A Quieter Christmas. A Quieter World.

Last year was an emotional year for us as we figured out how to celebrate Christmas differently.  We grieved our way through.  Just a few days after Gigi nearly died after a routine surgery.  We spent almost all of January with her in the hospital recovering from a surprise heart surgery.  She is doing so…

Thankful For Changes

This year was our first year eating Thanksgiving dinner with just us.  “Just” is relative term when there are 13 people in our immediate family.  On Thanksgiving last year, my extended family decided we were no longer welcome at their holiday celebrations.  By Christmas, it was decided they would no speak to us at all….

Halloween 2017

2017’s theme is “Just keep swimming!”  So, this seemed so appropriate. Our little Dory is struggling a little.  Her lungs are always troublesome, but her weight is now a concern too.  We’re trying to figure out why she’s so very fragile. Luckily, she’s got people to swim right along beside her.  Always. While her body…

Refresh(er)

I attended Refresh Chicago this weekend.  I had been planning this for months.  It has been on my calendar since March.  I barely made it.  Joe and I had a HUGE fight.  The kid in our home who struggles the most with attachment chose the week of the conference to have a week of meltdowns.  This…

Lazy Beach Days.

We just returned from seven lazy beach days courtesy of Spring Break.  These types of trips are becoming more and more important to me as time slowly ticks away with some of our kids.  Ally is finishing up her Freshmen year of high school, Cam will follow her next year. My time with them feels…

First Birthday Understood.

Today Gigi turned 5, and it is the first birthday she understood.  We actually celebrated on Friday, because yesterday we took off for a Spring Break adventure. “Soon, you sing!” “Cake, I LOVE IT!” “Presents, you give me!” After watching all of her siblings celebrate their special days, she understands what all the fuss is…

The FullPlateFamily Does Disney World: Behind the Scenes.

Week before last, we took a much needed break, as a family, and headed to Disney World.  Gigi just went through something completely life changing.  We all needed time to re-group.  This trip had been planned for awhile, and we debated cancelling it.  As it turns out though, it was just what we needed. We…

A Murder Mystery on NYE

2016 is about to roll out, and we’re anxiously waiting for 2017 to roll on in.  2016 hasn’t been the kindest of years.  We’re ready for it to end.  When we asked the kids how they wanted to kiss this year goodbye, they said they REALLY wanted to party.  This year Santa brought the kids…

Ally in Washington DC

This week, Ally got a chance to hold the whole world in her hands for just a little bit as she explored our nation’s capital, all by herself. The photography in this post is all her, up until the photos at the end of her re-entry.  She took an online class with me before she…

Scenes from a Saturday: Fun Fair and a Cut of their Hair.

I want to be so much better about posting the every day stuff we do around here on this blog, along with documenting the firsts .  Today was the elementary school Fun Fair.  I love this day every year and I will be SO sad when I don’t get to go to them anymore.  Luckily,…

My Wish for You (Her Wish: The Final Day).

Dear Tess, Today is the final day of your wish.  Well, we have two days of driving left, but I doubt there will be much to say about those, except “He’s TOUCHING ME!!” and “STOP IT!” I’m kidding, kind of. I think you feel all this drawing to a close, and you’re not sure quite…

Unicorn Rider (Her Wish: Day 7).

Hi Tess, Today was THE DAY.  And, oh my gosh, what a day it was.  We were up this morning at the crack of dawn, putting on our glow-in-the dark unicorn tattoos to get into the spirit of the day. We drove to Bradenton Beach and arrived just in time for you to see them…