Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Birthday Blast

Last week my good friend Katie emailed me and wanted to get some girls together for my birthday. As I get older I try not to remember my age, but birthdays are always fun no matter how old you get! We all went to Haruno for some sushi! It's one of my favorite local places here. It was good to sit in peace without the kids demanding attention, pulling on you, asking you questions, wanting to go to the bathroom, etc. As much as I wouldn't trade those times, I also enjoy those times where I don't have to do that. Girl time is much needed and if you don't have good girlfriends in your life, I highly recommend it. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there if you are shy and not outgoing. I will never forget meeting my friend Cami when we moved here. We were at a small group function at church. Afterwards, I went up to her and introduced myself to her and we hit it off! She is still a friend of mine to this day. All it took was just one small conversation and a willing spirit. I love meeting new people and my husband always tells me I could have a conversation with a wall. My nickname from him is "curious Kari." I guess I ask a lot of questions to people and like to talk. If you ask me to see a movie or to just sit and talk, I would rather just sit and talk.

It was good to spend time with these girls and I missed my other girlfriends. God has so blessed me with encouraging, sweet, Godly, and honest friends.

"Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." Romans 12:15.

Katie and Jerica

Katie and me

The girls

Jerica and me

April and me aka the best aerobics instructor.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Preschool Graduation

It's that time of the year where you start getting graduation announcements in the mail and invites to graduation parties. At least for us, this is the case. In student ministry we always look forward to this time of the year. It's always so much fun to go and see the accomplishments that our graduating Seniors have made. I remember one May we had eleven graduation parties in one day. I have to say that we made all of those parties and were stuffed from vegetables, fruit, and cake! That was pre-kids of course.

This year we got to have a graduation for Landon! He graduated from preschool on Thursday, May 26th. He was very excited to attend his graduation ceremony. They had practiced three songs all week to perform and Landon was one of the stars of the show. He loved singing these songs in the midst of chaos. As they called his name to receive his diploma, he was so excited and waved to everyone that clapped for him. He had a big cheering section. As we move forward in his school years, his preschool years were some of the most memorable years. He was so blessed with teachers that showed him love, affection, and discipline when needed. I can now say I have a big boy going to Kindergarten in the fall. Wow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Birthday Blessings

As everyone has heard we have experienced devastation here in the Springfield area. A tornado came through Joplin, MO that was almost 7 miles long. Devastation is an understatement. If you haven't seen the pictures or video's on the internet I highly recommend you look. This happened on Sunday evening, May 22nd. Please pray for so many that are without their families and friends.

I turned 34 on Monday. Yes, I am admitting my age on the world wide web. Crazy, I know. It was a great birthday because of everything I have to be thankful for and everything I have been blessed with. I do have to admit though that it was a hard day. It was gloomy and the thoughts of devastation in Joplin hung over me the entire day. I spent some time in the afternoon in the Word and praying. The Lord put a lot of things in perspective for me that day. Do you ever get in those moods of "woe is me?" I was in one that day and was quickly steered away from that attitude. I am thankful for that twenty five minutes I had with the Lord before Landon and Liam woke up from their naps.

On a brighter note, birthday celebration is coming on Friday evening with some great girlfriends and I can't wait for it! Every Mom needs a GNO once in a while!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Get Moving

It's Friday, Friday! It makes me think of that silly song that is out right now. Anyways, today was so wonderful. Nate's day off is Friday's and it's my day to play/work. I didn't have to work today so it was a play day. Not really, but I try and make it fun. I got up with the boys and passed them off to Nate and laid back down for about 30 minutes. I very rarely do that, but it was much needed this morning. By Friday, this Mom is exhausted.

After laying down for a bit, I got ready for aerobics class. I normally don't go to this particular class because it's a step class. Step is a great workout, just not one of my favorite classes. My friend April is the instructor so I have the inside scoop on what will happen in class. She was mixing it up today so I went and tried it! I loved it! It was a little of step, zumba, and toning all in one! I think she was secretly trying to kill us by the end of class but I am here to say we all survived. After class I always feel so energized and ready to start my day! If you are not in a regular workout routine, I highly encourage you to get started. It's never too late. Since Liam is still taking two naps a day, I only get to the gym on the weekends and workout at home during the week. I recommend any of Jillian Michael's workouts. She combines strength, cardio, and toning. If you are limited on time, I recommend doing the 30 Day Shred. It will kick your tail. I am finally on level three after months of doing it and have lost inches. It's time to get moving.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hair Day and Dinner Date

I just love haircut day! I think many girls can relate. Something about going to the salon and getting pampered is heavenly. I had an appointment today with one of my favorite people, Leah. Leah is my hairstylist. She is very detailed oriented and doesn't ever mess up on my hair. I never do anything fun other than just a shampoo, cut, and style. I am one of those girls that has never colored her hair. I have always wanted to do some lighter highlights but Leah always talks me out of it. If you live in Springfield and are looking for a new salon, check out Vivo on Republic Road. All the stylists are great! I love the look of the salon as well. Oh, and just for the record I did cut 3 1/2 inches off my hair but it's hard to tell. I think I might need to go shorter next time around.

Last week I got a text from one of my girls I discipled in high school. Jocelyn was a freshman in high school when I first met her. If we are being honest, the first time I met her I thought she was a spoiled brat. When she became a junior in high school I had the honor to be her small group teacher and get to know her better. She was not a spoiled brat and we got to know each other deeply. She is now a Senior at Missouri State University. She wanted to "catch up" over dinner this evening but I knew there was more to the story. She wanted relationship advice. Jocelyn hasn't had a "true" relationship since she was a freshman in high school and we all know those aren't the greatest sometimes. Through our conversation I was so impressed on the Godliness coming from her mouth. I was about to burst from being so proud of her! God is using her on so many different levels. That excites me!! What a great way to spend my evening!



Jocelyn and me

Monday, May 16, 2011

Liam's First Birthday Weekend

Since we were in St. Louis last weekend, we waited to celebrate's Liam's first birthday this weekend. We have had 80 degree weather all week but this weekend brought windy, cold weather. We will always remember 50 degree weather in the middle of May this year. We brought back out our long sleeves and pants and made it an adventure. We decided to have it at a local park and have a BBQ. We invited our friends and my parents were able to be here as well. Nate thought it would be fun to bring out the MCU. The MCU is our student mobile church unit. This is used at a lot of student serving activities. You will mainly see this at all the high school football games with the grill out of it and serving free hamburgers and hot dogs. It has a flat screen TV with a Wii hooked up to it and is fully loaded with tables, chairs, a grill, etc. We thought it would be fun for the kids to be able to take a break from playing and watch a little Toy Story 3 on the big screen.

When it was time to sing Happy Birthday and dive into the smash cake, Liam really wasn't interested. Ha! I tried to get some icing in his mouth but he just wasn't liking it. Then, my Mom gave him some of the cake and he LOVED that. So, he must just be a cake with no icing kind of guy. He wasn't too happy when we took it away from him, but I didn't want him to have a stomach ache. Thank you to all who made this such a special time for Liam. He is such a wonderful baby!

p.s. I don't know why my pictures are blurry on this post. Also, I didn't get pictures of all the families that were there. Grrr!!!!

Can I have more cake? Please?

Sweet boy

It just tastes okay.....


Landon and Danielle watching Toy Story 3
The Garrison family minus Scott

Papa with Liam and Derrick

Gigi and Papa

Gigi and Papa

The Krenn family

The Copeland family

The Ungaro family

The Thornton family minus Darion

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What a Wednesday!

Has your Wednesday been good? It has been such a beautiful week here. We have enjoyed playing outside and getting dirty. We have a big trampoline in our backyard and both boys love it. Even though Liam can't jump yet, he sure tries. Speaking of Liam, he is cutting his first year molars. That means interrupted sleep today. Poor guy. I hope for a better day tomorrow. Tylenol is his best friend right now.

Every Wednesday Nate comes home during his lunch break to hang with us. We used to have a standing lunch out, but since Liam's arrival it's much easier to eat at home during this time. Today he brought home Mr. Goodcents sandwiches. I always get the turkey and split it with Landon. He sure enjoys it. While Nate is home he wrestles with the boys and they get so worn out and are ready for their naps.

Today was also one of Landon's favorite babysitters last time with us. Every Wednesday Lauren comes over to hang with Landon for a couple of hours so that I can get out with just one child and get some errands done. Landon would prefer just to stay home so it works for both of us. Lauren is off to KU. She recently got accepted into the occupational therapy program. We are so excited for her but will miss her terribly! She has been a blessing to our family. We love Lauren!

I got to enjoy dinner with my friend April tonight. The kids minus Landon were with us and we always have a ball! Weston took the picture of the two of us below. He did pretty good for a 7 year old!

Landon and Lauren

April and me

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fragile, Not Broken Walk for Knowledge

We had a wonderful weekend in St. Louis! With Nate only getting four Sundays a year off, our weekends are usually very short. He was able to take this past Sunday off to be in St. Louis for a number of things. We headed there on Thursday evening. We left at bedtime for the boys and that worked out perfect! I think it was the best drive yet. Liam fell right to sleep and Landon was quickly after him.

Friday, Mom and I had planned out a day of shopping with just us girls! I have been looking forward to this for months. It's not everyday that my Mom takes off work and we get to go shopping together. It makes it hard when we live 3 1/2 hours apart. We loaded up in her new car and went to Chesterfield Mall. We started with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. I always get the Luau salad when we go there. It was so good! We didn't get any cheesecake as we didn't need the extra calories. It was nice to enjoy uninterrupted conversation with my Mom. We then ventured out on our shopping. I found some things for summer and was thankful for the time we had together. It was the best Mother's Day gift ever! Friday night we ate with the Gose's (family friends) and had a wonderful time.

On Saturday our family got to participate in the Fragile, Not Broken Walk for Knowledge Walk for Fragile X Syndrome. It was very well attended and I hope people were educated on their walks. Landon's team name was Landon's Peep's. He had several "peeps" there to walk for him. He was so excited. He had a rough time adjusting to the overwhelming number of people but he did great after about an hour. We were so excited to participate in this event and hope to do this every year. It's a wonderful way to spread awareness.

On Sunday my Mom and I picked Texas Roadhouse for lunch! It wasn't crowded at all and we got right in to eat. It was nice to be pampered. I took full advantage of using the words, "It's Mother's Day," to Nate. I think it worked. After we got home from St. Louis, Nate hand washed my car and cleaned out the inside. It looks brand new! Nothing like a clean car inside and out! Thanks honey!

Here are a few pictures of the weekend. I was so mad that I didn't get a picture of my Mom and I. I forgot my camera everywhere except for the walk. My Mom couldn't go to the walk because of back problems. Enjoy!

Loading up for the walk.

My best friend of 20 years!

Liam chillin.

The Schwartz family-Bonnie, Pete, Annie, and Owen.

Katie and I aka Landon's speech pathologist.

Katie, Leslie (her Mom), baby Derrick, and Dean.

All of Landon's Peeps!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Birthday Festivities

What a fun day we had yesterday celebrating our baby Liam. I did blog about his story but I thought I would share about what we did yesterday for him. His party isn't until mid May because of busy schedules, but we made yesterday a perfect day. Since Nate was gone half of last week, he went ahead and worked. I originally wanted him to take a day of vacation but since he was taking Landon to the zoo with his school friends today, he decided he better work.

We did our normal daily routine by getting Landon off to school, playing, napping, picking Landon up from school, eating lunch, playing, napping and then finally CELEBRATING! I made cupcakes to bring to our favorite mexican restaurant. Remember, it's Monday night. This Mommy doesn't cook on Monday nights. We celebrated with one of Landon's best buds Weston. Weston's birthday is today so I had two good reasons to make delicious cupcakes. We were a zoo as usual at the restaurant but enjoyed laughing, eating, and over-indulging in chips and salsa. I will now show you the rest of the story in pictures.

Waking up from his morning nap.

Happy Boy!

I am one!

Sweet Liam.

Weston opening up his birthday gift from us.

Liam holding on to his card for dear life.

He wasn't too sure about the cupcake. We will try again at his party.

I like the icing!

Sweet friends.

What a fun day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Liam!

Our baby boy is 1 today!! What a wild, joyous, exciting year it has been!

I have had so many people ask me why we say Liam is our miracle baby. Every baby is a miracle, but for us this meant much more. Our five year old son Landon has a genetic disorder called Fragile X Syndrome. It is on the X chromosome so obviously it was passed from me. I had no idea I was a carrier of this genetic disorder until we found out Landon had it at the age of 17 months. Each time the gene is passed it becomes more and more mutated. It is much more evident in males than females.

Another characteristic of having this genetic disorder is primary ovarian insufficiency meaning it will be hard to get pregnant again. (that is in words you can understand) So, we knew we had two things going against us. We struggled, we cried, we laughed, we were sad, etc. Those are just some of the MANY emotions we had after knowing what our future held for additional children. This is such a unique situation and it's not everyday you can talk with people that "get it." We knew we wanted more children so we began to pray. We prayed that God would just show us the way and prayed he would provide a doctor that knew how to handle our situation. After YEARS of praying, we were sent to Dr. Brabec in Overland Park, KS. We had many meetings with her about our situation. She gave us many options. So, it began. I started MANY medications to pursue invitro fertilization. We began the process of many shots at home, pills to take, etc. Let's just say it's not a fun thing. I remember every time Nate would give me the shot in my bottom, I would pray for our sweet baby and that years from now I would be able to know him, hold him, and play with him. After a week of this, it was time for us to see how my body was reacting to medication. After a blood draw, it was indicated that the medication dosage needed to be higher. We pushed the pedal to the metal as I called it. In the next few weeks my body was finally ready for the egg retrieval and then five days later the transfer of embryos. My emotions were high. My body was sore. My anxiety was through the roof, but I knew Landon would be a big brother. We waited seven days for that call after a blood draw. I was NOT PREGNANT. I will never forget that day. It was the summer of 2009. I was driving to get Landon from summer school. I pulled up to the parking spot and cried. I couldn't bear to go in the school to get him just yet. I just kept crying out and asking "why?" I didn't understand. Why didn't God allow this? After pulling myself together I finally went in. My sweet friend's Mom was sitting on the bench and could tell I had been crying. She simply asked the famous words, "are you okay?" I just lost it. How do you share all that in a simple sentence?? You just don't! I didn't know our future at that point. I didn't know if I would ever be pregnant again. I felt like I had failed, I was hopeless, fearful, tired. The devil would try and put thoughts in my head of how could I put Nate through all of this, and that he sure didn't sign up for any of this when we married each other! Then, the Lord simply put those thoughts away and they never came back. I have the greatest husband that would never say or think that. I remember telling Nate those thoughts. He almost got mad at me for even thinking that he would think that. In that moment God showed me the main reason we were meant to be. If you know our history in dating, you will get that. All those other guys I dated probably couldn't have handled everything we were going through in our lives. Nate was my rock here on earth and still is.

Nate and I knew God had a plan for another child in our lives. There was never a doubt in our minds. We weren't going to stop. We knew we had to try again. Selfishly, I was not excited to do this to my body again. After gaining 10 pounds, it was hard. God simply put those selfish desires out of me, and we began the process again. We had those same emotions again, but I knew the outcome was going to be different. I had a peace like no other time before. Same thing, same story. The seven days passed and the phone call was made that I WAS PREGNANT!
Liam is not a carrier of Fragile X Syndrome. To say we are SO BLESSED doesn't even touch the surface.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lots of Forgetfulness

Well, of course it is raining again here. I think we might be in water up to our ears before the night is up.

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you forget everything you did? As I am getting ready to draft this blog post, that's the way I feel. Nate was gone Wednesday through Saturday to a conference in Atlanta, GA on family worship. Nate wrote his doctorate dissertation on this topic back in 2006 so it was very interesting to him. He learned a lot of new things and is so excited and refueled. Being in ministry it is so vital to get "refueled." I remember going to many of these conference before having both kids and I always had a renewed heart and mind. I tried to live that through Nate as I didn't get to go to this one. I was so excited he got to go. Nate is very smart and is very good at what he does. I am so proud of him.

Since Nate was gone my Mom came into town for a couple of days. It was nice to have company and the extra help to entertain two very active boys! Liam got really attached to his Gigi and loved on her. She didn't mind that at all. I forgot my camera every time we went somewhere so I don't have any pictures. We went to the park, Target, out to eat, etc. It's always nice to be spoiled by Gigi.

I forgot to post these pictures of the boys opening their Easter cards from Gigi and Papa. They were so excited. No matter how old you get, you always love getting mail!