Saturday, August 30, 2014

We survived the first week of the 2014-2015 school year. Once Margaret got all her classes straightened out she's decided this is going to be a fabulous year. She taking cross country again, soccer, pre-AP English, pre-AP chemistry, geometry, Spanish, painting II, and pre-AP world history. It's a challenging course load, but she seems committed to making it happen. She is thrilled to be back working out with her cross country friends. 

Samuel had some hiccups with his schedule and ended up in two art classes he had already taken instead of first year Spanish. Unable to switch, he's just making the best if it and enjoying having an easy class. Otherwise, he's taking pre-AP English, 8th grade math (pre algebra?), life science, US history, and of course the two art classes: art & theater arts. He also has two periods of athletics each day. He'll be playing 8th grade football this year. The Canyon Ridge Eagles have high hopes as they won district as 7th graders last year. Every afternoon he spends nearly two hours working out with his team. 

William is so excited to be at the middle school this year! He's taking pre-AP English, science, world history, PACE math, and art. He and Samuel have enjoyed walking to school together each morning this week. William's bike has been in the shop, and once it gets back to us, they'll ride together. William is also playing Pop Warner football for the Four Points Vipers. This is a first for him, and he's loving it. His team practices at the middle school right after Samuel's team finishes up. 

John is the only one at the elementary this year. He's had a bit of a rough week, but it usually takes a little time for him to adjust to something new. He'll probably fare much better next week. His big news is that he gets to be in a portable this year! :) Last spring John tested into the QUEST program for gifted learners, so he'll begin working with that group starting next week.

I have enjoyed my week at home with the little girls. Hazel talks my ear off and has a long list of task a for me to do. Olive has started doing new tricks, dragging herself across the room, moving (only backwards) in her walker, and feeding herself. She seems very curious and wants to try to grab everything she can. She jabbers and coos in her alto voice and Hazel often interprets what she says, "Olive said 'yes, sir!'." These girls are such a delight to spend my days with!

This week Hazel and I planted our little vegetable garden. We went to the library one day, thrifting, to see Brian at his office, and to the grocery store multiple times. We made Popsicle stick people, read so many books, cleaned house and folded mountains of laundry, ran and walked many miles with the double jogger, played at the park at sunset twice, painted and other crafty endeavors, and made cookies twice. 

Brian and I are training for an October marathon. We don't intend to train too much for it as we must want to finish it and not set any time goals. We are also signed up for the Austin. Marathon in February which we both hope to run well in. We've enjoyed getting out for many if our runs together. Last Sunday morning we did a ten miler before church. This weekend we have an eleven miler. 

Brian has been really busy at work. He was promoted to the supervisor of design over the architecture and engineering departments, though I'm not sure what his official title is. He hasn't been able to step into this role fully as he's still wrapping up that big Waller Creek Tunnel project downtown. 

I guess that's all for now. I have so many partially written blog posts that I've never posted over the year, so I'm just going to post this one without proofing it. If I wait too long it'll never get posted. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday morning, April 13, 2014

I'm going to try to get a few words down before I need to sart getting ready for church.

The last two weeks have been somewhat crazy. Samuel joined a basketball club team and Margaret wrapped up track season at the district finals. There was STAAR testing for three of the four kids, and projects due. Brian had some shake up at work with one if his valuable co-workers giving his two week notice, as well as two of the principals retiring. These two events opened unexpected opportunity for him to take on new leadership. Then there's the three of us girls who stay home. Life isn't what you'd call busy for us. Physically exhausting, maybe, but not necessarily busy. From 5 am. To 10 pm I'm feeding, changing diapers, bathing, singing to, reading to, pushing and pulling the two little ones. At the end of the day I fall into bed sore, but fulfilled. 

Olive is nearly two months old. She now feels like family and not a stranger. Not gonna lie, she's a really fussy baby. Nothing puts me on edge faster than a crying baby, so I spend her waking hours trying to pacify her. She's not much of a smiler. We've only got a handful of grins out of her. Mostly she seems really concerned about what's going on in her tummy and does a lot of frowning. Even so, she's such a sweet thing and I just stare at her in wonder that God gave us another child, and this one just as unique and precious as the other five.

Yesterday we sold my old Ford Ranger. I've had it since 1996, longer than I've had Brian. My great grandmother promised all her kids a new car when they graduated high school. She didn't count homeschool as true schooling, and held off giving my sister and I cars until we were older (Thomas attended public high school, so he received his upon graduation.). I got mine for my 20th birthday. 
It'll be sad the day the new owner comes and drives it away. We're hoping to find Brian a good commuter car that will hold more kids, get good gas mileage, and last us awhile.

That's all the news for now. Have a blessed Holy Week! 

He is risen!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Olive's Birthday

Seems like we spent the whole month of February trying to get warm. It was ridiculously cold amd frozen with random mild days thrown in every now and then. Even so, I was determined to keep up with my exercise in hopes that it would encourage Olive to move on down the pipe (and keep me in shape as well). I walked 8 miles almost every day of February leading up to her birth. There were many days when I'd have contractions for several hours, but they'd never progress into anything painful. So I never called my doctor or went into the hospital. I'd had false labor with several of my babies and ended up spending evenings in the hopsital being monitored only to be sent home and be billed for an extra hospital stay. I was determined to avoid that this time around. We kept praying for a quick labor, and I prayed personally that I'd know when it was the real thing. Because I'd been induced four times, I only had one birth where I'd gone into labor naturally so I just wasnt sure what to expect. John was my natural baby. It was a very fast labor: I woke up around 2 am. feeling achy, we got to the hospital at 4:45, and he was born at 5:30. He was also the only one I'd not had an epidural with. 

I saw Dr. Love on Friday, February 14th. Everything looked good. He didn't check my cervix because he figured I knew if there was reason to. I didn't think I'd had any productive contractions, so he told me to come back the following Wednesday. Brian, Hazel, and I went to lunch, then I headed home to clean house and wait for the other kids it get home. That night Brian and I went out to Hill Country Pasta House not far from our neighborhood to celebrate Valentine's Day. We had the best time just taking our time and enjoying each other. We came back to Steiner and walked around, eventually dropping in at Tasha and Marcel's house to visit. I had contractions off and on all night, but again, nothing that seemed productive.

Brian's parents came Saturday evening and we all went out for Mexican food. I ate extra spicy food and had lots more contractions.

Margaret and Brian ran the Austin half marathon on Sunday morning. I went down there with them in the wee hours of the morning and got in lots of walking all around downtown, even a little but if running  trying to catch some pictures of them. 

Monday Hazel and I planted flowers in the front flower beds and cleaned up the back yard. We payed at the park and walked lots of miles. I was really feeling heavy and weary by the end if the day. 

Tuesday I cleaned the pantry from top to bottom, washed sheets, vacuumed, dusted, cleaned windows, and caught up on all the laundry. Could defintely be accused of nesting. By the end of the day I was give out and did frozen pizzas for dinner. I was too tired it stay up and watch the Olympics. I took a bath and headed on to bed. Brian came to bed and woke me up and we did our best to encourage this baby to come. ;)

I guess we were successful, because around 1:30 I woke upmwith a start. I had been dreaming I was having a pretty strong contraction, and lo and behold, I was! I lay there for awhile and waited for the next one. It came about ten minutes later. I got up and ate a banana, loaded the dishwasher, and timed contractions for about an hour. They came every ten to fifteen minutes, painful,  but never very close together. I knew these contrsctions were different from the ones I'd been having up to the that point. I climbed back in bed and tried to rest,  but eventually worried that if I waited too long it may get too late. I didn't want to get stuck out in Steiner Ranch during rush hour! I woke up Brian and told him the contractions were pretty painful and that I was pretty sure we should go on in to the hospital. He had packed his bag the night before and mine had been packed for a week or so, so there wasn't much to gather up. I called my mom and left a message on her phone that we were headed in, then called my neighbor, Lisa, and let her know we are leaving. 

I had contractions all the way in to Austin, roughly every ten minutes. It was a little sad realizing this was the last time we'd do this, make this trip to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. A funny detail I think I'll always remember is that Willie Nelson's "Reasons to Quit" was playing on the radio when we were in the car, which seemed appropriate for our last birth.

We went straight up to Labor and Delivery and I checked in. The nurse looked at me skeptically when I said I was in labor, I guess because I wasn't writhing or anything. She asked if I was scheduled to come in that morning, and I said, no, but that this was my sixth baby and I was pretty sure it was time. She said they'd put me in a room and observe me awhile. I was given room 315, the first room when you walk into LDR. The gave me an IV for fluids and antibiotics because I'd tested positive for GBS. Brian laid down and napped for awhile. At one point i felt the need to use the restroom.when I stood up I felt a pop and was pretty surevmy water broke. After a little while Brian's mom arrived and the three of us visited between my contractions. The nurse checked my cervix early on and I was dilated 3-4 cm. 

My contractions got progressively more painful and long, but I was able to joke and carry on conversation between them since they still were about 7 minutes apart. I texted my mom instructions regarding the kids and getting them off to school. The nurse came and checked me again and I was still dilated 3-4 cm. Frustrating! It felt like so much work for nothing! The nurse came in and asked me about pain management and whether I'd be wanting an epidural. At this point I was hurtin pretty bad, but ad no idea how long it would last, so I was somewhat vague in my answer.  The nurse said Dr. Love would be making the rounds about 7 am., and he could check to see if my water had actually broken and if not, could break it then. We all assumed I'd be hanging out awhile before Olive arrived. Suddenly things seemed to kick into high gear around 7 am. My contractions got really long and one on top of the other. I was thirsty, and hot, and cold, and light headed! I told the nurse I was going to throw up. Wait, no, I wanted ice! She and Brian were running around tryingt to accommodate me. Then my mom texted needing instructions on how to work the coffee grinder, so I struggled through a contraction while texting her. The nurse came back and wanted to check my cervix again, which was really not what I wanted to happen at this point since I was having one contraction on top of the other. Suddenly I'd gone from 3-4 cm to being dilated 8 cm (in less than 20 minutes!)! As soon as she was done I felt something like a bowling ball needing to get out of my body ASAP. I told Brian she was coming out right then. I knew I couldn't stop her! The nurse hollered for back up, gave me oxygen (i guess i looked like i was going to pass out, or maybe my blood pressure had a significant drop) and somehow Dr. Love ran in just in time to put his arms in his scrubs and catch Olive. I don't really remember pushing, she just pretty much shot out on her own! I just kind of lay there with my eyes closed for the longest time making sure I was still alive. I tore pretty bad and was bleeding quite a bit, so Dr. Love spent the next ten minutes poking my with needles and sewing me back up. Oh my goodness! Needles down in the nether region are unbelievably painful! But then I was handed this perfect, beautiful baby, and nothing else mattered. She was here! She was and is beautiful! She looks so different from Hazel and so much like William and Margaret, and yet she has her own look. What an amazing gift she is to our family, the gift we didn't know we wanted or needed. 

It was so neat to see how God specifically answered our prayers in helping me know when I was in labor and giving me a quick, safe labor. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday morning here. The beginning of a new week, and I'm looking forward to some normalcy. The kids were out of school Monday through wednesday because of teacher training. I can't recall all we did, but one of the days we went into Austin and hit the library, P.Terry's, and Old Navy. There was a delayed start of school on Thursday because of icy road conditions, and then Friday school was canceled all together. I'll be honest, that many days with three red blooded, hot headed males in one house is too many. It was a good reminder why we don't homeschool, if I needed one. We took Margaret in to spend the weekend helping the Koplins, the family she often babysits for. On the way home I got milk shakes for everyone, which made me a hero.
We watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics Friday night. At first I was then only one interested in watching, but eventually others joined me. Yesterday (Saturday) was a work day around here, and Brian had all the boys busy helping him change bulbs, hang blinds, replace door stops, and patch holes. It was a lazy day for me in that I just pretty much did what I wanted to, which was take a bubble bath, read, refashion a sweat shirt, and walk 8 miles. I didn't do all 8 at once, but divided it between two walks. I was hoping it would convince Olive to move down lower, but no. 
Last night we grilled burgers and i did homemade buns and oven oven fries, both Yukon and sweet. I never buy buns anymore unless we're having company because homemade are just so much better.  I use the "40 Minute Burger Buns" recipe floating around the web.
Seems like the days are moving by so slowly. I'm ready for these next two weeks no hurry up and go by so I can have Olive in my arms instead of my tummy! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Well, blogging from the couch because nice again I can't sleep. I never have trouble sleeping EXCEPT the last several weeks of pregnancy. I toss and turn all night. But it's one if the few complaints I hae about pregnancy, since overall I don't mind being pregnant. I actually feel pretty darn good when pregnant.

I'm 37 weeks now, which I guess means I'm fully baked. Sure would be nice or have an early delivery,  it I'm not getting my hopes up too much. I had a doctor's appointment last Friday. He didn't do much aside from the Group B strep test, and said he'd see me in who weeks instead of one. He gave me the option of coming in this week, but didn't feel it was necessary since I wasn't having anything unusual going on. So my next visit I'll be nearly 39 weeks. Unless Olive decides to pop out before then. 

I've been keeping up my walking. I don't believe it will make any difference in helping her come early, but it has helped me keep my head clear and stress-free. Crazy thing is that with all six babies I've managed to gain the same amount of weigh whether I'm exercising a lot or moderately (between 22 and 25 pounds). I've been getting in six miles every day lately, sometimes more. 

My sweet life long friend, Tasha, threw me a baby shower last Saturday. It was wonderful and I was so honored. Olive got lots and lots of clothes, which is great since she had one outfit to her name. I had passed on all my baby clothes to Brian's sister who has a little one a year younger than Hazel. We also received a new double jogger, a yellow duck umbrella stroller, a new diaper bag, and several adorable blankets. The super awkward moment occurred when my mom and Brian's mom arrived with the same big gift (jogging stroller). Not sure how this happened, but my mom had brought the stroller already assembled, so she won out as the gift giver. I took hazel for a spin in her new ride and she was as snug as a bug in a rug!

The kids have the first three days of this week off because the teachers have some sort of training to attend. The boys went to Brian's parents for the weekend and were still go e yesterday, so Margaret, Hazel, and I went thrifting in the morning. I found a mustard colored sweater from Anthropologie, a longish chambray shirt that I can wear now and later, and a retro magazine rack. 

A stomach bug has afflicted all of us to one extent or the other. First Brian, who seemed or have it worst of all (even passed out!), then Hazel. I was sick over the weekend and couldn't tell the difference between labor and a virus until we got a call saying all three boys had thrown up, too. I guess it wasn't labor. What a waste of pain! Margaret got sick on Sunday, and then my mom said she was sick with it yesterday. And not to be left out, her dog, Luther, threw up yesterday afternoon. 

Brian's birthday was last Friday. I cooked him a big meal since he likes food: two different,y seasoned pork tenderloins, stewed okra and tomatoes (his favorite side), oven roasted cabbage wedges with bacon (another favorite), pioneer woman's hot smashed red potatoes, a baby spinach salad, homemade dill onion rolls, and pioneer woman's Italian Cream cake. He was a happy guy.

Brian and Margaret have their half marathon in about a week and a half. Brian went out and ran a 12 plus mile trial run on Sunday afternoon. He hasn't done something like that in a long time and really proud of him for making the time to train for this thing! Margaret hasn't been getting Ina as many long runs, but with all the training she gets every day working out with her track coach at school, I'm sure she'll do fine. She also has youth on her side.

I've been plodding along with my reading list. I finished the small kindle book The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Tim Keller. Really hard words to read, but good. I have been picking up Pleasing God by RC Sproul as I have time, every other day or so. I mostly have only had time for my one year Bible though, which I am still loving! 

Well, Hazel has been rifling the pantry and already consumed a large percentage of a box of generic goldfish, so I'd better get busy making breakfast. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

It's not even six am., and I just had pizza and a 1/2 cup of dry granola. How's that for a balanced meal? I'm so thankful for a good night of sleep. Brian wasn't up throwing up from a stomach virus or food poisoning, or coughing from allergies, and Baby Olive stayed down low instead of up in my ribs as she'd been all day. I feel rested and so excited to be going to worship my Lord this morning!

Recap of this week....

Mama came Monday and stayed a couple of days. She took us girls shopping and bought me my jogging stroller and diaper bag. So generous! Tuesday after the kids went off to school, she and Hazel and I went to the mall and she bought me a new robe and a couple of sets of jammies for my hospital stay. This is something she has done with every baby I've had. Have I said the word generous yet? Oh, and she also filled my freezer with various kinds of meats!

I spent most of Wednesday getting things done around the house while visiting with Mama. Samuel had a basketball game in the far reaches of the LISD boundary that evening. Mama followed me there so she could go home after the game since it was on the way to her house in Burnet.  Canyon Ridge won, though they started off sluggish. They're still undefeated in regular district play. 

The kids had a snow day Friday because the roads were so bad from all the ice. Brian was working from home that day as well, so we were all able to enjoy spending the day inside. We invited the Thompsons from across the street as well as Tasha and her boys over for coffee and cookies. Tasha's husband, Marcel, was working so wasn't able to come. 

Brian got very sick Friday night, throwing up multiple times and even passing out! Really scary! We're not sure if he got food poisoning or what (no one else got sick). 

Saturday morning Samuel had a basketball tournament. Canyon Ridge won their first game and then played their rival Cedar Park Middle in the championship game, losing by one point. They play Cedar Park again on Monday night for the last game of the season. If CR wins this time they'll be district champs (since tournament games don't count against their regular season record). Samuel has so enjoyed being on the team this season! It's such a sweet group of boys, Coach Kelder is the best, and the parents are all so encouraging and supportive of each other's sons. 

I'm so ready to have this baby! I have my (nearly) 37 week appointment this week. I'll go every week from here on out. Most women go every two weeks starting at 30 weeks, and every week at 35 weeks, but Dr. Love gave me the option of just continuing coming in every four weeks until 37 weeks since I've done this so many times before and I've never had complications.

Also this week on the calendar, Brian's birthday and my baby shower. Looking forward to both!

Well, off to feed my soul. Have a blessed Lord's Day!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sitting here on the couch with my coffee waiting for it to do its thing. My consumption has been way down this pregnancy because I've just lost the taste for it. But sometimes you just gotta force it down.

Brian, Hazel, and I have had a pretty quiet weekend while the big kids have been at Mimi's. Yesterday I did some reading, sewed a table runner, got a pot roast going, did some laundry, took Hazel to the park, walked six miles, sat around visiting with Brian and ironed out this years's budget, and took a bubble bath. There are few things I dislike more than disussing money. It has always stressed me out. But we did it. Things will be tight this year - probably for several years to come - but I can't imagine a better use of our time and money than on these six wonderful gifts God has given us! 

The kids have a holiday tomorrow. No big plans for the day other than homework and then letting them roam free. This week will be another busy basketball week for Samuel with a game Wednesday and a two day tournament on the weekend, and then his final game next Monday. He has so enjoyed being on the team and has made some good friends. It makes me very happy to see his talking and laughing with his teammates during and after the games. The kids seem to accept him and even really like him for who he is, even if he is a little different. 
Not a week goes by that Brian and I don't talk about how blessed we are to have the kids in the schools they're in. As expensive of a move this was and how "fish out of water" we felt at first being out here I the 'burbs, it is so worth it. The opportunities the kids have are so much greater than what they had in AISD, or in private school, or at home. And to hear the kids say how much they like school makes me so happy! All of them agree that this is the best school year they've had so far. Yay!

Just five more weeks until we get to meet Olive. I'm starting to feel pretty uncomfortable and find myself constantly thinking about her arrival. I feel pinched inside like there's no more room, and my ribs are bruised from her pressing against them. But soon enough she'll be here and I'll forget all about the pain. 

Tasha is throwing me a baby shower on February 1st. I feel so honored! No one has thrown me a shower since I was pregnant with Margaret! Tasha is my childhood best friend who moved to Steiner Ranch a few months ago. She lives about a mile away and her sons go to school with our boys. 

Must start getting ready for church. Blessed Lord's Day to you all!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

It's 6 am on Saturday morning. No reason for me to be up since we have nowhere to go and four of my kids are at my mom's house. But my body has this internal alarm that goes off and will not allow me to go back to sleep. So here I am.

As I said, Mama came and got the older kids and took them out to her house for the weekend. It's Little Thomas's birthday (who is not so little anymore at 13) as well Big Thomas's birthday (who is no longer little either at 37) this coming week. All the cousins but Hazel were going out for the weekend, as well as Big Thomas. Brian and I opted to stay in Austin and enjoy some time mostly to ourselves before Olive comes. I suppose Hazel could've gone, too, but she's the youngest, I I didn't want to add another one to the already crazy crew of ten for my mom and Thomas to take care of. 

Our plans for the weekend are to finalize our year's budget, do a few odd jobs around the house, and get some exercise. Brian has his half marathon next month, so he's got a long run to do. I just want to get out and enjoy some fresh air and then maybe I'll do something crafty. I have so much sewing stuff waiting to be used. 

I'm getting lots of good ideas of books to read since lots of my friends are are posting their reading goals for the year on their blogs and Facebook. Here's what mine looks like so far...

Read through the Bible using my Devotional Daily Bible
Pleasing God by RC Sproul
The Holiness of God by RC Sproul
Inerrancy by Norm Geisler
The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther
The Freeom of Self Forgetfulness by Tim Keller
Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards
The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer

As you can see, I'm on a doctrine theme. I seem to go through phases where I read only one genre of books almost to the point if overkill. I'm sure I'll add to this list as I discover new reads. I'm not great at writing reviews (or writing, period!) but I'll try to add some thoughts about each as I finish them. That is if I can remember to blog, and I really hope to blog more this year. I did write a blog post this week, but never got around to publishing it. Probably better that I didn't since I was loose with my words on a particular subject and typed things I'm sure I would regret later. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

crossing my fingers that i'll be able to blog a post before hazel wakes up from her nap. this napping thing is a new thing we're starting. I'm taking advantage of her being sick to get her in the habit of going down for a little while after lunch. it makes both of us a lot happier campers.

yesterday i cleaned house, cooked a pot roast, took a bubble bath with hazel, but was otherwise lazy. william had a dentist appointment down the street right after school, and we all rejoiced when he got a good report. it's been two years since we've been to the dentist and so far two kids are cavity-less. what a blessing! hoping the other two also get a clean bill.

last night i made king cake to celebrate epiphany. for several reasons our evening was rushed and we didn't get to read about the wise men and sing any traditional epiphany songs. maybe we'll do that tonight.

trying to get back into the groove of getting the kids and brian off in the morning and then establishing a meaningful routine for hazel and i during the day. i'm trying to strike a balance between playing with hazel on her terms and time, and keeping up with my to do list each day.

the kids were really glad to be back at school yesterday, especially william. he just thrives off of structure and clearly laid out agendas and expectations. i am so thankful for the schools we have in our neighborhood. all three are top notch and places i feel comfortable sending the kids each day.

well, the washing machine just told me she's done, so i had better help her out of her clothes.

Monday, January 6, 2014

i'm not even gonna try to cover all of life that has happened since i last blogged. ugh. let's just start with right now. 

it's bitterly cold outside right now. they say we're going to get the coldest temps Austin has seen since 1970! supposed to be in the low teens tonight. it wouldn't be so bad except that it's also windy. 

today was the first day back to school for all the kids. i dropped off all the boys and didn't make them ride their bikes, then waited with Margaret at the bus stop so she wouldn't have to stand out in the cold. central texans are just not equipped for this kids of weather. 

i just checked on hazel, and thankfully, she is finally napping in Olive's crib. she sleeps alright in her Big Girl Bed upstairs, but napping is another thing. i have to put her in the crib to keep her contained. she hates it. 

january and february will be busy with school work plus extracurricular  activities. Margaret begins track, Samuel continues with basketball that started before the break, as well as track. and then somewhere in the middle i'll have a baby. Brian turns 41 at the end of the month. and by the way, i sure am enjoying being married to an older man. Samuel turns 13 the week Olive is due. this will be an interesting year having two teenagers, two tweens, and two littles. 

i've got back into reading, whereas i'd dropped off quite a bit the last several months. i picked up a NKJV Daily Devotional Bible at HPB. i've never had a one year Bible, and for some reason it just thrills me to have all my readings laid out like that. i've done a lot of reading plans, but i find them hard to stick to. seeing it all in one place with the date just makes me so happy! i picked up Pleasing God by RC Sproul, which i'm really enjoying, and i downloaded about ten ebooks by Sproul, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, and others that I'm looking forward to reading. 

i'm late to the party, but i've been enjoying and getting lots of decorating inspiration as that is just my style.

on the exercise front, i've done pretty well. i walk every day, most days 5 or 6 miles, and some days up to 9 when the weather is good and i have the time. not all at one time, mind you. usually divided between morning and afternoon. i love being outside and so does hazel. on top of the walking, i've been working out with weights. since we dropped our Y membership we've been slowly adding to our home gym (if you can even call it that) collection of weights and such. there's a weekly yoga class that meets at the neighborhood club house that i had intended to join over the summer but never got around to it. hopefully after baby O gets here i'll make it over there.

and speaking of baby, this pregnancy has gone by so fast. it's crazy to me that i'm already 33 weeks. in no time i'll be holding little olive, or as hazel has started calling her, baby awful. =) this has been an uneventful pregnancy. no real complaints, other than the minor insomnia that has over taken me lately. i don't mind being pregnant. ok, i actually really enjoy it. 

well, that's all i have time for right now. these are rare moments when hazel is napping and i have the house to myself, so i'd better make the most of them!

getting a late start on this, but here we go….

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? move to the suburbs! have always lived in the country or the city up until this year
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? i made some goals last year (reading through the Bible following R.M. M'Cheyne's reading plan, the vague goal of "being more artsy", running the Marathon for Adoption, learning some spanish, reading lots of books), and kept up with some. others, like running the marathon weren't even an option since i was 6 months pregnant at that time. i did read a good deal, but not as much as in previous years. i didn't learn any spanish at all. i did quite a bit of art stuff as time allowed. 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? a handful of friends
4. Did anyone close to you die? yes: Nicole, Trey, Walter...
5. What countries did you visit? none. didn't even make it outside of Texas this year (not that there's anything wrong with that). with getting our house ready to sell and the subsequent move, we didn't have a lot of money left over for vacationing. 
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? a more sensitive heart to the needs of others. more creativity. patience. a wiring KitchenAid mixer. a healthy newborn.
7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? no one date stands out. to be honest, this year was pretty much a whirl wind.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? making it through the first half of the school year and all the juggling of schedules and homework and all that without doping the ball too often. 
9. What was your biggest failure? getting angry at my kids, laziness of mind, pride... 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? a recurrence of ulcerative colitis carried over from 2012. thankfully it was quickly cleared up once i got on the right meds.
11. What was the best thing you bought? our house! it wasn't our dream house when we found it, but it has been such a blessing! and after living in a 1700 square foot house for ten years, moving to a nearly 3200 square feet house makes it feel like we're in a castle! 
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? my kids. they've made the adjustment to a new neighborhood and new schools with such good attitudes. so proud of them!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? those who treated me unkindly when they find out i was expecting again.
14. Where did most of your money go? house, food, church, healthcare, car 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? discovering Brian and i were going to be parents again, and also learning that my childhood BFF was moving from Houston to my neighborhood!
16. What song will always remind you of 2013? Home by Philip Philips. mostly because it was my kids and they cousins theme song for the summer and they always asked me to play it when we were in the car
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? happier. 
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? praying, being hospitable to others, taking time to write letters and make phone calls to friends and family, spend one on one time with each of my kids. 
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? criticizing, eating sugar, wasting time on the 'net.
20. How did you spend Christmas? we hosted Christmas Eve for my mom's side of the family at our house, then went to the service at church that night. we came him and watched It's A Wonderful Life. Christmas morning we opened gifts and stockings with the kids, ate breakfast casserole, and played outside. 
21. How will you spend New Years? NYE Brian and i went out on a  date and ran some errands. New Year's Day he sent me off for "me" time while he took the kids down to the lake. 
22. What was your favorite TV program? i watched a lot of HG TV shows the first half of the year when i would work out at the Y. the second half of the year we had u verse and i only watched the local news and football. so i guess i didnt really have a favorite tv show. what would be a better question is what my favorite website was. 
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? no
24. What was the best book you read? the Bible
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? the Lumineers, i suppose 
26. What did you want and got? life, a new house in a good neighborhood with excellent schools and on the greenbelt. 
27. What was your favorite film of this year? i didn't see any
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? my mom took Hazel and I to lunch and shopping and then in the evening Brian took me out for Italian food.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? not worrying
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? carefree
31. What kept you sane? time with the Lord, exercise 
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? not sure
33. What political issue stirred you the most? the abortion debate in Texas
34. Who did you miss? neighbors from our old 'hood
35. Who was the best new person you met?  our neighbors across the street, Noah and Lisa
36. Tell us some valuable life lessons you learned in 2013:  The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  Proverbs 16:9