Thursday, January 31, 2013

6 months--are you kidding me?!?

WHERE does the time go?!? Truly?! It's nuts. Tessa Grace is already 6 months old and I cannot believe half a year has gone by and in only half a year, she'll be one!

Tessa, at 6 months, you are:

*a toothy little girl! You have two teeth on the bottom in the middle. I'm pretty sure you're working on some more because you've been kind of grumpy and drooling a LOT again. And you chew on your fingers like there's no tomorrow!

*around 17 pounds. You go for your check up on Thursday, so I'll know for sure then just how big you are!

*in size 3 diapers.

*in 6-9 month clothes. And I'm so glad because you have SO many cute 6-9 month outfits and I've just been waiting for you to be in that size!

*eating me out of house and home! You've had baby food. Your first jar of food was sweet peas and you LOOOOOVED them. You couldn't get enough. The cereal just wasn't doing it for you anymore. Any time we ate, you'd just stare and watch the spoon  go to our mouths and then try to grab it and put it in yours :) Funny girl. You've had peas, green beans, corn, a mix of ham, rice and pineapples, chicken, beef and macaroni, blueberries and apples, sweet potatoes.....you name it, you've tried it! And liked it!

*still taking a bottle, of course. You eat 6 oz bottles every 3-5 hours. You usually have an oz or so left after you eat your "breakfast" bottle, so we make rice cereal with that. Then you have half a jar of baby food for lunch and usually a half to a whole jar for dinner--with your bottles mixed in there :)

*sitting up like a big girl! You do so good! You've finally started being able to catch yourself if you lean too far one way or another. I still put pillows around you when we're on the hardwood floors because when you get too excited, you can still topple yourself over!

*trying to get your knees under you. You lay on your tummy and grunt and struggle to get your little legs pulled up. You usually end up giving up and sucking on the blanket :)

*enjoying Mickey Mouse almost as much as your brother. I turn it on in the mornings while I shower and when I get out, you're both still fixated on the screen.


*SO ornery! Lately, your brother will do something like accidentally sit on your face or purposely steal your toy. So you'll be crying and I'll get onto him and you start laughing! It's hilarious! And you SO know what you're doing ;)

*just the cutest stinkin thing! You're USUALLY pretty happy and you just get the biggest, cutest, sweetest smiles on your face. I LOVE it! It makes me so happy to walk through the door and see your smiley face :)

*SUCH a good sleeper! Mommy keeps getting nervous that her good luck is going to run out, but you sleep through the night every night like a champ! You go to bed around 9:30pm and sleep until 7:30am. LOVE IT!

*doing this hilarious thing with your mouth--you suck in your bottom lip until it completely disappears. It's so cute! It makes you look like a little old woman with no teeth and I laugh every time you do it! Funny girl!

*getting a little attitude! You're pretty laid back for the most part, but have definitely started having  your moments of getting mad when we're not moving fast enough or if you can't see anybody. You hate being left alone in a room--kind of makes it hard to get stuff done!

Tessa Grace--you are the sweetest, cutest, funniest, most awesome little daughter a mommy could ask for! I was so scared before you joined our family about how we would make room for you and how I'd have time to love two babies. And it's been so easy! It is SO easy to love you and want to make time for you and enjoy you. I smile when I see your sweet little face and get so happy when I think about coming home to you and your bubba. I hope your sweet spirit continues throughout life. I thank God for you every day, little girl!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In His presence

This is a long one, but I feel called to share, so here it is.......

As mentioned previously in my post about the homeless handout, I told a little bit about a guy named Mark. Even now, as I think about him, I can recall exactly what he looked like--brown, shoulder length hair, layer upon layer of clothing that was slightly dirty and worn, stocking cap with ear flaps and the most piercing gray eyes. My conversation with Mark turned out to be one I will never forget.

I'm going to share some stuff on here that miiiiiiiiight make people think I'm crazy. And that's okay, because it's my blog and my thoughts :) But I'll try to start at the beginning........

For awhile now, I've felt like God has been telling me that I need to start paying attention. To what, exactly, I wasn't 100% sure. It's just this little nudge that I get from Him from time to time that makes me think I need to perk up my ears and listen and learn. See, I've always been one of those people who would rather not watch the news because I'd rather be happy than informed. I don't WANT to know about the downfall of our government because then I might have to face reality (which I don't do very well :)). I hate hearing about school shootings and wars breaking out and devastation because it reminds me of what the world has become. I live a fairly drama-free and fulfilling life and I like to keep it that way. When I see all those things, they tend to weigh me down and I dwell on them for days and I hate that.

Then, awhile back, we started watching that show Dooms Day Preppers. Now, some of those people are nuts. And while we were watching it, I would think how crazy they were to spend thousands of dollars on things they may not ever use. However, I would also feel my heart quicken a little and a nudge in the back of my mind to pay attention--to glean information from them and learn what I could. I've tried to ignore it because I don't want to have to BE prepped for anything. I don't want to think about the type of situation that would require months worth of stocked up food and water. So I went about my business.

THEN, a few weeks before Christmas, a friend of mine was telling me about some dreams her dad had that he felt like were from God. He's had several in the past and some of them have come true and some haven't. His dreams were telling him to be prepared, spiritually and physically. He felt like a great devastation (not necessarily the end of the world, but something big) was coming. God kept telling him, "I gave Joseph 7 years to prepare; I'm giving you 10." He was getting the date 5/7/21. God was telling him to start stocking supplies; food, water, medical supplies, stuff to barter, etc. God told him we would have years of cold winters and no electricity. When I read the email he'd sent out about all of his dreams, I got the chills and an overwhelming sense of despair. My heart felt heavy and burdened and I couldn't think of anything else for days. I've honestly always been scared of the "end of the world" or whatever you want to call it. Even thinking about God coming back scares me. Which is terrible, because I know it's going to be a good thing, but I think it's just the fear of the unknown. And I think about all of the people I know who aren't saved and that makes me even more scared of it. This email didn't help with those feelings.

I talked to Nick about all of it and we discussed possibly starting to stock up non-perishables and water. Our thought was even if this guy's dream didn't come, it's a good idea to have some kind of emergency supply of food and water in the case of a natural disaster. And if we stocked up on stuff we use regularly anyways, we wouldn't be wasting anything because we could just rotate it out. We didn't really do anything other than talk, even though it was constantly on the back of my mind.

But the final straw was Mark. We were getting ready to go back to our cars after we had handed out everything we had to the homeless. We got to a corner and were waiting for traffic to pass by when a homeless man walked up to us. He started giving us a hard time about not having anything left to give him. I distinctly remember him saying, "You don't even have a little change to spare for a vagrant?" A vagrant, by definition, is a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging. And that was definitely Mark. I was immediately turned off by him begging for stuff. I love helping people, but not those who blatantly beg for it. I was set to walk away, when he fixed his eyes on me and started shooting the breeze. Through conversation, we found out that he had voluntarily left his old life. He was married to a doctor and he had a great job, but he was miserable. His wife left him, so he chose life on the streets.......wandering aimlessly from town to town. And he loves his life. He was so happy! Like, the kind of happy that you can see in a person's eyes.
He asked if we were from a church and we said no, but that got the conversation started on the subject of God. He told us he wasn't a very religious person, but that he believed God was up there. For someone who claimed not to be too interested, he had a lot of information about Christianity. We talked about a lot of things, but he started saying we were living in the end times and gave examples of scripture that had come true that pointed to that fact. He said that in the Bible, Luke 10:8 says, "I beheld Satan as Lightning fall from Heaven.” And he said that words in that verse translated from English into Hebrew literally translated to, "Satan Barack O Bama." I listened while he was saying all of this, knowing not to believe it until I'd researched a little (which,now that I've had time, I've found everything he said can be verified, although I haven't exhausted EVERY resource in the world). I'm not trying to start any kind of political debate or anything, but these are the words he spoke to me and they resonated truth in my heart--not that Barack Obama is literally satan, but that he's not doing good for our world. And although he talked a LOT about a lot of different things, he said something that stuck with me. He said, "Christians won't die or have problems because they're stupid. They'll die because they're uninformed. Knowledge is power." I'm sure some people would think he was just rambling, but I felt like that summed up everything God had been trying to tell me. He'd been warning me time and time again to be prepared; to learn what I could; to put my hands and feet to use NOW--to be informed. I truly felt like during my conversation with Mark, I was in the presence of God. It's hard to explain, but I felt like while standing on a corner in downtown Wichita, I was in a holy place and it called for reverence and for me to be quiet and listen.

Needless to say, I've started listening. We're trying to buy a bag of beans or rice and keep our cans stocked every time we go to the store. We buy gallons of water and bottles of water every time we're there. We're going to try to buy in bulk rather than small things here and there so that if anything should happen, we'll have enough to take care of our family for awhile.

I don't know if you've ever had an experience like that....if you've ever know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was talking to you. But it's awesome. I KNOW God was using Mark to confirm what He'd already told me. And maybe NOTHING will come of the dreams or of my thoughts. Maybe God is just wanting to see if we'll do as we feel He has commanded us. My friend's dad admitted that he was nervous to share his dream because of the fear of what people would think, but God kept telling him, "Blow the trumpet, even if they don't listen." So he did. And maybe you'll all think I'm nuts or maybe you've been hearing the same thing from God and He's confirming your thoughts through me. Who knows. But the reality of it is, it never hurts anything to be prepared for things to come, physically and spiritually. I would much rather people think I'm crazy  than to be caught off guard if anything should happen. When it comes down to it, by being prepared physically and spritually, I'm losing nothing, so why not?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse




Well, Mickey mouse was the obvious choice for Tommy's second birthday party! I knew everything I wanted to do, but didn't do a great job of executing it :) I think I may have even forgotten to announce his party on Facebook. Epic fail. But that's okay, because he seemed to love every minute of his birthday.

The night before his birthday, he fell asleep in his own bed. Nick and I were up until about 1:30am putting up decorations, making pasta and cupcakes....you know, all the things I could have done a few days prior, but didn't :) I put the PRO in procrastination, folks.






Needless to say, we were exhausted when we crawled into bed. Around 4am, Tommy came barging through our door. He's been doing this lately, but I'm not sure why. We were too tired to send him back to his own room, so we rolled over and prepared to be kicked in the head, back and butt the next few hours. Tommy is the WORST person ever to sleep with! We were all laying there in bed and he started coughing. And then puked. ALLLLLLLLLLLL over. I don't think he was sick. It just seemed like he coughed so hard that he gagged and got sick. So we had to change all the bedding, including the comforter. 30 minutes later, we FINALLY got back to sleep.

Luckily, they both slept until about 8:30am. Thank God, cause mom and dad would have been super exhausted otherwise. But every second of lost sleep was totally worth it. He walked out of the bedroom, looked up at the decorated kitchen and said, "Oh wow, Mom! Wow!"

It was the sweetest thing and almost made me cry. I wanted him to like it so bad and he did! We had filled his room with balloons while he was sleeping, so we took him in there to see it and him and Tessa were mesmerized. I told Nick the next time we need some peace and quiet, we'll stick them in a room with 50 balloons and shut the door!


 I took him to McDonald's for breakfast and we brought breakfast home for Daddy. After we ate, we (unfortunately) decided to skip church. We just didn't have time to get everything done. I really wanted to go, but I'm glad we decided not to or we would have had NOTHING done in time! We started cooking lunch and trying to get all the last minute things organized. THEN, my little miss was being super grumpy. I couldn't figure out what her deal is, so I picked her up and turned her to face me. And she puked. ALLLLLLLLL over ME!! Her's was like Tommy's--mostly mucus-y junk. What is it with my kids puking on me?!? Twice in one day is more than enough. I got us both cleaned up and Nick got both the kids bathed and Tommy took a nap (thank God because he SO needed one!). He woke up just in time for his party (and fortunately, in a good mood)!


We had quite a few people show up too. We were bummed because his cousins were sick and one of my good friends' daughter got sick so they all had to cancel last minute. But that's okay! We had all the grandparents, the rest of the aunts and uncles and quite a few friends. Tommy's bestie got to come and we were so glad! He loves Mal and they have so much fun together! Mal decided to ride Tommy's 4 wheeler that he refuses to get near, so she was driving all over the pasture and he was just running after her the whole time! It was so funny! I have a feeling he's going to be chasing her the rest of his life ;)
We ate lunch (We had Hot Diggity Dogs, Toodle's noodle salad, chili and Clara Bell's cupcakes! It turned out quite tasty, although we had tons of leftovers).

After that, we played outside for awhile since it was so nice. Then we came in to open presents. Tommy did really good until he opened his train from Mal. Then he wanted nothing to do with anything else. He had no interest whatsoever in anything but that "joo-joo neen!" So Mal helped him open the rest of his gifts and got the job done quick!

Then it was on to cake. He LOVED blowing out candles. I lit them and then we all sang Happy Birthday. He blew them out and then said, "Gin!!!!! (again!!)" So I indulged him and lit them again and told him to blow them out. He just looked at everyone and said, "Hap-pee (happy)!" He wanted us to sing the song again! It was so funny! So we sang again and he blew them out again. And then he wanted it AGAIN!!! So I did it. Hey, it's the little things in life. If all it takes to make him happy is to blow out candles and sing the birthday song, then so be it. He's worth it :)

I also had these cupcakes that were supposed to look like Mickey's ears :) Close enough, right?!
The only thing I got bummed about was my party favors. I forgot to announce them, so nobody took any :( They were super cute too! They were Peeps in the shape of Mickey Mouse and the sign said, "Twoodles! Thanks for coming!" Come on.......that's pretty clever! Get it? "TWO"odles?! Okay, I was proud of it. I just took the leftovers to daycare and work and begged the girls to take them home to their babies :)

After everyone left, we spent the evening, just our little family, cuddled up watching football and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Tommy was in such a sweet mood and I was so grateful because he's been kind of grumpy lately and I really wanted him to have a good birthday. I think he liked everything and I hope he remembers his "minni-minnie-mow-how" 2nd birthday party! It was the perfect day! It was worth every second of work and every penny spent!

Happy birthday, big boy!! I love you!

Monday, January 21, 2013

My sweet boy

To my sweet boy-

I had every intention of writing this yesterday, but got too caught up in your party and enjoying being your mommy.

I can NOT believe you are 2 years old. I know I'm going to say this every year, but it's true. Last year flew by and you turned from a baby to a little boy in no time flat. So many times in the last 12 months I've stopped and wondered who you would be at 2 years old. Now I have my answer.

You are awesome. Truly awesome. God is evident in (almost) every part of you (minus your devious attitude!). It has become SO much fun to watch you--I can see the wheels turning in your head. I feel like your mind goes 100 miles a minute. You are ALWAYS busy moving and playing.

You have become quite the talker. You like to be heard and you do NOT like to listen :) You have something to say about everything. We have our own little language, you and I. I kind of like it because some people can't figure out what you're saying, but if you come tell mommy, I usually know right away what you want.

You are SO smart! I may be biased, but you just pick up on things so quickly! You know all your colors and most of your shapes. You're repeating everything we say and know words and their meaning usually after being told only once. You also think you know how to get exactly what you want. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't! But you always try!

You have a conscience. You don't always follow it, but I KNOW you have it. When you're in the middle of doing something that MIGHT be naughty, I can see you stop and think and then you decide if you should continue doing it or stop. Most of the time you stop, but sometimes, your curiousity gets the best of you. So you and your curiousity get a time out :)

You are in LOVE with your sister. Like, head over heels. I thought having a child was the most awesome thing, but seeing the relationship between you and your sister might be more awesome. Every morning, without fail, when you hear her wake up you run over by her and climb up on her bassinet so you can see her face and you say, "SIS!! Hiiiiiii sis!! Duff doo (love you)!!!" And then you sit and say, "Sis up, NOW!" until I get her out of the bassinet onto the bed so you can kiss her. You can make her laugh so easily and it's your favorite thing to do. I know it won't last forever, so I'm trying to treasure each moment of the two of you together.

You are the most stubborn person I have EVER encountered. Dad says you get it from me, but you had to have gotten it from both of us for it to be as crazy as it is. There have been days when we go around and around and around until one of us caves. Mom can usually out-stubborn you because I know you have to learn lessons, even if it's the hard way. But on a rare ocassion, I just get so tired of fighting you that I walk away until we're both calmer. Then we work it out :) I often have to let you think things were your idea in order to get them done.

You are hilarious! You always have us laughing about something! And you know you're funny. And once you do something we laugh at,  you do i over and over and over again :) Of course, we laugh every time! You always put random things on your head and say, "Hat on!" You say you want to eat things that can't be eaten, like your bed or shoes or sissy. You just seem to already have a kind of sarcastic sense of humor and I love it!

You're scared of the dark.  It makes me sad because I remember being SO scared of the dark when I was younger and I hate that you feel that way. I may STILL be a little scared, but I can't let on to you that I am!! So I have to pretend to be brave when I'm not so you relax and realize there's nothing bad about being in the dark.

Tommy, you changed our lives in the best way possible. I didn't really know how much I could love somebody until you were born. TWO years ago!! You have taught me forgiveness, patience, unconditional love, grace and a million other lessons. We've learned a lot the hard way, but we've had SO much fun on the journey! I feel blessed to be your mommy and can't wait to see what year three brings for us. I get to learn something new about you every day and it's amazing and awesome to see the little boy you've become. You are sweet, kind, funny,smart, handsome, ornery and a little naughty, but together, it's the perfect combination. I love you so much, sweet boy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tommy-isms

I remember thinking that Tommy was never going to talk. I was worried he was developmentally delayed. I thought he was so far behind other kids (mainly, his best friend Mal Horyna who can say like, 9 million words and was completing sentences by the time she was 19 months old!! That girl can TALK!!).

But now..........now, I am 100% sure he can talk. He never stops. Never. I wanted to write down a few of the funny things he says because he's already outgrowing some of them.

*everything gets a 'D' sound at the beginning of the word. Brooke is dook, spoon is doon, bye-bye is dye-dye, etc. Not on every word, but on the majority.

*choo-choo train is "Joo-joo neen!!" And we hear this often. Brooke and Michael got him a huge train for Christmas and he loves it.

*the other day he kept saying, "Deuce ball!! Deuce ball!!" We had no idea what he was talking about until he dragged Nick by the hand to take him to the shelf where he keeps the foosball and then took him over to the foosball table and he wanted to play. We've probably only had that table for about 3 weeks and have played it MAYBE twice. But he knew what it was called and he was determined to play!

*he says now after EVERYTHING. "Drink NOW. Googers (crackers) NOW!" Funny, but demanding.

*he's always called Nick dad, but lately he's been saying, "dad.....DEE!" Like Daddy, but all drawn out and weird with an emphasis on "dee"

*has been playing this "game" where I ask what he wants to eat and he says, "Eat....joo-joo neen!" I have to laugh histerically and say, "No!! You can't eat a train!" And then he says, "Eat.......booball (football)!!" And again, I laugh...and the process goes on and on and on. We go through eating trains, footballs, sis, Duke (one of the baby-sitting kids), TV, potty (gross), etc.

*his favorite color is "NEEN!!" He LOVES anything green. When we have his crayons out, we can tell him what color to get and he picks the right one, but when you ask what color something is, his answer is always "Neen!!!"

*we've been working on shapes and I drew a heart (which we'd never discussed before) and before I could ask what it was, he screamed, "Hawt!!!!!!" Smart boy.

*love you is "Duff dooooo!" The other morning, he was standing at the foot of Tessa's crib saying, "Duff dooooo, Sis!! Duff doooo!!" So sweet.

*whenever I ask for a kiss or hug, he just says the word and goes back to what he's doing, rather than actually hugging or kissing me. Stinker.

*he fake cries. He's totally playing around, but if he wants something he'll do a little fake cry and hide his head, but he's smiling the whole time.

*he fake sleeps. This is hilarious. It started with me fake sleeping so he'd leave me alone and then he yelled, "MOM!!" So I pretended to be startled and "woke up." Now, he "goes to sleep" which consists of him snoring, with his eyes wide open, and waits for me to yell, "TOM!" When I do, he starts laughing histerically and stops snoring for a few seconds, and then the process starts over again.

*he says, "No home!" a lot and we aren't sure what it means. At first we thought it meant go home because he would say it when he was mad at us and we thought he wanted us to go away. But now he says it a lot, like when he's hurt or upset.

His talking has definitely increased in the last month or so. It's crazy how much and how quickly toddlers pick up on. Although he's getting to that stage where he's trying to repeat things, but can't say them quite right, so we don't know for sure what he wants and he gets really frustrated. But it's fun trying to learn his language!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A little piece of Heaven....

With all the excitement of Christmas, I almost forgot that Nick and I had planned a little get away shortly afterwards. My cousin Whitney lives in Kansas City, but was going to New York for the holiday, so we decided to go to KC while she was gone and she graciously let us stay in her house (thanks Whit!!). Not having to pay for a hotel made it MUCH easier for us to take the trip in the first place.

We were planning on leaving Friday, 12/28/12, around 5pm. I took off work a little early so I could spend some time with the kids before we left. I went to work at 9am and on my where there, the check engine light come on. Not good. I got off work around 1:30pm and decided to run to Auto Zone because they do free diagnostic checks when your check engine light is on. They ran the check and wouldn't you know it......a transmission code comes up. Blah. We were going to take my Jeep to Kansas City. It doesn't get great gas mileage, but we have a truck that gets even less than the Jeep or a really old car that gets 32 miles to the gallon, but isn't exactly reliable to drive 300 miles. So we decided to take the truck. I was a little bummed because it costs a LOT more to fill up the truck than the Jeep, so that took a chunk out of our budget.

Then, Brooke met me at our house with the kids so we could hang out for awhile before leaving. And Tommy slept the WHOLE time. I was super sad. He had no idea what was going on, but I did! I hated that we'd be leaving him without having spent any time together that day. I was starting to think maybe we shouldn't go, but Nick convinced me that all would be fine, so we dropped the kids off at Brooke and Michael's and headed out!

The 2 hour drive alone with my husband was worth the trip in and of itself. I think we got to talk more on that drive than we have since we had Tommy :) No interruptions, no crying from the back seat, no potty breaks........just 2 hours of being ALONE!! We got to Kansas City around 8pm and decided to go to dinner at the Salty Iguana (whitney's suggestion). She even had a buy one-get one free coupon, so I knew it was fate!! And it turned out to be EXTREMELY delicious! It was Mexican food and they had a cream cheese and jalapeno sauce that was to die for. LOVED it. Then we went back to the house and watched a movie. From start to finish. That hasn't happened in like.....2 years.

We only slept in the next morning until around 7:30am but it was nice because even though we were awake, we didn't have to get up to get crackers and juice and change diapers. I missed my babies, but not the work that comes with them ;) I told Nick it would be ideal if we could go on a family vacation and just take a nanny so that we could see the kids, but not have to do the hard stuff! Horrible, huh? After we got up and around, I decided to highlight my hair and take a long, hot bath while my hair dye was setting. Good decision. It was delightful. We had reservations to do a brewery tour at 2pm, so we headed that direction and decided to go ahead and find the brewery and then go eat lunch somewhere around there. We stopped at a Quik Trip and got the recommendation to eat at a place called The Bronx. We tried to go there, but it was PACKED. Like, we couldn't even get in the parking lot. So we ended up at a place called KC Smoke Burgers and I am SO glad we went there. Seriously delicious.

Each burger came out on it's own little individual smoker filled with hickory chips. The burgers were HUGE and juicy and awesome. That picture was after I'd eaten about half of it. I highly recommend going there if you're even in Kansas City. There was no wait and it was pretty cheap for what we got!

After lunch, we slowly but surely made our way to the brewery.
We'd just eaten a ton of food and then had to park a mile away (ok, it was probably only 1/8 mile, but it felt like FOREVER) and on the top floor of the parking garage that had NO elevator!! We lugged ourselves into the brewery and then went to check in and realized I didn't have my ID. I didn't think I'd need it, but I had to have it to go on the tour. So we went BACK up to the top of the parking garage, got my ID and went BACK down all the stairs to the brewery. Then we realized we didn't lock the truck and my purse and Nick's fire arm were in there. Sigh. I let Nick make that trip solo. Luckily, he was able to lock it without going back up all the stairs :) We probably should have ate lunch AFTER the 45 minute walking tour that involved 3 flights of stairs.
 Our tour guide's name was Ami (she pronounced it Ahh-mee). I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be pronounced aim-ee but she seemed to be going through a transgender thing, so she/he was a little awkward, but had a few lame brewery jokes up her/his sleeve! She didn't know a lot about the place (they were volunteers, which I was REALLY surprised to find out. Who volunteers their Saturday to give tours?!?) but she did a decent job of explaining how everything worked. They kept telling us not to touch the shiny pipes, which of course made me want to touch them. So I did. And I liked it.

I'm not a huge beer fan, but Nick is and it WAS pretty neat to see how they make it and bottle it and everything. There were rooms and rooms FULL of pipes and tanks and valves. I have no idea how anyone could keep straight what was going on in each room and each pipe. Crazy.

We got 8 free beers at the end!! They were probably about 6oz each and I could only drink about 2 drinks of each one before I felt like I was going to hurl. I just don't really like the taste of beer and a lot of those flavors were REALLY bitter. Even Nick wasn't enjoying a few of them. But he pressed on and finished them. What a champ! :)

But that left me to drive through all the traffic to the mall. Which normally I wouldn't mind if I was in my own car. But I HATE driving his truck because it's huge and I always feel like I underestimate how much room I have on the road. But we made it to Legend's Outlet Mall in one piece. I got to shop cheap clothes for my babies and Nick went to Cabela's, which was right next door. I didn't find much. Just a jean jacket for Tess and a tank top for myself. Oh and a booball (football) sweatshirt for Tommy that he LOVES!

When we were done shopping, we went home and napped (lame, but true) and then went to dinner. We drove around forEVER looking for someplace to eat. We came across the Griswold's of Kansas City!

This house had lights on every square inch of their property. Pretty cool! The house across the street from them looked pretty similar.

We finally came across a Macaroni Grill and went in to eat. We were one of three tables, but it took a good 40 minutes for us to get our food. Right when we were starting to get frustrated, she brought it out. Thank goodness, because we were STARVING! It was 9:30pm and we hadn't eaten since before we'd napped, so we were super hungry. We had pasta and it totally hit the spot. There was a K-Mart (aka--dreamland for me) close by, so we went there as well. I didn't like it as much as ours, but it satisfied my shopping needs :) We went home after that and watched another movie and then went to sleep.

The next morning was back to reality! We headed out around 11am (after some Dunkin donuts, which were good, but not all they're hyped up to be). We stopped at Bass Pro and another mall on the way home and ended up getting fast food to eat in the truck after we waited 25 minutes at Buffalo Wild Wings just to get our order taken. We were ready to be home with our babies!!

My mom was waiting here at the house for us with them. Being the saint she is, she had done all of our laundry AND cleaned our house. Have I ever mentioned that she's a wonderful lady? Thanks mom!! And thanks Whit, for letting us stay at Casa De La Whitney!

We had such a wonderful time and it was truly refreshing to be alone and to have the freedom to do what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it! I told Nick that we need to do that at least every 6 months. Even if we stay in town but let our families keep the kids for the weekend. It was seriously the revival that I needed to get through the next year!

I had a great time, honey!! I love you and am SO glad we got that time together!