Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year Ahead . . .

2009 is upon us! I am shocked at how quickly 2008 passed by. It was a busy and eventful year for our family. I'm sure 2009 will be as well.

I love the beginning of the new year. It's like a fresh start each year and I always look forward to it. I view the beginning of the school year the same way. This year my focus is on getting healthy and fit again. Now that I am mostly recovered from surgery, I plan on working out again. Until I had Brendan, I worked out at 5 am each weekday. I loved it. After he was born, I was tired and worn out so I slacked off - big time. Well, no more. I am determined to get myself in better shape. I may never be back to my old size or former fitness level, but I will be better than I am now. I am looking foward to getting on the treadmill and not having my shoulders ache for days afterwards (that surgery has done miracles for my back/shoulders, by the way). It all begins on Friday. Can't wait.

Tonight we are celebrating the New Year with the kids. We cheat a little though. Each year, the Time's Square show is played live (with the ball dropping at 10 pm local time), then replayed so it drops at midnight local time. We always watch it "live" with the kids. They celebrate by popping poppers, blowing horns, throwing confetti, etc. at 10 pm. Then we put them to bed. One day they'll realize what we're doing, but until then I'm going to enjoy not having to keep them up until midnight.

I made a bunch of cards yesterday. I used up a ton of scraps and got a couple of dozen cards cranked out. I feel like I accomplished so much. I haven't done much scrapbooking since my surgery 8 weeks ago (can you believe it's been that long already?). It felt good to get something done.

I also re-organized Katie's and Brendan's rooms. That was a huge undertaking. Tom helped with Brendan's, but I did Katie's by myself. I only have the closet left to finish, but I couldn't reach up into it yet. Since my surgery, my arms don't go all the way above my head yet (scars reach from the middle of my chest all the way to the back of my underarm on each side so it is still tight). Tom will help me finish her closet - then I'll be done! Whew!

Well, have a wonderful New Year's Eve. Enjoy this time of new beginnings. Cherish each moment with your loved ones. 2009 is going to be great!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Win some great Cosmo Cricket!

Leah is giving away some fab Cosmo Cricket in a drawing next month. You MUST go check out her blog and leave a comment in order to be entered into her drawing. Her linkety link link is on the right side of my blog (she is one of my faves), or click here. I'd wish you luck in the drawing, but I am soooooo hoping to win!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I am a Mother

I cannot believe that Christmas is less than a week away already. This past couple of months have absolutely flown by. I'm almost ready for the big day. Almost.

Tom brought the stomach flu home from work last week. Then Brendan caught it. Now I have it. Hopefully we'll be all healthy before Christmas Eve. Today is Brendan's Christmas Party at school. Tom will have to fill in as "Room Mom" today because I will not be able to attend. I am so excited for Christmas Break though. I live for breaks from school. I love having my children home with me - just hanging out and spending time together. We've been enjoying the various Christmas shows on TV the past couple of weeks. I record them on my Tivo and we cuddle up in my bed and watch them after dinner. It is always so fun to watch my children enjoying the same programs I watched as a child.

Speaking of children (and being a mom, and all that that entails), I read the best book last night by Jane Clayson Johnson. You may remember her as a host of the CBS Early Show. She left her job several years ago to become a wife and mother. She left a very lucrative TV contract sitting on the table in order to do this. She is my new hero. Her book is titled, "I am a Mother". It is so inspirational. The world told her she was making a huge mistake but she knew where her heart was. She talks about how motherhood isn't valued as it should be. In social settings, when people ask "what do you do" we usually reply, "Oh, I'm just a mom". We should be PROUD of our calling as a mother. We should be honored with the trust God has placed in us by sharing these little people with us. He is entrusting them into our care and so many of us feel it isn't something to be honored and revered. I am so grateful for each of my children. I take my responsibility to them very seriously. I love watching them grow and change and learn. There will always be time to get my career back on track, but this time in their lives is so fleeting. I want to cherish each and every moment with them.

A year or two ago I received one of those forwarded Q&A email things where it asked what my favorite job that I had held was and I replied "being a mom". Someone (a mother herself) responded, "Is that even a job?". My thought? If you do it right it is. I put everything I have into being a good wife and mother. And my family is benefiting because of it. I'm not saying that I don't have outside interests or friendships of my own - but 99% of my energy is given to my family. This has been a huge blessing for us. There was a time (not too long ago) where my heart was divided between my job outside the home and my sweet Brendan. I worked 50 hours/week and didn't have much left to give him or Tom. I longed to be at home caring for my son and husband, but felt I would be letting myself down if I did so. When Sean and Marc were small, I was not "allowed" to work outside the home (and after devoting myself to our family for 9 years, I found myself divorced, broke, uneducated and unemployed). I was determined never to be financially dependent upon another man again so I worked hard, earned my degree, and threw myself into my job. I felt I needed to work in order to feel secure. After Brendan was born, slowly (I am not always a quick learner) I realized that for this season of my life, I am going to focus on following my heart. My heart led me here. Home. I've honestly never been more content.

I am not putting down people who choose to work outside the home. If that is where their hearts lead them, they should be there. I am just saying that all women should be proud of their jobs - whether in the home or in the workplace. I am just sad that so many people look down on women who choose to give up a career, salary, validation, etc. in order to care for their children. There is honor in giving yourself to others. I am a mom, but I am proud to say that I am a mother. I am proud of my choice to put my plans/dreams/goals on hold in order to devote myself to my family. I am grateful that we women have a choice.

Here are some pictures of my sweet children - wouldn't you want to be there 24/7, too?
Katie in front of the Christmas tree before her school program:

Katie and her "gingerbreads cookies". She begged me for these for a couple of weeks.

Sean and Brendan in their Bronco garb before the game on 12/7. They were so excited to go to the game that day.

Tom and Brendan at the Broncos v. Chiefs game on 12/7.

Katie on the day she earned her tutu. She worked very hard learning all of her foot positions in order to get her tutu. It was an exciting day for her.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, Monday

OK. So I've been a bad blogger as of late so I thought I'd better update everyone on things here:

I'm still trying to recover from surgery. I've had some internal stitches fail and one part of my right incision re-opened. They are watching it, but it seems fine right now. The dr. thought they might have to re-stitch it, but so far I've been lucky and haven't had to do that. Other than that, I feel great - and I think I look so much better than I did before. Tom bought me a bunch of new shirts because my old ones were too big. I am really happy I did it - even with all of the complications I've had.

Brendan turned 9 on Saturday. I made him his favorite breakfast (cinnamon rolls and bacon - not very healthy, I know). We let him open his gifts in the morning because we were going to be busy for most of the day. We went to Katie's ballet program downtown at the Depot in the afternoon. Then we took him to dinner - anywhere he wanted to go - and he chose..... Godfather's Pizza. Not for the pizza - but for the video games. It was pretty funny. Then we went to see some Christmas lights and came home for cake and ice cream.

Brendan has to go get his top braces on this morning. He isn't looking forward to it at all. After we're done with that, I need to take him to get his birthday treats for school, the drop him off at school, then go to my dr. appt. I have one today and one on Thursday. This is going to be a super busy week.

The kids have one more week of school before Christmas break. I am very excited to have them home for a couple of weeks. I need to get some Cheeseballs made to deliver to the neighbors. Usually I do cookies, but they are just too labor intensive for me to undertake this year. I need to finish a couple of Christmas gifts, print our Christmas letter, address and mail our cards, wrap a BUNCH of gifts, and take time to enjoy the holiday spirit. :o)

Tom is doing well. He'll be in town for the next couple of days, then in Ft. Collins the remainder of the week. He has been such a good care-giver to me since the surgery. I can't even begin to explain how much I appreciate him. He is amazing.

Well, I think that is all that has gone one lately. Take care and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, B-Man.

Today is Brendan's 9th birthday. I cannot believe how much he is growing. He is still the sweetest boy I've ever met - so caring and kind. He is also quiet and shy. And he likes to hid out in his cave (bedroom) all the time.

Happy Birthday, Big Guy! Your mom adores you.