Our Five Ring Circus: Life Lately

Monday, February 27, 2017

Life Lately

Happy Monday! It's always so tough to return to reality after the weekend, but I'm trying to stay positive. I'm sure caffeine will help! It has been a while since I wrote about life lately, so I figured it was time for an update on me and my family! 

It's so easy to get into the routine of just sharing Pinterest-worthy ideas and sponsored content, but I never want to forget the reason I started this blog 8 1/2 years ago: to share my family. I can always tell when I need to get personal on my blog and reconnect with my readers, and now's that time.

Life has been busier than ever the past few months. The older my kids get, the busier I get. There's never a break, and there's never a dull moment! This little space has been quieter than ever before. It was partially due to our constant busyness, and partially due to some other blog projects that are coming up, but it was also because I was sick for a month...literally, a full month. Despite the mild winter, we have just been passing around every possible ailment, and I got the worst of it. I'm still not 100%, but I'm getting there!

Here's a little peek at life lately for my family!


{The Mom Behind the Blog}

Well, you already know that I've been sick for four weeks and pretty much living in my car! All I do is pick kids up, drop kids off, drive kids to activities and playdates, and wait for them while they are doing said activities. As for my month-long illness streak, I probably should have gone to the doctor, but a) I'm stubborn and b) no time! Other than a very annoying lingering cough that remains, I managed to kick it by actually going to bed instead of staying up all night writing, taking vitamin c, soaking in the tub (which allowed me to read more often), and drinking my weight in hot tea every day. 

This winter has been incredibly mild, and Spring came early, so we've been spending a lot of time outdoors! I actually managed to go for a few runs at a nearby park recently. I really want to get back into running regularly again. I definitely feel a lot better when I do, and let's keep it real: I do need to get prepared for swimsuit season. (Ahhhhhhh!)

I'm still taking a ton of pictures (not surprising), including some for family and friends, and I'm getting ready to upgrade my camera. I've owned my beloved Nikon D90 since Lexie was 1, which means I've had it for 9 years. I spent a lot of money on it back then, and I definitely got my money's worth, but it's time for something new. That means that I've been stressing over it for weeks and still haven't made a decision, just like I do with any major purchase.

I still volunteer for the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network every day, which I absolutely love. I run their Instagram account. It only takes about 20-30 minutes each day, and it's so rewarding. I love seeing all those beautiful faces every day and helping out parents who are seeking help after a diagnosis.

As for this blog, things are going to be picking up here again, and I'm excited! Sometimes a little break can be refreshing. I have so many fun posts in the works. I also just finished up a few final drafts for some really awesome collaborations that are coming up. You can also find me posting on Pittsburgh Moms Blog, which is part of the City Moms Blog Network. Stay tuned for more!


{The Husband}

You won't see Grant on here very often. He prefers to live in the moment and stay behind the scenes, and I respect that! Plus, he's at work or thinking about work ALL THE TIME.

He got a big promotion in the Fall, and he works 45 minutes away, so the days are long for him (and for me). He is able to work from home more often, so it's fun to have him around during the week on occasion.

In his rare free time, he plays his guitar. He's quite good, and is starting to record more videos. It's a fun hobby for him!



Dylan has been busy with school, band, orchestra and basketball. It's a lot to juggle! I still can't believe that he will be in junior high and turn 13 in the Fall!

He just finished this season of basketball on Saturday. It was his second year playing and he's really good! He definitely found his sport. The improvement from last year to this year was HUGE. He rocked the last few games and scored a ton of points. He loves playing, and I can't wait to see where he goes with it. We're definitely going to miss cheering for him every Saturday morning. I never thought I would love watching basketball, but I really do! And this kids has talent!

I'm not quite sure Dylan is going to stick with playing the trumpet and violin, but I'm really glad he gave it a shot. He will obviously finish the year, but he's undecided about next year. He said that if he does anything, it will be orchestra.

Because life isn't all rainbows and unicorns, and I'm not afraid to share the not so good moments, I will say that he is testing his boundaries. Recently, there were a few incidences of him not turning in homework. iPod privileges were lost and it sparked a long conversation about how important maintaining good grades is. These tween years are tough!

Oh, and did I mention he has a girlfriend? They have been together since the beginning of the school year. They only had two (supervised) dates, but they gave little gifts to each other on Valentine's Day. It was ridiculously cute!



My sweet Lexie Bean turned 10 on Wednesday! She is such a beautiful girl, inside and out.  Lexie is my perfectionist and she always aims to please. She loves school, she effortlessly gets good grades, and she is so kind to everyone.

Lexie still takes hip hop once a week. She just dances for recreation, but she really enjoys it. She really wants to start cheer this year, so it's good practice for her! Lexie stays after school once a week for choir. She loves to sing, so she is loving it! And next year, I will be handing down my flute, and she will join band, too.

A few weeks ago, I gave Lexie my first DSLR. She really has a gift for photography. Almost every picture I post of me or of me and one of my kids was taken by her.  She was so excited when I gave it to her and wrote on one of her school papers that her favorite memory was when I gave her my old camera. She is the sweetest kid! She is full of so much goodness and kindness, and I am so proud of her!



Ah, my sassy little Lily Bug! She is a character. Seriously, she makes us laugh constantly!

Lily is in her second half of Kindergarten. We weren't sure if we were going to send her or not, but I'm glad we did. She definitely loves it! She struggles a bit more with reading than some of the other kids in her class, but quite a few of them are a full year older than her. We're spending lots of time working on sight words and reading books, and I have no doubt that she will catch on. She improves each day!

Lily attends StoryTime at our local library once a week. She has been attending since she was 3, and it's one of her favorite parts of her week. She is going to be so bummed when she turns 6 and is too old for the program!

Lily started dance this year. She takes ballet, tap, jazz and acro. She absolutely loves to dance and has so much fun in her class each week. I have a feeling that more dancing is in her future!



My sweet boy had to adjust to so many big changes this year, but he is thriving! He goes to preschool three afternoons a week, and he loves it. We love his school, too. He gets all of this weekly therapy there and he brings home so many cute crafts!

Liam may have Down syndrome, but his delays aren't significant. Perhaps one day I will share more of his story, and explain what his doctors believe, and why we'll never know for sure about their theory. I know it's vague, but I will save that much longer story for another day. His biggest struggle is speech, but his vocabulary is exploding and he's using so many more words!

Our biggest news is that he's finally getting the hang of potty training! He knew what it was but couldn't make the connection between the feeling of having to go and making it to the potty. The past two days, he went into the bathroom by himself, took off his pants, climbed on the potty, and peed. We are THRILLED!

In just a few weeks, we will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day in honor of this adorable little dude. He is a joy and a blessing!


{Family Updates}

There are always a few updates that don't quite fit with one particular family member!

As many of you know, we accidentally welcomed a bunch of baby bunnies into our family. It was quite ironic and slightly hilarious, but we are loving watching our babies grow! Their eyes actually opened on Lexie's Birthday on Wednesday, and yesterday they turned two weeks old. Our entire family is in love with them, but we obviously can't keep 9 pet bunnies in our home. It's going to be so hard to give them away, but we do have forever homes lined up for most of them. We did make the decision to keep one for Lily, and that one will be kept separate until we know for sure what gender it is!


Once our babies are grown and at their new homes, we're going to discuss getting a dog. We have been dog-free since our beloved Great Dane passed away two years ago, but my kids are begging for a dog. I can't commit, because I really want another giant breed, but my husband says no way. If we get a dog, it has to be small. We'll see what happens!

Finally, vacation planning is in full swing. We're trying to figure out what beach we are going to this year and when. Our usual vacation week is out because our kids are starting school a week earlier than usual, and it falls right in the middle of our usual week. We are definitely bummed about that one, but we're just going to have to go one week earlier. Either way, we're super excited about another week at the beach!

That's our relatively quick version of life lately! We're certainly overly busy, but definitely blessed!

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  1. So fun to catch up with what is going on in your neck of the woods lady. Upgrading your camera IS so exciting. I was hoping to upgrade mine this year too.... but I dunno if that is going to happen or not yet. Time will tell.

  2. I'm glad you are feeling mostly better finally. It's so cool that you run that instagram account - I'd love to volunteer doing something like that. Gabbie has been asking for my older camera, which wasn't a DSLR but is bigger than a regular point and shoot...and also kind of broken since I dropped it and that's why I got a new one! I'm not sure if I trust her with such a big camera though! We've been planning summer vacation here too - fun!

  3. I always love your family posts... those are my favorite! Girl, you guys are just SO BUSY all the time! So much going on! And upgrading your camera is going to be so nice!! I still need to learn more about mine, but I just don't have the time!

  4. Loved reading more about your sweet fam! And I'm like you - so busy there is very little time left for me, but wouldn't change it! :)

  5. Oh I just I've these life updates! Everyone looks like they are doing well!

  6. You seriously have the sweetest family! And you are a rockstar because I feel like I am loosing my mind with 2 kids, but you make it look easy with 4. Whew! More power to ya! I love all the great things the kids are into right now. And those baby bunnies are SO CUTE!

  7. I love to read updates about your family--it's hard to believe how much everyone has grown! You're definitely very busy these days; I'm glad you're taking some time to run and do things for yourself too. You're truly a super mom.

  8. OH goodness,so much going on. I love how you did a little blurb on each kid. So stinkin' sweet!

  9. I love reading about what's going on with you all!! Ughh I am so not looking forward to tween years!! Yay for Liam and the potty training!!

  10. I just love that you gave Lexie your camera! She sounds so very much like my Carly Jo who is 11. It's just so much fun looking at the world through their excited eyes. And those bunnies....oh my goodness how adorable.


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