Friday, August 24, 2012

Let's Go Fly A Kite

Oh, oh, oh!
Let's go fly a kite

Up to the highest height!

Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring

Up through the atmosphere

Up where the air is clear

Oh, let's go fly a kite!

(Easter Sunday 2012)

Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here's the problem: I'm not a morning person.

I have grand plans for this site.  I'm going to get up in the morning, before the kids, and I'm going to get myself a cup of coffee and I'm going to sit down and type.  And I'm going to enjoy the heck out of that hour alone, before the sun, before the requests for waffles, and before diapers and sleepers need to be changed. 

That's been my plan... since June.

But I've run into one problem: I'm not a morning person. 

Every night I set my alarm and every morning I cancel that alarm and fall back to sleep.  Usually not waking until 10 minutes or so before one Mr. Hutt pops his head up and says "Uptairs."

And just like that my day has begun.  There's bags to be packed, clothes to be changed, shoes to get on, a car to pack, and vitamins to dole out.  By the time Collin and the boys leave in the morning I have just enough time to take the dog out and get her her food before I need to be logging on to work. 

And evenings aren't much better.  Dinner, baths, playing tractors/a game/art time, brush teeth, read one book, lights off. And once those lights go off and the kids FINALLY fall asleep Collin and I reconvene at the kitchen table, both on our laptops.  I've been trying to more regularly jump on Facebook while I address birth announcements and write thank yous.  He's been busy looking online for some items we still need for the house. Around 10:30 or 11:00 the baby starts to squeak a little from his bassinet and I know it's time to head to bed.  So I set my alarm....

I know we're not alone in this craziness called life.  I just wish I could find a little more time in the day, a little more time to spend here.  Maybe finish the fire story or update my About Page, which not only doesn't include Nolan but says Hutton is SIX MONHTHS OLD, for the LOVE! And so this is my goal as August winds down and we enter a new season in September: try to find a little more balance in each day. I still need to work on fire stuff, that won't be over until December 11th, when we can no longer submit any claims.  And I still need to at least marginally keep the house clean, but amongst the chaos that is our life these days, I also need to find some time for things I enjoy, like reading and blogging, because when life is a disproportionate amount of work versus play it wears me down, stresses me out, makes the chaos seem even more chaotic. 

So here's to finding balance.  Here's to tackling the to-do list while also enjoying the for-fun list.  Here's to learning how to get out of bed when that alarm sounds.

Friday, August 17, 2012

House Update: the floors

This post has been in the making for an entire week.  You don't even want to know how many swear words I have muttered at these dang pictures and their lack of uploading.  But anyway, here we are, a house update. 

Last weekend my parents took the big boys up to the cabin and Collin and Nolan and I took advantage of the time, running a million errands and stopping in between for both lunch and dinner to celebrate our anniversary.  We were able to get the boys' vanity top picked out, purchase our range and dishwasher, and buy lamps for all of the major rooms in the house.  It doesn't sound like much, but man, that's a lot of decision making.  After we had a car full of lamps we headed out to the house to drop them off.  It's been awhile since I've done an update so I brought my camera along as well.

Things have been slow moving out here lately.  It's partially due to the projects Collin's been working on have been time consuming, tiling, staining, varnishing, and partially because they are putting up another building right now and unable to be out here very much during the week. The biggest development has been the flooring.

I know I had said that I was going to do a post on what we changed this time, but I've decided I'll save that until the end - when we are about ready to move in and I show you the whole house again.  I think it will be easier to explain when we are doing  whole walk-through.

Oh!!  And guess what!!  We have set a tentative move-in date!!  Unless something major changes we plan to move back in the weekend of September 22nd and 23rd.  There is still a lot of work left to be done and cleaning that needs to be done after that, but we are so looking forward to going home.

So, since the last time you were here, the cabinets have been hung in the laundry room (this is where we'll keep cleaning supplies.)

The freezer has been put in the pantry. 

The hardwood floor has been laid in my office (this room is very close to being complete.)

The linen closet (which I didn't inspect upon delivery and was damaged,ugh!) and vanity have been put in the boys' bathroom and the tile has been grouted.

As you can see, we don't have the vanity top yet, but we did pick that and the hardware out this weekend so it should be in soon.

The boys' rooms have all been carpeted.  I believe all that is left to be done in all three of their rooms is to hang the shelving in their closets.


The hardwood floor has also been laid in our master bedroom.  The window trim and base have also been put up.  I'm pretty sure this room is just about done as well.  Except for our closet - that hasn't been touched yet. That piece of furniture randomly hanging out in our bedroom is the linen closet for our bathroom.

In the master bath, which may just be my favorite room in the entire house, the vanity is in...

The shower has been grouted and hardware installed.

And the spa tub is ready.

Collin has spent so much time in this bathroom.  Weekends upon weekends.  The majority of those tiles had to be specially cut.  I stopped by one Saturday evening and he was so flustered, the tile saw kept breaking on him and he wasn't as far along as he had planned.  But it's done now and I am so in love with it.  Ignore the white splotches on the wall, that's grout that needs to be wiped down.

Downstairs, the spare bedroom has been carpeted...

And the tile has been laid in the bathroom.

And with that, Nolan says, Awesome!  Can we go eat?

Peace out dudes.  And Happy Weekend.

Monday, August 13, 2012

7 years

Seven years ago today, surrounded by our family and friends, we said "I do."

As I reflect on that day I remember the good things: seeing Collin as I stepped into the church holding my Dad's arm, hearing one of my mom's best friends singing Ava Maria, and being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Collin Konopacki as we walked into dinner.

Of course, there were also things that went wrong: the forgotten Subway sandwiches, not getting around to say Hi to all of the tables, and forgetting to cut our cake.  Yes!  We forgot to cut our cake.  We never had a cake cutting!!

But mostly, I remember the downright crazy fun times: the whole wedding party doing at shot at Hilltop, the limo ride, oh! the limo ride, and the grand march and wedding party dance. 

It's funny how your wedding day can be a little sneak peek into your life together.  There will be good times, there will be things that go wrong, and there will be some downright crazy fun.  I think, this year more than any, what we've learned is that the key is to find the good and the fun even when things aren't going as planned. 

There is no one I would have rather navigated through this year with.

There is no one I would rather navigate through this life with.

Happy Anniversary, Collin.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Teardrops from Heaven

It seemed fitting that it was raining as we pulled into town.  I imagined our Lord, in heaven, sitting on a tree stump, elbows on His knees, His head buried in His hands.  Tears were streaming down His face and as each one hit His palm, so did the raindrops hit our earthly world. 

She stirred and He picked her up; closing His eyes and rocking her gently He placed a kiss on her forehead. Leaning into her He whispered in her ear as He wept, "I'm so sorry.  I'm so sorry you are here and not there.  But I will take care of you.  I will hold you and protect you until you are all able to be together again."


Yesterday our dear friends, Kristi and Barry, laid their sweet, precious angel, Maci Jo, to rest.  Will you please keep them, big sister Addie, and the extended Russell and Johnson families in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. 

For Maci, and all of the babies that have left this earthly world too soon, may you know that you will live in our hearts forever. 

An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth,
Then whispered as she closed the book,
"Too beautiful for Earth"
~ Unknown

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dear Nolan: 3 Months

Dear Nolan Hank,

Today you turned three months old.  Three. Whole. Months. I can hardly believe it. These past three months have gone by so quickly.  I knew this was going to happen; I did, and yet, how is this happening?  How is time going so quickly? Why, oh why, do you have to get so big so fast?

This third month has been a big month for you.  I looked at you this afternoon and sadly realized gone are the days of your newborn-ness, we are now in full-on baby mode.  Although, that’s not all bad.  In fact, there’s a lot of good that comes with entering this new “baby” stage.  For one, the smiles and coos.  Oh, your smiles and laughs make my heart sing.  There’s a lot of turmoil in our lives right now with the house and insurance stuff, but the second you smile at us it’s like all of that is off our minds and all we care about is talking to you to make you laugh and giggle some more.  You’re Dad is the best at this, when he gets down close to you and says “bababababaaaa” you instantly break out in a full grin, you swing your arms and kick your feet; you are so happy and you make a sound that sounds exactly like you are saying “Hi”.

Happy.  Yes.  You have really become a happy baby this month.  Your second month was kind of rough with the reflux and gas and while you’re still on medicine and you still have your moments, they are becoming less frequent.  Last weekend your Godparents were here and at one point Andy said, you have such an easy baby (you liked it when he held you.) Yesterday I took the three of you boys to a bounce house to celebrate your cousin Aiden’s birthday; you spent half of the time in my arms, chasing your crazy brothers, and half of the time being held by your Uncle Matt and during the whole afternoon you cried exactly once, when you had filled your diaper and wanted changed.  Watching you from across the room I realized, wow, he is an easy baby! Easy or not, I’ll love you just the same, but if you choose to have some more of these easy days, I’m okay with that.

Unfortunately I can’t talk about your third month without mentioning the biggest change that hit us this month, my return to work.  While I think we all needed the routine, it still made me sad that our summer together - you, me, and your big brothers - had come to an end. Thankfully, for the first week and a half I was able to keep you home with me. You were such a good little boy during those days.  You slept most of the morning, woke up to eat and then hung out in your bouncer or on your activity gym while I got stuff done.  I was so happy to have a little time together, just you and me, and it made going back so much easier.  You have now joined Keaton and Hutton at Busha’s and while the three of you keep her busy, I know she loves having you there.

At three months old you like being carried facing out or high above a shoulder.  When you’re tired you liked to be wrapped in a blanket and held close.  You sleep cuddled up with me and you’re a good little sleeper at night, waking only slightly to eat and then dozing right back off.  You would sleep until 9 or 10 in the morning if we didn’t have to wake you to leave.  You don’t particularly like taking your medicine and you get mad when you’re overheated. For naps you sleep best on your tummy and we finally found a nuk that you like most of the time. You like your activity gym and swing and love finding yourself in the mirrors. You're still in 0-3 months clothes and the consensus remains that you look just like Daddy. Your brothers still adore you and put up with their (rough) hugs and kisses pretty well.  They have started using your middle name, calling you Nolan Hank, this month.  You have really been the bright spot in this entire year and for that I will be forever grateful.

I love you so much,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Accepting Help

I made a deal with my sister-in-law that by the next time we talked on the phone I would have sent an email to a few friends asking for help.  She had a great plan, round up three or four friends and ask if they would be willing to help us one night per month. Line a family up for once a week, have them bring their kids to play with the boys, order pizza, supply drinks, set up computers and get this inventorying done already.

I got off the phone with her and I was pumped, this would be the answer. If we could devote one night per week to this maybe we'd finally make our way through this mess!

I haven't talked to Cas since.

Mostly because we've been so busy, but I'm also scared to call her.  I'm in tears just writing about this, but here's the thing...I don't know how to ask for help.  What if they tell me no? I'll feel horrible asking.  What if they tell me yes, but they don't really want to?  I'll feel horrible asking.

But while I haven't gotten the balls to actually ask for help, I have been learning to accept it.  Before I went back to work my friend, Alyssa, came up for an afternoon to watch the boys.  She took them downstairs to play and on a walk and it gave me time to clean up the kitchen, prepare my work area, and return a few phone calls.  And this past Wednesday evening some other friends, Kevin and Kelsi, stopped by and did the same, allowing us to run over to the stone place to pick out our counter top.  This was the last major decision we needed to make for the house and it had been delayed because we just couldn't find the time to get over there sans children. 

And the whole reason I'm telling you all of this is because this past weekend our friends, Jill and Andy, loaded their car and their three kids (ages 5, 3 and 11 mo. - and I'm telling you this because OMG they had 6 kids 5 and under!!!) and drove five hours north to watch the boys for us for the weekend so we could work.  And now I'm in tears again because as easy as it is to be negative about this whole year and the turmoil in our lives right now, we are reminded over and over again how wonderful our friends and family truly are.

Jill and Andy came bearing an arsenal of activities and food and I could quickly see that the boys would be just fine without us for the day. 

Saturday morning and afternoon they had a teddy bear theme planned.  There were teddy bear car races:

Teddy bear coloring:

Teddy bear bowling:

And teddy bear mask-making, among other things:

I spent the morning in the spare bedroom sorting and organizing.  Around noon I came upstairs and found the kids huddled around this on the kitchen table.

A teddy bear sandwich!!!  Look at his limbs, those are little turkey sandwiches.  Is that not the cutest??

For dessert they had mud and worms:

Around nap time I took a quick shower and headed out to Kohls, WalMart, and Younkers to do a little shopping.  I got almost all of the things needed for the boys' bathroom at the house - shower curtain, rug, towels, toothbrush & soap holders, a garbage can, etc. I picked up seven more totes - we now have one for each room and they are all labeled and packed with items we have so far, ready to be (hopefully easily) moved.

I got home in time for dinner, a camp out theme, with included hot dogs and pasta salad.  After dinner they set up the tent in the living room for the kids to watch a Mickey's Camping Adventure movie.  Each of the kids equipped with popcorn and their very own flashlight.

Of course, no camp out is complete without s'mores.  I may have come up periodically throughout the evening to munch on a little of this.  Okay.  A lot of this.  

On Sunday morning the work resumed, Collin out at the house finishing up the tiling in the bathroom and me back down to the bedroom.  Meanwhile the kids had fun with play doh:

Made fruit loop necklaces:

And caterpillars:

Oh, and let's not forget about this guy.  Too young to participate maybe, but here and active just the same.

Jill and Andy, I can not tell you how much we appreciate your help. This past weekend was exactly what we needed to get our feet back under us.  To feel like we are moving forward instead of constantly stuck in a pile of quicksand, struggling, struggling, struggling, trying to get ahead. And a perfect reminder that life, even during our struggles, is good.