hello, blog.

I thought before I started to post again, I would first apologize to my blog. I have been thinking about you, Dear Blog! And yes, I have also been busy. But not too busy that I couldn’t have come here to write.

I guess the real thing that held me back was that after posting pictures of little Benji, I should post about my birth story. But I didn’t want to post about my birth story. It actually makes me sad to think about how things turned out so differently than I had hoped. So, it’s taken me 11 months to come back and give myself permission to gloss over the past and start moving forward.

This year has simply flown by for me. My emergency c-section occurred at the beginning of year and the first few months of 2011 are a total blur. I have photographs that prove that I was up and about. But I have very little memory of the details of life. I slept a lot. I took a lot of pain meds. That was my day. I feel so sorry for any new moms who start out with their first baby in this way. It was so different from all my other past experiences. Why anyone who choose to schedule a c-section for convenience is beyond me! Give me 7 hours of labor with no pain meds. Yeah, that was hard work and painful, but oh so much more rewarding!

But I digress.

Due to all the things that happened during the last few months of my pregnancy, my doctor advised me to make this my last pregnancy. While a big part of me is okay with that, my mother’s heart is not okay with that. No, I don’t want to rush out and have another baby anytime soon. No, I don’t realistically see myself having another baby at 37 or 39! But I adore my children and I’ve spent the last 10 years being open to whatever God wanted to bring into our lives… so it’s strange now to be permanently closing that door. I’m at peace and I’m emotional. It’s such an odd mix!

So, my year has been full of doctor’s visits and new medications. There were several highlights! Katie took sailing lessons this summer (which was a gift from my mom). I was so very proud of her bravery and optimistic spirit. She was scared, but she did so many new things without hesitation!

That girl is amazing.

Joshua’s big news this year was that he started K/1st grade and he’s loving it! I was initially worried about juggling my two students, but I can usually do a lot of one-on-one work with Joshua while Katie works on her math and language arts books. After he finishes his own math and language arts, he goes off to play while I work with Katie. Then we all come together again for history (Joshua mainly colors), science and read-aloud time. We are all really having fun with school this year!

Joshua also lost his first tooth last month (which happened a lot sooner than Katie!):

And then there’s Penny. Ah, Penny!

She can be summed up as:

Independent. She thinks she can do everything else her siblings can do! Like pour the water into cups. Finally, I started letting her get things out of the fridge. She’s such a little helper—but sometimes so instant about it!

Trouble. She’s often getting into something. Thankfully, nothing as bad as my lipstick. But we keep an eye on her. She can’t be trusted!

Adorable. She’s so stinking cute. It’s hard to reprimand her and keep a straight face.

She’s started to talk in full sentences now. She’ll say things like “How are YOU doing?” or “a-My turn, Katie!” or “What’s DAT noise?” Precious!

She was climbing all over us at the table during school time, so I started giving her own things to mess around with, trusting her with the scissors and glue or giving her fun things, like dried beans, to play with. She loves it!

There is a hair cut coming in Penny’s future. It makes me sad, because it means that her curls are finally growing out. But on the other hand, she’s starting to look like an adorable, puffy-headed ragamuffin if I don’t pull her hair back in a ponytail!

And then there’s Benji. He’s almost a year old now…

At the moment, he’s competing with Penny for the title of “Biggest Trouble Maker.” He can crawl and pull himself up to standing. And of course, that means we have been checking the floors continually and I have a nice collection of small toys living up on the shelf by my desk. Walking is next. Oh, boy! I think I need a few more baby gates…

As for me, I had a few great things happen this year (after I came out of my drug-induced stupor, that is). First, I joined Weight Watchers in May with my mom. I have lost 18 pounds to date. I never thought I would love a program like WW, but I do! It’s in line with my goals to eat “cleaner” (they encourage you to get in lots of fruits and veggies) and because I’m paying for WW each month… I’m actually eating lots of carrots, bananas, grapes and spinach salads instead of just thinking “Oh, that’s so nice. I should do that!” And I cannot tell you how good it feels to get rid of this fat. The person I see in the mirror is not the person I remember being. I put on 10 pounds with each new baby over the years! Now I’ve lost my “Benji” weight and almost all of my “Penny” weight. I’m close to half way now.

I also got a haircut when I reached my first goal:

That alone makes me feel like myself again! I also recently hit my next goal, so I am looking forward to doing some clothes shopping, too! It’s been a good 7 1/2 years since I bought more than just a new shirt or pair of pants.

Other highlights from this year: This summer we finally found a church home! We’ve been here for almost two years now. The search was long and I had really given up hope. We also celebrated our first Halloween. It was a blast! The kids loved dressing up. And Travis and I celebrated our 9th anniversary—which means that a lot of little 10th anniversary dates are happening now. Ten years ago we were engaged. We celebrated our 10th Thanksgiving together. And soon we’ll celebrate our 10th Christmas, too. It’s amazing to think that it’s been that long… and that I love this man more than EVER! He really is my best friend.

(I was trying to take a picture of my new hair cut. He came in and started messing with my shots and making me laugh. Goof!)

So, now December is upon us. Benji will be one on New Year’s Eve. We will have both parties and doctor’s appointments galore. It will be busy, crazy and hopefully still a lot of fun!

That was basically my 2011.

One. Big. Blur.

Here’s to 2012!

3 Responses to “hello, blog.”

  1. Jenn Says:

    Nicole, I loved reading this and catching up with you and your family. Congrats on the weight loss and all the wonderful things you’ve got going on! I miss ya!!!

  2. Tammy L Says:

    Loved your update! So much sweetness… your kids are adorable!! 🙂

  3. Amy Hoogstad Says:

    While I’ve not had the same struggles – I feel the same way about 2011 being a big blur. This year just flew by, I can hardly catch my breath. I’m excited for what 2012 will bring:)

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