Friday, May 29, 2009

Photo Friday

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mother's Day

Madeline loves to get her picture taken until it's time to take one of our family, so every family photo we have look like these.

My mom, sisters and myself on Mother's Day.

Miss Madeline with Aunt Karen, Cousin Grace, Aunt Bonnie and Cousin Claire.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Ten years ago today Travis and I got engaged. We hadn't been dating very long, only two months. (Although we had dated my sophomore year of college, but that was three years prior.) We just knew it was the right time for us. So after dating for two weeks Travis designed my engagement ring and started the process of having it made.

We had talked about getting married in the month of October and decided we didn't want to wait a year and a half. With October only 5 months away I knew the engagement would be any day. He had hinted that we would get engaged on our upcoming vacation to my family's fishing cabin the next week.

We were at my apartment and Travis told me his shoulder was bothering him. He asked me to get him some aspirin from his backpack. I grabbed the bottle and dumped two aspirin in my hand. I looked down and there were two aspirin and a diamond ring. I didn't realize I did this at the time, but I threw the aspirin at the floor and just stared at the ring. My back was to Travis and I just stood there for a moment confused. I thought that he was going to propose at the cabin, and I wondered why he asked me to get him aspirin if he was hiding the ring in the bottle. He came over to me, got down on one knee and proposed. It was very sweet.

When we called my dad he was very confused. He kept saying that I couldn't be engaged yet. Mostly because when Travis asked him for his blessing, he told my dad he was proposing at the cabin. I guess he surprised us both. :)

On our one year anniversary Trav coined the term "yesaversary"...the anniversary of the day I said yes. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. ;)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Photo Friday

Madeline the beauty queen.

Our cutie patootie. Or as Zella would say, "Q eeeeeee duh two eeeeeeeeee."

Zella. aka Homegirl
One of their many dress up costumes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tales From the Truck

Do you remember when Travis and I used to be truck drivers? I'm betting you do, because I feel like I talk about it all the time. Mostly because it is the last "real" full-time job I had.

I'm realizing as I get older that I'm not going to remember everything about trucking that I thought I was going to. My "mommy brain" is starting to kick in and it isn't pretty. So I thought I would hit the highs and lows (and there were plenty!) of life in a semi-truck.

Without further ado, presenting for the first time ever on this blog, a new series called "Tales From the Truck". (Catchy, isn't it?) (And dorky too, but that's how I roll.)

Travis and I were living in a rented house in West Des Moines. I loved my job as public relations manager at United Way, and Travis worked in the design department of The Des Moines Register. We wanted to start a family but realized that we couldn't afford to. Especially since I wanted to stay at home with the kids. We brainstormed a lot of different ways we could pay off our student loan debt (the main problem). Travis suggested truck driving. I literally laughed in his face (I thought he was kidding) and said, "There is no @!#$$!!@ way I am going to be a truck driver. (Sorry for swearing mom, but it's true.)

Nine months later he brought it up again, but this time with research, charts and a calculator to show me how much money we could make. It was really hard for me, but I finally agreed to drive truck for one year. (I am skipping a lot of arguing and heartache on my part, but I'd rather not remind myself of those details.)

We moved out of our rental, put almost all of our belongings in storage, and moved into a furnished studio apartment that you could pay by the week in. (It was actually kind of fun. It was definitely an adventure!)

We quit our jobs and enrolled in truck driving school. We went to the DMACC Transportation Institute in Ankeny. Yes, folks, I made us go to truck driving school. I didn't know how to read a map, had never driven a stick shift and knew NOTHING about trucks. Even regular trucks.

The school taught us a lot (you should have been there when I was learning to shift) and after 8 weeks we took and passed our CDL test.

The funniest part? Is when I wore khaki pants and a button down dress shirt to our "graduation", and invited my little sister Bonnie to the "ceremony" and "reception". Trust me when I say that no one else was wearing khaki pants. Or even jeans without holes in them. Or even jeans that were washed.

We were ready for the open road!

More later,

P.S. If you're lucky I might be able to scrounge up a picture of us graduating from truck driving school.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Belated Easter Photos

I am a bit late posting these, but seeing as this is practically the only photo album/journal I have these days, better late then never.

Zella was sick on Easter and had to stay home from church. This means no lovely photos of my girls together in their new dresses. You can see my attempt to capture Violet in her dress didn't go so well. The pictures Travis took of Madeline didn't even turn out. But at least I got this shot of my adorable husband being a good sport (again) in a house full of little girls. The only reason I can get by with posting this picture is because he very rarely looks at this blog.

Overheard at Our House

This is funny, but kinda sad too. I was nursing the baby in the living room listening to Madeline and Zella play in the toy room. They had their chairs set next to each other and were pretending to go on a car trip. After a couple minutes of "driving", they each pretended to throw up. Madeline announced they had gotten car sick and that she had to wipe up the puke. They played this car sick game for about 20 minutes.

(In case you didn't know, Madeline and Zella get really car sick and often throw up, even if we're only in the car for 15 miles.)


Zella is an early bird. She wakes up between 4:30 and 5:30 every day. It's still dark outside and she always asks if the sky is awake yet. Too cute.


When I tuck Zella in at night she insists on hearing three songs: Baa Baa Black Sheep, The theme song from Blues Clues, and the Broccoli Song. What is the Broccoli song? Well, Zella made it up and it goes like this:

Broccoli oh broccoli
You have a song
You are green
and icky
and gross


With the addition of kid #3, and the lack of sleep over a period of 4 months, I am now one of those mothers who calls their kid by the wrong name. I called Madeline Violet the other day and she was offended. Did I think she was a baby? She was a big girl! A big sister! She went to school! She RIDES THE BUS. Violet can't do that.

So she drew me a picture of herself and wrote her name on the bottom. She folded it up and put it in my pocket so I could look at it and remember what to call her.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Madeline is 4!

Madeline in her party dress.

The Barbie cake she requested. I had never made one before, but with 3 girls I think there will be more.

Posing for the camera.

My mom with Violet, and my Aunt Gayle with her granddaughter Ava. My cousin Sarah's little Ava and Violet were born only a few weeks apart.

What's a party without cupcakes?

Madeline turned four last month. It is hard to believe how grown up she is!
I was surprised at how tall she was at her 4 year check up. She is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight (41 1/2 inches tall, weighs 39 pounds).

Madeline has changed a lot this past year. She started preschool last fall and has really liked it. She goes Tuesday and Thursday mornings and rides the bus home. She learned to write her first name and loves to draw and paint. She would paint all day if she could. We go through a lot of paper at our house! Her favorite toys are her Barbies, My Little Pony and dress up clothes. She changes her dress up outfits at least ten times a day. She puts on lots of dance recitals and "shows". It's all Broadway all the time around here, with all the singing and dancing! She is very entertaining.

Madeline is a very sweet and very kind. She is a very caring little girl and loves to take care of others. When I was VERY pregnant with Violet, Madeline would make a bed for me on the couch and ask me to rest. She would rub my arm and tell me to put my feet up. It was so adorable! Don't get me wrong, she can also have an attitude and is quite stubborn (she gets the drama from me and the stubbornness from her papa)! But if I had to use one word to describe Madeline it would be sweet.

We are so thankful to be her parents and get to watch her grow.

We love you, Madeline.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Time Flies

Geesh, almost two months since my last post? I almost forgot the address to my blog, that is how pathetic my updating has been. Okay, I didn't really almost forget the address, but you know what I mean. :)

A lot has happened since my last post. Violet is 11 weeks old. ELEVEN WEEKS! Craziness. Madeline turned four (!) years old. FOUR! Craziness. See a pattern here?

And my Zella. She is quite a handful these days but knows just when to flash me her smile and talk in her cute little voice.

Travis has been in Oregon for a management meeting the last week so I was flying solo once again. I am definitely getting better at handling all three on my own.

We are currently sick. Madeline with the flu, and Zella and myself with colds. Baby Violet started sneezing/runny nose today.

Travis comes home late tonight thank goodness!

I have pictures of Madeline's birthday party to post, and pics of how big Violet is getting. (12 pounds!)

I'll get working on that. In the meantime, I have three little girls to get to bed.

More later,