Thanksgiving 2013

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This blog serves as much more of a journal for me, at this point in my life, than anything else.  I like to post pictures, write down some thoughts, and re-live the memories.

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Thanksgiving 2013 was wonderful, but as any family can attest, most holidays are not all perfectly tied up with ribbons and bows.

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My parents arrived Wednesday night so that they could help me with the feast.  My in-laws, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nephew all arrived on Thursday.

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Most of the meal preparation was completed by the time that they arrived.  The star of the show, however, was patiently waiting. Sean fried a turkey for the first time.  The excitement of watching, combined with the the delicious flavor, definitely made the performance, from beginning to end, one of the best parts of Thanksgiving.

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Ethan woke up not feeling well, complaining of his leg hurting.  From what we could understand of his description, we thought that he had pulled a muscle during the night.  We heated up a therapy rice bag and gave him Motrin.  Within 30 minutes, he was playing and feeling better.  Right before lunch, though, he started sinking.  He did not even want to eat with everyone.  I made him a plate in our bedroom and put on Toy Story for him.  As soon as my mom finished eating, she went to the bedroom to hang out with him.  He started developing a slight fever, so we gave him more medicine.  Within an hour, he was moaning and crying because he was so miserable.  His temp was hovering between 102-103 by nighttime, and he felt just awful.  He slept with us so that I could monitor him all night.  We were convinced that he likely had the flu.  We took him to the doctor the next day, and they tested him for strep and the flu, but both tests came back negative.  It was likely just a miserable virus that needed to run its course.  We kept him comfortable with Motrin, fluids, and lots of love while he recovered.

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Even though Ethan was sick, he still managed to be his happy self, when he would receive relief with Motrin. We still managed to celebrate Thanksgiving because we had so much to be thankful for, including modern medicine.  It was not the Thanksgiving that we had planned, but it was still pretty awesome in so many ways


Happy Birthday, Ethan!

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Dear Ethan,

I hope that you know now and always just what it means to be to be your momma.  You are goodness and light and love and magic and innocence all rolled into one spectacular little boy.  The world is and will forever be a better place because you are in it. Your smile lights up a room, and your laughter is contagious.

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The day that you were born was one of the best days of my life.  The only days that equal it are the days that your brother was born, your sister was born, and when I married your papa.  You, my amazing little boy, changed my life in so many wonderful ways.  I learned how to be more compassionate, more loving, more kind, more accepting, more peaceful, and more of a momma bear, with a tender heart and fierce voice of love.

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I love how excited your are about your birthday.  I love how you light up every single time we talk about it throughout the month of September.  I love how you sign how old you will be with a huge smile on your face.  I love how you cannot contain your laughter when I pretend that I do not know whose birthday is coming up on September 18.  I love how I am reminded every day, but especially on your birthday, how I was chosen to be your momma.

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As we celebrate your birthday, please know that we make it all about you, but, inside, I am celebrating as if it were my own.  I am celebrating the fact that I am your momma.  I am remembering every detail about the day that you were born, the moment that I first locked eyes with you, and the exact second when I held you in my arms.

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I hope that you know how special you are every single second of every single day.  On your birthday, though, I hope that you feel it even more.  The stars became more sparkly, the moon became larger, and the sun started shining brighter on the day that you were born.  You, my sweet boy, are magic in it purest, most innocent form. The world is absolutely a better place because of you.

Happy 9th Birthday!

I love you!



1 Down…35 to Go!

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It has been quite a week.

We met the teachers,

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had our annual back to school party,

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and prepared everything for the first day.

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Now we can officially say that we made it through the first week of school.

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Not only that, but it was the best first week of school that they have all collectively had.

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They woke up each morning eager to face the day, and they returned home from school with happy stories about their days.

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Summer’s teacher is a dear friend.  She was Gabriel’s 1st grade teacher, Ethan’s 1st grade teacher, and now Summer’s 1st grade teacher.  She is amazing, and I am looking so forward to seeing how Summer’s reading and writing flourishes in 1st grade. Summer knows that she is in a safe, loving environment, and that is so critical when students make that huge jump from Kindergarten to 1st grade.  She already loves and trusts her teacher, and, because of that, we know that she will continue to love school this year just as much as she did last year.  She has already said that she loves 1st grade even more than Kindergarten because of all of the fun activities that they do in class.

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Ethan’s teacher was put on earth to be his 3rd grade teacher.  I am firmly convinced of that.  She is new to our school, and we did not know anything about her except for the fact that the school counselor really felt like she would be a wonderful fit for Ethan.  She was so right!  Ethan went from dreading school to meeting his new, amazingly sweet teacher at open house and happily anticipating the first day of school.  He adores her. Actually, adores is an understatement. I do not even know how to describe how amazing she is.  Needless to say, Ethan loved his first week of 3rd grade.  He came home so happy every single day.  While I was not entirely prepared for what a big jump it would be for him to move from 2nd grade to 3rd grade, luckily he took it all in stride.  I cannot even count the number of people who told me that they saw Ethan in the hallway, and he looked so happy.

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Gabriel’s teacher is also new to our campus, so we went to open house knowing absolutely nothing about her. Gabriel left open house so incredibly excited.  He has his homeroom teacher for Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies, and he has another teacher for Math.  He believes that he has the perfect combination of teachers, and I could not agree more.  I already knew and loved his math teacher.  She really “gets” Gabriel, and she has already sent me the sweetest emails about him.  His homeroom teacher is amazing, as well.  Gabriel loves her, and her teaching style really allows her to connect with her students.  We are so excited to see how this perfect teaching team works together to help Gabriel continue to excel in math and language arts.  He is one of those truly balanced students, and we are thrilled that he has teachers who will, without a doubt, continue to push him to learn more, while simultaneously understanding that he is a perfectionist who often needs a voice of calm reassurance.

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As I sit her today, I am so thankful for our teachers.  As a mom and as an educator, I know that it is one of the most important jobs in the world.  I am so incredibly thankful that our teachers view their roles in the lives of my children as more than just a job.  It is a calling, and it is one that takes a servant’s heart.  We are blessed that our teachers have those special, unique, amazing hearts.

Now that we made it through the first week, we are dreaming of football, cooler fall days, soccer, pumpkins, and fun, family time.