Thursday, October 30, 2008

What a long, LONG week.

As if moving into a new house and having the wheel fall off the Explorer wasn't enough, now we are dealing with a sick baby. We knew that he wasn't feeling his best. His nose is runny, he's fussy, he isn't napping well, and he's not eating as well. (Eating was the biggest clue!) Today we finally took him to the doctor and low and behold...double ear infection. Now everything makes sense. His right ear isn't so bad but his left ear is a mess. He's on Ammoxacillin (I probably spelled that wrong) for the next 10 days and then we go back to make sure they have cleared up. I also think he's headed for a growth spurt. At his 12 month appointment he weighed a little under 27 lbs and now he's almost up to 29 lbs. So the poor little guy is dealing with the ears, a couple of mean old molars, AND being tired from a growth spurt. I'm not sure how much more we can take!

On a MUCH happier note, today our cousins Meghan and Jay are going to meet their daughter Leah! We could not be more excited for them! They have waited a long time and have endured more than most people could ever imagine. Leah is so lucky to have such amazing parents!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October Birthdays!!!

Today is Chrissy's birthday!!! Happy Birthday to yoooooou!

Chrissy and me at her wedding!

And tomorrow is Dan's (Papa) birthday! Happy Birthday to yooooou, tooooo!

Dan in Gettysburg.

We hope you both have wonderful days! We love you!

Monday, October 27, 2008

When it's just meant to be...

My parents and I met on March 11th, 1981. I don't remember anything about it of course, being only 2 days old, but I've heard the story several times. Through a network of different people they were led to Karen. At the time she was 15 years old and only a few months away from having me. As soon as she realized she was pregnant she knew that adoption was the best option for us. So after enduring a pretty rough last couple months including bedrest and back labor, I was born on March 9th and my parents were called immediately. They flew from Hawaii, where they were stationed with the military, to California, and after a few days they flew me to Oklahoma to meet my very extended family. They had been hoping for children for 14 years so my arrival was a pretty big deal.

My family.

For as long as I can remember I knew I was adopted. My parents made sure that I knew I was special because my birth mother had loved me enough to give me to them. Because of this, when I turned 18, I wanted to find my biological mom. My parents supported me and gave me the information I needed to look her up on the internet. Even though I knew other kids that were adopted, no one had looked for their biological parents. I didn't know how it would go, if I would be welcomed or turned away. What if they wanted to just forget about me? What if something had happened to Karen in those 18 years? Thankfully she had a pretty unusual last name and within a day I found my grandpa Ralph, who I immediately wrote to. I included a picture, which was probably pretty scary since I look VERY similar to Karen. He forwarded the letter to Karen and she wrote me back within a week. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for her. I'm just glad that she found the strength to contact me back after so long, not knowing how she would be received on our end. I think I can say with complete certainty that everything turned out even better than anyone could have hoped. My parents will always be my parents, and Karen has become a cool "older sister" type. I can call her about ANYTHING. And I gained some really awesome family members. (Bryan, Jason, Ralph, Pat, Rick, Patrick, Brenda, Dave, Meghan, Jonathan, Phil, Paula, Nick, Chrissy, Jes, Brysen, Carsyn and many more!) My very extended family became a very VERY extended family. I definitely would need a good 20 minutes to recite them all. :)

Brenden and I with Great-Grandma Pat and Great-Grandpa Ralph.

Karen, Chrissy, Brenden and me at the Botanical Gardens in Denver.

Now that I have my own son I can see what a sacrifice Karen made. I'm just so glad that I was able to contact her, to be able to include her in my life and be included in hers. And of course that includes her in Brenden's life, which gives him another grandma to spoil him silly!

Brenden with Grandma Ginger and Grandma Karen.

Karen and Me...a slight resemblance. :)

This blog was not just a random thought that I decided to share with anyone who wanted to read it. When I was pregnant with Brenden there was a couple at my church who were in the process of adopting a little girl. Through several different twists of fate the adoption fell through, and my heart broke for them. They had already held her, fell in love with her, and had her taken away. Every time I went to church I worried that my son, who was so close in age to the daughter that they lost, would bring back those memories and make things worse. This last Friday my mom called to tell me that she had seen a birth announcement in the church bulletin that caught her off guard in the best way possible. On October 13th Melinda and Fred met the little girl that was destined to be their daughter. Their story reminded me of my story. It reminded me how lucky I am to have so many people that love me. And it showed me once again that, even though the path may not make sense, some things are just meant to be.

Miss Bailyr Makenzie Faith!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lug Nuts and Guardian Angels

This weekend actually started on Friday, which usually means a nice, long weekend. Yeah right! That morning the semi showed up with 8 packing crates of stuff and I almost told them to take it back because I was sure it would never fit. (the house is only 900 sq ft...thank goodness for the garage) I guess it was a little late at that point, so after they blocked off a lane of traffic with a couple of measly orange cones they set to work. And by work I mean: unload one crate, pause for 15 minutes of smoking. It really didn't bug me at all since they showed up at 8:15 am and unloaded things pretty quickly. By 11 am they were done and we had a house full of boxes and only half and idea of where things should go. Thankfully we had the whole day to get things done since Brenden spent the whole day with grandma Connie. He definitely enjoyed himself, especially after an entire scoop of ice cream at Braums. :) While unpacking we found that a few picture frames are broken, our lampshade is ripped and we have a tear in our couch. Most of our electronic equipment is gone, including our surround sound speakers, their stands, our receiver, and VCR. We're also missing some random things, like the shelves to our entertainment center, the glass tray for our microwave, and our sugar bowl. We'll have to fill out a bunch of claims forms, but there are definitely worse things than a few missing household items. (We were reminded of this on Saturday.) By 7 pm Friday night we were more than tired and decided to call it a day. We thought we'd be spending the night at our new place on Friday but that just didn't happen.

Saturday morning Tim left early so he could be at the house to meet the cable guy by 8 am (Who didn't end up showing up until 4 pm. The poor guy was completely overbooked! By the time he left our house it was 6:30 pm and he had 2 jobs left.) My parents met me at Mike and Connie's to take Brenden with them for the day so we could try to get the rest of the boxes moved out of the way. I borrowed my parents Tahoe and they took our Explorer since it has the carseat. At about 10:40 am I called my mom to see how Brenden was doing. We are trying to shift his naps to later so I was curious to see if he had stayed awake. At first she didn't answer the phone, but not a minute later she called me to tell me the back tire of the Explorer had just fallen off, they were all OK, and were sitting in a ditch by Jarrett Farms. I immediately turned around and tried not too speed too much to get back to them...which was the longest 20 minutes EVER. I ended up following an emergency vehicle right to where they had ended up in the median. When I showed up Brenden was with Meredith, Justin's girlfriend, mom was still in the car, and dad was helping the police officer fill out the accident report. Brenden wasn't phased at all, went right to the firemen, and didn't cry until I showed up upset and running around. My mom was in shock and couldn't stop shaking. She had a burn on her neck from the seat belt, but other than that she was OK. My dad wasn't hurt at all. It wasn't until I got there that I realized how very close they were to rolling. My mom realized in time that the car was having problems and started slowing down. They did a 360 turn and skidded into the ditch, which is what stopped the car and popped the front tire. The wheel that fell off actually bounced over the power lines and ended up in a field about 100 yards away. Some people who live there found it for us, completely inflated and intact. After the car was up on the tow truck we got to see the rotor in the back.. 2 of the bolts were still on, but missing lug nuts. The other 3 bolts sheared off.

The wheel that caused it all.
Sitting in the ditch.

We had just had our tires rotated by Tate Boys in Skiatook (you might want to stay away from them) and I had called to ask them to come see for themselves what they may have caused. The highway patrol guys thought it was hilarious to see me rip into the service guy that showed up. I wanted to make sure that they were aware of the situation and for them to understand what their possible negligence put my family through. No one realized that I had 20 minutes to think about exactly what could have happened and exactly who could have caused it. Obviously I'm also upset that our main car is completely out of commission for awhile, that we have to buy a new carseat, and who knows what else is going to have to come out of our pocket to get our car fixed.. To borrow my mom's old line, "We are not made of money."

The rotor and remaining bolts.

The most important thing is that everyone is safe. I know that they were being watched over that day. They were going at least 60 mph when it happened but everyone is perfectly safe. Even the highway patrol guys told me the car should have rolled and that they usually have to take people to the hospital when things like that happen. To see everyone walk away with barely a scratch is not luck, it is a miracle.

My parents and Brenden went back to Mike and Connie's house and I headed to our new house. Tim was obviously relieved to finally see someone and was shocked by the pictures. We spent the rest of the day cleaning up and getting ready for Brenden to be able to run around the house, or at least play in his own room. My parents brought Brenden to us (using Mike and Connie's car) ate dinner with us, and left after Brenden was fast asleep. I was a little worried about my mom and how she was doing since she was the most shaken up. She turned to me as she left, laughed and said, "Sorry for wrecking your car!" I think she's just fine. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mission Accomplished

WE FOUND A RENTAL HOUSE!!!! And not just a worn down, in a neighborhood we might not get shot in, with carpets that are horrible that we'll just have to deal with, kind of house. An absolutely perfect little house, in great condition, clean, in a really nice little neighborhood, with great hardwood floors. Hardwood floors have been my dream since Tim and I started looking at houses. Now I'll get to find out if that is what I really want. :) It has 2 bedrooms, one bathroom, a living area, lots of great built-in shelves, a dining nook, a garage to store our extra stuff in (which there is a lot of), and a nice sized backyard. It's not huge but we know we can make it work. Brenden has already found a favorite thing in the house...the folding door between the kitchen and front room. He laughed like a madman playing with that thing! So we assume he approves of the house in general. The only drawbacks are the fact that the driveway is on Yale and it's an older house so it doesn't have a dishwasher. We are going to find a portable one and a stacking washer and dryer and make them all work in the laundry room. (Tim has it all figured out...don't ask me.)

On top of all of the things that I like about the house, the property manager is the coolest guy EVER. At first the advertisement said it wasn't available until November 1st. He had no problem letting us move in on Friday, October 24th. I asked a few questions, like if we could remove the window AC units and store them until next year. His response? "Sure. You guys can pretty much do about anything in here." I just stared at him. For real? Wow...he really trusts us already. So that means I can paint the back room purple? Sweet! (OK...not really. I like the yellow) Then we asked him how much we owed him for October since we're moving in on Friday. He said, "Don't worry about it. You just paid me for November so it's no big deal." WHAT?! It was then that I was convinced we made the perfect choice in this house.

Here are a few pictures. Obviously, the hardwood floors sold me the moment we walked in. Thank goodness the rest of the house was great. :)

View from the street.

The front room.

Built-in shelves in Brenden's room.

Yellow kitchen!

Dining nook/laundry room.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beerfest! (AKA: Oktoberfest and Homecoming 2008)

To say this last weekend was fun would be putting it mildly. It was AWESOME!

We started out on Friday at Oktoberfest in Tulsa. Tim and I made it there at about 5:30 and started the ordeal of explaining to every person at every gate that we were supposed to have tickets and VIP passes waiting for us. (Thank you Nathan and Nathan's dad!) It wasn't that they didn't believe us, it was just that no one there knew where Will Call tickets would actually be. (It turns out there really isn't a Will Call booth but we didn't know that until later) Eventually, one person shuffled us to another and we ended up in the VIP tent explaining our story for the 5th time to the lady who was running the tent. I think she just gave up on trying to figure out who would have the tickets, too and handed us a couple of badges and wrist bands. Luckily Nathan didn't have to go through the whole spiel again later and got in without any problems. From then on the night was pretty much what I expected: LOTS of beer, schnitzel, brats, pretzels, dancing with random old guys named Rick (who claims we have a "dangerous" family, which I still don't understand), and 492 chances to do the chicken dance while standing on a table. We made it home about 11:30 pm and we thought there was NO way we were going to be able to get up at a decent time to head to Stillwater for Homecoming. Tim and I both drank about 10 glasses of water, downed some aspirin, and hoped for the best. (If you are wondering where Brenden was, he got to hang out with my mom all night back at the house. We weren't like the crazy people who had their toddlers out there until 11 pm. And I don't think Brenden needs to see a grown man pee his pants in public....ever.)

Chicken Dance!!!!

At 7:20 am on Saturday Tim and I both woke up, completely surprised that Brenden was still asleep and that we didn't have bongo players wreaking havoc on our brains. At 8:30 am we kissed Brenden goodbye, told him to be good for grandma and grandpa Kelly, and headed to our first football game in 5 years. We couldn't have picked a better year to come back for a game since our Cowboys are 7-0 and are now ranked #7! GO POKES! After a quick stop at Braum's for breakfast we wandered around campus looking at the Homecoming decorations, checking out the newest buildings (and there are a TON of them), and remembering how much fun college was. We eventually made our way into the stadium, which is even more impressive than I imagined. I know it doesn't hold almost 100,000 people, but it looms over all of the buildings. I'll have to find some old pictures of it before so everyone can see just how different it really is. And it's not just the stadium, but the whole area next to it that is different. There are houses and apartment complexes that are completely leveled now to make room for an entire sports village. I'm excited to see it completed.

A sea of orange!

The game wasn't exactly action packed, but we still had a great time. Our seats were on the complete opposite side of the stadium from where we thought they were, which means we were in the sun the entire time. Hence, Tim's lovely raccoon eyes. :) One happy coincidence was that we ran into some of Tim's old friends who invited us to tailgate with them after the game. We picked up Nathan and Lindsey outside the stadium, grabbed the keys to our hotel room, and went back to find Brock and Ashely. (Tim's friends) They do not skimp on the tailgating for sure! There was a TV to watch the Texas/Missouri game, kabobs, chips, dip, cheese fries, beer, pop...and they wouldn't even let us give them money for feeding us. We also ran into our friend Dwight who happens to live in Owasso now. We're hoping to catch up with him again, soon. We finally tore ourselves away and headed to the Strip. Our first stop was Murphy's, which is exactly like I remember...there are even a few bartenders still there from when we were in school. Poor Lindsey didn't feel well at all and while we were there she headed back to the hotel. (We missed you Lindsey!) From Murphy's we headed to Willie's, which is where I decided I was starving. Since I had never been to Coney Island, and since it was the only restaurant serving beer within 100 feet of us, we headed there. If you ever get the chance, PLEASE have one of their onion fried cheeseburgers. I am sure that even without a few hours of drinking they are the most delicious cheeseburgers EVER. Tim and Nathan decided to hang out there for a bit since the beer was cheap and then we headed back to Murphy's. That didn't work out so well since the line was down the street, so we slipped back into Willie's. About an hour more of drinking and I was done, so Nathan called Lindsey and she was nice enough to come get us. Not sure what we would have done without her!

Headed back to the hotel...cheese!

Sunday morning we all rolled out of bed, completely exhausted and just a bit sore from the Quality Inn beds. We stopped at Chili's to get some much needed food, and then drove to all the places that we didn't see the day before. I cannot believe how much Oklahoma State has changed. Most of the classroom buildings are the same, but the apartments that stand where Willham used to be completely surprised me. I wouldn't know how to get around! We eventually found our way back to Skiatook and were greeted by the best sight ever...Brenden waddling towards us. We may have had a great weekend away with friends, but nothing beats coming home to his happy, chubby cheeks.

Of course I have some pictures to share. :) Enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Forget the Cheese, Let me out of the trap!!

So, we are going to lower the price on our house again. Yes now to $184,999, in hindsight we should have done this when we were living in the house but what do you do. In further hindsight maybe we should have just rented. This will definitely be our stupid tax for a while. But with the house gone and maybe a $15,000 loan to cover the sell, we can move forward in our lives. Because $15k is A LOT lower than $190,000.

I got the title of the blog from Dave Ramsey, he addresses this with people all the time. If you are swamped in debt and would like to have your life back again please go to his website, Heather and Tony (our friends we made in Colorado Springs) have already started his plan and are loving the satisfaction of paying off debt and eventually building wealth. Woot Woot, there is your shout out Heather. My shameless plug for the day.

OK later gator, GO POKES, it's off to HOMECOMING!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Brenden this week!

I'm not sure if everyone knows this, but on April 1, 2008, I started a 365 project with Brenden. What it entails is taking a picture everyday for a year. And who else would I take a picture of everyday? Some days I take 15 pictures, other days I completely forget to take one and have to run in to take a picture of the funny way Brenden is sleeping. (the boy can get into some really uncomfortable looking positions!) So there may be a few posts on here that are just pictures of Brenden that I find super cute, which is usually all of them. :) My plan is to put them into a montage of him from April 1st of 2008 to April 1st of 2009. He has changed so much! (and not just with his hair) Enjoy these new pictures!

This is Brenden's new stuffed animal that grandma Warehime brought back from New York. His name is Barney Bunny and Brenden LOVES him.

Brenden has a problem with keeping hats on but this time he actually left it on long enough for me to take a picture! He and grandpa Kelly were headed out for a walk. :)

Brenden loves standing at this make-shift baby gate we have. He yells at the animals and throws things over it.

He's gotten really good at walking in shoes. And he's very proud of himself!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh the woes of renting.

So since the neighbor next door to Mike and Connie changed her mind about us living in her house, Tim and I have been scouring the paper, craigslist, and every property rental website available for a place to rent. We had no idea that the market for rental houses would be so limited and expensive. All we want is a decent house (no broken windows, no rodents or bugs, at least 2 bedrooms) in a decent neighborhood that doesn't cost almost $1000.00. Every time we found something that looked promising we would either drive by it and find that it was a mess, or call on it to be told it had been rented. I didn't realize that it was that difficult to take a house off of a web page so people wouldn't call on it.

Just today I drove by a house and was going to look in the windows (which the leasing agent said was a good idea) only to have the person who is moving into it walk out and look at me like I was trespassing. I had to explain what I was doing and was completely embarrassed. It turns out the owner didn't tell the property manager that he had rented it without them. What is wrong with people?!?

The last house I looked at looked perfect, so of course I assumed that it was already rented even though the leasing agent said it was not. (There was even a car in the driveway.) Tim called and the lady explained that it would be available on Monday and we set up a time to look at it. So here's the BIG problem....our stuff is coming. ALL of it. Everything that has been in storage for 6 months will be here on the 24th, whether we like it or not. Tim told the movers to deliver everything to the address of the house we are looking at on Monday, which we DO NOT have anything signed on. All we can hope for is that everything goes perfectly and that the property manager will allow us to move in even if its not in perfect condition. To say we are crossing our fingers and are hoping for the best is an understatement. SO nerve wracking! Please pray for us...we really need it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin "Patch"

This last Saturday we set out to go to a pumpkin patch for the very first time with Brenden. Now that he can walk I was so excited to watch him run (ok...waddle) up and down the lines of pumpkins. Imagine our surprise as we pulled up to what was described as a huge corn maze and pumpkin patch with lots of fun activities for kids to find a small pile of pumpkins, a tiny maze, and a couple of goats. And we're supposed to pay $8 for this??? Tim was the only one who got out of the car and when the lady he asked about the pumpkin patch pointed to the 10 pumpkins they had, he walked back and asked me to look up something else. Our next stop was more like a fruit stand with tons of pumpkins outside, which actually worked much better than the previous stop. There were piles of pumpkins to sit Brenden on for pictures and tons of different kinds of pumpkins to choose from. Have you ever seen a gray pumpkin? I hadn't. The really nice guy at the counter told us about the farm that the pumpkins came from not far from where we were so we headed that way. It still wasn't a pumpkin patch, but it had a lot more to do and it was FREE. So Brenden got to feed a goat, stare at a camel (yes...a camel), wave at birds and chase chickens. He actually did really well waddling around holding my hand and watching the other kids, even climbed some stairs. So even though I didn't get my dream of an actual field of pumpkins, what we got was pretty darn cool. And since we were down near Glenpool we drove past Mike and Connie's old houses and the school Tim went to. So much fun to reminisce!

Happy Halloween from the Kellys!

Here are the pictures from our pumpkin adventure! There are a few other pictures thrown in there, too. You can click on the link or copy and paste. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pictures, pictures and more pictures!

So as most of you know, I take WAY too many pictures. (If you've known me since I was little you know where this comes from.) I upload as many pictures as I can to Facebook and I've found that's the easiest way for me to share them with everyone. I usually send out the website for the albums as I post them, which I will still do, but I decided to make a list here of the albums that I have already. So if there are pictures you haven't seen yet, this is your chance! :) Just click on the link or copy and paste the link in your browser. You don't have to join Facebook to see the pictures.

Wedding 1:

Wedding 2:

Christmas 2006:

Jason and Chrissy's Wedding:

Baby Shower, Fishing, Parent's 40th Anniversary:

Brenden (1st pictures):

Justin's Graduation:

Christmas 2007:

Trip to Oklahoma in February 2007:

More of Brenden:

Valentine's Day, Botanical Gardens, etc:

Amanda's birthday and the zoo:

Brenden's 1st Easter:

Playgroups and friends:

The Park and other pictures:

Trip to PA!:

Nathan's graduation, Mayfest, Ect:

Memorial Day Weekend 2008:

Jackson and Dillion's Birthday (2 albums):

New Brenden and 4th of July:

Professional Photos:

Denver Aquarium and Castlewood Canyon State Park:

Butterfly Pavillion:

Back in Oklahoma:

Jessi and Micheal's Reception:

Beaver Lake 2008:

Tim's Change of Command:

Brenden turns 1! (2 albums):

Summer 2008 pictures...and such:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What's Going On? (as of Oct. 9th, 2008)

Since we created this blog to let everyone knows what's going on with us, I figured it was time to actually say what's going on with us. :)

Tim is working at Wallace Engineering in Tulsa and LOVING it. He is doing grading and utility design work, including storm water, sewers, water detention and runoff design. He is currently working on projects such as the Montero Assisted Living, Owasso School's Athletic Center and Mid-High, and the White Church Development in Broken Arrow. Tim is also serving as a Captain in the US Army Reserves and on September 7th, 2008, he took over as Commanding Officer of HHC 1st Bridgade 102 Division. He is currently in charge of 75 soldiers and drills with them once a month in Sand Springs.

Amanda is still enjoying staying at home with Brenden and watching him grow into a very smart little boy. She is also helping out at Art of Motion Dance Studio in Bartlesville twice a week, which works out great because she gets to take Brenden with her.

Brenden changes every day and continues to amaze us with what he comprehends. He is officially walking and seems to be trying to run. He has started climbing as well, which leads to all sorts of new baby proofing problems. Some of the words he has learned to say, or is working on saying are: mama, dada, baba, please (sounds like dease), Daisy (Grandma and Grandpa Warehime's dog), Justin (as in Uncle Justin), bird, leaf, ball, diaper, kitty, more, down, up, and out. He is still learning to sign and has mastered the signs for: more, milk, cereal, eat, please, and is working on bird. His favorite songs include Patty Cake, Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, and Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys. He absolutely LOVES books and can sit in his book nook (the corner where the books ended up) and "read" for long stretches of time. (15 minutes is long for 12 months old!)

So far we are still living with Mike and Connie (THANK YOU!) while we wait for our house in Colorado Springs to sell. Right now we have not had any offers and no one has looked at it to rent it. It has not been the easiest to deal with and we've spent many days pulling our hair out trying to figure out how to get someone in there. (if you know someone who wants a great house in Colorado, let us know!) On a happier note, we just started looking at rental properties so we can finally get out of Mike and Connie's hair....oh, and feel like adults again. :) We're keeping our fingers, toes and eyes crossed!

Well Hello!!!

Hi there! Welcome to the Kelly Family blog! Tim looked at me last night and said "We should have one of those blog things" so here it is! Most of the time it will be me (Amanda) updating it but I hope to occasionally get Tim in on the action. As of today our family consists of Tim, Amanda and Brenden...along with all our pets. We plan on using this to update our family and friends on what is going on with our life. So please check back often to see what's new with all of us! (and thanks to Heather G. for inspiring us with her awesome blog!)

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