Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Full Day...

Well, the day only has 5 more minutes in it and I am too pooped to say a whole lot...but it's been a full day as usual...

The highlight was spending the afternoon/evening with good "old" friends in Kev's old stomping grounds of Danville.  I just love our wonderful friends, Chad and Cor and fam...and all the other "Danvillers" :)  We just had the best time chillin' out and chattin'.  In the midst of days where I feel I get nothing done, it's so good to know we have friends who feel the same way :)  Just loved hanging at their new home tonight.  And it was soooo great to hear my happy NYC daughter on the phone. She had a great day on the "shark" (boat) and apparently getting soaked by it was a good thing :)  She sounded in good spirits and I love to know she's having a good time.  The only bummer of the day was that it poured/stormed so badly that Shelb only got 3 hours of her girl scout campout in :(  But all in a all a good progress made on the house, but still a good day! :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

A continuation...

Today was mostly a continuation of how I felt yesterday.

I am feeling pulled to be the "fun summer mom", while really all I want (and need!) to do is dig into this mess of a house.  I know I can't do both...I am really not good at being "fun" and "work" mom at the same time.  I gave into "fun mom" though and out we went to the public pool (my least favorite summer place, I might add!)...which for me was "work".  But, I usually vow during the summer to go there once a month so this was my "June visit", which now I realize July is right around the corner and I will have to go then too.  The kids did have fun though and Shelb got to spend time with a best bud which she loved.  I thought that'd give me reprieve as far as her asking for friends to come over, but instead now she wants more. I can't win with her. :) It was fun to see my baby splashing around in the baby area though.  It was also especially comical when he let one of his signature big ol' pukes go right in the water with lots of floaty breastmilk chunks to boot!  Thank goodness he saved his blowout poop for Target and not the water. I don't want to be one of "those moms" who they have to shut the pool down for :) 

It's late so honestly I don't have any more energy to think or blog (especially since we are just now starting to pack for girl scout camping tomorrow), but I did want to say that my fav. part of the day was this morning with my little guy.  He discovered our cat (Syd) for the first time today.  I know most babies prob. notice their pets way before 6 mos, but our cats our old and lazy so we'll make that be our excuse :)  At any rate, it was super cute.  Syd has missed us since we've gone sooo much and she has been extra affectionate (actually annoying is more like it...especially at 2am).  But she really caught Logan's attention this morning.  He LOVES to touch things lately so he put out his hand and she just kept rubbing against it and he was giggling the cutest giggle every time she'd do it.  Then she'd meow and he'd stick out his hand and she's rub against it again and he'd just smile and laugh.  It continued for quite some time.  At one point she was even sticking out her paw and begging him to pet her and he would.  Very comical :)  It was like they were communicating in their own little way.  It was very cute....all until the big fluffy tail went in his sweet baby mouth :)  But, it was super cute while it lasted.  I just melt over baby giggles...especially deep voiced little boy ones :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

1/2 a year and other stuff...

Ok, I'm a basket case today...let's just put that out there before I start blabbering :)

I am not sure if it has anything to do with the day (my baby somehow has been on this earth 6 months and I feel like I blinked and his newborn baby days were gone :()...or maybe it's the fact that I'm coming down off three awesome vacations (yes, even NYC and its stresses are looking better to me than the realities of life)...or maybe it's that I see the writing on the wall as far as cleaning up this clutterbox and getting it ready to sell (i' just ain't gonna happen unless I ship the kids off somewhere and vow to not leave the house...which ain't gonna happen now that Logan has PT once a week and Ash has speech 3x per week on top of just the regular busyness of seeing friends, etc...all good things, mind you, but time taker-uppers just the same)  And maybe just all this is seeming extra overhwelming b/c I am sad my baby is growing up so quickly before my eyes...or maybe I just miss my oldest girl and not having my family all together in the house at night...who knows.  I am just not able to focus on anything since I've gotten home.  At any rate, I just wish I could snap my hands and have an extra 24 hours in the day...or maybe even better, snap them and have this house cleaned up. I know that type of stuff is so not important in the everyday realm of life, but I really had such high hopes for this summer and getting our home back in order b/c honestly it's gotten soooo bad that I can't really function well.  Once I gather enough confidence I will truly have to take photos of it and post them. I want to be held accountable to never let it get this bad again....but I have had to put my family first and these last 12 months have been rough...probably rougher than I have let on....and the house and organization have had to go by the wayside...

All this to say that I am sorry the blog might seem like a bit of a downer lately.  I guess it goes to show that I am only human and lots of things get me down.  But, I am really trying to keep it in perspective....

I have this beautiful baby boy who a year ago I didn't even know if I'd meet and kiss his sweet face.  And here he is laying on my shoulder just perfect in every way.  He spent his 1/2 bday just like any other day.  Going to and fro mostly to his sibling's activities.  He did start out the day celebrating at the peds off where we discovered he is a whopping 19lbs, 14oz!  Ouch!  No wonder he was breaking my back in his Bjorn in NYC!  That's one big boy!  And he did not love the gift of shots this morning, but he put on a brave face for his siblings who were very worried watching him :)  We did pull off a sweet little half bday party for him tonight...though we were bummed daddy had to work all night and of course Hailey missed out (though she did call during it and talked to the half b-day boy :)).  The funny/sad thing about the party is that he loved both his cakes so much that he tried to touch one of them and got fondant all over his hands and it was so sticky he couldn't get it off and he went bonkers and that was the end of that.  He tore half the cake apart trying to get the fondant off his hand.  I think he may be like his brother before him and like to touch things, but not like to be dirty!  Poor kid!  But, it was sweet how his sibs doted on him all day.  At one point I could hear Shelby and Ash upstairs doing something and when I finally went up with Logan they surprised him with balloons, recycled gifts and a lego cake.  It was cute and made my heart full to see how much a little brother can be loved.  He is never lacking for that!

So, yes, I am feeling stressed....feeling the stress of being pulled in a million different directions.  I have always been pulled in thousands of directions, but with 5 kids it has just added to the "pullage".  I hate feeling so scatterbrained and not ever getting anything fully accomplished.  Lately I've been adding "take a shower" to my to-do list just so I feel I have accomplished something in a day.  Today I haven't even checked that off my list.  Ah well.  Someday I hope to read this in my rocker and think "gosh, I miss those days".  Right now I just hope I make it to those days! lol :)  Don't be too jealous of my life :)   

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Busy Day...

Don't really have much to post today b/c I was hoping Kev would have time to download our NYC pics...but somehow the day/night got away from us all...and it's almost midnight and none of us are in bed yet.  I will say, that we decided today to make Logan's 6 month b-day tomorrow sorta fun so we made 1/2 bday cakes today for him. Yes, I said "cakes" b/c of course the kids couldn't agree on just one so we made two.  I'm sure most kids don't celebrate half b-days (heck, we never have!) and I am quite certain most 6 month olds don't have two cakes!  But, Logan will tomorrow and the poor kid won't even get to eat either of them.  Hopefully his first taste of real food (rice cereal!) will make up for it! :) I may wake up in a puddle of tears in the morning as I realize a half year of my baby's life has flown on by :(  How can that be?!  Wasn't it just Christmas and I was wondering if he'd ever arrive?

At any rate, I am in brighter spirits tonight after talking to my Hays. She sounds like she's enjoying classes (though sore) and also had a great time on her double decker bus tour of the Big Apple with her good buddy, Maggie.  I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I was really worried about her a couple days ago.  I just want all my kiddos to be happy! 

That's all I've got for's been a busy day as usual in the Steg house...including an hour of us being in the dark during a storm power outage.  Life is never dull!   

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What were we thinking?

Well, we are home...finally...from our crazy "quick" trip to NYC.  Home 24 hours later than we intended, I might add...

My only thought for the day is that the Big Apple should have a disclaimer as you enter...saying "those with 5 kids stay away"! :)

Not saying it was all bad, but we definitely had what seemed like an infinite amount of snafoos that have left us needing a major vacation from our big city jaunt. Kev actually seems to have forgotten all the stressful things that happened to us in those 2 days muddling through the city....or maybe he is just the optimist in our family b/c on the way home he said he had fond memories of our vacation there.  I have not forgotten how stressed we were getting lost on the subway and trying to keep track of some wandering kids (we'll let you guess who :))...and so much more "fun"...

I will go into more details later, but just had to make a comment on the blog while my mind was still fresh with emotion from such a crazy trip. 

But the ultimate reason for our trip was a success...our Hailey is at SAB and dancing her heart out. :)  I am so proud of my oldest girl and her 5-wk time away.  Say a little prayer that she has a safe, fun and memorable time.  I am slightly worried about her, but hope it's just the mama in me and not a realistic concern :) 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

More of this and that...

Well, besides packing (which is coming along slowly, aside from Hailey who was super efficient and done last night!)...I thought I'd fill you in on the going ons of the Stegs this week....I honestly wish I could tell you we've done nothing but sit around, sleep in and veg out...but alas that is really never the life we lead :)


Logan:  He has been back at physical therapy and needing it badly after two week of vacations and sitting in his car seat for probably 24 hours over vacation (not ideal for torticollis :()  Our therapist's words when feeling his neck were, "he's very tight".  And I had to be honest we really didn't give him much tummy time on vacation (I don't love putting him on floors of other people's homes)...and we didn't do any of his exercises.  So he has kinda back slid on making progress with his neck.  New rule is to try to do baby situps with him (pulling him up by his arms so he can grow big strong pec muscles :))...and also trying to make his whole world right sided (b/c right now he hates his right side)...thus all his toys and fun stuff will now be on his right side.  She did say he was doing great at sitting up and pretty good on rolling over.  But, he still favors his left side in all that he does.  I wonder if this means he'll be a lefty? Hailey is holding out for that...she is our only one so far!  In other news, we took his new car seat apart today for the first time so I could wash it only to notice to my dismay that I had no idea how to put it back together.  It also made me realize this is the first poop blow out he's had in his car seat.  I think this might be a Steg baby record! Go Log!  This also brings me to the fact that I miss so many of the old baby stuff we used to have that I got rid of thinking we were done having kids after Ash :)  I miss our Bumbo (Logan could really use it for his neck/sitting up issues, but thankfully I borrow a friend's from time to time), our doorway jumparoo (he LOVES to kick and would love this thing!), our baby tub...he's almost outgrown the pink one we borrowed and tonight he actually flipped himself over into it face first into the water.  Not what he wanted to do! :)  I miss so many things I used to have, but sold....but really I am way too cheap to even buy secondhand toys for a 5th and last baby.  For now I am making due borrowing things...and so very grateful I have friends who are lending them out!  On a side note, Logan's cradle cap is bad news...very dry, very painful and when the dry scalp comes off so does his hair :(  Poor kid.  My aunt Janet said she had this for a long time as a baby and it finally just went away one day.  Gosh, I hope that happens soon to Logan.  On a final note, I am super sad my baby turns 1/2 year next week :( :(  Where the heck did 6 mos go!?  I sometimes feel I just gave birth to him....sigh, sigh, sigh :(  But, I do LOVE this growing boy and his chatter and smiles...nothing compares to that!  And I'm loving him right now as he's sacked out on my shoulder :)

Ash:  She's busy with speech this week...she passed the first eval stage and is in the 2nd one.  We'll know next week where she stands.  They are doing developmental stuff this week and she is passing that with flying colors b/c she's super smart.  I do hope they let her into this free study so we don't have to pay for speech elsewhere, plus it's right across the street from ballet and violin at IU and that's super convenient.  She loves going there though and getting's been her one activity to do this summer :)  She's really not done much exciting this week and I kinda feel bad about that. I'll need to organize some play dates for her soon.  But, for this week she's been hanging with her siblings and their friends and that seems to appease her.

Dylan:  He's my super reader this week.  We started our library reading program and he just went bonkers reading. He has almost finished reading for the program and it's only been 4 days(supposed to take 5 weeks)!  I think he's read every moment of every car ride and half his days.  I love that boy and his yearning for learning!  He has surpassed everyone in the household for reading minutes, which has made one competitive sister not-so-happy :)  He just spent the last 3 hours racing around our house and yard with his best bud, Colton.  The amount of energy boys have still astounds me!

Shelby:  She has been in a funk this week and I think it's b/c daddy had to work lots of overtime/nights and she likes it when her daddy's home.  Today has been her highlight with her book club starting.  It actually started the week we left on vacation so she missed two weeks, but it's a group of her best friends from her class last year and they meet every week and discuss chapters in the first Narnia book.  She is loving it and came home only to ask to do a sleepover tonight.  Ummm, no!  We are leaving at 6am so didn't want to have to wake another mom up to pick Shelb up.  Shelb was not happy or understanding about this as you can well imagine.

Hailey:  She is ready.  Ready to move away for 5 weeks.  Well, she's ready physically so I hope she's ready mentally!  She was the first one of us packed....and a good incentive was a friend invited her to the pool tonight...she went straight there after IU ballet.  She has had a good week seeing friends.  We had another friend over the other night and they just had fun chill-laxing here at our house :)  We had a little "goodbye Hailey" day yesterday and made her fav. breakfast (sour cream coffee cake) and got her some goodies (her fav. new soda, Jones' Sour Apple) and her requested candy (Heath bars) and had a dinner of alfredo/pasta and cheesy bread (also one of her favs)...then off to her first visit to our new yogurt place in town, Orange Leaf.  Kids loved it.  I am more an ice cream person, but this is probably a healthier alternative :)  We are surely gonna miss this oldest girl in our family the rest of this month and all of July.  She is my helper and my babysitter and the one I can count to do anything we ask without complaint.  We had a nice talk with daughter 2 in hopes that she will fill her shoes for the next 5 weeks!  We'll see!  I am glad Hays will have unlimited texting this summer as well as a more fun phone so maybe we can stay in better touch.  I'm soooo excited for her to get to see the sights of NYC again and learn more Balanchine!  It's gonna be quite the summer again!

Me:  I have realized this week that I think my new full time job could be "chauffeur"'s summer and I think I am seriously still on the road for at least 4 hours a day toting kids here and there to activities, appts and friend's houses.  If only I could get paid for that, I'd be wealthy mama!"  I am not quite sure how this is all going to work out when Logan is older.  I might seriously never be home or I'll have to pay Hailey to be the new chauffeur!  As far as packing....well, the time crunch is on and we are moving along.  I am actually all now Kev just needs to load up the van and hopefully do so before 1am.  I really hope that this time tomorrow we are already resting comfortably in our Staybridge Suites!  And I am saying a lil' prayer that they can give us adjoining rooms and a crib too.  I just want this to be a fun little family trip and as stressless as possible. I  really don't think that's too much to ask, right?!

So, with that "little" summary it's time to bid a fond farewell til next week.  If you don't hear from me til then just know that we're living it up in the Big Apple!  YAY!  (and I leave you with a fun pic of my sweeties on the beach (during a tropical storm, no less)....what a fun summer we've had and will blessed!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Getting Excited Again... (for the Big Apple!) :)

Well, I thought I'd try to energize myself for this big NYC trip by revisiting the memories of it from last year. I'll be quite honest and say that packing/going there and the whole big ordeal from last year was just a blurr.  I really don't even know how I did it all seeing that I was not quite out of the toilet-clutching state of early pregnancy nausea. I do remember feeling better once I got there, but packing up to go was a blurr. I think Kev did most of it and I know he taught Hailey how to live on her own, do her own laundry, etc. I felt sorta robbed of that time with her...stuff I wish I had taught her...but I suppose I have 4 more kids behind her to take on teaching all that fun stuff, so I am giving myself grace from not doing it with Hailey :)  Anyway...but since I was in FL after this NYC visit (and huddled near toilets still :)), I never got a chance to post these pics last year of the fantastic couple of days we had as a family touring the Big Apple.  I will say, it's not the ideal family vacation spot especially with lots of kids and especially young ones who complain about walking...but it was an experience all the same and we're probably crazy to repeat it again with a baby in tow this year.  But, I never admit to anything but being crazy! :)  Above is one of my FAV places in NYC as it's near and dear to Hailey's residence for 5 weeks. It's the famous fountain outside Lincoln Center...beautiful, breathtaking and refreshing!
 I was so proud of my girl this day....still am...always have been and always will be...not many young kids would go off for half their summer to a big city like this...I don't think I would have.  She is awesome and I love how she's chasing her dreams!
 We met our awesome friend, Debbie, at Central Park and walked around...this was our only family photo from the whole trip...but the park was so fun, especially searching for turtles :) 
 Love Lincoln Center at night...just breathtaking...this is where Hailey sees most of the ballets she goes to by NYCB and ABT.
 Magnolia Bakery (in Greenwich Village)...yummers!  We didn't get a famous cupcake b/c all they had left were "rainbow" ones...I think you can guess what "week" we hit in NY :)  But, we did get two yummy cheesecakes that were to die for!
 BEST food in NYC hands down was the pizza...and John's was SUPERB...never had such awesome pizza!
 We are thrilled that there is also a John's by our hotel this year...we already have it planned in for dinner on Saturday before Kev and the oldest girls head to Phantom of the Opera....
 I wish we could have actually seen the statue (she was closed for remodeling), but we did zip by her on the Staten Island Ferry...This made Shelby happy...she has a fascination with the Statue of Liberty!  This year the statue doesn't open til we go back to pick up Hays so we will visit her then!
 Since we couldn't see the real one, we had a look-a-like contest :)  Not bad, Lady of Liberty, Hays! :)
 Our view from on top of our Holiday Inn hotel....can't tell you how cool it is to swim on top of a hotel in NYC.  Very fun and the highlight of the kids' visit for sure!
 They had a you can tell by our super swimmer/jumper, Dylan!  We even met the owner of the hotel who gave us special seating by the pool :)
 We visited a famous Kosher Deli (Carnegie) can probably tell who was not happy with the smell of this place or the food....but I can say I LOVED their grilled cheese as did our mystery baby :)
 We had a blast at our fav. NY toy store!  This year we are trying Toys R Us...we'll see how they compare...
 We took a trot on the "Big" Piano :)
 And we even had fun in the hotel room....who knew pillows could provide so much entertainment :)
 I stole few pics from Hailey's camera...but isn't she cute with all her buds at the ballet...I'll be interested to see where her height is this year...she was one of the smaller ones last year and this year she had a big growth spurt...
 And by the infamous fountain again....and below frolicking in the grass by her dorms (the Julliard School behind her).  She really did have the best time there!
Gosh, I really can't even believe my 12 year old got to do all this last year....and that she gets to repeat it again this year.  I am so incredibly proud of her and how she uses God's gifts.  And I hope and pray every day that she is blessed by this experience this year as much as she was last year and that she stays safe and healthy (and injury free!).  Can't wait to see what her summer has in store...and what crazy experience we have this time in NYC!  Last year the consensus was that it "stunk"...literally...smelled like horse poop everywhere! This year we are not staying as close to Central Park, but are going to be in Times we'll see how the kids like it (I know Kev and I LOVED it last year when we went for our anniversary!)  What fun times for our family and can't wait to share it all when we get back!  One more day to pack...I really better get started! lol!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Old May Pics...

B/c I am left w/o new pics to show you at the moment, I am resorting to old ones...from May...the last day of school to be exact :)  This will prob. be how most of my blog posts are b/c it just takes too much effort to keep up to date on everything...and at least posting late pics is better than not posting at all, right? are pics from the final day of school...May 24th...above is the b-fast I made for the middle kids...Hays didn't get anything special b/c she starts an hour earlier and that's just too early for me to be cooking! haha :) She doesn't like pancakes anyway.  This was my rendition of creative pancake-ing :)  lol!  Pretty sad looking, but they thought it was cute :)
The lunchbox goodies I made...pretty corny, I know, but I have done this once a month or so as a fun thing to encourage them at school...
Above is my last day of school surprise for Hays...I thought it was pretty cute and she liked it :)
I love this above pic of my middle girl at field this girl!
Can you tell who is the smiliest guy at that oldest boy of mine.  The big guy in the pic is actually Shelb's teacher....he was running this water balloon game.  The kids love field day :)
One of our fav. teachers gave Ash a snowcone...she was pretty happy although she doesn't look like it.  Logan just chilled in his was actually pretty cool this day...
We had a picnic under the willow tree out back for our lunch....I am gonna miss this pretty tree if we move :(
Ash and I decorated the front door for the kids return on the bus..
I couldn't leave my smallest man out of the I made him a note for his accomplishment of rolling over the day before for the first time.  Maybe in a couple years he can eat it :)
We picked up Hays from her last day of 7th grade....
Surprised her with her candy gram on her lofted bed :)
Then went to greet the bus-goers as they joyfully stepped foot off the bus :)
They loved their goodies we left out on the doorstep...summer surprises for the beach...sadly we never used the sand stuff b/c a tropical storm blew in on the day we planned to build a sand castle :(
5 darling kids...all done with another year of school (all got straight A's! proud of them!)....hurray!
This was them back in August on their first day of, how they have grown...and multiplied :)

The driveway chalk creation Ash and I made :)
Our first "summer" walk...Dylan was at a birthday party and Hays was watching a friend's dance recital so it was just the 4 of us (daddy was working that evening...again...ugh)
We made the best of the evening with strawberry shakes...
Ash and I made apple cupcakes...
I am sad I don't get to use this writeable plate anymore and I spent 2 hours this week looking for a replacement in town and no one makes them so I will have to order one...ugh :(  Below is D's card to his teacher...she loved it and some of it was very applicable to Dylan (airhead part) :)
So, there's a quick recap of the happenings in our life a few weeks ago.  Hard to believe how much has happened since them and we are on vacation number three almost.

Today has been a day full of frustration. Have I mentioned that the kids and shopping do not mix...they do not.  The one thing good about shopping is that Logan sleeps in his car seat (he loves his car seat!) so he at least was happy...but the middle three bickered and were semi-out-of-control at the few stores I had to go to and I made a Walmart trek which usually puts me in a bad mood...I don't love that place.  But, now I think we are set for NY stuff and now I just need to start the tedious job of packing tomorrow.  I love vacations but the pre and post work is just no fun at all...and I am doing both at the same time this time which seems to make it doubly depressing :(  Wish me luck!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Post Vacation Funk--Pre Vacation Anxiety...

I'm in a weird place this week.  I don't think I've had this exact feeling before...I'm calling it...

The post vacation funk/pre vacation anxiety...

I've not had these two emotions collide before and it's making me feel a little confused and out of sorts and not allowing me to get much done :)

What I really want to do tonight is wallow in the fun memories and show off pics of our two awesome NC vacations (but they are sadly still on our camera and no time to download with Kev working double time)...but at the same time I am anxiously trying to pack and prepare for my sweet teenager to make her 2nd NYC debut in just a few days and wondering how in the world we're gonna efficiently pack our van up w/o a car top carrier (we realized last year that these don't work in the Big Apple!)

Bags are still packed from NC vacations--I didn't think it wise to really unpack them as they just need to be basically downsized to a smaller bag for 4 days in the house is a complete disaster with bags everywhere.  I am still cleaning up from the mess I made on Father's Day.  Two weeks of mail came today...I felt like leaving it in the mailbox :(

Kids are cranky/bored....they've been at each other's throats and mine...even Logan has cried a good portion of today and just wants to be held...he's used to being held by everyone with extra hands in NC!  Kids want to be entertained...they've had lots of entertainment the last couple weeks.  I am just wanting to rest...didn't really get much of that on vacation but I've come to the reality that that's my new norm with 5 kids.  And so I much to do yet my sweet baby is laying here in my arms begging for my attention...chatting away and peering at me with big blue eyes.  I know in the midst of pre/post vacation funk/anxiety I am so blessed.  Two awesome family vacations behind us and one lil' family vacation before us, healthy, happy kids and a wonderful husband.  If only the little things like laundry, dishes and packing took care of themselves....back to reality whether I like it or not...

On a happy note, Hailey had a GREAT day!  She was back to ballet at IU for their summer intensive which she is taking as a warmup for SAB.  She loved seeing her friends and being back in her comfort zone.  Nina Stegs was a gem and picked her up and took her dinner and they had a celebratory NY shop!  What fun!  The girl came home with more clothes than I own :)  Ok, not really...but she certainly has nicer clothes than I own!  She got 6 new pairs of beautiful shoes and tons of new, cute outfits...all perfect for NYC and school which sadly starts in just 7 weeks :(  Also a highlight was her new phone with touch screen.  She came home on cloud nine!  I am happy for her...she deserves all this and more for all the hard work she puts into being a great kid, a great student, a great ballerina.  I am so very proud of her and I am going to miss her terribly this time next week :(  I know 5 weeks will fly by though or at least I hope so for my emotion's sake! :)    

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Dad's Day to the BEST dads I know....first of all to the most incredible dad a girl could ever find to be a father to her own Kev.  It's funny b/c the one thing I immediately told my college friends when I met him back in 1995 was that he'd make a great dad.  I think it was on a day that he and I ran together around campus and he was just so patient and so encouraging (which I needed since I was a stinky runner!)  I somehow knew that meant he'd be a great father one day...but the crazy thing is that it really never crossed my mind that he'd father my kids :)  God must have known that I'd need this patient, giving, wonderful man in my life to not only carry me through the good and bad, but also to parent with me.  I know he and I never thought we'd have 5 kids together (and I know I've mentioned numerous times that he was a two-kid kind of father, but I can't imagine not having 5 kids with him...he is just too good of a dad to not have 5!)  Thank you to my Kev for standing by my side through the ups and down of all these kiddos and for giving so much for our family (he's even working on Father's Day, which shows how much he sacrifices for this family).  He truly is the glue that holds this family together...especially in a year like we've had this last year where I've been so down, so fearful, so tired, so hormonal...he never seems to wear down and is always there to encourage and lift up and pick up my slack.  I've always known he was the most wonderful man in this world, but to see him as a father has made me love him even more.  I am blessed! 
 He even puts up with all the crazy things I do to him (and make him wear) :) (last year celebrating his very belated 37th bday in August after Hailey was back from SAB. (yummy cakeball cake :))
 And then there's the top Pops and my dear ol' dad.  I love this guy so much and can't even put into words how much I appreciate all he's done for me over my 36 years of life. Lots of sacrifices, lots of love, lots of Christian schooling, and lots of crazy humor....he is top dad and Pops in my book and he's a big ol' teddy bear to his 7 grandkids, don't let him fool you with his tough exterior :)
 And his grandkids LOVE they are in March in FL at the Bass Pro Shop pointing out their names on the cool Pops7 shirt Candy made for him.
 And Kev's dad...he is also a top Poppy and amazing dad.  I know this not only b/c I know he's an awesome guy, but b/c he made Kev an awesome husband and father.  Kev is so much like his dad with his great patience and calm spirit.  So grateful for this patriarch of our family who gives so much.
And there's my crazy lil' bro.  It's actually his 34th b-day today on top of Father's Day.  He is also one of the best dads I know and I got to see it first hand again last week with his own two kids.  Plus he's a great uncle to 9 kids :)

I am blessed beyond measure by all the dad role models in me and my kids' lives.  So thankful for each of them and hoping they are having a blessed Father's Day!  I'd like to say ours has been fantastic, but we are honestly just beat after 2 weeks of traveling and now packing up to leave again.  And poor Kev has to work the next three nights in prep for more time off in NYC.  Not great timing for him and not a very relaxing Father's Day.  We tried to make him a nice crepe breakfast (one of his favs), but I forgot it needed to sit out for an hour and we didn't get up early so we didn't eat b-fast til after 10am.  Add onto that that Ashley broke my favorite ribbon writing plate carrying it around waiting to write a note to daddy on it... I was in tears.  It's not something they make anymore and I adored that plate and wrote on it for every occasion. Needless to say she felt terrible too :(  Then Shelby spilled Banana smoothie all over our good table as we started to eat.  Then Ashley's mysteriously kicked over my last remaining wedding glass (that Kev and I had our first toast with at our reception) and broke it.  It was just a "comedy of errors".  Lunch didn't go much better.  It ended up being an hour late and I messed up on just about everything.  Then Kev had to cook his own filet in the rain :(  It was not my day...but he did say I get an "A" for effort, so I'll take it :)  It was the best I could do since we just got home from vacations and I had no prep time :)  But, like Kev said today..."I wouldn't expect it any other way".  That's our's full of comedy and lots of errors :)  Wouldn't be a normal day w/o it! And I'm glad to spend this comedy of error life with him :)  Love you, Kev, and thanks for helping give me 5 kids and vowing to raise them with me through better or worse :)