Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

Merry Christmas from the Seitz Family!

Since our Seitz Family Christmas Quiz was such a hit last year, we decided not to mess with perfection and write another for the year 2008…why disappoint our fans? We’ve had another amazing year here in Des Moines and we’d love for you to guess which events actually happened and which we’ve embellished for your enjoymentJ

1. Some of Cameron’s big achievements this year included…
a. learning to take out the trash without being asked, perfecting his parallel parking technique in front of Jolie’s school, and whipping up a mean soufflĂ©.

b. walking, talking, and growing 20 teeth!

c. no major achievements as he prefers to lie around the house in his boxers eating animal crackers.

Answer: B- Our sweet Cameron is no longer a baby, but a full fledged toddler, who runs, climbs, chats our ear off and likes to carry around his trusty step stool for easy access to all the no-no places and death defying heights. He loves his Tiny Tumblers class at the YMCA (but who wouldn’t when your mommy teaches itJ) and he loves to talk about space and look for the moon with his daddy!

2. An activity that fills Ella’s day might include…
a. preschool with her mommy in the afternoon

b. Tumble Tots at the YMCA

c. gymnastics on Wednesday nights

Answer: All of the above- Ella turned 4 this year and although she hasn’t started preschool at the Science Center yet, she and Mommy spend time most afternoons working on letters and numbers, reading and making books, and doing other crafty school activities. She also loves to tumble and swing on the bars at gymnastics class and walk on tiptoe on the balance beam at Tumble Tots. She’s quite the gymnast!

3. A new skill that Scott has acquired this past year is…

a. a mean curve ball for our summer league Swingers softball team

b. a new dirty dancing move he tried out at several weddings this summer

c. plumbing our basement

Answer: C- Scott spent all of his Labor Day weekend learning how, practicing and practicing some more and finally getting the plumbing nearly finished for our basement bathroom. It was a long weekend with no water (the kids and Jamie escaped to Cedar Falls for most of that great adventure), but Scott can now proudly add ‘plumber’ to his list of Scott-of-all-trade talents and skills. And a side note…Scott already possessed the other skills on the listJ

4. Although we didn’t take a family vacation too far from home this year, the Seitz family did live it up by…

a. piling in the family truckster and heading to Kansas City for a long weekend of fun.

b. renting a log cabin up north with extended family over the Fourth of July holiday.

c. shooting off fireworks in our cul-de-sac with neighbors this summer.

Answer: All of the above- Although we were bummed that both of our big vacations had to be cancelled this year, we found plenty to keep us busy closer to home. We had a blast in Kansas City, swimming and tubing at the Great Wolf Lodge, and exploring the KC Zoo and Science City at Union Station. We got to hot tub and hang out at the campfire with the cousins up north in our HUGE log cabin and we always have fun in our neighborhood…participating in illegal activities with our neighborsJ

5. When Jamie isn’t sitting around eating bon bons and watching her soaps all day, she might be…

a. bedazzling a pair of jeans for Scott to wear to work on casual Friday.

b. daydreaming about life before three children.

c. teaching Step, Water boot camp, and Tiny Tumblers at the YMCA, catching up on her latest book club pick, helping out at Jolie’s school, managing her growing Virtual Assistant business, or keeping life running smoothly for the Seitz family.

Answer: C- Jamie is enjoying her expanding VA business and loves her amazing clients, along with the flexibility and challenge it offers. She’s also been teaching new and different classes at the Y and is thankful for a healthy stress outlet (and built in babysittersJ). She also loves being a PTA mom and lives for her monthly book club meetings (aka fancy dinners out with friends). And to be honest and fair…answer B is sometimes true too!

6. The major events in Jolie’s life this past year might include…

a. losing 7 teeth, cutting her head open and getting 11 stitches in her forehead at school, discovering the Magic Tree House books as a 1st grader, and watching her idols, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Lukin, in the Olympics this summer.

b. sitting quietly and ladylike in the house and sewing her very first patchwork quilt, all the while telling her mother how much she loves and admires her.

c. playing school, Barbies and gymnastics with her siblings and explaining the rules to them in a loving and calm voice, with a smile, and absolutely no hint of distain or frustration…and giving them each a heartfelt hug when the game is over.

Answer: A- Jolie has had an amazing year this year. She started 1st grade and loves school, reading, recess and “Chicken Nugget Wednesdays”. Her new passions are Magic Tree House books and gymnastics and she practices the uneven bars on any bar-like object she can find: our neighbor’s swing set, our other neighbor’s tree branch, ect. She is also sporting a good size scar on her forehead from the head vs. playground bench accident last spring at school that left her with 11 stitches, a trip to the ER, and two freaked out parents! But she’s healing well and it adds character…right?

So how’d you do? Some were tough, I know. Scott’s answers are always tough to guess because he’s so darn unpredictable. If you missed any, I suggest you come visit us or give us a ring so you can find out what we’re up to. You can also keep up with us on our family blog at . (It’s a little bare now, but it’s our New Years resolution to keep it up.)

We are so thankful for the blessing of family of friends in our life. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and an exciting 2009. Our prayer for you is that God will bring you peace, joy and contentment this year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

God Bless and Much Love,

Scott, Jamie, Jolie, Ella and Cameron Seitz

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Breathe in this moment

Today at church our pastor broke down when he started talking about his oldest son getting ready to graduate from highschool next week. He said that he thought he'd be fine, he was excited about the next chapter in his son's life, he felt confident in their relationship and he knew he was ready to move up and on and away from him. But he said that it was a combination of watching him run his last lap of his last track meet of his last year of highschool that first cracked the facade of emotional strength he'd been hiding behind. He reminded us to breathe in these moments.

I had a hard time holding back the tears as Pastor Mike spoke of how quickly time passes. I nodded in agreement as his voice cracked and he could have sworn that just yesterday, no more than a month ago, he was sending his son off to preschool watching him leap from the minivan and trot off with his teacher. As he was comparing his love and disbelief of time gone by to that of God and the way that he must feel about us, I was watching my son poke the last fistful of his strawberry donut down the collar of a man sitting in front of us. Breathe in this moment.

In the last year I've been battling my own desire for control and balance, and it's been a creeping, dark, guilty feeling of mine that I'm slowly becoming the mom that I don't want to be. I feel frazzled and irritable and hurried, not appreciating the beautiful and amazing mess that my children are because I'm already thinking of how much of a pain it will be to clean up later and how I just don't have the time. I feel like I've forgotten why I chose to be home with them and why I wanted to watch them grow into the people that God created them to to be and who He trusted me to mold them into. I feel like I'm running on empty and under appreciated and ignored and pushed to my limit. Breathe in this moment.

As I listened to Pastor Mike and watched my one year old scoot back and forth between my husband and I and into the little girl's goody bag next to us, wanting to bump into my legs and instead of playing nicely in the nursery, I made a decision. I'm going to breathe in this moment and each one like it.

I'm going to breathe in this moment. I'm going to breathe in the tough moments after this. I'm going to breathe in the hilarious moments tomorrow when my three year old combines her love of ballet and yoga posing with scooter riding (picture her riding her scooter on one foot while her back foot arabesques up toward her head- dangerous, I know, but hilarious to see!). I'm going to breathe in the frustrating moments too. Those seem to be taking over these days, with three kids all wanting what they want and wanting it now.

I'm going to breathe in all these moments because like Pastor Mike said, "It surely couldn't have been more than a month ago that I was dropping him off at preschool." Breathe them in because they pass by quickly.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Big Birthday Moment

So, here's a funny story for you...

If you know me well, you know that I am the biggest Chicago Cubs fan that ever lived. Well, maybe not that ever lived, but you get the picture. I've followed the Cubs since I was a little girl, watching games with my whole family (back in the days of Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Shawon Dunston, and Mark Grace) and I've followed them faithfully since.

My husband is now a dedicated Cubs fan as well and our children are being trained in the ways of loyalty to the Cubbies. They've all got Cubbies attire and we regularly visit our local Iowa Cubs ball field (one of the Chicago farm teams) to get them in the spirit and to get a chance to see some Major Leaguers who are sent down for extra practice.

Well, as most of you know, I celebrated my 30th birthday a few weeks ago and as part of my birthday present my husband had a big surprise for me. In celebration of my love for baseball and for my beloved Cubbies, and also I believe partly to thouroughly embarrass me, he arranged for me to throw out the first pitch at the Iowa Cubs game last night.

After the initial horrifying shock of what embarrassment that would bring, I was coming around to seeing the thoughtfullness and originality of his gift. In fact, I was really starting to look forward to the big moment...that is until I got to the game last night.

Was it bad weather that made me start to dread the moment that I ran out to the mound to throw what I hoped would be an amazing curve ball, or was it that I knew a million people in the crowd and they tried to boo me off the field?

No, it was none of the above. It was, however, the fact that there were 5 of us who were throwing out a pitch that night and I was the ONLY one who was over the age of 10. That's right, I along with 4 children, were the lucky ones to trek out to the field and heave a ball toward the catcher's mitt.

When it was my turn, the woman in charge handed me a ball and said I could stand wherever I wanted to (as if I would stand closer to the catcher, like the kids did, and embarrass myself further). Absolutely mortified, I jogged out to the pitcher's mound and prayed that I would disappear into the ground if I couldn't get it to the catcher's mitt or if I threw a wild pitch and hit one of the preschoolers that I was sharing my "moment" with.

Praise God that I got it to the catcher with only a quick bounch on homeplate and I scurried back to my place on the side of the field. After the last kid had thrown his pitch, the catcher came toward us to give us each our memento baseball to take home. All the blood in my body had rushed to my head, rendoring me near deaf, making it nearly impossible to hear the catcher as he told each child in front of me "Great job kid". And then he handed my baseball to me, smirked, and said "Good job".

It could have been worse...he could have called me ma'am.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

So now I'm a blogger...

It's been months of reading other blogs and wishing I could make time for one of my own that I finally broke down and spent the time to find a cute template and now I'm a blogger!

I love to write, romanticized the idea of being a writer, and I have my whole life. In fact, when I grow up I want to be a writer and to write children's books. I figure I'm just logging all my mom stories as research and material for my future best sellers. I fell in love with books and writing at an early age, but it was reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, followed by every other Judy Blume book there after, that made me want to become Judy Blume. I told myself stories while riding my bike, I wrote notebooks full of stories, I took Creative Writing more seriously than any other 7th grader should. I continued writing through highschool and college and even after the birth of my first child, and then life got busier with each baby and the time to write wasn't as readily available as before.

And so, here I am many years later (barely over 30 to be exact) and I love being a stay at home mom with my freelance jobs here and there, and yet I find myself itching to write. So, here is my blog. If you choose to go Seitz (sounds like Sights) Seeing with us you'll get to read all about how Jolie has ripped out the knees of every pair of jeans that she owns and how I won't buy her any new ones since it's so close to summer. Or how Ella gets more paint on her clothes than on her project in her art class, and how many of Cam's poopy diapers I've changed today. Maybe you'll get lucky and I'll tell you the stories of why my kiddos love my book club night and their favorite meals that their daddy cooks them when I'm gone.

I'm sure every day won't have profound pearls of wisdom or expert parental advice, but hopefully my stories about my kids and our family make you smirk or smile and somedays laugh out loud.

Enjoy the Seitz...