Friday, December 31, 2010

A year in review

2010 in review:
Emma got her ears pierced
 We went out to dinner
 Arabel turned 2!
 We went to Minneapolis via Chicago. Emma wore a fantastic hat.

 We had a picnic complete with s'mores
 We went swimming
 Emma started kindergarten
 I met Stevie Wonder
 The girls went trick or treating
 We took a family picture
 and another one
 Emma turned 6!

 We had a very merry christmas.

This year was filled to the brim with excitement, sadness, joy and every emotion packed in between. We had a fire, moved and kept on plugging.

I can't wait for what 2011 will bring, though I am hoping it isn't nearly as eventful. :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from all of us!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

She is 6!!

Emma is now six!

Here she is just born: 12/17/04 12:02am 8 pounds 7 ounces
First birthday
2nd birthday
3rd birthday
4th birthday
5th birthday
the big 6!!

I am incredibly lucky to call this wonderful little girl mine.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that your bellies are all full of delicious food and you have many blessings to be thankful for. :)

Kimm, Rob, Emma and Arabel

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

long needed update

Rob and I went to Emma's conferences. She is a delight to have in class. :) Zero problems with behavior (which we figured, she is a pretty darn good kid.) She is incredibly kind and sensitive to other children's feelings. So, pretty much we are kicking ass at raising a good kid. Pat on the back for us!! Academically, she is making progress. Since this is her first school experience, she started behind other kids. She does demonstrate a major motivation to learn and master concepts, and she is making progress at a great rate. She could identify 20/26 letter sounds in mid October. As of earlier this week she is only getting confused with the letter "e" so I would definitely say that she is soaking everything up like a sponge. She has started VERY basic reading and writing so we are being blown away daily about how much she improves on a daily basis.

We are incredibly proud of how she is doing. Emma told me that her favorite part of the day is phonics. :) Hooray!

Arabel is still hysterical and talking more and more. She knows the entire alphabet and can count to at least 20. Emma is teaching her the letter sounds, so she is picking up on that as well. Her drawings are now looking like more than just lines and circles, so it fun to guess what she is making now.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

new job??

I interviewed for a new job on Friday. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I should know something by Friday. I would love to post with news of a new job. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New pictures up

Check out the flickr stream, I added new pictures from our trip to the pumpkin patch. The girls had a blast checking out the animals, watching the pig races, going on the hayride out to the pumpkin patch and picking out pumpkins.

The girls have picked out their Halloween costumes and I can't wait to show pictures of my little witch (Arabel) and my queen (Emma). I am sure that I will have plenty of pictures. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday Funday

I got the chance to meet Stevie Wonder today. It was awesome. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Check out the flickr stream!! I have pictures up from Emma's first day of kindergarten. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Long awaited update

I apologize for being so behind on the blogging as of late. I haven't really had a ton of extra time or the drive lately. I am sure people are awaiting pictures as well. Pictures will have to wait until I find the card reader I bought for my laptop, it was purchased during the fire and has been "misplaced". My charger didn't make it, so a new camera may be on the horizon. :)

We LOVE our new place. It is big, with a huge yard, a garage, basement (storage!!!) and brand new carpeting and flooring. We are still settling in, but for the most part are back to a normal life. Rob and I have both struggled with a bit of anxiety, but we too are back on track. I recently have signed up to be a Pampered Chef consultant (in addition to my regular job bartending and managing the bar). I am excited about the new venture and am already loving all of my new kitchen gadgets. It has even inspired me to cook a bit more at home, which I am sure Rob is thrilled about!

Emma is almost officially a school kid. She starts kindy on Tuesday. It is hard to believe that in a few short days we will be watching as she starts her school journey. Her first day is more like an activity day, it will only last a couple hours and I will be with her the whole time. Her second day is a half day and her third day is when the year gets into the swing of things. She is in full day, and I can only imagine that she will be one tired girl at the end of the day. She is excited, but is a bit nervous. She is worried about not being able to read or tie her shoes well enough. We have explained to her that she will learn these things and it seems to have helped calm her fears. I have no doubt that she will have a million friends by the end of the first week and love every second of it. I was excited about the school supplies that I got to buy, I finally had a reason to get them!! I have a feeling that I may shed a tear on one of her first days of school, but can't wait to watch how much she grows and learns this year. One of my friends from high school is a teacher there and has already introduced himself to Em. It does help ease my anxiety a bit to know that she is in such good hands. Hard to believe that I am going to be taking my "baby" to school.

Arabel is hilarious. Her speech has exploded over the past few weeks and she is always good for a laugh. Her personality is much like Emma's (and mine), but has a nice dose of Rob's thrown in there. She is stubborn and opinionated, but laid back and very lovey. She does things on her own terms, but we knew that from the refusing to walk shinanigans. :) I am looking very forward to spending one on one time with her and watching her grow while Emma is at school. I know that she is really going to miss her sister though. I have a feeling that she will be a little lost for awhile before she gets the hang of Emma being gone. I am also looking forward to getting her potty trained. She is completely ready (we will see if she is willing to train though), and I am completely ready to say good bye to diapers. :) I hope that it isn't a year long struggle like it was with Emma. Something about those stubborn kids, I have no idea where they get it.

I hope everyone is doing well, and thanks for being patient. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I did it!!

I got an email yesterday... my picture was picked to be included in the guide to Chicago. Click here for the website. My photo is one of the revolving ones on the right hand side of the page under "DOWNTOWN". My name is there too. Not too shabby!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

fire update

We have a new house!!!! We are renting (possibly buying) a 3 bedroom duplex. :) We love it! This is going to be brief as I am exhausted from moving things in and cleaning them. Our beds are set up and we are staying here for the first time tonight!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Wednesday, July 14, 2010 will be a day that we will always remember. It was the day that our lives as we knew it would be turned upside down.

Emma left with my parents on Tuesday to go camping up north for the remainder of the week. It couldn't have been better timing. I headed off to work on Wed. and when I got there received a frantic message that I needed to get home, there was an emergency. I got back to my apartment complex to find multiple fire trucks, police cars and ambulances. I walked up to see my apartment in flames. Rob and Arabel were able to get out safely, so that was priority number one. Rob had called 911 and grabbed Arabel out of bed. He left the house without shoes or his cell phone. After the fire had been put out we met with the Red Cross when we were notified that the firefighters called our home a complete loss. Jason had come to get Arabel and take her back to my parent's house. They finally let us walk through the place at around 9:15pm.

What we saw was heartbreaking. There was no fire damage to the actual apartment, the fire had climbed the wall and moved across the roof. Due to the mass amounts of water (around 5,000 gallons according to the fire marshall) the ceilings had collapsed and our house was covered in drywall and insulation. The office, girls' room, bathrooms, master closet and laundry room were unharmed. We were unable to find the cats and we were worried. The living room, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom were ruined. We grabbed a few things that night that we could and headed to mom's.

Thursday morning we showed up ready to start digging through the rubble to salvage what we could of our lives. Thursday proved to be worse than anticipated. The fire has restarted sometime in the morning, needing an additional 1,000 gallons of water to be used. Now, the bathrooms, laundry room and master bedroom closet was covered like the rest of the place. The girls' room remained in tact so we were very thankful for that. After hours of digging through 1 1/2-2 feet of wet insulation we packed up what we could in a U-Haul and put it in a storage unit. The firefighters did take our electronics and throw a tarp over them so many of them were saved. They even grabbed my framed photos on the walls and covered them as well. Still no sign of the cats.

Friday we went and planned on getting the remainder of what we could and would then sign over the place to the reconstruction company. After about an hour of Rob and I sifting through rubble Zoe, one of our cats, strolls out of hiding. Rob then went on a mad hunt to find Oscar. Rob found him on the bottom shelf of a shelving unit in the laundry room. He was buried in, matted with insulation, hungry, thirsty and really upset. My aunt took them to her house. I am happy to report that they are doing well. We left Friday night knowing we would never be back.

Emma knows that we are getting a new place to live, that her toys, clothes and bed are safe. We are telling her just enough to keep her happy without over sharing.

The outpouring of support we have received from friends, family and strangers is overwhelming. We will never be able to express how thankful we are. At this point we are remaining positive and looking forward to what comes next. The tears have stopped for the most part and we are ready to move on from this tragedy.

If you need to contact us in anyway... we are staying at my (Kimm's) parent's house. Our cell phone numbers are the same and we can also be reached via facebook. (Kimm more so than Rob on the facebook thing.) If you need any specific information leave a comment and I will get you the information.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

apparently, I am a photographer

I started a Flickr account so that it would be easier to share pictures with everyone. Well, I guess that it has paid off. I received an email yesterday that a photo that I took (and can be found on my Flickr account) is on the short list to be included in the twelfth edition of Schmap Chicago Guide. You can check out the eleventh edition here. It doesn't pay anything, the guide is free... but, if my picture is picked I get my name below a picture that I took.

Here is the picture that may be included.

This is the view out of our window while staying at the Doubletree. Lake Michigan can be seen between the buildings.

Monday, July 5, 2010


I just recently uploaded some pictures to Flickr, check them out on the sidebar. They are slightly old (a couple weeks), but they will have to work for now. I have been majorly slacking in the photo department.

Emma is going to be going camping with my mom and Russ in a week. She is pumped, and I think that grammy and papa are pretty excited too. This will be her 3rd year going with them. I am relying on them to take pictures for me. Arabel may get to go next year. This year she will have a week of alone time. I am not sure how she will handle being away from Emma for that long. They really are best friends right now. I assume Arabel will enjoy herself but will miss her big sister.

Nothing new on Rob & I, we are just working like normal.

I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July. I will try and get some newer pictures up soon!

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's official

Emma is officially enrolled in school. We went last night to an open house at her elementary school. They immediately whisked the kids away to play on the playground. I was actually a little shocked that Em went with no hesitation. Parents were talked to, papers were handed out, then we met back up with the kids and had a scavenger hunt. We had to find all the important rooms in the school and get a sticker from each. We are all excited to have the process started. Now, all we do is wait for August to roll around to get her placement test done and await the posting of her teacher.

I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous about throwing her into a full day of school. She will actually get a couple "warm up" days. Her first day of school will be 1 1/2 hours long, and I will be with her the whole time. Day #2 is a half day and Day #3 starts her regular school day.

Score one for mom's intuition. Last night I had a nagging feeling that I needed to go and check on the girls. As I was walking back to their room Arabel coughed. I snatched her out of bed and though she felt hot. As I was getting some tylenol around to give her, she pukes. Less than one minute after I HAD to get up and get her out of bed. No mess was made, no bedding had to be changed, no clothes had to be washed (that is due to the fact that Arabel refuses to sleep in clothes). Something must have upset her stomach, but she was back to her normal self after she got sick. a couple of crackers and some water and she was as good as new.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shots are NOT fun.

Emma's open house at school is tomorrow. I realized that we needed to get her immunizations up to date before they would officially enroll her in kindergarten. Let's just say that Emma was less than thrilled with that idea. She did great, until we got into the room to do the shots. Then, all hell broke loose. She was screaming and had to be held down. I was crying, it wasn't cute. We managed to make it through and treated ourselves with a frozen hot chocolate for Em, and an iced soy sugar bear for me from Biggby. Apparently, yummy coffee type drinks help heal all wounds. :)

I will let everyone know how everything goes tomorrow.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I have figured out an easy way to get our massive number of pictures to the masses!! On the sidebar there is now a link that features my Flickr account. The sidebar will show the latest 9 pictures that were uploaded. By clicking the VIEW FLICKR PHOTOSTREAM link at the bottom of the pictures, you will be taken to my Flickr photostream. From that point you should be able to see all the pictures available there. This should be easy for everyone to do, including me. :)

I am also very good at uploading pictures to facebook, if you have an account and aren't friends with me yet... please request me!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We are back!!!

We have returned from our trip. :) I have posted pictures on facebook under Alissa's wedding weekend. (If you aren't on my friends list please request me!!) I would post them all here but the process is tedious and I have a TON! I am also working on uploading pictures to Flickr as well. Just trying to figure out the easiest way for everyone to check out pictures. :) Stick with me, I will figure it out one of these days.

Our trip went off without a hitch. The kids did great on the train and the plane. Emma said she likes the train better because she could walk around. Arabel was unimpressed with the whole thing and slept through her whole 2nd flight. :) We did lots and lots of walking, ate a metric ton of delicious food, took multiple modes of transportation and spent quality time with family. We are already looking into going back to Chicago to spend some more time there. Thank you to Bev & Tom for dinner and lunch.... and for the ride from the airport to the train station. Here is a run down of our trip:

train from East Lansing to Chicago
cab from Union Station to our hotel
walk from hotel to Navy Pier
walk back to hotel from Navy Pier
dinner with Bev at Pizzeria Due
back to the hotel for the night

hire a driver/car for drive to the airport
fly from Chicago to Minneapolis
cab to hotel
Happy Hour with the family

lunch at Punch

hotel shuttle to Minneapolis's light rail station
light rail to airport
airport tram to correct terminal
fly from Minneapolis to O'Hare
picked up by Bev
lunch at SuperDawg
ride to Union Station
train back to East Lansing
picked up by Jason

I am a little tired just looking at the amount of stuff we packed into 4 days.

*side note: we didn't get the house. :( I will keep you updated on any news though.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fingers crossed and updates

We have some news to share. We have a put an offer in on a house!! We are just now awaiting official confirmation that the offer was accepted, though everyone is very optimistic. :) I promise that I will put up pictures if/when we get the final word. The place would be perfect for us, so please keep your fingers crossed. The house is only a couple blocks from the elementary school, middle school and high school. I hope to be sharing the good news with you all shortly.

Kindergarten round up is in just over a week. I have to admit that as it approaches, I am getting a little nervous. If we end up at the elementary school that I am hoping for (if we get the house) there are 3 teachers for K alone. According to a dear teacher friend of mine with experience at that school, 2 of the teachers would be a great fit for Emma. I can't wait to see how she flourishes. She is showing a bit more interest in numbers, though not by much. I have decided not to freak out if she doesn't know everything in the readiness guides I have read. My guess is she will master all of the concepts shortly after entering school.

Arabel has started talking A TON!!! She sings along with songs, counts, is learning her ABCs, and has a fantastic imagination. She is currently obsessed with all things Toy Story. I actually really look forward to taking the girls to see Toy Story 3 in June. Belle is showing her temper now, which is actually really funny to watch. I can see that she is going to be following in her dramatic sister's footsteps. I wouldn't trade it for the world either.

Nothing much new for Rob and I. I am taking on more of a manager role at work. I am a little bummed that it is changing my schedule though.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

now she can be a real princess

Nothing overly exciting has been happening on the home front, which explains the lack of updates. :)

We have booked our tickets and hotels for a trip out of town in April. My cousin is getting married in Minneapolis and I was not going to miss it. Rather than taking another road trip like we did in August, we decided not to drive. Don't get me wrong, I am all for road trips, but the idea of being in the car for like 30 hours in the span of a weekend wasn't all that appealing to me. We decided that we would take the train from East Lansing to Chicago. I figure that the girls will get a kick out of that, plus it is only a 4 hour ride. We are staying in Chicago that evening, which will allow us time to catch up with some family and enjoy some deep dish pizza. :) Rob hasn't ever been to the city, so it should be a fun mini trip. We will be flying out of Chicago to Minneapolis the next day. (Nothing like turning an 8 hour drive into 1 1/2 hours in the air.) We are doing the same thing in reverse on the way back (minus the overnight stay in Chicago). I think that it will be a fun weekend for everyone.

Emma can now be a real princess. At least that is what she told me. Last week she was lamenting over the fact that all the real princesses have their ears pierced. I told her if she wanted them done, then we would get them done. I have been trying to use getting her ears pierced as a reward for years (to no avail, obviously). She was finally ready. I called ahead and made sure that two people would be available to pierce simultaneously. (If not, Emma would have jumped out of the chair and only had one ear done.) She was ummm.... less than thrilled with everyone when she got them done. The type of cry that she let out was one of those that tugged on my heartstrings. How in the world could I let these girls torture my poor little baby like that? A tear may or may not have escaped from my eye. After an hour of sniffles and cuddling her doll, she was proudly showing off her new earrings. She picked an adorable little set of rhinestone pink (surprise!!) flowers. Here is a picture I took right after. :)
Please notice that she is smiling in this picture, so I guess I didn't torture her too badly.

Another big development... I have received information that KINDERGARTEN round up is in like a month. Yup, Emma will be heading off to school in a matter of months. Oy. When in the heck did this kid grow up?? In 5 weeks I will have details on her first year of school. I don't know that I am prepared for this.

I am going to start potty training Arabel shortly. I got a copy of a book that I am willing to try the method. It is called 3 day potty training. 3 DAYS!! If it works, you will probably be able to hear my screams of joy from where ever you are. A kid that is potty trained in 3 days and before the age of 2?? I may just keel over and die from sheer excitement of the idea. I will keep you updated on how it is working. In the meantime enjoy this adorable shot of Bells. (She was getting the feel for the potty.)

I also wanted to give a giant THANK YOU!!!! to my dear friend Kristin. She made these gorgeous headers for my blogs. Her talents are endless.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Since I updated the pictures yesterday, I thought that I would update everyone on what everyone is doing.

Rob and I have been searching for a new place to live. We have outgrown our apartment and are itching for a yard (and storage space). I will keep everyone in the loop when we decide to move. Keep your fingers crossed we find somewhere that we like.

Arabel: She is growing so fast. I forgot how quickly kids learn and grow between birth and two. Arabel doesn't say much, unless you aren't paying attention. She doesn't like to talk to us, but talks to herself all the time. She is starting to use words more now, which is fun. Her vocabulary is huge, you just have to catch her when she isn't talking to you. :) On Christmas day she threw Rob and I for a loop and counted from 1-9, clear as day. (Thank you Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!)

Emma: She is very excited to be starting school in the fall. She is so ready to be in that type of environment. Emma has recently started pouring her own drinks and making her own sandwiches, so she helps with lunch quite a bit.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

pictures galore

Here are some pictures for you. :)

Pictures from the Christmas card shoot:

Rob's Graduation:

Emma's birthday party, on her new bike.

Emma's birthday at Peacock Road Tree Farm:
taking the train to the North Pole
meeting Santa for the first time
Arabel meeting Santa
hot cocoa at the campfire

Thursday, January 14, 2010

apologies... and lessons learned

I have been terrible about pictures. I apologize. I have been very busy, as have the rest of the clan. I covered the boss's vacation so I clocked a TON of hours in a nine day span. The girls have been busy playing with the 4,000 different toys they received for Christmas and Emma's birthday. That doesn't even include the new clothes. I guess I am pretty lucky that my 5 year old still is excited about clothes. What I am not excited about?? The fact that she changes her outfits 4 times a day. :)

Today Arabel learned a valuable lesson... we do not hit. It is a good thing that I was standing right next to her... or Emma may have learned the lesson called... let's get stitches. Here is the back story: The girls have been playing with a small flashlight. You would be amazed by the countless hours of entertainment a tiny flashlight can provide. Well, hours of fun until the almost 2 year old grabs it and is set on smacking her big sister in the head with it. I caught her mid swing and must have scared her half to death with the scream of NOOOOOOOO! Arabel was was definitely upset by the situation, but I can bet she won't be swinging objects at her sister's head anytime soon.