Move Over Mia Hamm

So this happened last weekend…

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Caroline played in her first soccer game.

After watching her brothers play in roughly 692,000 games over the last five years, she is so excited to be on a team and play in her own games.

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To mark the occasion, Caroline and I went to buy a new pink mesh bag which holds her new pink soccer ball. We also dusted off her brother’s old cleats and shin guards which she couldn’t be more happy to get to wear – except for the fact that she hates the feeling of the shin guards so she puts her socks on first and then puts the shin guards on top of the socks.

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Now with Caroline, who we like to call “spirited,” there was no telling what the first game would bring – happiness? tears? refusal to play?

Well, I’m happy to report she was so happy (anyone else feel like this post should be sponsored by Pharrell Williams?)! She ran and ran around the field. At times, she was no where near the ball, just playing her own imaginary game, serpentining all around the field.

While the rest of us were sweating in the 101 degree heat, she was running around with such joy.

Apparently she runs better when sticking out her tongue because she did that the entire game – from here on out I’m calling her the Michael Jordan of soccer.

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Of course when she wasn’t sticking her tongue out while running she was squeezing her lips while she watched everyone else go for the ball. Everyone else is cheering ,”Run,” while my husband and I are cheering, “Get your hands out of your mouth.”

 

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And then the ball came her way!

And she ran with it!

Kicking it down the field!

 

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And she scored!

The smile that came from her was amazing.

(I would have loved to show you that smile but my 9 year old had the camera at the time and stopped taking pictures right before she scored. I think he was as excited as the rest of us for Caroline and was cheering).

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Goal or no goal, game 692,001 was a success!

Move over Mia, here comes Caroline!

Posted in activities, caroline, exercise, family, games, observations, parenting, sports | 2 Comments

A Little “Old Lady”

My 5 year old and I went shoe shopping for me the other day.

I was in need of a new pair of heels and since the boys had already started school Caroline went with me.

AtĀ  the first store the saleslady handed me the tan nylon socks to try some shoes on with. While I couldn’t have cared less about them, Caroline was enamored with them. She grabbed herself a pair to try on and then “tried on” many pairs of shoes. I didn’t find anything I liked so we went on with our search.

In and out of stores we went, desperately looking for a pair that were comfy, cheap, and most importantly, came in a size 10.

Sidenote: For all of you people with average feet I am deeply envious. To be able to walk up to a shoe display and actually place your entire foot into the shoe to see how it looks is something I can only dream of. I place my size 10 feet into the display shoes and get to see how three of my crunched up toes look.

Anyway, Caroline and I were searching for a pair of simple gold heels for my brother’s wedding. Well, at least that’s what I was searching for. Apparently Caroline was searching for shoes for me to go walk the streets of Louisville and pick up a few extra bucks while on our trip.

She pulled heels with three inch soles, heels with bows, heels with bows and buckles, heels with clear soles, pink patent leather heels, and her personal favorite, heels completely decorated in varying blue and green sequins which resulted in a peacock feathers design.

She was able to pull these shoes because they were all in the clearance section.

I can’t imagine why.

For some of the shoes I humored her and put them on when she asked me too. I mean, how else would I have known that five inch heels are not my thing – although the blue sequin ones did give me a moments pause.

After several stores we decided we needed to eat some lunch. While standing in line waiting for our lunch, I realized Caroline had added to her shorts and t-shirt combo from this morning.

On her feet were the nylon socks she had tried on in the first store.

Sandals and nylons. It’s like I was shopping with an 85 year old woman.

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Caroline knew she had the “socks” on and was completely content with her look. After a brief moment of weighing my options, I decided I was going to be content too so I said nothing.

We finished our shopping, eventually finding a pair of shoes which worked for me – spoiler alert: they were not the blue sequined peacock shoes.

As we left the store walking hand and hand I looked down at Caroline and just smiled.

Shoe shopping with my little “old lady” was definitely a good day.

Tomorrow we have to go shoe shopping for her – I kind of want to stop by the lady’s department firstĀ  : )

Posted in caroline, family, observations, parenting, shoes | 1 Comment

Hello, Is Anyone Out There?

Hello.

Is anyone out there?

It’s been so long since I posted and yet it seems like just yesterday.

I’m not sure I even remember how to post anymore.

Since March I’ve sat down at the computer many times to write but it just didn’t happen. Maybe next week I’ll write. Maybe next month I’ll write because my heart won’t hurt so much. Well before you know its six months later and your heart still hurts.

Now please don’t call the authorities on me or send out the counselors.

I’ve got plenty to be happy and thankful for. My children and my husband make me laugh and smile every single day. Really its every single hour.

I’m here to say that its possible to move on but still have a tiny place in your heart that will always be sad. I think that’s the way it is for anyone who’s experienced a death. And for me it was the death of a dream, of a family member I had already placed deep into my heart.

Who knows what the future holds for us but I do want you to know that I’m here and experiencing life and its joys and I think I’m just about ready to start sharing with you again.

After all, how else am I going to remember that my daughter called my tummy squishy and my personal favorite lately…

Mom, take off your sunglasses.

OK. Why?

I want to see all those crinkles by your eyes.

(Sigh) Do you want to know who put a lot of those crinkles there?

Yes.

You.

Me?

Yes you. With the help of your brothers.

Maybe you should put your sunglasses back on so we don’t see the crinkles.

Sounds like a plan.

Posted in adoption, caroline, observations, parenting | 7 Comments

My Lifetime Movie Life

There are times when I feel like my life is being filmed for a TV movie of the week for the Lifetime Channel.

And this is one of those times.

Two days before Valentine’s Day we received word from the federal attorneys that our adoption agency was being shut down.

As in goodbye, kaput, all gone, no more.

And our money that we had turned in?

It was also goodbye, kaput, all gone, no more.

Thousands and thousands of dollars.

We were informed that if we had received a referral the government would help us finish the adoption process.

We were literally next on the list to receive a referral.

So that leaves us, and one hundred other families, with no adoption to follow through with and federal attorneys who say it’s completely up to us if we want to try and get some of our money back. They can’t help us. They are going to keep us up to date on legal proceedings but helping us with money? Nope. Can’t do. Not our area folks.

See, just like a Lifetime movie.

But sadly there’s no Tom Selleck or Dana Delaney character who’s about to sweep in and take our case.

Believe me when I say I had no humor about this situation when it first happened.

I almost instantly became physically ill with a severe cold and eventually lost my voice.

I blame it on all the crying. and the crying. and the crying.

I had to run a Valentine’s Day party for my son in the initial midst of this and all I really wanted to do was run out of there and sit on the couch watching movies and eating girl scout cookies.

(Don’t even get me started on how many girls can go to camp this year because of my cookie intake in the last 3 weeks).

Even though adoption is something I had wanted to do my whole life, it’s not a decision my husband and I came to easy. There were miscarriages, heart to heart talks, and a long process to get us to the point of actually moving forward with the idea.

I have grumbled with God. Several times.

But God is funny.

Right before we’ve had big losses, I’ve always been offered a job, seemingly out of nowhere. I accept the job and with days to go before my start date something major will happen.

I think it’s God’s way of keeping me moving forward and having a different focus.

I also think I’m never going to take another job in my life. Seems like I might be able to head off some of these life moments.

OK, not true.

But if we win the lottery I might just stick to that thinking.

So I started my new job.

God said, “You think you’ve got problems? Go tutor these homeless kids and then tell me about your problems.”

My new job is tutoring elementary aged kids who are homeless. All of those words should never go together in a sentence but sadly they do.

They are homeless – some sleep in their cars at night, some have beds some of the time until an uncle gets angry and they sleep on the lawn that night with their mom, and some live in shelters.

But I tell you what. They are amazing, beautiful kids. They have the best smiles. They are so eager to learn. They are so happy. They have struggles yes, but they have joy.

And so I take my cue on living life from some 8 year olds who have it much tougher than me.

The past 3 weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions but I feel good about where I am going with this whole life experience.

We are not quite sure what our next step is but that’s okay.We’ve got each other and we’ve got a roof over our heads.

The rest will work itself out.

And if it doesn’t, I’m sure I could hunt down Tom Selleck’s phone number from somewhere.

Posted in adoption, observations, parenting | 8 Comments

She is Fierce: Bedroom Art

Anyone who knows my four year old knows that she has a mind of her own.

I present to you one of her latest self chosen preschool outfits as a small piece of evidence.

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So when I came across the Shakespeare quote, “And though she be but little, she is fierce,” I knew it described Caroline and it would be perfect somewhere in her room.

One day while the boys were at school Caroline and I made this sign:

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Here’s how we made it:

We found a board in the garage that was roughly 1 1/2 ft by 3 1/2 feet and gathered some paints. Since this is going in her “rainbow room” we grabbed an assortment of colors.

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We then slapped on some color with the foam brushes, pausing after each color to dry the paint with the hair dryer.

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“Please don’t touch the hair dryer it’s hot.”

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Aaaaaand we touch it anyway.

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I’m thinking maybe I should make another sign that says, “And though she has good hearing, she chooses to ignore most of what her momma says.”

After we had covered the entire board with bright colors I took some gold paint and randomly placed it on the board and completely around the edges.

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I then found some leftover vinyl letters that we used on science fair boards several years ago and fashioned them into the letters we needed. I cut the letters and number below to create “she.”

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Once all of the letters are arranged the way you would like them, peel the stickers off and place them onto your board.

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For the last step, I spray painted the entire sign white. Once the sign is dry, peel off the letters to discover the fun design underneath.

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The sign is now sitting on Caroline’s bed frame waiting to be hung up

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Man I love that kid.

 

Independent. Spirited. FIERCE.

Posted in art work, bedroom, caroline, crafts, decorations, house projects, quotes | 3 Comments

February 2014 Goals

Alright, here are my goals for February…

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Here’s a blank February goal page in case you’d like one.

What are you hoping to accomplish, complete, do this month?

Posted in goals | Comments Off

A Colorful Bedroom Wreath

My name is Jennifer and I am a craft materials hoarder.

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When you are a craft materials hoarder it’s easy to say, “This project didn’t cost me anything.”

At least that’s what I tell my husband.

He is well aware that at some point in the past five years we’ve paid for these materials but he chooses to go along with my “free projects.”

I’m pretty sure we’ve found the key to a successful marriage.

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Not sure where I accumulated all of these materials from but I’m thankful I did.

Wrap a wreath in fabric strips and secure with glue gun.

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Make rosette flowers with fabric scraps.

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Make felt flowers with felt leftovers.

Have a few extra buttons lying around?

Go crazy and glue them on.

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Arrange and rearrange until you get it just right.

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Then use that glue gun very liberally.

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Free decorative wreath for my daughter’s bedroom.

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Score one for craft material hoarders everywhere!

Posted in art work, bargains, bedroom, caroline, crafts, decorations, husbands | 1 Comment

Barbie Comes Full Circle in Our House

My sister gave my four year old some Barbies for Christmas.

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Caroline wanted Barbies more than any other gift.

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When I was younger I loved playing with Barbies.

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I loved them but couldn’t quite resist giving them some much needed improvement.

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I was sure that one day I was going to be the Jose Eber of hairdressing and I was just practicing my craft.

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Caroline is four, I’m pretty sure I was double and triple her age when I made such Barbie improvements.

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Amanda, I promise you she loves the Barbies that you gave her. She cried when I asked her what happened to Cinderella’s hair.

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But just to be safe, I’m keeping a close eye on Snow White.

Posted in caroline, observations, parenting | 5 Comments

Caroline’s Room Plan

Whenever we paint around here my 4 year old gets super excited and asks if we are going to paint her room next.

Since nothing in her room has really changed since she was born (minus the crib change out for a big girl bed) and she’s getting ready to turn five (sniff sniff), I decided now was a good time to redo her room.

She settled on a rainbow theme.

Less than thrilled I went with it but really like what we’ve pulled together.

And by pull together I mean found around the house and made.

Besides the paint color (75% Repose Gray), ceiling paint (white), and the main fabric the big project in her room, I used what we already had. (Gramma will be throwing in a new comforter set once we get to that point – thanks Mom!)

And guess what?

I’m really excited with everything and so is she.

So here’s the basic plan which I put together after I had completed about half of the projects.

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While Caroline and I made all of the art work in her room, here are the links to the pieces on the design board:

HGTV Mod All Over Fruit Punch (main fabric in room)

Robert Kauffman’s Urban Circus fabric

You are Loved print

Though she be but little print- Sugarhouse House Ink

Felt hearts – Flickr

Unicorn print – Block Party Prints

Alright, I’ve got to go work on some projects if I’m going to meet my goal of finishing her room by the end of the month.

Happy Designing!

Posted in art work, bedroom, caroline, crafts, decorations, etsy, house projects | 2 Comments

January 2014 Goals Reviewed

Alright, so let’s get to how well I did with my January goals.

And just so we are completely honest with each other, I made these goals about Jan 15.

I had already been working on some things so I just decided to give myself to the end of the month to complete them.

Paint Caroline’s RoomCheck!- My wonderful husband painted her ceiling and her walls since I wanted to give her room an update since she’s almost five and it’s looked the same way since she was born. Since I’m not sure if our room arrangements will be the same next year I wanted a neutral color. I really wanted to paint the room all white but chickened out once I got to Sherwin Williams. I decided to go with Repose Gray at 75% (it’s 25% lighter than the color). Now that it’s painted, I really like the color and am glad I went with it.

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Record Exercise – check! I’ll share more on that late in the week as well as a printable to go along with it.

Date Night with Hubby – fail! – Nope, but my sister is coming in town this month so we are going to take advantage of her being there – thanks Kelly!

Sew Christmas Tree Skirt - check! – Believe it or not I completed this task and probably written the first Christmas post of the year. I won’t be sharing it to the fall but I’m really excited about it since I started making it with the kids two years ago.

Go to bed at decent time – check!

Add 1 new product to etsy shop – fail!

Finish Christmas thank you cards with kids - fail! But we are getting there, only a few more to go!

Finish and hang family word art - fail! Project is complete now though.

Try 2 new recipes – check! – Look out world I went crazy and tried 3 new recipes.

We ate this Slow Cooker Lasagna the other night – probably won’t make it again since I thought it was just okay but if I do I will use sausage instead of ground beef. My 8 year old really liked this meal (I doubled the sauce and cheese amounts).

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – I made these before school one day and to say the kids were shocked is an understatement – what, no cereal this morning? I didn’t make the icing for them and just served them hot out of the oven which my kids enjoyed. I will make these again since I’m so happy they didn’t come from a box.

Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe – We had this at a friends house one night and we loved it. I made this recipe the next week and again we all loved this. We had it with some coleslaw and fruit and we will definitely make this again. Once the meat was finished cooking we mixed it with some BBQ to make it extra yummy.

If you see this packet in the grocery store, pick it up since you’ll need one to make the recipe:

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Write More – check! Although I didn’t write as much as I would have liked, I did write more than usual so that’s a win for me. Next month I need to be better about just sitting and journaling at a specific time.

Any progress on your goals, resolutions, and lists?

Posted in goals, recipes | 3 Comments