Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Showing posts with label being a grown-up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label being a grown-up. Show all posts

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coming Clean

 For the past 5 weeks or so I've been lazy. 
Lazy, tired, crabby and oh-so-unproductive. 
But I have a good excuse!
I'll let Ellie explain:

Yep! Ellie's going to be a big sister! She seems pretty excited about that, huh?
Probably because she has NO idea what she's in for! All she knows is that she likes babies........for now. We'll see how she feels when there's a baby who's here to stay! ;)

Slowly, as the all-day nausea wears off (half true, half wishful-thinking-crossing-my-fingers-and-toes), the shock is wearing off with it. Reality is setting in and we couldn't be more excited! 

The truth is, change is on the horizon. This little family has a bright future ahead of us, but at this point in time, we have no idea where that future will be or what it will look like. Our entire world will be turned around in about two months when Scott finishes school (and his paid internship). For now, all we know is that we will be facing life's blessing and challenges as a family of four! Eeeeek!!

Baby Pawlak #2 due 11/17/12 :)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Our Bedroom

I know that I've shared glimpses of our bedroom makeover here and there for the past couple of weeks, but I wanted to give you all the grand tour.
We recently did a complete overhaul on our bedroom, and I am in love with the way it turned out!
It was actually a little unexpected, and with next to no budget for "redecorating", we had to go with what we had. 
I made a trip to Target for some organizational items: shoe-rack, small set of plastic drawers, etc. My mom also pitched in and scrounged up my old, old dresser from her spare bedroom. This dresser has been around for forever and I kind of forgot how cool it is! It is in desperate need of some new stain and has a few wobbly drawers, but we were in desperate need of a place to stash our we quickly became best friends (and a fresh coat of stain will make it's appearance this spring, I promise). 

 We snagged our end-tables from our living room set and we are using them as night stands. I actually really like the way they look in our room....sorry to anyone that was looking for a place to set their drink in our living room ;)
I have a list of items that I'd love to order from Target and Ikea to finish the room off (like, um, a headboard. And a bookshelf), but for now I'm in love with our new room! It feels so light and airy and just......fresh! In case you don't remember what our room looked like before, here's a little glimpse:

Yeah, it was crowded and a little overwhelming. Now our bedroom is a clean, welcoming place. I think Elliott would agree.


My Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day!
Today is a day where I wake up giddy with ideas of ways to shower those I care about with love!
It truly makes me happy to make others happy.....and in my opinion, 
that's what today is all about!

I plan on snuggling this sweet girl when she wakes up, and giving her a little basket with some of her favorite things (a Dora coloring book, some rainboots.....she's going to flip her lid when she sees them, for sure! Some sweets, of course, and a Franklin DVD). She's spoiled, but it's only because she's the sweetest, most amazing little girl ever! I love her so much!

Then I'll be sure to bring some sweets to work with me, along with Elliott's Valentine's to pass out. My friends at work seriously are the reason why I keep going back there, and today will be a fun one, for sure!

And finally, I'll come home to this sweet man! We have such busy schedules, and Valentine's Day is no exception. But, I've got some shredded chicken simmering in the crockpot for an amazing taco dinner, and I'm fairly certain the husband is taking care of the dessert/sweets department, so we should be all set for a cozy night in. Perfect by my standards!

I hope you all have a fantastic Valentine's Day, and that you take a moment to do something nice for someone else today!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm Not Perfect

Today I'm going to share a little bit about myself here.....I mostly write about Elliott, because she's what I LOVE to write about! That's okay, but sometimes it's nice to talk about me, too ;)
Thanks to The Paper Mama for hosting a link-up and prompting women (myself included) to step in front of the camera. To shake off the insecurities, and to love on ourselves a little bit! It feels good!
So, here are a few fun prompts that Chelsey laid out for us to answer:
Obsessing over…Elliott's Valentine's. I cannot wait to give them out to all of my her friends!
Working on…Photos, selling my crap on eBay, keeping my house clean
Thinking about…Bills. Bleh.
Anticipating...The weekend! I'm going to go see The Vow with girlfriends, relax, and hopefully sleep in! 
Listening to…The Big Bang Theory is on in the living room. I can hear it from here, and it's calling my name ;)
Eating…Nothing (for once!) Just sipping some ice water
Wishing…I would win the lottery. 

And, here's what I've been thinking about myself lately:

I hate to exercise
I talk way too much sometimes
 I can be selfish
I can be a stick-in-the-mud
 I'm a perfectionist
I expect a LOT from others
I can be impatient
I am sometimes an aggressive driver

 I can't cook
I hate to clean

 I am motivated
I am confident (most days)
I am proud of myself and my accomplishments
I love deeply
I take pride in making others around me happy
I am talented at many things
I might not be good at being perfect, but there are lots of other things that I am good at.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. I'm sure she would LOVE that I'm broadcasting that news all over the interwebz. But the truth is, if anyone deserves an over-the-top, outrageous, attention-showered day full of love, it would be this woman.
I could go on and on about how truly amazing my mom is.
We butted heads when I was younger, but only a little bit.
The whole time, even if I thought it might be cool to be the attitude-filled, rebellious teenager, I deep down had the ultimate respect for my mom. Plus, she's just a fun person to be around.
To this day, I remember her helping me host fun parties for me and my friends when we were in junior high and high school......the fun kind of parties where kids could be kids, with no pressure to be grown up or try things we weren't supposed to be trying. Our house was a safe place, and my mom always found ways to make it fun. I definitely think that's one of the biggest lessons I've learned from her; how easy it is to make life fun by celebrating the little things, by doing things that otherwise might seem silly. 
Today I hope to make my mom's day, just like she's done for me so many times before.
She's not an easy one to buy gifts for, and that's why I'm surprising her instead!
I've got a whole day planned for us, and I cannot wait to spend the afternoon with her. I only hope that my mom knows even a fraction of my love for her......which I'm pretty sure she does ;)
Happy Birthday mom!! I love you!

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Hair Lately

I've always considered myself to be a short-hair person. 
Short hair fits my personality, my face. 
I've stuck with the classic inverted bob and piled on the blonde highlights for most of my adult life. 
This is probably the last time I had freshly-cut and freshly-colored, cute, short hair

But lately, I've been growing my hair out. I haven't had the time, money, or energy to keep up with my cute blonde hairstyle since having a child. I wish it wasn't so, but that's the truth. I would LOVE to get back to a freshly maintained, chic, stylish hairstyle eventually, but for now I'm actually having a lot of fun with my hair. I'm finally getting past the annoying in-between-chin-and-shoulder length and experimenting with different styles and 'dos.

I experimented with bangs:
While the bangs were cute and fun, I'm already over it. 
If I styled them just perfectly, I think they looked ok. But, it was way too easy to look awkward with these short, short bangs. And, 2nd day hair is almost never presentable when you're rockin' bangs.
Now that I've decided I don't like the bangs so much, I've been clipping 
them back and out of the way.....I think this will help me manage until they're grown out.
I've also been dying my hair darker to help with the upkeep of color. I'm pretty certain that I've finally found my natural shade (or as close to it as I'm going to get), and I like to freshen up the color every 6-8 weeks......I can do that, since it's $7 a box vs the $100's I used to spend at the salon.
Most days I really enjoy my longer hair......I can wear it curly, straight, pulled up in a ponytail, whatever. 
I feel like I have choices to fit my mood and my to-do list.
Like I said, some day I would love to make regular visits to a stylist, and keep my hair fresh, healthy, and looking magnificent. 
For now, though, I'll continue to experiment, have fun, and watch these hairs growwww!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Potty Training: Update

I haven't talked about potty training here for a long time. Some of you might not even know that I tried potty training Ellie just after she turned a year old. Silly, right?
Well, it's only silly to some. Others might think I'm crazy for not starting sooner. Potty training is kind of a taboo subject, at least in my experience. I really don't care how (or when) others potty train their children. It's not a sign of how intelligent the child is or how determined the parent is. I don't believe that potty training your child at three and a half years old will harm them in any way, but if you think Elimination Communication is the way to go, then more power to ya! I'm not here to tell you that my way worked magic......because it didn't! I think the only way to potty train your child is to do it the way that works for you and your child. 

This has been such a long road for us that I would be hesitant to hand out any sort of advice or tips or tricks. What has worked for us?

Low-Pressure Attitude

When Ellie was about 15 months old, I was determined that she would be potty trained by the time she was 18 months old. I knew that starting at that age, we would need at least a few months to really get there.
Well, when she hit 18 months, I set a new goal of being potty trained by age 2! Haha!
I am happy to report that at 2 years and 1 week old........we are well on our way to being potty trained ;)

This potty training business is no joke! And while I'm making light of it, and it probably sounds like we've been in potty training hell for almost a year now, that's just not the case. The truth is, while Ellie isn't completely potty trained just yet, I haven't changed an actual diaper in at least 3 months.
The road has been long and slow, but I actually really like how it has worked out for us.
I feel like this has just been one more transition, and since we've taken it slow and eased into things, it hasn't been traumatic or stressful for either party. Sure, there were days where Ellie hated the potty and no amount of gummy bears would get her to sit her little toosh on it. But then there are days where I get brave and take her out of the house in underwear and she amazes me by staying dry all afternoon!

For me, the biggest motivator is diapers.....they're all cute and sweet when you have a newborn squishy baby who loves to coo and look up at you while you wipe their butt. But my cute little baby started hating diaper changes starting when she learned to walk. She absolutely HATED them. Naturally, I began to hate them too. I would much rather peel soaked underwear off her little bum five times a day than wrestle her around for 10 minutes every time she needed a diaper change. That's the honest truth.
That was my biggest motivator in all of this, and if I had a laid-back kiddo who didn't mind diaper changes one bit, I might not have pushed the potty-training envelope so much.
I can't emphasize this enough, but this is what worked for me and my child and my family. To each their own.
So where are we at now? 
At 2 years old, this is what potty training looks like for us:

1. Ellie wears a pull-up to bed. Usually she wakes up in the morning and her pull-up is wet. It's wet, but not soaked. And sometimes (I'd say one day a week or so), she even wakes up dry!
My next step is going to be waking her up before I go to bed and have her use the potty one more time. We'll get to that step eventually. She was wearing pull-ups for naps, but as of the last week she wears underwear for naps, and it's working out well! I'd say she is dry after her nap 60% of the time. 

2. Ellie wears underwear all day. (If we are going to be gone all day and I know we won't be making it to the bathroom regularly, then I will use pull-ups, but all other times it's underwear.) I pack plastic covers for the babysitter to use......sometimes she uses them, sometimes she doesn't. At home we try and just stick to the underwear without a cover, and for most quick errands we go with just underwear  now (and pants, of course!). Yes, this means she sometimes has accidents, but the accidents are much easier to identify in underwear than they are with pull-ups.
I'm getting over my fear of public accidents.....they're going to happen, no matter how prepared we are!

3. We use bribery. I thought that we would be weaning the bribes out of our routine by now, but the truth is, we just aren't at that point yet. Ellie knows that she will get a gummy bear, or an m&m, or some other small treat if she uses the potty and stays dry. However, if she forgets to ask for a treat afterwards, I don't remind her! I know that eventually we will cut back and change how we use treats......for now, anytime she uses the potty is still a celebration :)

4. In general, Ellie has been doing SO good! Since she is in underwear all day now, it's easier to "tally" up her accidents and keep track. She has been having about 3 accidents each day (this includes naptime), and she's even had a few accident-free days! 
I feel like she is doing a great job, and I'm happy about our journey so far.
I stated earlier that we have a Low-Pressure Attitude towards potty training. I know that some parents choose to wait until their child is "showing signs of readiness" before they potty train, while other parents choose how and when their child will be potty trained and don't stray from their plan.
I feel like we fall into the middle somewhere......I had a general idea of how and when we would potty train Elliott, and I didn't really wait for her to tell me that she was ready. I don't punish Ellie or make her feel bad for having accidents, but now that she knows what to do, I definitely make sure she knows what our expectations are about the potty.
Does that make sense? I feel like I laid out the plans, Ellie showed us how much she could handle, and then we readjust the goals and standards from there.
We are constantly changing our expectations and goals to fit where she is at and what she has learned. 

Like I said, I feel like potty training is just another little transition.......just like moving from a crib to a toddler bed, from crawling to walking, from bottles to food.
 Each transition has taken longer than I thought......its a progression, not an over-night change.
I like knowing that each day is a new day, never the same as the one before or the one after that.
While we may not fall exactly into a category of "diapers" or "potty-trained", we are somewhere in the middle and THAT'S OKAY! 

What are your experiences with potty training? I'd love to hear your thoughts, tips, and advice!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Some Thoughts on Waiting

It's not a secret that the process of expanding our family hasn't gone as I would have planned.
No, we're not struggling with infertility, and no, our marriage isn't on the rocks.
So, then, why haven't we popped out baby #2 yet?!

I get the question a lot, and I've finally come to terms with some good solid reasons.
If you had asked me a few months ago why weren't trying for another baby, I might have been bitter and angry, and told you to mind your own business. My heart (and my uterus) have been ready for a long time. But, now is not the time to be making such heavy decisions based on my feelings.
This post is to bring myself some peace about decisions that have been made, and about timelines and questions left unanswered.
This post isn't meant for any inquiring mind, either, other than my own. I've finally been able to wrap my brain around some solid reasons to wait to have another baby, and I'm ready to talk......that's all.

 I've spent many mornings in the shower agonizing over our decisions, and many sleepless nights trying to find a way to make things work. I've calculated and recalculated the numbers, weighing debt and income, bills and paychecks. I've contemplated every possible scenario: giving up cable, internet, and cell phones; create a once-a-month-cooking meal plan and ditch eating out altogether; quit my job and trade in both cars for one beater car to share; win the lottery.
There's really no way around it: we don't make enough money right now to support another baby.
Trust me, I've tried to make it work!
The biggest problem is that I don't have insurance right now. Working part time gives me the option to buy insurance, but at quite the premium (in fact, the premium each month would equal more than I even bring home.....). Scott works full time, but is considered a temporary employee for the government, so again, we would be paying the entire premium for an insurance plan through his job. Scott has medical insurance through the VA and Elliott is currently on state-funded insurance. I know that it's risky for me to be without health insurance, but we really have no other options. We make too much to qualify for any other form of assistance, and yet we cannot afford insurance for ourselves! (I'm hugely grateful that the state is paying for Elliott's's a blessing, and we will be taking over the burden of her health insurance costs just as soon as we can!)

Not having medical insurance was the nail-in-the-coffin for my baby-making plans.
In my dream-world, I would have raised three or four children, each right around 2 years apart.
With this financial hiccup, it throws the whole plan off. By the time we are able to have one more child, I will be almost 30.....the thought of four children (and maybe even the thought of three) is starting to turn into just that: a dream.

My husband's incessant "later" in reply to my desperate pleadings about having another baby wasn't enough of an answer for me for a long time. I had to come to the conclusion that now isn't our time all on my own, through my own stubbornness. For the past year, I've battled with how I could make it work, and now I finally see: having a baby right now is not an option.
In fact, I'm scared to see what would happen if I did get pregnant. We really would be caught in the middle, and would somehow have to find a way to pay out of pocket for pre-natal care, childbirth, and all the other necessities that come with bringing a new life into this world. Sure, we could do without some of the luxuries we live with now, but the cost of pre-natal care and birth is astronomical and tightening our budget wouldn't get us much closer to being able to afford it, that's for sure!

So with my mind made up that we must wait until Scott has graduated and found a job, I've decided that waiting to have another child isn't all bad. This time with Ellie is precious, and I refuse to take it for granted by letting bitter thoughts consume me. I don't know about you, but making a list always helps me feel better (read: in control). So, here's my list as to why waiting more than two years between babies isn't entirely terrible:

1. We get more time with Elliott.
This, in turn, scares me because we won't have this kind of one-on-one, devoted time to give to our next child. But, we have it and we should take advantage of it. Ellie will one day be a big sister, so I want to invest all the time I have right now into shaping her into the best big sister she can be! Once our time is divided, I know that it will all work out and we will love each of our children equally. For now, though, I'm going to soak up the cuddles, play on the floor, and teach Ellie everything I know!

2. I get my body to myself.
I never really got a chance to breastfeed, but I know many moms feel as if their body is not their own when they are pregnant for nine months, breastfeed for a year or more, and then go right into another pregnancy. I've had two years of having my body to myself, and I have to say, I haven't really appreciated that as much as I should. I want to enjoy the body that I have (and to enjoy it, I would need to be about 30 pounds lighter), cherish it and keep it healthy. I want to be healthier in my next pregnancy than I was with my first, so I will take this time to take care of it and start good habits.

3. I want to be a stay at home mom.
I always have wanted this, and I always will! While my thoughts on being a stay at home mom have changed since becoming a mom myself (mostly, I would like to be a work-at-home-mom, rather than a stay-at-home-mom), I know that it is still my goal. I feel bad that the past two years, and probably the next one year at least, of Ellie's life I have spent working, but it's what I need to do! I am at home with her as much as possible, and that's what counts. I know that by waiting to have our next child, I have a greater possibility of spending more time at home with my kids. Scott will be done with school in June, and will hopefully settle into a job shortly after that. Then we can evaluate our situation, and hopefully I can create enough income through photography and etsy so that I can, in fact, be a stay work at home mom.

Those are my three biggest reasons for being okay with our decision to wait on having another child. Now don't get me wrong, if we magically had insurance tomorrow, I'd change my mind in a heartbeat and we'd be on our way to adding a fourth member to this family. But since I don't see that happening anytime soon, I can't dwell on how fun it would be to have another baby right now (because there are many, many cool reasons to have babies close together, trust me). There are great reasons to wait, and that's what I'm setting my sights on. We are taking the high road in our situation, which isn't always the easiest decision to make. I want to be selfish and say that there's never a perfect time to have a baby (which is also true).....but I know that for us, we need to be smart about this.
God is in control, but He has entrusted me with many blessings and I am doing my best to make good decisions with those blessings.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Let's Be Real

I mentioned last week that I was feeling down. 
Thankful, but a little down in the dumps. 
It wasn't for attention, I was just being honest. 
And, I said that I was going to put my feelings out there to get them off my chest, so that's what this is. 
It's not meant to be depressing or attention-seeking......really it's for myself. I want to write about how I'm feeling so that I can make sense of my thoughts and emotions, and hopefully come out in the end with some closure or maybe a sense of peace. I have no direction or plan for this post, so hang on tight ;)

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health ailments plague my family. I try to be aware of my own tendencies so that I can do my best to rise above and continue to be me. I know all too well (both from work and personal experience) what these ailments can do to a person. I thank God that most of the time I am aware of my mental state.....I can "catch" things before they get me too off track. I'm also thankful for family and friends.....often times they are the ones to notice a change in me. A gentle nudge is usually all it takes to get me back.

Fall and Winter are when I can usually feel myself sink into a slump. I generally like the dreary PNW weather, but at the same time, the continually-grey skies and rain and gloom can really do a number on a person. This kind of weather (and lack of sunlight) makes it so nice to cozy up inside the house and just be....."cozy". But, being cozy and cooped up can also lead to sadness, loneliness, and a little OCD for me. My mind races about all the things I "should" be doing......and sometimes I drive myself a little nuts!

This year, the blues caught me off guard. I haven't had to deal with them for a few years (I think), so I guess I just wasn't expecting it. Also, I think I had many more catalysts this year. Just as the weather here was turning sour, my emotions and mental capacity were all focused on a few very intense topics: money (or lack there of), expanding our family (the prospect of), and direction and purpose in life (for both me and Scott). I seemed to constantly be thinking of these three subjects throughout the day, in one form or another, until they ultimately consumed my thoughts. 

Days pass where I simply cannot focus on mopping the floors, because I'm too stressed out about how we are going to pay our bills. In turn, the dirty floors are begging to be mopped, and my inability to complete simple household tasks makes me feel insignificant as a wife and mother. It's funny how quickly a simple task like mopping the kitchen floor can be turned into something much bigger, right? Add to all this that Christmas is quickly approaching, and my mood hit the bottom of the canyon. 
Also? My patience flew out the window. I find myself snapping at my husband and's ugly. 
I think that's the part I hate the most about myself right impatience. 

I know that our financial situation will improve soon. But the term "soon" is relative. I mean, Scott will be done with school in six months, but right now that seems like an eternity! I'm trying to stay calm. We've been able to pay our bills so far, and we've worked out a plan for Christmas gifts that I'm comfortable with (I hate not being able to give gifts, so it was important to me to factor that into our budget no matter how hard it might seem)......we will get through this! I just pray for some self-control for myself when it comes to money......I know that I would be less stressed if I spent less......I just need to make that happen.

Then there's the whole "expanding our family" business. Plain and simple: I WANT A BABY! It's clear as day to me, and my body screams for it daily. It's just the next step for me (and hopefully my family). BUT, Scott has reservations. Not about the idea of having another baby, but about the timing. 
If I am being honest, he's right. 
Right now is just not a good time to be adding to our family (see paragraph above). The money we do have would only seem like even less if we add another mouth to feed to this already-too-small house. 
I am willing to make the sacrifices it would take to have another little one right now, but I guess it's fair if Scott isn't. I mean, it sucks.....but it's fair. 
He's being reasonable and wants to wait. Wait until he graduates, gets a job, and we all have good insurance. Fair enough. But, it's just not what my heart and head are telling me. 

Finally, there's an idea I've been stuck on for months (20 months, to be exact). I had a hard time going back to work after I had Ellie. I never wanted to be a working mom. I always dreamed that I would stay at home with my children until they were in school. I knew throughout my pregnancy that I would have to go back to work. I'm so thankful that I've been able to go back to work for only part time. It took a while, but I finally got used to leaving Ellie for 20 hours each week. It's not fun, and I still hate leaving her......wondering what she's doing and if she said any new words while I was away. But, it's definitely gotten easier. 
The one thing that has not gotten easier is finding my identity. And, after being back at work for 20 months, I still feel like I'm neither a "working mom" or a "full time mom". I'm caught in the middle. 
There are good parts about being caught in the middle, like the fact that I can relate to both my working mom friends, and my stay at home mom friends. But for the most part, it's just confusing for me.
 I crave to have an identity that I can throw myself at whole-heartedly. 
I mean, obviously I take being a mom very serious. Ellie is my whole world, and I simply count down the hours as they pass while I'm at work. But being a stay at home mom would be completely different. I feel like my time at home with Ellie is spent somewhat distracted. I'm constantly reminded of the fact that I'm not a "full time mom", and that hurts. 
I know that Ellie doesn't know the difference, and she's not any worse off for it.......but still.

So there it is, laid all out for the world to see. 
I feel better after the long weekend I had with my family and some close friends. For people to ask if I was okay meant a lot to me. To be able to admit that I'm feeling down and there's really nothing anyone can do about it.......felt freeing. To write this all out and compartmentalize my "problems" (how OCD of me) feels even better. Just admitting what's bugging me somehow makes my burdens seem lighter. I really have no answers or solutions, and tomorrow might be darker than today was.......but I'm here, I'm aware, and I'm determined to make my life as good as I want it to be.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dear Husband

I'm sure Scott will hate that I'm writing this. But I'm also sure that it won't surprise him, either.

Today is Scott's birthday!
We celebrated last weekend with my family (my dad's birthday is the 23rd, so they get joint birthday dinners.....which I'm sure they both appreciate), which is great because today? On his actual birthday? Scott is pulling a 17 hour day. Poor guy. Between work, school, and now a volunteer project for school, this is, unfortunately, a typical day for him. He works hard, finishes his assignments on time, and still manages to brush Ellie's teeth and tuck her in almost every night.

I seriously don't know how he does it! I often feel stressed and will complain about how long my to-do list is, but Scott rarely complains. He quietly leaves the house at 5:30 am without waking Ellie or me (except to steal a goodbye kiss), puts in his hours at work, meets with study groups and finishes projects at school, and doesn't even mention how he hasn't eaten all day while I'm still trying to scrounge something up for dinner at 8:00 pm. I don't think I would be sane right now if it weren't for Scott and his calm demeanor and determination.

We know that the turmoil our life is in right now isn't permanent. Scott is in his final year of school, and this June brings us promises of free time together, and perhaps family dinners at a decent hour. After June comes a "real" job for Scott (hopefully, fingers and toes crossed), a real 9-5, business casual, vacation time and benefits, and home with the family on evenings and weekends job. That's our plan, anyway.
It's what keeps me going, and I hope that Scott sees that light at the end of the tunnel, too. He's working awfully hard for that bright future, and I sure hope that today, of all days, he's feeling encouraged and hopeful.

I really wish that we could be together as a family today, celebrating Scott as a husband and father. Maybe next year. Today, he will work, and I will work, and maybe we'll share a yummy dessert on the couch after the day is done.
I love you, Scott! I'm thinking about you today, and I hope that you know how loved you are! Happy Birthday!