Friday, September 24, 2010

This week is awesome.

And here's why:

1) It's the third day of fall, but it feels like the first. Cool air, highs in the 50s. I'm wearing my favorite sweatshirt (at work, yes), drinking a Hot Apple Blast from Caribou, and Nate's making soup tonight. I'm in heaven.

2) It's Friday, and I get to spend the entire weekend at home with my sweet boys. Except for tomorrow night, which will be spent out having fun with friends, in support of another friend.

3) I have a Pottery Barn catalog waiting for me at home...and it's the first one filled with holiday stuff. Eeee!

4) Calvin didn't cry at daycare drop off this morning. A nice departure from the last seven mornings.

5) Yesterday I found out there's another biter in Calvin's classroom. That might seem like a weird thing to be excited about, but that means we're not alone in our plight and they've dealt with this before.

6) The TV...oh, the TV! I have been so happy sitting on my couch every night this week. Though last night I found myself with Oreos and without milk. That was bad.

7) The Grey's writers blog is up and running again...a Friday morning favorite.

8) I'm going to decorate for fall this weekend.

9) I finally found some jeans at the Gap. We won't discuss what size they are, we will just focus on the fact that they are cute and dark and long and not skinny jeans.

10) My review went really well this week and I'm feeling re-energized and even a little happy about work. It won't last long, but I'm going to go with it for now.

Off to crank up my iTunes and do some writing. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Red, white and blue.

Typically we only dress to match one another, but occasionally we like to include our surroundings as well.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Whose kid is that?

I was going to say that this child can't possibly be mine because my kid would never choose cottage cheese over a CUPCAKE.

But given his facial expression, I think it's pretty hard to deny the connection.

You can't outrun the dork gene. Believe me, I've tried.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Minnesota vs. Illinois

Nate and I have had many discussions on the topic of Minnesota vs. Illinois: Which State is Better? We are both deeply loyal to our home states, and therefore no conclusion has been reached to date.

The most logical solution, of course, would be calling a truce and agreeing on Wisconsin. But we Breyers are not known for our logic (nor are we all that fond of Wisconsin), and so the battle rages on.

However, as we traveled from Minnesota to Illinois last weekend, I believe we may have found an answer. A mathematical one, at that! And we all know how good I am at math.

The following is a summary of our trip. I have assigned points to each activity so as to determine which state offers the best experience. I'm sure you will all agree that this is a fair and unbiased look at all three states.

We'll start with Minnesota, Nate's home state and my place of residence for the past 10 years.

On Friday morning, all Minnesota had to offer us was a car accident with our only road-trip approved vehicle. Minnesota: -1

(Or, more accurately, Nate: -1)

Luckily it also provided a lovely bright red rental car, leaving us a mere three hours behind schedule. Minnesota: +1

Enter Wisconsin. Land of cops with nothing better to do than sit and wait for you to speed on I-94.

Wisconsin has Fazoli's breadsticks! Wisconsin +1

While in Wisconsin, I lost my check card at the gas station for like 20 minutes. Nate finally found it under the tire. It was annoying and I was confused. Wisconsin: -1

(Okay, fine. Abby: -1)

So, Minnesota and Wisconsin — meh. Not so great. Let's see how my beloved home state of Illinois treated us, shall we?

Illinois did not judge us for silly faces or crazy hair — things both Calvin and I have in abundance. It's a friendly place. Illinois +1

Illinois has lots of room to run and play, and fun people to run and play with. Illinois +1

In Illinois, we had chocolate milkshakes and turtle cheesecake. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Jill and I are so blissed out over that milkshake that we look kind of stupid. Illinois +1

Illinois is home to a large chunk of my Dad's very hilarious family, all of whom joined us for dinner one night. Illinois: +0 (I'm giving this a point for fun, and taking away a point for exposing the other diners to McLaughlin family insanity. I am SO sorry.)

In Illinois, Calvin was allowed to have Nilla Wafers before bed each night. He slept with them clutched in his tiny hands, then ate them for breakfast when he woke up. Talk about fun! Illinois: +1

While in Illinois, we had my mom's homemade macaroni and cheese and Nate's fried chicken — which my Dad has been salivating over since I first posted it on the blog. It was amazing. To be fair, the chicken originated in Minnesota, so they should get a point, too. Illinois: +1, Minnesota: +1

Jumping on oversized chairs is really fun and totally acceptable in Illinois. Illinois: +1

And, finally, being in Illinois means time with four of the people we love most. We love you, Nana, G-Pop, Aunt Jill and Uncle Kyle! Illinois: +1

While there was nothing interesting to report from our trip back through Wisconsin, I have to give credit where credit is due. Our return to Minnesota brought one little boy and one small brown dog a lot of joy. Minnesota: +1

Final tally:

Minnesota: +4*
Nate: -1
Wisconsin: +1
Abby: -1
Illinois: +7

Well, will you look at that! Illinois wins!**

*Since Minnesota has lots of people we love, including most of our Breyer family, I gave it an extra point. I'm nothing if not fair.

**Nate is more than welcome to challenge these findings; however that will require him to actually login and create a post. I don't see this happening anytime soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


For the past two weeks, I've been a bit of a mess.

Tomorrow is Calvin's last day at his daycare; Monday he starts at the new center. All I can do when I think about this is cry. I cry because I'm so sad he has to leave people he loves and a place he feels safe. I cry because I am still struggling with guilt over our decision. I cry because I am a nervous wreck about next week.

And every time I start crying (which has been almost daily, if I'm being honest), I think to myself — what an idiot. This is not that big of a deal. I need to adjust my thinking. I need to be thankful for the wonderful experience we've had this past year and excited for a new one. I need to stop worrying over things I can't control, things that haven't happened yet, and things that may or may not ever happen.

But I can't. Worrying is what moms do best, am I right?

What if he feels scared and alone in this new place? (He might.) What if he really hates it there? (He won't.) What if he screams and cries when we leave him every day? (He probably will, at first.) What if he bites another child and they all hate him and they kick us out and we're stuck with nowhere to go and I have to quit my job and we lose our house? (He likely will, they likely won't, the rest is a little dramatic.)

I really wish I could turn off my brain. And my tear ducts.

Every single night since the day he was born, I have prayed for and with Calvin. I pray for the protection of his heart, his mind, and his body. I pray for rest, for happiness, for comfort. I pray Calvin will come to know the Lord and that He will help us guide our son on that journey. I pray for wisdom for myself, and for Nate, in parenting him.

My son has been covered in prayer his entire life. I have no problem trusting God to care for Calvin in all these big ways — matters of life and death and eternity. So why am I giving in to worry and doubt instead of trusting God to care for him during this minor transition?

Jeremiah 29:11 says: For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I have clung to that verse in times of doubt regarding my own future, but until today I had never thought about it in terms of Calvin's life. How silly of me. God's promise extends to all of His children. He has plans for Calvin, hopeful plans. Future plans. Plans to prosper him. Plans to keep him from harm. Plans that I'm pretty sure don't include the loss of his childhood home to biting.

As a parent, the very best I can do is seek God's wisdom in the decisions I make for my children and trust that in the areas I am weak — as a person and as a mother — He is strong. I can't keep my son from feeling frightened next week. I can't control whether he bites or how the other kids react to him. I can't be sure he won't get kicked out of daycare for chomping on another child. But I can have peace in knowing we made a prayerful decision. I can trust that God will be there with us tomorrow afternoon as we say our tearful goodbyes to Elisha, that He'll be with us on Monday morning as our family begins a new chapter, and that He will care for Calvin (and calm his neurotic mother) during the days ahead.

On the way to work this morning, I received this text from Nate, who suffered through yet another round of my waterworks last night before bed. (He's a saint.)

"Did you see the beautiful sunrise this morning? I think that's God's way of telling us everything is going to be okay."

He's right, of course. Everything is going to be okay. And it was an incredible sunrise.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
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