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Monday, May 12, 2008






Last Week Catch up.

oh my I am on some serious Catch up this week. Before I finish doing my amazing Utah trip with the Girlies I am going to do a fast catch up from last week, and I mean fast!! (edit** it took me all day!)

Monday:

I have never come home from a trip and not been totally flattened for at least 3 days. I could not believe I woke up so refreshed and just happy to be alive. Then I realized some of the reasons.
  • I flew on the airplane all by myself and was able to read a book the entire time
  • i only had one suitcase to unpack and it was done within minutes of being home and everything in the wash
  • i was amazed it took leaving what I do every day to come home and be better at it
we planted our small garden for the smallest back yard in the whole world. I am always amazed at how overgrown it gets in a few months and always wish I had taken a before photo so here it is.

Tuesday: Jeff and I went grocery shopping together at the new commissary north of us. It is brand new and we heard it was so nice. The one in the city is a pain for me to get to and is kind of small and difficult to maneuver in if there is more than two carts inside.
I am not sure if it is because i am watching too much cable news or if it is because I am a horrible grocery shopper but I seem to be buying way too much food each time I go. I feel like I need to seriously stock pile.
I think because Jeff was with me I bought way healthier food. A whole cart full of fruits and vegetables. I took Amie's idea to cut them up into containers for eating. Thank Amie brilliant idea it has totally worked. We didn't buy any junk. (i didn't even slip in a Ritter Candy bar from the German isle) But there seemed to be so many groceries in the car.
This week also marked my one year of no diet coke! i can't believe it. seriously.  but since i try to be honest in all that i do - i did drink a Coke this year.  One the day I had to leave Annie Kate's basket ball game and had a nervous breakdown in the car, i drove straight to McDonalds (they have the best fountain drinks ever) and ordered the largest Coke they had.  If I had thought of it I would have ordered two.  I drank it in about 3 minutes.  I felt sick like I was drinking syrup but loved the burn.  So, even though it is worse than diet coke it was not diet coke.  I almost drank one for my one year anniversary but I knew if I did I may find myself with an empty case by the end of the day.

Wednesday: I am embarrassed to admit this but Jeff had another day home with us on Wednesday and I felt like a Queen being able to sleep in. But what is amazing to me Jeff was still able to go for a 5 mile run and get the girls up and off to school and pack a picnic for the day even before my eyes opened! How does he do it? So we decided to spend a day at the zoo. The weather is wonderful here and would lure anyone to move here. Everything is green and lush and no humidity! (talk to me in two week when I can't breathe and am getting bit by bugs and have sweat dripping down my face)it was hot enough for the girls to wear their new gymboree one piece outfits (yea gymbucks!)
they remind me of things i used to wear when i was a kid.
Caroline only had one melt down when we went into get our free Panda for finally signing up to be zoo members. (the zoo is free but if you are a member you don't have to pay the $15.00 parking) We had a great day at the zoo and just feel so lucky that Jeff is able to spend so much time with these little girls. It has been a long time coming and I feel more appreciative of any time we all get to spend together.

We saw Panda's (the girls favorite)
and tigers
and ant eaters (never seen these before) oh my!

Jeff packed a healthy lunch for us all. I think while I was gone last weekend Jeff realized how much junk I let the kids eat and so he was showing me if you give them real food they will eat it. I was shocked. They had actual fruit and sandwiches. Jeff made for us these awesome wheat bagel turkey sandwiches with my favorite green chilies! It was heaven.

Thursday:
I made some plans for our trip to NY this summer getting our entire family tickets to Mary Poppins for $30 each on the front row of the ultra nose bleeds. (and amazing tickets for AK and I to Wicked shhh it will be a surprise)


we also spent last week doing a little research for our vacation this summer. oh my am i really ready to fly over again on a plane with no windows and screaming kids.... any Italy tips feel free to send them my way. we are also planning a back up Spain trip in case we get to the airport (base) and there is a plane leaving for Spain - we are so crazy.
The kids got a new plasma car (on sale at target) that Sally Jane has claimed it as her own and freaks out when anyone even dad gets on it. It is a fun car and fits even the biggest of bums.the blossoms are almost gone and being replaced by leaves - there is nothing like Spring out here in the East.


Thursday Morning was Moms and Muffins at Caroline's preschool. She has been looking forward to this for weeks. they made muffins for the moms and gave us their Mother's day gift which is a sparkly broach made of puzzle pieces. on the door it had a list of I love Mommy because... She said because I make her pink cake!i loved going to see her in school and secretly watch her. She is definitely a middle child and i feel like sometimes gets a little forgotten. So this was a good day for me and her together!

Friday:
I went into AK's class to get working on one of the end of the year gifts for her AWESOME teacher. We will be making the dollar book (i loved hearing of all the girls at the blog party who are making these this year) as well as a picture quilt. I bought the quilt at Joann's for only $24.00 and it is all premade and came with the special crayons for the kids to color on. There is exactly enough squares for each kid and one for the group photos. The teacher was out of town so we got it all done in one day.


I got there a little early and so I had lunch with my little cutie. She was thrilled but told me not to embarrass her by taking any photos (too bad so sad) She said this was the best smile she could give me if I was going to pull out my camera. I sat down at the end by the girls first and then she joined me. But during lunch she told me that she always sits on the boys end.
It was interesting to observe because she seemed a bit uncomfortable on that end of the table. She is a true oldest child who spent 5 years by herself and seems bothered by loud noises and kids not doing what adults ask them to do. She kept rolling her eyes at me and expressed this is why she does not sit down at this end - the girls were kind of crazy.

then one of the girls was pretending to smoke with her long stick pretzel. Annie Kate said, "you shouldn't even pretend to smoke" I felt an uncomfortable feeling watch the girl look at Annie Kate like "who are you to tell me what to do" I jumped in saying smoking is really bad for you and pretending to do bad things could lead to doing bad things. One girl told about her grandpa dying from smoking. I then became a total mom and gave my little speech about drugs, smoking and drinking. ( the apple does not fall far from the tree) They were all listening and then all started telling me about their parents drinking habits. One girl said my mom only drinks a lot when she goes out and "parties". (annie kate later asked me what it means for a mom to go out and "party") It was an interesting discussion and gave me the itch to just hide my kids from the world and never leave the house (ok that would last about 32 hours). I came home with an renewed responsibility to teach my daughter good principles in my home and pray she will make wise choices. But I did see the fine line of her thinking what she is doing is right without looking self righteous... any thoughts on this are much appreciated and welcomed.



Saturday:

We had a rainy morning and a rained out soccer game. Since we brought the bikes out of Winter hiding Caroline has been dying to ride anywhere she can. We rode down to the lake but Jeff was smart and brought the truck knowing riding home may not happen. (he was right even though it is not even half a mile from our house)
it was a cool day which is always nice to have a good breeze. Sally Jane loves any chance she can to wear her hand knit sweater from Grammy she got for her 3rd birthday!
on the path we saw three boys walking from the town center. One of them was holding flowers. I asked him if they were for his mom for mother's day. he said yes. I had to resist the urge to hug and kiss him but did do an over dramatic "you are such a wonderful kid and she will be so grateful" he blushed!
i love the ruffle on Sally Jane's sweater and could not resist this daddy fingers squeeze!
Annie Kate and her buddy were able to sneak the Plasma car away from Sally Jane and found a great hill to go down. Later her friend said, "next time we should probably wear helmets when we do that"

We then felt it had been too long that we had gone (what 2 weeks) without taking advantage of the historical downtown so we left the house right when we would normally be putting the kids to bed and went to see some monuments at night. Also I had big expectation of getting some cute Mother's Day photos of me and the kids.
ya, what was I thinking! Caroline running from me, Sally Jane picking the gook out of her fingers and Annie Kate was just bothered by the whole thing.


We took a walk up to the Lincoln memorial and I was scouting how the heck we are going to do our family photos on the steps this year. They are doing some massive road construction in front of the memorial so I will be excited to see what they are doing. I don't ever come here without of thinking of Jane Payne.
I decided that since the girls were anti photo that Jeff and I could get some photos of us. I think Jeff was as excited to be in the photos as the girls - Self Portraits may just have to a permant way of life for me.
when we walked off the elevator Caroline said, "yes mom this guy - the one in the chair" this was of course after her comment a few months ago when I took her to Jefferson and she thought we were at the Lincoln.
See that figure in the back of the photo...
that is Annie Kate saying... Next monument please!We walked over to the Korean War Memorial. I must check out some book about this because I know there are many significant meanings to this and just can't remember them. I love this wall at the memorial.
We then walked the path along the reflection pool in the dark. There was a family of baby ducks, probably 20 little chicks crossing behind their mother duck. It was so cute but so dark I could not get a photo. The kids loved it.
Annie Kate took a shadow self portrait in front of her home state Louisana!
being at the memorials have prompted me to check out these books from the library. These are exactly why monuments are all over the city so that people will learn and remember these amazing, heartbreaking, heroic, world changing events and people. You can never visit a monument or musem too many times. Every time our kids ask us new questions. Most of which I can't answer.the girls ran around the memorial twice and then laid down exhausted and watched the water fountains on their back.
our family self portrait at the WWII.
Sally Jane peeking through the stroller.
Even at night the Vietnam Memorial is kept lit so family members can find their family. I have never been here at dark so I thought that amazing. I think Amanda in the UK had asked what the rubbings were for. All the names of the soldiers in the USA who died in the Vietnam war, are on the black reflecting wall of the memorial. They are engraved so that you can put a piece of paper on them and rub a pencil over it the take any name home with you. I always love seeing family members scratch on that name, even though it is so sad why they are doing it. Truly a great memorial.
and has prompted me to search for the book too.

Sunday:
Mother's day was great and 14 years in the making. Seriously. I am a gal with high expectations and am finally learning to do a little bit of lowering and expressing them to make my life smoother. The night before I told Jeff how excited I was for the next day. I seriously can't sleep before most holiday's no matter how small. It is a blessing and a curse, blessing for me curse for Jeff. I told him what will make me most excited for mother's day will be just being excited that it is my day. I said I don't want to change any diapers, I want to sleep in, I don't want to do any dishes, I don't want to buckle car seats, carry screaming kids, I don't want to decide on what we will have for dinner (i didn't care if we had cereal I just didn't want to decide) I wanted dessert after dinner and most of all just be as giddy as I was that it was my day. Jeff was laughing so hard and I think I love him because he gives me such a hard time. He said consider it done.
And that was my day. It has taken me 14 years seriously to learn to tell Jeff what is going on in my head instead of expecting him to figure it out. I used to play the silly game that if he really loved me then he would know what I was thinking - ya don't play that game you will never win.

We had some friends that had us and another family over for breakfast. It was incredible. Wheat pancakes with homemade bananna and pecan syrup, two kinds of eggs, baccon, sausage, fruit, homemade cinnamon rolls with yummy icing, waffles - and the husband made everything! He is a great cook and a great friend.
this is what Annie Kate made at A days (she seriously has the best A day's leaders ever!) it is the word of wisdom printed on fabric and sewn into a quilt with vegetable fabric! and has a darling tag on the back that says Happy Mother's day!

Jeff also spoke in church on Sunday and was asked specifically to speak on his own mother and tell some stories. (which was a great talk) A few weeks ago I reminded him that it would be ok to at the end to mention his wife the mother of his own children. Because I knew that if he went the entire talk and said nothing of me I would be totally freaked out. And could see the conversation " I can't believe you didn't even say one thing about me the mother of your children" and him saying, "but they asked me to talk about my mom" I don't mean to make him sound at all insensitive but he is a very task oriented focused person. And so (thanks Lindsay for remembering) at the end of his talk in one sentence he said he loved his wife. That was all I needed nothing more nothing less. And that conversation was also 14 years in the making. Am I crazy to share this personal story that shows my insecurity and slow learning... maybe. But I will just say the sooner you learn to share with your friends, family and spouse your expectaions the happier everyone will be. As my brother in law Kirk always says, "A Happy Wife is a Happy Life!"Jeff and the girls gave me this bracelet
and ring. I was so excited and really was hoping for this ring. I had gone into the Brighton store and made a wish list that Jeff could go in any time and see what I liked. (again something that took me 14 years to figure out) The girls were so exited because they knew I liked it. At the end of the day I took off my jewlery before I went to bed and then after being in bed I went back and put my ring on so I could sleep with it because I love it so much.


new on our doorstep...
embarassingly to admit one of me reasons for not blogging is trying to get used to a new keyboard (which is as thin as paper) and our new computer! It has been a long time coming and we are so excited to have it. Being a Mac there are a few different things I have not figure out and am actually on my PC blogging because I can't seem to figure a few things out.
like right clicking and getting photo properties out of smugmug, and moving my blog photos around in a post. I realize I am not as good with change as I like to think I am.

So last week was great and I can't believe that I even considered not doing my catch up. I kind of thought nothing happened last week and that I didn't take any photos... silly me that is what I get for thinking.

Do you ever squirm when you hear what kids are saying and doing these days?
How do you teach your kids to choose the right without being self righteous?
Do you tell people what you expect of them? did it take you 14 years to figure it out?
Have you ever been to Italy?
Are you planting a garden this year?
When was the last time you rode a bike?
Have you seen Mary Poppins on Broadway?
Are you so exited to find out that if you are the first person to read this entire thing and comment I am sending you 11.5 yards of lucisous ribbon because I can't believe you took the time to read this whole thing!!!

62 comments:

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Really, me?

kristi said...

jane it is so great that you are the winner when i was thinking about you all day and when we were at the memorial!!! it is on it's way congrats girl!

The monkey bunch said...

Oh, man. I was so excited. I saw the comments counter on zero still and I thought I had actually won something! Ha ha! I absolutely believe in telling people what you expect. I learned that the year I turned 15 and my gymnastics team had a party for one of the other girls and didn't mention me at all. I told them the next year that it was my birthday too. It took a little while with my husband, but I learned! It is so much better. Everyone is happier. Men just can not read our minds- no matter how hard you throw out those vibes!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Okay, now I can take the time to say what I was thinking! First of all, I'm going to be sad when you leave the Lincoln Memorial because it makes me feel like I get a card in the mail from you every time you go there and tell me you're thinking of me. Thank you, thank you.

Secondly, I can't believe you almost didn't blog this week's events! So glad you wiped that silly thought out of your mind because we'd all have missed out, let alone your posterity.

Thirdly, teaching teenagers every day is a stark reminder to me of the garbage kids have to wade through in their lives. I thought yours and Annie Kate's mini-moral lesson was great.

Fourthly, I don't know how to keep kids from sounding self-righteous, but there are very few who do that compared to the many who buckle to the pressure of the crowd. I don't think I'd ever discourage any kid for taking a stand, even though they may come across as too passionate and unpolished. They'll figure out finesse as time goes on...and people shun them :)

Fifthly, Italy with a back-up of Spain makes me laugh. I cannot imagine that kind of flexibility and marvel at your adaptability.

Sixthly, I think your nigh brilliant for s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g out your expectations clearly at only 14 years into marriage.

Seventhly, I really need to quit so you don't have a post on a post, but I sure enjoyed your week and your questions.

Anne said...

I was SOOOOOOOOO close! But let's be honest, I wouldn't even know what to do with 11.5 feet of ribbon!!

I love the picture of Sally Jane and Jeff. Her little hand looks so miniature next to Jeff.

It sounds like you're enjoying the spring.

Happy belated mothers day. You're one of my favorite "moms".

Shar said...

Glad you had such a great Mother's Day!

Well, your brother is the king of all things Mac. I like to call him the Mac Daddy, and he answered all of my questions. He's a pro!

Once you go Mac, you never go back!

I also love your new bracelet and ring!

The 5 Bickies said...

I look forward to your posts and read every word. If only I got my comment in 5 people faster!

I would love a garden but don't have a green thumb. I hosted a luncheon last week so I did get my window boxes in and plant some wonderful basil I found at our discount produce market. $2 for basil in at least a 6" pot.

As for telling our husband's what we expect...it is a great idea. Like you, I get very excited about a holiday and get somewhat disappointed when it doesn't play out like expected. I have learned to lower my expectations or tell my hubby if there is something particular I want. My Mother's Day wish...to clean out the garage. And that is what we did, together. It was perfect and I am very happy with how it looks today. Let's hope it lasts.

Can't wait to hear about your trip to Utah when you have time!

Jenmomof4 said...

I can't believe I missed it by 1 hour and 34 minutes!

Amanda L. said...

This was well worth the read! What a great week. We tried to take some mother's day photos as well, and I laughed when I saw yours because mine were the same. Ian was making a face, Everett was squirming and Posey didn't want anything to do with it!

Been to Italy-fantastico!

P and T saw Mary Poppins for her bday last year and raved about it! I'm thinking of taking her to Wicked this year. What fun plans!

I totally believe that you have to communicate your expectations, otherwise you have no right to be mad at other people. Husbands are not mind readers and may have no idea what you have in mind. So glad your wishes were fulfilled!

Good luck getting used to the Mac. It's a great addition to the family!

Teaching my kids values and yet not being self righteous? I'm up for suggestions!

Liz said...

Kristi,

I am so escited that you are taking a NYC trip! You will be pleasantly surprised to find that the balcony seats are actually quite good in NYC. We thought they would be horrible based on seeing shows in other cities, but the theatres are much smaller in NYC. I am so jealous that you are going to Wicked! I have not been yet and want to so bad. One of these days! When are you coming out? I would love to meet up with you sometime in the city! We are only an hour north of the city.

As for Italy, I have never been. But my BIL served his mission there, and my in-laws recently went. Definitely visit the Amalfi Coast, the pictures from their are absolutely gorgeous!

It was fun reading your catch-up!!

Oh, and p.s. congrats for finally writing down or telling Jeff exactly what you expect. I have a friend here who was expressing just how disapointed she is in Mother's Day every year because her husband never does anything after 20 years of marriage. I said, well, maybe you need to tell him exactly what you want so that he'll know what to do. Sometimes that is what it takes. Good for you!!

stefanie@stationerywithstyle.com said...

I can see why this took all day. You've had a BUSY week, girl! I enjoyed every word, too!

Kristy said...

My mom and I went to Mary Poppins last November in NYC and we enjoyed it. The supercalifragilisticexpialidocious song is adorable. I think your seats will be great, too. Being on the front row of the balcony you will have a great view of Mary Poppins flying over the audience. Your girls will love it. And, Wicked. Oh, my. It is so good.

Kim Sue said...

Kristi, I've been to Italy twice in the last 3 years. LOVED IT! I would love to answer questions or offer suggestions. We just went in March and I have several blog posts about what we did this trip. Do you know where you are going? There is SO much. We are thinking of returning in a couple of years to do the southern part.

Autumn said...

Kristi,

Everytime I read about your DC events it makes me want to plan a trip for my kids! I need to get on that one.

I think kids have to be a little self righteous when choosing the right b/c I think it shows that they are serious about it. The friends who matter won't care & the ones who care won't matter!

It sounds like you guys had a great week! Thanks for sharing!

Esther said...

Claudia and I both lived in Spain for I will email you a link that I saw that we helpful. I went backpacking and on a couple of different trips to Italy. I will email you the links if I still have them.

Love all the great activities that you do with your family. You also provide me with lots of ideas for my daughter.

Esther

Traci said...

Great catch- up post! Love the baubles you got for Mother's Day! Love that Brighton store!
Loved seeing your DC photos in the nigh too. My step-dad just got back from Vietnam with some of the guys in his troupe. Neat pictures and stories too, although I have only gotten to read what he has wrote on our family website. His bishop wants him to do a fireside all about it. They went back to hopefully find some closer from the war. I should maybe check out the Vietnam book too!

Amy said...

Italy! Where are you going? I have lots of tips for Italy! But my first, and this one is universal, is buy Rick Steve's Italy. There are lots of good tips, including where to get the best gelato! Second, read about the places you're going. If you go to Florence, read Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King. It's fascinating and made the extra knowledge made our trip to Florence. I'll keep my eyes open for more trip details, or email me if you want to hear my 2 cents.

Quelly said...

It is not insecurity or slow learning to realize you have to tell your husband what you are thinking - I am not even married and I get this and try to explain it to my girl friends.

I have seen Mary Poppins on Broadway on the front row of the nose bleed seats as well and it was WONDERFUL! You will LOVE it as will your girls.

Jill said...

No wonder you've been missing, you came home with a vengeance. I'm so delighted that you came home happy and restored and didn't need to shut down for days to recover. What a gift!

You have a lot of beautiful photos in this post, you've gotten so great with your camera. I love the one of Caroline at the zoo (just above the paragraph about her only having one meltdown), it's stunning. I also love the one of Sally Jane holding Jeff's finger, the self-portrait of you at the Washington Memorial, and the one of the fountains. Wow, wow, wow!

Claudissima said...

hey kristi...what a wonderful recount...I love it love it love it love it. I don't think you need any tips for traveling, because the best tip is a good attitude and a go for it! I loved meeting you and wished I lived near by so we could go on adventures...those pictures are awesome...and no I should know about expectations....I will be 15 years married this year! GASP!

Lauralee said...

we started our garden tonight for fhe.. raised beds.. only onions are planted so far..

on the self righteous thing.. I am not sure how not to come across that way.. one thing I have been careful with.. (I think I am ultra sensitive to this because my youngest brother who is an RM has also been a drug addict and smokes) so anyway.. as soon as my kids were at the age where they would see someone smoking they would say oh they are bad.. I have been very quick to help them understand people who don't keep the word of wisdom aren't bad.. they may not know about it.. and then they may have an addiction and that is WHY we should never ever try smoking or alchol, because we may just as easily become addicted and some people who smoke and drink want to stop and have a very hard time doing that..

I hope you know I am not trying to be preachy.. just sharing what I tell my kids..

love the buildings in the background of the picture of the boys with the flowers!

fun sightseeing at night..

awesome about telling jeff to mention you.. good for you for sharing your expectations!
curt spoke in church yesterday too.. it was very sweet.. loved it!
sorry for such a long one!

Elisa said...

I would LOVE to take Miriam to see Mary Poppins and Wicked. She knows all the songs to both.

All I know about the Korean war comes from M.A.S.H. I watched it with my Dad all the time as a little girl.

Staci said...

Your thing about you telling Jeff exactly what you want really hits home. For four years I have thought that if my husband was wanted to be really romantic, he would get me exactly what I wanted and do exactly what I wanted. For four years he has been telling me to tell him exactly what I want. I thought it was unromantic. What you said totally opened my eyes. It's not unromantic, it just means that he's not a mind reader and wants to make me happy and gets frustrated when I don't let him make me happy. Because of you, I don't think that there will be anymore frustrating birthdays, Mother's Day's Valentine's Days, or Anniversaries. Thank you so much. You have helped me change my mindset. When I read to my husband what you wrote, he said "Amen!". We are both happy now that you have helped me see that he is in fact, not a mind reader. Thank you.

Lene said...

Wow - what a week.

I have never figured out people that are so disappointed about holidays that didn't turn out how they wanted them. I figured out very early in our marriage that my husband was a little lost on gift-giving and making days special. It isn't that he doesn't want to, it was more that he wasn't sure how to. And since I am a bit of a control freak, I don't have a problem telling him what I would like. It saves us both lots of grief.

Natasha said...

I love, love that Daddy Finger Squeeze pic! What a recap, wow!!

patsy said...

I saw mary poppins last spring on broadway with my now missionary & my husband. It was FANTASTIC! You definately won't be dissapointed-
There was a family sitting in front of us with little girls who had spankin new american girl dolls, I thought, wow I wish I could take my girls to the american girl store than here-

Wicked-- oh my so great again, you are going to love it!!

I remember my mom always thinking my dad would just know what she want- she was always dissapointed & still is sometimes now after 42 years of marriage. Not me- I told my husband the first valentines day... no matter what I say, or what state I am in ALWAYS buy me chocolate on valentines day or I will be dissapointed. so funny how we just "need" certain things on certain days!
great catch up, great week

Lindsay said...

I wanted to comment on your photos but Jill beat me to it. So yeah, what she said!

What a week. I'm glad Jeff remembered and that your Mother's Day was lovely.

Every time I read your DC posts I feel a twinge of joy but also regret. I am so glad that I got to live in the East for two years and see so many things. I regret that we didn't do more and even more that my kids (except for Emma) are too young to remember any of it.

patsy said...

I just have to say I love the korean war memorial & the sign freedom isn't free! My dad served on the front lines in the korean war. It's spectacular, especially at night.

deidra said...

My very first night in DC as an intern we went on a tour of the memorials with a neighbor who had been an official tour guide. I loved hearing all the symbolism! I wish I could remember it all. Maybe when we're back this summer I can take the time to study and internalize it!

I am a firm believer in stating expectations. And very grateful I learned it very early on in my marriage. I married my husband because I knew he wanted to make me happy-- he just needs some help sometimes. Life is better when everyone is on the same page!

Jessica said...

Ya know, I always tell my friends this and people are sometimes surprised, but my hubby and I have a beautiful arrangement. When I want flowers, I buy them for myself. I buy my own Christmas, birthday, Mother's Day etc gifts, and then tell him what he got me and how wonderful it is that he was so thoughtful to get me JUST the right thing! This was been so wonderful for both of us. I am never disappointed, and he never forgets or gets something I don't like. :-)

Tasha said...

That was a lot of questions, so I will answer the one that has beent he most life changing for me, yes, I do tell people what I expect and ask for what I need. It has been a decade and lots and lots of dollars of therapy in the making. I am happier, I like to think the people around me are happier, and I can take no for an answer too, so there is less drama and crazy all around. Good for you Kristi! Happy Happy Mother's Day!

Kristy said...

I love this post!! Someday I will make a trip to the DC area......my kids just roll their eyes at me when I suggest a trip to DC! They think I am nuts....maybe a little!!!!

Elizabeth said...

No wonder it took you all day. WHat a week! Italy, how exciting.
My two favorite places. Cinque Terre. Hiking along the coast between towns and Sienna in Tuscany. An amazing town. And my advice is climb up everything you can. The view is so worth it and you can burn off all the gelato you will be eating.

Carrie said...

Hi Kristi, I haven't commented in awhile and I just wanted to say hi and thank you for blogging because I always love, love, LOVE reading your posts! You are such a fun and creative mom. I love seeing the pictures of everything you guys are up to. It makes me want to come visit DC again.

Also, I think it is fantastic that you are going to Italy!!! Charlie goes there often for business and he took me with him once two years ago. We went to Rome, Florence, and Venice. Rome was our favorite by far. There is the most to see and do there, and it is almost overwhelming to think of all the history underneath that city. Oh, and we also made a quick stop in Pisa to go see the tower. It was totally worth the side trip. Some people will say it is just a big tourist trap, but we were really amazed by how much that tower actually leans. Go see it if you can! I'm sure you guys will have a wonderful trip.

The monkey bunch said...

I woke up this morning, thinking how can they afford to keep going to Europe with all those little girls and then I remembered your comment about a plane with no windows- which I thought was odd at the time- and then I realized- are you guys flying space A? We haven't tried it yet, but if so, I want to come! I can't believe we have never tried it out!

Allison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison said...

You have to learn the codes. I just switched over to a mac too. You have to go to Edit and there is a code by cut and copy and paste. It takes a little to learn it, but soon it will be almost as easy as using the right click button. Which I still miss when I want to open a new window or tab, they have codes too. I just haven't learned them yet.

Love your blog.

Shauna said...

Congrats on the no, almost No, Diet Coke. I am with you, only I have had 3 Cokes this year.
Yes, it is best when we as women learn to not expect our husbands to be mind readers.
Happy wife does make a happy life.

I have always tried to teach my children than they are not better than others, even if the choices they make seem better than the choices those around them are making. They have to experience unconditional love from you and they will be able to give the same to others. Not judging them for their decisions, yet holding firm to their own choices.

Have fun in Italy...oh my!

Amie said...

I kind of can't believe I read the whole thing either... but I did and enjoyed it.... a great catch up for your week. I need to do the same.

I still don't know how this was only a week and not a month!

Mommyof4 said...

Thank you for the blog catch up! Thank you for the idea of just telling what you expect for Mother's Day. I am like you--I think my husband should know what I want, and as kind as he is, the morning of says--what do you want for your birthday? (or whatever holiday). Then I get all bent out of shape, so I am taking the advice of letting him know what I would like and then let him run with it. I love your posts on the DC area. My sister in law lives there and we have visited twice. I love it so much, if I wasn't such a whimp to leave family I could live there in a heartbeat! Thanks again it was fun to see your week!

Crystalyn said...

wow, what an update! i can totally relate to having to be away to be better at what i need to do at home. it really helps. and it is soooo different just doing it for yourself instead of 4 other people.

as far as the coke goes...i think that diet coke is much, much worse for you than coke. just in case you need another someday ; )

love your family outings and your little girl in ruffle sleeves holding her daddy's hand. so sweet.

denise said...

I want to see Mary Poppins - I have heard nothing but great things about it.

Italy - oh, how envious I am at the moment. My husband and I are currently compiling a list of 40 things we want to do by 40 and a trip to Italy is on our list. I can't wait to see pictures and hear about your exciting adventures.

I laughed about your mac comments. We switched to a mac a few months back and our pc is still up and running because there are still too many things that I can't figure out how to do on the mac. The more I use it the better I get but it hasn't been as smooth as a transition as I would've liked.

sweetfunkyvintage said...

I soooo identified with what you were saying about telling people what your expectations are. I was just at the Lincoln Memorial a few days before you were, taking pictures for a flat stanley project of a friend's daughter. I will be blogging about it soon.
You have so many neat things in the works with some great vacation ideas! So cool!
Missy

SECPumpkin said...

hey girl, I lived in Rome for a summer with a missions group called Campus Crusade for Christ. It was wonderful and I loved ITALY. I stayed in Rome, but went to Florence, Naples, and the island of Capri. It was really amazing. I would suggest the Ufizi (museum) in Florence is a must. Capri's Blue Gratto is really popular. It is a cave that when the certain time of day lights up the water to be this electric blue. Plus it's just fun to be in a boat in a cave! The island itself is just stunning. Then in Rome...I would suggest more than one day because it is insane the amount of cool sites there is to see there. We also spent a weekend in this tiny village outside of Rome (30 min. train ride). It was perfect place to retreat and relax. It is built beside a lake that was made from an old volcano (so they told me). It's a freshwater lake so no motor boats of any kind are allowed which makes it really nice for swimming. But it's old streets aren't even big enough for the smart cars!:) It's just the cutest little place, and it's name is Treviagno. It was probably my most memorable part of Italy! Have fun and enjoy it!

andrea said...

I can't believe how much you can pack into one week and all the great pictures too. I loved this post.

Seeing your library books on the wars was so inspiring. You should also check out "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell. Your patriotic heart would love it.

I'm so impressed you are taking your family to Italy. I'm so jealous of your milatary flights. Jason and I are going to Brazil in a couple of weeks but leaving the kids behind. I would love to take them. Your girls are going to have such great memories of these trips, even your little ones.

Andie said...

Oh Italy! Cinque Terre is one of my ultimate "happy places".

melanie said...

A post like this would have taken me days. I'm so glad you didn't skip it, it's fabulous.

So glad Jane won, she is deserving in every way!

I love all your photos, they're gorgeous. And priceless. I can't wait for your girls to grow up and see their life through your eyes. What a gift.

Wow, Italy! I love your adventures.

Missy :o) said...

OK, I am a slow reader and have to admit that I skimmed a little here and there. Just didn't have time. Anyway, I wanted to comment on the smoking/drinking thing. It has been a big thing in our home because we have family members who drink (not heavily) and some who used to smoke (yay for them for quitting). But, I have one child who whould see someone smoking/drinking and say "they don't believe in God, do they?" AAHHH!! Where did that come from? I was flabbergasted! So, since then it has been a running topic in our home. We teach them that there are so many good people in the world and we all have choices to make and our own lives to live. Just because someone doesn't believe the same things we do, does not mean they don't believe in God or aren't good people. I hope and pray that they grasp this concept and hang on to it. Don't know why I shared this, just felt like I needed to get it out there! Thanks for they post!

wende said...

ribbon at the end or not, that was totally worth reading! i'm so glad you changed your mind and blogged about the week - it was a great snapshot of your life. you are an incredible mother!

Holly said...

I loved catching up with all the neat things you have been doing, and planning, and visiting, and thinking, and so on, and so on!!

Julia said...

I loved this post. Thanks Kristi. Have fun at Mary Poppins, I have yet to see it. But AK will LOVE Wicked. I love Italy, and am so jealous you get to go this year.

I really needed your paragraph about Mothers Day. I had a year of bad holidays last year when my husband failed to meet expectations, and even (gasp) forgot my birthday. I think he has felt guilty every since, and has gone above and beyond on holidays this year, but I still feel weird ever telling him my expectations. I have got to get over that, and It would save us both a lot of unhappiness.

Troy said...

I'm so bummed I missed the ribbon....I love your blog and I really enjoyed talking to you in Utah at the Blogger Party. I had to get use to a new computer a few months ago and I love it now, but hated it then

Karrie said...

I love you blog and really enjoyed talking to you in Utah at the Blogger Party. I got a new computer a few months ago and hated it then, but love it now! I've haven't been to NYC for a few years so I'm not up to date on the new shows...I still need to see Wicked.

Karrie said...

Kristi...the Troy comment was mine and I though I changed to me, but realized it didn't....guess I still need some work to master the computer stuff...sorry

Juli said...

Never been to Italy, but I had to memorize 24 Italian songs in voice lessons in high school. Never seen Mary Poppins, but I LOVED Wicked. I love my garden, and especially love my great water-saving dripper system (I do live in New Mexico after all - never waste a drop.). I hate flying with children, but I've done it a lot. Last time I flew alone, I seriously felt like I was forgetting something. Airports are actually relaxing without kids.

sweetfunkyvintage said...

Wow, that was a really long post, but so interesting! Have agreat week!

Cecilia said...

It was so fun reading about your week! I love all the pics and the gifts! I'm glad you had a fun mother's day!

Christina said...

what a fun catch up! my jon is EXACTLY like your hubby--that would totally be him--and you are exactly like me-sleep in if you can woman! lets just say ive helped jon "come over to the dark side" in regards to sleeping in! HA

and YES i tell my family exactly what i want-especially jon and im NEVER disappointed!

ohhhh so jealous of the ribbon!! i SO need to get in contact with my cousin to HOOK ME UP!

crystal said...

I see that Fresca in your "stockpiled" groceries! Fresca weaned me off Diet Coke, sister. Good job on your 1-yr no-coke anniversary...woohoo!

I am jealous of your super-journaling abilities.

TX Girl said...

Kristi-
Email me about Italy. If only you were pregnant you could skip all the long lines for the museums in Florence (they let you in immediately.. it saved us at least a day of lines). You must go to Sienna- it is beautiful. Pisa is a fun trip too if you have a car. It will be just a short afternoon. When are you going?

kristi said...

lara. well maybe the fact i look pregnant just may pay off somewhere!

michelle said...

Italy? What happened to Croatia? Like Jane, I was laughing over Italy with Spain as a back-up. You're more easygoing than I'll ever be.

This was such a huge catch-up post, I can't imagine how long it must have taken, so thanks.

I loved picturing you and Jeff going to the commissary together, and I love that he packed you a picnic and has more time to spend with all of his girls!

I'm so impressed that you've gone a year without Diet Coke -- way to go, girl!

I love that you laid out your expectations with Jeff about Mother's Day. That is just smart thinking. I don't usually communicate my expectations, instead I lower them, and that is the coward's way out. You rock!

I have had some similar problems with Max, being my oldest child who is very concerned about protocol and rule-following. He used to be a terrible tattletale in school when he was younger. And he would ask loudly why such and such a person in the grocery store was buying coffee, etc. We have talked a lot about doing what is right and allowing others their free agency. I like what another commenter said about not discouraging them to stand up for what they know is right.