Monday, January 18, 2016

The Dubsmash Craze

Do your kids always get along? Be honest. And if you're still answering 'yes', then we can't be friends. Mine are the kids that are pushing each other's buttons within 2 minutes of being awake. As soon as they are in the car, there's arguing and mocking before we even leave the school parking lot. I'm pretty sure the boys would wrestle in their sleep if they shared a bed.

So when they play together, or work together, or stand up for each other, or ask to sleep in each other's room, it warms this momma's heart.

The other night, they were working together to avoid bedtime. The boys wanted to stay up and watch the Football Championship. The girls wanted to stay up because the boys were up. The parents wanted silence and peace. That's when it happened. It was almost as if they realized the power they had together. They each pulled out their iPods and asked to show "just one thing" to me.

I started laughing.

"Shane have you seen these?"

It worked. We spent almost an hour laughing and trying to get Daddy to tape one too.

Yes, Dubsmash, the you and the kids won that round!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How Long Has It Been?

It's unbelievable to me that I haven't blogged regularly in so long. I can remember looking forward to my time on the couch every night that I could sit down and sort through my thoughts about the day via blogging. I miss reading about my friends and what they're up to. Although I have started following many of my former blog bodies on Instagram and Facebook. Somehow, that's not the same as seeing a new blog post come across my reading list. And honestly, I'd love to get off Facebook all together! Looking over the last few posts that I did write, I do see a theme of "I'm going to get back to this!" And yet still, there aren't a steady flow of posts following that moment of clarity.

But that's not why I'm here tonight.

I'm not really sure exactly why I am.

Yet, it totally makes sense that I am! And I'm so thankful to be tapping on these keys.

Here's my list of excuses for not blogging in a nutshell (don't want to bore you too much):

  1. Kids. Yup. Not exactly something that I suddenly happened upon, but suddenly their bedtimes weren't as early. They required more of my day. More of my life. More of my vigor and spark. By the time I sat on the couch I just couldn't muster the energy to make a complete sentence. SOLUTION: Oh well, suck it up Amy. Sit and make time for yourself to unload the craziness (and a ton of great memories). It's so much cheaper than therapy!
  2. The computer. Remember when I got my new Sony laptop and it was all mine!? It was even engraved!!! Well, it quickly became the secondary homework computer. Plus, my husband started using it for any of his personal computer needs rather than using his work laptop (smart, I guess). And before I knew it, the "new" became "old". It happens in the blink of an eye with technology. SOLUTION: I bought a new (to me) laptop. Couldn't beat the price! Another advantage of having parents that love to stay current with their technology. Yes, my mom's Mac is newer and better than mine. What's your point?
  3. I remember back school, my English teacher used to say that a list isn't a list unless there are 3 items on it. Well...I can't really think of a third thing to put here. So just pretend, will ya?

I'm not making any promises, but this feels good. This feels like the good old days. I can't wait to start putting some stories to paper (or screen). Starting my "To Blog" list now. STAY TUNED...

In the's an updated family shot...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hut Hut Hike!

It's a whole new experience, the world of football!

We dipped our toes in the water last fall. Zoe decided to try cheerleading last year to meet "town friends". Minimal commitment. A chance for her to flip around, yell loudly, and wear a short skirt. Custom made for Zoe! Me, however, not so much.  I am NOT a cheer mom.  No offense to any of you that are...but it's not me. Maybe it didn't help that I was busier than busy! Zoe was also playing soccer on her middle school soccer team. Ty was playing soccer (practice 2x/week and 1 game) and Fall baseball (practice 1x/week and at least one game). Plus, the triplets were finally old enough for town soccer. That was 2 more teams (I kept Eli and Cole on the same team but our town doesn't have coed teams so Ava was on her own) with a practice and a game each week. So...adding in a Saturday night (and sometimes Sunday afternoon) football game where I was cheering on a cheerleader and didn't really know anyone else, wasn't exactly my first choice. It wasn't horrible. I got used to it.  And Zoe absolutely loved it! 

The past few years, Ty has asked to play football.  He has never followed, through.  He's always decided to do soccer instead.  But this year, he asked again.  So did Eli.  Zoe still wanted to cheer. That put us over the family max for registration costs so I made an executive decision: We were going to be a football family this fall! No fall baseball.  No soccer (aside from Zoe playing for the MS team). Just football and cheer.  Cole could give it a shot.  Ava could cheer.  Done!

Fast forward to the summer.  Vacations being scheduled. Baseball wrapping up.  School supply lists coming out. And suddenly I find my email inbox inundated with emails from all sorts of coaches: football camp, cheer camp, equipment pickup, weigh ins, uniform distribution, halftime routines, cheer showcases, A teams, B teams, play books, half rack, full pads...AHHHHH! What had I done?

Yes, there was a major August time commitment, but that was the least of my worries.  I've always considered myself "the son my father always wanted" when it came to sports (yes, I know I have 2 brothers, but I was clearly the most interested kid in the family) and I can definitely talk baseball or basketball with the best of them. But football? It's a whole new language.  I'm not talking AFC, NFC, rivalries, penalties or rules. And I'm not even talking formations, positions, running patterns or tackling techniques.  Have any of you ever attempted to dress a football player? Pads...girdles...mouth guards...chin straps...Under Armor...helmets...practice pants...etc. I was just a little overwhelmed, to say the least.  Not to mention, I hadn't yet even attempted to put the right pads in the right places...the right the right times! How was I going to keep it all straight?

Initially, there was excitement about the season. They were psyched to try on equipment. They wore the helmets around the house. They slept in their Under Armor. They fell asleep studying their playbooks. They asked for a daily countdown to the first practice.

And then it happened.  Reality set in.  The thought of voluntarily throwing yourself at another player...possibly larger than yourself...suddenly didn't sound fun. It sounded scary! There were tears. There were requests to quit. There were excuses made to attempt to skip practice. But the boys all assured me that I couldn't!

Yes, it was a rough start to the season. Yes, it was a learning curve (for the record, "half rack" means just shoulder pads and helmet.) Yes, there were moments of me bribing the boys to get to practice. And yes, there was Picture Day, aka: "The day mom lost her mind and swore we would never be allowed to do another after-school activity ever!"

But then there were the moments that made Momma proud. Like Cole smirking and telling me, "MAYBE he would play again next year!" Or Ty asking if he could continue to practice with the playoff team even though he's not going to get into another game. Or Eli and Cole leading warm-up drills for their team. Or Zoe doing multiple round-off back handsprings across the front of her squad in formation during the Cheer Showcase. Or Ava with blue lips cheering her heart out for her brothers on a rainy sideline.

I'm not sure what the 2015 season will hold. I have a feeling I'll be splitting time between football and soccer. But I can tell you that I'm actually going to miss football if the boys decide not to do it again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Surprise Gems

The problem with living in the "Electronic Age" (is that even what it's called?) is that there are 1000 different gadgets recording our lives and laying around our house. There's my phone, Zoe's iPod, Ty iPod, the iPad, my galaxy camera, my DSLR, and the kids' camera.  Remember when there was one family camera that had a roll (or disc) of film in it with the ability to capture 24, 36 or (hold on to your seat) 48 images that would take WEEKS for you to remember to drop off at the camera store and even longer for you to remember to go back and pick up the 3x5 glossy prints that sometimes (if you had a coupon) you would order doubles of? Then you'd put the negatives somewhere safe "in case you ever wanted another copy"? (Remind me to tell you about the camera I sent Zoe to sleep-away camp with.)
Well today, I spent a good chuck of my afternoon uploading pictures to my laptop from those various gadgets. The best part? Finding gems like these:
And of course...the videos!  Oh boy...
It's almost as good as getting pictures back months after they were taken.  You never know what you're gonna get!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Memory Lane

I just came back from a long walk down memory lane...and boy are my legs tired!
Remember when I would post (somewhat) nightly about the goings on here in Higbyland? How did I have the energy? How did I have the time? How did I get control of the laptop long enough?
I miss it.
And rather than promise that I'm going to get back on the blogging bandwagon, I'm just going to update you on what's new and exciting here. You say "exciting", I say "crazy". I really don't know where to start.  It's been almost a year and a half! How about some quick and dirty updates?

Zoe...12...7th grade
Soccer Player
School-work Hater
Social Butterfly
New owner of her first cell phone (which was taken away for the first time less than a week after she received it. Momma likes the new punishment possibility!)
Ty...10...5th grader...
Baseball Lover
Football Tolerator (he actually loves it...but is a little slow to admit it)
Smartie Pants
The triplets...7!  Yes, SEVEN! How'd that happen?  They're in 2nd grade! They couldn't be more different. Their first day of Kindergarten, I sat at Starbucks in shock.  We had survived.  We'd lived through toddler years and actually managed to send them to school in one piece.

The boys are currently playing football (Eli wanted to...I made Cole). Eli loves it. Cole puts up with it. Last fall we did soccer and it was about the same level of enthusiasm...thumbs up from Eli...tolerance from Cole. Same with Spring and Baseball.  Eli is clearly the sports kid.  LOVES the NY Giants, NY Yankees, and Sportscenter. Cole would rather read, color, or jump on the trampoline.


Ava is a teenager trapped in a 7 year old's body.  Yes, she's still small.  But her attitude and personality aren't.  Occasionally, things will come out of her mouth like, "B-T-dubs...I invited Ashleigh over after school tomorrow!" She's cheering for Cole and Eli on the football sidelines. And is reading Junie B Jones or Young Cam Jansen anytime she isn't running around outside or playing Club Penguins with her friends.

As for me...same old same old. Not running as much as I was. Have given up on scrapbooking and learning to use my DSLR. Have taken up hot yoga. Really wish there were more hours in the day to get through my To Do List.

That didn't take so long!
See you all again soon...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

GymFest 2013

I'm pretty sure I've posted a bazillion (yes that's a word) times before about my girls and their gymnastic skills. What can I say?  I'm a proud momma!  A few weeks ago, they had their annual GymFest.  Neither of them compete (I'm so not ready for that...and thankfully...neither are they) so this is the one time during the year that they can show us what they're really working on.  Well, aside from the handstands, splits and cartwheels in the Family Room.

Since they are both in "special" classes (Zoe is in Advanced and Ava is in Development) they were given specific shows that they were to go to.  So basically, we spent an entire morning at the US Gymnastics Center.

Ava was first...

I'm not sure if her love of gymnastics is a true love of the sport or the fact that she gets to hang with BFF Ashleigh for an additional 2 hours every week.

She's very proud of her handstand, back bend, and split!


I'm amazed at how much more confident she's gotten this year. There were days in September that she needed to be pealed out of my arms.  But now, she runs right in to Betta!

After Ava, it was Zoe's turn.  Some of her siblings weren't thrilled to be staying, but a bag of skittles and free reign with Dad's phone and the iPad made them forget they were about to sit through another two hours of gymnastics.

Zoe is more of a "let's see how high I can fly" type of Gymnast. Don't get me wrong, she cares about her handstands and cartwheels (on the beam) and her splits (they freak out Dad), but she loves to jump. High!

And dive.

I enjoy watching her get as much energy out as possible.  It's really quite incredible!

Huge props to her coaches that have to harness that energy...along with a dozen other girls just like her!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bread - It makes me happy

Anyone who knows me, knows that I enjoy baking.  But by "baking", I mean pies, cookies, cakes, etc.  And every Christmas, I've coveted my friends' Kitchen Aid mixers. Honestly, it wasn't even JUST Christmas that I got a little green with envy.  Anytime I took out that hand mixer and tried to cream not-yet-room-temperature butter. But guess what I got for my birthday?  (Did you read that in the sing-song rhythm that I typed it? No? Go back and read it again.)

Yup, I am finally a full blown baker!  Well...not quite, my eyes, one must be able to make bread before they can claim the title of "Baker".  I think it's the yeast that scares me. So, naturally, I attacked that challenge first!

It wasn't a complete disaster, but clearly, I needed to call in a professional.  My friend Emily is in the midst of adopting a little girl.  To help raise money for the extreme cost, she is doing auctions and making dinners.  She makes delicious bread.  De. Lish. Us. Bread.  Naturally, she was my first call.  We pulled out our calendars and picked a baking day.  What a great time we had!


We've tried to have another baking day, but it just hasn't worked out with our calendars.  So sad.  Still, I highly recommend calling up a girlfriend who can do something you want to do...and getting together to learn either FROM her or WITH her.  It was basically a grown-up girl play date.  And now, something that will always remind me of her.  Every time I bake her bread, I pray for her little girl.  I can't wait until the prayers can change from "bring her safely to her new family" to the day-to-day requests!

In the meantime, I've tackled so many more yummy treats: pretzels, pull-apart bread, and cinnamon bread just to name a few.

The problem I have now?  All this baking...means I need to do more running!

Anyone got any good recipes?