Friday, February 28, 2014

An Adoptaversary

Dear Dan,
It never crossed my mind 10 years ago when you came into our lives for the first time that only 3 short years later, we'd be sitting in a courtroom signing papers to make your title "daddy" official. Of course, we never needed papers for you to become her Dad. You picked up that role from the very beginning. You were a young 18 year old boy, getting ready to start the next chapter of your life-college. You had your whole life ahead of you which I'm sure consisted of huge dreams and probably never thought in your wildest dreams that you'd be playing house with your girlfriend and her 5 month old daughter while you were getting ready to graduate from high school.

It was a wild ride from the beginning. You took to Jaedyn from the moment you laid eyes on her, before you even knew that there would be an "us". You understood that with me, came her. We were an item that you could not break up, and you welcomed spending time with the both of us. Even when you had to take a moment to catch your breath, to reevaluate the situation you had been thrust into, you were in love with her, and she knew it.

You introduced us to your family with pride. There was never an ounce of embarrassment or shame that came from your family, and we were welcomed with open, loving arms. I can only imagine the thoughts racing through your parents' heads when you explained to them you were with me. I'm sure there were feelings of fear and doubt and worry that maybe I was ruining your life or taking away your chances to achieve your dreams. At least there would be if I were them. But if those feelings were there, they hid them well. They knew they raised a man of character who had his head on straight, and they let you make your decisions and supported you 100%. I've never felt so much acceptance.

That first year was hard. You stood behind me as I watched my family crumble. You held on tight when I said goodbye to my grandma. You booked a trip to Florida so I could see my best friend over what would have been my wedding so that I wouldn't have to think about it so much, and you picked up the pieces of my soul as I wrestled with depression and all the changes that were taking place in my life. You made sure you were at our apartment before Jaedyn woke up and made sure you were back when she went to sleep as much as you could so that she always knew you were there.

You included her in your proposal, and made sure I knew that you were there to take care of us. She was always the priority. Always. She has stayed Daddy's little girl since the moment you walked into our lives. I'm so proud to call you my husband, my children's daddy. We are so incredibly lucky to have you in our lives.

Year after year, this date has become a holiday for the two of you. Throughout the year, I often hear both of you say, "This would be great for our date". You have proven to her that you are her rock and are providing her with the best damn example of what to look for in her future spouse. The life lessons you've taught her and the boys will be ones they will never forget. Never. I know this was a God thing. I'm so grateful that He intervened at the exact right time to change the course of our lives the way He did.

For all you are. For all you've done. Thank you, Dan. I fall more in love with you every day. You are amazing.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Fireless Valentine's Day and Carpe-ing 20 minutes

I'm a sap....sometimes, just not usually on days that I'm "supposed" to be sappy, like Valentine's Day. My husband tells me that's because I thrive on going against the grain, and maybe he's right. It's why I didn't say a word about "love" or "Valentine's Day" or anything lovey yesterday on facebook. I waited until this morning to post pictures and write this post. Don't ask me why. It's just who I am. In fact, this was the Valentine's post I posted last year on Valentine's Day.

I can't help. I just can't.

Anyways, as we get older, and as our kids get older, I'm not so involved in making Valentine's Day about Dan and I, not because I don't love him with everything in my being, but because I try to show him that all year round. I don't see Valentine's day as a holiday that is specifically geared to your significant other. I see it as a day of anyone I love. I try to make sure I'm kind to everyone on that day. I attempt to have more patience and give lots more hugs. I like to compliment more and make people laugh, and at the end of the day, I just want to scoop up my husband and my littles and squeeze them and tell them all about how much I love them. And that's what I did.

Dan and I woke up 10 minutes earlier than normal (because we are lazy and obviously weren't thinking that 10 minutes really was no time at all in the scheme of things) to make the kids our traditional breakfast. Pink, heart shaped pancakes and Dan's cheesy scrambled eggs. Mine were burnt and all lopsided like normal, and they wanted seconds of Dan's eggs, as per usual. They are very sweet to me however. They don't make me feel too bad that the bottoms of my pancakes are charred. They just eat the top half and everybody wins. :) Bonus: I didn't light candles this year or put their gifts in a bag with tissue paper as not to repeat the "Almost burning the house down" debacle of 2013.

I regifted the sweet stuffed animals that I had gotten from my students ( I kept the chocolate though because I don't want my kids to get cavities. I love them like that.) and Dan and I wrote cards to them about some of the things we love about them. It was a great start to our day.

This Valentine's Day marks the 10th anniversary of our first date. It was a "memorable" day to say the least. Let's just say the details are too embarrassing and too much information for this here little blog, but at least the food was good. So it was recreated: Chicken parmesan, cheesy potatoes and No bake Cheesecake.

Our kids loved it. We got all gussied up in our finest. I was conned into wearing my prom dress even though it doesn't zip all the way, and we had a dance party while dad slaved away in the kitchen making supper. The kids loved the meal, and we ended our night with a half game of Yahtzee (because sometimes I can't carpe an entire diem. Sometimes I can only carpe 20 minutes).

It was another day in the books my friends. Here are a few more fun moments from our last week!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Enjoying the Weekendy Things, but not so much the Weekday Things

I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend, even though they never seem to last as long as we'd like. While I'm ready for spring temperatures and blue skies with sunshine, there is still a part of me that enjoys days here and there where the excuse of "it's too cold outside" prompts more snuggles and movie days and longer days in our pajamas. But then I remember that I hate cold air, and I would really rather live in say, Florida, where I can use the excuse "It's too rainy to go outside" and do the same things. This winter, Florida is tempting me more and more......

Friday night, Dan celebrated a good friend's birthday by hitting the town for dinner and a movie. The kiddos and I cozied up in the living room for a blanket picnic of Kelly's cheeseballs, ice cream and sour skittles while watching The Croods on Netflix. Joyous night it was. We hit the hay early so we could be up at the crack of dawn for Carter's last wrestling meet of the season. Little man got his first 1st place win! Carter's gotten a lot of flack lately for being difficult, but this mama's pride level soared when a dad of one of the wrestlers came up to us after his last match and told us how impressed he was by Carter's sportsmanship. Carter had gone up to the boy and his dad to shake their hands and tell him 'good job'. And while he may have had a few slip up moments where he may have looked too smug when he told Melissa he made two boys cry, not to mention that he told anyone who would listen that he got first place, that one moment made it all worth it.

We celebrated the win with some Taco Johns and our first trip to the frozen yogurt shop. Best. Idea. Ever. I will be going back!

And while you know I love me some impromptu fun, Dawn sent out the all call for some girl time while the guys got to enjoy some hot tub time. So after lots of planning messages and finding a sitter, we were off to "Guacamole", the new Mexican restaurant which may not have the ambiance my husband so desires (or as good of a margarita as Los Tulipanes), but the conversations were just as awesome as they always are. And because I'm sentimental in the worst kind of way, I paused a moment to remind myself how incredibly blessed I am to have these girls in my life.

Sunday, we spent the day making Superbowl food and getting in a good workout so that I had an excuse to munch on all the great food. Our new family February challenge, a circuit workout, is a killer, and I'm learning that I apparently tend to put more emphasis on the right side of my body as I've been stiff and sore on that side for about 3 days straight! In fact, I walk with a slight limp! The party was a blast even though our team lost (or didn't show up. I'm not sure which). Good company makes everything better!

Our week, however, hasn't been as fun filled. Sawyer man woke up Monday morning with a horrible cough that he couldn't shake. By Monday night it had turned into a fever, and on Tuesday, we were home cuddling up in our jammies watching Caillou and taking extra long bubble baths that prune our fingers into raisins. With the nudging of my mom, I took him into the doctor when I went to town to pick up the kids, only to find out that he has Influenza A. Ugh. Just one more reason for us to move down South. This sickness and cold weather are killing us over here.

So, I'm home today. Dan's home tomorrow, and hopefully he's feeling better by the end of the week. His temp is slowly going down and he's not coughing as badly as he was on Monday. He actually got a full night sleep last night which makes for a well rested mama as well. Hopefully we can get some things crossed off the old to do list, and if not, we'll spend some good quality bonding time together in our big cozy chair.

Oh yes, and for the record, our mornings have been going a LOT more smoothly after some advice from a good friend. We started a sticker chart to earn screen time. He has checklists for before school and before bed and if he can cross them off without being told to keep moving or throwing a fit, he gets rewarded with a sticker. He also gets a sticker if we catch him being good (being nice to his siblings, doing something without being asked, doing his homework without reminders, etc.). If he does the opposite however, he gets an X on the chart. A sticker gets him 10 minutes on a screen and an X takes away ten. It's just a regular old sticker chart that you can get from any teacher supply store. I've seen them at Target too! If he gets a whole row of stickers, he earns an extra 15 minutes of screen time and if he fills his chart with less than three X's, he gets a date with mom and/or dad. It's been a brilliant idea so far! Thanks Nancy!

And thank you friends for all your kind words on the last post. It was difficult to write it, let alone post it. It's hard to admit your shortcomings in a world where you are criticized for being who you are. Sharing that with the "world" really motivated me to be accountable to be a better parent, but all of the e-mails, texts, comments and messages I got were more than I could have imagined. Just another reminder that we are all in this thing together. You are some good people. :)

Happy Hump Day!