Win a trendy key fob!

10:33 PM Posted by Natalie

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Weekend Giveaway!

Kristin over at My Two Babes Designs is having a giveaway for a DARLING handmade key fob until midnight on "Cyber Monday". It just so happens that I am in need of a new one and this one is just too cute to pass up!



My Two Babes also has an Etsy shop where you can find this adorable key fob as well as unique graphic design items created by Kristin. Her key fob is so reasonably priced that I may just have to buy one if I don't win! Head over to My Two Babes Designs and enter to win, too!

Tiny Miracles

10:05 AM Posted by Natalie

My stepsister Keri was due with her second baby in February. However, her pregnancy was difficult almost from the beginning. Having a number of problems with the placenta, she had bleeding almost continuously. She went into the hospital about 4 weeks ago with a serious bleed and had to have a blood transfusion. They put her on complete bedrest and monitored her and the baby very closely. She eventually began having contractions which they had to control with medication. It was uncertain from day to day how long they could keep the baby in there.

Yesterday, they just couldn't keep her in there anymore. They had blown out all of Keri's veins from all these weeks in the hospital and they had to put in a central line to give her all the meds and stuff she needed. The contractions had started up again and this time they just couldn't get them to stop. It was time for baby to come. She was about 28 weeks. My mom and stepdad had driven out to Colorado for Thanksgiving with my brother and my stepdad had to catch a flight home.

Baby Marcella was delivered by C-section yesterday afternoon weighing in at 2 lbs 13 oz. While that's teeny tiny, my understanding is that's a pretty good size for a preemie. So far she appears to be healthy for her age. Of course, she has to be on a ventilator and has tubes all over, but she is trying to breathe on her own and as of now there doesn't appear to be any immediate concerns or complications. But I know that with these tiny babies they have to take it one day at a time and it can be a roller coaster ride. The good thing is that she is at one of the best hospitals in the area for dealing with these special babies.

Keri is doing okay. I don't really know much about C-sections since I've never had one, but I guess they keep the epidural in after delivery for continued pain relief? Well, Keri developed a fever and they had to take the epidural out. Apparently it is too dangerous to keep it in while you are running a fever. So they took it out and put her on a morphine drip for the pain and a strong antibiotic for the fever while they tried to figure out the cause. That poor girl has been through hell with this pregnancy and I hope they can just get her feeling better soon so she has the strength she will need for the days and weeks to come.

It is going to be a long road ahead as the baby will be in the hospital at least probably until the end of January. But in a way I am glad that part of it is over for Keri because I don't know how long someone could have continued to go on like that. They bought the baby a good 4 or 5 more weeks while she was in the hospital and seems to be in otherwise good condition for her early arrival. Those are good things that will hopefully mean less complications down the road. If there was ever a time to have a baby early, it's now, with all of the amazing things they can do for them.

This news this Thanksgiving reminded me how blessed and grateful I am for my 4 healthy children and mostly uncomplicated pregnancies. I ask you to please pray....that Keri will recover quickly and that the baby will continue to do well, grow, fatten up, and avoid complications. It's a miracle she's here. I pray that God has just one more up His sleeve.

Happy Thanksgiving!

10:13 AM Posted by Natalie

I can't believe it's that time of year again already! It seems like it gets here faster every year and I'm just not ready for it. But, it is one of my favorite holidays, and a chance to reflect on all those things we should think about every day.

I am thankful for my faith, and the graces God has bestowed on me, even though I don't deserve them. While I am a cradle Catholic, it was just over 7 years ago that I attended my first Traditional Latin Mass, and it changed my life forever.

I am thankful for my family. I have a wonderful husband who will do anything for me and our children. Just this morning, I was out of creamer for my coffee, and I "can't" have it any other way. I called Shaun at work and a little while later he showed up with creamer in hand. He does things like that for me all the time and never complains. We may not be a googly-eyed new couple anymore, but he shows me he loves me in all of the "little" things he does every single day. And even though it is something we put into the back of our minds, the risk of his job as a police officer is always there, and I thank God every day he comes home to us safe and sound. We have been richly blessed with 4 beautiful, healthy children. They may drive us totally nuts, but our life would not be the same without our 3-ring circus!

I don't know what we would do without our extended family. They have helped support our children through their generosity and I am forever grateful. Whether it's helping out with school tuition so we can send them somewhere we know they are safe and receiving the best education and religious formation available to us, or watching them so we can have a night out, their loving assistance means more to us than they know.

I am thankful for all of my wonderful friends. Whether my "in real life" friends or those who I mostly know through an internet connection, I can't imagine my life without them. They have offered support, advice, understanding, and love through so many things. I can go to them with anything without the fear of being judged, and often come out on the other end with a new and improved perspective.

I am thankful for my home....the one we are living in now, and the one we are about to move into. Even though there are many things we want to improve about where we are now, we have always had a roof over our heads, food on the table, and things that we want. These days, it can be hard to keep things in perspective and realize how much we have to be thankful for. And now we have the means to buy a home that provides us with even more comfort and convenience than we currently have. God has always taken care of us.

So, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my wonderful friends and family! We wish you all a very blessed holiday season and thank you all for your love and support. God bless!

More great giveaways!

9:46 PM Posted by Natalie

I visited the blog Jamie's Precious Peas and she has a TON of terrific giveaways. There are two I am entering to try to win a great Christmas gift for Lauren.

Joovy Strollers & Toys ~ Countdown to Christmas Giveaway!

The first one is a chance to win a Joovy Just-Like-Mine! Toy Caboose stroller. When I went to visit my friend Angie in Georgia, I took her our baby swing to use for Parker. Before I left, I had it set up in the house to clean it up and make sure everything was working. Lauren had the BEST time putting her baby dolls in it and swinging them. A lightbulb went off and I decided Santa should bring her some accessories for her babies this Christmas. So far I have gotten a darling little doll swing and a wooden cradle off of Craigslist. This stroller would be an awesome addition! Visit the link above or click here for your chance to win! If you enter, be sure to put my name in your comment so I can go back and use your referral for an additional entry!

Love Bug Clothing ~ Countdown to Christmas Giveaway!

The second giveaway I'm entering at Jamie's Precious Peas is for an absolutely beautiful little tutu from Love Bug Clothing. (If you happen to be an expectant little mama, you can select a maternity tee instead.) Being a woman who loves all things girly, I knew I had to enter to win this precious little tutu. It would make a great Christmas gift, too! Visit the above link or click here to enter for your chance to win one of these great items!

Visit Jamie's Precious Peas and check out all of the fabulous Christmas giveaways she has going on!

Two weeks!

11:01 PM Posted by Natalie

Two weeks from today, we will be moving into our new house! As most of you should know, we put our house on the market last June, just hoping that we would be one of the lucky few who are actually selling their houses these days. Not only do we need a bigger house, but we need to be closer to the boys' school. Although we had several people very interested in the house, there was always a hitch, mostly due to them having credit problems. In the meantime, we found a house that we love and put a contingency contract on it. When our contract was up with our realtor, we had the prospect of a property investor who was interested in the house. We decided not to relist the house in case it went through and that way we could keep any and all profit from the house. However, that fell through, too. The market is just BAD.

With the advice of several reliable people in the real estate business, we came to realize that the only way to get out of here anytime soon would be to lease the house. Although it was a little scary to me, after much discussion we decided this is what we would do. We want to move, we NEED to move, and we don't want to lose the other house. But in order to offer this house for reasonable rent, we had to refinance our current mortgage.

The information we got was right on, we found a couple to rent the house very quickly. We closed on the refinance this past Thursday, the lease has been signed, and now there is only one hurdle left....we have to secure the loan for the other house. Our loan officer has assured us that everything should go smoothly, but I'm one of those people who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We've got another family counting on moving into this house on December 8th. We're counting on closing on the new house on December 5th and moving that weekend. Everything has to work perfectly from here on out.

God willing, everything will be fine and we will be celebrating this Christmas in our new home! Please pray that it all goes smoothly for us. If you'd like to see the new house, you can check it out here. Just the idea of having a two car garage after not having ANY garage for the past 11+ years gives me goosebumps! No more scraping windshields or clearing off snow! AHHH!!! More than one bathroom...a little piece of heaven. Main floor laundry...oh the joy! All the shopping I could want within 6 minutes...I don't have the words for that, LOL! I could go on and on, but it suffices to say that this house will be just perfect for us, especially when we fix it up the way we want it, including an extra bedroom in the basement for Joey. I can't wait to see it when it's all empty!

So that's where things are right now. I will keep you all posted!

Win a pair of shoes from Eleven Collection!

11:40 AM Posted by Natalie

Eleven Collection Giveaway!

Mom Most Traveled is having a giveaway from Eleven Collection! With 4 children in and out of shoes faster than I can keep up, winning a free pair would be a major bonus, especially good-looking, quality shoes like those from Eleven Collection! This is the sister company to See Kai Run, the other shoe giveaway I blogged about below. Eleven Collection makes trendy shoes for older children in sizes 9 - 3. With 2 boys in this size range, I am all over their boys' collection and am entering to win a pair of the darling James style for Kyle. I love the Josef, too! Click the link above to enter for your chance to win a pair!

A new look!

9:36 AM Posted by Natalie

If you haven't seen my blog before, you won't know the difference, but it just got a makeover! My lovely friend Angie of Angela Vinez Designs provided me with this most appropriate and adorable blog template. Photographer and designer extraordinaire, Angie is a stay at home mom of 5 who helps support her family through her photography and graphic design business. Angie offers a variety of services, from photography in her home state of Georgia, to graphic design including website design, auction and blog templates, and original custom logos. She also has an online boutique that offers a variety of unique items that would make great Christmas gifts. Just click on the link above or the button on the right to go to her website and see all she has to offer!

All of the ads I feature on my blog are selected by me, not free spam ads. By adding links to other sites, I hope to help other moms like me grow their online businesses and people who visit my blog to find great deals and products while giving their money to hard working people right here in the good 'ol USA. If it's here, you know I've checked it out and am only passing along great sites!

Thank you, Angie, for making my blog just the way I wanted it! You're the best!

Contest addiction

11:10 PM Posted by Natalie

Well, my dear friend Angie just had to blog about another giveaway, and now I'm like an addict or something.

Lucky Me Tee Giveaway!

Catherine over at 3 Kids and Us is having a giveaway for a darling Lucky Me Tee. As a mom of 4 myself, I can appreciate the need for a tee like this! So many people ask, "Are they all yours?" And for some reason, many feel the need to inquire about our future reproductive plans as if it's their business, or they have some vested interest in what our personal, private family plans are. "Are you done?" "How many are you going to have?" "You know what causes that, right?" You'd think we were dropping them off on doorsteps all around the state. So, a shirt like this for me would be great! Of course, they don't have one that says, "Yes, they're all mine. Yes, we know what causes it. No, we're not done. I don't know how many we're gonna have. It's none of your business. We pay for them. We take care of them. Now, shut up!" I guess the "Mommy of 4" one will have to do. ;)

If you'd like one of these great tees, you can enter, too, by clicking the link above!

Another contest!

7:11 PM Posted by Natalie

It's like a kid with a new toy...another contest already! The other night, a website created by a local mom was featured on the news. STLMommy.com is a website featuring product freebies, advice, coupons, giveaways and more. So, of course as a stay at home mom of 4, I had to check it out. The research has already been done for you, all you have to do is click on the offers you're interested in. You'll see a clickable button link to her site in the right sidebar of my blog.

See Kai Run Shoe Giveaway

One of the giveaways is from a website called See Kai Run which offers comfortable shoes in adorable styles for children from infant to age 8 (size 1). Lauren has just gone into another size shoe and I have been in need of some new shoes for her, so when I saw this giveaway, I knew I had to enter. It was so hard to choose a favorite style! I finally settled on the Peggy, very girly and totally comfy. Here's hoping I win! You can enter, too, by clicking the link above.

The website is also running a charitable offer. For every pair sold during the months of November and December, See Kai Run will also donate a pair of shoes to Soles for Souls and charitable organizations in our area. What a great way to give during the holiday season!

Prayer request

10:17 AM Posted by Natalie

I have done a lot of connecting with others through the internet over the past several years. One of my regular cyber "homes" is a Catholic message board made up of a small group of people I have been talking to since before the release of The Passion of the Christ. My friend Tony (who started the board) and his wife Deanna have been going through the difficult and emotional process of adopting a precious little girl from China. Tony has been sharing this journey with us and you will see their adoption blog on my blog list to the right. They are now finally at the last step of this process, awaiting their travel approval to China to pick up their new daughter and bring her home. Unfortunately, this last step can take up to 8 weeks! It's time for Halainah to come home with her new parents, who already love her so much. I am asking anyone who reads this blog to please join me in praying for a quick travel approval and safe trip for Tony, Deanna, and little Halainah. With our prayers, maybe they can celebrate their new family this Christmas.

A contest!

9:54 AM Posted by Natalie

Despite the fact that I almost never win anything, another benefit to having a blog is that there are tons of fabulous online contests out there to enter, and most of them require or offer extra entries if you post about it on your blog. My friend Angie has been winning all kinds of awesome things, that lucky girl! ;) So, I am entering my first contest on my new blog.

Custom Camera Strap Giveaway

Why is it that they can't make comfortable camera straps? If I have mine on for more than a couple of minutes, it's like having sandpaper on the back of my neck or something. These camera strap covers not only look comfy, but trendy! And you know, a girl's gotta accessorize. ;) You can enter to win, too, by going to the above link!

Joining the blogging world!

1:17 PM Posted by Natalie

So I've finally decided to join the blogging world. I thought it would be nice for those friends and family who live far away to be able to check in on us and share the daily happenings and antics of our busy family. I'll share stories, pictures, vent, cry....anything I think you might get a kick out of reading. So check in often and keep up with the Kummer Family Circus!