Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Once Upon a Time...Celebrating Juliana Sophia

Once Upon a Time...

A man and woman fell in love. They got married and heard God asking them to be open right away to having babies. They had been married 3 months when the most amazing thing occurred...a positive pregnancy test! Instant love poured out of their hearts to this little person growing inside, but then, something didn't feel right. The Momma knew something was wrong. She took another test. Negative. The baby was gone. The hurt. The loss. The helplessness.

The man and woman were scared to try again. Scared that this was going to be a pattern in their lives but they prayed and trusted the Lord. 3 months passed and still nothing.

Then, one snowy evening the man had to rescue the woman at her stranded car at the bottom of their neighborhood. A blizzard was on it's way and the little Toyota Corolla was NOT making it up a classic Pittsburgh hill. So down he came with safety goggles to protect their eyes against the harsh wind, boots for her since dress shoes and tights wouldn't do for their 1/2 mile trek home and an extra coat.

The next day they spent hours digging themselves out of the house. 24" of snow had fallen over night and the world was blanketed in white. The woman noticed that all this digging was making her extremely tired. More tired than she ought to be considering she was in good shape and had rested 9 long hours the night before. She laid down for a nap. She didn't know this at the time, but it would be the first of many mid-day naps she would take over the next 8 months!

After shoveling, walking, digging and more shoveling, they were able to rest that Saturday evening. The woman just couldn't shake that tired feeling and was off to bed early that evening.

Since they had cleared out the cars and all the roads were plowed as well, they made it to 10:30 Mass on Sunday morning and ran into his aunt and uncle who invited them to brunch. They ran to the store to pick up a few items and the woman suggested they pick up a pregnancy test, as she was a day or two late and just "had a feeling"

"What if it's negative?" asked the man
"What if it's not? " the woman said
"Are you going to be all sad and let it ruin your evening (they were having folks over for the Superbowl)?"
"No"...(in her head, yes!!) she said
"Okay, fine, get it..."

They went and enjoyed a lovely brunch but all she could think about was getting home and peeing on the stick!

Finally, they got home and he said, "You ready to pee on the stick?"


Into the bathroom she went.
Hail Mary, Full of Grace... She needed the Blessed Mother on her side. Holding her during these delicate moments.

Out she came and three minutes felt like an eternity!

"Shall I go check?" he asked?
Nodding...nervous and scared beyond words. Feeling so hopeful but not wanting to be disappointed, she let him check.

"Well...longest pause possible...IT'S POSITIVE!!!!!!! +++++++++++++

The tears of joy. The embrace of parents, brought together by God, blessed with a baby, a new life, a new vocation.

They feared this child's life would slip through their fingers like their first, so for weeks they kept this great gift to themselves. And to each other and to their baby, they whispered "be sticky..."
Stick to Mommy. Become one with her and let her take care of you. They called her this until week 20 when they discovered they had a beautiful baby girl on the way.

From then on, she was Juliana Sophia.

Happy Birthday sweet girl. We've loved you from Day 1 and prayed for you since before your existence.

Friday, October 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Yet another Friday and another week flying by!

You know one thing I wish I could go back in time to tell my younger, non married, childless self...enjoy shopping alone! The browsing, the limitless hours that could be spent trying clothes on and wandering from store to store.
It's just such a rare occurance these days that when I do get out, I soak up every minute of it!
Old Navy was having a huge sale last weekend and I had some returns to make in the mall, so Mark kindly offered to take the kids for a bit and let me go alone!
I really needed some sweaters for Fall and Winter and I found some that are adorable! I'm a sucker for stripes, polka dots and apparently elbow patches!
I took this picture in the dressing room and showed it to Mark when I got home...
LOVE it!
He told me I look like a high school student. Considering I will be 29 in a week, I'll take it!
While at the Mall I returned a few items that my sister had sent the girls b/c they were the wrong sizes. There is a reason I buy their clothes at consignment stores...I love kids' clothes! They are so cute that I had to use MAJOR self control while in Sears
for Juls...gonna be her 3rd bday photo outfit

And the skirt for Miriam...It's adorable!
The two girls are growing so quick and there are days when I just want to stop time and live with these little forever! But, time marches on and Juliana will be 3 on the 22nd and Miriam will be 1 on November 2nd.
And Mark thought since they are growing so fast, Juls should be allowed to drive Miriam in the powerwheels the other day

This is totally safe. And legal. And...such a DAD thing to encourage!
This weekend we will be celebrating Juliana's birthday!! She will have a shared party with her cousin who is turning 8 but her birthday is the 24th and her mom happens to be Juls' God-mother...follow that? :)
Well, Miss J loves her some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and asked for Minnie Birthday.
So I got on my thinking cap and Man, isn't it so tempting to just go to town on birthday decorations?
Between Etsy, Pinterest, Instagram and Google there are a million + ideas out there!
The main theme is Pink with white polka dots but I did make a Minnie Birthday banner and am going to make a Minnie cake (just the outline of her head, it will be pink with white polka dots)
Here's the banner as it was being made

It was so fun to make!
I downloaded the font offline and Mark uploaded it into Word for me. I printed Happy Birthday on Cardstock and colored in the letters with a metallic Sharpie Paint Marker.
I am beyond pleased with how it turned out! :)
How do you stay organized with kids and all the different activities that are going on in the week?
I use my phone to keep track ofeverything, but particularly Samantha's activities bc we have a shared Google Doc that both families can add to but since Mark doesn't have an Iphone, he can't see it all the time. So on a random trip to Target, I spotted this magnetic, dry erase calendar for $1.97 and it's be a fantastic addtion to our kitchen!
Each of us gets a row and I edit it every Sunday evening. This has helped Mark to know whats going on during the week and gives Samantha a visual of her week too.
And it's chevron...LOVE!
Mark is taking his PE exam next Friday (My Birthday!!!) and I am praying that he does well. He spent all last Saturday taking a practice exam and he did well on it but the real deal is in a week. I have so much faith in his abbility to pass as he is wickedly smart but any extra prayers that you can say would be great!
And speaking of Birthdays, my mom and sister will be flying in the weekend of Miriam's 1st Birthday to help us celebrate! We haven't been able to get down to MD as much as I would like, so it's a great blessing that they have the freedom and means to travell up here! It's hard to be away from family especially since the girls are ever changing but it just makes the visits that much sweeter when they occur!
Happy Friday y'all! Hop on over to Jen's and check out her wittiness and all the others linking up!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

First Day(s) of Preschool

Miss Juliana has started Preschool! Mark and I went to the Orientation on Monday morning and it seems like it's going to be the perfect place for her! She had a hard time at first because there were ALOT of people in the room. All the little kids, the high school students that help the kids, and at least one parent for every child.
I am certain we were violating some fire code!

Anywho, she had a lovely time and awoke yesterday morning requesting that she go to school but I had to explain to her that school wasn't open, only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays! So, when she went to bed last night with the knowledge of school in the morning, she was thrilled!

She picked out her outfit! It's a jungle out there, baby!

Styling Girl!

Proud to use her backpack for school!

She was a tad nervous of going in without Mommy and Daddy but we assured her that the 3 lovely young ladies that she played with on Monday would be there with her, she was more at ease.
Mark took her up to the school this morning. He said that when he tried to get her to talk to the kids her age, she clung to his leg but at the first sight of Ali, the high school girl that meets her at the door, she let go of his hand, grabbed hers and off she went!
No tears. No looking back. No wave. Just off to school she went!

Okay, let me just say, doing anything with one kid is so much easier than with 2!!

Since Juli's school is close to home, about a minute car ride, if that, I decided to head to the gym with Miss Miriam! I always have grand plans of getting there with the two of them but it just never happens! But with one, it seems like a piece of cake.
Child care opens at 8:45am and we were there at 8:50. This was her first time at the gym but she just toddled on in and started exploring the toys, paying no mind to me sneaking out the door!
I was able to work out for an hour before we left, swung by Aldi for a few things and made it to the school in plenty of time for Miriam to have a bottle and a cat nap!

This is all before 10:15am people! #winning!

We walked down to meet the little preschooler at the door, (I did NOT want to be late picking her up on the first day...man would I have felt terrible!) and right at 10:30 she came walking out with her student helper, art project of leaves glued to paper in hand!
Art project 1 of 1 Billion to be completed before 12th Grade Graduation

She was so proud, so grown looking that I just couldn't help but beam myself!

A new chapter in our lives has begun! So excited for this journey! :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

7 QTs - Phone Photo Dump edition

I take so many pictures in a week its ridiculous! I have over 500 pictures on my phone and about 40+ videos. The camera is the main reason I got the Iphone 5 with 32G of storage. I don't play games and certainly don't let the kiddos play games. But pictures, I got lots of pics! 


 October is a CRAZY month in this family! It's packed full of birthdays including Juliana's and mine! Juliana beginning preschool on MONDAY, Samantha has a busier schedule then some Hollywood celebrities and Mark will be taking the Professional Engineering exam on the 25th. Plus getting Halloween costumes in order and planning Miriam's 1st Birthday party which will be in less than a MONTH!! 
I'm tired just thinking about it!

isnt this how your 11 month old plays on the slide?

sweet. as. pie

front teefies are finally making an apperance!

giving her cup some love

And, she has started to walk! Like for real, in public, outside, all around the house, anytime she gets a chance, she is walking! 
I am so proud of her and it's such a blessing to be home with her and witness her growing and changing every single day. 
Can't wait to share about her 1st bday party. If you follow me on Pinterest you might have a clue! 


Last week Mark was sick! and Juls was feeling particularly loving and sat still long enough to give Daddy some "get well soon" snuggles. 
She loves her Dada oh so much... which is why she was trying to fix my fridge with a chainsaw
 Yes she has a toy chainsaw. Apparently, it tickles if you put your hand on it. Pray she never gets her hands on a real chainsaw. She'd get the tickle of a life time! 


 They love this. I love the photo it creates! And I am the crazy trusting wife/momma taking the picture. 
He's only dropped a kid once... ;)

Lovely Fall Days in the 'burgh! 
shadow picture!

sister love. for like a minute.

rays of sunshine!
So. Full. Of. Life! 
Nerd Alert. Cutest. Nerd. EVER!

fluffy skirt. reindeer dog. NEON!

One must twirl in a fluffy skirt!

Happy Friday! Check out Jen and the Gang!