Friday, January 15, 2016

Our 10-year Journey: A Timeline


-We get married on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I still remember getting ready in one of the church classrooms with my friends and I look outside the window and see his truck sitting in the parking lot and thought "wow, this is really happening." Walking down the aisle and seeing his face and his tears was almost too much, even to this day. I can't imagine life with anyone else.

-Brooke Elizabeth is born on a Saturday morning, after I labored all night at home by myself. We made it to the hospital and she was born 55 minutes later. The nurses didn't even believe I was that far along. I delivered that beautiful 8lb girl all naturally!

-NOVEMBER- When Brooke was just 3 months old (yes seriously) we found out we were expecting again. At 12 weeks I had bleeding that we thought was a miscarriage but God is good and our sweet boy was just fine and healthy.


-CALEB WAS BORN. On August 8th I was induced after they flipped Caleb around (he was breech) and after 12 hours of slow labor and walking the halls, our skinny like 7lb Caleb Arnold was born that evening. He was affectionately nicknamed "Bobo." :)

-WE BOUGHT A MINIVAN! With already having 2 kids, we figured it was time to change our vehicle and we purchased our first vehicle together-- a Honda Odyssey minivan.


-In Early Spring my mom called with the hard news that my childhood dog, Macy, had died. It was unexpected, they think she ate something she shouldn't I was so upset, but happy for the years we had her.

-OCTOBER- One night while I was getting things ready for a Halloween party I took a pregnancy test and discovered we were pregnant with our 3rd child. Poor Arnold didn't even believe me and asked me "not to waste the money on a test." Boy was he wrong ;)


-APRIL- The day before Easter we were robbed. Thankfully no one came into our home, but they came up into our carport and stole my purse (yes I can't believe I forgot it in there that night!!) and our GPS. For weeks there after I was scared to be  alone in the house and weary of every car driving down our street! It was a hard time!!

-JUNE- On the afternoon of June 18th, we went into the hospital to have a c-section. Rachel was stubborn like her brother and breech, but could NOT be turned, so they had to do the surgery. That afternoon at 2:35pm, our sweet Rachel Louise was born, chubby cheeks and all :) She came out legs/butt first and has been making us laugh ever since :)

-JULY- On the afternoon of July 22nd Arnold and I were out shopping while his parents took care of the kids. I started to feel chest pains and told Arnold. He told me it was probably heartburn. They wouldn't go away though, so we called an ambulance. They checked me out and said I was ok. Still didn't feel right, so went to the ER. After numerous tests and almost sending me home, they found blood clots all over my lungs. Turns out I had had a blood clot in my leg after the surgery with Rachel, and it had broken apart and went to my lungs. Very scary situation.

-JULY 22-29- I stay at Frye Hospital on strict bed rest while I was on pain killers, IV's and blood thinners. That week Arnold had to work and take care of our kids, including our brand new baby. Meanwhile I was missing out on so many things in my children's lives and wondering if I'd even survive the ordeal.



-FEBRUARY- A few days after Valentine's Day, we found out the horrible new's that Arnold's Aunt Nancy has passed away. Her and Arnold were very close, and I had loved her very much as well. She had gone into diabetic coma and she was still so young. It was hard going through that time of the funeral and explaining to the kids while they were so young. They had loved to spend time over at her house.

-NOVEMBER- After a long time of talking with each other and doctors, Arnold decides to get a vasectomy. I had wanted for the longest time to have 4 children. but after my episode with Rachel, everyone was terrified that if I went through pregnancy/birth again, I may leave Arnold behind to take care of 4 kids. This has been an extreme struggle with me for years and I'm still trying to cope with it.


SPRING- We get a scary phone call from preschool, and they tell us Brooke has had a seizure. It wasn't an extreme seizure most people would picture, but she blanked out for a minute and wet herself. After that led to lots of testing and MRIs and EEGs, which did show abnormal brain activity, but to this day they can't 100 percent explain it. That was a very stressful time for all of us.

AUGUST- Our first born starts kindergarten. We all went to the school and walked her in together. I remember her doing well and going right in. She has always been independent. I cried the whole way home. I mean big ugly sobs. It was quite the transition after she had been at home with me all those years.

NOVEMBER- I am baptized! On the same morning Arnold and I become members at the new church we have been attending. We both love it and the people and are still there today. I've even become a staff member since then-- taking care of my sweet babies on Sunday mornings :)


MAY- Arnold joins his first band, the EKP. From then on we spend many occasions at parties, bars, and other scenes watching him play. I had a lot of fun nights with my friends those nights :)

JUNE- We adopt our sweet kitten, Max. He was actually called Molly for the first year of his life because we were not very experienced with that sort of thing! haha! Poor guy. Arnold's friend at work had kittens and he got sucked into us getting one. I didn't even know he was a cat person ;)


JULY- On a glorious day that Summer we paid of our van!! It went so awesome because it was the first big thing we had paid off together and it was so nice not to have any more car payments. We all went as a family  to the bank that day to make the last payment and we celebrated a little too much I think ;)

August- We adopted our sweet doxie pup Sheldon!!! I had grown up with dachshunds and always knew I wanted one of my own someday. Sheldon is a double dapple, which is pretty rare. He has beautiful spots/coloring and he is hard of seeing in one eye but he is just perfect to us. And yes, his name comes from the Big Bang Theory ;)

NOVEMBER- I become a Target employee. Just seasonal. trying to help us make some extra money. I have to deal with all the crazy holiday shoppers AND work an all-night shift on Thanksgiving/black Friday. But I think it taught me some major patience and how to deal with people better ;)


JANUARY- As a combined bday/anniversary gift-- I am able to buy Arnold his first "nice" gift from me, thanks to extra money from target! I buy him an Epiphone 12-string guitar. I asked his friend for advice and guidance on which one to get. I think he was surprised and happy ;)

JULY- I become a staff member with Christ Church! I join the childcare team, which is part-time work and then I was offered a position to take over for someone who left, for Sunday mornings with the baby-3 yr old class! I am just LOVING my job and so thankful for the extra income to help our family!

AUGUST- Thanks to my amazing parents who have a timeshare, we went on our first real family vacation. We had been on little trips here and there, and places with my parents. but this was the real deal. We spent a week at Edisto Beach and made lots of memories. It was such an amazing trip, even if it did rain several days, and the kids always came home with sand in their cracks, and we all got sunburned ;)

SEPTEMBER- I become a college student!!!!! After all these years I decided to back. I am working on my Medical Office Administration degree. Which has been a long road but so worth it! And I've actually enjoyed doing school stuff again--I know, I'm a nerd!!


MAY- We gain a sweet niece, Ava Loren! Born on the same day as the royal baby! ;) We also gained a sister-in-law and another niece, Brielle. My brother got married and now has 2 daughters and the perfect little family. I am so incredibly happy for them! This month I also traveled to Florida with Mom and Dad to meet Ava and visit and see their new house!!

JULY- I celebrate my 30th birthday! Arnold and my family and friends help me throw a big 80's themed party and so many people come out and celebrate with me. One of my best memories :) I still can't believe I'm that old though!!! ;)

NOVEMBER- We adopt our sweet Charlie! He is a chiweenie. Yes we are crazy people who now have 5 pets, but I love it! I think this will be our last pet! (at least for a long, long time! ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Rachel got her some new boots!! I don't know what it is about my girls and shoes but they are ROUGH on shoes! They both walk on the sides of their feet alot and mess up the sides and scuff up the ends and Brooke rips the dang bottoms off of hers sometimes. But anyway, they were needing some new boots. Brooke got some too but I didn't get a pic. Caleb seems to be a lot better on his shoes!! 

Our sweet Brooke got her braces finally! They are just on the top teeth, thankfully. I got to sit back there with her and watch them put them on. It was a lot more fun being on that side now.. can't believe I was there in that same office getting mine on around 18 years ago! Brooke was brave and did really well. We had the sweetest lady who explained everything to her and made her less nervous. On top of the braces she has to wear a headgear every night while at home and asleep.. to the tune of 12-14 hours! That has been rough already! They are trying to slow down her upper jaw growing forwards so quickly.. it is already jutting out and she has a horrible open bite and everything is misaligned. I hope this all helps it significantly. Right now at night it's a hassle because Brooke is having a hard time learning to put it in herself and we have to do it for her. She also has been sore for awhile and it's rough seeing her in pain.. I remember that all too well! But I hope in the end we have a fixed mouth and an (even more) beautiful smile! 

Caleb came home with Citizen of the Month award the other day! I am just proud of him!! He is really knocking 3rd grade out of the park! His last two spelling tests he made 103 on. He has been working hard and doing all his work without me even asking. I can tell he is going to be the one having an easy time in school. I wish it came easier to Brooke. Although I AM SO PROUD of her that she jumped a whole grade level in reading.. they tested her the other day. And she has been having a good start back to school... listening and doing well with her classwork. I am proud of her determination even though things aren't always that easy for he! 

We have been having a rough couple of weeks. I won't go into details and complain.. but the other morning Arnold stopped by the grocery store to get something and they were going through some flowers about to throw them out and they handed this beautiful bouquet to Arnold and said he could take them home for free! I sat them in some water and they are still looking beautiful even though they were deemed unfit for sale! I love all the bright colors and they make me smile! Such a small thing but it really did brighten my day!

I am about 2/3 of the way done with this book and it is awesome! I already read Hands Free Mama. These books are really great at making you look at things in a different way. Especially about the way you spend your time. We really don't have that much time with our kids, in the grand scheme of things. You have to make the moments count. I myself am very guilty of saying "not now" or being on my phone, when instead I should be savoring the moment more often. 

We had quite a packed house at church this past Sunday. Kids everywhere and all over me and trying to jump on me all at once. But i love it ;) And I will say it again-- I am thankful for my helpers and my sweet hubby who jumps in to help every time someone has to be out!! 

We watched our Caleb play in his basketball game this past Saturday and they won! Go Kings!! The girls especially had fun because this week Daddy bought them biscuits and gatorade and hot chocolate while we were watching (that is what Rachel has all over her face!) My parents didn't get to come to this game but they invited us out to lunch afterwards at Mellow Mushroom, which was a blast! Caleb is really improving on his game and I am so proud of him for trying this out even though at first he really didn't want to! 

Ok, we finally jumped on the bandwagon and started this series. Actually we've already watched 8 episodes! The first night Arnold made me watch 4 episodes back to back and we were up until 2 am! I can't remember the last time I was up that late (I am lame!!) We were sucked in just like everyone else. I thought I wouldn't be able to handle it because I hate creepy things and they upset me but I am just as intrigued as everyone else! I just can't figure it out! I keep changing my mind 100 times and then again when I read more things online! Arnold told me that recent news said Steven gets a new trial soon? Anyone else hear that??

Charlie is growing like a weed! And still trying to chew up everything in sight, which is a pain! But our nights are easier now. He snuggles in my bed under the blanket just like Sheldon! 

I saw this on facebook the other day and loved it! It is so very true! I truly believe that being a Mom and Wife are so very important! I mean you are shaping your kids' lives! You are the most important person in the world to them! It is actually scary to think of all the responsibility I have! But all I can do is try my best and ask God to guide me in the journey! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year's & Arnold's Birthday!

Hubby's birthday falls on new Year's. he was actually the New Year's baby for 1982 in his county. He never lets me forget it and tells everyone that story, haha ;) Anyway, on New Year's eve this year we didn't really have any plans so we decided to have a little family party/get togther at home with just the 5 of us and celebrate both things at once. We ate our dinner on happy birthday plates and we wore silly hats around the the kids wore party bead necklaces. I rented "Home" which we have already seen but it's a cute movie and I knew everyone could agree on that one. I even bought the little individual popcorn holders for the kids while we ate during the movie. it's the little things ;) We played charades and Heads Up and lots of fun games. the kids thought it was a blast, even if it was simple. Our friend Chasity surprised us and stopped by with some of her yummy cupcakes... for Arnold's birthday. We put a candle in one and sang to him :) We let the kids stay up til midnight and they did better than I did! I am so lame now! I was tired by 10:30 and me and the dogs rested for awhile waiting on the ball to drop. At midnight we let the kids blow these noisemakers and they were jumping around the living room :) Caleb even asked if they could stay up even later. Um.. no! 

New Year's Day we went out for a birthday lunch at Applebee's for Arnold. He hoped to get through the lunch without the waiters singing to him, but RACHEL told our waitress it was her daddy's birthday, so they came out at the end ;) They brought a little icecream sundae and extra spoons so we could share ;) After lunch we went to Game Stop to let the kids use a giftcard they had and they bought some new skylanders for their XBOX they got for Christmas. Then we stopped by Target and let Caleb pick out a new lego set with some of his christmas money. The kids all just have to spend their money as soon as they get it. (wonder where they get that from?!)

That evening we went over to Mom and Dad's for dinner. Grandpa came over too. They made homemade pizzas for Arnold's birthday. this is a big deal because my mom is one who does the traditional "lucky" dinner on New Year's with the greens and black eyed peas and all that, but she did this instead for Arnold since his fave food is pizza ;) The kids had a blast helping roll out the dough and put on the toppings. They also kept sneaking cheese and olives throughout the process and I was afraid we were going to run out ;) It was a fun evening over there hanging out with mom and dad and the pizzas turned out delicious! Mom even sent us home with some leftover dough to freeze and use another night. 

Skipping ahead a little bit... last minute a friend of Arnold's couldn't use tickets he had to go see a Rolling Stones cover band in Charlotte that Saturday, so he asked Arnold if he wanted them. We were afraid we wouldn't get sitters that late of notice but Arnold's parents took the kids over night!! We dropped them off and headed down to Charlotte. First the GPS in our phones didn't pick up what Arnold said and led us to the wrong place. Then we found the place after driving around. After we knew where we were going, we decided to go find something to eat. I kept putting in local restaurants and it brought up like 20 Chinese places.. whaaaat?! I wanted to go to a nice place and eat since we were alone! We drove even more and ended up at Outback but the line was out the door! We had been driving for hours by then and were tired and frustrated. Then Arnold accidentally went on a one way-thing to turn and realized it and had to jump a median! It about scared the you know what out of me. At that point I was crying, Arnold was ticked, and it was almost time for the show and we hadn't even eaten. So we started to head home. Yep, the trip was for nothing. Well.. at least we were together kid-free. but I don't know if the stress was worth it! We ended up eating at Fatz on the way home, finally, at 9:30 at night. There were hardly anyone left in there! Then we ended up at Walmart getting dog food. Some date! But at least we had a crazy story to tell at church the next morning, haha! Here's hoping our next date night goes much better! ;)

Some goodies I picked up for our birthday/new years party at home.

Arnold and I being silly and taking selfies with our hats on

Getting ready to sing to Arnold and then eat some yummy cupcakes!

Arnold at his birthday lunch at Applebee's! With the dessert they brought him.

Even on a holiday it seems like we end up at Target... oops

Daddy with his sweet babies :)

Making pizzas at Grandma's! We had a blast!

Some of the pizzas ready to go in the oven. Arnold's was heavy on meat. Mine and the girl's had a lot less on it but was still yummy. 

Grandma and her girls

Arnold and I taking selfies in the van while we waited on Arnold

Rachel decided to photo bomb us!

Me with my sweet birthday boy!

This was us eating at Fatz finally, after our crazy failed date night! You can't tell on my face but I had just washed off a bunch of mascara that was running down my face from crying... haha.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Highlights of 2015!!

As I look back on these pictures, I realize we had a great year in 2015! Here are just some of the highlights of our family's year! 


Arnold and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary! We spent the day in Charlotte shopping, and eating nice meals, all kidfree!!


We celebrated Valentine's Day! 


Celebrated my friend Cori and her upcoming baby boy! Her baby shower was beautiful and I was happy to be a part of it and to help! 

I went daring and got my hair cut off and blonde highlights! It was fun and cute! 


We celebrated my bff Erika turning 30! We had a fun lunch at Chili's!

my friend Jessica did our family pictures! Our first ones we ever had done outside! They all turned out amazing and I love having the memories!

We celebrated Easter!!!! I loved Rachel's little smocked bunny outfit ;)

The girls went with their Daddy to the Christ Church Father/Daughter dance!

Rachel came home with the Citizen of the Month award from school!

The kids started a new dentist and we absolutely LOVE them there!!!!


I tried SUSHI for the very first time! Wasn't a big fan but at least I know now!!

Ended my spring semester with A's and B's! I was proud!!! 

Traveled to Florida with Mom and Dad and met me BRAND NEW NIECE, AVA!! She is precious and I love her so much!!


Celebrated our sweet Rachel turning 6!! She wanted a Chuck E Cheese party!!

I celebrated my 4th anniversary at the Pregnancy Care Center! I love helping out there!!

Rachel had her end of Kindergarten celebration! She had the best teachers!

The kids started tennis camp, thanks to Grandma and Pop Pop!!

We took the girls to the American Girl store!!! A first visit for all of us! Rachel bought the Girl of the Year with her very own birthday money!!


I turned 30!!!! I had several parties... this one was a dinner with some good friends!!

We enjoyed some time by the pool!

The kids spent the 4th of July with my parents in the mountains!


Caleb turned 8! We had a skylanders cake and dinner at Mellow Mushroom.

We threw a combined beach themed party for Brooke and Caleb's birthdays!

The kids started 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades!!


Rachel decided to try cheerleading and joined her sister's team!!

Alex and his family came to visit for the weekend! The kids and Arnold got to meet Ava!!


Our family enjoyed an evening at the Oktoberfest!!

We celebrated Halloween with a bee, Darth Vader, and a witch!


We adopted sweet little Charlie and brought him home!!

We celebrated Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's house!!

We took the kids on their first trip to a real tree farm to pick out a Christmas tree!

The girls and I went with Mom to the Southern Christmas show! Rachel's first time going!

Caleb joined a basketball team!!

The girls were with the cheerleaders in the local Christmas parade!!

The kids sang a christmas program during church!!

We celebrated CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!