Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Secret to Share.....

That's right! This fall our family is growing from 5 to 6 and we couldn't be more excited!

I've been meaning to let you all in on this little secret we've been keeping but...well...I've been feeling MISERABLE since I hit the six week mark and making it though the day was all that has been on the agenda lately.  I'll be 15 weeks this Friday and I *think* it is safe to say that the first trimester morning (all day) sickness if finally waning.  Although I say that knowing full well that I threw up my entire lunch this afternoon (you're welcome for that tidbit, btw).

Our official due date is Friday, November 20th and as soon as those words came out of the ultrasound techs mouth Collin looked at me and said: This baby better come early! That's right, Baby Kono 4 is due on the day before opening deer season, a/k/a the holiest day of the year in Wisconsin.

While I will be seeing a perinatologist this time and it's possible he might be able to work some magic to keep this kiddo in longer, my guess is that Collin likely has nothing to worry about.  In my head I'm pretty much expecting an October babe.

More to come, including all the fun first trimester misery (yay!), but for now I'm just so happy to let you all in our secret....we're having a baby!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Catching Leprechauns

"Next year, I'm sleeping on the couch!" Keaton declared after checking his leprechaun trap yesterday morning.  

Another St. Patrick's Day gone and still no leprechaun to show for it.  I tried to remind him we did get one, the gold coins are proof; they are just sneaky buggers and he got away, again

Our traps this year were last minute contraptions.  The boys used the book The Night Before St. Patrick's Day on, literally, the night before St. Patrick's Day (and past bed time!) to come up with some simple little traps.  Keaton and Hutton each used an empty Keurig coffee box container, taped some money on top and made a ladder out of tinker toys while Nolan used an empty hot chocolate box, covered it with a tissue and lined it with Skittles (thinking that the leprechaun would jump up to get the rainbow and then fall in the box, getting trapped.) They each caught something, or someone, but didn't trap the leprechaun.  

They did appreciate the chocolate coins though; I've been finding wrappers all over the house ever since.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Over the past 8 Weeks

Wow! Well, there went two months.  The last time I was on here we were in the dead of winter. Today I look out my office window and our front lawn is more green than white.  Although, in all fairness this only happened over the last two days.  We spent Saturday romping in the snow, building a snowman, and pulling the kids around the yard on the toboggan.

So much has happened over the last eight weeks, good and bad, that I thought I'd catch you all up to speed with a good ol' bullet pointed list.

  • Let's see....when I left we were heading off to a weekend at the water park (good guessing, btw). We went to the Wilderness with our neighbors and had a blast. They do this every year and invited us along, we'll definitely be going back next year.  Although next year we'll go for two nights.  We were trying to save some money but one night just didn't feel like enough. Saturday morning after we checked out of our room we headed back in for one last swim - not only was it totally crowded but we had to also keep our clean clothes dry and it was just very stressful for me.  Then, when I went to change into my dry clothes I realized I forgot to pack myself underwear!!  I stood outside the humid dressing room in full winter gear and was not very pleasant when Collin came out with the two older boys; "I forgot underwear," I complained.  He looked at me and smiled; "You did?  So did I!!"  Soulmates, I tell ya.  
  • My cousin and her friend came to visit us for a weekend and we took them to a little restaurant down the road in this tiny little down and I think they might have been in culture shock but they were good sports (it helped that the pancakes were as big as their heads!) The boys loved playing with them and we made tin foil icicles and after the boys went to bed the three of us stayed up late watching movies.  

  • A friend invited me to join a Mom's group that meets every other Monday night; we're doing the Danielle Bean Momnipotent Study. This has been, hands down, one of the highlights of my year so far.  Meeting new friends and feeling comfortable enough to open up about the struggles that we all face in has been just amazing. (Guess what, other mother's have a hard time keeping their house clean too!  It doesn't make you a bad person!!  Who would have known??!!)
  • We hired a real, live baby sitter and went on a date!! Out to dinner with friends and then to the movie American Sniper.  Six years of parenting and this was our first babysitter outside of Grandmas/Grandpas/Aunts and Uncles.  The boys loved her and we can't wait to do it again!
  • Had Frozen Pizza Night with our neighbors.  Frozen Pizza Night is the best kind of night.  Here's what you do: get two frozen pizzas and some beer/wine. Your neighbors bring over two frozen pizzas and some beer/wine.  Cook pizzas, feed children, and then eat and drink until you regret it.  There are no expectations other then that you'll probably eat too much frozen pizza.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to partake in the wine because I had a sneaking suspicion I might be pregnant.
  • Two days later, find out we are expecting Baby Kono #4!!!  We were hoping at some point the timing would be right to add to our family.  The past few years have been....tough, for various reasons and it never felt like the right time to "try" to make that choice.  But when God tells you it's time, it's time.  We were elated!  
  • Maia chewed up our entryway rug and about 10 days later got really, really sick because a good 12-15 inches of it was stuck in her stomach.  I took her to the vet where they did an x-ray that indicated a possible blockage in her intestine and, because it was late in the afternoon, we were immediately sent to an Animal Rescue Center about an hour away. She was getting worse and worse by the minute and when we got there the vet got her on fluids right away and then took her straight back to surgery.  The good news was most of the rug was still in her stomach and the surgeon was able to pull it all out through her stomach without cutting into her intestine. Overall the surgery went as well as we could hope and she was back home with us three days later - with a nice lovely vet bill.  She cost more than birthing 2 out of 3 of our kids! But, she's doing great now.  Looking at her and her energy levels now I don't think you can even tell she had major surgery a month ago.
  • The boys decided on pencil arrows as their Valentines this year.  It required a little more work from Collin and I then I had initially hoped but they sat down and wrote out all of the cards and picked the colors for each of their classmates.  It was fun to watch them think of each kid on their list and decide what color combination they would like best.
  • On February 10th we lost Baby Kono #4. I don't really know how to put a miscarriage into words other than to say it was heartbreaking.  I felt like I could literally feel my heart shatter inside my body.  It has made for a very tough month filled with sadness and anger and doubts and questioning.  It is much of the reason why I have not been here, or anywhere on the internet, lately. When you experience tragedy and loss your whole world stops and it's difficult to watch everyone else's keep spinning.  I learned this after the fire and I relearned it again now.  I'm afraid my silence has hurt people and I never meant for that to happen but I knew it was best for me if I stayed away for a bit.  I needed space.  I needed to think things through. I think I can honestly say I am feeling better now. The rawness of the emotions are better, it's all still painful, but it's better. I have more writing I plan to do on this subject but for the most part that will likely take place over on The Sunlit Path.  I haven't been able to bring myself to put pencil to paper just yet, but I hope that time will come.
  • Busha and Papa graciously watched the boys for us on Valentine's Day so Collin and I could attend a Marriage Retreat put together by one of the woman from the Momnipotent group at a nearby church. We had mass and then listened to a local couple (the wife is also in our group) speak about marriage and family.  It was so wonderful; listening to Gary and Rose speak was so inspiring to us - I basically want to be them when we grow up :)  Afterwards we all went to lunch and it was just a really, really great morning - a perfect way to celebrate St. Valentine.
  • I went on my very first field trip with one of the boys!  One of the most difficult things about being a working parent is not being able to attend these types of things.  Hutt's 4-K class went to the Planetarium and he sat with me on the bus and held my hand and snuggled in when they turned out the lights.  I'm so glad I got this chance to go with him.
  • We had ANOTHER Frozen Pizza Night with the neighbors.  I should point out that FPN is a winter activity but this coming weekend these nights will once again take place outside, around the fire.  Yay Spring!!
  • We went and saw a farm!  It was a small hobby farm and we knew it would require a lot of work but we were hopeful.  Hahaha.  I'm pretty sure the words our realtor/friend said to us were "you guys would be miserable here!" Once we got on the land and inside the barn and in the house there, unfortunately, weren't many (any?) positive aspects about the place.  It was a bit depressing but it's opened our mind to other Alternative Futures - including staying right where we are and starting our little farm here.  
  • We hosted another Essential Oil class at our house.  I really enjoy having ladies (and gents! we had our first gent this time!) over to talk EO's.  They have become a big part of our life and I love sharing our story and hearing everyone else's.
  • My brother and his family came for the oil class and then spent the weekend with us.  My parent's came up on Saturday and we spent the day pulling the kids around on the toboggan, having snowball fights, and building a snowman.  The best damn snowman ever, to be honest; complete with girl scout thin mint cookies for his eyes and buttons and a beef jerky smile.  It was a fabulous weekend with family and something we need to do more often.  My favorite part was when my little niece came up to me with big brown eyes and asked, "Auntie Kate, can we stay another night?"  Oh my gosh, heart. melt.
Annnnd, there you have it! You're all caught up!! Hope you guys are all doing well and enjoying the warmer weather.  I had no idea how ready I was for Spring but yesterday Maia and I took a walk and it was hard to force myself to come back inside. With the snow melting we are able to see, once again, all the work we have to do in our yard and I think we're all ready to get out there and get going. Bring it on, Spring! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Road Trip!

Let it be known that Collin and I did not, I repeat, DID NOT attend a matinee last weekend.  

No, we partied it up with the cool kids at a 6:45 screening of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

What?  Why are you snickering?  Oh, 6:45 isn't with the "cool kids?" Mockingjay Part 1 has been out for how long...?

Yeah, I know.  I know. We are hardly "cool."

The movie has been out for so long now that it has been relocated to one of the tiny, closet-like theaters.  We walked in just minutes before it started and I asked the attendant, "is it full?" I'm pretty sure she was snickering on the inside.

It did end up pretty much filling up, but that's not that hard to do when there are like... 30 seats total in the room.  As the screen went black at the end of the show a guy in the front audibly sighed, "awwww, shit! That's it?" and all 30 of us burst out laughing.  

Have you seen it?  The third Hunger Games?  Ugh.  It was a sobering experience for me.  After the numerous events around the world last week I wasn't sure if I should be happy that we don't live in this world or scared as hell that someday we will. 

But! I loved these books and I am loving each and every movie.  However! Help me out here, was President Coin a women in the book?  I didn't remember the character being a woman, am I just losing it?

Saturday was ours to be had and we weren't quite sure what to do with it but ended up sleeping in and then piling in the car for a little road trip to the country.  

The last time I was in Amish Country with the girls  I had dropped off two sets of sheets to be made into rugs for our laundry room.  Back in November I received the first of TWO letters saying those rugs were done and ready to be picked up.  We all know how bad I am at responding to texts/emails/messages so can you imagine how bad I am at responding to actual letters??!!  Very bad. Very, VERY, Bad.

It's a good hour and a half drive out to Amish Country and not something the boys would probably really enjoy yet because it means so much car time (some day I believe they will love it....someday), so I figured this was my perfect opportunity to take Collin along.  

And OMG, what an opportunity it was.  YOU GUYS!!!  We got to go INSIDE her house!  Holy Crap that was like a dream come true.  It was beautiful. Simple and beautiful. A bucket of eggs at my feet, pies on the table, potatoes cooking over a wood stove, a sad iron waiting by the clothes, and a beautiful china cabinet full of gorgeous dishes that I would bet get used every day.  It was basically my Dream Life.

When we got back to the car I looked at Collin in amazement and said: Those bitches are going to be so jealous!

Hahaha!  I mean that in the most enduring way you, girls!

We figured we'd head home after picking up the rugs but as we passed the Barry Road sign the truck took a sharp right. I couldn't be in Amish Country and not show Collin around.  So we headed to the bakery and the woodworking shop and the grocery store.  He loved it as much as I do. And he finally got to taste one of those heavenly cinnamon rolls (that picture doesn't do it justice....that is a large to-go container.  Those things are huge. And amazing. So, so amazing.) We hit an antique store on the way home before making it back into town in time for Saturday night mass and then to pick up the kids.

Here are my rugs.  I love them!!  They add just the pop this drab, gray room needed. This makes me want to finally finish the laundry room! 

Photo of my piles of laundry are just an added bonus - you're welcome!

Unrelated to last weekend's trip, tomorrow we're heading out of town as a family for an overnight get-away.  The boys are all very excited and have been drawing pictures and telling their friends all week long.

Can you tell where we are going??

Thursday, January 8, 2015

This week I turned 35 (and we celebrated Three Kings Day)

The only birthday parties I can recall having as a kid were sledding parties.  I'm sure I had others that were centered around staying indoors, but I don't remember them.  I remember getting all bundled up and trudging over to the golf course, as a group, and sledding for hours.  Then we'd come in and warm up with hot cocoa and eat cake.  

Oh my gosh, that feels like AGES ago.  Probably because it was.  It was AGES ago.  Good Lord, I'm now thirty-five. As in 3.5.

"That's really Biiiiig, Mom." One of the boys said on Tuesday.  

At 35 I assumed our family would be set, we'd be done having children, and I'd be managing a credit department.

Hahaha, oh my how life expectations change.

Maybe we are done having kids, but I hope not. And I have no desire, NO DESIRE, what-so-ever to be managing anything except for myself (and the kids and our home and all that jazz.)

On my birthday I took the time to soak in the tub. I thought I'd do a little self reflection; think about where we've been and where we're going. But instead I just sat with a notebook and pen and unloaded all of the lists from my head: calls to make, appointments to make, upcoming birthdays, things to organize, random to-dos. It wasn't very introspective but damn did it feel good to free up some memory space up there.

My birthday is January 6th, which is also Three Kings Day or the Epiphany of the Lord. We've never celebrated Three Kings Day before but I wanted to this year. Besides, it worked out perfect because I had three cupcakes left from the boys' school parties to save for home (Collin and I had leftovers from Keaton's birthday party last weekend, which meant we didn't get a shot at being "the King" but that's okay.)

One of those three left over cupcakes had an almond baked inside, whoever found it was The King. The King got to pick out the family movie and pick dinner for this coming Sunday.

The boys dug into those cupcakes with gusto.  I couldn't remember which one held the almond so it was just as much fun for Collin and I to watch as it was for them to eat.

After each bite there was an inspection....where is that almond?

 And towards the end the cupcakes started to get crumbled...that almond had to be somewhere.

Ta-da!!!!  Nolan was the winner!!  

He picked Thomas' Muddy Matters, his new cho cho movie.  

The big boys lucked out though because Nolan could care less what we eat for dinner as long as it's food, so they got to be in on the decision making after-all.

So, if anyone is in the mood for some Tomato Soup on Sunday, come on over!

And the best birthday/Three Kings Day news of all is that Papa & Busha have offered to take the boys overnight on Friday!  Can I get a Woo Hoo??!!  We'll be busy partying it up this weekend as 35 year olds do: sleeping in and then catching a matinee screening of the newest Hunger Games movie (A MATINEE - OMG, we are old!)

Friday, October 24, 2014

From the Nature Trails

My mom and I took the boys out on the trails in our back acreage last weekend while she was up visiting; I had grabbed my camera hoping to snap some pictures of the beautiful leaves. There was only one problem....the leaves were all gone.  I breathed a deep sigh of regret for not getting out there sooner and started walking.  

The kids ran and ran and found milk weed just right for blowing and leaves on the ground just right for collecting.  As I watched them I realized (once again) that there is magic and beauty in every stage of every just have to look for it.

Happy weekend, everyone!  

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Halloween 2011
Keaton, almost 3, was an oriole.
Hutton, 16 mo, was a blue bird.
I was newly pregnant and horribly nauseous during trick-or-treating.
We shared the news with our families that night.