Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

My sister-in-love does something (almost) every Thursday on her blog. She writes out a list of things she's especially thankful for that week. It reminds her and the rest of us that life really isn't as bad as it seems when we can appreciate the big AND small things that are good in our lives. I wish that I took that time every week to acknowledge those things too as I'm sure it would help me find the refuge in the storm that is Motherhood. But even if I don't find the time to do it the other 51 weeks of the year, this week, today, I must. Here is my Thankful Thursday.

I am thankful for the unyielding love of God. I am thankful that I have walked in his grace and know that it is real. I am thankful that he forgives and gives us the strength to forgive others.

I am thankful that I live in the United States of America. I am thankful for the pilgrims who were bold enough to journey to a strange and far away land in search of spiritual freedom. I am thankful for the founding fathers who understood that as one nation under God, America would prosper. I am SO thankful for all who have fought and still fight to protect this country.

I am thankful for my little family. I am thankful for a husband who works hard to provide so I can stay home with our girls. I am thankful for Kyra's spunky personality and her incredible spirit of encouragement. I am thankful for Kylie's smile and the way she entertains me with her song and dance. I am thankful that my home echoes with laughter throughout the day and that there is peace throughout the night.

I am thankful for Elmo, Mickey Mouse, The Imagination Movers, Strawberry Shortcake, and Bob and Larry. Without whom I might never be able to make dinner or regain my sanity.

I am thankful for my parents and the way they love and support me. I am thankful for my sister Krystal and the beautiful mom she has become. I am thankful for my sister Lindsay and the grace God has given her both in her own life and to pour out to others. I am thankful for my brother Ethan and his awesome sense of humor.

I am thankful for my in-laws. I am thankful for the countless hours they've spent helping me out with the girls and just hanging out. I am thankful for the way that Susan and Katie have become more than just sister-in-laws but have truly become my friends.

I am thankful for reality tv. I get to live vicariously as an aspiring model, America's favorite dancer, a fashion designer, a Survivor, and an American Idol through it. I am thankful that Chuck is coming back and wasn't cancelled after all. I am thankful for television shows with twisted plot lines that give my husband and me countless hours of conspiracy theory discussions.

I am thankful for my friends. Especially those who are in the same "season" of life and allow me a shoulder to cry on or Godly advice when I need it. I am thankful that I have been able to reconnect with some of my "old" friends this year and that they have welcomed me back into their lives.

I am thankful for my dog, Chase. He is SO SO SO great with my girls. He also is a loyal companion (regardless of the mood I'm in) and a first class snuggler.

I am thankful for nap time. Especially on the rare occasion I am able to get Kyra and Kylie down at the exact.same.time.

I am thankful for the life of my childhood pastor Billy Joe Daugherty. I am thankful for his vision, his faith, and his ministry and the way he empowered all those he came in contact with to have the same intensity in their own lives. I know that his life helped make my life what it is today in more ways than I'll ever even know. I am thankful that he is now in heaven receiving his great reward.

I am thankful for every breath, every laugh, every sunset, every kiss.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Picture my Week

This week has been full of little moments that I happened to capture on film (is it still considered film if you use a digital camera?) Here are some of my favorites: Kyra using her new highchair to feed one of her baby dolls.
Kylie trying to be just like Kyra. As of right now Kylie wants to be Kyra when she grows up.
Look at that technique!
Kyra wearing her very own "wobble goggles". If you don't know what that means, clearly you need to watch more Imagination Movers on Disney.

Kylie chilling in the baby doll pack-n-play.

I went into Kyra's room thinking she wasn't taking a nap and this is what I found. "Pay no attention to the girl behind the curtain!"

All I hear is "Look mommy! I ride Chase!" and this is what I turn to see.
She even put a necklace around him as "reigns". "C'mon Chase lets go!"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Kyra!!!!!

Wow. I can't believe it's been three years. Three years since our lives were changed forever. Three years since I became a mom. Three years since we fell in love with a beautiful little girl named Kyra Jean. Each year seems to pass quicker than the last. And each birthday gets more exciting.

This year daddy was in California (well, technically he has been traveling home from CA most of the day), so I wanted to make today as fun and special as I could. Helping to make this possible were my wonderful Sisters-in-law, Susan and Katie, and Katie's husband Declan (whom Kyra calls "Dunclan"). Not knowing that the weather today was going to be 68 degrees and beautiful, I made plans to spend the day at the crazy huge mall in King of Prussia.

Our first stop was the Build-a-Bear Workshop. It was both Kyra and my first experience there and Kyra was a little overwhelmed. For the most part she gave us the benefit of the doubt and went along with everything. It was obvious she much preferred interacting with the stuffed animals than the employees though. We slowly worked our way along the wall of animals and at the end of the row, Kyra picked a pink unicorn to be her new special friend. I loved how she picked the absolute girliest stuffed animal they had by far. We declined the sound effects, picked a heart, and then watched as the unicorn (that Kyra kept calling a horsey) got filled with stuffing. After the unicorn was all stitched up, we gave her a (brief) bath and then accessorized her with a pair of shiny pink wings. Finally, Kyra named her Cupcake (despite my recommendation for the name Starlight) and we made her a birth certificate. As we left the Workshop, Kyra insisted on carrying Cupcake's box herself. She ended up dragging the box half the way to the car, but she was not about to let her new friend out of her grasp.

Next we headed to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Well, actually for dessert, but since we were there, we ate lunch first. As we waited for our food, Kyra got to open some birthday presents from her Aunt Susie. She got a wooden cake set and a sidewalk chalk "paintbrush". They will provide many hours of enjoyment I'm certain. After our meal, the waitstaff sang Happy Birthday to Kyra and brought her chocolate truffle cake with a candle, whip cream, sprinkles, and Happy Birthday To You spelled out in chocolate syrup on the plate. Kyra and Kylie both enjoyed digging into the sugar mountain!

Next we did a little walking around and shopping. We passed the mall's giant Christmas tree adorned with huge moving toys. We admired it for a while and then suddenly Kyra burst into tears. The reason for those tears? She wanted to take one of the drum playing teddy bears on the tree home with her and of course she could not. There is no stuffed creature that Kyra does not love yet above them all, she LOVES teddy bears. We carried her away from the tree and eventually made our way to the Disney Store. This was a BIG DEAL for Kyra. She is hooked on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and has recently showed an affinity for the Princesses as well. She immediately found some rolling sleepover duffles and toted them around the store with her the entire time. One was Mickey Mouse, the other, Disney Princess themed. Naturally. Thankfully, Kyra has a really cool aunt with a Disney Rewards credit card who was willing to secretly buy one for her for Christmas. (Can't wait to see her open it in 40ish days.) It made me feel slightly less terrible as I pried them out of her fingers so we could leave.

Finally, after a day full of excitement, we headed home. But the fun wasn't over just yet. Kyra got to Skype with her GP and Grammy in Oklahoma and open her birthday presents from them while they watched via webcam. She got a pink cash register, a new doll, and a doll playset that included a stroller, pack-n-play, and baby swing/highchair. Kyra is a good little mommy to her dolls and bears and she loves pretending so she was very excited when she opened all her gifts.

Part of me wishes every day could be Kyra (or Kylie's) birthday because it was so much fun for all of us and the day flew by so quickly. Another part of me though is extremely glad birthdays only happen once per year. By the time I got to sit down at the end of the day I realized how trashed the house was from all the opening presents, playing with every new toy at once, and being stuck in a whirlwind of activity all day. I also realized how much my body ached and how tired and hungry I was (I forgot to eat dinner). But it was a great day. A really happy, exciting, adventurous, great day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blast from the Past

SOOOOOOO......... A guy I've never met before emailed me and asked if I was the Keshet that the Hanson song Hand in Hand was written about. I was COMPLETELY caught off guard. I felt slightly freaked out and slightly flattered, but mostly I was super curious as to HOW in the WORLD he knew THAT. So I emailed him back with my own inquiries.

1. How did he know that about the song?
2. How did he FIND ME?!

He was kinda surprised that I was surprised he knew about it as he told me that Isaac tells the story behind the song on their Underneath acoustic DVD. He said he then found my name on some Hanson fan discussion boards, so he went to Myspace, typed in "Keshet" and viola! my profile popped right up. He took a chance and emailed me as if he knew that I was THAT Keshet and sure enough..... W.O.W.

So he sent me a link to the song on YouTube so I could hear for myself what Isaac says exactly. And after watching it all I have to say is "Lucy, you have some splaining to do!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I felt the need to blog, but as I sit down to write so many things are popping in and out of my head so this post is going to be a brain explosion.

Going to church on Sunday proved to be a dangerous outing. As Kyra was skipping along the sidewalk on our way into church, she tripped and skinned her knee pretty bad. Daddy had to carry her the rest of the way. I was relieved to find alcohol wipes and bandaids in the first aid kit in the nursery and I was even more relieved that Kyra finally calmed down 10 minutes into her class and was able to stay there. After the service I went to get Jim (who volunteered in Kylie's class) and Kylie from the nursery. I arrived to find Kylie with a bandaid across her forehead and Jim explained that she had tripped (over his feet) and hit her head on one of the wooden chairs in the room. It swelled up and was bleeding, but Kylie handled it like a champ. And, fortunately, Jim already knew where to find the first aid kit.

Monday, Kyra found the pair of fairy wings in the back of the closet. I bought them for her costume for the strawberry festival a year and a half ago and put them away because she was definitely NOT into wearing them at the time. Considering she's worn them for the better part of 2 days now, I think it's safe to say that's not the case any longer. I love watching her float through the world of make believe. And I love when I get to join her even more. She has even let Kylie and me take turns being the fairy princess too. This just makes me so excited for all the pretending yet to come.

Today Jim left for Palm Springs, CA. He has done a lot of traveling this year and its taking its toll on me. I have found myself struggling with loneliness, jealousy, and exhaustion when he is away. There are days when I barely have any contact with another adult and I'm so desperate to just talk to someone older than 3. Last time Jim was away, I was an emotional mess. In an attempt to avoid that this time, I've got a few things scheduled so I know I'll have some "grown up" conversation at some point in the day. I also have made myself a lengthy to do list to keep me busy in the evenings when I would normally be hanging out with Jim.

Since Jim is gone, I bought one of those "meals in a box" in an attempt to make dinner without making dinner. It was gross. I felt guilty forcing Kyra to eat it since I had to choke it down myself. I will NOT be buying any of those again in the near future.

This is the craziest picture of Kylie ever:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kyra's First Haircut

For months I've been saying I needed to take Kyra to get a haircut. Other than a teeny trim I did when she was a baby, she's never had one. Her hair actually grew in perfectly and just by looking at her, you'd never know she hadn't ever had it cut. But lately I'd been feeling that she probably needed to get a cut just to keep it healthy.

Yesterday I NEEDED to get OUT of the HOUSE and decided it was the perfect opportunity to finally take Kyra for a haircut. I told her I was taking her to a special place to have her hair cut. We then headed to Exton to the Snip Its salon. It is designed to make a kid's hair cutting experience the most fun imaginable. When we walked in Kyra noticed the fun decor and bright colors and immediately said, "Its a party!" At that reaction I thought to myself, "Oh good, this WILL be fun for her;"

I filled out a form and helped Kyra into the bright pink, perfectly kid's sized salon chair. The stylist pointed Kyra toward the tv, put the smock over her, and started spraying her hair to wet it. Kyra seemed perfectly fine.... for about 45 seconds. Before the scissors ever came out, Kyra began crying huge tears and trying to climb out of the chair. She was crying "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" over and over. I held her close to me, while keeping her in the chair, and tried to calm her down by talking to her. We even gave Kyra a pink lollipop, but not even that was enough to stop the waterworks.

The stylist was fantastic. She didn't seem the least bit phased by Kyra's meltdown. She was even able to cut her hair through it all. She took a couple inches off the length and angled her hair in the front to frame her face since I've been letting Kyra's bangs grow out. As the stylist finished up the last few snips, Kyra suddenly stopped crying. We asked Kyra if she wanted her hair dried with the blow dryer, but she said "no", so we ended it there. We got out of the chair, picked up a piece of Kyra's hair and put it in a special machine that spit out a prize in exchange for her hair. I graciously tipped the gal for the haircut and we headed for the car. We were in and out of Snip Its in approximately 10 minutes or less.

We made a quick stop at a store and while we were in the parking lot, Kyra suddenly began to tell me all about her haircut. "Kyra got my haircut. And got sucker and watched T.B. (tv). And Kyra is so happy!" I was stunned. She so quickly forgot all the tears and fear and "Mommy, Mommy!" and seemed to only remember the positives about her haircut. And every time she has talked about it since then, she sounds happy. She has said several times that she likes her haircut or that it is pretty and I must say I completely agree. I was very impressed with the quality of the haircut considering the circumstances. And I can't even tell you how relieved and thrilled I am to know I didn't scar her for life with that experience!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Ween!

Despite the sporadic rain, my sister-in-law Susan and I took Kyra (and Chase) around our neighborhood Halloween night on her first trick-or-treat outing. She wore a Sleeping Beauty princess dress and had a princess bucket (thanks to Aunt Susie) to match. She started off a little skeptical and shy. I'm sure she was thinking something along the lines of "Usually I have to do something special like eat all my dinner or go pee pee in the potty to get candy. Why are all these crazy people giving it to me just for walking up to their house?" But she got over it by the 5th house and began reciting "trick or treat" on every porch we stopped at. She engaged in conversation with several of our neighbors and even told one of them "Happy Ween!" We were only out for 45 minutes and probably only covered 1/6th of the neighborhood, but Kyra's bucket was full to the top! Most people were giving handfuls of candy due to their excitement for the World Series game 3 that would start as soon as trick-or-treating ended. (I think I earned Kyra some extra candy by wearing my Chase Utley jersey as I took her around.) Kyra was so excited by the whole experience and it was exciting for me to see her interact with our neighbors. Kylie on the other hand was quite the opposite. In fact, she was so unexcited, she fell asleep at 5:30 in her highchair and missed out on the evening's festivities all together.

(My other sister-in-law, Katie, and I took Kyra and Kylie to the local mall's trick-or-treat night on the Thursday before Halloween. Some of the pictures below are from that night too.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Went to the World Series

I still can't believe it. Yesterday morning started like any other Monday. I was slowly getting things put back in order from the weekend. I had to go to the grocery store. I was making dinner for friends who just had a baby. And in the midst of it all, I got a text message from my husband. It read, "Do you want to go to the World Series tonight?" I was thinking, sure I do, but I don't want to pay $500.00 for a standing room only ticket. But Jim quickly explained that ticket prices had plummeted since the Yankees had gone up 3-1 in the series. Most were about 1/4 of the price they had been the previous day.

I was stunned. In the back of my mind I kept thinking the possibility of going was too good to be true. There seemed to be tons of tickets available, so for me the road block was finding someone to watch the girls so last minute. But my mother-in-love came through big time for us and agreed to take the girls for the long evening. As soon as I heard she would watch the kids it hit me that this was actually going to happen.

I was so excited. I got ready for the game hours ahead of time. I had the girls packed and ready to go long before Jim even got home from work. The minutes couldn't pass quick enough. It was a good thing it all happened on a whim because I can't even imagine how tortured I would've been waiting for days to go to the game!

Finally it was time. Jim's dad, my sister-in-love Susan, Jim, and I were on our way to Citizens Bank Park for game 5 of the World Series. We made incredible time getting to the ball park, found parking fairly easy, and made it inside in time to watch the Yankees take batting practice. Sue and I leisurely strolled around the entire ball park, just soaking it all in. From our seats (12 rows up, along the 3rd baseline) we watched the Phanatic harass a poor, freezing security guard. It was the closest I'd ever been to him and I just think he is the coolest mascot ever.

Before we knew it, it was game time. Alanis Morissette sang the National Anthem. Robin Roberts and Jim Bunning threw out the ceremonial first pitch. And then the Phillies took the field while tens of thousands of fans swirled white rally towels. As I swung my towel along with the masses, that's when I knew I wasn't dreaming. I was actually at the World Series.
The game was super exciting and incredibly intense in the end. The stadium lit up with fireworks 4 times during the game in celebration of home runs hit by the Phils. But the best display was after the last out of the 9th inning as they declared that the Phillies had won the game. It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life and definitely a day I will never forget. Special super duper thanks to my father-in-law for covering half our ticket cost so we could splurge for our incredible seats.
When I woke up Monday morning, I had no idea that I'd be at the World Series that night. Wow.... life is crazy and God is good!