Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Leo :)


It's hard to believe I met you when you were only two years old.  Of course you weren't the typical two year old.  You were talking in full sentences, keeping up with your older brothers, and sharp as a tack :) 

You have grown so much in just one year.  You started preschool this year.  All of the kids in your class love you.  When I bring you in the door everyone yells "Leo is here!!!!"  It always makes you smile.  You have your own backpack and lunch box like your brothers and sister.  You can write your name now and you are learning your letters.

We ditched your tricycle for a real bike this year.  You are still riding with training wheels but you are able to ride to the park with us and keep up instead of riding in the bike trailer.

Your best friend is your brother Hudson.  You guys are two peas in a pod.  Hudson is slightly frustrated that you are in the same size clothes as him and that you are wearing a size bigger than him in shoes :)  He reminds you often that he is still taller than you (but that won't last long).   The two of you love to play legos, jump on the trampoline, play games, and wrestle.  Hudson is usually in tears when the two of you have to leave each other.  It makes my heart happy to see the two of you together.

Lets see . . . . your favorite food is pizza.  You also love chocolate ice-cream, milkshakes, and pasta :)  You love to build things with blocks and you are amazing at putting puzzles together.

I think you have to be the smartest four year old on the planet.  You say that funniest, most intelligent things for your age.  Daddy and I always get a laugh out of the big words and ideas that come out of your mouth.

For your birthday we went to the Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County.  You rode a pony, hiked the trails, and swam at the water park.  We had a family party at our house as well.  MeMe got you a 10ft puzzle, Great Grandpa Jack gave you money, Auntie Anna and Uncle Jerry gave you money and candy, Papaw and Pamaw got you Lincoln Logs and books, and Mommy and Daddy got you a leap frog computer and moon dough :)  You also got several gifts in the mail.  MeMe and Dah sent you money and so did Grandpa/Grandma Ziegler.  You had a great birthday.  Oh yeah, Hudson wrapped up a book of his (your favorite) and gave it to you for your birthday :)

I love you so much and I am so happy to have you as my son.  I look forward to watching you grow and seeing God's plan for your life unfold.  You love bible stories, singing, and talking about God.  I am so proud of you.

Happy Birthday Leo!!!  Love, Mom

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I think God is trying to teach me some things about fear.  About where fear comes from and the truth about fear. 

In church this morning our pastor talked about fear.  He talked about times of crisis in our life and how times of crisis can bring us closer to God.

I like the world around me to be in perfect peace.  I want everyone to get along.  I want everyone to feel loved and to love others.

I have been struggling with some situations in my life that keep me from feeling that peace in my heart.  Words can hurt.  As much as I want to be super-human and pretend that nothing bothers me, nothing can get me down, and nothing can shake me, the truth is I am human and sometimes I hurt.

Fear comes when a situation is out of my control.  I can't change other people.  I can't make them love me or make them see things God's way.  God has brought quite a few situations to my life right now that are requiring me to trust God to bring me the peace I need.  I have been struggling with this b/c I want all things to be in harmony with each other. 

I have been hurt by the words and attitudes of others.  My first reaction (in my heart) is to be upset, to think of all the things I want to say to defend myself, and to make the other person see how they have hurt me and others with their words.  I want justice. 

Then, through a sermon, scripture or even a friend,  God gently reminds me of His truth and His desire to use all of these situations to bring me closer to Him, to develop the ability to love others when they don't show love to me, and to give the situation over to Him without requiring an apology or anything else on the other persons part.

Luke 6:32 says "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them."  Isn't that the truth!  God is providing me with opportunities to love those that are doing wrong by me.  He wants me to show them love by forgiving them.  He wants to show them His love by having me respond to hurtful words with kindness.  It is so much easier said than done!!  God is really stretching me right now.  Loving people that love you does not require God.  Loving people that are unkind to you most definitely requires God.  This is where my faith is tested.  Who do I love?  With whom do I put my trust?  Who is my defender?  If the answer is God (which it is) then I need to rely on Him to help me do what's right, good, and just.

Luke 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."  I am realizing that it's still not enough to just love my enemies (or those that may hurt me) but God also says to pray for them and to bless them.  On top of that He says to do all of this expecting nothing in return.

This is where I fail.  I start to think that if I do what is right and I "turn the other cheek" or give a blessing etc.. that this will surely prompt the other person to respond in kindness, to see their wrong doing, and to desire reconciliation.  God is teaching me that He is requiring me to do my part and that's the end of the story.  I am not to do things in order to receive a certain outcome from the other person.  I am to act rightly expecting nothing in return.  Wow!!  This really goes against what the world teaches us.  The truth is when I start to live into this I start to feel peace that passes all understanding.  I start to feel free instead of weighed down.  When I act in love expecting nothing in return I end up feeling loved all the more.  God is so cool like that :)  His word is true and I can depend on it.  It feels good to let things go, to not react based on someones actions but on truth alone.  It's freeing!!!

 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline"  The truth is that fear does not come from God.  I don't want to live in fear.  Fear of what others think of me, fear of how others may hurt me, fear of standing up for what is right, fear of acting in love and being rejected.  I don't want fear to rule my decisions, my actions, and my life.  I want the power of God to rule in my heart and I want the love of God to be what controls my decisions, my actions, and my life.  He gives us the power to love :)

So now I need to turn truth into action.  I am going to try really hard (with God leading me) to love those that are hard to love, to pray for those that oppose me, to do good to everyone, and to let God's truth lead me.  I am not going to let fear lead me but only the power of the spirit inside me.

Thank you God for loving me enough to give me opportunities to grow into the woman you want me to be.  Please help me to see trials as opportunities for my heart to be transformed and molded into your likeness.

I love you!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Brian (A.K.A. Super husband!!!)


Happy Birthday to the love of my life.  I have a million thoughts running through my head right now.  They all have to do with how much I love you, how I think you are amazing, and how much richer my life has been with you in it.

You are my best friend.  You "get" me :)  We finish each others thoughts, sentences, songs, and jokes.  We should live really long lives because we laugh every day.  If I could spend time with anyone on the planet it would be you.  You make me feel special, loved, and beautiful.  I am your princess and you are my prince :) Sometimes I really do feel like I am living a fairy tale. 

Every morning I wake up to you telling me I am beautiful and that you adore me.  You take care of me and treat me like a queen.  You do most of the cooking (because you want to).  You love to clean the house when I go out just so you can surprise me and help me out.  When you go to the grocery you often bring me flowers just to be sweet.  You watch the kids (all six of them) and tell me to go have fun with my girlfriends and family.  I don't think I have ever seen you stressed out.  I never hear you complain and you see the best in everyone. 

I think you are the smartest guy in the world.  You don't even watch t.v. but you seem to know everything that is going on in the world.  Most of the time I have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to money, politics and world affairs.  Just this morning you explained the value of gold to me (how money used to be backed by gold etc..) When you talk to others I am always thinking in my head "That's my husband, the smartest guy on the planet" :)  You have started a business from the ground up and have invited others to join this venture of yours.  You want others to have the ability to spend more time with their kids and families like you do. You work hard.  I don't know how you balance it all but somehow you make me and the kids feel like we are the most important people in your life and yet still run a successful and growing business. 

Ok. . . this section is definitely going to bring me to tears.  It's about the dad that you are.  I have never met anyone that connects with their kids the way you do.  The kids have the day off school tomorrow and you are already thinking of how you can make the day special.  You told me that you wanted to hang a sign on the door so that when they come home tomorrow they will read "Come find daddy and then enjoy a day of games with daddy".  You will have each kid find you (while you hide for each one) and then spend the day playing games with them.  You planned your work week around this!!!  From the moment you met my kids you treated them like your own.  Hannah holds your heart as your only daughter.  No matter how feisty she is you love her all the more.  Every night she asks you to come in her room and sit on her bed so she can have a "daddy-daughter" talk with you.  You two talk about everything under the sun.  In a few weeks you are taking her to a daddy-daughter retreat at Springhill Christian Camp.  You are sooo excited about this.  It makes my heart happy.  She is crazy about you.  Hudson was afraid to let his guard down and let another person in his life.  You take the time to play one on one with him, you tell him how proud you are of him, and you treat him just like the other boys.  You talk about life with all of the kids.  You spend time teaching them and connecting with them.  You play games with them, tell them stories, make music videos with them :), and tuck each one of them in and pray over each one of them every night.  Basically, you rock the socks off the daddy role :)  When your life fell apart you were the glue that held your boys together.  You reminded them of God's unfailing love and of your love for them.  You put your life and business on hold in order to keep their life going.  You taught them that love has no boundaries.  You taught them about forgiveness, love, and hope.  Oh how I love you!!!

Everything in life is better with you in it.  I am so blessed to call you my husband and best friend.  I am madly in love with the smartest, best looking, funniest, sweetest, kindest, and most genuine man on the planet :)  Your love for God and for others has greatly impacted my life.  I will never be the same.

Happy Birthday Handsome :)  I love you!!!!   

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Luke!!!

Dear Luke,

You are turning 8 today!!  This is the second birthday we have celebrated together :) 

You are silly, a little bit of a dare-devil, and super smart!!!  Daddy and I say you are the one that kind of falls under the radar a bit.  You typically just go with the flow.  Your brother, Hudson, is crazy about you.  The two of you spend hours playing legos, dart guns, and ninja's. 

Your favorite color is yellow.  You love to climb on things (anything!!).  I am often telling you not to climb up the outside of the stairs or to stop jumping on the furniture - lol.  Your a little monkey :)

We were excited to hear from your teacher that you are very, very smart.  She has no doubt that you will be in the high ability class next year.  It's funny b/c you don't talk about school much or do any school work at home.  We had no idea that you were off the charts in smarts!!  Your daddy and I are very proud of you.

You share a room with your two younger brothers (Hudson and Leo).  You never want to sleep on the top bunk b/c you prefer to sleep with one of your brothers every night :)  You also sleep with your pillow pet and dog :)

I think you are a sweetie.  At bedtime you often thank God for bringing your dad and I together.  Every night you want big hugs and kisses.  You will not go to sleep without them :)  You tell me often that you love me.  It really makes my day.

You are playing tackle football this year.  You are on the line!!!  We aren't sure why b/c you have daddy's build (long and lean).  You are tough but we think you might be better as a running back :)  You are a little taller than your older sister Hannah and weigh a little more as well.  The two of you are only six months apart in age.  She really loves hanging out with you!!  She even wrapped a present for you and made you a sweet card for your birthday (she did this all on her own).

For your birthday we had a family party at Frost Bite.  MeMe and Kevin, Papaw and Pamaw, Auntie Anna and Jerry, and Me and daddy were all there.  You got some nerf guns, a disk gun, money, a cool bank, and some other fun stuff.  The morning of your birthday I bought donuts for everyone and put a candle in yours :)  You got a kick out it.  On Friday we had a party along with your mom Jess at Chuckie Cheese.  You invited your class and your football team.  There were around 20 kids at the party.  You had a blast!!! 

I love you so much and I am so blessed to call you my son :)  Happy 8th Birthday Luke!!!



Friday, September 9, 2011


For some reason the term "blended family" came to my mind this morning.  I started thinking about what the term "blended" means.  The definition of blended is this:  To combine or mix so that the constituent parts are indistinguishable from one another.  Hmmm, very interesting and very cool. 

As I look around and see families that are supposed to be "blended" I realized that I see more families that are sitting in the blender with all of their separate ingredients than ones that are truly blended.  Maybe they are afraid that being "blended" will hurt.  It would mean giving up some of your own identity.  It would mean accepting all the other ingredients.  You can't blend some parts and leave others out.  It's all or nothing. 

Seems funny but I started to imagine putting all sorts of fruit in a blender along with lots of ice.  Each ingredient is visible and separate before you blend it.  Each ingredient is good on its own but it's so much better when you blend them together to make a smoothie :)  I then thought about the sound the blender makes when it crushes the ice and blends the fruit.  It makes a loud sound as it crushes everything.  The parts are being crushed and smoothed out.  In the end you have a delicious drink and you can't tell which part is a strawberry or which part is a blueberry.  They are one.

A blended family should be this way.  You all come into it with different life stories.  You bring your hurts, your passions, your joys, your everything :) with you.  At first it is obvious which kids are are yours and which ones are his.  In the beginning you realize that you have one set of rules and he has another.  You may realize that your kids sleep with blankies, prefer the light on, and want to sleep in the same bed as their parent (Ha ha - I am sure you could guess who's kids these were) while his kids sleep without blankies, don't want the lights on, and love to have the door shut :)  At first it was hard to be affectionate with someone else's kids.  I loved them but I hadn't raised them.  In the beginning we were all separate parts to one equation. 

In time we started to blend.  The actual blending process can hurt a bit (think about the blender).  It looks messy at times and it can even be painful.  You may even feel crushed at times.  When it's over you realize you have become something beautiful.  One day you realize that no one can tell which kids are yours or which kids are his.  People start to tell you that your son looks like you (and you grin on the inside) or that your daughter looks just like her daddy (He grins from ear to ear on the outside and inside- lol).  Pretty soon you turn the lights out and realize that all the kids are sleeping without blankies, with the lights out and doors shut :)  Kids are in their own beds and they like it (and so do you).

A few months after that you realize that you are giving out hugs like water and that you are starting to love all the kids the same.  You get offended when people ask which kids are yours and which ones are his.  There are no his and hers.  They are "ours".

One day you smile inside because people start seeing you as a family of eight and they have no idea that you haven't always been this way.  All they see is a "blended" family.  They don't see the differences.  They see one unit.  The parts look the same.  You remember what it took to get here and you realize it was all worth it.  You start to forget what your life of three used to look like and your life of eight is all you can think about.

If you are sitting in the blender worried about being hurt, take it from me the pain is worth the gain :)  Give hugs out like water.  Tell your kids (yours and his) that you love them like crazy.  Do special things with each of them.  Remind them of how rich your life is with them in it. 

" See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."   ~Isaiah 43:19

Amen and Amen :)  Thank you God!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Huddy Bear (Hudson Malakai)

Dear Hudson,

I can't believe you are turning six today.  Six years ago today you came into this world weighing in at 5lbs and 14oz.  You are now 36lbs!!!

You will start Kindergarten one week from today.  I have a feeling there will be some tears on my part.  I am so used to having you here with me.  I will miss the "mommy build blocks with me" and "mommy what will we do together today?".  We've had a lot of good times you and I :)  Now it's "Mommy can I ride the bus" and "Mommy can I bring my lunch to school".  The days just won't be the same without you :(  So I am now down to one (Leo) during the day.  Leo won't be allowed to attend school - ha ha!!!

At six years old you can ride your bike faster than any kid in the neighborhood.  You can swim and jump off the diving board with ease.  You love football (you had your first flag football practice last night).  Everyone says that you are "small but mighty".  We are amazed at how coordinated you are at baseball, soccer, football and just about everything you try.

I love your smile.  It brings great joy to my heart.  You are easy going, sweet, full of laughter, and a joy to be around.  You are sensitive and can get your feelings hurt if someone leaves you out or doesn't treat you fairly.  You are also giving.  I remember taking you to some garage sales this year.  You spent all of your money buying things for your siblings.  Everyone thought you were so sweet.

When I asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up you said "A Zoo-Keeper".  I am not surprised b/c you LOVE animals!!!  Your favorite animal is a cheetah.  You love to watch the animal channel and you are friends with every dog and cat on the block - lol.

This year has brought four new brothers and another dad to your life.  You love all of them dearly and they love you right back :)  I know the five of you (brothers) will be best friends for life.  You stick together like glue!!  Leo looks up to you and wants to be just like you :)

I am sure it's obvious to see . . . .I am crazy about you!!!  I love you to the moon and back - and more than that!!!

Love you,  Mom 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The honeymoon stage and my thoughts on a blended family

I have gotten behind on blogging.  Mainly because I have been busy living life :)  I do want to keep up on this though.  This is my journal of sorts for my family.  I will have our blog printed in book form each year so we can look back on all the fun we have had as a family.

Brian and I have been married for a little over 9 months now.  I find myself looking at Brian and wondering how in the world I ended up with such an amazing man.  I love him more and more each day.  People probably get tired of all the affection we show each other but I can't keep my hands or eyes off him :)  He is my best friend.  I know people call this the "honeymoon" stage of marriage but I really don't see it ending anytime soon.  He has the same sense of humor that I do (which is rare - lol), He tells me I am beautiful and cherished every day.  He takes care of me and loves me in a way I have never experienced.  He is the real thing.  I think I will be pinching myself for a long time :)

Our kids have done amazingly well with their new life and family.  All kids want to see their parents in love and all kids want to be part of a family.  Our kids life fell apart for a few years.  They didn't see God's example of marriage lived out and they certainly didn't feel like they were part of a loving family for a while.  Although we loved and encouraged them in their faith they still longed for security, stability and family.

I have seen each of our kids come to life over the past nine months.  They love to see Brian and I loving each other and encouraging one another.  I tell the boys all the time that they have the smartest, best looking, most amazing dad in the world.  They beam with pride :)  We dance, sing, and laugh in front of the kids and they just eat it up.  Almost every night one of the kids thanks God for bringing Brian and I together during prayer time.  It melts my heart.  I am tearing up now just thinking about it.  I told the kids last week that I had a huge crush on someone.  They all rolled their eyes and said "We know it's Dad!!!"  Well it's true I have huge crush on their daddy :)

Many of you have asked "How do you do it?"  "How have you made the transition so easy and how have the kids gelled so well?"  The answer is Love.  Brian and I have loved our ex-spouses and have vowed never to talk negative of them.  We constantly lift them up in our kids eyes.  We reassure them that we are all in this together and that we are not in competition with them.  We let the little things remain little things and try not to get caught up in things that don't matter.  Too many people hurt themselves and their kids by talking negative of their ex's or by living in anger, resentment, and bitterness.  We love Jessica and Kenneth - period.  Beyond that we also love our kids.  I love Brian's boys as my own.  He loves Hannah and Hudson the same.

Is it easy to love kids that you haven't raised from day one and that haven't known you since birth?  It can be difficult in the beginning to love and be loved.  I remember feeling like a bit of an outsider in the beginning.  The boys had a lot of pain in their heart and they weren't going to let someone in right away.  Even though I felt rejected at times I still chose to love them anyway.  I tried to talk with them about what they were feeling in their hearts and reassure them of my love for their dad and for them.  All of the kids would have wanted their mom and dad to stay together and live happily ever after.  Each one of them was dealing with the loss of the life they once knew.  We understood their pain (we felt it too).  Each day we pressed on in love and slowly but surely their hearts began to open.  They wanted to be loved.  They were longing for this type of affection.

I remember people coming up to me that I hadn't met to tell me that they noticed a huge difference in Gabe.  He was happy again.  He was a different kid.  Hannah was the same.  People would say that they noticed Hannah light up in a way they hadn't seen for a while.  The kids started bonding and they started loving.  It can be scary and you have to be willing to be vulnerable in order to make a blended family work.  You may have to get outside of your comfort zone a bit.  In the end, it's all worth it!!!  I now have six kids that call me mom and I call them my kids.  I haven't replaced their mom and Brian hasn't replaced Hannah and Hudson's dad.  We have given them a mom and dad here in this home that can comfort, protect, love, and encourage them while they are with us.  We have given them a family.  They have enough love to go around and so do we :)  The kids wanted to call us their mom and dad.  I think it gives them a sense of unity.  No one wants to feel like an outsider and everyone wants to feel loved.  Their are no favorites in this house and everyone is loved the same.  It makes sense to me that they desired to call us mom and dad b/c it does away with the lines in the sand and says "We are a family and we are all in this together."

Life with six kids isn't always easy; in fact it can be down right crazy at times :)  Our kids fight, they write on the walls, jump on the furniture, have an attitude at times, and can be selfish and rude.  I do A LOT of laundry and we go through an amazing amount of food each week!!  I don't want people to think that our life is perfect but I do want people to know that this life is perfect for us :)  I wouldn't change it for the world.  On top of all the crazy times we share with the kids we also share some of the sweetest moments on the planet.

A year ago my life was good and I was in love with God.  Almost a year later my life has become GREAT!!!  I have six kids to love and to be loved by.  I have a wonderful husband to walk this life out with and I once again have a FAMILY :)  I am truly blessed.

Well I better go  . . .  I have about five loads of laundry to do, the dishes from lunch need to be loaded, and I promised the kids a game of hide-n-seek.

Love you!!!!!! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Logan :)


Happy Birthday to the best eleven year old on the planet!!

I could write an entire book on all the beautiful things about you.  You are such a great example to all of your younger siblings.  Hudson and Leo used to count down the hours until you would get home from school.  You would come right in the door and immediately play with them.  You have no idea how much you mean to them.  You are their hero :) 

You are super responsible, honest, hard-working, smart, fun, and beyond your years in your faith.  I am so impressed with how comfortable you are in your own skin.  You aren't concerned about following the crowd.  That's what makes you stand out in the crowd :)  I am so proud of you.

I can't believe how smart you are.  You don't have to work very hard to make great grades.  Math comes easy for you (I am pretty sure you are already beyond me in this area - lol).  You are in the advanced classes.  I don't think you asked for help with your homework once this year.  I am proud of you for always helping your sisters and brothers with theirs though :)

When it comes to spiritual things you are right on target.  You care about the world around you.  You understand what it means to have Jesus in your heart and to make him Lord of your life.  We always know we can count on you to lead a devotion, to get the other kids thinking, and to help them understand spiritual things.  I told you - I am blown away by you :)

When people ask you what you want to be when you grow up you say a professional football player.  If that doesn't work out you will play basketball and if that fails you will be happy to be a Financial Advisor like your dad :)  Whatever it is that you decide to do in life I know you will be a huge success!!

I couldn't ask for a better kid to be the oldest :)  I love you so much and I am so proud of you.  You have had a tough few years yet you handled it with grace and love.  You kept going, didn't let life get you down, and forged ahead.  There are many adults that can't even get to that point. 

I see so much of your dad in you.  I think you look the most like him out of all the kids.  You have his disposition.  Kind, caring, accepting of all people, smart, sweet, and full of joy. 

Happy Birthday Logan!!!  Only four more years and you will be driving with a permit - Ahhhhhh!!!!!

I love you!! 

Mom (Loree)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

I woke up on Mother's Day to the sound of the pitter patter of Hudson's feet running into the kitchen and then running into our bedroom with a beautiful handmade card.  He said "Happy Mother's Day" and handed me a card that he had made.  He explained all the pictures in the card (me and him, a whale, sponge bob, stars, a rocket).  We had Hannah and Hudson for mother's day but four of our boys were missing :(  They spent the day with their mom.  I went into the kitchen and found a giant card from Brian and six little cards all written for me :)  Each of the kids had written me a beautiful card and sealed it for Mother's Day.  They spent a lot of time on these cards and they filled my heart.

I can't tell you how blessed I feel to be the mother of six.  They are healthy, happy, sweet, kind, loving, and beautiful (inside and out).  Our life can be crazy but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  God knew that I loved kids and He blessed me beyond measure with this family of mine :)  Don't get me wrong, there are days that I want to throw my arms up in the air and run out of the house screaming - lol.  Our kids fight, whine, make messes, and complain just like any other kids.  The truth is even with all of that I miss them like crazy when they are gone.  

This Mother's Day was special b/c it was my first Mother's Day with Brian.  He made my day special with little things like chocolate covered strawberries, a homemade card, and flowers.  He knows me well.  I am not impressed with big expensive presents but presents that are thought out and that come from the heart are what make my heart happy.  He nailed it :)  Simple yet beautiful.

We spent the day with MeMe, Kevin, and Auntie Anna :)  Brian and I took Hannah and Hudson to MeMe's lake and spent the day with family.  We went on the first boat ride of the season (Hudson was all smiles!!).  We played some ping pong, helped mom clean up around the lake house, and relaxed.  Hudson and Hannah loved chopping weeds!!  We are looking forward to summer and days at the lake :)  I can't wait to bring the boys!!

It wouldnt' be a Mother's Day post without me bragging on my own mom for a bit :)  For as long as I can remember I have looked up to this woman.  She has been my favorite person my entire life.  Becoming a mom at 17 isn't easy.  She loved me with her whole heart, took care of me, made me feel special, and encouraged me to follow my dreams.  I have always admired her for her upbeat attitude on life.  She doesn't let life's upsets get her down.  She presses on.  I love her so much.  I can't imagine life without her in it.  The kids are crazy about her.  They love spending time with her.  I feel so blessed to have such an amazing woman to look up to.  Thank you mom!!  You are beautiful!!

Happy Mother's Day!!!