Our sweet Jack turned FIVE today! How do we have a five year old?! We love him more than words.
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"People tell you a lot about how much parenting will change your life and they’re right. But usually they mean that you won’t ever sleep in again (you won’t) and a few other things about how much we “give up” to become parents. No one tells you how much you’re going to laugh. No one tells you how much wisdom resides in these small humans, how much they will teach you about love and life and friendship and forgiveness and worship. No one tells you how good and freeing it is to leave your selfishness behind. No one tells you about recapturing your own wonder and innocence, about re-reading the Ramona books, about playing football in the basement, about birthday parties and snow days and every day beauty. All the best things I know about the big nouns and verbs of a life came back into my life because of them....
...When you have been given the tremendous gift of being able to have a baby, to give birth to that baby, to love that baby, it marks you. It should, perhaps, and so this season has marked more than just my stretched-out body, it has marked my soul." - Sarah Bessey
Jack school pic
Jack's Five-Year-Old Interview
  1. What is your favorite color? light blue
  2. What is your favorite toy?  dinosaur toys
  3. What is your favorite thing to eat? pizza
  4. What is your favorite TV show? Dino Dan, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Paw Patrol
  5. What is your favorite outfit to wear? My new shirt and my dinosaur hat
  6. Where do we live? Davenport, Iowa
  7. What are your favorite animals? all of the dinosaurs and turtles
  8. Where does Dad work? somewhere in Davenport at his work
  9. Where does Mom work? at the gym
  10. What is your favorite book? the sea turtle book
  11. What is your favorite thing to do outside? ride my tractor
  12. Who is your best friend? Steven and Jackson
  13. What do you want to be when you grow up? Maybe just a dad
  14. What's your favorite game to play? chutes and ladders
  15. What do you like to take to bed with you? a cozy animal
  16. What's your favorite thing to do with Mom? snuggle and do "squeeze, squeeze, squeeze" (where we take turns squeezing each others hands three times while holding hands... melt my heart!)
  17. What's your favorite thing to do with Dad? snuggle (melt my heart again!)
  18. What's your favorite treat? suckers
  19. What is your favorite movie? Monster's Inc
  20. If you could go anywhere, where would you want to go? Disneyland
  21. What makes you happy? the movie theater
  22. What makes you sad? David hitting
  23. What makes you scared? I don't know
  24. What is your favorite sport? basketball
  25. What's your favorite flavor of ice-cream? pink and blue (cotton candy :)
Things I want to remember about Jack at five:
  • Five was by far his most highly anticipated birthday. (Maybe because two of his best friends turned five earlier his month)
  • He loves reading non-fiction books about turtles, snakes, sharks, and dinosaurs. When we go to the library, those are the only types of books that he is interested in reading and checking out. (As a result, I know way more reptile facts than I ever cared to know about, and he corrects my pronunciation of certain dinosaurs. haha)
  • Jack actually learned how to sleep until a decent hour in the morning this year! He sleeps until 6 or 6:30 every morning instead of 4:45-5:30 like the first four years of his life. We are so grateful!
  • Jack is still my picky eater that would be happy living off of pizza and peanut butter and honey sandwiches for the rest of his life. 
  • Jack clips his own fingernails and is a little OCD about it :) He used to bite them before we ever got to them in time until he got an infection in his fingernail this spring so now he is too scared to bite his nails. But he's got the clipping thing down :)
  • When he eats, he somehow always gets his food in his hair!
  • Jack always has a special "treasure" or "object" (that is basically junk ;) in his hand or pocket at all times. He attaches to something for about three days to two weeks and then moves on to the next object. I swear he has done this since he was one years old or so. An object is even more special to him if he knows it's the last one or only one that exists. (his object currentl is a little scorpion key chain that my dad gave him in Arizona :)  He organizes all of his objects on his night stand and can tell you exactly where they all came from and who they are from and why they are special to him. I need to get this boy a junk drawer :)
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  • Jack loves preschool and his favorite center at school is the "blue center" where he cuts pictures out of magazines (he only cuts out animal pictures :)
  • Jack loves going to museums and the zoo.
  • Jack is sweet, sensitive, and loves snuggling. David hits Jack quite a bit, but Jack never hits him back. He's a lover not a fighter, just like his dad :) 
We love Jack and love celebrating with him on his special day!

Jack's fourth birthday post
Jack's third birthday post
Jack's second birthday post
Jack's first birthday post 


What's Up Wednesday

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Today, I’m linking up with ShayShaefer and Mel for What’s Up Wednesday!
What I'm excited about:
Right now we are in Arizona for Thanksgiving!!! My parents moved to Utah last month and so we are having one last hurrah as a family in Arizona before they sell their house.
What I'm dreading:
Saying goodbye to Arizona :( I never thought in a million years that my parents would move and it's really weird to think that I no longer have family living in the place that I love, the place I call home, and the place I get homesick for. I will seriously miss my parent's home :(
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What we're eating this week: 
I almost don't want to waist a meal on Thanksgiving food while we are in Arizona because there are too many delicious places that I need to visit! haha In addition to a Thanksgiving feast this week, I am planning on eating a shrimp mango quesadilla from Gecko Grill, a strawberry coconut boba from The Street, Joe's BBQ, Bahama Bucks, and whatever other amazing AZ food I can shove into my mouth in just four short days!!!
What I'm reminiscing about:
The many bobas I've enjoyed over the years. I'm feeling a little panicky that after this trip, I don't know when I will get my next boba fix! I have found other bubble tea shops, but none compare to The Street in Mesa!
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What we've been up to
We had 70 degree weather up until last Friday and tried to soak it in as much as possible because now it is officially COLD in Iowa!
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My friend asked me to take her family's pictures this last weekend. I definitely wouldn't call myself a photographer, so it's a good thing they're cute and that I have a good camera :)
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What Jack does when we are "cleaning" his room :)
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I love afternoon chill time with these boys :)
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We got our Christmas decorations out this weekend! Jack and David were totally into setting up the nativity and Christmas tree :)
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(The only thing that makes that crocheted infant hat that Jack is wearing even more quirky than it already is is the fact that he kept his "zoo card" - aka my expired zoo membership card from Alabama shoved in the top of the hat the entire day. Even to a birthday party. He kills me.)
One of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up was that my parents gave us a new Christmas ornament every year. When I got married, I got to take all 21 of my Christmas ornaments from over the years and I love continuing the tradition with my kids. New ornaments for this year - John Deere tractor ornaments :) Jack loved seeing which ornaments were his and when I took a picture of him with all of his ornaments lined up, Spencer mocked me and said, "Remember how we used to just put ornaments on the Christmas tree instead of take pictures of them?!" haha
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Another Christmas tradition - sleepover by the Christmas tree the first night it is up. Spencer and I passed on this tradition this year :)
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What I'm loving: 
  • Anagrams! It's an app through Imessage that is similar to the game Boggle. Growing up, my brother and I played Boggle almost every Sunday and now I have been playing Spencer and my brother every single day since I downloaded it! It's so fun!
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  • Target dollar spot! (I actually try to avoid it during the holidays because the dollars add up at the dang dollar spot) but I couldn't pass on these cute plates!
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  • This! I used to iron my clothes almost every night in high school (even my jeans!) but I NEVER iron anymore!
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  •  Taking advantage of expectant mothers parking spaces! Though I must say, I think I would rather have a "moms with infants and/or toddlers" parking space.
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What I'm working on:
I just finished working on a "busy bag" exchange with some friends and I'm excited to have some little activities to keep my kids quiet and busy during church :)
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Also, I only have one more week of my drawing class for my professional development class for my teaching relicensure. I hate this class and I'm so glad that it is almost over. Drawing is not my thing and I don't see how this helps me be a better elementary school teacher. I have to do two "free sketches" in addition to my anxiety-inducing drawing assignments and I always choose to draw a Disney character to impress Jack and David :) Most of my drawings are truly horrible (like the teacher seriously has told me to try again for a better grade multiple times) but I am proud of my Disney drawings :)
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What I'm watching/reading:
This is Us! Love this TV show!
I read "Station Eleven" for book club this month. It wasn't my favorite, but I still enjoyed it.
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What I've been listening to:
I'm going to Beautiful the musical with my BFF tonight so I've been listening to that soundtrack all week!

What I'm wearing: 
Warm clothes! Yay for Arizona Thanksgivings!
What I'm doing this weekend: 
Hanging out with family, stuffing myself sick, and celebrating Jack's birthday!
What I'm looking forward to next month:
Christmas and a vacation with Spencer's family!
Bonus Question: what's your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Turkey bowls and turkey trots!
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Life lately

The last few weeks have been pretty chill. Jack is on quite a dinosaur kick lately. He plays with his dinosaurs every single day and knows more dinosaur names than I do. Yesterday, he told me about Archelons - prehistoric turtles. He told me that they were "twice as big as leatherback turtles, about the size of of a small car." I almost died laughing and in amazement that he knows all of these crazy facts! But of all people, Jack WOULD figure out the name of dinosaur turtles :) He said he learned about them from Dino Dan, a TV show on Amazon Prime.
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Speaking of Dino Dan, he found out that there is a Dino Dan website with all sorts of games and activities. Jack and David love it. Me, not so much because I am the one who has to play the games while they watch. haha. Maybe it's time to buy a mouse so Jack can learn to play by himself.
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David is still super hero obsessed :) Any time he goes to a friend's house, he finds their super hero costumes and HAS to try them on :)
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David finally got a haircut! It was out of control.
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Tantrums are so frustrating but sometimes kind of cute :)
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More bike trail before it gets too cold!
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Friday night Go Fish :)
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Pregnancy brain - thought this was hairspray and sprayed it in my hair the other day! Whaaaaaaaaah!!!!
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How I feel every day now!!!
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What we've been up to

I started feeling better this week so I decided to stop taking my nausea medication but I ended up throwing up all weekend :( 17 weeks and into my second trimester and still barfing strong!

Rewind to Halloween weekend. On Friday, we went to art class where they had adorable Halloween crafts set up.
(This picture is posted for me so that I can throw these away and not feel guilty :)
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Then we went to the zoo! Full disclosure: I am very sick of our zoo and am glad that it is closed for the season but Jack and David's love for the zoo is still going strong!
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On Friday night we went to our church's trunk or treat, and on Saturday, we hit up the Halloween parade. It was so warm outside that Jack and David didn't want to wear their costumes. (David hasn't had a haircut since July. Can you tell?! ;)
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He ate all of those suckers in one day and more. #parentsoftheyear
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On Sunday we carved pumpkins.
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On Halloween, Jack got to wear pajamas to school so he chose his Halloween jammies, of course!
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My in-laws sent us a Halloween package! Jack and David loved it.
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The scariest thing I did on Halloween was vote! haha
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Also, this really made me laugh. I really have to make an effort to not post political things on FB or get into FB political debates!!!
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We had a blast trick-or-treating. The weather was perfect and Jack and David scored lots of butterfingers for me :) I had a moment watching Jack and David trick-or-treat where I couldn't believe that I was actually "the parent" taking my kids trick-or-treating. Wasn't I just barely a kid going rollerblading door to door trick-or-treating?! Sometimes I just feel like I'm just pretending to be a grown up with kids because I don't have life figured out yet ;)

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Seriously, they couldn't have picked better costumes to fit their personalities.
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Jack loved trick-or-treating at his teacher's house!
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They were exhausted after walking to so many doors and Jack fell asleep with his new sun glasses that my mother-in-law sent him :)
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The weather this week has been perfect so we've been spending a lot of time outside before the weather gets too cold! We love living across the street from the bike trail! We've put in so many biking, walking, and running miles on our beautiful trail.
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They love to stop and throw rocks in the creek.
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The most dominant personality in the family award goes to David :) We sure love David boy.
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Spencer and I spent 3 1/2 hours one night this week putting together 20 crock pot freezer meals for $160! After spending waaaaaaay too much money on groceries and eating out in September and October thanks to me being pregnant and worthless in the kitchen, we decided to keep things simple and cheap in November! 
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This may sound hard to believe but Jack dressed himself the day I took this picture :)
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Today is daylight savings and it is the absolute worst.
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We intentionally kept Jack and David up late last night. At 8:45, David whined, "Mom! It's dark outside and it's night!" He is the hardest to put to bed at night, so I knew he was tired then :) But then he was ready to go at 5:20 am and both Jack and David were begging me to put them to bed at 6:45 tonight. I'm honestly just grateful we didn't have to wake up in the 4s this year. (knock on wood) It's a good thing they are cute! This is what they were playing today :)
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And HAPPY 24th to my brother, James!!!!
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