Thursday, November 25, 2010

All About the Ears

Remember the virgin ears post?

Well, we've got some news. Yes, the day has come. Virgin ears no more. Jason finally relented, and decided Alayna was ready.

Ready for the world of pierced ears.


During: (wince)


I think the worst part for her was ME having to hold her still! As soon as it was over and the sucker was in her mouth, she was as happy as a clam again. All in all, it was an affair to remember.

Have you ever seen anything cuter?!

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness, Part One

I am a thief. I'll admit it.

But it's for a good reason this time. I promise!

On November 1, 2010, a friend of mine updated her status on Facebook. I stole her idea and RAN.

I had wanted to do something for the month of November, and I couldn't quite get it into words. I wanted to find a way to give thanks all month long-not just on Thanksgiving Day. After all, I DO have so much to be thankful for. That's when I saw her "30 Days of Thankfulness" post. It had a nice ring to it, so I stole it.

See? I told you it was for a good reason.

And then, as I started my daily posting of things I was thankful for, I found that a simple sentence each day wasn't enough for me to get my point across. So, I'm taking this blog post and elaborating on those Facebook posts.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 1: Today I am thankful for the great teachers my kids have.

Greyson goes to a Montessori here in our town. It's the same school Owen and Emerson attended, and all three of them had the same teachers. We really had a hard time deciding if we were going to send Greyson to school this year. He just turned three last month, and between just recently being potty-trained, his VERY limited vocabulary, and his COMPLETE AND UTTER OBSESSION with his mama, we weren't sure if he was ready. But I am proud to say that after just a few minutes of uncertainty on that first day of school, Greyson is SHINING at pre-school. Almost daily his teacher tells me something he did that leaves a little warm spot inside me. It could be something big, like leading the class in counting or saying The Days of the Week, or something small, like smiling for the camera on picture day. And you know what's almost as exciting as hearing these wonderful things about my boy? Seeing how EXCITED his teacher is that he has met these milestones. She just loves the kids and is so great with them and I KNOW it's the right place for Greyson.

30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 2: This day MYSTERIOUSLY disappeared...hmmmm

30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 3: Today I am thankful that I can be a stay-at-home mom.

I don't really think this day needs much explanation, so I'll leave this one alone.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 4: Today I am thankful for my husband, who dragged my sick butt out of bed this morning. I'm not sure I'd have gotten up if he wasn't here.

I've been battling some sort of sickness for a couple of weeks now, and on this particular morning, Jason had to PRY me out of bed. It might very well have been a family "sick day" if he hadn't been there. So even though I HATED him coming into the bedroom every five minutes telling me to get up, I really did appreciate it. I think.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 5: Today I am thankful for a lazy morning with my kids, spent lounging in jammies as long as we'd like.

The kids had a vacation day today and we all slept-in and lounged around for most of the morning. School days are so busy, jam-packed from morning til night, and it's always nice to have a day of NOTHING planned.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 6: Today I am thankful for my father-in-law who served in the Marine Corps. Tonight we're headed to the Marine Corps. Ball to celebrate!

I couldn't remember the last time I had the chance to get all dressed up to go to a REAL grown-up party. And what a better chance than to honor our military? It was a great night!

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 7: Today I am thankful for my parents, who are always there for love and support.

Again, enough said.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 8: Today I am thankful for my sweet Greyson who is FINALLY learning to use words instead of yelling!

Who ARE these kids who talk early? Or even those who talk on time? Greyson is taking his SWEET time and it's not always the easiest thing to deal with. Every new word is a milestone.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 9: Today I am thankful for my sister, who has always been my best friend, no matter what.

What can I say? She's a great sister. She has been there for all the important moments in my life and she's the reason I wanted a sister for Emerson. I think ALL girls deserve a sister.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 10: Today I am thankful for my wonderful husband, who is an awesome father and provider for our family! XO

This new job hasn't been the easiest thing for our family, but he's making it work-without complaint. And did I mention the kids are just crazy about him??

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 11: Today I am thankful for our US Veterans for their sacrifices and hard work yesterday, today and tomorrow. We wouldn't be here without them.

For me, Veteran's Day is right up there with Mother's Day and Father's Day. It might be one special day to honor our veterans, but I am so thankful for them EVERY day.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 12: Today I am thankful for this 70 degree November day spent playing outside in the last of the fall leaves.

It's rare to see the 70 degree mark in Michigan in November. I'm pretty sure we won't see that temperature until the spring, but it sure was a nice day!

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 13: Today I am thankful the health of my family.

I've been hearing about friends and friends of friends who are having very serious health issues in their lives. Sure, we get the flu or sore throats or runny noses, but I will take those ANY day over serious illness.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 14: Today I am thankful for my kids, who are all best friends. ♥

I'm not saying my kids don't argue and fight. They do. But they also LOVE each other and MISS each other when they aren't together. They crack each other up with their goofiness and hug each other when they get sad. I hope they always remain this close.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 15: Today I am thankful for all the experiences and challenges that mommyhood has given me.

Mommyhood isn't always fun. But I seem to find myself more and more enjoying EVERYTHING mommyhood has to offer. There is no perfect day. There is always a major meltdown from at least one of the kids-but that keeps it interesting. I can't imagine the boredom of a day without at least a few challenges.

This concludes the first fifteen days of thankfulness. The kids are waking from their naps and Owen will be arriving on the school bus shortly. Gotta get my game face on!

Stay tuned for the next fifteen soon!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

This week we celebrate Veteran's Day. We take time to thank the veterans we know for their service and sacrifices for our country and we take time to remember those men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.

My father-in-law, Steve Martin, is a member of The Marine Corps League, Flint Detachment. He served in the Vietnam War in Da Nang, Vietnam. He served in the Third Battalion, Eleventh Marine Regiment, a unit of The First Marine Division.

And he served with his best friend from grade school, Darrell Miller, who he is friends with to this day.


Last weekend we attended the annual Marine Corps. League Ball, to celebrate the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. I finally had the pleasure of meeting Darrell and quite a few of his family members. It was a fabulous evening, honoring the oldest Marine in their group, who was 94 years old, and the youngest Marine who was 28. There was also a table for one set, in remembrance of all of the POW-MIA who never made it home. The whole evening really proved what being a marine really means. And Steve was very proud to have his family and closest friends there to celebrate.



Yesterday, the kids had the off of school, and we headed to the VA Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan. They hold an annual Veteran's Day Program there, and Steve was a part of the tribute. I had never been to this cemetery and was quite impressed. This cemetery is the final resting place of more than 10,000 veterans and their dependents. It's like a smaller, but still profound, version of Arlington.


I took the kids, not only to see Grandpa at his finest, but also as a learning experience. Their favorite parts?

The National Cannon Salute:


The Rifle Salute, which could be heard but not seen. (Grandpa shot his rifle and the kids just thought that was the coolest thing!)

And the Military Flyover:


There were hundreds of people there, honoring members from every branch of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, POW-MIA. It was quite touching to see the veterans stand as their branch was called. I'd wager that nearly half of the people in attendance were veterans or spouses of veterans.


It's easy to take our freedom for granted, or to forget the sacrifices our veterans and their families have endured and this week was a great reminder of those things.

Senator Debbie Stabenow was there, and perhaps she made the most lasting impression when she read this poem:

It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given us
Freedom of the Press.
It's the soldier, not the poet, who has given us
Freedom of Speech.
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the
Freedom to Demonstrate.
It's the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the
Right to a Fair Trial.
It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and
whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives the protestor the right to burn the flag.

~Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC