Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

A few people that I am most thankful for...

Growing up, all I ever wanted in life was to fall in love and live happily ever after. Seriously. I didn't dream of getting a big job position or earning a title in the business field. Money has never mattered to me. I'm not materialistic, though I do enjoy some modern things;) I remember a guy (some strange date once) asked me what I wanted out of life. I don't think I had given it much thought before that night, as I was young, eighteen. I vividly remember we were on the beach in Florida, it was late, and my answer was...a husband, a nice three bedroom house, two cars in the driveway, and a couple kids. Some might say that wasn't dreaming big, but I am a romantic at heart and all I hoped for was that perfect mate. Hoped. I dated many turkeys back in my time, and though I didn't always make the best decisions, I somehow always came out OK. (I must have had a guardian angel somewhere.) I learned from many of those experiences, and there were many experiences. lol No two relationships were the same. There were no patterns. I never had a "type". I liked tall, dark and handsome, but always found myself with guys very similar looking to Jude (not tall, not dark!). I think God was just preparing me for what was to come.
This Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for. Jude is at the top of my list. HE is what I was always searching for. The day I met him, I knew he was the one, we just had many years added in there to build a friendship and get to know each other. My life was very messy back then. We took our sweet time getting to know each other and that is something I had never done before. Now, we have a relationship like no other. We were newlyweds the first five years of our marriage. That's a great start! I knew going into this marriage what I was looking for and he has fulfilled every hope and desire. You may have an impressive degree, the finer things in life, or a super duper fancy title...but I have all I have ever wanted right here at home: an amazing husband, and four handsome little men that I hope grow up to be wonderful husbands just like their father, as he leads by example. I believe everything happens for a reason! (I met this person, so I could meet the next person, and the next, and so on. I took this job instead of that job for a reason that led me to this time in my life, etc.) I can literally trace back all the steps to that night back on the beach talking to that guy, that led me to right here, right now. All my blessings in my life today have to do with family and friends. Thank you, Jude, just for being you. Thank you, God, for gifting him to me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Erikk, The Elf on the Shelf

Attention parents: YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK! $29.95
I can't believe I didn't know the story behind this book any sooner.
People have failed me!!
This book answers the age old question, "How does Santa really know if we are being 'naughty or nice?'".
The answer: a small pixie elf remains in your home for a few weeks until Christmas Day, acting as Santa's eyes and ears. He reports the children's behavior to St. Nick himself daily, and each year the elf returns to perform its assigned task.
The Elf (which the kids name) goes back to the North Pole every night while the kids are sleeping and gives Santa a daily report. Each morning, the kids have to find where the Elf is because he moves around at night. That's a fun game, too. If they touch the Elf, he loses his magic and Santa will think the kids forgot about him. Only parents can talk to the Elf. He has strict orders from Santa to not talk to the children. Whenever there is drama in our household, all we have to say are four magic words..."The Elf is watching!". For $29.95, you can't put a price on the peace and quiet it brings!
Jude is reading them the book, and Erikk the Elf is sitting on the window sill

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy 11th birthday, Cullen!

The day I found out I was pregnant with Cullen, my life changed almost instantly. The year was 1999 and I was days away from turning twenty one. Looking back, I was definitely at the worst stage of my entire life, though I didn't realize it then. I was wild, carefree, irresponsible, partying, and had no true path in front of me. I met a boy in a bar in New Orleans and within months, we were in love, expecting, and married. I almost got whiplash from how fast things changed. From that point on, I knew I wanted to be the best mommy I could be, even if it meant being a single mother to provide a better atmosphere and household for him. Cullen and I have been through so much together. When I look back at his eleven years, I not only see how much he has matured, but I see how much I have, too. From the day I met Jude, my life only got better. We were an official couple on Cullen's third birthday, got engaged on his fourth birthday, and married by his fifth birthday. Jude and I, together, with God as our leader, are raising him the way I envisioned life should and would be. Today, Cullen has four loving parents, four sets of families that adore him, and though life isn't the perfect cookie cutter scenario, I can't imagine it any better with all the love and support he has.
Cullen always throws me the curve balls. By the time you have a second child, you kind of know what to expect with each age and stage of that next child. By the fourth child (in our case, fourth boy) I feel very sure of myself. But Cullen, he is almost like my experimental child. I am going through life trying to raise him with no experience, without knowing what to expect next and questioning myself all along the way. When I look at him and see that sweet, loving, sensitive, smart, artistic, well mannered, handsome child, I am reassured we are ALL on the right path...together. I can't ask for much more in life.
His little brothers have some big shoes to fill!
Happy birthday to my baby!

Cullen, his friend Christian, and Aiden

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our weekend

Saturday, Preston, Roman, and I went to the park to play in this beautiful weather.

Sunday, my dad was in town so he and I went to the local market and walked around. I bought some cute glasses, too.
Here, Preston is modeling a pair.

*Cullen was at his dads this weekend.
*Aiden spent the whole weekend at his Nanny and Paw Paws's house having Aiden-time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nicholas Jude, Preston's first friend

I was so excited to find out my friend Heather was pregnant, only weeks after Jude and I learned we were. I had a friend to go through pregnancy with!

Also, that meant my baby would have a baby friend, too. A win, win. Nicholas Jude (how can you not LOVE the name?) was born about seven weeks after Preston entered the world and today the two little men met for the first time. Nicholas is adorable! The two little blond boys peeked at each other. I'm sure they were just shocked and amazed to see someone their own size. Here are a few pictures from their meet and greet...

Preston in disbelief...

There will be many more play dates to come!