Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Indiana Jones...

Matthew is obsessed with all things Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Harry Potter. In that order. He has especially taken to Harrison Ford and one of his life ambitions is to meet him. I didn't have the heart to crush his little spirit and tell him that there was probably a 2%chance that he would ever meet him. And who knows? Maybe he will meet Harrison Ford someday. He is going to be Indiana Jones for Halloween. He already has the hat and wears it all the time.
Last night my brother was in town for business. Matthew loves Uncle Mike. No, adores is really more the word. I think its mostly because my brother is so hands on with my kids. He spent like a half an hour reading books to them before bed, wrestled with them and played Wii. Matthew was wearing his Star Wars helmet that annoys the crap out of me. You press a button on it and it repeats the same four phrases over and over! He was excited to show it and kept pressing it. I asked him to stop and he didn't. I yelled at him. Then my brother said something that really resonated with me. He said to enjoy the days of little boys wearing Star Wars helmets, dancing adorably around the living room to the themes songs and snuggling with their uncle.Because it will be gone before I know it. In its place will be a moody, awkward teenager who says, "Whatever mom, I am going to my room" Hopefully not, but you never know. Who would have thought that my baby brother would be the source of wisdom on parenting in my life? Not me!!
Point of this post...Yes kids can be annoying and their toys DEFINITELY can be annoying but they're also so stinkin adorable and little for such a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things so snuggle them up, read to them and pretend like meeting Harrison Ford is certainly possible!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


So last night I deactivated me Facebook account. It has been a long time coming, this decision. What it really is all about is being obedient to the God I love and whose grace I bask in daily. The thing about the grace is I have fear I have come to take it for granted. I say I will change, I promise to do better and then DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it. I don't make the tough changes that need to take place. I am sick of that and I am sick of KNOWING I am missing out on the better way of living. I know obedience and living in accordance with God's will bring that better way of living and being in this world and hopefully will spill over to other's lives around me.
I am working with Nicole, the same fabulous lady who helped me with my house makeover, as a lifecoach. She asked me if I would enter into a lifecoach relationship with her for a class she is taking and I said, "Sure!" Little did I know how much I was about to be stretched! The first meeting she asked me where I felt God was asking me to grow. I immediately knew that my issue was with FB and that I needed to not just take a break but needed to quit it for a specific amount of time. I decided that I will not be back on it until after the school semester ends in December. I will reevaluate the decision and where I feel God is leading then.
This being the first 24 hours sans Facebook have been very difficult, more than I was anticipating! I am such a junkie!! I say this laughing but its not that funny. I spent way too much time and thought on FB. If I put half of much effort into other relationships, namely my one with God, I would be so blessed. So that's exactly what I intend on doing. Quiet times and snuggle time with my babies, study time and couple time. One thing I know for sure is being obedient sure is tough but there is no place I would rather be.

Friday, September 16, 2011

And we're off....

To the races...well, no, not really. But it certainly has felt like that these past two weeks. I started full time school and internship two days a week and Matthew and Caroline both started school. Matthew has a freshly graduated teacher and she seems to be great. Caroline has the teacher who Matthew had last year for Young Fives and is enjoying it. I think she was a bit taken aback that she would be going everyday considering last year it was only two days a week, but she is adjusting. Ellie is not adjusting as well as I would have hoped at daycare. She is really missing her mommy and crying a lot. I feel horrible about it. I know that it will take some getting use to but it is hard to see her little tear stained cheeks at the end of the day. And me? Well, I am LOVING grad school so far. I really feel like I made the best decision. I love all of my classes and although I have only had two days of internship under my belt, I love that too. My field instructor is a great teacher and a skilled social worker so it really makes the whole situation ideal. It has been strange to realize how much I missed practicing social work. For so much of my life I felt like my calling was to be a full time stay at home mom. But, as time went on, I realized that wasn't my calling and in fact, it was the cause of much of my unhappiness and frustrations. That was hard to come to terms with and to reconcile. I think it will always be a struggle to balance it all. Work, children, marriage, me, friends, etc. It's a lot of pressure, to get it right. I am just beginning to navigate that world but so far I find the challenge to be doable and not overwhelming.
Jeff has been great about helping get the kids ready for school, taking Ellie to daycare on my internship days and allowing me time to study. We're off on this new journey and loving it!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th

Tomorrow is the 10 year anniversary of September 11th. I have heard several people say that no one who has the ability to recollect can forget where they were that awful day. I certainly have vivid memories of that day. In fact, it is as clear to me in this moment, as it was ten years ago.

I was fed up with social work and the daily grind and despair that type of work brings. I was even more fed up with the completely out of control office manager who was intent of ruining my life. So I basically up and quit. First I called a nanny agency and interviewed and got a nanny job. I began the job about a week before September 11th. The job was for two families. Each had a little girl who was 2.5 years old, Sophia and Jordan. Jordan's mom was a law professor at U of Chicago and had to go to Harvard, I think for a couple of weeks, and so they were gone and I was at Sophia's home watching her. This was nice because Sophia's parents lived much closer to me. I remember arriving to their apartment and the news was on for some reason. I find this recollection strange b/c these parent's weren't the kind that allowed their daughter to watch morning news programs(for good reason I might add!) Never the less, it was on and it all started unraveling before us. The first plane had already hit but they didn't know what had gone on and then just as we were watching it happened..a plane flew into the Trade Center. Before out very eyes, hundreds of miles away, the horror began to unfold. Sophia's dad, Michael left for work and I remembered thinking, "Why is he leaving?" I can't keep it together for this little girl who is old enough and verbal enough to know that something is horribly wrong. Now, having known this family for ten years I would certainly be like, "Ahh..no..your not leaving! This type of thing doesn't fall into nanny responsibility!"
He left and I was totally unsure of how to continue. I called Jeff at work, he worked in the city and I couldn't get a hold of him. Then I called my mom and my sister. We were all just trying to get a handle on what had just happened. One thing I distinctly remember is how even the news anchors seemed confused and shell shocked. At one point I began to cry and even though I did my best to try and hide it from Sophia she obviously noticed. She asked me why I was sad to which I responded that some people had made very bad choices and it caused many others to get hurt. A short time later Michael returned home and we talked about how didn't really understand what was happening. For some reason he didn't let me leave which I've never asked him about but at the time I definitely was thinking, "Dude, I want to go home!!" I still hadn't been able to get a hold of Jeff and by this time I was in total panic about it. Plus I had just met Michael and Sophia days earlier and wanted to be around people I could fully feel comfortable crying and generally freaking out around. Michael suggested that we go to the park to fly a kite. Again, I was like.."What the heck!? Fly a kite?!" So we went to the park and did fly a kite. The weather that day in Chicago was exactly the same as in New York, brilliantly sunny. As we walked to the park I noticed how eery the neighborhood felt. Completely still, barely any people were out. I remember as we were flying the kite, an airplane flew over the park. It was then that the tears I was struggling to withhold poured out. Finally Michael told me I could go and I drove home. By this time I had gotten a hold of Jeff and he was back at my apartment. We sat together and watched the coverage. There are certain images and sounds that are burned into my brain from that day. The brilliance of the blue sky, the people roaming the streets of New York covered in dirt and dust and the horrific last calls that were played from people trapped in the Trade Center. Those calls haunted and continue to haunt me. It was a depth of sorrow I have never known.
Ten years later much as changed. The world we lived in pre Trade Center was filled with an arrogance and false sense of security. I remember noticing how everyone, even the most atheist of my friend's, couldn't help but contemplate the possibility of a God. Everyone so desperately wanting to cling to something hopeful. No one wanted to be part of a world that could have such evil in it. The irony is that horrific things had happened to other people but not to us before 9/11 or at least in many minds that is how it seemed. There was certainly a solidarity among mankind and America at large that manifested a glimmer or hope.
Ten years is a long time. I hope that it always feels like it wasn't that long ago. That I am always able to honor those that lost their lives that day and continue to fight for our freedoms and protection.

Friday, September 02, 2011


Today Ellie is 2! I can hardly believe it's been two years since that little lady came into our lives. She fits our family so well and it is hard to imagine a world without her! Ellie is a sweetie. She loves her brother and sister but can hold her own. She won't hesitate to pop you if you get in her face or in her way. Ellie is seeming to follow the speech delayed trend that the rest of the Simpson kids have been on. The one word that she has no problem saying is "NOooooooooooooooooo!" It is really quite cute. She loves to read books and color especially if she manages to finagle a marker. The girls loves markers!! She also loves marking her clothes, her hands, the table, etc. Mommy isn't quite as happy about that! Ellie loves being outside and being with the ig kids. She is especially fond of our neighbor, Sam who is 2 also! She always looks for him and points at his house looking to play with him. Ellie loves her family especially Daddy and Grandma Barb. In addition to "no" some of her other favorite words are "Ama","Mamma","Dada" and "This". We're getting her tested, again, for speech and hope she qualifies this time.
Ellie is embarking on a new adventure this fall. She is going to daycare three days a week because mommy is going back to school for her MSW. She tried it out last week for two days and really enjoyed it. She loves to play with the other kids and was exhausted by the end of the two days!! We're hoping she has lots of fun and learns things too. Like how to share!! That is one thing she doesn't really like to do. But hey,what two year old likes to share!?
To celebrate Ellie's 2nd birthday we're having a small celebration tonight with a dinner that Grandma Barb and Papa Burt are coming to. Mommy made a cherry chip cake. Next weekend is the real party with all of the family. Even Grandma Betsy and Papa Lenny are coming. Rumor has it Aunt Jenn, Uncle Keith, Clair and Patrick might come b/c they live closer now that they are living back in Detroit.
We love our little girl with many names. Some of her nicknames are: Ellie Bellie, Ooga(Caroline only calls her this!), Boo-Boo, Bada boo boo, and if she is really being a stinker she might hear her full name..Elizabeth Jane!!
We love you Ellie!! Happy 2nd birthday!