Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Senior Year

I saw this on facebook awhile ago and thought it would be fun to fill out:

Tell us about your SENIOR year of high school
The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!
Class of 2002
1. Did you know your spouse? 
2. Did you car pool? 
Not to school... to football games and tennis practice, sometimes.
3. It's FRIDAY night where were you? 
At the high school football game or usually on a date with my boyfriend, or getting to bed early because of Saturday tournaments.
4. What kind of job did you have? 
Not many... I didn't baby-sit much by Sr. year anymore and I was paid a few times for playing the harp, but not much.  I pretty much considered it my job to get top grades so I studied a lot.
5. Were you a party animal? 
No, but my friends and I had a lot of fun... dorky, non-partying fun.
6. Were you considered a jock? 
No, but I was Captain of the Tennis Team and was City Champ my Sr. year.
7. Were you in choir/band or orchestra? 
All of the above.  Well, actually, I quite Choir senior year because I couldn't get it to work with my schedule, but I played the harp with all of the choir, band, and orchestra senior year.
8. Were you a nerd?  
It probably depended on who you asked.
9. Did you get suspended? 
No -- I was never so much as reprimanded in an administrator's office.
10. Can you sing the fight/school song? 
I can still sing the Alma Mater, and I can sing about as much of the fight song as I ever could... I know about the first two lines, and then I know the tune, but not the words (Anchor's Away).
11. Where did you eat? 
In the cafeteria
12. Where was your high school
Norton Shores, Michigan
13. What was your school mascot? 
14. If you could go back and do it over again would you?  
Probably not... it was a great time while I was there, but I'm really happy with where I am now.   
15. Do you still talk to the person you went to prom with? 
16. Are you planning on going to the next high school reunion? 
I would consider it if it worked, but my class doesn't really seem to be big into planning reunions.  The only one so far was the 10th, and we were given about two weeks notice.  This year marks 15 years since we graduated and I've heard nothing about a reunion.  I have never been back to Homecoming since my Sr. year because I've never been home in the fall (first college, then grad school, then teaching, it was never a good time to make it home).
17. Are you still in contact with people from high school
I'm in touch with acquaintances via facebook, which is nice as we're all having kids at the same time, but I am not in touch with my close friends from high school anymore than the acquaintances.
18. Did you skip school
Once but it was for a school event -- I was in AP government class the year before the Bush-Gore election and our teacher had us very involved in following the election.  Al Gore was holding a rally in Grand Rapids and I attended with a lot of other students from Government class.  It wasn't a class field trip, so really, we skipped school to go.  I don't remember if our parents excused us or if the school sort of overlooked it because it really was educationally related.
19. Do you know where your high school sweetheart is? 
I do not.  I tried to "friend" him on facebook many years ago when facebook was new, and he never responded so we are not in touch at all.  Sometimes his mother runs into my mother at the grocery store and they catch up a little and I hear from my mom what he's up to but I don't remember where he is.  I do know he is married and has at least one daughter who's within a year or so of my oldest daughter's age, but that's all I know.
20. What was your favorite subject? 
I loved science even though I had to work really hard in those classes and history.
21. Do you still have your High School Ring? 
Yes, somewhere.
22. Do you still have your yearbooks? 
  Yes, somewhere.

Monday, June 26, 2017

These Two

These two are so much fun and such a hoot to watch relate to one another.  

The other day Caroline was feeding Howard... she was taking food from her plate and putting it into his mouth one piece at a time... and Howard kept letting her no matter how much food he already had in his mouth.

As Hubby and I were watching this, I commented that its going to take a really special girl for Caroline to give her stamp of approval on Howard's future wife.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Six Years

Happy Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband.

This has been a wonderful six years and you are my amazing hero, you are the provider for our family, and you always make me laugh... even when I'm upset and don't want to laugh, which is why I love you.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Some Cheese

I wrote a few weeks ago about what a really great time our little family had in Vail together.  One enjoyable aspect of the trip that surprised me was watching live television.

We don't watch live television very often in our home.  With the exception of football games and baseball games, we record anything the kids, Hubby or I might want to watch, we watch them at our leisure, and fast forward all commercials.  In Vail, we brought some movies to watch, but we actually watched tuned into some live television while we were there.

I had no idea I liked the summer lineup on the Hallmark Station so much.  Not only do they show several episodes of Home Improvement back-to-back every day, but their June weekends are jam-packed with Hallmark original movies with wedding themes.  I watched some Home Improvement episodes in Vail while the kids were napping and realized how much I appreciate more of the comedy now that I'm married than I did when it originally aired in the nineties.  So now I record the Home Improvement episodes, but I also caught a few of the wedding movies.

I now pretty much record every Hallmark movie they are showing throughout this month.  All of the movies surround the theme of weddings, all are romantic comedies, all are wholesome romances that I can watch in the presence of my three-year-old, and all have happy endings.

Now, I will be honest, some of the plot lines are a little cheesy, and some of the endings are a little too picture perfect... but that's what makes such happy endings.  I am learning that I really like some cheese in my life -- as in, some cheesy, sappy, unrealistic happy endings to put a foolish smile on my face.

I get so excited each weekend for the new lineup of sappy wedding-centered movies to air because then I get to watch them during naptime while fold laundry or do the dishes during the week, and they make me so happy.

It's time I just admitted that I really love some sappy, cheesy, old fashioned happy endings. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my three favorite fathers on the planet...

My Dad
the man who raised me and made me the person I am today

My Husband
the man with whom I share my life, the man who made me a mother and who is raising the three (and counting) most important people in our world

and my Father-in-Law
who raised the man I love

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Molding Character

We're going through a new phase with Tracey right now and its tricky because she will always be our oldest and so every new phase she goes through, it is a brand new phase for Hubby and me as well.

Lately we've just been dealing with a little defiance on her part and its been a hard phase, I think especially for me in adjusting to it.  She's certainly acting like a normal three-year-old, but two weeks ago, our normal three-year-old loved to please us and loved to help... and now she is testing the limits in a way she has never done before.

It is during situations like this when it sinks in to me that Hubby and I are responsible for molding and shaping and training the characters of our children... and how in the world do you prepare for that?  Where's the manual for molding another human's character, much less three humans and counting?  Its not like Tracey can be our rough draft practice run on molding character so that we knock out all the kinks with her in order to do better with the rest... everything we do as parents plays a role in her childhood and can potentially impact the rest of her life.  That's really heavy.

This week, Hubby and I have had to reinforce and recommit to the house rules and dish out consequences when they are warranted and positive reinforcement when it is earned.  We've been having to reiterate and reteach lessons this week spanning from being kind to our siblings, to not being disrespectful to Mama and Daddy, to the importance of telling the truth, to obeying Mama and Daddy when asked to do something (preferably the first time she's asked) -- those are really big life lessons and here we are trying to teach our three year old (well, and our one-year-olds) these lessons -- no wonder its been a tough week, those are major life lessons with which some adults still struggle.

It certainly can be frustrating to me when it feels like Tracey is deliberately disobeying me, but when I am able (occasionally) to step back and see the big picture of how we are working to mold her character it certainly makes sense that these lessons would not be learned overnight and need to be reinforced, in a variety of ways many times a day... for many years to come.

Friday, June 16, 2017

This is Why

This is why I don't get a lot of at-home, organizing, or do-it-yourself projects done... when I turn my back for literally 90 seconds to put something in the oven, this is what I turn back around to see:


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Four Things

Four names People call you;
 1. Brooke
 2. Mama
 3. Brookie
 4. Babe

Four places I have lived:
 1. Norton Shores, MI
 2. Lexington, VA
 3. Rome, Italy
 4. Nashville, TN

Four things I love to watch on TV:
 1. Modern Family (with Hubby)
 2. Home Improvement reruns
 3. Counting On
 4. Last Man Standing (with Hubby)

4 Places I have visited:
 1. Greece
 2. Alaska
 3. Maine
 4. Asia

Four things I love to eat 
 1. Chinese
 2. Sirloin Steak
 3. Breakfast out
 4. Fresh blueberries

Four things I love to drink:
 1. Water
 2. Diet Coke
 3. Blush wine
 4. Fizzy water with lemon (Dasani)

Four people I think will respond and hopefully be fun:
 Since I didn't do this on facebook, no one will respond.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Preggers III: 21 Weeks

How far along?  21 weeks, 3 days

How I am feeling? With the pregnancy, I feel great... with my other three, I'm feeling a bit frazzled.

How big is the baby?  The size of an endive (whatever that is...)... 10.5 inches long, 12.5 ounces

Sleep:  I've actually been sleeping well this past week... I had been fighting a sore lower back a few weeks ago, but I seem to have turned a corner and I'm sleeping really well now.

Boy/Girl Predictions:  Well... we know our baby's gender so no need to predict here.

Baby Nicknames:  Mostly Baby although Tracey thinks we should name the baby Strawberry because like two months ago I told her the baby was the size of a strawberry... and it must have stuck because no matter what fruit or veggie I tell her the baby is now the same size as, she still thinks we should name it Strawberry.
  Best moment this week:  Having such a great time in Vail last week on our family vacation.  Also Tracey came to a doctor's appointment with me last week and she was really excited to see the baby moving on the ultrasound.

Food cravings:  Nothing in particular right now I just need to eat or I feel nauseated.

Missing:  Since before being pregnant?  That's hard to say because I was still nursing and a mother of three before being pregnant, so its not like I was having nightly cocktails at the local bar ever night before this pregnancy... not much has changed.  I guess, I am starting to notice that I miss being able to see my feet because with two toddlers and a preschooler underfoot it was easier not to step on children when I could see my feet.
Movements:  Yes, and I love them.  Mostly at night, which I'm not sure if its when the baby moves, or if I'm just so busy during the day that I don't notice them as much.  I can't feel them on the outside of my tummy yet, like with my hand, but I'm really excited for when we can feel them on the outside so Tracey can feel them.

Labor Signs:  Not yet, thankfully.
General Attitude: I don't usually think about the pregnancy on a regular basis... when I feel the baby moving or when my lower back hurts when I stand at the sink too long.

 What I am looking forward to this week:  There's a parade on Saturday that should be fun with the kids.

Milestones: We're over halfway though this pregnancy which is crazy.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Family Vacation

Hubby and I have had fun at the Vail Summer Mountain Games for many years.  We ran the 5K mud run a month before we got married, we took our dog Lloyd to compete in the dock dog events several years running, and we've taken our kids the past few years.

Some years we have driven to and from Rifle, some years I've stayed in Vail with the kids while Hubby works in Rifle or does graduate school, but never have we had a family fun vacation in Vail like the one we had last week.  In fact, Hubby and I realized that never before have we had a family vacation since we've had kids like we had last week in Vail.

Hubby and I have definitely done our fair share of travel -- both before we met, and after we began our relationship and were married.  When we had Tracey, we didn't really stop traveling, she just came with us.  When we had the twins, we still traveled to see family but our recreational travel had to take a hiatus while we reached an equilibrium of normal.

All that to say, all of our traveling since we've had children consisted of visiting family, traveling somewhere for an event and then traveling home, or traveling somewhere with family.  Last October I told Hubby that I planned a little getaway for just our family of five in Colorado Springs... but he didn't know that his family was going to surprise us there... so that wasn't just the five of us anymore.

Our five days and nights in Vail was the first family vacation we have ever taken just our little family of five (and counting) and we had so much fun.  Even in past years when I've been in Vail in the same scenario, Hubby had other obligations.  We have never both arrived on the same day and spent every day as a family doing nothing but fun vacation activities.

I feel like I'm saying the same thing over and over, but I really can't express enough how much FUN we had with our kids.  We were fortunate enough to be using my parents condo for our time there, so we had plenty of space and a full kitchen, so we brought plenty of food, we packed everything we would need from home -- a lot of stuff... but it paid off.  We never had to buy any meals in Vail, and we were always close enough to the condo to get the kids back for an afternoon nap.

Our days consisted of swimming, walking to parks, picnic lunches, finding parks with fountains, finding the childrens' activities at the Go Pro Mountain Games, and renting some movies.  Nobody was ready to leave when it was time to go home.

More than anything, I think it opened Hubby and my eyes to how important family vacations are just for our family.  Its so easy to live and work in Colorado and then travel to see our families with our vacation time.  We need to make sure our kids see their extended family and spend time in St. Louis and Michigan... but we also need to take a few days, a few weeks each year to dial in and take a family vacation just the Mountain Millers.