Anxiety and Perspective

Anxiety. 

My anxiety is crippling. 
It’s devastating. 
It’s overwhelming. 
It’s consuming and mutilating. 

It’s also ridiculous. 

I used to think my depression was what kept me down. I blamed it for all the problems I experienced that effected me internally as well as socially. I’ve realized recently, while I do suffer from depression, my anxiety is the controlling disease. 

It strolls up and grabs me by the throat and holds until I feel like I can’t breathe, most times literally. I have days where I gasp for air because it’s all too much. And I don’t know how to control it or fight it or even avoid it. It sneaks up when I least expect it. My day can be going great and before I know it I’m covered in a blanket of anxiety and pretty soon I’m suffocating. 

Perspective. 

Some days I need it more than others. These days, where it feels like the sky has fallen and I’m crushed under it, perspective is the only thing that helps fight the anxiety (for me anyways). It is so necessary during these times. Gotta see the forest for the trees. I’m more of a trees for the forest kinda girl which makes some days really hard. 

I get so lost in the details no matter how teeny tiny and insignificant they may be. This adds to the panic of anxiety. It’s hard to put things where they need to go in your head and step back and see the big picture when you feel like the entire world has collapsed around you.

But you have to.

 
You fight it. 
Sometimes it takes a while. 
Sometimes it takes all your energy.
Sometimes you just go to sleep and (hopefully) it’s gone when you wake up.
 
Eventually, you feel relief. I’m sure it’s different for everyone. I can breathe easier. My mind stops spinning scenarios and stops making plans. It slows down. 

And perspective steps in. 

My girls.
My husband. 
My dog. 
My family. 
My job. 
My sanity. 

It’s all still there. It’s all ok. Nothing has changed. Nothing has happened. The people and things that matter are all still there. And as I relax I feel like I’ve run a marathon because of the stress that was put on my body. And I’ll go back to functioning. 

Hopefully, no one noticed my attack.
Hopefully, the rest of the day will be ok. 
Hopefully, it won’t happen again. 

But it will. 

Spring!!!

Spring is officially here! Believe it or not. And I am not about to let old moody Mother Nature kill my excitement. Yes, I realize it’s been cold and gross, and, yes, I am still wearing ugg boots and sweaters to work, but it is officially spring today and we are gonna celebrate all things spring. 

🌷🌷🌷

Rain boots (which we definitely need today😐)

Flowers

Pastels

Easter

Going to the zoo 

Sunshine 

Bubbles

Clouds (the good big fluffy kind)

Flip flops -cause those suckers are out as soon as it’s warm enough to not get frostbite. 

Puppy car rides (not pictures: her head out the window)

This little girl’s birthday

And this year – it means the beach!! Mattie’s never been, Ellabelle doesn’t remember going so it’s gonna be so much fun! 

🌷🌷🌷

Now, if only Mother Nature could get her act together give us some warm temps! ☀️

Resting and learning to rest

So, 2016 went out with a bang (or a surgery, same diff) and my 2017 started nice and slow. I literally slept for most of the first week. Pain pills and walking around the house like an old person kept me going. I hardly ate because I didn’t feel like it. When I was awake, I was depressed – depressed because I couldn’t hug my babies (like Matilda had to literally be kept away from me), I couldn’t spend time with my husband (cause I was so tired), I felt like I was failing as a mom and that I had failed myself somehow because my organ needed removed. None of this was true and Josh tried so hard to remind me of this. He did such an awesome job being a full time dad and taking care of a whiney sick wife. It was very hard on me because I hate just sitting around. It was also hard to do anything. So my body forced me to rest. I think it’s what I needed especially after Christmas. With being so busy almost everyday, maybe my body was just ready to take it easy. Funny how your body always seems to know.


We were both so relieved when I finally started feeling better on Friday, and on Saturday Oma watched the girls so Josh and I could go out for his birthday. We went down to Newport to eat at Joes Crab Shack because Josh loves seafood. The first thing that greeted us upon arrival was a firetruck. Josh pointed out this isn’t exactly the best sign at a restaurant you’re planning on eating at.


It was freezing, and the restaurant had a pipe burst. There was water flooding out of the bathrooms that a guy was trying to mop up. Thankfully, the kitchen was not affected. We had a nice quiet lunch, and Josh got him some mussels so he was a happy birthday boy.


When we got back my parents house to get the girls, Ellabelle had helped Oma bake a birthday cake for Josh. Ellabelle insisted it have strawberries on it. She then proceeded to pick off and eat every strawberry off the cake.


On Sunday, we went BW3s with my parents and Angie and Mike to celebrate Josh’s bday. The girls were awful as usual while out at a restaurant. However, they were both very happy to have a captive audience. Ellabelle ran back and forth around the table, and Mattie was unhappy because she wanted to run around too but was strapped into a high chair. Ellabelle threw a massive fit when we left because she was given a balloon by a table next to ours and she let it go almost as soon as she had it. She wanted another one and we were not about to ask the nice strangers for another so that mean the world was ending.
If you’re signed up for the Red Robin card, you get a free burger and so we went and got burgers for Josh’s birthday. We like to extend the birthdays around here. I’ve managed to stretch mine for a whole month before. Now, mind you, this was Monday. The first day back to work for me following my surgery as well as the first day of my “healthy lifestyle change.” I did not enjoy my salad for lunch and needed something fattening. Thankfully, I’ve been doing a lot better with the eating better and eating the right things when I do eat. That first day was rough though.


So, I came back to work and, while I was gone, I had received an invitation to my promotion ceremony. So I got to dress all nice and go to the Chief of Police’s staff meeting and he read a little thing about me and we took pictures and I got a certificate. It was all very exciting. Josh is jealous. He’s never been promoted so he’s never gotten to do this. He still makes more money than me so I’d rather have the cash then the certificate, but I get his point.


So I made it through my first week back fairly easily. I had a rough time with my incisions hurting, and I had to switch to yoga pants instead of work pants to help, but I pushed through. Martin Luther King Day was that next Monday. So, I took Ellabelle to see Moana in theaters. We went to one of those super fancy new theaters with the huge reclining leather chairs. She loved it and the icee and the movie.


She did super well during it. I thought she’d be a pain because this was my first movie with her and others who have taken her said she likes to talk and move around a lot, but she did great. Moana was absolutely adorable, and she loved it so much she’s getting the bluray for Valentine’s Day.
The next week ended in a down note – Donald Trump was inaugurated into the office of President. Hearing him referred to as president still makes my skin crawl every time. I’m still in denial about it, I guess. In an effort to help myself feel better about the world I’m raising two young girls in and to actually get out there and do something, I made Josh go to the local Women’s March.


He was reluctant at first, and not because he doesn’t support women’s rights. We got down there and the crowd was huge. It was amazing. Being surround by people who think like us and feel passionate about the same causes was something we needed. We live in a very conservative area and it’s so easy to feel lost and alone. Josh told me he was really glad I made him go. And we took the girls too. I wanted them to be a part of it even if they likely won’t remember it. Unfortunately, it looks it’s a fight they’ll be fighting along side me someday, but we have to start somewhere.


Ellabelle loved it because she thought she was in a parade.


After the march, I took Josh to his friends house, and he went off and had a guys night. So it was a girls night at the Hawkins House. We napped and hung out and made brownies and watched Lego Movie while we ate brownies.


We had a quiet morning the following day and then we went over to Oma and Opa’s house. Maisy had a puppy play date with her cousin Beanie. Maisy scared Beanie and chased her around the house at first, but eventually they both settled down. I don’t think they’ll be best buddies anytime soon, but at least they’ll be able to hang together in the future if necessary.

Josh and I both took our birthday holidays from work on the 27th. We literally slept all day since we were both so exhausted. We ran up to the Disney store though because I wanted to get Ellabelle’s Valentine’s Day gift because she wasn’t with us.
We all watched Big Hero 6 on the 28th. I’m not good at relaxing and sitting – especially for a movie. But I love my whole family being snuggled up on a couch. January’s was slow paced compared to December and even November. So I’m working hard on just being at home and being relaxed on weekend.


Ellabelle got her first library card. She was so excited. She picked out books for herself to check out, and she wants to go back to visit already. I’ve been trying to instill in my girls the love of reading, and so far so good.


Our month ended on a not so great note -Miss Ellabelle was sick. She had a bad cough and kept wanting to sleep on the couch which is way out of character. So Josh had to stay home with her. She’s doing better, but this crazy Ohio weather (mid-50s one day, snowing and 20s the next) is so hard on the girl’s sinuses anyways that it makes colds even worse.


My February is looking crazy on the calendar because there’s nothing planned. Sure, Valentine’s Day is in there, but my weekends are blank. I think I may be kinda happy about it. Like I said, I’m not good at doing nothing. So it’s a constant process to grow and slow down and just be. But I’m working on it. I want to be better. I want to learn to be more present. We spent most of the weekends in January at home. I was still healing, but it was nice to kinda hibernate. I love spending time with crazy girls. They keep things fun in the house even if they also keep it very loud and messy.

December 2❄️16

I love December. I don’t like the cold and the snow and ice that sometimes appears early in the winter season, but even among the chill that sets in outside, December still always feels warm. There’s people coming together and there’s watching Christmas movies under blankets and hot chocolate and elves popping around everyone’s houses and Christmas light. Yes, Christmas lights are my favorite. They are the best part of December. And they are literally everywhere. And I don’t discriminate. I love them all. Colorful, white, blue, icicle, blinking, musical, strands and shapes – if they glow softly in the night I’m in. I’ve tried very hard to stop and enjoy the lights in our house. I used to love coming home from school, plugging in the tree, turning on some Christmas songs, and doing my homework. I love sitting in the glow. It’s just warms my heart.


And with our December being jammed pack (by my own doing of course), I didn’t stop and enjoy the lights as much as I wish I had, but I did get some basking in.

Our busy, busy month started with an Ellabelle free weekend. She was originally suppose to spend the night at Auntie Ang’s in November, but it got pushed back til the first weekend in December. We dropped her off and headed off to enjoy quiet time (since she never stops talking). We stopped and had lunch at Logan’s to celebrate my promotion.


As we were finishing we got a call from Auntie Ang. Ellabelle had been jumping up and down in excitement and fell and bit her lip. She was bleeding on the inside and out so we paid and headed back. We switched out kids, leaving Matilda with Angie, and took Ellabelle to Children’s Hospital.


Luckily, she hadn’t bitten all the way through the lip. She baffled the doctor and the nurses because she managed to bite the inside and outside of her mouth somehow.


We took her back to Angie’s (which is the only thing EB had been worried about the entire hospital trip) and took Mattie home with us. We went and wrapped presents at Oma’s the next day for her, and Angie dropped Ellabelle off to us there, butttt not til after they went and saw the Christmas trains in their Christmas outfits. Ellabelle had so much fun with Angie, and it makes me so happy that Ellabelle is developing a relationship with her and that Mattie will have the opportunity as she grows as well.

Christmas magic continued when St. Nick came to visit us. He brought lots of fun things (a new Reindeer Bah for Mattie, light up Rudolph slippers for Ellabelle).


And while St. Nick and presents are fun, cookie day was the only thing Ellabelle could talk about since before Thanksgiving. So, I took off a Friday from work, and Oma and I baked cookies, just like we do every year. Our little helper was not as much help as I anticipated, but she still had so much fun. I baked from 7am til 5:30pm. My mom started and ended after me though. We baked so many cookies that I don’t even know how many dozens there were.

I made a Christmas Bucket List for us to complete and Ellabelle wasso excited about it. She would steal my notebook its written in and just look at it.


So, by cookie day, we had completed a few.


And our card this year:

Next on the list was Breakfast with Santa.


We had pancakes and sauage and the girls got to go talk to Santa. Mattie was not exactly convinced, but she held it together. Ellabelle just could not contain herself and poor Santa had no idea what she was rattling off to him.  

I took Ellabelle to see the ballet at Mason High School.


It was only an hour and a half so it kept her attention, and she loved it. She wants to do ballet now. She also squeals and yells when she sees a nutcracker anywhere now.

So, Mattie points and makes all kind of adorable baby noises when she see any sort of Christmas lights (I’ve obviously passed on the Christmas gene to this one). So, we knew she’d love going to see lots of lights.


Josh and I weren’t the impressed because it’s the same display every year, but listening to both girls chatter and point about all the different designs made it so much fun. We also went to visit Santaland afterwards. Mattie hated the puppet show and ran away from the walking talking Christmas tree. (“O! Christmas Me! O! Christmas Me!”) Both girls really liked the elf show especially since they both got to dance.

We went and saw Santa again so I could get a proper picture.

The line was really, really long, but we waited.

Ellabelle made an ornament while we waited. So she was pretty happy.


Once we got up to Santa, Mattie decided she still did not like this guy in the red suit. This time she let us all know. She cried and reached for me the entire time. The Santa was really rude as well and didn’t want to give Mattie a candy cane. However, we all survived and I got a crying kid picture.

Next thing on the bucket list was not Josh approved because, well, Josh is not so into holidays. He was definitely not into sitting on the floor and giving the girls chocolate to spill.


However, since he’s the Grinch married to Buddy the Elf, he was a good sport. The girls both really enjoyed the whole thing.

The weekend before Christmas we went and had our Christmas with Josh’s sisters family. Ellabelle adores her cousin Alex, and Mattie adores a captive audience. We had dinner and opened gifts and the girls passed out before we had hardly left the driveway on the ride home.

Our friend, Amy, graduated this December. She’s honestly amazing because she’s got 4 kids and still managed to rock the whole college thing. I can’t even get laundry put up with only two kids. We went to her graduation party to celebrate, but we didn’t get to stay long because Matilda was just being unruly. She’s getting more and more opinionated which I don’t approve of because she’s always been the sweet one. Ellabelle came out with an attitude, but Mattie has always been so go with the flow. I don’t like her “No!” to everything we say and her tantrums full on the floor. I’m hoping this is just a stage and will pass.

After the longest 5 days EVER, we made it through the work week and it was finally Christmas Eve! I stressed and stressed all week about getting last minute gifts and packing and wrapping and I almost made it not fun. However, Josh gave me a talking to and got me refocused on all the good that is Christmas. Sometimes I just get so caught up in prep and lists that I miss the big picture. And Christmas is all about the big picture.

We spent the day at my parent house so the girls could nap there. Christmas Eve is always at my parents house and it’s one of my favorite days of the year.


My moms side of the family is loud and fun and drinkers. I got a little overexcited and did a few too many shots.

Mattie was really excited about Lexi’s gifts
Josh and Lexi hanging out


Josh intentionally got drunk (“drunk enough I don’t have to help carry up presents [from the basement]”) and passed out well before we got everything upstairs.

 

He was a naughty boy, but at least he only smokes when he drinks.

As usual, we over did it on the gifts. Everyone went to bed around 12:30 and was ready for an exciting morning with the girls.

 

This gift was 100% for my kid. Not for me. Not at all.


Then the stomach bug appeared.

 

The calm before the storm

On the bed. On herself. On poor Auntie Ang. Ellabelle threw up three different times in the bed and used the bathroom on the floor of the bathroom once. Poor thing was so tired and cold and kept getting stripped and thrown in the shower. Mattie slept through most of it

 


but the rest of us were up and running around. Oma kept stripping sheets and starting laundry. Angie was cleaning herself up. Josh was showering Ellabelle. I was trying to find extra clothes. Finally, around 5:00am, Mattie woke up and we threw in the towel. We made Opa get up (he exclaimed, “Are you serious?!” when we told him he had to) and we opened presents before the sun came up. We were all tired but we made it through without only one more episode of stomach problems.

Hair style courtesy of the stomach bug
Tired babe and sick babe


After eating, Angie left and we all napped. We cancelled on Mamaw and Papaw just to be safe since we weren’t sure about Ellabelle’s stomach and we didn’t want to get anyone else sick. When we got home, we all went to be early.

 

The next day, Ellabelle was back to her normal self (thankfully). So I took her to the mall to spend her gift card.


The night of the 26th I thought I had caught the stomach bug from Ellabelle but it seemed to pass without much interference to my daily life.

So, Ellabelle took a nose dive off the couch on the 22nd, and she’d complained occasionally that her shoulder hurt. Now, she’s a bit overdramatic about most things so we didn’t really think twice about it. Until the bump showed up on her clavicle. After a call to her pediatrician, we were told to go to the ER for X-rays.

She has the smallest break that you can’t even see it on a regular X-ray. So she got a sling and wrap for a week which was suppose to immobilize her shoulder. Yeah, anyone with a 4 year old will tell you there’s no immobilizing them with just an ace bandage. Still we tried the best we could.

The 30th was Christmas with family friends. It was after work so we were tired, the girls were cranky, and I still didn’t feel a 100%. So we didn’t make it very long into the evening. Come to find out that night that the stomach bug was not what was wrong with me. Turns out it was my gallbladder being hateful.

Dark tunnels

There’s that old saying that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. So, in theory, if you keep moving forward, eventually the darkness with turn back to light. For a while, that light felt more like a train barreling towards us, and us running the opposite direction, back into the dark, just hoping it doesn’t catch up and annihilate us. And lately, there’s been no light at all. Just us…sitting in the dark…waiting…hoping…for something to guide us back out.

Well, today is the first Monday of the year. It’s the first day of the first work week of the year. It was also my first day at my new job. And I’m not gonna go on the typical “new year, new me, new possibilities, yah!” spiel. No, I’m still in the pitch black tunnel for the time being. There’s no big excitement for a new year and starting over and all that junk.

I was very lucky to spend 8 months at home with EB when she was a baby. We struggled, but I was happy otherwise with being the one my baby interacted with and grew with every day. I returned to work and worked at that job til EB was 15 months old. Then I was home with her for another 4 months. Next, I got a day time job with regular hours. That job was cut short because of pregnancy complications. I was devastated. It really tore me up that the place I had planned to spend at least a couple of years, if not long term, had to let me go simply because of policy reasons. I felt like I had failed. Hindsight, that job was probably going to end up being a dead end, and the silver lining of being unemployed was that when Matilda showed up, I got to be with her every day just like I did with EB.

Anyway, today was kinda a big deal. It was hard to leave the girls especially Mattie. EB has been to two different babysitters. She knows the drill. She understands that mommy has to go to work. Mattie, on the other hand, doesn’t know why mommy left her with some stranger today for 9 hours. It breaks my heart…and I’m sure it’s probably harder on me than her. I did drop them off like a champ though. In and out. No tears. No problems.

Work was a bit weird today because it was the monday back for everyone after a 4 day weekend, and it was busy. So, I was little lost in the shuffle which I totally get. There are suppose to be 4 people doing my job. Well, 1 is me, and I have no idea what I’m doing yet. 2 is a vacant position that they interviewed for today. 3 is a lady who was off today. And 4 is the woman training me who happened to be absolutely swamped because it was just her and me and I’m still completely useless.

The day went quickly though. I was so happy to get my girls and head home. I asked EB about her day and here’s her account:

“I eat lunch and I play with the boys. I fall down at the babysitters. The boys fought me. I watch spongebob squarepants. Snacks. I did that! Mattie rolled over. The boys hurt my feelings. They hurt my heart. I fall down and I got a batman sword. I used that! I hit everybody with the sword. That’s my job.”

Never found out what or how the boys hurt her feelings, but apparently she had a productive day. Hopefully, mine will be just as productive tomorrow. I get to go sit in on court cases and shadow some. I’m just happy to be contributing to this family in a job that has some longevity possible. It’s been such a rough past month. December was hard for us – Christmas not included. I tried to make sure the girls got the holiday memories and experiences they deserve. Otherwise, I’m so grateful for a new year, new job, and, hopefully, a new light at the end of the tunnel

(fine, a little optimism managed to sneak in there)

Better late than never – October and November

I love holidays. I blame my mother. She decorates for every single holiday. There is hardly a day in a calendar year where her house is not decorated (Those rare days being the switch between two holidays). It wasn’t until high school that I realized that this holiday obsession makes her weird. And when I say weird, I mean it in the best way possible. Josh thinks it’s crazy. He doesn’t understand the point of it all. It’s safe to say that his dad wasn’t hanging heart covered garland for Valentine’s day or covering the house in bunnies for Easter so it’s no surprise. To me, decorating for holidays is just part of the change of the seasons. And changing season themselves are reasons to celebrate.

I’ve been itching for fall this year. Summer was weird this year, wet and cool, and it was spent down and out for the most part. Between the healing cesarian incision and having a newborn, I wasn’t in the holiday mood (Sleep deprivation will do that to you). Don’t get me wrong, I obviously was into the specific holidays as they rolled around, but the decorations and the celebration of the season wasn’t there. It was as tired as Josh and I was. So, fall. I’ve been waiting for it – tights and moccasins and hats and football and changing leaves and crisp air and pumpkins and turkeys and costumes and hot cider and the list could go on and on.

Oh, and just for the record, my house was decorated in falling leaves and light up spider webs complete with glowing spiders and creepy gauze and tombstones and garlands with skulls and pumpkins and spiders for all of October.

To start the month, on October 1, I had a structured oral exam with the police department of Blue Ash. I didn’t think I did very well. They only hired for one position so I didn’t have my hopes up, but I did get invited back for an interview. I never heard anything back to I didn’t get selected. 😦 Oh well, that’s life.

Then we started our busy weekends of October with the return of one the best parts of fall – football.

10/3 – Alex’s band performance

Alex is Josh’s sister’s daughter, and she plays the flute in the band. We were going to try and go to one of her games in September, but it poured down rain and we didn’t want to take Mattie out in it. So we rescheduled and it was still wet and rainy. We arrived before the beginning of the game, and we were bundled up. It was cold! Luckily, Mattie was dress in long sleeves and pants, her jacket, a hat, inside of her mei tai carrier against my chest with my jacket around her exposed legs and a hood on the carrier and blanket. She was the only one of us that was warm. Ellabelle was excited though and the rain couldn’t dampen her spirits. She had been saying all week, “Go see Alex play music!” We only stayed to see her perform til the start of the game because it was so cold. We said our hellos and then went to Josh’s mom’s house for hot chocolate. IMG_0587

10/4 – Bengals game

Auntie Ang and Mike watched the girls so that Josh and I could go see the Bengals face off against the Kansas City Chiefs. I was a little worried for them because both girls together can be a bit of a handful. They did wonderful though, even letting us go out to dinner before we picked them up, but I could tell they were happy to have them leave. IMG_0601IMG_1071

Where Ellabelle watched the game
Where Ellabelle watched the game

As for the game, the streak has been broken, they WON! I have never seen a professional team win while at the game – the Reds, the Blue Jackets and both Bengals games I had been to. Well, third times a charm because they beat the Chiefs! It was an amazing and exciting game to get to see live. IMG_0614 IMG_0626IMG_0618IMG_0608

Lately Ellabelle has been wanting the match Mattie when I get them both dressed. So, besides the adorableness of tights and knee socks, theres also sister matching going on. 

IMG_0659IMG_0673 IMG_0712 IMG_0689

10/10 – Barn n Bunk Pumpkin Patch and Lisa’s 50th Birthday Party

I’ve been waiting and waiting (not so patiently) to take both of my girls to a pumpkin patch. We went to the same one we went to last year. We went through the corn maze, IMG_0876 IMG_0870

Ellabelle rode the train, IMG_0882

rode the tractor ride around the pumpkin field, IMG_0890

and checked out the pumpkins for sale. IMG_0923IMG_0931

We let Ellabelle pick out a pumpkin for her and one for Mattie. IMG_1290

A pumpkin patch is everything that is fall – all the smells (straw and cinnamon), all the sights (dying corn, which is kinda depressing if you think about it so don’t think too hard about it, and pumpkins), and the feels (both physically – baby wearing and rest your chin on her knit hat and carrying pumpkins by the stem – and emotionally – my heart swelling as Ellabelle jumps up and down when she finds the right pumpkin). IMG_0859 IMG_1044

After the pumpkin patch, we took Ellabelle and Mattie to spend the night at Mamaw and Papaw’s so we could go to Lisa’s birthday party. Ellabelle was over the moon about it. 

IMG_0938

We went to Django’s in Northside for dinner with everyone. The shrimp tacos are amazing. IMG_0936 IMG_1084

We went back to the neighborhood bar, The C&D, for about 2 hours. Josh and I sat and watched the first Iron Man at the bar. Everyone kept saying we were being anti-social, but it was crowded and watching a movie without someone screaming or throwing toys across the room was exactly what we love to do without our munchkins. We did get into the group before the party bus showed up and then once on the bus. It was a great time on the bus. What’s better than cruising and belting out some of your favorite songs with like 20 really awesome people? IMG_0945 IMG_0951

Josh dancing
Josh dancing

10/11 – Soccer

Ellabelle had a lot of fun at soccer. There were only 4 kids that showed up (out of 15?), and she loved the games they played. IMG_1085IMG_0971

10/12 – Job interview

I had a job interview bright and early on Monday morning. Poor daddy had to take the girls to work til I was done. The good news is I got the job! It’s part time and in the evenings making pretty decent money. I had to go take the drug test so it was almost noon before I saved daddy from the trouble twins. IMG_1086IMG_1087

10/17 – Trent spends the night and Alex’s band competition

We watched Trent Saturday into Sunday. Ellabelle was ecstatic to wake up and have “Cook” here (Her “Tr”s come out like “C”s). We went to watch Alex play with her high school band in a competition. We had no idea what to expect, but it was actually pretty cool to watch. Afterwards, we went to Marion’s and had pizza. Ellabelle was glued to Trent’s side the whole evening, and I know she was sad when he had to go home the next day. IMG_1134 IMG_1133 IMG_1135IMG_1155

10/18 – Last soccer practice of the year

Only 6 kids showed up, but it was a fun closure to Ellabelle’s first attempt at soccer. IMG_1218 IMG_1207 IMG_1215 IMG_1263

10/22 – Library craft day

Our library does craft days every month for kids ages 3-5. Ellabelle was ecstatic when we got there and there was a huge group of kids. The theme was trees, and they made two crafts, listened to a book about trees, and learned a fun song. 

We also carved pumpkins. Ellabelle painted her little one. IMG_1277 IMG_1279 IMG_1291

We carved the bigger pumpkins. Ellabelle hated the guts but loved the seeds. IMG_1578 IMG_1569 IMG_1575

She was terrified of them once we put them outside though IMG_1589

This is seriously as close as she'd get even in the daylight
This is seriously as close as she’d get even in the daylight

10/24 – Halloween Trick or Treat at the Library and Britnee’s wedding reception

The library had a not scary halloween event on Saturday morning. Ariel and Sleeping Beauty looked adorable. Ellabelle loved all the games, won a few prizes, and got some candy. We also checked out a few books about Halloween. IMG_1367

Mattie had fun too!
Mattie had fun too!

IMG_1507IMG_1509IMG_1511

Saturday night was 2nd cousin Britnee’s wedding reception. The wedding had been a week before in Florida, and they had a regular reception up here. Ellabelle had a blast! She loved dancing and being with her Auntie Ang and Mike. I, personally, love weddings. So, it was a great night. Josh was exhausted because he had worked 10 hour days at work before hand so him and Mattie weren’t as into it all as much as Bee and I were, but it was still a lot of fun. IMG_1513 IMG_1523

10/31 – Trick or Treating with Ellabelle’s “boys” and Lisa’s Halloween Party

We went trick or treating around our friend’s neighborhood because 1) no one gives out candy in our neighborhood and 2) Ellabelle loves seeing her boys. We rode in a golf cart which ended up being a great idea because of the little legs and the crowds. Ellabelle and Hudson trick or treated for the full two hours and scored a ton of candy. IMG_1722 IMG_1732 IMG_1723

We went to Lisa’s halloween party afterwards. Ellabelle played on Lisa’s iPad. Mattie was unhappy with Oma’s clown make up. Josh fell asleep (which happens every year somehow). IMG_1726

A few random pics:

IMG_1504 IMG_1541 IMG_0990 IMG_1800 IMG_1609 IMG_0649 IMG_0725

Aaannndddd . . . now November.

November has been crazy for us. I’ve been working every evening, and Josh has been working 10 hour days for overtime. Life has been beyond stressful financially which has taken a toll on us emotionally Our furnace had to be fixed. Our car is still in the process of being fixed. I’m honestly happy to see it go. I’m so excited about what December holds for us. But for now, November (mostly in pictures):

11/3 – We voted 12191195_10101061637981280_1725614924284367627_o

11/6 – Josh and I had our 9 year anniversary. We didn’t do anything, but its still worth noting. lol

11/7 – Thanksgiving Craft Day at the library

10247395_10101064425140790_8083844783394667856_n 12208459_10101064425260550_6699900458672558924_n

11/8 – Out for Oma’s birthday

We ended up at Logan’s and it was yummy. 12208394_10101065048496580_3865265573986997796_n

11/15 – With my schedule at work, we had to put the Christmas decorations up early. We started by raking up the leaves to begin with. EB was daddy’s big helper.

12208406_10101069644800550_4730168530531223963_n 12219385_10101069644580990_2069074427111208443_n

Ellabelle loved helping with the lights too. 12241462_10101069646272600_9203201950836428002_n 12243050_10101069676816390_2446718015103309887_n 12219388_10101069676911200_8521092962374019006_n 12208358_10101069109208880_602206747596361411_n12241404_10101069646292560_4791130334071619673_n

11/21 – We mailed the girls letters to Santa

12243375_10101073187451050_8046972083524730712_n 12122953_10101073187855240_3410809895335079291_n 12243537_10101073187251450_7830212424786886941_n

11/23 – Mattie’s 6 month check up

All 16lbs of my chunk is healthy and happy 12278964_10101074417810400_8566353417462208522_n

11/26 – Thanksgiving

We all matched!
We all matched!
12301563_10101076571679030_6760783897872939631_n
Great Grandma with her namesake and EB
12307304_10153324844707921_4560472949563629815_o
with Auntie Ang
12274402_10101076571828730_8322772688947828928_n
4 generations

12278622_10101076571564260_7638901365300760853_n

11/27 – Helped decorate Oma and Opa’s tree & Christopher Pop-in-kins came back

12316505_10101077204735380_829002808630746756_n 12299331_10101077208318200_3269952421137579928_n12314515_10101076960589650_6732394189213420081_o

September…finally

From May to the end of July, we are busy. Always. Like every day. It’s pretty nonstop. But August comes and things slow down, and it’s a nice welcome change. This year was no different. August came and went with little to report on. Oktoberfest slipped in there and that’s always fun, but it’s a pretty slow month compared to the 3 before it. Then September arrived. And it was crazy busy. More so than I expected. As previously reported, we went out for my birthday, we slipped in some pool visits before they closed it (try explaining to a 3 year old that its hot, but the pool closed all of a sudden), labor day weekend was busy with the park and the Reds game, but it just kept coming.

Not that being busy is bad. It’s not. Josh will tell you I don’t know how to relax, and that’s true. I like to have things planned and go and do, but that doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted at the end of the day too.

So, our September (from where we left off):

9/12 – Cincy Comicon

Josh volunteered in the morning, and the girls and I met him after. Ellabelle was dressed as the 11th doctor, and Mattie was a dalek (with her own whisk and plunger cause what’s a dalek without them?)

IMG_9446 IMG_9417 IMG_9413

We got some cool stuff and saw some awesome things. It’s always nice to be surrounded by your own (cough::nerds::cough) when normally people in Cincinnati aren’t the most welcoming of anything different.

IMG_9445 IMG_9425 IMG_9449

9/13 – Soccer with Mamaw, Papaw, and TrentIMG_9524 IMG_9522

9/18-9/19 – Mini-trip for my birthday

Josh surprised me with a trip to Northern Ohio for my birthday. We drove up and stayed in Port Clinton, OH for the night. IMG_9865

We spent Friday on Put-in-Bay, an island just off the shore of the mainland. You have to take a ferry to the island cause it’s the only way to get there. IMG_9908

Josh was so mesmerized by all the water. IMG_9948 IMG_9928 

He kept saying he thought all of Ohio looked like Cincinnati (metropolitan) or farmland. He had no idea there really was a beach in the state. The island was fun, but expensive. The only things we bought were all $1 on clearance. lol. Oh and drinks at the worlds longest bar. IMG_9910

We ate a restaurant back in Port Clinton for dinner called Crosswinds, and Josh is still talking about it. I got the rueben pizza, and it was ah-mazing! We’ve already copied the recipe here at home.

It was so good it deserves its own picture
It was so good it deserves its own picture

We also went and saw the Marblehead lighthouse before we left.  

IMG_9968 IMG_9990

It was so beautiful up on the lake (even with the overcast). Josh has already said he can’t wait to go back.

It was so nice but so strange to be away from the girls. It was quiet, and we could talk to each other without being interrupted every other word, and we got to pick what we wanted to listen to on the radio! It was so nice.

IMG_9944

But, as moms do, I missed them like crazy and was so happy to see them when we got home. It was nice to get away for the night and recharge. It was definitely needed.

9/20 – Soccer with Oma, Jean, Auntie Ang, Mike, and Lisa 

IMG_0055IMG_0075

9/21 – Mattie’s 4 month check up

Oma took Ellabelle home with her after soccer on Sunday because I had to take Mattie to the doctor’s for her check up. She’s gained almost 3.5lbs and has grown over 2 inches. She looks chunky, but she’s in the 41 percentile for both height and weight so she’s proportionate. She got four shots and an oral vaccine, and she was not happy about any of it. 

IMG_0093

After I picked up Ellabelle from Oma’s, I had to run to Hobby Lobby. I told her if she was good that she could pick out anything she wanted. She always begs for candy so I figured that’s what she’d pick. Honestly, I thought she wouldn’t be good. She was extremely well behaved (bribes do work sometimes, I guess) and picked out a christmas tree. I tried to convince her that she wanted candy or a toy or art supplies, but no. So I ran with it. I got her lights and ornaments too. She loves her “sparkle tree” (because its too early to have a christmas tree out) IMG_0104

9/23 – Playground day

I took the girls to the playground per Ellabelle’s request. I had never attempted this alone before, and it was as hard as I expected. I wore Mattie, and Ellabelle insisted on wearing her Elsa dress.

 IMG_0226 IMG_0166

She kept saying she had to see Elsa and Anna at the playground and wailed about it as we left. I can’t believe she remembers going to see them at a playground over a year before and have no idea how she even got it in her head that we were going to go see them that day!

July 2014 - How does she remember this?!
July 2014 – How does she remember this?!

9/26 – Max’s birthday party, Cincinnati Rollergirls game, and Josh’s guys night.

Max’s party was over in Northern Kentucky. It was a monster themed party so I dressed Ellabelle up as a witch and out Mattie in her monster onesie and tutu. Problem was it was so windy that Ellabelle’s hat kept flying off. IMG_0362IMG_0379

There was food and games and a playground (which was Ellabelle’s favorite part). IMG_0365 IMG_0428IMG_0371

We got to see people we don’t get the chance to see very often which was really nice. I wish there was more time to fit more outings with friends in, but with only one income and two kids to hull around now it’s just become harder and harder.

After that we met Lisa at her house and met her two little kittens she’s taking care of. Ellabelle was in love cause she loves animals. We then went to the CRG game. It wasn’t at their usual facility (the Cincinnati Gardens), but I think it was more fun at this place. IMG_0429IMG_0389

Josh left halfway through the first game to head to Indiana for his guys night. That left me with both girls, but luckily Lisa loves helping out with them. Ellabelle got bored which is typical of a three year old. So, Lisa found some cones and she played with them.  IMG_0406

Halftime came and they had a dance competition for moms with sons and dads with daughters so Ellabelle and I couldn’t enter. That didn’t stop Ellabelle though. She ran out into the middle of the track and shook it off! She came back to me when the music stopped, and when the started it again she was gone. She got cheers from the stands as she ran back out. Sailor Scary, one of the rollergirls, went out and danced with her. IMG_0415IMG_0408

After halftime, Ellabelle kept trying to run back out on to the track because “I play rollergirls, mommy!!” I had to keep a super close eye on her. Once the game was over, I let Ellabelle finally “play” on the track (aka run around in circles).

I got them home and in bed with no problems which was a small triumph since it was my first time hauling them in and putting them to bed alone.

9/27 – Soccer and Aunt Naoma’s birthday party

Every Sunday we fight with Ellabelle to keep working the whole hour of soccer practice. She gets tired and wants to just sit and watch. 

IMG_0417

This practice was a full on battle. Josh got her to work for 30 mins, but then she came a laid down on the blanket I had out of Mattie. She was so tired from her no-nap busy day the day before that I didn’t blame her. IMG_0421

We had to be all the way in Germantown anyways so we left early. It’s a good thing we left early too because they ended the party an hour early so if we had stayed the whole time everyone might’ve been gone. Mattie got to meet her Great-Great Aunt. 12074849_10207813756091067_2054770987960855525_n

She was pretty cranky from her busy day the day before as well. So, it was ultimately a good thing that it ended early. We got to go home and rest before a busy week. IMG_0427

9/28 – Amy took a city test for Clerk Typist 3

Not much to report here. I took the test. Oma and Opa watched the girls. No results have been posted for it yet. IMG_0462IMG_0492

And now we’re into October (well into it, I’m afraid. I’ve been so behind on posting). We’ve been booked solid this month as well. I thought we might have a break to slow down before the madness of the holidays starts, but it looks like we’re gonna be busy until January at this point! I’ll update October’s madness at a later date, but here’s a little taste of the season to hold you over. IMG_9481