Thursday, October 20, 2016

This Changes Everything

Do you ever get the feeling like, "Maybe I'm giving people the wrong impression???"

The other day we were leaving Logan's t-ball game when another mom approached me. Let's call her Samantha for the sake of my blog. Samantha and I only kind of know each other, from having kids the same age who do the same activities and mutual friends in common.

You could tell she was really excited when she approached me, almost kind of out of breath. After the standard pleasantries, she pulled a small, folded piece of paper from of her purse.

"So I've actually been meaning to get in contact with you!" she said excitedly. "This is just... This is just SO you! I mean, I can't think of a person who would love this more or who would fit into this environment better."

She quickly unfolded the piece of paper which which turned out to be a flyer of some sort. Her eyes darted around and she lowered her voice, casting a polite smile at some other nearby moms. "You guys are still going the.... conventional preschool route, aren't you?" she asked, carefully selecting her words and still looking around nervously.

"The conventional....?" before I could really even give shape to my thoughts she went on, still lowering her voice.

"Okay, I've just got to tell you about this program [daughter] and [son] are currently enrolled in. It's just.... it's just CHANGED EVERYTHING for us!"

She went on, "Instead of blocks and play doh and things that send messages to our children that we think that's all their capable of... That's what those things say, you know? Research backs this up all day long! Anyway, [Daughter] is now being exposed to pre-algebra and the fundamentals of geometry. And she's obviously only four!! [Son] is now an emergent reader at two and a half! I mean it's just unbelievable what they're doing with my kids. It's just...AHHH!" She paused before going on.

"The very best part, the part that's just CHANGED EVERYTHING for us, is the way they pour into their little hearts. I mean, there's no discipline. They don't even need discipline in this environment!" 

Her voice got louder and faster and I bobbed my head up and down, attempting to keep up.

"I mean it's just...AHHH! It's just incredible! It's changed everything! Did I already say that? Anyway, if a child makes a choice that doesn't align with the group's mission, instead of removing him or shaming him, he's brought to the center of the room. It's called a harmony circle! Isn't that brilliant?? And the kids just pour into him and speak life into him there in the harmony circle, and this really just changes everything! It's just....AHHHH! And if two kids have a conflict, they are sent to this mediation table to resolve their conflicts like adults. It's just... AHHH! It's changed everything for us! Here- would you like a flyer? We're also planning a Holiday Festival and I think you guys should really attend."

I nodded- still trying to process all this nonsense- and took the flyer she forced into my hand. Then I happily took my cue to exit when Logan called my name. I was holding Beckham and naturally, as we were leaving, he spit up all down my arm and shirt.

"Ohhhh shoot!! Is this little guy a spitter?" Samantha asked. "Because you know, that's a HUUUUGGGGEE indicator of poor gut health. Ohhh shoot, I hate that for you!! Did you know that already? You wouldn't think so, but poor gut health begins right after the womb. I have this guy from our church I can put you in touch with..."

I kept walking, nodding and waving. Walk. Nod. Wave.

So like... what part of me seems like the PERFECT fit in this equation? Why would I, in any way, ever be interested in that? Is it because I like oils and space out my kids' shots? Has word gotten out I take the boys to a chiropractor and sometimes try weird, crunchy remedies for things? Maybe she knows I buy a lot of non-toxic products.

Because do you know what I also like? I like my four year old playing with blocks and play doh and all the things that really "dumb them down." I love them learning how to share toys and listening to nursery rhymes instead of mastering geometry. I think her harmony circle sounds like a bunch of bunk.

I didn't say any of these things, because I'm TERRIBLE at thinking of the right things to say on the spot, but I thought them all later. I was telling all this to Nick later that night as I made turkey sandwiches for the boys' lunches the next day. We were both laughing and shaking our heads.

"Don't worry," he told me. "Her kids will be the ones smoking pot and pregnant when they're 15."

That might be a little harsh, but I guess if it ends up happening they can drum up a harmony circle and really pour some life into their kids.

What the actual heck, you guys??? Oh, and for the record- rumor has it that she was campaigning for parents to sign up to bring iced mint towels along with snacks, for her daughter's soccer team last spring. ICED. MINT. TOWELS. For three year olds. I cannot even.

Yesterday we made our annual fall pilgrimage to the Dallas Arboretum. We wanted Brenda to see the place. We went with Andrea, Teri and Colin.
Grammy and her bounty of boys! Doesn't sweet, little Colin (who's not even that little) make Beckham look like a beast? How is it possible that Beckham is almost four months old already??
"Tolin" as my boys say
50% are looking, but it's the best we could get
It was SO hot out there. Teri had bought all the boys matching shirts, so we wanted to get their pictures in them. But before the day was over, we ended up changing the babies and stripping the big boys down so they could play in the splash area. We had a picnic lunch and headed home soon afterwards.

This face!

We are at such a sweet spot with Beckham right now! I am LOVING having a sweet, squishy non-mobile baby, but being also past the newborn stage. He is on a predictable nap schedule now and only wakes up to eat once during the night. My dad and Rhonda are in town, and so last night I cooked dinner for everyone. The boys were napping (ALL THREE AT ONE TIME!), and I turned on Jason Mraz on Pandora and worked on dinner before they arrived. As I chopped veggies it occurred to me, we've hit a turning point and I feel like myself again!! I'm not crazy tired, and I can do the things I love- just like this!- again. It's just so hard with a newborn.
I mean even right now I'm doing this:
 And he's happily doing this:
I have to soak it up, because I know it won't last long. He'll be crawling and walking and into everything before I know it. 

So anyway, the boys were thrilled when they woke up from their naps and Pops and Rho Rho were here. They pretty much wore my dad out, climbing all over him and playing chase and driving Power Wheels and having him throw them on the couch endlessly. Just look at their dog Barney. Clearly, not used to this kind of mayhem.
They also pulled out every trick in the book, showing Pops and Rho Rho 10,000 times how loud they can "snap" and "whistle," and Logan broke out his Taekwando moves. 
Then after they left and the boys were happily sleeping (such a big day with the Arboretum and a visit from Pops and Rho Rho), Nick and I climbed into bed for another episode...or three... of Parenthood.
We're super high tech, and huddle around the iPad in our bed to watch Netflix shows. We don't have a TV in our bedroom and our only Smart TV is upstairs in the playroom. We've tried plugging the iPad into the living room TV, but for some weird reason we like this way best. 

I was so into Parenthood, that I absolutely had to share it with Nick. We started back over with episode one, and he's just as hooked as I am. SO GOOD!! A couple of you commented about This Is Us- and yes!! I'm watching that too. That's actually what got me watching Parenthood, because I posted something about This Is Us on Facebook, and a series of comments comparing the two made me look up Parenthood. For me they don't even compare. This is Us is really good, but Parenthood- GAH! This is like... the best show I've ever watched. Funny/deep/well written/all about family/love the characters... just ALL the things.

Last but not least, two random pictures of the big guy and the little guy... (Everett is on a strong anti picture campaign right now, and the only recent pictures I've taken of him are bath tub ones.)

Look at the size of that sweet little head! I think it's bigger than Logan's. Clearly, he's ready for some geometry and pre-algebra and emergent reading with a brain that big. It's just...AHHHH! It changes everything!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fancy Feet

So it turns out there was a little mishap on Friday night.
Nick and Cody played in a golf tournament at Colonial last week, and Friday night was the party/ dinner. 
It was all fun and games, listening to the bands and laughing out on the patio with Jaymi and Cody. Until...

It was time to leave, and I completely missed the curb and rolled my foot walking to our car. Believe it or not, an over-service of adult beverages wasn't even to blame. It was purely another display of my stellar grace, cat like balance, and poor choice of shoes. (Two weeks ago I tripped on the mound of pillows beside Everett's bed and hit my head on his bathroom door frame! I think it's time to get back to yoga, otherwise old age is gonna be hell for me.)

So Saturday morning I went and had it checked out, and sure enough- I fractured a bone in my foot and sprained it as well. How does that even happen??

Logan and Everett were immediately fascinated with my boot/cast device and wanted to take turns wearing it and hear the story of exactly how my injury happened over and over and over.

"So I was walking and there was this small curb that I tripped over in my tall shoes." I repeated for the seventh time.
"Yeah and you broke your foot cuz the road is real hard right?" Logan asked.
"Yeah, something like that."
"And when you were layin' there in middle of a road, did a car kind of run over you too?" Logan half asked/half stated as if he were the one telling it.
"No. A car didn't actually run over me." I sighed.

Then Nick piped up from across the room, "No. What happened was mommy had too many spicy drinks and fell down!"

False. False. Also false. I can't win over here, they each have their own versions. But on the upside, Logan also told me my hair is soft and smells like lotion. I feel like that's got to be a positive?

The good news is, the swelling is almost completely gone and it's not nearly as painful as it was. My mom, Teri and Nick have been tag teaming to get all of the laundry/dishes/boys dropped off at their various activities. Meanwhile, I've watched almost the entire first season of Parenthood. [Why didn't someone tell me about this sooner???? Well, I meant Parenthood, but the fact that if you break something you kind of get a break from life for a little bit. HA! But Parenthood...The writing is so, so good. The acting is even better! The music is fantastic! I'm officially obsessed! I LOVE the Bravermans! I don't even hate having a broken foot because of them.]

I'm not always the best patient when it comes to sitting and doing nothing, but I've really tried to be fairly compliant this time around. I keep hearing horror stories about people who didn't rest their foot/ankle/what-have-you and took six months to heal. I'm going on four days of not doing too much besides knocking out Parenthood episodes and feeding Beckham (any a few loads of laundry and dishes that I couldn't ignore). Anyway, it's not a half bad deal.
Beckham doesn't mind it either. 

So it looks like this boot and I are gonna be friends for a while. Liz has named her Brenda, which I think is perfectly fitting!
Meet Brenda.... Brenda Braverman.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Love Letter to Manny

A couple of years ago at Thanksgiving following a few adult beverages late into the evening, my sister-in-law's dad Guy (Guy from Canada, pronounced GEE! always with an exclamation point and raising your voice an octave) started calling Nick, Manny. It seemed fitting.
Manny is this guy. Can we take a moment to acknowledge the greatness of this photo captured forever and ever, to the end of all time? Nick had to have some professional headshots taken for his new job. Needless to say, he did not choose this image, but I did. So much Manny-ness in one frame.

My dad, JG, and I are prone to giving nicknames, and we have always referred to Nick as Sal from the very beginning. I always call him Sal around the house. In other circles he is affectionately referred to as Nicky, alongside an ear tug and a hair tousle. 

So this post is simply just to brag on Nicky boy, because if your wife won't brag on you, who will? This needs to be recorded in our family's history for the generations to come.

Almost every morning well before the sun comes up Nick's alarm goes off so he can make it to the gym before work. He doesn't necessarily like the gym I don't think, but he's making his health a priority and he tells me it helps him manage his stress.

Two mornings a week Nick sets aside time to take Logan to Museum School/ drop off Logan and Everett at preschool. The boys LOVE this! This is way more fun then riding with me in my boring old car. Then, Nick goes to work where he is learning a whole new job, and happens to be the youngest person in the country doing this role. In addition to his new job, he is also doing his old job for the time being, until he hires his replacement. He is basically at maximum capacity at work. 

He often works long, 10-12 hour days but tries to time it so he has extra time to spend with the boys and me in the morning or in the evenings. On Tuesdays he often comes home early so he can be the one to take Logan to Taekwondo. He never misses a single baseball game or baseball practice, and he makes it abundantly clear to me, that our family always comes first and if it's important for him to be there he will find a way. This is never a question.

Once he gets home from work he immediately jumps in, cooking or cleaning up dinner, and then bathing the older two boys and putting them to bed while I put Beckham to bed. He knows their songs and scratches their backs and reads them each a story. After the boys are in bed he helps me fold and put away laundry, clean up the house, or anything else that didn't get done. On Monday nights he watches Real Housewives next to me on the couch, even if it's begrudgingly.

Before bed he and the boys always carve in time to play chase/wrestle/play basketball & Mr. Puppet. On the weekends he plays all the fun games that I roll my eyes at-like bounce the ball on the wall and dog pile (I don't even pretend to understand the rules to this one they made up), and takes the boys outside to ride bikes and scooters and drive Powerwheels. 

When I say raw vegetables and organic hummus for all, he totally gives in and takes the boys to Chic Fil A like they want. And they get to order lemonade AND ice cream. He builds Legos like a boss, and the other day I overheard him teaching Logan how to do a firm handshake "like a man."

He stays with the boys so I can have girls' nights or go get a massage or just have some sanity. He sometimes brings me flowers or sour candy, and always asks how my day was (and then listens to the answer). When he stops at Kroger for me, he always comes home with the right almond milk and grass fed beef and whole wheat tortillas and the purple kind of lightbulbs... because he doesn't want to turn around and go back. Just kidding!! Because he knows what I like. He always lets me know that he really, really loves me a lot, and he always tells me I'm beautiful even when he's probably just being kind.

The thing is, I KNEW this was exactly the kind of husband and father Nick would be when I married him. I could feel it in my bones, and see his little golden heart shining through under his starched, button down shirt. He is not perfect, I'm not perfect, and our relationship isn't perfect. But without a doubt I know how lucky I am to have landed Nick. He's one in a billion!

Sal- In this wild season of life with a new baby, and a new job, and two busy boys, I just want to tell you that I see you working so hard and being a rockstar. I appreciate you so much! 
Even if you FEEL like this
You're killing it at life, like that.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fall Face Off

For my birthday Nick and the boys gave me an Apple Watch. For two days it sat opened in its box, my face and its face staring back and forth at one another in a literal face-off of sorts. 

Part of the reason was because it arrived in the mail right in the middle of the plague that befell us {which turned out to be strep incidentally}. I wanted to spare it from being doused in vomit if at all possible. But the main reason was that I felt super intimidated by this newfangled technology. I really wanted an Apple Watch, but the thought of actually learning how to use it just made me feel more tired than I already am. 

So you just hold it up and call people by talking to your arm? You mean to tell me this thing knows how many steps I'm taking? SIRI is on here? I can text by just saying words? Old dog/new tricks, and I don't feel like I have a lot of spare brain cells at the moment for mastering new skills.

But I did eventually unbox it, strap it on my wrist, and watch a couple of YouTube videos. And so far I'm really, really liking it! I still have a lot to learn, but I love the maps feature. It will nudge you on the wrist and tell you when to turn. [So you never actually have to use your brain again!] The fitness tracker is interesting too. I have learned that I basically stand 100% of the time during my waking hours. It's also convenient when I call or text someone, I don't have to dig my phone out of the diaper bag or carry it around the house with me. I am already one arm short at all times, so this helps immensely. 
Doing my best Penny impression

I ordered a knock off stainless steel band on Amazon, and I like that too! Go Go Gadget watch for the win!

Yesterday was a fun and full day! We haven't had a day that busy in a while. Lately it seems like I've said no to a lot of things just to preserve my sanity and slow down a bit. But yesterday was just one of those days where a bunch of things happened to fall at once.

Nick played golf with Al and his Uncle Steve in the morning, so the boys and I headed to church solo. This was actually my second solo church mission since Beckham's been born, and I have to say- I felt very proud of myself. It was also my first time to leave Beckham in the nursery. 
It went so well that we even splurged for Mexican food afterwards, which also went well but not as well as church. We got home about the same time as Nick, and I went straight to our bed and took a nap while the boys napped. Ha!

After our naps we had a birthday party to attend, followed by the MOPS family picnic. 
4/5 of our crew
Our wonderful MOPS leaders Trish & Amanda- they are the best!
Some of the girls on the MOPS leadership team

I am so thankful for groups like MOPS and Stroller Strides (aka Fit4Mom). They have made such a difference for me in these past four and a half years. I absolutely loved doing Stroller Strides when Logan was a baby, and MOPS is totally my place now. Having a group of women in a similar stage of life to connect with is everything.

I've also been working on my fall decor a little bit. I'm so happy for fall and the cooler temps! I found these pillows at Target on Saturday, and I'm slowly working on updating our mantle. 

This is where I'm at currently. I have a couple of plaid pumpkins and a BOO sign on order that I want to mix in. I would also like to find one or two dark brown pedestal candlesticks for the pumpkins to sit on and hang the wreath on the window. The family picture may or may not stay. I'm moving around some other pictures in our house, so I will probably rehang the family picture that used to be on our mantle to another wall. 

Other fall things at our house currently:
Naps with cozy blankets
This tea! I recently rediscovered this hot tea I had forgotten I love so much!
And finally, boots. Boots with leggings. Boots with pj's. Boots with all the things!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hello Birthday, So Long Couch

Do you know who doesn't suffer from self confidence issues? Four and a half year olds.

On a typical afternoon it's not unusual to hear the following:

"Mom! Look! Look how good I am at jumping on one foot!"
"Mom! Look! Look! I'm carrying four blankets at one time. Have you ever seen somebody carry that many blankets at one time?"
"Listen to how loud I can snap!"
"Listen to how good I can whistle. I'm really good at whistling!"
"Watch me run 40 miles an hour."
"Look at your phone! I just fogged my breath on your phone screen and it's cloudy. Can you believe I can fog my breath on your phone so well??"

Logan delights himself with his myriad of talents on a daily basis. 

Yesterday morning Everett woke up not feeling well and at the same time Beckham was crying because he wanted to eat. Logan took one look at the situation, one look at me, and announced with complete gusto, "There's two of us and two of them. You take care of Everett all day and I'll take care of Beckham!" 

And so he did...sorta...
In the mind of a four and a half year old, there is NOTHING they can't do. But to be fair, I was willing to take whatever help I could get yesterday and today. Age wasn't a determining factor.

Things are a little touch and go at the Salomone house currently. During the night last night we had a couple of rounds of throw up, someone who wet the bed, and a baby who thought he needed to eat every four hours.

This morning things seemed to be up and up until our couch got completely annihilated by throw up. I don't actually know how that much liquid was in one small human, but WOW! I fear our couch may never be the same. I don't have the words to accurately explain to you the volume and the force with which it was hit and how bad it is. Throw up on furniture and car seats is just the worst. The absolute worst!

Eventually, I took the couch apart and attempted cleaning it with a homemade recipe Google procured. It quickly became apparent the scope of damage control needed was far beyond my wheel house. "We'll have to burn it! We'll just have to burn it!" I texted Nick in a frenzy!

I called our normal carpet cleaning guy to see if he was available to come clean our couch, but apparently, a ceramic tile job has him tied up for the next ten days. I got another recommendation for a guy named Brian from our friend Debbee. I called Brian and explained the situation, and he suggested I call Richard at Carpet 911 who taught him everything he knows about upholstery. So I called Richard at Carpet 911. Richard said I should call Dino who has the "cyclone vac," and could really help me out. The problem with Dino is, and I quote, "His phone isn't working real great right now. So you'll have to text his Aunty. His Aunty will put him in touch with you and he'll bring his cyclone vac out there."

No. Just no. We're not doing this. 

I got on Google and found a legit company with good reviews, so they are set to come today between 3:00-5:00 with their "typhoon technology" in tow. Why do I feel like I'm being scammed here??? Why so many weather references?

The good news is, besides throwing up, Everett seems to feel okay. I made a doctor's appointment for him later this afternoon, so hopefully we can shore things up on that end as well. 

Over the weekend I celebrated turned 34. 34 as in, officially mid-thirties. I'm not sure when that happened but it did. At this juncture in life, although it's incredibly full and somewhat chaotic, the words that sum things up are THANK YOU. That sounds cheesy, but really, that's all I can say to sum up my life. THANK YOU. It's more than I could have envisioned it would be. My family is complete, I have the best husband EVER (another blog post for another day brewing in my mind), wonderful friends and family, my health... life is GOOD!

On Friday night and Saturday, I tagged along with Kimba and two of her life group friends for the Belong Tour in Dallas. 
This was a women's conference featuring Kimba's and my BFFs Shauna Niequist, Jen Hatmaker, and several other incredible speakers and musicians. Again, I could do an entire blog post all about this- and I intended to of course- but a vague paragraph will have to suffice. It was so powerful. If you ever have a chance to go, I would highly recommend it. I walked away feeling inspired, refreshed and filled up. Kimba and I were so smart when we made Jen and Shauna our BFF's. They're just as incredible in real life as they are on the pages of their books. 

Saturday night we went over to the Manns to watch the A&M game (WHAT A GAME!). 
And our little foursome wanted to deliver letters to the neighbors, as they do. 
This is Logan and Malley's favorite pastime ever. They write random notes to people (really deep things like, CAN YOU COME OUTSIDE? and TODAY IS SUNNY.) and stick them in envelopes and write someone's name on them. Then they beg us to let them deliver them to the other kids in the neighborhood or stick it in their mailboxes. Our neighbors must love us so much. Kylee and I love that they want to do this, but we really do have to limit it so they're not driving everyone crazy. 

While we were inside watching the game, Logan and Malley found another activity to keep them busy.
It could be the perfect crime. Except that it wasn't. #whodunit #wasntme

There were also some various other toys they had tagged. Kylee and I were so surprised, because that is so unlike them both! Now one of my other boys...ehh... wouldn't put it past him. But it's pretty out of character for Logan. Needless to say, there were some consequences that followed that choice.

For a couple of months Logan and Everett have been begging us to let them sleep in the same bed. Saturday night Nick and I finally caved and let them both sleep in Everett's bed. 
This arrangement lasted for about an hour and a half until Logan walked out of Everett's room holding his pillow in tears, because Everett kept waking him up talking. Everett followed behind in tears because Logan was leaving. It was a good idea in theory. We'll have to let them try again sometime.

Sunday morning Nick and the boys made my traditional birthday cake. Yellow cake, chocolate icing, candy letters and the long kind of sprinkles, not the little balls. Every year. Not high maintenance at all.

We had a family party complete with fajitas and baby Colin at our house that evening.

We attempted a family picture in between presents and cake, but this was the very best we could get. 

Five smiling faces looking the correct direction is quite a feat.
Dripping in boys! Heart eyed emojis x 10

Monday was my actual birthday. I had a couple of hours to kill *ALONE!!* while Logan was at museum school, so I ended up at a yoga class in Ft. Worth (the best!!) followed by tacos. 
I feel like that pretty much sums me up in two words: Yoga + Tacos

That night Nick and the boys took me to Fireside Pies for dinner, where we enjoyed delicious bevs, pizza, and bananas foster on the patio. Birthday perfection right there!
And Tuesday Kimba, Jaymi and Lindsay took me to lunch at Brewed on Magnolia in Ft. Worth.  Delicious, charming, quaint, all the things!!!

Days of delicious food, celebrations and some of my most favorite people. It was a great way to ring in #34. Starting the week on such a high almost- ALMOST- makes the throw up today and last night a little more tolerable.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Aunting & Other Good Things

Over the weekend I became an aunt!!!! 

Colin Christopher is absolutely perfect. He has the sweetest face, and I could just DIE over his beautiful mane of curls! I love him so much already!

My mom was kind enough to keep our three boys so that Nick and I could be there when he was born. Later that afternoon Logan and Everett got to come meet their cousin. Logan had made him a birthday card, but they were both pretty shy and were more interested in playing with Uncle Chris and seeing Aunt Andrea with a baby. 
Our little four pack of boys are going to have so much fun in the years ahead! I love that he and Beckham are so close in age especially. We're already planning how many turkeys we're going to need at Thanksgiving when they're all teenagers. We are very, very excited about our newest family member and thankful everything went so well. I still can't believe I'm an aunt!

Last Saturday night Nick and I hired a sitter and broke out of Kidville after we put the boys to bed. We figured a trustworthy college girl could handle sitting on our couch for four hours, giving Beckham one bottle, and putting him back to bed while the other two slept. We went to Ft. Worth and met my brother and Stacey for dinner.
See me out in the world adulting?? It felt so good!

Too bad the boys weren't more compassionate of our late night plight and woke up at the same time as always the next morning.

Logan also had his first t-ball game of the season this weekend! 
Nick has been taking Logan and Everett to all of the practices, so poor Everett was highly disappointed that he couldn't get out there and play when it was actually game time. Hopefully this spring once he turns three he will be old enough for a soccer or t-ball team of his own.

The brothers and I, plus Al & Teri and my mom, "cheered Logan," as Everett said, from the stands.

Yesterday at preschool Logan was chosen as the "Top Dog" for his class. From what I can surmise, it's a rotating award one kid gets each day. The highly coveted prize for being Top Dog is a paper dog dicut on construction paper with the kid's name written in sharpie. It's really a gem. But every single day I hear who the Top Dog was, so you can imagine Logan's off the charts excitement when I picked him up today. We celebrated the high honor with some fro yo. 

Everett is loving school so much! I'm so proud of him! Here he was reading books to us like his teacher the other day while I fed Beckham. 
"Can anyone tell me what this is?" he asked, holding up the cover of the book and pointing to a lamb. Then he announced, "Listen! I will read it first and then I will show you guys allllll the pages." 

He walks around humming songs he's learning in his class, and he talks excitedly about what he does at school each day and his friends in class. It's so cute! I knew he would love school, but it makes me so happy to see how much fun he's having.

My favorite moment of all the moments happened on Tuesday when I picked the boys up from school. 

Everett's teachers told me they had seen Logan in the hall earlier and that the boys hugged and hugged for the longest time. When we walked to Logan's class, his teachers gushed about the same story. Then Logan walked out into the hall and Everett said, "Wogan... I saw you today!! And then you went to your class and I was crying."
Logan bent down to him in the sweetest little voice and said, "Why were you crying Everett?"
Everett answered, "I missed you so much!"
To which Logan answered, "Aww! I missed you so much too!"
And then the brothers broke out into spontaneous hugs standing in the hall and declared their love for one another "SO MUCH!" back and forth. 

And I got to witness this!!! It was literally, maybe, the best moment of my entire life. Top ten for sure. I just got to stand there with my mouth gaping open and my heart exploding all over the place and listen to all of that preciousness. 

Of course, the following morning our car ride sounded like this:
"Then you're a wooser. I don't wove you never again!"
So it all balances out in the end. 

Other than that, Nick and I just finished up Last Chance U on Netflix. We binged watched it over a few nights and both really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend!

The other show I've been watching and enjoying is This Is Us. 
Let me tell you what, I was hooked from the first preview. I may have even watched it on YouTube a couple of times. When they cued up the Jason Mraz song in that preview- FORGET IT! Tears were flowing, I was fully committed to watching. Everybody keeps telling me it's the new Parenthood. I never watched Parenthood, but maybe I need to do that!

The other random thing- this is super random- that I'm loving right now is Cherry Lime La Croix. Have you had this yet?? I don't even know if it's new, but it's new to me. Our Kroger is always sold out, so I stock up when I can find them. They're the best thing ever. ALMOST as good as watching a lovefest between your kids in the hallway of preschool or becoming an aunt for the first time!

Just a couple more updates I wanted to share...

If you follow me on Facebook, you've probably already seen the videos and wonderful pictures of Natalie's little girl Christina. Last week they went to Chicago where she had her "pacers," (diaphragmatic pacemakers) turned on so that she will no longer have to be hooked up to a ventilator during waking hours.
Christina's whole life has changed. This was her on her first trip to the grocery store. Before, she was so limited in what she could do attached to a 15 pound ventilator. 

This was Natalie's post on Facebook:

Today is the day. 
It's the day we've been waiting for since Christina got her trach at 4 weeks old. It's the day that will give Christina back her freedom and independence. It's the day we felt like would never come, and yet- here it is. 
Today, we are turning on Christina's pacers! 
This is the final step in the process we started on July 26th when she had her diaphragmatic pacers surgically implanted. The pacers will allow Christina to come off of her ventilator during awake hours and allow Mom and Dad a break from chasing behind her with the vent everywhere! While sleeping, we will turn her pacers off, and she will still hook up to the vent. It isn't recommended to pace 24 hours a day as it could tire out her body. 
Stay tuned for an update with Christina running free without being attached to her ventilator! Praise the Lord!!
Now all this sweet girl has to tote is a small backpack! She's FREE!!! I took the boys over to play with her this week, and it's such an incredible miracle to see her running all over the house so independently.
Christina and big sister Grace up in Chicago

Our bible study and/or college group always tries to have meals and different things ready to greet them when they come home after hospital stays, but this time we wanted to do something extra fun and celebratory. It turned out great!

The second update is on my beautiful friend Lisa. She finished up chemo and just completed her surgery two weeks ago. She has had a long, hard recovery and I just want to ask you to please keep her in your prayers. It hasn't been easy for them these past two weeks. She will start more treatment soon, once she is healed from the surgery. I know they would greatly appreciate the prayers.

I know a lot of you guys have followed their journeys, and I just wanted to keep you updated and thank you again for praying for them. Have a good weekend!