Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gibson Getaway 2012

We pulled into our little driveway at our little house on Saturday around lunch.  Since then, I've finished laundry, cleaned the floors (I'd like to know who was here making the floors dirty while we were gone...), and spent a whole lotta time huggin' up my boy.  Because in one week, he starts school.  Wah.  

Because I'm so busy hugging and kissing and reading and praying and chasing and playing - here's our family vacation, in pictures.  Enjoy :)

+ Carter LOVES the boat.  He signs 'boat' like a champ, and cheers 'go, go, gooo!' throughout the ride. It's a hoot.

Carter and his Dada went for a swim off the boat.  Twenty-five foot water = freezing.  We quickly moved to shallow water :)

+ We walked around at the flea market one morning, and I kid you not - this guy ate FIVE forkfuls of sauerkraut.  He devours sauerkraut, but won't eat a flippin' green bean.  Who does this?!

+ The water was pretty low this year, which means the beach area was a little mucky.  Did Carter mind?  Not one bit.

+ Some pontoon boat lovin'.

Had to include this photo of Auntie M.  Beautiful!
Also - see anything out of the ordinary on her right arm?  It looks like a sling?  I must be seeing things....  ;)

+ Carter and his Uncle Ben were playing with the beach ball in the living room.   Carter's expression just cracks me up.

+ Carter even got to go musky fishing with the big boys.  Nobody caught one this year, but Carter was obviously satisfied with the ride.

Uncle T - not smiling because he caught a musky, unfortunately.
+ Why don't I notice the nighttime sky at home?  I'll tell you why.  Because I'm too busy scurrying around, doing this & that.  Look what I've been missing out on!

+ After some go-karting (yes, Carter rode with his Dada!), Carter wanted to check out the horses.  He loves horses :)

+Mimi brought her bike and rode 14+ miles around the lake!  Forget about the fact that Jake and I almost ran her over with our car as she was coming back in the driveway...  :)

+As relaxing as vacation can be - sometimes it's a little exhausting, too :)  And sometimes, lunch tables are the perfect place for little cat naps :)

+ On Friday we headed to a quiet little spot off of an island that was just perfect for us.  We grabbed lawn chairs, packed lunches, and spent the afternoon soaking up the last few hours of our vacation.

Can you tell this spot was just right for Carter?!

+ Every year (well, last year and this year) we make vacation t-shirts.  Cliche and touristy, we know.  But that's us, I guess :)

This years t-shirts say 'Gibson Musky Guides - Still Working on Our First Fish' :)
This is my favorite outtake.  Carter's face...!  I think he knows he's sabotaging what WOULD have been a great photo :)

Out of 30+ pictures, this was the best one.  Unfortunately, Carter looks like he's about to fall asleep.  We did our best :)

That's it.  Gibson Getaway 2012.  Already looking forward to next year!

One Thing I Know For Sure: Summer is officially OVER.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Where's Waldo-Err...The Gibsons?

I'll give you some clues.  I'm wearing pajama pants (okay, so I could be at home...).  There's coffee brewing all day (hmm...this could also mean I'm at home...).  I can hear Bald Eagles calling their young outside my window (okay, not going to hear this at home....).  I've smelled like a campfire since Saturday (nope.  not home.).

We're up north.

{Side note - is 'up north' a Wisconsin thing?  
Because everyone in Wisconsin goes 'up north' to get away.  
But do people from other states go 'up north?  
Or what if you already live in the north part of your state?  
These are the things I allow my mind to wander to when I'm on vacation.}

Yes, this is a mediocre photo of a Bald Eagle taking off.
It's from the last time we were up north.  Guess who left their good lens at home?!
Not this time :)
We're relaxing.  We're laughing.  We're just 'being'.  And it's so, so great.

Interesting, this was our family photo from last year.

Missing someone?!  This time last year, our dossier had just arrived in Ukraine and was being translated while we went fishing and roasted marshmallows.  If you want to re-live those crazy days of apostilling - re-apostilling - and mailing, you can click here, here, here, and lastly - here.  I still can't believe we got everything done in time before we left for our vacation.  If we hadn't, we probably would have missed the cut-off, and instead of traveling to Ukraine in October, we would have had to wait until December or January.  Still so very thankful for this mama, and the trip to Madison that she made - JUST for us.

So amidst the boat rides and campfire laughs, I just might be feeling a little nostalgic.  Maybe even a little homesick for this place (but that's really no different than any other day - which is a completely separate post...!).

Okay, that's enough.  Back to relaxing.  And you - you should go relax, too.  In honor of my vacation :)

One Thing I Know For Sure: That cute little coffee shop around the bend might be calling my name...!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I can't believe it.  I almost don't want to believe it.  The time has come for this little boy to leave his mama for a few hours each morning.  Two weeks from today, Carter will start school.

I know, it's just a few hours each morning.  I know, he needs it.  I know, he's ready.  And I think I'm even a little bit ready.

But this is a little hard for me.  He's our first - and so far, he's our only.  In my mind, I thought I'd have 3 or 4 years to love and prepare and nurture and protect and guide our babies before sending them off to school.

Not 9 months.

When I lay in bed at night and think about this little boy starting school, I feel mostly excited.  Mostly hopeful.  Mostly blessed.  But also a little bit terrified.

I've had 9 months.  Nine months, and what have I done with it?
Did I love him enough?
Did we laugh enough?
Did I sing to him enough?
Did he get enough hugs?
What about kisses?  Did he get enough of those?
Did I snuggle him enough?
Did I spend enough time telling him how he's made our lives a million times better?

And then I wonder if I yelled too much.
Or if I spent too much time cleaning, and not enough time reading books with a little body in my lap.
Did I seem annoyed when he brought me that singing bear for the 82nd time in a row?
Or how did I respond when he asked me to go outside, and I was working on something 'important'?

No such thing as a perfect mama, I know.  But moving from one season of our lives to another should make us stop and reflect.  I've been doing a whole lot of reflecting.  And looking back, I can say that there are so many things I would do differently.  Moving forward, I need to be better about living in the here & now.  The dishes - the dog hair on the floor - the books scattered throughout the living room...those things aren't going anywhere (unfortunately...!).

More time being mama - less time being homemaker.

Being a mommy to littles is so very hard.  I want to be everything for him - but yet I know it's just not possible.  I want to make sure he's happy all the time - but yet I know that's not what's best for him.

At the end of the day, when I lay my head down on my pillow, I will always have "what if..." and "I should have...." and "why did I...." running through this little brain.  It's inevitable.  But sometimes, it's okay to say "I could have done better."  and even "I need to do better.".

As this new season starts - for us, and for you (I'm sure you're busy readying backpacks and school supplies, too...) - let's reflect, and agree that sometimes we just need to do better.  And lets do it together.  Because this mommy stuff is hard.  And we need each other.

Feel a little better?  I do.  Thanks, friend.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Please tell me it gets easier.....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


In my last post, I said I would spend the next 30 days soaking up the last bits of summer.  And we are.  But some things are important.  Let me share.

This family is trying to raise the ransom for a sweet little boy named Miles.  Isn't he adorable?!

His soon-to-be-mommy and I are pals.  Okay, so maybe we've never met.  But we're friends, nonetheless :)

If you go to their blog, you can watch a hilarious video of their daughter explaining their iPad giveaway.  My favorite part is when she says "mommy - can I have a piece of gum?".  Too funny.

Would you love an iPad 3?  Do you have $10 (or more!) to donate?  Donations are easy and quick - and tax deductible!  Do you have Facebook or a blog to share their fundraiser?  Then go!  Share!  Donate!  And maybe walk away with a new iPad 3.  Not bad, eh?

What?  You don't need an iPad 3?  You already have one?  Well, guess what?  You could still donate -and if YOU get the iPad, you could give it away to another fundraiser.  Or use it as a Christmas gift.  Or give it back to this family to re-use in another fundraiser.

This giveaway ends on August 18th - so you need to go NOW.  You have an awesome opportunity to aid in bringing this boy into his forever family - what a privilege, really.  All for $10.  And an iPad 3? Well, that's just the cherry on top.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Raising money for families is so very important.  Please - go!

Friday, August 03, 2012

What's Different?

Anything look different to you in this photo?

How about this photo?

Two sets of feet in the kiddie pool, and girlie-girl toys strewn about the yard can only mean one thing....

Carter has a friend :)  Meet Haleigh.  She's going to be playing with us each day while her mommy & daddy are at work.  She's three, she's adorable, and if you ask her - she's a princess.

Carter & Haleigh get along wonderfully.  So far.  It's only been a week :)  Of course we'll have our fair share of sassy words, pinches & pushes, grabby hands, and hurt feelings.  Because that's life with littles.  But for what it's worth - I overheard Haleigh telling Carter "It's okay, honey, you can hold my princess".  She grabbed it away a millisecond later, but I still count is as a success.


Carter rarely interacts with other kids - but the other day during lunch, these two were definitely having a moment.  Big laughs from Haleigh, followed by little giggles from Carter - which turned into big boy belly laughs.  I'd say that's interaction.

I'm convinced that they'll soon be buds.  Remember how it started with Moses?  Pretty much a disaster. And now?  Buds.  I have visions of hand-holding, impromptu hugs, and snuggles on the couch.  Am I living in a fantasy world?  Maybe.  But I do have high hopes.


I was looking at my calendar today and noticed something alarming.  We are down to 1 month of summer left.  One month.  Thirty days until school starts.  Lordy Mercy.

Carter signing 'water'
For the next 4 weeks, we will be busy doing nothing.  Soaking up the last bits of sunshine while they're still here.  It is Wisconsin, you know.  And once the sunshine leaves, it's gone for good.

Kiddie pools and green grass will be distant memories by September, and life will return to normal.  As much as I'll miss dipping my toes in the cool water each afternoon, I'm ready for fall.  Sweaters, jeans, chilly morning walks with hot coffee.  Sign me up.

I'm sure by November I'll be feeling 'cooped up' and 'caged in'...because it's kind of human nature to crave what 'was' or what 'will be' instead of what 'is'.  We'll just roll with it, and wish for spring - all while enjoying our apple cider and pecan pie.

This is one guy who will NOT be looking forward to fall.
He has been pretty spoiled, spending so much time chasing bunnies and little boys through green grass.
If you don't hear from me for a few weeks, now you'll know why.  Busy soaking it all up...

One Thing I Know For Sure: 30 days and counting....

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