Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It's that time of the year kids!

It's hard to believe that another summer has come and gone and the start of the 2016-2017 school year is here.  We lost two weeks of our summer vacation due to a county calendar adjustment, which at first was a bummer.  But.... it actually turned out to be my saving grace because these kiddos were ready to get back to school!  

These two are the true definition of siblings.  They play well together, but only when they both want to.  They help each other out, but only when they both want to.  They can be super creative with imaginative play ... but again ... only when they both want to.  With that being said, a little separation is definitely good sometimes ... and that's where school comes in!

Levi is four and in Pre-K this year.  Big changes for this little dude.  He goes every day now just like his big sis.  He's eager to learn math and wants to read.  He can write his first, middle, and last name and is very proud to show off his work.  I have a feeling that this year will be wonderful for him!!

Abby is six (almost seven) and in 2nd grade!  She loves everything (well, maybe not everything) about school.  She's an extremely social child so being back to school is like one giant playdate for her!  Besides that, Abby is super excited about her new teacher and is ready to learn. Writing and math are her favorites.  

Praying for a happy, healthy, successful school year for my kids!  Your journey is only beginning ... 


Friday, July 29, 2016

My mom knows me.

My mom knows me.  Like realllllly knows me.  A text she sent me earlier this afternoon read "tickled PINK & blessed in BLUE is missing you and so am I."  My mom knows me.  She knows that it was time for me to write.  Time for me to put my feelings into words -- and sometimes it's just easier to type them, then to speak them.  My mom knows me.

I've said it before and I've typed it before ... living the baseball lifestyle is hard.  SO hard.  People say things like ... "it won't be forever" or "you knew what you were getting yourself into."  I swear if I hear either of these phrases again I may lose it completely.  Yes, both of these phrases are true.  Baseball won't last forever and I guess you could say I knew what I was getting myself into.  BUT ... it doesn't make it any easier.  I really didn't know what it would be like to be a baseball wife ... or a mother ... and definitely not a baseball wife & mother at the SAME TIME!

I'm a single parent most of the year.  I love being home with my kids more than anything but it can be quite the challenge, especially after adding number three.  I'm saddened that the hubs misses out on so much of our family time ... the firsts, the exciting adventures, the bad days, the great days.  As Abby said about a month ago, "our family is kind of like a puzzle Mom ... always missing a piece."  Seriously kid?  Did she really say that?!

I'm beyond grateful for the lifestyle that we are able to live.  I'm thankful for a husband that works hard, plays for his fans, and gives back to the community.  He's such a special soul when he allows others to see that.  I'm his biggest fan ... his biggest supporter ... and I'm here for the long haul.  We've been through ups and downs with baseball and I have a feeling that the rollercoaster is still on the tracks.

Our lifestyle is unique.  Different.  Challenging.  Satisfying.  Would I trade it?  Probably not.  I just miss family time together ... I miss the laughter.  I miss the fun.  I miss the awesome team that the hubs and I make.  I miss the offseason.  Is it time yet?!

I know I just rambled on ... vented a little.  But I feel better and my thoughts don't seem too jumbled anymore.  Writing is my refuge.  My mom knows me. 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Big, busy, chaotic ... what is it?!

Big, busy, chaotic ... those three words could describe many things, but they definitely sum up our weekend in the Big Apple.  It's just how New York City runs.  Always fast moving, crazy, and a bit of a whirlwind.  And as much as the beautiful city has to offer, it's really not for me.  I know, I know ... 
there's lots of shopping, lots of Broadway shows, and tons of entertainment wherever you turn.   I 
guess the truth is I'm just a country girl at heart ... 

We stayed at the beautiful Lotte Palace Hotel in Manhattan.  Originally a residence, the hotel was stunning.  The grand staircase, detailed architecture, and beautiful chandeliers made for a picturesque backdrop.  

Our first day was spent walking around the city, taking in some of the sights and then some fun in Central Park.  

We walked by Radio City, through Rockefeller Center, and the kids had the most fun on the random amusement park rides in Central Park.  Abby's favorite ride was the swings (of course) and Levi enjoyed flying the airplanes.  We ate lunch at Ellen's Stardust Diner ... A definite recommendation for anyone traveling to NYC with kiddos.  It was an easy way to see some future Broadway talent, right in front of you while you eat. 

Our second day in the city was jam packed ... starting with another trip into Central Park, this time to check out the Zoo.  Grizzly bears, bats, penguins, seals .... The kids enjoyed the animals and it was neat to see the Zoo that provided the backdrop for the movie Madagascar.  

After that we met up with the Hines family for some afternoon fun!  They were our old neighbors from Baltimore, who we continue to see once or twice a year if we're lucky.  Living in NYC just a couple more weeks, it was great to catch up with them - plus they doubled as some awesome tour guides!  Ha!  After am interesting Subway ride, we hopped on the ferry to Governor's Island.  This was the perfect place for the kids to RUN and be free for a bit.  The kids enjoyed the climbing apparatus and hammocks ... and of course taking in the incredible views of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty.  

We ran into one of Abby's schoolmates while in the big city and it was even crazier that we were all staying at the same hotel!! 

Across the street from the hotel stood St. Patrick's Cathedral ... One of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen.  The architecture, the stained glass, the detailed ceilings ... Wow!  We were able to sneak in during Sunday's mass and take a peek around.  Abby, Levi, and I also lit a candle and said a prayer.  Even though the kids didn't fully understand, it was really a special experience.  

Of course a trip to visit Daddy wouldn't be the same without going to some baseball games.  This time we were able to check another ballpark off our list.  Citi Field was beautiful and it was fun seeing the hubs pitch at a different ballpark.

Overall we had a fun time in the Big Apple!  It was great spending the weekend with Jordan, catching up with old friends, and taking in the sights of a new place.  But for now, it feels good to be home (well, back in the ATL) .....

Huge shout out to Scott & Liz - you guys are rockstar travel advisors! ;)


Monday, June 13, 2016

Sweet, sweet Charlie.

Dear Charlie,

You are one of my motivations behind this blog ... without even knowing, you've pushed me to start back up again ... to keep writing.  You see, I love that this blog is a scrapbook, a treasury, a special gift for when you get older.  Over the past six years I've captured a lot of memories and I want to continue for you.

At eight months, you are a happy baby.  You've always been a happy baby.  Nothing really bothers you -- except the basics... hungry, tired, need a diaper change.  When you smile it lights up the entire room.  You are absolutely intrigued by your brother and sister -- and you watch their every move.  And because of that, you're learning so much.

Learning to talk (ok, babble) and talk LOUD. You're just starting to crawl and soon you'll be all over the place.  You're also attempting to pull yourself up on furniture and in your crib.  You can clap your hands, play Patty Cake, give high five, and wave.  There is no doubt you are one busy little lady.

We started baby food earlier with you ... it seemed you were ready and with every bite we took at the table, you pretended to chew right along with us.  So we tried it ... and you loved it.  You continue to love it, unless it's green ... then you take after your Grandad.  ;)  Recently we started introducing solids ... shredded meat, pasta, cheese, yogurt, and small pieces of fruit.  You are doing such a good job and really are such a good eater!

Charlie, you have the BEST big sister and big brother.  Ever.  They both love you so much.  Abby is a little Mommy and takes such good care of you.  Levi loves to entertain you and make you laugh.  It's such a joy watching them love on you.  I can't even put it into words.  Their love for you is just so, so special.

Sweet baby, we love you so much and feel so blessed that God chose us to be your family.  Will you do Mommy just one, small favor?  Stop growing so fast ... there's really no rush!!



Thursday, June 9, 2016

Family of FIVE, what?!

I'm sure every writer has a writing hiatus at some point.  Whether it's writers block, pursuing other goals, or the standard not enough time, it happens.  It must.  Right?  Either way my hiatus lasted a year and in one year a lot happens. 

Not to bore you with everything that happened in the course of one year, I'll give you the quick rundown.  Our summer was full of exploring a new city ... the city of Atlanta, where Jim signed with the Braves.  For the second year in a row Megan was able to spend her summer with us.  Being pregnant and chasing two kids in HOTlanta proved to be much easier with her help!  In July Jim was traded out to LA to finish the season with the Dodgers.  The kiddos and I then packed up and headed home to prepare for the birth of our third baby. 

Wow.  The birth of our third baby.  The Johnsons became a family of five.  If you have been a follower of my blog then you'll remember this is the baby I prayed for.  And when I say I prayed for this baby, I mean I PRAYED.  Caring for two little youngsters was already a challenge and at times it felt like my heart was full.  Then there were times that sadness emptiness would creep in and I kept second guessing myself.  I wanted another baby.  I knew three would be crazy.  I knew three would be exhausting.  But I also knew deep down I may regret not having another baby.  My heart had more love to share and more cuddles to give.  So I prayed ... and prayed ... and God answered our prayers with the news of a healthy pregnancy.

Enter Charlie Elizabeth.  We kept her gender a secret until birth and it was truly the most amazing experience ever.  Being convinced we were having another boy, I was completely shocked and surprised to meet our new baby girl. Charlie is the sweetest baby and has added so much joy into our lives.  Her big sister and big brother are the absolute best and it's been wonderful watching them enjoy their baby.

My heart is full.  My heart is happy.  God has proved to me that three is our magic number.  It just feels right -- it fits -- it's our family.  Our family of FIVE.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Am I really doing this?

Here I sit.  On our comfy sofa, The Talk on the tv, and ocean waves coming through the baby monitor  as sweet Charlie naps.  It's a rare extremely rare quiet moment.  I honestly can't believe I'm sitting here, typing away on a blog that hasn't been touched in a year.  A YEAR?!?!

So what has me back?  There have honestly been several times that I've wanted to write, share pictures and stories, and file our family memories here in this blogosphere.  I simply was too tired or didn't have enough time.  Then the other day a conversation with one of my best girlfriends got me thinking.  A simple conversation about hobbies led me back here to this space ... my journal, my scrapbook, a most treasured keepsake for my children.

Hobbies.  I hadn't really thought about my hobbies in awhile.  Since adding a third child to our already busy lives, my hobbies seemed to fade into the past.  My time now consists of changing diapers, chasing after high energy kids, grocery shopping, laundry, playdates, and several trips to and from schools for drop off and pick up.  My hobbies had become my kids hobbies ... and that just doesn't seem quite fair.  So my girlfriend and I got to talking about our hobbies.  And when I couldn't come up with any, I felt silly.  I felt angry.  Slightly pathetic.  How couldn't I have any hobbies of my own?!  After all, the hubs has hobbies.  Golfing, hunting, racing, fishing .....  How was it that I couldn't think of one, single hobby?!?! It wasn't only me - neither could my girlfriend.  It's almost like after becoming moms, our free time became limited and so our hobbies were easy to dismiss.

After some laughs (thankfully we could laugh about this together), my girlfriend and I thought about some potential hobbies.  Painting.  Gardening.  Reading.  Hmmm, I do enjoy reading.... A LOT.  Cooking.  Traveling.  Exercising.  Another possibility, but not truly considered a hobby.  Shopping. Baking.  Too much of either of those and it's bad news.  ;)  Paddleboarding.  In Florida with SHARKS?!!  At the end of all this, what did I come up with?  NOTHING!

Nothing.  Nothing UNTIL ... I continued this conversation with another one of my best girlfriends.  Right away she reminded me of something I loved.  Something I was and still am very passionate about.  Writing.  Keeping my thoughts written down.  My blog.  Why hadn't I thought about this?  I love using the blogosphere as a place to vent, pray, share incredible stories about my family.  And I've missed a lot of time, a year ... ONE YEAR.

What does this mean?  I'm not going to take the time to catch up on a whole year of memories, but I can promise that I'm going to write.  I'm going to make time to enjoy my hobby.  First up ... an exciting blog makeover that is LONG overdue AND a huge thanks to my girls!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's a wrap!

The last day of Kindergarten came way too quick; like a big gust of wind came along and just pushed us to the very last day of school without any warning.  When I think back to that very first day of elementary school, it's easy to remember the mix of emotions that we all felt that day.  (ok, maybe the emotions that this Mama felt)  Anxious, fear, nervous, sad, excited, happy, proud.  It was so hard seeing my little girl headed into such a BIG place, full of older kids roaming the halls.  It wasn't easy knowing that my little girl would be kept safe for a full day of school and it wasn't me that was able to do that. But... what was easy, was knowing that my little girl was ready, hopeful, and excited for a year of endless possiblities to begin.  And for that alone, I was one proud Mama.  My little girl was definitely ready!

We were so blessed to start our elementary experience with such an amazing teacher, Mrs. Turner.  Abby just loved her and we knew she was a great fit from the start.  Mrs. Turner challenged the kids, made learning fun, and had high expectations of these kids.  We watched Abby grow so much; both in height (happens too fast!) and her eagnerness to learn.  She fell in love with school ... made so many new friends and learned many new things.

This was also the year of her first "crush."  Sure there's been "boyfriends" in the past and little guys that make her smile ... but....  One little guy in particular quickly became that crush ... you know, the one you talk about all the time.  ;)  These two really had such a sweet friendship.  A friendship that will definitely continue for years to come!

It was such an exciting year ... full of many firsts!  To think that we are just getting started on this ride, it may be time to buckle up!  If it's anything like Kindergarten, we better hold on tight and take it all in.  ;) 

Warning: Time will fly, but precious memories will be made.