Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1st Year In Pictures

As I promised, a look back at her first year, in pictures. I only used our professional pictures, but they're still wonderful.

Newborn pictures - 10 days old
3 month pictures
6 month pictures
9 month pictures
1 year pictures

I can not believe my baby girl is a year old already. Almost 13 months already even! It's crazy! But on the other hand, we're starting all over! I just found out last week that I am in fact pregnant with our second child! We're both super excited and I can't wait for Caralyn to see the changes and feel the new baby and realize that she's going to be a big sister. Right now, it's just words to her.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I have a TODDLER!

I have been waiting to say this for 10 years, and yet, it doesn't seem like I should be saying it yet. My baby girl turned a year old this past Tuesday, November 24. It's unreal...already she is acting more like a toddler, like she knows it's what's supposed to happen. It was almost an instant change from one day to the she transformed from an infant that needs her mommy all the time to a toddler who wants her independence. I love it and hate it all at once. At least she lets me know that I'm needed and wanted still. She'll wake up and kiss me or snug me (cuddle/hug is snugging for us), she'll say "mama" too. One morning she woke me up by laying her head next to mine on my pillow and saying "mama mama mama mama" ever so softly until I woke up. When I opened my eyes, she smiled with everything she had...her eyes lit up in a huge smile melted my heart and made my day. I love mornings like that.

My baby is also walking now...and trying to keep up with the "big kids" at church...and trying to run. It's surreal...just a year ago she could barely hold her head up on her own (though she could for longer than most newborns!). She is so smart it's not even funny...just today she fed herself tomato and olives on Papa's fork (Josh would put it on and give it to her, then she would put it in her mouth and eat it) was amazing. She seemed so prim and proper and perfect, like she'd been doing it her whole life. I am amazed by her every day.

I must end for now, as I'm very emotional at the moment...not really sure why. I should just go to bed and sleep it off. I will put up a picture entry next of her first year...we did 1 year photos today at Walmart...even with her being fussy and the camera being broken and not cooperating for the most part, her pictures turned out wonderful like always. I am so blessed to have found Christan and Trisha for my photographers there at WalMart.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

1st Birthday Party

My daughter will be 1 year old (ONE YEAR OLD! OMGoodness!) in 17 days. I am in the process of organizing her first birthday party. I have never thrown a party in my life. I didn't go to parties much while growing up and didn't at all in high school (didn't want peer pressure to drink or do drugs) and went to one birthday party in high school that reminded me of a teen's party...for someone turning 21 or 20 or something like that. I have no clue what to do!

I bought decorations, plates of two sizes, napkins and a few other things. What do I do for any kids that show up? I know I need to get grab bags together, but the ages would range from 2 months to 13 years or so...what can I do for that big of a gap that doesn't cost TOO much that everyone would love?

I still have to get cakes and stuff together too. I'm going to do a cupcake cake from Safeway and probably the birthday girl's cake too. Then I'm also getting a Cookie Cake from Mrs. Fields for the "adults" and those that don't want cupcakes.

Should I be planning games or other activities? I just don't really know! I'm so confused! Once she gets older, I'll know a little better what to do...but for a one year old? I'm stumped! Any advice would be more than welcome!

But for now, I'm off to relax a little before Caralyn wakes up from her second nap. She took a late nap this morning (around Noon instead of 10...and woke up around 12:45) and then fell asleep in the car around 3:45PM and is still sleeping now at 5:35PM (which is her normal 2:00 nap which can last between 30 minutes and 3 hours). I will not be letting her sleep past 6 but can go back to sleep after eating dinner. So...later!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

House Work

Josh and I bought our first house in June. It was built in 1977 and honestly, I don't think many updates have been done to it since then. The wiring is outdated and is probably going to cost at least a couple thousand dollars to be redone, the walls I seriously think are the original colors, it's just a really odd house. The only thing I think they did was put carpet over the hardwood floors. WHY would you do that? Hardwood floors are wonderful!

Anyway, Josh finished the guest room floors the other day. We bought the stuff to get the walls painted in the coming weeks. I am excited about this, though it is bittersweet. Yes, it's wonderful to be getting my house decorated and finished the way I want it, but getting it done means one less thing to do before having the house finished...and possibly finding a bigger house for a growing family. I like that we have things to do to our house to decorate and make it ours. Once that's over...what is left? I know I should just enjoy it and it's going to take quite a few years to finish the house, but still. I think about these things.

This is only the first room we've worked on really. The makeshift entry way is almost finished also. We need to put a fresh coat of white paint on the walls, and I still need to find a key hook/shelf thing, order and put in the pictures in the frames and have to redo the closet, but other than those things, it's fairly well done. I don't HAVE to do anything to the closet, I just am going to for the sake of doing it.

I am excited to see how the guest room turns out. It's my first attempt at something more feminine/girlie. We have the beautiful quilt, the lovely paint, we've got a bed (which we have to paint first since it's our old one and black iron will not go with the room)...there's really not much else other than finishing touches (a picture/painting maybe, a little table with a vase of flowers/picture frames or something, maybe even a little tv chest thing...who knows...I just want my guests comfortable).

The first people to stay there will possibly be Kira and Matt if they really do get to come out and stay at least a night. I know I won't get many guests out here with the economy, but I'll have a place just in case. I really hope people will come visit, especially knowing they'll have a free place to stay and free meals to eat (I'm trying to get better at the cooking thing instead of going out...I'm just so tired by the time Josh gets home from work...because the cooking turns out pretty darn good most of the time...or so says Josh). I just wish people actually wanted to come out to see me. It's that is...people grow up and move on and forget about their old friends. I've never forgotten, I hold on, but maybe I should stop.

I'm going off subject now. Sorry.

We have so many more projects to do, big and small, it's almost overwhelming, though I know it's going to be bittersweet every time we come to an end of a project because it's one less thing to do to make it ours. It's weird, I'm weird. I know. I've been told that a million times.

I do have to say that I'm quite proud of my husband though. He is a packrat, especially with anything to do with computers. He went into his office on his own, sat down, and started going through his things and getting rid of stuff he didn't really need. There will be a box of computer parts going out to my brother soon, and there's a lot less stuff in his office (which will someday be a nursery for our second child). I didn't even have to ask him to do anything. He saw me throwing stuff away (especially socks I don't wear anymore...I collect character socks) and I guess it just got to him that I was doing this and he wasn't. It's really cool. I'm so proud that he took incentive to do it.

I have to close for now. My mind is going in a million different directions at the moment and this could get ugly fast. I also need to get to bed so I can get up for church in the morning. Figuring the same thing will happen that has happened the last few nights, I may just stay up once 4:30AM rolls around and write more. There is so much I need to get out, but I know this isn't exactly the place to do it, I'll probably write some of the stuff that needs to really get out on so it's mainly strangers reading and hopefully helping with advice. My real life friends don't need to read about the personal things I'm going through and feeling. I know I would be judged and I just don't need it.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great night and I hope to be back to write more soon. Josh starts leave for 2 weeks on Tuesday, so I might have a little more time to actually come and write.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cara through the last 10 months

We've had Cara's picture taken at the Picture Me Studios located in many WalMarts since she was born. I love the pictures they take...and they take so many! Cara's have always turned out wonderfully. I'm sure they will have our business for many years to come.

Born on November 24, 2008
Picture taken December 4, 2008

3 Month pictures taken March 2, 2009

6 Month pictures taken May 24, 2009

9 Month pictures taken August 22, 2009

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

For me it's the latter. The job at the church's school seems to be a bust so far. School has been in for almost a month and I've worked only 1 day. So I got paid $20 to play with my daughter for 2 1/4 hours since no one showed up for before school care.

The extra money would be nice, but it's not absolutely needed. I'm still on call every day for work, so if someone does need me, I do have to get out of bed and go, which is okay. And to top it off, I am still CPR and First Aid certified. I'm definitely happy about that.

In other news, my baby girl is growing up so fast! She turned 10 months old yesterday. I've got baby fever again already, but know it will be better to wait at least another 8 months before really thinking about getting pregnant again. It will happen in time though. I can't wait to have a second child in my life...and a little sibling for Cara! She's so cute with babies! She loves them so much and is so curious! But I don't know that she would be okay with my split attention quite yet...she's so used to all the attention to herself...and with Josh not being around too much, it might go terribly bad. Who knows...not to worry yet since it's not happening yet.

She's now about 20 lbs and can say Papa. She doesn't know what it means, but it's a start! Josh was soooo happy when she said it back to him on Wednesday! It totally made his day great.

That's about all. I have a few things I need to get done before she wakes up from her nap...hopefully I have time to do them! Later!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Working mom

So I've always said I wouldn't work until my kids were in school. I also had to be able to go in after they left for school and be home before they got home. This was VERY important to me.

In church a couple weeks ago they announced that they were doing a before and after school care program. I figured "What the heck, I'll ask if Cara can come and if she can, I'll apply." I never expected to get the job.

So Cara and I will be going to church every morning from 6AM to 8:15AM to take care of a few kids before school starts. If they need me in the afternoon, I will be there, but it's mainly a morning thing for me. My afternoons are for family and getting dinner ready for when Josh gets home from work.

I think this is some scary stuff for me. Yes, it pays way too well I think, but I'm not going to complain. Just over 2 hours of work at $9.00 an hour is amazing. The paychecks will be small, but they'll be something to contribute to the savings account or a personal shopping account or something.

That's really all. I can not believe I got so lucky to get a job where I can bring my daughter to work! YAY! I'm sooooo excited and yet very nervous all at once!

Tonight I have CPR/First Aid training. It will be the first time I leave Cara alone with Josh since she was just a couple weeks old. And this is more than a run down the road to McDonalds. I'm not nervous about leaving her with Josh, I'm just nervous about leaving her. I take care of her 24/7 and it's going to be so weird not having her by my side for this.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I can't believe it *tear*

So...I'm still in shock.

My best friend calls me on Tuesday with some of the worst news she will ever have to tell me. "We had to make a decision. Either keep mom on life support in a home or take her off. She is being taken off on Thursday morning."

I feel so bad for her. Losing her mom when she is 26 years old..and having to help make that decision on her birthday.

I feel worse because there is no way for me to get to Michigan to help her and her family through this hard time. Instead of saving my money like I should have, I spent it on seeing Caleb twice, and twice being disrespected and hurt by him. Why did I waste the money? This is something important. It's like losing my own mother...she was my second mom.

Jessie and I met in 8th grade at a dance my church sponsored. I didn't know anyone in Ida except the kids I went to church with and had catechism with..they didn't quite accept me as much as my mom thought they did. A few did, but not all. Jessie and I became instant best friends and it showed the next school year when I had to start going to Ida High School.

I cut my hair super short the day before school started. Jessie, Kayla, Rachael and Fred were the only people who didn't care. My boyfriend even dumped me because of it. I met Rachael just before school started.

I went back to Monroe High the second semester of that year. I could no longer get transportation to school for Ida so it had to be done. I was okay with it and excited to leave since most of my friends in Monroe wouldn't judge me based on how I looked.

Jessie's and my friendship continued on it's path. Eventually we had a couple of big fights and went out separate ways for awhile, but a couple years later, we were best friends again. She is the only person my age I fully trust and always have fully trusted. I've only held a couple things back from her, but one of those things I eventually told her, which she already knew because Rachael's dad was a cop and told Rachael about the report and Rachael told everyone but not to tell me.

Jessie is the closest thing I have to a sister. Her mom has always treated me like a daughter, not just her daughter's friend. I could go to her and talk to her like my mother, she supported me as a mother would support her daughter and she helped me through a lot of tough times just by letting me hang out over there. She never forced me to talk about things nor did she ever betray my trust.

I feel like I just lost my mom. A huge part of me hurts very badly. I've only cried a few times...if I had more time without my daughter, I would cry more, but I can't put those feelings out there with Caralyn there to receive them. She feels bad enough as it is with her teething.

I know I am going to regret not being there for Jessie and her family. I am going to regret not being there for the funeral, not being able to say goodbye, not being able to hug and hold Jessie as a sister should. I already regret it.

I have looked for ways to get home. The only options I haven't tried is asking my family and Josh's to borrow the money to get home and pay them back in October. If we had the money, Josh would send me home in a heartbeat. He knows how I feel and he wants me home for this, but unless we ask for loans or try to bump our credit card amount up a couple thousand dollars, there is no way $10 will get me back to Michigan...that's all the money we have until our first payday in September...and that is because we borrowed Caralyn's money in her savings account (which is being paid back on payday).

Anyway, I'm done for now. If I write and think about it any longer I'll start crying again and wake Cara up from her nap...I don't get them often enough, so I can't wake her up from it. If anyone else has any ideas, please let me know!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How do I hadle this situation? A little help please?

So in July I went home last minute to see my brother in law get married. He had said the day before I left "I really wish you could be there." So his mom and I found as least expensive of a one way flight as possible so I could be there for him like he wanted.

I get there the morning of his wedding and am exhausted, so is Caralyn obviously with flying all night long and being completely off schedule. I go shopping for a dress appropriate enough for the wedding and found nothing. Luckily my dress I brought was perfect enough for it, I was more appropriately dressed than most of the invited guests.

Now, before I get to this next part, I would like to let you all know that my brother in law had told both myself and my husband that he PERSONALLY sent out an invitation and that of course we were invited to the wedding.

An hour before his mother, step father and I (along with Cara, of course) are leaving for the ceremony (not planning on attending the reception since his own mother's invite didn't arrive until almost 2 weeks after the RSVP date, and to this day Josh and I have yet to receive one) he calls me and says "How DARE you invite yourself to the wedding! We can't make accommodations for you! How do you think that makes my bride feel?" I told him that I did not need accommodated and reminded him that he had told us we were invited. "JOSH was invited! NOT you! ONLY JOSH!" This was a blow to me. I just said "Thank you for letting me waste almost $1,000 again on you." and hung up.

I told Penny and Mark (Josh's mom and step dad) what was happening since Penny was looking worried at the crying and yelling that was happening on the phone. I then got on the phone and called Seth (Josh's other brother) and let him know I would not be at the wedding and explained what had just happened. He was relaying this to Jeff and Jeanine (Josh's dad and step mom). Seth handed the phone to Jeff and he talked to me, trying to calm me down. I then talked to Jeanine who was doing the same thing. Finally they handed the phone back to Seth when he and Jeff finished their conversation. The solution was that I would be going to the ceremony and we would all (Jeff, Jeanine, Penny, Mark, Seth, Caralyn and I) walk in together and sit together. I told Seth to talk to his mom about it and went outside to find her.

I then found out that Caleb and Penny talked and that he had told her they only invited her because she is his mother, they didn't really want her there. He also had asked how long she had known I was coming, which we didn't know until the day before and we both tried getting ahold of him to let him know, but he refused to answer both calls and texts from both of us.

Penny had agreed to the situation at hand with Jeff and Jeanine and we finished getting ready and left.

When we arrived we found Jeff, Jeanine and Seth right away. I thought of staying in the car instead of leaving, but got Cara out and held onto her tight for strength. We all walked in together and stood in the Narthex waiting to be seated (like the family traditionally is). Holly's (Caleb's bride) mom then decided we weren't good enough to be seated traditionally and said nastily and rudely "It's time to find your seats. Go sit down." Jeanine and Jeff walked in and sat towards the back of the guests that were already seated, even though they were told to sit in the front row. The rest of us sat in the very back row.

Before they were announced as husband and wife, I got up with Caralyn and stood in the Narthex, right in front of the doors so they could see me smiling and clapping for them while holding Caleb's only blood niece (his only other is his sister in law's adopted daughter). Seth joined me so I wasn't alone (such a gentleman). He said he didn't even want to see or talk to them anyway. As they started to walk down the aisle after being announced as the newly married, the three of us turned around and walked out the doors and to the side of the church so as "not to upset" his bride any further.

His whole family came out and talked to us and were so happy to see us since it was so unexpected. Almost no one knew what had happened before the wedding or in January (which Caleb and Holly say was a misunderstanding and will forgive us for it once we all [Penny and I really] apologize to Holly for it. I thought a misunderstanding meant no one was in the wrong and it was just let go, no apologies necessary. If you think it would help you to give advice I will write what happened in January also, just ask). I had to put on a happy face.

Josh's Grandma had to force themselves into family pictures, along with forcing Seth, Jeff and Jeanine to go back into the church for family pictures. Josh's Aunt told Caleb he WAS getting his picture taken with his mother and she got Penny just before leaving to get a picture on the sidewalk with them. The look on Holly's face was VERY unpleasant while Caleb faked the cheesiest smile in the world, trying to hide how he's treated us since getting serious with her just over a year ago...which is when they met.

Josh is very upset about this. He never expected this kind of behavior from Caleb. Caleb has always been the laid back, non confrontational kind of person. He always respected his family and never raised his voice to anyone. So to disrespect us that badly and yell at us is a shock to him. He can't understand it's all Holly and that it's nothing personal, he's blinded by love. He just can't get over it. He's furious and confused and more than anything, deeply hurt.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very hurt by this and it's unacceptable to treat your family like this under ANY circumstance, but I've already lost an Uncle and Cousins to this kind of situation, so I can see where it's heading. Josh still can't believe it's the end of it all...that Holly has manipulated him and he basically no longer has a brother named Caleb, just as I no longer have an Uncle named Marty because of his wife (and mother to his kids) named Liza, who manipulated him. Of course, I held out hope for years with Marty. I stopped hoping or caring when he called my Pipi stupid because he doesn't have a college education.

I just don't know how to make things okay with Josh in this situation. I know it's my fault that it's bad right now. If I had just stayed home like planned we wouldn't be in this situation...and we would have almost $1,000 more in our savings...which I pretty much wiped out to be there for him and support him (As soon as January happened I didn't want him marrying her, but I still supported his decision because he said it was all Holly's mom and not Holly).

Josh is also upset that Caleb has stopped calling his mom and will not call him at all. I think that hurts the worst...that Caleb won't talk to him, won't even acknowledge that he's here and alive and really is his brother. Whether this is because Holly is living with him now or he's afraid of what Josh is going to say I have no idea.

I just need help to 1) get over this completely myself and forgive Caleb and Holly for how they have treated me and my family (not just me, Cara and Josh, but also my in-laws) and 2) to help Josh get through this. I have no clue how to help him and support him without him getting more upset and hurt...I try not to mention it, but he stews about it when he's got time to think and it hurts me to see him this way.

I've thought about Messaging or Calling Caleb and telling him he better at least give his brother one last call before completely leaving the family, but I'm betting it would make matters worse. I just want to protect Josh and also give him the last bit he needs from his ream him and to hear what he has to say for himself and how he treated his own blood...I just don't know how. Usually I can figure it out, but it's been a month and a half and I still don't know...please help!

Friday, August 7, 2009


A friend of mine wrote a blog about how wonderful life is.

I have to totally agree with her, and I wish I could just steal her blog because it's exactly how I feel about my life.

I no longer have much drama in my life (of course there's always just a little that follows with family and stuff, but it's nothing big or life changing). I am happy in my marriage. I have the cutest and smartest daughter in the world. We're starting to plan for another child (not happening for awhile yet, but still planning). We just bought a house in Washington, in a wonderful neighborhood. We have started our life for real now.

I honestly can not believe I was married almost 4 years ago. I can not believe I had Caralyn almost 1 year ago. I can not believe after everything that has happened in my life, good and bad, I am where I am today. I am happy for the first time in a really long time...since middle school really...before the bad stuff started happening in my life.

I've had my share of wonderful things happen in my life. I was blessed with a wonderful, strong and committed family growing up. We're still close and supportive of each other. My parents are still married, my Mimi and Pipi would be if Mimi hadn't passed away. My Grandma and Grandpa, though divorced, were both happy with their lives. The rest of the family...well divorce, together, whatever, most are happy, and that's what matters.

After 3rd grade ended, my family went on a month vacation out west. We hopped into the RV right after I got my cast off my left arm and just left. We saw so many amazing places and learned so many amazing things. Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, the Badlands, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Seattle, Oregon, just everywhere. That was my favorite vacation of all time, and my family went on A LOT of vacations!

I got to share Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone with my husband while we were moving out to Washington. It was something I will always remember, sharing some of my memories of my favorite places with him.

Now, we get to share those memories and vacations with our daughter and future children. It's so great to know we will be able to pass that on to them. Possibly being able to instill the love of travel in them, just like it was instilled in me.

My husband is one of the most loving men in the world. He is in a 4 way tie as far as I'm concerned. First there's my Pipi, who loved, honored and cherished my Mimi their whole lives together, and until this day. He adopted my Uncle Jim and treated him as his own son. Next is my Dad. I have never seen a love like my mom and dad's in any of my friend's homes. It is amazing and wonderful and magical. I hope Josh and I continue to love like them. Then the last to tie with my wonderful husband is my friend Kira's husband Matt. He was my best friend from the start. He protected me when I needed it and listened when I needed it. He is a very honorable man. Kira and Matt are very lucky to have each other. Their love is that of my mom and dad's also...and my Mimi and Pipi's.

Other than them, I don't really know too many couples, married or just in a relationship, that has that special kind of love. I know there are a few out there, but to really see it for myself, I'm not really sure. Even Kira and Matt I haven't seen for myself, but Kira and I talk enough that I know it is. I wish everyone could have this kind of love, this kind of marriage. If more people waited to find that person that made them feel this way and truly had this kind of love, the divorce rate would be down considerably.

I went off on a huge tangent there, but yeah. Cara is about to wake up from her nap, so I must wrap this up. Have a wonderful day! I wish you all the peace, love and happiness I have found!