Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Boy’s Birthday Jam Session

Everett and Reid’s birthdays are eight days apart and so, because it just made sense, we decided that their parties would be combined into one. And this year as the boy’s birthdays approached and I browsed through Pinterest for birthday party ideas I kept coming back to two things. One, the boys love, love music and two, the boys love the show “The Fresh Beat Band” about four friends who have a band. It’s very colorful and full of musical instruments and songs. So I decided to go with a Jam Session party theme basing it on the colorful show they love but personalizing it for Everett and Reid. This also worked out because it was easy to stick within our small budget since I was simply buying colorful paper ware, all very inexpensive at Walmart, and due to Dustin and the boy's love of music, had many musical things around the house. One of the best privileges of being a mom is when you have the opportunity to do really cool things for your kids and for me, birthday parties are near the top of that list. This party was a blast to plan, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun planning anything. Everett’s first birthday party last year was fun but planning something that I knew for sure my boys would love made it all the more enjoyable to put together.

12 Months (2)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reid’s 1st Birthday Letter

Dear Reid,

I simply cannot believe that you are one today. How is it that it has been a year since your little body was growing inside of me and I thought you were never going to make your way into the world? Yet once your little mind was made up you most certainly did! And from the very moment you made your way into this big, wide world you have shown us your spunky, nobody is going to stop me personality. I don’t think I have ever met someone who is as determined as you are. From the time you noticed him, you have set your mind to keep up with your big brother and sat, crawled, pulled yourself up and walked way before we were ready for you too! And at one, you already have a vocabulary and have no problem letting those around you know what you want or when to “op” (stop).


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Everett’s 2nd Birthday Letter

Dear Everett,

You are two! I am not sure how or when that happened yet here we are. This past year has been so much fun as you are learning and growing so much and we are learning more and more about you. You are our cautious one who hesitates and assess each new thing, sometimes you need your dad or I and a little push, but as long as we are by your side you are normally up for giving something a go. And after you realize you can do it, with a focused mindset you try on your own and the triumph on your face as you realize you did it is such a delight to see! You can do anything you put your mind to Everett and I hope as you grow your dad and I can help you see and believe it for I know you will do great things!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Approaching the Toddler Years

A year ago I was weeks away from celebrating my firstborn’s first birthday and welcoming my second child into the world. And though I was very done with being pregnant and was ready to meet my second little man I was also unsure if I was ready to step into the world of two under two. Somehow, now a year later, I can say I survived that crazy and sleepless first year. I made it through, even doing it on my own at times when Dustin had to travel for work. I’m not sure how that happened, only that if I did not have such a large support system I would not still be alive today. Just kidding, I would be of course, I firmly believe that one of the gifts God gave women was the ability to “just do it”. In circumstances that seem near impossible or are just plain hard, somehow we manage to just do what needs to be done. Now, that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of meltdowns. I’ve called trusted friends in tears, I’ve withdrawn from the world when I felt overwhelmed, I’ve had ridiculous arguments with my husband simply because I was too tired to be reasonable and I’ve even wondered why I decided to have children. Yes, I’ve been there, done that.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Well Hello Paradise

It’s no secret that Dustin travels and he has traveled to and experienced many unique places. His most recent trip was to Hawaii but this time, thanks to accumulated airline miles, I was able to go too! The boys stayed with both sets of Grandparents to be indulged and spoiled and thanks to this they didn’t seem to miss us too much. In fact I’m pretty sure we missed them much more than they missed us! Dustin was scheduled to be there for two weeks and I flew out to join him making a total of ten days for us to enjoy the island. There are ton of pictures in those post, none of which I have edited, but even if I did they still don’t do the place justice!

IMG_2634 - Copy

Sunday, July 12, 2015

InstaPost: Lake Tobias

Dustin was recently able to take a week off work and while we didn’t do too much one fun thing we did do was visit Lake Tobias. Lake Tobias is a wildlife park that is home to all sorts of animals some of which are “wild” on a large piece of land. These animals are visited by riding a safari tour which is very cool because they come right up to the open air bus.

Our animal adventure started with the safari tour.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

InstaPost: Summertime Fun

Our Summer has picked up and we’ve been keeping busy with all the fun Summertime brings. Here are a few highlights.

Our church had a family cook-out in June and the kiddos were very into the water balloons. Though they were too little to really enjoy the full benefits of them they did enjoy doing their best to try and pick them up.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Special Moments

There are moments that occur on a regular basis in our home that are sweet, amusing or somewhat exasperating but are never the less moments I know we will look back on in fondness. Some with a chuckle and a shake of our head and some with a smile as the memory warms our hearts. And then there are moments that happen once and may or may not happen again but when they do they cause us to stop, smile and reach for anything that will help us freeze that time so we never forget it.

Some of these special and regular moments are:

Snuggling up on the couch and watching movies with Dad.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Cherry Pickin’

He looked as though he had gotten into a toddler brawl but the real truth was he had gone cherry picking. My grandparents were in town for the weekend and one of their favorite things to do is to go strawberry picking. Unfortunately the strawberries were done for the season, at least in our local area, and so cherry picking it was.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Outdoor Treasures

Summer has officially arrived bringing with it the heat, humidity and longer days. And every summer signs pop up in our neighborhood announcing the annual yard sale and anyone who wishes to participate sorts through unused, outgrown and no longer wanted items for yard sale enthusiasts seeking new treasures. The first two years we lived here Dustin and I skipped out on participating or shopping but this year I decided to venture out in search of yard toys for the boys. And I found some; for $10 dollars I scored a little tikes mini playground set.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Insta Post: Hershey Happy & Drum Concerts

One thing I look forward to every month is when Dustin and I are able to pass the kiddos off to grandparents and spend some quality one on one time together. Life’s current circumstances cause us to sometimes lose sight of how much we really do enjoy being together and it’s nice to slow down and have fun together again. Not that we don’t with the boys but it’s a different type of fun that for obvious reasons often takes precedence. Date nights are my favorite but even better than a date night is when grandparents willingly take the boys overnight and we are able to get a date night and a date day.


Monday, June 8, 2015

A Few of Our Favorite Things

“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver white winters that melt into spring, these are a few of my favorite things” is a song Julie Andrews once sang in one of my favorite movies, “Sound of Music”. And in the Kramer home we have a few favorite things as well though they aren’t girls in white dresses, not yet anyway, these are a few of our favorite things currently.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Reid Harrison's 9 Month Pictures

On May 26th Reid Man turned nine months. We didn't take any "official" nine month photos but the other day I grabbed the camera and took a few shots. Except for this one, one of the best, which was taken by Dustin.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ohio & Italy

The work travels for Dustin are still in motion, each month or so the trip slowly creeping up, arriving, requiring Dustin to pack, a trip to the airport to drop him off and phone calls and texts while he is away all while counting down the days until he is home. They said the trips would get easier and while we did not believe them in the beginning, now we have acknowledged this statement as truth. We are three months shy of the first anniversary of the very first work trip and we are starting to feel like old pros. One of the more recent trips though was hard for me. Not just because I missed him, not just because it was an overseas trip which means talking to him is more difficult due to time differences and being careful of crazy phone charges but because the green eyed monster came to stay while Dustin was gone. Because this trip was to Rome, Italy and boy, did that green eyed monster move in and make itself right at home! Never before did being a stay-at-home mom seem so insignificant, challenging and to be quite frank, boring. I know, I'm sounding selfish and very unsupportive of my husband but I'm being real here. When you're married you're supposed to be happy when they are happy, excited when they are excited even if it's only for one person but that is easier said than done, especially when you expect that marriage means you experience new things together not apart. But we got through it and Dustin had an awesome time and was able to see some very cool and historical things!

Thankfully, the first half of Dustin's trip my in-laws kept me busy. A trip to City Island, and another trip to Ohio to see my father-in-law's extended family kept the boys preoccupied and busy.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Little Man Reid

Reid Man is nine months old now, an almost one year old. Say what?! I still so clearly remember the day I found out when I was pregnant with him. It's so hard to believe that he has been here for almost a year already.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Little Man Everett

As before stated Everett is twenty-one months. My firstborn is almost two and no longer a baby but a toddler making his way to becoming a little boy. He is getting so big and the baby look is just gone. I'm not ready for this! As overwhelming as the baby stage is, watching your babies grow is just a reminder that there will be a day when your arms are too short to hold them. Nothing makes me more aware of this than when he gets a haircut. Once all his curls are gone all I see is the face of my baby growing older.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A "Helpful" Lie

There are times in life when, regardless of their faith, people tell lies. Nothing too major but a small, white lie that they believe will help another person get through a hard time. When we found out we were expecting Reid and wondering how we were going to manage many told us that the first year was the hardest and it would get easier once it was over. But as we near the end of this proverbial first rough year we are realizing we bought into one of those seemingly harmless white lies. Because the real work is just beginning.

Everett & Reid

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Red Blessing & Baby Discoveries

We said goodbye to our old BMW this week. We’ve had this vehicle for six years and I can remember standing in the driveway of my in-law’s neighbor’s house looking it over. Dustin and I had only been married a month and while Dustin had a vehicle, I was in need of one. I had quite a bit of money saved up from a job I had had since I was fifteen years old and we knew we had enough to pay cash if the price was right. And though we were very interested in this white ‘97 BMW it was a little more than what we were looking to spend. Long story short, the amount Dustin and I decided was the max we could afford was the exact amount the neighbor dropped the price down to. Considering it was $1,500 below the asking price we were shocked and very excited. I’m a little sentimental about these things but that is because it is a reminder of where Dustin and I were when we first started our life together. The BMW and the story that comes along with it is a just another testimony of how God orchestrated every thing for us. We knew that we wanted to spend our lives together but the doors that opened for both of our jobs and the vehicles we drove, among other things, proved that God was on our side, helping and blessing us as we started our journey together. We now live in another home, Dustin works another job, even I have another occupation, and now we have another vehicle and every single thing mentioned is just another added item to our testimony list of God’s many blessings in our lives. We haven’t always been faithful to Him but He has always, always been so incredibly faithful and good to us. In the material blessings yes, but also in the many spiritual and emotional blessings as well. God is so very good.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Sunday 2015

With all of the secular traditions of Easter it is easy to forget the reason why this holiday even exists but we must take the time to stop and remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. I love Easter because of this; it’s hard to believe that God himself would willingly give himself over to be beaten and crucified for my mistakes, failures and mess-ups and not just mine but for all of humanity. We often dwell on the physical aspect of his sacrifice but I cannot imagine the spiritual and emotional burden that hung on his shoulders that day as He died a horrible death all for the people He so loves. But of course the most amazing part of this story is that while he took on the world’s sin He defeated death, hell and the grave three days later when He was resurrected. He is a powerful God and He proved to those who followed then and now and to His enemy that nothing can overcome Him but rather He overcame it all. I am so thankful for a Savior, my Savior, and His love and mercy.

Everett, Dustin, Karissa & Reid

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Eggs & Bunnies

Easter weekend started out with an egg hunt at Hollabaugh Brothers apple orchard. Before the egg hunt started we had a chance to meet the Easter bunny. Everett was very unsure of him and as expected would only go near if his Dad held him and even then he still wasn’t much of a fan! Can’t really blame him though, those huge ears are a little strange.

Dustin & Everett

Thursday, April 2, 2015

19 Months & 7 Months

It’s time for another milestone post. Everett reached the milestone age of eighteen months and Reid reached six months but since I am so great at keeping up with my blog they are now a month older so we’ll just go with the milestones of nineteen months and seven. These baby boys are growing and learning so fast it’s hard to keep up. They both take everything in and are inquisitive little things, they are also both very active and keep us very busy. We are also receiving a wonderful lesson on patience. Ha!

Everett & Reid

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Insta Post: That Time When…

Once again I’m a little behind on posting the pictures I am able to grab with my phone so here are highlights from the past few weeks.

That time we had cabin fever after many, many snows days and built a fort underneath the Dining Room table.

Everett & Reid

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reid’s Baby Dedication

On Sunday, March 15th, 2015 we dedicated Reid Harrison to the Lord. Reid is our second baby boy we have been blessed with and while we knew we were expecting him when we dedicated his big brother we could not have imagined or asked for a more beautiful or wonderful little boy. But as precious as he is we know he is not necessarily ours but he is the Lord’s. We have been given him on a loan to love, raise, guide and cherish and so on this special day we acknowledged that fact and gave him to the One whom he really belongs. One day I pray he will also acknowledge this fact and choose to live his life following after God and desiring to please Him.

Reid's Dedication

Monday, March 9, 2015

Insta Post: Friends & The Family Fun Flop

Recently Dustin and I had a chance to go to Skyzone, an indoor trampoline place, with some friends. It was nice to get out and have fun sans kids and do something cool with cool people. I was dared to try a front flip into the foam pit and after an almost full hour of chickening out I finally did only to realize it was so much more fun than I thought it would be! Afterwards we grabbed some frozen yogurt before our freedom, I mean, night out ended. ;)


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Where is Neverland?

There once was a little boy named Peter Pan who said “Little boys should never be sent to bed. They always wake up a day older.” And this statement proves true in the Kramer household. Somehow through the continuous moments of changing, feeding, caring, loving, teaching there have been two little boys who have been taking it all in and growing at a fairly fast speed. And we have found that while one minute we find ourselves immersed in all the baby duties and thinking of how slow the days seem to go, the next minute we are looking back and wondering where our newborns went. Because the days are slow but in some strange way they add up to equal weeks that fly by leaving a little boy who is determined to enter toddlerhood and another little boy behind him doing his best to catch up. And as a parent you find yourself wondering where is this magical Neverland when you need it because you aren’t quite ready for your little men to become big men just yet.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Insta Post: Cabela’s

Recently Dustin took the day off and in pursuit of wanting something fun and different to do we found ourselves on the way to Cabela’s. It’s a retail store that sells hunting, fishing and camping supplies and other items along that line. It doesn’t sound very entertaining but they have large displays of animals and an aquarium which is fun for the kids.

Evertt & Reid

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Little Muscle Builders

Lately it seems my days are often spent with not just one baby in my arms but two. Reid is a clingy little man and often wants to be held and Everett, I guess, not wanting to be left out wants to be held too. So this Mom has been building muscle by carting both of her boys everywhere. I’m almost ashamed to admit this but I use to complain about it. I felt overwhelmed at times by having these little people need me all of the time but a fellow mom whose boys are now teenagers told me to enjoy it because her boys no longer “need” her and she missed it. And I realized that there will come a time when my boys will not want to be held and this will evolve into it no longer being possible and frankly, plain weird. One day they will not only be able to fend for themselves but want to and in the future, hopefully way, way in the future, there will come a day when another woman cares for them. I will always be here for them but this part of being their mom only lasts for a short season. And while this season is at times overwhelming and exhausting, it is a very beautiful and rewarding season as well.

Reid, Karissa & Everett

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Photographing Everett & Reid

If you haven’t noticed my favorite pictures are pictures of the boys together. I love watching their interactions and I do the best I can to snap photos of those interactions. I love knowing that when they are older they will have so many pictures of them together and that Dustin and I will have so many to look back on. But as far as posed pictures go it is pretty difficult to get a great shot for a few reasons.

1. It’s hard to get both boys to look.

Reid & Everett

Friday, February 20, 2015

Highlight Reel: Asian Travels & Support Systems

I mentioned in the previous post that Dustin was in Asia for work. He was gone for ten days which were split up between Japan, Korea & Okinawa. Between working, traveling from place to place and catching up on sleep he didn’t have much time to really see anything but he was able to take a few pictures.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine’s Day 2015

This year, 2015, Valentine’s Day came a week early for our family. Dustin was going to be in Asia for work on Valentine’s Day so for us, Valentine’s Day was February 3rd.

Last year on Valentine’s Day I was determined to start a new tradition and so this year I was excited for our second annual V-day dinner.

Valentine's Day 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Catch Up Post Part III - Family

If you missed it, check out Catch Up Post Part II – Reid and Catch Up Post Part I – Everett.


My day usually starts with Reid waking up and ready to start the day. As little as he is, he likes a change of scenery and is okay with staying in bed for only so long before he is ready for me to get up and get moving. Once I do, I usually end up in Everett’s room where another anxious little boy is also ready to get the day started. And one of the first things he does to start his day is to reach for his baby brother and give him a hug and a kiss. And this is what he does every morning.

Everett & Reid

Catch Up Post Part II - Reid

If you missed it, check out Catch Up Post Part I – Everett and Catch Up Post Part III – Family.


Reid is five and half months old and getting to be quite active. He rolls over almost as soon as I lay him on the floor, loves to jump and be bounced and watches everything.


Catch Up Post Part I - Everett

Remember that last post where I was hyperventilating about being behind on posting? Well, this is the reason why. After saving all forty-two pictures I felt were blog worthy I realized I had a lot of memories I needed to blog about and the easiest way was to spread it out into three separate posts, a post for Everett, a post for Reid and a post about the family. Most of these pictures were taken on my phone and have already been on Instagram but I’m sharing them here for record keeping sake. This particular post is about Everett.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Highlight Reel: Common Sights

I’ve been sitting on this unfinished draft for a few weeks now and once again I am forced to finish and publish because I have found myself knee-deep in pictures and blog post ideas I need to write before I become even more overwhelmed. And take a deep breath… So, after weeks of silence here it goes.


Life with two babies is crazy and chaotic but there are a few sights in our home that are common to see. One of the most common sights is Reid in his car seat with a bottle propped up. I discovered this trick when Dustin was away on one of his work trips and both boys were having meltdowns. Reid was easily satisfied which left me able to care for Everett who needed a bit more attention. This is my go to quite often and as I mentioned before is the only way he’ll fall asleep without being held.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brotherly Love

Everett & Reid

When Dustin and I were expecting Reid and people began to find out how close in age the boys were going to be, many told us that their children were close together and they had no regrets. “They’ll be the best of friends” was something we heard often and still hear now. Dustin and I would always respond in agreement and with a smile. We believed that as well but what we didn’t realize is that the best friend process would start so soon. When various people told us this we were thinking once they turned two and three or some such age but at seventeen months and almost five months they are already on fast track to becoming best buds.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Worth It All

This time last year I was just a few weeks pregnant with Reid. We hadn’t told anyone yet, I think we were still in denial over the fact the we had a four month old baby and were pregnant again! We were racking our brains trying to figure out how on earth we were going to manage two kids twelve months apart. All I could picture was lots of tears, meltdowns and stress plus dirty diapers, bottles and fussiness times two. And there has definitely been all of that, however, there has been a lot of fun too. Now that Reid is growing a little older we can honestly say that we are starting to see that having two so close together is worth it. Absolutely crazy but worth it. 

Everett & Reid

Friday, January 2, 2015

Reflecting on 2014

2014 has been quite the ride. At the very end of 2013 we found out we were expecting our second child when Everett was just four months old.


Highlight Reel: December Highlights

I’ve been a little lax in posting our activities in the month of December and what posting I did do was all on Instagram so here is just a quick post of the December Highlights.

Sometimes it seems as though church is our home away from home. I wouldn’t have it any other way but it’s always interesting with the boys. Most Sunday mornings we end up here. Some call it a nursery but around here it’s called the “cry room” and for good reason. Dustin usually has to be a church early to practice with people and to make sure everything is set up. So in order to be at church on time this room doubles as the kitchen where the boys eat breakfast and the bathroom where I fix my hair. It’s weird but it works.



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