"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Am Thankful...Days 29 & 30

I can't even get the last 2 days on their own day. Good thing this 30 Days Of Thankful is over. I don't think I could have made it much longer. I'm not used to blogging daily. Pretty obvious huh?

Yesterday I was Thankful for the break that my husband gave me. I got to sneak away for a few hours to visit a friend and have dinner. It was so very nice. We hit Taco Tuesday at the bar. Tacos and Diet Pepsis. We are party animals! Lol..I would post the pic that we took, we take one every time we go out, but it's got bad 'flash face'. We look like cats in the dark.

Today I am Thankful that I did this project. It's good for me to stop and reflect on things. I get so caught up in the stresses of my life that I completely lose my mind sometimes. Now I have this to look back on and help me realize that life is good.

Which is why I'm posting this video/song. Again. :)

I ♥ it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 28

Today I am Thankful for my littles and their endless imaginations.

We started a tradition today. It's called Elf On A Shelf. My little 5 are in heaven. Actually, it was pretty much a family affair this time. Madeline bought the Elf and the book this afternoon and we all sat down and watched the movie with popcorn and chocolate milk.

While we were on our 2nd round of the movie, (yes, it's that good) the doorbell rang. Annie and Lilah ran to see who could possibly be at the door at night. She opened the door to a white box. I kid you not, her exact words were:

'It's a package. A white box with letters on it, now isn't that weird?'

I almost laughed too hard. She asked me what it said on it. It said ' To: The S_______'s. Love: Santa.'

'MOM! OUR last name is THAT!' Lol..... 'Yes, Annie, it is' (she is so cute!)

They tore inside and ripped open the box.

I'm pretty sure our neighbors could hear the squeals of joy coming from all the of the girls, while Aaron, myself and the other 3 kids laughed. It was so wonderful to see such happiness and love on everyones face at once. A scene I so wished I had on film.

Anyway, THIS is who arrived this evening:

Meet Snowy Christmas Cookie Melt

She is our very own adopted Elf. Every year she will come after Thanksgiving and keep watch over all of the house during the day. At night, she flies back to the North Pole and reports to Santa how everyone in the S_____ family has been each day. I'm hoping it starts to instill a habit of more kindness and peace, and less arguing (mostly with the youngest 5) throughout our home YEAR ROUND. Really, it's all I want for Christmas. No fighting. Ever. Ha, right? I know. :/

The idea behind it is that once you take her/him out of the box and set her on the shelf, you must name her. Once she has her name, you can no longer touch her or she will lose her magic (at least, that's our adapted version of what us older kids got from the movie's intention. I can't imagine the arguing if 5 little girls had to share one Elf. No way. Better to keep the no touching or she'll lose her magic idea).

At night, after she's reported her day to Santa, she returns and lands in a different spot so that she can watch everyone from different areas of the house.

And this is the part that I love...Only a child would be this thrilled to love that a tiny 12" Elf is watching her every move.

It's magical.

Snowy Christmas Cookie Melt. Her name was decided by Annie and Lilah. The each liked a name so we put it together as one. And there was no arguing! It's starting already! ;)

Annable loves her 'beautiful blue eyes' and Lilah loves the 'red snowyflakes on her skirt'

In the morning the girls will wake up and have to look to see where she landed for the day. I almost can't wait to hear the laughter when they start their search.

It's like a tiny bit of Christmas morning every day until Christmas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 27

Today I am Thankful for the amazingly relaxing week we had. All the kids home, Aaron off for a few days and we had nothing to do and nowhere to go.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 26

Today I am Thankful that I didn't totally forget my baby sisters birthday. It's today. I just NOW remembered. At 10:30pm. I suck. I even SAW her today. My HUSBAND even remembered and THANKFULLY told her Happy Birthday. I totally suck. This is what happens when you never look at a calendar and your kids had an entire week off school so you had no reason to even know what DAY it was, let alone date.

So, I'm super sorry and I really cannot believe I forgot. :( I've NEVER forgotten her birthday. But I am Thankful that I remembered before it was tomorrow.

*Happy Birthday sb*. I love you so much. And I'm sorry I forgot.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 24 & 25

Backed up again. I have a good excuse this time. Thanksgiving. Then Black Friday shopping. My first time ever. And it was fantastic! We hit Walmart and Target and got everything that we went there for. Even better? We decided to go to a newly built Walmart, quite off the beaten path and it was pretty dang empty. Well, for a Black Friday event from what I hear. In and out in 40 minutes. Including paying. Then Target. It was a bit crazier but we did it again. Everything we went to get (no more, amazingly) and outta there in less than an hour. The Black Friday Gods were sure on our side last night. I am not only Thankful for having a wonderful first experience, but I was also so Thankful that most everyone was in good spirits and not rude. Rudeness, especially when you KNOW it's going to be crazy, just irritates me. Go, be happy, hope for the best, have a good time and BE NICE. That's what we did. And it worked :)

Today, I am Thankful for my older kids. And all the babysitting that they do for us. Aaron and I were able to go out and get even more Christmas shopping done this afternoon thanks to them. Not only did we get to shop, we got to just 'hang out' together. Something we need to do more of. I LOVE our family and our babies but sometimes it sure is nice to be alone, doing regular stuff. Getting more shopping done, though was awesome.

This may be the first year ever that we are done shopping before Christmas Eve.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 23

Today is a little thing. Today I am extremely grateful, I mean Thankful, for being able to do some of my Christmas shopping online. Not only is it easier, I save so much money with online deals/specials and coupon codes.

How did I ever shop before the internet?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Am Thankful...Days 21 & 22

The past few days have been a blur. I've had photos to get edited, a house to clean, laundry to do, trying to get things gathered for Thanksgiving and start Christmas shopping.

I'm cheating tonight. I'm glumping my Thankfuls. It's been that kinda few days.

I am Thankful for the fact that all 5 of my Littles seem to understand that it's been busy and stressful lately. I am Thankful that they have gotten along so nicely for the past 2 days. Barely any arguing. It's made my life so.much.easier.

Thank you Littles. Mommy SO appreciates it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 20

Today I am Thankful for my home and for heat. It was so.freaking.cold here today. Numbing cold. Well, to me anyways. To my friend who lives in Alaska, this is nothing. ;)

I realized today how many things I just take for granted. Something as simple (in my world) as heat was definitely one of them. (And there is a reason I am realizing this, but I am not going to blog about it at this time)

But my family is so fortunate to have what we do.

I am an amazing husband who supports us tirelessly. We may not have brand new cars or the fanciest clothing, but we do have each other.

And we have heat.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 19

Today I am Thankful for my babies. All 9 of them of course, but today, it's the babies turn. I almost can't call them 'the babies' anymore. Today my tiny trio turned TWO. I can't believe they are two whole years old.

It's odd because while each day for the past two years seems to inch by every so slowly, when I really sit and think back, it's gone by so crazy fast. I'm not sure that's a bad thing considering for the past two years we've all been in survival mode. Just now is the light at the outside of our porch starting to get brighter. We are re-entering the real world. The babies, I mean, little girls, love to go bye-bye. Their love of outings has really helped me buck up and get out of the house more.

I am so Thankful for them and everything that we've endured for the past 2 years, 34 weeks and 2 days.

I wanted to do a few photos of the trio for this post, but after the party we had for them, I'm exhausted. It's only 11:17 and I'm headed to bed. I haven't gone to bed before midnight in years. I'll post them tomorrow. Maybe I'll combine them with my Thankful Day 20 post. I mean, I am really good at getting more than a few things done at once. ;)


My Beautiful Baby Girls

I love you more than I can ever express. You are all true miracles in our lives.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 18

Today I am Thankful for another website on my computer. Pinterest. It's an amazingly awesome suck-hole of tons of things to look at that you will never be able to escape from, if you allow that to happen. It.is.fantastic.

It's an online pinboard. You find something you like online and you 'Pin It'. It saves it on your Pinterest board for you to go look at whenever you want. Like an online notebook. It even saves the exact website that you got whatever it is you 'pinned' from.

For example, on my boards are photography stuff, crafts I want to do, home decorating stuff and just general stuff I like. I got Aaron hooked on it. His contains stuff on Costa Rica, and the beach. It is so unbelievably useful.

And you can 'follow' friends.

Check it out! It is pretty dang cool.

I found this cool little tag on there. I thought it was hilarious. And fitting. For me anyways ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 17

Today my Thankful is really special to me. Today I am Thankful for my amazing neighbor, Anne. The best part of this entry is that Anne reads my blog so she will be able to read for herself how Thankful I am for her. ♥ Actually, for her and another neighbor, Alice.

Long story short (okay, so not short, but I'll try to be brief :) )

When I signed Annie up for Kindy, I knew that she wouldn't be riding the bus in the morning. I just can't put a 5 year old, on a school bus, with 7/8/9 year olds. I don't know them, their behaviors, or their upbringing. Now, that may sound like I'm being just plain silly, but I know I'm not. God knows what can happen to kids, LOTS of kids, on a bus, where the only adult has to be responsible for getting my child from point A to point B safely. So, my thoughts are that for that 30-45 minute bus ride, my child is left, in a sense, unattended.

No. freaking.way.

My struggle would have been loading up 5 kids, drive A to school, unload 5 kids, walk A into the school, load 4 kids, drive home, unload 4 kids.

Whew. Tiring. But necessary.

Along comes my amazing neighbor(s).

Anne offered to come over, every.single.morning to stay with the trio and Lilah so that I can take A to school, walk her in, give her an uninterrupted hug, kiss and goodbye therefore, focusing only on Annie.

It is absolutely wonderful. I am so so so Thankful to Anne for offering to do this for us. Not only does she come over, she comes ready to play with my kids. She brings books to read and games to play. Today, she came over ready to sing songs about our new bunny Hazel. She tells my children how much she loves them, every day. What child couldn't stand to hear 'I Love You' from every single person that knows them? I Love You is the strongest thing you can say to a child, yet I don't think kids hear it enough.

I know mine do.

Anne is also friends with another neighbor, Alice. I am also so very Thankful to Alice. She now comes 2 days a week, and Anne comes 3. Alice, too, is such a blessing in my childrens' lives. Last week, she brought over a STACK of American Girl magazines for the girls. They were in.heaven. They looked at those catalogs for the entire day. They are now on our bookshelf and get looked at regularly.

I am so Thankful that these 2 beautiful ladies have so generously offered up their time and their hearts to my babies. I feel so lucky to have them both in my life.

A special message to Anne & Alice:

Thank you both so very much. For your help, for your stories, for just being here and enriching my childrens' lives just that much more with your experiences, and for loving my babies.

They all love you both so much.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you for everything.

I ♥ you both.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 16

I'm trying to not repeat what I'm Thankful for. So I won't say Yo-Gabba Gabba again. Or my husband again. (although I am thankful for those again today)

Today I am Thankful for my computer. Ha. I know right? But I am. It's my biggest connection to the real world lately. That, and it's how I do my work.

But really. Between my blog, email and Facebook, my computer has helped me stay sane. I can write when I need to, I can jump on Facebook and feel like I am a part of things that other people are also a part of. The world opens up past my front door.

And let me just admit it now. I couldn't bring myself to say that I am Thankful for Facebook because that would make me seem just...I don't know..I would say pathetic, but I don't feel pathetic so that's not the right word....Addicted isn't right either because I went FOUR WHOLE HOURS this morning without checking my Facebook. THAT is an accomplishment. :p.

So, yeah, I am Thankful for my computer. It just so happens that my computer is HOW I gain access to Facebook.

So there :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 15

I am struggling with trying to find something to be Thankful for today. Really struggling. I won't ask you all to join my pity party, so I'll just say that 5 whining and crying tots aren't very much fun. Scratch that, it's a freaking nightmare. Add to that, 3 photo sessions to edit, a house to clean, a party to plan, and just life in general. Honestly, typing it makes me tired. And grumpy.

People say to me all the time, 'I don't know how you do it, how DO you do it?' And they look at me like I've got 3 heads, or triplets or nine kids or something crazy like that. My answer used to be, "I just DO'. What choice do I have?'

I just realized that is a crappy answer. It makes it seem like I'm stuck here. Like, if I had any other choice, I would choose that one. When, in actuality, when I really think about it, I wouldn't choose any other life for myself. Sure, I might wish to be a bit farther in my photography goals, or I might wish that the trio was 5 so they didn't cry so much. I might even wish for a housekeeper everytime I'm cleaning the bathrooms with 3 little helpers.

But all those things are attainable. All the things that I 'wish' for CAN happen, I just need to keep truckin' along. I do just DO things but I also have a choice. And I choose to be me. A mama to 9 beautiful children and a wife to my amazing husband. Everything that it says in my blog profile and more. I am:

Nicole: I am a Wife. Lover. Mama. Sister. Friend. Aunty. Breastfeeder. Photographer. Reader. Dreamer. Believer. Nature Lover. Seeker. Wanna-be Hippy. Writer.

So, I decided that today I am Thankful for the person that I've become.

I am Thankful for ME. ♥

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Am Thankful...Day 14

Like I said before. It's the little things. Today I am Thankful for our new Bunny. She doesn't have a name yet (well, she DID but it was just too hard for A & L to say Beatrix :( ) So the name hunt begins yet again.

So, why am I Thankful for a bunny? Our animals bring us together more as a family. Today, A, L and myself played with her for a good hour. It almost 'makes' me focus on the tots. The trio is so demanding most of the time that A & L take a backseat way more than I like. This is something I can do WITH them, have fun, and they learn an important life lesson. Pets are so important in a childs' life.

Today, we had to clean her hutch and play with her a bit. We can't play with her too much yet, she's a little stressed from her move so we are letting her come out of the hutch on her own. She usually comes out, hops around the table, gets a few pets then jumps back in. This time tho, she really wanted to snuggle with the girls. And the girls had a blast. So did I. It was sooooo nice to take a break from the house and work and just lay on the floor and PLAY. Something I don't do enough of.

I Am Thankful...Day 13

One day late. Are you surprised? Instead of doing two days in one post, I'll just do 2 posts in one day. ( I know, the same thing, it just sounded better )

Yesterday I was Thankful for my husband. Well, I'm ALWAYS Thankful for him, but yesterday was different.

Aaron always entertains my desires to have pets. Lots of pets. I love having animals around. Especially 'different' animals. He doesn't love it, but he tries.

We had a ferret. Alice. We all LOVED her but Aaron just couldn't take
the smell. Then M moved out and couldn't take her with so we had to rehome her :(.

This time, I wanted a bunny. I did alot of reading on how bunnies make great pets and you can litterbox train them. Aaron obliged, this time more willingly. I think he likes bunnies and just won't admit it. Lol.

I needed a hutch, and asked my neighbor to build one, but then came across some information on re-purposing an existing piece of furniture. So, we did. And
this is what my awesome husband came up with :)



Cool huh?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Am Thankful..Day 12

Today I am Thankful for my Photography. I know that alot of my posts are going to be about Photography, because lately, that is my passion. I could get deep and be Thankful for intense things, world issues and things happening around me, but the way I see it, I KNOW I am thankful for those things. I need a lesson in being Thankful for the little things. The things that I take for granted every day.

Today, it is my photography.

Today I got to photograph my little brothers family. Him, his wife, and his daughter. I'm not sure if it's just me, but the bond and the love the 3 of them have, is so apparent to me in real life and I think I captured it well in their photos. I've only got the one edited so far, but I was looking through them all, and although we got quite a few good ones, the candid happiness on all their faces in this particular photo gets to me.

Seeing other people so happy, and the fact that I can SHOW them their happiness, makes my heart smile.

I just love it.

You have a beautiful family baby brother. I love you all so much. ♥

I Am Thankful...Days 10 & 11

Well, I did it again. Forgot. And almost again. It's 12:44 on the 12 Day, and I'm here writing about Days 10 and 11.

I suck.

I've been really forgetful lately. I think I've finally met my match in the mama:children ration. 1:9 is my max.

So, anyhoos. On Thursday (Day 10) I was Thankful for Target. I took the trio and Lilah and went to Target. Alone. Without a stroller. That was a first for us. Thankfully (and this is why I am Thankful for Target) they have those cool carts:

Making our Target trip do-able without a stroller. D & E were in the cabbie part, R in the seat and G in the cart. They were perfect. We lasted an hour. A new record for us. Even WITH help. I'm proud of me.

Today, well, technically the 13th Day since it's 1am, but Friday, Day 11, I am Thankful for Yo-Gabba-Gabba. It's a TV show for kids. The babies LOVE IT. Love. They stand in front of the TV and look like little baby aerobics. They copy the dance moves and everything. I was laughing so hard. Plus, it gave me a few moments of much needed free/me time.

I see lots more of these funky little guys in our lives. I see they make little figurines. My kids love tiny toys that they can just carry around. And they might be just funkily-odd enough for me to love them too. :)

The green striped guy is kinda cute. ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Am Thankful..Day 9

Okay, so I promised myself that each day I would be specific about what I was Thankful for. To not just blog 'I'm thankful for life'.' Or I'm Thankful for today'. I wanted to really make myself think back and reflect on each day. And I've done pretty good. Until today, when it wasn't an ideal day, yet I'm laying here blogging with a smile on my face. So I started to think (uh-oh).

I think that I used to be happy about how the day went if it was overall PERFECT. Sleeping in, showered in peace, breakfast eaten and not thrown to the dog, playing happily through the morning with minimal television, calm and quiet lunch, nice long nap for everyone while the Mama got a few much needed things done around the house, dinner planned, good, ready on time AND, I'm gonna really stretch it here, EVERYONE likes what I made, baths for the little that last longer than 3 minutes, an evening not interrupted by athletic practices and grocery store runs, and a quick, loving, calm & quiet bedtime routine.

*sigh* Yes, I realize these are the rantings of a crazy lady.

I suddenly realized, that I had a good day. How did our day go? We woke up late. I had to yell at A to get her to get ready quicker, and there is NOTHING I hate more than yelling at my kids. J had a Dr's appointment to burn off warts, in which I took all the kids to get us all out of the house (very much needed). G had a meltdown in the car and proceeded to boycott food for the rest of the day, a meltdown between A & L over a computer game, late meeting M at Ikea, no dinner planned until I walked though the door, kids STILL recovering from Halloween and the time change.

*sigh* Now THAT sounds more like one of MY days.


Nobody got hurt. Nobody fell, or got bit, or kicked each other. Colds are clearing up. The damn fleas appear to be gone (We've been battling them for 4 months now) and I'm starting to gather Christmas ideas (yes, just now, but I'm early this year! It's not Thanksgiving yet). Dishes are done and the house is cleaned up.

And right now, I have my 8 beautiful, happy sleeping babies upstairs. I just got off the phone with my very 1st baby and she's heading to bed in her own place and I know she's home and happy and safe. I'm snuggled on the couch with my husband, blogging, while he patiently waits for me to finish so we can watch 'Dexter',

Yep, I am Thankful for TODAY.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Am Thankful..Day 8

Today I am Thankful for my Dreadlocks. So very Thankful. 17 months ago, I 'started' my Dreadlocks. Here is where I blogged about my journey initially, and a few times after that, I'm sure. I was hoping that they would not only teach me patience but that they would make my mornings just a little bit easier by not having to wash my hair every day. All of my dreams about having dreadlocks have come true. I've gained patience, tolerance and understanding of myself. I've learned so much, simply by allowing my hair to do what it naturally wants to do. This journey has been the ultimate test of patience. And trust me, with triplets, you can never have enough patience. :) Plus, on those days that simply washing my hair means that I'm in the shower for just 3 minutes longer, causing a few lovely little girls to do just that much more damage while I'm out of site, NOT having to wash my hair everyday is life-saving. Or at least chaos saving.

It's the little things.

Annnddddd, it helps that I am finally happy with my hair. I ♥ my dreadlocks. For so many reasons.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Am Thankful..Day 7

Today I am Thankful for Goodwill. Yes, the store. I know, kind of an odd thing to be thankful for, but I am. It's like going into a garage sale every day. And the Goodwill Outlet? Don't even get me started. Best.place.ever. I've blogged about it before so I won't bore you with the details.

That reminds me. I need to get in there soon!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Am Thankful...Days 5 & 6

Thankful and apparently forgetful also. I went to bed last night completely forgetting to blog what I was thankful for that day.

Yesterday I was thankful for Lola. Lola is my littlest sisters' new puppy. She's a French Bulldog and she.is.precious.

*Warning. Cuteness OVERLOAD below.

♥Meet Lola ♥

Sunday, November 6th 2011

Today I was Thankful for such a beautiful sunny yet cold Fall day. Fall is my favorite season and when its sunny, its even better. Aaron and Joey were out of town for soccer for the day so the other kids and I cranked on the music, cleaned, organized and danced.

I ♥ Fall. And cleaning. And dancing. It was a really good day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Am Thankful..Day 4

Today I am Thankful for my new lens that Aaron bought me, just because :) It's a Lensbaby. It's amazing. I am having so much fun with it. It's got a learning curve to it, that's for sure but it sure has made taking photos just that.much.more fun.

Here's my first few attempts at it. Not perfect but like I said, learning curve ;)

Pretty cool right?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Am Thankful..Day 3


I am so very Thankful for music. They say music 'Tames The Wild Beast'. I have proof. Music also tames 'The Wild Triplets' and 'The Wild Toddlers'.

It also tames the 'Stressed Out Mama' AND helps the teenagers focus on homework.

Right now, our favorite song is by Adele. 'Someone Like You'. (we actually love pretty much anything and everything by Adele, she is amazing) We all ♥ it. And my 3 year old and 5 year old know almost all the words to most of her songs.

It's awesome.

Being Thankful...(Catch Up, Days 1 & 2)

There is a thing going around Facebook where each day you list what you are Thankful for that day. I missed the first 2 days but I really want to play. So, I figured I would play here and on Facebook. Plus, it will give my blog readers something to read, even if it's just a blurb each day. Okay, who am I kidding? I have a hard time writing 'just a blurb'. I like to write. And talk. ;)


November 1st 2011... I am Thankful for friends. New friends, old friends, and old friends that become new again. I had a really great time with an old/new friend at dinner this day. ♥ Thank you for the fun time Serena ♥

November 2nd 2011... I am Thankful for my camera. I spend alot of time taking photos and editing photos lately. It's become somewhat of a therapy for me. It's my little escape to a world where I can just play. And how amazing is it that I can work/play at the same time both at home, and in a career? I think I am doubl-y Thankful for this day. Here is what I spent yesterday working on. Editing a photo session with 3 absolutely beautiful girls. This is my favorite shot from that shoot. I adore it. Thank you for allowing me to photograph your girls Stephanie. ♥

And we are on Day 3. I think that I will wait until the end of each day to post. I never know when I might have one thing that I am just that.much more Thankful for than another in any given day.

See you tonight :)