Thursday, December 13, 2012

Feeling Helpless

One of the worst feelings as a mom is that of helplessness.  And this week, I have felt plenty of that!  Roman woke up on Wednesday whiny. I assumed he had a cold, but checked his temp anyways.  It was 98.7 so I wasn't really to worried.  We took Mia to school and headed home. The closer we got to home the whinier he got.  He walked in and went straight to the couch to lay down. Now, anyone who knows Roman, knows that is NOT how he works.  He is active, and ornery and all boy, all the time. So I knew something was wrong.  I took his temp again and it had spiked to 102.  And it has been all downhill since there.  This is my sad little boy on Wednesday morning before episode one of throwing up.

Wednesday consisted mostly of this:
Crying
cuddling
puking
laundry
motrin
sleep
and then repeat.  It was horrible.  He was so miserable and only wanted me. Thank GOD for my mom who ran an errand for me, picked Mia up from school, fed her lunch and got her all settled before leaving. As the night went on he was so tired and lethargic.  We knew it was bad when he fell asleep on the couch like this holding his new gun from sissy in an attempt to help him feel better.  

The night was long as he whined and tossed and turned all night.  This morning came and Josh took over Doctor duty!  These are the moments I am so thankful that I have a husband who never fusses over staying home with a sick kid.  We are all blessed that he realizes it is just as much his job as it is mine and he does it with grace, patience and love.  Roman ran a fever on and off all day on today.  I decided to make an appointment with the doctor just to make sure he was okay, even though we assumed it was the flu.  When I got home he was so tired and burning up, his skin was red and hot to the touch.  We decided to take his temp again, although Josh had just taken it 45 minutes before and it registered 100.  Josh took his temp, then again, then a third time and then handed me the thermometer to do it.  It was 105-106.  I freaked.  I didn't know what to do. I was helpless and scared.  I immediately called the Dr. who told me to strip him down, get him in a warm bath, push ice cold fluids and give a dose of tylenol.  It was horrible. Roman was screaming, He was cold, even though he was burning up. He drank the water but it made him puke. It was scary and I knew then that something was wrong.
I changed his jammies and packed him up for the doctors. We got there and the nurse immediately ran a pulse ox, his was only at 92.  A breathing treatment was started. We saw a new doctor and I was SO impressed.  He was kind, calm and wonderful with Roman, who was now being a little show off since the motrin had kicked in.  And then the results were in....You ready for it:
Double ear infection
Walking pneumonia
Drainage and a red throat and...
Pink eye!!

Poor baby no wonder who is miserable. So 3 meds later and breathing treatments every 4 hours, we are home and Roman is sleeping and we are praying he is better soon.
It is in moments like this that I realize how precious my kids are to me. It reminds me that there are parents out there who deal with scary moments far too often.  It is times like this, I am thankful for insurance, doctors, family and friends.  And in moments like this that even in the midst of exhaustion, I love that he wants me to hold him, cuddle him and sing him one more song.  



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving thanks

The food has been eaten, the dishes are done, the family is gone and the babes are in bed, now it's time to stop and remember what I am thankful for this year.

My husband: I am so thankful I have been blessed with a man who is not only an amazing husband but an awesome daddy as well.  He cleans, he provides, he plays with the kids, he takes off work when kids are sick without ever complaining, he loves unconditionally, encourages me in so many ways, he is...everything I prayed for and then some.

Mia: A sweet, smart, artsy 4.5 year old who loves to play mom.  She loves school, is kind, polite and always has a concern for others.  She is creative and loves art, music and theater. She also loves God and makes me proud so often as a mom.

Roman:  A silly, rambunctious, active 2.5 year old who loves to play trucks, wrestle, read books and still loves to cuddle his mommy.  He melts my heart and helps me work on my patience quite often :)

My job: I am thankful for a job that I love. I love that I get to build relationships with students and help them in so many areas of their life. I love that my boss and coworkers GET family, and realize that sometimes work comes 2nd.  I feel so grateful that I get to do what I love at a part time schedule

Family: I am thankful for my family tonight.  For inlaws I love and get along with well and for my immediate family.  I love that even though my parents are divorced, we can spend holidays together with laughter and joy. I love that my kids have cousins their age to play with, grow with and laugh with.

Friends:  Over the years friendships have changed and I am so thankful for the friends that have stuck with me along the way and the new ones I have met throughout the journey.  Each one is valuable and holds a special place in my heart.

There is so much more I am thankful for, but this is a start.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Big News and Big Disappointment

So there is big news in the Stocking Household...no it's not a baby, so don't get excited.  As of October 16th (my 8th wedding anniversary) I will officially be a student again.  This time a graduate student.  I enrolled at St. Ambrose in their Masters of Organizational Leadership program.  I will take the majority of my classes there focusing on leadership development and team building, while taking my elecitives from Lewis University to receive a concentration in Training and Development.  This is something I have wanted for years, talked about, prayed about and Josh and I finally decided there is no better day than today.  I would eventually love to do more training, maybe even teach some training/communications/public speaking courses.  In getting my Masters and working at Ambrose the doors begin to open at a much faster rate. So when the opportunity arises, I will be ready AND qualified.
So why the disappointment?
Well, as a a mom, I tend to have lots of "mom" friends.  And it just so happens lots of those friends are stay at home moms.   And while I value that job tremendously  I also know that that is not a job that I would do well.  And so as I have started to share my news, I have been met with blank stares and "oh...." responses and just general unenthusiastic responses.  This has made me sad on a number of levels, one because I know I will never make the announcement that will make them jump for joy, "I'm quitting my job and staying home", and two because I realize how at 31 years old I still yearn for the approval of my peers. I wish it wasn't like that.  I wish I could stand confident in my decision and to my husband and peers at work I do, but in the midst of moms who respond like they do, I feel defeat and guilt that I am making a wrong choice.   
I don't know what the next two years will hold.  I know it will be filled with night classes, homework, papers, anxiety and wonder.   However, I hope at the end of the journey I will look back and feel confident in knowing that I have what is right for my family and myself in order to be the best ME I can be.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Independence

Today marked another year in our tradition of visiting the Pride of the Wapsi pumpkin farm. We started doing this when Mia was a baby and have continued since. It is always fun to watch the kids ride the ponies and sit in the barrel train and pick pumpkins.
But this year was different...
It was fun and exciting, yet different.
This year there were no strollers or baby carriers.
This year mommy and daddy didn't ride in the barrel train with the kids.  Instead we stood by the gate taking pictures and waving from afar.
This year, Mia rode the pony by herself and I only walked with Bubs.
This year, on the hayrack ride out to get pumpkins Mia sat by herself, holding on the rail, because "she was big now".
This year they did every activity with excessive laughter and joy, including all the tunnels and blow up mazes by themselves (except for the one blowup maze I had to go in after them, after they couldn't figure their way out.
This year was different.

As I stood on the side I was filled with a sense of pride and saddness at the same time. It was awesome to watch our kids play so joyfully and so independently.  Yet it saddened me to think that their would be no more strollers or baby carriers with these 2 at these events. They are getting bigger, they are growing up.  They are becoming even more independent and it's happening all before our eyes.

Today was a reminder of how much fun we are having as a family, and it was also a reminder that I need to cherish these moments, because they are growing up way to quickly!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Let's try this again

So it seems every now and then I am reminded at how much I love reading and writing blogs.  I have missed going back and reading what we have been up to as a family.  So I am attempting to start again. Let 's see how long I can keep it up this time :)

Here is a rundown of what everyone is doing:
Mia -

  • Almost 4.5
  • Going to preschool everyday and LOVING every minute of it, her favorite part of school is Crafts. She often tells us she plays by herself because was busy doing crafts.
  • Loves performing - singing, dancing, making up stories, acting
  • She loves riding her bike (with training wheels)
  • Learned how to swing all by herself this summer, including getting herself started and pumping her legs
  • Took swimming class and did amazing. She was able to front float, back float and bob all by herself
  • She is kind and loving and polite
Roman -

  • Turned 2 in May
  • Is going to PDO 2 days a week and LOVES it. (Seriously, my kids LOVE school, I hope they never lose that love)
  • Learned to ride his Balance Trike and can last for over 2 mile bike rides on his own
  • Loves his big sister
  • Loves to sing, dance, make people laugh
  • Playing trucks, dinosaurs, or wrestling is his favorite past time
  • He can crush a baseball off a tee
  • He has NO fear of water and loves to swim


Josh -

  • Still working in the Detective Bureau and enjoying his role
  • Played 2 seasons of softball (summer and fall)
  • Loves wrestling with the kids, or anything physical
  • He is still responsible for Mia's bedtime and they make up stories every night to tell


Heather -

  • Still working part time as a Career Counselor
  • I have started exploring Master's Degree Programs
  • Roman and I have an awesome bedtime routine I love
  • I have picked up running and am hoping to complete my 1st Half Marathon in May
  • I started blogging for the Mom's Blog and am loving being able to have that outlet
  • Looking into learning how to crochet in my near future


Family -

  • We bought a new house, and it is amazing
  • We had an awesome summer, spent with lots of swimming, bike riding, hiking, etc
  • We do prayers with every meal and the kids remind us if we forget
  • We started doing hi/low at meal times (more on that later) and it has been a great way to communicate with the kids
  • Life is good! :) 

Monday, February 06, 2012

One of those days...

This weekend consisted of "one of those days". This past week was crazy, I was in Wisconsin for work for 3 days, came home, worked on my day off Friday, only to go back to work on Saturday for a work conference. Saturday hit me like a ton of bricks. First thing in the morning I got notification that my mentor from church lost her son to cancer. He was 33 years old, that's just 3 years older than I am. My sister was induced to have her baby, a beautiful baby girl named, Mariella Isabel. She is stunning and tiny and has that brand new baby look. It was wonderful. And my dear friend announced she was pregnant. It's amazing and I love pregnancy and babies. It was overwhelming the emotions I felt, the way the day consumed me. And then I cried, I cried a lot. I cried for the better part of the day and night. I took a nap and fell asleep crying only to awake and start crying again. Why the emotional overload? I think there are a number of reasons. One is the thought that Josh and I are done. There will be no more pregnancy announcements from me, no announcing the gender or sharing the name. There will be no more new baby in my arms that I show off to the world. My "babies" are almost 2 and almost 4. It was hard to think of a day that included life ending, life beginning and the birth of a new baby. Talk about the circle of life. My perspective has gotten better over the last couple of days, however, I am not sure as someone who has battled infertility those feelings will ever go away. It's hard, but why? Why am I still jealous, sad, angry when it's not me? I don't know. I wish I did. I wish I could just enjoy and celebrate with others immediately instead of having to process through my own feelings first. It will get better, right? I hope so!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Guest Blogger Post

Here is a link to the blog Josh and I wrote about the 5 Love Languages. It was so fun to do together and such a great reminder of what we need to do to make the other feel loved.
http://www.quadcitymomsblog.com/2012/01/23/what-language-do-you-speak/

Fun Day...Or Not!!

Wednesday night I went to bed in preparation of taking Thursday off to volunteer at Mia's Fun Day at school. She was so excited mommy was going to be there and I was so excited to be able to volunteer. That is exactly one of the reasons I have chosen to work part time, so I can help at things like this. All was going well, until 3am when I woke up nauseous, sweating and knowing something was wrong. I was right. I threw up for the next 4 hours. My body hurt and I was exhausted. There was a part of me that knew I couldn't go volunteer, I was WAY to tired, but when your 3.5 year old comes in and says in the sweetest, saddest voice "Mommy, you're too sick to come to Fun Day", my heart broke and I mustered up every ounce of energy I had and went to fun day. I got to be in the Mitten Room. We read stories about mittens, hid mittens so the kids could find them and then they had a relay to dress the adult in winter clothes (hat, coat, mittens, scarves, boots, etc). It was cute and fun and when Mia's group came through she couldn't have been happier I was there. As the morning went on, I got more and more nauseous and weak. To top off our fun morning, we got the call from daycare that Roman had diarrhea AGAIN!! Seriously, this is about the 3rd week. Kerri changed 3 diapers in 20 minutes and the last one required a bath AND an outfit change! UGH!! So I picked him up and we headed home. I put the kids down early for nap and passed out myself. Josh got home from work and back to sleep I went. I slept until 7, got up and saw the kids and went back to bed at 8. The next morning I was feeling mostly better, just super tired. However, we had a new problem, Josh was sick. THANK GOD he did not throw up. This is a huge praise, because when Josh gets the flu it is very very bad news!!! So I took the kids downstairs, we ate breakfast and then it happened. Roman vomited ALL OVER!! All over the pillow, his blanket, another blanket, himself, the carpet. OH MY!! I had Mia go get Josh to help me. To say it was an eventful day is an understatement. As I writing this I am thinking we are mostly all back to health, and thanks to lots of prayers Mia has not gotten in. That is nothing short of a miracle, and I will take it! We are continuing to pray for health for her and the rest of us.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My new workout buddy

The past two nights Mia and I have gone to the gym by ourselves. We have left the boys home, since Josh gets to work out during his lunch break and Roman is just getting done being sick, so we didn't want to take any chances. So after my workout the last two nights I have gone downstairs, picked up Mia and her and I head up to the track. It's been a blast. We giggle, walk fast and then she takes off running and wants me to chase her around the track. Some probably think we are annoying, or that it's inappropriate to have my 3.5 year old working out, but I LOVE it. I love her wanting to workout, we talk about being healthy, and she gets to exert some energy. At the end of both workouts, she has looked at me with the sweetest smile and said "Mommy I want to do this every day with you!" I love building these memories with her!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Special Person

Today at school Mia was special person. She brought home this large piece of paper that we got to fill out including pictures of her, her family, her friends and her favorites.
She identified her favorite food as ice cream (which is funny because we rarely have ice cream), her favorite books are Princesses and The Bible. When she identified her friends she wanted to put a picture of her and Cam on their carriage ride. And the best part was when asked what she wants to be when she grows up she answered...A Ballerina. At school today Josh and I got to go at the end of her class to read a book of her choice to the class. Her face lit up as Josh and I walked in. I love that moment. She sat on my lap while I read Llama Llama mad at mama to the class. I loved hearing all the giggles from the kids and I loved being able to share that moment with Mia. I also appreciate that Josh left work too to be a part of the moment. We were literally there 15 minutes before we left and both had to go back to work. But she loved it! And so did we.

On a side note, I took her to the gym tonight while Josh and Roman stayed home. On the way to the gym we were talking about Roman and how he is learning to be nice (not push, not pull hair, share, etc). Here is the jist of how the conversation went:
Me: Yes, Roman is still learning what is kind, we have to help him
Mia: yes, but I still love him so much
Me: that's so great, he loves you too.
Mia: Mom, Roman's kind of naughty now, but he's just learning. When I'm 4 i'm not going to be naughty anymore, I'm going to use good listening.
Me: well, that's great, that makes mommy very proud
Mia: Also when I am 4 I can help and put Roman in time-out and tell him that's not kind.
Me: well, I think Mommy and Daddy will put Roman in time-out if he needs it
Mia: but when I'm 4 I can put him in time-out too.

I just had to laugh. I guess when you are 4, you are ALL grown up.
I just love her!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bottled giggles

There are times when I wish there was a way to bottle giggles. Tonight was one of those. After dinner, we spent time in the living room as a family, singing songs like "Wheels On the Bus" and "Happy and you know it". However, the real giggles didn't come until we decided to sing "Baby Bumblebee". I don't know if it's the first time we've really sang it in front of Roman, or he was just in one of those moods, but at the end of every song, when we'd sing "OUCH, it just stung me", he would launch into a fit of the giggles. It was contagious, I was laughing, Mia and Josh were laughing and Roman just couldn't stop the wide open mouth, belly laughing, giggle. I loved it!! He would then say "MORE, MORE" and put his hands together like he was holding his bumblebee. We sang it probably 20 times, each time laughing just as much as the time before.

It is times like this that I wish we could bottle that sweet, innocent laughter. The kind that makes you smile so hard you almost want to cry. The look of joy on the kids' face during this time was just amazing. I love these moments and even in the midst of our crazy life, I want to make sure I remember these precious, joyous, belly laughing, giggling type of moments!

In a side note, I met friends for coffee this morning, although I don't think any of us had actual coffee! :) My friend, Emily, moved away awhile ago and we miss her tons, so whenever she comes in town we try to get together. This morning 5 of us got together and it was wonderful. I am constantly reminded how much I need these friends in my life. They "get it". They get kids, parenting, working, daycare, cleaning, being creative, learning, need I go on, they just get it. I felt refreshed after our chat. I love knowing that I'm in the same stage, dealing with the same craziness as so many other moms. Abbie and I are hoping to plan a mini-vacay with the big kids (Mia and Campbell) to go visit Emily and Jackson. How fun!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And it happens AGAIN!

I posted awhile back that we have been dealing with the sickies. Well, we still aren't over it. Seriously, how long can one family be sick. Roman has been dealing with a bronchial "thing", coughing, wheezing, etc. We started him on his nebulizer like usual, but it didn't seem to give him much relief, so we called the doctor and started him on prednisone (which we ALSO have a standing prescription for). On day 3, he still didn't seem better and so I knew a call to the doctor would be in order but before I could get that far the real fun started. I went to get him out of his room on Wednesday morning and the stench coming from his room was horrific. I walk in and the poor baby had vomited all over his crib AND to top it off had diarrhea too. OH MY!! In the half hour he was awake while I waited for the doctor to open he had diarrhea 7, yes 7 times!! UGH!! We got to the doctor and he looks great, ears are fine and we are given the "virus" diagnosis. That basically means, sit around and wait for it to get better. So we are waiting, we have been giving him water to keep him hydrated, he is eating dry cereal and toast for almost every meal (if he eats) and we have been doing LOTS of laundry, thanks to the serious case of runs he still has.
At least he is in great spirits, playing, cuddling and being as sassy as ever. I just hope he starts feeling better soon. I hate seeing him not feeling well and I know even though he's acting normal his belly can not be feeling well.
On another note, Roman being sick has reminded me how blessed I have been with a husband who goes above and beyond what most dads do. Today I needed to be at work, because I had multiple meetings and although Josh also had lots on his plate he volunteered to stay home. I got to work and got the call that Roman had the most massive blowout yet, out the diaper, down the leg, up the back, on the carpet, you name it, it was there. He changed him, bathed him, cleaned up and still got Mia to school on time. But that's not all, he washed the dirty laundry, vacuumed, dusted and put away the clean laundry and took care of a sick baby.

Seriously how did the kids and I get blessed with a man who does this and never once complains? A man who has broken a cycle and has been the kind of dad that I would love our son to grow up and mimic. A man who has incredible work ethic, dedication, faith, loyalty and a commitment to succeed. A man who TRULY gets what it means to be a daddy, to roll around on the floor and wrestle, pray at dinner and bedtime, read books, play dress up, dance with his daughter in the living room and yet disciplines with love so that our children may grow up and have the best chance at succeeding at life. I may not say it enough but I thank God everyday for blessing me with the perfect partner to raise our children with.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

20 months

Today our little man turned 20 months. In just 4 short months, he will be 2. This is crazy. I can't believe he is growing up before my eyes so quickly. Here is what Roman is doing:
He can identify most animals and the sounds they make
He loves trucks and throwing balls
He LOVES playing with his sister, usually running around chasing each other and screaming
He still only has 6 front teeth and 4 molars
He has crazy hair (it grows super fast and does whatever it wants) He has had at least 5 haircuts
He loves his "bankie"
He loves to do prayers
He loves VeggieTales
He loves to dance
He doesn't like getting his diaper changed or getting dressed
He LOVES BATHS and would take them 20 times a day!
He runs, jumps, climbs on anything he can find
He loves to torment his dog by climbing on her
He is still a mama's boy
He is Amazing!!

We have been blessed with one of the cutest, sweetest, most loving and definitely ornery boys. He has made us complete. The bond between him and Mia is incredible. It's hard to remember what life was like before him and we are thankful for all we have been blessed with.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Perspective

One of the things I have been trying to work on is PERSPECTIVE. There have been a number of situations lately where I have needed a change in perspective. Today was one of them. Roman is sick...again. I feel like one or more of our family has been fighting something since the beginning of November! I am over the sickies. Anyways, he is sick with a cold. He stayed home from daycare with my mom today and while acting normal you could see he was so tired. Naptime came, I got Mia settled in her room for quiet time, did prayers with Roman, laid him down and...he started screaming and crying. Now he will normally do this for 2-3 minutes, so I said "night-night" and walked out. 10 minutes later he was still crying so I went and checked on him. He was standing there crying, I laid him back down and left again. The crying continued. So I went and got him and brought him downstairs to rock him. He laid on my chest and relaxed and then started getting restless. So I took him back upstairs, laid him down and again...he started screaming. At this point I was starting to get annoyed and frustrated, I know I shouldn't have, but I had a thousand things to do in the hour and a half Mia was doing "quiet time". I had accomplished "ZERO" of the things on my list. I went back in, he grabbed his "bankie", I picked him up and he clung to me, wrapping his arms so tight, I felt my heart flutter at his need for me. I took him to our room and laid down in the bed with him. I covered him with his blankie, sang him a song and as we both drifted off to a much needed nap, I felt my perspective change. He is growing up, faster than I can believe sometimes, there will come a day when he won't me to cuddle him, or sing him to sleep. I realized my list could wait, because these moments won't. I felt a sense of peace I haven't felt in awhile. It's amazing what a little nap with a sick baby who is completely dependent on you can do for your life perception. I am so blessed to be a mom to 2 very special babies, and although I am so sad that Roman is sick today, I am thankful that I had the time to stop and enjoy him, even in these moments.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Prayer Time

One of the commitments we have made as a family is to pray before meals. Mia usually leads prayer and then Josh follows up by praying for the family. This has been such a blessing to us. We have started doing this at family holiday dinner with extended family and even in public at restaurants as we are trying to be more intentional and bold in our faith. Mia does a great job praying and loves to also pray before nap and bed. Recently Roman has started trying to sing the prayer that Mia does at meals and will usually end with a rousing "AAAA-men!" It's adorable and melts my heart everytime.

We realized that we had not been praying WITH Roman before bed, we pray for him but not with him. So I have started praying with him at night before bed, we go in his room, get his "bankie" and he cuddles up on my shoulder while I pray. It is sweet and reminds me of how great God is in those moments.

The other night, Roman was throwing a fit for bedtime. I asked if he wanted to do prayers with mommy and he said no, I told him that he would need to go in his crib then, he clung to me, laid down and as I started to pray he instantly calmed. I am amazed at how even in a young child, the comfort of God can do overwhelming things.

I then sing the chorus of "You are Stronger" to him and he goes to bed calm and quiet. Mia has also been asking me to sing her this song more and more. She has now starting singing with me while I sing. This song is the one I sang to her as we endured a lot of testing when she was young and going through horrible procedures. I would sing loudly in her ear and she would calm down. I have started singing it again and have enjoyed watching her relax and enjoy the song as much as I do.

We sang it at church the other day, and I can't help but sing it and start to cry. It reminds me of how God brought us through a really rough path, how He taught us to enjoy and treasure every moment of our children, how He blessed her with health and healing and how He lives in their hearts at such a young age.

I don't know the plans God has for them long term and I don't know the path they will take to follow the Lord, but I know today that I will foster and enjoy every moment that they pray, sing or praise from the innocence of their childhood.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

A new committment to staying updated

I think I might be starting to sound like a broken record. As the start of 2012 has arrived I have realized a lot of things. I have realized my kids are growing up before my eyes, I am getting older, I am striving to accomplish and learn new things and the reality is there will come a day when I don't remember the many things we, as a family, have done.
In 2012 I have resolved to be better about keeping this blog. I am sure NO ONE reads this, but I really want to write down what is going on in our lives...for so many reasons; so I remember, so I can share it with the kids someday and so that at the end of the year I can be reminded of the many things God has blessed us with. So to start I will give quick updates on us and see if I can be dedicated enough to continue this...here we go!

I'll start with Roman:
He is currently 19.5 months and the most active, ornery, loving, funny boy I've ever met. He melts my heart everyday and is growing smarter by the moment. One of the last posts I made was about his physical therapy and that is all a sign of the past. He is running, jumping, climbing, and anything else physical you can think of. He talks up a storm (only we can probably understand), he ADORES his big sister more than anything. He loves to do prayers at nighttime. He finds comfort in his "bankie" (his blanket my aunt made him). He loves to go to church nursery and the gym. He LOVES baths. He is amazing. He also loves to challenge us, be ornery and see how far he can push the limits. He is our "all boy"!!

Mia:
Where do I start with her? She has become such a sweet, smart, polite little girl. Yes, she has her moments, but what 3.5 year old doesn't. She leads mealtime prayers, uses her manners quite frequently without prompting, she loves to draw, color, cut and do crafts. She loves Barbies and princesses and REALLY wants to marry her daddy "because she loves him so much". She loves her great-grandma who passed when she was 8 months old, she carries pictures around of her and pretends to talk to her. I love that my grandma lives on through her. She is a mother hen, sometimes to a fault, she loves Roman and I love the relationship they are developing.

Josh:
He has worked so hard this past year to get us in a place where we are financial smart and secure. He still loves his job and we LOVE having him home more. He has learned many new things about fixing things at the house and has done a great job. He is an amazing father and husband. He taught Mia how to ride her bike and will never turn down an opportunity to wrestle on the floor with the kids.

Me:
This has been a year of many things. Josh and I took our first vacation since our honeymoon with no kids to Cabo San Lucas and it was AMAZING!!! I fell in love with him all over again. He got me an acoustic guitar for Christmas that I am going to try and learn to play!! I am disgusted with my body and weight and so we joined a gym and I have been busting my butt trying to get in shape. I have decided that I need a new perspective and this year is going to be one of positivity, and growth. Work is amazing and I love that I am continually supported and encouraged to grow.

Family:
It is amazing being a family of 4, and that's what we are. We will never be 5 or 6, we are 4. I have had to come to terms with that this past year. Through that process I have realized how immensely blessed I have been with 2 healthy children, who love us, love each other and love the Lord. We are finding our niche and I am starting to really love and appreciate who we are as a family of 4.

Well that is the update. The goal now to stay more UPDATED!!! Let's see how I do :)