Saturday, January 30, 2010

Conflicted

Lately I've been finding myself very frustrated with religion.
I am religious. Always have been. Love God. Believe in Him. Take great comfort in the fact that when all else fails I can talk to HIM and He will listen, without judgment.

Herein lies my dilemma. Since the nearly three years since Jeff and I got married and moved to Helena, we haven't been able to agree on a church or a time to attend.
Jeff has to work Saturday nights. Personally, I like to go to Church on Saturdays the best. We've been talking about trying to go to the 5:00 p.m. mass but its been two weeks since we last talked about this and we still haven't been able to go. I've thought about just taking Caderyn with me and going alone, but that really hasn't happened yet either. Sunday mornings are hard for us to get up and moving when Jeff works so late into the nights. Also- the only Sunday church times we've found conflict with Caderyn's nap time that he's had in place since birth. The boy goes down at 8 and sometimes wakes up at 11:45. Trust me, you don't want to wake this little boy up or he is cranky!

Another issue we have are the churches in Helena. We can't find a church that seems to fit us as a family. The church we're members of is...just...a little odd. I find a lot of the memebers are too relaxed with their children and lacking in discipline. I'm sorry, but you don't go to church looking like you've just rolled out of bed. Pajama pants are NOT acceptable. Also, if you're 7 years or older, you should understand a few things about church. One, you do not lay across the seats when everyone else is standing and kick your sisters in the back. 2. You don't sing some random song out loud when people are trying to pray. Jeff and I also find it a bit...creepy... that the only stained glass art they have in the church is a depiction of a fetus evolving from a DNA strand. SERIOUSLY. I get the concept, but still...
Then there's another church closer to where we live but even more relaxed than the first one. We didn't stay past communion at that one.
Then there's the Cathedral. Beautiful, follows the routine Jeff and I were raised on and there just so happens to be a lot of people we know that go there. But, its at an odd time and its just so big that the sense of commuity feels very aloof.

So, what do we do?  I'm just so frustrated. I know we should just buck up and go but its so hard to walk into a building that makes you uncomfortable.
At this moment, I'm sure God understands and knows that we carry our faith and celebrate it together as a family. But I just feel so out of place.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Emily!

Emily is THREE today!
Emily  is the best because: 
  • She has overcome so many odds
  • She has the most beautiful smile
  • She loves to go for horse rides on your knee
  • She loves to read books
  • She is very silly
  • She is surrounded by lots of love
Happy Birthday Emily! We love you!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I want this...


If only I were rich and had a big and trendy looking house...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma!


Happy Birthday Grandma!!
My Grandma is the best because:
  • She is sweetest, most thoughtful woman in the world.
  • He laugh is contagious
  • Her hands are always cool and soft
  • She used to tickle my back for hours and hours on end
  • She always sends sweet notes in the mail and chooses the most perfect card
  • She loves decorating
  • She's fiesty
  • She was a stay at home mom with five busy little kids who managed to make it out with her sanity still intact :)
  • She has a sweet tooth and so do I!!!!!
  • She loves to read and so do I!!!!!
  • She always had fun toys ready to go for the grandkids when we were younger. I remember, especially, the box of dress up clothes.
  • She is the epitome of love. 
We love you Grandma! Happy Birthday!!!!!

Almost...

For those of you that don't know my good friend Sarah (yes, we have the same name), you may not know that Sarah made an amazing decision to move to Hawaii this past fall. I'm terribly jealous because I LOVE HAWAII. I love the beaches, I love the sand, I love the fruit, I love the colors, I love the weather, I love everything about it.
Side note: Not only does Sarah live in Hawaii but she works at Coach. Okay, will someone tell her she's almost completely stolen my fantasy life of 1. Living in Hawaii 2. Working for a designer purse place so I can have all the purses I want...allllllll the purses I want Mwahahaha and 3. Marrying Robert Pattison. Now she hasn't yet reached my third dream goal yet, but at the rate she's going, she's bound to get there soon. FIE!
Anyway, back on track.
So yes, Sarah moved to Hawaii and has politely been requesting visits from yours truly. I say politely, because she really doesn't have to push the request on me. As soon as she said Hawaii I was already there. Now the orchestration begins. I want to go and visit Sarah in August. Its pretty much the only gift I am asking for my birthday. I want money to help me buy a plane ticket or to have for spending fun while I'm there. I think I will do okay if this is all I ask for. But now the real tricky part begins.
1. I am married and
2. I have a baby

So I've been playing around with some dates in August- trying to figure out when would be the best time to take a vacation. I can't go any earlier because I really can't take any time off in the summer (Boo) and I can't go any later because then Jeff is swamped covering football. So, August it is.
But what about the Bub?
I'm looking at being gone 6-7 days. That's a long time for my little man to be alone with Daddy and a Daddy who works full-time.
Brainstorm. Brainstorm. Brainstorm. Talk to my dad. Brainstorm. Brainstorm. Brainstorm.
So after lots of talking to Jeff and my parents and some side conversations with Sarah. This is what I think will work.
1. Jeff, Caderyn and I are going to fly down to Phoenix on Allegiant.
2. Jeff is going to take a min-vaca and golf which is nice because then I have help on the plane ride down there.
3. I am going to fly out of Phoenix to Hawaii because I can get a round-trip ticket for like $350. Totaled together with my ticket to Phoenix and we're maybe looking at a $500 ticket total. Not too shabby!
4. My parents will watch Caderyn for the week that I'm gone
5. Jeff will fly back a happy man because he got some premium golf and pool time in
6. I will be in Hawaii with my Sarah!
7. I will fly back to Phoenix, grab my little guy and fly back home!
8. Genius!!!!!

If everything continues to fall into place and we get the right price for our plane tickets, I will be here

In the blink of an eye.
Excitement all around!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I want this...


I want this owl bedding set from Dwell Studio for Caderyn when he gets older. They'll match his wall stickers perfecly!!!!

Happy Birthday Craig!

I am a bad daughter-in-law. I'm a day late in this post. Sorry Craig!

Craig is the best because:
  • He loves helping people out.
  • He is a history buff
  • He can carry on great conversations
  • He is a fabulous Papa
  • He is a nurse- and an DANG good one! If I were ever in surgery, I would definitely want him  around!
  • He brews his own beer
  • He's an adventurous chef
  • He will teach Caderyn and any other children we have so much about the world
We love you Craig!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I love...


This picture is of my swee little boy watching his daddy in the kitchen. Although he is an adament Mama's boy, Caderyn loves watching his Daddy. I love the innocence and curiosity in this picture.
If one of us is in the kitchen, Caderyn has to be right there standing at the gate talking to us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wonderful Words

In my Children's Literature class, we have three projects due. The first project involves having to read a minimum of 20 Caldecott Award Winning books and analzing the illustrations and how they emphasize the meaning of the story. For those of you who don't know what the Caldecott Award signifies (its okay I didn't), it signifies an award of the highest degree to U.S. illustrator.
The book is essentially a younger children's book about a house with light. As you read further on, you'll see that light begins to signify love. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. The illustrator, Beth Krommes uses only three colors: white, black and yellow. Anything yellow in the book signifies and object of light or love. I think the purpose of the book is to help a younger child, who is possibly afraid of the dark, see that even though it is dark there's still an essence of light in their room and, thus, love. So they need not be afraid of the dark when there's light and love filling their room.
It's a wonderful book with very simple wording that I think every parent should have on their shelf to share with their children!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back to school, back to school

Over the holidays, Jeff and I made a big decision.
I am going back to school.
I say that Jeff and I made this decision because its going to require a lot of patience and understanding on his part. Yes the house will probably be more messy, there will be less homemade dinners and he'll have to entertain the little guy more, but in the long run, I think this is one of the best decisions we've made in awhile.

I'm going back to get my Elementary Education degree. It won't happen overnight because I am going to continue working full-time at Carroll, but I know I'll get there eventually. I am able to take up to 6 credits free through the college, so that's basically what I'm doing. I have two classes, Monday through Friday. MWF  I have a one hour class called Theology and Gender (I have to take a Theology class in order to graduate from Carroll- its essentially one of the two general classes I have to take). T and TR I have Children's Literature.
Both are going to be challenging but enlightening and I can honestly say I'm excited to be doing something different and have a purpose!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mr. 10-Month Old

I can't believe our little guy is ten months old. Time has just flown! Before we know it, he'll be one!

Caderyn is:

  • Crawling everywhere
  • Saying, "Ma-Ma" "Da-Da" and "Ba-Ba" (but with no association)
  • Pointing
  • Waving
  • Pulling himself up on furniture and walking while holding it
  • Eating bread, cheese (he likes these), peaches, green beans and macaroni and cheese (still not to sure about these)
  • Loving reading books and exploring
  • Getting into EVERYTHING!
  • Such a Mr. Sillypants
He loves tub time

Showing off his silly side

Such a sweetie

An Amazing Discovery!

This past weekend I discovered...WALL STICKERS! They are wonderful and look like they were almost painted on! I bought some for Caderyn's room.
I have two before pictures of his wall, when its bare (this was me taking pictures of the room before he was even born!) and then I have some after pictures!

BEFORE


AFTER



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday! She is the best because:
  • Family always comes first
  • She is the youngest of five children
  • She loves working out and gets other people motivated
  • She's a teacher
  • She has a wonderful sense of humor
  • She's the most loving and caring person on Earth
  • She makes enchiladas that are amazing
  • She's always down for a sweet treat
  • She's optimistic and believes in the power of prayer
  • She's beautiful inside and out

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A sigh of relief

Jeff and I are by no means poverty stricken. We both have good paying jobs and we're able to pay off our monthly bills. We try to split bill paying between both our pay checks. Jeff pays for rent and utilities and I pay for the car, my student loans and any other bills that come our way.

We managed to knock Caderyn's birth bill out fairly quickly (all the while our eyeballs were bulging at how much it actually costs to have a baby) and then the bills from his week long stay in April started rolling in.

Caderyn wound up in the hospital for a whole week with RSV. This was basically a cold, but, because he was so young (5 weeks old) it started attacked him in other ways. He was plugged up to the point where he would turn a tint of blue when he was sleeping and he had such a horrible cough they were worried about pneumonia. He was hooked up to oxygen all week and they had to do breathing treatments. We still don't know how he got it because he hadn't been around anyone who was sick!
The treatment we got was phenomenal and I can't thank the nurses and doctors enough for all of their help and understanding...but...wowza! Talk about expensive.
Money has been a little bit tight ever since. Every month I write that check to the hospital and as much as I wish we could use that money to go toward something else, I know that with each check, we're getting closer to paying off another bill and being able to put more money in savings, or towards student loans or buying the much anticipated mini-van. Oh yes, the mini-van.

So this Christmas we were in Great Falls with Jeff's family and after opening presents on Christmas Eve Jeff's mom passed out cards to each of the siblings. Inside was a beautiful card with a special note from Jeff's Mema who had made her journey to Heaven after a long battle with Alzheimer's in July. She had also given each of the kids a significant gift that made Jeff breathe a huge sigh of relief and say, "We can finally pay off his whole hospital bill."
I told Jeff he could do whatever he wanted with the gift. He didn't have to put it in savings, he didn't have to pay off any bills, he didn't have to do anything with it he didn't want to do. I told him he could go on a trip to Tennessee and visit family or use it to go see his Grandparents in California if he wanted to. But, my sweet husband decided to use his gift to help our family out.
You have no idea how much we've been smiling this week after writing, hopefully our last hospital bill (until we have another baby!). I'm going to try and celebrate this weekend by surprising Jeff and taking him to a movie.
From the bottom of our hearts Mema, thank you so very much. I wish I could have met you and you could have gotten to hold your great-grandchild.
I feel like I do know you in a way though, through the wonderful stories Pam ,Craig and all of your granchildren tell about you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finally- A Recap of Christmas 2009


Lucy opening presents


Spending some time in Missoula with Mimi and Papa before Christmas







Mimi was so happy to have her guy


















Caderyn got to see his aunt and uncles. Here he is with Aunt Jenny after Christmas Eve mass

Caderyn was ready for Santa to come!

And when he woke up there was fresh snow and lots of presents!
                                                     We spent all day opening presents















And got to spend lots of time with family and friends.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Movie Everyone Should See At Least Once

Inglorious Basterds. Now I know some of you may gasp at the fact that I'm suggesting you watch a foul-tongued, gore-filled Quentin Tarantino movie. I personally happen to like Tarantino's style of directing- this one was a little bit different for me than all of the rest.
It was such a good movie! Yes, its fiction, yes its gory and yes there's lots of cuss-words. But I think the main reason everyone should watch this movie is to see this guy in action:

This is Christoph Waltz.  He is an Austrian actor that was cast to play the sinister Col. Hans Landa aka "The Jew Hunter."
His portrayal of this character was phenomenal. He manages to be creepy, evil, somewhat likeable and even funny all at once. He's been nominated for a Golden Globe and I sure as all heck hope he wins because he does an amazing job!
So for those of you who haven't seen this movie, its about Nazi-occupied France. It revolves around a few characters.
  • Shosanna (Melanie Laurent)- a French Jew whose family is killed by Landa. Shosanna escapes death and is living in disguise in France. She is posing as a cinema owner who catches the eye of a Nazi war hero Pvt. Frederick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl). He becomes slightly infatuated with her and somehow is able to convince the higher-ranking Nazi officials to have an illustrious movie premier (his own movie) at her cinema. Knowing that tons of high ranking Nazi officials, including Hitler himself, will be at this premier Shosanna begins to plot her revenge to destroy the Nazis.
  • Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt)- the leader of a group of American Jews called "The Basterds" have been implanted in France. Here's one of my most favorite movie quotes from him to explain exactly what they're supposed to be doing: "You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, Business is a-boomin'."
So basically, Raine and eight others are in France killing Nazi's and leaving a trail of fear. They rarely let people live and if they do, they carve swastikas into their foreheads. Raine and his men get wind from a German movie star (Diane Kruger) that all four of the German leaders are going to this movie premier. The Basterds then plan a suicide mission to kill 'em all.

I'm not going to give away the ending, you'll just have to watch it to see how this whole thing pans out.
Oh and the character Brad Pitt plays is probably one of his best roles in a long time!

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 What a Year!


Let me first start by saying that I've fallen way behind over the holidays. I'm putting up a New Year picture before any of the Christmas ones. Oh well, c'est la vie.

2009 was a year of extreme and happy changes for our little family. Here's some review of each month.

January: We came back to -40 below after two weeks in Phoenix for Christmas. What a shock.
Jeff was promoted to Sports Editor at the newspaper. I hopped on a plane to Vegas just a week shy of my third trimester to have a girls weekend at the Miss America Pageant. My ankles were never the same again.

February:  I began my last trimester and continued to grow larger and larger and larger. Had two baby showers thrown by my mother-in-law and a friend at Carroll. Made it to the Hospice Ball in Missoula only to sit the entire time while someone rubbed my sore and swollen ankles. Jeff continued to work like a madman.

March: I turned 24 and voila, before we knew it Jeff and I were the parents of our sweet little boy. We were flung into parenthood and the days and nights blended together very quickly. My mom came to visit and help us out for a week and we also had a nice long string of visitors. Jeff's parents have only been able to go about three weeks at the longest without seeing Caderyn before they start having withdrawals :)

April: Still figuring out the whole baby thing. My parents came the week of Easter. Caderyn ended up in the hospital for a week with RSV (very scary).

May: I went to Phoenix to visit my parents. This was Caderyn's first plane ride. I also started back at work full time the second to last week of May.

June: Jeff turned 26 and found a new love in golfing. I worked my butt off and Taylor came to Helena for the summer- yay! My parents came to visit at the end of the month and were stationed in Helena for about two weeks.

July: I was OFF for two weeks straight- thus ending my maternity leave, but getting some amazing quality time with family and friends. Back to work full, full time.

August: Nothing big really happened in August.Oh! Our friends Denny and Janine had a little boy. Jeff started another football season.

September: Jeff was deep into football season and very stressed out. We went to California over Labor Day weekend and had a really nice time visiting family and friends.

October: Football. Work. Baby.

November: Football. Work. Baby. Caderyn's first Thanksgiving in Great Falls! Black Friday shopping.

December: Football ended. Lots of Christmas parties. Caderyn's first Christmas!!!!

And that's our year in review.