Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

 Today is Halloween!  This little guy was pretty excited!

But let's be real, the day wasn't all smiles and giggles. . . We had our meltdown moments too.

After our naps we went and visited Daddy at work to show off our costume.  Mom of the year here did not get a picture. . . 
She did however get one at Papa's office:

 We then went to the Schuh's where Leo loved the puppies!  To say he was in heaven might be an understatement.  Many squeals of delight were given for Celeste, Brody, and Lucy (Sorry for the quality of daddy's phone camera)

We swung by Mary's and then Carmen's where Leo was treated to a whole bag of peanut m&ms.  (haha, daddy picked those out)

And then went to Grammie and Papa's where Leo rang the doorbell and Ryan and I played the part of parents who just stand there.  Leo was pretty happy to see those two familiar faces through the door.

What a fun night!  Leo, next year we can do it all over again.  Take you around, show off your cuteness, and eat the candy for you. Deal? Deal!


Last weekend we hopped in the car and took full advantage of an opportunity to spend the weekend with the Eukens!  We met them in Ames where they had plans to tailgate for the ISU football game.  We started off Saturday morning with a little pool time at the hotel:
Mollie was very happy to see her cousin! Auntie Lannie (yaya) also got some sweet love:

Then it was time to tailgate.  Leoeo borrowed up some Cyclone gear from cousin Mollie and made sure Uncle Bret was all ready:

He sent Daddy and Uncle Bret on their way a little early so he could stay home and take a nap:

Once the kids were up we hopped in the strollers and made our way over to campus:
Leo was giving lots and lots of snuggles:

 He made sure Auntie Kitty did not get cold!!

Thanks Nichols family for letting us tailgate with you right near the stadium:

So thankful for this amazing woman!  She is a sister, mentor, best friend, she does it all.  I love her so much!  

Thanks to the Eukens and Wulfekuhles for letting us come visit!  We think we may have adopted a team :-)  We see more tailgates in our future!  Maybe they will be a tad warmer though. . . 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Punchkin Patch

 Sunday was BEAUTIFUL in all senses of the word.  75 degrees in mid October, we will take it!!  We took full advantage of the weather and after a morning walk and afternoon nap we ventured south to the pumpkin patch.
There was lots of fun to be had.
 Leo rode in style while on the quest to find the perfect pumpkin.  Aren't they handsome?!  (I might be biased)
 Leo was so busy watching the tractor drive by that he just could not smile for the camera. 

He was also on a quest to find the perfect pumpkin.

 He tried bumpy ones, 

and big ones, 

  and finally set his sights on the PERFECT pumpkin.
It was just his size!

Hooray for Mom getting to be in a picture!!
Leo was so excited about his pumpkin.  He showed his excitement in numerous attempts to eat it!

What a fun family outing!  Leo's pumpkin is now sitting on the front walkway outside our door.  I wish I had video of him trying to crash through the door to get to it. . . It has turned into simply licking the door :-) Love love.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

9 Months

Where they go I will never know but here we are at Month 9!  There has been so much happening lately around here:
We spent a weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's where Leo decided that sitting up was not such a bad thing after all:

 We have been spending more time here:     Shout out to Auntie Kitty for the great hat!

We spent time with sweet cousin Crosby and Nannie and Big Papa:

We are on the move and chewing on EVERYTHING!  Right Auntie Aimee??
 We have been spending as much time outside as possible doing this:

17lb 15oz (25%ile)
29 in (75%ile!!!)

Feeding Himself- Loves toast with jelly, veggies, fruit, cheerios, puffs, yogurt melts, string cheese, mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberries, and any kind of bread.
Cousins, Aunties, Uncles, Grandparents, Great Grandparents
Airplane Rides
Chewing- Anything and everything!

Serious faces- Smiles are plentiful, just not for the camera. . . 
 Moving-A persistent little guy who is typically on a mission to get something. . . 

Sitting up- he can't get down yet and please don't teach him to.  I can still get some things done if I sit him up.

Being alone 
The carseat- this is new, he whines when I put him in. . . 
Waiting to eat- mealtime is serious around here and if food is not cut up and put out fast enough you will hear about it!
Taking pictures!

And finally. . . One of my favorite pictures of the month. . . 

Leo, what a blessing you are to us!  We love you!  Keep growing!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thankful: Littles

 I am so thankful for Littles.  What joy they bring to life.  Nothing is boring with them around.  There is so much to see, so much to do, so much to take in, so so so much to learn.  They seem to keep you on your toes and are not afraid to point out when you are not doing something as they would like.   Old things have new meaning when littles are around- who else would make a water table out of a toilet or walk around with a bucket on their head?   Yes, they are a lot of work.  We get less sleep than we used to.   We love a whole lot more than we used to.  It makes up for the less sleep thing.  I would have a million littles if I could.  Ryan would probably not go for that but the love in my heart is just something I am so thankful for.  I am thankful that even though our little family will not be growing for a while, our big family can grow.  We can love on each of these littles as if they are our own and I am so thankful for that!
 Plus, who can resist these smiles?

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I feel like I have been walking around in a fog all week.   I have been having trouble listening and focusing.  Trouble expressing myself.  Trouble finding words.  None of this is completely out of the new normal for me but my brain is racing remembering exactly where I was and what I was doing 1 year ago.  I even remember what I was wearing, is that weird?!  I still get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

One year
12 months
52 weeks
365 days
8,765 hours
525,949 minutes
1 baby
15 chemotherapy treatments
33 radiation treatments
3 surgeries
3 hospital stays
countless doctor visits
1 life changing year

Want to know a secret?  I would not trade it for the world.  Yes, it was hard.  No, I don't ever want to go through it again or watch anyone I love go through it.  But. . .

 God. . .

God provided.  He came through in BIG ways.  Unexpected ways.  Small things that people would consider "coincidence" were perfectly orchestrated by God.  I made a list of "ways God provided."  It includes things like "the anesthesiologist at my surgery happened to be at my care conference in December" and "a friend of a friend accepted Leo at the special care nursery."  What a humbling experience to see the hand of God in so many parts of your everyday life.  I feel blessed in a way that God trusted me and my family this much to teach us so many of the lessons he did in the last year about faith, fear, believing, provision, and trust. 

I do not think I am the same person I was a year ago.  In fact, I know I am not.  I feel like I have a completely different perspective.  That my life is going in a new direction.  I feel like I have a handle on what is important, that I have learned to not sweat the small things and rest in the arms of a faithful, merciful, ever providing savior.  He knows so much better than I and it is best to let him lead and not try to direct him.  He has his reasons and He is sovereign.

I am thankful.  So thankful.  Thankful that I am here.  Thankful for God's provision.  Thankful for simple joys.  Thankful for each and every person that prayed for me, sent a card, a text, brought a meal, cleaned my house, cared for Leo, drove me to radiation, and on and on and on.  I would not be here without all of you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Those words will never be enough.  From the very bottom of my heart, thank you.

The last year has been a whirlwind.  Somewhere I never thought I would be.  It changed me forever.    Allowed me to touch other people in ways I never thought I could. Birthed some things in my life that are very, very dear to my heart. Re-centered my soul.  Brought me to the arms of the One Who Holds It All in a whole new way.  And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I can't do it justice.  Check out what Uncle Tipf put together here.

Thankful: Relationships

After spending the weekend in Texas (more on that later. . .) I realized how thankful I am for my family relationships.  These people:
They seriously make life worth living.  They are the reason I fought so hard to stay here!  
I know that not every family has relationships like this.  It made me all the more thankful for these people. We were giddy giddy giddy about getting together.  Some of us were ready to burst, and it was not the littles either.
 We LOVE each other.  I am thankful for that.  We don't just like the in-laws, we LOVE the in-laws.  I am thankful for that.  Our littles love each other.  I am thankful for that.  We can step in and correct each other's littles.  I am thankful for that.  We can offer advice and suggestions to one another.  I am thankful for that.  We can call each other on hard things.  I am thankful for that.  We can come into each others homes and feel comfortable to make ourselves at home.  I am thankful for that.  We love to laugh.  I am thankful for that.  So incredibly thankful for that because these littles give us lots to laugh about.  I am so thankful to do life with such a great inner circle.

Carrie Underwood!

 A few weeks ago Ryan and I got to go to the Carrie Underwood concert in Fargo.  Ryan gets emails about concerts and was able to buy tickets ahead of time.  He thought the seats were pretty good.  We had no idea.  We left Leo in Henning (thanks grandma and grandpa!) and off we went!

These ended up being our seats.  Nine rows from the stage.  Wow!

She has an amazing voice!

My sister did not think we were close enough and asked for a better picture.  Just then, the stage lifted up and she went right over our heads. 
 How is this??

God's timing is just so perfect.  This was the same week we found out that I am CANCER FREE!!  What an awesome way to celebrate!