When all you gotta keep is strong…

move along move along like i know ya do.  Man, those all-american rejects are deep. And yet the words of that song have been so true for me in more than one circumstance over the past couple years. On a completely random side note, when Ben and I went to the AAR concert in Dec. 06, everyone had started to clear out and leave when they came back onstage for their second encore. You guessed it, it was this song. Ben pushed me to the very front of the upper level to stand there and hear it and let me tell you – its an amazing live performance. I’ll never forget it. I realize there are probably millions more spiritual songs that could have the same significance to me, and  yet this is the one i have latched onto for now. welcome to my world.[/end tangent].

So anyways – that is today for me, moving along. Moving past last week, moving forward to a very busy fall season ahead. Planning for MOPS starting and Kidstown kickoff, and changes to schedules and new babies. Lots to plan for. Lots of meetings to schedule. but if i think about too much of it at once it starts to get overwhelming. So I am trying to break it up into bite-size chunks, plan a little at a time, and have the plan fully in place, so that none of it is too stressful all at once. Seriously, if I could just clone myself or get four more hours into a day, life would be good. I do not know what i would be doing without the thyroid meds; at least now i have the wherewithal to get out of bed in the morning, and have the energy to last past the girls’ bedtimes. I feel like this is one of those battles I have been fighting my whole life (cramming 28 hours worth of activities into 24 hours, 7/365), but I feel, i dunno, somehow better equipped at this time to actually tackle it in the way it needs to be tackled. which makes no sense. I mean, my life could not be any crazier than it currently is, and yet i have the most sense of calm about what is to come. And it’s not even 4:20 yet!!!! (you gotta holla in the comments if you get that. i know at least one of you will!!!)

And now we come to the portion of this blog post where I stop whining and talking about meaningless stuff and get to the cute kid pictures. there are a lot of them. i have a lot of catching up to do on activities! we missed 4th of July/my birthday/kaylen’s 1st birthday, and then karissa’s big not-to-be-missed social soiree of the year birthday party. It may not all fit in one post. And if it does your eyes will be at least a hundred diopters worse for all the reading. Don’t say I didn’t DSC_0051warn you. But maybe I will have mercy and save some cute stuff for tomorrow. since, you know, tuesdays are just so….tuesdayish.

first up, let’s see what pics I have edited from the 4th…

oh this was fun. I woke up to this birthday morning surprise from a good friend. It was a good fattening breakfast, my favorite creamers which I drink with just a little coffee flavoring, my favorite flowers, and just in general, a great big smile all wrapped up in a big bow on my front porch. this was the first birthday I could remember in YEARS that i actually had more than just my family remember it was my birthday. I was SO BLESSED by all the e-cards, emails, calls, and cards i received from all my friends forDSC_0069 my birthday. Truly, I felt very special the whole day!

and, as any good birthday would have, Ben and I spent a few hours blowing up BALLOONS – lots of them- for Kaylen’s party. She loved them. and thank the party gods for helium tank rentals. I had tried to go with the cupcake theme for Kaylen’s birthday, but there was surprisingly no cupcake themey stuff at Party City.DSC_0356 Go figure. i don’t think she’ll notice though. she was, however, pretty enthralled with the actual cupcake she got to consume as her birthday cake. i thought i’d be wiping up pink frosting for all of eternity after this. Luckily, she managed to actually consume most of it.  Her reaction to getting handed a whole cupcake was PRICELESS. She instantly picked it up and devoured it, of course, face-smashing frosting first.


She was NOT, howeverDSC_0290 , a huge fan of the precious little “1st Birthday Princess” crown headband I had bought special for the party. At one point she tried to pull it off her head and ended up succeeding in only snapping it back into her eye. I had to laugh. Isn’t that so typical of our lives even as adults? the more we whine about something and try to get out of it, the more it just comes back to bite us in the tookus.  Overall, she did great throughout the day, even taking a quick nap before the big fireworks show so that we could all enjoy going down to the park and watching the “show to rival downtown Chicago’s”. Hey, we’ll let the man dream. And the airshow before the fireworks was pretty cool, I’ll give the city that much credit.  DSC_0470


And then there was the pyromaniac “I like to play with fire” Atkinson display at good ol’ 1587. Someone went a little nuts in Indiana during a business trip with the BOGO deals on illegals. at least he kept all of his limbs and DSC_0496 digits. And in a house full of soon to be 5 women, the man deserves a little “let’s blow crap up” downtime. it was a good pre-cursor to the big show for some of the little kids i think. plus its always fun to play with new settings on the old DSLR-aroo.

And now in the interest of trying to get this post to actually post to the web, I will leave you with a few pics, with many many more to come tomorrow.



Happy 4th of July from the Atkinsons!!!


The cupcake cake for Kaylen. Thank God for the meijer bakery.DSC_0266



Blue frosting – even worse than reddish/pink. it’s the birthday gift that keeps on givin’



Three words for you:





i swear the stuff could cure cancer if they would conduct such research. you absolutely cannot be unhappy while eating the stuff. Ben bought me two. Cause, you know, i totally need the extra fluff. But you just can’t get enough.

i still have some if anyone wants a slice. Come on over.

ok – much more to come tomorrow. including Ben’s escapade as the SCARY Captain Jack Sparrow. (Max, you may not want to read tomorrow…)

Have a great rest of your monday!


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  1. i totally love that song. it was on my marathon training i pod mix. i’m jealous you saw it live. just reminds me how i need to make more time for good music.

  2. What a GREAT family picture! Who took that? I have got to have their number!
    I am LOL-ing at the part where you told Max not to read tomorrow! hahaha

  3. Oh my precious psyche! I need a few more nickels for future therapy. Zach is working on sweet num chucking skills if that pirate returns. We will recognize him by the bruise on his shin.

  4. 1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!
    2. I think that is the first Atkinson family pic I’ve ever seen – you guys are adorable!!
    3. I’d LOVE a piece of Mama’s cake! 🙂