoughtful husband, daddy and person I know and I am humbled that he has built a life and a family with me.

So, here's to my hubby today...and the 33 years of life he's lived...and here's to many more years of life raising our crazy kids and enjoying our family of six! :) I love you, Kev, and I always will!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Swimming/Diving Time!

A little glimpse into our past week of swimming/diving lessons (at IU outdoor pool). Above is the first day...all my kiddos are ready to go and looking super cool in their shades! :)
Hailey practicing her diving technique...can you see the ballerina in her dive! :) This is always a standing joke in all she does...she just had that natural dancer look :)
Me and my boy in the pool...he was grumpy this day
Shelby with her instructor.....and I have to mention that yesterday she went off the big diving pool in the deep pool (the one in the previous picture with Hailey diving off)...and she did awesome! I only saw it from afar cuz I was in the little pool with Dylan :( So, no pics to prove it...but she did great and was so proud of herself! No fear!
Hailey perfecting her backstroke :) Again...look at those ballet arms :) And below is Dylan with his two instructors. He adores them and is quite a flirt with them :) They often take him off my hands...maybe they feel bad for me having to lift him when I'm big and prego...either way it's a nice break for me!
So, that's all for today, folks....I'm probably gonna take a break from blogging for the rest of the week...I'd rather be spending time with my hubby since he comes home early tomorrow morning (YAY!)....happy summer to everyone!

Summer Smiles :)

Just going through my summer pics and wanted to post a few of the good ol' summer water fun in our backyard. This has been the most relaxing fun for the pg mama who can easily sit in the shade and watch my babies smile and laugh from the comforts of home! I love these close-ups of Shelby and Dylan :)
Isn't he a cutie?!
My three babies...hard to believe how big they all are....
I love this one of Dylan...it's the first time he really dug into cake (he's usually a cookie/ice cream guy)...but he loved this b-day cake for our BBF, Heather! :)
This might look like an innocent pool pic, but notice that Dylan has his clothes on..it was the second time this day that he went in the pool with them on :( (a habit of his actually)
Is this not hilarious....Shelby really got into jumping over Dora this day....
A playdate with her best bud, Cami :)
Dylan's new thing is "getting his own food"....he made a bit of a mess this day with his cheerios :) And "yikes" on that awful long hair...good thing we took care of that!
I had to post this cuz these two rarely share with each other...but mommy only had enough cash for 1 ice cream cone so they were forced to share or NOT eat! :) It worked!
Awww, the sibling love :) They really are cute together (sometimes). We tried out a new, local ice cream place this night...Hailey was gone at a b-day party/sleepover....
And the much-needed haircuts...above is before (looking gnarly!)...and below is after....yay...much better! It's the first time they have all gotten their hair cut at the same time/place! Usually mama cuts the girls hair, but we splurged this day....

Monday, July 21, 2008

I've got the blues :(

Well, folks, I am just down and out today....it's nothing pregnancy related so don't go thinkin' I'm gonna moan and groan about the heat and my big ol' belly, those are both a-ok today.....

But, I've got a bad case of "missing-my-hubby" blues :( They are the worst kind of blues and something I really don't experience much (thankfully!).

Most of you know that Kev has been gone in Boston on business since Friday morning. He was supposed to be back tonight but I got that dreaded call yesterday where he sadly broke the news that his work was not near completion and he needed another day. I was crushed, but what could I say. I had to keep it together and focus on the positives...like at least he has a job! And to be honest the kids and I are fine. I'm used to being their primary caregiver all day long (though not on weekends)...but we've been doing ok. Kev's parents helped with the girls and took them overnighting on the boat on Friday and kept them the whole next day. Sunday we were busy at church half the day and then in the yard having water fun with neighbors. And with swimming/diving lessons added in there....well, it's been a busy time as normal (thought today has not be stellar). And I can handle all that...if it's one thing I can handle it's a crazy schedule with my kids. I sorta thrive on that. But, one thing I do look forward to at the end of each day is my "hubby time". It might not be anything exciting that we do but lay in bed and watch tv or simply sit quietly...but I guess it's those times that I've missed the last few days....those quiet, cuddly times...well, I guess I've had the quiet, but I miss the cuddly person next to me :)

You'll laugh, but I've been so in need of some interaction that I actually let our cats sleep upstairs last night :) Ok, that might sound weird cuz I'm not at all comparing my cats to my husband, but usually "the beasts" (our affectionate name for our twin 10 year old girl cats, Syd and Sam)...usually they are banished to our basement every night before bed. I can't stand them being upstairs cuz they drive me nuts meowing and sitting on my head and licking any plastic bags around. I have lost all patience for animals since the birth of my kids :) Anyway....last night I decided to give them free reign of the house during the night-time. Kev's gonna laugh if he ever reads this cuz I NEVER let the beasts stay upstairs. But, I guess I was that lonely that it made me feel more at ease to have them in the room with me. And, surprisingly it went ok! Syd slept at my feet all night and only licked one bag (for which I hollered at her!)...and Sam slept with Hailey all night. Not too shabby. I actually slept like a rock so in the future the "beasts" might my be my semi-replacement for Kev :) I know that's sad, but you do what ya' can when you're lonely I guess :)

So, I'm just bummin' today...not b/c the kids and I are suffering w/o daddy...but just b/c we miss him...we miss his presence in our lives. Phonecalls aren't cutting it anymore and Shelby is at her wits end today. She is very concerned about daddy ever coming home...since she has no concept of time she is constantly asking when/if he'll be back. She misses her fav. guy. Even Dylan has been out-of-sorts...wouldn't swim this morning and was throwing his train stuff. I have felt the "hit by a mac truck" way all day...just not motivated to do much and exhausted. We just need our daddy back! And I know he's having a heck of a time in Boston. Don't go thinking he's enjoying his time there...he's been working like 16 hour days since he got there and he's in a strange place all alone and has worked all weekend by himself. Doesn't sound fun to me. There has been no relaxation or any fun, I'm sure. If anything I should be feeling bad for him...not us...cuz I know he misses us too and he truly is alone :(

So, Kev, if you're out there....know that your family loves you and misses you and can't wait for your safe return early Wed. morning :( And to any single moms or wives of traveling hubbies...I have a newfound respect for you. You should be proud of yourselves for living a week or more w/o your hubbies...it's just not my cup of tea (or maybe it is a cup of tea since I hate tea!) :) At any rate...I love my husband and in his absence I truly realize that I can't live w/o him!

The Visuals of our NC Vacation!

Well, folks, it took me two days, but I finally got our NC pics all posted. As is usual "Kel style" there is a lot to look at, but I'm good at skimming pics and I figure you are too, so if you're interested it shouldn't take long :) It was fun for me to rehash all the good times and it makes me excited to do it all again next year. We are truly blessed with such an amazing extended family and to have this wonderful opportunity to annually enjoy God's great creation in the mountains is something I am so thankful for! I feel blessed that my kids get to experience this all like I did growing up. So, here's to family vacations! Gotta love 'em! And I love this big ol' family above...I miss you all already!

Cherokee Fun!

Here we are still in Cherokee (where Mingo Falls is)...Nina had the awesome idea of getting lunch and having a picnic and letting the kids enjoy some tubing...so that's what we did at the local park....above is Hailey enjoying a lazy stroll down the creek :) She did this over and over again...
Shelby didn't like the tubing idea as much...so she played near the shore...
Can you see our bright lil' tubes with our girls in them as they float down the creek...
Dylan took to throwing rocks...and MUD...check out his muddy/black eye...hee, hee! He is such a boy!
I just love the simple life of my boy...give him some water, rocks and mud and he's as happy as can be!
My Shelba thinking about doing some tubing...
Plum tuckered out after a busy day throwing rocks :)
My off-roading kiddos :)
My sweet grandma and I :)

Nina and Pops and their kiddos before we left to come home :(