Monday, December 21, 2009


Every night our bedtime routine consists of a bath, some playtime or a "dance party" as Addelyn calls it, looking at picture albums, and then reading stories, prayers, rocking in the chair, and singing. Tonight during her prayers I couldn't help but laugh outloud. Each night I'll ask Addelyn if she wants to pray for someone. For a few weeks or so she went through a stage where she didn't want to pray so we didn't. I'm so aware of the fact that I never want to make faith something she HAS to do. Of course, we'll teach her and help her grow but I want her to make that choice for herself. Okay, that is the topic of another blog- I'm getting off topic. Tonight, it is time for a story.

As we rocked in her chair, I asked her if she wanted to pray for someone. Usually it is Nonnie and Papa or Daddy or one of her little friends. Tonight, first she said, "toys." I asked her if she was sure. Hmmmm....we have only prayed for people so far. Oh and you can't forget kitties. I suggested that we pray for kids who don't have toys this Christmas. She liked that idea and we prayed. Then I asked if there was anyone else she wanted to pray for. She immediately responded "turds." I said, "what?" thinking I had heard wrong. "Turds" she said again, a bit frustrated that I didn't understand the first time. I coudn't help it....I let out a little laugh. But she wasn't laughing, she really wanted to pray for turds. I prayed and thanked God for allowing Addelyn to be able to go potty. I have to wonder what the thought process was on that one. Guess I'll never know but tonight....we prayed for turds.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

not a baby anymore- updated

Tonight I sat at Alli Roger's concert and as she talked about the birth of a child (speaking of having her little one and also of the birth of Jesus), I ached a bit for the baby that I no longer have. Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful and excited for my little two year old girl but I also realized that a season of my life, a season of my first child being a baby- dependant on her mommy, has ended. On happier notes- a new season of toddlerhood and independence has begun! Oh and it has arrived, let me tell you! Addelyn is an amazing little gal and I'm so thankful for her. She is challenging me and helping me grow every day.
Here are some pics from her birthday- she turned two last week. CRAZY where did these two years go?
Mark and I didn't really buy much for Addelyn's birthday- Care Bears fruit snacks and a photo album. She is quite content with what she got. Plus, who needs lot of gifts when you have grandparents? :) In the above picture, Addelyn had just woken up. We had decorated with balloons and a sign and she got to open a present. She was VERY excited for the Care Bears fruit snacks, especially when she got to eat them for breakfast! (not a usual breakfast item at our house ha ha)

The next day was her birthday party and our families joined us at our house for dinner and Addelyn opened her gifts. She received many great things- toys and clothes and other fun stuff. She had fun opening gifts and loved everything. You can tell she is only two though as by the end of present opening she said "no more mommy!" I hope she'll remember that in the upcoming years when she is old enough to make lists and start asking for what she wants.

Believe it or not, she actually opened every card before she opened each present!

Up until Addelyn's birthday, she kept saying that she wanted cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. I told her I would decorate them with kitties and puppies. So every day until her birthday these were the words we would hear...."two." (her holding up her fingers to show two- usually this would be three or four fingers though) "cupcakes." "chocolate." "puppies." "kitties." Over and over and over. So we coudn't disappoint her. The day of her party as she napped, some of our family was already at our house for the party. We spent time decorating the cupcakes and getting creative with cat and dog faces. It was fun and I have to say I was proud of our creations (well, most of them). See if you can find The Joker! Mark's dad really pulled out his creative skills :)

Addelyn liked the faces of the cupcakes and ate all of the candy and frosting off the top but could care less about the cake itself. This is pretty much all she had of her cupcake. It was a great second birthday for Addelyn- thanks to everyone who helped celebrate!

My two year old. I love this little girl. It is going to be a fun year!
Oh, by the way, her two year appointment showed her in the 50th percentile for height (34 1/4 inches) and head (18 3/4 inches) and 25th percentile for weight (24 lbs., 7 oz.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Addelyn and Finley

Finley is the daughter of Justin and Kristie. Justin and Mark have been friends since college and Mark and Kristie grew up together. A lot of Mark's friends from high school and college started having babies in the past year and it is fun to get together and see our kiddos together. I'm sure this is the first of many pictures to come throughout the years!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


It is almost Friday. All week I've been waiting for someone to walk into my house and say that I've been Punked. Or that I am on Candid Camera--SURPRISE!!!! Ever have those kind of weeks where you think, "wow, did that really happen?" Or you wonder, is someone watching me right now to see how I'll respond to this situation? I'm really going to show up on Primetime or 20/20 in a few months I think ha ha. I can honestly say a number of things happened this week like that. Don't worry- nothing horrible going on in my life at all. Just a funny, weird week in all kinds of ways. Enough said. Believe me, this picture of Addelyn above with the lotion every where is only one of the parts of my week that I can laugh and shake my head at.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

a new tradition

Last weekend, I ran the Living History Farms Race in Des Moines with a group of gals that I ran and finished the marathon with. I have to be honest, I was skeptical about how this race was going to go. I am not the hugest fan of getting wet, cold, and/or dirty- plus the thought of going through creeks and up hills didn't sound exciting. Still, I signed up and gave it a try....and had a BLAST! I absolutely loved it. It was so much fun- running through the creeks, sliding in the mud, and laughing with my friends while I did it. Once I was dirty- I was ready to go and get dirtier! I have decided that this is a new tradition in my life- to do this race each year. Oh and part of the tradition.....I will do it "dressed up." Costumes made it MUCH more fun!
80s exercise clothes this year. Hmmm....anyone have suggestions for next year? I am commited to the fact that the outfit must be a good outfit I can run in and also be warm enough!
Our marathon shoes- we TRASHED them.

After the race.....the bottom half is cut off- that is our dirtiest part. And my rear was pretty muddy too.
Below....a photo shoot with "the ladies" before the race!






Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful moments

I love it when Addelyn is in her cuddly pajamas, has wet hair, and smells clean and like baby lotion. All I want to do is cuddle up with her at this point of the night. Too bad my little girl isn't a cuddler like I am. Often she will push me out of her space that I so quickly invade.

Wednesday night after bath, she was sitting on Mark's lap with her head on his chest, cuddling up next to him. I saw this unusual event and ran over to join in. I laid my head on Mark's shoulder, my face looking straight into Addelyn's. Shen then reached over and put her little arm around my neck- almost as if she was inviting me into the moment. I laid there with my head on Mark's shoulder, looking into Addelyn's eyes, and prayed and thanked God for this moment, for this family. These are the moments I wish I could freeze in time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Tonight as our family sat on the couch together, I looked over at my sweet little daughter and sorry to say, she had her finger stuck up her nose. Pretty deep too. Instead of stopping the pick job right away, I watched for a moment (slightly entertained, I know I am terrible!). She got ahold of the booger that she had been searching for, pulled it out, and looked it. I said, "Addelyn, now what are you going to do with that?" She looked up at me sweetly, looked intently down at the gross little green thing on her finger, concentrated for a moment as if making a big decision, and then said, "Eat it!" Before I could respond, she did just that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our little monkey

Halloween 2009

Yes, Mark did dress up as Iron Man. It was a DTI thing (where he works).
Yes, it is a children's size.

Dave was Flash. And check out the cute little elephant and pirate!

Here are a bunch of Mark's co-workers from DTI in their super hero costumes.
Addelyn loves Justin. He got her a HUGE bag of M&Ms. Thanks a lot, Bolger. We definitely had to hide them. And yes, Mark did have two costumes this year. One (a huge banana) for trick or treating with Addelyn, one (Iron Man) for later. It was a big year for him, ha ha! This whole having a kid thing has really given him an excuse to dress up.

Avery was such a little cutie too. Addelyn LOVES this girl.

Addelyn and Austin jumping around

Addelyn cuddling with Ayden Williams
(she is also infatuated with him- I think it is a baby thing!)

Pumpkin carving- Addelyn was not so sure about touching the insides of the pumpkin.
She wanted us to roll up her sleeves....

She stuck her little fingers in, not very far though...

A little farther... (she was better once her shirt was off -at her request!) But don't let this picture deceive you. She hardly helped...

Final product

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

something to talk about

I read today that a toddler between 18-24 months of age can add a new word to their vocabulary every ninety minutes. I have been in awe of my little girl and her developing language skills. It seems like every day she is saying new things and also making us laugh. A few quotes I don't want to forget:

"I hidin"
She is on a HUGE hiding kick! We often find her squeezed in a corner of a room, with the door shut. She sits quietly until we find her. Oh, and lately she has been found with my makeup and/or toothpaste. The makeup mess happened twice in the last week- makeup EVERYWHERE! On my dresser, on her face, in her mouth, on her clothes, on the counter, on her hands, pretty much everywhere!
"Ahhh nuts!"
We have no idea where this came from. She just started saying this and thinks she is SOO funny!
"Open dis"
Lids, doors, cases, wrappers, etc.
Whenever Addelyn has to do something we know she won't be excited about doing,
we often give her a warning and say, "In one minute we are getting out of the bathtub or leaving the park or changing your diaper." Or we will say "One more minute!" This week she has started saying minutes whenever it is time to be put in her crib at night, time to get out of the tub, or time to get her diaper changed. Gotta love it.
"More rock-a-bye"
Every night either Mark or I read books with Addelyn in her room before bed. Then we turn the lights off and pray and talk and rock in the rocking chair for a bit. Lately she has been bucking against going to bed. Everytime we get up from the chair, she cries out "More rock-a-bye!" It is so hard not to give in! I think Mommy could be the pushover more than I ever thought I would be!
"Beeg gurl"
Addelyn wants to sit at the table like a big girl, drink out of a big girl glass without a lid, and sit on the big potty. She will get a huge grin everytime and continually tell us what a big girl she is! Tonight we had a bit of a battle when she found out she had to eat in her booster seat for dinner.
"Don't like dis"
Exciting! Now I can have two people in my family to rate the cooking! ha ha Tonight Addelyn decided she didn't like anything on her plate that I had made for dinner.
"M & Ms"
She likes M&Ms way too much. She first had them one night when I was gone at Big House. Mark let her do some taste testing! From then on, she has been in love with this candy. We don't really give them to her much but she is always asking. This has really started up again lately since Halloween (she got a HUGE bag of M&Ms from Mark's co-worker). Thanks Justin! :)
"Where ____?"
She continually asks where people are. Where daddy? Where Jess? Where Ilene? Where Papa? Must I go on?
Need I say more?
"I wuf you"
She only says this when we say it first but still it is one of the most amazing things to hear your little one say this to you.

These were just a few of the things we are hearing out of her mouth these days. I love this stage, it is so much fun! If I can get through the noooooooos!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

TV Off Daddy!

This afternoon after Miss Addelyn woke up from her nap, she came out to the living room where Mark was doing his usual Sunday afternoon routine, which includes the couch and football. I put her in her booster seat to have a snack at the kitchen table and I sat down with her to eat her snack. We chatted and she kept asking where Daddy was. I told her he was in watching football in the living room. As soon as her snack was finished, she went in to the living room and walked straight over to the TV. "TV Off, Daddy!" she said as she tried to push the buttons on the TV.
Mark couldn't believe that I didn't put her up to it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We did it!

Some of our marathon team a week after finishing with our shirts & medals.

Six of us ran the WHOLE marathon together. What amazing women that inspire me (and pulled me up the hill the last half mile!)

My running buddy through this whole process, Jess

My biggest supporter. Honestly, I could not have done this marathon without the support of my husband. He has been amazing!

Less than two weeks ago, a journey that I started about six months ago came to a end. I completed my first ever marathon- after pounding the pavement, mile after mile, week after week. I would actually have to say that this whole process was actually the beginning of a new journey in my life. Although the training process for my first marathon is done- it doesn't close the door to this chapter. More on that later.

Last April when I signed up, I don't know if I truly believed I could do it. I guess deep down I must have- I'm really not a quitter so I didn't see myself giving up. At the same time, the thought of running five miles, or ten miles, or fifteen miles, let alone twenty-six point two miles was horrifying (this feeling I pretty much kept inside). I took the training process week by week- getting up early in the morning when it was still black outside, running when I gagged, puked, and through other pleasant moments. Don't worry, I did have some really amazing running moments too. My body started to feel stronger. My mind started to tell my body it was stronger too! A huge key to this whole process were the relationships. First of all, my running buddy Jess. We signed up together and pretty much ran this whole thing together. I cannot even tell you how huge that was during this whole thing. We stayed together when one or the other had a bad running day and would keep the other going. And then there was "The Pack." This was a group of gals that are amazing people. We would talk, laugh, tell stories, answer questions about our lives, and distract ourselves from the amount of miles our bodies were running. Then there was Don, our coach. His weekly encouragement, emails, and prayers were inspirational and helpful. Each Saturday, many people from our team (there were over seventy of us) would wake up and come together to pray and to run.

Another piece of the puzzle for me was a motivation that was deeper than anything inside of me. It was a reason to do this marathon because of something bigger than me. Running 26.2 for Africa has deeply impacted me. When my body wore down while I ran, I would think about the moms across the world who walk miles and miles each day, just to get clean water for their families. I completely take for granted the fact that my family has daily access to water to drink, to bathe in, to use for laundry, and anything else I would need it for. If I could run this marathon to raise money to build wells with clean water for these moms across the world, that was one small piece I could do. Throughout the race - when the miles got tough- I would repeat over and over- 26.2 for Africa. It was the saying that kept me going.

I have grown. So like I said, this journey of my first marathon- running with amazing team members & training for a end result of finishing the Chicago Marathon- has ended. But truly, another door has opened in my life. Through this process, I have been inspired, I have found out that I am much stronger than I ever knew, and I see myself through different eyes. I can do things I never knew I could set my mind too. I plan to keep running- in fact my next race is Saturday- the Grant Wheeler 5K if I'm over the flu by then. Yeah, that is why I'm finally catching up on blogging! After that race, the next one is The Living History Farms Race in Des Moines. The biggest cross country race in the United States. That will be a fun and new challenge too.

Thanks to all of you for your amazing support through this process- whether it was your words of encouragement, your notes and cards, babysitting my child, your flexibility on my tired days, or your support of World Vision. I'm truly thankful- I know i couldn't have done it without a team of people behind me. Thanks for believing in me!

LA Trip

In September, Mark had a work trip to Los Angeles, CA with his co-worker Justin. Justin's girlfriend, Kaitlyn, and I got to go along. We had a fun couple of days in LA!
In the airport- we had a few "setbacks" for our flights, both on the way out and back. Lets just say we spent more time in the airport than planned!

This was in Hollywood, outside of Kodak Theatre. We had to do the touristy thing of course!

We went to a really fun restaurant/bar place called U-Wink. Notice the winks. :) At each table in the restaurant was a touch screen. We ordered our food on the touchscreen and also could play games on there. We could play each other across the table and also challenge other tables in the restaurant to play. For Mark and his competitiveness, this was a perfect place! He loved it! We stayed there for a few hours and played games and had appetizers.

Here is our Napoleon Dynamite guy we met. He even put on his chapstick for us!

Long story short, because of Mark's job we ended up getting some extra tickets to the Miley Cyrus concert at the Staples Center. I didn't even know any of the songs but now I do. I think Miley has grown on me. :) Party in the USA baby!!!!

On the Santa Monica Pier- we spent one afternoon at the beach. It wasn't a sunny afternoon but still was pretty nice. I would say relaxing on the beach is one of my favorite vacation options.

Mark and Justin spent most of the time playing frisbee in the ocean. Kaitlyn and I joined them for awhile despite the cold water!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Yesterday while changing Addelyn's diaper, she gave me a huge grin, pointed to her "area" and said proudly "peanuts." We are WORKING on learning all of the right names for body parts but it can get confusing that boys and girls are different!

Friday, October 16, 2009

into everything

When our house is quiet, I know I can find Addelyn hidden in a corner somewhere, doing something she knows she shouldn't. This is one of our latest examples. :) How can you not laugh or smile when you see that face though?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New tradition

Finally, I am getting these amazing pictures on the blog. I only posted a few of the many great pics that Ashley Schrage took at the Quinlan Family Reunion (Mark's Mom's side) in July in Perry. This year, we realized that it will only get harder and harder to get all of the relatives together at Christmas so a plan was made to start a summer activity that will get us all together. I think this is a great idea and we had a blast. I'm pretty sure a new tradition has been born. We started the day with a golf tourney, spent some time in the pool in the afternoon, and had pics and a BBQ at night. I'm thankful I've married into such a great family.
This is a classic Grandpa Tom pose. Gotta love it. :)

The kiddos playing t-ball. Addelyn was having a blast!

Nicole, Matt's wife (Matt is Mark's brother) and their little boy Trae

Ty, Nicole's five year old son- what a sweet and very smart kid. Love his smile!

Mark and his Grandpa Tom- I'm sure this was a wisdom-filled conversation. :) Or one that includes mean comments to each other about the Cubs or Cardinals (Mark=HUGE CUB FAN. Grandpa=HUGE CARDINALS FAN.) You can probably imagine their conversation.

Addelyn- she had a blast that weekend!

Joe is married to Mark's cousin Andrea. Their twins Jack and Reed are so sweet and cute. Life has to be busy in their household with these boys running around!

The WHOLE Quinlan crew- uncles, aunts, cousins, and more!
Family pic, awww....

I love this picture of Mark's parents. They are amazing people!

The Hoskinson crew