Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, November 13, 2017

Cheers to 44!

The spot where we got engaged 15 years ago
Forty-four just sounds old. In fact, I can remember when my mom was 44 and I was almost a college graduate by that time!  My oldest will be only 11 in a few months.  I can't possibly be that old?!

I used to love celebrating my birthday and I have to say the last 2 years I've almost wished the day was over.  Maybe because it's so much less fun celebrating your birthday when everyone you'd celebrate with is at work and school. Or maybe it's because I'm getting older. All I know is even if I am then I want to celebrate with people. I don't want the day to go by celebrating by myself at the spa or traveling by myself on an airplane. I want to celebrate a whole 'nother year lived. Because another year lived is a gift in this crazy unpredictable world. It's a year to be celebrated. So that's what I did this year and that's what I will do moving forward.

It was just turning a bit cold when my college friends suggested we all go back to IU during the first weekend in November. It's hard to cram a weekend away in between all the sports we have but somehow we had no games that weekend so I ended up celebrating my bday weekend with my college friends and our families at my alma mater. I hadn't been back in a decade and it was even sweeter to share my love of IU with my kids. We started with a dinner on Friday followed by a pre-football game tailgate and then the actual football game. After the game, we walked over to my newly renovated sorority for a tour then walked around campus before settling in for dinner. It was a short, quick trip but it was still great that I got to see my friends and reminsce with them. I still love IU and have fond memories of my time.

It was a nice present to take a little roadtrip (down memory) lane with our kids (who were great) and they loved IU. Austen said he wanted to go there but don't tell Daddy. Hailey said she wanted to go to Daddy's Indiana. And, Peyton, well Peyton has always said she wanted to go to IU because I went there. If I get one of the three to attend I'll be happy!

The new Media school

Future Legacies!

Sorority Sisters!

Sisters and our Sorority Waiter!

The "getting ready" room in our sorority house

We want a redo!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Halloween 2017

It's been an eventful week for us - first Halloween, followed by my birthday and then a weekend in Indiana. I'll catch you up in subsequent posts but first Halloween!

It was a fun and not too cold Halloween. Austen and Peyton took part in their school Halloween parade (Austen didn't want to dress up or even go trick or treating at first) and hurried home to get ready to trick or treat with all of their friends. Austen joined a big group of boys and girls from his school and had so much funny he was almost sorry he said he didn't want to go. He was definitely glad I pushed him to go out one last time this year.

Peyton joined up with many second graders and had a lot of fun going door to door. And, she did make us circle back to her "boyfriend's house" too! (Side note, she "Booed" him too - we let each kid to pick a friend to "Boo" which is ringing the doorbell and running after you leave a bucket of treats for a friend. Hailey promptly told the kid's mom as she opened the door on Halloween that it was Peyton who booed him! Kinda funny!)

Hailey kept up this year and didn't mind trick or treating with all of Peyton's friends and their siblings. She was just glad to get the candy. I think Halloween might be her favorite holiday of the year. Thinking maybe next year we should hit Disney World during the month of October (if she still likes Mickey by then and I'm betting yes).

Boo baskets for friends!

Peyton at her parade

Austen (golfer) walking in school parade

2nd grade trick or treaters (and Hailey)

The golfer

Austen's loot which included 19 full size Hershey candy bars
Hailey found her favorite lawn decoration

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Our Little Stinker!

Here's Hailey at her finest. Listen closely to see if you can detect what she does while working on her iPad. She's a lot like Peyton AND a lot like Austen! Stinker. Clown. Smarty Pants! All these words describe our precocious 4 year old.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Two Years

Today marks two years since we lost Adler. I can't believe it's been that long. That long since I've seen her in her usual spots behind the sofa (we have a console table there now) or on the landing of our stairs (Sadie sometimes lays there and it makes me smile when she does) or in my workout room laying at the base of my treadmill waiting for me to finish.

 We honor her memory daily through her tribute Sadie. For there is no better way to honor and remember her than by bringing another Bernese Mountain Dog home.  Honor because she was such an awesome dog we couldn't bring ourselves not to get another. And, remember because even though their personalities are different there are so many similarities between the two due to their being the same breed.

 The pain of losing her has been replaced with smiles and fond memories. We visit her and think of her often in our thoughts and words as well as through our home videos of when the kids were younger. She'll always be there...captured in time at different ages. And, we'll always remember our sweet girl Addie who may be gone now from this world for two years but never gone from our hearts.

Goodnight my sweet Addie girl.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Hailey Turns 4!

The past week was filled with lots of birthday celebrations for Hailey. It started last Sunday with her Mickey Mouse themed family party. We ordered a Mickey bounce house for about 6 kids - her and her siblings and cousins. She had a lot of fun bouncing for hours before and during the party. Tom painted Mickey Mouse pumpkins which fit the theme too since she's an October baby.

She continued to celebrate on her actual birthday with an event at school where she got to walk around "the sun" four times to signal she was four years old now and show pictures of herself from every year of her life. She then passed out a snack she picked of yogurt smoothies (no cupcakes allowed anymore!) and her class sang happy birthday to her. Afterwards, I read two of Hailey's books of choice to the class.

Next, we had soccer so after stopping at Starbucks for a cookie and eating a quick lunch at home we hurried off to practice where her coach and good buddy Conor made her feel special. When soccer was over we celebrated with an ice cream and Hailey opened up a very cute present from Conor.

And, still there was more. We took Hailey to dinner at Fuller House in Hinsdale. She wanted to go there because she wanted to order the giant pretzel and she did. She topped off the evening with a happy birthday song from us and ice cream with a candle.

I'd say it was a pretty good 4th birthday!

Tom's Mickey pumpkin
Her and Peyton played for hours before the party
She loved the slide
Opening presents!
Blowing out her candles!
The best Mickey cake ever!

Opening presents on her birthday morning

School celebration
School celebration

Starbucks cookie time

Ice cream with Conor

Birthday restaurant celebration!

Monday, October 09, 2017

Blessing of the Pets

I never went to a Blessing of the Pets ceremony at church before so when Austen and Peyton's religious education program marked it as one way to meet their religious obligations, I put it on the calendar. Besides Sadie could use all the blessings she can get after 2 surgeries all before 18 months of age.. So after hemming and hawing, the kids and I climbed back in the car after school last week to go to church.

I heard a lot of, "How long is this going to take?", "why do we have to go?", and "I'm staying home!"  But once we arrived in the church courtyard and Peyton saw the bunny that came and Hailey saw all the other animals, they were glad they showed up. Plus, the whole ceremony was only 10 minutes and Austen got brownie points from his old religious ed teacher who was there. Double bonus!

Sadie was excited to see everyone and tried to eat the holy water as she was blessed. I'm glad I took her though as God was definitely watching out for her today when she broke out of her harness and tried to shimmy up a tree after a squirrel!


Monday, October 02, 2017

The Dash n' Bash

For the third year in a row, Austen and Peyton's school held their annual Dash n' Bash fundraiser where the kids compete by classroom to see who can raise the most money for the school. Ironically, this year Peyton's class won second place and Austen's class received third. At the end of the fundraiser, the kids compete by class in annual 1K race followed by a back to school party complete with face painting, bounce houses, balloon animals, food and drink.

It was hot this year - 90 degrees for the runners in late September. Austen won his classroom heat beating one of his buddies at the finish line. Peyton ran most of it this year but said she had to walk a little because it was so hot. Still she finished strong. And, Hailey had a blast bouncing around in the inflatables (even in the heat), and getting her face painted and having the balloon artist make her a dinosaur.

Austen's only regret about the Dash n' Bash was that he had to leave early for soccer practice for the 3rd year in a row.  Hey, that's the price you pay for travel soccer! Nonetheless, it was Austen and Peyton's last Dash n' Bash together. After this year, they won't be in school again until Austen's a senior in high school and Peyton's a freshman!

(Austen's start)

(Peyton's start)

(Peyton finish)