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Birthday Post Number Two

Jack is SIX!

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It seems impossible that this boy could be six, but all signs point towards him being a full-fledged kid. He is doing great in kindergarten, learning new things every day and treating recess like a boss. He’s playing on two soccer teams and loving every second of it. He can often be found in the backyard or driveway kicking a soccer ball around, begging anyone who is willing to play with him for a few minutes.

He loves legos, movies, riding bikes, football, drawing and being read to.

He is so smart, physical, determined, generous, silly, intense, sensitive and thoughtful.

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Happy birthday Jackson. You made all our dreams come true six years ago. You made your dad and I a real-live family and we thank God every single day that He chose us to be your parents. We love you so very much and can’t wait to see what the next six years and the six years after that bring. Because so far every day with you has been awesome. Even the hard days.

You are a boy so full of potential and giftedness. God is going to use you for mighty things in life. My prayer is that you grow up knowing and trusting in a God who loves you and walks alongside you.

You make us proud every day because you are you. Sometimes being the oldest isn’t easy, case in point, your birthday party just got rescheduled because your brother is sick as a dog, but you, and only you, could be the biggest brother in this family. You were made for it and do it so well. Your brother and sister are lucky to have you and they know it.

Love you so much.

A Couple of Birthday Posts

Scarlet turned two a month ago. We had a quiet day at home celebrating our girl and enjoyed a family party the following weekend. The weather has been downright glorious this fall so we played in the backyard basically the whole day doing a couple of her favorite things: swinging, changing her shoes 17 times, pushing the lawnmower and yelling at the dogs.

All in all a great time of celebration for our girl.

Oh. And pink cake, because I may not be the ‘girliest’ of moms, but turning two definitely requires pink cake and sprinkles.

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Oh this girl. She brings so much joy to our family. I wish I could accurately capture this little nymph. Funny, sweet, stubborn, a shrieker, shy, loving, gentle but spunky all at the same time. She is going to move mountains one day.

She loves to hold hands walking along the curb on our way home from dropping Jack off at school. She carries pictures of the family around, constantly pointing out who is who. She dresses and undresses her babies 100 times per day. She wrestles, runs, jumps and climbs right alongside her brothers. She gets her feelings hurt easily and at the same time is resilient and determined when it comes to accomplishing what she wants. She is a lover; she loves to be held, kissed, hugged and to hold hands.

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Happiest of belated birthdays my sweet sweet Scarlet. I hope you read this someday and feel the love we have for you coming off this page. You might be the youngest, and with that sometimes comes hardships or sacrifices, but you are loved beyond reason. And greater than our love is the love of your Heavenly Father. A God who made you, loves you and protects you. He walks with you now and will every day of your life.

We love you darling.

A Very Merry Christmas

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From our family to yours, we wish you a blessed and joyous Christmas!

I don’t know what to say

It just doesn’t seem right to roll right past the events of last week. I don’t know how to talk about Christmas crafts and cookie swaps and menu planning. But at the same time when I skim through my Facebook page or read blogs that DO acknowledge the shootings, it doesn’t seem like enough.

So for nearly a week, I’ve been silent. I’ve barely talked about it with my husband or friends. There have been no posts on Facebook. I wanted to put a post up about playing in the snow, the first big storm hitting in our neck of the woods, but it didn’t seem right.

I find myself getting choked up at the oddest of things; making lunch for Jack or the sight of my baby’s feet, even wrapping presents. These small seemingly insignificant moments are suddenly magnified with the realization that there are 20 sets of mamas and papas who will never do these acts for their children again. And that shatters my heart into a million pieces.

I keep hoping for some kind of divine inspiration to hit. To make it so I can understand why this happened. But I just keep asking ‘why’…why, why why? And then I feel a little bit angry and really really sad, because the feeling I get is there are no answers and we won’t ever know why, at least not while we live on this earth.

I’ve read the Mister Rogers quote about ‘looking for the helpers,’ and I read the blog posts and news articles touting gun control and mental health services. I even skim the uncomfortable self-righteous Facebook posts filled with legalistic religious hub-bub. I can appreciate that people want to DO something. To make a change. To feel like they are regaining control, preventing something like this from happening again.

But I’m not there yet. I’m still stuck thinking about those mamas who have to plan a funeral instead of finish their Christmas shopping. Or those papas who have to face the booster seat in their rearview mirror. It literally makes my stomach hurt.

The one teeny tiny seed of comfort I’ve found these last few days is sitting with my children and reading the various Christmas books we have. I am reminded that our Father in Heaven sent his one and only son to this earth, knowing from the very beginning that Jesus’s life would be taken at the hands of someone else. He knows the pain of loosing a child. He can understand and empathize and bring comfort to these families in a way that no one else can.

When the ‘why’ and the ‘what ifs’ get to loud in my head, I beg and I plead in the bumbling way that I do for the Lord to redeem this horrific situation. I beg for peace. I pray for comfort to literally rain down on these families. And I thank the Lord that He welcomed those children into heaven. I believe that wholeheartedly.

The story isn’t finished yet, I keep telling myself that. My story, their story, our story.

Just like the glorious mystery of a baby born in a barn who turned out to be our King and Savior, I will wait in hopefulness, for the next chapter, the next bend in the road to reveal itself.

Scarlet Grace

I could just eat her. Seriously.

Pinterest and Pregnancy Hormones

I am not crafty. Scrapbooking overwhelms me. Handmade cards, cute little doodles and any sort of sewing are completely out of the question. The thought of making a Christmas ornament or a pillow case or some sort of holiday decoration downright makes me nauseous. It’s not that I don’t WISH I could do those things, I LOVE buying it at craft fairs and on Etsy, but making something myself is just out of the question. I’m all thumbs and uneven lines…seriously.

I’ll happily stay in my corner baking cakes and painting walls. That’s about all I’m good for.

But…and it’s a big BUT. Here’s what happens when you combine Pinterest and pregnancy hormones:

The crazy notion, that I of all people, could manage a craft. I decided I wanted a ‘bouquet’ of tissue poms in the nursery. There were lots of inspirational pictures on Pinterest. I went to Michael’s with my 40 percent off coupon and bought the Martha Stewart pom kit (yes, a KIT).

Then I spent a good week staring at the unopened package wondering how I was going to magically make those poms appear. Finally, I read the directions and me and my fumble fingers attempted to make poms.

I ripped the tissue paper.

They are lopsided.

I swore a little bit and wished for a big glass of wine.

Aaron had to help me.

Aaron laughed at me.

Aaron’s poms are better than mine.

But we did it!

And in all their lopsided glory, I really really like them.

Now to just figure out how to hang them…

A July Wrap Up

July has been so fun. It seems a little impossible it’s already the last week of the month.

I’m not even sure where to start…

The boys are spending a lot of time with very little clothing on now that it’s finally hot. Between running through sprinklers, playing in the wading pool and hitting up the random lake or swimming pool; the boys are loving summer as much as their summer-loving mama. And as much as I try to keep the sunscreen on them, they’ve both browned up with sweet little farmers tans and freckles galore. I almost feel bad about ruining their perfect skin, but those freckles are just so kissable that I can’t quite bring myself to up the SPF.

We spent the fourth of July with good friends at a nearby lake. Good friends with a boat. All of my boys (myself included) were in heaven. There is just no better feeling than a cool wind and a hot sun, cruising along a crystal blue lake. We stopped at one point at the cutest little shop for a quick ice cream treat, and we had to snap a picture of ‘the girls.’

We had a very low-key birthday party to celebrate Luke turning two (so low-key that this was the best shot out of a few quick and blurry shots). That little monkey is cracking us up on a daily basis while also trying every last nerve we have. He is equal parts charming and willful.

The very next day I turned 30, and also happened to be 30 weeks pregnant.

My family and friends absolutely spoiled me to no end. I had a facial, a little shopping, a wonderful dinner date with my husband and a sweet family party out at my parents house. My mother even dropped off strawberry shortcake on her way to work the morning of my birthday. To say it was a wonderful birthday would be an understatement. I keep waiting for that ‘whoa’ moment of ‘holy crap I’m really truly in my 30’s now’ but it hasn’t really come yet. College and even high school still don’t seem that far away and most days I still kind of feel like I’m waiting for the real mom/wife/professional to show up and take over.

From birthday celebrations we went straight into vacation mode (I mean honestly, could this month get any better?). We headed out for a few days in Sun Valley, Idaho with our dear friends where we rode bikes, walked everywhere, ate great food and chased our five wild boys. It was restful and exhausting in the best possible way and its a pretty awesome feeling to have friendships that feel more like family.

The random days in between all our adventures have been filled with trying to catch up on gardening/yard work, a little extra freelance work here and there and lots of bike rides and popsicle. I’m in summer food mode and have already made a couple batches of strawberry and raspberry jam and pesto. We’ve been eating green beans straight from the garden and our first cherry tomatoes are turning red.

Have I mentioned I love July?


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