Monday, August 31, 2015

A week from today...

...our daughter's new home will be this high rise in NYC (see 2nd picture...her SAB dorm is in the far left corner midway up).  Never did I think when she started ballet 10 years ago at IU that I would be sending her off to live in NYC before she was even near done with high school. But this IS her reality....and will be her new life in a week.  We are in prep/packing mode now....still trying to squeeze in any time we can with friends and family...and trying to mentally prepare for this huge change for our family.  A week from now we will be "minus 1" in our Steg 7.   That will seem strange.  But we know God has big things in store for our Hays and this is the path she must take...but, still...very surreal!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Off to Holiday World!

Well, no rest for the weary today...we were off to our much-promised family vacation to Holiday World!  We almost bailed on doing it last night bc we were so tired and the only kid that wanted to go was Hays...but that was enough....we followed through on the trip that we had been planning for awhile and we Santa Claus, IN (2 hrs south).  And better yet...Nina and Pops went too for part of it!  It was a perfect day for a water/theme park and I have to say I love this one...very clean, free soft drinks, very kid friendly. We had a ball. We hit almost every ride with little wait and the kid seemed to love it.  Best part for me was watching Loggy going down the mini-waterslides over and over again. He could have done it all day. We just had the best time and it was a fun last hurrah with our fam before Hays leaves us! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy Open House Day!



Well, what a day it was!  Soooo many wonderful family and friends crowded in our new home and celebrated with us---celebrated our happy new home, our old man Kev's 40-dom and our Hays starting a new ballerina life in NYC.  It was a day of smiles and laughter and hugs and wonderful, supportive people in our lives. We felt very loved. And honestly it wouldn't have been possible without the help of our amazing family---cannot thank both sets of our parents and my bro and sis-in-law enough. They were amazing to help in so many ways so we could just enjoy the day with friends.  Feeling very blessed tonight and thankful for those who support our family in this journey of life!

Friday, August 28, 2015

I have the BEST family! :)

Well, heart be still...looked who showed up on our doorstep today totally surprising the pants off of me/us!  Little stinkers---all 6 of them!  I never expected any of them to be here for our big open house tomorrow...but they are all just big-hearted secret keepers and all drove in for the event from FL and NC.  I cannot even tell you how surprised I was when the doorbell rang and it was Austin and Brooke standing there (and not my Amazon Prime package :))...I was almost in tears.  Then a few minutes later Nina and Pops walked in...I was in tears then.  I truly do have the best family.  Not only that, but they just dug right in with helping...mowing the yard, installing a fan, food name it, they helped with it.  I am so grateful they all are here...not only to help, but to share in the fun day tomorrow :)  YAY, for family! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

She passed!

The newest driver in the fam has officially finished driver's ed...passed it...and today passed her driving test. This means that next June when she can get her real license, all she has to do is go to the BMV and hand in her paperwork and get a new pic and she is a real driver!  Easy!  No drive test at the BMV.  So proud of her...just one more thing checked off the list in our interim NYC time :)  Yay for Hays!  Now all she has to do is drive 50-60 hours on the road (15 of which is already done:)) that is part of what we've been up to...
...also been trying to finish up her room....she has painted it all by herself....tomorrow it should be done!  And she got a new light (of course it came with a faulty part....Steg luck :)) one week, we will have our girl all packed and ready to move to NYC...surreal.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saying goodbye to friends...

Hays had the loveliest going away party with her friends last night.  These ballerina buds are just the sweetest...surrounding her with so much support and making her feel so loved in the midst of this big move in her life.  I know it will be hard to leave them--they are her IU family.  So grateful for good friends who travel journeys in life with us...even from afar :)  More pics to come of the fun and the laughs...but now onto more party-planning...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Counting down the days...

2 weeks from today we will be arriving in NYC to drop our girl off for 10 months.  Surreal.  I have not even had much time to think about it as we are just trying to squeeze everything into this month of her home....but the time is ticking away too quickly.  It's hard to believe sometimes that this is her reality...our reality....but it is.  We embrace it, of course, but there will certainly be a hole in our family in a couple weeks when we head home without her and won't be able to see her for almost 3 months....

Lots more to say, but I have just had to consume my time with plans for her and have put little energy elsewhere....

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Love my kids :)

 Just a quick post....with my five fav. smiling, crazy D...loves life, loves school :)
 My crazy Ash and her crazy classmates :) (and Logan who could probably pass for a crazy firstie :))
 My sweet Shelb...she loves her macaroons (we got her this one at our anniversary bfast...yumm!)
The face of an angel...well, not-so-much when he has fecal matter on his finger....sigh....soon and very soon we will potty train...
My girl and some of her school buds having fun at the drive-in last night...oh to be a high schooler again! 

Love each of these kiddos...and the joy they bring :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Awww, check this out :)

Look what my bro just found up at the cabin in NC!  Isn't that a cute pic of me and my new hubby?  I think we weren't even married a year yet...and I think I was newly pg with Hays and didn't even know it!  I remember that trip to NC so well....we had our own little cabin in the woods.  And now look at us 16 years later....

I am sad though bc this week our family sold the cabin on the mountain that my grandparents built and loved so much.  An ending of an era in Maggie Valley.  I thought this place would be in our family forever.  I know the memories always will be....

Friday, August 14, 2015

17 years of blissfulness...and counting! :)

 Another year of bliss under our belt :)  And this one was a doozy with the ol' "selling a house, buying/building a house and moving twice in 4 months"...but we survived it... in celebration tonight we had shots...of chili, that is :)  If you live in Bloomy, you prob know where we went for din din...and, yes, we romantically took the whole about blissfully quiet (aka dramatic!) :)
But I sure wouldn't want to share this crazy life and these crazy kids with anyone else.  I love that God made this man just for me....He knew 17 years ago that Kev could take all the craziness I throw at him and roll with it. And he has done just that. He is my rock, my calm in the storm, my smile in the sad days and my gold at the end of the rainbow. Ok, all very cliched to say, but the truth is...I couldn't imagine my life without him...he was the first of the biggest blessings in my life and I am forever in love with him and the life he's made with me.  Happy 17th, Babe!

Monday, August 10, 2015

She's officially behind the wheel :)

 Today I said a prayer and saw my life flash before me a few I let Hays take the wheel for the first time.  lol :)  J/K, Hays. I  was probably the same driver as you back at age 15...and I am pretty sure my mom refused to drive with me....I just remember my Aunt Mary doing being brave and taking me in her car a few times :) 
 This is how Logan felt about this first driving experience.  Oh, feel the love!  Thankfully no lives, curbs, trees, vehicles or structures were lost at this empty church parking lot today :)  God was watching over us :)
And today she had her first driver's ed classes.  I wish I had been a backseat driver when she took the wheel with Bob Jones (her instructor) :)  I'm proud of you, Hays...I know you will do great and learn a lot in the next 2 1/2 weeks. Go, Hays!

Friday, August 7, 2015

How to overcome burn-out?

Well, my really isn't a secret, but I'll say it anyway...I am burned out.

I have been for a long, long time....probably since we put our house up for sale last October.  And with each passing holiday, birthday, special occasion, activity, vacation, etc...I seem to get more burned-out.

Today Kev called to ask Hailey and I to go out to lunch with him...I cried. I cried bc I didn't want to even get in the van and drive anywhere.  Yes, it's that bad. 

I would love to sign my kids for up for no activities for a year, not volunteer for one year, not throw a party for one whole year. But my fear in doing this is that I will actually like it so much, I will never go back to the old burned-out-me. 

I need advice...or maybe I just need help in general...but I need to find a way to dig myself out of the burn-out hole.  I am finding myself gasping for air this week....and I fear what I will feel like once my Hays is gone...and once the holidays approach...

I think I know in my head what to cut WAY back on things....but I think I feel like a failure doing that.  But my sanity is probably past the point of no I need to do something. Help.  Sigh.

On the bright side:  One week of school down...too many more to go....

Thursday, August 6, 2015

1st Day of School Recap...

Wanted to take a few minutes to recap the joy of Monday and starting school in almost-July. I had absolutely no energy for this day, nor we went for the not-so-exciting pancakes (chocolate chip!) for the 1st-day-bfast, slathered with lots of whipped cream :)  Simple, but the gang was happy!
 I don't know why, but my least fav. thing about school mornings is packing lunches.  But, alas, here we go again!
 I tried to think of something cutesty for their lunches, but this is all could come up with...thank you, NYC Dylan's candystore for cute gummies...Shelb got turtles, Ash got butterflies, D got sharks!  They were pretty excited about them at lunchtime :)
 Our first time getting ready for school in the new home...and the new jack-n-jill bathroom :)
 My beautiful "firstie"! :)
 My Handsome "fourthie"...ok, I am pretty sure that is not a proper (or cool) way to address a mature 4th grader, but I have never claimed to be the "cool" mom :)
 My "last year of elementary school" did THAT happen?
 My fav. group pic of the Fab. Five outside our new home :) Hailey was sweet enough to get out of bed on her first day back and grace us with her pretty face for a pic, even though she is no longer a MCCSC student. Bless her!  Plus I won't be there for her 1st day of 10th grade in NYC, so this will sorta count for that...And officially she was still registered at her school here, as we got the annoying phonecall that she was absent....and her poor friends had to tell teachers that she was not there when her name was called...all very weird...
 1st, 4th & 6th. One thing that is good about this year is that I only have one school to go to...might be the first time since Hailey was Kindergarten since that happened....and might be the last time for quite awhile. Weird!
 Is it me,or does Dylan look taller than Shelb?  One thing that always strikes me about 1st day of school pics fast the kids grow...
 A mommy-daddy pic...cuz you know they wanted this! lol :) 
 My beautiful 6th grader....
 Ready to head to school....
 My sweet guy...he was the most anti-picture this morning....which confused me...usually he never complains about anything!
Finally we made it to school....I think we were earlier than normal for the 1st day bc I had plenty of time to take a pic by the school sign!  Oh joy!
 I thought we could get into the school early like normal, but we needed to wait outside...with our mounds of school supplies :)
 Once that bell rang, Ash found one of her best friends and left us in her dust. Independent firstie!
 We caught up with her...and snapped a few pics...of her cubbie....awww, I love cubbies :)
 Her awesome teacher...Mrs. Stubbs (that is short for her much longer name,which reminds me of us...Stegs :))
 Her own desk :)
 Her room...she was one of the first kids there...and lol...I am not the only crazy parent taking pics apparently :)
 Walking to the other end of the hallway...I finally have 2 in secondary....
 D's room has a chinchilla for a pet...awwww :)  Loggy loved it!
 D's teacher is awesome...she is the sister of his teacher from last year.  I know Mrs. P. will challenge him and I am glad he's in a 4-5 split since he was one point away from being asked into the ALPS program that Hailey was in at another school.
 See, I wasn't kidding about the non-picture-boy :)  The face says it all!
 His "rowdy" gang of 4th and 5th graders :)
 Then off to awesome 6th grade....Shelb was already settled in and sitting next to her bestie :)  Phew...we didn't care what teacher she had, but we were just relieved she was with Syd!
 The last elementary 1st-day-of-school pic I can take of this girl :)
   Shelb and her teacher, Ms.Y...she loves her bc she is super organized...Shelb loves organization!
 I thought Hays would go back to bed on her day of playing hooky from school...nope, she started doing all her laundry.  Man, that is one rare teenager!
 Loggy took this opportunity on the 1st day of school to go in his siblings rooms and play, play, play!
 Then off to his first day of swim lessons....
 He was officially too young for the class (you are supposed to be three), but they had only a couple registered for Level 1, so I put him in...he's the size of a 3 year old for sure!  He seemed excited...
 He had the cutest little class of 3 and his teacher was great!  I think Loggy was the only one not afraid of the water at all...he was fearless....
 And he actually did most of the swim-stuff he was told to do...
 Torpedo arms!
 And big Sis even watched him....gotta love those pretty ballerina feet :)...and check out cute Loggy getting ready to jump in the pool....
 I love first swim lessons...soooo cute!
 We love our biggest sissy being home....
 Best part of the lesson was getting a treat after...they ran out of ice cream, so we had Skittles!
 The kid cracks me up with his faces :)
 Awww....sweetness...13 years apart, but he sure loves her...and vice versa!
 Bonus!  Best way to spell your name...with Gummies from Dylan's candy store in NYC!
 We played in the sunroom :)
 And lined up our "Little Poo Poos" (Little People)
 I usually pre-plan a special back-to-school treat....I had no time this year, so I went with what I had in the house....and made smiley apple cake pops and pencil cupcakes.  Easy.
 My attempt at being creative :) year I'll do better...
 We only had like 10 mins to do a chalk drawing for the school-goers...Loggy helped me :)

 I love this kid! I wish we had been able to be outside more this day, but it was like 95 degrees and sooo humid. 
 Time for pick-up at school!  The first time for us not taking the bus home after school on the 1st day...weird.  Ash came out first....seemed like the pick-up would be like it normally was (even with new head staff)
 Nope, we waited and waited for the other two to emerge...Loggy fell asleep in the extreme heat....
 Finally, they came out....pick-up needed some work....but after 4 days I can safely say it is MUCH better!  And I do like the safety of it better than before. 
 Our new mode of transportation to/from school.  The kids don't miss the bus, but they do miss riding bikes like we did from the condo. Ash even said a couple times..."why can't I just go to the school behind the trees"...meaning, she wants to ride her bike to the school behind our house....oh well...we will get used to our new routine...
 LOL...Shelb truly is our comic relief. I think she liked our sad lil' chalk drawing...which also still has some of daddy's bday chalk drawing on it...
 Hays had a semi-lazy day after her busy laundry morning :)
 A surprise from Nina and Pops in the mail...very cool Shopkins!  She took them for show-n-tell the next day...
 I was too lazy to make dinner and I had an Olive Garden that was a sign to have OG-to-go!  Yummy! It was a great back-to-school meal!

 Diggin' in!
 And then we drove to Ellettsville for Jiffy Treat ice might be our new ice cream hang out on this side of town since there is not much over here...yummy!  And Ash was the first of the three to have fill a bag with stuff about her....
As much as I dug in my heels with school starting this week, the kids had a great outlook and didn't really complain at all. They all love their teachers, have good friends in their class (though D got split from most of his, but he is so happy-go-lucky, he didn't care!)....anyway....they all had great first days (and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days)...and our new principal and vice-principal seem great and are running things very smoothly.  So, all-in-all, a good first week (though we have one more day to go...)...and it's been great having lazier days at home with my oldest and youngest....but I still wish we had one more month of summer...trying not to be bitter about that....