Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Lovin' - Will 4, Ellie 2

Over the last few months - we have had some major changes, some exciting changes!! We sold and bought a house!! After looking at a few houses, and MANY online every night, we thought perhaps we need to do the Prairie Village thing and just add on to our current home, b/c we love the location so much.  Once we had our minds made up, we found a house in Overland Park that checked off every box.  I told Patrick, I have to go see this house to make sure that we are making the right decision.  Well, we walked through it... and I could slowly see Patrick turning around.  The market is SO crazy right now... there was already several offers in less than 24 hours.  We had to make a decision and make it fast.  As we were driving away, Patrick and I were somewhat silent, and after about 5 minutes (it seemed like a long time, but probably wasn't!) he said - I think we should do it.   I was like- oh my gosh!! Really?? I said, let's turn back around and go drive around.  We need to find a church, school for kids, etc. :)   Anyway, we put in our offer, and found out that evening that we were second lowest offer, but the seller's wanted to sell to us, due to the letter we wrote to them with our offer.  Sometimes it pays off to write those!  Anyway, we ended up putting in one more offer and it was accepted!!  We got a 60 day close, which allowed us to get ours ready to put on the market, and luckily it sold within 24 hours (seriously, the market is absolutely CRAZY right now!!)  We are so lucky.  The inspections and all went smoothly, and we just moved in last weekend!! (July 14th)  After 4 days, there are lots of boxes unpacked, I feel more organized than I have in 5 year.... it's soul-cleansing to go through ALL your stuff, and sort through what you really need.  I purged quite a bit, and luckily my friend Erin is using a lot of our baby stuff, so I don't have it taking up space, but not getting rid of it, in case another little Altenhofen appears :)  (not in the plans right now... but you never know!)  Here are a few pics... and then you have to come over to see the rest.  We are updating the kitchen, so first 2 weeks of August we will have to be out of the house. Can't wait to see how it will change the look of the house!! EEE!! And the backyard... pretty much what we fell in love with.  It feels like a park in the middle of the city.  We are loving the location and everything right off 119th St., our neighbors have all been so warm and welcoming, and it's just felt like a really good fit.  Like we can spread out.  In fact, all I wanted to do is snow angels in our living room, b/c we actually have room for it now! :)  Come on over and see us when you are in KC ;)

In other news:
We have made several trips to the lake: Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and 4th of July.  Some lake pics:

First of all, I LOVE 4.  4 is the light at the end of the crazy-3-year-old phase.  Seriously.  It gets better people.  I wish I would have known that when he turned 3 and I wondered if my sweet boy would ever come back.  He did!! :)  I love when he is sweet to Ellie and tries teaching her what to do.... I love when he holds her hand when they cross a street or when he wants to protect her..... I love how he loves snuggling with his Mommy, seriously, it's the best!!.... I love how he is putting together more and more, and asks lots of good questions, how does that work, why does this happen... I love watching his wheels turn as he tries to figure things out.... I love how when he gets tired, any of these things could happen: either his feet hurt, he just doesn't hear anything we say, and says 'what' over and over, even when we are clearly speaking, or falls off chairs.  don't laugh. It's true :)  He loves playing T-ball - and is so aggressive he runs after any ball hit, even if not near him, and likes to slide into home base :)  It's been really fun to watch him play and he really loves it.  When he's on bases, he likes to find his Mommy and do a little thumbs-up dance to me :)  so sweet.  Love this kid and his sweet, sensitive self.  Keep snuggling with me buddy.... even when you are 45 like you tell me you still will.  I love how he twirls his hair just like Patrick while he's watching TV or concentrating on something... it's so fun for me to watch.  And I love (kind of) how I see so much of myself in the way he has a hard time falling asleep, and takes him a long time to wake up and get going in the morning.  It's hard for me to be too upset when I completely understand.  But, seriously, sometimes he will lay in bed either calling for us, or having excuses for why he needs to get up.  :) He's a goof!

Oh Ells, you are growing up so big, so fast.  You are talking more and more and have so much to say.  You and your brother could tie in the chatterbox competition.  I love watching you grow into such a beautiful little girl.  You make me and Daddy laugh EVERY day.  I love your scrunched up little smile, I really hope you never lose that!, and how you love to plop down on Mommy's lap still.  Seriously, I will never get tired of you sitting on my lap, and it's still one of your favorite spots.  I love how everything that Will does, you repeat 'I too?? I too??', and for the most part, you get to do whatever Will does.  You are our GREAT sleeper, please keep this up, and you go to sleep really easy (just like your Daddy) and wake up easy.  You love running and skipping and dancing - and it makes my heart so happy - when you get so excited you kind of gallop around.  I love it! Your hair is getting so long, you love brushing your hair out of your face.  You LOVE to take your shoes off in the car, even if it's only a 5 minute ride, you take them off and drive us bonkers :)  You LOVE your apple juice and ask for it constantly, and love your Mickey Mouse.  One of my favorite things though is how much you love on your baby dolls.  You are such a little Mama to them, and you love putting blankets on them, and you have to lay the blanket out just perfectly, it can take you 10 minutes just making sure the blanket is arranged right, and the baby has to be laying face down.  It honestly can look like a morgue after Ellie comes through the room... with baby dolls laying around the house with blankets covering them :) You like to shush your babies, rock them, and sing to them.  Old McDonald, ABC's, and Wheels on the Bus are your favorite songs.  Old McDonald always has to have a cow, or you get upset.  When you are in new situations, like in the new house, in your new room at school, you just sit quietly and take it all in.  We can see how brave you are being, and it is so sweet.  You are my brave girl, you are my sweet girl, and you have a heart of gold, I can already tell.  I love you sweet girl, I hope you always know how happy you make me.

That's all for now!  We are blessed beyond belief, and I thank God everyday for this wonderful life.  I just keep feeling more content, more at peace, and more joy in my heart than I ever thought possible.  God Bless!

Marco Island - June 11-17

We got to go on a wonderful family vacation this year!! In the winter months, we like to plan a summer beach vacation and Marco Island was a great choice.  We went in not knowing too much about it, and got some great recommendations.  We also were planning our trip for early June, and came to find out Patrick's younger brother Joe, and Michelle, Elaina and Liam were all planning a beach vacation in Florida around that time.  So we thought, why not go together and get a house and share it... it was a great idea!! We had so much fun with them, was so great for the kids to have their cousins to play with, and us adults had fun - especially after the kids went to bed.  Highlight of the trip- was our first day we rented a pontoon boat (we quickly realized that me driving the boat was NOT a good thing for our marriage... and I quickly took my seat back on the passenger side :)) and we got to see LOTS of dolphins swimming right up to us.  It was amazing and one of the coolest and unexpected things I have experienced.

We had lots of beach days - thankfully Will loved the water and being in it... Ellie was mostly interested in just eating snacks while on the beach.  And I mostly tried to not stress out about the sand everywhere and her eating sand mixed with her goldfish.  :)  We got some great sun, great relaxing and Patrick and I even got a date night!!

Kids did great on the plane - one highlight was Ellie started dozing off, and ended up falling asleep on the passenger stranger next to her!! He was asleep too, but woke up and was a great sport and allowed her to snuggle up to him :)  I enjoyed some time reading my book.  haha.

Wonderful trip - Marco has great shells that were fun to collect, the kids loved swimming in the pool at the house, and then usually was naps, and then on the beach.  Love that the hardest decision of the day was what we wanted to drink or where to eat :)  Ahhhh, vacations are the greatest!!