Sunday, December 2, 2012


I posted recently over on my work blog about one of my very FAVORITE traditions.  (if you follow the link you will be able to see many more pictures from over the years over our tree hunting)  

Today was the day where we headed out to find OUR Christmas Tree.  These kiddos are so amazing and seem to love this tradition as much as we do.  I LOVE combing the rows with them looking for just the right tree. 

I think we found it.  I hope you enjoy the pictures from our little trek into the woods.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Catch Up

I think I may be the WORST blog writer that there ever was.  The days are just flying by, and since it's summer, we've been losing track of what day it is. 
So let's catch you all up.  Here's what happened since my last post:

Cate turned TWO.  

I know, can you believe it.  Already.  This little beauty keeps us on our toes.  There is no doubt she is in charge here.  

Greg graduated with his Doctorate in May.

as you can see, the good Dr.s work is never done. 
Maggie took this of Greg and I at his fancy Dr. dinner.

 Fionn turned FOUR.

and Maggie completed 3rd grade AND another year of dance.

It's hard to believe that she will be in 4th grade in less than a month. 

We went on vacation in June to Massanutten, VA. 

We took a couple family images there.

as you can see Cate wasn't sure about getting soaked, but she ended up loving it.  

Maggie joined the swim team this year and is having SO much fun.  

Tomorrow is her last meet of the summer, and it's the all star meet.  She'll be swimming in 3 races we'll be there to cheer her on!  She's done so well, and it's hard to believe she's only been on the team for a little over a month.  We are truly blessed to have such a great team to be a part of.

Tonight, we went out and took a few new images of the kiddos.

Maggie is weeks away from turning NINE, and we needed updated images of her since she had her big haircut two weeks ago.  Our big girl cut 11 inches off her hair and donated it to Locks of Love.  We couldn't be more proud! 

SO, that's OUR summer so far. 

 Not much of it left, but we're going to try to cram some more fun in.  We've been working on a pretty big backyard project this summer, and my business has been growing in leaps and bounds.  I'll try to sneak back and update the images on our blog soon.  It's really sweet to see itty bitty Cate here though. 
If you're on fb or twitter, come find me there if you'd like to see more of us.  Also, I'm on Instagram and use it ALL the time. 
come find me, pxbHites.
Hope you all are well.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Finding Our Way

First off, YES I'm really here...and posting.  Shocking I know.  I'm sorry that I've been absent for a while, but 2011 was not the easiest of years for us.  There were great things that happened, and there were many MANY other not so great things that our family went through.  I was so lost, just trying to muddle through a day at a time, that I was in no condition to try to explain to anyone else why I just couldn't come here and be HAPPY.  
I'm not sure if we're completely out of our rough patch, but we're working on it.  And we, as a FAMILY unit, are stronger than ever.  It's been nine months now since we moved into our new home and yes, there are still boxes in some areas.  Some rooms are painted and decorated, but others remain the same as when we moved in.  I told Greg we just needed to LIVE here for a while, to get a feel for how OUR home was going to take shape.  Some rooms spoke to us right away, others are still biting their tongues.  I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but I guess WE decide what's normal in OUR house, so it's got to be okay huh.  
...Where did we leave off, the first day of Preschool I think?  Well since then Fionn decided in December that he didn't want to go to Pre-school anymore, so I let him stop going.  It was only two days a week, for 2 hours, and it wasn't worth the fight.  There's a fantastic tot time at our Childrens Museum we can take advantage of, where he and Cate can go together.  

Maggie's doing great, still dancing, even adding Irish Step Class this year.  Right now she's prepping for the annual parade here in Pittsburgh.  She also added basketball, and just had her first two games.  They played the same team twice and she was a bit surprised in the first game when the other girls were pretty rough with them.  As you can see Mag caught on quick and didn't let them just take the ball the 2nd time they played.  We were so proud of her, as you can see from the 2nd picture, she's one of the biggest girls on her team and the other girls are pretty small.  No one else on her team really stood a chance at fighting for the ball, but Mag tried to help them out when she could.  She played defense by standing behind the girl trying to distract her.  Seeing how they're in 3rd grade, it worked and was pretty comical.  It was like a cat and mouse game.  Both of these scuffles are when her team was playing offense and this one girl kept trying to steal the ball from the little girls.  Mag didn't give up and actually won possession a few times!

As you can see Cate is GROWING like a week.  Only two months until she turns TWO.  Where did the time go?  She is an amazing little thing.  Her vocabulary is amazing, and she's already trying to poddy train herself.  She's out of regular diapers already, but do still use cloth when she'll let me.  She's in her big girl bed now, no more crib.  We officially no longer have a baby in our house.

  Fionn, well he's Fionn.  God bless him, he keeps up on our toes.  He's our comedic genius who now loves to play tricks on his big sister.  His favorite prank is waiting until she's in the shower then sneaking in and flushing the toilet.  yeah,  silly boy. 

This was he and Cate's inaugural trip up and down our alley behind our house in their new mini cooper that Santa left them.  He was a good driver (for the most part)  He waved to the neighbors, stayed close to use and even let Cate drive for a little bit.  As you can see daddy was there to help him get back on the road. 
So that's where we've been, just taking life a day at a time and enjoying being a family.

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Day-Preschool Edition

Seems like yesterday
I'm not sure when it happened, when my baby boy started growing up, but here we are.  
It seems like it was just yesterday that we were at Mag's Pre-K graduation and then off to the hospital to HAVE Fionn.  Now it's his turn.  
Sometime around 3am last night I woke Greg up, I couldn't sleep.  Fionn was (as usual) planted firmly across our bed and he flung an arm over me and I just lost it.  I'm sure his little arm was soaked with my tears but I couldn't help it.  Poor Greg just patted my head and allowed me my middle of the night sob fest. 
I was questioning EVERYTHING.  I have been here with him, since day 1.  
With Maggie it was a big deal, but we were both prepared.  She had been in daycare for the first 2 and 1/2 years of her life so she CRAVED the school environment.  
Fionn though, has not had that interaction, has not been with anyone else (save family) and I was just scared. 
"Is he ready, what if I'm wrong?  What if he has an accident and doesn't make it to the poddy?  What if he cries, do I have the strength to make him stay?"  All questions that came pouring out in the middle of the night. 

As it turns out, the only time he cried this morning was as Maggie was leaving for school "I'm gonna MISS YOU Maaa-geeee" he cried.  Once we re-assured him that he'd be home before she would he was better, but it only made me more nervous.  I even got breakfast snuggles, which NEVER happens.  I usually only get snuggles when he's REALLY tired.

So off we went, only five minutes behind schedule.
and I'm blaming the fact that his mind was blown because the "trucks" weren't out back.  They've been re-doing the alley behind our house all summer and are almost done.  They didn't come today at all though, so it leaves us wondering if we'll be using our driveway at all anytime soon.  Okay,back to pre-school.

I convinced him to ride, so he wouldn't be tired, and he got out at the front of the school to run in himself.  We couldn't be late, not to the first day!  We only live a 10-15 minute walk from the school so it's easier just to walk down the hill than trying to find parking.  And they LOVE to go out and walk anyway, so it works!

Not a tear was shed, off he went...
Ready to start his adventure.  I was surprised, it was mostly the boys that cried, but not my boy.  
Someone else though, was not to sure about this...not sure one little bit...
She was keeping a close eye on him and not letting him out of her sight as we listened to the teacher go over everything with us to prepare us for the year.
Even when SHE got the first kiss good-bye, she was still not sure...
(can I just say that the cute in this picture just KILLS me)
BUT it was time to go...
So one quick trip to the restroom with brother, and off Cate and I went...
even if she wasn't so happy about it.

we'll be back tomorrow with part 2 of this story!  
( I pinky swear promise)

Friday, July 22, 2011


I've been thinking of this post for awhile.  I mean it's obvious by just how many blog posts I've put up this summer that this post has been a while in a making.  I've started writing THIS post many times, just never happy with the wording, so I always scrap it and think on it some more.

I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression with this blog post, I just want to be real. 

When I had ONE child, I felt like  
Maggie was such a good baby.  So quick to learn, polite, adorable and just an all around amazing kid.  Don't get me wrong, she still is an AMAZING kid, but good grief, hormones at 7?  ACK.  She is SO strong willed that we already have to have the "I AM THE MOM, THAT'S WHY" arguments.  Don't judge me, I'm being honest here. 
I felt like I had this mom thing down, even though I was pretty sure a long time ago I wasn't going to have ANY kids.  Then I had her, and said "okay, you're it.  My one shot at this mom thing"  
I KNEW I could handle one.  But then...
 HE came along. 
And I thought.  Whew, thank goodness I got a boy.  I can REALLY be done now.  And still, I felt like a pretty good mom.  I had time for both of them, they adored each other, life was good.  We still had one on one coverage most days with Maggie being in school, and we had plenty of alone Mommy and Fionn time, while still making sure Maggie got the time she needed.
This boy though, was a bit more stubborn.  Not as quick to smile, making me earning them and then when I get them they are like little slices of heaven.  He still won't smile if there is lighting involved with portraits, and generally cries the entire time.  He won't eat, refuses to poop on the toilet (sorry tmi) and won't get out of my bed.  He DELIGHTS in thinking he's eating MY food, drinking my "mommy water" (from a jug i keep in the fridge bc I LOVE my water C.O.L.D.)
But STILL, I thought I was a good mom.  And then I had this weird dream one day.  It involved a girl baby and the name Catherine.  And then I had a yearning.  
And I got what I longed for.  
What Maggie wanted.  A little sister.  This beautiful little thing.  So precious.  So beautiful.

I mean just look at her.  How can one little girl completely change the dynamic of our entire family.  Because OH.MY.GOSH. she RULES our house(with an iron fist no less).  Not me.  
I've never felt like I couldn't handle being a mom, never just tried to make it through the day.  Until this summer.  This summer I feel like the three of them are trying to kill me.  I just pray then never all gang up and it's me against them.  Right now I feel like it's all one on one battles, but I have never felt more like a failure.  Don't get me wrong, I know it will all pan out and things will be fine, but WOW.

Having three kids is just bananas. I feel like poor Maggie is getting the shaft.  She now has more chores than I want to talk about, and is expected to pull her own weight around here.  She's capable of showering on her own, making her own lunch(some days), taking the dogs out, helping water the plants and feeding the animals, so that's what's expected of her.  I know that responsibility is good for kiddos, but I still feel guilty that I can't just do it all alone.
I know I'm not the only mom that feels like this, and in the world of perfect family lives on our perfect family blogs, who wants to hear that another mom ISN'T perfect.  
Did you hear that WORLD??
our family is not perfect.  We yell, we cry.  I give time outs AND believe that kids need to be spanked.  Yep, I said SPANKED.  I was spanked, whooped even and guess what?  I LIVED.  
My children rule my house, and right now there are toys strewn across my living room, my side porch is covered in my latest craft and more toys.  BECAUSE, OH MY GOSH, the toys.  I mean really, how many toys can three kids need?  Apparently every toy in Toys R Us.  
I long for the days when they're all potty trained and I never have to touch a poopy butt again.  I long for the days they're all in school and I can actually breath for ten minutes in silence and not wonder why it's so quiet.  Did I mention the pee yet?  I hate pee.  Between poddy training Fionn and the new puppy I must clean carpets EVERY day.  EVERY day someone has an accident.  Including Maggie.  And she's taught the boy the best phrase ever.
"it was just a little accident mommy" he says quietly to me. 
Even when there is NO WAY it was an accident.  But still, he says it's so sweet, that there is no way I can punish him.  
I mean can I stay mad at that?

So to summarize.  
They are crazy, I am crazy.  Our house is full of all kinds of crazy.  Crazy crying, crazy laughing, and just all around crazy. 
We are far from perfect, and there are days when I seriously feel like the crazy is taking over and I am LOSING MY MIND
but then they hug and kiss me goodnight and look like little angels (as they kick me in the face in the middle of the night)  and I forget what a horrible, no good, very bad day it was.
And then we start all over.  
Would I change being out-numbered?
Not for one second.
(and I will come back to re-read this post when I feel the crazy taking over)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sum, sum, summertime...wahoo!

Don't you love how they help me water the front lawn?  The pool isn't open all day (quite) yet so we've had to come up with creative ways for them to all keep cool.  Cate is NOT a fan of the Sprinkler, and our baby pool is too small for Mag to do more than dip her toes in, but give them a couple squirt guns, turn the pool sprinkler on and VOILA.  Everyone is happy!  This was actually on Memorial Day, but I'll post more about our day later.