Saturday, December 27, 2008

First Bath
 I know this is like my fifth post in a row, but so much has happened this week! I just thought I'd wrap things up by posting some pictures of Madison's first bath. She is such a cutie!! I also wanted to take a quick second to brag on my brothers. I have such incredible brothers. Ben came into town for Christmas. I have had such a fun time visiting with him. He even came to the hospital for a few hours to keep me company, brought me a few things I needed, oowed and awed over Miss Madison, and then took Drew to lunch and to play for a few hours so he wouldn't have to sit at the hospital. I got to talk to Mikey the day after Christmas. He is still on his mission in Russia, and I miss him like crazy, but it was fun to get to talk to him. Kevin (my BIL) went out of his way to make our Christmas special this year, took care of Drew while we were in the hospital, and helped Drew get me some flowers and balloons for me when Madison was born which absolutely melted my heart. Greg (my other BIL) is on his way into town tonight to meet Madison. He is so kind and patient with Drew, and I can't wait for him to meet his new niece. I just feel so blessed to have such amazing siblings. They bring such joy to my life. I'm one lucky gal.

I guess I'll end my blogging tirade with a few words about the hubby. I am so thankful that he has given me the opportunity to be a mother. There is no greater gift he could give me, and by doing so he has helped me fulfill my purpose in life. He is such an amazing father and has been so attentive to my needs this past week; I honestly feel a bit spoiled. He is so gentle and kind, but I think I admire most the time he spends just laughing and playing with the kids. I feel so lucky to be able to raise children and experience life with my best friend at my side.

Merry Christmas

I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone! We were a bit distracted with the birth of Madison, so the holidays kind of snuck up on us, but we did our best to celebrate despite the sleep deprivation.
It is important to us that we celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas and not get carried away with presents, Santa Clause, and all of the other worldly traditions. So, as a family, we always read the Christmas story together and then celebrate with three gift (the same number given to Christ by the wise men to celebrate His birth).
They departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:9-11
So this year we got a wii, a wii game, and an extra wii remote. We have had so much fun playing with it as a family, and it is quite funny to watch the boys jumping around and waving their arms around to play.
We also got some awsome gifts from family and friends, but I think our best gift this year was to be able to be home for Christmas with our new baby girl. She doesn't do much but sleep and eat right now, but we love her anyway ;)

Madison's birthday

Here are a few more pictures of Madison's birthday. What an amazing day! I am in awe of the gift God has given us to create grow them in our bodies and then bring them into the world. It is such an incredible experience. I am surprised at how relaxed I am with her though. With Drew I was a mess, checking every five seconds to make sure he was breathing, and walking around with the spit plunger in my pocket in case he choked. I guess it's not quite so overwhelming the second time around, and I know how quickly this time will pass, so I am able to cherish every single second of our time together.

My little Picaso

It seems that I have a little artist on my hands. He has covered my fridge in his beautiful artwork, and even painted a canvas to go in Madison's room. He said it was her first birthday present so we hung it on the wall in the nursery. He is such an amazing big brother, and I can't wait to watch their relationship develop as they grow and experience life together.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Madison Lynn Glouner

Miss Madison is here !!
She was born on December 22nd, weighed 7 lbs 11 oz, and is 19 inches long.
Her birth was such a beautiful, amazing experience for Sean and I, and we feel so blessed and honored to have Madison join our family.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Lights and School Parties

What a week! The doctor said the baby's lungs should be developed enough for delivery, so we are officially on baby watch. The bag is packed, the car seat is in the car...all we need is a baby. To celebrate me no longer being confined to bed, we had a night out on the town. We went to the Botanical Gardens and saw all of the beautiful Christmas lights. Then we went to see a movie together and walked around Bridge Street. I also went back to work this week. It was great to get out of the house and earn a bit more money, but all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed. I really shouldn't have complained so much when I was forced to lay around because I'm just pretty miserable lugging this big 'ole belly around.
We got to go to Drew's Christmas party at school today. It is so fun to watch him interact with the other kids. We listened to Christmas music, ate some goodies, colored some Christmas pictures, and frosted some sugar cookies. It was fun to be with him, and I'm trying to enjoy every moment I have left of being able to devote all of my time and energy to him alone. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to balance having two kiddos. I'm actually quite nervous, but I guess there's no turning back now....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sugar Cookies & Christmas Trees

I must confess... I was a bit naughty and got out of bed, but in my defense I'm 38 weeks now, so it wouldn't be so bad if Miss Madison came just two weeks early... right? Sean was at work and Drew has been so patient with me. He's done an amazing job working the microwave at meal time and helping keep the house clean; I just had to get up and do something fun with him, so we put up some Christmas decorations and made some delicious sugar cookies together. Drew really enjoys cooking...especially baking with all of the measuring and pouring and mixing, so we have fun trying new recipes together. We found this recipe online, and it was yummy (even though we ran out of butter and had to get a little creative).
Other than our Christmas decorating, we haven't done much. Drew is doing really well in school and got all A's on his report card. We have played tons of board games together and watched a million episodes of Scooby-Doo. Sean put up the Christmas lights (they look amazing), and I used my free time to catch up on my thank you card writing. I also set up an e-mail account for Drew. I thought maybe he was too young at first, but I was able to set it up through google mail. They have awesome parental controls on the account, so I can monitor who sends him e-mails. He has really enjoyed writing his family members, and his writing skills improve with every letter. I remember when I was young, I had several pen pals that I wrote to. I remember how much my writing and reading improved while writing to them, and I guess it's the same concept...just a modern approach to the idea.
I have missed celebrating the holiday season though...I missed my work Christmas party and the ward Christmas party and wondering the mall in search of Christmas gifts (thank goodness for online shopping), but it will all be worth it when our healthy little girl arrives.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Cards

Well I've been bored and confined to the bed, so I decided to get a little crafty and make our Christmas cards this year. I LOVE to use a variety of pictures to show our family throughout the just seems a little more personal than the average, generic Christmas card. Last year I used, which is an amazing website; you make your card from a selection of formats they have, and then if you upload your address book, they will even mail them for you. However, in an attempt to be a little more frugal, I downloaded some free software and tried to make our own this year. I might have gone a little crazy with the over-abundance of pictures, but like I said..I'm B-O-R-E-D and I got a little carried away. I may have to do a little editing before I print it, but either is our happy little family wishing yours a wonderful Christmas full of love, gratitude, and charity.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bed-Rest Blues

Well, I have absolutely nothing to blog about and no pictures to post this week. Sweet little Madison is trying to come a little too soon, so they've put me on bed rest. Needless to say, I'm bored to tears but finally catching up on some much needed rest. I haven't quite figured out how a broke, hyperactive, over-committed mom and wife is just suppose to casually lay around all day without giving in to the overwhelming compulsion to go to work or catch up on laundry or do the dishes or put up the Christmas decorations. I'm doing my best to try and rest and relax though so wish me luck...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm Thankful for...

a husband who is my best friend and loves me unconditionally
a beautiful, healthy son that makes every day an adventure
the ability to create and grow a new life
a beautiful home that is full of love and free of contention
the ability to learn and grow
sandy beaches, snow covered mountains, fall leaves, and cotton fields
friends and their secret acts of kindness
my faith in God and His love for me
the ability to work and provide
music, art, health, and love
knowing that I'm never alone
good books and hot bubble baths
free agency and forgiveness
smiles, laughter, kisses, and I love you's

Monday, November 24, 2008

just a few more...

Here are a few more pictures from the shower..much better than my pitiful, grainy cell phone pics! Thanks for the pics Sandy and another huge thank you to the hosts and all of the other friends and family who came to celebrate our little miracle :)

friends & showers

(sorry the pictures are kinda crummy. I keep forgetting to charge my camera & had to use my cell phone to take pictures.)

We have had such a fun week!
We had a baby shower for our sweet little Madison. I am so grateful for such wonderful friends who came to celebrate our new little miracle with us. Everything was so beautiful...the flowers, the food, the decorations, and all of the precious little pink clothes! I can't wait to see my little Madison dressed in those adorable, tiny little dresses and shoes. These last few weeks are going to be torture...staring at all of her little things and just waiting....

Earlier in the week, we were surprised by some amazing friends who came to visit. Before our schedules were so erratic, we fed the missionaries dinner every third Sunday. We made some really awesome friends during that time, and one of those missionaries came back to visit us, but to our surprise, he brought with him Elder Ben Caddy! Caddy taught Sean the gospel when we were in Byrd Springs ward where he was baptized, and then Caddy was transferred to Winchester ward a year later and was able to go to the temple with us when we were sealed... what are the odds of that? :) It was so awesome to see him after so long. The boys stayed up all night playing video games while I slept (I'm such a party pooper), but we did get to go out for a nice dinner and catch up on lost time. We are so grateful for Caddy; he was everything Sean needed..a friend, a teacher, and a humble example of God's unconditional love. He truly changed our lives. Because of the sacrifice he made in choosing to go on a mission, we were able to become an eternal family, we are able to raise our family united in belief and faith, and we have been comforted through the gift of the spirit and in knowing of the plan of salvation as we have faced the many challenges that life has thrown our way. I can't imagine what life would be like if this sweet elder hadn't come into our lives and shared his testimony with my sweet hubby.
My heart is so full of gratitude and love as I look back on the events of last week. I am so thankful for the amazing friends that God has placed in my life and for the opportunity that He has given me to celebrate with them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Say What !?!

I had to let the pain wear off of this one before I blogged about it, so excuse my complaining if you've already heard my tragic story as well as the absence of a picture for obvious reasons...
So, I was casually walking into work the other morning when this random old lady stops me in the parking lot and says "Oh my, dear, you're only suppose to carry one baby at a time and look at you with two in your belly...bless your heart." (Just in case you were wondering..NO I'm not having twins. Apparently I'm just enormous!) Who says that to a complete stranger!?! People can be so rude! I didn't know what to say. I just stood there with my mouth gaping open and then slowly waddled away. Honestly it took everything I had not to whack that old lady with my purse and run away sobbing! A simple hi from her, or better yet, a mutual staring at the sidewalk and walking silently past each other would have been so much better than her ruining my day! Maybe I'm just sensitive, but this experience (along with several other random, hurtful comments people have blurted out) has caused me to wonder what impact I have on others. I know I am a completely introverted, social recluse, but I have decided to try and replace my social anxiety with words of kindness...people deserve to hear the incredible compliments I think in my head, right? :)
So after spending the majority of the week feeling like a beached whale, I was blessed with a cascade of miracles. I am SO grateful for the amazing people that God has placed in my life to strengthen me and comfort me and my family. I hope that when the time comes, I can find ways to repay the acts of kindness and compassion that so many people have given on my behalf, and that my mind will be constantly busy counting these blessings.

Veterans & Cheeseburgers

We went to the Veteran's Day parade on Tuesday. The parade was really nice this year. Drew loves all of the tanks and hummers and other huge army trucks. My heart was so full of appreciation for those who sacrifice their time and talents to provide me and my family with freedom and safety, and when I thought I couldn't be any more grateful for this beautiful country that we live in, I got a letter from my brother Michael. He is still serving in West Russia, and decided to share one of the many humbling experiences he's had. I tend to get caught up in the woes of politics and the frantics of the economy, but my sweet brother has reminded me of how truly privileged we are.
"As you might know, we have been trying to teach a family with five kids. It was such a strange sight to see a mother with five children on the street, I couldn´t help but talk to them. We also found out that we live in the same building, she knows a church member, and her son had already gone to our English club several times a couple of years ago. The mother´s name is Oksana, husband is Michael, and the children are Slava, jenya, katya, and I think the youngest two are Olga and Masha or something. But, I just recently found out all of these connections after meeting with them for a while. The story I´m going to tell is about the first time I went over to their house. Keep in mind that we had only talked to them on the street for about ten minutes, and we had only seen a glimpse or two of Michael. We had scheduled the meeting for Saturday evening at about sevenish. We had finished doing our contacting for the day, and we were already back in our apartment to go to theirs when we realized that we needed to run back to our branch building to grab some literature that we wanted to give them. When the elevator door opened, there was Michael, holding a double cheeseburger from McDonald´s. We didn´t really think anything of it, figuring that he just got back from worked, and had grabbed his dinner on the way. So, we said, ¨Hey, we´ll be there in ten!¨ and ran to the branch building to grab the pamphlets. We made it back and they politely invited us into their humble home. Their entire house is about the size of my normal sized bedroom at home, along with small bathroom. So, needless to say, each member of their family has quite the close relationship. After taking our shoes off and walking into their kitchen, I saw something that immediately touched my heart, basically to tears. There, on their tiny kitchen table, were two glasses of water; some bread and cheese; and two plates, each having a neatly cut half of a double-cheeseburger. Now, let me explain the circumstances a little more, as to why20this is so touching. Obviously, money is something they are always in need of. Eating at McDonald´s is probably something they consider a special occasion. This man, Michael, had never really even met us, but only knew what his wife had told him. Because of this, he decides to walk the forty minute walk to McDonald´s, stand the minimum thirty minute wait, order and pay for something that he knew he would not eat, and then carry this food all the way back with it´s temptuous smell another forty minutes back to his home.I had never had a harder time taking a bite of food in my entire life. Honestly, I wouldn´t have done it, if it where not for Oksana´s stern invitations to do so. Needless to say, I have quite the desire to bring this family into the gospel. This experience was quite the unique one, and was one I hardly felt I deserved. "

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Trick or Treat

Well...I'm a little late with my Halloween post, but I guess that's just the way it goes sometimes. We had a fun Halloween. We went to the trunk or treat at church. We decorated our trunk and even won a prize for it! Sean did an awesome job with the black lights & fog machines, & Drew helped pick the "scary things" to put in it. It was fun to watch the little kids come around and gather candy, and I enjoyed having a safe, friendly place to spend the holiday. Drew didn't want to dress up this year. He had a lot of fun playing carnival games with the kids in the gym and then walking around and seeing all of the decorated trunks, but he decided he didn't want to "dress up and ask for candy when he couldn't even eat it." My poor, deprived child :( At least he had fun anyway. Hopefully I can talk him into being a little more festive for Madison's first Halloween.

Drew lost his third tooth this week! This is the first one that I didn't pull out for him. He was messing around and kinda knocked it out accidentally, but took full credit for the brave act of "pulling out his own tooth." Crazy kid.

Other than the usual work, work, and more work, nothing much has happened. We did take a few minutes in between jobs to meet at the park one day this week. The weather was beautiful, the fall leaves were gorgeous, and it was nice to just spend a few moments relaxing with my boys. I love Autumn with all of its changes & brilliant colors, and I hope we can find more time this week to enjoy it together.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

Have I mentioned lately how amazing my hubby is? He has been working crazy-hard this week. He's working two part time jobs right now until he can find something better, but with the crummy economy, there's no telling how long that will take. I miss him while he's gone, but I'm in awe of his dedication to providing for us. I am so glad that I get to spend life with my friend, that we get to share life's experiences together, and that we can raise a family together. Through all of the ups & downs of life, I have found such comfort in the knowledge that I have a friend by my side for the journey.

Since our schedules have been a little askew and we were feigning for some family time, we checked Drew out of school early on Wednesday and went to Tate Farms. We had SO much fun! We played in the cotton and the corn, pet the farm animals, and took a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin. With the perfect fall weather & my boys at my side, it was the perfect day!