Saturday, February 23, 2013

I have the COOLEST Family!

So I would like to dedicate this blog to my immediate family whom I love so much! I want to tell the blog world about how amazing they truly are.
First off, for anyone who doesn't know, I come from a family of 6 girls. So yes, I have 5 sisters! And they are all from the same 2 parents (or so they tell us!, I'm jk Mom and Dad, I love you!) Having 6 girls and only 6 girls in one family is rare enough, but having each of them so different and amazing is a whole new level.

To start the Family blog, I must talk about my parents who have managed to stay married for over 30 something years (sorry Mom and Dad, I can't remember the exact about of years, 33?) Anyway, that in itself is an outstanding feat! I know so many people who's parents have not made it together and I am so thankful that we all stayed together as a family. Their relationship really helped me realize what a relationship should be like and I think really showed us girls how to not give on marriage even when it gets tough.
1999 , L to R, Erin, Noah, Mom, Jacque, Aubrey, Ronni, Leigh


 My Mom put up with a lot, having six girls and ultimately six teenagers.... I know we were terrible at times, we were rude, sneaky, snooty and everything that teenage girls can be. Also, my Mom got the worst of it since each one of us tended to be "Daddy's girls" and Mom always got blamed for everything "unfair" in our lives. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for all of us. Since Noah is 18 and about to graduate high school, my Mom is about to leave the dreaded teenager stage behind and I know she can't be happier about that. I know I speak for all of my sisters that have left the house when I say that we have come to realize how helpful and truly wise our mother is now that we aren't living at her house:) So thanks Mom for all the advice and putting up with all of through all these years! We love you! Mom always put her girls first and taught us to do things like french braid hair and make Barbie clothes! My Mom is currently going back to school to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. A career she always put on hold to raise us kids, and is now getting the chance too! So cool!

Christmas 2011 L to R: Leigh, Ronni, Aubrey, Mom, Noah, Jacque, Erin
2004 at my parents 25th Anniversary party!
Dad, the only male in the house while growing up, was always patient with us and tried his best to be involved with everything we did. He was and still is always supportive in anything us girls tried to do. He always did his best to encourage us, especially when it came to sports and was always there to help us practice, even when we didn't want to. When my oldest sister and I were in cross country one year, my Dad mowed our back property and measured out exactly how many miles it was so we could practice. He also built a softball pitching mound in our front yard so my little sister Jacque could practice pitching every single day. He always came to our sporting events and stayed until the end, even when (and I did several times) we came in last place and it may have been embarrassing for him. My Dad owns his own Semi-Conductor business in New Braunfels and gets to travel all over the world selling his patented valves! (for those of you who don't know what semi-conductor is, it is the industry that sells the  valves that regulate the gas flow of gas cabinets) (I hope that was a right explanation, I still get confused about it to this day:)

Kyle, Ronni and Clara at a reenactment 
Now, starting from oldest to youngest, my oldest sister Ronni is 32 and lives in Los Angeles area with her husband Kyle and 1 year old daughter Clara. What makes her cool, is that she has done so many awesome things in her life! She has traveled and worked on several reality TV shows including "The Simple Life" (plus she actually has a profile on IMDB, look her up!) Ronni has also been on a few reality shows herself including the pilot episode of  "Whipeout"! Ronni was an onset teacher to several very well known young actresses in Hollywood ( I want to tell you who, but she might get upset because I guess it's uncool to name drop in Hollywood and I don't want her to get mad at me, but trust me, you know would know their names!) She is such a go-getter and has tons more things than I can list here. Her husband Kyle is a writer and was been involved in writing for the HBO show "Hung".  They also know and have had many run ins with celebrities of  all types and I guess in southern California, that is not a big deal, but I am still a huge famous fan, so meeting anyone of status is cool to me, and that what makes Ronni and Kyle really cool! -Oh, Ronni also is an avid Civil War reanactor!

Leigh, Easton, Avery
Leigh, the second oldest, is 28 and lives in Bowie Texas with her husband, Daniel and  two kids Avery, 2 and Easton, 6 months. She is cool because I don't know where I would be with out her! Being the closest in age out of all the sisters, Leigh always told me what to do. Thanks to her I made it through high school with some fashion sense! Today she raises her two kids and keeps a flawless and beautiful house! She got her degree in Interior Design and it shows if you get a chance to go to her house! I wish she could come and decorate my house! She has the ability to organize everything and keep it in order!

Jacque, being awesome
Jacque is about to be 24 and it is safe to say that she is the most athletically talented of all of us. As a softball pitcher, she dominated Texas high school softball  (which is very competitive) and went on to play softball at ACU. Jacque can pretty much play and do anything! She is excellent at pretty much everything including, snowboarding, longboarding, rock climbing, and a lot more! She is in EMT training now and I know will rock at it, because she always wins at everything!

Aubrey, 22 (in a few days) is a senior airmen in the US Air Force. Her husband Brett is also a senior airmen and is currently deployed. What makes Aubrey cool is that, at a very young age, she enlisted in the Air Force, made it through basic training and got stationed in Anchorage Alaska. About a year ago she surprised the family and got married and last month she had her first child, a boy named Ryker. She is an awesome working mom who has managed to have her baby and keep her sanity without her husband around. (I think he gets to come home soon though so yay!) She is such a calm and relaxed mom and makes it seem so easy! She is handling being a parent way better than I did and I am so proud of her! She is doing everything by herself and is doing it all so well!

Aubrey and baby Ryker

Noah!


Noah, being the youngest sister at 18, sometimes gets grief from all of us. She didn't have to grow up with all of us hogging the bathrooms and stealing clothes from each other. Noah has had her own room most of her life, where as the rest of us shared a room the majority of our childhood years (I would like to intereject that I only got my own room for 1 year while at home, ((that's the least amount out of any of the sisters)) ).  What makes Noah cool is obvious, as she is an amazing singer/songwriter and keyboardist! She has performed on several talk shows (link below) and places in the San Antonio/Austin areas She has always enjoyed singing and being in the spotlight. She is actually REALLY talented and is not just one of those singers whose family only thinks she is good, but she actually is. Check her out here if you don't believe me. I just know she is going to make it big someday!
One of Noah's most recent performances-  http://www.kens5.com/great-day-sa/Noah-Gregoire-Gives-A-Powerhouse-Performance-192535911.html

So there you have it! My super cool family!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Back to back Babies?

So, I feel like it is a new trend (or maybe it has always been this way, I have just never paid attention) to have your babies and kids very close together. I guess the reasoning behind it is so that the kids will have siblings close to their own age to play with, and you, as a parent, can sort of go through every stage of childhood at the same time. If you have say 3 kids in 5 years, then that stage of life can be completed and you can live your life geared towards your kids' age group instead of constantly having a baby around. I guess I get it, but I'm not sure I could handle it. I think the mothers that can handle that are so self less! I applaud you! I think I would like to not go any longer than 5 years between kids, as I would not like having kids that barely grow up together, but I feel like I need some room to breathe..

I guess I have been giving it thought, because people don't seem to be shy about asking me when I am going to have another baby, even thought Max is only 6 months old. I  am not really sure how to respond to this question, but all Jeff and I have agreed to say is we'll talk about it after Max is 2. We also know we for sure don't want another baby here in England. It has just been too hard with family so far away. I suppose the memory of having a new born is still so fresh in my mind, that I literally cannot imagine doing that all over again. I thought I would write a blog about it, just in case anyone was wondering about if we plan to have more kids. I have never thought I would have an only child. Coming from a big family, with tons of people to play with, I can't imagine growing up solo, and having to hang out with my parents all the time. For that reason alone, I want Max to have a sibling. I'm sure I will have another child eventually, but I am in no hurry at all...Plus I was not one of those people who enjoyed being pregnant, so I'm ok, giving my body a few years break from that:)

Maybe I would think about it differently, if we lived nearer to family or even in the same country, but it is just very hard out here. I am loving Max being a baby and it so cool seeing all the things he is learning to do, but it is definitely a sacrifice having a child. Also, having a second baby brings out the question that I'm sure all parents of multiple children ask themselves. How do I not choose favourites? How can I love the next one the same as the first? These are questions that I cannot answer and frankly, I really don't know how I could love another baby as much as Max. I suppose its just one of those things that parents figure out once they have another one:)
I suppose it's possible that once Max gets a bit bigger and starts growing out of his "baby" stage that I will come down with the feared "baby fever". And I probably will miss the fun and cute baby things he had done, but I will also remember the hard parts too. I am enjoying the baby moments now, because they do go by quickly, and I wish I hadn't been so stressed in the first 4 months of Max's life to enjoy that more. But I have to say, that so far, I don't miss him being a newborn... he is getting easier and easier and I am loving that!

So, when are we going to have more kids and how many kids do we want? I have no idea is the answer. We won't have a second baby for a few years at least, and from there will see if we want more after that. :)