Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Isabella Jean is 9!

Today our beautiful daughter turns 9 years old.  I truly cannot believe how fast the past nine years have gone by.  I still remember bringing home our tiny little girl and wondering how in the world I ever thought I knew what love was before we had her.

I am immensely proud of the caring, loving young girl she has become.  Every day with her is such a gift, god truly blessed me when I was chosen to be her mother.

Bella is in third grade and loves it.  She has wonderful friends, an awesome teacher and I can proudly say she lights up the lives of all who know her.  Dance is still such a big part of her life, hip hop is still her all time favorite.  She has a part in the Nutcracker this year again as one of the Polichinelle's.  Bella will start volleyball in just two weeks, I am so excited for her!!!

She is one brave little girl who loves to try new things, never gives up, sees the best in everyone and loves with all of her heart.

Raising her is a joy, she is my daughter, my friend, my everything.  I love her with my heart and soul, so, so very thankful she is ours!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bella Achieves a Dream

Bella is like me in so many ways.  For example she wants to try EVERYTHING activity wise from soccer to volleyball to running to swimming and horseback riding.

I have wanted to take her to riding lessons for a while but have held back.  My parents are selling their house which in all honesty breaks my heart, sorry mom and dad.  I wish I could pick it up and move it to Cedar Rapids.  I hope the right family buys it, a nice home next to a park with acres of land, a barn perfect for horses, a small creek, it is beautiful.

I grew up with horses.  Birdie was the horse I learned to ride on, I adored her so much.  She was so gentle I could saddle her myself and ride her for hours, of course until she started taking me under low branches to try to knock me off, her way of saying she was done ;)  Then my dad did something I always wanted, he took Birdie to breed her.  One day I came home from school and Birdie was in the process of giving birth, I was there when our sweet Beauty was born.  I LOVED that horse, she had so much spirit.  My dad worked hard to break her and she wasn't having it.  I used to sneak out to the pasture and get on her bareback and she never threw me.

Then I grew up and moved away, my dad sold the horses because I was the one who helped take care of them and it was just too much with work for him to do it on his own.

When I moved back home I found my next horse, July, my beautiful buckskin.  She was high spirited and we butted heads but man did I love her, she was fun to ride and such a gorgeous girl.  When I got pregnant with Bella I sold her to my cousin, I knew I wouldn't be able to ride for about a year and honestly I wouldn't be able to afford to keep taking care of her.

Horses are EXPENSIVE, one of the most expensive hobbies you can have, especially if you want to show.  Bella has heard my stories of our horses, she met July and she has always expressed an interest in them.  We won't be buying and boarding a horse, that is far too expensive but I did find a place for her to take riding lessons.

When they brought out the horse she would ride, his name is Bentley, I saw the fear in her eyes.  He was a TALL horse, even for me I would need a stool to get up on him.  As I carried her up the stool and put her on Bentley I was afraid she wouldn't want to go through with the lesson.  She started breathing really fast and I could see tears forming in her eyes, the trainer Holly was amazing and explained to Bella that she would lead Bentley around the arena and I could walk with them so Bella calmed down a little bit.

It took her about 20 minutes to finally feel comfortable, Bentley is a smooth mover, so tall but very slow and gentle.  Holly asked Bella if she wanted to trot, Bella had no idea what that meant but when she realized it meant to go faster than a walk she didn't want to.  But I stepped in and told Holly to go ahead and trot, Bella loved it :)  After a little bit Bella asked if she could walk him on her own, Holly was so happy that Bella asked herself and Holly didn't have to ask her to do it.  Bentley is rein trained so well, Bella barely had to move the reins to get him going where she wanted.  I cannot even describe how proud I was of Bella, watching her take control of Bentley and seeing how happy and proud of herself she was.  By the end she asked Holly to have Bentley trot and the lesson was over.

When we left Bella said, "mommy that was the most amazing thing ever, I did it!"  I told her how incredibly proud I was of her for being so brave and facing her fear.  She is very excited for her next lesson and so am I.  There is no greater joy than watching Bella achieve her dreams and have these moments of pure joy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Introducing Hurley!

Sunday we ventured out to the Iowa Animal Alliance Mega Adoption event at NewBo.  I had it in my head that we were going to make donations, enjoy the event and meet lots of animals but we would NOT bring one home.

Well that all changed when I saw a very handsome, young looking dog that I couldn't take my eyes off of.  I know when I saw him and bee lined to where he was Kyle knew we were in trouble ;)

He was so friendly, giving Bella and I kisses, not jumping on us, I was immediately smitten.  I decided to read the paper work on him, normally there is some issue but this guy was good with cats, good with other dogs, good with children, low key personality, crate trained, I couldn't believe all of the goodness!  He is a boxer/german shepherd mix and 10 months - 1 year old, his adoption fee was also discounted for the day.

The gal from the shelter came over and we chatted, she let me know another woman had filled out an application for him but that I could fill one out in case it didn't work out.  Kyle gave me the ok to fill it out, the other woman had an hour to make her decision so we decided to go to lunch and have a family discussion before heading back in an hour.

During lunch we discussed the pros and cons of having another dog.  After explaining to Bella what pros and cons were she was ready to go!  Her only con was that Luna might not like having another dog in the house.  Kyle's con was that our house isn't big enough for two dogs.  I disagreed with Kyle on that con, I've always wanted another dog and in my opinion our house would be fine with two dogs.  I did tell Kyle that if he was completely against it, we didn't have to adopt another dog.  Bella got all teary eyed, not understanding Kyle's position.  She then told Kyle that it seemed unfair that she has Luna, Kyle has Tybalt and I don't have an animal but I really want one, especially for a running partner.  She is quite the negotiator ;)  Kyle then sent me a text letting me know that if the dog was still there I could adopt him and he would be an early Mother's Day present.

I was so anxious as we were walking back, I knew if he was gone then it just wasn't meant to be.  I was THRILLED when I saw him still sitting there.  He was so excited to see us and so was the gal from the shelter.  Our application was approved and she was happy he was going home with us because she truly felt we were an awesome fit for him.

I decided to name him Hurley, it just seemed like a perfect fit.  We recently binge watched the show Lost, Hurley was one of my favorite characters.  He always wanted to make everyone happy and help out in any way he could, my boy just seemed like a Hurley to me :)

It has been three days and we could not be happier.  Tybalt is happy to have a playmate, Hurley is very well behaved, super loving and likes to snuggle a LOT.  Luna has been in hiding but she did come out yesterday and Hurley didn't even give her a second look :)

I have started working with him on the leash, he is super strong but a very fast learner.  He and I will be running together in no time.  I am over the moon happy that we found him.  He completes us and I feel like we have always had him.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Level 3 Dancer

Bella received her recommendation for dance class levels in the 2015-2016 season on Monday.  She was so, so excited that she was recommended to move to Level 3 in ALL genres.  She was at Level 2 for ballet, Level 1 for tap and Level 1/2 for hip hop.  She was so proud of herself for skipping an entire level for tap.

The joy on her face was priceless, I could see how proud she was of herself and that she was truly surprised.

I loved our drive home as she chatted away about how much she loves dance and just truly enjoys it.  She also let me know that she understands it takes hard work, lots of listening but she has to have fun too otherwise she wouldn't enjoy dance.

I asked her how she knew to work hard and have fun, she told me she learned that from me and Kyle.  She loves watching me work hard and have fun going on stage for my competitions and she knows how much Kyle helps me with training, posing and that he is really proud of me too.

I love how much she truly watches us and takes what we do to heart, putting that same effort into what she loves to do.

She got awesome reviews from her teachers and as I read them to her I swear her smile kept getting bigger and bigger.  I am so proud of our Bella, the effort she puts into working on the small details all while having a blast.  Watching her dance and improve each year brings so much joy, I am thrilled to watch her do something she loves so much.

The recital is just two months away, we can't wait to watch our little dancer perform!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bella The Hip Hopper

A fun video of Bella's hip hop practice, my favorite part is when they slick back their hair and point at each other :)  The song is N'Sync, Just Got Paid, sorry you can't hear it in the video.

The recital isn't until June so there is plenty of time to finish up the dance and practice!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Loving Life!

I keep saying I will get better about posting on here and that hasn't happened yet, hopefully 2015 will be the year that I get it done! :)

We are all doing very well and happy as can be.  Our life has had some more changes, I know changes happen to everyone but they seem to happen so often to us.  I am hoping that we have had our last major change and things will just maintain from here on out!

Kyle was offered a job as the General Manager for Kosama.  We had already been in contact with the owners after doing a nutrition seminar there for Complete Nutrition and we all clicked right away.  Kyle was very happy at Complete Nutrition and the offer from Kosama came out of the blue.  After a long discussion and getting over the shock the opportunity was too good to pass up.  Kyle is finally running a gym, teaching classes, training clients, his dream job and getting paid what he is truly worth.

He never dreamed he would have this type of opportunity in Cedar Rapids, I'm glad fate proved him wrong :)  We are keeping our gym membership with Northland Fitness and now adding in workouts at Kosama as well.  I will continue to work with Complete Nutrition as a sponsored athlete and am really looking forward to my upcoming competitions!

My father-in-law is doing pretty well, he did tear his rotator cuff back in December :(  He will have surgery at the end of the month.  He is doing well with it though and I am happy we are able to have him with us.  His bond with Bella is so incredible and with Tybalt too.  Bella and Tybalt love their Papa so very much and we are blessed to have him with us.  We will all be pampering him during his recovery!

I was able to go to Florida in January with my friend Kelly to visit David and Brent.  I miss David so very much but their life in Florida is wonderful, it truly is a beautiful place.  We had a blast and it was so great to catch up.  He will be coming back to Iowa in May for my competition, so much coming up!

We just had Bella's school conferences and she is THRIVING.  She is above and beyond on everything, especially math.  Sometimes she really shocks me with how smart she is, she retains everything so well and applies it in daily life.  The best compliment was having her teacher tell us she wishes she could have more Bella's in her class :)

Dance is going very well and Bella is doing well keeping up with all three classes.  She has discussed wanting to add a fourth next year but we decided three is plenty at this time especially if she wants to add in soccer or volleyball.  Yes I said volleyball, how crazy is that?  She is eight which is the age she can begin and it is something she really wants to do, wonder where she gets that from ;)  We just had a doctor appointment and she is 4' 4" and 47 pounds.  Thankfully there is no concern for her weight, she is just so dang petite which of course makes buying pants for her one of the toughest things ever!

I'm proud of her, she knows her size does not matter and she can achieve anything.  She is a strong, intelligent, kind, loving, caring young lady, Kyle and I could truly not be any more proud of her!

Tybalt is doing well, he will be 10 on June 28th, TEN!!!!  I can't believe it, he still runs around like a puppy and wants to play all the time.  He can be trusted in the house and is no longer crated at all.  We love coming home and having him happily greet us wagging his little nub of a tail :)  Princess Luna is also doing very well, four years old and precious as ever.  She sleeps with Bella every night and is truly one of the sweetest cats I've ever been around.  She still tolerates little Evey pulling on her and picking her up, purring the entire time.

That's all for now, we are happy and healthy and thankful for all the good in our life!