Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!



Happy Halloween from our gang to yours!  Hope it's full of fun and treats for you.  For us, it'll (hopefully) be a night of relaxation and early bedtime.  I know, I'm such a fun mom, aren't I?! :)  But since we are expecting heavy storms (tornado watch) tonight and our trick-or-treating is postponed til tomorrow, we will hopefully have a slow night of just homework and ballet (and finishing up on costume-making :)).  Sort of an odd Halloween, but I can't help but think it was heaven-sent for us who only got a few hours of sleep last night.  I am already looking forward to my head hitting the pillow.  Happy 1st Halloween to my little guy.  He has had tons of fun going to pumpkin patches and helping carve pumpkins and he's even tolerated me dressing him up in random costumes.  I might take him to our church patch in the rain now...just b/c I can :)).  Hopefully this weekend I'll have pics of our 5 trick-or-treaters in their garb.  Happy "boo" day! :)

Yes, we're crazy...

Who waits til the day before Halloween to carve their pumpkins (5 of them!)?

Who gets done carving those 5 pumpkins after midnight on Halloween?

Who is still working on their baby's 1st Halloween costume?

Who is tired as all get-out and VERY happy that our Halloween is postponed a day due to impending storms?

Yep, the Stegs.  The Crazy Stegs :)

One day we will learn...well, maybe.

But, I will say it's made me think that once trick-or-treating is over on Friday night, we are going to start Christmas shopping right away!  I do not want to be overworking myself in Dec b/c the way I am feeling now I might not make it til then.  One of these days we need to realize we have 5 kids and cannot get everything done that our crazy minds think we can!  Off to clean up pumpkin slop from our kitchen floor and then to bed...I am half-tempted to just leave the orange stuff everywhere for now. Sleep sounds better than cleaning :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Running on Fumes!

Well, life is as crazy as ever...and sure to only get crazier with big holidays approaching....but in the midst of it all I am trying to keep it in perspective.  I've got this great guy by my side to do that.  He holds my hand through it all and works late into the evening right along side me (on things like Logan's crazy Halloween costume contraption).  It's been such a crazy few months, on top of a crazy few years...but God must have known I'd need a grounded guy by my side when my mind is not operating correctly.  Thank goodness He knows best.  It's been a crazy busy day of a field trip, and treat-making, the normal running around, and a bonfire with our ol' church small groupies.  This mama is pooped and I still need to make it through two more days of H-ween parties and trick or treating (which at this point might be post-poned due to impending storms...go figure!)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fun Fall Foliage!

Well, it's no secret that I love this time of year.  And one thing I LOVE about this year is the foliage, falling leaves and color...and all the fun and beauty it entails!  Here's a few "snips" of our world in the midst of lots o' leaves!  Yesterday we drove over to our Clear Creek Trail bridge...and took some pics underneath. We had really no time to do this, but I was worried that by next weekend all the color would be gone.  The kids cooperated fairly well for their picture-lovin' mama :)
My 10 month old...who just might love leaves more than me...maybe b/c he can eat them! :)
My 5 blessings!
Laying in the leaves at IU a couple weeks ago...
Out in Brown Co. State Park a couple weeks ago...as the first leaves were turning...it's almost like our own IN overlook (not quite as vibrant as NC overlooks, but still pretty!)
More fun at IU under the red maple...
The sibs buried him in leaves...he wasn't so sure about this!
Checking out the craziness...
...that was happening over here.
Our fall break walk down to the trail...
Chillin' by the creek...
...chowing on some fiber (leaves)
...letting a little slip out...
Mama's boy!
Racing home :)
LEAVES!!!
Regurgitated leaf :)
Going home (Hays was a walk-party-pooper and wouldn't go with us...bah humbug on her!)
More leaves at IU!
I love leaves, mom!
Throwing the leaves!
It's raining leaves!
Beauty just down the street from us...
And by Hailey's school.
And by Kroger.  Beauty is all around!
You thought I was joking about stopping at all pretty trees and carrying a rocking chair in the car (Dylan's old one :))  Thankfully my Logan doesn't mind posing...though he's not a fan of bright sunlight (like his daddy :))
At D and S's school...beautiful color!
More leaf joy!
Simple joys!
Love this...it's almost like you see through the leaves...and see them changing...
Breathtaking.  I'm not usually a fan of just landscape pics (with no people), but I just love the color!
More pics outside our elem. school....and of the cute model boy :)
Love the miracle of fall and how the seasons change in the blink of an eye.  Not so much looking forward to this all being gray and white soon, but I guess I need to embrace that as well. Winter will be here before we know it.  But, for now I am loving fall in Indiana!  Wish my mama was here to enjoy it with me.  I know she loves it too!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

10M

Well, the cutest littlest man of the house turned the double digits today--10 months!

And just looking at all the pics I took of his sweet face today reminds me of how fast that time has flown by...and how incredibly blessed we are that this sweet boy is part of our family.  Words really cannot even begin to say how much he completes our family.  He is loved beyond measure by his daddy and I and his big bro and sisters.  He completely completes our fam :)  Even though he's probably the busiest baby I've ever had (his new fav thing is making a mad rush for the kitty water and dumping it all over and splashing in it :))...he brings such smiles and joy to each and every day with his sweet grins, giggles and cuddles.  I get sad thinking that in 2 months he'll be the big ONE, but I also know there's so many big things in store for this little guy that will continue to bring us such happiness.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with this boy.  Love you so very much, Lil' Logan Tom :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Packed-Full Weekend


It's only 10pm and I feel like it's 1am.  It's been a weekend jam-packed full of activities and fun (and a little stress....b/c ya' know, what would the Steg life and all we say "yes" to be w/o some stress :)).  These are actually pics from last Sunday at our pumpkin patch run...but they are cute just the same.  Kev got a good one of me and my gang on the hay ride...and then I love my "lil' monster".  He's probably thinking "what's the big deal about these stinkin' orange things?!" :)

Anyway...more pics to come on this weekend's festivities.  Last night we spent the evening at our elem. school's reading "spooktacular" event.  Always annual fun for the kiddos with their teachers reading stories and going through the "body parts" room, doing crafts, seeing friends, etc.  Logan didn't like the spooky stories and it was a little crazing having 4 kids in various areas at a time, but other than that I did ok flying solo with while Kev took over ballet duty.  Today was CRAZY!  We hopped from one thing to the next and made it to a few things with seconds to spare before they started.  Not really how I like to work, but at the end of a very long day it all worked out...stress and all :)  We started off the day running to Shelb's violin recital practice...me and her and Logan.  A lil' stressful in that Logan really wanted to nap, but he faught it big time and instead threw things on the floor the entire recital practice, while I fetched for him :)  Kev and the rest of the gang ran to his cousin's swimming fundraiser (a pancake bfast), then ran Hays to ballet...then we both ran Halloween costume errands....ya' know b/c we couldn't have preplanned any of that a month ago when I asked them to plan it!  Then off to D's last flag football game in the windy frigid cold.  Logan screamed for most of it.  I actually don't think he minded the cold, but didn't like being bundled up.  He might be his daddy's boy in that area :)  D did great though...and I'm kinda sad the season is done.  Then we raced (and I mean raced!) to Shelby's Halloween recital while scarfing down McD's in the van and changing at the same time. She barely made it in time for tuning and we walked in the door to sit down as the lights dimmed.  Phew!  Logan didn't make it through any of it.  He was so tired by this point.  He crawled around on the floor, threw his puffs and did the best he could to let us know he wanted to go :)  It wasn't ideal.  But, Shelb did AWESOME! :)  Nina and Poppy S. were sweet enough to be here for the event even though they just got back from Israel.  They took us out for a quick trip to Red Mango (frozen yogurt) and then picked up Hays from ballet.  Then raced home to throw together our costumes and a very last minute plan for our van to be in the 1st trunk or treat at our church.  What were we thinking?  It would have been smarter to just stay home and chill, but that's not in our Steg mentality (yet!) :)  So off we ran...late for the trunk or treat with our thrown-together spider van plan and our crock pot of chili :)  But, the kids had a ball and somehow it all worked out. Kev even won 2nd place for his chili!  YAY!  Logan's costume gave us all some good laughs b/c we had about 10 guesses as to what he was.  I really didn't think it was that hard to tell, but hopefully on Halloween it'll be more evident :)  Anyway....the evening ended with our van not starting in the church parking lot due to the lights we had going during the 2 hour truck or treat.  Nice.  And now we're all bathed and ready for bed.  So excited about that.  And tomorrow will just be another busy day of running here and there. I suppose I'd not know what to do with myself it it wasn't :)  Sweet dreams!

Friday, October 25, 2013

TGIF :)


So glad it's Friday. It's been a long, weird week of little sleep and little stresses.  Not that our weekend will be restful at all...but at least we'll be together as a family sharing in the fun/busy times :)  No deep thoughts today, but just a couple cute pics...of the loves of my life (my sweet kiddos at Oliver Winery after our fall photo shoot a couple weeks ago...and my happy lil' man at an overlook at Brown Co. State Park on our way to see our best buds at their campsite).  Love these cuties and looking forward to a busy weekend of fun/fall/Halloween activities with them :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

2013 Patch Experience

 (Logan wasn't only interested in picking a pumpkin as you can see :) :))
Just a lil' snip-it of our patch experiences this year.  More pics to come...

We went to one in Loogootee (1.5 hours away) on Sunday when it was beautiful out...sooo bright and so sunny and warm.  Yes, Logan refused to wear his sunglasses...he had his own idea about things that day...like keeping a finger in a certain nostril. :)  We have another Stubborn Steg on our hands :)  Last night we went to our church patch right before the sun went down.  It was FREEZING!!! (actually today we are having flurries...ick!)...but as you can see most of the kids (minus warm Hays) didn't mind the cold.  This is how most our patch experiences are...running around like crazy chickens :)  And as you can see one lil' guy is ready to join in the chase...maybe next year!

More to come on our pumpkin fun...for now I am taking it easy...this mama's got a bug or something, and I'm heading down for a nap on this frosty day :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sleep is good :)

Well, I won't say that I have found the cure-all for my issues (I'm not silly enough to think this can be done in 2 days time!), but I will say that a couple nights of good sleep have definitely put me in better spirits.  I am amazed at this, but I guess I shouldn't be.  Many of you told me this.  I really thought I was going crazy a couple days ago.  I could not collect my thoughts nor did I have energy to do anything.  Tuesday's morning of sleeping in and doing very little helped.  Today I didn't even leave the house til noon.  I got my whole first floor almost completely cleaned up, while Logan slept like a doll-baby for over an hour.  It felt good to get something done that was a noticeable change.  It didn't even take that long.  It's amazing to me what a sink w/o dishes can do for my mind and how nice it feels to get small stuff accomplished.  I know it's just a small mountain that I climbed, but it was good for my morale.  Ash had a friend over too for most of the day so she was in great spirits and fairly occupied.  Logan got into his normal mischief, but I've learned that if he's happy turning the stereo on and off for hours and playing in a pile of 50 DVD's then I should be ok with that too :)  One day at a time...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A better frame of mind

This will be brief, but just wanted to say how much I treasured each of you that commented and emailed me today :) 

You are all so wise and I love and appreciate what each of you have to say b/c you all know me so well.  I do plan to get help.  It's just taking those steps to get there.  I honestly just think I need to be forced to have some time for me...and maybe talking to some wise counsel will be my "me-time" :)  I think the hardest thing about all that I'm feeling lately is that I know I am not in a good frame of mind and it's affecting everything I do/say/think/feel.  I think I stink at mothering/wife-ing and just really enjoying life.  I feel my mind is a blurr for my baby whom I really want to enjoy.  I have no idea why my expectations of myself are so high and why I can't just "be still" when I really want to be.  I guess I need to get to the bottom of all this. 

I was down in the dumps last night...not really depressed, but more overwhelmed.  Today was slightly better.  My sweet hubby let me sleep in while he took on the morning routine.  Logan cooperated and slept too.  Ash crawled into bed and slept next to me. It was nice to not feel guilty about taking this little bit of "me" time.  Sleep helped, down time helped, shutting the brain off helped....but I know it has not solved the problem.   

Thank you, sweet friends and family for caring and offering your advice and support.  It matters more than you know especially when I'm feeling so down on myself :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Being Honest

Well, I need to be honest here.

We are struggling.  I am struggling.

I have made no secret that life has been rough for quite some time.  Probably about 18months or so.  Maybe even before that. I have lost track of time.

I am finding myself crying out in desperation.

Our house is beyond messy...I think it's actually eating us up.  The clutter is atrocious. We can't even move in our basement right now.  Our bedroom is becoming equally as bad.

I am not sleeping at night. I think I am sleeping, but I wake up feeling like I never did.  Something is not right in my mind.  I seriously cannot focus on anything and I feel utterly exhausted by the time the kids get on the bus and I get Ash to preschool at 9am.  I feel entirely worthless all day just b/c I am so tired.  I know I am tired b/c I don't fuel my body well, b/c I am still nursing a "baby" every 3 hours, b/c I am trying to give too much of myself to others, while not taking care of myself, I beat myself up with guilt for so many things (why am I not a better mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter).  I feel I should get way more done in a day, but by the end of it I have nothing to show...I'm not even sure my kids are fed well or bathed or had a good, happy day. I am feeling very disheveled.

I pray at night for peace on all this. That peace hasn't come.

I know I am blessed/lucky/whatever you want to call it. I have healthy kids, I am healthy, I have a husband who will do anything for me. But I somehow put the weight all on my shoulders and expect I can do it all and when I don't, I feel very unaccomplished every.single.day.  I am worn out at the ultimate level right now.  I can't even tell you.  I want to honestly just have a big bulldozer crush our home and start all over and never let it get this bad again.  It's just overshadowing my life.  But at the same time I want to overlook it all and focus on what really matters...my kids, my husband, my family/friends.  I want the people to be what I spend my time with.  I know this.  But, I can't seem to focus on any of this and feel good about it.

Help!

Kev and I talked tonight about making some major changes.  I'm talking about him working some weekends coming up so that he can take off during the week and we can dig into this mess together (w/o kids home!) and wade out of this atrocity.  Please pray we make some good decisions about all this and stay strong. It is not going to be easy.  And just pray for my peace of mind. It really is bad now.  I usually love October b/c it's not a stressful month for us and I am a mess now.  I dread Dec showing up b/c that is always the month that stresses me and I really wanted to enjoy that month with it being Logan's 1st Christmas and birthday. I need to find some peace now and I pray God will bring it soon :)  And I really just want to sit a couple days a week...and hold my baby...and maybe eat some bon bons...is that so wrong???!!! :)

Thanks, Nina!

Well, I'm grateful to my mama for clearing up the "forgotten patch experience" :)  I had a feeling it was 2004 that we spent a VERY frigid day at an Indy pumpkin patch (Watermans?)...and both my parents were here visiting.  I think most of my pics are on regular film though b/c this is the only one I could find on the computer (not counting the one my mom sent on email today :)).  Just trust me...it was COLD and WINDY.  I love the pic my mom sent of her and Pops huddled up with preschooler Hays and lil' 5 month old Shelb on the hay ride.  It showed the brutality of the weather that day. It was rough!  I don't even need pics to remember that day b/c the weather made it memorable enough :) 

At any rate our experience at the patch yesterday in Loogootee (Lark Farm!) was pretty good. It was a little overpriced and commercialized, but the kids loved it and it was a different experience, so I guess that's good.  Logan seems to enjoy his first patch experience and was in good spirits in spite of being sick.  I will post more pics later this week once they are off the camera.  But I have got to get some shut-eye tonight.  I am beat!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pumpkins through the years...

 I make no secret that I love this time of year...the changing colors of the trees...the cooler weather...and the PUMPKINS!  I also really love Halloween.  I hate to admit it sometimes, but it's one of my fav "holidays".  I feel sort of heathen-istic saying that. haha :)  But it does come after Easter if that makes any difference :)  At any rate, I thought it'd be fun to see pics of us getting pumpkins or at pump. patches through the years.  I don't have pics from the first two years of our parenting...mostly b/c I know that in 2000 I forgot to get Hailey a pumpkin and I figured out that shopping for one ON the 31st was not a good idea. I could only find a gourd that thankfully to a 10 month old could pass for a pumpkin. Plus I worked that night (as a nurse) so I didn't even get to spend her first Halloween with her. Somehow she survived :)  In 2001 I have no idea what we did either as far as pumpkins...we were in Bloomington, but we probably just shopped at Kroger for one.  But above is 2002 when Hays was 2...we went out to Bedford (our neighboring hick-city) and their orchard Applacres had a cute little "patch" by the road.  Wasn't lil' "punkin" Hays cute?! :)
 In 2003 we went to our first patch near Indy (Watermans off 37) and picked our first "fruit from the vine".  We decided that was much better than grocery store/pre-picked ones :)
 I was pg with Shelb this year...but WHAT was I thinking with those overalls and hairdo?  Golly!
 In 2004 lil' Shelb was just 5 mos old...I have no idea if we went to a patch or not...I can't find pics and can't for the life of me remember...
 In 2005...Ash was a busy girl at this patch experience :) (Bloomy Freeman Family Farm?)...Nina was here from FL this year too...
 In 2006 our church had its first patch to raise money for missions...ever since then it's been a fun tradition...
Nina and Pops were also here this year and we went to Freeman Family Farm...
 In 2007 Dylan apparently liked to bite b/c all the pics I have of him at this patch he is trying to bite Shelby.  This was the year their was a drought and not any pumpkins as you can see by the bare field...I think this was our local Freeman Family Farm too...
 In 2008 we went to our SOCC (church) pump. patch...I'll let you decide if 1 month old baby Ash liked it...
 I think she liked this one better...it was warmer this day (2008)...at our Freeman Family Farm...this was the year we got to the farm and they were throwing Kroger pumpkins out there. Not quite the authentic experience, but it was comical :)
 In 2009...we went to Beasley's in Danville with Nina and Poppy Stegs.
 In 2010 we went to the other Waterman's patch in Indy...
....we also went to our church patch...
 I loved 2011...we had our first combo experience with a patch and an apple orchard at Hubers Winery
 And last year in 2012 we went to our church patch again...and below to our sad lil' local patch (Fowler) last year. We just ran out of time and I was too stinkin' tired and big and pg to want to waddle elsewhere. 
So, there's a lil' stroll down pumpkin patch lane. I know I probably missed some pics b/c I know Nina and Poppi G. were at at least one other time when it was super cold and we went to that Indy patch.  I hope maybe next year they can join us again...b/c this truly is my fav time of year in Indiana.  Today we plan to go on our 2013 trip to a patch.  I think we might venture out and try a new place.  We have a sick baby who's mighty grumpy so we'll see how this experience goes!