Unexpected news

Six-ish weeks ago…

I called Adam at work, blurting out I was pregnant, crying uncontrollably and then apologizing uncontrollably. And then I called him back a few hours later apologizing for totally losing it and dropping news like that on him in the middle of the day at work.

Then he brought me these six beautiful roses on his way home from work. Six because that will be the new number of members in our family. Because even though we were done having kids, he loves me and this new life inside me. And he knew I was severely struggling with this unexpected news.

Today…

I’m not going to lie: I’m still struggling a bit. Like I said, we had decided we were done. We had “moved on” from this part of our lives and really ready to see what was next for our family and our marriage.

But God has another vision. The problem? I can’t quite see it. I can’t really see my future life with another child. I had already mentally and emotionally stepped into what I thought our future was going to be, with our current three kids. Though I’m starting, just this week, to get small, quick glimpses of a very brief moment with a baby. Like walking from the car to church with Lucas and an infant. But that’s all I’ve got.

The good thing? I know that God’s vision is perfect. In my mind, even in my heart, I know it. Deep down, I totally know that God has a perfect plan for my life and the life of my family.

And honestly, embracing this is the only thing I can do at this point. It’s real. And although totally unplanned, it’s totally happening. Embrace it, right? Yep, that’s what I’m gonna do.

I think, like this pregnancy, we’ll wait to see the baby’s gender until birth. Seems fitting to start life outside as a surprise as well.

So, I’m almost 12 weeks, due May 12th. In case you were wondering. 🙂 Oh, and if you have maternity clothes I could borrow, I would be indebted to you forever. Because, obviously, I gave away all mine after baby #2, because I was done having kids.

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Dead or alive?

Alive, I am, believe it or not.

Just not on here. Just not with things that are appropriate to say right now in a public place. Not yet. Not ever in some of those inappropriate moments in my head.

The good thing? It’s fall. And I love fall.

The smell, the colors, the weather. Oh Indiana, how I do love your season called Fall.

Also? Halloween. It’s so great. Decorating the house, buying costumes with excited little girls who have been planning their costumes since November 1st of last year! (sense a little bit of sarcasm there?)

One thing I love about Halloween is the Children’s Museum haunted house. We go every year with the kids and always have so much fun. This year, Lucas and I were lucky enough to get a sneak peak of the “Wicked Workshop” before yesterday’s opening day.

It was really great – and totally different (I felt) from prior years. From walking through a giant pumpkin, complete with “guts” hanging from the inside…

 

To finding little witches helpers in each room (taking the place of the little pics hiding on the wall of each room)…

 

To walking through a glow-in-the-dark MASSIVE black cat…

 

To finally making our way through a pitch-black maze with sporadic bright, blinking lights…

And while Lucas didn’t love it (he kept saying “walk! walk! walk!” when I wanted to stop and see the details), I can’t wait to take the girls back. This year, I get to take Alaina to frightening hours and Adam gets to take Cami to friendly hours. And thanks to the library’s summer reading program, we already have our tickets in hand!

I do have to say, I think this year’s haunted house is by far the best I’ve seen in several years. It didn’t feel like the same place, just redecorated, like in the past. It’s so well done this year. The Museum should be proud.

And while I might have seemed as dead as many of the skeletons in the haunted house over the last 6 weeks, I promise my heart is starting to beat a bit more, and I’m starting to feel like writing again. So look for some changes around here coming soon.

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{scaredy} cat in the {lame-o} hat

Friends, I have *always* dreamed of being on Broadway. My rock star dreams as a child (ok, maybe not only as a child) were replaced by Broadway dreams when I hit middle school. I loved musicals – everything about them made me happy: the cheesy music, the corny choreography, the elaborate costumes and crazy stage make-up. Granted, I was in middle school, but I dreamed of being on a bigger stage with inspiring music and amazing choreography.

My parents took me to see Cats in Fox Theatre in Detroit the summer before my freshman year of high school. I cried, several times, because it was so powerful for me. And maybe I cried because I knew it would never be me on that stage.

Fast foward to last month, when a friend forwarded me an email announcing open auditions for Seussical, a musical based on the books of Dr. Seuss, at a local theater just a few blocks from my house. Instantly I thought of Alaina, my oldest, and she was immediately on board with auditioning. She has fallen in  love with acting over the last year and was super excited for an opportunity to audition.

And then I started wondering why I wasn’t auditioning. “Why not?” kept creeping into my head…

Here’s “why not”: I’m a scaredy cat. And I’m totally lame to not try to overcome my fear of getting rejected.

But I just don’t think I can do it. It’s been FOR. EVER. since I’ve sang in front of anyone (save for karaoke). I haven’t EVER auditioned for anything REAL. And it’s been 20 years since I’ve been on stage. I really would have NO IDEA where to even begin. I would be a fish out of water.

But I totally want to do it. OH, THE INNER STRUGGLE!

I have an idea though: One of you should audition with me! How fun would that be?! COME ON! Audition with me!!! I really don’t think I can do it on my own.

And I promise not to egg your car if you get cast and I don’t.

PUH-LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE?

(I think, I mean, I really do want to, but if you commit, then I’ll have to, and like I said, I’m a scaredy cat. But maybe I just need the push?)

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and then it got better. and worse. and then better.

I really should write things out more often. You know, remember that it helps me. Because after my post this afternoon and Lucas chilled out from waking up on the wrong side of the crib (like always), I vacuumed. And it felt good.

And then it got worse. I picked up the kids from school and the minute I dropped the neighbor boys off, Alaina made Cami cry because she gave her a knuckle sandwich that was WAY too hard. And then as Alaina was getting out of the car, I noticed that she had colored her 1/2 the side of her hair with yellow highlighter during school. During a lesson that she had finished before the rest of the class. She wondered if it would work, and when it did, she just kept coloring. Nice. So happy she’s utilizing her extra class time well.

But then it got better. We went shoe shopping and I got a new pair of running shoes – the same pair as my current worn-out ones that I love – in a great blue color. And for 40% off, which was even better. Then I got paid for my elephant ear stand work at the fair, which more than covered my shoes. Even better.

We had a great family dinner. Laughed at my kids till I cried. Twice. We decided to go to the park to run off some of their energy.

And then I locked us out of the house.

And our friends who have a spare key weren’t home and the sitter, of course, didn’t know anything about where our key may or may not be. (We weren’t totally sure if they still had the key in the first place.) So we borrowed an extension ladder for our friends down the street and Adam climbed into our 2nd story bathroom window, and Alaina shouted “Daddy! Don’t fall into the toilet!!”

Thankfully, I ended the evening with a great 2 mile walk with a friend (the same friends who graciously let us interrupt their dinner to dig the ladder out of lock-up and drive it to our house so Adam wouldn’t have to carry it 2 blocks by himself). Great conversation and a good exercise always make me feel better.

Another thing you’d think I’d remember…

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blah

It’s the best word to explain how I’m feeling right now. I don’t know if it’s the rain today or the extra 5 pounds I’ve put on this year (despite exercising more than I have in years) or what, but I’m doubting most of everything about myself right now.

I’m doubting the choices I make daily as a parent.

I’m wondering why I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere anymore.

I’m trying to figure out why I don’t feel like I can commit to a new church, even though I love it.

I don’t understand why I won’t get off my butt and make myself look better.

I’m uncomfortable in most situations right now. This is not like me. I’m normally quite flexible and enjoy being in new places with new people.

I’m not totally content with our (recent) choice to not have any more kids. Yet, I feel totally uneasy about having another.

I’m tired. My house is a mess. And instead of cleaning it I’m writing this instead. Doesn’t make sense to me, yet here I am doing it.

Maybe it’s just a back-to-school transition. I don’t know. But whatever it is, I’m ready for it to be gone.

And cue Lucas to wake up from his nap right when I’m in the middle of doing something.

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after-school snacks

a.k.a. “The Death of Me”

My girls head back to school tomorrow and even after a great summer, I am so ready for a normal schedule to be in place. The one thing I’m not looking forward to is the complaining about not having good after-school snacks.

So this year? We’re nipping it in the butt early. This week we’re making some easy and healthy snacks for the girls to munch on while doing homework. And I thought I’d share them with you (of course, hoping you would share some with me too!).

The first one is so so simple: Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches. Simply cut a banana in half, lengthwise and spread with peanut butter to your liking.

Replace the other half of the banana on top and cut in half. Place on lined cookie sheet and freeze for a few hours. Once frozen, put them all in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for eating.

Of course, they would be really good with mini chocolate chips in them too, but I try to keep the sweets consumption minimal until after dinner.

With one exception: Power Balls. This is the second snack that is a must-have in our house.  And they have chocolate chips in them, which the kids love. 🙂 One of my favorites about these: Alaina (almost 10) can make them almost entirely on her own. 

I got this recipe from my friend Christina when we visited Holland, MI last month. And we’ve made these several times since. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup peanut butter (with no or low sugar)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (I use walnuts)

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (I just use raisins)

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 1/2 to 2 cups rolled oats (I use 1 3/4 cups – I think it depends on the PB you use.)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Once all the dry ingredients are wet, roll into balls and place on cookie sheet. (Make them however big or small you want. I made this recipe into 24 balls and they were a perfect size.) Refrigerate until completely set, then transfer into an airtight container to store in the fridge. 

I’m hoping planning ahead with snacks like these will make the transition back to school more seamless. We’re also going to make blueberry zucchini muffins and hard-boiled eggs to help with breakfast choices. (Cami is completely fine with cereal or oatmeal every morning, but Alaina decided she doesn’t like cereal this summer. Of course.)

Have any quick and healthy snack options? Please share!!!

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Love Letter : Wordless Wednesday

This is what I found on the bed when I got to the hotel last night to join Adam for a conference in San Diego.

 

He loves me so.

 

 

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Mosquito bite cure!

We have always had so many mosquitoes in our yard. It’s like we live in a freaking forest or something. And everyone in my family gets eaten alive every spring, summer and fall.

Somehow, over the years, we learned the secret to making mosquito bites vanish. Yes! VANISH!

Deodorant.

I’m totally serious. If you get a mosquito bite, rub deodorant 3-4 times over the bite as soon as possible. The faster you get to the bite the better it works.

Today, I was bitten several times while picking veggies out of the garden. I put deodorant on my bites and within three hours every one of my bites was gone. Itch and all. Here’s proof:

 

Of course, we still use bug spray before we go outside, but on those days we forget, or when the kids bolt outside without spray, we rub deodorant on newly bitten body parts right when they come inside.

For those of you wondering how it works? Deodorant contains some form of aluminum chloride which somehow neutralizes the itch and the swelling from mosquito bites. Pretty cool, huh?

 

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loud = toddlers and motorcycles (a giveaway!)

This little guy?

He’s kicking my butt.

He’s destroying my house. He’s not sleeping well. He’s throwing fits (you know, because 2 really starts when they’re 20 mos old). He’s running. Constantly. Everywhere. Fast. He’s loud.

But man do I love him. He gives me happiness that only a toddler can. He gives me kisses, even in public. He says “love you” when I tell him I love him. He gets so excited when I play baseball or basketball with him. And when I suggest racing cars down our small wedge mat? He races away to get anything with wheels.

That’s why I’m so excited to take him to the Red Bull MotoGP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, August 19th thanks to Indiana Dairy. He’s going to FREAK OUT when he sees all those motorcycles in one place! I can’t wait to see his face. This boy is going to have so much fun seeing those bikes get up to 200 mph, especially since race day consists of several sprint races.

Wanna sit with me and Lucas at the race? 

I’m serious! Indiana Dairy has provided me with 4 tickets to the race – two for me and two for a lucky winner! All you have to do is leave a comment below stating why you want to go.

You can earn up to two extra entries:

  1. Share this giveaway on Facebook and come back leaving another comment telling me you did so.
  2. Tweet about this giveaway and come back leaving another comment with the link to the tweet. Here’s an easy one: “Win 2 tickets to the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP race @IMS with @katieunscripted thanks to @INDairy. http://wp.me/p1hksh-9U”

The giveaway is open through noon on Sunday, August 12th. One winner will be randomly chosen to receive 2 tickets to the race on Monday, August 13th and contacted via email, so please make sure you leave an email address that you check regularly. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Come on! It’ll be so fun. Even if you don’t know me. I promise. I don’t bite and I’ll even wear deoderant. 🙂

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Feeding the hungry, IN State Fair style (and Giveaway!)

I haven’t been grocery shopping for too long. So last night I served pizza rolls, 4 scrambled eggs, 6 pieces of bacon, hashbrowns and fresh carrots to my family of 5 for dinner. Cameran was not happy with my selections (which was seriously almost all the food in our house) – and then she realized that there were kids and families who eat less than this every single day, with no other option. She quickly quieted and ate her food, sitting at our dining room table, with her entire family intact, under the roof of a more than adequate home.

Living in the city is hard. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I often struggle with the things I see from my front porch:

  • a failing public school system
  • poverty
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • homelessness
  • single-parent homes
  • violence
  • hunger

Every single one of those I listed above affects the people of my city. And it breaks my heart that so many children and families are struggling with such difficult problems each and every day.

Here’s the thing: we can help those in need. And in a way that makes my State Fair loving heart happy.

Indiana State Fair attendees who follow the Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFOF) Recipe Trail at the fairgrounds will help feed the hungry (and win a prize while you’re at it).

For each person who finishes the trail, IFOF is partnering with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) to donate one pound of food to food banks across Indiana. A total of 2,000 pounds of food was donated last year. This year’s goal is 3,000 pounds! So that means 3,000 people are needed to go through the recipe trail to attain the goal.

All you need to do is collect recipe cards from 8 locations around the Fairgrounds and bring them to the Family of Farmers Booth at the DuPont Food Pavilion where you will collect your 9th card. (Recipe cards will feature recipes from real farmers around Indiana and highlight Indiana’s commodities such as pork, beef, poultry, soybeans, corn, lamb, fish and dairy along with an Indiana wine pairing. On the flip side of the cards, State Fairgoers will meet the farmer and read a personal food story from his or her family.) There, you will win a special prize for completing the trail and have a chance to register for the daily dairy giveaway and the grand prize of a Frigidaire® chest freezer.

How cool is that? All you have to do is walk around the State Fair and pick up 9 recipe cards and a pound of food will be donated to an Indiana food bank. Easy peasy.

Wanna know what else is easy peasy? Winning 2 Indiana State Fair tickets and a set of Dairy Coupons (2 Milkshakes, 2 Grilled Cheese & 2 Kid Meals) thanks to Indiana’s Family of Farmers! All you have to do is leave one comment below sharing something relevant to this post. (You have to do this to be entered into the giveaway.)

Want to increase your chances of winning? You can earn up to 2 more entries by:

  1. Sharing this post on Facebook. Come back and leave another comment telling me you did so with a link to your personal Facebook page.
  2. Tweeting about this giveaway. Something like this: “Enter to win 2 tix+food to @IndyStateFair from @FamilyofFarmers and learn how to help @FeedINsHungry donate food too! http://wp.me/p1hksh-9y”. Again, come back and leave another comment telling me you tweeted with a link to the tweet.

Details: The contest is open through Wednesday, July 25th. The winner will be chosen and contacted via email on Thursday, July 26th (so please make sure your email address is included in at least one of your comments below so I can reach you). The winner will have 24 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen.

(You can also head over to GotchaBabyIndianapolis with Kids and Redefining Perfect to enter their giveaways too.)

Even if you don’t win, you definitely still need to go to the State Fair and do the Recipe Trail to help IFOF and FIsH donate at least 3,000 pounds of food this year. Want to go on the cheap? Find out how here.

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Disclosure: As an IFOF Ambassador, I received two tickets (plus food coupons) to attend the Indiana State Fair and two tickets (plus food coupons) for this giveaway. This is a sponsored post, though as always, all thoughts and opinions are totally mine, mine, mine. (As Lucas would say. And let’s be honest, Alaina and Cami too.)

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