Sunday, October 30, 2011

Up To Speed

It's been over a week since I've sat down to empty photos off of my camera & string words together to show all that we've been up to lately. This poor little blog of mine has gotten left in the dust, & I'd say it's high time I get it up to speed.

{May I just add, that it's been over a week since I've touched the laundry, lifted a finger on any kind of housework or prepared a single home cooked meal? Don't feel bad, little blog. I'm slacking in all areas of my life right now.}

Here's my attempt at catching you up on a little bit of the fun we've been having:

Birthday Parties:

I will never forget that late night phone call. Jared & I were settling into bed when the phone rang & I answered to hear on the other end of the line, the quiet, shaky voice of my best friend, "I think my water just broke." Jared & I bolted out of bed & rushed out the door to meet our best friends at the hospital where we would would welcome a smushy, plump, dark headed, beautiful baby boy into the world.

And though it seems like just yesterday we celebrated the birth of that sweet little baby boy, here we are a blink later, celebrating his THIRD birthday.  They sure don't stay little, do they?

Happy Birthday, Jude!  Your life is one precious little miracle & we love you so, so, so much!
                                    --Uncle J, Aunt LaLa, & Jett Jett

p.s.--your party was really fun!


I've said it before that I totally hit the jack-pot when I married my husband.  He's sweet, he's got the most positive attitude of anyone I've ever known in my life, he truly is the best husband a girl could ask for, & he's pretty darn good looking, too. I lucked out, for sure.  But there's another reason I happen to count my blessings that God gave me the husband that He did...

he's got a pretty cool extended family.

His aunt, uncle, cousins, second cousins--they're all amazing people & I am so blessed to get to be able to call them my family.

We recently joined up with them to celebrate a couple of big milestone birthdays, roast hot dogs over an open fire, & sit around a blazing bonfire, simply savoring the beautiful Fall night & the lifelong memories being made with our loved ones.

You can't beat a night like that.

Annual Halloween Get-Togethers

Every single year, once the leaves start turning & rustling to the ground, I find myself getting antsy.  I get anxious & excited, giddy & childlike--all for the annual Halloween Bash that will take place at Aunt Elaine's farm come the end of October. It's an event that rolls around every single year & every single year it's something I look forward to a little more than the last. There are games, prizes, a food table a mile long, a dessert table that'll knock your socks off, a big barn all decked out in Halloween decor, & a lady who puts so much effort into this one day that everyone goes home at the end of it all, eagerly anticipating the next one.

My great big extended family congregates in that barn reminiscing about old times {Remember pushing me off that horse when I was only nine, causing me my first & only broken arm, Uncle Kenny? Meanie!}, we pass babies & take turns spoiling them, & we send echoes of laughter booming throughout the countryside. The kids run through the woods collecting items for the scavenger hunt, they force feed Aunt Elaine's pony, Ringo, everything from carrots to chocolate chip cookies, & they end the day by eating their weight in candy. We all go home with the smell of bonfire collected in our hair & on our clothing & we're stuffed so full of hotdogs, chips, & cheese dip, that we vow we'll never eat again.

Try topping a day like that.

Trunk Or Treat:

Every year our church puts on a big shin-dig we like to call Trunk Or Treat. In the years past, Jared & I have decked ourselves out in various costumes--one year it was Peter Pan & Tinkerbell, another year we were super star soccer players. Year after year, we've had so much fun with it.  We'd back our car into a parking spot, open up our decorated trunk, & welcome little ghosts, goblins, princesses & superheroes to a helping of lollipops, chocolate bars, & sweet, sugary goodness. We always went home feeling blessed to be a part of something that gives back to our community & furthermore, promotes the Kingdom of God in a really neat way.

And while Trunk Or Treat remained the total blast it always has been, this year it was a little different for us. Instead of Jared & I dressing up in ridiculous costumes, decking our trunk out, & handing fistfuls of candy to the mass of kiddos flowing through, we were on the other end of things. For the very first time, we got to see what Trunk Or Treat looks like from a Trunk Or Treater viewpoint.  Let me just say, it was awesome.  And I think our little gnome agrees.

It took about two minutes for our little lawn ornament to realize that Trunk Or Treat rocks the catwalk. Let me first say that this was Jett's big debut in his costume & I was extremely nervous about it. Every "dress rehearsal" we had done at home had not gone well. He hated the hat, hated the beard, hated the belt, hated the stretchy bands that held the hat & beard in place...Halloween night was not looking promising. But then, once we stepped out of the car to do our Trunk or Treating, Meatball took one look around to see that every other child was sporting a costume & he suddenly thought he was "it".  From then on out he stopped everybody--strangers & friends, alike, to point out his "haaat" & "boops" {boots}.  He was so proud. And if you thought he was proud, well then, you should've seen his momma & daddy.

Then once he figured out that the bucket he was holding was getting more & more full by the minute--with candy--whoa buddy.  Talk about a happy little gnome. He figured out real quick that this dressing up for candy thing just might be right up his alley. Smart boy.

So see there? Despite my pig sty of a house, the piles of dirty laundry, the empty fridge, the lack of home cooked meals, & this poor, neglected blog, this momma is still managing to drag her nauseous self out of the house to make a few memories here & there. 

And I even managed to squish it all into one long, Up To Speed  blog post.  Go me.

Happy Halloween Eve!  More memory making tomorrow!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We've got a wild weekend ahead of us.  Birthday parties, bonfires, Halloween hayrides.  It's gonna be awesome .  But before I get ants in my pants about the weekend that is stretched out before us, I must first get this little blog of mine up to speed on the some of the fun we had last weekend.

But because I'm tired & pregnant & my husband needs help filling & tying bows onto goody bags for his soccer team, you're gonna get a whole bunch of pictures & just a few words tonight.

So here's our day spent with friends at the pumpkin photos, mostly.

These next few photos crack me up & I'm so glad I captured this moment.

Little Miss Avery holding out her hand for Jett to hold.

 Little stinker playing hard to get & refusing to hold her hand.  Would you look at that attitude she is giving him? 

Telling me just how offended she is.  I mean, really.  How dare he?!

In no time at all, big sister Madalyn swooped in to save the day.  She cleared the air, won Jett over, & before we knew it, the three of them were best buds! Kids crack me up!  

Cute as a pumpkin is right.

Taking a ride out to the pumpkin patch, er, corn field with a bunch of pumpkins just thrown onto the ground.  Whatever, the kids didn't know the difference.

A big thanks to Donnie, Courtney, Madalyn, & little spunky Avery, for spending the afternoon with us!  Every time we leave your company, we always wish we had just a little more time together, that we lived just a little bit closer to one another, & that our get togethers were just a little more frequent. We'll just have to work on all of the above! You guys are such precious friends & we love your family so very, very much. Thanks for an awesome day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fun On The Farm

We haven't left the house much here lately. I just can't seem to find the strength to muster up any kind of motivation these days. Even getting to the grocery store to buy our everyday essentials has been an extremely daunting task for me, & I seem to come up with every excuse possible to put it off. But with an energetic toddler running around like a madman, it's hard to look at him going stir crazy & not feel guilty about forcing him to stay within the four walls of our home day in & day out.

Lucky for us, we've got some great friends who came along, dragged us out of the house, & insisted that we get some sunshine on our faces. Just what the doctor ordered....for me & for Meatball.

Deanna Rose Farmstead is an absolutely adorable place to spend an afternoon with friends, so my best friend & I, we loaded up our kiddos, all of our snacks & drinks, & we made the hop, skip, & jump over to find some fun on the farm!

And sure enough, we found some fun, alright!

First up, a horse drawn hay ride out to Pumpkin Hollow {Deanna Rose Farmstead's pumpkin patch}:

Once we arrived at Pumpkin Hollow, the boys hit the ground running & had an absolute ball!  I think the corn maze was the biggest hit of the day.  Wouldya look at the excitement on those faces?!  They chased one another, squealed, screeched, & ran til' their little faces turned cherry red!  A tale-tale sign of pure fun being had.

They climbed up big bales of hay to find a steep, slippery slide waiting on the other side. Of course Jett wouldn't touch the hay so I had to carry his butt to the top every single time & then race down as fast as I could to catch him. 

While Meatball would have no part in letting his hands come close to touching the dry, scratchy hay, he sure had no problem grabbing fistfuls of filthy dirty corn to throw, scatter, & fill up buckets with {when he wasn't wearing the bucket on his head, of course.  Silly boy!}

The boys got quite a kick out of the old fashioned water pumps that are placed throughout the farm.  They stood at either ends of the water cranks, laughing & giggling as they watched each other works so hard to get that water flowin'. 

We paused for photo ops, but we had to snap quick.  The boys wouldn't sit still for a second. They could see all the fun buzzing around them & they wanted to be right in the mix of it.

Next, it was time to do a little fishin', so we found a quiet little fishing hole that the boys could sink their lines into!  Jude got the hang of the fishing adventure real quick, while Jett proceeded to whip that pole around like a crazy person & scare me & everyone in his presence to death {I think he's going to be more of a fly fisherman type guy}.

It was almost time to leave Pumpkin Hollow to go & explore the rest of the farm, but we couldn't exit Pumpkin Hollow without a pumpkin.  The boys were so funny in the pumpkin patch. They raced from pumpkin to pumpkin, choosing this that one!  They traded in their pumpkins about a gazillion times, & for the life of them could not decide on just one. But alas, here they both came, grunting from the weight they were holding, as they emerged from that pumpkin patch carrying perfectly picked pumpkins.  They were so proud.  

Once we hopped back on our horse drawn hayride to ride out of Pumpkin Hollow & back into the main area of Deanna Rose, we checked out the rest of the place--a few farm animals {I could barely stand the smell of them, let alone take any photos} & the active playground area, where we chased after our kids as they found forts to climb in & slides to zoom down.  Our kiddos were starting to grow tired {or maybe it was us Momma's--yeah, I'm pretty sure that was it}, so we topped off our trip with some ice cream & called it a day. A really great day, at that.

It felt good to drag our hermit selves out of the house for a change, it was amazing to get some vitamin D in our systems, & it was fabulous to spend the whole afternoon with friends who knew just what we needed!  

Now that's what I call some good old fun on the farm!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pregnancy Blues

The last thing I want to do here on my blog is to go on & on complaining about pregnancy woes. In the grand scheme of things, pregnancy is a beautiful blessing & in the end will result in one of the greatest gifts God could possibly bestow upon us.  I am fully aware that there are women who would give their left arm to be able to feel the aches & pains that pregnancy brings along with it, just to be able to bear a child of their own. Trust me when I say I know what an honor, privilege & miracle that carrying a child is, & I don't take it lightly.

But with that said, I'm gonna be real with how I'm feeling, both physically & mentally.  And I've gotta tell ya, I'm pretty sure this kidney bean sized child of mine is on a mission to kill me.

It's been a rough few weeks. I've been sick nonstop around the clock.  Morning sickness? Ha! Try all day, everyday, 24/7 sickness. There are days that I haven't even moved from bed & I even went one stretch of three days without a shower.  I know, gross.  I'm gagging over everything--cleaning supplies, lotions, hand soaps, perfumes & colognes.  And don't even get me started on the stinky things--the pigs {& flies}at Deanna Rose Farm, Jett's diapers, people in the grocery store that haven't washed their hair--they all send me straight to the gates of  Dry Heave City.  I'm popping Zofran like it's candy & the delivery guy at Pizza Hut has come to recognize our voices before we ever even tell him who we are.  Okay, so it's not that bad, but we are eating an awful lot of take-out. Most foods send me racing to the toilet & it takes a lot of psyching myself up to simply eat something.  I remember being nauseous when I was pregnant with Jett, but this pregnancy is knocking the socks off my pregnancy with Jett.

And speaking of Jett...he's all out of sorts.  He knows his world is different--that something is off.  That his momma is less energetic, less patient, less fun.  I feel absolutely horrible for him & most nights I go to bed feeling like a big, fat failure of a mom to my little boy. On the upside, at least he does get a few great laughs throughout the day. Kid thinks his momma's gagging is the funniest thing he's ever seen. He will belly laugh like I've never heard & then proceed to pretend he's gagging.  So at least I am providing some form of entertainment.  Guess I'm not a total deadbeat.

I realize this downtime in our lives is just temporary & that in just a matter of a few weeks {or less, I'm praying}, my family will be bouncing back to our normal, lively selves. I know that in order to get through this first trimester that I'm going to have to pull myself up by my bootstraps,  quit punishing myself for being human, & most importantly, continue to keep my eye on the prize.

I promise to not spend the next seven months whining & complaining about my pregnancy blues. And if every once in awhile I go MIA here on my blog, forgive me. These days, a few minutes of shut eye trumps a few minutes of blogging.  I will do my best to keep our updates coming, because it's important to me that I continue to capture these fleeting moments in our lives,  but there are going to be times when my little boy needs snuggling, when this momma needs napping, & when a toilet needs a head pressed up against it.

But you all know me, once I'm feeling like myself again, I'll be back in action & rocking & rolling!

Besides, as much as these pregnancy blues are the pits, they've got nothin' on the excitement I have that in just a matter of months I'll be holding a brand new, squishy, soft bundle of joy in my arms.  That my little Jett Jett will be the sweet big brother I know in my heart he will be, & that our little family of three will have grown into four & will be one step closer to complete.  No way are these pregnancy blues going to make me lose sight of that grand finale.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to gag my head off  brush my teeth before heading to bed.

Happy Monday, friends.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Big Reveal

First off, can I just take a moment to say how awesome you guys are?!  Seriously, a huge THANK YOU to all of you who poured out such sweet congratulatory sentiments to our family on behalf of our new addition!  We are absolutely over the moon excited that our family is expanding, & to hear how much this little life is already celebrated & welcomed so eagerly into the world, well, it has truly moved us.  So thank you-- for the phone calls, the text messages, the emails, the blog comments, right down to the hundreds of facebook comments.  You have made the beginning of this journey of ours that much more meaningful & it has been so much fun being able to share it with you.

Speaking of sharing...I thought it'd be fun to tell you how we made the big reveal to our families.

Before we announced our big news to the facebook & blog world, our families had to first be properly notified.

In true Holly style, of course.

By now, you've probably figured out that I'm all about taking a treasured moment & turning it into a full blown sha-bang. In all honesty, I don't do simple very well. In fact, more times than not, I drive myself absolutely batty trying to figure out the perfect way to take a special moment & craft it into a great big grand production {Just come around here when I'm planning a birthday party--you'll see}. And when that special moment just so happens to be a new life & soul that I am doing the honors of bringing into this world?  Well, watch out.  My wheels start workin' overtime.  Because in my opinion, there are very few things in this lifetime that are as exciting as new life. Jared & I made so many amazing & special memories during the pregnancy of our little Jett Jett & vowed that each & every new soul we bring into this world would also get the celebration it deserves.

And that celebrating all starts with the big announcement to the families. {Well, after peeing on a stick, seeing a plus sign & literally jumping up & down in the bathroom for five minutes, that is.} 

Right when we saw the plus sign on that pregnancy test, we knew that Jett was going to be the one to spill our baby beans with our families. We contemplated a "BIG BROTHER" shirt, but then we thought it would be a lot more fun to watch our families squirm a bit--have them figure it out on their own.  So we instead, went with the "i have a BIG secret" shirt.

Sure enough, watching their wheels turn, seeing their eyes pop, & watching them look questioningly at Jared & myself, then quickly following it up with squeals, hugs, & I knew it's} was everything we anticipated & hoped our big reveal to be!  

We're not sure yet if this new little life growing inside of me is going to be a rambunctious little boy or a maybe this time, a prissy little girl.  We have no way of knowing if he/she will be a spitfire like big brother or perhaps a chill, laid back, happy go lucky little one. But there is one thing we are already absolutely, one hundred percent, without a doubt sure of--that this baby is one lucky little duck. Because not only does this brand new bundle have two parents & a big brother that couldn't be more excited to bring him/her into the world, but a whole family who just so happens to be right by our sides cheering, celebrating, & eagerly anticipating the arrival of our newest family member! 

And while orchestrating a big reveal sure is a whole lotta fun, it isn't actually what makes the moment a magical one.  A big reveal is nothing without the army of love that receives that announcement & runs like crazy with it, the way our loved ones have.  It's our families that made our special little moment one that will nestle inside our hearts forever & ever.  They are the ones who made our treasured moment a full fledged sha-bang.  

So thank you to our families-- for going along with my not-so-simple shenanigans, for loving us the way you do, & for embracing this brand new life that we are growing.  Oh, & one more may want to brace yourself. There's already a whole lot more orchestrating going on in this crazy pregnancy brain of mine!  I mean really, would you expect anything less?

It sure is going to be a fun nine months.