Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day...a day late

"Becoming a mother is one of the most wonderful and most scary things in life!  It makes me appreciate my own mother and all the difficult decisions and sacrifices she made in order to try and give me the best upbringing.  Thank you mom!" - Malin Akerman

Growing up my mom was a pain in my a$$.  Always looking out for me and telling me what to do and not do.  Always thinking that she knew best just because she was my mom.  She worried about me all the time, even though I totally knew what I was doing and always had everything in my life under control.  She'd always hug on me and tell me she loved me, even at the most embarassing times.  She always wanted to sit down and talk and nose into my business.  Sometimes I felt like I just couldn't get away from her and her hovering ways......And now, I get it. 

If I thought my mom was a pain in the a$$ growing up, my kids don't even know what they are in for!  I love my girls more than anything or anyone else in this world.  They mean everything to me.  Even though I know that I can't protect them from everything out in this big world, I sure want to try.  I want to be there for them, always.  Even when they think they don't need me.  I want to know what is happening in their lives and be someone they can turn to and talk to about anything.  I want my kids to know that I love them, unconditionally, no strings attached.  I want my kids to look back in 30 years and say, "now I get it."

"All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." -Abraham Lincoln

I remember growing up and watching movies on Lifetime with my mom and just watching her bawling her eyes out and thinking, "what in the world is wrong with her?  It's just a movie!"  And now, I do the same things.  To see the hurt and pain that people experience every day, really hits home as a mother.  You look at things and think, "what if that happened to my kid, what would I do?"  or "what if that happened to me, what would happen to my kids?"  Every decision you make no longer affects just you, it affects other people.  Little people that you have such high hopes and dreams for.  Little people that you only want to do the best by.  Little people who are counting on you to make sure that they are happy and healthy and grow up to do something wonderful with their lives.  It's not just about you anymore.  When you step into that role as "mom", it's all about someone else. 

"A mother's heart is a patchwork of love."

"Mother love is the fuel that enables a human being to do the impossible." -Marion C. Garretty  

After having children of my own, I love my own mother in a way that I never had before.  I know now, that no matter how old and wise (HaHa) I get, my mother is always going to look out for my best interests.  She will love me and mother me till the day she dies.  Because that's what mom's do.  They love their children, through and through, forever. 

"A mother holds her children's hand for a while....their hearts forever."

"A mom's hug lasts long after she lets go."

I can always feel my mother's arms around me and her kiss on my check.  I just know that she is always here with me, even when I can't physically be with her.  I love you mom!  I hope that your Mother's Day was great! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Softball Star

Due to a rain out on Monday night, last night was Jayden's first offical game as a softball player.  Seeing as how the girls only had one practice as a team before their first game, they all did very well, but definitely have lots of room for improvement, but so much potential :) 
The rules this year are a little different than what we are use to, with t-ball being the only other thing she has played.  Each batter gets 5 pitches or 3 swings before they are considered out.  3 outs and the team changes from offense to defense.  There is a maximum of 7 runs per inning, then you change again.  Games are 60 minutes and no new inning will start once the time has expired.  Instead of stopping after one base, you run until the ball is back in the pitchers circle or you are tagged out.  The score is kept, but the focus is more on skill development, rather than winners and losers.  Even though it is coach pitch, each team has a "pitcher", as well as a catcher this year. 
Jayden played centerfield, first base and shortstop last night.  She also had a hit and scored for her team.  I am so excited to see her improve this season and really become comfortable with the game and how it is suppose to be played.   
Jayden before the game :)  (when we showed up the other team we were playing had hot pink shirts....I'm sure Jayden would have quit right on the spot if she had to wear a hot pink shirt! LOL :)
Number 1...that's my girl :)

On second base  (seriously, can you imagine Jayden having to wear one of those shirts! :)

Coming to third



Playing first base

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another birthday without you

Today would have been my Dad's 70th birthday.  That seems so weird to think about, because the last time I saw my Dad, he was turning 61. 

It's so hard to believe that it's been NINE years since my Dad passed away.  So much has happened in my life that I've had to celebrate without him here.  I still miss him, so much.

The last time I saw my Dad was 9 years ago, almost exactly.  We planned a surprise party for him at his house and grilled out and celebrated his life.  Except then, I didn't realize that it would be the last celebration that we would have with him.  He was sick that year, and had been sick for the past 5-6 months prior to his birthday.  I remember him being happy that we were all there, even though it was obvious he was tired and not feeling the greatest.  He put on that million dollar smile, sucked up any pain or discomfort that he was feeling at the time, and he made the most of that day.  In that moment, on that day, we were all happy. 

I have so many great memories of being with my Dad.  Even though my parents weren't together when I was growing up, my Dad was always there for us.  He showered us with love and supported us in any venture we set out on.  He loved being outside, just like I do.  Riding bikes, playing sports, doing yardwork or going for walks.  He was a card junkie, which is where I get my addiction too I'm sure :)  He enjoyed being around people and was always up for a new adventure.  He was a big kid at heart.  He was a devoted Catholic and made sure that I knew how amazing God was too.  He was an IU fan and a Cubs fan through and through.  He was passionate about the things that mattered to him.  He was generous and giving, even when he didn't have a lot to give.  He was a man of his word, and a true inspiration to me.

I know that my Dad is in a better place.  He is happy again and full of energy.  He is not only my guardian angel, but Jayden and Sophia's too.  And becasue of that, I am happy.

Happy 70th Birthday ya old man!  I love you so much! 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Sunshine and Puddles

We have a tarp in the backyard where our pool sits.  After a rain, it had collecteed some puddles, so we stomped in them :)

Her favorite thing to do, swing!

We stopped every two seconds on our walk, to pick flowers :)

Enjoying a wagon ride

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Helping Paw

It literally takes a village to raise children.  No matter how much of a super mom or dad you are, no one can do it all, alone. 

I met another mom a few months ago, who has a son in Sophia's preschool class.  We met at a chili fundraiser a while back, that she was having for her older son, Levi.  After that we became friends on facebook and enjoy sharing cute moments between our youngest kiddos.  I learned more and more about this fundraiser that she was doing for her son and am so happy that my family can help in their efforts to raise money. 

Let me just say, I hate to fundraise.  I've been doing it, very low key, for the past 4 years to help raise money for our Buddy Walk Team, Sophia's Stars, which goes to Down Syndrome Indiana to help fund programs and services that help individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.  I just hate asking people for money.  No one seems to have a lot of it.  Businesses are being bombarded by people and groups every year asking for help, and it's hard to get people to really commit.  But when it comes to something this important, you have to ask for help, because again, one family just can't do it alone. 

Levi's mom has put together several fundraising events to help her son get a dog.  Except this dog, isn't just your average household pet, it's a way to give her growing son more freedom and independance.  It's a way to keep him safe, keep him alive. 

Through an orgainization called 4 Paws for Ability, this family can get a trained service dog that will help comfort their son during melt downs, interrupt inappropriate repetitive or self-injurious behaviors, and provide comfort and companionship. Levi's service dog will also be trained in tracking should Levi wander off, and the service dog will be able to help find him quickly. Which could mean the difference between life or death for Levi who loves water but can not swim and who has no sense of danger.

The thing is, these dogs aren't a couple hundred dollars, it takes $22,000 from start to finish to get a dog like this!  Luckily this family only has to come up with $13,000, and not the $22,000.  But still, $13,000!!!!  That's why this family is asking for help, from anyone who is willing to give even just $5.  They can't do this alone.  So many people have rallied behind them and donated, but they aren't quite to their goal yet.  Please take a moment to visit Levi's fundraising page.  Read a little more about his story.  And think about donating, anything that you can.  I think about my own kids and know that if this was me, needing something so life changing for one of my girls....I would want all the support I could get too!