Who can actually look this cute in such an outfit!? Well, Morgan and Collin are totally pulling it off.These cousins spent their President’s Day off school hunting quail today. After their occasional clay pigeon shooting practices, we were sure they were going to be successful today. It turns out that Papa, Uncle Greg, and the dogs are taking all the glory for this hunt!A lot of birds, a lot of shots fired, a lot of cold fingers, and a whole lot of fun. Thank you Papa and Greg for including Morgan in this experience. I know she will never forget it!This place seems to be a taxidermy paradise. I, for one, am very thankful to not have any of those animals adorning my walls! I will let Greg and Collin strive for that decor.
Many of you probably know what WPA stands for don’t you!? I didn’t. Morgan had to tell me. It stands for Women Pay All. Or back in the good ‘ol days, it was called Sadie Hawkins. So, this beautiful freshman asked her friend, Zach, to go with her to the dance. We had about 2 seconds to find a dress in between family activities and Shauna came through with a pair of shoes and a top notch make-up job. Thank you Shauna!
She did her hair herself, because she’s just so talented! She doesn’t get that from me AT ALL! I can barely put in a pony tail!
We aren’t exactly sure that asking your ex-boyfriend’s good friend to a dance is the best idea, but we’re rolling with it…
They are perfectly coordinated and adorable! Along with her best girlfriends and their dates…aren’t they gorgeous!!
We hosted dinner at our house – they requested chick-fil-a nuggets, cheese puffs, and cheese dip. Hey–at least they didn’t ask for lobster tails…we would’ve been in trouble!It’s so much easier this way! No fancy dinner reservations, long waits, figuring out the bill, etc. I vote we do this every time!
It’s just not cool to have your little siblings hanging around so they spent the evening at grandma and grandpa’s apartment playing an intense game of Monopoly.
Brian and I chauffeured them to and from the dance and hosted the after-party in our basement til 12:45am. Way past my bedtime – clearly I’m not a teenager anymore! The girls slept over and they spent the next day, well, doing nothing. That’s the beauty of being 14! I spent my day at Crown Center at a gymnastics meet and Brian at a BB tourney and coaching baseball practice. We need naps. And maybe some leftover cheese dip.We adore these sweet girls!!Another high school dance in the record books!
Meet Sweetie, this is my new baby given to me by my sweet 10 year old, Drew.
When he realized that Valentine’s Day was coming up, he made a special request to Brian to take him to Target to get me something he just knew I would love. He was more excited than I’ve ever seen him to give me this gift. More excited than Christmas morning, more excited than a big soccer tourney win, more excited than getting permission to play PS4 all weekend long. Ok wait, maybe not that! I can tell you one thing for sure, I will be keeping this giant bear for the rest of my days and smiling from ear to ear. Thank you Drewy, for absolutely making my Valentine’s Day AWESOME!
Reece and Morgan had also made special requests to get Valentine gifts so I found myself scouring the Valentine aisle at 8pm Valentine’s Day Eve trying to fulfill their requests. All the while I was preparing for an extra special Valentine’s breakfast complete with pink heart-shaped pancakes and lunch sandwiches cut into the shape of hearts!
I made it to both Valentine’s day parties at school on time and parked in my usual illegal parking spot. Shoot, I said I was going to drive an alias car, and forgot! Oh well, I made it out unscathed.
And now you see why I looked like a wreck by Valentine’s day night! It’s a busy day! But, I truly love this day because it’s the best excuse to spoil my kids and eat a bunch of yummy sweets. Like these gorgeous cookies our sweet neighbors brought by! It’s a Valentine’s explosion of awesomeness!
Morgan came out ‘most popular’ receiving two boxes of chocolate from two boys and a special valentine from Reece. And a family pizza dinner…I’d say that’s a great day!Reece stayed up late writing these amazing heartfelt letters to our family (and watching the Olympics). Of course she stayed up late, because that’s just the way things go around here at bed time!! Thank you Reece!Are the rest of you caught up in the Winter Olympics like we are!? I mean who isn’t mesmerized by Shaun White and Jamie Anderson’s snowboarding skills!? We can’t stop watching and our bed time has been slipping later and later.
And finally, I can’t help but include these flashback photos from Aunt Jenn, she always makes my day by sending me these!
Crap, the stinkin’ groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow so we’re in for 6 more weeks of Winter. I’ve already been living in my North Face coat…right kids!? I rarely take it off and they make so much fun of me! I detest being cold. Luckily, I have a lot to occupy my time so I get distracted and forget I’m constantly chilled to the bone.
This month, Morgan made a weekend trip down to Dallas to guest play in a soccer tournament. Yay MoMo! Despite the long drive, it was an opportunity she did not want to pass up. So the Sassy Dads (see previous post on Justin Beiber/CO trip!), Morgan, and Emma hit the road…
They came home with one win, one tie, two losses, and massive blisters on their feet. So maybe life on the soccer tourney circuit is not all that glamorous!? Thank goodness for Mom’s that pack good snacks…right!?
I was holding down the fort here with the rest of the crew. Jake competed in a BB tourney here in KC. Despite the obvious size difference, they did win some games and had a lot of fun. These 6th grade boys are fun to watch!Just when I thought he was looking so much older and more mature, then he steps up next to this guy looking like a toddler!Jake’s Panthers BB team has been playing in a bunch of tournaments this season and traveled out of town for the first time for a tournament in DesMoines, IA. They faced some very stiff competition there!
Friends, Sports, PS4, Candy, and Gatorade…the best combination for 6th grade boys!
In the meantime, we didn’t have a gymnastics meet, so Reece and I worked on school Valentines and boxes. So fun! Luckily Reece shares in my love of arts and crafts.
And we made our own little Superbowl party…
Wow – who knew the Super Bowl could be so entertaining!? This is the first time I’ve watched it from beginning to end. And we loved watching Justin Timberlake in the half time show as you can see here by Reece…
This is very typical behavior in our house. Reece is always putting on a show of some sort (generally gymnastics is involved!). And Drew decided to wear this cute wreath that we made at a NYE party as a hat to watch the superbowl. I think he is pulling it off pretty well!
Meanwhile, Morgan and Brian were watching it on an iPad in the car ride home from Dallas. Not the most ideal scenario, but it worked!
And we had to welcome them home with a poster and treats. That’s just what we do!
Morgan is continuing to entertain us by playing on the freshman basketball team at her high school. It’s a sad state of affairs when going to high school sports is your main source of entertainment isn’t it!? We love watching you play, MoMo!
And we beat my Alma Mater, Olathe South! Woo Hoo…go Ravens!That same week, Morgan also played in an Orchestra concert at school. As usual, we all filed out of the auditorium envious of the talent and raving about the concert. It’s truly amazing!
How does anyone have time to sleep with all of these sports, playing instruments, and homework!? And they still make time to snap chat, watch netflix, make signs and find dresses for school dances!
High school can be a touch complicated sometimes so luckily I still have Reece and Drew to keep me in the fun world of little kiddos! Drew tried out for the Math Wings team at school and recently competed in the regional competition. Or should I say, he watched his partners compete as he doodled on his paper!? We didn’t see a lot of math being computed. Not even my dad, a math wizard, was trying to do the problems. They’re way too hard!
He’s been playing some basketball with his 4th grade buddies – they have some snazzy new uniforms! Go Lenexa Elite!Reece completed her 2nd grade biography project on Clara Barton! She was so interested in learning about her and dove full force into this school project.
Just in case you are not aware, Clara Barton started the American Red Cross!
Reece handles school with as much intensity as gymnastics. And for that, her teacher, completely adores her! Sometimes I think she loves Mrs. Anderson more than her own family 😉 Here is a video clip of Reece presenting her biography project to her 2nd grade class today….job well done Reecie pie! So Cute!
So that pretty much wraps up a lot of what has been going on in this mid-winter time period! It’s been a mess of activities…we even cancelled a CO ski trip because we just had TOO MUCH going on! When your high schooler would rather not miss school than go skiing, you know that it’s time for the family to chill out for a bit! One more thing on the schedule, and we were going to lose our minds.
Every Sunday night I want to write about Reece’s gymnastics meets but somehow I’m always exhausted and can’t get it done. There’s no reason for me to be exhausted really because all I’ve done is sit for hours! Perhaps I’m just mentally exhausted because watching your 7 year old compete, all alone, in front of tons of people is killer. The mere sight of this…
Immediately makes my stomach turn. Clearly I’m not cut out for this. How is Reece cut out for this? Where did she come from? How is she so brave? How are all of these little athletes so mentally tough? These are the questions I ask myself every weekend as I’m loading this cutie pie into my van to go to another unfamiliar gym in another city.
We are now 6 meets in, and she knows exactly how to prepare, rocks it every time, and I’m completely failing at my job of documenting them in my blog. So, here we go. Here’s a summary of the 2017-2018 gymnastics meet season so far!
This last meet was held at Gage gymnastics in Blue Springs and she received 3 of her personal best scores and still isn’t satisfied. I would be jumping for joy but Reece is fiercely intense. She just wants to be the best. Honestly, the ride home from these events is not fun. I can never say the right thing. Next time, I may have to call a taxi.
She earned first place on vault and her highest score ever. Way to go Reecie!
She got 2nd place on Bars
3rd place on Beam
9th on floor. Her routine looked amazing to me but apparently she had multiple deductions…what do I know!?
She took 4th place all around.
and her team took 3rd place overall. Way to go KGDC Twisters!We have more medals coming home and if this keeps up we’re going to be forced to put on an addition to the house. Maybe convert the dining room hutch into a trophy cabinet? That’s Drew’s brilliant solution. Remember from my last post, we can barely store a thumbtack at this point and I’m not kidding!
After this meet, she worked her tail off in an indoor soccer game. Many of us are mesmerized by her ability to expend so much energy and barely look winded!She finally crashed on the way home!
And this was Reece on Friday night blowing it up with her 2nd grade friends in a victorious basketball game. This is one busy little lady!
Don’t worry…we managed to squeeze in some fun in between all of this!! A little bit of shopping and dressing up in 80’s garb at my sisters. I mean, why not!?
Ok, back to gymnastics!! Here are some photos from the other meets this season. And 1st up are two of my very favorites that my photographer friend took at the meet in Union Station…
We are so proud of you Reece! Keep working hard and great things will continue to happen!
Several weeks ago (on 11/17/17 to be exact) I proposed to Brian that we do a little update on the main floor of our house. I had a very detailed list of items I wanted to tackle (in a spreadsheet of course!)He didn’t immediately say no, so that was a good sign! I’m kidding, he was very receptive to it. Not much scares him really.
As of November 2017, our house turned 15 years old. Time flies. We love this place (or maybe it’s just me), so making it the best it can be is always on my priority list. Brian and I made all the decisions together in building it and we brought all 4 of our babies home from the hospital to this place we call home. We could certainly use more storage space as we have converted almost every square inch into living space. We can barely store a thumb tack at this point!
I distinctly remember coming over to check on the building of our house on a very regular basis as we were living at my sister’s nearby. Thank you Shauna & Scott for taking us in! All of it was so exciting (and stressful), but in the end we were thrilled to be home owners of a brand new house. Even if every smell inside made me want to throw up because I was pregnant with my 1st baby and nauseous 24/7. Insert the green throw up emoji here…
This is what our house looked like then…and here it is now…
I don’t think any of our neighbors are the same ones we had when we moved in. Which is not surprising, really. Some of them have been around for many of those years though and they are like family now. Here is our current neighborhood crew rolling out of Falcon Valley in style for a Christmas lights tour together. So fun!Over the years we have made updates in our house from time to time like changing out our formica countertops for granite, switching out our stair spindles from painted wood to wrought iron, new kitchen appliances, a couple new light fixtures, a recent remodel of our master bedroom, adding in an outdoor kitchen, and some furniture updates. Of course the kids rooms get changed from time to time. The boys are really pushing for an overhaul in their room. I’m not up for that quite yet! No question, this recent remodel is the biggest endeavor yet!
If you walked in today, you may not recognize the place. On 12/28/17 a crew came in and moved all of our stuff to the garage and demolished our flooring. Bye bye dining room carpet and super easy to clean tile floors that were an upgrade at the time. We had fun leaving our personal messages on the subfloor…
We lived like this for several days during the New Year holiday…
Not the best venue for a New Years party but Morgan and her friends weren’t scared away. They still rang in the new year in a pile of dust.
Oh these girls make me so proud putting up a backdrop and gathering decorations for a party. They are definitely taking after me 😉
Over the course of 3 weeks, we spent many hours cooped up in my room playing monopoly and just trying to stay out of the way. It’s not an activity I really recommend.
Honestly, I felt a little paralyzed and confined during this process. Our normal life was put on hold. In a nutshell, I have eaten out way too much and gotten nothing accomplished for weeks. Hence the reason you have seen very few additions to this blog lately!
During the process we discovered our dining room floor wasn’t level and needed repairs and our master shower needed a bit of an overhaul.The temperatures outside were dipping into the single digits, icy conditions were compromising the ability of workers to get to our house, kids were home for snow days, Brian was in Vegas for the week, and our fridge was in the family room. Not the most ideal conditions and I was on the verge of a breakdown a time or two, but we made the best of it!As of 1/19/18, our renovation is complete and we couldn’t be happier! You wouldn’t recognize it if you walked in today. Morgan had snap chat friends asking her if she had moved!
Here are the before and after photos!
Before…I remember being enamored with the beautiful dark stained cabinets when we moved in and all of the sudden one day, I looked up and wondered why they were looking orange? Weren’t they dark walnut before? Are my eyes playing tricks on me or am I just bored of looking at these cabinets? Or perhaps I have watched too many Fixer Upper episodes?
Here we are now with a fabulous change…
My dad installed under cabinet lighting and up-lighting for me (he is an electrical engineer by the way) and I’m loving it! Thank you dad for putting up with my hair-brained ideas. I’m certain he wants to slap some sense into me most of the time. But this time, I think I’m ok because now he’s installing it in his own house. See, not all of my ideas are bad ones!
Kids are loving it too and Reece left this sweet note for Papa for working so hard at our house…We also got him this personalized tool belt for his birthday. When he showed up with a tattered tool apron and supplies in a plastic wal-mart sack, we were a bit concerned. We’re trying to spiff him up a bit so when he makes house-calls, he looks the part! Isn’t he cute!?
Brian’s home office has lost the burnt orange color that was popular in 2002 and become a much more streamlined dark gray. I have many pictures to hang up still but I’m trying to give my poor dad a break. He’s my picture hanger!We have a new look to our fireplace…And freshly stained hand rails and stair end caps…and no more carpet in our dining room…hallelujah!
After…Quite different, right!? I think our family is really going to enjoy these changes!And no more brown bathroom…
We had quite a lot of work getting everything put back together. Stop making fun of my paper plate and napkin collection right now! I know it’s bad! This is a collection from years of parties and I’m working it!
My dad missed the last step heading downstairs and this crash happened. No worries…he’s fine and the shelves have been repaired. They could fall off if you sneeze near them but for now, it’s fixed!Apparently I was harvesting an unsafe work environment 😉
We hope to make many more memories in this house and we are really excited to show everybody what we did in a very short turnaround. Listen, I don’t mess around. When my dad spoke at our wedding reception, he mentioned my determination and my ability to go after what I want. I guess this is no exception. I’m starting 2018 with a big project already crossed off my list!
That was the theme for Drew’s birthday this year! I’ve been slightly preoccupied with a lot of house projects going on, so this cutie pie kept reminding me what a VERY big deal it is to turn double digits!He’s absolutely right! This is really getting scary only having one child left in the single digits, by the way.
Aunt Jenn always brings donuts for the kids’ birthdays and this time she splurged and brought these adorable ones on Friday so he could have them on a school day. I say splurged, because I think they’re twice as much as regular donuts, but they are the CUTEST! Ignore the horrible house mess in the background!! I told you there’s a lot going on in our house right now!!He also gets to be star of the week at school and trade his hard school chair for a big comfy exercise ball for the week. Fun! He did a great job on his poster don’t you think!?Plus he brought huge ice cream sandwiches for school treats…what an awesome start to the weekend!
He was dead set on having a swimming party at the new Lenexa Rec Center so we made arrangements that we subsequently changed 3 times to accommodate our sports schedules. It’s becoming a pattern with Drew’s party–cold temps, possible ice storms, time changes, and sometimes we even change the location after printed invitations go out. Apparently we like to keep everybody on their toes!
We had 8 games/practices and snowy cold weather on his birthday and somehow we managed to get the sandwich tray, bday cake and GIGANTIC balloons picked up and still time for a donut and a sparkling ice drink for breakfast.
He was super excited it was snowing on his birthday and all the while I was just praying for no icemageddon to ruin party plans. The power did decide to go out during his basketball game which caused panic on making it to the rec center on time. Seriously, never a dull moment with Drew’s bday!
Thank goodness for these two darling helpers….Emma and Shauna helped me load all of my party stuff into the center and decorate in lightning speed before guests arrived. THANK YOU!! And other family members helped get my girls to their games. whew!We always have friends and family stepping in to help and we are so thankful!
Morgan is notorious for second guessing her work and it always turns out cute despite all of her stressing!
We whipped this party room into shape quickly and certainly the rec center staff was wondering why we were going to all of that trouble for a short kids party. We’re probably banned from renting a party room from now on. They have Carrie Conley on a crazy mom list for sure. Anything for my Drew Boo!
I much prefer a party at our house, but this time I was SO THANKFUL we were scheduled elsewhere because it is not in any shape for entertaining! Here’s a sneak peak…brace yourself…
We’ve come a long way since then! We were so thrilled to be out of our house and enjoying lots of fun, laughter, and splashes celebrating our Drewy!
Drew has the best friends…they sang happy birthday so loudly I think the whole city heard it!Of course I don’t have any of it on video, ugh! 😦 He is loaded up with candy, gift cards, a new basketball and Ping driver.Life is GOOD! He was so disappointed at Christmas when he didn’t get an Evolution basketball. Thank goodness we came through on his birthday! My super awesome and crafty sis-n-law came to my rescue last minute and put these letters on 14 pairs of glasses to match our ‘be cool by the pool’ party theme….aren’t they adorable!!? Thank you Brandy…you rock!
Sweet Reece wrapped up a Sprite that she had been saving and spent time making the cutest cards! So there’s actually a glimmer of hope for them to get along! However, she did go off the rails a little bit at the party…too many donut holes maybe??
We love you Drew and you deserved the best double digits birthday ever!!
Of course his birthday is never complete without a trip to Burger King or ‘King Burger’ as Morgan used to call it. After all, the joke is, he was almost born there! Luckily we did make it to the hospital that night…how embarrassing it would be to have a baby at Burger King!! 😉