Saturday, August 28, 2010

Picnic with the Girls

Mike and I wanted to make sure and do something special and fun with the girls this last weekend before Mabrie arrives. We've been enjoying some nice weather the past couple of days so we decided to pack up a picnic lunch and head to the Nature Center here in Fort Smith. It was my first time out there and I have to say, it's a nice little place. There were people out in canoes, kayaks and others fishing from the docks. It was a perfect way to spend our afternoon. After lunch under one of the pavilions, we took some bread and let the girls feed the ducks and then walked all throughout the center looking at the different wildlife that lives in and around our area. It was totally free and a lot of fun!

I'm glad we got to do something special with them. It didn't cost a thing, but they have talked about it all day. Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most, isn't it?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Labor Day Weekend - Literally

We are now just 1 week away from meeting our new family member! I'm hoping that by this time next Friday, I'll be holding little Mabrie and showing her off to our family and friends. I kind of laugh when I think about her being born on Labor Day weekend. It's taking on a whole new meaning to me! :) My prayer is that we have a safe, healthy and quick labor and delivery and that there are no complications. I have enjoyed a wonderful pregnancy and couldn't be more thankful. Actually, I've had 3 great pregnancies. No sickness, no bed rest, no real "issues" - that is such a huge blessing. I don't take it for granted either. I have many, many friends who have dealt with lots of sickness and other things during their pregnancies and I understand that I am probably not the "norm".

With just a week to go, I find myself trying to get as much done and ready as possible. I want to head to the hospital next week knowing that my house is in order so that I don't come home to a mess or a bunch of laundry. Thankfully, we have family coming to visit and I know that they will help me so much. My mom has already said she'll spend one day cleaning my blinds for me! HA! I mentioned to her a while back that I am so bad about cleaning blinds and she goes, "well, I'll just get those all clean when I get there in September!" I remember when I had Maddie, and she was here, I left the house for just a little bit to run to the store or something and when I got home, my whole house smelled like Pine Sol (and if you know me, you know that it ranks right up there as one of my favorite smells). I was like, "Mom, what were you doing while I was gone?" She goes, "Oh just cleaning your blinds and window sills." So, 4 1/2 years later, they are probably due for another good cleaning! :) Told you I was bad about cleaning those things.

My friend Sarah is already working on organizing meals for us after Mabrie gets here! How great to have friends like that! She's on the ball with the planning and I'm so grateful! Again, having meals provided those first couple of weeks is just so helpful. I know we'll all be exhausted and knowing that I don't have to cook is such a blessing. We have such a loving and giving Sunday School class and they are always so willing to jump in and help anyone who needs it. This time it's us on the receiving end and we hope they all know that it is so appreciated!

I'm looking forward to spending our last weekend as a family of 4 together and enjoying some special time with Macie and Maddie. We don't have anything big planned - but hopefully tomorrow we can get out and enjoy the pretty weather and maybe have a picnic or something. It's hard to believe that just next weekend we'll have 3 kids in the house! We are officially outnumbered - but I'm up for the challenge!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Check back soon for updates and pictures!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to Mike

Today is Mike's 32nd birthday! We have now celebrated 15 years worth of birthdays as a couple - either as a dating, engaged or married couple! We started dating when he was just 17 years old! WOW - we were young and time has just flown by! 15 years ago, if you would have asked me where I saw myself when we were in our 30's, my answer would have been just about where we currently are now. I always saw myself as a stay at home mommy, with 3 or 4 kids. And while all of that has happened as I thought it would, our married life has taken us on one adventure after another. We've moved 3 times and through each of those moves, we have grown as a couple, as a family and, most importantly, in our relationship with the Lord. I'm so thankful for where God has led us these past 9 1/2 years. I would have never picked this path for our lives, but that's what is great about it - I wouldn't have picked it, but it's exactly what we needed and God knew that and had a plan all along. We love our life together. We love the children we've been blessed with. We love our home, church, friends and couldn't be more thankful.

Mike is an amazing husband and father. He loves me and our kids. But the best thing about him is that he loves someone else even more than he loves us - he loves the Lord. That is what makes him a great husband and father. He is a hard worker and has more ambition than anyone I know. He strives to be the best at everything he does. He is a wonderful provider for our family. He is funny - but he saves most of his humor for me! :) He is quiet and gentle but also is the leader of our home and the disciplinarian. Our kids listen to their daddy. They love and adore him. He is consistent and trustworthy.

I'm so glad that 15 years ago, I got over the fact that I was a BIG 19 year old who wondered if it would be weird to date a 17 year old guy. I'm so glad that when Mike was in 8th grade and one of his buddies asked him "who do you think you'll marry?" - his answer was "Chrissy" and they all laughed at him - but he knew that we were meant to be - even then. (I guess all the other 8th grade boys thought he was wishful thinking since I was a cool 10th grader then! HAHAH!) We've had so much fun the past 15 years. I can't wait to celebrate MANY, MANY more birthdays together!

I love you, Mike! Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Little Preschooler

Maddie started back to Preschool today and couldn't have been more excited! She started asking to leave the house about 45 minutes before time to actually go. This year, she is in class with one of her best little friends, Alyssa, and that made her even more excited to get there. When we got to school, the teacher came to the door to greet her and before I could snatch a quick hug or kiss goodbye, she was in the room playing and never looked back. What a difference this is from just a couple years ago. This is the little girl that just a couple years ago would have been clinging to my leg, crying and now she marches in to her class like she owns the place. I'm so happy. I really would rather her forget to tell me bye than having to stand there and peel her off my leg and shove her in the room. We've come a long way, baby girl!

I'm finding it hard to believe that this is her last year of Preschool. Next year, she goes to "real" school and I don't know that I'm ready for it. It seems like Macie was just walking into that kindergarten class and now it's almost Maddie's turn. Everyone says not to blink, because one minute they are babies and the next they are teenagers. I now know that to be true. Macie is closer to being a teenager than she is to being a toddler. And Maddie is no longer that little baby that she used to be. I'm so thankful that in just a week and a half, we will have another baby in our home. Yep, we're starting over. Yep, life will be different than it is now. Nope, we won't get as many date nights as we are used to. But, children are a blessing from the Lord and our lives are richer because of them. Because of them, our lives are full of love and joy that without them, we'd never know. They grow up fast and I'm looking so forward to treasuring the time with Mabrie that I have so enjoyed with Macie and Maddie. And, I'm loving the special time of having 2 kids that are a little older and aren't "babies" anymore. They are so much fun and I look forward to what the years ahead hold for them, too.

I love my girls. I can't wait to love on another!

Maddie with her Tinkerbell Gear

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of School

Today was the day - back to school and the much loved routine! I woke Mace up around 6:50 and that was a shock to her little system! :) She looked at her clock and said "Mommy, why are you getting me up at 6!" I told her it was almost 7 and we had to get moving! We had plenty of time this morning and it wasn't rushed and hectic, which is just how I wanted it. I like for her to be able to get ready, eat and watch a show for a few minutes before racing out the door. I thought that by now (2nd grade) that I'd drop her off and drive away without any tears - I thought wrong. No tears for her, just tears for me! Goodness! It's not like this is my first time! But, I'm telling you, there's something about seeing your child hop out of the car, backpack strapped on, lunch box in hand and off to a new year that just pulls at the heartstrings! At least it pulls at mine anyway - I'm sure there are some momma's out there that are shoving their kids out the door, but that's just not me. She was and has been so excited for this school year to start and that does make it easier. I know she'll have a great first day and I can't wait to hear all about it!

With all her Hello Kitty Gear

Maddie giving her a hug good-bye for the day

My sweetheart!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

School Time

Well, just one more day before we start back to the school year routine! The girls and I are both ready. We went to Macie's "Back to School Picnic" tonight and said hi to her new teacher and saw all the kids that are in her class this year. We are so excited about her teacher - she actually had her last year for reading and spelling and absolutely loved her! She's been asking all summer if I thought she would get Mrs. Noetzol this year and I kept telling her that I didn't know, but not to be upset if she didn't. I think she will do really well in her class this year and have a great time.

Maddie starts back on Monday and couldn't be more ready! She LOVES her preschool and this year she has one of her very best friends in her class! They are going to have a ball together! Hard to believe that this time next year she will be in Kindergarten. The time goes so fast.

And just a little more than 2 weeks from now and we'll have our 3rd little bundle with us! :)

I'll make sure and post pictures on Thursday of Macie as she heads off to her first day of 2nd grade!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Summer

WOW! Where did our summer go?! Seems like we were just packing up Macie's desk and telling her teacher goodbye in May and now it's time to start back up again! We have had a great summer break. We went to Destin, FL with my family in June, visited some family in early July and spent a lot of time with friends here at home. I love having a break in the day to day routine during the summer months. We get to sleep in a little, enjoy lazy mornings and play outside until nearly 9:00 in the evenings. The days are long and although it's been HOT (miserable, actually), we enjoy having Mike home from work around 5:00 and still having hours of sunlight to play outside as a family.

This summer has been especially exciting for all of us because as we get closer to the start of school, we also get closer to welcoming our new family member! Mabrie will arrive on Sept. 3rd and possibly sooner if she so chooses! I'm finding myself thinking about her more and more each day! What will she look like? What are the girls going to think of having a baby in the house? Will Baby Wise work on her like it did Macie and Maddie - I have a feeling it will! :) I am just so excited! I know that it will take some adjusting from what we are used to right now, but it's an adjustment that is more than worth it! I can't wait to see family pictures that include all 5 of us! How great will that be?! 3 weeks to go - YAY!

We started back to the "regular" bedtime of 8:00 with the girls tonight. They have been staying up until 9:00 or so all summer and I thought that we better give it a good week before school starts to get them back on their schedules and used to going to bed earlier and getting up a little earlier so that when next Thursday gets here, it's not such a shock!

I'm looking forward to getting back to the school year routine. I love summertime, but I also enjoy being on a schedule and I think it's time to get back to it! Macie starts 2nd grade next week and Maddie will be in Pre-K the following week! They are both so ready and very excited about a new school year - and so am I!

So long summer - it's been fun!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Debit Card Fraud, Flying Tree Limbs & Braxton Hicks Contractions

Yeah, I guess you could say that my day has been wild and totally random! Who knew so many things could happen over just a 2-3 hour time span?! I got up today and did a few things around the house and then decided to get ready and take the girls to the mall to play and eat a quick lunch. We were just getting ready to walk out the door and I had this weird feeling that I needed to check my bank account. Mike and I look at our accounts daily, but normally it's in the evening and rarely as I'm walking out the door. I know for a fact that the Lord prompted that thought and I'm so thankful I didn't ignore it. I grabbed my computer and logged on to my bank account only to find that the bank had transferred quite a bit of money from our savings to our checking. I was stumped! I knew that we hadn't made any big purchases but didn't think it could be fraud. As I got looking at the pending transactions, I realized quickly that something was wrong. The charges had all been done in Las Vegas, NV. I quickly grabbed the phone and called my bank to see what needed to be done. Long story short, someone had actually made a counterfeit debit card with my account number on it and had been going to town. The bank immediately closed my card out and put all the money back into my account. The lady told me that since I had caught the charges while they were still in the "pending" phase that it was much easier to cancel those transactions and return the money. I'm so thankful that I checked it and got it taken care quickly. If you don't check your accounts daily, I'd recommend starting - it will save you a lot of head aches if ever there is fraud on your account.

So, I got that taken care of and the girls and I headed out. We got to the mall play area and while I sat there watching the girls, I started feeling some serious Braxton Hicks. Nothing too concerning, but strong enough to know that something was happening. They came and went throughout the afternoon and I'm praying that maybe this means little Mabrie will decide to come on her own a couple weeks early! :) I'm not getting my hopes up, but I sure wouldn't mind if she decided to arrive near the end of this month!

After a couple hours at the mall, we loaded up to head home. As we are flying down the interstate, I see the cars in front of me slamming on their brakes and whipping over to the median. Thankfully, the guy in front of me got out of the way quick enough for me to see the tree limbs right in the middle of my lane. I slowed down as quickly as I could and got into the other lane to avoid barreling over the top of the limbs. Again, the Lord protected us and kept us from what could have been a bad accident. Sometimes we just don't even realize how God is watching over us and keeping us from harm. I'm so thankful for a God that protects his children. We were protected from what could have been a major financial disaster with our bank account and then protected from injury or harm from a car accident - all in the same day! God is good - All the time!!

I'm hoping that the rest of the day is less eventful - except for the Braxton Hicks - those can keep on coming! HAHA! Anything to speed along that process is a welcome event!