Thursday, December 30, 2010

Recent Griffin and Grayson Quotes/Words

"Mom, today is a great day for catching rain on your tongue."

After going for a run, I was trying to locate pants to change into. I asked Griffin if he knew where they were. His response, "Mom, you are responsible for your own pants."

Griffin received an Iron Man figurine for Christmas. After it was out of the packaging, I asked him to pose for a picture. Rather than smile he responded, "I'm already situated here."

"Mom, I love you more than I can imagine." His version of when I say, "Griffin, I love you more than you could ever imagine."

Grayson has also expanded his vocabulary. We often hear:

Thank You
Uz--Buz Light Year
hug (he asks for this right after he has been reprimanded...quite clever already)
money (when he sees coins)
bean (when he plays with Griffin's mighty beans)
man---Iron Man

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Letter

I send out Christmas cards each year, but I have never included a letter. I figure those who know me and want to know about my life can visit here. So, here is a Christmas letter of sortsJ

2010 has been a whirlwind year. As I type, Grayson is turning 21 months old. Wasn't it just yesterday we celebrated his 1st Birthday? It amazes me how much children change in one year. In January, Grayson was beginning to take steps, and his bout with ear infections had just begun. Today, he never stops running or moving, his tubes are in place making a world of difference for his health, and his speech has improved immensely. Just the other day, he said "Love You" to me for the first time. While eating continues to be a struggle, he no longer seems to be in pain from his acid reflux. Our little man, our forever baby, continues to be tiny for his age, but that is just fine by me!

Griffin, our four-year-old firstborn, continues to amaze us with his quick wit and inquisitive nature. At the moment, he is rarely content with the first answer he is given to any question. Follow-up questions are guaranteed! Griffin continues to love swimming, and it is a joy to see him improve upon his skills. Lately, he has really taken to the sport of basketball. He is signed up for a parent/child basketball league this spring, and both Brandon and I are really looking forward to growing and learning with him! I am still in shock that next year he will be in Kindergarten. It is hard to accept that both boys are growing so fast. Sometimes, I am afraid to even blink for fear I might miss something! And as always, both boys continue to capture my heart with their love for reading.

Brandon is still working hard at his public accounting firm. Tax season is stressful for all of us, but I am so proud of how Brandon handles the busy season. He is still able to lead his family the way God created him to lead. He also started playing tennis again this year, and I know he is looking forward to one day playing with the boys.

In April, I began taking classes to obtain my PHD from Bethel University. While the classes are extremely challenging and time consuming, I am loving every minute of it. I am still a Reading Specialist for 7th and 8th grade students, and I truly love what I do. While leaving the kids at Gail's house each day can be heart-wrenching, I believe that I am right where I am supposed to be.

The MN Dunigans were gifted a trip to the Wisconsin Dells this summer. So much fun was had by all, and many memories were created. Both boys are fish and just love being in the water. Brandon and I were also able to have a few one-night local vacations just the two of us. Being able to recharge was perfect; we were thankful for our family babysitters who helped make these mini-getaways possible.

Brandon and I continue to be so very thankful for the friends we have in our lives. Being so far away from most of our family can be tough, but true friends have really made it possible for us to survive so far away. We are truly blessed with a close circle of friends who help us grow in our faith, keep our family strong, and celebrate our ups and downs with us as we pave our way through the journey of parenthood and marriage. These wonderful people make it easy for us to remember how faithful God really is.

Because the hustle and bustle of the holidays can distract us from the true meaning of Christmas, I pray that everyone can take some time to remember and celebrate Christ's birth. In a world of uncertainity and weariness, He is the reason my family has hope for the future and love in our hearts. Merry Christmas to all of you!

With love~Brandon, Sandra, Griffin, and Grayson

To give credit where credit is due, the production of this letter was inspired by Tina.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Grayson Update

My little man is GROWING! Today, he reached the 10th percentile for weight and the 40th percentile for height!!!

We were also given permission to try weaning him down to one dose a day of Prevacid rather than two. If that goes well, we will stop mixing formula with his whole milk.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

My heart has turned to mush...

Last night, and then again this morning, Grayson said, "Love You" for the very first and second time.

He could ask for anything right now, and he would probably get it:)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Pondering the purpose of many things lately has me pondering the purpose of this blog. Why do I keep it? What do I want it to accomplish? While the topics of my posts can be funny, silly, sad, informative, and/or controversial, my purpose remains the same from when I first started this blog. I want my boys, when they turn 18, to be presented with a book of their life. Many companies can turn blogs into books, and that is what I plan on doing when my kiddos leave after high school. I plan to present each boy with a book that chronicles their life through this blog. While I also write to get my feelings on paper and to keep my family informed since they live so far away, my main purpose is for Griffin and Grayson.

With that being said, there is a reason why the majority of my posts are positive in nature. While I don't lie or hide the truth of what happens in my family, I purposely try to display the positive aspects of our life. Yes, there are negative things that happen in our life that I write about, but I try to wait until I have a firm grip emotionally on the subject before I write. (Or, I just don't hit publish. I do have quite a few posts that will never be put on this blog.)

Some write blogs to entertain. Some have a way with words that leave me hungry for more or peeing my pants from laughter. For me, I write my blog to show my family, specifically the four of us, that although we are not perfect, we are perfect for each other. God created the MN Dunigans to be perfect matches. That does not mean we are perfect or that I, the mom, have it all together. I think it is easy to read this blog and think our life must be peachy-keen all the time. Or that we think our life is better than others. But, let's be real. My family and close friends can tell you that I can yell more than necessary, my house is often dirtier than it should be, I often plan our days to be too full for our own good, I can be a horrible friend when I get stressed, my kids can be naughty, I make plenty of mistakes, and too often my husband takes the blame for my shortcomings. But I talk about those things out loud. I don't need to write about them. Instead, I want my family to know that in good times and bad times, we are still perfect for each other. When my boys reflect on their childhood, I want them to remember the good times. I want them to remember the love that filled our home. I want them to remember the activities. I want them to be reminded of childhood zeal. I want them to remember Jesus' teachings. I want them to remember laughter. And if they have to remember bad times, I want them to remember that love, true love that stems from the Father, really does conquer all.

So I write.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

With Love Chartreuse Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop for elegant Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Creating our family Christmas Card is never an easy task. First, I have an incredibly dfficult time picking out pictures to use. I hate most pictures of myself, so for two years in a row, I wasn't even on our Christmas card! It's hard to put yourself on card when you feel like

thisafter giving birth to babies.

To solve the issue of me looking like a whale in virtually every picture I have of myself from 2006-2009, I just created a collage of pictures of my adorable sons. Let's be honest, though. I am sure most people would rather see pictures of my kiddos anyway! And even though I loved the pictures of my boys, I still had to pester my sister to help me pick a card. I drafted three different ones one year and couldn't choose. Decision making...not my thing.

Thankfully, this year I actually own a family picture that I like due to the incredibly talented Jennifer Johansen. I also have a million other pictures of my boys (including Brandon) that I love thanks to Jennifer. Not only do these pictures adorn my upstairs wall, but they also take up space in a folder labeled "Christmas Card Pictures." So, my dilemna do I pick a picture to use?
I know I could just use this one

But where is the fun in that?
That's where Shutterfly comes into play. They have so many adorable layouts that allow me to pick MULTIPLE pictures for a card. I don't have to choose just one photo; I can choose a handful. First problem solved.

Second problem comes into play. What card do I choose from Shutterfly?

There's this one...

But I also love the writing and the brown on this one...

And let me tell you, there are hundreds more to choose from! So which one did I choose? I guess you will have to wait until Christmas rolls around to find out! But let me tell's worth the wait!

(I have purchased multiple Christmas Cards from Shutterfly, but I have also created photo books like this one using the site. Uploading photos is simple, and photo books make wonderful gifts. Last year we also used these options while creating an invitation for our sons' dedication. While Shutterfly is sponsoring this post by providing me with free cards to send out this season, the opinions are entirely my own. Shutterfly is my family's website of choice for creating photo gifts and cards.)