How I Want to Remember Motherhood...

On Christmas Eve, I like to take pictures of the kids in front of the Christmas Tree. This Christmas Eve I jumped in the pictures with the kids and Nate was a good sport and took some pictures of me and the kids. Later on I was going through all of the pictures. A lot of them are blurry because of poor lighting but they are still cute. My kids are dressed in their Christmas outfits and the tree is so pretty behind them. I love these Christmas pictures. 

I mean look at that boy! Do they make them more handsome than him? I really don't think so.

Here's one that's a bit better of my sweet girl. She is just so silly when it comes to smiling in pictures. 

Anyway, while I was looking through the pictures, I found this one:

This picture is not hang on the wall worthy. It is blurry, no one is looking at the camera. Zach is about to destroy the wrapped gifts or the Christmas tree. I was looking at all those things and then I looked at my face in the picture. I'm so happy. Everything is a mess with this photo and I'm so happy. This picture pretty much sums up my life as a mom. It is a mess. It is hard. I'm trying to corral two kids and look somewhat put together. However, I'm laughing. In this moment I'm not thinking about how poorly this picture is going to turn out. I am not thinking about the gifts that aren't wrapped yet. I'm not thinking about the mess in the rest of the living room that I need to clean up before they get up in the morning to unwrap their gifts. I'm not thinking about the mountain of laundry that sits beneath us in the basement. All I was thinking about in that moment was how I love my babies and how much they were making me laugh. I hope that my time with my kids at home is mostly remembered like this. I hope that when I look back I remember the laughing and the sweet faces and not all the chores. I hope I remember motherhood like this picture.

That's all for now. God is good.

Things that happened in 2018!

2018 was a good year in the Wollenberg household. I think I am most thankful for a mostly healthy year for our family. Zoe has been given a good bill of health from her urologist and doesn't have to go back to get checked for 2-3 years.

Here are some things that happened in 2018 in no specific order.

Zoe turned four years old and Zach turned one. They are both growing like crazy. I feel like they are so grown up already. Sometimes I forget that Zoe is only four. She talks like she's sixteen some days. Today she told Nate and I that two of the Kindergarteners almost kissed. I don't think we're ready for that kind of drama yet. Zach is our climber and daredevil. He is also a charmer and a comedian.

We got to see a lot of our friends over the summer. I especially got to see a lot of my girlfriends from college. It was so nice to catch up. When we lived in McAllen we only could afford to visit family and now we are in the middle of the country so we can drive to see friends and they can come see us. I had my friends, Katie, Shannon and Rachel come to visit. We also took a trip to Michigan to see our seminary friends and visited Cincinnati on the way back. I was able to even see some friends from high school.

Zoe started playing soccer, making me a minivan driving, soccer mom. I embraced it. However, I much preferred when the weather was cold for soccer and not hot. I think indoor sports will be my favorite.

Zach went to his first Cardinals game over the summer. He is clearly already a fan.
Nate completed his second year as the pastor of Trinity in Hoyleton. He is SUPER busy but we still love it here so much! We are so blessed to be here.

We experienced our first Hoyleton Hofbraufest. It was awesome. The weather was perfect. Zoe competed in the princess contest, which meant she got to ride on a float in the parade. Nate lead the way for our church float which was fantastic. I took pictures and hung out with everyone watching.

I started about 700 new hobbies. Okay, it wasn't that many, but it made me busier than usual. I started crafting and selling some of my crafts. I so much enjoy making things for people, but I have never had a busier December. I think I will come up with a better way of doing things next year. I also started a podcast which has been on the back-burner but will be back in 2019!

Nate and I celebrated 8 years of marriage. It has been a crazy ride so far but there's no one I would rather ride the roller coaster of life with.

Nate got together with my in-laws and my mom to get me a trip to see CELINE DION IN CONCERT IN LAS VEGAS!!!!! This will take place in May 2019 but the gift was received in 2018 which pretty much made Christmas 2018 super fabulous. I have been wanting to see Celine in concert since I was a little girl. She is ending her time in Vegas, so the time is now! I was completely surprised and can't wait. I have the best husband. He is making one of my dreams come true and giving me a much needed break from the kids.
Thanks for supporting our family with your love, listening to my podcast and reading this blog! Happy New Year. That's all for now! God is good!

When You Think Hidden Valley tastes like Paste

This is just a random post so that the people that I tell about my homemade ranch dressing can find the recipe that I use. See, in my house we LOVE ranch dressing. The rest of my family will eat store bought. Mommy though thinks that it is WAAAAY too thick. I LOVE restaurant ranch dressing, especially Chili's. So, I scoured the internet trying to find a copycat. I came across this recipe and while I wouldn't say it is the same as Chili's, it is super delicious. I would recommend using real buttermilk and I water it down to the consistency that I like. Hope you like this recipe.

Recipe from Top Secret Recipes - You can click on the link to visit their website for this recipe.

1 teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning (Buttermilk Recipe)
1 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper.
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika 

1. Mix all together
2. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. (I like to wait overnight).

If you're like me and your family eats a crazy ton of this stuff. You can double, triple or quadruple the recipe. I quadrupled it the last time I made it and it worked out great.

That's all for now. God is good.

Zach is 18 Months!

Our handsome little hunk of love is 18 months!! I can't believe he's so grown up. He got his haircut and he looks like a handsome little boy. He still feels like my baby though. This week he has started putting two and three words together. Those words may have been "Go away" and "I said no!" to his sister, but those are just little details. He asks to go outside pretty much from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed. He may have stolen Mommy's heart. His sister is still Mommy's best girl though, don't worry about that.

Zach likes:

  • His Family
  • Messing with His Sister
  • Snuggles
  • Meat
  • Applesauce
  • Eating
  • Baths
  • Cheese
  • Sesame Street
  • Elmo
  • Dancing
  • Cheez-itz
  • Goldfish
  • Apples
  • Sleeping
  • Basketballs, Soccer balls, Nerf balls, Baseballs (I think you get the picture.)
  • Crayons
  • Anything that Zoe is playing with
  • Anything that Zoe is eating
  • Animals and Bugs
  • Climbing
  • Danger
  • Stairs
  • Slides
  • Potato Chips
  • Music

Zach doesn't like:

  • Having his hair washed
  • Shots
  • Getting in his car seat
  • Getting his nails clipped
  • Electric Hair Trimmers
  • Diaper Changes
  • Getting out of the bath

Zach is unsure about:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Jello
Here are some sweet pics of our little man:

I love pictures of him sleeping so sweetly.

This boy and his little feet. Eeeeee!

Little Boy level 10


First Haircut

Little Swimmer

We took a trip to McAllen and saw Aunt Sherri. We love her.

His first Cardinals game.

Love Love Love

Wild Thing

Two Wild Things

Another sweet sleeper

Cardinals fan

He loves to relax!

We might be in love with him. He's such a silly guy and we're so blessed to have him.

That's all for now. God is good!

And Just Like That...I'm a Soccer Mom

Zoe started soccer about a month ago. First of all, how am I already here? She was born yesterday and now she's in soccer? Secondly, I can't believe my kid is playing soccer. She does not come from a family of runners. The fact that my child is going to spend an hour running around a field is a surprise. Plus, have you seen how big regular soccer fields are? I haven't voluntarily ran anywhere in years. Maybe if you had someone driving a car with a copious amount of nachos on it, I may run after it. If a bear is chasing me or my children I would run, but anything else? Probably not.

The worry with your kid starting a sport is that you become that insane soccer mom that yells at your kid, the coaches and the refs. If I start doing that, please, please someone throw a bag over my head and drag me to the car. Unless I am yelling at my child to stop posing for the camera and play the game. If that's the case, please help, maybe she will listen to you.

But seriously, how does this happen? When you're younger it seems so far away. You are waiting for the day when you fall in love with your spouse. You wait for the day when you have a family. Then suddenly, bam, driving to soccer practice. Nothing makes you feel more like an adult than driving a kid to soccer practice, okay maybe buying a washing machine comes close. I can't believe I'm here. I can't believe my sweet baby girl is starting sports and school and also wants to take piano lessons. I can't believe that I am so blessed. Don't get me wrong... Many are my days are so tiring and tough, I just want to start over. How, how did the toddler get the scissors from the middle of the kitchen table without climbing up there? How is it possible that my kid has another rash and it's one that looks completely different from the last six rashes? Running toward the street and seeing if mom can catch me is NOT a funny game. Would I change it? No. Will I lose my mind? Possibly. I love my family and I love my life, soccer games and all.

Soccer has been good. She's had some ups and downs. The first week she walked up to the other kids and said, "I'm the best kicker!" but then she didn't understand why they weren't taking turns to kick the ball so she cried for almost the entire time. It also doesn't help that soccer is at dinner time. Heat + Running + Hanger = meltdown, not only for me but for her as well. The next few times have been pretty good. She likes running around and making goals. She especially loves the trips to Dairy Queen for dinner after her games.

Ready to start!

Her buddy Lydia is playing too!

Throwing the ball in like a boss.

Go Zo!

Little bit of Sass...

Her biggest fan!

He's cute.

That's all for now. God is good.