John and Dana

and our life with the munchkins!

I’m Ready for 4 More Years…

Are you?? I’m not really an outspoken person. I am disclosing here and now that I’ve been a supporter of Obama since the beginning. Ian walked for the first time EVER on election night. And also, I’m not a pusher and a shover when it comes to politics. If you’re voting for someone I don’t particularly like, not the end of the world. But here’s the thing:

I won’t sit back and listen to you spew garbage facts from unreliable sources. I won’t sit back and listen to you bitch and moan about our president if you don’t/didn’t vote. So educate yourself before you whine. Educate yourself on what would be the best for YOU. This is the one time you have a choice that is all your own.


I’m sure I’ll get glares for having that sticker on my car. I’m sure at some point someone will flick me off. And you know what?? I’ll wave back with a smile knowing that I’m making a decision that will help my family and their future.

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Busy Busy Bees

Well, we are wrapping up the school year here at the Rork household! Last day of school is May 23rd!

Kae will be in 3rd grade next year, and she’s VERY excited to be on the OTHER side of the building (Preschool thru 2nd grade on one side and then we’ve got 3rd-5th on the other). BIG DEAL PEOPLE! HUGE! She’s working hard with Kumon after school on Mondays and Thursdays, and she is currently 6 months above grade level! We are hoping to get her to 1 year above grade level by October or November 2012! Woo Kiki! She’s also in ballet on Thursday nights at the Park District and loves it. She’s got dance in her genes (Nana, Meg, Me…and not to mention my awesome husband has got some KILLER dance moves while at weddings…oh boy)! Her recital is coming up in a few weeks so we’ve been practicing our spins at home.

Ian will be heading to Pre-K 4’s and 5’s and can’t wait to have Mrs. Werner and Mrs. D. AGAIN! This next year will be a huge help in getting Ian ready for KDG! Jolly Phonics are used and more writing/work is done. I love these teachers to infinity! They are the most loving, caring, FUNNY (oh they crack me up so much), and honest people I’ve met. They don’t take crap from the kids but love on them as if they were their own. Hugs and kisses are never forgotten or refused when kids are leaving for the day.

Gavin will be going to Preschool next year as well! I’m anxious because he’s the baby and I’m not sure how I feel about my baby being 3 and at school for 2 hrs. Hell, who am I kidding right now. Two hours is nothing and the kid will LOVE it. I just get weepy. Jackson (from across the street) will be in Gavin’s class and I’ve got a feeling they will have a great time together!

John has been working on some huge projects at work and will continue through out the summer. He’s also started heading to work earlier (out the door by 7am and home before 5:30) so we have more time together at night. The kids LOVE when he comes home…as if I’m the devil (maybe I am??? meh..). I’ve jumped back on the ‘work’ train (after stepping down 2.5 years ago and just doing new line) and have been picking up a few more hours here and there at Gymbo. It’s been fun, and I enjoy working there-going on 6 years! I think getting out of the house is helping me mentally, as I don’t feel ‘stuck in a rut’ anymore. Gotta love a nice change of pace!

Our summer will be jam packed this year, so no vacations in our near future but a big one near the end of the year will keep me going through insane-o summer. Insane-o being…

5 birthdays (Gavin, John’s dad, Alex, Myself, Patrick) within a 3 week period: May 15, May 19th, May 29th, May 31st, June 3rd…mustbreathemustbreathe

5 Year Anniversary: Decided to postpone traveling due to our summer, but we are heading to Ravinia to see Iron and Wine…and ya’ll KNOW how much I love Ravinia…’go big or go home, bitches’ is my mentality πŸ˜‰ Meal planning starting for that already.

and drumroll please…

3 Bridal Showers (2 of which my mom and I are throwing) and 2 bachelorette parties in July and 4 weddings in August and 1 in September! My beautiful cousin Collette and my awesome sister in law Megan asked if I could be in their wedding party and I’m completely honored to be a part of their special days!

So 2012 is the year of the Crazy Dana. Β And I’ve just gotta conclude by saying to my closest lady friends: Β THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO ME WHEN I RANT ABOUT STUPID SHIT. I LOVE YOU ALL SO DEARLY. YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I CAN GET THROUGH THIS! Let’s just say I’ll be buying wine by the truckloads for our end of the summer ladies night. Mommy Juice. Nuff said.

And sorry, no new pictures to post…it’s been the last thing on our minds. But we will be trying to keep the camera with us during all of our fun summer. xo.

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Kaelyn’s Parties!

Well… being 8 and all, Kae decided to ask if we could have a friends party this year, because she thought she was old enough now and had enough friends πŸ™‚ We decided on having it at the Centre in Elgin. They have an awesome zero depth pool with water slides and things for kids of all ages and it was perfect because they provided lunch and drinks and 2 hours of fun in the pool! Baga and Papa helped wrangle the boys while Maga and Nana helped keep an eye on the girls. The girls had a blast and were EXHAUSTED sitting in the party room eating. They all looked like they were gonna fall asleep in their pizza! The boys and neighbor boys were totally amped up and ready for more party by the time it was all over. How do little people have SO MUCH ENERGY?! Agh. I don’t get it. Well enough of my yapping…pics from this party:

Kaelyn, Ella M, Ella P, Marissa, and Julia

All a bit sleepy after swimming.

Ian all sugared up with a cupcake the size of his face.

Jackson enjoying his cupcake and Gavin staring off into space. Oh boys.

On St. Patricks Day, we had Kaelyn’s family party at Maga and Baga’s house! We had loads of corned beef, cabbage, carrots, bread, and polish sausage (I’m probably forgetting a bunch more…we tend to make a lot of food and eat it too). Oh and can’t forget black and tan’s from my dads bar. It wouldn’t be an irish/polish celebration without mentioning the bar and the booze. Β πŸ™‚ Sloshy sloshy beer. HA. We stuck with the St. Patty’s theme but did a bit more rainbow than anything else. Kae got to go with Nana to Deerfields Bakery and got to design her cake. Again…enough with the yappin’…here are the pic’s:

Kiki’s creative cake!

Boys reading with Uncle Al

I just love her face in this one! Muah! My big 8 year old…wow…just wow.

Β We also got to celebrate another birthday! Nana Jean turn 87(??) this year so she got to celebrate with Kae and all the other March babies in the family (Aunt Gail, Uncle John, Aunty Ann, Matthew…I’m probably forgetting someone). March and May and September are big birthday months in our family!

I’ll be back shortly (a day or two) to update on spring break (did absolutely nothing and LOVED it) and Easter! xo

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Wait…She’s HOW old now?

Yeah. I get that A LOT from my friends. It’s definitely a ‘holy shit’ moment when you realize it too.

Where were you 8 years ago? Well I was running around with my mom, dad, and brother trying to finish up some last minute stuff before I needed to be in labor/delivery at 9am on March 10th. My mom and I drove with Sue (our neighbor) and John drove his car so he could leave at night after she was born. Insane.

I just remember trying to keep calm and I didn’t cry until I got to Northwest Community because the hospital was so huge and ominous. The staff took such great care of me. Not everyone looks at a 17 year old and smiles. That was tough, going in knowing I would be part of the ‘teenage mother’ population by the end of the day. But the staff was so incredibly loving and caring, all my fears of labor and delivery were slowly going away.

And just as everyone had expected, I had Kaelyn 5 hours after I was induced. My doctor made it just in time. My mom and John were in the room, my mom helped me the whole way through the pregnancy and I had to have her with me. She was my rock. John was my ice chip man. And to be honest, I hated him at that point because the whole thing hurt so much (no epidural) but I got over it quickly as he held Kaelyn in his arms and helped wash her and dress her. Love.

Our sweet bunny.

We had so many visitors too. Family. And some of our best friends who have stuck with us through the tough times and we are still so grateful to have them in our lives. And they all have an Auntie or Uncle in front of their name, and Kaelyn won’t ever let them forget it.

Auntie Katie, Uncle Brendan, John, Uncle Dane, Uncle Phil and Ty

It’s been a long and incredible journey and I wouldn’t change any of it.Β  My parents are my best friends as a direct result of it. Without them, John and I would have floundered.

Happy Birthday to my sweet Kikisaurus. You’ve changed me for the better and can’t wait to watch you grow some more! Muah ❀


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I guess it could be worse…

9 months since I updated. Eek. Well I’m back. Nothing major tonight. Just wanted to say I’m back and that I’ll update more so that my lovely kiddlets can see what made their mother go insane πŸ˜‰ JUST KIDDING all. This winter has gone by so quickly, and I’m so damn excited to play outside and go to the park and start our spring/summer adventures! So look for more…I’ll try to upload more photos to Flickr too. Hooray!


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Birthday, Painting Day and Fathers Day

Well I turned 25 on May 31st. Cue the *whomp whomp whomp* sound. I don’t know why I took 25 harder than I took 24 or 23. Just seeing my family grow up before my eyes has been hard enough, I guess being reminded of my own birthday didn’t help. I’m fine now lol. Got over my issue.

My rockin’ family bought me pizza and a cake and they sang to me πŸ™‚

You know what. I can FINALLY see which genes are more dominant in my kids. Cathony anyone??Eesh. Hopefully they get the Rork height!

What a weasel. This photo is one of a few that truely shows you how much of a menace G is. He was chasing after his brother with chocolate hands/face. Sigh. Many more years of this to come right??

Well last week I came down with a horrible awful no good very bad case of the stomach flu. John took off almost the whole week, my brother came over one morning, and my mom took the kids for a morning as well. My dad brought over gatorade with a ten foot pole and threw it into the kitchen (just assuming…didn’t see who brought the gatorade or chicken soup over). So one morning John decided to get the kids finger painting. It was kind of a rainy day so he went with it. I despise finger paints, play dough, bubbles and all kid-friendly, mom-clean up the mess types of fun. I am truly the unfun mom. I’ll bake cookies, I’ll let them watercolor and craft so no worries. My kids aren’t missing out. Plus, they have loads of craft times at school. But I digress…LOOK AT THE CUTE PICTURES!

Dirty little monkey. With no pants on. Lol.

E LOVED painting. (and Kae is a pro at finger painting so she just kept going while the boys needed their hands cleaned)

Having fun getting dirty πŸ™‚

On Father’s Day this year, we headed out to my Babcia and Dziadzia’s to relax and eat linner (lunch/dinner). My awesome dad headed out to Des Moines to help my bro fix his car. Talk about taking father’s day seriously. He fulfilled his fatherly duties that weekend. We then headed over to John’s parents house for dinner and drinks. It was all in all a really relaxing day for everyone!

K on one of the many bikes Dziadzia pulls out of the garage for the kids. Oh. And Lucy the cat. Grumble.

I was just checking out my grandparents garden. They grow some really great stuff every year. Dziadzia was giving me a few pointers. I first need to get my manure pile growing…Thankfully we don’t have any backyard neighbors anymore!

Playing with the school house. I wanna say it’s from the early 80’s. And they have most of the pieces that go with it. The boys LOVE this toy!

Gavin decided to join Katie on the lounger. He loves hanging with her and Katie is super tolerant to his antics (K and Ian HATE when Gavin wants to ‘share’ his seat with someone else lol). Here they are ‘sleeping’. I believe G was snoring at some point. Goofball.

Plenty of practice and Ian headed the ball! Dziadzia was loving it too.

And there you have it. Been taking the kids to camp and running errands this week. Hopefully we have a nice weekend and can head to Brookfield Zoo.






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4 Years and Counting…

I can still remember the jitters I felt when I turned the corner with my dad, getting into our line position for the walk down the aisle to meet my soon to be husband. The flowers looked amazing, the church was full with loving friends and family, and the music was strong yet not overpowering the moment. John looked calm and happy with his best friends by his side. My awesome bridesmaids looked stunning in their dresses and nobody fell into the baptismal fountain (we thought we would just jump over it πŸ˜‰ ). As I heard the wedding march begin, I grasped my dad’s arm a bit tighter and looked at him holding Kaelyn. Everything was as it should be. The ceremony went by quickly and effortlessly. No ugly Oprah crying from anyone, me included. Success!

The rest of the night was smooth sailing and one of the best nights ever! The music, the atmosphere, the people. It rocked. We were so thankful for everyone who came and knew a few guests were looking down on us from heaven. I don’t think we could have had a better day.

Happy 4 years! It’s been lots of fun!

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This Never Stops Being Fun

So when Kaelyn was born and the following 2.5 years we lived with my super awesome parents while John and I went to ECC. Our days were often split, Kae would come with me some days and she’d go to daycare at ECC, and other days she would spend time with John depending on our work and school schedules. We loved to play outside at Maga and Baga’s and there was loads of room for her to run and play. The one thing she loved to do the most is probably still one of her favorite things to do when we head out to play there. The stone wall around my parents patio island has been around as long as I can remember (they had all landscaping/stonework done right after they built the house). Β I even remember walking and walking and walking in circles on those stones! So here she was circa August/September 2006:

and May 2011:

I love the ‘Dad…stop taking photos’ face. Priceless. And I LOVE how compact and round she was in 06. She’s going to be a lean mean fighting machine, probably towering over me in a few short years. Wow. Just wow. Where has that time gone?!


Come Back Summer!!

Oh my goodness, the past few days when we had 80 temps were just glorious. We played outside ALL day, grilled our meals and just enjoyed it. Well…now this rain/wind/cold snap has gotten my hopes crushed. I was just getting used to wearing shorts and t-shirts, and so were the kids honestly. And the cats! Yes they were loving it too. Here are a few shots from when we actually had warm weather. Sigh…this too shall pass.

Such a sweaty hammy.

She had to be in her castle with the bubbles. I loved her braids, she told me she liked them too. So we kept them in for a long time.

“Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles” is all John and I could say the rest of the day. *Finding Nemo reference…what would we do without Pixar???*

This weekend it’s supposed to clear up thankfully. I need the sunshine. I’m afraid my white shorts are going to have to wait a few weeks otherwise I’ll look like I’m not wearing anything at all. Ghost Mommy.

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He’s All Grown Up Now

Well when I entered the family Patrick was a youngin. So being invited to go to his graduation was super special. John, Meg, Al, Kim, Mark and Nana Rork made the trip to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in St. Charles to see the Class of 2011 from St. Edward’s Central Catholic High School graduate. The ceremony was very nice (short, considering my graduating class at DCHS had 500+)and Bishop Doran came in from Rockford to hand out diplomas to the graduating class.

Walking in!


Diploma!! Yay!!

TOTALLY ignoring our waving arms. I probably would have too.

All the guys he went to elementary school with.

Pat, Meg and John. Amazing how Pat now towers over John. I remember him being shorter than Meg.

The whole Rork family. Sidenote: IT WAS SO DARN COLD AND WINDY LAST NIGHT. Thank god it was in the church and not outside.

Pat and Mary Gale

We then headed home to change and went out for dinner to end the night!

Also: My dearest cousin Collette (she’s like a sister though) graduated from Harper with her Associates Degree! So her fiance threw her a surprise party on Sunday after graduation!


John was being ridiculous with the camera at this point. Definitely sounded like paparazzi.Β 

Oh you know, cause you are supposed to STAND on the bags set. Ooof.

And climb on it. He was totally cheating here.

So it was a fun and busy few days! My brother is home for a couple days (he had a few days off from his job in Des Moines) and then we’ve got a few birthdays coming up. Uncle Al on Sunday (28??), Me on Tuesday (25), and Pat on Friday (18). Fun fun times…

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