Sunday, November 30, 2014

2014 thanksgiving fun

I'm not sure how it's possible that November is over and I'm writing a recap of our thanksgiving weekend fun- but here we are. Another month of 2014 in the books and another great holiday with our families!!!

We kick off thanksgiving every year on Wednesday night at Jimmy's parent's house.  Last year, I took off the Wednesday before thanksgiving (mainly bc I was just finding out I pregnant..), but this year we both hurried home, swooped up the kiddos from school and off we went- cheeseball and pumpkin dip in hand!

First things selfies.  Ha.  It's just so crazy because our nieces and nephews are seriously growing up SO fast!  They know and love selfies- so us adults partake (and we love it too....)

Then Libbie, our oldest niece, came over and asked to hold Maddie.  I said yes and off they went!  Pretty cool to have so many older cousins and now they are old enough to take care of their younger cousins!!

Everyone in the kitchen!  And you can kind of see the view of Sue's awesome table settings.  She always has everything looking so nice. Such a fun tradition!

The first hour we were there Charlie was whining the whole time and hanging off jimmy and I- so so unlike him when other kids are around to play with...especially his cousins. I was worried at first something was wrong.  Apparently all it took was Uncle Tim and cousin Ben rough housing him to get in the mood to play.  After this incident - he was unstoppable running around everywhere.   Thank goodness because Jimmy and I were sick of having him hang off our legs!

Before dinner - there was a sweet little tea party that Katy and Norah put on!

When I came over - they were going on and on how Maddie LOVED the tea.  Haha!  Seriously - these kids have the best cousins ever.


Before dinner - it was time to break the wishbone.  I love this moment between Libbie and Ben and to see the look on their mom's face as they fight to break it!!  

After a yummy dinner - the wrestling began.  Always wrestling.

Then there was name picking for the kid's gift exchange which Libbie always heads up and then playing board games.  Maddie is working on sitting up and tried to join in the game! 

Finally - it was time for my favorite Thanksgiving tradition with the Carter's.  Grana's Christmas jammies.  She makes matching PJs for all 10 of the grandkids and the girls are matching and boys are matching.  So so cute! 

To cap off the night - there was DANCING to you tube videos (some of Charlie's favorites: Shake it Off, Happy by Pharrell and finally - LET IT GO).  Needless to say - we had to literally carrying him out to the car kicking and screaming because he didn't want to leave at 8:15 - about an hour after his bedtime.

And Maddie?  She didn't sleep a wink and was passed around to everyone and took it all like a champ.

However - the late bedtimes meant early wake ups for these kiddos and even earlier for their dad because he was in charge of the turkey cooking for my mom's side of the family Thanksgiving that we were hosting at 11AM.

I did give him heck because he was going to so much work buying all the fresh ingredients and prepping the turkey, etc. but man was it GOOD.  It was totally working it so thanks Jam!!

Got a picture of our food spread - it was delicious!

And a quick one of our table.  Oh this table.  I love you so much.  

And I love the centerpieces that Sue let us take with us to put on our tables!!  So nice!

Finally - a family picture to commemorate Thanksgiving 2014 and Maddie's first Thanksgiving!  Yes we deocrated for Christmas even though we hosted Thanksgiving.  Mainly because it's SO much work to put up decorations and for only a couple of weeks - no thank you!  We have been enjoying our tree for a while now!  And I've actually still been adding some decor.  Excited that red/teal/silver is our official Christmas colors!!

The next day - Black Friday.  We usually go shopping at the Legends the night of Thanksgiving, but this year we had already done some pre Black Friday shopping and I had to work a half day the next morning because the stock markets are open (why!?) mom went to work and dad was at home with both of them alone for the first extended period of time.  It was great.  Everyone was dressed, Maddie ate a bottle and napped.  Success dad!!

Then dad went to his happy hour with his brothers and Charlie, Maddie and I had our own happy hour at Sonic.

And watched lots of Frozen.  

PSA - holding your little sister while watching and singing Frozen never ends up good.


This time of the year is always SO hectic with family events and friend events and work events...the list goes on and on.  I've been doing shopping early and trying to stay ahead.  I am getting surgery on my foot on Thursday so will be in a boot for a while and moving a little praying that will force us to slow down more (since I'm literally slower) and enjoy the holidays!

Hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving too!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

One year ago

One year ago today (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2013), I headed to the OBGYN because I was pregnant.  The thing is - I didn't know how pregnant I was - hence why I was going to the OBGYN.

One year ago today, I was tired.  I had a sleepless night the night before.  I remember it vividly.  I was up all night thinking about what was to come.  The Thursday before, I had taken a pregnancy test after throwing up earlier that week after changing a poopy diaper and yep - it was positive.  I was in the middle of interviewing for a new job.  We had only moved just a few months ago.  Only weeks away from finishing grad school.  Working crazy hours at work.  And all of a sudden I was pregnant.  I went in for a blood test on Monday afternoon.  That Tuesday afternoon, I called to get the results and the nurse told me that my HGC levels were REALLY high.  Meaning I was either around 3 months pregnant or pregnant with multiples.  Or so the nurse told me - the only way we would know for sure was a sonogram.  Hence why I didn't sleep a wink.

One year ago today, I arrived at the OBGYN and were waiting for my parents to arrive because they were off work that day and we had told them the big (and surprising to them!) news the previous night because I couldn't keep from them like I did the first time.  I went into the sonogram room by myself because they were running late.  I was scared.

One year ago today, this is what I got to see on the screen in front of me.

The sonogram technician who was SO sweet confirmed.  There was just one and I was 8 weeks along (she was also the same one that did Maddie's 20 week ultrasound and confirmed she was a healthy girl!).  I am not going to lie when I say that I breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't twins.  It wasn't necessarily the twins thing that scared me - but the cost of two infants in day care.  I had just gotten the day care cost the Friday before and almost fainted.  

She told me "What a wonderful start to your Thanksgiving week".  I remember it like it was yesterday.  

Because she was right.  There are so many things that I am regularly thankful for, but for some reason we like to get pregnant around the same time of the year - so we have had two special Thanksgiving gifts.  One when we found out that we were pregnant with Charlie that we had been trying for several months to have and another when we found out we were pregnant with Maddie that completely took us off guard - and changed our world in the best way possible...both times.

I went to lunch after with my mom, dad and sister.  Just the original Bruns clan.  And we celebrated. A sweet little baby.  In the midst of a chaotic year and stressful times, God had blessed us with a pregnancy.  And while I am not going to lie, I was a little terrified....but as we know, God is good.  He's so good.

Because today - I get to kiss this smiling girl's face.  My baby girl, Madeline.  My mini-me.  The one that made me a girl mom and get to experience the process of growing, delivering and falling in love with a sweet little baby all over again.  She made my heart grow in ways I didn't think we're possible.

At almost 5 months old...I for one am so glad and so thankful for her.

It's pretty crazy how life can change so much in just one year.  And for us, there were so many changes...all of which we are thankful for.

I'm also very thankful there will be no pregnancy tests this thanksgiving.... :)

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Meeting Santa

I know this is early - because it's not even Thanksgiving yet....but for some reason this year I'm SO aware that the holiday season is close and am like so scared it's going to sneak up on me, I feel like I'm trying to do everything early.  Christmas shopping is half way done (love Amazon), most of the Christmas decor is up (besides the stocking I had to order for Maddie!) AND we went and saw Santa last weekend.

We went back to Bass Pro in Olathe and got there first thing on a Saturday morning, just like we did last year.  This year we obviously had one more babe in tow, which made it a little more fun.  And the fact that Charlie was actually into all the fun events and things they had to do - it was a great little Saturday morning.

We tried out all the fun toys at Bass Pro and even rode the reindeer on the carousel!!

HOWEVER.  The whole meeting Santa thing.

Well - it was not quite the picturesque moment I had in my head.  Yeah, not at all.  But I should have seen that coming from a mile away.

Maddie - she was the perfect angel.  I handed her off to Santa and she was just as happy as can be.  Charlie wanted NOTHING to do with Old St. Nick.  He did want a candy cane, but that was about it.

So obviously, we forced him to go stand with his sister.  And this is what we got.


My sister in law put it best with her comment on Instagram...Maddie must have something BIG on her list because she was so good.  

The funny thing was that of course after we left Bass Pro all he could do was talk about Santa.  Seriously kid?  And he's been talking about him for the last 2 days now.  Good thing we will likely have a chance to meet with him again this year at a neighborhood hayride...but we'll see how it goes.

Just a reminder of what an angel he was in his picture last year.

Guess the tude he has now is what turning 2 will do you, eh?

I love Bass Pro and I love meeting Santa.

What I cannot wait for is when Charlie actually GETS that Santa only brings him presents if he's good and listens to his mom and dad...

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

You win some, you lose some

This weekend.  Oh my.  

These past few months since I have been back at work, Jimmy and I have had our bumps in this crazy journey called parenting.  A four month old that goes from sleeping 10-12 hours per night to waking up every 1-2 hours (OMG) and an almost 2.5 year old that decided he is going to start waking up 2 times a night too (OMG x 2)...which hasn't happened in like over a year.  

Saturday night, we had our first dose of the stomach flu with our sweet Charlie.  We knew when he went to sleep that he had a fever and was literally so tired he was falling asleep in the bathtub that he obviously wasn't feeling good.  But after I fed Maddie at 10, I walked by his room and it SMELLED.  When I walked in, I found my sweet boy had thrown up on the sheets in his crib.  Dead asleep. It was honestly the saddest thing I have ever seen.  

After several loads of laundry, forcing some water down him, we laid him back down.  Two hours later, up again doing the same thing - luckily this time (for us, not him), it was just bile because there wasn't anything left in his poor stomach.  It's always fun doing like 17 loads of laundry at night, right?  And then right after I got him settled back down and back to sleep for the third time - 4AM rolled around and Miss Maddie decided she was hungry.  Oh my.  These kids.  Needing us for everything - it's exhausting.

But the other side of this weekend?  It was magical.  We did almost nothing all Saturday.  We had my sister over for a birthday breakfast, she and I went shopping and then we took the kids to see Santa at Bass Pro shop.  Then we did NOTHING the rest of the day.  Charlie took an extra long nap (hence the beginning of his sickness...clue #1 to first time mamas - if your baby's take longer than normal can be an indication that they are sick - at least for mine it is!) and I spent 2 hours alone in my bed with my baby girl.  We laughed, I fed her, and we slept next to each other.  That alone time that I loved while I was on maternity leave that I barely get with her anymore while she is literally growing up and changing every second - I got such a good dose of that.

Charlie felt so much better when he woke up on Sunday and even better after a nice long nap.  And he was so funny.  We put the Christmas tree/decorations up on Saturday and he pulled down every ornament that makes noise and put them in a perfect line and pushed all the buttons and danced.  And he watched movies ALL day.  I mean he was sick - so I guess that's what you get to do on sick days - but he was in heaven.  Tarzan, The Incredibles, Little Mermaid, Frozen - oh my.  He even got "his turn" in Maddie's jumper.  This kid.  

We played in the basement and did underdog with Elmo in the swing, went up and down the slide saying "HIIIIIII" to each other, drummed everything and sang Silent Night really loud.

Weekends where we are somewhat "stuck" in the house all weekend can be LONG.  Especially when you get no sleep.  And this one was no exception.  By 4PM Sunday night, Jimmy and I looked at each other and said "how is it possibly ONLY 4PM?".

So yes, we are exhausted.

Part of me is asking for a vacation to escape real life for a bit.  And then the other part of me...sitting here at night, watching Home Alone in bed with Jimmy, the fire going and both kids sound asleep (watch out - this might jinx me!)...realizes that these days won't last forever.  Soon I won't have 2 in diapers.  My baby will start eating baby food and start wanting to eat from me less.  Soon - I won't have anyone following me around yelling "MOM!" when I'm 2 steps away.  It will be sooner rather than later, I'm sure of it when our house is all too quiet and filled with self sufficient kids.  Even though it felt like a loss this weekend in the parenting world - loss of sleep mainly - I'm counting it as a win.  Because I've gotten better in my own mindset of not waiting for nap time I can accomplish what I think it important or on my to do list.  I'm counting it as a win because I'm finally starting to realize that Charlie and Maddie ARE my to do list.  And honestly, most everything else can wait.

So tonight - I'm saying a prayer for these weekends.  Sick or not sick.  I'm thankful for the time with my sweet little family and that I get the great honor of caring for these two little people.  I would do anything for these babies and that's just the way it should be.

Cheers to the start of Thanksgiving week!!

Maddie went to sleep to Christmas music and bells on her dad's lap!

And watched football sans pants

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The KC Royals

So let's rewind back to the month of October...

In case you were living under a baseball rock this fall....the KC Royals went to the world series for the first time in TWENTY NINE years.  Yes.  Since 1985.  That was when I was born.  That was a long time ago.

And in case you weren't aware - my husband is a HUGE Royals fan.

Like he's watched every game every night it's on TV for as long as I have known him.  He goes to Kauffman Stadium to see them whenever he gets a chance (which was a lot more prior to us having kids).  We used to go out on random Sundays and buy $7 tickets, sit in the outfield and he would keep score and I would read a book.  Yes.  It's true.

That was when they were horrible and no one wanted to go watch them lose...again.

But Jimmy still did and hung in there with the team.

And magically, 2014 was their year.  They made it to the World Series.  And this is how this super fan celebrates a World Series birth at home with two kids.  I just had to video it - because let's be honest...I'm not sure when this will happen again.  But if it does and this blog is still around - I'll video it again so you can compare.  Hopefully it's not another 29 years.

Needless to say - man oh man was he excited.  Like so excited.

He went to the Wild Card game in KC with all his brothers, dad and 2 of our nephews and stated it was the best day of his life.  I'm going to just tell myself that does not include major life events - like marrying me or the births of our two children.  Who knows if that is true - but that's what I like to tell myself.

Carter boys - Wild Card game, Sept 30, 2014

It seems like EVERYONE was a Royal's fan too!  Royal's gear was flying off the shelves and the whole town got into it.  I have to say it was really fun!!

We even dressed up our kids in Royal's gear QUITE regularly.  They seemed to like it (thanks Pops for the gear!)

So when it came down to buying tickets - I was torn.  They were so expensive and with Maddie starting day care full time we for sure have other things to spend our money on. Trust me. 

But this little voice inside my head kept telling me, you have to let Jimmy go to at least one game.  This is 29 years in the making and it's the WORLD SERIES.  I wasn't quite sure how we were going to get him those tickets- but I knew I wanted him to go and experience it himself!

And just like that - any opportunity arose and some extra tickets went on sale on the Royals website and Jimmy's youngest brother snatched some up.  We tried, but apparently you could only do it on a computer and unfortunately we were in the car on the way to the lake.  So when Bobby said we could buy them from him for a price - I said "DONE" and I literally thought Jimmy was going to start crying.  Lets just say it sort of pained me to spend that much money on a baseball ticket - but guess what, he's worth it!

Off we went to Game 2 of the world series at Kauffman Stadium and man was it exciting!!  The Royals lost game 1 the previous night, so the fans were all into it and then they boys in blue delivered 5 runs in the 6th inning and ended up beating the Giants 7 - 2.  That inning was AMAZING!  Like everyone was jumping up and down and screaming and high fiving.  I have never been to a sporting event quite like it and it made me proud to be from KC!  Jimmy was who knows where because he said he was unlucky in those seats - guess he was right!!

The view from up top!!

So then the Royals made it to GAME 7.  I mean really???  And guess what?  I won tickets in the Crown Seats (aka the seats right behind home plate with free drinks and free food..) from work.  And Jimmy's dad was amazing and got him a ticket!  Luckily, Jimmy landed back in KC from a work trip to DC that night and headed straight to Kauffman to hang out with these boys again!

I, on the other hand, car pooled with a bunch of male co workers who were also drawn for the lucky tickets, but was having a pretty good time myself!!

Erin Andrews strutting across the field and the Pandas in the Crown Seats

Me and the Marlins Man.

Eric Hosmer - this shot was for Lyssa....

In the fourth inning - mama needed a break.  Don't worry - I had lots of wipes and hand sanitizer.  But a mom has got to do what a mom has got to do.  The worst part was that all the guys I was with were like "wow - we were worried about you".  I told them the bar was out of diet pepsi....

Unfortunately, the end was pretty bad.  I really thought they were going to come back and win and like the rest of the crowd, we were in shock that they lost like that.

I was driving Jimmy's car home, so I went to meet him in the parking lot and had to walk through all the press waiting outside the locker room.  It was VERY somber and sad.  Poor guys - they were so close to a world series win!!!!

But guess what?  It was pretty surreal itself getting to actually go to a World Series game (actually 2) and I'm so glad we did!!!!  Jimmy can now never say that I'm not a "fun wife" right??!

Here's to next year for the boys in blue to take the Crown!  (well at least don't wait 29 years this time..)

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Maddie gets baptized

So today - I was upstairs in our bedroom feeding Maddie. I wore a dress (which I never do because it's not nursing friendly) and Maddie needed her diaper changed, clothes changed and to be fed.  She had bee so patient while I was getting the food ready for everyone to eat right when we got home from church.  I was sitting there feeding her and listening to the chaos downstairs.  It was loud - filled with lots of kids running around and screaming, lots of adults talking and catching up and most important - lots of love.

Sitting there in silence feeding my sweet girl listening to everything that was going on downstairs - I was just so so happy.  Happy that we decided to move last summer.  Happy that we found the house - that is now turning into our home.  And loving all these important family events that we have the space to celebrate in.  We have questioned many times in the last year and a half if we did the right thing.  But at that moment - I knew we had.  And I knew God had this moment in mind when the seed was planted in our minds in May of 2013 to possibly move.  We didn't know we would even have this other sweet baby bless our lives at that time - but He knew.  And I'm so thankful for that because today was just wonderful.  Celebrating our sweet girl getting baptized, becoming an official member of our wonderful church and the covenant between her and God.

And guess what else?  Unknowingly when I was emailing the church secretary about dates for her baptism earlier this fall, I picked November 16.  Which happens to be exactly almost 2 years to the day when her older brother was baptized.  Not planned - but kind of fun too.  I'm all about these little hints that God is with us. 

On to sweet Maddie.  Pastor Jason baptized her and along with our family, Tim and Shellie (Jimmy's oldest brother and his wife) also stood up there with us because we asked them to be Maddie Godparents- and we are so lucky that they said yes.  They are pretty special people and she's one lucky girl!!

These were great candid shots my sister was taking - haha.  Maddie decided to grab a fistful of my hair before I handed her off to Pastor Jason.  He made a funny comment - and I...

...well I made a funny face!

Sweet Maddie did so great.  Didn't even cry one bit - even when some water got in her eye!!  

So proud of our sweet girl!!!

And then - I made everyone stay a little bit after and take pictures.  I know, right?  Jimmy was making a big stink out of it taking "so long".  But I am so glad we will forever have these pictures with some of the most important people in her lives on such a special day!!  We are so blessed to have such amazing families and support system - and even better they are all in Kansas City!

With Nana and Papa and then Grana and Pops!!

Our sweet family!

Tim and Shellie - and their amazing family!!  All big Maddie fans!!

Maddie with all her grandparents!

The original Bruns family + Jimmy!

After church - we invited everyone over to our house for a yummy brunch!  I had a lot of fun planning this menu.  I went very simple on decor.  It was actually the same banner I used for Charlie's baptism party - ha.  Thank goodness for this blog because I knew I had a banner for him and couldn't remember where I got it - went back to the old blog post and saw it was from Party City.  So I went there and got a pink one, put stickers on that said "God Bless Madeline" and put out some Costco brownie bites and my mom got some lemon bites from Sprouts and we called it a day.  I framed her baptism invite and birth announcement.  Very inventive, right?  I think it looked great!!

And then all the fun.  This time I actually took pictures of the party (in Charlie's post I didn't...haha).

The new table (post on that later- so excited!!) looks really good in use with the Carter cousins!

Kenlie and Maddie love this.

We had a yummy brunch with the following menu:

Here were some of the recipe links - they were all really good - in particular the fruit salad - the vanilla pudding surprise element was delicious!

Some of the crowd (ps I painted those stools the same white as the chairs tonight!!) - including Jimmy who already changed into his Chiefs jersey.  Haha.

Thanks to all those who came - mainly our families but also a few of our good friends!  Vanessa even made it to church after a week of everyone being sick - so sweet of them!!  What a special day for Maddie (and us!)!

And then I found this picture on my phone.

Ha.  Oh Jimmy and his sweet baby girl.

So thankful for God's love and his constant presence in our lives,  And for my sweet husband and babies - I tell you what - they make every day on this Earth worthwhile!!

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