Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Light at the End of the Ph.D. School Tunnel

For the first time, we're starting to see that there will be an end to the road we've been on for so long. (And, yes, I said "we" since I'm the one that's logging all those extra parenting hours while Matt's in school!). It's starting to get exciting & I'm hoping that excitement will carry us through the next 16 weeks as Matt completes his suicide mission to finish up the coursework.

We've been gearing up for this semester the past few weeks. Matt started back in full swing this week. We're only 3 days in and already I'm exhausted. Ha! I always forget how tiring it is to not have him home at night until after the kids are in bed. Trying to get 3 kids fed, bathed, homework done, teeth brushed, bedtime stories read -- it's nuts! By the time I tuck the last one in bed, pick up the house and Matt gets home, we just fall into bed exhausted only to get up and do it again the next day. And, somehow we do it thanks to a lot of caffine & prayer. :) But, I know that when it's all over it will have been worth all of it!

It finally feels like there will be an end to this crazy life we've led the past 5 years. Matt started his master's degree when Harrison was just 3 weeks old, with the intent of going straight through to the doctorate. And, that's what he's done. It's been tough and there certainly were times we talked about quitting, but now that the end is in sight, I'm so thankfult that we stuck it out. Last week, Matt was filling out a form that lists all the classes required and he had to fill in when he took them, etc. It's mostly for the purpose of making sure that a class hasn't been forgotten along the way. He was finishing it up and I made him stop and look at it -- it was FULL. I remember not so long ago, when there were just 2 classes filled in and now there are 19. What an amazing feeling that was to see it all there, almost completed.

Next fall he'll start writing his dissertation and hopefully be finished sometime in the spring, with a graduation date of May '13. It will be here before we know it.

The options after all of this are limitless. He has an amazing resume -- 10 years of classroom teaching, instructional facilitator, adjuncting at a local university. We'd always planned to move and have him join the faculty at a college. But, then we fell in love with Fayetteville, and our church, and Madeleine's school, all of it. It's such a great place to raise a family and it's getting harder and harder to move all the time. I think we've come to the decision that we'll just finish up the degree and see what doors are open -- and pray that we make the right decisions at that time.

So, that's it. Where we are right now. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however small, and it's growing brighter by the day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reason # 5,142 Why I love Harrison

When I checked on Harrison last night, this is how I found him...
He'd been wearing his PJ pants on his head earlier and told me they were his "bedcap," guess he decided to sleep in them. I love that boy -- he never fails to surprise me or make me laugh!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Charlotte is 2!!

My sweet little girl is 2 years old! This has been a year full of changes for her -- when I think back to this time last year, it's amazing to see how much she has changed!

We started her birthday the night before and let her have one gift. :) She got a new riding toy thats more girl-y than the firetruck she's been using!

We didn't have any big plans for her big day -- just spending time together. Our first outting of the day was to get this balloon she's been gushing over every time we go to Walmart. She was quite a sight carrying that thing around all day.

I took a few pictures that morning of her -- I'm waiting till after her doctor appt next week to do a big post about all the things she's into, I mean upto, right now. :) She starting to look so big with those curls and longer hair!

We had a fun lunch at ChickFilA and Mimi & Grandad met us there to start the celebrating! Then it was home for a nap and to wait to Daddy & Madeleine to get home. While we were waiting for them, we did some FaceTime with Sugar & Stewart so they could watch her open her gift they'd sent -- isn't technology wonderful!

We'd decided to go eat mexican food that night since one of Charlotte's favorite things right now is chips and queso. We usually end up having mexican if we go out these days since she's perfectly happy to sit through an entire meal just dipping chips and eating them. She's also discovered tortillas and likes fajitas sometimes too. So, off we went to our favorite mexican restaurant for dinner. Yum!

Next it was time for presents! She knew exactly what to do after Christmas. :)

She got lots of great new toys, but the look on her fact when she put on her Dora sunglasses and took off holding her new Dora purse was priceless. :)

She thought she was hot stuff!

Finally, it was time for cake! We did an elmo cake which Charlotte was pretty excited about.

This girl isn't afraid to dive into some cake either!

By the time we finished cake and had a bath, this girl was done. It didn't take her long to fall asleep. We had a great day celebrating sweet Charlotte. Still can't believe my baby is TWO!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Letter C and the Number 2

Today we celebrated Charlotte's second birthday a couple of days early with our playgroup. We hosted them in our home for a Sesame Street themed breakfast. I have to say this was the perfect way, in my opinion, for us to celebrate our sweet girl. Since it was just my group of "mommy friends" and their kids that we spend so much time with it lessened the stress of having everything perfect. The kids are used to playing together and all know each other well, and we mommies got a chance to visit too. :)

We started out with breakfast and then ended up with cupcakes just before everyone went home. We had quite a crew of 10 kiddos (6 of them 1 year olds!) and their mommies. Just like with Harrison, these are Charlotte friends -- the kids we play and worship with. They will grow and be a part of her "family" and it makes it all so wonderful for her to get to spend those special days with them.

I'd planned to do a Ladybug theme for her birthday (FYI -- if you're wanting a ladybug party, just check my Pinterest page, it's all laid out for you!). But, in just the past couple of weeks, she's fallen in love with Sesame Street, especially Elmo. In fact, if we ask her "Who loves you?" She'll immediately answer "ELMO" which she pronounces "yello."

Elmo cookies

Elmo cupcakes
Goldfish in cups

Early pic of the table

Goodie bags I made ~ filled with playdoh, bubbles, Elmo stickers and C's favorite fruit snacks.

I really wanted to do something simple for her birthday. I wanted us to be able to enjoy having our friends here and spend time talking and playing with them.

I only got a few pics of the kiddos because, ummmm, these kids are busy! It was a wild and fun morning. I thought at one point, how happy it makes me to have our home filled with friends and laughter and noise.

A huge thanks to my friend, AJ, for taking these pics. Charlotte didn't quite know what to do with those candles, but after I blew them out, she figured it out. Then she kept yelling "mommy!" and pretend blowing on her cupcake. I think she'll be ready when it's time for her birthday cake on friday!

Drew and Harrison were there to make sure that candle got blown out! She loves her bubba and that Drew too! And I think he loves Charlotte just a wee bit back. :)

Charlotte was quick to dive into her HUGE cupcake. Those were the most massive cupcakes and all that sugar sure made for a hyper girl later on, but it was oh so good!

I'm so thankful for our sweet friends that came to celebrate our sweet girl today! It was the most wonderful morning!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Super Saturday

Saturday was a fun-filled day for all of us! First up was Harrison's (belated) birthday party. While his actual birthday was back in December, it just seemed best to let the holidays get behind us and all our friends get back to town and then celebrate. It worked out great!

We had the party at Boingo Bounce which was perfect for this age of kiddos! :)

I tried to get some pics of the kids that came, but some of them were just too busy jumping to pose for me! I did get a few though.

Harrison was thrilled when his friend Drew ended up being able to come at the last minute! These boys love each other so much & I heard Drew say more than once "I love you Harrison!" Sweet boys. They are so two peas in a pod! :)

Since Harrison's new obsession is Cars, we did a cars theme. I was able to find just about anything we'd want in Cars -- juiceboxes, cheese-its, pretzels, the works! Made the party so easy for me!

We did get a group picture -- 1.Bella, Brooklyn 2. Madeleine, Drew, Reid, Grace, Taylor, Olivia, Jackson 3.Cooper, Harrison, Peyton, Bennett.

At one point, on of the moms (Kim) remarked to me how neat it was that all these kids are like each other's family. It's Harrison's own church family -- what a wonderful thing to have that at only 5 years old! I can't wait to watch these bonds continue to grow through the years.

After jumping and playing and getting good and hot & sweaty, it was time for cake & snacks. And, then presents! Harrison was completely spoiled by all of his sweet friends. He was also so so excited to hand out his goodie bags. He'd help get the stuff for them and could not wait to give them to his friends.

We had our friends Grace & Cooper come over for the afternoon to play. The boys had a big time playing with Harrison's new toys and Madeleine and Grace played dolls, house and Barbie for most of the afternoon. It's the quietest our house has been in awhile. :)

After a fun couple of hours, we packed back up and headed to the church to drop off the crew so Matt & I could go to date night. Woo hoo!

The kids always look forward to date night -- except Charlotte -- because they get to play at the church with their friends for 4 wonderful hours. And, Matt & I get to have a quiet dinner.

It was such a fun day! We were all exhausted at the end, but it's that good kind of tired that happens after a fun-filled day.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wilson Family Baseball

The days after Christmas brought some bea-u-ti-ful weather our way. We made the most of these unusually warm winter days and played outside -- the kids were ready to try out the new baseball gloves they got and we added a new bat so we were ready to play ball!!

Charlotte wasn't part of the game, but she sure was happy about being outside and running around!

Matt set up the kids outdoor chalkboard as a backboard to keep balls from heading toward the water.

When they got a hit, they had to run around the house, usually with me chasing them.

Future umpire??

I'm so thankful that Matt is athletic -- if it was up to me, our kids would never learn to throw a ball. Ha! He's awesome at pitching to them right where they can hit it. And, Madeleine is pretty good and likes it so I think she's going to play softball this spring for the first time.

Charlotte was up and down on the slide over and over while they played ball. She also had a big time chasing balls down for us. :)

The kids enjoyed our family baseball game so much that we played several more times that week. It made me ready for spring when we can get outside more -- especially after this arctic blast we've had this week!!