Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Many Thanks

Our family has so much to be thankful for...our jobs, our home, an abundance of food, clothing, and entertainment. We have good family and good friends that we can rely on to meet our needs. We have the ability to lead and serve others. We have been blessed with good health. We live in a great country that allows us so many freedoms- freedom to work towards our goals and to achieve them, freedom to pursue happiness, freedom to live our lives in the way that we find pleasing, freedom to worship as we wish, openly and with others.

We have our wonderful family...

Our MacKenzie Grace who is so amazingly brilliant that it astounds me to think about how smart she is and what I can teach her and learn with her next...

Our Keegan Joy who is so amazingly passionate and has such feeling with the capabilities to express those feelings already...

That they have each other as sisters and will be able to always grow up with the closest of friends in each other and they can take comfort in their complementary natures...

Our Dada and my Mattie who takes care of us in the best ways he knows how and works hard everyday to achieve greatness...

We are so thankful, grateful, and humbled by what has been brought into our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keegan at 8 and 9 months


I feel terrible that I never got around to writing your 8 month post. While I have neglected your individual posts, I have not been neglecting you in the least and that is what is important right? I love you so much and cannot believe how quickly you are growing. It seems like you are growing up even faster than MacKenzie. I am not sure if you are trying to catch up to her or if that is just you and your personality (or maybe both), but either way I sure do wish life had a pause button!

You are eating like a champ, taking two full meals a day and sometimes a little snack too. You are eating table food most meals and if you eat something "baby-ish" it is us feeding you applesauce. You love to feed yourself and grab handfuls of raisins, cheerios, green beans, peas, corn, rice or anything else we put in front of you. This past weekend we gave you some of your sister's favorite food- Mac and Cheese! I think you love it even more than she does, which Mommy is very thankful because Mac and Cheese, sausage, and canned veggies are one of her stand by meals. You will nurse or take a bottle of pumped milk 4 to 5 times a day. Mommy is making plenty of milk for you along with a bit for the freezer and some for the milk bank. She is trying to finish up pumping for her last batch to send off in the next week or so. Thank you for all your help with that and for being so willing to share!

Your sleeping is long and consistent. Crystal loves watching you on her days because you sleep most of the time because we have to wake you up so early. You are barely dropping your evening nap and will still lay down for 20 minutes or so some evenings. This is on top of a 1-2 hour morning and 2-3 hour afternoon nap. You sleep soundly, on your tummy with your middle and ring finger in your mouth or close to your face. You like to be covered up, but have no preference for blankie or stuffed animal (which Mommy likes and will try to keep it that way). You have been sharing a room with your big sister for quite some time at night and that is going really well. You were a bit fussy the other night and we heard MacKenzie say over the monitor "No, no Nee-nan, Sleeeeep". There are many times that she will read to you or interact with you in the morning before we get you out of bed. I love that you two can happily share a room right now. Of course we let you nap separately because you are not in sync that way yet.

You are so active and so advanced physically. You had been wiggling yourself around the room quite well and were getting up on hands and knees and rocking for weeks. Finally, about three weeks ago, you got up and started really moving with a purpose. Now you are definitely crawling and moving around and being very independent. You will often lurch away from us so you can go explore your surroundings. You have also (this weekend at exactly 9 months) began officially pulling up on things. You had been trying very hard and would make your body into a bridge before, but now you will pull up on your crib or on the couch. I am sure you will be cruising very soon and may even be getting close to steps. You are starting to take interest in books, love to laugh and giggle when tickled or when we make funny faces, and love to bob to music.

You had a doctor visit on Friday and she said everything looked great. You weighed 19 pounds 4 ounces and were 28 inches long. That is in the mid 60 percentile for both. So taller and bigger than most your age, but not too tall or big. It has been fun picking out clothes for you that we think "look" like you. Our girlie clothing collection is growing! You officially said "Mama" this week. You were in despair that I walked away from you and let out a cry and a sad and pathetic "mama" as I walked away. You will still babble "Dadadadada", but we haven't decided if that "counts" or not. You are also consistently making the sign for "Milk" and will get excited if you are hungry and I make the sign for milk.

Thank you for not one, but the past two months. I appreciate you for who you are and how you fit into our family. I love everything about you and hope you feel it every day!


Halloween 2011

This Halloween year went much like last years (except with double the children). We went to our church fall festival to play and hang out with friends for a few years. I love that they work hard to have an area with games and bounce houses for smaller children like MacKenzie (and next year Keegan too). MacKenzie loved trying to throw beanbags into various areas to win candy ("tan-dy") and once she had gotten two or three pieces she was more than happy to stop. She bounced like a wild animal in the bounce house, so much so that her unbuckled overalls fell to the ground so she took them all the way off and bounced with shirt and diaper only!

We also joined the Faulkners and some of our other friends for Halloween at their house. We all brought food to go along with Chili and enjoyed passing out candy to neighborhood children. Da-da got there a bit late so we were unable to trick or treat with MacKenzie's friends, but we figured this wouldn't be a problem. We made our way to the first house and she did fine saying thank you. At the next house all heck broke loose. There was nothing scary about the house and they were sitting by the sidewalk so she did not have to walk far so we are still unable to figure out why the massive meltdown. I like to say that she got one piece of candy for both hands and felt that was sufficient. The girls both dressed up as ballerinas because we had the outfits on hand.

We were also able to head over to the pumpkin patch this year near our house for a few pumpkin pictures. Keegan did great, MacKenzie was distracted. You may recognize the dresses from their wedding dresses!

Wedding Weekend!

A few weekends ago we went to College Station to celebrate the wedding of Matt's brother Martin to our new sister-in-law/sister-in-law/sister-out-law Erin. I love the chance to be a part of a wedding and it was nice to be involved in a wedding that did not involve me serving and picking up dishes (although I appreciate the extra money when I work the events for my mom). We have enjoyed watching Martin change over the past few years and especially since he has met Erin and we enjoy Erin for who she is (and how much she loves and dotes on our girls). It was a joyous occasion and it was nice to be with family for a long weekend.

Matt was honored to stand with Martin as one of his groomsmen and we loved MacKenzie's debut as a flower girl. While she did not throw any petals, she walked down the aisle just as she was supposed to and then sat with Mommy for the duration of the ceremony. While MacKenzie was too tired and hungry to be willing to take extra pictures from the photographer, I am hoping that some were gotten during the actual ceremony. Keegan slept through the ceremony and was able to enjoy the reception after.

I loved Erin's attention to fall details and thought the outside setting was simply beautiful. The ceremony itself had several touching parts, especially in the vows, but maybe that is just the old softy in me :) Regardless, welcome to the family Erin. Best Wishes and Congratulations to you both!

Matt's School

Matt has long since wanted to earn his MBA. He feels that it is as necessary now for success and advancement in the work place as an undergraduate degree was 20 years ago. With more and more people entering the working field with undergrads and internships (which he was unable to do because of consistently working as a manager 30-40 hours a week...which isn't taken into consideration by many companies because it is fast food and for some reason does not count...but I digress) then he wanted something to give him an edge.

He mulled over which programs for months. With me going back to work, he kicked his mulling into high gear and made a very complete and thorough (how repetitive and redundant was that) spreadsheet comparing the programs in this area. Among considerations was reputability, price, class flexibility, and location. We even put the u.t. program here in Houston on the list (but ultimately had to veto for the same reason we vetoed A & M and Tulane...price). He narrowed the list down to his top three choices- University of St. Thomas, HBU, and University of Houston. Matt studied hard for his GMAT and was accepted and offered at least financial aid at all three schools. After more mulling he decided on...

HBU! He is all registered for the spring and will take 9 hours this spring and hopefully another 3 during the May mini-mester. The nights that he is gone for school will be a little lonely and sometimes stressful, but it makes me happy and proud to see how hard he is working for both himself and for our family. He is also excited to have an excuse to stretch his brain a little rather than continue to answer the mundane questions that I am sure he gets a thousand times or more at work.

Go Huskies!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

So behind

I am so far behind on the blogging world. I am sure anyone who stumbles upon reading this that actually knows me would understand why. I am one of the busiest people I know and friends frequently comment that I am the busiest person they know too! I love to be busy, I love to go and do, and interact, and serve, and be accomplishing things. That being said, I don't neccessarily feel like I bit off more than I can chew, I just think that I got a bite with a little bit of extra grissel in it so I am trying to chew it slowly so I don't spit it into my napkin!

Teaching has changed so much just in the year that I was away from it. I was recently asked if teaching is a hard job. My response was no, the teaching itself was not hard for me. The things that take place between 7:25 and 2:30 are challenging, but completely rewarding and worth it (most of the time). What makes teaching hard is all of the other stuff. Expect a very long post that addresses this later.

The girls are still amazing and doing such a great job in other's care. I am so proud of the little girls they are both becoming and treasure every minute that I get to have with them. I am very much looking forward to Thanksgiving break in a week and Christmas break shortly after that.

Matt has been very busy. He passed his GMAT with flying colors, was accepted to several MBA programs around Houston, and will be selecting one this week. I will wait until he makes the final decision to post about which one and if anyone is in need of a spreadsheet that covers all of the MBA options then let us know, his work was extremely thorough. If he maintains that diligence throughout his program then he should be on a very clear path for success!

I will hopefully find time to post a bit more in the coming two weeks. I have much to post about and the cutest pictures of the girls too.