Monday, September 15, 2014

A balancing act

I've been totally slacking in the taking-photos-of-the-kiddos Department. Life has been so busy.

We've been doing lots of fun stuff. In the past few weeks we've:
Attended two weddings.
Taken a trip to our cabin.
Spent a day at the zoo.
Enjoyed Bookworm Gardens twice.
Have been harvesting tomatoes from our garden.
Matt's been canning dilly beans and making homemade salsa.
Liam has done countless experiments with paint & glitter glue & play dough.
We've taken trips to the farmer's market.
Started potty training Liam.
Started giving Chloe cereal.

But it's really the daily to-do list that's been keeping us busy:
It's the laundry.
And the dishes.
And the constant layer of crumbs and stickiness on the kitchen floor.
The picking up of toys & socks & books & random everything.
The mowing of the law, de-weeding the garden, watering the flowers, etc.
Paying bills and getting rid of piles of junk mail.
Keeping the refrigerator stocked and the diaper baskets full.
Hosting friends and family at our house.
Double bath times. Double story times. Double put-downs-to-bed.

I've been struggling during the day with how to manage the routine stuff while also making time for fun and caring for two little kids. As soon as I think I've figured it all out, something changes or goes haywire. Luckily, when Matt's done with work for the day, he's an enormous help! When he's with the kids and I things are so much easier.

We have 2 kids and I get stressed out. My Grandma Bieniek had 8 kids and my Grandma Judnic had 9 kids!! HOW DID THEY DO IT ALL?

I've been super complain-y and crabby lately (I'm so sorry Matt) but I truly feel blessed to be busy and tired and surrounded by chaos sometimes. I would rather be busy than bored!

And so we truck on...
...trying to find a balance between fun and the day-to-day....


A few photos of things that have made me smile in the past few weeks:


This little sweetie keeps me smiling...

Liam loving the outdoors at our cabin...

 Kitchen chaos. 

At the zoo. Chloe's first train ride.

Afternoon snuggling with my peanut...

My nephew's 3rd birthday party...

Liam at the park

And last but not least...
(we're trying the "naked" potty training technique)

Monday, September 1, 2014

A beginning


We had Chloe baptized last Sunday.

She was baptized by Pastor Jim at First Congregational Church in Sheboygan.

We asked my brother Jason and Matt's sister Becky to be her godparents. They were there, along with other family members and friends, to welcome Chloe into the Christian community.

As parents it is our hope that faith was created in Chloe's heart through her baptism and that she becomes a loving, compassionate, honest, generous and lovable human being. May this be the beginning of a faithful life for our little Chloe :)

Here are a few photos from the baptism and the gathering + lunch we had at our home afterwards:



I loooovvveeee these little feet!

Our sweet little girl.

 Chloe and her Great-Grandma Beiniek (my mom's mom)


Liam was intrigued by the whole thing.



With her Cousin Beth.

What's a party without some yummy cake?

Snuggled up to her Great-Aunt Tracy

Hanging out with cousins Jenna and Danny.


With her Godfather, Jason.

With her Godmother, Becky.

Grandma Judnic: happy!
Chloe: tired 

Some paper flowers that I made and hung from our kitchen ceiling.
Super easy to make - Tissue Paper Pom Poms

A cozy spot to sit on our deck.

Fun fact: the white gown that Chloe is wearing in these photos was worn by Matt at his baptism, as well as by his dad and grandpa. It's quite the antique and beautifully made.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Walk around the clock

My family and I participated in Relay For Life two weeks ago.

Our team, Team Joe, set up a campsite around the track at Badger Middle School in West Bend and someone from our team was on the track at all times from 6:00pm until 7:00am. My brother's fiancé gets the unofficial 'most miles walked award' for walking 14 miles.

I just wanted to share with everyone that the West Bend Relay For Life event alone raised $103,326.71. Wow, hey? Proof that even a small event in a small town has the ability to do great things. The $103,000 is going directly to the American Cancer Society for cancer research and support for those dealing with cancer right now.

Our team (our family) raised $2,125. My mom raised the most on our team, coming in at $545. Great job Mom :)

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported our team this year. Some of you donated items to our rummage sale. Some of you bought items at our rummage sale. Some of you donated money online or via check.  Others visited us at the Relay event. You know who you all are, and we're sincerely thankful for your help.

I know my dad was smiling down on all of us that night. I felt his presence when Matt, Caroline, Liam and I were sitting in front of the music stage listening to an amazing 14-year old girl sing the most beautiful songs. The stars were out, a cool breeze was blowing and I was surrounded by people that I love most. In that moment I felt proud to be involved in an event that remembers those who have died from cancer (such as my dad), acknowledges those who are fighting the fight right now, and also celebrates those who have won the fight (my brother's fiancé).

I was so busy at the event, talking to everyone & watching our kids & running around, that I barely took any photos. So here are the very few taken on my iPhone:


We were late to the event. We got stuck in a crazy hailstorm.

My niece Isabella selling her do-dads for a donation.
Quite the little entrepreneur she is.

Decorating the campsite. This year's theme was 'celebrate more birthdays.'

Hanging out.

I personalized a little shirt for Chloe.

A couple of the luminary bags I dedicated to my dad:



The bag that my niece Caroline made in memory of my dad. Melts my heart :)



And a link to my blog post from last year's Relay For Life: Relaying

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Almost 4 months old

Chloe was born almost four months ago already! Where did the time go? Seriously.

She has changed so much already. She's rolling from back to tummy, and from tummy to back. She'll giggle and even laugh if you tickle her in just the right spots. She has this cute little smile where her mouth turns up more to the right side. She definitely has Matt's chin and my eyebrows. She loves staring at her brother and he can get her to smile more than Matt or I. She sleeps really good (I nurse her only once throughout the night now, usually between 3:00 and 5:00am). And she farts and poops like a grown man. She keeps us on our toes and her unique little personality is really starting to shine. We love her so much.

I meant to post some of the photos my friend Sarah (www.sarahdohertyphotography.com) took sooner than this. But I guess later is better than never, right? She took these photos when Chloe was just two weeks old:




 She caught her smiling in this photo :)




 She looks so much like Liam when he was 2-weeks old






And here is the birth announcement I made, in case you didn't see it:





Thank you, Sarah, for taking such memorable photos of our little peanut :)

To see more of Sarah's photography, visit her website: www.sarahdohertyphotography.com