About Me

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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Friday, September 30, 2011


When Maddie was little I was one of those Mommas that over packed for everything.  I never needed half of the stuff I crammed into that diaper bag and when I did need something, it was like sorting through Mary Poppins carpet bag to find what I was looking for!
Now that Maddie's a toddler, I've lightened up.  Literally, and Figuratively! It's much easier getting out the door, but the only problem now is...I need that extra outfit and that book to entertain her and all those other little props to keep a toddler preoccupied!!
We had a wonderful lunch with a couple of my dear friends from college on Wednesday.  We met up at a downtown restaurant and enjoyed some fabulous Mexican food.  Maddie refused to sit in her own chair, so she sat on my lap.  I was in the middle of telling a story, when I feel something warm...and wet.  Apparently, her diaper was crooked and she just peed all over my leg and her shorts.  This was at the beginning of the meal!  All I could do was change her diaper (i did have that, but no wipes!) and rinse her and I off the best we could in the bathroom.  For the rest of the meal, she was short-less.  That would have been OK, except Maddie can't sit still too long in a restaurant these days.  She has to go visit each and every table and chat a while.  So, she went walking running around from table to table looking like this...
I didn't even explain why she had no pants! I figured anyone with any experience with a toddler would figure it out pretty quickly.  She was pretty cute, regardless. I almost had everything I needed.  

Later that night, we took out the tricycle.
 She can almost work the pedals!  She's growing so fast!  On her birthday, she was definitely too short, now just a few weeks later, she's almost there!

She's loving it. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quarterly Top Five

I found this fun link-up party where you post your five favorite photos of your kids from the past 3 months.  It was really hard narrowing it down to just three, but I really love these.
I love this one.  I love it because not only does it document this new love of dress up Maddie has, but she was making all of us laugh so hard with her silly mirror faces!

Awww, there's just not many pictures of the two of us.  This is one of my favorites.

What a fun day this was!  It was exactly what she needed that day.

This one is just funny.

I had to include a park pic!

Click It Up A Notch

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Tea Time!

I absolutely love having a little girl.  I love the dress up phases, caring for the baby dolls, and especially the tea parties!  
Maddie and I have been enjoying a lot of tea parties lately thanks to my friend Paige.
She made this for Maddie for her birthday!  Isn't it adorable?!  I'm so in love with it.

I've been teaching Maddie to be delicate at tea parties.  (A tough lesson thanks to Cookie Monster!!)
"Mmmm...good." She says after each sip.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A New Beginning

Sometimes I plod through life knowing God is in control.  Sometimes I look back on events and see God's fingerprints at work in my life.  It's a rare season when I am fully aware and experiencing God as an event unfolds.  This is my story of God's mysterious workings.  
A few months ago I met my neighbors across the street for the first time.  She was expecting and wondered if I might want to watch her baby after she was born.  During that conversation, I could smell the aroma of Christ, but in my heart I was declining the offer.  That answer never sat well with me. I could feel stirrings in my heart and I began to wonder what God was up to. 
The next time I was able to visit with my neighbors, child care had not been settled.  During that conversation, God quietly whispered, "You can do this." I began to let the thought settle.  
One of life lessons God has taught me throughout the years when it comes to making decisions is this, "Sometimes there is no wrong decision.  God is big enough to work with whichever decision we choose."
With that lesson learned, I felt like this was different, a new lesson lay underneath the rock He was waiting for me to pick up.
I prayed.  I asked for wisdom, discernment.  I feared my heart was deceiving me. 
One day while I was praying, I went over with God the things holding me back. "What about my plans to train for a marathon." "Will taking this on hinder my role as wife and mother?"  "What about my needs?"
God said, "Trust me.  Allow me to take care of your needs.  There is a time and place for everything."
You would think I would have been on board at this point, but I was still tentative.  God continued pursuing me.   
I was reading Professor Grant Horner's Bible Reading System where you read 10 chapters in the Bible a day, but you skip around from book to book, only reading one chapter per book. 
I happened to be in the book of Judges.  
I read the story of Gideon and the fleece. Still not convinced if this was a request God was asking of me, I put out  a fleece.  I decided to wait.  If I was contacted once more to watch the new baby, that would be a sign this is what God wants. It happened. 
Just like Gideon, I still doubted!  
Throughout these weeks, I sought wisdom from others concerning the answer, and the same answer came from each of them, "Agree to watch the baby at least through Christmas break."
Before I was able to share my thoughts, I received another message from my neighbor.  "Even if you just wanted to watch the baby through Christmas break, we could find other arrangements at the beginning of the year." 
My second fleece.  
 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fashion Trends

This past weekend was great.  We had the Buddy Walk on Saturday and a church picnic Sunday evening.  Kyle needed new sunglasses so we found some at Wal-Mart while we picked up chips for the picnic. 
There was no way to tear the little tag off so he had to drive like this!  Something tells me this fashion trend is not going to take off any time soon : )  
Maddie was busy while we picked out our sunglasses...

This fashion trend?  Maybe.  Just maybe.  

At the picnic, Maddie was all hugs!

A hug for you, and you, and you, and you again, and...this kept her busy most of the night!
We had a great time with lots of great friends.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Blog Turns One!

Today marks the first anniversary or, uh birthday? of my blog.  I've had 265 posts in the last year, and I'm so happy all of you have come by to share our little life with us!  Your support and encouragement mean more to me than words on a blog could ever express...THANK YOU!  
Speaking of life...the poison ivy is still wreaking havoc.  I went to the Dr. on Tuesday and she told me I won the award for the worst case of poison ivy this year.  You know, I always try and give it my all.  I've been taking prednisone and bactrim, an antibiotic.  The itching is getting better, but the prednisone is keeping me awake at night and causing some nausea.  I got sick and threw up Friday night, and in the process must have pulled a muscle in my jaw.  I couldn't chew anything yesterday, but today it's much better.  So, hopefully in a couple more days the itching will keep getting better and better and I'll be all fixed. 
On to better news...the Buddy Walk was yesterday and we had a blast.  I have lots of pictures!  Sorry, I just couldn't narrow it down any further!
We began the day with dancing!  Maddie loved the music!  

She has started to become aware of the "tone" of the music.  

And the ending...

She drew quite a crowd!  It was so fun.  

Next, a couple of pics with Mom and Dad...

And then they had some musical instruments for the kids to see. 
Maddie liked the violin a lot.

and the tingly thingy's were fun too.

Next we moved on to the physical therapy area (aka big playroom).

And of course she found more music!  Notice the tongue in each of these pics.  She was really concentrating!

Next, it was time for the walk to start.  Mommy's sunglasses helped her walk out in style!
We've had a great year, here's to many more! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray!

Maddie pottied in the potty last night!  They've just now began putting her on the potty at preschool this week.  At bath time I always ask Maddie if she wants to go potty.  Her usual reply, "Nnnno." 
Last night I didn't even have to ask.  She actually sat down on her potty with her shorts and diaper still on : )  
After we got undressed for the bath she went back to the potty and she actually went!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thinking Happy Thoughts

I've been reading a lot about poison ivy lately.  Don't worry, I won't gross you out with pictures!  Take my word for it, it's nasty.  There's a cycle of poison ivy outbreak.  First it starts as just a simple, red spot.  I think I found my first red spot last Wednesday.  I thought it was just a bug bite...so I scratched and scratched and scratched.  Before long it began spreading.  I knew I was no longer dealing with a simple bug bite, but I bought a new kind of soap at the health food store and thought I was having an allergic reaction.  By now it's Friday, I've stopped using the allergic soap, and the rash is getting worse! The bumps are now merging with one another and what started on my thigh, is now on my ankles, the back of my other leg, and a few spots on my arms.  I'm still oblivious, but wondering about my diagnosis.  The itching is INTENSE!!
Saturday I call my Dad and talk to him about it.  Then I realize...OH NO!  Remember this awesome shot?
See all those pretty, little vines in the background?  POISON IVY!  My heart stopped when I realized I surrounded a not-even-two-week-old baby with poison ivy.  I called Jayli's Momma to make sure she was all right, and THANK YOU GOD, she's ok!
As any dedicated photographer would do, I rolled around all over the ground getting the "perfect shot." Haha.  It's only funny because I'm the only one with the outbreak.  If anyone else would have been affected, I would never have forgiven myself.  It's just my luck, I would go rolling around in poison ivy. As it turns out, it photographs beautifully! : )  
So anyway, back to the cycle of poison ivy.  Once all of the little red bumps merge into a big patch, blisters form.  The fluid inside the blisters turns yellow and then eventually dries up and becomes crusty.  Right now, I'm on the blister phase for most of the spots.  There's some newcomers though that are just in the red bump phase.  What started out on just my legs and arms has creeped up to my neck and chin with a few spots on my cheek.  
I have tried everything imaginable to help with the itching: 
Cortizone cream- absolutely no help
Poison ivy scrub from Walgreens - helped for about 15 minutes
Something you spray call Ivy Dry from Walgreens - just really stinky stuff with no relief
Baking soda paste- finally getting somewhere, but leaving white flaky stuff everywhere around the house and not suitable for an outing to the grocery store
Rubbing alcohol - might be onto something here, but after a few hours I realized my skin was now so dry that IT began itching too
The hottest running water you can stand - Ahhh...that's it!  I started with warm water and slowly cranked it up as hot as it would go.  I read that it in a sense shocks your nerve endings and tells them to ease up a bit on the itching signals they insist on sending to the brain. It really works.  I was up about 12:30 this morning, already trying the alcohol and spray stuff, so I hopped in the shower and actually got a few hours of decent sleep.  
My Mom and Mother-in-law have convinced me to see a doctor.  It's been a week since I've been exposed and I also read if left untreated it could last (in extreme cases) 5 to 6 weeks!  
I'm thinking happy thoughts, but I don't think I'll sign up for 4 to 5 more weeks of misery! 
Although I am a bit curious to see how the whole cycle plays out...
Just kidding Mom, really, I'll see a doctor. Promise.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Eating Well

We've been eating well lately. 
I bought this cookbook.
She also has a weekly meal plan on her blog, Deliciously Organic that I signed up for too.  What I love about it is the simple, natural ingredients.  We had Roasted Chicken with Goat Cheese and Basil and Sauteed Bell Peppers the other night.  I love that the side dish was not over complicated but very tasty.  Just strips of bell peppers (red, orange, and yellow) sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Simple!  

With the left over goat cheese, I made a pizza.  I made my own pizza crust for the first time!  It was easy and fun!  I used America's Test Kitchen's Basic Pizza Dough recipe.  I used a version of the Pioneer Woman's Fig-Prosciutto Pizza.  Instead of prosciutto, I used bacon, and instead of mozzarella, I used goat cheese.  It was really good!

On another note, I've been feeling like this...
I have poison ivy!! YIKES...I have never itched like this.  Even when I broke out in hives from an allergic reaction to the penicillin I was given to help with chicken pox in the third grade.  
Hopefully, just a couple more days and I'll be looking like this...