So I've got to be completely honest. Age 3 (and those months approaching) have been really tough. Declan is extremely passionate, strong-willed and opinionated. These attributes will benefit him some day but these days it just equals what feels like locking horns all day long. Mark will call home from work and ask how things are and my answer is often "as long as we are doing what Declan wants, how he wants when he wants, things are fine." Every single thing is a battle.
I'm sure, to a point, this might be common 3 year old behavior. We repeat "this is a stage" and "this too shall pass" often. My frustration lies in the fact that I feel like I'm always telling him no and being firm with him. We can't transition to one thing to another without a mini argument. I'm not always proud of the mama I am to him right now. 
We are being consistent with discipline using primarily time outs, calling and encouraging each other and riding out the storm. 
Because, seriously, how can someone this cute be such a sassy pants?
Oh, and how does my baby look this old:
No matter the battles, I still adore this munchkin more than words can explain.
Repeat after me: "this too shall pass".


Meeshka, Mooshka!! It's a 3rd Birthday Bash!

 Declan with his Papa & Nana:
 And with his Grandma & Grandpa:
Kids table!
A couple cute Mickey & Decs pictures from our 3 year shoot yesterday (more to come):
 sweet joy.
 silly monkey!
Surrounded by family we had such an amazing day celebrating Declan!
Here's to many more.


Then he was THREE

Oh my stars. It has happened. 
My baby is a little boy. Time did what people says it does with kids and flew by. 
We are so very blessed with this spunky, opinionated, hilarious, athletic, happy, tender hearted, inquisitive, fearless boy:
Happy birthday, Declan Isaac. 
Three years ago we never knew how rich our lives could be with you in it. 


Weekend Rewind

We had such a full and fun weekend! Friday night we saw Casting Crowns and they were fabulous. 

Saturday myself and some co-workers participated in a Memorial Golf Tournament.  In February 2010 a gentleman had a heart attack while driving and crashed in to our building. Only 4 of us were working at that time and lets just say the whole event made a lasting impact. (Read about it here) To this day, our company (especially those of with him when he died) mean a lot to his family. We were honored to be a part this annual tournament in his honor. I was just a cheerleader since I can't golf but it was super fun regardless. I realized I love driving a golf cart. Who knew?
Team BancWise:
That night was "A Night at the Ballpark" with our son's adoption agency. We've loved taking Decs to games this year and this was the last home game. Such fun times.
Sunday was full of birthdays and more birthdays! We celebrated SEVEN birthdays in our family (me, Declan, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, two sister-in-laws and my brother-in-law). The adorable cake:
 silly cousins:
We left early from that party to go celebrate Ryan's birthday.
Phew. I'm beat. 
(Especially beat because Declan got up on the hour last night. I'm inhaling coffee like it's going out of style). 

Next weekend is Declan's Mickey Party!! Can't believe my baby is turning 3. If you run in to us around town, Declan will be sure to tell you all about his party. He's a little excited. Just a little. 


Mmmm, mmmm, good.

In January I began a healthy eating overhaul that has been the toughest but most rewarding journey. I'm phasing out to a less strict but still mindful way of eating and am developing some faves. On the mornings I run (I'm training for a 5k, Lord help me) I like this hearty breakfast:
I take a whole wheat English muffin (my fave is Trader.Joe's) and put it open faced with a fried egg and lean Canadian bacon on top. Pair with a side of fruit and I'm ready to burn some calories running!
Have you made my favorite chicken tacos? If not, you should. They're redonk. Ditch the tortilla (who needs carbs for dinner anyways?!) add a little avocado (alert: they are uber pricey these day) and you have a finger licking, tummy pleasing meal. 

I have an honorable picture-less mention. The mornings I go to work I make a little parfait to die for. Super simple...just put a cup of Greek yogurt in the bottom of a plastic container. Add 1/2 cup of granola (TJ's pecan maple...mmmm) and a 1/2 cup of fruit. I lurve raspberries and blueberries these days. The drive to work softens the granola perfectly - not too crunchy, not too soft. 

Enjoy. Guiltlessly. 



This is exactly how I watch t.v. too. Keeps those hamstrings loose.


the big move

When we bought our home nearly 6 years ago it was perfect. Fabulous old neighborhood, woodwork everywhere you turn, nice and roomy. Then Declan entered our world and the "low maintenance" (i.e. super tiny, non-existent) back yard became a huge drawback instead of a sweet plus. We bounced around the last couple of years from trying to sell to figuring out ways to just be content and make it work.

After an unsuccessful few months on the market, we had finally come to a conclusion: we'll finish the basement, thus solve our need for a 3rd bedroom and 2nd bathroom and just stay 5ish years. About a week before the framer was going to begin, I struck up a conversation with the investor that bought the house directly next door. He was doing a major reno which meant we were being woken up too early by the sounds of hammers, saws and who knows what else. Come to find out- he was renting it. My wheels began to turn and I asked for first dibs. He gave me a crazy look and agreed. About 3 weeks later we walked through, loved it, and put down a deposit to rent it.

CRAZYCAKES?! Maybe to some. Why would we want to move from homeowners to renters? Why move directly next door? What about our house? It made complete sense to us. We'll move to meet our family's needs, stay here a year or two or six. All the while, we add "landlord" to our description and nurture a new investment opportunity. Risky? Hopefully not too much.

We found amazing tenants very quickly (in 12 hours on craigs.list we had 33 viewing requests) and solidified the details. We took off for Vegas knowing keys to the new place awaited us with a cushy 2 1/2 weeks to move before our tenants took possession. The call that shook the plan came as we boarded the airplane. Our tenants, who were moving from Texas, got a job and needed to be here ASAP. Like, as in, a week. Keep in mind we were walking on to a plane on a Thursday, returning on a Sunday and, now, handing over keys to our old home that next Sunday. Not a single thing was packed.

It wasn't easy. In fact it was completely horrible. BUT...we made it. In 7 days we packed, moved, unpacked, prepared our old house and collapsed every night in sheer exhaustion. Not even 2 weeks later, we feel 80% settled. We absolutely love our new home. There is a big finished basement where Declan can play to his heart's content, Mark has his own bathroom which is fabulous in too many ways to name, our backyard is getting great use now that it's not 100 degrees outside and we're just flooded with contentment.

Sometimes those nutty ideas just work themselves out. It took me about 2 days to get over my pride about renting (I sell real estate so I get some grief for being a renter). Why so short? Probably because the water heater went out, the basement flooded twice and a floor drain had to be busted out. The peace of calling the landlord and knowing the repairs were not on our dime was confirmation enough. Renting, for now, is a fit. (Please send good vibes that, as landlords, we don't need to fix anything big anytime soon.) Ha!

So, I give you, the BIG move:


obligatory potty post

I have a little pet peeve. Just a little one. I absolutely hate reading potty posts on Facebook. Therefore, in order to not be hypocritical I will celebrate on my own personal blog......


Let me back up. About 6 months ago, Decs seemed interested in the potty. We went out and bought the Froggy potty, Deigo rim thingy, lots of underwear, prizes, a potty reward chart, etc. The excitement faded and we pushed it to the background. I decided, for now, I'll let him lead this ship. Now, all these months later, he's been asking to sit on the potty again. For the record, I've sat his cute little buns on the potty per his request hundreds of time with no success.

Well, a couple weekends ago, he pottied for my mother-in-law. YAY! The child knows that sitting on the potty isn't just for kicks. Woo hoo. He hasn't asked much since then so we didn't push. Then, at church yesterday morning, he asked his teacher to take him potty and he went.

This takes me to last night. We were at a housewarming party and he asked to go, and went, stayed dry for awhile, asked to go again, and went. Fabulous pattern, huh?!

Today, most #1s have been on the potty but no #2 attempts. Oh well. I'm just happy to be moving forward with this big step!

What a big boy! So proud!!
*Declan will kill me for this picture later in life. I'll take the risk.


I absolutely hate to fly. It freaks me out every.single.time. BUT, I love the glorious views from the plane. God's creation takes my breath away.


snap. crackle.

Last night we were headed to a baseball game and caught wind (no pun intended) of a strong storm headed our way. We turned around and headed to the mall for a carousel ride and frozen yogurt instead. We were inside for an hour and came out to this: