It’s been one month since I almost lost everything..

It has been one month today. One month ago today that I almost lost everything and everyone I love.

One month ago today, I was preparing to go in for a laparoscopic surgery. A surgery to help my pains I have been having for a while. My OB/GYN thought it must be endometriosis so we pursued to do the laparoscopic surgery to check and planned the surgery for January the 30th. I wasn’t scared at all. This is something me and my doctor have done before several times, whether it was endometriosis or removing a cyst from my ovary. Never did I ever think what actually happened could or would happen. 

Monday morning me and Matt woke up early to head to the hospital before the kids woke. We got to the hospital and checked in and proceeded to do everything involving getting ready for the surgery; change into gown, get IV in, and wait till the surgical team came and got me. Everything went smoothly (or so we think) and I was in a room recovering with my husband by my side. I was able to drink and eat something so they let me go shortly after. We got home and I went to bed to rest. Everything was going just how we thought it would….Until the next day.

Matt went to work, I stayed in bed and our sweet neighbor watched the kids for me while I continued to rest. Fast forward to that evening. I noticed I had a missed call and voicemail around 6 pm. It was my OB/GYN. She left a message saying I needed to call her back asap because she needed to talk to me about something. I finally talked to her around 6:30 and she said the biopsy she took of my ovary had bowel/colon on it and that’s obviously not good. This means she accidentally hit my colon during surgery and it was leaking into my body. She told me I needed to go to the hospital immediately to be admitted incase I were to go septic. I started crying and panicking. Matt and the kids were at the hunting club to see if their pawpaw or anyone else had killed a deer. I called Matt, still crying freaking out and told him what was going on. Thankfully, since his dad was right there with him, pawpaw and chik were able to let matt leave the babies with them so he could come back home and take me to the hospital. I was terrified, I didn’t want to leave my babies. I didn’t even get to kiss them goodbye but I knew we had to go.

We got to the hospital and was admitted immediately. We got into a room. The nursing staff came in very quickly, got me hooked up to an IV (my least favorite part, I have rolling veins so I have to get pricked several times), and they started antibiotics and pain medicine. I wasn’t hurting bad at that point, it just felt like I was recovering from the surgery the day before. The night went on and my stomach pains got worse. It was like my stomach was blowing up with air. The next morning, Wednesday morning, I started hurting pretty severely. One of the sweet nurses walked in and told me they would be taking me down to radiology soon to do a dye test to see where the possible leak was. 

I didn’t realize how bad I was hurting until I went down to do that test. I felt so bad for the 2 sweet nurses doing the X-rays, I wasn’t very cooperative. I mean I did my best but it hurt so bad so I toughed it out and screamed and cried every time they told me to roll over on my side and then back again to my back. They took lots of pictures and then a doctor came in to do the dye part. Again, I had to roll on my side; while screaming they proceeded to do the dye. More screaming came after that. I was in an unbearable amount of pain at this point as they rolled me to my room. Matt grabbed my hand and asked me if I was ok and I told him no I wasn’t ok. I got him to help me up because it hurt to sit down. Little did I know it hurt to stand up too, I couldn’t get any pain relief. Matt made the nurse come in and told her how uncomfortable I was so she gave me some pain medicine. It didn’t work at all. I started throwing up while crying and screaming because of the pain. Matt called the nurses in again and told them that something was wrong. All they told me to do was to try to calm down. Well that’s easier said than done when you are in the worse pain you’ve ever been in your life. I kept yelling at them to do something else. They were about to call the rapid response team on me when the doc finally came in and gave them permission to give me 3 shots. I don’t know what they were, I don’t even remember getting them. I barely remember what went on after getting back to the room because I blacked out in pain. The 3 shots apparently helped and put me out. The doctor explained to Matt that I was in so much pain because of the peritonitis (the bowel leaking into my abdomen) and when they pushed that dye up my rectum it went into my abdomen as well. He said there are so many nerves in the abdomen and that it is very painful when that happens and that’s why I was in so much pain. I can’t imagine how Matt felt through all of this, we are best friends and I know he thought at one point he wasn’t going to see his best friend again. 

They took me down after they gave me those shots for immediate surgery. I had no clue what was going on, obviously. Matt told me I was back there for 5 hours. The surgery resulted in the doctor giving me an ileostomy. This amazing doctor was able to do this under laparoscopic instead of having to cut me all the way open since I had just had surgery two days before. I do have one big cut where my caesarean scar is. I can honestly say I never knew what an ileostomy was until now. After surgery I don’t remember much. I woke up in a room full of friends and family and felt very blessed to have everyone care so much. I had a feeding tube and some other stuff all over me but the pain pump helped with all of that. I didn’t even know I had an ostomy at this point. Matt decided not to tell me until I was more lucid. I don’t blame him one bit. 

The next day Matt said I asked him “what the hell is this on my stomach?” He said he explained it to me and I was pretty furious about all of it. Not about the doc who saved my life because don’t get me wrong I am so very grateful to be here, but I was just mad. Mad at the situation, mad that this happened to me. Just mad. I don’t remember a lot of that week. I remember a lot of crying, a lot of pain, and more pain. I remember having a lot of visitors and again I felt so blessed for that. One who didn’t leave mine and matts side much was my Aunt Jane. She was there a lot and I will never forget that. It was hard going through all of this without my mom but having jane there made it better. And my husband? He didn’t leave my side often. I want to cry when I think about how he felt that week. He was amazing though. Matt was tough for the both of us, caring, compassionate, and took such good care of me. I wish I could give my husband the world after all of this. He is my person. 

They released me to home health on that Saturday. We got in the car and headed home. As much pain as I was in and as scary as it was to face everything that was happening and was going to happen I could not wait to see my babies. I walked through the door and started bawling crying and hugged all three of them. I could have lost my life during all of this, I could have lost them, lost matt, everything. But I didn’t, thank god, so I hugged them and didn’t want to let go. I was given a second chance. 

It has been a very hard recovery. Thankfully Matts mom, Cathy, has had someone over every single day to take care of me and the babies and help Matt out with housework. People have brought dinner, lunch and groceries. I have been overwhelmed by the good that people have done for us and I will forever be thankful and grateful to everyone that has helped. Cathy has been such a blessing during all of this and I could never repay her for all the stuff she’s done but I will spend the rest of my life letting her know how much she means to me, to us. We love you so much Milly. 

I can’t go back to work for 3 months. I am getting use to the ileostomy but doesn’t mean I have to like it. I admire the people who have these permanently, God Bless you. Not that its a bad thing, it is just very uncomfortable. The kids seem to think it is really cool. They are actually very interested in all of it, especially when Matt changes it, they ask so many questions. Maybe I have future doctors on my hands? I can’t bend over, I can’t hold the babies or anything over 15 lbs. I miss picking up my babies and can’t wait until the day I can do that again. Please do me a favor and pickup your baby/child and hold them like you won’t be able to one day. I miss being their mom. I know I am mom but I can’t be the mom they need right now and it breaks my heart every single day. My mom taught me to look at the positive in bad situations and I have discovered many. Ive been able to sit down and relax which I never do and really enjoy my babies like I never have before. I see them play, laugh and fight like I never have before. I have laughed a lot since being home (which hurts very bad) but maybe its therapy? I have a beautiful home and lake view that makes the recovery a little better. Its hard, and it is going to continue to be hard but this week it has been one month so we are t minus 2 more months that I can get the ileostomy reversed. I am terrified to go back to the hospital and have yet another surgery but looking forward to it in the same sense. 

For now, I am going to continue to heal and enjoy life as it is. I know this is just a season and it will pass. Something I tell myself every single day to help the pain. I plan on strengthening my relationship with the lord, sitting down and reading the bible more now since I have the time. I plan on watching a lot of movies with my sweet family and just living life day-to-day right now. 

I thank you for all of your prayers, comments on IG, and feel better texts. Y’all know how to make a girl feel very special. 

 




The Twins are FIVE!!!

I cannot believe my babies, the babies I longed for years are 5!! Feels like yesterday we just brought them home from the hospital and took this photo…

When the big 5 was coming up, I talked to Jocelynn and JP about possibly having a party. We haven’t had them a true birthday party since their 3.5 party with friends and family. They told me they didn’t want one right now, they wanted another half birthday party, so they can have a swimming party at our new house! I couldn’t agree more, that is going to be so much fun! 

The 30th of December came quickly! That day Matt ended up being off work so it worked out so great! Matt took JP fishing and me and my girls made a birthday cake! 

Later that afternoon we took them to a beautiful park that had an awesome playground out in Leeds, AL!! We had so much fun, me and Matt even joined in on the slides that were at this playground. The slides were so big it took my stomach away going down it!

We asked the twins earlier in the week what they wanted to do, they could do anything they wanted to; and they said they wanted to go to the restaurant where they cook infant of you. After the park we met Pops, Laurie and Celia at Mt. Fuji in Birmingham. I was glad they wanted to eat there because I have been craving some japanese shrimp and that yummy fried rice!!

JP,

I am so proud of the little person you have become. You are just a happy, awesome little guy. Yes there are days where you are not so perfect but we all have those days. You are going to be great at whatever you set out to do, you are so athletic and can do anything. We can tell you try to ride a bike without training wheels and you perfect it within that day. You have a mindset like no other 5 year old I know. When you want to do something or learn how to do something, you will do it over and over again until you are doing it perfectly. It is truly amazing. When you aren’t outside playing, you are inside usually playing the Wii if not with your toys. You love mario kart, wii sports and super mario. You are really good at all of those games too. Like I said, you amaze me!!

We just recently cut off ALL your hair because you wanted to look just like your daddy! You love me, and you want me when it matters but YOU LOVE YOUR DADDY. I am so happy about your love for your daddy. You and Matt will be best buddies when you grow older and I can’t wait to watch your relationship transform over time. You are just like your daddy too. You love everything he loves to do, fish, hunt, play baseball, throw the football. You are excited about going to kindergarten next year! I don’t even want to talk about that yet!! You really understood the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama this year. It literally broke your heart if someone you loved was an Auburn fan. Your uncle Mark is an auburn fan and you looked at me and your daddy one day and told us “Mom, Dad, Uncle mark; he’s just not that smart, is he?” We DIED OUT LAUGHING!! And ever since then you hate it when someone tells you they’re Auburn fans, its precious. Mommy and Daddy love you so much and we are so proud of you. We will always be here and are looking forward to seeing the person you become. 

  Jocelynn, 

My sweet, emotional little girl. You are a very caring young child. You break my heart at least once a day either talking about moo moo or crying for her. The way you feel deeply about people is truly inspiring. You love with your whole heart and you don’t forget. I wish I could take your pain away sweetie, mommy sure is trying to help you deal with it all. 

You are a mommy’s girl without a doubt. I think you always have been come to think of it. You love your daddy but always want me. I am always here for you. 

You are riding a big girl bike just like JP! You cannot stand him doing something that you cannot so you got right on the bike that he learned on and you worked on it for a few days until you were riding like a pro. You have a great mindset just like your brother, and I love your commitment to learn something that is challenging. You get frustrated pretty easily but I am learning that the Vanzant children aren’t quitters. 

While you are so sweet, you have a mean streak too. I tell Maddie and JP all of the time not to mess with you because you show them whose boss when they need it! You are very tough too! JP and you “fight” a lot; where you punch and pretend to fight each other (although y’all do actually fight a lot too lol) but you usually end up on the ground or him crying. You can take a punch to the face and not even cry! Tough tough girl trying to keep up with her brother. 

I love you sweet baby, mommy is so unbelievably proud of the person that you are becoming!




Letters mailed to Heaven

I have to say, this has really helped Jocelynn. I have kept the helium tank so she can send moo moo notes whenever she wants; whether is about how much she misses her or something that’s going on that she wants to update her moo moo on. I also have to say that I am pretty jealous of my kids, I wish so bad that this was true, that we really could send mom notes and know she received them, that we can communicate with her. Oh how I wish, but I am so glad that this is helping the babies. 

So how did we do it?? 

The picture above shows you the balloon blown up with the note in it. 

First, we let the kids all write their notes. 

     

Then we folded the notes up as small as we could get them. Next, we gently put the notes into the balloon. 

The notes are in the balloon! YAY! Now, blow the balloon up with a helium tank, tie the balloon and then tie ribbon onto the end as you usually do.

Time to mail our balloons!! The kids couldn’t run outside fast enough, they were so excited! I just wanted to cry when I watched those balloons go and seeing the magical expressions on the kids faces. 

We love you moo moo!! This just makes my heart so happy and I just wanted to share it with you all in case any of you are suffering from loss. I know ir happens and it is inevitable in life that you’ll lose someone you love at some point but it still doesn’t make it any easier. I am praying for anyone who is and hope this helps somebody! 

I am thinking about starting a link up for grief counseling, somewhere you can go if you’re suffering from loss and have other people to connect to share stories. I have learned that talking about it does make it easier and I wanted to know what you thought on doing something like that? 




Holiday Home Tour – Final!

Welcome to the master bedroom!! I love our room, I could live in here. We actually all stay in here a lot. I do want to change some things in here in the future too but as I said before with the rest of the house, it can all wait. SO let’s get to it!

Yes, I have a christmas tree in every room this year. We are just happy to have this home and since we hosted Christmas this year we went a little over the top!

My favorite part about the bedroom would have to be the windows. When we first moved here I had them open all of the time because it felt so good outside and what a beautiful view we have from the bedroom of the lake! For the tour I just left them close, although the light might have helped when I took these pictures.

Now into the master bathroom! We have an amazing tub and a walk in shower. The kids are in love with our tub and I have to say me and Matt enjoy it too. Like I said we all spend a lot of time in the master area.

I love that piece of furniture in the bathroom, it was left here by the previous owner.

Now to the closet, another favorite of mine. I could live in here too:) And the mirror in here, IN LOVE.

Behind those doors is the laundry room! How brilliant is that? I don’t have to walk up and down the steps all day to do laundry! I even do laundry while the kids are sleeping at night! So convenient!

Below is the picture walking into the closet. The closest is next to the master bed. I didn’t know what to do with that green piece of furniture because it was too big for any of our rooms. It was originally in JP’s room but his room in this house has so many windows it was kind of hard to pick a spot for it so for now it stays in the closet and is used for our linens.

I forgot to post the playroom in the last posts. It is downstairs conveniently located off the kitchen so I can see them play while doing the dishes and cooking.

I recently took this couch out because I sold it and we had to make room for ALL of the toys the kids got for Christmas. It made things change in here tremendously and I am so glad we have room for all of the toys hah!

Well that’s about it! All rooms but the downstairs utility room and my office but those are for another time. Plus those rooms are extremely messy right now and I wouldn’t want to do that to any of you. Until next time!




Holiday Home Tour Part 2

Home tour part 2!! This part of the tour is going upstairs and the kids rooms. I will do one more part to this tour and that will be for the master bedroom and the playroom!

The photos below are going upstairs.


                    

This is Jp’s room! He has a room all to himself. My baby boy enjoys his sleep and he never gets anything without the girls getting involved so it only seemed fair for him to get his own room!

He has his own bathroom! Actually the girls do too and I LOVE that about this house. They will enjoy their privacy when they get older. His bathroom has a vanity part and then a toilet with a shower/tub in the other room.

He has an amazing closet in his room too! I love being able to hang up all the clothes and not have to switch out boxes for seasons.

Time for the girls room! I love a girly room and theirs defines the word girly.

Their closet is very big although you cannot tell in this photo because they have so many clothes! I use a shoe holder for all of Jocelynns barbie dolls on the back of the door!

I would like to paint most of the rooms in the future but for now this will do! I had to hang up a curtain separating their bedroom from the bathroom because Jocelynn is a little bit of a scaredy cat and didn’t like being able to see in there. So I hung a curtain and pin it back during the day with a crown.

They have their own big vanity area and then a toilet with a shower/tub also! I can’t wait to utilize this space and make it pretty when they get older and really get into makeup/

 

That is it for this tour!! I just love looking at our pictures, it truly is a dream come true living here.




2017 Goals

It’s that time of the year. Time for everyone to resolve to be a better person, become healthy, better their faith and so on. Do any of us really stick through with it? One could hope, that’s for sure. I sure do try my best and I know most of you do too but it isn’t easy.

I want to reflect on last year before I talk about my 2017 goals. I can honestly say I hated 2016. Worst year of my life. HATED it. It started out by Roxanne getting sick, out sweet little yellow lab that was 10 years old. She was a diabetic and it had gotten so bad by March that Roxanne, our first baby, passed away March 29th. I know some of you think Well she’s just a dog but Roxanne was a huge part of our family. She had been with me and Matt for 6 years before we had kids. She was our first baby. After the kids were born they were raised with her and loved her as much as we did. It was very hard and I still miss her every.single.day.

Then I lost some really special friendships that I am just now getting over. What happened? Texting. It was a group text and no emotion what so ever can be taken from a text message. Which is why I now call people. What are the kids in the coming generation going to do when they come face to face with someone or have to call someone by the way? Anyways, something small became something huge and wasn’t necessary, to me. I fought and tried my hardest but turns out I don’t think I was cared for as much as I cared for them or we would all still be friends. So word of advice, even if your friend says they’re your friend and y’all are still friends after two years, I still wouldn’t trust it. They were a huge part of my life and just like that, they were gone. I felt so much grief and even depressed for losing those relationships but I have learned to move forward. My husband has helped me most of all. He told me they never cared about me if they could treat me like that in the first place and I believe him. He is my best friend and the only person I can count on, and that’s the way it should be.

I lost my mom. Talk about a shitty year, huh. I loved her so much, GAH I loved her. She was my very best friend. My person. I was so fond of my mom, I cannot do this without her. I am trying my hardest and then I am hit by a brick wall of reality. She is gone, she is not coming back. I will never talk to her again, touch her again or laugh with her again on this earth. That kills me. I just want my mom, y’all. Bad. I need her.

As much bad happened there was good stuff. Me and Matt bought our forever home. Our dream home and we couldn’t be happier. I have learned to cope with everything that took place last year but it is still very hard. We got three new family members. We took in Roxannes puppy, well she is actually 10 years old. Her name is Rose. We bought 2 more lab puppies, Allie and Bama. We have chickens to raise now! Life is good when you reflect on the good.

In 2017 I am …

  • going to become a better me. Last year was hard and I told myself I was being easy on me because f everything and I have gained 10 lbs since my mom passed away. That is going away, soon. Losing weight and getting back to healthy eating. It makes me feel good and I actually love eating/being healthy so it makes it easy.
  • going to be a better mother and wife. They are my first priority. They have always been my first priority. I want to sit down in the floor and play more, I want to have family game nights and more date nights. That’s how I want to be a better mom/wife.
  • going to be a better friend to my friends. There are a lot of friends I don’t get to see as often because we are all so busy. I want to be a better friend by making that time to go see them this year and spend more time with them.
  • going to learn to deal with my mom. Me and Jocelynn are looking into some counseling. She is having as rough as a time as I am with her Moomoo being gone. I want us to try to start the healing process together by finding someone who can help us.
  • going to start searching for a church. I had a hard time going to church last year. Every time I went, I balled. I couldn’t help but think about what was going on with my mom and I ended up leaving. I want to start searching for a church that will be a good fit for our family and help me through all of this.
  • going to let go of anger. I was very mad about what was happening to my mom, I still am. I have to let that go. Yes, its unfair what happened to her but I know it was in his plans. I can’t be mad at him anymore or anyone else because of it. I need to regain my faith and learn to trust that everything happens for a reason like my mom taught me..
  • going to take more trips. Me and Matt want to take the kids on more weekend trips this year and maybe one big vacation. We both love traveling and want our kids to love it as much as we do!!

2017 I am so ready to get started! It is going to be a fabulous year!!




Christmas Morning

Christmas with kids is so magical. So unbelievably special and so much fun. Every year as they get older proves to be more fun and this year was the best. As we grow older we lose the magic that comes with Christmas because we find out the truth about Santa and we forget a long the way how great it felt to believe in that magic. Well, have kids or be around a child at Christmas time. If you have kids then you know how amazing it is to witness the magical christmas spirit and they help us remember that feeling and to live it through their eyes is pure enjoyment.

This year JP, Jocelynn and Maddie all asked for one thing. JP-a bow and arrow, Joc- a “garbie” doll house (Barbie), and Maddie-a fire-breathing dragon. I seriously have the sweetest kids. They would have been fine if I bought just those three things but I just love Christmas time and my mom made it so awesome for us growing up, I would like to follow in her footsteps. I know present’s are not important and yes, I do know what is important about this time and believe me, so do my children. But buying for them and watching them  open the presents is so fun. The look on their face when they think “I really wanted this, how did santa know?!” can’t even be put into words. Thus, all the pictures you are about to witness in this post.

 

  

Maddie was so much fun to watch. She has so much personality and overtime she opened a present she made the best facial expressions. Jocelynn gets kind of nervous opening present’s and doesn’t like to show a lot of reaction and JP opened his presents so fast that Jocelyn and Maddie had just opened up one each.

JP got the coolest walkie talkies. They are face time walkie talkies. He had to show his pawpaw immediately when he came over!!

  

Maddie isn’t a big baby doll or Barbie kind of girl, I have mentioned before how much she loves her “pets”.AKA her stuffed animals. I found this adorable little wagon so she could pull around her pets and she fell in love with it!!

All 3 kids got so many great gifts!! JP got a big boy fishing pole, bow and arrow and more. Jocelynn got her Barbie house, baby doll, Barbie doll and accessories and more. Maddie got a Hatchimal, more pets, night gowns, and more.

They made it great for me and seeing their little lit up faces make me so happy. It was just a great family day.




Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve!! It was a little more laid back this day. We had some of Matt’s family come over around 2. I had so many leftovers from the night before that I just brought it all back out and heated up! Cathy, Matt’s mom, cooked some goodies too! I did however add one thing to the menu at the last-minute and that was mimosas!! Got to have them during the chaotic present opening:) We usually just do finger foods and snacks for this one because it is between meals.

A month or so ago me and Brooke, my SIL, wrote down all of their names and let them choose out of a cup. The name they chose would be the person they bought a gift for. They all had so much fun with this and put deep thought into their cousins gifts! So we let them exchange the gifts they had gotten for each other before opening Milly’s (what the kids call Matt’s mom).

Cathy always does the best stockings and is also a great gift buyer! She does a stocking for all of us including the adults! I love her stockings!!

The kids got some great gifts from their Milly including new tennis shoes, lincoln logs, stuffed animals, art ad craft stuff and more!

Jp got a new bow and arrow from his uncle Mark! He had to immediately go outside and shoot it. Can you say ALL BOY?

After Maddie opened her shoes I asked her to show them to me because they were precious and this is the photo I got….

I thought this was hilarious. Our little Joee Kate got a Barbie doll that was bigger than she was!!

The boys were pretty excited about their new HUGE nerf guns! Have I mentioned lately how obsessed JP is with nerf guns and “nerf war”?

Jocelynn is a sucker for arts and crafts, just like her mommy. She was thrilled she got a huge thing of gel pens. She looked at me and said “you can borrow them, ok?” Well, thank you Jocelynn. I sure do appreciate it.

Best.Buds.

After everyone left Aunt Jill, Kyle and Aunt Anna stopped by and gave the kids their gifts from them. I’m overwhelmed by all the gifts at this point and can’t help but think how lucky and blessed my kids are to be so loved.

 

We went and delivered cinnamon rolls to a couple of our neighbors so they could cook them Christmas morning. Then we made a ginger bread house, decorated cookies and looked to see where Santa was on the Santa tracker! We were about to head to bed when we realized the Elves stopped by to drop the kids off some Christmas Eve jammies!

We placed their decorated cookies on a plate along with a glass of milk and celery for Santa and the reindeer. We went upstairs to tuck our little babies (yes, I know they are not little babies but they are my babies) in to bed!

Time for mommy and daddy to get to work!! I had a few things wrapped already but we had so.much.to.do. Including putting this doll house together, which ended up being first on the list

I am glad we did that first because it took a total of almost 3 hours. Phew!! Everything was pretty simple after that. Putting together the swing cars, blowing up the horse jumpers, blow up Maddies ball pit, wrap more presents and put together JP’s work bench. Oh and stockings too but that didn’t take long. After all that it was around 1:15 and we were ready to hit the sack. I was so excited when we went to bed, I couldn’t wait to see their little faces the next morning.

Each child had their own pile of toys. Thais how my mom always did it when we were younger. You might notice one more pile, that is toys for them as a group. I usually do a few toys that encourages them to play together so I’ll get a few games or something like that; this year I did play-doh factories and play-doh accessories. 




Christmas with the Family

We hosted my family Friday night. Hosting Christmas was always something my mom did for her family. I talked to everyone about it to make sure that would be ok if I could take over that since it was my moms and I love hosting as much as she did. Of course everyone said yes. It made me so happy and excited to have my family here all together, and being here for each other during the holidays; which have proved to be difficult for everyone.

Our menu consisted of bacon wrapped deer meat (venison), shrimp, honey ham, green bean casserole. potato salad, mac n’cheese, corn on the cob, salad and more. I made whipped feta crostini’s with marinated tomatoes, cream cheese sausage balls and spinach artichoke dip as appetizers. Mouth watering yet? I cooked so much more than I just wrote. Everything turned out perfect, everyone was here and it was truly wonderful.



After dinner my Aunt Jane bought the kids a gift and we let them open it! It was the softest blankets with an even more soft stuffed animal. They were precious and all of my kids are sleeping with them now.

After the opening of the gift’s I had a few games planned for us. I love games, y’all. I think it brings everyone together and if people end up laughing then that’s even more great. The first game was the paper plate game. I gave everyone a sturdy paper plate with a marker and told them to put it on their head. I then told them what to draw while it was on top of their head and it was hilarious!!

We then played a game that didn’t end up quite like I hoped. Heard of the game where you to try to roll doubles while the person next to you is trying to unwrap a ball full of goodies? I worked so hard on this damn ball and wrapped candy, gift cards, and all kinds of other stuff. I learned my lesson, I should have stopped the wrap every now and then because the first person who started unwrapping got all of the gifts!!! LOL!!! She was more than generous and gave a lot of it to the family but still!! I was so mad it didn’t work out the way I wanted! AT least everyone had a good time!!

I am so happy everyone got to see our new home and we all got to spend some much-needed time together. I love my family, they are all so special and the nicest people you’d ever meet. I love you all and I hope you know that!!!

After everyone left we were beat so we decided to let the babies sleep with us. They were in heaven as this doesn’t happen very often. They all love their beds very much and I was very strict about that when they were smaller. I love when I get to cuddle them all night, even though it does kill my back. So thankful for these 3 littles and my wonderful husband.




Christmas Hosts

We hosted 3 different Christmases this year! I am so happy to have a house where we can host everyone. It is all we have ever wanted, a place where our family and friends can come.

Our Christmas festivities started Thursday night with our friends. I think most people call it a “friends-ams”!

I got some beautiful steaks from Costco the day before and more goodies. The boys grilled the steaks while we cooked the rest of the sides inside and he kids played the Wii! This is what Christmas is all about, spending time with the ones you love and oh how I love these people just like family. After all, friends are your chosen family, right?

We all swapped gifts and let the kids open some too! April bought all of the kids super hero capes with their name on the back! They were awesome and everyone loved them!

After the gift giving we let the kids decorate sugar cookies! They had a blast. I did however catch maddie suck the icing right out of the bag instead of piping it onto her cookie! What can I say? She gets it from me…

The kids really did have so much fun. We did too. I love watching kids around this time, the magic that fills their little eyes and hearts is so special. I feel so blessed to have all these people in my life and even more so getting to witness these magical moments amongst cousins and friends.