Saturday, March 29, 2014

Landon, Oh My Landon.....

It's been a while since I have given you all an update on my precious baby boy. Let me begin by saying nasty or rude comments will not be tolerated.

Landon has received a new diagnosis. Landon has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (AS), on the autism spectrum.

We have known for a little bit now but we were hesitant to share. Matt and I needed to talk to the doctors more, research more, figure out some stuff here at home. We needed to tell Emma. Landon and Chase do not know. It has been recommended not to tell Landon until he is a little older and can fully comprehend what we are telling him. Since Chase is younger we just decided not to tell him yet either.

Landon has had many of the symptoms of AS for quite awhile. We just never put two and two together. Landon has quite a few major traits and many many many small traits. Landon was misdiagnosed and that is very common with children his age. Typically children over the age of 5 are diagnosed as ADHD along with other behavioral issues.

Link to some facts about Asperger's Syndrome

Landon has been having major issues since starting school. It got really bad in 1st grade. We have been in the process of trying to get him help since March of 2013. He has been on a few different medications and he was/is in therapy at least once a week, sometimes more.

We have seen minimal changes. It was very frustrating. It was really wearing on my family.

With the doctors help we found an awesome checklist (found here). Matt and I were able to check off almost 85% of this. We also added a few more thing (found on other checklists).

We are seeing new things almost daily the confirm the diagnosis. So much it would take me a week to write all the things.

We are making some progress with him. We have also hit many road blocks. We have some really terrific people in our lives that are helping us figure it all out.

So I am asking you, my friends and family. When Landon is rude or asking 1000 questions or being a stickler to rules, please try and be patient. Landon only sees things in black and white. There is no middle ground. If something is in writing he will stick to it 100%. Please do not promise him things if you cannot do what is said. If he has meltdown it is most likely one of two reasons, 1. he is over stimulated 2. someone he is around did not follow the rules. And if someone does not follow the rules he lets them know. Landon can be very rude at times. He does not know he is doing this. There is no filter for his mouth. He will say what is on his mind with no regard to his surroundings. Also if you are perhaps wrong about something he will not hesitate to correct you. Landon has an incredible memory for what is said and written. (It's actually kind of creepy). Ugh, I could go on and on about his different issues.

Just please be patient with my baby boy. He is a work in progress. He does not see the world as you and I see it. I know first hand how hard it can be to deal with him. Somedays I literally just sit in my room and cry. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I am patient. This is just so hard. No magic pill to make him better. Nothing.

I am not asking for sympathy. I am asking for empathy. And patience.

Love you all!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baptism Sunday

My heart is still so overflowing. My husband, Matthew, and my daughter, Emma, were both baptized a few Sunday's ago. My heart was not prepared for the full extent of it.

When I was baptized a few years ago I remember getting a few tears in my eyes. I remember the feeling of being wrapped in a blanket of love.

But watching your husband and your oldest child baptized takes on a whole new level. Especially when Emma said it was me who brought her to God.

Matt went first. As soon as the pastor starting speaking the tears started flowing and didn't end till way after Emma was done. So I apologize for the hot mess that the pictures are (and I even brought my good camera).


















Just in writing this post my heart is so full. My eyes are welling up. I know how much this is going to change my daughters life. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Official Monday Update!

I am such a horrible blogger. I have visions of writing posts each and every day. I have so many great ideas. I also have no time. I am sure all you other mommas who have kids and work and run errands and take kids to appointments 2x a week and all the 800 other things know how I feel.

So now I am going to shoot for once a week. Even that is going to be hard. There is so much I want to blog about. So much I want to open up about. So much I want to yell about. But I can't. I can't say what's really on my mind. One day I will get the courage to say whatever I want.

The past few weeks have been a trying time with Landon. I am not ready to go into all the nitty gritty details but it was determined that he does not have ADHD and ODD. He has something else all together. Just not quite ready to deal with it all. Still trying to take it all in. Praying about it all. Researching and reading lots of books. Trying to get informed. As well as keep up with all his appointments. Basically just adjusting.

Emma. Well, Emma is just fine. She is a typical 6th grader. Gaining interest in boys, losing interest in studies. So really that is the only complaint with her. She is such a great kid. She is becoming a beautiful, young woman. She always helps me out with her brothers. She ALWAYS has her nose in a book. Always. When she does get in trouble (which is like never), we have to take away her books as her punishment. She is just a great kid. Cannot believe she will be 12 in less than 2 months!! Time to start planning a party!!

And we could not forget about Chase. Oh Chase. Why is that 3rd kid always a handful? Chase is for sure my instigator. That kid starts more fights than all 3 kids combined. It did take us awhile to catch on but we did. With that being said, Chase is also the only kid that still snuggles. He still climbs in our bed about once a week to sleep with us. He is the only one that typically demands hugs when we leave him. Even to just go to work. So yeah, it's kinda nice still having a "baby".

So yeah, the past couple weeks have been rough. But we survived. And we will keep on surviving. We will survive by the grace of God. And for that, I am incredibly thankful.

I am still dealing with my anxiety. Some days are good, some days are bad. I am very thankful I decided to be honest with myself and others about my anxiety. Most people were very understanding. Some, however, were not. Some of the people closest to me have not been supportive. And guess what, it's time to distance myself from that. Same people who where VERY unsupportive during all this with Landon. Guess what, time to distance us from that. I still love them and they will always be family but sorry. If you cannot be supportive then it's time for me to move on. Harsh? Yes. But necessary for the success of my family. I cannot let the negativity get me down. Y'all know who you are. I now have to shut the door on this because I will end up writing and writing and writing. I have way too much to say about FAMILY and friends who are so caught up with themselves or the past that they can't see the beauty in front of them. But in the end, it's their loss. Me, my husband and my kids have so many other great people in our lives. So many great people.

We are surrounded by some pretty great family and friends. We have such a huge support system through our church family. If I need to talk I know I can pick up my phone and reach no less than 3 people. Anytime. If I need a laugh I know my friends have that taken care of too. There is definitely no shortage of laughter between us.

So basically no matter what we go through, no matter how bad or how great things are I know that I couldn't be anywhere with out my faith. My faith is the only thing that has gotten me through the past few months. I have turned to him in the bad times and I have praised him in the good. He has watched over me during our travels. He has kept our family safe during this winter. He has provided us with more than we wanted or needed during the holidays. He has put my heart at peace (somewhat...LOL) in knowing that my grandma is going to pass any day. He gave me the strength to tell my kids. Basically over this past year I have figured out (the hard way, of course) that if you really give your self to the Lord, he WILL take care of you.

There will still be bad times. Very bad times. There will be good times. And with God it just makes things a little smoother. I am not saying that there were no tears or no yelling or no heartbreak. What I am telling you is that God got us through it all. And he will continue to carry us.

Wherever we go. Whatever life throws at us. We got this.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Some Randomness for your Wednesday

Since my last blog was a little heavy, I decided to lighten it up with some random things that you may not know about me. 


Get ready because I am pretty nuts!

1. My food cannot touch other food on my plate. Especially is there is sweet vs. savory. I will not eat it. I am usually the one who gets 2-3 plates at a buffet or pot luck. 

2. I have a bedtime routine that cannot be broken. If it's broken then I cannot sleep. My routine consists of facing one way for x amount of time while playing Solitaire. Then I have to face the other way, then I switch. Actually there is whole bunch more but I think you get the crazy picture.

3. Crumbs are the devil. Seriously. I HATE crumbs. I am constantly cleaning off the table and counters and floor. I would rather leave a sink full of dishes up to the ceiling for days and days rather then a few crumbs be in my kitchen. 

4. I have lists. Oh boy do I have lists. I have a daily to do list, a weekly to do list, a monthly to do list. I have a list of the lists I have. Also I have a grocery list. I have a daily work list. I am a little nutso over my lists. However, I have found that 4x6 index cards are my favorite. Oh, and I have other lists, like for vacation and such. Let me tell you how weird I am. I am going on vacation the last week in May and my packing list is half way done already. Yup. For real. 

5. As soon as I come home from work (or where ever I have to wear real clothes a.k.a jeans) I open the front door, shut the front door, remove pants. I feel like the dad in The Goldberg's. I am beyond addicted to my sweat (yoga) pants. I even have different levels of sweat pants such as :appropriate to wear to Walmart, Target, Dinner (depends where we go). I have light sweats, heavy sweats, all sorts of neutral colors. Basically I have a ton and where I go depends on which ones I wear.

SIDE NOTE: I think y'all are seeing some OCD in here. Well, your right. I have a lot some OCD. I know this. My husband knows this and it's all good.

6. I cannot fathom wearing a black shirt and brown shoes or vice verse. I know it can be done. I see people every day. But my brain thinks if I am wearing a brown type shirt I need brown shoes and same with the black. I have tried. I feel weird. 

7. None of my inbox's in any of my emails can have anything in it. Work, personal, Facebook, whatever, it's all empty. I either take care of it right away, delete it or throw it into a folder. Also I cannot have any Facebook notifications. As soon as I get something I look and either respond now or later. If I need to do anything with emails or Facebook it goes on a list mentioned in "Crazy thing Kelly does #4".

8. I get everywhere obnoxiously early. Well, except work in which I am late almost every single day. I am working at being early. It used to be like 30 minutes early. I am at a point now where I am like 10 minutes early. Occasionally I will be late to things because my brain is trying to process when I should leave so I don't show up way too early then I leave and hit traffic or something and I yell at myself all the way there for not listening to myself. 

9. Even though I know where I am going I still throw almost everything into the GPS. I don't do it when Matt's around because I know he would laugh at me. I just like know that I am going the best way possible. And I love knowing how long it will take me to get there. And then I try to beat that time. 

10. I don't like vegetables. Only peas.

And there you have it. Enough info just so that people think I am slightly bizarre. For those of you that know me in real life already know how bizarre I really am.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Here's the truth.....

I have been dealing with something for awhile now. It keeps getting worse. I am embarrassed to talk about it because it is literally controlling my life. But for you folks that know me in real life know that I am not one to hide things and keep secrets. Time to just spill. Maybe writing it will help. Maybe I'll find someone in a similar situation. Maybe I will actually get some help instead of trying to deal with it on my own.

Anxiety.

I have been having anxiety problems. Major anxiety. Like can't leave my house sometimes.

We have out and about and eating out and visiting people. I can't do it. I can barely go out to eat. Church. Forget about it. The Mall. Almost passed out because of the anxiety.

Back in May I went through a little bout of this anxiety. It was about 5-6 days and ended up in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. They gave me some medication and I was good. This is happened the week we were leaving for vacation. I chalked it up to stressing over vacation.

I was fine during the summer. I was fine during most of the fall. Little by little I would have bad days. And now it's full blown all the time, every day. Even as I am writing this I am freaking out.

My heart has palpitations. I feel nauseous. I get disoriented. My head feels these little surges, like right before you pass out. My blood pressure spikes so high. My heart rate goes through the roof. I even followed up with my doctor after vacation. He had me do a bunch of testing including wearing a heart monitor. All the results point to anxiety.

I have had anxiety all my life in some way. I never thought that I would not be able to go out to eat with my husband or go to church. Never in a million years.

It's hard explaining to people why you haven't been at church in like 2 months. For awhile I had legit reasons but now I just make something up. I can't keep telling people I over slept. I can't keep telling people that myself or one of my family is sick. And how the heck do you tell someone that you can't go to church because your afraid your going to pass out from the anxiety you have?

It's hard explaining to your kids why I can't take them out to eat. We typically go out 1-2 times a week. I have tried. I really have. I have tried different restaurants, different settings, with kids and without kids. You should see me. I look like I am on drugs. I can't sit still. I fidget alot, like alot alot. I rush through the meal and sometimes I have to go out side even before we pay.

It has even happened at family parties and a few times when we have had people over for dinner and such.

I have talked to Matt about this over and over. He seems to think it may have something to do with the noise. I partly believe that only because last night we went out to a fancy restaurant with another couple. I was fine. Matt thinks it's because the restaurant was quiet.

This sucks. Yup, SUCKS.

I haven't been to the doctor yet only because I know what's going to happen. He is going to ask me a ton of questions. I am going to cry. He is going to give me medication and tell me to see a therapist and send me on my way. I already know this. 5 years ago I would of gladly taken all this medication but now, not so much. Many reasons for that - they are expensive, they make me gain weight, some really alter your mind. This list can go on and on. Me taking some anxiety medication is not going to solve my issue.

I need to find out what is making me crazy. I need to be able to do normal things like go out to eat and go to church and have fun with friends.

This is killing me. It is making me crazy. I am so embarrassed by this as well. That's why it has taken me so long to talk about it. I haven't even told people except for Matt. It makes me feel weak. Like I can't control my own body.

SO there you have it. I have anxiety and can barely leave the house. End of story.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

HELLO 2014!!

So yeah, I went away for just a few. We have such a busy busy busy 2013, especially the last couple months.


Just in November and December we have Chase's birthday, Landon's birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday (yep, it's totally an event), Christmas and New Years. Along with all that throw in all the holiday commitments and working and trying to have some fun too!! I am tired from just writing all this!! 

Just like last year I am going to take you peeps on a recap of 2013! You ready??? It's going to be GREAT! I also promise not too many pictures! Maybe 2 or 3 per month!

JANUARY 2013
Not a whole lot happened. I didn't have a job but half way through the month I finally got a job! It was pretty awesome until I realized how NOT awesome it was going to be. Standing on my feet for over 10 hours with no break. Um, yeah. NO THANK YOU!


Snow. Yup. Snow. Always. 


FEBRUARY 2013
You know that job from last month, yeah, it's gone. Sorry. This girl could not hang. 
Chase had his very first surgery on the 6th. He had to to have tubes put in his ears. That kid had 12-13 double ear infections in about 6-7 months. I had  enough. We took him in late January and they scheduled him ASAP. I am so glad we did that. His ears are fantastic now!
We took the kids to the Monster Truck Jam for Valentines Day. My kids LOVED it!! It was so loud. Luckily I had the bright idea of getting ear plugs for us all. So glad I did.
Right at the end of the month my new nephew, Luke, was born!! Momma did a terrific job!! I am so blessed that I have been able to meet each of my nephews as soon as they were born.


Landon, Chase, and Griffin at the Monster Jam


Yup, Monster Jam. Very cool.


My brand new nephew, Luke. Isn't he just totally adorable/


Luke and I.


My brave little man right before his surgery. He did great!!


MARCH 2013
Man. This was a busy month for us. So you know how I got a job in January, left the job in February, well now in March I got a NEW JOB!! When I quit the other job it took a lot of talking with Matt and figuring out bills. You know, the logistics. At that point Matt and I had committed to me being a stay at home mom and severely cutting back. On March 1st, I was going through Craigslist just messing around and saw a Monday - Friday job with the hours of 9-2. I sent my resume. Later that day I had an interview and hired on the spot. Let me tell you, best thing I ever did. The job totally rocks (even after almost a year), my boss is pretty much the best boss I have ever had. I am totally in love with this job!
But moving on.... We also had the kids spring break in late March. We decided to go on a short trip. All the way to Columbus! We got a hotel room for 2 nights and went to COSI. Kids had a blast swimming for hours on end and they totally had a blast at COSI. COSI was just about one of the coolest places we have ever been!
Easter was thrown in March as well. It was awesome. We of course went to church. It was a little different this year because my nephew, who was born in late February, was in the hospital with a nasty infection. So we didn't get to celebrate with Matt's family. We spent sometime at the hospital visiting my baby nephew.
In other news, one my friends, and the kids old babysitter, had her FIRST baby this month!! She was our baby sitter from the time Chase was 9 months old until he went to school. We have all grown really close to her. It's been a joy to watch her grow into her own self. And let me tell you, her baby was just about the cutest little girl I had ever seen!!


COSI


Emma - Easter Eggs


All of us including the fish and hamster.


Chase made one for his stuffed doggie. Um, ok.


Landon being a goof while hunting some Easter eggs.


All the kids baskets.


APRIL 2013
About the only thing that was fantastic this month was my Emma's 11th birthday!! I already wrote a a whole blog about it so here is the link! Emma's Birthday Bash!
We had waaaay to much fun that night! It's hard to believe my little baby girl is now 11 years old, wearing a size 9 show and is 5 feet 6 inches tall. Freaky.


Emma just opened her Justin Bieber tickets!!! Look at that face!



My baby and I.


Emma getting her birthday manicure.


Showing off our nicely manicured nails.




MAY  2013
SCHOOLS OUT!!! WHOOHOO!!! And with school being out that means VACATION TIME!!! Literally about half an hour after they got off the bus from the last day of school we headed out! I already wrote some blogs about our trip so I'll just post the links.

Vacation Day 1-3
Vacation Day 4-6
Vacation - The End

This month we also celebrated Mother's Day. I was able to spend time with my mom and my grandma. We went to the nursing home and heard some singing and had some cake. My grandma had a great time listening to the music. Oh, and Matt made me a custom headboard for the bed!!!

But of course I can't leave you with one some pictures!


Mother's Day at the nursing home with my Grandma.


Boys making me a cake for Mother's Day.


Hiking. In flip flops. Yeah, I am kinda awesome.


All of us hiking.


We are standing at the highest point in Alabama. Pretty cool.


And that would be my cousin putting snake skin on me. I pretty much about puked.


Oh yeah, we bought 3 moonshines!


JUNE 2013
This month we celebrated Father's Day, my moms birthday and my grandma's birthday! For grandma's birthday we sprung her out of the nursing home and took her to one of her favorite places to eat, Belgrades. It was beyond yummy. Man, I am getting hungry just typing about it.
Emma also started the braces process!! She got her bite jumper and expander. I cannot wait until her process is done. She is going to look so different.
In other exciting news, one of my childhood dreams came true. I, along with one of my best friends, went and saw New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men and 98 degrees. It was the most bestest concert ever!! I was totally like a 12 year old girl the whole time.


Emma - After braces


Emma - Before braces

Grandma's Birthday!


my mom and my grandma


About the only good picture I got from the NKOTB concert.



JULY 2013
Another busy month!! We started it off with a heck of a 4th of July party here at our house!! We had a ton of our closet friends. It was just some good ole family fun. I actually can't remember a whole lot except when I bashed the volley ball into a friends face. I laughed so hard I practically peed my pants. Don't worry, she was ok though. It was just an awesome day with some awesome people.
In mid July, I did the unthinkable. I took my daughter to see JUSTIN BIEBER. Let me tell you a little about this concert. I have been so a ton of concerts in my day. This one, was by far, the loudest and craziest concert ever. And that was even before he took his shirt off!!! Emma was just beside herself. I am so grateful that we were able to afford to take her. It was definitely a day to remember!
And the very last thing...Football and cheer started!! Emma was cheering for the 6th grade squad, Landon started his first year of tackle ball and Chase started his last year of flag football. And did I mention Matt works 2nd shift and all three kids have different practice schedules and 3 different games?? Let me tell you how much fun this is!

Oh how could I forget this! Matt went to Canada for almost a week for some car race/show thing. First time we have been apart for that long in many many years. And he left me home with ALL THE KIDS!! How dare he!! They survived and I survived! Luckily it was around the same time as our churches vacation bible school. So it helped that every night we were at church. It was a nice break for the kids and for me.


Emma and a couple of her friends at the Justin Bieber concert


Yup, I think they were having a great time!


On our way to VBS also this is the day before Matt left for Canada.


Goofing around


Chase lost a tooth!!!


Snack crew for VBS. We kinda rocked this year!


My sister in law and I


He was so stinking excited to get his helmet!


AUGUST 2013
MY BIRTHDAY MONTH!! We started this month off right with a trip to my favorite restaurant...The Melting Pot. Best.Place.Ever. We went with Matt's brother and sister in law. We love spending time with them. They are alot of fun! We finished off the night with dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. YUMM!!
Check out the link below for all the fun birthday details!! Melting Pot, drag races, out of country travel!!

Kelly's Birthday Blog!

Along with all the birthday fun we were still in the midst of football/cheer season (YEAH!) and then the dreaded school year started. Emma went into middle school (WHAT??!! I am not even old enough to have a kid in middle school! I demand a recount!!), Landon started 2nd grade and Chase went into 1st grade.

Along with all this fun, Emma started horseback riding lessons (thanks Grandma!!!) and I helped build a float for Tallmadge Youth Football for the annual light parade. Um, yeah. That was fun.


Landon's first game. Luckily he was playing aganist one of his friends.


All 3 kids game schedule. It was a little nuts.


Landon and Chase first day of school!


Emma first day of school!


My absolute favorite picture of Landon, like, ever.


The float I helped make.


Not too shabby.


Middle school orientation. She looks like she might cry...LOL


Drag races!!


SEPTEMBER 2013 
Basically this month was nothing but Football and Cheer. It was driving, practices, games, etc. All that fun stuff. Now I leave you with some pictures. Seriously, just football and cheer.


My boy Landon. 


Chase Flag Football 2013


Emma Cheer 2013


Love this picture Emma's grandma took. Just love it!


Landon Football 2013


OCTOBER 2013
This is the start of our busy season. Not going to bore you all with the small details, but here is a small recap of the month.

Chase Field trip
Family Pictures
Visit to Amish Country
Class Halloween Parties
Pumpkin Farm
Carving Pumpkins
Chase Stitches (of course)
Trick or Treating (3 times)

And make sure you throw in football / cheer for 3/4 of the month and to/from visiting grandma in the nursing home.

The BIGGEST news of the month is my husband moved to FIRST SHIFT!! See, when I met him he worked 2nd shift. So for 10 years my husband worked second shift. It was retail second shift so like noon to 9 pm. It was very hard on all of us. We were so thankful that he even had a job and a job that he kept for so long. He has been promoted and changed positions numerous times but always had to work that stupid shift. Finally he got a promotion that gave him the opportunity to work Monday - Friday from 9-5. It has been the biggest blessing. And of course he started the new shift right after football/cheer ended....LOL


My three weirdos


Two of the three weirdos


Learning some car skills from daddy


Apparently he ran into a wall / got tripped by his brother. 


Emma's beautiful hair for family pictures


Matt and I before pictures


I don't hardly ever take a selfie. I attempted and it turned out GREAT!


NOVEMBER 2013
Such a busy month.
Chase's birthday was first. We partied like it was 1999 at Chuck E Cheese. Please shoot me now.
We did lots of home improvements since we were hosting Thanksgiving this year. Just some small stuff.
We did the whole Thanksgiving thing with Matt's family.
I went Black Friday shopping. .I got a ton of great deals. It.Was.Awesome.
Landon's birthday was the day after Thanksgiving. We took the boys to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and out to Fazoli's for lunch. They had such a great time. It was kids day there and they received so many freebies! Totally worth all the chaos.
I know it doesn't seem like we did alot but seriously. I don't think we slowed down to pee the whole month.


Playing with the robots that Aunt Sam and Uncle Josh got them.


Pro Football Hall of Fame


Check out my awesome football men!


Birthday boy  keeps losing teeth!!


DECEMBER 2013
I am not going to go much into it but my grandma took a turn for the worse. She is back at my aunt's house for the time being. So we have been over there almost every single day. I think since Thanksgiving we have missed 3 days total.
In early December we had a TON of family come in from out of state. It was great. I had so much fun seeing and talking with my family. I hated the reason they were all here but it was awesome just to spend some time with everyone.
Other then my grandma, December was a pretty tame month. I got most of the shopping done in November. I wrapped all the presents in early December. House was kept up daily. It was all good. It was good up until Emma got the flu on Christmas Eve Eve. Ugh. We had to cancel almost all of our plans. I didn't want to get anyone else sick. I just hoped and prayed that the rest of us didn't get sick. Emma got a prescription for Tamiflu, luckily it was very affordable. By Tuesday night she was feeling great. On Christmas morning we all woke up feeling great. All of our plans were still cancelled so we had a nice, chill kind of day at home. We did venture out and visit my grandma for awhile. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend Christmas with her. She wasn't even supposed to still be around for Christmas. It was completely awesome to have me and the kids spend time with her. We took lots of pictures too!!!


My selfie with grandma on New Years Eve.


Me and my love.


Seriously. 11 years old. Whatever.


Grandma and her men on Christmas.


Two of my favorite men. Yes. For real.


Another decent selfie!


Last but not least, our tree.



And that my friends is 2013 in review. I know it's super long and I know there are a thousand pictures.
We have had a wonderful 2013. We were blessed in numerous ways. This year I was consciously aware of how much stuff and money we have. This year marks the second year we have not had any credit cards. And look at all we have done. Look at all the trips. Look at the braces. Look at back to school. Look at the parties. Look at Christmas. Everything paid for in cash. Granted, we are not where we want to be but we are getting there. Slowly but surely we are getting there.

Oh and the friendships I have made. Oh the friendships. They have grown by leaps and bounds. I feel very blessed to have these women and some men in my life.

My relationship with Christ has also grown by leaps and bounds. I feel sane. I feel like I can kick life in the butt with God by my side. I have been through some things in this last year that I did not write about. They are way to personal. (I am not hiding anything but somethings do not need to be out there). I have learned to rely heavily on the Lord. Seriously. You have to just give it to him. I have learned through many many situations that I CANNOT do it. I can't. It is impossible.

And last but not least, my husband. We are a normal couple. We have ups and we have downs. This year I am pretty confident that we have had more ups than downs. I think after 9 years of marriage we are starting to get the hang of this. Now if we could just contain our oh so lovely outburst towards each other, that would be much better.

I am starting this year working on a few things. I am working on my mouth, oh my mouth. Horrible things just fly out. Ugh. I am still working on getting myself healthy. I have some small goals set and I am going to work my butt off and completely those goals. I have goals for my children too. I am not going into those right now but I cannot wait to see how life unfolds for them in the next year.

2014 is going to be a great year for me and my family. I hope and pray that it is for your too! Enjoy the last few pictures!!