Sunday, August 15, 2010

9 years ago...

...this little girl entered our world, and made me a mommy and Mike a daddy.  We're so in love with our little brown-eyed beauty.  She's everything I've ever wanted in a daughter, and she makes my world go round.

  You stole mommy's heart the day you were born, and you still have always will!  I love you a million bazillion, my little Laney-bug. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Mom...My Hero

I honestly don't know how to start this post.  There are no words I could say write that would properly describe how amazing my mother is. 

She grew up in a house of boys...4 brothers, to be sisters.  My grandmother (her mother) was...still is, actually...partial to boys.  I don't know why she's like that, but she is, and my mom had to constantly deal with that.   She dropped out of school in the 8th grade and never went back to school. (although she has taken classes towards getting her GED...she never finished it, as far as I know)  She got married in her early 20's, and had 2 girls a few years 2 older sisters.  My dad moved to California at one point, dragging my mom with him.  She moved back to the Midwest after about a month on the West coast...she hated it there.  I've mentioned it before on this blog, but my dad was an alcoholic, pretty much from the start of their marriage.  He was in and out of the picture even before I came along.  My mom told me that when his mother was on her death bed, she pulled my mom close to her and whispered in her ear "Don't have any more kids with him."  Thank goodness she didn't listen, or I wouldn't be here, but it kind of shows just how dead-beat my dad really was.  I mean, that was coming from his own mother.

My mom got pregnant with me when my sisters were 9 and 10.  I was a surprise, and my mom really wanted a boy.  She tells me now that she's so thankful I was a girl...especially since it was just me and her after my dad left for good, and my sisters moved out. 

During my childhood, I remember my dad coming home every once in a while, and we always knew that he would most likely be drunk.  If you've ever been around alcoholics, you know that there are basically 2 different types of drunks...the kind that are overly nice and the kind that are overly mean.  My dad was the latter.  I remember hearing my dad come in, and my sisters pulling me into their bedroom, crying, and saying "Daddy's here...let's hide."   I won't go into detail, but I'll just say that my mom endured things that no woman should ever have to endure from someone that they love...from anyone, period. 

A local church would send a bus through the neighborhood, to pick up kids for church.  My sisters would go, and eventually my mom went with them. There, she learned of her need for a Savior.  She became a Christian, and started attending church on a regular basis.  She started tithing, much to my father's dismay (this was still when he was partially around, and before I was born).  She has said that, at one point, during one of his fits of rage, he took a wad of money and threw it up in the air and said "Here God, take it!"  He despised the fact that she was giving money to God.  But of course, he could spend all he wanted on booze. 

He was basically gone from the time I was 4 or 5, but they actually divorced when I was 8 or 9.  My grandma has also lived with us since I can remember. 

My mom worked with no college degree...not even a high school diploma, and put 3 kids through Christian school.   Private schools are not cheap.  She received absolutely no child support at all, and we never did without food, clothing, or a roof over our heads.  She worked for a pharmaceutical company, and worked her way up into a position that, when applied for, required a college degree.  To say she's a hard worker is putting it lightly. 
With everything she's been through, she never once wavered in her faith.  She totally relies on God, and has always given Him the praise for everything she was able to accomplish.   She is a pillar of strength, and I know it only comes from Christ.  She has said that there were times that she would have no money in the bank, but she would go ahead and send in the payment for school and trust God that it would be covered, and it always was.  There is no other way to describe that, other than God! 

She suffered a heart attack about 6 years ago, and during that time, got laid off from the job she'd been at for 20 years, after the company moved the position to St. Louis.  I thank God that he spared her life...I don't know what I would do without her.  She's my rock and my hero.   She has taught me what it takes to be a good mother, how to never take even one day for granted, that family is everything, and, most importantly, to love God more than anything and anyone else in the world.

If I could have just a fraction of the strength she has, I'd be happy!  She has accomplished so much with no help from a husband, and she had to fill the roll of both mom and dad.  She does so much for our family, and for my sisters and their families, too.  When I have a question, she is the first I go to for advice.  I can talk to her about anything, and she'll always listen and be there for me.  She offers to watch our kids at least once a week, so that Mike and I can have time alone.  I know to never take that for granted.  I always feel bad that she has our kids so much, but this is what she always says:  "Sarah, they are my grand kids...this is what life is about.  I love spending time with them.  What else would I be doing anyway?  Sitting at home, watching TV?  Why would I rather do that than spend time with these kids?"  See what I mean?  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

She has been the best model for a mother that I could ever imagine.  I honestly don't know why God blessed me with such an awesome mom, but I'm so thankful every day of my life.  When I hear others talk about how great their mom is, and how much she has done, it always takes everything in me not to roll my eyes, and think, Right, but you don't know my mom.   Okay, I actually do think that, but I can't help it. She's just unbelievably strong!   I know there are alot of wonderful mothers out there, but in my mind, no one compares.  no one even comes close.  And when you have the kind of mom I do, it's okay to think that.  She's the best mom in the world, and that's the truth!

{Grandma and Isaac}

{Grandma and Jett}

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.
~Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, August 5, 2010


...and still going strong.
Happy Anniversary to the love of my life.
There is no one else I'd rather be on this journey with!
I love you!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I grew up in Kansas City Missouri.  In the hood, basically.  But it wasn't so much when I was little as it is now.  I could actually ride my bike up and down the street, and now, I would be a little nervous driving down that same street. 
I don't exactly remember how I met Rosalie, but I will never forget the time I spent at her house, and going everywhere with her.  She lived a few houses down from us, and I was there all the time...during the summer months especially.  She was the nanny for a very wealthy couple that lived an extremely affluent neighborhood on the other side of KC.  They were both doctors and had 2 kids, one girl and one boy, and Rosalie was just crazy about them.  I would go with her every once in a while to drop them off at their house...their big, beautiful multi-million dollar house.  I always remember thinking that it smelled like wood flooring.  She would pick them up every morning and bring them back to her house, and I would wander down the street to see if they were there.  Sometimes, the little girl would come to my house to see if I could come down and play.  I spent hours every day there, and we would watch movies, help Rosalie garden, and play with her dogs.  She would often take us to Oceans of Fun (a huge water park)...since we all had season passes every year, or to the country club pool that the 2 kids' parents belonged to.  I don't know that my mom paid her, or even asked her to take care of me.  My mom was always at work, and my grandma lived with us, so I don't even know if my mom exactly knows how much I was at Rosalie's.  I'm sure she would know if Rosalie took me anywhere...  Anyway, the point is, I spent alot of time with her, and she was always so wonderful to me.  She still lives in the neighborhood I grew up in, and it worries me, but I don't think she'll ever move. 

I don't know if I can even properly describe her.  The thing about Rosalie is that she's VERY eccentric.  She's the sweetest lady you would ever want to meet, but oh my, she is different.  Mike describes her as being overly dramatic about EVERYTHING!!!  For instance, when she arrived at my house for the party (remember, this is the first time I have seen her in almost 9 years), she just stood in the doorway almost crying, and just kept saying over and over, "Oh Sarah, is that really you?  I can't believe this!  I can't believe I'm seeing you!"  She walked around my house, and every room she would go in, she would make the biggest deal out of it saying things like "Oh my, it's perfect!"  "This is just wonderful, Sarah!"  (ummm...our house is pretty much the direct opposite of perfect, what with all the drawings on the walls from our little artists...dirty carpets...mismatched furniture...things like that.)  But it was all delightful to her.  Even if she doesn't mean it, oh my, she makes you believe she does.  And I really think she does mean everything she says.  She always calls me her girl.  She always has, come to think of it.  I know she is so happy to see me married and raising 5 kids.  She was never married, and never had any kids.  The whole time she was here, she was super involved with the kids, and she was constantly trying to help clean or help take care of the baby.  She just went on and on about how much she just loved being here and seeing us.  She kept offering to babysit anytime I wanted her to.  The last time I talked to her on the phone, I mentioned our trip to Disney World, and she told me that she would love to ride with us to the airport to see us off.  At one point, she was down in our family room and saw our chase we have down there...she mentioned that if she ever slept over, she could just sleep on that.  I know she just wants to be involved in our lives.  I don't think she has any family around, or really anyone that she's involved with alot.  I told Mike that I want to invite her over for dinner maybe once a week or every other week, and invite her to all of the kids' birthdays...things like that.  She also asked if she could get the kids a parakeet.  We're still thinking about that one.  We have no cage or anything, but I'm pretty sure if she gave us one, she would provide the housing and all that for us.  She's a huge animal lover, too! 

I'm so glad my mom ran into her at the store.  I hope she'll continue to be a part of our lives.  She was so good with me when I was little, and I want my kids to benefit from her being in their lives.

Time goes by so fast, people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you.

A Hawaiian Happy Birthday

Who loves having children's birthday parties???

ooohhh...not me!

But I love my kids, and I love for them to have a good time, so we had one.

Laney and Chloe have birthdays 2 1/2 weeks apart, so it always seems silly to me to have individual parties for them and ask people to come to both of them.  Ok, honestly, it's that and that I don't wanna have 2 parties within 2 weeks of each other.  Stressful is the word that comes to mind!

So here we are.  These pics are from their hawaiian/tiki/luau/beach birthday party.  They had fun, and that's all that matters to me!

{This is Rosalie...she used to by my neighbor growing up, and took care of me alot.  The last time I saw her is when I had Laney.  I just got back in touch with her a few weeks ago and invited her to the party.  She's such a different person, but so so sweet.  She deserves her own post...I'll write a separate one just about her.}

{Laney with her best friend Anika}

"Hele mei hoohiwahiwa" ~ Come celebrate


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