Saturday, January 28, 2012

A New Day...

The sun is shining. 

The air is fresh.

It's a new day!!!

Yesterday started off rough, but got a little easier as it progressed.  Matt stayed home and snuggled his babies after he heard back from the doctor and then he took Madelyn to the pool... which she LOVED. I went along and brought my camera... withOUT the SD card. 

Cool, huh?!? 

Well, I took a lot of pictures on my phone, but non are too blog worthy.  They pretty much just got sent to Aunt Caca. Matt's doctor appointment produced no new information and then we ended the day with a bite to eat just the two of us! Thanks, Nana!!!

Today Matt headed off to a basketball game in Coos Bay bright and early and we had to come up with something fun to do!  

So... the park it was!

Here's to the best big sister around, 
and the sweetest little brother in town!

(Yes, I made that up all by myself! ;)

He smiles.

I swear. 

I'm just not quite talented enough to snap the picture at the perfect time!

Thanks for your prayers. They most definitely helped!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I forgot...

I forgot how many questions I have.

I forgot how painful not knowing feels.

I forgot how horrible it is to listen to him cry.

I forgot how therapeutic it is to hold my babies.

I forgot what tear-stained cheeks feel like.

I forgot how freeing going for a long run sounds.

I forgot how much we have to be thankful for. 

I forgot how much pain he's already been through. 

I forgot how long the road ahead seems. 

I am forgetting the He is in control.  

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety upon Him for He cares for you.

Matt's MRI results came back today and the doctor called to let him know they found another mass in his pelvis.  That's all we know. 

Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rain Days...

Some people get snow days.

But not us.

We just get RAIN days.  

My cousins were posting about all of the snow they were getting on FB in Central Washington and I was a little jealous.  They even got a day off of school to stay home and play in it. 

We just got puddles. And BIG ones, might I add!

We did get a couple days of having "Daddy" home and for that I'm grateful, but seriously... snow is SO much more fun!

On thursday school was cancelled due to flooding. So after I made oatmeal cookies for breakfast and contemplated drinking a hard cider at 7:30 in the morning (I ended up sticking with milk), we packed the kids up and headed out to survey the rivers.  My pictures are pretty BLAH and my lens was full of raindrops, but it's still fairly amusing that this much water could actually fall as quickly as it did.  So for all of you Central Washingtonians who whine and complain when you have three days of rain in a row, it's time to suck it up and go build another snowman, cause you could be stuck with this:

The Santiam River. 

This is a walking path that we take all the time with Winston.  The Santiam is probably 50 yards or so to the right (usually) and that "river" that you see is a gravel road that runs parallel with the river. Craziness!

This is a shot of the river from under the bridge. 

Here's a little house in Stayton that sits right next to the Stayton Water Supply stream/creek/river... I'm not really sure what it's called. I just know it's a branch off of the river that is used for power... or something like that...

A neighborhood in the "swamp".  Obviously it comes by its nickname fairly honestly. I think most of these houses ended up being okay with the help of sandbags, but the amount of water was INSANE!!!

"Lake Stayton"
This picture was taken from the top of the hill by the stoplight/dentist office looking down.  That's normally a cow pasture.

Honestly, there were so many more pictures that could have been taken. Golf Club Road was completely closed because Mill Creek pretty much overtook everything, including the whole road and a few houses. Highway 22 was closed because it was completely covered. You really had to be here to understand how much water there was. Thankfully it stopped raining for a few hours and it literally made a HUGE difference!  

Madi would say things like, "Look Mama, there's the earth," when she would see dry ground. It was rather amusing. and true. 

So after our gawking we drove over to my parents' and helped my mom pump water out from under her house. I knew our month of dry weather was too good to be true. 

Is it July yet?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brandon James

Brandon James Padilla was welcomed into this world on Monday afternoon at 1:11 p.m.  He was a perfect 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and 21 inches long.  He couldn't be loved more!

We had the chance to sneak up and meet him on Monday night and he is oh. so. cute!!! As you can see, he has very kissable cheeks.  Unfortunately, I had to hold off for a while as a cold has gotten the best of me... 


Sad Auntie...

To make up for it, Uncle Matt and Uncle Neal shared some love.

Matt and Neal are both baby lovers, 

um, that doesn't sound good. 

Let me try that again...

Uncle Matt and Uncle Neal love snuggling sweet little babies...


You get the idea...

It's genuine. I swear. and pure. 


Madelyn, is sort of a baby connoisseur as well, so holding her new cousin came quite naturally! 

She loves him.  

The next morning she was playing with something and she told me she had two babies, Baby Brandon and some other random name.  She said, "Baby Brandon like Aunt Whitney's baby."

She's so sweet. 

And sometimes it's unbelievable to think that she was a tiny newborn once...


Congratulations Mike and Whitney! You have a beautiful new addition to your little family.  We love him sooo much already!

And someday your sweet little baby will be 2 and a half and having conversations with you!

So take that!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Wonderland...

Along with most of the Willamette Valley, we were all holding our breath in Stayton on Saturday night with hopes that we might wake up to a winter wonderland.  Although it wasn't exactly "knee deep", we did watch beautiful flakes fall all morning which inspired the best idea of the weekend...


So, we spread the word after church, headed home to dig out the mittens and snow pants and caravanned up into the mountains until we found 
the. perfect. spot.

The Dukes, minus Isaac... oops!

Madi and James are 3 weeks apart and we always joke that they will get themselves into way too much trouble together... I asked them to look at me and smile when they were standing next to me and it turned into Madi form tackling James.  

It's okay, he's a Duke, he can handle it.  

And as for Madi, I have no idea where she gets it...

As adorable as all the kids were, I'm pretty sure the best part was watching these two shovel snow into their faces for two and a half hours straight. Pure heaven. At one point James found a shelf that was level with his head and had about 5 inches of fresh powder on it.  He stood there forever just scooping it in.  At that same point, Madelyn found a hill she was parallel with and leaned in until she was face first in the hill happily eating snow... the camera was put away at this point!

Adrie and Droiy were sledding maniacs. As Shannon put it, Adrie's true personality was revealed in the snow. =)

Em was quite the trooper. I fed him when we got to our spot and then put him in the front pack where he resided the rest of the afternoon.  He fell asleep at some point and then woke up during one of his sled rides. Such a chill little boy... (When I noticed his ears were sticking out, I DID tuck them back in!!!)

Issac, Adrie, and James

Em, on his first sled ride.  Madi was a pro by this point! And evidently, I was a little nervous to head down the big hill.  

As usual, I failed at getting a group shot or family pics.  I also just noticed that Ben isn't in any of these pictures... =(

I SWEAR he was there! In fact, it was his grand idea to head up the mountain with the kids.  Oh well. We promised to get up the mountain at least one more time this year so that Sarah can come too... she was stuck at home working on her dissertation. Sad day. =(

So, when the sun began to slip behind the mountains, we pushed everyone down the hill one last time and herded the children to the cars.  Our child won the award for the largest fit thrown as we attempted to pull off her soaking hat and gloves and defrost her fingers, but I suppose it's inevitable when you force them to play through their whole nap time.  

We ended the evening at our house making homemade pizzas and sitting around the table chatting while the sleep deprived children found every toy in the house.  When 10:00 rolled around and we still didn't have any emotional breakdowns we decided it was time to stop pushing our luck and quit while we were ahead.  Also Isaac, being the responsible child that he is, asked his mom if he had school the next morning at about 9:00.  He was pleasantly surprised to find out it was a holiday. ;)

I love three day weekends.  

And I love snow!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Top 16...

Whew. Fair warning: this one might take you a few days to read…

I have been inspired by other friends’ blogs to review the last year of the blog.  Only instead of highlighting the things I’ve already shared, I’m going to recap the top 12 16 things that didn’t make the blog… for whatever reason that may have been!  Probably mostly due to my laziness, or business, or grrr… something like that!

(Also, these are not in order of most important, but rather January – December…)

16. Our wonderful Wednesdays with Max and Mimi.  Last school year I watched two sweet little boys, Max and Mason (or MiMi as Madelyn called him) on Wednesday afternoons.  We had lots of fun adventures… especially once the sun started coming out again!

15. SNOW DAYS!!! Just like any true child…any true teacher rejoices when they see snowflakes in the 10-day forecast (at least if you live here in the Willamette Valley).  And naturally, you tell yourself not to hold your breath because it rarely actually happens, so you don’t want to get your hopes up!  Well, we were so fortunate to have a couple of these wonderful days in January!  We rejoiced. Played until we were freezing. Came inside and baked cookies. Napped. And then rejoiced some more!!!  I know, everyone with “real jobs” is jealous. Don’t hate. We really are wonderful people! ;)

14. Our family trip to Bend during Christmas break!  For some reason it seems so weird (already) to look back at pictures of our family when it was just the three of us!  We stopped on the way over the pass and Matt fished the Metolius for the first time since his surgery.  It was COLD, but beautiful, as usual!  The Metolius is one of a few places that Matt refers to as “God’s Country”.  He taught me how to fly fish on that river and asked me to be his wife at the head of the river where water magically appears from the ground.  Fun memories… I hope we have many more days together as a family on that beautiful river.  

13. Another trip to Seattle… In April Matt had another check up (we were still going up there every 3 months at that point) and we decided to make a weekend out of it and stay in a HOTEL!  Big deal, I know.  Us Olsons usually just pitch tents.  Nope, not this time!  We got a smokin’ deal on a place downtown and spent two days as a little family.  We took Madi to the Seattle Aquarium, ate at a fancy restaurant and swam in the pool hotel!  Lived. It. Up. ;)


12. EASTER!!! We did an early Easter egg hunt at my parents’ house the night before Easter, which turned out to be genius as it rained on Easter… again. It’s amazing how different holidays are from year to year when kids are this little! Madelyn was totally into the egg hunting… I can only imagine what next year will be like!

11. Eagle Crest!  We were lucky enough to take a small Konolsonrad family vacation again this year! Yup, you read that right – Konolsonrad.  Konrad + Olson = Konolsonrad and it’s deadly!!! This was our fourth official Konolsonrad Family Vacay. We’ve toned it down since the kids have arrived.  We didn’t head to Vegas, or San Diego, just over the mountains to Eagle Crest where we went to bed early, attempted to sleep in with toddlers, went for long walks, and drank coffee.  Yeah, we’re that crazy! ;)

(Watch the leg, Kade!)

There's NO way we could take this boy to Vegas. I mean seriously, imagine all the chics we'd have to ward off! ;)

(I'm sort of in love with this picture of Madi! How did it not make it on here until today?!?  She's not competitive or determined... no way! ;)

(Mads and Kade are 8 months apart and their new baby brothers are 4 weeks apart. ;)

10. Camping with the Moodys!  I posted about Madelyn’s first fishing trip, but never got around to finishing up our weekend.  We happened to choose the most beautiful weekend EVER to go camping and we were a little worried because it was so early in the year (June). I learned this summer that Ramie and I are a couple of the only few crazy women that camp 8 months pregnant! Who knew?!? Regardless, we had a great time! And honestly, I think I’d rather camp pregnant again vs. take a toddler and a busy ten month old camping next summer… hmmm.

Madelyn's baby brother and Judson's baby sister are only 2 1/2 weeks apart! =)

(Tickling each other! ;)

Cleaning something off his face! (I don't know where she gets that?!?! ;)

9. Zoo – At the very end of July Madelyn and I made one last trip to the zoo before baby brudder was born.  The Moodys have a zoo membership and they were so kind to bring us along as their guests!  We loved it! It turned out to be the perfect day for a picnic at the zoo too! (Again, so weird to look back and only have one kid!!!)

Madelyn and Judson are good buddies (5 months apart) We even had someone ask if they were twins! 

8. Our 8th Anniversary! I was, well, long overdue on our Anniversary and it turns out I went into labor exactly one week later! Go figure! At least we don't have to share our anniversary with Em. Or should I say, at least he doesn't have to share his birthday with us!?! We went to a cute little restaurant in Silverton that overlooks a creek an reminisced about the last eight years... life is soooo different. =) 

 Can you believe I married this crazy guy?!?! ;) 

 7. Seattle… again! Sensing a theme? =)  This was our first trip up as a family with Emmitt AND we got to stay with my sister.  (tear)  She LOVED having us and even gave us her wonderful bed while we were there.  She slept on the couch with Madi and had a little playdate with her during Matt’s doctor’s appointment.  We had such a wonderfully relaxing time.  I remember Matt saying that it was the least stressed he had ever felt on a trip up there! (She had cable and he got to watch college game day, just sayin’…) We walked down the street to a cute spot and she took some family pics for us! I’m a little too critical of myself to appreciate them as much as I should, but it was fun!

  (Touchdown, not a cartwheel!)

6. Lambert Family Pics! What a fun afternoon! Jess Harvey took some awesome pics of our family! We usually just plan a time once a year and take some candid pics of the family, but with the chaos of our ever-growing clan we decided to splurge and have a professional do the hard work! Totally worth it, BTW!!!

(There are tons more. I just picked a few faves!)

Mom, Dad and the sibs! Love 'em!!!

Yeah, they're pretty cute. I know! =)

5. Thanksgiving! We traveled over the mountains for a short trip to Grandpa and Grandma’s house! I didn’t manage a group picture while we were there =(, but I did get a family one and a family pic of Mike and Whitney... can't wait for that baby boy to get here (any day now)!!!

4. The Carousel and Christmas time! We’ve tried getting creative with ways to keep ourselves entertained while Matt’s gone with basketball.  December was a busy month for him because pre-season games usually entail more traveling (2 weekend trips and a 5 day trip to Idaho, which he actually had to skip because of school).  Madelyn LOVES the carousel, so we invited Papa to come along and enjoy it with us! He then treated us to Starbucks and we drove through the Keizer Christmas lights! It was a pretty perfect, Christmasy night!

She's pretty much enamored by it all!

3. Our last trip to Caca’s house… for a while! Another lovely weekend in Tacoma, just the kids, me and Auntie Caca, or “yours sista” as she is lately being referred to! We snuggled up and did Christmasy things together. We baked, made homemade chili and cornbread, strolled to a cute nearby park, bundled up in our jammies stopped to get Starbucks and drove through a Christmas light exhibit (I’m failing to remember the name of the place).  Wonderful. Lovely. Memories. Then we wiped our tears and said our goodbyes!

Em's first time in a swing! It's safe to say he LOVED it!

2. Our annual Zoolights trip! Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of pictures to show for this trip… my camera battery died right when I went to take a family picture of Kyle & Katie. =( Nonetheless, we still had fun!

Sweet Liv all bundled up! 

1. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Yup, here's the Christmas card I selected, created and then never ordered! =) I had it in my shopping cart for quite a while and just couldn't bring myself to spend the money... especially since I had just sent out birth announcements (late, of course ;).  So... to all those who actually read this, here's your card!!! =)

All in all, I'm in awe as I review our year.  We are blessed with such amazing family and friends and we have SOOOOOO much to be thankful for! 

Here's to 2012!!! =)