Monday, March 21, 2016


Christmas Eve was fun.  As Mason gets bigger, he is able to do more fun "big kid" stuff.  Like stay up late.  And go with the flow when the usual schedule changes.

I had to work in the church nursery during the Christmas Even service.  Which really only means I didn't get the obligatory mom picture of Mason at the candlelight service.  Next time.

After church, my family came over to our house for snacks/appetizers.  It was super simple.  I went a little crazy, and bought poppers.  Who does this?  It was probably too much money for something that lasts 3 seconds.  But, memories.  They were also super hero themed, because that goes with Christmas.  Basically, I went nuts, but in the end we still had poppers.  And the whole point of this ridiculous story is just to introduce the picture, which is us in our crowns.  You're welcome.  (Sadly our Uncle Matt was working.)

I know to anyone reading this that it probably seems silly, but I really hope that we can continue this sweet little tradition in the future.  It was special for us, and that is what matters.  Maybe even the poppers, too.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Around here it is spring break week.  So what am I doing?  Finishing up my recap of December.  As you do.

As we saw at Thanksgiving, Mason made great strides in his preschool program performances, and this December, he even received a speaking part in his school play.  It was a total shocker to us, as he hadn't said anything (I didn't even know to ask) and it happened to come out at church one day.  He would be playing the role of the innkeeper.  He nailed it, if you ask me.

Of course, here is where he is visually tells us the reading was too loud.  Actors are able to give visual cues.  Talent, folks.

"There's no room!"

Friday, January 29, 2016


I nearly forgot, but in early November, we were still having warm weather, so I dragged this family of mine out for a hike around Raccoon River.  Now, the bad part of the story is that we cot a little bit of a later start than I had hoped, so there did come a part of our trek when both Byron and I thought shoot - what if the sun sets on us out here?  So there was quite a bit of hustling out on the trail, but ultimately we made it around and had such a great time!  I'll definitely be dragging my family out there more often as soon as spring comes around.

Mason's preschool class had an adorable Thanksgiving program and feast that we were invited to.  In contradiction to last year's preschool finale, Mason did great!  He seemed to be a little embarrassed when he knew we were watching him, but his little lips were moving through every song they were supposed to sing.  The thing I can't forget is that this child, who we regularly struggle with at meal times, wolfed down his Thanksgiving feast all on his own.  In one swift move he had shoved his entire slice of turkey in his mouth with one bite!  It is so fun to see him in his class with his little friends.  He's different with them than his is at home, proof that he's growing up yet will always be my baby.

This Thanksgiving we had a bit of a first for us - we hosted Byron's family for Thanksgiving dinner. With such a big family, we chose a to have it a couple of Saturdays before the actual date.  Byron's mom has always hosted.  I imagine it's hard for most people to be able to fit 25-30 guests inside the average home.  But with our basement now finished (enough), and our wide open living space, we made it work.

Of course, it's not a holiday around here without something memorable happening.  About 30 minutes before our family is supposed to start showing up, we discover that our sink is leaking.  It was a huge mess.  We've been dealing with it on and off before, and thought we had fixed the issue, but I guess not.  I'm no plumber, so I don't know what the actual problem was, but it led to us only having half a sink.  Thank goodness we were eating on paper plates with plastic utensils or we would have been in trouble.

Additionally, Mason wasn't feeling super well.  And leading up to it, he hadn't been sleeping well or napping much, either.

Although he was so SO excited to see and play with his big cousins, he conked out on the couch right when we all started eating.  Bless his heart, he did still get some playtime with the big kids, but most importantly he got the rest he needed.

When I started to write this post, I really didn't think we had all that notable of a November, but now that I've recounted so much, it turns out, we did quite a bit!  And I can see how we've been quite blessed.  We have so much to be thankful for!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


October's highlight was most definitely Halloween.  For us, Halloween celebrations include the pumpkin party at Aunt Bebe's church and trick or treat night, nothing too overboard.  And it was so much fun.

I am the type of person who has giant pinterest-style ambitions for adorable costumes.  My track record with follow through is relatively low, but still.  The decision though is ultimately up to Mason. And when we asked him what he wanted to be, he mentioned a couple of super heroes (Thor and the Hulk) but ultimately decided on the dinosaur costume that still fit from the year before.  Maybe this is a story that only a mama will appreciate, but to me it just shows me how his little brain and personality work.  It was almost as if he thought Duh, Mom.  We have a dinosaur costume right here, what else would I wear? I'm hoping that this means he is a lower drama kid than his mama was growing up.  Fingers Crossed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


It's everybody's favorite time of year...back to school!  In September, Mason started his four year old preschool program.  It meets three mornings a week for two and a half hours, which is an increase in length and frequency from last year.  (I couldn't have written that sentence any dorkier.)  Keep in mind he did NOT want his photo taken this year!

We introduced a new school theme this year, though I couldn't manage to make a coordinating art piece this year.  The theme is "Listen and Obey."  It has since slightly been modified, but we now say it everyday as we leave the house - listen, obey, and make good choices.  The school year started off a bit bumpy, as it is hard for a certain little boy to remember to sit still, be quiet, and keep his hands to himself, but eventually we got in the groove and he has been doing great.  He loves his teachers, and he even has a little group of friends again this year.  They play Ninja Turtles every day during their group play time.  Mason is always Michaelangelo.

It's so much fun to watch him grow, and to see how he has changed from last year to this year.  I know we have several years of this ahead of us, but I can already see the years flash before my eyes.

Thursday, December 31, 2015


As I try to think back to August, I don't think it was too memorable for us.  Although as I type those words memories are suddenly flowing back, so maybe I'm wrong after all.  We spent the majority of our days playing outside in the summer heat, but we also took our first family trip to the State Fair.  Yes, you read that right.  For the first time in Mason's life, and the first time in Byron and my eight years together, we have never gone together to the fair.  It's like an Iowa sin, I'm sure.

We did get the chance to zip up to our home away from home, Michigan, to meet up with my family to celebrate an uncle's wedding.  It was a chance to see all my relatives and some of our friends, too, in a very short amount of time.

Finally, August marked a big milestone for us as far as our adoption goes.  Yes, we are still hoping that adoption is in the future for us, but we say that now knowing ultimately that whatever happens is in the Lord's hands.

The rest of the year flew by.  We would soon be celebrating back to school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  At home, we are already starting to look ahead to what the new year will bring.  But for now, I still have a few more months to recount.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


July really gives us reason to celebrate.  It's Mason's birthday!  How fitting for my 200th post.

And how crazy that I now have a four year old???  After struggling for what seemed like forever through ages 2 and 3, 4 gave us about two weeks of absolute perfection.  And then we were back to reality, but with 4 year old issues now.  And for the most part, they are much better.  Mason can be such a riot.  The things that he says are hilarious!  We are really enjoying him.

For his birthday adventure, we took him to his first movie theater movie where we saw Inside Out.  His favorite character was Disgust, and we couldn't get enough of him saying it - "Disdust".  Since then he has been to a couple of movies, which is one of the great things we are learning about having a big kid!

One of the funniest things he said to me shortly after turning four was "Don't you know Jesus died so that people could be twins."  I asked for clarification a few times (cleansed?) but he really meant what he said.

He totally surprised me one morning as I was reading to him.  I randomly quizzed him on a word (cat) and he got it right. Maybe a fluke I thought, so we tried again (dog) and he got it, too.  He proceeded to sound out three more words all by himself, so now we are working on reading as often as we can.  He would still much rather play Ninja Turtles or Legos than practice school things with mama, but I try to sneak them in as much as possible.

I'm sure there are many more hilarious things I could say about that boy, but this will do for now.  We are so thankful for the four years we have had with him so far and pray for many many more!