Thursday, December 2, 2010


today i was excited to finally have the afternoon off from work. i wanted to sit down and update the blog, because i have been slacking in that department for a few weeks now. i even had a couple drafts going of things i wanted to write about, but haven't had time.
and then sat down to my computer and i started reading my friends' blogs. there's steph, who makes me green with envy as she uses her amazing talent to do creative things and keep her house clean & beautiful and take care of her family while her husband travels. and there's katie, who is anxiously and prayfully going through the adoption process with her husband to bring adorable little georgina home from haiti. and there's erin, a college friend, who just recently had her 3rd child and turned 30 around the same time, and a week later was diagnosed with breast cancer- i've been following her story and cry every time i read a new blog post of her's because i am so touched by the way she is finding joy and peace despite her trial. (if you are ever feeling down in the dumps about anything, read her blog, it will bless you!)
and i sit here, wallowing in self-pity over the fact that today is the day i say goodbye to my 20's. so silly and insignificant compared to the happenings in the lives of friends and family. so, the one tear has been shed, and now i want to ramble on about how blessed i am!
at the beginning of october i was having health problems, which brought me to take myself to the dr. after a few weeks of feeling pretty crummy, some bloodwork, a visit to the endocrinologist, an iodine uptake and scan, there was a chance that i had a thyroid disease and i was a little scared. the Lord was gracious and it turns out that i just had a case of thyroiditis and hopefully my thyroid is working to regulate itself back to normal levels. this could take months or it could take years, but either way, it can be regulated with or without medication...most importantly, it CAN be regulated and i am thankful for that!
we celebrated kate's 2nd birthday the week after i found out about my thyroiditis, and then a week after that i was scheduled to have my wisdom teeth extracted. (found out our dog had ringworm 2 days before my surgery and spent the day bleaching and vacuuming every inch of the house). best advice i can give about wisdom teeth extractions, which probably won't apply to anyone who is reading my blog, have your wisdom teeth out BEFORE you become a parent. i was so blessed to have my in-laws come for the weekend of my surgery to help take care of the kiddos and prepare meals for the family. (thank you guys!!!)
and then monday came and thein-laws had gone back to pittsburgh, jesse went back to work, and... i was home with the kids. it doesn't get much worse than having to take care of a 2 and 3 year old while you are recovering from a sickness or a surgery. (ok, i am exaggerating) but when that vicoden runs out, it's probably not going to be a pretty sight. i mean, it wasn't a pretty sight here. 4 days after my surgery, the day i took my last pain killer, i got dry socket in one of my incisions. if you don't know what that is, google it. it's painful, i assure you. i was so thankful to have my amazing friend come to help me with the kids so i could get an appointment with the surgeon, who had medicine and dressings for the pain. (we also had a leak in the upstairs bathroom on the same morning, just to add to the chaos). i cried a lot that day. and then the next day, i cried as hard as i can remember in a long time, when i found the diamond missing from my engagement ring. a sentimental loss, but yet an earthly loss. it was a good (and tough) reminder that we should hold loosely to the things of the world, and hold tightly to the things of the Lord. i am so thankful that it was just a diamond that was lost, and not one of my children! and even more importantly... what Christ did for me on the Cross is so much bigger than any worldly treasure i am clinging to here on earth. i am so thankful for that reminder (as hard as it was to get to that point ! :) )
i did a lot of vacuuming the following day, thinking the diamond was lost somewhere in the house, but it hasn't turned up yet. i am content to have a temporary band on my ring finger for as long as i need to. jesse helped me pick it out on (my wedding band and engagement ring are soddered together, so i can't wear either of them right now).
the drama has died down over the last week or 2 and we have spent a lot of time together as a family. i am so thankful that God has blessed me with 2 adorable children who are healthy and fed and clothed, and a husband who loves us all more than himself. i really don't deserve any of it.
so am i sad about turning 30? i do feel like i am falling apart a little bit, but i have so much to be thankful for!

the kids and their "thanksgiving tree", november 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


maybe only exciting for me, because i am the mom, but regardless... jacob just wrote his name, all by himself.

ok, so i told him what letters to write (except for the "J" because he knows that one well) but i gave him no instruction on how to make the letters.(we're still working on the "c", half the time he likes to make it backwards) he's actually learning!!! yay for Answers for Preschoolers!

other exciting news- jacob and kate had a quick visit from their grandma and grandpa mclane, as they stayed the night on their way home from a missions conference in chattanooga, tn. we loved having them, for the 13 hours that they were here. it's always a delight to have the grandparents visit!

and speaking of grandparents visiting, jesse's parents are heading down here this weekend to take care of the kiddos while i am out of commision. having my wisdom teeth extracted this friday. :( boooo. i'd appreciate your prayers. so not looking forward to the needles, anesthesia, and recovery. so long, wisdom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

my kids are growing up too fast

they're not babies any more.

parties and such

my baby turned 2 this past week.

i've always loved the costume aspect of halloween, just hate the dark side of the "holiday". i never really participated in trick-or-treat growing up, and neither did jesse. we have made the decision to not have our kids participate, but i didn't want to let that stop us from enjoying the dress-up fun. so, i took advantage of kate's birthdate, being on october 30th, and decided to throw a costume birthday party. the guests' costumes were great, the weather was perfect, i think kate had fun, and jesse and i got to have blue hair. an all-around splendid evening with friends. kate did a costume change halfway through the party when she went from being a cupcake to being a kitty. :o)

fast forward a week. we made a trip to pittsburgh to meet my new nephew, and we also had a family gathering to celebrate kate's birthday. needless to say, we're partied out.

while in pittsburgh, we also got to spend time with cousin jezze (born july 2010). she's changed so much since we last saw her in august. it was a treat to see her!

and now we are ready for a crazy november and december. i get tired just thinking about it. i'm gonna go start a pot of coffee...

Friday, October 22, 2010

pumpkin patch

i love fall! seems to be the sentiments of a lot of folks, as i have seen a handful of adorable fall and pumpkin patch pictures from various friends. my fall wouldn't ever be complete without a visit to the pumpkin patch, which is just what we did with friends last week.

jacob, of course, thoroughly enjoyed the tractors. and kate loved the pumpkin part.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


the kids are saying funny things all the time. i don't ever right them down, but i had the urge to note these few, since they happened on the same day...

me: "jacob, do you know your middle name?"
jacob: "pié."
me: "no, that's your last name. what's your middle name? jacob....?"
jacob: "pié don't touch the tv."

he was so confident in his answer, which made it all the funnier. :o)

jesse: "kate, did you poop your pants?"
kate: "not yeeeet!"

she cracked the biggest smile when she said it, like she knew she was being a smarty pants.

me: "jacob, don't touch those papers, those are for mommy's work." (referring to a stack i had set on the floor because i ran out of room on the desk)
jacob: "then what did you put them on the floor for?"

back-talking at age 3! this could get ugly.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

oh boy!

it's been way too long since my last post. i guess the end of september and beginning of october were busy times for this family, seeing as how i didn't have time to blog. anyhow...

the most exciting event that has taken place in these past few weeks... the arrival of my sister's baby boy, my nephew, Easton Michael Stecko.

born monday, october 4, 3:05 pm, 7 lbs 9 oz. 20 1/2 in. we are anxiously awaiting our upcoming trip to pittsburgh to meet him in person. but we have been able to see him via skype, which we are so thankful to have these modern methods of communication.

mid-september we enjoyed a visit from pappy and gammie. we spent the weekend playing, picnicking, star-gazing, and eating! gammie cooked us a delicious meal including brisket. it was nice to have a big sunday dinner. we usually fix sandwiches because we are so hungry when we get home from church.

the following weekend we enjoyed a relaxing weekend at home, complete with some kite flying. the weather has been unseasonably warm, and we have been trying to make the most of being able to play outside with flip flops on and no jacket.

we've been to the zoo twice this month, thanks to a nice friend who has kindly shared her passes. the kids loved both trips. 1st trip highlight was the train ride. 2nd trip highlight, the carousel ride.

i've been sick for the past 2 weeks, and am looking forward to feeling better. we've got a birthday party to plan for a very special 2 year old. and a trip to pittsburgh to visit little Easton!

Monday, September 13, 2010

a new bed, a haircut, visitors, and a campout

september has been keeping us very busy. there's been a lot going on in just 2 short weeks.

at the end of august, jacob got a new bed. a bunk bed. oh boy oh boy! it was like christmas in august for him. he was thrilled, and it was so fun to see him so full of joy. unrelated, i have also stopped giving jacob an afternoon nap. after several months of naptime frustration, disobedience, etc, i realized that he was just ready. so now we have "rest time" instead. and he has been more than willing to be in his bed for an hour or so. it's almost like a treat. he's growing up!

jacob gave himself a haircut. i had only left him alone with the "youth" scissors (safely strapped into a booster chair, mind you) long enough to get kate out of her crib and get back downstairs. i guess he only had enough time to do on snip. glad i wasn't out of the room any longer! i thought about saving the chunk of hair for his baby book, but not until after i had thrown it in the trash in my frustrated rant. and i wasn't wanting to dig through the trash to save it.

my aunt vivian and uncle duane came to visit on their cross country drive to colorado. the kids loved having them and i told them they were welcome to visit ANY time they bring me a bushel of fresh ripe chambersburg peaches from york, PA. :o)

box was overflowing when i started slicing them to freeze them, but i had to stop to get a pic

grandma and grandpa mclane came to visit that same weekend, and we kept busy shopping and eating and playing. it was a fun, but exhausting, weekend. when they come to visit, we always seem to make a trip to the creation museum. and on this particular time, kate and i had the opportunity to ride gomer the camel. jacob declined.

kate and grandma, heading across the "bumpy bridge"

this past weekend, jesse and i got a last minute urge to go camping. after looking online for a good campground or state park area, and noticing most of the good ones were 2+ hours away, we decided to save the camping trip for another weekend and to camp out in the backyard instead. the kids had never been camping, so this was sort of a test-run, you know, to see if they could endure. and they did. they loved it. it was jesse who was ready to head inside at 4am. lets just say, he realized that shorts and a tshirt was not appropriate attire for the 50-ish degree temps. and the matresses were oh so uncomfortable. we carried the kids into their beds, managing to keep them asleep. both of us had back-aches for the next 48 hours. i guess we are getting sad.

kate and jacob, marshmallows in hand, they would not stop moving!

today i started a very very casual (homeschool) preschool with jacob. kate tagged along and was a trooper. jacob was more interested than i thought he'd be. but i did learn that his attention span was very short. we will have a lot of practicing to do. i really have no clue what i am doing, but his little bit of interest did boost my confidence and i think this may just turn out to be a new exciting part of our day. at least for a few weeks, right?

Monday, August 23, 2010

married to an artist

being married to such a talented man comes with a lot of perks, and here are just a couple of them:

the kitchen picture he painted for me last winter...

and the newest addition to my growing collection of all things sunflower (painted on old barn wood)...

i love them.
and i really love him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

kitchen pictures

a few pictures i just downloaded from my camera from the past week, and i noticed that they all happened to be taken in the kitchen, on separate occasions.

kate's enjoyed playing with my pumpkins, aka the mystery squash that i planted in june.

i always thought that queen anne's lace looked like a weed, but for some reason, i have been noticing it more this year and appreciating it for the flower that it is. and then i got a close up look at it the other evening, and i think it has the most beautiful pattern of tiny flowers!

the kids enjoyed a messy ice cream treat earlier this week, while jesse considered the combination of a carrot and a grape eaten at the same time. his verdict: nasty texture with a mango flavor. he must have been bored.