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Archive for October, 2010

we were there

That’s Kevin and me. My roommate from freshman year. And sophomore year. And junior and senior year. For four years we talked music, explored the fine establishments of Columbia, MO, and missed countless high-fives like the two gawky white kids we were. We also loyally sat through countless average football games, including a few good ones. But unfortunately we lost all of those good ones (this was pre-Brad Smith greatness and the Chase Daniel era) – which made seeing Mizzou beat Oklahoma for the first time since 1998 (when they were ranked #1 in the BCS, no less!) all the better. The Tiger defense made huge plays. The offense looked great on the ground and in the air. And both sides of the ball looked spectacular in the 4th quarter. I’ve never heard a crowd louder, and Kevin and I were doing our part to add to the hysteria…and that included, no joke, a missed high-five. I guess some things don’t change.

The only missing parts were Pat and Jeff, our other two roommates and best friends from the glory days. Luckily, they got to see the game in a bar in downtown Columbia, and we all got to enjoy quality hangout time Friday night, as well as some solid tailgating with Pat’s sister and family beforehand:

I even got to bang Big MO, a staple at every Mizzou game, which just so happened to be making the tailgate rounds. Look. At. That. Form.

The game, the reunion, the time with Emily and the kids beforehand…well, let’s just say it made for an unforgettable weekend. The Tigers have Nebraska this weekend, with the chance to go 8-0 and control the Big 12 regular season. Even if that doesn’t happen, it won’t take away from Homecoming 2010.

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so proud we could pop

Our beloved Tigers made us SO proud this past weekend as they beat the #1-ranked Sooners.  And we got to be there to see it happen (well, one of us).  Here’s the run down…

Homecoming at Mizzou has always been a big deal.  We didn’t make it last year because a certain little gal had a bad run in with the swine flu.  This year we were determined to make it happen.  Everyone was healthy.  The weather couldn’t have been more perfect (I mean really, upper 70’s and sun in late October?).  And we had a free place to stay, thanks to Abbey. 

We enjoyed our favorite pizza ever, Shakespeares Pizza , with Travis’ aunt Georgann, uncle Keith & cousin Cori over at Cori’s apartment before heading out to see the House Decs on Friday night.  I’ve explained this in year’s past, but the sororities and fraternities pair up to participate in many competitions during homecoming week, one being the competition for the best house decorations.  This year’s theme was Board Games.  We saw many great decorations and skits all themed around board games from our childhood.  One of the perks of going to house decs with your kids is that you get to have prime seating.  Every house has hay bales lined up for the kids to sit on.  Here I am with Owen and Harrison watching the Monopoly skit.

Owen and Harrison sat through each skit, taking it all in.  Molly, on the other hand, really just wanted to run around.  She really wasn’t into posing for a picture in front of my sorority’s house dec.  Next year I need to remember to get less “us” in the picture and more of the actual house dec because they really are impressive.

Before we left house decs Friday night, I took the kids by my sorority house.  I explained to Owen that I used to live there.  He informed me that he used to live there, too.  He’s in this strange one-upping stage.  Not sure what that’s about.  Anyway, here’s little Moo in her first Pi Phi picture.  Maybe someday she’ll live in this house, too.  (No pressure or anything…)

On Saturday we dressed the kids in their Mizzou best and lined them up for a picture.

Then we headed out to see ESPN’s College Game Day on Mizzou’s campus.  Travis watches College Game Day every single Saturday and has ever since I’ve known him.  This was the first time Mizzou has ever had College Game Day on our campus, breaking the record by having over 18,000 people on the quad.  It was CRAZY packed but very fun to be there.  Here’s a shot of Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler, Desmond Howard, and Lee Corso doing their thing.

And here’s a shot of the crowd…

It really was so fun to be there.  I think every single person I saw was wearing Mizzou apparel in one way or another.  It was definitely a sea of black and gold. 

Everyone was so pumped up, and our kids picked up on the excitement quickly.  During College Game Day’s commercial breaks, Marching Mizzou would start playing our fight song.  Molly and Harrison’s dance moves could not be contained when they heard that song…

And when they got tired of dancing to the fight song, the kids got the best seats in the house on our shoulders.  (There’s a reason that Abbey, Ab’s brother Dan, and Travis were the ones with kids on their shoulders.  I’m pretty sure a kid sitting on my shoulders would still not be able to see over the crowd.)  

Owen quickly discovered the kiosk on the quad that was conveniently selling Tiger merchandise to very excited fans who were willing to pay a good bit for their Tiger paraphenalia.  Owen knew what he wanted.  He wanted a tiger tail.  And he wanted to wear it.  We’ve bred a little Tiger fan at the tender age of three.  Here he is making his best tiger face and posing in front of the columns.  I’ve already been planning on how to use this picture on his high school graduation announcements when he’s headed off to our alma mater.  Think I’m getting ahead of myself?  Maybe just a little…

Directly following all the College Game Day festivities was the alumni pancake breakfast.  Owen couldn’t get enough of the pancakes, but Molly was more a fan of the balloons.

Our final activity of the day was the Homecoming Parade.  Owen and Molly were into it for about 2 minutes and then they preferred running around in the grass.  We definitely spent more exploring the grassy areas outside the rec center than seeing the floats.  Oh well.  Another year.  Here’s a shot of Owen and Travis while Owen was still enjoying watching everything pass by.

During the parade we met up with Travis’s college friends, Jeff, Kevin, and Pat.  They had  never met Molly before and she quickly gave them a glimpse of her friendly, happy personality.

And one last shot of the guys and the kids before we parted ways.

I headed back to STL because small children and 7pm football games don’t really mesh.  Trav headed off to tailgate and then go to the game that evening.  He has big plans to do a post detailing his experiences at the game.  More to come…

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man vs. mum

So I had these pretty purple mums on either side of my front door.  It looked like this…

Then a certain three-year-old decided the mum was a bad guy and needed to be fought off with his foam sword.  Poor innocent mum…

This little incident did not sit well with me.  At all.  In fact, I was mad.  Livid.  Furious. 

I know that he’s a boy and I know that “boys will be boys”, but I also want him to know that the destruction of property is not okay.  I’m very positive that Owen knew what he was doing when he went to war with the mum.  And I’m even more positive that he knew this wasn’t okay.  But I’m even more positive that when he saw the power of the sword in his hands and the destruction it could cause, the temptation to continue was just too much.  He didn’t stop to think about the consequences. 

I was getting ready to leave for Bible Study when this happened (to talk about child discipline…ironic, huh?).  Travis dealt with Owen for the rest of the night.  But not before I had the chance to let Owen know how mad I was and how he would be paying for a new mum out of his allowance.

After a night to think about the way I handled the situation versus what Owen did, I realized that I went a little overboard.  I tried to put it in perspective…it’s a plant.  It cost me $10.  I liked the way it looked and it made me feel all nice and fallish when I’d drive up to the house.  But my son is precious to me and the way I deal with frustrating situations teaches him how to deal with frustrating situations.  Did I want him to copy my reaction from the night before?  No way. 

After Owen’s nap the next day, I told him that we needed to talk.  I explained that what he did to the flowers was not okay, but the way that I handled it wasn’t okay either.  I apologized and asked for his forgiveness.  He got a sweet smile on his face and said that he forgave me and gave me a big hug.  After a couple of minutes, he looked up at me and said, “Mommy, will you forgive me?”  I asked him, “What for?”.  He responded with, “Mommy, will you forgive me for hurting your flowers?”. 

I think this is the first time that Owen has asked for my forgiveness without needing to be prompted first.  I hope he remembers this moment and not the moment on the front porch when I discovered the carnage.  It’s times like these that I am struck with how important the job of a parent really is.

And I’m not making him pay the full $10 out of his allowance.  Poor kid…he only gets $2 per week.  Paying 5 weeks of allowance was a little extreme…I realize this now.  But because I want to follow through on the consequences that I told him he’d have, he still needs to pay $2 towards the purchase of a new mum.  Hopefully this will help him see that when you break something that belongs to someone else, you have to replace it. 

This parenting stuff just keeps getting more and more complicated.

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18 month update

Molly is 18 months old…a year and a half.  That sounds so old to me.   (And yes, this picture was taken when she was on the verge of tears.  She’s really not a fan of these monthly pictures that I’m so obsessed with.)  Here’s what the little lady’s been up to this month:

* Expanding her vocabulary.  She is starting to string two words together (Hi Dada, Hi Mommy, Hi Doggy). 

* Praying with us before mealtime.  She makes a big scene of clapping her hands together and squeezing her eyes shut.  Then she claps for us when we’re done praying.

* More teeth…3 out of 4 of her molars are in.  I sure wish that fourth one would hurry up and grow in already.

* Her separation anxiety is SO much better this month.  She reaches her arms out for the nursery ladies at church and doesn’t cry when I leave.  This is so nice.

* Developing good taste in music.  She has figured out how to work the ipod to turn on music.  She loves to dance and would really like it if we’d just have a big dance party all day long.

* Her current favorite thing to do is brush her teeth.  Whenever she sees her toothbrush she opens her mouth and says “ah!”. 

* She’s a girl of many nicknames.  It’s pretty rare that she’s just called “Molly”.  Here are some things you may here her called around our house:  Molly Moo, Moo Moo, Moodles, Moolee, Molls, Molly Dolly, Sister Pants (Owen’s favorite), Molly Kate, Molly Cakes, Cakes, and Little Gal. 

Here’s what Owen’s been up to this month:

* Story telling.  The kid talks my ear off all day long.  Half the time I don’t even really know what he’s saying because he’s making up these wild stories about pirates, tigers, and huge battles.  He makes me laugh.

* He loves to recreate the Bible stories that he’s learning with his action figures.  Recently Jesus has been played by Batman and the disciples are his army guys.  He loves to talk about the battle at Jericho and tell me about Rahab and her spies.  

* He is really needing to learn how to go pee pee standing up.  For real.  But he refuses.  His reason, “Mommy, I only do that when I pee pee in the woods.”  Whatever.  Travis and I have decided that pee pee standing up boot camp begins after Christmas.  It’s time.

* Owen is starting soccer in two weeks!  He’s very excited about this.  I’m pretty positive I’ll blog about that when the time comes.

That’s all for this month!

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molly’s impromptu photo shoot

Oh you wanna take my picture, Mom? 

Well, here.  Let me just pose in front of the dishwasher for you.  See how I’ve smeared my fingerprints all over it?  Isn’t that nice?

I love this doggy on my shirt.  Isn’t it great? 

How ’bout I try a different setting…maybe on top of my table?  I’ll even strike a fancy pose for you.

Wait, don’t put the camera away yet.  I think I’ve got one more pose worked up.  Yep, I do.  I’m pretty cute, huh?

You can take my picture anytime.  I LOVE to be the center of attention!

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kitchen redo

When we bought our house, I did not like the kitchen.  Over the last five years we’ve slowly been redoing it…little by little.  We started by getting rid of the hideous microwave compartment the previous owners had.  It was horrid.  Check out this post if you want to see what it looked like.  After the microwave was updated, the floor was next to go.  This post will show you the before and after.  We were forced into getting a new dishwasher in June of this past year because ours just up and died.  It was super old and we updated to a much more aesthetically pleasing stainless steel. 

The last piece of the puzzle was redoing the countertops and backsplash.  For my birthday this year, that’s exactly what we did.  The night before the big redo I took some pictures to give you a frame of reference for just how much better it looks.  Here’s the before (granted I’ve taken away all my decorative items that helped to disguise what a dark cave my kitchen really was):

You can’t really see it, but the backsplash (which was really just a sheet of laminate) was carried all the way to the floor next to the back door.  Nice.

But after the redo got started, I realized it used to be worse.  Way worse.  My kitchen used to have this for a backsplash:

Yikes.  But I’m sure it was very cool in the 70’s.  I also realized why the backsplash was carried all the way to the floor by the back door…

Yuck.  I was SO glad to see all that go.  At the end of day 1, I had new countertops and the laminate backsplash was gone.  It was already looking so much brighter.  At the end of day 2, my bright white backsplash was up.

The previous backsplashed didn’t continue behind the stove.  I love that this one does.  By the end of day 3, it was finished!  It took me a while to clean up all the dust and dirt that goes along with home renovations, but we’ve settled back in and love how much brighter the kitchen feels. 

In the last picture you can see that the wall next to the door is no longer black but painted to match the rest of the room.  You can also see our new dishwasher…since I didn’t document that update with a blog post of it’s own.  The kitchen feels so much happier to me.  It only took us 5 years, but the kitchen is finally where I dreamed it would be!

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After all the fun of my birthday getaway weekend, we decided to have a family day on my actual birthday.  We woke up that morning and went to a big yard sale…my request.  I made my entire family get up and get ready so we could be at the yard sale when it opened at 8am.  And they had to agree…it was my birthday, right?  I scored a Little People princess castle for Molly (early Christmas shopping) and Owen got some Power Rangers because, for some reason, he’s become obsessed with them. 

Next we headed to our favorite orchard in Belleville, IL called Braeutigam’s Orchard.  It’s a great family-owned orchard with a fun area for the kids to play where this picture of Molly on the tractor was taken.

When we were done in the kiddie area, we all loaded onto the tractor to head out to the orchards.   Here’s a shot of all the kids…Owen, Molly, Ella and Drew.

We had so much fun picking apples.  I gave Owen a bag so he could pick his own apples.  He only ended up with three because he ate so many of them.  He couldn’t even take a break from chowing down to give me a smile.

But his sister sure could.  The girl’s always ready to be a ham.

And one more of Molly eating her apple because I think it’s precious…

Owen got brave and let Travis put him on his shoulders so he could get the apples up high in the trees.  He’s so proud of his apple-picking skills!

Molly became very interested in the smashed and rotting apples on the ground.  Gross.  It was all we could do to keep her from putting them in her mouth. 

Before we left the orchard, we managed to snag a decent family picture.  I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a picture with all four of us looking at the camera and smiling.  In the kids’ defense, it was pretty bright.

Besides apple-picking, the orchard had a pumpkin patch where we could pick our pumpkins off the vine.  We each picked out a pumpkin and Travis got the job of snapping the vine.  Owen and Ella found a perfect pumpkin for sitting on.  I love their natural smiles in this picture.

We ended our morning at the orchard with a picnic lunch.  The orchard offered apple cidar slushies which were amazing.  I loved spending my birthday morning this way.

That evening we headed over to my parents’ house for dinner.  My mom made a delicious dinner followed by birthday cake.  Owen helped me blow out the candles while wearing his tiger mask (compliments of my mother who gave both him and Molly presents to open while I opened mine).  I love this picture…Owen, in his tiger mask, is giving me a big smooch and Molly just looks completely exhausted. 

One last picture…Owen thoroughly enjoyed helping me open all my presents.  He thought my boots were really cool and wanted to try them on.  Hilarious.

My 30th was great.  The birthday weekend was fantastic, but I loved spending my actual birthday with family and friends.  Definitely my favorite birthday so far.

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