Monday, August 31, 2015

junior varsity. junior peewee. repeat.

Football season has begun!

Mondays or Tuesdays we watch Peyton (our oldest - #20). Saturdays we watch Tayt (number four - #3). Peyton is on JV. Tayt is Jr Peewee. I'm very glad these games don't land on the same day(s). I'm not looking forward to divide and conquer!

We did the math and calculated Tayt is aboutttt 20 pounds heavier than Peyton was at this age. Game changer, folks. 

Tayt is doing a great job. He's not so sure. Proud mom. :)

and of course, his biggest fans keeping busy during his first game.

half of our tribe. well, except that little one on the right. he belongs to Casey. they're cute. and catching a genuine smile from Dave. love it!

Dave's pretty serious at these games. We don't talk much while watching ;)

again, serious.

that look!

he's really the best.

I know nothing about football, but I do feel as though my yelling during games will make them win. for sure. I'm quite certain Peyton agrees.

he's about to do something super important here. block... tackle... something maybe ;)

looking forward to lots and lotsss more football!

Monday, August 17, 2015


I was asked to write a blog post regarding 9 months of pregnancy. Don't laugh, but I don't feel as though I'm experienced enough to write on this topic. I know, I know... I have eight children. I probably know something... still, I'm not one to claim to know it all. My pregnancies, for the most part, have been relatively uneventful - just the way I like it. Nonetheless, I'm going to do my best to give some advice, maybe help a first time mom out there. Take this with a grain of salt... I'm feeling salty today ;)

disclaimer: all or none of these apply to my pregnancies.

and here goes nothin. 9 tips for 9 months... I apologize in advance if this was a waste of your time ;)

okay, don't laugh. I know with one or more children, rest is unheard of. quite honestly, I haven't slept peacefully in ohhh, 15+ years! I don't expect to sleep peacefully in a very long time. regardless, during pregnancy it is wise to attempt rest. as often as possible really. if I were to do it again, I would nap more often. and sleep in. and then nap some more.

point: nap.

I realize 'exercise' immediately follows 'rest' in this sequence. Intentionally? Absolutely! Know your priorities, folks ;) there are lots of great activities to do while pregnant. a few:

walk hard. sorta like this.
I did a couple of these... once... maybe... again, see disclaimer above.

okay, anddd healthy. again, see disclaimer above. while this isn't something I regularly did during pregnancy, I hear it's a good thing. ha! I've been known to go on salad binges. and mintbonbon binges. and chocolate anything binges. mostly mintbonbon binges. ;) I've also been known to gain between 50 and 60 pounds during pregnancy. don't judge. again, I may not be equipped to give advice. regardless, I do feel better (pregnant or not) when I eat better. early in all of my pregnancies I was very nauseous. food was not my friend. food is almost always my friend so the first few months were hangry days! I have a handy-dandy safe medications list that I refer to occasionally if I need to, just to make sure what I'm taking is safe. I don't recall needing to take anything for nausea while pregnant, but I know there are a few meds listed on my safe sheet. I cut soda out of my "diet" a long time ago, with the exception of an occasional  monthly  weekly accident. okay, so I didn't entirely cut soda out. mostly caffeinated beverages. honest! I do feel better without the caffeine. (this does not include the exclusion of coffee morning) ;) try it. you won't be sorry! currently hooked on this. and the kids dig it too.

this is hard. uhhh...
research. be prepared.
each pregnancy is different for each woman. no surprise there. be aware of your choices from everything to naming baby to sleepers to pain medications or no pain medications during childbirth to butt creams to obstetrician or midwife. so many choices, so little time. be sure you feel comfortable with all your choices. know what you're going into. any time I've run into something unusual or new to me during pregnancy (and life for that matter), I've tried to do some research. ask some people around me. and then make an informed decision. try to do the same with any concerns or problems you encounter during pregnancy. okay, this all seems like common sense. do *not* rely solely on the internet. guilty! occasionally we all believe we are most likely dying because of what we read on the internet. it happens. I've been near death numerous times. pulled myself back around ;) also, do *not* rely solely on the advice of your obstetrician and/or midwife! while he/she is a great source for lots of information, it's important to research any prescribed medications, exercises, etc on your own. often, women are given drugs to treat morning sickness which are not safe for their baby

point: research and prepare yourself for any and all things pregnancy related. get comfortable with all of it. don't be afraid to ask questions. it's a lot to take in, but don't get overwhelmed.!

...water. drink water. yeah. ha. kidding. we've all heard it, but I'll repeat it. drink lots of water. it helps with lots of good stuff. I think.

I take a lot of photos. mostly of our children. I enjoy being behind the camera, not in front of it. that being said, I wish I had better photos of alllll my bellies. would have been fun to look back at. look how big I was with Tayt or Nash. look how tiny I was... never. ;) so as much as you may not like the idea, do your future self a favor and get some maternity photos done. locals, I'll hook a sista up :) random coincidental shout out to muhhhself.

babies one through three (and a half) have a scrapbook-ish type thing. babies four through eight have all info written in a notebook I keep. I started writing in a notebook for each individual child for them to look at when I'm dead. every little thing that makes me smile or warms my heart, I write in their book. I'm certain they're reading these notebooks behind my back, buttt I'll continue to write in them. each of their pregnancies is documented in a notebook, which now that I think about it... I didn't put their pregnancy details in each of their individual books... add it to my list. my long, lllooonnnggg list of things to do.

this is probably the worst list you have ever read. my apologies. I'm a terrible writer. and I give even worse advice. buttt, ignore the naysayers. everyone has advice and opinions, no getting around that. but take some and leave some. just the other day, someone told me, "you need to be done!" if I listened to everyone's opinion on the size of my family and what I should be doing for sleeping routine and what I should give them when they're sick or how I should discipline, life would be downright boring for Dave and I. and I wouldn't laugh as much. yes, we're laughing at you with large mouths and obnoxious opinions. so take all advice and opinions with a grain of salt. most people aren't intending to be rude or hurtful. and the others... ignore.

enjoy it.
all too often in life we rush. rush through the grocery store (why this is my first example, I have no idea. although, often times I find myself rushing through the grocery store because come on... toddlers and infants in the grocery store is reason enough to rush). rush to Friday. rush through the dishes. rush during conversations. rush. rush. rush. I'm begging you, don't rush through pregnancy. Our pregnancies are numbered. Our days are numbered. enjoy them. I understand this is coming from someone who enjoyed pregnancy immensely. I understand there are many discomforts and things that may not go as planned during pregnancy. But I also understand there are only so many days, weeks, months, years of pregnancy and I'm going to thoroughly miss those days, weeks, months, years :)

with that... a little flash back :) 
all Will belly. and I miss it.

Friday, August 7, 2015

27 to 31ish/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week(ish), every week(ish), in 2015"

Peyton: the best big brother.
Lia: lounging.
Austyn: very enthused.
Tayt: helping cut down trees. found some huge grubs. I gagged.
Nash: strange boy.
Drew: fashionista.
Meg: never a dull moment with her.
Will: testing Lia's popsicles.
Duke: he walked with us for the first time the other morning. he's a slow old man.

as usual on this blog, I'm behind. these photos are from the last 5 weeks, one here, one there. I thought summer would make it easier to take photos and post them. it's proving not to be. while we're trying to pack as much fun into the last few weeks of summer vacation as possible, we're also extremely busy with other things as well. work. weddings. photo shoots. school shopping. cleaning. gardening. editing. family reunion. so much to do, so little time. I'm honestly not sure how we fit it all in. one of these weekends will be for relaxing... I hope!

hope all of you are enjoying the last days of summer vacation!

Monday, August 3, 2015

pizza. chicken fights. antiques. and all the chocolate you can handle.

Dave's sister, Renee, and her boyfriend recently purchased their first home. We've been wanting to go visit, but coordinating a time to go is nearly impossible. Schedule and being adults is difficult ;) we finally settled on two weekends ago. and the following Monday and Tuesday. 

Other than planning to bring food and drinks and when we would leave (kinda), we didn't plan to do anything while we were there but relax. And that's just what we did. Minus the 4-1/2 potty breaks to get there. Not one but twooo window shades in the house we need to replace. (still no confession on that one) aaand two wet accidents in the middle of the night. We may never be invited back...

Dave worked Saturday. I packed the van. Got everyone ready to go swimming to kill some time. Dave surprised me that we were leaving Saturday instead of Sunday. Scrambled to finish packing the van and be ready when he finished work. Success! the "quick" run into Target for... I can't remember what now. I'm sure it was extremely important... the run into Target, yes...didn't go so "quick." We weren't friends for a few miles. Oops. Meg was cool with it.

witnessed this amazing sunset on the way. I'm addicted to sunsets. and sunrises.

Will giving the tour.

We met the neighbors. Quickly stole all their toys. And then didn't see them again for the weekend. I'm sure they were busy working or something...

We didn't do much Sunday. Breakfast. Lunch. Park. Relax. Perfect day really.

I told him he was too big for the teeter totter, but he insisted.

rough life.

Dave has quite an imagination. He and Tayt are playing his new game. Chicken Fighting. on a balance beam. Imagine how that would end for a 4yo. She needs to work on her balance. ;)

of course, the adults had to try. Dave vs L (Renee's boyfriend). 1 to 1. I don't think either one of them wanted to demand a tie breaker for fear of hurting each other. fun to watch, regardless.

this is real life, folks.

before bed snack. one family package of oreos and a community glass of milk.

Monday we toured the city. Family walk. Antiques. Pottery shop. Pizza.

no, this is not staged. yes, he's in a time out. his fingers touched everything in the store. 

no, not staged. no, not in a time out. strangely enough.

walk. walk. walk.

hot. hot. hot. water. it was hot outside. and the water was hot. until they ran it for awhile.

matching scowls.




Nash and mini Nash.

worst selfie ever. shield your eyes from my awkward neck.

holding hands.

baby feet in the sand. my heart!

Dave's sister, Renee, and her boyfriend. probably laughing at my ridiculous kids. 

a baby in the sand again!

Will's most recent favorite game: chase me. Fun for all ages...

toddlers in the sand... okay, I'll quit ;)

Renee has only a couple inches on Lia. 

Tayt had some pretty awesome hair.

I thinkkk someone was over Will's game.

Monday night manicures in the front yard. Courtesy of Drew.

We ended the weekend by having a couple drinks on the town. I could probably count on one hand how often this happens in a year. Another terrible selfie opportunity ;) #myeverything

wait, we finished the weekend with this... our morning walk. alone. with chai from an adorable coffee shop downtown. loved!

I am seriously *in love* with all the old buildings in Lake Mills! so much character. and the photos don't do them justice.

we walked along the lake for a bit. glorious!

this building looked like it ate our entire house. this photo... just trust me when I say it was huge. gigantic. I'm not exaggerating.

oh brother, I was wrong. thisss was the last of our trip. and probably the most delicious. okay, second most delicious. because, honestly, baby feet in the sand. yeah.

so many options. so little time. we had pb melts, mint melts, coconut balls... and a milk chocolate truffle. Lia and I "shared." ;)

this took me a week to write. and post. goodness. but so, so fun! thanks again, Renee and L, for the wonderful weekend! looking forward to another visit :) IF you'll have us :|
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