Monday, June 30, 2014

Two years

My third baby's birthday is coming up.  Two years.  Oh.  It's so hard to think that it's been two years since I kissed her little cheeks and held her small body close.  I miss her so very much.

I have felt such a discontent lately.  I shared about it in a previous post.  Looking back I realized that I was exactly like this last year.  In the week or so leading up to Ella's first birthday I was a hot mess of emotions.  Cranky.  Angry.  Sad.  with a little happy and normal thrown in there.  I felt a little out of control.  I remember so clearly the day before her birthday.  Shane was trying so so hard for us to have a good time and make memories and I just could not do it.  Yet on the day of her first birthday, I was ok.  It was nice to celebrate her as a family.

So we will get through this week.  We will celebrate Ella's birthday on Saturday and know that she's having a bigger, better party in heaven.

But I still miss her.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

NW

When we took Gracie to camp we stayed in North Webster.  It was a busy quick visit with lots of friends and fun.  Gavin was reunited with his BFF, Libby.  Despite his face in this picture, he was happy. :)
See?
I have great, great friends.  I miss them all!
Graham and Grace (even though her visit was shorter with being at camp) love these two.  Sophie and Oliver are such good friends.  Graham will tell you.  He only has one friend and it's Oliver and he is his "best friend" :)
We stayed in a cabin across from our old house!  It was nice to have all of that space.  Graham obviously was a bit wore out with all of our visiting. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Count Your Blessings...


(written a few weeks ago)

Writing has proven to be so therapeutic for me over the past years  I am not sure why then, I have not continued.  I'm sure it's the multitude of things going on.  Anyway, if writing has lifted my spirits and lightened my heart so I will continue.   

For many different reasons my heart has felt heavy in the past month or so.  Some things I can pinpoint- A new house, new places to learn, the host of various Dr apts (all well checks, do not worry) for 5 people in a family makes for lots of scheduling and running, a house that is lived in makes for messes.  And while I am enjoying parts of our homeschooling journey, having my kids home ALL.THE.TIME means that there really isn't a time that it's clean.  Ever. And laundry?  Well, I know that will end when my kids leave for college.  Ha! Throw in there some postpartum hormones and extra baby weight that won't budge and it adds up.

I am a people person.  I love to chat with friends.  I love to make plans and have play dates for my kids.  I like going and doing.  Even though our little town was small, we lived in a great community where friends were a walk away and neighbors loved my kids so well.  There was always someone to visit or a sucker to be shared if my kids just asked sweetly.  (side note:  when I was little I did the exact same thing- took flowers, or weeds, or whatever,  to our neighbor so she would give me cookies. Or pickles.  Ha!)

I am confident that the Lord led us to move for many reasons and He has so blessed us in this journey.  But that doesn't mean it's been easy.  I've been lonely.  I've missed neighbors, and good friends and long walks around the lake.   I've missed a church community that opened their hearts to us so freely. I've missed good worship and a message that challenges me.  (we are still looking for a new church "home") Having three littles has been such an adjustment on top of this.  And we are teaching our kids at home (we LOVE this and this is NOT a problem for us. :) ) Which means there isn't a lot of down time.  And did I mention that they are creative and busy and that my house is NEVER clean? I have a baby who doesn't yet sleep all night- however, I do know that he won't stay little for long and that day is coming soon and oh the rejoicing that will happen when that day comes!

A few times this past week my heart has just been...heavy.  I can't really explain it.  A few times I would just stop and feel like everything was running around me. The thoughts I shared above would weave themselves through my head and I just felt ....sad.  The closest I can get to it is those months after I had Ella where I just felt like I was in a cloud.  Looking back, I know that there was a touch of depression in that cloud.  Grief will do that to you.  

So I am thinking that is it.  I am grieving my old life in my little town and my friends and my church and my sleep.... I think that is ok.  It's ok to be sad about what has changed.  

What is not ok though (for me!) is to stay there.  I'm reminded about this post. It's still applicable for me.   SO... I will count my blessings today and know that being grateful and thankful is one way to cure the blues.  I will trust that He knows the plans He has for me.  

My blessings:















Thing 1,2, and 3.  And this guy.  This day was so so great.  I told Shane that I wanted to go strawberry picking and I wanted us ALL to go.  I am fairly certain that picking strawberries on a hot hot morning with 3 littles was not on his list to do on his day off.  He doesn't even really like strawberries!  But he did it without complaining.  And we did pick!  

And then I had all these berries that were so sweet and yummy and needed made into jam.  (I am pretty sure Grace ate at least 2 quarts!!)
















I know this added more to what I already feel like is a full life, but I like this. I  like making food for my family and they love it and it makes me happy to cook/bake/make jam for them.




















And he makes me happy.  He took care of the kids, he mashed strawberries, and he ran around looking for extra jars for me.  




















52 jars and some change.  Enough for our family to enjoy jam on toast, sandwiches, pancakes... you name it!  Enough to share with friends.  

What a great group of blessings.

*This is not meant to be a woe is me post.  I know and believe that the Lord has us where we are for a reason and I know change is always hard for me.  I will make friends, I will sleep, life will calm down. This post was for me to get my thoughts out and to remind myself to be thankful.  Even in the hardest times there is much to be thankful for.  










Friday, June 20, 2014

Florida Baby! Part 2

We were glad to be able to make great memories with Brad at the beach.  
It was a bit cloudy that day but perfect to walk the beach.
Err, I guess when you are three, walking the beach = this.
and this.
Gav got his first swim on.  I'm not sure he cared either way but he sure was a cute bathing beauty!
We celebrated Mother's Day while we were there.  I am such a blessed mommy.  
Our 30A baby.  If you are thinking of vacationing anywhere along 30A.  Do it! 
Jason and Kristi own Pizza By the Sea in Watercolor and just opened a new restaurant in Gulf Place.  We loved being able to see that location.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Florida Baby!

Last month we went to Florida and we took Grandpa H!
We stopped in Alabama on our way down and went to our first Bass Pro Shop. That place is amazing!
fish!
A bathroom break on the way.  At the end of the drive there really isn't anywhere to stop and when you gotta go you gotta go!
When we go we visit our good friends the Beers and our first stop?  Seaside to the food trailers and Barefoot BBQ.  If you ever get to seaside you have to try their nachos?  They are SO SO good.  Brad mentioned something about sharing and I said "no, I won't share mine!" He soon realized that they are too good to share!
Alex and Gavin
Graham, Grace and Caroline
I love getting to visit with Kristi!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Six


 My firstborn is six years old!  She has made me laugh from day one and I am so proud of her.  She's becoming a little girl who is creative, funny, brave (see my camp post!) and she is learning to love the Lord.  What more could I ask for?  So at 6 years old Grace:

  •  has gone on her first "camp" experience.  We are picking her up tonight and I expect either one of two things- she doesn't stop talking the whole ride home or she immediately conks out and is asleep the whole time. :)


  •  is so so creative.  She likes coloring, drawing, making houses, playing imagination with her toys. etc.  She often recruits Graham to be part of her play
  • loves loves her baby brother and has a love/hate relationship with Graham.  Ha!  No, they get along well for the most part and she does take care of him
  • likes to read books and can happily sit and do this for quite a while

  • loves strawberries, Dad's cereal (peanut butter crunch!), Hello Kitty, and her Julie doll.
  • likes watching the Avatar and Littlest Pet Shop cartoons

  • is great about helping dad at camp and likes to do building checks with him
  • likes to swing
  • loves caterpillars!


  • is super social and friendly.  We were in NW this week and she could hardly wait to start visiting people!



  •  very much likes to know what's going on.  "what are we doing next? What's after that? What now?"... etc!

  • has my fair skin and the cutest freckles across her nose and cheeks.
  • has lost two teeth and swears she has another one loose.



  • Wants to be a babysitter when she grows up (with no kids of her own. ha!)



I love this spunky, energetic, take charge, full of life little girl!  Happy 6 years Sis.
Love,
Mom

Monday, June 9, 2014

I just did this.


Yesterday I sent my daughter to camp.  How is she old enough to go to camp?




















Just yesterday she was toddling around and repeating my every word and crawling on her daddy's lap to nap.

















Oh, she still babbles and talk and talks and talks, and she still loves her daddy like crazy but she is growing up right before my eyes.




















I watched her jump out of the truck and go fearlessly with her friend to find her counselor and new cabin mates and my heart just was jumping.  Part of me was so stinking proud of her for being so brave at 5 (6 TOMORROW!) and the other part of me wanted to grab her and keep her with me forever.

But I can't keep her little.  And I really don't want to I guess.  Shane and I talk often about how we want to raise responsible, brave, strong, kind adults.  Our goal for Grace is to be all those things and love the Lord with all her heart.  Camp will aid her in all of these things.

So my baby is at camp and she's having the time of her life.  And while I kind of want to cry and shove my face in a carton, er... bowl of ice cream.  I am so excited for her and what she'll learn and how she will grow from this experience.  I know without a doubt that the Lord is going to use her for great things and I know her camp experiences will help shape her life.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Noise Maker

video
I've done this with the first two kids and I've always thought it was funny.  So glad Gavin will humor his mama!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What???!


No lie. She came downstairs and said "look mom I am like a teenager and I have hair over my eyes(bangs) take a pic and send it to Kelsey (our friend)". What?????!!!!! Haha!!

Then Graham came down and said "Mom, I told she I don't like she hair but I like she clothes." Ha!

These kids keep me smiling!

Monday, June 2, 2014

5 months of Gavin

Last week we celebrated 5 months of Gavin. 
At 5 months Gavin is:
  • learning so much it's interrupting his sleep!  He's had a few rough weeks of naps and nighttime but he's slowly getting it straightened out.
  • still sleeps swaddled.  It's frustrating when he gets flipped over but he hates to not be swaddled.  We are working on a slow transition.
  • chewing on everything!  He loves to dive bomb for his paci, your hands, or whatever he can get to his mouth
  • loves his toes!  He found them a few weeks ago and likes to grab his feet
  • rolls from belly to back and sometimes from back to belly
  • still has a high pitched giggle and laugh!