Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween...



Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Things that made me smile today:

1. Watching Boise State work their magic against LA Tech.

2. Sampling the Tandoori Naan flatbread at Costco, walking out with not one but two packages and then thoroughly enjoying the pizza we made with it tonight.

3. Watching/listening to Hallie's exhausted breakdown this afternoon, it was comical.
Hunter was sitting with me on the couch and I was feeding him a banana. Meanwhile, Hallie was crying that she wasn't tired and didn't want to go to bed.
Kara: If you're not tired than why are you crying?
Hallie: Because Hunter is bigger than me, and I want to be bigger.
Kara: Hunter is not bigger, he's three years younger than you, he's little.
Hallie: No, he's bigger. He's eating in the living room and I can't.
Kara: I'm sitting with him, and I'm feeding him...
Hallie: (large tears are now rolling down cheeks) Well, he's still eating in here and he's not even spilling. I always spill, and he's not. I want to be bigger than him!

I had to laugh. I had no response. She was definitely tired!

4. Listening to Hallie and Hunter excitedly talk to Steve tonight on the phone.

5. Seeing the update during the Broncos game that the Heat lost to the Celtics!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Daddy's boy...

Hunter is a daddy's boy 100%.  If dad is in the room, I do not exist.

So, having Steve around for the last three weeks has been heaven for him. They pal around together outside doing yard work, watching football on Saturdays, eating together in the kitchen, and he always demands Steve unbuckle him in the carseat...every...single...time!

The other morning, bright and early, I hear Hunter in his crib. "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy..." This goes on for quite a while. Not wanting to get out of bed, but realizing we had company who could also hear his desperate cries, I hopped out of bed and entered his room. As soon as I set foot in his room and he got a good look at me, he says, "I want daddy." Of course, he didn't ask/beg for daddy, but he wants him.

So the next morning was no different. Bright and early I hear the same cries. I roll over and wake Steve, "Hunter is up and I'm positive he really wants you."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's fall.

Two weeks ago soaking in the beautiful weather I would've denied the existence of fall.

But it came and it came quickly. In  a matter of three days the kids went from shorts and flip flops to jeans and coats. But there's a small part of me that loves the change. I love the leaves on the tree that slowly change colors and effortlessly drop to the ground. I love that I have a husband that diligently rakes pile after pile of leaves, when we don't have a tree in a yard! :)

Steve was taking Hallie to school this morning and he came running back in the house just moments later. "Where's your ice scraper?" Really. It's been months since I've seen that thing. I think the last time I saw that was one afternoon cleaning out the car it was being used as a weapon by our youngest!

So we kindly waved goodbye to our beautiful summer and even more beautiful fall. We were spoiled this year. We really were. And yet, this fall was just a little more special than the previous falls we've experienced here.  I feel as though fall was sending us a little going away party!

You see, our time in Wisconsin has come to an end. We decided a couple months ago, between our neighborhood and Hallie's school situation, we needed to make sure major decisions for some serious changes whatever that may be. We were more than blessed and at just the right time an opportunity outside Wisconsin came up.

So, Steve has officially left his job with Kohls and starts a new position this Monday in Arizona. We are moving from one extreme (frigid winters) to the another (deathly summers) and we are awfully excited about it. This last winter was especially hard on me for some reason and I'm happy to say, it was our last. As much time as I spent in snow growing up and here in Wisconsin, I've yet to get used to it. I am naturally a cold person, and winter just rubs it in my face!

And as hard as the winters are, Wisconsin is home to us and our family and it is proving harder to say goodbye to than I originally thought. I know change is good and beneficial. But change is also hard.

We will miss: (of course not a comprehensive list!)
• Our family, Bob and Virginia and their family. We are here because of them and are so grateful we've become so close. We would definitely choose them as friends as well as family!
• Friends - We've had many friends move on us and it was hard every time. But we sure have some good friends we will be leaving on this move. We have spent many holidays, weekends, date nights, birthdays and overnight trips with these friends. They are family. 
• The beautiful fall colors and crispness that comes with it
• Being so close to Chicago has been amazing
• This is the only home Hallie and Hunter know. That is always hard to leave behind, but reassuring that home is where ever your family is.
• Such green beauty all around, trees, grass, shrubs, flowers everywhere
• Old city charm - it's in the neighborhoods, it's in the city
• Living away from most family has made us rely on each other and re-imagine our family traditions
• Summer boating trips with the Tysons
• Leaving all of Hallie's playmates, all of them little girls and they're the best of friends
• Picking apples from the local apple orchard
• Kohls is an amazing company and have provided great training for Steve
• Our home - we have transformed it into something I absolutely love. It's hard to leave that and start over.
• Spending the afternoon at Foxbrook Beach with our BBQ
• Thursday night dinner and Survivor with Bob and Virginia

And for every thing we will miss, there are also some things we are happy to leave behind:
• Morning snow shovelings, day after day
• Scraping ice off your windows
• Our one car garage - not ideal with two cars in the winter
• The large amounts of rain - there is a reason it's so green and no one has a sprinkler!
• The uneasy/unsafe feeling I get at night running to Walgreens
• The long distance it takes to see most of our family
• Salt stains on most of our jeans
• The sirens we hear too often outside our window
• Standing in front of one of our heaters for 80% of the chilly season or using the blow dryer
• Explaining to Hallie what a cousin is...she refers to most of her friends as cousins
• The humidity, there are times it can get brutal

Steve has lived in Arizona before so we know it too has it's pitfalls, and the grass is not exactly greener. But we are confident this is what we need to do, and that our small family unit will benefit from it greatly. Warmer weather is more than welcomed, and more family to surround us will be fun.

So here's to a new adventure with many changes and a little stress (I will be staying behind with the kids for awhile to sell the house while Steve moves on to start his job.)

Thank you again Wisconsin for the beautiful fall. I will never forget it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dresser Rehaul...

Once upon a time, I built a bed.

After the bed was in the bedroom, suddenly the other furniture seemed so drab and dreary. Our old dressers were functional, but they were a third level pass down from one of Steve's relative our first week of marriage and they had seen betters days. I thought about refinishing them, but they were falling apart and not so sturdy anymore. If I'm going to put a lot of time into refinishing, I've got to have a solid piece to start with.

So I went on the hunt to find a new dresser. I told all my friends of my new dresser desire and asked them all to keep an eye out for a piece that would work in our room. About a month later I get a call from my friend Tiffany who was browsing through a goodwill and came across a dresser she was convinced I would like. She sent me this picture:
It was enough to get me out the door to check it out. I drove home that day with $72 less in my bank account, and not one, but two dressers!
I spent the next day and a half with the help of Tiffany, sanding, priming, sanding, painting, sanding, painting, sanding, clear coating. Quite the process.
I kept the original hardware and sprayed it black which saved some money on new knobs.

I knew exactly where I wanted the long dresser, there was a special wall in my room I had saved for it.
However, the other piece, I didn't have a place in mind as I finished it. There wasn't room in our bedroom, so my initial thought was to keep it in the garage and eventually there would be a special place for it.

A few days of being in the garage was all it took. My friends came over one morning and insisted we bring it into the house and find a place for it. So we did. We moved it a couple times and then settled on keeping it in the living room. So there it sits.
One day in a far off land, when are bedroom isn't the size of a closet, perhaps these pieces will be reunited...then again perhaps not!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trampoline daze...

I fought and fought to get a trampoline. Steve was against it the whole time and he grew up with one. But as a child, I thought trampolines were the coolest thing and was insistent that we have one. So last spring we brought one home and life hasn't been the same since. I understand many kids have a trampoline and some probably rarely use them.

But my kids are big fans. Never by themselves, but together that trampoline has magic powers. I love weeding my garden and looking over my shoulder to see them playing crack the egg (which of course at this age isn't very dangerous), or running around playing tag. A lot of times in the afternoon, they can eat their afternoon snack on the trampoline which is quite the treat for them. And this is what I see...
It's hard for me to see them as teenagers pushing the trampoline over to the house so they can jump off the roof, or picture the awful injury stories my orthopedic surgeon friend tells me. Because at this age, the trampoline is innocent. It's just a place to share an afternoon snack!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Last Lake Trip of the Summer...

It's a sad day when we realize the weather is turning a little cool, the sun is setting a little earlier and the water just keeps getting colder.  We had one last hoorah - not fully realizing it would be the last - and it was a good day. The water was a little too rough for wakeboarding, so we took full advantage of the wake surfing. Most the kids wanted to try it out and they loved it and each went multiple times.

We have loved our time with the Tysons and their boat, and we always have good friends like the Egberts to join in the fun.

Until we meet again Lake Nagawicka  and Lake Pewaukee.

(Yes it seems as though the names of all the areas around here sound the same...milwaukee, waukesha, menomonee, muskego, nagawicka, pewaukee, the list could go on and on!)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dress up...

I've mentioned Hallie's obsession with dress-up. Of course, Hunter seems to be picking up on this as well, and although he's not wearing princess skirts, he's usually sporting some type of hat and glasses. One evening as I was preparing dinner I could hear Hallie and Hunter playing in her room. She was telling him that it was really cold outside, so he had to get his winter stuff on. So out of the room come two little kids in winter hats and mittens.

She rushed by me and said, we have to go jump on the trampoline. They ran outside. Within seconds of being outside, it started to rain. I suggested that maybe they should come back inside, but Hallie was insistent about being on the trampoline. At first it was a light rain, and then it just came down hard. I kept my eye on them from the window. They ran around the edges of the trampoline as fast as they could in the pelting rain and would slip and fall every few steps. There was loud laughter as they lifted their heads and opened their mouths. It was a funny sight. Here they were, Hallie in a dress, Hunter in a shirt and diaper, and both of them in winter hats and mittens, just singing in the rain.

I couldn't stop watching them and a rush of happiness overcame me. Life is simple, and so are it's pleasures.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Funny Comment...

I was prepping Hallie for General Conference last weekend and I was explaining that she was going to be able to watch President Monson on TV.

Hallie: But like when do I get to see President Monson for reals?
Kara: What do you mean?
Hallie: Like for reals when do I get to meet him?
Kara: Oh honey, I don't know if you'll ever see him "for reals".
Hallie: You mean, I only get to see him on TV but that's it.
Kara: Maybe, you'll just have to wait and see.
Hallie: Can we go to church instead?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back Post...Lake Trip...

We had some good times at the lake this summer, all of course documented!

We went on Hallie's first day of school back in August and it was a beautiful day. We joined up with some other friends from our ward as well and Jake had some tricks up his sleeve on the wakeboard. Steve has told me for a while, "You've got to see Jake on the wakeboard, he rocks it." but I was only going off Steve's overzealous description. So I was able to take it in for myself, and it was pretty awesome. Each time he flipped, I just prayed that my camera wouldn't document his death!
Of course, no one wants to go after Jake.
So they wake surfed instead.
As you can see Hallie and Hunter are so tired of their boat time...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pioneer children...

The day our house flooded back in July, Hallie had a Pioneer Celebration. Of course in all the commotion we didn't get the pictures posted. But I just came across them and had to use them.

She was so excited for her primary day activity, and it wasn't until two days before did I learn from another mother that they were supposed to dress-up. (We had been in Idaho for several weeks) I made a quick decision that she would not be dressing up because we were out of time. And then in her sweet innocence when told she could wear a regular dress she replied, "but we're supposed to dress-up, and this dress doesn't look like a pioneer." Busted.
So, off to Joanns for ugly fabric for an apron, which she could wear over clothes she already owned. The next morning, within an hour and a half, we had ourselves an apron, and one happy little girl.
They played pioneer games, pulled taffy (which ends up being quite a messy activity with a bunch of young kids) and made butter which they ate over warm rolls. Hallie doesn't quite grasp the concept of the pioneer yet, but she thinks living like that would be so cool. And she regularly wears the apron for dress-up.

Makes me think I should've bought cuter fabric!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

You've had a birthday shout hooray...

Our little man is TWO!

As much as I love a good party, it's also good to have a low-key birthday, and that's exactly what we did. Late church on Sunday + no nap for the two year old = shortest, smallest birthday ever.

We had strawberry shortcake cupcakes, opened a few presents, talked with both sides
of grandparents on skype and went to bed a tired, yet happy camper!


This guy gives us a run for our money.

He typically doesn't wake up very happy

He has to buckle himself in his carseat

He loves his shoes and insists on wearing them to nap time.

Still sleeps with white noise

His favorite toy - a car. Any car. Any color. It must have all four wheels!

Loves silky blankets

When he knows I'm upset he says, Sorry mommy, sorry.

Feeds himself for every meal - breakfast is my least favorite to clean up after.

His choice of outdoor toys - if he's by himself = Little Coupe Car, with Hallie = trampoline

He does not like juice or soda but he makes some great faces when he does drink it

Found his little voice and he's a chatter box most the time, however still hard to understand much of the time.

Doesn't eat a whole lot of sugar cereal and was beside himself when he got lucky charms for his birthday bucket, he ate four bowls one morning.

Loves to sing - at home, in the car, at nursery

Whenever he gets in trouble, he gets a really sad face and cries for Hallie of all people!

Has a hard time in the morning while Hallie is at school, still trying to find his groove

Could watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse all day long

Screams "Pizza, Pizza" every single time we drive by Little Ceasers

Is quite the tantrum king. He throws himself so hard I'm legitimately concerned about head injuries

Anytime he hears the word "clean-up" he starts to sing the clean-up song

Gets far more excited to see his dad than his mom

Loves food- any and all. He's our little garbage disposal, and he eats a lot!

Is great at getting his haircut. 

My favorite is right before he goes to bed he gives me a few pats on my cheek and says, I love you mommy.
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