Sunday, December 30, 2007

fffffrrrroooozzzzeeennnnnnnnn tundra

buz and i have had the time of our lives.

i am so, so sad that we are boarding a plane tomorrow afternoon to fly back where we don't need more than one layer, and there will be no precipitation in the air. other than rain, or something boring like that.

i tried to upload the video we did earlier tonight when it was SNOWING. but it was taking so long. and since we're on vacation and all, i decided i wouldn't spend our last night on the computer.

yesterday was by far one of the best days we've had as a couple. and since we've been together for eight years, that says a lot.

we slept in.

i'm serious. we slept in. buz not so much. but i slept until the ALARM went off. at 6:15 in the morning. i slept until 7:30 and then again until 8:30. i had so much fun knowing i was going back to sleep. i know. i don't get out much.

we had a breakfast burrito on the go and headed straight to lambeau. sorry. i should capitalize it. LAMBEAU. we went to the pro shop. took the stadium tour, which was so incredibly awesome. i know. we are on vacation, and we took a tour. dorky, probably. but we loved it so much. we had the best tour guide ever. he's been giving tours for ten years. i wouldn't be surprised if he's someone famous, and we just didn't know it. he was so awesome!

for the record, it is imperative that you make a stupid face while wearing a cheesehead.

we also went to the packer hall of fame. my dad would be so proud. i read so many plaques and was actually interested in every last one.

us in front of vince lombardi statue

we spent the majority of the day at the stadium. it really is magnificent.

us in front of of the shovelers

there is so much history in this city. and the feel of community is overwhelming. everyone is so friendly.

we ran by a couple of places to get souvenirs. buz totally won in that department. he got so many neat things. it was so fun to see him excited. really excited.

then, we went to a movie. and we sat next together. and held hands. and ate processed cheese and drank soft drinks. fairytale, really.

then, we went to a restaurant for drinks, appetizers, and atmosphere. more talking. more gazing into each other's eyes. i mean, amidst the beer and football and cheering, of course.

woke up this morning and it was like Christmas. we were both so excited. we put on our first layers. second. third. fourth. seriously, i was like the marshmallow man. or randy, ralphie's younger brother from the Christmas story.
we ate a brat with kraut at 9:00 in the morning. when in Rome.
had a great time at the tailgate.

i know you're noticing. you're noticing that fleece hat was far too big. poor me.

soaked in the ambiance of the stadium. the wonder of it all.

i'll be honest (but don't tell my mother-in-all), i secretly wish i had purchased a cheesehead to wear. but when i was choosing between a cheesehead hat and a fleece cap, i realized today was all about warmth and comfort. not style, fashion, or peer pressure. and for someone who loves cold weather, let me tell you. it was SO FREAKING COLD out there. freaking. cold. like goes through your very skin cold. and again, for ME to say how cold it is. that's big, people.

we sipped on hot cocoa, sat close under a warm, packer blankie, and watched us some brett favre. oh brett favre.

and let me give a HUGE shout out to jason and jill and their parents for the incredible seats. we were close enough to get on television. except i wasn't wearing a bikini or cheesehead or animal fur. because apparently, that's what gets you on tv.

snow flurries and fifteen degrees. doesn't get much better than that.

stayed at the stadium afterwards just to soak in the memory of it all. headed back to our hotel where i proceeded to literally fall on the bed into a deep slumber. shoes and fourteen layers still on.
woke up and we headed to fatzo's for some dinner. brought it back to the room. changed into comfies and ate on the bed and recapped the highlights of our day. so excited about how much fun we've had. sad to leave it all. but honestly, we're ready to get back to see our munchkins and ring in the new year with nana. we're going to kick it tomorrow night. two parents of toddlers and nana. you can't get any crazier than that.

Friday, December 28, 2007

oh yeah, it's going to be a frozen tundra alright

so last night, the nighttime process had begun. and yes, it is a process. you out there...with four-year-olds. you know what i'm talking about, right? goo was down for the count. big h had a minor issue with the bath. long story. we read two storybook theaters stories. thank you, ms. wiz, for the fabulous Christmas present. ready to go to bed. had to say night night to daddy. daddy hugged him and reminded him that mommy and daddy were going on a trip and that we would be back in a couple of days. he hugged daddy back and said, "daddy, i will miss you. will you bring me a present?"

we've instilled values. true values.

so this morning, i woke up at 3:50 in the morning.


bless my heart. bless buz's heart.

surprisingly, i was so put together that i had set our coffee pot to start making me a cup of coffee at 4:30. took my shower, dried my hair, put cute clothes on, put the rest of my stuff in our suitcase.

and made coffee for myself.

you might be wondering why i'm such a selfish wife. with all my not making buz coffee. seems buz wanted a professionally-made egg nog latte.

i can't compete with that.

we got to the airport. got checked in. got seated. talked about how we were by ourselves. and then, we just talked about how we were by ourselves some more.

we arrived safely in chicago. oh, and thank you, God, for the beautiful december 28th gift. yeah, that snow fall? yeah, that's the one. thanks.

we had breakfast in the airport and dilly-dallied.

and then, we prepared to board our plane to green bay.

or not.

late. by twenty minutes. ok. no big deal.

delayed some more. no problem. we're child-free right now, so we're not stressing.

some issues with the flight attendant. we're relaxed people.

delayed again. this flight that was scheduled to leave at 11:30 wasn't leaving at 11:30. did i mention that we got to our gate at 8:45?

there was waiting, waiting, and more waiting.

finally, an announcement came over the loud speaker stating that "we can't found out pilot. he seems to be missing. we will announce the flight once we locate him."

never a good sign.

they call another pilot. is that easy? calling pilots? just to see if they can come in to work?

we finally board at 1:15. de-ice. more fuel. more de-icing.

depart at 3:00. arrive in green bay at 4:00.

long day. but you know why it was so worth it? we arrived to falling snow. already five inches laying on the ground with the sole purpose of us walking in it.

twenty-seven degrees. dreary. ahhh...just the way we like it.

we had a delicious dinner . buz had some wings that basically sent him over the edge. he was so on his own little cloud nine. i had myself an apple spice ale. still have the taste in my mouth, and i'm still smiling.

then, went to a little shop that our super cute waitress told us about and got the goo a packers cheerleading outfit. because the punkin' really needs to back the pack.

tomorrow on our agenda:

sledding on fireman's hill and taking our tour of the packers hall of fame.

we are pumped.

beyond excited.

and talk about winter janet. i got reacquainted with winter buz. and i am so in love with him.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

hopefully a frozen tundra

really, i would love to toot my own horn and nominate myself for wife of the year.

but i would be taking credit away from someone.

this is dedicated to all things jason and jill.

this friday morning (at an UNGODLY hour), buz and i are off to enjoy our Christmas present.

we are going to green bay, wisconsin to see buz's man crush (and my regular 'ole crush) BRETT FAVRE play against the detroit lions.

there is history, here.

there is something about buz that most of you don't know. i didn't figure it out until a couple of years ago.

buz doesn't have favorites. he is SO easy to please that he doesn't have a favorite in any category. no favorite soft drink. no favorite movie. no favorite color. no dream car. the list could go on forever. seriously.

he does, however, have one very specific favorite. it's actually two-fold. green bay packers and brett favre. in my opinion, they go hand-in-hand. but seeing as how this may be brett's last game, it may not be the case for much longer. (notice how i said 'brett' instead of 'brett favre?' yeah, we go with first names. we're close like that.)

anyway, that was one thing i noticed early on in our dating history. every sunday, i knew where he would be. at home. on the couch. drinking some form of ale. eating some form of tortilla chip combined with some sort of dip. and i was welcome there. but if i had plans of my own, so be it. he wasn't getting off the couch.

those of you who actually know buz in real life probably find all of this interesting because he's just not your typical NFL couch potato.

when we were dating, i learned that his family has an NFL contest every season. you pick games, upset or favorites. more points for upsets. more points for teams that you pick alone. i was intrigued. so i purchased as many NFL magazines as i could that fall, and i was determined to at least stay in the game.

i won.

first year.

um hmmm.

yeah, i won.

i got a trophy the night of our rehearsal dinner.

anyway, since we met, i have decided that i really like watching NFL and keeping up with who's who. and one thing has remained.

buz's love for the game. the team. and the player.

packer tickets are next to impossible to obtain. well, i mean, for under four hundred dollars.

the summer before big h was born, buz and i went to one of my college roommate's weddings. and all four of us roomies were there. there was the bride. the one who was already a mom. the one who was about to be a mom. and the one who was married but without a child. yet. that was jill.

buz got to talking to her husband that afternoon/night and found out that his parents have season tickets to the packers.

had to pick buz and his jaw up off the floor. seriously.

fast forward to several months ago. no idea what to get buz for Christmas. think, think, think.

email jill about possibility of knowing anyone who could get us tickets.

day after i send the email -- call from jason, the husband, asking if december 30 would be ok.

pick myself and my jaw up off the floor.

no idea how i will work anything out but said yes so fast my head hurt. what, from all the spinning and such.

called the one person who never spills secrets -- my dad.

and then proceed to figure out how to take out a second mortgage so we can make it to the game.

all i have to say is that God works miracles.

now, we're packing for an unforgettable trip. kids are staying at home with nana. buz and i are going to be alone for FOUR DAYS.

oh, and guess who buz gets to spend those FOUR DAYS with?

WINTER JANET. really, she's a beautiful creature. she smiles all the time. she has a joyful spirit. she takes in life with each breath and thanks God for his mighty and beautiful creation. you think i'm kidding. those of you have met WINTER JANET know that i'm not.

she is the exact opposite of summer Janet. she is a sad, sad person who really isn't even worth mentioning, to be honest.

i was going to wait until Christmas morning to tell him we were going on a trip. then, keep the secret until we were getting on the plane.

i mean, i waited nine months TWICE to find out the sex of my children, for pete's sake.

i couldn't hold out. couldn't do it. had to tell him earlier.

you know how i did it?

i bought us matching shoes. and socks. thank you, kelly. and gave him this.

and to end on a sweet note, the forecast for sunday is high of thirty with a forty-five percent chance of snow.

God bless America. and God bless Jason and Jill. (and now baby Evan.)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

i am in love with three very distinct people

not that it's a surprise. or anything.

this little man. oh, that smile.

this little punkin'. i want to eat her with a spoon.

and this hot, older man. grrr...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"...i worked this morning and then went to the department Christmas Party. i drove four ladies over to the Cheesecake Factory. i sat with them and some other girls, including Davis, my accountability partner. i found out who my secret pal was. it was a great lunch. buz had given me an early Christmas present a couple of weeks ago -- an outfit from Harold's to wear to work. it's a dark/maroon thin sweater and a long dark paisley skirt. it is such a great outfit! he has the best taste! it was fun because all day long people complimented the outfit, and i was able to tell them that buz had gotten it for me. so much fun! then, i made sure i left work around 3:00 because he wanted to get to his brother and sister-in-law's house at a decent hour and beat the traffic.

earlier in the day, our neighbor PC had called me and asked me if i wanted to come over to her house after we looked at Christmas lights and exchange Christmas presents with her. she told me to call Brad and see if it was OK with him. so i called him, and he said it was fine with him. i thought that was weird because i didn't think we'd get back to his house until at least 9:00, and he NOT a night person. i didn't think he'd have the energy. but i called her back and said we'd be by after we were done at buz's brother and sister-in-law's.

so i got home from work and changed clothes. i kept on the sweater, but i put on khakis and some brown shoes. i was really tired, so i laid down on the couch. the phone rang, and it was buz asking about something. i answered his question, and we got off, and he was going to come over later (around 4:30). my cordless phone wasn't working, so i had to get up and use the phone by my bed. so a little while later (while i was on the couch trying to nap), the phone rang again. i checked the caller ID, and it was buz again. he was asking some other questions, and i was a little frustrated because i wanted to rest a little before he got there. on of the questions he asked was"what should i wear?" at this point, i didn't think it mattered and really didn't care what he wore. but he asked, "if you could pick anything out for me, what would you pick?" i told him a certain shirt, and he said it was at the cleaners. i told him another one -- a red/white gingham button-up shirt. he said he was going to wear that with some jeans and his running shoes. then, i had just laid back down, and he called again. i was getting frustrated!

finally, he got to my apartment and sat down next to me on the couch and just looked so weary. he said he had had a long and busy day. so we sat for a while. then, we got ready to go, and he told me he wanted to stop at the exxon to get a coke? i thought that was kind of strange because he has never wanted to do that before, but i went along with it and asked him to get me a dr. pepper too. we drove to his brother and sister-in-law's. the whole way over there, he did work stuff on his little keyboard pager thing. we got there and played with my six-month-old nephew. we had dinner, and after dinner, we exchanged gifts. then, we got our cups and filled them with hot cider and hot chocolate. we got in the car and drove around to look at Christmas lights. it was so much fun! said goodbye to his brother and sister-in-law and headed back to his house. we were listening to "breath of heaven" by amy grant. i accidentally talked during the middle of the song, and buz "shushed" me and started the song over. ok. when the song was over, he was really quiet. i asked him if he was ok. two things were throwing me off. it was after 9:00, and he was still awake. and he wasn't worried about getting my car at my apartment. when the song was over, he said "i'm just lost in thought." "ok, buz, you just let me know if you need anything."

when we got to his neighborhood, he asked me if i was weary about exchanging gifts with PC so late. so a couple of blocks away, he pulled over, and we both took a moment to regroup and prepare ourselves for being up late. we prayed and headed on to PC's. he pulled into the driveway. he stood by the car and told me that he was going over to PC's and ask her if she wanted to come to his house or if she wanted us to come to her house. (she broke her leg a couple of weeks ago.)

he asked me to go play with his dog while he was doing that because the dog hadn't been played with all day long. i agreed with no problem. as i was walking into the house, he told me to make sure i played fetch with him. i thought that was weird but didn't think a whole lot about it. so as i was closer to the door, he asked if there was music playing for the dog. (buz always leaves music on for his dog during the day.) enough already. i didn't even notice that my three favorite songs were playing in the background. once i was in the doorway, he asked me to take the hallway. at this point, i was frustrated with him because he told me he was going to PC's to find out what the deal was. my first thoughts were, "who are we more concerned with? dog or me?" i told him i would take the hallway (his house is small enough that there is no other way to get outside other than taking the hallway.)

so i walked into the kitchen, and there were tons of Christmas lights making a little path toward the back porch. didn't think anything of it because he is really festive. did think it was strange because Christmas was in five days. kind of late to put up decorations.

when i got out to the back porch, there was buz. now, he was officially on my nerves. why wasn't he at PC's finding out what we were doing about the Christmas gifts already? he just looked at me. then, he tilted his head toward the backyard. i looked toward the backyard, and there was HUGE wooden (6'x12') sign in the backyard that said, "janet, will you marry me?" i just started saying, "oh my goodness! oh my goodness! oh my goodness!" i looked at it forever and couldn't figure out what it was saying. then, i looked at him again, and he was standing closer to the stairs where i was. he was on one knee and was crying. he said, "janet, there are so many things that i want to say to you, but i can't think of many of them right now. you have changed my life in so many ways, i can't tell you. i love you so much, and our relationship in Christ is the most important thing to me. i want to lead you in our marriage. i want you to be my wife. will you marry me?" i was speechless. i couldn't get any words out. he grabbed my hand. while somewhat laughing, he said, "do you need some time to think about this? because you have given me an answer." i said no and kept hugging him and said "sure" at first.

i couldn't believe i said "sure."

then, i said, "of course i will marry you!!!" i kept hugging him. then, he pulled out the most beautiful diamond ring i have ever seen. he just showed it to me in the box, and i stared at it for a little while. then, he pulled it out and placed it on my finger. i was still freaking out not believing this was happening. then, he took my hand and took me into the kitchen and sat me down. he said, "do we need to recap what just happened?" he sat me down and held my hands. then, he said he had one more surprise and gave me a copy of modern bride magazine. when we were sitting across from one another, he asked if he could pray for us and the future of our relationship. we prayed, and honestly, i couldn't believe all of this was really happening. cloud nine. that's where i was. we went outside and looked at the board again. we went over to PC's to show her the ring and tell her. (she already knew because she was in on it.) we came back over to his house and sat on the couch and had dr. peppers together.

then, he said, "well, do you want to call people?" i guess i couldn't believe this day was really, finally here. i have dreamed of this day my entire life. we called my parents and his parents. then, we called his brother and sister-in-law. i couldn't believe they knew the entire night and didn't let on. i called some of my friends and asked them to be bridesmaids. i called kelly and asked her to be my matron of honor. she was overjoyed.

Lord, right now i ask that you are with our wedding planning and our marriage. i pray that i will be a good wife for buz. i pray that we will daily encourage one another. i pray that we will grow in You in ways that we will never expect. i pray that i don't get caught up in planning a wedding, but am able to stay focused on planning a marriage. thank you, Lord, for this incredible day of joy and celebration. i appreciate who you are in my life as well as who you are in buz's life. thank you for coming into my heart and into his heart. you have created us for each other in such a unique and divine way. we are so appreciative. i love you, Lord, more than i am able to express."

this was my journal entry from december 20, 2000.

seven years later, i am not itchin' a bit. i love my best friend more today than i did that day. hard to believe or imagine.

let's talk about something. why did i think 9:00 was so late back then? i didn't even have a kid.

and who is impressed with my response? "sure." like, sure, i'll take out the trash. if i have to. but only if i have to.

don't think buz doesn't bring that up every so often.

cut me some slack. he totally caught me off guard.

what was your exact response when your husband proposed?

buz, i love you so much! will i continue spending the rest of my life with you?


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the eagle has landed.


the blankie has arrived.

i woke this morning to the thought that just maybe a priority overnight mail package would be on my front porch. at seven a.m.

c'mon. it could happen.

no such luck.

even big h went to the door this morning when he got out of bed to see if it was there.

pins and needles around here lately.

nothing too crazy about our morning. went and picked up nana from the car repair place to be her personal shuttle for the day. came back home. put goo down for her nap. she cried for thirty minutes. went down and slept for twenty minutes. TWENTY.

you know she's sixteen months, right? sixteen-month-olds sleep for a long time. twenty minutes is not a long time.

got her up. had lunch. piddled around the house. then, decided to run errands with nana and the kiddos. let the kids play and release some energy. buz was going to be home late, so we picked up dinner to take home.

got home and got ready to eat. checked the front door. overnight blankie #1 arrived from marino. sweet, sweet overnight marino. backup blankie in place, ready to be washed and stored somewhere easily accessible. other boxes or bubble mailers. the mailbox. of course, it would totally fit in my mailbox, right? no package. just the bright orange "come get your package from the post office" notice. it's 6:11. post office closes at 6:30. nana says, "RUN! RUN NOW! GET THERE IN TIME! I'LL FEED THE KIDS!"

i'll be honest. i sped. got there before the door closed.

give my bright orange card to the nice lady. she took two other cards back with mine. she comes out with two packages. very, very big packages. too big to be blankies.

"i'm going to have to look again for yours."

she takes two more cards from two more people.

comes back with two packages. this time one is too big and one is too small.

"ma'am, i'm going to spend some time back there looking. i can't seem to find it."

the blood drains from my face.

three more cards from three more people. i'm giving the play-by-play over the phone to my mother-in-law who literally can't breathe she's so nervous for me.

comes back. three packages given to three people. and then, the warm lady smiles. package perfectly sized for a pink blankie.

i went on an on about how much i appreciated her looking so hard and wished her a merry christmas so many times, i was positive she got the point.

i opened the box before i got to the door. and then, because i'm a mom, i started crying. it was like i was a successful member of the search and rescue squad.

pink blankie found. goo was already asleep when i got home, so tomorrow is the day. pink blankie #1 and 2 are washed, dried, and smelling like good, clean wisner smell.

it's like christmas around here.

oh wait. it is christmas around here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

how i know big h truly loves me.

big H: mama?

mom: what, buddy?

big H: i would cry a whole lot if you got eaten by the abominable snow monster.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


first of all, someone brought to my attention that i have never given any type of formal update on goo's condition. please accept my most sincere apology. after her really tough surgery experience (wink wink), she has done nothing but recover with grace. she's goo. what did we expect? so here is that formal update you've been waiting for. she is doing well. kickin' butt and takin' names. that's my goo.

but something i was not expecting? others' reactions to her. in her, you know, less than beautiful state. (oh, how i want to post post-op pictures. but for some of you with weak stomachs, i'm looking out for you.) her surgery was on a wednesday. we stayed home that entire afternoon/evening. thursday, we didn't do anything. friday, took big h to school and went back home. his teachers made comments about her eyes, but they were warm and concerned comments. but then. friday night, we went to one of the malls in the area. i promise we don't go to malls all the time. and it happened. tact went out the window. seriously, i was so surprised how many stared at her. pointed at her. laughed at her. little, little children. unbelievable. and then, we were in line at a fast food restaurant inside the little food court, and one little girl (couldn't be any more than four or five), started pointing with a disgusted look on her face. then, she went and got either her cousin or friend and told her to "come look at this girl." they both pointed and looked at her like she was a leper. then, they both went and got their brother/cousin/friend and told him to "come here. you gotta see this." and he replied with "oooh, that is disgusting."

talk about messin' with a mama bear's little cub. hot. i was HOT. but i decided not to do anything because i thought it might be a little appropriate to grab her by her hair and use profanity. not to mention the security guards and the possible time spent in lock up. i refrained. but i wanted to do something ugly.

so anyway, she is great. feeling great. not scratching her eyes anymore. because really, in the morning she was not looking her best. her eyes were already red. but the scratching at night left her with red circles around her eyes. i told you. it wasn't pretty. but she's back to her old goo self. easy to please but stands her ground when necessary.

let's go ahead and segue into the topic at hand. pink blankie. i am blown away by the support out there. nothing brings people (mostly moms) together like a lost lovie. you all are so thoughtful.

so here is where we are with the whole blankie ordeal. don't laugh, but the last three nights before i've gone to bed, i've prayed (pleaded) that God would lay on the heart of whoever has pink blankie to just RETURN THE DARN THING ALREADY! no, i prayed that whoever now has the beloved pink blankie would be less fortunate and be so appreciative of their new lovie. no, that wasn't it either. i prayed that either we would find it, replace it, or comfort goo enough that life can go on without it. i know i sound dramatic, but it sounds as though some of you out there know the magnitude of which i speak. this is big. she has cried for naps and nighttime, which makes me sad. really, really sad. and we had a babysitter yesterday morning, so that buz and i could go to big h's christmas program. (post for a later date.) even her babysitter who knows her pretty well said, "it was weird. she just kind of walked around the house most of the morning. like she was looking for you guys. or something else." yeah. blankie. that's what she was looking for.

i've called the mall two or three times every day since the "crime." still nothing. people, it's not turning up. pink blankie, as we know her, is gone.

but there's hope. two glimmers of hope.

one involves "Marino." the giver of pink blankie. one other little claim to fame in the blog world. she just so happens to be big mama's sister. marino is one of my dearest friends. and if you knew her, she would be one of your dearest friends too. we met working at a kamp twelve years ago. in the kitchen. if you knew marino, you would laugh at what you thought was a joke. the part about the kitchen. but that's neither here or there. we've been buddies ever since then. and she has been a rock in my life. when big h was born, she sent him a lovie with his name and birth date on it. he didn't use it for the first two and a half years or so. it sat on his bookshelf making his room sparkle with all the personalization. he found it right around when goo was born. one night, he was scared. we had prayed, told the monsters to go away, etc. nothing was working at this point. and i said, "know what goo does when she's scared? she loves on her blankie. you have a blankie. wanna love on your blankie too? just like goo?" and from then on, dog blankie was a part of his life too.

so to say that marino has played an integral part in our children's emotional security would be a pathetic understatement.

marino has called everyday since the crime wondering if we had a lead. marino knows the pain goo and i have gone through. because her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter has a lovie. and trust me when i say it goes everywhere.

so marino calls me on my cell today with hope in her voice. "i need to send you some pictures. i was looking in my daughter's baby stuff, and i came across a pink bear lovie that resembles goo's. if you think it could possibly be a replacement, i will overnight it." she's serious about goo's well-being. this is the picture.

definitely in the same family.

unlike these.

close but no cigar.
i've been staring at all of these while glued to the internet. who knew there were so many "pink bear lovies" out there? i know goos' only sixteen months old, but she's no dummy. i handed her one in the car yesterday on our way to go pick up big h from school, and i could swear she was either giving me the finger or using some kind of toddler profanity.

so when i saw marino's pictures, i was so hopeful. yeah, she's overnighting it on monday. true friend.

my second glimmer of hope came from my spouse. shocker.

he calls me from work with hope also in his voice. "pretty, i think i may be onto something." (yes, my nickname is pretty. isn't that freaking awesome? wonders for the self-esteem.) okay, proceed. "i found the free cub from the lillian vernon website listed on eBay. so i've emailed the seller asking if there was a pink blankie with the cub." and?

there was.

and she has it.

and after several emails and several waiting on pins and needles hours/days, she's sending it.


on monday.

merry christmas to goo approximately one week before. because on tuesday, goo will be getting not one but TWO lovies. the exact replica as well as a sparkling replacement should we find ourselves in a bind.

now, i know what you're thinking. my comment about goo not being born yesterday? so i'm thinking that we wash the eBay one a couple of times so it will smell like our detergent. i mean, i have washed goo's, and she's never had a problem with it. she just makes it her own within a couple of hours anyway.

the funny part of it all. the story she's going to be able to tell when she's old enough to read. and she asks, "mom? why does my pink blankie say Sophie Elizabeth and November 20, 2002?"

Thursday, December 13, 2007


there is mourning at the wisner house.

today, we lost the pink bear blankie.

i know. i can't believe it either. i won't even go into the scene of goo going to sleep tonight. let's just say there was much. crying. loud, pitiful crying.

big h, goo, and i played with some of our favorite friends today at the local mall. we had a wonderful time but probably stayed a little too long. we parted ways. goo fell asleep in her stroller. that has never happened. we went to the car. i put big h in his car seat. getting ready to put goo in hers. knowing she would drift right back to sleep. wait. oh no. seriously, where is the candid camera? this isn't funny. not on the ground. not in her stroller. nowhere in sight. i drive around the parking lot in disbelief. and do the only thing i can do as goo's mommy. get both kids back out of the car and head back into the mall. three o'clock and goo without a nap at this point. we retraced our steps. three times. finally, i broke out in tears. for my goo. i called buz and let him know of the catastrophe. i called the concierge two or twenty-six times. she contacted housekeeping and lost and found. nothing. finally after about an hour or so, i felt like i needed to get them home. but i felt like i was going to betray her if i didn't keep looking. when buz got off work, he headed straight to the mall and looked. for two hours.

i'd like to say that this story has a good ending. but it doesn't. lillian vernon no longer makes pink bear blankie, even though they have it right there on their website.

so this is a reward note: for those patrons who were at the mall today, those housekeeping employees, for those mall employees. please contact me with information re: the pink blankie. there is a 16-month-old girl who is really sad without it. we will pay lots of money. or well, you could just see her face when you give it to her. that will be plenty. i promise.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

exciting events at casa de wisner

yes. yes, it did. the rumor came true.

my husband, my knight in shining armour, took the kiddos this morning. and he's coming back home tomorrow afternoon.

the first item on his to do list was to see santa. i've been amazed, now that big h is into santa, at how santa is a much busier person than he was when i was big h's age. i mean, the professional photography. the digital printers at the end of the line so you can have your image printed right then and there. (i mean, i'm distinctly remembering some sweet 70s Polaroids back in the day.) and the lines. oh heavens, the lines. i was determined to only take him once so he wouldn't be confused. so we went to the mall on thursday to play with a friend. we played at the play area, and santa himself just happened to be right next to the play area. convenience. no line. even better. but because i'm a mom of the year nominee, i decide it would be best for all of us to get some lunch so we're all in good moods. lunch complete. off to see santa. still expecting no line. definitely was not expecting santa to be taking his "milk and cookies" break. now, i'll give the guy a break. he has to sit in probably the hottest outfit in all of america from what must seem like sun up to sun down. i understand. a guy's gotta have his milk and cookie break. makes sense. but we show up at 1:10, and his milk and cookie break is from 1-2. how on earth do you explain to a very excited 4-year-old that we have to go home because it's snack time for santa. well, you tell him that tomorrow night is daddy's office christmas party and spouses aren't invited, so we're off for a night play date. i'm crazy. i live on the edge.

we head down to the mall in the heart of the metroplex. we arrive at 4pm. we had called a friend to meet us for dinner between 5 and 530. her son happens to be scared of santa at this point in his little 3-year-old life; hence, the reason we go so early.

this place is incredible. it is a store that is totally designated to having santa. red painted walls. an entire living room setup, complete with massive christmas tree, mantle, and hunter green velour chair for the man himself. seems there is a lot of interest in this santa. seems pretty popular. we don't see him. seems he's having dinner. at this point, big h thinks that all santa does is eat. we take our ticket. we ask the man when we might expect our number to be called.


so after i spit my dr. pepper in his face, i had to break the news to the little man that it appears santa is really popular.

i promise him we will see santa tomorrow. he's thinking i'm the boy who cried wolf. "whatever, mom. that's what you said yesterday."

buz got the honor and privilege of taking big h to see santa this morning. help me figure out my dilemma. can't tell if he had fun or not.

guess so.

so santa is checked off our list of holiday fun things to do. kind of sad i didn't get to be a part of his first santa experience. but i can't think of anyone either would've rather gone with.

the day to myself. how should i spend my time? spent time photographing a friend's kids and nephew this morning. Christmas present for the unsuspecting grandmother. fun.

came home and feverishly cleaned. every room in the house has clean sheets. light bulb in goo's closet that hasn't worked for about 7 months. changed. sippy cup that's been in the sink for a time i'd rather not share. rinsed and finally in the dishwasher. everyone in the house will have clean clothes when the load that's currently drying is complete. ahhh. spent the afternoon with weentrab doing her magic with some of her and my favorite people. what i would give to be weentrab for a day. home for more cleaning and organizing. gave myself until 7, and then it would be dinner time. oh, and dinner time it was. were there 90s love ballads, you ask? yes, there were. and i was even able to combine my love for the love ballad with a little christmas flare.

but darn it if i can't find my lighter. because really, it would be the perfect accessory.

and now that i've finished my dinner, i'm off to take a LLLLOOONNNGGG shower, get comfy in my jammies, sit underneath the covers, address Christmas cards, and watch numerous episodes of DVR'd what not to wear.

it's been an absolute delight to be by myself and get so many things accomplished. but you know what? i miss my posse. a lot. i didn't get to squeeze my little man in his jammies. i didn't get to rock my sweet girl to bed with the smell of her blankie in my face. and i didn't get to cuddle with my buz before drifting off to sleep.

Friday, December 07, 2007

rumor going around

that i might have the night to myself tomorrow night.

like husband and kids staying at my mom's house all day tomorrow, tomorrow night, and sunday morning/afternoon.

like me being in my house for the first time ever without either of my children in approximately four years and two months. i mean, i'm not counting or anything.

just a rumor at this point. but don't think i'm not planning how much of the house i'm going to clean. and how many things i'm going to put away. and how many christmas cards i'm going to finish. and how loud my 90s love ballads are going to play throughout the wisner house.

just a rumor.

(buz, i love you so much i can't see straight.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

one word.

or two. or three.

hoss. champ. rock star.

that sums up my daughter.

she was so stinking amazing today. (can you already sense the change of tone in my voice? i mean, my poor pity party yesterday. whew. i should have worn a hat and invited people.)

i prayed and prayed last night. for so many things.

buz took big h to school. there couldn't be anything better for my little man. he ADORES his daddy. so *bringing* daddy to school was a highlight.

goo and i had some mommy and me time this morning. and somehow she didn't notice that she didn't have a morning bottle. or breakfast, for that matter. champ.

headed to the surgery center. this place was basically gymboree with nurses and doctors.
the waiting room was incredible. i hadn't even put my keys away before they called us back. shirley, our nurse, was so informative. she was warm, friendly, and so good with the goo. goo had her own portable DVD player, though she wasn't that interested. they had toys for her to play with. and honestly, she was happy just walking the halls.

we met with the anesthesiologist, the OR nurse, and the doc. again, everyone was so informative.

finally, the time came. the time to take goo back to the OR without us. and we were escorted to the consultation room. buz went to the restroom, and i was determined to "get it together." i didn't want to cry. she was going to be fine. we were so confident in everything. "pull it together," i said to myself while buz was gone. cell had a light on. missed call/voicemail. from kelly.

i decided to listen to it. bad choice. she begins her message with "i'm praying for you guys." and then goes on with, "well, i'm praying, so i'm going to pray right now." and she prays. right there. in her voicemail. and i can tell there's a smile on her face. and then. there's silence. silence because she was crying. let me tell you something of interest about kelly. i have been best friends with her since THIRD GRADE and have seen or heard her cry ONCE. once. this was big. so my hope of "getting it together?" bless my heart. i love you, kelly.

after what felt like twenty seconds, the doctor came in and said everything went fine. she did really well.


and then, the recovery nurse came to take us to our baby. oh, our baby. there she was on a gurney, laying on her belly. with her blankie.

and there we sat. with our baby. the nurse gave her to me, and with buz right by my side, i can safely say there is nowhere i would've rather been. sweet, memorable time.

she is definitely not a sight for the faint of stomach. but she was our little red-eyed angel. she did great in recovery. had a whole sippy cup of water and kept it down.

they said one of her short-term side effects would be sensitivity to light. so when she was ready for discharge, her nurse fitted her with a sweet pair of gold sunglasses. this girl was hot. accessories were her game today. i'm sure of it.

we left the surgery center to go pick up big h from school. big h was less than pleased that we picked him up in my car vs. daddy's car. oh, to be four.

when we got home, he and buz left to go get goo a treat of some kind. and i'm going to be honest with you. i got about 45 minutes of anesthesia-goo. just a lump of sugar and her blankie nuzzled in my lap. bliss for her mommy. i'm just sayin'.

and we came home to dinner delivered to our front door and a cookie gram all the way from tennessee. we are blessed. so incredibly blessed.

and now. goo is asleep in her bed. her brother asleep in his. and her daddy and i are at peace. our goo is fine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


nope. haven't been on vacation. honestly, just not in the mood to write these days. not feeling witty. not feeling informative. those of you with blogs might have noticed that i haven't been stopping by lately either. i'd love to say i have a good reason.

but nope. no good reason. i have been around. i promise.

here's to boring blogging. you know...the computer version of my journal/baby book. enjoy. :)

never did post halloween picture. big h had the time of his life. the "sick or seat" was definitely the loudest on the block. i know at some point, we'll have to work on his speech. but for now, i like his versions of the words. goo did NOT, however, understand the point of trick or treating. the first three houses we went to, she actually went in. social graces...she'll get it next year. maybe.

had an incredible thanksgiving. my brother and his family came into town from birmingham. big h LOVED being with his cousins. he has a 5-year-old boy cousin and a 4-year-old girl cousins. the three of them had so much fun together. and he also has an 18-month-old girl cousin. yeah, she and goo are going to be fast friends really, really soon. buz and i had a date with my brother and his wife. oh, how i wish they were here in town. we have such a great time with them.

speaking of the cousins, let's talk about a milestone that occurred this past weekend. big h. slept. over. at. nana and papa's. with his cousins.

maybe you skimmed over that.

i'll state it again. buz and i were in our house with only one child. some of you know this piece of trivia. i have only been in my house once without big h. and that was the night buz came home from the hospital after his heart attack. not exactly the most dreamy of evenings. this was crazy, people. crazy. and rumor has it, he LOVED it. honestly, i was going to blog about it. that afternoon. but you know what i did instead? did a 400-piece jigsaw puzzle. in one sitting. (rats. i've just sealed my fate as being known as a complete geek forever.) i'm ok with it. it was so much fun. i sat at the table with a cup of coffee doing a puzzle while goo slept peacefully in her bed. and buz played playstation. shocker.

i was one of the six people who tuned into the bachelor this season. disappointed is such a mild, bland word to describe my feelings after devoting an entire evening to watching with my hubby. and putting off doing anything productive around the house. darn you, brad womack. and darn you, abc.

LOVED the cold front that thanksgiving brought. though today i wore a short-sleeve t-shirt outside when big h, the goo, and i played outside with some of our friends. never ceases to amaze me. never.

really need to get to bed. plus you're probably bored to tears. i would be. it's ok. you can admit it. you've also probably noticed that my usual upbeatness is not present tonight.

i'm finally admitting it. my sweet gooby has surgery on her eyes tomorrow. and i've been so nonchalant about it. "yeah, we're so confident in the doctor. he's great. we're really impressed with the surgery center. blah, blah, blah." but it's officially tomorrow. i know my mom and mother-in-law are reading this. and they're going to be calling me tomorrow sad for me. it's ok mom, and ms. wiz. i'm fine. i just want it over with. her surgery isn't until........NOON! who ever heard of making a 15-month-old wait until noon without eating anything? seriously. it didn't hit me until today. until everyone from the surgery center called with information. that she can't have anything after 9am, and before that, all she can have is clear liquids. have i mentioned that my favorite thing to do with goo in the morning is snuggle with her and her pink blankie and give her her warm (almost HOT) bottle? all while big h is watching a little playhouse disney or noggin. beauty. not tomorrow. oh yeah, and she has the mother of all diaper rashes. for the sake of your tummies, i won't go into detail. just know that after a week and a half of it being really, really bad, we had to get a prescription ointment that just got filled this afternoon.

wow. i just read this whole thing. and someone is a debbie downer tonight. sheesh.

so in the spirit of my half-fullness, let's end on a positive note, ok? if you think of it, pray for my sweet goo. pray that the morning tomorrow is a relatively easy one. one that she doesn't notice food or drink. that she is distracted. that the hour before at the surgery center is a relatively smooth process. that we are blessed with an amazing staff who will love on my baby. for dr. s. that he gets a good night's rest tonight and is fresh tomorrow. that he treats goo's eyes as delicately as possible. for big h. that he will have a good time at school tomorrow. that he will occupy himself well when he gets home. that he works really hard at not touching her face at all. (this is a big one, folks.) for buz and me. that we are loving parents to her and provide all she needs. and for goo, that she would feel a sense of being in the palm of her Father's hands.

thanks for praying. will update you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

go ahead. swoon.

so my title for this post was going to be different. something like, "can i get an AMEN HALLELUJAH?"

because of this.

and really, that's all i was going to say.

because that would've been enough.

but then.

i know you'll all be surprised to hear that my husband did something so incredibly thoughtful, i will NOT do justice to try to put it into words.

love languages. you've heard me talk about them once or eighteen times by now. i won't even go into my deep and obsessive feelings towards them. other than to tell you that they have helped buz and me build an incredible marriage.

side note: we don't communicate in our love languages nearly the way we did before kids. so to those of you out there without kids or with kids on the way (jill), pretend i didn't say that. enjoy your marital kid-free bliss.

point to all that. my love language is words of affirmation.

and people, my sweet buz knows how to mush me up. i mean, this? this would almost make me wanna go out and buy him a playstation game for no reason. no reason. this is huge.

and do we even bring up how much TIME it must have taken him? the thought that went into it?

please note the time it might take you to go through these. but the enjoyment that will come from doing so? well, it will bless your whole day.

let's just say there's at least one backstreet boys song. and martina sings "our song" live. yeah, that's our song.

(and i'll just be bold. leave him comments. he only posts every three months, you know. he's sensitive.)

Friday, November 09, 2007

making me happy

sorry i've been gone for a while. just doing life. one day at a time.

big h saying from the backseat, "yook, mama. i'm doing the robot." oh. oh yes. yes, he was. perfectly, i might add.

same time, same place. i skipped over a song that was about to come on in the car from my ipod because i was trying to get to a song big h would like. he interrupted my nervous shuffling while saying, "wait, mama. go back. that was a good song." it was this song. my heart instantly melted into a big pile of mush. big h, you make a mama proud with your love of all things hip hop.

while picking up big h from school, he told me, "mama, i played with "A" today, and i was really nice to him and i didn't even hit him." baby steps, i guess.

goo's laugh. period.

wearing shorts and a t-shirt today. because you know, it's NOVEMBER and all.

yeah, no. that's not something that made me smile. no. that definitely did NOT make me smile.

these. i mean, really. don't they make you smile too?

this website. makes me want to decorate. bless my heart.

seeing this at the mall kiosk today. oh, how i can't wait to rekindle the flame with my very own meat log, smoky bar, and sweet hot mustard.

this. I-L-L!! I-N-I!! i would sing the fight song for you. but well, i can't sing.

and the fact that my husband came home with this for dinner. love languages, people.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

five minute party recap

because i'm taking pity on you for trudging through the four hours that it took to read big h's tribute of sorts, i have decided to recap big h's actual birthday party in a matter of five minutes. you're saying it can't be done. i'm not known for my short stories. buz can tell you that.

oh yes. it can be done. so here goes.

birthday party at mcdonalds. why? because i had my fourth birt'hday party at mcdonalds. and in a moment of nostalgia, i decided it would be a good idea. who doesn't like a good happy meal?

good idea? i think so.

here is what the mcdonalds looks like.

how could one not have a good time?

bottom line. play area was used. happy meals were consumed. lightning mcqueen cake had by all. big h and the goo matched. dorky. i don't want to hear about it. i'm dorky. i've admitted it before. and i'll admit it today.

and number one reason it was such a great party.

we are surrounded by the most incredible friends. the most. incredible. friends.

seriously. there was not one person there not working to help make it a fabulous night. all of our friends helped with taking chicken nugget vs. cheeseburger orders, taking juice vs. milk orders, cutting cake, serving cake, taking pictures (weentrab, no shocker there), goo duty (i.e. making sure goo didn't escape -- this was actually the hardest job there), and making sure every little kiddo there had a good time. worker bees, i tell ya. and i think we achieved it. big h was definitely loved on by everyone. and wow...showered with gifts. our little circle is generous...with their time, money, effort, and energy. we are blessed. big h is blessed.

and the best part. last night when i was asking big h what the best part of his day was before we prayed, his response was, " was pun (fun) that my priends (friends) celevrated (celebrated) me at donalds." yes, little man, they sure did.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

it takes a village

today is my little man's fourth birthday. i am very dorky because yes, i am crying while i'm writing this. call me sappy. whatever. he's my little man, and i am madly in love with this kid. madly in love.

***caution: if you're actually interested in reading ahead, you may want to grab a caffeinated beverage and a comfortable chair. if not, i suggest you go get something productive accomplished. i'm just giving you plenty of warning. this is more for him (and me) than anyone else.

dear big h,

today is your fourth birthday, and to be honest, i cannot believe it. i used to hear other moms say (when i was not a mom), "i can remember it like yesterday." i would roll my eyes and declare that such a mom comment. i was right.

your entrance into this world was less than ideal, to say the least. i had a wonderful pregnancy. i was never sick. but i didn't tell that to anyone because apparently, when you're pregnant, you're supposed to be sick all the time. you and i bonded immediately. i loved everything about being pregnant. i loved my doctor. i worked at a hospital, handy enough in the womens' services hospital. i loved buying maternity clothes.

your dad and me at the OU/texas game. i think people reading this have seen this picture before. but i was so happy. that was two weeks before you arrived. i loved having my belly get bigger and bigger. i loved talking about you. all the time. we didn't know if you were a boy or a girl. that was such a treat. your dad and i were showered with gifts.

(yikes. look at that belly.)

then we got towards the end of the pregnancy, i was starting to measure bigger than i should. i tried not to take that personally. :) but every week that i would measure big, my doctor would have a sit-down chat with me about inducing, something i didn't want to happen. you were due november 8, 2003. i told my doctor three things or three "wishes," if you will. i didn't want to be induced. i didn't want to have a c-section. and i didn't want to have a baby on halloween. at your delivery, he said with a smile on his face, "well, i got you one out of three."

i was put on a week of bed rest. whew, talk about boring. what's ironic is that so many of my patients were bed rest patients, and i thought their life looked like luxury. bless my heart. but i did my best to have a good attitude.

after my week of bedrest, my doc informed me that we would be inducing that night. ok, that was fine. no big deal. we called your grandma and grandpa, your nana and papa, your uncle bob and aunt emily, your uncle rick and aunt tanna, and pretty much everyone else in the metroplex to say that we have a baby tonight.

again, bless our hearts.

here i am in all my naivety. just brushing my teeth so i would have fresh, minty breath for the delivery of my baby in a short time.

labor lasted two days, without medicine, i might add. daddy was the best labor coach around. and as tough as those two days were, they were some of the best hours your daddy and i have ever shared together.

you might remember these from goo's birth. they're daddy's birthing shoes. he wanted something for the delivery, since i had gotten so many nice maternity clothes. dad is the best.

i hope and pray you find and meet and marry your very best friend someday.

we were in labor and delivery for so long that we had three different nurses. two of them worked two consecutive shifts.

she was our first nurse. look how happy and eager i am.

alice was our delivering nurse. daddy and i will always remember her as the cute, single nurse who wore halloween t-shirts two consecutive night shifts. she got us through both nights. she is/was a rock star.

theresa showed up the second day in a row, surprised that we hadn't had you yet. she was a friend of mine before i even got pregnant, so having her as part of our support team was incredibly special.

after two days, you had two substantial heart decels, so the doc informed us that he wasn't taking anymore chances with you. and we were off for an emergency c-section. in a matter of five minutes, i was prepped and ready for surgery. i was so scared, but your daddy was right there letting me know what was happening.

the two doctors got you out so quickly, i didn't have a chance to really understand what was happening. but dad got to see everything, and he said you were perfect. i was so well taken care of by everyone. i was just so glad you were healthy. but my heart almost couldn't take the joy i was experiencing because you were a boy. i think secretly daddy and i wanted a boy. and oh, big h, you were beautiful.

you were born at 6:39 on a thursday morning. the morning before halloween.

you had visitors immediately. benefit of working in a hospital...everyone knows your business. and i had so much adrenalin that i wanted to show you to everyone. i remembered being wheeled upstairs to my room and falling fast asleep until one o'clock in the afternoon when my nurse came in and told me i may want to feed you. oh, right. responsibility.

here are some of your visitors. all mommy's friends from the hospital. and mommy couldn't look any sleepier. and the orange thing on your head? it's a pumpkin hat that a nurse made for you.

here are bitsy and patrick, your namesake. they were our first couple friends and became near and dear to us in such a short time. and we really felt like the Lord blessed us with them in our life. we felt it only appropriate to name you after them.

here are some of mommy's co-workers/friends/nurses at the hospital. everyone was so excited that you were finally here.

mommy changing your diaper right before we left to go home. i was PETRIFIED to take you home. this is one of mommy's ALL-TIME favorite nurses EVER. she gave me more confidence than i ever knew to do with. oh, and we took you home the first week of november, and it was burning hot. i mean, 80-degrees. in november.

clearly, i learned early on that you didn't like hot weather either. that's my boy.

this is my first memory of you at home. i mean, look at you. all wrapped up not doing anything to anyone. just being peaceful little big h.

bless my heart. i think that was the last time i would EVER think of you as peaceful little big h.

we realized around five weeks that you had refluxed. you puked all day, every day. and the crying. oh the crying.

so we took every picture we could of you NOT crying.

you, mommy, daddy, aunt tanna, uncle rick, cousins tyler and april, and grandma and grandpa. grandpa...your other namesake. your first name belongs to him. and so does your heart.

mommy and daddy taking you to get our christmas tree that year.

mommy's two-week check up. seriously...i don't know where we would be without dr. b.

our first family christmas picture.

daddy looking at your first bottle attempt at two months, wondering what in the world was wrong with the bottle. because don't all babies take bottles???? yeah, no. not big h. you never did EVER take a bottle. high five for persistence and determination, dude.

awww...look at you sleeping. we loved it when you slept.

i'll take a moment to be honest here, big h. you were a hard baby. hard. difficult. i started going grey earlier than i had planned because you were not the dream baby i had planned. it was tough to take you places because when you cried, well, you CRIED. i mean, cried.


but from the very first moment, you LOVED your daddy. who wouldn't.

and then daddy and i just started having fun with you. taking pictures of you that we could use at your rehearsal dinner. just really enjoying you and the little ball of character you were.

went to the lake for a change of pace and scenery. more crying. but mama clearly enjoying herself.

i caught you and dad experiencing some really unfortunate fashion mishaps. bless your hearts. clearly dad is excited. you...not so much.

and then you made your first little friend, jeb. you guys still love hanging out.

the day we dedicated you to the Lord.

so let's stop for a minute and see if you're picking up on something. big h, your life is so full of people who love you and who pray for you. God has blessed daddy and me with amazing people who have made our lives so rich. there is no way we could do this parenting thing on our own. your life has already been so impacted by people who will shape you into the man you will become.

like your daddy, for starters. talk about hero.

and your bff. who you've seen every tuesday or friday of your entire life. talk about shaping you.

see how we started just having fun with you?


time spent at grandma and grandpa's bed and breakfast.

who knew after this day that you would grow to not like swimming?

...but love housekeeping?

you and leon, your occupational therapist. you didn't learn to crawl until you were ten and a half months old. leon loved to sing to you, and you loved it so much! we miss leon. oh, and you walked on your eleven month birthday. guess crawling just wasn't your thing.

where mommy eats on her birthday every year.

oh paci, may you rest in peace. (you called it an uh-oh, because when it would fall, you would say, "uh oh." you're smart like that.)

your first plane ride to montana to visit kelly. and the beginning of the ear infection season.

which lead to tubes.

it meant so much to dad to take you to your first oktoberfest.

and such a proud moment for mama to introduce you to shannon, from the first bachelor.

your first birthday invitation.

taking you to mama's alma mater.

your first birthday party.

taking you places was starting to be so much fun for us.

the first day of the "thomas season of life" for you. and who knew your first word other than mama and dada would be "shugga shugga?"

we've always known you were a little quirky.

your first day of mothers' day out. i had no idea how that year would change your life and mine.

and the angels who taught you that year. angels.

your second birthday.

ivan, your behavioral therapist. yeah, your behavioral therapist. you screamed a lot. and you could pitch a mother of a fit. you didn't care for ivan so much, but ivan gave mommy (and daddy) some amazing advice for how to live happily with you. and to really understand the ball of character you were/are.

ashley, your speech therapist. because apparently you're "behind" when you only say mama, dada, and shugga shugga at your second birthday party.

karen, your early intervention specialist. a long fancy title for providing so much moral support to mama for more than a year. i will never know how to thank her for sitting outside with me when it was 108 degrees and talking me through how hard it was to be your mama sometimes.

i mean, we knew you were persisitant. but you c'mon? you picked at that scar for six months. six months.


your buddy stanly, our mailman. seriously, i don't know if he has any idea how much he makes your day.

and bff? week in and week out, she has been a staple in your life. and has been so present for everything.

christmas picture #3

and then we found out you were going to have a brother or sister. and you wanted to be a part of everything. you were so helpful. and we had really started to see some improvements in your speech and behavior. we were getting so eager to see how you would do with someone else in the house.

you were thrilled with her arrival. thrilled!

but you are kind of particular. and you didn't particularly approve of our exit from the hospital.

and thank you, thank you, thank you for making the transition to your big boy bed an easy one. daddy and i appreciate that more than you will ever know.

big h, you continue to be loved on by people. you continue to make friends. you continue to get more and more handsome. you continue to make me smile every day.

your nursery teachers at church, who have gotten to love on you for two and a half years.

your preschool teachers from last year.

c' i wouldn't include dr. g.

patrick and bitsy and bff and bob. mama's birthday again.

two of your cousins.

one of your teachers this year.

big h, you're four. and i can't believe it. and you know what? after all that we went through during your earlier years, nothing makes me happier than the sweet boy you are turning into. i think God is blessing our patience with such a wonderful reward. you are such an amazing kid. you are thoughtful. you are considerate. you obey others. you love your sister. you love your friends. you love your family. you have the sweetest little voice anyone has ever heard. and you melt my heart every time you want to talk to Jesus. that's why we are here, big h. i can say that i have never been prouder of someone. i love you with all my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. you have made me a better person. and for that, i am grateful.

happy birthday, little man. you make my life rich.