Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 has been a wonderful year for our little family. My husband and I have become closer as each day progressed throughout this bountiful year. Our relationship has grown in leaps and bounds and I feel as though we are closer in love and friendship than we have ever been. Its amazing every time he walks through that door my heart flutters as if I was back in high school during our dating years. He is such a wonderful and amazing husband, friend, and father. I thank God every day for giving me my soul mate and giving us the strength to get through some tough times that we have had through the years. I just cannot get over how amazing my husband is, he would do anything for us. He is just wonderful and I love him dearly.

2008 has seen my children grow both physically and mentally, as well as in number. Kiale and Colin turned 5 and 3 this year. Kiale started his second year of school, and Colin began his first. They are such amazing kids, I know I am kind of bias on this, but they truly are. Kiale also participated in his first "team" sport, soccer. I loved watching him play throughout the year it was so neat to watch his skills grow with each practice. I was amazing to actually see him learning and then applying what he learned in the field. Both of the boys love school, thankfully!! I was so worried that they would not enjoy it, but they really do love it. I hope, although I am not counting on it, that they will continue to enjoy school all throughout their lives. I would love to see them grow up and become "successful" although my opinion of "success" defers greatly from the normal definition of the word. In my eyes them being "successful" just means that they are happy and providing for their family. All I want for my children are for them to grow up and be happy. If they do that then I will feel as if I have succeeded in parenting them.

Most of 2008 was spent with my body undergoing the miracle that is growing and delivering a sweet baby girl. Our Cayleigh-Grace, or my Sweet Grace as I have been calling her lately. My pregnancy was not without its ups and downs with her, and was by far my hardest of my three pregnancies. The weekend after Christmas I had some pretty severe bleeding, and we thought we had lost her, but thankfully God smiled upon us and let us keep her. It turned out that I had had a placental hemorrhage, and after a total of 5 ultrasounds throughout my pregnancy we found out that she was going to be perfectly healthy. We were blessed with her birth on September of this wonderful year.

As I have said 2008 was and amazing year, and I hope 2009 will be just was wonderful, but that is in God's hands. I along with so many others will be praying in the new year... as long as I can stay awake long enough, and if not God will hear my prayers a bit earlier. I am really looking forward to 2009, I will be turning 24, my husband 27, and our sweet children will be turning 6, 4, and 1. Kiale will start kindergarten, Colin will start K-4, and our sweet Cayleigh-Grace will learn to roll-over, crawl,and walk. It will definitely be a year of firsts and much more. I cannot wait to see what 2009 will bring us. Hopefully closer to each other, and closer to God. If I did the whole New Years Resolution thing it would be to have my family become closer to God as I know we all really need to.

Christmas Week

Monday, December 29, 2008

Well to say the least Christmas week was wonderful.

12-21 was spent at my house with all of Kiale's family. We deep fried our turkey (my favorite way to have turkey), and had stuffing, fresh mashed potatoes, green beans w/ bacon, and rolls. It was delicious.

12-22 was spent with my kids,my mom, sisters, and Dylan (Dixie's boyfriend). All of us minus, my mom, Dylan, and Cayleigh-Grace got our hair cut. We got there at 1:00, and left at 3:30. That's two and a half hours of hair cutting for the 5 of us. We are all very happy with our hair, definitely worth the time it took to get it done.

12-23 a day of cookie and desert making, with Kiale, Cammie, and Colin. A tradition we will have to start doing each and every year. We all had a blast!!

12-24 Christmas at mom and dad's house. We had our traditional Christmas party, I cannot even remember how many years we have been doing it... a lot lets just put it that way. It was wonderful!! After that party we came home and left cookies and milk for Santa and the boys opened up their Christmas PJ's.

12-25 Am I the only mom out there who has a horrible time trying to sleep on Christmas. I am always way too excited to see the kids open their gifts that I always had a horrible time sleeping. Christmas morning was wonderful, the boys loved their gifts and I so enjoyed watching them open them. After gift-opening I made a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, and sausage. Which everyone devoured. It was soo good!!

Then we headed over to my grandparents at noon for lunch and more gift-giving. It was so nice seeing everyone again. Not to mention Grandpa's food is always wonderful.

12-26 Was spent at Walmart shopping with just the kids and I. Kiale had to work... and then we had lunch with our best friends Katie, Gerald and their kids Kyler and Bella.

12-27 In my opinion was the best day of the whole week. My husband had his first Saturday off in at least a year. It was so wonderful. We had an excellent day out, and I mean the entire day we spent out shopping, and no one complained not once!! How awesome is that!!! We left the house at 10:30ish and headed out to Gander Mountain. We then went to the enclosed St. Augustine Outlet mall had lunch and did some shopping, and then attempted to go to the St. Augustine Prime Outlet Mall but it was packed, I mean packed to the point of not having any parking places open at all. So We then headed to the Orange Park mall and did some more shopping, then Walmart, and then to dinner. We finally got back home at about 7:30ish. It was such a wonderful day. How can an entire day be wonderful with a 5 & almost 4 year old and an almost 4 month old? No one made a single fuss the entire time, big Kiale didn't even fuss about going shopping all day, in fact it was entirely his idea. It was so nice. We have NEVER and I do mean NEVER spent an entire day like that out with everyone, heck Kiale and I have never spent an entire day shopping together and we will have been together for eight years on the 4th. It was such a wonderful day... I hope we can have many more days like that it the future. We were all so happy, I still get this huge warm feeling whenever I think about Saturday... it was just so enjoyable and we were all together as a family, I think that was the best part.

Not Me! Monday

Monday, December 22, 2008

Alright MckMama here we go...

I did not feed my entire family food on Wednesday and not tell them what they were eating until they were totally finished with it. They all liked the Tuna Cakes too.

I did not go and get my boys a few more clothing presents just so they would have more to open Christmas morning.

I did not have a blast cooking for all of Kiale’s family yesterday and I am not already looking forward to next year and doing it all over again!!

This is not my favorite time of year, and I am not loving my children being older and really being able to enjoy Christmas.

A year ago today...

One year ago today Kiale and I found out we were pregnant. We were very blessed to become pregnant on literally the first try. After having two precious boys we decided to go with the old wives tales and “try” for a girl. I didn’t eat anything acidic and we “had fun” when I was at the “peek” of ovulation, all of these things together were supposed to give us a girl. Ultimately we knew that it was really in God’s hands but it was fun “trying” for our girl anyway. Then on December 22, 2007 before my period even had a chance to start I took a pregnancy test. I just couldn’t wait, I was too excited, and it was positive!! We were elated, we got the only thing we wanted for Christmas and that was for me to be pregnant, and if it was a girl that would just be the biggest bonus. We waited until Christmas to tell everyone. We put pink and blue bows and everyone’s gifts… and guess what no one figured it out. We still had to actually tell everyone, but that aside it was such a wonderful Christmas!!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am ready for a wonderful weekend full of family and parties, are you? This is going to be a wonderful week. The Turkey is in the fridge marinating, and everything is ready to enjoy. I love the holiday season!!

Recipe of the Week: Tuna Cakes

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I have decided to try a new recipe each week to try and get my family out of the "same old same old" rut that we are currently in. So this week we tried Tuna Cakes, so far they are a hit the boys and I loved them... Big Kiale hasn't tried them yet he isn't feeling well and was napping while we were having dinner, but he is going to try them in a little while. I actually had these for the first time at Katie's house and loved them and decided that we had to try them as a family. I got 9 cakes out of the recipe. Did I mention that I didn't tell them what they were eating until they finished it... hehehe

Prep Time:
10 min
Total Time:
26 min
6 servings
What You Need

2 cans (6 oz. each) light tuna in water, drained, flaked
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
3/4 cup water
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 cup KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. CLAUSSEN Sweet Pickle Relish
Make It

MIX all ingredients. Refrigerate 10 min.

HEAT large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Use ice cream scoop to add 1/3-cup portions of tuna mixture, in batches, to skillet.

FLATTEN into patties with back of spatula. Cook 6 min. or until golden brown on both sides, carefully turning patties over after 3 min.

Lunch with Mom

My mom that is. Today was a big day for our sweet Cayleigh-Grace, she (and my mom) opened up her first savings account. Since Little Kiale was born my Mom has opened up a savings account for each of my kids within their first few months of life. This way they can have some "fun money" to buy their first car with when they turn 16, or whatever it is that they decide to do with it. I love that my Mom has done this for my kids. It will really help them out when they get older and I know that they will really appreciate it. She also buys them savings bonds for their birthdays and for Christmas. After we finished opening up her account we went to lunch in the food court at Shands, lunch was wonderful, and I always enjoy having some one on one (+1) time with my mom. As soon as I got there we went and showed off Cayleigh-Grace to all of Mom's coworkers since this was the first time I had brought her up there. It was so neat when one of her coworkers said that it was going to be a lunch with the "girls" normally that term is saved for referring to my sisters and I, but this time it was referring to three generations instead of just two. My mom, me, and my daughter. It is still so surreal to think that I have a daughter... I just love it!!

Cayleigh-Grace's Mini Photo Session

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New web address

Monday, December 15, 2008

For those of you following my blog, I have changed my address. It is now, please update your bookmarks so you don't miss anything!!


Not Me! Monday

Alright MckMama here we go again, the beginning of a new week with a fresh start!

I did not spend and hour doing a photo session with just my sweet daughter while my boys (all three of them) were taking their afternoon naps.

I did not have Kiale cook dinner last night just b/c I didn't feel like it and I had cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday.

I am not still trying to figure out what I am going to get everyone for Christmas... not me!!

I do not have mixed feelings about Christmas since I cannot get everyone presents like I would want to, and I am not trying to keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas and reminding myself that it will be okay if we cannot do much for anyone this year...

3 Months & 25in. Tall!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The difference between color & bw is amazing... I cannot decide which one I like better...

KS's Interview

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well KS's interview seemed to go well. Hopefully we will know if he got the job or not in a week or so. They said the position would not be starting until January anyway, which makes KS happy b/c this way he can still go on his Alabama trip. Keep your fingers crossed that he gets the job, it would really help our family out a lot!

Interviews and such

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Well KS goes in for his interview with the State today. So prayerfully once he comes home we will know if he is going to be a corrections officer or not. He made a 100 on his BAT (Basic Abilities Test) so hopefully that will help in his chances to be hired.

I am so not ready for Christmas yet. We have the boys presents done, and that's it. I still have to finish Cayleigh-Grace's blanket, and then go shopping and buy for everyone else... I am so behind. Oh well... it will all work out in the end. It is going to be a very small Christmas for us this year, as I am sure it will be for many of you too. In a lot of ways I am looking forward to that so much more than when the kids have tons of toys to open. This year the boys are only getting 2 presents each and one joint "Santa Gift" plus their stockings. We just did not have the $$ this year to go over and beyond for them like we usually do. So I went out and bought the one gift that they were each really really wanting, and then Kiale and I bought them each a surprise gift. I think they are going to appreciate gifts a lot more after this year. At least I am hoping that they will.

Had to share these pictures with you all, enjoy!

Not Me! Monday

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thank goodness for MckMama and her Not Me! Mondays... they always make a Momma feel sooo much better at the beginning of a new week.

I do not get HIGHLY IRRITATED when people call my daughter by half of her first name, instead of her beautiful FULL first name. Her name is Cayleigh-Grace not Cayleigh!!! It drives Kiale and I absolutely bonkers!! How hard is it to call her by her full name??? I just don't understand it... but like I said it doesn't bother me at all...

I do not have the absolute sweetest 5 year old in the whole world. Who this morning on the way to school said "Momma, Cayleigh-Grace spit up out her mouth and nose again, but don't worry Momma she is still pretty!" No my heart didn't totally melt... nope not me!

I did not stare in disbelief last Monday night as KJ came up to me and said that Colin had swallowed a bell, nope not me!! I did not then ask Colin what he was thinking by swallowing or by even putting the bell in his mouth at least a hundred times... I then did not watch Big Kiale try to make Colin puke out the bell, which decided to stay put in his tummy. I then did not give Colin the huge and long if you put anything other than food in your mouth you could have to go see Jesus, and you will never see any of us again, if you choke on it speech for at least a good 10 minutes. I then did not have to sort through pooh with an old tooth brush two days later only to my dismay of not finding the bell, although with how small it way I probably missed it b/c I wasn't about to pick up the pooh and actually sort through it for the bell...

We did not spend an hour and a half at a puppy store last Friday playing with all of the cute puppies and trying to decide exactly what type of puppy I want for my birthday. I did not decided on a Cocker Spaniel... nope not me!!

My Favorite Things...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I figured I would fill everyone in on me... I love to dance!! It has been one of my greatest passions throughout my entire life. I have danced on and off since I was 3, and I even had Kiale in dance for two years when he was younger, he is planning on going back to dance camp this summer. This is me two years ago.

I also love to sew, I have made several blankets and fixed the random pillow or two around the house. I have been sewing for a year now and I am just now starting to make clothes, thanks to Katie who is teaching me. We made a skirt this week! I cannot wait to make cute dresses for Cayleigh-Grace.

I love to garden and work in the yard. My favorite thing to work on are my roses, I had 6 beautiful rose bushes but with me being pregnant during the summer this year I let them go unfortunately. Florida summers can be brutal during pregnancy, and I just had no interest in being outside unless we were out at the lake.

I also enjoy to read and collect books my Papa gave me that passion from the time I was very little. He also instilled a great love of history in me. My favorite food is sushi!! I love it and have a tendency to crave it constantly. I also love a good steak, and salad too.

The beach or the lake would have to be my two favorite places to go during the summer. This is us when Colin Hunter was almost 6 months old and Kiale Jr. was 2. It was our first family vacation together.

This picture is when Kiale was first teaching the boys how to fish, it is one of my favorite pictures of the three of them.

3 months old already

Friday, December 5, 2008

Well Cayleigh-Grace turned three months old on Wednesday... it still blows me away how fast time goes by. She is such an amazing and wonderful baby. She has a wonderful personality, and is (much like my boys) a go with the flow type of baby. Although, when she is fussy you might as well be ready for the long haul. Thankfully though her fussy days are few and very far between. Overall she is a wonderfully happy and sweet baby, who has a preference for her Mommy, and as a sweet love for her Daddy and Bubbas. Every time any of the men (big or small) in our life comes around her face just lights up with smiles. She has changed so much she made her grand appearance 3 months and 2 days ago. She is now a brunette and no longer has her strawberry blonde hair. She is exceptionally long, I swear she must be at least 25.5 inches at least already, and is getting really good head control for the most part. I couldn't not believe it on Wednesday she giggled for the first time. It was amazing, I was changing her diaper and just talking to her like I usually and she just let out this amazing laugh. It was wonderful. I yelled for Kiale to come into her room and hear her, and did she do it again, of course not. She did laugh for me again yesterday though. It is so wonderful, I had forgotten how amazing it is to watch babies develop... God truly is amazing.

Kiale and I still to this day find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that we do actually have a daughter. It is just something that we swore and thought would never happen, and hear she is. So sweet and perfect. God has truly blessed us with each other and with our wonderful little family. I am just so thankfull for everything that he has giving me and enable us to have. Thank you lord!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

I had to share this picture with you all, this is how Cayleigh-Grace and I fall asleep most nights, her wrapped up in my arms and snuggling together. Kiale took this picture, and I was so happy that he did. It is something that I am going to treasure once she is bigger and in her own bed.... which is going to be a long long time I think. I am in no way ready for her to be away from us yet.

Cayleigh-Grace's Birth Story

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

3:18 am… September 3, 2008… Two days past one due date and on another due date I am awake, and not with the laying in bed too uncomfortable to sleep type of awake. No it’s the, I am having contractions and there is no way I will be able to go back to sleep, type of awake. I decided to get out of bed and see if these were just more of the Braxton Hicks that I had been having for the six weeks prior to this day. So I decided to make my sons lunches for school that day, since I had refused to make them the night before (I just love being stubborn.) As I was making their lunches I couldn’t help but notice that the contractions were 5 minutes apart… that cannot be right I kept thinking… they don’t start out that fast… (oh sweet denial…) so I finished the boys lunches and noticed that my microwave was dirty, might as well clean that while I am up I thought. So there I was having contractions every 5 minutes that were lasting 40 seconds or so and I was cleaning my microwave… go figure. Once I had finished that I thought maybe I should see what Kiale thinks, by this time it was about 4:10, so I wake him up…

Me- “Kiale, I think I am having contractions, they are 5 minutes apart…”

Kiale- “Go ahead and call the midwife I am getting up.”

Me- “But what if it is just Braxton Hicks again…”

Kiale- “Charity, call her now.”

So needless to say I called her, and who to my total delight answered the phone, Mary Anne!! I could not have been happier to hear her voice. I explained to her what was going on and I told her that the contractions didn’t even hurt that bad at all and that I thought they were just false labor… and what did she say “Charity come on in, this is not false labor, how soon can you be here?” And then it hit… what I had yet to accept the whole 9 months prior to that moment, I was going to have my third child. I was fixing to bring another sweet life into this world, oh the sweet life of denial that I live in…

After several other phone calls to my parents and Kiale’s mom, we were stuck at the house waiting on my sisters to arrive and watch our boys while we went to the Birth Center of Gainesville. By the time they got to my house it is about 4:40 and were are finally on our way. During that period of time my contractions were getting closer together but they still weren’t hurting all that bad. Once my sisters pulled into the driveway my water began to break, it would leak a little and then stop. This whole time I am humming and sort of singing (I don’t know how else to describe it) to get through the contractions. Did I ever mention how much I hate having contractions, and going through transition in a vehicle!! It is horrible. Needless to say my humming transferred into humming and taping my foot on the floorboard… as well as frequently grabbing Kiale’s hand for support. I hate that 45 minute drive to Gainesville

Finally there it was… that wonderful Birth Center. We had made it, those of you who are aware of the fast labors that I have (5 hours with KJ, and 3 hours with CH) will understand how relieved I was to see that building. It was 5:20… two hours since I had first woken up with contractions, and we were there. By this time my contractions were about a minute apart and still lasting 40 seconds. They never did get any longer than that for some reason. The pain still (Thank you God) was still quite manageable. I could not talk through them but it wasn’t excruciating. I just kept humming and tapping my toe on the floor. My Mom and Dad arrived at about this time, Kiale’s Mom went straight to our house to trade off with my sisters who had to go to school, there is no way she would have made it for the birth anyway because it takes her two hours to get from Jax to Gainesville. Mary Anne then got to water going for me in the tub, and Zoe walked in. I was so happy I had my two favorite midwifes there, what were the odds of that. I couldn’t have felt more safe or been more happy. Once I got into the tub, which by the way I highly recommend if you want the pain of contractions cut literally in half, my contractions were about 30-40 seconds apart and still lasting about 40 seconds. Mary Anne checked me and I was already 8 centimeters, granted I had been 4 centimeters for a whole month before this day. Mary Anne said that the only thing keeping the baby inside was my bag of water that had not fully broken yet, so I had her go ahead and break my water… that was at about 5:40, and then the fun began.

As soon as she broke my water I started pushing, I went from 8 to 10 centimeters within seconds… again (did the same thing with CH). I could not believe how long it was taking me to push this baby out. It took 10 minutes to push Kiale Jr. out, and 15 to push Colin Hunter out… and I was going on 20 minutes with this baby… I was also very scared and panicky. I do not do well during the pushing stage; I freak out… a lot. We knew that this baby was going to be big, I had measured 2 weeks ahead the entire pregnancy, although I was convinced that she was going to be about 8lbs because I was so comfortable during the entire pregnancy… boys was I wrong (once again DENIAL) As any woman who has given birth naturally or with a patchy or weak epidural you can feel when the baby slips through the cervix, and when I felt her slip through mine I totally freaked. This started my “I cannot do this” stage of my labors… I had my eyes closed tight, and one hand tearing up Kiale’s hand and one hand around my Mom’s hand. Once I was able to get her head out I looked down… bad idea… very bad idea. I panicked severely once I saw how big she was (she was huge!!!) and I refused to push any more. I flat out refused; I was not going to budge anymore. So I had my Mom and Mary Anne in my ear…

Mom- “Charity you have to push her out”

Me- “No! I cant do it!”

Mom- “Charity you are going to hurt her you have to get her out”

Me- “No I cant!”

Mary Anne- “Charity listen to me your body will not make a baby to big for you and you have to push her out now or you really will hurt her”

Me- “but I cant”

Mom-“Charity, yes you can no push her out now.”

Mary Anne- “Come on Charity she is almost here now push”

Finally I had done it my precious sweet baby girl was born at 6:18am three hours after I had felt my first contraction, and after 30 minutes of pushing; 10lbs 7oz & 21.5inches long. She was huge, beautiful, but huge!! Way bigger than anyone had expected. She was everything we had asked God for, and total mix of Kiale and I and she had dimples… she was perfect; our sweet Cayleigh-Grace. You know its funny... I remember looking at the clock as soon as I got into the tub and thinking to myself that she would be born at 6:18...

Her Birth Video

Christmas Decorating (inside)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Decorating for Christmas is always fun in my house. It is something that I look forward to every year. We have two Christmas trees, and after this year we will have three. I have mine, the boys have theirs, and Cayleigh-Grace will have hers next year. We always decorate the day after Thanksgiving... mainly because I am to chicken to go out and shop in all that craziness, although my best friend swears she is going to make me go with her next year... we shall just have to wait and see about that. I do not do well in crowds... tend to get the whole "walls are caving in feeling" its just not pleasant.
I actually brought out my large Nativity this year and the boys were in charge of putting it together... although they got to hear "be careful," "don't bang them together," "Watch your elbows!!" the whole time they were putting it up. My mom bought that Nativity when I was probably around 10 or 11, and when Kiale and I got married it was one of the first things I asked to take with me. I have always loved it, and I think my children love it as much as I did growing up.
Well I had to put a pic of my tree up, and of our precious Cayleigh-Grace who watched all of the decorating from her chair.
Our Special Ornaments

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