When I first starting writing this post I thought, “I want to make this a quick post, like ripping off a band aid.”  But the more I thought about it, even though what I am going to write doesn’t make me comfortable and it makes me face some emotions that I just don’t want to deal with right now I need to do it. I need to do it for my Poppo. Because quite frankly my Poppo deserves a nice post dedicated to him. So here it is:

On Thanksgiving Day, my Poppo went heaven. It wasn’t the Thanksgiving I thought I would be having. But, that is what it turned into. I don’t want to talk about the end or the day he died. I want to talk about my memories I have with him.

When I was little, I remember going to my Mommo and Poppo’s house and spending the night often. We would get up in the morning I would eat Cookie Crisp cereal, and I remember my Poppo in his robe reading his paper, drinking his black coffee. He had such a raspy voice in the morning. Poppo also grilled a mean pork steak, in fact he was a master griller. Delicious! I also remember tractor rides around the yard. That is something I remember looking forward to. Other great childhood memories I have; Easter egg hunts in his yard, him roller blading in our driveway, his lead foot (which is where I get mine), and a vacation to Nebraska.

My recent memories just include one thing. My kids. My Poppo loved my kids. I know all grandparents love their grandkids. But, my grandpa’s eyes literally sparkled when Gabrielle and Cooper came around. He was so very proud of them! He always wanted to show them off. He loved (loved is an understatement), that we named Cooper after his last name. He told everybody. I just can’t explain the loved that I know he had for them. It makes my heart hurt, to know that they won’t be able to know how great their great grandpa was. What a fun, loving, silly, sometimes big tempered, wonderful man he was.

I love you Poppo. I miss you so much. I know that you are with Mommo in heaven watching down over us.


What a difference a year makes…


A couple of weekends ago we went to Eckerts so we could pick pumpkins and apples. All I have to say is what a difference a year makes…

Apple Picking 2010

Apple Picking 2011








Look at how big my girl has gotten in a year! From a little bald 1 year old, to a pig tailed 2 year old! Man I love that girl. Also, around this time last year I had just found out that we would be expecting a new member to our family.

Big SIster!








Now, I have a 3 month old baby boy. He thought the pumpkin farm was boring.

Sleepy boy


A. age :: 26
B. bed size :: queen
C. chore you hate :: do I even need to answer that? Laundry, by far!!
D. dogs :: Domino
E. essential start to your day : Shower
F. favorite color :: green
G. gold or silver :: I like both!
H. height :: 5 ft. 8 in.
I. instruments you play :: I use to play piano, but nothing anymore
J. job title :: Mommy, Wife, Daughter, Sister, and Teacher
K. kids ::Gabrielle 2 years, Cooper 3 months


L. live :: Bethalto
M. maiden name :: Brazier
N. nicknames :: Sissy
O. overnight hospital stays :: Appendectomy, Right Nephrectomy, and giving birth to 2 beautiful babies
P. pet peeve :: When people don’t spell or pronounce words correctly
Q. quote :: “You were made to fill a purpose that only you can do.  So there can never be a more beautiful you” – Johnny Diaz song “Beautiful You”
R. righty or lefty :: right
S. siblings :: Jenna
T. time you wake up :: Whenever my babies wake up. But, it will be earlier when I have to go back to work. 😦
U. university attended :: SIUE-E-E
V. vegetables you dislike:  Not many, but don’t like brussel sprouts
W. what makes you run late :: my middle name is “late.” Danielle Late Hartsock. What doesn’t make me run late should be the question.
X. x-rays you’ve had :: my arm when I broke it, my ankle when I fell down the stairs…yes I am a klutz
Y. yummy food :: Mexican!
Z. zoo animal favorite :: Penguins

I’m back!


Hello there blog world. I’m back! We haven’t had the internet since we’ve moved. It was complete torture. But, we have it now, and I am making up for lost time. 🙂 We are now settled into our house. It is wonderful having all of the room we have. Jared thinks that it is awesome we can pick which bathroom we’d like to use. The kids are doing great. Gabrielle celebrated her 2nd birthday. She had so much fun. I can’t believe that little girl is 2. She is starting to talk big. She is using sentences, and really communicating what she wants. She has the girl drama down. She is a drama queen, for sure!

Birthday Girl!

Cooper is now 3 months old. Man I love that little boy. He smiles all the time, and sometimes we get a little giggle. We were having to go to physical therapy because he had a very tight muscle in his neck and wouldn’t turn his head that way. I am happy to say that he is completely back to normal! He is getting huge and time goes by way too fast!


I go back to work next Monday. I am trying not to dread it. I love being home with my kiddos. I can’t believe I have to be away from them. I know I will be fine and it will be nice to get into a routine.

5 years!


Today Jared and I have been married for 5 years. That is hard to believe. I remember our wedding day like it was yesterday. It was such a beautiful day. I remember waking up after the couple of hours I could sleep, and being so excited. I remember all the girls getting  ready in the church parlor we had so much fun. I remember how nervous I felt right  before I walked down the aisle. When the doors opened and I heard the music and saw Jared’s face I cried. Not just teary eyed, the full blown ugly cry. I just couldn’t help it. I knew it would happen. I cry at stranger’s weddings, so it was a fact I would be hysterical at my own. After the ceremony, I think we took a million pictures. Then, we went to the reception, where I literally danced my booty off. I remember being sucked in my dress so tight, that when I danced for hours on end, I thought I would pass out. 🙂 I have never had so much fun.

I am more in love with Jared today than I was 5 years ago. At that time I didn’t know that was possible. I thank God everyday for my wonderful husband, who has given me 2 beautiful children (and hopefully more in the future) that I couldn’t imagine life without.  He is an amazing father to them.

Thank you Jared for being my husband. Thank you for loving me. Every part of me. The good the bad and the ugly, and lord knows there is lots of ugly. 🙂 You are an amazing man and I know I don’t tell you that enough. Thank you for being a hands on daddy to our babies. Gabrielle and Cooper are very lucky kids. I know that we are the only two people in the world could tolerate each other, and God definitely had you picked out for me. I am a very blessed woman. I love you more than life itself, and look forward to growing old with you. Jared James, you are my everything.

To all the Mama’s out there!


Sometimes when I look at my belly after 2 kids, I cringe. But, after seeing this, I think I’ll think twice about hating my stretch marks. I may smile when I see them.


It says: “A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me.

It isn’t very pretty anymore. Some may even think it’s ugly. That’s OK. It was your home. It’s where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that I will always find something beautiful in it.”

So, to all you Mama’s who think your body isn’t perfect. It is, because you wouldn’t be a Mama without all the “imperfections.”


Exciting News in the Hartsock Household


Well, I have been putting this post off for a long time. I didn’t want to “jinx” anything. But, even though the news I am going to share isn’t 100% official, I need to share it!!

The day we brought Cooper home from the hospital, we put our house on the market. Four days later, we had 2 offers on our house. That is right, 2! So, now pending an inspection, we have sold our house!

After that crazy few days, I realized that we had the potential of being homeless. I thought we may be living with one of our parents, until we found a house. Which no offense to my parent or in laws, but that sounds completely horrible! But, then Jared remembered that my aunt had mentioned that she wanted to sell her house. So, we went looked, liked what we saw, and will now be buying a house in Bethalto! We will soon be the proud owners of a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house. Compared to our 2 bedroom 1 bath house we are used to, we will be living in a mansion. 🙂 It is going to be so nice. I am so excited.

So, everyone say some prayers and cross your fingers that our inspection goes well. We are ready to go!