Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekly Happenings

Sunday's nearly over, so time for me to catch up yet again. I love this time of year. It's busy, but with all kinds of FUN things - football, Halloween fun, Thanksgiving, family time, fall break and so much more. In between all of the fun activities, we have to fit in the normal everyday life too.  Right? I know we're not the only one whose weekends are packed to the gills. Anyway - here is a bit of the "normal" filling our days...

Kate started allergy shots about a week ago.  This is a pretty intense 2 year commitment, where we go weekly for shots (one in each arm).  Our new Tuesday schedule is that she goes to school, then takes part in the Good News Club that her school offers in the afternoon.  I pick her up from Good News at 4 and we head straight to the allergist office, where she gets her shots.  We have to wait around for 30 minutes after the shots to make sure she doesn't have a reaction, and it's been a good time for her to get all of her homework done. 


Needless to say, Tuesdays wear her out.  Napping on the car ride home has become a regular Tuesday afternoon occurrence.  


I've learned that when I leave my phone laying around, I'll often come back to random pictures.  This has to be the most random one that I've found though.  I had about 30 of these in my camera's photo library earlier this week. Ha!


Outfit planning for family pictures is the worst.  It's so hard to decide!  


Karsten is definitely my cuddly kid. She will often see me sitting on the couch and climb up in my lap, or will run up to me and say "Mommy. I needja.", which means "Will you pick me up and hold me?"


Karsten is also my princess-obsessed kid. Kate went through this phase too. Every evening, it's a total guess as to which Karsten will come out dressed as. On this night, it was Princess Elena.


Weeks ago, everyone was posting pictures that said "Hello October" and talking about how they were looking forward to boots, scarves, pumpkin spice and all things fall.  Yeah that hasn't happened here in SC yet.  The high today is 85. I'm so ready for things to cool down a notch!





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

TimeHop Blessings

Do you use TimeHop?  I love it. And I hate it.  It's an app that links to your social media accounts, and to the pictures you have stored on your phone. On each day, you can log into the app and it will share with you pictures that you have taken or posted on that same day in years past.  So today the app is showing me pictures from October 11th in years past.

I love it because it reminds me of things that were going on in my life 1, 3, 5 or 10 years ago.  When a Facebook status update from 2007 pops up and says things like "studying for the CPA exam", it takes me back in time to when I was a fresh college graduate and newlywed, starting my first job and studying ALL THE TIME to pass the dreaded CPA exam. It helps remind me how far I've come and what I've accomplished.  It's also fun to be reminded of things that were apparently important enough in your life at that moment in time for you to share with others, but maybe not so important that you really remember them years later.

It also shows me pictures of my kids 1, 2, 3, etc. years ago, which is the reason why I love it and hate it at the same time.  Karsten turned 3 last Friday so the past week I've had pictures pop up every single day of newborn Karsten.  Ugh! She was so tiny.  And seeing those pictures, I'm reminded that this stage in our life is over.  No more baby fingers, baby snoozing, baby gurgles and baby cuddles.  I see pictures of 3 year old Kate meeting and holding her new baby sister, and I can't believe how little Kate looked! At the time I thought she was SO OLD, and now she's twice the age she was then.


Two years ago we were celebrating a big FIRST birthday, surrounded by family and friends. 


And an even further peek back in time - look at sweet baby Kate!


In 2011 when we attended our informational meeting at Bethany and were just starting the adoption process, if I could have had the Reverse TimeHop app and seen into the future all of these pictures, my mind would have been BLOWN at how much God was going to bless our family.  If I could have seen these two girls, and the trips we would take with them, and the memories we would be able to create in 6 years of parenthood... well, I don't know that I really would have been able to believe that it would all be real. 

Grace is defined as God giving us what we don't deserve.  I can't think of a better descriptive of my life with Kevin and these two He has blessed us with.  Seven years ago (ironically, seven years ago to the moment, since I'm writing this at 9:32pm), I posted this to Facebook. We had not even started the adoption process, and maybe not even yet talked about it.  I don't remember what was on my mind or why I chose to post this, but seven years later I can see GRACE all over my life and I'm so thankful for it. 



Friday, October 6, 2017

Karsten is Three!

Today, Karsten turned three.  THREE!  It's unbelievable to me, since I feel like Kevin and I were just driving to the hospital to meet her for the very first time. Yet somehow she has been in our family for 3 years.  She is the same age that Kate was when Karsten was born!

Here she is on her last day of being two years old.


This girl is nothing like I thought she would be when she was a clingy baby.  Gone is the shy, quiet, timid baby girl.  She is bubbly, loud, mostly outgoing, and so full of personality.  Her smile is the biggest thing about her, and when she gives you one, you can't help but grin back.

She still loves Mama best.  A few days ago, Kevin was home with the girls when I was pulling into the garage.  He looked at Karsten and said "Let's hide from Mama."  After they found a hiding place, Karsten looked and Kevin and said "This is not a great idea."  He said "Well, Karsten, what IS a great idea?"  She said "Let's go find Mama."  And then she ran down the hall and threw her arms around me, the whole time screaming "Hey Mama!! You're home!!!"


Kevin will tease her sometimes and say "Who do you love more, Mama or Daddy?" She almost always answers Mama, although occasionally she'll say "Karsten" or "Bunny".  But then she always assures Kevin that she still loves him too. :)


Her raspy voice is a constant noise around our house. Girl loves to talk. And sing. She knows the entire books of the bible song - old and new testament.


She is Kate's shadow and anything Kate does, Karsten must copy.  They are best friends and I hope it stays that way forever.

About 6-8 months ago, the girls decided they wanted to spend the night together.  It was a Friday night so we figured we'd try and see how it went.  We put them in Karsten's bed and then went into the living room where we proceeded to watch them play on the monitor for the next hour and a half.  Finally, we separated them and put them each in their own room so they would go to sleep.  Of course they both cried, so we said "We'll try again when Karsten is 3."  You know - sometimes you just say things to get your kids to be quiet and don't even realize what you're committing to.  Well, since then, Karsten has said "When I turn 3, I'm sleeping with Kate." Today when she got out of bed, I said "Karsten, do you know what today is!"  She said "It's my birthday! I'm three and I'm sleeping with Kate tonight!"

(Update- we did let them sleep together. It lasted 30 minutes.)


She is girly, and loves dresses, nail polish and lip gloss. She amazes me with how much she knows at this age.  I'm so thankful that she has a big sister who loves to teach her.  She knows her ABC's, all colors, can count to 30, can mostly dress herself, and talks like she's 15.


Happy birthday, big girl! God has great plans for you, and I pray that you'll be willing to trust and follow Him.  I love you to the moon and back, and more than you'll ever know. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Catching Up

Lately I've been using my phone to do most of my picture taking.  I'd love the newest iPhone just so I can get a camera upgrade, but I do NOT love the price tag on them. So like I tell my kids "You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit."

We are part of a small group at our church that started off as a group for 20's and 30's but has evolved and includes all ages of people, but mostly families with kids.  It is seriously my kids favorite part of the week.  We take the summer off and so our first small group after starting back was a few Sundays ago at our house.


I randomly saw this posted on Facebook and text it to a few friends. We decided to take the challenge so 4 of us have been doing this every day.  I may die before we get to Day 30.  We are only on Day 12!!


Love these girls!  I picked them up one day and can't even remember where we were going.


We've been making some changes in our formal living room to make it more usable. One thing we decided we want to get is a recliner, so one evening we headed over to the LazyBoy store to test out a few. Of course the girls picked out the most expensive ones, with remotes and a million buttons that recline, raise, lower, vibrate, and anything else you can think of.  Kevin picked up Karsten and told her they had to test it out together...


Our evening routine is that Kevin reads Kate a story and tucks her into bed, and then I pop in to give her a kiss goodnight.  I tuck Karsten in, and then Kevin gives her a quick kiss goodnight.  Karsten has finally started actually wanting to listen to books, so I'm loving this new evening addition to our nights. 


Not sure what it is about turning 6 years old, but apparently there is some unwritten rule that you HAVE to throw up a peace sign anytime mom wants to take your picture. Happens every single time. Good think she is cute.


And then I have to say "Ok - now let's take a REAL one."



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Go Dawgs... ???

Clearly I am a Clemson Tiger fan.  And Kevin is a Georgia Bulldog fan.  Our girls have yet to make the determination as to which team they'll like.  For all we know, they may pick a different team completely or decide they hate sports all together.  We are an equal opportunity family though - so it's totally up to them!

Since we live so close to Clemson, we're usually able to take them to a game every year.  Athens is a bit further and while Kevin and Kate have gone to a couple of games together, Karsten hadn't seen the Dawgs play until this weekend. Kevin's track record at seeing his team play is pretty poor too.  He's gone to a game almost every year, and Georgia hasn't won while he was there since 2012.  

So this weekend we took the girls to see Georgia play Samford.  If his team had not won this game, I'm not sure I would have let him live it down.

They are ready for Saturday in Athens!
 


We've officially reached the "fake smile" stage. 


The game was a night game, which was great since it was a million degrees outside!  We left our house with plenty of time to eat dinner on the way, and got to Athens early so we could walk around. A quick stop in a Georgia fan store landed the girls with new hats and Georgia "G's" for their faces (glittery ones, of course).  Then it was game time!



We'd originally planned to stay till halftime and knew we would call it a success if that happened.  When Georgia scored another TD late in the 3rd quarter to make it pretty much a guaranteed win, we figured we were safe to start walking back toward the car.  The girls did great throughout the whole game.  I will go ahead and put it out there, I packed the iPad in my bag for Karsten.  Knowing that the game was starting only 30 minutes before her normal bedtime, I needed to be prepared! She only played on it for maybe 30 minutes total and did really well.     


 And now both kids have been to Georgia games.  In about a month, they'll be sporting the Clemson orange that I love to see on them. But for now, I'll admit that they look pretty cute in the red.

PS - I listened to my game (Clemson vs Louisville) on XM radio while watching the Georgia game. Multitasking at its finest. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Weekend Favorites

I better catch up from LAST weekend before we get to this weekend, right?  We've had a lot of low-key fun lately and I love spending time with family and friends. 

The girls have grown so much lately, and the weather is starting to cool down just a tiny bit (in the mornings only), so I know they are going to need some warmer clothes before too long.  They can't fit into a single thing from last year, so it's time for shopping!  We attempted to go to Carters on Friday, only to get there at 8:08pm and realize they closed at 8. Boo.  The girls spotted Mr. Knickerbockers next door, and so we walked over. 

$40 later, we walked out with 2 stuffed tigers and 2 sets of tiger ears. 


Saturday morning, we pulled out one of Kate's birthday presents.  Kristi and Davis gave her a kit to make gummy Trolls (think troll-shaped gummy bears).  She had a blast and they actually turned out well. But the green was gross. 


Also Saturday - game day!   The girls wore their Clemson jerseys.  Although, to be completely honest, Kate does have her UGA jersey on underneath her Clemson one.   Clemson and Georgia both played at the same time Saturday night, so Kevin and I were each stationed in different rooms watching our respective teams.  Luckily, both teams won!


We had to take a picture of our boys - Kevin said they were praying for a Clemson and UGA win.


Sunday afternoon, I left to run errands and get groceries. Kevin said he was going to put the girls down for a nap and I came home to THIS.  We got a new mattress a few weeks back and our old one has been sitting in the floor of our formal living room. We left it there for a little bit because the girls have enjoyed using it as a trampoline. Looks like we may need to take a page from Clemson's playbook and turn this room into a nap room. 



Saturday, September 9, 2017

The End of an Era

The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.


This week was a big one in our house. Karsten started "school" on Tuesday. Boy was she excited!


Side note - I have gotten lots of questions about Karsten's dress.  It is by Genuine Kids from Target. And if you are thinking of ordering it, use the link below to get 20% off!


Last week we went to meet her teachers.  We were only there for about 20 minutes so we could find out all of the rules, etc and so Karsten could see her new classroom.  When it was time to leave, she didn't want to go! She thought she was going to get to stay.


Needless to say, when the actual first day of school was here, she was ready.  We got to class a couple of minutes early and were still about 5 kids back in the line to drop her off at her classroom door.  The entire time we were waiting, Karsten was begging to go inside.  We finally got up to the front of the line, and as I was handing Karsten's bag and lunch box to her teacher, she took off inside.  I didn't get a hug, a wave or even a "bye".  That's how ready she was.


And now, she's already asking when she goes back.  It's a little sad, as this is the last year our family will have a kid in the "baby" program.  It's the end of an era. Next year she'll be in 3K - an official preschooler.  So for now we'll savor the last few months of the little kid stage. We are looking forward to a great year of Parent's Day Out!

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