Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snow Days

We've had a relatively slow and uneventful winter.  Until the last 2 weeks.  It's been really cold and all of a sudden we've gotten snow and then a little more unexpected snow, and then some more unexpected snow.  2 weeks ago we had a winter storm that passed through over night and left everything blanketed in a layer of white.  It wasn't much, maybe 2 inches, but it was enough for us to stay home and play in.  It was FREEZING cold but Sara Kate and I sledded for a couple of hours...she had a great time.
 
Then a week later an unexpected band of snow pushed through during rush hour and caused all kinds of headaches trying to get home!!  I picked up Sara Kate from school and she said, 'Why is it snowing again, mommy?'  Haha.  I said, 'Because it's winter and snow happens in the winter!'  It took us over an hour to get from her school to our house.
Then this past Friday another storm came through.  I was out soil sampling Friday and when I got back to Bentonville everything was covered in snow.  Once again I had a heck of a time getting home from work!!
I finally made it home Friday and I haven't left the house since!  It snowed all night and most of the day yesterday, and then the snow transitioned to sleet and freezing rain in the afternoon.
We finally managed to make it outside to play yesterday afternoon.
 
The one thing Sara Kate has been asking to do all winter it build a snowman.  When it snowed 2 weeks ago and we were home the snow was way too powdery and it wouldn't ball up at all.  Yesterday's snow started out too powdery but it turned into good packing snow once a little sleet fell on top of it.
Now ya'll have to remember, I'm a southern girl from WAY deep south Arkansas, where we do not get snow.  Except this past week when they did get snow.  But growing up we didn't get snow.  If we got anything it was ice.  So my snowman building skills are pretty pathetic.  But I tried, haha.  Our snowman kinda ended up looking like a pirate.  We used caramel popcorn clumps for eyes, a pickle for nose, and a mouth made out of aluminum foil.  So ghetto.  HA!!
Sara Kate didn't want to go sledding yesterday but she wanted to go today.
 
We walked down to what she calls 'the sledding hill' down by the park and everything just a sheet of ice.  It was so slippery today!  It was obvious the hill had been used quite a bit yesterday for sledding but thankfully it was still plenty slick for today!  I love hearing her laughing with so much joy!!
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In other we're-stuck-inside-and-can't-do-anything-else news, Sara Kate has been doing gymnastics all over the living room since she didn't have class yesterday, there's currently a blanket tent set up in the living room, and she's been crawling around all afternoon on the floor with a flip flop in her pants with the dogs acting like one of the dogs (the flip flop is her tail).  In other words, we're going stir crazy in this house!!  Ha!!  But I'm glad we finally got some snow days to do fun 'winter' things!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kindergarten Registration

I cannot believe it's here.  The first step in the process has come.  That means it's real.  She's old enough.  It's time.  Kindergarten registration was today.  It's early this year.  I wasn't expecting it until April but Chris' mom said everything is earlier this year because the district is 'reorganizing.'  Chris is out of town so I had to go this one alone, which was ok.  This one was simple.  Easy.  I told Sara Kate about it last night.  She's been looking forward to kindergarten since she saw her cousin Hannah graduate from kindergarten last May.  So last night I made a big deal about what was going to happen and she was so excited this morning.  She kept saying, 'we're going to kindergarten maration.'  Haha.  She didn't have to come, but by taking her with me it saved me a trip across town and back to take her to daycare.  Plus I wanted to make it special for her.  We had to go to the bank to the safety deposit box to get her birth certificate and social security card first and then we headed to registration.
It was anti-climatic, in that the office staff made copies and I filled out the enrollment form on the computer, they printed it, and I signed it.  But the office ladies were so nice and were making a big deal to Sara Kate about starting kindergarten.  She kept wanting to write her name on the sign in form with their cute little flower pen.  They said, 'oh she looks ready!'  Yes, she is!  And just like that, my baby is registered for kindergarten.
 
After we left the school, we went back by the safety deposit box then to the grocery store to pick out a special treat.  She picked 'little white donut,' which she loves.  It's fine with me because it gives her some breakfast the next few days!
When I got to work I took a look at the packet of information they gave us.  It included a calendar, what's expected as far as vaccinations, and things she should know.  Shapes...done.  Numbers...done.  Alphabet...done.  Lower case and upper case letters...done.  Comfortable using a pencil, markers, scissors, glue, paint...done.  Comfortable writing their name...done.
So that was our big day.  She's ready.  And she's excited.  And I'll be excited for her, once I get my emotions in check after each step in the process, ha!!  My baby's growing up!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Look Back at December & January

Happy February!  Cannot believe we're already into the 2nd month of 2015!  Another 2 months have passed with no blogging.  Life is so dang busy, ya'll!  One thing I've been wondering is is blogging dying out?  I find that alot of the blogs I've followed over the past 5-6 years, no one is writing much anymore.  I don't want my blog to die, but finding time to upload pictures, do any editing, etc. is time consuming (even though I put alot of iPhone pictures on here).  And it never fails, as soon as I sit down to start writing, Sara Kate wants me to play with her or do something with her.  But I started this to document our lives and I want to continue to do it as time allows.

So in the past 2 months, the main thing that happened was Christmas.  And we had a great Christmas!  
Our tree on Christmas morning, when all was still quiet.
But then a certain someone woke up and had to check things out! 
 
 She looks so tall here!
 She said, 'Oh my goodness, Frozen panties!  I asked for these and wanted these!' 
After her stocking, she had a few presents to open.  We don't stress 'Santa' but we don't discount him when she talks about him either.  We don't want her to be good only for Santa, she needs to be good all the time.
 
She asked for 2 main things, a Frozen castle (which every place was sold out except Amazon and they were majorly price gouging) and princess magic clip dolls.  Those we were able to find.  We found a 7 pack of the princesses and got Elsa and Anna clip dolls separately.  She was SO happy!
 
She got a few other things too, like Ariel dress up stuff, Frozen lip gloss, and a new coat, hat and gloves! 
After Christmas I made breakfast.  I made Cinnamon Roll Bites.  So good and super easy.  Here's the recipe. 
After breakfast we headed to Bentonville to have Christmas with Chris' family.  A good time was had by all.
The whole crew, including some new faces from Texas.  Think the kids love having lots of cousins around.
 Merry Christmas from the Michaels family!
 Present time!
 It was a Frozen/Princess Christmas for this little girl!
A couple days after Christmas my parents came up for Christmas.  We waited until they were here to go to the Lights of the Ozarks on the Fayetteville square.  I love this about our town.
 Love this picture of me, Sara Kate, and my mom.
 She was so excited for a pony ride and did so great.
Of course we had to climb on top of the rocks and get a picture with the Razorback!
And last but not least, our little family.
2014 ended with something that reflected the last 6 months of my life.  I had a colonoscopy on New Years Eve, it was my 3rd in 6 months, and this one was awful.  It was supposed to be at 7 am but it got moved to 1 pm, so I had no food from the night of December 29 until the evening of December 31.  I also threw up half my prep, which might just be the most disgusting thing any person will ever have to drink.  
But I got good news in the end.  The pathology definitely shows Crohn's (which we knew) but there was no inflammation which means there is no active disease right now.  So that's a blessing.  Unfortunately when I had my appointment with my GI doctor in January I found out I was going to have to get on medicine I don't want to get on to keep me in remission.  Maybe you've seen commercials for Remicade or Humira on TV, but one is an infusion and the other is a shot I would give myself.  It's a decision I'll have to make in the next few months.
In other January news, Chris and I went to Tulsa the second weekend of January to see Garth Brooks in concert.  We couldn't get tickets the day they went on sale because they sold out so fast but thankfully we were able to find them on StubHub.  It was beyond amazing!!  It was a total bucket list concert for me and totally worth getting home at 1:30 am on a Monday morning!! 
A week after Garth, Chris and I went to George's Magestic Lounge on Dickson Street to see Pat Green, who is one of my all time favorites.  My buddy Matt took me to my first Pat Green concert probably 12 years ago and I got hooked.  He puts on a great show and I was glad we were able to go!
The week after Pat Green I had my annual girls weekend in Memphis with my girlfriends from college.  We had so much fun in college and it's so great to still get together and have just as much fun...maybe just a different kind of fun, ha!!  But these girls are a blessing and I'm so glad we're still super close!
 
The other thing I want to say about January is I'm training for a half marathon!!  A group from church started running together back in the fall, thinking about a half marathon in March.  In January we officially started training, and I registered today so it's definitely official.  AHHHH!!!  Scary!  We run 3 times during the week on our own and get together on Saturday's for the long runs as a group.  Having a group really helps with the long runs.  Yesterday we ran 7 miles...and yes, we RAN 7 MILES!!  Before this started, I was running 3 miles 2 or 3 or times a week.  This has become a huge goal and I'm determined to make it happen!  Thankfully we have a great trail system in Fayetteville that makes it easy to get many miles in!  
This little guy is sitting on a bench along one of the trails...any day is a good day for a Razorback sighting!
So that's whats been going on the last 2 months.  Once again, I'm going to try really hard to get back into blogging to document our lives.  2015 has big things in store and I want to remember everything!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fall Recap

Hello December!  It's now December 1 and I've done a terrible job of blogging the last 2 months.  Life has been very busy, there's no other way around it!  And I'm exhausted at the end of the day!  But I really want to try to get back into the blogging groove...it's so important to me to keep documenting our lives.  Since I've been absent the last 2 months, I thought I'd do a little fall recap before we get into the Christmas season!
I've spent lots of time with my favorite girl and I love it!
 
This fall was beautiful with lots of warm days so we played outside alot!
Chris and I went to watch our Razorbacks play all season.  After some really close heartbreaking loses, we finally got to see some great wins over LSU and Ole Miss (even shut out wins!!) and it was so fun to see!!  We are excited to see where our team is headed!  And of course, it's always fun to hang out with some awesome friends during this time of year!
Speaking of football, we took Sara Kate to the University of Arkansas homecoming parade in October.  The parade started later than we thought so we had some fun time running around and playing on the lawn of Old Main.  And of course she loved the parade.  She got some candy and a sweet sorority girl gave her a big 'WPS' bead necklace.  She was in heaven!
This might be one of my favorite pictures ever!  Love it so much!!  The girl, that joyful smile, the throwing of leaves, the lighting, Old Main in the background...Chris captured this moment perfectly!
Of course the end of October brought Halloween!  Sara Kate is still princess obsessed and like every other little girl, she's obsessed with Frozen.  For several weeks she told me she wanted to be Ariel for Halloween and I though, no way!  And like I expected, a couple of weeks before Halloween she decided she wanted to be 'Elsa with the blue dress.'  We bought both costumes just in case she changed her mind, but in the end Elsa won, just like I figured it would!  We even went to a Halloween carnival at our church where she and 2 of her sweet friends were all Elsa!  And they all won the costume contest...so cute!
Halloween night was great.  Sara Kate did GREAT trick of treating.  She loved going door to door, saying 'Trick or Treat' and saying 'Thank you, Happy Halloween!'  We couldn't stay out all night because we had a major cold front come through and it turned brutally cold Halloween night.  Sara Kate kept insisting 'Elsa's don't wear jackets' (haha!) but eventually the cold got to her and she was done for the night.  We had a great night overall. 
November brought a visit to our favorite local corn maze, Farmland Adventures in Springdale.  We ended up going on a Monday night when the school Chris' mom teaches at had a family night.  It was so much fun.  Sara Kate loved running through the corn maze, riding the ponies (which she got to do over and over again since there weren't many people there), feeding the goats, and there was even a hot dog and marshmellow roast.  It was a alot of fun and we're so glad we got to go.
 
 
She was so proud of this corn she found.  In fact, she still has it in her play kitchen in her room.  She 'cooks with it.'  Haha.
 
It seems like the month of November flew by and all of a sudden it was Thanksgiving.  This year we traveled to Memphis to have Thanksgiving at my brother's house.  My parents came and also my aunt and uncle from Alabama came.  It was a lovely Thanksgiving...good food, good company, and so much to be thankful for.
The triple chocolate cheesecake my mom made was Sara Kate's favorite!!  She loved it!
 
The other big thing we did while we were in Memphis was take Sara Kate to the Memphis zoo, which I have been wanting to do for a while now.  We went on Friday while all the crazies were out shopping, ha!!!  I had hoped to go in the morning but it was too cold so we had to wait until the afternoon.  Unfortunately, a certain little girl had gotten very tired by that point and her behavior was less than desirable.  But we made the most out of it and still had a good time.
First time I had ever seen a panda bear...so cool!!!
Fun with Uncle Phil and Aunt Holly at the zoo!
We had a great visit to Memphis and a great visit with my family.  A big thanks to my brother for hosting!  Sara Kate loved spending three nights at Uncle Phil's house!
So that's a little look back at our fall.  It was busy!  

One last thing I wanted to add is I am now 3 months post surgery.  So far everything seems fine.  My energy level has been the last thing to come back but that could also be keeping up with a VERY busy 4 year old.  I'm back to working in the field at work and I'm back to running.  I've even managed to run my longest distances (little over 5 miles) with my best times, with hopes of working up to the half marathon distance by spring...can't completely wrap my mind around that!  I'm on an anti-inflammatory medicine to keep the Crohn's at bay, and I have another colonoscopy scheduled for the end of December...and by the end of December, I mean New Years Eve!  I was less than thrilled to find out that's the way I will be closing out 2014, but I supposed it's appropriate considering the last 6 months have been all about my colon!  Dr. Rogers wants to make sure everything beyond where the stricture was is 'good' since he's never seen beyond that spot in any of my previous colonoscopies (this will make the 3rd in 6 months...ughh!!).  He also wants to make sure the spot where he sewed my colon together is healing up.  As for my stomach, things look like this.  I still have tender spots down, especially low near the big incision, but everything is healed up for the most part.
So that's the latest on me and the family.  We've had a great fall and I'm very much looking forward to the Christmas season with Sara Kate (she is so aware of EVERYTHING).  I think it will be so much fun!  I hope to have lots to write about this holiday season!