I know I said I would be better this year, but obviously I'm not. It's Halloween though and this happens to be one of my favorite holidays of the year. I think it's because mom and I used to decorate the house so much for Halloween and we would have those crazy Halloween parties were we could just play and hangout. It's funny that I still love it so much even though I have to do the decorations alone and I spend more time sewing costumes than hanging out with friends, but I still love it! This year the kids wanted to be the cast from "The Wizard of Oz." When I first heard this discussion, conveniently at the pattern table in Joann's Fabric Store, I was waiting for the "Dorothy" fight to begin. BUT, it was a mommy-miracle and the girls did not even fuss once, but explained that Ansley should be the Wicked Witch of the West because she is the oldest, Miranda wanted to be the "Pretty Pink Witch" (aka Glenda), and Ellie wanted red sparkly shoes and lipstick so she could be Dorothy. "Ahhhhhh, Ohhhh, ahhhh, Laaaaa" those are the angle singing cause THIS never happens! Next they decided that William should be the Tin-Man because he is so sweet, and Nolan could be the Scarecrow "cause he can't walk anyway." Love my kids! And so the sewing began! I am happy to announce that the costumes are done and approved, for the most part - the Wicked Witch of the West did actually posses my sweet Ansley for a little bit, but my mom says it's my fault that I have turned her into a perfectionist like me, so sorry Anz! Here is a sneak peak from our ward party and hopefully I post tonight's pictures soon, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween following your yellow brick road to sweets this year!
I am going to welcome Spring by creating my own fat quarter bundle over at Sew, Mama Sew! It looks like a really fun contest and I had tons of fun searching and choosing my favorite fabrics from their shop for a hand picked bundle. I am now so in love with my picks, which of course is their brilliant plan, that I can already feel this quilt wrapped around my kids and I. So here is my bundle, story and all the fun links.
A typical spring afternoon in the Pacific Northwest displays
weather as fickle as the groundhogs shadow. Yet, perched upon the seat of your bike,
with an umbrella in hand, you will be awed at the sudden downpours that awaken
and renew the lush green grass. As you ride along the edge of a swollen crystal
blue stream you will be lulled by the gentle daffodils reaching for the sun. Geese
wonder the fertile hills and valleys of the open fields as the rough bark of budding
trees fill the air with their earthly must. Brilliant white clouds come and go creating shadows
of colors vibrant yet mute. Sunbursts tease your skin with warmth and seem to
paint flowers orange, yellow, and pink before your very eyes. Not wanting to
lose this moment, you make a mental note of your bliss, hop off your bike,
layout your quilt, and lose yourself in beloved novel. Grabbing your tote,
stowing your umbrella and filling your hand with a fresh bouquet of wildflowers
you slowly wander home refreshed from winter and alive with spring!
Now that I am done with the whole kid factory thing, I decided that I would get my Etsy shop back up and running. I've paired up with some friends and we have started a blog dedicated to our crafting and the promotion of our shop. Come check it out please. If you come visit before tomorrow you will have a chance to win our first GIVEAWAY. There will also be a second giveaway later this week. Please help me get the word out on my blog and shop I would really appreciate it. If nothing else you can see what my family has been up to this last month because I posted our little adventure there. Thanks.
This is the series we are running in February, each picture will link up to the post if you click on the caption. Thanks for looking!
On Thursday, December 13th at around 8:00 am, I checked into the hospital as a pregnant person for the last time. I was not nervous or scared just really really excited! Gary was working, as he does almost everyday, so my friend Sheena joined me for the events of the day. We played cards, talked about stupid stuff and she did this hilarious baby dance over and over again because, well lets face it people you knew this would take more than a few hours. Gary got to the hospital sometime just before 5 to find me.... still in labor! Skip forward another four hours plus and an epidural that did not fully function and we find ourselves at 9:30ish pm. Our little Nolan figured that he would not get much attention when he joined the other four monsters at home and so he decided to make a dramatic entrance into the world by arriving hand, arm, shoulder, head. Oh yeah, it felt great! And so there he was, all 8 pounds, 12 ounces, and 21 inches of him. A perfect little cookie cutter of the rest of the kiddos.
We came home from the hospital Sunday night and began to enjoy a wonderful Christmas season with my parents. We rode the Polar Express, played with ferrets, made Christmas gifts and treats, and really just loved on one another.
A month later on a Tuesday night, little Nolan started to cough and by Thursday it was bad. I took him to the doctor who said he most likely has RSV. We were to watch him and come back the next afternoon. Gary and I ended up taking shifts through the night and by 8 am Nolan and I were at the doctors office, as I was not waiting for our 2 o'clock appointment. The next few hours were a blur. In all reality the next few days were a blur. Nolan was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and Gary meet us in the ER. We were transferred to the NICU shortly there after and stayed there for the next 5 days. Nolan received excellent care and our family and friends took care of the rest of the kids. It really would have been even worse had we not received so much love and support. Nolan lost close to a pound and received steroids treatments and pure oxygen for days but was released last Tuesday. A week later he is doing much better. I wish the nurses and machines could have come home with me though, they gave me so much comfort in the hospital but I am starting to sleep again and not worry about him all night, so that is improvement.
And so we are starting over with a new baby at home and a new schedule and a new way of life. I know that we, as well as many of you, were shocked when we were pregnant with this little man but now, of course, it seems so natural and so perfect. So without further ado we are Re-Introducing our newest and last little man...
or maybe a full years, RECAP! It's only been a few months short of a year, what is everyone complaining about!?! Ha, ha ha. Yes let's get to the update. What do I remember about 2012. Well, I started off the year with the goal lose weight and get my body back into real life shape again, not in the sludgy state of in between pregnancies that I had been stuck in for the last few years. Uhmm, well as most of you know that did not go so well for me...but I will now officially begin 2013 with the same goal seeing as our little Nolan has now joined our family as of December 13. But before we get there...
I turned 32 in February and for the first time really felt old. I don't know why, perhaps I am just really tired but, I finally feel like age has figured out where I have been hiding and now he's on to me. William turned the big old 1 and we celebrated with friends and a chocolate cake. Ellie turned 4 in May and she celebrated with a handful of friends and a lot of "Tangled" hair....
In late April I began to worry that my age was affecting my body. Something was really off but we were not sure what was wrong with me. I went to the doctors for a blood work up and we shortly there after got the results. It was NOT age...Yes, we were expecting another little Carroll. As it turned out a few weeks later, we were expecting a "HIM" and a whole lot earlier than we anticipated. As most of you know I am not good at pregnancy and although this was the easiest in regards my insides staying in the inside (which they rarely did) it was still a long and rough ride for our little (probably can't use that word to describe us any more) family. I am proud to say we all survived and we are now officially a complete family...YES I HAVE SAID THIS A FEW TIMES BEFORE, MENTION THAT IN A COMMENT AND RUN THE RISK OF BEING BANNED FROM VIEWING OUR BLOG EVERY AGAIN!
Summer was great. I love having the girls at home and enjoying the warm sunshine (yes, even here in Washington). We traveled to LA for a few weeks. While there we surprised (thanks to my mom and dad) the kids with a trip to Disneyland for the day. The kids ran around crazy and found favorite rides in the tea cups, splash mountian, and dumbos flight. It was fun but exhausting and I would never suggest trying it pregnant. Yet, we all had a wonderful time.
We also spent a week as honorary camp hosts with my dad up along the Ventura Beach Coast. We played in the sand and ocean, ate lunch in chairs while the kids took naps in the tent, and meet up with old friends. This was the perfect end to the summer! I can see why my dad wants to dothis every year.
When we go home we had only a few days to unpack before Ansley went back to school as a second grader and Miranda started kindergarten. This was a huge event for me and while I was not as pathetically scared as I was when Ansley started school, I would be lying if I said I did not turn a show on for the two little ones and cried alone in my room for about and hour. A few weeks later Ansley turned 8 and made me cry again as I was able to watch her be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This was a very special moment for our family. My parents few up for the weekend and we were able to join Ansleys' baptism with one of her "fake cousins" (as we call our second family members children) and best friend Jordyn. It was amazing to see so many people come together to show their love and support for these amazing little girls!
Halloween came soon after with rain and no Daddy in sight. A fellow FedEx-er was politely asked to find a new job after having two vehicle accidents in one month. Normally other than getting a little laugh but truly feeling sorry for this man it would not have affected our family. But as our luck goes he was the man contracted to cover our lates Wed-Fri. This meant that from about the third day in September till mid October and then again on All Hallows Eve Gary was out of the house from about 6:00am till 8:30 or 9ish everyday. It was a very long few months! But with the help of some very wonderful friends the kids and I were still able to make costumes and enjoy the festivities of the holiday.
Miranda turned 6 in November but got the short end of the birthday candle as I was very tired and not very motivated to throw a party. Next year she will get double! At the end of November I was honored to be designer for the Festival of Nativities in Vancouver. It was a lot of work and stress but I had my best friends by my side and with my kids. I was able to play with vinyl, paint, Epsom salt, fabric and many amazing nativities. I made a new friend, Steph, over at Crafting in the Rain and really was proud of what I was able to accomplish and how the end results came out.
A few weeks later we were blessed to finally meet little Nolan. His delivery was rather uneventful and long like the rest of them have been. But the 12+ hours were also worth the wait. Nolan Robert Carroll was born on December 13, 2012. He weighed 8 lbs and 12 ounces and was 21inches long. He is a fantastic little man and truly has made our family complete, even William likes him...now. Nolan will get his own post soon. My parents drove up for the event and were able to spend Christmas with us. It was a perfect Christmas season except for the lack of a snow.
We are now all recuperating and becoming adjusted to our new life as a family of 7. We are looking forward to another eventful year. We hope to continue to have a simple life style full of family, love, and fun. I am working with a girlfriend and her photography business, GracieJPhotography. I also plan on getting my Etsy shop filled with new items soon, potty training William, helping Ellie learn to ride her bike, teaching Miranda to read, helping Ansley learn to sew. I think Gary's focus for the moment is to just get a good nights sleep with no interruptions, but that might have to wait for 2014. I guess this kinda turned into a Christmas / New Years letter, so maybe I will cross that task off my list and just send people a link. Keep me on target with updates this year by yelling at me in my comments, email, and guess what I am even doing better with Facebook. I have the whole texting thing down now too, although as Gary will attest to, I still rarely answer the phone. Oh well, one more habit to change for the new year...
What to say about us? We are now a crazy family of seven plus about 20 pounds of cat (yes, thats one cat). We live in Vancouver, Wa and are very happy in the rain and sun! Gary runs a FedEx Ground route and I run after the 3 girls and 2 boys. Life could not be better - on most days!