Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My sister, the bride :)

On June 11, 2011 my little sister up and got herself married.  And I’m so incredibly happy for her, beyond what words can express (though I’ll try my damndest to express them in a way that I can).  Waaaay underneath all the excitement a teeny tiny part of me is an itsy bitsy jealous—in that never-ending sibling rivalry type of way—not jealous of her per se, but jealous that she has done something that I haven’t.  Geesh, sibling rivalry really never ends does it?!?  But like I said before, I am so thrilled that she has found her other half, the man that makes her laugh and smile and feel safe and loved.  Some of you have probably heard part of this before, but here it is again…..

Katie was always the littlest sister.  We tease that she was born to be my playmate (since there are 5 yrs between my older sister and I they needed to have another baby so that I had someone to play with ;)).  We used to tease her a lot actually, probably way too much. 



But that’s what sisters do I guess!  But all teasing aside, she’s always been my very best friend in the world!  She was my buddy growing up and we had a lot of amazing childhood memories together.  I remember the year The Lion King came out and we both got Troll suitcases to house our Barbies and their endless wardrobes, as well as the magnetic nosed Simba and Nala.  I remember decorating Christmas trees, dying Easter Eggs, fighting over the pickles and olives at family celebrations, choreographing dances, hurling oranges against the wall beneath the stairs to “peel them”, playing “can’t touch the floor” in the basement using the rafters and furniture, pretending to be twins on family vacations, sliding down the stairs in laundry baskets, taking the cross country skis to the golf course to try and downhill ski, sledding down the golf course hill, swimming in the flooded golf course, terrorizing our foreign exchanges student with our zebra finches, going to grandma and grandpas and halter breaking our calves….the list really goes on and on. 

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Of course, with all the fun and happy memories come memories of guilt over the way we acted—as sisters usually do.  Fighting over stupid things like clothing, shoes, makeup, hair products, nail polish, boys, who’s smarter, who has more friends, who’s boyfriend is cuter, who’s better at sports.  I remember getting so mad at her that I threw the bowl of pudding I was making at her bedroom door as it closed.  Or getting so mad that I kicked a hole in the upstairs hallway wall.  I remember getting jealous that she made varsity basketball as a sophomore when I hardly even started as a senior, and when the cross country team made it to State the year after I graduated high school. 


And then came college.  As much as I hated to admit it, I was sad that she was home and I was away.  I missed her so much.  Even though we didn’t always get along the greatest in high school, I missed having her around to talk about the day with, or complain about boys or school or friends to.  I was more than excited to have her stay in my dorm room and hang out (aka party) for a weekend, to show her what college was like.  I was also pretty excited when she decided to follow in my footsteps and come to UW-La Crosse!  We eventually ended up getting an apartment together—which was so much more relaxing than sharing with friends!!  We already knew each others faults and weaknesses, so we didn’t have to spend time figuring out how to tell each other things that bothered us.  We just knew.  She had her own set of friends, and I had mine.  Sure, some of them ended up being in the same people, which was fine. 


We went to Spring Break with those mutual friends in 2007.  I will admit that I was a little bit unfriendly during this trip.  She knows how I acted, and I’ve since then apologized profusely for my actions.  Moral of the story is, I’m glad she was there even though I didn’t show it.  I’m glad we got to experience that together, even though I acted like she was that super annoying little sister.  I wish I wouldn’t have acted like that, I wish I would’ve put my stupid jealousy and annoyance aside so that we could’ve really gotten to enjoy the trip as close sisters should!

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Well hey, this was supposed to be a blog about her getting married!  So maybe I should actually talk about that part??  Katie met Andrew (I knew him as Buck for 6 yrs prior to this) when we lived together in college.  He was a good friend from track, as we both participated in the sport in college.  He had moved to Colorado, and since my older sister lived out there I took the opportunity to visit with him when I housesat for her as they went on a trip.  When he moved back, I invited him to hang out when I found out he lived across the street from us.  He came over, we watched TV, then Katie came home from work or class (can’t remember).  We all hung out for a little while, then Buck went home and within minutes tried getting me to set them up.  I told him to get in touch with her on facebook—that I really didn’t want to get into the middle of it.  I more or less didn’t want to be blamed if things went wrong—I didn’t want my sister/best friend to be pissed at me and hold a grudge, and I didn’t want to lose one of my really good guy friends.  So I exited the situation…..but they ended up getting together, and after a few years of dating, realized it was serious.  They moved to CO together and bought a house, and got engaged!

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Katie asked me to be her maid-of-honor.  I already knew it was coming based on the “deal” we made as kids (and she is my daughter’s godmother—makes sense!), but I was still thrilled to be asked, and loved the fact that I would be standing next to her as she married her other best friend.  I probably wasn’t the best MOH I could’ve been, being so far away made it hard to plan things and do things together like we should’ve :(.  But I tried!

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Wedding Day:  Katie could never look more beautiful than she did on her wedding day.  She worked hard to get herself into wedding shape, and she looked amazing!! Her dress fit her perfectly, her hair was in gorgeous long waves, her makeup was flawless.  She looked stunning—lucky Buck!!  The whole day was full of emotions—I was so proud of her for the path she took leading to this day, and so excited for her.  I sat back and watched the happiness on her face, and I could just tell that even though she didn’t admit it, this day was one of the most special days of her life: she was about to marry her other half.  She had a radiance about her that only true love and happiness gives way to.  She was cool, calm and collected.  She was internally giddy in a way that only a sister can tell.  It was so much fun to be there for her on this amazing day! 


I found myself tearing up as she was walking up the aisle with our dad.  It was like our childhood was flashing before my eyes, and she was no longer my innocent (ha!) little sister, but was growing to be this amazing young woman.  Nothing changed—except her last name.  But I still felt like I was losing something, and I’m not sure why!  I was gaining an amazing and wonderful brother in law—one who I already knew I liked and had fun with, one who I could relate to, one who I could vent to if I needed to, one who I knew I could count on (not that I couldn’t with my other BIL’s—but we’d been friends for years prior to this relationship). 

To end this novel, I just want to say that the whole ordeal was amazing.  It was full of laughter, entertaining inside jokes, crazy antics, a lot of “what the..?’s”, and great times and memories.  I was able to spend time with family and friends I hadn’t seen in forever.  The whole way home to Des Moines I relived the weekend and all the fun we had.  I was sad to see the weekend go, wish it could’ve been a few days longer!  It made me realize just how precious our family is—and how close we all are, even though we don’t say it.  We are lucky.  We have each other. So Buck, you better treat her right or you have ME to answer to;)   I love you BOTH Mr and Mrs Buchberger!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Caught up on LIFE

Apparently my blogging skills have been on hiatus since i've been so caught up in, LIFE.  Life has been a blur the last few weeks.  New skills have been learned, new families have been joined, names have been changed, fears have been...well, attempted to conquer at least! 

One cool thing about Des Moines is that there is a theme park not too far from our house: Adventureland.  Complete with rollercoasters, high flying-heart pounding rides that cause your inner child to scream in hysterics...(yeah, that didn't happen this time, but someday soon it will!)  We decided to go there as a family a few weekends ago, and introduce Aubrie to the world of thrill rides!  She didn’t bite the bait.  The girl fought me as I tried to buckle her onto the carousal horse—the first ride of the day!  She eventually dug it and was actually smiling and saying “whee” by about the 4th or 5th rotation.  But the 2nd ride had her screaming in hysterics.  Why did I think a toddler who struggles on the carousal is going to enjoy being dropped hydraulic-style 5 foot increments in the air?? Silly mommy.  Maybe the ride was more for my enjoyment ;).  The waterpark was supposed to be the “cherry on top”, but Aubrie proved to be a little girly girl when the water splashed her face.  After about 40 minutes of daddy and I acting like complete fools, jumping around like toddlers to get her to laugh, and shoving our faces into streaming jets of water to show her “Hey, it’s fun”….she finally was ok with running around.  She absolutely LOVED the pool though!  It ended up being a pretty successful trip, but I think it goes without saying that we’ll probably wait until next summer to try again :)


Our 1st big milestone of the month is that Aubrie started climbing out of her crib.  What?!?!  It actually happened the night we went to Adventureland—she woke at 245 am screaming like someone was ripping her limbs off—I went in and over the course of a few hours (yes, HOURS) I tried everything: diaper, water, snuggles, I even changed her pj’s!  Finally at 4:15 am I decided that I’d had enough and maybe she should cry herself to sleep, aka the Ferber method.  About 20 minutes into that the crying suddenly got louder, and I rushed to open our bedroom door to find Aubrie in the hallway…. Guilty panic ensued and I scooped her up and squeezed every bit of love and “sorries” that I could, as we both sat on her bedroom floor crying (me because I wondered if she felt so abandoned by me that she had to riskily jump the side of her crib, her probably because I was crying and she didn’t know what was going on!).  I decided enough was enough and she deserved to snuggle as long as it took.  It only took about 10 minutes for her to fall asleep, and I finally laid her down and crawled back into my own bed with about 15 mins to catnap before getting ready for work :( 


The next night she climbed out again, and I decided to camp out on her floor with her, laying down a bunch of blankets to make a cushy mattress for us both.  She slept all night, I tossed and turned from bruised hip to bruised hip, glancing up at the clock every hour or two to see how much time I had to sleep before getting up for work.  The third night I took her crib mattress and laid it on the floor, rubbed her back and walked out of the room….she opened the bedroom door herself so I decided it was time to break down and put up her toddler bed, and buy a baby gate to at least contain her wandering to her room.  Thursday afternoon I set the toddler bed up and she had a GREAT time climbing into and out of it!  Since that night she’s slept fairly well, usually only crying/whimpering for a few minutes before climbing back into her bed and crashing for the night.  Success (so far)!

I’m going to skip the next part of the story simply because it deserves it’s own post.  Which it will get, tomorrow.  The post will involve a beautiful white dress and a lovestruck man.


Our next big milestone:  Aubrie pottied on her potty chair, for the first time EVER!  Absolutely no prompting from me—swear!  She just sat down on it and said “mommy pa-ee”.  To my utter surprise she actually went!!!  I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket for this one though, leaning more towards it was a once in a lifetime act on her part.  Well, hopefully not once in a lifetime or that’s a lot of diapers!  I’m just not convinced that she’s ready for pottytraining.  Of course, if she is, I’ll go with it!  We can always store the diapers we’ve purchased ahead of time for a future child, whenever that may be!



These two adorable little “hollywood divas” are Aubrie and Cameron: BFF.  (or so her mom and I like to think!)  Cami is inside girly girl to Aubrie’s outdoor tomboy attitude.  Yet Cami is a fish, enjoying the splash park and the water in the face while Aubrie runs to the fence to get as far away from it as she can.  Cami’s got the cute straight-and spiky-haired pigtails, while Aubrie’s got the short hair with the curls in the back.  They start out super shy with each other and eventually warm up enough to eat their snacks next to each other.  I honestly don’t know that they’ve ever uttered more than a few “words” to each other!  But they’re incredibly adorable and only 3 weeks apart, and her mom and I grew up less than 30 minutes from each other… so why not force a best-friendship on them?


I’m realizing over the last few weeks that my baby girl is no longer a baby.  She speaks in half sentences, most of it comprehendable to me, and is becoming more independent by the day!  Can walk down stairs on her own, holding onto the railing.  She can drink out of a big girl cup without spilling (75% of the time at least).  She can climb onto the playground and go down the big girl slide on her own.  She can jump.  She can feed herself with a fork and spoon (yet still chooses not to sometimes).  She can point out and name most people in her extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc).  She is becoming quite bossy with Gizzy, telling him to “Dizzy, ki-et.” whenever he barks.  She likes to climb up into the highchair herself, and actually can “guckle” herself in (she can say B, but replaces it with a G in words).  She likes to walk Gizzy, for a few feet before dropping his leash.  She feeds her interactive baby, then when the baby cries she puts her to her shoulder and pats her back saying “shhhh”.   Ahh….she’s growing up so fast!  I see her getting taller and the baby fat fading from her legs, and I get sad…but at the same time excited for all the new milestones to come!  Sometimes I wish I had a slow motion button on life.