April is here and beach days are finally our to have! The water was cold...but that didn't seem to matter to anyone but me? 3 hours on the beach - not a fight, not a whine...nothing but smiles, friendship and love! Yeah...I like that there is sun on the beach, but most of all....I love the beach....for the hours of fun, the time away from the hustle and bustle of life, the way my kids play together with such enthusiasm in the sand and water, the picnic lunches, the time to just sit and watch...my time to swim and dig with the boys...and the happy exhaustion that we drive home with! My favorite place to be ...for so many reason!! :) I am truly thankful for our day together! Much needed and even that much more appreciated!! :)
Oh...and if the music on my blog makes it hard to enjoy the slide show...just scroll down on the blog page and pause the music!
I woke up on April 22nd, not even really remembering that is was my birthday. Another day - another year older....grateful for the life I have...and not much into celebrating anything that has to do with "me". I have kids now and they are what matters. parties and presents and cake...are kind of reserved for them! :)
But no matter what I thought because by noon I had heard from my special friends and my family! I love you's on the phone and on the message machine....on my text message screen and in person! My heart has never felt so full! My memories of a weekend spent with my life long friends - who drove and flew many hours to spend time with kids and with me....Special gifts that touched my heart...
I continue to feel blessed and very very lucky, each and every day -but on April 22nd - I felt "special"....truly special. It rained all day and we left the house only to go to McDonalds and Dairy Queen with Uncle Brian in the evening....But my heart felt full all day and I could not help by smile despite the darkness and cold air!
Birthdays are the one day in this world where "you" get to feel special. Not like Christmas, where everyone is in the season, or the 4th of July when everyone celebrates! I love the Birthday tradition that we hold so dear and I wish everyone of you a "special" birthday this year! :)
And THANK YOU to my dear dear family and best best friends for allowing me to feel so love this week! I love you all in a way that words can not express! Thank you!
A perfect trip to the zoo last Sunday made me realize that spring is finally here!! Yeah! Thanks for a great day everyone!! :) Here are some photos that will help us remember our wonderful outing together!! :)
We had our first t-ball game this past week and it was such a blast! The kids really enjoyed it! Ben was so aggressive and played very hard. Amazing really to see his evolution from the kid who cried on the bench last August, to the kids that is sad when there are not enough balls that come his way in the field! Ben won the game ball and truly had the experience of a lifetime at his first game as a Mariner!!
Kyle....well...he loves to play! Not saying he has much skill, but that little man just had FUN FUN FUN! I'll share a few pics of the boys, but the highlight of this day was the below video clip of Kyle's first home run! I put a link below! Keep in mind...that Kyle is the last batter and that means he gets to run all the bases - like a home run (or at least he thinks it is a home run!) It takes him so long to run the bases that the other team is already leaving the field at the end of the inning to have their turn at bat...and Kyle is still bopping along....as if to say "doo to doo....la la la"....oh so funny!! :)
It has come to my attention lately that the difference in "decision making" between children and adults could be the ultimate difference between childhood and adulthood. Both kids and adults brush their teeth, struggle with lazy days, debate putting off the things we don't' like in order to do the things we do like. Adults and children alike work to be better in the areas where we lack skill or knowledge and we strive to be stronger and more capable with each passing day. Similar lives we share...
Yeah...the kids issues...we have been there and done that, so they may not seem as tough to us as adults. I mean...I know how to catch a fly ball and Ben is working day and night to be the perfect baseball catcher. But I get on that tread mill every morning and have a race with myself to see if I can win another chapter in my running career. Similar.
So the big difference that I see is - decision making. In the much more simple lives of our children, they have to make decisions every day. Should I share this toy? Should I tell my mom I am going outside? Should I hit my brother? Should I take a nap? Should I eat my vegetables? Should I participate in school?
IN the end...each of those decisions has a common denominator. Right - or wrong. Children may struggle to make the right decision as opposed to the wrong...but in the core of it all - most all of their decisions have a right or a wrong answer.
Now let's jump ahead 30 years? Yeah...we are not so lucky! If an adult is faced with a decision...at least the adults I know...and the answer is as simple as choosing right or wrong...then it is not a choice. WE just do the right thing without questioning it. We have been taught by life, our parents, and whatever other means....to just naturally gravitate to the "right" decision. I think we do it without even passing the question through our brain.
The decisions we struggle with are the ones that have more than one outcome - and all choices have a right and a wrong element - or an unknown end result that can't be seen when the decision is being made. Path one and path two (or three and four depending on the array of possibilities we are confronted with). Each path has a different end point. Each path has different twists and turns. Each path has positives and negatives and each path presents different possibilities for both good and bad circumstances for those that we love!
We sit and we weigh the ins and outs...and after a whole day of mulling it over - we are no closer to the "right" answer than we were when we started our little journey to the truth?
But the deadlines exist - like a "bad guy" chasing us down....we have to make the "final answer" and we have to do it NOW! We love our families, and all of the people that our decision will affect, but the burden is ours and we have to just "go for it". Using only what we can know, and accepting that the end result is not for us to see at this time. WE keep in mind that we are good people and that we have a loving heart when we make the commitment to our path. And we just say - "here it is!" Here is what I will do, and I am willing to accept all that comes with this decision...and I am doing it with a full heart!
So to all of my friends and family that find themselves in what seems an impossible situation....faced with a decisions that just has no perfect answer...remember this: You are good people at your core. You are not alone in your feelings. The "perfect" answer may not exist. Go with your heart. Commit to your decision. Have faith that you are being guided. And know that if you are in need of help in any way - your friends and family are there for you! Because those that love you - KNOW that you are where you are because you believed it to be the right place when you started your journey!
In the end...the thought that keeps coming back to me as I muttle through this crazy world just like the rest of you: "My life is super, and that means I am chosen wisely many times over to get here - mistakes have been made - YES...but I will have a little more faith in myself and put away the doubt! Life is too short to sweat what might have been!"
Darn it - we backed into the trash can! Are you ready to head to the store Bradley? Lounging with some goldfish! We love being friends!
For so many years, we have been "Ben and Kyles" house. I am "Ben and Kyles" mom and it is "Ben and Kyle's t-ball games" etc. etc.!
But now little Will is getting big enough to have his own friends and his own identity! Our neighbors have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. Benjamin (4)...holds the same identity in their house as Ben and Kyle hold in ours. Ben and Kyle can't wait to go to "Benjamin's" house to play!
Will is changing times for us, as I am sure he will do in so many ways throughout his life. No longer does Will want to go to "Benjamin's" house to play! No long does he yell for Benjamin....or even Kyle and Ben...when he is outside looking for company to play in the street! He wants BRADLEY. and he wants to go to Bradley's house! And Bradley wants "Will" and wants to go to WILL's house to play!
A first friend....a real friend that is just their own! Two peas in a pod...Finally - at their ripe old age of "almost 2 and almost 3"...Bradley and Will have a friend that is not there just because their brothers had someone over to the house to play and they get to join in! How very lucky they are! And how lucky Erica and I are that we get to see them grow into "real" little boys...with a life and mind of their own! Good times around here for the tiniest men in our lives! We love you both so much!
You play with leggos of course! The kind that are small and tedious and beyond the level of age appropriateness! The kind that drive mothers crazy....and that are easy to lose...but that - when complete - make little boys so very very happy! These may be the death of me...but they have helped us to survive the last 7 days of CRAPPY WEATHER!! So thank you Walmart and The Exchange....for having a $5.00 toy that can hold attention for more than two days! And Daddy....we sure wish you were here for this one. This is not mommy's forte! But in my defense...Ben told me in day three of NOTHING but BUILDING....that I was "pretty good at this"!
Yeah..."PRETTY" Good? I mean really....I ROCK!! ha ha ha ha! Daddy...these photos are for you...and I am betting that they will bore the heck out of every other person that is reading this! Sorry guys!!
OH....and for those of you who are looking for a better story....you are in luck! I blogged about Will's new bed this morning as well. It is below this one. Not like it is a life altering - best story ever - kind of blog...but better than leggo photos for daddy!! :) heehee
Yep...it is true...My Will has outgrown his crib/bed and we had to move on to a bigger version for our very tall "little" man! Two nights ago was our first night in a Big Boy Bed! I bought a nice used bed from Craigs list - and after hours of taking down the old crib, putting together then new bed and finding just the right bedding....little Will had a whole new place to call his own!
That first night he "asked me" to go to bed. And yesterday when I mentioned a nap...he threw his arms in the air and said "YEAH...MY OWN BED"... And again last night - going to bed was welcomed! He even said "Mommy...you fit in my bed now...want to sleep with me?" Too cute!! :) As I lay beside him sharing the pillow - he pressed his nose to mine and just giggled! So fun to grow up and reach that next step! I remember it well....there will be rough growing pains as well for my boys...but when you finally reach a new milestone...the world seems to open up to you.
The first lost tooth, the first time you ride a bike with no training wheels, the first time you read on your own and the first time you can write your own name......the list will go on and on and on...and includes - most definitely - the first night in a big boy bed! I can't wait to be there for every single moment! Except of course the day the drive their "own CAR" and I think I take a vacation that day!
Well....we finally have a place to live! This cute little house will be ours as of June 1st. We will be renting it for the time that we live in Fernandina Beach, FL. We are at the top of the street and the other end is a cul-de-sac. Not the complete safety that we are used to here, but a good place to ride bikes without through traffic none the less! A short walk to the beach and a short walk to some nice parks. The school district is the one that we decided on and ever thing should be easy for us to get to. The house is smaller than what we are used to, but we will give up a little space for location I suppose. Please remind me that I said that when we are all on top of each other in the heat of August!! :)
Here are some photos that are available and it will at least give you an idea of where we will be! Now that we have an address we can set up all the details of our move, register the kids in schools, convert our adoption to a Florida State accepted procedure! All good things that will keep me nice and busy for the next month and a half. We are grateful to have found a nice home and can't wait for everyone to visit!! :) Have a super day!
Over spring break - like many of us - I took my kids to see "Horton Hears a Who!". What a great movie. I know the reviews were not that great, but truly - a great movie - I don't care what people say! I mean...."People are people no matter how small...."? That lesson could be sent to me in a can of peas and I would still find it inspiring and want my kids to see it!
Ben loved it...and Kyle fell asleep half way though, but will still tell you it was the best movie EVER! He must have gotten enough to love it in between the snores!!
But me...well...all I see are kid movies anymore and I kind of just tune them out, enjoy the quiet, and eat popcorn. I'm not always a huge fan of the kiddie stuff, but my love of my kids smiles and laughter when they are in a movie theater is worth so much to me that I'll sit through a hundred movies...just to have that moment where they cheer when the Bee changes the world or where they yell for Lightning McQueen to win the race! All worth it!
Horton was a different kind of movie in my world. I actually got sucked in to this one. I didn't want to...I actually was hoping to take a nap...I was exhausted from our trip...but none the less...I found myself cheering for Horton (quietly...in my head of course...no...my kids did not get a reverse moment...that could have scarred them for life!).
I came away from this moving with a bit of a different message. While I did fully understand that people are people no matter how small and am very inspired by that message - I think that Horton, not the small people, stole this show! An Elephant that believed in that speck. An Elephant that no matter the ridicule, or the danger, or the tedious work of going through millions of flowers to find his speck...he kept on fighting for his cause. Would Horton's life have ended, or been bad if he had given up? Not Really. But his purpose was to save the darn who's and he never lost sight! He wasn't the smartest animal in the jungle, but...he had heart. And that is what it took to make a huge difference!
So I have been feeling like Horton is my hero. And I told my neighbor that I wished I had a stuffed Animal Horton. I can't believe I said that out loud. I mean...I did want one...but I don't know that I needed for another Adult to know this about me. Some things are better left unsaid right?!!? Well...not this time. Erica heard my cry for Horton...and upon her return from Target yesterday....THERE HE WAS! My very own Horton the Elephant! My month has been made!!
So where is Horton? He is sitting on top of my computer looking at me right now. Yep....true story. I am 37 years old and I have a stuffed Elephant on my computer?
But he will help me to remember... when I think I am at my wits end with this move....that my kids need me to be strong and to not give up until I have found the best life for them in Florida.
And most of all when the adoption hurdles come flying my way (and they will) - Horton will remind me of how I can't give up on this little girl and no matter how hard the road gets...I will keep on trying. Because...would my life go on without our daughter? Sure....but not the life I long for...and not the life she longs for....so giving up is not an option! Not today...and not ever! I have too much heart to give up on this just because it is hard, or just because of peoples ridicule etc. etc. Thank you Erica for giving me Horton! He matters!!:)
I stress, I am laid back, I cry, and I laugh - pretty much a normal person with a little bit of all personalities hidden away inside.
I have four perfect "little" Men in my life and a husband that brings my world full circle.
I am happy and excited about all that life has offered thus far and for everything that is yet to come.
My friends and family are my life line. Without them I am nothing!
My favorite personality charicteristic is honesty. I don't care "who" you are...but if you are honest and in touch with your inner self - I already love you!!! :)