Jun 27, 2017

Connor James: 16 Months


Dear Connor::

Hey there little boy. Although you aren't so little these days. You are growing way too fast. I'm not sure I'm ready for the toddler that you are becoming and the chaos that you are already causing. You definitely like to get into everything and check everything out and be everywhere.

The biggest thing you have done lately is you finally started walking! For the longest time you were just taking about four steps and that was it but it was almost all the sudden you were off. And now you can't be stopped. You are actually pretty fast and good at it now. You love playing chase with your dad and sister. You are just on the go! You are also big on climbing up things so I have to really watch you these days because you will attempt to climb just about anything. Long ago you mastered stairs but recently you have started sliding to get down. Apparently you have learned that it's a lot faster to get down that way but you definitely make me nervous.

At your last appointment I talked to your doctor about your language. You really weren't talking too much and I will admit that I am a bit sensitive to any kind of delays. But your doctor told me that we shouldn't worry too much just yet. Then apparently overnight you decided to put my mind at ease by talking. More words started coming out and even if it wasn't exactly a word, sounds were clearer and there were more of them.

I think you are growing again because all you have been doing lately is eating it seems. Sometimes you eat more than your sister so between the growing and the walking, you are always eating. But luckily you aren't too picky about what you eat although you definitely have your favorites. You love chicken nuggets - you can never get enough of chicken nuggets. French fries, pizza and popcorn shrimp are among your other favorites.

You never seem to have any favorite toys but you play with just about everything. You do love cars however. Otherwise you love the play in the kitchen, look are books, and with some wooden toys we have. When we go outside you love to swing and you are a little water bug. You are a fan of playing in the pool or splashing in the water/sand table. As long as you can make a mess and forever be moving, you are pretty happy.

I just can't believe how much you are growing and changing. You are always making me laugh and smile. I just can't get enough of you - although sometimes you completely wear me out. You definitely keep me on my toes. But I wouldn't have you any other way. I love you so much goon.

Love, Mama

Jun 26, 2017

Six Years

Well if you can believe it, we just celebrated another year of marriage! I know there were a few doubters out there that we would make it through since we met online - you know who you are - but here we are with another year behind us (and of course a whole bunch more in front of us)!


We have had a heck of a year - although this year has definitely been pretty tame compared to the last few which have been definitely a roller coaster.

I'm definitely lucky to have married such an amazing man. He's our provider, he takes care of us, he's an amazing father and my best friend. I'm feel so blessed that I get to weather all the storms with him. We have faced a lot in the last few years - good and bad - but we have done it together.

Six years is no joke and we look forward to so many more.



Year Five: Part I & II -- Year Four: Part I & II -- Year Three -- Year Two -- Year One: Part III & III

Jun 23, 2017

Five Years Ago // Happy Friday

So if you followed my posts on Monday and Wednesday then you know that we are moving! We decided to sell our house (took 12 hours - what?!) and we found our house 12 hours later! We are so excited to move and just ready to go (although I should say that the house isn't completely packed so we aren't really ready but we are ready....if you get what I mean!). 

But that made me want to look back to when we moved into this house five years ago. I was 21 weeks pregnant so I didn't do a ton of heavy lifting and to be perfectly honest I probably won't be doing any heavy lifting this time since I had that knee surgery and I'm not back to full strength. But that's okay since we decided to hire movers to move the big stuff - we have a lot more furniture than we did when we moved from the apartment. 

So I went back into my picture files and found these gems from us packing and getting ready to move five years ago. 






I gotta say that we have a LOT more now than we did before. We also have two kids that we definitely didn't have before. Stella wasn't that hard to move whereas now we have had to explain to our 4-year-old who didn't want to move that we would be taking her toys with us, we were just leaving the house behind.

So it's taking a long time to get things packed, not to mention a couple vacations and just life. So I have definitely started packing. We actually have an entire storage unit with a bunch of stuff we stored - mostly baby kids and things we don't need right now. And I have started packing as much as I can right now. So half of my kitchen is packed - no baking or slower cooker meals for us. We have all our books packed - not the kids's though because I would be lost during the day without them! In fact I haven't even touched the kids's rooms. Those rooms wouldn't be dealt with until the week of which is my attempt to keep their lives as normal as possible for a little while, plus they need something to do doing the day. But little by little I am getting things packed. Definitely don't go into the dining room which is where we have everything stored up and taking over.

But it's fun and exciting and we are definitely ready for the next adventure. We love the house we bought and just can't wait to get into it. But we have another month until we close and move so we have to hold on a little longer.  Good thing we are so busy and that month is going to fly by which is why I'm packing a little bit each day right now.

Okay enough rambling about that. I just thought it was fun to look back at some pictures from packing up the apartment.

Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday!

Jun 21, 2017

Our Next Adventure, Part II

Check out Part I here

I last left off with us selling our house in about 12 hours. Luckily we were able to have our closing date and the new owners taken possession a ways out so we had time to find a house, but we really needed to get ourselves in gear to actually find a house. 

So the afternoon after all the paperwork was signed on the house and put under contract, we went out house hunting with our realtor. We had been searching houses on adding them to a list but they were quickly disappearing - houses are selling fast around here - and houses were necessarily quickly being added back on. Honestly we were a little worried. Once upon a time I was worried about being able to sell our house but now I was worried about finding the right house for us. 

There was a few houses still left on our list so we started checking them out. We knew we wanted to stay in the area because everything was here. Our doctors, Rob's work, our favorite stores, our church. We didn't want to go too far but that did mean our choices were even more limited. 

We went to some houses that are closer to where we currently live and started looking around. The first house was empty and wasn't horrible but there was too much that needed to be done in that house just to update it. We left and headed to the next one. The next one was definitely on the higher end of our price range but was massive. There was a lot of square foot to the house but it smelled like a smoke and just didn't feel right. The third house we never even made it up the stairs because we knew quickly it wasn't the right house. Then we headed to the last house closer to where we are now but again it didn't feel like the right house. They were nice enough and the areas were great but just not right. 

So we headed farther south (I told Rob I would go south but not west - in fact earlier that day Connor and I went for a drive to see the area the farthest house on our list was to see if I would be actually willing to go that far south and it wasn't bad at all). This neighborhood was definitely nicer and new. There is a ton of construction in the area, but it was still in the Olathe school district which was a major deal breaker for me. 

We went into the first house, which is one that Rob and I had looked at online and both really liked, and we loved it from go. It was beautiful and open and everything we were looking for. The more we looked around the house the more we liked it. But we wanted to see the few other houses right in the same neighborhood that were slightly different in design. 

They were definitely all nice and beautiful. But when we walked into a house that was almost exactly the same as the first house that we loved except for a little extra space, we knew that was the house. We actually ended up going back to that house to check it out after we finished looking at the couple other houses on the list. We knew this was the house we wanted. 
So we made our decision. The house is still under some construction but will be ready by our closing date and we are so excited. It was everything we want. We have a three-care garage now. It's open. The living room, dining room, kitchen and a bathroom are all on the same level. The garage leads into the kitchen. There is a corner pantry. We have all four bedrooms up the same level. The master has a beautiful bathroom. The laundry is on the bedroom level (I am so pumped about that!) Two of the bedrooms have a jack and jill bathroom. The fourth bedroom has its own bathroom. We also have a basement which isn't finished at this point but we will definitely be adding another bedroom, bathroom and an entertainment area at some point, plus there is plenty of room to leave unfinished for storage.

This is exactly what we are looking for. The backyard isn't big and we will have to get permission from the Homeowner's Association (never had one of those before!) to fence it in and build our kids another playhouse but it shouldn't be an issue. We will have plenty of room for that and for them to have space to run around. We are walking distance to the local elementary school which is perfect for us having two kids who are fast (too fast) approaching the school age.

The neighborhood is new and we will be around construction for a bit but we are so excited. We are sad we have to wait so long to move it but it will be worth it. And it also gives us plenty of time to pack up this house and do what we need to do, plus summer is busy so it should fly by.

We are so excited that we were able to find our house. We can finally feel like we can relax and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, although I was really drained by the time we were done with it all.

But our house sold (quickly, crazy!) and we found our house quickly so things are definitely good for us right now.

Jun 19, 2017

Our Next Adventure, Part I

So I have hinted around this fact for awhile now but I haven't yet officially shared it!

And no we are not pregnant and in fact you probably already know that if you clicked to this link since you saw the first picture and it's not of us in some cutesy picture announcing a new baby but actually a picture of our house with a big realty sign out front.


Yup, that's right. We are selling our house. We are moving!

This was not a decision we made lightly. This is something we have been talking about for some time now and it was a few months ago that we made the decision to officially make it happen. And we quickly learned that getting ready to sell a house and buy a new one is a heck of a lot harder than just moving from an apartment.

But turns out we made it happen. We ended up getting storage for a lot of stuff and doing some major clean out. (We don't just have a bunch of junk, well we do but that's another matter, most of the stuff that went was actually toys and baby clothes and stuff.) We talked to a realtor and figured out what we needed to take care of and got the ball moving.

Of course we had a couple of weeks before we could really move forward with another because I had some projects to finish up and get the house cleaned up. The biggest thing was definitely getting our stuff stored - which we just ended up getting some local storage unit (we were going to do PODS but we couldn't get one until middle of June and that wasn't going to do us any good so we just moved a bunch of stuff in loads.) Once we got our stuff out of the house we could look at the house and see what we needed to do.

One of the things Rob was working on all along was the master closet door. Way back when we moved in we actually took the door off because we just hated having it there. It sat downstairs in the basement until we had a major ice build-up a few years ago which leaked through to our basement (no problems since so weird!) and just so happened to leak right on our door. Turned out it ruined the door, including molding the top. So we had to throw it away and didn't think too much of replacing it. It always seemed like such a bother so we just didn't. But when we decided to put the house on the market we knew we needed to finally take care of it. So we got to work on the door (and by we I mean Rob). It took awhile to get it stained and then fitting in correctly but he finally did and it looks great.

We also had some little things including landscaping (which wasn't so little) to deal with. My parents helped me get the house in shape then we got our carpet cleaned and all the sudden our house was being photographed and up on the market.

I honestly didn't expect any showings right away despite what everyone kept telling me. In fact I couldn't imagine anyone liking this house, but I kept being told over and over that this was a popular layout and it should go fast. But when it went on the market on a Sunday morning I didn't expect much.

But soon we started getting notified of showings. And before we knew it we had 6 showings all in just the first day. And even more surprising is when we get word from our agent that we had an offer. Not even 12 hours on the market and we officially have an offer from a young family who loved the house and the family vibe and want to "take over where we left off." After much discussing and a change in possession date we accept the offer. All parties sign and we are officially under contract 24 hours after putting our house on the market.

I was blown away. Not being the one in the family who loves the house I have a hard time seeing how anyone would love this house but I'm over the moon that someone does. And we are glad that a young family will be able to love and take care of this house.

And that means we are on to our next adventure at a new house. In case anyone was wondering we love love love Olathe and wouldn't dream of leaving it. So we are definitely staying in the city and the school district but our new mission was definitely finding the right home for our family and where we want to go next in life.

Jun 16, 2017

Walker // Happy Friday

Honestly I know that I haven't written near enough about Connor as I ever did about Addison. To be perfectly honest part of that is due to the fact that I have never really found my groove with him and I know one day I will look back and miss not having all the random posts and thoughts that I had written down. I guess part of me didn't want to admit how clueless I have been with him because this is my second time around so you would think I would know better and more. But the truth is I'm winging it. Every single day I'm completely winging it especially with him.

That little boy keeps me on my toes and keeps me from feeling like I ever have any idea what I'm doing.

But he's cute and he's funny and he's just pretty awesome.

And he is now officially walking. So it's not all the time but we feel like he does it enough and he's solid enough that we can officially call him a walker. He drops to his knees to crawl a lot still because it's just faster but he's definitely doing a lot more walking. He suddenly appears behind you having toddled in from the other room or just stands up and just starts going.


Personally I can't get enough of it and I'm loving it. Of course I had a kid that didn't walk until 22 months thanks to a regression, so it's all kinds of celebration for him not facing that same thing. (Which we doubted would happen but it still lingers in the back of your mind.) We love that he's up and moving.




Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday!

Jun 14, 2017

A Pain in the Knee: Part XII (aka 6 Months Later)

It's hard to believe that it's actually been six months since my knee surgery. That hardly seems possible. Technically it's been just over six months now but details. But that also means it's a good time to give an update on my knee and how things are going.

For anyone who is new to the blog or have just missed it all, I have linked below the entire story. But the short version is that for the last 16 years of my life (more than half my life - what?!) my knee would dislocate at random. It would slip out of place then back in on its own. Back in October I had just put Connor in his exersaucer then turned to sit down and I hit my knee on the bar and it dislocated. This time it didn't go back in by itself and I shoved it back in. Yes it still makes me shudder just thinking about it.

Usually the pain only lasts a day or two then goes away and go back to life as normal. But this time the pain wouldn't go away and it was getting harder to walk. So I went to get it checked out. I had X-Rays and an MRI, and I ended up with a knee specialist. None of my scans showed any signs that my knee had ever been dislocated. I had nothing torn or any damage at all. But everything I said lined up with dislocation. It was further confirmed by the fact that my kneecap was really loose.

It was then that I was told about the surgery to tighten my kneecap to keep it from happening again. So I did it. I was told that six months to full recovery. I would be in a full knee brace for a long time after surgery then even longer of PT.


I'm long out of the knee brace, long done with PT and been cleared by the doctor to go back to life as normal, and officially at the six month mark.

So something I didn't fully understand at the time was that the surgery meant they would cut the tendon from my quad to my knee which is what is supposed to hold my kneecap in place. They would then fold it over and fasten it in order to keep it from slipping. All that means that my quad basically freaked out and atrophied. And I mean seriously atrophied. There was no quad muscle left. I had to stay in the brace until I had enough strength (and flexibility) for my kneecap not to move and the whole surgery to have been a waste. We had to work on getting flexibility back which meant it was painful and awful while we worked on bending my knee again (let's just say I have had two kids and this was way worse). Then I had to start working on my quad strength in order get out of the brace and not fall down.

It took awhile to get there and me even longer due to some problems in PT. But I worked hard and stuck with my PT. I had my doubts from when I started at PT that I would be full recovered by six months. But there was part of me that was hopeful.


Looking at my leg now you would definitely know that I am not fully recovered. I'm not completely sure I'm even halfway there.

I can bend my knee again - I will never again take advantage of being able to bend my knee again. I am back to exercising (with a compression brace on - mostly for padding when I have to kneel). I can jump again. I can alternate feet walking up stairs (although I don't always, so if you want to speed up or down stairs, don't walk behind me - I'm really slow). I can't really run yet but I can do a slow jog in place but sometimes that's pushing it for me. I can kneel and crawl with only a little pain.


Life has mostly returned to normal. I have my bad day for sure. I have days where my leg just hurts all day. I have days where I have sharp pain along my scar. I have days that my leg wouldn't stop cramping. I have days where it just keeps giving out on me. I have days where I can't keep up with my kids.

I'm also not going to say that I don't have moments where I hate that I had this surgery. I know in the long run I will be happier but it's hard to feel that way now when my knee hurts often (it didn't hurt before I seriously dislocated it). It actually never really bugged me. But now I feel it every day. Plus the super annoying numbness and tingling I get along my inner thigh and knee (basically it feels like when your foot falls asleep and then starts to wake up again and it tingles so much it hurts - that's what it feels like).

I'm exercising five days a week working on getting back to full strength. But I still have a long way to go. Like I said I am definitely not a full recovery yet and most days it doesn't even feel close. But I'm trying and working and maybe in another six months I will actually be at full recovery. Only time and continuing to work at it will tell.

A Pain in the Knee: Part I (aka The Backstory)
A Pain in the Knee: Part II (aka The Surgery)
A Pain in the Knee: Part III (aka The Recovery)
A Pain in the Knee: Part IV (aka Physical Therapy)
A Pain in the Knee: Part V (aka Still Recovering)
A Pain in the Knee: Part VI (aka Knee Surgery & Recovery + Being a Mom = Really Hard)
A Pain in the Knee: Part VII (aka Brace Off)
A Pain in the Knee: part VIII (aka Walk Faster!)
A Pain in the Knee: Part VIIII (aka Outer Quad vs Inner Quad)
A Pain in the Knee: Part X (aka The Discharge)
A Pain in the Knee: Part XI (aka Life Since Discharge)
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