Saturday, May 25, 2013

Family day

Saturday was FAMILY day!  It was awesome.  It started off with a family lunch date to California Pizza Kitchen.  (Thank you, youth girls, for the gift card).  Our kids love that place!!
Preston and Steven - they love each other so much!!
Then we went shopping.  Both Steven and I saved our money and bought our first pair of tennis shoes in years!  Its awesome.  Here is a picture of my new pair.
After we got home Peyton and Daddy took a nap.  So sweet.
After dinner we took a walk down to Mr. Wizards for some Ice Cream.   Overall, we had a wonderful day.
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Catching up

Again, so sorry for not updating the blog the past week.  Life has been very full.  Let me give everyone a re-cap of some things we have been doing.  First, Richmond Heights held its first annual Art Fest last weekend.  Since we live 2 blocks from the fair location we were able to walk over and enjoy.  It was wonderful.  There was good food, music, lovely vendors and activities for kids.  Here is a picture of Preston working on a mural for our community center.   Have I mentioned that Preston LOVES painting?  Well, he does.
Last Sunday was my Birthday (I turned 25 years old again) and our Church also held their annual family picnic.  Another lovely event, wonderful weather and dear friends.  Here we have sweet Peyton giving one of her best friends, Jane, a big hug.
Oh yes, she LOVED the bounce house.  This girl has no fear.
Ok, I did mention that it was my Birthday.  To celebrate, Steven took me out to dinner.  It was so nice to get away for a few hours and enjoy some yummy food at Canyon Cafe.  Thank you, Grammie and Papa, for watching the kids.
Earlier this week I took the kids to the park.  Both kids insisted on walking vs. riding in the stroller.  It didn't last long but it was super cute to watch them try.  Have I also mentioned that Peyton wants to do everything that her big brother does?  Its true.  
Preston had his first last day of school on Wednesday.  I am so proud of this big boy.  While he has another year of Pre-School before he can begin Kindergarden I am so proud of all that he learned this past year, the nice friends he made and the kids teachers in his class.  I am so thankful for our school and look forward to getting more involved next year.
Now that the kids are on 'summer break' we took full advantage of the extra free time and headed to the park on Thursday.  Peyton loves to swing.  Oh yes, look at that hair!!  Its crazy.  I keep trying to see if she will let me pull it back/up/ but so far all I receive is rejection.  I'll keep trying.
Spring continues to be glorious this year.  Here is a beautiful photo of one of my neighbors Peony's.
We all learn new things every day.  Preston learned how to blow up a balloon this week.  Good job, buddy.  Now we just need to keep working on learning to whistle.
Thats all for now.  More posts this weekend.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our baby birds

The Dalbey family has welcome some sweet birds into our family the past few weeks.  We have 2 nests.  One in the back upstairs window and one in the front porch tower.  We have all enjoyed watching the birds go from little blue eggs to sweet baby birds just about to leave their nest and explore the world.  Peyton continues to call them 'my birdies' and loves when I lift her up to see them.  Here are a few photos of these sweet little things.  First, we have the birds from the back window nest who are a few weeks older than the ones in the front.  Here they are waiting for their mommy to return to the nest.
Still waiting for mommy and so cute.  
Here are the birds from the front porch.  They love to stick up their little heads and call out for food.
This picture cracks me up. Notice the bird in the front who looks totally spent and then the bird in the back wailing for its mommy.  Hilarious.
Oh yes, Peyton even took some blocks and said she was making a birdie nest today.  So cute.
Here we have a photo of the kids looking up at the nest.  Preston thinks it is super funny and Peyton just stares.  This photo accurately capture their personalities.
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cousins & Mother's Day

It has been a wonderful Mother's Day here at the Dalbey house.  While we were unable to celebrate with Steven's family as his parents were out of town, we were able to celebrate with my family and had a wonderful time.  The food was yummy, our time with family was joyful and watching my kids play with their cousins was priceless. I am so thankful for my little ones and the joy they bring to my life and our family.  Here are a couple photos from the kids playing with their cousins this afternoon.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A new look

A few weeks ago I did a post on the removal of the shrubs in the front yard.  Again, here is the before picture - YUCK!
I thought the space looked better empty!
Today was a beautiful day here in St. Louis and my Mother in Law, Beth Dalbey, surprised me for my Birthday and Mother's Day by buying some new shrubs for our front yard!  This was such a wonderful surprise.  Here we are as we began to place the plants and dig the holes.
Another look at the work in progress.  The shrubs are so beautiful and already add so much warmth to our front yard.
Ta Da - planted in the ground and we even had time to mulch all around to keep the roots wet and the weeds out!
Here is the look from the sidewalk.  So much BETTER!  Again, thank you to Beth for this lovely and thoughtful gift.  Only thing left in the front yard is to pain the front porch.  That project should begin in the next month or so and will add so much more to our front yard.
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend Update

The Dalbey family had a nice weekend together.  It was so good to be all together after Steven's trip to Spain that we decided to spend all of Saturday together.  At first I was bummed because it was raining and I had to re-schedule 5 photo shoots.  Thankfully, there are plenty of things to do in St. Louis that are indoor AND the rain held off enough to enjoy a few moments outside.  Here is Peyton and mommy in front of our neighbors house. The flowers are BEAUTIFUL!  I'm thinking photo shoot this afternoon.
Our first adventure on Saturday was the St. Louis Science Center.  Preston LOVES this place.
Peyton was so proud of the arch she helped mommy build.
After the Science Center we went to our local community center for a look at some big trucks, tanks and other equipment.  Preston tacked the bikes on the 'road' and learned about how to stop and yield for other drivers.
Both Peyton and Preston also enjoyed driving some cool trucks.
Even though it is Monday and we are back to the 'normal' schedule I am thankful we could have some good quality family time over the weekend.
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Friday, May 3, 2013

Our week

A just wrote a 'not so nice' blog post about my life the past year.  I am now trying to 'lighten things up' by posting a few photos from our week at the Dalbey house.

First, we are anxiously awaiting the birth of our little baby robin birds.  The kids ask daily to check to see if they have been born - so cute.
I went to my first Cardinals game of the year on Wednesday. This was a gift from one of my co-workers and the game was a complete delight.  The game was awesome (CARDINALS WIN), the weather was beautiful (Sunny) and I enjoyed my needed break from work.
Steven returned from his trip across the pond on Wednesday.  (I'll note more about that in a later post).  He had a wonderful trip and brought me home the most wonderful souvenir.  Can it get any better than English Tudor and Shakespeare on a Starbucks Mug?  I say no.
Both kids have been great this week.  We have made numerous trips to the park and even did some work outside in our yard.  Peyton has especially been super cute and cuddly this week.  She loves to come into our room every morning about 6:30 am and cuddle with mommy and daddy.  I love my morning snuggles.

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Recovering from Acne - reflections

I don't even know where to begin with this post.  All I can say is that the past 16 months have been quite an adventure...and not one I have enjoyed.  I would much rather have taken an adventure through the Amazon or the African desert than take an adventure with treating and healing my horrible Acne.  Nevertheless, the Acne appeared on my face and it was quite a battle to remove.  Here are a few honest reflections on my journey.
It all started in late January 2012 when I noticed my skin starting to break out a little more than normal.  I basically told myself it was no big deal and that I would just clean, cover and move on.  Well, the cleaning and covering continued for a couple months and it didn't seem to get any better.  I was therefore unable to move on very well with life because I was constantly distracted hiding my face.  Here is a picture of my face - yuck.
I went to my dermatologist in March of 2012 seeking an answer to my problem.  The acne was red, constant and it hurt - bad.  Since I was still nursing sweet Peyton I could only take a simple antibiotic.  I started that treatment immediately and some relief came.  Here we are a few months later.  The redness and scaring were still there but I didn't seem to be having any new breakouts...should I be thankful?
When things didn't get completely better I started to turn to home treatments. I found some really cool stuff on Pinterest.  This treatment was a combination of lemon juice, cinnamon and water.  It tasted yummy but didn't do too much to relieve the redness/scaring.
I also started drinking more water, cut out ALL fried foods, quit drinking soda, and started drinking Green Tea because one website said it would help.  As the months past I became quite good at covering my acne.  In the following two photos you can't really see the acne but I can guarantee that it was still there.
In this picture you can tell my face is still red and a little swollen from the scaring.  I spent as much time as possible outside hoping that the sun would cure my didn't really work.  
September finally rolled around and I was tired of the acne.  Really tired.  I kept thinking about how I'm 32 years old, a wife, a mother to 2 young children and have a fairly active life. Why in the world was I having this adult onset of acne.   My acne was slowing me down big time.  I would cry almost on a daily basis.  I felt ugly, unlovable, and down right miserable.  I am so thankful for a loving and patient husband who reminded me that I was still beautiful and that it wasn't as bad as I thought.  I wanted to believe him but often did not believe him.
I finally went to another dermatologist who said that in order to put me on a more powerful medicine I would have to wean my then 18 month daughter.  While I thought weaning Peyton wouldn't be that big of a deal it ended up being very sad for me.  Peyton had a hard time not drinking 'mommy milk' and I went through a whole bunch of feelings about the decision I had just made. (Guilt, Mommy failure, etc...).  To be honest, all I cared about was healing my acne.  Here is a photo last November.  The acne was improving, slowly.
Here is a random note about Acne.  Its a stubborn thing.  While the medication from my dermatologist was helping it was not 100% better.  I know that Acne is often brought on by a combination of factors like what you eat, how much you sleep, how much stress is present in your life, etc...  Most people who know my story know that 2012 was a year I would like to forget.  It was a very stressful year for our family with regards to our jobs and money.  I can only imagine how much stress impacted my emotions and therefore my hormones and my skin.  This picture was taken in February, 2013.  My skin was doing a lot better.
Another thing I wanted to note was the importance of having a General Physician.  Steven and I have a GREAT doctor who cares well for our family and the St. Louis Dalbey family.  At my annual appointment in late December my doctor noticed from my blood work that my Vitamin D levels were severely low.  He started me on a weekly dose of the Vitamin along with my daily intake of a multi vitamin.  After the start of this treatment I began to see a huge improvement in my skin.  I even ran out of my medication from my dermatologist and have not taken the meds in over a month.  My skin continues to heal and improve. Here are a few recent photos of my sin.  This one from a month ago.
This one is from this morning.  I am sorry for the dull look but notice I am not wearing any make up and my acne is almost gone.  I am so thankful.   
I'm not sure if the Vitamin D cured my Acne or if the decreased stress on our family has helped but I can thankfully say that my acne is almost gone.  I'm still a bit nervous it will return but become more hopeful each day that my skin will continue to improve and I can move on with my life.  

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