Peace Out 2020

We all know how 2020 was. I'm going to choose to focus on the good that happened in 2020 in this post. I'm not going to mention what kept everyone home and the unfortunate events that happened.

  1. Nate and I took a 10th anniversary trip to Branson. It was a great trip for us to be away and celebrate being married for 10 years. I still like him a lot.

  2. People all over Hoyleton and the surrounding areas put crosses in their yards for the Easter season.

  3. We traveled to Connecticut!

    The kids hanging out with Uncle Alex!

  4. Zach started Preschool!

  5. My kids have been able to attend school in person for the entire school year so far!

  6. The people of Hoyleton showed me the most intense love when I successfully had my appendix out in September.

  7. Zoe started dance!

  8. Max had successful spinal surgery!

  9. We went to visit my mom and sister in Georgia for Thanksgiving.

    Zoe and Victoria Decorating Victoria's Tree

  10. We purchased a new to us car and named him Floyd.

  11. We had great times with our friends family here in Hoyleton.

    Dressed up on Halloween as two of our favorite Hoyletonians, Rolan and Gerri Schnitker.

There was a lot to be thankful for in 2020, but you bet we are looking forward to 2021.

Blurry Christmas Cards


A few weeks ago, I picked up my Christmas cards. They were printed blurry. I don't know if it was my error or the error of the printing company. Normally, something like this would bother me to my core. I love sending out Christmas cards. I love perfecting the card and sending it out to all of our loves ones so that they see my sweet babies and get our Christmas greeting. However, this year has been full of events that have put things in perspective and simply left me too tired to go through the hassle. We've had my appendix surgery, Max's spinal surgery, Nate's kidney stones and the total loss of a vehicle due to an accident with a deer. And I think we honestly came out okay compared to many people I know. There were people who had a far worse year than we did. The Christmas cards being blurry is low on the list of worries. People will know who we are and they'll still think the kids are cute. 

Last week, another mom in a Facebook group that I am a part of asked what we are letting ourselves not worry about this Christmas. Some said not decorating or not having a big meal for Christmas. Mine was letting myself not care about the blurry Christmas cards. We all need to cut ourselves some slack this holiday season. Allow yourself to order Chinese on Christmas or Christmas Eve. Send out electronic Christmas cards or none at all. Give cash instead of scouring the stores for the perfect gift. Money is always a welcome gift. It's okay if everything isn't perfect. GUYS, we're living through a pandemic! That's enough to worry about it in and of itself. If one or two of your gifts arrive late to a loved one, it's all good because they're alive and safe. What's important is that we are here and that we celebrate the birth of Jesus.


Merry Christmas!

That's all for now! God is good! Enjoy our blurry 2020 Christmas card.

Home Sweet Hoyleton: No More Appendix, So Much Love

Beautiful Flowers from my friend Stephanie

So, most of you know that I recently had my appendix out. Well, here is how it all happened. On Labor Day, we decided to go out for dinner in Mt. Vernon. We hadn't taken the kids to a restaurant other than Kretzer's (our town restaurant) since the virus started. When we got home my stomach started hurting. I thought it was just indigestion. Then I thought, that's it. I tested the limits by going out to eat and now I have food poisoning. It continued to get worse so I called my friend Francee and asked her to bring her magical fix to everything over, Alka-Seltzer Gold. She swears by it. The problem is that the Alka-Seltzer didn't even touch it. The pain just got worse. I tried to go to bed and sleep it off. Eventually, Nate told me that it was time to get me checked out. Thankfully, Francee came to our rescue and slept on our couch so that we didn't have to wake up the kids. We headed to the ER. 

Now, I am not the calmest person when I have pain with an unknown source, so I tend to cry. I was a mess in the ER. I was in so much pain and scared that it was a complication from the gallbladder surgery that I had 3 years before. Well after getting scans and waiting for the results, they brought me back to a room. Poor Nate had to wait in the car for two hours due to COVID procedures. Thankfully, as soon as they got me into a room Nate was able to come in and I was given painkillers. The moment I got the painkillers, I apologized for all the crying to the nurses. They admitted me because they said that I either had appendicitis or a ruptured ovarian cyst. The radiologist and surgeon confirmed that it was appendicitis and I was to have surgery in the afternoon on Tuesday. They waited until the afternoon because I had to receive a COVID test. I had surgery. It went well and I came out of it feeling much better than when I had my gallbladder out. 

While I was having excellent care in the hospital, Hoyleton was doing an excellent job caring for our family. Francee stayed with the kids overnight on Monday and then took care of Zoe after school, taking her to dance and having her spend the night. Tina took Zach and Max all day on Tuesday and kept them until Nate was back from the hospital. Between my friends Haley, Tina, Marilyn, Deb, Francee and probably others that I don't even know about, the kids were taken care of so that I could rest on Wednesday and Thursday and Nate could get what he needed done for Sunday. That was a huge blessing because if I had to take care of the kids when I got home, there wouldn't have been enough resting for me to heal. The Guinzy family took my kids today during confirmation so I could rest. We also have dinners being made for us through Tuesday evening. This is huge because while I can load the top rack of the dishwasher with ease right now, cooking an entire meal would probably exhaust me to my core. There have also been cookies, Diet Cokes, flowers, cards, texts and phone calls given and sent to me from our community. I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for their time and generosity. We feel so loved. 

All of this just proves my point that Hoyleton is the nicest place ever and if you disagree, I may have to fight you. These people are my village, my family and I don't know how we were so blessed to become part of this little piece of sweetness in Southern Illinois.

That's all for now. God is Good.

Max is 11 Months!

Picture Taken By My Friend Haley
Picture taken by my friend Haley

Max is growing and moving fast. He has big, sweet smiles. He has a silly personality. We love him so much. We did get an update when it comes to his surgery. We saw our excellent neurosurgeon at the end of last month. She said that he looks great. He will do great in surgery. His surgery is scheduled for September 30th.

Max likes:
  • His Mama
  • His family
  • Eating
  • Turkey Lunch Meat
  • Strawberries
  • Cruising around the furniture
  • Trying to walk
  • Looking out the front storm door
  • Falling asleep on Mommy
  • Falling asleep in his Zipadee Zip
  • Music
  • Being outside
  • Yogurt Melts
  • Eating everything he can find on the floor
  • Getting up early
  • Taking his brother's food when he's not looking

Max doesn't like:
  • Getting his diaper changed
  • Falling over
  • His brother and sister taking things from him
  • Being hungry
  • Being ignored

Being silly with Daddy

Handsome man sleeping

Serious Cardinals Fan

With sissy

So handsome

What's that mama?

He stole his brother's lunch and he thinks it's hilarious.

I cannot handle his cuteness.

We could not love this little man more and I can't believe that he's almost one.

That's all for now. God is good!

Max is 10 (and a half) Months

Max is 10 and a half months. Poor third kid, I am always behind. Max's personality is really starting to show. He hates having his diaper and/or clothes changed. He will alligator death roll away from me and then laugh. He's so silly. He loves to be held and he just started playing with Zach. Zach makes him laugh more than anyone. Zach just started school and when he comes home he always kisses Max. They love each other so much. He has an appointment on August 25th with his neurosurgeon to discuss when surgery will be.

Max likes:
  • His Mama
  • His family
  • Eating, especially solid food
  • Crawling
  • Falling asleep on Mommy
  • Falling asleep in his Zipadee Zip
  • Music
  • Playing with Zach
  • Being outside
  • Yogurt Melts
  • Eating everything he can find on the floor
  • Getting up early
  • Strawberries
  • Crackers
  • Pizza
  • Taking his brother's food when he's not looking

Max doesn't like:
  • When Mommy won't pick him up
  • When the car is not moving
  • Being hungry
  • When it's hot outside
  • Having his diaper changed
  • Having his clothes changed

Snuggly Guy

Jammies Play Time!

That smile gets me every time!

Don't make me come back there!

Yes, I know where I'm going!


So cute!

He loves strawberries!

Just stop.

Lil Buddy

So hard to be cute all the time.

That's all for now. God is good!