Thursday, August 25, 2011


I have been struggling lately with a few things; well maybe more than a few but this "thing" that I am struggling with is so heavy on my heart that I think writing about it will help. I am thinking that maybe if I write it down and see it then it will help me get over it (probably not though). I often find myself getting caught up in comparing myself to others; ignoring the girl that God created me to be. Sounds insecure, doesn't it?
I love being a mom to my two boys. But at times, lately too much I am faced with the challenge of questioning whether I measure up to those super moms. You know, those moms that have it all together-their house is perfect, their children are obedient... ALL of the time. If you know one, run far away in the opposite direction. On the outside it seems as though they can juggle it all. I am no where near the super mom status. My house isn't perfect. My children aren't perfect and I certainly fall short when it comes to parenting them perfectly. So why do I even try to compare myself to them?

Did mention I hate comparisons? I hate feeling like I don't measure up or even worse that my children don't measure up. I try really hard not to compare my children to other children. They are who they are each uniquely different and for that I am eternally grateful.

In a week or so I will be back in the classroom trying to do it all and keep it all together perfectly. Well, as perfectly as it can be in an imperfect world. I am going to constantly remind myself that my definition of super mom is much different that what the world defines as super mom. And if I am not so super all of the time that's okay too. These guys are convinced that I am super and I love that they don't compare me to anyone.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

3 years old...already?!

It's hard to believe that on August 19th we will be celebrating Noah's 3rd birthday. Time does pass quickly and I didn't realize this until I had children. Noah has accomplished so much this past year. He has learned lots of new words and songs. He can count higher, but don't ask him what color his shirt is. You never know what kind of answer you are going to get. He has developed quite the personality often leaving me to think, "Where in the world did this child come from?!" And then I recall all of the torture that I put my parents through and it's very clear to me where he came from. Noah has taught me a lot about patience. There are times when I feel like I have reached my wit's end, but he flashes me a grin or tells me he loves me and I can't help but smile.

Noah loves to start every meal by praying. We aren't sure exactly what he is saying, but God knows. And I am sure he is pleased when He hears that little voice.

Noah's big accomplishment this past year was potty training. I was beyond thrilled when he mastered this. He did it so quickly too. It's amazing how much he has accomplished in 3 short years.

Noah's name means peaceful. I am not so sure that adjective describes Noah. I would go with happy, strong willed, kind, loving, loud, passionate and precocious. And I wouldn't want him any other way. Happy Birthday Noah Johnathan! We are blessed to have you in our lives.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer...There is nothing better.

It's already the end of July and I find myself thinking about fall. Before I know it I will be heading back to room 48 and greeting 19 brand new fourth graders. I have said this numerous times; I love teaching, but there really isn't anything like summer. I love running in the morning, taking my time with the boys, lunch dates with friends, and pool lounging. That always makes the list. I was a little anxious about this summer; thinking that the weather might disappoint, but it has been B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! We have been to a few lakes. I dread bathing suit photos, but I am mostly covered in this one so I will let it slide.

John and I have done a couple of 5Ks. (The Cakes did a major half marathon, which I need to blog about -soon!) My goal is to do one a month (5ks that is, not half marathons). There are so many benefits to running. I think one of my favorite things is meeting God first thing in the morning and enjoying His creation. There is nothing like it. Period!

Today, in honor of the big 35 (mine, not his) we brought the kids to Adirondack Animal Park and they loved it. I loved it too! Can someone please swap me out and put me on Green Acres? I don't think John will go for it but I can wish, it is my birthday... Sigh....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Couch to 5K...

In March I started the Couch to 5K program mainly to get myself off the couch and moving. Being a working mom it's really easy to get stuck in the routine of work, home and bed. There were times this year (more often than not) when I felt like I was hanging on by a thread. I felt rushed, busy, frustrated, tired, anxious, and just plain unhealthy. My days consisted of waking at 5:30 a.m. leaving the house by 7:20 (on a good day), dropping the boys off at daycare by 7:45 and racing to the Shen campus to greet my cherubs by 7:55. After spending the day teaching my afternoons consisted of meetings (I signed up for two after school committees-what was I thinking? ), picking up the boys between 4:00 and 4:30, appointments, making dinner, baths, squeezing in some playtime, and bed. When I started the program I thought, how in the world is this going to fit into my schedule? I carved out time at 4:30 in the morning and made a commitment to make a date with the gym three times a week.

At first it was simple, I just wanted to get my body moving and get my heart rate up. After weeks of getting my body used to jogging I signed up for my first 5K. I had one goal in mind, jog the entire race without walking. On June 4th I accomplished my goal when I ran the Freihofer's race. It was an awesome experience. It's kind of amazing how good and accomplished finishing 3 miles can make you feel. After losing 10 lbs and one race under my belt I am hooked. I enjoy the peace and quiet my runs bring and the feeling of "I just completed a workout and I feel pretty good"! Yes, my body aches in places it's never ached before, but I am hoping that as the weight comes off the running gets easier on my body. And nothing beats hearing Noah ask if he can go for a run too.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Birthday Boy

Eli Benjamin turned the big numero uno while we were sunning it up in Myrtle Beach. We celebrated his big day by taking him to the best steakhouse that we have ever been to. Talk about mouth watering meat. Yes, I totally love the carnivorous side of me. It was so good! Meat is brought to your table and sliced right onto your plate. Definitely a place that we will visit again when we travel back to Myrtle Beach.

After returning from Myrtle Beach we celebrated Eli's first birthday with family and friends. The theme was Peter Rabbit and it was very fitting for our little bunny. We enjoyed Italian food as well as salads and delicious desserts. The Easter Bunny got wind of our party and because he is a long distance relative of Peter he decided to pop (or should I say hop-that joke is free) in for a visit. Thank you Easter Bunny. You really made our party a success.

Eli has brought so much joy to our family. He is sweet and happy and I often find myself just staring at him imagining what he is going to be like when he is 10 and the kind of man he will become in his twenties. And then there are times when I wish I could keep him small forever. I love rocking him while he drinks his bottle and I especially love squeezing him. I love his sweet smile when he greets me in the morning and the sound of his little legs shuffling down the hallway. Feeling blessed beyond measure with the wonderful gift God has given us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Vacation was wonderful! We set out in the middle of the night with a packed SUV (which I loved and could totally get used to) and traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We encountered some pretty scary weather, but let's just say that watching The Wizard of Oz helped us through a sticky situation. After spending 21 hours, yes you read that correctly it took us 21 long hours, we arrived at an awesome resort to start our week long vacay. It was totally worth it.

Very cute SUV

2:17 A.M.!!!

Did I mention that these two gems were priceless in the car? PRICELESS!!! They were champs and weathered the long car ride without one little fuss. And there was no duct tape involved. I knew those trips to the mall would pay off someday.

Our vacation consisted of waking up at 7:30 every day, exercising for John on most days, me on one day, (hey one day is better than no days), hitting the beach by noon and then back to the room for naps by 3:00. We usually set out for dinner by 6:30 and partied with these guys until 9:00 p.m. It was an awesome vacation (did I already say that?) and one we will never forget.

Looking forward to visiting Myrtle Beach again in the future. John and I both agree that it would be really fun to have another family join us the next time. Any takers?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Soon Enough!

My to-do list says I should be working on these...

but there are a million other things that I would like to be doing like getting ready for this...

I am counting down the days until I have my feet in the sand and the waves at my fingertips. Hoping and praying for sunshine and warm temps. I cannot wait to seriously love on this guy...

(Seriously going to squeeze him the entire time we are away.)

And I can't wait to laugh, hug, smooch, tickle, read, play in the sand and just take my time with these two little loves...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What are you craving?

I am a big fan of the radio station K Love. It's positive and encouraging. Not too long ago they had this lady promoting her new book.

Listening to Lysa (the author of Made to Crave) talk about her "weight" struggles instantly reminded me of my own struggles. How many times have I promised myself that Monday was "The Day" to start dieting? I decided to give Made to Crave a try. It's not a "diet" book. There are no recipes, no workout schedules but there are chapters filled with teachings on how to satisfy your deepest desire with God.

I started the Made to Crave Bible study last night with a friend. After we both decided that we want to look cute in the same pants Lysa was wearing, we had a good conversation about why we eat what we eat. And why we feel like we need it.

I can only speak for myself when I say this but.... I love food. Yes, I get that people love food, but I really love food. Like I get excited about food. I love going out to eat and I could easily list 10, no probably 20 foods that I absolutely adore. And that is so wrong on so many levels. I am tired of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I am tired of thinking about food and hearing people talk about how "fat' they are (when they're not). One of the phrases that Lysa wrote about in her book is sticking with me. "We crave what we eat." Simple, yet so true. I am going to have to train myself to crave healthier foods. Difficult, yet not impossible.

I am not sure I could limit my cravings to just food though. The list of "things" that I crave is a mile long and much too embarrassing to write about. I am actually ashamed of many them. So I am thinking that I not only need a physical diet but a spiritual one as well.

And so begins my journey for I was made to crave Him.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I love the word progress. When I think of progress I think of hope. There is lots of progress being made in the Hickok house and that leaves me feeling happy and hopeful. This past weekend was wonderful. There are so many neat little things happening. I really feel like we accomplished so much. So much that I needed to blog about it; even though I should be in bed sleeping resting up for my 4:30 a.m. wake up call to hit the gym.

That's my first progress report that I want to share. Tomorrow I am starting week 3 of couch to 5K. I am making progress with my three times a week walking/jogging workouts. And it feels so good. Yes, 4:30 a.m. is wicked early, but on the way home from the gym I feel so good for going. I am making progress which gives me hope that someday I will look like this again.

John feels really good about making progress on our addition. He spent the weekend putting up dry wall. I decided that he would probably get much more done if I stepped in to supervise. Not really. I only lasted with one part of the ceiling. But I was glad that I could help him with that.

Noah is making huge progress on the potty. He is doing so awesome letting us know when he has to go. I think I found a treat that motivates him which really helps with the whole potty training business. We are really excited for him and for us. The money will start growing back on the trees now that he is in underpants.

Eli is making lots of progress with crawling. We are so excited that he is on the move. He loves getting into E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Most of the time he is content playing with Noah's toys. Noah isn't a huge fan of this, but he is making progress!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


This week I was met with the worst sinus infection. It was terrible, and I felt like such a baby. I really wanted to stay in bed all day (correction - all week) and sleep, but that doesn't happen very often when you are mom to these two adorable guys.

J Cakes was out of town which made matters worse. Gone are the days of laying on the couch being waited on by mom and dad. However some really awesome people came to the rescue, and I am beyond thankful for their kind gestures. So rather than complain about how awful I feel I am so thankful that God sent these angels to take care of me while my husband was away.

The first angel arrived some time this morning and left chicken soup on my front steps. Thanks Mom M. for the soup. It was perfect at lunch today.

The next angel arrived at 3:45 p.m. this afternoon with a Frosty in hand. Thank you Amanda. I couldn't suck that thing down fast enough. Am I a selfish mom for not sharing it with Noah? What he doesn't know won't hurt him.

At 5:30 p.m an angel bringing pulled pork, fresh rolls and salad arrived. It was so yummy! Thank you so much Suki. I am really sorry that we weren't able to come for dinner tonight, but I really appreciate that you cared enough to feed to me anyways. However, I was feeling a little slighted that my favorite 6th grader didn't join you.

More angels arrived at 6:30 p.m. to help bathe the boys and play with them. Thanks Franklin and Mom M. I really appreciate the help and enjoyed the company.

I would be remiss it I didn't mention the text messages and phone calls from friends checking in to make sure that I was okay. You know who you are. Thank you.

Most importantly, thank you Jesus for the grace that you have shown me this week. It was a tough one, but the antibiotics have kicked in, and I am starting to feel well again. Now it's my turn to earn my wings.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bathroom Business

It's hard to believe that this little guy

is ready for this..

But at 2 1/2 years old Noah is breaking away from diapers and doing the potty dance with the rest of the kids on the Huggies commercial. And he has the Mickey underpants to prove it. We started the training last Saturday. After having three accidents I will admit I was a little skeptical. But on Sunday he got a little better and on Monday he seemed like a pro. Now I won't say there haven't been a few glitches. If you look at the potty picture you will notice it's in the living room next to the couches. Our boy likes to do his business in the company of everyone including these guys.

Not really a big deal for us because we are home, but I am wondering how things are going to go once he is at school next week. The big numero dos is another story. Oh, he does it on the potty, but it's a pretty huge production. Were talking, "mommy sit with me and hold my hand" production. I can't say that I mind, but I am wondering who is going to hold his hand on Monday.

He is loving the rewards he is getting for doing his business on the potty. We have almost emptied a bag of skittles and he loves the lollipops. We are really proud of him and excited about this new phase of his life. Who would have thought bathroom business would be so exciting?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Race Is On... Bring It J Cakes

After watching my husband work his.... well you get the idea from the picture below, I decided it was time that the Hickoks vacate. (Shh, about the pic... He seriously will kill me and cancel our vacation plans.)

Anyways, like I said we are outta here, packin it in, settin sail, leavin and quite honestly I can't wait. My husband works so hard and he deserves to put his feet up and relax with his wife and two boys.

I have done my research about places where we can travel with our little crew. I narrowed it down, talked to a number of "reservation specialists" and booked our plans. Can I get a "praise the Lord" on that one?! After I got off the phone with the "reservation specialist", a thought crossed my mind. It went something like this, sun, sand and bathing suit. I looked at John and made a little friendly wager with him. "We have X amount of time to get beach-body ready. Let's see who can lose the most weight before our trip." The clock is ticking and everyone who knows me knows that I don't take losing very well unless it's losing pounds and inches. So Mr. Johnny Cakes, bring it on!!