Preserve your memories… they’re all that’s left you.

Bonus points to those who recognize the lyrics in my blog post.

Some days I feel glued to my phone and pulled in a thousand directions.  Some days life feels chaotic and stressful and I feel like if I stop to think about it all I might crumble and fall apart. Then there are days when I turn the sound off my phone and set it aside and just… am.  Sometimes that means sitting quietly somewhere without even a book to distract me.  It’s amazing how many sounds a house can make if you really sit and listen.  With two kids, I’m not often alone in the house, but every Monday I work from home and when I’m finished, I try to take at least 15-20 minutes to just BE while I wait for Josh and the kids to get home.  Some days this means sitting quietly on the couch with my feet up and listening to Ziggy sleep (she occasionally snores) and the sounds of construction happening across the street as well as the random sounds that a house makes while watching dust specks in a ray of sun.

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It’s easy to take these moments when I’m on my own, but I’m slowly getting better at remembering to put my phone aside and to shove unwanted thoughts away for a few moments at a time. The other night at dinner I couldn’t get over how grown up Enzo seemed. I don’t recall what exactly everyone was talking about, but I felt a tug at my heart as I watched him. Do you ever have those moments where you’re talking to someone and want to commit every little detail to memory?  It was one of those. I wanted to remember the exact color of his hair and how in the sunlight you can see bits of gold. I wanted to remember the exact blue of his eyes and the mischievous way they sparkle. I wanted to capture his dimple and his smile and for a moment I wanted to just freeze time because every day he gets bigger and bigger and it seems like more and more I forget the tiny little things and I don’t want to forget Enzo at 4 when he still retains just a hint of babyness.

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Thank goodness Phoebe is still very much a toddler in so many ways, despite being almost 3 and pretty much a preschooler.  She’s still terribly attached to her nukie and insists on snuggles morning noon and night. Enzo was never a big snuggler and has always been more independent and wanting to do his own thing.  I love their differences and am still in awe that we created these tiny people.

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Time is indeed fleeting.

6 or 9 depending on how you look at it.

While we’ll have been married 6 years on Sunday, today marks 9 years that we’ve been together. That also means we’ve been in Minnesota for 8 years, and as cliché as it always sounds, I really don’t know where all the time has gone.  Depending on which theory you might agree with, you basically become a new person every 7-10 years what with cells dying off and being replaced, and in some ways I find this to be very true. I’m not necessarily the same person I was when we first met.  Age and circumstance have matured me in some ways, and I suppose in many ways marriage and children have changed us as well.  At our core we remain the people we were when we first met, though.

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Ah, when we first met. We technically first connected on MySpace and that’s where he asked me out.  We went out to lunch at a restaurant that he picked after asking a friend where he should take me, and it happened to be a place I really liked, but he didn’t really. At some point there was lettuce massaging, I think because at some point we talked about cows getting massages so the meat was tender… and then at another point we were talking about Follow That Bird (the Sesame Street movie) which led to our second date – the same day. I drove to his apartment after work and we stayed up most of the night watching random movies and went to work the next day and texted back and forth.

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So it began.  6 months later I agreed to follow him to Minnesota, I think probably because I knew this was it. I don’t know how, either. It isn’t as though I had dated a lot previously to him, but everything sort of fell into place and each step seemed like a natural progression.  We still text and email throughout the day and we still have a mutual love of movies and randomness and don’t always “act our age.”  One of the joys of finding your person is that you’ll always have someone who accepts you for who you are, though, even your most annoying traits.  Sure, there are disagreements, but what else can you do but forgive the person you’ve chosen to be bound to for better or worse?  Nothing in life is simple or easy and perfection is nonexistent.

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I hope the next 9 years of our lives are just as imperfect as the first 9.

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*Our wedding details*

Father, Dad, Papa… you get the idea.

I woke up unusually invigorated and chipper this morning.  I remember at some point last night I woke up in Phoebe’s bed and she wanted to switch to our bed, so this morning I woke up with little toes burrowed into my side and the sound of Josh already in the living room with Enzo who decided to wake up early today. I don’t think Josh was amused by all of our unexplainable energy. Maybe (just maybe) I’ll let him sleep in a bit on Sunday since it is Father’s Day after all. And because of that, I thought I’d throw a little love his way.

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Dear Josh,

While it may be annoying that the kids probably think of you as the fun parent, I appreciate so much that you are fun with our kids.  It’s the moments where you all play silly games together that they will look back on one day.  Even when they are teenagers and think you are so embarrassing and we all try to pretend we don’t know you, they (and me) will always be grateful for your sense of humor and fun loving spirit.

Love,

Your super awesome and humble wife.

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Through the ups and downs, we’ve been a fairly decent team when it comes to parenting and I’m glad to have you as my partner in this whole raising kids thing. You’re the yin to my yang and the peanut butter to my jelly… or maybe the frosting to my cupcake. Either way, you’re necessary and together we made some pretty adorable kiddos who think you’re pretty awesome too.

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Last, but certainly not least, a thank you to my own dad who gifted me my first camera and instilled in me a sense of wanderlust and appreciation for the beauty that is all around us.  Some of my favorite memories will always be of waking up early to go on explorations and long drives.

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Today you are 4.

And just like that, we have a 4 year old. Gone is my baby with the chipmunk cheeks, but he still has his blue eyes, a dimple, and a laugh that is just as infectious as ever.

Where to begin?  Our boy is growing up, which is terribly obvious, but sometimes is so easy to forget and admittedly to try and ignore. He’s becoming his own person more and more each day, which is probably why there won’t be as many pictures of him on the blog either. More often he has requested that I not take his picture, so I will respect that.  I still manage to take photos here and there, but if he specifically asks me not to, down goes the camera.  It’s actually a good reminder to be more present, which I sometimes forget to be.

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I am loving the independence of our 4 year old. For the most part he dresses himself and if he doesn’t like what clothes we’ve picked out, he’ll request a change.  I like seeing what he’s in the mood for and we’re going to go shoe shopping as he noticed his sister has a lot more shoes than he does and he would like more options as well. Fair enough!

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As far as interests go, he still loves books and is working on learning how to read. His favorite shows are Power Rangers (any incarnation), Paw Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Sonic the Hedgehog. As far as movies go, he loves Disney and right now his favorites seem to be Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast (he finds the ending when the household fights off the village to be hilarious).  He is really into Legos and anything he can build with.

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His imagination is fantastic and he has his own little worlds and stories that he acts out with his toys. While he really likes it when he has someone to play with, he also enjoys playing on his own just as much.  Much like his dad, he could spend endless amounts of time playing video games, but we’ve been limiting him.  His favorites are Disney Infinity and Skylanders on the TV, but he loves Angry Birds on his Kindle as well as some really great learning apps. Thanks to the warm weather, he’d rather be outside and has hardly picked up his Kindle at all lately.

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Most importantly, we have such fun with our Enzo. He has a wonderful sense of humor and picks up things so quickly. He is a caring older brother and always looks out for his sister. He has a dimple and a smile that go straight to my heart (and he absolutely knows it!!) which often causes me to cave and give into little requests like just one more book or one tiny piece of candy before breakfast.  We love you, Enzo!

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What no one ever prepared me for…

Before Enzo was born we did what we could to prepare for his arrival.  You could easily find everything an infant could possibly need or want and plan for every possible scenario you read online while frantically wondering if you would be a good parent to your baby.  Books and online forums can tell you a lot about what you can maybe expect when your baby arrives, but since all babies are different this information can all be very hit or miss.  There are, however, so many things a book can’t possibly prepare you for.

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I knew I’d be tired, but didn’t realize that sleep would probably never be what it was before kids. I foolishly thought that one day they’d just start sleeping on their own and that would be that.  Maybe it will… Enzo is only 3 after all, but for now a solid night’s rest is like a mirage in the desert.  Sleep deprivation can cause loss of brain function and irritability and there are days when I feel like the worst mom ever because I have zero patience and get angry with my kids for… well, probably just being kids.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have one child crying and whining (probably because they are tired or hungry and you misjudged just how much) and the other is screaming and throwing a tantrum, all while you’re trying to get them food or something else of equal importance. I’m definitely guilty of yelling at my kids at these moments, and not losing my temper is something I have to work on.  I never could have prepared myself for how drained I’d feel at times and when you’re a parent – you’re always a parent. That doesn’t stop when you feel sick mentally or physically.  It can be hard to always be calm, cool and collected.

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I could go on about some of the negative things books don’t prepare you for, like how it’s not just getting peed on during diaper changes you have to watch out for or just how hurt you’ll feel the first time you’re “Mommy-shamed” for something ridiculous, but I won’t.  Instead I’ll tell you about the great things no one can truly prepare you for like the swelling in your heart that happens when your kids light up when you enter a room and they smile just for you, or when your significant other cradles your newborn or soothes a fussy baby/toddler.  How your preschooler might tantrum and is difficult to a point where you just want to throw your hands up in the air, but then they give you a huge hug and tell you you’re their best friend.  You’ll gladly put off pretty much anything for a good snuggle and even after a bad day you’ll ask for time to stand still while you watch your quickly growing babe sleep.

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I may still be uncertain about who I am and what I want at times, but I do know that my kids are making me a better person.  They’ve altered my priorities and goals somewhat, and sometimes make attaining certain things more difficult, but we could all use a challenge now and then, right?   Though it might feel like they challenge me every day, they are challenging me to be the best parent/mom/person I can be, and I do greatly appreciate that.