Saturday, November 28, 2009

Let's Catch Up...

Shall we? :)

Now that we're settling back in from all things delicious (save the blessed leftovers!) and a house full of some of the most fun cousins on the planet, it seems there's a lot to reflect on.

Like, six years with my sweetheart. Easily at least two and a half times the love for him.
Our big girl's first "real" (no Mommy with a sad pair of shears) haircut. She handled it like a pro! A pro with a million questions, but one nonetheless.

Plenty of Thanksgiving blessings to keep us busy... even a little early Christmas! You'll never guess which ones of the gingerbread guys belong to our kids. Just like no one could tell who wrote the, "The Christmas lights that make me not scared of the dark, my family, and my Dora video" on the thankful tree.

And some good fortune for that tiny half mark of ours mentioned above!!!
If we can just get Maddie's four teeth coming in at the same time to cooperate, the rest of the weekend has the words Christmas tree written all over it!

Hope your Thanksgiving was merry and bright!

Cousin Love

Hurry back soon! It's crazy to say, but our house is too quiet without you. And our house is anything but ever too quiet. :)

Bring Uncle Russ and Auntie Ellen with you, of course.
Hopey and Madds

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ooh, Pitty!

Pretty that is!

One of Maddie's favorite new phrases and the perfect one to describe what's going on over at Three Simple Girls.

Get over there and see if you might win! You don't have to have a blog; just leave an anonymous comment with your name.

For the record, I'm not jealous of your chance at all. :)

ps... For another fabulous giveaway from such a fun, funky, inspirational blog go HERE! I'm dreaming up one of these for my little cheeseburger.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And Now for Something Serious...

I have yet to get a journal for this new baby of ours. By this point for the girls I had pages and pages of letters written to them. Serious heart strings kinds of things like what I hoped and dreamed for them, what I imagined them to be like, what it was like to be entrusted with carrying around their little lives.

And others levels of serious.

Like food.

I don't know what my cravings speak about the kinds of babies I have, but I can tell you this...
With Hope, I survived the first trimester on Subway veggie delight subs. Extra pickles, hold the mayo. Later on, while I tried to work as close to my due date as possible, I couldn't have done without apples dipped in peanut butter and a drawer stash of Hershey Kisses.

Maddie was definitely my summer baby because I craved all things cold... ice-cream, popsicles, smoothies, and by all means milkshakes. It was truly fate that my practice was right beside the Steak-n- Shake. Toward the end I ate homemade taco salad like it was going out of style. My friend, who was living with me at the time, and I also put down our fair share of S'mores over the gas stove.
And this one? Heaven help me with this one, it's the Sonic junior burger. I had never even eaten at a Sonic until this child, and now I have to put up blinders when I pass the one that calls to me every single time I go into town. Good thing I'm still pretty nauseated, else I might start putting on some roller skates and taking orders... do employees get free food? Come to think of it, I'm also craving bean burritos. Do you think the need for protein has anything to do with the number of toddlers around here?

Phew. Good to have that off my chest.

With heart wrenching stuff like this, I really must get to finding myself a journal. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Out of the Mouths...

... of our babes. Our hammy little babes.

Since a big part of this blog is to not forget the details my already full Mama's brain might not hold for always... I just have to pause and remember some of the things our babies consistently say here lately. The terribly sweet and the terribly not-so-sweet, even.

Warning: This may be one of those posts only a grandparent can really appreciate. Especially since I've been adding to it for several days now. :)

*Takes our faces in her hands at any given point during the day and says, "Mommy (Daddy), you'we my best fwiend!" or "I yove you with all my heawts." Just about makes my hearts burst, I tell you.

*Anytime we ask her to stop doing something or to put something away that she really likes she'll respond with, "But, I just YOVE (insert favorite thing here)!" For example, "But, I just YOVE to jump on the couch, Mommy!" as if this defense has not a solitary hole in it.

*When a sentimental type of song comes on, especially this one particular Veggie Tale's tune about sharing, she'll often declare, "Yet's all hold hands as a famwee!"

*Countless upon countless times a day do we hear some version of, "Who? What? When? Where? Why? But, hooooow?"

*If you really want to see sparks fly, try to say that Dora and crew are cartoon characters. "Dowa and Diego are weal! Not cawtoon chawecters!" We only had this conversation once because Hope was convinced she could drive since Diego does. But I expect it would be quite the same every time.

*We can also expect to hear just about every night before we leave her room, "Kiss hands... Air hug... Sing with me... Hold my hand for just a few more minutes, okay?"

*"Shoo, hunn-eee!" (only said sometimes during stinky diaper changes, but it about does us in every time!)

*"Hewewgo." (here you go)

*While playing peek-a-boo, she only puts her hands around her mouth and cheeks. Then she pulls them away as if you couldn't see her to say,"I see youuuu!"

*"Ooh, pitty!" (pretty)

*When we announce that it's time to say the blessing she frequently reminds us what to do by saying, "Hans, hans." (hands, hands). She'll only stop if you indeed take each other's hands. In following after big sis, she says this same thing when we sing. These words especially get to me because Hope used to say them all the time as a baby, always wanting you to hold her hand. It's a wonder my shoulder is not permanently dislodged from riding with my arm in the backseat.

*"Yook, Nan-aaaa!" Still saying this when she's done something she thinks is cool, even though Nana left weeks ago!

*Often when she sees Dora books or paraphernalia, "Oh, mannnn!" (You must know Swiper to truly appreciate this). I don't know how this explorer got so popular in our house; alas, she is. She's helped to get us on the potty and away from the paci, so I really can't fault that girl.

*When she gets hurt she'll puff out those full lips and come up to you with the most pitiful, "Bump, bump! Tiss, tiss!" (kiss, kiss) while holding the injured body part.

*When I look at Maddie, especially first thing in the morning, I'll say, "Hi, Baby!" Then for at least thirty seconds she and I will go back and forth with her, "Hi, Ba-beee!" If you could just hear that little voice say it. Batting of the eyelashes is the cherry on top.
And the not so pretty...


Hope didn't learn those words until muuuch later in life. I suppose, monkey-see monkey-do!

*"Haa-shh, Tuhhh-ck!" (hush, Tuck!) I am sad to say I can't even blame this one on Hope.

Which reminds me that we have two precious monkeys with a lot of heart and a little sass. Some (cough... Mom!) may say the same about the other grown up girl in the house.

For that, I ain't recording one thing more. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Recipe for Autumn

1. Pick a gorgeous 78-degree Sunday afternoon. If you live near my neck of the woods, this weekend ought to be just about perfect.
2. Go wherever your boots (& Google) will take you. Go chasing after waterfalls, no matter what that song says.
3. Fuel up on the good stuff... pb&j, of course. Be totally amazed by a big dump truck while you munch.
4. Take care to remember just how quick-as-a-wink both your children are. Otherwise you may have to scrape off mud caked shoes and change a pair of pants entirely. (Try not to be a tad bit annoyed when your well-meaning husband comes back and exclaims, "What happened?!" as if it isn't a tad bit obvious.)

5. Crunch, skip, climb, jump, and take in every little detail.

6. When it begins to become obvious that naps were missed skip the muddy and big waterfall's trail (the reason that you came, but who cares?), ration out the bunny grahams, and hightail it back to the car. Go on and get yourself a little hernia being all dad of the year like. (Totally redeem the whole muddy pants episode, if you even still remember it at this point!)
7. Kick off those shoes and socks. Then, zonk out moments later. More importantly, wake up happy and refreshed.
8. Repeat soon as your schedule and the sunshine will let you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It's really, really... real! Today we saw it.

The heartbeat. Little hands and feet. Arms, legs, a head.

Also found out that we're a bit earlier on than we thought at approximately twelve weeks tomorrow. Which explains a lot since weeks 8-12 tend to be some of the hardest for me.

As for my heart... relieved and overjoyed! All because of that tiny, 165 beats per minute on the screen. (Oh go ahead, start your old wives' tales now... not a single one held true for Owen, we mean MADDIE!) :)

In other news, yesterday was Daddy's birthday!

As if we needed further proof that Hope indeed comes from my gene pool, she was so excited for "DADDY'S PAWTY!" that she kept watch for him just as soon as he left for work. As soon as Tucker gave his welcome home bark, she burst through the garage to "lei" one on him, practically opened his presents for him on his way in the door, and shrieked with glee all night.

Birthday kisses and hugs and a little family-style surf and turf. We hope you know just how much we love you, honey...

Sure glad Grandpa and Grandma brought your heartbeat into the world all those thirty-something years ago!

To the moon and back,
Katrina, Hope, and Maddie

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Too Sweet

One of the most generous people I've met, a pretty new but old friend (don't you love those?!), and lucky for me... a neighbor! :) Mama Brown gave me an award a few weeks back, and I am touched. Go check out her sweet blog with her family of Brownies.

To play by the rules, here are six things not too many people may know about me. This will be a challenge, but here goes the random...

1. I would take a good foot massage over just about anything. Same goes for a card or encouraging word, especially just because. That's simply the stuff money can't buy, yet it hits the jackpot with me. I will admit that Joe knows this, and he knows this well. :)

2. There is no telling how many times I have watched the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. It's practically an addiction, and is sure to be on if I have a long night of cleaning or projects ahead of me. Every time Mr. Darcy calls her, "My dearest, loveliest Elizabeth" I want to watch it all over again. And the thing is nearly five hours long as it is! On the same note, I should probably never own Anne of Green Gables. Oh, Gilbert Blythe!

3. I am a neck-a-phobe, though this disorder has certainly gotten better since having children (who are quite often nuzzled there!) All while growing up my brother would out of the blue touch my neck to drive me crazy. Break me out in red splotches and everything. What am I saying? He still does!

4. I cheered during high school (don't laugh... we competed at State with hopes of Nationals and the whole deal!), but secretly I kind of wish I had really pursued my track and field career. Running the hurdles gave me a serious high, and the 400-meter relay was a-w-e-s-o-m-e! I just wish I had the same passion for long distance running now-a-days since I don't see too many sprinting competitions in my near future (Save all around my house, of course, after two of the fastest toddlers on four legs!)

5. Adoption is on my heart and mind nearly all the time. I ache for families I know who are awaiting the child(ren) they want to adopt.

6. I hope that Joe and I never "retire"... I hope some of the dreams that lie deep in our hearts are just getting started by then. I so want to grow old gracefully; hey, I want to grow in my early thirties gracefully while I'm at it!

And now, six of you to tag... feel free to participate or not!

** My two fellow Simple Girl friends who make life more crafty, more fun, and more beautiful. (That means you, Brooke and Sarai!)

** One of my fellow Tidewater girlfriends, Heather, who made the area that much harder to leave. So glad she has started a blog!!

**My courageous friend, Audra, who simply inspires me. (Brian, you're not too bad yourself! :) Go check out their blog for just a snippet of why.

**Another small group inspiration, Amy, whose family is amazing. Remember "Bringing Pavel Home?" Well, bring Micah Pavel home they did!

**One of the first new friends to welcome us when we moved, Rachel. I'll never forget her sweet (and delicious!) home cooked meal after all those months of living in a one room hotel. She's such a great resource for information and deals!

Well, there you have it! Bonus Fact: If you notice a lot of late night blogging, it's because none of my children like to let me sleep in the first and last of the last trimesters! Thankfully that hasn't really been indicative of their sleep habits once they are actually outside my womb, but still... sleep is kind of a necessity for my day job.

Ah, well!

Hope you enjoyed this little stroll down random lane! :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

thankful thursday

better late than never! thanks, friend, for the reminder to practice a heart of gratitude.

for today and in no particular order...

*parks and picnics

*the sun on our faces

*the wind at our backs
*the opportunity to walk, to run, to play
*grins and giggles
*spirits of adventure

*tough love
*a lot of silly to balance out even a little spunk
feel free to join in with your own thankful heart too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Joe and I dig a good surprise.

Just the other weekend we excitedly let a friend use our home for her husband's surprise party. One of Joe's favorite birthday celebrations to date was a surprise back in his old stomping grounds at UVA. And waiting to find out who we were having fifteen months ago turned out to be one of the most amazing things I never thought I'd want to do.

Don't even get me started on the news of this our latest miracle. We'll just leave it at... SURPRISE! Joyful, sweet, took every pregnancy test in the house surprise.

But there are other kinds of surprises too. The kind that comes with a middle of the night phone call or unexpected visitor at your door. The kind that renders you speechless and makes the moment you're in seem like it can't possibly be happening. The kind that blind sides you on an ordinary Tuesday afternoon and changes your life forever.

When I read this heart and attitude altering post I couldn't help but utter my own, "Yes, Lord." Though I admit it came after my own version of, "Yes, Lord, I believe it. But, you know, there have been difficulties the last two times and I'm just now recovering my health from the past year. But, I mean, what if something else happens but with a worse outcome this time?"

But, but, but...

It's true. Hope's pregnancy was just that... full of hope that it would ever even end in a baby. It is no coincidence that after months of hemorrhaging, sickness, bed rest, and ultimately a breech baby girl who would not turn that the Lord awoke me a couple nights before her birth with her name. No coincidence that after my being stitched together our matter-of-fact, but caring doctor looked at me and said, "You know, I can tell you this now Katrina. I just never thought we'd see her birthday." Basically, he didn't see that there was much hope to be had.

And, it's true. After months and months of endless research and prayer we decided on what we felt was the best birth option for Maddie. Her labor and entrance into this world were worth every bit of the worry and effort. A beautiful blur of holy and peaceful. Then came the after, the after that has cut to the core of my heart. The after that has made me cling to Jesus, to Joe, to promises... at times so feebly I could hardly believe myself. The after that tried to steal my very life and, worse yet, the very hope that walks with me every day.

What does this mean for the new angel that has been entrusted to us?

But, but, but...

You see, the story does not end there. It does not end at a hopeless situation, and it does not end at a shocking after experience. In fact, it does not end at all.

It continues in Truth and strength, hope and peace. The kind that can really only come from having weathered storms along the way.

The very fiber my story is made of whispers to me, "Take up your mat and walk, Katrina. I will not leave you nor forsake you. I am with you always, even until the end!"

So tonight, I know some of you may find yourself in places. Places of seemingly endless waiting, places of hoping for the best against all rational hope, places of all consuming fear. I may not have walked in your exact shoes, but I have traveled my own road. Know that I am praying for you and the place that you find yourself, whether I can fully understand it or not.

Our stories are not over yet. No matter the circumstances that come our way, there is One who whispers that He has walked His own road too. He knows joy and suffering so completely; He calms storms simply by saying the words, "Peace be still." He is One who does completely understand.

And we can take the added comfort that we are no surprise to Him.