The little campground we visit near my parents tries to add a new "thing" every year. We were happy to pull in and see this giant jumping pillow! My sister and her kids came out to visit and we had a blast jumping!
My favorite thing about this picture is that little girl on the left! She wasn't with us but what a pose!
They also have this spiderweb thing that is fun to climb in and sit.
The more people the more it moves and shifts. Then when people start climbing out you may end up with your bottom hitting ground! :)
* This is a repeat but still counts- It's ok if you want to talk to me about Ella. Talking about her actually helps me and is healing.
* Talking about Ella doesn't make me any more scared or sad about this new baby. I am putting my trust in God and believing that He is in control. That counts in the good and the bad. I am actually not scared at all. I have some anxious moments but I work hard at stopping them. God has our life in his hands.
* Tears are not bad. If you see me crying or getting teary eyed, it's not your job to make it stop. Tears are healing and good. If you don't know what to say, just listen.
* When someone asks me about my past births, I will count Ella's in those as well. It doesn't make me sad to talk about her birth or if I had an epidural or whatever. It's fact. It may make the other person uncomfortable but I can't control that. :)
* This is baby #4 for us. Not baby #3. We will only have three of our kids here with us but this is the fourth. I may correct you if you say "three" or I may not. But it doesn't change the fact that it's #4.
* Ella's diagnosis of Trisomy 13 was chromosomal, not genetic. There is no reason to believe that this baby won't be healthy and strong.
*This pregnancy is going well! I have been showing for a little while now, but truthfully, it's a lot of leftovers from 1, 2 & 3! I am feeling good and am excited to start to feel his/her kicks and flutters soon.
* We are just a few weeks out from it being one year since Ella was born. I haven't figured out yet how I'd like to word that- One year from the anniversary of her birth? One year from her going to heaven? Her birthday? Any way, it's a bag of mixed emotions. I am so so glad she's in heaven. She got to skip so much hurt and pain and sadness of this world. But my mommy heart will always wish I had her her to hug and love.
Your love O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep, O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
We made a last minute decision to camp this weekend in Michigan. We were headed up to see family but decided to make it a little vacation! This is how we camp! (it's a blurry video because it's from my phone but it's still cute!)
Here are a few pictures of my two at swim class! Graham still doesn't "love" it but he's doing great!
This one LOVES it! She has done such a great job.
She also LOVES her teacher! Her thank you card to him says "dear Sebastian, thank you for teaching me. When I grow up I want to be just like you. Love Grace" Complete with princess stickers. Ha!
And I took this one because Gracie is letting me pull her hair back now! She never never let me touch her hair before but now wants it pulled back. Part of me is happy with the change and the other part hates that my baby looks so grown up!
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind. It's been fun sharing our pregnancy news with others. I've been able to fully break out the maternity clothes and am feeling good. Shane has been busy with work and the kids have been doing swim lessons.
I've got a few posts coming about my "deep thoughts". Ha! I've been working on one about being "redeemed" and and I know I'll have some more coming in the next few weeks about our Ella.
One of my favorite things that's been happening recently is that Gracie has decided it's ok if we have a boy because then we'd have two girls and two boys. I love that she includes Ella in our life. :) It's little things like that that make my heart happy.
Another favorite is watching my kids swim! The first day of swim lessons was hard on Grahammers. He was not happy. The second was the same but by the end of the week he was doing so great and even went off the diving board (with a puddle jumper on) all by himself!
Last Friday, it had been a long week and I was ready for some down time. It was 3pm and Shane had let me know he would probably be working late. We were leaving the library and I knew that if I went home I'd end up laying on the couch and turning on something for the kids to watch. That's been more of the norm as of late and they needed a change. So we packed up and went to the beach!
I didn't put my suit on as I thought they'd just want to play in the sand, but I was quick to realize that they wanted to swim! So when my friend Jessica got there I popped home and got my suit on (and my nerves up because I am NOT a fan of seaweedy mushy bottom lakes!)
They swam for a long time and then played in the sand for a while. It was warm but not too hot. The campers were there so the atmosphere was fun and lively which the kids liked.
I realized that it's a block away and hours of fun so we went again today. The kids come home sandy and happy and it makes a long day not so long.
There will be lots of beach days in our future. They are at the perfect age to have fun and I've learned to lighten up about the buckets of sand I sweep up on the kitchen floor. Or not. The sand can wait till tomorrow.
Five years ago Shane and I were so so excited to meet out little one. We didn't know if it was a boy or girl (and if Shane's hair would ever go back to short. HA!)
And then when the doctor pulled her out and said it's a girl... I was so so excited and happy. They asked her name and I couldn't even speak. It was so overwhelming and so ... great.
I had so much fun with Gracie as a baby. I remember her first smile at me. I was in Michigan at my parents and I had her on the bed in front of me. I looked down and she grinned at me for just a second. I remember catching my breath and tears threatening to spill over. Being a new mom is hard work and there she was smiling and it was all worth it.
My Gracie is full of life. She is passionate and loud (she's a hartman. ha!) and creative and sweet. She doesn't know a stranger and loves to be around people. She is a little timid about trying new things but once she tries something she's ready to go. I am so proud of her I can hardly stand it sometimes. I love to look at her profile and just think "that's my baby" I'm so thankful that she's a part of my life.
For all of our loved ones, this is our Christmas card to you this year. Please forgive me for 1) sending it early and 2) through the internet! As you can see I am planning on having my hands full with a sweet little one this December.
We are thrilled that the Lord has blessed us with a 4th baby and know that we are in His hands (like always!) through this journey. The kids, well mostly Grace, cannot wait to love on a new baby and we are excited to see what joy this little one will bring.