Monday, September 22, 2014


Wow. This little baby girl has grown up so fast. I feel like we were just in the hospital holding her and wondering what we were going to do with this little, warm lump. Looking back, we were so unprepared to be parents. We had no clue, yet here we are, 8 years later (well, tomorrow) and we have all survived.

I love that Maya is always creating and using her imagination. I love that her favorite gift tomorrow will probably be the ream of paper we bought her and the package of Scotch tape that has 8 rolls. I love that she always "has a plan". This has been a challenge at times...I spend an entire day organizing the basement just to find that Maya has turned the whole space into a preschool for Cora with paper everywhere and stuff taped to the walls. I love finding little pieces of paper that she has written on. One day we were going to be watching our friends, Kate and Luke, for a few hours. Maya decided to have a Nature class for them and she created this awesome lesson plan all about butterflies. She had a painting craft, a lesson, and a few songs. This is a flyer she made for the parents.

I love that Maya plays with Josh every day at recess. I know he's safe and being watched over.

Another day she decided to be a photographer and she posed her doll in several different places around the house and yard. I found about 100 pictures like this on my camera the next day. Always good for a little laugh. She even talked our neighbors into bringing their dolls over for a "photo shoot".

Her baptism will take place in October! We are all looking forward to it. We love you, beautiful. Keep coming up with great ideas!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Broken bones

A few weeks ago we were getting the kids ready for bed on a Friday night. Maya was in the shower and Josh and Cora decided to go downstairs for a few minutes before going to sleep. Cora ended up falling down the last 2 stairs and put her arm out to break the fall. When Nick went to help her she pointed at her arm and said, "Owie" -- she cried for a few minutes, but then all of a sudden she stopped and would really respond to us. She had also lost all of the color in her face and her lips were white. We decided to take her to the ER to have her arm checked out. I put the kids to bed and Nick took her in to see the doctor. As I waited anxiously for any information from Nick, I couldn't focus on anything else and felt sick to my stomach. I felt terrible that she was hurting and I couldn't do anything about it. They took a few X-Rays and wrapped it in a bandage before sending her home. Around midnight I heard Nick's car pull into the driveway. I was so excited to see that little girl. He opened the door for her and she came running in to see me, saying, "mommy! See? See?" The doctors had given her a little stuffed kitty and she wanted to show me her bandage as well. I can't explain the relief I felt when I saw her back to normal with the color in her face and hearing her sweet voice. We had a follow up appointment on Tuesday with the Orthopedic doctor. I brought the big kids along too because I didn't think much would happen...they'd remove the bandage, take an X-ray, and let us go, right? Wrong. The x-ray showed a definite break and we were told she'd need a cast for 4 weeks. Cora did an awesome job with the x-rays and getting her arm wrapped. She wouldn't break a smile at the nurses or doctor but she didn't cry or whine either. I was thankful for that!

Only 6 more days and this bad boy is coming off! I can't wait to scrub her arm...the cast is filthy and I can't imagine how dirty it is underneath. We love you brave girl!


We celebrated Nick's birthday on July 7. He had to work since it was during the week...what a drag to be an adult. He never complains though. We got him some new clothes and he was very appreciative. I made him a double layer chocolate cake -- it was pretty good! So thankful to have this sweet man in my life. He makes me laugh every day and is a wonderful father and husband. We love you!

Cora's birthday is on July 23...again, it fell on a weekday so we decided to have a small BBQ on the Sunday before her actual 2nd birthday. We had foot long hot dogs, pasta salad, chips, and watermelon for dinner and Carla helped me frost some pretty pink cupcakes for dessert. We love this little girl so much. She brings us laughter and smiles and helps us to not take things too seriously. What I love most about having a baby (ha! Guess she's not really a "baby" anymore, but she's our baby.) and two older kids is that they find everything she does irresistible too. She loves tagging along with them and making us all laugh. Life wouldn't be the same without her and that spunky little personality we get to enjoy. Her big gift this year was a water table. She loved it! We also got her some clothes for fall and some cute shoes. Kept it simple this year.

Present time! I loved her reaction to each gift...every shirt, every pair of pants, etc. she'd say, "AWWWW! So toot" (Cute) She especially loved the baby doll from her friends Luke, Kate, and family.

Notice how Cora is dumping water on her friend, Kate? That didn't go over too well!

So motherly. :)

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

July/Mom and Dad's visit

My mom and dad came out a few days after Nick's family left. June was so fun -- we always enjoy having visitors! We hung out a lot in the backyard playing baseball with papa and checking on our garden. We also went the Livonia Spree, an outdoor pool, Island Lake State Park, the Detroit Science Center, celebrated Cora's birthday a few weeks early, and went to Greenfield Village. My mom took the big kids out on "dates" a couple of times, too. They went to the rec center pool and also to see a movie. My favorite part was going on a double date with them. We went to Deadwood Bar and Grill in Northville. It was so yummy and we loved the time we had with them. We celebrated my parent's 41st anniversary and our 11th anniversary. Here are some pictures of a wonderful visit!

On the 4th we were invited to a BBQ by some new friends in our ward. It was a beautiful day and we had some really comfortable weather. Earlier in the day we did a little nature walk behind Rotary Park. The walkways were supposed to be marked but they were marked poorly and we got lost several times. Of course we didn't have our cell phones with us, or bug spray. Yikes. I thought we were going to get swarmed by mosquitos. We finally made it out! Sadly I don't have any pictures of either event. When we got home from the BBQ it was still early enough to do some sparklers and fireworks. Cora hated the noisy ones! We decided to put her to bed and enjoy the fireworks without her. We did a combined firework display production with our neighbors. The kids loved it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Early June

It was difficult to say goodbye to Maya's first grade teacher, Mrs. Corp. She was such a wonderful teacher and did a great job with a big group of rowdy kids. M didn't really connect with her until later in the year. Mrs. Corp was always on top of everything and was a great communicator. I loved the weekly emails and newsletters stating all of the things the kids had been working on. It was difficult to get into the classroom to volunteer because of the younger kiddos at home, but I always felt connected to her classroom.

If you're wondering about the Abby shirts -- there was a little girl who was battling cancer at Maya's school. The kids were encouraged to wear red, or to wear the Abby shirt if they had one, on certain spirit days throughout the year. Sadly we found out last week that Abby had passed away after fighting for 2 years. So sad.

It's so hard to believe another school year has passed. I've been looking at Maya's baby pictures a lot lately. Cora's 2nd birthday is coming up and I wanted to see if she and Maya looked similar at this age. I have so many good memories of when it was just "the 3 of us". My house was SPOTLESS in all of the pictures and it was so much easier to keep up on that kind of stuff. Life was much simpler. I love watching the videos of her talking in her own little language and remembering how she used to say certain words. She has grown up into a beautiful young lady. She is looking forward to turning 8 and being baptized this fall. She's a real character and a great addition to our family!

The day after school got out Nick's dad, step mom, and Papa came out for a visit! We were so excited to see them. They chose a wonderful weekend to be here: Maya's recital, Papa's birthday, Father's Day. We did a lot of celebrating! We went to the zoo on June 13th, Papa's birthday. It was kind of a chilly morning but warmed up nicely as the day went on. The kids were really well behaved and we all enjoyed seeing the animals. That night we had Jet's Pizza.....always a request from family members when they visit! Then cheesecake for Papa's dessert and presents. The next day we took it easy in the morning then had Maya's recital at 2:30pm. She did a great job! I was so proud of her and surprised that she didn't seem nervous or scared at all. I had butterflies for her the entire time she was on stage. After the recital we went to Carrabba's Italian Grill for dinner. We left Josh and Cora at home for the recital and dinner and I'm so glad we did! It was a nice, relaxing dinner and memorable for Maya on her special day. Gramma Pat gave her a gift for doing well in the recital. It was a pretty little necklace with a star on it and an American Girl Doll chapter book about a ballerina. So thoughtful!

The next day we had breakfast together at the hotel restaurant then took a drive up to Island Park to show them the lake. We didn't pack suits but got our feet wet and played in the sand a bit, and of course took more pictures. That night we had a nice dinner of BBQ steak, potatoes, and salad...and more cheesecake for dessert.

Cora's signature "grumpy" face.

The guys opening up their Father's Day gifts. We had an awesome weekend! The kids got along for the most part and warmed up to everyone quickly, especially Cora with Gramma Pat. I loved it!