Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy 31st!

Birthday to my wonderful husband. Today did not go as planned. I woke up sick (been fighting something off for a week now), then Jacob woke in a bad mood, Levi was cranky, and I was babysitting. I really tried to pamper him. However, being sick made me short tempered. It was just not the way I planned. Instead, he took care of me. How did I get so lucky?

We loosely celebrated his birthday Sunday with an entourage of friends and family.  So here are pictures. The GIANT bounce house is courtesy of Jump N2 Fun. I realize that the birthday boy is in NONE of these photos.. but nevertheless... here they are!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Love Story

The first time I saw him, I was working at Starbucks. It was one of those hot summer days that kept you busy. The door chimed, I looked up from counting the hours until I was off and there I saw him. All, clean shaven, black tank top with black pants. It was obvious he had just gotten off work. I was instantly drawn too him. And I made a complete fool out of myself trying to be cool.
~ Lacey

When I walked into Starbucks on that fateful day, I never expected to meet the woman I would spend the rest of my life with.  I had gotten off work at another Starbucks and had stopped by this store on my way home for some reason, I forget why now.  I saw a pretty face snap up from the counter when I walked in, and I knew I was the center of her attention from the get-go.  Her over- use of smiles and just-a-little-too-quick responses made me realize that this beautiful girl was virtually twiterpated by me.  My mind went to that weird place that a guys mind sometimes does; that place where  everything around you gets muted and you're two people in a room, and you know the face you're looking at will never be forgotten.
~ Jesse

Jesse is that goofy guy that you love. He is funny and kind. What really drew me too him was how he treated me. I was his princess and he treated me as such. Even after that first day at Starbucks it was another few weeks before we would really start getting to know one another. One Tuesday I ended up working at the other Starbucks in town. It was crazy that day. I was almost late to work because of a drawbridge, I twisted my kneed and called out to my other job and just overall it was weird. Then he walked in. Not long after he clocked on, he hurt himself. In true Jesse fashion it was something silly. I asked if he wanted a hug. He actually said yes. I gave him a total deer in head lights look and walked away. Later on I suggested we hang out. You see, I already knew I wanted to get to know him better and I was going for it! We exchanged numbers and I began the dreaded "wait for him to call" game. He actually called me later that night and we went on our first date. Something deep inside of me knew that he was different and special in a way that I had never encountered before.
~ Lacey

Lacey is by far the smartest, and yet somehow the quirkiest woman I have ever met.  The smarts didn't come through so much the day that we worked together ever so briefly at my Starbucks.  You could tell she was having a day of it, and that somehow me walking in made it worse, but better at the same time.  Lacey showed me that day that I had an effect, that I mattered,  and that made me feel something I hadn't felt in a very long time. The too-quick responses, the tone of voice, everything about her manner said that she was interested in me as well.  I probably didn't give off the same vibe, but I was definitely eager to find out more about this woman who could seem so confident one second, and about to loose her head the next!
~ Jesse

One of the highest and at the same time lowest points was find out I was pregnant. Marriage had been discussed but never proposed. While I was instantly in love with my little pumpkin, I had no idea how Jesse was going to handle it all. He amazed me as he continues to do so. He was calm and rational and filled with love. Two months later we were married. Like many relationships that start out as quickly as ours did, there have been some trying times. Lots of tears, hurt words, the occasional throwing of a book. But when I am done with my tantrum, he is there to help me pick up the pieces. Jesse loves me with a Christ like love. I am not always lovable but here he is, right alongside me, loving me.

The second high point would have to be the day we said "I do". So many things were thrown my way that would make most brides lose it. All I could think about was how sharply dresses Jesse was going to be and how I couldn't wait to walk down the aisle of the quaint little church I had chosen.

The first years of our marriage were rocky. But we survived. Friends have come and gone, we have lost loved ones along the way,  but in the end, we are still here, still working on this marriage, still loving each other.

The last high and low point comes with the birth of our second son. I wasn't the birth I wanted for myself. I did however cry happy tears when Jesse told me to say hello to our Levi.
We have two little boys who are the best testimony to the love that we share. I hope we can be all that they need us to be. And I hope that I can continue to grow and be he wife that Jesse deserves.
~ Lacey

Sometimes I think my brain is wired in reverse; most people seem to remember the negative things that happen to them instead of the positive when they look back on their lives. I feel like the landscape of my marriage to Lacey has been defined by its peaks rather than its valleys.

When I saw the doors to the little church we were married in open and watched Lacey walk down the isle, it was everything I could do not to cry tears of joy. My heart cried out my love for her in a way my chest could barely contain. The birth of our first son, Jacob, made us a family instead of a couple, and I knew that we could do anything from then on. When Levi came so stubbornly into our family, I watched as my wife showed me what having what you want not be what you want looks like, and all I could do was be the support she needed and be thankful for a healthy baby.  Even the trips to say our final goodbyes to loved ones have been filled with moments that I look back on and laugh over.

I spent so many of my younger years being angry and negative. Once you have lived through what constant anger does and realize what it's doing to your heart and soul, it dulls everything until someone turns the volume up to eleven.  I'm more mellow than I used to be, for sure, and I still have my moments.  But I know that I will continue to grow with my wife and out little family for many years to come
~ Jesse

Are Men being squeezed out of boy's lives?

And really, is it just boys, or all kids?  After reading a blog post over here about boys growing up without Men in their lives, it got me thinking.

I would have to say that I am a traditionalist. I don't mean to insult but I think women should be in the home. With their kids. This however is not to say that this is the right choice for ALL women. Because its not.There are some fantastic stay at home dads out there.

This reminds me of a post a friend of mine over at High Gloss and Sauce wrote last year. No, I'm not going to tell you what it was, but trust me, it also got me thinking.

We live in a world right now where men with our kids is scary. Where we have to watch what we say when complementing men in hopes that it doesn't come off all sexual predator. A few bad apples (and a failing justice system) have ruined it for everyone.

I think there is more to it than just men being in kids lives. I think its also the Quality of the Man that is important. Does that Man show outward affection to those that love him? Does he have a love for God?

I understand that schools and churches are trying to protect our kids.  But what about the other places that should be protecting our kids. Restaurants with indoor/outdoor playgrounds, theme parks, indoor/outdoor play areas. Do all of these places run background checks on their employees? Not all. Drugs tests, sure. But to find out if the male (or female) you are hiring has a sexual predator background, well that just takes too much time/work/money. Right up until some parent finds out that their kid was abused at your place of business, then you are out not only the cost of the lawsuit, but the bad publicity.

Anytime anyone is going to be in contact with children, a background check should be done. What a better way to lessen the chances of a predator coming into close contact with kids. I say lessen, because there are always the few that have not been caught.

Back to the whole men getting a bad rap thing. Its not just Men that abuse!! Women do it too, but as society, we are much more trusting of females. I don't believe that they are any less likely to abuse. Men are called all sorts of things; womanizer, workaholic, abuser. And yet, women can be those things as well. They can be cougars, workaholics, abusers. But instead, society appears to applaud them for those kind of behaviors or completely ignore them. There are shows on mainstream TV that point in this direction. Even Kids tv doesn't show a lot of male influence. Cat in The Hat Knows a lot About That comes to mind. The only "male" influence is a cat.

What ever happened to Men being Men? Have women really been trying to push them out and victimize them in an attempt to be more "equal"? I don't honestly believe that women and men can be equal. There are just some jobs that God designed men to be better at and do better. Just as there are some jobs that God designed women to be better at. But for us to sit here and say that men and women should be equal, well its just not physically possible. Men are becoming more and more of a minority because of the views of society. I just don't think that is fair.

I want my boys to grow up working hard. Being hard workers. Earning what they have in life, rather than expecting it to be handed to them based on their gender, sexual preference or race. I want the same things for myself. I don't want a job just because the company has to employ so many women. I want it because I earned it. Because I am the best fit for the job. And if I am not the best fit for the job, I am not going to go running into the night screaming FOUL because I am a woman and the job was given to a man.

Next time you are out and about, take a look around. How many non family member men do you and your kids come into contact with? How many women?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Straight from the Oven - Gluten Free Delights

  I have a new business venture. Gluten Free bakery. Right now its small and still in my home. I hope to change that at some point. Right now its cupcakes, and I just did my first batch of muffins. I will be adding cookies and breads.

Check me out on Facebook if you'd like!

Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins


I wish I had a great blog post for the day, but quite frankly, I don't. Yesterday was a no good, terrible, very bad day. Today I am sick.. Instead I will leave you with pictures of my boys and the craziness that I love.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mommy Wars

Recently Time Magazine came out with an article titled "Are you mom enough?" with a picture of a breastfeeding child. But this isn't just any child, in the picture you might think the child is 5 or 6, but he is 3. This is none of my business and not what this post is about. If that is what works for their family, then good for them.

Me baby wearing Levi while on an impromptu trip
The article featured on the cover of Time appears to do a few things. First it looks as though the article is about breastfeeding, and second it calls mothers out. The article is actually about attachment parenting. So why didn't this magazine show a picture like this? Because a picture of a mom happily carrying her baby (also known as baby wearing) wouldn't get the kind of reaction I assume this magazine was looking for.

My thoughts on parenting varies, but what it really comes down to is being "mom enough" to listen to your kids. It really does not matter if you baby-wear, or cloth diaper or breastfeed, or formula feed, or co-sleep or anything else. Its not a contest to see who is the best mother of all. Quite frankly, she doesn't exist. All you can do is be the best mother that YOU know how to be.

*photo courtesy of*

Back to the whole "mommy wars" portion of this post... I recently read an article here and it featured this photo. Its a complete mock up of the Time article that was mentioned above (needed to mention that as some have found it *could* be true). Its just a glimpse of the many debates that mothers either intentionally or unintentionally enter into.

I know mothers mean well, and I am sure I have been guilty of this also, but unless someone ASKS, butt the heck out! However, if you do end up asking for advice or opinions, please take them graciously. You don't need to agree with what the person is telling you. You don't need to do what that person is recommending. The polite thing to do is to smile, nod and possibly take what they said into consideration. 

Jax and Levi

There are always extremes. You could say one mother over feeds her kid, while the other under feeds, take a look at this picture.
These boys are 3 weeks apart in age. The one in orange actually eats MORE than the cute little chubby one. There is about an 11 pound difference between the two.  I can't speak for the mom of Jax, but Levi is SO tiny. I have been lucky enough to not get many comments about his size. But in all reality, he IS small for his age. With clothes on, you can't see it, but without, he has almost zero cute baby chub. I breastfed, J's momma formula fed. Is one better than the other? No. It was a personal choice for both of us. Her baby on formula was healthier than mine. Not just because he has more baby chub, but because unknowingly, my milk was making my baby sick. *yay gluten* My point being, you could have judged either one of us. One for over feeding and one for underfeeding, but you would have missed out on what going on. By judging you can either send a mom into a deep downward spiral, or you can just royally piss her off. Neither one is really worth it.

One of the things I am finding bugs me is hearing "I'm the winner and you're the loser". Really? It doesn't freaking matter! Are you having fun? Are you happy? Are you comfortable where you are? Yes, Yes and Yes. Then that is all that really matters in life. Its not who nurses the longest, or who got their kid to sleep in their crib first. Its not which preschool your kid goes to or that they could recite the Bill of Rights at 2. What matters is that you are being the best mom that you can be for YOUR child.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whats been going on

  Looking back through the posts, I have been slacking. Its not been a lack of really having anything to say... its just been more of life being life.

All winter we have been sick. It started in Oct and we just can't kick it out for good. Feb rolled around and Jacob gets this horrible tummy bug. I am washing things like crazy to make sure NO ONE ELSE gets it. So much so that I washed my hands raw. *ouch* 4 weeks after the onset of this "bug" he still isn't better. A trip into the dr is called for. I did everything. The B.R.A.T diet, no dairy, full fat dairy, no juice, extra juice. Everything I could think of. Short of pulling wheat out of his diet.

The Dr says to pull out wheat. Its not going to hurt him and we will know in a few days if it is helping at all. Then we start discussing the fact that Peanut is just that... a peanut. At 6 months old he was all of 14 lbs. He ate ALL the time. Where was it all going? Quite honestly, it was running right out of him.

3 days. All it took was 3 days for J to stop crying about an upset tummy. For L to stop screaming all the ever loving time. Within that first week I threw out EVERYTHING. If it had wheat, barley, soy, malt, anything questionable.... it went. I gave it away, sold it. Whatever I could do to get it out of my house.

We have been gluten free (gf) for two months now. At our WIC appt on 2/6 L was 14.4lbs, at the appt on 4/30 he was 16.15 (almost 17 pounds!). I am SO proud of the little bugger for gaining!

I went back to working outside of the home the end of Feb. Its not the best, but its what works for us. We NEED to get more of our debt paid off. Its important to me. I also started babysitting in the mornings.

L is crawling and sitting up on his knees, J is just as smart as can be. Rather than go on and on, here are some pictures from the last two months.