Autumn is SEVEN

I cannot believe this darling girl of ours is seven years old. Time with her is never enough and savoring every second is hard, life is so busy and has so many moving pieces but taking in the love I feel with Autumn is fulfilling and warming. This girl changed me as a person, sure all my kids have, Lincolns struggles profoundly awoke me, Ryder was a warm tender piece that I need but Autumn has been this amazing, yet strong willed child. She is full of personality, she is hilarious and weird, strong willed and determined, a true firecracker, just what I needed but mainly what we all needed. She’s helped shape Lincoln so much, shes helped teach Ryder, shes brought so much love to her daddy, shes given me such an eye opening glimpse into my self, because she really is so much like me. My friend put it best, Autumn is Andrea, if Andrea were an extrovert. LOL, totally true, and maybe she gets that fire cracker extrovert personality side from her daddy. Either way no matter who she gets what from, she is her own beautiful spirit, I love witnessing her growth, her achievements, but mainly just her love. Happy birthday my dear treasure. Lets all admire now how freaking cute she was and is!!


Prairie!

Well things have been busy around the McCollum house hold because as of sept 4th we got a PUPPY! As many of you know our dear old Bella who was 14 years old passed away in May. Not going to lie that was actually crushing for our family and even the kids, I really thought we would all be ok because I had been prepping everyone that Bella was old and was going to die one day, although when that day came of course no one is ever ready, we were all absolutely heartbroken and crushed. I figured after Bella passed we would wait a while for a puppy because life without a dog is actually easier…less work, less poop and pee to clean up and less responsibility BUT honestly its not as fun, pets bring so much joy to peoples lives and I wanted my kids to have that for their childhood, I am so grateful I had pets growing up and I am so glad my kids do as well! we only managed to go 4 months without a dog and me knowing I would be taking care of it the most I actually missed having the company around, every little sound I thought was Bella and I just missed having a dog! The situation finding Prairie worked out so well and we were so excited when they sent us a picture of our four week old puppy, we waited three weeks till she was 7 weeks old to bring her home and we were all so happy! She is hilarious, adorable and NAUGHTY. Like we expected although I totally forgot what training a puppy is like, it’s been so many years and the first week was torture she cried and cried in her Kennel at night but I knew we had to persevere and now she is doing so good at night, except still working on the potty training….that one is not as easy, we also have prairie booked in for puppy training classes and were hoping that goes well and teachers her some basics. She also still puppy bites a lot and I am trying to teach her not to especially with the kids, but its a work in progress ;). for now enjoy our pictures of our new Puppy, Prairie.




Lincoln is TEN

We celebrated last month our big kid turning TEN. I can't believe we have a child in the double digits already! He is actually one of the best kids I could ask for, and I don't just say that because hes my son, trust me I have no problem admitting when my kids being a jerk haha but Lincoln really is such a help to me, he is always so helpful with anything I need, he is so kind to his family and I just think hes such a great kid. I know how lucky I am to have him in our lives, especially since we almost lost him when he was a baby, he really is such a fighter and we all feel he is a special little light in our lives. On top of all that I love his hilarious humour and i think he's such a goofball. 

For Lincolns birthday we did a fortnite theme (insert judging moms in 3...2....1), yes my child plays xbox. No he doesn't play with strangers and hears swear words, he plays with 5 kids from school and they actually have so much fun and its a fun way to keep my normally antisocial child socialable, of course we encourage tons of play time outside and a lot less screen time especially in the summer but he loves the game and everysingle boy that came to party does to! They were all hilarious talking about the game and rapping to the theme song, it was a pure chaotic party but I think everyone had a blast! They had a nerf battle, had pizza and cake and then they all took limo ride home! Andrew went in the limo with the boys and I volunteered quickly to drive our car home, which was a peaceful quiet ride haha. Lincoln also celebrated with family at boston pizza (his restaurant of choice) for a special birthday dinner, and then with his other grandparents we had them over for homemade cheesecake, it was a super fun time celebrating our big kid! 

Also me being a space head mom I forgot my good camera to Lincolns birthday party LOL oh well iphone photos to the rescure! 

Thoughts on turning 30!!

A few weeks back I turned the big 3-0! I had a great day with my family and we had a fun celebration! I don't know why we as humans make such a big deal out of numbers but I am guilty of it as well, I remember when I first turned 20 I had all these weird expectations of by this date I better have this and that accomplished by, but over the past ten years I realized life doesn't work linear and its great to have a goal but never an end date, as life is constantly changing and so are circumstances and to be honest I am glad, the goals I had for myself at 20 are probably entirely different than the goals I have now at 30! I can say my 20s weren't your typical twenties, as I wasn't out partying or exploring I was thrown into parenthood with a sick baby, so my first few years were learning how to take care of a tiny baby with very specific and special needs, learning how to travel places with an oxygen tank and as he became a toddler learning how to adapt to his sensory needs as well. It definitely wasn't all fun and games but I can say I am happy how it went in a way because Lincoln prepped me for mother hood full on and I found having Autumn was actually pretty easy and we adapted well! Then of course following with Ryder I can't really say he has been "easy" he's been joyful and busy! Lots of my twenties were filled with travels and excitement and love! of course lots of self discovery (this has been huge), loss and grief. I don't suspect my 30s will be perfect nor easy but I do feel a much more stable state than my twenties! 

Ok I can't say I have too many wisdom's on turning 30 but I do have a few thoughts that I have learned in my 20s!

If i could tell my 20 year old self something it would be

- Intentionally surround your self with people who support YOU. I am not saying people who support you because you have a certain political view, a certain religion or a certain stereotype attached to you. Because those things can be apart of who you are but they don't make up your self worth, they don't DEFINE you. I really haven't found many people who actually support me without those things, I am thankful I have a couple of friends who actually love me for me, and a few family members who take me as I am, and for that I am forever grateful. 
 

- reevalute your belief system say every 5 years - what title you give your self, stop and question wait WHY? You may decide you no longer feel the same way or you may come back feeling stronger about your choices and beliefs, and either way thats great.

- Travel and explore as much as possible! The more you know the better off you are!

- soak up the love from family and friends and always say I love you, because you never know if those are the last words you may say to them.

- This point is one I don't do enough but HAVE FUN, life isn't meant to always be so serious so give your self time to play! 

- do things your afraid of - everytime I have pushed myself out of my confort zone I normally at the end feel really glad I did it! 

 

what about you? any valuable life lessons you learned in your twenties!? id love to know!