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Our Emmy Girl

March 20th, 2015 — 8:56pm

10560980_542271395902305_125246605_nAround Emmy’s first birthday we started noticing some behaviors that concerned us. She always seemed to be in her own world, choosing to go off on her own instead of initiating play with us. She was starting to say some words, and we were watching her very closely. We talked with our pediatrician about it, but based on her development at the time, he was not concerned.

By the time Emmy turned two she was almost completely non-verbal. She would make some sounds and knew a few signs, but beyond that she did not say anything. She still preferred to go off on her own, played with toys in a peculiar way, and would not normally respond to her name. As Andrew and I talked about it, we thought she just enjoyed being alone or needed time away from all the noise her brother and sister produced. Or perhaps she didn’t hear us call her name because she was too involved in what she was doing.

Over the next couple of months Emmy was evaluated at speech therapy and then occupational therapy as well. The therapists that worked with her gently talked with us about some concerns that they saw in Emmy’s behavior. These concerns were not new to us but still very hard to hear about our child.

This led us to have a conversation with our pediatrician, which in turn, led us to set up an appointment with a developmental pediatrician. We knew that Emmy was struggling, and we wanted to do everything we could for her.

We waited nearly a year to see the developmental pediatrician. At that appointment in September 2014, Emmy was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Even now as I write this, I struggle to fight back tears. We knew that this diagnosis was a possibility, but nothing can prepare you to hear those words.

Since then, Emmy started ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) in addition to speech and occupational therapies. We have seen Emmy grow in leaps and bounds. When she was initially evaluated by her BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) for ABA she asked me if Emmy was completely nonverbal. Now Emmy is finding her voice and learning that she can ask for things and get them!

Although this diagnosis has changed our lives, Andrew and I know that Emmy is much more than her diagnosis. She is funny, silly, determined, sweet and loving. She gives the best hugs and wet kisses. She loves Abby. She loves to sing, play outside, collect rocks, swing and play in the water.

We have a long road ahead of us, but Andrew and I have all the hope in the world that our girl is going to be ok.

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Family of 5

August 16th, 2013 — 12:37pm

I look back at my blog and think two things…

1. Man, things sure have changed around here since I last posted.

2. I am terrible at blogging!

I do love looking back at the different posts and pictures, thinking about how much things have changed since I started this blog. I just struggle with carving out a little time to write. It’s not like I’m busy or anything. HA!

Abby is now three and as sweet as ever. I am loving this age right now. She has become more independent, wanting to do things on her own. I’m sure she would do more if her control-freak mommy would let her. I’m working on that. She is so sweet and affectionate. I love actually getting to hear her say, “I love you.” I love getting to see how sweet and tender hearted she is. I am so proud of her.

Emmy is about to be two and I’m having a hard time believing it. She is the perfect mix of sweet and fiery. The girl has got opinions and she is going to let you know about them! Her little smile lights up a room and that giggle….be still my heart. She loves to go off on her own and flip through her favorite books…I hope that love continues as she gets older. I can’t wait to see her personality grow and change. I am so proud of her.

Henry is finally here! Our little man. We are all so in love with him. I feel like I can finally relax and just enjoy him. I guess being our third kiddo allows me to do that. He is such a good baby. So laid back…until he gets hungry! He is already over a month old and I feel like he has been with us forever. I can’t imagine our family without him. I am so proud of him.

I feel like I am finally figuring out how to handle having three kids…they even all nap at the same time! Score for me! Although, I’m sure just as I feel like I’ve got it all figured out, something will change. Such is life with kids.









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Life lately

June 28th, 2012 — 2:20pm

I am so incredibly behind on blogging that I don’t even know where to begin. Instead of trying to catch up, I think I’ll just start from where we are now.

Emmy is now crawling! She is so, so curious and has to be in the center of everything. If she feels like she is being left out she starts to cry. Now that she can crawl she can join in on the action anywhere! It’s so cute to watch her follow Abby around the house. She has a lot of love for her big sister. Emmy is also eating all sorts of baby food. She is doing such a good job with it! The tart fruits take her a while to get used to, but everything else she has loved almost instantly. She is such a sweet girl, so happy and content.

Abby is so fun right now. She is figuring out so many things, I’m amazed everyday at how smart she is. She loves to be outside, especially if it involves any kind of water. Her eyes light up when we talk about going to the pool or splash pad. Which also bring about MAJOR tantrums when it is time to go…but we are working on that. One day at a time, right? She is talking more and more and has become a lot more interested in Emmy. I think she is really going to like it once Emmy starts walking. I can’t wait to see them really play together.

Andrew has been busy working on our crazy yard. He recently dug up a bunch of crazy, overgrown bushes and planted asian jasmine in our side flower bed. I can’t wait to see it completely covered!

We are also planning a certain someone’s 2nd birthday party. I just can’t believe it! Our first baby girl is going to be 2.

Last weekend I went to Galveston with my best girlfriends. I have been friends with these girls since elementary school. Here’s the trip in a three word nutshell: laughter, chocolate and traffic. It was so good.

Maybe, just maybe I’ll keep my blog more updated this summer. Here’s to trying!

the girls Easter morning


before Papa’s 70th birthday party

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my girls…

March 12th, 2012 — 1:07pm

I just love these two so much…

Sweet Emmy


Abby lovin' on Hunny Buns

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and the answer is…

December 6th, 2011 — 2:45pm

For all of you who said Emmy is #1 and Abby is #2 you were…..RIGHT! I still can’t get over that they look exactly the same! We didn’t even mean to do that…Andrew just happened to get a shot of Emmy posed just like Abby. It makes me curious to see if Emmy will continue to look just like her sister. I think it’s sweet, and love that they look like each other.

So, here are the pictures again!



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Who is who?

December 5th, 2011 — 1:58pm

Here are two pictures…one is of Abby and one Emmy. They are both about the same age and wearing the same bow and tutu. Can you guess who is who?


baby #1

baby #2

Take a guess and I’ll tell you who is who tomorrow! Have fun!

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ketchup and mustard…

September 1st, 2011 — 12:40pm

The teacher I student taught for always said Fridays were her days for “ketchup and mustard.” I think it took me about 3 weeks to understand what she meant by that. Ha.

I must be honest, I’ve gotten so behind on blogging life’s events that I have become completely unmotivated to blog at all. It’s like I don’t even know where to start. We’ve gone on trips, celebrated a certain  Little Missy’s first birthday, scorched in the heat, checked things off our to-do lists, started getting things ready for Emmaline’s arrival, attended play dates and on it goes!

Abby’s birthday was a blast! I had so much fun making it special for her. I learned on YouTube how to make paper flowers and they turned out just like I had imagined. I made her a fun birthday banner (which will be used for many birthdays to come!), and lots of yummy snacks for our guests. The whole day I just couldn’t believe that our baby girl was one. I kept thinking back to that day one year ago, and how absolutely clueless Andrew and I were. Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot since then. We were so thankful to the family and friends who came out and helped us celebrate this special occasion. And of course we missed those who could not  be there.

In between her birthday and now we have been busy with life. It seems like there are so many things we want to complete before Emmy comes…sometimes I get a little bit overwhelmed thinking about it all. Of course, my wonderful husband always brings me back to reality! Most days Abby and I run a couple of errands during the morning and then stick around the house for the remainder of the day. For two main reasons: It is BLOODY hot and Abby’s nap is in the afternoon. Oh, did I mention it’s HOT? AND I’m 8 months pregnant? Pretty sure I’m ready for this heat to end, or this sweet little girl to make her exit. I told Andrew that the temperature will drop the day after I have Emmy…that is just my luck. Ha.

Abby has been busy walking (most days trying to run), and really just exploring the world around her. Which really, that is just a nice way to say that she is getting into EVERYTHING! She definitely keeps me busy and on my toes, but I wouldn’t want it either way. She is doing really well drinking whole milk from her sippy cup and mostly at the table. That was quite a challenge to get her to drink it at the table. The little girl wanted to be held, but really, could you blame her? She is also getting more adventurous with the foods that she eats. Here are some things that she LOVES:

1. donuts


3. pancakes

4. bananas

5. yogurt

6. grilled cheese

7. hot dogs

8. pizza

9. chicken nuggets

10. spaghetti

11. chili

12. broccoli

13. pudding

14. ice cream

15. nilla wafers

Well gosh, I now feel like a horrible mother…donuts, pizza, hot dogs. I promise she doesn’t get those everyday! She is definitely more interested in the foods that we are eating, so that is helping expand her horizons.

Ok…now I feel like I have mumbled on for long enough. You should be all caught up now. 🙂 I’m going to try and not get so behind this time. Wish me luck!

ready to party!

cupcake time!

with Gram and PapaK

celebrating 3 years!

cutie pie!

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Family Vacation to Estes Park!

May 24th, 2011 — 3:03pm

So, I’ve been putting off blogging about our vacation because I just couldn’t figure out how to go about it. We experienced and learned so much, I just wasn’t sure how to get that all in one blog. And plus, I have just been lazy and didn’t want to type it all out. 🙂 How’s that for being honest?

I think I”ll just break it up day by day and see what happens! Here goes!

Day 1: Flying to Colorado

Andrew and I were pretty nervous about flying with Abby. I think it was mainly fear of the unknown. We just didn’t know how she was going to respond. But of course, she did great. Abby loves to be around people, so she had a good ol’ time laughing and smiling for all the passengers around us. Thankfully, we had a couple of other families with small children sitting by us, so they were completely understanding. Abby ended up falling asleep for half of the flight and slept through the VERY bumpy landing. She enjoyed being bumped around, I on the other hand, did not. Let’s just say the the combination of being pregnant + being hot + holding a heavy sleeping baby = nausea! Thankfully I had my wonderful husband sitting next to me fanning me as fast as he could with the barf bag. Let’s just say the the barf bag was only used as a fan….thank goodness!

waiting in the airport

In Colorado!

The 2 hour drive into Estes Park went well…we were so glad to be there. We were greeted with cool weather and gorgeous scenery!

Day 2: “Hiking” to Bear Lake and Poppy’s

While we were getting ready for the trip I took on the task of planning out our days. Since I grew up going on family vacations to Estes Park I thought it would be fun to share with Andrew and Abby all of the things we used to do while being there. Of course, I did not take into consideration that we were going in May (off season…or basically winter) and we always went there in July. BIG difference.

Of course our first trip into Rocky Mountain National Park deserves a picture!


Our first “hike”, and I use that term loosely, was supposed to be to Bear Lake. A fairly easy trail…one that would be good to break us in, get us used to the altitude change. Well, this is what we found upon arriving to the trail head:

Bear Lake trail

Hmmm….not what I had remembered. Sadly, we left all our crampons at home (catch the sarcasm) and could not make the hike. I’m pretty sure our tennis shoes would not cut it. I was really disappointed…..but soon realized that my expectation just had to change, and that I needed to be more flexible. And if any of you know me well, you know that is not easy for me. It probably worked out for the best, Andrew and I soon realized that we are in HORRIBLE shape. That fact became obvious to us as we were sucking wind just walking up the parking lot. I blame it on being pregnant….I’m not sure what Andrew blamed it on. 🙂 We did catch a few pictures before leaving:

ready to hike!

This one cracks me up…look at Abby’s face! She is like…”Mom…what are you doing? You are SO WEIRD!”

The best family shot we could get!

After that we decided to head back to our cabin and let Abby catch a nap. She had had a rough night and needed some sleep (and so did we)!

On the menu for dinner was Poppy’s. We went to this restaurant A LOT with my family…and by a lot, I mean like multiple times in a day. So I knew it was a place I had to take Andrew. We shared a pizza and enjoyed our first dinner in Estes! It was fun to share that memory with my family.

At Poppy's..Abby was really excited!

Andrew and Abby at Poppy's

That night we all crashed. It was a long day, but lots of fun!

Day 3: Visiting the Alluvial Fan and our “fancy pants” meal

Since we had such a rough time hiking on Monday we decided to do something a little easier. We went and visited the Alluvial Fan which is basically the sight were a dam broke. It’s pretty cool to see how all the trees fell and the huge waterfall. I knew this place would not be snowy and we would have a better chance of walking the path. Except we did not realize how windy and cold it would be! We all felt pretty miserable, so this little hike was pretty short. Andrew did enjoy seeing it and got some good pictures.

Part of the Alluvial Fan

Abby at the Alluvial Fan

After visiting the Fan we decided to drive to a couple of scenic points in the Park. It is all so beautiful, it almost takes your breath away.

Beautiful view

Another beautiful view

After driving around we headed into town for a smoothie (which was also a required part of our trip) and to walk around downtown. I got a mixed berry smoothie and Andrew got a chocolate raspberry milkshake. You would think after being so cold we would be smarter than that, but oh no! We pressed on and enjoyed every last bit of our icy drinks!


Please ignore the fact that I look like death in this picture…no mascara=one tired looking Kari. 🙂


On every trip Andrew and I take we always have one really nice meal. So, of course we planned one for this trip. We get to the restaurant and it is a nice (not too fancy), quiet atmosphere. But, as fate would have it, Abby decides that she does not want to be in a quite place. She wants to be loud, and cranky. After trying to entertain her and keep her happy, Andrew tells the waiter that our “timer is going off” and we need to leave. Thankfully, we did get to have our dinner (which was not worth how much it cost) and he quickly got our check to us. I”m pretty sure “fancy pants” meals our not in our future. That’s ok, I”d just rather a cheeseburger anyway!

After our fancy meal

Day 4: Snow…and more snow!

We woke up to a blanket of snow! It was so gorgeous! I had never really been around this much snow before..and it just kept on coming! We decided to take it easy that morning, since we didn’t know how bad the weather would get. After we had a lazy morning we decided to drive over to one of the main cabins at the YMCA (where we were staying) and hang out by one of their big fireplaces. This was great fun! It was nice to get out of the cabin, and Abby enjoyed people watching.

the YMCA statue covered in snow


Hanging by the fire

By the fire

A couple of hours later we decided that the roads were clear and it was safe for us to drive into town for dinner. This was our last night in Estes…so we decided to eat somewhere yummy.

Somewhere yummy lead us to the Peak to Peak restaurant. I got a yummy hamburger and Andrew got some sort of grilled chicken dish. I’m pretty sure he had dinner envy after seeing and tasting my burger. It was a delicious meal and we had lots of fun talking and laughing about our trip.

Family shot at Peak to Peak

Later that night we soon realized why Abby had been so cranky all day…she was getting sick! Poor baby was running a fever and had a snotty nose. Upon realizing this, I started dreading putting her to bed. Abby typically does not sleep well when she is sick, and add to that being in another really is a recipe for disaster. Our fears became a reality when we were up with her for most of the night. But really, can you get upset at a poor little girl who is feeling awful. No, or course not. We knew it meant a REALLY  long day of traveling ahead of us, but what can you do? All I can say is thank goodness for an amazing husband who does so much! We really work as a team when it comes to Abby (and everything else), and I am so thankful for that.

After a long, hard night we got up early the next morning, finished packing and said “goodbye!” to Estes Park. Even with being sick, Abby did wonderfully the whole day. She was such a trooper….and we were all SO  glad to be home. Needless to say, we all crashed pretty hard that night.

I’d say our first family vacation was a huge success. Parts of it were hard, and afterwards Andrew and I felt like we needed a vacation to rest from our vacation, but we wouldn’t take it back for the world. After we had Abby we decided that we would not let having a baby keep us from doing the things we love to do (traveling) and that we would make it work even with an infant. We now have so many memories to look back on and hope that one day, Abby will cherish family vacations as much as we do.

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Lil’ Nuggie

May 17th, 2011 — 11:04am

So I’m sure many of you already know that Andrew and I are expecting baby #2 in October. October 10th to be exact (well, as exact as a due date can be). And yes, that is exactly 2 days before my birthday. I”m either going to be spending my birthday big and huge, or in the hospital. Sounds like fun to me! Ha.

I debated whether or not I should take belly shots this go-round, but decided it could be fun to compare the growth between the two pregnancies.  Here are the two shots we have taken so far…

three months

4 months

I have been feeling really good lately! I know I have been so blessed to have two easy pregnancies so far. It is so different to be pregnant and have another baby to chase after. Especially since she is into EVERYTHING! Oh well, I think it is helping me keep my weight down!

I am now 19 weeks and we find out in 1 week what we are having! Andrew and I are so excited…he thinks it will be a boy and my guess is a girl. I guess we will find out who is right in a week!

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Little Miss

May 7th, 2011 — 6:54am

Abby has changed so much over the last month! She is crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything and talking up a storm. Of course, I use the term “talking” very, very loosely. The only word we can really make out is “Dada”, but she constantly makes up her own sounds and noises. She also loves playing with her tongue and making the cutest noises that way.

Little Miss has also gotten quite the personality. When she gets in a crowd she puts on a show! It’s as if she knows she is getting all the attention! Along with her bubbly personality comes her STRONG  will. It is already showing through, and quite honestly, it terrifies me! She has already learned how to throw a fit if she is not getting her way. For example….she LOVES crawling over to our fireplace, pulling up on the hearth, and trying to play with the mesh cover. Of course, when we pull her away, she lets us know she is not happy! Shesh! I can only imagine what the teenage years are going to be like.

Every day with Abby is an adventure, but it is such a blessing to watch her grow up, learn and develop.

playing at Aunt Kelli and Uncle Toby's house

What a stinker!



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