Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary To Us

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary!  I am very thankful for Gary in my life...most of the time.  Ha.  Maybe not when he's snoring like a walrus at 3 am but most of the time.  I don't think we would have chosen each other, I really do think it was God.   Or maybe a massive group of grade 9's who probably would like some credit with their signs that read `Isn't Mr. Chapman cute?'  or writing on the white board `Louise + Gary'!
One of the things that really brought Gary and I together was a love for adventure and the outdoors.  We loved to camp and hike and explore.  We still do love it.  I just haven't done it in a while.  By the way, we have a lot of very similar interests; playing sports, food, photography, teaching, science etc.  I don't know if we have any hobbies that the other one doesn't love.  Oh ya, video games.  I don't do those.
There is nothing like a grueling 4 day hike to see what someone is really like.  

I think one of the hardest things for me has been that I haven't been able to do anything adventurous with Gary in the past few years.  I've always been pregnant or breastfeeding or my health was really bad.  Gary still gets to do this with his LEAD class at school but I really do miss that part of our relationship. I look forward to delving into this again.  It's actually really important to me as it is a huge part of who I am.
True, we take our kids hiking and we are taking them on a big trip, but I do miss that one on one time with Gary where we can work hard together and see some amazing sights.
I'm glad that we didn't get married until we were 26 and 29.  We were able to become more of who we were.  Had I married whoever I was dating when I was 22...um ya, things would be very different.   I see a lot of people get married younger and it  works well for them, but for us, there is zero percent chance we would've chosen each other years earlier.  

One thing I took away from a marriage course that we did once was that your husband is not your girlfriend. I know, sounds like common sense.  Gary is one of my best friends.  I would rather do any activity in the world with him than anyone else.  However, when it comes time to talk through feelings or decisions, I often turn to my sisters or friends.  I will talk with Gary about them but I can't expect him to totally understand.  He will sometimes say something like `Well, don't feel that way then' `You don't need to worry about it' etc.  And that's just really how he feels/thinks.  So ya, that has been one lesson that I have learned in our marriage.
The day we got married was awesome.  I wish I had cared more about our wedding photos at the time :) 
{Finally about 6 cm dilated with Kai...had been up already one whole night...Our lives were about to change drastically!  I would also venture to say that my hair has never looked worse?}

The biggest thing to affect our marriage?  Kids.  I had no idea how much it  would affect our lives.  They have been the hardest thing on our marriage and the greatest thing. 
These little people suck every ounce of energy from me and leave me as a tired old lady. Ha.  Doesn't that sound fun to be married to?  I have way less energy/time/patience for Gary and that's sad.  I know it will get easier as I sleep more (eventually) and the kids don't need me as much for the every day tasks.  Hopefully Gary and I will be able to get away just the two of us more often.  Whether that's just for dinner or a walk or even over nighters.  

For me, life is `boring' right now.  And that's okay I guess.  I just do need a dose of adventure and somehow the whole `take three kids to the grocery store' is not the adventure I seek.  It is a good life and I think not one day goes by where I do not appreciate all that I have.  I do look forward to more than the `wash, rinse, repeat' days though.
Gary and I have a great commitment to one another.  He's stuck with me, I'm stuck with him. I joke, but we aren't going anywhere!  If I had to choose 3 things that I am most thankful for in him right now, they would be:

1. He is an awesome dad.  I couldn't do this on my own.  Although we parent a little differently, that is so important and so good.  Our kids will learn so much from each of us.

2.  He is a great cook.  We love food.  A lot.  We love GOOD food.

3.  That his love is unchanging.  His love for God and us.  I know that no matter how emotional and wild I get, he loves me just the same.  Such security in that, you know? I don't have to worry if I can't lose those last 15 lbs or I cry too much or I'm too tired to be any fun (wow, I'm not really this bad all the time).  He's there.  Always will be.  

 Some of my favourite times are seeing Gary in action with the kids.  The post dinner wrestle time is awesome.  Nya has a lot of love in her heart for her dada and I really think they have a special relationship.  The boys weren't drawn to him like she is.

Gary, I'm glad you realized how awesome I was and that you wanted to date me and marry me. Lucky guy! Ha.  I'm glad that we took the chance on each other even though it could've gone really bad as we worked together.   You just never know...

I love you.  Here's to another 50 years?!  

Love, Louise

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nya's 1st Birthday Party!

For our kid's first birthday, we don't buy them a present but we have a big party with friends and family.  Our yard is small so this year we went to a local park and it was perfect!  There was a covered picnic shelter, tennis court (we brought soccer balls, baseball, football etc) and playground.   
The coffee maker has nothing to do with her party but I just wanted to tell you that I love it.  Gary was gone all week (hiking the Juan de Fuca trail with his LEAD class) and I've been working 30-40 hours a week and not sleeping through the night, SOOOOOO, coffee is my friend.
Gary got home Friday night and then today was her party.  We put together some helium balloons and a bunch of food and off to the park we went!
Those aren't cake pops, they are marshmallow pops.  Soooooo easy to make.  Cake pops take about 2 hours.  Marshmallow pops take about 10 minutes.  I can't eat them because they are so sweet but they went quickly!  Just put a marshmallow on a lollipop stick (or not stick), dip in melted chocolate, put sprinkles on top.  Takes about 10 minutes to dry and then keep in an airtight container. Easy. Cheap. Done.
Nya had her immunizations yesterday (she's just 19 lbs 9oz!!) so I wasn't sure how she would do today.  She was so fine and loving life. 
With gramma and grandpa Chapman
With Opi below
Time for her cupcake!
Kai helped blow it out
She didn't love it as much as the cupcake she had last week :)
Opening presents!  This box contained a pair of pink Toms that she might just be wearing to church tomorrow :)  

I had a great time today. I just want to say thank you to all of our family and friends who were able to come and help celebrate our baby girl's first birthday.  We are so thankful for her and I love being able to celebrate her together.
And seriously, how come when I do extended family sessions I can't get all the kids looking right at the camera and smiling?!  Look at them!  Maybe because cupcakes were next? 

When we got home, Nya was on such a high.  She just walked around giggling and climbing on everything.  I think she really liked her day too.  

Yay for family, friends, and the celebrations of our births!

Love, Louise

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nya Turns One!!

One year after the birth of our baby girl, there are just a few things I want to say.  

1.  I am so thankful.    Thankful to have her.  Thankful for her health.  Thankful for her cheerful personality.   Thankful for how she makes our family what it is.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the gift that God has given me in regards to Gary and the kids.  They are awesome.  Tiring, but awesome :)

2.  My love is great.  I remember when we were expecting Koen that I was so nervous I wouldn't love him as much as Kai.  I quickly learned that there's oodles of love in my heart for each and every kid.  They are all so different and special and I love them so much.

3.  Everyone says it, but wow, this year how flown by.  I feel like she was born 2 months ago or something.  I want to savour every cuddle and feed and giggle.  I didn't love the newborn stage with Kai but with each child it was easier because I knew what was ahead and was more confident in my ability.  I loved newborn Nya.  So sweet. 

4.  I am AMAZED by the boy's love for their sister.  I think it's the age gap and the fact that she is a pretty easy going kid, and well, she's adorable. They think that she is the cutest thing in the world, hence, her nickname `Cutie'.   Koen gives her full access to his cars and that says a lot.  She is a great source of entertainment in our home.  Gary is pretty smitten too.

5.  I have loved getting to know her.  She is very friendly and outgoing and is pretty easy going wherever we go.  She has a mischievous side and loves to explore.  She is content to cuddle but also loves being thrown in the air.  She loves mangoes and apparently icing as well as you will see below...

All right, you know I could reminisce for a long time with many, many photos, but I won't.  Here are some photos from a year ago when we met our beautiful 7lb 14oz bundle of cuteness.
And here she was on Monday in all her girly cuteness. 
I need to tell you that she loved the icing so much that there were very few smiles, it was just non stop putting icing in her mouth.  We actually had to stop taking photos because she was just eating too much and I was worried she was going to get sick.  
Also, I would like to point out that Gary made the cupcake for his little girl :)
The boys were allowed to join in and Koen spent most of the time licking icing off of his leg.
You can see her birthday greeting on Breakfast Television here :)

Nya, we are so thankful to have you in our family.  We love you so much.  Always and forever.
Love, Mommy, Daddy, Kai and Koen.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pet Peeve

This has been driving me bonkers for soooooo long.

Dudes, if someone has a baby or gets engaged or something big happens in their life, don't post congratulations on their facebook wall until THEY announce it.  Don't be the person who says `Wow, SHE was so big.  Love her name ______' like you know everything and are especially close to that person.  It's giving away some of the joy that the person would have announcing it themselves.  Many other people know, you are not the first, but other people are waiting appropriately.  Maybe they need to contact all their friends first.  You know, in real life.  Maybe they want to bond with their baby before announcing it to their 300 acquaintances.  I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but seriously people, it's common sense and appropriate social protocol.  Can you tell I'm PMSing?  Thank you.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Weekend

The weekend was pretty uneventful.  I wish we had done something fun for Mother's Day and I'll leave it at that :)  Here are just some photos...
Koen is hilarious.  He calls this outfit his `tennis outfit'.  He'll say `Tennis players don't eat avocado' `Tennis players can go to bed at nine o'clock' etc.  
The cupcake he made for me at preschool
Trying out the coffee maker.  I like it!  I was worried it would be costly with all the T-cups but it's not so that's good!  
Nya looks very unimpressed!!  I am so thankful that I get to be a mom to these three amazing kids.  They are awesome.   You can have very serious conversations with Kai.  Koen likes cuddles and silly stuff.  Nya loves to be held and to destroy the house.  She is soooo tough.  I wonder what she would be like if she didn't have older brothers.
Kai's note to find the card he made under his bed.  The fifth word is `search'.  Some things on his card said that he loved my sweet smile, my teaching, my food, his birth (kind of weird but you are welcome buddy!), reading together, and when I make his lunch on Fridays :)
Koen makes me laugh all the time. Examples:
'Mommy, we talk about so many things all the time.  Like Christmas, Easter and manure.'
'Mommy, I'm using my metacarpals to eat!' (yay! another nerdy one!)
'It's raining, it's pouring, the old man in snoring!  Hey, he should blow his nose'
Not sure she could be any cuter.  Look at those lashes. Love.

Hope you had a good weekend!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day Tea

They had a Mothers Day Tea at preschool where Koen sang about 4 songs.  It was sweet and I had a good time talking with some of the other moms.  Koen made me this beautiful necklace which now hangs on our van's review mirror.  I think his favourite part was bowing over and over at the end of each song.  In the card he made, some of the things he said about me were:

My  mom loves to eat meat (true!!  Huge carnivore).  

My favourite thing to do with my Mom is play games like Chutes and Ladders.  

During the day my mom is doing the house and taking care of Mya (he can't pronounce her name correctly). 

I love my  mom because she is beautiful.  

My mom is really good at the computer. (NOOO!!!!  It sounds like I'm a mom who ignores her kids and just hangs out on the computer.  Major downfall of being a work at home mom).
I really need to use our real camera to take photos of Kai Bear's freckles.  They are abundant and we celebrate them and consider them very cute.  They continue to multiply daily, and really, we are all so freckly in the Chapman household.
Today I had a conversation with Kai where I indicated that just because he had doubles of some of his Pokemon cards, that would not be an appropriate Mother's Day gift.   I think it's important for him to think about what someone else might want and I can tell you...there is no way I want any of those ridiculous cards.  

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Love, Louise

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Koen Wins

Yesterday morning at 7:30 am, I was watching Breakfast Television and they said to head to Home Outfitters in Langley to win prizes.  We live just 5 minutes away so off we went!
Koen got to pick a dot from the wall and he picked one that I never would've chosen.  It was a red one and on the back it said we won a Tassimo single cup coffee brewer!   I'd say that I've become a coffee drinker over the last year so I was excited about this.  I think they are valued at about $129.00 or so.  Anyway, now I have to pick up some T-cups which may increase the cost of my coffee `habit' but I only drink one per day anyway. 
Good job, Koen!
I have to say that for a day that could've been crappy, winning something made it a whole lot better!  My dad joked that Koen must have the Dekens winning gene in him because let's just say my dad has won quite a few things in his day!  
Have a great day.
Love, Louise

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Seven Years

Love you. Miss you.  Wish you could know me now.  I'm a lot less selfish and I think we could have some really good talks about motherhood and life these days.    Gary actually really likes your hamburger bean pot pie recipe.  He's a great husband, mom.  We use your apple crisp bowls daily, although more for fishy crackers than apple crisp.  They tore down the La Masia restaurant,  you wouldn't believe how different this area looks now.  The `long block' is still the same though. I ran it and Kai biked alongside and it reminded me of our post dinner walks.   Our kids love riding bikes...remember that time I was showing you how fast I could bike down our driveway and forgot how to use the brakes and ran straight into the house?   Nya started sleeping though the night, I wonder when I started to.   Koen would love your cookies and I bet he would REALLY love your brownies.  Did you know that we are going as a family to SE Asia?  Wish you could come along.  I remember taking you out for Thai food, it was good, right?  We talk about you often.  Koen has prayed for you to become alive again.  Love you. Miss you. 
{I loved doing her hair.}
{With baby Ani...just missed Kai by 3 months}
{34 years later, I have my own baby girl}
{Tea time!  Lifelong tradition}