Monday, December 31, 2012

Guest Post #4

Happy New Year, friends!  This is definitely a record for me to have made it a whole year without giving up on my New Year's Resolution!  Now 365 days later, I'm totally hooked on blogging and am excited to bring you a fantastic story to close out 2012.  This is a guest post by my little sister, Mackenzie.  Mackenzie's heart is so precious and her faith is admirable, which you will see through her words.  Enjoy and have a blessed 2013!


Mack and Ba-lock-ay's good news:

If you had told me six months ago I would be engaged at this time, I would have said, "you cray cray!" Oh wait, my BFF Kimberly did tell me that and I did say that.

I’m amazed and overwhelmed over God’s love for me. Every time I think of how MUCH I love Blake, my FIANCE, I’m reminded of how much God loves me plus infinity. Being in love is the most amazing feeling ever.  It’s one of the best gifts to give and receive. Thanks, God!

Blake and I go way back… THREE MONTHS!  No, actually 10 years. It was at my sister, Mandy’s, wedding when he first noticed me.  What a cutie.  It took him that long to ask me out. It couldn’t have been more perfect timing.  Just what I had prayed for.  God was preparing both our hearts for one another over those years and He taught us so much!  I would pray everyday for my future husband, whoever he was, wherever he was, and ask God to protect him.  Little did I know, Blake was praying for his future wife as well.  ME! 

I could go on and on about how wonderfully perfect (in my eyes) Blake is.  He’s such a gentleman that shows me the upmost respect.  I feel so safe and protected when I’m with him. I adore his heart and his love for Jesus.  He is a keeper (as Melrose would say).  I know he thinks the same about me too.  He’s told me so!

After our first date in September, falling in love, and telling each other we couldn’t imagine spending one day without each other, Blake asked me to marry him on December 24th.   The best Christmas Eve ever!  I spent the day with family and little did I know he spent the day preparing to propose. We met up that night and enjoyed our favorite Christmas tradition together, Christmas Eve service.  It was a really special time.  We were surrounded by family while celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

Before heading to the next Christmas party that night, Blake said he wanted to spend some time together. He took me to Midtown where the trees were lit and so shiny.  Kind of like my ring. ;) I told him its too cold to get out of the car so we stayed and drank hot chocolate, which he prepared himself.  He knew Starbucks would be closed.  Did I mention he is a GREAT planner? One more thing I love about him.  After ten minutes or so he kindly told me we were getting out of the car. I might of given him the stink face but he had hand warmers for me. Still no way did I think he was going to the pop the question.  We get out of the car, walk up to the sidewalk and he tells me there is something he wants to tell me.

He… gets… down… on…one knee and… asks me to MARRY HIM!!




“What?! You're doing this now?” oops, I mean, “YES! Of course I’ll marry you!”
I was so thrilled he asked me when he did. It was the perfect night.

Then he put a ring on it!







We celebrated with our families that night and it was so fun calling and texting our friends to tell them the good news!

I once heard in a sermon to: “Love well, date honorably and marry forever.” That’s some good truth and my promise to the Lord, Blake, and myself to live by. I can’t wait to be a wife and to continue to love and to honor my future husband forever!!

I love you Blakee Parker Beauchamp!



Yippe!!!! As baby Mackenzie would say, HAPPY NEW NEW!


Last night, I was reminiscing with my roomies about how cool it was to listen to the countdown on the radio ALL DAY on NYE in high school.  With that said, here is a countdown to my most popular/most read posts of 2012.  It was fun for me to re-read them.  I'm not offended if you do not have the same amount of fun.  I hope I have as much awesome material in 2013!  Who am I kidding, we have 2 babies, 1 wedding, a new house, and middle school ahead of us!

5. Our Fist Home

4. Sistas

3. Stella's Trip to the ER

2. A Real American Hero

1.  By popular demand:  Baby #4




Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas

It's always shocking to me how Christmas seems to come and go so quickly.  It's the most anticipated Holiday and gives such a "grand finale" feel to the year.  Every year.  Tonight I told the kids it was a bit of an "off" year for me due to all the events taking place in our lives.  They looked at me like I had 4 heads and replied with "what are you talking about!?  This was the best year yet!"




Well, alrighty then.  Good to know.  Still felt like an off year.  We didn't even get a tree.  Since we moved, we just kept our presents in a pile until we were ready to throw them under the Mixan's tree.  We usually take the kids to look at amazing Christmas lights every weekend in December and failed miserably this year.  I didn't take the kids to the store and let them pick out gifts for each other like every other year either.  Our elf, Little Tom (named after little grandpa Tom) "forgot" to go to the North Pole like 4 times and if you didn't get a Christmas card from us this year and you normally do, it's because I packed up my address book.  Sorry about that and you will get one next year. 

Here's a pic of us on Christmas Eve to hold you over till then:





The kids telling me that "it was the best year yet" is so classic and such a great reminder of what Christmas is all about.  They know JC is the reason.  I love that they know it doesn't take a decorated tree or Christmas cards to celebrate the miracle of Jesus' birth in style.  There really is something magical about Christmas.  I love that even though I work so hard to find them the perfect gift and make sure everything looks "even" under the tree, they really don't notice those details.  I'll never get sick of seeing their expressions on Christmas morning.







Christmas Eve service at my Church kinda rocks.  The kids ring bells and the adults light candles while we all sing Christmas carols.  Everyone is extra happy and dressed in their best.  It's my favorite all year and this year was extra special.  It was perfectly sandwiched between the Mickells family celebration and my little sister, Mackenzie's, ENGAGEMENT! 


SOOOO excited for Mackenzie and (uncle) Blake!  I smell a guest post...



This Christmas season had it's flaws and was definitely one to remember but I wouldn't change a thing.  2012 had character.  Gage and I have worked hard to not put all the emphasis on Santa and presents and I don't see that battle ending any time soon.  Although, it is encouraging to see my kids become more aware of the miracle of Christmas each year.  Let me tell ya, they've come a long way from this:





Honestly, Stella, I feel the same way.  His appearance is less than comforting but his intentions are good.  I promise you will grow to love him.  Until then, baby girl, just keep playing with your wooden manger scene and all it's innocence.  There ain't nothing scary about the precious baby Jesus.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Our First Home

Today I handed over the keys to our first home.  The feeling is strange and hard to put into words.  I’m not going to miss that house but I AM having a rush of emotions.  Honestly, the best I can describe it as is grateful.  I’m so grateful for all the memories we made in that house that have all been brought to the surface today as I handed over those keys.  (And garage door opener).

Sammy was 3 when we moved in.  He begged us to let him have red walls.  Red always was and still is his favorite color.  Since I waited what felt like a lifetime (I had a 3 year old) to paint bedroom walls, we went nuts.  The compromise was bottom half red, top half neutral.  He loved it all the way up until we moved out.  This is the room where he grew up through Elementary school.  It’s where his hermit crabs, Woody and Chucky Cheese, lived and died.






My baby Holly was potty trained in that house.  She lovingly cared for 2 dogs and 2 fish in her bedroom that we called her “pet store.” Her most precious prayers were prayed in that room.  She learned how to ride a bike on that street and cried when “the neighbor boys” moved.  I still have a giant scratch on the side of my van where she slammed right into it on her bike while speeding down the hill.  Is it weird that I don’t want to fix it? 




Two years ago, we turned our office into a little girl nursery.  It was my first time painting and designing a nursery.  It was one of my favorite things to have ever done in that house and I can’t wait to do it again in a new house for a new baby. 



Before Stella was born, Gage spent many sleepless nights in that same room during law school.  He stayed up studying and writing papers while I pretended to sleep.  We celebrated graduations, holidays, birthdays, weddings, and births in that house.  We hung Christmas lights for the first time and watched our kids learn how to climb fences.  I cried many many tears over my miscarriages and stayed awake happily nursing my newborn baby.  All in that house.



Getting the house ready for our renters was so exciting.  I didn’t even have time to think about all the memories we’ve made.  We knew we wanted to move and started slowly getting our house ready over the summer, but we really had no idea what God’s plan was.  I made minor improvements inside while Gage painted the outside of the house.  Alone.  Well, I helped a little.  A very little.  Even though he fell off the ladder and ended up with a twisted ankle, bruised rib, stiff neck and bruise the size of my head on his bum, I think even he would tell you it was worth it.  14111 be lookin’ good.   In fact, I was actually happy for him to have taken that fall because he had so much fun telling people that he “busted his ass painting the house.”  I’ll spare you that picture.  You’re welcome.


We are also so very excited to be making new memories in this crazy and temporary living arrangement we are in right now, but are genuinely sad to no longer be living next to this guy:



Dear neighbor Jeff aka Handyman,

Thank you for everything you’ve done for us.  Thank you for faithfully mowing our lawn while Gage studied for the Barr exam around the clock that summer.  Thank you for coming to his graduation from Law school and for never missing one of our kids’ birthdays.  They always loved the gifts you gave them from your garage.  Holly will always keep her string of rope lights and Sam, his rusty tool box.  I’m going to miss hearing you say “IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!?  Stay here, let me go see what I can find in my garage.”  However, I will NOT miss you and Gage driving your cars through each other’s yard when it snows.  On that note, Sam and Holly will definitely miss the massive snow mountain you make with your snow blower every year.  Since Stella has a major crush on you and “Jeff” was one of her first words, we will visit often.  We will be forever grateful to you for fixing our sink, our heat, our AC, our fridge, our front door, our shower, our cars, our washer and dryer, and most importantly our backed up sewer.  Whenever I need a good laugh, I will always picture you dry heaving and walking through our shit.  Since you refuse to let us pay you for your services, we promise to not turn you in for stealing our Wi-Fi all those years.

Sincerely,

The Cobb Mob

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More change

Wow, I've missed blogging!  I have so much to say that I apologize in advance if this post seems a bit scatter brained.  This month has quite possibly been the busiest month I've ever had. Top 5 for sure.  I have a new baby niece which has brought major excitement to our family and also made the time fly! After staring at Mandy's belly for 3 straight weeks, she's finally here and we all can't stop kissing on her.  Plus I hear Christmas is less than a week away.  Oh, and we moved.

Don't get too excited.  We are in a temporary living situation right now.  After some serious prayer, we were convinced that renting our house would be a great investment for us rather than selling it. We were hesitant for quite a while but when we found an amazingly perfect family, the pieces all started to fall into place easier than we could have ever hoped.  Even though I haven't known our renters for long, I seriously love them. Their kids already ride the bus to our neighborhood school and the kids' grandma lives one block over. I love a grandma in walking distance!

It's a good feeling to know that God's plan has trumped yours.  It's an even better feeling to know that he's always listening to your hearts quietest prayers.  When, in the midst of the busiest time of year, he reminds you how much he loves you in the sweetest ways.



Minnie Jo's one week photo shoot.  I know.  She's one week old.  She practically winked at me when I took this picture.

Today, I scheduled a 2 hour window to finish my Christmas shopping along with a laundry list of annoying errands.  I mapped out my destinations and strapped Stella in the car with tippy cup in hand.  I was driving for all of 5 minutes when I get a call from my kids' school informing me that I have a sick kiddo in the health room.  As easy as it could have been to be frustrated in that moment, I felt nothing but joy that I am able to go pick up my sick kid. I happily made a U turn, hugged my pale girl, and took her home to nurse her back to health.

I'm thankful and humbled this Holiday season.  Even though Gage and I are not quite ready to make
the major purchase of our "forever home" we are thankful for our temporary living situation.  We are SUPER excited about our rental investment and equally excited to power through student loans while we live for free for the next few (?) months.

Oh, I'm sorry did I forget to mention where we are living?

Just here:





Mixan, party of 11.  Home of constant noise and where paper plates are your best friend. 


No biggie.  We are living with my sister, her husband and their four children. Totaling 11 people. We turned their basement into a 2 bedroom apartment and even though we have only been there a few days, the kids are having the time of their life.  We have no idea how long we will be there yet but I promise it's temporary and I also promise to keep you entertained along the way.  It all depends on

A. How addicted we get to saving money
B. Whenever we get the itch to start house hunting
C. How much longer it takes Mayzie to pull every hair out of Stella's head
D. How many more black and white movies Mike and Gage force us to watch


Either way, we have an exciting and wild ride ahead. I'm pumped about our future and grateful beyond grateful for my crazy family. 





hange

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Guest Post #3

Today's guest post is a beautiful birth story by my BFF.  My sister, Mandy, does not have a blog but needs one because she has plenty-o-material to write about it.  I'm beyond thrilled that she found time in her crazy busy life to write this guest post! Enjoy!


A BIRTH story, by Mandy Mixan

I love birthdays.  Most people close to me know this fact about me…and would even say that my love for celebrating birthdays is a “defining quality” of who I am.  I just love that you get a whole day out of the year to celebrate YOU (ME!)  I can pretty much tell you about each of my childhood birthdays, kid parties, favorite gifts, “milestone” birthdays (sweet 16 = singing tell a gram, 18 = jewelry from my parents, 21 = concert with amazing friends and Christina Aguilara dance party in the parking lot…with zero alcohol involved).  But what I could have never told you was how much my love for birthdays would increase once I started having babies…I did not even think that I could love birthdays anymore…until I discovered BIRTHdays.  The day my babies are born; knocks the socks off of silly ‘ol me and my dance parties and lunch dates.

I celebrated, along with my husband, Mike, our fourth little girl’s BIRTHday last Saturday, Dec. 8th.  It was amazing.  Before I get to her birthday story, I have to go back a bit.  You see, I have experienced a few extreme BIRTHdays.  In fact, I think I could sum up each girls’ BIRTHday story in a word that closely matches their unique little personalities.  Melrose = DRAMATIC (long labor, lots of pushing, dramatic ending/entrance via C-section); Marlow = Peaceful (playbook VBAC); Mayzie = CRAZY!!!! (I opted for no epidural on this one…and YOWZA!!!) Minnie Jo Ann Mixan entered the world at just the perfect time (10:21pm to be exact..which happens to be MY birthday), after weeks of praying that the timing would be perfect, and she was in perfect health.  In a word, at this point (and I know it will change), Minne Jo = perfect.  Or rather, perfectly refreshing.


For Minnie Jo, I feel like I labored for a month before she arrived.  My doctor, who is notorious for NEVER giving a 9 month pregnant woman false hope, even declared that I would have the baby within 48 hours…on November 26th!  I had start/stop contractions for weeks leading up to the big day, multiple emotional breakdowns, many, MANY projects completed around the house and everyone around me on pins and needles.  Ooooops.  Sorry bout that.

 The morning of December 8th, right after Mike left for work (5:00am), I felt a “pain” contraction.  Thirty minutes later, I felt another.  I debated on calling Mike home, but thought I would wait to get confirmation…and than I fell asleep.  Dang.  At 11:00am, the same thing happened.  I alerted Mike, my mom and sisters only to once again, fall asleep.  Double Dang.  At 3:30pm, Missy and I went to get a pizza, as we placed our order I had a “both hands on the counter, breathe, can’t talk, pain contraction” (YA-WHOOOOO!!! THIS is IT!) Somewhat frantically, Missy informed the poor 18 year kid working at Valentinos that I was about to have a baby and please put a rush on the pizzas…to which he responded by giving me a FREE pepsi.  I called Mike home from work, giddily left the pizza joint with my free drink in hand and prepared to have a baby!   


I labored at home for a few hours, but after my crazy Mayzie started to blow strawberries on my butt, pull my hair and climb on my back during very painful contractions…we headed to the hospital (at 7:45pm).

Upon arriving at Bergan, we had a picture perfect birthing experience. J Quick check-in, lovely nursing staff, a husband who was on his A-game in cracking jokes, family arrived, baby’s doing great, labor progressing, aaaand the anesthesiologist was available to administer my epidural!  2 hours from check-in, Minnie Jo entered the world weighing 7lbs 8oz, 20 ½ in long.


Having a baby is overwhelming, it is an experience that is difficult to put into words (or a single blog).  I’m completely addicted to EVERYTHING about it.  Recalling the details of Minnie Jo's BIRTHday brings me so much happiness today...and because I can do the same with the same resulting happiness for all of my daughter's BIRTHdays, I know it will always be something I look back to and think of with GREAT GREAT joy and pride.


I’m also addicted to seeing a new little member of our family welcomed.  My absolutely, hands down, favorite part about having babies is seeing them together. 

I feel blessed and humbled to be trusted with these little lives.  My heart leaps with joy seeing my daughters love on each other, support each other, hug each other, and celebrate together. 



And even though we are starting to run out of room at our house, I can’t help but feel a tinge of excitement thinking that it would be totally worth it to go for a boy on round 5…and, of course, be absolutely fine to find out it will be another bundle of pink ;)

*Petitions for Mandy to start her own blog so you can see more of those cute faces can be added in the comment section.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Change

Life has been so busy lately that I really don't even have time to write this post today but I'm doing it. After all, the whole point is to document memories and milestones.  The good and the bad.

Our family (mostly me) have been tossing around the idea of finding a more suitable home for our crazy pug for pretty much forever.  The conversations turned serious a few months ago and even more serious last week when we contacted the Pug rescue here in Omaha. They were so excited about Jarjar and had a LIST of families to choose from.  That was confirmation #1.

Yesterday, the family they chose drove all the way from Kansas City to adopt him.



This is the first day to the rest of your life, buddy
Even though I'm not a dog lover, I'm pretty sure Jarjar is the craziest dog I've ever known.   Because Holly loves him so much, I've tolerated him and always provided for him.  Play with him?  That's where I draw the line.  Since Holly is at school all day and dance all night, Jarjar needs and deserves a home FULL of dog lovers.  Not just an 8 year old girl who cuddles with him at night.   Even though there were tears, Holly agreed.   Confirmation #2.





Holly said her goodbyes yesterday before heading off to go see The Nutcracker with Miss Sally.   I was so relieved that the timing worked out the way it did.  The woman picking him up came while Holly was gone.  Again, Holly was fine with that.

Even though Sammy was here when Jarjar left, I really don't even think he noticed.  He'll figure it out someday.   However, Stella was able to get one last giggle in.



As he ran 40 MPH up and down the hallway and onto the couch, the woman smiled and said "oh I just love when they do that!" It took everything in me to not ask her if she was serious. I could tell she was. 
Confirmation #3.

When we heard the family was driving 3 hours to get him, I was picturing a family of smart dog lovers that will make a point to train him to settle the heck down. Wrong!

With complete joy in her face, she told me that her SEVENTEEN year old pug with cancer just died and he acted that hyper right up till his last breath. Umm, okay. 

I practically skipped to her car and threw his packed bag in her backseat. She carried Jarjar while he squirmed, scratched, and licked the crap out of her face. She loved it.



Stella always loved it too.  Mommy hated it.

Remember that my top strength is Empathy, so I was fully prepared to deal with Holly's heartbreak in a healthy way. Thankfully, there wasn't any real heartbreak. I explained to her many times how Jar is just not a good fit for our family. Someday we will get one of those cute (GIRL) lap dogs that don't shed, snore, fart, or hump. It will let you take it for walks and sit politely in its front yard without running away. When people come over, you won't be embarrassed or have to scream at them as soon as they walk in to hurry and shut the door because our dog escapes!  I told her that there is a family that is a perfect fit for Jarjar. They WANT a dog that is wild and crazy like him. Not only are they dog lovers, but they are PUG lovers! That made her happy.

As heartless as my jokes about Jarjar may sound, I actually, in some funny way, feel that God had his hand on this whole process. I'm genuinely happy for that crazy mutt.  His new family will apprecitae all his wild and discusting habits.

To add to it, Yesterday morning, Holly (my sweet dog lover) was bit by a dog. She was at her friends house and their very big but very friendly dog bit her on the face.  Because God was protecting her at that very moment and for that reason only, he didn't even break the skin.  Holly prays every night for Gods protection and specifically that "no one would get hurt."

I'm so amazed at how God works and how he protects us. He knew that Holly would be sad about Jarjar and the timing of that dog bite was not coincidence. The fact that her specific and consistent prayer was answered was also not coincidence.

It's by Gods grace that Holly fell asleep happy and giggling last night.  I'm so beyond feeling thankful that my girl was protected yesterday in more ways that one.  Holly took some video of Jar on her ipod and I'm sure she will watch it and smile every single day.




There were definitely tears during this picture.  It wasn't until I looked at it on the computer, that I noticed he is licking her dog bite.   What a precious picture of God's love and grace.  

Finding a home for Jarjar is something that Gage and I have been wanting to do for a while.  We put if off because we were not sure if it was the right decision and didn't think it was worth tramatizing Holly.  What I didn't anticipate, was feeling this good knowing that we made the right choice. This morning Stella even got to carry her bowl of dried cherrios around without yelling "NO JAR!"  It made all of us smile.