30th Birthday Season

Monday, April 14, 2014

Isn't it funny how you always seem to be in a "season" of life? 6 years ago it was wedding shower/bachelorette party season...then wedding season...then baby shower season. Our fridge always seems to be full of invites/announcements that coincide with the season of life. Right now, we are in 30th birthday season. Thankfully I'm nowhere near that age (wink wink), so I can just celebrate with the oldies! 

Two weekends in a row we had surprise 30th birthdays over in St. Louis. The first was my best friend Erin's party. Her husband planned a fake trip for just the two of them. Little did she know her two best friends and husbands would be waiting in their hotel room when they arrived. 
I think she was surprised!

We stayed at this cute little boutiquey hotel and it was great! 
Walking distance to lots of restaurants and bars. We quickly remembered it was Friday during Lent so our choices were somewhat limited, but the Melting Pot pulled through. We seriously devoured some fondue like it was going out of style.
Next up...Pin Up bowling. A great bowling alley/bar right next door to our hotel.
The birthday girl is expecting her second baby in July, but still managed to party with us!
We managed to pretty well clean out the outlet malls on Saturday. 
...and then celebrated again Saturday night with a nice dinner followed by enormous amounts of cake! 

The following weekend was my sister in-law's surprise! I think she had her suspicions, but was genuinely surprised by the crowd. 

My mom helped my brother plan and decorate. She did a fantastic job...per the usual!

The night was all about Kristen turning 30 but she wasn't the only one having birthday...
 We celebrated all three of these ladies. Kristen, her sister Lauren and my Grandmother!

Hadley found a little cake...just her size...and was all over it. Surprise surprise! 
 They planned it.

Happy 30th to two of my favorite girls! 


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I'll Remember You.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Funny how the good ones go
Too soon, but the good Lord knows
The Reasons why, I guess

Sometimes the greater plan
Is kinda hard to understand
Right now it don't make sense
I can't make it all make sense 
-Luke Bryan

The lyrics to this particular song have been playing over and over in my head since Saturday night. Heaven gained a beautiful angel.

Megan

I met Megan years ago at a local boutique. She worked there and was a friend of a friend. I looked forward to shopping there and was always excited to see her smiling face. She was always full of positive energy. I usually left there just a little happier then when I came in. 

I continued to run into her over the years and loved seeing all of the cute pictures of her first daughter, Reese, on Facebook. She was ALWAYS dressed to the nines and looking fine! You could literally feel the love that Megan had for that baby...right through those pictures. 

She eventually moved to Indy and we continued our Facebook friendship. She was a LOYAL follower of my blog as well...almost always the first to comment on a post...full of wonderful things to say! 

Fast forward to June 2012 when I made our announcement that we were expecting our second baby. I think it was literally the very next day, she announced she was also expecting baby #2...due only days apart! Weeks later we both knew we were having girls. We chatted back and forth about bows, nursery decor, adjusting to life with two...and the list goes on. 

Our girls were born 10 days apart. Just weeks after Fiona was born, Megan was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. It literally hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard the news. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. She was so young...just like me...how could this happen? Almost immediately after hearing the news I started getting these positive, upbeat messages from Megan talking about kicking this cancer's butt! I never once read a negative thing about her situation....not once. The strength of that woman continues to amaze me every single day. 

I followed her journey, praying every single step of the way. I saw her lose her hair and rock that bald head. Seriously...gorgeous! 

She reached out to me because she wanted to start a blog to keep everyone updated. I worked for a couple of months with her getting everything set up and showing her the ropes. I was so excited when she published her first post, because I knew she had always wanted to accomplish that! I was blessed to be able to be a small part of her life during the last few months. 

I will always remember Megan with a smile. She touched me in the smallest most simple ways! Please pray for Megan's family...her husband and two beautiful girls. Lucas has also shown such incredible strength through this journey. Those girls are so very lucky to have him as their daddy. Also, close to my heart...her best friends. I can't imagine losing one of my closet friends. I'm praying for you girls! 

If you are able, and would like to honor Megan...please consider donating to one of her favorite charities listed below. She would be so touched. 

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Just a Mom...Revisited.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's been almost exactly 18 months (tomorrow) since I originally wrote the post {Just a Mom}. I wrote it just days after resigning from my job as NICU nurse. A decision I made in order to stay home with my children. 

It was a very difficult decision for me, and I had these questions...

So many things consume my brain everyday related to this decision. Did I make the right choice? Am I wasting my education from one of the top nursing programs in the country that my parents so generously gave to me? Will I regret this? Will people judge me for not having a "real job" or call me "just a mom"?

Here I am, 18 months later, with these questions STILL consuming my brain. Every single day. A battle between me, myself and I. My thoughts go something like this...

Why am I not working AND being a mom?
I miss working and the adult interaction away from home. 
I'm a registered nurse and worked my tail off to be one...why am I throwing it away?
I can literally feel my skills and abilities slipping away. 
If I stay home too long...will it be almost impossible to get back into it? 
Are my parents disappointed in me? They generously gave me this education and I'm not using it. 
I want to use my skills and knowledge.
I want to help people. 
I want to be challenged and make a difference in people's lives. 
I want to go back to work!

And then there is the other side...

Am I selfish if I decide to go back to work rather than being with my kids everyday?
I am able to stay home with them...something a million women would love to be able to do.
I love being home with my kids and experiencing every detail of their day.
Sure, the days are HARD but it's always worth it at the end of the day. 
I don't want anyone else being their primary caregiver. I want to be there. 
I love being able to participate in Meyer's school activities.
How would I feel the first time I had to miss something? 
What if someone was sick and needed me?
I'm where I should be.
I don't want to go back to work! 

Do you see the daily struggle? It's constant. One moment I feel completely confident in going back to work. I can do it all. The next moment, I'm waking my babies up from their naps and getting sweet snuggles and loves and the thought is gone. They need me. I need them. This is my job. No question. 

I don't know why I think putting this all in writing is going to help me, but it's worth a try. I'm open to any outside thoughts and advice so fire away! 

To work or not to work. That is the question! 

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Magic House

Monday, March 31, 2014

Almost exactly two years ago, we took Meyer to the Magic House in St. Louis for the very first time. He was just about Hadley's age at time, which I didn't even realize until right now. The Magic House is a favorite childhood memory for me, so I am thrilled to share it with my kids! 

Things have changed exponentially at the Magic House since my time. They have done numerous additions and while it's a whole new place, it's still just the same too! Everything I remember from my childhood remains. 
Meyer of course remembers nothing from his first visit, so we got to watch him experience the magic for the first time all over again! It's a whole different place when you're a big 3 year old. 
Hadley was just as excited and quick to find a hand to hold while she explored this new world. 
They have added a Sid the Science Kid exhibit, which is where we began.
BOTH kids quickly found their favorite...a treehouse! 
...complete with a pulley system
Meyer's favorite for sure! 
Remember those childhood staples I was telling you about? Who do you think was more excited about successfully completing the "Bubble Around"? 
Don't worry...Andy didn't miss out on the fun either. 
They have a great area for kids ages 1-6 where we spent the most of our time. 
This area is full of all kinds of fun things, including the water area...
Fishing...
A cool treehouse, complete with a pizza shop! 
Meyer got to make pizzas and play pretend server.
I wasn't sure we were ever going to get him away from the cash register. 
My MOST FAVORITE part of the whole day was seeing this...
They have a hospital nursery that is seriously the most precious thing ever. It's a real deal set up, complete with all the bells and whistles. I wish I would have taken a picture of it all, but I was too busy capturing my sweet baby loving girl being just like her mommy. NICU nurse in training? 

There are toddler friendly slides, mirrored rooms, blocks and a sand area too! 
Here I go again, acting like I'm 6! 
Meyer was quick to give me the boot so he could slide all by himself down the 3 story tornado slide. The look on his face pretty well sums up our day at the Magic House! 

If you're ever visiting St. Louis with kiddos (or without..HA), I highly recommend putting the Magic House at the top of your list. 

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