Thursday, May 31, 2012


***Note to self: Never mention things like "I've never changed a tire." or "I don't know how to find the spare." to my husband. This will lead to lots of sweat, dirt and sore arms.***

As we were leaving the lake this past weekend, Connie mentioned I should check our right rear tire. I didn't think much of it and we drove the hour home with no problems. Not long after that I headed to the store for dinner and made it back safely. Only a few hours later the tire was most definitely flat.

Yes, I had mentioned in the last month or so to Tim that I had never changed a flat tire. Yes, I knew it would probably come back to bite me.

Still, I never imagined I would be changing a tire in my driveway with an audience. (Thanks for the commentary Tim and Jake!)

I actually did it all myself. I jacked up the car, removed the old tire, and installed the spare. All while Tim and Jake drank their beers and took pictures.

I'm really glad I had the opportunity to learn how to do this in a safe environment with no kids screaming from the car or any place to be. Tim and Jake were actually helpful and didn't make a ton of fun of me. (Yes! The 4-way is a great tool! I'll remember that next time.)

Hopefully this will be the last tire I have to change for a good long time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Some highlights of our weekend:

  • Bubbles! Dirt! Football and baseball! Never a dull moment.

  • A ton of yummy food, including a delicious 57th wedding anniversary cake (Gluten free!) made my the wonderful Bre. Congratulations Dan and Ginny!

  • Brenden wasn't scared of the water at all this year. Big change! I think he jumped and climbed and jumped again at least 50 times. Definitely better than having to throw him back up onto the inner tube over and over and over. Lauren was obsessed with the jet ski, which was no surprise. She loves to drive and, combined with being on the water, she was in heaven. So glad to have 2 water babies!
  • We finally figured out a way to get both kids to sleep, on the same bed, at the end of the day. You would think after an entire day of playing so very hard they would be exhausted and pass right out. Not the way these kids work! Although Lauren did curl up on Connie's lap the last night and a few minutes later was snoozing away.

And, for comparison, Memorial Day 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Friday, May 25, 2012

First Fishing Trip!

When I married into the Kelly family, I knew I was marrying into a family that liked to fish. Based on trips I had in high school, I was not a fan. After several trips I can officially say I've been convinced that it's not that bad. Ha!

My 22 pounder! I held the record for a little while. :)

Brenden has been fishing since he was still in my belly. He must have realized that he would live on the water on the weekend during the summer because he loves it. For the last few years he's been "fishing" in his grandpa's bait tank in the garage, off the dock, or in small ponds. Today, he got to join in on a real, big guys fishing trip. It was obvious he was excited when, awoken at 5 am, he said, "Thank you, daddy!" and ran off to get ready.

7 1/2 months pregnant. -2007-
First, very tiny, fish from a pond. -2011-
Fishing with grandpa is the best! -2011-

From the few pictures I've seen, I think he's having a blast.

Ready to go! 
Good job, Brenden!!!

I'm so excited he gets to share this time with his dad and grandpa. (And Jake!) I can't wait to go fishing with him, soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last Day of School!

I cannot believe that we made it through our first entire year of preschool with the kids. Last year Brenden only went half a year so this was new for all of us. I knew I would be weepy their first day, but I never knew I would be so emotional on the last day. Yes, I am nervous about this summer and how to keep them entertained. More than that, I'm sad that next year they will be at a new school with new teachers. Kids Kare really is awesome and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Brenden has grown so much, physically, emotionally and mentally, since last September. He can now spell his name, my name, his dad's name, and several other words. He's starting to read and just the other day read three pages by himself. He's working hard on his penmanship and, with my help with spelling, can write just about anything. He knows simple addition and subtraction, sign language, can use scissors well and colors (mostly) in the lines.

We're so very proud of him and cannot wait to see what next year brings! This boy is read for pre-k.

Lauren is a completely different child than the one I dropped off last year. Gone are the days of screaming and grasping at me when I drop her at the door. Her teacher, Ms. Kim, is one of her most favorite people and we hope to keep in touch for a long time. She has always been a talker, but her language has literally exploded. We have entire conversations with her and she love to argue, which makes me very nervous for the coming years. She can recognize letters, numbers, shapes, colors and is able to count groups of objects by herself. She loves to sing, usually loudly, and had a blast on stage for their end of the year performance.

She has grown up so much and I'm so excited to watch her continue to learn!

My babies, they are growing up way too fast!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


The neighborhood we live in is one big circle, closed in by a gate at the front. Somehow, we have 4 different streets in this small third of a mile length of road. It seems to me it would be easier to just make it one big circle or court, but that has nothing to do with this story.

When we first looked at this neighborhood it was no where near complete. There were empty lots and long strips of land with no sidewalks. Since then, which was just August 2011, a new house has been started almost every single month. Which means lots of construction, lots of large trucks and loud noises, and an audience if I decide to mow the yard. (Which also has nothing to do with this story, but is still extremely annoying. If I wanted to be stared at while sweating I'd go to a gym...or a pool.)

For reference:

The weekend we bought our land.

(Please forgive my blurry pictures. I'm not the best with photoshop, which I don't even own.)

The red X is our land.
What a difference!

So all of that setup is to tell a funny story about Brenden. His friends from across the street often play in the yard next door, which is a house that is almost completed. I don't let the kids play over there in case there are any nails or other construction debris that could be harmful. I know that makes me over protective and helicopter parent-ish, and even a little bit selfish since it's only because I don't want to have to deal with the insanity of taking a child to the ER on the off chance that they do get hurt. It's a constant fight that I will be very happy to end when the new family moves in.

We were driving home from school and Brenden was drilling me, as usual, about what he was allowed to do when we got home. "Can I go outside?" "Can I ride my bike?" "Can I play with Grant and Conor?" "Can I play in the front yard?" "Can I play in the dirt?"

That last question is what started our entire debate. He would ask if he could play in the dirt, I would repeat that no, I did not want him stepping on a nail or getting hurt. He would cry and whine and flail and then ask again. Repeat for what felt like hours. Finally, he decided he was done with the conversation and said,

"You're mean! You're not my mommy anymore! I'm gonna live with GRANDMA!"

I couldn't help it...I laughed. He said it with such force and he meant it. He glared at me from the backseat and I could see his brain working to decide what to say next. Finally, he made his decision.

"I'm gonna live with grandma Ginger. You're mean! I'm gonna TELL YOUR MOM!"

Yes, he threatened to tell my mom on me. You can imagine the look I got when I busted out laughing again. I'm totally against laughing at my kids when they are upset, or whining at them when they are whining, but I just couldn't help it.

And mom, if you're reading this, thanks for telling Brenden you supported my decision. I think he forgave us. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Number 10, Brenden Kelly!!!

A small taste of things to come?? :)


Brenden has been extra funny, at least to me, lately. The other day we were at my friend Bre's house when, out of nowhere, he very seriously said, "My daddy shoots zombies."

No more watching Doomsday Preppers in this house.


One night I was laying down with Brenden listening to his prayers and telling him his bedtime stories. He placed his hands on either side of my face, looking very serious.

"A really little guy could use the lines on your forehead as a ladder."

Yep, I felt very confident after that.


The director of Brenden's preschool stopped me the other day when I was picking him up. After laughing at my concerned face and assuring me that Brenden was not in trouble, she told me that he had acted up during their practice for the end of the year presentation. She got onto him and said he started acting right after that.

That wasn't the funny part, though. After they were done he came up and hugged her, smiled really big and said, "Miss Melissa, I just love you! You're the best!" He's learning very early that flattery is a good thing.


This picture says it all:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

For the wonderful mothers that I am blessed to know and have in my life...thank you! You are amazing, beautiful, fantastic women and the world is better because of you.

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