Sunday, December 25, 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Clendenen family!
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Monday, December 5, 2011


Four Things That Have Been Keeping Me Up At Night

1.  Thomas Howard Clendenen.  He is a very good baby but has been fussy the last couple weeks.  He is only two months old after all.

2.  Miss Zella.  She wakes up at the crack of dawn every day.  It seems to work out that Thomas will wake up to eat at 3:30 a.m.  When I finally fall back asleep after feeding and burping him Zella wakes up for the day.  At least she is in a great mood!

3.  Violet fell into a swimming pool at a hotel we were staying at.  I had to jump in with all my clothes on (and shoes) to get her.  Seeing the fear in her eyes and face while she was under the water struggling has kept me up many nights since.  We are very thankful she is okay.

4.  Some crazy road rage guy threatened to kill me at a stop light in Mason City.  (He motioned for me to go ahead of him but when I did he freaked out for some reason.)  He was screaming and yelling every nasty and derogatory thing you can say to women at me.  Violet and Thomas were in the van with me and I was scared and angry.    He started to get out of his truck at the stoplight to "teach me a lesson" but I threatened to call the cops.  Thankfully the light turned green.  I keep looking over my shoulder even though I know I probably won't ever see him again.  Jerk.

I much prefer reasons one and two for keeping me up at night. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Time is sand through my fingers, trickling down before I can stop it.  Part of me would love to stop time and savor the ages and stages of my kids.  Yet I am excited to see them grow and find their own paths in life. 

I woke up one day and suddenly:

*Madeline can read.  (REALLY read as she would say.)  I feel proud and excited that she loves books as much as Travis and I do.  I hope she always does.

*Zella is almost five. (FIVE!!!)  Her excitement for everything around her is contagious.  She is hands down the most fun kid to give a gift to. 

*Violet is walking the line of being a little girl/big girl.  Sometimes she'd like to be both.  She is talking so well and is quite a dancer.

*Thomas is almost three months old (this may be the most unbelievable).  He is smiling, cooing and he rolled over two weeks ago.  Seriously.  HE ROLLED OVER. 

*Somehow having a fourth child has made Travis and I more mellow and relaxed (mostly).  I'm not sure how this is possible but it is.  We have slowed down and enjoyed this stage of our life more than we have before.

I told my sister Karen that I "came up for air" and ten weeks had gone by.  I am getting the hang of four kids six and under slowly but surely.  I'm figuring out what works and what doesn't.  (The hard way, of course).  I am going to keep figuring it out because I don't just want to get through motherhood or be okay at it.  I want to be a great mom who makes meaningful memories with my kids. Travis and I have so many dreams for our family and every day we wake up we get a chance to make it happen.

Yet another online pep talk.  And once again I am a mushball who over shares.

But I am who I am so once again I will hit "publish post" instead of save. 

Yours sincerely,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Something to Think About

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dear Thomas

Dear Thomas,

It's hard to believe you are already eight weeks old.  We already can barely remember life before you arrived.  You are a sweet, happy little baby boy who loves to snuggle. 

I feel the weight of you in my arms and sigh.  I'm so thankful to have you in my arms, in our family.  Your eyes search and meet mine.  Your coos are little arrows to my heart, piercing. 

I listen to you "talk" to me and realize that this moment is so fleeting.  It won't be long before you tower over me, cringing when I want a hug.  I'll just be "Oh, MOM!"  Probably constantly embarrassing you in front of your friends.

But for now you are my sweet little guy and I am your mama.  We think the other hung the moon. 

With you here our family now feels complete.

Forever and always,
Love Mama

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Miss Violet with her crazy hair (just like her mama).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thomas Howard

Sometimes I Wonder

How did I get here?  How did I get to this place in my life?  Suddenly I am a mother...clueless but loving.  So afraid of messing up and making mistakes.  My eyes blink and suddenly I am a mother to four.  Still clueless in some ways, but knowing when it comes to how to love my babies.

How did I get to be this age?  Who made me in charge?  Of four children???  Aren't I still learning?  Do I have enough knowledge? Insight? Experience? 

Do I have enough patience?

How can it be that I love it so much?  Changing diapers, kissing boo-boos.  Snuggling on the couch reading the same book over and over again.  Make a meal, clean up a meal.  Wash laundry, put it away, wash it again.  Rinse and repeat.  Over and over. 

Yet there are so many moments of these groundhog days that put a lump in my throat.  An unexpected "I love you", a thoughtful gesture, a beautiful drawing of our family.  Watching my husband teach the kids how to paint, throw a ball, plant a seed. 

I know without a doubt that God meant for me to be a mother to these children.  And even though I make a lot of mistakes I hope they will always feel safe and loved.

I don't know what the future will bring.  I don't know what challenges we will face or how we will choose to handle them.  But I do know that I love this family with all that I am and all that I have. 

Edited to add:
I actually didn't mean to post this.  I often write blog posts just to get the thoughts out of my head.  I used to be a writer, back before I had four kids in six and a half years.  And I am so far removed from it now that I don't often share anything I write with others.  My grammar stinks and I'm not that good at it anymore.  But I accidentally posted this so here it is.  Flaws and all.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's A Boy!

Thomas Howard Clendenen arrived September 16th, 2011 at 8:10 p.m.  He was 9 lbs. 9.4 oz. and 22 inches long. He has a head full of dark hair, dimples and looks just like Travis. He was named after Trav's dad who passed away many years ago.

Sweet Boy

FOUR kids six and under!

Mama and sweet Thomas

Father and son

Big sister Violet is so proud!

On the way home
Thomas is a very good baby and things have been going well.  Unfortunately Mama has a sinus infection and bad cold (which Thomas now has too) so the last couple days have been long.  The girls are very sweet with the baby and argue over who gets to hold him.

I will post more pictures soon of our sweet baby. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Proof of the Preggo Belly

Okay, folks.  I have been asked to provide PROOF of my growing belly.

36 weeks
See?  I was not exaggerating. :)  Four weeks left! 


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another Public Service Announcement

Dear Public,

I know it is probably shocking to see a very, very pregnant woman out and about.  I mean, pregnancy is such a rare, rare, thing that I can understand why it would catch you off guard to actually see a preggo for yourself.  So I can understand why you POINT and STARE and make insanely dumb comments*.  This behavior can be attributed by your shock, I'm sure.

I'm sure you are just trying to be helpful when you utter one of the following comments:
  1. You are HUGE!  Are you sure there is only one in there?
  2. How are you going to make it to the end of your pregnancy?  You are going to become more miserable every day.
  3. Gee, don't you already have three kids?  Do you know what causes that?
  4. Wow, you just keep shooting them out, don't you!
  5. How do you walk around so swollen?
  6. You look like you're due any minute, not in six weeks!
  7. Your belly button is so gross! 
I try to nod and smile politely since it may be years until you see a pregnant woman again.  I don't want to give preggos a bad reputation! 

Public, I think you should know all preggos aren't as polite as I am.  So you may want to think twice before opening your mouth. 

Yours sincerely,

*Actual comments that have been said to me while out in public

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mama Drama

It has been so long since I posted that I forgot my blog password.  (Although these days my pregnancy brain is very forgetful, so maybe it is not surprising?)

I am just so....pregnant.  (36 weeks!) With lots of contractions.  Which leads to lots of water drinking and laying on my left side and waiting for the contractions to go away.  (It's a little too early baby to make an appearance!)  My motivation to get things done has skyrocketed.  Unfortunately my body has not got the memo.  So I am left in limbo. 

At least for today.  Tomorrow I will probably feel totally different.  (Thanks, hormones, for this lovely roller coaster ride.)

My thoughts are cloudy and my body is STRETCHED and my heart is full and my feet are swollen, but my mind is too.  I can hardly sleep...too many to do list thoughts, and what if thoughts, and plan b thoughts.  And I AM HAVING A FOURTH CHILD thoughts.
A FOURTH CHILD.  (Who I am ecstatic to meet.  But also?  A little scared!)  Tell me again why I thought I could handle four children?

The truth is I'm hoping I can.  And I DO think I can.  I just knew when I was preggo with Violet that we weren't done yet.  I told Travis it will probably take me three months to be ok at having four kids and hopefully in six months I will be good at it.  (Good being a relative term, of course.)

Travis is a pro with our girls and I am more than anxious to see him navigate a little boy.  I don't know much about baby boys!

The bottom line is I have been pretty miserable the last few weeks.  But in the end I will get to have our baby, and it will be worth every moment of discomfort.

I think I am giving myself an online pep talk.  That is totally normal, right?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


My two best friends live in Des Moines.  We don't get to see each other as often as we'd like to, but it did work out to get together for the day last week.  I was headed to Trav's hometown with the girls for a visit to Grandma's house.  And luckily we got to see both Jen, Heidi and ALL the kids!  We had a blast.  It never matters how much time we are apart, we pick up right where we left off.  I am so thankful for these two!

Jen, Heidi and Me
 (28 weeks preggo and SWOLLEN!)
All the kids...Jen has three girls, Heidi two boys and my three girls
Blowing bubbles with "Aunt" Heidi

Heidi and her youngest, Alex

Miss Violet goofing around
Jen had to leave a little early for a softball game (bummer!) but the girls and I stayed for supper at Heidi's house.  It was so nice to hang out and see our kids play together.  Can't wait until next time!

More later,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

ABC's of Me Meme

One of my friends tagged me for this meme:

A. Age: 35 (! How did that happen?)

B. Bed Size: Queen.  Which is too small for my 6'4" husband so he sleeps sideways in it. 
C. Chore I dislike:  Cleaning the shower and sweeping/mopping the floor. 
D. Dog:  Josie, our 1/2 basset hound, 1/2 Australian Shepard adorable and short/fat four-legged member of our family.  We got her when we were truck drivers and I didn't even like dogs before I met her.
E. Essential Start of The Day: Not to be dorky, but a hug from my hubby and singing the song "It's a Good Day" by Peggy Lee
F. Favorite color: blue
G.Gold or silver: Silver!

H. Height: 5’6″
I. Instruments you play(ed): piano , percussion and violin.  Although really just piano if you want it to sound good. :)

J. Job Title: Director of Operations(home). Aka stay at home mom. Former jobs:  public relations coordinator at an advertising agency, public relations manager at United Way, over-the-road truck driver
K. Kids: Madeline (6), Zella (4), Violet (2) and baby boy due this Fall

L.Live: 1 1/2 story house in my hometown
M. Moms name: Kathleen
N. Nick names: Boss (my truck driving name) lol
O. Overnight hospital stays (in chronological order) exposure to hazardous chemicals (nitrous and sulfuric acid), childbirth times 3
P. Pet peeves:  When people are always negative and assume the worst
Q. Quote from a movie: "He's all hopped up on Mountain Dew!" from Talladega Nights

R. Righty or Lefty: right.

S. Siblings: Brother Kurt in Indiana, Sister Karen in Britt, Twin sister Lisa in Cherokee, IA, and little sis Bonnie in Britt
T. Time you wake up: Whenever Zella wakes up (usually 6 AM). She used to wake up at 4:30 or  5 am when she was three so this is a big improvement!
U. Underwear:   Um, yes please?
V.Vegetables I don’t like:  Cooked cauliflower.  Otherwise I love veggies, raw, steamed, broiled or grilled!
W.What makes me run late: I hate to be late.  I would say a poop blowout, puke or MY HUSBAND makes me later.
X. X-rays: I don't remember ever having an x-ray.
Y.yummy food that I make: Homemade pizza, CUPCAKES!, baked oatmeal, chicken salad, broiled tillapia, sugar cookies.  Now I am hungry!
Z. Zoo animals: giraffes and seals are my fav

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Songs In My Head

When Violet was in the hopsital I sang her this song over and over (too bad I don't sound like Etta!)  This is my fav song of all time and Violet listens to it with me all the time.  She was so brave in the hospital and would always take a deep breath and try to calm down when I asked her to.  What a champ!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This PSA Brought To You By....

So I mentioned that Violet had a hospital stay recently.  Thankfully she is 100% okay but it could have ended very differently!

We had company at our house for Madeline's ballet recital.  And one of our visitors accidentally left their nicotine mints on our kitchen table while they ran upstairs after their own two year old.

Everyone else was outside playing with sidewalk chalk, and Travis was grilling lunch.  I brought Violet inside to wash her hands and then I went to the bathroom.  As I was washing my hands I heard her saying, "Yum, yum."  Followed quickly by, "YUCKY!"

I ran into the dining room and saw her chewing several nicotine mints, holding the container they came in.  I called for help and tried to get as much out of her mouth as I could.  We called poison control and they told us to take her to the hospital immediately.  Thankfully we have a hospital in Britt just a couple blocks away from our house.

Unfortunately they had to put a tube down her nose to give her charcoal.  (The charcoal helped absorb the nicotine to get it out of her system)  At this point she was pale, clammy, listless and had a very high heart rate and blood pressure.  Then her eyes started rolling and I got nervous.  We had to be transferred by ambulance to the hospital in Mason City.  About halfway through the ambulance ride she was more alert and seemed better.

We were in the hospital for 24 hours for observation.  The concern was that she would have a seizure.  The doctors had her hooked up to heart monitors with all kinds of tubes/wires!  Thankfully her heart rate and blood pressure finally came down around 3 a.m. (she consumed the mints at noon).  When we were checking out the next day they told us they had been preparing to transfer her to a larger hospital in Rochester to a NICU before her heart rate came down.  Very scary.

I am leaving a lot out, but my point in posting this is that YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL.  I personally picked up the container of nicotine mints five or six times and asked our visitor where I could put them to keep them away from the kids.  The doctor let me know that although it was an accident, I still should have thrown the mints away or locked them up myself if I noticed they were being left out.  AND HE WAS RIGHT.  I should have done that.  We all need to remember to be vigilant and careful.  Violet is okay but it could have turned out differently.

So PLEASE take a look around your home or when you visit others and look for hazards big and small.  Violet had to go through a lot due to a preventable accident.  (And her mama and papa did too!!!) 

Thank you to Hancock County Memorial Hospital (the staff was great with Violet!), the amazing volunteer EMTS on the ambulance service (especially Karen who got Violet to smile) and the nurses and doctors at Mercy.  They made a scary situation easier.

Now go and make sure your medications are put up!  I mean it!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Something To Think About

I saw this somewhere and can't stop thinking about it. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Catch Up

Time keeps moving whether or not I want it to.  Whether or not I take photos, consciously make memories or blog.  And I suppose that is alright, although I so enjoy checking out old photos or taking a peek at past blog posts to remember what we were doing a year ago. 

So what having we been doing since APRIL when I last blogged?


Two recitals (Zella's tumbling and Madeline's dance), last day of school, my brother's 40th birthday party/visit, Travis traveling on four separate work trips (two for a week long) in six weeks, move to a twin bed and new paint job for Violet's room, trip to the pediatric opthamologist in Des Moines (good news for Zella and Madeline), fixing up Mommy's room (keep out!), massive decluttering (early nesting?), a mini camping vacation, a SCARY ambulance ride and hospital stay for Violet, a growing baby boy (hooray!), and lots of hugs, kisses, fights and arguing.  And lots of fishing for Papa and his girls.

Did I miss anything?


Although I may not get caught up on blogging about ALL of the above, I will post soon about Violet's hospital stay.  She is alright luckily, but I definitely want to share a public service announcement (as Trav would say) about what happened.  I am still a little traumatized and so is she, honestly.

The baby is doing great and is very active.  If this is a preview I will be a very busy mama this Fall! 

So a busy month and a half condensed into a few small paragraphs. 

More later,

Friday, April 29, 2011

Songs In My Head

Mr. Charles can get stuck in my head anytime. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Wasn't Entirely Truthful

You see, I mentioned that we had our 20 week ultrasound, and that we were having a healthy baby.

And we are.

But we also found out that we are having a healthy baby


Can you believe it?  We were in total shock.  I know it should have occurred to us we could have a boy but we were both convinced we were having a girl.  We are very excited and the girls are thrilled.

Even the sports equipment we own is pink so we have a lot to prepare for.

September will be here before I know it!

More later,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lori Crabbypants

I have been quite on the blog, but life has been anything but quite. 

The past month has been very busy and full of lots of ups and downs.  Truthfully, it has been mostly downs. 

We have been sick.  Still.  Again.  The flu (AGAIN), strep throat...this winter has not been fun.  I am SO OVER my family being sick.  Seriously.  If I could beat up being sick I would.  I MEAN IT!!!

Trav's grandpa passed away.  (It was his time but still very sad.)  Grandpa Howard was a great person and we all loved him a lot!  We already miss him but are comforted to think he is in heaven, reunited with his son (Trav's dad) Tom, and baby Ross, (Trav's brother).

Travis found out he is losing his hearing.  (Which he told me I could share but I don't really feel like talking about it, okay?)

I feel like Debbie Downer, which is why I haven't been blogging.  I dislike being negative.  I like to see the glass as half full.

But the down moments were reality this past month.  And we must take the bad with the good, right?

With that being said, I feel like we are on an upswing.  Some WONDERFUL things happened! 

Miss Madeline turned six. SIX!!!!  What a joy to celebrate her birthday with her and get to experience her excitement.  I will share photos soon!

And we had our ultrasound and found out we are having a healthy baby.  Such a blessing and relief!

So....Lori crabbypants has left the building. 

I got to go to my bible study group this morning for the first time in three weeks.  All seems right with the world again. :)

I hope you have had a great month!

More later,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Songs In My Head

This is Violet's very favorite song to dance to.  I tried to record a video of her dancing to it but she would stop dancing, shake her hand at me and yell, "NO PICTURES MAMA!"

So you are stuck with this video.  Warning:  it is a really dumb video.  Like, really dumb.  But the song?  Vi's fav.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guess What I've Been Doing? Part 2

I have barely posted this month.  Since my last post we had another round of illness but are FINALLY feeling healthy. 

Unfortunately my computer has been on the fritz but I seem to have used my limited knowledge luck to have fixed it.


I am trying to get back into the swing of things after being in sickville for so many weeks.  I have a BIG to-do list before the baby arrives in early September.

Does that sound crazy?  To already have a to-do list?



Listen, people.  It is not going to be pretty around here in August.  I am going to be hugely pregnant. 


Did you know my last baby weighed over 9 pounds?  I looked/felt like I was carrying a 15 pound baby.

Have I ever mentioned that I am generally crabby in August?  Sad, but true.  I do not handle heat/humidity well.  (And that is when I am not preggo.)

So.  The point of this long ramble is that my morning sickness has finally cut down to about half of my day instead of the whole day.  I really need to get some things done now because I can't count on hard-core nesting in August.  I plan on spending August in a swimming pool/sitting in front of a fan in my air-conditioned house.

Before the "great" illness marathon this month I decluttered my entire kitchen.  I only have the rest of my house to go.

I made of goal of being done by Easter (except for the unfinished basement) and I hope I can make it.

The hardest part of decluttering for me is going through toys.  The girls have SO MANY toys.  And they play with them on a very regular basis.  But it just seems like too much.  Do they really need 40 Barbies?  (That is kind of embarrassing to admit.  And that is AFTER I donated some Barbies they don't play with as often. Madeline and Zella each got like 7 or 8 Barbies last Christmas from various family members.)

So I ask you, how many are too many?  How do you declutter your kids' toys?  What are your limits?

I really want to get this under control before baby #4 arrives and my house is inundated with a baby swing, bouncy seat, play mat, and infant toys.

Any suggestions?

(End of rant/ramble)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Guess What I've Been Doing?

Going crazy, that's what.

The girls have been sick sick sick for two weeks.


(Well, except for last Friday.  They all felt ok that day.  Otherwise?  SICK.)

We're talking throwing up every 20 minutes for 12 hours (Zella), temps of 105/tonsillitis/ear infection/influenza A (Violet), RSV for Madeline etc. etc. etc.

All while I hurt my back and could barely move.  My wonderful husband saved the day by taking two days off work to help.  He was Mr. Mom and didn't complain once.  Really. 

Am I lucky or what?

We are finally on the mend.  Only Zella is still sick (influenza A last week, RSV this week).  She is starting to feel better though so the end may be in sight.

I have been crabby cranky impatiently waiting for my 24/7 morning sickness to lessen.

So to wrap up, we are all crabby and hope to be healthy one day.

All kidding aside, I still have a lot to be thankful for.  I get to have another baby, we have great health insurance, and Trav's job is flexible enough to allow him to help out when needed.

There are always blessings if you look for them.

I just had to look a little harder the last two weeks.  :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Overheard at Our House

On my birthday Zella and Madeline were helping me make a cake.  I decided to use a bundt pan so it would look pretty.  Zella looked at Madeline and said, "Why are we using a BUTT PANT to make mama's cake??? That sounds gross!"


Violet was coloring with markers with Travis.  She kept holding up markers and trying to name their color.  She picked up the brown marker and said, "POOP" instead of brown.  I have never laughed so hard in my life.


Zella really misses my Grandpa Lester who passed away.  Every night she prays for Grandpa "LesTURD" in heaven.


Violet adores kittens.  We were at Petco looking at cats and she kept yelling Titty! Titty! at the top of her lungs.  We got a few strange looks.  She also says "toot" instead of cute.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

FAQ About Having Another Baby

So.  We have been sharing our good news that we are adding to our family.  We have received a lot of congratulations, and also a lot of questions/comments.

I thought I'd clear a few things up.

Wow!   Don't you know how that (i.e. getting pregnant) happens?
Um, yes.  If you don't, go ask your mother.  I don't want to have to explain it to you!

You must be trying for that boy!
Sorry to disappoint, but no.  We just wanted to add to our family.  I think Travis and I both assume it is another girl, so if we have a boy we will be SHOCKED.  Seriously.  I would probably faint.  (I am very dramatic!)

Good for you.  You are a lot braver than I am.
This actually means they think we are crazy for having four children.  And it is a little crazy so I take no offense.

How are you ever going to leave the house with all these kids by yourself?
Honestly?  I'm not sure.  I will just do it.  The three we have are only getting older and more independent so that will help. 

Good think you bought the mommy mini-van!
EXACTLY.  I know you are probably being sarcastic, but I am NOT.  Whoever makes fun of mini-vans obviously does not have young kids close in age.  The van doors OPEN THEMSELVES.  I have remote start and a DVD player.  I don't care who makes fun of what I drive, I love my van!!!!!

You are going to have to move to a bigger house!
Listen, people.  Travis We are not finished remodeling this house in the first place.  Trav just finished his studio a couple months ago and we are not leaving this house yet.  Yes, I know we only have a half-story upstairs.  Yes, I am aware our bedrooms are small.  I shared a room until I was 16 and I don't think it's a big deal the girls share a room.  Violet and the baby will each have their own room.  We will survive.

You don't waste any time, do you.
This comment alludes to how close in age our children are.  Madeline and Zella are 19 months apart, Zella and Violet and 26 months apart, and Violet and the baby will be 2 1/2 years apart.  So you see, this is the furthest we've ever spaced it.  All I can say is, that is what happens when you wait 6 years into your marriage to have kids and you are 35.  (And you want to have a big family.)

You are going to have your hands full!
Why yes I am.  In a good way.  I love being a mom and feel very lucky we get to add to our family.

So now you know. 

Thanks for all the well wishes.  We are excited to meet our little one in September!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Well, I Did It.

I turned 35.  How did that happen?????  The last ten years seems to have flown by.  Although, life has seemed to be on fast forward since I became a mother almost six years ago.  You always hear how they grow up in a blink of an eye, but it is TRUE.

I have to say....I think

image from one of my fav blogs, Whatever

I have a pretty sweet set-up in life.  I have a great hubby who I still think is cute and funny.  (Plus I've learned over our 11 year marriage that he is handy and VERY hard-working.  Total plus.)

I've got three hilarious, adorable daughters who make me laugh every single day.  (They also make me crazy sometimes but that is part of it, right?)

In about six months I get to have ANOTHER baby to complete our family.  (Did you hear that, Trav???? We are not having a 5th kid, okay????)

I get to stay at home with the kids (which I love).
I get to live in the same town as my parents and two of my sisters.  (Am still holding out hope my twin sis and my brother could end up here someday too.)

I am part of a great bible study that is changing me in some amazing ways. 

I am lucky to have some really great girlfriends who understand me, support me and love me for who I am.

So I ask you, how could 35 NOT be a great year?


Thanks for all the birthday wishes.  Travis and the girls took me to a movie, shopping and out to eat.  The girls gave me jewelry from a local store that they each picked out themselves.  And I can honestly say I would have picked each piece out if I were choosing.  Bonus!  They were so excited and so sweet.  I am a lucky gal.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Case of Duh-Lori Strikes Again

So I decide to make homemade brownies cut into hearts for Valentine's Day.  Only I was a little pressed for time and the girls were all cranky/needy/whining so I was a little distracted.

I made the first batch with no problems and stuck them in the oven.  Realizing I needed another batch I got to work mixing the ingredients.  It came time to put the eggs in.  The carton had six eggs and I had already used two for the first batch.  I pick up an egg and crack it on the side of the bowl.  Only nothing happens.  The egg is cracked but nothing is coming out.

I was so confused. 

So I tried again and most of the shell slipped off.

Revealing a hard-boiled egg.

A hard-boiled egg? 

Apparently Travis had hard-boiled four eggs and didn't mark them or tell me so I thought they were raw.  I tried to substitute half and half for the eggs (which Google advised me to do) but the brownies were ruined.

Duh Lori!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Miss Violet Turns Two

Two years ago my sweet Violet was born on Valentine's Day (best.valentine.ever.). Wow, that was quick. Two years of our funny, kind, stubborn baby girl.

Violet has brought a lot of joy and laughter into our family. She is a sweet, kind, hilarious, thoughtful and caring little girl. Unless you make her mad and then she is stubborn and very vocal about it! She is into everything, which means that I can't leave her alone for a moment.  She is very clever about getting into things she knows she is not supposed to.  She is sneaky and smart...a dangerous combination.

Madeline and Zella adore Violet and the feeling is mutual. Zella and Vi have become buddies the last couple months and they play well together (finally!). Violet is always asking for "Lella" and Zella loves it. Madeline and Violet are always snuggling and reading books. It is so fun to watch them together and see their relationships grow.

Violet loves to dance, sing, look at books and cuddle. She is especially fond of babies, markers and stampers.  She is a great sleeper thank goodness.  She sleeps about 12 hours a night and naps for an hour or two each day.  I totally lucked out.  Eating, on the other hand, has been a challenge.  She used to be a great eater, but lost interest about 8 months ago.  I guess she would rather be playing.

We are SO THANKFUL she is part of our family.  We couldn't imagine life without our little "cupcake". 

Violet was very excited for her birthday.  She kept saying "I'm two!", and "CUPCAKE!" on the day of her party.  It is so fun experiencing life with her.

Pics of her big day:
Papa and Violet


So serious!  Blowing out candles.


Loving her ice cream.

Opening presents.

Loving her new doll.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Locks of Love

A couple months ago Madeline heard about Locks of Love, an organization that uses donated hair to make wigs for children who have no hair.  It really bothered her that some kids lost their hair.  So she decided to donate ten inches of her hair to the organization.  We are SO proud of her for thinking of others!  Plus she has a super cute new hairdo that she loves.  It's a win-win.

Check out the cuteness...

Madeline before.  She used to want her hair
as long as Rapunzel.

The big moment!

Madeline after, looking older.
After Zella saw her sister's cute new hairdo, she decided she wanted hers cut short too.   It turned out adorable!

Kristy cutting  five inches off of Zella's hair.

Short and sassy, just like Zella.

Violet after her haircut (just a trim).
We are so proud of our girls!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let it Snow


Violet would not let me put her down on the snow hills.

Exploring with Josie.

Madeline and Zella.

Playing in the backyard.

Swinging just wasn't the same...

Enjoying hot chocolate.


Tired but happy.