It's time to lose your mind and let the crazy out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Who knew No Shave November was a thing?  Everybody, including Kesha, knows beards are cool.  Keep up.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Old House

 John and I's bedroom
 the office
 the living room
 the dining room
 the girls' room upstairs
 the kitchen
another view of the kitchen

It's cute!  It's clean!  It's empty!  You want to buy it!?!

How quickly this house went from the place where we live to the "old house."  I kind of hate calling it that, but there's no better way to name it right now.  We did right by this house.  We are leaving it in better shape than when we bought it, and we bought it in darn good shape.  The economy has not done right by us, but if I think too much about that I get angry, and refuse to be considered a victim of anything.  As much as I hate the overused phrase, "It is what it is" that's how I feel about this housing situation that John and I have found ourselves in.  It's not great, we're not happy about it, but it is out of our control.

Anyway, if you know anyone at all that might be interested, send them this link, and tell them there is no cuter house in the city.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Miniature Cheerleader

Make your own slideshow at Animoto.

Cecilia was asked to be the miniature cheerleader in the Ste. Genevieve High School Homecoming parade back in October.  All dressed up in her little cheerleading outfit, she rode in an old hot rod car in the parade, sat with the Homecoming Court during the football game, and walked down the field at halftime with her little partner, miniature football player, Sawyer.  I couldn't have been more proud.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Paris Street in Rainy Weather

Rainy cold days like today make me think of this painting.  We were at this intersection in 2005 when we went to Paris, and it was memorable.  I'm not quite sure why this painting appeals to me, but it does.  It's owned by the Art Institute of Chicago, and I've been there before, so maybe I saw it and saved it in my memory?  I do believe that I'll have to make a trip back to see the painting in person.  I'd like to have a framed print.  Maybe I'll put it on my Christmas list.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

He's a Carpenter

Every time we show our house for sale we get feedback from the Realtor who looked at the house with their customer. Most of the feedback drives me crazy, like one person said we had too many doors closed (?!) and another said our house needed new windows. Most of them rate our house a 3 out of 5, which sends me through the roof. We looked at a bazillion houses in the city before buying this one, and I know that it is a good solid 4. Don't get me started.

We have had two showings since the house has been empty. Empty houses show better, and hopefully sell quicker, so, in theory, our house won't be on the market long now. (fingers crossed) The best part from my view point is that now that we aren't living in the house with two little munchkins, we don't have to scurry around and clean like idiots every time someone calls and wants to see the house in an hour and a half.

The feedback we got on Wednesday from the showing on Monday said this, "It's amazing how this market has paralyzed home sales in this price range, 6 years ago there would've been multiple offers on this house. Such a shame. Buyer liked the additional BR's on the 2nd flr, some concerns though over the structural integrity of the rear porch. I'm hopeful we will take a second look after the holiday." Those were some encouraging words. So, today, John, with the help of my brother, Joe, went to the old house and fixed the back porch. They fixed it, like fixed it, like John doesn't have to lay in bed anymore wide awake worrying about the back porch falling off the house. He's so excited, and I am too. Come on, person, come back and take another look, see the fixed porch and make us an offer!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Tree Day

There's always a place to play Hide and Seek.
In front of our tree

Sean (Natalie's boyfriend), Natalie, John, pregnant me, Heather, Donna, Charlotte, Cecilia, Jack and Gabriel in front of Donna's tree

 Charlotte "helping" John put the lights on the tree
the baby (for now)
John is so good at putting the lights on the tree, especially when I say it needs a few more. ;)

"I can help!  I can do it!"

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from the New House

I have much to be thankful for; a loving family, a healthy pregnancy, food on the table, and amazing friends. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

THE Move

Well, if you haven't guessed it yet, we have moved. I feel like I have been writing this blog post for years, and now that it is here, I'm not sure what to say. Our house is still for sale in St. Louis, but we are renting a house now in downtown Ste. Genevieve. It's a cute house, old, with lots of charm. The carpet is bad, and the square footage is less, and there is no tv reception, but it almost butts up to the winery's property, and is about 6 blocks from John's job, so it will do for now.

The overall plan is to sell our house up there, buy this house and keep it as a rental, and then buy another house to live in. I'm not sure it will all work like that, and I'm not certain the timing, but, in theory, we won't be in this house long. It all hinges on 2 things; when our house sells up there, and what the bank will loan us for another house. I never thought that in May of 2010 when we put our house on the market that we would still own it today. I never thought when we bought our house 8 years ago that we'd still be in it today and would have such a hard time selling it. (this economy is sooooooooo bad) I never thought when I was growing up in Ste. Genevieve, that I'd be back here as an adult.

I have a lot of anxiety about this move, and most of it does not involve the concrete, tangible part of moving all our stuff and living out of boxes while I am 9 months pregnant. Most of my anxiety comes from my childhood, or rather my high school years. I had friends in high school. I still consider a few of them my best friends, so it wasn't like I was isolated or ostracized. There were just a handful of people that looked down on me, and made me feel insecure. I imagine everyone in high school felt like that at one point or another. All I could dream about in those formative years was an escape, was a better place to live, and it's hard for me to come back to this place with open arms. My first instinct is to hole up like a hermit, although we all know that's not a natural part of my outgoing personality. Having a newborn in winter might help, though. I was sharing some of my apprehension with Becky, who also grew up here, and she told me she was always envious of my, "I don't care what you think attitude" in high school. I think I was able to have that stance because I thought for sure I wasn't going to come back around, and now not only am I here, I'm here for the duration. I know I don't have to answer to those people, I can make my own way in this small town. I push a lot of my own unease onto visions of my children, and I know it doesn't have to be that way for them.

John has taken to this town like a dog to a bone, and he has shown me that even though this is a small town, that a majority of the people who live here are good and friendly. I think his personality is a little less harsh than mine, so everyone likes him, but I do know that I am 36, and all those people that I knew back then are adults now too, and so maybe our lives can again cross paths as 36 year olds, and not 15 year olds. I know I'm too busy at the moment to worry too much about what those handful of people are thinking. It's when we send the girls to school that makes me most nervous, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. And, I'm probably not giving my kids enough credit. I know they are likable cute kids, and they'll make good friends, and be able to be their own person, and that it'll all be ok.

I know this move is right for my family. I know John loves working down here, and when he's happy, we're all happy. I know we'll have more time together, more time to sleep, more time to play, more time to just live. I know that having 2 houses will be hard financially, but that in the end we'll spend less money on unimportant things like gas, and vehicle repairs, and move on to more important things to spend money on like education and piano lessons and soccer cleats. I'm not saying I don't want to move (too late!), I'm just saying that I know it will take some time to get used to and that right now it feels a little like I'm brushing my hair in the wrong direction.

Can't help but think and wonder what advice mom would have. She always had advice, sometimes when you didn't even ask for it, but I could use some now. Coming from St. Louis, and moving to the farm was hard on her, we all knew it, and now I feel like I am repeating her journey. Wonder what she'd say to me today.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

that's prob'ly where they'll bury me

Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob'ly die in a small town


Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Card Sneak Peak

I had some pictures taken of the girls to make my Christmas card experience a little easier this year. These were taken in Forest Park a few weeks ago by Phillip and Samantha Milam at Pay It Forward Photography. They were really great. I can highly recommend them. We were their last clients on a busy day for them and they had so much patience with the girls. I'm thinking that I'll use one of these pictures, plus try to get a quick one with the girls holding baby brother and viola! my Christmas cards will be finished. =) If that doesn't work, I'll try to get one nice picture of him by himself, add that to the card and do it that way. I'll have Christmas cards, new baby announcements and new address notifications all done at the same time. The thought of that much multi-tasking makes this momma very happy. Anyone want to volunteer which picture they like the best? The clear front runners are the first and last pictures.

Make your own slideshow with music at Animoto.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

She's just a small town girl, living in a lonely world
She took the midnight train going anywhere


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tower Grove Park

This was taken a couple weeks ago. Probably one of the last pictures in Tower Grove Park.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Staind-Black(Pearl Jam cover)

This is one of my favorite all time songs, easily in my top 5 favorite songs. This rendition that Aaron Lewis from Staind is freaking amazing. This is what music is about, this song epitomizes what music should be like. If you can watch this video and not feel something, or want to feel something then you and I probably can't be friends. ;)

Pearl Jam originally recorded this song, and they did a fabulous job of it. This song can take me back to 1994 in an instant. I had broken up with my boyfriend at the time, and we sat in his truck and he played this song for me, and sang the part, "I know someday you'll have a beautiful life,
I know you'll be a sun in somebody else's sky, but why
Why, why can't it be, can't it be mine?"

I knew right then I was making the right decision. Even now when I hear those words I feel empowered knowing that I am the sun in someone else's life and breaking up with that dumbass was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Even though this song can transport me back in time, it also reinforces what I am doing today. I love my husband. I chose an amazing partner, and that is, on an everyday basis, one of the best feelings in the world.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Little Learner

I took Cecilia to a sibling class at the hospital, and she just loved it. She's on the right, with the pigtails. She's a natural learner, answered all the questions, and had no problem speaking up or talking to the teacher. At home, she is always using new words, always asking what words mean, always drawing letters or people. Can't wait to see her excel in school. Can't wait to see her be such a good big sister, just like she is with Charlotte.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Already Making Friends

This is the note we received on the truck this morning when we parked on the street last night after unloading.

People in Ste. Genevieve are so friendly.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gotta Love A Good Girlie Get Together

Try our video maker at Animoto.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

8 years and 4 nights exactly

This is our last night in this house.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Fun

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Charlotte's baby

Friday, November 11, 2011

baby brother

I had another ultrasound on Wednesday. It's always good to see the little guy and know that everything is happening as it should in there. Ultrasounds are very reassuring. He weighs 6 pounds, 8 ounces. The doctor thinks he will be in between Cecilia's 7 pounds 8 ounces and Charlotte's 8 pounds 8 ounces. I am scheduled to have a C-section the morning of December 8th. It feels good to have a date set. I know it's a strange way to prepare for birth, but I feel like there are so many unknowns in my life right now, having this child's birthday predetermined works for me. Of course, he could come early, which in case I go to the hospital and they do the C-section then.

This is a picture of his profile. You can see his forehead, little button nose, and I think his arm and hand. He had the umbilical cord across his face, like across the bridge of his nose, and the sonographer was trying to get him to move around a little bit, but with no luck, so you can see right above his nose the umbilical cord.
This is a 3-D picture, which I will have to admit I never like. They always creep me out, like it's a tiny little Benjamin Button in there, or a baby covered in plastic wrap . In this picture he is looking right at me, his little eyes open, umbilical cord across the right side of his face, near his right eye, and maybe his hand and arm along the bottom of the picture, and close to his mouth. He looks cute and round, and a little less creepy than most 3-D pictures I've seen. Less than a month and we'll be face to face with our little darling. I'm looking forward to holding him and seeing him in person.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I've said it before...

She has such good hair. That slightly curly hair comes from John, not me, and I think it's one of the best gifts he could have given her. Alongside Charlotte's platinum blonde hair (also inherited from John) I've never seen more beautiful children.


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

November 9th

I picked all my tomatoes today because we're probably going to get our first frost tonight. I'm pretty proud of these late season pretties. Got my fresh mozzarella and fresh basil waiting patiently. That's going to be a good salad. =) I've probably eaten Caprese salad ten times this year, including one in NYC and one at Maggiano's. Yum-O. Feeling like a master gardener over here.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

How did she get so big?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Mumford & Sons - Awake My Soul (Live at Reading Festival 2010) - 2/9

This is my new favorite band, Mumford and Sons. I bought the cd for John for our anniversary because I knew he really liked them. The first couple times I heard the cd, I just thought they were ok, then I saw them on the Grammy's last year and was really impressed. This, right here, is what real music is all about; the passion, the talent, the lyrics, the energy. If it were up to me there would be more "Awake My Soul" and less "Party Rock Anthem." Just sayin'.

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
Abraham Lincoln


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Pregnancy Update

This is a picture of Baby Brother taken in June. I have another ultrasound on Wednesday, and I can't wait to see how much he's grown. The doctor said at the last visit that I am measuring small, which could mean the baby isn't as big as he should be, but she didn't seem too worried.

This has been a pretty typical pregnancy, harder on me, but I guess each pregnancy gets harder, especially when you have three of them in less than four years. This first trimester was the hardest first trimester I have had, just feeling sick to my stomach a lot, and exhausted. I am much more tired, have lots of heartburn, swollen ankles, and my varicose and spider veins have taken over my right leg and ankle. It's not pretty. Plus, I can't sleep, constantly tossing and turning, getting up to use the bathroom, waking at 4 a.m. and not able to go back to sleep. I guess it's just training for a newborn. I have reached the part in my pregnancy where I do believe have the baby would be better than being pregnant. Even though he will be screaming, and needing to be nursed and have diaper changes, at least I won't be carrying him around every step of the way. A lot of times right now I'm carrying him and at least Charlotte and on occasion Cecilia too.

The girls talk a lot about Baby Brother. Charlotte likes to lift up my shirt and talk to him and I squeeze my belly and pretend he's talking back. Sometimes she squeezes her own belly and pretend to have a baby in her belly too. I'll have to try to get a video of that because I think it's super cute. Cecilia and I go today to a sibling class at the hospital, to get her familiar with the building, the rooms, and hold a baby doll. I took her to a similar class before Charlotte was born, and I'm pretty sure she had no idea what was going on. I think this time it might set in. I'm not taking Charlotte to a sibling class. I didn't sign her up because she's not very good at sitting still. We have gone to a few story times at the library, and he runs around like a crazy lady, climbing on chairs, all the while the librarian tries to say politely, "Sit down on the rug please." She's just too young, too active, and has too much of a mind of her own to sit nicely.

I keep having visions of Charlotte and the Baby Brother instigating each other, daring one another to jump off stuff, or all sorts of other thing I can't even picture right now. Cecilia is my calm one, little bit of a mother hen, little bit of a tattle tale. I know I'm supposed to discourage Cecilia's tattling, but can't I just use it in my favor for a few years (or more?)

Less than 5 weeks to go...


Friday, November 04, 2011

It's My Bedtime

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Does this costume look familiar? Check back in two years to see Baby Brother in it. =)

My two girls
Cecilia as Belle, Charlotte as Nemo and Ruthie was a flapper
Jamie was a dog, so cute
Becky and Baby Maggie the Butterfly
Their mode of getting around from house to house; Daddy's strong arms and a little red wagon full of two little girls, a blanket and lots of candy

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

You Know It's Fall When...

a cinnamon stick in every jar
Tom takes a turn stirring the apple butter in the copper kettle
the finished product, let your mouth water

It's a family tradition.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Nov 1

We made apple butter today. I'll have more pictures later, but it's late, and my phone won't let me use my blogger app until I sign in somewhere, and that takes too much energy and brain power and patience. Maybe I'll have one or more of those tomorrow.