The day of love 💝

I wanted to write some mushy gushy Valentine’s Day post on Wednesday. It would’ve included the story of St. Valentine and how much I love my husband and kids and that one day on the calendar dedicated expressly to love.

It didn’t happen though. Obviously based on the date of this post.

I have my reasons.

First: I had a debilitating migraine that started Monday and was full blown by Tuesday. I slept literally all day. So, when I can back to work on Wednesday, I had to work double time to get caught up.

Second: I was in a bad mood. Not sure why even now after the fact. Josh called me a “grumpass” more than once that day.

Third: my kids are assholes. God, I love them. I’d walk through fire for them. I’d stare down the barrel of a gun. So with that kind of love so deeply ingrained in my heart, I can safely tell you that they are assholes. They acted like they had been at the grandparents all day! This behavior was neither expected nor mentally prepared for since it was a freakin Wednesday.

They didn’t listen. They wouldn’t stop yelling and fighting with one another. They kept stepping on toys they were told to pick up and crying. They didn’t appreciate my pink heart shaped pancakes. They both literally shoved all 4 pancakes in their mouths at once and then had the audacity to ask, mouths full and crumbs falling out, “Can I have candy now?”

They got “Trolls” as one of their gifts. So, we put it in, and Josh and I hid til it was bedtime. Like freezing and watching if they came into eyesight, praying they wouldn’t come bother us, and relaxing when they’d start dancing again.

There were no dinner reservation at a fancy restaurant.

No flowers. No chocolates. No jewelry.

And I didn’t care. Because this is our life right now. Sure, maybe some people can have it all with young kids, but we aren’t those people. And, honestly, that’s ok. Because as frustrating and as hard as this time of our life is, we won’t ever get it back. I will be that old lady who gets teary eyes and nostalgic on Valentine’s Day for scribbled hearts and messy hands. My babies are hardly babies anymore. I have to constantly remind myself to enjoy this time, to relish in the complete dependency they have on me. I get to be their mommy. I get to be the sun in the middle of their solar system, but only for a short time more. I get to be the one they fight over who gets to be my valentine. And, that’s the greatest valentine day gift ever.

Granted, on Wednesday, I would have had a much different story to tell you with a lot more curse words thrown in. Still failing to appreciate them miserably one day leads to triumph the next cause on Thursday I sat on the floor and watched Mattie play with her new valentines toys and watched Ellabelle play the sims and enjoyed my girls.

Every day with them is a day full of love.

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Boring Ole January

January is gross. Like I for real could totally do without this month. It’s gray and cold and it snows and slushes and then gets warm and, oh wait, no, it’s cold again and the girls have runny noses and no sunshine means all I want to do is sleep because of my SAD and, besides Josh’s birthday, I don’t care at all about this month. And breathe. The point is, after the high of Christmas, January is so boring and pretty unnecessary.

So we’ve been indoors a lot.

It also didn’t help that all four of us have been hit with the stomach bug that’s been going around.

Poor daddy sick on the couch with a big ole audience

 

But then it got warm(ish) for two seconds and we tried to be outside when we could. So, we went and really explored Liberty Center for the first time.

We found giant boxes of cereal marshmallows at the candy store

(Mattie wanted to make a face too)

And we got Fiona ice cream. And regardless of what this man may tell you, he seriously is the best daddy.

But it got cold again. So, I took Ellabelle to read to puppies at the library. It’s a program to help kids not feel so nervous about reading out loud. She loved it, but probably not as much as me. 😂 Puppies and listening to my Bee read – match made in heaven.

Lately these girls of mine have been going through this amazingly sweet phase where Mattie will not sleep alone. We put her in her own bed every night and, it seems like almost every morning, she is found in Ellabelle’s bed. It’s really the sweetest thing.

And since we’re in the process of rearranging their room and upgrading their beds, they’ve actually had to share a bed the last few nights.

But tonight we’ll finish the bunk beds and Mattie will have a “big girl” bed on the bottom all to herself.

Also, in the growing up too fast department: the Pay-Pay Fairy came to collect all of Matilda’s pacifiers. We explained to her what was going to be happening and how the fairy would take them away and make them new again and give them to all the little babies of the world. She wasn’t 100% convinced, but, once we told her she’d get a present in exchange, she jumped right on board.

So we are officially out of a crib and done with pacifiers in our house. Now, we just have to conquer potty training.

Ok, so like I said, not much happens in January for us except for Josh’s birthday. We were lucky enough to get to go to Carrabba’s for dinner just the two of us, and like the losers we are, we went to Kenwood so we could get his iPhone fixed afterwards. He tried really hard to be excited about his birthday this year. Normally, he’s not at all excited about it because he hates that it’s always cold and gross. So I wanted to do everything I could to help make sure he had a good birthday, and I think we succeeded.

josh documented the meal on instagram

I had asked Ellabelle what she wanted to get him for his birthday and her response was, “We have to buy him as many Darth Vader’s as we can!” So that’s what he got – lots and lots of Darth Vader’s (plus a Lying Cat for good measure)

I’m pretty sure his favorite was the hand-drawn Vader by Ellabelle.

And now Business pictures:

I’m really looking forward to February. I love holidays, and we’ve got Valentine’s Day and a Valentine’s Day dance at Ellabelle’s school. It also means the starting of Lent which means Easter is right around the corner. And while I realize that February is usually even colder than January and usually there’s more snow, at least there’s a holiday filled with pink and red hearts and glitter to help get me through.

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear

December arrived in a huge rush. It’s, without any competition, the busiest month of the year for us. We are busy Every. Single. Weekend. Even weeknights. Of course, Josh will tell you that I could just plan less things for us to do, but here’s the thing: Christmas is my favorite. My absolute favorite. It ranks above my birthday and ranks right up there with my baby’s birthdays.

Christmas memories are some of my best childhood memories. The different color lights glowing. The cheerful music always playing. Home is all warm and cozy. The first real cold is in the air. All of it makes my heart swell with happiness. Adding the little faces all lit up in awe just makes it all so much better. And that’s what I want for my girls.

I want them to have so many precious Christmas memories stored inside of them that it magically illuminates every single year once December appears on the calendar. And to make lots of memories, you have to do lots of things.

So that’s where we are.

To start the month, Ellabelle’s school had an event called Holidays Around the World. There were lots of cute activities like crackers from England and playing the dreidel for Hanukkah. The girls got their faces painted and picked baskets to put our raffle tickets in. We didn’t win, but we did get to see Santa! Matilda was in awe that he was really there.

Cookie day is one of my favorite days of the entire year. It’s long and exhausting. It’s 10 straight hours on my feet measuring and mixing and refereeing children and telling them not to make a mess and cleaning up the mess that they made anyways. It’s also 10 hours of being in the kitchen with my mom and making memories with my girls.

In actuality, the girls spend most of the time playing and napping and sneaking cookie dough. Still, I want them to have a love of being in the kitchen. I want them to immediately think of these moments when they go to bake their own cookies sometime in the future. I want them to know firsthand that Oma’s spritz cookies are far superior to anyone else’s. I’m not as cool with them dumping flour and not listening to directions as my mom is, but I hope they continue to love cookie day and look forward to it as much as I do each year.

We aren’t raising the girls Catholic, but I was so Saint Nick still comes to visit every December 5 so that the girls can have full stockings on the sixth. Matilda got an “M” marquis light just like the “E” one Ellabelle has. She still calls it her “E light”, but we’re working on that. They were so excited about getting “exactly what I always wanted” from St. Nick, at least according to Ellabelle.

After work, on a Friday, we met Josh’s sister and her family and his mom at the Christmas Ranch out in Morrow. It’s a family‘s house that’s covered in Christmas lights. It was smaller than I expected considering the price, and it was also pretty cold out. The girls enjoyed it though which is all that really matters. They loved the music and the lights and spending time with their cousins. They also saw Santa again!

Maisy had to go to the vet to get an updated rabies shot so that she could get her hair cut. She did not enjoy the experience. She shook like crazy the whole time and kept showing off her Elvis lip.

Thankfully, she took getting the shot very well and later that week she was able to get all spiffed up again. I had missed my little bear.

Ellabelle has dance every Saturday and the school put on a Christmas show for us. Ellabelle got to wear a cute outfit and dance on a big stage in an auditorium. She totally ate up all of the attention.

Matilda asked “where Ellabelle?” every time a new dance class would come out on the stage. She also kept dancing during all of the songs.

We got Ellabelle flowers which she thought was amazing. While I was changing her in the bathroom out of her ballet outfit, Ellabelle looked at me and whispered, “This is the best day of my life.”

We had our hot chocolate picnic in front of the Christmas tree just like we did last year. Ellabelle was super eager to do it again this year. I had baked cookies that morning (because we hadn’t been back to Oma’s for a refill) and we all sat and listened to carols and enjoyed our cocoa.

The biggest damper on the month was Miss Ellabelle being sick. She had been a little under the weather for a few days and she crashed after her dance show.

She kept saying her throat hurt so I took her to the doctor. Sure enough, she had strep. She had to take anabiotics but she seem better within two days. She missed her nutcracker performance at school because of it, which broke both of our hearts, but we had to get her better.

We had a Christmas get together with our friends. Between the three couples, there are seven kids and they were loud and crazy and had a blast together. We did an ornament exchange and had a lovely evening talking to actual grownups for once.

Last year, Auntie Ang took Ellabelle to Entertrainment Junction. This year, her and Oma took both girls. They had so much fun and they saw Santa yet again! You’d think they’d have started acting better!

They went to Frisch’s afterwards and Mattie ended up putting a paper towel into the toilet and then pulling it out. 🙈

I’d been planning and moving and rescheduling our visit to the festival of lights at the zoo for almost 2 weeks. I felt my Christmas spirit dwindling due to stress and work and everything else. So I decided to just fix it. I told Josh, “Tomorrow we’re going. ‘ And we did. We got the girls after work and they knew we were going somewhere special. We were antsy as we sat in the long line to park. We let them have free reign with no strollers or packs. They loved the lights and the music.

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here wasn't a lot of animals to see since it was night, but the few we saw the girls were excited about.

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They also got to see Mrs. Claus, Elsa and Anna, and Frosty the Snowman.

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llabelle was disappointed we didn't get to see the real Fiona, but we did get to see the light version.

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hristopher Pop-in-Kins hung around til it was time to leave on December 23, and he was up to his usual antics.

Thankfully, Ellabelle finally moved her way back onto the nice list. She sat very borderline all the way up till Christmas.

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quick visual biz update:

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And now, the main event – CHRISTMAS!

It was a whole weekend – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – of holiday joy and fun.

Saturday was spent at Josh’s sisters house:

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Saturday was Christmas Eve with my moms side of the family:

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nd, they were super excited to see all the gifts Santa brought on Christmas morning:

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hen we went and saw Mamaw and Papaw

November Business

We started our November with a Christmas gift as weird as it sounds. We had been planning on getting the girls a kitten as a gift. Our friends had gotten one from a party they went to and I saw the pictures on Facebook and asked her about them. She put me in contact with the guy who had the kittens. He had a few Russian blue and black kittens, and we had hoped we could maybe find a Russian blue after Christmas when we were planning on getting the kitten. He had one left, a little boy, and he agreed to let us have him free if charge. After going back and forth about names, we finally agreed we’d call him Mr. Business.

The girls were already set to spend the night at their grandparents that next Friday, and we figured it was best to get him in the house and let our current cats meet him before the girls did. So, we headed to Kentucky and got him. He was the shyest of the group but he seemed fairly ok with being put into Maisys dog crate in the car. He laid down and was silent the whole way home which is the complete opposite of how Jericho is in the car (he screams the entire time and pees everywhere) so it freaked us out. I kept checking on him, and he was totally chill the whole ride.

We introduced him to the boys at home and they did not take well to him (which we expected). Hissing happened but we settled him into the girls room and we made it through the first night no problems.

We went and got the girls the next day and I snuck in the house first and was ready for them. Ellabelle was shocked and thought we had borrowed our friends cat (who happens to be Biz’s litter sister). We clarified that he was ours to keep, and she has been over the moon since.

He’s settled in nicely with the girls. He’s so gentle considering he’s a kitten. He lets them snuggle him and carry his around. Like we could not have asked for a better cat.

The boys don’t hiss at him for just walking around anymore. However, they don’t have any problem hissing when he tries to play with them. Poor Bellini is his favorite and he wants nothing to do with him. Maisy growls at him when he comes near her too but he likes to try to play with her, and she’s a grumpy old lady.

So besides getting Mr. Business, our November has been pretty quiet. Josh and I were off for Veterans Day, and Ellabelle had school. So we went to read to her class and be “mystery readers”. She was so excited. She loved having us there and she got to leave early and be a car rider instead of a bus rider that day. The simple joys of being 5. She still asks when we’re gonna do it again.

Our 11 year anniversary happened on the 6th, and we got to go out the next weekend to celebrate. Ellabelle had her first birthday party for a friend at school. So after we dropped her off, we went to the hibachi with just Matilda. She actually ate some of the food, and she loved the show and the one on one attention she got with us.

We also went out for Oma’s birthday at Chuy’s. The girls were a pain because they had an audience, but their audience loved their antics.

It took almost the whole month, but fall finally showed up.

Ellabelle has been waiting to jump in leaves since it was put on our fall bucket list back in September. We had a big wind storm, and our big tree in back finally let go of it’s leaves. So daddy delivered on the leaf pile.

There’s the thing though, fall showed up just in time for Christmas. Our elf comes on thanksgiving night, and I like having the tree up for him. So the weekend before thanksgiving, we decorated. The girls loved it. The bottom of our tree is very ornament heavy, but I think that makes it extra special. They’re only little for such a short amount of time. Let the tree show how just how far they can reach. Mattie was so excited about all of it that she just kept jumping up and down, and yelling, “Kissmas! Kissmas!” I still catch her just examining the tree sometimes.

We had Thanksgiving at my Uncle Kenny’s as usual. I’m not a super huge fan of Thanksgiving. I like the message behind it, but, really, I’m thankful almost every day for what I have. It gets lost in the shuffle sometimes, but I have to constantly remind myself how lucky I am to have what I have in life. My job drives me crazy, but it’s a good job. I wish I had a bigger and better house, but I have a home full of love for my girls. My kids drive me to the point of insanity, but they are happy and healthy and I get the privilege of being their mom. I remind myself of this when I feel like everything hitting the fan (which does happen on a pretty regular basis). I don’t need a special day with turkey and trimmings. I do enjoy the company of my family, but the holiday shouldn’t be a once a year thing. I try to remind myself of all I’m thankful of and actually embrace the joy it brings every day.

We went and spent the night at Oma and Opa’s that night because Josh worked the day after. When we woke, we decorated her tree. It actually went better than decorating our tree because Oma was helping.

And, yes, Christopher Pop-in-Kins is back. He arrived at Oma’s house, and he’s been around since then being silly and hiding in funny places.

The month ended with poor Matz being sick. She had a fever and a cough. I had to take her to the doctor of antibiotics. The last weekend, Josh and Ellabelle ran up to see Mamaw and Papaw. When they got back, I had to run a few errands, so I took Mattie since she was finally on the mend. We went and grabbed Steak n’ shake for lunch, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed eating with just a two year old. She was funny and sweet and she actually ate her meal. The people around us just loved her too. She’s such a ham 🍖.

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m so exited that we’ve finally entered December. The girls are counting down the days for santa. This time of year is always just so special and magical. We are super busy but in the very best way.

🍁Sept and Oct🎃

Soooo

It’s November.

And, as expected, I haven’t been anywhere near here. I’m trying to be better. I really do have the best intentions of writing, but the best laid plans and all.

I should mention that the month started with me turning 30 🎉🎈 and while I have been slacking I did start writing this retrospective on turning 30 and how it feels to start a new decade and blah blah blah. Then I let Ellabelle type on my phone. And she deleted it. So I’m back to square one. But maybe it’s a better representation of what being 30 is to me than anything else. Sure I could’ve rewritten some nice thought provoking or inspiring post, but I have kids and I’m tired and most days I’m just trying to make it through and most days that’s what makes me happy. Not always, but it’s exactly what I had always pictured for myself. I have what will mostly be my forever job. I’ve got two beautiful little girls. I’ve got the puppy I always wanted. 30 isn’t as scary as everyone makes it out to be. I’m hoping my thirties will be my best years so far.

Ok, so, quick quick recap of both months.

September

My birthday party – surprise limo ride, hibachi dinner, surprise party surrounded by all the people I love. I was completely shocked and beyond grateful.

With my birthday money, I bought a new desk. It meant a trip to ikea, and it’s become a center point for our evenings, be it for my crafts or for Ellabelle’s homework

The girls spent the day with Lisa

Ellabelle started ballet at her new ballet school

We went and watched Alex play tennis

The Cincinnati Rollergirls started their fall season right up the street from us so, of course, we had to go (and dress for the occasion)

Our friends daughter, Mackenzie, turned 3 and had a Moana party complete with boat

We went to the Applefest. Parking was chaos and it was a glorified craft show, but the girls had fun.

October

We tried Chuys out for dinner

We’ve recently discovered a newfound love for the library

I decorated Yo Gabba Gabba pumpkins

We visited a pumpkin patch

We had a monster mash party

Ellabelle was off school one Monday so Josh and her had a special daddy and Bee day complete with The My Little Pony Movie

We went to Blanchester to see Alex play in the band for her senior night

Our heater didn’t start as usual – so the girls and I had to go stayed with Oma and Opa one night

So now we move onto November – cooler air, Christmas prep, a special surprise for the girls. So much to be thankful for and celebrate.

August

How quickly it’s come and gone. I feel like I was just posting about how it was here, and now it’s literally September. I don’t feel like we really did much this month either. We spent a lot of time just hanging out at home.

Like seriously.

Lots of down time.

Lots.

But maybe the month feels like it went so fast because the things we did do were pretty big all day events.

We had Ellabelle’s five year check up, and YAH 🎉 she’s finally gained some weight.

We also had to attack our trees. Our trees have never been trimmed in the 6 years we’ve lived in our house. Well, they needed a spruce real bad. Thankfully, my dad has a pole saw we could borrow and take care of it. Josh took care of most of it because I’m whiney and pathetic and I don’t like manual labor. He did let me cut some limbs though 😁 It was a huge process like multiple weekends worth of work.

The girls spent the weekend we did a majority of the tree work with their cousin Alex. The age difference between them (kindergarten and senior) has never seems to make a difference which I think is amazing. After we picked them up, we stopped to see the sunflower field near our house. The girls liked the flowers from the edge of the field, but they didn’t like the leaves touching them or the bees.

Maisy enjoyed the visit though cause she got to hang her head out with window.

Ellabelle had a special day with Oma and Opa before school started. She spent the night, got spoiled, and went an adventure the next day. She got to visit Great Oma and Opa, feed a deer, and played on a playground.

And, yes. Who could forget the most important thing that happened in August?

Kindergarten.

Ellabelle has been excited for probably months. So, when phase in day came, she was over the moon. We got to go meet her teacher and see her school. She threw a fit because she didn’t want to leave. We promised her she’s be back the following Monday and would get to ride her bus to school that day.

And then the big day came.

She got on the bus at the babysitters. Thankfully, the sitter was nice enough to take pictures for me. I didn’t take her myself because we didn’t want to mess up her routine already. Mattie waited with her for the bus.

When she got dropped off at the babysitters after school, little sister was super happy to see her.

As for how it’s going so far – Ellabelle likes it. She likes the playground and computer lab. She’s making friends slowly. She does complain it’s boring, but we’re hoping that will change as they start their actual subjects this next week. Overall, actual school is going well. Our kindergartener’s behavior leaves much to be desired. However, I think this has something to do with it:

I feel ya, kid. No naps are hard.

The rest of the month held a party with our friends who just adopted a little boy and a pool day with Auntie Ang and Oma.

Miss Matilda had her allergy panel test to see if she’s allergic to tree nuts like her sister. Thankfully, she’s not!

Since then she’s already helped me devour food with almond paste, almond flour, and pistachios. Ellabelle handles it all ok. We haven’t seen any issues with her like I thought we might. She understands that she can’t have nuts and Mattie can.

The day she had her test she came to visit me at work and everyone just swooned over her. She’s a ham so she loved it.

The month closed out with Oktoberfest. I always say: I took Josh’s name. He took my heritage.

And now we’re into September. We’ve got our fall bucket list made so we’re ready to go!