Sunday, March 13, 2011

What's Going On ...

I have certainly been a blog slacker for quite a while now. I'm not making any promises that it will get better because it probably won't. But, I did want to capture some updates on our lives.

I continue to struggle with the loss of my dad. Some days are really good and others make up for my having a good one. Last night I was looking back through the pictures we took at Christmas and I literally felt so sick to my stomach with longing that I thought I was going to become ill. He was so alive and here that the loss just seems so much worse. I know my mom continues to struggle much worse than I do because she has lost her best friend and partner of 48 years of marriage. I can't imagine what she goes through each day. I just try to be there as much as I can.

The kids are keeping me busy, though, and that helps a lot. Josh has started soccer for the middle school and they have had a couple of games so far. Most games have been rained out with all the lovely rain storms we have had this spring.

I, personally, have been blessed that there is a mom who takes pictures at the soccer games and I don't have to!! Yay -- this is certainly a treat for me to actually get to watch the game instead of photographing it. I did take my camera to the first game and got a few nice ones of Josh. Since this is his first year, he doesn't play a lot, but he did get to play keeper during one game and I know he has always enjoyed that position from when he played when he was young.

I have spent a large part of March getting ready for and working at consignment sales. I am on my last couple of days to work and then I can (thankfully!) put that project to bed until fall! It's a lot of work, a lot of fun, and a great way to save money buying Ellie's spring clothes. I've gotten some really, really cute things for spring. If you are interested in seeing some of the things I've picked up at consignment, click the link here to see pictures.

I am amazed at how much I save at consignment and how nicely Ellie can be dressed. I can buy Gymboree outfits for $5-$8. If I were to go to Walmart and buy Garanimals, they would be $3.50 per piece and would fade/shrink after the first wash. With Gymboree, I can let Ellie wear it a season and STILL sell it in consignment for almost what I paid for it. It's amazing. I can't imagine why anyone would pay retail for kids' clothes!

I had a great find at the Once Around the Block Kids' consignment sale: a mom with a daughter named Ellie who was one year ahead of us!! She had monogrammed "Ellie" on a TON of cute stuff that we picked up for such a steal. Monogramming it would have cost anywhere from $5-$8 per item: pretty much what I paid for the item already monogramed. Amazing -- and such a blessing! Here are two of the items:

Ellie SLEPT in her bathing suit for two nights because she loved it so much. She has been very excited over all her new things from consignment this year.

One of my favorite finds this year at consignment was a toddler bounce house for $15 -- yes, $15. I don't have a clue what they might cost in retail world, but Ellie got $15 worth of fun out of it on day one! Her hair was WILD and crazy and cracked me up standing straight out!

I think you can actually SEE the sparks on the ends of her hair on this one - haha!

While I was snapping Ellie in her bounce house, Josh and Bear were having some "boy and his dog" time. They SO love each other!

A couple of other good finds were Ellie's birthday presents this year: A Disney Princess Deluxe Talking kitchen, NEW in the box (retails for $70), for $35. And, a Disney Princess Tea Time With Me Little Belle for $10. It's also new in the box. Apparently, you cannot FIND this toy anymore. The one I found via Google retails for $89.95 -- not that I would have EVER paid that for it!

Kevin got word last week that his branch office is closing at the end of the month and that he will be out of a job. Since we JUST went through this 16 months ago, we are sort of reeling that we are here again. I know everyone keeps talking about how the economy is on the upswing, but at the Latham house, it certainly isn't. So, Kevin has begun the process of looking for a job again. He has sent resumes out by the dozens and has begun the testing process for a job locally. We continue to pray that God is using this as a way to bless our family with a new, closer to home, job for Kevin. With gas prices on the rise, driving to a job that is 95 miles one way is a costly proposition. 2011 certainly has not been the year I had hoped it would be.

Ellie's birthday is coming up in a few weeks. She has been saying, "I'll be three in March FOREVER!!" She is looking forward to her party so much. We have decided to have it at the house this year (in the face of the impending layoffs, we are going for low cost, high fun!) and have decided on a Strawberry Shortcake theme. Stay tuned for more details about this fun day!!
I am excited that I have a wedding to photograph next weekend. I'm looking forward to spring and getting back into photography. Next week is spring break and I have a couple of photo ideas I want to try out on Ellie (and Josh if he is feeling cooperative that day).

Ellie continues to become more girly-girl every day. Her hair is getting longer and she likes to sit on the bathroom sink and let me blow it out and then put curls in it with the curling iron. She also tells me to "Do my eyes, mama." She honestly thinks that when I brush her eyes with the makeup brush that I'm putting on eye shadow. So funny!! She is developing right on target and we haven't noticed any delays. We are so blessed to have her in our lives and anytime I am feeling like, "Woe is me" with all the funk that's going on, I am reminded of the miracle of Ellie's entering our family and I know that God can work out anything -- even when we don't think it is possible.

Josh will start baseball soon -- in addition to soccer -- and I imagine we will be a busy, busy family once again. In some ways it's preferable -- it keeps my mind busy. It other ways, I relish the ability to just stay home and rest. Catch 22, I suppose.

Spring break is this week and we have absolutely NO plans -- wow, that's a blessing, I think. Josh is going to help MeeMee in her yard quite a bit so we are hopeful for pretty weather. I'm going to visit the site for my wedding this weekend to scout out locations/ideas for pictures. I want to go visit my grandmother and also to take some three year old pix of Ellie. I'd like to take the two of them to their FAVORITE place to play (even though it's not necessarily MY favorite), Chuck E Cheese. I'm sure the week will pass too quickly and it will be back to school and routine again.

That's pretty much it for our lives right now! Hope to find the time to write again soon!

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Sorry to hear about Kevin's job, and I do hope he finds something closer to home.

Josh is looking so tall!

Can't believe Ellie is almost 3!