Inspirational Love, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

There have been many times in my life, countless even, where I find myself reflecting in awe over the love my parents have for each other. I’m having one of those moments right now and thought I would share – how fitting on their anniversary?! Perhaps this is inspiration for you and your spouse or you have similar moments while observing your parents? I haven’t interviewed my parents nor do they know that I’m writing this blog post. These inspirational blurbs or moments I’m going to share have been based solely on my observation, which is cooler to have that perspective anyway, right?

IMG_0285When watching home videos of life when I was younger, specifically it was Christmas morning, Matt and I were coming into the living room to see the presents that Santa left for us. You could see the sparkle in my mom’s eyes as she looked back at the camera to my dad and you could hear him say {and if you know my dad you could literally hear this} “heyyyy babe-ahhh.” If I think about my current life and the stressful (yet joyous) moments that creep into the “everyday” with two kids, still having that flirtatious tone and to really see the love is cool.

Other moments captured on camera of the flirtatious Carol and John show include dad zooming in on mom’s butt {gross, but still} and making an “ow-ow” comment. Or zooming in on mom’s face and saying, “there’s my baby” {I’m sure you are even more grossed out, but still}. There were even moments when you could see their solidarity in being stern with my brothers and I {yes, this is caught on camera} then sort of chuckling to the camera together and really enjoying each other regardless of the stressful situation, ahem Halloween of 94. Or when they were holding baby Brian in the NICU the day that they were scheduled to take him home and the love and pride towards each other as they were being interviewed by the local news stations, really is inspiring!

As I think and type out these moments, it is cool to think they have all lead up to the unified team IMG_0282 (1)they are today. We’ve had some interesting life events and family scares recently (Dad’s cancer is an obvious one) and never have I ever seen my mom so worried about dad or my dad so thankful for my mom than the day of my dad’s surgery. It was like all the other moments they had lived through were prepping them for this next speed bump. To see a selfie sent from my dad {yes, he takes selfies} to my mom and then for my mom to respond with “I’m proud of you babe” brings me such joy! The love they share for each other is even more prevalent today {to me} than it was in the “early days” caught on camera.

My parent’s love for each other, respect for each other, support for each other and pride for each other is inspiring! I know that I’m lucky to have such great role models in my life.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, I love you very much.


They Say It’s Your Birthday, Happy Birthday To Abbey

What joy when we saw Abbey’s face as she began her third year! She is {mostly} such a happy, thoughtful, caring, considerate, and FUNNY little girl. Watching her transition from baby to toddler to now a mini-little girl has been a fascinating journey to follow.

Crap, Abbey bdayNot sure about birthday celebrations in your family but our celebrations typically last about a week and this birthday is no different. The celebrations began on the Thursday before her birthday when George and I met at Abbey’s school to celebrate with her preschool classmates. Daddy showed up with donut holes, which are THE most popular item to bring into a classroom of three-year-olds. The teachers encourage it and the kiddos go bonkers for it but of course they have it RIGHT before they leave. Coincidence? I think not! Abbey was wearing the birthday hat and all her friends at school sang their special birthday song and made Ab her very own special birthday “cake” during the song. She was glowing and smiling ear-to-ear! It was great to also get to see her in action with her friends at school. Celebration #1

On her actual birthday, Ab woke up in a great mood and was quickly greeted by baby brother for some snuggle time in mommy and daddy’s bed, which they both love. She was of course so excited to see Jack and actually sang him the “HappyIMG_3944 Birthday” song! Daddy missed some of the snuggles but he had an important job, picking up the birthday donuts for the birthday girl to have at breakfast and for her to share at soccer. Again, donut holes are the best treat to share with little ones. When daddy got home there was some morning present opening to be had and of course a brand new pink soccer ball and Doc McStuffin water bottle were a big hit. Balloons were just icing on the cake. After she opened these little gifts she was so happy and thanked us right away for her “best birthday presents ever.” Thinking back, George and I could have stopped there but of course we had more treats up our sleeve…when will we learn that a cardboard box is just as much fun as the $50 toys you buy at the store? Celebration #2

Off to soccer we go! Ab was REALLY excited to put her new pink soccer ball to use and also to share it with her other little soccer friends. We immediately went on to the field to talk to CIMG_3955oach Nicole (great coach at Wall2Wall in Mason) and then started kicking the ball and sharing with a little boy whom we have never met, but hey! Then Grandma and Grandpa Bird (Herron) showed up. Then Uncle Matt, Aunt Jami and Bubby showed up. Then Neighbor (Sandy) showed up. Then Grandma and Grandpa Weazel (Wenstrup) showed up, what a crowd! Uncle Matt came onto the field RIGHT away and took over as Ab’s buddy, no surprises here! Aunt Jami made an appearance on the field and really gave George and I a break this time. After her “game” we hauled off to play and each at Chick-fil-a, our favorite Saturday post-game lunch. Uncle Matt, Aunt Jami and Bubby were all there to have a birthday lunch celebration… you guessed it, Celebration #3

Our FINAL celebration (Celebration #4) was with our friends and family back at the house, our spoiled little girl was excited to have everyone at the house for dinner, cake and ice cream and more presents. What a great way to ring in the third year of life…remember this kiddo when you ask for a sweet-16 birthday or even when you are 21 that a lunch date at Chick-fil-a and some donut holes were the favorite birthday treats back then. We love you Abbey Road, thank you for being such a sweet girl. 


All my poor dad wanted to do on Father’s day was to putz around Brookville lake on his new toy. As luck would have it, the boat needed some minor repair and wasn’t ready in time for this “perfect” day. No worries, we Wenstrup’s aren’t wired to handle the word “no” very well (family inside joke that NO actually means, not right now) and planned the perfect Father’s day just one week later.

As you can see, Abbey and Mason really enjoyed Papa’s boat!

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Great picture of the birthday boy (Happy Birthday Mattchew)! Oh boy, my hair looks a bit cray-cray!

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A few more pictures that sum up the pontoon coma that was induced on Abbey and George for the latter part of the day.

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Tough life for this little girl…

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Could not have asked for bigger smiles, more fun, better weather, louder giggles (and squeals), and an all around more amazing time than we had with each other yesterday. It was exactly what I imagined, except for me getting in the lake with Abbey (not my favorite part), for my dad’s Father’s day.

Girl’s Night Out

Just two little girls enjoying a great night of toys and romping around in their diapers! I’m pretty sure that Abbey “needs” a ball pit now. Maybe this could be an addition at a grandparent’s house (ah-hem)?

In all seriousness I am finding that play dates are great for toddler and baby socialization. Abbey doesn’t go to daycare, she is with her 2-year-old cousin most Mondays and Fridays but misses out on some of the toy sharing and learning to play with other tots her age. It is also a great way for us moms to reach out and share insight with each other, I love learning about various tricks that other moms have up their sleeve.

Thanks to Beth and Lilian for sharing your house and great toys!PicMonkey Collage

Happy Fridays with Grandma

My mom is probably among the top 5 happiest people in the world on Fridays because of these two kiddos right here, Mason and Abbey.

{CHEERS!} is what Mason says to Abbey and then they “clink” milk cups, awwww! I’m thankful that my girl is growing up surrounded by family that loves her so much.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For the past month (clearly I’m a procrastinator) we’ve been gearing up for this one day, December 25th. All the decorating, shopping, cooking, crafting and wrapping has led us to 24 hours of pure Christmas spirit. And this year George and I were able to watch it all unfold through the eyes of toddlers. Mason (2 year old nephew), Henry (1 year old nephew) and Abbey were so much fun to watch tear open presents and be giddy about what was inside but more importantly, they were giddy about the paper! There were so many presents and delicious food and oh so yummy wine but there was also so much laughter and love. I feel amazingly blessed to be surrounded by such a loving and caring family and three adorable little munchkins who brought so much joy to this holiday season. Mushy, mushy, mushy… I’ll move on!

Here are pictures of Abbey and her cousins enjoying Christmas day:

Toddler Christmas 2012


P.S. The ottoman’s in the top right picture (with Mason) and bottom left picture (with Henry) are ones that I made thanks to Pinterest and my mom. Mom and I worked on this all day last Sunday and it was a lot of fun learning to sew from my momma. Abbey also got an ottoman and I promise to post pictures of these beauties and instructions on how to make them very, very soon. And apparently I’m taking orders to make them as presents for my friend’s kids so just message me and I might just make one for you too!

P.P.S. Christmas was NOT ruined thanks to my in-law’s who got Abbey and Henry the Anywhere Chairs from Pottery Barn Kids. Check out my hectic rant from an earlier post when I lost my $100 Pottery Barn gift card.

P.P.P.S. The Pottery Barn gift card is still lost, boo!

Fools and their Diapers

Mmmmmm, delicious! Who wants chocolate?

Yesterday a diaper party was thrown in my honor.  A what you might ask?  As did I the first time I heard about it.  As a matter of fact here is a short list of things I thought it could be:

  • A party where strippers show up in nothing but diapers.  Clearly I was stretching on this one, but a man can dream.
  • A party where I had to wear a diaper the entire time while my friends made fun of me.  If you knew my friends and family, this was definitely on the table.
  • A party where several diapers are passed around with “concoctions” in them and I had to identify what exactly was in them.
  • A party where everyone had to wear a diaper and the first one to fill the diaper won….and lost.  I think we all knew John Wenstrup (father-in-law) would have won this game running away so it was decided not to bother.

Well, as it turns out it is none of those things.  A diaper party is like a mix between a bachelor party and a shower, but for a man.  On the day of your wife or significant other’s baby shower men will congregate at a designated location, drink beer, play cornhole, watch football and eat food.  Oh, and they have to bring a pack of diapers for the expectant father. It’s pretty ingenious to be honest.  I mean most of the men’s wives are going to be at the shower, so what else were they really going to do?  Sit around, watch football, eat food and maybe scratch themselves.  So instead of scratching they can get their “exercise” by playing cornhole, or losing in cornhole to anyone that played CJ and I yesterday, instead of scratching their unmentionables.  For my diaper party we even added a new wrinkle of playing a round of frisbee golf before the day of gluttony could begin.  It was a spectacular day.

Highlights of the day:

  • Paul throwing his frisbee into the woods on the first hole.  Then, after taking a do-over he did the exact same thing.
  • Beating Mark Hannah for the third straight time in frisbee golf.  He got me interested in the game and I used to never beat him and I would never hear the end of it.  So, it feels pretty good to kick his ass.
  • Jim Wenstrup didn’t show up until the 12th hole and on his first throw got his disc stuck in a tree that took 4 people 15 minutes to get un-stuck.  Talk about a momentum killer.
  • Watching John hit a tree that was maybe ten feet in front of him was pretty funny.  But watching CJ hit the exact same tree not 2 minutes later was hysterical!
  • CJ and I owning fools in cornhole all day long.  We lost once, maybe our second game, but after that we tore through anyone that was willing to take us on.  We went through teams like Charlie Sheen goes through stripper girlfriends, WINNING!
  • All the food was gluten-free and delicious, which was awesome.  A special thanks to my mother-in-law, Carol Wenstrup, and Jami White for all the preparation.
  • Golf cart rides around Matt’s neighborhood.  Specifically with Corey and his Captain America sweatshirt on (with the mask on mind you).  We got some pretty strange looks, but there was a neighbor in particular that just glared at us, he might have been a Nazi?
  • Thanking Corey at the end of the party for sticking around the entire time, knowing that he had a long drive back up to Dayton, only to realize that I was his ride back to my house where his car was!  I felt like an ass!

A couple fires, a golf cart with rims, bs-ing with my dudes. It was a damn good day.

Lowlights of the day:

  • Not winning frisbee golf at my own party.  Jared won with an impressive -20.  No one could touch that.  I was closest with a -14.  Thanks a-hole, no more frisbee golf invites for you.
  • After having to listen to Brian talk smack all day about how good he was in a game called “washers” I decided to play him to shut him up.  I wanted to destroy him, just to put him in his place.  I lost.  Now he can talk smack all day long and it is completely justified.  I made a bad situation WAY worse.
  • Jimmy Baur showing up sans diapers.  Talk about a party foul.
  • Not only did I lose in fantasy football this week, I got crushed.  I got crushed by someone who was starting two players on byes.  Oh and I lost my best running back in the first quarter of the Raiders game and probably for a couple more weeks after.

It was a great day and something I recommend for every father to be.  Not only does it give you an opportunity to hang out with all your dudes one last time before a baby consumes your life, it’s a great way to stockpile diapers for the months and years to come.  Diapers are expensive and this is just one less cost and worry that new parents stress over.  I can’t thank my brother-in-law, Matt, enough for putting this together for me, just an awesome day, with awesome people, and Paul.

And a last special thanks to the Eskimo brothers, Rick and Corey for stopping at my house after the party and helping unload the metric ton of stuff that Jesy brought back from her last shower.  I would still be unloading all that stuff right now if not for your help.  You guys are coming back when I have to move it all back upstairs right?