Thursday, January 29, 2015

Farewell to Parenthood

Spoiler:  Don't read this if you haven't watched Parenthood.
I don't want to ruin it for you because it is the best show on television right now. 
(for one more night :-(  )

Yes, this post is about the TV show. 
I have blogged about it before. 
I LOVE Parenthood, and cannot believe that it is ending. 
The hubby and I have watched this show from the beginning, falling in love 
with Victor's adoption storyline, feeling heartbreak as Max struggled in a public school, 
and happily cheering as Sarah and Hank fell in love. 
Am I too emotional invested in this show? 
But it is good   scratch that, GREAT television and 
is something an American family can relate too. 
Real problems, real struggles, no zombies or unimaginable disasters to 
make it over the top.
Yes, Downtown Abbey is a favorite show of mine too, but is hard to 
relate to Lady Mary Crawley when she has maids to put on her shoes 
and a lady's maid at her every beck and call. 
Unlike my life, putting on boots with strewn lego pieces in them (Ouch) and 
4 children who refuse to pick up any of their toys.  
Last night I caught up on my Parenthood episodes.  
I had not watched the last three episodes.  
When my hubby asked me if I was caught up for the finale tonight, 
I had to tell him no.  I have not been emotionally ready for it. 
Silly.  But I know what is going to happen.  
It's like a train I can't stop and it brings 
back a lot of emotions for me. 
Maybe some that I have never dealt with. 
Their father in a hospital bed sick, running out of options. 
So last night I watched the last three episodes and balled my eyes out.  
I resisted the urge to go downstairs and eat my feelings. 
I cried for these fictional people on TV that were seeing their hero (their dad) 
get sicker and sicker before their eyes. 
I sobbed like a baby when Zeke said "I can hardly wait to walk you down the aisle, "
to his daughter. 
It's been almost four years since I have lost my dad. 
It still hurts.  I can still remember everything from that last week of his life. 
The utter pain I felt, and I wasn't the one who was dying. 
This is where I say thank you to my husband and in-laws, who took care of my four little ones 
so I could be by my dad's side.  They said nothing as I ran off to the hospital to be a 
daughter to the most amazing person I know just a little longer. 

So, last night I was a puddle.  
Some people have posted selfies of them crying from the last few episodes. 
There was no way.  I was full on ugly crying here. 
The wadded up tissues on the floor beside my bed looked like a dozen people had a really bad cold. 
Thank goodness hubby wasn't in the room.  He would have laughed. 
It's a sport for the kids and him to see how long it takes me to cry in sad movies/tv shows/commercials. 
But this morning when I told him I finally watched the episodes, 
all he did was open his arms for me to hug him. 
Of course I cried some more. 
I am a crier. 

So tonight is the night. 
I will have a new box of tissues beside me. 
I may even open up a bottle of wine to ease the pain, 
because it is sad to see this story end.  
But it is only fiction, I have to tell this to myself. 
Because they really show how it really feels... to go through life. 

P.S. I get emotionally depressed when I finish a good book too....

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Good Game

So if you are asking where I've been, the almost certain answer is "Basketball."
Whether it is practice, scrimmage or a game, I have my hands full 
with three elementary school kids in basketball. 
They all love the game. 
They can't wait to go to practice and talk all day about the upcoming game. 
  I'm a proud basketball parent.  
It doesn't matter if they make a basket or score a point. 
When they cheer for their team and high five their teammates, that makes me smile the most. 
We are so basketball obsessed that my son is DVR'ing NBA and College hoops games.  
He watches intently at how the big guys play and then calls mom in to see the plays 
I can't miss.  "Mom you have to come in here 
and come see this dunk, it's awesome!"
He is beyond determined to dunk someday. 
Every time I see my kids play I am shocked at how far they've come.  
From the little kids running around with no clue what to do with the ball once they got it in their hands. 
check out this video of Bubba's first game at 4 years old.  
You'll know which one is him on the court.  
Just look for the kids whose jersey is bigger than him. 
 Now they are running plays, grabbing rebounds, and boxing out when they remember. 
It is so fascinating to watch. 
Where did my babies go?
They have great friends/teammates that make going to practice more 
fun than hanging out at home with mom. 
We have invested in lots of money in deodorant, shoe stink powder, and 
 water bottles.... but I don't mind they are having a blast! 
  Their endurance to play a whole game and not complain one bit when the coach puts them in
is so awesome.  They run suicides at practice with smiles laughing at the end. 
Even my Gigi who doesn't like to sweat, is sporting a jersey and pulling down rebounds. 
The only difference between my two daughter's teams is the rainbow of colors 
of socks and shoes the younger girls wear.  
Seriously every color of the rainbow... sometimes all on one player.

So if you are looking for me from November to March.... I'm at basketball. 
Reliving my glory days, showing off my shot that was never as good in high school as it is now.  LOL
Let's play! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Using my Voice

Anyone who knows us, knows that we love adoption.  We wouldn't be a family without adoption, and that I cannot imagine.  I love hearing people's stories of adoption.  How families were created in such amazingly unique ways and EVERY story is different.  The problem is, that adoption isn't always an option for every wannabe family because of the cost.  Adoption is expensive.
That is why I am so in love with organizations that raise funds for couples hoping to adopt.  Every little bit helps.  In comes Subsidy Shades to help families lessen the financial burden.

{Me in my Crystal Aviators}
Through Instagram I came across Subsidy Shades.  (I can go on and on about my love for IG)
Melissa started Subsidy Shades to raise funds for her family's second adoption.  This mother
warrior did what she needed to do to expand her family.  She just did it in an utterly cute 
and adorable way.  
Cute Affordable Sunglasses. 
For mommy, daddy, and baby. 
Free shipping too! 
So I am using my voice and spreading the word
about a fantastic way to help others. 
A way to change people's lives.   

Now which pair to get my girls?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Being a Voice

In December 2013, I came across Ali Edwards and her blog for word of the year. 
She calls it her One Little Word. 
I was instantly intrigued.  
I embraced this new way of taking on New Year's Resolutions.  
Not setting goals, that sadly I end up falling short of year after year,
but using a word to navigate you through a year.  Push you in mysterious ways.
I was inspired by her words and way of finding meaning in this one little word throughout the year. 
In 2013, after contemplating and really over thinking it I chose my word.... SPARK. 
I had my word posted so I would see it every day and the word's meaning 
transformed over the course of the year.  I was ambitious and energetic seeing 
how my life, from new hobbies to my faith really did spark throughout the year. 
{read my 2013 thoughts here}

In 2014, my word was LIFE. 
I really wanted to have a cool word, but as January approached and I reflected 
on 2013 and looked to what I saw in 2014 this word kept being in the forefront. 
The first thing on my list for 2014 was to take care of me.  
I had been neglecting myself and putting all my energy in taking care of my family. 
I am ashamed to admit it, but until last year I hadn't been to a Doctor since we moved to the 
Quad Cities.  I hadn't seen a gynecologist since I had Lily.  Sad truth. 
So 2014 was to take care of me and take care of my LIFE. 
I finally got a physical, have a family doctor for the hubs and I, 
saw a gynecologist (ugh, pap smear), and here's the kicker took time for myself. 
I found myself taking more mommy breaks. 
(Hello, trip to the Mediterranean)
Saying "yes" to more Mom's night out.
Not feeling guilty for going on a run over the weekend when hubs was home.
I actually shocked myself when I ran 500 miles this year.  
I couldn't have done that in the past... I wouldn't have found it necessary. 
But taking care of me has become as much of a priority as taking care of my family. 
This year 2015, my chosen one little word is VOICE. 
I am looking forward to seeing how this word appears and directs me in 2015. 
Discovering my voice and being a voice for others. 
Keeping Shel Silverstein's poem in my head this year,
I am ready for a year of more personal growth. 
Being a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and human being.
That is what I am striving for.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Buckeye Proud

So the Buckeyes play a BIG game tonight. 
Our family is appropriately dressed in our scarlet and gray best and 
Hang on Sloopy is playing in the background. 
Whether bad parenting or great parenting (you be the judge) we 
have certainly raised some Ohio State proud kids.  
One of our first acts as parents was to take the kid's to Columbus 
(on one of daddy's business trips) and show them campus. 
The place where mommy and daddy went to school.  
 {proud OSU grads}
  As an OSU student I had gone to many Buckeye home games, but 
I was never more excited then walking on the Horseshoe turf with my kids. 
The kids 
I listened to a video today of a Buckeye player who has always dreamed of 
playing for the Buckeyes.  He talked about this being his dream come true, ever since he 
watched the 2002 National Championship. 
(He was in the second grade)
Yikes, I think of college being just a couple of years ago.... but that does not seem to be the case. 
(I was a Junior at Ohio State the year we won)
I will be thinking of that young man tonight as my son watches in awe as his Buckeyes 
play for the National title.  Win or lose, we will be proud of our Buckeyes. 
We will cheer for them as they take on the Ducks.  
They got this far, beating out over a hundred other teams to play in this game. 
So bring on the game.... O-H

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas Recap

It's Monday. 
Kids are dropped off at school. 
The house is quiet and the coffee is hot. 
Time to reflect on the last couple weeks. 
This was a very special Christmas.  
It was the first Christmas morning we spent together at our home. 
Normally we are traveling and at one of the grandma's houses, but this 
year we decided to spend Christmas Eve at home and then travel.  
We went to church on Christmas Eve all together and yes it was sad 
to not be sitting in St. Michael's Catholic Church and listening to the choir 
sing their hearts out, but it was fun seeing friends from school all dressed up in their 
Christmas best.  
I was a little nervous about what to make for Christmas Eve dinner.  
I have taken for granted the chicken noodle soup we have at my 
mother-in-law's house every year.   
Everything turned out great though and the kids scarfed down food so they could exchange gifts. 
 It's our family tradition that before Christmas we exchange gifts between us. 
A good time for Nate and I to exchange gifts and the kids to give mom, dad, and their brother and sisters gifts they made.  I love the smile on their faces when they open a handmade gift and they are just as excited if it cost $100 dollars. 
 {daddy is our superman} 
After opening our gifts and cleaning up the dishes it was time 
for bed.  Mom and the kids were all so excited.  
We tracked Santa on NORAD and then talked about the real meaning of Christmas. 
We discussed that even if there wasn't anything under the tree in the morning, that 
it would still be a magical day and a day for us to be together.  
Christmas morning came in the wee hours.  
Lil Miss came in to wake us up at 5:30 am. 
Nate and I pulled the covers up and told the kids to go back to bed. 
We held out until 6:30 and then got up and grabbed coffee before letting the 
kids tear into packages.  
One by one the packages were opened and smiles were sprawled across their faces.  
 Rosie received a Polaroid camera from Santa and was ecstatic. 
 Mommy is a little jealous of the awesome Fujifilm Instax mini 8 that she got. 
It is pretty sweet! We will be filling up mini photo albums with these pictures. 
After the living room was completely destroyed with Christmas wrapping, boxes, and lost toy pieces it was time for breakfast. We had Christmas quiche and smoothies and packed up the van for our drive to Ohio.  
  This year we didn't go straight to Grandma's house, we went to Uncle Dennis and Aunt Dini's house. 
We had one VERY large slumber party with 21 of us.  Thank you to Dennis and Denise for hosting 
our crew.  It was fun to celebrate with family.  
 There were plenty of places for all of us to sleep and we all stayed up too late, and had too much fun.
 After being in Columbus, we headed up to Kalida where Nate and I grew up. 
We stayed a couple nights visiting with family and friends. 
{The Schulte Cousins}
 {Best Buds}
On December 30th, the boys headed to watch the Buckeye vs. Hawkeye basketball 
game in Columbus.  Bubba was in basketball heaven.  
 While the boys watched the game, my sisters and I with the girls went shopping.  
We goofed around and spent our Christmas money.  
Before Christmas, my sister and I had decided to not buy each others children 
any gifts, but doing something fun together instead.  
So we spent two days going bowling, eating out, and visiting COSI. 
My kids love their cousins and any excuse to hang out is awesome.  
 {exploring COSI}
 Even the littlest kids had fun at COSI 
It was hard to say goodbye to our family, but eventually we had to 
head back home.  
We welcomed in 2015 in the minivan, about 15 minutes from home.  
Mommy was sick and Daddy was exhausted from driving.  
We made it though and have spent the last 4 days relaxing and playing with all our new toys and gadgets.