Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - A Year in Review

This year has been a great one...filled with lots of craziness. Carter turned 5, Brooklyn turned 3, and Steven and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary (and 12 years of being together). Steven is in his 2nd year at PCC Airfoils and I am in the middle of interviewing for a position at The Cougar 93.7 FM.

One of the biggest changes that happened for us this year is that Carter started school. He went from not knowing how to read or write his own name to iMessaging us in full sentences on his iPod...he still needs to figure out when and where to use the space bar, but we're getting there! He's made a lot of friends and we are thoroughly enjoying watching him excel.

As for Brooklyn, she hit a big milestone when she won her first Supreme title in the Back to School pageant in Syracuse. She worked so hard and deserved every bit of it! We couldn't be prouder!

Another big thing that happened in 2013 is the new addition to our family, our Boxador Tank. Our sweet Bianca had a litter of 7 puppies via emergency c-section on June 17th. I had forgotten how tough puppies are to care for, but we are settling into a groove now. He's 6 months old, potty trained, and almost as big as his mama!

I was given something very special this year. I finally got my independence back after 14 years. Since my car accident, I have been confined to this wheelchair and unable to go up ramps without help. A couple months ago, I received my Magic Wheels. They are easier to push, which gives me the extra oomph I need to get up my ramp to my van and into the house. I am now able to come and go by myself...as long as I can find someone to watch the kids!  Babysitters are hard to come by these days!

Steven had a great year as well. He recently shot 3 deer while he was at hunting camp in West Virginia! He's a great hunter and he enjoys being in the woods very much. It's nice to have a freezer full of meat to get us through until his next trip in 2014! 

Since I didn't do an update after Christmas, I figure I can just end this one with our holiday memories from this year! We had such a fun Christmas and a wonderful dinner cooked by my mom. She spends the night every year on Christmas Eve so she can watch the kids unwrap gifts from Santa. We really enjoy it! This year, she spoiled the kids (and us) as usual. She got Steven and I a Blu-Ray player for our room, a new bedding set, a kitchen table, and a new microwave...among other things. And Steven really surprised me with a Michael Kors bag I had told him I loved! From the kids, I got a day at the salon! Between Santa, us, and my mom, I'm pretty sure the kids won't be bored for awhile! They got lots of fun toys and cute clothes. They asked Santa for iPods and he delivered! They have been able to iMessage and FaceTime their grandma in NY which is awesome!

Steven and I this past Sunday…my hair after my day at the salon!

This was the first Christmas since we moved to Ohio that we didn't go to NY after opening gifts on Christmas Day. So, our family is coming here toward the end of January and we get to do Christmas all over again. The kids are very excited! I just love spending time with family!

So, tonight is New Years Eve and I am so ready to see what 2014 has in store for us! I am hoping it starts with a bang! I was called for a 2nd interview at the radio station and I'm very excited to see where that leads! I'm sure whatever happens it will be God's will. Bring it on, 2014! Bring. It. On. 

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Santa's on His Way!

Our house is starting to look a lot like Christmas!! Our tree is up and our elf Seven is back for more mischief!

(Pardon the not great photos. Some of them are from my phone.)

Last week, Steven went to hunting camp, so the kids and I were on our own. I let Carter play hooky from school on Monday so we could have a fun day! First, we did a little shopping, then we headed to lunch at Chuck E Cheese! We ate pizza and played games until we dropped! It was a blast! Then, we decided to go to the mall to pay Santa a visit. The kids both asked him for iPods and chatted with him for awhile. After that, we came home, played some Wii, then had dinner. They were so tuckered out that night, but we had a great day!

Steven and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary apart on Tuesday, although we were together in our hearts! I can't believe we've only been married 7 years. I can't remember a time where he wasn't my husband…and I am thankful for that. We've had our ups and downs…thankfully more ups! And I just can't help but feel so very blessed that he chose me to spend his life with. 

November 25, 2006

We had a great Thanksgiving together as a family and my mom even offered to do my Black Friday shopping for me so I could stay home and enjoy Steven and the kids since she was out anyway! Then she came over after and ate a late dinner. We were able to put a huge dent in our Christmas shopping, which is a huge relief. We even spent last night watching UFC and wrapping it all after the kids went to bed! So, I'm way ahead of schedule this year!

Here are some more photos of our week/weekend!

Another really exciting thing that happened last week was that I went on an interview at a local radio station! Its a great station and I would absolutely love to get the position, so please say a prayer if you can. I think the interview went well, so hopefully I will get a call back soon! As always, I'm giving it to God.

I hope you all had a great holiday!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cheer Up, Buttercup!

Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he 
shall give you the desires of your heart.

Is it just me or has the internet been full of negativity lately? It seems like wherever I turn, be it the news, Facebook, Twitter, etc., I'm reading all about how terrible life is. Even though I enjoy reading the annual "I'm thankful for…" posts that people do each November, it almost seems like for every one I read, there's five or six negative statuses to go with it. I am starting to feel like I'm the odd man out for looking at every aspect of my life, good and bad, as a blessing. 

I'm sure people don't get it since my life is "so hard". I hear "I don't know how you do it." every single day. Don't get me wrong. I struggle with simple things multiple times every day…but I still do them. At the end of every day, I lean out of the side of my wheelchair picking up toys off the playroom floor and tossing them into the nearest toy box. Steven always says "You're going to hurt yourself. Why don't you have them pick up their own toys?" Well, for one, it takes more energy to get them to pick up then to do it myself…they're 3 and 5. They have much more important things to do! Secondly, I do it because I can. It may seem pretty strange to hear that, but there was a time when I couldn't even lift my own baby up to my shoulder to burp when I was feeding him. I literally needed help lifting him up. 5 years later, I am completely self sufficient and taking care of 2 other human beings for a good chunk of the day on my own! I am thankful for the abilities I have gained and that I am able to do them at all. God has given me so much strength…why would I not be positive about life even if things are difficult at times? I'm here, I'm breathing, I have a beautiful family, I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and I am doing things I never thought I could.

Everybody just needs to take a look at their lives and be thankful for what they do have…and stop worrying about what they don't. No matter how bad it gets, it could always be worse.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Other Half of Me

Sometimes I wonder how Steven and I even keep it together. I mean, we have 2 kids, a home, he works as much as he can since he's our bread-winner, and a lot of the time we are just so tired at the end of the day, that we maybe get an hour alone together. But it just works…we make it work. I have been trying to figure out how we do it and I think I figured it out…iMessage. No, seriously. We constantly text each other if he isn't home. Sometimes there's a specific topic, sometimes I just need to vent about the craziness that goes on when he's not here…and sometimes its just complete nonsense! We joke around a lot and I'm sure we get each other in ways that nobody else could. But really, he's the most amazing friend I have ever had. I am so blessed to have him to keep me from going absolutely insane. I can certainly tell you that our marriage isn't perfect, but its comforting to know that we are strong enough to overlook the imperfections and just be happy with what is.

See…I told you. iMessage.

I know I've talked a little about this in my "About Me" section, but Steven and I got together when he was only 16 years old. I was 2 years out from my accident and still really wasn't comfortable with being in a wheelchair…I always felt different. Even though he was way too young to take on such a huge change, he embraced me and everything that came along with being with me. In our first year together, we went through things that most couples won't go through in an entire lifetime…and he never even flinched. All of the craziness made us stronger than we could've ever been on our own…together, we can take on the world! I truly feel like I can do anything with him, because I know he will never let me fall.

I just wanted to post a little bit about the other half of me, how we got here, and how we stay here. I am absolutely positive that he is God's gift to me in this world…and I am so thankful.

How about a little throwback?? Let's do Senior Prom! I was sooooo excited when I found these!

I love you more today than yesterday…
but not as much as tomorrow.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

We are Thankful

Last week, Carter brought home a giant feather that had to be decorated for the "Thankful Turkey" at school. We were supposed to do it together, and he was supposed to write some of the things he is thankful for on it. So, we went to Pat Catan's and bought some feathers, stickers, and markers, then went home to decorate. I gave him the marker and told him to write what he was thankful for, and if he needed help spelling, to ask me and we would sound it out. Mind you, he's only in preschool, so I figured he would need a lot of help. He asked me for help spelling "toys" and "trucks". I couldn't believe it when I saw everything he didn't need help with! He wrote "mommy", "daddy", "Brooklyn", and "dogs" without me! How sweet and smart is my baby?!

Yesterday, Steven and I had to go meet with Carter's teacher for his fall progress conference. It went great. He is meeting and exceeding all standards and she said he is a joy to have in class. I am so proud of my little guy! He's only been in school for 2 months and he has come so far already. The sky's the limit!

Brooklyn is still doing amazing with her cheering. They are gearing up for their first competition at the end of January. They are working hard to learn a new routine. I'm sure they will be amazing!

We put away all of our Haloween decor this week and now I'm in the process of begging Steven to agree to help me put up our Christmas stuff. He's not budging. Ugh! He thinks (along with most of the rest of civilization) that it is too early. I think he's a Grinch! 

Tonight Steven is having a guy's night and I am watching movies and relaxing by myself. Both kids have colds, so I'm expecting them to be awake for another dose of medicine pretty soon. I hate when they are sick...but it's all part of being a mama. So, for now I will just be waiting with a warm cozy lap for them to snuggle up in. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another 4 Months...

I don't know what my deal is! I vow that I'm going to be a good blogger, then I go 4 months without a post! Well, here I am again! This is what my kiddos look like now...

Brookie just turned 3. Instead of a party, she chose to do a pageant the weekend before her birthday. It was a "Back to School" theme. She rocked it! She got her highest scores ever and was double crowned! She won Overall Photo Supreme and 0-4 Dollface!

Brookie recently made the decision to take a break from pageants so she can do competitive cheerleading. She is on a team of kids under 8 years old and is the youngest/smallest one. But that doesn't stop her! She is so determined and I love watching her!

Carter just had his 5th birthday. He is in preschool and is learning so much! He went from not being able to spell his name or recognize letters to this in a matter of 2 months...

I'm one lucky mama! Anyway, to celebrate Carter's birthday, we pretty much needed an entire week! The weekend before, we made a trip to NY for his party. Carter and my nephew Kaleb have birthdays 2 days apart, so we let them share a party at our favorite apple orchard. It was cold and rainy, but we had fun!

That weekend, we decided to give him his gift in NY, so that he could enjoy it with his cousin...

And Brookie and Kaleb didn't get left out either!

It was a great weekend! Sunday, we headed back home. The next Tuesday was Carter's actual birthday, so I ordered 2 dozen robot cupcakes for him to take to school. Unfortunately, I didn't get pics because I don't drop him off. :( But he said that they were a huge hit and that everyone was so excited! 

That Thursday was Halloween! It was a terrible, rainy night, but we braved the weather and went trick-or-treating anyway! We only got to the end of one street, but they ended up with 3/4 of their buckets full. So, it was a success!

As for me, I finally got the new wheels for my chair that I had been fighting for since before summer! 2 weeks ago, I was able to go to Target by myself, with no help, for the first time in 14 years! I haven't stopped since then! Its an amazing feeling not to have to ask your children to help you up a ramp...and being truly alone is a feeling a can't even describe!! I have so much to be thankful for these days!!

Steven is still working a lot. His OT hours got cut back quite a bit due to this being the slow season, so we are just trying to budget differently...not easy! Right now, my goal is to get a good amount together for Black Friday shopping. I save so much money each year and the gifts aren't getting any less expensive! We are blessed that we have everything we do, which is what I keep reminding myself going into the holidays. Its so easy to become taken in by the spending and the worrying about how we will do it all. I need to remember that my children are always watching and listening...so I have to be sure that I am showing them what Christmas really means.

Well, that's where we are now! I am hoping I can find more time to blog more because I truly do love it! 4 months is way too long!!