Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Holidays....


We are kicking off the holidays with the making of our Gingerbread houses! 

Yesterday was a yucky day...  So, I decided to make gingerbread houses with the boys last night! 

Who says twins are the same.... You will see from the pictures that they definitely are NOT!  We had some good laughs last night...  Lleyton is very precise as where to place his candy.  Matthew was serious as well, but he has more of a messy artistic style!  LOL! 


This would be Lleyton's!

This would be Matthew's!  Hee Hee!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Masterbath Remodel...

We have finally, FINALLY completed the master bath! 

It has only taken us a couple of months...ugh!

We are pretty proud of our work, I thought I would give a little preview of what we have been up to!!

I'm sure you are wondering if that is carpet in my bathroom... YES!  Is that not gross or what?!  I couldn't wait to get rid of it... Who puts carpet in a bathroom??? 
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of what the cabinets looked like before, but they were just the natural oak and I stained them a dark espresso!  LOVE!

Getting ready for the tile man!  We debated on whether or not to take on the floor ourselves, but chickened out!  Thank goodness...  Our tile man, JOE, did an amazing job!

Ahhhh!  I couldn't be happier!!!

Yipee!  All done!!

I hope you enjoyed checking out our latest project! 
We are trying to finish up around here before this baby arrives...
Just a couple more jobs!  I will post them as well!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm BACK!!!

Well, it definitely has been awhile since my last post... 

Lots and Lots and Lots have happened since my last June post... I'm going to try and put everything in one post... keep your fingers crossed!

As everyone knows, Mark returned from AFG, and we couldn't have been more excited and blessed he is back living the crazy with us.  We left for a week after his return and headed to Destin, FL.  We had a blast and I think we could have stayed for two more weeks!  The boys absolutely love the beach and swimming! 

I made a couple trips back to STL but for the most part we spent the rest of the summer starting and finishing projects around the house. 

Oh ya... Did I mention I'm EXPECTING!!!

Crazy how things happen...  So, that is why from July and August I wasn't feeling too hot and really couldn't go anywhere... yuck!  Our due date is April 3rd...!  So, the boys will be 3years and 2months apart... OH BOY!    Of course we found out the sex... I just couldn't wait...  it's another BOY!!!  If my house isn't crazy now I can only imagine how nuts it will be ... All you can do is laugh!!!  Now, I finally have my energy back and haven't been getting sick which has been so helpful.  I am getting things done around here!!  Thank goodness...!!

We just got back from an awesome visit with our best friends in Norfolk, VA.... We had an amazing time and I just can't believe how big their girls are getting...oh my goodness!  I have the most beautiful God Daughter...  Thank goodness I have a God Daughter, she's the only one I will get to spoil with lots and lots of girlie pink!!!  hee hee!  Thanks Mike and Christine for such an amazing week, I miss you guys terribly!

We returned back home to Trick-or-Treat like rock stars and celebrated my 30th Birthday.  Holy Cow, I can't believe I'm 30...  I had an amazing birthday, it is so much fun to share in all the Halloween fun with the boys.  I just couldn't of asked for a better day!

Now all the Halloween decorations are down and we are looking forward to Thanksgiving...  But I'm just dying to decorate for Christmas!  Not to mention we are patiently waiting for our elf on the shelf to come...  Oh wait until the boys set there eyes and mind around this!!  hee hee!  Fun fun!

Well, I didn't go into too much detail, but I think you kind of get what has been going on here the last couple of months... I will keep the posts coming!
I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

(I have tried for two days now to download some more pictures... no luck...!  I don't know what is taking so long... UGH!)


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Transportation Museum...Chooo Chooo!

Well, while in St. Louis NaNa came to visit and took the boys to Transportation Museum.  As you can imagine they loved every second of it and I am sure if they could they would have wanted to bring the Choo Choo's home with them!

On another note, I finally got Lleyton to get a hair cut!  No more hippie wig!  Thank God!
People were starting to ask what "HER" name was...
How embarrassing!!


I had to add this pic...  It makes me laugh!
My Lleyton is always checking out the ladies!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

All Back Together Again!

Yes, it is true....

We are all back together again!!!

Mark arrived home on Tuesday evening and we could not have been more excited!! 

It was the sweetest moment...

Lleyton saw him and went racing right through security.  There were 3 TSA agents standing there and they raced over to stop him... REALLY...!  It was still a great moment!  We love our daddy... He is a big HERO in our eyes!

Welcome home daddy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Living Every Day Like Its Your Last!!

I had to share this...
This was a post from one of the blogs I read.  
If there is one thing I have taken from this experience with my Uncle, is live every moment to the fullest, tell those you love how much you love them, don't sweat the small things, because you never know when your last day will be...

I see being a Mom like anything else. The more you practice it, the better you get at it. Just like riding a bike, or playing an instrument. I think my kids would agree if you asked them. I am not the same person I was 10 or 12 years ago. God has done a lot in me during that time. He has used my kids often to refine and mold me. I am a better person and a better Mother because of them.

I have been told numerous times that I must have loads of patience. Patience is something that is learned. It is not something we are born with. It is not something we can one day just wake up with. In fact, I a firm believer that the more you are tested, the more patience you acquire. I have seen this in my own life. I am much more patient now than I was a decade ago. It has taken time to get where I am. I did not just wake up one day oozing with patience. Does this mean that I never lose my cool? Absolutely not. I am human, not a superwoman. However, I do feel that patience is something I had to learn. And the more I have practiced it, the better I have gotten at it. Don't believe me? Just give it try. Start practicing some patience and before you know it, you will become an expert.

I used to sweat the small things. I used to freak out when the house was messy or someone spilled a drink. I freaked out when things got chaotic. Or when the 2 year old had a tantrum in Walmart. Things change. And I am so glad they do. Because now, I don't really care that much what my house looks like. We live here. It can't be a museum and it certainly is not worth making myself insane about. Spills.. they happen too. And getting upset over it isn't going to get it cleaned up. It took me a while to realize that everyone's 2 year old has tantrums in public at some point. It happens. I have learned to take things in stride.

I used to have to make sure every time we left the house everyone looked perfect. I liked their hair combed. Their outfits to be matching and their faces and hands to be clean. I admit, I like the clean part, but in terms of everything else... I am just happy if we make it out of the house and everyone has underwear on under their clothes. Seriously, why did I waste *so* much time caring about any of it? These days, Lulu is often seen out in public wearing a tutu, her favorite baseball cap and sporting her infamous cowboy boots. She will only be two once. Does it really matter how she looks when we are out?

I think the greatest thing I have learned on this journey of Motherhood, is how very precious every moment truly is. Once upon a time I didn't understand this. I wished for the baby to sleep through the night. I wished for the toddler years to pass more quickly. I hurried through life. I couldn't wait for the next stage. The thing is, they go fast enough on their own without me trying to make them pass faster. If I could I would go back and just enjoy my children more. I would relish each moment longer. I would drink in the sweetness of each newborn baby. I would marvel at the adorableness of my toddlers. I would laugh more and stress less. I wouldn't wish a single moment away.

I am loved every second of my last few children's babyhood. I don't care how tired I am. It doesn't matter if they are fussy. Or if the house doesn't get cleaned because I am holding them all day. All too quick they aren't a baby anymore and all of this time with them will be a distant memory. With each baby I have, I enjoy them that much more. And each one that comes, comes also the realization of how very fast time goes by and how precious each moment is. They are gift. Motherhood is a gift.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What It Means To Be An Uncle... By Billy Hopkins (my brother!)

Yesterday, this was the speech my brother gave in front of 500 plus people.  At my Uncles funeral mass...

I just thought he did such an amazing job, I had to share!

What it means to be an Uncle?

I want to say thank you to my Aunt Mary Patrice, and my cousins Mara and Kit for giving me the chance to come up here and share with you what my uncle meant to me growing up and what he means to me today.

Two years ago I became an uncle myself to twin boys, Matthew and Lleyton, whom many of you have had the chance of babysitting over the past month (you are the brave ones in the crowd).  I will never forget the phone call I got from my sister telling me that she was pregnant with twin boys. I remember thinking back and saying to myself, “Gosh Billy, what in the heck do you know about being an uncle; you can’t even feed a goldfish let alone be a good example to two little boys.” So over the next few days/weeks I sat there and pondered my future. I kept repeating to myself the same thought, “If you can be half of what your Uncle Peter is to you, you will have exceeded all expectations for these two boys.”

For those of you who don’t know me, my uncle and I had a very special and unique relationship. He was a friend, a mentor and in some ways like that cool older brother everyone always wanted. As I looked back on the experiences with my uncle it was immediately clear to me the lessons he gifted me that I would hopefully be able to pass on to my nephews:

1. What it’s like to drive at 100 mph and get pulled over and tell the Oklahoma State Trooper, “I am sorry I was speeding but my nephew is sick—he’s eaten the entire box of licorice and I am racing to get him back to his parents in St. Louis.” This lesson was speeding, when accompanied by a little white lie is okay – as long as you’re wearing your seat belt.  As Uncle Peter always said.
2. The importance of learning how to fish. Once, on a family trip to Texas, my coke-bottle-thick glasses were so fogged from the humidity that my 5 year old self slipped between the docks at a marina.  Thanks to Uncle Peter’s fishing skills and quick thinking, he pulled from the murky-moss infested waters before too much damage was done (my sister still debates the level of damage here).
3. How to keep your cool and not worry about being humiliated when your young nephew runs out of the bathroom with his swim trunks suspiciously in a knot around his waist, leaving what we like to refer to as “a Snickers portrait” on the bathroom walls. Don’t worry Uncle Peter I wont go in to details. Thanks for cleaning up my messes and teaching me how to clean up my own.
4. The joys of driving and maneuvering a car.  Uncle Peter showed me that you should be proud of yourself for showing your young nephew how to drive a manual transmission so when you find him cruising around the neighborhood in your Jeep at age 8 that you smile to yourself that he did it (and arrived home safely) but you also make sure he realizes he can NEVER do that again – until he’s sixteen.
5. To never get bored of hearing the squeaky high pitch voice of your growing nephew constantly yelling out to you “Hey Uncle Peter! Uncle Peter! Uncle Peter!”

It’s not just all of our fun adventures that I will cherish forever. He also reminded me to always try my best; to be the best person I can be, even when it’s easier not to be; to have a sense of humor when something goes wrong; to simply give your nephew a call when you haven’t heard from him, to catch up on how he’s doing and to always offer your assistance and no matter what, to keep trying -- you’ll make mistakes but that’s okay because eventually you’ll get it right.

So Uncle Peter I am trying. I’ve made some mistakes but because of your constant reminders I know I will get it right.

Treecie, years ago you might remember this and you might not but when you and uncle peter were trying to adopt and were so worried I told you, “treecie if it doesn't work out you always have me and the girls!” Well, it worked out and we were blessed with our beautiful Mara and Kit. Today, we have to count our blessings for what Uncle Peter left us with and be the mom, aunt, uncle, cousin, and friend that my Uncle Peter wanted us to be to his incredible family.

As I start working on who my Uncle Peter expects me to be to my Aunt Mary Patrice, Mara and Kit, I’ve come up with the following:
1)   Mara & Kit  -- don't you worry about who will walk you down the aisle at flour delee. I don’t know what a flour delee is but if it includes dancing and looking good in a tux, I’m your guy.
2)   College tours. I am definitely available to help out with these. Before we get into the school stuff, I think I need to help you tour the sorority houses to make sure, you know, that they’re up to code. 
3)   And, Mara and Kit, I have one expectation of you and that’s for you to come with me when I teach Matthew and Lleyton how to fish, drive fast cars, and clean up bathrooms.

I want finish off by telling my Uncle Peter, “You’re always in my heart and you’re always on my mind and there’s no one that comes close to you or could ever take your place. I mean this from the bottom of my heart today, tomorrow and always.” As long as I can become half the man you were I know I’ll make my nephews proud.