Labor Day Weekend 2015

Labor Day Weekend 2015

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Snarky continued but in a different direction...

Okay so this is a complete tangent from my last post, but as I said, I'm in a 'mood'.

As I was driving home a car pulled up next to me, it was a guy, not sure what he looked like or how old he was, although I'd probably guess 20's something just based on the car style.  But anyways, he was smoking.  And a couple thoughts ran through my head.  Here is my best attempt at explaining them:

Thought 1: I should just roll down my window and yell too him "No girl thinks smoking is attractive".

Thought 2: It would be kind of cool to have something like the following on my car window or bumper:
Simple Math
Smoking = disgusting
If then, YOU choose to SMOKE,
It can be deduced that
You = disgusting

Thought 3: When I get home, I'm going to post on Facebook this as my status: "I will never understand why people choose to smoke.  Please someone give me a reason smoking is a better choice over a different activity that DOESN'T negatively impact your health."  OR "Smoking makes no sense.  Each time a person lights one up, they are taking a step towards an early death.  So unless you're suicidal, why would you smoke? (and I'm not looking for rebuttals here)." 

Then...Thought 4: Do people really consider dying in your 70's to be enough? Do they not realize that our bodies are meant, and intended, and coded, to live for 120 years? That means, if you die at 75, you die 45 years before you were supposed to when your body was first created.  It blows my mind how anyone could be okay knowing they are practically ensuring an early death by smoking.

Thought 5: Woah Abby, take a breathe, smoking is addictive, some people can't help it.  (and here is where my head got into a fight with itself).  Aren't most people educated enough to know it's bad for you? And unless you're currently living under a rock and had been raised there your entire life, wouldn't you know that there are ways to quit? Why wouldn't someone do everything in their power to quit? Again, unless they seriously don't care about how long they live or what the quality of their life is....

Ok, I'm done.  Mostly because by this point, I was home and had to re-focus on unloading what turned out to be the perfect rug for my kitchen :). 

Hopefully I didn't offend you, but if I did, maybe you should quit smoking and then it wouldn't seem so offensive. (see....snarky...)

Nighty night.


That's what kind of mood I'm in.  Snarky.  But I'm hoping to get some relatively interesting blogging done whilst in this mood. :).

Anyways, it's been a long night.  My usual nights consist of getting Keller to bed (around 6pm), making dinner, cleaning up, and watching a little T.V. and then heading to bed around 9.  Veeerrrry easy.  Veeerrry chill. and Veeerrry domestic.  Haha.  Tonight has been different.  In many ways, it's been an extremely productive and extremely positive night.  And in just a few ways, it's put me in this mood.

Broghan's mom (my wonderful mother-in-law Janet), offered to purchase us new rugs for our dining room and kitchen..  We are in the process of giving it a face lift from the 'country kitchen' look we inherited with the purchase of our house just over a year ago and have been playing with ideas of how to update.  Do I take on the task of tearing down all the ugly wallpaper? Possibly discovering, after scraping glue and gunk, that the walls themselves suck and will need replacing? (just like both of our bathrooms mind you) or Do I just go the easy route and paint over it?

Of course, I went the easy route.  Which isn't really so easy since its taken three coats of primer and two coats of color to cover the darn patterns! Oh well.  It's been a good and much needed change in that area of the house and the colors schemes are working out well with some of the decor we already have going throughout the house.

So new rugs it is.  Our local Shopko was having a rug sale but it ended 10PM when they closed and I had to wait until 7pm when Broghan got home to get a nod towards the 'square' design or the 'circle' design...(we went with square btw).  Then it was one trip over to Shopko, which I was okay with.  But the dilemma comes into play when I get home with said rugs and we discover that 1) we don't need all of the ones I got and 2) the second large rug (the one for the kitchen) just isn't 'flowing' with the rest.  Meaning I have to get a new one...and if I didn't go back to Shopko would no longer be on sale (and by on sale I mean 40% off...which for these size rugs is a steal and the difference between spending a decent amount of money and spending way too much).  Soooo at 9PM when I am usually headed to bed after some relaxation on the couch in front of the tube, I'm back in the car, hauling this huge rug back to Shopko, and on a second mission to find a rug to create positive Fung Shui if you will, throughout our dining room and kitchen. Bleh.

Again, this is all really a big positive thing but I'm just being cranky, tired, and pregnant. Bleh. I'll post pictures when I get the motivation to do it and once the painting is finished.  I just don't have to the guts to share with all of you how strange it all looks right now, half painted with these really awesome new rugs...weird.  I just keep reminding day it will all be done and totally worth every minute I spent working on it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Faith journey, The Shack, SAMmy's and Parenting - Part I

I've been contemplating this entry for a very long time.  Somehow, I am going to make the bridge between my faith journey and my parenting style, even if it takes me multiple posts.  :) .

So here we go.

Almost two years ago, I lost a daughter.  A tragic and hard time in my life, but for me, it marks the start of what I consider to be my faith journey.  In reality, this journey probably began long ago when my parents decided to have all of us girls begin our education at a Catholic school.  I was taught religion and went to church.  By the time we transfered up to public schools I think most of us could recite the mass just as well as the priest overseeing the service.  It really seemed disconnected for me.  Was there a God? Yea, I guess.  That's what I'd been told and I'd talked with Him plenty of times.  But really, I never understood (and still don't really or fully) what it meant to be in relationship with Him and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Speeding the 'rewind' segment up, two years ago my life and my perspective changed.  My attitude and my ability to experience life changed and my journey began.  As many know, my pregnancy with Madison was not planned.  It was full of stress and worry about how having a child at 23, not married (heck not even engaged at the time), living far from family, and without a kick-butt job would ultimately change my life.  I didn't lean into God.  I leaned into myself and the people around me trying to do things the way I thought our world expected me to.  God knew better.

It's hard to describe the immediate change I felt.  I guess if I had to pin-point a moment, it would have been when we were driving back from the hospital.  I believe down to my core, that I was filled with God's graces and the Holy Spirit on that drive (it felt like a warm bubble..and while I was sad, I was okay).  It was the first time in my life I had felt that way and recognized it as such.  And so, the faith journey began.

Now I hope I don't get too confusing here.  I didn't know it was the big H.S. at the time.  I just knew it was God and for the first time in my life I just knew.  He was real and He was here.

Now bring in The SHACK.  It's interesting looking back and seeing how things have been placed in your life to lay a foundation for later.  This book was one of those.  I read this book about a month before losing Madison.  At the time, the themes that really shined bright were the ones relating to relationships.  I, of course,  kept relating it back to my relationship with Broghan and thought of it as a guidepost for us to look at.  However, it played a pretty pivotal role in my ability to cope with my loss.  The ideas of good and bad and how we're all God's children and how He wants to relate with us as such didn't seem important until looking at it in hindsight.  (I'm hoping that if you have yet to read this, you'll be intrigued enough to go out and find it and read it).

Moving forward I began leaning more into God and my faith for comfort and recognizing what blessings I'd been given.  Madison was a blessing.  Broghan has been and continues to be a blessing.  I leaned hard into him and into Him and survived particularly well in my opinion.  I re-read The Shack and those other themes really stuck out and really stuck inside my head.  Broghan and I began attending an amazing church and real understanding of the Bible began.  Slowly, it began.

As I'm sure many of you know, my life has been put into fast forward for the past two years.  Two babies (and one on the way), a wedding, a move, a new home, change of cars, change of lifestyle, new friends, new jobs, new interests and educational pursuits.  It's been a lot.  But I've also taken quite a bit if time and focused on my faith.  Broghan and I began searching out a church home when we moved to Eau Claire and we spent a few months doing what I like to call "church hopping".  We'd attend one, then another, then another, then go back to one of the other ones.  We finally settled on one and have enjoyed the services when we've been able to go.  

Also, last year after Keller was born I was invited by a friend to attend a local Christian mom's group called SAMmy's.  It allowed me the opportunity to not only connect with mom's (such a blessing!) but to also have a safe, friendly, and low-pressure environment to test out my "God wings".  (haha a term I just conjured up..but hopefully you understand what I mean)

sorry to end it short and in a weird spot...tired & the game is on..soooo to be continued!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fun Fall days!

So as the leaves have now officially started falling off of our maple (I think it's a maple??) in the back yard, raking leaves season has begun as well.  Two days ago I made the big attempt of using our blower to get everything into a big pile and really, it wasn't a pretty sight to watch.  As I blew leaves and dirt and mulch one direction, God and his almighty wind attempted to blow it the other...meaning right back in my face.  Bleh.  But eventually I did make a decent enough pile that it didn't blow away over the next two days.

Yesterday, I spent some time in the morning being crafty (I'm not really all that crafty that often) and made our very own 'scarecrow'.  He's not very all.  But he's sturdy! So I don't think he'll be blowing away anytime soon or falling apart, which is really the main goal.  This things got to last through Thanksgiving folks..

  I also used some old socks and balled them up, covered them in $1 fabric I bought from our local 'goodwill' type store and made little hanging ghosts! festive! haha.

 Combine those with the corn stalks our neighbors had given us a few weeks back and I'd say we're pretty close to being fully decorated for this fall season. :)  All we're really missing in a new flag out front (we currently have the American flag...which is good, but really, it's football a GBPacker's one is really what needs to be waving out there).

Anyways, today I finally got around to bagging the last of the leaves and captured a few (and by few I mean two) good pictures of Keller.  The other ones I got are okay, I mean, it shows him in the leaves and all...but he's not looking at the camera or these were the best! And some video of Keller walking all around like he does, and Marvin being a bit of a spaz like he is.

Update in Video format..

I try to get as much onto video as possible.  Sorry that the quality isn't any better but I'm usually taking it on our digital camera and it can get tricky.  Enjoy!

Hanging in the yard..

This is what we like to call a Kiss Attack!

This is his awesome new skill of being able to climb off of the couch.

Keller playing in his new Fire truck!

Update in Picture format.

So once again I've managed to go more than a month without updating on what we've been up to.  I don't really have the motivation or time to detail it all in words but hopefully the photo collage will be good enough :) I know many of you are just looking for fun pics of the Keller-man so I'll do what I can!!!  Enjoy!


So it's finally been made public knowledge, but I'm pregnant again! Something we're very excited about and happy to be able to share.

Technically we took a pregnancy test way back in early September that came back positive but because of the way the scheduling with doctors work, we didn't have an appointment with a medical doctor until October 4th, where we were lucky enough to hear a heart-beat! it was hard to find, as it always is with my children, but the nurse finally got a good tone and said it was somewhere in the 160's.  That's 100 beats per minute FASTER than my own heart-rate.  Crazy..

Anyways, we weren't able to make an ultrasound work that day, so we scheduled it for a week out.  This past Tuesday the 12th.  Honestly, it was the fastest ultrasound appointment I'd ever had and I loved it! We checked in, got called, walked right into the room, did the ultrasound and back out.  Awesome.  It showed that I was 12 weeks, that day, and that my due date is April 26th of next spring. (obviously). We also got a more accurate sound-bite of the heart beat and it was at 169!  Broghan is already thinking girl....but I guess we'll see in about 28 weeks!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Abby turned 2-6! some point I'm sure I'll stop counting, but 26 isn't bad so that's how old I am.  Broghan likes to call me old though but only because I'm 11 months older than him.  This years birthday was awesome! Technically we celebrated Keller's birthday on my birthday (see last post) so my little family (Broghan, me & Keller) celebrated my birthday a day early on Saturday the 28th.  I couldn't have planned it better! The weather was awesome and so we got up and headed down (on foot) to the local farmer's market.  It's about a mile and half walk down so with a dog and stroller it took a little while but we weren't in a hurry.  We strolled through the market, picked up a few items, and went down by the river to let Marvin swim.  

Headed back felt like a forever trip, mostly because we had to hike back up the hill to our neighborhood.  

But we made it and took a much need break.  Well, Keller & I did, Broghan went to work fixing a fan in our kitchen that up until now had not worked.  Once fixed and rested, we headed out to the local wineries for some wine sampling (and subsequently purchasing 4 bottles of wine).  Along the way, I was given something beautiful and that sparkles, DIAMOND EARRINGS! yea! Thanks hubby! 

To end an amazing day, Keller went to sleep like a little champ and Broghan & I got to enjoy dinner outside by the bonfire while drinking a bottle of wine...ahh so nice.  It's always interesting to ponder what next year's birthday will bring ;)

Keller's turned O-N-E!

We survived the year! Wahoo! Strange to think where we were just a year ago.

SO in celebration, we invited the grandparents and some local friends out to a park near our house to have a lunch and of course, shower Keller with gifts.  I don't have a ton of pictures of the event but I have some.  We also by-passed the traditional cake but don't worry, Keller got messy in some other deliciousness...(Janet-if you read this, I am missing pictures of you with Keller-man so if you have any, send 'em over and I'll add them!)

A whole month!

So it's been a month, and I can't really count how many blog posts I've started and just deleted or started and never finished.  I think when you get this far behind on the 'updating' it just seems daunting and like a task I don't really want to undertake. it goes, its been raining ALL day, I've decided NOT to cook/bake anything since we're going out of town tomorrow afternoon and there are enough left overs to feed us or at least get us through to tomorrow.  Keller is being his self-entertaining self and I'm quite frankly, bored out of my mind.  So here it goes.  Time to update.  I'll do my best to be detailed but I have a feeling these will be short snippets of what we've been up to.  I'll do my best to keep them in order!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Muddy Buddies!

By far the most fun race I have participated in to date! Have fun checking out the photos but as a quick recap here are the details:

Race length: 10K (6.1 miles)

Race course: climbing the ski hills at Afton alps on foot and on bike (ok pushing the bike) THREE times! ugh.
THEN finishing by army crawling through a very thick, kind of painful (rocky) mud pit! awesome.

Race transitions: four switches = five legs.  Anna did: bike, run, bike, run, bike.  I did the opposite.  At the switches were obstacles. 1) a climbing wall with a net to climb down on the other side 2) ropes you had to crawl under 3) a balance beam and 4)'ll see in the pictures below :)

Our look: The Awesome A's were Bees! :) You'll see that too...

Smile!!  (because we're clean!)

BEE Happy :)

My fans! Such great sports for leaving Eau Claire at 5AM!

The starting line...there were 900 teams!

Go Anna! Go!

That's me, the bee!

This was the last fun!! That's Anna's little Bee Behind.

Can you see me running with the bike? I was so happy to be done with that leg, until I realized the next one was just the same...only opposite, meaning the huge hill I'd just come down I now how to go BACK UP!

I didn't know I made this facial expression until I saw the picture, however, this is just before crouching to crawl through the mud...I'm guessing my thought was something like this "um...REALLY!?"


So happy to be done! :) Time to rinse off and start planning for next year!