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Monday, November 21, 2011

so ready to see....

I am so ready to see my brother and sisters this week! We are NC bound on Wednesday to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families. <3 Can't wait.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

double digits

Karsen turned TEN years old last week! I remember when I turned 10. I thought I knew everything. You couldn't tell me otherwise. When I look at Karsen I see me when I was 10. In so many ways.

10 years ago we were blessed with a 6 lb 12 oz little firecracker. A little mini-me. I remember the first time I saw her face. She had such chubby cheeks and so much black hair. She looked like a little eskimo baby, and when our eyes met I felt like our family was complete.

Karsen, 6 weeks, Dec 1999
Her first year was quite challenging. She was NOT happy unless she was in Mommy's arms or preferably nursing in Mommy's arms. She cried if she was doing anything else or if anyone else tried to hold her. I remember Chris' Mom was SCARED to babysit her because NO ONE could stop her from crying except Mommy. There were even times I could not stop her from crying. We playfully tell her she cried the first year of her life.

After that it was like a switch flipped. She became the happiest toddler. Except when a camera was pointed her way.

mean princess, 2002
Then the times seemed to fly by. I remember when you were little you LOVED to dress up. Everthing was princess. You loved pink and purple. All things prissy. The ultimate girly girl. You and your lil cousin Leigha were the ultimate girly girl duo and loved to dress like twins.

You have always loved to read and it was a challenge to keep clothes on you as well. I will never forget the nights we would go in your room and you would be sitting on the edge of your bed with your short little legs swinging. reading a book (in the dark), without a stitch of clothes on. LOL. Classic 3 year old Karsen.

It seems like you did everything fast. You walked at 8 months and 1 week old. Everyone would say you looked like a baby doll walking that young. Then before we knew it you were not so much a baby, you were suddenly a grown little toddler.

You used to order for yourself when we went out to eat. I remember you saying in your little 2 year old/ little lady voice, "I would like a baked potato with butter and sour cream like a woman". The waitress would look at you and then look at us and laugh. LOL.

We spent the first years of your life singing. You learned to talk and sing at the same time. I never heard a two year old who loved to sing as much as you.

"PWease play the U-SIC MOMMA!"
You used to tell me to turn on the "U-SIC!" .....(the way you used to say music when you were two) before you were even buckled in your carseat.  When Dylan started school we would spend the days running errands and running around singing together. You loved Alicia Keyes, Reba McIntire, and Martica McBride.  You also loved to combine it all, princess time and singing and silly time with your brother.
5th birthday


Then before we knew it you were turning five. Ready to start school. You loved this outfit you have on.  Not long after you had your first day of school. I remember leaving the school crying my eyeballs out because you were growing up way too fast. I am sure I scared some of the children as I walked out of the school crying and hiccupping. Good thing this picture was taken on our way in....before my emotional meltdown.

1st day of school
And then you can be Daddy's girl too.

You have a way of asking him for something with the sweetest little voice and I can tell there is no way he will tell you no.

I am going to have to talk to him about that!

And suddenly now you are in the fourth grade and loving school, gymnastics and of course singing.  You and your brother both have adjusted wonderfully to all the change that has happened in our family over the last few years. You have a gift of being able to make friends easily. I was worried when this year started because all of your friends from last year were in the other 4th grade class. You looked at me as we were reading the class roster and said (as you rolled your eyes in your newly tween voice), "It's OK Mom, I will just make new friends and keep the old ones too".

You love to cook. You are like my little shadow in the kitchen. Constantly saying, "I can do it. Let me do it, Mom". You went from being a nursing magnet, to just being right beside me most of the time.

We sing. We laugh. We shop. We cook. We clean. You help me do whatever I am working on. Thank you for having such a willing spirit to help. You also try to tell me what to wear. You are my very own little fashionista and personal "What Not to Wear" consultant.

(Even when I don't ask for your opinion.) You are quick to vocalize your opinion and let me know if a certain pair of jeans "dont work with my hips". HA!?

Karsen, I am so proud of the little lady you are becoming. My prayer for you is that you are always the fierce, sweet, and confident girl that you are now. Never forget where you come from.
Home in NC, 2008
I pray you never lose your JOY for life.
You are just like me in so many ways, but I can honestly say you also have many gifts that I still struggle with as an adult. I hope you never let anyone try to change you.
You embrace life fully each day.
Keep doing that, Karsen.
Never doubt yourself.
Not for a moment. 

 Know that you can do anything you want. You are such a light in our lives. It's a privilege to be your Mommy. I thank the Lord daily for the blessing and challenge of being your Mommy. And I hope you always know how much we love you.

Fourth Grade

Welcome to double digits, Karsen Grace.
We love you.

My mother wanted me to be her wings, to fly as she never quite had the courage to do.
I love her for that. I love the fact that she wanted to give birth to her own wings.
- Erica Jong

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

goulash post

My Mom used to make us goulash for supper when we were younger. Years later I now realize it was a convenient way to get rid of leftovers. Goulash was basically a big ol' pot of this and that warmed up and mixed together. Usually corn, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes or whatever we had (which wasn't alot). Goulash. Simple. Different everytime. This and that. Crowd pleaser.

Goulash is what I thought about when I sat down to write this post. I miss my blog. I haven't been able to spend as much time here as I have in the past. The past two weeks have been CRAZY,  But, I miss blogging so here I am. :)

Some this and that (goulash of words) for you....

My sister's surgery and anticipated 7-10 hospitalization has turned into a 6 week stay at Johns Hopkins Hospital. *Fingers crossed* and praying that she will be able to go home to NC tomorrow or the next day at the latest. She really has been through so much, and I pray that her strength and spirit will be restored swiftly when she is home with her family that loves her very much. I am counting down to next week when we visit for Thanksgiving. I can't wait to see her and everyone else!

I can't welcome Winter to Ohio without posting one last pic from our Summer. Awww, Summer. I love you.  I will really try to welcome Winter with a happy heart, but I can't promise you I won't complain along the way. Dear Summer Tan, I miss you already. Love, Me. Sigh...here's to scarves, boots and down coats that will be my life until May 2012. 

Dylan surpasses me in size
I talked with a friend that lives in Georgia today and he mentioned it was 80 degrees there today. As I sit here writing this post, I have socks on, I am drinking coffee, and a fire is roaring in the fireplace. Needless to say, it was NOT 80 degrees here today.

The kids have had a busy few weeks. Piano recitals for both and Veteran's Day program performances for Karsen.  Flu shots. Dentist and orthodontists appointments. Teacher conferences for both kiddos. Overall,  a great start to 4th and 7th grade for Karsen and Dylan.

Things are just zooming along here with us. Busy busy, and most weeks I feel like I am STILL adjusting to working full-time. I look forward to the next few weeks with trips to NC, Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving, and a long overdue datenight with my hubby to celebrate my birthday (we found a babysitter finally). I can't believe that 2011 is coming to a close.

Oh, I almost forgot the most exciting part of my day. All of the pharmacists at work decided to play the LOTTO last week on 11/11/11. We played and 4 of our 6 numbers matched! WE WON!!

We won...........

 $70. SEVENTY BUCKS!! I paid $2 to play and won $7. Any accoutants or financial advisors that may be reading can't argue with that impressive return.  :)

Right now I have two kids that need to be reminded to brush their teeth and tucked in for the night. Then I plan to snuggle with my hubby on the couch and watch some College Basketball. GO DUKE! OK, I will conceed to the fact that Fall and Winter at least has Duke Basketball. I love it!

That my friends, is most likely the most random and varied post I have ever written. Yay to Goulash. Yay to random. There, I feel better. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

savannah, georgia

I can't believe that I haven't had the chance to tell Y'ALL about Savannah.
 Loved. it.
Since we were so close to Savannah, we decided to make a day trip
down to visit since neither of us had ever been.
So glad we did.

It was a kid free day.
We took our time roaming around the streets of Savannah
I was ooohing and aahhhhing over the cobblestone streets
and big trees that were draped with Spanish moss
everywhere you looked.

We stopped and took pictures (of each other)
here and there. We ate shrimp and drank salty margaritas.
I munched on pralines as we window shopped and watched
the huge barge ships pass by along the riverfront.
We even took a horse and buggie tour after
(the margarita made me a little tipsy)
my feet started getting a little sore.
I had to stop and take a break.

My sandals were not really walking tour-friendly.
(But they matched my dress)
We stopped here for a pic or two
until I got attacked by mosquitoes.

Oh, sweet hot summer in the South.
You haven't changed a bit.
Heat, humidity and mosquitoes.
Typical August.
The horse and buggy tour was the perfect way
to rest my weary feet
to hear and see all the sweet (tragic) history of Savannah in one fell swoop.

I especially loved the old churches
and unexpected courtyards
that we happened upon along the way.

We even saw J.Lo leaving the American Idol auditions!!
Ask me if either of us got a pic.
Nope. Sorry.
(But she looks super golden and shimmery in real life too.)
It was a wonderful day of walking aimlessly, holding hands
with the one I love
in a sweet, southern city.
We loved you, Savannah
and can't wait to visit again.
Maybe for a long weekend next time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

BOO at the ZOO

The Columbus Zoo may very well be the best Zoo in the US. That is what we heard over and over again when we moved here. We checked it out right when we moved here, and it remains one of the best places to visit for fun for the whole fam.

This past weekend they had their annual BOO at the ZOO weekend.

Half of the kids wore their Halloween costumes. Can you guess which one?

Karsen decided to save her Halloween costume the actual "Holiday" and decided to dress as a "punk rocker" instead....

I did not point out that's basically how she dresses lately anyway. LOL.

Dylan saw plenty of Batman costumes and they all had something to say about his Joker costume. He had so much fun playing the part. He is a very convincing Joker. Shocker.

We had a great time walking around...trick or treating at different stops along the way. I did not complain that it was getting COLD once. Hot cider along the way really helped. BOO at the ZOO was a fun day!

wordless weekend

Deciduous Heather