Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cambree's 4- Holy Cow...!!!

I cannot believe that Cambree is 4! Well I can because she wouldn't let me forget :)

We had to cancel her planned birthday at my mom's with my sister Chelsie making her birthday cake, so I had to scramble to come up with a cake and figure out some kind of party.

Cambree sat with me on Thursday afternoon and picked out pictures of what kind of cake she wanted. I was surprised that she actually had a true opinion on what she wanted. So the one below somewhat resembles what she wanted. I tried :) She put her old princesses on there and I had to laugh because they are obviously used. Colored on, scuffed etc. But they were cleaned.

Cambree insisted on helping with the cake and was even more proud of the end result. Love this impromptu pose.

So on Saturday, she woke up and immediately started on that it was her birthday. She insisted on waffles for her birthday breakfast. She settled for pancakes but loved that she got to blow out a candle in the morning. Even better we let her open 2 presents. A tutu outfit for her to wear for her birthday, and a watch.

All day she kept asking for the rest of her birthday. We had to keep telling her it wasn't until later. Nana came over with a nice gift for her and she loved it. It was a huge door banner that was meant to say "Happy Holidays Princess" but she was so smart and changed it to Birthday. Perfect for Cambree.

We had planned on doing a small barbecue for her birthday and have her gifts and cake at that time. It was amazing how quickly the numbers jumped from the original 6 people to over 25. It was great but it was kind of funny. Cambree got a huge party. She made out awesome. It was a lot of fun too.

So here's the set up. We obviously couldn't fit everyone in our house so we did it outside.

Here's the door hanging and Cambree loving her new outfit.

Pat showed up with this gift for her and she was ready to start opening. She was so excited to get that.
She cracked everyone up with her opening of the gifts. She made all kinds of faces with each gift like it was the best one and then would literally throw it on the ground and look for the next.

She's going to have one more to make up for the missed one at my parents so there's more of this fun to come :)

So now she's 4. Makes me truly feel very old. Next is 5 and off to school. CRAZY!! Happy Birthday little girl. Love ya!!

Poor Ridge

So most of you know that Ridge was stung by a scorpion on Thursday. Well he did recover pretty good. However, he's been suffering from nasty hives in reaction to the scorpion sting (I think). The weird thing about them is that they will disappear during the day (for the most part) and re-appear in the evening. Last night they were so bad that he had them on his eye-lids, lips, in his arm-pits, everywhere. Poor kid was itching like crazy. I have never seen anything like it.

Brecklynn is 10 months

I am really behind on this but as you all know, life has been a little hectic :)

But I didn't want to pass up this milestone. So here's the cutie. She is truly the best baby. I can't believe she is so close to a year old.

Some new things:

She loves drinking water out of a sippy cup. In fact if she sees a cup, she wants it and gets very upset if she doesn't get it.

She plays little games with you now and laughs at anything

She's got the cutest front teeth. They are cute now that is :) They've got a little gap that I'm told should close as she gets her other teeth in. Makes for some dang cute smiles.

She loves to stand on anything and attempt to 'walk'. She thinks she can at least.

She sleeps through the night!! YEAH!!! She's done it off and on since birth but its official-for now :) She also puts herself to sleep. Rarely will she fall asleep on me anymore. She prefers to go in her bed, play it out for a bit, and eventually fall asleep.

She wants to eat anything and everything. And I mean anything. I shouldn't give her half the things she wants but she loves it.

Cars are a new favorite toy. Especially the big ones. She pushes them everywhere!!

She is a huge daddy's girl. She loves her daddy. Whenever he gets home, she is crawling as fast as she can and panting like a dog till she gets to him.

When she smiles, she gives you a scrunched up nose.

She loves music and bangs her head to it. She also loves books. She will actually sit with me while I read the kids a book and seems to take it all in. She also loves to play with books.

She makes my day so much better with her little smiles and talking. She will talk to you all day. She never wakes up in a bad mood and its a joy to see her get up from her naps. I love this little girl so much!!

disclosure** I am still learning my new camera so you camera buffs out there, don't critique me too hard :)Besides these were impromtu pics and they were the most current I had of Brecklynn.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

These Boots Are Made for Walking...right?

Well today I got to experience through Ridge, what happens when you put your foot in a boot that holds a scorpion. Yep, a scorpion. So are you ready to laugh with me? Just adds to my recent lucky days right?

Poor guy. I knew the minute he put his feet in the boots and started screaming, what happened. I tried to knock it out but it was being stubborn. So I filled them with water and there it was floating to the top of the boot. My heart sank when I actually saw it. It was a good size one.

Ridge was freaking out!! I mean screaming and crying. Not fun at all. I called my mother-in-law to figure out what I should do. Ironically Curtis just had gotten bit about a week ago and I saw him go through all the pain from it. Ridge is so little that I started figuring the worst for him. He was already having problems breathing. My MIL came over and I had Ridge in the sink running cold water on it. He seemed to do ok with water on it but take it away, he would scream. I read up on the internet that you need to elevate it so we forced him to lay on the couch and placed a cold compress on it. He was shaking from the pain and crying. I felt so bad. I hate that feeling of watching your little one go through pain like that and able to do nothing. He finally fell fast asleep from the benedryl and just sheer exhaustion. Luckily I think he'll be ok. My Father-in-law and brother-in-law were so sweet to come give him a blessing which I truly feel helped him heal so fast. He is able to be still and ok with it and not have it hurt too bad. He's tried to walk on it a couple times and he freaks out because I am sure it still hurts.

Here he is literally knocked out. He was jerking all over.

This is how he's been the rest of the day.

I have to say a huge thanks to my mother-in-law for coming to help out, father-in-law and Ty for giving Ridge a blessing and Chace and Rachel for coming and bringing us a wonderful batch of chicken noodle soup.

Curtis finally found out about everything too by the way but it was quite fun filling him in on everything these past 24 hours have brought to us. Here's to 24 more right ?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ha ha ha- Life can be so funny...NOT

So, today has been a 'funny' day. It totally adds to my oh so funny month that I've been experiencing. I'm not sure to laugh or cry or what anymore.

For the past 6 weeks, I feel like we've just been dealt a bad set of cards. Most of you know what's been going on but let me just lay out the basic facts.

So about a month ago I was supposed to go to my sister Kayla's huge graduation from NAU. Day before, Brecklynn was diagnosed with a double ear infection. So we didn't end up going to her graduation. But my mom were supposed to come down the following weekend to help me with my mother's day tea.

Next week rolls around and ends up my dad gets super sick with pnemonia. Wasn't good at all. So my mom ended up not coming down. Thankfully the tea worked out still. My dad stayed sick for quite awhile and ruined the plans for them to come down for the Temple Open House. I couldn't believe that luck.

We all know the next bit of luck from our San Diego trip. If not, just go to the next post. Its sure to give you a good read ;). We have been without our truck since then. Just got it back yesterday. Found out that the original problem though fixed, revealed that there was another costly problem on the horizon.

About 4 days ago Ridge started getting sick. He has been up ALL night long. To top it off, he won't take a nap. So i have been running on hardly any sleep. I figured still that it was just growing pains or teething or something.

Yesterday I finally made a trip down to my parents. I was going for Tesia's graudation and Cambree's 4th birthday. Curtis left today for scout camp. So I left yesterday to go down for the first time in over 2 months. I got there yesterday and Ridge and Brecklynn started getting sick. Ridg started getting a really croupy cough and super runny nose. Same with Brecklynn. Brecklynn was up all night last night and my throat started to hurt. This is just not good for me.
So earlier today about 4, I made the big decision to just go home. I need to not get my dad sick again, I need my kids to not be sicker longer than they have to be same with myself. So as we start home, I get just outside Superior and there has been a fatal accident. They have shut down the freeway. So I had to make the detour down to Winkelman. So what is usually a 3 hour drive, turned out to be close to 5. Brecklynn cried for nearly the whole trip and the only way to console her was to sing and with my throat already hurting, singing was the last thing I wanted to do but that was my sanity.

So now I am here, feeling terrible, and my luck runs on. We'll see what the next couple days bring. I need to salvage Cambree's bday. Curtis is gone to Scout Camp and still has no clue that I am even home.

I am just hoping for some happier news, or just an easier day. We'll see....:) Wish me luck!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our 'Wonderful' Vacay- warning its long!!

I am currently sitting in San Diego's International Airport waiting for our flight home. But wait, didn't we drive here...

Yes we did attempt to drive here and we didn't quite make it.

Friday I held my preschool graduation. I will do a seperate post on that since I don't have that camera here to get the pictures off of. But my parents came down to watch the graduation, and offered to take ALL 3 kids back with them. We had planned an anniversary vacation to San Diego. I couldn't wait because this was our first ALONE trip (just Curtis and I) since one small trip right after Cambree was born and even that was just in Phoenix. This was also my first time leaving Brecklynn over night. So this was a big deal. I had gotten us some awesome hotel deals on Mission Bay and we were just really going to relax and enjoy.

So right after the graduation, we hopped in the car and started our trip over. We stopped in Mesa and did a bit of shopping and got some lunch before heading on the long leg to San Diego. Everything was going great. About 2 1/2 hours out of making our destination, we hit the border patrol check point. As we were waiting in line the truck started to almost stutter. It freaked Curtis out but it eventually quit and seemed to start running fine again. About 10 miles outside of El Centro, the truck started making terrible gurgling and grinding noises. I pinpointed the sound coming from below the footboard in the car. My heart sank, and Curtis was visiably worried. We didn't know quite what to do. We saw a sign for El Centro and made our way there. Curtis was sure something was empty-some liquid of some kind. We pulled off and could really hear something was definitely wrong. Curtis immediately figured it was the transmission. We got to a gas station after what seemed forever, and popped the hood. He checked what he could and found out that the transmission fluid was way high. Just as we were doing that, a tow truck guy pulled in. He obviously noticed we were in some trouble. He came over and asked if he could help. We spoke with him for a bit and determined we just needed to get it to a service station. It was already 7 at night on a Friday so we were so worried about everything being closed and being stranded there for the night. He gave us directions to a Pep Boys.

We got there and by the time someone could even help us, it was 7:30 and they closed at 8:00. The guy drove it around and said something is definitely wrong and thought was the differential. He checked the transmission fluid too and said that there is 3.5 liters over the amount of fluid in there. Ironic thing is we had it checked out the day before. They ultimately said they oculdn't do anything with it that night and would need to see in the morning but if it was the differential, they probaby wouldn't even have the part and it would ahve to be ordered in. Those of you who know me, know I was literally freaking out. All kinds of scenarios and plans were going through my mind. We had no car, no idea where we were, they needed to take our truck right then so we were stuck in Pep Boys parking lot. We started calling Chad to help us get a rental car to maybe salvage our night. He looked into it and all cars and it was about $800.00 a day-yes you read that right. So that was obviously out as a choice. So I started to call our hotel that we had arranged, to get it cancelled and see if we couldn't get a refund. Called-NOPE. It was all pre-paid and without a 48 hour notice, its not refundable under any circumstance. We also had massages scheduled for 10:30 the following morning that was paid as well and needed at least a 24 notice to be cancelled without penalty.

I called my dad and explained what was going on. My dad being the awesome dad he is, immeditaley started saying he could just come down with a vehicle to help us out. Of course we didn't want to have anyone put out because of us. Eventually, it was inevitable though. I had my dad call my Uncle Mark, who we were supposed to meet up with the following day as well, to let him know we wouldn't be making it becuase of what was going on. As a mental release I also quickly facebooked the situation that was going on. Well not 5 minutes later I got a message from my Uncle Mark. We got in contact and by this point it was 9 at night. He was offering to come down and get us and take us to San Diego. I agreed but felt terrible. We got in a taxi (Curtis' first taxi ride ever) and it was a bit creepy. What taxi driver isn't? We did get to our 'destination' which was a hotel. We waited there for the next 1 1/2 hours for my Uncle Mark to show up. I knew from this point on, things were not going to be quite fun (as if they were going great to begin with). Curtis made the statement that we are going to just live it up the rest of the vacation. Money is no object. Well me and money are not good friends. We are when we stay in check but as soon as we go outside of my budget we aren't good at all. I hate spending money and I stress over every penny we go over with. We went to go eat since we hadn't eaten since lunch in Mesa. I was absolutely starving and was really an emotional wreck. We were still frantically trying to figure everything else out. The truck was still going to have to stay in El Centro and we still wouldn't have a car in San Diego.

My Uncle Mark showed up at around 10:30. Carter and Olivia and my Aunt Angie came as well. I felt so bad getting them out like that. I have to say though, I loved catching up and visiting with them for that bit. We are so in debt to them. I really don't know what would have happened if we had to stay in El Centro. They took us to our hotel.

We pulled into our hotel at around 12:00. We were so tired. The hotel looked really nice though. We went to our room and it was nice. We both crashed!! Both of us were just so relieved to get there. Still wasn't quite sure what we would do from then on.

I couldn't sleep in the next morning. As much as I wanted too, I just couldn't. My mind was going a mile a minute. We needed a car, we needed to figure out the car. Was my dad coming to get us and the truck, how much was the truck going to cost, do we just end the trip now and head home. About 8:00 Curtis called Pep Boys to figure out what was the diagnosis for the truck. They figured out that it wasn't the rear differntial, but the 4-wheel drive differential (I have no clue what these are but nothing sounds cheap). They did tell us though that they wouldn't have the part for 3 business days. That was obviously not ok. So more calls were made. My dad said he would come out with his trailer, get us from San Diego and take the truck bad). I won't go into all the options that were thrown out-and there were A LOT!!

Finally it came out that there was just no way my dad could get his trailor to hold Curtis' truck. So we called Curtis' dad. He said the same thing. He was ready to come help. He is known as the road warrior around here and loves to drive. We still hated the whole idea of putting anyone out though. The final plan came about that he would get the car and tow it back to Thatcher and Curtis and I would get a plane ride to Phoenix and his dad would come get us on Monday. What a change from our original plan.

I was starving. In the midst of going, we never had stopped to get water or food or anything. I had just planned on getting food as we went because we had a car. Well now we had no car-no way to get any food and no water. Its not a fun feeling. We had our massages at 10:30. We got there about 10:00 to get all settled. Looking back, we both wish we had pushed the massage to later on, so we could really relax. It was a nice massage-and a lot longer than we planned on but I had a hard time really relaxing. Again I was constantly thinking about the truck and our situation etc. It was a great massage, but definitely could have been better if I could just relax.

After, we got ready to go get a rental car. We had to take another taxi ride to get it. It was down town next to the airport. We get it and decide to try to enjoy the day and start to drive around. I told Curtis though that I really needed to eat. See-let me just get this out of the way. This was a HUGE frustration for me the entire trip. Curtis is apart of the Allen family-and those that came from the Allen family have their own special eating habits. Of which they feel everyone else should be following. What I mean by that is, if you had one meal a day, you should be fine. Curtis literally can and will eat no breakfast, might have a late lunch and then no dinner but maybe a late snack. He doesn't ever really get hungry. So when I am hungry, he makes me feel like the weird one. I got this the ENTIRE trip. If we had breakfast at 9:00 and I was saying I was hungry about 1-2, he would look at me like I was crazy and couldn't understand it. So food was always and issue and I never had 3 meals a day the entire trip. I just finished losing 20 pounds and he figured on my diet that I would have curbed my hunger. I have tried to explain to him that I have curbed my cravings, but not hunger. I am used to 6 meals a day. 3 meals with 2 snacks. He literally doesn't understand the whole thing. Starvation is his diet and thinks everyone else should be doing it too.

But we stumbled upon the temple as we were driving around. You can see the picture below. It was encased by the scaffolding. How many times do you see that? Well we had to check it out. We got out and walked the grounds. It was so beautiful. We spoke to someone there who told us they were trying to fix some structural damage it received from all the rain and while they were up there, they were steam cleaning it to be white again. We finally got some food about 3 and then decided to head back to our hotel. We went into the spa. It was FREEZING outside. Ok, it wasn't freezing but I was cold pretty much the whole trip. It was overcast and breezy the whole time. We didn't do the spa long. Then we made an attempt at getting some food. We asked the concierge where a place to eat would be. She gave us some ideas and directions to a place down town. We headed down town. Wrong place to be. It was prom night and there were limos and people everywhere. We waited literally 20 minutes to turn onto the street where this restaurant supposedly was, just to pass it up. Curtis was so ticked. He started driving like a maniac. I hate when he gets like that. He gets frustrated and he lets everyone know. So we didn't eat there. We drove around for like another 30 minutes. He finally decided on a place called Gordon Bierche. We had eaten there in Hawaii and loved the food. Only problem was, this place was so packed and it was LOUD. We sat literally 2 feet away from each other and we couldn't hear each other. Food was great but just made it hard to enjoy. We got home and ordered a movie in the room. It was the movie Blind Side. We still hadn't seen it. And I fell asleep watching it :).

Sunday we had decided to go to Sea World. We were both pretty excited about it since we hadn't been since our honeymoon. We get there and lo and behold we find out its La Musica weekend. There were people everywhere there for the Mexican events going on. Also, we hit ALL the shows and ALL the exhibits by 1:00. The entire time we were there we kept saying we wish we had our kids. They would love all the things we saw. It was cold too that day.

We left and tried to find a place to eat again. After driving around aimlessly for a long time- Curtis loves to drive anywhere by the way, he decided to go ask the concierge. She just has no clue what she's doing. We asked for a pizza and salad place and she gave us general directions to 2 places. We drove up and down the street 3 times to find them. We NEVER found them. We were driving for 3 hours. We ended up getting Chipotle. I didn't enjoy my meal because the lady put tomatoes all over my salad after I asked her not too. Well we drove around some more. Like always. Curtis seriously loves to drive all over. I am the type that lets get to the location and get out. We drove up and down La Jolla. It was beautiful.

We decided to go to a movie as something to do. We saw Robin Hood-good movie by the way and even better in a real theatre :). We got out of there and tried to go eat again-ha ha. We seriously should just give up right? We tried to find those same restaurants again because we had gotten some better directions. We did find them, but they were pizza or salads places. They were steaks and seafood. How she messed that up I don't know. So frustrating. So for the 3rd time in our trip, we got Denny's. My mood was very down. It had been the whole trip but after the last bit I was really down. Curtis was trying so hard to keep my happy but I had really just given up.

We shouldn't have gone on that trip. I am truly convinced. We ended up spending 3 times the amount we wanted to.

***this next part is written from home***

I finally got home from my trip. Let me finish.

Monday we got up and got ready to leave. Now taking a flight we had a ton of stuff to figure out. We weren't planning on flying when we cleared out our car so we had tons to get home.

We finally checked out and headed to the airport. We filled up the car and decided to eat...where? Denny's of course!! It was the best Denny's food yet though :) We get to the Avis parking lot to get our stuff out. We pop the trunk and we both realize something was missing...our pillow with our coats. We both thought the other got it. Again Curtis drove like a maniac. We got there and got it and made our way again to the airport. What a way to end the trip huh?

We took one more taxi driver to the airport. Yeah!! Then we started our journey inside. I hate flying. I am a worrier and I think about all the things that can but probably won't happen. I hate it. Luckily the flight wasn't long. We got to Phoenix around 3:00. Chad was sweet enough to come get us and we hung with him till Curtis' dad could come get us in his plane. That was around 6:00. So we got home here around 7:00.

Now we're home but still have to figure out the whole car situation. We are in debt to so many people and not sure how to repay them.

Here are a few pics.

This was outside our hotel room off our back porch.

This is another angle

The back porch

The pool area with 2 spas

Shows Sea World across the bay

Temple pics

Sea World

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mother's Day Goodies

So my husband did awesome this year for mother's day. I don't know if its the guilt I've piled on him over the years or what, but he went beyond my expectations. So Friday he tells me he doesn't think my gift will be here in time for mother's day so he would just show me a picture. The picture below is what I got. I couldn't believe it. We'd talked about it for a long time but the reality was I still had a good Nikon that worked relatively well but had small quirks. Well he decided I needed it and told me to get it. Well I wrote Becky McArthur about it and the one we were wanting and where would the best place to get it from be. Turns out, she was selling the same camera. So we went down yesterday to look at it and I was so excited!! I had to get it. So I got my new camera- a Canon 50d. I don't know it very well yet because I did have a Nikon before and they both work completely different, but the little I have done on it, I LOVE!! So I'm very excited to really get used to it and start taking 'AMAZING' pictures (note the sarcasm).

This is the first picture I took on this new camera. It is over at Becky's house.

Then, as if the camera wasn't enough, he got me these beautiful flowers. He also did the dishes (my least favorite chore) and helped me clean. Really made a great day for me.

Cambree sang today in church for the first time. She was so excited!! She went up there but unfortunately I really couldn't see her. She was placed on the stairs and could only see the tops of her head. She did make me a cupcake though in primary. Very cute. I love that my kids are getting older and understand these little days more and more. Makes it more fun for me :)
I hope all the women out there had a wonderful day!!

Bonnie's visit!!

Last weekend, Bonnie, her kids, and Scott Sorensen came down to go through the temple. They came down Friday night and we attempted to go out to eat. Man- it was SO busy EVERYWHERE! This is so weird to all of us in this small town. Usually we go in a restuaraunt and sit right down. Nope, not now with the Temple Open house. We waited for close to 40 minutes to be seated at a restuaraunt we usually sit ourselves. It was fun going out though.

That night, all the kids slept in Cambree and Ridge's room-well for the first half of the night :) Our house is so small that noise carries and wakes EVERYONE up. Sorry Tucker and Gracie.

Saturday morning, we went to the Temple Open House. My sister's came up as well along with my Grandma and Grandpa Meikle which was nice.

After we attempted yet another resturaunt- R and R pizza. I have NEVER seen it so busy!!

It was a very fun visit and the kids got along so well. I really wish we lived closer. Graice and Cambree were connected pretty much the whole time. Here are some fun pics of the weekend.

Cambree and Gracie showing us their moves. I could never get a good shot of them.

Another attempt...

It was so stink'n windy. Pictures were near impossible. We were literally getting blown away but we had to try it. Our hair looks so funny :)

This picture cracks me up. Cambree was posing in this picture. Its like a GQ pose..all business.

Thanks for coming to visit Bonnie and Scott. You guys need to come more often. We'll make Thatcher a better place to visit :)

Tribute to Mothers in my life!

I love mother's day. Of course, I love all the little gifts I get and the tribute to motherhood in general, but I love it more becuase it gives me a reason to recognize the wonderful women in my life that has helped shape me to be who I am today.

I was so blessed to grow up among some of greatest women alive. My two Grandmas- Grandma Meikle and Grandma McKnight are some of the most selfless women I know. They have been so awesome examples to me especially now as a mother myself. I look back at the traditions, attributes, and examples they were to me growing up. I truly hope I can aspire to be half the women/mothers they are. I love you both so much.

Then of course there is my mom. I was blessed to grow up in a large family. I was the lucky oldest. I got to watch my mom with my younger siblings and I know she helped me at an early age to be a good mom and wife. I've told this to my mom before, but she's definitely become one of my best friends. I call almost every day and she makes me feel like I'm doing a great job even though I know she's just doing her job as a mother and praising me. She helps me so much. Even living 3 hours away, she is willing to drop whatever to come help me if I need it. She gives me advice and helps me stay sane when I'm at my breaking point. I appreciate her so much more as a mother than ever before and I love her more than I could ever describe. Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Then there is of course, the other women I have come to learn and love in my life. Curtis' Grandma is such a blessing in our lives. Living next door, we get to see her almost daily and my kids love her so much.

Then there is my mother-in-law Pat. Living so close to her, I've learned to appreciate and respect her. She is so willing to help anyone if she can. She does double duty right now of helping her parents full-time and also makes sure to spread her time amongst her kids and grand-kids where she can. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her and all she does for me and my family.

These are just a few of the mother's in my life but there are so many more than have played a crucial part in my life over the years and have helped me in so many areas. I hope they all know how much I love and appreciate them.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sunday is Mother's Day. I am so very blessed to have 3 beautiful children, an amazing husband and a supportive extended family who all help me as I travel down this path of motherhood. I decided today would be a great day to reflect on why I love being a mom.

1. Being Inspired . I may not be following the path I had dreamed up for myself, but I take great pride in my current accomplishment of bringing 3 wonderful children into the world. I am inspired with each of their small accomplishments to give them the best tools so that they can one day grow up to be successful, happy and accomplished individuals.

2. Being an Entertainer. I always dreamed of entertaining parties and coordinating them. Today I have a pretty amazing audience of 3. My days are filled with antics to entertain my crowd and while not all are successful we usually end up with a house full of laughter. I believe laughter is infectious and you can't help but put a smile on your face when you hear the sweet sounds of a child's giggle.

3. Being a Teacher. I come from a family full of teachers and never wanted that to be my career, however I am learning that as a mother it is one of the many hats I wear. I truly enjoy the opportunities to teach my children. I love being able to teach them new things through arts and crafts, books, fun explorations & outings. It is so rewarding to see the sheer joy on their faces as they discover something new.

4. Being Young at Heart. Having kids gives me permission to dance in the rain, talk in funny voices, lay in the grass and watch the clouds go by, bake cookies just because and have tea parties. I try to embrace the gentle reminder from my little ones to stop and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

5. Being Appreciated. I have to admit I don't always feel this way, but then again I don't know any mom who always does. If I have learned anything at all from being a mom is that it is hard work and often times the many things you do go unnoticed. However, those rare and precious moments tend to sneak up on you just at the right moment; a sweet hug for no reason and a "Mommy, I love you" remind me just what a special job I have.

I owe thanks to a lot of people for helping me make my "job" as mom so enjoyable. My husband who always knows when to make me laugh and loves to give the kids their baths! My parents who were patient with me (and still are), set an excellent example and love babysitting for days at a time. My friends who understand (and don't mind when all you do is talk about your kids) and love having "girls night". To my mother-in-law, for always lending a helping hand and offering to lighten my load when I need it most. To each of you I say THANK YOU!