Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Resolution: Read More Books

So my resolution in 2014 was pretty simple: read more books. I love reading, but felt like I wasn't doing enough of it. I was getting sucked into mindless things like Facebook, TV shows, and the internets (plural). In 2013 - I probably read 3 books...which was depressing and ridiculous. My goal for 2014 was 12 books - and I read 17...pretty much 95% of them Jan-Aug (before Nolan arrived)!

I read on my phone a lot, because I can do it while I'm feeding Nolan (one handed) and also while waiting for Jack's school to get out. The Kindle app is pretty nice.

Here is a list of the books I read, along with each book's Amazon link (in case you want to read it, too). Keep in mind - I was pregnant for most of 2014, so some of my book choices were swayed by my uterus.

1.  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
2. The Storyteller by Josie Picoult
3. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
6. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
8. Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Midwife by Peggy Vincent
9. Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block
10. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
11. The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
12. Coming Home by Priscilla Glenn
13. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
14. A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
15. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
16. Carry On Warrior by Glennon Melton
17. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (second time reading)

My goal for 2015 is to continue reading! And Tyson and I have some goals we are working on, as well. We are also making the kids set some goals... We'll see how that goes.

If you have book recommendations, please send them my way!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Morning

Tyson and I made a pact when Jack was little that we'd spend Christmas morning at home. We know it can be inconvenient for family, but it's important for us that we have our own family traditions. So waking up Christmas morning is something we both look forward to! Unfortunately, Santa was quite the procrastinator this year...so he was up VERY late on Christmas Eve. Very late.

Nolan woke me up at 6am...claiming he heard Santa. I tried to get him back to sleep, but he was having NONE OF THAT. So we sat up and waited for Jack. I knew it would be Jack who woke up first....why? Because Josie is a 16 year old, trapped in a 3 year old's body. She hates waking up early. Even Christmas morning...she was all, "Awwwww, man. I'm ti-ward." Really?!?
So Santa didn't get crazy this year. He saw our basement toy area and he knew what was up... Mom's patience. So he played it cool. There were a few toys under the tree...but then he left a note:

 Chef Josephine got a new kitchen!
 And Officer Jack got his very own Police Car! (see why Santa was up so late?!?)
 And Noley finally got a nap. But then he woke up later and played with his toys!
Hope everyone had a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Here is Officer Jack patrolling the dangerous streets of Northville:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Home for an Early Christmas

We were back in Indiana for most of last week - celebrating Christmas early with both sides of the family. We officially added three new members to the Clevenger family - which gave all of us a HUGE reason to celebrate!
 We also celebrated an IU win over Butler.
And a Lions win over the Bears. Nolan is really filling out his Stafford jersey. I believe Jack wore this when he was just shy of ONE. So, yeah.
After a couple days in Warsaw, we spent some time in Fort Wayne. Devin & Kristin are in Idaho for the holidays, awaiting the arrival of our niece (due in February). We missed them!
Jack, Nolan, and I stopped by the Carsten house to see Julia and her boys. Jack LOVES seeing his buddies...and I believe Nolan will feel the same excitement soon enough. It's always a super hero convention when they're all together.
We celebrated with Nancy's side of the family on the 23rd. Nolan really wanted to party - but it's so hard to meet so many new people. He was exhausted.
After a brief nap...he shed his Christmas overalls (which were a little snug - shocker) and met his second cousin, John. John is from NYC. He's four months older than Nolan and quickly gave him a right hook. NYC > DETROIT...for now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

God Mother Duties

This past Saturday I was honored to attend the baptism of Mary Katharine Norton. She's my God Daughter and she's perfect. Her mommy, Carrie, and I met in grad school. We've spent a lot of years being pregnant together, wearing sweatpants, drinking coffee, discussing Detroit sports, and basking in the beauty of motherhood. She's my sounding board on days when I just need to vent. Judgement-free zone.

As always - big sister, Greta, was holding down the after-party...Paw Patrol Style.

While I'm not catholic - I LOVED the service for MK and feel so blessed to be part of her life. Would it be weird if someday her God Mother becomes her mother-in-law? I think I saw Nolan checking her out.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Stuff...and Santa

Christmas is coming. That's the finish line for me. Even if I'm wrapping presents right up until I go to bed on Christmas Eve...Christmas Day will be responsibility-free (aside from the parenting gig).

Here are a few things we've been up to...
Nolan has been gnawing on my fingers whenever he can get them near his mouth. It's gross AND it hurts! So I convinced Santa to give him a teething toy a little early. It's called an appe-teether (like appetizer) and it's shaped like broccoli. Genius. Also - I'm 90% convinced he will have brown eyes! BROWN!
Jack & Josie spent a good hour playing in Josie's closet. I mean, really. Maybe not the safest place in the house to play...but they were LOVING it...they weren't fighting...and they had fun. Go with it.
And Sunday afternoon we stopped by our local mall to see the BIG man. It was his first time meeting Nolan. Nolan is on the "perfect list" - VERY hard to get on that one. Could be the ONLY year he's on it...not gonna lie...I know his siblings and their history. 

Santa didn't even recognize Josie...she has gotten so much more hair in the last year! And Jack, well - he knew Jack! GOOD NEWS! They're all in Santa's good graces. Phew. We told him we'd leave him cookies & milk. 

I made a mental note to make sure I get cookies for Santa this week at Costco.

PS: I'd like to thank TAYLOR SWIFT and her new album (1989) for getting me through the "CRAZY CHRISTMAS SEASON." And if anyone knows any 9 year old girls who need a chaperone to her concert, feel free to pass my name along. ;)

Friday, December 5, 2014

It's Friday!

Happy Friday! I'll be spending my weekend pushing wine cups. Super huge thanks to Nancy for coming to help...because this feels like a lot. I know it isn't - in the bigger picture, but in this actual moment, it feels like a lot is going on and I'm barely hanging on.

I tried to sneak out last night for a Mom's Night Out Christmas party. I got a text from Tyson at 10 that said Nolan refused to sleep. Love that boy, but he has "mommy issues" :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Uncle Joe's BDay

Throwback to...maybe 1985? Joe was a VERY chunky one year old and I was an unamused 3 year old. I look absolutely thrilled to be holding him. Josie and Nolan recreated this pic the other day {unknowingly}.

Ironically - today is Joe's 31st birthday! We send you BIG Becker hugs from Michigan.

Bear with me for the next few weeks. I apologize for the lack of posts. Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday have me buried in orders. Thankful...but tired.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Happy Anniversary to Tyson! We are celebrating NINE years today! Life is hard, marriage is hard, kids only add to the "hard" - but he's been my best friend since the day we met at DePauw...and I love him so much.

Here are some highlights of our years...
 The very first picture we took together - Sept 2000
 Just me and my best friend..."I could NEVER date Tyson"...
 Oh wait, never mind. Married November 26, 2005
We QUICKLY added to our family...with our Cleveland street dog, Cooper.
And then our family just kept growing!

We've dealt with our fair share of this:
And PLENTY of this:
 Our kids are SO lucky to have you as their Daddy!
And I'm blessed to have you as my husband. You still make me laugh...even when I'm REALLY mad at you. You are my birthing coach (x3) and I must say, we're a good team. You are my sounding board, the person who keeps me grounded, and the person I couldn't live without. And all these years later - you're still my best friend. I love you.

PS: Next year is #10...and we will FINALLY take our honeymoon. That's final. Now who wants to watch our three kids?!?!

Monday, November 24, 2014

That moment...

That moment Nolan realized his Daddy can get "a little crazy" about IU basketball. Go Hoosiers.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Josie is {almost} 3!

So I recently realized that Josie will forever have a birthday that interferes with two important things: 1) her parents' anniversary and 2) Thanksgiving. Our anniversary doesn't mean too much right now - but LOOK OUT - pretty soon we will be traveling to exotic locations. {probably not} But Thanksgiving is a legitimate concern because her friends will probably always be out of town or busy. Poor Jos.
Since her cousins were coming to town, I called up Betty's Cake Shop and we planned a Birthday Party for the {almost} 3 year old.
Tyson's cousin Blake, his gf, Laura, and Nuala came to celebrate with us!
Bad News: my camera was on a weird setting and all of the fun pictures - party scene, blowing out candles, etc. turned out blurry. The Good News: Josie had a blast! She loved having people sing to her, she loved blowing out her candle, she probably won't miss the crummy pictures.
That's the face of a very happy {almost} 3 year old! The booze in the background were for the After  Party. Adults only.
And - it's official - she's a BIG GIRL! She has her very own sleeping bag!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Snow. Seriously.

Unfortunately snow season is upon us. I used to think winter was only a few months - but then last winter was so long, I'm still scarred from it. So when snow started falling on Metro Detroit - it was everything in me not to start cussing out Mother Nature. Because, seriously.

Of course, I tried to stifle my disgust - Jack and Josie were so excited and really wanted to play outside.

15 minutes to get gear on, 10 minutes of playing in the snow, 15 minutes to get the gear off.
Lord, help me.

If you live in a state that thinks 50 degrees is cold...{ahem, Florida!} - we don't want to hear about how awful it is to throw on a sweatshirt before you leave the house. And here's a heads-up...if this snow BS continues - you may just have "Becker Party of 5" (plus two dogs) knocking on your door. Except we will have a moving truck instead of a suitcase. #truth

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nolan is 3 Months old!

This little guy is 3 months old today! Its getting hard to remember life before he came along - but that could be the 3 months of not getting a full night of sleep...
Regardless - it is safe to say he is very well loved on in this house! He is smiling so much and has even let out a few giggles. So far I'd say he reminds me of his big brother. Which means I will need significantly more booze in my life in about 12 months! {send wine}.
See what I mean...so much love.
Ridiculous amounts of love.
I keep telling him to enjoy it while it lasts because pretty soon they will be ratting on him for everything from breaking their toys to sneaking beer from the fridge.

Happy 3 months, NoNo. We all love you to the moon!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Me & my Boo

Just messing around with my new computer (early Christmas gift)! Nolan wasn't as excited about it as I was.
That's me with twin Nolans. I kind of look pissed. Probably good I have babies one at a time.
Oh and this is me with my identical siamese twin. We both had babies - and we're freaked out by it.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for providing me (and my children) with endless entertainment via PhotoBooth on Apple Computers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh Josie, oh boy, oh boy

The Carsten Family came to visit us last weekend! It always fun to spend time with them! We now have 5 boys and Josie is the lone girl.
 The older boys tuned in to some Saturday morning cartoons.
Devin is 16 months now and he is getting WAY too big, WAY too fast. He has an ornery side - which I find hilarious, because I once had a very ornery 16th old boy.
Nolan - chilling with the dads. "Is it always this crazy? Because I can't wait to join in the fun!"
A big ol' pile of kids. Six kids - ages 5 and under.

So you may be wondering if the parents enjoyed some adult beverages...answer YES.
 The first three outtakes of a group picture.

And then finally one that worked:

It's always so fun catching up with the Carsten family! You can see some of our other get togethers HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.